Wednesday, April 22, 2020

We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly

We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly releases May 5, 2020. Thanks to @kidlitexchange and @greenwillowbooks for providing a review copy.

Bird loves outer space and dreams of being NASA’s first female shuttle commander. She’s totally obsessed with the upcoming Challenger launch, and all the lessons her science teacher is using to get the class involved. Fitch, her twin brother, would rather play video games. Cash is the twins’ older brother, who failed and is in their grade, and is also in danger of failing again.

All three siblings and their parents are realistic and compelling characters, and the Challenger launch provides an interesting and suspenseful plot point in this beautiful, emotional story about family, friendship, and the difference between dreams and reality.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Flash Writing: Digital Plays

I'm a fan of all this "you don't have to do all the things" support being posted during this time. It's been hard to push myself to even read at night; after working so hard during the day (at my job and "teaching"/parenting), I just want to zone out before I fall to sleep at 1am.

But also, I am a person who thrives with deadlines. I am the person who had a few weeks to write an outline for her book, and did it in a couple of days. I had almost a year to write the book, but just worked on it here and there until it was down to the wire. I pulled all-nighters before college papers and presentations were due. It's just how I work best, so I'm excited that Playhouse on the Square is doing Flash Writing: A Digital Play Festival. This is a weekly themed writing contest with very brief requirements and very short deadlines, aka right up my alley. At the end of the week, submissions are read by actors on video posted to the Playhouse Facebook page. Then it starts all over again.

Week One's theme was "I dreamed that I..." Click below to view my submission, read (a million times better than I heard it in my head when I wrote it) by Eileen Peterson.
I dreamed that I

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Lila and Hadley by Kody Keplinger

Happy book birthday to Lila and Hadley by @kodykeplinger! The book comes out TODAY, 4/7/2020, from @scholasticinc. Thank you to the publisher and @kidlitexchange for sharing an ARC.

This is a great book about family struggles, coming out of your shell, and includes realistic portrayal of disabilities you don’t often see addressed in fiction. It’s an #ownvoices book, and you need to read it. 

Once Hadley’s mom is arrested, Hadley is sent across state lines to live with her older sister, Beth. Their relationship is strained because Beth left years ago and Hadley never understood why - she just felt abandoned. Add to the mix Beth being a dog trainer and Hadley not being a dog person, but stuck spending time in the animal shelter anyway.

When Lila, a hard-to-reach dog begins interacting with Hadley, she lets herself be convinced to foster and train the dog for the summer. She seems a lot of similarities between herself and the stubborn dog, but agrees to make an effort of Lila does. That includes acknowledging her declining vision and taking mobility classes, as well as putting herself out there to make friends.