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Although Valentine's Day is still a couple of weeks away, you'll want to get these books in advance so you and your children will have plenty of time to enjoy them.
"The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever" is a new book by Illinois author Brenda Ferber (2012, Dial Books, illustrated by Tedd Arnold).
CHAMPAIGN — For Centennial senior Lauren Burnham, publishing a science-fiction fantasy novel for young adults is the realization of a dream she has had since fifth grade, and has worked on since eighth grade.
Here's a lovely poem for the caregivers among us, by Terri Kirby Erickson, who lives in North Carolina.
Draped in towels,
my grandmother sits in a hard-backed
chair, a white bowl
of soapy water on the floor.
She lifts her frail arm, then rests it,
gratefully, in her daughter's palm.
Gliding a wet
washcloth, my mother's hand
Sleet at nightfall ...
he cloaks himself
in a garbage bag
— Charlotte Digregorio,
One of my favorite tools as a reader is Goodreads.com. It's a great resource for keeping track of books you've read and books you want to read, and a fun way to see what your friends are reading.
Helen Dunmore is an accomplished writer of both adult and children's books. Her latest literary contribution is "The Greatcoat," a ghost story (for adults) set both in Great Britain in World War II and in 1952.
"Liar and Spy" by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb 2012) has my vote as the next Newbery winner, the highest honor given to a middle grade book.
We'll know what the committee decides on Monday. I haven't read everything this year, so I might have missed something, but this is a great novel, as are all of Stead's three novels.
Snow alights on bushes,
covers a white pine's branches
and softens the chill.
— Sybil Kellogg, Loda
Every year, it seems like every publication puts out its own best of the year list. This year was no exception, and we saw a lot of the same titles on the lists: "Gone Girl," "Bring Up the Bodies," "Wild" and "The Power of Habit."
Kansas is flat, and we all know that. So, where does a boy go when he feels like sledding down a hill? Casey Pycior, raised in Kansas, tells us.
Sledding in Wichita
As cars pass, laboring through the slush,
a boy, bundled against the stiff wind
in his snow suit, gloves, and scarf,
leans on his upright toboggan,
waiting his turn atop