What’s your favorite summertime sense?

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When summer occurs, new and fresh senses interweave which creates an environment that happens for a short period. Many of our senses overlap which creates an even more overpowering sensual experience. What’s your favorite sense that captures summer to you?

Sight: We want to remember our summer experiences and vacations, so of course numerous photos are taken as a snapshot ‘vision’ for the day. The days are now longer with more light to enjoy. Bright colors are found in flowers, swimsuits, patio tablecloths, sunsets, and our favorite summer fruits and tropical drinks. People are seen bike riding, swimming, playing volleyball, running through the sprinklers, sunbathing, preparing food on the grill, boating, setting up the tent, or walking through the park.

Sound: The sense of sound during the summer can be heard throughout the day. Do you have your loose change ready when you hear the familiar songs of the ice cream truck? The loud lawn mower can be heard from your neighbor’s yard to the community park. Laughter and screams of delight are heard when playing outside games. The refreshing sound of a water splash when jumping into a pool. At the beach, we hear the boat’s motor in the distance and water hitting upon the shore.

Smell: So often the phrase: “Oh, what’s that smell?” doesn’t bring the best thoughts, since we normally think of awful smells such as garbage or smelly socks. When I walk outside into a perfect summer day and close my eyes certain smells drift and make me smile. I’m lucky that I have no allergies. Walk near a park, garden, or neighbor’s yard and smell the aroma of fresh-cut grass. True this summer smell occurs year round, but most frequently smelled during this season. Continue on your walk or into a campground and smell the charcoal of a barbeque.

Taste: The sense of taste may be the most fun. Many summer foods are only available or at their peak during this time. Go on, let the peach juice dribble down your chin. Bite into sweet corn and get cornels in your teeth. Pop the pits out of cherries. Savor a cold glass of sweet lemonade on a hot summer day. Lick a delicious ice cream cone or popsicle.

Touch: The sense of touch sometimes gets lost behind, but there are certain touches that occur mainly in the summer months. I don’t think many feel the rough feeling of sand between our toes or squishy sand when wet in January. The warm heat on our skin defines those hot summer days. (Just remember to enjoy the heat with a strong sunblock.) Dip into the pool, lake, ocean, or river and cool off in refreshing water. (Remember to be safe with life vests and supervision.)

Enjoy the last month of summer with all your senses!

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Phillip Pullman Quotation: Children’s books can be complex

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There are some themes, some subjects too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children’s book.

– Phillip Pullman

Many times people assume that just because it’s a children’s book that it cannot have depth or meaning. Of course, this isn’t the case because a children’s book can still contain messages and complex thoughts that often may be overlooked in an adult book. It’s the perfect place to discuss a subject that otherwise may have been viewed as ‘taboo’ or too sensitive.

Harry Potter excitement continues!

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So, are you one of the lucky few in a million who has early access to J.K. Rowling’s newest work? You’re asking yourself: ‘I didn’t know she was writing more books.’ however that’s not true. Her new work is about Harry Potter, but with no additional books instead it’s an interactive online site: www.pottermore.com. It isn’t exactly clear what the website is all about, but Rowling states it’s an online experience surrounded around the Harry Potter books.

The countdowns for the books and movies may be over, but this is a new countdown for the website to be open in October. However, if you’re one of the lucky few (such as myself) you will be able to ‘shape the experience’ before the site opens. For seven days (seven books) starting on July 31st (Harry’s birthday), fans have the opportunity to register. It was very exciting and just like Harry Potter ‘magic’ with the whole process. You need to find a magic quill and answer questions about the book. For example, “How many types of owls are sold at the Owl Emporium? Multiple this number by 44.” Of course, I didn’t know the number but I knew where to find the information (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when he first buys school supplies in Diagon Alley)

After this success, you’re asked numerous questions and an email is sent to confirm. You’re then declared ‘magical’ to pick a screen name from those provided. I suppose I was lucky, because I got through right away on the first day. (However, it may have been because it was just after midnight. No, I wasn’t waiting until it was posted instead just skimmed info on Facebook.) The ‘magic’ again occurs when it’s open only a certain amount of time each day before registration is closed. I actually wanted to check each day to see if I could correctly answer the next questions.

However, even though I’ve been selected as ‘magical’ I still have to patiently wait for a ‘welcome email’ that arrives within the next few weeks. The website can’t handle everyone at the same time. I think it’s worse than a book or movie opening, since I don’t know the exact date. Oh well, it’s just like waiting for an owl post.

The website, www.pottermore.com, is also a place to see the books in a digital format. Rowling stated that she wants it to be available for all regardless of which e-reader is used. If anyone can control how books are digitally formatted and distributed it’s her. Rowling has been very hesitant in the past to allow her books into digital format, but confessed that it’s here to stay. I think any reading format of Harry Potter whether audio, print, or soon to be digital is magical for everyone.

Post on website after a successful registration:

Congratulations!
You’ve successfully validated your early access Pottermore account. You will be one of the lucky few to shape the experience before the site opens to all in October.

You may have to wait a few weeks for your Welcome email to arrive as we can’t let everyone into the Beta site at the same time.

We look forward to seeing you.

Book Review: Holes

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Holes

By Louis Sachar

Young Adult

Newbery Medal Winner 1999

I wanted to read this book for a while, because I was very curious about what can be so exciting about a bunch of holes. I noticed many classrooms used this book as the reading curriculum. I flew through this book, since the book kept me wondering about the holes.

Holes is about a boy who is sent to a detention camp and their punishment is digging holes in a land that was once a lake. He grows confidence and discovers who he is at the camp while making friends. There is also a story within a story that takes place around why they are digging these holes. I found it a very enjoyable book. I recommend for ages 10 & up.

This is my first post for the many Newbery Medal winner books, which I plan to read them all.

Magic of reading quotation

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Oh magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words.

– Betty Smith (“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”)

I loved the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith about a girl’s journey growing up. She discovers the wonder of reading and comfort of words. Books allow us into new worlds that we travel alone at our own pace though the magic of reading.

C.S. Lewis Quotation: A children’s book for all

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A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.

– C.S. Lewis

This is a great quotation that reflects this blog that books are not restricted to age. A good children’s story should inspire all. Read and enjoy a story every day with a child.

Children’s Book Newbery Medal

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A Newbery Medal Winner is a children’s book given each year by the American Library Association. One book is picked that had a great contribution to American children’s literature for that year. Honor books were also picked as ‘runner-ups’.

The message states: “To encourage original creative work in the field of books for children. To emphasize to the public that contributions to the literature for children deserve similar recognition to poetry, plays, or novels. To give those librarians, who make it their life work to serve children’s reading interests, an opportunity to encourage good writing in this field.”

My original goal for this blog was to report each Newbery Medal winner, since 1922. And that turns into a lot of books, however I’ll still strive to read and report each of these books.

http://www.ala.org/ala/awardsgrants/index.cfm

Here’s a list of the Newbery Medal winners to give a quick look. Which medal winners have you read?

2011: Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)
2010: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)
2009: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins)
2008: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick)
2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illus. by Matt Phelan (Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson)
2006: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins)
2005: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)
2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (Hyperion Books for Children)
2002: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park(Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin)
2001: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (Dial)
2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte)
1999: Holes by Louis Sachar (Frances Foster)
1998: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (Scholastic)
1997: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (Jean Karl/Atheneum)
1996: The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman (Clarion)
1995: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (HarperCollins)
1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry(Houghton)
1993: Missing May by Cynthia Rylant (Jackson/Orchard)
1992: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Atheneum)
1991: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (Little, Brown)
1990: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Houghton)
1989: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (Harper)
1988: Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (Clarion)
1987: The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (Greenwillow)
1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (Harper)
1985: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (Greenwillow)
1984: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (Morrow)
1983: Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt (Atheneum)
1982: A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard (Harcourt)
1981: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)
1980: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos (Scribner)
1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Dutton)
1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Crowell)
1977: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (Dial)
1976: The Grey King by Susan Cooper (McElderry/Atheneum)
1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton (Macmillan)
1974: The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox (Bradbury)
1973: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (Harper)
1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (Atheneum)
1971: Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars (Viking)
1970: Sounder by William H. Armstrong (Harper)
1969: The High King by Lloyd Alexander (Holt)
1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (Atheneum)
1967: Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt (Follett)
1966: I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino (Farrar)
1965: Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska (Atheneum)
1964: It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville (Harper)
1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Farrar)
1962: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)
1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (Houghton)
1960: Onion John by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell)
1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton)
1958: Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith (Crowell)
1957: Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen (Harcourt)
1956: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (Houghton)
1955: The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong (Harper)
1954: …And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell)
1953: Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (Viking)
1952: Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (Harcourt)
1951: Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (Dutton)
1950: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (Doubleday)
1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Rand McNally)
1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois (Viking)
1947: Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (Viking)
1946: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (Lippincott)
1945: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson (Viking)
1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (Houghton)
1943: Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray (Viking)
1942: The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds (Dodd)
1941: Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry (Macmillan)
1940: Daniel Boone by James Daugherty (Viking)
1939: Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright (Rinehart)
1938: The White Stag by Kate Seredy (Viking)
1937: Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer (Viking)
1936: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (Macmillan)
1935: Dobry by Monica Shannon (Viking)
1934: Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs (Little, Brown)
1933: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis (Winston)
1932: Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer (Longmans)
1931: The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth (Macmillan)
1930: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (Macmillan)
1929: The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly (Macmillan)
1928: Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji (Dutton)
1927: Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James (Scribner)
1926: Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman (Dutton)
1925: Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger (Doubleday)
1924: The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes (Little, Brown)
1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (Stokes)
1922: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon (Liveright)

http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberywinners/medalwinners.cfm