Monday, April 30, 2012

Z- Zara

Need (Need, #1) Z- Zara. The mc in the Need series is Zara. This series is set in main and involves pixies, but not the cute Tinkerbell type kind. Zara is a fairly cool character and these are pretty cool books. I read these books during the height of the whole Twilight thing so it seemed sort of fresh to me to be reading about pixies and weretigers instead.

Do you have a favorite YA Paranormal subject?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Y- Yoda

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda Y- Yoda. Who doesn't love Yoda? He gives wonderful advice, he trains Jedi knights. In this book an origami version of Yoda gives advice to a group of middle school kids and the kids try to determine if the force is really at work.
I recently gave these books to my friend's 8 year old and he loved them because not only do you get to read a book about Yoda (awesome right) the book has instructions to make your own Yoda.

Who is your favorite Star Wars character?

Friday, April 27, 2012

X- Luxe

The Luxe (Luxe, #1) X- is for Luxe. OK yeah I'm totally cheating but I haven't read a lot of books that start with X but this has an X in it. The Luxe is set in Manhattan in 1899. In this book Elizabeth Holland has to chose between money and love. I love reading about this time period and all that was expected of young women back then.

Do you like historical fiction?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W- Will

Will Grayson, Will Grayson W- Will Grayson, Will Grayson. There are two Wills in this book both named Will Grayson. The book is told in alternating voices of the two Will Graysons. I think my favorite character in this book is Tiny Cooper. The first Will has been friends with Tiny forever and the second Will meets Tiny during the book.

Have you ever met someone who has the same name as you?

(I almost had to pay my name twin's bill at the doctor but fortunately my name twin and I have different middle initials.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V- Virginia

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things V- Virginia Shreves. The main character in the book The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler. I love this book and this character. Virginia feels like she doesn't fit into her family. They are all thin and successful and she has learned to live by the "Fat Girl Code of Conduct". I love the humor in this book and howVirginia grows as a person and learns to accept herself.

What trait about yourself have you learned to accept over the years?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U- Brenda Ueland

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit U- Brenda Ueland. A few years ago a coworker gave me a book, If You Want to Write. To be honest, at the time I wasn't sure I wanted another book about writing but I took it anyway.  I read it and was really surprised. This book has wonderful advice about writing. It encourages writers to write, to get past ego and self consciousness and the ideas of success and just write. This book was written in the 1930's but a lot of the advice still holds true today and it is interesting to see that some of the same things that we writers struggle with today (rejection slips, money, housework) are things that writers have always struggled with.

What is your favorite book about writing?

Monday, April 23, 2012

T- Trixie Belden

The Secret Of The Mansion (Trixie Belden #1) T- Trixie Belden. Trixie is another teen sleuth. After seeing me read some Nancy Drew books a friend of mine loaned me this series and I loved them. They are full of mystery and suspense as Trixie and her friends solve mysteries. Trixie and her neighbor, Honey, solve a the mysteries but they are often aided by their brothers.  In at least one of these books Trixie tries to solve a mystery that isn't even there.

The person who loaned me the books had gone to great lengths to get the complete collection (ebay, estate sales, garage sales). Have you gone to great lengths to make sure you had a complete set of books from a series?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S- Snape

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) S- Snape. I love Severus Snape from the Harry Potter books. Whenever I need a good cry or to just believe in the goodness of people I watch Snape's final scene in the Harry Potter movies or read the scene in the books. He is such a complex character but he is also motivated by love, friendship, and loyalty.  I think he is truly one of the bravest characters in the books.

Do you have a favorite bad guy character who turned out to surprise you?

Friday, April 20, 2012

R- Ramona

Ramona Forever  R- Ramona Quimby. I loved, loved, loved the Ramona books when I was a kid. Even though I was the big sister I could totally relate to some of the things that happen to Ramona throughout the books.  I would read some of the crazy things that happened to her, like cracking an egg on her forehead and I would actually be surprised that I hadn't done something like that. I could also totally relate to Ramona's imagination.

Do embarrassing and funny things happen to you that make you think of Ramona or other book characters?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q- Queens

Beauty Queens Q is for Beauty Queens. In this book a plane of beauty pageant contestants lands on an island in a plane crash.  I think this book is one of the funnies books I've read. There are a number of diverse characters in this book as the contestants represent many different regions.  There is the contestant who pretends to have a valley girl accent until it's discovered that she's not the dumb valley girl.  There is a transgendered character who is competing in the pageant as well. On the island, without the pressure to be who society thinks they should be, the girls in this book are allowed to be who they want to be.

If you were a contestant in a pageant what would your talent be?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P- Puck Connolly

The Scorpio Races P is for Puck Connolly. Puck is one of the main characters in the Scorpio Races.  This book is told in alternating voices of Puck and Sean Kendrick. They are both riding in the Scorpio Races. An annual race on their island involving water horses.  This story is amazing and the writing in beautiful. Puck's loyalty to her island and her brothers was one of my favorite parts of the story. Her desire to stay on the island she grew up on and keep her brothers near her is what causes her to sign up. She's the first girl to sign up for the races so she faces opposition there.  She also faces the challenge of riding her own horse and not one of the water horses. This book made me want to move to Thisbee and ride horses which is unlike me because I'm a city girl and the closest I usually come to horses is my annual visit to the horse barns at the Minnesota State Fair.

Are there books that have you dreaming of doing things you normally wouldn't do?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O- Overlander

Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1) O is for Gregor the Overlander. Chances are you've all read and loved The Hunger Games. This is a series of books aimed at slightly younger readers.  Gregor is 11 and falls trough a grate in the laundry room and ends up in the Underland. The Underland is full of bugs, bats, rats and humans and Gregor has to fight to fulfill a prophecy.
This book is really great and full of adventure.  I recently gave a copy of this book to a kid I babysit for, we read the first chapter together and then he was hooked.

Monday, April 16, 2012

N - Nancy Drew

The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1) N is for Nancy Drew. Nancy is the daughter of a lawyer who ends up solving a lot cases on her own or with the help of her friends Bess, George and Ned Nickerson.  She's smart and perceptive. I still love these books and sometimes summon my inner Nancy Drew when I have to solve The Mystery of the Missing (insert costume piece here). These books can also teach a lot about suspense as Nancy is always caught in a suspenseful situation.

Did you read Nancy Drew books when you were growing up? Do you like mystery novels?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M- Maggie Quinn

Prom Dates from Hell (Maggie Quinn: Girl Vs. Evil #1) M- Maggie Quinn. Maggie is full of awesome.  She is a teen sleuth fighting demons at prom, succubi sororities, and mysterious creatures creatures on spring break. If you like shows like Veronica Mars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer then Maggie might be the perfect sleuth for you.

What was the scariest thing at your Prom?

Friday, April 13, 2012


Lola and the Boy Next Door L- Lola. Lola is an aspiring costume designer.  For this reason she reminds me of so many people I know in real life.  One day she is dressed as a strawberry, this is totally like my friend Barb who will be dressed as a leaf one day with an orange skirt layered over a brown skirt and other fall colors.  She is also making a Marie Antoinette dress during the book so I can totally picture these scenes. I can't wait until Lola comes to design costumes at the theater where I work. We are going to have so much fun. Oh, wait.
Anyway Lola has to chose between the boy who is her first love and the boy who is her true love.

Is there a book character you can imagine knowing in real life?

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Plain Kate K- Kate. Plain Kate. When her father dies Kate is all alone.  Her village is looking for any evidence of witchcraft and they become suspicious of her.  She leaves in the middle of the night and trades with a magician for something she needs. A her companion is a talking cat named Taggle.  Kate is independent and brave. The biggest recommendation I can give for this book is that it made me cry. On the elliptical. At the gym. In front of people. So yeah, it's amazing.

Do you like books that make you cry?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J- Julia Gillian

Julia Gillian (and The Art Of Knowing) J- Julia Gillian. Julia Gillian is a wonderful middle-grade series.  Julia is quirky and fun. She keeps a list of things she's skilled at and she works on adding to this list.  She makes paper mache masks. She is a dog person. Her life and concerns as she goes from 4th grader to 6th grader are very real. Julia's life and adventures take place in the Uptown area of Minneapolis and there are wonderful details about the neighborhood in these books.

What are you skilled at? Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I- Izzy

Tortilla Sun I - Izzy is the main character in Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes. She spends a summer living with her Nana in New Mexico.  While she is there she finds a baseball, new friends and family. She learns about her father who died when she was a baby and she learns about love. I love baseball so I also love books where baseball comes into play.

Do you have a favorite book with a baseball tie-in?

Monday, April 09, 2012

H- Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, # 1) H- Harry Potter. I couldn't do n H post without talking about the boy who lived. Harry is a brave and steps up to the challenge of fighting Voldemort with the help of his friends and his school. Not only did he inspire a generation of readers who grew up with him these books also inspired many writers who want to write wonderful, magical stories for children.

What is your favorite thing about Harry?  Did these books inspire or encourage you to write?

Saturday, April 07, 2012

G- Grace

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) G is for Grace Brisbane. Grace is one of the main characters in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series.  I was hesitant to read these books at first but when I started really liked them. Grace is independent, caring, strong and smart.

Have you read this series?  Who is your favorite character in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series?

Friday, April 06, 2012

F- Frodo

 F- is for Frodo.  Frodo Baggins is the brave little hobbit who becomes an unlikely hero and saves Middle Earth.  Although Hobbits are not known for traveling and having adventures Frodo sets out to destroy a ring that has been left to him by his uncle, Bilbo Baggins.  Frodo is brave and he carries the burden of the ring mostly on himself.  He is a brave, sweet character.

Who is your favorite character from the Lord of the Rings books?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

E- Eloise

Eloise  E- Eloise.  I love these stories about Eloise. Eloise is six and lives in the Plaza Hotel.  I love her adventures and how she is always smarter than the adults around her.  I think one of my favorites was when she outsmarts her math tutor.  Eloise is a city girl and lives in the Plaza Hotel which is, lets face it, cool.

End of the Rainbow opened on Broadway on Monday night and celebrated opening night at the Plaza. I had the pleasure of working on this show in Minneapolis and encourage people to see it on Broadway. An amazing show with a wonderful cast.

Have you been to NYC? What is your favorite thing to do in New York?

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

D- Dumbledore

 D- Dumbledore. There is so much to love about Dumbledore. He sees the good in people. He trusts people. He allows his students the space to learn, grow and make mistakes.  Sometimes he makes mistakes himself. He gives wonderful advice. He's an amazing wizard. I love that despite the fact that he is a very powerful wizard he doesn't swoop in and fix things.

What is your favorite thing about Dumbledore?

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

C- Charlotte

Charlotte's Web C is for Charlotte- "It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."
I loved Charlotte's way with words.  She spins a few words and changes the life of her friend.  Don't we all as writers hope to be like Charlotte?

What kind of friend are you? What kind of writer are you?

Monday, April 02, 2012

B- Beezus Quimby

Beezus and Ramona (Ramona, #1) B is for Beezus. I grew up reading the Ramona books and while I totally related to Ramona and her imagination and some of the funny things that happened to her like the time she cracked an egg on her head at school. But I'm also the big sister which meant that I could also relate to Beezus as she dealt with little sister Ramona.

Are you the oldest, youngest or middlest in your family? Which Quimby did you relate to?

Sunday, April 01, 2012

A to Z- Anne Shirley

Anne of Green Gables - anne-of-green-gables photo

Happy A to Z Challenge. I'm going to highlight characters and books during the month with the hope of keeping my post short and sweet.

Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables books is full of imagination which helps her escape the sometimes harsh world of being an orphan.  She goes to live on a farm with the Cuthberts, a brother and and sister who were expecting a boy from the orphanage to help with the farm.

Anne speaks her mind which get her in trouble sometimes. With her red hair and freckles she was also a target for teasing.  She is full of imagination, spirit and ideals about how the world should be.

Did you read the Anne of Green Gables books? What was your favorite thing about Anne?