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Tag: Chris Colfer

What Would They Read?: Holiday Edition

OK, it’s time for a little make believe.  I’d ask you to close your eyes, but I know that will make reading the rest of this Christmas stockingfairly difficult.  Imagine it’s Christmas morning and you just noticed that your stocking is filled to the brim with goodies.  Upon closer inspection, you notice that it’s not just any random gift.  Santa has stuffed your stocking with books upon books.  It truly is a merry Christmas.

Everyone makes their own personal Santa.  One Santa would only ever bring candy and never socks.  Another Santa would leave the sweets at home and fill up the stocking with silly little knick knacks.  In my imagination, Santa stuffs as many books as possible in my stocking.  The question is, how well does Santa know your personal reading tastes?  Below are several of our favorite holiday characters.  Let’s see what books Santa stuffed in their stockings.

Santa and RudolphRudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Rudolph’s story is a familiar one.  I mean, the basics of his life are squeezed into a song.  Aside from the magical ability to fly and his glowing nose, Rudolph’s story is about trying to fit in when others make you feel like an outcast.  This is a common theme in many teen books.  Rudolph would definitely enjoy science fiction stories that include other characters with powers.  For example, I guarantee there weremaximum ride angel experiment james patterson cover several “X-Men” graphic novels.  Who wouldn’t want to relate their issues with the issues of superheroes?  In addition to the “X-Men” graphic novels, I bet Santa would throw in the “Maximum Ride” series by James Patterson, starting with The Angle Experiment.  Similarly to the X-Men, Patterson’s books are about kids with powers that would normally exclude them.  Instead, these powers bring the kids together.  Who could forget about Harry Potter?  Harry Potter spends his whole life up to the age of ten thinking that he wasn’t as good as the other kids.  Then he discovers in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling that he is actually more special than his rude family.  Also, just like Rudolph and his reindeer friends, Harry gets to do the same things as the other wizards, but still must deal with being treated different.  Rudolph’s nose will always glow and Harry’s scar will always remind people that he was not killed by He Who Must Not Be Named.  Of course, let’s not forget the parallels between Rudolph’s relationship to Santa and Harry’s relationship with Dumbledore.  The similarities are definitely there.  Obviously, Rudolph will have quite a few books to read in the time before next Christmas.

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What Would They Read?: Parks and Recreation

parks-and-recreationThose of you familiar with the lives of the employees of the Pawnee Parks Department know how they feel about the Pawnee Public Library.  The presence of Ron Swanson’s crazy ex wife, Tammy, doesn’t help to mend the fences between these two village departments.  However, I would like to believe that this rivalry between the parks Department and the library would in no way hinder Leslie Knope and staff in their love of reading.  I mean, obviously they would probably have to get their books through Amazon or a bookstore so as not to encounter Tammy.  Let’s see what books the Parks Department would read!

Leslie Knope – Leslie is a very powerful woman who strives at excellence in everything she does.  When I think about disreputable-historyLeslie, I immediately think of Frankie Landau-Banks.  In 2009 Printz Honor book The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, Frankie orchestrates a mission to infiltrate The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male secret society on her school campus, of which her boyfriend is a member.  Of course, being a member is not enough for Frankie’s ambition.  Instead, she starts to design school pranks and directs the Bassets in carrying them out.  Frankie is definitely a teen Leslie would be proud of if she were a citizen of Pawnee.  Another title that I would set aside for Leslie is Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer.  Bauer’s story includes a mayoral race in a small town.  When Hope moves to the small Wisconsin town from a fairly big city, she does not expect to get caught up in the situations of her new home.  However, when the owner of the diner she works at decides to run for mayor against a corrupt politician, Hope jumps into local politics with both feet.  Bauer’s book combines two of Leslie’s loves: politics and diners.

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Celebrity-authored books that we’d like to see

Now that Chris Colfer of Glee fame has become a published author with a fairy tale for kids (The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell), we got to thinking of some other celebrity-penned books that we’d like to see:

Squirrel: It’s What’s for Dinner by Jennifer Lawrence (actress, Winter’s Bone and The Hunger Games)

Enjoy Jennifer’s suggestions for whipping up tasty, healthful, and budget-minded meals using America’s favorite rodent. Subsistence hunting never tasted so good!

Playing Both Ends Off the Middle by Stephen Colbert (TV “newsman,” writer, actor, comedian)

In this tale of politics beyond the Beltway, young voters realize that their only way to be heard is to work with America’s most powerful voting bloc — senior citizens. But how to convince oldsters that youth are friends, not foes? In an aha! moment, teens realize that males of both generations wear their pants low around their non-existent hips. The Saggers reach out to the Sansabelts and form a powerful coalition — a little too powerful for the Plumbers Union, who control the “intergluteal cleft” lobby. Can the hip-hop/hip replacement alliance prevail? And will those kids ever get off the lawn?

[Especially since Stephen has already penned a picture book (with a “Caldecott Eligible” seal!), moving on to YA seems like the next logical step! -ed.]


2012 BEA Children’s Author Breakfast Recap

This week has been chock-full of books, authors, and publishing news centered around Book Expo America in New York City. I was very fortunate to not only attend BEA 2012 on Wednesday, but also to attend a very fun and insightful event for the first time this year: the Children’s Author Breakfast.

After locating a seat and delighting in finding both a free poster and an Advanced Reader Copy of Chris Colfer’s upcoming book, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, I settled in happily to wait for the speakers. The audience was pleasantly surprised to first see the National Ambassador for Children’s Literature, Walter Dean Myers, take the stage. Mr. Myers took the opportunity to appeal to book sellers, librarians, and book lovers in general to bring children to books. He asserts that we have begun to fall woefully behind in making children want to read, and that it is a shame, as “For [his] life, reading has been the key.” Myers said that reading transformed his existence, and that children around the world need to be brought to that same turning point through exposure to books.

After Mr. Myers left to resounding applause, many members of the audience, myself included, burst into rather over-enthusiastic applause as actor-turned-author Chris Colfer took the stage.