August 22, 2017

Radioactive

Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and FalloutRadioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout 
by Lauren Redniss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The font and images used in this book were purposefully designed to capture radium's "spontaneous luminosity" and the Curies' fascination with physics and spiritualism. Sparse lines of text suddenly expand into dense passages describing the element's importance to historical events like Hiroshima and Chernobyl and the future. The words flow around art that alternately brightens or darkens, creating pages that are ghostly, mysterious, and erotic. Together they form a biography of outer-worldly proportions.

For teen and adult readers.


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July 28, 2017

The Indigenous perspective

Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the CityUrban Tribes: Native Americans in the City 
by Lisa Charleyboy


My rating: 3 of 5 stars






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July 26, 2017

Very highly recommended

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh BrothersVincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers
by Deborah Heiligman


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An exquisite portrait of two talented, close-knit brothers.




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July 24, 2017

Highly Recommended

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights CaseLoving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case 
by Patricia Hruby Powell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars









Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A MemoirEnchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir
by Margarita Engle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful novel-in-verse.








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June 30, 2017

How a story idea begins

Any Questions?
by Marie-Louise Gay


Children are very curious about story-writing and where authors get their ideas. Their questions inspired picture book author and artist Marie-Louise Gay to create this book, in which she describes her writing process. Sometimes her ideas start with a colour, a word, a phrase, or a doodle. But sometimes she gets stuck. That's when the book becomes interactive, with help from the characters of her many previous books. With their assistance, a story-within-a-story about a shy young giant and a ferocious beast is created.

It's a fun way to introduce kids to the creative writing process. The combination of print and hand-written text is a nice touch too, although I hear that many kids can no longer read cursive. If so, the book makes for a good read-aloud. At the end of the book, Marie-Louise answers some of the questions that she has been asked, like how did you learn to draw, can your cat fly, and are you Stella?












N.B. After five years of posting, it's time to take an extended break, at least for the rest of 2017. I may still post occasionally if I read something good; in the meantime, to know what I've been reading, friend me on Facebook or follow me on GoodReads.


my read shelf:
Mary-Esther Lee's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

June 28, 2017

Roget's word lists

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus
by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet


Peter Mark Roget was always scribbling. He made lists of words: Latin words, the four elements, of the weather, in the garden. As he grew up and became a tutor, a doctor, a science lecturer, and inventor, his lists helped him organize his thoughts and speak concisely and clearly. He believed that everyone should be able to find the right word. With his thesaurus, first published in 1852, everyone was able to do just that.

Roget's original thesaurus - 1000 words organized by meaning - is reproduced on the back endpapers. Along with Bryant's pitch-perfect prose and Sweet's list-filled collages, The Right Word is the absolute right biography of a remarkable man.


June 26, 2017

How a book is written

What Do Authors Do?
by Eileen Christelow


With cartoon panels and cat and dog observers, Christelow takes children through the writing process from beginning ideas to a published book. It'll give them a good idea about all the writing and rewriting that goes into a story, what happens when writers get stuck, the wait for acceptance and rejection letters, the production of the finished book, and how to get readers to buy them. 

A fun look at what an author does and how long it takes to do it!