Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cool Cat

Hey bibliophilic buckaroos!
Guess what’s so unique about this salutation! (No, it’s NOT that it sounds as though it were written by a book-loving cowboy. Guess again.) 
Any guesses? 
Okay, okay, you’re never going to guess, so I’m going to tell you. This salutation can be spelled out entirely with chemical elements on the periodic table! (HeY BiBLiOPHILiC BUCKArOOS!) Pure genius, I know, but although I would love to take credit I have to admit that I owe it all to my eleventh grade chemistry teacher and a wonderful website called Google. Now don’t start thinking, “Geez, Carly is off her rocker.” There IS a method to my madness. Today is Robin Brande new release day! 
For those of you who weren’t at our festival last year, Robin Brande is one of our TBF 2009 authors and she will be back for TBF 2010. I was worried that she would be scared off with our yucky Rochester weather (she’s from Arizona), but apparently we teens cancelled out the freezing rain and wind storms that plagued her last visit to Ra-cha-cha. Last year, Robin sat on our New Author Panel and spoke about her first novel, "Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature." If you haven’t read it, go to your library RIGHT NOW and get it. 
But I’m not going to talk about "Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature" today. Today, I’m giving you a review of "Fat Cat," Robin’s newest novel, which was released on October 13th. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of "Fat Cat" and I devoured it in one day. 
In "Fat Cat," the main character, Cat, is a science-whiz. (Periodic element salutation! Get it?) Cat is smart, funny, and a great cook, but she’s not skinny and THAT becomes the premise of "Fat Cat." In an attempt to win the science fair, and get in an A in her science class, Cat decides to perform her science experiment on herself. The experiment? To live prehistorically, meaning no car, no technology, and no processed foods. In Cat’s mind, it’s the perfect experiment to explore what modern-day life is doing to our bodies and to get back at Matt, her former best friend who broke her heart. 
As I said, I read this book is one day – it was that good. Anyone can relate to the Cat/Matt storyline, who hasn’t been hurt by a friend at some point in their life? I found the science experiment storyline fascinating, too. With all the new research, documentaries like "Food, Inc.," and books like "The Omnivore’s Dilemma," you can’t help but wonder if we should really be eating what we’re eating. While eating prehistorically may be extreme, we could all take a leaf out of Cat’s book. 
All in all, "Fat Cat" gets five stars out of five from me. So hurry to Barnes and Noble or your local library and get yourself a copy of "Fat Cat." You’re NOT going to want to miss it!
I love knowing what you guys are thinking … leave me comments!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vote For Zoe!

Hello Readers!
(The search for the perfect salutation has not yet made much progress …)
We’re going to try one of those Zen/yoga/meditation techniques. (I’ve never been good at these so give me a little slack.) Imagine that you’re a child, running down the stairs in your footy pajamas with your blanket or favorite stuffed animal dangling from your hand. You dash into the kitchen, throw open a cabinet door, and pull out a box of Cheerios. You tear open the box of Cheerios, peek inside, and see … a book! But not just any book – one of Laurie Halse Anderson’s awesome children’s books! 
Now let’s be honest, we would STILL all be thrilled to open a box of Cheerios and find a copy of one of Laurie Halse Anderson’s books. (And I, personally, would be even more thrilled if I discovered this while wearing footy pajamas, they were always so comfortable!) And do you want to know the best thing about this fantasy? It could become a reality!
Cheerios’ Spoonfuls of Stories campaign will be putting five children’s books in cereal boxes to be distributed in 2010. One of the thirteen competitors is Laurie’s book “The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School.” Want to be sure that you have an opportunity to get a FREE copy of Zoe in your next box of Cheerios? Then follow the link on every mention of Zoe in this post and vote for Zoe! (Zoe is the last book listed, so be sure to click all the way through the choices.) The contest will continue until the end of October so vote everyday, multiple times a day, for the next week!
Want more information on Zoe or Laurie Halse Anderson? Check out her facebook page!
Vote, vote, vote!

Terry Trueman

Greetings booklovers! 
As readers, I’m sure we’ve all read at least one or two stories about characters on a journey. A journey to save someone they love ("The Giver," anyone?), a journey to stop a giant from destroying their hometown ("The Sisters Grimm" by Michael Buckley, TBF 2009!), or a journey to find themselves on a cross-country road trip ("Zigzag" by Ellen Wittlinger, TBF 2006!). Well booklovers, I myself am on a journey, a quest, of sorts. I am on a quest to find a salutation. The PERFECT salutation. The salutation that says, “Yes, I am a nerd, but I’m endearing, aren’t I?” So far, success has eluded me. You would be amazed at how many results can be found when googleing “fun salutations.” Yet, alas, the best I could come up with for today was “Greetings booklovers!” But have no fear, because by the time TBF arrives, I will have found it – the perfect salutation. And in the meantime, I welcome suggestions!
So, to get on with the REALLY fun stuff … 
I am going to begin my very first OFFICIAL blog (that first posting doesn’t count – it’s like the first day of class when all you do is fill out those “get-to-know-you” index cards, purely business and no fun) with Terry Trueman because I don’t think I could begin it any other way. For those of you who are new to TBF, you should know that Terry Trueman has been a part of TBF for as long as I have, since the beginning. Nicknamed the TBF “mascot,” Terry has attended all four previous festivals and will be there again this year. In fact, you can try your hand at the Whack-an-Author game on the TBF website to keep Terry from taking over the festival! (My high score: 29! Can you beat it?)
I read my first Terry novel, "Stuck in Neutral," almost 5 years ago, although it hardly seems like it’s been that long. Though I’ve read several more since then, "Stuck in Neutral" remains my favorite. In "Stuck in Neutral," Shawn McDaniel is a fourteen-year-old genius, but no one knows it because Shawn suffers from severe cerebral palsy which has left him unable to move or speak. Shawn’s father is a prize-winning poet most recognizable for a poem written about Shawn. However, Shawn is worried that his own father is trying to kill him. I won’t say more, but I’m pretty sure that that alone is enough to get even a reluctant reader hooked. If you haven’t read it yet, pick up a copy of "Stuck in Neutral." It’s just over 100 pages and you’ll fly through it in no time. If you’ve read it, leave me your comments! I love a good book discussion …

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Introductions and All That Jazz ...

Hey fellow bookworms!

I’m so psyched to be the teen blogger for Teen Book Festival (heretofore referred to as TBF)! First, a quick introduction: my name is Carly, and I’m a bibliophile. Bibliophile: a person who loves books. I also have a WordGirl-like obsession with vocabulary. And by the way, Jack Ferraiolo, who developed the series WordGirl (and won an Emmy for it!), came to TBF 2009. That’s right, I’m not afraid to name drop … after all, this blog is all about name dropping! I’ve been involved with TBF since the very beginning FIVE YEARS AGO! Now, I’m a student at Nazareth College, the host of the fourth and fifth annual TBF.

For those who’ve never attended TBF, let me assure you right now that it will be the most fun that you have all year long. And for those that have been, well, you know exactly what I’m talking about …

I’ll be using this blog to get everyone ready and excited for the 5th Annual TBF. Bookmark this page because you’re not going to want to miss the book reviews, exclusive author interviews, or sneak peeks that I’ll be posting!

But this blog isn’t all about me. I want to know what YOU GUYS are thinking about TBF! Leave me comments and tell me what YOU’RE reading, what YOU’RE thinking, and what YOU want to know about!