Marry, Date or Dump: Ballet Shoes

Ballet ShoesDid anyone else read Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild, growing up? I read (almost) all of his shoe books: Theater Shoes, Skating Shoes, Dancing Shoes, Circus Shoes, etc. But Ballet Shoes was definitely my favorite. I read it so many times the copy is basically falling apart and at one point I had almost the whole story memorized. The story follows three orphan girls adopted by an eccentric man and raised by his niece who attend a school that trains children to be professional entertainers – with an emphasis on ballet. Pauline wants to become an actress. Petrova is hopeless at dancing, singing, and acting and wants to become a pilot. And Posy is a ballet prodigy. Even though many of you may not have heard of these characters, I thought it would be a fun marry, date or dump topic (for the girls once they are all grown up of course). If you have read the books or you just want to play along, let me know your choices in the comments.

Also wish me luck on my first day back at school today! With my schedule this semester, I think I’ll need it!  Continue reading

Book Review: Mechanica, by Betsy Cornwell

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*** I originally posted this in April, but since the book came out this week wanted readers who might have missed it to get pumped for this fantastic, feminist Cinderella retelling … also I’m still on vacation and didn’t want to write a new review. Hope you enjoy!***

As some readers (especially those that knew me when I was ten) know, Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine, is pretty much the most important book I ever read. It totally converted me from from being a kid who could barely read, and absolutely hated it, to someone who LOVED books (not just with a capital L, but with capital O, V, E, and D as well). It solidified my interest in fairytale retellings, especially ones focused on Cinderella. So as you can imagine, when I found out my friend Betsy Cornwell’s Cinderella retelling Mechanica was coming out this year, I was beyond excited. And even though it can’t take the place of Ella in my heart, it is now definitely my second favorite Cinderella story … and I’ve read a lot a lot of them. Here’s why (and it’s not because Betsy is so nice and funny and blogs about important things like writing and PTSD, being a friend to yourself, and making goat cheese): Continue reading

Ten Books That Would Be On My Syllabus If I Taught a Contemporary YA Class

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This post stressed me out so so much. What class would I teach? What would be the over arching themes? How could I only pick 10 books? Anyways, finally I just decided to go with a YA contemporary theme and put on books I love and would love to discuss with people (my fictional students). Here are the books I picked:

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this weekly book meme!

Marry, Date or Dump: Defense Against the Dark Arts Professors

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Happy Monday friends! I’m still in California (although getting ready to reluctantly head back to New York in a couple of days) and here is one of my favorite old marry date or dump topics from December 2013. You have a lot of professors to chose from. Quirrell, Lockhart, Remus Lupin, Mad-eye Moody (Barty Crouch Jr.), Dolores Umbridge, Snape, and Carrow. Can’t wait to read in the comments who you pick!  Continue reading

Another Day, by David Levithan

18459855Every Day was the first book by David Levithan I read (now apparently one of my most-read authors). I didn’t pick the book (my friend who wrote the blog with me back then did). The thought of getting an MFA, let alone taking a YA literature class from David himself, weren’t even on my radar. But the book was very exciting to me. It pushed the boundaries of what I thought writing and story telling could do. Still, I guess even then I found myself wanting more. In my review, I wrote, “Rhiannon’s journey is every bit as compelling as A’s”. This is a sentiment shared by many readers and, apparently, the author as well because this month companion novel Another Day covers the same timeline told from Rhiannon’s journey.  It’s a story that can be read just as easily on its own as in tandem with Levithan’s early novel – and let me tell you (written in a high-squeely-over-excited tone of voice) it is so so goodContinue reading