Thursday, January 31, 2008

Author Jack Gantos/Book Covers

Jack Gantos is the wonderful author of the Joey Pigza series. He has written a number of other books as well including the Jack Henry series and the Rotten Ralph books. He has a terrific website which I encourage you to visit:

The primary illustrator of the Joey Pigza books is Beata Szpura. (She illustrated all of the harcover editions). Check her out at


Other illustrators have contributed different covers for some of the paperback editions, including Brian Selznick (this years Caldecott winner for The Invention of Hugo Cabret)who illustrated this paperback version of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key.

Here is another paperback version by Cliff Nielsen. Which is your favorite cover?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

February Book Selection

The February book will be Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos. We will be meeting to discuss it on Monday, February 25th at 3:30pm in the Children's Program Room.

Joey Pigza can't sit still. He can't pay attention, he can't follow the rules, and he can't help it - especially when his meds aren't working. Joey's had problems ever since he was born, problems just like his dad and grandma have. And whether he's wreaking havoc on a class trip or swallowing his house key, Joey's problems are getting worse. In fact, his behavior is so off the wall that his teachers are threatening to send him to the special-ed center downtown.

Joey knows he's really a good kid, but no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, something always seems to go wrong. Will he ever get anything right?

January Meeting

The Year of the Dog =

The Book Buddies Book Club meeting yesterday was very busy and lots of fun! All members of the club read The Year of the Dog cover to cover and everyone really enjoyed it. A number of members said it was the "best book ever" and many plan to read the sequel, The Year of the Rat. One club member even felt that Grace Lin should have won a Newbery medal for her effort. Favorite parts of the book included the family stories (especially the story of how the doctor got rich and when Pacy's mom fell asleep in school) and the author/illustrator contest in which Pacy received fourth place. Everyone felt that Pacy was a really good character and someone with whom they could easily identify.

As part of our book discussion, we had snacks of Chinese New Year candy and fortune cookies, and we made Year of the Dog banners for our craft project. We also put together our list of questions for Grace Lin. As soon as I get her responses, I will post the questions and answers on the blog so be on the look out for that!

As a side note, many of the club members mentioned that they either had read, were reading, or were waiting for a copy of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Hugo Cabret was just honored with a Caldecott Medal for excellence in illustration by the American Library Association. All who had already read it felt it was a fantastic book and one worth checking out!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Book Club meeting Monday!

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club is meeting Monday @ 3:30pm in the Children's Program Room to discuss Grace Lin's The Year of the Dog. It's going to be a very busy meeting: we'll have snacks, do a craft, discuss the book and put together our list of questions for Ms. Lin.

Hope you all enjoyed the book as much as I did!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Great News!

Ok, so I promised the book club that I would try to get in touch with Grace Lin and see if she would be willing to talk with our club members at the January meeting. Apparently since I was able to get them a few minutes of Ellen Potter's time last November, the club feels I should be able to do this every month with an author! :-) And even though I know how busy famous author's are and what a rare thing it was that we got to discuss Olivia Kidney with Ellen Potter, I love talking with them too, so I went ahead and sent off an email explaining how fantastic our group is and how much we'd love to speak with her about her books. I also invited her to check out our blog and the Newport Public Library's website so that she'd know a little bit about our book club and the library. And I've just heard back! The bad news is that Ms. Lin will be in China until the 27th and does not feel up to a phone interview on the 28th which is totally understandable. (That's got to be an incredibly long flight!)

However the great news is that she is still willing to answer questions for us. We have the opportunity to put together an email of questions and she will send us her responses! How great is that? So be thinking of great questions and we will put together a list of our best questions at our meeting on the 28th which I will type up and send along to Ms. Lin. If you think of any questions and can't wait til the meeting (or can't make it to the meeting), feel free to post them here and I will see that they get included. And a BIG thank you to Ms. Lin in advance for her time and her willingness to be involved with our book club! Authors are the best!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Year of the Rat!

February 7th is Chinese New Year and 2008 is the Year of the Rat! The Year of the Rat is the first year of the next twelve year cycle and it symbolizes new beginnings and change. Check out for more information about the Chinese Zodiac and to find out your animal sign.

Also be sure to read Grace Lin's new book, The Year of the Rat, which was just released in hardcover. It is the sequel to our January book selection, The Year of the Dog!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Grace's Blog!

Grace Lin has a blog! Go to:
(Photo by Morgan Pace)

Author Grace Lin

Grace Lin is the amazing author of The Year of the Dog. She has a fantastic website with lots of great information. Check it out at:

Be sure to see all of her wonderful illustrations like this one while you're there!

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and winter vacation. And hopefully you're all enjoying The Year of the Dog. Don't forget to keep checking the blog...I'll be posting new things all month!