Happy Halloween!

Technically these are cinematic costumes, not literary ones, since Ellie's shoes are red.


Hate That Cat: Review Haiku

Poetry lesson
from a master. But will it
speak to children, too?

Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech. Harper, 2008, 153 pages.


Ghostgirl: Review Haiku

Snazzy production
values can't compensate for
derivative plot.

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley. Little, Brown, 2008, 328 pages.


Savvy: Review Haiku

Poor Mibs! Sick Poppa,
first love, and telepathy:
puberty writ large.

Savvy by Ingrid Law. Dial, 2008, 342 pages.


Little Women: Review Haiku

Everybody loves
Laurie -- except Jo, which sucks.
Then (spoiler!) Beth dies.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Roberts Brothers, 1868/1869, 560 pages.

#46 on The LIST.


The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Review Haiku

Lee uncovers the
sweet and sour history
of General Tso.


Jacob Have I Loved: Review Haiku

Sibling rivalry
in raw, painful, gorgeous prose.
Bleakly beautiful.

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson. Harper, 1980, 256 pages.

#45 on The LIST.


Silver linings

So the Sox blew it and my Magical Uterus Theory has yet to be unproven, consarnit.* Still, I take comfort in a few things:

1. No more cowbell.
2. No more TBS yahoos saying "OR-tihz" like gigantic asshats. (Dude, if you are a baseball announcer and cannot pronounce common Latino surnames, you need a new line of work.)
3. We can sleep again.
4. Manny isn't going to the Series either.
5. Did I mention we can sleep again?

* Thanks, Betsy, for reviving my linguistic interest in Yosemite Sam.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: Review Haiku

Take a way-cool topic
and suck the life out of
it. Bueller? Bueller?

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond. Norton, 1999, 494 pages. Listened to on a Playaway device.

#44 on The LIST.

Note: To be fair, the version I listened to was abridged. Perhaps the full text is more exciting.


First Daughter: White House Rules: Review Haiku

Too good to be true?
Sameera fights racism,
goes to school, finds love.

First Daughter: White House Rules by Mitali Perkins. Dutton, 2008, 216 pages.


Start spreading the news

I'm taking off this afternoon for New York, thanks to the fearless driving of Ms. Mitali, to attend the Society of Illustrators opening reception and the Jane Addams Children's Book Awards ceremony. I'll also be meeting with agents, hanging out with my cousin, trying to remember how to walk like a New Yorker, and gearing up for Saturday's Rutgers University Council on Children's Literature conference.

And yes, I'll be wearing black.


Toy Dance Party: Review Haiku

StingRay, Lumphy, and
Plastic make new friends. Why am
I not Ms. Jenkins?


Rapunzel's Revenge: Review Haiku

The rootin'-tootin'
fairy tale dystopia
is odd, but still fun.

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale. Bloomsbury, 2008, 144 pages.


Liberty: Review Haiku

Clint's midlife crisis:
yet I keep picturing
Keillor having sex. (Ew.)

Liberty by Garrison Keillor. Viking, 2008, 267 pages.


A Tale of Two Cities: Review Haiku

Oh my heck, I
actually enjoyed Dickens.
Vive le Carton!

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Chapman and Hall, 1859, 544 pages.

#43 on The LIST. (Thanks, Leila, for the kick in the pants.)


The Patron Saint of Butterflies: Review Haiku

Fascinating look
at fanaticism, cults
(though I guessed ending).

The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galant. Bloomsbury, 2008, 292 pages.


I Get to Fly on a Plane All By Myself!

Taking off this weekend to go meet my NEPHEW, at last. Squee! With no small, grubby people to disturb my all-important flight reading time by demanding snacks and water and attention and gum! Perhaps I will finish A Tale of Two Cities after all.*

* Who am I kidding: I'm totally reading Us Weekly. Emmy fashions!


The Screwtape Letters: Review Haiku

Fascinating stuff
for believers and skeptics
alike. Beats Aslan.

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. Geoffrey Bies, 1942, 175 pages.

#42 on The LIST.
P.S. Happy birthday, Boy Scout!


Nancy Drew, Girl Detective: Doggone Town: Review Haiku

Nancy goes graphic!
Still implausible; now
causes vertigo, too!

Nancy Drew, Girl Detective #13: Doggone Town by Stefan Petrucha. Papercutz, 2008, 112 pages.