Sending ASK THE PASSENGERS my love!

5 Blings for Ask the Passengers

5 Blings! for Ask the Passengers

Wow! I just finished A.S. King’s ASK THE PASSENGERS. Her words live, as they always do, like magic, like the perfect hug, like a tattoo that gets inked onto all that you are and ever were, like the one thing you need to hear at the right time to know that everything really will be ok.

Sending you my love, but not all of it. ♥

Read ASK THE PASSENGERS. Your heart will thank you.

Here’s my thank you to Amy for these amazing words:

I just finished Ask the Passengers. I’m sending you my love. But not all of it. Just enough for you to know that you are so loved and your words are beautiful and there are so many that will hold those words close to their hearts the way I am now. I am smiling just thinking about it.
I’m also kind of upset that I pronounce Socrates wrong in my head, every time, because of Bill & Ted. Maybe I should send them some of my love, too.
Thank you for all of the ♥

Please remember that love is love.

We all have love to give and we are all worthy of being loved. 

 

Finally! AS King’s New Book!! Ask the Passengers!

Yup, I totally love A.S. King. She rocks my whole face off.

I’ve been waiting for this book for at least a million years (or a few months, whatevs). It arrived on my doorstep Friday. And I devoured it. I love it. I kinda wanna marry it. (just kidding…maybe).

Go read it. Now! 

Ask the Passengers ROCKS! 5 Blings!

I don’t even get mad (just sad) that she isn’t at the book events I go to. Why? Because she keeps writing awesome books…but I do want to meet her someday. Totally say hey, hang, and buy her a round or two. Instant BFF’s-I think so!

Check out what she has in the works (more things for me to love, and pet, and drool on):

Printz Honor author A.S. King’s REALITY BOY, in which an infamous reality TV child star, now a damaged teenage boy, meets a girl who forces him out of his angry shell before they run away and send their dysfunctional families a list of demands that must be met in order for them to come back, to Andrea Spooner at Little, Brown Children’s, for publication in Fall 2013, by Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World English).

Luke Reynolds, ed.’s BREAK THESE RULES, an anthology of first-person accounts from leading authors for teens (including Sara Zarr, Kathryn Erskine, A.S. King and Gary Schmidt, and many others), from which all royalties will be donated to the Children’s Defense Fund, to Lisa Reardon at Chicago Review Press, by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency (World).

Oh My Awesome Authors! DBF12 Rocked!

This weekend was the Decatur Book Festival. It is an amazing celebration of authors, books, and those who love them!

DBF12

I hung out there all weekend (yup, me outside for two days straight…that should tell you how great of an event it is!!). Schmoopy, Ash, from Smash Attack Reads, and I had a blast in Decatur. My girlfriends, the ever entertaining & super adorable Laura & Anne,  joined us on Saturday, too, YAY!
For me, it was fangirling and author staking at its best!

Here’s the quick rundown on my DBF experience:

Saturday morning we grabbed Ash and headed out. We walked around for a bit and then met up with Laura & Anne. I was super psyched to see Meg Cabot, David Levithan, Kenneth Oppel, & Neal Shusterman.

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Meg Cabot!

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David Levithan!

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Kenneth Oppel

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Neal Shusterman!

Sunday we were back for more! We hung out at J. Christopher’s for an author/blogger breakfast. I got to talk homemade yogurt with Susan Dennard. I’m so excited about the yogurt & I cannot wait to read her book!! Schmoopy pointed out (several times) that I’m the only book lover he knows that sits at a table full of authors & talks about yogurt. Haha!

I saw Tom Angleberger in the hotel lobby. I got the courage to go say hello. He really is the best. The. Best!! I adore his books & totally love his Star Wars humor! Meeting him was totally EPIC! I showed him the picture he emailed me for my students last year and he promised to draw me a new one at the signing. FANGIRL OVERLOAD!

We walked around a bit & found some great 3 for $5 books. Then we met some authors & illustrators in the booths. I grabbed several great books for my class and an awesome book called The Fart Fairy for my nephews. Their mom, my BFF Amy, is going to kill me, but I had to do it! Thankfully they live far enough away that she can’t really smack me!!

We headed back to the teen stage & got to see Barry Lyga. He wrote the super awesome Fanboy and Gothgirl (among other fantastic works) and the mega creepy, yet super brilliant book I Hunt Killers. I read on his blog that the first person to say, “Billy Dent Was Framed” would win a t-shirt. I was all over that! I wrote it on the back of my fan (it was sooooo hot that they were handing out fans!!) & ran over to the signing line. He made me yell it with conviction (get it, conviction…haha)! So fun! He even autographed my sign! Wicked Awesome!!

The brilliantly talented VLC Photos snapped a great pic of me & my new shirt:

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Billy Dent was Framed!

Barry was so much fun. I mean, who doesn’t want to hang out & talk about serial killers, right?!

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Barry Lyga!

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My signage!

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Getting autographed!

We got to see Maureen Johnson, too! She is hysterical! I love her books, adore her on Twitter, and she was even more freaking brilliant in person. Love!! That!! Woman!! She told us how she puts us in jars & takes really good care of us (we are a lot of work)! And she confirmed that she is, in fact, my spirit animal. Yay!

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She is so hysterical!

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Signing!

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Maureen Johnson!

The most epic part of DBF12 was Origami Yoda! He really is totally super fun. We may have been the only ones there without kids, but it didn’t bother me at all. I folded my very own Origami Yoda & waited in a long & rainy line to meet him. He drew a picture for my students, gave me some Fortune Wookiee tattoos for them, and (sit down for this one!) handed Schmoopy his phone when my camera wouldn’t work!! Then he tweeted the pic to my class Twitter. Talk about me getting rock star status with my students!! What an amazing guy!

YAY! Origami Yoda!!

Best. Day. EVER!!

YAY READING!!

You’re Killing Me, Smalls! & 2 Thank Yous: AS King & my parents rock!

More Mandee Monday-You’re Killing Me,  Smalls!

So, a normal person would be excited when their favorite author announces a new book. A normal person would just pre-order it and wait excitedly. A normal person would check their blog from time to time and read updates and such.

There hasn’t been any normal in my life since,

well, never. 

I wanted to be a garbage man (yes, MAN) when I was 3. My mom let me get up early and watch the garbage men when they picked up our trash and I still remember peeking out the window and waving to them with a huge smile on my cute little face (I was pretty darn cute, I must say!) I was a puppy for several weeks (again, yes, WEEKS) when I was four. I barked, ate from a bowl, but thankfully used the potty like a person. (WHEW!). There was also a waitress phase. We turned the kitchen into The Hobit Hotel (my Mama started reading me Tolkien when I was 2). I took orders on my little notepad and brought out the food. It was hysterical. My dad, Popi, and I would then sit down and figure out the one thing that wasn’t on the table. We’d then wait until Mama sat down (finally) to eat to ask for it. She’d yell something about our legs being broken or how we’d be sorry when she was gone. Then she’d go get whatever we wanted and kiss us on the head.  I have at least a million more of these stories about my parents and how they totally rocked my little kid world and shaped me into someone who laughs and smiles and cares and really gives a darn about people.

Now back to my point: A normal person would be ecstatic at the news that their ultimate favorite author (YES, YOU, AS KING! YOU!!). And, don’t get me wrong, I totally am. But, I’m also a total brat-face and I can’t wait.

I. CANNOT. WAIT! 

There are so many awesome books out there that I am dying to read. There are new books, series finales (Lauren DeStefano’s SEVER immediately jumps to mind), and a my towering TBR piles.  I should really just hush and read and be happy. But, I can’t do that! I’m an only child. Waiting makes me go all Crazy Town Banana Pants! (Do you watch Community? If not, OMG-Go Freaking Watch It For Real Life!)

So, what’s my point here? Well, I have two. (possibly more, but I’m not a math person).

1. Thank you, AS King,  who I totally freaking love as an awesome author & totally fun person (BTW: not at all in a creepy stalker!) kind of way! You say what needs to be said. You are a survivor and I respect the hell out of you for your awesome stand against bullying. You shove it in the faces of people who need it shoved there (and other places I shall not name here). You find joy in things that matter. You just TOTALLY FREAKING ROCK! Mostly, though, You write these EPIC books that sink into my soul! They sit there and become part of me in a way that makes me stronger & better. You hit home with kids who don’t think anyone gets it. Then they read your books and feel like someone really does know what nobody else understands. Sometimes that is one of my students or a kid who I know really needs you. Sometimes it is someone in a book store or a library that I don’t know. Sometimes it is me. Really, your writing makes me hurl your books into people’s hands and scream, “READ THIS RIGHT NOW!!”  The Dust of 100 Dogs had me shoving the text in people’s hands! Please Ignore Vera Dietz shook my world. Everybody Sees the Ants, wow! Just wow!

I really super totally want to read Ask the Passengers immediately! I cannot wait for Reality Boy!

Simply put:

You’re Killing Me Smalls! 

2. Thank you, Mama & Popi! My parents are awesome. I’m lucky to have been raised by people who loved me & wanted me. I used to think Popi and I were kids together. I used to say, “Popi, remember when we were little and we . . .” My Mama says that we were loved more in one day than most people are loved in their whole lives. It’s true, too.  Maybe the dishes sat in the sink some nights, maybe we didn’t have a whole bunch of money. Who cares! I sure didn’t. They made me KNOW that I could do anything I wanted to do. They showed me what the real deal was, but made it fun, too! They read to me, let me be what & who I needed to be, picked up the shredded bits of my heart a zillion times when things totally sucked,&  they made me proud to be their kid! My Mama showed me what real love means when we cared for Popi as we slowly watched cancer take over his life. We were able to laugh then, too, in between times of nightmares and oceans of loss. They made me realize what I’m worth and taught me what marriage really means. Schmoopy and I can proudly base our marriage on those of our parents. My model for love is the truest example. There aren’t really words in English or any other language to explain these two amazing people.

 These two amazing people raised me with so much love & laughter & hope & peace.
I’m the luckiest kid ever!  

I do realize that to many this post seems to be about two totally different things. But it isn’t. The way I was raised and they way that AS King writes really do belong together. And I don’t really need for anyone but me to get that.

Amped by Daniel H. Wilson

I loved Robopocalypse! LOVED IT! I know, I’ve mentioned that a few times, but it is freaking awesome.

Amped, Daniel H. Wilson’s latest, was just as freaking epic! It started at full speed & kept up the pace throughout. Tons of action, thought provoking issues, and classic Wilson style. Basically, tons of win from page one until the end.

I still need some time to process my thoughts (because I’m not an Amp), but it can tell you it hit close to my heart & will live in my thoughts for a long time.

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Shadow & Bone Rocks!

I’m reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. It is rocking my world.

So. Freaking. Amazing!

Poor orphan children, war, creepy evil volcra things, magic, mystical powers, wealth, opulence, secrets, and a mysteriously magical Darkling. Oh, there’s tons of drama, so much awesome drama! And I’m only half way through the book!

Leigh Bardugo is brilliant in an epic way! I can’t put the book down & I’m so pumped to know that it is the first book of a trilogy! So much win going on here!!

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Confessions of a Bad Blogger!

So, I’m going to admit it. I’ve been a bad blogger lately. No excuses. Really. I’m going to own this one 100%!

But, I haven’t just been lying around doing nothing all day & night. I’m not that horrible!

Here’s are a few pics of what I’ve been doing. Full update soon, for real life!

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Tonight I went to Georgia Center for the Book with my awesome friend Jessica to see Sam Bracken & Echo Garrett talk about the awesome book about Sam’s life called My Orange Duffel Bag. They were both AMAZING!
I’m going to write more about this book soon, but needed it to be on your book love list immediately. This is a life changer!

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We went to Yogurt Tap after (best frozen yogurt ever!). I had Nutella & Strawberry. It was amazing!

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I’ve also been doing all of this:

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Proud to be Nerdy!

Two Worlds Collide!

Today, my books and bling life and literacy teacher life get to collide again. I love when this happens!

I love reading. Even more that that, I love people who love reading!

So, when I had the chance to write a post for the awesome Nerdy Book Club, I was all in! These are my people! I feel so at home with the Nerdy Book Club. Though I try to visit a variety of blogs, this is the one I never miss!

Check it out here: http://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/my-kids-hate-reading/

I hope you join all the Nerdy Book Club awesomeness! It really is great to be Nerdy!

Amped Bling! Daniel H. Wilson ROCKS!

Daniel H. Wilson is freaking awesome! 

I loved Robopocalypse! Totally loved it. It scared the heck out of me, but in an awesome way! I also loved How to Survive a Robot Uprising! I even used it with my 8th graders this year. They loved it, too! (I would have used Robopocalypse, but there were too many F-bombs for school!).

 

So, when I heard Daniel H. Wilson had a new book coming out, I pre-ordered it immediately! Got AMPED today and cannot wait to read it!

Amped Bling! Daniel H. Wilson

Ready for some awesome robot action? Check out these Daniel H. Wilson titles at your local indie book store or grab them from Amazon here:

5 Blings! for Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to NOT Reading by @TommyGreenwald

Charlie Joe Jackson Bling!

Oh, Charlie Joe Jackson! You are a funny guy! I really enjoyed your guide to NOT reading!

What a great book! I love that it had elements of some of my favorite Middle Grade reads: The touching voice of The Wednesday Wars, the comedy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the silliness of Big Nate, and the cleverness of Origami Yoda! That’s quite a combo of awesome right there! 

The advice is great…only read books with short chapters, reading won’t help you succeed in life, never buy a book by someone whose name you can’t pronounce (and many more awesome tips!). I also love your excellent taste in music & your keen observations of those around you: Don’t call girls hot, because they, according to CJJ’s Mom, “think it’s insulting, “degrading” . . .  or “shallow.”” But giving them a theme song is pretty OK: “Hurrican Eliza comin’ in, the hottest hurricane in town” or “The thing about dogs is, they pretty much reflect the mood in the house.”

You are a smart guy, too, Charlie Joe. And I can’t blame you for hating to read. Your dad really did ruin it for you when you were little. I feel your pain, dude!  I, too, was jailed on a book-related infraction! I remember, with a shudder, all these years later, being locked on the porch one Sunday afternoon and not being allowed to enter the house until I finished some Little House book that I TOTALLY HATED for a book report due Monday (I think I was allowed in to pee, but I’m not 100% sure).

But guess what! I love reading now! I even became a teacher so I could get others excited about good books! What do you think about that, Charlie Joe?

If you don’t know Charlie Joe Jackson, you’re going to want to meet him right away! I’m SO ready for his next book, Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Extra Credit! September seems too far away!

5 Blings!