That Shady Kind of Book Pass

  reality GrasshopperJungle June 27 13

This week I’ve been proudly watching the monsters pass around A.S. King’s Reality Boy and Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle. They get that kind of shady, far away look in their eyes as they hand it off. They start to whisper without meaning to, because they have the best secret in the whole freaking world,  right in their hands. They act they are doing something so wrong it just has to be right. It’s totally epic. I get it. It’s real. In my head they are passing secrets and truth and everything that really matters when they start that shady kind of book pass.

I remember passing books just like that. The ones that were so amazing they made you feel like you were punched in the face, but somehow in a good way. Books like this are raw. They hurt. You ache when you read these books and you want everyone to read them. You need to share these words with the world.

They really yelled at my teenage brain. The ones that  me feel a little less crazy or weird or unusual. Or, even better, that made me feel that my kind of crazy-weird-unusual wasn’t so messed up after all. These are the kinds of books that made me feel like if “they” knew we were reading books like these, they’d take them away or I’d be in big trouble. These books make us think about our demands, because good books really are about everything.

I’m so freaking proud to be a teacher every day! But, damn, on days like these, I want to scream and yell to anyone that will listen, “LOOK AT THESE AMAZING SASSY HUMANS! They are everything that is everything the world! BE AMAZED BY THEIR AWESOME!”

A bit much? Nope! My monsters are really are that epic.

Thank you, A.S. King. Thank you, Andrew Smith.

You are pretty freaking epic, too!

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Reality Boy by A.S. King

A. S. King is one of my writing heroes. Her books just amaze me. I don’t know how she does it, but I’m so thankful for the magical way she puts words together. Her books really make the world more awesome!

When Amy at Lady Reader’s Book Stuff asked me to be part of her Red Carpet Book Tour of Reality Boy, I couldn’t say yes fast enough!

Then I got the book in the mail and this happened:
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This was meant to be. Jane’s Addiction is my all time favorite band. OMG! is an understatement!! And, as usual, King’s writing doesn’t disappoint. Reality Boy is freaking EPIC.

I dove right in and was immediately hooked. Gerald was on a reality show when he was five. He had this bad habit of pooping in unusual places, like the dining room table or mom’s favorite shoes, when he was angry. He was crying out for help, but he never really got the help he needed. Even all these years later people still call him Crapper. It haunts him. His older sister, Tasha, tortures him constantly and relentlessly, his other sister, Lisi, took off for college on the other side of the world as soon as she could. His dad works and drinks to forget, and his mom totally ignores all of the insanely disgusting things Tasha does (think loud bedroom noises coming from the basement while the rest of the family is eating dinner). Gerald is trying to keep himself together, use techniques he’s learning in anger management,

I really wanted to jump into Gerald’s life and save him. Ugh! I had to put the book down several times because I was so freaking angry. That’s a great story!

Reality Boy is a must read. A total 5 Bling Book!

If you click the link above, I will earn a small profit from Amazon. Any proceeds are used to buy books for my 8th grader students and for blog prizes.

A.S. King’s Reality Boy & a Contest, too!

I love every A. S. King book I’ve ever read. She is a total fave of mine! My friend L. Moon and I call her “asking” and it makes us laugh (because we are 12). So, when the mega fabulous Amy at Lady Reader’s Bookstuff asked me to be a stop on her book tour, I said, “Heck Yes!” (and totally screamed a little as I was responding to her email, because, OMG A.S. King’s new book in my hands so super fast yay!)

Check out all of this awesome going on for REALITY BOY! It totally rocks!




Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he is still haunted by his rage-filled youth—, which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school. 
Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he has tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone is just waiting for him to snap…and he is starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that. 
 In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.

JL


A.S. King is the author of the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner, Ask the Passengers, Everybody Sees the Ants, a 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and Andre Norton Award nominee, and the Edgar Award nominated, 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

 She is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults Dust of 100 Dogs, an adult short story collection, Monica Never Shuts Up, and the upcoming REALITY BOY (2013). 


After a decade living self-sufficiently and teaching literacy to adults in Ireland, she now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children.


Hosted by:

Today I am…talking about bullying at Uniquely Moi Books!

I stopped by Uniquely Moi books to give my teacher perspective on bullying.

Check it out and you could win a copy of A.S. King’s epically awesome EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. ANTS is an awesome book about bullying, the kind of wounds we can see, and the kind scars that we can’t. (And also because I totally love everything she writes and you should too!)

 Read the post here!

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).

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.

Dear Bully-Can’t Wait to Read This!

I have been waiting for this book! I am so excited to read it and share it with others!

Bravo to these authors who share their stories of bullies and how they survived!

I know these stories will help so many people!

Dear Bully Bling!

Awesome Contest from A. S. King or True Confessions of a Typo-Queen!

I really should know better, but I really should a lot of things…

Yesterday, I got super excited about the upcoming release of the new A. S. King book EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, which comes out on October 3.              A. S. King really is my favorite YA author. I wanted her to know how excited I was! She wrote the amazing THE DUST OF 100 DOGS and PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ. Both are totally worthy of all 5 Blings! If you haven’t read either, go do it right now! I’ll wait…

So, she’s totally amazing, right! See why I was so excited for another A. S. King book?! Well, I maybe got a little too excited. I  wrote this on her Facebook page:

“I can’t wait to read EVERYBODY SEE THE AUNTS!”

Yup! I did it. AUNTS not ANTS.

I.  So. Totally. Could. Have. Died!

I’m a teacher, spell-checker, proofreader, and super re-checker! I want someone to make me an app that lets you correct people on the internet with a red pen.  I secretly judge people who mix up there/their & your/you’re. I mean, what happened? Well, I happened. I oops-ed my way right into being a typo-queen!

A. S. King is my favorite author for a reason. She was so awesome about it. She laughed and teased me with a possible typo-sequel called EVERYBODY SEES THE UNCLES. Even better, she started a contest to give away an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS on her blog. It was inspired by the well meaning typos we all make and she even gave me a shout-out. (FIST PUMP!)

Check out the EVERYBODY SEES THE PANTS contest here:

http://www.as-king.info/2011/05/everybody-sees-pants-contest.html

Think up a funny typo-ish A. S. King book title and enter!

If you win, will you loan me your copy?!