10 Great Holiday Books For Kids

10 Great Holiday Books For Kids

The Following is a fun list of 10 great holiday books kids ages 0 to 5 will love! Click the title to purchase a copy. Happy Holidays.:) – Mandy

1. Hanukkah!

Written by Ronni Schotter, Illustrated byMarilyn Hafner, Ages 4 – 8, 32 pages, $8.99, Published by LB Kids

2. A Christmas Carol: A BabyLit Colors Primer (BabyLit Books)

Written by Jennifer Adams,  Illustrated by Alison Oliver, Ages 0 – 3, 22 pages, $9.99, Published by Gibbs Smith

3. Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa

Written by Donna L. Washington, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans, 32 pages, Ages 4 and up, $10.39, Published by Katherine Tegen Books

4. Christmastime Is Here!: Lift the Flap

By Ellen Weiss (for Fisher Price Little People), 10 pages, Ages 2 and up, $9.99, Published by Reader’s Digest

5. Together for Kwanzaa

Written By Juwanda G. Ford, Illustrated by Shelly Hehenberger, 24 pages, Ages 3 and up, $3.99, Published by Random House Books For Young Readers

6. Charlie and the Christmas Kitty

Written by Ree Drummond, Illustrated by Diane deGroat, 40 pages, Ages 4 and up, $11.83, Published by HarperCollins

7. Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy

Written by Don Freeman, Illustrated by Lisa McCue, 14 pages, Ages 3 and up, $5.99, Published by Viking Juvenile

8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

By Dr. Seuss, 64 pages, Ages 5 and up, $10.20, Published by Random House Books For Young Readers

9. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

Created and illustrated by James Dean, Story by Eric Litwin, 40 pages, Ages 4 and up, $10.40, Published by HarperCollins

10. Hanukkah Lights

Written by David Martin, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet, 26 pages, Ages 1 and up, $5.99, Published by Candlewick

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FTC Disclosure: Please assume that I received any book reviewed on the site for free from the publisher. Also, if you purchase books by clicking the Amazon links throughout the site, I get a small commission.


5 Questions With Stasia Ward Kehoe, Author of Audition

Audition by Stasia Ward KehoeToday I am so pleased to have Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of the YA novel Audition, stop by for a round of 5 questions. I loved Audition, Kehoe’s debut YA novel about a young ballerina. Stick around after the interview to read more about Audition and to learn about a great contest Stasia is hosting over at her blog!

Also be sure to “like” Audition on Facebook and follow Stasia on Twitter!

 

5 Questions With Stasia Ward Kehoe, Author of Audition

WRW: Audition is a unique YA novel because it is written in verse. When reading Audition, I was blown away by the intensity the verse form added to the story. Was it hard to stick to the verse format? Do you think you will write your next project in verse form?

Stasia: I have always loved reading and writing poetry but Audition was the first novel I tried to write in verse. I chose to do so because I felt it would be interesting to use a lyrical writing form, verse, to try to capture the beauty and rhythms of ballet. The challenge in writing verse is not to lapse into simple, split-line prose and to find the right images, the right metaphors to convey things that, in prose, you might choose to just quickly describe. It requires a great deal of discipline, not unlike ballet itself. Regarding my next project, I love writing in verse but I am not sure that it is the right form choice for every story. I have written my current w-i-p in both prose and verse, so basically I’ve written two complete, separate novels with the same characters. Guess I’m a glutton for punishment! (I hope both WIP’s get published!-WRW)

WRW: One of my favorite things about Audition was that I learned so much about the technical aspects of ballet that I didn’t know before reading the book. I know that you studied dance throughout your youth. Did you always know that you would one day write a book that takes place in the ballet world?

Stasia: I had no idea that I’d write a book about dancing. But, I must admit, I very much enjoyed writing in that space. I feel that I can bring some personal knowledge and create an authentic ballet world that, I hope, is accessible to non-dancers, too.

WRW: I grew attached to Sara, her friends Bess and Bonnie, and the Medrano family while reading Audition. Do you think you will ever revisit any of the characters in a future project or follow-up novel?

Stasia: I’m delighted that you connected with the characters! I’m working on something totally new right now, and have no plans to write about them again. But thanks for asking!

WRW: I read that Audition is your debut novel. How much time passed between completing the manuscript and publication? What is something you learned during the publication process that will help you next time around?

Stasia: While I had very good, quick luck getting an agent and a book deal, I had been writing for almost twenty years before I found the courage to properly submit my stuff, to respond effectively to revision, and to be ready to jump into the craziness that is book publication. And, oh my goodness, I have learned so much. I think the most important thing is to really think hard about whom you want to be as a writer and how you want to participate in the book community. If you feel solid about this, the journey feels a lot less arduous.

WRW: What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Stasia: Don’t be afraid to be brutally honest in your writing. Write until you get the shivers. Put it all on the page. You don’t have to publish everything you write but typing your guts onto paper will help you realize if this business is really for you—and what you can do if you take big risks! (I love the phrase “typing your guts onto paper.” It’s especially accurate when writing about intense themes like the ones in Audition! – WRW)

Thanks so much for letting me stop by, Mandy!

Thank you for stopping by Stasia! I can’t wait to read what you write next!!

About Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe: When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she’s deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem’s muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she’s chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent. (Summary provided by Viking.)

Buy The Book: Amazon

Click here to read my review of Audition and to watch the book trailer!

*Super Awesome Contest Alert!* Click here to enter a giveaway that Stasia is hosting on her blog. You could win a signed copy of AUDITION, one of three ballerina swag packs (arm warmers, sticky notes, signed bookmarks), or one of 3 signed Audition posters. Enter up to once a day (each completed form counts as one entry but you can earn extra entry points below). For every 50 entries, ANOTHER PRIZE will added. Updates on FB at “Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe” and on Twitter @swkehoe. Contest runs 10/1-30/11.

Make sure you check out all of the stops on the Audition blog tour!

OCTOBER 1 Eve’s Fan Garden
OCTOBER 3 Good Books and Good Wine
OCTOBER 4 YA Bliss and Arts in YA Feature week at  The Page Turners Blog
OCTOBER 6 The Book Cellar
OCTOBER 7 Princess Bookie
OCTOBER 9 Missy Reads Reviews
OCTOBER 10 G Reads
OCTOBER 11 The Book Scout
OCTOBER 12 Author Spotlight at YA Contemps
OCTOBER 13 More than Just a Book & Confessions of a Bookaholic
OCTOBER 14 The Story Siren
OCTOBER 15 & 16 Debut feature at Badass Bookie
OCTOBER 16 Red House Books
OCTOBER 18 The Well-Read Wife
OCTOBER 19 Good Choice Reading
OCTOBER 20 Bloggers (heart) Books
OCTOBER 22 Books Devoured
OCTOBER 23 Reclusive Bibliophile
OCTOBER 24 Literary Rambles
OCTOBER 25 The Hiding Spot
OCTOBER 26 The Undercover Book Lover
OCTOBER 27 Novel Novice
OCTOBER 28 A Good Addiction
OCTOBER 29 Bookalicious

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Make sure you don’t miss a thing! If you’re new to The Well-Read Wife, click here to subscribe. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and “like” me on Facebook. Also, add yourself to my Google Friend Connect in the box towards the top of my sidebar.

Book Review: Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Audition by Stasia Ward KehoeTitle: Audition

Author: Stasia Ward Kehoe

458 pages, Published by Viking (An Imprint of Penguin Group)

Age Recommendation: 12 & up.

Stasia’s Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Buy The Book: Amazon

Summary: When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she’s deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem’s muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she’s chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent. (Summary provided by Viking.)

My Thoughts:

(Keep reading after the review for information about an awesome contest Stasia Ward Kehoe is hosting at her blog and check out the book trailer below.)

I read Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe a couple of months ago, and from the moment I finished her brilliant debut YA novel I have been dying to sing its praises! Audition is written in verse. Wonderful, wonderful verse. Kehoe writes beautifully in free verse and uses the poetic form to paint a vivid portrait of Sara, a young girl on her own for the first time.

Sara is on a ballet scholarship at a dance school in New Jersey. She is staying with a host family, the Medranos. While the Medranos are a good family and nice to Sara, it’s just not the same as being at home with her parents. So for the first time Sara is guiding her own way and she feels a little lost. I think so many teens will be able to relate to the way Sara feels.

Sara begins a relationship with Remington, or as I refer to him “the deplorable Rem”. Rem is one of those characters I love to hate. At 22 years old Rem is much older than Sara. Keep in mind I’m reading this as a mom and former educator. So when a 22 year old begins dating a high school student alarm bells go off in my mind immediately!I even looked up the legal age of consent in New Jersey and that sneaky Rem wasn’t breaking any laws. Yes, for those of you keeping track, I was SO into this book that I was googling laws because I wanted to have one of the (fictional) characters arrested! You KNOW it’s a damn fine book when I get that into it! FYI- I emailed the author right after reading to let her know how much I liked it, and I rarely do that.

Do you like films with a ballet company setting (like Black Swan or Robert Altman’s The Company)? Do you like shows like So You Think You Can Dance? or Dancing With The Stars? Do you enjoy books written in verse? Or perhaps you just enjoy good ole’ teen angst? If you like any of these things, then you will LOVE Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe.

*Super Awesome Contest Alert!* Click here to enter a giveaway that Stasia is hosting on her blog. You could win a signed copy of AUDITION, one of three ballerina swag packs (arm warmers, sticky notes, signed bookmarks), or one of 3 signed Audition posters. Enter up to once a day (each completed form counts as one entry but you can earn extra entry points below). For every 50 entries, ANOTHER PRIZE will added. Updates on FB at “Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe” and on Twitter @swkehoe. Contest runs 10/1-30/11.

Here is the book trailer for Audition:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0t5NqmrIQw&w=400&h=315]

Make sure you check out all of the stops on the Audition blog tour!

OCTOBER 1 Eve’s Fan Garden
OCTOBER 3 Good Books and Good Wine
OCTOBER 4 YA Bliss and Arts in YA Feature week at  The Page Turners Blog
OCTOBER 6 The Book Cellar
OCTOBER 7 Princess Bookie
OCTOBER 9 Missy Reads Reviews
OCTOBER 10 G Reads
OCTOBER 11 The Book Scout
OCTOBER 12 Author Spotlight at YA Contemps
OCTOBER 13 More than Just a Book & Confessions of a Bookaholic
OCTOBER 14 The Story Siren
OCTOBER 15 & 16 Debut feature at Badass Bookie
OCTOBER 16 Red House Books
OCTOBER 18 The Well-Read Wife
OCTOBER 19 Good Choice Reading
OCTOBER 20 Bloggers (heart) Books
OCTOBER 22 Books Devoured
OCTOBER 23 Reclusive Bibliophile
OCTOBER 24 Literary Rambles
OCTOBER 25 The Hiding Spot
OCTOBER 26 The Undercover Book Lover
OCTOBER 27 Novel Novice
OCTOBER 28 A Good Addiction
OCTOBER 29 Bookalicious

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Make sure you don’t miss a thing! If you’re new to The Well-Read Wife, click here to subscribe. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and “like” me on Facebook. Also, add yourself to my Google Friend Connect in the box towards the top of my sidebar.

Book Review: War & Watermelon by Rich Wallace

War & Watermelon War & Watermelon (published by Viking Juvenile) by Rich Wallace follows twelve year old Brody during the summer of 1969. Brody has a lot going on: he made the football team, he’s just discovering girls, and he’s worried his older brother will be drafted into the Vietnam War. Somehow in the midst of all of this he even manages to make it to Woodstock for the first night of the infamous concert. At 184 pages War & Watermelon may seem like a light, easy read. However, Wallace packs the storyline with enough exciting escapades and family drama to keep children ages ten and up entertained throughout the book.

One of the many highlights of War & Watermelon is the time period in which it takes place. Readers will enjoy learning about a time that must seem mysterious to the youth of today. The Woodstock scene is wonderful. I so enjoyed viewing Joan Baez singing onstage through the eyes of an awestruck young man on the verge of being a teenager. I think this book would be a wonderful teaching supplement for a unit on the Vietnam War. It would also be a great book for English teachers to assign students. I can think of so many sixties themed projects to go along with the book – tie dying shirts, an oral report on the book in 60s attire, maybe a supplemental report on the 1969 Mets. The list could go on and on. I think this is a particularly good fit for the 7th and 8th grade age group. Teachers need to get this one on their reading lists!

The Vietnam War looms largely in the forefront of the plot as Brody’s brother Ryan and his father disagree repeatedly about the War. I loved the family dynamic in the book. Even though Ryan and his father had heated arguments, it was still obvious that they loved each other. Also, the relationship between Brody and Ryan was really nice as well. As a mom to two boys, it was heartwarming to see brothers in a novel that are close friends in addition to being siblings.

There are so many great things I could say about this book. It is truly special. I think children will love to get a look at what their parents’ or grandparents’ lives were like when they were adolescents and will find that they can relate to much of what Brody went through. It is an excellent summer book that any parent should be happy to have his or her child read.

TLC

Many thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me in the War & Watermelon tour. Be sure and visit the other stops on the tour listed below.

Tuesday, June 7th:  Café of Dreams Book Review

Wednesday, June 8th:  Jenn’s Bookshelves

Thursday, June 9th:  Book Reviews by Molly

Monday, June 13th:  Savvy Verse and Wit

Tuesday, June 14th:  Well Read Wife

Wednesday, June 15th:  girlichef

Thursday, June 16th:  Shooting Stars Mag

Monday, June 20th:  Joyfully Retired

Tuesday, June 21st:  1330V

Wednesday, June 22nd:  A Real Librarian

Thursday, June 23rd:  There’s a Book

Friday, June 24th:  Diary of an Eccentric

Monday, June 27th:  The Broke and the Bookish (will also post on Tahleen Reads)

Tuesday, June 28th:  Book Dads

Wednesday, June 29th:  Knowing the Difference

Thursday, June 30th:  My Words Ate Me

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Make sure you don’t miss a thing! If you’re new to The Well-Read Wife, click here to subscribe. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and “like” me on Facebook. Also, add yourself to my Google Friend Connect in the box towards the top of my sidebar.