Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Love Howe He Writes

I have a love/hate relationship with good books.  I love when I book is so good I feel like the characters are my friends, but I hate when these stories are over.  It leaves me feeling so sad.  The solution to staying happy at the end of a great book is simple, right?  Read books in a series.  Then I can travel with the characters I love as they experience new journeys.  Cool right?  Well, what if I told you there is another solution?  Companion books.  Here's an example of how companion books work:

Let's consider the book The Misfits by James Howe.  This is a fantastic story about a class of 7th grade students who are sick and tired of being bullied and decide to take matters into their own hands by running for student government on a "No Bullying" platform.  The book is told from the point of view of Bobby Goodspeed, one of the group of friends who call themselves the "Gang of Five" and are attempting to organize a "No-Name [calling] Day." The characters are diverse, the dialogue is rich and I couldn't stop laughing.

When Mr. Howe wrote the second book he kept the same main characters but changed it up.  Totally Joe is written from the perspective of another member of the "Gang of Five," Joe (JoDan) Bunch.  This book is Joe's A to Z book about himself, an assignment assigned by his 7th grade teacher English teacher.  I loved the different format and that I got to travel through the story in the mind of a different character.

And then last year Mr. Howe delivered again.  Addie on the Inside is the third novel about the "Gang of Five."  The story is written in verse and follows life from the perspective of Addie Carle.  Addie is tall, lanky and brilliant--a trifecta that often leaves her in tears and the reader in stitches.  I zipped through this book in just one sitting.

Now the only question I have is how much longer do I have to wait for a book about Skeezie Tookis?

Want to check out another author who writes companion books?  Try Sharon Creech (Walk Two Moons, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Bloomability, and Chasing Redbird).  Do you have a favorite companion series?  I'd love to hear about your favorites.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hey! Is that you?

Avatars.  They seem to be everywhere.  They are those interesting little icons that may or may not resemble someone you know.  Did you ever wonder how you could make your own?  After reading a blog post by The Daring Librarian called "It's a Cartoon, It's an Avatar, It's a New Animated YOU!" I couldn't help but pass on some of my favorites.

Futurama Head-In-A-Jar Creator App (for iPhone and iPad)

Doesn't this look like me?  Why not create your own preserved head with this mix and match free app.  The combinations will keep you coming back for more.

Ms. Anderson?
The Simpsons!

Yep, I'm looking like a relative of Bart.  Why not try it yourself.  It's fun and it's free!