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This weekend, the Literary Festival came to me at the Hunt Library at NCSU.10150555_10202785590973871_549481845_n

There were so many cool activities and authors, and the library itself was a spectacle to look at.


 There are also tons of really cool authors doing readings there such as John Claude Bemis, R.L. Stine, and Kelly Starlings-Lyon.

There are also cool workshops, like a comic-making workshop, and a book-making workshop.


There were so many fun activities for kids of all ages, like making your own comic, or recreating a scene from your favorite book with Legos (I did Divergent!), and 1606956_10202785587493784_1897744004_n
finding out how literacy fits in with Math.

One of the coolest things I saw on the first day was the StoryUp! Aerialist group, who recreated some of our favorite fables and stories using aerial silks. Paperhand Puppet Intervention was there, too.



There are so many fun things to do at the Literary Festival for everyone in your family. Sadly I didn’t get to do all of things mentioned above because I was out of town part of Saturday, but those were some of the things they offered.


Move over DC (National Book Festival) — you’ve got competition! (and goooooo Wolfpack!)

Bonus: Our friends from our favorite bookstore, Quail Ridge Books & Music were there with a pop-up bookstore!

Oh, look at the time– I gotta get over to NC State for today’s activities!  ~LitKid



Postscript from AKid@Heart: Who doesn’t love  building with Legos? While LitKid made her cool Divergent scene, I decided to try to create a setting from my kids’ novel manuscript … the rooftop of the main characters’ city apartment building, complete with Tiki shelter (and gliders below), a garden and night-time lights. (Kids have no idea how basic Legos used to be!)


Some of the Literary HIGHLIGHTS!

Veronica Roth, DivergentIMG_1738

Veronica Roth was a very interesting lady to listen to and was very friendly. She seemed confident and accomplished in her trade. Veronica talked about Allegiant (without giving anything away), so I’m really excited about the release. Her autograph lines were triple that of many other authors, and people were practically sitting on top of each other under a tent in the pouring rain to see her. She even had security guards!



The One and Only Ivan is a really cool, and true, story about a gorilla, which snagged the Newbery Award this year. Ivan’s not just any gorilla –he expresses his need for freedom and a home at the zoo through art. It was really cool to meet Katherine Applegate in person, because I had the privilege of doing a Skype interview with her when I was a Scholastic Kid Reporter.


Kirby Larson, Hattie Big Skyphoto-2

I finally had the privilege of meeting Ms. Larson, who was one of the first authors to patronize our blog. She has a new book out – interesting historical fiction – and I can’t wait to read Hattie Big Sky, which I hope to get a copy of ASAP, though The Friendship Doll will forever have a place in my heart. It was one of the first ARCs (Advance Reader’s Copy) I ever got in my book reviewing career, and my review of The Friendship Doll was one of my very first. My mom and I were so honored to meet her and couldn’t believe she knew exactly what we were talking about when we told her we were from the Lost in a Book blog. Thanks for following our blog, Ms. Larson!

I’ll write more about our trip soon (if I ever get free time from all my homework!).  You should go to the Festival and see for yourself  next year!

summerbooksHere are some recommendations for 2013 summer reading that were handpicked from my own collection.

I hope you enjoy your summer and keep checking back for more reviews to be posted as soon as possible!

  • School of Fear, Gitty Daneshvari
  • Wonder, R.J. Palacio
  • The Apothecary, Maile Meloy
  • Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, by Wendy Mass
  • The Mother Daughter Book Club: Pies & Prejudice, Heather Vogel Frederick
  • Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, James Patterson
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Alan Bradley(for 11+)
  • Autumn Winifred Oliver does things different, Kristin O’Donnell Tubb
  • The Penderwicks, Jeanne Birdsall
  • Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys
  • Probability of Miracles, Wendy Wunder (for 11+)
  • Out of My Mind, Sharon Draper
  • The Secret of the Old Clock, Carolyn Keene
  • Divergent, Veronica Roth (for 11+)
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E. L. Konigsburg
  • Bliss, Kathryn Littlewood
  • Prairie Evers, Ellen Airgood
  • The One & Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate
  • Septimus Heap Series, Angie Sage

~LitKid (12-year-old reviewer and book lover)

serving up a few of LitKid's favorites

serving up a few of LitKid’s favorites

The old tradition reigns on. Here are some of my favorite picks from 2012:
  • Dead End in Norvelt, Jack Gantos
  • The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  • Middle School:The Worst Years of My Life, James Patterson
  • Wonder, R.J. Palacio
  • Out of My Mind, Sharon M. Draper
  • Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, Wendy Mass
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L.Koningsburg
  • The Wednesday Wars, Gary D. Schmidt
  • Airborn, Kenneth Oppel
  • The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate
  • Jaguar Stones Book 3: The River of No Return, Jon and Pamela Voelkel
  • The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, Tom Angleberger
  • The Dork Diaries Books, Rachel Renee Russell

What did you read that you loved last year? Comment below and let us know.

This year I have cashed in my one-way, no-backing-out ticket to middle school. One of my middle school joys is Battle of the Books, where we meet after school and discuss books.

Also during the meetings we come up with questions for the competition that will be held in February. There is a list of about 26 books, give or take a few (I had already read some of them, so I had a head start!). Our mentor, Ms. Carley, is really nice.

After long and hard thought, I have decided to include the list for your viewing pleasure***:

Middle School Battle of the Books List, 2012 – 2013, Wake County, NC

Title                                            Author

Airborn                                    Kenneth Oppel

Bronx Masquerade                  Nikki Grimes

Chicken Boy                           Frances O’Roark Dowell

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two        Joseph Bruchac

Dead End in Norvelt                 Jack Gantos

Death Cloud                              Andrew Lane

Diamonds in the Shadow           Caroline B. Cooney

Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie    Jordan Sonnenblick

Everlost                                        Neal Shusterman

Flush                                             Carl Hiaasen

Freak the Mighty                          Rodman Philbrick

George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War                      Thomas B. Allen

The Graveyard Book                    Neil Gaiman

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life        Wendy Mass

Just Ella                                         Margaret Peterson Haddix

Left for Dead: A Young Man’s Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis   Peter Nelson

The Nine-Pound Hammer              John Claude Bemis

Out of My Mind                             Sharon M. Draper

Peak                                                 Roland Smith

Peter and the Starcatchers               Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science- John Fleischman

Saraswati’s Way                              Monica Schroder

Stones in Water                               Donna Jo Napoli

Storm Warriors                                Elisa Carbone

Under the Mesquite                          Guadalupe Garcia McCall

The Wednesday Wars                       Gary D. Schmidt

White Fang                                       Jack London

~LitKid (11-year-old reviewer)

*** Please keep in mind some of the content in some of the books can be scary for those 9 and below; you should get your parents to background-check the books before you read them if you are that age.

P.S. You can visit this link on the Quail Ridge Books and Music web site to download this year’s middle school and elementary school Battle of the Books lists.

This summer was the summer for reading. I whiled away many an hour reading –cooped up in a car, on the beach, or waiting in line at the ice cream store, and of course at night in my bunk bed at camp.


You know, I think summer is the perfect time to read when you’re a kid (of all ages, adults!). In the summer there are are a lot of open hours on the beach and in various other vacation spots to relax and put a dent into the book everyone’s reading (or maybe your book club selection?).

If you didn’t read this summer, well then, boy did Y-O-U miss out.

A few of my summer favorites:

  • The Wednesday Wars
  • The Secret of the Fortune Wookie
  • The River of No Return
  • Wonder
  • The One and Only Ivan
p.s. Summer was pretty busy, so I did a lot of reading but didn’t have time for a lot of reviewing!

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you should stop reading. I certainly don’t. So below I have put together my Summer Reading List & Book Wishlist.

As usual, I got a lot of great ideas looking around in the kids’ department at Quail Ridge Books the other day. Let’s hope I end up with my own copies of some of these – my birthday is coming up, after all! (update: LitKid was lucky enough to get the boldfaced titles for her birthday … she’ll have a lot of reviews to share soon.)

~ LitKid

LitKid also put our annual list of ‘fun things we could do this summer’ on a giant Post-It that’s now hanging in our hallway; be sure to note the last one on that list. (!)
(I was thinking I’d do well if I read 15 or 20 from my kid and grownup ‘to read’ stacks!)
~ AKId@Heart

LitKid’s Summer Reading List … 2012 Edition

  • Septimus Heap Series, Angie Sage
      • Flyte
      • Physik
      • Queste
      • Syren
      • Darke
  • The Popularity Papers, Amy Ignatow
  • Middle School: the Worst Years of My Life, James Patterson
  • School of Fear: Class is Not Dismissed! Gitty Daneshvari
  • The One & Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate
  • The Wednesday Wars, Gary D. Schmidt
  • The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
  • Sent, Margaret Peterson Haddix  (2nd book in the “Missing” Trilogy)
  • The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary, Jeff Kinney
  • The Babysitter’s Club: The Summer Before, Ann M. Martin
  • Dork Diaries Series, Rachel Renee Russell
      • Tales from a NotsoFabulous Life
      • Tales from a NotsoPopular Party Girl
      • Tales from a NotsoTalented Pop Star
      • Tales from a NotsoGraceful Ice Princess
  • The Extroardinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, Trenton Lee Stewart
  • Prairie Evers, Ellen Airgood
  • Close to Famous, Joan Bauer
  • Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys
  • The Search for WondLa, Tony DiTerlizzi
  • Bigger Than a Bread Box, Laurel Snyder (Read this already, but want a copy of my own cuz it was awesome 🙂 
  • Lemonade Crime, Jacqueline Davies
  • Bliss, Kathryn Littlewood
  • The City of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau
  • Scumble, Ingrid Law
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E. L. Konigsburg

P.S. Happy Summer!!!!

P.P.S. What’s on your Summer Reading List?

One thing that I find unique about my school is that books are an everyday part of life. My school librarian hosts and organizes book clubs and there are reading electives. For example, last term my homeroom teacher taught Blue Ribbon books.

I just find that unique that reading is tied into learning every day. Everybody deserves to have the ability to read.

I saw a cool image online that said, “KEEP CALM AND READ ON.”

This is so true!



My mom was so happy to see me reading an hour after school let out for Spring Break that she snuck this photo of me in our backyard, zoned out in a book.

Today we have our smart-phones, flat-screens and game consoles, right?

Instead of planting my eyes on a screen all the time, I curl up with a good book. I love reading because it can take you on many an adventure: Rescuing a princess, a stolen ring, or perhaps repaying a favor to the Lord(s) of Death.

From my viewpoint, electronics are like unhealthy foods: bad for us. They cause our eyes to glaze over and we don’t get outside and stuff.

What draws me into a book is a thick plot: a thief has kidnapped the queen and will only let her out for 2,000,000 dollars of ransom, but the king rescues her anyways. Another thing that draws me in is good description: ‘She crept through the alley as silent as a tiger, glancing this way and that every so often to make sure nobody saw her sneaking away with the burlap bag of money.’

So all you techno geeks try to make an effort to unplug and curl up with a book. Books can take you to faraway places.  You could read for hours  and your eyes wouldn’t glaze over.

Unlike when you spend all your time playing your DS’s and watching TV.


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