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Rick’s recent reads

The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall. I’ll admit I approach award-winning children’s books with some trepidation. All too often, children’s literature awards denote books that appeal to adult librarians and book critics rather than to children. The books are like brussel sprouts on the literary table. We are told to read them because they are supposedly…

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Rethinking ADHD, New York Times article

A great article on ADHD from today’s New York Times. I love the term “attention surplus disorder.” Perhaps the half-bloods from The Lightning Thief are right. ADHD was a useful survival skill back in the old days! March 7, 2006 Attention Surplus? Re-examining a Disorder By PAUL STEINBERG, M.D. The recent recommendation that Ritalin and…

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Rick’s recent reads 3/3/06

A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray.Okay, so I was a little slow discovering this, but since Rebel Angels just came out, I figured I would read the first in the series first. The novel can best be described as Gothic fantasy. Lots of Victorian atmosphere and ruminations about the claustrophic restrictions on women…

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When’s the Movie Coming Out?

The cartoon pretty much says it all! In Frank McCourt’s most recent memoir, Teacher Man, he writes about the huge increase in attention he got when his book Angela’s Ashes was made into a movie. He gently pokes fun at Americans’ complete preoccupation with film. “In America there is always talk of The Movie,” he…

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The Standardized Test Monster

Today is the first day of TAKS, the standardized test all students are required to take in Texas. As I read the article below in my local paper, I wasn’t sure whether to feel comforted or disturbed that the students and parents quoted were taking the test in stride. A whole generation of students has…

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The Trouble with Boys in School

I read a very interesting MSNBC article today on boys and how they struggle in the American school system . http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10965522/site/newsweek/ If you haven’t read William Pollack’s book “Real Boys,” which the article references, I highly recommend it. As the father of two boys, I found it hit very close to home.

Christmas at Camp Half-Blood

Thanks to the kids at Poly Prep School in Brooklyn for the coolest Christmas card ever, designed by Jim L. The Fury atop the Christmas tree is a particularly nice touch!

Mythology and censorship

I recently got an email from a middle school teacher asking for help. A parent was complaining, for religious reasons, that The Adventures of Ulysses (a middle grade version of the Odyssey) was inappropriate reading for her child. This is certainly not a new debate. It is, in fact, the oldest debate in Western Civilization.…

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Did you get that from Harry Potter?

When I wrote The Lightning Thief, I knew comparisons to Harry Potter would be inevitable. After all, Harry Potter is the most successful and high-profile young adult fantasy series of all time. I love Rowling’s books, and I am grateful for the impact they’ve had on young readers and on the revitalization of children’s publishing.…

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Rick’s recent reads

I’ve been on the road the last two weeks, doing school visits and other book events. One thing about traveling — it’s not so great for my writing schedule, but I get a lot of reading done. Among my recent reads: Elsewhere, Gabrielle Zevin. Fascinating, a well-imagined, well-written YA novel. A fifteen-year-old girl dies and…

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