Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Comes Early For Darth Bill!!

Beware, all you who have gone to the dark side!! A terrible vengeance awaits you!! Your evil deeds will not go unanswered! Behold the fate of Darth Bill, sith lord extraordinaire. You see him here, cowering before the awful Pumpkin-Faced Beasts of Tattooine's sister planet, Hallow'ine, who appeared in retaliation for his evil deeds in their system.

The appearance of these frightful monsters was so terrible that Darth Bill has disappeared! We know he will be gone for about 10 days, although his whereabouts are unknown. Rumor has it that he fled past the Outer Rim in sheer fright. Whatever the case, he has been editing the video of the Great Battle of Sith and Jedi at WordPlay Saturday and will finish after his return. Until then, heed the words of---

The Great and Powerful CARLMAN

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wow! All You Guys Are Quick!

I can't believe this! We've got two reviews already form our good friend Koko B. Ware from the totally rockin' Guys Read blog. The first is about is about Skulduggery Pleasant, a book that Bill reviewed last week. Here we go:

O man that was a GREAT book. The whole concept of a dead guy whos soul stayed around and a girl getting caught up in this "prophecy" of her uncles. My favorite part of this book was when the troll got slaughtered by um um um... well I forgot her name. And how the main girl cahnged her name to Valkry Kain, because she always was "raising cain".

Island By: Gordon Korman

I have just recently finished this book called Island. Its all about how these kids get sent to a "character building" expierience on a boat called "Pheonix". However, low and behold, the ship wrecks, (kind of expected in a book with the cover of kids struggling for life), catches on fire and the ship mate called "Rat-Face" takes the lifeboat and food rations with him. Therefore leaving the 6 kids ( Luke, Ian, J.J., Charla, Will, and Lyssa ) to die. Yet fate has different plans for the, if you may, "lucky" children. The six kids cling on to a raft composed of the roof of the captains steering deck and struggle for life until they reach an island. The, now four kids, two are lost on the voyage" try to find a way off the isalnd by signal fires and the like. One day they see a sea plane pass overhead. When they go to check out the docking place of the aircraft they quickly realize these are not life savers but takers! When Will one of the survivers awakens from the deep grasps of unconsiousness, he goes deep into the jungle in fear, for he thinks the other three are trying to hurt him because he has no recolection of the shipwreck and he believes that he is missing his trip on the sunken boat. He doesn't realize he is in grave danger so he better gain memory or he will possibly wind up as one of the illegal traders, one shot point blank... in the center of the head. Well I could go on and on about this book, but why dont you go check out this book at your library, because the series will provide hours of intense, edge of your seat action and suspense.

P.S. WHERE'S MY FREE BOOK!!! :) :) :)

Thanks, Koko B. Ware! The Island trilogy is just too intense for words! Have you read the other two books? They're even better. Take a look at my review here. All you guys out there, go check out the Guys Read blog. As I said, they rock!!

Where's your free book? Well, I've emailed your fearless leader to ask how I could get one to you. So sit tight and it'll get there. You don't mind if I pick, do you? I can't just go out into the library and pull something off the shelves, but we do have of good guy stuff here in our "prize boxes" and I'll do my best to pick one you'd like.

The great and powerful CARLMAN

PS to cyber kid--I checked that Archers, Alchemists, etc. book. Looks good!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An Interview with Josh Elder

Hello everyone out there in the Land of Blog, it is I once again. The scariest Sith that will be trick or treating at your house this year, Darth Bill (just don't put any rocks into my trick or treat bag, man I hate when that happens)!!!!!!!!!!

From the classic Television Special "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

Well I have a special treat for all you guys out there who love comics and graphic novels. Josh Elder
author of such great graphic novels as "Mail Order Ninja" and various comic books has given me this very exclusive interview. Josh was here this summer at ImaginOn for the highly successful "Kids Love Comics! Workshop for Aspiring Artists & Young Fans" and more recently here in Charlotte for the Library System's "Novello Festival" earlier this October.

Mr. Elder on the left with Michele Gorman from the "Kids Love Comics Event"

I don't believe, to my utter dismay, that I have not reviewed the totally awesome Mail Order Ninja Volume 1 on our blog (dooooooohhhhhhh!!!!!). So before the interview check this out:

Mail Order Ninja Volume 1 by Josh Elder and Erich Owen - Every bullies dream, Timmy McAllister, spends the majority of his days in school getting picked on and pushed around, until one fateful day he sees an advertisement for "The Great Ninja Warrior Gunshyo Giveaway." Figuring that he has nothing to lose, he enters this contest. A few weeks later a rather large box is delivered to his house containing a ninja named Yoshida Jiro. At first Timmy's parents are not sure if he is ready to own a ninja, after all it is a big responsibility. But after begging and pleading, Timmy's parents relent. Things in Timmy's life are about to change in a big way thanks to his new personal ninja and friend, Yoshida Jiro. This Graphic Novel has lots of laughs and high ninja adventure. Very, very cool indeed!!!!!!!!

My review of Mail Order Ninja Volume 2 can be found on this blog by clicking: Here.

Now without further commercial interruptions is the "Boys Rule, Boys Read" highly exclusive interview with the one, the only Josh Elder:

1) What was/or were the first book and/or books you read as a kid that made you think “wow?”

Pretty much all of 'em. Books and comics have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. I can't imagine my life without them. Here a few that totally changed my life, though:

The Oz books by L. Frank Baum

Hatchet by Gary Paulson

Anything by Mark Twain

Anything by Robert L. Heinlein

Any comic I could get my hands on. Especially GI Joe, Transformers, Spider-Man, Calvin & Hobbes and my number one hero of all time... Superman.

2) What gave you the idea for “Mail Order Ninja” and some of the very cool characters in the books?

I had purchased a number of old comics off of ebay and in these old comics were ads for outrageously fraudulent items like X-ray glasses and weight-lifting programs that promised to add 20 lbs of muscle in as many days. So I thought it would be awesome if you could order your very own ninja through the mail. My friend said "Dude, that's the best idea you've ever had." He was right, and that afternoon I developed pretty much the entire premise of "Mail Order Ninja."

3) Who do you consider some of your biggest influences as a comic/graphic novel creator?

My biggest influences -- especially on my work aimed at younger readers -- are the Looney Tunes and comic strips like Calvin & Hobbes. Those are works that are aimed at children yet are enjoyable for audiences of any age. And the older you get, the smarter and funnier they actually become.

Aside from Bill Waterson and Chuck Jones, my biggest influences as a comic writer would have to be Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. They're constantly evolving, constantly taking risks and exploring new territory -- they're never content to stick with a formula or emulate a past success. Every story I write should be different and/or better than anything I've done before or else why do it?

4) Why do you think it's cool for boys to read?

Because reading is cool. It's the only way you get to really be a part of the story -- even playing a videogame you're just another character. When you read you're a part of the story in every way and the story can't get told without you.

5) Is it cool for boys to write/draw? Why?

Of course it is! Writers and artists are the people who truly shape the world. Plus it's fun!

6) Who was your favorite comic book character when you were a boy? Do you have a favorite character now?

That one's easy: Superman. He's the first and greatest superhero of them all -- the wellspring from which all other superheroes came. I've been a fan of the character for literally longer than I can remember (I had a pair of Superman pajamas as a little boy that I wore to bed pretty much every night without fail) and today I have a Superman tattoo on my right bicep of which I'm quite proud.

I've actually gotten to write Superman stories for DC Comics over the past few years and that has been a real dream come true for me.

7) What is your favorite sport?

Football, no doubt. I played it in high school and it remains the only sport I really follow today. Anything can happen on any given play in any game -- it's what makes football so incredibly unpredictable and exciting. That and I'm a big fan of watching big dudes hit each other really hard.

8) What do you like to do for fun?

I like to read and I like to write (I certainly chose the right career then, didn't I?). I enjoy my football and am a big movie buff. In fact, every week or so I get a group of friends together for "Bad Movie Night" and we all watch really terrible movies with the goal being to have the best joke of the night at the movie's expense. I like to visit museums whenever I can and I also do a lot of biking here in Chicago during the summer months.

9) What is your favorite book you have written?

Probably "Mail Order Ninja." It's easily my best-written work and is the one that I still find funny each time I read it. Though I am working on a story called "Dear Superman" that is very near and dear to my heart that will most likely take the top spot if and when it's published.

10) Which do you like better--cheeseburgers or pizza? What do you like on them?

Why do I have to choose? I'll going to use a bit of lateral problem solving and just have a cheeseburger pizza instead!

Thank you very much Mr. Elder!!!!!! What a cool guy!!!!!! I hope the "Dear Superman" that he is working on comes out sometime soon. If you have not read The Mail Order Ninja Books, Volumes 1 and 2, do yourself a favor and check them out ASAP!!!!!!

Until next time - Up, Up and Away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wow! Cyber Kid Is Quick Again!

I tell you, all that cybernetic energy makes cyber kid 303 faster than the Millenium Falcon with a turbocharger! Here's another review from him about a very interesting-sounding book:

With all the talk about nonfiction books, the book below is the best ever about medieval jobs. Archers, Alchemists, and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed by Priscilla Galloway helped me understand more when we went to the Renaissance Festival this year. The book was written with lots of cartoon illustrations and was not boring at all. You would have hated being a gong farmer, but you'll have to read the book to find out what it is. I would have wanted to be a yeoman. What would you want to be?

Defintiely not a gong farmer. How do you raise gongs anyway? Do you plant them next to the cymbals? Or the bells? We have that book here (and at other branches of the library) and I might look at it this afternoon. I wish I'd known about it a couple of years ago when a boy asked me how much an alchemist would have made in medieval times. Well, even the great and powerful CARLMAN, who searches the farthest reaches of time and space for answers, was stumped. Fortunately, the library is even more great and powerful than me and after searching books and the Internet, I came up with an answer. This book might have had it all right there! (I think he was looking for stats on some kind of game)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wow! That's a Quick Cyber Kid!

Whoa! I posted those last two reviews at 10:45 this morning and cyber kid 303 already has a response.It's about a nonfiction book also!

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Elenanor Coerr is about Sadako who lives in Hiroshima 10 years after the atom bomb. Her grandmother died in the explosion. Sadako is a track and field runner and is practicing when she becomes dizzy and falls down. Her worried parents take her to the hospital and find out she has Leukemia. Her friend visits her and tells her if she folds 1000 paper cranes she will be well again. All she folds is 644. They did the play at Imaginon and it was just as good as the book. The morale of the story is that all war and bombs are bad, no matter how big. This is a true story that teaches a lesson about peace that everyone needs to know.

Thanks, cyber kid! Nonfiction really is interesting, especially since all these incredible stories are true. I'm glad you liked the play too. The Children's Theatre of Charlotte does some great stuff and I've liked everything I've seen there. They did a killer version of Peter Pan! Now I want to see this one!

Learning CAN Be Fun! Especially With Interesting Nonfiction Books Like These

Boys like to find out things. We're just hard-wired that way. We like to take things apart and find out what makes them tick. That's why I've always tried to find good nonfiction books. Not to mention that I know from experience that nofiction is not boring! So with that in mind, here are two good ones that I found recently. They're fun AND contain a lot of useful information, especially for school projects. And you don't have to read them straight through--you can pick and choose the parts that interest you the most. Of course, you could go straight through if you wanted to. Plus, their format looked like good things to read around Halloween, though you could use this information anytime.

Everyone has to do a science project sometime, right? Most of the sceince experiment books Ive seen are pretty good, but this one's a lot of fun! It's written as if it were the secret notebooks of a mad scientist bent on ruling the world. There are lots of good science experiments in here and useful sections after each one explaining the science behind it. The mad scientist's "notes" on how he'll use these experiments to take over the world are actually funny! This is a good one, guys!

Everyone likes DK books, right? Well, here's a real treat. Dr. Frankenstein has invited you into his lab and asked you to assist him in putting together a human body. You'll be done in 30 days. Then, starting at the cells, it expalins what each part of the body is for and where it goes. Really intersting!! I learned a lot reading it. There are lots of good illustations from modern times and the 19th century (Dr. Frankenstein's time) to make this one you'll get a lot out of.

OK, men, get them and I know you'll like them. I sure did!

The great and powerful CARLMAN

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New From Cyber Kid: Nightmare at the Book Fair and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Hey, guys, this is the great and powerful CARLMAN coming to you again with a couple of comments from our old friend cyber kid 303:

Hi, this is Cyber Kid again. I just read "Nightmare at the Book Fair" by Dan Gutman. You may have read some of his "My Weird School" books or some of his sports books like "Jackie and Me." They are all good. Back to "Nightmare at the Bookfair"...In this book, Trip Dinkleman is in the library moving some books in a crate when he drops it on his head. He wakes up in a carnival and is in a scary story, like in a book. This happens again and again, with him living through the stories in different books. The different situations are funny, scary, adventurous, and so on. I don't think the books he lived in are real books, but they were very interesting stories. I won't tell you how it ends, but it'll make your mouth water...or not!

My mom MADE me read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving. The story was bad (because it was a love story) and I didn't understand half the language in the book. My mom thinks it is a good way to work on and improve my vocabulary(no!!!!), but no one talks like that anymore. Nothing was scary about it no matter what you might hear. We even watched a 1999 RHI Showcase Hallmark Entertainment production of Sleepy Hollow starring Brent Carver, but it was lame. Mom promises the Tim Burton version of Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp will be better and scarier. I hope so!

Well done, cyber kid! The CARLMAN appreciates honesty! The Nightmare at the Bookfair really does sound good. All you guys are telling us about some interesting books. How will I ever find time to read them all??? You make them sound sooo good.

But would you believe it----I'm reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow now! I hate to disagree with such a faithful friend like cyber kid, but I'm enjoying it. But then, the great and powerful CARLMAN has been traveling time and space for many eons and has had the opportunity to learn the vocabularly and ways of people long ago. AND I'm reading an illustrated version (I'll talk about it below) To most boys, though, that old language is SO unfamiliar that it's almost like something from a foreign country. No wonder you couldn't enjoy it. That's why we don't usually recommend old, old books, even if they're good. Like Treasure Island. It's one of my all-time favorites and, to my mind, the greatest pirate story ever written. But I have a 14-year-old nephew who HAD to read it for school. The language was so old that he almost couldn't read it and I had to look up a study guide to help him get through it. You can't enjoy a book that way. We want to recommend only things we think you'd like.

Having said all that, however, let me recommend this one particular version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This one's GOOD!!! It's richly illustrated by Gris Grimly--so richly illustrated that it's almost a graphic novel. The pictures are funny when they should be and spooky when they ought to be. They've left Washington Irving's original language in here, but they've cut it so it doesn't drag and there's more room for these great pictures. The pictures of Ichabod Crane dancing are too funny to believe! I'd recommend it to anyone--the pictures help the old words make sense, though you will still need a dictionary. But I'd especially recommend it to those of you who love great illustrations, think you're advanced enough to handle old-style language and unfamiliar words, or know someone (like an adult) who's really good at reading aloud. THIS version would be fantastic to listen to while seeing the awesome illustrations. (BTW, cyber kid, the CARLMAN may be great and powerful but he is nothing compared to the amazing cosmic powers of MOM and DAD. You were wise to listen to your mom and read that book! And I bet your vocabulary DID improve. The CARLMAN has strode the galaxy long enough to know that MOM and DAD ususally know what they're talking about!)

Well, I won't do this often. I like to talk about books you'd like. PLUS, I was in 8th grade before I had to read it for school, so I had more vocabulary and background. PLUS, I had seen the old Disney animated version, so I already knew the story. Have you guys seen it? No? Well, thanks to the miracle of You Tube, you can! In four parts, that is. It's about 35 minutes long, all together. Take your time, get in a comfortable spot, and enjoy! Can't think of anythiing better for Halloween!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Need a Weird Read for October?

I just finished The Wooden Mile, book one of the Something Wickedly Weird series by Chris Mould. Wow, "wickedly weird" is the perfect way to describe this book! It is about a boy named Stanley who inherits a big old house from a long lost uncle. When Stanley goes to check out the house and village it is in he finds that nobody in town will go out at night and the candy store owner has a dark secret.

If you are looking for a good weird book to read this October (and who here isn't?!), then you should definitely check it out. I can't wait to get my hands on the second book, The Icy Hand.

Friday, October 17, 2008

An Awesome Read for Halloween!!!!!

Hello all,

Tis the season to be scary!!!!! Do you want to see something truly scary? Do you really? Okay you asked for it, take a look:

Boooooo!!!!! Who let these dogs out!!!!!! Boo,Boo, Boo, Boo Boo!!!

Okay one more for you cat lovers out there:

Trick or Treat, Please give us mice to eat!!!!!!!!!! Watch out any mice out there reading this!!!!!!!!!!!

Man, was that scary or what???? Well now that the frightening part is over let me talk about this really cool book I recently discovered:

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy - Who is the best detective ever? Did you guess Sherlock Holmes or Inspector Jacques Clouseau or perhaps The Hardy Boys? Well if you guessed any of those you would be wrong!!!!! The greatest detective ever is none other than Skulduggery Pleasant who is introduced in what I hope is a very long series of books of the same name. What sets Skulduggery apart you ask? Well first off he is not officially among the living and second off he is a walking, talking, and highly sarcastic skeleton who uses magic. His specialty is the investigation of supernatural crimes (OOOOO0000000ooo!!!!!! Spooky Stuff I tell ya!!!!!). The story in this book starts when 12 year old Stephanie's eccentric Uncle Gordon dies. At the funeral Stephanie bumps into a very strange character wearing a overcoat, scarf, sunglasses, a wig and a very broad hat so that not one bit of him can be seen. Later in the story Skulduggery saves Stephanie's life while she is at her Uncle Gordon's House, which she inherited, when she is attacked by a very strange creature. Stephanie learns from Skulduggery that her Uncle was murdered and he is on the case to find out who done it!!!!!! Stephanie is fascinated by the strange unseen world Skulduggery introduces her to. A world were magic is very real and monsters exist around every corner. She persuades Skulduggery to let her accompany him on his investigation and things just get weirder and stranger from there. If you like books that are funny but also full of intrigue and action, you will love this one. I laughed so much and got caught up in the fast paced story that I finished it way to soon. Luckily there is a second book and I plan on starting it right away.

To hear a really cool interview with Skulduggery Pleasant himself go to

The official website for everything Skulduggery Pleasant can be found at

Well talk at you all later,

Darth Bill

A Video Interview With Charles R. Smith Jr., One of the Authors at WordPlay Saturday!

Hey, guys, it's Carl and I'm excited that we have a video interview with the totally cool and awesome Charles R. Smith, Jr., author of some of the most exciting poetry I've ever read. Yes, I said poetry! Why would a manly man like the great and pwoerful CARLMAN recommend poetry?? To guys!!?? Becuase these aren't the kinds of poems read by sweet little old ladies at tea parties, These are slammin', jammin', keepin' it real, tell how you feel, jumpnng, pumping, celebrations of life at the max. Which is what poetry is really all about. But rather than listen to me, let's hear to the man himself! (I'm NOT the best cameraman in the world, so I apologize for the shaky photography--and the giant close-up of my face at the beginning!)

What a great interview. I've become a real fan of Mr. Smith. His books are terrific. Here are a few:
Hoop Kings and Hoop Queens---celebrations of some of the greats in the NBA and WNBA

Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Muhammad Ali Story--an epic story of an epic life

The Mighty 12; Superheroes of Greek Myth--the only book I know that compares the twelve Olympians to superheroes! With terrific illustrations by the great Craig Russell, a well-known comics artist! (Pay attention, all you Percy jackson fans!)

I Am America--teling about the wonderful diversity that is our country

If: A Father's Advice to His Son Charles Smith takes some of his own photographs of boys playing sports (he's also a professional photographer) and puts them to an old-but-awesome poem by Rudyard Kipling. It's the best poem I've ever seen about what it takes to be a REAL man. Every guy ought to read this.

Thanks, Mr Smith, for your interview and your great books!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Demigod Files (the new Percy Jackson book) and The Maze of Bones

Good news for all you Percy Jackson fans! You don't have to wait all the way until May (when The Last Olympian comes out) to read more fabulous adventures of Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and company. Rick Riordan will publish a book called The Demigod Files in February. It has some shorter stories about Percy's school year (I bet his school year's more exciting than ours!) plus some interviews with the characters. You can find out more by checking Rick Riordan's blog. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!!!

And since we're talking about the great Mr. Riordan, let me tell you about The Maze of Bones. Some of you have already talked about it and a lot of you know the story, but let me fill you in anyway. Grace Cahill, a unbelievably wealthy old lady, dies at the beginning of the book. Among her relatives are her two favorite grandchildren, 14-year-old Amy and 11-year-old Dan. After the funeral, Amy and Dan are among the few who get to hear the reading of the will. It turns out that these people get their choice of a million dollars right away or the chance to embark on adventures that will make them the richest and most powerful individuals in the world. The two kids hesitate but take the adventurous route--and then you get into thrilling roller coaster ride of a book that slams you back in your seat and doesn't let up until the very end. It's got all the stuff that we love about Rick Riordan's books---slam-bam action, mysterious characters with hidden agendas, secrets that come out a little bit at a time, evil, evil, evil bad guys, and ordinary kids in impossible circumstances. Wow! Wow! I stayed up late because I was halfway through and couldn't stop until the last page. You'll get so caught up in it that you won't want to stop either! We created this blog to tell you about terrific books and this one is TERRIFIC!!!!!!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jedi Defense at WordPlay

Hello everyone, Master Jedi Zack here.

WordPlay Saturday was a lot of fun, at least until that dang Sith broke the truce and tried to attack my booth! The evil menace even brainwashed one of our most loyal boys to help him. It is a sad sad day when a Sith tries to take an apprentice of his own. My own Padawan Trish was on hand but was not needed to foil the evil plan.

To make matters worse, Darth Bill even attacked some other boys when he was unable to take over the great Jedi booth! ------->

If you want to see more pictures from the Jedi Cam, I have them on the Matthews Flickr page here.

Now I must get back to defending the galaxy. Goodbye for now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What a Good Time! And We Hear From Three Friends!

Hello, everyone, this is the great and powerful but tired CARLMAN. Everyone had a good time at WordPlay Saturday, as you can see.

Even though you see Master Jedi Zack in the photo to the left, nobly helping a youngling have fun, some of the guys fell (briefly) under the influnce of the dark side and hung around with Darth Bill. Cyber Kid 303 even helped the sith lord attempt to chase Jedi Master Zack from his tent. We have the whole thing on Sith Cam and will post it as soon as Darth Bill gets past the Borg invasion in that quadrant (Hey, am I mixing up my sci-fi epics here????) As for you noble Jedi, do not fear--I'm sure the dark side effects will wear off soon. Master Zack got some pictures on Jedi Digital Cam and will present his side one day.

It's always good to come back from a busy weekend and find reviews and comments from our firends. It was really good to hear from three of you!! Our first was from Lord Vader:

I just finished my next book in the Narnia series. It was called "The Horse and his Boy" by C. S. Lewis. It was alright, but I wish the battle scene would have been a bit longer. It was a little easy to tell what was going to happen in this one. I can't wait to go onto the Price Caspian book.

Mikie (a.k.a Lord Vader)

We just finished reading that one at home and loved it. Too bad you thought it was only alright. But you'll enjoy Prince Caspian a lot. And wait until you get to The Dawn Treader!!! That's my favorite.

Then I heard from cyber kid:

Viking It and Liking It is one of the amazing books in the Time Warp Trio series with Joe, Sam, and Fred by Jon Scieszka where they get whisked back to ancient viking times. There they meet Leif Eriksson who discovered North America. I like it because it is full of adventure, humor, and history. It is Jon Scieszka's best.

Yes, the Time Warp Trio books are good. Have you read The Not-So-Jolly Roger. It features Blackbeard, who sailed up and down the coasts of North Carolina! Finally, we had another one from the BRUNER BOYS BEWARE:

We had a good time at WordPlay Saturday with Darth Bill. We saw snatches of CAPTAIN VERB (actually pretty funny) and heard storytellers. We checked out a graphic novel on INDIANA JONES and Keagen had finished it before we even left downtown... but he read it twice more. We are half way through City Of Ember and it's getting really good. The scary part was when Lina lost her baby sister in the dark when the lights went out... YIKES! And Dune snuck into the engine room and saw the generator and was upset because it was worse than he thought and has no idea how to fix it. We will let you know more when we finish it this week.

Wow, evryone's tallking about The City of Ember! I might have to drop everyting else I'm reading and pick it up. Has anyone seen the movie? Is it any good? Will you BRUNER BOYS see it after you finish reading the book?

Well, I've still got lots to do before I take my Odinrest. I really want to talk to you all about The Maze of Bones and Charles R. Smith, Jr. but the work of a CARLMAN is never done!

Wait, what's this??????? Darth Bill at MY computer!!!!!! Only a sith would dare approach the desk of the Great and Powerful CARLMAN. Yeah, he said something about this post already being up on the screen and just wanted to take down the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows poll, but who knows what evil he was plotting on MY computer?


That's better. I have much to do. See you guys later.

Bill is just the best. I worship the ground he walks on!!!!!

Hey, who said that???!!!!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

An End to the Hostile Takeover!!

Yes, boys and girls, you heard me--the hostile takeover of our beloved blog by the girls of Metrolina Regional Scholars' Academy (none of whom are mean or sneaky) has fianlly come to an end. And an honorable end it is, too, for boys AND girls. There's a reason for that, but, first, let's hear what Sophia has to say:

Stuart Little

Stuart Little is written by E.B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams. It is about allittle mouse who is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Little of New York. Stuart makes alittle friend in Margalo, a bird. Then, suddenly, Margalo goes away. Stuart runs away frm home to find Margalo and...Well, I don't think I should tell you everything about this book. I think you would like it if you read it. It's definitely exciting and action- packed. You should read it.Stuart New York with his mom, dad, brother, and Snowbell, a cat.mI think that even if you'd pick it up, you'd soon be absorbed. I think the book is great. E. B. White writes great books. If you like this book, also catch The Trumpet of the Swan and also read Charlotte's Web.

P. S. Guys out there, Im NOT trying a hostile takeover; I'm only doing this to get new books. :)

Very good, Sophia! I read Staurt Little a long time ago and now you make me want to read it again! And I agree on Charlotte's Web. It's one of the best things you'll ever read. A teacher read to us in 5th grade; then I read it again a few years ago and it was just as good then as that unforgettable first time. I haven't read The Trumpet of the Swan, though. Have any of you? Did you lke it?

And I'm so glad that the takeover is gone at last. Boys and girls can read together in PEACE!!! Not only because Sophia is interested only in more books (a worthy goal!) but because there is now A BOOK BLOG FOR GIRLS!!! Yes, our friend and new coworker Ellen has started a new blog called Girls Read Girls Rule (the World). No doubt she was overwhelmed and awesturck by the greatness of the boys' blog, but she also saw a need for girls to have their own place. So we welcome our sister blog and wish them good luck. In fact, Sophia, I'll give Ellen two of your reviews that got earlier this week but was too busy to post. Always feel free to write to us again. And I sincerely apologize to you and any other girls if I said anything that made you angry or hurt your fellings--I didn't mean any of it and was just trying to have some fun.
All right. Hope to see everyone at WordPlay Saturday tomorrow. It will be a great and fun time!! Speaking of hostile takeovers, there are definite rumors that a certain Sith might try a hostile takeover of a certain Jedi's tent tomorrow. If the great and powerful CARLMAN isn't at the scene, I might depend on one of you to keep the peace!!


Cowboys, Dragons, Jedi and Hydrons - Oh My!!!!!!!!

Hi all once again it's the grooviest Sith this side of Darth "Greg Brady," Darth Bill with lots of goofy stuff and cool info on the downlow!!!!!!!! Starting things off I would like to "tip my hat" to one of my all time favorite actors Paul Newman and say thanks for all the good times. Below here is a trailer from one of my all time favorite movies "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid." Thanks again Mr. Newman for all the great entertainment and joy you brought to so many of us.

And now for some groovy reviews of cool Books and Graphic Novels I have read recently:

Star Wars: The Clone Wars adapted by Tracy West -
I just finished reading this adaption of the CGI movie that came out this summer and I unfortunately missed (Can't wait till it comes out on DVD so I can see it). If the book is any indication of how the movie is, it has to be great!!!!! The story begins with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker leading Clone Troopers fighting a terrific battle against the Separatist's Battle Droids on the planet of Christophsis. While the battle is going on Jedi Master Yoda sends assistance to the two Jedi in the person of Ahsoka Tano, a Togruta, who is to become Anakin's Padawan. At first Anakin is dead set against having a Padawan, but Ahsoka proves herself to Anakin through her quick wits and impressive battle techniques. After the battle on Christopsis is over he accepts her as his Padawan and they are quickly given another assignment by Yoda. It appears that Jabba the Hutt's very young son, Rotta, has been kidnapped and it is Anikin's job, along with his new Padawan, to find him and return him so the Republic can forge an alliance with Jabba. While they are to search and find the child, Obi-Wan is sent on to Tatooine to negotiate a treaty with Jabba. Things are about to go seriously wrong for Obi-Wan and Anakin in a major way. To find out what happens check out this excellent book with more Sith, Jedi, Clone Troppers, Battle Droids and fierce monsters than you can imagine!!!!!!!!!

Beowulf - Monster Slayer: A British Legend by Paul Storrie and Ron Randall - As anyone who has read this blog in the past knows, I am a huge fan of the story of Beowulf and have reviewed various versions of the story in past postings. This Graphic Novel telling of the Beowulf legend is really excellent. This story starts off with a young Bewulf sailing with his kinsmen from their home, Geatland, to Denmark where King Hrothgar and his finest warriors have come up against a monster none have been able to defeat. The monster's name is Grendel and he has made the King's great hall uninhabitable by eating anyone who dares stay there after the sun has set. Beowulf has come to offer the King his service in ridding the Danes of this beast. To see what happens when Beowulf faces off against Grendal and to read about his other adventures, check out this really well done Graphic Novel!!!!!!

Also of note is that the second volume of "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli" is almost here in the library system for check out. To see the post where I reviewed this awesome follow up to the first volume Click Here. To put the book on hold or to see where it is checked in Click Here. Oh, I'm so excited I just can't stand it!!!!! Here are some pictures of characters you will come across in the second volume:

Well Cowpokes I gotta hit that lonesome trail now, so I wish you all happy trails,


Thursday, October 9, 2008

An afternoon with Frank Remkiewicz

Hey guys. I just returned from a fun afternoon of hanging out with Frank Remkiewicz. He is an illustrator and author of many famous books including the Horrible Harry series and the Froggy picture books. He spoke to a group of 4th graders at Matthews Elementary School. He is a great speaker and all around nice guy. If you go to WordPlay Saturday, he will be signing autographs with a whole bunch of other authors!

Here is a pic of Frank with my Padawan Trish and me. You can see more on the Matthews Library Flickr page.

The Maze of Bones and WordPlay

I finished Maze of Bones recently and it was outstanding! I have no idea how I am going to wait 53 days for the second book. It should be interesting to see where the Cahill siblings go next.

Don't forget that this Saturday is WordPlay Saturday at ImaginOn. I have been hearing whispers that my truce with Darth Bill may be broken on that day. The Sith may try to take over the Jedi booth. I hope my information is incorrect and that the Sith can uphold the truce that he himself suggested!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The BRUNER BOYS BEWARE on Loser, City of Ember, Maniac Magee, WordPlay Saturday, and Mad Mons

There! I tihink that's officially the longest title we've had yet! This is Carl and we've got a new comment from the BRUNER BOYS BEWARE. It's always good to hear from them.

Bruner Boys Beware have read LOSER by Spenelli... it was interesting, not hard to read and gets your brain thinking about what kind of person you are to other people around you.We have been waiting to read Maniac Magee...We decided to read City Of Ember because it's coming out in a movie. Mom has read it and it's on her favorite list... we read the first chapter and couldn't sleep and then mom got MAD... NOT OUR FAULT!!!CARLMAN! WE WILL SE YOU SATURDAY AT THE EVENT! and we will be looking for the new Captain Eli!

Bill is doing his best to get the new Capt'n Eli out to all you Sea Searchers. He has spoken with She Who Orders Books and found out that the library has ordered copies. It takes a little while to get them and process them, so be patient, adventure seekers. I'm sure one of us will tell everyone when they get here. I haven't read Loser but it sounds good. I hope you get Maniac Magee soon. Go ahead and write about it if you finish it before we do. And now I really want to read City of Ember because so many have written about it lately. But be sure not to incur the Wrath of Mom--Boys Rule and Boys Read in blogland but at home MOMS RULE and DADS RULE!

I've started reading some books by one of our Novello authors, Charles R. Smith, Jr. His stuff is GREAT!! I read one book today called Hoop Kings. They are poems about basketball. Yes, poems!! But this is not your grandmother's poetry!! These are hip-hoppin', movin' and groovin' poems that sound like something from a poetry slam. They are as exciting as a drive down the court when the game's on the line and there are three seconds left! Watch this space, guys--you'll hear more about Charles Smith, Jr.!
He'll be at the Book Brunch Saturday morning form 9:30--11 and will sign books from 11:30--1:00. Don't miss him!

And I'll be looking for you BRUNER BOYS this Satruday. Be sure to introduce yourselves to me and Darth Bill And Master Zack. I might even need your help. Not even the great and powerful CARLMAN can be everywhere and if I'm not around and those Sith and Jedi draw their light sabers, I might need you to step in and save the day!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The CARLMAN Is Pleased

This is good! Peace reigns throughout the galaxy! The mutual love of reading has made even a Sith and Jedi call a truce--for now! The CARLMAN wonders what will happen when they meet face-to-face at WordPlay Saturday. Stay tuned to find out!

BTW, I've started reading The Boys Start the War by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, the first book in the Girls Against the Boys series. I've read only four chapters but I've already laughed so much that my coworker at the next desk wondered what was going on! AND I've read The Maze of Bones. WOW!!! It's one fantastic book. The CARLMAN would say more, but he is busy stopping clone-vs-droid wars, so I'll write about it later.
The Great and Powerful CARLMAN

A Truce It Shall Be

A true Jedi strives for a peaceful galaxy. As long as the (sometimes) noble Darth Bill can hold up his end of the bargain, I will agree to the truce.

The Carlman also mentioned Wordplay Saturday which is coming up this weekend. The one and only Master Jedi Zack will be on hand as well. I will be at the Throwing booth along with my Padawan Trish. Hopefully the truce will hold up through the weekend, I don't think anyone wants to see a Jedi/Sith duel during the festivities!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

An Apology to Sophia and WordPlay Saturday

Well, now that Darth Bill has extended his hand in peace to Master Jedi Zack, we'll probably have a little quiet for a while. At least long enough for them (and you!) to read Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli and write about it. That gives me time to make an admission--I owe an apology to Sophia, one of the girls at Metrolina Regional Scholars' Academy who have tried the hostile takeover of our blog. I'd written about the mean and sneaky girls who attempted this vicious takeover but I met Spophia last Friday when I happened to be at MRSA and she is very nice. (Her friend Mary wasn't there but I found out that she's nice also) I felt bad for what I'd written, so I apologized to her then and apologize to all the girls at MRSA now. They are all very nice.

So why, then, do they want to attempt a hostile takeover of our blog? They're all so nice--why would they try to invade and conquer our beloved home? This puzzled me for a long time. Then I figured it out--they are so awestruck by the greatness of boys that they want to enter our territory and find out what makes us so great!! Of course!!! They are so amazed at all the books we've read and how good our reviews have been that they want to join us! Why, then, we welcome you!. Send in those reviews. The more you send, the more you'll be like us!! And, please, all you boys at MRSA and everywhere else, send in more reviews so that the girls will see how great and cool we truly are!!!!!

Let me take this opportunity to tell you about something really fun: our WordPlay Saturday here at Imaginon. It will be Saturday, October 11. There will be bands, activities, crafts, and lots of fun stuff. There will also be some authors who'll speak and answer questions and sign books, including Charles R. Smith, Jr., who writes poems about sports, and graphic novel author Josh Elder (who does Mail Order Ninja and The Batman Strikes). Click here and here to find out more and even see a video about it! The Book Brunch with the authors will be from 9:30 am--11:00 am, WordPlay will be from 11:00 am--4:00 pm, and the authors will sign books from 11:30 am--1:oo pm.
Hope to see you there,

Friday, October 3, 2008

Why Can't We be Friends?

I have heard the words of the wise (sometimes, well 1/3 of the time) Carlman (just don't make it a habit of ordering me around.....) and will seek peace (for the moment) with Master Jedi Zack. I will also read Maniac Magee as suggested by the wise (sometimes) and noble (well kinda) Carlman.

Also to show that we Sith can make fun of ourselves also check out this:

Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!!!!!!! (Alright that's enough laughing now!!!!)

The Most Peaceful Sith to ever blow up a planet with a Death Star,

Darth Bill