Thursday, February 28, 2008

Baseball, Knights, Peep Jousting and other Assorted Oddities

Hello, all, it is I, Sir William the Terrible, otherwise known to both friends and fowls (that's a joke son, a joke I say) as Darth Bill. Well, I hope everyone is doing most excellently out there in the Land of Blog. I did a program Tuesday at the library about "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," in which I basically told my version of the story. Afterwards, all who attended picked peep champions to fight it out on "The Jousting Field of Glory" (otherwise known as a plate put into a microwave). The story was a lot of fun to tell, since it is one of my favorite Arthurian Tales, but even more fun was the peep jousting. Now if you have never heard of peep jousting, you are in for a treat. What peep jousting involves is putting two Easter Peeps, each equipped with a trusty tooth pick (pushed into each peep), facing each other onto a plate and then into a microwave. The peeps will expand in the microwave and the first peep to stick the opposing peep with a tooth pick is the winner. Think I'm crazy? Well, crazy like a fox,--check out these photos from the "Mighty Peep Jousting" Event (boy I sure do like putting things in bold don't I):

Mighty Peep Jousters warming up for Battle!!!!! To become a Master Peep Jouster one must become one with the Peep, so say the great masters!!!!!


Peeps on the great "Jousting Field" prior to Battle - otherwise known as "The Great Face Off!!!!!!!"

The terrible, awful and sad sight of melted peeps after battle most savage ): It appears the victor in this terrible battle is the peep with the reddish toothpick.

All Hail the Conquering Hero!!!!!!

Sir William the Terrible eating one of the poor melted peeps after it has been wounded beyond all hope of healing (it really was the most humane thing to do).

WARNING: To all out there thinking of eating melted peeps, please make sure they have had time to properly cool before doing so. Otherwise a burnt mouth could ensue and that is a big Ouchy!!!!!!!!!!!!

To see some peep jousting in all its real life glory, take a look at this YouTube video:

Pretty incredible wouldn't you say? This sport has changed my life!!!!!!!!!

And now for something completely different, book reviews by Sir William the Terrible:

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Selina Hastings and Juan Wijngaard - This is not exactly a new book but it is an excellent adaption of the "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" tale from Arthurian Legend. This story is about a young Sir Gawain of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table and how his courage and sense of chivalry is tested by the eerie Green Knight. Here is an excerpt from the story to wet your taste buds:

'A noble opponent indeed!' exclaimed the Green Knight, dismounting from his horse. 'Sir Gawain, you must swear that in exactly one year and a day you will seek me out and allow me to return your blow.'

'I give you my word,' said Gawain.

Then the Green Knight knelt at Gawain’s feet, bowing his head so that the neck was plainly exposed. Gawain lifted the axe up high and brought it whistling down, severing the Knight’s head cleanly from his shoulders.

The head rolled on the floor, blood spurting from the wound, but the Knight never faltered. Rising to his feet, he picked up his head and, tucking it under his arm, swung himself up into the saddle.

As he passed Gawain, the head turned and regarded him solemnly. 'Remember your promise, Gawain. Meet me at the Green Chapel in one year and a day.’ Then spurring his horse, the Green Knight galloped out of the hall.

Pretty cool, huh!!!!! Give this book a chance as it rocks in a major way!!!!!!

Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow by James Sturm & Rich Tommaso This is really an outstanding graphic novel about a fictional black family, primarily occurring in the early to mid 1940s, and the dangers and extreme bigotry they and other African Americans suffered during this time period in primarily the Southern United States. It is also a history of the Negro National Baseball League and some of the outstanding men who played for the League, Satchel Paige being one of its biggest stars. The father in the story is a sharecropper who works under a very unkind pair of white twins. The father tries his best to improve things for his son and show him that African Americans are just as good as White Americans. However because of the time period and many ugly practices that are allowed to take place in that part of the U.S., he has a hard time doing so and becomes full of anger. Things between blacks and whites really come to a head when the hometown baseball team, the all White Tuckwilla All-Stars, take on Satchel Paige’s all Black All-Star Team. This book really does a great job of taking a picture of a time long past in American History and the people who lived in it. It also includes a preface that talks extensively about Satchel Paige and an end section that covers everything from Jim Crow Laws to Baseball Rituals. This is really worth a read guys, so give it a chance.

Well, not to overstay my welcome, I bid thee a most greatful adieu,


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another Comment on Our Game!

Yes, folks, we have another friend from the Guys Read blog who has commented on our Lightning Thief movie game. It's Hacksaw Jim Duggan and he likes the choice for Ares:

Hey Andre,
I actually think I agree with you. I think it would be hilarious and perfect at the same time for Hulk Hogan to play Ares. I think he's the perfect one for the character. I don't know if I agree with the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory actor part, though. But, I don't have any suggestions for that, so you beat me out, there. I can't say anything about Annasofia becuase I've never seen her movies or films. Anyway, I like the Hulk Hogan idea!
Fellow Blogger,

Hacksaw Jim
PS Guys Read Forever!!!

Thanks, Jim. Wouldn't Hulk Hogan be great? I could just see him get mad at Percy Jackson and yell, "I'm going to get you, punk!" and then tear open his shirt!

Hey, wait a minute. All you guys who regularly write in---I'm waiting to hear from you on this game!!! I know some of you have read the Percy Jackson books. I know some of you would have ideas. So what gives?? What are you waiting for?? Let's hear it. Don't make me get mad and tear open my shirt!!!

Besides, it would be great if you wrote in to their blog. In fact, I'll lead by example. I read the latest post on the Guys Read blog. He's written about a fantasy book that sounds really good and is by an author who wrote a book I really liked, so I wrote a comment to them. Want to know what that book is? Go over to their blog and find out! It would be great if we got the two boy- book-blogging worlds together and started talking to each other. OK?
Boys Rule Boys Read Forever!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Our First Response to the Game!

Hey, gang, one of our friends, Andre the Giant, from the Guys Read Blog has written to us about our Pick-the-Star-for-The-Lightning-Thief-Movie game. Let's hear it:

Hey guys, I'm from Guys Read and I really enjoyed the game. I think it would be interesting and pretty funny to see Hulk Hogan play Ares. Especially in the part where he is in the swordfight with Percy. I think it would be cool to see Freddie Highmore play Percy because of the poor and unaccomplished feeling he gives you in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, and Annasophia Robb as Annabeth because of her go-get-'em attitude you get from her on film. Thanks for making the cool blog!

I'm with you, Andre! I could see Hulk Hogan in the water, threatening Percy and slashing with that sword. I must confess that I haven't seen the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, so I'm at a loss. Same thing with Annasophia Robb. Sound like good choices, though. All right, who else has some ideas?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Who Would You Pick for the Lightning Thief Movie?

Hey, guys, I'm in the mood for a game. I've been thinking about this for a while and decided to put it on the blog today. (Maybe because the Oscars were on last night) I'm sure everyone knows that Hollywood is going to make a movie of Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief. Chris Clolumbus, who directed the first Harry Potter movie, is going to make this one. So here's a game--if you were the director, who would you pick for the different parts? Now it has to be someone famous and someone who is now living, so we would know who you're talking about. OK?

Here are my picks. Keep in mind that I've been around a while and seen a lot of older movies, so these people may be more famous to me. Some of them haven't made many movies lately, but I still think they'd be great.

Dionysus--Danny DeVito. My first choice and, I think, a perfect choice. He's got that "don't bother me, you punk kids, I'm stuck here for 100 years" attitude that the D-man has in the books. Besides, he looks like a big satyr.

Poseidon--Jimmy Buffet. Yeah, the singer. Some of you may not know him because his music is more for grownups, but I bet your moms and dads have have his music. This may seem like a weird choice, but think about it--he's got that laid back, good-time beach look that Poseidon has. But I bet he could be serious when he needs to, just as in the books.

Zeus--hard choice. You'd need someone who's mature, commands respect, and still seems able to incinerate you in a minute if you cross him. I'd pick Paul Newman or Anthony Hopkins.

Ares--Hulk Hogan. Yes, the wrestler. I kept thinking of him while I read the books. He'd be great--big, loud, strong, aggressive, ready to squash you like a bug.

Hades--Alan Rickman, who was Snape in the Harry Potter movies. Capable of being scary yet funny (remember how funny it was when Hades complained of the traffic jams on the way to the underworld?) or Clint Eastwood. Now imagine him as a giant immortal, sitting on the throne of the underworld. Brrr--makes me shiver!

Athena--Maggie Smith, who was Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies. She looks like the lady you couldn't fool because she knows everything.

Voice of Kronos--James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader. Need I say more?

There are no prizes for this game--I just thought it would be fun. What do you think? Who would you choose?


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Comment from Fellow Blogger--and Books For Black History Month

Hey, everyone, we have a comment from a friend over at the Guys Read blog regarding the Evil Bunny Lagomorph video:

Wow, now that video was weird. I agree with you, that had HUGE teeth.
Funny though....

Rick Ze Dragon

Guys Read

Thanks, Rick. You're right about those teeth. I would keep watching my back, Bill. You never know when it would sneak up on you "with sharp, nasty teeth!"
I also wanted to let you know that I have updated the list of books we've talked about. Check it out under the links on the left-hand side of the page. The list can be printed, so print one and impress your friends, parents, teachers, media specialists, and librarians.

Speaking of books, here are some I've liked that relate to Black History Month. Yes, I know that February is almost over but I thought that I'd make a contribution now and apologize for bieng so late. But the real reason is that I get very busy here; sometimes so busy that I don't have time to read chapter books!! Imagine that--too busy in a library to read! That's like working for Domino's and never getting to taste the pizza! (I worked for Domino's once and always made sure I got some pizza!!!) I don't mind, though, because I'm busy helping kids find things they need and that's a good feeling. Anyway, I said all that to let you know that I was trying to read this book for Black History Month but never found time until the last couple of days.

It's Uncle Shamus by James Duffy. (No picture available) The setting is Shanty Town, a row of run-down shacks on a dirt road. Akers Johnson has lived in one of those shacks with his mom ever since his dad ran off. It's not much of a life--his shoes fall apart and there's no money for new ones. Every night they have canned soup and beans for supper. Then one day an old blind black man moves into one of those shacks. He used to live there more than thirty years ago--so why would anyone want to come back there? And he seems to have plenty of money--where did it come from? Why does he hire Akers to show him around town and why is he so curious to know exactly where everything is? The author doles out just enough information about his mysterious past to made you keep reading. Then you really want to keep going after you find out the whole story and get involved in the plans Shamus has for Akers. I will tell you this much--one of the keys to the story was that "if a black man came walking by...[he] didn't even see him." The story is good and you'll learn about friendship and the importance of doing the right thing, even if it's 35 years later. If you don't, you could end up to be like Buddy Dupois.

Here is another good book for Black History Month:
Pappy's Handkerchief by Devin Scillian. It's a picture book, sure, but some picture books are meant for older readers. Besides, this book is part of the Tales of Young Americans series, which are not written for little kids. This story is fictional but based on a true historical event--the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1899. Young Moses and his family run an outdoor fish stand in Baltimore in 1899. It's March, the weather is freezing, and they aren't selling enough to make a living. One of their friends reads them a newspaper article which says that the government will give land free in the Oklahoma Territory to anyone who will farm it for five years. Everyone wonders if the government would give free land to black people, but the newspaper says it's for anyone. So it's worth a try. The trouble is, they have to be there by April 22. To do that, they've got to get the money to buy a wagon and then make the long journey to Oklahoma from Baltimore. Once they get there, they find hundreds of other people lined up to race out and claim land. Will the family be able to get to an area fast enough? Then their wagon crahses down a gully and Moses's father breaks his leg. Was the long journey for nothing? You will hardly stand the suspence as you read to find out. This is a terrific book that you'll really enjoy!!

Here are some others. I won't discuss them at length because it would take all day but, believe me, these are all powerful books full of people, places, and scenes that you won't ever forget. I've read them all and they've been among the best I've ever come across.

The Wagon by Tony Johnston; illustrated by James Ransome

King Mitchell; illustrated by James Ramsome

Very great picture books meant, once again, for older readers. I talked about them on the December 18, 2007 post.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Some of you may have read this before; it shows up on a lot of school lists--and with good reason!!! This story of an African-American family trying to get through hard times and discrimination in rural Mississippi during the 1930's is one that will hit your heart and gut. I've read it twice and never got bored either time.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Another one of the best books I've ever read. An African-American family in Flint, Michigan in 1963 finds that the older brother is starting to hang out with a bad crowd. The father decides that the best thing to do is take the family to spend the summer with the aunt who lives in the country outside Birmingham, Alabama. They are caught in a famous historical incedent that changes not only thier lives, but the whole United States. It's funny, it's moving, it's one you've got to read!
Well, let me apologize again for taking so long to get this posted, but then, these books are good any time of year. Besides, some things that are highlighted for a month should be celebrated all year, right?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Dark Sith Vs. Lagomorph

Darth Bill (in full
battle suit)

The Lagomorph (with restored foot)

Hi, all my many adoring fans (or maybe not), it is I, the Sith with the mostest, Darth Bill once again. I have recovered very nicely from the vicious "Dictionary Incident" of last week, but all is not well. I am still being stalked by the most fowl Lagomorph. For those of you out there who believe that the monstorious "Bunny" known as the Lagomorph is not real, I have the following video to show you. Take a look at it, then tell me I'm crazy:


Not that I'm scared or anything (although those teeth are rather large). Well, enough of that, lets talk about great reads.

The Life and Times of $crooge McDuck by Don Rosa If you are a fan of Uncle Scrooge of Disney Fame and of his famous relatives Donald, Huey, Louie and Dewey, this Graphic Novel is a read that you will really enjoy. In this Graphic Novel we meet Scrooge McDuck when he is but a wee lad living with his parents and two sisters in Scotland. The family is extremely poor, which is a situation Scrooge vows to change and make them all fabulously rich and wealthy. The story tells of how he makes his great fortune. The story follows Scrooge throughout his life as he makes his way to many different places and locales across the globe in the search for his fortune. Some of the many places and jobs he takes are America’s mighty Mississippi as a Riverboat Captain, its Wild, Wild West as a Cowboy, a Prospector in the American West, the wilds of Africa, down under in Australia, the great Klondike and many other locations. Along the way he makes many friends and enemies and also has many grand adventures. This book is great fun and the art work outstanding, so do yourself a favor and give it a read.

The Boy who Dared: A Novel Based on the True Story of a Hitler Youth by Susan Bartoletti This is an inspiring story about a teenage boy named Helmuth growing up in Germany as Hitler rises to power and the Nazi Regime comes to power. At first Helmuth, his family and friends are inspired and thrilled as Hitler rises to power with promises to the German people of a better life, which has not been that great since the end of World War I in which Germany was a loser. However, things quickly change as Hitler starts persecuting the Jews in Germany, taking away Germans' personal rights, invading surrounding countries and arresting any Germans who speak out about the Nazi Party or himself. When these things start to happen, Helmuth and some of his friends start to stand up to the Nazi Government and the lies it spreads. This is very dangerous as such acts can lead to imprisonment or worse. This story is based on the true story of Helmuth Hubener and does depict some of the very sad things that happen in war and under dictatorships, but it is an important story that should be told.

Well give these books a try and let me know what you think!!!

Take it easy guys and beware the Lagomorph,


Friday, February 15, 2008

A Comment From cyber kid and Surf's Up!

Hey, one and all. We've got a new comment from cyber kid 303:

Sorry I couldn't come to the program on Tuesday, but I read the book you recommended, The Hero and the Minotaur: The Fantastic Adventures of Theseus by Robert Byrd. It was exciting and a little sad. Did you tell the sad part at your program?

I've been sick with a bad cold, but I've been reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I'm on Chapter 16. Only 20 to go. Harry is dealing with Voldemort, Death Eaters, and problems with the Ministry of Magic. Sometimes I take a break from HP and read other books. I read the new Bone book, Ghost Circles and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing for about the millionth time.

I really wish I had not missed the program on Theseus and the Minotaur. Glad you liked the computer games.

I'm sorry you were sick. Hope you feel better. Too bad about the program, but I hope you can hear Bill's program on Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight. That's one of the best King Arthur stories ever. Thanks for the games; they were fun! I didn't dwell much on the sad parts of that story because I hate to end a program with a downer. Besides, that story was long and it was time to end it. Do you remember that Percy Jackson's mom named him after Perseus becuase he was one of the few heroes (unlike Theseus) whose story had a happy ending. Speaking of Percy J, have you all read Mr. Riordan's blog lately? He was in Charleston, SC recently! That's only about 3 1/2 hours away! So close! Hope he can come to Charlotte next time he's so close! I'm glad he got to try shrimp and grits----that's good eating!!! Also hope you all get to go to Charleston sometime. There's a lot of cool stuff there, like Fort Sumter
or Patriot's Point, with the aircraft carrier, submarine, and destroyer, and more.

Enough of my rambling. It's time i talked a bout a book. Yes, I know it's strange to write about surfing in February, but this book is really good and would be interesting any time of year. Surfer Of The Century by Ellie Crowe is about Duke Kahanamoku, born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1890. He learned to surf, of course, growing up in Hawaii, but he also taught himself to become a world-class swimmer. He pushed himself and set swimming records so incredible that athletic associations in New York refused to believe them. Yet he became so good that he became part of the American swim team for the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. Things were not easy for him there. The water was so cold that his muscles cramped and he couldn't swim. Then, on the morning of the competition, he overslept. He was late and the officials had to think about whether or not to let him compete. What did they do? You'll have to read this book to find out! I tell you, I held my breath in suspense when I read this part. What a terrific story--and it's true!

Cowabunga, dudes,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Great Greek Post!

Hey, everyone, Carl again. Today's post is a good one to follow Mr. Riordan's interview because we've got pictures from the Heroes program Tuesday about Theseus and the Minotaur, a comment from someone with a name from Greek mythology, and several good book versions of the Theseus Story.

Let's hear first from orestes, our newest friend:

that is so cool rick riordan is, a greek god. i cant wait till his new book come out ill be the first one at borders.

Thanks, orestes! Watch out for the Furies! Come in and get your free book! I'm like you--I can't wait until May 6. Except, being a faithful library guy, I'm going to get mine through PLCMC. I've put it on hold already! I'll be sixth in line when it comes in. When the 5th, 6th, and 7th Harry Potter books came out, we had 750 people on the waiting list!!! Hey, do you think Borders will have a Percy Jackson party, like they did for Harry Potter?

Well, let me show you some photos from the Theseus and the Minotaur program:

Here I am, pointing out the map of the Greek world and the routes Theseus traveled.

Watch out, here comes the Minotaur!

Aaaaarrrgghhhhh!!! The Minotaur gets it!!

We did some Theseus and Minotaur computer games afterward. cyber kid 303 sent us the links. I'll show them to you in a bit.

Here is Leland and his brother also enjoying the games.

You want the links? OK:

These may look absurdly simple at first. Theseus is a red dot in one game and a stick figure in the other, but let me tell you, these games are hard! If you can make 3 escapes in 200 tries, you're doing better than any of us could, including Bill--and he's a real gamemeister!

All right, let me tell you about a few books. I'll be brief since there are so many.

These first three books are good, thrilling reads. The illustrations are outstanding and give the right moods of the story.

Theseus and the Minotaur by Warwick Hutton

Theseus and the Minotaur by Leonard Everett Fisher (no picture available)

Here's a chapter book version of the story:

Theseus retold by Geraldine Mc Caughrean

She also did chapter books of Hercules and Perseus. I haven't read the Hercules book yet, but I did enjoy this one.

Fantastic Creatures from Greek Myths by Pat Posner

This is a good collection of ancient Greek myths. I first read the Bellerephon and the Chimera story here and loved it. Good version of Theseus, too.

Finally, here is one called Z Is For Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet by Helen L. Wilbur. Now you guys are probably groaning and saying, "An alphabet book! We're way past that!" Not to worry, mi compadres! This is not your "A is for Apple" type of book; it's got a lot of good information in here. Plus it's got really funny illustrations. (Look at the front cover and then look at the picture for the letter Z and see if you don't laugh!) I found this book just today and it's already become a favorite!

All right, guys! Go find a good gyro sandwich and enjoy these books!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How Unbelievably Cool Is This? An Interview with RICK RIORDAN!!!

Isn't this GREAT??? Rick Riordan, the Percy Jackson man, has taken time out his extremely busy schedule to give us an interview. Let's hear him out:

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

It's cool for boys to read because there are some great adventure stories out there!Boys have awesome imaginations (of course girls do too) and reading helps us explore new worlds.

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

It's very cool for boys to write and draw. I grew up on comic books and I love graphic novels and magazine-style stories. I think boys are really visual thinkers, and they love good stories. Writing and drawing are awesome for us!

What is your favorite sport?

I have to confess I'm not a sports guy, but living in San Antonio I have to support the Spurs. I also like soccer and kind of wish I lived in Europe where it's more part of the culture.

What do you do for fun?

For fun I play the guitar (the real kind, not Guitar Hero) and I do on-line games like World of Warcraft. I also read and travel.

What is the favorite book you've written?

I can't pick a favorite book I've written. It's too hard. Definitely the Percy Jackson Books though.

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

Oh, pizza for sure. I like vegetarian with black olives and mushrooms.

Thanks, Mr. Riordan!!!!! It's great to find out things about your favorite authors. I wonder if he plays six-string, 12-string, or electric guitar--or all of them. And I bet the black olives on his pizza are GREEK olives! (I'm with you, Mr. R--I like any kind of pizza that has black olives on it) I agree that boys are visual thinkers. A lot of the books I try to recommend create really strong images in your head. The Percy Jackson books certainly do that. So did Pond Scum. A lot of the nonfiction books I like have lots of pictures in them and that helps me understsnd them better. Don't forget, guys, a lot of nonfiction, especailly biographies, are great adventure stories. Go back and check our list of books and see if I'm right (BTW, I'm sorry I haven't updated the list since the beginning of the year. I'll get to it soon. You guys gave me a lot to add in January!!)
Thanks again. I'll try to be patient until May 6!

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Shout-Out To Alan Silberberg--and a Good Comment About Him

Mr. Silberberg has written a great post about our blog. Go over to his website (you can link to it from the Links on the left-hand side of this page) and find his blog to see what he says. Thanks, Mr. Silberberg!!

We also have a comment from Rowdy Roddy at the Guys Read blog about Mr. Silberberg:

Hey Guys,
Thanks for introducing me to Alan Silberberg and his new book. I used your recommendation and checked out his blog and website. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Pond Scum, it really looks like it would be right up my alley.Thanks again for introducing me to new authors. Keep up the good work.
Rowdy Roddy (Guys Read)

Hope you enjoy it, Roddy. Pass it around to the guys in your group and tell us how you like it.

PS--great trailer for the book!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Book With a Truly Great Title--And an Interview with the Author

It's Carl again. Your ever-vigilant bloggers Bill and I are always on the watch for new and exciting books. We are there, night and day, always looking, never sleeping, never eating, never taking a shower----whew, I didn't mean that!! But we do try to keep our eyes open for new books and authors. So I was glad to hook up with Alan Silberberg, who used to write for the Cartoon Network and Disney. (He wrote episodes of Doug for Cartoon network) He's written one book that's really entertaining and has a great title--Pond Scum.

Pond Scum has great characters and a lot of them are animals. There's Willy, the brave dragonfly. There's his best friend Mooch, a salamander who's always hungry and eats anything that crawls, squirms, or flies (Willy finds it hard to be best friends with someone who has eaten your cousin). We also have a one-eyed skunk named Hinky, a spider called Fat Mama who leads the Alliance (a league of all the animals at The Pond), and General Eduardo Ignacio Santo Domingo, a crow with truly nasty plans for the Alliance. Of course, there are human characters, too. Oliver, the main character, seems like a bad kid at first--he has no friends, is rude to his mom and sister, and spends all his time doing nothing but pulling wings off flies and watching TV. He's not really so bad, though--his parents are going through a divorce and he has trouble coping. The animal and human worlds collide when his mom wants to move into the house by The Pond. The Alliance has kept humans away for years by attacking, stinging, and stinking because of what a human did a long time ago, but Olliver's mom is determined to stay. It looks like misery for everyone. Then Oliver finds a magic gem that lets him morph into any animal that he touches with it. What happens then? You've got to read to find out--but I bet you'll enjoy the ride! The story moves right along, there's lots of humor, and the author puts in enough twists and surprises to make you sit up and notice. I hope some movie studio picks up this book because it would make a fantastic movie! Read it and see if it doesn't create a movie in your head!

Mr. Silberberg has also been good enough to give us an interview. He also drew the pictures.

Why do you think it’s cool for boys to read?

It's cool for boys to read because reading makes everyone cooler. Stories that we get to imagine in our brains make us better story-tellers - and story-telling comes in handy when explaining why your homework is late or when you're trying to talk to a girl, who will always be impressed by your brain-power! It's cool to know stuff.

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

Writing and drawing is probably the coolest thing a boy can do - and when you put those two together and use drawings to tell a story...NOTHING compares to that feeling of showing your comics around to your friends.

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

Who was my favorite comix character as a boy - Hmmm. Truth is I was never really a super-hero kind of comics reader (though that would be the cool answer!). I did love Peanuts and reading the Sunday Comics pages was a ritual for me. These days I really like Pearls Before Swine because the characters are so great... and because my son, who also likes to make cartoons is a big fan.

What is your favorite sport?

Favorite sports team: as a guy who grew up near Boston - the Boston Red Sox! (I feel bad for the Patriots - but am okay they lost)

What do you like to do for fun?

For fun - I like to go the movies with my family and I like to hear live music. But lots of time the most fun I have is when I can just doodle and draw cartoons with no deadlines - just because I like it!

What is the favorite book you have written?

My favorite book is Pond Scum - because that's the only one that's published right now. I have a second book finished and I'll tell you more about that soon...(it's in the editor's hands now!)

Which do you like better—cheeseburgers or pizza? What do you like on them?

Cheeseburgers hands down! Because A) they taste awesome and B) Someone can mess up a pizza by adding fancy-shmancy toppings or a sourdough-olive crust or weirdo cheese....but a cheeseburger is always a cheeseburger (unless they add bleu cheese and then it's just something I throw away!)

Thanks, Mr. Silberberg!! I hope you guys out there pick up on his book. I had a good time with it and it even made me think about some things--Fat Mama says something at one point that I don't think I agree with. What was it? Read the book and then write us and I'll discuss it with you! Only way you'll find out!
BTW, Mr. Silberberg has a great website. Check it out here or look at the Links section on the left-hand side of the page.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Grammar and Spelling is Killing Me!!!!

Hello all, yes once again it is I, the slightly schizophrenic Sith/Pirate/Ninja Bill!!!!!!!!

I am appalled that in a recent post here at our ever-so-friendly blog that my very character and nobility was attacked by a certain Melanie person:

"Just goes to show, you can't trust boys! Bill, Bill, Bill . . . I'm at a loss to understand how you can spell miscellaneous right and get scissors so very wrong. :) Hmmm, perhaps those short words are trickier for you than the long ones."

At first I found it impossible to believe that I the one, the only Sith/Pirate/Ninja Bill had misspelled any words at all (I'll have you know that at Sith School I always won the Spelling Bees). Well just to make sure, I went and checked with that Jedi sympathiser Carl to see if indeed anything had been misspelled (as loath as I am to admit it, he is a very good speller). He pulled out this huge book that I had never seen before which he said was called a dictionary. He said that it contained most of the correct spellings of words in the English Language. To my horror he opened up this huge tome of knowledge and confirmed what Melanie had said. I had indeed misspelled a word. Imagine my horror and dismay!!!!!!! Better yet, take a look at it:

Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is this evil contained in this "Dictionary" that tells me I am wrong!!!!!!

I could not believe it to be the truth so then I went to confront the "sophisticated" Melanie to challenge here to a duel to reclaim my honor. What was the outcome, you ask? Well, let's just say that this massive tome that is called a "Dictionary" can be used for more than looking up words:

Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That hurts!!!!!!!!!! I beg of thee to stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, I had left my trusty lightsaber in my other pair of pants at home and had totally forgotten about my "Flashing Book Holders of Death" My wounds were most grevious, but I will return stronger and more unpleasent than ever!!!!!!!! This I swear!!!!!!

Well enough of this unpleasent incident, lets talk about books:

Tiger Moth: Kung Pow Chicken & The Pest Show on Earth both by Aaron Reynolds and Erik Lervold – Is there anybody still out there who is not familiar with the greatest insect super powered ninja fighting team of Tiger Moth (a moth, duh!!) and his apprentice Kung Pow (a pill bug; what the heck is a pill bug?)? If not, it’s time you do! The Tiger Moth graphic novel series is both great fun and hilarious to the max!!!! In “Kung Pow Chicken” Tiger Moth’s apprentice Kung Pow is left on his own to save his mentor from the villainy of Weevil. Will Tiger Moth be saved from insect eating spiders? Will Kung Pow prove that he is no chicken? Read this graphic novel to find out the answer to this and many other questions you have not even yet begun to form!!!!!! The next adventure entitled “The Pest Show on Earth” brings back Tiger Moth’s archenemy Weevil this time in the guise of a carnival employee that comes to town. Tiger Moth and loyal apprentice Kung Pow visit the carnival and spot the evil Weevil (that was fun--it rhymes; say it three times really fast) immediately. What can his evil plan be this go-round? Loyal readers, you must read this graphic novel to find out! Is the suspense killing you yet? Read and all will be answered. Remember, as Tiger Moth says: “When two birds fly, only one stone can be thrown.” Great wisdom are there in these words. Other Tiger Moth titles include: The Dung Beetle Bandits, Tiger Moth Insect Ninja, The Fortune Cookies of Weevil, and Tiger Moth and the Dragon Kite Contest. Many of these titles can also be downloaded onto your computer. All you have to do is go to the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg Catolog and download away!!!!! This series rocks, so check it out now!!!!!!

X-Men Fairy Tales written C.B. Cebulski and illustrations by various This is a really fun graphic novel that takes fairy tales from around the world and puts them with X-Men characters. You don’t have to be familiar with the X-Men to enjoy the stories, but if you are, it’s an extra kick. The fairy tales covered are: “The Peach Boy” inspired by the Japanese fairy tale “Momotaro;” “Faith in Friends” inspired by the African fairy tale “The Friendship of the Tortoise and the Eagle;” “Restless Souls” tapping some of the spooky traditions of New Orleans; and “To Die in Dreams” taken from some of the Brothers Grimm’s most exciting fairy tales. The stories are really good reads and the art just awesome. So if you are a fan of the X-Men or Fairy Tales or both, this graphic novel is well worth checking out and reading. Also the library system has another graphic novel along the same line “Spider-Man Fairy Tales” staring everyone’s favorite wall crawler along with characters associated with him. Really just great stuff!!!!!

Twisted Journeys: Captured by Pirates by Justine & Ron Fontes with illustrations by David Witt – Now I know everyone out there is probably familiar with the choose your adventures type books, if not, I’ll elaborate. These are the fun types of books where, based on what decisions you make, the books take different directions and different storylines. Well, combine this strictly text-based type of book with a graphic novel and you get the Twisted Journey experience. “Captured by Pirates” is too cool and what’s even better is there are other books in the series. Captain Bootstrap Bill gives these books a hardy Aaaarrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

Bone: Ghost Circles by Jeff Smith – Well, the seventh volume in the Bone Graphic Novel Series has finally come out and it was well worth the wait. As the title to this volume intones, things get real scary and serious in this one. The villagers and Veni Yan Monks are really put to the test by the “Lord of the Locust’ and his armies. Everything goes crazy with a volcano eruption and the appearance of “Ghost Circles” everywhere. The Bone cousins (Phoney, Smiley and Fone Bone), Thorn, Gran’ma Ben, and the recently returned Bartleby are also being pursued by the forces of the “Lord of Locust” and just manage to stay one step ahead. But how long can their luck hold? What is a Ghost Circle? Who lives and who dies? Only one way to find out, read the book. You won't be disappointed.

Well, gotta go now guys. As always, peace,


A Guys Read Blogger Writes To Us!

Isn't this great? Hacksaw Jim Duggan, one of the boys from the Guys Read blog, has written to Lord Vader.

Dear Lord Vader,
I too love the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and even further advise all of you people out there who haven't read it to read it. If you like action, adventure, or even a little humor, I strongly recommend that you pick up the first of this amazing series, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Also, I can't wait for the 4th book to come out. I loved the first three, and I'm drooling in anticipation of book four, The Battle of the Laberynth.
Your fellow blogger,
Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Thanks, Jim! Lord Vader, I hope you write back to their blog soon. I'm so glad we have Percy Jackson fans on both blogs. Going to be a long time until May 6, huh?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Look! Other Book-Blogging Boys Like Us!

Get a load of this! Some boys from the Guys Read blog have written to us:

Hi Carl,
We here at Guys Read think it's AWESOME!! that you like our site, and so much that you linked it to the Boys Rule! Boys Read! blog. We really like your site, too, and will be leaving comments as often as possible. Thanks again for the link!
With Love,
Akeem & Hacksaw Jim Duggan, from Guys Read.
P.S. Long Live Guys who Read!!

Thanks, Akeem and Hacksaw Jim. Write to us as much as you'd like. And make you write to them too, guys! (You'll find the link to their blog on the left-hand side of the page)

Mikie Gets a T-shirt

Lookie here, everyone---Mikie (aka Lord Vader) got his free Rick Riordan T-shirt yesterday!Isn't that cool? Mikie has been a faithful contributor to our blog for a long time and the first one to write about all three Percy Jackson books, so we think he desreved this shirt. Well done, sir!


Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Great New Blog, More Heroes, and a Comment From Melanie!

Hey, everybody, I just found a great new blog called Guys Read. It's not the same as Jon Scieszka's website; it's a blog run by an adult and his boys' reading club. They do what we do--write about their favorite books. Check it out at the links on the left-hand side of the page or take a look here.

Did any one you come to the Get To Know Heroes programs that Bill and I did. (I know cyber kid 303 was there) Well, it was so popular that we're going to do more! I'm going to do Theseus and the Minotaur on February 12 and Bill will do Sir Gawain and the Green Knight on February 26. The programs are at 2 pm in the Round here at Imaginon. The Theseus story is another one of the greatest hero-versus-monster tales of all time and the Sir Gawain story---well, let's just say it's what happens when one of King Arthur's knight gets into a beheading contest with a Green Knight!! A really and thrilling story. Don't miss them!!!

We also have another comment from Melanie, my coworker. Here's what she said--and I don't think Bill will be happy about it!

Just goes to show, you can't trust boys! Bill, Bill, Bill . . . I'm at a loss to understand how you can spell miscellaneous right and get scissors so very wrong. :) Hmmm, perhaps those short words are trickier for you than the long ones.

Can't trust boys, huh? Isn't that gratitude for you? After we posted her comments and everything. Melanie's referring to Bill's post of 1-30-08, Tales of Brave Beowulf and Other Miscellaneous Nonsense. So he misspelled "scissors"--are you going to take that, Bill? Better watch out, Melanie, because he is no longer just plain Bill but Bill Kung-Pow, the Kung Fu Librarian! Here he is with his Flashing Book Holders of Kung Fu!Don't say I didn't warn you!

Until later, dudes,