Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams

Brothers in Hope is the story of the orphaned boys of Sudan who fled after their villages were destroyed. The story is told from the viewpoint of Garang who was a young boy when his village was attacked and how he and thousands of other boys made it to safety in Ethiopia and Kenya. Since 2000 the U.S. has taken in about 3,000 Lost Boys of Sudan. This is a timely book that speaks to the horrors of the ethnic cleansing in Sudan.

John Reynolds Gardiner, author of Stone Fox, dies at 61

As a child, he hated to read, pretending to sleep when his mother tried to read to him at night. As a college student, he was surpassed in his English class by non-native speakers of English. As an adult, he was an engineer specializing in thermodynamics for aerospace corporations.

And as an author, he only wrote three books, the first of which, Stone Fox, sold more than 3 million copies and rightfully earned him the designation of one of the touchstones of children's publishing, according to HarperCollins Children's book editor, Kate Jackson.

John Reynolds Gardiner originally wrote Stone Fox as a screenplay. It eventually was produced as a TV movie, starring Buddy Ebsen.

Gardiner, who was 61, died March 4th of complications from pancreatis.

Did he or didn't he? Dan Brown's copyright infringement trial in London winds down

The judge in the trial charging Dan Brown with copyright infringement, has a mountain of reading to do this weekend. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs (Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, two of the three authors of the 1982 nonfiction book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail) and Dan Brown, author of the Da Vinci Code, turned over their final submissions, which included a 69-page personal statement from Brown, outlining his transformation from failed musician to blockbuster author.
Baigent and Leigh charge that Brown's Da Vinci Code stole generously from their work. Brown contends he took theories that had 'been out there' for decades and put them together in his novel.
Brown, who chose his current agent, Heide Lange, in part because her last name is an anagram for 'angel', atributes Sidney Sheldon's The Doomsday Conspiracy, with inspiring him to puruse his writing career.

A verdict is expected next week.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #10

“The Grail legends are usually about men with swords and women getting rescued…. I want the women to have the swords…they get lots of sex, and they fall in love, but that’s not the point of the story… They are the heroes.” ~Kate Mosse.

From the cofounder of the prestigious Orange Prize, comes this heart-pounding literary thriller of two courageous and resourceful women, separated by 8 centuries, yet linked by 3 missing books, family history, deadly secrets, and the Labyrinth.

Set in the Carcassonne region of southeast France and the result of 15 years of painstaking research, this debut novel will not disappoint – inevitably to be compared to The You-Know-What. (100,000 first run).

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Seller List (3/12/06)

Have you been following the plagiarism trial in London over the sources Dan Brown used in writing his blockbuster? So far it has not had much of an impact on the astounding sales of The Da Vinci Code which is still #3 after 153 weeks.

At #4 is The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry: another book about the Knights Templar riding on the magical coattails of the above bestseller.

At #6 is The Two Minute Rule by Robert Crais: Elvis Cole does not make an appearance but the scene is LA in all its corrupt glory and a murder to be avenged.

At #8 is The Old Wine Shades by Martha Grimes: Scotland Yard's own Richard Jury is back in yet another pub in England where he hears a disturbing tale of disappearance and possible foul play.

Wordless Wonder - The Flower Man

It's been a while since we've seen much in wordless picture books. The Flower Man is a dandy for studying the details and changes in each picture while develop your own imaginary story. This wordless book may make you want to seek out past favorites like creepy castle, yellow umbrella, or home.

Joy of cooking without meat

If you are tired of wiping and bleaching that goes along with cooking (to prevent the spread of salmonella, etc), try cooking vegetarian meals.

A few favorite cookbooks:
How it All Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Banyard
The Family Vegetarian Cookbook by Nava Atlas
Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

Cant wait to try:
Vive le Vegan
Vegan with a Vengeance

Also, check out the following blogs for ideas:
The Vegan Lunchbox
Bunnyfoot

Happy Birthday, Alice Hoffman

Today, March 16, is the birthday of Alice Hoffman, author of more than twenty books and several screenplays. Her latest book for young teens, Aquamarine about a wise mermaid, has recently been made into a film. Hoffman's books are infused with magic so that sometimes it's dificult to tell the real from the unreal. Ghosts can be as important in the development of the story as the flesh and blood characters like in The River King and the moral concerns can be both contemporary and timeless.

Imagine the Edge!

These are not just for kids. M.T. Anderson has two new books with two different illustrators and they are lovely "share alouds" for elementary school ages! In Me, All Alone, At The End Of The World and A Serpent Came To Gloucester Anderson's melodious prose wrap around dramatic pictures and make these original tales memorable.

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