Anna Shinoda

Archive for the category “Recommended reading”

Stories for All: Girl Books for Boys?

Twitter tells me this is “Stories for All” week, so I thought it appropriate to share something that I’ve been thinking about since last December.

For the holidays, I always buy the kids in my life books.  I go to my local independent book store (usually Children’s Book World or Book Soup – both have a fantastic staff and great selection) and pick my favorites selections.  I have a running list so I don’t buy anyone the same book twice, and I have read every single book I gift.  It is one of my favorite parts of the season.

Last December, I was standing in the YA section wondering what to get an eighteen year old boy.  I was stumped.  In the past year I had read lots of books that girls would enjoy, but not many that I knew a heterosexual eighteen year old male might find interesting.  There was one novel he’d probably love. Historical fiction involving spies and pilots during World War II, full of narrative tension and action.  But, I sighed, both main characters were females, so he probably wouldn’t like Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

I was standing in the book store about to make a mistake.  I was going to walk away from an excellent selection based on the gender of the main characters.  I thought about my own book, Learning Not to Drown.  I wondered Read more…

Book Club August 15

Sorry I couldn’t post this on Saturday. I was in the English countryside for a wedding and had no Internet access and very little cell reception (I went through the five stages of grief and ended up in bliss by the end of the first day). When I returned to 2013, I checked the poll to find that Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta just barely beat out
And Tomorrow, When the war Began
by John Marsden.

Our next book club will be Thursday August 15 at 1pm. We will be discussing Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta. If you want to get ahead of the rest of the class, you can order/start reading And Tomorrow, When the war Began
by John Marsden

Looking forward to chatting with you on August 15!

Next Book Club – May 24, 2:00pm PST

We’ll be discussing How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff on Friday, May 24th at 2pm PST in my Ustream Chat: . If you are in a different time zone and need a little help figuring out when 2pm PST is for you, check out this magical site.

I know it’s a bit time before our next meeting, but I wanted to give everyone who wants to participate the chance to get the book and read it.  That, and  I have a very busy May, so I need time to re-read the book myself!

Hope to chat with you there!

Next Book Club – April 2, 2:00pm PST

We’ll be discussing Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper on Tuesday, April 2nd at 2pm PST. If you are in a different time zone and need a little help figuring out when 2pm PST is for you, check out this magical site.

Thank you for all of your feedback on the last book club!  Since tinychat gave us some problems on the last chat, I’m looking for the best alternative now.  I will post the link for the chat soon!

Book Recommendations for 8-10 Year Olds

Gayla T reached out to me via twitter to ask: “Do you have a good book rec. for a friend’s daughter who is 8 and has been in ICU since Christmas? Thanks!!!”
I thought about this for a while and felt that a blog post was in order since my answer doesn’t fit into 140 characters.  Recommending a book is kind of like setting up a blind date.  The best set up is knowing both the book and the person so the match has a better chance to succeed.  Books have distinct personalities, and one that I love may not be your taste at all.  All of that said, even though I have very little information about the reader, I am going to try my hardest to make a few good recommendations that hopefully appeal to many 8-10 year olds. Read more…

Back to School Reading for Kindergarteners

Maria MacKeign, who signed her comment as a worried mama, asked me this:

“I read somewhere that you wrote books on children being afraid of the dark, bullying or things like that? I am having trouble finding your books to buy. My daughter is 4 and she just started Kindergarten this past week. I’m hoping to read some good books on things like that to better prepare her for school etc. thank you for your time!”

My bio is the somewhere that she read that: “Anna writes to promote healing in children, whether it is taming a fear of the dark, confronting the unknown, discovering how to make new friends, or facing a difficult truth.”

When I wrote my bio, my agent and I were shopping this sweet little chapter book, written by me with 2nd and 3rd graders in mind. The story was a joy to write.  Although many editors felt the writing was strong we were unable to sell it because the consensus was there wasn’t a market for that book.  And my writing style seemed more appropriate for older readers.  I now concentrate on writing for teens. My first book called Learning Not To Drown will be published by Atheneum in 2014.  I can’t recommend it to Maria for her little one because it is wholly inappropriate for a kindergartener.

Since I’m writing for teens, I read a lot of teen novels and I also read a lot of picture books to my children. I am certainly not an expert on books for kindergarteners, but I will play librarian and recommend a couple of  reads about school that will hopefully help Maria’s little one make a better transition in.

Read more…

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