Friday, September 30, 2011

Windy Day

Yesterday was extremely windy in the Twin Cities.

At Micawber's we have two potted mums in front of the store.

I was watching the wild wind outside, when suddenly, one of the mum plants flew right out of the pot, root ball and all!

Talk about crazy windy.

(I bet you can tell which mum went for the ride.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Slayer Chronicles First Kill

This past week I was fortunate to hear author Heather Brewer speak at a booksellers' breakfast.

Brewer is the author of the popular, young adult series The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. Her newest book is the first in a new series, The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill, which is a spin-off of her Tod series.

Vladimir Tod is part vampire, but not the confident, sparkly kind. He isn't all that excited about being a vampire. Very few people know he's a vampire and his aunt brings him expired bags of donated blood so he doesn't have to kill anything. Really, he's an almost-regular kid trying to survive junior and senior high school.

Heather Brewer, the author, shared her experience of being constantly bullied and disliked throughout her school years. Even her dreams of wanting to be an author were squelched at every turn. Coming from a very small town in Michigan where everyone worked in an auto factory or as a waitress, wanting to be an author seemed unthinkable and unreachable.

Fortunately, Brewer found a safe haven at the public library. It was the only "bully-free zone" in town. But it wasn't until later, when one person - her husband - encouraged her to follow her dreams that she finally felt able to do so. And she did, in spades!

Brewer's latest book, The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill will fill in the "gaps" in the Vladimir Tod series. While Vladimir Tod takes place during the school years, The Slayer Chronicles take place during the summers in between. It will be fun for fans of Vladimir Tod to complete the story with The Slayer Chronicles, one summer at a time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


As Children's Book Buyer at Micawber's Books, I talk with Sales Reps from different publishers, either in person or on the phone.

Today I'm meeting with our fabulous Scholastic Kids rep, Terribeth. She's from Kentucky and travels all the way to Minnesota to sell us books. Since Terribeth reps Scholastic books, I want to highlight a great new Scholastic title for kids.

WONDERSTRUCK is the newest book by Brian Selznick. It's the intersecting story of Ben and Rose, told 50 years apart. Ben, who is deaf, follows clues about his father's identity all the way to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Rose's story, told in pictures, also ends up at the museum where the two stories intersect in a surprising way.

Like THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, Selznick's Caldecott-winning earlier novel, WONDERSTRUCK is 600+ pages of text and beautiful illustration. And like the earlier novel, WONDERSTRUCK is sure to be a beloved bestseller!

Friday, September 16, 2011


September marks the beginning of school, the first fall leaves, and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. The "Ren Fest" in Minnesota is one of the biggest renaissance festivals in the country. It runs over 7 weekends with different themes like "Highland Fling" and "Wine, Chocolate & Romance."

My family really likes attending the Renaissance Festival and we even wear costumes. I bought my husband an authentic Lord of Milan sword for his 30th birthday and he wears it to the Fest. (If you've never been to a renaissance festival you may not understand this part.)

Pretending to be a lady of the Renaissance makes me think about a great book. CASTLE by David Macaulay is a wonderful way to learn about the Middle Ages. His architectural drawings with authentic details bring a medieval castle to life. You learn about what life was like back then and the different kinds of jobs people had. I, for one, would not like to be a Dung Farmer.

I highly recommend this classic book for anyone interested in castles, medieval life or the Renaissance. It might inspire you to put on a costume and check out the Ren Fest.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Courage by Bernard Waber is a wonderful book. While not specifically about the courage it takes to begin a new school year, it is very appropriate for any child facing trepidation about school.

Courage is about "awesome kinds" of courage and "everyday kinds" of courage. From "being the first to make up after an argument" to "tasting the vegetable before making a face."

There are serious examples of courage like being a firefighter. And more lighthearted examples like having two candy bars and saving one for another day.

Waber (of Lyle the Crocodile fame) uses simple text and colorful line drawings to perfectly show what courage means - both big and small. This book is reassuring in a gentle, encouraging way.