Here it is, your full "Recommendations From Under the Radar" schedule. Check each participating site during the week for daily links to other posts.
Finding Wonderland loves The Curved Saber: The Adventure of Khlit the Cossack by Harold Lamb: "Those were the books you could describe as 'thrilling,' with flinty, taciturn heroes (and virtually invisible heroines), vivid action sequences, bold adventurers, treasure to be had, lives to be saved, battles to be fought, and schemers to outwit."
Bildungsroman talks about Christopher Golden's Body of Evidence series: "Body Bags...opens with a killer line: Amanda Green died for a cigarette. Within a matter of pages, Amanda is a goner, having been at the wrong place at the wrong time. It just goes to prove what I've been saying all of my life: Smoking kills. Don't smoke."
Interactive Reader has Christopher Golden's Body of Evidence series as well: "Do the books feel accurate?
LW: Definitely. The research is evident.
Jackie: Beats me. I'm not a Science Nerdfighter. But from a literature standpoint, everything hung together."
Not Your Mother's Bookclub: An interview with Robert Sharenow, author of My Mother the Cheerleader: "So when I read Steinbeck's book, I was astonished at the savage actions of the Cheerleaders toward Ruby Bridges, who was just six years old. These were, after all, mothers. How could they treat a child so horribly when all she was trying to do was go to school?"
lectitans fondly recalls The Angel of the Opera: Sherlock Meets the Phantom of the Opera by Sam Siciliano: "Also, look at that cover art. How can you not love Erik dressed as The Red Death, sweeping down the stairs towards Sherlock Holmes?"
Bookshelves of Doom has The God Beneathe the Sea, Black Jack & Jack Holburn all by Leon Garfield: "But, hey! It's not all death and violence -- it's a bit sexier, too"
Writing and Ruminating: An interview with Tony Mitton and a review of his book, Plum : "For me, the work which seems to have the most integrity (in the sense of being free from outside intervention) is the poem which is written simply because it evolves in the mind of the poet. The poem which asks to be written initially for its own sake. The poem free of any outside interest."
The YA YA YAs are all about I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee Wilson: "I first picked up Diane Lee Wilson's I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade four years ago because of its evocative title (note to authors: titles do matter). I'm not a horse person, but 'milk white jade'?"
Chicken Spaghetti is jazzed about The Illustrator's Notebook by Mohieddin Ellabad: "He talks about souvenirs, for instance, on the first page. 'Souvenirs awaken our memories and bring them to life. Without memories, we would have no past.'"
And I'm all about Dorothy of Oz here at Chasing Ray
A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy: A discussion of author Ellen Emerson White and why she is "under the radar": "Her characters are sometimes sarcastic; they are also honest and vulnerable. Over and over, I believe her characters to be real; fully formed; I would recognize them on the street. They are flawed, they are funny, they are a mix of good and bad. They are complex."
Jen Robinson's Book Page: The Changeling and The Velvet Room both by Zilpha Keatley Snyder: "The Velvet Room is the old library of the abandoned mansion, Las Palmeras, complete with a window-lined tower surrounded by red velvet drapes. Although most of the house is empty, the Velvet Room remain intact, filled with books and other treasures."
Bildungsroman: The Girl in the Box by Ouida Sebestyen: "I really want to read it again, and read it outside rather than inside. I feel as though that location change would make for an entirely different experience - to just be sitting where this character is not, cannot, would not be - In fact, I think it would almost make me feel guilty to be taking in the sky and sun and grass and trees as I turned the pages."
Finding Wonderland: A Door Near Here by Heather Quarles: "When faced with silence and despair, are we losing our grip when we find that we want to believe in Narnia? Is there something wrong with trying to find it wherever we are? Aren't we all still looking for A Door Near Here?"
Miss Erin: Girl With a Pen and Princess of Orange, both by Elisabeth Kyle: "I read Jane Eyre soon after reading this and thought it very cool to discover that some of the settings Charlotte describes in it (the red room, for one) were places she'd been in real life."
Fuse Number 8: The Winged Girl of Knossos by Erick Berry: "The story begins with a theory. What if the mysterious lost land of Atlantis wasn't a land sunk deep below the sea as so many have suggested? What if it was, in fact, the ancient civilization of Crete instead?"
Bookshelves of Doom: The Olivia Kidney series by Ellen Potter: "If I had to be nailed down, I'd maybe try to describe the first book as a mostly non-spooky, extremely quirky Coraline. At times, it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. A modern Alice, of course, and a version of Wonderland that is set entirely in an apartment building, but it's similar in that Olivia explores her new home, meets lots of strange characters, hears lots of strange stories, and like Alice, isn't particularly bothered by the illogical nature of what she sees and hears."
Chicken Spaghetti: The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe by Betsey Osborne: "A melancholic air that reminds me of Kazuo Ishiguro's Remains of the Day and an unexpected plot twist combine for an emotionally resonant ending. If reserve extracts a price, surely Uncas pays it."
Writing and Ruminating: Jazz ABX=Z by Wynton Marsalis: "Not all that many people buy all that many poetry collections. And this one is a shining gem for the totality of its package. And although it's a poetry book designed for kids, jazz fans of all age would like it for its images, both graphic and verbal. And I'm guessing that there are many, many teachers and librarians out there who don't know about this book as a resource for music, biography, history, and poetry (including the teaching of poetic forms). And they should."
The YA YA YAs: Massive by Julia Bell: "Although Maria is a repulsive character, I couldn't help but get drawn into the story to find out whether or not Carmen saves her mother or is sucked into the vacuum of her psychosis."
A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy: The President's Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White: "It's not that the books are funny; it's Meg who is funny. And not in a "I'm a comedian" way; it's very much in the manner of Melinda from Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson."
Big A, little a: The Tide Knot by Helen Dunmore: "Middle Grade readers will be drawn into the world of the Mer with Sapphy and consider the bond between the land and the seas. Just watch them closely when you go to the beach!"
Jen Robinson's Book Page: The Zilpha Keatley Snyder Green Sky trilogy: "I was surprised, actually, on re-reading this series for the first time in many years, by how substantive it is. I had remembered it more as a nice fantasy, where people glide around among the trees. And while that aspect is certainly part of the joy of the series, larger issues such as civil rights are also central to the story."
Bildungsroman: Innocence by Jane Mendelsohn: A Discussion Part 1: "Beckett's journey is like something out of a dream, and Mendelsohn's writing is evocative and lyrical. I could talk about one or both of these things for days, and I will most likely share additional, individual thoughts on this title later."
Chasing Ray: Innocence by Jane Mendelsohn: A Discussion Part 2
lectitans: Innocence by Jane Mendelsohn: A Discussion Part 3: "I think the way Persephone might figure in is that the notion is once innocence is lost, it can't be regained. Persephone eats those pomegranate seeds and is forever changed. Even though she does negotiate a return to the world above ground, she doesn't get to stay there, and she has seen what it's like in the world below. So perhaps that's how it fits in: Beckett, unlike so many around her, is aware of scarier underpinnings to the world, and can't forget them."
Finding Wonderland: The House on Hound Hill by Maggie Prince
Miss Erin: The Reb & Redcoats and Enemy Brothers, both by Constance Savery: "This book is unique because it is about the American Revolution from the point of view of a British family living in England. In fact, I think it's the only novel with that view that I've read."
Bookshelves of Doom: Harry Sue by Sue Stauffacher: "So. Super. Fab. While I caught some of the parallels to The Wizard of Oz, the Author's Note pointed out a whole lot more that I'd missed. Actually, while I'm on that subject: The paperback cover art is really, really attractive -- I do think that kids will be more likely to pick it up now -- but it's too bad that they went with the red sneakers. Harry Sue shows a decent amount of contempt for the differences between the book and the movie version, so really, her sneaks should be silver."
Interactive Reader: Shake Down the Stars by Frances Donnelly: "Ok. It's probably a little melodramatic. But in a good way, I promise. What separates it from your average melodrama is that while each girl definitely starts out as a stereotype, by the end of the novel all three have grown and truly transformed into strong women. You watch them love and lose, triumph and suffer through 6 long years of war."
Chicken Spaghetti: Pooja Makhijani guest blogs with Romina's Rangoli by Malathi Michelle Iyengar: "When Miss McMahan asks her class to "create something [for the school's open house] that represents your ancestors, your family, and where you come from... something that represents your heritage," half-Indian American and half-Mexican American Romina feels conflicted. Since both her parents would be coming to the open house; she couldn't envision a project that left one of them out."
Writing & Ruminating: Dear Mr. Rosenwald by Carole Weatherford: "In many stores, it was shelved with the poetry books, and that small segment doesn't get heavily shopped. In others, it was stuffed into a large wall of picture books. It wasn't featured during African American History Month. And though it contains truth in large measure, it is historical fiction, and is therefore not kept with the books on African American history, Jim Crow, reconstruction, segregation in education or anywhere else where people interested in those subjects might find it."
Shaken & Stirred: Elizabeth Knox and the Dreamhunter Duet: "That rich oddness Knox does so well is present--where else are you going to find sexual tension with a sand golem?--but the novel is very grounded as well. The fantasy world of the Place is as real--as dirty and full of politics and secrets--as the "real" world. I don't want to spoil the ending so I won't go into detail, but Knox bravely draws her story to a grand finish in a way so surprising I can't immediately think of another fantasy where something similar happens."
A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy: Friends for Life and Life Without Friends both by Ellen Emerson White
Shaken & Stirred: The Changeover and Catalogue of the Universe, both by Margaret Mahy
Big A, little a: A interview with Helen Dunmore
Jen Robinson's Book Page: The Treasures of Weatherby by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Bildungsroman: Swollen by Melissa Lion
Finding Wonderland: Lucy the Giant by Sherry L. Smith
Miss Erin: A discussion of Erec Rex: The Dragon's Eye and an interview with author Kaza Kingsley
7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Billie Standish Was Here by Nancy Crocker
Fuse Number 8: The Noisy Counting Book by Susan Schade
Chasing Ray: Juniper, Genetian and Rosemary by Pamela Dean
lectitans: Who Pppplugged Roger Rabbit? by Gary K. Wolf
Writing and Ruminating: Hugging the Rock by Susan Taylor Brown
A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy: The Vietnam books by Ellen Emerson White: "God, I love Michael. As with most of EEW's characters, he's funny and a smart aleck. And smarter than he realizes."
Big A, little a: The Deep by Helen Dunmore: "Dunmore combines the magical world of Ingo under the seas with a pragmatic worldview I appreciate. No miraculous coincidences save or aid Sapphy and her conspirators (in this novel, her brother Conor and the Mer siblings Faro and Elvira). Sapphy must use her brain, her conscience, and her guts to save herself and others."
Bildungsroman: The May Bird Trilogy by Jodi Lynn Anderson: "What happens when you fall into another world? Alice could tell you all about Wonderland. Likewise, May Bird could tell you all about the Ever After."
Finding Wonderland: The Avion My Uncle Flew by Cyrus Fisher: "Quite possibly no other middle grade novel ever ends in this fashion; the last three chapters of The Avion My Uncle Flew are written completely in simple French. Readers will surprise themselves when they find that they can read it!"
Not Your Mother's Bookclub: A look at some recently revised classics here and here: "Confession: I memorized this book when I was a kid. I still recite bits of it every time I see girls with dark, ringleted hair, reflecting balls, pansies or Massachusetts. To say that this book made an impression on me is to understate the issue dramatically. So I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw it had been reissued this year."
Fuse Number 8: Stoneflight by George McHarque: "It's only when she attempts to bring about a gathering of all the stone creatures in New York City that Janie discovers that sometimes being a soft malleable human with the ability to be hurt is a good thing."
lectitans: Gentle's Holler and Louisiana Song both by Kerry Madden: "The greatest strength in these books, and what has made me fall in love with them, is the distinctness and authenticity of each character. I come from mountain stock, and these people feel as though they could be my relatives."
Interactive Reader: A Plague of Sorcerers by Mary Frances Zambreno: "I'm always up for a good fantasy, and diseases fascinate me, so I figured this was a sure bet. It's a fun read, although for the younger set, and is, of course, out of print. "
The YA YA YAs: Resurrection Men by TK Welsh: "Yes, Victor is twelve, but to first describe him with his age will no doubt dissuade some older teens from giving Resurrection Men a try, which is a pity. It is more appropriate for them than it is for twelve-year-olds, and it is a book adults will appreciate, as well. As our narrator says, "And while the average life expectancy in London was around thirty-five, when you factored in infantile deaths, twenty-seven was the average age people died, twenty-two among those in the working class. Twenty-two! By that measure, Victor was already middle-aged.â€�
7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Such a Pretty Face: Short Stories About Beauty edited by Ann Angel: "There's a lot of variety in tone and style, ranging from poignant (â€�Red Rover, Red Roverâ€� by Chris Lynch, about a hospitalized boy who's in love with a nurse he's never actually seen), empowering (â€�What I Look Likeâ€� by Jamie Pittel**, in which a girl experiments with her appearance as she establishes her own distinct identity), romantic (â€�Bella in Five Actsâ€� by Tim Wynne-Jones, about an undersized boy and a beautiful, suicidal girl), and wacky (â€�Bad Hair Dayâ€� by Lauren Myracle, in which a homecoming queen is beset by a supernatural chin hair)."