Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka

August 7th, 2010 by

Submitted by Jenna, Age 11 from Maine

Rating: ★★★★★

I first heard of this book when my teacher said she recommended it. But it looked kind of dumb, so I never did bother to read it. That is, until my teacher read it to my classmates and I. I loved it so much, I read it again by myself!

Knucklehead is a hilarious memoir by Jon Sciezka, telling of his childhood memories of living with his five brothers, Jim, Tom, Gregg, Brian, and Jeff. This book is full of funny memories and tons of photos. I really enjoyed the part when they brought the cat in the car with them and something hilarious happened. So you’re probably wondering what happened, right? Well, sorry, but you’re going to have to read this funny memior to find out!

Kidsmomo Podcast #24: “Author! Author!”

April 27th, 2010 by

Which children’s book author grew up with a pet raccoon? Which one enjoyed reading cereal boxes as a kid? And which one participated in a mass vomit incident with his family? (Ick.) The answers are in our latest podcast, all about author memoirs and autobiographies:

      (12:51)
    Download the MP3 (6.2 MB)

  • “You little rascal!” — aka our mystery book revealed
  • Chicken pot pie with Roald Dahl and candy with R.L. Stine —
  • plus an author dream date from one of you!
  • Our author memoir picks (Knots in My Yo-yo String by Jerry Spinelli and Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka
  • An author memoir red from one of YOU (Marshfield Dreams by Ralph Fletcher)

Also, don’t forget: our new theme is books about royalty, as suggested by one of our kid followers! So send us a review of your favorite book about royalty and check out these books about royalty, fit for a king.

And for this special kid-requested topic, we’re extending the theme to three weeks and offering up:

  • May 4th: a new Mystery Book Theater starring royalty, and funnily enough, an animal once again (I guess we love animals?)
  • May 11th: a royal KidsmomoMo video
  • May 19th: a regal podcast, if it may please the court

So stay tuned!

— Nancy and Karen

Marshfield Dreams by Ralph Fletcher

April 20th, 2010 by

Submitted by Hahaha me, Age 11 from Maine

Rating: ★★★½☆

Zzz. Another boring read aloud. Zzz. Another non-fiction. Zzz. That’s what I thought when I first heard of Marshfield Dreams. Who cares about Ralph Fletcher as a kid? I had never even heard of him! But Marshfield Dreams ended up being interesting and funny.

Featured Review

Featured in "Author! Author!"

It’s a book about the memories that Ralph Fletcher had as a kid — writing his first story, playing Statues. Meeting Michele, and making the perfect friend he only spent one day with. Marshfield Dreams is short, funny and interesting. But don’t blame me if this review doesn’t catch you; I read it in September!

Book Trailer: Rascal

April 20th, 2010 by

This book trailer for Rascal was originally the Mystery Book Theater video for our Author Memoirs theme. For more on Rascal, check out our “Author! Author!” podcast.

Dog may be man’s best friend, but one beloved author spent his childhood with a very different animal companion: a raccoon! In Rascal by Sterling North, the two pals go fishing, celebrate Christmas, and even compete in a pie-eating contest together. Don’t believe it? Just watch our video!

If only authors could pay attention to me by Hahaha me

April 13th, 2010 by

Tell us about an author you’d want to meet (and what you’d want to do while hanging out with them):

Submitted by Hahaha me, Age 11 from Maine:

If I could meet any author, I would like to meet Gail Carson Levine. At first I thought I would like to meet Louisa May Alcott, but then I decided she would be too old-fashioned to have a conversation with. Gail Carson Levine’s books are about adventures, and twisted fairy-tales, and show awesomeness! (I know that’s not a word.) Ella Enchanted is one of my favorite books. And it’s a Newbery Honor, so obviously some other people agree with me.

Awesome Author Memoirs and Autobiographies

April 11th, 2010 by

Did you know that long before becoming an author, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli didn’t even like to read books (preferring comics and cereal boxes instead)? Or that Jon Scieszka grew up with five (count ’em — five) brothers? Or that as a boy, Roald Dahl was asked to sample and rate chocolates from the Cadbury company, eventually inspiring him to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

Yes, amazing as it may seem, all your favorite authors really did have lives before writing children’s books. To get the scoop — in their own words — check out these author memoirs and autobiographies (in no particular order):

  1. Knots in My Yo-yo String by by Jerry Spinelli (Karen’s pick)
  2. Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing Up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka (Nancy’s pick)
  3. A Girl from Yamhill by Beverly Cleary
  4. Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz
  5. Boy by Roald Dahl
  6. Little by Little: A Writer’s Education by Jean Little
  7. My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen
  8. How I Came to Be a Writer by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of your favorite author memoir.

UPDATE 4/27/10: We revealed the answer to our Author Memoir Mystery Book Theater in the “Author! Author!” Podcast, so take a listen if you want to know the answer. Or just tune in to hear Nancy and Karen fight over who gets to eat with Roald Dahl (yes, we know he’s deceased; just listen and it’ll all make sense, we promise).


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