Sunday, October 31, 2010

Julie Berry answers my questions

Thanks to Julie Berry and Kate Lied, I was able to ask Julie Berry some questions. I hope you find them all really interesting.

Me: What or Who inspires you to write?

Julie Berry: Good writing inspires me to write. All the wonderful books I've devoured and adored have filled me with happy sort of jealousy that made me want to try and see if I could also write a story worth reading.

Me: How old were you when you started writing?

JB: I started keeping a journal faithfully when I was nine years old. I got it for Christmas that year, and wrote just about every day until I was twenty. I spent my twenties starting my career and having my four sons, so the only writing I did was work related, with some occasional creative writing and journal writing thrown in. At age thirty I began to write columns for my local newspaper, and after I'd done that for a few years I went to graduate school to study fiction writing for children and young adults.

Me: Do you ever have a hard time figuring out what to write?

JB: Sometimes it is hard to decide which of the many ideas floating through your head is ripe enough to turn into a good novel. You don't always know until you write a book just exactly where an dea will tale you.

Me: What gave you the idea for "Secondhand Charm"?

JB: The notion of good luck charms and love potions, such as you might buy from someone at a fair, was the idea that first pulled me into the story. I thought, what if there was someone who wore these charms, and they really worked, but only for her? That seemed promising. Then I had to ask myself, why did they work for her? What made her different? Where did that difference come from? The rest of the story came into place from that line of questioning. I loved stories about the sea, and magical allure of the ocean.

ME: Do YOU believe in magic?

JB: Yes and no. mainly yes. I believe in possibilities, and certainly I believe in grace and miracles. For all our knowledge, there's much we can't explain or understand, and so I try to keep a cautiously open mind. But I use magic in stories because of the creative possibilities it offers me, not because I believe in actual sorcery and so forth.

Thank you so much Julie Berry for taking the time to answer my questions. I absolutely loved your book "Secondhand Charm"


Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Annabeth, Piper, Jason and Leo are four friends. Together they must complete a quest. Each friend has his or her own story and secret as the reasons they want to go on the quest.

Annabeth- Annabeth's boyfriend, Percy Jackson, is missing and she doesn't know why. All she wants to do is find him. At the same time Annabeth helps Leo and Piper to fulfill their great prophecy.

Piper- Piper has a secret. Her dad, a famous actor has been taken by a spirit who keeps threatening her and telling her what she must do or her dad will die. Piper has visions of her dad and what is really happening to him. The worst part is Piper can't say anything to anyone about her dad.

Leo- Leo is a tool- loving, machine- building kind of kid. He can make fire come out of his hands (no demigod has been able to do that for a very long time). He has just been claimed by the god of fire and tools, Hephatus.

Jason- Jason ends up on a school trip, in a bus with people he doesn't know, but they claim to know him. Jason thinks he has amnesia, can't remember his own name or anything about himself. Soon enough, Jason is brought to camp Halfblood. There he learns his memory was stolen by the goddess, Hera. Jason is soon claimed by the god Zeus. Jason is given the Great Prophecy which now he must fulfill.

Read this action-packed, twisting book to discover the adventures of Annabeth, Jason, Piper and Leo.

I loved this book. I loved all of the action and twists. I enjoyed that it was based on mythology. I think any chid who enjoyed the Percy Jackson series would like this book because it is a similar story line and has the same feeling, action and excitement in the book and relationships between the characters.

Well I have to read some more,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear Hound by Jill Murphy

We LOVED the book Dear Hound by Jill Murphy. Alfie, a very big, caring, friendly deerhound who could communicate with his ears, is afraid of lightning and is the main character of the story. Alfie, lives with a boy named Charlie, his mom and cat named Florence. Charlie and his mom went to a wedding, and Alfie went to the dog sitter's house near the woods. Alfie was so nervous Charlie was giving him away. ZING! Alfie jumps over the fence and tries to run home to safety. He ran into the dark, thick scary woods. Along the way he met foxes, hunters and lightning...
Will Alfie be be home and safe again?

Mrs. Silver's second grade class
Port Washington

Thanks to all of the kids for participating, reading and writing this great review.
Special thanks to Mrs. Silver, for taking the time to read and blog this book
(with the help of her students of course)

Monday, October 4, 2010

E.D. Baker answers my questions!

I sent E.D. Baker some questions--through Kate Lied, the awesome editor at Bloomsbury! E.D. Baker was so generous with her time and so here is my interview. Thank you SO much E.D. Baker, this really means a lot to me and the readers of my blog!!

Mollie Kate: How do you feel about finishing the series?

E.D. Baker: I've thoroughly enjoyed writing the tales of the Frog Princess and will miss writing about many of the characters. However, I do intend to revisit a few of the characters again sometime in the future. I think Zoe and Frances need their own story and I really want to write abut Pearl.

MK: What or who inspires you to write?

EDB: A lot of the animals in my life inspire me when I'm creating characters or creatures. We breed horses, and they inspired me when I created the hipporines in Wings: A Fairy Tale. We have two Newfoundlands and a black lab. The masses of fur they shed helped me created the black fur beast in The Wide Awake Princess. I'm also inspired by things I've read, like the classic fairy tales (The Frog Princess and The Wide Awake Princess), Shakespeare (Wings: A Fairy Tale), and non-fiction books such as Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart (the stinging tree in A Prince Among Frogs).

MK: How did you feel about your book being made into a movie?

EDB: I was excited, although disappointed that it really didn't follow my story.

MK: how old were you when you started writing?

EDB: Eleven-years old. I wrote a story for an assignment in school and was hooked.

MK: Do you ever have a hard time figuring out what to write?

EDB: Not really. I have a long list of books that I intend to write someday, so I always know what my next book will be. When I'm writing a book, I do different levels of outlines--a very general outline at first, then one broken down into chapters, then more specific outlines as I'm writing each chapter. I've found that outlining like this really helps me know what to write next. I don't generally get writer's block because when I can't figure out where to go with one think, I work on something that I think will be fun--like a spell for the tales of the Forg Princess.

MK: Who is your favorite writer?

EDB: my favoirte writer has long been Hodgson Burnett, the author of The Little Princess and The Secret Garden.

MK: What was your favorite book to write?

EDB: I've enjoyed writing every book that I've written so far. If I'm not enjoying it when I write, I feel that I must not be doing something right and I rethink it. (I believe that if the author doesn't enjoy what she's writing, the readers probably won't enjoy it either.) that said, I may have have enjoyed writing The Wide Awake Princess a bit more than the others. I loved working various fairy tales into the story.

To learn more about E.D. Baker and her great books, you can go to her website at

Friday, October 1, 2010

Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry

Evie is a young girl who lives with her grandfather, friends and neighbors in a small village called Mundley. Evie is a very intelligent woman who wants to be a doctor more than anything, and is studying to become one. During the village festival Evie buys three gypsy charms, that later will bring much help and luck to her and everyone around her. When the king arrives for the festive feast, one of his men becomes very ill. Evie, uses her medical skills to help the man get better. During the king's visit, Evie is given a scholarship to study at one of the king's universities. Evie's grandfather sends Aidan, one of Evie's best friends, on the journey with her to the university. On their way to the university, highway thieves, rob Evie's carriage, and kill the driver. Aidan and Evie go through a long journey to finally reach the school. Before the two reach the big city, they board a ship. The ship is about to sink and everyone is about to die. No one dies, however, because they are saved by Evie's leviathan, a snake protector, which she discovers that she has had since the day she was born. During the ship accident, Evie's loses her scholarship papers. When she goes to the king to get her papers replaced, Princess, soon to be Queen Annalise sees Evie and takes her under her wing, eventually sharing with Evie that she too has a leviathan. Annalise teaches Evie much of what she needs to know about having a leviathan. Strangely, duringher stay at the castle, Evie sees one of the highway thieves frequently there.

Why is the highway thief there? What happens to him? Does Evie end up falling in love with Aidan? What happens to Evie's leviathan? does anyone end up finding out about her snake? Do the charms Evie bought from the gypsies work?

I absolutely loved this book. I thought it had a great story line, twists in the plot and ending. I also loved how it was both fantasy and magic. I think it was a great book.

I asked Julie Berry a few questions, check back soon for the answers.

Sit back in a comfy chair with a warm blanket and a great book,
For now I have to go read,


A Prince Among Frogs by E.D. Baker

Millie was no ordinary princess because she had magical powers which allowed her to turn into a dragon. She lived with her father, the King, and her mother, Queen Emma, who was the Green Witch in charge of magical issues in Greater Greensward. Millie was about to marry the love of her life Audun, who was a dragon that could turn into a human. One day when Emma was summoned to help with a problem, she left Millie in charge of the magical issues and to take care of her brother, Felix. A little while after Emma left, Felix went missing. Gone, vanished....KIDNAPPED. Millie was beside herself. Everyone in the castle went searching for him. When no one found him, Millie new exactly what to do. She and Audun turned into dragons and went searching high and low for Felix. When they were unsuccessful, Millie went to seek the help of three witches. With the help of the witches, Millie and Audun were able to find the kidnapper, who had done something strange to Felix. That was bad news for Millie. With her mother, father and great-aunt and great-uncle nowhere to be found, Millie and Audun first had to find them. With some great difficulty, her family was found.

Who took Felix? Why did he steal Felix? What strange thing had happened to Felix? Was it revenge? How is Felix fixed? Do Millie and Audun get married in the end? 

Read this great book to find out!!!!!

I recommend this book to kids in 3rd or 4th grade. I think they will like it because it is fantasy, mystery and a great book.
I interviewed E.D. Baker, so check back in a little while to see the questions and answers.

Got to go and read another book,