Pre-Order-Palooza

I’m not going to do a New Year Resolutions post. I’m certainly not going to put in writing that I intend to blog more in 2010 – though I do – or post the mental lists of goals that are growing ever-longer in my head.

Instead, I’ll post my list of books coming out in 2010 that I am truly, truly impatient to read. Squirmy, fidget-pants impatient. Exasperated sigh, is-it-release-day-yet? impatient. IMPATIENT!

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (1/5)

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab (1/12)

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick (2/1)

Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer (2/9)

Gone by Lisa McMann (2/9)

Heist Society by Ally Carter (2/9)

Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson (3/1)

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (3/2)

Dragon Factory by Jonathan Maberry (3/2)

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (3/9)

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken (3/23)

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean (3/30)

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer (4/1)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan (4/6)

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr (4/20)

Sisters Grimm Book 8: The Inside Story by Michael Buckley (5/1)

The Kane Chronicles, Book One: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (5/4)

White Cat by Holly Black (5/4)

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell (5/11)

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead (5/18)

Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev (5/25)

Sea by Heidi Kling (6/10)

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter (6/15)

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman (7/8)

Linger by Maggie Stiefvader (7/20)

Jealously by Lili St. Crow (7/29)

Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink (8/1)

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (8/24)

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (8/31)

Ascendant by Diane Peterfreund (9/?)

Wired by Robin Wasserman (9/14)

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (10/5)

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (10/?)

Fixing Delilah Hannaford by Sarah Ockler (fall ’10)

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger (fall ’10)

So, what have I forgotten?

I’m sure there are heaps more that should be on this list. Meanwhile, St. Matt is looking hopefully at its brevity and making a New Year’s Resolution that this will be the year he figures out a way to convince me to buy less books…

Good luck to him.

~Happy 2010~

p.s. Books I foolishly overlooked or didn’t know about ’til later – I’ll add in orange. Books I’ve read will be changed to purple.

Mickey Mischief

Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone, but the last time I went to Disney World I was a toxic visitor.

I was 7. The trip was my First Holy Communion present – or just conveniently timed so the two events are linked in my mind. My memories of the religious ceremony are hazy – fever hazy – a white dress with a pink sash, a flower wreath settled on foam-curler ringlets, a honey ham, all my relatives.

I didn’t feel well. I didn’t want honey ham or jello mold or even dinner mints I’d have to sneak off the tray. I tried telling my mom – but she was busy changing a diaper or taking lemon squares out of the oven. Dad was talking and making drinks – he told me to run along and play.

I stumbled along and played, but without my usual impish vigor. After all the guests left I collapsed – pretty dress, curled hair, flower wreath and all – on the kitchen floor.

Chicken pox!

But we already had the trip planned – non-refundable flights, vacations forms completed and homework collected, park tickets. So I went to Disney and spread love and germs on Small World. My spots were natural camouflage on the Jungle Cruise

This trip I wasn’t contagious. It was quick; a last minute surprise getaway from St. Matt for our 5th Anniversary.* On the 4th of July St. Matt wanted to get to the park early and stay late to see the fireworks. Since we both know that I was not going to be able to handle 14 hours of straight ride-riding, it was a given I’d pack a book.

But which? I’d packed four different paper volumes and loaded a bunch onto Gilbert in preparation for the trip. Since I couldn’t make up my mind, I brought three: Tenth Grade Bleeds, Eyes Like Stars and Prophesy of the Sisters.

As we ferried over to the Magic Kingdom at 8:00 AM, I had a brainstorm. No, an inspiration. I had three great books by three fabulous authors, I was going to the most magical place in the world…. PHOTO OPPORTUNITY!**

It was like a reverse scavenger hunt. Instead of finding the books, I was finding fun places to photograph them. I scrambled all over the park feeling gleeful and mischievous. We got a few curious looks, but no one stopped or questioned us.

Of course, there was also ride-riding and confection eating and even some pausing to do some actual reading.

And there were fireworks too!

The only downside of the whole day was:

But this just means we’ll have to come back again soon.

*Have I mentioned lately that I have the BEST husband ever?
**St. Matt balked for all of 3 seconds, but I threatened him with the Tiki Room if he didn’t participate.

Mad for Vlad: Part 2

“July? Seriously?” he asked me.

“Yes, bud, July,” I answered.

“Are you sure?” Because he’s an all-knowing sixth grader and I’m just the teacher, he needs to double-check this.

“Well, I went to Heather Brewer’s website and it says pretty clearly that Tenth Grade Bleeds comes out July 9th.” I can say this without even a trace of sarcasm because I’ve had five years of practice.

“Man! July? I won’t even be in your class then!”

“You’ll still be allowed to read it,” I assured him.

“I know – but then we can’t talk about it. Man.” Student hangs his head, sighs, heads back to his desk and picks up his reading response journal.

A few minutes later he’s popped back over to visit. “I thought of two things.”

“Okay.”

“Well, maybe she’ll write faster and it will be out sooner.”

“What’s the second thing?” I asked, not wanting to get into a whole discussion on the publishing industry.

“We can e-mail. But you have to promise to buy the book and read it.” He’s serious.

“Bud, did you think I wouldn’t buy the book and read it?”

“No, I know you will, but you need to buy it ON July 9th. Don’t make me wait this time.”

“Deal,” I agree and we shake.

So, on July 9th, do not call, text, e-mail or tweet at me. I’ve got a date with a vampire named Vlad and then an important e-mail to answer.

If, however, in the month since his elementary graduation, my dear reading buddy has become too 7th-grade-cool to e-mail his former teacher about books – then please call, text, e-mail AND tweet to cheer me up (and talk about the book!).

Mad for Vlad: Part 1

It’s Monday morning and I’m grinning and bouncing in the hallways waiting for my students to arrive. This is not my typical Monday-morning attitude and no, I haven’t had an extra cup of coffee. I’m impatiently-excited because I’ve finally gone out and bought the copy of Ninth Grade Slays that one of my students has been begging for for weeks.

I’d given him Eight Grade Bites by Heather Brewer and he’d read it in two days – “Where’s the sequel?”

“I don’t have it yet, bud,” I answered.

“When are you going to get it?”

“Um…” I mentally replayed the do-you-know-how-much-money-you’ve-spent-already-this-year-on-books conversation I’d had with Matt the night before.

“Um….” And-by-this-year-I-mean-this-year-2009-not-this-school-year. “Soon?”

And so started a refrain of: “Did you get it yet?”

It even became accusatory, “I don’t think you’re a real fan!”

So on Valentine’s Day when Husband took me to the bookstore and told me to pick out what I wanted, I knew that Ninth Grade Slays was going to be in the stack.

And that brings us back to my bouncing Monday. I read the book Valentine’s night (that’s the thanks poor Husband gets for his gesture – a super-romantic night of reading!) and had already strategically placed on my student’s desk so he’d see it first thing.

I was beaming like a two-year-old with a sticker when he walked down the hall. I met him at the door: “Good morning, buddy!”

And he was glowing too. “Good morning, Mrs. Schmidt. Did you have a good weekend?”

“I did, but we’ll share at class meeting,” I said, dismissing his attempts at a polite conversation because my gratification from seeing his face when he saw his desk was much more important. And since when was my buddy a morning person? He typically half-dozed until announcements came on. Why was he so cheerful? I shooed into the classroom so he could find his surprise.

I followed a few steps behind him: bounce, bounce, bounce. Ready to squeak and receive a loud THANK YOU!

And he walked right by his desk to his coat hook, oblivious but still smiling. Seriously? Does he mistake me for someone patient?

“Um, buddy?” I prompted, picking up the book and waiting for him to turn around after hanging his sweatshirt (this is 6th grade, we’re too cool for appropriate winter attire).

“Look what I got for you!”
Only, this wasn’t me speaking.
It was my buddy.

My student whirled around with his own copy of Ninth Grade Slays that he’d bought for me over the weekend.

I looked at what he was holding – he looked at what I was holding.

So now we’ve got two copies of Ninth Grade Slays (twice the Vlad love) and we’re rapidly recruiting new members into our fan club.

If you haven’t checked out this series yet, buddy and I encourage you to do so. But even though we have multiple copies now, you can’t borrow them – there’s a waiting list to read them.
You’ll have to get your own copy. Or better yet, buy someone else a copy – make his or her day by sharing the Vlad love.

Check back tomorrow for “Mad for Vlad: Part 2″

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