Tag Archives: So You Want To Be A Rock Star

My Very (Un) Fairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszewski

Today Biblio Links welcomes author Anna Staniszewski!

Jacket Summary: Is your magical kingdom falling apart? Twelve-year-old Jenny is on the case, whether she likes it or not. Saving the world might sound exciting, but for Jenny it’s starting to get old — even staying in the real world long enough to take a math test would be a dream come true! And when you throw in bloodthirsty unicorns, psychotic clowns, and the most useless gnome sidekick ever, Jenny decides that enough is enough. She’s leaving the adventuring business and not looking back. Or…is she?

As I read this book, I immediately thought of a dozen kids I wanted to hand it to. The Upper Elementary/Middle School years are rife with friendship drama, and Jenny, the book’s main character, handles her BFF mass exodus in a way that made me both want to hug and cheer for her. Missing her parents, Jenny has to figure out how to get along with her kooky but lovable Aunt Evie, which will resonate with many of my students who live with extended family members. And last but not least, I have a group of 5th grade girls who come into my library asking (in a whisper, of course) for books with some romance. Jenny is the daring damsel and Prince Lamb is the monarch-in-distress, and there are moments when a few cupid-shaped sparks fly–not enough to scare away boy readers, mind you, but just enough to put stars in the eyes of the girl readers who whisper their way into my library. A delightful read!

I asked Anna how her book fits into the classroom.

Biblio Links: A student walks into my library and I think, “That kid needs a copy of MY VERY (UN)FAIRY TALE LIFE.” Who is this kid?
Anna Staniszewski: This student is a girl (or a boy–yes, my book is also okay for boys!) who loves to laugh, enjoys magical adventures, has an interest in fairy tales, and is an avid mini-golf player.
Biblio Links: If we were to peek into a classroom where a teacher is using your book in a lesson or with a small group, what might we see?

Anna Staniszewski: I imagine a lesson on how fairy tales keep changing and evolving. A tale that inspired me as I was writing MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE was “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” which is one of the very few traditional tales that features a heroine who must rescue her prince. I used that idea and ran with it in my story. It would be interesting to have students think about the trends we see in traditional fairy tales and how those trends have changed (or not changed) as writers continue to re-imagine familiar tales.

Biblio Links: Where can teachers, librarians and students learn more about you and your book?
Anna Staniszewski: Swing by my website! (www.annastan.com) You can read the first chapter of my book, watch the book trailer, and download a free teacher’s guide (created by the fabulous Natalie Lorenzi herself). You’ll also get info on the UNFAIRY TALE sequels!

Thanks for stopping by, Anna!

Click Anna’s link above to read the magical reviews of My Very (Un) Fairy Tale Life.

The Nitty Gritty~

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Publication Date: November 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 9781402259463 (paperback)

Interest Level: Ages 9-12

Reading Level: 4.5

Number of Pages: 198

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So You Want To Be A Rock Star? by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds

Today Biblio Links welcomes prolific author Audrey Vernick!

Audrey’s picture book  So You Want to Be A Rock Star, illustrated by  Kirstie Edmunds, is tons of fun. If you want to be a rock star, you don’t need fancy guitars or equipment–all you need is some imagination and the urge to get up and move. Get ready to rev up your library or classroom, because this book will have kids (and adults!) jamming and moving from the first page to the last.

I asked Audrey Vernick, rocker extraordinaire, how her book fits into the classroom.

 Biblio Links: If we were to peek into a classroom where a teacher is using your book in a lesson, what might we see?

Audrey Vernick: You might see a whole room full of kids who seem on the very verge of vomiting. The interactive text instructs, “While you’re strumming your stomach, can you also close your eyes and make the kind of faces you make when your stomach really hurts? And move your head slowly from side to side? Try it now. Check you out! You’re so good at this!”

Biblio Links: Glad we won’t have to call in the custodians for clean-up! Okay, onto the next question: A student walks into my library and I think, That kid needs a copy of SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK STAR. Who is this kid?

Audrey Vernick: A student with a sense of humor, perhaps one with a desire–realized or not–to have the spotlight shine brightly on her or him.

Biblio Links: Where can teachers, librarians and students learn more about you and your book?

Audrey Vernick:There’s more information on my website, www.audreyvernick.com, and my blog, http://literaryfriendships.wordpress.com.

Thanks so much, Natalie!!

Thanks for stopping by, Audrey!

 Check out Audrey’s other picture books, Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? and Teach Your Buffalo To Play The Drums, picture book biography She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story and middle grade novel Water Balloon. Coming soon: Brothers At Bat

Click here for glowing reviews of So You Want To Be A Rock Star.

The Nitty Gritty~

Publisher: Walker Childrens

Publication Date: February 28, 2012

ISBN-10: 0802720927

ISBN-13: 978-08027209274

Interest Level: Ages 4 and up

Number of Pages: 40