Monday, December 28, 2015

The Classics - CLOSING LINES: A Tale of Two Cites by Charles Dickens

(1859 version)

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."

(Published 1859)

I love the classics and plan to alternately share some "CLOSING lines" over the coming months. Comment if you wish, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, or were they really?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies"If you searched every old folks' home in the country, you couldn't find anyone who looked more like Santa Claus. He was the living, breathing incarnation of the old gent--white beard, pink cheeks, fat tummy and all--and his name was Kris Kringle, too. Whether this was coincidence or design--a sort of stage name he had assumed--his friends at the Maplewood Home for the Aged never knew." (Published 1947)

I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?

Sharon M. Himsl

Writer/Author. Blogging since 2011. 
Published with Evernight Teen: 
~~The Shells of Mersing

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Young Reader's Choice Awards: 2015

The Young Reader's Choice Award [YRCA] is the oldest children's choice award in the U.S. and Canada. Sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Library Association (rep. Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington; Alberta and British Columbia), the award was first established in 1940 by Harry Hartman, a book seller in Seattle. He believed that every child deserved the opportunity to read a book that gave them pleasure. Award nominations come from children, teachers, parents and librarians.


--Wonder by R.J. Palacio (2012)
--Drama by Raina Telgemeier (2012)

--The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (2012)

Nominees for 2015:


Wonder by R.J. Palacio - WINNER!

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin

Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket

Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski


Drama by Raina Telgemeier - WINNER!

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen-Fernlund

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Son by Lois Lowry

Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

Bomb: The Race to Build-and-Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - WINNER!

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

YALSA Awards for Young Adult Literature 2015

Here are some of the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) book awards honoring young adult writers and their books in 2015. Among its missions, YALSA strives to evaluate material of interest to teens (12-18) and to expand the library's outreach. Additional awards and book summaries can be found at their website. Check it out! 

Morris Award (honors best YA Debut Books)

--Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, published by Cinco Puntos Press.


--The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley, published by Elephant Rock Books.

--The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston, published by Carolrhoda Lab™, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.

--The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos, published by Egmont Publishing.

--The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, published by Candlewick Press.

Michael L. Printz Award (honors literary excellence in YA)


--I’ll Give You the Sun By Jandy Nelson
Published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company

Honor Books:

--And We Stay By Jenny Hubbard
Published by Delacorte, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., a Penguin Random House Company.

--The Carnival at Bray By Jessie Ann Foley
Published by Elephant Rock Books.

--Grasshopper Jungle By Andrew Smith
Published by Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

--This One Summer By Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
Published by First Second

Nonfiction Awards (honors best YA nonfiction)


--Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek written by Maya Van Wagenen and published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group


--Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw, and published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan’s Children’s Publishing Group

--The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming, and published by Schwartz & Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books

--Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business—and Won! by Emily Arnold McCully, and Published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

--The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin, and published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan’ Children’s Publishing Group

National Book Awards: Young People's Literature 2015

Image result for challenger deep book cover 


Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman. 
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
(Young Adult)


Image result for bone gap book coverImage result for the thing about jellyfish book cover 
--The Thing About Jellyfish  
by Ali Benjamin. Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
(Middle Grade)

Image result for most dangerous: daniel ellsberg book cover--Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. Publisher: Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins Children's Books
 (Age 10 up)

 --Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin. Publisher: Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children's Publishing Group (Middle grade)
Image result for nimona book cover 

 --Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. Publisher: 
HarperTeen/HarperCollins Children's Books
(Young Adult)

2015 NBA YPL Longlist  
--Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Publisher: Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins Children's Books
--Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson, Publisher: Candlewick Press
--Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson, Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins Children's Books
--This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs by Gary Paulsen, Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
--X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz, with Kekla Magoon, Publisher: Candlewick Press

About Me

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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.