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American River haunting.

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My Grandpa Baccellia used to tell us about these women all dressed in dark who would walk up and down the river in the early 1900s.

Some say it's not women but a man who haunts that site. Here's a little more info:

American River: The ghost of a man who drowned in the river is said to haunt the banks. We did walk along the river, but did not see anything. We did not know which spot of the river the phenomena are said to be observed, however.


There's something about water and ghosts. Urban legends are filled with them. This picture of the American River with the infamous thick Sacramento fog brings up feelings of hauntings!




One of my sisters had an experience while at girl's camp. One of the girls in her troop was messing around and fell into the fast moving water. No one could get to her. Later that day my sister said she saw the girl by the camp. Then she vanished. The next day they found the girl. Her body was stuck in some either a small underground cave or something el…

Urban legends

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I haven't posted here for some time. Thought I'd share some fun tidbits on my YA paranormal series CROSSED OUT.














































In keeping with the Halloween mood, I thought I'd share a few urban legends that are in my YA paranormal and urban diverse fantasy EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA.

More Cybils 2018 Finalists

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1. MR. WOLF'S CLASS by Aron Nels Steinke





This story reminds me so much of my own first year teaching at an inner city school close to East LA. My first year I also had to redo the whole classroom(my school was like, 'uh, we don't have any bilingual materials. It's all on you.' So yeah, I ended up making my own curriculum. Thank god for this one La Habra Teacher of the Year who shared her own materials!) This graphic novel is very realistic with the portrayals of not only the diverse students, but the new teacher too).










2. GRAND THEFT HORSE by G. Neri




This graphic novel shows the world of horse racing and the girl who dared to fight a system. Loved the idea of a Native American protagonist who refuses to look away at animal abuse in horse racing.

















3.  BE PREPARED by Vera Brosgol




Omg, this book brought back memories! Like the author, I HATED camp. Only in my case it was Mormon girl's camp. I was 12 years old and let's just say one very embarrassing event had be…

Cybils Finalists Reflections

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Today I'm going to share my thoughts on a few other Cybils finalist graphic novels. Two have protagonists that try to survive wars in their countries and the other one is a fun super hero novel with a Latina protagonist.


1.


 QUINCE:

Fifteen-year-old Lupe receives super hero powers during her Quinceanera. What's so adorable about this story is Lupe isn't the stereotypical super hero, but a regular Latina teen. Her beloved abuelita is her mentor and shares she also had these powers when she was fifteen. Totally loved!










2.  ANNE FRANK'S DIARY:




This is a beautiful adaption of Anne Frank's diary. It includes other insights into Frank's life, like her questioning her sexuality and the conflicts between her and her mother, that I don't remember reading back when I was a teen in the 80s. This adaption is perfect for the current political climate and will bring awareness of the horror of the Holocaust.












3. ESCAPE FROM SYRIA:





This story is perfect for bringing awarenes…

THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER

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Today I'm going to spotlight THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER by Jen Wang. A 2018 Cybils finalist.




Here's my YA Books Central Books review:

The Prince and the Dressmaker What worked: I really loved this story of a dressmaker and the prince who likes to wear dresses. Prince Sebastian does this in secret until he 'discovers' the shocking outfit Frances made for a client. He hires her, but tries to keep his identity secret. What happens next is the start of a relationship where an unknown dressmaker designs Prince Sebastian dresses. Little by little he gains confidence in stepping out in the designs. But not everyone is so open to his 'secret'.

Lush illustrations set in Paris are the backdrop where two very unlikely characters come together and along the way discover friendship. Only two people know Prince Sebastian's secret. Frances loves the challenge of designing the prince dresses, but fears that keeping his secret might in fact hold her back from her own dre…

HEY, KIDDO-Cybil's 2018 Finalist

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Today's Cybil's book finalist pick is HEY, KIDDO by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.

Here's my YA Books Central review:

What worked: This is an amazing memoir told in graphic novel style of a teen that deals with family addiction. It starts off with his grandparent and parent's history. Readers learn what lead up to him living with his grandparents after his mother lands in jail.

I really loved this novel! The author shows what it was like growing up around a love one being a drug addict. It shows the secrets, whispers, and guilt that all family members carry around. Krosoczka shows how art saved him and also helped him cope with the pain he held inside. He includes actual illustrations of his childhood and teen years. There's also photos of his mother and him.

This is the perfect book for a class discussion on how addiction shouldn't be a hush subject. Only when discussions on sensitive subjects like addiction happen, will loved ones not blame themselves. 

Krosoczka shows t…

Cybils round two!

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I'm excited to be a part of the Cybils-Children and YA book bloggers literary Awards. This year I'm on the second panel, meaning I get to read the finalist's books!

This year I get to read these graphic novel books and help choose which one is the best book of 2018!



So many great titles here!

I thought I'd share my reflections on each of the nominated books.


In the meantime, this is a great list of books to read!

Stay tuned for my first book reflection. Hint, this autobiographical graphic novel is amazing as it addresses a number of sensitive topics that include kids dealing with a parent that is addicted to drugs without being preachy.