Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More snow. Nope, now it’s stopped. No, here it comes, again.

I have started my blog. Finally. You can go to to see what’s up. There isn’t much there, yet, just the last newsletter I sent out but that will change as I get used to doing it. We’ll see how it progresses and morphs and I am feeling quite giddy in the face of all of this! Don’t forget to bookmark the site for ease in traversing the ether.


First, a few notes about happenings at the store.

Last week I wrote about The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford, and he will be at the store on Wednesday, February 11, at 7 p.m.. Yes, that’s tomorrow! If you heard his interview on Saturday morning’s Weekend Edition, you know how good this book is. It’s a look at Seattle at the end of WWII during the Jackson Street jazz days. It’s racism, Japanese internment, and a love story that takes place then and now. It is one of the Third Place Books staff’s favorite books. Hey, if you didn’t read my review about it last week, you can go to my blog and read it now!

Friday night, February 13, at 6:30 p. m., we have Patrick Carman coming. He is the breakaway best-selling kid’s author of The Land of Elyon and the Atherton series, and he has a new book coming that will amaze and astound you. Using two types of media, print and electronic, his new book, Skeleton Creek, is going to bend how we approach literature.

Skeleton Creek is the story of two kids, Ryan and Sarah, who realize there is something sinister happening at Skeleton Creek. When Ryan comes back from the creek, having almost died, and is now forbidden to see Sarah, he tries to work out what happened to him by writing in his journal. Sarah goes back to Skeleton Creek with her camera to investigate, sending Ryan her videos and the links so he can see what she sees. Told in alternating chapters, using Ryan’s written journal and Sarah’s videos and links, we are taken on a scary, scary adventure. Ages 10 and up. (Scholastic, $14.99.)

Patrick will present a multi-media event at and it will be broadcast live from our store! You can access the webcast from the comfort (and safety!) of your own home by clicking on the following link: However, if you want a book signed to you or one of your kids without coming to the store, you must contact us, credit card in hand, and we will take care of it for you.

The Edgar Awards will be given out on April 30, 2009, and I have started to read some of the nominees, at least the nominees on the kid’s side of the awards. The Edgars are given to the best novels, nonfiction books, movie, television episode, and play in the mystery genre and there are some pretty good choices out there. You can see all the nominees at So far, I have read Paper Towns, by John Green, Eleven, by Patricia Reilly Giff, and Bog Child, by Siobhan Dowd and I am looking forward to the next one. I think it will be Getting the Girl, by Susan Juby, since I really like the other things she’s written.

Paper Towns, by John Green. I think John Green is a very smart writer. His books are clever and funny and he uses big words and then assumes that the people who read him will understand what he means. Paper Towns and his other two books, Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines, are strong, poignant books about kids who have great friendships and real problems. His books are probably the single most reason there are so many great books coming out for young adults that combine humor and serious issues. I have said it before: The children’s book genre has some of the best writing out there, for any age, and John Green is leading the pack.

Paper Towns is the story of Margot and Quentin. Quentin has loved Margot since they were nine. Now, just before graduating from high school, after a big night of prank playing, Margot disappears leaving a single clue. Not sure if Margot is hiding or deciding to do something more final, Quentin and his friends set out to find her.

John Green uses road trips, of one kind or another, in all of his books, so far. We could get all metaphorical and say they are a representation of growth and change but I like to look at them as just what they are: a chance to go for a ride with people you like, doing something important, figuring stuff out along the way, accompanied by chips, deep conversation, and noxious gases. Ages 14 and up. (Dutton Books, $17.99.)

, by Patricia Reilly Giff, is a story about friendship and family. Giff’s books are always good, solid reads and Eleven is a good mystery, too.

Sam has been having scary dreams about rocks, icy water, boat crashes and the number 11 as his eleventh birthday approaches. He thinks the dreams may have something to do with the box of papers hidden in the attic but he can’t read them: the letters swirl and move and don’t make any kind of sense. Caroline is the new girl at school, someone who has spent a lifetime moving from place to place, never having any long term friendships except those with books. She finally finds a haven in Sam and his warm family and friends, helping him learn to read, hoping she can finally call this town home. Together, they try to solve the mystery surrounding Sam, his family, and his dreams. Ages 8-13. (Wendy Lamb Books, $15.99.)

Bog Child, by Siobhan Dowd, is another one of my favorite books this year. It is the story of a young man trying to decide what is right in a world filled with instability.  Fergus and his uncle are digging peat when they find a child's body curled up deep in the bog.  As the excavation of the iron age body begins, and the story of the girl makes itself known to him in a series of dreams, Fergus finds himself dealing with a life filled with problems:  It is Ireland in the 1980's, in the middle of the “troubles”, his older brother is on a hunger strike and likely dying in jail and his parents are arguing about whether he has the right to kill himself for something he believes in. His uncle may be involved in something dangerous to himself and to everyone around him, and Fergus himself is up to his chin in what could be a conspiracy to kill  innocent people.  Not only that, but he is fast forming a dangerous friendship with a boy who guards the border between the Catholics and the Protestants.

Bog Child
was an absolutely riveting read. Ages 12 and up. (David Fickling Books, $16.99.)

Okay, it is no longer snowing, much, and it is late (I worked until 8, tonight, and then gave my friend, Steve, a ride home), and I want you to think seriously about coming to see Jamie Ford tomorrow and Patrick Carman on Friday. Check the Third Place website for all the other events, like Christopher Moore (on February 15 at 5:30 p.m.) and Debra Gwartney (February 18 at 7 p.m.), at Don’t forget that we are happy to get books signed for you and yours and all you have to do is call us: 206-366-3333.


Rene’ Kirkpatrick

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