We don't do stars...
We don't do thumbs...
We read children's books and grade them in 10 categories:
literary quality
descriptive ability
humor (if attempted)
illustrations (if present)
believability of characters
believability of situations
overall reading enjoyment

There is no grading curve. There are no points for classroom participation. There is no extra credit.
If you disagree, come speak to us after class.

The Grading System

A+.....this means (guess what) we think it's great. So great it surprised even us.
A.....this means it's pretty darn good. A book we'd recommend to just about everyone we know.
B.....better than most. Not exactly Shakespeare for kids, though, if you get our drift.
C.....mediocre. Like the color beige, it didn't stand out.
D.....we didn't like it. There were more bad aspects than good ones.
F.....it reeked of badness. We read it over and over when we are in dire need of hysterical laughter.
F-.....We're pretty sure Dante had a circle of hell for the people who wrote these...and a lower circle for those who published them.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Author Interview: Jaclyn Dolamore, author of Magic Under Glass

In the first of an exciting set of new author interviews from the Tenners, we welcome Jaclyn Dolamore, author of MAGIC UNDER GLASS (Bloomsbury, December 2009). She's here today to tell us a little about her book and herself--the novel is released on December 22.

CBR: What are ten words that best describe your book?

JD: Foreign dancer. Mysterious automaton. Brooding sorcerer. Fairy taxidermy. Corsets. Pianoforte.

CBR: What is one of your favorite sentences or paragraphs from your book?

JD: "I felt like I could have peeled back the stiff fingers and found living ones beneath. If I could only see the spark of life in him and draw it out. If I could only punch his back and make him breathe. I ached to see his eyes searching from his frozen face."

CBR: Michelangelo once said, "What do you despise? By this you are truly known." What are ten things (smells, sounds, situations, etc.) you just can't stand?

JD: Polyester, mayonnaise, calling someone on the phone, buying shoes for my huge feet, the lack of creative vegetable dishes at restaurants, hot weather, planned obsolescence, "adult contemporary" stations piped into retail establishments (I worked retail for 8 years...), anything medical, wearing makeup.

CBR: If you had to spend the rest of your life on a desert island, what fictional character would you take with you?

JD: How about...Aang from the Avatar: The Last Airbender TV show. He's pretty cheerful and he can command the elements, so I would trust him to be pleasant company and keep us alive.

CBR: Who are some authors that have inspired you?

JD: L. M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Piers Anthony back in the day, Lois Lowry, Maud Hart Lovelace, Charlotte Brontë, J. K. Rowling; also various graphic novels and manga, especially Thieves and Kings by Mark Oakley, Dame Darcy's Meatcake, and Ai Yazawa's manga Paradise Kiss and NANA.

CBR: What book of the past ten years did you enjoy the most?

JD: 10 years? Oh... wow. That's a pretty long stretch to remember. Maybe Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. (Note: this book is not for kids. Definite adult content. But I could NOT put it down.) However, I have read a lot of good books in 10 years, so I could go on...

CBR: When you were ten years old, what did you plan to be when you grew up?

JD: I believe that was my "acting" phase. I generally waffled between artist, actress, and writer throughout my childhood.

CBR: If you could choose anyone, living or dead, what illustrator would you choose to illustrate your book?

JD: Oh man. That is so hard. I love so many illustrators so so much. Arthur Rackham and similar artists of that period, or Trina Schart Hyman, or the aforementioned Dame Darcy. Or my sister Kate Dolamore! *pimp* http://www.pencilshavings.net *end pimp* Because she is an artist and it would be so cool to produce something together like that.

CBR: What would be your main character's theme song/some songs on the soundtrack for your book?

JD: Lizst's "Hungarian Rhapsody" and almost anything Chopin. Player pianos and Victorian music boxes. The Decemberists, Franz Ferdinand, and "Love Hurts" by the Everly Brothers, because most love in the book does hurt... I had a real playlist but I lost it in a computer switch...reconstructing it is on my "to-do" list.

CBR: Could you give us any hints/teasers as to what your next project might be?

JD: My next book is about a mermaid and a winged dude, and it's already with my editor. So that is my next published project, but no longer the next project I'm working on (until edits). I am currently poking at a pet project about a girl whose mother was once a potion maker in another world until she fled to America...but now someone from her old life has found her. It includes a magical Mafia and doll people.

CBR: Thank you so much, Jackie! It's been great getting to know you a little--and best of luck with all your release fun and excitement!

To learn more about Jackie and her book, you can visit her website: www.jaclyndolamore.com. And there's rumors that her book trailer may appear on this blog sometime in the near future, so check back!

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