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.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Author Interview: Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Up today, Tenner interview #6, with Christina Gonzalez, author of The Red Umbrella, to be released May 11.

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

CDG: Secret plan, revolution, family, friendship, betrayal, separation, Cuba, Nebraska, red umbrella

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

CDG: It was a bright clear day outside. Not a cloud in the sky. I stared through the plane’s window at the palm trees in the distance. It didn’t seem real. Like a painting was hung inside the plane showing us a last glimpse of Cuba. I pushed my nose against the glass. Mamá and Papá were out there…somewhere.

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?

CDG: I guess some are obvious choices: nails on a chalkboard, early morning alarms, stinky garbage, stinky soccer cleats, cleaning dog poo, babies crying hysterically, my children crying because they got hurt. Others are a little more peculiar: old water from a flower vase, lilies and high pitched whistles.

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

CDG: I’ll take Katniss from the Hunger Games/Catching Fire. She seems like a girl who can handle just about anything that is thrown at her.

CBR: Who are some authors that have inspired you?

CDG: Madeleine L’Engle and the writers who wrote under the pseudonym of Carolyne Keene

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

CDG: Too many to name

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

CDG: Probably a writer or a lawyer

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

CDG: Roberto Innocenti. I’ve seen some of his work and love it.

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

CDG: I have a playlist with the actual songs on my website, but I think my mc’s favorites would be Celia Cruz’s “Guantanamera” and Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up”.

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

CDG: It’s a story about the Bermuda Triangle, Bahamian folklore, parallel universes and powerful talismans.

CBR: Thank you so much, Christina! Best wishes on your upcoming release and all the fun and stress that go along with it!

To learn more  about Christina and her novel, you can visit her website: http://www.christinagonzalez.com/
And watch her book trailer on YouTube!

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