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.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Author Interview: Kristina McBride

Up today is the next lovely Tenner, Kristina McBride. (Seriously, aren't they all so good-looking?) She very graciously joined us to discuss her upcoming book, The Tension of Opposites ( on sale May 25, 2010 from Egmont USA).

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

KM: Psychological thriller, kidnapped and returned, friendship, love, romance, photography, nature.

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

KM: The following comes from the scene where my main character sees her best friend for the first time since she went missing two years earlier. The reunion goes nothing like Tessa had expected, as her old friend Noelle seems to be a completely different person:

Noelle sighed. “This just isn’t my life anymore, Tess. I’m not that girl you knew all those years ago.”

“Noelle, I’ll always be - ”

“That’s exactly what I’m talking about.” Her hand shot out at the darkness, aiming to hit something that wasn’t there. “I’m not Noelle anymore.” She breathed heavily through her nose and clenched her jaw.

“Of course you’re Noelle. Who else would you be?”

The girl who was not Noelle looked directly into my eyes. Her stare was hard and cold. “Noelle is gone. And she’s not coming back.” She blinked. “My name is Elle.”

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?

KM; Noise, coffee, people not being reliable, people not wearing their seatbelts, itty-bitty children drinking soda, when people are disrespectful to books, cold weather (too bad I live in Ohio!). Does it say something about me that I can only come up with seven things for this list?

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

KM: Margo Roth Spiegelman from Paper Towns by John Green. She’s mischievous and brilliant with all of her pranks and I think she’d be great fun to hang out with!

CBR: Who are some authors that have inspired you?

KM: This is so hard to answer! Every book I have read has inspired me in some way. To name a few off the top of my head: Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, Sarah Dessen, John Green, Les Edgerton (the author of Hooked, an incredible book on writing!).

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

KM: Are you kidding me? I mean, there is absolutely NO WAY I can answer this one. When I’m reading a book, I slip into this alternate reality where I believe the characters are real. They’re like friends to me. I could never choose just one. Or even ten! If people are interested in seeing the types of books I read, they can check me out on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3084178.Kristina_McBride).

(I know, I know, it's such a mean question. I could never answer either!)
CBR: When you were ten years old, what did you plan to be when you grew up?

KM: A librarian, teacher, author, or hair stylist.

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

KM: Maxfield Parrish – not that his style would match my book so much, but that I think he is an incredible artist. My favorite of his pieces is titled Ecstasy.

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

KM: Don’t Follow by Alice & Chains is the first song that comes to mind. It portrays the journey of Elle, the character who was kidnapped and returned after two years of captivity.

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

KM: It’s the second book in my two-book deal. The only thing I can say right now is that it has nothing to do with The Tension of Opposites.

CBR: Many thanks for the interview, Kristina, and best of luck on your upcoming release!

To learn more about Kristina and The Tension of Opposites, there's lots of places you can find her:
Website: http://www.kristinamcbride.com/
Blog: http://kristinamcbride.livejournal.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/McBrideKristina
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6889070-the-tension-of-opposites

And you can pre-order her book from Amazon (though it would be even better to get it from your local indie bookstore)!

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