The World According To Kaley by Dian Curtis Regan (Darby Creek, 2005). Mr. Serrano has asked Kaley to write essays about world history, and she’s filling her notebook with them–doodles and all. She’s including FACTS and footnotes and graphs and maps (okay, with maybe a little urging), and, more importantly, she’s including her unique and spirited interpretation of times past. Meanwhile, Kaley has a home to find for a puppy, adjust to her new baby brother (not sister!), and deal with her messy cousin Cal. Smart, funny, vulnerable, and energetic, Kaley’s notebook is a first-rate read, and that’s a FACT! Ages 9-up.
An example of Kaley’s historical analysis: “The next age was called the Stone Age. It got its name because people made stuff out of rocks. Rock chairs, rock cars, rock TVs. It was during this era that rock-and-roll began.”
And another: “Oddly enough, the word ‘hieroglyphics’ is completely impossible to illustrate. You’d think they would’ve called this type of writing ‘cat’ or something easier to draw.”
One more: “When people hear the term ‘Middle Ages,’ they usually think of grown-ups in their thirties. (No offense, Mr. S.).”
I love, love, love, love this book!
My other favorite book by Dian Curtis Regan is Chance, illustrated by Dee Huxley (Philomel, 2003).
Cynsational News & Links
Reviews are coming in for the anthology Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories For Today edited by Lori M. Carlson (HarperCollins, 2005), which includes my short story “A Real-Live Blond Cherokee and His Equally Annoyed Soul Mate.” Booklist says the stories, “show teens–lost, loving, funny, uncertain–coming of age on the reservation and in the city.” ITEPP says, “a reader could not go wrong when choosing this wonderful book!”
Interview with David Caplan, Art Director of HarperCollins Children’s Books from childrensillustrators.com.
Nandini Nayar on the children’s literature of India from AchUKa.
Point Well Taken by Kathy Greer, in the Story POV section of Writing Tips (Three points of view on POV) from the Institue of Children’s Literature. See also POV: Pride of Victory? Puffed Out Verbs? by Nancy Julien Kopp, in the Story POV section of Writing Tips from ICL.