Skip to main content

Jack Gantos on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me... (and Barnes & Noble on 30 Rock)

Jack GantosYou may know that I am an NPR junkie and my life is nearly complete having been interviewed by Michele Norris on All Things Considered where I was honored to talk about kid's books. I am also a huge fan of comedy and never miss the radio show Wait Wait Don't Tell Me... So, I was especially excited when worlds collided and the 2012 Newbery Award Winner Jack Gantos appeared on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me... to play their game Not My Job (click to read transcript or listen) where he answered multiple choice questions about romance novels. Before that, though, Peter Sagal asked him to talk about spending eighteen months in prison for drug smuggling when he was a teenager looking for cash for college. Gantos wrote about this in his autobiography Hole in My Life. Gantos is a VERY funny story teller and also happens to be great at the "Not My Job" game and won Carl Kassel's voice on the answering machine of Eli Barnes of Madison, WI. Gantos, who has previously won a Newbery Honor and National Book Award Honor, has long been on my list of authors to read. After hearing him on Wait Wait, I am bumping him up to the top of the pile! Don't wait for me, though. Check out Besty Bird's review of Dead End in Norvelt from April of 2011 at fuse #8.

In other news of worlds colliding, my favorite fictional television character, Liz Lemon, recently headed off to the 18th Street Barnes & Noble (bathroom) to look for a best friend who will share all her interests. Wait, it gets better! After meeting doppelgänger Amy coming out of the bathroom, the two leave the bookstore to get dinner, complaining about books that get new covers when the movie version comes out. Liz can be heard saying, "Let me imagine what Peeta Mellark looks like and how his arms smell of bread!" Not only is my workplace featured on  30 Rock (promotional consideration provided) but my favorite YA post-apocalyptic trilogy gets a shout out on my favorite show! I'm pretty sure that Tina Fey has not read The Hunger Games and someone else wrote that line, but it was still a squeal-worthy moment for me. For those of you who missed it, click The Ballad of Kenneth Parcell for a link to the show.


T. said…
Everytime I see your little picture at the top right of your site, I think how much you look like Tanya!
Tanya said…
T - You totally made my day!!!!

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…