29 December 2011

Best of BFWP: The Favorite Character Challenge

(We're continuing our Best of Books for Walls Project as we get things lined up for the new year!!))

This week's challenge is from me, The Little Sister (Mom is typing for me.) Yesterday while we were swinging on the swings I thought of it! I want to know some of your Favorite Characters from books. 

We thought of so many. Big Sister and I looked for pictures with Mom to show you some of our favorites! Mom always reads Jamie O'Rourke with an Irish Brogue and she never gets tired of reading it.  I wish Tomie dePaola wrote more books about Jamie and Eileen -we didn't like the one about the Pooka as much.

One of my Big Sister's Favorite Characters is Enola Holmes. 

This cover image of "The Left Handed Lady" is from the Portuguese version of "O Caso da Senhorita Canhota", which translates "Miss Left Handed." We thought it was funny how titles don't always translate the same!

Tell us a favorite character. 

Please use the following format for your comment:

Title of Book, Author, the name of your Favorite Character and what you like (or don't like) about them.

**Would you like the Weekly Challenge delivered to your email box every Wednesday? Click here for details!

29 November 2011

Michael Moore: End Wars, Fund Libraries

I am one lucky woman. My mom, The Bean, loves to spring for tickets to literary events --our deal: she gets tickets and I try to get the food --she usually wins the draw and reaches her wallet first. Together we've experienced wonderful authors including Diane Rehm and Maria Doria Russellclick the links to read our adventures. Recently she treated to "An Evening with Michael Moore" at Traverse City's State Theatre.

Before Michael read from his new book Here Comes Trouble he shared a couple of lists. The first brought to light a simple fact: we all have things in common, if we take pause and really give it a chance. Michael and I, we don't tighten lids; Michael and my brother, share a middle name --Francis; Michael and my family work hard to get along with neighbors (he even lived through neighbors spreading manure on his lawn); Michael and myriads love movies, books, libraries, and our moms.  I really whooped and hollered when he shared number six of his second list, Ten Things We Want: A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street: End Wars, Fund Libraries. Could it really be that simple? Well, of course there is much more to it --but that simple thought I am happy to share with The Sisters: fight less, learn more.

Here at Books for Walls Project we are always in the lookout for ideas that help libraries, especially with funding. During his book tour Michael is going the distance for libraries. In his home town of Flint, Michigan (free event, half price books) $10,000 was donated to the Flint Public Library. In fact, on every stop  a portion of book sale royalties are donated to a local library. We're trying to find out which Traverse Area District Library will receive the Traverse City event royalties, we'll let you know

Three local booksellers were offered an exclusive opportunity to sell autographed, first edition copies of  Here Comes Trouble. In turn, Brilliant Books, McLean & Eakin Booksellers and Saturn Booksellers donate $5 from each sale to help restore the State Theatre (a local gem in Traverse City). Our only criticism: at www.michaelmoore.com Here Comes Trouble seekers are sent to Amazon.com, where the book costs nearly half as much at the cover price. It's hard for folks, libraries included, to slap down full price when Amazon deals are dangled like cheap carrots in front of us. (Note to Michael Moore: If you're reading this, please consider linking to local bookstores on your website. Remember you told us  that change could be simple, so we're giving it a try! Imagine what your book sales could do for local economies --we can. And THANK YOU.)
Mike and Me
Thank you Mike for posing "Books for Walls Project Style"
and thanks for taking the time to listen!

Following a lively, cheering, laughing, audience involved talk we waited in line to get books signed and chat with Michael Moore; his charisma and ability to speak his truth is what America could be all about. He took a moment to hear our abbreviated stories --that The Bean (my Mom) and The Poet  (my Dad) met on the streets of Detroit during the riots on April 4, 1968 when Martin Luther King, Jr was shot, then married and raised three children just blocks away; we told him about BFWP and our Library Love plans --he listened as he signed his name. The night was about listening. Listening to him talk about his life, running for school board, twenty-somethings, his mother and his love of reading and oh yes, his love of  movies, listening to the audience react, listening to my Mom laugh, wondering how I will do a better job listening to everyone I meet. After our evening with Michael Moore and a theater full of hopeful people there was no way this Mom will ever wonder if the future of the world is all right.

In our perfect world libraries don't have to wonder how to remain open, which books to buy, and what services to provide. In our perfect world the knowledge that gives Americans power would be available 24/7 to every citizen --any age, with or without an address. We are giddy to imagine that world.

“I realized that this was the big secret of democracy 
-- that change can occur by starting off with just a 
few people doing something.” 
Michael Moore, Here Comes Trouble

Now get out there and support your library
donate a couple of books, 
join the Friends of the Library... 
use it or loose it!

Now for the FUN part:
We invested in two copies of Here Comes Trouble (that's $10 to help the State Theatre!) one for our personal library and one for YOUR favorite library. 
Would you like us to donate a signed, 1st edition to your library? 
Drop us a line info@booksforwallsproject.org, or post a comment, tell us about your favorite library --we'll collect the entries over the next couple of weeks and then The Sisters will pick one in a random drawing. 
This copy can belong to your library... 

Stop by again soon! We have all sorts of fun planned for December!

23 November 2011

Listening Challenge 2011

We challenge you to listen, to collect stories, and to take 
part in StoryCorps National Day of Listening!

(WARNING: if you watch the video you will be inspired 
and will learn everything you need to do to get started!)

The Books for Walls Project is pleased to be an official state partner of the acclaimed oral history project StoryCorps in celebrating the fourth annual National Day of Listening on Friday, November 25, 2011. 

On the day after Thanksgiving every year, The Books for Walls Project and StoryCorps are asking all Americans to start a new holiday tradition: set aside an hour to interview a friend, a loved one, or someone in their community about his or her life.

To record your own National Day of Listening interview:
  • Find someone you’d like to interview
  • Create your question list
  • Sit down to record your conversation

StoryCorps has created a free Do-It-Yourself (DIY) interview guide with step-by-step interview instructions, equipment recommendations, and sample questions that is available online at www.nationaldayoflistening.org. You can record your interview using equipment that is readily available in most homes—from cell phones to tape recorders to computers or even pen and paper.

The National Day of Listening was started by StoryCorps in 2008 as a way to provide an alternative to "Black Friday" shopping sprees. By participating in this year’s National Day of Listening, we hope you’ll find that taking the time out to interview someone about his or her life is the least expensive but most meaningful gift that we can give.

The StoryCorps mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, preserve, and share their stories. 

Join the Books for Walls Project and take part in the National Day of Listening!

17 November 2011

Word of the Day from The Uncle: Bibliophage

This just in from The Uncle (hopefully we'll get him to be a regular one day!) Today's Word of the Day from www.dictionary.com:


   \BIB-lee-uh-feyj\ , noun;\BIB-lee-uh-feyj\, noun:
An ardent reader; a bookworm.
You may recall, if you are something of a bibliophage, that the late Sylvia Plath had a story with a similar name.
-- Corey Mesler, We Are a Billion-Year-Old Carbon
The borrower, heedless, reckless bibliophage cares nothing about all this; into the midst of these learned pleasures he leaps like a fox into a hen-roost; he is smitten all at once with an overmastering hunger for reading...
-- Elliot Stock, The Bookworm
Bibliophage derives from the Latin biblio meaning “books” and phage meaning “a thing that devours.”
We'd like to coin a new term... librarybiliophagean ardent reader of LIBRARY books! Now go and and celebrate your librarybibliophageness... visit your favorite library and tell them we sent you!

Best of BFWP: The A book, a quote! Tell us, please do! Which is the Best of the Best Seuss for You? Challenge

On Sunday we shared some exciting news in the world of children's books... new Dr. Seuss. The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, according to publisher Random House, holds seven stories including:
The Bippolo Seed "in which a scheming feline leads an innocent duck to make a bad decision" and The Strange Shirt Spot "the inspiration for the bathtub-ring scene in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back." 
We have several Dr. Seuss books and somehow we never, ever tire of reading them and cannot wait for the new one, just over 120 days until it is released (September 2011).
For a little fun The Big 
Sister invites you to say 
this passage from Fox in 
Socks 3 times fast:
"Through three cheese trees
three free fleas flew.
While these fleas flew,

freezy breeze blew.
Freezy breeze made
these three trees freeze.
Freezy trees made
these trees' cheese freeze.
That's what made these
three free fleas sneeze."

Our challenge this week is to think about Dr. Seuss and share your thoughts, here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Which is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
  • What do you know about Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss? We've been wondering about the story behind his nom de plume, does anyone know how he came up with Dr. Seuss? 
  • April is National Poetry Month, try your hand at a little iambic pentameter -one of the wonderful poetry rhythms Dr. Seuss used. We found great lessons from Smithsonian in Your Classroom, titled The Music in Poetry, click here for a PDF of the issue.
  • Share a favorite book passage or Dr.Seuss quote.
  • Tell us a Seuss-y story --perhaps a book that your read over and over and over!

Take a moment to learn more about The Books for Walls Project --we were in the newspaper this week!  Keep up with the latest on literacy, libraries and book love with us on Facebook or sign up for our RSS feed.

Now, without further ado
please take 

10 November 2011

Best of BFWP: The Sidekick Challenge

Our Sidekick
This week's Challenge is brought to you by The Dog. We realized it was time to let him get a chance to share what he thinks is important...

So, let's talk sidekicks. What is a sidekick? The Big Sister says, "a sidekick is the main character's buddy, sometimes real, sometimes imagined and very important!" The Dog is definitely a sidekick --or are we HIS sidekicks?

The Big Sister helped The Dog work out the details of this week's challenge and both Sisters helped him go incognito for his photo, they decided to forgo the regular "Behind the Book Pose" and chose instead a wig, scarf and sunglasses. (Very nice, no?)

Take the Sidekick Challenge:
Tell us about a sidekick
in a book you love
--or tell us a story
about your
favorite sidekick!

26 October 2011

"The End" Challenge

We've asked for Opening LinesMemorable Lines,and we offered a way to test a book with First and Last Lines together,and now it's time for books that go out with a bang. Share your favorite last lines.

Need a little help? Why not try a search to look up some last lines --we know it can be hard to remember ALL those books you've read!! And there have been loads of interesting publications on famous and memorable last lines... even top 100 lists!

Tell us the line, the title, the author and any thoughts.
And please, feel free to write a LIST!!

**We decided to take the month of October off --The Sisters focused on the new school year, The Mom and The Dad did what parents do, The Dog napped, The Cat napped, and now we are ready to get back to BFWP with all sorts of new challenges. We sure hope you will join us! We are very happy to be back!

25 October 2011

Best of BFWP: The Big and Little Sister Share Books for 5 Year Olds

Sunday we posted a lovely quote by Anna Quindlen which was from an almost 20 year old article in the NY Times (click here to read.)  Some things are timeless, like good books and reading them to a child.   

Today's post is prompted by a comment on the quote from zanekathryne
"What a lovely article for Sunday afternoon. Thank you for sharing. I keep meaning to ask if the Big Sister and the Little Sister would be willing to share some of their favorite books that might appeal to a little girl who is almost 5. We are looking for a wonderful new chapter book. Thank you!"
Thank you for the request, we had a ball looking over the shelves and talking about the books over a dinner.  Here are 10 we came up with --there are MANY more!
  • Brambly Hedge Collection by Jill Barklem  The mice of Brambly Hedge know how to have a good time and how to take care of each other.  The books are precious and the illustrations, well, even I get lost in the whimsy.  The Complete Collection is hard to get but the single editions are available.  Find at a Library.  Visit the Brambly Hedge Website.
  • The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden  For any child having even the mildest issue with bugs, start here.  If you like to read with voices --there is a great opportunity in this book.  Find at a Library.  More about the book.
  • Stuart Little by E.B. White Both of the Sisters found Stuart everywhere after reading this book --he would follow us on our walks, show up at the dentist, he even has a house in Leland, Michigan. The imagination this book inspired has blossomed.  Find at a Library.  More about the book.
  • The Beejum Book by Alice O. Howell In the original days of Harry Potter I read the first bunch of books --and while liked reading them, a lot-- decided right then, that I wanted to find something different for the Big Sister (she was about one then.)  The Beejum Book is one of the books that I found --a girl, magic, adventures, but unfortunately not a series!  Find at a Library.  To watch a 3 minute interview with the author, click here.
  • Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne  Both Sisters like these and I like the places and people the girls are introduced to through the series.  I enjoy that I can read a full book to the Little Sister in one sitting, then at the end talk about the facts of the story and off we go to find more!  Find at a library.  More about the book.
  • A trio by Kate DiCamillo

    • The Tale of Despereaux  In the first pages of the book, just after the contents there is a quote: "The world is dark, and light is precious.  Come close, dear reader.  You must trust me.  I am telling you a story."  That was all we needed to get started!  The book is WAY better than the movie!  Find at a Library.  More about the book.
    • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane  This book is heavy, the Big Sister explains, "he loses so many people he loves... it ends good!"  We read it in one sitting --even the Little Sister who barely 2 1/2.  It is a tear jerker --the reader will need tissues-- but it is an absolute favorite.  We've loaned it our to adult friends and they like it just the same.  Find it at a Library.  Visit the Edward Tulane website.
    • The Mercy Watson Series  A pig that subtly saves the day and eats lots and lots of toast (we LOVE toast.)  Short books, great transition for an early reader (the text is huge.)  I began reading these aloud and the Big Sister finished reading them to herself!  Find at a Library.  More about the book.
  • The Little House in the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder  I am guessing you all know about these books.  The Sisters have listen to the Mom read them all twice, listened to via audio books over and over.  Then the Sisters found more books about Laura's Daughter, Mother and Grandmother --still, the original series is the best.  And my parents (the Bean and the Poet) read them when I was little.  Learn more about the Series.  See where Laura lived.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis The true test of a good book: How many times can you listen to a book?  How many times can you read it?  These books I have easily read a dozen times, it passes the test with flying colors.  The Big Sister listened to the Chronicles for the first time when she was barely three (I had to do some editing then) and both Sister's listened to it again last year.  Just this week the Big Sister found the complete collection on audio (31 hours!)  And they are listening again.  Although to my delight, the narrator doesn't do the voices like the Mom.  Find at a LibraryMore about the Series.
Add your suggestions for chapter books for children -that are just about 5- in the comments below.  

Please help us with the Project and tell us where you are from, click here.  

12 October 2011

Best of BFWP: The Literary BFF Challenge

The Sister's are lucky, they have the best kind of BFF* the live-in kind. They stand firm on their connection, as sisters, and as BFF's. When I was young I(The Mom) never had a bona fide BFF, never wore a half heart necklace, the other half worn faithfully by my BFF. No, back in the late 70's, early 80's, did the term "BFF" exist? While I may not have had a BFF I think had some idea of who my BFF might be like...

The Mom's Imaginary Childhood BFF:

2 parts Meg Murray (A Wrinkle in Time --Meg's brilliant and normal)

1 part Nancy Drew (Wouldn't it be cool to have a sleuth for a best friend?)
1 part Laura Ingalls Wilder (I didn't think of her as cool, but I liked the way she let her bonnet fly even when Ma chided her for it.)
1 part Jo (Little Women --do I have to explain?)
1 part Fairy Godmother (Again, need I explain?)

As an adult I am lucky to have The Dad as my BFF, but do I admit to fantasizing about what it might be like to have the Bennett Sisters as friends (Pride and Prejudice) or to have coffee with Vianne (Chocolat) or tea with Margaret Mead (I have really dreamed of tea party.)

This week we challenge you to dive into 
your imagination and 
come up with a Literary BFF*.

But before you take the Challenge, here are some tips on keeping in touch with BFWP and taking advantage of all the wonderful bookish fun that happens here:
  • Follow up with readers comments --first click on "comments, click here to read and post your own!", then go down to the bottom and click on "Subscribe by email" --then anytime someone comments on the post you will know (you can unsubscribe at any time.)
  • Sign up for an email subscription to all of our posts, click here and follow the prompt.
  • Sign up for our RSS feed: --we have a feed for our posts and a feed for your comments --sign up for both and you'll know anytime something happens here!
  • Help us continue to get out in the world, tap into our social media stream and share us with friends --send a bibliophile friend our link, share us on Facebook or Twitter, why not tell the whole world?

*BFF: Best Friend Forever.

Please take The Literary BFF Challenge, tell us all about your imaginary BFF in the comments below:

28 September 2011

Challenged Book Challenge

September 24 - October 1 2010 is Banned Books Week

This week the Four of Us are celebrating the First Amendment and our freedom to read whatever we want!

What exactly is a banned book? Basically, it is a book to which free access has been denied --for more on why/how/who/what of book banning visit "About Banned and Challenged Books" at the American Library Association's  (ALA)Website.

So, Books for Walls Project Readers, what is your favorite banned book?

ALA's list of banned or challenged books 2010: click here 

Top 100 banned classics: click here.

21 September 2011

1/3 Challenge (The Clean Your Bookshelves Challenge!)

This week the Four of Us decided that we needed to make some changes. We live in  a lovely little house in the woods, but there is just too much stuff, and clutter is a surefire way to make space feel small. So we are clearing out 1/3 of our stuff, just giving it away.
The Big Sister letting
books GO!
We decided to invite our readers to join us and clear off your bookshelves! Can you give away every 3rd book? It is hard, but once you begin it gets easier. We grab a book we wonder, most of the time it just sits here, would this book live a happier life if we gave it to the library? And libraries could really use our support these days. And once you clear your bookshelves, you can start filling them again ;)

The Little Sister clearing
the shelves (don't worry
we won't get rid of The Cat!
So far it's been liberating... watch out library and Goodwill, here we come! Are you up for the 1/3 Challenge? Join us, it really is fun...

19 September 2011

Guardian's Book Swap is On.

"In deciding what to read, serendipity is something we need more of," Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw said. "The Book Swap is a fascinating idea because you might get a book placed in your hands invisibly, out of nowhere. I've chosen Tolstoy's novella Hadji Murad partly because it is a work of authentic genius, and it's relatively short. I envy the person who finds it and reads it for the first time." (Read the full article here!)
How about a guarantee of 15,000 free books, plus and endless possibility of more --to be found anywhere! 

The Guardian and Observer Book Swap promises just that, and more, during "Books Season".
Figure A
Here is the scenario... on a lovely stroll through London, a quiet bench beckons you, on that bench is a book. You pick it up, open it to find a bookplate that says "This book now belongs to you"(see figure A) with a lovely note from a complete stranger.  
Inspired, you run home for books, print out bookplates, write notes to strangers and then leave them all over for other book lovers... 
The Guardian even provides a map if you want to cut to the chase! and palace to post photos of the books you've leftThe books are just waiting for you, all over the UK --aren't you tempted. Learn how to take part, click here.
The Book Swap is Great: pass it on... "a chance for writers, readers, publishers to indulge in a grand act of recycling by taking a favourite book, inserting a tribute to its greatness, and leaving it in a public place to be found by someone new. This isn't a club exactly, more a secret society; a chance to quietly pass along a book you have loved to a perfect stranger"  explains Laura Barton. "And in an increasingly virtual age, book swapping offers a rare treat: a real book, left by a real person, simply celebrating how wonderful they found it to be." Read more.

We're working on connecting with friends across the Atlantic to help us take part. Interested in helping us? Send us an email. The Books for Walls Project will ship you a book, all you have to do is put it in a fun place in England --The Sisters have a few requests-- take a photo and help us tell the story --how fun is that?

Happy Reading, how about taking a challenge? Click here and take one, or two, or all of them!