Tuesday, January 1, 2013

1st Edition, January 1, 2013

It's hard to believe that Canyonland Press's first anniversary is February 1, 2013. The year has gone fast, we've experimented a bit, and hopefully we've grown. But we need your help. All of the editors work and/or write full time. We need your feedback to know whether this endeavor is something of value. So please take the survey on the right side of this article, be sure to answer all four questions. It will be up until January 17, please respond before then. Thank you for all of your support this year.

Madam Librarian Recommendation.
Elizabeth at Brigham City Library, recommends War Horse.
Elizabeth said that it's an older book but she never read it, and when the movie came out she decided she would read it. She said the book kept her enthralled and it's a very heart-warming story.

War Horse
By Michael Morpurgo
From his home page bio:
Michael Morpurgo is, in his own words, “oldish, married with three children, and a grandfather six times over.” Born in 1943, he attended schools in London, Sussex and Canterbury (one at least of which was horrible enough to inspire him to describe it obliquely in The Butterfly Lion). He went on to London University to study English and French, followed by a step into the teaching profession and a job in a primary school in Kent. It was there that he discovered what he wanted to do.

“We had to read the children a story every day and my lot were bored by the book I was reading. I decided I had to do something and told them the kind of story I used to tell my kids – it was like a soap opera, and they focused on it. I could see there was magic in it for them, and realised there was magic in it for me.” Read More here.

This number 1 bestselling book is the incredibly moving story of one horse’s experience in the deadly chaos of the First World War. In 1914, Joey, a young farm horse, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges towards the enemy, witnessing the horror of the frontline. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey’s courage touches the soldiers around him.

What Can Mark Twain Tell Us
By: Amy Durham
We've all heard it before. "Dream big." "Never give up on your dreams." "If you can dream it, you can acheive it." All of these sayings are good reminders, but I think sometimes we hear them so much they lose their zing and pass into our ears and right back out again without affecting us at all.

Today's "Quotable Discussions" is all about dreaming. And for this post, I've turned my thoughts to Mark Twain. Years ago, when I was a freshman in high school, the first book I was assigned to read for my English class was "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" . I'd read a few books before, and had discovered that I kind of liked reading for pleasure. So, unlike most of my class, I wasn't turned off by this assignment. I rather enjoyed it! And because I had a time frame for reading the book, I discovered that I could read quickly and finish a book in no time!

Mark Twain himself was born an ordinary boy (Samuel Clemens) into an ordinary family in 1835. The son of a judge, he suffered poor health as a child, and though he eventually recovered enough to attend school, his father fell ill with pneumonia and died when Samuel was 12 years old. The following year, Samuel left school, choosing instead to become a printer's apprentice. Two years later, he joined his brother's newspaper, working as an editorial assistant, and discovered a love of writing that sparked one of literature's greatest.

Did Samuel Clemens know from the time he was a young child that he would become a famous author whose works would stand the test of time? Probably not. But that didn't stop him from becoming Mark Twain. I think the quote below reminds us not just to "dream big" and "never give up", but also to realize that even though we don't know what the future will hold, years from now it would be terribly disappointing to regret that we didn't try at all to achieve our dreams, and far better to know that we gave it our all.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~ Mark Twain

One of the things that attracts me most to Young Adult fiction (both reading it and writing it) is that it inspires that attitude. The young people reading YA fiction are at the age where nothing seems impossible and dreaming is encouraged. I love the thought that a book can plant, water, and nurture the seeds of dreaming and achievement in a young heart, and encourage readers to "catch the trade winds" in their sails, and "explore... dream... discover."