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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Of Castles and of Kings

  • At a certain point a person is inclined to throw up their hands, throw in the towel, and throw up. I am referring, of course, to the new Laura Bush children’s book that silly Harper Collins is putting out in 2008. I say "silly Harper Collins" rather than "dagblasted Harper Collins" because we all know that if any other publisher had their choice they’d do the exact same thing. President’s wife = moolah. It’s as simple as that.  Be all that as it may be, that doesn’t mean I have to be happy that we’re about to be treated to yet another BACA book. The angel on my shoulder (sporting a bow tie, for some strange reason) counsels me to practice patience and wait to dismiss said book before it’s actually out. Said angel would do well to also inform me how to best read a plot description like, "depicts a mischievous little boy who likes to do everything but read. With the help of his teacher, he finds out that books and their characters can be a lot of fun," without retching.

  • Both MotherReader and Bookninja mentioned the odd case of the French teen who was arrested for translating Harry Potter and posting it on the Web. Awww. Poor kid. It’s not like he was asking money for it or anything. No word on how much of the book he posted. If it was the entire thing someone should give him a medal for sheer determination. That would be like someone handing me Les Miserables for a translation.

  • I’m a sucker for a good kidlit cover as it is, so the piece Judging a Book by its Cover: Wizard People is right up my alley. Author Heather Smith was apparently unaware of the brief spate of adult-friendly American covers slapped on our own Harry Potter books (I don’t think they ever went past book #3) but otherwise makes some good points. Of course, she didn’t include the only version of A Wizard of Earthsea that actually made the hero something other than a white guy. More’s the pity. Found via Original Content.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. We can hope that Mrs. Bush won’t habitually mix singulars and plurals the way you often do.

  2. Aaaaah. That’s better. I was just discussing the eerie lack of negative comments the other day and how worried I was about not receiving any. Phew! Glad to see that everything’s back to normal again.

  3. Is this character who doesn’t like reading named Jeb or George?

    p.s. no reason NOT to say ‘dagblasted’ in my opinion, Harper Collins seems especially commited to getting BACA books in the hands of readers.

  4. To say nothing of how much fun the word “dagblasted” is.

  5. “If it was the entire thing someone should give him a medal for sheer determination.” –Heck, give the kid a job! Translating books is tough work!

  6. petrichor says:

    My favorite cover of A Wizard of Earthsea! It’s about TIME someone displayed it to the masses.

  7. Negative comments?

    Maybe I should reread your original article to see where I went wrong.
    […Throw up… silly… doesn’t mean I have to be happy… retching…]
    Ah, I see it now! How could I have missed the gleefully encouraging sentiments toward both Mrs. Bush and her publisher? The positiveness precedent you were setting completely eluded me. Good vibes radiate from the screen; your words form a joyful conga line eagerly drawing us into the celebration. How could I have been so crass as to pee pee on your perky positiveness parade?

    (NOTE – according to the article, Mrs. Bush is giving the proceeds from the project to charitable teaching organizations. That’s positive. And she is quick to credit and highly praise Denise Brunkus, the illustrator working on the project. That’s nice. But you didn’t mention those points.)

  8. MotherReader says:

    That teen did translate the whole freakin’ book! Okay, so maybe it wasn’t quite – what’s the word – legal, but I’m still pretty impressed.

    The Bush book thing gives me shivers. I don’t care if she gives the money to charity or even goes to each child’s home and reads him or her the book. BACA stands appalled.

  9. MotherReader says:

    So I’m guessing from my displayed message above that I can’t code italics in here. Live and learn.

  10. Indeed. I’m not sure why the html works on some of these posts and not on others.

    Of course my own comment was much with the negative. I’ve no leg to stand on there. Nor, for that matter, was I putting you down, dear sir, for taking me to task. I was simply pointing out that comments ridiculing/correcting/prodding me used to be a common occurence. Since I moved to SLJ they dried up and I couldn’t figure out why. Your comments prove that varieagated opinions are still alive and well, as they should be. In retrospect, I find it odd that you’re the only person out there defending Ms. Bush. Surely more than one person supports the right of our dear first lady to publish for the kiddies. HAVE AT THEE, PEOPLES!

    That said, I wouldn’t change a dot of an “I” or a cross on a “T” of what I’ve written. If all the world agreed with me what a dull place it would be.

    What a lively Friday this is becoming!

  11. Sorry, but you won’t find me defending Mrs. Bush. I’m BACA all the way! And, showing my ignorance, I never realized Julie Andrews was the Edwards of the Whangdoodles. I did know about Dumpy, however. Never put 2 and 2 together. So I think Julie qualifies as a real author!