November 18, 2016

Picture Books 2016 #6: Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

I'm Not. by Pam Smallcomb

In I'm Not., we have a couple of caricatured "child" dinosaurs. In the first half of the story, the unnamed main character bemoans the fact that her friend Evelyn is wonderful at so many things, while the main character herself isn't good at any of them.

The second half, however, switches it up. Evelyn takes the stage to talk about what she isn't good at, and all of the things she mentions happen to be things the main character does well.

It's a nice little story about envy and individuality that adults will likely find it as cute as their kids find funny.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague

An imaginative little boy makes up (or does he?) a cowboy story to share with his class when it's his turn to tell everyone what he did during summer vacation.

I have to say, any "what'd you do this summer" assignment is automatically better if you can pretend you actually did something fun. It'd certainly be better than my old "I stayed at home and did nothing because my family was poor". There was never much worth sharing about that one, believe me.

Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates

This is the first book in a picture series known as Dog Loves, and it's a brief story about an anthropomorphic dog who loves books so much that he opens up a book store.

Unfortunately, none of his potential patrons seem to share his interest in books, and his store is empty a lot of the time... But that's okay, because he'll just pass his time reading!

This is a good choice for a young bibliophile and/or library lover.

Dog Loves Counting by Louise Yates

We're back with the same book-loving dog from the previous book, and this time, he's having some insomnia troubles. Counting sheep isn't helping him get to sleep, so he tries counting other animals while using his books as inspiration.

This is definitely another book for book lovers, even though the focus is on teaching a child to count.


A Dog Is A Dog by Stephen Shaskan

This one's a pattern book teaching kids various animals by telling them that "a dog is a dog unless it's an X"  (and an X is an X unless it's a Y,  and a Y is a Y unless it's a Z, and so on).

The illustrations are quite silly and cute, and the book is actually more baby-appropriately amusing than informational; it's also quite short (only getting through four animals, including the dog, before it's over), so it's definitely baby/toddler fare. It's pretty adorable, though.

Want to buy one of these books? Refused by the Call is an Amazon Affiliate!

November 17, 2016

Picture Books 2016 #5: This One's For Boo

The Best Place to Read by Debbie Bertram and Susan Bloom 
In The Best Place to Read, an unnamed little boy is excited to read a new book, but he can't find a good place to read it. Eventually, he decides reading in his mother's lap is the way to go. It's a bit Goldie Locks-esque, without the being chased by bears at the end.

It's a good read for a young child in whom you're trying to foster a love of reading, but definitely not a good for one who you're trying to encourage to read independently.

Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko
This cute little picture book the story of the holiday season a child experiences in a mixed-religion Christian/Jewish household, in which the father is a Christian and the mother is a Jew. It's another good seasonal diversity story to go along with the other Hanukkah and Kwanzaa picture books I've read and reviewed in the past.

I am still, however, looking for one that introduces the idea of Christmas as a secular, cultural holiday instead of a religious one; there are plenty of secular Christmas stories, but all of the ones that I've come across simply neglect to mention that the holiday is actually religious for some people; I'd love to find one that handles that issue with some respect and maturity.

I will say, however, that the backlash to this book that's present on the Goodreads page is truly sickening. Wait until the separatists over there find out that it's not just the Jews besmirching their beloved "CHRISTmas". We sinful atheist heathens are merrily violating their traditions, too!

All You Need for a Beach by Alice Schertle
So I'm going to be honest here: this art is fucking hideous. That's totally a personal thing, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who think it's quite nice, so I'm not trying to claim some objective criticism here. But, yeah, I hate the way this book is illustrated. It's horrible.

The story itself, though, is a short little tale goes through all the things you need for a beach, from trillions of grains of sand to an ocean blue--but most importantly, you. There's not much to it, but it might be a fun beach read for a toddler.

Beach Day by Karen Roosa
And here we have another rhyming book and another beach book. Personally, I think it's far superior to All You Need for a Beach, and its illustrations are much easier on the eyes. The story essentially just runs through all the various features of a beach and activities that go on at one, but there's nothing objectionable to its simplicity, and it would be another reasonable book to give your young child during a trip to the beach.

Honestly, reading this was almost a little nostalgic, considering I haven't had an enjoyable family trip to the beach since I was very young.


The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye by Jane Yolen
I knew this would make me cry, and I totally did. The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye is a very pretty picture book about an old cat saying goodbye before she goes off to die in private, as cats are often inclined to do, and as I recently lost my own kitty, there was never any chance of me getting out of this one without tears.


Want to buy one of these books? Refused by the Call is an Amazon Affiliate!


November 15, 2016

[Top Ten Tuesday] Ten Movies I Plan to Write Fic For


Trigger Warning: This post references (and does not condemn) certain problematic and/or potentially triggering tropes.

Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost

This is easily one of my oldest favorite movies. Sure, sure, I know most people prefer Scooby-Doo! on Zombie Island to this one, but Witch's Ghost always had my heart. (And, also, I didn't have a copy of Zombie Island as a child.) I've always had a soft spot for pre-Reveal Ben Ravencroft and a huge love of the Hex Girls, and I'm lowkey shipping Velma/Ben and even Daphne/Thorn these days.

Seriously, you can probably expect to see something Daphne/Thorn from me eventually, even if it's just a drabble, and don't be shocked if I write something (possibly AU) about Velma and Ben, too!


The Road to El Dorado

I didn't discover this movie until my early teens, but I've adored it since the first time I saw it. (If I recall correctly, we watched it in sixth or seventh grade Spanish class.) Tulio/Chel/Miguel OT3, and I'm dying to write something for them at some point.

This movie is just so perfect, guys, and I cannot fucking believe it flopped when it came out. (Turns out you actually have to promote your movies, Dreamworks! You have gold in your hands, and you let it flop!)

If you haven't seen this, you need to. It's an animated film marketed for kids, but it's 100% more enjoyable when watched as a teenager or adult.


Jupiter Ascending

So, let's be clear: this was not a good movie. I have no idea what in the fuck the Wachowski sisters were thinking, but this film flopped for a reason. It was a hot mess.

But... well, see, there's this thing in the fandom that I can't get enough of. There's this pairing, and it's gross, and I kind of sort of love it in all its squicky, power-imbalanced, Oedipal glory.

Yeah. I kind of ship Jupiter/Balem. I kind of ship creepy, dubiously consensual, pseudo-incestuous femdom Jupiter/Balem.

Don't see it? That's okay; I'm sure most people don't. But for those of you whom I might be able to sway, allow me to drop a few recs:
  1. When Memories Live Again (series) by rei_c
  2. Power Play by aunt_zelda
  3. The Price of Youth: An Abrasax Eternity (series) by auri_mynonys
Just make sure you read the tags on these, guys; they're mostly NSFW, and there's smut scattered about.

Labyrinth

I'm not going to lie; I watched this as a teen specifically because I was assured David Bowie would be sexy. I was not disappointed.

I mean, let's be real here: it's not the best film. The acting is fucking weird and nonsensical at times (I'm looking at you, Jennifer Connelly), and the whole thing's pretty fucking creepy if you take a few seconds to really think about it.

But you know what? I like creepy, and I love this shit. I love the magic that Henson brings to it, I love the weird as fuck and obviously predatory dynamic between Jareth and Sarah, and I love how it's just begging to have Fair Folk mythology injected into it to make the whole thing that much more disturbing.

So yeah, I'm totally down for writing some Jareth/Sarah at some point. The creepier the better.

(And here, have an AU rec.)

Beauty and the Beast

So, um, you didn't hear it from me, but I may or may not have spotted something in the Yuletide requests that I kind of want to write. I won't tell you what it is, and I kind of doubt I'm going to have time to write anything for it before the deadline, but I'm definitely going to keep that prompt in mind.


The Princess and the Frog & Pocahontas

So, I've been getting into writing femslash lately, but since I don't really read much of it and don't really approach media with a femslash mindset most of the time, I don't have a ton of femslash ships. I've got your obvious Willow/Tara (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and a few original pairings of my own creation, but until I started stretching my creative muscles at places like femslash100 and [community profile] femslashficlets, that was about it.

Now, though, I'm actively searching for ships to add to my femslash ship list. And two that caught my eye recently were both Disney Princess ships: Charlotte/Tiana (The Princess and the Frog) and Pocahontas/Nakoma (Pocahontas).

I haven't done anything for those gals yet, but I will sooner or later! (Though I might need to refresh my knowledge of their canons first.)

Crimson Peak

This movie wasn't quite what I wanted it to be, considering how big a fan I am of del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. But it was still an enjoyable film, and, me being me, my immediate thought upon watching it was a What If?

What if Edith hadn't fled the room when she caught Thomas and Lucille together? (i.e., what if Edith had been a bit more DTF with the creepy-ass incest/murder siblings?)

I have a problem.


Oliver and Company & The Aristocats



So, I did a thing recently. I was trying to come up with a premise for a drabble based on a femslash couple from my original fiction (Bobby White/Kim Queen, Queen Academy) and the prompt "Movie Fusion", and because I am apparently a moron, I got it in my head that I should not only fuse my original universe with a movie universe, but that I should fuse two original universes together and then fuse them with the original 'verse.

And, amazingly, it actually worked out. I ended up fusing Oliver and Company and The Aristocats with a futurefic Domestic AU of Queen Academy in which Bobby and Kim were married, Jenny (Oliver and Company) was their daughter, and the various cats were their inherited/rescued pets.

You can read the drabble here. It's tiny (a drabble's only a hundred words!), but I'm actually thinking that maybe I want to write something more substantial in that 'verse? I dunno. I'm definitely considering it!


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Picture Books 2016 #4: A Blast from the Past

This review contains spoilers for various picture books.

Full disclosure: I actually read these in the final days of 2015. But they're being reviewed in 2016, so I think it's perfectly reasonable to put them under the umbrella of 2016 regardless.


Imogene's Last Stand by Candace Fleming

Imogene Tripp is a little girl who loves history. So when she turns her attention to her town's neglected Historical Society, an old building that the major plans to have gotten down, this determined junior historian is determined to fight. There are historical quotes and references throughout the book (all of which are explained with brief biographies at the end, which is awesome), and there are several moments of genuine amusement. But more importantly, Imogen is an appealing female character with ambition and determination, and I would love to read more about her.

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall

Across four centuries, four different families make the same recipe, using different techniques and technology but sharing the same great and the same familial love. I am, however, deeply uncomfortable with the inclusion of a slave family. On principle, I approve of the inclusion, but in execution, I really don't; the fact that the family are slaves is so glossed over that a child might not even pick up on it, and there's no sense of the oppression and even potential inherent in the slave family's experience with the desert. Instead, a child would be forgiven for failing to realize that anything is off at all, since the book definitely doesn't bother pointing anything "uncomfortable" out. It's all rose-colored glasses here, folks, and it kind of destroyed any chance I had of genuinely enjoying what might have otherwise been a fun, diverse story.

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker

I don't have much to say about this one other than to gush about how cute it is. It's a child-appropriate dramatization of the true story behind Milne's Winnie the Pooh, and it's utterly adorable. Read it.

Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall
I can't not read this as a gender story (and I'm 100% sure I'm not supposed to not read it as a gender story), and in the context of it being a social justice book... I can't pretend I agree with its message. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that the most "progressive" gender book for young kids that I've ever seen (as of November 2015, when I read this book; see above for a brief explanation of this discrepancy) is still clinging to the idea of labels even as its entire point revolves around questioning their legitimacy. And there's a point to be made there, of course (if your label makes you feel better, who am I to stop you from claiming it), but it's far from the only point to be made and, in my opinion, far from the best. In my ideal world, the Red crayon who didn't fit the expectations of a red creation would've shed the concept of labels entirely (along with its literal crayon label), not announced a new one for itself. And as a metaphor for transgenderism, crayons are far from the best way to go; crayons really do have color, while gender is an imaginary and often oppressive social construct. It's not equal at all. The story, then, would work much better as a metaphor for something more concrete.

So, yeah, I'm disappointed by this one. Wish I would've enjoyed it, but the author and I clearly have very different ideas about gender and the legitimacy of such social labels. Oh well.

Note: For a vaguely similar opinion of this that comes down on the positive side of the stars instead of my own less-than-impressed side, I recommend checking out Carmen's review over on Goodreads.


If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
The illustrations here are utterly gorgeous! The story itself is devoted to what happens when you plant seeds--both literal seeds in a garden and figurative seeds of thought and emotion--but I'll be honest; I'm interested in reading the author's other books on the sheer beauty of his illustrations alone!
Want to buy one of these books? Refused by the Call is an Amazon Affiliate!

November 7, 2016

femslash100 Prompts

Note: The Remainder "prompt" is to denote remainder weeks at the comm, during which participants can write for any previous challenge prompts. You can find femslash100 here at livejournal.

Prompts #1 - 100

#1 - Awakening
#2 - Heartbreak
#3 - Surprise
#4 - Secrets
#5 - Goals
#6 - Mirror
#7 - Lessons
#8 - Regret
#9 - Discovery
#10 - Selfish

#11 - Forgotten
#12 - Boys
#13 - The End
#14 - Misunderstanding
#15 - Christmas
#16 - Shoes
#17 - Cars
#18 - Excuses
#19 - Cold
#20 - Conflict

#21 - Night
#22 - Kisses
#23 - Apologies
#24 - Wet
#25 - Brown Sugar
#26 - Careless
#27 - Homesickness
#28 - Socks
#29 - Summer
#30 - Remainder

#31 - August
#32 - Covers
#33 - Punishment
#34 - Second-Person
#35 - Double
#36 - Work
#37 - Play
#38 - Scars
#39 - Smut
#40 - Remainder

#41 - Supernatural
#42 - Three
#43 - More
#44 - Gluttony
#45 - Pride
#46 - Wrath
#47 - Envy
#48 - Sloth
#49 - Greed
#50 - Remainder

#51 - Lust
#52 - Old
#53 - New
#54 - Borrowed
#55 - Blue
#56 - Toy
#57 - Crack
#58 - Blood
#59 - Water
#60 - Remainder

#61 - Night
#62 - Day
#63 - Sight
#64 - Hearing
#65 - Smell
#66 - Taste
#67 - Tough
#68 - Dust
#69 - Texture
#70 - Remainder

#71 - Caffeine
#72 - Sugar
#73 - Salt
#74 - Alcohol
#75 - Cigarettes
#76 - Force
#77 - Control
#78 - Surrender
#79 - Mirror
#80 - Remainder

#81 - School
#82 - Strength
#83 - Weakness
#84 - Ring
#85 - Truth
#86 - Lies
#87 - Understanding
#88 - Hips
#89 - Costume
#90 - Remainder

#91 - Prudence
#92 - Hope
#93 - Faith
#94 - Charity
#95 - Temperance
#96 - Gift
#97 - Justice
#98 - Fortitude
#99 - Kindness
#100 - REmainderMIX

Prompts #101 - 200

#101 - Competition
#102 - Love
#103 - Hate
#104 - Class
#105 - Accent
#106 - Air
#107 - Fire
#108 - Earth
#109 - Spirit
#110 - Remainder

#111 - Zombie
#112 - Pirate
#113 - Vampire
#114 - Robot
#115 - Alien
#116 - Shark
#117 - Ghost
#118 - Ninja
#119 - Demon
#120 - Remainder

#121 - Seduce
#122 - Therapy
#123 - Lies
#124 - Music
#125 - Start
#126 - Fairy Tale
#127 - Cage
#128 - Adventure
#129 - Promise
#130 - Remainder

#131 - Red
#132 - Yellow
#133 - Green
#134 - Purple
#135 - Orange
#136 - Pink
#137 - Gold
#138 - Gray
#139 - Bronze
#140 - Remainder

#141 - Zodiac
#142 - Security
#143 - Technology
#144 - Drink
#145 - Military
#146 - Party
#147 - Bond
#148 - Reflection
#149 - Law
#150 - Remainder

#151 - Letters
#152 - Sun
#153 - Garden
#154 - Nostalgia
#155 - Expectations
#156 - Enchantment
#157 - Top
#158 - Apology
#159 - Voice
#160 - Remainder

#161 - Camera
#162 - Color
#163 - Home
#164 - Crime
#165 - Point of View
#166 - Queen
#167 - Hero(ine)
#168 - Guardian
#169 - Lover
#170 - Remainder

#171 - Atonement
#172 - Reverence
#173 - Derision
#174 - Anticipation
#175 - Action
#176 - Lemonade
#177 - Vision
#178 - Trigger
#179 - Question
#180 - Remainder

#181 - Costume
#182 - Optimism
#183 - Lost
#184 - Stone
#185 - Sea
#186 - Reason
#187 - Falling
#188 - Escape
#189 - Watch
#190 - Remainder

#191 - Chain
#192 - Crazy
#193 - Yesterday
#194 - Game
#195 - Hypnotic
#196 - Music
#197 - Mystery
#198 - Pretend
#199 - celebration
#200 - drabblethon!

Prompts #201 - 300

#201 - Smile
#202 - Time
#203 - Fear
#204 - Fortune
#205 - Disaster
#206 - Occult
#207 - Imagine
#208 - Vacation
#209 - Perspective
#210 - Remainder

#211 - Doll
#212 - Horror
#213 - Intoxication
#214 - Sky
#215 - Light
#216 - History
#217 - Future
#218 - Fantasy
#219 - Memories
#220 - Remainder

#221 - Rain
#222 - Sunshine
#223 - Snow
#224 - Clouds
#225 - Hurricane
#226 - Heart
#227 - Dance
#228 - Spring
#229 - Fall
#230 - Remainder

#231 - Message
#232 - Song
#233 - Book
#234 - Picture
#235 - Movie
#236 - Flower
#237 - Damage
#238 - Comfort
#239 - Grace
#240 - Remainder

#241 - Exchange
#242 - Maps
#243 - Bright
#244 - Dark
#245 - Push
#246 - Simple
#247 - Complicated
#248 - Loyalty
#249 - Attack
#250 - Remainder

#251 - Ancient
#252 - Restless
#253 - Transparent
#254 - Conclusion
#255 - Outsider
#256 - Middle
#257 - Before
#258 - After
#259 - Test
#260 - Remainder

#261 - Slow
#262 - Fast
#263 - Radio
#264 - Structure
#265 - Print
#266 - Rise
#267 - Up
#268 - Save
#269 - Inevitable
#270 - Remainder

#271 - Trust
#272 - Fade
#273 - Shadow
#274 - Spark
#275 - Pretty
#276 - Ocean
#277 - Easy
#278 - Transformation
#279 - Invisible
#280 - Remainder

#281 - Window
#282 - Poison
#283 - Blush
#284 - Rush
#285 - Hush
#286 - Key
#287 - Story
#288 - Wish
#289 - Electric
#290 - Remainder

#291 - Confession
#292 - Gravity
#293 - Sharp
#294 - Free
#295 - Drive
#296 - Romance
#297 - Luck
#298 - Mouth
#299 - Connection
#300 - Remainder

Prompts #301 - 400

#301 – Fragment
#302 - Burn
#303 – Sweet
#304 – Curve
#305 – Strange
#306 – Dream
#307 – Late
#308 – Detour
#309 – Crush
#310 – Remainder

#311 – Smooth
#312 – Midnight
#313 – Wait
#314 – Smoke
#315 – Dress
#316 – Beginning
#317 – Enigma
#318 – City
#319 – Mask
#320 – Remainder

#321 – Balance
#322 – Fix
#323 – Temptation
#324 – Journey
#325 – Glass
#326 – Choose
#327 – Star
#328 – Tomorrow
#329 – Desire
#330 – Remainder

#331 – Quiet
#332 – Trap
#333 – Vanity
#334 – Delight
#335 – Chance
#336 – Call
#337 - Move
#338 – Please
#339 – Date
#340 – Remainder

#341 – Never
#342 – Always
#343 – Mistake
#344 – Gossip
#345 – Reveal
#346 – Ache
#347 – Safe
#348 – Wonder
#349 – Ardent
#350 - Remainder

#351 – Ready
#352 – Sign
#353 – Disguise
#354 – Peace
#355 – Impossible
#356 – Bloom
#357 – Stop
#358 – Whisper
#359 – Want
#360 – Remainder

#361 – Need
#362 – Torn
#363 – Clock
#364 – Navigate
#365 – Curse
#366 – Bless
#367 – Fly
#368 – Shiver
#369 – Boom
#370 – Remainder

#371 – Magic
#372 – Plan
#373 – Twist
#374 – Interior
#375 – Exterior
#376 – Bite
#377 – Elusive
#378 – Lock
#379 – Snapshot
#380 – Remainder

#381 - Orbit
#382 - Courage
#383 - Tear
#384 - Gather
#385 - Rally
#386 - Jealousy
#387 - Cry
#388 - Clandestine
#389 - Decision
#390 - Remainder

#391 - Amaze
#392 - Last
#393 - Ours
#394 - First
#395 - Fragile
#396 - Unbreakable
#397 - Maybe
#398 - Beyond
#399 - Stay
#400 - Remainder

Prompts #401 - 500

#401 - Close
#402 - Popular
#403 - Glow
#404 - Open
#405 - Performance
#406 - Transport
#407 - Portrait
#408 - Between
#409 - Guilt
#410 - Remainder

#411 - Destiny
#412 - Tense
#413 - Entice
#414 - Power
#415 - Naked
#416 - Experiment
#417 - Bruise
#418 - Beauty
#419 - Flirt
#420 - Remainder

#421 - Bang
#422 - Shelter
#423 - Stranger
#424 - Proposal
#425 - Bed
#426 - Skirt
#427 - Hands
#428 - Risk
#429 - Better
#430 - Remainder

#431 - Trouble
#432 - Cherry
#433 - Chemistry
#434 - Phone
#435 - Hair
#436 - Dare
#437 - Jewelry
#438 - Language
#439 - Season
#440 - Remainder

#441 - Bath
#442 - Cupcake
#443 - Moment
#444 - Tangle
#445 - Debt
#446 - Face
#447 - Hour
#448 - Road
#449 - Change
#450 - Remainder

#451 - Boundary
#452 - Warm
#453 - Pull
#454 - Click
#455 - Rose
#456 - Gentle
#457 - Glasses
#458 - Holiday
#459 - Match
#460 - Remainder

#461 - Squirm
#462 - Hello
#463 - Street
#464 - Hunger
#465 - Rhythm
#466 - Dead
#467 - Candy
#468 - Elation
#469 - Running
#470 - Remainder

#471 - Sticky
#472 - Critical
#473 - Apple
#474 - Reunite
#475 - Code
#476 - Consume
#477 - Autumn
#478 - Mend
#479 - Letter
#480 - Remainder

#481 - Bird
#482 - Alien
#483 - Split
#484 - Fireworks
#485 - Holiday
#486 - Unconditional
#487 - Tattoo
#488 - Satisfy
#489 - Doubt
#490 - Remainder

#491 - Atmosphere
#492 - Hotel
#493 - Chase
#494 - Forever
#495 - Expose
#496 - Name
#497 - Weekend
#498 - Conundrum
#499 - Obscure
#500 - Remainder

Prompts #501 - 520

#501 - Perfume
#502 - Pool
#503 - Spin
#504 - Spy
#505 - Legs
#506 - Tongue
#507 - Eyes
#508 - Teeth
#509 - Wrists
#510 - Remainder

#511 - Overwhelm
#512 - Chocolate
#513 - Epiphany
#514 - Venom
#515 - Caress
#516 - Switch
#517 - Treasure
#518 - Fearless
#519 - Puzzle
#520 - Remainder

November 5, 2016

Picture Books 2016 #3: It's All About Animals

Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian
What we have here is a social justice book, and while there are a lot of subtly interesting details here, I don't think this one is going to make my favorites list.

The story introduces us to two non-gender-specific worms, which I think is by far the book's biggest strength (but I'll get back to that in a minute). As the title tells you, our two worm characters are in love, and they decide to get married. Their buggy little friends proceed to parade a barrage of wedding paraphernalia past them--things they must think outside the box to use, considering they're, you know, worms instead of people--until finally they get to the sticky issue the book actually intends to tackle: which of these worms is the bride and which of is the groom.

The verdict, of course (it being a social justice book), is that they each can be both; one worm takes the dress and the top hat, while the other takes the veil and the tux, and that's that--except for one more interesting little exchange.
"Wait!" says the Cricket. "This isn't how it's always been done."
"Then we'll just change how it's done," says the worm.
So yeah, that's our message here. It's a story about changing the way marriage works so that marriage can work for everyone (except for the polyamorous among us, as I'll constantly remind everyone until that particular prejudice starts to go away). And that's certainly something that's been done before, and not just in the immediate lead-up to or fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court's recent verdict to permit same-sex marriage.

But as I suggested before, there's something this book has going for it that the others don't. This book has non-gender-specific worms.
You wouldn't think that was a big deal, but it is. Removing gender from the equation does two extremely important things:

  1. It allows the book to apply to all kinds of (monogamous) marriage equally. Male/male couples can share the gender roles, female/female couples can share the gender roles, and our "traditional" male/female couples can share the gender roles.
  2. It removes gender from the equation in a way that few books dare. We know nothing about the gender of these worms. Are they both men? Are they both women? Insofar as a worm can be, is one or both of them transgender? Agender? Or do they have some other kind of gender expression entirely? For the purposes of this book, it doesn't remotely matter.

Now, I'll readily admit that I see what I personally consider to be a flaw in the story--something that makes it not quite as progressive as it would like to be. And that's the use of the bride's veil and dress as a counterpoint to the groom's top hat and tuxedo. While this is a story about gender not mattering anymore when it comes to marriage, this is also a story in which traditional gender roles are visibly given to the characters.

Sure, it's nice that they agree to share the clothes, but those clothes can't be divorced from traditional marriage, not in a story that specifically points out that, "This isn't how it's always been done." By acknowledging the difference between the new way and the old way, you are forced to acknowledge what the old way entails--and, extrapolating from that, what those clothes must mean.

If it's a compromise for one worm to take the hat and dress and the other to take the tux and the veil, all they're really doing is splitting up the division of the gender roles. And that's not what I want from a social justice book. What I want from a social justice book is the rejection of those roles entirely; this book is so close to that with its genderless worms, but the reminder of "the man in the relationship" and "the woman in the relationship" reinforces that those things exist, and the story doesn't so much as reject them as redistribute them. And in doing so, it endorses them.

What I wanted to see was for the worms to say no. I wanted to see them say that "those things aren't for us". I wanted them to include those predescribed roles under the umbrella of "changing how it's done". Throw those gendered notions in the trash where they belong.

So, yeah, I didn't quite get what I wanted from this book. What it offers is good, definitely, but it's not quite what I wanted. But more to the point, perhaps, is that I also wonder if children will understand what the metaphor here is. By the time a child is old enough to read this, they're also old enough to have caught on to the notion of gender. So I fear children will only be able to interpret this as just another "gay marriage acceptance" book and completely miss the gender nuance involved.

But I don't know for sure. I'm not a kid. (Feel free to let me know in the comments if yours caught on, though!)

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
This book is a lot lighter in subject matter than the previous, but I enjoyed it just as well. The theme of this one is perspective. As the interior blurb states,
In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see.
Now, I don't know if I'd go so far as to call it a "glorious celebration" of anything, but it's quite an interesting little book nonetheless. The illustrations are very cute, and the point is obvious right from the onset; the minute you and/or your child see what the cat looks like to the dog (especially as compared to what the cat looked like to the child, as portrayed on the previous page), you'll both know what's going on. I love the illustrations here, especially in how varied they are from page to page (or perspective to perspective, as it were), and the note that the story ends on is actually fascinating if your kid picks up on it, transforming the story from a tale about perspective to one about self-perception, as well, and how that can be so vastly different from the way we really are--and the way everyone else sees us, too.

Ida, Always by Caron Levis and Charles Santoso
As the author's note on the final page explains,
Ida, Always is a fictional story inspired by the real pair of polar bears, Ida and Gus, who lived together in New York City's Central Park Zoo.
Spoiler alert: both of the bears that served as inspiration for the story have died within the past five or so years. And further spoiler alert: that's what the book is about. Ida died in 2011, leaving Gus to live two years further without her companionship.

Obviously, the book anthropomorphizes the relationship between the two bears and turns it into a very touching story of living one's final days to the fullest and mourning the loss of one's friend. It's very sweet and a total tearjerker, and while I don't entirely get on board with the message (which implicitly endorses the idea of an afterlife and explicitly endorses the idea of the dead "still being there"), it's a sweet story for people who do.

It's not my kind of coping with death book, and I personally wouldn't give it to a child purely because of the "living on" message, but most people have no such qualms, and for those individuals, I say: definitely consider this one if you're looking for a book on dealing with loss. This one goes above and beyond most others I've read, as it specifically involves the process of not just mourning but dying. If you've got a kid dealing with a loved one who's received a terminal diagnosis, this is probably just what you need.

Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke
See, I kind of love this book. I really want to love this book. But there's this one little detail I just can't get behind.

But let's start from the beginning, shall we? We've got all the things I love here. We've got a fantasy world. We've got adventurers. We've got great illustrations. We've even got an adorable and misunderstood goblin protagonist. It's funny, it's cute, and it takes the fantasy tropes (especially RPG tropes) we all know and love, and it turns them on their heads.

But... there's this thing. There's this thing I noticed on the last couple of pages that I somehow managed to overlook when it showed up earlier as a minor detail.

Because on the last two pages, there's this girl. There's this buxom blonde maiden stereotype hanging out with a room full of goblins, monsters, and skeletons (and, yes of course she's the only traditionally attractive one of the bunch), and when I spotted her, all I could think was , "where'd this chick come from"? So I went back. Obviously, I'd missed her somehow. Obviously, she wasn't just your traditional hero's reward arm candy in this book about the adventurers being the bad guys.

Except, no, it's actually quite a bit worse than that. Because, yeah, she did show up on a previous page.

She was tied up in the adventurers' loot. And I just don't know what in the fuck I'm supposed to get out of that.

See, here's the thing. My immediate assumption is that this is supposed to be an attempt at taking down the "love interest as hero's reward" notion. Except, you know, no? That's not what this story is doing at all; instead of taking down that exceptionally misogynistic trope, this story actually uses it.

The roles are reversed, sure, but it's still there. Instead of Mario rescuing Princess Peach from whoever kidnapped her this week, or Link rescuing Zelda, we have a creature that would normally be cast as the "villain" rescuing the fair maiden from the nominal heroes. On the one hand, it's partially a clever condemnation of trope; it seems to at least try to point out the heroine's role as one of the "spoils" by literally tying her up in the adventurers pile of victory spoils, but it goes horribly wrong after that. The only indication we have of her willingness to be with the goblins in the end is that she's no longer bound and is smiling instead of scowling.

But if it's supposed to be calling out the objectifying trope of "to the hero goes the heroine/spoils," it's failing miserably. It can't condemn the very same thing that it's doing. It doesn't matter if the woman was bound and clearly miserable in the company of the adventurers and later subservient and smiling in the presence of the goblins; that's the way it always plays out, and swapping the traditional identities of the heroes and villains doesn't do anything to change that.

Seriously, I would have adored this story if I didn't notice it. It's so good in every other way. It's an adorable exploration of the cliches of one of my two favorite genres, and I thought right up until the end that it was going to be something of a new favorite for me.

But there's this objectified stereotype played 100% straight right at the end, and I cannot get on board.

A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins
This picture book is delightfully defiant of its readers' expectations. You've got two elements here: a hungry lion and an assortment of animals already stated to be dwindling. So what's happening in the story? Is the hungry lion really eating the other animals? I'm honestly not going to spoil it for you; the surprise is what matters here.

A Hungry Lion is the best of this bunch by far, and even as an adult, I think the book's a lot of fun. I definitely recommend it!
Want to buy one of these books? Refused by the Call is an Amazon Affiliate!

October 10, 2016

Free Fiction

Free eBooks

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg (PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". It was founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart and is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. The project tries to make these as free as possible, in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on almost any computer. As of March 2013, Project Gutenberg claimed over 42,000 items in its collection.
Wherever possible, the releases are available in plain text, but other formats are included, such as HTML, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, and Plucker. Most releases are in the English language, but many non-English works are also available. There are multiple affiliated projects that are providing additional content, including regional and language-specific works. Project Gutenberg is also closely affiliated with Distributed Proofreaders, an Internet-based community for proofreading scanned texts. (Wikipedia)
Popular books on the Project Gutenberg website include Pride and PrejudiceAlice's Adventures in WonderlandWuthering HeightsDraculaPeter Pan, and A Tale of Two Cities, as well as other, less well-known works. The top 100 ebooks on Project Gutenberg can be viewed here. Fun fact: Michael S. Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented the ebook in 1971.

eBooks at Goodreads

Goodreads (owned by Amazon) is the #1 most popular book-centric social networking site. In their downloadable ebook section, one can find public domain books as well as books and book excerpts that authors have made available for download.

Reddit

Reddit has several subreddits devoted to free (legal!) ebooks. For anyone unfamiliar with Reddit, you do not need to have an account to view this sub or to download any of the books. Some links go to Amazon, while others go to Smashwords, author's websites, etcetera; no books are hosted at the subreddit itself, and illegal books are not permitted.

Check out:

  1. /r/freeEBOOKS
  2. /r/bookdownloads
  3. /r/KindleFreebies
  4. /r/FreeNookBooks



Free Audiobooks and Fiction Podcasts

Escape Pod

Escape Pod is a science fiction podcast from Escape Artists, Inc. As of 12/4/2013, there are 424 short stories and counting; a complete list of episodes can be viewed here.

PodCastle

PodCastle is a fantasy podcast from Escape Artists, Inc. As of 12/4/2013, there are 135 short stories and counting; a complete list of episodes can be viewed here.

Pseudopod

Pseudopod is a horror podcast from Escape Artists, Inc. As of 12/4/2013, there are 362 short stories and counting; a complete list of episodes can be viewed here.

The NoSleep Podcast

The Nosleep Podcast is an award-winning anthology series of original horror stories, with rich atmospheric music to enhance the frightening tales.
The NoSleep Podcast is the podcast that accompanies the /r/nosleep subreddit (see "Amateur Fiction" below). Only the first two "seasons" of this podcast are free. After the final episode of "Season 2", the podcast was split into a free and premium version. The free version can be found through the link above, while the premium version can be purchased at the podcast's website.

Disclaimer: I do not pay for the "premium" version, nor could I afford to do so if I wanted to. Frankly, I disagree with the podcaster's decision to put the majority of what used to be a completely free podcast behind a paywall. But more importantly, the podcaster makes repeated and thinly-veiled attempts to shame listeners into financially "supporting" the podcast that I find utterly reprehensible and very insulting, as the language he uses is incredibly demeaning to those of us whose lack of wealth restricts us to free entertainment.



Free Short Stories

Classic Horror Short Stories: The Greatest Horror Story Collection

CHSS, as the site refers to itself, is a website that hosts short horror stories in the public domain. Authors whose stories are hosted on the site include Ambrose Bierce, Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, M.R. James, H.P. Lovecraft and more.



Free Amateur Fiction

FictionPress

FanFiction.net's sister site, FictionPress.com, contains over 1 million original stories, poems, and plays. The site has a similar format and rules to FanFiction.net, except that no fan fiction is allowed. Currently, there are more poems than stories. (Wikipedia)
FictionPress is a site for hobbyist, amateur, and future professional writers to post their original fiction (as opposed to FF.net, which is for fanfiction).

/r/nosleep


/r/nosleep is a subreddit devoted to horror fiction. While some claims to be fact and most is obviously fictional, the primary gimmick of the sub is that all stories are to be treated as "true"; discussion of /r/nosleep's authors and stories that acknowledges what is and is not fiction can be found at /r/NoSleepOOC (aka, NoSleep Out of Character). Be sure to read the NoSleep FAQ.

Though many of the authors who write at NoSleep are "professionals", having published or self-published novels or short fiction outside of the sub, many of the authors are amateurs who dabble in the craft of writing for fun and in an effort to entertain. As such, I'm including NoSleep under the "Amatuer Fiction" heading; my apologies if you strongly disagree.

Trigger warnings are included on the more extreme stories, though they can be turned off if you find they're spoiling twist endings for you--provided you aren't using Reddit Enhancement Suite, unfortunately. Examples of these trigger warnings include "sexual violence", "graphic violence", etcetera. The subreddit contains no frightening or startling images that I have found, so there's nothing to fear on that front.

NoSleep has monthly writing contests, and the archive of winners can be found here; it should be a good way to sample the sub, if you're not sold on it. Alternately, NoSleep also has a podcast available; the link can be found in the "Free Audiobooks and Fiction Podcasts" section above.



Giveaways

Goodreads First Reads

First Reads is Goodreads' giveaway section, a place for authors and publishers to raffle off copies of their books to readers. All books in this section are physical copies, and so one must list a shipping address in order to participate. As such, anyone interested in participating in the First Reads program will want to be aware of the potential risks; there have been issues in the past with authors attempting to use the First Read programs to get access to the addresses of their critics.

BookLikes Giveaways

BookLikes is a competitor to Goodreads that has been growing in popularity thanks to Goodreads' controversial policy decisions (and its acquisition by Amazon) during 2013. It has its own giveaway section that has two huge advantages over the First Reads program:
  1. eBooks are offered, so anyone uncomfortable with providing authors/publishers with their shipping address can still participate (to a certain extent).
  2. As BookLikes is a far less populous site than Goodreads, one has a much higher chance of winning a BookLikes giveaway than a Goodreads giveaway.



Fanfiction

Fanfiction.net

FanFiction.Net (often abbreviated as FF.net or FFN) is an automated fan fiction archive site. It was founded in 1998 by Los Angeles computer programmer Xing Li, who also runs the site. As of 2010, FanFiction.Net is the largest and most popular fan fiction website in the world. It has nearly 2.2 million registered users and hosts stories in over 30 languages. (Wikipedia)
If you want to get started reading or writing fanfiction, this is the place to start. A lot of what you'll find here is absolute crap, but there are some gems here and there. The most popular categories are Harry Potter (683k stories), Naruto (361k stories), Twilight (216k stories), Inuyasha (112k stories), Glee (105k stories), Hetalia: Axis Powers (103k stories), Supernatural (95.6k stories), Bleach (77.7k), Pokémon (72k stories), and Kingdom Hearts (71.2k stories).

Fanfiction.net uses this rating system. While they claim to ban content rated MA (Adult/Explicit/18+), it's not a particularly well-enforced rule.

Archive of Our Own

We're a fan-created, fan-run, non-profit, non-commercial archive for transformative fanworks, like fanfiction, fanart, fan videos, and podfic. We currently have 15273 fandoms, 328080 registered users, and 1138056 works.

While the site is in beta, you can get an invitation from another user or from our automated invite queue. All fans and fanworks are welcome!

The Archive of Our Own is a project of the Organization for Transformative Works.
Archive of Our Own, also known as AO3, is a fanfiction archive alternative to fanfiction.net. It's technically still in beta, so you'll need to join the waiting list or receive an invitation to join, but you can browse the site without having an account if you don't want one or are currently waiting for one. The various fandoms present on the site can be browsed here. There's also original fiction on AO3, which can be found here.

Ratings found at AO3 include General, Teen+, Mature, Explicit, and Unrated. Warnings include Graphic Depictions of Violence, Major Character Death, Rape/Non-Con, Underage, and No Warnings Apply; there is also the option for authors to neglect warnings, represented by the label "Chose Not to Use Archive Warnings".



And Nonfiction


University of California Press eBook Collection


This is a catalogue of books published by the University of California Press. There are currently 770 books available to the general Internet; these can be browsed here. (To have access to the entire collection, one must be a UC staff/faculty member or a student.)

University of Chicago Press


The University of Chicago Press offers a free ebook every month, which can be downloaded here. An email address is required to "request" a copy (as far as I can tell, there is no approval process--it's simply an extra click), and the download link for the book is sent to the address you supply. There are several different download options; the default is via Adobe Digital Editions.

Getty Publications Virtual Library


This is a trove of at least two hundred art books from the Getty Museum.

Do you know of a legal source for free fiction that I didn't mention? Please feel free to let me know about it in the comments below! This comment section should not be used to promote individual books. Such comments will be removed as spam.

August 15, 2016

[Writing Challenge] babysitters100

This challenge can be found here at Dreamwidth.

[They]'re a prompt-based fanfiction community for Ann M. Martin's YA series,
The Baby-sitters Club.

There are five prompt tables of 100 prompts each. The idea is to use each prompt to create a piece of fanfiction of 200 words or more.

Each fic needs to be at least 200 words on its own.

Serials and multi-chapters are allowed, and you can use one prompt per section/chapter.
The prompts may be completed in any order.
You can use your prompts in conjunction with other challenges or exchanges, provided the other challenge allows it.
Each fic must somehow relate to The Baby-Sitters Club. Feel free to use its spin-off universes,Baby-sitters Little Sister and the California Diaries series. You are also free to write crossovers with other fandoms, but there must also be something recognisably "BSC" about your fic.

Table #1

001. Summer 002. Winter 003. Coffee 004. Tea 005. Romantic
006. Girlfriend 007. Boyfriend 008. Paint 009. Pose 010. Flowers
011. Crush 012. Chocolate 013. Perfume 014. Pillow 015. Mouth
016. Nervous 017. Question 018. Answer 019. Diary 020. Accent
021. Massage 022. Date 023. Dream 024. Nightmare 025. Broken
026. Movie 027. Competition 028. Cat 029. Dog 030. Family
031. Young 032. Old 033. Love 034. Hate 035. Trust
036. Leather 037. Diamond 038. Glass 039. Bed 040. Floor
041. Door 042. Window 043. Fame 044. Autograph 045. Applaud
046. Crowd 047. Float 048. Banner 049. Glitter 050. Clouds
051. Oak 052. Mud 053. Church 054. Photograph 055. Letter
056. Congratulate 057. Life 058. Dine 059. First 060. Permission
061. Firm 062. Soft 063. Invite 064. Earrings 065. Condition
066. Weight 067. Found 068. Lost 069. Change 070. Sweet
071. Plan 072. Influence 073. Dominate 074. Necessary 075. Free
076. Poor 077. Rich 078. Control 079. Together 080. Alone
081. July 082. Thirteen 083. Day 084. Month 085. Year
086. Comedian 087. Guarantee 088. Worry 089. Stars 090. Wish
091. Halloween 092. Thanksgiving 093. Christmas 094. New Year 095. Birthday
096. Writer's Choice. 097. Writer's Choice. 098. Writer's Choice. 099. Writer's Choice. 100. Writer's Choice.


Table #2

001. Run 002. Rain 003. Storm 004. Snow 005. Gale
006. Barn 007. Bedroom 008. Kitchen 009. Graveyard 010. Library
011. Cocktail 012. Silk 013. Evening 014. Ocean 015. Dress
016. Crisis 017. Accident 018. Emergency 019. Hospital 020. Blood
021. Sigh 022. Sink 023. Bite 024. Breathe 025. Luck
026. Grief 027. Depression 028. Suicide 029. Plead 030. Memory
031. Hands 032. Smile 033. Sweat 034. Warm 035. Cold
036. Follow 037. Missing 038. Handcuffs 039. Career 040. Teacher
041. Carnival 042. City 043. Field 044. Shirt 045. Skin
046. Breakfast 047. Lunch 048. Dinner 049. Snack 050. Café
051. Intrude 052. Exclude 053. Lock 054. Seduce 055. Surprise
056. Sunset 057. Sunrise 058. Telephone 059. Rumour 060. Interview
061. Affair 062. Money 063. Bike 064. Pure 065. Scarf
066. Wine 067. Beer 068. Music 069. Fire 070. Television
071. Sex 072. Wave 073. Neighbour 074. Bake 075. Knit
076. Tofu 077. Stubble 078. Watch 079. Cleavage 080. Freckles
081. Record 082. Concert 083. Cheerleader 084. Genius 085. Audience
086. Blue 087. Red 088. Green 089. Black 090. White
091. Picnic 092. Abandon 093. Distance 094. Stop 095. Pleasure
096. Writer's Choice. 097. Writer's Choice. 098. Writer's Choice. 099. Writer's Choice. 100. Writer's Choice.


Table #3

001. Mystery 002. Haunted 003. Investigate 004. Suspect 005. Fingerprint
006. Witness 007. Crime 008. Weapon 009. Ransom 010. Threat
011. Clue 012. Attic 013. Disguise 014. Research 015. Urban Legend
016. Ghost 017. Witch 018. Spell 019. Mansion 020. Interrogate
021. Key 022. Bolt 023. Creak 024. Thunder 025. Basement
026. Detective 027. Help 028. Secret 029. Whisper 030. Portrait
031. Frame 032. Evidence 033. Confess 034. Lies 035. Truth
036. Deadline 037. Pressure 038. Stolen 039. Newspaper 040. Code
041. Abduct 042. Prison 043. Trap 044. Hidden 045. Flashlight
046. Vacation 047. Cruise 048. Beach 049. Swimsuit 050. Porch
051. Blizzard 052. Skiing 053. Lodge 054. Snowman 055. Hot Chocolate
056. Australia 057. New York 058. California 059. Kentucky 060. Stoneybrook
061. Camp 062. Lake 063. River 064. Woods 065. Mountains
066. Island 067. Sail 068. Sun 069. Tropical 070. Coconut
071. Tourist 072. Souvenir 073. Map 074. Museum 075. Destination
076. Bus 077. Train 078. Car 079. Welcome 080. Goodbye
081. Home 082. Weekend 083. Fly 084. Ticket 085. Luggage
086. Airport 087. Station 088. Early 089. Late 090. Traffic
091. Foreign 092. Language 093. Miles 094. Walk 095. Swim
096. Writer's Choice. 097. Writer's Choice. 098. Writer's Choice. 099. Writer's Choice. 100. Writer's Choice.


Table #4

001. Hurricane 002. House 003. Play 004. Yard 005. Fundraiser
006. Deaf 007. Blind 008. See 009. Listen 010. Touch
011. Hair 012. Lipstick 013. Hat 014. Gloves 015. Shoes
016. Soda 017. Upset 018. Excited 019. Child 020. Adult
021. Magazine 022. Fan 023. Bottle 024. Calendar 025. Sofa
026. Trick 027. Joke 028. Want 029. Shelter 030. Situation
031. History 032. Math 033. Gentle 034. Assertive 035. Allergy
036. School 037. Dance 038. Team 039. Compete 040. Pride
041. Elevator 042. Job 043. Mall 044. Shopping 045. Roller Skate
046. Father 047. Mother 048. Sister 049. Brother 050. Grandparents
051. Camera 052. Pills 053. Mirror 054. Empty 055. Impulse
056. Novel 057. Poker 058. Smoke 059. Dare 060. Explain
061. Cost 062. Straw 063. Miracle 064. Deep 065. Shallow
066. Snob 067. Embarrassed 068. Trophy 069. Routine 070. Tradition
071. Undress 072. Gift 073. Skirt 074. Expensive 075. Cheap
076. Important 077. Ignorant 078. Spice 079. Cook 080. Special
081. Effort 082. Hurry 083. Leisure 084. Read 085. Write
086. Classic 087. Elegant 088. Desk 089. Paper 090. Explore
091. Hotel 092. Hot Tub 093. Morning 094. Night 095. Reunion
096. Writer's Choice. 097. Writer's Choice. 098. Writer's Choice. 099. Writer's Choice. 100. Writer's Choice.


Table #5

001. Kristy Thomas 002. Mary Anne Spier 003. Claudia Kishi 004. Stacey McGill 005. Dawn Schafer
006. Mallory Pike 007. Jessi Ramsey 008. Abby Stevenson 009. Logan Bruno 010. Shannon Kilbourne
011. Cokie Mason 012. Ashley Wyeth 013. Laine Cummings 014. Sunny Winslow 015. Bart Taylor
016. Jeff Schafer 017. Jack Schafer 018. Sharon Schafer 019. Richard Spier 020. Patrick Thomas
021. Charlie Thomas 022. Sam Thomas 023. David Michael Thomas 024. Watson Brewer 025. Karen Brewer
026. Andrew Brewer 027. Emily Michelle Brewer 028. Mimi 029. Janine Kishi 030. Ed McGill
031. Maureen McGill 032. Dee Pike 033. John Pike 034. Vanessa Pike 035. Nicky Pike
036. Adam Pike 037. Byron Pike 038. Jordan Pike 039. Margo Pike 040. Claire Pike
041. Charlotte Johanssen 042. Betsy Sobak 043. Jamie Newton 044. Jackie Rodowsky 045. Jenny Prezzioso
046. Anna Stevenson 047. Ben Hobart 048. Robert Brewster 049. Pete Black 050. Alan Gray
051. Club Meeting 052. Club Notebook 053. Kid Kit 054. Babysit 055. Clients
056. Game 057. Chores 058. Grounded 059. Curfew 060. Homework
061. Diabetes 062. Vegetarian 063. Candy 064. Shy 065. President
066. Ballet 067. Horse 068. Kitten 069. Best Friend 070. Parents
071. Softball 072. Coach 073. Artist 074. Surf 075. Bracelet
076. Sleepover 077. Popcorn 078. Makeover 079. Pancakes 080. Party
081. Twins 082. Triplets 083. Wedding 084. Divorce 085. Move
086. Quit 087. Join 088. Responsible 089. Commitment 090. Advertise
091. Headquarters 092. Disband 093. Idea 094. Tension 095. Outfit
096. Writer's Choice. 097. Writer's Choice. 098. Writer's Choice. 099. Writer's Choice. 100. Writer's Choice.