Archive for January, 2016

Sonderling Sunday – The Hallows of Death

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday! That time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books.

Tonight, I’ve got a hankering to go back to Harry Potter und die Heiligtümer des Todes, which translates as “Harry Potter and the Hallows of Death.”


Last time we looked at this book (more than a year ago, I’m afraid), we finished on page 6 in the English edition, Seite 14 auf Deutsch.

Right away, they’ve got one word in German for a long phrase in English:
“The company around the table” = Die Tischgesellschaft

But this is a longer phrase in German:
“Harry Potter’s continued existence”
= dass Harry Potter immer noch am Leben war

“unconscious body” = bewusstlosen Körper

This does sound like the right way for a supervillain to talk about his plans:
“best-laid plans” = bestgeschmiedeten Plänen

“a sudden wail” = ein plötzliches Wehklagen (“sudden woe-lamentation”)

“misery and pain” = Qual und Schmerz

“scrambled” = kletterte

“scurried” = huschte

“a curious gleam of silver” = ein merkwürdiges silbernes Schimmern

“volunteers” = Freiwilligen

Interestingly shorter in English:
“his eyes were sunken” = seine Augen lagen tief in ihren Höhlen (“his eyes were deep in their sockets”)

“wrist” = Handgelenk (“hand-link”)

“Elm” = Ulme

“fraction” = Bruchteil (“break-piece”)

“maliciously” = gehässig

This phrase rolls off the tongue:
“The soft voice seemed to hiss on” = Die sanfte Stimme schien weiterzuzischen

“The huge snake” = Die riesige Schlange

“thigh” = Oberschenkel (“upper-shank”)

“vertical slits” = senkrechten Schlitzen

“absently” = geistesabwesend (“spirit-absence”)

“in bearing and demeanor” = in Haltung und Gebaren

“rigid and impassive” = starr und teilnahmslos

“tears of delight” = Freudentränen

“jeering laughter” = höhnisches Gelächter

“gleeful looks” = hämische Blicke

“humiliation” = Demütigung

“outpouring of mirth” = Ausbruch von Heiterkeit

“Mudblood” = Schlammblüter

“brat” = Göre

“cubs” = Bälger

“family trees” = Familienstammbäume

“breathless and imploring” = atemlos und flehentlich

“canker” = Krebsgeschwür

“infects” = verseucht

“tiny flick” = winzige Schlenker

“cracked and terrified voice” = gebrochener und grauenerfüllter Stimme

Alliterative in both languages:
“stroking the snake’s snout” = die Schnauze der Schlange streichelte

“broad, hunched woman” = derbe, bucklige Frau

“gagged” = geknebelt

“corrupting and polluting” = verdirbt und besudelt

“resounding crash” = dröhnenden Schlag

“trembled and creaked” = bebte und knarrte

And that’s the end of Chapter One!

I’m hoping you won’t be in any conferences with powerful and evil wizards this week and won’t have too much use for these phrases, but if you ever do encounter a riesiges Schlange in Germany, at least you’ll know what to call it!

Bis bald!

2015 Sonderbooks Stand-outs!

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

Logo_4x4_gold_encircled_sealYes! I got my 2015 Sonderbooks Stand-outs posted before the finish of New Year’s Day, 2016.

Each year’s Sonderbooks Stand-outs is a personal list. They are simply the books that stand out in my mind after a year of reading. Then I rank them according to how much I love them — which seems a little unfair. I assure you that I love every one of the listed books!

I keep a spreadsheet of the books I read and hope I didn’t leave anything important out. Here are the stats for this year:

In 2015, I read:
6 rereads.
16 Teen Fiction books.
36 Children’s Fiction books.
20 Adult Fiction books.
47 Nonfiction books.
95 Children’s Nonfiction books (Many of those were picture books).
626 Picture Books. (Hey, I was a Cybils judge in the Fiction Picture Books category this year.)

A grand total of 220 books, not counting picture books (except nonfiction) and 846 books altogether.

Not bad. I didn’t feel like I was keeping up as well with current books this year, since I didn’t attend Capitol Choices, but hey, I’ve read picture books!

I still have a backlog of 30 book reviews which I wrote in 2015 and still need to post, but only two of those are Stand-outs. I will update the pages of the Stand-out books in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, enjoy reading about my favorite books!

2015 Cybils Finalists!

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Happy New Year!

It’s January 1st, and that’s the day the Cybils Award Finalists are announced!


Not everyone’s aware of the Cybils Awards — one of the best awards out there for recommending books to children and teens. Cybils stands for Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards. The books are judged by book bloggers (such as me!) and the process happens in two phases: On January first, Finalists are announced in eleven categories. On February 14th, one winner will be announced from each category.

But I persist in thinking that the real power of the Cybils is in the lists!

Here’s why the Cybils are so fantastic for librarians and other people who recommend children’s books:

They’re chosen for literary quality and kid appeal. There’s some question in the Children’s Book world whether the most famous literary awards are actually books children like. Cybils judges are charged to take that into account.

There are eleven categories! Something for everyone, even Book Apps! Besides that, they’ve got Fiction Picture Books, Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books, Poetry, Graphic Novels, and Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Speculative Fiction for both Elementary/Middle Grade and Young Adult.

Each list is chosen to include variety and diversity. This partly comes simply from having a panel of judges, but those judges do a good job representing their category well. You’ll normally find ethnic diversity represented, but also books with male and female protagonists and simply books that appeal to a wide variety of readers.

This year, I served on the Fiction Picture Books panel. Later on today, I’ll be posting my Sonderbooks Stand-outs for 2015. You will notice that the two lists don’t completely overlap. Some of the books we chose aren’t my personal favorites. However, I stand by our list, and I’m proud of it! These are high quality books, and I do recommend all the books our panel chose. They are truly wonderful. (For some, I had to have my eyes opened to their wonder by the other panel members.)

And now to take a look at the other categories!

My usual category is Elementary/Middle-Grade Speculative Fiction. I haven’t read any of their choices this year, so I need to get busy reading!

Yay! A Finalist I read and loved! Mortal Heart, by Robin LaFevers, is on the Young Adult Speculative Fiction list. It was my #1 Teen Fiction Sonderbooks Stand-out for 2014. (The Cybils run from mid-October to mid-October publication dates.)

Another book I’ve reviewed, Ling and Ting: Twice as Silly, is an Easy Reader and Early Chapter Books Finalist.

Two books I’ve reviewed are on the Elementary/Middle-Grade Non-Fiction List: I, Fly and One Plastic Bag.

On the Graphic Novels list, I have almost all the books checked out, intending to read. This will increase my resolve! I have read and written a review of The Marvels, by Brian Selznick, but it’s not posted yet.

From the Poetry List, Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold was a Sonderbooks Stand-out last year.

The other categories don’t have books I’ve read, but definitely have books I’m intending to read: Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Young Adult Non-Fiction. (Okay, with that last list I am halfway through Symphony for the City of the Dead. It is excellent.)

And I don’t usually try these out, but I like that the Cybils makes me aware of good ones: Book Apps.

Now if you want some great ideas of things to read in the New Year, you know where to look!

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!