Friday, June 27, 2014

ALA Annual Conference

The American Library Association's Annual Conference is in Las Vegas this year. I have arrived, and unpacked, and already gotten a bit lost. However, I am eager to see friends, talk about books, and more. I may not be blogging much over the next few days, but I will be tweeting (#alaac14).  And if you are here for the conference, stop by room S228 at the Convention Center on Sunday (June 29th) morning for the session I am doing with Mary Ann Scheuer, Cathy Potter, and Louise Cappizo. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Top Five Picks for the First Half of 2014

Thank you everyone for all of the great posts each week for the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2014.

In the past, I have tried to review all of the picture books I have read during the first half of the year and select my favorite 10 at the end of June. This year, I decided to select my top five nonfiction picture books and then do another post for my top five fiction picture books. Out of the the 50+ nonfiction picture books published in 2014 that I have currently read, here are my favorites in no particular order.

Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi, Bethany Hegedus; Illustrated by Evan Turk (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, March 2014) - A glimpse into the life of Gandhi by his grandson Arun.  Readers learn about peace along with Arun.

A Baby Elephant in the Wild by Caitlin O'Connell; Photographs by Timothy Rodwell (HMH Books for Young Readers, March 2014) - By the team that brought us The Elephant Scientist comes a story about the birth and life of a baby elephant.  Informative and very accessible for younger readers.

Handle With Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey by Loree Griffin Burns; Photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz (Millbrook Press, January 2014) - I was fascinated about the story of a butterfly farm in Costa Rica and the photographs brought it to vivid life.

Water Can Be... by Laura Purdie Salas; Illustrated by Violeta Dabija (Millbrook Press, April 2014) - This follow up to A Leaf Can Be... is just as beautifully illustrated.  The simple phrases bring new vision to something as meaningful as water.

The Cosmobiography of Sun Ra by Chris Raschka (Candlewick Press, May 2014) - Both the illustrations and text work together beautifully in this picture book biography of the jazz musician, Sun Ra. Raschka does an amazing job capturing the spirit and life of this unique musician.

What are your favorite nonfiction picture books published in 2014?

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Celebrate This Week - June 21, 2014

This year, I am trying to increase my awareness of the many good things that happen, which are frequently overlooked by me.  To help me, I am joining Ruth Ayres' Celebrate This Week.

Is it only me, but do others find it hard to write a Celebrate This Week post on Friday nights, or do you schedule your posts?  Since I like to think of it as a reflection of my week, I want to wait till Friday to write it up.  However, Friday nights tend to be busy and Saturday mornings tend to be filled with errands. I would love to hear how everyone does their posts? 

So, here it is.

Here's what I am thankful for this week...

1.  Friends willing to share their expertise. - On Friday, I spent nearly 6 hours with my friend Marianne Wallace.  She is a biologist turned author/illustrator.  I am working on creating a training for teachers on using nonfiction books as mentor texts for writing.  During our time together, we poured over a few dozen nonfiction picture books discussing the styles of writing and how we would classify these books and more.  Though I still have to put together the trainings, I feel like I have a much greater awareness of what I need to focus on and what gaps I have with the broader category of children's nonfiction.

After I left Marianne, I picked up my friend Alethea (@frootjoos) and we grabbed some dinner and she spent at least 5 hours with me as I learned how to use a new blog platform. She is so patient when I get stuck and struggle to figure out how to do certain things.   I am also thankful for how much she knows when it comes to web-development and that she is willing to share that knowledge with me.

Though both of these projects will be on-going, I am thankful for how much I was able to learn yesterday that will be helpful as I continue work on them.

2.  Katherine Applegate is the most amazing author. - On Wednesday, Katherine was in town for some other meetings and came to Once Upon a Time in Montrose.  She met with a small group prior to the event in the store and talked about her writing, and winning the Newbery Medal.  We had so much fun with her and she is simply charming.

3.  Lost and Found Books and a clean trunk. - If any of you have ever had an itinerant position, you will understand what I am talking about.  I work with several schools and before I know it more bags and boxes of stuff end up in my car from different projects, training, and work related things. I seem to never get around with cleaning and organizing it.  This week, when I misplaced a stack of books, I thought it was time to clean out the trunk in hopes of finding them.  The 13 year old and I emptied the whole trunk and reorganized it. Some stuff ended up in the trash, and other stuff (like the 30 books that were in there) were pulled out and are waiting to be shelved in the house. Good news - not only do I have a clean and organized trunk but I found the missing books.

4.  The Sixteen Year Old is officially a driver. - I can't take credit for teaching him how to drive.  His mom gets all the kudos and awards for being the patient person while he practiced driving.  However, as a good auntie/god-mom, I am rejoicing on his behalf.

Hope everyone is enjoying the first day of summer and finding ways to celebrate all the little things around them.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Author Event: Getting it Published with Catherine Linka and Mollie Traver

On June 12th, 2014, I had the privilege of attending an author/editor event for Catherine Linka, author of A Girl Called Fearless, and her former editor, Mollie Traver.

The event was held at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore down in Redondo Beach. Catherine and Mollie set out to explain the long and somewhat arduous process of publishing a book.

Before the two dove into publishing, though, Catherine read an excerpt from A Girl Called Fearless, her debut novel.

Publishers Weekly described the novel: "Set in an alternative present day US, this debut features a teen who must decide whether to submit to forced marriage or run for freedom".

As a work of speculative fiction, the book focuses on the life of a young women living ten years after a hormone in beef triggered ovarian cancer in women across the country, killing millions of women. In the wake of this catastrophe, women's rights have been severely limited and society has become exceedingly patriarchal.

Frequently passing the mic back and forth, Catherine and Mollie sought to explain the different steps between the author writing his/her work and the book being released. The two explained getting a book agent, shopping the book around (sending the book to different publishing companies), and the process of working on "spec" (if no publishing company is willing to take the book, an editor can ask an author to work with them to edit the book in the hopes that an edited version will have more luck with publishers).

One of the more interesting aspects of the process of publishing A Girl Called Fearless was all of the changes that had to be made after the book was put out on the publishing market. Unfortunately, the original manuscript wasn't considered due to its similarity to the multitude of YA dystopians in the market at the time, thus necessitating some modifications. While the original manuscript was set in the far future, the setting was altered to the present in order to distinguish the book from futuristic dystopian books. Additionally, the original manuscript employed a virus to kill off millions of women, but the viral outbreak was substituted by a large number of cancer cases because viruses are frequently used to kill of populations in many dystopian books.

As a reader, I am very appreciative of the immense effort that went into A Girl Called Fearless, as it would not exist in its captivating and brilliant final form without all that work poured into it. The event was wonderful, and it was fascinating to hear about the complexities of publishing.

A full review of A Girl Called Fearless may be expected in the upcoming weeks.

Note: Photo credit goes to Nutschell Windsor, who graciously allowed us to use her photos of the event.

Thank you, Carolyn for sharing about your visit to Mysterious Galaxy.  I would like to welcome Carolyn to Kid Lit Frenzy.  She will be doing some regular posting.  Carolyn, in her words, is an AP student, voracious reader, competitive archer, nerd, and foodie. In the event that she is unable to become a companion of the Doctor or Sherlock’s blogger, she hopes to pursue a career as an editor in the future. You can find her on twitter at @YAlitfrenzy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - The Pilot and the Little Prince

by Peter Sís
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (May 27, 2014)
Nonfiction * Biographical * Aviation 

Description from GoodReads:
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born in France in 1900, when airplanes were just being invented. Antoine dreamed of flying and grew up to be a pilot—and that was when his adventures began. He found a job delivering mail by plane, which had never been done before. He and his fellow pilots traveled to faraway places and discovered new ways of getting from one place to the next. Antoine flew over mountains and deserts. He battled winds and storms. He tried to break aviation records, and sometimes he even crashed. From his plane, Antoine looked down on the earth and was inspired to write about his life and his pilot-hero friends in memoirs and in fiction. Peter Sís’s remarkable biography celebrates the author of The Little Prince, one of the most beloved books in the world.

Image from The Pilot and the Little Prince

Reviews: Kirkus | Publisher's Weekly | Hornbook |

Links to interesting pages: NPR Interview of Peter Sís |  

About the Author: Peter Sís is the internationally renowned author and/or illustrator of many books for children. He is the recipient of the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration and has also been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. He has lived in and around New York City since 1984.

Where to find Peter Sís: website | facebook

My thoughts on the book:
A couple of weeks ago, I picked up The Pilot and the Little Prince.  I have been a fan of Peter Sís for awhile and when I saw that this was coming out I knew I had to have it.  Finally, I had a chance to sit down and spend some time pouring over this beautifully illustrated book.  And when I say pouring over this book, I do mean spend time with it.  This is not a book that you read once.  Though the narrative story text is fairly simple, there is much more to process.

Image from The Pilot and the Little Prince

The story is laid out in multiple ways - readers can simply begin with the straight narrative text that tells the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  Additionally, the illustrations provide readers with another level of visual literacy that can and should be read.  Finally, there are illustrations with scripted text, which provides another layer.  Though I do have to say that the small font was a bit difficult for me to read with ease. If I were to ask for one addition to the book, it would be for back matter (author's note, additional reading, links, or other things) to be included at the end of the book.

Overall, this is a beautiful picture book biography for children in Kindergarten to Third grade.  It would make a lovely addition to a classroom or school library. 

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews:

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Celebrate This Week - June 14, 2014

This year, I am trying to increase my awareness of the many good things that happen, which are frequently overlooked by me.  To help me, I am joining Ruth Ayres' Celebrate This Week.

As I write this post, it is still Saturday on the west coast.  I find it a challenge to get this post up every week.  Partially due to the fact that I hate working on a blog post on Friday nights.  Too often I am out and by the time I get home it is a bit too late.  And Saturdays are often packed.  Since, I missed the past few weeks, I felt that I had to get something up for today.

So, this might be late but here it is.

Here's what I am thankful for this week... 

1.  Summer Break - I am thankful for some much needed time off to reflect and be creative.

2.  Authors - Have you ever said or heard someone say "authors are rockstars".  It is definitely true, and this week, I had a chance to interact with some wonderful writers and illustrators.

Arree Chung Recently, I participated in a blog tour for Arree Chung's new book NINJA. I truly think this is a wonderfully delightful book.  Thank you Arree for this beautiful signed print. I can't wait to frame it and hang it in my office. 

Tracy Holczer I love living in Southern California where so many wonderful Children's and YA authors live.  One of those wonderful folks is Tracy Holczer, The Secret Hum of a Daisy.  This past week, Alethea and I had dinner with Tracy.  We had a wonderful evening talking books and writing and more.  As a thank you, Tracy brought us "answer jars".  Read her wonderful debut novel to find out about "answer jars". 

Jillian Cantor - Thank you Bloomsbury Press for inviting us to meet Jillian Cantor prior to her signing at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego. There were 4 of us who had a chance to chat with Jillian and ask her questions about her new YA novel, Searching for Sky. Jillian was wonderful to hang out with, and I am looking forward to reading this book.

Walden Pond Press & Christopher Healy - Though I have never met Christopher Healy, I recommend his books all the time.  Today, I received from Walden Pond Press a copy of The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw with a signed bookplate as a thank you for participating in the recent blog tour.

3.  My friends is home from the hospital. - Yes, after two more surgical procedures, my friend is home.  It is still going to be a long recovery period but we are thankful for how he has pulled through this most recent round of surgeries.

4.  Collaborating with friends - At the end of this month, I will be presenting at the American Library Association Annual Conference.  I am honored to be able to present with Mary Ann Scheuer, Cathy Potter, and Louise Cappizo.  I was also super thrilled when I discovered that SLJ recommended our presentation Common Core IRL: In Real Libraries as one of their staff picks.

5.  Great Tweets & Facebook posts - On Friday, I received some tweets from John Scovill.  He made my day when he shared that teachers that he works with cited me in their presentation on informational text.  It really goes to show that we are connected in so many ways to other teachers and educators and we have no idea about how our work influences others.  I am very thankful for my Nerdy Book Club friends because it is through them that I have come to know so may excellent educators.

Hope you are having a wonderful week and weekend and a Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Rethinking the Role of Research - Guest Post by Sandy Brehl

The often-repeated advice to writers is “write what you know”. That’s at the heart of every “small moments” workshop, every “what I did last summer” assignment, and even elaborate memoir projects. Much of fiction has its origins in this approach: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Judy Blume), Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (Beverly Cleary), and Paperboy (Vince Vawter) are good examples. Quality writing makes them standouts, but the stories themselves have a ring of recognition in readers’ hearts.

The flip side of that is narrative non-fiction. The current emphasis on informational text has increased the presence of biography, autobiography, history, science, and technology texts in classrooms, libraries, and publishers’ catalogs. Extensive research, documentation, specific terminology, and authentication are the foundation of these. In most cases the facts are well-vetted so readers can trust that every detail is true, at least as true as we can know “so far”.

Nonfiction writing typically follows a neat process:

          topic>research>write> bibliography.

Personal narrative often follows a prescribed path, too:


One very solid and entertaining bridge between these two genre is historical fiction. Think Hattie Big Sky (Kirby Larson) , May B. (Caroline Rose), and Number the Stars (Lois Lowry) , or Ann Turner’s picture books: Nettie’s Trip South, Katie’s Trunk, and Abe Lincoln Remembers. In each case the authors weave fact and fiction seamlessly throughout compelling stories with rich characters true to their times and places in history.

The blending of fact and fiction in this genre is not unlike a mobius strip. The two sides are not only inseparable, but interchange themselves while traveling along the path of the story. Similarly, it is nearly impossible to detect start- or end- points for the research and storytelling.

Historical fiction defies neat packaging. At its best, that ring of recognition resounds within the fictional lives of its characters, yet their journeys reveal specifics and complexities that can only be found through diligent research. Sorting out fact from fiction allows readers to explore a new purpose for research.

My debut middle grade novel, Odin’s Promise, is the end product of many years of just such a dance between fact and fiction. On a trip to Norway many years ago I heard personal stories of resistance from the war years. Memories of the German occupation were strong. From that time on I worked at writing one particular story, including extensive research about Norway’s war years.

Over time and countless revisions the story changed, the research continued, characters stepped into and abandoned center stage. Only when the right combination of research, revision, and advice came together did the story find its footing and take off. By then the facts were as familiar to me as the fictional elements so they arose naturally within the events of the story. After the book was complete and under contract I read two other recent historical fiction middle grade books set in Norway during World War II: The Klipfish Code by Mary Casanova, and Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus. In both cases I recognized quirky details of the occupation years that I had included in my book. A quick check of their resources indicated our stories had been influenced by some of the same titles Despite that, our books are distinctly different.

Historical fiction provides an excellent balance of reading fiction and non-fiction text: complexity, engagement, character development, detail, sequence and consequences. More often than not there will be author notes and other back matter to help describe which elements are based on history and which are not. Online and traditional research can clarify that further, as well as offer answers to questions raised by the stories. Maps, timelines, and biographies become essential tools for both the reader and the writer.

I hope readers will enjoy Odin’s Promise for the fiction it is. I also hope the factual threads throughout the story will make them eager to learn more about Germany’s invasion and occupation of Norway under the false claim of friendship. It’s a story far less familiar than those of concentration camps and battles, but no less compelling. It even has parallels in current events of the world.

Who knows where their research could lead?

About Sandy Brehl: Retired teacher in elementary public schools for almost 40 years. A voracious reader since childhood. Writing for decades. Active in SCBWI-Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) since retiring, which led to major improvements in my writing.

Debut Middle Grade Historical Fiction:
Odin’s Promise, available April 20, 2014, official publication date- May 17.

Odin’s Promise is historical fiction for middle-grade readers, a novel depicting the first year of German occupation of Norway as seen through the eyes of a young girl.

Eleven-year-old Mari grew up tucked safely under the wings of her parents, grandma, and her older siblings. When Hitler’s troops invaded Norway under the guise of “occupying a friendly country,” she is forced to grow beyond her “little girl” nickname and comfortable patterns to deal with harsh new realities.

At her side for support and protection is Odin, her faithful elkhound.

After she witnesses a terrifying event on the mountainside, truths are revealed: the involvement of her family and friends in the resistance; the value of humor in surviving hard times; the hidden radio in her grandma’s cottage.
Odin, not one for quiet resistance, makes an enemy of soldiers who patrol the area.

The year will bring many challenges, as Mari confronts danger, develops her inner strength and voice, and finds she is able to endure hardship and heartache.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Marine Pollution & Environmental Protection For Our Oceans

Have you ever thought about what happens to the plastic that is thrown into the ocean? Two of my books this week, shared stories about how plastic has a significant impact on our oceans.  I am sharing a couple of resources about the impact that trash has on marine life and oceans and more.  Both of these books are extremely informational and I know I learned a lot.  

Check out the books, videos, and links for more resources that you can use with students in grades 4 to 8.

Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion
by Loree Griffin Burns
HMH Books for Young Readers (March 26, 2007)

Description from GoodReads:
Aided by an army of beachcombers, oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer tracks trash in the name of science. From sneakers to hockey gloves, Curt monitors the watery fate of human-made cargo that has spilled into the ocean. The information he collects is much more than casual news; it is important scientific data. And with careful analysis, Curt, along with a community of scientists, friends, and beachcombers alike, is using his data to understand and protect our ocean.

In engaging text and unforgettable images, readers meet the woman who started it all (Curt’s mother!), the computer program that makes sense of his data (nicknamed OSCURS), and several scientists, both on land and on the sea, who are using Curt’s discoveries to preserve delicate marine habitats and protect the creatures who live in them. A Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book for Nonfiction.

For resources connected with Tracking Trash: Discussion and Activity GuideAuthor Notes

Tracking Trash Multi-Touch Edition  is another resource which includes videos, interactive photo gallery, and web-search enabled text can be purchased here.  

Scientist in the Field Adventure Notes: Message in the Bottle | Tracking Trash and the Common Core | Tracking Trash and Making Art

Loree Griffin Burns: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Video: Gyre: Creating Art from a Plastic Ocean

by Patricia Newman; Photographs by Annie Crawley
Millbrook Press (April 1, 2014)
Amazon * WorldCat

Description from GoodReads:
These scientists are on a mission. As part of a research expedition known as SEAPLEX, theyre studying the massive accumulation of plastic in the Pacific Ocean known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. As they use the scientific method to conduct their investigation, their adventures will introduce readers to the basics of ocean science and the hazards of plastics.

Patricia Newman: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Other resources: 10 Ways to Reduce Ocean Plastic | Video Research Project | Activity & Discussion Guide | Algalita's Ship-2-Shore Program | Five Gyres

Watch the Book Trailer for Plastic Ahoy!

Additional Books to begin exploring the topic of "tracking trash" with Younger Audiences:

10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle (HarperCollins, 2005) - In this poignant and funny story, illustrated with strikingly designed collages, Eric Carle also takes readers on an exciting voyage of discovery. Following the little ducks as they float to all parts of the globe, young explorers can see for themselves the meanings of directional words, and learn simple math concepts such as counting and the use of cardinal and ordinal numbers. Each creature the ducks meet is seen in its own habitat and behaves in a true-to-life manner, offering a very simple first view of biology and geography. (description from goodreads)

Ducky by Eve Bunting; Illustrated by David Wisniewski (HMH Books for Young Children, 1997) - A yellow plastic duck makes a long perilous journey when he is washed overboard with a crate full of bathtub toys during a storm. (description from goodreads)

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews:

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Some Musings

Thank you everyone for all of the great posts each week for the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2014.

Several years before the Common Core State Standards decided to try mandating the amount of nonfiction or informational text students should be reading, I realized that I had a serious book gap.  Though I went through phases when I did read nonfiction related to things I was interested in as an adult, I realized that I focused on very little nonfiction for children. Frankly, I saw it as boring and not particularly worth my time. Yes, I needed an attitude adjustment.

However, I can tell you when my attitude changed and by which book.  It was January 18, 2010, and I was listening to the ALA Youth Media Awards curled up in bed at 5 a.m.  The awards were in Boston that year and in order to hear them live, I had to get up early.  As they announced the awards, I was intrigued by several of the Sibert Medal Winners, particularly, The Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton.  Shortly, after the announcements were made I tracked down a copy of the book and from that moment on I have been on the search for creative, informative, and interesting nonfiction picture books for children.

My interest in nonfiction picture books has lead me to starting this challenge and to getting to know all of you.  I have felt good about the amount of nonfiction that I have been able to feature on my blog, especially through this weekly challenge.  However, I have been playing with some ideas, and will probably be adjusting my posts.

Once a month, usually the first Wednesday of the month, I feature new nonfiction picture book releases.  From the feedback, I have received readers really seem to enjoy this post. So, I am going to keep doing it.  I am going to try and find ways to keep improving it but overall, it seems to be working.

Next, I might start doing a What are you reading? type post to share all of the great nonfiction I find.  Often, I don't have time to review everything I read, but I would like to give more attention to books that I have enjoyed and want to share with others.  I will share these separate from my Monday What are you reading? posts, especially when I have a lot of titles to talk about.

Finally, I want to do more posts that feature a collection of books around a similar topic and include links to various resources or ideas of how to use them in the classroom.  I tried it recently with the post for The Sea Turtle Scientist.  It seemed to work.  So I am trying it again.  Let me know with these new posts what is helpful and what you would love to see more of as a teacher or librarian or parent.

If you are looking for the link to the Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday Widget please go here, and check out my post about Tracking Trash, and Plastic Ahoy!

Monday, June 9, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA - June 9, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.  Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers have adapted it to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

This week was a good reading week, though not quite to the same level as the previous week.  I continued with book-a-day with a focus on reading as many picture books and some other things off of my very long TBR list.

          11 - nonfiction or informational text
            2 - Early Readers
           25 - picture books
            2 - Adult graphic novels
Total: 40 books 

As with last week, much of what I read this week has come from checking out the What are You Reading? and Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday posts from all of you.

Here is what jumped out of the stack...

The Herd Boy by Niki Daly (Eerdman's Books for Young Readers, 2012) - A young boy has dreams of becoming a great leader. A powerful message.

The Silver Button by Bob Graham (Candlewick Press, 2013) - I love Bob Graham's work.  It is a bit quirky but with an incredible message. A baby takes his first steps and what is everyone else doing at the same time. Great perspective.

Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World by Selby B. Beeler; Illustrated by G. Brian Karas (HMH Books for Young Readers, 1998) - Enjoyed this book about "tooth fairy" traditions around the world. 

Windblown by Édouard Manceau; Translated by Sarah Quinn (Owlkids Books, 2013) - A few shapes and a concept that is pulled off marvelously.

Mister Bud Wears the Cone by Carter Goodrich (Simon & Schuster, June 3, 2014) - Dogs and the cone. A fun story that pet lovers will enjoy!

The Red Book by Barbara Lehman (HMH Books for Younger Readers, 2004) - Wordless but filled with perspective. Love this book.

Adult (or  at least 16+)...

Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughn; Illustrated by Niko Henrichon (Vertigo, 2006) - I am a fan of Vaughn's work with Runaways and his new series Saga.  So, when I was at a comic book store recently and saw this one discounted I knew I had to pick it up. It is based on a true story of 4 lions who escaped from the zoo in 2003 after a bombing.  Definitely has adult content/references.

So, what are you reading?