The BiblioFiles Presents: Christina Diaz Gonzalez

christina diaz gonzalezJust posted! A webcast with author Christina Diaz Gonzalez, author of Moving Target and its recent sequel, Return Fire.

When we first meet Cassandra Arroyo, she is living in Rome, Italy, with her father, a nomadic art history professor. Cassie’s biggest problems are raising her grade in World History and not-quite-daring to skip class. However, her world is turned upside down when her normally placid father drags her to the car, and, during the ensuing high speed chase through the city, confesses that Cassie is the target of a secret organization called the Hastati. Her father is wounded before he can explain any more, and Cassie must continue on her own.

She soon discovers that she is connected to the Spear of Destiny, an ancient object that can shape destiny when wielded by a marked descendant such as herself. What’s more, very powerful and ruthless people want to make sure she never finds it. Cassie and her friends are quickly caught in a relentless, high stakes game of hide and seek as they try to unravel riddles and clues – some of which are hidden in ancient books and paintings – to find the spear and save Cassie’s father.

Moving Target and Return Fire are fast-paced, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you eagerly turning pages. Diaz Gonzalez keeps the action so realistic, it’s like you’re on the run with Cassie and her friends, narrowly making escapes and wondering whom you can really trust. They’re also a whirlwind trip through the art, architecture, and culture of Italy – from the beautiful mountains to hushed underground chapels.

In addition to the Moving Target books, Diaz Gonzalez has written A Thunderous Whisper, a book set in Guernica during the Spanish Civil War and WWII, and The Red Umbrella, a story of a family being torn apart during the Cuban Communist regime. The latter was named an American Library Association’s Best Book for Young Adults.

Follow this link to the BiblioFiles interview

Accio Wand Contest Winners!

three wands, gray magic woodworkingI am delighted to present the winners of our blog contest! We received a lot of fantastic entries, and it was very hard to choose. Below are the three winning spells, carefully matched to their three unique wands.

wand 291, gray magic woodworkingCUPIDUM LIBER

Awnali Mills, Virginia

My spell is for finding your next good read in a library full of books. The words are Cupidum Liber! To do the spell, you must draw the left side of a heart in the air in front of you with your wand, from top to bottom while saying “Cupidum.”  When you reach the bottom of the heart, do a quick bounce with the wand to the left as though flipping open a book with it while saying “Liber” (Lee-burr).  A book you love will present itself.


wand 292, gray magic woodworking


Marina Schnell, Pennsylvania

Do you ever try to think of a word, and you just can’t remember it? It feels like it’s on the tip of your tongue, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t remember it. I have created a spell to banish that annoying and potentially embarrassing sensation from your life. The incantation is Contralethelogos (con-truh-leth-uh-LOW-goess). When you fail to retrieve a word from your memory, simply point your wand at your throat and speak the incantation aloud, and the word will come to mind. However, you’re on your own if you forget this spell as well as the word you’re trying to remember. The spell has both Latin and Greek origins (Contra is from Latin, meaning against; leth(e) is from Greek, meaning forget; and logo is from Greek, meaning word. The s just makes it sound good).

wand 293, gray magic woodworking

Matthew Hettena, New Jersey

Translated from Latin: peel (the) monkey food. This spell peels all the bananas you could want for you, and all your banana loving friends and animals.  







Thanks once again to Lane O’Neil from Gray Magic Woodworking for the donation of the beautiful wands!

The BiblioFiles Presents: Lois Lowry

lois-lowry-bibliofilesJust posted! A webcast with multiple award-winning author, Lois Lowry.

In 1977, Lois Lowry published A Summer to Die, a story about family, loss, life, and hope. It was Lowry’s first children’s book, written in her characteristically frank, feeling, and beautiful prose. It won the International Reading Association’s award for fiction in 1979. That same year, Lowry published the first in her now famous series of Anastasia Krupnick books. And the world of children’s literature was never the same again.

In her long and distinguished career, Lowry has written 45 books and been awarded two Newbery medals for Number the Stars in 1990, and The Giver in 1994. Her unabashed exploration of difficult subject matter has also made her a frequently challenged children’s book author. In 2015, she was awarded the Free Speech Defender Award by the National Coalition Against Censorship.

While it is difficult to summarize the decades-long career of a luminary who has produced not one, but several seminal books in the history of children’s literature, two things that stand out are Lowry’s versatility, and her respect for her readers’ level of understanding. Versatility in that she can write hysterically funny books as well as deeply poignant ones. And respect for readers in that she doesn’t shy away from difficult, embarrassing, uncomfortable, or socially charged topics. Instead, she speaks to the reader as an equal. It is the ultimate form of literary empathy, one that has the power to change a reader for life.

Follow this link to the BiblioFiles interview