Friday, February 27, 2009

Laurie Halse Anderson Speak Poem

Can you believe Speak is 10 years old? I've been reading posts about this at Presenting Lenore and thinking about Laurie's work before I start reading Wintergirls. And I ran into this poem that I just had to share. Apparently Laurie has received thousands of emails and letters from readers about how Speak has given them the courage to speak up. The first and last stanzas of this poem are in Laurie's words. Everything else are words and phrases from letters that were sent to the author. How incredible is that?

Eclipse News

News! News! News!
Summit Entertainment is going ahead with the filming of Eclipse, the third movie in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Eclipse is scheduled for release on June 30, 2010; a director has not yet been announced. Meanwhile, book two in the series, New Moon, directed by Chris Weitz, will be released on November 20, 2009.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


The Children's Book Council (CBC) in association with Every Child a Reader, Inc. (the CBC Foundation), announces the finalists for the Second Annual Children's Choice Book Awards. Jeff Kinney, Stephenie Meyer and Christopher Paolini are among the favorite author choices. The favorite book finalists were determined by close to 15,000 children and teens.

Teen Choice Book Award
Airhead by Meg Cabot (Point/Scholastic)
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown and Company)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press)
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group)
Paper Towns by John Green (Dutton/Penguin Young Readers Group)

Author of the Year

Jeff Kinney, Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Stephenie Meyer, Breaking Dawn
Christopher Paolini, Brisingr
James Patterson, Maximum Ride: The Final Warning
Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth

You can vote for your favorite books and author at bookstores, schools, libraries, and at from March 16 through May 3.

Me - it's all about The Hunger Games!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Valiant by Holly Black - Review

We have all been betrayed at some point, but when Val is betrayed so totally by her mother and her boyfriend at the beginning of this book she feels she has no choice but to run away. She meets three runaways who live in the subway, one of whom has only one eye, can see Faeries, and runs errands for Ravus, a troll. An exile from the Seelie Court, Ravus makes a drug that helps the Fae live in a city so full of iron -- but affects human users very differently.

But some of the Fae have been found dead and many of them blame Ravus. Val is drawn to the troll and can't believe he is to blame so sets out to prove his innocence, while he teaches her to fight.

I read both Tithe and Ironside first because I needed to continue Kaye's story then turned to Valiant (written second in the series), which if anything is a stronger -- if darker -- tale. Chock full of goth-like Faeries and mysterious creatures, this is a tale of runaways and life on the streets, addiction, love, double crossings, and revenge. It is beautifully written and harks back to the Beauty and the Beast myth. It is about living with what is thrown at us and finding our inner courage, finding the best in us from the worst of situations. It's very powerful and hard to forget and can certainly stand alone if you haven't read the rest of the series. And I really hope Holly Black plans to continue with this storyline.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (5) Revisited

I know this is unusual but I've just seen a book in Shelf Awareness that I had to share: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. It'll be published by Quirk Books in April and rumor is that Hollywood is interested in obtaining movie rights.

The Times
noted that Grahame-Smith, a TV comedy writer, and his Quirk editor "developed a diagram tracing connections between seminal period novels to cult movie genres, including robots, vampires and aliens." The co-author told the paper that "it quickly became obvious that Jane [Austen] had laid down the blueprint for a zombie novel. Why else in the original should a regiment arrive on Lizzie Bennet's doorstep when they should have been off fighting Napoleon? It was to protect the family from an invasion of brain-eaters, obviously."

It seems that zombies are the new vampires. And I can't wait.

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

What am I waiting for this week? Well, how could I not want a book called Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci? With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers.

Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci bring together short stories from MT Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith. David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Tracy Lynn, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfeld, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.

And there is one arc floating around our department that has just made it's way to me!

Monday, February 23, 2009

In My Mailbox (2)

I've been reading Story Siren's In My Mailbox post for a while, which explores the contents of her mailbox on a weekly basis and thought it was a great way to share what we are about to read.

And this week I have three very wonderful looking books.

Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman
From the cover: Persephone is no cowering maiden, but a young woman with a choice. And she chooses the lord of the underworld.
Due out May

The Dust of 100 Dogs by AS King
(which I have been wanting for such a long time)
In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with the dust of one hundred dogs, dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body - with her memories intact.
(out this week!)

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
(which I've also been waiting and waiting for - and need to read before she visits)
From the back:
“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit. Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.

Have already started them!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Waterstone's Children's Book Prize

Congratulations too to Michelle Harrison who has just been awarded the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize in the U.K. for The Thirteen Treasures (Simon & Schuster), the story of a girl who can see fairies, and who tries to solve a mystery that has haunted her family for generations. 13-year-old Tanya has been sent to her grandmother's house for the summer. There she teams up with the caretaker's son, Fabian, and they decide to discover the truth about a girl who vanished in some nearby woods 50 years previously. Tanya meanwhile is harassed by the fairies she can see and hear.

Little, Brown won't publish the book in the U.S. until spring 2010 so yet another title to add to my waiting for pile. If only I had known to look for it a month ago when I was in the UK...

Cybils Winners announced

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Middle Grade
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Young Adult
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Middle-Grade Fiction
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

Young Adult Fiction
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Non-Fiction: Middle Grade/Young Adult
The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir by Cylin Busby and John Busby

Graphic Novels: Elementary/Middle Grade
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale

Graphic Novels: Young Adult
Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Steve Rolston

Honeybee by Naomi Shihab Nye

Congratulations all. The judges did a great job. And I wanted to add that I loved, loved, loved, The Hunger Games, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and Rapunzel's Revenge.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More about Wings

Earlier today I posted that I was waiting to read Wings by Aprilynne Pike. While reading about the book I found this interview with the author that made waiting even harder.

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

There are so many books I'm waiting to arrive in the store. This week I want to talk about Wings by Aprilynne Pike. Have you heard about it?

Here's the back cover copy:
Laurel has never been the kind of girl whol believes in fairy tales and mysths, fables and legends ... until the day she learns the stunning truth about her own identity, forever changing her world.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

I'm sold. Sounds great. And it's blurbed by Stephenie Meyer
"Aprilynne Pike's Wings is a remarkable debut; the ingenuity of the mythology is matched only by the startling loveliness with which the story unfolds"

Due out May 5th.

Monday, February 16, 2009

You Are So Undead To Me by Stacey Jay - Review

Megan Berry is 15 and obsessed with homecoming. But she’s also a Zombie Settler, born with the powers to help the undead, listen to their unfinished business, and lead them back to their graves. Her powers had disappeared for a while, leading her to believe they were gone for good but now, just as she is about to date a very hot guy, they are back, as are the undead. And she is so frustrated. I mean, how can you go out if you are constantly worried about being followed by a slobbering zombie? Oh, and nobody is meant to know about her powers. So much for homecoming.

To make matters even worse, someone is using black magic to turn the undead into Zombies – you know, the flesh-eating kind. As these attacks become more frequent, no one else seems to see how dangerous it’s becoming so it’s up to Megan to find out what’s happening, who is doing it, and maybe, just maybe, save homecoming, and persuade her old friend Ethan to see her as something other than an annoying little sister.

If you are a Buffy fan (as of course I am) you will love this book, which has much the same feel to it and is a quick, light, fun read – with a cool twist at the end.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Courtney Sheinmel

We were very fortunate this week when Courtney Sheinmel stopped in at the store to talk to us. In this first video clip Courtney talks about her book, My So-Called Family:

In this second video clip, Courtney talks about the project she's working on now, which is called Positively:

And here's my review of the book:
Everyone’s family is different. Leah knows this but has always felt different. Yes, she lives with her mom, stepdad, and brother but she doesn’t know anything about her dad, except that he’s Donor 730 from Lyons Reproductive Service. She loves her family—she really does—but starts to wonder about the other side of her family when her brother starts to make a family tree in school. So she finds LRS on the internet, finds out that Donor 730 has fathered other children, and gets in touch—without telling her mother. This is a very understandable, sympathetic look at what makes up a family, of a young girl’s journey to find out where she came from, and what families mean to us, no matter who or what they are.

It's always good to see you, Courtney. Can't wait to read Positively.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

News about Vampire Diaries

According to Publishers Weekly, the CW has picked up a pilot based on L.J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries series. These books revolve around a girl who is torn between two vampire brothers, both battling for her soul. Variety reports that Kevin Williamson (Scream; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Dawson’s Creek) will write the screenplay and serve as one of the executive producers.

Fabulous idea. Who would you cast in the roles?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

I love these waiting on wednesday posts. We are all waiting and waiting for some wonderful titles to come out this year. And I am waiting, not very patiently, for Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison.

Madison's prom was killer - literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper - yeah, that kind of reaper - intent on getting rid of her body and soul. But Madison realizes she has to take control of her own fate once and for all, before IT takes control of HER. Well, if she believed in that stuff.

I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of Kim Harrison's work (usually funny and full of attitude) so yes, am SO looking forward to this, her first YA title.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Supernatural Competition

If you are a lover of supernatural books, this is the competition for you. Carrie at Carrie's YA Bookshelf (click here) is running a competition to win 3 books, all with a supernatural feel to them.

1) You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay.
Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a whole bunch of semi-dead people with killer issues. All Megan really wants is to go to homecoming, but when you're trailed by a bunch of slobbering corpses whenever you leave the house, it's kinda hard to score a date. Let's just say Megan's love life could use some major resuscitation.
Megan's convinced her life can't get any worse - until someone in school starts using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into scary, hardcore flesh-eating Zombies. Now it's up to Megan to stop the Zombie apocalypse. Her life - and more importantly, the homecoming dance - depends on it.

2) Evermore by Alyson Noel
Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste. Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

3) The Girl's Guide to Vampires: All You Need to Know About the Original Bad Boys by Barb Karg
The good news is: He’s tall, dark, and handsome.The bad news is: He’s a bloodsucking creature of the night. Not to mention arrogant, predatory, and immortal.
What’s a girl to do? No worries—in this guide, girls learn everything they need to know about these romantic rogues, including how to:
Know when they’ve met a vampire
Avoid falling prey to a nightstalker’s charms
Resist even the most aggressive advances
Protect themselves against the undead
Destroy a vampire—using everything from holy water to decapitation

Complete with a review of vampire books, TV shows, and films as well as accounts of real-life encounters with vampires, this book is all girls need to surrender to the night—and still make sure they’re around to see another day!

To enter:
One Entry: Post a comment here with your e-mail address
One Additional Entry: Post a link on your blog, if you have one.
One Additional Entry: Become a follower of Carrie's blog.
One Additional Entry: Add Carrie to you blog roll if you have one.

And what wonderful books they are. I've just finished You Are So Undead To Me and it's fabulous (I'll post a review later this week).

The contest will run until Feb. 28th. I entered. Did you?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lesley Livingston talking about Wondrous Strange

The first book I read and reviewed this year was Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston. So when I found this video footage of Lesley talking about the book I thought I'd share. It made me want to revisit Central Park, thinking about it being a gateway to another world.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

In My Mailbox

I've been reading Story Siren's In My Mailbox post for a while, which explores the contents of her mailbox on a weekly basis and thought it was a great way to share what we are about to read. And this has been a simply wonderful week in my own mailbox. As you can see from the photo I got

1. Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr, for which I've been waiting and pining. I saw this and did a happy dance. Thank you Antonia.

In this seductive sequel to Wicked Lovely, Seth and Aislinn struggle to stay true to themselves - and each other - in a milieu of shadow rules and shifting allegiances, where old friends become new enemies and one wrong move could plunge the Earth into chaos.

I, of course, am going to read this first. In fact, have already started it. My friend Stacey is ready to pull it out of my hands. Soon...

2. Rampant by Diana Peterfreund. I've wanted to read this ever since Justine Larbalestier mentioned it in her interview. And here it is! Yes, another happy dance.

Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns...Real unicorns are man-eating beasts with cloven hooves, bulletproof hides, and horns full of deadly poison. They can outrun a sports car and smell human prey from a mile away. And they can only be killed by virgin warriors descended from Alexander the Great. Fortunately unicorns have been extinct for more than a hundred years. Or not. And it is up to 16-year-p;d Astrid Llewelyn to hunt them down.

Doesn't that sound brilliant?

3. Immortal by Gillian Shields

Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, housed in a Gothic mansion on the bleak northern moors, is elite, expensive, and unwelcoming. When Evie Johnson is torn away from her home by the sea to become the newest scholarship student, she is more isolated than she could have dreamed. Strict teachers, snobbish students, and the oppressive atmosphere of Wyldcliffe leave Evie drowning in loneliness. Evie's only lifeline is Sebastian, a rebellious, mocking, dangerously attractive young man she meets by chance. As Evie's feelings for Sebastian grow with each secret meeting, she starts to fear that he is hiding something about his past. And she is haunted by glimpses of a strange, ghostly girl—a girl who is so eerily like Evie, she could be a sister. Evie is slowly drawn into a tangled web of past and present that she cannot control. And as the extraordinary, elemental forces of Wyldcliffe rise up like the mighty sea, Evie is faced with an astounding truth about Sebastian, and her own incredible fate.

Can't wait to read it.

4. Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

Can't read fast enough this week.

5. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare Brought this back from London with me (so a different cover) as I thoroughly enjoyed City of Bones and I noticed City of Ashes on many, many people's best of 2008 lists.

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father. To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

Now I'll be ready for City of Glass when it comes out.

5. Malorie Blackman, Checkmate I brought this back from London with me too as it's not yet published here. The third in the very fine Noughts and Crosses trilogy, I just couldn't wait for this.

Can the future ever erase the past? Rose has a Cross mother and a Nought father in a society where the pale-skinned Noughts are treated as inferiors and those with dual heritage face a life-long battle against deep-rooted prejudices. Sephy, her mother, has told Rose virtually nothing about her father, but as Rose grows up she becomes determined to find out more about her parentage. As Rose takes her first steps away from Sephy and into her father’s world, she finds herself drawn inexorably into danger.

What a wonderful week for books. Am still doing that happy dance in my head.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stephen King on Stephenie Meyer

In an interview with USA Weekend, Stephen King dissed Stephenie Meyer, comparing her to JK Rowling, and saying, “Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people… The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”

You can read the whole article here.

Ouch. Yes, of course, Stephenie is no Marcus Zusak or John Green. But is that the point? It's her stories that people love and that have earned her the hordes of fans. Maybe she just needs a better editor!

What do you think about this?

2009 ALA Youth Media Awards

In my absence, the ALA Youth Media Awards were announced. I know they have been posted everywhere else but I thought I'd play catch up and post them here too.

I'll start with the Michael L. Printz Award. And the winner is:
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
The honor mentions are:
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the nations, Part II: The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Nationby Terry Pratchett
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

On to the Newbery Award. And the winner is
>The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
The honor mentions are:
After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
Savvy by Ingrid Law
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt

Now for the Coretta Scott King Award. The winner is:
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseballby Kadir Nelson
The honor mentions are:
Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford
The Blacker the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas
Keeping the Night Watchby Hope Anita Smith

On to the Alex Award, given to 10 books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.
City of Thieves by David Benioff
The Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick
Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris
The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
Just After Sunset: Stories by Stephen King
Mudboundby Hillary Jordan
Over and Under by Todd Tucker
The Oxford Project by Stephen G Bloom
Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow
Three Girls and their Brother by Theresa Rebeck

Finally, the William C. Morris YA Debut Award. And the winner is:
A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C Bunce

Great books, one and all. Which to read first?