Thursday, November 13, 2008

October 2008

G. P. Taylor
G. P. Taylor, bestselling author of SHADOWMANCER and WORMWOOD, recently published THE FIRST ESCAPE, book one of The Dopple Ganger Chronicles. In this interview with's Michele Howe, Taylor discusses what inspired him to create the book in a new format called the "illustra-novella" --- a combination of graphic novels and illustrated plain text --- and explains the real-life influences behind the main characters. He also describes where he sees the series going in future installments and shares what he hopes young readers will take away from his work.

Coe Booth
Coe Booth, author of the young adult novel TYRELL, recently published her second work of fiction for teens, called KENDRA. In this interview with's Alexis Burling, Booth explains how her firsthand experiences with friends inspired the main character's unique circumstances and living situation, and elaborates on the strained dynamics between the protagonist and her family. She also describes why she decided to shed light on the important but controversial topic of teen pregnancy, shares details about her work aiding families in crisis and reveals when her next book --- the sequel to her debut --- will be available in stores.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch is the award-winning author of several books for young adults, including INEXCUSABLE, ME, DEAD DAD, & ALCATRAZ, and the newly released CYBERIA, which will be the first installment in a three-part series. In this interview with's Kristi Olson, Lynch recounts the humorous occurrence involving his pet dog and his newly installed broadband connection that sparked the idea for the novel, and explains his motivations behind the story's villain, Dr. Gristle. He also shares his thoughts on people's ever-growing dependency on technology, muses on how different the world would be if it were possible to communicate with animals and discusses where the series is headed in future installments.

Author Talk:
Holly Black
After publishing several popular children's and young adult titles such as The Spiderwick Chronicles, TITHE, VALIANT and IRONSIDE, Holly Black tries her hand at graphic novels with KIN, the opening book in her trilogy The Good Neighbors. In this interview, Black discusses what prompted this change in genre and highlights the major similarities and differences between writing prose and comics. She also recalls the historical event that inspired the plot of this first installment, describes the step-by-step process of collaborating with artist Ted Naifeh, and explains how seeing his visual representations ultimately influenced the direction of the story.

Special Features:
THE FIRST ESCAPE: The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, Book One by G. P. Taylor (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
From the bestselling author of SHADOWMANCER comes an enthralling new series of illustra-novellas.
THE FIRST ESCAPE is the first book in the Dopple Ganger Chronicles, a six-book series following three children --- Sadie and Saskia Dopple and Erik Morrissey Ganger. Sadie and Saskia are mischievous identical twins living at an orphanage, where Erik is their only friend. They are separated when Saskia is adopted by Muzz Elliott, a wealthy woman searching for her long-lost family treasure. While Saskia stumbles into the center of a crime only she can stop, Sadie and Erik embark on a quest to find her. This book is in an exciting new format called an "illustra-novella," in which the story is told alternately in graphic novel format and plain text with occasional illustrations.

KENDRA by Coe Booth (Fiction)
Kendra’s mom was only 14 when she had Kendra. Then she left Kendra with Kendra’s grandmother and went on with her life. Now Kendra is 14, and her grandmother wants her mother to start acting like a mother --- especially when Kendra starts getting in trouble with boys.Kendra isn’t sure she has anything to say to her mom --- not after all these years. But when her trouble turns serious, where else can she turn?As she did in her debut novel, TYRELL, Coe Booth gets into the head of a teen trying to find her place in the world --- even though nothing (not family, not friendship, not sex, not love)
is what it’s supposed to be.

CYBERIA by Chris Lynch (Science Fiction)
Zane lives a life of luxury in a completely wired world. He doesn’t ever (even?) have to leave his building to have exciting (virtual) experiences. His room knows everything he eats and what he needs for school. Even his pet dog is wired.There’s only one problem: When Zane gets a device that enables animals to talk to him, he finds out that his world is a lie. The animals don’t want to be wired --- they want to rebel. And Zane is going to be a part of their revolution, whether he likes it or not. In the process, he’ll have to enter a world he has never confronted before: Nature.Join award-winning author Chris Lynch on a nonstop adventure through a not-so-distant future, where one lone kid has to prove he can be an animal’s best friend.

THE GOOD NEIGHBORS, Book One: Kin by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh (Graphic Novel)
The human realm and the faerie realm have always been good neighbors. But all that is about to change...

Rue Silver's life isn't at all what it appears to be; her mother has disappeared --- and her father is being blamed for her murder. Is he guilty, or is there another truth behind it all? Rue digs deeper into her family's past and makes a startling discovery: her mother is a faerie, and she's vanished back into the faerie realm because of a broken promise. In order to save her, Rue must defeat a dark faerie --- who threatens our very mortal world.

Grab Bag of Books Giveaway
Every month in our Grab Bag of Books contest, five readers are awarded a signature tote bag filled with some of the hottest books --- and may even include a sneak peak at titles that haven’t been released yet! This contest period’s winners will each receive a copy of CREEPERS by Joanne Dahme, THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS by E. Lockhart, EVERNIGHT by Claudia Gray and VAMPS by Nancy A. Collins.

Books Into Movies:
There is much to be thankful for in November --- and we’re not just talking about family gatherings, delicious turkey dinners and days off from school. Our latest Books into Movies feature spotlights three films that cannot be missed. Of course, everyone is talking about the appearance of Edward Cullen in the November 21st movie version of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire romance novel, TWILIGHT. We always appreciate when films stay true to the books we love, and director Catherine Hardwicke has followed its vision as closely as possible: “When I read Stephenie’s book, I fell in love with it just like you did. I wanted to see Edward and Bella living and breathing!” (In fact, the author refused to sell the movie rights unless Summit Entertainment promised in their contract not to portray any of the vampires with “canine or incisor teeth longer or more pronounced than may be found in human beings.”)
With a phenomenally talented young cast and careful filming --- they had to stop shooting every time it got sunny! --- this one will definitely live up to its mega-hype. November 7th marks the release of the highly anticipated The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. This incredibly moving (and, let's face it, insanely depressing)
adaptation of John Boyne's award-winning novel about the Holocaust is told from the innocent eyes of a Nazi officer's young son and promises to meet the high standards setby the soon-to-be classic book. Keep the tissues handy, though --- the surprise ending will leave you sobbing long after you leave the theater.And last but certainly not least is The Clique, a direct-to-DVD film based on Lisi Harrison’s bestselling series about five girls who belong to The Pretty Committee, the most popular clique at Octavian Country Day. Join Massie, Dylan, Kristen, Alicia and Claire at their exclusive private school in Westchester County, New York, beginning November 18th.

Don't Miss
RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE written by Shannon and Dean Hale, and illustrated by Nathan Hale (Graphic Novel)
An old fairy tale gets a new face in RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE, complete with a sassy heroine who takes no nonsense from evil stepmothers or pompous princes. This Rapunzel is much more fun (and a whole lot more adventurous)
than any version you may have encountered before. Reviewed by John Hogan.

Cool New Books:
October's roundup of Cool New Books includes PAPER TOWNS, which marks the highly anticipated return of Printz Medalist John Green in an irresistible plot combining a friendship tale, a road trip and a mystery; the National Book Award finalist CHAINS, Laurie Halse Anderson's compelling examination of the very different implications of freedom and loyalty for slaves during the American Revolution; MELTING STONES, the latest novel from bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce, who brings readers back to the world of the Circle of Magic quartet; YOU JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH, the second installment in Cecily von Ziegesar’s follow-up series to Gossip Girl featuring the Carlyle triplets of Nantucket, Massachusetts; and THE KINGDOM ON THE WAVES, the sequel to the National Book Award winner THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF OCTAVIAN NOTHING, in which M. T. Anderson recounts Octavian’s experiences as the Revolutionary War explodes around him.

New In Paperback:
October’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes SEEING REDD, the fast-paced second installment in Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars trilogy; ANGELS ON SUNSET BOULEVARD by Melissa de la Cruz, a compelling story concerning a social networking website that started out innocently enough but has slowly turned into something much darker; BLOOD BEAST, book five in The Demonata horror series by Cirque du Freak author Darren Shan; and BREATHE MY NAME, an intense psychological thriller from R.A. Nelson, who wrote the much-talked-about novel TEACH ME.

Reviews and Excerpts:
PAPER TOWNS by John Green (Fiction)
Likable Quentin Jacobsen has yearned for his vibrant neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, since they were kids. So imagine his ecstasy when she lures him into a middle-of-the night adventure…and his pain when she vanishes. Finding Margo becomes Q's quest in an irresistible plot combining a friendship tale, a road trip and a mystery. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place --- he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their timely ghostly teachings --- like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? Reviewed by Brian Farrey and excerpted.

NATION by Terry Pratchett (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away. But when much is taken, something is returned, and somewhere in the jungle, Daphne --- a girl from the other side of the globe --- is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave. Together the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.

MELTING STONES by Tamora Pierce (Fantasy)
Four years have passed since Evvy left the streets of Chammur to begin her training as a stone mage. At 14, she's unhappy to be on a new journey with her mentor, prickly green mage Rosethorn, who has been called to the Battle Islands to determine why the plants and animals there are dying. Evvy's job is to listen and learn, but she can't keep quiet and do nothing. With the island on the brink of disaster, it's up to Evvy to avert the destruction that looms ahead. Reviewed by Joy Held and excerpted.

KINGDOM KEEPERS II: DISNEY AT DAWN by Ridley Pearson (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
It's supposed to be a happy day at the Magic Kingdom --- the return of the teenaged holographic hosts. But things go very wrong when a sudden lightning storm disrupts the celebration, and Amanda's mysterious sister, Jez, disappears. The only clue is the sighting of a wild monkey in the Magic Kingdom during the storm. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle and excerpted.

IDENTICAL by Ellen Hopkins (Fiction)
Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family --- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THE JUVIE THREE by Gordon Korman (Fiction)
Gecko Fosse drove the getaway car. Terence Florian ran with the worst gang in Chicago. Arjay Moran killed someone. All three boys are serving time in juvenile detention centers until they get a second chance at life in the form of Douglas Healy, a former juvenile delinquent who is running an experimental halfway house in New York City. Things are going well, until an accident upends all their lives. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

LIFEBLOOD: Darkside, Book 2 by Tom Becker (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
A series of unexplained murders on the Darkside of London has Jonathan tangled up in another dangerous mystery. He becomes obsessed with solving the crimes and finding his mother, who was investigating similar murders before she vanished. Meanwhile, the Ripper family is involved in a deadly scandal that goes right to the heart of Darkside society --- and they're watching Jonathan. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND by Allegra Goodman (Science Fiction)
The world is a very different place after the devastating flood. Most of the survivors live on the island colonies, and though Honor and her parents come from the north, they now live in the colonies as well. There are a mass of new, very strict rules to learn, and Honor tries her best to fit in with everyone else. Unfortunately, her parents refuse to become like everyone else. And sometimes, when a person refuses to follow the rules, they disappear. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

GIRLWOOD by Claire Dean (Fantasy)
The morning after Polly’s older sister Bree disappears, her mother becomes hysterical and phones the police. Polly’s father rushes home from his cottage in the woods; Baba, her grandmother, shows up at their doorstep and their lives forever change. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

CROSSING TO PARADISE by Kevin Crossley-Holland (Historical Fiction)
As field girl Gatty journeys with Lady Gwyneth and a prickly new family of pilgrims across Europe to the Holy Land, Kevin Crossley-Holland reveals a medieval world as rich and compelling as the world of today it foresees. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE SPECIALISTS: NATIVE TONGUE by Shannon Greenland (Mystery)
Lovable GiGi is pairing up with expert linguist Darren, aka Parrot, on a mission to South America. When a centuries-old vase is found in a cave full of hieroglyphics, it is discovered that this vase was important to at least 15 different North American and South American Indian tribes. And now all 15 nations want it back. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

Manga and Graphic Novels:
powered by
BOUND BEAUTY, Volume 1 by Mick Takeuchi
Chiyako can see the mythical connection known as the red string of fate, the invisible thread that ties each person to the one they're destined to love. When she is told by a stranger that she had better stop using her vision or pay the price, she is not about to back down. Reviewed by Robin Brenner.

Muhyo is an Executor, the highest ranking practitioner of paranormal law, and the youngest one at that. Roji is his assistant, a mere second clerk, who helps run their business. Together the two can help anyone out with their supernatural problems --- from a girl who is killing people on a subway platform to a haunted piece of furniture. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

TWO FLOWERS FOR THE DRAGON, Volumes 1 and 2 by Nari Kusakawa
Shakuya is next in line to rule her desert country, she is the descendent of a dragon and tends to turn into one when she gets riled, and her long-lost fiancé has just returned from the dead. The fiancé part wouldn't be so bad, except that when he disappeared, she got another fiancé. Now she has two. Reviewed by Eva Volin.

Christian Reviews and Excerpts:
THE MIRACLE GIRLS by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt (Fiction)
Ana Dominguez was happy in San Jose, but everything changed when her dad moved the family to Half Moon Bay, California, to open a law practice. Her parents think she's settling into her new school nicely, but she has them fooled. Riley, the most popular girl in school, has picked Ana as enemy #1, and Tyler, Ana's crush, doesn't even know Ana exists. When Ana ends up in detention with Riley, her life suddenly changes. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

Sweet Seasons
THE FALL OF CANDY CORN by Debbie Viguié (Fiction)
Fall is in the air, and without completely knowing why, Candace Thompson has signed up to continue what was supposed to be a short-term summer job at the local theme park. Working with Kurt doesn’t hurt, but a surprising kink involving her youth group, as well as the shock of an unexpected setback, threaten to be more painful. Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.

Lauren Holbrook
MATCH POINT: Lauren Holbrook Series, Book 3 by Erynn Mangum (Fiction)
Lauren Holbrook, matchmaker extraordinaire, takes credit for four successful couples now. With her dad happily married and life settling down around her, Lauren feels quite content. That is, until the tables are turned and she's on the receiving end of the matchmaking! Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.

Recent Titles for Teens:
THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks (Fiction)
When Marine veteran Logan Thibault decides to find the woman in the picture he discovered during his third tour of duty in Iraq, it's partly because that photo appears to have kept him safe in the deadliest of war experiences. When he comes face to face with the lovely Elizabeth, his unwitting lucky charm, he realizes the quest is more complicated than he ever could have dreamed. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

GOLDENGROVE by Francine Prose (Fiction)
At the center of Francine Prose's profoundly moving new novel is a young girl facing the consequences of sudden loss after the death of her sister. As her parents drift toward their own risky consolations, 13-year-old Nico is left alone to grope toward understanding and clarity, falling into a seductive, dangerous relationship with her sister's enigmatic boyfriend. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

DEWEY: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter (Memoir)
Someone dumped a small kitten into the book drop of the public library in Spencer, Iowa, on the coldest night of the year. Librarian Vicki Myron found the nearly frozen, half-starved, dirty kitten the next morning and rescued it from certain death. Thus begins the true story of a plucky little feline who won the hearts of the library patrons and countless other folks around the world during the 19 years he spent as the unofficial town mascot and library resident. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

BRISINGR: Inheritance, Book III by Christopher Paolini (Fantasy)
Following the colossal battle against the Empire's warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

First is Eragon's oath to his cousin Roran: to help rescue Roran's beloved, Katrina, from King Galbatorix's clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength --- as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices --- choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.

Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once-simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?