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In WILLOW, the title character is an educated slave girl in 1848 and must face a difficult choice --- between bondage and freedom, family and love. As Tonya Cherie Hegamin explains in her guest post, at first she didn’t think the choice would be difficult at all --- why on earth would people run plantations for months, sometimes years, if they didn’t have to? But after researching further and thinking more about another important issue --- gender equality --- she understood the complexities of slavery and freedom. Touching on everything from 1848 Persian Conference of Badasht to Beyonce, Tonya’s thought-provoking blog post delves into race, gender and the themes of her new book.
Seth Fishman's first novel, THE WELL'S END, follows 16-year-old Mia Kish when her world turns upside down --- when sirens start blaring, her ritzy boarding school Westbrook is put on lockdown, quarantined and surrounded by soldiers who shoot first and ask questions later. While it's thrilling to follow Mia through this heart-pounding adventure, we at Teenreads wanted to know: what would this situation look like from the perspective of another character from the book? Seth obliged us by writing from the perspective of Brayden, "the new kid" at Westbrook. Read on to see how he feels about the school, catch his first glimpse of Mia and more --- and then be sure to read the book to learn more about him!
RED RISING is an adult book --- it is being published by Del Rey, an adult imprint at Random House on January 28th. However, the protagonist of the book, Darrow, is 16 years old, and author Pierce Brown wrote the book when he was 23. So what makes it adult rather than YA, and should those distinctions even matter? In this article, Pierce talks about growing up, and how a lot of the issues that affect high school students continue into adult life. So does age even matter, then? Read on!
  In thrillers, detectives are always analyzing blood splatter patterns, police officers in the Missing Persons Unit are having urgent meetings and protagonists, "bad guys" and cops alike are shooting guns at the exact right angle. So how do authors, whose typical work attire, as Hannah Jayne writes below, "includ[es] slippers and pajama pants" know how to create such believable, detail rich crime scenes? The Writer's Police Academy, of course! In this post, Hannah --- whose new book SEE JANE RUN came out January 1, 2014 --- describes a day in the life of this one-week camp in Greensboro, North Carolina, where authors are transformed into handcuff-wielding, body-searching, tough-as-nails versions of themselves.