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March 28, 2014

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March 28, 2014
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Springing into Spring with Teenreads.com

Hello Teenreaders!

I hope you all had --- or are in the middle of having, or are anticipating --- an excellent spring break! Whether you stayed home, slept in and hung out with your friends or went on an exciting vacation with your family, we bet (er, hope!) that you found some time to devour a few great books.

One of my favorite things about reading while on vacation is that after I finish a book, the story is forever associated with the place where I read it. For instance, when I think of the Goosebumps series, not only do I remember being scared out of my mind by groups of slimy, rapidly multiplying worms and cheating on the choose-your-own adventure books (come on, you couldn’t die too soon!), but I also get visions of a beach on Puerto Rico (much nicer!). I read one of the Goosebumps books on the last day of spring break in first grade, and the sun was setting in such a way that all of the book’s pages donned a rosy --- and fittingly eerie --- glow. ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE reminds me of the smells of homemade Indian cooking, since I read it before dinner while studying abroad in Bangalore, and the beginning of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS brings me back to a stranger’s living room --- my friend was cat-sitting, and after picking up the book at midnight in “Hogwarts Square,” Cambridge, Massachusetts, we went back to the unknown house, pet an adorable feline and started ripping through Harry’s last adventure.

I asked some of our reviewers if, like me, they associate any books with the places they read them. Check out their answers below! Also, if you read any books in a fun place this spring break (whether in your backyard or on top of a mountain) let us know on Facebook, Twitter or by emailing shara@bookreporter.com!

Reviewers’ answers:

OCEANS OF FIRE: The Burning of Columbia, 1865, by T. Neil Anderson --- I read it while lounging by the ocean in Mexico --- such a contrast between the tragedy that swept over America and the gentle spirit of life sitting in the sun. – Sally Tibbetts

FIRE BRINGER by David-Clement-Davies --- I read this on a long, rainy day as a kid in Connecticut. I was swept away from the miserable weather into a land of Scottish heather and brave, bold deer. --- Carly Silver

THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafon --- I picked this book up in a Gaudi building gift shop in Barcelona. The book takes place in Barcelona (where I started it) and I then read it throughout my trip to Rome, Venice and Berlin. It was hard to keep my nose out of the book and look at the sights. I eventually finished the book when I returned to Barcelona, and then was lucky enough to discover a dusty old bookshop off La Rambla with their very own Cemetery of Forgotten Books, just like the one in THE SHADOW OF THE WIND! Probably my coolest experience with a story, ever! --- Alice Dalrymple

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle --- I read this the summer I turned nine while staying at my aunt's house in New York where I had a cozy upstairs room all to myself. --- Sarah Rachel Egelman

A HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I read this while on vacation in Puerto Rico, in a place that smelled like bougainvilleas, and it made me see the world in rust and jungle for weeks afterwards. --- Lily Philpott

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak --- I read the last section one boring day in 10th grade driver's ed, which was a terrible decision because I nearly started bawling in the middle of class, during the time we were supposed to be completing a pointless worksheet about three-point turns (or whatever you complete pointless worksheets about in driver's ed). --- Quinn Colter

And speaking of place-based reading, I’ve spent most of my recent subway rides finishing THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by debut author Leslye Walton. This book has been getting great reviews (including on Teenreads --- reviewer Norah Piehl says it reads like a “genuine folktale), and I couldn’t agree more! Telling the story of a 16-year-old girl who was born with a pair of wings, THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER blends magical realism, family history and beautiful prose into a dark and enchanting story. I definitely recommend giving this one a try!

There are plenty of other cool things going on at Teenreads.com right now, too. First, I’m happy to share that we have updated our MOST-read feature --- our Ultimate Teen Reading List! Over the past few weeks we have added and pared and debated and talked about the titles on this updated list. Take a look and see which of them you have read --- and which you want to read.

We also have info on how to vote for The Teen Choice Book Awards, TWO awesome contests (Spring Fling and HEARTBEAT), the last installment in our Real Talk: Publishing feature with Sarah Harrison Smith, our “Side by Side” feature focusing on Emily Dickinson, reviews, highlights from last week’s New York Teen Author Festival (photo above) and more! You can also find the winners to our HARRIET THE SPY and Shel Silverstein contests!

So read on, enjoy, and --- even though it may not feel like it in many parts of the country --- happy spring!

--- Shara Zaval (shara@bookreporter.com)

P.S: In case you were wondering about the photo on the top right, it's a delightful-looking sandwich, original artwork by Louise Fitzhugh from HARRIET THE SPY! Carol Fitzgerald, the founder of Teenreads.com, and I went to a special viewing of Louise's artwork at the Forbes Gallery last week, where we got to meet some of the authors who contributed to the new edition of the book --- and snack on mini tomato sandwiches in honor of Harriet's legendary lunch of choice!

Win Seven Great Books --- and a Teenreads.com Tote Bag --- in Our Spring Fling Contest!

Spring is finally here, and with it comes warmer weather, blooming flowers...and the chance to win seven great new YA books! Enter our Spring Fling contest between now and Thursday, May 1st for a chance to win a prize package with all of the books below in a signature Teenreads.com tote bag.

Five winners each will receive a selection of books from our list of featured titles, which includes the following:

HEADS UP PSYCHOLOGY by Marcus Weeks
THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO by Gae Polisner
THE KILLING WOODS by Lucy Christopher
DEATH SWORN by Leah Cypess
SALVAGE by Alexandra Duncan
THE SUMMER I FOUND YOU by Jolene Perry
PLUS ONE by Elizabeth Fama

Click here to enter Spring Fling!

 

Ultimate Teen Reading List - 2014 Update!

The Ultimate Teen Reading List has quickly become one of the most beloved --- and most read --- features on Teenreads.com, so we are thrilled to announce that we just made some major updates! We removed some titles, and added more than 100 new ones in all genres --- realistic fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, classics, graphic novels and more. You can search books alphabetically and by genre --- whichever is most useful to you! Please note that we haven't updated the PDF of the full list yet, but we will put that up in the next couple of weeks!

More about the Ultimate Teen Reading List:
One of our goals each month is to inspire you to read --- and to keep reading. We have found that required reading lists for school --- especially summer reading lists --- are not exactly inspiring. Thus we have created what we think is the Ultimate Teen Reading List --- more than 400 titles that we believe are perfect choices for reading and discussing. Our dream is that schools will use this list to help them make their own for summer reading or, even better, suggest that students just read what they want from this list. How did we create our list? We compiled entries from Teenreads.com readers who weighed in with their selections, and we also asked our staffers for suggestions. Titles range from young adult books to adult books that we think would be enjoyed by teens.

Click here to see the Ultimate Teen Reading List!

 

Real Talk Publishing: Sarah Harrison Smith, Parts 2 and 3

We know you love to read, but have you ever considered working with books as a career? If so, there are tons of options to explore. With this feature, we'll introduce you to book editors, librarians, booksellers, children's literature professors, book cover designers, publicists, professional reviewers and more. Through interviews, guest posts and sometimes sneak peeks inside their offices, we'll take you into their worlds so you can learn about the book industry.

Earlier this month, we kicked off our "REAL TALK Publishing" feature with the first part of our interview with Sarah Harrison Smith, the Children's Book Editor at The New York Times! We met with Sarah at The New York Times building and she told us about her job --- from her day-to-day responsibilities to her favorite (and least favorite) things that she does --- as well as the books she loved as a kid, advice she has for book critic hopefuls, the ways her own children help her do her job and what to expect from the children's book section in 2014. She also gave us a sneak peek at The Book Review office, and even showed us her bookshelves. Over the past month we've posted the last two parts of her interview. Be sure to read them to learn even more about the "secret life" of a New York Times book critic.

Click here to read Part 1 - JOB BASICS AND LOOKING BACK
Click here to read Part 2 - SARAH, HER CHILDHOOD READING AND THE INFLUENCE OF HER OWN CHILDREN
Click here to read Part 3 - JOB DETAILS! Advice, favorite part, what makes a good book review, what to look for in 2014 and more

Special Feature: THE FINISHER by David Baldacci

You may have seen David Baldacci's name on your parents' bookshelves before --- he's written 27 novels for adults, and there are more than 110 million copies of his books in print worldwide! We're happy to report, though, that his latest endeavor --- THE FINISHER --- belongs squarely in the YA section of your local library. This fantasy follows Vega Jane, a girl who lives in Wormwood. No one ever leaves Wormwood --- the surrounding forest, the Quag, is filled with terrifying beasts and bloodthirsty Outliers. But when her friend Quentin flees to the Quag, Vega Jane knows that something isn't as it seems --- and she follows Quentin's trail of clues to uncover the deep, dark secrets about her society. In our special feature about THE FINISHER, we have a review (reviewer Benjamin Boche calls it "refreshing and quite exhilarating" and says "THE FINISHER has it all"), an interview and an excerpt.

Click here to read the review
Click here to read the interview

Click here to read the excerpt

 

Click here to see our special feature on THE FINISHER!

 

Side by Side: Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is one of America’s most famous poets --- everyone knows her for the nearly 2,000 poems she composed, for rarely leaving her house in Amherst, Massachusetts and for all of those dashes, dashes and more dashes! But this year she’s getting even MORE famous --- three contemporary authors have written books where she makes a major appearance!

In Jenny Hubbard’s AND WE STAY (January, 2014), boarding school student Emily Beam uses Emily Dickinson’s poetry to help her overcome a tragic event in her recent past. In Robin Herrera’s HOPE IS A FERRIS WHEEL (March 2014), Star starts a poetry club at her new school and learns some important life lessons from Emily’s words. In Michaela MacColl’s NOBODY’S SECRET (paperback, March 2014), 15-year-old Emily Dickinson tries to uncover the identity of a man who turned up dead in her family’s pond.

Click here to read our interviews with Jenny, Robin and Michaela, where they talk about the inspiration for their books, their own feelings on Emily’s work and what they’d discuss if they went out to dinner with the famous poet. Plus, you can get a glimpse of their own poetry!

Ready, Set, Vote!

Remember when you voted to select the finalists for the Teen Choice Book of the Year Awards a couple of months ago? Well guess what...the finalists have been selected, and now you can vote for the WINNER! You have until May 12th to cast your votes, but really...why wait?

Here are the finalists:

Book of the Year (based on your votes at Teenreads.com!)
ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth
CLOCKWORK PRINCESS by Cassandra Clare
ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
SMOKE by Ellen Hopkins
THE 5th WAVE by Rick Yancey

Author of the Year
Veronica Roth (ALLEGIANT)

Rachel Renee Russell (DORK DIARIES 6: Tales From A Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker)
Rick Riordan (THE HOUSE OF HADES)
Jeff Kinney (DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: Hard Luck)
Rush Limbaugh (RUSH REVERE AND THE BRAVE PILGRIMS: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans)

Illustrator of the Year
Victoria Kann (EMERALDALICIOUS)

Anna Dewdney (LLAMA LLAMA AND THE BULLY GOAT)
James Dean (PETE THE CAT: The Wheels on the Bus)
Grace Lee (SOFIA THE FIRST: The Floating Palace)
Oliver Jeffers (THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT)

Click here to vote for the 2014 Teen Choice Book of the Year Awards!

 

NYC Teen Author Festival

Last week was an amazing time for YA fans in New York City --- it was the NYC Teen Author Festival! This is exactly what it sounds like --- an entire week packed with top YA authors reading from their books, discussing important topics about the genre, and performing from each other's works in a staple in co-founder David Levithan's repertoire: Reader's Theater (where the photo at the top-center of the newsletter is from!) I was only able to make the festival on Friday, but luckily that day was jam-packed with excellent programming.

I wrote a blog post of Friday's highlights, but for a teaser, here were some favorite parts:

- Melissa Walker (ASHES TO ASHES) showed off the Brady Brunch Diary she made with her best friend when they were kids. In this journal, they drew all of the outfits that each character wore in each episode (and counted the number of times they wore them). They also described each episode’s plot in detail. I'm glad she's moved on from TV synopses!

- The issue of "likeability" came up in the friendship panel, and M. Molly Backes (THE PRINCESSES OF IOWA) said she thought this question was usually geared towards female characters. She said, "”we don’t want to be best friends with Humbert Humbert but we let him be a character [in LOLITA]. " Interesting!

- In the "literary matchmaking" section --- where authors wrote OKCupid profiles for characters, David set them up on dates, and the authors read the dates to the audience --- Tara Altebrando (ROOMIES) and Alex London (PROXY) wrote a raunchy and hilarious piece about a middle-aged single mom going on a date with a 16-year-old from the future. Sixteen-year-old Knox kept making amusing comments about "antiquated" 21st century life..."a whole society of people reaching into pockets to play with data? Kinky!”

 

To read the full blog post, click here!

 

Special Feature and Giveaway: HEARTBEAT by Elizabeth Scott

Some young adult authors have dreamed of being writers their whole lives. Not Elizabeth Scott --- she was an editor, an office manager, sold pantyhose and burned CDs for a dot.com company --- and only started her first novel as part of a dare! We're certainly glad she did though --- her 12 young adult novels are moving, funny, dark and everything in between. To celebrate the release of her latest novel, HEARTBEAT, we're giving away 10 copies of the book! Enter by March 31st to have a chance to win. We also have a review of the book, an excerpt and an interview where she talks about everything from her favorite character to the research that went into HEARTBEAT (hint: having a lawyer for a husband definitely helped!).

About HEARTBEAT

When life breaks your heart, can love heal it? Emma’s mother is dead. But Emma’s stepfather is keeping her body alive --- because Emma’s mother is still pregnant. Confused, angry and estranged from her stepfather, Emma has gone from A-student to apathetic. But when her path crosses with juvenile delinquent and suspected drug addict Caleb’s, Emma begins to see beyond her own pain, beyond what’s on the surface and opens her heart to the possibility of life after her mother’s death.

Click here to read the review
Click here to read the excerpt
Click here to read the interview

Click here to see the special feature and giveaway for HEARTBEAT!

 

Special Feature: THE SHADOW PRINCE by Bree Despain

We all know the story Persephone --- Hades captured the young goddess and brought her to be the queen of the underworld, much to her mother Demeter's dismay. Along with a Death Cab for Cutie song, Bree Despain used this famous myth as the inspiration for THE SHADOW PRINCE, the first book of the Into the Dark series where young Haden is sent to bring Daphne, an aspiring singer at a California private school, back to the underworld. But when Haden and Daphne develop feelings for one another, they might not only change their own destinies, but the destinies of the entire universe. Learn more about the book in our special feature, which includes a review of the book, an excerpt and interview with Bree, where she describes everything from a dream film cast of the book to the role music plays in her writing process.

About THE SHADOW PRINCE

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High --- a haven for children of the rich and famous --- Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race: Daphne, a girl from Utah who has always dreamed of becoming a singer. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

Click here to read the excerpt
Click here to read the review
Click here to read the interview
 

Click here to read our special feature!

 

Teen Board

Our Teen Board has been hard at work writing reviews and blog posts this month!

In terms of reviews, Katherina T. called THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO by Gae Polisner "a beautiful novel about unlikely friendship that will put a smile on anyone's face" and Lexibex V. said that WHERE THE ROCK HITS THE SKY by Philip Webb is perfect for readers who "are ready to have their heads spin and love every minute of it." And that's just a tiny taste...scroll to the reviews section of our newsletter to see more.

Over at the blog, our Teen Board members have been celebrating National Women's History Month by writing posts every Thursday that relate to women and literature. We started off the series with Katie N., who wrote about strong females in YA literature. For our second post, Aliza M. wrote about why she thinks Hermione Granger is a great female role model. In our third post, Ashley L. talks about the rise of female heroines in YA books (and movies). And for the final post, Kate F. interviewed four YA authors about what it's like to write about strong female characters!

And if you missed it, check out their answers to the March Teen Board Question: If you could visit one specific place from a book, where would you go and why?

 

 

The Teenreads Blog

Check out some of the most recent posts on the Teenreads blog!

Talking to Myself: Guest Post by Mark Parsons on the Inspiration Behind ROAD RASH --- Author Mark Parsons gives us a sneak peek at the "thought experiment" that helped him find the voice of 17-year-old Zach, the protagonist of ROAD RASH.

How to Read Stories Out Loud if You Hate Public Speaking --- Teenreads.com intern, MFA candidate and public speaking-hater Rebecca Czochor gives some fool-proof tips on how to read your work out loud like a pro, even if it's the last thing you want to do.

Behind the Scenes of the Divergent Advance Screening --- 20somethingreads.com co-editor Nicole Sherman tells us about the HarperCollins screening of the movie of the moment

NYC Teen Author Festival --- I share all of the highlights of the NYC Teen Author Festival events I attended last Friday

Teen Board National Women's History Month Series:
- Katie N. - Strong female characters in YA literature
- Aliza M. - Why Hermione Granger is a great female role model
- Ashley L. - The rise of female heroines in YA books (and their movie spin-offs)
- Kate F. - Four YA authors talk "strong female characters"

Click here to read our blog!

 

March Books on Screen: Divergent, Divergent, Divergent! And Some Other Things, Too

A couple of weeks ago we were going Divergent crazy in this section, and shared some DIVERGENT-inspired books (THE DIVERGENT COMPANION and DIVERGENT THINKING) as well as fun links inspired by the series and movie. Now that the movie is out, we're still incredibly excited about it! The co-editor of 20SomethingReads, Nikki Sherman, was lucky enough to go to the premiere in NYC, where Veronica Roth herself spoke! Check out Nikki's review of the movie (and how it made her want to wear even more black and get some piercings), here.

Aside from Divergent, though, there is some more Books on Screen news we think will excite you!

1) THE 100 by Kass Morgan was made into a CW TV show! It airs at 8pm ET on Wednesdays and premiered on March 19th. Here is a review from Variety

2) Trailers, trailers and more trailers! The movies might not come out in March 2014, but some great book-inspired trailers have been floating all around the internet. Here is The Maze Runner trailer, and here is The Boxtrolls trailer, inspired by HERE BE MONSTERS by Alan Snow. And while it's not quite a trailer, we learned this month that PAPER TOWNS is going to be made into a movie starring Nat Wolff...John Green fans, rejoice!

3) You can now enjoy some of your favorite YA movie adaptations on the small screen, including the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy --- CATCHING FIRE --- and THE BOOK THIEF.

Click here to read our March Books on Screen feature!

 

Check Our Our Latest Reviews!

THE MARK OF THE DRAGONFLY by Jaleigh Johnson (Youth Fantasy Fiction)

Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields. The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home. The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect--everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible. Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey. Reviewed by Katie F., Teen Board member.

THE EDGE OF FALLING by Rebecca Serle (Young Adult Fiction)

Growing up among Manhattan’s social elite, Caggie always had everything a girl could want, including a storied last name. But after saving a girl from the brink of suicide, Caggie becomes infamous, and now all she wants is to be left alone. After all, she’s still reeling from the death of her younger sister last January, the subsequent destruction of her relationship with high school boyfriend, Trevor, and the way in which her family has since fallen apart. So when mysterious Astor appears on the Upper East Side, he just might be the rescue she needs. As life as she knew it begins to unravel, Caggie realizes Astor’s past may be as dark as her own. And in a world in which she’s been branded a hero, Caggie will soon discover that no one can save you…not until you save yourself. Reviewed by Sydney L., Teen Board member.

THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO by Gae Polisner (Young Adult Fiction)

Four years ago, Francesca’s little brother, Simon, drowned, and Francesca’s the one who should have been watching. Now Francesca is about to turn 16, but guilt keeps her stuck in the past. Then at the local country club, she meets four-year-old Frankie Sky, a little boy who bears an almost eerie resemblance to Simon, and Francesca begins to wonder if it’s possible Frankie could be his reincarnation. Knowing Frankie leads Francesca to places she thought she’d never dare to go --- and it begins to seem possible to forgive herself, grow up, and even fall in love, whether or not she solves the riddle of Frankie Sky. Reviewed by Katherina T., Teen Board member.

THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton (Young Adult Fiction)

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava — in all other ways a normal girl — is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naive to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the summer solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

WHERE THE ROCK SPLITS THE SKY by Philip Webb (Science Fiction)

The world stopped turning long before Megan was born. Ever since the Visitors split the moon and stilled the Earth, permanent sunset is all anyone has known. But now, riding her trusty steed Cisco, joined by her posse, Kelly and Luis, Megan is on the run from her Texas hometown, journeying across the vast, dystopic American West to hunt down her father. To find him, she must face the Zone, a notorious landscape where the laws of nature do not apply. The desert can play deadly tricks on the mind, and the quest will push Megan past her limits. But to solve the mystery of not just her missing father but of the paralyzed planet itself, she must survive it--and an alien showdown. Reviewed by Lexibex V., Teen Board member.

SILVER by Chris Wooding (Young Adult Science Fiction)

Paul is the new kid at Mortingham Boarding Academy, and he has a dark secret. Caitlyn admires Paul from afar and resents that he only has eyes for Erika. Erika thinks that she and Caitlyn are best friends, but she's wrong. Adam is a bully with a major chip on his shoulder. Mark is outgrowing his old friends but doesn't know how to make new ones. In a few short hours, none of this will matter. Without warning, a horrifying infection will spread across the school grounds, and a group of students with little in common will find themselves barricaded in a classroom, fighting for their lives. Some will live. Some will die. And then it will get even worse. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

NEARLY GONE by Elle Cosimano (Fiction)

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school--a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her. Reviewed by Lucy P., Teen Board member

SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy (Fiction)

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge as it is about hope. But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she's said and done. Reviewed by Katie N., Teen Board member.

THE SLANTED WORLDS by Catherine Fisher (Fantasy Fiction)

In book two of the Obsidian Mirror series, Jake, Sarah, and Oberon Venn continue their fight for control of the Obsidian Mirror, and whoever wins will either save a life, change the past or rescue the future. But the Mirror has plans of its own. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

EVERYONE DIES IN THE END by Brian Katcher (Fiction)

Sherman Andrews is going places. At seventeen, he’s been accepted in the Missouri Scholars Academy, a summer college program for the academically-oriented. He is determined to become an award-winning investigative journalist. While doing some research, Sherman comes across a photograph of four men, dated 1935. When a little digging reveals that three of the men were murdered shortly after the picture was taken, Sherman’s interest is piqued. He soon uncovers Depression-era records of deaths, disappearances, and cover-ups on an almost unbelievable scale. Too late, Sherman realizes that the organization responsible is still around, and they do not appreciate outside interest. They’re prepared to take drastic measures to keep him quiet, even if it means shutting him up permanently. Reviewed by Molly Horan.

LEAVING CHINA: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood by James McCullan (Young Adult Memoir)

James McMullan was born in Tsingtao, North China, in 1934, the grandson of missionaries who settled there. As a little boy, Jim took for granted a privileged life of household servants, rickshaw rides, and picnics on the shore—until World War II erupted and life changed drastically. Jim’s father, a British citizen fluent in several Chinese dialects, joined the Allied forces. For the next several years, Jim and his mother moved from one place to another—Shanghai, San Francisco, Vancouver, Darjeeling—first escaping Japanese occupation then trying to find security, with no clear destination except the unpredictable end of the war. For Jim, those ever-changing years took on the quality of a dream, sometimes a nightmare, a feeling that persists in the stunning full-page, full-color paintings that along with their accompanying text tell the story of Leaving China. Reviewed by Christine Irvin.

 

This Month's Poll - A Few More Days Left to Vote!

Celebrate Women's History Month with Us! Which famous female character is your favorite?

  • Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) – portraying that brains are beautiful and the importance of staying true to yourself. Plus, she's an utter beast at magic
     
  • Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) – showing that you can be both strong and vulnerable (and kick butt with a bow and arrow)
     
  • Hester Prynne (THE SCARLET LETTER) – you may have only read about her in high school, but you have to admit: she remained pretty dignified even with that massive scarlet A on her dress
     
  • Jane Eyre (JANE EYRE) – dreamy but still follows her heart, she’s another classical hero who shows you can be smart and get the guy
     
  • Elizabeth Bennett (PRIDE & PREJUDICE) – how can you not like this feisty, classic heroine who puts the arrogant Darcy in his place?
     
  • Tris Prior (Divergent) – different makes you strong, and Tris is a perfect example of this

And for the results of last month's poll, click here! We asked what you thought would make the best book-themed Olympic event, and it seems like the Library Dash --- where each contestant must find all the books on their list and bring them to the reception desk, first --- wins Gold, with 43% of the votes! Interpretive Book Dancing got Silver, with 23% of votes, and Bags-of-Books Lifting got Bronze, with 13% of votes.

Click here to take our poll!

 

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