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Early December 2014
December 10, 2014
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Image from the German edition of Minedition's LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD<br />
Image from the German edition of Minedition's LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

Happy holidays, teen readers!

Now that it’s December 10th (!), holiday shopping is in full swing. For those of you who are scrambling to find perfect gifts for your parents, best friends and siblings, don’t worry --- we’ve outlined some recommendations below (of the bookish variety, of course).

Nods to the Classics: Are your friends diehard fans of THE GREAT GATSBY or 1984? Will they bring up Oscar Wilde or the Brontë sisters at every opportunity? Then you may want to stick with the “tried-and-true” theme. For those Jane Austen fans out there, Quirk Books came out with a beautiful collection called JANE AUSTEN COVER TO COVER: 200 Years of Classic Covers. This book compiles two centuries worth of covers from around the world, including “Cozy Classics” versions for toddlers, Pulp! The Classics versions (with subtitles like “Lock Up Your Daughters…Darcy’s in Town!") and late 19th-century Brock Lithograph Editions, which used etched stones to reproduce metal images. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt also came out with a beautiful version of The Giver quartet this year with red-tipped pages, and then there are entire imprints that are dedicated to making stunning versions of everyone's favorites, like Penguin Hardcover Classics and Penguin Threads.

For Your Younger Cousins and Siblings: There are so many great picture books out there, but around the holidays, I get especially excited by stories with gorgeous formatting. Tango Books takes classic fairy tales and stories to whole new levels, offering everything from a stunning cut-paper version of Aladdin to a lush, artsy pop-up of PETER PAN. Little ones will be fascinated by the surprises on every page, and you won’t mind reading these over and over again. Minedition also has some beautiful versions of classics like LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD. Full of patterns, bright colors and intricate paper cuts, this one is sure to be treasured into adulthood. I'm also a bit obsessed with BEAUTIFUL OOPS and A LITTLE BIT OF OOMPH by Barney Saltzberg --- they also have artwork that is both intricate and fun, and share valuable lessons along the way (which never hurt, right?).

Sticking with the holiday theme: What do you get when you combine the young adult “A-list” with a hearty dose of holiday spirit? MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME! With stories by Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Foreman, Matt de la Peña , Holly Black and more that center on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and everything in between, this is a must-have for all of your YA-loving friends looking to devour something over winter break. For a different way to celebrate the holidays, STEAMPUNK: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol illustrated by Zdenko Basic celebrates three classic Dickens tales with awesome steampunk-inspired artwork…a great blend of tradition and attitude.

Best of the year: What books really spoke to you this year? There’s a good chance your friends will enjoy them, too (quick side note: these are also the books you should vote for when picking nominees for the Teen Choice Book Award). I know that my personal 2014 favorites include I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson, THE UNFINISHED LIFE OF ADDISON STONE by Adele Griffin, GLORY O’BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE by A.S. King and WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. For more ideas, you can also check out some roundups of the best young adult books of the year from outlets like The New York Times and NPR…we’ve gathered them all here, and we know that any book they mention would be great for anyone who can’t get enough of this delightful genre.

And if you want some literary accessories to accompany these books, you can find another roundup later in the newsletter --- we’ve highlighted a few that seem especially cool.

So with that, get shopping, get reading and get celebrating!

Best wishes,

--- Shara Zaval (

Nominate Your Favorite Books of 2014 for the Teen Choice Book of the Year
In association with the Children’s Book Council (CBC) and Every Child a Reader (ECAR), is giving you a very special opportunity to let your voices be heard by telling us your five favorite books of 2014. The five titles that receive the most votes will serve as the finalists for the CBC’s 2014 Teen Choice Book of the Year. Once the five finalists have been determined, we will tell you where you can go vote for them. The winner will be announced in May 2015.

All you have to do is fill out this form between now and Monday, February 2, 2015 at noon ET. Your top five selections may come from the list we’ve provided, or you can vote for titles not on the list.

Important Note: If you choose to add a title for nomination that is not on our list, please be sure that the book(s) released for the first time in 2014; this means that paperbacks originally published as hardcovers prior to 2014 will not be accepted. If you’re uncertain about a book’s release date, we suggest you search for that title on, or

And please share the following link with your friends, teachers, librarians and school media specialists --- the more feedback we get, the better!:

Click here to nominate your favorite books of 2014 for the Teen Choice Book of the Year!


Holiday Bundle of Cheer 2014: Enter to Win by Friday, December 19th!

Here at Teenreads we're kicking off the holiday season with our Holiday Bundle of Cheer Contest and Feature. As our gift to you, we are spotlighting some amazing books. Five lucky readers will win a copy of each featured title to curl up with this holiday season, along with some incredibly festive goodies.

This year's featured titles are:

AFTER by Anna Todd
THE FASHION BOOK by various editors
HOW IT WENT DOWN by Kekla Magoon
MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs
HOLLOW CITY: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Click here to enter the contest by December 19th!


Bookish Accessories to Give This Season

We suggested some great books to give this holiday season in the opener, but everyone could use some literary accessories, too! We took the liberty of perusing the internet for you to find a few that really stand out... we know your best friends and bookish family members will thank us!

  • Lithographs T-shirts, Totes and Tattoos: We've mentioned this company's tote bags in an earlier newsletter, but wanted to remind you about them now. Lithographs offers incredibly creative clothing and accessories designed around the text of your favorite classics, from MOBY DICK to THE GREAT GATSBY. The hardest part will be choosing which you like the best!
  • Bookish Beverages: What better way to curl up with a good book than with a steaming cup of tea? You could purchase Novel Teas from Uncommon Goods or get a bit more quirky with teas based on your favorite characters at Adagio Tea, from Harry Potter to Alice in Wonderland.
  • Book Quote Posters and Prints: Whether you’re decorating your dorm room, bedroom or some other space, these posters by various etsy shop owners are bound to spice up any space. Zunelle offers a lot of inspirational quotes from YA novels, including this one from THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, and OwlsNestCottage prints quotes and images onto actual book pages, such as this nod to platform 9 and 3/4s from HARRY POTTER.
  • Fandlemonium - Candles: Called “Candles for geeks” this online store has an eclectic mix of scents for every type of book lover. Turns out everyone's favorite detective, Sherlock, smells like "freshly washed clothes" and "sweet tobacco," while Hermione's is a layered blend of "new parchment, fresh cut grass and spearmint toothpaste," which she claims are her favorite scents.
  • Book Ends: Every literary lover has a growing collection. What better way to help them organize it than some fabulous bookends? Knob Creek Metal Arts on Etsy has a great collection, including this fun one that looks like a scene from Jurassic Park. For those of you more into steampunk, Industrial Home Bazaar makes this cool pair that resembles pipes.
REAL TALK Publishing with Erin Hennicke, Film Scout

Some of our favorite movies were books first, from The Hunger Games to The Godfather. But have you ever wondered how that transition happens?

Well, it starts with people like Erin Hennicke --- a film scout at Franklin & Siegal Associates. As Erin explains, it's a film scout's job to "cover the publishing waterfront" in New York City --- reading books and magazines and talking to agents to figure out what might make a great movie, and then reporting back to film studios in Los Angeles.

In the first section of our three-part interview with Erin, she talks about how she became a scout, what she looks for when reading manuscripts and the New York Magazine article that inspired American Gangster.

In the second section, she talks about how she knows if something would make a good movie or TV show, who she'd cast in every movie if she had the choice and her favorite book-to-screen adaptations.

In the third section, she talks about the biggest change since she began as a book scout 14 years ago, the most surprising part of her job and the popular TV series she hated when she read the script.

Click here to read Part 1.

Click here to read Part 2.

Click here to read Part 3.

Side by Side: Space Travel

Have you ever thought about hopping in a spaceship and taking a trip around the universe? Maybe you’d like see the stars, have an epic adventure and fall in star-crossed love. The characters in LIFER by Beck Nicholas and THIS SHATTERED WORLD by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman get to do just that.

In LIFER, Asher is a slave, called a lifer, aboard the spaceship Pelican. She’s desperate to aid the brewing Lifer rebellion, but she could be in serious danger. On the other side of the universe, Blank wakes up without his memory and has to play for it in a black-market gaming warehouse. In THIS SHATTERED WORLD, Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac are caught between two sides in a senseless war over a terraformed planet.

We talked to Beck Nicholas, Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman about their inspiration, their sci-fi research, and what aliens would think about their high school days --- and their apparent mutual love for chocolate that grows on trees.

Click here to read the special feature!


Teen Board

With all the holiday cheer in the December air, we asked our Teen Board Members: "if you could invent a book-themed holiday, what would it be and how would you celebrate it?" Here are a few excerpts from their answers:

- Faction Day, based on the Divergent series, where "everyone could celebrate by dressing in clothes according to their faction, eating Dauntless cake, and do activities with their factions" - Kate F.

- Annual Detective Day, based on Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books, where "everyone would investigate a problem in their community and solve it to their best of ability. At the end of the day, family and friends would gather at each other's homes and discuss the problems they faced and how they overcame them." - Rachel D.

- National Quotable Dialogue Day, where participants could speak in nothing but literary quotes for a full 24 hours --- Alison S.

- New Novel November, a whole month decicated to exploring "new novels, genres, authors, publishers, reading formats and more... in an effort to open up horizons far and wide for all readers ." --- Aliza M.

See the full feature here!

And there are of course Teen Board reviews and blog posts too --- be sure to check them out!

Click here to meet the Teen Board!


On the Teenreads Blog!

Let's Get Classic Part 2 --- Teen Board member Alison S. continues to write about her love of classic books with this post about THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY.

NaNoWriMo Musings Part 3 --- Teenreads intern Brianna Robinson discusses the end of NaNoWriMo and what it taught her.

Click here to read the Teenreads blog!


Best of Lists for 2014

This is the time of year when “Best Of” lists are everywhere. Although we at don’t have a “Best Of” list of our own, we’ve compiled a number of them for you here. See which of your top picks appear on these lists and which titles you feel should've been included but weren't. Perhaps you’ll even find some books to add to your reading list as we head into the new year!

National Public Radio
Publisher's Weekly
New York Times
School Library Journal

Click here to see our roundup of Best of Lists from 2014!


Books on Screen
This December, celebrate the holidays by going on an adventure! You could join Bilbo and the gang as they battle for the ultimate fate of Middle Earth and defeat the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Or follow the harrowing true story of Louie Zamperini, a World War II soldier who survives a plane crash, drifts on the sea for 47 days, then spends over two years as a prisoner of war in Unbroken.

Looking for something a little more musical? Check out the new modern-day version of Annie. Featuring some of your favorite songs from the classic musical, updated for a modern retelling. You’ll definitely be singing along to “It’s The Hard Knock Life!”

So get out there this December and see some of these great books on screen!

Click here to read books on screen!


December's Cool and New Roundup

In December’s Cool and New Roundup, we have DIAMOND BOY by Michael Williams, a high-stakes adventure where 15-year-old Patso works the Marange diamond fields for a chance at a better life; WE SHOULD HANG OUT SOMETIME: Embarrassingly, A True Story, Josh Sundquist’s memoir about looking for love in all the wrong places; and the latest volume in Sara Shepard’s bestselling series --- PRETTY LITTLE LIARS #16: Vicious --- where Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily are on trial for killing Alison DiLaurentis and no one believes in their innocence…

Among the paperback titles released this month, we have WRITER TO WRITER: From Think to Ink, where Newbery Honor Author Gail Carson Levine shares her secrets for creating page-turning prose and poetry for all aspiring writers; the second book in the At Somerton series by Leila Rasheed, DIAMONDS & DECEIT, which follows Rose and Ada’s adventures in a 1913 England filled with questions of class, fortune, betrayal and love; and THE BOY WITH THE HIDDEN NAME by Skylar Dorset, the sequel to THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS featuring half-faerie princess Selkie Stewart, who is responsible for saving the world from the terrorizing Seelie Faerie Court.

Click here to see December's Cool and New roundup!


Vote in Our Poll!

It's December, which means the year is winding down and a new one is just around the corner! What book genre best describes your 2014?

  • Dystopia --- Things took a dark turn this year; hopefully 2015 will be better!
  • Science Fiction --- Full of surprises and strange twists and turns
  • Biography --- A lot of important dates, deadlines and people defined your 2014
  • Modern Fairy Tale --- Bursting with magic and maybe even an awesome Prince (or Princess) Charming!
  • Contemporary Realistic --- As you expected it: Colored by school, friends, extra-curriculars, family...the usual.
  • Classic --- This was a year that will live down in history

Last month, we asked you what book-related wonders you were most thankful for. An overwhelming 58% of you voted for libraries --- live long and prosper! Coming in second at 18% were bookstores, where you loved running to buy new releases the day they came out. To see the full results, click here.

Click here to take our poll!


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