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Mid-October 2015

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October 16, 2015
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Analogies, YA-Style
Louise O'Neill and Meredith Turits of Bustle at WORD Bookstore, Brooklyn
Louise O'Neill and Meredith Turits of Bustle at WORD Bookstore, Brooklyn

Hi Teenreaders,

Not to sound like an old-school SAT test, but I’m all about analogies today. You know --- a Pumpkin Spice Latte is to fall as Hot Chocolate is to:

A) Fall
B) Winter
C) Mini Marshmallows
D) Cat-shaped Marshmallows
E) Tea

(The answer is B, by the way). While they no longer exist on standardized tests, analogies help you translate something that might be out of someone’s grasp into terms that are more understandable. Does your little brother not understand how much you love to paint? If you liken it to his feelings towards Pokémon, he’ll probably have a whole new appreciation for why you spend hours in front of the easel every weekend. Does your best friend not understand that morally ambiguous character you’re discussing in AP English? Just remind her of Professor Snape from the Harry Potter series, and she’ll look at the novel in a whole new light.

I was particularly struck by an analogy that author Louise O’Neill used at a recent event at WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn that celebrated her novel, ONLY EVER YOURS. She explained that she wanted to be an actress when she was younger, and she loved assuming her characters’ personalities. Although she became an author instead, she realizes how similar those careers actually are --- authors have to get in their characters’ heads, too, and she mentioned that when her she was working on a recent book, her parents asked her “Why are you acting like a 16-year-old?!” It’s because she was assuming the role of her protagonist, of course! If there’s “method acting,” why can’t there be “method writing”? (Look at the photo on the right for a picture of Louise with her interviewer, Meredith Turits of Bustle).

At the Morristown Books Festival in New Jersey, David Levithan made another great writing analogy, equating it to playing the cello. You can’t play a concerto right away, he explained; you have to practice. Similarly, you can’t immediately be a bestselling novelist; you have to write and write and write to find your voice and hone your craft.

Since I (and Louise and David) seem to be on an analogy kick, I decided to ask a few other authors to compare their profession to another seemingly dissimilar career. See their answers below!

I think being a writer is like being a house contractor. Building (or re-doing) a house takes a lot of planning, is super messy while it's going on and at some point you always think, "This is never going to come together." Then you keep painting and fixing and putting on trim and eventually, it does! --- Cammie McGovern (A STEP TOWARDS FALLING)

“Being a writer is a little bit like being an archaeologist because you use what you know about people to make a best guess about what makes slightly fictional people tick. You do all the research you can, and then hope your interpretation holds up under scrutiny.” --- E.K. Johnston (A THOUSAND NIGHTS)

Writing is sort of like splitting wood, where you are aiming your maul not so much at the top of the piece, but at its bottom. There's so much to get through before you hit the spot you're actually trying for. --- Gary D. Schmidt (ORBITING JUPITER)

Being an author is like being an architect. You start with an idea. You can see the finished house in your mind but first you need to draw a good footprint (an outline) and then you draw the foundation, and walls to hold up your house (characters, plot), and rooms, windows, a roof. Then you can move inside and flesh out your design (rewrites, rewrites, rewrites), and finally, you have a home and it looks nothing like what you’d set out to build (write). And you’re just getting started. --- Yvonne Prinz (IF YOU’RE LUCKY)

So there you have it --- actress, musician, house contractor, archaeologist, lumberjack, architect… Are any of you writers, out there? What careers would you add to this fairly well-rounded list?

Alright, now that all retired standardized test formats are out of my system, let’s move on to the rest of the newsletter. Inside, you’ll hear about our spooky Thrills and Chills contest, find some books that defy all format conventions in our Mix-It-Up bookshelf and read a whole bunch of new reviews.

So have a bit of your pumpkin-flavored fill-in-the-blank, cuddle up under a blanket, and get reading!

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

P.S. Did you know that Teen Read Week is happening between October 18th and October 24th this year? The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) started this event in 1998, and its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users (not that you guys need encouragement, of course). This year’s theme is “Get Away” --- check out your local library’s calendar (public and school libraries are participating); I bet they’re doing something awesome to celebrate!
 
Thrills and Chills Contest

Teenreads.com is celebrating the season of ghouls and ghosts with our second annual feature, Thrills and Chills! Between now and Monday, November 2nd at noon ET, teens can enter to win special sweet treats and some (mostly) spooky reads that will help make the scariest season of them all last well beyond Halloween.

This year's featured titles include:

CATACOMB by Madeleine Roux
THE DEAD HOUSE by Dawn Kurtagich
THE DETOUR by S.A. Bodeen
DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy
ICE LIKE FIRE by Sara Raasch
SHADOW OF THE WOLF by Tim Hall
THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated Chris Riddell
THIRTEEN CHAIRS by Dave Shelton
WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER by Rae Carson

Click here to enter our Thrills and Chills contest!

 
Mix-it-Up Bookshelf
Every October, schools around the country participate in National Mix-it-Up Day and encourage students to connect with new people, especially in the cafeteria. "Mixing it up" doesn't just happen in the lunchroom, though --- it happens in the library, too! As it turns out, plenty of authors have been thinking outside the box (er, covers?) these days and shaking up the traditional book form.

Some infuse their stories with modern communication, whether texts or IMs, and others intersperse them with letters and diary entries. Some authors make images a central part of their novels, and still more go full "documentary style," creating books that are a collage of fake newspaper articles, interviews, drawings and more.

In this bookshelf, we rounded up 20 books that "mixed it up", from Alyson Noel's CRUEL SUMMER --- where 17-year-old Colby communicates about her summer in Greece through blog entries and emails --- to Ransom Riggs's MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, which utilizes pictures to tell the story of a forgotten time loop.

So if you're sick of that same old book format, look no further --- these books will add plenty of variety to your to-be-read list.

 
Click here to see our Mix-It-Up Bookshelf!

 
Now in Stores: CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell

CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell (Fantasy, Romance)

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.

That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right.

Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here --- it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.

CARRY ON: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story --- but far, far more monsters.

Click here to learn more about the book.

 

Now in Stores: A STEP TOWARD FALLING by Cammie McGovern

A STEP TOWARD FALLING by Cammie McGovern (Friendship, Human Rights)

Cammie McGovern follows up her breakout young adult debut, SAY WHAT YOU WILL, with this powerful and unforgettable novel about learning from your mistakes, and learning to forgive. Told in alternating points of view, A STEP TOWARDS FALLING is a poignant, hopeful and altogether stunning work that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Nevin, Robyn Schneider and Jandy Nelson.

Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing --- until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.

Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they're starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

Click here to learn more about the book.

Now in Stores: Waterfire Saga, Book Three: DARK TIDE
Waterfire Saga, Book Three: DARK TIDE by Jennifer Donnelly (Fantasy, Romance)

Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled-powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six.

Serafina believes her talisman was buried with an old shipwreck. While researching its location, she is almost discovered by a death rider patrol led by someone familiar... The pain of seeing him turned traitor is devastating.

Neela travels to Matali to warn her parents of the grave threat facing their world. But they find her story outlandish; a sign that she needs to be confined to her chamber for rest and recovery. She escapes and travels to Kandina, where her talisman is in the possession of fearsome razormouth dragons.

As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn't know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave.

Click here to learn more about the book.

On the Teenreads.com Blog

The blog has been blowing up with amazing posts in the past few weeks! First, make sure to check out ALL of our amazing UnBan a Book Week posts here --- a group of beloved authors and Teen Board members told us why some of the most frequently banned books, from THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie to A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle, resonated with them. And for all of our other great posts, see below for details!

THINGS I'LL NEVER SAY Author Roundup --- Ann Angel, the editor of this new secret-themed anthology, asks authors to share some of the things they kept hidden during their teenage years.

Are You a Romantic? Writing a YA Romance --- As part of the A SONG FOR ELLA GREY blog tour, which tells a modern version of one of the most romantic stories of all time, author David Almond explains why he's drawn to such swoon-worthy tales.

Fairy Tale Adaptation Series - Part 1 --- Teen Board member Alison S. starts her new blog series that focuses on three great novels that take fairy tales to a whole new level.

Characters That Bleed --- NAMELESS author Jennifer Jenkins writes about how flaws are the key to creating the perfect protagonist.

MONSTERS: Evolution --- MINOTAUR author Phillip W. Simpson blogs about the evolution of mythical creatures, including the history of famous literary monsters and the creature behind his newest novel, the Minotaur.

ZEROES and the Power of the Crowd --- Scott Westfeld, Deborah Biancotti and Margo Lanagan, authors of the Zeroes trilogy, talk about the idea behind the series, the process of working together and the power of collaboration.

Visiting Dennis Severs' House --- The Book Report Network's Nicole Sherman, Advertising/Promotions Manager and Content Coordinator for 20SomethingReads, blogs about her trip to Dennis Severs' house in London, the inspiration for Brian Selznick's THE MARVELS.
 

Click here to read our blog!

 
Teen Board Update

Teen Board Question: To trick or to treat --- that is the question! Now that Halloween is just around the bend, we wanted to know: if our Teen Board members could either play a (friendly!) prank on a YA character OR give them a tasty treat, what would they do and who would be the recipient of your holiday spirit? We got an awesome range of answers --- Yasemin B. would love to prank the Dursleys from Harry Potter with the Tarantallegra spell (forced dancing), while Laura T. would gift the anagram-loving Colin Singleton from AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES with a book of word puzzles. See all of their answers here!

Reviews: Our Teen Board members loved most of the books they reviewed for us, recently. Alison S. said A SONG FOR ELLA GREY by David Almond will "entrance you, enthrall you, shred your heart into a million pieces and pull on your heartstrings like they’re saltwater taffy," while Kate F. said that "readers will become too emotionally involved with the brilliant characters in [Jennifer Jenkins' NAMELESS] to put the book down." Check out all of their reviews in the review section at the bottom of the newsletter!

 

Books on Screen
Welcome to our Pumpkin Spice edition™ of Books on Screen! You didn’t think we’d miss out on October’s bestselling rebrand, did you? This month, we’ll be evaluating the top books on screen based on their Pumpkin Spice Rating (PSR), which is just as silly and delicious as it sounds! Toss your regular old latte, because we’re about to go full fall!
 
Click here to see our PSR ratings and October Books on Screen titles!

 
October's Cool and New Roundup

This month’s Cool and New roundup includes ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, the highly anticipated science fiction book written in the form of emails, medical reports and more about two recently-broken up teens whose planet is being destroyed; A THOUSAND NIGHTS by E.K. Johnston, an enchanting, supernatural twist on the classic THE ARABIAN NIGHTS; and THE ROSE SOCIETY by Marie Lu, the second book in the exhilarating Young Elitesseries.

In paperback titles this month, we have MONSTER: A Graphic Novel written by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile, an adaptation of Myers’ multi-award-winning coming of age tale about a teen awaiting trial for a murder and robbery; SIGNS POINT TO YES by A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT author Sandy Hall, which follows Jane as she babysit’s for her crush’s siblings and helping her own sister develop the courage to come out; and WEIRD GIRL AND WHAT'S HIS NAME by Meagan Brothers, about a couple of secrets that come between Lula’s and Rory’s friendship and change everything.
 

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

 
Check Out Our Latest Reviews!

New! THE ROSE SOCIETY by Marie Lu (Youth Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy)

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her. --- Reviewed by Linnea P., Teen Board member.

New! A SONG FOR ELLA GREY by David Almond (Youth Fiction, Fantasy, Romance)

Claire is Ella Grey's best friend. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her. But the loss of her friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world. This is her story –-- as she bears witness to a love so complete; so sure, that not even death can prove final. --- Reviewed by Alison S., Teen Board member.

New! MARTians by Blythe Woolston (Youth Fiction, Family)

In a near-future world of exurban decay studded with big box stores, daily routine revolves around shopping --- for those who can. For Zoë, the mission is simpler: live. --- Reviewed by Chris C., Teen Board member.

New! THE DEVIL AND WINNIE FLYNN by Micol Ostow (Youth Fiction, Fantasy, Romance)

Winnie Flynn doesn’t believe in ghosts (though she wouldn’t mind a visit from her mom, explaining why she took her own life.) When her mysterious aunt Maggie, a high-profile TV producer, recruits Winnie to spend a summer working as a production assistant on her current reality hit, "Fantastic Fearsome", she suddenly finds herself in the one place her mother would never go: New Jersey. --- Reviewed by Hafsah K., Teen Board member.

New! WEIRD GIRL AND WHAT'S HIS NAME by Meagan Brothers (Youth Fiction, Gay & Lesbian)

In the tiny podunk town of Hawthorne, North Carolina, 17-year-old geeks Lula and Rory share everything. Lula knows she and Rory have no secrets from each other; after all, he came out to her years ago, and she’s shared with him her “sacred texts” --- the acting books her mother left behind after she walked out of Lula’s life. With their friendship disrupted, Lula begins to question her identity and her own sexual orientation, and she runs away in the middle of the night on a journey to find her mother, who she hopes will have all the answers. --- Reviewed by Brynn S., Teen Board member.

New! NAMELESS by Jennifer Jenkins (Youth Fiction, Fantasy)

Seventeen-year-old Zo is a Wolf and a Healer who volunteers to infiltrate the Ram as a spy on behalf of the allied clans. She offers herself as a Ram slave, joining the people who are called the “nameless.” Hers is a suicide mission –-- Zo’s despair after losing her parents in a Ram raid has left her seeking both revenge and an end to her own misery. But Zo quickly learns that revenge, loyalty and love are more complicated than she ever imagined in the first installment of this two-book series. --- Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board member.

New! WOLF BY WOLF by Ryan Graudin (Youth Fiction, Historical Fiction, Family)

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. --- Reviewed by Megan B., Teen Board member.

New! JUBA!: A NOVEL by Walter Dean Myers (Youth Fiction, Historical Fiction)

In New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers's last novel, he delivers a gripping story based on the life of a real dancer known as Master Juba, who lived in the 19th century. --- Reviewed by Ariel G., Teen Board member.

New! ALL AMERICAN BOYS by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (Youth Fiction, Coming of Age)

A bag of chips. That's all 16-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad's pleadings that he's stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad's resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad's every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement? --- Reviewed by Yasemin B., Teen Board member.

New! IT'S A WONDERFUL DEATH by Sarah J. Schmitt (Youth Fiction, Fantasy)

Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. --- Reviewed by Vaishnavi S., Teen Board member.

New! THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE by Patrick Ness (Youth Fiction, Humor, Supernatural)

What if you aren't the Chosen One? The one who's supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you're like Mikey, who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school... again? --- Reviewed by Bryn D., Teen Board member.

New! ORBITING JUPITER by Gary D. Schmidt (Youth Fiction, Social Issues)

The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at 13, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he's placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets 12-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires. --- Reviewed by Aliza M., Teen Board member.

New! THE DETOUR by S. A. Bodeen (Youth Fiction, Thriller, Mystery)

Livvy Flynn is a big deal. She's rich, she's famous, she's gorgeous and she's full of herself. And then she hits the detour. Before she knows it, her brand new car is wrecked, she's hurt and she's tied to a bed in a nondescript shack in the middle of nowhere. A woman and her apparently manic daughter have kidnapped her. And they have no intention of letting her go. --- Reviewed by Maggie L., Teen Board member.

New! FUTURE PERFECT by Jen Larsen (Youth Fiction, Family Life, Social Issues)

This liberating story of hard-won self-acceptance tells the tale of one girl who knows that weight is just a number and that no one is completely perfect. --- Reviewed by Janine C., Teen Board member.

New! AN INHERITANCE OF ASHES by Leah Bobet (Youth Fiction, Fantasy)

When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks --- and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie's own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself. --- Reviewed by Maggie D., Teen Board member.

New! A THOUSAND NIGHTS by E.K. Johnston (Youth Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling)

Desperate to save her sister from certain death, the protagonist of A THOUSAND NIGHTS makes the ultimate sacrifice --- leaving home and family behind to live with a fearful man. But it seems that a strange magic flows between her and Lo-Melkhiin, and night after night, she survives. Finding power in storytelling, the words she speaks are given strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. But she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king...if only she can stop her heart from falling for a monster. --- Reviewed by Jeanna Michel.

New! BELIEVAREXIC by J.J. Johnson (Youth Fiction, Social Issues)

Jennifer has to force her family to realize that she needs treatment for her eating disorder. But her experience in an eating disorder treatment unit isn't quite what she expected. --- Reviewed by Isabel C., Teen Board member.

New! EITHER THE BEGINNING OR THE END OF THE WORLD by Terry Farish (Youth Fiction, Dystopian)

When Sofie is forced to stay with her mother and grandmother while her dad's away, she is confronted with their memories of the ruthless Khmer Rouge, a war-torn countryside and deeds of heartbreaking human devotion. --- Reviewed by Alyssa L., Teen Board member.

New! THE WAY BACK FROM BROKEN by Amber J. Keyser (Youth Fiction, Family)

Rakmen Cannon's life is turning out to be one sucker punch after another. His baby sister died in his arms, his parents are on the verge of divorce and he's flunking out of high school. The only place he fits in is with the other art therapy kids stuck in the basement of Promise House, otherwise known as support group central. Not that he wants to be there. Talking doesn't bring back the dead. --- Reviewed by Lauren H., Teen Board member.

New! BURN GIRL by Mandy Mikulencak (Youth Fiction)

Shortly after Arlie's 16th birthday, her mother overdoses, forcing an end to their nomadic lives. Social services steps in and rules suddenly exist where none had before. While her facial scar makes it hard to fit in, Arlie begins to think a normal life might be possible --- that is, until her stepfather tracks her down and insists she return drug money her mother had stolen. A final confrontation tests Arlie's idea of right and wrong, and how far she's willing to go to protect her new life. --- Reviewed by Dally M., Teen Board member.

New! MINOTAUR by Phillip W. Simpson (Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Youth Fiction)

Reimagining the Greek myth of the notorious half man, half beast, this book tells the tale of Asterion the Minotaur as he describes his boyhood in Crete under the cruel hand of his stepfather Minos, adventures with his friend, Theseus, a growing love for the beautiful Phaedra and what really happened in the labyrinth. --- Reviewed by Cat S., Teen Board member.

New! ZEROES by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti (Science Fiction, Youth Fiction)

"X-Men" meets "Heroes" in this sizzling new series filled with action and adventure. Don't call these six Californian teens heroes, but they do have powers that set them apart. --- Reviewed by Asia H., Teen Board member.

New! SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo (Fantasy, Youth Fiction)

A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. --- Reviewed by Carly Silver.

New! TONIGHT THE STREETS ARE OURS by Leila Sales (Youth Fiction)

Arden stumbles upon a website called Tonight the Streets Are Ours, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter who gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known how to express. He seems to get her in a way that no one else does, and he hasn't even met her. Until Arden sets out on a road trip to find him. --- Reviewed by Juliette G., Teen Board member.

New! PERDITA by Faith Gardner (Suspense, Thriller, Youth Fiction)

Sure, Arielle won't deny that she has a vivid, even wild, imagination. Sure, it sometimes runs away with her. And yes, it's true that she never recovered from the drowning death of her older brother, Justin, 10 years ago, when Arielle was a little child. She almost hopes that ghosts are real so that she might see Justin again. But ever since the misty morning when Arielle stumbles on the macabre sight of the body of her sister Casey's best friend, Perdita, being lifted from a nearby pond, ghostly images begin to appear to Arielle. --- Reviewed by Leanna R., Teen Board member.

New! HALF A CREATURE FROM THE SEA: A Life in Stories by David Almond (Biography, Short Stories, Youth Fiction)

May Malone is said to have a monster in her house, but what Norman finds there may just be the angel he needs. Joe Quinn's house is noisy with poltergeists, or could it be Davie's raging causing the disturbance? Fragile Annie learns the truth about herself in a photograph taken by a traveling man near the sea. Set in the northern English Tyneside country of the author's childhood, these eight short stories evoke gritty realities and ineffable longings, experiences both ordinary and magical. --- Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

New! DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS by Amy Lukavics (Horror, Youth Fiction)

When 16-year-old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries. --- Reviewed by Linnea P., Teen Board member.

 

October Poll
In honor of the World Series, which bookish athletic competition would you be most interested in playing?:

  • Quidditch from Harry Potter --- Who hasn’t imagined catching a snitch on their broom at least once in their life?
  • A race against the title character of MANIAC MAGEE --- Your chances of winning are slim, but hey, at least if you lose, you’ll still be part of the legend.
  • Five months with the boys from LORD OF THE FLIES --- The real challenge isn’t simply surviving --- it’s staying human.
  • The Battle Room from ENDER’S GAME --- Mock team wars in zero-G? Bring it on.
  • The Blackwater Trail bike race in STONE RIDER --- Is the prize of a better life worth risking the one you have now?

Last month, we asked you which memorable YA protagonist best described your classroom personality. It turns out that the largest percentage (38) are the quiet types, just like Charlie from THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER --- you aren't always the center of attention, but you don't let that faze you. Next up, with 33% of the votes, are the Hermione Grangers of the world, from Harry Potter --- turns out a lot of readers are quite smart and not afraid to show it! And who came in last? That would be Andrew Wiggin from ENDER'S GAME with 3% of the votes --- I guess you're more reading whizzes than techies (surprise, surprise!). To see all the results from the September poll, click here.
 

Click here to take our poll!

 
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