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Early May 2016
May 9, 2016
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Teen Readers Turn April Showers into May Brainpower

Hi Teenreaders,

Happy Monday! I hope you all remembered to treat your mothers, grandmothers, aunts and other special women in your life to a fun Mother's Day this weekend. I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of my mother's favorite author's newest book from the office, so we spent a lovely Sunday reading and eating way too many cookies (see above, and note that our pile was originally much larger).

And what was I reading? I first polished off THE LAST BOY AND GIRL IN THE WORLD, a book so well-written that it actually made me afraid of last month's showers. In this book, a town slowly finds itself submerged when a serious storm combines with a few troubling political choices that leave teenage Keely without a home. It really made me think about how important the idea of home is, and the ways young adult readers use literature to begin to confront wild new issues. My intern, Chloe, and I attended a book launch for the event at Books of Wonder in NYC and were totally smitten with the author, Siobhan Vivian, who you can see above on the right. Chloe wrote a terrific blog about our night, which you can read here.

After finishing THE LAST BOY AND GIRL IN THE WORLD, I turned to KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS, a book I picked up at a preview last week. I know we've all been taught not to judge a book by its cover, but this one is so beautiful, I was distracted by it as the publisher presented it --- see the top middle photo and you'll know what I mean. This book combines several beloved fairy tales with a totally original protagonist for a premise that will blow you away. Best of all, the author, Hannah West, is practically a teen herself, so she really nails the voices of her characters. Needless to say, I am loving it. Expect to hear way more about this book when it releases in September.

In other bookish news, the winners of the Teen Choice Book Awards were announced last week, and I couldn't be happier to congratulate them! The winner of the Teen Book of the Year is ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven, and the Teen Choice Debut Author award goes to Kelly Loy Gilbert for CONVICTION. Thanks again to all of you who voted; we love that this award was voted on by readers like you!

Remember that we are running our YOU GOT THIS! giveaway until TOMORROW, Tuesday, May 10th. If you'd like to learn about the book from some trustworthy teens, you're in luck! Eighteen of our Teen Board Members received copies of the book to read and comment on --- and I'm beyond pleased to report that they all loved it. It's one thing for adults to tell you about a successful teen, but our Teen Board's comments prove that Maya is the real deal --- they were all blown away by her positive attitude and ability to turn her ideas into reality.

This weekend, readers in and around Chicago are in for a real treat, as BookCon will be taking place on Saturday, May 14th at McCormick Place. Two of our Teen Board Members will be on location in the Windy City to blog about the event. If you plan on going, drop me a note and let me know about your experience! I'm dying to hear all about everyone's favorite author sightings and book hauls!

Speaking of bookish events, be sure to answer our latest poll, where we ask whether or not you attend author signings, book fairs or big national conventions --- or if they just don't occur near you or interest you.

Happy reading,

--- Rebecca Munro (


Special Contest: YOU GOT THIS! by Maya S. Penn - Contest Ends TOMORROW!

We have 10 copies of YOU GOT THIS!: Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World by Maya S. Penn to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which is out now. One copy will come with this Spring Garden Heart Pendant from Maya's shop. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, May 10th at noon ET.

YOU GOT THIS!: Unleash Your Inner Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World by Maya S. Penn (Nonfiction/Self-Help)
Maya Penn isn't like other 16-year-olds. This teen has given a TED Talk (two, in fact), has been on "The View" with Whoopi Goldberg, has launched her own business, designed her own eco-friendly clothing, and been name-checked by bestselling authors like Gabrielle Bernstein, Steve Harvey, and Eve Ensler. All while still in middle school!

But while Maya is extraordinary in so many ways, what she has accomplished isn't miraculous or unique. Instead, her success is a testament to her own creativity, passion, and fearlessness ... traits that, Maya says, can be cultivated in all of us, too. YOU GOT THIS! offers a creative blueprint for young adults (and others seeking their way in the world), showing them the tools Maya herself used to build an authentic, exciting, and connected life for herself ... and offering her readers ideas to help them do the same. Like THE ARTIST'S WAY for a teen audience, YOU GOT THIS! offers readers Maya's extraordinary life story, as well as creative prompts to get them thinking about ways to cultivate that same success in their own lives.

- Click here to read a review.
- Click here to read more about the book.
- Click here to read an excerpt.
- Click here to read Maya Penn's bio.
- Visit Maya's website and blog.
- Connect with Maya on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Watch Maya on TEDTalks and TEDxYouth.


Click here to read more in our Special Feature and to enter the contest.


Teen Choice Book Awards 2016: And the Winners Are....

For the past few months, we've been encouraging our Teenreaders to make their voices heard by voting for their favorite books and authors in the Teen Choice Book Awards. Launched in 2008 by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader, The Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards is the only national book awards program where the winning titles are selected by children and teens. This week, the 2016 winners were finally announced, and we're delighted to congratulate them:

Teen Book of the Year: ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death. When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

Teen Choice Debut Author: Kelly Loy Gilbert for CONVICTION
Ten years ago, God gave Braden a sign, a promise that his family wouldn't fall apart the way he feared. But Braden got it wrong: his older brother, Trey, has been estranged from the family for almost as long, and his father, Mart, the only parent Braden has ever known, has been accused of murder, and Braden is the key witness in his father's upcoming trial. Braden has always measured himself through baseball. He is the star pitcher in his small town of Ornette, and his ninety-four mile per hour pitch already has minor league scouts buzzing in his junior year. Now the rules of the sport that has always been Braden's saving grace are blurred in ways he never realized, and the prospect of playing against Alex Reyes, the nephew of the police officer his father is accused of killing, is haunting his every pitch. Braden faces an impossible choice, one that will define him for the rest of his life. Sometimes there is no right answer, and confronting that truth requires a courage that Braden must seek deep inside himself.


Click here to see the rest of the Children's Choice Book Awards winners for 2016.


Now in Stores: THE OUTLIERS by Kimberly McCreight

THE OUTLIERS by Kimberly McCreight (Mystery)
It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

We will have our review soon!

Click here to read more about the book.


Featured Review: SUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS edited by Stephanie Perkins

SUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins (Romance/Short Story)
SUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS: Twelve Love Stories, written by 12 bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love. Reviewed by Vaishnavi S., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.


Now in Stores: THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING by Morgan Matson

THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING by Morgan Matson (Fiction)
From Morgan Matson, the bestselling author of SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE comes a feel-good story of friendship, finding yourself and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans. Andie always has a plan. Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all --- working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Her friends Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

We will have our review soon!

Click here to read more about the book.


Featured Review: TWO SUMMERS by Aimee Friedman

TWO SUMMERS by Aimee Friedman (Fiction)
When Summer Everett makes a split-second decision, her summer divides into two parallel worlds. In one, she travels to France, where she's dreamed of going: a land of chocolate croissants, handsome boys and art museums. In the other, she remains home, in her ordinary suburb, where she expects her ordinary life to continue but nothing is as it seems. In both summers, she will fall in love and discover new sides of herself. What may break her, though, is a terrible family secret, one she can't hide from anywhere. Reviewed by Janine C., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.


Featured Review: THE LAST BOY AND GIRL IN THE WORLD by Siobhan Vivian

THE LAST BOY AND GIRL IN THE WORLD by Siobhan Vivian (Fiction)
What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together? While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together. And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever. Reviewed by Sally Witchalls.

- Click here to read more about the book.
- Click here to read a blog post about Siobhan Vivian's book launch for THE LAST BOY AND GIRL IN THE WORLD.


Click here to read the review.


Teen Board Update

Teen Board Question: Last month, our Teen Board Members had the exciting opportunity to read and comment on copies of YOU GOT THIS!: Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World, an inspiring debut from 16-year-old CEO Maya Penn. Maya started her company, Maya's Ideas, when she was only eight and has continued to thrive ever since. An expert at identifying her ideas and turning them into functional plans, Maya writes in the hopes that teens will learn to identify their unique creative identities and use them to make their dreams come true. Click here to see what our Teen Board Members had to say about Maya's motivating book.

Blog: With so many terrific stories out there waiting to be told, finding a publisher as a young author can be extremely difficult. In this post, Teen Board Member Asia H. explains Wattpad, an exciting new way for novice authors to get feedback on their blossoming works.


Books on Screen
May is finally here, which means summer is just around the corner! Why not take a break in between switching out your winter wardrobe and finalizing your summer plans with an exciting new book-to-screen adaptation?

First up, we have Captain America: Civil War, the third movie about America's most patriotic superhero, which releases on May 6th. For all of you ALICE IN WONDERLAND fans out there, May 24th brings Alice Through the Looking Glass, yet another version of the trippy tale starring Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway. In this follow-up to the 2010 hit, Alice in Wonderland, Alice finds herself in the chamber of the Grand Clock and is forced to return the past of her friends --- and dangerous enemies.

Out on DVD this month, we have a gory version of the classical Jane Austin text, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, in which the upper and lower classes must join forces to save England from being taken over by flesh-eating monsters. Will the darling --- and daring --- Elizabeth Bennet find the strength to defeat them?

Click here to read more in May's Books on Screen feature.


May's Cool and New Roundup

This month’s Cool and New roundup includes EXILE FOR DREAMER by Kathleen Baldwin, the second book of the Stranje House series, in which a girl's gruesome dreams become her darkest reality; QUEEN OF HEARTS, Colleen Oakes's imaginative retelling of Alice's classic fall where a princess is pulled down the rabbit hole of an Wonderland she cannot escape; and INVISIBLE FAULT LINES by Kristen-Paige Madonia, in which a teen girl investigates the mysterious disappearance of her beloved father.

Click here to see May's Cool and New Roundup


May's New in Paperback Roundup

In paperback titles this month, we have A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas, in which a teen huntress finds herself in the midst of murder, captivity and revenge in a treacherous, magical land; WE ARE ALL MADE OF MOLECULES by Susin Nielsen, where two opposing teens are forced to risk their social statuses when they are told they must live under the same roof; and SURVIVE THE NIGHT by Danielle Vega, in which an underground New York City rave goes terribly wrong and three young girls discover the mutilated body of their best friend.

Click here to see May's New in Paperback roundup.


Ultimate Teen Reading List

The Ultimate Reading List is one of our favorite features on --- it's a list of more than 450 titles that we think make perfect pleasure reading for teens. We spend all year thinking about which releases will make the final cut. Our criteria: We look for books that are compelling, beautifully written, pure fun, thought-provoking or edge-of-your-seat gripping; books that we would hand to someone and say, “read this!” with no hesitation. We hope that you will use the Ultimate Reading List when selecting books for independent reading, and that schools will consult it when making suggestions for their students for summer reading.

The latest update introduces 40 new books that were released between March 2015 and February 2016.

Click here to see the newly updated Ultimate Reading List!


May Poll

Do you attend book events or celebrate any book-related holidays? (Please check as many as apply.)

  • I go to author signings when I can.
  • I attend local book festivals and fairs.
  • I attend large, book-related conventions like YALLFEST, BookCon or Book Riot Live.
  • I celebrate book holidays like National Poetry Day, 24-Hour Readathon and/or NaNoWriMo.
  • These events do not happen near my home, so I cannot participate.
  • I do not participate in any of these sorts of events and holidays, but would if I knew more about them.
  • I am not interested in these sorts of events.
  • Other (Please specify)

Last month, we asked what social media platforms you use to discuss books. A whopping 54% of you use Goodreads, with Facebook coming in second with 38%. Polling at a close third, 34% of you talk about books on Instagram --- or, as we call it, bookstagram. To see the full results, click here.

Click here to take our poll.


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