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April 2005 Newsletter April 2005
This Month on

National Poetry Month Talks to Brent Hartinger, Author of THE ORDER OF THE POISON OAK Talks to Alex Flinn, Author of FADE TO BLACK

Series Feature: Author Talk with Lisi Harrison, Author of The Clique

Cool New Books for April

MAXIMUM RIDE by James Patterson

PRINCESS IN TRAINING: The Princess Diaries, Volume VI by Meg Cabot

BRAS & BROOMSTICKS by Sarah Mlynowski

TALL COOL ONE: An A-List Novel, by Zoey Dean Author Bibliographies is Updated for April

This Month's Reviews
Poll: Shopping!
Question of the Month
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win a Book
Links You'll Love
Word of Mouth
Question of the Month
Over 1,600 reading guides

National Poetry Month

April's here, which means it's National Poetry Month. I confess that over the years I have written a lot of bad poetry and recited some lines that rhymed and were very sing-song.

Be sure to celebrate your favorite poet or poem this month. If you do not have one, this is the month to give poetry some thought!

Also, this week is TV Turnoff Week, so we are glad to be sharing some great new books --- and two terrific interviews done by our own Carlie Webber --- to give you something to do when the television is off.

Happy reading...
Carol Fitzgerald for Talks to Brent Hartinger, Author of THE ORDER OF THE POISON OAK contributing writer Carlie Webber interviews Brent Hartinger, author of ORDER OF THE POISON OAK, the sequel to his 2003 bestseller GEOGRAPHY CLUB. Hartinger, who frequently meets with students at their schools, describes readers' reactions to these two books and points out the similarities between himself and some of his characters. He offers valuable advice to aspiring writers and talks about the safer sex project in which he and two other authors are currently engaged.

THE ORDER OF THE POISON OAK by Brent Hartinger (Fiction)
In Brent Hartinger's sequel to GEOGRAPHY CLUB, sixteen-year-old Russel Middlebrook is now openly gay and working as a summer camp counselor with his two friends. Russel must earn the respect of his ten-year-old campers and deal with his feelings for fellow counselor Web Bestian. Reviewed by Carlie Webber.

Read our interview with Brent Hartinger and a review of THE ORDER OF THE POISON OAK here. Talks to Alex Flinn, Author of FADE TO BLACK

Alex Flinn talks to contributing writer Carlie Webber about the significance of writing her latest book, FADE TO BLACK, from multiple points of view. She explains how being an attorney has influenced her work as an author, and discusses some of the most important issues facing teens today and how she incorporates them into her novels.

FADE TO BLACK by Alex Flinn (Fiction)
After Alex Crusan, an HIV-positive student, is attacked in his car, all fingers point to Clinton Cole, the football jock who won't sit near him in class. Even Daria Bickell, who never lies, tells police that Clinton is to blame. But how open-and-shut is this case? Reviewed by Carlie Webber and excerpted.


Read an interview with Alex Flinn and a review of FADE TO BLACK here.

Series Feature: Author Talk with Lisi Harrison, Author of The Clique

Meet the seventh grade A-listers: Dylan Marvil, Kristen Gregory, Alicia Rivera, and the one and only Massie Block, the uncontested ruler of The Clique. On the surface, these girls are filthy rich, utterly gorgeous, snotty to the max, and unbelievably spoiled. They're also down-and-dirty cruel to anyone who bothers them. Enter Claire Lyons, a total outsider who is temporarily living in Massie's guesthouse. She yearns to be part of the group even though she's not wealthy, gorgeous, snotty, or spoiled. Talk about a mission impossible! Or is it?

Read an interview with Lisi Harrison here.


Read an interview with Lisi Harrison and reviews of THE CLIQUE books here.

Cool New Books for April

This month marks the release of MAXIMUM RIDE: The Angel Experiment, James Patterson's first book written specifically for young adults. This thrilling, fast-paced adventure (reminiscent of Patterson's previous bestsellers, WHEN THE WIND BLOWS and THE LAKE HOUSE) features six kids who grew up in a science laboratory and have the ability to fly. April's roundup of cool new books also includes the sixth installment in the ever-popular Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot, Zoey Dean's fourth A-List novel, and FADE TO BLACK, a gripping story by Alex Flinn where nothing is as it seems.

Read Cool New Books for April here.


MAXIMUM RIDE by James Patterson

MAXIMUM RIDE: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (Fiction/Action & Adventure)
James Patterson takes readers on a thrilling ride in his first book for young adults. Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, Angel, and Maximum are six kids who amazingly have the ability to fly --- and they will need their wings as five of them embark on a rescue mission that will change their lives forever. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman and excerpted.
Read a review and excerpt of MAXIMUM RIDE here.

PRINCESS IN TRAINING: The Princess Diaries, Volume VI by Meg Cabot

PRINCESS IN TRAINING: The Princess Diaries, Volume VI by Meg Cabot (Fiction)
Mia begins her sophomore year of high school in this sixth installment of the Princess Diaries series. Her best friend Lilly nominates her for student body president, which doesn't make her happy. But she has more serious problems to tackle, including her tough classes and her boyfriend Michael, who is away at college. Reviewed by Amy Alessio and excerpted.

Read a review and excerpt of PRINCESS IN TRAINING here.


BRAS & BROOMSTICKS by Sarah Mlynowski

BRAS & BROOMSTICKS by Sarah Mlynowski (Fiction)
In this funny, hard-to-put-down story, Rachel persuades her little sister (who just happens to be a witch) to work a few spells in her favor, including one to make Rachel popular. Hey, what could go wrong? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.

Read a review and excerpt of BRAS & BROOMSTICKS here.


TALL COOL ONE: An A-List Novel, by Zoey Dean

TALL COOL ONE: An A-List Novel, by Zoey Dean (Fiction)
This fourth novel in Zoey Dean's bestselling series about the rich and famous in Beverly Hills finds Anna Percy and her friend Sam traveling to Las Casitas, Mexico on a secret mission. Staying at a super-luxury resort sounds like a whole lot of fun, but don't tell them that! Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

Read a review of TALL COOL ONE here.

Read a new quote everyday here. Search Click here to shop and support Author Bibliographies

Want to begin the new year by reading the books by your favorite authors --- in order? The author bibliographies on may help. This is information that is not easily found, but Tom Donadio, our Editorial Manager, updated and revised the bibliographies, complete with copyright dates to help you organize your reading.

Click here to browse through author bibliographies. is Updated for April has been updated for April. What's there?
*New Guides for:
Cast of Shadows by Kevin Guilfoile
The Dead Don't Dance by Charles Martin
Dear Zoe by Philip Beard
Everything Changes by Jonathan Tropper
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
Going to Bend by Diane Hammond
The Hamilton Case by Michelle de Kretser
Katharine of Aragon by Jean Plaidy
The Lost Mother by Mary McGarry Morris
March by Geraldine Brooks
The Other Woman by Eric Jerome Dickey
Our Kind: A Novel in Stories by Kate Walbert
The Rose Without a Thorn by Jean Plaidy
Saturday by Ian McEwan
The Sixth Wife by Jean Plaidy
Skeletons on the Zahara by Dean King
Stone Heart by Luanne Rice
Sweetwater by Roxana Robinson
This is My Daughter by Roxana Robinson
The Untelling by Tayari Jones
Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin
Why She Went Home by Lucinda Rosenfeld
The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg

Click here to go to

This Month's Reviews

UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld (Fantasy/Adventure)
Would you betray a friend in order to gain your lifelong dream? In this futuristic first book in a trilogy, Tally faces that dilemma and plunges into an amazing adventure with a serious issue at the core: How much should anyone sacrifice for beauty? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.

THE WITCH'S BOY by Michael Gruber (Fantasy/Literary Fairy Tale)
Michael Gruber, best known for his dark, supernatural thrillers for adults, turns his talents to a dark fairy tale for younger readers. His stunning fantasy debut is about an ugly, misshapen boy named Lump who is raised by a witch, a she-bear, and a cat. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.

FAKING 19 by Alyson Noel (Fiction)
Feeling bored with their fancy Orange County suburban town, teen girls Alex and M. decide to check out L.A.'s glitzy nightlife scene. It's their senior year so why not? Pretending to be 19, they begin hanging out with two older rich guys and enjoy themselves a great deal. But after the initial fun wears off for Alex, she's forced to reevaluate the situation and her friendship with M. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

CANDY by Kevin Brooks (Fiction)
Joe Beck is obsessed with Candy, a girl he meets outside a drugstore. But Candy is not your average teen; she's holding secrets and living a dark world. Unbeknownst to Joe, his life will never be the same once he becomes entrapped in her world. Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

BROKEN SONG by Kathryn Lasky (Historical Fiction)
As a follow-up to her National Jewish Book Award winner THE NIGHT JOURNEY, author Kathryn Lasky has written this companion novel, a fictional narrative based on the early life of her grandfather, Joseph Lasky, at the turn of the 20th century. Reviewed by Alexis Burling.

RUSH HOUR: Volume Three - FACE edited by Michael Cart (Fiction)
The third volume of RUSH HOUR: A JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY VOICES features a variety of essays, fiction, and artwork about emerging identities, using the theme of "Face." Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

After moving from Berkeley, California to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania following her parents' divorce, twelve-year-old Raisin Rodriguez decides to keep her best friends up-to-date about her new life by posting an online diary that only they are supposed to see. Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

OTHER ECHOES by Adele Geras (Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old Flora, convalescing in the sanatorium of her English boarding school, recalls her childhood in Borneo, where she learned of the painful secret behind the abandoned house on the hill. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

ANGEL'S GRACE by Tracey Baptiste (Fiction)
In this intriguing mystery set in an exotic locale, thirteen-year-old Grace travels to Trinidad to stay with her grandmother. While there, she discovers a photograph in one of the family albums that leaves her with a number of disturbing questions about her birth and who her family really is. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

BOY2GIRL by Terence Blacker (Fiction)
Gender-bending hilarity spins out of control in Terence Blacker's humorous but surprisingly thoughtful novel about friendship, sex roles, and being true to yourself. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

BOY KILLS MAN by Matt Whyman (Fiction)
A poor boy in Colombia, South America gets a job as a hit man for a drug dealer. He's thrilled because he knows that his family won't starve and he'll be a big shot. But little does he realize that in Mendellin twelve-year-old assassins are disposable. Reviewed by Carlie Webber.

THE DATING GAME by Natalie Standiford (Fiction)
In this first book in a new series by Natalie Standiford, three girls set up an online dating quiz as part of their school project, giving them a golden opportunity to learn what their fellow students are thinking and feeling about dating and sex. Reviewed by Melissa A. Palmer.

THE BOYFRIEND LIST by E. Lockhart (Fiction)
Lately, fifteen-year-old Ruby Oliver has had a number of unfortunate experiences involving school and boys, which leads her to have panic attacks and see a psychologist to help her deal with them. Reviewed by Ashley Hartlaub.

BORIS by Cynthia Rylant (Nonfiction/Poetry)
Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant's powerful collection of poems introduces readers to a big gray cat named Boris and the owner who reflects on the choices she's made in her life. Reviewed by Carlie Webber.

Read this month's reviews here.
Poll: Shopping!
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Question of the Month

Here is our Question of the Month:

What book is on your nightstand right now?

E-mail us and tell us what you think by clicking on the link below.


Post your reply to our Question here.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win a Book

This contest period, one teen reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of MAXIMUM RIDE by James Patterson. (See official rules below.) To automatically enter to win, e-mail us your recommendations and book ratings.

Post your Word of Mouth comments here.

Have a great month...and make some time each day to read something you enjoy!

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