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December 2005

Teenreads.com Newsletter December 2005
This Month on Teenreads.com

Teenreads.com Takes On The Holidaze

WHAT TO GIVE/WHAT TO GET for Teens

The Best Books of the Year for Teens

Author Talk: Rosemary Graham, Author of THOU SHALT NOT DUMP THE SKATER DUDE (AND OTHER COMMANDMENTS I HAVE BROKEN)

Books Into Movies: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

Cool New Series Updates for December

Don't Miss: THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK by Alan Lee

Now in Stores: HOLIDAY PRINCESS by Meg Cabot

Now in Stores: PRETTIES by Scott Westerfeld

Coming January 10th: A New Novel from Louis Sachar --- SMALL STEPS

Recent Bookreporter.com Titles Perfect for Teens

This Month's Reviews
Poll: YOUR Favorite Books of the Year
Question of the Month: YOUR Favorite Holiday Books
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win a Book
Links You'll Love
 
Reviews
Teenreads.com
Word of Mouth
Question of the Month
Over 1,800 reading guides

Teenreads.com Takes On The Holidaze

Happy holidays, or as I am calling it, Happy Holidaze! Here comes school vacation and all kinds of holiday celebrations.

We're keeping our message here short and sweet. We have a VERY full lineup this month, with our Best of Titles, as well as a What to Give/What to Get Guide for any of you who still need to give or get.

Here's wishing you a holiday that is a nice blend of traditions and new special memories. Happy New Year too! We'll see you next year.

Carol Fitzgerald for Teenreads.com (Carol@bookreporter.com)

WHAT TO GIVE/WHAT TO GET for Teens

We've created a special What to Give/What to Get Guide with you in mind --- it's just for Teens! We have books that we know you'll love to unwrap this season, so check it out. We're sure you'll end up spotting a title or two that you can add to YOUR holiday list.

 

Click here to read our What to Give/What to Get Guide for teens.


 

The Best Books of the Year for Teens

As 2005 comes to a close, we at Teenreads.com have compiled some of our favorite books of the year for teens. Along with HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE and ELDEST --- two of the year's most anticipated and talked-about releases --- we spotlight three finalists for this year's National Book Award, in addition to such standouts as THE WILL OF THE EMPRESS and THE MINISTER'S DAUGHTER. We also revisit the series that made their debuts this year, including James Patterson's Maximum Ride, as well as updates to a number of long-running series titles.

Read our Best Books of 2005 feature here.


 

Author Talk: Rosemary Graham, Author of THOU SHALT NOT DUMP THE SKATER DUDE (AND OTHER COMMANDMENTS I HAVE BROKEN)

In this interview Rosemary Graham reveals how writing THOU SHALT NOT DUMP THE SKATER DUDE acted as a way for her to break free of stereotypes and see beyond outward appearances. She describes her struggle to shape her main character, details her less-than-straightforward path to the novel's completion, and even discusses the pros and cons of today's teen blog phenomenon.

THOU SHALT NOT DUMP THE SKATER DUDE (AND OTHER COMMANDMENTS I HAVE BROKEN) by Rosemary Graham (Fiction)
Tired of living in the shadow of her professional skateboarding boyfriend, Kelsey breaks the number one commandment of teen life: Never dump a boyfriend more popular than you. Instead, she dares to build a life of her own. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood and excerpted.

Click here to read an interview with Rosemary Graham and a review of THOU SHALT NOT DUMP THE SKATER DUDE.


 

Books Into Movies: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe finally has hit theaters! Our copies of all the books in this classic series by C.S. Lewis are dog-eared and worn from being read and re-read --- THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE truly is one of our favorite fantastical fables. The movie is equally as spectacular, full of amazing special effects, elaborate costumes and an impressive group of actors, both young and old alike. It certainly lives up to all the buzz it received! 

Click here for more details about the film.
 

Cool New Series Updates for December

This month, Simon & Schuster has updated two popular series titles: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed. NIGHT TERRORS, the latest addition to Buffy's Stake Your Destiny series, introduces readers to the Night Terror. Banished to the realm of dreams, this demon stalks its victims as they sleep and attempts to wreak havoc in the real world. And speaking of demons, the Charmed Ones must deal with two of them in DEMON DOPPELGANGERS, as Paige finds out that her new job at a museum is not all it's cracked up to be

 

Read our Cool New Books feature here.


 

Don't Miss: THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK by Alan Lee

THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK by Alan Lee (Fantasy/Art)
Alan Lee, the Oscar-winning conceptual designer for the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, discusses his approach to depicting Tolkien's imaginary world. THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK presents more than 150 of Lee's celebrated illustrations to show how his imagery for both the illustrated LORD OF THE RINGS and the films progressed from concept to finished art. In addition, the book contains 20 full-color plates and numerous examples of the conceptual art produced for Peter Jackson's film adaptation.

Click here to read more about THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK.


 

Now in Stores: HOLIDAY PRINCESS by Meg Cabot

HOLIDAY PRINCESS by Meg Cabot (Fiction)
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa (to name just a few), Mia and her subjects from the bestselling Princess Diaries series will tell you how to have a jolly and memorable holiday. Sparkly and present-sized, this illustrated book from Princess Mia's point of view features the fabulous art of Chesley McLaren and the hilarious wisdom of Meg Cabot. Reviewed by Belinda Williams.

-Click here to read an excerpt from HOLIDAY PRINCESS.
 

 

Click here to read our review of HOLIDAY PRINCESS.


 

Now in Stores: PRETTIES by Scott Westerfeld

PRETTIES by Scott Westerfeld (Fantasy/Adventure)
In this riveting sequel to Scott Westerfeld's UGLIES, Tally is now one of the pretties. Has the surgery performed on the brains of pretties wiped out all she knew as an ugly? Is there any chance she can rescue herself and some of her friends? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read an excerpt from PRETTIES.

Click here to read our review of PRETTIES.
 
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Coming January 10th: A New Novel from Louis Sachar --- SMALL STEPS

Two years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is home in Austin, Texas, trying to turn his life around. But it's hard when you have a record, and everyone expects the worst from you. The only person who believes in him is Ginny, his 10-year old disabled neighbor. Together, they are learning to take small steps. And he seems to be on the right path, until X-Ray, a buddy from Camp Green Lake, comes up with a get-rich-quick scheme. This leads to a chance encounter with teen pop sensation, Kaira DeLeon, and suddenly his life spins out of control, with only one thing for certain. He'll never be the same again.

In his first major novel since HOLES, critically acclaimed novelist Louis Sachar uses his signature wit combined with a unique blend of adventure and deeply felt characters to explore issues of race, the nature of celebrity, the invisible connections that determine a person's life, and what it takes to stay on course. Doing the right thing is never a wrong choice --- but a small step in the right direction.

SMALL STEPS will be available in stores on January 10th!

Click here to read an excerpt from SMALL STEPS.
 

Recent Bookreporter.com Titles Perfect for Teens

COMFORT & JOY by Kristin Hannah (Fiction)
As Christmas approaches, Joy Candellaro, recently divorced and estranged from her sister, decides to escape the turbulence of her life and boards a plane bound for the rural Northwest. But when the aircraft crashes and Joy miraculously survives, she makes a bold and desperate decision that will greatly impact her future. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

-Click here to read an excerpt from COMFORT AND JOY.

THE CHRISTMAS HOPE by Donna VanLiere (Fiction)
Patricia and Mark Addison have long given up the hope of having a meaningful Christmas. But this year, Patricia's job as a social worker will lead her to a very special five-year-old. This heartwarming story of a couple numbed by grief and a little girl's love that rekindles the spark in their marriage will tug at your heartstrings. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CHRISTMAS HOPE.

TEACHER MAN by Frank McCourt (Memoir)
In this final volume of his memoirs, following the heartbreaking ANGELA'S ASHES and 'TIS, Frank McCourt delightfully details his thirty years in the New York City school system, the many students whom he taught, and how this rewarding career shaped his second act as a writer. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TEACHER MAN.

DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT MYTHOLOGY by Kenneth C. Davis (Reference/Mythology)
In his popular question-and-answer style, Kenneth C. Davis introduces and explains the great myths of the world, as well as the works of literature that have made them famous. He offers a starting point for further research and a lifelong love affair with the great mythic literatures of the world. Reviewed by Tony Leuzzi.
 
This Month's Reviews

 

 

DUELING PRINCES by Tyne O'Connell (Fiction)
Dating Britain's royal Prince Freddie has made Year Eleven at St. Augustine's the best one so far for Calypso Kelly. Together with best friends Star and Georgina, and new chums Portia and Indie, LA-born Calypso at last seems to have everything she's dreamed of --- or does she? Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT by Laura Whitcomb (Fiction)
In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels human eyes looking at her for the first time in 130 years. They belong to James, a boy whom she is mysteriously drawn to. As Helen and James struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

THE DARK FLIGHT DOWN by Marcus Sedgwick (Fantasy/Gothic)
Having survived the terrors of life with the magician Valerian, Boy is now being held captive in the Emperor Frederick's palace. Boy is transported to a world of splendor and wealth beyond his wildest imagining. But beneath its golden veneer, this world is full of madness and cruelty, closely guarded secrets, and terrifying revelations. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

AMAZING GRACE by Megan Shull (Fiction)
Imagine being a teenage tennis superstar worth millions of dollars and world-famous. Sounds pretty fantastic, doesn't it? But Grace Kincaid has more than enough of the celebrity life and the pressures of being what she refers to as "a name brand." She leaves it all behind and escapes to Medicine Hat, Alaska, to begin her new life. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

YOU ARE SO NOT INVITED TO MY BAT MITZVAH! by Fiona Rosenbloom (Fiction)
Stacy Friedman has one month to find the perfect Bat Mitzvah dress, join the coolest clique in school, and convince her longtime crush that he's in love with her so she can have her first kiss at her Bat Mitzvah party. But when her best friend betrays her, Stacy is forced to take desperate measures to make all her Bat Mitzvah dreams come true in time for the big day. Reviewed by Emily Shaffer.

FULL SERVICE by Will Weaver (Fiction)
In the summer of 1965, Paul Sutton takes a job at his local Shell gas station. He is a bit apprehensive about working there, but nonetheless leaves the shadow of his family's religious farming community and goes to "meet the public." Paul's stint as a full-service gas attendant quickly becomes anything but a simple summer job. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOT... by David LaRochelle (Fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Steven begins this book by clearly asserting that he is absolutely, positively not gay. He is able to rationalize with great aplomb his attraction to men, his love of square dancing, and the fact that he's never shown an interest in girls. But when he begins to question his own excuses, Steven launches into a hilarious series of events in an effort to assert his heterosexuality. Reviewed by Brian Farrey.

KING OF THE PYGMIES by Jonathon Scott Fuqua (Fiction)
Jonathan Scott Fuqua challenges readers' assumptions about mental illness in KING OF THE PYGMIES. When fifteen-year-old Penn starts to hear voices --- voices no one else can hear --- is it a sign of schizophrenia, or of a new kind of power? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

Read this month's reviews here.
 
Poll: YOUR Favorite Books of the Year

Which of the following books were among your favorites in 2005? Check as many as apply.

ELDEST by Christopher Paolini
ELSEWHERE by Gabrielle Zevin
THE FORETELLING by Alice Hoffman
GIRLS IN PANTS: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood, by Ann Brashares
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE by J.K. Rowling
THE KINGDOM KEEPERS by Ridley Pearson
MAXIMUM RIDE by James Patterson
THE MINISTER'S DAUGHTER by Julie Hearn
THE ORDER OF THE POISON OAK by Brent Hartinger
PRINCESS IN TRAINING: The Princess Diaries, Volume VI by Meg Cabot
PROM by Laurie Halse Anderson
REBEL ANGELS by Libba Bray
TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer
THE WILL OF THE EMPRESS by Tamora Pierce
None of the above

Click here to participate in the poll.
 
Question of the Month: YOUR Favorite Holiday Books

Name up to five holiday-related books that you've read and enjoyed.

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 HOLIDAY PRINCESS: A Princess Diaries Book by Meg Cabot. (Click on the link below for the official rules) 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!

Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend, and make sure to visit our other websites from TheBookReportNetwork.com: Bookreporter.com, ReadingGroupGuides.com, AuthorsOnTheWeb.com, FaithfulReader.com, AuthorYellowPages.com, and Kidsreads.com.

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--- Carol Fitzgerald for Teenreads.com