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March 2006 Newsletter March 2006
This Month on

Lions, Lambs and Books --- OH MY!

Now in Stores: THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

CHARMED THIRDS by Megan McCafferty --- Join the Club and Win!!! 

Coming Soon: Books Releasing in the Next Few Months

Books Into Movies: Aquamarine

Enter the 2006 Claudia Ann Seaman Poetry Contest!

Cool New Books for March

This Month's Reviews

Manga Reviews

Christian Fiction Reviews

Recent Titles Perfect for Teens

The Sophie Kinsella Forum
Poll: Reading and Writing Poetry
Question of the Month: Writing Your Own Poetry
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win TWO Books!
Links You'll Love
Word of Mouth
Question of the Month
Over 1,800 reading guides
Read a new quote everyday here. Browse our author bibliographies by clicking here.

Lions, Lambs and Books --- OH MY!

They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb --- I don't know about you, but here at we've had lamb days, lion days and we're not sure if spring is ever really coming. But if winter's getting you down, this month's update should bring some much needed fun and excitement.

First of all we now have four, count 'em, four review sections. In addition to our regular reviews, our Manga reviews and our reviews of titles that are perfect for teens, we've added Christian fiction reviews! Be sure to check them all out.

We also introduce our new Coming Soon feature where you can find information about all the books that are bound to be hot hot hot in the coming months. We have titles from April through August listed, so be sure to take a look.

Over the years so many of you have told us that you are aspiring poets. With this in mind we're very excited (again) --- for the 6th year(!) --- to be bringing you all the details about the Claudia Ann Seaman Poetry Contest on The winner will receive a $500 cash prize and publication of their winning poem in the literary journal HANGING LOOSE. It's a fantastic opportunity for all of you who love to write poetry!

We know a lot of you are big Sophie Kinsella fans, so when we heard about her new message board on her website we couldn't wait to tell you all about it. Click here to chat about Sophie, her books or anything else that's on your mind.

While we rarely talk about How To or Advice books on these pages, we found one we think you will LOVE. It's called THE SKIN TYPE SOLUTION by Leslie Baumann, MD. You know those makeup counters where you find out if your skin is dry, oily or some combination thereof? Well, Baumann looks at skin in a whole new way. With a quiz that explores oily vs. dry, sensitive vs. resistant, pigmented vs. non-pigmented, and wrinkled vs. tight, you can see where she is headed with her writing. I am not a beauty products junkie by any means, but this book made me think about skin care in a whole new way. Note that this month we are giving away TWO books --- THE SKIN TYPE SOLUTION and THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak --- for our Word of Mouth contest, and there will be FIVE winners! So be sure to tell us what you are reading here.

The temperatures may rise and fall and the skies may go from sunny to snowy at the drop of a hat, but you can rely on --- a place where the day will always be bookish, with gusts of fun and a chance of poetry.

Carol Fitzgerald (


Now in Stores: THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak (Historical Fiction)
Living in Germany during World War II, young Liesel Meminger scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist --- books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids. Reviewed by Brian Farrey.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE BOOK THIEF.

Click here to read a review of THE BOOK THIEF.


CHARMED THIRDS by Megan McCafferty --- Join the Club and Win!!! 

Join the Jessica Darling Text Message Club and get a sneak peak into CHARMED THIRDS by Megan McCafferty. Plus, enter sweepstakes to win a Video iPod and a Nokia mobile phone. For more details go to

Jessica Darling's in college!

Things are looking up for Jessica Darling. She has finally left her New Jersey hometown/hellhole for Columbia University in New York City; she's more into her boyfriend, Marcus Flutie, than ever (so what if he's at a Buddhist college in California?); and she's making new friends who just might qualify as stand-ins for her beloved best friend, Hope.

But Jessica soon realizes that her bliss might not last. She lands an internship at a snarky Brooklyn-based magazine, but will she fit in with the überhip staff (and will she even want to)? As she and Marcus hit the rocks, will she end up falling for her GOPunk, neoconservative RA . . . or the hot (and married!) Spanish grad student she's assisting on a summer project . . . or the oh-so-sensitive emo boy down the hall? Will she even make it through college now that her parents have cut her off financially? And what do the cryptic one-word postcards from Marcus really mean?

With hilarious insight, the hyperobservant Jessica Darling struggles through her college years-and the summers in between-while maintaining her usual mix of wit, cynicism, and candor.

Click here to visit Megan McCafferty's website and read all the details of her contest.


Coming Soon: Books Releasing in the Next Few Months

Curious about what books will be released in the months ahead? Then be sure to check out our brand new Coming Soon section on We have titles from April through August listed. Please note that we have not included every book coming out, but rather some that caught our eye --- and that we thought should catch yours as well.



Click here to read what's coming soon.

Books Into Movies: Aquamarine

This is the time of year when winter seems to have been going on for a long time, but summer still seems miles away. Luckily March's Books into Movies feature offers you and your friends the chance to dive into the warm and sunny waters of Aquamarine --- a sweet and entertaining adaptation of Alice Hoffman's tale of love, friendship and magic. 


Click here for more details about the film.

Enter the 2006 Claudia Ann Seaman Poetry Contest!

The Claudia Ann Seaman Poetry Award is open to all high school students across the country. Each young writer may submit two poems on any subject and in any form as long as their submission does not exceed 10 pages in length. The deadline for entering this annual contest is June 1, 2006.


Click here to read all the details about the Claudia Ann Seaman Poetry Contest.


Cool New Books for March

March's roundup of Cool New Books includes Markus Zusak's THE BOOK THIEF, an unforgettable story set during World War II in Germany about a girl who steals to survive and discovers the power of books with the help of her accordion-playing foster father; THE ROAD OF THE DEAD, a shocking novel by Kevin Brooks that centers on two brothers who leave home to hunt down the truth about their sister's death; and the third book in Scott Westerfeld's Midnighters series, BLUE NOON, a tale of pulse-pounding danger and a race against time that may require the ultimate sacrifice.

Click here to read our Cool New Books feature.


This Month's Reviews

THE ROAD OF THE DEAD by Kevin Brooks (Fiction)
On a storm-ravaged night, a 19-year-old girl is kidnapped, raped and killed. Three days later, her two younger brothers set out in search of her murderer. This is the story of their journey to the ghostly moors of Devon, where they hope and fear to find the truth about their sister's death. Reviewed by Alexis Burling and excerpted.

ENTHUSIASM by Polly Shulman (Romance)
Ashleigh is an enthusiast, and Julie never knows what her best friend will become obsessed with next. Ashleigh's latest craze is Julie's own passion, Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. But Ashleigh can't just appreciate it as a great read; she insists on emulating the novel's heroines. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

NO RIGHT TURN by Terry Trueman (Fiction)
Three years after his father's suicide, Jordan is a self-described zombie. With no friends or interests, Jordan has made sure he's alone because it's easier to get by that way. But then salvation comes in the most unlikely form --- a beautiful 1976 Corvette! Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

SHOCK POINT by April Henry (Psychological Thriller)
Cassie discovers her psychiatrist stepfather has been administering an experimental drug to teens --- and three of them have died. She must get the word out or more patients may lose their life. But before she can do anything, she finds herself incarcerated in a prison-like boot camp for troubled teens. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

MURKMERE by Patricia Elliot (Fantasy)
Aggie's life in the village is as normal and dull as any girl's; she has never questioned the rule of the Ministration or the power of the divine beings --- the birds. But all this changes when the crippled master of the nearby manor, Murkmere, sends for Aggie to become a lady's companion to his ward, Leah. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

In this sequel to THE SECRET BLOG OF RAISIN RODRIGUEZ, Raisin is blogging away about her latest challenges with one at the top of her list --- Raisin is 13 years old and has never been kissed! Raisin is determined to change that, hopefully with the help of the adorable yet mysterious CJ Mullen. Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

THE QUEEN OF COOL by Cecil Castellucci (Fiction)
On the outside, Libby Brin is the most popular girl in school. She has the coolest friends, the hottest boyfriend, the trendiest clothes, and the hippest parents. But on the inside, Libby is dying --- of boredom. What happens when this "Queen of Cool" dares to take off her tiara and do something truly cool with her life? Reviewed by Carlie Webber.

PROM ANONYMOUS by Blake Nelson (Fiction)
Chloe Thomas is going to the prom. She doesn't have a date, she needs a dress, and she's the last person anyone expects to see at the dance --- but her two oldest friends asked her to go, and she said yes. Chloe quickly begins to regret her decision. Reviewed by Carlie Webber.

CONFESSIONS OF A TEEN NANNY #2: RICH GIRLS by Victoria Ashton (Fiction)
This sequel to CONFESSIONS OF A TEEN NANNY continues Victoria Ashton's peek into the outrageous life of the elite and wealthy, as 16-year-old Adrienne Lewis watches eight-year-old Emma at her after-school nanny job and tangles with Emma's beautiful but wicked teenage half sister, Cameron. Reviewed by Belinda Williams.

DATING GAME #4: EX-RATING by Natalie Standiford (Fiction)
After Madison, Lina and Holly discuss their Dating Game website on a local radio show and their controversial new feature, Ex-rating --- where exes rate their former boyfriend/girlfriend --- brings in scandalous responses, the website is banned from their school's computers. But the girls refuse to give up without a fight. Reviewed by Melissa A. Palmer.

THE WAND IN THE WORD: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy edited by Leonard S. Marcus (Nonfiction)
Children's book critic Leonard Marcus uses his considerable knowledge to engage 13 noted fantasy authors in intimate, insightful conversations about their life and work that will fascinate fantasy fans and aspiring writers alike. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

Click here to read this month's reviews.

Manga Reviews

The following reviews are courtesy of the graphic novel review website for teens No Flying No Tights:

BARON: THE CAT RETURNS by Aoi Hiiragi (Viz, 2005)
When an ordinary schoolgirl rescues a cat from an oncoming truck, she becomes a heroine in the land of cats and they want to make her their princess. Does Haru want to be a cat forever? Only the mysterious Baron can rescue her from her new friends. Reviewed by Jen Webb.

DESCENDANTS OF DARKNESS [Yami No Matsuei]: Volume 3 by Yoko Matsushita (Viz, 2004)
The business of death is never simple. Booked on a cruise ship headed for Hong Kong, Asato Tsuzuki finds himself entangled in yet another one of Dr. Muraki's nefarious schemes. Reviewed by Alison Kotin.

DESCENDANTS OF DARKNESS [Yami No Matsuei]: Volume 4 by Yoko Matsushita (Viz, 2004)
While on their annual retreat, Asato Tsuzuki and company meet a pack of talking animals who serve the Queen of Snow. But now the Queen is missing and there's a vicious dragon prowling nearby. In another case, Tsuzuki and Hisoka must investigate a 17-year-old who's been murdered and his body mutilated. Reviewed by Alison Kotin.

FLCL, Volume 1 by Gainax (Tokyopop, 1999)
Naota has to contend with his crazy grandfather, his lecherous father, and his older brother's flirty girlfriend. Why does fate now send him a robot hunting, guitar wielding housekeeper from outer space? Reviewed by Jack Kotin.

FLCL, Volume 2 by Gainax (Tokyopop, 1999)
On top of a political scandal and confusing feelings for two different girls, Naota must now try to prevent the world's destruction with his newly skills? Reviewed by Jack Kotin.

LOVE ROMA, Volume 1 by Minoru Toyoda (Del Rey Manga, 2005)
When honest and slightly awkward Hoshino confesses his love for Negishi, she reacts the way any girl who's never been asked out before would: stuttering, flattered, and not quite sure whether he's really the guy she wants to try out this whole dating thing with. Reviewed by Robin Brenner.

LOVELESS, Volume 1 by Yun Kouga (Tokyopop, 2006)
Twelve-year-old Ritsuka's older brother Seimei was horribly murdered, and now Seimei's mysterious companion Soubi offers Ritsuka a way into the underground world that hides his brother's killer. But just how much is Ritsuka willing to withstand for a resolution, and is the magnetic Soubi really a friend or a foe? Reviewed by Robin Brenner.

PLANETES, Volume 01 by Makoto Yukimura (Tokyopop, 2003)
Hachimaki is an orbital trash collector, circling the Earth and the Moon with his two partners to pick up the detritus of years of space travel and commerce. Returning to Earth might sound like a vacation from the dangers of space, but for Hachi, readjusting to human society might be the hardest challenge of all. Reviewed by Alison Kotin.

-Click here to read our Manga reviews.

Click here to visit

Christian Fiction Reviews

TrueColors series

DARK BLUE: COLOR ME LONELY by Melody Carlson (Fiction)
When Jordan starts making new friends, Kara feels lonely and completely empty --- until she makes a life-changing discovery. To get there, however, Kara must make some major choices about who and what she's going to believe in, and if she'll ever trust anybody --- including God --- again. This is the first book in Melody Carlson's TrueColors series, which centers on specific emotional states. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

DEEP GREEN: COLOR ME JEALOUS by Melody Carlson (Fiction)
Last year at this time, Jordan never would have thought her junior year would be like this: stuck in a twisted love triangle with Shawna Frye and Timothy Lawrence. But when Timothy broke up with Shawna --- to date Jordan! --- what else could she have done? In the second installment of her TrueColors series, Melody Carlson carries over characters and themes from the first book. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

Payton Skky series

STAYING PURE: Payton Skky #1 by Stephanie Perry Moore (Fiction)
Stephanie Perry Moore introduces readers to the popular Payton Skky, who just happens to be dating the best looking guy at her high school. While he's pressuring her to sleep with him, Payton is content to wait, convinced that he is the one she will marry. But as the pressure increases, Payton starts to wonder if waiting is really worth it. Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.

SOBER FAITH: Payton Skky #2 by Stephanie Perry Moore (Fiction)
In the second installment of the Payton Skky series, Payton's friends begin experimenting with alcohol, drugs and sex. How can Payton help them turn toward God and away from these vices? Can she resist her own impulses to try things she knows are against God's will? Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.

Click here to read our Christian reviews.

Recent Titles Perfect for Teens

THE TENTH CIRCLE by Jodi Picoult (Fiction)
Fourteen-year old Trixie Stone is a popular straight-A student who has always looked up to her father as a hero. Until, that is, her world is turned upside down with a single act of violence. Suddenly everything Trixie has believed about her family --- and herself --- seems to be a lie. Reviewed by Lourdes Orive.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE TENTH CIRCLE.

THE 5th HORSEMAN by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro (Thriller)
Lawyer Yuki Castellano receives the devastating news that her mother, a patient at San Francisco Medical Center, has died after being given the wrong medication. But this is not the first time the hospital has made this mistake. Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer and the Women's Murder Club investigate for themselves and face an unspeakable menace. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE 5th HORSEMAN.

INTUITION by Allegra Goodman (Fiction)
In a world of few certainties, should we let intuition be our guide? Equally, how much faith should we place in the hands of others, even those we think we know the best? These are the intriguing questions driving Allegra Goodman's thought-provoking new novel exploring the human side of the high-stakes world of experimental research. Reviewed by Joni Rendon.
-Click here to read an excerpt from INTUITION.

MAGIC HOUR by Kristin Hannah (Fiction)
In Rain Valley, nothing much ever happens --- until a girl emerges from the deep woods and walks into town. She is a victim unlike any Dr. Julia Cates has ever seen: a child locked in a world of unimaginable fear and isolation. Though a scandal shattered her confidence, ruined her career and made her a media target, this child psychiatrist is determined to save the girl she now calls "Alice." Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara.
-Click here to read an excerpt from MAGIC HOUR.

THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEAD by Kevin Brockmeier (Fiction)
When a virus wipes out mankind, the dead gather in "The City" to remain as long as someone on Earth remembers them. Laura's parents, co-workers, friends and acquaintances reside there but Laura, isolated at an Antarctic research center, has no idea how truly alone she is...or that so many dead people rely on her memories alone in order to continue their afterlife existence. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

LAST DANCE: Behind the Scenes at the Final Four by John Feinstein (Sports)
John Feinstein explores what it means to a school, a coach, and a player to be in the Final Four or even at The Final --- the moving stories of players and coaches who thought they'd never make it to college basketball's final weekend, the spectacular triumphs of the winning teams, and the heartbreaking defeats for those who missed the cut. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

Click here to read more about the titles that are perfect for teens.

The Sophie Kinsella Forum

Are you a fan of Sophie Kinsella's books? There's a new forum on her website, and from the looks of things readers are having a lot of fun chatting up her books --- and life. Want to get into the action? Here's the link to share your Kinsella thoughts --- or perhaps ideas on the best places to shop near YOU! I know we have some secret Shopaholics in our midst.


Click here to visit Sophie Kinsella's website.

Poll: Reading and Writing Poetry

April is National Poetry Month. With this in mind, we ask the following questions:

Do you enjoy reading poetry?
I don't read poetry but would like to start.
I don't read poetry and have no interest in doing so.

Do you enjoy writing poems?
I have never written a poem, but I think I would enjoy doing this.
I have never written a poem, and I don't think I would enjoy doing this.

Click here to participate in the poll.
Question of the Month: Writing Your Own Poetry

If you could write a poem on any topic, what would it be and why?

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

This contest period, FIVE lucky teen readers will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak and a copy of THE SKIN TYPE SOLUTION by Leslie S. Baumann MD. (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!

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The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
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--- Carol Fitzgerald for