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June 2007 Newsletter June 2007
This Month on

Talking Book Crush Beach Bag Contest: Win a Beach Bag of Books Valued at $200!

Special Feature: THE UPPER CLASS by Hobson Brown, Taylor Materne and Caroline Says

Special Feature: PANTS ON FIRE by Meg Cabot

Special Feature: BLOOM by Elizabeth Scott

HarperTeen Summer Sweepstakes

Kimani TRU: Novels For, By and About Teens --- Now Featuring: SPIN IT LIKE THAT by Chandra Sparks Taylor Talks to Nancy Pearl, Author of BOOK CRUSH

Books into Movies: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

So What Do YOU Think About Harry? Vote in our Harry Potter Poll to Weigh In

Cool New Books for June

June's New in Paperback Roundup

This Month's Reviews --- Including Manga, Christian Fiction and Titles Perfect for Teens

Poll and Question of the Month: Required Summer Reading

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win A Book!

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Talking Book Crush

As I am sitting here writing this on a beastly hot afternoon in New York City, I am thinking of an old song by a group called Mungo Jerry, which is somewhat of a summertime classic. I reworked the words a bit to talk about summertime reading....

In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can sit right down under a shady tree
When the weather's fine
You got reading, you got reading on your mind
Have a book, read another or maybe three
You never know what you can find.

Yes, for us at summer is ALL about reading and time to FINALLY read what you want. With that in mind we've updated our Ultimate Teen Reading List with some new titles. There are more than 270 selections there, so we are sure you can find something you want to read!

Do you have a book crush? Seriously, are there books you are just in love with and want to share with everyone you know? This month we have an interview with Nancy Pearl who wrote a book called BOOK CRUSH, which is a guide to great reading for kids and teens. I have had the pleasure of meeting Nancy and hearing her talk about books a few times now. She draws on her experience as a lifelong reader, as well as her years as a librarian, when writing this book. She remembers lines from books, titles and themes with a memory I wish I had. I hope you enjoy this book and her interview, and feel you have gotten to know her a bit for reading it!

We all know that the release of the final Harry Potter book is on readers' minds these days. We have a Harry Potter Poll that we would love to see you respond to. We want to know what YOU are thinking about this book, this series and the upcoming movie. Weigh in here.

Don't forget our special contest to get you started --- our First Annual Summer Beach Bag of Books Contest. The prizes: 5 oversized beach bags each filled with TEN (10) books that are great summer reading and other summer-themed essentials. I had a lot of fun shopping for the items for these beach bags! Just seeing all those summery items made me want to stick my toes in the sand while reading. You have until July 6th to enter, but why wait? You can see details on how to enter this BIG contest below.

Our poll this month asks about your required summer reading. Do you have a summer reading list, and if so, what are you looking forward to reading? Answer our Poll and Question of the Month.

Here's hoping you are having a bookishly great summer.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Click here to see our Ultimate Teen Reading List. Beach Bag Contest: Win a Beach Bag of Books Valued at $200!

It's time to think about Summer Reading --- and we aren't talking about the list of books you may have received for Required Summer Reading from school. What we are talking about are the kinds of books that you are glad you now have time to kick back and enjoy. The way we see it, it wouldn't be summer without sun, surf and great reading. You supply the beach chair and the sunblock, and we'll provide the fantastic fiction in our First Annual Beach Bag of Books Contest.

From May 21st through July 6th, you can enter to win a " Beach Bag of Books." Five winners each will receive a beach bag that includes 10 books --- EVIL GENIUS by Catherine Jinks, FLAWLESS: A Pretty Little Liars Novel by Sara Shepard, INSIDE THE MIND OF GIDEON RAYBURN by Sarah Miller, KISS & BLOG by Alyson Noel, LOVE, CAJUN STYLE by Diane Les Becquets, MARKED: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, PANTS ON FIRE by Meg Cabot, SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS by Marisha Pessl, SUMMER INTERN by Carrie Karasyov and Jill Kargman, and SUN-KISSED: The Au Pairs #3 by Melissa de la Cruz. Along with the books, winners will find their oversized beach bag stocked with the coolest summer goodies --- including a turquoise and red striped towel with matching flip-flops, a beach ball that's actually a supersoft and cushy pillow, a green suede journal for summer writing, a deck of Uno cards, a set of dominoes, assorted fruit-flavored candies and lemonade mix (not pictured), as well as an EVIL GENIUS tote bag, t-shirt and button.

To enter to win, read an excerpt from each of the featured titles and write us at to tell us which one(s) you would most like to read and why. Be sure to include your name and mailing address with your contest entry!

Click here for all the details of our Beach Bag of Books Contest.

Special Feature: THE UPPER CLASS by Hobson Brown, Taylor Materne and Caroline Says

THE UPPER CLASS by Hobson Brown, Taylor Materne and Caroline Says (Fiction)

Welcome to Wellington --- boarding school for society's elite, overachievers and rich screw-ups. No matter who you are, Wellington can be the deepest and most beautiful time of your life, or the loneliest and most difficult. And two new girls are about to find out which it will be for them…

Laine Hunt is a Wellington girl by blood, she's a field hockey star, and her turquoise eyes and blond hair turn heads wherever she goes. She also wants to avoid her roommate. Nikki Olivetti is not Wellington material --- she comes from a new-money Long Island family. Nikki's a tease, a loudmouth and an absolute sweetheart --- and she just doesn't belong. The girls couldn't have less in common. Except they both have to learn to survive in their new world --- a world with no parents, no safety net and no limit to how much trouble they can get into. Will the new girls make it to the upper class?

-Click here to read more about THE UPPER CLASS.
-Click here to browse inside THE UPPER CLASS and read an excerpt.

Click here to read a review of THE UPPER CLASS.


Special Feature: PANTS ON FIRE by Meg Cabot

PANTS ON FIRE by Meg Cabot (Fiction)

Kate Ellison isn't really a liar, she just holds back the truth sometimes. Like when she neglected to tell her boyfriend that she made out with another guy. Or when she wasn't 100% honest about who spray painted "Tommy Sullivan is a freak" on the gym wall and drove Tommy out of town. But now Tommy Sullivan is back for the truth…and possibly for revenge.

-Click here to read more about PANTS ON FIRE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from PANTS ON FIRE.
-Click here for more about Meg Cabot and her books.

Click here to read a review of PANTS ON FIRE.

Special Feature: BLOOM by Elizabeth Scott

BLOOM by Elizabeth Scott (Fiction)

Lauren Smith's life is just about perfect. She's got great friends, and her boyfriend? Well, he's the guy --- the one in school that everyone wants. And he wants to be with her.

The problem?

She isn't happy. Being with the perfect guy isn't all it's cracked up to be, and she doesn't feel like she can actually talk to her best friend.

Then she meets someone --- Evan --- and suddenly, she's questioning everything. But who would give up the perfect guy, and, more importantly, will Lauren be able to take a chance, and reach for the life she wants?

here to read an excerpt from BLOOM.
here to read an interview with Elizabeth Scott.
here to see Elizabeth Scott's bio.
-For more, visit Elizabeth Scott's website,

Click here to read a review of BLOOM.


HarperTeen Summer Sweepstakes

HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is sponsoring a sizzling hot giveaway this summer that gives you the opportunity to win some amazingly cool prizes. All you have to do is subscribe to their HipLit newsletter between now and August 8th and you will be entered for a chance to win one of four HarperTeen Summer Prize Packs, which include: a library of books for you and a friend, a super-cute digital video camera to record your summer adventures and an iPod Shuffle for storing your summer soundtrack, among other tunes.

Visit today and discover sizzling summer reads at HarperTeen, like AVALON HIGH and READY OR NOT by Meg Cabot, STARTLED BY HIS FURRY SHORTS by Louise Rennison, GOOD GIRLS by Laura Ruby, WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr, SECRETS OF PEACHES by Jodi Lynn Anderson and FLAWLESS by Sara Shepard.


Click here for more info about the sweepstakes and to subscribe to the HipLit newsletter.

Kimani TRU: Novels For, By and About Teens --- Now Featuring: SPIN IT LIKE THAT by Chandra Sparks Taylor

Sixteen-year-old Jasmine Richardson has a love for music. When she gets on the turntables, her gift for spinning and rhyming earn her admiration and respect. She's also talented academically, but her parents disapprove of their daughter's hobby, hoping it's a phase she's going through. Still, Jasmine finds it hard to deny the joy and freedom she feels when she's playing music that makes people smile and dance.

After a local contest, Jasmine attracts the interest of some music-industry honchos. Then the attitudes of the people around her seem to change and she's forced to face some tough situations. Suddenly it becomes harder for her to tell who's really happy for her and who's totally a fake.

But when the music is in your heart, and your talent shines bright, sometimes all you can do is…spin it like that.

-Click here to read more about SPIN IT LIKE THAT.

SPIN IT LIKE THAT is available in 3 formats: Book, Digital Audio and eBook.

-Click here for more info about the eBook version of SPIN IT LIKE THAT.
Click here to read more about Kimani TRU. Talks to Nancy Pearl, Author of BOOK CRUSH

Nancy Pearl is a librarian, book reviewer and speaker, as well as the bestselling author of BOOK LUST, MORE BOOK LUST and the recently published guide for children's and young adult literature, BOOK CRUSH. In this interview with's Krista Vitola, Pearl explains why she chose to focus her latest effort on younger readers and reveals the most challenging and the most rewarding aspects of writing it. She also discusses her personal qualifications of a "classic," describes how her reading habits have grown over the years and reminisces about her own first "book crush."

-Click here to read a review of BOOK CRUSH.
Click here to read our interview with Nancy Pearl.

Books into Movies: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

This is, without a doubt, the summer of Harry Potter. It's impossible not to get swept in the mania with two (yes, TWO) Potter releases heading our way. Just days before the publication of the most anticipated book of the year, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hits the big screen on July 11th, promising a darker, more intense story. This trip to the movies is the perfect way to catch up with the characters we all know and love before their ultimate fates are revealed in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, in stores beginning July 21st.
Click here for more details about the film.

So What Do YOU Think About Harry? Vote in our Harry Potter Poll to Weigh In

With the release of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS fast approaching, we at would like to get your thoughts on the seventh and final book, the film adaptation of HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and the series overall.

Click here to participate in our HP Poll!

Cool New Books for June

SAVING THE WORLD AND OTHER EXTREME SPORTS, the closing chapter of James Patterson's thrilling Maximum Ride trilogy, has landed safely in bookstores. The question is, can Max and her winged "Flock" save the world when they are torn apart, living in hiding and captivity, halfway across the globe from one another? June's roundup of Cool New Books also includes THE OFF SEASON, the hilarious yet heartbreaking sequel to Catherine Gilbert Murdock's debut novel, DAIRY QUEEN; THE SECRET LIFE OF IT GIRLS, fictional stories from acclaimed novelist Dakota Lane that are based on interviews with real high school It Girls; and A DARKLING PLAIN, the fourth and final installment in The Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve.

Click here to read our Cool New Books roundup for June.

June's New in Paperback Roundup

June's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes DAIRY QUEEN, Catherine Gilbert Murdock's memorable debut novel, narrated by a 15-year-old girl who tries out for the high school football team and falls in love with the rival school's quarterback; THE CANNIBALS, a sequel to Iain Lawrence's THE CONVICTS that provides readers with a non-stop, high seas tale full of twists, turns and fate; YOU, MAYBE by Rachel Vail, who tells the story of fierce, independent Josie and her fall from utterly cool to lovesick puppy; and Mariah Fredericks's CRUNCH TIME, in which the revelation that someone cheated on the SATs threatens the friendships that have developed among four students in a study group.
Click here to see what's new in paperback for June.

This Month's Reviews --- Including Manga, Christian Fiction and Titles Perfect for Teens

MAXIMUM RIDE #3: SAVING THE WORLD AND OTHER EXTREME SPORTS by James Patterson (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Max and her flock of human/bird hybrids are back for their third (and final) book of nonstop action and adventure. Once again, they find themselves up against enormous challenges, like escaping the evil scientists and saving the world. But can they survive their most significant one --- a disagreement that splits them into two separate groups on opposite sides of the planet? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SAVING THE WORLD AND OTHER EXTREME SPORTS.

THE OFF SEASON by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (Fiction)
In this gripping sequel to the award-winning DAIRY QUEEN, D.J. Schwenk's life takes a sharp downhill turn after the promising beginning to her junior year. But, as D.J.'s fans might predict, the linebacker tackles challenges with her trademark guts and good humor. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE OFF SEASON.

SUMMER BALL by Mike Lupica (Fiction)
Summer has arrived, and Danny Walker is going to basketball camp for the first time. While excited, Danny is also nervous and wonders how his skills will measure up against the other campers. What Danny doesn't realize is how many challenges he will face both on and off the court. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SUMMER BALL.

A DARKLING PLAIN: Book Four of The Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve (Science Fiction/Fantasy)
Returning to the brutal city-eat-city world where roving cities devour each other and fierce warriors called Stalkers are created by fusing machines with the bodies of the dead, A DARKLING PLAIN brings the war between the traction cities and the stationary settlements to a thrilling and heartbreaking finale. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

-Click here to read an excerpt from A DARKLING PLAIN.

KISS & BLOG by Alyson Noel (Fiction)
Winter watches as her ex-best friend Sloane joins the cheerleaders and A-listers. Even though she meets new people and better guys, Winter can't forgive and forget. Her blog, in which she reveals all of Sloane's secrets, is the perfect revenge --- at least for a while. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

BEIGE by Cecil Castellucci (Fiction)
Katy's summer vacation is not exactly what she had in mind. When her mother goes to Peru for an archaeological dig, Katy is exiled from her beloved home of Montreal to crazy Los Angeles with her stranger-than-strange father, who she hasn't seen since she was seven years old. Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

STRAYS by Ron Koertge (Fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Ted O'Connor finds himself in foster care following the death of his parents and tries to forge a new life, even as the past continues to be a prime factor in who he'll always be. Reviewed by Brian Farrey.

DRAMARAMA by E. Lockhart (Fiction)
Just in time for drama camp, E. Lockhart delivers a fantastically funny novel about what happens when two "theater-mad, self-invented, fabulosition Ohio teenagers" hit Wildwood Summer Institute. Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

MASQUERADE: A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa de la Cruz (Fantasy/Horror)
Having the hottest clothes and going to the best parties are important to the teens at Duchesne School, but it's even more crucial to keep their Blue Blood secret --- many of them are vampires. Schuyler, Bliss, Jack, Oliver and Mimi return for the second novel in this dark and twisty series to discover their true identities and who they can really trust. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

GIRL AT SEA by Maureen Johnson (Fiction)
From the critically acclaimed author of 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES comes the story of 16-year-old Clio's life-changing journey aboard her wacky scientist father's ship. As Clio sails into uncharted territory, she unveils secrets that have the power to change history. Reviewed by Carlie Webber.

WAVES by Sharon Dogar (Fiction)
His family reeling from an accident that left the oldest daughter, Charley, in a coma, fourteen-year-old Hal searches his scattered memories to find the truth about what happened that fateful night. Reviewed by Brian Farrey.

SONG OF THE SPARROW by Lisa Ann Sandell (Historical Fiction)
Britain, 490 A.D. Adventurous 16-year-old Elaine of Ascolat lives with her father in King Arthur's war camp. As her closest friends prepare for war, she struggles to profess her love to her childhood friend, Lancelot. The problem? She longs for Lancelot to look at her and see a woman, no longer a girl. Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens.

A SWIFT PURE CRY by Siobhan Dowd (Fiction)
Shell Talent's life has been difficult since her Mam died a year earlier. Her father has turned to Scripture and alcohol in an attempt to escape reality and his inner demons. Shell cares for her younger siblings (and doesn't mind doing so), though she's bored of church and school. Things seem to get better when Father Rose comes to Coolbar, but soon Shell finds herself at the center of a scandal that will change her life forever. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

ORDINARY GHOSTS by Eireann Corrigan (Fiction)
Emil's life has been in chaos. Within a year, his mother dies of cancer and his older brother Ethan disappears without a trace. As Emil scrambles to make sense of everything, he uncovers a mysterious key in his brother's room that unlocks all the doors to his school. Will this key help him figure things out? Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

I AM REMBRANDT'S DAUGHTER by Lynn Cullen (Historical Fiction)
Cornelia lives in Amsterdam during the latter part of the 17th century. With her mother dead and her brother newly married, she's stuck at home with her illegitimate, rumored-to-be-crazy father --- the famous artist Rembrandt. To make matters worse, very few of his paintings are selling, so they have to scrape by just to eat. Cornelia struggles to find purpose and meaning in her desolate life. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

Click here to read our reviews and features.

Manga Reviews:

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

APOTHECARIUS ARGENTUM, Volume 1 by Tomomi Yamashita (CMX)
Argentum was raised to be a poison tester for a royal family. As he grew up, he developed an unusual immunity towards toxic substances and later became a master chemist with the ability to cure any illness. Returning to the kingdom after a long absence, he is assigned to be Princess Prima's bodyguard. But any relationship that might develop between the two will have its limits; Argentum's very touch has itself become poisonous. Reviewed by Robin Brenner.

HER MAJESTY'S DOG, Volumes 2-4 by Mick Takeuchi (Go!Comi)
Everyone knows the story of Beauty and the Beast --- the selfless beauty who loves the Beast despite his frightening looks. There's something comforting in the idea that appearances can be both deceptive and surpassed in finding love and loyalty. But what happens when the beast is truly a beast and will never regain an acceptable, princely form? Reviewed by Robin Brenner.

KING OF THORN, Volume 1 by Yuji Iwahara (TOKYOPOP)
Kasumi and her sister, Shizuku, were infected with the Medusa virus, which slowly turns the victim to stone. Hope for salvation rests in Kasumi and a select few who are put into a cryogenically frozen state until a cure is found. But Shizuku is left behind, and in the not-too-distant future, Kasumi awakens to find herself in an unfamiliar world with terrifying beings roaming the terrain. Reviewed by Robin Brenner.

TIME GUARDIAN, Volume 1 by Daimuro Kishi and Tamao Ichinose (CMX)
Customers of the Time Shop come to trade precious memories for desperately needed time. But two former sweethearts aren't interested in more time --- they just want to lose their memories of each other. Miu doesn't think this is a good idea and will stop at nothing to convince them she's right. Reviewed by Eva Volin.

Click here to read our Manga reviews.

Christian Fiction Reviews:

Christy Miller Series

A TIME TO CHERISH: Christy Miller - Volume Four, Book Ten by Robin Jones Gunn (Fiction)
For Labor Day weekend, Christy Miller is on a houseboat at Lake Shasta. Before they know it, she and her best friend, Katie, are receiving some unexpected male attention. But somehow the two girls are at odds just when they should be having the most fun together. Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.

SWEET DREAMS: Christy Miller - Volume Four, Book Eleven by Robin Jones Gunn (Fiction)
Christy Miller loves the time she spends with Todd during her senior year. But her best friend, Katie, realizes she needs to break up with Michael. Christy is learning to let go and get out of the way so that her friends can become who they're meant to be...even when it jeopardizes her own sweet dreams. Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.

Stand-Alone Title

MAGGIE COME LATELY by Michelle Buckman (Fiction)
Maggie McCarthy is more than ready to be just a regular teen. Ever since her mother's death, Maggie has found herself acting as a mother to her two younger brothers and serving as the resident housekeeper. All of that changes after she rescues a classmate and rival from sexual assault and becomes an accidental hero and celebrity at her high school. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

Click here to read our Christian Fiction reviews.

Recent Titles Perfect for Teens:

NOT A HAPPY CAMPER by Mindy Schneider (Memoir)
NOT A HAPPY CAMPER chronicles 13-year-old Mindy's adventures at a rainy, rundown, wildly unsupervised camp in Maine called Kin-A-Hurra. For eight eye-opening and unforgettable weeks, she and her eccentric band of friends keep busy feuding in color wars, failing at sports and uncovering the camp's hidden past. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read an excerpt from NOT A HAPPY CAMPER.
-For more, visit Mindy Schneider's website,

THE SHORT BUS by Jonathan Mooney (Memoir)
Labeled dyslexic and profoundly learning disabled with attention and behavior problems, Jonathan Mooney was a short bus rider --- a derogatory term used for kids in special education. Although he grew out of his disability, he could never escape his past. To free himself and learn how others had moved beyond labels, he created an epic journey. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

TY AND THE BABE: Baseball's Fiercest Rivals: A Surprising Friendship and the 1941 Has-Beens Golf Championship by Tom Stanton (Sports)
Tom Stanton challenges the stereotypes that have cast Ty Cobb forever as a Satan and Babe Ruth as a Santa Claus. Along the way, he brings to life a parade of memorable characters: Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Grantland Rice, Tris Speaker, Lou Gehrig, Will Rogers, Joe DiMaggio, a trick shot-shooting former fugitive, and a 15-year-old caddy with an impeccable golf lineage. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

Click here to read our reviews of titles perfect for teens.


Poll and Question of the Month: Required Summer Reading


Do you have a required summer reading list?
Not sure

How many books are on the list?
5 or more
I do not have a summer reading list.

Do you like the books on your summer reading list?
Yes, all of them
Yes, some of them
None of them
Not sure

Click here to answer our poll.


Which book on your required summer reading list are you most looking forward to reading?

Click here to answer our question.


Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win A Book!

This contest period, one lucky teen reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of MAXIMUM RIDE #3: SAVING THE WORLD AND OTHER EXTREME SPORTS by James Patterson. (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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--- Carol Fitzgerald for