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April 2009 Newsletter April 2009

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Beaches, Books and Big Contests

Earlier this month, I was on the Outer Banks with my family. When we travel there are clothes, golf clubs (for my husband and younger son) and lots and lots of books. Now we were only gone for 10 days, but I brought enough books to take up two shelves in the tiny office that they have at the rental house. My 14-year-old son had 10 books, plus all seven Harry Potter books. I am not sure what he was thinking when he packed the Potter titles. I guess he figured if he ran out of new books to read he would have some surefire backups! I am sure that since you love books like we do, you can relate. I am just glad we were driving this trip since we definitely would have been over the weight limit on the plane!

We have an outstanding lineup of books for you this month. Beka Cooper is finally a Dog --- a full-fledged member of the Provost’s Guard, dedicated to keeping peace in Corus’s streets. But as readers find out in BLOODHOUND, the second installment in Tamora Pierce's popular fantasy series, there’s unrest in Tortall’s capital.

NECROPOLIS, the fourth book in The Gatekeepers series by Anthony Horowitz, is now in stores. Check out a review of the thrilling story set in Hong Kong, where Matt and our other heroes meet the final Gatekeeper. If you want more after reading the excerpt and an interview with the author, enter for your chance to win a copy of the book.

A National Book Award winner, THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN is Sherman Alexie's first young adult novel. It is a semiautobiographical chronicle of Arnold Spirit (aka Junior), a young Native American boy exploring the concept of identity, both self and tribal. Listen to the award-winning author personally read you an excerpt from the book.

The Homelanders series debuts its first book this month, THE LAST THING I REMEMBER, by renowned adult author Andrew Klavan. Clean-cut and slightly nerdy Charlie West has his world turned upside down when he finds himself captured by a terrorist group with no recollection of how or why this has happened. For behind-the-scenes info on this action-packed novel, take a look at our interview with Klavan and get a head start on the book by reading an excerpt. To kick off this new series, is giving away 10 copies, so be sure to enter for your chance to win.

Can't get enough of paranormal books? Then enter our STRANGE ANGELS contest for your chance to win a copy of the upcoming novel starring Dru, a vampire slayer-esque teen who has a gift for sensing the supernatural. Enter now and you could be one of 50 (that's right, 50!) lucky readers selected.

Don't forget to vote for the Children’s Book Council’s 2009 Teen Choice Book Award. Click here to vote for your favorite book, author and illustrator of 2008. The voting closes on May 3rd, and the winners will be announced on May 12th during Children’s Book Week. Show your favorites of 2008 some love! I am going to be announcing the winner in the teen category at this event, which I think is pretty cool since we also did the nominating for the short list of nominees on I will be sure to get some pictures from the event for you to see!

Enter our Grab Bag of Books contest for your chance to win new books and one of our signature bags. This month's titles include BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE by Katie Alender, FRAGILE ETERNITY by Melissa Marr, THE MELANCHOLY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA by Nagaru Tanigawa and PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles. And to top off all the other contests we have going on this month, the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for Young Writers is still accepting entries. Each participant may submit a total of three poems, essays or stories. The deadline for entering this annual contest is June 1st, which is right around the corner. I say, put some of those old homework assignments to use and send them on in to get the recognition you deserve.

Finally, for more book ideas, check out FLIPPING THE SCRIPT: A Del Rio Bay Novel by Paula Chase and the new addition to The Clique series, P.S. I LOATHE YOU. And as always we have monthly updates of our Cool New Books and New in Paperback features, along with our reviews, which now include both manga and graphic novel titles.

Happy reading!

Carol Fitzgerald (

Click here to vote for the Children’s Choice Book Awards and learn more about Children’s Book Week.


Now in Stores: BLOODHOUND: Beka Cooper, Book Two by Tamora Pierce

BLOODHOUND: A TORTALL LEGEND: Beka Cooper, Book Two by Tamora Pierce (Fantasy)
Tamora Pierce novels have the reputation of grabbing readers by the gullet and speedily whisking them deep into the belly of the story right off the bat. There is usually no lack of entertainment or intrigue in a work by Pierce, and her new title, BLOODHOUND, lives up to expectations. Fans will be thrilled with Beka Cooper's maturity, the respect she now has among the Guards where she works as a "Dog" (policewoman), and the interesting adventure she engages in as she wades waist-high (literally) into the center of a crime syndicate, trying to uncover the source of counterfeit monies infesting the Lower City. Reviewed by Joy Held.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BLOODHOUND.

Click here to read a review of BLOODHOUND.


New Special Feature and Contest: NECROPOLIS: Book Four of The Gatekeepers, by Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz's latest novel, NECROPOLIS, is the fourth book of The Gatekeepers, a fantasy series that chronicles the adventures of a group of gifted children on a quest to save the world from the forces of evil. In this interview, Horowitz describes how a nightmare inspired the series' villains, the Old Ones, and discusses why --- despite writing about fantastical elements like magic and witchcraft --- he chose to set his books in the real world. He also explains some of the challenges he encountered while writing from the perspective of a young girl, reveals the real-life counterparts to some of his characters, and shares details about what he has planned for the fifth and final installment of the series.

NECROPOLIS: Book Four of The Gatekeepers by Anthony Horowitz (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
As the fourth novel in the spellbinding Gatekeepers series begins, the world is under the greatest threat it's ever known. The evil corporation Nightrise has amassed an immense amount of power...and the devastating force of the Old Ones is about to be unleashed around the globe. To stop this from happening, Matt and three of the Gatekeepers head to Hong Kong --- not just the modern city of skyscrapers and wealth, but the secretive underworld beneath. In Hong Kong they will meet the final Gatekeeper, a girl named Scarlet, whose fate is inextricably joined to their own. is offering 10 readers the chance to win a copy of NECROPOLIS. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, June 23rd.

-Click here for all the contest details.
-Click here to read an excerpt from NECROPOLIS.
-Click here to read an interview with Anthony Horowitz.
-Click here to read Anthony Horowitz's bio.
-Click here to read our series feature for The Gatekeepers.


Click here to read a review of NECROPOLIS.


New Special Feature: THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie --- Now Available in Paperback

Junior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation. Born with a variety of medical problems, he is picked on by everyone but his best friend. Determined to receive a good education, Junior leaves the rez to attend an all-white school in the neighboring farm town where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Despite being condemned as a traitor to his people and enduring great tragedies, Junior attacks life with wit and humor and discovers a strength inside of himself that he never knew existed.

Written with raw emotion by acclaimed writer Sherman Alexie, the National Book Award-winning novel THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one unlucky boy trying to rise above the life everyone expects him to live.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN.
-Click here for an audio excerpt of Sherman Alexie reading from THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN.
-Click here to read Sherman Alexie's bio.



New Special Feature and Contest: THE LAST THING I REMEMBER: The Homelanders, Book One by Andrew Klavan

Andrew Klavan is the author of over 20 mysteries and psychological thrillers for adults, such as THE ANIMAL HOUR, TRUE CRIME and DON'T SAY A WORD. He recently tried his hand at writing for teen audiences, publishing THE LAST THING I REMEMBER, the first installment in a new series called The Homelanders. In this interview with's Sarah A. Wood, Klavan describes what prompted him to focus on younger readers and discusses some of the themes of the book, such as struggling with identity and values, the idea of muscular pacifism, and the still-present effects of 9/11. He also explains how his previous career in journalism affects his work as a novelist, shares his own experiences with martial arts training, and reveals what readers can expect from the second book in the series.

THE LAST THING I REMEMBER: The Homelanders, Book One by Andrew Klavan (Thriller)
Charlie West just woke up in someone else's nightmare.

He's strapped to a chair. He's covered in blood and bruises. He hurts all over. And a strange voice outside the door just ordered his death.

The last thing he can remember, he was a normal high-school kid doing normal things --- working on his homework, practicing karate, daydreaming of becoming an air force pilot, writing a pretty girl's number on his hand. How long ago was that? Where is he now? Who is he really?

And more to the is he going to get out of this room alive? is offering 25 readers the chance to win a copy of THE LAST THING I REMEMBER. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, June 23rd.

-Click here for all the contest details.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE LAST THING I REMEMBER.
-Click here to read our interview with Andrew Klavan.
-Click here to read Andrew Klavan's bio.


Click here to read a review of THE LAST THING I REMEMBER.


Enter to Win a Copy of STRANGE ANGELS by Lili St. Crow

A new addition to paranormal fiction, STRANGE ANGELS follows the gifted Dru Anderson as she hunts down vampires, werewolves and ghosts alongside her father until he is mysteriously murdered and she becomes the hunted. To celebrate the May 14th release of Lili St. Crow's first novel for teens, is offering 50 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. To enter, fill out this form and answer the following question by Tuesday, June 23rd at 11:59PM. You can find the answer by reading the excerpt here.

What does Dru's father wear around his neck?

STRANGE ANGELS by Lili St. Crow (Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy)
Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called "the touch." (Comes in handy when you're traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead --- but still walking --- and Dru knows she's next. Even worse, she's got two guys hungry for her affections, and they're not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever --- or whoever --- is hunting her?


Click here for all the contest details.


Special Feature: SOMETHING, MAYBE by Elizabeth Scott

Elizabeth Scott is the author of the acclaimed novels for teens BLOOM, PERFECT YOU, STEALING HEAVEN, LIVING DEAD GIRL and the newly released SOMETHING, MAYBE. In this interview with's Alexis Burling, Scott discusses how her main character, Hannah, deals with her less-than-ideal family life, and elaborates on the book's theme of failure and the difficulties of picking yourself back up again. She also comments on today's hyper-sexualized society and the treatment of celebrities in the public eye, and shares details about her upcoming tour and the three books she'll be publishing in 2010.

SOMETHING, MAYBE by Elizabeth Scott (Fiction)
Hannah's got her hands full with her embarrassing parents, and after getting the wrong kind of attention for far too long, she's learned to stay out of sight.

Of course, that isn't helping her get gorgeous, confident Josh, who Hannah knows is her soul mate. Between figuring out a way to get Josh's attention, dealing with her parents, and wondering why she can't stop thinking about another guy, Finn, Hannah feels like she's going crazy. She's determined to get what she wants...only what she wants may not be what she needs.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SOMETHING, MAYBE.
-Click here to read our interview with Elizabeth Scott.
-Click here to read Elizabeth Scott's bio.
-Visit Elizabeth Scott's official website,

Click here to read a review of SOMETHING, MAYBE.'s Grab Bag of Books Contest

Every month in our Grab Bag of Books contest, five readers are awarded a signature tote bag filled with some of the hottest books --- and may even include a sneak peek at titles that haven’t been released yet!

This contest period's winners will each receive a copy of BAD GIRLS DON'T DIE by Katie Alender, FRAGILE ETERNITY by Melissa Marr, THE MELANCHOLY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA by Nagaru Tanigawa and PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles.

-Click here for the winners of our past giveaways.

Click here for all the contest details.


Series Feature Update: The Clique by Lisi Harrison

P.S. I LOATHE YOU: The Clique #10 by Lisi Harrison (Fiction)
Change --- and swarms of pigeons --- fills the air at the Briarwood-Octavian Country Day School campus. Ever since the Briarwood boys "crashed" the OCD, things have not been the same. Soccer players, overflow trailers, boy crushes --- oh my! The Pretty Committee still rules, and Massie is still in control. Or is she? Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

-Click here to read The Clique series feature.

Click here to read a review of P.S. I LOATHE YOU.


Now in Stores: FLIPPING THE SCRIPT: A Del Rio Bay Novel, by Paula Chase

FLIPPING THE SCRIPT: A Del Rio Bay Novel by Paula Chase (Fiction)
Junior year at Del Rio Bay High means Mina's boyfriend Brian is away at Duke, and his busy baller schedule isn't helping her insecurities...or his patience. Michael's turning to BFF, Rob for support, but Rob's presence around the clique triggers star athlete JZ's feelings of homophobia. As JZ's discomfort simmers, his feelings for Jacinta get the best of him...until discovering she's on a different page.

From near and far, the guys are taking center stage. With relationships in the balance and friendships at risk, FLIPPING THE SCRIPT challenges the guys to step up when stakes are high.

Click here to read more about FLIPPING THE SCRIPT.

Cool New Books for April

April's roundup of Cool New Books includes BLOODHOUND, the second installment in Tamora Pierce's trilogy featuring Beka Cooper, a medieval equivalent of a police officer with magical powers; FRAGILE ETERNITY, Melissa Marr's third mesmerizing tale of Faerie (following WICKED LOVELY and INK EXCHANGE); THIRTEENTH CHILD, which kicks off a new trilogy from Patricia C. Wrede, who creates an alternate history of westward expansion; THE REFORMED VAMPIRE SUPPORT GROUP, a new Catherine Jinks novel about vampires who must give up fanging people, admit their addiction, join a support group and reform themselves; and IF I STAY by Gayle Forman, the emotionally gripping story of a 17-year-old whose life changes in an instant when she's involved in an accident that kills her parents and little brother.

Click here to read our Cool New Books feature for April.

April's New in Paperback Roundup
April's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE SWEET FAR THING, the extraordinary conclusion to Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy; the National Book Award-winning THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie, a semi-autobiographical novel that chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to escape the life he was destined to live; AIRHEAD, in which Meg Cabot introduces readers to a 16-year-old girl whose appearance changes drastically as the result of a mysterious accident; EXTRAS, a continuation of Scott Westerfeld's award-winning Uglies series that is set in a world where social status is constantly monitored and rated; Carolyn Mackler's GUYAHOLIC, which centers on Vivienne Valentine (from VEGAN VIRGIN VALENTINE) and her own misadventures through life, love and a cross-country road trip; and SUNRISE OVER FALLUJAH, a powerful novel from Walter Dean Myers about the heroics and horror of war, as seen through the eyes of a young recruit from Harlem.

Click here to see what's New in Paperback for April.


This Month's Reviews Reviews:

THIRTEENTH CHILD by Patricia C. Wrede (Fantasy)
Eff is the twin of a magical and powerful double-seven son, which makes her an unlucky and cursed thirteenth child. After her family moves to the wild frontier, Eff struggles with starting a new life and avoiding the catastrophe that potentially awaits her and those she cares about the most. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

Catherine Jinks offers up the anecdote to other vampire novels with THE REFORMED VAMPIRE SUPPORT GROUP, a laugh-out-loud noir comedy that skewers the conventions of popular vampire romances while satirizing contemporary support-group culture. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

ANYTHING BUT TYPICAL by Nora Raleigh Baskin (Fiction)
Nora Raleigh Baskin shows readers the world through the unique perspective of an autistic 12-year-old boy in ANYTHING BUT TYPICAL, a moving portrayal of family, love and bravery. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF CHARLEY DARWIN by Carolyn Meyer (Historical Fiction)
Young Charley Darwin hated school --- he much preferred to be outside studying birds' eggs, feathers and insects. And so, at the age of 21, he boarded a ship called HMS Beagle and spent five thrilling but dangerous years sailing around the world, studying plant and animal life that was beyond anything he could have imagined. Historical novelist Carolyn Meyer tells the story of his unconventional adventures. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

A MAP OF THE KNOWN WORLD by Lisa Ann Sandell (Fiction)
Cora is an artist, and she especially needs to use art as an escape after her brother dies in a car crash. Her parents are distant, and her best friend no longer understands how to talk to her. While Cora struggles through her first year in high school, she finds a friend and an art form in a surprising place. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

SWIM THE FLY by Don Calame (Fiction)
Best friends Matt Gratton, Coop and Sean always set a goal for themselves each summer. This year Coop has come up with the best one so far: to see a “real, live naked girl” for the first time. Matt doesn’t think they will find a way to achieve it, but the trio creates several elaborate plans to make their dream come true. Most of them fail, but one “fool proof” idea actually succeeds. Sort of. Reviewed by Christine Irvin.

SOPHOMORE SWITCH by Abby McDonald (Fiction)
When UC Santa Barbara student Tasha's extremely scantily-clad body is filmed in a scandalous hot tub scene (and then plastered all over the tabloids and entertainment news shows), she trades places for a semester with Oxford University student Emily Lewis. Both girls are quite out of their element as they forge new identities for themselves. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

WILLOW by Julia Hoban (Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old Willow Randall is the new girl in school. She is living with her older brother because she is now an orphan. Her parents are both dead, and she blames herself for their demise. It was a horrible accident, but that doesn’t ease the pain of their loss or her guilt. The only thing that does is “the cutting.” Reviewed by Christine Irvin.

BASEBALL GREAT by Tim Green (Fiction)
Josh’s dad signs him up with Coach Rocky Valentine's youth championship team, the Titans. As he gets in deeper with the team, there are questions he needs to ask. As Josh and his new friend Jaden investigate their suspicions, they find themselves in a dangerous struggle with a desperate man who doesn't want them to expose the nasty secrets they uncover. Reviewed by Joy Held.

THE AMARANTH ENCHANTMENT by Julie Berry (Fantasy/Romance)
Fifteen-year-old Lucinda Chapdelaine’s life has been filled with disappointment, depression and despair. Ever since her parents died in a carriage accident, she has had to stay with her uncle and his cruel wife, toiling away the hours in their goldsmith shop. But everything changes the day the woman rumored to be a witch walks into the shop. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

ALIS by Naomi Rich (Fiction)
In this novel set sometime in the distant past, Alis, just 14 years old, has just been informed that she will marry her religious community's 40-year-old preacher. Alis is determined she will not, but her escape finds her in a multitude of gripping scenarios, including mortal danger. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

EVERYTHING IS FINE. by Ann Dee Ellis (Fiction)
Stuck at home caring for her severely depressed mother and abandoned by her father, Mazzy has only the day-to-day dramas of her neighborhood to keep her busy. But between flirting with the boy next door and worrying about the fact that she's flat-chested, Mazzy has to face the fact that her mom is emotionally paralyzed by a family tragedy. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU by Heather Duffy Stone (Fiction)
Nadio and his twin sister, Noelle, always had a unique bond. And somehow, Keeley Shipley fit perfectly into their world. But when Keeley spends the summer in England, she comes home changed, haunted by a dark memory. As she and Nadio fall in love, they try to hide it from Noelle, who's jealously guarding a secret of her own.
Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

-Click here to read our reviews.


Graphic Novel Reviews:

THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST written by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction, illustrated by David Aja
First created to capitalize on the kung fu and martial arts fads of 1970s movies, Iron Fist is shrewdly updated in these volumes, which serve as homage to these genres and pulp fiction. An awareness of the character’s history in comics is not needed to enjoy these new adventures. Reviewed by Brian P. Rubin.

SCOTT PILGRIM, Volumes 1–3 by Bryan Lee O'Malley
The Scott Pilgrim universe is one that's so much fun to be in --- even when it turns deadly dangerous --- that you want to stay in it, which probably explains why sales of this series have gone through the roof. Reviewed by John Hogan.

SEAGUY written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Cameron Stewart
SEAGUY reprints the first three-issue Seaguy miniseries, published by Vertigo in 2004, and is entirely self-contained. What one takes away from SEAGUY will depend entirely upon how deeply one reads into the story --- and the story has much to offer both children and adult readers alike. Reviewed by Jeffery Klaehn.

ZOT!: The Complete Black and White Collection: 1987–1991 by Scott McCloud
Scott McCloud's charming (and groundbreaking) mix of superheroes and manga is a legend in comics. This volume collects the entire black-and-white series in all its unabashed, irresistible glory. Reviewed by John Hogan.

Manga Reviews:

FAIRY CUBE, Volume 1-3 by Kaori Yuki
Fairy Cube is both an ideal entry point for those interested in trying out Kaori Yuki's works for the first time as well as unusual fare that will amply reward veteran shoujo manga fans. Reviewed by Casey Brienza.

MAXIMUM RIDE: THE MANGA, Volume 1 by James Patterson and NaRae Lee
Maximum Ride: The Manga is a strong so-called global manga production that simultaneously capitalizes upon a popular franchise and potentially extends its reach to a new manga-reading demographic. Reviewed by Casey Brienza.

-Click here to read all our graphic novel and manga reviews.


Poll and Question: Bookish Conversations with Friends


Do you talk about books with your friends?

Yes, all the time
Yes, sometimes
No, I never talk about books with friends.
No, but I would like to do this

-Click here to answer the poll.


Name the last book (okay, you can tell us up to three titles since we know you will not be able to contain yourself to one) that you read that you just couldn't stop talking about.

-Click here to answer the question.


Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win Two Books!
This contest period, five teen readers will be randomly chosen to win a copy of BEING NIKKI by Meg Cabot, the second book in the Airhead series coming out on May 5th, and the paperback edition of AIRHEAD. To put your name in the hat, submit your current reading list and ratings by completing the form here.


Click here to see the most recent Word of Mouth comments.


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

Our mailing address is:
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New York, New York 10107

--- Carol Fitzgerald for