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June 2009 Newsletter June 2009

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Reading is Rainproof

With all this rain we've been getting, I feel like I'm living in Seattle or London. It's almost the end of June, and it's rained more than two-thirds of the month. I've reached my saturation point. Luckily, reading a book is something you can do regardless of the forecast.

On that note, congratulations to the five lucky winners of our Third Annual Beach Bag of Books Contest: Allyxandria from East Wenatchee, WA; Camille from Rochelle, IL; Isabella from Medway, MA; Lori from Staten Island, NY; and Madelyn from Muskogee, OK. And for those of you who didn't win, the books we gave away will be posted all summer long, giving you great reading suggestions for any kind of weather, rain or shine.

NEWS ALERT! Tomorrow, July 1st, we will be posting our 2009 Reader Survey, which will give you a chance to win free books while allowing us the opportunity to learn more about you, our readers. There are more than 22 titles being given away, and all respondents can enter our random drawing for a chance to win a copy of one of them. Over 700 readers will win! We will be sending out a special newsletter about the survey tomorrow, so be on the lookout for that.

As your vacation gets underway, some great books to consider this summer include Sarah Ockler's TWENTY BOY SUMMER, her debut novel about friendship, first love and grief, and ALONG FOR THE RIDE by Sarah Dessen, which follows Auden's unforgettable summer before her first year at college. You can win a copy of TWENTY BOY SUMMER by giving us your reading recommendations in our Word of Mouth contest. Click here to read an excerpt. Also, Gayle Forman's IF I STAY introduces us to Mia, a girl who had everything to live for...until a tragic car accident leaves her in a coma, contemplating life or death.

GONE and its sequel HUNGER depict a dystopian society where teens reign free, and humanity as we know it disappears forever. The intense and marvelously plotted Gone series has been said to be a mix of LORD OF THE FLIES, a Stephen King novel, and X-Men. Browse inside GONE and HUNGER and get to know the man behind the books, Michael Grant, in our interview.

Check out EYES LIKE STARS, the first installment of a new YA fantasy series, The Théâtre Illuminata Trilogy. Read our interview with author Lisa Mantchev to find out more about the Shakespearean-inspired novel, and take a look at an excerpt.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of SKELLIG, a poignant and magical tale of love, life and death, is giving away three copies of the special anniversary edition. To enter, read the excerpt and fill out this form by Wednesday, August 19th.

Be sure to keep up to date with the Blog --- our new feature that brings you even more book and author news every week. Jenny Han, author of THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY, dishes about the books she can't wait to read this summer; Denise Vega, author of CLICK HERE, reveals the challenges of writing sequels; and Deborah Lytton, author of JANE IN BLOOM, tells readers why she thinks summer is the best time of year.

We'd also like to hear from YOU. If you're interested in submitting a piece for this blog, please fill out this form. Tell us a little bit about yourself in the "Notes" section, and under "Submission" please include your piece (or a few sentences on what you'd like to write about) --- which can be on just about anything book-related, and maybe even a few things that aren't. We look forward to hearing from you!

And join our Facebook fan page for more great contests and book news updates, as well as a chance to chat with other readers.

Congratulations to the winners of the giveaways of NECROPOLIS, THE LAST THING I REMEMBER and STRANGE ANGELS. Check out the contest pages to see if you were one of the 85 lucky winners! And don't forget to enter the CATHY'S RING and iPod Giveaway, which ends July 15th.

Our latest Books into Movies feature spotlights two highly anticipated films based on faves. Already in theaters is My Sister's Keeper, starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin. Based on Jodi Picoult's emotional roller coaster of a novel, this guaranteed tear-jerker follows an 11-year-old girl as she seeks emancipation from her parents, who have been using her to keep her older, cancer-stricken sister alive. And in case you hadn't already marked your calendars and begun your countdown, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hits the big screen on July 15th. The sixth installment of the epic good-vs.-evil saga promises plenty of magic, mystery, heart-pounding adventure and hair-raising suspense, not to mention some long-sought answers to dark secrets, raging teenage hormones and a jaw-dropping, gasp-worthy ending. And don't forget that the paperback of DEATHLY HALLOWS will be coming out July 7th.

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 EMILY THE STRANGE: THE LOST DAYS by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS #6: KILLER by Sara Shepard, PRISM by Faye Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman, and SEA CHANGE by Aimee Friedman.

As always we have our Cool New Books and New in Paperback roundups, along with our reviews, which now include both graphic novel and manga titles.

And don't forget to vote in our poll and question about your reading speed. We love hearing your feedback.

Happy reading!

Carol Fitzgerald (


Enter to Win a Copy of SKELLIG: 10th-Anniversary Edition, by David Almond

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of SKELLIG, a poignant and magical tale of love, life and death, is giving away 3 copies of the special anniversary edition, which features a new cover and includes an exclusive new story about Mina. The book has won the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature and is an amazing addition to any reader's library. To enter, fill out this form and answer the following question by Wednesday, August 19th at 11:59PM. You can find the answer by reading the excerpt here.

Where does Michael's mum tell him to stay out of?

SKELLIG: 10th-Anniversary Edition by David Almond (Fiction)
Ten-year-old Michael was looking forward to moving into a new house. But now his baby sister is ill, his parents are frantic, and Doctor Death has come to call. Michael feels helpless. Then he steps into the crumbling garage…. What is this thing beneath the spiders' webs and dead flies? A human being, or a strange kind of beast never before seen? The only person Michael can confide in is his new friend, Mina. Together, they carry the creature out into the light, and Michael's world changes forever.


Click here for all the contest details.


New Special Feature: TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler

In this interview with's Sarah A. Wood, Sarah Ockler discusses the true stories behind both the title and plot of her debut novel, TWENTY BOY SUMMER, and elaborates on some of its major themes, like friendship, honesty, peer pressure and keeping secrets. She also muses on why it's sometimes easier to trust strangers more than best friends, provides information on an organization near and dear to her heart, and shares details about her upcoming book, FIXING DELILAH HANNAFORD, which is due out next summer.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler (Fiction)
A debut novel about friendship, first love and grief that will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen.

For 16-year-olds Anna Reiley and Frankie Perino, their 20 day-long, minimally supervised California vacation will be the "Absolute Best Summer Ever." And according to Frankie, if they meet one boy every day, there's a pretty good chance that Anna will get her first real boyfriend.

Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie --- she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Written in lyrical, accessible prose, TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone and what it truly means to grieve, and perhaps most importantly, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TWENTY BOY SUMMER.
-Click here to read our interview with Sarah Ockler.
-Click here to read Sarah Ockler’s bio.
-Visit Sarah Ockler’s official website,

Click here to read a review of TWENTY BOY SUMMER.


New Special Feature: GONE and HUNGER by Michael Grant

Michael Grant's latest supernatural sci-fi project, the Gone series, introduces a new world in which everyone over the age of 15 has disappeared, and children and teens must learn to survive and fend for themselves amidst near chaos. In this interview with’s Chris Shanley-Dillman, Grant talks about why he chose that particular age as the bridge between childhood and adulthood, and gives readers a sneak peak into the world of the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone) by explaining his motivation for creating talking animals and characters with superhuman qualities. He also discusses his need to balance the books' entertainment with a sense of realism, provides "advice" to those looking to change themselves for the better, and hints at what is to come in the third installment of the series due out next year.

GONE by Michael Grant (Science Fiction)
Now Available in Paperback

In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. And just as suddenly there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to figure out what’s happened. And no way to get help.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents --- unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers --- that grow stronger by the day.

It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you will disappear just like everyone else.

HUNGER: A Gone Novel by Michael Grant (Science Fiction)
It's been three months since everyone under the age of 15 became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ.

Three months since all the adults disappeared.


Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers.

Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous. But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them.

The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.

-Read reviews of GONE and HUNGER.

-Browse inside GONE and HUNGER.
-Click here to read our interview with Michael Grant.
-Click here to read Michael Grant’s bio.


New Special Feature: IT'S A GREEN THING by Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson is an award-winning Christian author who has penned almost 200 books for both adults and young readers, such as the True Colors and The Carter House Girls series. In this interview with's Michele Howe, Carlson talks about her most recent book, IT'S A GREEN THING --- the second installment in the Diary of a Teenage Girl: Maya series --- and sheds light on some of the main characters’ thoughts and actions, such as her struggle with faith and her concern for the environment. She also explains why readers are attracted to this confessional format, elaborates on the hopeful message found at the end of the novel, and shares what she has in store for her characters next.

IT’S A GREEN THING: Diary of a Teenage Girl: Maya, Book 2 by Melody Carlson (Fiction)
With her mother in jail for drug possession and her pop-star father away on his comeback tour, 16-year-old Maya Stark’s new life with her uncle Allen and cousin Kim is coming together. Summer vacation is just beginning and things are finally starting to look up. But that doesn’t mean life is about to get any easier. Maya is still devoted to living Green, and her uncle offers her a Green column in his newspaper. But can Maya balance her newfound faith with her save-the-planet convictions?

-Click here to read more about IT’S A GREEN THING.
-Click here to read an excerpt from IT’S A GREEN THING.
-Click here to read our interview with Melody Carlson.
-Click here to read Melody Carlson’s bio.


Click here to read a review of IT’S A GREEN THING.


New Series Feature: The Theatre Illuminata Trilogy by Lisa Mantchev

Lisa Mantchev's debut, EYES LIKE STARS, is the first installment in a new YA fantasy series, The Théâtre Illuminata Trilogy. In this interview with's Alexis Burling, Mantchev discusses what inspired her to stage much of the book's plot in the form of a play and elaborates on the messages she hoped to relay from the characters and dialogue. She also imagines the perfect musical score to accompany the novel's prominent scenes, reveals some of her dream roles, and talks a bit about what readers can look forward to in Acts II and III of the series.

EYES LIKE STARS: The Théâtre Illuminata, Act I by Lisa Mantchev (Fiction)
Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theatre. She's not an orphan, but she has no parents. She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own. Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book --- an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family --- and she is about to lose them, and the only home she has ever known.

Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.

Click here to read our series feature for The Theatre Illuminata Trilogy.'s Beach Bag of Books Feature

Looking for some cool reads this summer? Here are 12 titles you'll want to consider. They are books that teens will love --- THE ALCHEMYST: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Book 3 by Michael Scott; THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan; GHOST HUNTRESS, BOOK 1: THE AWAKENING by Marley Gibson; L.A. CANDY by Lauren Conrad; NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL by Justina Chen Headley; PARTIES & POTIONS by Sarah Mlynowski; THE REAL REAL by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus; SLEPT AWAY by Julie Kraut; SUITE SCARLETT by Maureen Johnson; SWIM THE FLY by Don Calame; VACATIONS FROM HELL by Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Claudia Gray, Maureen Johnson and Sarah Mlynowski; and WINGS by Aprilynne Pike.

Congratulations to the five readers who were selected to receive a beach bag that includes the 12 books listed above and assorted summer goodies!

-Click here to see the winners of the Third Annual Beach Bag of Books Contest.

Click here to read more about our featured books.


Enter the CATHY'S RING and iPod Giveaway!

To celebrate the highly anticipated release of CATHY'S RING, the final installment in the Cathy trilogy, is giving seven readers the opportunity to win some incredibly cool prizes --- including the Grand Prize of an iPod Touch and a portrait drawn by Cathy Brigg, the co-author and illustrator of the Cathy books. As an added bonus, the iPod Touch will come pre-loaded with "Lost (Cathy's Song)" --- which was written and performed by Cathy Brigg and her band, The Vision Hotel --- and a trailer for CATHY'S RING. The second prize winner will be awarded an iPod Shuffle, and all seven winners --- including the five runners-up --- will be receiving copies of all three titles in the Cathy trilogy: CATHY'S BOOK, CATHY'S KEY and CATHY'S RING. To enter for your chance to be one of the lucky seven, please fill out this form by Wednesday, July 15th.

CATHY'S RING: If Found Call (650) 266-8263
Cathy cannot manage to find more than a few days to relax in her hectic (and mortal) life --- she barely has time to put the mystery surrounding her father to rest before she finds herself targeted by a group of Ancestor Lu's professional killers! Recognizing she is a serious threat to everyone in her life, Cathy makes plans to leave town. But her friends --- Emma, Pete, Victor and, surprisingly, Jun --- unite to convince Cathy that they must finish Lu once and for all to have any chance at peace. In order to defeat Lu, they must come together in a way they never have before.

Meanwhile --- unbeknownst to Cathy --- Victor has made the ultimate sacrifice hoping it will bring him closer to a normal relationship with Cathy. But when Victor is seriously wounded and Cathy finds herself attracted to another mortal with similar feelings for her, Cathy's world turns upside down and she is forced to make a decision about her future with Victor, while his life hangs by a thread.

What will Cathy decide, and how will their epic battle with Lu play out? Find out in the newest adventure-packed installment of the Cathy story!

-Click here to read a review of CATHY'S RING.
-Click here to read an excerpt from CATHY'S RING.
-Click here to read our interview with co-author and illustrator Cathy Brigg.
-Click here to read Cathy Brigg's bio.
-Click here to view the CATHY'S RING e-card, which includes a trailer for the book and a link to download "Lost (Cathy's Song)".
-Visit the book's official website,

Click here for all the contest details.


Special Feature: PEACE, LOVE, AND BABY DUCKS by Lauren Myracle

Lauren Myracle --- author of more than 15 bestselling and critically acclaimed titles, including ELEVEN, TWELVE and THIRTEEN --- recently published her latest novel, PEACE, LOVE, AND BABY DUCKS. In this interview with's Norah Piehl, Myracle discusses some of the real-life experiences from her teen years that inspired many elements of this latest book, and explores the similarities in personality between herself and her main character, Carly. She also creates a playlist of her favorite '60s music to correspond with the story, talks a bit about collaborating with fellow YA authors E. Lockhart and Sarah Mlynowski for last year's HOW TO BE BAD, and shares her excitement over being able to interact with her readers through the blog on her website.

PEACE, LOVE, AND BABY DUCKS by Lauren Myracle (Fiction)
Growing up in a world of wealth and pastel-tinted entitlement, 15-year-old Carly has always relied on the constancy --- and authenticity --- of her sister, Anna. But when 14-year-old Anna turns plastic-perfect-pretty over the course of a single summer, everything starts to change. And there are boys involved, complicating things as boys always do. With warmth, insight and an unparalleled gift for finding humor even in stormy situations, beloved author Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that even very different sisters can learn to help each other stay afloat.

-Click here to read our interview with Lauren Myracle.
-Click here to read Lauren Myracle’s bio.
-Visit Lauren Myracle’s official website,
-Read Lauren Myracle’s blog at

Click here to read a review of PEACE, LOVE, AND BABY DUCKS.


Special Feature: WAITING FOR YOU by Susane Colasanti

Former high school science teacher Susane Colasanti is the author of YA romances WHEN IT HAPPENS and TAKE ME THERE. In this interview with's Kristi Olson, Colasanti explains the significance of her latest book's title, WAITING FOR YOU, and shares real-life experiences in the classroom that inspired some of her books' characters and scenes. She also discusses how she incorporates her taste in music and movies into her writing, muses on the pros and cons of referencing pop culture in novels, and talks about upcoming projects, including her next book, SOMETHING LIKE FATE.

WAITING FOR YOU by Susane Colasanti (Romance)
At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when the handsome and popular Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road --- including her parents’ unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek --- test Marisa’s ability to maintain her new outlook. Only the anonymous DJ, whose underground podcasts have the school’s ear, seems to understand what Marisa is going through. But she has no idea who he is --- or does she?

-Click here to read our interview with Susane Colasanti.
-Click here to read Susane Colasanti’s bio.
-Visit Susane Colasanti’s official website,
-Read Susane Colasanti’s blog at
-Learn more about Susane Colasanti and gain access to a sampler of WAITING FOR YOU, TAKE ME THERE and WHEN IT HAPPENS at
-Click here to read Susane Colasanti's Blog post, "Susane Colasanti on Living in the Now."

Click here to read a review of WAITING FOR YOU.


Special Feauture: SKUNK GIRL by Sheba Karim

Sheba Karim's debut novel, SKUNK GIRL, follows a 16-year-old Pakistani Muslim girl and her struggles to live a "normal" teenage life while attempting to reconcile two very different cultures. In this interview with's Alexis Burling, Karim sheds light on some of these differences, and challenges Pakistani women face in both their home countries and in the U.S. She also compares writing novels with short stories, explains why she chose to give up her law career to become an author, and shares details about the book she's currently working on.

SKUNK GIRL by Sheba Karim (Fiction)
If Nina Khan were to rate herself on the unofficial Pakistani prestige point system --- the one she’s sure all the aunties and uncles use to determine the most attractive marriage prospects for their children --- her scoring might go something like this:

+2 points for getting excellent grades
–3 points for failing to live up to expectations set by genius older sister
+4 points for dutifully obeying parents and never, ever going to parties, no matter how antisocial that makes her seem to everyone at Deer Hook High
–1 point for harboring secret jealousy of her best friends, who are allowed to date like normal teenagers
+2 points for never drinking an alcoholic beverage
–10 points for obsessing about Asher Richelli, who talks to Nina like she’s not a freak at all, even though he knows that she has a disturbing line of hair running down her back.

In this wryly funny debut novel, the smart, sassy and utterly lovable Nina Khan tackles friends, family and love, and learns that it’s possible to embrace two very different cultures --- even if things can get a little bit, well, hairy.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SKUNK GIRL.
-Click here to read our interview with Sheba Karim.
-Click here to read Sheba Karim’s bio.

Click here to read a review of SKUNK GIRL.'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 EMILY THE STRANGE: THE LOST DAYS by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS #6: KILLER by Sara Shepard, PRISM by Faye Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman, and SEA CHANGE by Aimee Friedman. All you have to do to enter is fill out the form found here by Tuesday, July 14th.

-Click here for the winners of our past giveaways.

Click here for all the contest details.


Cool New Books for June

June’s roundup of Cool New Books includes ALONG FOR THE RIDE, in which Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect; TWENTY BOY SUMMER, a compelling debut novel from Sarah Ockler about friendship, first love and letting go; KILLER, the sixth installment in Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series that finds Aria, Hanna, Spencer and Emily stumbling over a deadly new secret after a shocking discovery at the end of WICKED; JUST ANOTHER HERO, the stunning conclusion to Sharon M. Draper’s two-time Coretta Scott King Honor-winning trilogy (following THE BATTLE OF JERICHO and NOVEMBER BLUES); and PRISM by the mother-daughter writing team of Faye and Aliza Kellerman, a paranormal suspense novel in which three teens become trapped in a parallel universe where “survival of the fittest” takes on a deadly meaning.

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

June's New in Paperback Roundup

June’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes BLACK RABBIT SUMMER by Kevin Brooks, a compelling mystery and a profound exploration of the many subtle influences that can change --- and end --- relationships; WICKED, Sara Shepard’s fifth Pretty Little Liars book that finds the secrets only getting darker and the scandals juicier; BELIEVING, the thrilling second installment in Wendy Corsi Staub’s paranormal suspense series set in the mysterious town of Lily Dale; THE BOXER AND THE SPY, Robert B. Parker’s thought-provoking novel about a teen boy who investigates the apparent suicide of a high school student; and THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY by Aimee Friedman, a humorous yet heartrending story of two sisters and the year they learn about life, love and 4H skills.

Click here to see what’s New in Paperback for June.


This Month's Reviews Reviews:

ALONG FOR THE RIDE by Sarah Dessen (Fiction)
When Auden accepts her new stepmother's invitation to visit, she amazes herself by accepting. Little does she know that this is the summer that will help her answer a few huge questions, such as "Can people really change?" and "Is there such a thing as a second chance?", as well as "Will I ever actually sleep at night?" In fact, Auden’s visit will transform her life. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read an excerpt from ALONG FOR THE RIDE.

THE SORCERESS: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Book 3 by Michael Scott (Fantasy)
Everyone believes it now. Josh and Sophie Newman are the twins of the prophecies. With Paris in ruins behind them, the Alchemyst Nicholas Flamel leads them to London, where he hopes to get them trained in Water Magic. While clear across the globe, the Sorceress Perenelle Flamel fights for her life against the best the Dark Elders can bring to destroy her. Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SORCERESS.

IF I STAY by Gayle Forman (Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old Mia had everything to live for --- a loving family, a beloved boyfriend, and her brilliant cello playing (and, very possibly, an acceptance to Juilliard). But everything changes during a tragic car accident. Now Mia hovers near the hospital bed where her physical body lies in a coma, weighing her options. Should she die, or should she stay? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

CHASING THE BEAR: A Young Spenser Novel by Robert B. Parker (Fiction)
For almost 40 years, Robert B. Parker’s private investigator Spenser has been solving cases and selling millions of books worldwide. Now, for the first time, see how it all began as the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master sheds light on Spenser’s formative years spent with his father and two uncles out West. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

DESTROY ALL CARS by Blake Nelson (Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old James Hoff knows the only way to save the world is by destroying all cars. His ex-girlfriend, Sadie Kinnell, would rather use more peaceful tactics to save the environment. Told in essays and journal entries, James attempts to explain his disdain toward oil companies and his feelings toward Sadie.
Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

WOLF ISLAND: The Demonata, Book 8 by Darren Shan (Horror/Supernatural)
As the mysterious Shadow builds an army of demons in the eighth book of Darren Shan’s Demonata series, Grubbs Grady and his team search desperately for answers. But when they follow up a new lead, it takes them to an old, unexpected foe --- the Lambs. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

TOUCH by Francine Prose (Fiction)
Maisie Willard never thought it was strange that her three best friends were boys. Maisie, Kevin, Chris and Shakes were the four musketeers since preschool. Their friendship seemed unbreakable. So how can something that happened on the back of a school bus change everything? Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

BREATHLESS by Lurlene McDaniel (Fiction)
Travis Morrison is a high school champion diver complete with best friend, girlfriend, adoring little sister and a bright future. When his leg is amputated from bone cancer, each person takes a turn telling the story of what happens when people are faced with extreme circumstances and impossible decisions. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

THE REAL REAL by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (Fiction)
The senior class of Hampton High can't contain their excitement about their school being the new recruiting grounds for XTV, a major network that is filming a reality TV show starring a few lucky teens. Jesse O'Rourke is shocked to be chosen as a star and euphoric about getting the $40,000 college scholarship that comes with the deal. With her life turned upside down, Jesse will have to decide what the real is and the real real. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

THE SINGING: The Fourth Book of Pellinor by Alison Croggon (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
In an increasingly battle-ravaged land, Maerad, Cadvan and Hem desperately search for one another as they make their separate journeys. The Black Army is advancing north, and even as Maerad faces a mighty confrontation with the Landrost to save Innail, all of the Seven Kingdoms are threatened with bitter and devastating defeat. Yet in Maerad and Hem lives the secret to the mysterious Singing, and legend holds that if they release the music of Elidhu together, they have the power to defeat the Nameless One.
Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

THE TWILIGHT PRISONER by Katherine Marsh (Fantasy)
Jack tries hard to fit in at his new school --- and tries even harder to win the affections of his classmate and friend, Cora. In an effort to impress her, Jack leads Cora to the entrance of the underworld and makes a terrible mistake. Soon they have crossed the threshold, and there may be no getting back. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

In Jenny Han’s second novel, everything changes --- sometimes not for the better --- during Belly’s usually predictable summer vacation. Jealousy, sexuality and loyalties collide when family friends don’t seem quite so brotherly anymore. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read Jenny Han’s blog post about summer must-reads.

SPROUT by Dale Peck (Fiction)
Sprout Bradford has a secret. He’ll tell you he’s gay. He’ll tell you about his dad’s drinking and his mother’s death. The green fingerprints everywhere tell you when he last dyed his hair. But neither the reader nor Sprout are prepared for what happens when Sprout suddenly finds he has had a more profound effect on the lives around him than he ever thought possible. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

PUNKZILLA by Adam Rapp (Fiction)
For a runaway boy who goes by the name "Punkzilla," kicking a meth habit and a life of petty crime in Portland, Oregon, is a prelude to a mission: reconnecting with his older brother, a gay man dying of cancer in Memphis. Against a backdrop of seedy motels, dicey bus stations and hitched rides, the desperate 14-year-old meets a colorful, sometimes dangerous cast of characters. And in letters to his sibling, he catalogs them all. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

A KISS IN TIME by Alex Flinn (Fiction)
A long time ago, in a European kingdom named Euphrasia, a witch places a curse on a princess, whereby the young royal shall prick her finger on a spindle and sleep until a prince awakens her with a kiss. Three hundred years later in the present day, a teenager from America wanders into the kingdom and awakens the princess. But will two teens from such vastly different backgrounds be able to find their happily ever after? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read our reviews.

Graphic Novel Reviews:

I KILL GIANTS written by Joe Kelly and illustrated by JM Ken Nimura
Barbara is a far-from-average little fifth grader. Aside from her interesting choice in headgear, she likes to train to kill giants. But when she's not protecting the world from impending doom, she's dealing with some very heavy stuff in this sweet and incredibly moving tale. Reviewed by John Hogan.

Eddie Campbell and Dan Best team up for a rollicking story that's as fun as a day under the big top --- a three-ring gallery of humor and adventure. The creators delve into history in a wonderfully inventive way. Reviewed by John Hogan.

BEANWORLD Book 1: WAHOOLAZUMA! by Larry Marder
is strange, but ultimately it is one of the more rewarding and unique comics experiences you'll encounter. It wouldn't be a stretch to suggest this as a required text at many educational levels. Reviewed by Brian P. Rubin.

Manga Reviews:

Tokyopop brings you “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in a way you've never seen before with STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION: THE MANGA, a collection of four stories by different authors and artists set in the popular sci-fi universe. Reviewed by Courtney Kraft.

VENUS CAPRICCIO, Volume 1 by Mai Nishikata
Best friends Takami and Akira have been playing the piano together since childhood. After Takami gets dumped by yet another boyfriend, she looks to Akira for help. But he tells her something she wasn’t ever expecting to hear. Could it be that the perfect guy has been by Takami’s side this whole time?
Reviewed by Courtney Kraft.

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Recent Titles Perfect for Teens:

CRAZY FOR THE STORM: A Memoir of Survival, by Norman Ollestad (Memoir)
February 1979: 11 year-old Norman Ollestad is the lone survivor of a harrowing plane crash that kills his magnetic, adrenaline-addicted father, a man who stopped at nothing to mold his son into a fearless surfer and ski champion. Set amid the uninhibited beach culture of Malibu and Mexico, this story of an extraordinary father-son bond has also been hailed by Susan Cheever as “a heart-stopping adventure” that asks “what it means to lead a life without limits.” Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE LEGEND OF SIGURD & GUDRÚN written by J. R. R. Tolkien and edited by Christopher Tolkien (Fantasy/Poetry)
J. R. R. Tolkien once commented that the northern lands of Sigurd and the Völsungs were "pre-eminently desirable" for his escapist fantasies as a youth. In time he wrote his own variation, after careful study, but it was lost to time. Now, his son Christopher has unearthed and dusted off those long-forgotten epic poems and given them their proper place in the pantheon of the Tolkien legendarium. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

It is the summer of 1950 --- and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that 11-year-old Flavia de Luce’s family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read the titles perfect for teens.


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