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October 2009

Teenreads.com Newsletter October 2009

Quick Links to Features on Teenreads.com

Hauntingly Good Reads

Halloween will be upon us on Saturday, and my 14-year-old son, who reads comics in the paper, as well as collections in books, wants to be Hobbes from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. Thus, my main task for these next few days will be to work with him on his tiger costume. I had thought we could use tiger print fabric for this, but I cannot find ANY in stores near us, so it's orange felt stripes on a black sweatsuit. He told me this is probably his last year to trick or treat, so he has a plan to hit a TON of houses. Do you have any great book or comic character-themed costumes in mind for Halloween?

To celebrate the upcoming haunting holiday and the release of the major motion picture Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, Teenreads.com is giving 50 readers the chance to win a special edition movie poster and a copy of THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT AND OTHER TALES FROM THE CIRQUE DU FREAK by Darren Shan. For more details about the contest, click here. And speaking of major motion pictures, be sure to check out our Books into Movies feature, which has been updated to include The Vampire's Assistant, Whip It and Where the Wild Things Are. In November, we’ll be spotlighting the hugely anticipated second installment of the ever-popular Twilight series, New Moon, as well as Disney’s new 3D take on a classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol.

We are also featuring two great graphic novels that are perfect reads to get into the Halloween spirit. The Blue is for Nightmares series that put a spell on more than half a million readers continues --- in graphic novel format. BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS by Laurie Faria Stolarz is the illustrated story of Stacy and Jacob, two young, spell-casting lovers. Browse inside the book and check out our interview with Laurie, where she talks about the story's transition from prose to pictures and how growing up in Salem, MA influenced her writing about the paranormal.

Holly Black delivers KITH, the second book in her graphic novel series The Good Neighbors, the story of a young girl who finds herself caught in a battle between the good and evil forces of the faerie realm. In our interview, Holly brings us up to speed with protagonist Rue Silver since the end of KIN. Be sure to check out our review and take a look inside the book.

My son is taking an elective class at his high school called Graphic Novels in Literature. Last week, he had to create a superhero and write a story about it. His was called Purple Haze, and he was born at the moment that Jimi Hendrix died. It was really good. If you have a graphic novel class in your school, or if any of your teachers are using graphic novels well in the classroom, can you let us know? Write John Hogan (John@bookreporter.com).

For those of you in South Florida, one of our other websites, GraphicNovelReporter.com, is sponsoring the School of Comics and Graphic Novels at the Miami Book Fair. It's for teachers and librarians, artists and creators. Here's a link for info. If you are in the area, can you share it with those at your school who might be interested? The Fair itself will have some terrific programs. You can see them all here.

Another nail-biting reading suggestion is David Whitley's THE MIDNIGHT CHARTER, the first book in a fantasy thriller trilogy following two orphaned children as they fight for survival in the ancient city-state of Agora. Read our review and an excerpt, and then get to know David in our interview, where he talks about his fictional city and characters, and what readers can look forward to in the second book.

And if you haven't already, you must pick up a copy of CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins and THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner. Enter THE MAZE RUNNER Giveaway now for your chance to win a copy of this YA hit, and check out our interview with Collins in which she discusses her futuristic sci-fi trilogy. Both of these novels have been added to our updated Ultimate Teen Reading List, along with a number of other titles that you won't want to miss. By the way, as a result of comments we heard from you in the Teenreads.com survey, we are spotlighting the NEW titles added to the Ultimate Reading List on TOP so you can see them more easily.

You can still enter to be one of the lucky 25 readers to win a copy of the THE STONEKEEPER'S CURSE, the second installment in the critically acclaimed Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi. Enter the contest now, and click here for a special preview. You can also get some behind-the-scenes info about Kibuishi and Amulet in our interview.

We have a new interview with Laini Taylor, author of the paranormal romance LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES. Laini discusses the stories' various sources of inspiration, which include mythology, world religions and 19th-century poetry. Read our review of the book, as well as an excerpt, and fall in love with this enchanting collection of tales. This book has been nominated for the very prestigious National Book Award in the Young People's Literature category; the winners will be announced on November 18th.

Another YA finalist for the National Book Award is the graphic novel memoir STITCHES by David Small. To find out more about this bestselling story of Small's horrific childhood, read our review and interview with the author.

This month in our Grab Bag of Books contest, you can enter for a chance to win ARE THESE MY BASOOMAS I SEE BEFORE ME?: Final Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison, IN THE PATH OF FALLING OBJECTS by Andrew Smith, LAST BREATH: The Rayne Tour, Volume 2 by Brandilyn Collins and Amberly Collins, and SPLENDOR: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen.

Additionally, we've just added a great guide to our Book Clubs and Reading Guides section for the prequel to the Grab Bag selection LAST BREATH --- ALWAYS WATCHING by Brandilyn Collins and Amberly Collins. Check out this guide to the first book in the Rayne Tour series, and then enter our Grab Bag for the chance to win the second installment.

Keep up to date with the Teenreads.com Blog and Teenreads.com Facebook fan page for more great book and author news updates, as well as a chance to chat with other readers. And feel free to tell us all about what you're reading in our Word of Mouth feature. One lucky reader can win a copy of SPLENDOR: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen.

To round out the month, we have our Cool New Books and New in Paperback updates, along with our reviews, which include both graphic novel and manga titles. Don't forget to vote in our poll and answer our question about reading assignments in the classroom.

Finally, in some very exciting news, the Teenreads.com 2009 Reader Survey is the cover story in the October 26th edition of Publishers Weekly. The piece addresses the results from readers under 18. The 77-question survey had 4,073 respondents! Again, thank you to everyone who took the time to take part in the survey. We got MANY terrific ideas from you, and you can expect to see some additions and changes to the site based on what you have said. Those who have been selected as winners in the survey should be receiving their book prizes within the next few weeks.

Happy reading!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)
 

Click here to read the Publishers Weekly cover story on the Teenreads.com 2009 Reader Survey.

 

Win a Copy of THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT AND OTHER TALES FROM THE CIRQUE DU FREAK by Darren Shan

To celebrate the release of the major motion picture, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, Teenreads.com is giving 50 readers the chance to win a special edition movie poster and a copy of THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT AND OTHER TALES FROM THE CIRQUE DU FREAK by Darren Shan. This new movie edition paperback features the first three books of the series --- A LIVING NIGHTMARE, THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT and TUNNELS OF BLOOD --- bound up in one volume.

To enter, fill out this form and answer the following question by Thursday, November 19th at 11:59PM.

Who are Darren's three best friends?

You can find the answer by reading an excerpt from CIRQUE DU FREAK: A LIVING NIGHTMARE here.

THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT AND OTHER TALES FROM THE CIRQUE DU FREAK by Darren Shan (Horror/Fantasy)
Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy who loves to ride bikes and hang out with his three best friends. Then one day Darren and his friends stumble across an invitation to visit the Cirque Du Freak, a strange and mysterious freak show. Almost as if by destiny, Darren wins a ticket and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires.

This is Darren's story.

This new movie edition features the first three books --- A LIVING NIGHTMARE, THE VAMPIRE’S ASSISTANT and TUNNELS OF BLOOD --- bound up in one volume!

-Click here to read more about THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT AND OTHER TALES FROM THE CIRQUE DU FREAK.
-Visit the official movie site, www.thevampiresassistant.net.
-Visit Darren Shan’s official website, www.darrenshan.com.

 

Click here for all the contest details.

 

New Special Feature: BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the acclaimed author of such young adult books as BLEED, PROJECT 17 and the Touch series. In this interview with Teenreads.com's Usha Reynolds, Stolarz explains what inspired her to create her latest work, BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS, as a graphic novel companion to her Blue is for Nightmares series, and discusses how she was able to transition easily between the two formats. She also describes how her upbringing in Salem, MA influenced her writing and research on the paranormal subjects in her work, and reveals how she stays current on what's important to her teen audiences.

BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS written by Laurie Faria Stolarz and artwork by Janina Görrissen (Graphic Novel)
The Blue is for Nightmares
series that put a spell on more than half a million readers continues --- in graphic novel format! Prophetic nightmares. Near-brushes with death. Killers pursuing her and her friends. Stacey Brown knows that being a hereditary witch isn’t all it's cracked up to be.

All she really wants to do is work things out with Jacob and figure out what to do with the rest of her life. But before Stacey and Jacob can have a future, they must face their pasts. BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS reveals the never-before-seen backstory --- and what lies ahead --- for the young, spellcasting lovers.

BLACK continues the harrowing adventures of Stacey and Jacob in the wake of Jacob's brush with death. Ever since he lost his memory, Jacob hasn't been able to remember Stacey --- his own soul mate. He leaves Massachusetts, returning to his childhood home in Colorado, hoping to jog his memory. What he remembers is Kira, his ex-girlfriend. As Jacob works to piece together his past, will there be room for Stacey in his future?

-Click here to read more about BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS.
-Click here to browse inside BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS.
-Click here to read our interview with Laurie Faria Stolarz.
-Click here to read Laurie Faria Stolarz’s bio.
-Visit Laurie Faria Stolarz’s official website, www.LaurieStolarz.com.

 

Click here to read a review of BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS.

 

New Special Feature: THE GOOD NEIGHBORS, Book Two: Kith by Holly Black

Holly Black's latest book, KITH, is the second installment in The Good Neighbors trilogy --- a graphic novel collaboration with artist Ted Naifeh about a young girl who finds herself caught in a battle between the good and evil forces of the faerie realm. In this interview with Teenreads.com's John Hogan, Black brings us up to speed with protagonist Rue Silver since the end of the series' first book, KIN, and elaborates on the complex relationship Rue has with her mother. She also explains how she became interested in comics, discusses the origins of her fascination with ghosts and faeries, and shares details about what's in store for her characters in the next and final chapter of the series.

THE GOOD NEIGHBORS, Book Two: Kith written by Holly Black and illustrated by Ted Naifeh (Graphic Novel)
Rue Silver's life is not what it appears to be. Her mother is a faerie, and has been taken back to the faerie realm. As Rue goes to bring her back, she must travel deep into an inhuman world. At the same time, the faerie realm is venturing into our world too, and taking its toll on those Rue loves. When her grandfather's plans threaten Rue's city, she realizes that she's the only one who can stop him. But is Rue a human or a faerie? Where does she fit? How does she know the difference between love and enchantment?

-Click here to look inside KITH.
-Click here to read our interview with Holly Black.

-Click here to read Holly Black’s bio.
 

Click here to read a review of KITH.

 

New Special Feature: THE MIDNIGHT CHARTER by David Whitley

David Whitley's debut novel, THE MIDNIGHT CHARTER, is the first book in a trilogy that follows two orphaned servant children attempting to survive in a city where their fate is dictated by their worth. In this interview with Teenreads.com's Sarah Rachel Egelman, Whitley elaborates on this complex fictional city --- from its lack of religion to its 18th-century influences --- and discusses the inspiration behind its unusual and rather dangerous economic system. He also describes the significance of his main characters' names, lists some of his favorite dystopian novels, and shares details about what readers can look forward to in the second installment of the series.

THE MIDNIGHT CHARTER by David Whitley (Fantasy/Thriller)
In the tower of Count Stelli in the ancient city-state of Agora, two children meet, apparently by chance. Mark has escaped the plague ravaging the city’s slums, and Lily is the servant who takes care of him. At first, their only goal is survival: in Agora everything can be bought and sold, debt is death, and Mark and Lily must barter their labor for their lives. When Lily escapes the tower for the city outside, Mark stays on as a servant to the count. Though Mark and Lily choose two very different paths, their lives remain strangely intertwined by the long-held secret prophecy of the Midnight Charter. What is the charter? Who knows of its power, and why are Mark and Lily destined to uncover its meaning?

As the mystery of the charter unfolds, Mark and Lily face dangerous enemies and shifting loyalties --- and a choice that could shape the future for all of Agora.

-Click here to read more about THE MIDNIGHT CHARTER.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE MIDNIGHT CHARTER.
-Click here to read our interview with David Whitley.
-Click here to read David Whitley’s bio.
-Visit David Whitley’s official website, http://www.davidwhitley.co.uk.
-Fan THE MIDNIGHT CHARTER on Facebook.

 

Click here to read a review of THE MIDNIGHT CHARTER.

 
Special Feature: CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins's latest book, CATCHING FIRE, revisits the dystopian world of Panem and its victorious tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, first introduced in the 2008 bestseller THE HUNGER GAMES. In this updated interview, Collins discusses the various sources --- ranging from Greek mythology to reality television --- that inspired the plot of this futuristic sci-fi trilogy and explains how her father's stories from her childhood helped her with elements of the novel's plot, themes and characters. She also gives readers insight into how she has mapped out plot and character developments for each book, shares what she found most surprising about the feedback she received from fans, and imagines what her own special skill would be if she was ever required to participate in the Games.

CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins (Science Fiction/Fantasy)
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CATCHING FIRE.
-Click here to read an interview with Suzanne Collins.
-Click here to read Suzanne Collins’s bio.

 

Click here to read a review of CATCHING FIRE.


 

Win a Copy of THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by other boys of various ages --- trapped within a maze.

To celebrate the release of THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner, Teenreads.com is giving 30 readers the chance to win a copy of this highly anticipated first installment in a planned trilogy. To enter, fill out this form and answer the following question by Monday, November 16th at 11:59PM.


What does the boy call Thomas once he is lifted out of the box and into the Glade?

You can find the answer by reading the excerpt here.

THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner (Post-Apocalyptic Thriller)
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade --- a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up --- the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

-Click here to read a review of THE MAZE RUNNER.
-Click here to read Chapters 1-9 online!

 
Click here for all the contest details.

 

Special Feature and Giveaway: GREEN by Ted Dekker

GREEN: The Circle, Book Zero: The Beginning and the End by Ted Dekker (Fantasy/Suspense)
At Last…The Circle Reborn

The story of how Thomas Hunter first entered the Black Forest and forever changed our history began at a time when armies were gathered for a final battle in the valley of Migdon. GREEN is a story of love, betrayal and sweeping reversals set within the apocalypse. It is the beginning: the truth behind a saga that has captured the imagination of more than a million readers with the Books of History Chronicles.

But even more, GREEN brings full meaning to the Circle Series as a whole, reading as both prequel to BLACK and sequel to WHITE, completing a full circle. This is Book Zero, the Circle Reborn, both the beginning and the end. The preferred starting point for new readers…and the perfect climax for the countless fans who’ve experienced BLACK, RED and WHITE.

For your chance to win one of 35 copies of GREEN, fill out this form and answer the following question by Monday, November 16th at 11:59PM.

What is the enemy group called?

You can find the answer by reading the excerpt here.


-Click here to read Ted Dekker’s bio.
 
Click here to read a review of GREEN.

 

Special Feature and Giveaway: AMULET, BOOK TWO: THE STONEKEEPER'S CURSE by Kazu Kibuishi

Comic book artist Kazu Kibuishi is the founder and editor of the comic anthology Flight, as well as the creator of Amulet, a young adult graphic novel series about two children who must rescue their mother, taken captive by a dangerous creature inhabiting a sinister underground world found below the basement of the great-grandfather's home. In this interview with Teenreads.com's John Hogan, Kibuishi provides insight into the process of creating the series and credits the legendary film The Empire Strikes Back as a source of inspiration for its newly released second installment, THE STONEKEEPER'S CURSE. He also discusses his background in animation, recalls some of the first comics he enjoyed as a child, and shares details about projects currently in the works.

AMULET, BOOK TWO: THE STONEKEEPER’S CURSE written and illustrated by Kazu Kibuishi (Graphic Novel)
Emily and Navin’s mother is in grave danger, and there’s only one place to find help: Kanalis, the bustling, beautiful city of waterfalls. Leon Redbeard, a mysterious fox, joins Emily, Navin and Miskit on their journey, as they are pursued by the Elf King’s son, Trellis, and his dangerous guard. In order to save them all, Emily has to unleash the power of the amulet --- but can she do so without destroying herself?

You can be one of 25 lucky winners to receive a copy of THE STONEKEEPER'S CURSE, the second book in Kazu Kibuishi’s graphic novel series, Amulet. To enter, fill out this form and answer the following question by Monday, November 16th at 11:59PM.

According to Morrie, why is Emily’s mother’s condition worse?

You can find the answer by taking a look at the excerpt here.

-Click here to read our interview with Kazu Kibuishi.
-Click here to read Kazu Kibuishi’s bio.

 
Click here to read a review of THE STONEKEEPER’S CURSE.

 

Special Feature: LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES by Laini Taylor

Teenreads.com's Usha Reynolds recently spoke with author and artist Laini Taylor, whose latest release, LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES, is an illustrated collection of three fantasy short stories about love and romance, each of which share a common theme --- a transformative and sometimes dangerous first kiss. In this interview, Taylor explains the book's origins as an online writing exercise and discusses the stories' various sources of inspiration, such as mythology, world religions and 19th-century poetry. She also recalls the experience of collaborating with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, sheds light on the stories' recurring themes, and lists some of her old and new favorite books and authors.

LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES written by Laini Taylor and illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo (Supernatural Romance/Short Stories)
Three tales of supernatural love that all hinge on a life-changing kiss.

Everyone dreams of getting the kiss of a lifetime --- but what if that kiss carried some unexpected consequences? A girl who’s always been in the shadows finds herself pursued by the unbelievably attractive new boy at school, who may or may not be the death of her. Another girl grows up mute because of a curse placed on her by a vindictive spirit, and later must decide whether to utter her first words to the boy she loves and risk killing everyone who hears her if the curse is real. And a third girl discovers that the real reason for her transient life with her mother has to do with belonging --- literally belonging --- to another world entirely, full of dreaded creatures who can transform into animals, and whose queen keeps little girls as personal pets until they grow to child-bearing age.

From a writer of unparalleled imagination and emotional insight, three stories about the deliciousness of wanting and waiting for that moment when lips touch. LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES has been nominated for this year's National Book Award in the Young People's Literature category.

-Click here to read an excerpt from LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES.
-Click here to read our interview with Laini Taylor.
-Click here to read Laini Taylor’s bio.

 

Click here to read a review of LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES.

 

Special Feature: CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER by Michelle Moran

Michelle Moran is the bestselling author of three works of historical fiction --- NEFERTITI, THE HERETIC'S QUEEN and the newly released CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER --- each of which is centered on legendary princesses of ancient Egypt. In this interview with Teenreads.com's Melanie Smith, Moran recalls the college experience that sparked her interest in this particular time and setting, and recounts the moments of inspiration that prompted her to write each of her books. She also provides some background information on her characters, shares what she hopes readers will take away from her work, and reveals which historical era she will focus on in her next novel.

CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER by Michelle Moran (Historical Fiction)
The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony’s revengeful rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. Their three orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome; only two --- the 10-year-old twins Selene and Alexander --- survive the journey. Delivered to the household of Octavian’s sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian’s family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts.

The fateful tale of Selene and Alexander is brought brilliantly to life in CLEOPATRA’S DAUGHTER, a fascinating portrait of imperial Rome and of the people and events of this glorious and most tumultuous period in human history. Emerging from the shadows of the past, Selene, a young woman of irresistible charm and preternatural intelligence, will capture your heart.


-Click here to read an excerpt from CLEOPATRA’S DAUGHTER.
-Click here to read our interview with Michelle Moran.
-Click here to read Michelle Moran’s bio.
-Click here to view a trailer for CLEOPATRA’S DAUGHTER.
-Click here to read Michelle Moran's blog post, "Why Cleopatra's Daughter?"

-Visit Michelle Moran’s official website, www.michellemoran.com.
-Click here to enter some fabulous contests.
-Click here to read Michelle Moran’s History Buff Blog.

 

Click here to read a review of CLEOPATRA’S DAUGHTER.

 
Teenreads.com's Grab Bag of Books Contest

Every month in our Grab Bag of Books contest, five readers are awarded a Teenreads.com 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 ARE THESE MY BASOOMAS I SEE BEFORE ME?: Final Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison, IN THE PATH OF FALLING OBJECTS by Andrew Smith, LAST BREATH: The Rayne Tour, Volume 2 by Brandilyn Collins and Amberly Collins, and SPLENDOR: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen. All you have to do to enter is fill out the form below by Wednesday, November 11th.

-Click here for the winners of our past giveaways.

 

Click here for all the contest details.


 

Cool New Books for October

October’s roundup of Cool New Books includes THE MAZE RUNNER, a post-apocalyptic thriller by James Dashner in which a 16-year-old wakes up and finds himself surrounded by other boys of various ages --- trapped within a maze; FIRE, a companion to Kristin Cashore’s acclaimed fantasy novel GRACELING; LEVIATHAN, a departure from Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series that he describes as “a steampunk-zombie-airship adventure” set during World War I; and THE VAN ALEN LEGACY, the fourth installment in Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods vampire series.

We also spotlight a number of popular series that are coming to an end in October. Among these concluding titles are SPLENDOR (The Luxe by Anna Godbersen), ARE THESE MY BASOOMAS I SEE BEFORE ME? (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison), ARCHENEMY (The Looking Glass Wars trilogy by Frank Beddor) and FRONT AND CENTER (the Dairy Queen trilogy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock).

 

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

 
October's New in Paperback Roundup
October’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE KINGDOM ON THE WAVES, the sequel to the National Book Award winner THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF OCTAVIAN NOTHING, in which M. T. Anderson recounts Octavian's experiences as the Revolutionary War explodes around him; RUNEMARKS, a fresh, funny and wonderfully irreverent new take on the old Norse tales, marking the fantasy debut of bestselling author Joanne Harris; KIN, the first book in Holly Black’s graphic novel series, The Good Neighbors; PLAY ME, a story of love, loss and redemption from GOOD GIRLS author Laura Ruby; and LET IT SNOW, a trio of interconnecting holiday-themed romance stories written by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle.
 
Click here to see what’s New in Paperback for October.

 

This Month's Reviews

Teenreads.com Reviews:

FIRE by Kristin Cashore (Fantasy)
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FIRE.
-Click here to see the book trailer and casting widget for FIRE.

LEVIATHAN by Scott Westerfeld (Alternate Historical Fiction)
With World War I brewing, Prince Aleksandar of Austria is on the run with the hope of finding peace from the enemies who want him dead. Meanwhile, Deryn Sharp has managed to enlist in the British Air Service, even though girls are strictly forbidden. Will these sworn adversaries unite when both their livelihoods are threatened? Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

-Click here to read an excerpt from LEVIATHAN.

ARCHENEMY: The Looking Glass Wars, Book 3 by Frank Beddor (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Imagination has been lost in Wonderland. Queen Alyss and her evil aunt, Redd Heart, are wondering aimlessly while King Arch of Borderland has taken control of the powerful Heart Crystal. Alyss’s only hope to regain the power of imagination is to work with the last person she expected --- Redd. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

THE ISLANDS OF THE BLESSED by Nancy Farmer (Fantasy)
Jack, an apprentice bard, and his friend Thorgil, a shield maiden, have survived many adventures together. They have traveled the Hollow Road deep underground. They have visited Jotunheim, land of the trolls. They have even seen Yggdrasil, the world tree. The ringing of a magic bell sets their third adventure into motion. Visiting the realm of the fin folk and quelling unrestful spirits are just a few of the stops in Nancy Farmer’s final volume of her Sea of Trolls trilogy. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

SKELETON CREEK #2: GHOST IN THE MACHINE by Patrick Carman (Mystery/Suspense)
Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek --- and Ryan and Sarah are trying to find out why. Ryan writes down everything in his journal, and Sarah records everything on her videocam. The two move deeper into the mystery they've uncovered, determined to discover the secrets buried in Skeleton Creek, in the conclusion to Patrick Carman's thrilling series. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

HOW TO STEAL A CAR by Pete Hautman (Fiction)
Some teenagers have healthy outlets for stress. These include sports, music and sleeping. Other teenagers take the rebellious route. They drink, sleep around, or are prone to violence. For 15-year-old Kelleigh Monahan it is stealing cars --- and she can’t stop at just one. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

PURPLE HEART by Patricia McCormick (Fiction)
Matt Duffy is a private in the U.S. Army, serving in the Iraq War. After an attack by Iraqi insurgents, Matt wakes up in a green-zone hospital bed and is told that he was "on the business end of an RPG" (rocket-propelled grenade.) He has sustained a traumatic brain injury and is awarded the Purple Heart for service to his country. Still trying to piece together what happened to his squad, Matt faces a criminal inquiry relating to civilian casualties in the attack. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

LEIGH ANN’S CIVIL WAR by Ann Rinaldi (Historical Fiction)
Ann Rinaldi is one of the most popular historical fiction writers for young people today. One of her favorite topics, the American Civil War, comes alive again in this novel told through the point of view of 11-year-old Leigh Ann Conners, a half-Cherokee girl living in Georgia. The story revolves around Leigh Ann’s tumultuous family life, the difficulties of growing up in a fractured nation, and the effects that war had not only on the country, but on the individual person as well. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

ONCE WAS LOST by Sara Zarr (Fiction)
To everyone else, Samara’s life and family may seem perfect, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Her pastor father is too busy helping the congregation to have time for Sam, her seemingly perfect mom is battling an alcohol addiction, and she is struggling with her faith. To complicate life even more, a girl in the church is abducted, setting the town in an uproar. Sam desperately grasps for someone or something to hold on to while her world spins out of control. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read Sara Zarr's blog post, "Being Funny, Writing Serious."


CHANGE-UP: Mystery at the World Series by John Feinstein (Fiction)
An underdog team stuns the baseball world by winning the National League Championship Series. An obscure minor leaguer is called up late to pitch in the “Bigs.” In John Feinstein’s latest sports mystery, teen reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson uncover a secret that could affect the outcome of the World Series. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.


-Click here to read our Teenreads.com reviews.


Graphic Novel Reviews:

HATTER M: The Looking Glass Wars, Volume One written by Frank Beddor, with Liz Cavalier, and art by Ben Templesmith
As a companion series to Frank Beddor’s Looking Glass Wars trilogy, the Hatter M graphic novels explore the 13 years when Hatter Madigan, royal bodyguard, searched the globe for the lost Alyss Heart. This first volume starts at the beginning of Hatter’s journey --- and he doesn’t know who to trust. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

MAD WITH WONDER: Hatter M, Volume Two written by Frank Beddor, with Liz Cavalier, and art by Sami Makkonen

Hatter Madigan’s search for Alyss Heart, future queen of Wonderland, takes him to the American South and the Civil War. Somehow, evil Queen Redd is mixed up in the war, and Hatter is not guaranteed to escape unscathed. Will he finally find Alyss --- or die trying? Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

STITCHES: A Memoir by David Small (Graphic Memoir)
The youngest of two children, David Small had problems with each of his family members, all of whom isolated themselves in some way and caused him some kind of turmoil. But it was his father who did the most lasting damage. The ongoing radiology treatments performed on Small --- done to “cure” him of sicknesses he faced --- perhaps caused the cancerous growth that had to be removed, along with one of his vocal cords, at the age of 14. In STITCHES, which has been nominated for this year's National Book Award in the Young People's Literature category, Small recreates a life story that might have been imagined by Kafka. Reviewed by John Hogan.

-Click here to read GraphicNovelReporter.com's interview with David Small.

CROGAN’S VENGEANCE written and illustrated by Chris Schweizer
Crogan’s quick wit and sharp tongue put him on the wrong side of his ship’s captain, but when rogue pirates take over his ship, he finds that his skills are needed to save his crewmates, himself, and the pirate code of justice. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.


Manga Reviews:

THE TAROT CAFE, Volumes 4–7 written and illustrated by Sang-Sun Park
The second half of the Tarot Café series shows more of Sang-Sun Park's brilliant artwork and tells a spellbinding story. It's all in the cards. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

TAKERU: OPERA SUSANOH SWORD OF THE DEVIL, Volumes 1 and 2 written by Nakashima Kazuki, illustrated by Karakara Kemuri

Three men named Takeru take center stage in a pitched swords-and-spells struggle for the sovereignty of the island nations of Oyashima. Reviewed by Casey Brienza.


MILLENNIUM PRIME MINISTER, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Eiki Eiki

Minori’s life is thrown into chaos when she beats a guy at a video game. After her win, he suddenly declares that he’s going to marry her! That’s when Minori meets Kanata, the newly elected 25-year-old prime minister of Japan. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

NABARI NO OU, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Yuhki Kamatani
Miharu is the best at being apathetic, but ignoring the world around him isn't going to help save his life when ninjas start attacking him for the power that lives inside his very cells --- power to either save the world...or destroy it! Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

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

 


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