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November 2010 Newsletter November 2009

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Home for the Holidays

This month has been very busy; I've traveled up and down the east coast and back again. In addition to events in New York City, conventions and conferences have had me on trips to Providence, North Carolina, Miami and Philadelphia. I could barely unpack my suitcase before it was time to reload my bags and head out to the next destination. Now that Thanksgiving is approaching, I can finally relax, spend time with family and friends, eat my fill of turkey, and get back to my ever-growing stack of books.

I wanted to share a photo that I took this weekend at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference, where I met many many authors. Here are six authors posing for their own version of a "class picture" at a Scholastic breakfast event --- Lisa Yee, Kathryn Lasky, Patricia C. McKissack, Patrick Carman, Maureen Johnson and Francisco X. Stork. Each read from his or her upcoming book. I cannot wait until these books are out so we can share them with you!

The winners of the 2009 National Book Awards were announced last week. CLAUDETTE COLVIN: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose was the winner in the Young People's Literature category. I was at the award ceremony, and Colvin, who at the age of 15 sat at the front of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama and refused to give up her seat to a white person months before Rosa Parks did, was there when Hoose accepted his award, which was quite special.

This month in our Books into Movies feature, we're spotlighting two movies that are perfect to see during your Thanksgiving break (if you haven't seen them already!). The second installment of the ever-popular Twilight series, New Moon, was released last Friday. (I know, you would have had to have been living under a rock to have missed THAT news!) The hype and buzz around this film have been off the charts (who doesn't love a good paranormal love triangle?), and with the phenomenal success of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga --- and the faces of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner bringing Meyer's characters to life on the big screen --- it's no surprise as to why the Twilight craze has swept the nation.

And for a new spin on an old tale, be sure to check out Disney’s 3D version of the classic holiday story A Christmas Carol, featuring the voice of Jim Carrey as Mr. Scrooge. I don't know about you, but a great Christmas movie always gets me excited for the holidays!

Speaking of movies, did any of you see The Vampire's Assistant in theaters? We've picked the 50 lucky winners of our CIRQUE DU FREAK: THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT Contest! Along with a copy of the movie edition book, winners will also be receiving a special movie poster.

Christmas is right around the corner, and firmly believes that one of the greatest gifts of all is the gift of giving. Celebrate the season with's Fourth Annual Holiday Basket of Cheer feature and contest. Now through December 10th, we're giving away 10 must-have books for this holiday season and a ton of festive treats in our "Basket of Holiday Reading and Fun." Click here to enter. (By the way, the hot chocolate, marshmallows and peppermint bark are scrumptious to enjoy while reading.)

e you started your Christmas shopping yet? Let help you with our What to Give/What to Get Guide --- a list of books just for teens that will give you some great gift-giving ideas. And of course, there's no harm in adding these titles, as well as the ones in our Basket of Cheer, to your own wish list! Remember to ask, or you shall receive some horrific sweater or other gift that someone thinks you HAVE to have. YOU know better. Hint or ask, or you shall not receive!

The final installment in Anna Godbersen's bestselling Luxe series, SPLENDOR, is in stores now.
In this dramatic conclusion, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises and tempt fate. Click here to read our review.

An unlikely friendship forms between Bea, the new girl in school, and Josh, aka Ghost Boy, the quietest kid in class. For anyone who has ever entered the wonderful, treacherous, consuming, meaningful world of a true friendship, HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT by Natalie Standiford will strike a deep and lasting chord. Don't miss our review and an excerpt.

Frank Beddor's latest book, MAD WITH WONDER, is the second installment in his graphic novel companion series to The Looking Glass Wars trilogy (THE LOOKING GLASS WARS, SEEING RED, ARCHENEMY), a prose re-imagining of Lewis Carroll's ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND. In an interview with, Frank talks about his version of the tale, as well as turning prose into graphic format, which began in the first graphic novel, HATTER M.

We also are still featuring two other great graphic novels: BLACK IS FOR BEGINNINGS by Laurie Faria Stolarz from the Blue is for Nightmares series, and Holly Black's KITH, the second book in The Good Neighbors series. Check out our interview with Laurie and our interview with Holly to get behind-the-scenes info about the books.

If you haven't already, take a look at
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. We have an excerpt and a great interview with David.

This month's Grab Bag of Books contest has some great novels that are in high demand. You can enter for a chance to win Meg Cabot's AIRHEAD and BEING NIKKI: An Airhead Novel, SHADOWLAND: The Immortals, Book 3 by Alyson Noel, and TEMPTED: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast.

And congratulations to the winners of our giveaways for THE MAZE RUNNER, THE STONEKEEPER'S CURSE and GREEN!

Keep up to date with the Blog and 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 RAVEN SUMMER by David Almond.

Be sure to look through our Cool New Books and New in Paperback updates for November and December, along with our reviews, which include graphic novel, manga and manhwa (know what that is?) titles. And don't forget to vote in our poll and answer our question about mobile phones and devices.

Happy reading! And HAPPY THANKSGIVING. May you tug on the wishbone and get the bigger side!

Carol Fitzgerald ('s Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest

Celebrate the season with's Fourth Annual Holiday Basket of Cheer feature and contest! From November 13th through December 10th, you can enter to win a "Basket of Holiday Reading and Fun."

Five winners each will receive a festive basket that includes 10 of the holiday's hottest books --- THE AMANDA PROJECT: BOOK 1: INVISIBLE I by Melissa Kantor, DEADLY LITTLE LIES by Laurie Faria Stolarz, HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT by Natalie Standiford, IT’S ALL GOOD: A So For Real Novel by Nikki Carter, A MAP OF THE KNOWN WORLD by Lisa Ann Sandell, NEED by Carrie Jones, SECRET SOCIETY by Tom Dolby, SPLENDOR: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: THE AWAKENING by L.J. Smith, and VIOLA IN REEL LIFE by Adriana Trigiani.

Along with the books, winners will find their basket stocked with tons of seasonal goodies --- a kit to make a mini gingerbread village, Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate mix, peppermint bark candy, a snowflake patterned fleece blanket, red woolen gloves, a snowman ceramic coffee mug, plush warm socks, snowflake tissues, and gourmet hand-cut vanilla marshmallows.

Click here for all the contest details.


What to Give/What to Get Holiday Gift Guide for Teens

Sometimes deciding what to get is as hard as deciding what to give. So we've created a special What to Give/What to Get Guide --- a list of books just for teens that will give you tons of gift-giving ideas (and maybe a few to put on YOUR list). Happy Holidays!


Click here to see our What to Give/What to Get Holiday Gift Guide for teens.


Now in Stores: SPLENDOR: A Luxe Novel, by Anna Godbersen

SPLENDOR: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen (Historical Romance)
In this dramatic conclusion to Anna Godbersen’s bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away, or will they shine ever brighter? Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

-Click here to browse inside SPLENDOR.

Click here to read a review of SPLENDOR. Talks to Frank Beddor, Author of The Looking Glass Wars and Hatter M

Frank Beddor's latest book, MAD WITH WONDER, is the second installment in his graphic novel companion series to The Looking Glass Wars trilogy, a prose re-imagining of Lewis Carroll's ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND. In this interview with's Benjamin Boche, Beddor discusses how a London exhibit on playing cards prompted his search for the "true" story behind this classic tale, and explains why he chose to tell the story of the Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan in this visual format. He also describes his experiences working with a co-writer and an illustrator, muses on the enduring appeal of ALICE IN WONDERLAND, and shares details about what's in store for his main characters in Volume Three of the Hatter M series, THE NATURE OF WONDER.

HATTER M: The Looking Glass Wars, Volume One written by Frank Beddor and Liz Cavalier, illustrated 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.

-Click here to read a review of HATTER M.

MAD WITH WONDER: Hatter M, Volume Two written by Frank Beddor and Liz Cavalier, illustrated 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.

-Click here to read a review of MAD WITH WONDER.

Click here to read our interview with Frank Beddor.

New Special Feature: HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT by Natalie Standiford

HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT by Natalie Standiford (Fiction)

Icelandic hairdressers are the happiest people in the world. Bea is not an Icelandic hairdresser. Neither is Jonah. But together, they might find something approaching happiness.


New to town, Bea is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. You know the type: very cheery, very friendly, very average. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost boy, a quiet observer who hasn’t made a new friend since third grade. He’s not a big fan of people in general…but he’s willing to make an exception for her. Maybe.

Bea and Jonah are not going to have a friendship like other people have a friendship, where it’s all based on gossip and parties and what everybody else thinks. Instead, their friendship comes from truth-bound conversations, shared secrets, daring stunts, and late-night calls to the same old-timer radio show. They help each other and hurt each other, push away and hold close. It’s not romance, exactly --- but it’s definitely love. And it means more to them than either one can ever really know…

For anyone who’s ever entered the wonderful, treacherous, consuming, meaningful world of a true friendship, HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT will strike a deep and lasting chord.

-Click here to read an excerpt from HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT.
-Click here to read Natalie Standiford’s bio.


Click here to read a review of HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT.


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'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,

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


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'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.


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'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,

Click here to read a review of THE MIDNIGHT CHARTER.'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 Meg Cabot's AIRHEAD and BEING NIKKI: An Airhead Novel, SHADOWLAND: The Immortals, Book 3 by Alyson Noel, and TEMPTED: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast. All you have to do to enter is fill out this form by Monday, December 14th.

-Click here for the winners of our past giveaways.

Click here for all the contest details.


Cool New Books for November and December

November and December’s roundup of Cool New Books includes RAVEN SUMMER, a captivating novel from Printz Award winner David Almond, in which the discovery of an abandoned baby ultimately leads to a boy’s fateful encounter with two foster care children; DEADLY LITTLE LIES, the second installment in Laurie Faria Stolarz’s thrilling and chilling paranormal Touch series; Kevin Brooks’s DAWN, a provocative dissection of family, friendship and faith; CLAIM TO FAME, Margaret Peterson Haddix’s novel about a young TV star with a strange power whose kidnapping forces her to confront everything she’s hiding from; and TANGLED by Carolyn Mackler, a story of the secrets we keep, the risks we take, and the things we do for love.
Click here to read our Cool New Books feature for November and December.

November and December's New in Paperback Roundup
November and December’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes FOREVER PRINCESS, the 10th and final installment in Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series, which finds Mia in her last year of high school and with plenty of nerve-racking decisions still to make; HOW THEY MET, AND OTHER STORIES, David Levithan’s collection of stories about love that crosses the borders and boundaries of the human heart; DEADLY LITTLE SECRET, a story of paranormal romance from Laurie Faria Stolarz that revolves around a fairly ordinary 16-year-old protagonist whose life is turned upside down when a mysterious new guy starts junior year at her high school; and DREAM GIRL, Lauren Mechling’s novel about a girl whose world becomes a whole lot clearer --- and dangerous --- after receiving a strange black-and-white onyx cameo on a gold chain from her grandmother.

Click here to see what’s New in Paperback for November and December.


This Month's Reviews Reviews:

THE VAN ALEN LEGACY: A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa de la Cruz (Fantasy/Horror)
With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

-Click here to read Melissa de la Cruz’s blog post, “A Writer is A Reader, Also, Decisiveness.”
-Click here to read an interview with Melissa de la Cruz on the Blog.

FRONT AND CENTER by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (Fiction)
In this conclusion to the Dairy Queen trilogy, D.J. Schwenk returns to her small-town high school --- only to find herself the focus of far too much attention. From an old friend now hot for romance, to college recruiters and rabid local hoops fans, to Brian Nelson, how will shy, quiet D.J. handle things now that she’s front and center? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FRONT AND CENTER.

DARK CALLING: The Demonata, Book 9 by Darren Shan (Horror/Supernatural)
The Disciples are being manipulated by beings older than time. Only Kernel Fleck knows that something is wrong. But he is in the grip of a creature who cares nothing for the fate of humanity. Voices are calling to him from the darkness, and he's powerless to resist. Kernel has already been to hell and back. Now he's about to go further...
Reviewed by Sally Tibbetts.

GOTH GIRL RISING by Barry Lyga (Fiction)
After six months in a mental hospital, Kyra Sellers, a.k.a. Goth Girl, is going home. Unfortunately, she's about to find out that while she was away, she lost track of more than time. Kyra is ready to make up with Fanboy, the only person who has ever appreciated her for who she really is. But then she sees him. And the anger and memories come rushing back. Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

THE GATES by John Connolly (Fantasy/Thriller)
Bursting with imagination, THE GATES is about the pull between good and evil, physics and fantasy. It’s about a quirky and eccentric boy who’s impossible not to love, and the unlikely cast of characters who give him the strength to stand up to a demonic power. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

ICE by Sarah Beth Durst (Fantasy)
Based on a Scandinavian fairy tale, the whimsical story ICE recalls a legend of the Polar Bear King and his arranged marriage to a beautiful human girl. In a bargain to free her captive mother, Cassandra Dasent willingly enters the magical realm of the munaqsri with the creature who would take her as a bride. The promise of uniting with her love will send the maiden on a long journey to a realm beyond the ends of the Earth. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

SOLACE OF THE ROAD by Siobhan Dowd (Fiction)
Fifteen-year-old Holly Hogan bides her time in yet another foster home before running away again. With her silvery-blonde wig, she is transformed into the fierce and fearless Solace, bound for the green hills of Ireland to find her Mam. In what will regrettably be Siobhan Dowd’s last book, her superb story forces you to relive the dreams and horrors of the girl’s life. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

DESTINY’S PATH: Warrior Princess, Book Two by Frewin Jones (Historical Fantasy)
After an epic battle that left her home in flames and her father dead, Branwen knows that now is the time to follow her Warrior Princess destiny. But she soon finds that those she trusts most are capable of the greatest betrayal.
Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE BOOK OF SAMUEL by Erik Raschke (Fiction)
Twelve-year-old Samuel Gerard is aptly named after his Bible counterpart. Despite his father abandoning him and a host of school problems, Samuel feels called to save the world, starting with those around him. Will he succeed at bringing peace, or lose out on the joys of childhood? Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

-Click here to read Erik Raschke’s blog post, “Clothe the Naked.”

THE CIRCLE OF GOLD: The Book of Time III by Guillaume Prevost (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
In the final installment of The Book of Time trilogy, 14-year-old Samuel Faulkner once again travels through time to exotic and frightening places. During this quest, he risks his health and his life to rescue his love interest, Alicia, bring his father out of a coma and try to reverse his mother’s death. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

WHEN THE SNOW FELL by Henning Mankell (Fiction)
In this companion novel to A BRIDGE TO THE STARS and SHADOWS IN THE TWILIGHT, readers follow Joel Gustafson’s journey as he realizes along the way that it will require determination, strength and valor to truly become a man.
Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

GIRL IN THE ARENA by Lise Haines (Fiction)
Lyn has grown up in the gladiator spotlight, a modern-day sport as big and popular as football. She has had seven gladiator fathers, six of whom were killed in an arena all in the name of entertainment. When the seventh dies, one of the Gladiator Sports Association rules requires Lyn to marry the victor. But Lyn proposes an alternate solution --- she will meet her father’s murderer in the arena and fight to the death. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

JUMPING OFF SWINGS by Jo Knowles (Fiction)
In Jo Knowles’s well-received first novel, LESSONS FROM A DEAD GIRL, she examined how patterns of abuse and dysfunction formed in childhood can have unforeseen implications years down the road. In her second work of fiction, JUMPING OFF SWINGS, Knowles also explores the surprisingly wide-reaching influence of a single event. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read Jo Knowles’s blog post, “Did It Happen to You?”

SINGING FOR MRS. PETTIGREW: Stories and Essays from a Writing Life by Michael Morpurgo (Short Stories/Essays)
This collection of short stories, essays and commentaries was written by Michael Morpurgo, the Children’s Laureate of Britain from 2003 to 2005. Morpurgo gives some background about his early life, and explains how a love of words and a very active imagination combined with life experience and education to make him the highly respected writer/storyteller he has become today. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

-Click here to read our reviews.

Graphic Novel Reviews:

BETA RAY BILL: GODHUNTER written by Kieron Gillen and illustrated by Kano and Dan Brereton
From the pages of Thor comes a new kind of hero: an alien with the heart, courage and power to match the legendary Norse god. In this epic adventure, he's out to take on the most powerful villain of them all --- the dreaded Galactus. Reviewed by Stephen Giordano.

REFRESH, REFRESH written by Benjamin Percy and James Ponsoldt, illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff
Teenage boys in small-town Oregon await news on their fathers, who are off fighting in Iraq, while trying to cope with adolescence and their own needs to determine what it means to be a man. Reviewed by John Hogan.

Manga Reviews:

BALLAD OF A SHINIGAMI, Volume 1 written by K-Ske Hasegawa and illustrated by Asuka Izumi
Momo is a cute little girl with a cat. But she also has a scythe and works as a shinigami --- a creature of death! Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

THE MELANCHOLY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA, Volumes 1-3 written by Nagaru Tanigawa, illustrated by Noizi Ito and Gaku Tsugano
Kyon is just an average teenager. Merely human. Mostly harmless. On his first day of high school, he meets a rather unusual girl named Haruhi Suzumiya. The eccentric girl quickly grabs Kyon’s attention. Little does he know that in Haruhi’s world, what may seem drearily normal is anything but ordinary. Reviewed by Courtney Kraft.

RIN-NE, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi
Ever since she got lost in the woods as a little girl, Sakura Mamiya has been able to see ghosts, though she doesn’t know why. But a strange new classmate with the power of exorcism may hold the key to Sakura’s abilities. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

Manhwa Reviews:

BRIDE OF THE WATER GOD, Volumes 1-4 written and illustrated by Mi-Kyung Yun
After a horrible drought, a village decides to sacrifice one of its own in hopes of getting rain. The victim ends up surviving and going to a realm inhabited by gods. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

NARRATION OF LOVE AT 17, Volumes 1-4 written and illustrated by Kyungok Kang
Seventeen-year-old Seyoung confesses her love to the boy she likes, but things don’t go as planned. Complete in four volumes, Narration of Love at 17 is a sensitive and heartfelt read. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

ROMANCE PAPA, Volumes 1-3 written and illustrated by Youngran Lee
After Myunghae’s parents are killed, she moves in with her biological father. Though he isn’t very nice at first, it doesn’t take him long to turn a new leaf and become the father Myunghae needs. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

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


This Month's Poll and Question: Accessing the Internet and Interactive Book Applications

Do you have a handheld device to access the Internet?

I have an iTouch.
I have an iPhone.
I have an iTouch and an iPhone.
I have a BlackBerry.
I have another handheld device that has Internet access.
I do not have an iTouch or iPhone, but I am interested in getting one.
I do not have a handheld device that has Internet access, but I am interested in getting one.
I am not interested in this.

Do you buy applications for your iTouch or iPhone?

I do not have an iTouch or iPhone.

Would you buy interactive book applications for your iTouch or iPhone that would allow you to play games, read books, gain access to extra bonus features, etc.?

I am not sure.
I do not have an iTouch or iPhone.

-Click here to participate in the poll.


What type of things would you like interactive book applications for the iTouch and iPhone to include?

-Click here to answer the question.



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

This contest period, one teen reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of RAVEN SUMMER by David Almond. 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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--- Carol Fitzgerald for