Skip to main content

Early May 2010

Teenreads.com Newsletter Early May 2010

Quick Links to Features on Teenreads.com

Celebrate With Us!

"A great nation is a reading nation."

From May 10-16, Children's Book Week will be celebrated throughout the country. Since 1919, Children's Book Week has been honored nationally in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs, homes --- any place where there are children, teens and books. Educators, librarians, booksellers and families have celebrated books and the love of reading with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other book-related events. For some great ideas about how you can participate and get involved in CBW, click here.

Stay tuned for the announcement of the Children's Book Council's 2010 Teen Choice Book of the Year, along with the awards for younger readers, on Tuesday, May 11th. Hope you all were able to vote! I'll be attending the award ceremony on Tuesday evening, and I'll be sure to take as many author photos as I can. There are so many fabulous nominees; I wish each of them the best of luck!

We've updated our Cool New Books feature with some fabulous titles, including
THE PRINCE OF MIST by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and THE NECROMANCER, the fourth book in Michael Scott’s The Secrets of Nicholas Flamel series. And don't miss TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler (I personally loved this book) and PEACE, LOVE, AND BABY DUCKS by Lauren Myracle in our New in Paperback roundup, two great books for Memorial Day Weekend reading this month.

Featuring a captivating story interspersed with footage from 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, COUNTDOWN, by award-winning author Deborah Wiles, is a documentary novel that will put you right alongside 11-year-old Franny Chapman as she navigates a dangerous time in both her history and our history. Teenreads.com is giving 10 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. Read an excerpt (in PDF format) and our review to find out more.

Chris d'Lacey weaves another fiery and magical tale for readers in the fifth book of his New York Times bestselling series, The Last Dragon Chronicles. We have a review of the newly released DARK FIRE, as well as a peek inside and an interview in which d'Lacey discusses the process of “discovering” his characters over the course of the series and the overall themes of the books.

Lucy Christopher’s debut novel, STOLEN, explores the dark themes of obsession, abduction, alienation and survival, as experienced from the perspective of Gemma, an English teen who is kidnapped by a stalker and brought to Australia. Intrigued? We have a review and an excerpt, as well as an interview with Christopher, in which she discusses the experience from her own childhood that partially inspired the book’s plot and setting.

Best known to teen audiences for his thrillers like the Maximum Ride series, James Patterson’s latest book, MED HEAD, captures the personal struggles of Cory Friedman, who has suffered from Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder since the age of five. Co-written with Cory's father, Hal Friedman, MED HEAD is the heart-wrenchingly honest and inspiring YA adaptation of the adult novel AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE. Read our review and an excerpt to learn more about this amazing true story of perseverance against all odds, and enter the contest for your chance to win a copy of the book. The giveaway ends on Tuesday, May 18th at noon ET, so enter today!

Teenreads.com has interviews with both Cory and Hal Friedman. Cory describes the surreal experience of reading about his own life in narrative form and explains how his battle with these illnesses has affected his outlook on life. Hal discusses the process of writing from his son’s perspective, reflects on their highs and lows during their 13-year ordeal, and offers advice to families dealing with similarly challenging circumstances.

Heather Brewer's The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod will satisfy any vamp-lover's craving for a paranormal series. You can check out the first four books and enter to win one of 15 copies of ELEVENTH GRADE BURNS that we are giving away. The deadline for entries is Thursday, June 3rd at noon ET. Want to know more about the Vlad series and the author? Check out our interview with Brewer, where she discusses the trend of vampire fiction in today's pop culture.

Speaking of contests, our giveaways for THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS and GREEN WITCH both end on Thursday, May 13th at noon ET, so be sure to enter while there's still time!

Don't forget about our Grab Bag of Books contest either, which includes FEVER CRUMB by Philip Reeve; NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH by Avi; THE PROPHECY: The Watchers Chronicles by Dawn Miller; STARLIGHTER: Dragons of Starlight by Bryan Davis; and WISH by Alexandra Bullen. All you have to do to enter is fill out this form by Tuesday, May 18th at noon ET.

Our new poll asks if you prefer stand-alone titles or series books. Click here to vote, and then answer our question about what new book in a series you're most excited to read. You can also let us know what you're currently reading in our Word of Mouth feature for your chance to win TWO books: WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON by John Green and David Levithan and SOMETHING LIKE FATE by Susane Colasanti. For more great springtime reads, check out our latest reviews.

Finally, have you had a chance to blog for us yet? Click here to answer some fun and thought-provoking questions, and you could be featured in our "If You Ask Me..." Q&A! We LOVE hearing from our readers.

And if you LOVE our blog, we suggest you sign up to receive updates via email. It's quick, easy and totally hassle-free. Perfect for Internet-savvy readers like yourselves :)


Happy reading! Don't forget: Mother's Day is Sunday!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)
 

Click here to learn more about Children's Book Week and how to celebrate in your area.

 

New Special Feature and Contest: COUNTDOWN by Deborah Wiles

Featuring a captivating story interspersed with footage from 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, COUNTDOWN by award-winning author Deborah Wiles is a documentary novel that will put you right alongside 11-year-old Franny Chapman as she navigates a dangerous time in both her history and our history. It is an experience you will never forget, and Teenreads.com is giving 10 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, July 6th at noon ET.

COUNTDOWN by Deborah Wiles (Historical Fiction)
It’s 1962, and it seems the whole country is living in fear. When President Kennedy goes on television to say that Russia is sending nuclear missiles to Cuba, it only gets worse. Eleven-year-old Franny Chapman doesn’t know how to deal with what’s going on in the world --- no more than she knows how to deal with what’s going on with her family and friends. But somehow she’s going to make it through.

-Click here to read more about COUNTDOWN.
-Click here to read a review of COUNTDOWN.
-Click here to read an excerpt (in PDF format) from COUNTDOWN.
-Click here to read Deborah Wiles’s bio.

 

Click here to read all the contest details.

 
New Special Feature: DARK FIRE by Chris d'Lacey

Chris d’Lacey’s The Last Dragon Chronicles is a seven-part fantasy series about a young man who discovers that dragons do in fact exist and must embark on a journey to save the last of these mythical creatures, while the existence of nature and humankind hangs in the balance. In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Usha Reynolds, d’Lacey describes where the fifth installment, DARK FIRE, finds his protagonists, David Rain and his young daughter Alexa, and reveals the real source of dragon lore found in his books. He also discusses the process of “discovering” his characters over the course of the series, speculates on readers’ continual fascination with legendary fabled beasts, and elaborates on one of the overall themes of the books.

DARK FIRE by Chris d’Lacey (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Bestselling author David Rain was lost in the Arctic for five years. Now, his daughter, Alexa, has brought him back, but a lot more has returned to Earth with him. Dragons are back as well. And with them is a hidden trace of dark fire, the deadliest force in the universe. Life hangs in the balance as David, Lucy and the Pennykettle dragons must destroy the dark fire before it’s discovered and used to birth a darkling.

-Click here to read more about DARK FIRE.
-Click here to read a review of DARK FIRE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from DARK FIRE.
-Click here to read Chris d’Lacey’s bio.

 

Click here to read our interview with Chris d'Lacey.

 

New Special Feature: STOLEN by Lucy Christopher

Lucy Christopher’s debut novel, STOLEN, explores the dark themes of obsession, abduction alienation, and survival, as experienced from the perspective of Gemma, an English teen who is kidnapped by a stalker and brought to the Australian Outback. In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Sarah Rachel Egelman, Christopher discusses the personal experience from her childhood that partially inspired the book’s plot and setting, and explains her reason behind framing the narrative as a letter written by her protagonist to her captor, Ty. She also sheds light on the motivations behind Ty’s mysterious but surprisingly sympathetic behavior, reflects on what she hopes readers will take away from the story, and shares details on her much lighter second novel, FLYAWAY.

STOLEN by Lucy Christopher (Fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Gemma is on layover at Bangkok Airport, en route with her parents to a vacation in Vietnam. She steps away for just a second, to get a cup of coffee. Ty --- rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar --- pays for Gemma's drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. The unknowing object of a long obsession, Gemma has been kidnapped by her stalker and brought to the desolate Australian Outback.

-Click here to read more about STOLEN.
-Click here to read a review of STOLEN.
-Click here to read an excerpt from STOLEN.
-Click here to read Lucy Christopher’s bio.

 

Click here to read our interview with Lucy Christopher.

 

Cool New Books for May

May’s roundup of Cool New Books includes THE CARDTURNER, Louis Sachar’s novel about a high school student who becomes intrigued by the game of bridge when he spends the summer being his great-uncle’s cardturner; FOR THE WIN, a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation from Cory Doctorow (of LITTLE BROTHER fame), who this time focuses on macroeconomics, video games and the labor movement; THE PRINCE OF MIST by THE SHADOW OF THE WIND author Carlos Ruiz Zafón, in which a mysterious house harbors an unimaginable secret; THE NECROMANCER, the fourth book in Michael Scott’s The Secrets of Nicholas Flamel series, which finds the twin protagonists questioning their ability to trust Nicholas Flamel (or anyone else for that matter); and WHITE CAT, Holly Black’s gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love --- or death --- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.
 

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

 
May's New in Paperback Roundup

May’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes TWENTY BOY SUMMER, a compelling debut novel from Sarah Ockler about friendship, first love and letting go; BLOODHOUND, the second volume in Tamora Pierce’s trilogy featuring Beka Cooper, a medieval equivalent of a police officer with magical powers; PEACE, LOVE, AND BABY DUCKS, in which Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that even very different sisters can learn to help each other; GIRL STAYS IN THE PICTURE, the first installment of Melissa de la Cruz’s Jet Set Chronicles, the story of three teens in the South of France who work in the movie industry; and THIRTEENTH CHILD, which kicks off a new trilogy from Patricia C. Wrede, who creates an alternate history of westward expansion.
 

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

 
Special Feature and Contest: MED HEAD as told by James Patterson and Hal Friedman

Best known to teen audiences for his thrillers like the Maximum Ride series, James Patterson’s latest book, MED HEAD, is a young adult adaptation of 2008’s AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE, which captures the personal struggles of Cory Friedman, who has suffered from Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder since the age of five. In this interview, Cory describes the surreal experience of reading about his own life in narrative form and explains how his battle with these illnesses has affected his outlook on life.

In this second interview, Hal Friedman --- who co-wrote the book with Patterson --- discusses the process of writing from his son’s perspective, reflects on their highs and lows during their 13-year ordeal, and offers advice to families dealing with similarly challenging circumstances.

Teenreads.com is giving 10 readers the chance to win a copy of MED HEAD. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, May 18th at noon ET.

MED HEAD: My Knock-down, Drag-out, Drugged-up Battle with My Brain as told by James Patterson and Hal Friedman (Memoir)
Rejected by peers, misunderstood by adults, and dangerous to himself, Cory's life has been a living hell. Confounding every doctor's analysis, he endures countless combinations of medications in wildly varying doses that only complicate the turmoil. Cory and his family are determined to reverse a downward spiral and survive against all odds --- even when those odds are constantly stacked against them.


-Click here to read more about MED HEAD.
-Click here to read a review of MED HEAD.
-Click here to read an excerpt from MED HEAD.

-Click here to read an interview with Cory Friedman.
-Click here to read an interview with Hal Friedman.
-Click here to read James Patterson’s bio.
-Click here to read Hal Friedman’s bio.

 

Click here to read all the contest details.

 
Special Feature: FEVER CRUMB by Philip Reeve

Teenreads.com’s Sarah Wood recently spoke with Philip Reeve about his latest work, FEVER CRUMB --- a prequel of sorts to his bestselling Mortal Engines Quartet that follows a young, orphaned girl as she is called upon to save the city of London and uncover the truth about her mysterious past. In this interview, Reeve explains why he chose to revisit the world he created in his previous series (albeit centuries previous) and discusses the various elements he incorporated into its futuristic, post-apocalyptic society. He also elaborates on the book’s theme of rationality vs. emotion and instinct, reflects on his preference for science over magic in his fantasy novels, and shares details about where this new series is headed over its next two installments.

FEVER CRUMB by Philip Reeve (Science Fiction/Fantasy)
Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the Order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. Soon though, she must say good-bye to Dr. Crumb --- nearly the only person she’s ever known --- to assist archaeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own, and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are.

-Click here to read more about FEVER CRUMB.
-Click here to read a review of FEVER CRUMB.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FEVER CRUMB.
-
Click here to read Philip Reeve’s bio.
 
Click here to read our interview with Philip Reeve.

 
Special Feature and Contest: THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS by Francisco X. Stork

Francisco X. Stork’s latest novel, THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS, is loosely based on Miguel de Cervantes’s classic DON QUIXOTE and portrays the unlikely friendship formed between two young men --- one is determined to avenge his sister’s mysterious death, while the other is suffering from a terminal disease. In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Norah Piehl, Stork describes how he was able to put himself in the shoes of two characters caught in such difficult circumstances and elaborates on the qualities that helped form the basis of their strong bond with one another. He also explains why he chose to set their story in the American Southwest, discusses the parallels between this book and his previous acclaimed work, MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD, and suggests some further reading for those who enjoy his writing.

To celebrate the release of THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS, Teenreads.com is giving away 10 copies of the book. The deadline for entries is Thursday, May 13th at noon ET.

THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS by Francisco X. Stork (Fiction)
Death surrounds Pancho. His father, in an accident. His sister, murdered. His own plans to find her killer. And D.Q. --- a guy Pancho’s age who’s dying of cancer. That is, if he’ll ever shut up. D.Q. is writing “The Death Warrior’s Manifesto,” a guide to living out his last days fully. He needs just one more thing: the love of the beautiful Marisol. But as Pancho tracks down his sister’s murderer, he finds himself falling for Marisol as well….

-Click here to read more about THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS.
-Click here to read a review of THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS.
-Click here to read our interview with Francisco X. Stork.
-Click here to read Francisco X. Stork’s bio.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 

Special Contest: Win a Copy of GREEN WITCH by Alice Hoffman

In this spellbinding sequel to GREEN ANGEL, Alice Hoffman shows us how loss and grief can be transformed into action, love and hope. Ten readers will win a copy of GREEN WITCH, the story of persevering Green, who must learn about the "witches" of the past so that she can shape her own present and future. The deadline for entries is Thursday, May 13th at noon ET.

GREEN WITCH by Alice Hoffman (Fiction)
In this powerful, lovely sequel to GREEN ANGEL, Green must learn the stories of a number of "witches" and free her true soul mate from a prison as she grapples with life, love and loss in a post-disaster world.

-Click here to read more about GREEN WITCH.
-Click here to read a review of GREEN WITCH.
-Click here to read an excerpt from GREEN WITCH.
-Click here to read Alice Hoffman’s bio.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 

Series Feature and Contest: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

High school is tough enough without having to worry about professional vampire slayers/former friends tracking you, or powerful vampires trying to suck your blood. What's an 11th grade half-vampire to do? Vladimir Tod is back in ELEVENTH GRADE BURNS, navigating his way through Bathory High and near-death experiences. To celebrate the release of this fourth installment in Heather Brewer’s The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series, Teenreads.com is giving away 15 copies of the book. The deadline for entries is Thursday, June 3rd at noon ET.

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer (Fiction)
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod is a series of books about a young half-human, half-vampire boy named Vladimir Tod who is just trying to get out of high school with his life --- and a girlfriend, if he's really lucky.

-Click here to read our Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series feature.
-Click here to read our interview with Heather Brewer.

-Visit the official website of the series, www.vladtod.com.
-Visit Heather Brewer’s official website, www.heatherbrewer.com.

 

Click here to read all the contest details.

 

Special Feature: SPLIT by Swati Avasthi

In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Usha Reynolds, debut author Swati Avasthi discusses the inspiration behind her newly released novel, SPLIT --- which centers on a teenage victim of domestic violence --- and explains why she chose to focus her narrative on how her main character copes in its aftermath rather than on the abuse itself. She also describes how writing the book became a semi-cathartic experience for her, provides some information on where domestic violence victims can get help, and shares details about her current work-in-progress, BIDDEN.

SPLIT by Swati Avasthi (Fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret. He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind --- his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret. At least so far.

-Click here to read more about SPLIT.
-Click here to read a review of SPLIT.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SPLIT.
-Click here to read Swati Avasthi’s bio.
-Visit Swati Avasthi’s official website, www.swatiavasthi.com.

 
Click here to read our interview with Swati Avasthi.

 
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 FEVER CRUMB by Philip Reeve; NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH by Avi; THE PROPHECY: The Watchers Chronicles by Dawn Miller; STARLIGHTER: Dragons of Starlight by Bryan Davis; and WISH by Alexandra Bullen. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, May 18th at noon ET.

-Click here for the winners of our past giveaways.
 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 
Poll and Question: Stand-Alone Titles or Series Books?

Poll:

Do you prefer reading stand-alone titles or series books?

I prefer reading stand-alone titles.
I prefer reading series books.
I don’t have a preference.

I'm not sure.

-Click here to answer the poll.


Question:

Fill in the blanks: I can't WAIT to get my hands on the next book in the ______ series by _______.

-Click here to answer the question.

 

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Could Win TWO Books!
This contest period, one teen reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON by John Green and David Levithan and SOMETHING LIKE FATE by Susane Colasanti. 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:
Teenreads.com
The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107

--- Carol Fitzgerald for Teenreads.com