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Author Anna Staniszewski is obviously a great writer --- but her talents don't quite extend to the kitchen. In this post, she explains how she used her own cooking mishaps to infuse some culinary chaos into the list of Rachel Lee --- the protagonist of THE DIRT DIARY and now THE PRANK LIST, who is usually a pastry-making whiz.   
Everyone knows that summer is a prime time for reading --- school and extracurricular activities no longer take up all of your time, and you have ample hours to peruse (or devour, as the case may be) your TBR (to-be-read) list. However, instead of just pounding through all of the books you were itching to read during the year, Teen Board member Rachel B. has a different suggestion --- pick up a genre you ordinarily wouldn’t. Read below to see why!  
One of the coolest things about writing nonfiction is all of the research you get to do. By the time the book is finished, you live and breathe your subject --- you know their favorite foods,  their darkest secrets and their greatest strengths. But sometimes, you find out something you didn't necessarily want to know --- something gross, bizarre or plain old creepy. In this blog post, Candace Fleming tells us the creepiest story she encountered when writing THE FAMILY ROMANOV: Murder, Rebellion and The Fall of Imperial Russia, her new book that follows the incredible story of the last Tsar's family and the eventual uprising of Russian peasants. 
Kurt Vonnegut's debut novel PLAYER PIANO takes place in a dystopian society, and according to Teen Board member Alison S., our standardized test-obsessed culture isn't too far off. In her below blog post, she tells teens how they can avoid being like Anita Proteus --- one of the main characters in the book --- and live according to their own desires, and not those of college admissions officers.
Here’s a math problem for you: What do you get when you’re writing one novel and have one title…but have two separate computer documents and two different protagonists? A bit of a problem, according to Diana Renn, author of LATITUDE ZERO. You have to choose…and it’s not easy. Below, Diana introduces us to her YA mystery’s current protagonist, Tessa, and shares why it was so hard to let the runner-up, Mari, go.
This month, is all about Harry Potter, but Teenreads didn't want to miss out on the fun! Here, YA librarian Katie Boyer tells us what she loves about the series, and how it taught her to read for pleasure, again. Read below, and if you want even more about the Boy Who Lived, make sure to check out our 31 Days of Harry Potter feature on Kidsreads, which will be updated every day this July!
Sure plot, setting and characters are crucial elements of any book, but here at Teenreads, we think that narrators are the unsung heroes of novels. A first-person narrator can really take you inside the head of a character, and allow you to truly feel their joy, fear, love of cocoa puffs…what-have-you. A third person omniscient narrator lets you understand the whole world, and feel the suspense as the protagonist is making a decision that youknow --- as a reader with more information ---is the wrong one. But as Jodi Lynn Anderson, author of THE VANISHING SEASON, writes in this blog post, some of the most interesting narrators are the peripheral ones --- characters on the fringes of a story, looking in.  Below, she tells us why.
Rachel B. is not only a member of the Teenreads Teen Board, but she's also the steward of a Little Free Library (LFL)! As of January 2014 there were 15,000 Little Free Libraries around the world, but Rachel's, which is located in her front yard, definitely stands out --- it's decorated with book-reading hedgehogs! Read below to see how Rachel got into LFLs, some of her favorite LFL moments and how  you can start one,  yourself.  
June 16, 2014

How to Start a Book Club

What do you do if your school or local library or bookstore doesn't run a book club? Start your own, of course! Teen Board member Alonzo D. gives some great advice on how to do so, all while channeling some of your favorite literary characters!
This month, Teen Board member Sara J. came up with a great idea for our Teen Board question --- which YA book would you adapt into a movie, and why? Below, Sara shares an extended version of her answer --- THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith --- as well as a few runner-up choices.