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Early July 2015
July 9, 2015
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The Best Kind of Summer Job
The New England Aquarium, home of my summer job for a couple of years
The New England Aquarium, home of my summer job for a couple of years

Hi Teenreaders!

One of my favorite things to do on Teenreads is to look at our poll results every month, and last month was no exception. We asked you to tell us which bookish summer job you’d like, and you came back with opinions --- 37% of you would do anything to become a counselor at Camp Half Blood from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, while 24% would apprentice under the one-and-only Sherlock Holmes --- looks like you’re an adventurous, stealthy group!

Since this was such a fun question, we decided to open it up a little more and ask our Teen Board members and some of our favorite authors to weigh in. You can find Teen Board member answers in our monthly Teen Board question feature here and authors’ answers below! Be warned, though --- these fantastical positions might make your ice cream parlor or amusement park gig seem a little lackluster.

I would want to be a water horse racer from THE SCORPIO RACES. I have always loved horses, especially magical horses, especially magical, dangerous, flesh-eating horses. So riding the water horses would be amazing. Plus, girls aren't supposed to do it and I love doing stuff girls aren't supposed to do. --- Kris Dinnison (YOU AND ME AND HIM)

Oompa Loompa -- for the candy!! --- Lynn Weingarten (SUICIDE NOTES FROM BEAUTIFUL GIRLS)

I would probably want to be the lesser witch in charge of breaking off boughs for the flying members of Serafina Pekkala's witch clan, from the His Dark Materials trilogy. I feel like it would be a pretty straightforward job, I would learn a lot about womanhood and I would smell like pine and magic all the time. --- Lara Avery (A MILLION MILES AWAY)

I’ve had many a summer job, most involving two of my life passions: ice cream and shoes. But if I could choose a non-dairy, non-footwear-related summer job, I’d sign up as a clerk at Flourish & Blotts, the magical bookstore on Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series. I’d do this partly because I’m a book nerd, and I’m assuming there would be an employee discount, and partly because in my downtime, I could try my hand at a few magic tricks, like making writer’s block disappear for good. On my lunch break, I would sneak over to Madame Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, because my wardrobe is most definitely lacking in magical robes. And of course, I’d be on the lookout for Harry, Ron and Hermione, but I’d be super cool should they pop in, and would not FREAK OUT AT ALL. If I had a summer job full of magic and books and robes and a possible Harry Potter sighting, I don’t think I’d miss the ice cream or shoes one bit. --- Meg Haston (PAPERWEIGHT)

I’d be a camp counselor for Fudge from TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING --- B.T Gottfred (FOREVER FOR A YEAR)

My dream summer job would be Director of Miss Peregrine’s Camp for Peculiar Children. Picture campers roasting marshmallows over Emma Bloom or playing tug of war against Bronwyn Bruntley. I’d have my work cut out for me finding a bunkmate for Hugh Apiston and his bees or locating Millard Nullings when it’s time for a head count. Oh, but imagine the camp talent show…that alone would make it all worthwhile! --- Barbara Stewart (WHAT WE KNEW)

If I could pick any summer job in a fictional universe, hands down, I would be an arts and crafts counselor at Camp Half-Blood from Percy Jackson and the Olympians. For me, sleepaway camp was the best experience of my life. I went to Camp Tamakwa in the Algonquin Park, Ontario, and you had to take a boat to get there because it was so hard to access by land. The ride over was magical. The camp culture was all about history, myths and legends … just like a demigod camp. I worked in the art room and as a counselor with little kids, and I went on to teach art at another camp, too. How cool would it be to teach demigod campers to forge and decorate their own weapons? I could help them with bead decorating for their necklaces! And when they’ve returned from a battle and need a little downtime, we could make friendship bracelets or tie dye t-shirts. Orange tie dye, of course. --- Shari Becker (THE STELLOW PROJECT)

I would like to be a treasure sorter for a dragon in Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles series! I’d get to stay in a nice, cool cave out of the sun and play with all the lovely jewels and goblets and gold coins! --- Jessica Day George (SILVER IN THE BLOOD)

My new novel, THE SIX, is about six teenagers who give up their dying human bodies and are transformed into U.S. Army robots. Although that idea still frightens me (which is why I'm writing about it, I guess), I would be more amenable to a robotic transformation if I knew it was only temporary. If I could spend just the summer as a robot, I would enjoy bathing my steel limbs on the Jersey Shore and scaring off all the other beachgoers. Perhaps I could get a job as a mechanical lifeguard. But the salt water would probably be bad for my circuits. --- Mark Alpert (THE SIX)

I'd love to be a Water Horse trainer from THE SCORPIO RACES. Those things are so cool and beautiful and I love horses! They're dangerous but that just adds to their awesomeness (I can survive one summer, right?). Being able to control them would be amazing. Plus, I totally have a crush on Sean! --- Stacy Trombley (NAKED)

“I'd like to be an enigmatic explorer and guest lecturer or scholar in the alternate Oxford of THE GOLDEN COMPASS. I like the idea of having a daemon. I think a panther, a wolf or maybe a falcon! Something cool and sleek at least.” --- David Hofmeyr (STONE RIDER)

So now that you've read that, it's time for you to go back to bagging groceries or teaching whiny little ones to play tennis! Have fun! ;)

Just should read the rest of the newsletter first! There's lots of great content in here --- you can get ready for National Twins Day (well, days) on August 7-9 by checking out our twin-themed bookshelf, and delve into the world of publicity in our latest REAL TALK: Publishing interview with Charisse Meloto and Sheila Marie Everett of Scholastic. You’ll also find a New Release Spotlight of THE HEARTBREAKERS by Ali Novak, a celebrity-themed Side by Side, and our still active contests for Beach Bag of Books and AWAKE.

Enjoy, and have a great two weeks until we talk again (summer jobs and all),

--- Shara Zaval (

Beach Bag of Books 2015 - Just a Couple of More Weeks to Enter!
It's time to think about summer reading --- and we're not talking about the list of books you'll be receiving for Required Summer Reading from school. We're talking about the kinds of books that you're glad you now have time to kick back with and enjoy. The way we see it, it wouldn't be summer without sun, surf and great reading. You supply the beach chair, and we'll provide the fantastic fiction in our Ninth Annual Beach Bag of Books Feature and Contest. From now through Monday, July 27th at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a selection of the featured books.

This year's titles include:

THE FINISHER by David Baldacci
KILLER WITHIN: Killer Instinct #2 by S.E. Green
ONLY EVER YOURS by Louise O'Neill
P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU by Jenny Han
A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS: A Stranje House Novel by Kathleen Baldwin
SINNER by Maggie Stiefvater
WILDFLOWER by Alecia Whitaker

Click here to enter our Beach Bag of Books contest!

New Release Spotlight: THE HEARTBREAKERS by Ali Novak
Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara --- even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD...for three hours. At least she met a cute boy at the Starbucks beforehand. A blue-eyed boy who looks an awful lot like...Oliver Perry. Of course Starbucks guy is the lead singer for her least favorite band. Thanks, universe. But there may be more to Oliver than his world-famous charm, because even after she insults his music --- to his face --- he still gives her his number. Seriously, what is her life? But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver --- dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band --- when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Click here to learn more about the book and read a review.
Click here for an excerpt of the first two chapters!

Read the full New Release Spotlight here!

Real Talk: Charisse Meloto and Sheila Marie Everett and the Unpredictable --- and Ever-Exciting --- World of Book Publicists

At Teenreads, we like to talk books, but we also like to talk book jobs in our REAL TALK: Publishing feature. For our latest interview, we had the chance to sit down with Charisse Meloto, Executive Director of Publicity for Print and Digital Publishing at Scholastic, and Sheila Marie Everett, the Associate Director of Publicity at Scholastic, and talk all things children's publicity. They shared tons of fascinating stories about their careers, including the most memorable books they've worked on, the way that unexpected events can change everything in a heartbeat, and social media's growing role in their day-to-day lives.

In this REAL TALK article, I share some of the biggest takeaways from our conversation --- read and see if maybe, just maybe, you have a future career as a book publicist!

Click here to read our Real Talk Publishing article with Charisse Meloto and Sheila Marie Everett.

Special Feature and Giveaway: AWAKE by Natasha Preston
What would you do if everything you thought about your past turned out to be a lie? That the reason you couldn't remember anything before the age of four wasn't because of a traumatic fire --- it was because you were part of a cult, and now your biological parents want you back?

That's exactly what happens to Scarlett in Natasha Preston's latest book, AWAKE. Dually narrated by Scarlett and Noah --- a boy from Eternal Light sent to bring Scarlett back to the fold, but who starts falling for her instead --- this page-turning, romantic thriller is one that you won't be able to put down.

For a chance to win one of 100 copies of this heart-pounding adventure, enter our contest by Thursday, August 6th at noon! You can also read an excerpt from AWAKE, a review of the book and an interview with Natasha.
Click here to see the special feature and contest for AWAKE!

Side by Side: Celebrity Hunks
Everyone likes the gorgeous star of their favorite TV show or that super muscular athlete, but there's just something about a celebrity hunk who can play an instrument. A beautiful guy (or girl) who can knock your socks off with a single note or transport you to another world with their guitar riffs? Yes, please!

Both Miranda Kenneally and Katie M. Stout incorporate musically-inclined hunks into their new novels. In Kenneally's JESSE'S GIRL, Maya shadows teen idol Jesse Scott in order to achieve her dreams of becoming a rock star. When Grace --- the daughter of a famous music producer --- runs away from home to South Korea in Stout's HELLO, I LOVE YOU, she encounters Jason, a famous pop idol, who introduces her back into the world of music where she begins to understand what she is truly running from.

We decided to ask Miranda and Katie some questions about their books, their personal relationships with music and their celebrity hunks of choice --- check out their answers!

Click here to see the Side by Side!

Double the Fun, or Double the Trouble?: Twins in Middle Grade and YA Lit

Uh-oh: double trouble! We seem to love stories about twins. Maybe it's because we get a kick out of reading about two people who switch places without anyone noticing. Or because the sibling bond we enjoy seeing in books is that much stronger if the two were born at the same time and grew up together. Whatever the reason, YA and Children's lit is chock-full of books featuring twins, or one in a set of twins, as the protagonist.

In this bookshelf, we rounded up 20 recent books about twins in Children's and Young Adult literature. These books span a wide array of genres, from ONE by Sarah Crossan --- a novel about conjoined twins --- to CJ Omololu's THE THIRD TWIN, a thriller exploring the long-lost-twin trope. There's something for everyone: whether you're looking for a lighthearted comedy or a fast-paced mystery, this list of books will have you doing a double-take!


View the entire twins bookshelf here!

Summer Buzz Books
Summer means a lot of things --- going to the beach, relaxing by the pool, going to camp, taking a break from school and...drumroll please…summer reading!

There are so many amazing YA books that came out this spring (and are coming out later this summer), and we asked some of our bookseller friends from around the country to weigh in on their very favorites. Get ready to slather on the sunscreen, head to the nearest sunny locale and crack open your literary prize.

Click here for some of their suggestions, and get yourself to a bookstore, stat!

On the Blog

Now on Broadway: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time --- Teenreads intern Sydney Scott reviews the Tony-winning Broadway adaptation of Mark Haddon's popular novel.

The Great Mystery of Sherlock Holmes's Death --- and Resurrection: Post 1 --- Teen Board member Alison S. continues her investigation into the classics by examining a great literary mystery: why, exactly, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (spoiler alert!) killed off Sherlock only to bring him back.

Guest Post by Shari Becker --- THE STELLOW PROJECT --- Shari Becker shares how a road trip she took during Hurricane Sandy inspired her newest novel.

Navigating the Literary World --- Teenreads intern Hannah Kaufman talks about what she's gleaned from working in the literary world this summer.

The Great Mystery of Sherlock Holmes's Death --- and Resurrection: Post 2 --- Teen Board member Alison S. continues her Sherlock Holmes blog series, this time focusing on John O'Connell's BASKERVILLE.


Teen Board Monthly Update

Teen Board Question: It's the peak of summer --- time to get a summer job! This July, we wanted to know how our Teen Board members would keep themselves occupied if they lived in a fictional world. We asked, "if you can get a job based on a role in a book, what would you choose to be and why?" Teens came up with a lot of creative answers, many of them surprisingly about people working behind the scenes in their favorite books: Rachel D. wants to be a doctor at Hazel and Augustus's hospital in John Green's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, Maggie L. dreams of being a stylist for tributes in The Hunger Games series and Pranshu A. sees herself as the aptitude test proctor in the Divergent series. Click here to read all of their imaginative answers!

Reviews: This month, Teen Board members tackled books with powerful emotional and social issues. Pranshu A. found that the characters in YOU AND ME AND HIM by Kris Dinnison “have personalities that make you want to learn more about them. Even supporting characters aren’t two-dimensional, but each have their own distinctive traits” while Kate F. said that THOSE GIRLS by Lauren Saft “is an honest, thought-provoking novel that has realistic characters and an interesting plot.”

Click here to learn more about the Teen Board!

Books on Screen --- Paper Towns Spotlight

Get excited --- this month, bestselling author John Green's fiction returns to the cinematic scene with PAPER TOWNS, which will hit theaters on July 24th. The book is an equally humorous and heartwrenching contemporary tale of adventure, friendship and young love that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Can't wait that long for a dose of PAPER TOWNS? Check out these fun links we've gathered to get you ready for the movie premiere. Be sure to plan your theater date now, and don't forget to look at the rest of this month's Books on Screen!

Click here to see a hilarious video featuring Cara Delevingne and John Green.
Click here to browse through talented fan art inspired by PAPER TOWNS.
Click here to find out which PAPER TOWNS character is most similar to you.
Click here to read about Cara Delevingne in this interview with People magazine.
Click here for a list of songs and artists on the official PAPER TOWNS soundtrack.
Click here for a comparison of PAPER TOWNS and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, featuring commentary from Wolff, Green and director Jake Schreier.


Click here to read our July Books on Screen!

July's Cool and New Roundup
July’s roundup includes STEVE JOBS: Insanely Great by Jessie Hartland, a graphic novel following the life of the renowned tech wiz; YOU AND ME AND HIM by Kris Dinnison, which explores a love triangle with an LGBTQ twist; and THE FIXER by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, a book of political and social intrigue where two sisters find themselves at the center of a conspiracy.

In paperback titles this month, we have THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE BARBIE: A Doll's History and Her Impact on Us by Tanya Lee Stone, which chronicles the development of the iconic plastic doll throughout the ages; a reprint of the 1965 award-winning adventure THE MARK OF THE HORSE LORD by Rosemary Sutcliff, where an ex-gladiator poses as a famed lord; and SINNER by Maggie Stiefvater, a sequel in the bestselling Shiver Trilogy about a romance that wields actual power over life and death.
Click here to see July's Cool and New roundup!

Check Out Our Latest Reviews!
New! SUICIDE NOTES FROM BEAUTIFUL GIRLS by Lynn Weingarten (Mystery, Thriller)

They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide. But June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to Delia to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined. --- Reviewed by Corinne Fox.

New! THE HEARTBREAKERS by Ali Novak (Contemporary, Romance)

Stella's life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because that cute boy she met at Starbucks is Oliver Perry --- lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver --- dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band --- when her sister could be dying of cancer? --- Reviewed by Pranshu A, Teen Board member.

New! THE MARK OF THE HORSE LORD by Rosemary Sutcliff (Adventure, Historical Fantasy)

First published in 1965 but long out of print, THE MARK OF THE HORSE LORD has been acclaimed by many readers as the finest of Rosemary Sutcliff’s many novels. It follows young Phaedrus, ex-slave and gladiator, as he transitions to becoming Horse Lord of the Dalriadain. --- Reviewed by Carly Silver.

New! THOSE GIRLS by Lauren Saft (Relationships, Romance)

Some girls will always have your back, and some girls can't help but stab you in it. In this debut novel, Saft conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl and how often even the closest of friends walk the thin line between love and hate. --- Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board member.

New! FOREVER FOR A YEAR by B.T. Gottfred (Romance)

When Carolina and Trevor meet on their first day of school, something draws them to each other. They gradually share first kisses, first touches, first sexual experiences. When they're together, nothing else matters. Told in Carolina and Trevor's alternating voices, this is an up-close-and-personal story of two teenagers falling in love for the first time, and discovering it might not last forever. --- Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

New! PAPERWEIGHT by Meg Haston (Psychology)

PAPERWEIGHT follows Stevie's journey as she struggles not only with a life-threatening eating disorder, but with the question of whether she can ever find absolution for the mistakes of her past…and whether she truly deserves to. --- Reviewed by Emily P., Teen Board member.

New! YOU AND ME AND HIM by Kris Dinnison (Gay & Lesbian, Friendship)

Maggie and Nash are outsiders. The best of friends, they have seen each other through thick and thin, but when Tom moves to town at the start of the school year, they have something unexpected in common: feelings for the same guy. This warm, witty novel sings a song of love and forgiveness. --- Reviewed by Pranshu A., Teen Board member.

New! THE FIXER by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Mystery, Thriller)

When 16-year-old Tess Kendrick is sent to live with her older sister, Ivy, she has no idea that the infamous Ivy Kendrick is Washington D.C.'s #1 "fixer," known for making politicians' scandals go away for a price. No sooner does Tess enroll at Hardwicke Academy than she unwittingly follows in her sister's footsteps. Secrets pile up as each sister lives a double life…until their worlds come crashing together and Tess finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy with one of her classmates and a client of Ivy's. --- Reviewed by LexiBex V., Teen Board member.

New! THE SIX by Mark Alpert (Science Fiction)

Adam becomes one of the Six who have forfeited their bodies to inhabit weaponized robots. But with time running short, the Six must learn to manipulate their new mechanical forms and work together to train for epic combat...before Sigma destroys humanity. --- Reviewed by Aliza M., Teen Board member.

New! SILVER IN THE BLOOD by Jessica Day George (Fantasy, Paranormal)

As spoiled society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about their mysterious Romanian relatives, the Florescus. But upon turning 17, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their family, find proper husbands and, most terrifyingly, learn the secrets of The Claw, The Wing and The Smoke. But when the devilish heir Mihai Dracula sets his sights on Dacia as part of his plan to secure power over all of Europe, the girls choose to fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might. --- Reviewed by Kat Szabo.

July Poll

Many people flock to the coast come summertime. Which one of these famous beaches, all featured in books, has you working to book a plane ticket?

  • Treasure Island from TREASURE ISLAND --- You prefer action in your vacation. A quest for buried pirate treasure will keep you entertained for days.
  • Santorini, Greece from THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS --- Santorini is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world thanks to its plunging white cliffs, blue domed buildings and dramatic sunsets.
  • Neverland from PETER AND WENDY --- Spend all the time you like on the white sand coast of Neverland. If you grow bored, there is an entire jungle that’s just waiting to be explored. Watch out for the mermaids, pirates and Indians, though; they bite.
  • Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales from HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS --- The location of Shell Cottage would be a nice getaway and a quiet place to relax. It also has waves perfect for surfing.
  • Cair Paravel from THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE --- A towering castle dominates the eastern coast of Narnia, where friendly mermaids and other magical sea creatures live.

Last month, we asked which summer job you would most desire --- if you were working in a bookish universe, that is. Getting 37% of the votes, Camp Half Blood Counseler won as the #1 dream summer job --- who wouldn't want to play capture the flag with Percy Jackson? However, 24% of you said being Sherlock Holmes's apprentice, while the game is afoot, would be awesome. To see the full results of the June poll, click here.

Click here to take our poll!

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