Skip to main content

September 2006 Newsletter September 2006
This Month on

Click Into Fall

Special Feature and Contest: Win an Autographed Copy of SOLD by Patricia McCormick...and Read our Review and a Q&A!

Coming October 2nd: CATHY'S BOOK --- It's Unlike ANYTHING You've Ever Read!

Now in Stores: GOOD GIRLS by Laura Ruby

Now in Stores: BLEED by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Now in Stores: HOW TO BE POPULAR by Meg Cabot

Coming in October: Exclusive Opportunity for Teen Book Clubs --- Win 12 Copies of SOMETHING REMAINS by Inge Barth-Grözinger for Your Book Club!

Coming Soon: Exclusive Audio Clips --- Hear the Authors of TYRELL and STORM THIEF Read From Their Books!

This Month's Reviews

Manga Reviews

Christian Fiction Reviews

Recent Titles Perfect for Teens
Poll: Banned Books Week
Question of the Month: Reading "Controversial" Books
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win A Book!
Links You'll Love
Word of Mouth
Question of the Month
Over 1,800 reading guides

Click Into Fall

Happy Fall! Yes, we have moved into what we call "the colorful season" with the great looking foliage changes this time of year. Apples anyone?

This month we have an interview with John Boyne, the author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, a book that we are just crazy about. It's a stunning and gripping story of two boys from very different backgrounds whose friendship during World War II has devastating consequences. In this interview with's contributing writer Alexis Burling, John Boyne explains why he chose to leave certain pertinent details deliberately ambiguous. He also elaborates on his main character's naïveté and its implications of society on a larger scale, examines the varying strengths of his female characters and shares his enthusiasm for historical fiction.

We've launched a new contest for SOLD by Patricia McCormick --- 20 winners will receive a SIGNED copy of the book --- a searing portrait of a young girl forced into prostitution which came out September 15th. To enter send your name and mailing address to by Monday, October 16th. Click here for all the contest details. We also have an interview with the author.

Did you win a copy of CATHY'S BOOK? We want to hear back from you, both with your comments on the book AND your clues for where to find the extra copy you've hidden. We need five clues from you --- some should be easy, and others should be harder. Sound demanding? Well, we're giving you a little added incentive to write us with your clues and comments --- whoever sends us both the five clues and their comments by October 3rd will be entered to receive a PINK RAZR PHONE with iTunes!!!!!

Now that we have your attention, here's what you do: Send your Comments and Clues to --- we need to have them by October 3rd though, so as soon as you get your books, the hunt is on. 

The reader comments for WITCHES' FOREST and SCRAPPED PRINCESS are posted now as part of our TOKYOPOP POP Fiction Advance Reader Copy Giveaway. You can also see Reader Comments for our previously featured titles: MAGIC MOON and KINO NO TABI.

September's roundup of Cool New Books includes VOICES, Ursula K. Le Guin's haunting coming-of-age story set against a backdrop of violence, intolerance and magic; THE LAST DAYS, Scott Westerfeld's sequel to PEEPS in which five teenagers find themselves creating the soundtrack for the end of the world; and SINS OF THE FATHERS, an intriguing novel by National Book Award finalist Chris Lynch that explores the nature of abuse, betrayal, friendship and loss

TWILIGHT, a love story with a vampire twist, is now available in paperback. This New York Times bestseller from Stephenie Meyer was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and an ALA "Top Ten Books for Young Adults." (Also, note that the sequel, NEW MOON, has been released in hardcover. It is getting raves and already has become a bestseller!) September's roundup of New in Paperback titles also includes THE SLEDDING HILL, a provocative story from the controversial Chris Crutcher about a banned book and the power that words can hold; Alice Hoffman's THE FORETELLING, the story of a girl coming of age in a long-ago culture that considers men to be the enemy; and VALIANT: A Modern Tale of Faerie, the brilliant companion novel to Holly Black's first book, TITHE.

If you haven't already weighed in with your picks for our Ultimate Summer Reading List, don't wait! Drop us a note at and let us know what books you would feature if YOU were in charge of picking your school's Summer Reading Lists. (At we think you should have your chance to make your voice heard; after all, you're the one who's going to be reading the books!) We all met and the list is looking pretty fabulous right now. We will post it with our October update so you will have time to share it with those in charge at your school for NEXT summer.

Like contests? Then stay tuned to for our exclusive contest for Book Clubs coming next month --- 8 groups will win 12 copies of SOMETHING REMAINS by Inge Barth-Grözinger, a harrowing tale of a Jewish family in a small German town during the Nazi era. The novel provides, with terrible, everyday detail, an answer to the impossible question: how could the Holocaust have happened?

At you're sure to find something to take your mind off of work and class and stress. Come to think of it, with contests, exclusive interviews and books you'll love, may be the PERFECT remedy for everything blah and boring. With that in mind, point your mouse here and click! 

Carol Fitzgerald (

Special Feature and Contest: Win an Autographed Copy of SOLD by Patricia McCormick...and Read our Review and a Q&A!

To celebrate the publication of SOLD by Patricia McCormick (author of the best-selling CUT and MY BROTHER'S KEEPER) and her newest novel, SOLD, a searing portrait of a young girl forced into prostitution, we will be launching an Exclusive Contest where readers will have the chance to win one of 20 SIGNED copies of SOLD. This powerful novel, which came out September 15th, renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs. To enter, simply send your name and mailing address to by Monday, October 16th.

-Click here to read our review of SOLD.
-Click here to read a Q&A with Patricia McCormick.
-Click here to hear an Audio Excerpt from SOLD.
-Click here to read more about SOLD.

SOLD by Patricia McCormick (Fiction)
After harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of her family's crops, 13-year-old Lakshmi must leave home and take a job to support her loved ones. She undertakes the long journey to India and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

Click here to read all the contest details.

Coming October 2nd: CATHY'S BOOK --- It's Unlike ANYTHING You've Ever Read!

CATHY'S BOOK is a unique and suspenseful story of one girl's attempts to unravel a mystery that keeps getting bigger, in a strange and fascinating world where things often aren't as they appear. CATHY'S BOOK is unlike anything you have ever read as it's interactive. It features letters, photographs, date book entries, telephone numbers you can call and websites you can access to learn more about the story.

The book hits shelves on October 2nd. Stay tuned to for our CATHY'S BOOK Winners' comments and clues as to where they left their second copy.

-Click here to visit
-Click here to visit CATHY'S BOOK @

Click here to read more about CATHY'S BOOK.


Now in Stores: GOOD GIRLS by Laura Ruby

GOOD GIRLS by Laura Ruby (Fiction)
Audrey is so involved in her indiscreet makeout session with Luke at a party that she doesn't see the flash from the camera phone. A week later, the entire school and her parents know about her sex life and everyone has something to say about it. Audrey is left to wonder why her status as an honors student is now so tarnished. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

-Click here to read an excerpt from GOOD GIRLS.

-Click here to read Laura Ruby's bio.
-Click here to find out what inspired Laura Ruby to write GOOD GIRLS.
-Click here to check out HarperTeen's special feature on GOOD GIRLS.
-Click here to visit


Click here to read a review of GOOD GIRLS.

Now in Stores: BLEED by Laurie Faria Stolarz

BLEED by Laurie Faria Stolarz
(Fiction/Short Stories)
Over the course of a single summer day, ten teenagers in Salem, Massachusetts, will discover important truths about themselves and each other. Seamlessly woven together, this incredibly powerful and compelling collection of stories chronicles the very real trials of today's teen experience. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BLEED.
-Click here to read Laurie Faria Stolarz's bio.
-Click here to visit

Click here to read our review of BLEED.

Now in Stores: HOW TO BE POPULAR by Meg Cabot

HOW TO BE POPULAR by Meg Cabot (Fiction)
Outcast Steph Landry finds an old book on "How to be Popular" and follows its advice. Soon she rides home with popular girls and talks to hottie Mark Finley; her two best friends aren't happy. While being popular may not be what Stephanie really wants, readers will enjoy every minute of her story. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

Congratulations to the winners of our HOW TO BE POPULAR contest: Carrie from Tampa, FL; Dominique from Ardsley, NY; Heather from Orlando, FL; Sofie from Seattle, WA; and Tiffany from Springdale, AR. They each have won a signed copy of HOW TO BE POPULAR.

-Click here to read an excerpt from HOW TO BE POPULAR.
-Click here to read our interview with Meg Cabot.
-Click here to visit Meg Cabot's website.

Click here to read our review of HOW TO BE POPULAR.


Coming in October: Exclusive Opportunity for Teen Book Clubs --- Win 12 Copies of SOMETHING REMAINS by Inge Barth-Grözinger for Your Book Club!

To celebrate the publication of SOMETHING REMAINS, we will be launching a special contest for Teen Book Groups in October --- 8 groups will win 12 copies of the book. In SOMETHING REMAINS, Inge Barth-Grözinger has brilliantly recreated the life of a Jewish family in a small German town during the Nazi era. The novel provides, with terrible, everyday detail, an answer to the impossible question: how could the Holocaust have happened? Stay tuned to for all the contest details.


Click here to read more about SOMETHING REMAINS.

Coming Soon: Exclusive Audio Clips --- Hear the Authors of TYRELL and STORM THIEF Read From Their Books!

TYRELL by Coe Booth (Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old Tyrell's dad is in jail, his mom won't get a job and he's his little brother's only hope. Tyrell's got a plan that could help them all --- if it doesn't put him in jail first.

STORM THIEF by Chris Wooding (Science Fiction/Fantasy)
Rail and Moa are reluctant thieves living in Orokos, a city where probability storms rearrange whatever they touch. The two must go on the run when they uncover an artifact that may unlock Orokos' most dangerous secrets.

-In October you'll have the opportunity to listen to the first chapters of TYRELL and STORM THIEF, as read by the authors themselves!


This Month's Reviews

BEFORE I GO by Riley Weston (Fiction)
Madison has been ice skating her entire life. It's not so much a hobby as it is serious training for the Olympics. With her mom as her dedicated and focused coach, Madison doesn't have much time in her life for much else, especially friends. The one exception is Jackson. And she's going to need him more than ever for what she's about to face. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read a review of BEFORE I GO.
-Click here to read an excerpt from BEFORE I GO.
-Click here to read Riley Weston's bio.
-Click here to read more about Riley Weston and BEFORE I GO.

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS by John Boyne (Historical Fiction)
John Boyne's fourth novel is the stunning and gripping story of two boys --- one the son of a commandant in Hitler's army and the other a Jew --- who come face-to-face at a barbed wire fence that separates, and eventually intertwines their lives. Reviewed by Alexis Burling.

-Click here to read an interview with John Boyne.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS.
-Click here to read the study guide for THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS.

VOICES by Ursula K. Le Guin (Fantasy)
Ansul was once a peaceful town filled with libraries, schools and temples. But that was long ago, and the conquerors of this coastal city consider reading and writing to be acts punishable by death. And they believe the Oracle House, where the last few undestroyed books are hidden, is seething with demons. But to 17-year-old Memer, the house is the only place where she feels truly safe. Reviewed by Patsy Side.

-Click here to read an interview with Ursula K. Le Guin.
-Click here to read an excerpt from VOICES.

JUST IN CASE by Meg Rosoff (Fiction)
After finding his younger brother teetering on the edge of his balcony, 15-year-old David Case realizes the fragility of life and senses impending doom. Without looking back, he changes his name to Justin and assumes a new identity, struggling to survive in a world where tragedy is around every corner. Reviewed by Alexis Burling.

-Click here to read an excerpt from JUST IN CASE.

DEMON THIEF: The Demonata, Book 2 by Darren Shan (Horror/Supernatural)
Kernel Fleck has always known he's weird. He sees lights. Strange, multi-colored patches of light, swirling through the air. But it's not until a window opens into a demon world, with horrific consequences, that Kernel discovers his powers. As a Disciple, his mission is to hunt vicious, powerful demons to the death. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

THE LAST DAYS by Scott Westerfeld (Horror/Supernatural)
Strange things are happening in this sequel to PEEPS. But as New York City reels under a mysterious epidemic, three teenagers combine their talents with a vampire lead singer and a drummer whose fractured mind can glimpse the coming darkness. Will their music stave off the end? Or summon it? Reviewed by Carlie Webber.

WIDE AWAKE by David Levithan (Fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Duncan Weiss couldn't be happier when the country's first gay, Jewish president is elected. But when the election results are challenged and the President-elect's supporters rally in Kansas, Duncan risks his relationship with his boyfriend as he questions how far he'll go for what he believes in. Reviewed by Brian Farrey.

RUNAWAY by Wendelin Van Draanen (Fiction)
When 12-year-old orphan Holly runs away to escape her abusive foster parents, she never dreams that a journal from her teacher could become her most valued possession. But as Holly faces the large nightmares and small victories of life on the streets, writing in her journal leads her to self-understanding and eventually to salvation. Reviewed by Emily Shaffer.

THINGS HOPED FOR by Andrew Clements (Fiction)
When Gwen's grandfather disappears from their home in New York City, he leaves a message saying not to worry --- but it's hard when Gwen has upcoming violin auditions at Julliard. In this remarkable follow-up to THINGS NOT SEEN, Andrew Clements brings readers a multi-layered story about art, friendship, love and life. Reviewed by Renee Kirchner.

RIVER SECRETS by Shannon Hale (Fantasy)
This is the third book in Shannon Hale's Companions to Bayern series featuring Razo, an animal keeper whose keen powers of observation, his skill with his slingshot and his ability to make friends wherever he goes make him a formidable foe against those who would return his country to war. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

VANISHING ACT: Mystery at the U.S. Open by John Feinstein (Mystery)
After uncovering a blackmailing scheme at the Final Four in LAST SHOT, 13-year-old rookie investigative journalists Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson are back with a new mystery to solve. Who kidnapped a beautiful young Russian tennis phenom, and how did tennis get to be such a racket? Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

CLAY by David Almond (Fiction)
Set in the English north countryside --- like David Almond's Printz Award-winning novel, KIT'S WILDERNESS, and Whitbread Award winner THE FIRE-EATERS --- CLAY tells the story of Davie, a 13-year-old altar boy who finds his faith questioned when a new boy comes to town and claims he can make a monster out of clay. Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

BEAUTIFUL CITY OF THE DEAD by Leander Watts (Science Fiction/Fantasy)
When Zee joins a heavy metal band, she finds out just how important it is to her when they face deadly enemies who threaten to destroy the band. BEAUTIFUL CITY OF THE DEAD is a poetic, spooky and supernatural mystery with a mythical twist. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

Click here to read this month's reviews.

Manga Reviews

The following reviews are courtesy of the graphic novel review website for teens No Flying No Tights:

BLAME! Volume 1 by Tsutomu Nihei
(TOKYOPOP, 2005)
Somewhere in the bowls of the earth, the remnants of human society eke out a tenuous existence in the gloom of a post-post-apocalyptic world. Cyborgs hunt for the few remaining human survivors of some ancient catastrophe while the humans desperately try to survive in isolated enclaves throughout a vast labyrinth of abandoned buildings. Reviewed by Alison Kotin.

PLATINUM GARDEN, Volume 1 by Maki Fujita (TOKYOPOP, 2006)
Kazura is left to Mizuki in her grandfather's will. Mizuki wants to keep her --- but as his fiance! Is that even legal? And what's this about Mizuki being able to bring people back from the dead? Reviewed by Eva Volin.

THE RECIPE FOR GERTRUDE, Volume 1 by Nari Kusakawa (CMX, 2006)
A teen girl holds the key to an ancient magical recipe: a recipe for a demon! Gertrude, a 100-year-old demon in the form of a boy, and sort-of normal high schooler Susugi Sahara are an unlikely pair in this supernatural romantic comedy. Reviewed by Jen Webb.

STEAMBOY: Steamboy Ani-Manga, Volume 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo (Viz Media LLC, 2005)
Young master Ray Steam is the son of two generations of genius --- his father Eddie and grandfather Lloyd --- and caught between both, as his elders struggle for control of the steam ball, a power that will transform the world for better or worse! Reviewed by James Gardner

TIME LAG by Shinobu Gothoh (DMP, 2006)
Three years ago, Satoru confessed his love to his childhood friend Shirou with devastating consequences. Satoru has almost given up on happiness when he receives a letter from Shirou Xa lost in the mail for three years. Reviewed by Jen Webb.

TRASH, Volume 1 by Sanami Matoh (TOKYOPOP, 2006)
Will Anderson is a mild-mannered kid --- and a mobster's nephew. Guy Hooks is a house-cleaner and an odd-jobs man --- and a jewel thief. When the two meet, an unlikely friendship is born. Reviewed by Jen Webb.

WITCH CLASS, Volume 1 by Lee Ru (Infinity Studios, 2005)
When middle-schooler Dorothy follows a mysterious boy into the woods on the way to school, she finds a real live witch --- and this enchantress is looking for an apprentice. Reviewed by Jen Webb.




-Click here to read our Manga reviews.

Click here to visit

Christian Fiction Reviews

Real TV Series

LESS IS MORE: Real TV, Take Three by Wendy Lawton (Fiction)
Abby gets tired of the constant teasing about her weight at youth group. When her PE teacher submits her name for the fitness challenge on her favorite reality TV show "Less is More," it seems to be the perfect solution. But is Abby up for the challenge? Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.

DATING DO-OVER: Real TV, Take Four by Wendy Lawton (Fiction)
Bailey is 17 years old and has never been out with a guy. When the producers of the television show "Dating Do-Over" contact her, she's delighted. As the image consultants begin to work their magic, the young production grip intern, Luke, quietly models the beauty of authenticity. Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.

Stand-Alone Titles

JUST AS I AM by Virginia Smith (Fiction)
When purple-haired Mayla Strong struts down the center aisle of Salliesburg Independent Christian Church, the bug-eyed congregation strains to get a peek at her pierced nose and lip. Determined to make her Heavenly Father proud, Mayla's sincere and often hilarious attempts to let Him change her from the inside out take her into some difficult places. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

IN THE CHAT ROOM WITH GOD by Todd & Jedd Hafer (Fiction)
Five teens, staying up late, searching for friendship and maybe a few answers in life, are suddenly joined by a mysterious visitor to their chat room. Who is this visitor? That's the question all five teens --- and thousands of teen readers --- must ultimately answer. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

Click here to read our Christian reviews.

Recent Titles Perfect for Teens

READING LIKE A WRITER: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose (Literary Criticism)
Francine Prose, a prolific novelist and teacher of writing, has words of advice for would-be authors --- with a little help from Chekhov, Kafka, Flaubert, Virginia Woolf, Raymond Chandler and a score or so of other authors, living and dead. Rule no. 1: There ARE no rules. Reviewed by Robert Finn.

ARMAGEDDON'S CHILDREN by Terry Brooks (Fantasy)
War and disease have destroyed all that humanity once knew. Demons seek to over-run the remnants of human society. But a handful of brave and powerful souls refuse to yield. This is a gripping chronicle of a once-familiar world now spun shockingly out of control, in which an extraordinary few struggle to salvage hope in the face of terrifying chaos. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

FEEDING THE MONSTER: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top by Seth Mnookin (Sports)
Since the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 --- their first such victory in more than 85 years --- several authors have sought to recapture that happy occasion. Few, however, have done a better overall job than Seth Mnookin in FEEDING THE MONSTER. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

WINS, LOSSES, AND LESSONS by Lou Holtz (Autobiography)
The legendary Lou Holtz reveals what motivated a rail-thin 135-pound kid with marginal academic credentials and a pronounced speech impediment to play and coach college football, and to become one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in history. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

Click here to read more about the titles that are perfect for teens.

Poll: Banned Books Week

Every year during the last week in September, the American Library Association celebrates "Banned Books Week" to challenge censorship and celebrate the freedom to read. Do you think parents, teachers, librarians, politicians and other groups should monitor what you read? 
-I'm not sure

Do you feel your reading habits have been affected by the positive or negative opinions of others?

-I'm not sure

Click here to participate in the poll.
Question of the Month: Reading "Controversial" Books

Have you read any books that other people find "controversial"? If so, name a few and tell us what you thought about their "questionable" content.

Post your reply to our Question here.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win A Book!

This contest period, one lucky teen reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of VOICES by Ursula K. Le Guin. (Click on the link below for the official rules.) To automatically enter to win, e-mail us your recommendations and book ratings.


Post your Word of Mouth comments here.

Have a great month...and make some time each day to read something you enjoy!

Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend, and make sure to visit our other websites from,,,,, and

Our mailing address is:
The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107

--- Carol Fitzgerald for