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September 2008 Newsletter September 2008
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Celebrating Special Bookish Weeks

Now in Stores: BRISINGR, the Third Book in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle

Author Talk: Suzanne Collins, Author of THE HUNGER GAMES

New Special Feature: THE GOOD NEIGHBORS, Book One: Kin, by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh's Grab Bag of Books Contest

Books into Movies: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Now in Stores: LIVING DEAD GIRL by Elizabeth Scott

Now in Stores: DRAMA HIGH: COURTIN' JAYD by L. Divine

Now in Stores: THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK by Shelley Adina

Teen Read Week 2008

Cool New Books for September

September's New in Paperback Roundup

This Month's Reviews

Poll and Question: Banned Books Week

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

Links You'll Love


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Celebrating Special Bookish Weeks

September 27th - October 4th is Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read. If you’re not familiar with this bookish celebration, it’s the time when libraries across America recognize how great it is to have access to all kinds of books --- even if they’re controversial. Lots of people try to campaign for certain books to be pulled off of library and school shelves, but librarians fight to keep them available. Find out more here and check out which books are the most hotly divisive…you might be surprised what some people think you shouldn’t be reading! Sound off on the most controversial books you’ve read in our poll and question. 

Teen Read Week is fast approaching. From October 12th-18th, the American Library Association's Young Adults Library Services Association is celebrating teen readers and all the great books being published for young adults. Be sure to find out how your local or school library is celebrating and vote for your favorite books here. We’ll be posting a new poll and question during Teen Read Week, so remember to check back then.

Speaking of great books for teens, this month we have an amazing lineup. Christopher Paolini’s third book in the Inheritance Cycle, BRISINGR, has finally arrived. When ERAGON released in 2003, it became a HUGE success that continued through his second book, ELDEST. I’m excited to see where Paolini takes the story next. My younger son raced through this one until he triumphantly announced, "I'm done." How hooked was he? Well, we were out to dinner with friends last Sunday night having an outdoor barbeque, and he sat at the table reading with his flashlight the entire time. I think that says something!

Lots of you won advance reading copies of THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins a few months ago. If you weren’t a winner, no worries --- this amazing book is now available in stores. If you love action, sci-fi, romance or adventure, be sure to pick up a copy. To dig in a little deeper, check out this interview with the author to find out more about her writing process and inspiration. By the way, you might want to share this book with a grownup you know. A few of my friends read the advance reading copies that they brought home for their kids from various conferences BEFORE passing them along.

Last but certainly not least, this month we are spotlighting a new graphic novel trilogy…and the author might surprise you. Holly Black, who wrote TITHE, VALIANT and IRONSIDE, and co-wrote (with Tony DiTerlizzi) The Spiderwick Chronicles, isn’t just dipping her toes in a new genre --- she’s jumping in head first. The Good Neighbors is familiar territory in the sense that it features fairies and the humans who invade their territory, but the whole process of writing was quite a challenge for Holly. In our interview with her, she dishes on the challenges and rewards of writing in the graphic novel format. We’re already looking forward to the next book in the trilogy! 

If you’re looking for more reading suggestions, be sure to check out this month’s Cool New Books and New in Paperback roundups, and our newest reviews. Hoping to win a book (or five)? Enter this month’s Grab Bag of Books and Word of Mouth contests.

Whew....that's a lot to think about. Happy reading!

Carol Fitzgerald (


Now in Stores: BRISINGR, the Third Book in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle

BRISINGR: Inheritance, Book III by Christopher Paolini (Fantasy)
Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

First is Eragon’s oath to his cousin Roran: to help rescue Roran’s beloved, Katrina, from King Galbatorix’s clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength --- as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices --- choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.

Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once-simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?

-Click here to watch a clip of BRISINGR's midnight release party.
-Click here to visit the official website of the Inheritance Cycle.


Click here to read a review of BRISINGR.


Author Talk: Suzanne Collins, Author of THE HUNGER GAMES

Suzanne Collins, author of the children's series The Underland Chronicles, recently published a novel for young adults called THE HUNGER GAMES. In this interview, Collins discusses the various sources --- ranging from Greek mythology to reality television --- that inspired the plot of this futuristic sci-fi tale and explains how her father's stories from her childhood helped her with elements of the story's plot, themes and characters. She also reveals how she tastefully handled the book's violent scenes, shares her thoughts on writing for different age groups and lists some of her favorite books she read as a teenager.

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins (Science Fiction/Fantasy)
Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the
United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules and level of audience participation may change, but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place. Reviewed by Brian Farrey.

-Click here to read a review of THE HUNGER GAMES.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE HUNGER GAMES.
-Visit the official website of the Hunger Games trilogy,


Click here to read an interview with Suzanne Collins.


New Special Feature: THE GOOD NEIGHBORS, Book One: Kin, by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh

After publishing several popular children's and young adult titles such as The Spiderwick Chronicles, TITHE, VALIANT and IRONSIDE, Holly Black tries her hand at graphic novels with KIN, the opening book in her trilogy The Good Neighbors. In this interview, Black discusses what prompted this change in genre and highlights the major similarities and differences between writing prose and comics. She also recalls the historical event that inspired the plot of this first installment, describes the step-by-step process of collaborating with artist Ted Naifeh, and explains how seeing his visual representations ultimately influenced the direction of the story.

THE GOOD NEIGHBORS, Book One: Kin by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh (Graphic Novel)
The human realm and the faerie realm have always been good neighbors. But all that is about to change…

Rue Silver’s life isn’t at all what it appears to be; her mother has disappeared --- and her father is being blamed for her murder. Is he guilty, or is there another truth behind it all? Rue digs deeper into her family’s past and makes a startling discovery: her mother is a faerie, and she’s vanished back into the faerie realm because of a broken promise. In order to save her, Rue must defeat a dark faerie --- who threatens our very mortal world.

-Click here to look inside THE GOOD NEIGHBORS, Book One: Kin.
-Click here to read an interview with Holly Black.
-Click here to read Holly Black’s bio.
-Visit Holly Black’s official website,


Click here to read a review of THE GOOD NEIGHBORS, Book One: Kin.'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 peak at titles that haven't been released yet! This contest period's winners will each receive a copy of AIRHEAD by Meg Cabot, THE GOOD NEIGHBORS, Book One: Kin by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh, THE MIRACLE GIRLS by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt, SUITE SCARLETT by Maureen Johnson and the VAMPIRE KISSES Box Set, which includes the first three books in Ellen Schreiber's Vampire Kisses series.

-Click here to see our past winners.

Click here for all the contest details.             


Books into Movies: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST actually began when author Rachel Cohn mentioned to her friend, fellow writer David Levithan, her idea for a novel. Two New Jersey teenagers would meet at a music club in Manhattan and have an all-night series of adventures as they keep searching for where the next great band is playing. Levithan loved the idea so much that he asked if he could write Nick’s part, and Cohn agreed. A few months later, he sent her Nick’s opening chapter, and they began emailing each other back and forth for the rest of the summer. Without any planning, the book --- which Levithan has called “a truly kick-ass love story” --- thus emerged and has now been adapted into a major motion picture. Starring Michael Cera of Superbad and Juno fame, and releasing on October 3rd, this is one movie you won’t want to miss.

Click here for more details about this film.


Now in Stores: LIVING DEAD GIRL by Elizabeth Scott

LIVING DEAD GIRL by Elizabeth Scott (Fiction)
When Alice was 10, Ray took her away from her family and friends. She learned to give up all power and endure the pain, and waited for the nightmare to be over. Now Alice is 15 and Ray still has her, but speaks more and more of her death. However, she doesn’t know that he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

-Click here to read an excerpt from LIVING DEAD GIRL.

Click here to read a review of LIVING DEAD GIRL.


Now in Stores: DRAMA HIGH: COURTIN' JAYD by L. Divine

DRAMA HIGH: COURTIN' JAYD by L. Divine (Fiction)
Just as South Bay High's Jayd Jackson is feeling good that her two main social circles have finally come together, drama takes over once more...

These days, family and relationship drama is the name of the game in Jayd's life --- from her fighting uncles on the home front to her friend Mickey's possible pregnancy to a vengeful plan being plotted by Misty, Jayd's nemesis.

It's almost more than Jayd can take --- until her Mama reminds her of her powerful lineage. Now it's time for Jayd to catch up on her spirit work, and confront some powerful emotions of her own...


Click here to read more about DRAMA HIGH: COURTIN' JAYD.

Now in Stores: THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK by Shelley Adina

THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK: All About Us, Book 2 by Shelley Adina (Fiction)
Gillian Chang starts her second term at posh Spencer Academy boarding school in San Francisco prepared to focus on her studies, her faith and her friends. She's prepared for everything --- except love!

She's falling hard for the brilliant Lucas Hayes, future physics PhD student at Stanford. The problem is, she never seems to be able to measure up and be the girlfriend he wants.

With her heart on the line, Gillian conceals more and more from her friends. When she's accused of selling exam answer sheets, Gillian will need the power of honesty to show what she's really made of.

-Click here to read a review of THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK.

Click here to read more about THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK.


Teen Read Week 2008

October 12th-18th is Teen Read Week. Join thousands of teens across the country who will be reading for the fun of it as schools, libraries and bookstores celebrate this year's theme, "Books with Bite @ your library.” During Teen Read Week you can also vote for your favorite new books as part of the Teens' Top Ten List, or help choose next year's theme by voting online. Want your library and school to get involved, if they don't know about Teen Read Week? Then send them this link.
Click here for more information about Teen Read Week.


Cool New Books for September

Two major sci-fi/fantasy releases from bestselling authors highlight September's roundup of Cool New Books. In BRISINGR, the third book in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle, Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep. Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in THE HUNGER GAMES, the first installment of a trilogy set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.

Other featured titles this month include Terry Pratchett's NATION, the story of a boy whose journey to manhood requires the strength to defy expectations and the courage to forge new beliefs; IMPOSSIBLE by Nancy Werlin, in which a 17-year-old has nine months to break an ancient curse in order to save both herself and her unborn daughter; and LIVING DEAD GIRL, Elizabeth Scott's deeply disturbing and heart-wrenching novel about a girl who suffers indescribable physical and mental abuse at the hands of her abductor.

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


September's New in Paperback Roundup

September's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE LUXE, Anna Godbersen's novel about five teens in 1899 Manhattan, where appearance matters more than anything else and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever; HOLIDAY PRINCESS, in which Mia and her subjects from Meg Cabot's bestselling Princess Diaries series tells readers how to have a jolly and memorable holiday; the Carnegie Medal-winning TAMAR by Mal Peet, a masterful story of adventure, love, secrets and betrayal in a time of war; and HARMLESS, Dana Reinhardt's second work of fiction (following A BRIEF CHAPTER IN MY IMPOSSIBLE LIFE) that answers the question, "How much harm can one lie do?

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


This Month's Reviews Reviews:

THE BIG GAME OF EVERYTHING by Chris Lynch (Fiction)
Sure, Jock loves his family, but that’s because a guy is supposed to, right? They may be weird and annoying, but they’re still his family. And Jock spends an intense, discovery-filled summer with them working at his grandfather’s golf course while figuring out the important things in life. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE BIG GAME OF EVERYTHING.

SOVAY by Celia Rees (Historical Fiction)
Celia Rees follows up such popular books as PIRATES! and WITCH CHILD with SOVAY, an action-packed, swashbuckling 18th-century tale with plenty of intrigue, suspense, romance and fabulous fashion. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SOVAY.

GHOSTGIRL by Tonya Hurley (Fiction)
After a death-causing freak accident with a gummy bear, Charlotte Usher goes from being a supremely unpopular girl to an invisible ghostgirl. But even in death, she desperately wants to win the attention of Damen, the most popular guy in school. Can
Charlotte finally find popularity in the afterlife? Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

ALL WE KNOW OF LOVE by Nora Raleigh Baskin (Fiction)
Natalie Gordon’s mother walked out on Natalie and her father four years ago, leaving without an explanation, a goodbye, or a forwarding address. Then one day, out of nowhere, a package with a return address arrives for Natalie. She buys a bus ticket and sets out on a painful journey to get some desperately needed answers. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

BLISS by Lauren Myracle (Horror)
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Myracle delivers plenty of creepy chills in BLISS, a blood-soaked psychological suspense novel set in an elite school in the deep South amid the racial tensions of the post-segregation era. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

BOG CHILD by Siobhan Dowd (Fiction)
Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds the body of a child, and it looks like she’s been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him, a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

ODDEST OF ALL by Bruce Coville (Fantasy/Horror/Short Stories)
Master storyteller Bruce Coville continues to wow readers with his quirky tales in this anthology of nine stories that are magical, frightening, hilarious and touching. From the strangest frog mutation ever and ghosts that haunt in more ways than one, to the pure weirdness of being 13 and in love, consider us "awed"! Reviewed by Terry Miller

HERO-TYPE by Barry Lyga (Fiction)
Kevin Ross doesn’t think he’s a hero. He just happened to be in an alley near the library when Leah was almost raped and murdered by a notorious serial killer. True, Kevin did attack the assailant from behind and hold him until the police came. Sure, his life is forever changed, with the media camped out everywhere and reporters looking to interview him. But he doesn’t want anyone to know what he was doing in that alley in the first place. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

VAMPIRE KISSES 5: THE COFFIN CLUB by Ellen Schreiber (Horror)
It's tough for love-struck Raven to imagine what's keeping her nocturnal boyfriend from returning to Dullsville. So there's only one thing to do --- find Alexander. Along the way, Raven can't resist the spot where she feels most at home: the Coffin Club. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

THE DRAGON HEIR by Cinda Williams Chima (Fantasy)
Relationships are tested, strange alliances are made (and broken) and startling secrets are revealed, as THE DRAGON HEIR brings Cinda Williams Chima’s series to a gripping yet bittersweet conclusion that will leave readers wanting to revisit the previous two installments, THE WARRIOR HEIR and THE WIZARD HEIR. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

WOULD YOU by Marthe Jocelyn (Fiction)
For Natalie’s amazing older sister, Claire, this summer is fantastic, because she’s heading to college in the fall. But when she’s hit by a car, the world changes in a heartbeat. Over the next four days, moment by moment, Natalie, her parents and their friends wait to learn if Claire will ever recover. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

FOOTBALL HERO by Tim Green (Fiction)
Ty’s big brother, Thane “Tiger” Lewis, has graduated from college and has been drafted into the pro leagues by the New York Jets. That couldn’t be better news for young Ty because he lives in
New Jersey with a disagreeable uncle, but now he gets to see Thane every week. They have gotten even closer since their parents died six months earlier in a car accident and need each other in more ways than one. Reviewed by Joy Held.

-Click here to read our reviews.

Manga Reviews:

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

The Grim Peddler, though a dashing young man with stylish suits and the preternatural beauty of a fairy tale princess, plays neither the prince nor the hero of any fairy tale. He is instead the wicked witch, the tempter, the trickster, and unlike the fairy tales we know, the Grim Peddler's touch reveals twists on old tales. Reviewed by Robin Brenner.

LAND OF THE BLINDFOLDED, Volumes 2-9 by Sakura Tsukuba

Readers looking for something to pair with Fruits Basket, From Far Away, Apothecarius Argentum or Yurara should definitely check out this series. It has the romance, the fantasy, and the strong writing and good art to make it a keeper. The first three volumes also have terrific bonus stories that leave the reader longing for more from this fine creator. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

MONSTER ZOO by Doug TenNapel
Ty visits the zoo as a way to take a break, especially from the recent loss of his father, a sharpshooter who was stationed in Afghanistan. Taking breaks doesn't come easy, though, when his best friend, Carpo, lets loose all his annoying habits, and the girl of his dreams, Rainy, arrives on a date with the school Neanderthal, Rick.Then something goes wrong. Horribly wrong. Reviewed by Robin Brenner.

-Click here to read our Manga reviews.

Christian Fiction Reviews:

Hollywood Nobody

GOODBYE HOLLYWOOD NOBODY: Hollywood Nobody Series, Book 4 by Lisa Samson (Fiction)
Charley is off to
Scotland with her new beau, and Scotty and her dad travel to Maine in search of Scotty’s mom. When they land on her mother’s last known trail, will their questions finally be answered?
Reviewed by Michele Howe.

The Lost Books

CHAOS: The Lost Books #4 by Ted Dekker (Fiction)
Deep in the mountains of
Romania stands a fortress, and deep within that fortress lies a chamber. In that chamber, ruling the dead for over 2,000 years, lives one Shataiki bat straight from the bowels of the Black Forest. He seeks the final Books of History with which he will destroy the world. But there are four who stand in the way. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

Lauren Holbrook

REMATCH: Lauren Holbrook Series, Book 2 by Erynn Mangum (Fiction)
Lauren Holbrook has two great loves: matchmaking and a good cup of coffee. Needless to say, she is thrilled when her favorite pastimes finally are able to come together. In REMATCH, Lauren, fresh off a successfully matched wedding, is on the prowl for a new unsuspecting couple to work her magic on. Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.

-Click here to read our Christian Fiction reviews.

Recent Titles Perfect for Teens:

HURRY DOWN SUNSHINE: A Memoir by Michael Greenberg (Memoir)
Aristotle said that "no excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.” And it seems that many of the great and creative minds of history have been, to put it poetically, excellent souls. Still, to see a loved one wrestle with mental illness is usually more frustrating and heartbreaking than inspiring. Inspiration is there, however, waiting to be uncovered by the patient and the gifted. Michael Greenberg's honest new memoir demonstrates such patience and skill as he retells his teenage daughter’s first psychotic break and its immediate aftermath. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING: A Memoir written by Haruki Murakami and translated by Philip Gabriel (Memoir)
In this slim, entertaining memoir, noted Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami discourses on his passion for distance running and the way in which that passion has influenced his writing and his view of life itself. It is one man's wry and refreshing look at how vocation and hobby sometimes unite to form a seamless whole. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg and excerpted.

BLUE SKY JULY: A Mother's Story of Hope and Healing by Nia Wyn (Memoir)
A child is born with brain damage and severe cerebral palsy. His mother, a former newspaper reporter who is adept at research and knows how to get difficult questions answered, is determined that her son Joe, her only child, will have as normal a life as possible, in spite of what all the medical experts tell her. The author battles heartbreak, depression and conventional wisdom in this chronicle of the first seven years of Joe's remarkable life. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

-Click here to read the titles perfect for teens.


Poll and Question: Banned Books Week


The American Library Association is celebrating Banned Books Week from September 27th - October 4th 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 answer the poll.


Works by J.K. Rowling, William Shakespeare, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury and J. D. Salinger are among the many challenged or banned books in the U.S. Name up to three of your favorite books that are considered "controversial" by others.

-Click here to answer the question.

On October 13th we'll be posting a new poll and question that focus on Teen Read Week, so be sure to log on to and make your voice be heard!

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 NATION by Terry Pratchett. See the official rules here. 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!

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