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October 2008 Newsletter October 2008
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A Lineup Full of Outstanding BOO-ks

Now in Stores: PAPER TOWNS by John Green 

Now in Stores: THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman

New Special Feature: THE FIRST ESCAPE: The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, Book One by G. P. Taylor

New Special Feature: KENDRA by Coe Booth

New Special Feature: CYBERIA by Chris Lynch

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

Books into Movies for November

Pitch Black: Books with Bite

Cool New Books for October

October's New in Paperback Roundup

This Month's Reviews

Poll and Question: Seeing Books on the Big Screen

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

Links You'll Love


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A Lineup Full of Outstanding BOO-ks

Happy Halloween!

We have a lot of spooky books to share with you this month. First up, bestselling author Neil Gaiman tells the tale of a boy who lives in a graveyard in THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. Ironically, it's safer for the protagonist, Nobody Owens, inside the cemetery with lots of ghosts than outside.

While not quite as Halloween-y as THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, the new series from G. P. Taylor does have a very dark, gothic feel. Orphanages, mansions, mysteries and a lost treasure keep the plot clicking eerily along. The Dopple Ganger Chronicles is composed of "illustra-novellas," which means the books are part graphic novels and part plain text with occasional illustrations. I can't wait to see what Taylor has in store for the next installment.

This month's Grab Bag of Books is filled with tricks and treats. In it, you'll find CREEPERS by Joanne Dahme, EVERNIGHT by Claudia Gray and VAMPS by Nancy A. Collins, all with themes that go bump in the night. THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS by E. Lockhart isn't scary, but it does feature lots of hilarious pranks --- please don't try them at home (or at school)! This book is a finalist for the National Book Award, so we're not the only ones who think it's the bee's knees. You can enter to win this contest here.

I'm sure the date is circled in red on your calendar, but just when your Halloween candy is running out, it will be time to head to the theaters to see Twilight. Buy your tickets in advance --- this film is going to be huge. Read more about it in our Books into Movies feature.

Not into getting the creeps? That's okay. We're featuring two great books this month that have nothing to do with vampires, ghosts or ghouls. CYBERIA by Chris Lynch is the first installment in a three-part series. For you sci-fi fans, check out this interview with the author about technology, communicating with animals and where his characters are headed in future novels.

For a serious dose of reality, check out Coe Booth's KENDRA. This book addresses some tough issues, such as dealing with parents and teen pregnancy. Some of the characters' struggles are based on the experiences of friends of the author. We had a chance to interview Booth and get the full scoop.

We have added to our Ultimate Reading List to reflect those books that have been released since our last update in July. Our most recent additions are BREAKING DAWN by Stephenie Meyer, BRISINGR by Christopher Paolini, THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer, THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins, LETTERS TO A BULLIED GIRL by Olivia Gardner with Emily and Sarah Buder, MELTING STONES by Tamora Pierce, PAPER TOWNS by John Green and THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE by David Wroblewski.

To see even more book recommendations, check out our Cool New Books and New in Paperback roundups, as well as our most recent reviews.

I hope this Halloween brings you many BOO-kish treats!

Carol Fitzgerald (


Now in Stores: PAPER TOWNS by John Green 

PAPER TOWNS by John Green (Fiction)
Likable Quentin Jacobsen has yearned for his vibrant neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, since they were kids. So imagine his ecstasy when she lures him into a middle-of-the night adventure…and his pain when she vanishes. Finding Margo becomes Q's quest in an irresistible plot combining a friendship tale, a road trip and a mystery. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read an excerpt from PAPER TOWNS.

Click here to read a review of PAPER TOWNS.


Now in Stores: THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack --- who has already killed Bod's family.

-Click here to read a review of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.
-Click here to browse inside THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.

Click here to see Neil Gaiman read from THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.


New Special Feature: THE FIRST ESCAPE: The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, Book One by G. P. Taylor

G. P. Taylor, the bestselling author of SHADOWMANCER and WORMWOOD, recently published THE FIRST ESCAPE, book one of The Dopple Ganger Chronicles. In this interview with's Michele Howe, Taylor discusses what inspired him to create the book in a new format called the "illustra-novella" --- a combination of graphic novels and illustrated plain text --- and explains the real-life influences behind the main characters. He also describes where he sees the series going in future installments and shares what he hopes young readers will take away from his work.

THE FIRST ESCAPE: The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, Book One by     G. P. Taylor (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
THE FIRST ESCAPE is the first book in The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, a six-book series following three children --- Sadie and Saskia Dopple and Erik Morrissey Ganger. Sadie and Saskia are mischievous identical twins living at an orphanage, where Erik is their only friend. They are separated when Saskia is adopted by Muzz Elliott, a wealthy woman searching for her long-lost family treasure. While Saskia stumbles into the center of a crime only she can stop, Sadie and Erik embark on a quest to find her.

This book is in an exciting new format called an "illustra-novella," in which the story is told alternately in graphic novel format and plain text with occasional illustrations.

-Click here to look inside THE FIRST ESCAPE.
-Click here to read our interview with G. P. Taylor.
-Click here to read G. P. Taylor's bio.
-Visit the official website of the series,

Click here to read a review of THE FIRST ESCAPE.


New Special Feature: KENDRA by Coe Booth

Coe Booth, author of the young adult novel TYRELL, recently published her second work of fiction for teens, called KENDRA. In this interview with's Alexis Burling, Booth explains how her firsthand experiences with friends inspired the main character's unique circumstances and living situation, and elaborates on the strained dynamics between the protagonist and her family. She also describes why she decided to shed light on the important but controversial topic of teen pregnancy, shares details about her work aiding families in crisis and reveals when her next book --- the sequel to her debut --- will be available in stores.

KENDRA by Coe Booth (Fiction)
Kendra’s mom was only 14 when she had Kendra. Then she left Kendra with Kendra’s grandmother and went on with her life. Now Kendra is 14, and her grandmother wants her mother to start acting like a mother --- especially when Kendra starts getting in trouble with boys. Kendra isn’t sure she has anything to say to her mom --- not after all these years. But when her trouble turns serious, where else can she turn? As she did in her debut novel, Tyrell, Coe Booth gets into the head of a teen trying to find her place in the world --- even though nothing (not family, not friendship, not sex, not love) is what it’s supposed to be. 

-Click here to read an excerpt from KENDRA.
-Click here to read our interview with Coe Booth.
-Click here to read Coe Booth’s bio.


Click here to read a review of KENDRA.


New Special Feature: CYBERIA by Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is the award-winning author of several books for young adults, including INEXCUSABLE, ME, DEAD DAD, & ALCATRAZ, and the newly released CYBERIA, which will be the first installment in a three-part series. In this interview with's Kristi Olson, Lynch recounts the humorous occurrence involving his pet dog and his newly installed broadband connection that sparked the idea for the novel, and explains his motivations behind the story's villain, Dr. Gristle. He also shares his thoughts on people's ever-growing dependency on technology, muses on how different the world would be if it were possible to communicate with animals and discusses where the series is headed in future installments.

CYBERIA by Chris Lynch (Science Fiction)
Zane lives a life of luxury in a completely wired world. He doesn’t ever (even?) have to leave his building to have exciting (virtual) experiences. His room knows everything he eats and what he needs for school. Even his pet dog is wired.

There’s only one problem: When Zane gets a device that enables animals to talk to him, he finds out that his world is a lie. The animals don’t want to be wired --- they want to rebel. And Zane is going to be a part of their revolution, whether he likes it or not. In the process, he’ll have to enter a world he has never confronted before: Nature.

Join award-winning author Chris Lynch on a nonstop adventure through a not-so-distant future, where one lone kid has to prove he can be an animal’s best friend.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CYBERIA.
-Click here to read our interview with Chris Lynch.
-Click here to read Chris Lynch’s bio.


Click here to read a review of CYBERIA.


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 CREEPERS by Joanne Dahme, THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS by E. Lockhart, EVERNIGHT by Claudia Gray and VAMPS by Nancy A. Collins.

-Click here to see our past winners.

Click here for all the contest details.


Books into Movies for November

There is much to be thankful for in November --- and we’re not just talking about family gatherings, delicious turkey dinners and days off from school. Our latest Books into Movies feature spotlights three films that cannot be missed.

Of course, everyone is talking about the appearance of Edward Cullen in the November 21st movie version of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire romance novel, TWILIGHT. We always appreciate when films stay true to the books we love, and director Catherine Hardwicke has followed its vision as closely as possible: “When I read Stephenie’s book, I fell in love with it just like you did. I wanted to see Edward and Bella living and breathing!” (In fact, the author refused to sell the movie rights unless Summit Entertainment promised in their contract not to portray any of the vampires with “canine or incisor teeth longer or more pronounced than may be found in human beings.”) With a phenomenally talented young cast and careful filming --- they had to stop shooting every time it got sunny! --- this one will definitely live up to its mega-hype. 

November 7th marks the release of the highly anticipated The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. This incredibly moving (and, let's face it, insanely depressing) adaptation of John Boyne's award-winning novel about the Holocaust is told from the innocent eyes of a Nazi officer's young son and promises to meet the high standards set by the soon-to-be classic book. Keep the tissues handy, though --- the surprise ending will leave you sobbing long after you leave the theater.

And last but certainly not least is The Clique, a direct-to-DVD film based on Lisi Harrison’s bestselling series about five girls who belong to The Pretty Committee, the most popular clique at Octavian Country Day. Join Massie, Dylan, Kristen, Alicia and Claire at their exclusive private school in Westchester County, New York, beginning November 18th.

Click here for more details about these films.


Pitch Black: Books with Bite

Not everyone looks for books about first crushes, designer clothes, and being part of the popular clique. Some readers prefer something darker, more mysterious, and definitely...more dangerous. For those of you who enjoy staring into the shadows and exploring the darker side of life, HarperTeen presents Pitch Black: Books with Bite.
Click here to find out more about Pitch Black: Books with Bite.


Cool New Books for October

October’s roundup of Cool New Books includes PAPER TOWNS, which marks the highly anticipated return of Printz Medalist John Green in an irresistible plot combining a friendship tale, a road trip and a mystery; the National Book Award finalist CHAINS, Laurie Halse Anderson’s compelling examination of the very different implications of freedom and loyalty for slaves during the American Revolution; MELTING STONES, the latest novel from bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce, who brings readers back to the world of the Circle of Magic quartet; YOU JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH, the second installment in Cecily von Ziegesar’s follow-up series to Gossip Girl featuring the Carlyle triplets of Nantucket, Massachusetts; and THE KINGDOM ON THE WAVES, the sequel to the National Book Award winner THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF OCTAVIAN NOTHING, in which M. T. Anderson recounts Octavian’s experiences as the Revolutionary War explodes around him.
Click here to read our Cool New Books feature for October.


October's New in Paperback Roundup

October’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes SEEING REDD, the fast-paced second installment in Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars trilogy; ANGELS ON SUNSET BOULEVARD by Melissa de la Cruz, a compelling story concerning a social networking website that started out innocently enough but has slowly turned into something much darker; BLOOD BEAST, book five in The Demonata horror series by Cirque du Freak author Darren Shan; and BREATHE MY NAME, an intense psychological thriller from R.A. Nelson, who wrote the much-talked-about novel TEACH ME.
Click here to see what's New in Paperback for October.


This Month's Reviews Reviews:

NATION by Terry Pratchett (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away. But when much is taken, something is returned, and somewhere in the jungle, Daphne --- a girl from the other side of the globe --- is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave. Together the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from NATION.

MELTING STONES by Tamora Pierce (Fantasy)
Four years have passed since Evvy left the streets of Chammur to begin her training as a stone mage. At 14, she's unhappy to be on a new journey with her mentor, prickly green mage Rosethorn, who has been called to the Battle Islands to determine why the plants and animals there are dying. Evvy's job is to listen and learn, but she can't keep quiet and do nothing. With the island on the brink of disaster, it's up to Evvy to avert the destruction that looms ahead. Reviewed by Joy Held.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MELTING STONES.

KINGDOM KEEPERS II: DISNEY AT DAWN by Ridley Pearson (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
It's supposed to be a happy day at the Magic Kingdom --- the return of the teenaged holographic hosts. But things go very wrong when a sudden lightning storm disrupts the celebration, and Amanda's mysterious sister, Jez, disappears. The only clue is the sighting of a wild monkey in the Magic Kingdom during the storm. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

-Click here to read an excerpt from KINGDOM KEEPERS II.

IDENTICAL by Ellen Hopkins (Fiction)
Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family --- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE written by Shannon and Dean Hale, and illustrated by Nathan Hale (Graphic Novel)
An old fairy tale gets a new face in RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE, complete with a sassy heroine who takes no nonsense from evil stepmothers or pompous princes. This Rapunzel is much more fun (and a whole lot more adventurous) than any version you may have encountered before. Reviewed by John Hogan.
THE JUVIE THREE by Gordon Korman (Fiction)
Gecko Fosse drove the getaway car. Terence Florian ran with the worst gang in Chicago. Arjay Moran killed someone. All three boys are serving time in juvenile detention centers until they get a second chance at life in the form of Douglas Healy, a former juvenile delinquent who is running an experimental halfway house in New York City. Things are going well, until an accident upends all their lives. Reviewed by Amy Alessio. 

LIFEBLOOD: Darkside, Book 2 by Tom Becker (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
A series of unexplained murders on the Darkside of London has Jonathan tangled up in another dangerous mystery. He becomes obsessed with solving the crimes and finding his mother, who was investigating similar murders before she vanished. Meanwhile, the Ripper family is involved in a deadly scandal that goes right to the heart of Darkside society --- and they're watching Jonathan. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle. 

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND by Allegra Goodman (Science Fiction)
The world is a very different place after the devastating flood. Most of the survivors live on the island colonies, and though Honor and her parents come from the north, they now live in the colonies as well. There are a mass of new, very strict rules to learn, and Honor tries her best to fit in with everyone else. Unfortunately, her parents refuse to become like everyone else. And sometimes, when a person refuses to follow the rules, they disappear. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman. 

GIRLWOOD by Claire Dean (Fantasy)
The morning after Polly’s older sister Bree disappears, her mother becomes hysterical and phones the police. Polly’s father rushes home from his cottage in the woods; Baba, her grandmother, shows up at their doorstep and their lives forever change. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.  

CROSSING TO PARADISE by Kevin Crossley-Holland (Historical Fiction)
As field girl Gatty journeys with Lady Gwyneth and a prickly new family of pilgrims across Europe to the
Holy Land, Kevin Crossley-Holland reveals a medieval world as rich and compelling as the world of today it foresees. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE SPECIALISTS: NATIVE TONGUE by Shannon Greenland (Mystery)
Lovable GiGi is pairing up with expert linguist Darren, aka Parrot, on a mission to South America. When a centuries-old vase is found in a cave full of hieroglyphics, it is discovered that this vase was important to at least 15 different North American and South American Indian tribes. And now all 15 nations want it back. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

-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

BOUND BEAUTY, Volume 1 by Mick Takeuchi
Chiyako can see the mythical connection known as the red string of fate, the invisible thread that ties each person to the one they're destined to love. When she is told by a stranger that she had better stop using her vision or pay the price, she is not about to back down. Reviewed by Robin Brenner.

Muhyo is an Executor, the highest ranking practitioner of paranormal law, and the youngest one at that. Roji is his assistant, a mere second clerk, who helps run their business. Together the two can help anyone out with their supernatural problems --- from a girl who is killing people on a subway platform to a haunted piece of furniture. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

TWO FLOWERS FOR THE DRAGON, Volumes 1 and 2 by Nari Kusakawa
Shakuya is next in line to rule her desert country, she is the descendent of a dragon and tends to turn into one when she gets riled, and her long-lost fiancé has just returned from the dead. The fiancé part wouldn't be so bad, except that when he disappeared, she got another fiancé. Now she has two. Reviewed by Eva Volin.

-Click here to read our Manga reviews.

Christian Fiction Reviews:

THE MIRACLE GIRLS by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt (Fiction)
Ana Dominguez was happy in
San Jose, but everything changed when her dad moved the family to Half Moon Bay, California, to open a law practice. Her parents think she's settling into her new school nicely, but she has them fooled. Riley, the most popular girl in school, has picked Ana as enemy #1, and Tyler, Ana's crush, doesn't even know Ana exists. When Ana ends up in detention with Riley, her life suddenly changes. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

Sweet Seasons

THE FALL OF CANDY CORN: A Sweet Seasons Novel by Debbie Viguié
Fall is in the air, and without completely knowing why, Candace Thompson has signed up to continue what was supposed to be a short-term summer job at the local theme park. Working with Kurt doesn’t hurt, but a surprising kink involving her youth group, as well as the shock of an unexpected setback, threaten to be more painful. Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.

Lauren Holbrook

MATCH POINT: Lauren Holbrook Series, Book 3 by Erynn Mangum (Fiction)
Lauren Holbrook, matchmaker extraordinaire, takes credit for four successful couples now. With her dad happily married and life settling down around her, Lauren feels quite content. That is, until the tables are turned and she's on the receiving end of the matchmaking! Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.

-Click here to read our Christian Fiction reviews.

Recent Titles Perfect for Teens:


THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks (Fiction)
When Marine veteran Logan Thibault decides to find the woman in the picture he discovered during his third tour of duty in Iraq, it's partly because that photo appears to have kept him safe in the deadliest of war experiences. When he comes face to face with the lovely Elizabeth, his unwitting lucky charm, he realizes the quest is more complicated than he ever could have dreamed. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

GOLDENGROVE by Francine Prose (Fiction)
At the center of Francine Prose's profoundly moving new novel is a young girl facing the consequences of sudden loss after the death of her sister. As her parents drift toward their own risky consolations, 13-year-old Nico is left alone to grope toward understanding and clarity, falling into a seductive, dangerous relationship with her sister's enigmatic boyfriend. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

DEWEY: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter (Memoir)

Someone dumped a small kitten into the book drop of the public library in Spencer, Iowa, on the coldest night of the year. Librarian Vicki Myron found the nearly frozen, half-starved, dirty kitten the next morning and rescued it from certain death. Thus begins the true story of a plucky little feline who won the hearts of the library patrons and countless other folks around the world during the 19 years he spent as the unofficial town mascot and library resident. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

-Click here to read the titles perfect for teens.


Poll and Question: Seeing Books on the Big Screen


When a book comes to life on the big screen, do you prefer reading the book before seeing the movie, or seeing the movie before reading the book?

I like reading the book before seeing the movie.
I like seeing the movie before reading the book.
I don't have a preference.
I'm not sure.

Does having a film adaptation give you more incentive to read the book on which it is based?

I'm not sure.

-Click here to answer the poll.


Twilight, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist are just a few of the movies based on books that are out in theaters this season. Name up to three of your favorite books that you would like to see turned into movies and who you might want to see cast in the main roles.

-Click here to answer the question.


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 PAPER TOWNS by John Green. 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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