Skip to main content

February 2011 Newsletter

February 2011

Quick Links to Features on

Books to Love in the Month of Love!

We here in New York have had a much-welcome reprieve from the cold and snow --- the sun is shining, and spring really is around the corner. I can’t believe February is more than halfway over! We hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Did you get a chance to take our Valentine's Day Book Boyfriend Quiz? If not, head over there to find out which boy from some of your favorite books would be perfect for you.

February also brings some other very exciting news --- the long-awaited update to our Ultimate Reading List for teens. We’ve added some new favorites, along with classics, graphic novels and manga titles, making the list bigger and better than ever. There are close to 400 books for you to consider. And may we suggest you share this list with your school and library for ideas for Summer Reading Lists?

We have a number of outstanding books to share with you.

James Patterson continues his high-flying Maximum Ride series with the seventh (and next-to-last) installment, ANGEL, in which the flock's most unlikely heroine must help Max overcome the evil scientists and save the humans from a doomsday cult bent on their destruction.

Lauren Oliver’s new book, DELIRIUM, is quite the departure from her debut, BEFORE I FALL. Seventeen-year-old Lena Haloway has grown up believing love is a disease, something to be cured at 18. But then she meets a strange new boy, and she worries she’s infected by the deliria, the sickness of love. This dystopian novel is sure to help those of you going through Hunger Games withdrawal.

Melissa Marr’s conclusion to her Wicked Lovely series, DARKEST MERCY, is also out. In this final installment, Aislinn is searching for the absent Summer King and aching for Seth. Keenan is working to ready his court for an impending war, and Donia is filled with a longing that even preparing for battle does not diminish. Seth, as Aislinn yearns for him, is about to make a mistake that could cost him his life. This is sure to be an amazing conclusion to this popular series.

With all the snow we've gotten so far, TRAPPED by Michael Northrop is the perfect thrill ride for a snow day. When seven kids are stranded at school during a blizzard, the days pile up and their situation turns grim. The heat and power go, then the roof shudders. At first they were just trying to stay warm. Now it's about staying alive. Read our review and an excerpt.

Are you a member of a book club? Then you'll want to enter our giveaway in which one book club will receive up to 20 copies of a special bind-up edition of Coretta Scott King and Newbery Honor Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson's companion novels, IF YOU COME SOFTLY and BEHIND YOU. The giveaway ends on Tuesday, February 22nd at noon ET, so the time to enter is NOW. Click here to read an excerpt from the bind-up edition.

Speaking of contests, we're continuing to offer a copy of SEQUINS, SECRETS, and SILVER LININGS by Sophia Bennett to 100(!) lucky readers. Nonie, Edie and Jenny are three very different friends who use their individual interests to support a unique cause after they meet Crow, a Ugandan refugee girl with a flair for fashion. Take a look at our review and an excerpt, read our interview with the author, and then enter here to win.

And in our Grab Bag of Books this month, we're giving away THE GIRL WHO BECAME A BEATLE by Greg Taylor, HOW TO COOK: Delicious Dishes You’ll Really Want to Make by DK Publishing, RED RIDING HOOD by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright and David Leslie Johnson, and SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD by Lindsey Leavitt. Click here for your chance to win all four books, plus our signature tote bag.

As always, be sure to check out our Cool New Books and New in Paperback roundups, along with our latest reviews.

If you haven’t read Pittacus Lore’s I AM NUMBER FOUR yet (it only came out in August), you’ll want to get your hands on a copy quickly --- the movie is now in theaters! Also out now is The Eagle, based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s action-packed classic, THE EAGLE OF THE NINTH. Releasing in March are the film adaptations of BEASTLY by Alex Flinn and JANE EYRE.

A huge thanks to the over 4,200 of you who nominated your five favorite books of 2010 for the Children's Book Council's Teen Choice Book of the Year. We'll be announcing the five finalists in the weeks to come, so please be on the lookout for that!

Any aspiring writers out there? The Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for Young Writers is open to all high school students across the country. You may submit poetry, stories, or essays under 1,500 words on any subject. Click here for all the details.

And finally, a recent New York Times article about teens and e-books
sparks our latest poll and question. Do you have an eReader? If so, what books have you downloaded? Let us know...we're curious to see how popular eReaders are among our readers. When you're finished, be sure to enter our Word of Mouth contest for your chance to win a copy of the aforementioned DARKEST MERCY: The Final Wicked Lovely Book by Melissa Marr and TO TIMBUKTU: Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story written by Casey Scieszka and illustrated by Steven Weinberg.

Happy reading!

Carol Fitzgerald (


Now in Stores: MAXIMUM RIDE #7: ANGEL by James Patterson

MAXIMUM RIDE #7: ANGEL by James Patterson (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
In this seventh (and next-to-last) Maximum Ride novel, evil scientists are still trying to convince Max that she needs to save the world, this time by providing the genetic link in speeding up the pace of evolution. Worse, they're trying to convince her that her perfect mate is Dylan, the newest addition to the flock. The problem is that, despite herself, Max is starting to believe it. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MAXIMUM RIDE #7: ANGEL.


Click here to read a review of MAXIMUM RIDE #7: ANGEL.


Now in Stores: DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver (Dystopian Fiction)
They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

From Lauren Oliver, the bestselling author of BEFORE I FALL, comes the first book in a stunning new dystopian trilogy. Enter a world where love is forbidden.

-Click here to start reading DELIRIUM.
-Click here to enter the SPREAD THE DELIRIUM Contest. Submit a photo of what you LOVE for a chance to win!


Click here to read a review of DELIRIUM.


Now in Stores: DARKEST MERCY by Melissa Marr

DARKEST MERCY: The Final Wicked Lovely Book by Melissa Marr (Fantasy/Romance)
The breathtaking conclusion to Melissa Marr’s bestselling Wicked Lovely series.

The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey. Love, despair and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win...and some will lose everything.

-Click here for a sneak peek at DARKEST MERCY.
-Click here to read more about the Wicked Lovely series on Facebook.

Click here to read more about DARKEST MERCY.'s Ultimate Reading List Has Been Updated!

One of our goals each month is to inspire you to read --- and to keep reading. We have found that required reading lists for school --- especially summer reading lists --- are not exactly inspiring. Thus we have created what we think is the Ultimate Teen Reading List --- close to 400 titles that we believe are perfect choices for reading and discussing. Our dream is that schools will use this list to help them make their own for summer reading or, even better, suggest that students just read what they want from this list.

How did we create our list? We compiled entries from readers who weighed in with their selections, and we also asked our staffers for suggestions. Titles range from young adult books to adult books that we think would be enjoyed by teens. As part of our commitment to staying current and keeping on top of the latest trends, we’ve recently overhauled the entire list. Books that we’ve added since our last update include a mixture of fiction and nonfiction, plus graphic novels and manga titles, and a few never-before-featured classics.


Click here to see our updated Ultimate Reading List for teens.


Win a Special Bind-up Edition of IF YOU COME SOFTLY and BEHIND YOU by Jacqueline Woodson for Your Book Club --- Giveaway Ends Tuesday, February 22nd at Noon ET!

Coretta Scott King and Newbery Honor Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson's companion novels, IF YOU COME SOFTLY and BEHIND YOU, are now available in a special bind-up edition that your book club will want to read and talk about.

IF YOU COME SOFTLY tells the story of a romance that takes flight between Miah and Ellie, a black boy and a white girl, as they work together to sort out their respective troubles with family. Though they find a perfect love in each other, a deeply flawed world threatens what they’ve built. Then tragedy does more than threaten that love; it succeeds, leaving one of the two behind to grieve. BEHIND YOU picks up the pieces, as both Ellie and Miah learn to move forward without the other. is giving away up to 20 copies of this incredible two-book series to the winning book club. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, February 22nd at noon ET.

IF YOU COME SOFTLY and BEHIND YOU: Two Companion Novels by Jacqueline Woodson (Fiction)
Miah is black and Ellie is white. But that doesn’t matter to them. All they want is to be together.

But then, on one tragic, fateful night, Ellie and Miah are separated forever. Now each is trying to figure out how to move on --- without the other.

In a wonderfully moving love story evocative of ROMEO AND JULIET, Jacqueline Woodson has created two heartbreaking, interconnected tales that beautifully capture the undying power of first love.

-Click here to read an excerpt from IF YOU COME SOFTLY and BEHIND YOU.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for IF YOU COME SOFTLY.
-Click here to read Jacqueline Woodson's bio.


Click here to read all the contest details.


Books into Movies: Now Featuring I Am Number Four and The Eagle

If the weather is getting you down, then you're in luck, because our latest Books into Movies feature is spotlighting two big-time blockbusters to cure you of your winter blues. First up is The Eagle, an action-packed rendering of Rosemary Sutcliff's THE EAGLE OF THE NINTH. Travel back in time to the height of the Roman Empire and join a young warrior named Marcus as he sets out with his slave, Esca, to investigate the disappearance of his father --- the famed commander of the Ninth Legion. But there's more to Esca than meets the eye, and as their journey continues, it will take an unexpected twist, culminating in an epic battle that will have moviegoers everywhere clamoring for more.

Or, if you're in the mood for some contemporary excitement, you'll be happy to know that I Am Number Four has exploded onto the big screen. This highly anticipated film version of the sci-fi novel of the same name by James Frey and Jobie Hughes (aka Pittacus Lore) relates the gripping saga of John Smith, a fugitive teen with extraordinary talents. Pursued by a band of remorseless enemies, John embarks on an amazing adventure that will lead him towards unexpected love and a host of other unforeseen events --- and reveal an incredible destiny that will blow the minds of every book-loving film fanatic out there.

Click here to read more about I Am Number Four and The Eagle.


Special Feature and Contest: SEQUINS, SECRETS, AND SILVER LININGS by Sophia Bennett

Three very different girls --- the fashion-forward Nonie; Edie, who’s all about supporting causes; and Jenny, a girl on her way to Hollywood starlet-dom --- take up a cause that they never saw coming. After meeting a Ugandan refugee girl who shares Nonie’s passion for fashion and a talent for designing, they use their individual interests to work toward a goal that really matters.

To celebrate the release of SEQUINS, SECRETS, AND SILVER LININGS, Sophia Bennett’s debut novel, is giving 100 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, March 22nd at noon ET.


Once upon a time in London town, there were three fab “birds”: Nonie is a freak for fashion, bleeding-heart Edie wants to green the planet, and starter-starlet Jenny just finished filming a small part in a BIG Hollywood blockbuster opposite a drool-worthy boy. But when these trendy Brit besties meet Crow, a refugee girl who happens to be an amazing designer, their worldview gets an extreme makeover.

-Click here to read more about SEQUINS, SECRETS, AND SILVER LININGS.

-Click here to read a review of SEQUINS, SECRETS, AND SILVER LININGS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from SEQUINS, SECRETS, AND SILVER LININGS.
-Click here to read our interview with Sophia Bennett.
-Click here to read Sophia Bennett’s bio.


Click here to read all the contest details.


Special Feature: TRAPPED by Michael Northrop

TRAPPED by Michael Northrop (Psychological Thriller)
Scotty and his friends, Pete and Jason, are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision...

-Click here to read an excerpt from TRAPPED.
-Click here to read Michael Northrop's bio.


Click here to read a review of TRAPPED.'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 peek at titles that haven't been released yet!

This contest period's winners will each receive a copy of THE GIRL WHO BECAME A BEATLE by Greg Taylor, HOW TO COOK: Delicious Dishes You’ll Really Want to Make by DK Publishing, RED RIDING HOOD by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright and David Leslie Johnson, and SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD by Lindsey Leavitt. The deadline for entries is Thursday, March 17th at noon ET.

here for the winners of our past giveaways.

Click here to read all the contest details.


Cool New Books for February

February's roundup of Cool New Books includes DELIRIUM, the first in a trilogy from Lauren Oliver that follows an 18-year-old who does the unthinkable in a futuristic society where love is a disease and the pursuit of it is impossible; ANGEL, James Patterson's seventh Maximum Ride novel, in which the flock's most unlikely heroine must help Max overcome the evil scientists and save the humans from a doomsday cult bent on their destruction; CRYER'S CROSS, Lisa McMann's page-turning account of a community plagued by a rash of sudden disappearances and the obsessive-compulsive girl who can hear the voices of the missing; and the conclusions to two popular series: Lisi Harrison's The Clique (A TALE OF TWO PRETTIES) and Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (DARKEST MERCY).

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


February's New in Paperback Roundup

February's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD by Francisco X. Stork, a gripping drama about a talented teen with an autism-like impairment who is suddenly thrust into “the real world” when he's forced to take a job in the mailroom of his father's law firm; WHITE CAT, the opening installment in Holly Black's series about an untalented misfit who comes from a family of incredibly successful --- and extremely deadly --- curse workers; VIOLA IN REEL LIFE by Adriana Trigiani, which follows an aspiring filmmaker as she tries to survive her first year at boarding school; and MOCKINGBIRD, Kathryn Erskine's compelling tale of an 11-year-old girl’s struggle to navigate the black-and-white world of Asperger's syndrome in the wake of her brother's death.

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


This Month's Reviews

CRYER'S CROSS by Lisa McMann (Paranormal Thriller)
Kendall Fletcher’s world consists of her family farm; her best friend and sort-of boyfriend, Nico; soccer; dance; and her obsessive-compulsive disorder. When two classmates disappear, her rigid routine is disrupted by search parties, worry and grief. When she starts hearing voices, Kendall wonders if she’s completely losing her grip on reality, or if the missing students are reaching out to her for help. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to watch Lisa McMann talk about CRYER’S CROSS.

CLOAKED by Alex Flinn (Fiction)
Johnny is not your average hero. He isn’t your average anything --- just a poor guy with an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop. But a little magic changes it all. It starts with a curse. And a frognapping. And a princess who asks him to lead a rescue mission. And before he knows it, his life becomes a fairy tale unlike any you’ve ever heard. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

DEATH CLOUD: Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins by Andrew Lane (Mystery)
In 1868, 14-year-old Sherlock Holmes prepares to head home from boarding school for summer break. Instead, his brother Mycroft ships him off to live with their uncle and aunt. Sherlock’s summer vacation is shaping up to be lackluster --- until he discovers a body on his uncle’s grounds. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

BLOODY TIMES: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis by James L. Swanson (History)
In this special adaptation for young people, James L. Swanson tells the intertwining stories of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession and Jefferson Davis’s manhunt during one of the bloodiest times in U.S. history. Complete with rare photos, newspaper clippings and eyewitness accounts, BLOODY TIMES is not to be missed. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

THROAT by R.A. Nelson (Supernatural Thriller)
Seventeen-year-old Emma feels cursed by her epilepsy --- until she mysteriously wakes up in the hospital, weak from blood loss. As her memories return, she realizes she was attacked…by a merciless vampire named Wirtz. It was her condition that saved her, interrupting Wirtz and leaving Emma with a vampire’s powers, yet no need for blood. But Wirtz won't leave a job undone. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

THE RIVALRY: Mystery at the Army-Navy Game by John Feinstein (Mystery)
Teen sportswriters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson can’t wait to cover "America's Game." Army and Navy have been football rivals since 1890, so they’ve spent weeks getting to know the players and the coaches. And the secret service. The president is attending, so security is extra tight. But nothing is as it seems --- and someone else is calling plays. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

DEADLY by Julie Chibbaro (Historical Fiction)
To get out of Mrs. Browning’s School for Girls, Prudence Galewski has to find a job fit for a young lady. But Prudence is fascinated by the human body. With some luck, she lands a position in a lab, where she’s swept into an investigation of the fever. In a time when science is for men, she’ll have to prove to the city, and herself, that she can solve one of medical history’s greatest mysteries. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

KINDRED by Tammar Stein (Fiction)
Miriam isn’t a religious girl; when pressed she admits reluctantly to believing in a higher power. But then the archangel Raphael pays her a visit and sends her on a mission to save two strangers. To top it off, her twin brother has been getting visits from the evil side of the spectrum, which makes Miriam wonder if has she been blessed and her brother cursed, or vice versa. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

CHOKER by Elizabeth Woods (Psychological Thriller)
Cara feels mostly invisible at school, except when popular Alexis and her friends cruelly bully her. When her childhood friend, Zoe, shows up unexpectedly, Cara begins gaining back some confidence. But when tragic accidents start happening to Alexis and company, Cara begins to wonder if Zoe may be responsible. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

Graphic Novel Review:

SIEGE: BATTLEFIELD written by Kieron Gillen, Christos Gage, Jonathan Hickman, Brian Reed and Sean McKeever; illustrated by Mahmud Asrar, Jamie McKelvie, Marco Santucci, Federico Dallochio and Alessandro Vitti
We all know how the Avengers are involved in Siege. Now five action-packed stories reveal how Osborn's plan will shock the rest of the Marvel Universe. See Spider-Man battle Venom. Take a journey into Loki’s mind. Learn about Nick Fury's master plan. And witness how this event will define the future for Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers. Reviewed by Collin David.

Manga Reviews:

CRIMSON HERO, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Mitsuba Takanashi
Nobara is an excellent volleyball player who is always receiving praise. But that doesn’t go over well with her mother, who has old-fashioned opinions about how girls should act. Sports for girls? Never. Nobara has to fight against this ignorance, but since it’s her own mother, there’s not much she can do. Or is there? Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

DENGEKI DAISY, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Kyousuke Motomi
One day at school, Teru accidentally breaks a window and agrees to pay for it by helping Kurosaki with chores around school. But Kurosaki is an impossible taskmaster, and he seems to be hiding something important from Teru. Reviewed by Kyla Hunt.

ROSARIO + VAMPIRE, Volumes 1-3 written and illustrated by Akihisa Ikeda
Tsukune is an average student who accidentally enrolls at a school for monsters. The big problem is that if things go badly for him at this school, he won’t get detention. He might get eaten. And that’s before he falls in love with a vampire girl. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

I.O.N. written and illustrated by Arina Tanemura
Ion Tsuburagi chants the letters of her first name as a charm to bring good luck when she needs it. Then she meets Mikado Hourai, the president of the Psychic Powers Research Society at school, and touches a mysterious substance he's been developing. Now chanting "I-O-N" gives her telekinetic powers! Reviewed by Danica Davidson.


Poll and Question of the Month: eReaders


How old are you?

Under 12
18 or older

Do you have an eReader? Please check as many as apply.

I have a Kindle of my own.
I have an iPad of my own.
I have a Nook of my own.
I have a Sony eReader of my own.
I have another eReader of my own.
I read books on my cell phone.
I use a family member’s eReader.
My entire family shares an eReader.
I plan to get an eReader and know which one I want.
I do not plan to get an eReader at this time, but am interested in them.
I have no interest in an eReader.

-Click here to answer the poll.


If you have an eReader, what were the first three books you downloaded? If you are thinking about getting an eReader, what would you download first? Name up to three books.

-Click here to answer the question.


Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Could Win TWO Books!

Tell us what books you are reading and loving --- and even those you don't.

This contest period, one teen reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of DARKEST MERCY: The Final Wicked Lovely Book by Melissa Marr and TO TIMBUKTU: Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story written by Casey Scieszka and illustrated by Steven Weinberg
. To put your name in the hat, submit your current reading list and ratings by completing the form


Click here for more details about Word of Mouth.

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

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

--- Carol Fitzgerald for