I love smart, irreverent narrators, and Kiriel is one of my new favorites.  In A. M. Jenkins’  2010 Grand Canyon Reader Nominee Repossessed, we meet a bored, unappreciated know-it-all, Kiriel.  The thing is, he’s not your average suburban American teenager, he just took possession of one to experience physical existence.  And don’t call him a demon, which carries way too much negative baggage; he prefers Fallen Angel. As he puts it, the main difference between him and the Unfallen Angels is that he “wondered, questioned, confronted, eventually demanded, and in general pushed the edges of the envelope till the envelope burst.”  Perfect spirit to inhabitRead More →

In Arizona Grand Canyon Reader Award 2010 Nominee The Rules of Survival , Nancy Werlin tackles the topic of child abuse.  18-year-old Matt writes a letter to his youngest sister, Emmy, in an effort to come to terms with the childhood of fear they lived at the hands of their unpredictable, insane mother.  Matt insists that “fear isn’t actually a bad thing . . . . It warns you to pay attention, because you’re in danger. It tells you to do something, to act, to save yourself.”  Throughout the short, riveting chapters, Matt recounts his memories of growing up, and his terror is palpable, but so is hisRead More →

We just love Tucson author & illustrator Chris Gall!  His books are awesome, his art is amazing, and he’s a funny guy.  His new book, Dinotrux, is due out in June 2009 and the rights have been acquired by Dreamworks for a full-length, 3-D animated feature.  Yeah Chris!  Check out his blog for an animated trailer of the book, which will, of course, confirm your suspicions – that prehistoric trucks once roamed the earth!  Posted by CoriRead More →

In one word: Delightful! Rescuing Seneca Crane is Susan Runholt’s second Kari + Lucas Mystery.  She again delivers a action-packed, clever, well-structured mystery.  Kari and Lucas are perceptive, interesting, self-sufficicient teenagers with whom girls will enjoy spending time solving mysteries and just hanging out. Kari and Lucas are on a trip to Scotland with Kari’s mom. She’s there to interview a piano-playing teen prodigy, Seneca Crane.  At first, Kari & Lucas think Seneca will be too talented to relate to, but soon after meeting her and her over-protective parents, they decide she needs to be rescued from her restrictive life.  What they don’t realize is that they’ll soonRead More →

Jolted: Newton Starker’s Rules for Survival is a sharp, fun, and quick read.  Newton Starker always knew he would most likely die from a lightning strike. It would all happen in the blink of an eye – Zap! One fried 14-year old Newton, the last heir of the Starker line. Two years after his mother was killed by a lightning strike (as has every other member of the Starker family for generations), Newton is starting a new life at a survival school in the Canadian prairie.  He’s got challenges ahead – having lived most of his life indoors,  sheltered from the menace of the weather,Read More →

Rita Murphy’s latest novel, Bird, blends magical realism and mystery in telling the story of a girl easily carried away by the wind; a grim secretive widow; and an ominous house on a cliff. Miranda has no memory of where she came from – only that one day a huge gust of wind picked her up and brought her to Widow Barrows and Bourne Manor.  The Widow outfits Miranda with steel boots to keep her on the ground and forbids her leaving the house, but show her no other warmth or kindness. Bourne Manor is also a cold, grim place, full of foreboding, secrets and menace.Read More →

Michael Harmon’s new novel is aptly titled Brutal.  Poe Holly has a razor sharp tongue, enough anger to burn down a town, and the guts to speak her mind no matter how brutal the truth may be. 16-year-old Poe’s mom has dumped her with her long-estranged father in a quiet, well-to-do California wine country town where everything is absolutely perfect on the surface.  Poe’s punk look, anti-establishment attitude and anger issues mean right away she won’t fit in to the status quo.  And she finds out quickly enough that lurking behind the perfect exterior of this town and its perfect high school is a painfulRead More →

Phoenix Book Company is excited to schedule school appearances by The Vampire Academyseries author Richelle Mead in Phoenix on May 4, 2009. St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .Read More →

The Forest and Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan’s debut novel, begins seven generations after the Return, an undead plague that has ended civilization as we know it. The novel’s heroine, Mary, lives in a village surrounded by one last vestige of industrial technology: a chain-link fence, beyond which is a vast forest full of shambling, eternally ravenous zombies –the forest of hands and teeth. No villager ever goes outside this fence, unless they want to die, or worse, be infected and become one of the undead. Mary’s world is bounded not only by the fence but by the archaic traditions of her people, which are dictated by aRead More →