In Yxta Maya Murray’s newest novel, The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Kidnapped, we’re on a high speed, high stakes thrill ride from the first page.  15 year old Michelle Pena is a determined and fierce young woman.  She’s a track star and an excelling student who is living with her gay foster father and working towards a scholarship at a prestigious Los Angeles area high school.  The problem is her past:  Michelle is the daughter of the gang’s leader, and when her dad was killed, her mother took over and ruled the organization with an iron fist.  She’s in prison and Michelle’s brother, Sampson aka “king,”Read More →

This article originally appeared in PW’s Children’s Bookshelf. By Diane Roback — Publishers Weekly, 2/11/2010 12:20:00 PM Anticipation—and speculation—have been building ever since fans closed the page on the cliffhanger ending of Catching Fire, the second in Suzanne Collins’s bestselling Hunger Games trilogy. What will happen in book three? And what will it be called? Though the plot twists are top-secret, the book’s title has just been revealed by Scholastic: Mockingjay. It will have a one-day laydown date of August 24, 2010, and a first printing of 750,000 copies. (The cover, and title, refer to the hybrid birds that are an important symbol—of hope andRead More →

Debut author Alyxandra Harvey’s Hearts at Stake is the first of a series of books about the Drakes, a charismatic, sexy and morally upright (they don’t feed on humans) family of vampires whose children are born mortal and turn into vampires when they reach the age of 16.  This first installment focuses on 15 year old Solange, the beautiful Drake daughter whose birth has been prophesied to upset the whole vampire world, and her best friend, Lucy, a spunky tough mortal teen who tries hard to help her friend lead a normal life.  When Solange is kidnapped, Lucy joins forces with the Drake brothers (includingRead More →

This article originally appeared in PW’s Children’s Bookshelf. By Kate Pavao — Publishers Weekly, 2/4/2010 12:40:00 PM Carrie Jones has been spending lots of time with pixies, shape shifters and other fantasy creatures—and it doesn’t look like she’ll be stopping anytime soon. Her books Need and Captivate, about a smart girl being stalked by a pixie, have struck a chord with readers; in January, both books landed on the New York Times bestseller lists. Now the series could be as many of five books. Here, Jones talks to Bookshelf about how she became enchanted by pixies, what comes next in the series, and why teenRead More →

Catherine Fisher’s latest fantasy novel, Incarceron, has recently been released in the US by Dial, and this The Times’ Children’s Book of the Year (2007) is worth picking up. Incarceron is a prison unlike anything you’ve ever imagined: its inmates live their whole lives, from birth to death, in an entirely enclosed world with a vast network of cities, underground tunnels, metal forests, and unbound wilderness, all under the ever-present, all-seeing, sentient Eye of Incarceron.  It has been sealed for centuries and only in legend has anyone ever escaped.  Finn, a 17 year old prisoner, has no memories before waking up in a cell 3 years before. EveryRead More →