First impression suggests that Robin Wasserman‘s Book of Blood and Shadow has a lot of similarities to Jennifer Donnelly’s fantastic Revolution:  a modern American teen girl whose brother has been tragically killed; a family torn apart by their overwhelming grief and inability to deal with the loss; finding solace in the letters (journal) of a seemingly inconsequential teen girl hundreds of years ago; and discovering clues to a long-forgotten mystery.   In The Book of Blood and Shadow, high school senior Nora thought she was signing up for an easy honors extra credit project – working with an eccentric Medieval Studies professor translating old LatinRead More →

The latest from National Book Award Finalist Julie Anne Peters, It’s Our Prom (So Deal With It), is a sometimes comical and often insightful look at a high school rite of passage. Prom is, was, and always will be an event meant for the popular kids, the jocks, the socials and the kids with money –  the geeks, freaks, and uniques have never felt welcome.  Forget about attending if you don’t have a date, can’t afford the dress, tux, limo, or high ticket price.  And even if you do go, it’s just a boring dance where the school’s most popular kids elect each other asRead More →

Study finds e-readers have opposite effect on middle school girls who struggle with reading ( – Posted on March 21, 2012 by Margaret Allen) Middle school boys rated reading more valuable as an activity after two months of using an e-reader, according to a new study. The findings come from a study of 199 middle school students who struggle with reading and who participated in a reading improvement class that included Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, said one of the study’s authors, Dara Williams-Rossi, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. The researchers found that boys consistently had a higher self-concept of their reading skill than girls both before and afterRead More →

*Welcome to the Town of Remarkable Where Every Day in this Remarkable Place filled with Remarkable People is Positively Remarkable for Absolutely Everyone Except Jane I don’t think I’d like to live in a town like Remarkable, where everyone is expertly talented in something, everyone is positively happy, and every sentence uttered ends in an exclamation point!  I think 10 year old Jane Doe, unnoticed, untalented, and completely unremarkable, would be only person worth knowing.  For Jane, the middle child in a remarkable family – her mother is a world renowned architect, her father a prize winning novelist, her gorgeous brother an ultra talented painter and herRead More →

The March issue of our newsletter is out now! Bringing book industry news, info on new releases and cool websites, book reviews, opportunities to win free books, tech news and much more straight to your inbox! Not signed up for our email mailing list? It’s easy- just find the Join Our Mailing List link on the right sidebar of this blog. (Or, click here) In the meantime, just in case you didn’t get one, check out the newsletter here. The March Newsletter Giveaway is now closed, the winner was Martha K. Thanks for entering!Read More →

I don’t think it matters who you are or where you come from, no one wants to turn into their parents.  But for Jasper “Jazz” Dent, the 17 year old protagonist in Barry Lyga‘s I Hunt Killers, the stakes are a lot higher than for most of us: his dad, Billy Dent, is the nation’s most notorious serial killer.  And Billy took great care to “train” his son to follow in his footsteps, from meticiously describing his murders, to teaching Jazz the fine art of conning his prospects, and ultimately bringing him along on his killing sprees.  Jazz is haunted by nightmares of Billy’s trophies,Read More →

Trying to figure out his own feelings, insecurities, and emotional roller coaster while striving to live up to everyone else’s image of him, 16 year old Luke is failing miserably. It doesn’t help that people’s expectations are unbelievably high, due in no small part to the best-selling book he wrote, Hallelujah, and its devout Christian message.  So when his brother Matt “volunteers” to drive Luke on his book tour from LA to St. Louis, Luke isn’t sure this is going to go very well.   Luke’s straight-laced, high strung, controlling personality is continually put to the test on the week-long tour, which ends up being aRead More →

I’ll admit right away that I was really excited when I saw the ARC for this book and I had really high hopes for it. Keeping in mind that John Barnes‘   tales of the MADMAN underground is one of the best young adult books I’ve ever read, it was hard for me to wait until Losers in Space got to the top of the pile (I know, why wait, right? But sometimes the waiting builds up the anticipation and makes the reward so much better…) So, I was out of the office yesterday and I thought, it’s a perfect day to dive in. AndRead More →

From School Library Journal (3/1/12): Though it happened more than 50 years ago, I keep the sensation of that moment. It’s every bit as vivid as the memory of pedaling my bike down the sidewalk and suddenly realizing I was alone, that my father was no longer there steadying and guiding me. Or the feeling of counting backward under ether, “ten…, nine….” I was in first grade, I know that, in Miss Carnahan’s class, though I don’t think I was in school when it happened. Most of the specifics of the event have fallen away. There’s really just this high-magnification, slow-motion rendition, a single momentRead More →