There are dozens of ways in which an author can introduce information into a story. Alexander chooses to come right out with it. He uses a “remember when” method. This is when two characters are speaking with one another and one character says to the other, “Remember when—” The character then proceeds to inform the other character and also the reader about back story that they do now know. Almost the entire history of the land of Prydain is giving in the first chapter of the book in just this manner. The reader learns of all the bad guys, magic, history, and some of the characters we will meet throughout the book. This can feel heavy handed at times, but it is a quick and efficient way to give information and not worry about inserting bits and pieces slowly throughout the story.
Septimus Heap: The Magykal Papers by Angie Sage
Enter the world of Septimus Heap with this collection of previously unpublished papers. This rich compendium includes:
· The private journals of Septimus, Jenna, and Marcia Overstrand.
· The best—and worst—places to eat as described in The Egg-on-Toast Restaurant Guide.
· Sirius Weazal's Speedy Guides to the Palace, the Wizard Tower, and Wizard Way.
· Excerpts from the Pigeon Post Biography series and the Heaps of History series.
· Alther Mella's Guide to Being Dead: Ten Handy Rules for New Ghosts.
· Beautiful maps, quirky flyers, funny letters, and much more!
Have you Seen My Cat? By Eric Carle
A little boy's cat is missing and he is worried. Beautiful illustrations and a brief, easy-to-read text lead small readers on a round-the-world quest for the lost cat, and to an ending that is a wonderful surprise. Along the way, the little boy meets a wide variety of people, all trying to be helpful, and sees many beautiful members of the cat family strikingly pictured in Eric Carle's distinctive collage technique.
This popular book, first published more than a decade ago, has now been completely re-illustrated by Eric Carle and is more appealing than ever. We are proud to re-introduce it now for the delight of a new generation of readers.
A Taste for Red by Lewis Harris
A sixth-grade Goth girl who thinks she’s a vampire encounters her greatest nemesis when she enrolls at Sunny Hill Middle School in this hilarious and entirely original take on the vampire genre for middle graders. Svetlana Grimm has recently discovered she’s a vampire. The clues are all there: she can eat only red foods, has to sleep under the bed because of her heightened sensitivity to light and noise, and can read others’ thoughts. But this new discovery is making her transition from home-schooling to attending sixth grade at Sunny Hill Middle School that much more difficult. After all, what can she possibly have in common with those jellybean-eaters in her class? She prefers to watch them from afar in her hidden lair atop the Oak of Doom in her backyard. But things get more interesting when Svetlana’s cruel yet beautiful science teacher, Ms. Larch, reads her thoughts. Svetlana is excited to have found another of her kind—until her new neighbor, The Bone Lady, fills her in on Ms. Larch's true identity and her own. What happens when your sixth-grade science teacher might also be your immortal enemy?
The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School by Laurie Halse Anderson
Mom and Dad Fleefenbacher think their daughter Zoe's hair is wild and beautiful. And for her kindergarten teacher, Zoe's vivacious tresses were a comfort. But Zoe's about to start first grade, and her new teacher doesn't fool around....
"School has rules," she says. "No wild hair in my class!"
So what are Zoe and her free-spirited hair going to do now?
Alibi Junior High by Greg Logsted
Thirteen-year-old Cody Saron has never lived in one place longer than a few weeks, and has never attended a regular school. Growing up on the run with his father, an undercover agent for the CIA, Cody has traveled the entire globe; he speaks five languages, and he has two black belts. What Cody isn't prepared for is...junior high.
When the danger surrounding Cody's dad heats up, Cody is sent to stay with the aunt he's never known, Jenny, in her small Connecticut suburb. Cody has no idea how to fit in with other kids, how to handle his first crush, or how to make it through a day of classes.As Cody struggles to adapt to the one thing he's never experienced -- a normal life -- he starts to fear that his father's world has followed him and no one he loves is safe. Greg Logsted weaves together action, humor, and heart, building to a surprising revelation about what Cody has always believed to be true.
Wicked Will: A Mystery of Young Shakespeare by Bailey McDonald
Thirteen-year-old Viola, disguised as a boy, joins her uncle’s troupe of traveling players and arrives in Stratford, where she meets a lively 12-year-old named Will Shakespeare. When a local man is murdered and her uncle is imprisoned as a suspect, Viola and Will join forces. Hoping to startle a confession from the supposed murderer, Will hatches a dramatic trap in which Viola, disguised as a “ghastly ghost,” delivers lines written by Will in iambic pentameter.
Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne by James Gavin
At long last, the first serious biography of entertainment legend Lena Horne -- the celebrated star of film, stage, and music who became one of the first African-American icons.At the 74th annual Academy Awards in 2002, Halle Berry thanked Lena Horne for paving the way for her to become the first black recipient of a Best Actress Oscar. Though limited, mostly to guest singing appearances in splashy Hollywood musicals, "the beautiful Lena Horne," as she was often called, became a pioneering star for African Americans in the 1940s and fifties.
Extra Credit by Andrew ClementsIt isn't that Abby Carson can't do her schoolwork, it's just that she doesn't like doing it. And that means she's pretty much failing sixth grade. When a warning letter is sent home, Abby realizes that all her slacking off could cause her to be held back -- for real! Unless she wants to repeat the sixth grade, she'll have to meet some specific conditions, including taking on an extra-credit project: find a pen pal in a foreign country. Simple enough (even for a girl who hates homework). Abby's first letter arrives at a small school in Afghanistan, and Sadeed Bayat is chosen to be her pen pal.... Well, kind of. He is the best writer, but he is also a boy, and in his village it is not appropriate for a boy to correspond with a girl. So his younger sister dictates and signs the letter. Until Sadeed decides what his sister is telling Abby isn't what he'd like Abby to know. As letters flow back and forth between Illinois and Afghanistan, Abby and Sadeed discover that their letters are crossing more than an ocean. They are crossing a huge cultural divide and a minefield of different lifestyles and traditions. Their growing friendship is also becoming a growing problem for both communities, and some people are not happy. Suddenly things are not so simple
Lund started her writing career as a freelancer, contributing articles and stories to Reader's Digest, Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeeping. She published eight popular children's books, including "Attic in the Wind," which sold over 1 million copies.
When her son Eric died of leukemia, Lund wrote a nonfiction book about his battle with the disease. "Eric" was published in 1974, and was eventually printed in 20 languages. Two years later, CBS aired a Hallmark TV movie based on her book, starring Patricia Neil, Claude Akins and Mark Hamill.
"I knew I was watching something unusually courageous. Being a writer, you take things in and regurgitate them automatically. I knew I was privileged," Lund once said.
Except that it's not true. Guys aren't from another planet any more than girls are. Guys are complex, funny, thoughtful, and sometimes downright hysterical. And no matter what kind of guy you are, there's a story in Guys Write For Guys Read that you will like and a guy writer who probably, in one way or another, felt a lot of the things you feel right now.
Jon Scieszka's anthology brings together the best male writers and artists around to write (or draw, or paint) about everything from dangerous books (Neil Gaiman) to the inability to resist danger in the form of the neighbor's homemade electric chair (Jack Gantos), to a very secret Lettermens' club initiation that involved raw oysters, olives, and shoes (Chris Crutcher). Every piece in this book, whether humorous or heartbreaking, conveys the spirit of what it means to be a son, a father, a friend, a hiker on the trail of self-discovery, and most importantly, a guy.
Even if you're a guy who normally hates to read, check out this book (you can read it one essay at a time if you're busy with sports, girls, or raiding the fridge), and take a look at Jon Scieszka's website, GuysRead.com.
Los Angeles is all about the sweet life: hot clubs, cute guys, designer . . . everything. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can't wait to start living it up. She may be in L.A. for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun. When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, a "reality version of Sex and the City," they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please! Soon Jane is TV's hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara—free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premieres—and she's lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane's spotlight.In a city filled with people chasing after their dreams, it's not long before Jane wakes up to the reality that everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be. L.A. Candy is a deliciously entertaining novel about what it's like to come of age in Hollywood while starring in a reality TV show, written by a girl who has experienced it all firsthand: Lauren Conrad.
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Dessen has built a well-deserved reputation for delicately depicting teen girls in turmoil. Her latest title showcases a socially awkward young woman who seeks solace in the comforting rigidity of academic success. Auden is about to start college in the fall, and decides to escape her control-freak professor mom to spend the summer with her novelist father, his new young wife, and their brand-new baby daughter, Thisbe. Over the course of the summer, Auden tackles many new projects: learning to ride a bike, making real connections with peers, facing the emotional fallout of her parents’ divorce, distancing herself from her mother, and falling in love with Eli, a fellow insomniac bicyclist recovering from his own traumas. The cover may mislead readers, as despite the body language of the girl in pink and the hunky blue-jeaned boy balanced on a bike, this is no slight romance: there’s real substance here. Dessen’s many fans will not be deterred by the length or that cover; they expect nuanced, subtle writing, and they won’t be disappointed. Grades 9-12.
Turkle writes, "In writing, I use all sorts of tricks to capture the attention of my young audience: suspense, humor and even charm, when I can muster it. But no matter how successfully I may entertain, I am really up to something else: subversion. My abilities are implacably lined up against the hypocrisy, materialism and brutality that so pervade our society. As my readers leave childhood behind, I hope that they will carry with them an appreciation for such alternatives as integrity, mutual respect, kindness and reverence for life. These alternatives are in my books and I pray that exposure to them will play a part in the construction of a better tomorrow."
House of the Scorpion has the pacing of a war drum, a slow and steady throb that builds in intensity and noise as the story progresses. In the beginning there is the feeling of loneliness, the thing that captured the reader, but underneath there is something more sinister. With each passing chapter there are large amounts of dramatic irony. The reader becomes painfully aware of the misfortune that will befall young Matteo, and this continues to build the anticipation as they wait for him to also realize this. Halfway through the book is Matteo’s escape. This begins a new and different kind of drum. It too is quick and scary, but the stakes are very different. It is no longer Matteo’s immediate life that is at stake, but rather his freedom and that is just as menacing. The second half of the book is quick, hitting every proper plot point without letting up. Farmer goes from one chase to the next, one bad guy to the next, and she doesn’t let up until the very end.
In the about section on Jon Foster's website all he says about himself is, "Providence, what a wonderful name for a city. I’ve lived here for nearly two decades now and find it hard to imagine living anywhere else." That is rather telling for an artist who is so prolific, for he is allowing his art to speak for itself, free of the artist and yet because of him.
Foster is a freelance illustrator, penciler, and sculptor. He is best known for his comic book covers in Batman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Star Wars. Foster studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 1989. His paintings are oils on canvas and are known to have a dark or muted color pallet. Typically, they oncorporate subject matter like good vs. evil, anger, and adventure. Before a project is complete, Foster scans his paintings into a computer to add digital effects. Some of his achievements include multiple awards from the prestigious Spectrum sci-fi and fantasy art publications.
He is featured on this web-site for his cover art on the Timothy Zahn Dragonback Series, Orvis by H.M. Hoover, Conrad's Fate by Diane Wynn Jones, and The Earthborn by Phil Collins. Foster's artwork is easily recognizable and beautifully achieved.