Category Archives: books

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Seven Torments of Amy & Craig by Don Zolidis

The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig

by Don Zolidis

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Janesville, Wisconsin (cold in the sense that there is no God)
1994

The worst thing that’s ever happened to Craig is also the best: Amy. Amy and Craig never should’ve gotten together. Craig is an awkward, Dungeons & Dragons-playing geek, and Amy is the beautiful, fiercely intelligent student-body president of their high school.

Yet somehow they did. Until Amy dumped him. Then got back together with him. Then dumped him again. Then got back together with him again. Over and over and over.

Unfolding during their senior year, Amy and Craig’s exhilarating, tumultuous relationship is a kaleidoscope of joy, pain, and laughter as an uncertain future-and adult responsibility-loom on the horizon.

Craig fights for his dream of escaping Janesville and finding his place at a quirky college, while Amy’s quest to uncover her true self sometimes involves being Craig’s girlfriend and sometimes doesn’t.

Seven heartbreaks. Seven joys.Told nonsequentially, acclaimed playwright Don Zolidis’s debut novel is a brutally funny, bittersweet taste of the utterly unique and utterly universal experience of first love.

She laughed again. “You know what I’m saying?”

“Sure,” I said, realizing I had zoned out again and she had probably said something important. “It’s just like . . . ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.’ By T. S. Eliot.”

“Well, yes, but I think that’s more about alienation than anything else, and what I’m talking about is acceptance. Like,

Prufrock can’t accept that he’s changed and the world is becom­ing different, you know?”

“Yup,” I said, crossing it off in my notebook. Shit.

You’re probably beginning to understand why I wrote down things to talk about.

“I think my favorite line,” I said, looking down at the rest of my notes, “is ‘I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.’”

“Aww,” she said. “Why?

I smiled into my pillow. I hoped she could see it too. “Because that’s how I used to feel before I met you.”

“I’m singing to you,” Amy said into the phone. “Except I really suck at singing.”

“I think the singing is metaphorical.”

“Maybe they’re like the Sirens. Luring lonely poets to their doom. And really they’ve got teeth like knives and will rip you to shreds if you come too close.”

“That pretty accurately describes my love life up to this point.”

“I’m sure it’s not that bad.”

“It’s pretty bad.”

“Oh come on.”

Amy was my first girlfriend. Well, okay, there was Jessica Southern, my junior year, who I went out with for nine days. We kissed once, and then she decided that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Which it probably was. So, twelve days into my first relationship with Amy, we had already lasted exactly 33 percent more than my previous record (yes, I had done the math).

 

 

About the Author

Originally from Wisconsin, Don Zolidis is a novelist and one of the most-produced playwrights in America.

His 102 published plays have received more than 12,000 productions and have appeared in every state and 64 countries.

His first novel, The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig, will be published by Disney-Hyperion in October 2018.

He currently splits time between Texas and New York and aspires to owning a dog.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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3 winners will win a finished copy of THE SEVEN TORMENTS OF AMY & CRAIG, US Only.

 

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BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black

The Girl at the Grave

by Teri Bailey Black

YA Mystery

Book Description

Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

 

 

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi there! I’m Teri Bailey Black, the author behind GIRL AT THE GRAVE, a YA novel of love and murder set in 1849 Connecticut. I live in Orange County, California, but feel like I spend most of my time in imaginary places. If I’m not wandering in some story, I’m probably obsessing over another creative endeavor. I love sewing, gardening, baking delicious fattening probably chocolate things, and decorating the house. And shopping! I don’t need to spend money; window shopping works too! I’m married and have four children.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve loved writing since I learned to read. I won a school writing contest when I was nine, and by the time I’d finished high school, I’d filled a small filing cabinet with my stories. Then I got married and had four children, and writing took a backseat for a while. My first child was born with severe disabilities, which brought a few extra challenges. Plus, I started a home business that took off and kept me creatively happy. Life was busy! But now my kids are teenagers, so I have more time on my hands and started writing again. I wrote aimlessly at first, trying to figure out WHAT I wanted to write, then I found the right story and some critique friends, put in the hours, attended writing conferences, endured my fair share of rejection, and finally received that wonderful phone call of success. GIRL AT THE GRAVE is my debut novel.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

So many ideas! They’re everywhere and endless. Any good book or movie gets my creative juices flowing. Some ideas drift away, others settle in, but the final idea is always quite different from the initial spark. For instance, I recently watched a History Channel show on World War II that really struck a chord in me. Ideas started flowing—but not war stories. Not even set in that era. But it made think up some interesting characters and situations. (I jotted notes but have yet to write that story.) I usually have several ideas started at once. They’re just vague, shadowy things, a few chapters written, no idea where the plot will go. Then one of the stories starts to fill out in my mind. I keep writing. As I come to understand the characters and fall in love with them, I want to write their story—so I do!

4.  Tell us about The Girl at the Grave.

GIRL AT THE GRAVE is a story of murder and romance set in 1849 in Connecticut. As a child, Valentine saw her mother hanged for murdering the wealthiest man in town. She’s grown up feeling like an outcast, fending for herself in a crumbling estate. She’s worked hard to prove herself at Drake Academy and overcome her mother’s crime, but when a new string of murders strikes the town, everyone suspects her—the daughter of a killer. As Valentine hunts the killer to clear her own name, she uncovers dark secrets she’d rather keep buried. Oh, and there are a couple of good looking guys in her life as well. So basically—a Gothic murder mystery with lots of atmosphere. No ghosts. Not paranormal. (The spooky cover has confused some people.)

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

I wish I were one of those super speedy writers who pumps out books. I’m not a slooow writer—I’m probably average—but I’m definitely not a fast writing machine. For me, much of the joy is playing with the words, being creative, wandering one direction, then another, figuring out the story, changing my mind, maybe murdering a different person. I would rather take my time and get it right than get it fast. That said—I do push myself to outline and write as quickly as possible because publishing deadlines do exist. I just wrote a book in 10 months. Is that slow? I think that’s as fast as my writing brain can create.

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

The time of day makes a huge difference for me. I write really well in the wee dawn hours. I actually start writing at 4 or 5 in the morning—yes, really! The world is asleep, the house is quiet, and I can disappear into my story. Then, alas, the sun rises, the house gets noisy, time to shower and make the bed and throw in a load of laundry. I still write throughout the day, but I’m much more productive in those early morning hours. The downside: my brain melts at 8pm.

 

About the Author

Teri Bailey Black grew up near the beach in southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food, but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She makes an amazing chocolate cherry cake—frequently. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California.

Twitter /Instagram /Website

 

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Prize: Wonderland Book Beau, size XL for a standard hardcover (USA only)
Starts:10/25/18
Ends: 11/2/18

 

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The Fantastic Flying Book Club

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT: The Stranger Game by Peter Gadol

The Stranger Game

by Peter Gadol

Mystery

Book Description

A literary suspense novel in which an eerie social game goes viral and spins perilously—and criminally—out of control.

Rebecca’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Ezra, has gone missing, but when she notifies the police, they seem surprisingly unconcerned. They suspect he has been playing the “stranger game,” a viral hit in which players start following others in real life, as they might otherwise do on social media. As the game spreads, however, the rules begin to change, play grows more intense and disappearances are reported across the country.

Curious about this popular new obsession, and hoping that she might be able to track down Ezra, Rebecca tries the game for herself. She also meets Carey, who is willing to take the game further than she imagined possible. As her relationship with Carey and involvement in the game deepen, she begins to uncover an unsettling subculture that has infiltrated the world around her. In playing the stranger game, what may lead her closer to finding Ezra may take her further and further from the life she once lived.

A thought-provoking, haunting novel, The Stranger Game unearths the connections, both imagined and real, that we build with the people around us in the physical and digital world, and where the boundaries blur between them.

The Stranger Game is a sharp-toothed commentary on the ways in which ‘following’ can foster a pretense of intimacy between strangers, and how the falsity of this intimacy—its utter lack of substance—often creates a perilous hunger for more: more access, more communion, more knowledge. It’s also a fun, moody, twisty thriller, with a sun-touched, West Coast vibe…as much Joan Didion as Patricia Highsmith.” —Scott Smith, author of A Simple Plan and The Ruins

“‘Following’ gets a whole new meaning in Peter Gadol’s stylish psychological thriller set in the future of the day-after-tomorrow. A moody, increasingly dangerous house of mirrors where the rules morph as his players become more obsessed with ‘the stranger game.’” —Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and The Revolution of Marina M.

The Stranger Game is a gripping and nuanced novel that asks whom we trust and why. It is about being an insider and an outsider, about being watched and, finally being truly seen.” —Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and No One is Here Except All of Us

 

About the Author

Peter Gadol’s seven novels include THE STRANGER GAME, SILVER LAKE, LIGHT AT DUSK, and THE LONG RAIN. His work his been translated for foreign editions and appeared in literary journals, including StoryQuarterly, the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal, and Tin House. Gadol lives in Los Angeles, where he is Chair and Professor of the MFA Writing program at Otis College of Art and Design. Visit petergadol.com for more info on his work.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

 

BOOK TRAILER BLAST & GIVEAWAY: Death by the River by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

Death by the River

by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor

YA Thriller

Book Description

Some truths are better kept secret.
Some secrets are better off dead. 

Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

WARNING: Readers of Death by the River will encounter situations of violence and sexual abuse which could be upsetting.

 

 

About the Authors

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, CRRN, ONC, PhD, is a multi award-winning author of over twenty-five novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured animals. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. Weis writes paranormal, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. ​

Lucas Astor, Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight. He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.​

Weis and Astor’s first collaboration was the multi-award-winning Magnus Blackwell Series.
PURCHASE LINKS:
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

–  1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of DEATH BY THE RIVER by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor    

–  1 Winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.    

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BOOK TOUR REVIEW: The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles

The Boy at the Keyhole

by Stephen Giles

Mystery

Book Description

Nine-year-old Samuel lives alone in a once-great estate in Surrey with the family’s housekeeper, Ruth. His father is dead and his mother has been abroad for months, purportedly tending to her late husband’s faltering business. She left in a hurry one night while Samuel was sleeping and did not say goodbye.

Beyond her sporadic postcards, Samuel hears nothing from his mother. He misses her dearly and maps her journey in an atlas he finds in her study. Samuel’s life is otherwise regulated by Ruth, who runs the house with an iron fist. Only she and Samuel know how brutally she enforces order.

As rumors in town begin to swirl, Samuel wonders whether something more sinister is afoot. Perhaps his mother did not leave but was murdered—by Ruth.

Artful, haunting and hurtling toward a psychological showdown, The Boy at the Keyhole is an incandescent debut about the precarious dance between truth and perception, and the shocking acts that occur behind closed doors.

MY THOUGHTS:

3 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles

Young Samuel Clay has recently lost his father. They were once a family with a great name, a grand estate, and money and status to go with it. But now, since the death of his father, Samuel’s mother has been abroad, leaving Samuel in the care of the strict housekeeper Ruth.

With a little suggestion from his friend and a lot of help from his imagination, it doesn’t take long before Samuel starts thinking that maybe his mother isn’t just away in America searching for business opportunities. He starts thinking that maybe something more sinister has happened to her–and that the person who did it is the one who’s been trusted with his care now.

The tension is very palpable in this novel, which kept me turning the pages waiting for something big to happen. There were very good moments here and there, but overall I felt there was a ton of buildup to a very unspectacular ending.

As with most Gothic type novels, the house itself plays a role in the story; the Clay manor is large and its’ rooms are full of dark secrets. As we join Samuel going in and out of these rooms trying to discover what really happened to his mother, we can see how he might have started thinking some unsavory things were going on in his home.

I’m still not sure about the ending. Ambiguity is one thing, but I felt totally confused when it was all said and done. I didn’t understand the character’s motives or what exactly happened and why. Maybe some people enjoy that type of ending, but I don’t.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Stephen Giles is the Australian author behind the lauded children’s series “Anyone But Ivy Pocket”, penned under the pseudonym Caleb Krisp. The series, published in the US by HarperCollins/Greenwillow and the UK by Bloomsbury, appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, has been translated into 25 different languages and was optioned by Paramount Pictures.

Prior to selling his first book, Stephen worked in a variety of jobs to supplement his writing including market research, film classification and media monitoring. “The Boy at the Keyhole” is Giles’ first work for adults and the film rights for this book have been acquired by New Regency.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

 

Chapter Book and Children’s Nonfiction Round Up

Here is a small collection of what Macmillan Publishing has put out lately!

Penny the Puppy: Fairy Animals of Misty Wood

by Lily Small

Enter an enchanted world of fairy animal friends!

Penny the Puppy is trying to learn something very important in school—how to count. The only problem is that Penny keeps getting distracted. How is a puppy supposed to concentrate on her numbers when Misty Wood is so beautiful and interesting? With help from some new friends, Penny might just find a way!

Raffie on the Run

by Jacqueline Resnick, illustrated by Joe Sutphin

Roaring Brook Press has bought the middle grade novel Raffie on the Run, an animal adventure written by Jacqueline Resnick, illustrated by Joe Sutphin. Pitched as Finding Nemo meets The Cricket in Times Square, it stars Raffie Lipton, a New York City subway rat who ventures outside his comfy subway stop in Brooklyn in a quest to save his younger brother.

Bob

by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead, illustrated by Nicholas Gannon

It’s been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy’s grandmother in Australia. Now that she’s back, Livy has the feeling she’s forgotten something really, really important about Gran’s house.
It turns out she’s right.

Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn’t forget Livy, or her promise. He’s been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can’t remember who—or what—he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it’s time to keep that promise.

Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever.

What’s Your Favorite Bug?

by Eric Carle and friends

Everybody has a favorite bug. Some like shiny, colorful beetles or busy ants or soft pale moths best. Others prefer spindly walking sticks or fuzzy caterpillars that turn into bright butterflies. With beautiful illustrations and charming personal stories, 15 children’s book artists share their favorite bugs and why they love them.

What’s Your Favorite Bug? features words and pictures by:

Eric Carle
Joey Chou
Eric Fan
Denise Fleming
Ekua Holmes
Tim Hopgood
Molly Idle
Beth Krommes
Scott Magoon
Kenard Pak
Maggie Rudy
Britta Teckentrup
Brendan Wenzel
Teagan White
Eugene Yelchin

Marie Curie

by Demi

Celebrated author and artist Demi beautifully portrays the life and story of Marie Curie, the revolutionary scientist and winner of two Nobel Prizes.

Maria Salomea Sklodowaska was born on November 7, 1867. Her family called her Manya, but the world would remember her by another name: Marie Curie, one of the greatest scientists who ever lived.

In a time when few women attended college, Marie earned degrees in physics and mathematics and went on to discover two elements: radium and polonium. She also invented a new word along the way: radioactive. This book celebrates her momentous achievements while also educating its readers about her scientific accomplishments and their implications.

Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing

by Leda Schubert, illustrated by Raul Colon

Listen.
There was nobody like Pete Seeger.
Wherever he went, he got people singing.
With his head thrown back
and his Adam s apple bouncing,
picking his long-necked banjo
or strumming his twelve-string guitar,
Pete sang old songs,
new songs,
new words to old songs,
and songs he made up.

In this tribute to legendary musician and activist Pete Seeger, author Leda Schubert highlights major musical events in Mr. Seeger’s life as well important moments of his fight against social injustice. From singing sold-out concerts to courageously standing against the McCarthy-era finger-pointing, Pete Seeger’s life is celebrated in this book.

Who Says Women Can’t Be Computer Programmers?: The Story of Ada Lovelace

by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

Known as “The Enchantress of Numbers” by many inventors and mathematicians of the 19th century, Ada Lovelace is recognized today as history’s first computer programmer. Her work was an inspiration to such famous minds as Charles Babbage and Alan Turing. This is her story.

BOOK TOUR GUEST POST: A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

A Heart in a Body in the World

by Deb Caletti

YA Contemporary

Book Description

When everything has been taken from you, what else is there to do but run?

So that’s what Annabelle does—she runs from Seattle to Washington, DC, through mountain passes and suburban landscapes, from long lonely roads to college towns. She’s not ready to think about the why yet, just the how—muscles burning, heart pumping, feet pounding the earth. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t outrun the tragedy from the past year, or the person—The Taker—that haunts her.

Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and backed by her brother and two friends (her self-appointed publicity team), Annabelle becomes a reluctant activist as people connect her journey to the trauma from her past. Her cross-country run gains media attention and she is cheered on as she crosses state borders, and is even thrown a block party and given gifts. The support would be nice, if Annabelle could escape the guilt and the shame from what happened back home. They say it isn’t her fault, but she can’t feel the truth of that.

Through welcome and unwelcome distractions, she just keeps running, to the destination that awaits her. There, she’ll finally face what lies behind her—the miles and love and loss…and what is to come.

Five quotes from A HEART IN A BODY IN THE WORLD

1. “There are songs about the heart and poems about the heart and legends about the heart and facts about the heart. And, it’s true – the heart sings and speaks and tells its story. There are exact miles of arteries; there is the exact force of its beat. But the heart is also quiet. It is also a mystery. No one really knows how it goes on after being broken.”

2. “We go forward. Sometimes against our will, sometimes against all odds, we go forward.”

3. “She remembers the muscles in her calves and the strength in her thighs, and she remembers the heat of the farmland and the slope of the mountains and the miles and miles she’s crossed. She remembers her strength.”

4. “The trip across the glacier and through the dark land of grief is crooked and dangerous but sometimes beautiful. The voyage past the last edges of the universe is frightening and impossible but sometimes astonishing…”

5. “She is a different person than the defeated Annabelle, the giving up Annabelle. She is sort of a victorious Annabelle, lying among rose petals on the honeymoon bed of the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel. You never know what a day will bring, which is both the good news and bad news of life.”

About the Author

Deb Caletti is an award-winning author and National Book Award finalist. Her many books for young adults include The Nature of Jade, Stay, The Last Forever, Essential Maps for the Lost, and Honey, Baby Sweetheart, winner of the Washington State Book award, the PNBA Best Book Award, and a finalist for the California Young Reader Medal and the PEN USA Award. Her books for adults include He’s Gone, The Secrets She Keeps, and her most recent release, What’s Become of Her.

Deb grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, and now lives with her family in Seattle.

PURCHASE THE BOOK
5 Winners will receive a Copy of A HEART IN A BODY IN THE WORLD by Deb Caletti. 

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Children’s Book Round Up

Here’s a summary of what Macmillan Publishing has to offer as of late, from board books to children’s books!

 

The Little School Bus

by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Bob Kolar

Join Driver Bob and his little school bus as they wake early, pick up a diverse group of children, and drop them off at school. Then it’s over to the garage to fix a tail light. All in a day’s work for this trusty team. The lyrical text, catchy rhyme, and bright pictures make this a perfect choice for preschoolers who are soon to be school bus riders!

Pip and Pup

by Eugene Yelchin

An adorable baby chick and puppy become barnyard friends in this wordless picture book from Newbery Honor author Eugene Yelchin.

Across the barnyard, Pip the chick spots a new friend to play with—Pup! But Pup isn’t sure he likes how Pip plays—too rough. These two friends will weather the storm though. A bright, fun celebration of spring and friendship!

Someone Like Me

by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Chris Sheban

If you were a little girl
who listened to stories
over and over and over;
and who read books
every night,
every day,
even as her mother led her across the street,
You might be me,
a writer.

Follow a little girl in author Patricia MacLachlan’s semi-autobiographical picture book and learn what it might take to grow up to become a writer.

What the Ladybug Heard Next

by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Lydia Monks

Out of jail and up to no good, Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len are robbers on a mission. They’ve been stealing eggs from the fat red hen, and now they have their eyes set on the real prize—the fat red hen herself. They think their plan is foolproof, but they haven’t counted on one very tiny, very quiet thing. The ladybug has outsmarted these bandits once—and she’s ready to do it again!

I Need All of It

by Petra Postert, illustrated by Jens Rassmus

In Petra Postert and Jens Rassmus’s illustrated I Need All of It, a little boy recounts to his father the tales of how he received the three objects in his pocket and why he needs to keep them.

If I Had a Horse

by Gianna Marino

If I Had a Horse is an inspiring picture book with simple text and gorgeous, impressionistic artwork from acclaimed author-illustrator Gianna Marino about a girl imagining what life would be like with a horse.

Go Big or Go Gnome

by Kirsten Mayer, illustrated by Laura K. Horton

Laugh your whiskers off with Albert the Gnome in this charming and funny picture book about friendship, self-acceptance — and beards!

A beard is the biggest point of pride for a Gnome, but poor Al can’t sprout a single whisker. Each year, Al feels left out of the Beards International Gnome-athalon, B.I.G.

So Al decides to go BIG or go Gnome! It’s a close shave, but with a hidden talent and the help of his friend, Gnorm, Al learns accepting that you are different is the key to fitting in.

Food Truck Fest!

by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Mike Dutton

Join the members of one family as they head to the Food Truck Fest! They gather their things, cross the bridge, and prepare for a fun-filled day. And as they get ready, the workers on the food trucks get ready, too–preparing, tasting, and traveling across the bridge to join all the other kitchens-on-wheels. With delicious free samples and cuisines from around the world, it’s a day of trying new things and having fun together!

The Bat Can Bat: A Book of True Homonyms

by Gene Barretta

A picture book about homonyms starring a silly cast of animal athletes.

What is a homonym? It’s a word that has different meanings but is always spelled the same.
This informative book, set at a sporting event, includes a BAT who can BAT! A karate-chopping bulldog who is tough enough to BREAK five boards without taking a BREAK, and a STEER who tried to STEER his skateboard, but accidentally fell into a well–and that’s just for starters.

The clever wordplay from Gene Barretta introduces children to the richness of language through homonyms.

 

 

 

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT: White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D’Avenia

White as Silence, Red as Song

by Alessandro D’Avenia

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Hailed as Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars, this Italian bestseller is now available for the first time in English.

“I was born on the first day of school, and I grew up and old in just two hundred days . . .”

Sixteen-year-old Leo has a way with words, but he doesn’t know it yet. He spends his time texting, polishing soccer maneuvers, and killing time with Niko and Silvia. Until a new teacher arrives and challenges him to give voice to his dreams.

And so Leo is inspired to win over the red-haired beauty, Beatrice. She doesn’t know Leo exists, but he’s convinced that his dream to win her over will come true. When Leo lands in the hospital and learns that Beatrice has been admitted too, his mission to be there for her will send him on a thrilling but heartbreaking journey. He wants to help her but doesn’t know how—and his dream of love will force him to grow up fast.

Having already sold over a million copies in Italy, Alessandro D’Avenia’s debut novel is considered the Italian The Fault in Our Stars. Now available in English for the first time, this rich, funny, and heartwarming coming-of-age tale asks us to explore the meaning—and the cost—of friendship, and shows us what happens when suffering bursts into the world of teenagers and renders the world of adults speechless.

 

About the Author

Alessandro D’Avenia holds a PhD in Classical Literature, and teaches Ancient Greek, Latin and Literature at a high school in Milan. White as Silence, Red as Song was his first novel,published in Italy in 2010. It sold a million copies in Italy, has been translated into over twenty languages and was released as a film in 2012. Alessandro has since published four more books, the latest of which, Every Story is a Love Story, was published in October 2017.

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BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma

A Room Away from the Wolves

by Nova Ren Suma

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave…

In the Dark

When the girl who lived in the room below mine disappeared into the darkness, she gave no warning, she showed no twitch of fear. She had her back to me, but I sensed her eyes were open, the city skyline bristling with attention, five stories above the street. It was how I imagined Catherine de Barra herself once stood at this edge almost a hundred years ago, when the smog was suffocating and the lights much more dim, when only one girl ever slept inside these walls of stacked red brick.
I was with my friend, if she could be called a friend, on the rooftop that night, close enough to pull her away or slip a word into her ear, close enough to push. I saw how far the gate was, how long the jump would be to reach it. I was there to witness how she flew.
It was dark, and I blamed the darkness. For those few moments, when she was midair and not even kicking, I practically became her. I grew her long legs and longer eyelashes, I lost the jumble of knots in my hair, I let the mistakes spill out of my suitcase and scatter without a care into the wind. I was falling, and falling fast. There was a hum in my ears like a song leaking through floorboards. The windows on the way down were all lit up, every one, people I didn’t know living their private lives inside as if no one could see. The skyline above sparkled the way stars used to at home, and I didn’t want to ever hit ground. I was someone here. I was someone.
Maybe that was what she saw, what she felt, what this house turned her into. She was out there beyond the ledge with nothing beneath her feet. She was high enough to clear the gate many times over. I swore she was out there. I swore the air had her, the night had her, the lights cast a ring all around her, and then the patch of darkness was empty.
I could see past where she’d been, as if I were sailing straight over buildings, beyond spires and scaffolding, past roof gardens and water towers, down through Lower Manhattan to the southern tip of the island, where the gleaming black bay took over. I saw the whole city spread out before me, sinister and strange and perfect. The air was clear, and she wasn’t in it. No girl was falling or flying. Every window was dark. And how oddly quiet it became, like a patch of forest where no person had set foot for what felt like days upon days.
When I remembered where I was, I crept closer to the edge, gripping the bricks to stay steady, and I did what I knew she wanted.
I leaned out into the vacant night—the air boundless, feathery gray, and blooming with possibility—and I looked down.

About the Author

Nova Ren Suma is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Walls Around Us, a finalist for an Edgar Award. Her new novel A Room Away from the Wolves is forthcoming September 4, 2018, from Algonquin. She also wrote Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone and is co-creator of FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology. She has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in the Hudson Valley, spent most of her adult life in New York City, and now lives in Philadelphia.

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