March 1, 2010

Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club


Hidden Voices                             By the Time you read this                              Take Mummy and Run

Hidden Voices                                By the Time You Read                    Take the Mummy
by Pat Lowery Collins                     This, I'll Be Dead                             and Run
by Julie Anne Peters                       by Mary Amato


Dear Readers,

In this issue of KidsBuzz, featuring book giveaways and behind-the-scenes stories from top kids' authors, you'll meet:

- Pat Lowery Collins, who takes readers to 17th century Venice in her historical novel, Hidden Voices (and music-lovers are sure to hear Vivaldi playing).

- Julie Anne Peters as she talks about "bullycide" and the long-term effects that bullying can have on teenagers, as well as the process of writing her well-regarded young adult novel.
- Mary Amato, who gives younger readers plenty of adventure in the latest installment of her highly praised Riot Brothers series.

Warm wishes,
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

FirstBlockAges 14 and up / Historical Fiction / Candlewick Press

Win a set of Hidden Voices for your book club. 

Enter to win by emailing Pat (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

Hidden VoicesDear Reader:
The idea for Hidden Voices, came from a remark on my classical music station that Antonio Vivaldi wrote countless concertos to showcase the talents of orphans in the institution where he worked and snare them husbands.  Delving deeper, I learned there was a complicated and fascinating story here, and my search for it brought together an abiding interest in baroque music, my own experiences in a girl's school, and my love of exotic places and distant times. Though the life of the composer is interwoven through the text, it is the stories of three distinct orphans that I chose to concentrate upon. Pat Lowery Collins
Told in their own voices, I hoped to show how teenagers in any time or place, experience the same emotions and desires, and how deep friendships were forged then as they are today.
I hope you enjoy the book,
Pat Lowery Collins

Book Reviews for Hidden Voices:

"Collins's descriptive prose makes Venice and a unique slice of history come alive as the three connecting narrative strains create a rich story of friendship and self-realization."
-School Library Journal
"The girls' dissonant voices -- quite different from one another, making this substantial novel manageable -- intense friendships and ardent (sometimes shattering) pursuits of love endow the story with enduring intrigue. Fatherly Vivaldi, a ruddy, spirited and sympathetic composer approaching greatness, binds the girls and the story together. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 14 & up)"
-Kirkus Reviews
"With its unique setting, vivid musical themes, and sharply realized characters, this historical novel is well worth reading. Grades 8-10."

Discussion Questions for Hidden Voices:
1.        What was Antonio Vivaldi's role at the Ospedale della Piet√° and what was required of him there?

2.        Of the three protagonists - Luisa, Anetta, and Rosalba - which had the most potential for surviving in the world outside the ospedale?

3.        Why were certain orphans chosen for the figli di coro while others were put in the figli di comun where they performed more ordinary and menial tasks?

4.        Why did I choose this particular time, before Vivaldi had become famous, for most of the action of the book?
Why were Carnival and the running of the bulls so important to Rosalba?

Read an excerpt, find more about Pat and her books at her website, friend her on Facebook and on Twitter.  Plus check out this review of Hidden Voices and an interview with questions about the book.  And, look for another Candlewick historical novel by Pat -- Daughter of Winter, a unique coming-of-age story set in the environs and ship yards of Essex, Massachusetts, in 1849 -- in fall of 2010.

Author Pat Lowery Collins is happy to call into your club.  She can also meet with your group if you live in the Boston area.  Email Pat to submit your request.

Ages 14 and up / YA / Hyperion/DBG

Win a set of By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead for your book club.

Enter to win by emailing Julie Anne Peter's publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

By the Time you read thisDear Reader:

I wrote By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead because I know how the effects of bullying can build up over time. When I learned the term "bullycide" -- suicide because of bullying- --  knew I had to write a book about it.

My main character, Daelyn, has been bullied all her life because of her weight, but even when she loses the weight, she still feels ugly. By the time she's ten years old, she's already decided to take her life.

I give Daelyn every reason to live -- loving parents, a fresh start at school, God, a therapist, a potential friend, the chance at romance -- then I leave it up to her to decide her future. The same way you are Julie Anne Petersleft to decide your own futures.

Remember, even in the worst of times, there are always people who love and care about you.



Book Reviews for By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead:

"Any teen fortunate enough not to relate to the subject matter should read this book, which turns the old adage, 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me,' on its ear. Powerfully portrayed in the first person, the protagonist's account offers compelling insight into just how spiritually and emotionally devastating bullying can be."
-VOYA (starred review)

"...will challenge teens to think about the impact of bullying -- including cyberbullying -- and Through-the-Light's controversial stance that 'self-termination is your right.'"
-Publishers Weekly

Discussion Questions for By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead:

1.     Bullycide. I know that word well. Suicide as an escape from bullying.  Before reading this book, had you ever heard of bullycide? Do you think it happens a lot?

2., a suicide board, helps Daelyn plan her suicide.  Is this ethical?  Is it freedom of speech?  If it didn't exist, would Daelyn stop trying to kill herself?

3.     Sometimes people who are broken find other people who are broken.  Why might that be?  How does it happen in this book?  Can they help each other back to wholeness?

 Ages Ages 6-10 / Fiction-Humor / Holiday HouseHoliday HouseHolida

Win a set of Take the Mummy and Run: The Riot Brothers Are on a Roll for your book club.

Enter to win by emailing Mary Amato's publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).Mary Amato's publishe

Take Mummy and RunDear Reader,
Did you know that Wilbur and Orville Wright (the real-life brothers who invented the airplane) were great friends? When I read about all the wild and crazy things they did when they were growing up together, I decided to invent two adventure-loving brothers of my own: Wilbur and Orville Riot. They make it a mission to have fun every day in hilarious and surprising ways. You don't have to read the books in order, but I'm hoping that one taste will inspire you to read more and make your own fun.
Take the Mummy and Run: The Riot Brothers Are on a Roll is the fourth book in the Riot Brother series. In this book, Wilbur and Orville Riot are dreading the arrival of their cousin. But when Amelia E. Hart shows up with a fake snake, they're head over heels. Whether hunting for lost Mary Amatomummies or creating their own water park, there's never a dull moment. The games, songs, and words of riotous "wisdom" in the back of the book provide instant activities.
Have fun reading!

Mary Amato

Book Reviews for The Riot Brothers books:

The first book in the four-book series, Snarf Attack, Underfoodle, and the Secret of Life: The Riot Brothers Tell All
"Move over, Captain Underpants, a couple of new pranksters are in town. . . . Libraries will have a hard time keeping Snarf Attack on the shelf."
-School Library Journal
Drooling and Dangerous: The Riot Brothers Return
"The black-and-white cartoons, large print, and straightforward language will attract both newly confident and reluctant readers, who will want to get in on the fun. . . . Be prepared for youngsters to demand more about this crazy twosome."
-School Library Journal

Stinky and Successful: The Riot Brothers Never Stop
"Adults will appreciate the brothers' positive, teammate-style relationship. A smart choice for children looking for humor, including reluctant readers."
-School Library Journal
Take the Mummy and Run: The Riot Brothers Are on a Roll
"Kids are sure to enjoy the warm family dynamics between the imaginative and exuberant brothers -- and their like-minded cousin -- and the breakneck pace of this uproariously funny book."
-School Library Journal

Discussion Questions for Take the Mummy and Run: The Riot Brothers Are on a Roll and the other books in the Riot Brothers series:

1.    The names Orville and Wilbur Riot and Amelia E. Hart have historical significance. Talk about what you think inspired Mary Amato to use these names.

2.     Goliath Hyke is a mean bully in the first three books in the series, and certainly starts off mean in the fourth book. What happens to Goliath as the story develops? What do you think causes Goliath to change?

3.      Why do you think Wilbur and Orville get along so well?

4.     Talk about the Riot Brothers schemes to make money. Why do you think the schemes often backfire?

5.     What role do you think Amelia will play in any future books?

Read an excerpt, a Q&A with the author, friend her on Twitter or Facebook.
Author call-in information:  Mary Amato is happy to call in to or skype with your club.  She may also be able to meet with your group if you live in or near Washington D.C. or Montgomery County, Maryland. E-mail Mary Amato to submit your request.

  • A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.

  • Contest entries are sent directly to the authors administering each contest.  Our Privacy Policy does not apply to emails sent as contest entries.  You must be 18 years or older to enter the contests.

Copyright © 2009 Kids' Book Club Book. All rights reserved.