In this issue of KidsBuzz, featuring
book giveaways and behind-the-scenes stories from top kids' authors, you'll meet:
Brandeis, who "seamlessly intersperses serious topics with laugh-out
loud humor" (School Library Journal) in her middle-grade historical
novel, My Life with the Lincolns.
-Chris Bradford as he talks about martial arts, special powers, and his 17th-century action-adventure series Young Samurai.
- and Y.S. Lee, who reimagines Victorian England with her smart teenage heroine Mary Quinn in The Agency: A Spy in the House.
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
How have things changed since 1966? How have they not changed?
I've always felt a connection to Abraham Lincoln; I grew up
in the Land of Lincoln, went to Lincoln Elementary School, and was born on the
anniversary of the day Lincoln was shot (which still makes me sad.) I also used
to think my dad was Abraham Lincoln reincarnated, and decided to write a story
in which the main character thought her dad used to be Abraham Lincoln, as
well. I also wanted to make sure the book dealt with issues of civil rights and
social change, so I set it in my home town of Chicago in 1966 when Martin
Luther King, Jr. came to the city to lead marches for fair housing.
My character, twelve-year-old Mina, not only thinks her dad
used to be Abe; she also thinks her whole family used to be the Lincoln family
and it's her job to save them from their fate. She and her dad end up getting
deeply involved in the civil rights movement, with consequences for the entire
I hope you'll enjoy this quirky story, and will enjoy
discussing it with your book group!
All the very best,
Book Reviews for My Life with the Lincolns:
expertly marries a humorous manner to serious matter in My Life with the Lincolns, an original and timely Civil Rights Era novel about a young girl
learning to take part in a cause greater than herself. It's a winner."
-Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of Crazy Beautiful
clear, personal and passionate novel."
Discussion Questions for My Life with the Lincolns:1.
On an emotional level, why do you think Mina believed her family
was the Lincoln family reincarnated? Did she have anything to gain from this
Do you believe in reincarnation? If so, who do you think you might
have been in a previous life?
4. The Chicago Freedom Movement was started to create positive social
change. What needs to be done to make the world a better place today?
audio book excerpt,
read a Q&A with
the author, and follow her blog or friend her on Facebook.
Author call-in information:
Gayle Brandeis is happy to call-in to or skype with your club. She can also meet with your group if
you live in Southern California. E-mail
Gayle Brandeis to submit your request.
Questions for The Agency: A Spy in the House: Book Reviews for The Agency: A Spy in the House:
Ages 12 and up
/ Young Adult Historical Fiction / Candlewick Press
Win a set of
The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y. S.
for your book club.
Enter to win by emailing Y. S. Lee (write "KidsBookclubbing"
in the subject line).MDear Reader,I adore smart
heroines, Victorian England, and lively banter. So when I wrote my debut novel,
A Spy in the House,
I aimed to bring these elements to a twisty, fast-paced mystery plot. The
heroine is 17-year-old Mary Quinn: ex-thief, escaped convict, and newest member
of the Agency, an elite, all-female intelligence force. The setting is
Victorian London, in all its grimy glory. And Mary's partner in banter is James
Easton, an arrogant young engineer, her rival, and her love interest.
Victorian England was
hard on clever, unconventional women. If you weren't a good little girl, and
you didn't have a lot of money, what on earth happened to you? The odds were
terrible. Creating the Agency is my way of re-imagining the past, and writing
an alternative history for the fate that would otherwise swallow a girl like
Y. S. Leewww.yslee.comwww.candlewick.com
"Set in the richly described underbelly of Victorian
London, Lee's debut novel launching the Agency trilogy
introduces feisty Mary Quinn... Mary's lively escapades... will
hold readers' attention and whet their interest for the next installment."
"A fine whodunit, with clues carefully rationed out as the
story evolves, it also holds some great surprises likely to catch even the
sharpest readers off guard... A Spy in the House is entirely true to the genre,
full of thrills and danger and wonderfully sharp writing... Long live The
could time-travel, would you visit 1850s London? Why or why not?
would you describe Mary's character? How do you think it affects her
performance as a spy-in-training?
guess the villain? Why or why not?
Read the first chapter (downloadable pdf) and an additional excerpt,
plus check out a Q&A and interviews with the author.
Y. S. Lee is happy to skype with your
club. She can also meet with your
group if you live in Eastern Ontario. E-mail Y. S. Lee to make your request.
A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.