| Kids' Authors Share Their Stories
Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club
In this issue of KidsBuzz, featuring
book giveaways and behind-the-scenes stories from top kids' authors, you'll meet:
introduces us to a passionate environmentalist who hails from the 'burbs of New
Jersey in her romantic, enviro-friendly Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of
- Christine Fletcher
as she explores the idea of living a double life and taxi dancing. (Just what is
taxi dancing? You'll have to read Ten Cents a Dance to find
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
Book Reviews for Boys, Bears, and a Serious
Pair of Hiking Boots: Dear Reader,
Ages 12 and
up / Historical Fiction / Candlewick Press
Win a set of Boys,
Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald for your book
Enter to win by emailing Abby (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).
Huddled in a damp tent in middle of the Canadian Rockies, I decided -- the
wilderness has a lot to answer for. As much as I love the "idea" of gorgeous
scenery, the reality is always wetter, colder, and way itchier than my
fantasies. That's when I dreamed up Jenna: the Jersey girl who is a passionate
environmentalist, but has never actually ventured into the great outdoors.
Jenna leaps at the chance to spend her summer in Stillwater, British Columbia
(pop. 423, and one grouchy moose), but once she arrives, she finds that nature
isn't quite the soothing "Walden" fantasy she had in mind. Out of her depth
(literally -- thanks to a certain kayak incident), Jenna turns to an old
survival guide for help, and comes to reassess her black-and-white beliefs -- with plenty of hilarious adventures, summer romance, and unexpected friendship
along the way.
I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it!
summer romance that's funny, environmentally friendly, and hard to stop
young adult fiction will appreciate a heroine who isn't a cookie-cutter cut-out
of any other I've read, and the addition of environmental issues made this an
interesting read without it becoming pedantic or heavy-handed."
Discussion Questions for Boys,
Bears, and a Serious
Pair of Hiking Boots:
starts the book demonstrating with her friends against a new development on the
school field. How do you think her tactics (rallies, protests, sit-ins) can
help a cause, and how might they harm it? What would you do to draw attention
to an issue you cared about?
often finds herself educating other people about environmental issues. Do you
think it's her responsibility to spread the word, or should things like
recycling, using eco-friendly materials, etc be a personal choice ? If not, why
the end of the book, Jenna and her best friend Olivia have very different ideas
about protecting the environment. Do you think it's possible to be friends with
someone who has such different beliefs? How would you talk to someone in this
Read a sample chapter, visit Abby at her website,
or join in on the conversation on Twitter.
call-in info: Abby is happy to email or IM with your club. E-mail Abby to
submit your request.
Read an excerpt, find
out more about Christine in this Q&A,
read reviews and fun historical facts,
watch a short clip from the 1931 movie "Ten Cents a Dance". You can also follow the author on Twitter.
Ages 14 and up / YA Fiction / Bloomsbury Children's Books
Win a set of Ten
Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher for your book club.
(Christine is giving away 2 sets of
Enter to win by emailing Christine (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).
Ten Cents a Dance was inspired by a story from my own family: my mother's aunt who, after
being kicked out of the house at the age of fifteen, supported herself as a
I've always loved the bits of
history that don't make it into the history books. Taxi dancing is like that.
Taxi dance halls hired teen girls to dance with male customers (the girls were
rented, like taxis, which was how they got their name). The pay was good, but
back in the day, taxi dancers were considered disreputable and even immoral.
Not surprisingly, many girls kept what they did a secret from their own
The idea of leading a secret, double
life fascinated me. As I imagined the kind of girl who could pull it off -- and
why she might have to -- my character Ruby Jacinski was born. After that, I
couldn't rest until I knew her entire story. Immersing myself in Ruby's
world -- hot jazz and beaded gowns, slaughterhouses and movie palaces, the Chicago
lakeshore in summer, and a girl's dare-anything love for a bad boy -- made that
time come alive for me.
I hope it does for you, too.
Book Reviews for Ten
Cents a Dance:
"Readers will be riveted by Ruby's
journey...Fletcher's absorbing wartime novel will have readers dancing in the
aisles for its spirited, soul-searching heroine."
"The story is rifled throughout with
superb emotions and detailed descriptions. The captivating setting and
engaging, complex characters make this book a must-read."
Discussion Questions for Ten
Cents a Dance:
attracted to Paulie in part because of his tough guy reputation. Why do you
think some girls find tough guys so appealing?
tells Ruby that "every taxi dancer has a story." What does she mean by this?
What do you think it says about the girls who became taxi dancers?
impact do Ruby's experiences at the taxi-dance hall and the black-and-tan clubs
have on her views about ethnicity and race?
and her mother struggle with each other throughout the book: Ruby for
independence, her mother for authority. How does money influence this struggle?
central theme of Ten Cents a Dance is illusion. How does illusion play
into Ruby's relationship with Paulie? Does illusion color her view of the
Starlight at the beginning of the book? What about by the end?
call-in info: Christine is happy to call into or Skype with your
club. She can also meet with your group if you live within a 1-hour
Portland, Oregon. Email Christine
to submit your request.
A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.