In this issue of KidsBuzz, featuring
book giveaways and behind-the-scenes stories from top kids' authors, you'll meet:
- Barbara Dee, who will have tweens laughing out loud about comfort zones and friendship in This Is Me From Now On
- Amy Kathleen Ryan, author of the popular teen novel, Vibes, who brings us a new novel about two sisters who are truly, madly, deeply sisters, and
- Beth Fantaskey (of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side) as she shares a tale of following rules, breaking rules, and alter-egos
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
Book reviews for This Is Me From Now On: Win a set of This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee for your book
Enter to win by emailing Barbara Dee (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).
This Is Me From Now On is about a tween girl whose "life needs a little
jolt." When I was in middle
school, I was a lot like Evie -- I was starting to feel restless with my best
friends, so I began hanging out with a girl who jolted me out of my comfort
zone. Looking back, I think this girl taught me a lot about myself, and she
definitely kept me laughing. And even though the mischief we got in was nothing
like what happens in this book, I hope I've captured the spirit of our
You can read an excerpt at www.BarbaraDeeBooks.com.
All my best,
"Poignant and hilarious, This Is Me From Now On is
just like real life...only funnier."
-NYT bestselling author Lisa Papademetriou
"Hilarious and heartwarming! I loved it!"
-Lauren Barnholdt, author of the Devon Delaney
stars out of five.) I love Barbara Dee's writing. The characterizations are
amazing. Francesca is well-written and she is very interesting....I loved THIS IS
ME FROM NOW ON, and thanks to Barbara Dee for another great book!"
-Marta Morrison, Teensreadtoo.com
Discussion Questions for This Is Me From Now On:
1. Evie says
that Francesca is a "good friend" but a "terrible partner." Do you agree?
What's the difference between a friend and a partner?
2. Girls and
their moms: Is Evie like her mom? Is Francesca like hers? What about Nisha and
3. What is
Espee trying to tell Evie in their last conversation?
4. Who would
you rather have as a bff-Nisha or Francesca? Who would you rather have as a
boyfriend-Quentin or Zane? How
have Evie's standards for girl and boy-friendships changed by the end of the
5. What do
you think will happen in the future with Lily/Nisha/Evie/Francesca?
Want a sneak peek? Read an excerpt. Plus you can find out more about
Barbara Dee in this Q&A
or at the author's website or blog. And you can follow Barbara via Twitter
or Facebook. Meet Barbara - see this video...
Author call-in info:
Barbara Dee is happy to Skype with your club. She can also meet with your group if you live in the New
York City area. Email Barbara to submit your request.
Ages 12 and up / Young Adult Fiction / Houghton Mifflin
Win a set of Zen and Xander Undone by Amy Kathleen Ryan for your book club.
Enter to win by emailing Amy Kathleen Ryan (write "KidsBookClubbing" in the subject
Dear Book Warriors,
Writing Zen and Xander Undone felt like taking a vacation in Vermont. I lived there for five years, and I've
never forgotten how Lake Champlain sparkles in the morning, or how those creaky
old houses seem haunted by hopeful ghosts waiting to be acknowledged.
Vermont felt right for a story about moving on, and that's what Zen and
Xander are trying to do a year after they've lost their mother. Grief changes
personalities. Brilliant Xander flings herself into a self-destructive spiral,
while quiet Zen becomes increasingly violent. I set these personalities free in
their story to make their own mistakes and, hopefully, learn from them.
I have lots of hope for Zen and Xander, and I believe you will, too.
Enjoy your vacation in Vermont while you read, but remember to say hello to
your hopeful ghosts. They're haunting you for a reason.
Amy Kathleen Ryan
Book Reviews for Zen and Xander Undone:
"Although the "dead mother" plot has been done and done
again, Ryan's approach asks not "How do we mourn?" but "Who are
we now?" .... Vivid emotions and unexpected events keep the reader engaged
as the characters grow and find a way back to themselves."
"Zen's frank narration - full of longing and hard-won insight - draws readers
in and won't let go."
Discussion Questions for Zen and Xander Undone:
1. Zen and Xander's relationship is complicated, to say the least. How
do you think Zen and Xander are good for each other? How are they bad for each
2. The story of the baby bird that Zen, Xander and Adam found when they
were kids reveals things about the character of these three people. What do you
think this story says about them? What do you think the bird symbolizes?
3. Zen and Paul have a discussion about the afterlife, and God. How did
this discussion affect the way you think about these things?
4. Zen and Xander crave the letters from their mother, but the letters
also hurt. What does this say about their relationship with her? What does it
say about how they grieve?
5. Zen and Xander find out some pretty disturbing things about
their mother's past. How did this change the way they think about her? Did
solving the mystery in their mother's past resolve any issues for them, or make
Find out more about Amy and her books at her website or
follow her on Twitter.
Author call-in information:
Amy Kathleen Ryan is happy to call-in to your club. Email Amy to submit your request.
Questions for Jekel Loves Hyde: Book Reviews for Jekel Loves Hyde:
Ages 14 and up / Young Adult Fiction / Houghton MifflinWin a set
of Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey for your book club.
Enter to win by emailing Beth Fantaskey (write
"KidsBookClubbing" in the subject line).M'
What if you could be REALLY bad - then blame it on somebody else? Enjoy
all the "perks" of being evil - the stuff you stole, the revenge you wanted -
then walk away, without guilt? Because it wasn't really YOU who did
That's the premise of my new novel, Jekel
Loves Hyde. It's about a good girl who tastes an old chemical formula
that liberates her darkest nature. Jill Jekel doesn't even realize the
bad stuff she's doing, until it might be too late.
As a shy, "good girl," myself, I had fun living vicariously through Jill as she
starts breaking some serious rules. I hope you enjoy reading about her
out-of-control alter ego, too.
You can check out a preview and fan-made video trailers at
www.bethfantaskey.com. And feel free to drop me a line at
available to Skype, IM or otherwise "meet" with book clubs, and I love to hear
"Filled with compelling plot devices. . . . Fans of
the genre won't be able to resist this slick genre update."
(Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark
Side) premise is creative, and there are plenty of twists to keep readers
engaged - right through the fiery final face-off. "
"A complete page turner... filled with many
twists that will shock and amaze. This is one book that I did not want to put
Loves Hyde is a fast-paced story of secrets and hidden identity. In what way do
secrets drive the plot? What do you think are the most important secrets, and
2. What does Jekel
Loves Hyde say about the nature of identity? About self-confidence?
3. At the close of the novel, how are Jill and
Tristen's characters changed by their experiences?
4. Does the formula create a whole new "evil"
Jill, or does it simply allow her to given in to desires she already harbored?
Does Jill exhibit any "bad girl" behavior prior to drinking the formula?
5. Jill's best friend, Becca, appears to be a
friend only in the loosest sense of the word. Is Jill an innocent victim, or
does she have her own use for Becca?
6. What role do Jill and Tristen's parents play
in their story?
7. In what ways does Jekel Love Hyde draw on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
For more information about Beth, see her website; you'll find her blog there too. Plus you can keep up with her on MySpace or Facebook.
Author call-in information:
Beth Fantaskey is happy to call-in, Skype or IM with your club. Email Beth to submit your request.
A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.