June 15,  2010

Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club


                                      Shadowed Summer                           Poser                             


Dear Readers,

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

Saundra Mitchell, who brings us a ghost story-mystery in her paranormal book for teens, SHADOWED SUMMER.

- surfer and film stunt double Sue Wyshynski whose debut novel POSER is about the drama and trauma of high school. 

Warm wishes,
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

FirstBlockAges 12 and up / YA Paranormal Mystery / Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Win a set of SHADOWED SUMMER by Saundra Mitchell for your book club. 

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

Susan KuklinDear Reader,

It's fascinated me to discover how many of my family stories have shadowy linings. I've always known that I had a great-grandmother whose husband disappeared. Ever resourceful, Grandma spent the Great Depression bootlegging moonshine to support the family.

Cute, right? Kind of an outlaw vibe! But what I found out as an adult was that everybody knew (but nobody could prove) that Grandma's first husband probably disappeared because she killed him. He was violent, and she didn't believe in divorce. Talk about a revelation -- a 75-year-old murder mystery right in my own family.
That's where Iris finds herself in the first pages of SHADOWED SUMMER, as she and her best friend go in search of a boy that went missing twenty years before. Since my book's a ghost story and a mystery, I hope it'll keep you guessing, and give you a chill or two.

But I also hope it captures that last summer of childhood -- when everything starts to get complicated and secrets start to change everything you thought you knew.

Yours Ever,

Saundra Mitchell

Book reviews:

"Highly atmospheric, with pulse-pounding suspense and an elegiac ending."
- Booklist

"Good ghost stories are, like ghosts, a little thin on the ground in these times, and readers will be pleased to find this atmospheric reaffirmation of the power of a good haunting." 
- Recommended, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

A 2010 Edgar Nominee for Best YA Mystery

Discussion questions:

1.     Who do you think "owns" a secret? Does Iris have a right to dig into the past the way she does?

2.     Do you think there are some secrets you should keep? Do you think Jack and Eddie did the right thing? Do you think Uncle Lee did, when he "betrayed" Iris?

3.     Why do Iris and Ben think there's a difference between calling Iris' late mother in a sťance, and a stranger's ghost? Do you agree?

4.     Do you think the Duvall brothers made the right decision about how to handle their problems at home?

5.     What do you think Collette meant when she said the sodas weren't free, they just didn't have to pay money for them?

Read an excerpt, watch exclusive video logs, get behind-the-scenes details and more at the Shadowed Summer website. You can find out more about Saundra and learn how to catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook at her personal site.

Author call-in information: Saundra is happy to Skype with your club!  She can also meet with your group if you live in Indiana, Northern Kentucky, Eastern Illinois or Western Ohio. Email Saundra to submit your request.

Ages 12 and up / YA fiction / Walker & Company
Win a set of POSER by Sue Wyshynski for your book club. 

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

Susan KuklinDear Reader,

I changed schools in 9th grade, and I'll never forget those first few months as "the outsider". I felt like a total dork! I'm sure we've all felt like that at one ti
me or another, so it seemed like a good starting place for my book
Situations can seem totally horrible and awkward, but knowing we can look back and laugh can make all the difference in the world. It did for me!

Thanks for reading.


PS:  For a chance to win a signed, custom POSER surfboard (yes, that's right - a real surfboard!), designed by world-class shaper CSH, see my website for details.

Book reviews: 

"Tallulah Jones, recent Florida-to-California transplant, wears all the latest surfer-girl fashions and earns the nickname Hurricane Girl after telling a whale of a story about her surfing skills. The surf as well as the jig is up when her new friends take her to the beach and learn the truth about her nonexistent wave-catching skills. She's now an outcast at school, but she won't stay away from the ocean. On weekends she's learning the sport from the talented but dorky Katie. Due to a series of wrong-place-wrong-time mishaps, Tallulah never gets to prove her new talents until she has to rescue expert surfer Jenna, who tries to take her board out during a storm. Tallulah isn't always graceful or even gracious, but her dedication to surfing and resolve in standing up to her bullies make her a believable heroine. She sometimes wipes out in the boy and friendship departments, but she also gets back up and tries to set things right. The beauty and danger of surfing are captured through Tallulah's mile-a-minute, often funny descriptions."
- Kirkus Reviews

Discussion questions:

1.     Have you ever posed  --  or wanted to pose  --  as something you weren't in order to fit in?

2.     What's your opinion of how Tallulah handled being bullied? Could she have done things differently? What?

3.     The popular girls see Katie as dorky. Do you think her good qualities outweigh that?

4.     Tallulah has a bit of trouble telling the truth. Okay, a lot of trouble! How did you feel watching her struggle?

5.     We'll all probably face being the "new girl" at some point in life. How can we make friends and become part of a new community?

6.     After reading POSER, do you feel differently about "new girls" or "new guys" in your school or community and what they're up against?

Author call-in information: Sue is happy to call-in or Skype with your club -- or meet with you in person if you live in Hawaii!  Email Sue to submit your request.

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