Ages 9-14 / Middle-grade fiction / Published by Simon & Schuster
Children's PublishingWin a set of THIS MEANS WAR! by Ellen Wittlinger for your book club.
Enter to win by emailing the author (write
"KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).
Living in a small town near an air base during the Cuban Missile Crisis
was a frightening experience for me and I'm glad I found a way to write
it that includes humor. In This Means War!, the Missile Crisis is the background for a
neighborhood war -- one between the boys and the girls to prove which
stronger, faster, braver. As with the larger crisis, the neighborhood
gets out of hand, progressing from foot races and Twist contests to
challenges. Where is the line
between bravery and foolishness? What makes you a hero?
"... Wittlinger conveys a sober knowingness that shadows and deepens the
seemingly bland innocence of 1960s girlhood.( 'I wanted to watch Mister
Mom,' [Juliet] said, and then the tears began to trickle down her
suddenly seemed as if President Kennedy and the Russians and the
had all stolen something precious from her that she could never get
her prose has the same bracing good sense and down-to-earth humor of her
character. A fine addition to the growing shelf of novels set during the
--Horn Book magazine
"Wittlinger latches on to a poignant metaphor for war in this lively and
readable tale set against the backdrop of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.
Fifth-grader Juliet lives near a growing military base which has brought
influx of new kids, including the rowdy Patsy. It's a good thing, too,
Juliet's longtime pal Lowell has abandoned her to hang out with boys,
the overgrown bully, Bruce. This division turns into an all-out battle
sexes when Bruce devises a nine-day competition that tests the strength
bravery of girls versus boys. These increasingly dangerous tests
dog pen, shoplifting) bring most of the children closer together, though
Patsy and Bruce, they only escalate the conflict. It's a clever concept
keeps the proceedings fun even as the darker drama of potential world
provides a weighty element; young readers will be shocked to learn of
daily prayers, including 'Dear God, please don't let the world end
warm way to introduce the cold war."
questions:1. Lowell says, "Girls have to play with girls and boys have to play
boys." Is that true? Can boys and girls be friends? Are there some
boys do well? Some only girls can do?
2. How has life changed since 1962? What are the large and small
differences between Juliet's life and yours?
3. Bruce challenges the others to shoplift which most of them don't
do, but they're afraid to say no. Have you ever been in a situation where
there was that kind of peer pressure? How did you handle it?
4. Why do Juliet's parents argue so much? Are they really mad at
or at something else? Juliet asks
God to figure out a way for everybody to have enough money. Do you think
right that that would solve a lot of the world's problems.
5. Juliet says bravery is always part stupidity and it really just
"I have no choice." Is this true? Have you ever wanted to be a hero?
ever known anyone you thought was
A more complete discussion guide can be found on the author's website, as well as
guides for many of her other books. Or you can keep up with her via
Author call-in information:
Ellen is happy to call-in to your club. She also does school and library
visits. Details on her website.
Send an email
to Ellen to submit your request.
Ages 12 and up / YA fiction /
Published by Hyperion
Win a set of DELCROIX ACADEMY,
BOOK ONE: THE CANDIDATES by Inara
Scott for your book club.
Enter to win by emailing her publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing - Delcroix
Academy" in the subject line). Dear
believe it's finally time to welcome you to Delcroix Academy, and book
my new series, Delcroix Academy, Book One: The Candidates. There's so
much here I want to show you!
there's Delcroix itself, with its massive gates and air of secrecy. Then there's Dancia, a tough, independent heroine who is determined to keep
world safe from her dangerous psychic powers -- no matter the cost.
troubled friend, Jack, may have a tattoo and an attitude as big as Mt.
but he's guaranteed to steal your heart. And what about Cam, the junior
class president and hottest guy in the school. He seems interested in Dancia,
Jack says, what does he really want? And why?
though the iron gates surrounding Delcroix and you'll find romance,
tough choices, and extraordinary powers.
in. You've been recruited...
"A potent blend of superpowers, friendships, and
boarding-school intrigue makes DELCROIX ACADEMY a delightful debut. I
can't wait for the next installment."
--Diana Peterfreund, author of RAMPANT
"Take one part Gossip Girls, one part Harry Potter, mix with
two parts top-notch storytelling, and you've created the next big
thing: Inara Scott's DELCROIX ACADEMY series,
beginning with her page-turning debut, THE CANDIDATES. Scott has
mastered the art of the slow
reveal, and I couldn't stop reading until I learned all the secrets of
DELCROIX ACADEMY. Vampires, be
gone! I can't want to see this
series on the big screen."
--Lynda Sandoval, award-winning author of WHO'S YOUR DADDY?
and FATHER KNOWS BEST
1. The character of Dancia Lewis is
immediately established as a bit of an outsider, due to her paranormal
abilities and special talents. How
do you think teens and readers of all ages can relate to Dancia's
fit in amongst the crowd?
giving anything away, we will say that there is a very compelling love
that takes shape in this story, between Dencia and two boys in her
and Jack. Talk a bit about the
appeal of romance in the YA supernatural genre, and how this aspect of
story adds to Dancia's growth as a character throughout.
3. What are
some of Dancia's supernatural powers as established in the story, and in
ways have these powers both proven beneficial to her and damaging to her
relationships over the course of the book (and her life)?
To read an excerpt,
see the publisher's website and to learn more about Inara and how to contact her, see her website.
Author call-in information:
Inara is happy to call-in to your club. She also does school and library
visits. Details on her website.
Send an email to her publisher to submit your
Ages 8 - 12 / Hybrid novel - comic book /
Published by Grosset
& Dunlap / Penguin Books for Young Readers
Win a set of the first two SPLURCH ACADEMY books by Julie Gardner Berry and Sally Faye Gardner for your
Enter to win by emailing Julie
(write Kidsbookclubbing in the subject line).
Dear Kids' Book Club Leader,
Have any disruptive readers in your book club?
Splurch Academy for Disruptive Boys is accepting applications. Dr. Archibald Farley, Headmaster, Psychopath, Mad Scientist, and
Vampire, would love to sink his teeth into reforming your readers.
Comic book fans, reluctant readers, and disruptive boys and girls alike
will be held captive -- literally? -- by my sister Sally Faye Gardner's
outrageous comic illustrations in our goofy, spooky new series from Grosset
Our first two titles, THE RAT BRAIN FIASCO and CURSE OF THE BIZARRO
BEETLE, release together in August.
Watch for THE COLOSSAL FOSSIL FREAKOUT and more soon after. We hope
readers have as much fun visiting Splurch Academy as we do.
We'd be delighted to Skype into your book club, supply bookmarks and
washable tattoos as reading prizes, or visit in person (location
permitting). Just visit the
Splurch Academy website to enter.
"My 9 year-old daughter read Splurch twice in one week. Shared
it with her 10 year-old friend who also raced through the book-twice. If my
daughter and her friends are any indication, Splurch is a surefire hit."
--Belmont, MA parent
"Ms. Berry knows boys. I couldn't put this
book down and my cheeks hurt from smiling the whole time. Even the acknowledgments
entertain. The artwork couldn't be better and is integrated with the text
in cartoon-style. LOVE THIS BOOK!"
"Here's a barn burner of a first book!"
--Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor-winning author of The
1. Have you ever had a teacher, coach, or librarian that
you think might be a monster in disguise? If so, what kind of monster does
he/she transform into at night? [Optional: Can you draw a picture of the
2. If you were Cody Mack, could you think up a surefire
way to escape from Splurch Academy? How would you make sure Headmaster
Farley and his gang of monster teachers didn't catch you?
3. Think of the time when Cody called home using Dr.
Farley's telephone. Why didn't his mom believe what Cody told her about Splurch
Academy? Have you ever tried to tell parents or other grown-ups something
important, and they wouldn't believe you? What did you do?
4. If your parents ever decided to send you to Splurch
Academy, what would their reason be? What's your most disruptive habit?
5. Dr. Farley
likes to invent things that help him carry out his dastardly plans. Carlos is
an inventor, too. Do you have any ideas for inventions he could develop that
would help the boys fight back against the evil teachers? What cool name
would you give your invention? [Optional: Can you design an advertisement for
your invention? Or try filming it with a video camera.]
To find out more about the Splurch Academy books and keep up
with the author via Twitter or Facebook, visit the Splurch Academy website.
Author call-in information:
Julie is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club or visit if you live in
the New England area. Send an email to Julie to submit
Ages 12 and up / Young Adult Memoir / Published by HCI Books
Win a set of RAE: MY TRUE STORY OF FEAR, ANXIETY AND SOCIAL PHOBIA by Chelsea Rae Swiggett for your
Enter to win by emailing
Rae's editor (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).
I wrote RAE for one reason . . . you.
I hope you can relate to someone your age, whether it's through anxiety or
self-consciousness or fear. RAE is basically just a story about being a
teenager; and every unspeakable thing that
entails. I talk about life and death and religion and family -- things most
teenagers don't bring up in Geometry class. RAE is a peek into my mind (and
what a scary place that is!) -- a
place where you can see that I'm actually a lot like you. I have an anxiety
disorder -- and you may or (more probably) may not -- but fear is something everyone feels.
Chelsea Rae Swiggett
teens feel anxious or awkward at some point in their lives. What makes Rae's
anxiety different from typical teen angst?
2. Have you
ever been worried that something was seriously wrong with you, but you were too
afraid to talk to someone about it or ask for help because you weren't sure you
wanted to know the truth? If so, did you ever get the help you needed? What was
the outcome of the situation?
3. Rae uses
a lot of metaphors and vivid imagery in her writing. How do you think her
creative use of language impacts her storytelling and brings it to life?
spends a lot of time fearing life itself. What kind of things do you fear that
keep you up at night? Are they rational or irrational fears? How do you deal
with your fears?
5. Do you
think today's teens have more anxiety disorder than in generations past? If so,
why? Do you believe life for teenagers is more stressful today than it was ten,
twenty, or thirty years ago? Why or why not?
To read an excerpt, view a trailer and keep up with Chelsea via her
blog, Twitter, and Facebook, please see her website;
to find out about other young adult memoirs from HCI books, see the publishers' LOUDER THAN WORDS books site.
call-in information: Chelsea Rae Swiggett is happy to call-in or skype with
your club. She can also meet with your group if you live near Cleveland, Ohio. Email Chelsea Rae Swiggett to
submit your request.
A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.