March 1,  2011  

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club


                                     Deadly                           Stone of Destiny                             


Dear Readers,


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


... become immersed in the early 1900s and the fight to end the typhoid epidemic in Julie Chibbaro's teen novel, DEADLY


... meet giants, an enchantress and more in Jim Ware's fantasy novel, THE STONE OF DESTINY.  


Warm wishes,


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp 


FirstBlockAges 12 and up / YA fiction / published by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster

Win a set of 5 copies of DEADLY by Julie Chibbaro for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line). 


DeadlyDear Reader,


Growing up, kids joked about Typhoid Mary as a killer who intentionally infected millions. When I learned the true story of the Irish immigrant who caused an epidemic in NYC in 1906, I knew I had to write DEADLY. 


To battle this daunting woman, I had to create a strong teen who needed to stop the spreading fever.  I wanted to explore what it might be like for a girl at the turn of the 20th century, a girl with a passion for all things human, someone who doesn't want to be limited by her time or what's expected of her.  That's how I came up with Prudence.  I'd love for you to read Prudence's diary to find out how she fought this deadly typhoid epidemic.  Julie Chibbaro


There are tons of topics to explore in this historical medical mystery.  Feel free to visit me at for more on DEADLY, and let me know what you think.


And don't forget to wash your hands!  



Book reviews:


"There's plenty to think about and discuss in this diary-format novel based on the notorious case of Mary Mallon, also known as "Typhoid Mary."  . . . A deeply personal coming-of-age story set in an era of tumultuous social change, this is top-notch historical fiction."

 - School Library Journal


"Fever 1793 (Laurie Halse Anderson, 2000) meets Newes from the Dead (Mary Hooper, 2008) in this absorbing diary of a fictional teen who witnesses the epidemic unleashed on turn-of-the-20th-century New York by the infamous "Typhoid Mary.""

- Kirkus Reviews


"You guys.  I just finished DEADLY by Julie Chibbaro and it is fabulous!  It gets an A+ on the Mattie Gokey Scale of General Awesomeness."

- Abby the Librarian


"I was fascinated by the true story that is revealed through reading DEADLY, Julie Chibbaro's fictionalized account of the events in New York City and Long Island at the dawn of the Twentieth century. . . . much of my fondness for this story comes from contemplating how the specific legal issues here fit into a more generalized level of tension between the rights of the individual and the interests of society."

- Richie's Picks


Discussion questions:


1.  Prudence works with Dr. Baker in hunting down Typhoid Mary.  How common were female doctors at the turn of the 20th century in America, do you think?  Why or why not?


2.  Love is a new feeling for Prudence.  What do you think of the way she handles this emotion?


3.  George Soper is an epidemiologist, a hunter of causes of epidemics.  How much do you think he influences Prudence in her choice of career?  Is her ultimate decision completely her own?  Who else influences or helps her?


4.  Prudence's father disappears during the Spanish American war.  What happened to him?  What do you know about that war, and what would you like to find out?


To read an excerpt and reviews, and to join the author on Facebook, please see her website and follow her on Twitter.


Author call-in information: Julie Chibbaro is happy to call-in to your club (or visit if you're in NY's Hudson Valley).  Email Julie to submit your request.



Ages 10 and up / Middle-grade / Fantasy / published by David C. Cook


Win a set of THE STONE OF DESTINY for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author (write Kidsbookclubbing in the subject line).


Stone of DestinyDear Book Club Reader,

If you like Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, or The Chronicles of Narnia, you'll like The Stone of Destiny.  Based upon Irish/Celtic folklore, Grail legends, and stories drawn from the medieval "science" of alchemy, it's a tale about two kids whose search for solutions to pressing personal problems lead them into a series of adventures with giants, an enchantress, a dwarf-like race of people called the Fir-Bolg, a Stone of Power, and a tunnel that leads to another world. Jim Ware   

I wrote The Stone of Destiny for two reasons.  First, I love fantasy, and I wanted to treat my readers to a rollicking good story.  Second, I was hoping to invent a tale that illustrates the difference between faith and "magic" - in other words, the difference between trust and a grab for power. 


Thanks for reading! 


Jim Ware


Discussion questions: 

1.     Why is Morgan so interested in the "science" of alchemy?  What does he hope to gain through the experiments he's conducting in the church tower?  How does the news about his mother's illness impact his personal goals?  


2.     Though they are life-long companions and the best of friends, Morgan and Eny have their share of disagreements.  What do you see as the major source of the conflicts between them? 

How do those conflicts develop and change during the course of the story?


3.     How does Morgan's quest for the Philosopher's Stone and his subsequent search for the Stone of Destiny blind him to basic truths about himself, his mom, his friendship with Eny, and larger questions about God, the meaning of life, and the importance of human relationships?


4.     Morgan knows very little about his father, but the few facts he possesses are powerful and important.  What could he have learned from those facts if he had paid closer attention to them?


5.     How is the figure of Simon Brach important in this story?  What role does he play in guiding Morgan and Eny into a deeper understanding of themselves, their friendship, and what it means to have faith in God?       


Author call-in information: Jim Ware is happy to call-in to your book club and would also meet with your group if you live in the greater Colorado Springs area. Email the author to submit your request.


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