May 2,  2011  

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club

Trauma Queen 


Dear Readers,


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

you'll meet:


...very funny and absolutely right-on for tweens writer Barbara Dee, author of TRAUMA QUEEN


...acclaimed author Diane Stanley as she invites us into a magical, fantasy world in THE SILVER BOWL and


...Parker Blue, author of the teen paranormal urban fantasy FANG ME (doesn't that title just say it all?)


Warm wishes,
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp




 Ages 9-13 / Middle grade fiction / Aladdin MIX / Simon & Schuster


Win a set of TRAUMA QUEEN by Barbara Dee for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (write "Kidsbookclubbing" in the subject line).


Dear Reader,Trauma Queen 


When I was in seventh grade, I was sure my mom's main goal was to humiliate me. Then I grew up to be a mom...and I realized how complicated the mother-daughter bond can be!


So I wrote TRAUMA QUEEN, about the tricky relationship between thirteen-year-old Marigold and her mom, Becca -- an unconventional, unpredictable (but loving) performance artist.  


I'm thrilled that in their April/May 2011 issue, Discovery Girls magazine calls TRAUMA Barbara Dee QUEEN "a laugh-out-loud look at family and friendship." 


Want to read the first chapter? Check out my website, 


Email me at to win a set for your book club. Good luck, and keep reading!







Book reviews  


"Marigold is tired of being the calm, mature one in her family. Her mom is a performance artist and stirs things up wherever they go. Now Marigold is determined to keep a low profile at her new school, until her mom steps in to teach improv right at her school! What mayhem will her mom cause this time? A laugh-out-loud look at family and friendship."

- Discovery Girls magazine, April/May 2011


"TRAUMA QUEEN made me giggle, cringe and cheer! With a main character you can root for, humor that will make you laugh out loud, poignant drama that tugs at your heart, and performance art galore, this story perfectly captures middle school family and friend dynamics. Bravo!" 

- Erin Dionne, author of Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies and The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet    


 "Funny, quirky and touching, with characters that leap off the page and into your heart. TRAUMA QUEEN gives us a mother-daughter relationship that will make you laugh, groan and cheer. Barbara Dee has mastered the knack of letting her characters be true to themselves and shine."

- Julia DeVillers, author of the Trading Faces and Liberty Porter series  


A "GL Must Read"


Discussion questions:   


1.     Is Becca a dream mom or a "Mother of Doom"? How would it be to have a mom like Becca? Or a mom like Trisha Hartley?


2.     Do you think Marigold is always fair to her mom? Do you think Becca is always unfair to her daughter? What do they need from each other? Why is it so hard for them to say it?


3.     When Becca was a girl, was she like Marigold? Look at Marigold's friends - would Marigold be friends with the 13-year-old Becca? What does Marigold look for in a friend? Does she choose the same sort of friends that you do?


4.     Marigold tells Layla that Becca's performances are "cool when it's not your mom." How are the rules different "when it's not your mom"? Do you expect your mom to behave differently from other women? Are there are as many rules of behavior for moms -- and grown-up women in general -- as there are for tween girls? Or are the rules basically the same?


5.     Marigold says her "Thing" is "just this dumb thing I do to pass the time." Of course it's more than that. Why is it so important to her (even before Gram tells her where she got the material)? Which other characters have "Things"? What's yours?



To read the first chapter and keep up with Barbara via her blog, visit her website. You can follow her author page on Facebook and keep up via Twitter.         

Author call-in info: Barbara Dee is available to call-in or Skype with your club. She can also meet with your group if you're in the New York City area. Email her directly to submit your request.

Block2 Ages 15 and up / YA fiction / Bell Bridge Books


Win a set of all three Demon Underground novels by Parker Blue for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing Parker Blue (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line.) 


FangandMeDear Reader,

Ever have one of those really crappy years?  I did.  Life went down the toilet and the only thing that kept me sane was reading books -- lots of books.  So, when things started looking up again (they always do!), I wanted to do the same for other people. 


In my Demon Underground series, Val Shapiro's life sucks, too.  Kicked out of the house at eighteen, the only way she can keep her succubus demon bottled inside is to channel it into slaying vampires.  With the help of a snarky telepathic hellhound and the secretive Demon Underground, she tries to find her place in the world while ridding San Antonio of vampires, one evil bloodsucker at a time.


Parker Blue


 Book Reviews:


"Parker Blue creates a new vamp book with the kick-butt smart and snarky attitude of Buffy in Val and an awesome side-kick dog who can talk. It's perfect for teens craving more vampire books or those who love dark paranormal tales."

- YA Book Nerd


"Above all, Bite Me is an entertaining, police procedural mystery with loads of action and witty banter. Val's' adventures take her into an unrealized world of the supernatural, whose depths she is only just beginning to understand. Engaging for readers of all ages, this new YA urban fantasy is recommended. I look forward to Parker Blue's next 'Demon Underground' tale with Val, Dan and Fang. You will too."



Discussion questions:


  1. Like Val Shapiro, have you ever felt as if something inside you isn't "normal"? Do you think most people in real life are hiding some kind of inner demon?
  1. Val has two love interests (so far) in the series: Dan, who's a San Antonio police detective, and Shade, who's a gorgeous shadow demon. Which one is your favorite and why do you think he's the best choice for Val?
  1. In our society, young women aren't often encouraged to be fighters. Do you think Val's ability to slay vampires and her willingness to take physical action against her enemies makes her a good role model for girls and young women? 
  1. What is it about Fang that makes him such a fan favorite? Is it just that we all wish we could talk to our pets, or is it something about Fang's attitude that makes him special?
  1. If you could be a supernatural crime fighter, what kind would you be?

To read excerpts from all three Demon Underground Books, visit the author's website, and visit her Facebook page, too.


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFO: Parker Blue is happy to call-into (or skype with) your club. Email Parker to submit your request.


Block110 and up / Middle grade fantasy / Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


Win a set of THE SILVER BOWL by Diane Stanley for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line). 


SilverBowlDear Reader, 


Some years ago I wrote a book, BELLA AT MIDNIGHT,  based on the Cinderella story.  Like Cinderella's glass slipper, the medieval fantasy genre seemed to fit me perfectly, and I enjoyed every minute I spent writing it.  Now I've returned to that magical world with THE SILVER BOWL -- only this time it's the first book in a trilogy (I grew so fond of my characters I couldn't let them go). 


My heroine, Molly, is a tough, street-wise scullery maid, with no manners and strange powers she doesn't quite understand.  While polishing the king's silver hand-basin one day, she begins to hear voices and see DianeStanleyvisions, all about a terrible curse that has long cast its shadow over the rulers of Westria.  When a terrible disaster strikes the royal family, Molly, with the help of her friend Tobias, must rescue the young Prince Alaric, destroy the curse, and help him claim his rightful place on the throne.  Could a less likely champion be found to save the kingdom?


I hope you love this book as much as I do!


Diane Stanley


Book reviews:


"Combining carefully chosen details of setting with a richly realized fantasy premise, Stanley succeeds in creating a believable world large enough to accommodate not only menace and evil but also loyalty, enduring friendship, and love.   The central characters -- Molly and her friend, the stable boy Tobias -- come wonderfully alive as their story unfolds and their mettle and character are tested . . . Stanley has done a particularly good job of investing her story with plausibility and creating dialogue and a narrative voice that are spot-on in both tone and suitability."

- Booklist, starred review   


Discussion questions: 


1.     We learn something about the childhoods of the three major characters: Molly, Tobias, and Prince Alaric.  Though they led very different lives, they were all sent out into the world to face difficult challenges at an early age.  For each of the characters, how did his or her upbringing help form the person he or she became?


2.     Molly breaks rules and Tobias follows them, yet they become best friends.  What does each offer that the other one needs and admires? Molly and Prince Alaric are both rule-breakers, yet they rarely seem to get along.  What do you think is happening between them  -  in the beginning, and then at the end?   


3.     How much of what Molly accomplishes is due to her magical powers, and how much can be ascribed to her courage and determination?


4.     What does Alaric mean by a moral victory?  Do you think he achieved one? Were his views unusual for a prince in the Middle Ages? 


5.     What does it mean to be a villain?  There are several characters in the story that do evil things.  In the case of Thomas, Gertrude, Reynard, and Molly's grandfather, William, did they do those things for a reason (whether good or bad), or were they just naturally evil?  Is anyone naturally evil?


Author call-in information:  Diane Stanley is happy to call-in to your club.  Contact Diane via her website to submit your request.


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