October 3,  2011  

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club

My Brother's Shadow
What You Wish ForThere You'll  Find Me

Dear Readers,


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

you'll meet:


...Amy Kathleen Ryan who writes about free will vs. destiny in her captivating teen novel, GLOW;  


...Monika Schröder who tells the story of a nation in turmoil and a family divided in MY BROTHER'S SHADOW;


.... some (18 to be exact) of the world's best-selling and most highly honored writers for young adults and children as they share stories and poems that captivate, inspire, and offer hope about things we all wish for in WHAT YOU WISH FOR;


...and Jenny B. Jones who takes readers on a journey to Ireland in a story about healing deep wounds in THERE YOU'LL FIND ME.   

Warm wishes,
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp 


Block1Ages 12 and up / Young Adult Fiction / St. Martin's Griffin


Enter to win a set of GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the publisher (write "Kidsbookclubbing - GLOW" in the subject line). 



Dear Reader, 


In the age-old debate between destiny and personal freedom, I've always been a free will girl. But the writing of GLOW has a whiff of predetermination about it.


If I didn't have a religious background, if I hadn't come into a more humanistic view, if I hadn't taken a class about the early Puritan settlers, if I hadn't moved to New York and witnessed the attacks of 9/11, if if if... GLOW could never have come into being.Amy Kathleen Ryan 


Writing GLOW felt like a dangerous journey, and I wish the same for its readers. Even more, I hope to hear from you through my website. If, when you write, you make me think the same way I hope GLOW will make you think, your words may show up in my blog! Let the debate between free will and destiny rage on!  


Until then,   


Amy Kathleen Ryan  



Book reviews:   


"Ryan has created a fascinating and thrilling story that is sure to captivate teens... This gripping first installment is difficult to put down, and successfully sets the stage for the rest of the series."   

-School Library Journal (starred review)


"Utterly engrossing. Dinner went uncooked, children were left to fend for themselves, and dog howled all night, because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN."    

-Lauren Myracle, author of ttyl and Shine


"GLOW has an ingenious, twisty, heart-stopping plot, and characters that are in turns both sympathetic and sinister all the way to the last page -- I don't know who I can trust, and I love it!"    

-Lisa McMann, author of the Wake series, and Cryer's Cross


Discussion questions:    


1. How does Seth contribute to Kieran's transformation into a leader? Without Seth to push him, could he have evolved into an effective leader at all? Why or why not?  


2. What tactics does Anne Mather use to manipulate the girls and her crew? What traits does she possess that make people want to follow her?          


3. Waverly, Samantha and Sarah are not taken in by Anne Mather's lies. What qualities do these girls possess that allow them to resist Mather's deception when others do not?   


4. How did Waverly and Kieran's experiences while separated create a gulf between them? In the end, did Waverly overreact, or are her fears justified?     


5. The author describes GLOW as a "political drama." How does the book comment on the way political power is created and used?  


Learn more about the author, read her blog, follow her on Facebook and more - all at her website.  


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Amy Kathleen Ryan is happy to call-in and talk with your book club. Email her publisher to submit your request.


Ages 12 and up / Young adult fiction / Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux  


Win a set of MY BROTHER'S SHADOW by Monika Schröder for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (write "Kidsbookclubbing" in the subject line.)


My Brother's Shadow Dear Reader,


MY BROTHER'S SHADOW is set in Berlin 1918, during the last days of World War I.


Nothing is the way it used to be for 16-year old Moritz. His country is loosing the war and his brother returns home from the battlefield a bitter, maimed war veteran, ready to blame Germany's defeat on everything but the old order. As a socialist revolution sweeps away the monarchy, Moritz must choose between allegiance to his dangerously radicalized brother and those who usher in the new democracy.


The fall of 1918 was an important turning point in German history. I tried to imagine what it might have been like for a teenage boy, who had grown up in the Wilhelmine Empire and whose father had died in the war, to witness the collapse of the old order and to find himself in the midst of a revolution.


If you like a fast-paced story that takes you away to a dramatic time in Europe's history, MY BROTHER'S SHADOW is for you.




Monika Schröder


Book reviews:


"In this nuanced and realistic work of historical fiction, Schröder (Saraswati's Way) immerses readers in her setting with meticulous details and dynamic characters that contribute to a palpable sense of tension. Moritz's intimate narration captures the conflicts, divided loyalties, and everyday horrors of the period."  

-Publishers Weekly


"'War gives meaning to some men's lives. For other men, the experience of war extinguishes all meaning in life,' says a man who becomes Moritz's mentor; Schröder makes this sad and ever-timely lesson all too clear."

-Kirkus Reviews


 "The sorrow and the pity of World War I haunt every page of this unsparing coming-of-age story set in Berlin during the war's final days. Monika Schröder skillfully sketches in the fractured political background of a disintegrating imperial Germany. She doesn't miss a beat in her fast-paced first-person narrative as sixteen-year-old Moritz copes with his family's misfortunes, finds his calling, and discovers love.  I found the innocence of the meetings between Moritz and Rebecca particularly affecting, and because she happens to be Jewish, the story ends on a note of foreboding.  This is a memorable and instructive novel."

-Russell Freedman, Newbery-award winning author of The War to End All Wars: World War I


Discussion questions:


1. How does Moritz's view of the war contrast with those of his mother and Hedwig and how does his opinion change over the course of the book?


2. How is Hans's homecoming different from how Moritz imagined it would be?


3. What do you think will become of Moritz and Rebecca? What do you think will become of Hans?


4. There are several discussions of what constitutes patriotism and treason in the story. Do you think it's unpatriotic to not support a war your country is fighting? What do you think are actions a person would have to do to be considered treasonous to his or her country?


5. Discuss the meaning of the book's title.


To view the book trailer, download the discussion guide, and learn more about Monika Schröder's other books, visit her website.

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Monika Schröder would love to talk to members of your bookclub via Skype. Email Monika to make a request.   




Ages 12+ / Short story and poetry collection / G.P. Putnam's Sons


Win a set of WHAT YOU WISH FOR for your book club. Stories and poems by Meg Cabot, R.L. Stine, John Green, Karen Hesse, Cornelia Funke, Ann M. Martin, Francisco X. Stork, Nikki Giovanni, Cynthia Voigt, Alexander McCall Smith, Joyce Carol Oates, Jane Yolen, Jeanne DuPrau, Sofia Quintero, Gary Soto, Nate Powell, Marilyn Nelson, and Naomi Shihab Nye; Foreword by Mia Farrow.  


Enter to win by emailing Logan Kleinwaks of the Book Wish Foundation (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).


What You Wish For Dear Reader,

There's nothing that brings great authors together like the desire to help readers in need. And when the goal is building libraries for 250,000 Darfuri refugees, you can be sure that top writers offer a hand. The result is What You Wish For, my charity's collection of stories and poems about wishes by some of the all-time greats, who have sold more than 600 million books and won the highest honors for their work, including two Newbery medals. I know you'll love their writing, and I hope you'll also be proud to join them in this cause. 100% of our proceeds will go to the refugee camp libraries, so you'll help just by reading the book.   


It's fascinating to see how differently the authors tackle the theme of wishes. In "Reasons," John Green explores Micah Feldman's obsession with a girl from Kashmir who he's never met. Meg Cabot combines economist John Maynard Keynes and BMX bikes in a story about friendship and bullying called "The Protectionist." Karen Hesse's "Nell" is a supernatural tale about a girl living multiple lives. I wish I had room to tell you about all eighteen contributions. Please write and let me know your favorites!


Best wishes,  

Logan Kleinwaks

Co-Founder, Book Wish Foundation  


Book reviews:


"Cynthia Voigt's retelling of Cinderella, which puts her stepfamily at the forefront, is a standout; others include Francisco X. Stork's heart-wrenching story of a 15-year-old living in a group home while his mother is in prison, and John Green's profound and funny contribution, told in lists, about a boy who falls for the picture of the orphan his mother is supporting in Kashmir. The essay that closes the book, by Book Wish cofounder Logan Kleinwaks, offers a clear, concise picture of the plight of the more than 100,000 refugees from Darfur and their wishes for a better future."

- Publishers Weekly   


"Meg Cabot's nerdy hero, seeking a friend, is heartbreakingly funny. ... Ann M. Martin's epistolary tale shows two girls with different sets of financial and social problems finding support in each other's friendship. As for the poetry, with offerings from Naomi Shihab Nye, Marilyn Nelson, Gary Soto and Nikki Giovanni, even these tiny verses are lovely."

- Kirkus Reviews


Discussion questions:


1. How do you think the friendships in Francisco X. Stork's "The Rules for Wishing" will develop after the story ends?


2. Have you ever regretted making a wish that came true, as in Jane Yolen's poem "Wishes"?


3. In what ways does communication (or miscommunication) affect the relationships in Ann M. Martin's "The Lost Art of Letter Writing"?


4. Has John Green's "Reasons" changed the way you think about charities?


5. What character's wish, in any of the stories or poems, do you most identify with? What wish do you think refugees from Darfur would most identify with?

To stay updated about the progress of refugee camp libraries funded by What You Wish For, or to learn about author appearances, visit the Book Wish Foundation's website or connect on Twitter or Facebook.


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION:  If you would like a contributing author to call in or Skype with your club, email the Book Wish Foundation and we will happily share your request.  


Block4Ages 13-18 / Young Adult fiction / Thomas Nelson 


Win a set of There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).


There You'll  Find Me Dear Reader,


A few years ago I took a vacation to Ireland. I was pretty certain I had found the most beautiful place on earth and knew I wanted to include it in a story.  


When Finley appeared in Save the Dateher story was just beginning. Now we get her whole tale in There You'll Find Me. If there is any place that can heal a battered heart, it's Ireland.  


In the book, Finley is still reeling from the loss of her older brother. She comesJenny B Jones to the Emerald Isle as an exchange student, where she will retrace her brother's footsteps from his own Irish travel journal. With each step she comes closer to composing her violin audition piece for college, and closer to many truths that won't stay hidden. Finley also finds herself in the path of a handsome teen actor who has secrets of his own. And a desire to make Finley Sinclair more than his friend.

So journey to Ireland with me and see if Finley gets a hold on her grief...before things spiral out of control.   


Happy Reading!

Jenny B. Jones


Book reviews:   


"Jones has incredible insight into her teen characters. They are complex, yet have a lighter side and irresistible charm. The story is truly an outpouring to young people aobut healing deep wounds and gaining a voice for truth and hope."  

-Romantic Times  


"I enjoyed this book immensely, and once again it made me marvel at Jones' talent. She is a fabulous storyteller, and creates characters that stay with you long after you read about them."


Discussion questions:


1. Finley has endured a lot and didn't feel like God was in it with her. Have you ever felt distancedor abandoned from God? How do you explain this? What did Finley attribute it to?  


2. Beckett is an example of how things aren't often what they seem. Describe a time either you made an incorrect assumption about someone or you were assumed to be something/someone you're not.  


3. Describe Beckett's relationship with his father. What advice would you give Mr. Rush in being a more effective father?     


4. Finley is someone who likes to be in control and likes everything to be neat and tidy. Describe where you saw this in the book. How can this be positive? How can this be negative?    


5. What would you do if you suspected a friend had an eating disorder?      


6. Describe the importance of music to Finley. Why was her audition piece so important? Do you have a talent or hobby in your life that means the world to you?   


7. Mean girls are a reality, especially during the teen years. Why do you think Beatrice acted the way she did?

For more information, follow Jenny on Twitter and visit her website.   


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION:  Jenny B. Jones is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club. She can also meet with your group if you live in Northwest Arkansas. Email her publisher to submit your request.  

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