February 15, 2012  

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club

FirstDate           Alienation      FutureDoor



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


...Addy Davidson, a shy seventeen-year-old who's forced out of her comfort zone, in Krista McGee's FIRST DATE;

...Colt McAlister, a true underdog, in Jon Lewis's ALIENATION; and  

...Griffin Sharpe, the world's most secret detective (and neighbor of Sherlock Holmes), in Jason Lethcoe's THE FUTURE DOOR.

Warm wishes,


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

Block1Ages 14-18 / YA Romance / Thomas Nelson    


Win a set of FIRST DATE by Krista McGee for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the publisher (please write KidsBookclubbing in the subject line).  


FirstDate Dear Reader,

I've always loved the biblical story of Esther -- who wouldn't?  Girl from nowhere becomes queen and saves her people from complete annihilation. How cool is that? So one day, I started wondering what that story would look like if it were written today.  
In America. The theme would remain the same - God is at work in the lives of his people. But there wouldn't be a king or a harem or a bad-guy-on-a-stick. But other than could totally happen! So I sat down and started writing.  Addy Davidson -- a shy McGee seventeen-year-old -- is a reluctant contestant on a reality TV show where the President's son is choosing his prom date. Despite her desperate attempts to get kicked off the show, Addy remains, week after week. She is forced way out of her comfort zone, and she is surprised at how down-to-earth, and incredibly good-looking, the President's son is.  She also learns that God's plans are far better than hers, and that he placed her in that show, with those people, "for such a time as this."

Krista McGee

Book reviews:


"How would you like to live out the dramas of your teen life on national television?...[A] cute tale of dating, faith and being the girl God has called you to be." 

-Jenny B. Jones (award-winning author of There You'll Find Me and A Charmed Life Series) 

"McGee's debut novel is an absolute gem. This book truly has something for everyone, teens and adults alike."

-Romantic Times, TOP PICK


"What a delightful read by Krista McGee! This story has the engaging elements of the Esther story but with the additions of a dreamy guy and a modern world including reality TV. First Date is creative and touching with a message that could reach every girl's heart no matter what time period she's from."

-Author Cindy Coloma


Discussion questions:

  1. Addy's story is loosely based on Esther. What parts of the biblical story did you see in First Date?
  2. Addy did not want to be on The Book of Love reality TV show. How would you feel if you were asked to be on a show like that?
  3. Kara loves being on the show, but she doesn't get caught up in all the "drama" like Lila and some of the other girls. Why do you think that is?
  4. Lila will do anything to win. Have you ever known anyone like that? How did you respond?
  5. By reading her mother's journals, Addy learns more about her parents' life in Colombia, South America. Have you ever known any missionaries? What did you think about their experiences living in another culture?
  6. Addy says she won't date Jonathon unless he is a Christian. Do you think it's important that guys you date share your faith? Why? Why not?
  7. What do you think Addy learned most from her time on The Book of Love? How did she change from the time she began the show until it ended?

Watch a video of the Krista McGee talking about FIRST DATE and find more information at the publisher's site.


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Krista McGee is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club. She can also meet with your group if you live in the Tampa, Florida area. Email the author to submit your request.


Ages 14-18 / YA Sci-Fi / Thomas Nelson

Win a set of ALIENATION by Jon Lewis for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

Alienation Dear Reader:


Growing up I was always the underdog. I was a late bloomer, which is a nice way of saying I was small for my age. I grew up in a neighborhood where the people worked hard, but didn't have a lot of money. Outside of my parents, people wouldn't have looked at me and expected greatness, but I had a different idea. I took that as a challenge and made sure I worked harder than everyone else, and I never lost track of my dream. That's why I think stories about underdogs are critical. We were all born to do something special, and once we figure that out, we can soar.     ALIENATION, the second book in the CHAOS Trilogy, is aLewisbout Colt McAlister, a true underdog. He's been called to do something great, and he's not sure if he can live up to it. He's been asked to transfer to a special military academy where the students are being trained to fight a horde of aliens. But he gets caught up in a murderous plot and he's worried that his best friend is a part of it. Colt has two choices: he can run, or he can stay and fight. But the choices aren't as clear as they seem.   


I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it,


Jon S. Lewis


Book reviews:


"Flying motorcycles, shape-shifting aliens, comic book superscience, and mind-control technology...a fun read...."    
-Publishers Weekly   

"Comic book characters come to life! ...Brisk pace, aliens and jet-packs -- Lewis is a veteran of the comic-book industry, and his plot is a domestic read-alike of Alex Rider."
-Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions: 

1. One of the stipulations for attending the CHAOS Military Academy is that cadets are not allowed to use cell phones, portable music players or laptop computers. They have no access to the Internet or their families for 18 months. What would it take for you to make that kind of sacrifice?  

2. The night before Colt moved to Virginia, agents from the Department of Alien Affairs detained him. They detained Lily too. Colt wanted to call her and apologize for what happened, but he was worried that she'd be upset, so he put it off until it was too late. Are you the kind of person who prefers to ignore interpersonal conflict, hoping that time will help the problem disappear? Or do you like to talk things out right away and get it over with?   


3. Colt went through a series of dangerous tests sanctioned by the United States government when he was a child. They wiped his memory, but his parents and his grandfather knew about them. They never told him. When Colt finally found out they knew, he felt betrayed. Is withholding the truth the same as lying? Is there ever a time when withholding the truth or lying would be the upright thing to do?     


4. All his life, Colt dreamt of saving the world from super villains and alien invasions. But now that he has the chance to actually do it, he isn't sure if he's ready. Has there been a time in your life when you were called on to do something, but you didn't feel qualified? What happened?  

5. Colt appreciates that Danielle tells him the truth, even when it might upset him. Do you have friends in your life who are willing to be honest with you, even if it means that you might get upset? Are you willing to be honest with your friends regardless of their reactions?


6. Pierce Bowen attacks a cadet at the CHAOS Military Academy because he was different. Colt steps in to protect the cadet even though he risks getting jumped by Pierce and his friends. What would you do if you saw someone getting bullied?   


Watch the book trailer and for more information about ALIENATION, visit the publisher's website.  

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Jon S. Lewis is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club. He can meet with your group if you live in the Phoenix metropolitan area, and he is also available for school presentations in the continental United States. Email the author to submit your request.

Block3Ages 8-12 / Middle Grade Fiction, Mystery / Thomas Nelson

Win a set of NO PLACE LIKE HOLMES and THE FUTURE DOOR by Jason Lethcoe for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

Hello Re


I've been asked to write a letter and clear up a few questions about Griffin Sharpe, the world's most secret detective:


"Is it true that Griffin Sharpe lived next door to Sherlock Holmes and saved his life twice before his thirteenth birthday?"


Absolutely! We have found a journal entry by Dr. Watson that confirms it.


"Did Griffin Sharpe travel through time and actually have tea with himself?"


As crazy as it sounds, this too has been proven true.


"Did a secret organization of female assassins known as the Black Widows help theLethcoe
most evil man in Britain overthrow the Queen?"


Well, to find that out you'll have to read the latest exciting adventure in my No Place Like Holmes series called The Future Door.  I guarantee an adventure so exciting and filled with thrills that you won't be able to put it down!


Stay Sharpe!


Jason Lethcoe


Book reviews:


"The writing is excellent and this book proved an exceptional read-aloud to my 9-, 11-, and 12-year olds. A couple of bonuses: at the end of the book there is a "quiz" to test the observation powers of the reader (or listeners); additionally, Lethcoe has included two "minute mysteries" that are a fun puzzle for the reader."

-Mary C. Gildersleeve, By Hand, With Heart
"Young readers that enjoy mystery and fantasy (time travel, futuristic inventions) will enjoy this book. I highly recommend this story for not only young readers who like mysteries, but adults as well."

-Mrs. Archers Book Notes   


Discussion Questions: 

There are 10 discussion questions featured in the back of The Future Door (pages 197-198).   


To keep up with Jason via his blog, Twitter, or MySpace please visit his website or Facebook page.  

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Jason Lethcoe is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club. Email the publisher to submit your request  

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