May 1, 2012  

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club

forgetting curveSpirit Fighter 1Swipe



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


...three teenagers who might not ordinarily be friends but work together to fight against society in THE FORGETTING CURVE by Angie Smibert;


...Jonah Stone, a fourteen-year-old who happens to be part angel, as he determines whether to use his powers in a battle of Good vs. Evil in SPIRIT FIGHTER by Jerel Law;


...and Logan Langly, Erin Arbitor, and the Dust in a story about friendship against all odds in SWIPE by Evan Angler.


Warm wishes,


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp


Ages 13+ / YA Science Fiction / Marshall Cavendish Children's Books  Block1

Win a set of THE FORGETTING CURVE by Angie Smibert for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line). 
Dear Reader, 
I've always been fascinated with the idea of memory and how it shapes who we are.  Think about it. Would you be the same person without your memories, good or bad?  When I read about scientists trying to develop a drug to help lessen the effects of traumatic memories in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) sufferers, I got to thinking -- and asking myself a few questions: 
*    If something bad happened in your life -- let's say you were hit by a car -- would you want to take a pill to forget it?  
*    What if you could get the pill as easily as you could buy a latte or frozen yogurt?  
*    What if you could earn frequent forgetting points every time you went?  
*    What kind of world would this create? (Or what kind of world would create such a pill?)  
*    And who could take advantage of the situation? smibert
The result of all these questions is this series, of which THE FORGETTING CURVE is the second book. 

In the first book, MEMENTO NORA, several teens who might not ordinarily be friends, fight against a society (and a certain TFC corporation behind it all). The friends put out an underground comic to let people know what's going on. However, TFC wants everyone to forget -- and keep on shopping. 
In THE FORGETTING CURVE, the stakes are even higher and forgetting may not be the only thing TFC wants everyone to do. Come help Aiden, Winter, and Velvet put it all together before it's too late. 
Happy reading (and discussing)! 
Angie Smibert 
Book reviews: 
The first book of the series, MEMENTO NORA, was a nominee for the 2012 ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults list. 
"Smibert's dystopian first novel is a gift for both reluctant and regular readers."  
"...the themes of inquiry and fighting back will resonate with young and old."  
-School Library Journal 
"The novel is taut and lean; Smibert's prose is quick and fluid..."' 
 -Horn Book 
Discussion questions: 
1.  Would you rather forget or remember something bad that happened in your life? How has that memory shaped the person you are now? 
2.  Why do you think TFC is trying to manipulate people's memories? 
3.  If you had your own version of the Book of Velvet, what words to live by would you put in it? 
4.  Aiden thinks of himself as a hacker capable of opening any door. Do you think it's okay to hack, even if it's for a good cause? 
5.  Music can be a powerful form of protest. What's your favorite song about a social injustice or an issue important to you? Why do you like it? 
To find out more about MEMENTO NORA, THE FORGETTING CURVE, and 2013, the third book in the series, visit the series website (  There, you can read excerpts, watch trailers, learn about my inspirations, and find out about upcoming events.  (And teachers, you'll find lesson plans and related activities there, too.)  

Author call-in information:  Angie Smibert is happy to Skype with your club.  She can also meet with your group if you live in the greater Roanoke, Virginia area.  Email the author to submit your request. 


Ages 7 - 12 / Middle Grade Fantasy / Thomas Nelson


Win a set of SPIRIT FIGHTER by Jerel Law for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

Spirit Fighter 1

Dear Reader:
I'm not sure I should tell you this about myself, but here goes: I am NOT normal! 
But can I tell you a little secret I know about you, too? You aren't normal either! Isn't that what makes people...and stories...interesting, though? I like tales about seemingly ordinary kids who end up finding out that they are Jerel Law pretty EXTRA-ordinary.   
Like thirteen-year old Jonah Stone, in my book SPIRIT FIGHTER. His secret? He's part angel! When his powers - and those of his eleven-year old sister, Eliza - begin to develop, they find themselves thrown in the middle of a battle between Good and Evil. It's up to them to decide to either be normal - or to use their special gifts and save the day.
Jerel Law    


Book reviews:


"In his exciting debut novel, Jerel Law transports readers to a place where supernatural forces of good and evil collide. Young readers will be entertained and inspired by Spirit Fighter. I heartily recommend it."

- Robert Whitlow, bestselling author of the Tides of Truth series


"Jerel Law has crafted a fantastic story that will leave every reader wanting more. Stop looking for the next great read in fantasy fiction for young readers -- you've found it!"
- Robert Liparulo, bestselling author of Dreamhouse Kings and The 13th Tribe
Discussion Questions:

1.  What would be your favorite angelic power to have? Why?

2.  Jonah and Eliza are surprised to learn that they have special abilities. What do you think your special abilities are? How do you want to use them to make the world a better place?      

3.  What would it be like to have a guardian angel? Weird? Strange? Cool?   
4.  Faith is a very important theme throughout Spirit Fighter. What does faith mean to you? How does yours need to grow?

Visit the publisher's website for a sneak preview of the book and more information on SPIRIT FIGHTER. And watch the trailer on Youtube.


Block3Ages 8 and up / Middle Grade Adventure / Thomas Nelson


Win a copy of SWIPE by Evan Angler for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).


Swipe Dear Reader:

Do not be seen with this note. By writing even this much, I'm afraid I've already put you and your friends in grave danger.

Ours is a Unified world. Unified under peace. Unified under Cylis. Unified under the Mark of citizenship that's supposed to keep us safe.

But I'm not ashamed to tell you that I'm still afraid of the dark. And if you too have ever turned out the light only to feel that tinge of panic, that inkling that someone, somewhere, might possibly be watching . . . I'm here to tell you that you're right.

They are.

SWIPE is the first volume in the chronicles of Logan Langly, Erin Arbitor, and the Dust. Their account is dangerous; the knowledge within it is forbidden. Evan Angler

But at its heart, SWIPE is a story about friendship against the odds. It's a story about a group of boys and girls who stick together to do the unthinkable: to stand up for what they believe in. Thank you for helping me share their story. I couldn't do it without you.

My name is Evan Angler. But if anyone asks, you know nothing about me. Don't make eye contact if you see me. Don't call my name out loud. I'm in enough
trouble already.

So are you, if you read my book.

Sincerely yours,

Evan Angler

Book reviews: 

"Apocalyptic dystopian fiction at its best. Angler's sharp wit and dexterity with political themes are matched only by the thrilling suspense on every page."  

-Lis Wiehl, New York Times bestselling author and FOX News correspondent

Discussion questions:

1.    In SWIPE, getting the Mark is the "right" thing to do, even though it feels wrong to Logan. Can you think of a time when you "went against the grain" to stand up for something you believed in?

2.    Throughout SWIPE, Hailey Phoenix is lying to Logan about her true intensions and plans, but she does so because she thinks it will protect him. Does this make Hailey a good friend or a bad friend? How do you define friendship?

3.    When Logan Pledges to receive his Mark, he ends up threatening his nurse in order to find out more about what happened to his sister Lily. Is this action justified? If you were in Logan's shoes, would you have done the same thing? If not, what might you have done differently?

4.    At first, Logan is scared of Slog Row and of the Markless people living there. But when Logan finally visits, he realizes that all along, there was nothing to be afraid of. Can you think of a time when you made an assumption about a person or a group of people, only to learn later that you hadn't given them a fair chance?

5.    In SWIPE, characters ride around on rollersticks, play hover-dodge, and use tablet computers for nearly everything they do. They don't use paper money, they eat food like tempeh and quorn instead of meat, and they mostly live in urban environments instead of the countryside. What is your vision of the future? In what ways do you think it will differ from the future as described in SWIPE? In what ways do you think it might be similar?

To watch a video and learn more about SWIPE, see the publisher's website.


Author call-in information:  Evan Angler is happy to Skype with your club. Email the publisher to submit your request. 

  • A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.    
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