November 15, 2012  

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club

Prettiest DollRed Thread SistersTwo and Twenty Dark Tales



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


- meet Liv and her friend Dan, both from very different backgrounds, as they make their way in a world preoccupied with physical appearances in PRETTIEST DOLL

- get to know Wen in RED THREAD SISTERS, a story of promises and friendship

- read twenty authors' dark and hidden meanings behind Mother Goose rhymes in TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES


Warm wishes,


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp


Ages 9-12 / Middle-grade fiction / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  Block1


Win a set of Prettiest Doll, by Gina Willner-Pardo, for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (please write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line). 


Prettiest Doll Dear Reader, 


I love good books.  But I have a confession: I also love bad TV.  


I'm kind of embarrassed about it.  But here's the cool thing: watching bad TV gave me an idea for a book.


I was watching one of those shows about little girls who do beauty pageants, and I thought, What if one of those girls hated doing beauty pageants?  And what if her mother wouldn't let her stop?  What would she do?


Wondering about all this led me to write PRETTIEST DOLL.  I fell in love with the main character, Liv Tatum, while I was writing about her.  Liv lives
Gina Pardo
in Missouri and hates competing in beauty pageants, even though she always wins.  When she meets fifteen-year-old Danny Jacobson, who's on the run with problems of his own, they embark on a journey that will allow her to discover what true beauty really is. 
You don't have to be a beauty queen to identify with Liv's sense of being trapped, or with her frustration with a mother who refuses to see who she really is. 

I hope you'll love Liv, too.


Gina Willner-Pardo


Book reviews: 


Selected by independent booksellers nationwide as an IndieBound Fall 2012 ABC New Voices Pick


"Willner-Pardo deftly captures the complexity of adolescence as these resilient teens endeavor to define their identities and establish control over their lives."

 -Kirkus Reviews 


Discussion questions: 


1) Olivia Jane says, "It's good to be pretty.  I'm really lucky."  Is this true?  Is it good to be pretty?


2) Olivia tells Danny that pageants "give you poise" and "make you confident."  What are some of the good things about beauty pageants?  What are some of the bad things?


3) At church, when Olivia's mother and her friend Trudy Dooley talk and laugh, Olivia thinks, "It was nice to see her with a friend.  Suddenly I felt my lungs filling up with air, the relief of a deep breath."  Why do you think Olivia feels this way?


4) Mama thinks Uncle Bread is gay, even though he isn't.  Why does she think so?  What does this have to do with Mama's feelings about Olivia being pretty and participating in beauty pageants?


5) Olivia tells Mama that she's "not doing pageants anymore ever again."  But she ends up competing in Prettiest Doll.  Why did she change her mind?

To learn more about PRETTIEST DOLL, watch a trailer, and follow author Gina Willner-Pardo on Facebook and more, visit her website

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION:  Gina Willner-Pardo is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club. 
Email the author to submit your request.


Ages 9-16 / Middle-grade - YA fiction / Penguin Books for Young Readers

Win a set of RED THREAD SISTERS for your book club. Enter to win by visiting the author's website and signing up for the mailing list (please write "Kidsbookclubbing" in the subject line).


Red Thread Sisters

Dear Reader:
Did you ever make a promise you KNEW you had to keep?

Move to a new town and feel lonely, displaced? Or part from a friend, then Carol Peacock ache from such missing?

My book, RED THREAD SISTERS is for you!  Wen leaves her best friend Shu Ling at a Chinese orphanage and promises she'll find her a family, too.  But will Wen keep her promise? This is a multicultural book about the power of family and the bonds of friendship.  



Happy Reading,

Carol Antoinette Peacock     


Book reviews:


"...provides a moving and engaging experience for readers. A fine addition to both the coming-of-age genre and books sensitively dealing with cross-cultural adoption. (Fiction. 9-14)"

-Kirkus Reviews 


"....perfectly paced...heartwarming and joyous."


-School Library Journal

"My heart felt bigger after reading this story, somehow truer."
-Kathi Appelt, National Book Award finalist and author of Newbery Honor Book The Underneath

"A tender, nuanced novel."
-Elizabeth Partridge, National Book Award finalist and Printz Honor winner

"A heartwarming, un-put-down-able story about the kind of friendship that is more like family." -Courtney Sheinmel, author of Sincerely

Discussion Questions:

1.    Wen's parents adopted Wen and Emily as their daughters.  Some people think families are only family if they're "blood," or biologically related.  What's your opinion?  Can you think of other kinds of families besides the traditional, nuclear American family?

2.     Wen and Shu Ling had a very close friendship.  Have you ever had a deep friendship? What made the bond so strong?  If you haven't had such a friendship, what do you imagine it would be like?

3.    RED THREAD SISTERS has many themes.  Can you identify those themes?  Which ones seem most relevant to you in your life?

To learn more about Carol Peacock, view a trailer, follow her on Facebook and more, see the author's website.


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION:  Carol Antoinette Peacock is available to talk with your book club.  Please visit the author's website, and sign up for the mailing list (please write "Kidsbookclubbing book club call-in" in the subject line) to submit your request.  


Block3Ages 12 and up / YA Anthology (fantasy) / Month9Books  


Win a set of TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES:  DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES.  Enter to win by emailing the publisher (please write Kidsbookclubbing in the subject line).  


Two and Twenty Dark Tales Dear Reader,

I have always thought fairy tales and lullabies were dark, especially Mother Goose Rhymes. In an interview last year, I talked about how dark Disney stories are, and yet, parents don't seem to mind dark cartoons or fairy tales so long as there is a happy ending. I listed themes like death, servitude, blackmail, starvation, imprisonment, abduction, poisoning, murder and more in these stories. I began to think then that we had it all wrong, that Young Adult hasn't become dark. That lullabies sung sweetly can soothe and relax us, but just beneath many of them is a hint of something... dark. We grow up with these stories as the foundation for our imagination. Young Adult literature is the natural extension of this dark foundation. And that is how my idea to write dark retellings of Mother Goose rhymes came about!

TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES features some of today's most-admired young adult authors, including: Michelle Zink, Lisa Mantchev, Sarwat Chadda, Nina Berry, Leigh Fallon, Suzanne Young, C. Lee McKenzie, Angie Frazier, Jessie Harrell, Gretchen McNeil, KM Walton, Heidi R. Kling, Nancy Holder, Karen Mahoney, Suzanne Lazear, Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg, Shannon Delany with Max Scialdone, Leah Cypess, Sayantani DasGupta, and Georgia McBride, founder of Month9Books. Francisco X. Stork, author of the critically acclaimed MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD, provides a foreword that is nearly as riveting as the short stories themselves. Month9Books decided to publish this anthology because we believe affecting the community in a positive way is important. To be able to help your community through books is our idea of perfection. This unique collaboration's proceeds (from the first 5,000 copies sold) will be donated to YALITCHAT.ORG, an organization that fosters the advancement, reading, writing and acceptance of young adult literature worldwide.

Georgia McBride 

Readers Are Talking About Two and Twenty Dark Tales
"I literally was crying as I read the end of 'Sea of Dew.'"
-Caitie Taylor
"If you enjoy dark and creepy stories with variety, this is the anthology to read."
-Medeia Sharif
"These stories were certainly dark, most of them were even quite creepy. They stuck in my head long after I finished reading them though, and I am not sure I will ever think of Mother Goose the same again. If you are a fan of short stories, or twisted retellings of stories you thought you knew, I highly recommend giving this collection a try."
"As a whole this is an inspired and enjoyable nibbler for those days leading up to Halloween. If you love dark retellings, especially when they involve murderous fiends, there's more than one here that will leave a wicked gleam in your eye."
-Rihanna Walker
"This one was great!"
-Jessica, Crossroads

Discussion questions:

1.    Young Adult literature is becoming less and less afraid to discuss darker themes and topics. How do you feel about books tackling these types of issues?

2.    TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES used Mother Goose rhymes as the inspiration of each short story. If you were going to write a story inspired by a Mother Goose rhyme, which one would you choose?

3.    What resource would you use in order to put together an anthology instead of Mother Goose rhymes?

To read an excerpt and keep up with Month9Books via the publisher's blog, Twitter or Facebook, please see the Month9Books website,
AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION:  Georgia McBride is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club. She can also meet with your group if you live in the North Carolina area. Email the publisher to submit your request.  

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