December 3, 2012  

Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club

FridaySoc.           Tempestuous




In this issue of KidsBuzz, featuring book giveaways and behind-the-scenes stories from top kids' authors, you'll three talented, smart and strong heroines in Adrienne Kress's Steampunk thriller, THE FRIDAY SOCIETY 


...get to know Miranda and Skye, two clever, funny and real girls in Kim Askew and Amy Helmes's novels TEMPESTUOUS (a modern-day spin on Shakespeare's MACBETH) and EXPOSURE (a new twist on Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST). 


Warm wishes,


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp 


Age12 and up / YA fiction / Dial    

Win a set of THE FRIDAY SOCIETY by Adrienne Kress for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

Dear Reader,
Be your own hero.
An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns, and the heroines who use them all, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women in London in 1900, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, inventor's assistant; Michiko, combat instructorıs assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. Their lives become inexorably intertwined in solving a mystery after a chance meeting at a ball, a ball that ends with a murder.

Taking place in the past, but with a modern, irreverent flair, thi
s Steampunk thriller introduces three unforgettable heroines poised for more dangerous adventures. 
My goal with this book was not only to write a fun "superheroes origins story," but also to create three strong, intelligent female heroes who have a friendship bond like the ones I've experienced: supportive, based on mutual respect and a shared sense of humor.  No "frenemies" here.  Just real friendship.
Adrienne Kress

Book reviews:

"[A] rowdy Steampunk adventure..."
- Publishers Weekly

"This book is pure fun and adventure, and the author's casual, irreverent sense of humour is apparent on every page."
-Quill and Quire, starred review

"An explosively entertaining concoction -- a mystery and an adventure folded around complex themes, draped in rich historical settings, spiced with Steampunk cool and laced with sharp contemporary wit. It's a firecracker of a read, packed with a trio of feisty, fiery, fiercely intelligent heroines worth rooting for."
-Lesley Livingston, author of the internationally bestselling Wondrous Strange series

Discussion questions:

1. Each chapter that introduces one of the heroines begins with exactly the same sentence: "And then there was an explosion." What does each explosion reveal about:
a) the character of each of the three main girls
b) the relationship each girl has with her boss
c) each girl's job
2. As a warning to Cora, Mrs. Philips declares, "A creature of both worlds is a creature of none." (p.9) What is she warning Cora against? Do you think Mrs. Philips is right? How might her warning apply to all three girls in their Victorian/Edwardian society?
3. Even though the main characters of the book are women, there are some very important male characters.  Why do you think each of the following characters is included in the novel?  Lord White, the Great Raheem, Sir Callum Fielding-Shaw, Andrew Harris, Officer Murphy, and Hayao.
4. We're told that the Great Raheem (p.38) chooses to live in the seedy area near the London docks so that he can "take care" of the immigrant population of London. Why might new immigrants turn to Raheem for help in their new environment?
5. The Friday Society shows how much research is often required in the writing of a good book - even if that book is fiction.  These two questions relate to the research issues:
a) The book realistically portrays some of the social attitudes of late-Victorian and early Edwardian London.   What evidence of prejudice did you detect with regard to class, gender, race, etc.?
b) What aspects of Japanese culture, and Victorian British attitudes to Japanese culture, did you notice as you read?
6. The villain is revealed at the end of the book, and even though a murderer and a thief, The Fog does have some qualities in common with the three heroines.  What are they?  And why do you think the author gave The Fog these similarities?

To read an excerpt and keep up with Adrienne via her blog, Twitter, or Facebook, please visit her website.

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

Ages 12 and up / YA fiction / Merit Press

Win a copy of Tempestuous by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the authors (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

Dear Reader,Tempestuous

We're thrilled that the novels in our Twisted Lit series have been called "compulsively readable," because that's exactly what we were aiming for when we sat down to write them! As total book geeks (since you're reading this, we're guessing you are, too), we set out to fill them with characters we would want to read about: girls who are clever, funny, and imperfect -- best friend material -- and boys who, apart from being heart-stoppingly hot, are interesting and real.

TEMPESTUOUS is a light-hearted adventure -- with plenty of Amy/Kim romance, too. Banished from the popular crowd, Miranda is forced to work at the mall food court. When a storm leaves both friends and enemies stranded in the mall overnight, Miranda learns that revenge may not taste as sweet as she once imagined. In EXPOSURE, Skye is a gorgeous wallflower with a gigantic crush on Craig, the star hockey player. Too bad he's already taken by a sinister cheerleader who's obsessed with becoming Prom Queen. Who knew the quest for high school royalty could be so deadly?!

We hope you love reading about Miranda and Skye as much as we enjoyed writing about them!

Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Book reviews:

"Exposure clicked with me right away. I've never seen a Macbeth from the perspective of the Banquo character, much less a female Banquo..."
-Caitlin Griffin, Education Administrative Assistant at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC

"This quick, clever read is the perfect combo of classic literature and contemporary storytelling for anyone who likes their lit smart and funny."
-Heather Swain, author of Josie Griffin is Not a Vampire

Discussion questions:

1. In our novel Exposure, Craig's admission that he was bullied at his previous school surprises Skye. How do our misconceptions about people impact our ability to get to know them?

2. In Exposure, do you think Craig is punished appropriately for his role in what happened to his classmate? If not, what do you think is appropriate punishment?

3. In Tempestuous, Miranda contemplates revenge on the former friends who betrayed her. Can a good case ever be made for revenge?

4. At the close of Exposure, how do you think the characters have been changed by their experience?

5. What makes for a happy ending in real life? Is it different from what makes for a happy ending in a novel?

To read an excerpt and keep up with Kim and Amy via their blog, Twitter, or Facebook, please visit their website.  And be sure to watch the book trailer too.

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Kim Askew and Amy Helmes are happy to Skype with your club. The authors can also meet with your group if you live in the greater Los Angeles area. Email them to submit your request.

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