February 15, 2013

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club

Keeper Black Stones                 Where It Began



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


...Jason and travel with him to medieval England as he tries to save the world before history is changed in Keeper of the Black Stones


...Gabby and enter her teenage world as it comes crashing down in the compulsively readable YA debut, Where It Began. Sometimes the end is just the beginning...


Warm wishes,


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp


Ages 12 and up / YA fiction / Glass House Press


Win a set of KEEPER OF THE BLACK STONES by P.T. McHugh for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).


Keeper Black Stones Dear Reader,

Magical instruments that allow time travel. The fate of the world, and the thread of time itself. A maniacal madman seeking to use it all for his own evil purposes.


And one fourteen-year-old boy, who must gather his friends, jump to Medieval England, and set things right, if he's to save the world. Will Jason Evans learn what he needs to know in time? Will he be able to stop his nemesis, and save the world? PT McHugh


Or will he fail, and take the world - and all its residents - with him?


Keeper of the Black Stones is a book filled with adventure, mystery, and the ultimate sacrifice. I wrote the book to incorporate the magic of history, friendship, and highly unlikely scenarios, with a dash of time travel thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!


P.T. McHugh


Book reviews:

"Historical fantasy [is] a treat in Keeper of the Black Stones. The action is charged, and Jason is a likable, funny hero. The book has a wicked twist at the end that you'll wish you saw coming.  Keeper is a bright beginning to a promising series."
-ForeWord Reviews

"Could not put this book down. Pick [it] up today ... You won't regret it."
-Me, Myshelf and I Reviews   


"An exhilarating tale ... an action-packed adventure ... Won't [give] away the ending, but THE ENDING! Book two, where are you?!"
-The Sister's Tale Reviews


Discussion questions:
  1. Why must Jason go back in time, despite the danger? What's driving him? And what does he think about going back in time? 
  2. What are the dangers of Jason, Paul, Doc, and Dresden changing history for their own purposes? Why must they be extremely careful while they're in historical England?
  3. Why is it important for Jason and his friends to save Katherine? What would a girl without a husband or father have gone through in the 15th century?
  4. What did the War of the Roses lead to in England? Who became king, and what famous family did he belong to?   
  5. Where would you like to see Jason and his friends go next? What is your favorite historical time period, and what could Jason find there? 
  6. What is it that Lord Dresden wants to do with the stones? Do you think that's a good idea or a bad one?  
  7. The stones allow people to jump through time. But how do you think they work? Why do they only allow some people through time? 
  8. Why did Tatiana choose to come on the trip? Do you think Reis was right to let her come?


To find out what's on P.T. McHugh's bookshelves, learn more about the author, his book and more, visit his website.


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: P.T. McHugh is available to talk with book groups via Skype or telephone. Email his publisher to submit your request.



Ages 14 and up / YA fiction / Simon Pulse

Win a set of WHERE IT BEGAN by Ann Stampler for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

Where It Began Dear Reader,

One winter afternoon, I had a long conversation with a smart, sweet, beautiful, talented jewel of a girl who couldn't see herself. All she saw was a not-bright-enough, not-pretty-enough, not-popular-enough mess.


I was surrounded by wonderful girls who seemed to believe that, unless they met an impossible standard of perfection, they were sub-regular.


How do you live with that? How do you feel good about yourself when good-enough seems unattainable?


If you're Gabby Gardiner, you go along with an over-the-top makeover by your mom and do anything to hang onto Billy Nash, the boy who finally notices you. (Even when your photo shows up next to "love is blind" in the dictionary of broken hearts.)


Where It Began is for every girl who ever gave up the smallest piece of herself because she Stampler wanted to fit in, or be popular, or keep a boyfriend, or win her parents' approval... or just to feel okay.


Gabby must find the courage to break free from everybody else's expectations before she can discover what she wants for herself.


But first, she has to figure out how she ended up on the ground next to Billy's mangled car, half-drunk, car keys in hand. She has to find the courage to face reality when nothing in her life is as it seems, and when the people she's trusted the most may be the ones who've betrayed her the deepest.


I hope you'll laugh with Gabby, cry with her, itch to shake her, and cheer when she finally begins to get it. I hope you'll forgive her for not being perfect for one single second of the book.





Book reviews:



-Jenny Han, the best-selling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty


"A terrific read! Ann Stampler puts you in Gabby's head and keeps you there until the gripping conclusion. A writer to watch!"

-Alex Flinn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beastly


"Stampler's story of a girl's obsession with a guy at the expense of all else is powerful, and Gabby's alcohol problem, her devotion to Billy, and her overall denial are entirely believable. Gabby's sardonic voice will draw readers into the story immediately, as Stampler delivers a searing portrayal of power, privilege, and betrayal in the hills above Los Angeles."

-Publishers Weekly 


Discussion questions:


1. One of the first things we learn about Gabby is that she underwent a complete physical makeover just prior to the time the story begins.  What emotional changes did Gabby experience in the process?  In what ways did the makeover benefit her?  In what ways did it harm her?

2. Every family has its own unique culture and values.  How do you think Gabby's family shaped her?  What about Billy's family?  How were Lisa, Anita, and Huey affected by their families having different religious beliefs, culture and ethnicity, or ethical values than the majority at their school?

3. We learn Gabby's story entirely from her point of view.  What do you think of Gabby as a narrator?  Is she reliable?  Were there points in the book where you felt you knew or understood more than she did?

4. How do you feel about the story's ending?  Was justice served?  Would you have handled things in a different way than Gabby?

To read the first three chapters, watch a trailer, and learn more about the author, visit her website.


CALL-IN INFORMATION: Ann Stampler is available to talk with book groups via Skype or telephone. Email the author to arrange a meeting.  


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