May 15, 2013

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club

School Good Evil          Gabriel Stone     Precious Bones



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


... princess wanna-be Sophie and witchy-loner Agatha in Soman Chainani's THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL;


... Gabriel Stone in a novel by Shannon Duffy that's sure to be just right for The Chronicles of Narnia or BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA fans;


... and Precious Bones in a book by Mika Ashley-Hollinger filled with mystery, history and ... Florida.



Warm wishes,


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

Ages 9 and up / Fantasy / HarperCollins Children's Publishers


Win a set of THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author.

School Good Evil Dear Reader,


On May 14, 2013, the doors opened to THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.


For thousands of years, the legendary School for Good and Evil has trained ordinary kids to become legendary heroes and villains. But when princess-wannabe Sophie and witchy loner Agatha arrive, Sophie's dumped in the School for Evil with villains while Agatha finds thrust into the School for Good with princes and princesses. But what if the mistake is the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are . . . ?


This massive adventure, teeming with mystery, magic, terror, and Soman Chainani romance, is the first in a trilogy that will become a series of movies by the producer of ELLA ENCHANTED and TUCK EVERLASTING.


And play the 'Are You Good or Evil?' quiz online at to see which school is yours!



Soman Chainani 


Book reviews:

"Wow. From the very first sentence, you know you're entering a thrilling world of strange fantasy... A wild and dangerous fairy tale ride. I loved this book."
-R.L. Stine, author of the bestselling Goosebumps series
"A fairy tale like no other, complete with romance, magic, humor, and a riddle that will keep you turning pages until the end."
- Ann M. Martin, author of the bestselling Babysitter's Club series

Discussion questions:

1.    What were your reactions to the beginning of the novel?  How did the very first sentence shape your predictions of what might unfold in The School for Good and Evil?

2.    Describe the legend of the School Master and how the different inhabitants of Galvadon react to his imminent arrival to take selected children to the School of Good and Evil.

3.    Sophie feels like a "red rose amongst thorns" (p.39) at her school while Agatha perceives herself to be "the cat in a nightingale's nest" (p.40) at her school.  How do these descriptions help the reader understand how the characters view themselves and their respective settings?

4.    Once at the School for Good, Agatha discovers The Gallery of Good and evidence of what has happened to those kidnapped from Galvadon and brought to the school.  Agatha realizes that "the line between stories and real life is very thin indeed" (p.72).  What does Agatha discover about the connection between life at the school and life in Galvadon?

5.    Castor and Pollux say that "All children are born with souls that are either Good or Evil.  Some souls are purer than others" (p.80).  Discuss the idea that a soul can be either fundamentally good or evil and how this theory is supported - and in some cases refuted - by events in the story.

To play the 'Are You Good or Evil?' quiz online at and see which school is yours see the website.


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION:  Soman is happy to call in to or Skype with your club. He can also meet with your group if you live in New York or the tri-state area. Email the author to submit your request.



Ages 9 - 12 / Middle-grade fiction / Month9 Books  


Win a set of GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author.

Dear Reader, Gabriel Stone

I'm super excited to say that my middle grade fantasy adventure GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA is out. I wrote this story for my son Gabriel and I hope it encourages both boys and girls to read.

When I wrote GABRIEL STONE, I wanted it to be something I would have loved to read when I was a middle grader. So this book is for both boys and girls who love fantasy stories full of adventure and action like the Narnia series or BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA.

GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA is a middle grade Shannon Duffy fantasy adventure about three best friends who while out hiking, find a magical crystal that transports them into a dying, parallel world called Valta. The empress gives them magic powers and sends them on a quest to help save their world. But with viral-produced monsters, menacing shadows, ghosts, an evil duke -- and with Gabriel struggling to conquer his fear of the dark and blaming himself for the recent disappearance of his mother -- the task is much harder and scarier than they imagined.
Thanks so much for reading!


Discussion questions:

1. If you could go on an adventure, which 2 friends would you bring with you and why?

2. Name one thing you cannot live without. Why?

3. If you could go back to a time in history, which time would you choose? Who would you most likely want to meet?

4. On a quest, which animal do you think would be most helpful and why? A talking cat, a talking monkey, a flying tiger.

5. If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be and why?

Watch the book trailer and to find out more about the author, visit her website.

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION:  Shannon Duffy is available to talk with book clubs / groups via email and Skype.  Simply email the author to submit your request.    



Block3Ages 9 - 12 / Middle-grade fiction / Random House

Win a set of PRECIOUS BONES by Mika-Ashley Hollinger for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author and please write Kidsbookclubbing in the subject line.

Precious Bones Dear Reader,


My story is a tribute to a time, a place and a people that have all but vanished.  It takes place in a small Florida community in the summer of 1949.


Ten-year-old Precious Bones lives with her parents and a menagerie of Mika Ashley Hollander animals, in a cracker box of a house without electricity, perched on the edge of a pristine Florida swamp.  It is a time not measured by hours and minutes, but by the events that make up a day.   
It is my hope that readers will not only enjoy the history, mystery and wealth of information, but will perhaps become more inspired to help preserve this magnificent land and its inhabitants.



Book reviews:

"Bone's voice is strong and lyrical, mixing regional syntax and dialect with lovely descriptions of the beauty she sees in this mystical place.  A spirited and fascinating setting, but it is Bones who shines."
-Kirkus Reviews

"Bones is a sure-footed tour guide through this untamed landscape, wide-eyed, competent but aware of her own limitations.....A tale that will hold high interest for nature-loving readers longing for their own wild playgrounds."
-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Recommended

"The story's setting is vividly drawn and the characters are endearing.  It's a rich stew, including hearty dollops of mystery and suspense.
-The Horn Book Magazine

Discussion questions:

1.    Why do you think Nolay was so upset when the yankee men came to his house?

2.    Looks and actions can be deceiving: What was your first impression of Sheriff LeRoy? What circumstances would make Bones suspect Miss Eunice of being a witch?

3.    Nolay has a deep love and respect for nature and animals that he instills in Bones. Name some ways that you can become involved in protecting the environment and wildlife.  

To find out more about the author visit her website or Facebook page.

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION:  Although she lives in Hawai'i, Mika would be happy to talk with book groups via Skype or telephone.  Email her for further information.          

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