February 3, 2014

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club




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


...Waverly, Kieran and Seth as they struggle to survive and take down their enemies before it's too late in FLAME, the conclusion to Amy Kathleen Ryan's Sky Chasers series.


...Emma and Caleb and the startling connection they forge in Elizabeth Scott's HEARTBEAT


... Gigi Caputo and Roman Monte in ANYONE BUT YOU, a modern-day ROMEO AND JULIET from Kim Askew and Amy Helmes


Warm wishes,


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp


Ages 12 and up / YA fiction / St. Martin's Griffin


Win a set of FLAME and the other two Sky Chaser novels by Amy Kathleen Ryan. Enter to win

Dear Readers,


In space, there's no one to call for help. If your ship is damaged, you have to fix it. If you're taken from your family, it's up to you to escape. When I started writing The Sky Chasers, I didn't know I was embarking on a saga. I started out trying to imagine life on a farming vessel in deep space, but realized this was the perfect setting for a thriller.


Themes of friendship versus belief, and truth versus lies run deep in GLOW, SPARK, and FLAME. Only sharp readers can see them all. Like my characters Waverly, Kieran, and Seth, readers who love The Sky Chasers are smart, independent, and resourceful.




Amy Kathleen Ryan


Book reviews:


"... a climax that is tense and viscerally frightening. [FLAME is] detailed and gripping, with a thorough and satisfying resolution."

-Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review (FLAME) 


Chosen by School Library Journal as a Best Book of 2011! (GLOW)


"Utterly engrossing. Dinner went uncooked, children were left to fend for themselves, and dog howled all night, because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN."

-Lauren Myracle, bestselling author of ttyl and SHINE (GLOW)


"The sequel to GLOW delivers a page-turning plot while delving deeper into questions of leadership, trauma and violence....Readers hungry for the next installment will have plenty to ponder in the meantime."

-Kirkus Reviews (SPARK)


Discussion questions:


1. The Sky Chasers examines the push and pull between the bonds of friendship and the demands of belief. How are the relationships between Kieran, Waverly, and Seth affected by their shifting ideas about religion, political power, and personal responsibility to one's society? 


2. Throughout the series, the villains take on more dimension. How did your opinion of Anne Mather change as you got to know her throughout the story? Is she evil? Why or why not? 


3. Every character in The Sky Chasers makes moral compromises as they negotiate the difficulties of warfare and self defense. Can you think of ways these compromises parallel recent events in history?   

Learn more about author Amy Kathleen Ryan and The Sky Chasers series, read her blog and enter contests at her website.


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Amy Kathleen Ryan is happy to call-in or Skype with your book club. To set up an author visit, please visit her website to submit your request.


Ages 12 and up / YA fiction / Harlequin Teen


Win a set of HEARTBEAT by Elizabeth Scott. Enter to win by emailing the publisher (please write KIDSBOOKCLUBBING - HEARTBEAT in the subject line).


Dear Reader,


HEARTBEAT exists because my husband is obsessed with obituaries. He likes the big column ones, which are frequently about World War II veterans, as his grandfather was one. He likes to share them with me and one day, as he handed me that section of the paper to read, I glanced at what he'd been reading. And then read something else.

It was short, a few lines. A woman, early 40s, had died. She'd been pregnant.  

I thought about that. Two lives, gone in an instant.


And then I thought -- what if the baby had lived?


Emma came to me then, sad and furious that her mother was dead but not gone, and then Caleb, a boy who has made more than his share of mistakes and suffers for them, came to me.   

Two broken people, and how they would find each other. How they would find themselves.


Elizabeth Scott


Book reviews:      

- "An intense examination of a family coping with grief, this absorbing character study easily keeps pages turning."



"Admirably tackles the delicate topics of risky pregnancies and medical ethics."

- RT Book Reviews


Discussion questions:

  1. HEARTBEAT explores a relatively rare situation in which Emma's mother is dead but her body is being kept alive due to her pregnancy. What did you think about the situ­ation? How did grief affect Emma's actions and feelings?  
  2. What do you think Emma would have done if Dan had made her part of the decision when Emma's mother died?  
  3. Emma's attitude toward school undergoes a 180-degree change before and after her mother's death. What do you think will happen with her attitude in the future and why?
  4. HEARTBEAT explores Emma's journey from grief to hope through different kinds of love -- family love, friendship, and romantic love. How did each type affect Emma? What helped her, and did any hinder her? What do you think that Emma will pass on to her baby brother as he grows up?

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Elizabeth Scott is happy to call-in to or Skype with your book club. She can also meet with your group if you live in the Manassas, Virginia or Washington, DC areas. Email the publisher to submit your request.


Block3Ages 12 and up / YA fiction / Merit Press


Win a set of ANYONE BUT YOU by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes. Enter to win by emailing the authors (please write KIDSBOOKCLUBBING in the subject line).


Dear Reader,  

A tasty spin on ROMEO AND JULIET, our latest Twisted Lit novel, ANYONE BUT YOU, trades medieval Verona for modern-day Chicago  -- and two rival, family-owned Italian restaurants, to be precise. Gigi Caputo and Roman Monte have fallen hard for each other despite their families' mutual contempt. Will uncovering the mystery (and heart-wrenching history) behind this legendary feud prevent their own love story from taking a tragic turn?


USA Today recommended our first Twisted Lit book, TEMPESTUOUS,  calling it "a fun modern fairy tale, a bit a la Mean Girls..." and critics have deemed our modern-day spins on Shakespeare's classics "irresistible" and "the best new young adult series of the year."

We hope you'll fall for ANYONE BUT YOU. 

Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Book reviews:    


A funny, fresh, and wholly original take on Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET...pure perfection!"
- Yona Zeldis McDonough, author of TWO OF A KIND and A WEDDING IN GREAT NECK

"With all the intrigue, drama, and tragedy of the real thing, Askew and Helmes make you fall as hard for Roman and Gigi as you did for Romeo and Juliet."
- Kerry Cohen, author of EASY and IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME

"From start to finish I could not put ANYONE BUT YOU down, and when I finally reached the last page I was sad to see it end."
- Much Loved Books

"There was something about this story that pulled me in from the first sentence."
- Reading Lark 


Discussion questions:


1. ROMEO AND JULIET is a tragedy. Do you believe this book is also a tragedy? What

might make it one? What else could it be classified as?


2. Which characters from Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET can you find represented in the novel? Cite specific evidence that leads you to make these comparisons.


3. How do the quotes at the start of each chapter relate to the events that follow?


4. Find where images of sleep and dreams appear in ANYONE BUT YOU. Why do you think the authors chose to emphasize this? 

Read excerpts, watch videos, find out more about the authors at
the Twisted Lit website.


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Kim and Amy love visiting with students whether in the classroom or via Skype. To set up an author visit, please email them to submit your request.

  • A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.    
  • Contest entries are sent directly to the authors administering each contest.  Our Privacy Policy does not apply to emails sent as contest entries.  You must be 18 years or older to enter the contests.

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