July 1,  2014
 New Titles, Author Notes, Book Giveaways, and More



Dear Readers,     


In this issue of KidsBookClubbing, you'll meet   


...Jacob Maresbeth, a teen journalist who drinks blood, in Brandy Schillace's HIGH STAKES 

...Johnny Clark, an ordinary teenager from an ordinary family in an ordinary town who wakes up on his fifteenth birthday with memories and abilities that don't belong to him in CITIZEN SIM, and 

...a 14 year old from a small village on the outskirts of the Kingdom of the Ring in the coming-of-age story A QUEST OF HEROES. 


Warm wishes, 


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp




Ages 12 and up / YA Fiction / Cooperative Press


Win a set of HIGH STAKES by Brandy Schillace for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line). 


Dear Reader,  


Being a teenager is hard. I should know -- I grew up in an underground house near a cemetery. That just isn't normal. But what does "normal" mean? Jacob Maresbeth, teen journalist, has a regular life. There's just one problem: he drinks blood.


"I'm not a vampire!" Jake insists. "Or not exactly." Diagnosed with a rare blood disease, Jake has been hiding his weirder symptoms for years. (Who wants to be a lab-rat?) He even hides it from his aunt when he's forced to spend the summer at her house in Cleveland. Boring, right? Not after the arrival of Zsofia, Aunt Sylvia's mysterious graduate student! Love is in the air! At least until Jake's blood supply comes up missing. Then it's mostly panic.


Being normal is harder than it looks.


Brandy Schillace


Book Reviews:


"Thoroughly enjoyable read from beginning to end. Schillace gives us a powerful debut, with a strong and an entertaining voice. The story was funny, sweet, but also suspenseful. At the end of this brief and brisk story, I was left wanting more. I can't wait for more Jacob Maresbeth, and more novels by Brandy Schillace."

- Sharon Bayliss, author of THE CHARGE


"A refreshing take on the teen vampire novel. Blending humor, intriguing characters, and some unexpected twists, she has created an entertaining read and a quirky new hero who will appeal to those thirsting for intelligent young adult fiction. I look forward to reading more Jacob Maresbeth stories. Recommended."

- David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson, author of the THIEFTAKER CHRONICLES

Discussion questions:      

  1. Does Jake have a "disability"? In what ways is his condition like a real disease and how does he manage it?
  2. Is it a problem that Jake's condition forces him to lie about himself? Is it wrong that his own parents encourage him to?
  3. What kind of relationship does Jake have with his sister, Lizzy? Is this relationship important? Why?

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


Author call-in informationBrandy Schillace is happy to call-in to your club. She can also meet with your group if you live in the Ohio/Pennsylvania/Michigan region. Email the author to submit your request.


Ages 12 and up / YA Sci-Fi / Thought Catalog

Win a set of CITIZEN SIM: CRADLE OF THE STARS by Michael Solana for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

Dear Reader,

I grew up in Professor Xavier's Mansion, on the starship Enterprise, in Middle Earth. At every lonely moment in the waking life, at every hard edge, there was another world a writer built for me to journey to. An hour, an afternoon, a week -- fiction was never a lie to me. Fiction was the hyperreal, a place that I could go and learn about myself, and about the universe. Fiction was the thing we wanted, the thing we were working toward, and so it was the truest, most beautiful thing about us that existed. 


Three years ago a teenaged boy with a bad case of bed hair and an impossible machine strapped to his arm popped into my head, and I needed to know why. What followed as I tugged on the thread of his story was the most exhilarating trip of my life. I had found Citizen Sim. I hope you love reading it, and escaping into it, as much as I loved writing it.



Michael Solana


Book Reviews:  


"5 out of 5 stars. A whirligig ride through a cavernous, TRON-like universe inhabited by wise-cracking (ball-busting) stereotype-defying females and a hilariously clueless male 'punk' lead. .... an all-out sci-fi battle/race/time-travel bonanza.....the dialogue is snappy.....highly entertaining book with deep themes, intelligent conversation, and abundant humor."

- Laura Deming, Amazon reviewer


"Sci fi w heart. Hope, monsters, gadgets, a taste of high school and a heroine cooler than the coolest girl in any school, ever. (Read to find out.) When you're done seeing the fault in our stars - reach for the cradle. You'll want to live in Solana's world."

- Alexandra Silverman, Amazon reviewer

Discussion questions:


1. In Citizen Sim, Johnny Clark finds himself suddenly, incurably, invisible. What would you do if you were invisible? 

2. What if your history class wasn't a class, but was a world that you could visit. What decade, or century, in the history of Planet Earth would you most like to see? 

3. What might a world look like in which everyone could live for thousands of years? How would it change for the worse? How would it change for the better? Would you want to live in a world like this? 

4. If you found that a family member you loved very much, or best friend, was doing something that could hurt another person and they refused to stop, would you try and stop them yourself? 

5. If there were a machine smart enough to reason, to wish, to love, would it deserve the rights of a human? The right to life? Why or why not?


To learn more about CITIZEN SIM, to follow Michael Solana on Twitter, and more, visit the publisher's website.


Author call-in information: Michael Solana is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club. Email the author to submit your request.

Ages 12 and up / YA Fiction / Morgan Rice

Win a set of A QUEST OF HEROES by Morgan Rice for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line). 

Dear Reader,

I grew up as an avid reader of epic fantasy, and I was a great admirer of authors who could sweep me away into a world that was so well-written, so all-encompassing, that I'd have a hard time coming back. It was this sort of world that I endeavored to create when embarking on my 14 (and counting) book series, The Sorcerer's Ring. I wanted to create a world rife with stories of honor, valor, courage, of coming of age, of difficult choices and agonizing crossroads; I wanted to weave an epic tale of battle, bravery, heroism -- of friends, foes, monsters and magic. I wanted a world ripe with brotherhood and ambition, yet also with betrayal and assassination. A world where the women are as heroic as the men, where characters can serve as great role models for teens. A world that gives teens the epic fantasy they deserve -- yet that will also appeal to all ages.


I invite you to enter into the world of The Sorcerer's Ring, and I am honored that you have taken the time to read this.


Best wishes,




Book Reviews:


"The Sorcerer's Ring [series] has all the ingredients for an instant success: plots, counterplots, mystery, valiant knights, and blossoming relationships replete with broken hearts, deception and betrayal. It will keep you entertained for hours, and will satisfy all ages. Recommended for the permanent library of all fantasy readers."

- Books and Movie Reviews, Roberto Mattos


"A spirited fantasy that weaves elements of mystery and intrigue into its story line. A Quest of Heroes is all about the making of courage and about realizing a life purpose that leads to growth, maturity, and excellence....For those seeking meaty fantasy adventures, the protagonists, devices, and action provide a vigorous set of encounters that focus well on Thor's evolution from a dreamy child to a young adult facing impossible odds for survival....Only the beginning of what promises to be an epic young adult series."

- Midwest Book Review (D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer)


Discussion questions:

  1. What does honor mean?
  2. What similarities do you find between Thorgrin's life and your own?
  3. In Thorgrin's world, there were strict divisions between peasants and knights, between the poor and the rich, between commoners and royalty. Do these divisions still exist in our society today? Can they be overcome more easily now than then?
  4. In this day and age, when there are no monsters to slay and no castles to defend, what is the best way to lead a chivalrous life?

For more info about The Sorcerer's Ring series and other books, see the author's website. 


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