April 1, 2016
 
 New Title with Author Note, Book Giveaway, and More

 


       
 


Dear Readers,     
        
In this issue of KidsBookClubbing, you'll meet Sarah, a bridesmaid who wakes up dead at The Mall of America in Judy Sheehan's teen novel, I WOKE UP DEAD AT THE MALL.
 
Warm wishes,             
 
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
 

Block2Neptune
 
Ages 12 and up / Young Adult Fiction / Random House Delacorte Press  
 
Enter to win a signed copy of I WOKE UP DEAD AT THE MALL by Judy Sheehan for your book club by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).
 
Dear Reader:

Have you ever wondered what happens after you die? Sarah never did. Why should she? She was always that blurry girl in the background of the yearbook photos, the girl whose name you almost remembered, but didn't. Nothing ever happened to her.

Last night, Sarah was a bridesmaid, dressed in hideous mango chiffon. Today, she woke up dead at the Mall of America.  

That's right, the after-life is at the Mall, which helps ease the pain of dying so young. Take whatever you want, it's free. Eat whatever you want, you'll never get fat. Just make sure that you work through your unfinished business and move on. But Sarah goes off the rails as she connects with her fellow dead teens, and falls hard for Nick, the guy with the shoulders. She finds herself tied to life and the living in ways that surprise her, especially when she learns that the one person she loves back on Earth is in grave (yes grave) danger. 
 
Take care,

Judy

Book reviews:  
 
This sparkling debut pulls out all the stops: sweet, sad, hopeful, funny, and romantic in turn, it's a story bound to make readers laugh even as they cry."
-Booklist (starred review)

"A feel-good novel about being dead? Only in this quirky, even romantic novel."
-Kirkus Reviews

"Humorous and offbeat."
-School Library Journal

"Judy Sheehan has crafted a witty, heart-wrenching novel perfect for fans of John Green and Ned Vizzini that I assure you, you'll love."
-Teen Advisory Board
   
Discussion questions:  

1.  Sarah is the narrator, but she speaks in parentheses (a lot). Why do you think she does that? How did it affect your impression of her as a character?

2.  If you had your own Thornton Wilder day, which day of your life would you like to revisit? How do you think it would feel to watch that day unfold?

3.  Sarah, Nick, Alice, Lacey, and Declan must all work through their unfinished business before they can move on. Which character grew or changed the most? Why?

4.  The characters find that they have one power to haunt the living: the power to be heard, to be seen, or to move objects. If you were a ghost, which power would you prefer, and why?

5.  Bertha keeps emphasizing that "we are the stories we tell ourselves." How does that come true for Sarah? For the mall walkers? For everyone at the Mall?

Keep up with Judy on her website, or follow her on your social media of choice: Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Author Call-In Info: Judy is delighted to talk with your group through Skype or Google hangout. If you are in the New York City area, Judy is available to visit your classroom and even conduct a young writers' workshop. To arrange any of this, contact her with the subject line "Writing Games."

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