A Rep Reading

Books, Authors, Publishers, Booksellers, Reps and the Industry

Posts tagged Amulet Books

0 notes &

West of the Moon by Margi Preus


Have you read it yet? I was late getting to it in my to-be-read pile, but I just finished it Sunday. Wowzers! Is that even a word? [Urban Dictionary: Means the same thing as wow but with more “oomph” & enthusiasm.]

Since I am late reading it, the book already has five ★’d reviews! For good reason. It is a mash-up of storytelling, folklore, fairy tale, myth, magic, mysticism, dreams, hero’s journey, historical reality, intergenerational family ancestry, religion, integrity, violence, sisterhood, women’s studies, and “America fever”, with a bibliography, glossary and pronunciation guide, author’s note and illustrations in an unassuming package. Seriously. This book is quite slight, considering the wallop it packs. Generous line spacing on the 213 pages usually indicates a read that isn’t too challenging, and in this case it is deceptively true. Preus’ use of language is deft and easily flows, but the story she tells is razor sharp. She wastes no time getting right on with it, and boy, what a story it is. I am already a fan of hers, having read two of her previous books, Heart of a Samurai, a 2011 Newbery Honor Winner, a New York Times Bestseller and NPR Backseat Bookclub Pick, and Shadow on the Mountain, a thrilling WWII novel of the Norwegian underground resistance movement.

In West of the Moon, Preus tells us a fresh story of history that derives from her own family background that interweaves a massive number of threads that make for wide and varied discussion and further reading. If you’re late getting to it like I was, rectify that now. Here is the description from the publisher, ABRAMS/Amulet Books:
Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Margi Preus expertly weaves original fiction with myth and folktale to tell the story of Astri, a young Norwegian girl desperate to join her father in America.

After being separated from her sister and sold to a cruel goat farmer, Astri makes a daring escape. She quickly retrieves her little sister, and, armed with a troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and a possibly magic hairbrush, they set off for America. With a mysterious companion in tow and the malevolent “goatman” in pursuit, the girls head over the Norwegian mountains, through field and forest, and in and out of folktales and dreams as they steadily make their way east of the sun and west of the moon.




Reviews:

"Like dun silk shot thought with gold, Preus interweaves the mesmerizing tale of Astri’s treacherous and harrowing mid-nineteenth-century emigration to America with bewitching tales of magic. A fascinating author’s note only adds to the wonder."
Booklist, starred review

“Norwegian history, fiction and folklore intertwine seamlessly in this lively, fantastical adventure and moving coming-of-age story.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review



“Enthralling and unflinching, this historical tale resonates with mythical undertones that will linger with readers after the final page is turned.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Astri is like a girl out of a fairy tale, and the native folktales that Preus weaves through the narrative serve as guides, lessons, and inspiration for her.” --Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Several Norwegian folktales are seamlessly integrated into the fast-paced, lyrically narrated story, which features a protagonist as stalwart and fearless as any fairy-tale hero.” —The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
Norwegian Troll postcard art

“It’s Astri’s voice, however, that is most appealing: her direct, no-nonsense narration has a sharp bite, yet it also reveals the vulnerable young girl who’s willing to continue to fight but is nonetheless exhausted by the weight of her struggle. The chapters have an episodic structure that makes this an ideal choice for readaloud or storytelling adaptations, while the mix of folklore, fact, and fantasy will please fans of Edith Patou’s East.” —The Bulletin of The Center for Children’s Books

“It’s amazing. Dark and resilient with a core theme that simply cannot be ignored … with folktales and beautifully written prose. With a deep sisterly bond, and a serious consideration of what is right and what is wrong and what is necessary in desperate circumstances. Slow to start, smart when it continues, and unlike anything you’ve ever really read before … Remarkable.” —Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal Fuse Eight blog.

Margi Preus is a children’s book author and playwright. Her first novel for young people, Heart of a Samurai, is a 2011 Newbery Honor Book, an ALSC Notable Book and a recipient of the Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature, among other honors. Her picture books include Celebritrees; Historic and Famous Trees of the World, winner of the 2013 Flicker Tale Award. Margi served as the artistic director of Colder by the Lake Comedy Theatre for 25 years and with current Colder director and playwriting collaborator, Jean Sramek, has written hundreds of comedy sketches, a couple of comic operas, and dozens of plays for young people and grown ups. When she isn’t writing, she likes to ski, hike, paddle or sit quietly with a book in her lap.

9781419708961
ABRAMS/Amulet Books
Cloth
$16.95
April 2014
Ages 10 to 14





9781419702006
ABRAMS/Amulet Books
Paperback
$7.95
Ages 10 to 14

My review: A middle-grade novelization of the life of Nakahama Manjiro, believed to be the first person from Japan to visit America in 1843. From humble beginnings, a set of circumstances leads a young boy into an unimaginable life and experience of a world unknown to his home culture. From Manjiro’s perspective, the story presents an interesting frame of reference for America at that time in history. Conversely, it is fascinating to learn about Japan in that same context. Elements of natural history, whaling, sailing, prejudice, politics, courage and determination make the life of this one man a valuable teaching moment. An epilogue, a historical note, an environmental note, and a glossary add to teachable components of this story. The reference to samurai in the title comes from Manjiro’s desire to be a samurai, an aspiration which he would never be allowed in Japan. But for strange twists and turns of his life, he indeed earns the rank of samurai for helping Japan overcome 250 years of isolation and enter into a relationship with America and the west.
9781419711596
ABRAMS/Amulet Books
Paperback
$7.95
Ages 10 to 14

My review: An accessible story of a lesser known aspect of World War II. A Norwegian boy finds himself serving as messenger, then spy for the resistance movement as his country struggles under Nazi occupation. When he is ultimately found out, he makes a harrowing escape to Sweden. An easy read, Shadow Mountain offers insight into a culture of teenagers grappling with the difficulties brought on by the challenges of occupation. Based on a true story, the book could serve as a gateway to other books of WWII for middle grade or early YA readers.
Comments

0 notes &

Frank Eintsein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka

Kirkus TV interviews Jon about his new six book series from Abrams/Amulet Books: “Jon Scieszka is the funniest kid’s writer in America, hands down. He’s also one of the most respected. We talk to Scieszka about his new book Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, in which Frank Einstein, kid genius and inventor, is staying with his grandfather while his parents travel to Antarctica.”

Kirkus review:

Scieszka mixes science and silliness again to great effect.

Frank Einstein, kid genius and inventor, is staying with his grandfather while his parents travel to Antarctica. That’s just fine with Frank; he and his sidekick, Watson, have inventing to do, and Grampa Al’s fix-it shop is the perfect place to do science. Frank is hoping to win the Midville Science Prize because Grampa won when he was a kid…and because the prize money will let Frank save Grampa’s shop from the bill collectors. Frank’s attempt to build a SmartBot fails, but overnight, a spark ignites the brain he’s created for the bot, and the next morning he finds two very different robots in his workshop. Now he’s got Klink, a smart, self-assembled robot who can learn, and Klank, who’s really into hugging. Frank doesn’t feel right entering Klink and Klank in the contest since they assembled themselves, but together with Watson, the four of them can surely some up with something great. Only evil, rival child genius T. Edison stands in their way, and he’ll stop at nothing. Scieszka launches a six-book series with a likable protagonist and a good supporting cast. Science facts are slipped into the story on nearly every page, and Biggs’ two-color drawings are the C12H22O11 on the cookie.

Less wacky (and more instructive) than Scieszka’s Spaceheadz series—but just as much fun. (Science fiction/humor. 8-12)


“Dear Frank Einstein,
Please invent time machine. Send your books back in time to me in 1978.
Also a levitating skateboard.
Tommy”
—Tom Angleberger, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

“In the final analysis, this buoyant, tongue-in-cheek celebration of the impulse to ‘keep asking questions and finding your own answers’ fires on all cylinders.” —Booklist, starred review

“I never thought science could be funny … until I read Frank Einstein. It will have kids laughing.” —Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid
From the Abrams website:
Jon Scieszka has sold more than 11 million books, including The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, the Time Warp Trio series, Guys Read, Spaceheadz, and most recently, Battle Bunny with Mac Barnett. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Brian Biggs has collaborated with Garth Nix, Cynthia Rylant, and Katherine Applegate, in addition to working on his own picture books in his Everything Goes series. He lives in Philadelphia.

For more information and resources, check out the Frank Eintsein website.

Click here for the Teaching Guide.

Click here for the Activity Guide.

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor
Jon Scieszka and Brian Biggs
ABRAMS/Amulet Books
9781419712180
Cloth
$13.95 
Comments

0 notes &

★ El Deafo by Cece Bell

UPDATE: 7/16/14 Publishers Weekly *starred* review added. 8/11/14: Kirkus “starred” review, Avid Bookshop and Angie Smits reviews added. Further: 8/22/14: Betsy Bird, Fuse * review, & YouTube interview with Cece about El Deafo.



My review:
An amazingly touching self portrait of a child coping with friendship, family and school after suddenly becoming deaf due to meningitis at age four. CeCe Bell is a normal kid who faces an extraordinary challenge adapting to a new environment of quiet, learning how to understand and communicate with her friends and family after her illness. Honest, intimate, poignant and funny, El Deafo is ultimately a joyous triumph of one’s girl’s determination to navigate her way through the various pitfalls inherent in childhood friendships, first crushes, teachers, classmates, parents and siblings while managing her hearing issues. Her phonic ear, the audio device which enables her to hear more acutely in school, gives her superpower hearing: the ability to hear her teacher wherever she is in the school building, thereby giving her a distinct advantage with her school friends when she reveals its attributes. As a graphic novel memoir, El Deafo is seamlessly engaging and surprisingly helpful, illustrating aspects of the life of a little girl dependent upon visual cues for connections with illustrated diagrams. The illustrations are loving and playful and are the genius behind the book. Cece’s double talent of writing and illustrating bring her childhood experiences to life in ways that every reader can identify. I enjoyed seeing it as much as reading it and as a reader, I was cheering her on along the way. A note from the author explains deafness and the deaf culture in more detail. Kudos, Cece Bell!


Here is a look at the full color illustrations:


"Totally charming graphic autobiography gives much needed insight into a girl’s childhood growing up with hearing aids. Sweet, funny, awkward and heroic, the graphic format is perfect (you certainly couldn’t read it out loud!). There’s nothing like this out there, an instant classic." — Angie Smits, Southern Territory Associates

"Though billed as a kids’ graphic novel, this intelligent, emotional, funny, and—let’s face it—adorable memoir will appeal to readers of all ages. Cece Bell’s story of growing up hearing impaired while searching for a true friend will make you smile and tear up in places. This would be a great book to read and discuss with your kids." — Janet Geddis, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA


Publishers Weekly:
A bout of childhood meningitis left Bell (Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover) deaf at age four, and she was prescribed a Phonic Ear, with a receiver draped across her chest and a remote microphone her teachers wore. Her graphic memoir records both the indignities of being a deaf child in a hearing community (“IS. THAT. AAAY. HEAR-ING. AAAID?”) and its joys, as when she discovers that the microphone picks up every word her teacher says anywhere in the school. Bell’s earnest rabbit/human characters, her ability to capture her own sonic universe (“eh sounz lah yur unnah wawah!”), and her invention of an alter ego—the cape-wearing El Deafo, who gets her through stressful encounters (“How can El Deafo free herself from the shackles of this weekly humiliation?” she asks as her mother drags her to another excruciating sign language class)—all combine to make this a standout autobiography. Cece’s predilection for bursting into tears at the wrong time belies a gift for resilience that makes her someone readers will enjoy getting to know. Ages 8–12. — Publishers Weekly starred review, 7/7/2014.

Kirkus Reviews:
A humorous and touching graphic memoir about finding friendship and growing up deaf.

When Cece is 4 years old, she becomes “severely to profoundly” deaf after contracting meningitis. Though she is fitted with a hearing aid and learns to read lips, it’s a challenging adjustment for her. After her family moves to a new town, Cece begins first grade at a school that doesn’t have separate classes for the deaf. Her nifty new hearing aid, the Phonic Ear, allows her to hear her teacher clearly, even when her teacher is in another part of the school. Cece’s new ability makes her feel like a superhero—just call her “El Deafo”—but the Phonic Ear is still hard to hide and uncomfortable to wear. Cece thinks, “Superheroes might be awesome, but they are also different. And being different feels a lot like being alone.” Bell (Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, 2012) shares her childhood experiences of being hearing impaired with warmth and sensitivity, exploiting the graphic format to amplify such details as misheard speech. Her whimsical color illustrations (all the human characters have rabbit ears and faces), clear explanations and Cece’s often funny adventures help make the memoir accessible and entertaining. Readers will empathize with Cece as she tries to find friends who aren’t bossy or inconsiderate, and they’ll rejoice with her when she finally does.

Worthy of a superhero. — Kirkus starred review

Author Cece Bell Talks About Her New Book, El Deafo

"There isn’t a jot of doubt in my mind that CeCe Bell’s book is going to be vastly beloved by nearly every child that picks it up. Engaging and beautifully drawn, to say nothing of its strength and out-and-out facts, El Deafo is going to help set the standard for what a memoir for kids should be. Infinitely clever. Undeniably fun. Don’t miss it." Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal, A Fuse 8 Production Blog, August 21, 2014

Read as an advance reader copy:



Visit Cece’s website here.

El Deafo
CeCe Bell
Amulet Books a division of ABRAMS Books
September 2014
9781419710209
Cloth
$21.95
9781419712173
Paper
$10.95
Comments

0 notes &

Immortality! The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett

I often reflect upon the invisible nature of sales reps in the overarching universe that is trade book publishing. Early in my career I worked for a major New York publisher for nearly twelve years without stepping foot in the New York office or the New Jersey warehouse. My tether was the telephone, or sales conference meetings that took place in off-site locations.

My booksellers knew me in person, of course, as I traveled three times a year for seasonal presentations, writing orders, and taking inventories. It’s a different existence to be sure. It can be lonely. It can have a negative affect on one’s personal life. Friends and family would always assume I was traveling, thereby not calling as much or making plans to get together. There are all the long distance relationships with people that are business related, but over time, become personal due to shared experiences of joy and loss in our personal and business lives.

Much of the time earlier in my career, I was most separated from the very people for whom I was advocating: authors. Understandably. Sales reps are all about business, getting the job done; selling books. Sometimes authors would speak at sales conferences, travel on tours to stores in my territory, or appear at national or regional trade shows. Mostly, though, they were perhaps isolated, too, writing in their home offices, interacting with their editors, agents and other authors.

Fast forward a couple of decades or so and my, how times have changed. I work as a sales rep now in an independent rep group. We are our own company, and we represent a variety of publishers. I frequently appear in some of my publishers New York (or elsewhere) offices. I’m not lonely now, with a husband and son who tolerate my crazy work schedule as best as they can. Thanks to the internet, there is social media, which I have often claimed has done more to break down the barriers to various segments of publishing than eBooks (ahem). Publishing is much more transparent than it used to be, and with this transparency, I can enjoy many aspects of my work that were previously less available to me: AUTHORS! Authors are encouraged by publishers to put themselves out in the world of social media with websites, blogs, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, to contribute to the overall marketing efforts being made for their books.

Which brings me to today’s topic: the awesome Tom Angleberger (or mastermind marketer, either one!). This man is a genius. He really works it, meaning, he puts himself out there in creative, authentic ways with indefatigable (seemingly) enthusiasm and good humor with readers, teachers, librarians, sales reps, publishers, and other authors. In my exploration of social media, I have had the pleasure of observing Tom’s efforts in action. With two more recent gestures, however, I have benefited from his kind generosity toward me.

In the acknowledgments of Tom’s previous Origami Yoda installment, The Secret of the Fortune Wookie, I appeared alongside other Super Booksellers, Librarians, Teachers, Reading Specialists, and Principals.



Earlier this summer, I received notice from Tom’s editor at ABRAMS that I was mentioned in his newest book, The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett. Wow! She said it was a veiled reference, but definitely a shout out. I had to wait like every other reader on Earth to read The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett, because the book had a strict release date of August 8. Absolutely no access to anything at all whatsoever! The anticipation was agonizing.

On the appointed date of August 8, my book didn’t arrive. WHAT? I usually get a shiny metallic bubble envelope (so it stands out from all the other shipments that arrive daily) with a single copy of the book. It was late. I had to wait longer. It did finally arrive and I set about reading, scouring the book for my hidden shout out.

I missed it. I was so embarrassed. I imagined all sorts of ways I might be in the book. A drawing in the margin? Tom makes fantastic drawings that augment the story content.



Would I be a student character named Teresa? A teacher? None of the characters rang true to me. I couldn’t tell anybody I’d missed it, because what would that say about my reading comprehension?! I could hear it now, “Please tell me where I’m mentioned in the book, because I’m too dense to notice?!” And what is up with all this fangirl excitement, anyway? I’m a seasoned, experienced, long-serving professional, for heaven’s sake. It not about me! When I saw Tom’s publicist’s name prominently displayed masquerading as Lucas County School District Dietician and Nutritionist, I thought it would be as easy as this to spot.



So this week, when Tom sent me this tweet:

I got my clue!!



What happened, of course, was my eyes faithfully followed the written circle and arrow on the page, never really looking RIGHT ABOVE THE CIRCLE, and seeing “Kravtin Heights MS”. I’m a Middle School!! Yay!

I am now twice immortalized in print. It’s great bragging rights. My 17 year old son is very impressed that his mom, who works in relative obscurity, now appears in millions of copies of two books. Millions, I say! Thank you, Tom. This is so much fun. You have made a hardened, and sometimes cynical professional sales rep smile. Other authors have passed along to me their appreciation of the efforts of sales reps through social media whether or not I actually sell their books. It is immensely gratifying. The transparency of social media allows us all to converse with each other in new and creative ways. I still haven’t met many of the authors I chat with online, but these efforts inform my overall enthusiasm for my work on their behalf. I’m such a fangirl for the authors I sell. This, however, takes it to a whole new level.



Here is my post when Tom and I actually met while flying on the same plane to New York this past May.




This weekend, Tom is appearing at the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia. On Sunday, September 1, he’s scheduled to lead the Children’s Parade at 11:45 am, followed by at appearance on the Children’s Stage from noon to 12:30 pm. If you’re in the area, or within traveling distance, don’t miss this chance to meet Tom. Click here for a map of all the DBF venues, and here for directions to get there.

Comments

3 notes &

"When we love a book, we’re totally into it. Stevie Lynn Turner and I, peering into the future. Thanks Cat Winters!", FoxTale Book Shoppe bookseller and co-owner, Karen Schwettman (left), and Stevie Lynn Turner (right). "In The Shadow of Blackbirds is a page turning blast to the past.  The time is 1918 with the world reeling from war and a deadly flu.  Spiritualists claim they can put you in touch with your loved ones and take your picture with their ghosts.  Our reluctant heroine, with her goggles that allow her to peer into the future, finds herself entangled in a ghostly mystery she’s determined to solve. If she survives, that is.” — Karen Schwettman, FoxTale Book Shoppe, Woodstock, GA"This was a total package … Not only did Cat Winter’s score with this amazing story, but her cover is beautiful. LOVED! — Reader, Stevie Lynn Turner, pictured above.

Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black lives up to her striking name—she’s a curious girl fascinated by science, living in 1918, “a year the devil designed,” as Mary puts it. With WWI raging on and Mary’s father on trial for treason, she goes to live with her Aunt Eva in San Diego, Calif., even as influenza sweeps across America, devastating the population and rendering those left behind paranoid and weary. Grieving for her childhood beau Stephen, who died while fighting overseas with the Army, Mary goes outside during a thunderstorm and is struck dead by lightning—for a few minutes. When Mary comes to, she discovers she can communicate with the dead, including Stephen. Winters’s masterful debut novel is an impressively researched marriage of the tragedies of wartime, the 1918 flu epidemic, the contemporaneous Spiritualism craze, and a chilling love story and mystery. Unsettling b&w period photographs appear throughout, à la Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, greatly adding to the novel’s deliciously creepy atmosphere. — Publishers WeeklyUS National Library of Medicine and The Marlin Company, Wallingford, Connecticut"Cat Winter’s debut novel … is creepy good. Winters … leaves readers haunted." — Chelsey Philpot, The Boston Globe, April 27, 2013A Booklist Top Ten Horror Book for Youth: 2013"Winters’ debut ropes in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, WWI shell shock, national prejudice, and spirit photography, and yet never loses focus from its primary thesis: desperation will make people believe—and do—almost anything. Mary Shelley Black, 16, has been sent to live with her aunt in San Diego, a city crawling with gauze mask–wearing citizens fearful of catching the deadly virus. Loss is everywhere, which means booming business for spirit photographer Julius, the older brother of Mary’s true love, Stephen, who is off fighting in the trenches. Stephen’s death coincides with Mary suffering electrocution, an event with strange aftereffects: Mary sends compass needles spinning, can taste emotions, and begins to see and hear Stephen’s ghost, in torment over the maniacal “birdmen” that tortured and killed him. Mary believes his spirit will rest when she uncovers the truth about his death—a truth more horrifying than most readers will expect. A scattering of period photos, including eerie examples of spirit photography, further the sense of time and place, but the main event here is Winters’ unconventional and unflinching look at one of the darkest patches of American history. More than anything, this is a story of the breaking point between sanity and madness, delivered in a straightforward and welcoming teen voice." — Daniel Kraus,  BooklistAmerican Museum of PhotographyNominated for YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults

Visit Cat Winters’ In the Shadow of Blackbirds website, for complete  reviews, historical background links and interesting detail about the publication of the book.

For more information about Cat Winters, click here.In the Shadow of Blackbirds
Cat Winters
Amulet Books/ABRAMS
9781419705304
Cloth
$16.95

For more about FoxTale Book Shoppe, see this previous post from March 2013.
"When we love a book, we’re totally into it. Stevie Lynn Turner and I, peering into the future. Thanks Cat Winters!", FoxTale Book Shoppe bookseller and co-owner, Karen Schwettman (left), and Stevie Lynn Turner (right).



"In The Shadow of Blackbirds is a page turning blast to the past. The time is 1918 with the world reeling from war and a deadly flu. Spiritualists claim they can put you in touch with your loved ones and take your picture with their ghosts. Our reluctant heroine, with her goggles that allow her to peer into the future, finds herself entangled in a ghostly mystery she’s determined to solve. If she survives, that is.” — Karen Schwettman, FoxTale Book Shoppe, Woodstock, GA

"This was a total package … Not only did Cat Winter’s score with this amazing story, but her cover is beautiful. LOVED! — Reader, Stevie Lynn Turner, pictured above.


Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black lives up to her striking name—she’s a curious girl fascinated by science, living in 1918, “a year the devil designed,” as Mary puts it. With WWI raging on and Mary’s father on trial for treason, she goes to live with her Aunt Eva in San Diego, Calif., even as influenza sweeps across America, devastating the population and rendering those left behind paranoid and weary. Grieving for her childhood beau Stephen, who died while fighting overseas with the Army, Mary goes outside during a thunderstorm and is struck dead by lightning—for a few minutes. When Mary comes to, she discovers she can communicate with the dead, including Stephen. Winters’s masterful debut novel is an impressively researched marriage of the tragedies of wartime, the 1918 flu epidemic, the contemporaneous Spiritualism craze, and a chilling love story and mystery. Unsettling b&w period photographs appear throughout, à la Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, greatly adding to the novel’s deliciously creepy atmosphere. — Publishers Weekly



US National Library of Medicine and The Marlin Company, Wallingford, Connecticut



"Cat Winter’s debut novel … is creepy good. Winters … leaves readers haunted." — Chelsey Philpot, The Boston Globe, April 27, 2013


A Booklist Top Ten Horror Book for Youth: 2013

"Winters’ debut ropes in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, WWI shell shock, national prejudice, and spirit photography, and yet never loses focus from its primary thesis: desperation will make people believe—and do—almost anything. Mary Shelley Black, 16, has been sent to live with her aunt in San Diego, a city crawling with gauze mask–wearing citizens fearful of catching the deadly virus. Loss is everywhere, which means booming business for spirit photographer Julius, the older brother of Mary’s true love, Stephen, who is off fighting in the trenches. Stephen’s death coincides with Mary suffering electrocution, an event with strange aftereffects: Mary sends compass needles spinning, can taste emotions, and begins to see and hear Stephen’s ghost, in torment over the maniacal “birdmen” that tortured and killed him. Mary believes his spirit will rest when she uncovers the truth about his death—a truth more horrifying than most readers will expect. A scattering of period photos, including eerie examples of spirit photography, further the sense of time and place, but the main event here is Winters’ unconventional and unflinching look at one of the darkest patches of American history. More than anything, this is a story of the breaking point between sanity and madness, delivered in a straightforward and welcoming teen voice." — Daniel Kraus,  Booklist


American Museum of Photography



Nominated for YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults


Visit Cat Winters’ In the Shadow of Blackbirds website, for complete reviews, historical background links and interesting detail about the publication of the book.

For more information about Cat Winters, click here.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds
Cat Winters
Amulet Books/ABRAMS
9781419705304
Cloth
$16.95

For more about FoxTale Book Shoppe, see this previous post from March 2013.
Comments Comments

1 note &

The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett Teaser

"Dark times have fallen on McQuarrie Middle School. Dwight’s back—and not a moment too soon, as the gang faces the FunTime Menace: a new educational program designed to raise students’ standardized test scores. Instead, it’s driving everyone crazy with its obnoxious videos of Professor FunTime and his insidious singing calculator! When Principal Rabbski cancels the students’ field trip—along with art, music, and LEGO classes—to make time for FunTime, the students turn to Origami Yoda for help. But some crises are too big for Origami Yoda to handle alone: Form a Rebel Alliance the students must. United, can they defeat the FunTime Menace and cope with a surprise attack from Jabba the Puppett?" — ABRAMS Books website

On sale August 6, 2013.

The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett
Tom Angleberger
Amulet Books
9781419708589
$12.95 
Comments Comments

0 notes &

School Library Journal LIVE Webcast with Jeff Kinney: 11/12/12 1 pm

Click the image to register.

Follow on Twitter: @SLJEvent #sljwimpykid

In The Third Wheel, love is in the air-but what does that mean for Greg Heffley?

A Valentine’s Day dance at Greg’s middle school has turned his world upside down. As Greg scrambles to find a date, he’s worried he’ll be left out in the cold on the big night. His best friend, Rowley, doesn’t have any prospects either, but that’s a small consolation.

An unexpected twist gives Greg a partner for the dance and leaves Rowley the odd man out. But a lot can happen in one night, and in the end, you never know who’s going to be lucky in love.

Jeff Kinney tells all about Greg’s pursuit of dance happiness in this one hour live-streaming event, and will answer your questions live! Kinney will also talk about the origins of Wimpy Kid and where it might go from here.



Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel Event Kit.

“Writers Speak to Kids” on NBC Learn with author Jeff Kinney.
Comments Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus