Monday, December 10, 2007


Well, not everyone is going to get them but your chances are way better if you enter! We found these two authors doing book giveaways! Check them out.

Lisa Schroeder author of I Heart You, I Haunt You is currently running 12 Books of Christmas Book Giveaway!

Mon., Dec. 10th - HARD LOVE, by Ellen Wittlinger
Dec. 11th - CRANK, by Ellen Hopkins
Dec. 12th - STARGIRL, by Jerry Spinelli
Dec. 13th - STORY OF A GIRL, by Sara Zarr (National Book Award nominee)
Dec. 14th - LOOKING FOR ALASKA, by John Green (Printz Award winner)
Dec. 15th - TWILIGHT, by Stephenie Meyer
Dec. 16th - 30 GUYS IN 30 DAYS, by Micol Ostow

Dec. 17th - TRIPPING TO SOMEWHERE, by Kristopher Reisz
Dec. 18th - THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, by Alexie Sherman (National Book Award winner!)

Dec. 19th - DRAMA! THE FOUR DOROTHYS, by Paul Ruditis
Dec. 20th - STUCK IN THE 70's, by D.L. Garfinkle
Dec. 21st - I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, by Lisa Schroeder

Check Out all the details Here: Lisa's MySpace visit her myspace blog!

Jo Knowles author of Lessons from a Dead Girl is giving her book away Dec. 12th on her blog! Get all the juicy details HERE.

The Golden Compass - Review

The Golden Compass
Author: Philip Pullman
The Golden Compass Website
The Golden Compass Movie Site
Reviewer: David

I thought that The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman was a very good book for three main reasons. It is very suspenseful, full of adventure and action, and makes you think about Pullman ’s world that he created in the first book of this trilogy. This book is a mix of Lord of the Rings and the Alex Rider series. It has the fantasy twist, but is set in the 20th to 21st Century.
The first reason that I liked this book is because it is very suspenseful and kept me at the edge of my seat. During The Golden Compass a reader will never know what will happen next. For example, you never know who will win a duel or a battle. The part that kept me on the edge of my seat the most was the duel between Lyra’s polar bear and the king of all of the bears. I kept on thinking that one bear was winning, and then the other bear would lash out a vicious blow towards the other bear. Also, I kept on thinking that Lyra’s uncle was good until the end when he did something that was uncalled for. The real thing that surprised me was that during Lyra’s whole adventure you never know if she will die or live. At a few points during the story I thought that Lyra was surely going to die.
The second reason that I liked The Golden Compass was because it was full of adventure and action. The story starts in the in the middle of Jordan College , near Oxford , and at the end they are at the North Pole. The story is full of escapes, capture, and battles. For example, when Lyra gets captured at Brothangar, there seems to be no way of escape, but then Lyra gets away and rescues a lot of children in the act.
The third reason why I liked The Golden Compass was because I loved the world that Philip Pullman created in this thriller. The main thing that I loved was the daemons that were soul mates and could take the form of any animal at any time. The weird things about the daemons were that they couldn’t get ore than 3-4 feet away from their human companion without having a weird pull on their heart. Also, when daemons reached a certain age they only became one shape and couldn’t shape shift any more. Philip Pullman also created witches, armored bears (amazing fighters who served as mercenaries), and other worlds that you can travel through, through the Aurora .
Overall, I thought that The Golden Compass was one of the best books that I have ever read. It was a thrilling book with many twists. The Golden Compass is the first in a trilogy and if you don’t like cliffhangers this isn’t the book for you.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Quaking - Review and Interview

Author: Kathryn Erskine
Kathy's MySpace!
Reviewer: Kurtis

Quaking is an inspiring story about a girl whose been to one too many foster homes and never found peace with anyone. After her dad beat her and her mom died she felt completely alone. Sam and Jessica are Quakers and become Matt’s foster parents. Of course this is an unlikely match because of her completely contradicting personality. She is Goth and amazingly apathetic towards just about everything while the Quakers are loving caring concerned people who only want the best for their new daughter. But in her new high school her history teacher and classmate are complete war mongers and are failing her solely because of her beliefs. She is too afraid to speak out against these monstrous people so she has to rely on here new guardians to protect her. And as the story goes on she rediscovers what its like to have someone who cares. As I was reading I was given the opportunity to rethink what my priorities are in life. Although there aren’t many Quakers left in the world it seems to me they have a better life than half the people I see walking around trash talking peace lovers. Kathy did a wonderful job with Quaking. I’m hoping to read many more books from her in the near future.

Author Interview: Kathy Erskine

Thank you Ms. Erskine for doing the interview with us. Its cool getting to know the author behind such a great book.

Kurtis: What was your inspiration for writing Quaking?
Kathy:Although it stems from my concerns about the war in Iraq and the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Matt's voice came to me when I was simply out on a walk, wondering if it was going to snow. A snarky teenage girl voice told me it was "too cold to snow" (which became the book's working title) and grew from there--her anger, what she'd been through, her attitude towards violence, her appreciation of peaceful people.
Kurtis: Are you a peace lover yourself?
Kathy: Definitely. From bumper stickers on my car to sending money to brave charities like Doctors without Borders (they enter wartorn countries) to writing about peace. Notice nothing about attending actual demonstrations -- I have done this but I'm a bit of an introvert and it's not something that comes easily to me. We all express ourselves in different ways.
Kurtis: I noticed that Matt did everything she could to avoid being talked to. Why is it that you chose the gothic type character?
Kathy: Matt is hiding from the world and puts on a tough exterior to protect herself. She puts others off because she's afraid of relationships. In her life, relationships have often led to pain.
Kurtis: Do you see any of Matt's personality traits in yourself?
Kathy: Yes--her desire for peace, her reluctance to speak out (until it's vital to do so), her humor (mine is not quite as snarky!).
Kurtis: Who would your characters be if they were in a movie? (Actor wise?)
Kathy: I wish I knew -- you'd be better at choosing, I'm sure. Then let me know! I'd love to hear what you think!
Kurtis: How long did it take to get Quaking in stores?
Kathy: Hmm . . . the novel was finished by late 2004, then got picked up in late 2005 and went through the editing process for about 6 months and was published a year after that in mid-2007. So, from completion of the manuscript until publication was 2 and a half years, or a year and a half if you count from when an editor took it.
Kurtis: Did it ever get turned down by the editors?
Kathy: I was lucky with Quaking. I had one editor who said if I made changes she'd look at it again, one editor who was interested but hadn't finished reading it, and Patti Gauch, who was very interested in it and I really loved working with her.
Kurtis: Did you think you would be a writer when you were my age (14)?
Kathy: No--I thought authors were special people who lived in a different stratosphere. I had no idea you could actually be one yourself.
Kurtis: Can we expect any new novels in the future?
Kathy: I'm about to submit one right now -- about a 14-year-old boy, in fact! I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Then I have 3 already written but they need some revision, another 4 partially written, and several more in the "many pages of notes" stage. And, of course, tons of ideas for more books.

Kathy: Thanks for giving me this opportunity, Kurtis (and friends)!
By the way, Quaking has been nominated by the American Library Association to be on its 2008 list of "Best Books for Young Adults!"
Kurtis: Congratulations that is really cool. I bet you're very excited!

Kathy: I just put up a myspace page!
Kurtis: Hmmmm. Were missing the myspace address. I'll check into and post it when we get it.
Kathy's MySpace!

Kurtis: It's been great learning more about you. I'm going to think about the character choices and post them later.

If anyone has read Quaking let us know who you think would play the role of your favorite characters from the book if they were in a movie.

Monday, December 3, 2007

What's Coming Up

Just to keep you updated the boys are busy reading their hearts out! The holiday and school have slowed them down just slightly.

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions for the boys. We are compiling a survey and will be sending it out soon. We will post the results as soon as they are in.

Just around the corner look forward to a review of Quaking and an interview with the author Kathy Erskine. Kurtis will also be interviewing John Green, author of Looking for Alaska, a Printz Award-winning first novel. Kurtis will share what captured his attention about this book.

Sometime before the new year the boys will be putting together a list of their favorite books of 2007.

Thanks to all who continue to support the boys efforts!