Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Win a Signed Copy of ATLANTIA by Ally Condie

It’s Thankgsiving, so we thought we would let you know how thankful we are to you by giving away a signed copy of Atlantia by Ally Condie, generously provided by the publisher Dutton Children’s. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below before Saturday, December 6th at Midnight. Open to U.S. residents.

“So much of life is in the smallness of moments…but they are harder to mark. So we need the grander celebrations and occasions. People like to feel significant”
Ally Condie, Atlantia

Here’s the book description:

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.


Ally Condie is, of course, the author of the extremely popular Matched trilogy. Here she delves in the mysterious underwater world, a premise that has intrigued generations. School Library Journal said, “Complex characters, including Rio’s antihero aunt, and a realistically slow and subtle first romance make this a book teens will relate to, even non-genre fans. A slowly unfolding backstory perfectly complements all the action.” (School Library Journal, October 01, 2014).

Selling a Book in Just 3 Words (Let the #3wordbooktalk fun begin!)

Reader’s Advisory is an awesome concept in theory, but it assumes that the people sitting behind the Reference desk at a library have a ton of time to chat with patrons about the books they read and why they like them.  The reality is, sometimes we are so busy we can be lucky if we get an uninterrupted minute with them.  My favorite moments are when I walk into the teen area and find an unsuspecting teen – I will pounce.  But again, you have to be able to recommend books on the fly and often in a short amount of time.  Teens are often just as busy as we are.

Sometimes you want to Tweet about a book but you only have 140 characters.  And I don’t know about you but I hate writing long text messages on my phone, the keyboard is itty bitty and prone to typos.  It is totally my phone that does that by the way, not me.  It is always the phone’s fault.

But I have an answer for us all: the 3 word booktalk!  You’ve no doubt heard of the 6 word memoir.  (If you haven’t, check it out because it is lots of fun).

In the Beginning . . .

I have hosted quite a few author panels.  And I have attended many more.  One of the favorite questions authors get asked is to describe their book in only 3 words.  Author Victoria Scott describes her book, The Collector, with these 3 words: “Sexy, Snarky, Demon.”

Author Sherry Woods recently described The Burning Sky with “Cross-Dressing Harry Potter.”

Author Mindy McGinnis recently described Not a Drop to Drink with “Apocalypse, Thirst, Murder.”

And every time – IT WORKS!  I’m all, YES – sign me up for this book.  But I also thought: This is the way to sell a book – the 3 WORD BOOKTALK.  Designed for a texting, tweeting world where friends speak to each in text lingo.  Also designed for the Reference librarian who also has to answer phones, run over to computers and answer those questions, all the while trying to sneak in a few book recommendations in the stacks or at a busy desk.  It works for anyone who loves and wants to share their favorite books.

Let the Games Begin . . .

So here’s what we are going to do this week: Tweet us your #3wordbooktalk (or leave it in the comments) and be entered to win a signed copy of both The Collector and The Liberator by Victoria Scott.  You can enter as many times as you would like with as many books as you would like.  All it takes is 1 Tweet and 3 words.  Quick, easy, fun.  (See what I did there?  Clever).  Technically, anyone can Tweet their #3wordbooktalk and we love to hear all book love, but because of the cost of mailing, 1 U.S. Resident will be selected as our winner by Victoria herself.  Contest runs October 13 through the 19th.

Careening with our youth culture: the daring nature of Dare Me (a guest post by Eric Devine and GIVEAWAY)

I spent a lot of time as a teenager risking my life. And not in some symbolic sense. I put myself in harm’s way on so many occasions that when I tell stories of my youth, someone always says, “I cannot believe you’re still alive.”

Neither can I. And I blame the Internet.
Really, the lack of it. When I was a senior in high school (’96) our library got its first computer with Internet. At home, the same happened. But in its infancy, PCs with Internet connection weren’t that alluring, so I had to find entertainment elsewhere.
The problems my friends and I faced were classic: boundless energy, lack of supervision, devil-may-care attitudes and “stupid creativity”. I use that term because had we channeled our energy into anything positive, who knows what we could have achieved? Instead, we were all fortunate to simply maintain our lives, but not without scars and not without stories.
Like the one time we jumped off the ledges at this local abandoned quarry:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYDhnOnA_s8 (this is not us, but the location).
My friend jumped, but for some reason believed in cartoon physics–that if she just stepped back she’d defy gravity. Instead, she belly flopped from that height, came up, gasped for air, and went right back under.
I was a lifeguard, so I swam under and rescued her, dragging her to the ledge where she vomited a gallon of water.
We kept jumping.

And that is one of the tamest events on my resume.
These times provided me–to a degree–the psychological backdrop for my characters within Dare Me. I was once young and invincible, but I also wanted to push the limit, to eradicate the fear every teenager has. I failed and I succeeded. Fear is intrepid like that.
Today, my students have these same stories, but they also have the Internet. For them the same problems as my friends apply, but now they have guidance on their stupidly creative endeavors. It comes in the form of Jackass (and all the offshoots like it), as well as Tosh.O (and all the impersonators) and viral videos of teenagers doing what we’ve come to accept as “teenage” things.
Except they’re not. I was fueled by death-defying stupidity and a lot of these kids are as well, but in addition is a desire for fame or infamy, whichever brings in the most money. I believe that is a trickle-down effect of youth chasing the goals of adults.
However, if I possessed a smartphone and YouTube then, the chances of you having seen me injured, or worse, are pretty high. Because when money is a real potential, your audience is vast and they chime in looking for more–albeit from the comfort of the keyboard–something in the teen brain screams, “All right, let’s do this!” I would have been no exception.
This is why Dare Me moves away form being solely a story about “teens doing stupid dares, which they post online” to a commentary about how our youth have become pawns in this culture that seeks entertainment at whatever the cost.
When I first envisioned Dare Me, the bulk was about the dares. Which ones should I choose? Would they be intense enough? Would someone copy them?
I then moved into wondering about the implications of such a story. What message was I going to send? Certainly I wasn’t intending to offer a pass for such behavior, but how to express that without preaching, without being a hypocrite? That became the real challenge.
It’s one I believe I have executed. As a reader wrote to me, “This story is analogous to a fireworks display that builds to a grand finale, but leaves you in suspense as to the aftermath.” It is in that aftermath, as is so often the case when dares go wrong, that the lesson is learned. No one needs to come onstage and say anything, the consequences are so evident.
That is the purpose of Dare Me, to provide a safe, voyeuristic look into the lives of teens who are willing to risk it all, not only to watch them do so, but to examine why, and at what cost. Because there is always a cost, and often it far outweighs the sought after gain. Which is why the dedication for my novel is as follows:
For those with the will to dare and the courage to accept the consequences
I’ve accepted what I have done and respect whatever force has kept me here, if only so I can continue to exist with the frame of mind: that could be me, and to then tell the story, so the brutality of firsthand knowledge isn’t a requirement of learning.
P.S. This is the bridge high above the waters within the quarry. A glance at my cover should be enough to connect the dots, but reading the second dare within Dare Me will solidify it.
Eric Devine is a teacher and author of the new young adult novel Tap Out, published by Running Press Kids.  You can read more about it at his webpage or at Goodreads. Tap Out by Eric Devine is in stores now.  Dare Me will be released in October of 2013, also by Running Press Teens.  Eric Devine is also the author of one of my favorite guest posts where he discusses boys and reading
Dare Me on Goodreads: “When Ben Candido and his friends, Ricky and John, decide to post a YouTube video of themselves surfing on top of a car, they finally feel like the somebodies they are meant to be instead of the social nobodies that they are. Overnight, the video becomes the talk of the school, and the boys are sure that their self-appointed senior year of dares will live in infamy. Every dare brings an increased risk of bodily harm, but Ben cannot deny the thrill and sense of swagger that come with it. The stakes become even more complex when a mysterious donor bankrolls their dares in exchange for a cut in the online revenue the videos generate. But at what point do the risk and the reward come at too high of a price? What does it take to stay true to one’s self in the face of relentless pressure.”

Egmont USA Week, July 15-19

July 15th is the 2 year anniversary of the Teen Librarian Toolbox.  And we are joining forces with Egmont USA this week to celebrate.  All this week we will be talking about Egmont USA titles, sharing some author guest posts, and giving away Egmont titles.  This will be our hub and we’ll add new posts each day as they post.

Let me just take this moment to say THANK YOU! Thank you for reading this blog, sharing your passion for books and libraries with us, and for giving us this forum to talk about the things we want to be talking about.  We have gotten a ton of great feedback from you all and it genuinely makes our day every time it happens.  And a special thanks to Christie Gibrich, Heather Booth, Robin Willis and Stephanie Wilkes who have all been such an important part of TLT.  And, of course, thank you to EgmontUSA for this great week of books and giveaways. 

The Egmon tUSA giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.  You can enter multiple times so check out our daily posts. Rafflecopter will select our prize package winner and they will be contacted by EgmontUSA for shipping purposes.  Contest ends on Friday, July 19th at Midnight.

This is What Losing Everything Looks Like: How TLT started
Fall 2013 Releases 
MG Review: Vordak, Time Travel Trouble
The Things That Scare Us by Em Garner, author of Contaminated
Book Review: Quarantine 2 The Saints by Lex Thomas
Book Review: Contaminated by Em Garner 
Book Review: BZRK Reloaded by Michael Grant
Book Review: Saving Thanehaven by Catherine Jinks
Book Review: What I Came to Tell You by Tommy Hayes
Writing About Grief and Recovery in Spies and Prejudice, a guest post by Talia Vance
Summertimes by Lindsay Eland, author of A Summer of Sundays
Book Review: A Summer of Sunday by Linsday Eland

Previous Egmont USA Posts

Guest Posts
10 Reasons You Should Buy QUARANTINE for Your Library by Lex Thomas
Who Watches the Watchers? A guest post by Ashes author Ilsa J. Bick

Book Reviews
Book Review: Quarantine book 1: The Loners
Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
Book Review: Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick
Book Review: One Moment by Kristina McBride 
Book Review: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Book Review: The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
Book Review: Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison
Book Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Book Review: Timepiece by Myra McEntire 
Book Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynne Barnes

Booklists and Readalikes
Top 10: You Could Have Been an X-Men – readalikes for the X-men fans 
Top 10: YA Books that Buffy Fans Will Like 
Top YA Books for the Doctor Who Fan 
Take 5: Spies Like Us – great spy reads

5 Audio Books My Tween Says You Should Listen To Right Now

If you follow me on Twitter (@tlt16), you know that the Tween and I are now audio book obsessed.  Even if we are just in the car for a five minute drive she asks me to turn on whatever book we are currently listening to.  We have gotten home and sat in the car for a few extra minutes to finish whatever scene or book we are listening to.  I don’t forget to turn on the book because she won’t let me, “Mom, turn the book on” she cries from the backseat of the car.  Here are 5 of her recent faves.

1.  Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

I won’t talk a lot about this one, because I mentioned it in yesterday’s post about reality TV. The tween wasn’t interested in it though for the inside look at all the behind the scenes happenings of reality TV.  No, she just liked that it was funny, charming, and at times kept you on the edge of your seat.  She is also a huge animal lover and there is plenty of fun wildlife present.

2.  The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks

In The Paradise Trap, Marcus’s mom buys a trailer for them to vacation at the beach.  One day they discover that the trailer has a basement, which if you know anything about trailers is physically impossible.  Inside the basement your wildest dreams – and most fearful nightmares – come true.  This story is an interesting twist on the legend of the Sirens.  It definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat as you travel through the maze of a basement and try to find a way out.  It also led to some fun discussions about what our dream vacation and nightmare vacations would look like.  I think it would be a fun book club book and you can do an activity where your tweens create their own dream or nightmare vacation brochures.  You can listen to an excerpt at the Random House Audio page.

Audio Book Fact: Most listeners use audiobooks in the car (whether they are commuting or on driving vacations) but an increasing number of people also report using audiobooks while they are exercising, cooking, gardening — and even at work. (from the Audio Publishers Association)

3.  Divergent by Veronica Roth
Okay, I don’t always make awesome parenting decisions.  I am the mother who took the Tween to see The Hunger Games movie when she was 8.  Anyhow, I was listening to Divergent when she got in the car with me one day and I hadn’t turned it off.  She started protesting so we kept listening.  There is a lot of violence, obviously.  And there is one scene where Tris is attacked and basically sexually assaulted.  I was surprised, because she did really like it.  And of course now she is closer to being a teen then she was when I took her to see The Hunger Games movie (which she did like by the way).  So, the moral of my story is this: definitely read or listen to the book first, but it is a good audio, a good book, and with the movie coming out soon there will be high demand.

Audio Book Fact: Audiobook listeners are avid readers who use audiobooks as a way of enjoying an author’s work when they are not able to read. 94% of audiobook listeners had read a book in the past year vs. 70% of non-audiobook listeners. (from the Audio Publishers Association)

4.  I’d Tell You That I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Because I am the mom to two girls, I am always looking for good representations of females in my books.  Ally Carter is one of my favorite authors because of the characters she writes.  And, her books are charming, fun, and entertaining while being empowering.  ITYTILOVBTIHTKY is book #1 in the Gallagher Girls series.  I think everyone should read these books.  They are about girls in spy school and they do a good job of presenting a wide variety of girls, their interests and personalities, and have some pretty kick-ass role models.  There is a touch of romance, geeky spy science, and really intelligent women.  What’s not to love?  We were introduced to the series by listening to the audio and have bought every book since then for our home library.  Last night the Tween started reading the series again I noticed.

Audio Book Fact: In a recent consumer survey, the Audio Publishers Association learned that 25% of Americans had listened to an audiobook in the last year.

5.  The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

This was a really interesting listening experience because we did it backwards.  I started reading the book out loud as our family read along, but somewhere along the way I picked up a new book before we finished this one.  We both really liked this book and wanted to finish it, so we listened to the audio.  The Mysterious Benedict Society is such a clever book about genius children and there are lots of fun mysteries and puzzles to solve inside.  Just listening to it made us feel like we were getting smarter by the day.  And one of my favorite childhood books is The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, which this series reminds me a lot of in tone and personality.  You can listen to an excerpt to get a feel for the series at the Random House Audio page.

I recently had a discussion with the Tween, asking her what she liked about audio books.  She said she liked how they drew you into the story and it was kind of like watching TV or a movie, but the picture forms in your head.  Plus, it made car rides more fun.  The only thing she said she liked better about reading a book is that she could do it at “her own pace.”  I will say that I have noticed that she often doesn’t finish reading a book, but she always finishes the audio which means she is getting the whole story.

Super Pop! : The Book, The Lists, The Giveaway

Lists are a glorious thing.  Yes, that’s right, I am singing the praises of lists.  Dave Letterman has ridden on the coat tails of the Top 10 list for decades.  We put together book lists and lists of movies.  Each year radio stations count down the list of the best songs of the year.  We ask our friends, “If you were stranded on a desert island, which 5 books would you want with you?” (Answer this question in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Super Pop! Read on)

Super Pop by Daniel Harmon is a celebration of all things listy.  It is a trip in the glories of listmania.  It is, in fact, listastic and listeriffic.  When you open the pages of Super Pop, you are taking a magical journey into the world of Listville, where the glory of the list reigns supreme.  But these are special lists, they are designed to hep you “be more interesting” (part 1), “get smarter” (part II), “stop doing it wrong” (part III), “find happiness” (part IV) and “survive the holidays” (part V).  And then, there is an appendix, the “Top 10 Resources for People Who Still Want More.”

Want to gain some perspective?  Try reading a book and “try on another human being” Harmon advises.  Books included on the list?

10  The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger
9    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
8    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
7    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
6    Room by Emma Donoghue
5    The Silent History, which is technically an app
4    Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
3    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
2    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
1    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

And here is what makes lists fun: As you read that list above, you started thinking about what books you think should be on the list.  And if you had the book in front of you, you would be reading the descriptions and explanations for why that book is on the list.  Maybe you would email your friends, “What do you think of this list?  What would be on your list and why?”  See, great conversation starter.

What to do with this book: The List

Behold, the glory of the list.  With lists you can . . .

10  Start interesting conversations with your friends

9    Set goals: you will read, see, try, do everything on the list, for example

8    Put together fun contests for your tweens and teens

7    Use them as conversation starters on your library’s social media page

6    Put together library displays and book lists

5    Use them as a spark to create even more fun lists to do all of the above

4    Put together a series of programs based on one of the lists where you do, try, read the items on the list.    For example, you can use the “Catch a Predator” list to create a book display and have a little film festival where you watch the movie and TV shows suggested, or come up with your own.

3    Have your library patrons vote and make their own lists and compare them to Harmon’s originals.

2    Have a trivia night using the lists

1   Just read the lists, laugh, ponder, and enjoy

The List of Lists

There are some truly fun lists here.  They are creative, original, and think outside the box.  Some of my favorites include:

10  Dive into the Underworld: Essential Tours of Gang Wars, the Drug Trade and Otherwise Felonious Living
Would this not make the most fun and fantastic display?

9    Find Your Calling: All-Consuming Hobbies for Your Consideration
Again, completely display worthy.  Also good for programming.  And you know, you might actually NEED a hobby.  So this is an all around perfect list.  This is actually an absurd list; It involves things like time travel and turning people into ghosts.  But you can take both a serious and the playful look at this list.  Personally, I think it would be wicked fun to think of other books, movies and TV shows and see what “hobbies” you can come up with.

8    Outwit Death: Essential Lessons in Survival
Just think of all the book and programming fun you can have with this! Important for the zombie apocalypse.
It will surprise you – not – to learn that The Walking Dead is on this list. 

7   Ten Essential Catchphrases for Use at Dinner Parties
This profound list includes phrases like, “May the Force Be with You” and “D’Oh”  So maybe you shouldn’t use them at a work dinner party.

6  Think Outside the Box: Preparation for Every Eventuality (and Several Alternate Universes)
I am currently marathoning Doctor Who.  I can not stress enough to you the importance for being prepared not only for this world, but for alternate ones.  This fun list includes A Wrinkle in Time, The Handmaids Tale and Groundhog Day.

5  Watch the World Unfold: History Lessons That Will Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat
The graphic novel Maus is on this list.  That is how genius lists are.

4  Stop Being Such a Snob: Lowbrow Entertainment That Puts the High-Minded Stuff to Shame
Most lists focus on the “best” and improving yourself.  Here, we are simply told to embrace those guilty pleasures and run with them.  Top Gun and Armageddon appear on this list.  See, fun.

3  Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name: The Best Places to Hang Out for an Hour
The bar in Cheers.  The coffees hop in Friends.  The library in Buffy.  Just reading this, you started creating your own list.  This list gets bonus points because it includes the campfire in Point Break.

2  Find Your Happy Place: Magical, Fictional Worlds
I won’t even tell you what is on the list.  What is your happy place?

1  Christmas: Ten Wildly Different Interpretations of the Meaning of Christmas
Of course you have to have a list about Christmas!!  Christmas is all about making lists and checking them twice.

So there you have it, a listy look at Super Pop!, a book of lists.  Your patrons will enjoy reading it, you will enjoy using it to create other lists, and a listy time will be had by all.  I recommend it.  And it has the best list of all: an index!

Super Pop: Pop Culture Top Ten Lists to Help You Win at Trivia, Survive in the Wild and Make it Through the Holidays by Daniel Harmon.  Published by Zest Books.  ISBN:  9781936976362  Recommended by TLT and Television Without Pity, which I simply adore.  Since we recommend the same book, that makes me cool like TWOP, right?  Yeah, I’m going to go with that.   

The Giveaway

So, want a copy of the book?  Tell me in the comments your Top 5 Desert Island Books by Sunday, June 16th to be entered to win.  I will quite literally put the names in a hat and randomly draw a winner.  That lucky winner will have my review copy of the book mailed to them (it is a finished copy).  I will need a way to get in contact with you if you win, so leave a Twitter followback or e-mail address.  Because mailing books outside the U.S. can be crazy expensive, I am sorry but the winner needs to be from one of the fifty states.

Entangled Teen: Fall 2013 Titles coming your way

This week is Entangled Teen week at TLT.  All week long we will be reviewing Entangled Teen titles and giving you multiple chances to enter and win a mini-collection of 2013 titles to add to your home or library collection.  We kick off the week with a look at some of the Fall 2013 titles that will be coming your way.

Hover by Melissa West, August 2013
On Earth, seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander was taught to never peek, but if she hopes to survive life on her new planet, Loge, her eyes must never shut. Because in this world, pleasure is everything, held up by a ruling  body that keeps their peopke in check by giving them what they want and closing their eyes to what’s really happening around them.  The only hope Loge has is to move its people to Earth, and they have a plan.

Thousands of humans crossed over to Loge after a poisonous neurotoxin released into Earth’s atmosphere, nearly killing them.  They sought refuse in hopes of finding a new life, but what they became were slaves, built to siege war against their home planet.  That is, unless Ari and Jackson can stop them.  But on Loge, nothing is as it seems . . . and no one can be trusted. 

Out of Play By Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry, August 2013

Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn’t have a problem. Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—deserve to party, right? Wrong. After taking a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll  have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska.

Hockey player Penny Jones can’t imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who’ll take care of her absent-minded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered with the new tenants next door.

Penny’s too hung up on another guy to deal with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.
Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris, August 2013

When her time-traveling cousin Cat returns to the future, Alessandra D’Angeli is the only one in her family who remembers the truth. Haunted with ideas of the future, she’s unable to return to her quiet sixteenth-century life, and when the one she loves betrays her, she cries out for an adventures of her own. The stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, “Less” throws herself into the magical world of a twenty-first century teen, and then meets infuriating – and infurariatingly handsome – surfer Austin Michaels.  Ausin challenged everything she believes in . . . and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Alessandra knows she must return to the past and give up the future filled with opportunity and love. Although she longs to fight fate, it’s not possible to stay in the twenty-first…or is it?

Everlast (previously Fated) by Andria Buchanan, August/early Sept. 2013

Allie Munroe has only ever wanted to belong, maybe even be well liked. But even though she’s nice and smart and has a couple of friends, she’s still pretty much the invisible girl at
school. So when the chance to work with her friends and some of the popular kids on an English project comes up, Allie jumps at the chance to be noticed.
And her plan would have worked out just fine…if they hadn’t been sucked into a magical realm through a dusty old book of fairy tales in the middle of the library.
Now, Allie and her classmates are stuck in Nerissette, a world where karma rules and your social status is determined by what you deserve. Which makes a misfit like Allie the Crown
Princess, and her archrival the scullery maid. And the only way out is for Allie to rally and lead the people of Nerissette against the evil forces that threaten their very existence.

Relic by Renee Collins, September 2013

After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the  Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined  and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.
Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and  falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a  particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intensions aren’s always clear, Alvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.

Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.

The Liberator by Victoria Scott, Sept. 2013

Dante  has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn’t like that  mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.
With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

Made of Stars by Kelley York, October 2013

When 18-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is – at first. But Chance, the charistmatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraing into something else entirely. The reason they’ve never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer.

And what the siblings used to think of as Chance’s quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.
Then Chance’s mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent…they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?

Olivia Twisted by Vivi Barnes, November 2013


He tilts my chin up so my eyes meet his, his thumb brushing lightly across my lips. I close my eyes. I know Z is trouble. I know that being with him is going to get me into trouble. I
don’t care.

At least at this moment, I don’t care.

Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Olivia might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Olivia and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…

I can picture Liv’s face: wide-eyed, trusting. Her smooth lips that taste like strawberry Fanta. It was just a kiss. That’s all. She’s just like any other girl.
Except that she’s not.
Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted.

Ink Is Thicker by Amy Spalding, December 2013

For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her
hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger
half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the
middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth
mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only
grows stronger.

But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had
a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s
totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a
good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.

It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.

Contest: Caption This! with YA Authors Chris Crutcher and Charlie Price

Long before Chris Crutcher or Charlie Price were award winning, YA novelists, they were hippie teachers, wrangling kids at a “last chance” alternative school in Oakland, California. 

Caption this picture in the comments!
To celebrate their shady history and their new book releases, Chris and Charlie are asking three bloggers to help them give away a few books — and inspire a few laughs at their expense. Visit:

Teen Librarian Toolbox (March 12)

Reading Junky (March 19)

Cynsations (March 26)

Use the comment function to post a caption for one or all of three vintage 70s photos and you’ll be entered to win a free signed copy of Dead Girl Moon by Charlie Price and a free signed copy of Period 8 by Chris Crutcher.

You can either register your contact information at Rafflecopter below or send it to Kelly. (The Rafflecopter randomizer feature won’t be used to pick a winner, as it’s a contest. She just needs some way to let you know if you’ve won and obtain your shipping information.)
Chris and Charlie will hand pick the winners, so let yourself go crazy. Funny is our mission. And with these classic images, how could you go wrong?

Must be 16 or older to enter. Deadline: April 1. Prizes will be distributed by April 15.

Three runner-up entries will win signed advanced reader copies of Period 8, so if you’re a collector of signed ARCs, try not to be too funny.  If you have trouble posting your captions, send them to Kelly Milner Halls at kellymilnerh@aol.com and she’ll be sure you’re safely entered.

May the grooviest entries win!

About the Books

Period.8 by Chris Crutcher (Greenwillow, 2013)

Period 8. An hour a day. You can hang out. You can eat your lunch. You can talk. Or listen. Or neither. Or both.

Nothing is off-limits. The only rule is that you keep it real; that you tell the truth.

Heller High senior Paul Baum–aka Paulie Bomb–tells the truth. Not the “Wow, that’s an ugly sweater” variety of truth, but the other kind. The truth that matters. It might be hard. It often hurts. But Paulie doesn’t know how not to tell it. When he tells his girlfriend Hannah the life-altering, messed-up, awful truth, his life falls apart. The truth can get complicated, fast.

But someone in Period 8 is lying. And Paulie, Hannah, and just about everyone else who stops by the safe haven of the P-8 room daily are deceived. And when a classmate goes missing and the mystery of her disappearance seeps beyond P-8 and into every hour of the day, all hell breaks loose. Click for more about Period 8 by Chris Crutcher at Goodreads.com

Dead Girl Moon by Charlie Price

As their hardscrabble lives intertwine in a small, corrupt Montana town, Grace, a scheming runaway, JJ, her drifty fostercare sister, and Mick, the son of a petty thief, discover the body of a young woman. Afraid to come forward, the teens try to hide their knowledge of the crime, because they believe the murderer is one of the corrupt officials and businessmen who rule their town. But after a series of false moves and dumb mistakes, the teens are soon suspects themselves in a murder investigation threatening their freedom—and maybe their lives. Click for more about Dead Girl Moon at Goodreads.com

Because Love is a Deadly Disease: The REQUIEM ARC giveaway

So, here’s the situation.  If you followed TLT last year, you know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver.  I woke up in the middle of the night and wrote here a love letter.  I dragged my family across the city to meet author Lauren Oliver.  Christie went to ALA Annual with one instruction: Do Not Come Home unless you bring me an ARC of REQUIEM by Lauren Oliver.  Which she did. (Who loves you Christie? That’s right – ME!)

BUT THEN . . . I turns out that neither Heather or Christie have read Delirium.  Insert for shame face here.  It’s like, I have somehow failed them.  So, we are going to be doing a group reading and discussion.  Please join us.

The first week of February: read Delirium and join us on Friday, February 8th for a Twitter chat.  We’ll see what Heather and Christie – and YOU! – think of book one in the series. #TLTDelirium, 2/8/2013 (time TBA)

The second week of February is Harlequin Teen week, so you’ll have 2 weeks to read PandemoniumWe’ll have a Twitter chat on Friday, February 22nd to see what everyone thinks. #TLTDelirium, 2/22/2013 NOON CENTRAL, 1 Eastern

Then in March, we’re all about the Requiem.  Live Tweetchat Friday, March 15th at NOON Eastern. #TLTDelirium

To help facilitate this discussion of one of Karen’s favorite YA book series, we’re giving away a copy of the ARC for Requiem.  That’s right, I am going to give you Christie’s copy.  Not mine, don’t be silly.  We are opening the contest today and it will run through Saturday, February 9th so that we can get that copy into your hands.  The CAVEAT is, you have to do a book review for us after you read it.  I can do it but it would probably go like this: Oh I loved this book so much . . . . Or, what?! How could it have ended that way?! See, I am totally not a reliable source at this point in the game.  But don’t worry, I will share with you all the feels as I read the book.

And you did hear, right? They are going to be making Delirium into a TV series.

All the info you need to enter the contest appears below.  Don’t let the amor delirium nervosa get to you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a Signed Copy of Guitar Notes AND a Luna Guitar!!!!

So, back in August, Karen wrote about her love for Guitar Notes by Mary Amato.  It was so wonderful, it made Karen’s 2012 List of Favorite Reads.  Now, Egmont USA (publishers of Guitar Notes) and Luna Guitars are coming together to give away a signed copy of Guitar Notes and a beautiful Safari travel-sized guitar and backpack case to help unleash your inner songwriter.  

Entries will be accepted January 15 through February 12.  Enter through the Luna Guitars website.

Details and rules:

The Mary Amato Safari Tattoo Contest Rules



The Luna Gift of Music promotion is open to any citizen of planet Earth, with the following exception. Employees, officers and directors of Luna Guitars and its respective parents, subsidiaries, consultants, agents and suppliers, as well as their immediate families and persons living in the same household as such individuals, are not eligible to enter or win.


Promotion begins January 15, 2013 7AM EST and ends February 12, 2013 at 6PM EST. Winner will be announced February 15, 2013 in the TRIBE TALK newsletter from Luna and on the blog of Egmont USA children’s publisher based in Manhattan.


To enter the Safari Tattoo Contest, you must register at least email address, first name, and last name, using the link on the Contest Entry page. LIMIT ONE (1) ENTRY PER EMAIL ADDRESS FOR THIS PROMOTION. (Note that this will also add contestant to the TRIBE TALK subscription list.) 


The winner will be randomly selected betweenFebruary 12th and February 14th, 2013. If a potential winner cannot be contacted or the prize notification is returned as undeliverable, that winner will be disqualified and an alternate winner may be selected.


Safari Tattoo Guitar plus padded gig bag, and an autographed copy of Guitar Notes by Mary Amato


The name and hometown of the winner shall be published February 15, 2013 in the TRIBE TALK newsletter from Luna and on the blog of Egmont USA, a children’s publisher based in Manhattan. The winner will also be contacted via his or her registered email address and be available afterward through Luna’s newsletter archive page.