Tuesday, April 27, 2010

John Grisham's latest

Here we go again. Another adult author is taking aim at the YA market. This time, it's John Grisham. His first YA title, Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer won't be out until May 25, but...chapter one is downloadable on the official Theodore Boone website. Any votes as to whether Grisham can pull it off where so many others have failed?

Speaking of failing, Betsy Bird has a survey going as to the best and worst adult author offerings for kids and teens. Check out A Fuse # 8 Production if you want to add your vote. I have my own favs and can't wait to see the results.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yeah, the New Attolia book is out.

If you're as much of a fan of Megan Whalen Turner as I am, you won't want to miss her interview in Publisher Weekly. I have loved the three earlier books in the Attolia series, and can't wait to read the fourth book, A Conspiracy of Kings published by Greenwillow Press. If you get a chance to read it, let me know what you think.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Yeah BC Books

Last night was the BC Book Prize Gala. I had the honor of presenting the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize, which was pretty cool. Maggie Can't Wait was the winner, which was pretty cool since my good friends Frieda Wishinsky and Dean Griffins are the author and illustrator. There isn't anything more wonderful than being in a huge room of people that all love books as much as you do, except maybe eating a gourmet dinner and drinking free wine at the same time...lucky me! I was even more lucky to have had the chance to meet Carrie Mac, a young adult author whom I admire immensely. Her newest book, The Gryphon Project won the Sheila Egoff Prize for best novel for young readers. Carrie works as a paramedic in her other job, and she had the most interesting story about where the idea came from for this book. I've reviewed a couple of her other titles, although not this one...Yikes another book to read on my already overflowing pile... But, I can safely say that you can pick up anything she writes and know that it will be superb.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Eric Walters and Impossible 2 Possible

So this morning I was going through my email and heard from friend and fellow author Eric Walters. Now Eric always has something crazy on the go; sometimes it involves tigers at book launches, or a press release in New York with NBA players, or building schools in Africa, so I opened up his message with interest. "I wonder what Eric's up to these days," I asked myself. But even from a guy whose been full of surprises over the years, Eric's news was a bit of a shocker. It seems he's hooked up with high performance athlete Ray Zahab and the Impossible 2 Possible Team. The plan is to run 250 kilometers across sand dunes and hard pack of the Sahara Desert in Tunisia to raise funds for Ryan's Well Foundation. Now I have to tell you that Eric is no elite athlete; I'm not saying he's in terrible shape. It's just that he's an average guy my age who lives in the suburbs, has kids, and plays a little recreational sports when he has time...But there is something just a little bit different about Eric and you only need to have a short conversation with him to know what that is...the guy is crazy committed to making the world a better place for kids. An even more obvious thing about Eric is that his commitment is infectious. So, this brings me to back to his latest venture. All I can say is I'm glad it's you Eric and not me pitting yourself against an unforgiving environment while trying to keep up with much younger elite athletes. I'll be watching the video feeds and following the blogs that will be broadcast to schools across North America though Eric. And I know a whole lot of other people will be too. The well of funds that this crazy venture brings in is gonna cost you in aches and pains that you've never imagined buddy. But then I'm guessing you know that. I'm also guessing that wild horses wouldn't be able to stop you from doing it. Way to go Eric and good luck.

You or your school can help Eric out by raising funds and donating online at the above website.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

trigger by Susan Vaught

OMG. I've been reading trigger by Susan Vaught, and it's un-put-downable. I know that isn't a real word, but it absolutely describes this book about teen suicide to a T. The thing that's so scary is that the narrative is told from the point of view of the kid who's suicide attempt fails. The resulting brain injury leaves Jersey Hatch at a loss as to why he tried to kill himself, if indeed he did. His inability to even figure out how to tie his own shoe laces much less why his best friend hates him or how he can keep random words from flying out of his mouth, is gruelingly realistic. This is as close as I have ever seen a writer come to getting it absolutely and frighteningly right. Vaught, you are one tight writer. I am in awe.