Entries tagged with “Family”.


“Piper Lee, honey, what do you think of this one?” Mama held up a frilly purple bridesmaid’s dress.

I rolled my eyes. “It’s great if you want me to look like an eggplant.”

Mama made a worried sound under her breath as she sorted through the row of dresses. “Piper Lee, I’ve shown you fourteen and you’ve hated every one. Why are you being such a fuss box?”

“Because she’s a pain,” Ginger said, like it was some obvious fact.

“Shut up, Ginger.”

“You watch your tongue,” Mama said. “And you haven’t answered my question.”

“I’m not trying to be a fuss box, Mama. You just haven’t shown me anything I like.”

“And what would you like to wear to our wedding, your flight jacket?”

Our wedding? As if I had any say in the matter. As if I was in favor of Mama changing her name from Heather DeLuna to Mrs. Ben Hutchings. Who’d want to give up a pretty name like DeLuna anyhow? It brought to mind some big, lovely bird soaring through the clouds. But Hutchings? That sounded like a rabbit cage.

Mama said when I grew up and met the right man, I’d be more than happy to take his name. But I wouldn’t, not ever. That’s on account of my name is special. My daddy named me—Piper Lee DeLuna—exactly six years before he crashed his single-engine Piper Cub into the Atlantic.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Dianna Winget


About the book:

Whether she likes it or not, ten-year-old Piper Lee DeLuna is about to get a new family. Four years after the plane Piper’s daddy was piloting disappeared, her mama is remarrying. The way Piper sees it, Mama’s being plain disloyal. Besides, who’d want to get stuck with a prison guard for a stepdad and that weenie, Ginger, for a stepsister? But when Piper Lee hatches a foolproof plan to get the wedding called off, it quickly spirals out of control. And by the time Piper realizes what she’s done—and just how much she really cares about her new family—it might be too late. Told in Piper Lee’s irresistible Southern voice, A Smidgen of Sky is about new families and new beginnings.

What people are saying:

“I would not be surprised if Piper grows up to have a career involving airplanes. She has the right stuff. And as far as crafting a warm, funny, touching, debut novel, so does Dianna Dorisi Winget.”–Juanita Havill, author of Eyes Like Willy’s

A Smidgen of Sky is one I will be giving to my daughter to read, buying for my school library, and telling others about. I am hopeful Winget plans on writing more books geared toward this audience.”–Tina Says, Children’s Book Reviewer for Amazon Vine Program

“If you are looking for an elementary age mother-daughter book club selection, I can’t imagine a better choice. The writing is beautiful and the characters are memorable.”–J. Prather, Children’s Book Reviewer

Released: November 6, 2012

About the author:

Dianna Dorisi Winget writes fiction and non-fiction for young readers. She is a life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest and lives in the mountains of North Idaho with her husband, daughter and two canine buddies. A Smidgen of Sky is her first novel. www.diannawinget.com.


Win a signed copy of A Whole Lot of Lucky! Details at the end of this post.

I didn’t do it.

I am innocent.

I know convicts say that even when they’re guilty, but I’m telling you the truth. At three-oh-five today, I didn’t mean to push Amanda on her bike so hard that she sailed off the curb and fell splat on the road in the pickup line after school. Thank God Mrs. McCrory had just paid the garage to tune up her Honda. That van stops on a dime now (and hardly even came close to hitting Amanda).

If you’re the type of person who judges people guilty instead of presuming them innocent, you should put this book down and walk away. Don’t even look back. But if you’re still reading this—and I know you are because there you are and here I am—then you are the type of person who likes to know the truth and that’s just what I’m going to tell you.

“How do you like my new bike?” Amanda had asked, running her fingers along the pink, thickly padded seat. “It’s got twelve speeds.” She’d made a special trip to my house Sunday afternoon. Her shiny blonde hair was still pinned back on either side in her church barrettes, but she’d changed from her dress into capris and a green top. Usually, I rode to her house after church, so that’s how I knew she was showing off. A new bike—it wasn’t even her birthday.

I stepped out from the chilly shadow of the house into the warm brightness of the day. Florida sunshine is at its best in February. Your feet feel like blocks of ice in the morning, but your toes are sticking out of sandals by lunch. The air is light and sends ribbons of sunshine through your window, inviting you to come outside and play.

Amanda stood by me as I took in the glittery seat, the tangle of wires that allowed for speed and braking, and the rainbow-colored monkeys she’d already clipped to the spokes. The frame was pink and white with black lightning striking the sides. “Nice,” I said. “Can I ride it?”

Her gaze flitted over to our garage. Bougainvillea vines crept up the outside of it and wove green tendrils through the fraying net of the basketball hoop. Huge bunches of purpley-pink explosions hid the thin white paint of the cinderblocks. Occasionally, Dad cut the branches with his hedge trimmers, but those vines ran wild at night, growing an extra foot for each one Dad lopped off.

My bike leaned inside the open-mouthed garage.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Danette Haworth 


About the book:

Hailee Richardson never realized how much she hated her Salvation Army life and Goodwill accessories until the night her family wins the lottery. All of a sudden she’s no longer the dorky girl at school without a cell phone or a brand-new bike! And the newfound popularity that comes with being a lottery winner is just what she’s always dreamed of. But the glow of her smartphone and fancy new clothes wears off when Hailee is transferred to Magnolia Academy, a private school. All of a sudden, her best friend and parents seem shabby compared to the beautiful Magnolia moms and the popular bad-girl Nikki, who seems to want to be her friend. Now, Hailee wants nothing more than to grow up-and away-from her old life. It’ll take one very busy social networking page, a stolen first kiss, and a whole carton of eggs for Hailee to realize that not all luck is good, not all change is bad, and a best friend who’s just a call away will always be more valuable than a phone.

What people are saying:

“Haworth effectively captures the self-consciousness, self-absorption & limited experience of a preteen, and the seductive charms of Facebook friendships for that age. Realistic, modern and still familiar, this is a middle school story both children and their parents should read.”–Kirkus, Starred Review

“Haworth does an excellent job of portraying the modern kid’s life (cell phones, Facebook) mixed with evergreen problems like trying to fit in with the popular crowd and cheating on tests.”–Booklist

Released: September 4, 2012

About the author:

Danette Haworth lives in Orlando, Florida with her family. The only thing Danette has ever won (beside Scrabble games) is a stuffed dog from a fireman’s bazaar. She named it George. Visit her at www.danettehaworth.com.

Giveaway:

Danette has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of A Whole Lot of Lucky for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on October 17th at midnight EST.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter or like us on Facebook [+1 entry each].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

Good luck and happy reading!


Win a copy of The Power of Poppy Pendle! Details at the end of this post.

 Chapter One

 Poppy

POPPY PENDLE WAS BORN ON THE FLOOR OF A BAKERY, in the little town of Potts Bottom. Now, people don’t usually give birth on bakery floors in the middle of a Thursday afternoon, but Edith Pendle did just that. She had no choice, even though her baby wasn’t due for another two weeks. Poppy pushed her way out with the speed of an express train and was immediately wrapped up in a cake-scented tea towel by the kind lady who ran the shop. The customers cheered, and someone handed Edith Pendle a bag of little warm almond cakes. Sitting up in her mother’s arms, Poppy breathed in deeply and reached for the bag of cakes. Then she did something quite unexpected. She gobbled them all down, waved her sugary fingers at the crowd, smiled, and gave a contented burp.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Natasha Lowe


About the book:

Poppy Pendle is born with the gift of magic. Her parents are delighted that Poppy has inherited the witchcraft gene, which hasn’t shown up in the Pendle family since Poppy’s great grandmother Mabel. But Poppy has no interest in magic whatsoever. All she wants to do is bake. Believing they know what is best for their daughter Mr. and Mrs. Pendle sign Poppy up to attend Ruthersfield, the exclusive girls school for witchcraft. Poppy is miserable as she has less and less time for baking and the pressure from her parents builds. Against all odds, Poppy tries to follow her own dream, until one day, desperate to make her parents understand what it is that she wants, Poppy’s magic spirals out of control with disastrous results…

What people are saying:

“Lowe’s energetic first novel is led by the 10-year-old Poppy…Readers will easily empathize with Poppy and recognize the loneliness and anger that accompany being misunderstood.”–Publisher’s Weekly

Released: September 4, 2012

About the author:

Natasha Lowe knew as a child that she wanted to be either a writer, an adventurer, or a fancy tea- shop owner. So she did a little bit of everything, traveling from her native London to America, where she ran the Tea House bed and breakfast and wowed guests with her grandmother’s shortbread recipe. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and four children. Visit her at www.natashalowe.com.

Giveaway:

Natasha has been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Power of Poppy Pendle for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter [+1 entry].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on September 19th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


Win a copy of The Upside of Ordinary! Details at the end of this post.

A big THANK YOU to Dad and the Super-pro vacuum he ordered on the internet. The huge carton it arrived in yesterday is just my size.

Through the little peephole I made in one of the cardboard walls, I film my sister Zelda eating left-over lasagna for breakfast.

I zoom in on her face as she spoons a stack of cheesy noodles into her mouth, her eyes glued to the TV. On the screen, two girls argue and a bad word gets bleeped out.

“Ha! UNBLALEEVRABLE!” Zelda says with a stuffed face.

“Mom doesn’t like us to watch this reality show,” I say popping up from inside the box.

“AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!” My sister screams. A hunk of curly pasta drops out of her mouth. Zelda coughs. “Are you trying to kill me?” She sputters, “I almost choked to death!”

“Sorry,” I say lifting my leg over the top of the box. Zelda drops her plate onto the coffee table. It clanks against the wooden top which makes a great sound effect. Susie shuffles over and gobbles up the rest, the tags on her collar clinking with every lick.

“You’re not sorry!” Zelda sneers, “you’re a sneaky, annoying GERM!”

I’m not really a germ. ‘Jerm’ is short for Jermaine, my name. Out of context it sounds like another word for bacteria… gross… I know. But it’s catchy too… perfect for a famous person.

“You were great!” I tell Zelda. “The element of surprise works for you.”

“Leave me alone!” she snaps. I follow her, filming the back of her head, as she stomps into the kitchen.

Five days ago I started filming the reality show I am making about my family. So far this is what I have for footage: Mom cleaning a chicken for dinner, and thirty minutes of her working up a sweat on the Stairmaster; Susie rolling over for a biscuit; Dad plunging a toilet, sweeping the garage, and grumbling that no one but him ever thinks to throw out the brown bananas. The best stuff I’ve filmed is of my cranky big sister Zelda. I surprised her when she stepped out of the shower (though Mom made sure I erased it), I caught her hissy fit when she couldn’t find one of her sneakers, and of course there’s this morning’s riveting moment when she spat out that forkful of lasagna. And I’m just getting started! My reality show will be hugely interesting, which will make me hugely famous. I plan to include the seven hamsters living under the Ping-Pong table in my basement too. I didn’t mean to have seven. I brought only one home from the pet store. But a week or so later, Bernie gave birth to six babies! Dad says we should change Bernie’s name to Bernadette, but I think her name works just fine. (Note to self: film the cleaning of the cages).

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Susan Lubner


About the book:

Jermaine Davidson wants to be famous: limo-riding, camera-flashing, crowd-waving famous.

Since her family isn’t likely to move from Maine to Hollywood so she can become a movie star, Jermaine decides she’ll make a reality show about her family and friends. This laugh-aloud debut novel takes a lighthearted look at unbridled ambition, the cult of celebrity, the reality behind reality TV, and the upside of being part of an ordinary but loving family.

Released: August 1, 2012

About the author:

Susan Lubner is the author of three picture books (Abrams), and the middle grade novel The Upside of Ordinary (Holiday House). Her work has been published in Spider Magazine and two other stories will be published in forthcoming issues of Highlights for Children. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two daughters, two cats, and a very spoiled dog who loves books so much he tries to eat them when no one’s looking. Visit her at www.susanlubner.com.

Giveaway:

Susan has been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Upside of Ordinary for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter [+1 entry].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on September 12th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


Win a signed copy of The Break! Details at the end of this post.

I was about ten years old when I realized that if people think your mother is a living saint, pretty much anything you do will fail to live up to expectations. But just because I wasn’t out saving the world like she did every day didn’t mean I had to miss out on normal human activities. Believe me, the last thing I wanted to be was a martyr.

“So, you’re really going to make me give up March Break?”

I tried to keep my voice calm and cool. I really didn’t want to start another argument the day before my mother and Andrew — a.k.a., The Stepdad — were getting on a plane. There’d been too many of those lately. Planes and arguments, that is.

My mother sighed. She liked to do that. Sigh. So much more civilized than screaming.

“Well, there’s really no alternative, Abby. Unless–“

She paused, her hands held still over the half-packed suitcase.

God.

My mother, Dr. Louisa Fiorini, was a brilliant heart surgeon and a long-standing member of Doctors Without Borders, but as my mother she was an evil, evil woman. She knew exactly what she was doing. She stood there, unmoving, waiting for me to ask her “Unless what?” Making me the one to bring it up.

I refused to play her game. I was not going to say a word. I always gave in and asked and I always got shafted. Well, not today. No way. I was sticking to my guns. This was her responsibility. She was way big into that word – responsibility. It was the excuse she used so many times for so many things I should have gotten her a T-shirt emblazoned with the word so she could add it to the growing pile she was packing into her suitcase. After all, Ecuador in March was boiling.

By the third T-shirt, so was my temper.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Nelsa Roberto


About the book:

Watching Nonna 24/7 wouldn’t be such a big deal. We could do lots of stuff together.
I just had to keep her busy.

Abby Lambert’s plans to ski with friends over spring break are ruined when her surgeon mother and stepfather announce they have to leave the country on an emergency medical mission. Instead, Abby must stay home and look after her increasingly confused grandmother. Abby is in denial about how bad her Nonna is getting and her life becomes even more complicated when she runs into her notoriously aloof classmate, Kyle, who volunteers at the nursing home where Nonna likes to play bingo. Abby has always thought Kyle arrogant and unfriendly — until she sees a sensitive side of him as he works with seniors at the nursing home.

Abby somehow manages to end up volunteering at the nursing home she wants to avoid at all costs. Still, she thinks she’s managing Nonna, Kyle and her volunteering pretty well … until one terrifying and desperate night, where life as she knows it changes forever.

What people are saying:

“…a realistic novel with a dash of romance that teens will find appealing.”–The Winnipeg Free Press

‘Teen readers who enjoy real life stories about changing relationships and family dynamics will gobble this one up. The Break will be especially poignant for readers who have very strong relationships with their grandparents, or whose grandparents live with them. Teens struggling with change or loss would also benefit from reading this story. The Break is a strong addition to any public or school library collection where stories about real life and families circulate well.”–CM Magazine (Canadian Review of Materials)

Released: March 1, 2012

About the author:

Nelsa Roberto is a mild-mannered civil servant by day and a ferocious teen-fiction writer/hockey mom/van driver by night. 

Born in a remote logging community in northern Ontario, Nelsa spent much of her youth in a small, rural farming community in southern Ontario before moving to Windsor, Ontario to earn her combined Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communication Studies.

Her debut young adult novel Illegally Blonde (Great Plains Teen Fiction,2010) tells the story of Lucinda do Amaral who comes home with newly-bleached blonde hair, expecting only a major lecture from her strict, immigrant Portuguese parents. What she doesn’t expect is the shocking revelation that they’re illegal workers on the verge of being being deported back to Portugal. 

Her second young adult novel, THE BREAK, released in Spring 2012 is the story of Abby Lambert a girl who adores her grandmother so much she cannot accept the fact she is deteriorating into dementia. The Winnipeg Free Press called it a “a novel about guilt and the devastating effects of regret…a realistic novel with a dash of romance that teens will find appealing.”

Nelsa lives in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, three children and a slightly hyperactive Golden Retriever, and is busy writing – mostly on the subway and at hockey arenas – her next young adult novel. Visit her at out-of-the-wordwork.blogspot.ca.

 Giveaway:

Nelsa has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of The Break for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower on Twitter [+1 entry].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on August 1st at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


Nightmare

A drumbeat wakes me. Ba-Boom. Ba-Boom. It is beating a funeral dirge.

When I was my little sister Zi’s age, we rarely heard those drums. Now they wake me so many Saturdays. It seems somebody is dying all the time. These drums are calling our next-door neighbor, Umnumzana Dudu, to leave this place and join the ancestors where they live, in the earth, the land of the shadows.

I get up and walk to the window, peeking through the curtain at the Dudus’ house in the faint pink light of dawn. Their house is small like ours, government built—a matchbox house made of crumbling cement and peeling peach-colored paint. It is partially obscured by the huge billboard the government put up some few weeks ago between our houses. This is what it announces in bold white lettering against a black background:

THIS YEAR, 100,000 CHILDREN WILL BE BORN WITH HIV!

My grandmother Gogo fretted like mad when that billboard went up. “People who can’t read, they will just see that symbol for AIDS right over our house, and they will say, ‘Those people, they are the ones spreading it.’”

I tried to soothe her. “People know better than that. Those billboards are everywhere.” It’s true, the government wants everyone to know about the disease of these days before we all die from it.

But Gogo shook her head. “You watch, we will have bad luck from this thing,” she predicted.

Ba-Boom. Ba-Boom. The drums next door continue and a dog across the street howls in response.

I look for movement in the Dudus’ yard but see nothing.

Like us, they have wrapped thick barbed wire around the top of their fence, in order to keep tstosis away. Only some few of us have anything that tstosis would steal but these days, things are so hard those gangsters will hold a gun to your head and steal crumbs of phuthu right out of your mouth even as you are chewing and swallowing.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 J.L. Powers


About the book:
This Thing Called the Future is a coming-of-age story set in post-apartheid South Africa. Just as Khosi, 14, starts falling in love for the first time, she is haunted by a witch’s curse, a supernatural stalker, and the looming death of somebody she loves.

What people are saying:

“This novel takes a loving, clear-eyed look at the clash of old and new through the experience of one appealing teenager… A compassionate and moving window on a harsh world.”–Kirkus Reviews

“… a compelling, often harrowing portrait of a struggling country, where old beliefs and rituals still have power, but can’t erase the problems of the present. Readers will be fully invested in Khosi’s efforts to secure a better future.”–Publishers Weekly

“This is a fascinating glimpse into a worldview that, while foreign to many readers, is made plausible through Khosi’s practical and conflicted perspective.”–The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, 5 stars

Released: May 2011

About the author:

J.L. Powers is the author of The Confessional (2007) and This Thing Called the Future (2011). She is the editor of That Mad Game: Growing Up in a Warzone, essays from around the world (May 2012). She blogs at The Pirate Tree and Mother, Writer, Mentor  and edits the literary magazine, The Fertile Source.  Visit her online at www.jlpowers.net.


She’s not here.

I hunch deeper into the protection of a small copse of stunted blackbarks. Condensed mist drips down the dark leaves and soaks my shawl.

Come on, Ilven. As if I could force her to appear by the power of thought.

Across the close-cropped lawn, House Malker’s gray stone face waits, a patient prison. In just a few days Ilven’s family will ship her off up-river to some Samar wine farmer, and today is the last chance we have to be alone together.

Mother won’t miss me for ages yet–I can risk waiting a few moments more for Ilven to show. My stomach churns. I hope that no servants saw me leave and that my mother is still at her writing desk, engaged in scribbling long missives to her beloved son, Owen. So beloved, in fact, that he never bothers to leave his town house to see her.

Mother’s schedule is narrow and predictable. Like all the women in the High Houses, her life is ruled by a list of acceptable and appropriate behaviours, all of them dictated to her by men.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Cat Hellisen


About the book:

After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven’s death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg’s caste system, and the whole city along with it.

What people are saying:

“Dark, perilous, haunted. Death surrounds this courageous female hero. I couldn’t stop reading, not when I had to know more so badly!”–Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of the Beka Cooper trilogy

When the Sea is Rising Red is a moody, atmospheric tale characterized by a creeping sense of dread that makes for a compelling read.”–Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the Kushiel’s Legacy series

“In this smart, subtle fantasy reminiscent of Charles de Lint or Emma Bull, dreamy prose and exquisite world-building move the reader toward a powerful and fitting conclusion.”–Rae Carson, author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns

“Rich in atmosphere and romance, When the Sea is Rising Red is a compelling tale of magic, friendship, and rebellion. A stunning debut!”–Suzanne Young, author of A Need So Beautiful

Released: February 28, 2012

About the author:

Cat Hellisen is an author of fantasy for adults and young adults. Born in 1977 in Cape Town, South Africa, she has also lived in Johannesburg, Knysna, and Nottingham. Visit her at www.cathellisen.com.


Chapter 1

Our mother was a witch, too, but she hid it better.

I miss her.

Not a single day goes by that I don’t wish for her guidance. Especially about my sisters.

Tess runs ahead of me, heading for the rose garden–our sanctuary, our one safe place. Her slippers slide on the cobblestones, the hood of her gray cloak falling to reveal blonde curls. I glance back at the house. It’s against the Brothers’ stricture for girls to go out of doors uncloaked, and running isn’t considered ladylike. But we’re concealed from the house by tall hedges. Tess is safe.

For now.

She waits ahead, kicking at the dead leaves beneath a maple. “I hate autumn,” she complains, biting at her lip with pearly teeth. “It feels so sad.”

“I like it.” There’s something invigorating in the crisp September air, the searing blue skies, the interplay of orange and scarlet and gold. The Brotherhood would probably ban autumn if they could. It’s too beautiful. Too sensuous.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Jessica Spotswood


About the book:

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

What people are saying:

“Spotswood has re-imagined history, entwined with magic and the struggle for power, in a tale so captivating you don’t want it to end. The Cahill sisters are heroines to be reckoned with!” –Andrea Cremer

“The feminist undertones, the descriptions of sumptuous dresses, the dangerous, secretive magic wielding: Born Wicked is like a sizzling, more fun version of The Witch of Blackbird Pond.”–Romantic Times

Released: February 7, 2012

About the author:

Jessica Spotswood lives in Washington, DC with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. She’s never happier than when she’s immersed in a good story, and swoony kissing scenes are her favorite. You can visit her at www.jessicaspotswood.com.


1. A Tangled Family

It was his own grandmother who fed Henri-Pierre to the Cabinet of Earths, long ago when he was only four. Don’t misunderstand! It happened like this:

They were dark and cold, the first days of 1944 in Paris, and between the winter and the war, everything was bad. There was never quite enough to eat, and the rooms they lived in were never really warm, but when the electric lights winked out, Henri-Pierre and his grandmother lit a candle and huddled around its friendly yellow glow, feeling almost comfortable despite everything.

“Hands are for making things,” she told him. Her own were slim and nimble and had magic in them that could turn an odd end of wood into anything you asked for: a tiger, a salamander, a tiny ship with paper sails. Once upon a time those hands had helped make the Cabinet, and the Cabinet was maybe the most beautiful thing in the world, with the mysterious bottles glimmering behind its glass front.

“What do we keep in our bottles, little one? she asked him sometimes, and he would make the wrongest of guesses, just to hear her laugh: “Lemonade! Water! Tea!”

“Not in our bottles,” his grandmother would say (their own private joke), and she would lean forward and whisper the secret into his ear:

“In our bottles we keep Time.”

So Henri-Pierre knew what Time must look like: black grains of earth, straining like something hungry against the bottle glass.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Anne Nesbet


About the book:

On their first day in Paris, Maya and her little brother, James, find themselves caught up in some very old magic. Houses with bronze salamanders for door handles, statues that look too much like Maya’s own worried face, a man wearing sunglasses to hide his radiant purple eyes–nothing is what it seems. And what does all that magic want from Maya? With the help of a friendly boy named Valko, Maya discovers surprises hidden in her family tree–grandmothers who walked in magic, a cousin so unremarkable she’s actually hard to see, and a terrible family habit of betraying one’s brother. To save her own brother, Maya must take on the magical underworld of Paris . . . before it is too late.

What people are saying:

“A-shimmer with magic”–Horn Book

“Charmingly creepy”–Kirkus

“Evocative prose and a confident narrative voice”–Publishers Weekly

“Readers will be swept along by the novel’s swift pace”–Shelf Awareness

“A unique, interesting fantasy with just enough suspense to keep readers turning the pages into the night”–VOYA

“Reading this book is like discovering a treasure box full of rare and wonderful things. If you open it, you’ll find a brave and good-hearted girl hero, the mysterious streets of Paris, and a magical cabinet full of life itself. The writing is luminous and absolutely compelling. It’s the best thing I’ve read in a long, long time.”–Sarah Prineas, author of The Magic Thief

Released: January 3, 2011

About the author:

Anne Nesbet teaches film and Russian literature at the University of California, Berkeley.  She lives near San Francisco with her husband, several daughters, and one irrepressible dog. You can visit her at www.annenesbet.com.


My Family’s Summerhouse

 

My mother

 

doesn’t understand

that this

 

is a summerhouse

(meant to be lived in

only during the summer.)

 

It is almost Labor Day.

 

Next week,

I’ll start my sophomore year

at Oyster River High School

in Durham, New Hampshire,

 

because she doesn’t have the courage

to go home

to Boise, Idaho.

Excerpt copyright © 2011 Sarah Tregay


 About the book:

When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father. By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this “vacation” has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up.

But understanding love, especially when you’ve watched your parents’ affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? Can you even know it until you’ve lost it?

What people are saying:

“The author does a terrific job of keeping the plot moving by using poetry to her advantage. Reluctant readers will appreciate the brevity while poetic souls will appreciate the format.”–School Library Journal, Starred Review

“A verse novel with real depth to accompany all that white space.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The formal variety of Tregay’s poems creates an immediacy that should maintain readers’ interest and sympathy for Marcie. With multiple shredded relationships and friendships, there’s more than enough angst to go around, as Marcie rages against the decisions her parents have made, as well as her own.”—Publisher’s Weekly

“Although the words are simple, the themes of Love and Leftovers are not.”—VOYA

“Amazing. The most delicious love story I’ve read in ages.”–Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of SHINE

Released: December 27, 2011

About the author:

Sarah Tregay is a graphic designer. When she isn’t jotting down poems at stoplights, Sarah can be found hanging out with her “little sister” from Big Brothers Big Sisters. She lives in Eagle, Idaho, with her husband, two Boston terriers, and an Appaloosa named Mr. Pots. You can visit her at www.sarahtregay.com.