Entries tagged with “Friendship”.


Win a signed copy of Miss Fortune Cookie! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

You will have much luck and little hardship.

Or the other way around.

My friends and I were riding home from school on Muni, clinging to an assortment of slippery handholds, when Linny almost blew my secret identity. Intentionally.

“Listen to this one,” she said, reading off her iPhone, a faint but smirky glint in her eyes. “‘Dear Miss Fortune Cookie. My cousin thinks I’m chasing her boyfriend. Her boyfriend and I never flirt, but sometimes we text. What can I do to make her believe me? Just Friends.'”

In fact, I–Erin Kavanagh, alias miss Fortune Cookie–had posted this very letter on my anonymous advice blog, and Linny happened to be the only person in San Francisco to know that, the only person in the whole world, except for some random administrator at WordPress. She takes every opportunity to harass me about keeping my blog a secret. “What advice would you give, Erin?” she asked, winking this time.

I kept my face as neutral as possible. Luckily Darren and Mei were only paying attention to each other. As usual.

Personally speaking, I think nano-deceptions are a good thing. I regularly use them to protect my friends from unpleasant truths. Should I really tell Linny that her favorite knit hat makes her head look like a furry meatball?

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Lauren Bjorkman


About the book:

Meet Erin. Smart student, great daughter, better friend. Secretly the mastermind behind the popular advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. Totally unaware that her carefully constructed life is about to get crazy.

It all begins when her ex-best friend sends a letter to her blog—and then acts on her advice. Erin’s efforts to undo the mess will plunge her into adventure, minor felonies, and possibly her very first romance.

What’s a likely fortune for someone no longer completely in control of her fate? Hopefully nothing like: You will become a crispy noodle in the salad of life.

What people are saying:

“An honest and charming portrayal of love, loyalty, and friendship with characters as lovable as they are real.”–Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List

Witty and unexpected with a fresh and unique main character!”–Janet Gurtler, author of I’m Not Her

“Touching and fun; refreshing and original.”–Jennifer Hubbard, author of The Secret Year

“So funny and clever, and I loved Erin so much.”–Sarah MacLean, author of The Season

“Seamlessly told at an electric pace. We should all be so lucky to have a friend as compassionate and dynamic as Erin.”–Danielle Joseph, author of Shrinking Violet

Released: November 13, 2012

About the author:

Lauren Bjorkman is the author of two YA novels, My Invented Life and Miss Fortune Cookie. As a kid, she lived aboard a sailboat with her family, exploring the world. The ocean still terrifies her. When she’s not writing, reading, or traveling (by plane, train, or car) she spends time with family and friends. Her most recent addictions—watching Downton Abbey and eating chocolate—are most enjoyable when indulged in simultaneously. Visit her at http://laurenbjorkman.com.

Giveaway:

Lauren has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of Miss Fortune Cookie for a giveaway!

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on November 28th 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 signed copy of Tracing Stars! Details at the end of this post.

I drop low in the seat and look out the bus window. We pass Pa’s shop, Chickory and Chips Famous Fishery. I wave to the wooden pirate, Barnacle Briggs, who is always out front holding the shop sign. We zip on past and turn right onto Blue Jay Crossing. I hold my backpack on my lap. It shifts back and forth as the bus jostles over the bumpy road.

It’s the last day of school. The last day of fifth grade and I’m dying for it to be over. I make a fish face in the window as we pass the harbor where Pa’s boat, the Mary Grace, usually sits. The spot is empty ’cause he’s already out making his rounds. Pa is the best fisherman in all of Plumtown and brings in the most lobsters. But that’s not all. He dredges for mussels and also catches hake, fluke, flounder, monkfish, whiting, ocean perch, pollack, and sometimes wolffish. Wolffish is the ugliest fish I’ve ever seen, but it tastes all right if you ask me. I make the face of a wolffish in the window, pulling my mouth down into a big line from one side of my chin to the other. I pop my eyes way out and pull my eyebrows down into the middle the best I can and I think it’s a pretty great wolffish grin. Real menacing and gross.

“Indie.” I look away from my reflection and over to my older sister, Bebe, in the seat across from me. “Stop it,” she says out of the corner of her mouth. She doesn’t like it when I make fish faces anymore, even though she used to love it. Now she’s too old and mature for that sort of thing, and whenever I do it, she pretty much pretends she doesn’t know me.

I throw on a trout pout because that’s the one she used to giggle at the most, but this time she groans and looks out her window.

My backpack almost slides off my lap and I grab at it. Then the bus squeals to a stop and a whole bunch of kids get on at The Manors. That’s the cul-de-sac where all the rich people live. Mom says you don’t move to Plumtown unless you’re rich or you’re a hard worker. That’s the way it goes. We’re in the hard-worker part. I make sure to scrunch way over in case any of the fancy kids want to have a seat, but as usual, I can spread out, ’cause three kids all cram into the seat in front of me and one sits down right next to Bebe and they start talking like they’re best pals.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Erin E. Moulton


About the book:

Tracing Stars is a summer tale that centers on Indie Lee Chickory and Owen Stone, their quest for a golden lobster (They’re real! one in every thirty million), and acceptance.

What people are saying:

“This improbable plot and spunky protagonist are appealing bait for a heartfelt, memorable story.”–Kirkus

“This timeless story perfectly captures the growth that summer affords kids when, after endless days and nights, they emerge truer versions of themselves.”–Booklist

“Moulton’s sensitivity to her characters’ emotions extends the tale’s mood and setting.”–Horn Book

“Set in a Maine coastal town, this offbeat summer story ably explores themes of self-discovery and friendship.”–School Library Journal

Released: May 12, 2012

About the author:

Erin E. Moulton graduated with an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.  She is the author of Flutter(Philomel/Penguin 2011) and Tracing Stars(Philomel/Penguing 2012).  Erin is Co-Founder of the Kinship Writers Association and is currently the YA librarian at the Derry Public Library.  She lives in Southern NH with her husband and puppies where she write, reads, drinks tea and dreams.  You can visit her online at www.erinemoulton.com, or on facebook as Erin E. Moulton (Author), or follow her on twitter @erinemoulton

Giveaway:

Erin has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of Tracing Stars 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 July 4th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


Win a copy of Reunited! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter One 

“Is the blindfold really necessary?” Alice asked her parents.

“Yes!” they replied, in stereo.

Her mom tightened the bandanna around her head while her dad squeezed her shoulders. “March!” he commanded, steering her down the hall.

Alice tried not to get her hopes up about this mysterious graduation present—the Chia Pet they’d given her for her eighteenth birthday was still too fresh in her mind—but with all this hype, it was hard not to get a little excited. Especially if her parents remembered to consult the list of gift ideas she’d given them, typed up and organized by price. For a one-time event like high school graduation, Alice was hoping they’d spring for something from Category Two (iPad, camera, golden retriever) or maybe even Category One (laptop). After what happened yesterday, she could really use a good surprise.

“No peeking!” said her dad, guiding her through the living room and out the front door. Her mom made a drum-roll sound with her lips, just in case the neighbors weren’t already staring.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Hilary Weisman Graham


About the book:

1 Concert. 2,000 Miles. 3 Ex-Best Friends.

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends. Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3. But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books. Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show. Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?

Awards:

Winner of the 2011 SCBWI Book Launch Award

Released: June 12, 2012

About the author:

Hilary Weisman Graham is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, and novelist. She lives in rural New Hampshire with her husband and son, roughly thirty minutes away from the nearest grocery store. Visit her at www.hilarygraham.com.

Giveaway:

Hilary has been kind enough to contribute a copy of Reunited 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 June 20th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


An entire herd of elephants will care for a member that falls ill.

—From Care of Jungle Elephants by Tin San Bo

The flood left, but the fever stayed.

I sit on the floor of our hut and hold a cold washcloth to Chanda’s forehead. My mother boils another pot of basil tea on our village’s clay stove in the courtyard. Voices of our neighbors gathered around her flow through the open door of our home.

“Here—papaya juice with honey.”

“Have you tried raisins with ginger? Boil them together and have her drink the liquid.”

“Take these onions, Parvati. When my son had a fever, I made him onion broth.”

September marked the end of monsoon season, but an October rain flooded the river near our village last week.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Lynne Kelly


About the book:

Ten-year-old Hastin’s sister has fallen ill, and his family must borrow money to pay for her care in the hospital. To work off the debt, Hastin leaves his village in northern India to work in a faraway jungle as an elephant keeper. He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn’t prepared for the cruel circus owner. The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal who plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but Hastin sees Nandita, a sweet elephant and his best friend, who is chained when she’s not performing and punished until she learns her tricks perfectly. With the help of Ne Min, a wise old man who seems to know all about elephants, Hastin protects Nandita as best as he can. Still he wonders–will they both survive long enough to escape?

What people are saying:

“Kelly’s fine debut brings the jungles of India to life.”–Kirkus

“…a story that unwraps the heart and asks it to be brave, loyal, and above all, kind.”–Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author of The Underneath and Keeper

Released: May 8, 2012

About the author:

Lynne Kelly grew up in Houston, lived in a couple of much colder places, then returned to the Houston area, where she works as a sign language interpreter and writes novels for children and young adults. Chained is her first novel. Visit her at www.lynnekellybooks.com.


Once there was a girl with hair the color of dead leaves, teeth the size of piano keys, freckles as big as polka dots, and eyes that couldn’t see squat. Everyone laughed at her and called her Polka Dot. Poor Polka Dot felt like a total weirdo, and always wished a fairy godmother would appear and cut her some slack.

But that was just too darn bad, because fairy godmothers only care about beautiful girls with wicked stepmothers. So when Polka Dot spotted a fairy godmother resting on a park bench, she kept her wish simple and begged for better eyesight. Sweet naive Polka Dot, no one ever told her some fairy godmothers have ginormous attitude issues.

“I’m on a coffee break, kid,” said the fairy godmother. “Get yourself some glasses and stop pestering me.”

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Jenny Lundquist


About the book:

Calliope Meadow Anderson wishes her life could be more of a fairy tale—just like the stories she writes. Her best friend, Ellen, is acting weird, she’s terrified to start middle school, and to top things off, she’s found out she needs glasses—hideously large and geeky glasses. But Callie soon discovers her glasses have a special, magical perk: When she wears them, she can read people’s thoughts. For the first time ever she’s answering all the questions right in math class and gets a glimpse of what goes through people’s minds all day, including what Ellen—and her longtime crush—really think of her.

Crazy glasses aside, Callie has more drama to face when she’s cast as the lead in the school play and instead opts to be an understudy, giving the role of Cinderella to Ellen—just like she’s done for their entire friendship. Can Callie’s magic glasses help her see her way to leading lady, or is she destined to stay in the background forever, even with her super freaky magic glasses?

Released: March 20, 2012

About the author:

Jenny Lundquist grew up in Huntington Beach, California, wearing glasses and wishing they had magic powers. They didn’t, but they did help her earn a degree in Intercultural Studies at Biola University. Her favorite part of college was spending one semester living in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, where she drank lots of tea, met some really interesting people, and honed her Yahtzee skills. Jenny has painted an orphanage in Mexico, taught English at a university in Russia, and hopes one day to write a book at a café in Paris. Jenny and her husband live in northern California with their two sons, and Rambo, the world’s whiniest cat. You can visit Jenny online at www.jennylundquist.com


Win a copy of Water Balloon! Details at the end of this post.

Brightly Colored Happiness

The blitzing began five years ago, in second grade, on one of those amazing spring days that remind you how hot summer can be. I was sitting outside, waiting for my best friends to come over. I knew we’d spend the day outside–the weather was the kind of gorgeous that makes you feel stupid if you spend a minute indoors.

I have no idea why I had a bag of balloons in the garage, but I did. Before Leah and Jane arrived, I blew up a ton with the hose, and filled this big planter, behind my dad’s grill, with water balloons.

Whenever we hung out, we played Monopoly. We were inventing our own rules, our own way to play. Whoever bough Park Place had to get drinks for all players. If you landed on Marvin Gardens, the other players had to quickly come up with a new hairstyle for you. That kind of thing. These days, there’s an action associated with every space (Except Baltic. If you land on Baltic, you can just relax.) But on that day, we were still making it up.

So there we were, playing our evolving version of Monopoly on the wooden picnic table in the backyard. Leah was leaning back to get some sun on her face. Jane was focused on the game, like me. She had a pad next to her, keeping track of the random action we applied to each space.

I landed on B&O Railroad, which, according to our rules, meant I had to go get pretzels for them. Instead, I went to the planter.

Was there a minute, a pause, before I started throwing the balloons? A second when I realized that something way beyond awesome was about to take place? I wish I could remember.

Excerpt copyright © 2011 Audrey Vernick


About the book:

Marley is stretched as tightly as an overfull water balloon. Her parents have separated and her relationship with her forever best friends is disintegrating. To top it all off, she is forced into what must be the worst summer job in history. She is trying hard to hold on to everything she loves, but if she squeezes any tighter, something’s going to burst. Luckily, there’s also a boy in the picture with amazing light blue eyes and the ability to make baseball actually seem interesting . . . but young romance, too, has lots of opportunity for humiliation and misinterpreted signals. As everything changes around her, can Marley loosen her grip on the past long enough to embrace the present, and maybe even the future?

What people are saying:

“Vernick’s writing is beautiful, her characters well-rounded and believable, and the coming of age situations and emotions are spot on.”—Kathryn Erskine, author of the National Book Award winner Mockingbird

“Tender and true, anchored by heartbreak and buoyed by love, Water Balloon is a sweet summertime celebration of the unforgettable moments that change everything. ”—Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times bestselling-author of Tantalize, Eternal, and Blessed

“A funny, poignant, beautifully written story about family, first love, and the joy and pain of girls’ friendships, reminiscent of Lynne Rae Perkins’ All Alone in the Universe. I was really caught up in the world Vernick created; in Marley’s own words, ‘it is amazingly, fantastically real.’ I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!”—Joanne Rocklin, author of One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street

“Tweens will relate to this heartfelt story of a girl who is struggling to navigate the many changes in her life that seem to greet her at every turn.”—Lisa Schroeder, author of It’s Raining Cupcakes

“Marley Baird is a lovely protagonist with an engaging voice, and readers will wish they could be her best friend and help her cope with all of life’s uncertainty, aggravation, and heartache.  They will recognize their own struggles in Marley’s and cheer her on as she finds her way.”—Gina Willner-Pardo, author of The Hard Kind of Promise

Water Balloon is breathtakingly luminous. From the start, readers will root for Marley, an unforgettable and authentic heroine; we *know* this girl, our heart breaks with hers, we laugh with her, and we want to be her friend for life. Vernick’s lyrical and astonishingly perceptive prose tells this captivating story of friendship, love, and resilience with honesty, grace, and power. This book is the real thing—I want to hug it daily!”—Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of 8th Grade Superzero

“A nicely reassuring read with a satisfying ending; a harbinger of more good novels to come from this author.”–Kirkus

Released: September 6, 2011

About the author:

Audrey Vernick is the author of the picture books Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?; Teach Your Buffalo to Play Drums; and She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story. A two-time winner of the New Jersey Arts Council’s fiction fellowship, Audrey lives near the ocean with her husband, son, daughter, and dog. Water Balloon is her first novel. You  can visit her at www.audreyvernick.com or read her blog at http://literaryfriendships.wordpress.com.

Giveaway:

Audrey has been kind enough to contribute an ARC of Water Balloon for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower of this site (just click “Join this site”) or a follower on Twitter [+1 entry each].

-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 20th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!

 


Win a copy of Pearl! Details at the end of this post.

Henry and I get comfortable in our usual Days of Our Non Lives positions on his mother’s scratchy plaid couch in their tiny living room. We’re just in time for the familiar hourglass. Sally hushes us for the opening voice-over.

Like sands through the hourglass …

Henry and I look at each other and telepathically exchange a single, familiar phrase: We are pathetic.

… so are the days of our lives.

The small air conditioner duct-taped into the only window in the cramped living room hums mournfully over the tragedy about to play out on the TV, as well as the sagging couch the three of us sit on—Sally in the middle, as always. I close my eyes and feel the cool air against my sweaty face as the opening scene starts.

Sally leans forward to watch. Her huge breasts rub over the top of the metal mixing bowl filled with Doritos she holds in her lap. She grips the edges of the bowl, her dimpled arms blocking Henry and me from reaching in to grab a chip, as if we don’t know the rule or might try to break it: No eating during Days. Sally says the crunching is too distracting. Instead, we wait for the commercials and crunch during the ads while Sally fills us in on whatever we’ve missed since the last episode we watched with her. Her face always gets a warm glow when she talks about TV love, like it’s going to ooze into her own life any day now. Sally believes with every molecule that makes up her large pink body that somewhere out there is the perfect man for her. Henry always looks sad when his mom says this. Neither of us believes it. Even if that man did exist, how could he find Sally when she never leaves the house? There is only one man who knows where Sally is, and he left fifteen years ago, two months after Henry was born.

Henry doesn’t know much more about his father than I know about mine, and maybe that’s how we got to be such good friends, sharing our soap-opera-like dreams about who our real fathers are and how they might come back into our lives. The only things I know about my father are the hints I get from listening at closed doors. Not that I get that many opportunities. But sometimes, when my mom comes home particularly late from her waitressing job, I can get lucky. Whenever she’s late, it means she’s spent her extra tips at the bar on half-priced booze. If her keys jingle in the lock for more than fifteen seconds, I know it’s a night to listen for information. The first thing my mom does after going to the bathroom is head to her bedroom and call her best friend, Claire, to recap the last fifteen years of her life and all the places it’s gone wrong.

Excerpt© 2011 Jo Knowles


About the book:

Love can be a lot like a soap opera. Pearl (aka Bean) has watched enough hours of the TV version to know all about sudden plot twists and dark secrets… But this is real life, not a TV drama, and some things are too important to lose.

What people are saying:

“A touching family melodrama about the corrosive nature of secrets and the cleansing power of honesty.”–Kirkus

“Bean’s grief at learning the unfortunate situation surrounding her birth and its ramifications is deftly rendered, offering up a raw, unmitigated picture of a little girl lost… the hopefulness of Henry and Bean’s relationship is a welcome bit of optimism in this evocative tale that is sure to linger with readers.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“PEARL is so many things… it’s part family drama, part romance, and part mystery. It’s peopled with characters so rish, so beautifully imperfect, that it’s hard to believe they’re not real.”—Kate Messner, author of Sugar and Ice

“Quiet, powerful, and absorbing: this is a novel that will, like that tiny piece of grit, gnaw on the reader, driving her forward to find the pearl that awaits.”–Teri Lesesne, author of Reading Ladders

Released: July 19, 2011

About the author:

Jo Knowles is the author of the novels Pearl, Jumping Off Swings, Lessons from a Dead Girl and See You At Harry’s (spring 2012). She lives in Vermont with her husband and son.

Giveaway:

Jo has been kind enough to contribute a copy of Pearl for a giveaway.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower of this site (just click “Join this site”) or a follower on Twitter [+1 entry each].

-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 only and ends on August 3rd at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


Win a copy of My Forever Friends! Details at the end of this post.


I’m Ida May and I’m feeling a little squished. That’s because I’m sitting on a piano bench between Jenna Drews and Brooke Morgan. I was saving half of the bench for my best friend, Stacey Merriweather, but Jenna budged in before Stacey could. Jenna is my sometimes friend. Then Brooke budged in on the other side of me. Brooke is my sometimes-not friend.

We’re all here, at Jenna’s house, for a shower. Not the wet kind. The party kind. Jenna’s mom is having a baby, so Brooke’s mom decided the PTA should give her a baby shower. Mrs. Drews is the PTA president. Mrs. Morgan is vice president, which means she and Mrs. Drews are supposed to get along.

Excerpt© 2011 Julie Bowe


About the book:

Not only does Ida May have the best, best friend ever in Stacey Merriweather, she’s also got a great best frenemy in Jenna Drews—so there’s always someone special to sit with on the bus and hang out with after school. But when Ida May’s best friend, her best frenemy, and the other girls in class start fighting, Ida isn’t sure she can stay friends with all of them or if she’ll have to choose sides. And if she has to pick just one friend, who should it be?

What people are saying:

“Throughout the [Friends for Keeps] series, Ida May has shown herself to be a sensitive girl juggling the ups and downs of friendship with thoughtfulness and wisdom. In My Forever Friends she exhibits a level of maturity which is simultaneously admirable and bittersweet. Young readers will see a girl they would like to emulate and love to be friends with themselves.”–Not Just for Kids

“I loved this one. Julie Bowe knows how to tell a good story.”–Becky’s Book Reviews

Released: July 7, 2011

About the author:

Julie Bowe grew up in Luck, Wisconsin. She is the author of the Friends for Keeps series: My Last Best Friend, which is perfect “for readers who have graduated from Sara Pennypacker’s ‘Clementine’ stories, Barbara Park’s ‘Junie B. Jones’ series, and Megan McDonald’s ‘Judy Moody’ books,” according to School Library Journal; My New Best Friend, My Best Frenemy, My Forever Friends, and the forthcoming My Extra Best Friend (Dial, 2012). She doesn’t live in Luck anymore, but she still feels very lucky to be a children’s author. Julie can be found online at www.juliebowe.com and http://juliebowe.livejournal.com.

Giveaway:

Julie has been kind enough to contribute a prize pack for a giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a personalized hardcover copy of My Forever Friends, a snazzy bookmark, and a very cute Friends for Keeps mini-button.

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower of this site (just click “Join this site”) or a follower on Twitter [+1 entry each].

-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 July 20th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


Win a Skype visit with the author! Details at the end of this post.

1

A fever was what started everything. That, and the water tower, and the cherry cola. Well, also, Dad and his condition, and Mom being in Philadelphia and all.

I mean, the fever alone wasn’t the problem, or even the hallucination that came with it. I always got those when I was sick. “Febrile seizures” Mom calls them. But they were usually confined to my bedroom. Okay, once to the bathroom—unless there were actually giant spiders guarding the toilet—and once to the backyard. But there were definitely giant noodles dancing out there, so I had to join them. Which, according to my brother, Jeremy, was hilarious.

As far as Jeremy’s concerned, I’m just one big ball of feverish entertainment.

Even Mom says she never saw anyone who can spike a fever like I can. It’s like I can be fine one minute, then burning up an easy 104 degrees the next.

Jeremy is different. He’s Mr. Healthy so it’s an international crisis if he even sneezes or gets a headache. Really, the dude is never sick. Never misses a day of school or a game or, worse, his own birthday party. It’s like my folks had him, then spent the next three years saving up the sick genes and popped me out to deal with them.

Excerpt© 2011 Gae Polisner


About the book:

While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy ofOf Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.

Characters you’ll want to become friends with and a narrative voice that sparkles with wit make this a truly original coming-of-age story.

What people are saying:

“She [Gae Polisner] is a writer young adult readers will surely want to hear more from.”–examiner.com

“Although the teens’ best laid plans go oft awry, they discover that the force of the universe is with them—or at least friendship, family and romance. Pulls the heart in all the right places.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Scooter, Nick, and Jaycee are real, and they’re funny. I love how they yearn for something beautiful, warm, and true to lift them from the lousy, sad absurdity of their circumstances. And I love the unlikely places where they find it: Yoda. A possibly misguided bus trip. Red wax lips. Real lips. And each other. I love that they find it mostly in each other.”—Lynne Rae Perkins, Newbery Medal-winning author of As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth

“Part love story, part adventure story, funny and serious, The Pull of Gravity is a delightful read.”—Francisco X. Stork, author of Marcelo in the Real World

Released: May 10, 2011

About the author:

Gae Polisner is a wife, mother, and family law attorney/mediator by trade, but a writer by calling. When she’s not writing, you can find her swimming in her pool or in the open waters off Long Island. The Pull of Gravity is her first novel. You can visit her at http://gaepolisner.com or read more about her book at http://thepullofgravity.com.

Giveaway:

Gae has been kind enough to offer a 15 minute Skype visit with an individual reader who’s read the book or a 30 minute Skype visit with a book club that’s read the book!

To enter simply leave a comment on this post.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower of this site (just click “Join this site”) or a follower on Twitter [+1 entry each].

-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 June 9th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!


Win a Popular prize pack! Details at the end of this post.

Olivia

Popularity has its privileges, but an ideal high school schedule isn’t one of them. So, being the number two person to the number one girl in the school is not enough to save me from the sheer pointlessness of a mid-morning study hall in my senior year. In fact, being second in command does not entitle one to much of anything, like for instance knowing when your best friend is throwing her next party or who was lucky enough to make the guest list, as Chance Avanale proved when he burst through the door into study hall a good thirty or so seconds after the bell sounded, looking not contrite, but more like someone who has just won the World Series. I guess that’s kind of what it feels like.

Okay, so I’ve never once had to wonder whether or not I would make Hamilton’s guest list, or known the unmitigated thrill of seeing my name posted there for the very first time, but I do know that magic feeling of being chosen by the great Hamilton–although my magic moment came before anyone else’s. Hamilton chose me all the way back in kindergarten.

Excerpt© 2011 Alissa Grosso


About the book:

For reigning popularity queen Hamilton Best, the very idea of a graduation is filled with fear. As high school draws to a close, Hamilton is about to lose everything that makes her who she is. To make matters worse, the clique is slowly coming apart at the seams. Although the hand-picked members – Olivia, Zelda, Nordica, and Shelly – all have their own agendas, desires, and secrets, they do have one thing in common: they’re desperate to break away from Hamilton. Yet Hamilton has the biggest and most shocking secret of all. If the truth got out, it would completely destroy her fragile world. And she’ll do anything to keep that from happening.

Released: May 8, 2011

About the author:

At various points in her working life Alissa has been a tavern wench, a term paper writer, a newspaper editor and a children’s librarian. She owns very few garments that aren’t covered with cat or dog hair. She lives in New Jersey. She belongs to The Class of 2K11, The KidLit Authors Club, The Elevensies and The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Popular is her first novel.

Giveaway:

Alissa has been kind enough to contribute a Popular prize pack for a giveaway! The prize pack includes a sweet pencil case with some signed Popular bookmarks, some Popular buttons, and other assorted supplies:

To enter simply leave a comment on this post.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower of this site (just click “Join this site”) or a follower on Twitter [+1 entry each].

-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 May 31st at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!