Entries tagged with “Illness”.

Hillary looked up from her phone, squinting at me in the afternoon sun before she pulled on the sunglasses perched on her head. “There is nothing happening tonight. Nothing.”

Ally rolled onto her stomach and took a sip of Diet Coke. “There’s a barn party coming up.”

She had a streak of sunblock on her shoulder, which Hil leaned over and rubbed in. “That’s still three days away—is there really nothing planned until then? Mia?”

“Not that I’ve heard,” I answered. “But not that I’ve asked either. Do you want me to?” My cell phone was somewhere below my chaise and I made a halfhearted attempt to pick it up without looking.

She sighed. “Don’t bother. But if the rest of this summer is as crappy as June has been, then let’s just fast-forward to September.” I couldn’t see her eyes behind the dark lenses of her sunglasses, but I knew they’d look hurt; she’d had a rough week.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Tiffany Schmidt

 About the book:

Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s an answer her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death.

 What people are saying:

“This is Schmidt’s first novel, and it is a noteworthy one… this is a moving and inspirational novel that teen girls will love.”–VOYA

“Tiffany Schmidt’s SEND ME A SIGN is a powerhouse of a first novel. Bittersweet, magical and heartbreaking. Highly recommended!”–Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of Rot & Ruin

“From its first page, this book had me completely. This is a beautifully written debut that successfully confronts the hardest kind of truths with love, grit, humor, hope, and grace and with it, Tiffany Schmidt has proven herself to be a talent to watch out for.”–Courtney Summers, author of This Is Not a Test and Some Girls Are

“[A] fresh look at the nature of belief. Check it out.”–BookPage

Released: October 2, 2012

About the author:

Tiffany Schmidt lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. She’s not at all superstitious . . . at least that’s what she tells herself every Friday the 13th. Send Me a Sign is her first novel, Bright Before Sunrise will follow in Winter, 2014. Visit her at www.tiffanyschmidt.com.

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.


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.


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!

Win a signed copy of A Closer Look! Details at the end of this post.

It was New Year’s Eve, but I didn’t care how I looked—jeans and a sweatshirt, hair in a ponytail—done deal. Babysitting for a two-year-old could be messy so that outfit was a safe bet.

Too early to leave, I wandered into my younger brother Kyle’s room. He was packing video games for a sleepover at his friend Rob’s house.

“Got big plans for the night?” Kyle asked.

“While you’re frying your brain playing those stupid things, I’ll be making a cool ten bucks an hour.”

“For babysitting a kid that’s asleep?”

“It is New Year’s Eve. I could’ve gone to a party or done something else instead.

“Yeah, right—as if anybody asked you.”

Jerk. I hadn’t expected any party invites, and besides, I’d accepted this job over a month ago, so I was already booked even if something else had come along.

“Bite me,” I told him. “Next time you’re hard up for cash, don’t come to me looking for a loan.”

“Aw, you know I didn’t mean it,” he said. Then he Kyle-smiled me. That always worked on Mom, not on me. But I never could stay mad at the brat for long.

Excerpt copyright © 2011 Karen DelleCava

About the book:

Freshman year is going well for Cassie, a standout sprinter about to move up to varsity, and Tommy, that cute sax player, has asked her out. But in a matter of weeks, Cassie’s got a secret: her hair has started falling out and she’s doing everything possible to hide it. Cassie’s horrified when she learns that it happened before, when she was three, and a trip to the dermatologist confirms what she’s feared—that all her hair may fall out. Cassie has alopecia areata and there’s no effective treatment. Eventually she confides in Tommy, but soon after, when he suggests they chill out as a couple, Cassie feels betrayed. Then at a crowded track meet, Robin, a rival on the team, exposes her secret. With her worst fears realized, will Cassie ever again be able to face her classmates, teammates, and most of all Tommy?

What people are saying:

“Readers will be rooting for Cassie and the way she proves that losing your hair doesn’t have to mean losing your spirit.”–Margaret Peterson Haddix, author of Among the Hidden, an ALA Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults

A Closer Look is heart-wrenching and funny. Cassie’s spirit and voice will keep readers intrigued, and athletes especially will identify with her grit.”–Rich Wallace, author of Wresting Sturbridge, an ALA Top 10 Book for Young Adults

A Closer Look is a sensitive and honest novel full of authentic details that is sure to resonate with readers. Cassie is as real and alive as the girl at the next desk in homeroom, and teens will empathize with her struggle with shame and self-image.”–Erika Tamar, author of Fair Game, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and NY Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age.

“…This engrossing and well-written story will have readers empathizing with Cassie as she struggles to deal with this life changing condition.”–Children’s Literature, reviewer: Denise Daley

“There are a lot of great YA’s out there, but it has been a long time since I read one as hard-hitting and in-your-face as A Closer Look… –Rita Hubbard, Young Adult Book Central.

Released: November 1, 2011

About the author:

Karen DelleCava has always loved to write. Her mom still has all her creative writing assignments from middle school to prove it. Her fiction, crafts and party plans have appeared in Highlights for Children magazine. Karen earned a BS in Business Administration from Montclair State University. She’s member of the SCBWI and volunteers for the NY Metro Chapter. She also works part time as a yearbook consultant. When she’s not reading teen fiction, writing or playing Scrabble, you’ll find Karen jogging, biking or hopping around on her patio doing step aerobics. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two sons. A Closer Look is her first young adult novel. Visit www.karendellecava.com to read all of Chapter 1.


Karen has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of A Closer Look 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 January 18th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!

Win signed Deadly bookmarks! Details at the end of this post.

September 7, 1906

I know that one day I won’t be on this earth anymore.  A world without the physical me – what will that look like?  I’ll seep down into the soil, become a plant, a tree; I’ll be falling leaves, yellow, crunching under a child’s feet until I am dust.  Nothing.  Gone.

Every September, the shivers come over me, thoughts of my brother’s terrifying death, and the questions – why did his short life end?  Why do people have to die?

I write here, trying to explain, each word a stepping stone.  These words illuminate my past; they bring me forward, to the future.  They help me remember.

Without my writing, I would suffer an emptiness worse than I feel now.”

Excerpt © 2011 Julie Chibbaro

About the book:

A mysterious outbreak of typhoid fever is sweeping turn-of-the-century New York.  Every week more people fall ill, and despite thorough investigation, there’s no cause in sight.  It’s not until the city’s most unlikely scientist – 16-year-old Prudence Galewski – takes a job as an assistant in a laboratory that the evidence begins to fall into place.  It seems one person has worked in every home the fever has ravaged:  Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the press.  Strangely, though, Mary hasn’t been sick a day in her life.  Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination?  Or is she the first clue in a new discovery bound to change medical history?

What people are saying:

Fever 1793 (Laurie Halse Anderson, 2000) meets Newes from the Dead (Mary Hooper, 2008) in this absorbing diary of a fictional teen who witnesses the epidemic unleashed on turn-of-the-20th-century New York by the infamous ‘Typhoid Mary.’” —Kirkus Reviews

“A deeply personal coming-of-age story set in an era of tumultuous social change, this is top-notch historical fiction that highlights the struggle between rational science and popular opinion as shaped by a sensational, reactionary press.” – School Library Journal, 2/11

“This is the kind of stuff that is forever facing us in terms of government and society, and what makes this particular believe-it-or-not story so interesting and relevant today.” — Richie’s Picks

“You guys.  I just finished Deadly by Julie Chibbaro and it is fabulous!  It gets an A+ on the Mattie Gokey Scale of General Awesomeness.”  — Abbythelibrarian.com.

Released: February 22, 2011

About the author:

Julie Chibbaro grew up in New York City wondering how so many people could live together without infecting each other with mortal diseases. She is also the author of Redemption, which won the 2005 American Book Award.


Julie has been kind enough to contribute 5 signed Deadly bookmarks for a giveaway!

To enter simply leave a comment on this post.

For extra entries:

+1 for following Julie on Twitter @juliechibbaro

+1 for joining the Deadly by Julie Chibbaro Facebook page

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada and ends on March 7th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!

Win a signed copy of Change of Heart! Details at the end of this post.

If I had known “normal” could disappear so quickly, would I have appreciated it more? Would I have been less afraid to raise my hand in class? Would I have let my mother’s complaints roll off my back?

Looking back to how it was before everything changed, I think I’d have done things differently. I’d have stopped to enjoy the smell of the cut grass on the soccer field—and been nicer to my brothers. I’d have eaten that hot fudge sundae, even when I felt kind of fat.

But it’s easy to analyze this stuff when you have the perspective I do now.

I think when you’re sixteen, you believe you’re invincible. Or immortal. Maybe it’s both?

When the most stressful thing in your life is winning a soccer game or what to wear to school, you take some really basic things for granted.

Like the love of your parents.

Or hanging with your friends.

Or the beating of your heart . . .

Excerpt © 2010 Shari Maurer

About the book:

16-year-old elite soccer player, Emmi, gets sick and needs a heart transplant and in the process learns about life, love and the meaning of true friendship.

What people are saying:

“Shari Maurer’s excellent Change of Heart offers more than just a very human teenaged girl with a terrifying situation to somehow get through. It reminds us that priorities can be as ephemeral, and as fragile, as the beat of a damaged heart.”–Deborah Grabien, author of Dark in the Park, The Kinkaid Chronicles, and The Haunted Ballad Mysteries

“Emmi is an authentically drawn protagonist. Her intimate, lively, first-person narrative…details the physical and emotional effects of her heart disease…Readers will find Emmi and her experiences absorbing.” —Booklist

Change of Heart is a gripping, moving, and honest story about everything that really matters in life. Shari Maurer takes a scary experience that happens to very few young adults and makes it both universal and uplifting.”–Daria Snadowsky, author of Anatomy of a Boyfriend

“Tragic yet uplifting, Change of Heart will stay with you long after you’ve closed the book.”–Mandy Hubbard, author of Prada and Prejudice

Released: June 2010 from WestSide Books

About the author:

Shari Maurer lives in New City, New York, where she grew up. This serves as a constant reminder of her teen years and enables her to write using very fresh memories. She went to undergrad at Duke University and grad school at NYU, studying English and Dramatic Writing and yelling loud at basketball games. For six years, Shari was at the Children’s Television Workshop, working on international productions of Sesame Street and is the co-author of The Parents’ Guide to Children’s Congenital Heart Defects. She married Mat, the boy she met at 17 (another source of fresh memories) and they have three children, Lissie, Josh and Eric. Mat is now a cardiologist, which came in very handy when she was writing CHANGE OF HEART, her YA novel published by WestSide Books.


Shari has been kind enough to contribute a signed copy of Change of Heart for a giveaway!

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 January 31st at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!