Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Interview with Lynne Kelly, Author of CHAINED

I'm really excited to be hosting author interviews with a couple of the Class of 2K12 authors who have middle grades books coming out this year.
Next up is Lynne Kelly, author of CHAINED released on May 8th.
After ten-year-old Hastin’s family borrows money to pay for his sister’s hospital bill, he leaves his village in northern India to take a job as an elephant keeper and work off the debt. 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 hurt with a hook until she learns tricks perfectly. Hastin protects Nandita as best as he can, knowing that the only way they will both survive is if he can find a way for them to escape.

1. How would you describe Chained in five words or less?  
Friendship between elephant and keeper.

2. What sparked your initial idea to write this book?
The idea started when I was at a presentation and heard the tale "Don't Be Like The Elephant," about how a small rope or chain can hold a full-grown elephant because once they give up trying to break free, they never try again. It's meant to be an example of learned helplessness or self-limiting behavior, but I got the idea then to write a picture book manuscript about a captive elephant that breaks free and returns home. 

 3. Your story takes place in a location that is not very familiar to most US middle grades readers. How did you go about creating the setting to make sure it was authentic for your readers?
That was probably the biggest challenge in the book--writing about India, without having been there, in a way that would be clear to readers who didn't know anything about it, yet authentic to those who were familiar with the country and culture. I did a lot of research by reading and looking at pictures online, but the best research was talking to people who've lived there. A reporter in India helped me come up with what Hastin's house would look like, and I asked questions of several people who'd lived in India. Before my agent search, I had a full manuscript critique from author Uma Krishnaswami, who read it again more recently to vet it for publication. 

4. Your audience is middle grades - what came first, the book idea or the audience for the book?
 
The idea came first; I was actually thinking of it as a picture book, and I'd been working on that for a few months before expanding it into a novel.

5. What do you hope readers take away from reading Chained? 
 
That no matter where we are or who we are, there are times that we'll feel afraid, just like we all feel happy, sad, or lonely at times; even if we are scared, we can still do the right thing and stand up for a friend if necessary. Also, everything that happens to us shapes who we are. That doesn't mean you have to try to find something good in the bad things that happen to you-- sometimes you can, like maybe you've learned something or you've grown stronger, but even if you can't find the good in the bad, the experience helped make you who you are, and you can embrace who you are today.

6. As a debut author, has your experience been what you expected or completely different or somewhere in between? 
 
Somewhere in between, because I didn't expect the time between sale and publication to fly by like it has. It's been about two years since the book sold, and at the time, May 2012 seemed so far away. Now it's here! And I didn't know before that I'd get to meet so many other debut authors (some in real life, many more online) who'd be going through the journey to publication at the same time. That's been the best part, the friendships I've made by connecting with other writers.

7. How long did it take from initial idea/starting writing to the book's release? And how many revision rounds were done in between? 
I first got the idea in 2006, and I was ready to submit the manuscript to literary agents in 2009. I found my agent in February of 2010, and the book sold a few weeks later. It's being published almost exactly two years after the sale, so all in all it's been six years from idea to publication. I don't really know how many rounds of revisions there were, but there were a lot! I revised it many times before I felt like it was ready for submission, then I'd revise more if the agents who turned me down were nice enough to offer some feedback. After I got my agent, I did two rounds of revisions with her before we submitted the manuscript to editors. Then there were more revision requests from my new editor! Some revisions were small, some took a lot more time, but it helps to keep in mind that it's all to make the book the best it can be. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Giveaway: ARC of REVIVED by Cat Patrick

Yay, it's the end of May Giveaway!
Being a teacher, the end of May is always an exciting time, so I decided to celebrate with a giveaway!
I recently read and reviewed REVIVED by Cat Patrick (you can read my review here). 
Reading Cat's second book (after last year's FORGOTTEN), convinced me that she's an author whose future books I'm going to want to keep an eye out for. I really enjoy her contemporary romance stories with a sci-fi twist. 
I want you all to read and enjoy her books too, so I'm giving away an ARC of REVIVED (thanks to Little, Brown School & Library). Enter using the Rafflecopter form below, and comment to let me know what second books have led you to add an author to your own "authors to watch out for new books from" list.
-must be at least 13 to enter
-ends at 11:59pm on May 31st

Friday, May 25, 2012

So what is this #throwdown thing anyway?

 We keep getting questions on twitter, so decided to clear it all up in more than 140 characters! (Brian and I are both posting our own #throwdown explanations today-the link to his is at the bottom.)

So, maybe you've seen the #throwdown2 or #teacherthrowdown hashtags lately on twitter. Likely between Brian Wyzlic (@brianwyzlic) and myself (@heisereads). We've been doing a sister classroom project experiment all year (extensive blog post to come in June), and this idea came about from a somewhat taunting tweet from Brian (it shouldn't be shocking that Brian is sending me taunting tweets):


Obviously, I couldn't ignore that or let my students back down, so I accepted the challenge and we started in on a journey to motivating readers that exceeded my expectations!

Our first #throwdown battle was for the month of March. Brian, being the math teacher, recommended that we not only tally the total books, but base the winner on a books/student ratio to make it fair and accomodate the difference in class sizes. One basic rule was that graphic novels (since my students were required to read one that month) equaled half a book. We updated often via twitter with the #throwdown hashtag, and there was quite a bit of taunting and trash-talking going on throughout, which only seemed to motivate my students even more. It ended up that my class beat Brian's with these results:
But both classes read a lot of books! Our prize sent from Michigan was some delicious Macinac Island fudge.

After all of the excitement of March, I was feeling a little bit unmotivated in April and wanted to think of something to do to help motivate my students after spring break, so I sent this out to my fearless sister classroom:
Luckily, since we were feeling a little unimaginative, he agreed to another round (plus, I did think we should at least give his group the chance to win one). Due to Mr. Wyzlic's homeroom being 8th grade and them getting out of school earlier than my 7th graders, and wanting to make sure that there was time to send the prize should they win this round, we had to back it up a little bit and start our second throwdown on April 24th so we could get a whole month in, with an in-class reveal of the winner via Skype on Friday, May 25th.

Then came time to name it. I suggested #throwdownredux but Brian wasn't having it because as he reminded me-we only have 140 characters. So #throwdown2 was started (which is probably good because coming up with terms for future numbers could have become problematic).
Of course, we then had to set some basic expectations which were:
1. Any book they finished after April 24th counted (even if they started it before). They have until midnight of the last day to finish and count a book.
2. Whole class books (which both of us were doing in that month) counted for each student once finished.
3. Ratios: 4 graphic novels count as 1 book; 2 free verse novels count as 1 book. Fractions are allowed.
4. In order to count, chosen books need to be appropriate for students' skill level - they can't just choose really easy books to inflate their counts.

My students were excited to do another round, but Brian's students were really motivated to kick our butts this time to redeem themselves from their March loss. However, there was still one issue to be worked out. During the first round, my students had asked if the books Mr. Wyzlic and I were reading counted toward the class totals. At the time, we didn't include them because we were partway through, but it was an interesting question and only seemed fair that we do what we were asking our students to do. So, for #throwdown2, Brian and I agreed that we would battle each other also, and a second #teacherthrowdown began. (The first #teacherthrowdown was related to our March Book Madness brackets and Brian and I both filled out a prediction bracket - the winner by far was Brian.)

Overall, our totals for #throwdown2 were improved over the first #throwdown. Mr. Wyzlic's class ended up beating mine with 144 books read for 6 books/student. However, we both consider that we are benefitting because each of our classes read over 100 books again (and increased over the last round), and Brian and I read a combined total of 18 books in only 30 days (oh, and I won that one!). And since I'm sure you're wondering, the prize we're sending them for winning is an tasty Wisconsin treat (but I can't tell you more than that yet because they don't know what it will be!)

It's pretty awesome! I have not seen anything else serve to motivate my students as much as this all-in-good-fun battling of books and earning the bragging rights and sense of accomplishement. And, that my friends, is the heart of #throwdown and why we will definitely be doing more of them next year. We also already have plans for a summer version of #teacherthrowdown (to be revealed at a later date).

#throwdown has been a blast this year and I can't wait to do more next year! Are you ready for your own #throwdown now? If so, let us know about it! I'd love to see more people joining in with their own versions of #throwdown challenges!

Don't forget to check out Brian's take on this whole #throwdown thing on his blog at WyzReads.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Picture Book Praise: RED KNIT CAP GIRL by Naoko Stoop

*This post begins a semi-regular feature on my blog: "Picture Book Praise" where/when I share my recommendations for picture books that I read to use with my students.


Title: RED KNIT CAP GIRL
Author: Naoko Stoop
Publisher: Megan Tingley Books (a Little, Brown Books for Young Readers imprint)
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Number of Pages: 40
Source of Book: F&G from Little. Brown School & Library
Red Knit Cap Girl is a little girl with a big dream -- to meet the Moon. 

Red Knit Cap Girl lives with her animal friends in an enchanted forest. There is so much to see and do, but more than anything Red Knit Cap Girl wishes she could talk to the Moon. Join Red Knit Cap Girl and her forest friends on a journey of curiosity, imagination, and joy as they search for a way to meet the Moon.

Gorgeously illustrated on wood grain, Red Knit Cap Girl's curiosity, imagination, and joy will captivate the hearts of readers young and old as her journey offers a gentle reminder to appreciate the beauty of the natural world around us
RED KNIT CAP GIRL is a charming picture book with a quiet story and beautiful artwork of the forest and animals and sunset and night sky. Red Knit Cap Girl is a great example of a curious little girl who is determined to do what she can to find out what she wants to know - and what she wants to know, is how to reach the moon in order to talk to her. When she can't figure it out on her own, she takes advice from the forest animals to find the wise owl who knows everything. Owl lets Red Knit Cap Girl know that the moon will listen if she knows someone is waiting for her. All of the forest animals come together to help Red Knit Cap Girl figure out a plan to let the moon know they are waiting for her.

I appreciated the spirit of community and helpfulness and coming together that was shown through Hedgehog, Bear, Squirrel, and White Bunny as they helped Red Knit Cap Girl in her plan to celebrate the moon so she comes close enough to talk to. When the plan doesn't at first work, Red Knit Cap Girl figures out why and what is wrong, and remedies the situation. Ultimately it's a story full of hope and wishfulness brought to life at the end when realizing that the moon will always be there, and can be seen when it is dark and quiet.

RED KNIT CAP GIRL is a delightful story about curiousity and imagination and nature and community; although, I did wish that there had been an actual name for the girl because it is a mouthful to repeat over and over (especially for a read aloud). I will definitely use this one in my classroom to share with my students.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

REVIVED by Cat Patrick

Title: REVIVED
Author: Cat Patrick
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Number of Pages: 336
Source of Book: ARC from publisher

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined.

I really enjoy Cat Patrick's writing style. It's an easy contemporary romance style with a unique twist (at least in the two books she's written so far - FORGOTTEN and REVIVED. FORGOTTEN made my Best I've Read list last year, so I was really excited to see that Cat Patrick had another book coming soon, and grateful to Little, Brown for getting me an advanced copy to read. I went into this one hopeful, and I was not disappointed.

The romance. Cat Patrick writes romances with good guys. I so appreciate authors who are writing about the good, sweet guys who are respectful and act appropriately. It's a good example for teens to see in books. It doesn't mean there's not drama and difficulty, but I appreciate the relationship between Daisy and Matt. It felt a little bit instalove-ish at first, but it didn't bother me too much because she got to know him a bit more.

The suspense/mystery part with the medical miracle is interesting. The way it was all laid out and explained down to the small details made it believable to me. I could see something like this happening. All of the secondary characters involved because of it were intriguing. However, I did feel like some of those storylines were hinted at, but not wrapped up. But, I didn't guess who would be responsible at the end, and that was quite the dramatic scene.

Then there's the part of death and dying that permeates throughout this book. Issues of accepting the inevitable and wanting to be sad/angry/hopeful/relieved/etc. all come into play. It felt really honest and true and although it was done within the context of this larger issue throughout the whole book, Audrey's storyline was very touching and meaningful to me.

There is also an overlying theme related to friendships, and they can be very difficult for teen girls, especially one who moves around quite a bit. I appreciate seeing these types of storylines (reminded me a little of Sarah Dessen's What Happened to Goodbye as far as moving a lot and friendships, and think it's another thing that teens need to read about and want to read about as they're trying to figure out their own friendships.

Along with that was the issue of families and parents and who really cares for you. I enjoyed the development and growth of Daisy's relationship with Mason, her father figure. It felt real to me and their interactions were interesting to read. Mason became one of my favorite characters by the end of the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading REVIVED, a suspenseful contemporary romance dealing with life and death. I guess I realize through writing this that it was very multilayered. I will definitely be awaiting Cat Patrick's next book, THE ORIGINALS coming in 2013, as I enjoy getting lost in her books and spending time in her stories.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Interview with Sarvenaz Tash, author of THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST

I'm really excited to be hosting author interviews with a couple of the Class of 2K12 authors who have middle grades books coming out this year.
First up is Sarvenaz Tash with her debut THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST which came out on April 24th.
Goldenrod Moram loves nothing better than a good quest. Intrepid, curious, and full of a well-honed sense of adventure, she decides to start her own exploring team fashioned after her idols, the explorers Lewis and Clark, and to map the forest right behind her home. This task is complicated, however, by a series of unique events—a chance encounter with a mysterious old lady has her searching for a legendary blue rose. Another encounter lands her in the middle of a ragtag gang of brilliant troublemakers. And when she stumbles upon none other than the ghost of Meriwether Lewis himself, Goldenrod knows this will be anything but an ordinary summer . . . or an ordinary quest. Debut author Sarvenaz Tash combines an edge-of-your-seat adventure, a uniquely clever voice, and an unforgettable cast of characters to prove that sometimes the best adventures of all are waiting right in your own backyard.

1. How would you describe The Mapmaker and the Ghost in five words or less?
Holes meets The Goonies. (That might be cheating but I always loved that pitch.)


2. What sparked your initial idea to write this book?
I woke up from a dream about a girl named Goldenrod Moram and then I immediately wondered what kind of girl would have that name. It sounded like a fairy tale name but I thought it'd be interesting if, instead, she was an ordinary girl who was rather annoyed by that fact. That same day, I came up with the idea of the gang of nefarious kids she meets in the forest and, voila, the very initial spark was born.

3. You have unique character names in your book, how did you decide on them?
As I mentioned, Goldenrd's name came to be in a dream. Spitbubble's name is the one that came to me later that day, when my boyfriend and I were discussing making soap bubbles when we were little. The other names came to me pretty easily as I was thinking of the rest of the gang and their "talents." I do get a big kick out of names.


4. Your audience is middle grades (8 and up) - what came first, the book idea or the audience for the book?
I always knew I wanted to try my hand at writing an MG novel because I have such fond, vivid memories of reading those as a kid. I was just waiting for the right idea. So when this idea popped into my head, I knew it was the MG story I'd been waiting for.


5. What do you hope readers take away from reading The Mapmaker and the Ghost?
I hope that first and foremost they're entertained and that it makes them laugh. And I hope it piques the reader's sense of adventure. And if they learn some interesting fact about Lewis & Clark also, that would be cool, too!


6. As a debut author, has your experience been what you expected or completely different or somewhere in between?
I'd say that no matter how much you think you've prepared yourself, most of what happens when you're about to get published is unexpected. Most of it is unexpected in good, albeit surreal, ways. Like seeing your book pop up on Amazon, or knowing that strangers are going to be reading your story. And some of it has been unexpected in more difficult ways. Things like staff changes at your publishing house, or having to sit down and actually write a second book or knowing that strangers are going to be reading your story! There are definitely challenges. But, ultimately, they are amazing challenges to have and I'm very grateful for them.


7. How long did it take from initial idea/starting writing to the book's release? And how many revision rounds were done in between?
I got the idea in December 2006, but I didn't start writing it in earnest until Fall 2007. My book released in April 2012. There were many, many revision rounds done in between. By my last count, we were up to around draft 27. About 24 of those drafts were done on my own and three were done with the publishing house and my editor there.

Friday, May 11, 2012

THE VICIOUS DEEP by Zoraida Cordova

Title: THE VICIOUS DEEP
Author: Zoraida Cordova
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Number of Pages: 384
Source of Book: Hardcover from publisher at IRA Convention

For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.

He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.

His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.

Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.

This was a fun book that I read in a day. It was a unique take on the "I didn't know I was a special paranormal creature" type of story what with being told from a male point-of-view and the contemporary merfolk spin to it. THE VICIOUS DEEP has aspects of a best friend romance, a war for the sea, high school drama, fights with fantastical sea creatures, family support, newfound royalty, a championship battle for control of the throne, a deadly storm, fantastical creatures, mermaid lore, Coney Island, and a wittily sarcastic main character full of guy humor.

I actually really enjoyed reading this story from Tristan's point-of-view. There were some literal laugh-out-loud one liners for me and I found myself caught up quite often in his character and come backs. Even if his character was a bit of an, self-admitted, um, let's say "popular with the ladies" kind of guy. I'm not sure how completely accurate a portrayal it is of what a teen boy would be thinking, but it was definitely entertaining. I will be waiting to have some boys read it and hear what they think though. There are a few mature word choices throughout, so it definitely skews a little more teen, but he's really funny and it's not too graphic. I also liked the secondary cast of characters quite a bit on both the high school human side and the merfolk Sea Court side. I loved Tristan's parents, too - they're present and understanding and caring and supportive, which I've come to appreciate more and more in teen books.

I just really enjoyed THE VICIOUS DEEP. It was a fairly predictable structure for this type of story, but told with an entertaining voice and creative background lore, which made it stand out in the sea of books out there (pun intended!). There were a couple of things in the writing that were a little irksome for me: one was the jumping around in time-sometimes it was hard for me to figure out what had passed, and the second was the use of "go" and "goes" in place of said. Now, I know that is what people use in casual conversation, and it doesn't bother me there, but reading it in writing was very jarring to me and it was used quite a bit - I could do without it for sure.

I will definitely be waiting for THE SAVAGE BLUE to come out to find out if Tristan will be successful on his mission and to find out if he gets the girl in the end and to learn what ultimate decision he will make on taking over as the Sea King. THE VICIOUS DEEP almost seemed to end in the middle of the story, not in a horribly cliffhangerish way, but just that there is definitely more to the hero's journey and it would have been too long of a book if it had been included in this one.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

ARTICLE 5 by Kristen Simmons

Title: ARTICLE 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: Janurary 31, 2012
Number of Pages: 364
Source of Book: Finished hardcover signed at the Tor booth at the IRA Convention

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.

So I'm a little torn with this book. One the one hand, once I got into it I couldn't stop reading it. I was sneaking it in and staying up too late to keep reading. On the other hand, I didn't completely connect with the characters in the beginning and the writing style felt a little stilted and obvious to me. Also, I felt it was pretty predictable. ARTICLE 5 has an intriguing premise for a dystopian, and I do love dystopian books, and I had a lot of hope for where it would go, but it felt more like a road-tripping story for much of the book, so I struggled with figuring out how I really felt.

I really liked the parts where it was more about fighting against the governmental system. The bad guys were definite baddies (including the government overall!), but sometimes I wasn't sure if a new (or old) character would turn out to really be bad or good, which is a good thing. I did connect more with the characters after the halfway point of the book, and I was invested in them getting past their own individual demons to see what they have with each other. The relationship between Ember and Chase had me wanting to root for them, wanting to scream at them, and wanting to cry for them alternatingly throughout the book. And I really had a hard time putting it down after I got to a certain point, and then I was sneaking in every minute of reading that I could so I could find out what would happen. Both Ember and Chase have some deep emotional journeys they need to travel in this book, and by the end, I was excited to see where they would go next.

Overall, I will definitely get the next book, BREAKING POINT, to find out what will happen, especially since I was left with a bit of a feeling of this book being longer than it necessarily needed to be - by the end I felt like it was really a big book of exposition setting things up for an entire series. I really liked Ember's strength and determination by the end of the book, and I do adore my tragic heroes and Chase definitely fits that bill, so I want to know what is going to happen in their lives next, now that I think the real action will be starting.

I'm kind of between recommending and highly recommending this book. As I write about it, I feel like my rating gets higher as I think back over all of the things I liked, but the writing style and the difficulty really connecting and the predictability makes me want to lower it a little. So, since I can't decide, I'm putting both. I shared these thoughts with my students today and asked if someone would read it and let me know a student's thoughts. It was snapped up right away by one as soon as I mentioned the angsty romance aspect. Can't wait to hear what a teen thinks.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

While I Was Away-IRA Edition

It was pretty quiet here on the blog this past week because I was in Chicago at the International Reading Association (IRA) Annual Convention. It was my first time at this particular convention, and it was a great experience. Not only did I get to hear renowned speakers and find ways to further improve my teaching practice, but I also go to hang out with some of my Nerdy Book Club friends (you've heard of it, yes? If not, go here now!), and I was again blown away by the generosity of the School and Library departments of the publishers of books for kids. Extra special thanks goes to Little Brown, Simon & Shuster, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Sourcebooks, Penguin, Scholastic, Random House, Bloomsbury, and Tor!
They are so great to us teachers, librarians, and education professionals, and in a profession where it is so important to be surrounding kids with books, it's a huge benefit. It's always fun to talk to the reps and find out what titles they're excited about, and what books they have coming up that may fit with my curricular needs. And, since I'm also a blogger besides being a teacher, I know they hope that I will help spread the word about these titles as well. So, that's what this recap is all about. I also had many twitter teacher friends request the list so they know what titles to be on the lookout for too. I hope this is helpful to you, and if you want to know anything more specific about any of the titles, feel free to ask away! Happy reading! (You can see the entire list of books I brought home from IRA2012 on my goodreads shelf as well.) (*Note: I'm not doing pictures because it would take up a lost of loading time!)

Graphic Novels
(Love the author signings of the graphic novels because they all doodle & they were super-fun!)
ZITA THE SPACEGIRL by Ben Hatke
LEGENDS OF ZITA THE SPACEGIRL by Ben Hatke -September 4
BAKE SALE by Sara Varon
ASTRONAUT ACADEMY: ZERO GRAVITY by Dave Roman
TEEN BOAT! by Dave Roman -May 8

Coming Soon - Middle Grades
ISLAND OF SILENCE (THE UNWANTEDS 2) by Lisa McMann -September 4
AUDITION & SUBTRACTION by Amy Dominy Fellner -September
DEAR BLUE SKY by Mary Sullivan -August 2
A MUTINY IN TIME (INFINITY RING #1) by James Dashner -September 28
CAPTURE THE FLAG by Kate Messner -July 1
UNGIFTED by Gordon Korman -August 21
GODS AND WARRIORS by Michelle Paver -August 28
GAME CHANGERS Book 1 by Mike Lupica -May 8
THE GREAT UNEXPECTED by Sharon Creech -September 4
FLOORS #2: 3 FLOORS BELOW by Patrick Carman -September 1
AN ACCIDENTAL ADVENTURE: WE GIVE A SQUID A WEDGIE by C. Alexander London-June 14

Coming Soon - Young Adult
STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth -May 8
LAST RITE by Lisa Desrochers (Final book in PERSONAL DEMONS trilogy) -May 8
UNDERWORLD (ABANDON 2) by Meg Cabot -May 8
RIFT by Andrea Cremer (NIGHTSHADE Prequel) -August 7
UNWHOLLY by Neal Shusterman (UNWIND Trilogy #2) -August 28
BURN FOR BURN by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian -September 18
SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller -June 19
COLD FURY by T.M. Goeglein -July 24
MEANT TO BE by Lauren Morrill -November 13
ORIGIN by Jessica Khoury -September 4
NO SAFETY IN NUMBERS by Dayna Lorentz -May 29
A BAD DAY FOR VOODOO by Jeff Strand -June 5
52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER by Jessica Brody -July 3
SOULBOUND by Heather Brewer -July 5
RUSH FOR THE GOLD: MYSTERY AT THE OLYMPICS by John Feinstein -May 22
THE RAFT by S.A. Bodeen -August 21
EVE AND ADAM by Katherine Applegate & Michael Grant -October 2
SMASHED by Lisa Luedeke -August 21
THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas -August 7
FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes -December 11
PROMISED (BIRTHMARKED #3) by Caragh M. O'Brien -October 2
ROMEO REDEEMED (JULIET IMMORTAL sequel)by Stacey Jay -October 9
SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo -June 5
BURNING BLUE by Paul Griffin -October 25
DEAD TIME by Anne Cassidy -May 22
THE SPACE BETWEEN US by Jessica Martinez -October 16
DEAD CITY by James Ponti -October 2
DEADLY PINK by Vivian Vande Velde -July 10

Available Now - Middle Grades
FAKE MUSTACHE by Tom Angleberger
THE DRAMA YEARS: Real Girls Talk About Surviving Middle School by Haley Kilpatrick
SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS by Sara Pennypacker
13 HANGMEN by Art Corriveau
ISLAND OF THIEVES by Josh Lacey

Available Now - Young Adult
WHILE HE WAS AWAY by Karen Schreck
BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood
THE VICIOUS DEEP by Zoraida Cordova
THE LIST by Siobhan Vivian
NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL by Siobhan Vivian
UNWIND by Neal Shusterman
EXPOSED by Kimberly Marcus
ARTICLE 5 by Kristen Simmons
MICHAEL VEY: THE PRISONER OF CELL 25 by Richard Paul Evans
THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME by Jess Rothenberg
LEXAPROS AND CONS by Aaron Karo
WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead
DYING TO KNOW YOU by Aidan Chambers
ALL THE RIGHT STUFF by Walter Dean Myers
I AM A SEAL TEAM SIX WARRIOR by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin
THE ESPRESSOLOGIST by Kristina Springer
SLAYERS by C.J. Hill
THE COMING OF THE DRAGON by Rebecca Barnhouse

Picture Books/Teaching Books
HOLOCAUST POETRY by Hilda Schiff
THE DOT by Peter H. Reynolds
ISH by Peter H. Reynolds
GUYKU by Peter H. Reynolds
IT'S DUFFY TIME! by Don and Audrey Wood -October 1
A GOLD STAR FOR ZOG by Julia Donaldson -July 1

Divergent/Insurgent/??? - 3rd Book Title Predictions

Now that INSURGENT is out in the world and people are reading it, I can share one small part of the email conversation Brian Wyzlic (my sister classroom teacher-you can find him on twitter and at Wyz Reads) and I had when I shared my early ARC copy with him.
We closed out our conversation talking about our thoughts for the title of the third book in the series. We placed a little bet along with sharing our guesses. Then, on twitter this morning, @thebrainlair, was talking about the title for book three and when I shared that we had been talking about it already, she suggested we do a poll so we can see what people are thinking, so here it is.

Vote for your guess below, and if it's other, please share your idea in the comments! 
Will be interesting to see what the readers think!

 
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