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Kids and Teen Blog

Tag: Books

New Releases: Kids and Teen Highlights April 2015

by Dan
March 30, 2015

Epic Yarns, Darth Vader, and more books for kids and teens available this month: 

KIDS

STAR WARS

Star Wars Epic Yarns by Jack & Holman Wang 
Jedi apprentices and little princesses will delight in this (heart)felt retelling of the Star Wars saga. And so will Star Wars fans of any age! The series launches with the original trilogy, and every word counts in these small but perfectly formed yarns.

Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope 
ISBN 9781452133935 | $13.50 cl

Star Wars Epic Yarns: The Empire Strikes Back
ISBN 9781452134994 | $13.50 cl

Star Wars Epic Yarns: Return of the Jedi
ISBN 9781452135007 | $13.50 cl

Available April 14


Darth Vader and Friends

Jeffrey Brown

ISBN 9781452138107 | $19.95 cl

In this funny and sweet new book in the bestselling Darth Vader™ series, Eisner Award-winning author Jeffrey Brown offers an intimate look at the friendships between best pals in the Star Wars universe, from Darth Vader and the Emperor to Leia and her Ewok pals, Han and Chewie, C-3PO and R2-D2, the bounty hunters, and other favourite characters. 

Available April 28


KIDS FICTION

The Skunk

Mac Barnett & Patrick McDonnell

ISBN 9781596439665 | $20.50 cl

When a skunk first appears in the tuxedoed man's doorway, it's a strange but possibly harmless occurrence. But then the man finds the skunk following him, and the unlikely pair embark on an increasingly frantic chase through the city, from the streets to the opera house to the fairground. What does the skunk want? It's not clear - but soon the man has bought a new house in a new neighbourhood to escape the little creature's attention, only to find himself missing something...

Available April 14


MIDDLE-GRADE

Ellie's Story

A Dog's Purpose Novel

W. Bruce Cameron

ISBN 9780765374691 | $19.50 cl

Every dog has work to do. Every dog has a purpose.

Ellie's Story is a heart-warming and inspiring tale for young animal lovers by W. Bruce Cameron, bestselling author of the acclaimed novel A Dog's Purpose. Adorable black-and-white illustrations by Richard Cowdrey bring Ellie and her world to vibrant life. A discussion and activity guide at the end of the book will help promote family and classroom discussions about Ellie's Story and the insights it provides about humankind's best friends.

Ages 8-12

Available April 14


Sugar and Spice 

The Cupcake Club

Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk

ISBN 9781402283369 | $8.99 pb

The girls of Peace, Love, and Cupcakes might be sugar and spice and everything nice, but the same can't be said for Meredith, whose favourite hobby is picking on Lexi. So when the PLC gets a cupcake order from the New England Shooting Starz—the beauty pageant Meredith is competing in—the girls have a genius idea: enter Lexi into the competition so she can show Meredith once and for all that she's no better than anyone else. Problem is, PLC has to make Lexi a pageant queen—and 1,000 cupcakes-all in a matter of weeks!

Have the girls of Peace, Love, and Cupcakes bitten off more than they can chew?

Ages 8-12

Available April 22


TEEN

CONTEMPORARY

The Truth About Us 

Janet Gurtler

ISBN 9781402278006 | $13.99 pb

A powerful and gripping contemporary YA novel from the author of I'm Not Her.

The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up.
She's made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she's paying for it. She pretends it's all fine. That her "perfect" family is fine. But it's not. And no one notices the lie… until she meets Flynn. He's the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens. But Flynn is the definition of "the wrong side of the tracks." When Jess's parents look at him they only see the differencesnot how much they need each other. They don't get that the person who shouldn't fit in your world… might just be the one to make you feel like you belong. 

Ages 12-18

Available April 7


All the Rage 

Courtney Summers

ISBN 9781250023490 | $19.50 cl

From Courtney Summers, the author of Cracked Up To Be and This is Not a Test, comes a powerful new young adult novel with a shocking conclusion, and writing that will absolutely knock you out. 

The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn't speak up.

Ages 14-18

Available April 14


One Thing Stolen

Beth Kephart

ISBN 9781452128313 | $23.95 cl

Something is not right with Nadia Cara. While spending a year in Florence, Italy, she's become a thief. She has secrets. And when she tries to speak, the words seem far away. Nadia finds herself trapped by her own obsessions and following the trail of an elusive Italian boy whom only she has seen. Can Nadia be rescued or will she simply lose herself altogether? Set against the backdrop of a glimmering city, One Thing Stolen is an exploration of obsession, art, and a rare neurological disorder. It is a celebration of language, beauty, imagination, and the salvation of love.

Ages 14-18

Available April 14


ACTION & ADVENTURE

Skandal

Lindsay Smith

ISBN 9781626720053 | $20.50 cl

The dramatic sequel to Sekret, this psychic Cold War espionage thriller follows Yulia to Washington, DC, where she fights to discover the truth about her family without losing control of her mind. 

Life in Washington, D.C. is not the safe haven Yulia hoped for when she risked everything to flee communist Russia. Her father is reckless and aloof, and Valentin is distant and haunted by his past. Her mother is being targeted by the CIA and the US government is suspicious of Yulia's allegiance. And when super-psychics start turning up in the US capitol, it seems that even Rostov is still a threat. Ultimately, Yulia must keep control of her own mind to save the people she loves and avoid an international Skandal.  

Ages 12-17

Available Now


MYSTERY

The Revelation of Louisa May

Michaela MacColl

ISBN 9781452133577 | $22.99 cl

Louisa May Alcott can't believe it—her mother is leaving for the summer to earn money for the family and Louisa is to be in charge of the household. How will she find the time to write her stories, much less have any adventures of her own? But before long, Louisa finds herself juggling her temperamental father, a mysterious murder, a fugitive seeking refuge along the Underground Railroad, and blossoming love. Intertwining fact, fiction, and quotes from Little Women, Michaela MacColl has crafted another spunky heroine whose story will keep readers turning pages until the very end.

Ages 12-18

Available April 28


FANTASY

Dream a Little Dream 

Kerstin Gier

ISBN 9781627790277 | $20.50 cl

Liv has been dealing with a lot lately. She and her family have just moved in with her mother's new boyfriend in London, and she's starting over (again) at a new school. But Liv isn't sure that explains her dreams, which have gone from odd to… well, bizarre. Lately, her night-time hours have been filled with talking stone statues, mysterious corridors, and creepy rituals conducted by four boys in a graveyard.

The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys. They're classmates from her new school, and they seem to know things about her that they couldn't possibly know… unless they actually are in her dreams? Luckily, Liv never could resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute… 

Ages 12-18

Available April 14


NONFICTION

The Mindful Teen 

Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time

Dzung X. Vo

ISBN 9781626250802 | $22.95 pb

The Mindful Teen offers a unique program based in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to help you deal with stress. The simple, practical, and easy-to-remember tips in this book can be used every day to help you handle any difficult situation more effectively-whether it's taking a test at school, having a disagreement with your parents, or a problem you are having with friends.

 

 

Available Now


The Winner’s Crime: An Interview with Marie Rutkoski

by Melissa
Author Q & A + YA Fiction / March 03, 2015

Today’s the day! To celebrate the release of The Winner’s Crime—the second book in Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Trilogy—the fabulous Jenn from Lost in a Great Book has shared her interview with the lovely Marie Rutkoski. Read on for fun secrets behind The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime. (Caution! There are spoilers for The Winner's Curse, and possible vague spoilers for The Winner's Crime. You've been warned!)

In January I had the distinct pleasure of chatting via Skype with the ever-charming Marie Rutkoski, author of The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime books. After we had both settled in with our respective cups of tea (Marie’s was an intriguing blue tea from Mariage Frères that I have since attempted to order online), we focused our discussion on all things Kestrel and Arin. Be warned: there are definitely spoilers for book one in this discussion, although I’ve tried to edit out the spoilers for book two.

J: So, I’ve finished book two, and I just have to ask … Are you trying to kill us with this book? I’ll bet you wrote that last chapter with an evil laugh!

M: Ha! I mean… Okay, is this going to be public?

J: It will, but I will edit for book two spoilers, don’t you worry!

M: Oh good, that makes things easier. Well, after I wrote the first book, and I ended it the way that I did, which felt like a true ending to me, it felt like the characters were true to who they are and how I had made them into, and this is what would happen to them. After I wrote that, however, I wondered what might happen to them and how the story would continue. One of the things I felt pretty strongly about was that the tension between Kestrel and her father, for example, could break things eventually, just because they are both so similar, but their goals are so extremely different. I knew that they loved each other but …

J: They really don’t know how to love each other, really.

M: Yes, that’s it. It’s very true.

J: There are events in this book that broke my heart, especially between Kestrel and her father.

M: He would definitely see her actions as a personal betrayal. Part of the reason he has been at war for so long is because he felt that he was building this great world, this empire for her, and in his mind, he knew she was capable of making it all hers. In book one, she tells him that she doesn’t want his life, and all of her actions, even if she doesn’t mean them to be against him, he could take it that way.

J:  She is very much her father’s daughter in her analytical thought processes.

M:  She is, that’s true. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t set out to break reader’s hearts with the endings of the books, but rather that I see each book as an inevitable conclusion. I did think that it would be interesting to write a book where readers feel that the books is about a certain romantic relationship, but that they also realize that there are so many other relationships that happen that are just as crucial, and end up having as much, if not more, of an emotional impact.

J: Your characters are not one-dimensional; Kestrel is genuinely hurt and abandoned in this book because she has lost everyone close to her in book one. Jess, Ronan, her father … there is so much more to her than just her relationship with Arin, and I found she really came into her own in book two. Book one was so much about figuring out the world, and I found book two was very much a character book. There is still lots of action, but so much of what happens is internal.

I also found it interesting to see how Kestrel and Arin developed and have almost changed roles. In book one, Arin is the enigma as we don’t have much from his point of view because he is hiding his role in the rebellion, while Kestrel is the more open of the pair.

M: That’s a really interesting comment. I was definitely aware that Arin was not a very outgoing character; even in his point of view, we don’t get a lot from him in the first book and that’s very deliberate. I thought of him as a character that does not want to share, so anything he does share is done so grudgingly, but in the second book he does open up more. I hadn’t really thought about the fact that Kestrel would have to keep things much more close to her chest with everyone around her, but I guess she is much more secretive than she was before.

J: In book two, there are some interesting scenes involving a particular moth. Do those chameleon moths exist?

M: Oh, thanks! Well the book is technically fantasy, because of the different world, but I didn’t want it to be fantastical. I love fantasy, but for this book I really wanted to focus on the human – relationship, scenery, etc. I did want to lend little touches to remind the reader that this was not our world. The moths were convenient to me, for various reasons – plot-wise, events…

J: For ….. reasons that will become apparent after release!

M: Yes, exactly! So those, and the dragonflies that appear in the East … when I tend to try to remind the reader that this is a new and different world, it usually comes out in nature somehow. There may be something different, like green storms in the first book, and the crops in the second book.

J: Let’s talk a little about some of the non-story aspects of the book.The Winner’s Curse is so named because the economic theory of, essentially, paying more for something than it’s actually worth at auction. Is there a similar meaning for The Winner’s Crime?

M: The Winner’s Crime doesn’t have as serious a meaning; when you write a trilogy you want the names to go together and have some fluidity to them (example: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Dreams of Gods and Monsters). I wanted to have some kind of cohesion with the first book, and I knew what the second book would be about.

J: What are you hoping people will get from book two?

M: Well, I have had to make a lot of apologies to people on Twitter – “You broke my heart!” “I’m sorry!”

In book one, Kestrel seems kind of unassailable, she’s the girl with all the answers, so I’m hoping in book two you see her much more vulnerable than before. I also think, as a writer, it was really satisfying to write more from Arin’s point of view. That happens a lot in book three as well.

They both grow a lot in these books.

If you’re interested in reading the rest of Jenn’s interview with Marie (or if you want more information on torture and book 3) click here!

I want to extend a huge thank you to Jenn for sharing her interview with us, and to the wonderful Marie Rutkoski for an intriguing behind-the-scenes look into The Winner’s Crime. Be sure to purchase your copy of The Winner’s Crime, in stores today!


New Releases: Kids and Teen Highlights February 2015

by Dan
Kids + YA Fiction / January 22, 2015

February brings science fiction from Kristen Simmons, Cecil Castellucci and Jessica Brody, as well as a new colouring book from Johanna Basford, and a Baby-Lit Spanish Primer! Here are some of next month's new releases available from Raincoast Books:

TEEN

SCIENCE FICTION

The Glass Arrow 

Kristen Simmons

In the vein of The Handmaid’s Tale, a haunting, yet hopeful, stand-alone novel from the author of the Article 5 trilogy.

Once there was a time when men and women lived as equals, when girl babies were valued, and women could belong only to themselves. But that was ten generations ago. Now women are property, to be sold and owned and bred, while a strict census keeps their numbers manageable and under control. The best any girl can hope for is to end up as some man's forever wife, but most are simply sold and resold until they're all used up.

Only in the wilderness, away from the city, can true freedom be found. Aya has spent her whole life in the mountains, looking out for her family and hiding from the world, until the day the Trackers finally catch her...

Ages 13-18

Available February 10


Stone in the Sky 

Tin Star #

Cecil Castellucci

In this thrilling follow-up to Tin Star, Tula will need to rely on more than just her wits to save her only home in the sky.

After escaping death a second time, Tula Bane is now even thirstier for revenge. She spends much of her time in the Tin Star Café on the Yertina Feray—the space station she calls home. But when it's discovered that the desolate and abandoned planet near the station has high quantities of a precious resource, the once sleepy space station becomes a major player in intergalactic politics. In the spirit of the Gold Rush, aliens from all over the galaxy race to cash in—including Tula's worst enemy.

Ages 12-18

Available February 24


Unchanged 

The Unremembered Trilogy #3

Jessica Brody

In this mesmerizing conclusion to the Unremembered trilogy, Sera will fight those who have broken her.

After returning to the Diotech compound and undergoing an experimental new memory alteration, Seraphina is now a loyal, obedient servant to Dr. Alixter and the powerful company that created her. Happy and in love with Kaelen, another scientifically-enhanced human designed to be her perfect match, Sera's history with a boy named Zen is just a distant memory from a rebellious past she longs to forget.

But as Sera and Kaelen embark on a nationwide tour to promote Diotech's new product line-a collection of controversial genetic modifications available to the public-Sera's mind starts to rebel. She can't stop the memories of Zen from creeping back in.

Ages 12-18

Available February 24


COMICS

Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula

Andi Watson

Princess Decomposia is overworked and underappreciated. This princess of the underworld is always running behind and always buried under a ton of paperwork. Oh, and her father (the king) just fired the chef, so now she has to hire a new cook as well. Luckily for Princess Decomposia, she makes a good hire in Count Spatula, the vampire chef with a sweet tooth. He's a charming go-getter of a blood-sucker, and pretty soon the two young ghouls become friends.

Princess Decomposia has to sort out her life, and with Count Spatula at her side, you can be sure she'll succeed. Andi Watson (Glister, Gum Girl) brings his signature gothy-cute sensibility to this very sweet and mildly spooky tale of friendship, family, and management training for the undead. 

Ages 13-18

Available January 13


KIDS

NONFICTION

Enchanted Forest

Johanna Basford

This stunning new colouring book by Johanna Basford (Secret Garden) takes readers on a inky quest through an enchanted forest to discover what lies in the castle at its heart. As well as drawings to complete, colour and embellish, there are hidden objects to be found along the way including wild flowers, animals and birds, maps, lanterns, keys and treasure chests. Beginning at the entrance to the forest, the journey progresses through woodland, rocky caves and tree-lined mazes, over streams and a waterfall, across the trees tops, to finally reach the castle.

Available February 17


PICTURE BOOKS

 

Spring Walk

Virginia Brimhall Snow

After a long winter's sleep, the soil is springing to life. Spring flowers break through the ground to welcome warmer days. Come with Grammy and her grandchildren as they explore and learn all about 24 different flowers. Once home, she teaches them how to plant their own flowers from seeds and make beautiful bouquets.

Ages 4-8

Available February 15


Don Quixote

A BabyLit Spanish Primer

Jennifer Adams; illustrated by Alison Oliver

BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar's Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent's nursery library.

Ages Infant-3

Available February 15


Teens Read Spring Preview

by Megan
December 08, 2014

Last Saturday, we met in person (and virtually) with a crack team of caffeinated bloggers for a sneak peek at some amazing YA titles on the horizon for Spring 2015. Several (most) of us present likely hadn’t started our Christmas shopping, but the amount of excitement on hand for these Spring titles months away still put any holiday concerns to shame. There were treats, squeals, and overall giddy anticipation. Here are some of the highlights...

 

Title that elicited the biggest freakout:

Fairest by Marisa Meyer

There was a genuine Fairest freakout when we discussed this title; stampede for the book is imminent.

 

Science Fiction/Fantasy titles that elicited tribute volunteers in exchange for ARCs:

Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking

The Novice by Taran Matharu

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Public Enemies by Ann Aguirre

Bell Weather by Dennis Mahoney

 

Titles that caused spontaneous shrieks/squeals of excitement:

From the Notebooks of a Middle-School Princess by Meg Cabot

Elena Vanishing by Elena Dunkle & Clare Dunkle

Joyride by Anna Banks

One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart (THAT COVER!)

The Revelation of Louisa May (book nerds + bookish historical themes = !!!!!)

Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius

Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

Weightless by Sarah Bannan

 

Titles that generated the most spontaneous singing:

Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally (Go ahead. Try not to burst into song with this one.)

The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak

 

Titles with the most maple-syrup covered Canuck love:

Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone

The Truth About Us by Janet Gurtler

SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki

Lola Carlyle’s 12-Step Romance by Danielle Younge-Ullman

 

Thrillers, horror, and other heart-rate-increasing titles that left some presenters (Melissa, I’m looking at you) feeling a little faint:

The Forgetting by Nicole Maggi

The Escape by Hannah Jayne

The Suffering by Rin Chupeco

Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards

 

To check out all the action from the preview, follow the #TeensReadFeed hashtag on Twitter, and let us know the books you can't wait for!

Our beloved bloggers! Full of treats, coffee, and wielding goodie bags:


The Mother-Daughter Duo behind the House of Night Series

by Alisha
Fiction + Science Fiction and Fantasy + YA Fiction / October 29, 2014

Jennifer Tammy is a Canadian psychologist and Montessori educator who blogs at Study at Home Mama and In the Kids' Kitchen. In the following interview she speaks with P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, the dynamic mother-daughter duo behind the internationally bestselling House of Night series. 

Everyone must be curious how a mother-daughter team makes it work. Can you describe your working and creative dynamic together?

PC Cast: Writing is usually such a solitary job that it's nice to have someone in it with me. I write the entire first draft, and then send it to Kristin for her to go through. It makes me feel like I can relax and write, knowing she has my back. Believe me, she'll let me know if I've messed up and made Zoey sound 40-something! I guess the down side would be that she's the only person in the world who can tell me (and has), "No, Mom. You have to change it 'cause that sucks."

KC Cast: Writing with Mom is great because for once in my life I get to tell her she's wrong! I serve mainly as her teen voice editor. During the first couple books, we tried to split up the chapters but realized very quickly that it wasn't working. So, she will write the first draft of the whole book and then I go through and fill in gaps she's left for me, edit, and I also cut parts out—but don't tell her I said that.

PC: We do some brainstorming, and then I write the first draft. It's hard for me. I want to call her and talk to her about it sometimes, but she hasn't read up to where I am. I used to send her pieces of it, but I revise constantly. So what I will have sent her before might have completely changed. So that didn't work. When I get done, I'll send it to her. I'll talk to her in the manuscript sometimes. Then she goes through it and fills in the blanks and answers the questions. She makes sure I'm being succinct enough because I tend to do too much description. So she'll write these little bubbles to me. Then she sends the manuscript to me and I see what changes she's made. I re-read it carefully to make sure she's not messing up any of my dominoes, because I have a much better idea of where I'm going than she does. When I'm done, we send it off.

 

When did you start creatively collaborating together?

PC: I brought Kristin in while I was writing the first three chapters of Marked. I kept stumbling over silly little things, like specific slang that I thought I knew, but found out once I started writing about teenagers that MY deeply buried inner teen from the 70s kept trying to resurface and butt in with her slang! Kristin keeps me straight about that. She also says she keeps Zoey from "sounding like a 40-something disgruntled school teacher."

 

The "House of Night" series is incredibly prolific, how did you stay inspired? Did you know ahead of time that you'd end up writing twelve titles in this series?

PC: No! When I began writing Marked I envisioned a trilogy, but by the time I was in the middle of Betrayed (book 2 of the series) I knew I had something much larger. Thankfully, book 3, Chosen, debuted #2 on the New York Times best seller list, and at that time my publisher gave me the go-ahead to expand the world and follow the plot wherever it might lead me.

 

Your books have a really unique premise when it comes to vampyre literature; how do you view your series alongside (or in comparison to) the other books in this genre?

PC: My world is the only one that is based around a matriarchal belief system. The message of empowering young women really resonates with teenagers. Also, I try hard to keep the kids real, which means that quite often I push the envelope with the themes I tackle in the books, and while that can be difficult it also reaches my audience and means a lot to them.

When I decided to write a vampire series I focused on creating a new mythos for my world. Right away I knew I would make it matriarchal, and that automatically was a shift in the traditional vamp lore.  I'm from a family of teachers and they are mostly science teachers. My father is one of the most knowledgeable biologists I know. In my fantasy books he has always kept my ecosystems in check and made sure I didn't create a world that wouldn't really work ecologically. So I turned to him for brainstorming help with my vamps. As the daughter of a biologist, I was always strong in the sciences myself, and took lots of biology electives in college where I was a literature major. I already had an idea about using what science slang calls junk DNA—Dad loved the idea—and we brainstormed from there! The red vampyres developed naturally. Dad and I talked about what would happen if someone tried to bring back a kid who had died when his body rejected the Change. Of course dying and then un-dying would cause a large amount of physiological injury, and many of the more bestial characteristics of the red vamps grew out of that. I then add the paranormal element of Nyx's influence, as well as the earth magic that is alive and well in the HoN world, and I have a whole new depth to my vampyre mythos!

 

Are there any other projects you'd like to try?

KC: I am just a couple days from being finished with my first solo novel! I like to think of it as a fairy tale because it's written as poetry rather than prose. Hopefully, I will have news about dates, etc. for it soon. Mom and I have been discussing a new series. I'm not going to say anything too specific, but we should have more info within the next year or so.

 

Who do you write your books for? Is there anyone you would not recommend your books to?

P.C.: Kristin and I do feel a definite sense of responsibility writing for teens. I've been teaching high school since 1993, and as I’ve said before, I'm from a family of teachers. We know the impact words can have on young adults. Yes, there is bad language in the books. Yes, there is sex in the books. Yes, hard things happen to teens—some even die—in the books. All of those things are going on today with teens, minus the vampyre element. Kristin and I feel it is essential that Zoey and the other characters deal with real issues. Zoey has an excellent sense of honor and integrity, but she's a teenager and she messes up. Basically, the "message" in the House of Night series is one of acceptance and tolerance, as well as the fact that just because a kid makes mistakes it doesn't mean his/her life is over.

 

Vampyre literature comes with its fair share of controversy, how do you deal with that?

PC: I've never been of the mind that I must please everyone, so I don't read reviews and pay little attention to genre-based controversies.  I focus on writing the story I would most want to read and keep moving ahead in a positive manner.

Meet mother and daughter PC & Kristin Cast at our special event to celebrate the release of Redeemed, the final electrifying installment in the House of Night series! 

Tonight, Oct 29 at 7 pm at Chapters Metrotown
Metropolis, Metrotown 4700 Kingsway
Burnaby, British Columbia
(604) 431-0463
Click here for event details


The Storyteller’s Son: Sebastian Robertson

by Alisha
Kids + Music / October 21, 2014

 

As the bus pulled off the dirt road of the reservation to the pavement of the highway back to Toronto, Robbie would stare out the window, waving good-bye. "Hey, Ma, I wanna be the storyteller one day."

Sebastian Robertson, a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, lives in Los Angeles where he works as a composer. He has written music for major television series and is the head writer for a music library, We the People, which he owns and operates. More recently, he has become an author with the publication of Legends, Icons & Rebels in 2013 and more recently, Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story. His new title, released today, is a heartwarming tribute to his father, Robbie Robertson, the famed songwriter and guitarist who discovered his love of music and storytelling on a First Nations reservation in southern Ontario. Dedicated, talented and driven to succeed, Robertson rose quickly through the ranks to perform alongside rock-and-roll legends as a teenager. Written for children ages 6 to 11, Rock and Roll Highway is a story that will inspire young and old alike. In an e-mail interview yesterday, Sebastian shared his thoughts on music, reading, and his relationship with a Canadian legend.

Your close relationship with your father is evident in the telling of his life story. How much were you influenced, if at all, by your father’s reputation, when you were young? As a successful composer and musician in your own right, how have you been able to carve out your own identity, separate yet complementary to his own?

As a kid I didn’t really understand my father’s fame or profession all that well. By the time I was born he had ceased touring and he really kept his work life and home life separate. I just thought it was really cool when people would ask for his autograph. That gave me a sense of pride. As far as my own work is concerned I forged a new path in an area of music that is separate from my dad. Not on purpose, but because I was pulled in another direction and found it to be the most fulfilling for me. However, he’s an amazing guy to be able to bounce ideas off of and we’ve collaborated on a number of projects.

One of the most powerful moments depicted in Rock and Roll Highway is your father’s decision, as a teen, to sell his beloved guitar and amplifier in order to buy a bus ticket and join Ronnie Hawkins in the American south. His sense of mission, and at such a young age, is unusual but I am intrigued by the amount of synchronicity, almost destiny, that plays out in the book. It’s as if Robbie was always at the right place at the right time and that fate was always one step ahead of him. But when did Robbie first know, really know, that music would be his life’s work?

My dad spent a lot of time with his mother’s relatives and they were terrific storytellers and quite musical too. He was bitten by the music bug and immediately knew he was going to completely give himself to the process. At the age of nine, he got his first guitar and after a few lessons, he taught himself the rest. This clearly is an unusual amount of commitment and discipline for a young boy but it speaks to his talent and success.

Your previous book, Legends, Icons & Rebels, profiles the musical legacies of popular music's most influential voices, and is accompanied by two CDs that include recordings by Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, and many others. The book, aimed at pre-teens, was recently nominated for a 2015 Red Maple Non-Fiction award. (Congratulations!) With the publication of Rock and Roll Legend, you appear to be carving a path for yourself as a writer of music history books for young people. Where does your desire to preserve—and celebratemusical history originate from? And why young people (as opposed to an adult audience)?

First off I’m honored by the nomination and also that I have the opportunity to share an art form with those I believe to be the most open minded, honest and interesting peoples of our world, children. When I play music for my son, Donovan who is nine, he approaches it with no judgment or baggage, just curiosity. This allows him to appreciate everything from Curtis Mayfield, Billie Holiday to Iggy Azalea and M83. This is what I consider a perfect audience.

In the book, you describe the incredible support and love Robbie received from his relatives. At a young age, he and his mother would often visit the Six Nations Indian Reservation located two hours north of Toronto, his hometown. “It was here where it all began; it was here where the rhythm, melodies, and storytelling of Robbie’s First Nation relatives captured his imagination.” It’s apparent that his ancestral legacy played a part in developing his intense connection to music. What do you consider to be your father’s most important legacy? And as a musician and writer, and most importantly, as a father, what do you hope your legacy will be to your own son?

For me, his most important legacy will always be as a loving, kind, generous and devoted father. I’ll never forget his handcrafted, early morning western omelettes before a big 8:30 am little league game. I’ll never forget the compassion when I miss-stepped as boy and into my teens. My goal and my legacy are simple: To be the best friend, son, father and husband I can be.

In your own Q & A section at the back of Rock and Roll Highway, your father mentions a love of reading and particularly enjoyed the classics by Steinbeck and Faulkner when he was on the road. He also reveals he was inspired by these books, saying “…some of the songs I wrote were about historical times and events, and the reading I was doing really helped me paint pictures with the lyrics and expand my vocabulary.” How much of your own work as a television music composer is inspired by the books you read—and who are some of your favourite writers?

When I started out playing in bands, reading was an integral part of the writing process. I have always felt that you needed to read in order to write. I was greatly impacted by Steinbeck but also loved authors of “darker” literature, like Camus, and specifically enjoyed Hunger by Knut Hamsun, The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy and some of Aleister Crowley’s works. I suppose these books stay with you forever and impact any creative endeavor you give yourself to.


New Releases: Kids and Teen Highlights October 2014

by Dan
Kids + YA Fiction / October 03, 2014

Here's a quick look at a few of our new books available in October:

TEEN

FANTASY

Unraveled 

Crewel World #3

Gennifer Albin

In the breathtaking conclusion to the Crewel World trilogy, the threads of rule and order start to unravel.

Things have changed behind the walls of the Coventry, and new threats lurk in its twisted corridors. When Adelice returns to Arras, she quickly learns that something rotten has taken hold of the world, and now Cormac Patton needs her to help him reestablish order. However, peace comes at a terrible price. As the Guild manipulates the citizens of Arras, Adelice discovers that she's not alone, and she must let go of her past to fight for mankind's future. She will have to choose between an unimaginable alliance and a deadly war that could destroy everyone she loves.

Ages 12-17

Available October 7


The Spiritglass Charade

A Stoker & Holmes Novel

Colleen Gleason

After the Affair of the Clockwork Scarab, Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are eager to help Princess Alix with a new case. Seventeen-year-old Willa Aston is obsessed with spiritual mediums, convinced she is speaking with her mother from beyond the grave. What seems like a case of spiritualist fraud quickly devolves into something far more menacing: someone is trying to make Willa "appear lunatic," using an innocent-looking spiritglass to control her. The list of clues piles up: an unexpected murder, a gang of pickpockets, and the return of vampires to London. But are these events connected? As Uncle Sherlock would say, "there are no coincidences." It will take all of Mina's wit and Evaline's muscle to keep London's sinister underground at bay.

Ages 12+

Available October 7


Redeemed 

A House of Night Novel

P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

The final electrifying installment in the #1 New York Times bestselling vampyre series.

Zoey Redbird is in trouble. Having released the Seer Stone to Aphrodite, and surrendered herself to the Tulsa Police, she has isolated herself from her friends and mentors, determined to face the punishment she deserves—even if that means her body will reject the change, and begin to die. Only the love of those closest to her can save her from the Darkness in her spirit; but a terrible evil has emerged from the shadows, more powerful than ever…

Ages 12-17

Available October 14


Mortal Gods

The Goddess of War #2

Kendare Blake

As ancient immortals are left reeling, a modern Athena and Hermes search the world for answers in the second Goddess War novel by the acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood.

Old gods never die…. Or so Athena thought.

As horrific afflictions bring the ancient immortals to their knees, a thoroughly modern Athena and Hermes travel the world searching for answers. What they find is Cassandra, the ordinary girl who can’t remember her extraordinary past life.

This second installment of the series that started with Antigoddess takes the developing war of the gods and goddesses to a whole new level.

Ages 14+

Available October 14


The Accidental Highway Man

Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides

Ben Tripp

The first book of a trilogy, The Accidental Highwayman is a swashbuckling tale of high adventure, otherworldly magic, and true love that you won’t soon forget. Fans of classic fairy-tale fantasies such as Stardust by Neil Gaiman and The Princess Bride by William Goldman will find much to love in this irresistible YA debut by Ben Tripp, the son of one of America’s most beloved illustrators, Wallace Tripp (Amelia Bedelia). Following in his father’s footsteps, Ben has woven illustrations throughout the story.

Ages 12-18

Available October 14


COMICS

In Real Life

Cory Doctorow & illustrated by Jen Wang

From New York Times bestselling author Cory Doctorow, the story of a girl who gets into gaming—and ends up on a globe-spanning crusade to stop exploitation online.

Anda loves Coarsegold Online. The massively-multiplayer role playing game is a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, and a hero. But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer—a poor Chinese kid whose job is to collect valuable objects and sell them to other players for real money. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person's real livelihood is at stake...

Ages 12-17

Available October 14


KIDS

Little Humans

Brandon Stanton

Street photographer and storyteller extraordinaire Brandon Stanton is the creator of the wildly popular blog "Humans of New York." He is also the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Humans of New York. To create Little Humans, he's combined an original narrative with some of his favorite children's photos from the blog, in addition to all-new exclusive portraits. The result is a hip, heartwarming ode to little humans everywhere.

Ages 4-8 

Available October 7


Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

Bob Shea & illustrated by Lane Smith

Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin', hootin' and hollerin', steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem.

Then hope rides into town. Sheriff Ryan might only be seven years old, and he might not know much about shooting and roping. But he knows a lot about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. And it turns out that knowing a thing or two about paleontology can come in handy when it comes to hoodwinking and rounding up a few no-good bandits.

Ages 4-8

Available October 7


Rock & Roll Highway

The Robbie Robertson Story

Sebastian Robertson & illustrated by Adam Gustavson

Canadian guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson is known mainly for his central role in the musical group the Band. But how did he become one of Rolling Stone's top 100 guitarists of all time? Written by his son, Sebastian, this is the story of a rock-and-roll legend's journey through music, beginning when he was taught to play guitar at nine years old on a Native American reservation. Rock and Roll Highway is the story of a young person's passion, drive, and determination to follow his dream.

Ages 6-9

Available October 21


Notes From A Children’s Book Publicist- Volume Four

by Crystal
Kids + News + Picture Books + Vancouver + YA Fiction / June 01, 2011

 

There are oh so many reasons that I love my job. Please. Who wouldn't love being surrounded by fun kids books all day? Here are my top 5 reasons I love my job:

 

 

1. The people I work with. They really are super fab! These are just a few of them.

2. The insanely talented editors that I get to work with and the fun mail that they send me. For example check out the summer issue of The Magazine below, visit them online and pick up an issue on newstands now. Their are reviews of Cinderella Ninja Warrior, I'm Not Her, The Big Book of Spy Stuff, The Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure Everest and Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings.

3. The super knowledgeable stores that I get to work with. Check out the store front of Kidsbooks right now and their Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure Everest Window!

4. The authors, publishers and incredible publicity departments at those publishers. What other girl get's to say that she works with Chronicle, Gibbs Smith, Lonely Planet, Moleskine, New Harbinger, Silver Dolphin, Simply Read and Sourcebooks every day?

5. The books. Because really, at the end of the day, that is why I do what I do. Because of the mountains of beautiful, moving, funny, clever, magical books that transport me and anyone else who is a kid at heart to other worlds.

And that is why I do what I do! 

Happy Reading!

Crystal