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Kids and Teen Blog

Tag: Teen

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


New Releases: Kids and Teen Highlights March 2015

by Dan
Kids + Picture Books + YA Fiction / March 06, 2015

Here's a look at just a few of the novels, picture books and poetry out this month for kids and teens

TEEN

FANTASY

The Winner's Crime 

Marie Rutkoski

ISBN 9780374384708 | $20.50 cl

Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

A royal wedding is what most girls can only dream about. It means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement—that she agreed to marry the crown prince just to guarantee Arin's freedom—if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? 

 

Ages 12+

Available Now


Instinct

Chronicles of Nick #6

Sherrilyn Kenyon

ISBN 9781250063861 | $22.99 cl

The next novel in the bestselling Chronicles of Nick series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Zombies, demons, vampires, shapeshifters—another day in the life of Nick Gautier—and those are just his friends. But now that he's accepted the demon that lives inside him, he must learn to control it and temper the very emotions that threaten the lives of everyone he cares for. Something that's hard to do while trying to stay off the menus of those who want his head on a platter. 

Ages 12-18

Available March 31


CONTEMPORARY

The Tragic Age

Stephen Metcalfe

ISBN 9781250054418 | $21.99 cl

A brilliant, debut coming-of-age novel about a misanthropic young man learning to love, trust and truly be alive in an absurd world.

This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full time insomniac and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. But Billy's life changes when two people enter his life. Twom Twomey, a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw, and Gretchen Quinn, who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul. Billy knows that one is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is—Billy doesn't trust happiness. It's the age he's at. The tragic age. 

Ages 14-18

Available Now


KIDS

MIDDLE-GRADE

How to Hypnotize a Tiger 

Poems About Just About Everything

Calef Brown

ISBN 9780805099287 | $20.50 cl

This is the first longer-format, middle-grade poetry collection from #1 New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Calef Brown. Moving away from the picture book format offers Calef the opportunity to tackle a variety of themes and poetry styles as well as reach a slightly older audience along the lines of Doug Florian and Shel Silverstein.

Ages 8-12

Available Now


The Boy Who Lost Fairyland

Catherynne M. Valente; illustrated by Ana Juan

ISBN 9781250023490 | $19.50 cl

Here is Book 4 of the 5-book New York Times-bestselling Fairyland series, which TIME Magazine calls "one of the most extraordinary works of fantasy published so far this century."

A young troll named Hawthorn is stolen from Fairyland by the Golden Wind, and becomes a changeling in our world, a place no less bizarre than Fairyland in his eyes. Left with a human family in Chicago, Hawthorn struggles with his troll nature and his changeling fate.

When he turns twelve, he stumbles upon a way back home, to a Fairyland changed and Hawthorn finds himself at the centre of a changeling revolution. 

Ages 10+

Available Now


The Whisper

The Riverman Trilogy #2

Aaron Starmer

ISBN 9780374363116 | $19.50 cl

The second book in the Riverman Trilogy is a twisting, turning, riveting roller coaster of a ride through a magical land where nothing is as it seems, and no one is to be trusted.

At the end of The Riverman, the first book in the Riverman Trilogy, twelve-year-old Alistair learns that his friend Fiona has been telling the truth about traveling to a magical land called Aquavania when she goes missing from their hometown of Thessaly, New York. Alistair knows her absence means that her soul has been stolen by a merciless stalker called the Riverman. Unless Alistair can travel to Aquavania to save her, Fiona may never return home. 

Ages 10+

Available Now


PICTURE BOOKS

Farewell Floppy

Benjamin Chaud

ISBN 9781452137346 | $21.99 cl

It was the perfect plan: abandon pet rabbit Floppy in the woods and take a giant leap toward adulthood. Having a bunny that moonlights as a best friend is for babies, right? It's better to cut a pet loose, make new human friends, and not be so dependent on a floppy-eared fur ball bent on chewing electrical cords, right? If saying good-bye to Floppy is required to grow up, why does life without Floppy seem so wrong? From Benjamin Chaud, the critically acclaimed author/illustrator of The Bear's Song and The Bear's Sea Escape, comes this unforgettable, thought-provoking picture book about the power of unlikely friendships.

Ages 3-5

Available Now


Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

Kate Messner; illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

ISBN 9781452119366 | $22.50 cl

In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves... and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! Up in the garden, the world is full of green-leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt exists a busy world-earthworms dig, snakes hunt, skunks burrow-populated by all the animals that make a garden their home.

Ages 5-8

Available Now


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School... 

Davide Cali; illustrated by Benjamin Chaud

ISBN 9781452131689 | $15.99 cl

First, some giant ants steal breakfast. Then there are the evil ninjas, massive ape, mysterious mole people, giant blob, and countless other daunting (and astonishing) detours along the way to school. Are these excuses really why this student is late? Or is there another explanation that is even more outrageous than the rest? From Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud, the critically acclaimed author/illustrator team behind I Didn't Do My Homework Because... comes a fast-paced, actionpacked, laugh-out-loud story about finding the way to school despite the odds-and the unbelievable oddness!

Ages 6-9

Available Now


I Wish You More

Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

ISBN 9781452126999 | $19.99 cl

Some books are about a single wish. Some books are about three wishes. The infallible team of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld have combined their extraordinary talents to create this exuberant book of endless good wishes. Wishes for curiosity and wonder, for friendship and strength, laughter and peace. Whether celebrating life's joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of everyday moments, this sweet and uplifting book is perfect for wishers of every age.

Ages 5-8

Available March 31


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!


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


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


New Releases: Kids & Teen Highlights August 2014

by Dan
Board Books + Kids + Picture Books + YA Fiction / July 29, 2014

Is it really almost August? Oh my, summer is really flying by! Fortunately we still have lots of great books for you to read before school starts again. Here's a sneak peek at just a few of the books we have coming out next month for Kids, Middle Grade, and Teen:

TEEN

CONTEMPORARY

Some Boys

Patty Blount

A gut-wrenching, powerful love story told from alternating points of view by the acclaimed author of Send.

When Grace meets Ian, she's afraid. Afraid he'll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses Zac, the town golden boy, of rape, everyone turns against her. Ian wouldn't be the first to call her a slut and a liar.

Except Ian doesn't reject her. He's the one person who looks past the taunts and the names and the tough-girl act to see the real Grace. He's the one who gives her the courage to fight back.

He's also Zac's best friend.

Ages 13-17

Available August 5


A Little Something Different

Sandy Hall

Swoon Reads proudly presents its first novel—an irresistible and original romance between two college students told from 14 different viewpoints. 

The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together.

Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out. But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it.

Ages 12-17

Available August 26


FANTASY

The Island of Excess Love

Francesca Lia Block

Pen has lost her parents. She’s lost her eye. But she has fought Kronen; she has won back her fragile friends and her beloved brother. When a foreboding ship appears in the harbour across from their home, they all start having strange visions of destruction and violence. In a trance, they head for the ship, and their new battles begin—battles that will test their love for one another. 

This companion to Love in the Time of Global Warming follows Pen as she searches for love among the ruins, this time using Virgil’s epic Aeneid as her guide. A powerful and stunning book filled with Francesca Lia Block’s beautiful language and inspiring characters.

Ages 14+

Available August 26


MIDDLE GRADE

The League of Seven

Alan Gratz & illustrated by Brett Helquist

The League of Seven is the first book in an action-packed, steampunk series by the acclaimed author of Samurai Shortstop, Alan Gratz.

Young Archie Dent knows there really are monsters in the world. His parents are members of the Septemberist Society, whose job it is to protect humanity from hideous giants called the Mangleborn. Trapped in underground prisons for a thousand years, the giant monsters have been all but forgotten-but now they are rising again as the steam-driven America of 1875 rediscovers electricity, the lifeblood of the Mangleborn. When his parents and the rest of the Septemberists are brainwashed by one of the evil creatures, Archie must assemble a team of seven young heroes to save the world.

Ages 10-15

Available August 19

"Action, banter and steampunk-style tech aplenty—plus truly icky foes inspired, the author acknowledges, by the creations of H.P. Lovecraft—make this an appealingly fast-paced trilogy opener."Kirkus Reviews


KIDS

The Wonderful Wizard of OZ: A BabyLit Colors 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.

Frankenstein: A BabyLit Anatomy Primer

Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Alison Oliver

"Will delight bookish babes of all ages."—Cool Mom Picks

"The simplicity of these books is its genius."—Kid Lit Review

 

 

Ages infant-4

Available Now


Doodle Lit

Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Alison Oliver

Now kids can celebrate classic literature in doodle form! With Doodle Lit, artists can use their imaginations to complement favorites such as Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Jane Eyre, Alice in Wonderland, and many more. 

Sprinkled throughout are also designs with perforated edges, perfect for popping out and crafting! Illustrated in the same colourful and playful style as the acclaimed BabyLit board book series. 

Ages 8+

Available August 1


The Bear's Sea Escape

Benjamin Chaud

More adventures await The Bear's Song's Little Bear and Papa Bear. When the bears seek warmth from their chilly perch atop the Paris Opera House, Little Bear is mistaken for a toy bear and whisked away... to a tropical island! Papa Bear sets out on a frenzied journey to find Little Bear, travelling to a bustling wharf, beneath a sea brimming with coral and mermaids, onto a busy beach, and all the way to a sun-drenched island. As in The Bear's Song, Little Bear is featured in every spread. Will Papa Bear—and the reader—find him? Children and parents alike will savor Chaud's lush, detail-rich illustrations and the sweet story as well as the book's bonus seek-and-find elements.

Ages 3-5

Available August 5

"As charming as two bears can be."Kirkus Reviews

"It’s like a wonderfully Gallic cousin to Where’s Waldo?, and don’t think that Chaud doesn’t know it—there’s a familiar-looking fellow in a striped hat and glasses tucked away in a crowded traffic scene"—Publishers Weekly (starre


Flashlight

Lizi Boyd

Inside a tent it's cozy. But what is going on outside? Is it dark? Is it scary? Not if you have your trusty flashlight! Told solely through images and using a spare yet dramatic palette, artist Lizi Boyd has crafted a masterful exploration of night, nature, and art. Both lyrical and humorous, this visual poem-like the flashlight beam itself-reveals that there is magic in the darkness. We just have to look for it.

Ages 2-6

Available August 12

 

 

"Contemplative children will spend hours on each page, noticing such subtleties as reappearing animals and the slowly rising moon over the course of one night in the forest."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


Homer Henry Hudson's Curio Museum

Zack Rock

With a nose for adventure and an eye on history, Homer Henry Hudson travels the world for pieces to add to his exhibits at the Curio Museum. Author and illustrator Zack Rock crafts a tale brimming with curiosities, not the least of which is the true identity of the museum's canine caretaker, who, as he reflects on the exotic collection at his paws, becomes inspired to venture out into the unknown once again. 

Ages 6-8

Available August 19


New Releases: Kids + Teen Highlights July 2014

by Dan
Kids + YA Fiction / June 20, 2014

School's nearly out and what better excuse do you need to grab a new book? Here's a look at some of the new books we're particularly excited about...

TEEN

CONTEMPORARY

Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Miranda Kenneally

From the bestselling author of Catching Jordan comes a brand new contemporary YA you won't forget.

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can't escape the guilt that if she hadn't broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honour his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more gruelling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she's at war with her body, her mind-and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted.  

Ages 13-17

Available July 15


FANTASY

Kiss of Deception

Mary E. Pearson

In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia's life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn't—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. When two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive, she is unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her.

Ages 14+

Available July 15

"Pearson (the Jenna Fox Chronicles) is off to an extraordinary start with her fantasy series, the Remnant Chronicles, creating an alluring world and romance that’s ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore and Megan Whalen Turner."Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Kalona's Fall

P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

From warrior and lover to enemy and betrayer, the terrible secrets of Kalona's past are revealed!

With more than 12 million books in print and more than three years on The New York Times bestseller list, the House of Night series is an international publishing sensation. Now, the excitement continues as the Cast mother-daughter duo shares the back stories of a few of the House of Night's most important—and mysterious—characters. In Kalona's Fall, the shadows in Kalona’s past will finally come to light.

Ages 12+

Available July 29


COMICS

The Shadow Hero

Gene Luen Yang & illustrated by Sonny Liew

It's hard to live up to your mom's expectations... especially when she expects you to be a superhero!

Hank just wants to enjoy his quiet life running the family grocery store with his father, but his mother wants him to become a superhero, and to clean up their Chinatown neighbourhood! With artwork by Sonny Liew, this dazzling, funny comics adventure for teens is a new spin on the long, rich tradition of American comics lore.

 

Ages 12+

Available July 15

"Yang further establishes himself as one of YA’s leading voices on the Chinese-American experience by inventing a backstory for a forgotten comic-book character who was arguably the first Asian superhero."Publishers Weekly (starred review)


 

MIDDLE GRADE

Copper Magic

Julia Mary Gibson

Can an unearthed talisman found on the shores of Lake Michigan save 12-year-old Violet Blake’s fractured family? Exploring themes of Native American culture, ecology, and conservation, this historical fiction novel comes brilliantly to life.

In Copper Magic, land and waters are alive with memories, intentions, and impulses. Magic alters Violet and brings her gifts—but not always the kind she thinks she needs. First-time author Julia Mary Gibson brings Violet and her community to life in this impressive and assured debut. 

Ages 10-14

Available July 1

"An impressive debut that’s both historical fiction and enchanted realism... Fresh, subtle, daring: well done indeed."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


KIDS

Bad Kitty's Tasty Treats

A Slide and Find ABC

Nick Bruel

Bad Kitty doesn't mean to be bad. Whether she's trying to be a good little kitty and eat her vegetables, or a quiet little kitty and behave, trouble just always find its way to her… Nick Bruel's loveable Bad Kitty gets up to her hilarious antics in this classic Priddy Slide and Find board book.

Ages 2-5

Available July 22


Travelling with Delilah Dirk: A Q & A with Tony Cliff

by Dan
Graphica + Vancouver / August 29, 2013

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant

The adventures of Delilah Dirk drawn by Vancouver-based animator and illustrator Tony Cliff first started life as an online comic. But this week finally sees the release of the English-language graphic novel Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant published by First Second. 

A rollicking historical adventure story starring the eponymous English adventuress Delilah Dirk and her reluctant sidekick/straight-man, a Turkish soldier called Selim, it has sparky dialogue, easy off-beat humour and a disarming charm. To put it simply,  it's just one of the most straight-up fun comics I've read in ages. That it also looks beautiful doesn't hurt either! With the book hitting the shelves, I had to take the opportunity to ask Tony a few questions:

 

When did you start drawing comics?
Oh, I don’t even know. I’ve been reading them as long as I can remember, and probably drawing them just as long.

I did have a series of teachers through elementary and high school who were very supportive in terms of creativity in general and comics specifically. In elementary school, I had one teacher for three years in a row, and for each of the “units” that we’d study, we were tasked with making illustrated books to complete our assignments in. We weren’t simply filling out photocopied quiz sheets, everything took the form of a drawing, or an essay, and they were all glued into an exercise book, so that by the end of the unit you had this colourful little volume full of your learning on, say, medieval England, or the Pyramids, or whatever. Maybe that’s why, to this day, I prefer to hold an actual book instead of reading things online.

In high school, I started off with an art teacher who had a strong love of comics. We even had an elective art class specifically devoted to the craft of comic-making, and he ran an after-school club to take student’s comics and bind them into zine-like comic anthologies, full of short comics and pin-ups. Both he and my subsequent art teachers emphasized strong drawing fundamentals such as observation, perspective, anatomy, and composition. It wasn’t until I’d spent time in post-secondary schools that I discovered how fortunate I had been to have encountered so many excellent and supportive teachers.

Delilah Dirk Chapter 1

What was the inspiration for the character of Delilah Dirk?

There are a lot of streams that feed into the Delilah Dirk watershed, but I’ve done a poor job mapping them, so it’s tough for me to recall what they look like. I think a lot of it came from a contrary desire to make something different from what I’d seen, while at the same time recapturing a feel that I hadn’t seen in a while. I was seeing a lot of male protagonists and female supportive characters who were dour and serious and not a whole lot of fun, so I made the opposite. Since Indiana Jones, I haven’t encountered many movies, books, or games that felt the same way, so I tried to make something that would have a similar quality—I wish I could put my finger on it, but it’s a mix of tone and presentation that I haven’t seen anyone reproduce since Last Crusade.

I think I may have been inspired by some friends who were making similar characters, too. Kazu Kibuishi (of Amulet fame) was making drawings of Daisy Kutter and posting them on a message board that we were both frequenting. It wasn’t even a conscious thing, but several months into working on my first Delilah Dirk comic, I had to hit up Kazu and say, “oh dude, I think Delilah is a copy of Daisy Kutter.” He was kind and (probably) honest when he assured me that while they might have some similar qualities, there are so many differences and so many quirks that will get introduced as artifacts of our individual approaches that it’s silly to worry about it.
Though, I don’t really think of Delilah as the star of the story. I think there’s an element of her conception which was simply, “I need a fun character to allow me to explore different locales and different adventures.” Her character sprung from a desire simply to travel, drawing-wise, through different settings. I don’t think of her individually, I think of her as part of a puzzle with the other characters and the setting of the story.

 

Were you particularly interested in that place and time?
Not initially. If you had approached me several years ago and said, “make a comic set in Turkey of 1807,” I would have probably dismissed the suggestion.

I started out with an interest in Europe of the Napoleonic Wars, fuelled by reading a lot of Hornblower and Sharpe novels. I started researching the histories of the Venus de Milo and the Elgin Marbles, the major drama of which seems to have occurred at a relatively similar time (1810s-1830s, if I recall correctly). I think reading up on those things led me to western travel illustrations from what was at the time considered “the orient.” I think that led to a couple of drawings, just exploring some ideas, and next thing you know I was writing a comic set in 19th-century Istanbul. 

 

Did you have to do extensive research to draw the costumes and locations?
I didn’t have to, but I did try to be as accurate and respectful as possible. Sometimes I feel compelled by the requirements of one scene or another to go out and look for a specific costume or bit of architecture, and sometimes I try to take note of particularly appealing settings that I encounter during research and use those where I can. I have a genuine personal interest in a lot of the things that surround Delilah Dirk and her setting, so I’m always ingesting things from the library or on the internet and making notes when something seems important.

I find it’s easy for me to get stuck thinking that I need to accomplish a specific bit of research before I continue with a specific story element, but sometimes the work’s just gotta get done, and in the end the readers are there for the story of the characters. Sometimes the historical details just aren’t as important as they might feel. For me, as long as I’m not making any gross cultural faux pas, I feel pretty comfortable. But then, I also have a flying sailboat in there, so maybe that calibrates the reader to a different level of expectation.

Delilah Dirk Chapter 1 interior

The comic looks amazing, but the back-and-forth between Delilah and Selim is also a joy. Was it fun to write?
Absolutely. It’s one of my favourite parts of the process, and for me, bad dialogue is absolutely a deal-breaker. If the dialogue isn’t believable, it really ruins my enjoyment of a book/movie etc. This is why my enthusiasm for video games has been waning lately, I think. All that powerful technology and they still can’t write a line of dialogue.

Some people (ahem, Robert McKee) downplay the importance of dialogue, and I get their point. If a writer gets distracted by the nitty gritty of the dialogue, he or she can potentially lose track of what’s importantthe development of the story. So the recommendation is that you write your story without writing dialogue, so you can focus on the motivations within your characters and how it makes the story flow. Fair enough. 

On the other hand, assuming that same writer is willing to be diligent about critiquing and editing their story, why not go have some fun with the dialogue? Anything that gets you excited about moving forward in your writinganything that keeps you typing away at the keys and keeps things moving forwardthat’s a good thing. Maybe you’ll have to excise that really clever line of dialogue later, because it doesn’t necessarily help the story. But maybe it also adds levity or drama, texture and colour to a scene, and that has its own value. Discipline and efficiency are good, but sometimes you just have to have fun with it. Whether it works to help the end product or not, well, that’s why you need trustworthy test readers.

 

Delilah Dirk started as a webcomic. Was it important to you to see it in print as a graphic novel?
The Turkish Lieutenant was, indeed, first unleashed upon the public in the form of an online comic. I had always intended the book to be read as a book, though. That was my first priorityputting it online was just a way for me to gauge a public reaction to it. I needed to know whether I was doing something that might have wide appeal or whether I was working on something that was truly a vanity project. Considering how long a graphic novel takes to make, this would be an important factor when considering if I’d like to work on a second DD book.

 

How is drawing for the web different?
If I were designing the comic specifically for the web, I would like to take advantage of some of the medium’s strengths, like the infinite scroll, animated features, or interactive things. For better or worse, though, I like real, actual books too much to commit to making a comics exclusively for the web. Maybe someday, but for DD my preference will always be for paper, so I will continue to design it that way.

 

Who are some of cartooning heroes?

I grew up reading Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes almost religiously. He’s had a huge influence on me in many ways, not the least of which is my taste and values when it comes to comics.

I’m also a strong fan of Travis Charest. His draughtsmanship is superb. Not only that, but when I was sixteen years old and I took some of my (admittedly poor) comic pages to a local comic show so that I could get his opinion and advice, he was very polite and encouraging. He made it very clear that I had a lot of work to do, but he did it in a way that made me want to do that work, which is the best effect that advice can have, I think.

 

What comics are you reading now?
There are a few books from First Second that I have an unbiased love for - Dave Roman’s Astronaut Academy series and most recently Lucy Knisely’s Relish. It’s fun to see how far you can make it through Relish without having to get up to get something to eat. Do not read it on an empty stomach.

I also picked up Luke Pearson’s Hilda and the Bird Parade, and it’s spectacular. It’s charming, it has elegant, amusing dialogue, its story is a nice shape, and it delivers a theme effectively without being too heavy-handed about it. It is a very inviting book.

 

Is there a thriving community of cartoonists in Vancouver?
Ha ha, there is definitely a community of cartoonists. Whether it’s thriving or not, well, I’m not the best person to ask. I do know that Ed Brisson’s monthly comic jam is usually very busy. The folks involved with Cloudscape Comics are also doing some really excellent things. They run regular events which are good for comic-makers of all experience levels.

Vancouver also has a strong animation industry, and there’s a lot of overlap between animation folks and comic folks. After all, a lot of the skills are very similar, and comics present a good opportunity for someone who wants to be creatively involved in a narrative format to just be able to do the whole thing themselves. Animation, whether 2D or 3D, really relies on having a whole team to complete the work. With comics, an enterprising individual can present an entire story all by themselves, from start to finish. Novels allow that, too, but an animator tends to be more visually-focused, so comics end up being a better fit. 

 

Who else is doing interesting work right now?
Everyone is! It just depends what you’re interested in.
I like Brandon Graham’s work a lot. Not only does he make good things, but it seems like there are few people in the industry who actually love comics as much as he does. He breathes comics. This has the not-entirely-incidental effect of making him a really good person to consult about what sort of cool new stuff is out there.

Also, not enough North Americans read French comics. Okay, yes, some of that is because they’re in French, and few ever get translated. It’s a real chicken-egg issue. Nevertheless, even if you can’t read French, some of them are just gorgeous to look at. Recently, I’ve been enjoying Fabien Mense’s work on Agito Cosmos; Nicolas Sure’s work in general but specifically on Neverland; basically anything illustrated by Alessandro Barbucci, especially Chosp; and Bastien Vivés work on Polina and Last Man.

Delilah Dirk Chapter 2

When can we expect the next Delilah Dirk adventure?
I’m working hard on a second full-length, full-colour graphic novel. I don’t know what year it’ll land, or what month, but I can say it will probably be a Tuesday. If anyone wants to stay abreast of developments, I’ll be posting regular progress updates in a subsection of my Tumblr, or on my personal or Delilah Dirk-dedicated Twitter feeds.

THANKS TONY!  

Tony Cliff will be signing copies of Delilah Dirk and The Turkish Lieutenant on Friday August 30, 7:00pm-10:00pm at Hot Art Wet City Gallery (2206 Main St, Vancouver BC). 


Love in the Time of Global Warming

by Jocelyne
YA Fiction / August 02, 2013

I count myself among the YA readers tiring quickly of the dystopia trend, so I was suspicious to hear that Francesca Lia Block had jumped on the bandwagon. Fortunately, I needn’t have worried. 

Adding Greek mythology, LGBT themes and her trademark magical realism, Block rewards readers with a haunting apocalyptic novel that (for once) will certainly not be compared to the Hunger Games (in a good way!).

Full disclosure: I am a huge Francesca Lia Block (FLB) fan. From the charmed Weetzie Bat to the disturbing Wasteland, I have always faithfully followed where FLB led.

In this particular journey, we meet Pen (Penelope) in the moments following a devastating earthquake. It’s no accident that our heroine shares the name of Odysseus’s wife. FLB draws heavily from the Odyssey as Pen traverses through a broken and dangerous Los Angeles, desperate to find her family. Along the way she encounters sirens, lotus eaters and a host of other fantastical creatures who now populate the earth.  

Love in the Time of Global Warming certainly contains more accessible prose than some FLB fans may be used to, but with signature echoes of the sweeping poetry we’ve seen in previous novels. The story is punctuated with a healthy dose of violence (how else do you vanquish mythological creatures?!) and some achingly beautiful romance. Readers will also be pleasantly surprised by an all-LGBTQ cast (including the main love interest, who is a transsexual man). A rare and lovely discovery in YA fiction.

For longtime fans of FLB, you will be happy to know that not since Necklace of Kisses has Block delivered style and imagination like that found in Love in the Time of Global Warming. For those invested in magical realism and looking for a beautifully penned adventure, start your FLB journey here.