Since I don’t have anything else to say this month (summer’s not quite over, even if the girls are back in school, since we’re still hitting 100 degree temps. *sigh* On the upside: there’s a good chance we’ll break the all-time record for number of 100 degree days in a year. It’s currently at 50, set in 1936.), I want to spread the word about the call for CYBILs judges. They’re looking for bloggers interested in and passionate about kidlit, from picture books on up. People who are willing to read, talk and think about the books that are nominated, as well as work with a team to come up with short-lists that are both literary and kid-friendly (the kid-friendly being the important part.)
New this year, interestingly enough: all the YA Science Fiction/Fantasy nominations need to be available in electronic form, something which I find both intimidating and intriguing. (Maybe it’s time I get myself an e-reader?) Also, there’s a new category for apps, for all of you with iPods and iPads.
It’s a lot of work being on the panels (talking from experience here, since I’ve been on the Middle Grade Fiction panel for the past three years), but it’s also a TON of fun. I wouldn’t trade being part of the experience for anything. Everything you need to know about applying you can find here. The deadline is September 15th.
And now, for this months jacket flaps…
Unwind (Simon & Schuster): “In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called “unwinding.” Unwinding ensures that the child’s life doesn’t “technically” end by transplanting all the organs in the child’s body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound. With breath-taking suspense, this book follows three teens who all become runaway Unwinds: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents’ tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing. As their paths intersect and lives hang in the balance, Shusterman examines serious moral issues in a way that will keep readers turning the pages to see if Connor, Risa, and Lev avoid meeting their untimely ends.”
I like that this copy gives you enough background to get into the story, but actually doesn’t tell you anything about what happens to our characters. Nice balance.
Thomas the Rhymer (Spectra): “Award-winning author and radio personality Ellen Kushner’s inspired retelling of an ancient legend weaves myth and magic into a vivid contemporary novel about the mysteries of the human heart. Brimming with ballads, riddles, and magical transformations, here is the timeless tale of a charismatic bard whose talents earn him a two-edged otherworldly gift. A minstrel lives by his words, his tunes, and sometimes by his lies. But when the bold and gifted young Thomas the Rhymer awakens the desire of the powerful Queen of Elfland, he finds that words are not enough to keep him from his fate. As the Queen sweeps him far from the people he has known and loved into her realm of magic, opulence—and captivity—he learns at last what it is to be truly human. When he returns to his home with the Queen’s parting gift, his great task will be to seek out the girl he loved and wronged, and offer her at last the tongue that cannot lie.”
It gives a nod to the tale, and talks about the themes of the book. I do like a bit more plot hints in my copy, but honestly: this one is hard to sum up. The writer did an admirable job with what they had.
Fly Trap (HarperCollins): “Having barely escaped the revolution they had a huge (if accidental) part in causing, sharp-eyed orphan Mosca Mye; her guard goose, Saracen; and their sometimes-loyal companion, the con man Eponymous Clent, must start anew. All too quickly, they find themselves embroiled in fresh schemes and twisting politics as they are trapped in Toll, an odd town that changes its entire personality as day turns to night. Mosca and her friends attempt to fend off devious new foes, subvert old enemies, prevent the kidnapping of the mayor’s daughter, steal the town’s Luck, and somehow manage to escape with their lives—and hopefully a little money in their pockets. In the eagerly awaited sequel to Fly by Night, acclaimed storyteller Frances Hardinge returns to a vivid world rich with humor, danger, and discovery.”
I love how this one not only makes a reference to the first book in the series, but also manages to make everything that goes on in the book sound exciting (well, it is). Excellent at drawing the reader in.
Other books read this month:
Inside Out and Back Again
One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street
Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials
The Cross Gardener
Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses
My Side of the Mountain
The Summer Before Boys