Educator & Discussion Guides from the Sweet Sixteens

Whether you’re a teacher looking for curriculum connections or a book club organizer looking for a new selection with ready-made discussion questions, we have the resources for you! The links below provide direct, free (!!!) access to educator’s guides and discussion questions for a variety of middle grade and young adult titles, all published in 2016.

Middle Grade:

 BFF Bucket List

The BFF Bucket List by Dee Romito

 

 

 

COUNTING THYME

 

Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

 

 

 

THE DISTANCE TO HOME

 

The Distance to Home by Jenn Bishop

 

 

 

Bounders_cvr_LR-2tundra-trials

 

Earth Force Rising (Bounders 1), The Tundra Trials (Bounders 2) by Monica Tesler

 

 

 

Victoria J Coe (FENWAY AND HATTIE)

 

Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe

 

 

 

Finding Perfect Cover

 

Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz

 

 

 

from-the-grave-monster-trilogy-1

 

From The Grave by Cynthia Reeg

 

 

 

Howard Wallace

 

Howard Wallace, P.I. by Casey Lyall

 

 

 

I-AM-DRUMS-R4

 

I Am Drums by Mike Grosso

 

 

 

Last Cherry Blossom_cover (1) (1) (2)

 

The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw

 

 

 

Last-Fifth-Grade

 

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan

 

 

 

PBJ Society

 

The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society by Janet Sumner Johnson

 

 

 

WAR

 

The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez by Robin Yardi

 

 

 

momotaro

 

Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters by Margaret Dilloway

 

 

 

motleyedhighres

 

Motley Education by S.A. Larsen

 

 

 

Lois Sepahban (PAPER WISHES)

 

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

 

 

 

RAT PRINCE

 

The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder

 

 

 

CHARLIE PRICE

 

The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer Maschari

 

 

 

 

Young Adult:

DIG TOO DEEP

 

Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer [second page]

 

 

 

mY KIND OF CRAZY

 

My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul

 

 

 

Phantom Limbs

 

Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner

 

 

 

Underwater

 

Underwater: A Novel by Marisa Reichardt

 

 

 

THE WAY I USED TO BE

 

The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

Printable Release Calendar for April!

Here’s our handy printable release calendar to help you keep track of all the sweet April debuts coming at you soon!

Click here for the April 2016 calendar in .pdf format

calenderApril

Thanks to our printable calendar team: Sarah Alexander,  Jenn Nguyen, Dee Romito, Shari Schwarz, Kathy MacMillan, Randi Pink and Ava Jae!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16th Day Update

Girls_in_the_Moon_Crop jpegGIRLS IN THE MOON

Janet McNally revealed her cover for GIRLS IN THE MOON on February 10, 2016 over on Publishing Crawl.

Phoebe and Luna Ferris haven’t grown up in the spotlight, but that’s only because their mother, Meg, quit her famous band when the girls were small. She hasn’t said much about it since.

Now, Luna has a band of her own, and their still-famous dad hasn’t called in three years. The summer Phoebe turns seventeen, she goes to visit Luna in New York, determined to discover the truth about her family—and herself.

 

 

 

THE BOOMERANG EFFECTTHE BOOMERANG EFFECT

Gordon Jack held the cover reveal for his YA Contemporary, THE BOOMERANG EFFECT on February 10th.

It all started with a harmless prank.

But now high school junior (and resident stoner) Lawrence Barry is one step away from reform school unless he agrees to participate in a mentorship program. His mentee? Spencer Knudsen, a Norwegian exchange student with Spock-like intelligence but with the social skills of the periodic table. Lawrence thinks this is an easy task, but every time he and Spencer are seen together, Lawrence drops a rung or two on the school’s social ladder.

Then disaster strikes—Homecoming Week. When someone dressed as the school Viking mascot starts destroying the fairy tale–inspired floats, all suspicion falls on Lawrence. Add to the mix a demon Goth girl named Zoe, a Renaissance live action role-playing group, an overzealous yearbook editor, and three vindictive chickens, and Lawrence soon realizes that his situation may be a little out of control. But quiet, brilliant Spencer seems to have some answers. In fact, Lawrence is beginning to realize that Spencer may be the one friend he never knew he needed.

A TAIL OF CAMELOTA TAIL OF CAMELOT

Julie Leung revealed the cover for her MG debut A TAIL OF CAMELOT on February 15th on Mr Schu Reads.

Young mouse Calib Christopher dreams of the day when he will become a Knight of Camelot like his father and grandfather before him. For generations, Calib’s family has lived among the mice that dwell beneath the human Knights of the Round Table, defending the castle they all call home. Calib just hopes he will be able to live up to the Christopher name.

Then, on the night of the annual Harvest Tournament, tragedy strikes. The mice suspect the Darklings are behind the vicious sneak attack, but Calib has his doubts, so he sets off on a quest for the truth. Venturing deep into the woods beyond the castle walls, Calib and his friend Cecily discover that a threat far greater than the Darklings is gathering, and human and animal knights alike are in grave danger.

With help from a host of unlikely new allies, including a young human boy named Galahad, Calib must get the Mice of the Round Table and the Darklings to put aside their differences and fight together. Only then will they be strong enough to save Camelot.

Iron Cast_FinalIRON CAST

Destiny Soria revealed her cover for her YA Historical Fantasy IRON CAST over on Pop! Goes the Reader on February 15th.


It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths–whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art–captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite.

When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.

 

 

NEW PUBLICATIONS

Dee RomitoDee Romito, author of THE BFF BUCKET LIST (Aladdin/S&S 2016), will have two middle grade books releasing next year.

ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES (Aladdin/S&S) follows A 12 year-old girl, used to flying around the country for her father’s job, who gets a chance to go to middle school for six weeks and sets out to see what she can accomplish without her VIP status.

SEVEN SIDES TO EVERY STORY (Aladdin/S&S) will be co-written with six other Aladdin authors. A middle grade novel in the format of Love, Actually, Seven Sides to Every Story is told from the perspective of seven different, but intersecting, characters. It takes place over the course of one night and is centered around a middle school dance.

You can add them on your Goodreads TBR lists using the links in this announcement!

CONFERENCES

Amy CookAmy Allgeyer, author of the contemporary YA novel DIG TOO DEEP, will be presenting a workshop on writing for children and teens as part of the Idaho Writer’s Guild Workshop Series in August 2016.

For more information, see http://idahowritersguild.blogspot.com/p/2015-workshop-series.html or www.amyallgeyer.com

 

 

 

Melissa GorzelanczykMELISSA GORZELANCZYK, author of the YA novel ARROWS, will be appearing at NoVaTEEN Book Festival in Arlington, VA, on March 5, 2016. http://novateenbookfestival.tumblr.com/

 

 

 

BEHIND THE PAGESAva Jae (BEYOND THE RED)
Janet Sumner Johnson (THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY)
Kathy MacMillan (SWORD AND VERSE)
Laura Shovan (THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY)
are joining forces for a March book tour that includes panels and presentations at the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators MD/DE/WV Regional Conference on March 19 and 20 and appearances at several schools, libraries, and bookstores in the area.

REVIEWS

26150590Peter Brown Hoffmeister’s THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOU LAUGH earned a starred review from Kirkus on February 1, 2016:

It’s one tough summer in Eugene, Oregon, for Travis and his friends, “good kids with rough lives,” as Travis’ basketball coach calls them. Travis’ friend Natalie says, “This is the part where you laugh. You just have to. When things are so shitty that there’s nothing you can do, there’s no other way to react.” And the problems do pile up. Travis lives in a trailer park with his grandparents, and his grandmother is dying of cancer; his mother is a homeless heroin addict. Natalie has reason not to trust her new stepfather. Travis breaks his ribs jumping off a bridge, and his friend Malik is stabbed during a pickup basketball game. Yet the story never feels heavy or melodramatic. What might seem didactic in lesser hands feels realistic and right here. Messages are delivered in natural dialogue, the well-drawn characters speaking from the heart with wisdom derived from firsthand experience. “We keep working. We keep trying. ‘Cause fuck everyone else, you know? We just do what we do…. We keep trying hard.” And plenty of humor leavens the tale: Travis releases two 4-foot caimans into the local pond and pees on a racist neighbor’s steps, and Malik writes “dirty love letters” that Travis’ grandmother reads and loves. Travis and feisty Natalie are there for each other, and teen readers will identify with them. Travis and Natalie are white; Malik is black; poverty and love connect them. A memorable story of good kids transcending rough lives. (Fiction. 14 & up)

 

Cheryl Blackford is thrilled that her MG historical fiction novel LIZZIE AND THE LOST BABY received a fabulous review in the Wall Street Journal on the same day that over 70 people attended her launch party at The Red Balloon Bookstore in St. Paul, Minnesota (when the windchill was -25 degrees)! You can read the full WSJ review here.

WAR

Robin Yardi had three great recent reviews for THE MIDNIGHT WAR OF MATEO MARTINEZ:

“Hooray! Booklist calls Robin Yardi’s #MGdebut, “an imaginative backyard adventure with light touches of fantasy.” http://www.booklistonline.com/The-Midnight-War-of-Mateo-Martinez-Robin-Yardi/pid=7791989

“Yes!! @PublishersWkly calls @RobinEggWrites‘s #MGdebut, THE MIDNIGHT WAR OF MATEO MARTINEZ, “an entertaining story!” http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4677-8306-4

“THE MIDNIGHT WAR OF MATEO MARTINEZ by @TheSweet16s author @RobinEggWrites gets a ⭐ from @KirkusReviews!!! https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/robin-yardi/the-midnight-war-of-mateo-martinez/

 

WEBSITES & RECOGNITIONS

Laura Shovan has a new website and blog. She’ll be running a daily write-along in February. This year’s theme is Found Objects. Anyone can participate on a drop-in basis. Poetry and prose are welcome.

Diana Gallagher’s contemporary young adult novel, LESSONS IN FALLING, was selected as one of the most anticipated 2016 releases by the Barnes and Noble teen blog.

FOREIGN RIGHTS:

SWORD AND VERSE by Kathy MacMillan will be published in German by Beltz.

CONTESTS

Consider-fan-art-flyer-webKristy Acevedo, author of YA sc-fi, CONSIDER has two amazing contests happening now.

Goodreads ARC giveaway–10 CONSIDER ARCs available! Win a chance to read it before everyone else. Ends March 6, 2016.

Jolly Fish Press is hosting a Fan Art Contest based on one of three passages of CONSIDER. Fabulous prizes! Ends March 31, 2016.

 

 

The Sweet Sixteens at ALA Midwinter

MW-Reg-slideMany of our members will be on hand at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting this weekend in Boston!  Here’s where to find them:

Saturday, January 9

9:00 AM-10:00 AM: Evangeline Denmark will be signing CURIO at the HarperCollins Booth (#2017)

11:00 AM: Monica Tesler, author of BOUNDERS, will be participating in a Middle Grade Fantasy Panel and Signing at the Pop Top Stage

1:30 PM-2:30 PM: Kathy MacMillan will be giving out SWORD AND VERSE swag and signing MORE STORYTIME MAGIC and her other storytime resource books at the ALA Store

1:30 PM-3:00 PM: Amy Allgeyer (DIG TOO DEEP), Elizabeth Briggs (FUTURE SHOCK), and Dana Elmendorf (SOUTH OF SUNSHINE) will be signing ARCs at the Albert Whitman Booth (#1922)

All day: Kristy Acevedo will be offering signed CONSIDER swag.  Find her on the exhibits floor!

Sunday, January 10

11:00 AM: Marieke Nijkamp, author of THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, will be participating in the We Need Diverse Books Panel at the Pop Top Stage

11:00 AM: Jennifer Mason-Black will be signing ARCs of DEVIL AND THE BLUEBIRD at the Abrams booth (#1825)

1:00 PM: Riley Redgate will be signing ARCs of SEVEN WAYS WE LIE at the Abrams booth (#1825)

11:00 AM: Emily Skrutskie will be signing ARCs of THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US at the Flux Booth (#2041)

4:00 PM: Elizabeth Briggs (FUTURE SHOCK), Dana Elmendorf (SOUTH OF SUNSHINE), Emily Martin (THE YEAR WE FELL APART), and Roshani Chokshi (THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN)  will be participating in a Class of 2k16 Panel at the Pop Top Stage

Monday, January 11

11:00 AM: Emily Skrutskie will be discussing THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US at the Pop Top Stage

 

16th Day Update: 16 Days until 2016!

CaptureThree Sweet Sixteeners Appeared On The Winter 2015-2016 Kids’ Indie Next List: Marisa Reichardt, Lois Sepahaban and Marieke Nijkamp!

The list is based on recommendations by independent booksellers.

It is comprised of titles publishing from November 1, 2015-January 31, 2016.

 

UnderwaterTop 10

Marisa Reichardt, Underwater (#6)

(Macmillan/FSG, January 12, 2016)

Marisa’s debut was featured at #6

 

Lois Sepahban (PAPER WISHES)For Ages 9-12

Lois Sepahaban, Paper Wishes

(Macmillan/FSG, January 5, 2016)

 

 

Add to Goodreads

For Teens

Marieke Nijkamp, This is Where It Ends

(Sourcebooks Fire, January 5, 2016)

 

News Around Town:

Laura Shovan, author of the MG novel THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY, has been named the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society’s Writer in Residence for 2015-2016. Laura will be conducting poetry workshops in 13 local high schools. You can read more about the program in the Baltimore Sun.
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Kathleen Glasgow, author of the YA novel, GIRL IN PIECES, wrote a “Book to Movie: Who Will Bring My Characters to Life?” for literary blog ReadWriteLove . See who would be perfect for Charlie on the big screen!

In other major news, foreign rights for GIRL IN PIECES have recently been sold to Brazil and Czechslovakia. Audio rights for GIRL IN PIECES and a second book have been sold to Random Houses’s Listening Library. Audio for GIRL IN PIECES will be released simultaneously with the hardback on Sept. 27, 2016.

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Kathy MacMillan (Sword and Verse, HarperTeen, January 19, 2016) was recently featured at the Pub(lishing) Crawl blog dishing out advice for authors about working with public libraries.  Part 1 and  Part 2

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5 Sweet Sixteens will be featured authors at the NOVA Teen Book Festival in Arlington, VA on March 5, 2016.

Jeff Garvin (The Symptoms of Being Human, Balzer + Bray, February 2, 2016)

Melissa Gorzelanczyk (Arrows, Random House, January 26, 2016)

Kathy MacMillan (Sword and Verse, HarperTeen, January 19, 2016)

Janet B. Taylor (Into the Dim, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 1, 2016)

Kelly Zekas (These Vicious Masks, Swoon Reads, February 09, 2016)

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And so many 2016 debut covers to love…

THE READERTHE READER by Traci Chee

Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is viciously murdered, she flees to the forest with her aunt Nin, the only person left whom she can depend on. They live their lives on the run in the wilderness, forever searching the shadows for threats. Nin’s always tried to protect Sefia, teaching her how to hunt, track, and steal, giving her the skills she’ll need to stay alive.

But when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia is suddenly completely alone, and nothing she’s learned can help her find out who’s taken Nin and what else they might be after. Her only clue is a strange rectangular item that once belonged to her father—which may unlock the secrets to his murder and Nin’s disappearance.

Though reading is unheard-of in her world, Sefia discovers that the curious object is a book, and a precious one at that. With the help of this book, and the aid of an enigmatic stranger with secrets of his own, Sefia is determined to rescue her aunt and uncover just what happened the day her father was killed.

 

DIG TOO DEEPDIG TOO DEEP by Amy Allgeyer

 

With her mother facing prison time for a violent political protest, seventeen-year-old Liberty Briscoe has no choice but to leave her Washington, DC, apartment and take a bus to Ebbottsville, Kentucky, to live with her granny. There she can finish high school and put some distance between herself and her mother– her ‘former’ mother, as she calls her.

But Ebbottsville isn’t the same as Liberty remembers, and it’s not just because the top of Tanner’s Peak has been blown away to mine for coal. Half the county is out of work, an awful lot of people in town seem to be sick, and the tap water is bright orange–the same water that officials claim is safe to drink. When Granny’s lingering cold turns out to be something much worse, Liberty is convinced the mine is to blame, and starts an investigation that quickly plunges her into a world of secrets, lies, threats, and danger.

Liberty isn’t deterred by any of it, but as all her searches turn into dead ends, she comes to a difficult decision: turn to violence like her former mother or give up her quest for good.

 

South of SunshineSOUTH OF SUNSHINE by Dana Elmendorf

What is Kaycee willing to risk for the sake of love?
And what will she risk for acceptance?

In Sunshine, Tennessee, the main event in town is Friday night football, the biggest party of the year is held in a field filled with pickup trucks, and church attendance is mandatory. For Kaycee Jean McCoy, life in Sunshine means dating guys she has no interest in, saying only “yes, ma’am” when the local bigots gossip at her mom’s cosmetics salon, and avoiding certain girls at all costs. Girls like Bren Dawson.

Unlike Kaycee, Bren doesn’t really conceal who she is. But as the cool, worldly new girl, nobody at school seems to give her any trouble. Maybe there’s no harm if Kaycee gets closer to her too, as long as she can keep that part of her life a secret, especially from her family and her best friend. But the more serious things get with Bren, the harder it is to hide from everyone else.

Kaycee knows Sunshine has a darker side for people like her, and she’s risking everything for the chance to truly be herself.

 

EMERGEEMERGE by Tobie Easton

Lia Nautilus may be a Mermaid but she’s never lived in the ocean. War has ravaged the seven seas ever since the infamous Little Mermaid unleashed a curse that stripped Mer of their immortality. Lia has grown up in a secret community of land-dwelling Mer hidden among Malibu’s seaside mansions. Her biggest problems are surviving P.E. and keeping her feelings for Clay Ericson in check. Sure, he’s gorgeous in that cocky, leather jacket sort of way and makes her feel like there’s a school of fish swimming in her stomach, but getting involved with a human could put Lia’s entire community at risk.

So it’s for the best that he’s dating that new girl, right? That is, until Lia finds out she isn’t the only one at school keeping a potentially deadly secret. And this new girl? Her eyes are dead set on Clay, who doesn’t realize the danger he’s in. If Lia hopes to save him, she’ll have to get closer to Clay. Lia’s parents would totally flip if they found out she was falling for a human boy, but the more time she spends with him, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings.

After making a horrible mistake, Lia will risk everything to stop Clay from falling in love with the wrong girl.

Print STICKS AND STONES by Abby Cooper

Ever since she was a baby, the words people use to describe Elyse have instantly appeared on her arms and legs.

At first it was just “cute” and “adorable,” but as she’s gotten older and kids have gotten meaner, words like “loser” and “pathetic” appear, and those words bubble up and itch.

And then there are words like “interesting,” which she’s not really sure how to feel about.

Now, at age twelve, she’s starting middle school, and just when her friends who used to accept and protect her are drifting away, she receives an anonymous note saying “I know who you are, and I know what you’re dealing with. I want to help.”

As Elyse works to solve the mystery of who is sending her these notes, she also finds new ways to accept who she is and to become her best self.

Top Sixteen: Author Nightmares

derelict-window

1. SOMETHING’S MISSING: the launch is planned, the cover is fantastic, the publisher is all ready to go….except you completely and totally forgot to write the book!

2. You’re all set for the launch date, and the morning of you wake up and realize…IT WAS ALL A DREAM. You haven’t sold your book and there are three rejections waiting in your email box.

3. You’ve been anxiously awaiting the day for months, and finally it’s here. You open up your box of ARCs only to find that the publisher has put in not your professional author photo, but an image they found of you by Google image searching your name . . . and it’s from your crazy antics in college.

Continue reading

Meet the Author: Amy Allgeyer

Amy AllgeyerAmy Allgeyer was born in Kentucky and grew up in North Carolina. The youngest of seven kids, she dreamed of being a writer since she learned to make her letters face the right way. She now lives in Idaho with her brilliant son, a feral house cat, and a fake owl named Alan. As an architect, she spends her days remodeling historic homes and hopes eventually to find a secret passageway to…anywhere.

Amy’s debut novel, DIG TOO DEEP (Albert Whitman, Spring 2016), is a Young Adult contemporary. Pitched as an Erin Brockovich story set in coal country, 17-year-old Liberty is sent to live with her grandmother in Kentucky after her mother is arrested during a protest.

Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: All of them.
  • Childhood aspiration: Veterinarian/Flight Attendant/President of the USA/Writer/Architect.
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: Whenever the inspiration hits.
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: THE RAVEN BOYS, Maggie Stiefvater (loving it!)
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Soccer, volleyball, shopping, renovating her house. (That does not include cleaning.)
  • Surprising personal fact: She was born with twelve toes–six on each foot.
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: She doesn’t have to wait until 2017!

Where to find her:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Add Book

16th Day Update: It’s Cover Season!

2016 covers reveals are as plentiful as flowers this season. Check out this garden of lovely!

Firsts CoverFIRSTS

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn debuted her celebrated cover for FIRSTS with help from YA Highway on June 16th.

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she  is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

THE WAY I USED TO BETHE WAY I USED TO BE

Amber Smith’s beautifully explosive cover for THE WAY I USED TO BE was debuted on SimonTeen’s Tumblr on June 17th.

In the tradition of SPEAK, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young  woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault.

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved–who she once loved–she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. Ah she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts–freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year–this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendship broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

Girl from EverywhereTHE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE

Heidi Heilig’s gorgeous cover for THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE was revealed on June 19th over at YA Books Central.

Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end.

The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman. Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time.

But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

Shallow GravesSHALLOW GRAVES

The wonderfully creeptastic cover for Kali Wallace’s SHALLOW GRAVES was revealed courtesy of Epic Reads on June 22nd.

Breezy remembers leaving the party, the warm, wet grass under her feet, her cheek still stinging from a slap to the face. But when she wakes up, scared and pulling dirt from her mouth, a year has passed and she can’t explain the necklace of bruises around her neck. She also can’t explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch. Returning home seems impossible. Her parents and sisters have clearly grieved and struggled to move on, and Breezy can’t begin to answer their inevitable questions. Her heartbeat comes and goes, she doesn’t need to eat or drink, she can see the inky memories of murderers, and she can somehow pull on this dark guilt to kill them.

Haunted by the happy memories from her life and disgusted by the half-dead creature she’s become, Breezy embarks on a reckless quest to find answers and a dangerous healing magic…but the cure is as dark and terrible as the disease. Set in a gorgeous, terrifying world, Shallow Graves is a stunning novel about the heartbreaking trauma of a girl’s life cut short and her struggle to reconcile her humanity with the creature she’s become.

Symptoms_CoverSYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN

Jeff Garvin revealed the brilliantly thought-provoking cover for SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN on June 22nd over at YA Books Central.

The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is . . . Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender-fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

Assassins HeartTHE ASSASSIN’S HEART

The intense and lovely cover for ASSASSIN’S HEART by Sarah Ahiers was revealed on June 23rd by Epic Reads.

In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family.

Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay. With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.

newbirdBURNING GLASS

Kathryn Purdie revealed her gorgeous cover for the YA fantasy BURNING GLASS on June 24th over at Epic Reads.

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer. Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself. As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray. BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.

A STUDY IN CHARLOTTEA STUDY IN CHARLOTTE

Brittany Cavallaro revealed her beautiful cover for A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE on June 25th on Epic Reads.

The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

Sword And VerseSWORD AND VERSE

Kathy MacMillan had her captivating cover reveal for SWORD AND VERSE on June 25th.

Raisa was only a child when she was kidnapped and enslaved in Qilara. Forced to serve in the palace of the king, she’s endured hunger, abuse, and the harrowing fear of discovery: everyone knows she is Arnath, but not that Raisa is a Learned One, a part of an Arnath group educated in higher order symbols. In Qilara, this language is so fiercely protected that only the King, the Prince, and Tutors are allowed to know it. So when the current Tutor-in-training is executed for sharing the guarded language with slaves, and Raisa is chosen to replace her, Raisa knows that—although she may have a privileged position among slaves—any slip-up could mean death. That would be challenging enough, but training alongside Prince Mati could be her real undoing. And when a romance blossoms between them, she’s suddenly filled with a dangerous hope for something she never before thought possible: more. Then she’s propositioned by the Resistance—an underground army of slaves—to help liberate the Arnath people.  Joining the rebellion could mean freeing her people…but she’d also be aiding in the war against her beloved—an honorable man that she knows wants to help the slaves. Working against the one she loves—and a palace full of deadly political renegades—has some heady consequences.

The Mystery of Hollow PlacesTHE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES

Rebecca Podos revealed her haunting cover for THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES on June 26th with YA Book Central.

All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters. When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn’t come back.

Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of her father’s books to track down a woman she’s never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life. Rebecca Podos’ debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us – the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.

THE SERPENT KINGTHE SERPENT KING

Jeff Zentner revealed his amazingcover for THE SERPENT KING on June 30th on Publishing Crawl.

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life–at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, as he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and his very pubic fall from grace.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Then end of high school will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is happy where his is thanks to his obsession with the epic book series Bloodfall and the fangirl who may be turning his harsh reality into real-life fantasy. But Dill’s only escape is his music and his secret feelings for Lydia–neither of which his is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, Dill must cope with another ending–one which will rock his life to the core.

Secrets-of-the-dragon-tombSECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB

Patrick Samphire introduced his fantastic MG adventure cover for THE SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB to the world on July 2nd.

Mars in 1816 is a world of high society, deadly danger, and strange clockwork machines.

Twelve-year-old Edward Sullivan wants to become a spy like the ones he reads about in his favorite magazine, Thrilling Martian Tales, but he’s far too busy keeping his eccentric family from disaster. All of that is about to change. In the north, great dragon tombs hide marvels of Ancient Martian technology, and the villainous archaeologist Sir Titus Dane is determined to loot one.

When Sir Titus kidnaps Edward’s parents, Edward, his sisters, and their mysterious cousin set off in pursuit across the Martian wilderness. Together they must battle Sir Titus’s minions, dodge hungry pterodactyls, and escape fearsome Martian hunting machines in order to rescue Edward’s parents and uncover the secrets of the dragon tomb.

SUFFER LOVESUFFER LOVE

Ashley Herring Blake held her cover reveal for the very lovely SUFFER LOVE on July 7th with help from Jen over at Pop! Goes the Reader.

Seventeen-year old Hadley St. Clair’s life changed the day she came home to a front door covered in slips of paper, each of them shouting the ugly truth about her father and his year-long affair. Now, Hadley just wants her father to leave her alone. In fact, she wants everyone to stop expecting her to slip back into her old life, where a father is someone she can trust and romance is something that happens to real people, not just to characters in fairy tales. She knows how to handle herself – trust no one and feel nothing. She falls into a steady routine of ignoring her parents and messing around with nameless boys who help her forget.

Then she meets Sam, the new boy with a broken family and a little sister who adores him. Despite her efforts to shut him out, something in Sam feels familiar and even exciting. She might be willing to take a risk for a guy like him. Sam wants Hadley just as much as she wants him, even though he knows he shouldn’t. Because Sam has a secret that could ruin everything; a secret he’s been keeping since the day somebody taped dozens of papers to the St. Clair’s front door.

HOW IT ENDS IIHOW IT ENDS

Catherine Lo revealed her drama-promising cover for HOW IT ENDS on July 7th over at YA Books Central.

How it begins…

“You’re in my English class, right?” I almost checked behind me to make sure she wasn’t talking to someone else.

How it unravels…

“You can be my best friend without being my only friend.” er words were knives raked along my skin. I could hear the goodbye in every syllable.

How it Ends.

Why should I keep her secrets when she didn’t keep mine? All it would take was one little click and a carefully worded message.

How it Ends is an honest, heart-wrenching tale of a friendship from first meeting to breakup. Told through alternating points of view, it is about two best friends’ tumultuous sophomore year of bullying, boys and backstabbing and what can happen when friends choose assumptions and fear over each other.

Last-Fifth-GradeTHE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY

Laura Shovan revealed her inspiring MG cover for THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY on July 7th over on 100 Scope Notes.

Eighteen kids,
one year of poems,
one school set to close.

Two yellow bulldozers
crouched outside,
ready to eat the building
in one greedy gulp.

But look out, bulldozers.
Ms. Hill’s fifth-grade class
has plans for you.

They’re going to speak up
and work together
to save their school.

This engaging novel is a time capsule of one class’s poems during a transformative chhool year. The students grow up and move on in this big-hearted debut about finding your voice and making sure others hear it.

LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE USLIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US

Ami Allen-Vath debuted her promtastic cover for LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US on YA Books Central on July 8th.

Keep calm and make it to prom night—without a legit panic attack.

For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it’s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High.

When Bree’s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can’t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.

With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents’ divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast—as a party of one.

THE ART OF NOT BREATHINGTHE ART OF NOT BREATHING

Sarah Alexander revealed the breathtaking cover for THE ART OF NOT BREATHING on July 7th over on YA Interrobang.

Things I know about that day:
1. Mum was at home making our chocolate birthday cake.
2. Dillon was swimming with the dolphins.
3. Eddie and I were wading close to shore.
4. One minute Eddie was there, and then he was gone.

Elsie Main lost her brother to the ocean when she was 11. Elsie has spent the last five years trying to remember what really happened that day – but when a boy named Tay introduces her to free diving, Elsie realizes that the answers she’s looking for may be at the bottom of the sea.

THE ART OF NOT BREATHING will hit shelves this spring from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. To tide you over, the team at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has given us a snippet from chapter eight to share with you.

9780803739260_NearlyGone_JKT.inddCROSSING THE LINE

Meghan Rogers debuted her spytastic cover for CROSSING THE LINE on July 9th. Can you say Jason Bourne meets James Bond–but with a female protagonist!

When Jocelyn Steely was kidnapped by a North Korean spy agency, she was only a little girl. Young. Scared. Powerless.

Now, ten years later, she’s a ruthless assassin, determined to escape her kidnappers and take down North Korea and their spy agency forever. But when she makes it to US soil, she finds that not everyone believes her story. Will she be able to get the Americans to trust her? Or will the North Koreans discover her deception before she has a chance? In this life-or-death action-packed spy thriller, Meghan Rogers creates a teen girl character whose toughness, intelligence and determination rival Jason Bourne, Sydney Bristow and James Bond. This is the first novel in the Raven Files series.

UPDATES

Amy Allgeyer’s DIG TOO DEEP has a new publication date of April 1st, 2016.  In Kentucky coal country, Liberty Briscoe uncovers a deadly truth that some would rather keep buried

Top 16 List: Sixteen Author Outlaws

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Feeling shackled by what authors are told we MUST and MUST NOT do? Things like “never respond to reviews”, or “maintain a constant online presence” or “sell a million books all by yourself prior to the release date or your career is doomed” ?  Then feast your eyes on a rogues gallery of Author Outlaws…the ones who dared to defy the rules!

Outlaw #1:  Not on Twitter. Not on Pinterest. Doesn’t care.

Outlaw #2:  Called her copyeditor anonymously at 2 a.m. to demonstrate that you can, indeed, “breathe” dialogue.

Outlaw#3:  Freely admits he wrote his runaway bestselling picture book Look at the Pretty, Pretty Flowers on his iPhone at his sister’s wedding after his second bottle of champagne.

Outlaw #4: Plans to argue online with anyone who gives her book a bad review.

Outlaw #5: Her book opens with a prologue where the main character wakes up and looks in the mirror.

Outlaw #6: Writes children’s books; is actually terrified of children.

Outlaw #7: Surprise! The whole book was a dream!

Outlaw #8: Don’t tell her agent, but her secret WIP is: #$*?&@: A Preschooler’s Dictionary of Swear Words.

Outlaw #9: Ever since his divorce, puts his phone number next to his name at book signings.

Outlaw #10: Her latest book, The Squashing of the Vermin, features characters whose names are suspiciously the same as boys from her past.

Outlaw #11: Wrote a book about learning to respect your elders, and her grandchildren illustrated it. When it sells, she’ll use the advance to build a new library.

Outlaw #12: Exclusively writes main characters and love interests with bluish-purplish-green-gray eyes.

Outlaw #13: Has decided to spend 99% of her advance on attending one writers’ conference, staying in the penthouse suite at the conference hotel and ordering the in-room chef dining service every night by herself.

Outlaw #14: Writes numerous blog posts and tweets shouting “always be writing the next book!” but has been working on the second book forEVER yet always has time to watch the latest hyped series on Netflix.

Outlaw #15: In downtime, works on a filthy, profanity-filled picture book, and sends it to his agent with a ten-point missive explaining exactly why he believes this will sell.  Never admits to it being a joke.

Outlaw #16: Googles the latest-selling trends to ensure a quick sale for book two. Can’t decide on which trend to write, so he decides to make book two a fanfic of a fanfic he read about on someone’s fanfic blog.

Contributors:  Bridget Hodder, Sarah Ahlers, Ami Allen-Vath, Amy Allgeyer, Brooks Benjamin, Victoria Coe, Kurt Dinan, Emily Henry, and Lee Gjertsen Malone