rgz

readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Watch for It: Egg & Spoon



When a Gregory Maguire book releases, how can you not stop everything and read it? You must for Egg & Spoon. Think of a female, The Prince and the Pauper, intertwined with a fiercely endearing Baba Yaga, searching to save a Firebird and mother Russia, while controlling an ice dragon for the world's survival. By the author of Wicked. Enough said, right?

Here is an epic story for middle-grade, young adults, and adults, and it will be beloved. For the first time, I fell in love with a house with chicken legs.

Within the 475 pages, you'll find language as rich as Saint Petersburg. It is the only point which will give you pause as you relish Maguire's word choice and imagery. Truth beats at the heart of the fairy tale, dabbled with modern references due to Baba Yaga's timelessness. I leave you with Baba speaking to her resident cat.

Baba Yaga snorted. "I look like a woman of a certain age."
"You are," said Mewster.
"Oh, no," said the witch. "I am a woman of every age."

Egg & Spoon
by Gregory Macquire
Candlewick Press, 9/14

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Watch for It: A Blind Spot for Boys



Just back from the ALA Annual Conference where I went on the hunt for co-founder Justina Chen's new ARC. They were completely gone from the Little Brown booth the same day they were displayed. So watch for this one. I happen to know it's quite the hot adventure full of truths that will leave you thinking and inspired!

Here's the description:

Shana has always had a blind spot for boys. Can she trust the one who's right in front of her?
Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it's time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong.
Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don't just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana's interest. Right as she's about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind. Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into none other than Quattro himself. But even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously... Love and loss, humor and heartbreak collide in this new novel from acclaimed author Justina Chen.

A Blind Spot for Boys
by Justina Chen
Little Brown, August 12, 2014

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cover Stories: Coin Heist by Elisa Ludwig

Elisa Ludwig's Coin Heist is out this month, and we had to ask her about that cover! Here she is to share the story:

"I felt very very lucky to be part of the early cover design discussion. We shared some of our favorite covers for books out now, as well as some movie posters and went back and forth. My main input was that I wanted the cover to feel contemporary and fresh, to capture the fun and exciting pace of the story, and to appeal to boys and girls equally. No small feat!

"I got to see four rounds of comps, and it was fascinating to watch the ideas and inspirations evolve. I made some comments and suggestions along the way, but I also acknowledged that even though I have lots of opinions, I'm in the word business and not the image business, so I fully trusted the experts involved to come up with a great solution.

"I saw many 'original' images with different initial concepts. While they all shared a certain minimalist sensibility, some emphasized coins rather than human figures, others a 'plan notebook,' and still others had a tiled floor that represented the Mint at night. It's truly amazing how a seemingly simple design can communicate the plot, the mood, the characters and even the imagined reader of a book.

"When I first saw the final cover, I loved it right away. I'm a sucker for vintage graphics, and I thought the white font, bold green and stark silhouettes really evoked classic mystery/heist book covers while the background suggests the more tech-y, modern element of this particular plan. At the same time the details on the figures are emblematic of the characters in a way that won't limit the reader's imagination. My biggest takeaway: I'm in awe of designers! The silhouettes are an original illustration by Tahnee Gehm.

"I've already gotten a ton of positive feedback (from, it should be noted, both guys and girls). So yeah, I'd say it hit the mark."

Thanks, Elisa! Watch the trailer here!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Watch for It: Jerk California, Mayday, and Aquifer

Hey rgz!

I recently toured with Jonathan Friesen and wanted to introduce you to his writing if you haven't found it yet. His body of work is impressive with Jerk California a recipient of the Schneider Award. I just started it!



Here he is talking about his mysterious, dystopian novel, Aquifer, released from Blink.



Mayday recently released, featuring a female protagonist. Isn't the cover totally evocative?



So there you go, rgz. Check out Jonathan's work. You won't be disappointed! Oh, and if you are going to ALA Annual, we'll be signing at the Blink Booth. We'd love to see you so stop by!

Jerk California
Aquifer
Mayday
by Jonathan Friesen

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

Monday, May 26, 2014

Watch for It: Remnants, Season of Wonder



Just finished Remnants: Season of Wonder by Lisa Bergren and wanted to give rgz a heads up to watch for it. Talk about a fierce female protagonist. Andriana, a gifted Remnant, teamed with her Knight, Ronan, join the elite teen group of Ailith who are charged to heal the world. Set in the future, following the The Great War, the small band goes questing for their rightful leader.

Even as an empath, Andriana doesn't hold back from fighting her own battles. The conflicts are physical, intense, and realistic. The reader has to wonder if Bergren is a kick boxer herself.

Quick quotes that held great meaning to me:

"The road became more a series of unified elements, a path that led us forward rather than a barrage of threatening blocks."

"Every time I give in to concern about tomorrow, even my next hour, I rob this hour, this day of strength, peace."

One note: Andriana visits a society practicing gendercide. Bergren gives the fullest ramifications of the practice. What a complimentary work to my own Firstborn. Want to know more and reach out? Check out It's a Girl movie on Netflix, Instant View.

Can't wait for Remnants: Season of Fire, Jan. 15, 2015!

Remnants: Season of Wonder
by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Blink, 2014

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz