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!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Banned Books Week 2012

Happy Banned Books Week! Let's celebrate intellectual freedom! From the Banned Books Week website:
Banned Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2012 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 30 through October 6. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982. [...] According to the American Library Association, there were 326 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2011, and many more go unreported.
For example: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was #10 on the list of most challenged titles of 2011. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins was #3. For example: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Charlotte's Web, and Winnie-the-Pooh have all been challenged or banned because they include animal characters that use human language. In honor of Banned Books Week's 30th anniversary, ALA has created a timeline of significant banned and challenged books. Attention booksellers and librarians: Get your camcorders ready so that you and your patrons/students can participate in this year's Virtual Read-Out! Learn more about it here and here.

Related Posts at my blog, Bildungsroman:

I Read Banned Books: Celebrating Intellectual Freedom and Literacy

They Tried to Ban This Book Today, or, There's a Sticker on the Cover of This Book - inspired by the challenge of Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson: Too Cool for School?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cover Stories: Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

Matthew Quick is here to talk about the cover of his latest (and incredibly great) novel:

"The idea I pitched for the cover of Boy21 was a shot of Finley and Russ from the neck down. Finley would have been in his team uniform and holding a basketball. Russ would have been in his space costume and holding his makeshift astronaut helmet. I still think that would have been a good cover, but I have to admit that what the designer came up with was much much better. Maybe this is why I am a fiction writer and not a jacket designer!

"When I saw the design, I yelled, 'YES!' Alicia [his wife] came running into my office to see why I was yelling, looked at the image on my computer screen, and said, 'That's so much better than what you pitched them. That cover is amazing! Amazing!' It was a happy day.

 "At one point they changed the photo of Russ, who is depicted on the cover. The photo they swapped in featured an older-looking teen who appeared harder and maybe even menacing. It didn't look like Russ at all. I immediately wrote an e-mail explaining why the original photo captured Russ perfectly. The teen on the cover now has an intensity--especially if you look into his eyes--but he also looks a little vulnerable and as if he would be a complex person. Russ is a very complex character, who is troubled, but is also wise and compassionate and intuitive. I believe there was a meeting regarding which photo to use and, happily, everyone at Little, Brown agreed..."

Read the rest of Matthew's Cover Story on melissacwalker.com.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Diva Delight: Pure Vegan

readergirlz, let's talk food! When I saw this coming from Chronicle Books, I knew I had to check it out. I've been a pescatarian for awhile, so not a vegan, but this collection is accessible, brilliant, and beautiful. As the tag for Pure Vegan says, here are  "70 Recipes for Beautiful Meals and Clean Living." Author Joseph Shuldiner, a non-vegan, delivers. There's no political positioning or religious slant, but rather, wonderful recipes you are encouraged to adapt or change to your own taste.

I love how the work is divided into sections: Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Late Night, and Very Late Night. Each portion is printed on a different muted color. The photography by Emily Brooke Sandor and Joseph Shuldiner is artistry itself. The texture of the paper and cover feels wonderful in your hands.

The encouragement to present food beautifully and use pure, fresh ingredients is easy to act upon. I recently cooked the cover dish, Tomato and Three Bean Salad, for an elegant party. It was hard to decide which dish to share, but I can say, this one was very well received. I can't wait to try more, like Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Soup, Pistachio Olive Oil Cake, and Hazelnut Halvah!

readergirlz, take charge of your diet and health! Pure Vegan will lead the way so easily.

Pure Vegan
by Joseph Shuldiner
photographs by Emily Brooke Sandor and Joseph Shuldiner
Chronicle Books

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

rgz HOST "Better Late Than Never" FORSAKEN Special Edition!

Apologies for the delay, rgz readers - August was a flurry! Without further ado:
You've read her cover story, now here's a shot of author LIsa M. Stasse celebrating her spanking-new novel, THE FORSAKEN!

The event: SCIBA Summer Tea Party
Date: July 22, 2012
The location: Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Book Shop  in La Verne, CA (an awesome indie bookstore that hosts tons of great events)
The details: A really fun gathering of some authors and independent booksellers!
The authors: Lisa M. Stasse (THE FORSAKEN)--that's Lisa, signing above!, Lissa Price (STARTERS), Bethanie Murguia (ZOE GETS READY), Elana Arnold (SACRED), and Scott Speer (IMMORTAL CITY). Scott also directed the recent dance movie STEP UP: REVOLUTION and his girlfriend Ashley Tisdale of High School Musical fame was kind enough to come to the event and listen to all us authors talk about our books.
The pics: The first photo is one of me signing a copy of THE FORSAKEN. The next photo is one of us authors onstage presenting our books. Lissa Price is in the center, and I'm to her left in the photo.
It was a really fun time, with lots of treats (lemonade and finger sandwiches) and books galore! :)

Thanks, Lisa! We're excited to keep the FORSAKEN buzz humming along!