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!

2010, Archive

October, 2010

Lips Touch by Laini Taylor 
Lips Touch by Laini Taylor
Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls.

Goblin Fruit: In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?
Spicy Little Curses: A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.
Hatchling: Six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once.
          Download this month's bookmark.

          National Book Award finalist
YALSA Top Ten Books for Young Adults
"Masterful, elegant work." - Publishers Weekly, starred review
Publishers Weekly, Best Children's Books of 2009
CYBILS finalist
Laini Taylor Things to Know
On the nightstand: Anna & the French Kiss (ARC) by Stephanie Perkins;Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman; two travel guidebooks to Tahiti, because *dream dream*

Favorite drink while you write: A "depth charge" -- large coffee plus espresso.

Favorite bookstores: The universe that is Powell's City of Books

Favorite library: Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon

Pets: Sadly, we lost our two long-time dog companions in the past three years (to old age) and are currently petless.

Place to write: The café where I wrote my new book closed its doors TODAY. Without warning. I'm out on the street! Need to audition new cafés soon.

Inspiration: All the weird stuff people have believed throughout history.

Dream book tour: By gypsy caravan with my favorite writers, stopping overnight in castles and haunted monasteries.

Writer buddies: Stephanie Perkins whose debut Anna & the French Kiss is out this fall (yay!) and my super-talented Portland writer friends: LK Madigan, Lisa Schroeder, Suzanne Young, Christine Fletcher, Bridget Zinn, and April Henry.

Cure for writer's block: Brainstorming and freewriting. Bowls of cereal at midnight. Cute new notebooks.

Favorite outfit: Polka dot waitress dress with platform shoes
Laptop or longhand? Laptop. It's friendlier to my psychotic ceaseless revision tendencies.

Stilettos or Uggs? Platforms. I am doomed to stumble while being chased by zombies.

Author idol: Neil Gaiman, because he can and does do everything (beautifully, always)

Next up: I just finished my new book, Daughter of Smoke & Bone (fall '11). Now: the sequel!

Roundtable: Melissa Walker, Lorie Ann Grover, Enna Isilee, and Little Willow discuss the book Lips Touch.

Read Reflect Reach Out
Body Heart
Body Heart

Read Reflect Reach Out

Body heART is, in their own words, "dedicated to bringing awareness to positive body image. In today's society there is an unrealistic standard of beauty and we intend to shatter that illusion...We believe all of us are walking works of ART that are meant to be celebrated and valued."
Body heART has a photo campaign which features un-retouched images of girls and women of all shapes and sizes. Click here to get involved!
Also check out their videos. Every month, they spotlight a different woman (such as Dollhouse actress Miracle Laurie) celebrating who she is and how she looks. Here's a video featuring a bunch of amazing women:

The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book.

Heartbeats by The Knife
Dear Darkness by PJ Harvey
Plants and Rags by PJ Harvey
Happy and Bleeding by PJ Harvey
Bloodstream by Stateless
E Minor by Other Lives
Euphoric Licks by Maribel
Hell, Fire, and Damnation by Jocelyn Pook
Mirror Image by the Horrors
Evil by The Flaming Lips
The Arrival and the Reunion by Dead Can Dance
Saltarello by Dead Can Dance
Ningal by Vas
Arc of Ascent by Vas

Did you have a favorite story of the three? Why that one?

In each of the stories, characters face consequences for desire. Can you give examples? Whose punishment is the most severe?

Do you believe that in real life, desire is punished? Or is this a contrivance of society to try to trick you into behaving?

If you had to live in one of the stories, which would it be? Why?

In each story the soul is a real, physical thing that can be stolen, restored, smashed to smithereens, cleansed by fire, and otherwise manhandled. Do you believe in the soul?

In Goblin Fruit, Kizzy can't see her own "weird species of beauty" for what it is. Do you think that as we get older, our concept of beauty changes?

In Goblin Fruit, Kizzy wants. Some readers are angry that she doesn't do the safe, "good" thing, but desire is very powerful, isn't it? Do you feel like you are equipped and grounded enough to make safe choices in the face of desire? 

In Spicy Little Curses, James ponders Fate versus Chance. Which do you believe in? 

In Spicy Little Curses, James considers the role that God plays in disasters, and not preventing them. How does religion deal with this issue? How do you deal with it?

In Hatchling, the girl-mothers supposedly left their babies behind. Do you think they would/could do that? What do you think happened to them? 

In Hatchling, the gift of long life is also a curse. Would you want to live for hundreds of years if no one else around you could?

In Hatchling, the Druj have given up their humanity in exchange for other things. What is humanity? What is it that they've given up? What do you think is the nature of humanity?

Party It UP!
Planning your own book group get-together? Here are some party ideas from the author.

Invite: Thick creamy paper, dark red ink, and of course: a lipstick kiss!
Décor: Cemetery chic; picnic blanket on the floor, candles, little etched glasses
Food: Fruit, very ripe; chocolate, very dark; tea, as it is served in Hell
Movies: The Fall (gorgeous, mythic, set all over the world - especially India); The Company of Wolves(1984 gothic fantasy-horror movie of Angela Carter's werewolf stories).
Game: You could play charades in honor of Anamique.w

Postergirlz Suggested Reads

Prowlers quartet by Christopher Golden
- Prowlers
- Laws of Nature
- Predator and Prey
- Wild Things

The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater
- Shiver
- Linger
- The last volume, Forever, will be out in 2011

Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
12 Reasons Why I Love Her by Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love by Pat Mora
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love & Friendship by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Kimberly Kirberger

Recommended by the readergirlz advisory council.

September, 2010

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Scarlett Martin's family owns the Hopewell, a small hotel in the heart of New York City, and Scarlett lives there with her siblings, Spencer, Lola, and Marlene. When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite in the once elegant, now shabby Art Deco hotel. For Scarlett's fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite, and a permanent guest called Mrs. Amberson.

Scarlett doesn't quite know what to make of this C-list starlet who wants to take over her life. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn. Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, and theatrical deceptions. But in the city where anything can happen, she just might be able to pull it off. 

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

In the sequel, Scarlett Fever, Scarlett ends up at the beck and call of a Broadway star (her own age!), dealing with territorial doormen, and walking a small dog with insecurity issues - all while starting her sophomore year at one of New York’s most rigorous high schools.

Meanwhile, her older brother Spencer has become New York City’s most controversial TV villain, her ever-reliable older sister Lola is sliding off the rails, and her younger sister Marlene, most worryingly, has suddenly become . . . nice. But somehow Scarlett will prevail . . . right?

ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2009 (Suite Scarlett)

"Utterly winning, madcap Manhattan farce, crafted with a winking, urbane narrative and tight, wry dialogue." - Booklist, starred review (for Suite Scarlett)

"You'll never want to check out of Suite Scarlett! Maureen Johnson writes with a deft and clever hand. I can't wait until my room at the Hopewell is ready." - Meg Cabot

"Maureen Johnson has a magical writing unicorn in her desk drawer who crafted this delightfully witty, madcap, and thoroughly enchanting tale of love, family, weird hotels, burned food, New York City, DIY theater, and finding yourself where you least expect it. (Unless, of course, MJ is herself a magical writing unicorn, which I have long suspected.)" - Libba Bray

"The sequel measures well above its predecessor . . . the characterizations are a dream." - Kirkus Reviews (for Scarlett Fever)

"Charming, smart, and laugh-out-loud funny, Scarlett Fever is the kind of book you give to your best friend and say, 'Please hurry up and read this, so we can talk about it.'" - Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan a.k.a.The Fug Girls

"Very, very rarely, I read a book that makes me want to live somewhere other than Maine. Even less often, I read a book that makes me want to live somewhere urban. This series falls into both categories - the trials and tribulations of Scarlett Martin make me daydream about living in New York City. Thumbs up, yet again, for Maureen Johnson." - Bookshelves of Doom

Maureen JohnsonThings to Know

On the nightstand: Large pile of books and an ABBA coaster.

Favorite drink while you write: As many as possible. I drink a lot. Hydration, hydration, hydration!

Favorite library: The New York Public Library

Pet: Sadly, I don't have one. I travel a lot. I WOULD LIKE to have about 17 pets and plan to at some point.

Place to write: Not where - with. With my friends.

Dream book tour: We all go to the Caribbean together. Let's make this happen!

Writer buddies: Many. Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, John Green, Libba Bray, Robin Wasserman, Cassie Clare, Holly Black, E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle, Lauren McLaughlin, Ally Carter, Sarah Rees Brennan, David Levithan... I'm missing people. We all know each other. It's like HIGH SCHOOL, but more awesome.

Cure for writer's block: Deadlines, banging head on desk, snacks.

Favorite outfit: Just a simple ball gown. I'm not fancy.

Laptop or longhand? Laptop. I can barely hold a pen anymore.

Stilettos or Uggs? Surely, there are other choices. Like tap shoes.

Other YA novels: The Key to the Golden Firebird, The Bermudez Triangle, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Devilish, Girl at Sea, Let it Snow (with John Green and Lauren Myracle)

Next up: I'll be in the Zombies vs. Unicorns collection coming out in September. The sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Last Little Blue Envelope, is coming out next May. And next fall, I'm launching a NEW MYSTERY/PARANORMAL SERIES I am VERY excited about.

Also check out Maureen's vlog from the day Scarlett Fever was released.

Read Reflect Reach Out

This month's theme is Family. We recently lost a young member of our extended internet family. As posted by John Green on Vlog Brothers:

If you'd like to honor Esther's memory, please visit Friends of Esther, where donations will help Esther's family with expenses related to her care. Checks may be sent to:
Friends of Esther Earl
118 Billings Street
Quincy, MA 02171
You may also make donations in her name:
The HP Alliance
PO Box 441640
West Somerville, MA 02144


The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book.
1. Grace Kelly (Mika)
2. Beautiful Dreamers (Grant Lee Phillips)
3. April Fools (Rufus Wainwright)
4. Nobody Cares (The 88)
5. Who'd Have Known (Lily Allen)
6. Sitting in my Hotel (The Kinks)
7. I Hope I Get It (from A Chorus Line)
8. A Girl's Gotta Do (The Waitresses)
9. Something 4 the Weekend (Super Furry Animals)
10. Of course . . . Dancing Queen (ABBA) 

Suite Scarlett 

1. Scarlett has less money than her friends. Is this an advantage or disadvantage?

2. If you had to hide an entire production of Hamlet, where would you put it?

3. Spencer and Scarlett are normally very close, but he gets very angry with her when he finds out about Eric. Why do you think this is?

4. Marlene gets away with a lot of bad behavior. Do you think she's entitled?

5. Mrs. Amberson never explains the "Mrs." part of her name. Any theories on who she might be married to, if she is married at all?

Scarlett Fever 

6. Scarlett becomes obsessed with Eric, to the point where her friends want to sit on her and shake her to make her stop talking about him. Have you ever felt that way about someone, or have you had to sit on/shake any friends who were behaving like Scarlett?

7. Eric or Max?

8. Chelsea has been chasing fame all her life. Why do you think people want to be famous? Why do you think Chelsea's brother Max rejects the quest for fame?

9. How do you stop a little dog from getting the tinkles?

10. Lola makes a very big decision at the end of Scarlett Fever. Do you think this was a good or bad move?

Party It UP!
Planning your own book group get-together? Here are some party ideas from the author.
Invite: 1930s, stylish, Art Deco
Food: Cake. There must be cake. Also, doughnuts. And weird herbal teas.
Décor: Art Deco or Theater Shabby. Your choice.
Movies: Anything set in New York. (Except Cloverfield, maybe.)
Game: Unicycle riding.

Postergirlz Suggested Reads


Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council


The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan (previously titled My Big Birkett)
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
Girl, 15, Charming But Insane by Sue Limb
The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas
Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen 

Shaking the Family Tree: Blue Bloods, Black Sheep, and Other Obsessions of an Accidental Genealogist by Buzzy Jackson

August, 2010

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala

Tell me a secret, and I'll tell you one...
In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda's death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams - a best friend to unlock her sister's world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all - Miranda has a secret all her own.
In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her future.

Download this month's poster and bookmark.

"Will be immensely popular among teens ...[readers] will be captivated by the theme of owning your own path, the persistence of life and closure." -VOYA

"Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous and full of suspense!" - Hunger Mountain, the VCFA Journal of the Arts

"Be prepared for an excellent, emotional read." - RT Book Reviews 

"Authors like Sarah Dessen, Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Deb Caletti all have captured the teenage experience in their novels and accurately portrayed the turbulence that many teens deal with. Seattle author Holly Cupala can now add her name to that list." - Seattle Book Examiner

"Five purrs - I cannot remember the last time I was so emotionally invested in a novel." - Sharon at Sharon Loves Books and Cats

"Heartwrenchingly good ...Cupala proves herself to be a powerful writing force with this one." - Steph at Steph Su Reads

Holly CupalaThings to Know

On the nightstand: Books! A huge pile of books.

Favorite drink while you write: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. Or lemonade.

Favorite bookstores: All for Kids, before they retired - I miss them!

Favorite library: Seattle Public Library

Pet: Only in my dreams (sniff)

Place to write: Dining room table, looking out the window

Inspiration: Dreams, friends, books, life

Dream book tour: Book tour world cruise, of course

Writer buddies: The readergirlz, and many more!

Cure for writer's block: Candy, tea, procrastination, and a timer

Favorite outfit: My grey lacy dress - it's cute and comfy and goes with everything

Laptop or longhand? Notes in long-hand, novel in laptop

Stilettos or Uggs? Stilettos...or my brown Converse

Author idol: Italo Calvino

Next up: Street Creed (tentative title) in Fall 2011, about a suburban girl who runs away from dark secrets and finds a homeless band of friends...and a gritty romance with a boy named Creed.

Website: http://www.hollycupala.com

Book Trailer:

Produced by Shiraz Cupala and Paul Michael Gordon
Featuring music by Splashdown

Exclusive Video Interview:

Read Reflect Reach OutHope for Sexually Exploited Girls

This month's outreach has a direct tie-in to the book. Here's Holly Cupala to tell us more about it:
"Even though TELL ME A SECRET is not about sexual exploitation, it is about women and secrets and dealing with shame, so I felt there was a connection there.

"Ten percent of my author proceeds go toward World Vision's Hope for Sexually Exploited Girls, helping girls all over the world who have escaped from this kind of abuse - food, medical care, job training, and if possible, a loving family situation.

"Thank you for spreading the word to help support these girls!"


The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book.
1. Playground Love - Air
2. Something About Us - Daft Punk
3. Ironspy - Splashdown
4. Gorecki - Lamb
5. Ring of Fire - Universal Hall Pass
6. Beyond Orion's Arm - Symbion Project
7. Fellow Traveler - Ginny Owens
8. Presumed Lost - Splashdown
9. Home and Dry - Pet Shop Boys
10. Cherry Blossom Girl - Air
re about World Vision, and about this specific cause.
1. Have you ever felt like you were living in the shadow of a sibling? Why or how so?

2. Xanda was wild and reckless, while Miranda was more quiet and solitary. Which sister do you resemble? Which do you admire?

3. Miranda has a huge falling out with her best friend. Have you ever had a major friendship blowout, and were you able to pick up the pieces?

4. Miranda is caught between being the good daughter and following the mysterious allure of her bad-girl sister's memory. Have you ever felt torn between two ways of being?

5. Miranda is an artist who draws labyrinths to make sense of her past and present. What's your creative outlet?

6. Miranda's parents have locked themselves behind symbolic doors and left Miranda to figure things out on her own. Do you have someone you can turn to in times of trouble?

7. After her secret is revealed, Miranda feels like an outcast. Have you ever felt like an outcast?

8. Miranda sneaks into a party incognito and finds out more than she expected. Have you ever accidentally discovered something you didn't want to know?

9. Eventually, Miranda makes friends with a group online. Have you made online friends, and do you think those friendships are as strong as the people you know in person?

10. When Miranda finds support, it's not at all who she expected. Have you ever found friends in unlikely places?

11. "We don't always know why things happen until down the road," says Nik. What do you think about that?

12. How do you think you might have handled Miranda's situation? Do you think she handled it well or badly?

13. How did you feel about the ending? Do you think you would have given Kamran a second chance?

14. Many characters in TELL ME A SECRET have devastating secrets. What kind of secret would be most terrifying for you?

Party it UP!
Planning your own book group get-together? Here are some party ideas from the author.

Invite: A handmade flyer with a shadowy bird, bidding you to follow
Décor: Miranda's labyrinth art, mysterious photos, safety-pin fashion
Food: Appetizers from Café Shiraz (Kamran's parents' restaurant!): kebabs, hummus and pita, Mrs. Ziyal’s famous stuffed figs, pomegranates.
Movies: Juno, Speak, anything sci-fi for Kamran
Craft: A double-sided collage to show your outer and inner life

Postergirlz Recommended Reads
Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council 
FictionJumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
For Keeps by Natasha Friend
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Borrowed Light by Anna Fienberg
The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
S.E.X: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College by Heather Corinna

July, 2010

The Gallagher Girls books by Ally Carter

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn't know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. Now the danger follows her everywhere and even Cammie "The Chameleon" can't hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers - or even her own heart.

The Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the truth as they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie's future may lie deep in the past...
Download this month's poster and bookmark.

Make sure to read The Gallagher Girls books in order:

  • I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
  • Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
  • Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover
  • Only the Good Spy Young

  • This bestselling series has been awarded many accolades, including:

    Inclusion on the ALA Teens Top 10

    Georgia Peach Book Award

    Texas Lone Star Reading List

    Amelia Bloomer Book Award

    Romance Writers of America Rita Award Finalist

    Ally CarterThings to Know

    On the nightstand:
    City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
    Prince of Fire
     by Daniel Silva
    Once Was Lost
     by Sara Zarr

    Favorite drink while you write: If I'm being good, water. If I'm being sorta good, iced tea with honey. If I'm being bad, Coke or Diet Coke.

    Favorite bookstores: Too many to name!

    Favorite library: Chanute Public Library, Chanute, KS

    Place to write: For first drafts, probably a nice, quiet café. For rewrites, the office in my house.

    Inspiration: Everything!

    Dream book tour: Australia

    Writer buddies: Too many to name!

    Cure for writer's block: Napping. Or a matinee movie with excellent popcorn.

    Favorite outfit: Yoga pants and a long-sleeve tee.

    Laptop or longhand? Alphasmart.

    Stilettos or Uggs? Socks. Just socks.

    Author idol: A cross between Janet Evanovich, Rick Riordan, and Daniel Silva (and, yes, that is as weird as it sounds)

    Other YA Novels:
    I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill YouCross My Heart and Hope to SpyDon't Judge a Girl by Her CoverOnly the Good Spy Young
    Heist Society

    Next up: Heist Society 2 (title and release date TBD)

    Bonus: Check out gallaghergirls.com, which includes a video interview with Ally

    Read Reflect Reach OutFight the Fear Campaign

    In July 2009, two women were attacked in their own home. Tragically, one of them, Teresa Butz, was killed; her partner courageously survived the attack. Shortly thereafter, the Fight the Fear Campaign was born.

    Called "a quest for confidence through strength," this community-oriented violence prevention initiative provides free self-defense training and violence prevention education to women. The group is based in Seattle and hosts workshops which are open to all women.

    Fight the Fear will be holding a workshopspecifically for girls ages 11-17 on August 8th from 11 AM to 1 PM. To register, emailinfo@fightthefearcampaign.org

    If you attend this or other related events, please let us know! Email readergirlzdivas@gmail.com

    So you want to be a spy . . . really.
    If you are a US citizen who truly wants to work in espionage, you may want to pursue a career with the CIA: Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA declares itself to be the nation's first line of defense,
    If you're currently a high school student who wants to get a job in the CIA in the future, the Agency recommends that you "concentrate on improving your communication skills, specifically in writing and in speaking. Foreign language skills are a big plus, and you should have a strong academic record."
    Anxious to begin your life as a spy? The Agency offers student work programs such as undergraduate student internships and graduate studies programs. Check out these student opportunities!

    The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book.

    1. One Girl Revolution, Superchic[k]
    2. Love is a Battlefield, Pat Benatar
    3. Open Your Eyes, Snow Patrol
    4. 4ever, The Veronicas
    5. Time After Time, Eva Cassidy
    6. It's On, Superchick
    7. Invincible, Pat Benatar
    8. We All Fall, Superchic[k]
    9. Soulmate, Natasha Bedingfield
    10. One of These Mornings, Moby featuring Patti LaBelle

    1. Cammie has always seen herself as a "chameleon." Have you ever felt that way? 

    2. In one of the book's pivotal scenes, Cammie realizes that Macey knows how she feels. How important is it to have friends who understand you? 

    3. If you were a spy, what would your codename be? 

    4. If you had Macey's money and Bex's connections and could go anywhere over your summer vacation, where would you go? 

    5. What is your favorite place that the Gallagher Girls have been? 

    6. Is Cammie foolish or kind for forgiving people for their past mistakes? 

    7. If you could go to the Gallagher Academy, would you? Even if it meant leaving your friends and family behind? 

    8. If, like Cammie, you knew every inch of the Gallagher Mansion and grounds, what part would be your favorite? 

    9. How different do you think the Gallagher Girl books would be if they were told from Bex, Liz, or Macey's point of view? 

    10. Do you ever feel like you're not sure who you can trust? Can you understand how Cammie would feel that way? 

    11. If you could have any of the Gallagher Gadgets, which would you choose and why? 

    12. What do you think will happen in Gallagher Girls 5?

    Party It UP!
    Planning your own book group get-together? Here are some party ideas from the author.

    Invite: Send a coded message via covert means. (This invitation will self-destruct in three...two...)
    Décor: Plaid, crests, swords, and cut-out letters
    Food: Peanut M&Ms, "drugged" apples, crème Brule, and, of course, Evapopaper (perhaps phyllo dough could be used in such a way)
    Movies & TV Shows: Alias, the Bourne movies, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Craft: Make a hair bow out of coordinating plaids; create a super secret book cover to hide your covert texts; hollow out an old lipstick tube or some other innocuous-looking container to form a secret carrying device; make a holder for all that dangerous/killer spaghetti.

    Postergirlz Recommended Reads
    Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council 
    FictionThe Kiki Strike books by Kirsten Miller
    The Squad: Perfect Cover and Killer Spirit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
    The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty
    For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
    Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom by Queen Latifah and Samantha Marshall
    Gutsy Girls: Young Women Who Dare by Tina Schwager

    June, 2010

    Paper Towns by John Green

    Paper Towns by John Green
    Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

    After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Quentin arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Quentin soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Quentin sees of the girl he thought he knew.
    Download this month's poster and bookmark.

    2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel

    New York Times Bestseller

    "Green's prose is astounding - from hilarious, hyperintellectual trash talk and shtick, to complex philosophizing, to devastating observation and truths. He nails it - exactly how a thing feels, looks, affects - page after page." - School Library Journal, starred review

    "Deliciously intelligent dialogue and plenty of mind-twisting insights." -VOYA

    "[Green is] clever and wonderfully witty...he's a superb stylist, with a voice perfectly matched to his amusing, illuminating material." - Booklist, starred review
    John GreenThings to Know

    On the nightstand: No nightstand, just a pile of books!

    Favorite drink while you write: Americano (espresso & water)

    Favorite bookstores: The Book Cellar

    Favorite library: Chicago Public Library

    Pets: Willy, my Yorkshire Terrier

    Place to write: Local coffeeshop; my house

    Inspiration: My readers

    Dream book tour: I love touring in the Netherlands

    Writer buddies: Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld, David Levithan

    Cure for writer's block: Giving myself permission to write poorly!

    Favorite outfit: Jeans and a T-shirt

    Laptop or longhand? Laptop; I have terrible handwriting.

    Stilettos or Uggs? Are sneakers an option?

    Author idol: J.D. Salinger

    Next up: Another book, God willing.

    Other YA Novels: Looking for AlaskaAn Abundance of Katherines; and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan)

    Exclusive Video Interview:

    Read Reflect Reach OutNational Center for Missing and Exploited Children

    The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's mission is, in their own words, "to help prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation; help find missing children; and assist victims of child abduction and sexual exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them."

    The NCMEC, which has been operating since 1984, relies on volunteers. If you are interested in being a volunteer or an intern at one of their local branches or at their national headquarters in Virginia, please click here to learn more about such opportunities.

    Their website http://www.missingkids.comand toll-free tipline 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have any information regarding a missing or exploited child, whether it is a recent and ongoing related investigation or a cold case, please contact the NCMEC. Your assistance could help save a life.

    The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany his book.

    1. Another White Dash, Butterfly Boucher
    2. My Paper Heart, All-American Rejects
    3. Best Imitation of Myself, Ben Folds Five
    4. Gone for Good, The Shins
    5. Set the Fire to the Third Bar, Snow Patrol
    6. Alabama, John Coltrane Quintet
    7. This Year, The Mountain Goats
    8. Black Santas, Lauren Fairweather
    9. Up the Wolves, The Mountain Goats
    10. Holland 1945, Neutral Milk Hotel

    1. When Margo and Quentin are nine they make a horrible discovery, and respond in very different ways. How do you think this shaped their lives in the years to come? How would you have responded? 

    2. Q's parents describe people as "mirrors" and "windows" (page 198). What does this mean? Can you relate either of these metaphors to anyone in your life?

    3. Why do you think Margo picks Q as her accomplice on her campaign of revenge? Whom would you choose?

    4. Do you think the characters Margo targets for revenge get what they deserve? Does Lacey deserve to be included?

    5. Do you think Margo wants to be found? Do you think Margo wants to be found by Q?

    6. Radar says, "Coltrane's playing is literally the most convincing proof of God's existence I've ever come across" (p. 112). What music would be this important to you?

    7. The Paper Towns hardcover was released with two different covers. What does each version say about Margo? Do you think either one is "correct"?

    8. Do you think that Margo meant to give her friends a false impression of herself?

    9. Describe Q's best friends. If you had to choose one of these characters as your best friend, who would you pick? Why?

    10. If you were in Q's position, would you look for Margo or let her go, like her parents did? Why?

    11. Discuss the scene where Q finally finds Margo. How does her reaction to seeing her friends make you feel?

    12. Why do you think Q makes the decision he does at the end of the book? Do you agree with his decision regarding the invitation?

    Party it UP!
    Planning your own book group get-together? Here are some party ideas from the author.

    Invite: A coded message
    Décor: A dozen tulips, maps, mirrors
    Food: Gas station snacks, a la road tripping
    Project: Scavenger hunt

    Postergirlz Recommended Reads

    Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council

    13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
    Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger
    You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith
    How to Be Bad by Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski, and E. Lockhart

    Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

    Walden by Henry David Thoreau

    May, 2010

    Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee

    Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee
    Meet Maybelline "Maybe" Chestnut - Goth girl and daughter of Chessy Chestnut, owner of the No. 1 (and only) charm school in Kissimmee, Florida. When her mother refuses to protect Maybe from her latest scuzz-ball fiancé, Maybe heads to California to find her biological dad, who doesn't even know she exists.

    Accompanied by her friends, budding filmmaker Hollywood, and the irrepressible Ted, Maybe is ready to get on with her life. However, Los Angeles is nothing like she thought it would be. Maybe hadn't counted on being homeless - and finding her father becomes nearly impossible.
    Download this month's poster and bookmark.

    "Only Lisa Yee can write a book full of heartbreak -- an alcoholic mom, a quest for a missing father -- and have it be at the same time hilarious. She's a genius at telling stories that are true to life, and somehow, even more intense. Absolutely Maybe is a book that will fill your whole heart." -Martha Brockenbrough, readergirlz diva

    "Readers will absolutely enjoy the ride." - Horn Book

    "A breezy read populated with friendly characters and sunny serendipity." - Booklist

    "Cleverly conceived and executed . . . tragic, comic and heartwarming by turns." - Kirkus

    ". . . quirky and likable characters, the humor is topnotch." -Teenreads.com

    "A funny, tender coming-of-age story." - Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books
    Lisa YeeThings to Know

    On the nightstand: TV remote, too many books, and See's butterscotch candies

    Favorite drink while you write: Diet Coke, and/or Starbucks Mocha Latte, and/or Crystal Light Lemonade

    Favorite bookstores: Vroman's in Pasadena, California

    Favorite library: All of them. If they have books, I'm there!

    Pets: "Puppy," my black Labradoodle

    Place to write: In my cluttered (but creative) office at midnight

    Inspiration: My children and my (massive) collection of books

    Dream book tour: Tour of European bookstores with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy as my author escort

    Writer buddies: Elise Broach, Dan Santat, Cecil Castellucci, Jordan Sonnenblick, Julia DeVillers

    Cure for writer's block: Chocolate (and the fear of missing a deadline and being labeled a slacker.)

    Favorite outfit: Crummy old jeans and a worn, soft sweater

    Laptop or longhand? Laptop

    Stilettos or Uggs? Uggs

    Author idol: Markus Zusak

    Next up: Bobby the Brave (Sometimes), the sequel to Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally). Also currently working on a YA mystery novel for Arthur A. Levine Books.

    Other YA Novels: Other books include Millicent Min, Girl Genius; Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time; and So Totally Emily Ebers. Short stories include "Everyone But You," which was published in the anthology Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci.

    Roundtable: Little Willow, Holly Cupala, and HipWriterMama discuss Absolutely Maybe.

    Print Interviews: Publishers WeeklyTeenReads.comCalifornia Readers,Shrinking Violet

    Exclusive Video Interviews:

    We have not one but two Lisa Yee videos available on rgzTV. In the summer of 2008, shortly before Absolutely Maybe was released, postergirl Little Willow talked to Lisa about the book. Watch the interview.


    Read Reflect Reach Out826
    In their own words, 826 National is a nonprofit tutoring, writing, and publishing organization. Kids between 6 and 18 can visit their local 826 chapter for tutoring sessions, writing assistance, free workshops, and more.
    Hopeful writers should definitely check out the organization's opportunities for student publishing. High school students located in the Bay Area who love to write and are in need of financial aid may apply for college scholarships offered by 826.

    The organization also has lots and lots of amazing volunteers who donate their time, energy, and expertise. 826 opened in Valencia in San Francisco's Mission District in California in 2002 and have since added locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Michigan, Boston, and Washington, D.C. If you live in or near any of these cities, you should definitely drop by in person and volunteer your time and/or share your writing!


    The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book. 

    Runaway by Cartel
    Hollywood by Madonna
    Everybody's Trying To Be My Villain by Golden Shoulders
    Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) by Beyoncé (This is a Ted song!)
    I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
    Brick By Boring Brick by Paramore
    Shake It Off by Krystal Meyers
    Daughters by John Mayer
    Paradise City by Guns & Angels
    Unbreakable by Fireflight
    Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne
    Unbearable Pageant by Oh My God
    Can't Go Back Now by The Weepies

    1. Maybelline calls herself "Maybe." What would you nickname yourself?

    2. Maybe likes to change her hair color. Have you ever done this? Would you?

    3. Ted's creative outlet is talking and schmoozing. Hollywood's is making films. Maybe's is making tacos. What's yours?

    4. Maybe is picked on at school by the stuck-up, popular girls. Do you think any of them will ever regret being so mean in high school?

    5. At one point, Maybe retreats to the library for solace. Where to you go or what do you do when you want to be alone?

    6. On the streets and homeless, Maybe hits rock bottom. Where could she have turned for help?

    7. If you knew someone who was in an abusive situation, what would you do?

    8. Maybe LOVES Mexican food. What's your fave?

    9. Maybe hates Willow the first time they meet, but later discovers she's not a total loser. Do you ever judge people too quickly?

    10. Ted, Hollywood and Maybe are in a love triangle. Do you know anyone who's been in this situation? Have you?

    11. Maybe constantly underestimates herself. What would you tell someone who can't see how wonderful they are?

    12. Was it brave or cowardly for Maybe to run away from home?

    Party it UP!
    Planning your own book group get-together? Here are some party ideas from the author.

    Invite: Hollywood Walk of Fame stars
    Décor: So Cal beach stuff and/or Hollywood
    Food: Tacos, chips and salsa, and hot dogs
    Project: Dye your hair with Kool-Aid! (Get permission from your parents!)
    Movies: Rebel Without a Cause, Sunset Boulevard and Little Miss Sunshine

    Postergirlz Recommended Reads
    Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council

    Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
    Beige by Cecil Castellucci
    Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn
    Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart
    Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

    Girlwise: How to be Confident, Capable, Cool and in Control by Julia DeVillers

    April, 2010

    The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti

    The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti
    Quinn is surrounded by women who have had their hearts broken. She tries to be an optimist, but then she too is abruptly and unceremoniously dumped. She's also gingerly handling a renewed relationship with her charming father. Quinn's happy to have him around again until she realizes how horribly he's treated the many women in his life, how he's stolen more than just their hearts.
    Determined to, for once, take action in her life, Quinn joins forces with the half-sister she's never met and the little sister she'll do anything to protect. Together, they set out to right her father's wrongs...and in doing so, begin to uncover what they're really looking for: the truth.
    Download this month's poster and bookmark.

    "How would you deal with finding out your father isn't who he says he is, and love isn't quite what you thought? Readergirlz will cheer for Quinn as she teams up with a half-sister she's never met and a younger sister who may be the wisest of the bunch to find out the truth, and in the process discover truths about themselves. We are honored to welcome Deb Caletti this month to explore truth, Prince Charming, and maybe even a little romance." - Holly Cupala, readergirlz diva

    "Caletti's gifts...are at their sharpest." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

    The honors and awards Deb has received for her novels include: 

    National Book Award Finalist 

    PNBA Best Book Award 
    PEN USA Literary Award Finalist 
    School Library Journal Best Book Award

    Deb CalettiThings to Know

    On the nightstand: A Leaning Tower of Books.

    Favorite drink while you write: Coffee. Milk and sugar, please.

    Favorite bookstores: The ones in my neighborhood: Third Place Books, University Bookstore, Half Price Books, and all the fabulous independents around the country who've had me to visit.

    Favorite library: The Bellevue branch of the King County Library System. Love that KCLS!

    Pet: Jupiter, my beloved Beagle, who I just lost but who is still very much with me.

    Place to write: I have a lovely, glassed-in sun room for an office, but still like to write sitting on my bed.

    Inspiration: A good book.

    Dream book tour: The Mediterranean coastline.

    Writer buddies: You know who you are. :)

    Cure for writer's block: A walk around the room, a cookie.

    Favorite outfit: One of my white robes.

    Laptop or longhand? Laptop.

    Stilettos or Uggs? Both, depending on the occasion.

    Next up: Stay, to be released April 2011.

    Author idols: Richard Ford

    Other YA Novels: 
    The Queen of Everything
    Honey, Baby, Sweetheart
    Wild Roses
    The Nature of Jade
    The Fortunes of Indigo Skye
    The Six Rules of Maybe

    Roundtable: The readergirlz divas and postergirlz gathered together for a roundtable discussion of The Secret Life of Prince Charming.

    Additional Interviews:
    Powell's Books
    Seattle PI with John Marshall
    Bildungsroman with Little Willow

    Dominique McCafferty
    Deb Caletti Q&A

    Website: www.debcaletti.com

    Read Reflect Reach OutOperation Teen Book Drop
    April 15th is Operation Teen Book Drop! This is the third year rgz has helped lead the effort, and we'll be delivering over 10,000 new books to teens on Native reservations and tribal lands.
    To learn more about the effort and our partners, check out our Operation TBD page. What's more, more than 100 top YA authors around the country are going to be dropping books in public places. Keep an eye on our blog to find out more.

    You are cordially invited to play along, too. All you have to do is leave a book in a public space for some lucky reader to find. Viola! You've rocked the drop.

    CD   CDCD   CD

    The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book. Deb selected a mix of different styles and time periods, one track for each of the main female characters.

    1. "Daughters" by John Mayer Trio - Live (Quote from the opening page of the book)
    2. "Baby I Can't Please You" by Sam Phillips (For Mom - Mary Louise Hoffman)
    3. "Love You Madly" by Cake (For Aunt Annie)
    4. "Shop Around" by Smokey Robinson (For Grandma - Dorothy Hoffman)
    5. "I Was Never Young" by Of Montreal (For Sprout) 
    6. "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver (For Frances Lee)
    7. "Changed the Locks" by Lucinda Williams (For Joelle Giofranco)
    8. "Oh My Love" by John Lennon (For Elizabeth Bennett)
    9. "A Lucky Guy" by Rickie Lee Jones (For Olivia Thorton)
    10. "Not The Doctor" by Alanis Morissette (For Brie Jenkins)
    11. "Love Is A Stranger" by Eurythmics (For Abigail Renfrew)
    12. "Secret Heart" by Ron Sexsmith (For Quinn)

    1. Quinn says that too often "good choices" meant other people's choices to her. What makes a choice a good one?

    2. Dorothy Hoffman, Quinn's grandmother, writes about chemistry and love. How important is chemistry in a relationship?

    3. Frances Lee describes buying a box of chocolates for a boy she was "in love" with. Her mother describes to her the varying other kinds of "in": "In over her head," "In need," "in danger," "incomplete." Have you ever experienced an "in love" that was actually an "in"?

    4. Why do you think Quinn's father steals the objects from the women he's been involved with? How does he view these women?

    5. Quinn's mom discusses the idea of "love as work." She says a good relationship is easy. How do you feel about this concept?

    6. Frances Lee's mother, Joelle, describes her allure to a moody bad boy. All of the main characters later discuss this with Brie at dinner. Do you think there is a "Bad Boy" allure? If so, why do you think it exists?

    7. Quinn's mother keeps a list of warning signs on her refrigerator. Click here to see the list. What would you add to the list? What would you take off of it?

    8. Elizabeth Bennett says, "We should not give away a moment to anyone who does not deserve it." Do you agree? Have you ever given away moments?

    9. Aunt Annie talks about second thoughts, how "second thoughts should be promoted." Have you ever had second thoughts you didn't listen to?

    10. Quinn and her sisters return the objects in part to undo their father's wrong. Have you ever wanted to repair another person's wrong? Were the sisters successful? What else did they achieve?

    11. Quinn's grandmother advises: "Wait. Wait for 100 percent." Do you agree?

    12. What is the main message of the book? Do you think the message is equally true for boys as it is for girls?

    Party it UP!
    Planning your own book group/get-together? Here are some party ideas from the author.

    Invite: Hand-written, coffee-stained "list," like the one on Quinn's fridge
    Food: Ice cream, the ultimate heartbreak cure
    Décor: Not complete without a giant Bob from Bob's Big Boy.
    Movies: 500 Days of Summer, Love Actually, The Runaway Bride

    Postergirlz Recommended Reads
    Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council 
    Beauty Shop for Rent by Laura Bowers
    A Bad Boy Can be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
    Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
    The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley 
    FBI Girl: How I Learned to Crack My Father's Code by Maura Conlon-McIvor

    March, 2013

    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

    Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
    Prince Aleksander is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

    Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman, serving aboard a living airship. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

    With the Great War brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way . . . taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
    Download this month's poster and bookmark.

    "Leviathan is steampunk at its best: an imaginative historical and technological adventure filled with characters of heart and courage. Any one who dreams of following her dreams and discovering her destiny will soar through this book." - Dia Calhoun, readergirlz diva

    "This steampunk adventure is sure to become a classic." - School Library Journal

    "The request line for the sequel can start forming now." - The Bulletin

    Starred reviews in Publishers WeeklyKirkusSchool Library Journal, and The Bulletin.

    "When a book pursues you into your dreams, you can't ignore it." -Sunday Telegraph

    Westerfeld was named one of eight YA writers who shaped the decade byAmazon's book blog.

    Bonus Book Goodies:
    Check out this exclusive video with Scott, giving us a tour through his writing space and talking about the research and work that went into Leviathan.

    Watch the trailer for Leviathan.

    If you can't see the trailer above, click here.

    The Leviathan audio book is narrated by Alan Cumming, who was Fegan Floop in the Spy Kids movies and Nightcrawler in the X-Men films. Listen to a clip.

    Leviathan is beautifully illustrated by Keith Thompson. Visit his website to check out some of the artwork from the book.

    Scott WesterfeldThings to Know

    On the nightstand: About 20 books, three pairs of reading glasses, water.

    Favorite drink while you write: Water with bubbles in it. (Just got a machine to make my own.)

    Favorite bookstores: Kinokuniya in Sydney, Australia. Huge YA section, lots of manga and graphic novels as well. Half Japanese and half English.

    Favorite library: New York Public Library Central, the one with the stone lions out front.

    Pets: A telescope shaped like a penguin.

    Place to write: In my study on an old Chesterfield couch covered in cracked leather.

    Inspiration: Human beings. We're hilarious, and often awesome.

    Dream book tour: One where I only go to bookstores that are within walking distance of my house.

    Writer buddies: E. Lockhart, Maureen Johnson, Holly Black, Robin Wasserman, Cassandra Clare

    Cure for writer's block: Blow something up (in the book).

    Favorite outfit: Pajamas.

    Laptop or longhand? Laptop, the smallest one I can find.

    Stilettos or Uggs? Barefoot

    Next up: Behemoth, book 2 of Leviathan.

    Author idols: Samuel R. Delany

    Other YA Novels: Uglies series, Midnighters series, So YesterdayPeeps, and The Last Days.

    Additional Interviews: Three different pieces at the Tor website.

    Read Reflect Reach OutModel UN

    Are you interested in world politics, or conflict resolution? Do you love debating? If so, you should check out Model UN.

    In their own words, UNA-USA's Model United Nations is "a simulation of the UN General Assembly and other multilateral bodies. In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization's agenda."

    If your school doesn't have a Model UN chapter yet, click here to learn how to set one up.


    The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany his book.
    1. "Airship Pirate" by Abney Park
    2. "Metal on Metal" by Kraftwerk
    3. "Christiansands" by Tricky
    4. "Hustle Rose" by Metric
    5. "Galang" by M.I.A.
    6. "The Sea" by Morcheeba
    7. "We Are Pilots" by Shiny Toy Guns
    8. "Barracuda" by Rasputina
    9. "Supermodel" by Bran Van 3000
    10. "Vingt à trente mille jours" by Françoiz Breu
    11. "Flicks" by Frou Frou
    12. "Yerkemo Sew" by Mulatu Astaque

    1. Have you ever wanted to live in a different time in history?

    2. Have you ever, like Deryn, had to hide what you really were to follow your dream?

    3. How is reading an illustrated book different from reading one without pictures?

    4. While reading Leviathan, did you ever "cheat" and skip ahead to the next picture?

    5. Have you ever imagined "what if" history had changed in some way?

    6. Whose point of view did you enjoy more, Alek's or Deryn's? 

    7. Are you a Darwinist or a Clanker?

    8. What's your favorite period of history for clothing?

    9. If you could make any animal in the world into a loyal pet, what beastie would you choose?

    10. Have you ever had a friendship with someone who you couldn't tell something important about yourself?

    11. Have you ever felt, like Alek, that your parents have tried to protect you too much?

    12. Would you want to grow up as royalty, if it meant you couldn't have any friends your own age?

    Party it UP!
    Planning your own book group/get-together? Here are some party ideas from the author.
    Invite: Something with gears, or Victorian wallpaper.
    Décor: Match the invite.
    Attire: Victorian clothes: corsets, bustles, long dresses, fancy hats. Check out some pieces of steampunk jewelry and ensembles herethereand everywhere.
    Food: Anything shaped like gears.
    Movies: Sherlock Holmes, The Golden Compass, Wild Wild West

    Postergirlz Recommended Reads

    The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski
    Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel
    The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson
    Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey
    Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

    Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them by Jillian Venters

    February, 2010

    Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

    Copper Sun by Sharon Draper
    Fifteen-year-old Amari's village is destroyed, her family is slaughtered, and she is taken as a slave. Forced from her loving home in Ghana, marched across the continent to a slave ship where she endures the horrors of the Middle Passage, Amari is sold in South Carolina to a life of degradation and despair. But with strength and dignity, Amari first learns to endure, and then survive. She discovers friendship in the indentured servant Polly, and when the opportunity to escape presents itself, Amari and Polly decide to work together to find the thing they both want most -- freedom.

    Download this month's poster and bookmark.

    "Copper Sun is a great choice for rgz because this book reminds us that, even when we've lost close to absolutely everything, we can hold onto our spirit." - Liz Gallagher, rgz diva

    "The fast pace and truly horrifying scenes of Copper Sun will have adolescent readers quickly turning pages. Their reward is a riveting tale." -Rollie Welch, The Plain Dealer

    "Draper builds the explosive tension to the last chapter, and the sheer power of the story, balanced between the overwhelmingly brutal facts of slavery and Amari's ferocious survivor's spirit, will leave readers breathless, even as they consider the story's larger questions about the infinite costs of slavery and how to reconcile history." - Booklist starred review

    "Poignant and harrowing, this narrative of early America alternates between the voices of enslaved Amari and indentured servant Polly, building a believable interracial friendship centered on the common goal of freedom." - Kirkus starred review

    2007 American Library Association/Coretta Scott King Literary Award Winner

    Top Ten Historical Fiction Books for Youth by Booklist

    Ohioana Award for Young Adult Literature

    Heartland Award for Excellence in YA Literature

    International Reading Association Notable Book for a Global Society

    Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal

    New York Times Bestseller List

    Sharon DraperThings to Know
    On the nightstand: Wrapped in Rainbows - the biography of Zora Neale Hurston

    Favorite drink while you write: Water

    Favorite bookstores: Any independent

    Favorite library: All of them!

    Pets: Dog: Honey, Cat: Miss Kitty

    Place to write: Office - at my computer - at 4 AM

    Inspiration: Sunshine

    Dream book tour: A visit to all the homes of folks who could make movies of the books

    Writer buddies: None - I work alone

    Cure for writer's block: Shopping!

    Favorite outfit: Jeans and sweats

    Laptop or longhand? Laptop

    Stilettos or Uggs? Uggs

    Next up: Out of My Mind (coming out in March)

    Author idols: Those who write with passion and still answer their emails!

    Other YA Novels: 
    Tears of a Tiger
    Forged by Fire
    Darkness before Dawn
    Romiette and Julio
    Double Dutch
    The Battle of Jericho
    November Blues
    Just Another Hero
    Out of My Mind

    Website: www.sharondraper.com

    Read Reflect Reach OutInternational Red Cross
    On January 12th, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. The devastation was immense, made worse with every aftershock. The number of persons killed, injured, or displaced continues to rise. 

    Many service organizations are providing relief, and they need your assistance. The International Red Cross has multiple ways to donate funds or other means of support. If you go to the donation page at their website, you will see these options, one of which is Haiti Relief and Development. You may also contribute to their Disaster Relief Fund or learn how to get involved with Your Local Red Cross Chapter. You may donate in honor or memory of someone special instead of or in addition to your own name.

    Zynga, the company which created and runs well-known online games such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars, has taken note of the impact of social gaming, stating at their website, "We are thrilled to be able to offer our players the opportunity to be part of change in a way that can represent positive contributions to human kind." Three of their top games are participating in a special relief campaign to help earthquake survivors in Haiti, donating 100 percent of the proceeds raised by online users to the World Food Programme (WFP). For more info, please visit zynga.org or email socialchange@zynga.com

    The following tunes were hand-picked by the author and the readergirlz to accompany her book.

    I Know Where I've Been from Hairspray as sung by Queen Latifah
    Strength, Courage & Wisdom by India.Arie
    Fallen Through by Skye Sweetnam
    Baby Be Brave by The Corrs
    A Good Day (Morning Song) by Priscilla Ahn
    Hiding by Meiko
    Pastel Blue by Sister Vanilla

    From the Simon & Schuster reading group guide for Copper Sun:

    1. The very first page, just before chapter one, tells of a slave sale and how it must feel to be fifteen years old, stripped naked, and standing on the auction block. Describe the feelings and fears of the girl being sold. How would you feel?

    2. How is the relationship between Besa and Amari similar to teen relationships today? How is it different? Describe how Amari feels about him.

    3. Describe the relationship between Amari and her parents, and between Amari and her little brother Kwasi. How does the strength of her family make a difference in her life?

    4. Describe the horrors of Cape Coast Castle, the Door of No Return, and the branding on the beach. How does Amari survive? What necessary survival techniques would you have to develop to survive those experiences?

    5. Describe the Middle Passage as described in the novel. What is it about human beings that makes one person mistreat another? What is about humans that makes us survive in spite of it?

    6. Discuss the character of Clay and his complicated feelings for Amari. Does he have any redeeming qualities, or is he purely a negative character? What about Clay's father? Does he have any redeeming qualities, or is he purely a negative character?

    7. How is Mrs. Derby almost like a slave herself? What predictions did you make about Mrs. Derby and Noah? What foreshadowing is given to prepare the reader for what happens?

    8. Why didn't more slaves rise up and protest or fight back? What social and cultural pieces were in place to prevent it?

    9. A student recently said, "I don't care about slavery. That happened a long time ago, and I don't want to think about it in my life today. It is no longer important." What do you think about that statement? Tell why you agree or disagree. What would you tell that student if you had the chance to have a conversation?

    10. Students in the United States enjoy lots of freedom. List some of the freedoms that you enjoy. Were these privileges always available to everyone? What might someone have had to do in order to make sure you have these freedoms? How does that make you feel about the privileges you enjoy? What about students in other countries who might not have the freedoms that you enjoy?

    11. Think back to when you were born. From that time to today is your history, and it is important. You learned, you made mistakes, and you grew. Discuss the importance of knowing your own personal history. Why is it important to study historical information of a country or a people? Why can't the past simply be ignored?

    12. What happens if a rule or a law or a practice in a country is immoral or wrong? Who decides if it is right or wrong? What is done to change that law or rule or practice? How does one decide what to do?

    Party it UP!
    Planning your own book group/get-together for this book? Here are some party ideas from the author.

    Invite: Use Kente designs.
    Attire: Dress in authentic African outfits.
    Food: Red Red, also called Doh-doh-chie (cooked plaintain with red sauce), tatale (Ghanaian plantain cakes), and chocolate
    Décor: Use African Kente cloth.
    Movies: Amistad, Roots, Follow the North Star

    Postergirlz Recommended Reads
    Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council 
    Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
    Day of Tears by Julius Lester
    Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin
    Chanda's Wars by Allan Stratton 
    The Bite of Mango by Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland

    January, 2010

    The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

    The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
    Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14: Debate Club. Her father's "bunny rabbit." A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

    Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15: A knockout figure. A sharp tongue. A chip on her shoulder. And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston. Frankie is no longer the kind of girl to take "no" for an answer, especially when "no" means she's excluded from Matthew's all-male secret society.
    Frankie Landau-Banks at age 16: Possibly a criminal mastermind. This is the story of how she got that way.

    Download this month's poster and bookmark.

    "We were so happy to hear E. Lockhart had time to share with rgz. Her witty, intelligent work will bring sparks to our community. Frankie is a beloved heroine for certain!" - Lorie Ann Grover, co-founder of rgz

    National Book Award finalist

    Printz Honor

    Winner in the Young Adult Fiction category of The Cybils Awards
    Starred reviews in Kirkus, PW, Booklist, School Library Journal 
    E. LockhartThings to Know

    On the nightstand: Domino Book of DecoratingGoing Bovine by Libba Bray, The Calvin and Hobbes TreasuryMetropolis by Elizabeth Gaffney

    Favorite drink while you write: Coffee with milk

    Favorite bookstores: The Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle. Beautiful, welcoming, sophisticated.

    Favorite library: The West Tisbury Library in Martha's Vineyard has the most amazing children's room.

    Pets: I have two ancient and pukey cats.

    Place to write: I just bought a new apartment and have a gorgeous office with a view of the park. It has wainscotting!

    Inspiration: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos

    Dream book tour: On the road with writer friends. I did this with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle for How to Be Bad. It was so much fun. Otherwise, book touring is lonely and disorienting.

    Writer buddies: I am sitting next to Libba Bray as I write this.

    Cure for writer's block: Don't believe in it. Or pretend not to believe in it. Just do my job. Every day.

    Favorite outfit: Today I am wearing new knee-high boots, a green corduroy skirt, a stripy shirt with a gray cardigan and a polka dot scarf. I am quite amused by my outfit today, actually.

    Laptop or longhand? I type like 90 words a minute (with mistakes). Longhand would make me crazy as my brain goes much faster than that. I do have attractive handwriting though.

    Stilettos or Uggs? Please. I am a New Yorker. I have to WALK everywhere. Good-looking flat boots, Pumas, Converse, Campers.

    Next up: The Treasure Map of Boys, third in the series that started withThe Boyfriend List and The Boy Book, is in stores now. Next December, the fourth in that series: Real Live Boyfriends.

    Author idols: Michael Chabon

    Other YA Novels:
    Ruby Oliver novels: The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of BoysStand-alone novels: Dramarama, Fly on the Wall, How to Be Bad(collaboration with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle)

    Interviews: The YA YA YAsDebbi Michiko FlorencePage Numbered

    Roundtable: readergirlz divas, postergirlz, and friends discuss The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

    Website: www.e-lockhart.com and www.theboyfriendlist.com

    Read Reflect Reach OutBoostUp
    According to a report by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University released earlier this year, almost 6.2 million students in the USA between the ages of 16 and 24 dropped out of high school in 2007. That's 16 percent of the population in the United States at that time. 

    BoostUp.org is dedicated to helping high school students graduate through positive reinforcement. By simply offering words of encouragement, you can boost the spirits of others and help them succeed. 

    BoostUp states that "approximately 7,000 high school students drop out every school day, which translates to one in three students." Let's help to change those numbers by offering positive feedback and support to our friends, family members, and others in the community. Go to http://www.boostup.org to send a boost to any of the students profiled there or to anyone you know. 

    One of the television spots for BoostUp features President Obama. Watch it on YouTube.


    The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book.
    Blister in the Sun by The Violent Femmes
    I Fought the Law by Green Day
    Polyester Bride by Liz Phair
    All Hail Me by Veruca Salt
    Rebel Rebel by David Bowie

    Note: Many of these questions are adapted from the excellent teacher's guide to The Disreputable History, available from the publisher here.

    1. Do you think Frankie is a good role model?

    2. Is it still difficult for women who are beautiful to be taken seriously? Why?

    3. Frankie learns about the theory of a panopticon. Do you agree with the theory that most people behave because they have this sense of being monitored? Do you think this sense prevails in modern life even more than in previous times? Why or why not?

    4. Why do you think secret societies exist? What's the point?

    5. Frankie weighs everything before she says it and considers her options before she speaks. Are you able to do this? Do you wish you could?

    6. Over the course of the novel Frankie gets more and more angry about how other people perceive her. Have you ever felt this rage against expectations? What did you do about it?

    7. Have you ever been a prankster? Tell me a story.

    8. Frankie also rails against the unwritten codes of her school, such as who gets to sit at the senior table. What are the unwritten codes and rules at your own school? Has anyone ever tried to defy them? What were the consequences?

    9. Who is in control, Frankie or Matthew?

    10. What do you think of Frankie's outfit on the paperback cover?

    11. Frankie wants Matthew to ". . . admire her cleverness, her ambition, her vision. That he would admit her as his equal, or even as his superior, and love her for what she was capable of." Do you think this is even possible in teen relationships? Is it possible in life?

    12. In the end, Frankie concludes, "It is better to be alone than to be with someone who can't see who you are." Do you agree with her?

    Party it UP!
    Planning your own book group/get-together for this book? Here are some party ideas from the author.

    Invite: A top-secret invitation that asks you to dress in black and meet in a mysterious location after dark. In an envelope sealed with sealing wax.
    Food: Garlic knots. Salad bar! Strawberry Mentos. But mainly salad bar. Frankie campaigns for a half-decent salad bar at her boarding school.
    Décor: Stuffed basset hounds. China basset hounds. Basset hound paraphernalia of all kinds.
    Movies: The Muppet Movie shows up in the book. The Skulls is a pretty bad movie about a secret society on a college campus. Dead Poets Society.
    Craft: Sealing wax and seals! A little history and playing around with them. Alternately, create a secret society - silly or serious. Give it a mission. Give it an amusing name and invent a bit of imaginary history. Create a logo for it. Imagine a prank it would execute.

    Postergirlz Recommended Reads
    Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council 
    The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson
    Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
    Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
    Peace, Love and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle
    Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer 
    Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon -- and the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller

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