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!

The Divas

Lorie Ann Grover

Lorie Ann Grover carried Nancy Drew books before she could read them.

She was a member of the Miami Ballet Company until she grew too tall for the profession. She then changed her focus and studied art at the University of Miami.

Her love for the written word, however, soon yielded poetry, board books, and three novels: Loose Thread, On Pointe, and Hold Me Tight. Her awards include: a starred review from Booklist, a Booklist Top Ten First Novel for Youth, a Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. She homeschooled her children and taught them to read early so they'd never have to just pretend.

Lorie Ann's prose YA novels include Firstborn, a Kirkus Starred Review, and Hit. She is a mentor for Stony Brook University, Children's Literature Fellows Program.

Along with Joan Holub, Lorie Ann is the co-founder of readertotz, a unique infant/toddler book blog aimed at raising the profile of this important literary form.

Dia Calhoun

Dia Calhoun is the winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature. She is the author of five young adult fantasy novels, three of which are ALA Best Books for Young Adults. Her books are Avielle of Rhia, The Phoenix Dance, White Midnight, Aria of the Sea, and Firegold, which received a starred review in Booklist. Her other awards include a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age; Voya Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror; an IRA Teacher's Choice, and a Booklist Top Ten First Novel.

She frequently presents a Fantasy Writing Workshop at schools and libraries.

When she isn't writing, Dia sings Italian arias and fly-fishes. She lives in Tacoma, Washington.

Justina Chen

Justina Chen wrote her first fifty-page novel when she was eight years old.

She is the winner of the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature for her debut novel, Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies), which was also a Borders' Original Voices nominee, BookSense pick, and NYPL Book for the Teen Age. Her novel Girl Overboard is a Junior Library Guild Premier Selection, and Publishers Weekly writes, "[Chen] crafts a tale that will stand out in the crowd by offering a good dose of girl power and an intriguing family backstory."

Justina ties community service in with every novel she publishes. For her latest novel, North of Beautiful, she created the Find Beauty Challenge.

After graduating from Stanford University with honors, Justina worked as a marketing executive at Microsoft. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her two children.

Janet Lee Carey

Janet Lee Carey grew up in Mill Valley, California. It was surrounded by ancient redwoods that whispered in the night. In the morning, sunlight cut through ocean mist and fingered through the trees. It was in this magic place that Janet first dreamed of writing children's books.

In addition to Wenny Has Wings, which won the Mark Twain Award, and Molly's Fire, Janet is the author of Stealing Death, Dragon's Keep, and The Beasts of Noor. She lives with her family near Phantom Lake in Washington.


Melissa Walker

Melissa Walker is a writer who has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. All in the name of journalism, she has spent 24 hours with male models and attended an elite finishing school for girls in New Zealand, among other hardships.

She is the author of the Violet series (Violet on the Runway, Violet by Design, Violet in Private), about an unlikely supermodel navigating the ups and downs of the fashion world. Violet on the Runway was a NYPL Book for the Teen Age, and was hailed by NPR as a book for teens who hate to read. Her newest book is called Lovestruck Summer.

Melissa lives in Brooklyn and has a BA in English from Vassar College.

Micol Ostow 
Micol Ostow is half Puerto Rican, half Jewish, half reader, half writer, half chocolate, half peanut butter. When she is under deadline, she is often half asleep.

Micol has written over 40 published works for readers of all ages. Her novel EMILY GOLDBERG LEARNS TO SALSA was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, and her latest release, SO PUNK ROCK (and Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother), was chosen as a Sydney Taylor Notable book for teens and an Independent Publishing Award silver medalist.

Micol received her MFA in Writing For Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in January, 2009, and currently teaches a popular young adult writing workshop through Media Bistro. She lives in NYC with her husband, and a persnickety French Bulldog named Bridget Jones. Her next novel, FAMILY, is a verse novel loosely based on the Manson murders of 1969, and will be published by Egmont USA in May 2011. Micol also blogs with other writers of contemporary young adult fiction over at www.thecontemps.com

Holly Cupala
Author of Tell Me a Secret and Don't Breathe a Word. Holly was the designer behind many readergirlz projects, giving the organization its amazing imagery.

Mitali Perkins
Author of Bamboo People, Rickshaw Girl, and Secret Keeper. She served as diva and later as consultant to the staff.

Elizabeth Scott
Author of Living Dead Girl and Love You Hate You Miss You dedicated time as a readergirlz diva and Author in Residence.

Martha Brockenbrough
Author of Game of Love and Death and Devine Intervention, Martha contributed widely to readergirlz special projects.

Sara Easterly
Author of Lights, Camera, Fashion!, Sara gave support to readergirlz divas and their pursuits.


The readergirlz divas couldn't be happier to have the loyal assistance and advice from the postergirlz for readergirlz, a council which generously lends their YA lit expertise to guide our book choices. This amazing group is made up of some of the biggest names in YA lit blogging as well as avid teen girl readers:

* Little Willow, readergirlz webdiva and bookseller who writes the famous Bildungsroman blog

* Jackie, the epitome of an enthusiastic and knowledgeable librarian who writes InteractiveReader

* Miss Erin, the youngest Cybils' judge and author of her much-read and much-respected blog

* ShelfElf, our team player representing the Canadians with her participation and fantastic YA lit blog

* HipWriterMama, the candid blogger full of inspirational musings about life and lit who challenges her readers to reach their best

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Many thanks to our rgz HOSTS who report on all things YA lit across the country!

. . . to our Austin rgz HOST, Bethany Hegedus, who will be setting up events with authors in her neck of the woods. She is the author of Between Us Baxters and the forthcoming Truth with a Capital T.

. . . to our LA rgz HOST, Little Willow, who is also our resident webdiva and runs our teen lit advisory council, postergirlz. As an actress, a singer, and a dancer, she's rarely still or quiet -- only so when reading or writing.

. . . to our Miami rgz HOST, Crissa-Jean Chappell, author of the novel Total Constant Order and many short stories. By day, she teaches creative writing and cinema studies at Miami International University of Art and Design.

... to our Seattle rgz HOST, Stephanie Guerra, author of the novel Torn, which is coming in 2012. Stephanie also teaches at Seattle University and King County Jail, and does research on literacy instruction for incarcerated youth.

These ladies guarantee that readergirlz continues to rock and roll.


The rgz SALON is a book-reviewing collective of several esteemed names in young-adult literature:

* Nancy Pearl, NPR Book Lust Reviewer/librarian

* René Kirkpatrick, Book Buyer/Seller at Third Place Books in Seattle

* Sharon Levin, book reviewer

* Judy Nelson, librarian and past president of YALSA

* Lyn Miller-Lachmann, editor of MultiCultural Review

* Professor Nana, librarian and blogger

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Authors in Residence lead video instruction for the community in three month intervals"

* Lisa Sandell

* Elizabeth Scott

* Beth Kephart


Blogging dynamo Miss Erin heads up our rgz Street Team, which is dedicated to contributing young adult book reviews and maintaining a strong presence at the rgz blog.

Inquire at readergirlzdivas@gmail.com if you are interested in being on the rgz Street Team!