Posts filed under ‘Teen 12 to 17 and up’

Author Appearance – Ghost Files – The Haunting Truth

Once Upon a Story…. Presents

Authors Eugene Yelchin & Mary Kuryla creative husband and wife team

Featuring their book Ghost Files: The Haunting Truth

Sunday, November 2nd at 6:00PM

You are in for a good time with this performance. To get an Idea of what to expect take a look at this video

Ghost Files: The Haunting Truth, by the illustrious (fictional) Ghost
Society is a really fun, interactive book about the paranormal.

Ghost Files is made up of single and double-page spreads dedicated
to the basics of the paranormal–ectoplasm, poltergeists, doppelgangers,
you name it–and “true” stories about supposedly haunted places.
In one double-page spread, the Ghost Society tackles the story of
Glamis Castle, a very real attraction in Scotland, and its haunted history. A beautiful black and white illustration of the castle inhabits the center of the page, with pull tabs lined up along each side. As you read down the page you pull out a tab to read more juicy tidbits about the tragedies of Glamis Castle.
Whether it’s moving pieces of the page, odd fold-outs or a captain’s log attached to the page, it’s a really beautifully constructed book full of surprises. One of my favorite parts was an attached envelope on the last
page from the Harper Collins “editors” explaining how the mysterious book came to their office and their attempts to track down the Ghost Society turned up a “dead end”–a derelict building and no living society members.

October 30, 2008 at 11:12 pm Leave a comment

Octavian Something

With the second volume of M. T. Anderson’s Octavian books due out this month, it seems an appropriate time to revisit volume one. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: The Pox Party is one of the most brilliant and unusual books I have read. I throw praise around like criticism, but this time I really mean it. Anderson did something wholly unique with this book, and we should anticipate nothing less with it’s sequel. But let’s  not get carried away with a book we haven’t seen yet. If you haven’t read the first one, allow me to tell you a bit about it.

The novel tells the story of young Octavian, a boy raised with his mother in a house of philosophers and scientists in Boston, Massachusetts in the mid-18th century. Need a history refresher? Yes, that’s about the time of the American Revolution. In the midst of the turmoil of early American activity – tar and feathering, protesting, smashing windows – Octavian’s world is remarkably isolated. He doesn’t question the unusual arrangement of his living situation any more than he questions his precisely measured food portions, his well-documented classical education, or the ritual weighing of his feces. Not at first. But he has not been raised by scientists for nothing, and it does not take long for him to realize that the common habits of his life are eerily out of sync with the world outside.

Initially, this book seems to read as a sort of historical fantasy, a grotesque representation of an era otherwise familiar to the traditionally educated American. As the pages turn, the realization that this is no fantasy at all only serves to make the story seem all the more bizarre and unsettling. But don’t let the word ‘unsettling’ turn you off. You will not regret a single minute between these covers. The characters are precise and compelling. The narrative shoots you along with ever-growing curiosity and concern. You have not read anything like it before. You will not find anything like it again. Unless, of course, it’s the second volume, The Kingdom on the Waves. You have less than two weeks to pick up a copy of volume one before the second hits the store. So get a move on.

Review by Molly Lewis

Buy the books here!

October 4, 2008 at 5:34 pm Leave a comment

Store Favorite Neil Gaiman

Our new window display.

Bestselling author Neil Gaiman has long been one of the top writers in modern comics, as well as writing books for readers of all ages. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama.

You can go here to hear him read from his newest book “The Graveyard Book”

October 1, 2008 at 7:59 am Leave a comment

Hunger Games

Review by Molly Lewis

Buy it here

If Cynthia Voigt had written science fiction, it probably would have looked something like The Hunger Games. In Suzanne Collins’s newest novel, we meet a protagonist who seems remarkably familiar. Like Voigt’s heroines, we understand her story because she seems so much like ourselves – no matter how strenuous or bizarre the circumstances, we feel certain our story would be the same. We, too, would have those resources, that practicality, that certain sensitivity that separates us from the masses. I don’t say this critically – it is the book’s strongest feature that it identifies with every one of its readers and says ‘this could be your story.’

It is not just its portrayal of Katniss Everdeen, the novel’s heroine, that is familiar. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic North American nation, Panem. It is a country held together by fear – a fear instilled by the capitol into each of its twelve districts and maintained by a yearly event called the Hunger Games. Each year, one boy and one girl are randomly selected from each of the districts to be thrown into a large ‘arena’ for a fight-to-the-death. If the Roman Colosseum met the show Survivor, this is what you’d get. And this is precisely what seems so eerily familiar about this book. Despite the fact that it’s clearly a futuristic novel, the story has all the rusty barbarism of something very old. Except for the cameras and plastic surgery and hovercrafts, this could almost be historical fiction. It is not only a strange mixture of what was and what could be, it is remarkably relevant for today’s paparazzi-culture. The contestants in the Hunger Games are the only examples of celebrities in this imaginative culture – and they are made famous for killing or being killed. Think of a reality TV show gone horribly awry.

But in case you think you’ll be plodding through another Fahrenheit 451 or 1984 or some other work of social-criticism-thinly-veiled-as-science-fiction, think again. It’s an adventure story – a story about loyalty and fashion and eating roots and shooting arrows and trying to decide between two very eligible young men. There are explosions and kisses, genetically-altered bees and numerous near-death experiences. You will not want to put this one down. Which is actually a problem, because this book is the first in a series. You might be tempted to write Suzanne Collins a thank-you letter, but please think again. Let’s not interrupt her while she’s working on book two. The sooner it’s out, the better.

October 1, 2008 at 7:54 am Leave a comment

Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book Countdown

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A perfect October read – Pre-order now

see our review on the Galley Club Blog

More about Neil Gaiman

September 24, 2008 at 12:51 am Leave a comment


Review by Kristen McLean


Savvy by Ingrid Law

Penguin; May 2008; 352 pp; $16.95 HC


Core Audience: Readers 12+ and folks who love predicting award winners

Strengths: Completely original from cover to cover and then some

Twelve-year-old Mibs Beaumont has been counting down the days till her thirteenth birthday—the day her “savvy” will make itself known. Will she be able to create hurricanes like her brother? Or capture wonderful sounds in canning jars like her grandmother? Then Mibs’ father has a terrible accident just before her birthday, and Mibs feels sure that her savvy will be to help her dad. When she stows away on a traveling salesman’s pink bus to try to get to her father’s distant hospital, she finds herself on a madcap odyssey in the heartland of America—one that is as full of unexpected adventure and friendship as Mibs herself. Like some of my other favorite offbeat books of recent years, this story is absolutely original, with detail and a richness in the writing that paves its own way. This novel is also remarkable in the fact that it combines matter-of-fact bible belt imagery and fantastical super-powers in the same story in a way that manages to be neither off-puttingly dogmatic or overly fantastical, but rather sort of dreamy and lyrical. A book as unexpected as its main character and anyone who reads it seems to love it, no matter where they are coming from.



August 17, 2008 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling

December 4, 2008 – Pre-order now

 The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.

 This purchase also represents another very important form of giving: All net proceeds from the sale of the books – expected to be in the region of $8 million – will be donated to CHLG.

 The charity works to make life better for vulnerable children across Europe, where over a million children and teenagers are growing up in unacceptable conditions in large residential institutions.  In most cases they are without adequate human or emotional contact and stimulation, while many only just survive without life’s basics such as adequate shelter and food. 

 J K Rowling says: “There was understandable disappointment among Harry Potter fans when only one copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard was offered to the public last December.  I am therefore delighted to announce that, thanks to the generous support of Bloomsbury, Scholastic and Amazon (who bought the handwritten copy at auction) – and with the blessing of the wonderful people who own the other six original books  – The Tales of Beedle the Bard will now be widely available to all Harry Potter fans.  Royalties will be donated to the Children’s High Level Group, to benefit institutionalised children in desperate need of a voice. The new edition will include the Tales themselves, translated from the original runes by Hermione Granger, and with illustrations by me, but also notes by Professor Albus Dumbledore, which appear by generous permission of the Hogwarts Headmasters’ Archive.”

August 5, 2008 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

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