icon-copyWelcome to Traveling To Teens first blog tour. 

We are just getting started this month so be patient.  There are likely to be bumps along the way until we find our groove.

Our featured author is
Carol Lynch Williams.

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CAROL LYNCH WILLIAMS, a four-time winner of the Utah Original Writing Competition and winner of Nebraska’s Golden Sower Award, grew up in Florida but now lives in Utah with her husband and seven children. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and helped develop the conference on Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers at Brigham Young University.

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THE CHOSEN ONE

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Griffin – May 12, 2009

SYNOPSIS:

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

REVIEW:

Kyra has three mothers, one father, and twenty brothers and sisters.  She lives in a compound led by The Prophet, a man who is in “close communication with God.”  Over the years, the compound has become more and more closed off from the outside world.  With the fence that was built around the compound and the mass book burning, any freedom they had is dwindling away.

Kyra is the most headstrong out of all of her siblings.  She sometimes has a difficult time accepting the laws of the community.  Because of her headstrong ways, she keeps secrets.  Even though books aren’t allowed on the compound, she has found a way to read.  On one of her walks she discovers that a bookmobile passes the compound.  When the bookmobile driver stops, she gets up the nerve to get a library card and check out one book at a time.  She keeps it hidden in her favorite tree where she spends a lot of her time.

Reading isn’t the only secret Kyra keeps.  There is also Joshua – the boy she loves.  They sneak out at night to talk, to kiss, and to read.  She sees herself getting married to Joshua and starting a family, but she begins to question her feelings about husbands having multiple wives.  Could she stand sharing Joshua with another woman?

Kyra’s life begins to spiral out of control when her and her family get the word from The Prophet that she has been Chosen.  Chosen to be married.  Married to her sixty-year-old uncle.  Unable to believe this is possible, she runs and hides in her tree until it is dark enough to go to Joshua’s. 

From the minute Kyra discovers she is supposed to marry her uncle, her life is a living nightmare.  She gets a glimpse of what life will be like when her uncle comes over to discipline one of her siblings for embarrassing him in front of The Prophet.  As she goes through the wedding preparations like a zombie, she hopes somehow her father will talk The Prophet out of his decision.

Threats, beatings, banishments.  This is what life is like in the compound.  Kyra must decide if she can live this way or if she will take the risk and run away and leave her family forever.

This  novel is very powerful and disturbing.  The contrast between the family life Kyra is used to and the other families in the compound is interesting.  Where Kyra’s father is always loving and kind to his wives and children, the other men of the compound rule by fear and harsh discipline.  This is one of the main reasons Kyra is headstrong.

Something that would have made this novel even better though, is if the author would have given us more examples of what went on behind closed doors in the houses that weren’t as friendly as Kyra’s. 

THE CHOSEN is a book everyone should read, especially in light of recent news events concerning a situation much like Kyra’s.  THE CHOSEN is a page-turner.  Once you start, you won’t want to put it down until you see how it ends.  Your heart will go out to Kyra.  THE CHOSEN is one of those books that will leave you pondering for days.

Normally there will be some Q & A with the author, but with the time crunch we haven’t rec’d our answers yet.  I’ll post them when I get them.


The Chosen One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dutton Children’s Books – June 25, 2009

Vladimir Tod has been learning a lot about his vampire abilities.  Otis has spent the summer training him on extending his telepathic communication.  He is also getting better at sensing when other vampires are near.  Both Vlad and his Aunt Nelly have gotten used to Otis being around and hate to see him go, but since Otis is still a fugitive in the vampire community, he knows in order to keep them safe, he must leave.

Vlad’s life seems to be going great.  He has the girl of his dreams by his side and everything just seems brighter when she is around.  Meredith is head-over-heels for him no matter what her friends say.

A few things are getting in the way of his happy-go-lucky attitude though.  To start with there is the pesky Eddie and his brand spankin’ new camera, the terrible mood causing Henry, his best friend and drudge, to pull away from him, and his growing need for blood.  Also causing him problems are the terrible nightmares that have been interrupting his sleep.  Dreams of viscious attacks filled with blood and pain keep waking him in the middle of the night.  It really worries Vlad when he can’t contact Otis for help and advise.  So, for the most part, Vlad is on his own.

Heather Brewer has written a wonderful addition to The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series.  Vlad becomes more and more likeable as his kindness and soft heart keep showing through.  The thing that sets this book apart from the others in the series is the tone.  TENTH GRADE BLEEDS takes on a more mature tone as Vlad deals with his relationship issues with Meredith and Henry and even more so when adapting to his increased blood lust.

The ending leaves the reader begging for more.  TENTH GRADE BLEEDS is the best book in the series so far.  It is exciting to think about what the future has in store for Vlad.

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Tenth Grade Bleeds
(Chronicles of Vladimir Tod)

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It has been years since Alice lost her mother to cancer, but she still hasn’t recovered.  The three things that give her any peace at all are writing and playing music, her best friend Claire, and her loving boyfriend Blaze.  Sadness covers her like a blanket and prevents her from enjoying some of the new things going on in her life.

Alice’s father has remarried and he and his new wife are expecting a baby.  Alice feels nothing but resentment toward Victoria, the new wife, and the baby that is on the way.  When Ivy finally does arrive, Alice doesn’t even go to the hospital to see her and doesn’t want anything to do with her once she comes home.

Alice is devastated when her father tells her the whole family is going to visit Victoria’s parents over Thanksgiving break.  She is forced to ride the whole way sitting next to Ivy in the backseat acting as a human pacifier in order to keep her quiet. 

While Thanksgiving is relatively painless, Alice is ready to get back home.  With her father called away for a work emergency, Victoria and Alice must make the drive home alone.  A big winter storm is moving into the area fast and Victoria decides to leave a little early to stay ahead of it.  Alice takes a Tylenol PM to prepare herself for the ride so she can get some sleep and not be expected to talk to Victoria or take care of Ivy. When she wakes up with the car stuck in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing but white, she realizes she may have made a mistake.  Maybe she should have been paying attention.

Lisa Schroeder weaves together individual poems to create a heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and healing.  Alice is forced to take stock of her life and decide what really matters.  Working together with Victoria becomes a necessity, not only for their survival, but for Ivy’s survival as well.  Alice’s struggle with her family and faith come alive for the reader as we experience everything through her eyes.  The relationship between Alice and Blaze is refreshing.  The devotion the two have for each other is rare for two teenagers in this day and age.  Readers will be brought to tears while reading this incredible story of personal triumph and transformation.

For more information about Lisa Schroeder and her books visit her website at http://www.lisaschroederbooks.com

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Coming March 2009

The third and final installment in the Mortal Instruments trilogy definitely lives up to the reputation of the first two – CITY OF BONES and CITY OF ASHES.  CITY OF GLASS picks up a short time after CITY OF ASHES ends.  Clary has a mission.  Madeleine, her mother’s friend, is possibly the only person who knows how to wake her mother from a coma.  Clary will have to travel to Alicante in Idris to get what she needs.

Alicante is the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters.  It is known as the City of Glass because of the beautifully tall glass towers that guard the city from harm.  The only way to get to Idris is through a portal and Magnus, the warlock, has arranged one.  Clary is planning to go through the portal with Jace and the Lightwoods.  The only problem is, Jace doesn’t want Clary to go so he lies to her about when he and the Lightwoods are leaving.  He thinks it is too dangerous for Clary. 

After being left behind, Clary eventually finds her way to Alicante.  She uses her ability to create runes and makes a portal for herself.  Being new to the Shadowhunter world, Clary doesn’t know that using a portal and entering the city without permission is against the law. If she is found she could be put to death. 

Once in the City of Glass, Clary is thrown in the middle of the largest battle the Shadowhunters have ever had to face.  Valentine’s evil plans are in the final stages and everyone is on full alert, not knowing what he will do next.  Jace and Clary’s complicated relationship keeps them just as confused as ever, but provides great excitement for the reader. 

Cassandra Clare works magic with this novel.  The excitement begins on the first page and doesn’t stop until the final sentence.  She brings everything full circle for a completely satisfying ending – even though fans would be more than happy to read about these beloved characters forever.  One thing Cassandra Clare fans need to keep an eye out for is the release of THE CLOCKWORK PRINCESS: VOLUME 1 of THE INFERNAL DEVICES.  THE INFERNAL DEVICES is a trilogy of prequels set one hundred and forty years ago in Victorian England.  Tessa, a warlock, is the main character.  The first prequel to the Mortal Instruments trilogy is scheduled to be released Fall 2010.

Rue is trying not to worry.  Her mother has disappeared after a terrible fight with her father.  Right after her mother disappears her father is arrested and accused of murdering one of the students he teaches at the University.  Rue knows her father didn’t do anything wrong, but doesn’t know how to prove it.  To add to her stress, Rue starts seeing things.  Things that shouldn’t be possible in the real world.  Things with wings.  Things that look like faeries.

While Rue’s father is in jail she is taken to meet the grandfather she’s never met – her mother’s father.  She finds out that her grandfather is one of the fey and what he has planned for the world is a danger to all mankind.  Rue is the only one who can stop him.

When Rue’s mother makes a reappearance, she is extremely ill. Rue picks up some clues as to why her mother disappeared in the first place and puts others information together on her own.

In between looking for clues to the real story behind the girl her father is accused of killing, finding out about her mother, and coming to terms with her heritage, Rue is trying to maintain her life at school and with her friends.

THE GOOD NEIGHBORS is the first volume in the KIN series.  Holly Black wraps up this volume nicely while still leaving readers begging for more.  Fans of Black’s novels Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside will enjoy seeing the faeries come alive on the page of the graphic novel.  Be looking for sequels sometime in the future.

Rue is trying not to worry.  Her mother has disappeared after a terrible fight with her father.  Right after her mother disappears her father is arrested and accused of murdering one of the students he teaches at the University.  Rue knows her father didn’t do anything wrong, but doesn’t know how to prove it.  To add to her stress, Rue starts seeing things.  Things that shouldn’t be possible in the real world.  Things with wings.  Things that look like faeries.

While Rue’s father is in jail she is taken to meet the grandfather she’s never met – her mother’s father.  She finds out that her grandfather is one of the fey and what he has planned for the world is a danger to all mankind.  Rue is the only one who can stop him.

When Rue’s mother makes a reappearance, she is extremely ill. Rue picks up some clues as to why her mother disappeared in the first place and puts others information together on her own.

In between looking for clues to the real story behind the girl her father is accused of killing, finding out about her mother, and coming to terms with her heritage, Rue is trying to maintain her life at school and with her friends.

THE GOOD NEIGHBORS is the first volume in the KIN series.  Holly Black wraps up this volume nicely while still leaving readers begging for more.  Fans of Black’s novels Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside will enjoy seeing the faeries come alive on the page of the graphic novel.  Be looking for sequels sometime in the future.

Alexis lives a dysfunctional high school existence.  She keeps to herself taking and developing her own photographs in a darkroom at home.  She doesn’t have any friends at school.  She watches her parents grow farther and farther apart while they focus on their careers instead of home, but most unsettling of all is her younger sister’s fascination with her doll collection. Kasey won’t allow anyone near them and Alexis knows she has heard Kasey talking to them in the middle of the night.

Strange things have been happening around the old house they live in.  Water boils on its own, doors open and close automatically, and Kasey’s eyes begin to change from their normal blue to a fiery green.  With the help from an unlikely ally, Alexis begins to put together the pieces of a mystery that will lead to the cause of the disturbance in her house and the cause of her sister’s evil possession.  

As far as ghost stories go, this is a good one.  There are several layers to the mystery and the author generates a completely creepy feeling throughout the entire book.  Be sure to pick up this book as soon as it comes out in April of 2009.  You won’t be disappointed.  Plus – what a cool cover!  Even the cover is creepy.