Monday, April 27, 2009

Bloodhound and reviews

This book, BLOODHOUND by Tamora Pierce, will debut at #1 on the New York Times Children's bestseller list next week. Tamora Pierce was my favorite author when I was in elementary school and junior high, and I'm really proud of her for writing another bestselling series. In my opinion, the Beka Cooper legend is her best series yet--and that's saying a lot, because I've read her first two series' about 20 times each. If you haven't read TERRIER yet, start with that one. It's the first Beka Cooper book. Congratulations, Tamora!

The Amanda Project, Book One: Invisible i
by Stella Lennon
Young Adult fiction/mystery
Due September 22, 2009

I was a little dubious about this at first. It sounded an awful lot like Paper Towns by John Green: girl commits wild act of vandalism, girl disappears, friends don't know what happened to girl and have to follow clues to find her. Beyond these basic plot points, though, Invisible i is nothing like Paper Towns. For a start, the main character, Callie, is a "mean girl" type who is hiding all the abnormal things about herself in order to fit in with the popular crowd. When her secret friend Amanda disappears, she is thrown together with two social pariahs and blamed for Amanda's last act of vandalism. She has to balance her desire to find Amanda with her desire to hide their friendship from the "I-girls," Kelli, Heidi, and Traci. By itself, this is a well-developed mystery with a really interesting protagonist. In addition to being the first of a new series, though, this is also an interactive project where readers can posit theories about Amanda, contribute music and art to the project website, and generally determine the trajectory of the series via the website It's a really cool idea and I'm excited to see what kind of response it gets. In any case, the book is great and I highly recommend it.

Century Book One: The Ring of Fire
by P.D. Baccalario
Middle Grade Adventure
Due September 22, 2009

Yes! This is going to be the perfect series for fans of Percy Jackson. Four twelve-year-olds find themselves thrown together in an implausible coincidence. The reader knows that it's not really a coincidence--four mysterious adults are guiding the fortunes of these four children who happened to be born on exactly the same day. Elettra is a headstrong Roman girl, Mistral is a quiet Parisian girl, Harvey is a sullen American, and Sheng is a boy from Shanghai (who totally reminds me of Hero Nakamura with his endless enthusiasm). They have to find the Ring of Fire before Jacob Mahler, a terrifying hitman, catches up with them. The book takes place in Rome and includes tons of historical information as well as detailed scenes in different parts of the city. This is a very exciting new series, and I can't wait to read the next one!

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