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March 2012

Springing into April here at EMLA with a wealth of brand-new books! Check out the many releases (so many stars!) and grab a few to read outside in that sunshine. Enjoy!

Elliot and the Last Underworld War by Jennifer Nielsen follows Elliot in his final challenge, to face the demon that escaped, published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen is a thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger, deceit, and hidden identities that will keep readers clinging to the edge of their seats, published by Scholastic.

The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin follows two brave kids, Oona and Fred, as they seek to save their beloved and sick cat, Zook (short for Zucchini) from the vet's office, published by Amulet/Abrams.

Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Team by Audrey Vernick tells the incredible story of twelve brothers who played semi-pro baseball together in 1938, published by Clarion/HMH.

Grave Mercy, His Fair Assassin, Book 1 by Robin LaFevers is a fantastic first book in a brand-new trilogy about teenaged assassin nuns who must help Death deliver vengeance, published by HMH.

If All of the Animals Came Inside by Eric Pinder (with Marc Brown, illus.) showcases what can happen if animals somehow were able to get inside, published by Little Brown.

The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats sends us back in history to a time when powerful forces decided who ruled and who did not, publishd by Harcourt.

Leopard and Silkie: One Boy's Quest to Save the Seal Pups by Brenda Peterson and Robin Lindsey follows a young boy who endeavors to keep Seattle's endangered seal pups safe, published by Ottaviano/Holt.

We wish these books into readers' hearts!


Words in the Dust

Words in the Dust
Trent Reedy

We are thrilled to announce that our own Trent Reedy’s WORDS IN THE DUST has been awarded a prestigious Christopher Award in the Books for Young People category. The Christopher Awards have been held since 1949, honoring media (including TV, film, and books) which “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.”  Previous winners include Andrew Clements, Walter Dean Myers, Clint Eastwood, and more.
Learn more about the award here.
Congratulations, Trent!

One thing about starred reviews: they never get old! To our great delight, the Hornbook’s March/April issue has given J. Anderson Coats’s The Wicked and the Just its second starred review. Here is the write-up in full:

In 1290s Caernarvon, Wales, English burgesses tax and oppress the local Welsh, who have only recently come under English rule. Into this castle-dominated town arrives English Cecily, resentful of her father’s new post as a town burgess and landholder. All Cecily can think of is how it’s all beneath her—the place, her father’s townhouse, and the filthy, taciturn Welsh servants. Arrogant, spoiled, and ignorant, Cecily plays the chatelaine by bullying her servant Gwenhwyfar—known to Cecily as Gwinny— and betraying the impoverished Welsh to their greedy overseers, even as she struggles to fit in with the town’s snooty English coterie, the honesti. At the same time, Gwinny the servant barely survives, tending to her half-dead mother in a hovel with her meager earnings. Then the Welsh rebel against the English: now Cecily is abject and terrified, and it’s Gwinny’s turn to exercise power. Terse, cantankerous, and vivid, Cecily’s first-person voice brings this tense situation to life, as does Gwinny’s alternate voice—haggard, starved, and angry. Coats allows the two protagonists to be both sympathetic and unsympathetic in this unusually honest portrait of the effects of power. Refreshingly, she asks her readers to see beyond the perspectives of each narrator to interpret between the lines; at the same time, she offers us a potent historical novel. deirdre f. baker

Hooray, Jillian!

Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy
Robin (R. L.) LaFevers

We are so happy to see Robin LaFevers's GRAVE MERCY get star #4! School Library Journal's review is too full of spoilers to post in full, but we are happy to share the following:

Ismae Rienne, born with an ugly red scar, is believed to have been sired by Death himself, and, when she escapes from her abusive husband on her wedding night, she finds refuge in the convent of St. Mortain where handmaidens are prepared to carry out Death’s wishes. Trained in poisons, weaponry, and the wiles of seduction, she is sent off to prove herself by posing as the mistress of Gavriel Duval, a Breton working against the French so that his sister Anne can rightfully be crowned Duchess of Brittany....This is a rich portrayal of the complexities of courtly life in 15th-century Brittany, featuring explicit details of costume and custom and showing how the lives of royalty and those who served them intertwined. The short, well-paced chapters will leave readers breathlessly waiting for more. Ismae and Duval are particularly well drawn, and the many twists and turns that influence their relationship are both fascinating and believable....[T[he story is sure to resonate with adolescents who are intrigued by vampires, werewolves, and their cultures of death...The book is well written and filled with fascinating, complex characters who function realistically in this invented medieval world.

Congratulations, Robin!


The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook

The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook
Joanne Rocklin

Booklist bestowed a star on Joanne Rocklin's upcoming THE FIVE LIVES OF OUR CAT ZOOK:

At 10-years-old, Oona Armstrong has, and clearly enjoys, many responsibilities: she cares for Fred, her 5-year-old brother, when their mom is at work; she helps the local pizza place advertise to passersby; she preserves memories for both herself and Fred, including those of their dead father and also of the day they found their cat, Zook. In Ooona’s strong and realistic presentation of current events, we learn details of the past that bring Oona’s present concerns into compelling focus. Just as importantly, we learn about her idiosyncratic, but satisfying, theories on fibbing, story construction, and even child rearing. When Zook becomes critically ill, Oona keeps Fred from worrying by telling him he's only used five of his nine lives, and then invents stories about Zook’s previous lives. Rocklin’s characters are fully developed: readers will be invested in the interactions between Oona and her mother; Fred and their mother’s new boyfriend; and even the veterinarian intern and Zook. Set in Oakland, readers are also treated to a refreshingly authentic child’s view of a diverse city. The only imperfection in this novel is that it ends. Fortunately, an appendix provides us with Oona’s 8-step theory for story-making, including “A story doesn’t have to be true, but it does have to be real.”

Congratulations, Joanne!


We have great news for fans of ELLIE MCDOODLE. Since reading ELLIE means loving ELLIE, that means we have great news for anybody who has ever picked up the books (including the latest, ELLIE MCDOODLE: MOST VALUABLE PLAYER, recently released).

Two more ELLIE MCDOODLE books are on the way! The fifth and sixth installments in the series will debut in 2013 and 2014, touching on the theater and green activities, respectively. As with all the books, they will use Ruth's signature sketch-diary style and incorporate games, crafts, and fun facts, and will be infused with Ellie's can-do-with-friends attitude.

We are so pleased that Bloomsbury USA's Caroline Abbey will be taking the editorial helm on these books; the deal for books 5 and 6 was done with her for world rights.

Huge, huge congratulations, Ruth!


Words in the Dust

Words in the Dust
Trent Reedy

This announcement is coming a few days late, but we're thrilled to share the news that Trent Reedy's WORDS IN THE DUST has been awarded a 2012 Golden Kite Honor by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. We're so proud of you, Trent, and thrilled to see this recognition for such a powerful and important book!


Ellie McDoodle: Most Valuable Player

Ellie McDoodle: Most Valuable Player
Ruth McNally Barshaw

Is it spring yet? Well, it's time for soccer in Ruth McNally Barshaw's beloved Ellie McDoodle's world!

Ellie McDoodle: Most Valuable Player by Ruth McNally Barshaw follows Ellie McDoodle onto the soccer field where she has to choose between her beloved brain-bending quizzes or being coached  by her dad (he's the new soccer coach!), published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens.

We wish this book into readers' hearts!


Shattered Souls

Shattered Souls

If there is one thing that scores of enthusiastic readers all say repeatedly in their reviews of Mary Lindsey’s dark romantic ghost story, SHATTERED SOULS, it is this: Will there be a sequel?
I am here today to answer this question with a resounding: YES! I’m thrilled to announce that this week, Mary Lindsey accepted a publication offer for an as-yet untitled companion novel to her spine-tingling YA debut. For those of you who have read SHATTERED SOULS, the new novel will continue Lenzi and Alden’s adventures but from more of a background perspective. Several tantalizing new characters will take front and center stage within the sequel, and there are plenty more chills, thrills, swoons, and surprises up ahead!
The sale was again to the illustrious Jill Santopolo at Philomel, and the target pub date has been set at Spring 2014.
Congratulations and much confetti, Mary!