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September 2012

Applause to Ammi-Joan Paquette for a starred review of THE TIPTOE GUIDE TO TRACKING MERMAIDS!

While walking along the beach, you spot a shell, tiny footprints, seaweed, and other seaside treasures. Could these be the tell-tale signs of mermaids? Go exploring with the characters in this colorfully illustrated, somewhat perplexing, and creatively fun book and see if you can help them track the mermaids. The combination of real photographs and whimsical illustrations is not only unique, but very appealing to young readers. Paquette plays with language, font styles, and color to catch the reader's eye. A fun read-aloud, and one that would lend to a creative writing lesson, this energetic new book will surely be a great additional to any elementary library. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Library Media Connection

Congrats, Joan!

—Erin and Tricia

Henry Franks

Henry Franks
Peter A. Salomon

Booklist hands out a star to Peter Salomon's HENRY FRANKS!

It took 4,317 stitches to put 16-year-old Henry Franks back together again following the car crash that
killed his mother. But some pieces are still missing. Suffering total amnesia, panic attacks, and a spreading
numbness of his flesh ("parts of me are dying"), Henry is beset by dreams in which a little girl calls him
"Daddy," while his days are spent in loneliness—aside from the neighbor girl, Justine, who is not repelled
by his spiderwebs of scars. With Justine's help, Henry begins to uncover the truth of his identity. His
mysterious father, who works at a hospital (or is it a morgue?), offers him little information, but each night
leaves huge piles of fast food on the back porch as if feeding something in the woods. And what does that
have to do with the local rash of murders via "blunt force trauma"? Salomon's Frankenstein homage
churns through its often confounding but highly unnerving plot like a slow nightmare—readers won't be
entirely sure they even want to know how it ends. The scenes are clipped, the dialogue spare, and the prose
rewards meticulous reading, making this debut the thinking teen's horror choice of the year.—Daniel Kraus

Congratulations, Peter!

—Joan

Katerina

Katerina's Wish

And it's a third star for Jeannie Mobley's KATERINA'S WISH from Booklist!

In 1900, Katerina's family left Bohemia for America in hopes of owning a farm. Instead, Papa works in a Colorado coal mine, while 13-year-old Katerina and her sisters help Mama mind the house and do laundry for other miners. Initially prone to daydreaming and wishing, Katerina decides to work hard and earn a path out of the mining camp for her family. When her plans backfire, all seems lost, but she and her family are as resilient as their friends are supportive. One of those friends is Mark, and throughout the story her attachment to him slowly grows, though his insistence on mining, despite a life-threatening accident, causes a rift. This vividly imagined first-person narrative features a number of distinct characters within an unusual historical setting. Neighbors within the camp are divided into national groups by suspicion and prejudice as well as cultural and language differences, an issue handled with sensitivity. From the search for chicken coop materials to the gathering of women waiting for news after a mining disaster, realistic details bring the story to life. The inclusion of European folktales within the narrative frames individual dilemmas within a broader context, and a note on the Colorado coal camps and the author's research adds dimension to this multi-dimensional first novel.

Congratulations, Jeannie!

—Erin

From its very first opening page, I fell in love with the darkly vibrant world that Adi Rule has created in her debut, SING.

This stunning YA novel tells the story of a seventeen-year-old soprano who wants nothing more than to get out from under the shadow of her famous opera singer mother. When she enrolls in a prestigious and remote music academy, however, she quickly develops a fascination with the dark forest bordering the property. She soon learns that there is much more to the forest, the school, and its inhabitants than she could have begun to imagine. A lush tale of magic and mystery, SING is a read like no other and I am thrilled to announce that it has now found a wonderful publication home.

SING was bought by Sarah Jae-Jones at St. Martin's Press, in a two-book deal with Adi's second novel, REDWING, a dark gothic fairy tale with lush characters and an unforgettable premise.

Congratulations to Adi on her terrific two-book deal!

—Joan

Happy September from EMLA! It's thriller month—three YA novels (two are debuts)—from three of our fabulous authors.

Freaks Like Us by Susan (S R) Vaught is the story of a missing girl and her best friend, a schizophrenic teen who has to hear through the voices in his head to help find her, published by Bloomsbury.

Henry Franks by Peter Salomon is the story of a boy finally remembering the true story of his family and the dark secrets he never wanted to face, published by Flux.

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan is the story of a shy girl pushed into the spotlight, forced to face her limits and decide whether or not to risk her heart, published by Dial/Penguin.

We wish these books into readers' hearts!

—Erin and Joan