Thursday, April 20, 2006


SCRAMBLED EGGS AT MIDNIGHT, by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler (Dutton 2006)(Ages 12+)

Calliope is tired of being dragged by her mother cross-country from Renaissance Faire (don't forget the "e") after Renaissance Faire. Eliot longs for the day when his father used to sell swimming pools -- before he "found God," and subsequently founded the fat camp for Christian kids ("What would Jesus eat?"), thereby also discovering financial success. When Cal and Eliot meet, there's instantly chemsitry -- literally and figuratively. Do they have a future? Or will Eliot's father and Cal's mother (and her jouster boyfriend) tear them apart?

SCRAMBLED EGGS is a romantic comedy with an almost classic feel. Cal and Eliot feel like people you know even as they face unusual, even surreal, circumstances with humor and aplomb.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


PENNY FROM HEAVEN, by Jennifer L. Holm (Random House 2006)(on sale 25 July 2006)(Ages 10+)

In this rich period piece set in the summer of 1953, eleven year old Penny is beset by family (in the form of a her mother, a former nurse; live-in grandparents; her cousin and best friend Frankie and his slightly illicit schemes; and a whole bunch of Italian uncles); one or two secrets; Dem Bums, her beloved Brooklyn Dodgers; and an aged dachshund.

PENNY FROM HEAVEN is a lovely and heartwarming story based on the author's family history that captures both the sense of America of 1953 and what it means to be the child of recent immigrants.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


THE LIGHTNING THIEF, by Rick Riordan (Hyperion 2005):

Twelve year old Percy Jackson is kicked out of his sixth school in as many years. This time, at least, it's not his fault. It's only proper and just that he should stick up for his best friend and he didn't really mean to vaporize his algebra teacher.

Fortuitously, Percy makes it to Camp Halfblood, where he finds out that he, like the heroes of Ancient Greece, is a demigod (a child of a mortal and a god). Most of them don't make it past sixth grade, though.

Together with a daughter of Athena and a neurotic satyr, Percy must recover the Lightning Bolt of Zeus, to prevent a war among the gods that will make Troy look like a minor tiff...

TLT offers an exciting, action-packed, often funny and fresh take on Greek mythology. Most enjoyable.

Cynthia has an interview with author Rick Riordan here. THE LIGHTNING THIEF is first in a series of five. Book two, THE SEA OF MONSTERS, is now available.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

KING OF ATTOLIA, by Megan Whalen Turner

KING OF ATTOLIA, by Megan Whalen Turner (Greenwillow/HarperCollins 2006).

Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis, is now married to the Queen of Attolia. Goofy and apparently ineffectual, he is despised by the Queen's guardsmen and courtiers. When Costis, a guard, punches him in the face, Eugenides punishes him by assigning him to be his personal lieutenant. In that office, Costis comes to realize that not all is as it seems. Political intrigue and subterfuge abound as the King and Queen attempt to unite their fractious, short-sighted barons to face the threat from the neighboring Mede Empire.

KING OF ATTOLIA is a sequel to THE THIEF (HarperCollins 1996) and QUEEN OF ATTOLIA (Greenwillow/HarperCollins 2000) and is probably best read after those. As in the two preceding novels, in KING OF ATTOLIA, Turner offers well-rounded, genuine characters who are much more than fantasy archetypes; a realistic pseudo-Byzantine world; and provides a fascinating plot evocative of the Great Game and the Balance of Powers.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Signings in the springtime...

If it's April, it must be the month for signings.

Last Saturday, we had the pleasure of attending Dianna Aston's book signing at BookPeople for her new release AN EGG IS QUIET.

On April 5, at 7:30 PM, Jo Whittemore signs her new novel, ESCAPE FROM ARYLON, at the Brodie Lane Barnes and Noble.

On April 8, Kimberly Willis Holt presents her new picture book, WAITING FOR GREGORY, at the Arboretum Barnes and Noble (11 AM) and at BookPeople (3 PM).

On April 17, at 7 PM, Rick Riordan has a signing at BookPeople for THE SEA OF MONSTERS, the second book of the PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS series.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Escape from Arylon, by Jo Whittemore

ESCAPE FROM ARYLON, by Jo Whittemore (Llewellyn 2006).

In the first book in the Silverskin Legacy trilogy, debut novelist Jo Whittemore introduces high school freshmen and ex-friends Megan Haney and Ainsley Minks. A freak accident transports them from their sleepy suburb to the land of Arylon, where someone has stolen the powerful Staff of Lexiam. Before they can return home, they must help the wizard-kkng Bornias recover the Staff, or else both worlds will be in jeopardy.

In ESCAPE FROM ARYLON, Jo Whittemore creates likeable and intriguing characters and a fun and fantastic fantasy world. The cliffhanger ending will have readers eagerly anticipating the second book in the trilogy, which scheduled for publication in July 2006.
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