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Coming in August... Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper

I have been wishing for this book for a very long time and did not know that it was coming. A master of the genre has returned in the fullness of her power. Susan Cooper, who brought us the wonder of “the Dark is Rising” in the early 70’s, now gives us a very new story.
Little Hawk is taken out to his manhood test in midwinter. 3 months later, he comes back to a community destroyed by a foreign disease. Everyone but his grandmother is dead. Cooper has written a clear and sympathetic story of a First Nation young man and an immigrant  boy and the things that tie them to the land of Rhode Island. Steeped in history, even including the great Rodger Williams, this story will move any who read it.
Please, hand it to any boy between 4th grade and university.
Fans of “My Side of the Mountain” and all of Gary Paulson will love this book.
--Reviewed by Elizabeth, Books Inc. Alameda
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Ravenous Reader Interviews David Levithan and Andrea Cremer for NYMBC

Local Blogger and NYMBC bestie RAVENOUS READER interviewed David and Andrea when they came to visit us last month. You can check out her blog here (because it is the awesome) and follow her on the Twitter here.

RR: I believe that Invisibility is a wonderful collaboration between two of my favorite authors. How did the genesis for this project come about?

AC: It happened in the Summer of 2010, the year that NIGHTSHADE was coming out and penguin sent me out on a bunch of pre-publication tours. One of the things they did was put me on a panel at the American Library Association annual meeting with two seasoned authors, David Levithan and John Green. Both of which happened to be writing icons for me. So, I show up and all of a sudden was thrust into this world of OMG!! I can't believe that I am on a panel with them.

DL: So, we all hit it off and we spent about an hour together and maybe another half hour the next morning and that would have been that, except that the universe pointed out to me that Andrea had blogged that she had a great time and very jokingly said "David Levithan, when are you going to write a book with me?"


DL: So, I thought "you know what? I've known her for an hour and a half and I've not read a single word that she has written, but we had fun so this would be cool. Also she sorta had taunted me for not having written anything paranormal. So, I thought "What paranormal would be interesting to me?" and Invisibility had always been interesting to me both for it's metaphorical possibilities as well as just being invisible. So, I wrote a chapter and out of the blue I found her email address on her website and sent it to her. Alright the gauntlet was thrown. Bring it on.

AC: I could not believe that all of a sudden there was this email from David Levithan in my inbox saying you wanted to write a book together, here is a chapter and you can send one back. Yeah, that was the beginning and now we have the book. It was awesome, crazy and wonderful

RR: How was it decided on who would write each character's POV (Stephen and Elizabeth)

DL: I find that collaborations always work best if you have your own character in your own chapters so it became apparent early on that I would write Stephen and Andrea would write Elizabeth. I will say what surprised and impressed us the most is that it was pretty seemless when there was dialogue. When there was Elizabeth dialogue in my chapters it sounded like Andrea was writing it and when Andrea was writing Stephen's dialogue it sounded like I was writing it. We were able to inhabit the characters.

AC: It was nice, like we both able to understand and really capture the voices of each other's characters and it wasn't a jarring switch from chapter to chapter.

RR: How is it different from working on a duo project to working solo? Do you enjoy it more or less?

AC: I feel that it is about the same, there is a difference and it is a really wonderful way to write. When I am writing on my own I enjoy getting lost in the world. This (Invisibility) went a lot more like an adventure. I would get a chapter from David and it would be “where am I going?†and have an end of a chapter and know that I would have to pick it up the story and run ahead with it and throw the next chapter back at him. I never knew what was coming and it was very exciting. I really enjoyed it. It almost felt like I was writing to David and that had a really special quality about it for it felt like I was getting to know him better.

DL: I would say that I think it is more fun to write with somebody else. Certainly, it is meaningful to write alone but I like writing with somebody else.

RR: Invisibility has a little bit of everything for readers. It has great contemporary issues along with a wicked paranormal edge and a sweet romance. What are your favorite parts in Invisibility?

DL: It’s so funny because it doesn’t feel separate to me and I think the way we did it fits really well and you can’t pick it apart as easily. What is interesting to me is that I do think the book shifts halfway through which has never happened to me before, but I thought that was interesting and it kept it interesting for us. I obviously felt more comfortable with the romantic character elements because I never written paranormal or fantasy before so I relied upon upon my co-author expertise to say “MAGIC System!†and “What is a magic System?â€

AC: When you picked it up you did awesome because there were things…..well, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. There were a couple times when I got to scenes that involved magical stuff and David had put something out there and I was like “YES! YES! YES!†. This is amazing. So, I agree there is not one part that I can pick out among all the other things that I love. I felt that in this story we were able to bring together elements of different genres to a really well woven narrative. That is was something that I think it functions differently than most. I like that it is different.

RR: Do you plan on writing more novels together?

DL: I am sure we will


RR: What is on your nightstand now and what would you recommend to readers?

DL: It's rude of course because everything I have brought with me is an Advanced Readers copy. I cannot express how much I love Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Coldtown right now. It is due out in September and it is so so fantastic. So, so. yeah I am not finished yet but that is what is on my nightstand right now.

AC: And I also just finished and Advanced Readers Copy of a book coming out in October it's called Inhuman by Cat Falls and it is AWESOME! I started reading it thinking I was gonna sleep but I could not put it down and I ended up staying up late into the evening reading it.

RR: On behalf of myself and NYMBC thank you, for this opportunity. It is not every day that someone gets to meet their author idols. I hope you have a great event and please come back again soon.

DL: Thank you!

AC: Thank you!

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Loki's Wolves by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

Percy Jackson fans have been asking for a similar series set in the Norse mythos. Rick Riordan has promised to get on that right after he finishes his current two projects, that will probably be in 2015. Until then we can enjoy the exploits of the modern-day kin of Odin, Loki, and Thor in this first volume of The Blackwell Pages.

Matt Thorsen knows he's a descendent of Thor, the god of Thunder and He-Man Action Stuff, but it's no big deal. In fact, nearly everybody in Blackwell, South Dakota can claim ancestory to either the bearer of the hammer Mjölnir or to Loki, his infamous rival, god of Fire and Dirty Tricks. The old gods died a long time ago through unspecified stupidity, but left behind mortal lineages who occasionally manifest pale glimmers of divine powers. Matt, like most of the townspeople, take this fantastic heritage for granted. He
is more worried about his science fair project than creaky old legends.

Then the town's elders proclaim that the runes show that Ragnarok, the End of The World, is coming. Matt has been chosen to stand in for the valiant warrior Thor. Matt would rather have a dirt bike. He realizes that according to lore, the gods are not supposed to win this Final Battle, he is being offered up as monster chow. With some prophecy out of left field he splits town with two school mates to search for other special Asgardian descendents to see if another fate is possible.

These two new companions are Fen and Laurie Brekke. Their family comes from mischiveous Loki and most of that clan has inherited sinister traits. The Brekkes are known for loose attitudes to the truth and property, often have rap sheets, and oh yeah, some of them turn into wolves. The Thorsens tend to be athletic, civic leaders. In fact Matt's dad is sherrif and soon has the whole state's law enforcement uot to bring the runaways home. With scarce information and resources the three embark on a mystic quest among the famous landmarks of South Dakota (yes, that region has more than one landmark, you cynics). Creatures from legend spring up left and right and
even the ones not actively trying to eat them may not be all that trustworthy. The heroes of this book are not nearly as cocky and entitlied as the protagonists of other, more famous children's lit franchises.

These kids are smart, resourceful, brave, and way out of their depths. This frightens them because, duh, they're smart. They are finding out things not just about ancient legends, but about the regular world, their families, and themselves the wish they didn't know. Once the plot picks up, the action thunders along and grows darker. There are laughs along the way and we get to know and feel for these kids. They are going to need all the help and friends they can get because a big storm is on the way.
--Reviewed by Chris of Compass Books
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Zac and the Dream Stealers By Ross MacKenzie

In this book there is a boy named Zac who lives with his Grandmother. One night he notices her walking in to a pool and decides to follow her.

He soon finds out that the pool is actually a portal to a world where all dreams happen.

He soon finds out there is a society of people known as the Dream Stealers who were supposed to have been defeated long ago by another society known as The Knights. 

But the Dream Stealers are growing stronger, and are beginning to feed more openly on dreams. To make matters worse, The Grand Master, Leader of The Knights has disappeared, supposedly kidnapped by the Dream Stealers. Now Zac, his Grandmother, his new friends Tom and Tily, and the last of The Knights must go and try to save what might be the only thing that can stop the Dream Stealers and save both the dream world and the human world.

Reviewed By Henry, Age 12, kid reviewer, MV Books Inc.

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