Buy Nobody’s Secret
Special Price: $12.40 (Regular price: $16.99)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Reviewer: Melissa on May 21, 2013
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
On a day when fifteen-year-old Emily Dickinson is doing everything she can to avoid helping with the laundry, she meets a young man who is as mysterious as he is handsome. In a town where everyone seems to know who she or her family is, she’s surprised to realize that he not only doesn’t know who she is, but also he playfully evades telling her who he is. Readers of Nobody’s Secret by Michaela MacColl and Emily herself both enjoy the brief and clandestine flirtation that she has with Mr. “Nobody” until he’s found dead in the pond on her family’s property. Can Emily discover who he is before he’s condemned to an unmarked pauper’s grave? The secrets of Amherst, a blossoming romance, and danger wait at every turn in this well-researched YA mystery novel that celebrates the intellect and attitude of a beloved American poet while readers find themselves unable to put it down.
While no one ever wants to be able to predict where a story is going from the first page, it’s even more imperative that a mystery novel’s plot twists aren’t obvious. With Nobody’s Secret, MacColl does one better: she makes you so certain one thing is going to happen that you keep reading to prove you’re right, only to find that you weren’t. Of course, MacColl leaves clues for Emily and the reader to pick up all along, which will lead her characters and eventually, the reader to the ultimate, whodunit answer. Teens, who like either mystery or historical novels, will appreciate this book.
One of my favorite parts about this novel, other than the fact it wasn’t predictable, is how MacColl uses Emily Dickinson’s poetry in order to illuminate who she might have been as a teenager. She prefaces each chapter with a line or two from a poem, which corresponds with its theme and is the perfect way to give teens an interest in reading each poem in their entirety. Moreover, I noticed that at times, the language she uses either as part of Emily’s thoughts or the dialog that she has with Mr. Nobody, for example, mirrors one another, demonstrating for the reader that there is a connection between the authorial voice in Dickinson’s poetry and who she may have been as a teen. Why do I say may have been rather than how she was? Well, all of the historical information available suggests that the real Emily never began writing poetry until her 20s, and yet, the means by which MacColl inserts her poetry into the context of Nobody’s Secret are not only believable, but also give the reader an opportunity to connect with Dickinson’s writing in a way that might have escaped them before. If readers have even a small inkling that the character of this poet from the 19th century might have felt some of the same things as they do, then perhaps they will see a kinship with them where before their was only a separation of time and culture.
For those who are only looking for a pure, by-the-historical-record-kind of read, Nobody’s Secret may disappoint. However, I suspect that many more teen and adult readers of YA will appreciate MacColl’s interpretation of Emily Dickinson and love exploring what may have happened if she ever had a crush on an older boy, who winds up dead a few days after she meets him. Pick up a copy today and get ready to immerse yourself in this fun story.
Buy Nobody’s Secret today and save 27% off the regular price!
Special $13.50 (Regular price: $17.95)
Publisher: Tundra Books
Reviewer: Melissa on January 4, 2011
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
In 1882, a servant named Esther goes missing from her small Hungarian village. Assuming that there must be someone at fault, the Hungarian villagers start circulating lies – the “blood libel” – that Jews kill Christian children as part of their springtime rituals. In this unforgettable story, Eva Wiseman draws upon a real trial in Hungary that caused outrage throughout the world in 1883 in part because Morris Scharf, son of one of the accused, was the key witness against them. Written from the perspective of Julie, a friend of the missing girl, Puppet is a novel that examines not only the worst, but also the best that human nature has to offer.
When I first heard about this novel, I was immediately intrigued by it, but unfortunately, I was unable to read it until fairly recently. Even though it was published in 2009, I’m really glad that I made time for it now because unlike a few other novels that I’ve read, my expectations of this one weren’t disappointed. In fact, I was surprised (in a good way) by Julie’s ability to see beyond the lies constantly being spewed by most of the adults in her life just as much as I was disgusted by the the outright bigotry of many of the other characters. To think that we live in a world where hatred like that represented in this book could ever exist is a really sad thing, but when adults attempt to perpetuate these disturbing beliefs in the next generation, it’s absolutely frightening. While I’ve always believed that in general, seeing this play out in the context of Wiseman’s novel made it so much more real.
Was Julie alone in her conviction that the Jews of the town Tisza-Eszlar, Hungary were completely innocent? No, not at all, but those who spoke on behalf of the imprisoned Jews were few and far between. Julie’s mother planted the seed of justice in Julie’s mind, but Wiseman’s narrative is composed in such a way that the reader becomes one of the most steadfast supporters of the main character. Does that make Julie a strong female role model for teen girls? I think so, and her strength of character becomes even more apparent when compared to Morris Scharf. (You’ll understand what I mean when you’ve read the novel yourself.)
If my opinion is of any consequence, then I think this novel will speak to many teens. Whether they’re interested in history, social justice, or just love a great story, you can rest assured that this novel will touch teens and stay with them for a long time to come. Now I’ll leave finding out who demonstrates the best and worst in human nature up to you!
Buy Puppet today!
Special $11.98 (Regular price: $15.99)
Publisher: Tundra Books & Wendy Lamb Books
Reviewer: Melissa on December 30, 2010
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
It’s the late 1800s, where a few moments of folly have the power to change the lives of others. Mary, who has always been a sensible, young, country girl, works as a maid in London and learns more than she’d like about the dangers of lust and betrayal. Eliza is another maid, who’s own sense of rivalry with Mary leads to problems for them both as the story progresses. A teacher named Oliver, who does his best to avoid feeling anything, even when he knows what matters most. And finally James, a child who is torn away from his foster family to grow up in the confines of an orphanage and wants, more than anything, to know his roots. In a story where the past, present, and future collide, the plot of Marthe Jocelyn‘s Folly is a complicated but ultimately, rewarding story based on the real founding hospital that the author’s grandfather was left as a nine-month-old baby.
Without knowing very much about this novel, other than that it was a historical YA tale set in Victorian England, I was nevertheless drawn to it. Why? I fell in love with the cover design, which depicts a beautiful redhead girl, whose pale complexion took on the look of marble at the hands of the designer. The image conveys the beauty and fragile ties that bind each of the first person narrators in the story for me…once I knew understood more about the novel’s plot, so I think it’s the perfect look for this story. But what about the narrative itself?
Jocelyn weaves together four very distinct points of view and four different time periods (1876-1878, 1884, 1888, and 1893) to bring this novel to fruition. At the beginning, I didn’t understand how the different voices and times fit together. I thought how does Mary Finn, a woman who lives between 1876 and 1878, have anything to do with James Nelligan of 1884. For some people, I imagined that the constant shifts in voice and time could be distracting, especially when it isn’t clear how the characters will tie together. However, I personally found the characters of Mary and James quite endearing, especially Mary’s concern and love for her siblings and James systematized, list-making. While there are many aspects of the plot that I may not remember after time has past, it is these small details that the author has thrown in about the characters that one can’t help but love.
As the novel progressed and Oliver’s voice was added to the mix, his connection to James as a student at the foundling school and the similarities in their character made me wish along with James that he could be the long lost father he never knew. As for Eliza, I didn’t really like her character as much, but three out of four isn’t half bad, right?
By the time I reached the end of the novel, however, Jocelyn definitely tied together all the narrative threads. While some readers claimed it was a tearjerker, it didn’t affect me as much as some other novels I’ve read recently. However, ultimately, for me, the novel worked, but I know that not everyone who read Folly enjoyed it. Some people claimed that it started out really slow and they just couldn’t get into it. Since I questioned the choice of narrators at the beginning, I can understand where some of the other readers are coming from, but ultimately, the characters in this novel and their idiosyncrasies won me over. I hope they win you over too.
Buy Folly today!
Right now I’m reading Marthe Jocelyn‘s Folly, which reminds me just how much I love and appreciate YA historical fiction. If you or the teen in your life thinks that this genre is a yawn, then you clearly haven’t been reading the contemporary reincarnations, and if you only give it a try, then I have a feeling that 2011 will be a year of playing catch up for all the amazing historical novels you’ve missed already.
Like I said yesterday, when I offered you a list of my favorite novels on a variety of issues, the following isn’t an exhaustive list my any stretch of the imagination. Rather I’m offering you a selection of my favorite historical YA novels, which I think would make a great gift for the reader on your list. Check out the selections and enjoy (alphabetical order by author’s last name):
Whether you’re looking for an escape to the Renaissance, the Restoration, the Victorian period or the Eighties, you’ll find something to enjoy among these books. A bunch of them, like the novels by Gardner and Bunce, use magic to spark interest in the story and don’t always offer purely historically accurate situations. Some of the other novels, like those of MacColl and Osborne, infuse fictional characters in amongst some real live characters, often will powerfully strong heroines that young women can look up to.
No matter which one of these books you select to give to the teen or adult reader on you list this year, I can bet that they’ll quickly learn that history is anything but boring. Prefer an eBook gift? Then check out any one of the over 2 million ebook titles from Kobo – Try FREE!
Buy Prisoners In The Palace
Special $14.76 (Regular price: $16.99)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Reviewer: Melissa on November 14, 2010
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
It’s London, England in 1836. Liza Hastings dreams of a society debut, an unforgettable romance, and a dream wedding, but when both her parents die in a tragic accident, everything changes. Without any money to her name, Liza takes on a position as a lady’s maid to the young Princess Victoria. Her new position puts her in the middle of the gossip downstairs in the servant quarters and the trickery and treason above.
Michaela MacColl writes a fast-paced and intriguing look at the year before Princess Victoria was crowned Queen through the eyes of her maid. In Prisoners In The Palace, Liza is trying to secure a place for herself in Victoria’s favor, hoping that by doing so, Victoria will decide to do something for her later. With this motivation, she not only agrees to become Victoria’s maid, but also she uses her German language skills to her advantage, listening in on conversations between the Duchess and Sir John Conway, who are both scheming against Victoria in the hope of profiting from her young age and vulnerable position. As a spy for both the Baroness and young Victoria, Liza does everything in her power to protect the interest of the soon-to-be Queen.
Now, Liza isn’t a historical figure, and the author’s claim in my interview with her that any historical knowledge you garner from the novel is “incidental to the story” is accurate. That isn’t to say that young and adult readers alike won’t learn anything from PrisonersInThePalace because I certainly have come away with a broader understanding of the politics of the royal family. However, it does mean that the fictitious events and characters, like Liza, do have some basis in reality in so far as her main duties and her position both among the royals and below stairs with the rest of the servants working at Kensington Palace. While particular broadsheet stories aren’t true, their like was common at this time and become even more ubiquitous after Victoria’s title changes from Her Highness to Her Majesty. At the same time, MacColl’s story is what makes this novel a page turner rather a dry, aging text book.
From the gorgeous cover and intrigue-filled plot to the spunky and intelligent heroine and a hint or two of romance, this novel gets the YABookShelf.com guarantee that readers of all ages will not only enjoy it, but also will be sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the next Michaela MacColl novel to hit bookstores. Unlike the dowager Victoria pictured in history courses, this novel brilliantly demonstrates that while she was destined to be a very public and celebrated figure, she was boy crazy and desired a little bit of adventure and freedom in her life, just like a normal teen girl. With that in mind, is it any wonder that I highly recommend this novel for it’s gossip, intrigue, and accuracy to the time and characters. Take a chance and you might just find that history isn’t as scary as you once thought.
Buy Prisoners In the Palace today!
Melissa, thank you for letting me chat with your loyal and devout fans…
When you write a novel of historical fiction, there are always too many facts to put in. So many lovely details that you want to include, but you can’t for fear of overwhelming your reader. In Prisoners in the Palace, my heroine is Liza Hastings, a young lady fallen on hard times. She takes a job as Princess Victoria’s maid at Kensington Palace. We see how Victoria lives through Liza’s eyes. And I couldn’t resist having Liza notice a lot of those lovely details…and Liza interprets them based on her own experiences.
For instance, while bathing the Princess, Liza notices a strange scar on her upper arm. She learns that it is a small pox vaccine. The vaccine had only been developed a few years earlier and it was by no means common. Victoria’s mother had insisted that Victoria receive it. Liza, who has just met a woman in London’s poorer districts whose face was covered in pox scars, reflects how unfair it is that Victoria is protected, while everyone else is not. But that wasn’t Victoria’s only experience with uncommon medical techniques. As a baby, she was breast fed by her mother, an unusual move since almost every child born into privilege at that time was farmed out to a wet nurse. Victoria’s mother believed in “maternal nutriment.”
Victoria had her own ideas about maturity. She had nine children with Prince Albert. Ironically, she hated being pregnant and detested childbirth. In her journal she wrote, “One has a strong wish to give a husband a good, strong ducking…what humiliations to the delicate feeling of a poor woman, especially with those nasty doctors!”
Beyond having to cope with doctors, Victoria had strong feelings about the very process of giving birth. She wrote a letter to her eldest daughter the Crown Princess Of Prussia: “What you say of the pride of giving life to an immortal soul is very fine, dear, but I own I cannot enter into that; I think much more of our being like a cow or a dog at such moments.” Zing! Of course, it didn’t help that doctors at the time didn’t believe in pain relief for women in childbirth – many doctors and the Church believed a woman was supposed to suffer.
By her fifth child, Prince Leopold, Victoria had had enough! Defying medical and religion convention, she insisted on trying the new chloroform to ease the pain. She called it “That blessed chloroform…the effect is soothing, quieting, and delightful beyond measure.”
Her doctor, Sir James Clark, oddly had very little experienced with women. His training was in the British Navy. His position was an odd one – he had to give the best care possible to the Queen but also justify his treatment to the nation. He reported this about the Queen’s confinement. “Chloroform was not at any time given so strongly as to render the Queen insensible, and an ounce of chloroform was scarely consumed during the whole time. Her Majesty was greatly pleased with the effect, and she certainly never has had a better recovery.”
And where the Queen will go…the good ladies of Great Britain will follow. Victoria became a pioneer in the development of modern anesthesia.
As a two-time mom, I salute you!
If you are interested in more information about Prisoner in the Palace, please visit my website, www.michaelamaccoll.com. Thank you for letting me visit.
Buy Rose Sees Red
Special $12.94 (Regular price: $17.99)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Reviewer: Melissa on September 2, 2010
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Sometimes a single night has the power to change everything; sometimes a single night is all you have. If you pick up Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci, I guarantee that you’ll be drawn into the moment of this unputdownable book just as I was. When we meet Rose, she’s a black cloud on the inside, having given up on friendship, on happiness, and on life being on anything other than the darkness that it appears to be. However, when Yrena, Rose’s Russian next door neighbor, crashes into Rose’s room and life, she sets in motion the events of an unforgettable night and the hope for better things to come.
If there is a word that can best sum up RoseSeesRed, then it would have to be electric. It’s too bad that Scholastic already used the phrase, “sparks will fly” to sell Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire because I think the energy of this novel feels like static electricity coursing from the page to your literary imagination. It’ll wake you up, and it’ll make you remember what it’s like to feel the newness of friendship, the undiscovered confidence within yourself, and the excitement of New York City. I think it’s easy to see why both teen and adult readers of YA novels would identify with this narrative.
Readers will be thrown headlong into a novel rich in the language of artistic expression, including dance, theater and music. It’s a novel of dreams and the uncertainty and fear that these dreams won’t come to fruition. However, it’s also about the joy of sharing your artistic expression with other artists and the world at large. In other words, it’s a novel that speaks to the creativity ever present in human beings in a way that grabbed my attention. This book taps into the truth of the teenage experience, and when reading Cecil Castellucci’s novels, I find myself transported back to my own teen years with the same fears and desires as I had then.
If you’ve read my blog before, then you’ll know that I’m partial to historical novels. However, unlike the 18th and 19th century books that typically wind up in my YA historical literature category, this one speaks of a period in 1982 while the cold war is still raging and KGB and CIA agents still close observe any interactions between Americans and Russian diplomats (or their children). It’s a time that many of my adult readers will recognize and one that while still be a little foreign to today’s teens, may mean a larger appeal than the typical historical novel. It begs the question, how do you put the “historical” into this novel? Does an author need to be extra conscientious about a setting that is within the living memory of it’s readers and their parents? Perhaps these and other questions will be answered in due time on YABookShelf.com, but for now, I’ll keep pondering.
I think there is a lot to love about about Rose Sees Red, but what worked for me more than anything else was how it captured hope for the future. Celebrate the hope of adolescence – read this book!
Buy Rose Sees Red today!
Special $12.00 (Regular price: $16.00)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Reviewer: Melissa on August 19, 2010
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
She was on her way to become a companion at the Woodville residence, but when the carriage stops, she finds herself locked away in the insane asylum known as Wildthorn Hall. First they take her clothing, even her corset. Then they take her real name, calling her Lucy Childs, and finally of course, Louisa Cosgrove suffers the worst loss of all, the disbelief by those around her of her sanity. Jane Eagland‘s thrilling debut novel (a debut in the US at least), Wildthorn, will have you reeling from the treachery and basking in the romance that just might set Louisa free.
When I first heard the premise of this neo-Victorian novel, I was ecstatic that I had the chance to read and review it because not only I am a 19th century British literature specialist, but also I pondered the incarceration of women in asylums during this period considerably as a student. If I was meant to be a YA book reviewer, then Wildthorn was a novel I was destined to examine for my site. In fact, this novel is one of the two teen reads that I’ve been most looking forward to this September. Clearly, I had great expectations about Eagland’s story, and sometimes that leads to disappointment. However, I’d like to state for the record that I absolutely loved this novel and I think that there’s a pretty good chance you will too.
To help Louisa figure out what happened, the novel shifts between her horrifying present and her memories of the years and months leading up to her incarceration. In this way, readers get insight into both Louisa’s character/delusion and gain back story that helps us piece together the who, how and why of Louisa’s betrayal, or at least what she envisions as one. You see, as with any first person narration, Louisa is an unreliable narrator, but in this instance, she’s doubly so because there is a chance that Louisa really IS Lucy Childs and that she really is crazy. In this tightly woven YA book, many of the plot devices and incidents have two possibilities, but as the narrative progresses, you’ll come to side one way or the other.
While I’m not a historian, Eagland portrays an accurate late-19th century setting that follows issues of the sick bed, female “insanity” and the desires of women to strive for more of life than marriage and children. Don’t expect that the narrative will be told through the eyes of a typical heroine who focuses her energy on learning the social graces and putting everyone, especially her children, before herself. Eagland paints a strong, modern female character, who has the brains and willingness to be a trained physician, and who is willing to fight for what she wants, even when she faces great censure from those in the medical profession at large and within her own family. Louisa’s strength of character and her desire to break free from the a “woman’s place” shows an individuality with which many high school students and adults alike will identify. Wildthorn proves again and again that historical narratives have a definite place in today’s world.
Just as today’s women strive to have it all – a rewarding career and a love like no other – Louisa faces these dilemmas as well. However, part of her journey involves a growing awareness that her sexuality is different from that of most men and women in her time. Is this why she is betrayed and ends up in Wildthorn Hall? Or is being a modern woman who challenges the status quo too much for those in the medical institution and the community at large to handle?
Whatever the answer to the questions above and others, one thing is for sure, you’ll be glad that I recommended Wildthorn to you. When you take the time to read Eagland’s brilliant American debut novel, you’ll see what I mean.
Buy Wildthorn today!
Buy A Curse Dark As Gold
Special $9.49 (Regular price: $9.99)
Format: Paperback and hardcover
Reviewer: Melissa on August 12, 2010
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Before beginning to read A Curse Dark As Gold, I hadn’t thought about a fairy tale that I’d absolutely loved as a child called Rumpelstiltskin. I’d even go so far as to say that it was my favorite fairy tale, which fascinated me long before I was exposed to Disney versions of many of these stories. If you read and loved the original tale, then this re-imagining of the Gothic curse set against the miller’s daughter is sure to delight you.
Set in an 18th century town at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, Elizabeth C. Bunce goes beyond just re-writing the fairy tale ACurseDarkAsGold based on to criticize the status quo of the time. Despite consistent adversity and prejudice, the 17-year-old main character, Charlotte Miller, takes on the running of the family mill after her father dies when there are no other male heirs in the Miller family at a time when women were only expected to get married and have children. Things get worse when Randall Woodstone arrives bringing tidings of a heavy debt incurred by the now deceased father. While Charlotte and her sister Rosie have no idea what their father did with such a large sum of money, the weight of it puts them in the clutches of Jack Spinner, and whether it’s for good or ill remains to be seen.
A few carefully-placed anachronisms in the novel add to the feminist bent of the narrative and makes Jack Spinner a rich name for Bunce to use. For example, during the narrative setting, men were always deemed a source of skilled labor, but the book presents women in these roles when in actuality, it wasn’t until they were completely mechanized that this job became “women’s work.” Moreover, the “jack spinner” didn’t come into being until 1820 as Bunce mentions in the “Author’s Note,” which is at least 100 years after this story’s setting. However, without using this anachronism, the images and naming of Jack Spinner wouldn’t have been so important. When combined together, these points work toward making the literary richness of the novel shine like gold and updating the story for an audience that is used to the girl power phenomenon.
This debut novel is written with the touch of a seasoned pro, so I’m not at all surprised that it won the William C. Morris Debut Award and was named An ALA Best Book For Young Adults, A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book, and A Smithsonian Notable Book. Now if this critical acclaim doesn’t tempt you, then perhaps my opinion won’t move you either, but just in case, let’s test it out. What can you expect? How about a novel that is shot through with elements of Gothic narrative, romance and magic and which will speak to the child in you, no matter what your current age. I, for one, fell in love with the characters and was drawn into the plot so much that I can’t wait until Bunce’s second novel, Star Crossed, hits the bookshelves in October, 2010.
If you’re looking for a brilliant, rich narrative with a historical fantasy plot, then check out A Curse Dark As Gold. While all that glitters is not gold, this novel certainly is the real thing.
Buy A Curse Dark As Gold today!
Buy Nonna’s Book Of Mysteries
Special: $13.60 (Regular price: $16.95)
Publisher: Lake Street Press
Reviewer: Melissa on May 31, 2010
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Have you ever been told that you couldn’t do something because of your gender? Emilia Serafini, the main character of Nonna’s Book Of Mysteries, was told that her dream of becoming a painter in the Florence school was an impossible because she’s a girl. Rather than aiming for her potential, she is told that she shouldn’t look any further than marrying her father’s friend Benozzo Balducci, a man who is 10 years her senior and loathsome to her. Around the same time, however, her mother gives Emilia an old manuscript called A Manual to the Science of Alchemy and encourages her in her quest to find an apprenticeship despite the apparent obstacles.
Often enough, I hear YA readers and bloggers complaining about the apparent lack of supportive parents in many YA novels, but I’d argue that this shouldn’t be an issue for anyone while reading Nonna’sBookOfMysteries. True enough, Emilia’s father does everything in his power to make sure she stays the course of a woman during the Renaissance. At the same time, however, Emilia is able to surround herself with a handful of individuals, including her mother, who value and help her foster her dreams. However, the author, Mary Osborne, uses the motifs of faith and doubt to help Emilia make her own choices despite the advice of those around her. In other words, Emilia doesn’t always accept the suggestions that she is given or follows it while still being unsure about its veracity.
Osborne uses motifs to discuss the key subjects of the novel, Emilia’s growth into not only an artist, but also an alchemist. If you think this means that Emilia is in the backroom late at night mixing various elements to form actual gold, then you ought to think again. Osborne presents us with a spiritual awakening into the mystic laws of alchemy that help Emilia on the path to reach her life goals. Since there is much to learn in both the artistic world of Renaissance Italy as well as the mysticism of alchemy, I really loved the prologue. The narrator detaches itself from the narrative frame and addresses the “gentle reader” as follows: “Unless you are prepared to learn the secrets of the ancient mysteries herewith contained, gentle reader, proceed no further” (xi). By making this narrative decision, Osborne achieves accuracy to the period that is important for me as a reader. This narrative trope signifies a connection with the traditional canon, even as she expands the possibilities for women in the time period. Osborne has done her homework, so readers interested in the Renaissance, alchemy or painting will get a lot from this novel.
Nevertheless, there is more going on here than only learning about history, alchemy and art. Readers of all ages – especially girls in the the tween and teen market, will get a lot out of this book. Osborne has a written a compelling novel that shows young girls that they can get past the usual excuses, like “I can’t succeed because I haven’t had the right opportunities.” Yes, it’s true that some people, like Emilia, have greater obstacles in front of them to achieve success, but this novel shows that if one continues the attempt, they will be able to push past the problems they experience along the way. What a hopeful and timeless message!
I hope that you’ve become curious about Nonna’s Book Of Mysteries and the three forthcoming novels in the Alchemy series. Why? Well, not only did I really like this novel, but also I have a couple of announcements to make. First, I will be running a contest where one lucky person in either the US or Canada will win their very own copy. YAY – I love spreading the YA book love! Second, on Saturday, June 5th, I will be posting an interview with the author. While this news might interest you, it’s even better to note that author Mary Osborne will be popping by to say hi and answer any user-submitted questions.
To enter the contest, you have to be a follower of my blog and of me on Twitter (@YABookShelf). Please leave a comment below to be entered.
CONTEST UPDATE: I’m please to announce today that my contest will have not only one, but two winners! That’s right…I’ve just learned that Mary Osborne herself will offer another copy of Nonna’s Book Of Mysteries for this competition. (Date: June 5, 2010)
Entries work as follows:
+1 Answer one of these questions: What has anyone or anything done to empower you to get you where you are today? How have your actions helped to empower others in their lives?
+1 New Twitter Follower (post your twitter name)
+3 Old Twitter Follower (post your twitter name)
+1 Tweet or RT the contest (post the link)
+1 Add this contest to your Facebook profile or page (post the link)
+3 Add this contest to your sidebar (post the link)
+5 Blog about this contest (post the link)
+10 Refer someone else to the contest (you’ll get this for each person you refer, so make sure people mention your Twitter name)
+1 Be referred by someone else and mention this in your comment
I think that’s about it. Remember, you need to post your Twitter account name and the links, so I can verify. If you don’t I won’t be able to count those entries unfortunately. The contest closes on Thursday, June 10th at 8pm EST, so make sure you get your entries in early and refer others for more chances to win! Once you read this book, you’ll want to get the other 3 novels in the series when they’re available. I will use the random number generator from Random.org to select the winner, and you’ll have 48 hours to respond to my email before I have to select someone else. Good luck!