Thursday, September 29, 2005

Author's Websites

I discovered J.K. Rowling's new website this morning and thought it would be nice to introduce you to the fact that many authors do have sites, some more than one. Below is a list of sites of some of the popular authors and some of my favorites.

J.K. Rowling --
This is a fantastic web site in design. It gives the visitor the sense getting to know the author and even some of the characters from the books. Some of the sections are biography, rumors, news, wizard of the month, fan sites, links, extra stuff, questions, and FAQ. I visited “extra stuff” and learned some interesting information on her development of the character, Crookshanks (Hermione’s cat).

Avi -- You can read about the author and read short excerpts about his books. We have his most recently published book, The Book Without Words; and on the site you can begin the first chapter.

Jean Craighead George -- she wrote Julie of the Wolves, a Newbery Medal winner. She also is the author of My Side of the Mountain.

Many of you read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.
I enjoy the adventure stories of Will Hobbs.

Other author sites:
Laurie Lawlor-- Dead Reckoning
Gary Paulsen
Chris Crutcher -- Whale Talk, Ironman, Chinese Handcuffs
Carl Deuker -- High Heat, Painting Black, On the Devil's Court, Heart of a Champion
Dan Gutman -- lots of books about sports - the Baseball Card Adventures.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Maximum Ride

I looked at this book several times before I decided to pick it up. I think you will like the sci-fi/fantasy mystery thriller. You will get to know the characters very well -- Max, Fang, Iggiy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel. They are "almost" normal kids - 98% human and 2% bird; they grew up in laboratory cages. They are free now and are constantly pursued by the Erasers, wolf-like creatures who seem to always know where to find the kids.

The flock of six had avian DNA grafted into their human genes by the "whitecoats." The vicious Erasers managed to kidnap the youngest, Angel, and return her to the School for more experimentation. The others are determined to save her; 14-year-old Max is their leader. The author has used vivid descriptions to keep the reader involved in both the surroundings and the emotions of the characters.

James Patterson is the author of many adult novels; this is his first venture into writing for young adults. To read an excerpt, go to James Patterson Reading Room

Monday, September 19, 2005

Operation Red Jericho

This is the first of a trilogy. A brother and sister, Becca and Doug MacKenzie, are aboard their uncle's ship the Expedient. Becca and Doug's parents are missing somewhere in China. The story begins in Shanghai in 1920, and as one reviewer has described it -- the story hasa the feel of an old Jackie Chan movie.

The kids get involved in an amazing adventure that includes the story of an ancient order that was created to protect the world from evil. It does take some time to get involved in the book. (At least I didn't get involved right away -- could be I was reading when I was tired.)

The author, Joshua Mowll, has used a remarkable archive of documents to piece together the events that took place more than 80 years ago. The book itself is different from most and offers an interesting change. The book is filled with diagrams, sketches, blueprints, and photographs.

You can read the first chapter at

Monday, September 12, 2005

Down the Rabbit Hole

This is Peter Abrahams first novel for young adults, however he is already a well-known mystery author for adults. The main character is Ingrid Levin-Hill, a 13-year-old soccer player who is an avid fan of Sherlock Holmes. She gets involved in a police investigation of a local murder – she left her bright red soccer shoes at the dead woman’s house. Ingrid is a talented actress, as was the murdered woman, and she has the role of Alice in the Alice in Wonderland play be put on by the Prescott Players. The reader gets to meet Ingrid, her family, her friends, and the other players in the Prescott Players. One of my favorite characters is Grampy, Ingrid’s crusty old Grandfather. The intrigue and tension build as Ingrid gets more involved in finding out who murdered Cracked-up Katie. Ingrid is a very believable character with her self-doubt and dreams and her newly adopted dog, Nigel.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Dead Reckoning

Laurie Lawlor has written a wonderful historical novel of the famous pirate and privateer Francis Drake. One of his most famous voyages was his trip around the world which lasted from 1577 to 1580.
One of the main characters in this novel is Emmet, the 15 year-old orphaned cousin of Drake. Emmet had been raised by a monk and was both educated and bright. Drake invites Emmet to be a page on his ship the Pelican. The trip proves to be filled with angst and learning to survive for the young boy. Drake takes his ship and crew through the dangerous Straits of Magellan and chases the Silver Ship, a Spanish ship supposedly filled with treasures and riches. Emmet never really likes the adventure nor does he become filled with greed for wealth as most of the others on board the ship.
Keep a dictionary handy because there are both Spanish words and 16th century sailor slang.