Sunday, May 29, 2016

Julia Vanishes Blog Tour

Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher & ARC: Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 978-0-553-52484-0

★ “There is a richness to this inaugural volume of the Witch’s Child trilogy,

and readers will be hard pressed to put it down.” –Booklist, Starred

I have read a lot of YA love triangles and dystopian stories lately, so I was looking for something a little different. I found that in Julia Vanishes. The plot is as mysterious as its title, and figuring out Julia's life and her purpose is equally entertaining. 

Julia, 16, is a new maid in house run by Mrs. Och. Going by the name Ella, Julia hides her past as a thief and daughter of a witch. That description enough should make you want to run out on June 7 and get this book! Julia has a unique ability that she must also hide--she can disappear at will. If anyone knew of her ability, she would be accused of witchcraft. Witches in this book are drowned, accused of writing down their wishes to make them come true. Julia regularly attends the Cleansings (public drownings), perhaps because she is somehow connected to her mother's death (her mother was drowned at a previous Cleansing).

Since this is the first book (Witch's Child #1) of a trilogy, a lot of the characters are described with basic information. We don't really learn much about them, but it is to fall in love with them regardless. They are muted but vital to the story, and I'm sure they will become dynamic in the sequels. If anything, they help to create Julia's mysterious persona and push her secrecy forward in the book. Julia's employer (who originally sends her spy on Mrs. Och and her house) is a mystery himself. While Julia enjoys the errands, and she is clever enough to figure out the messages being sent and retrieved, she doesn't know her real purpose. 

The only area of the book where I was a little confused is the setting. I'm not sure, and I still haven't figured it out (perhaps in the next book?), when the book is supposed to take place. Though I do love the imagination in the book (the creatures, the names, the places), I am very much a reader who visualizes every little detail when she reads. So, I needed a little more to fully envision Julia's existence. However, this is the first book of the trilogy, and I am willing to wait to find out more!

If witches, secrets, and magical abilities are areas you're interested in, you will want to read Julia Vanishes when it comes out on June 7th! Pre-order now!


Live Google Hangouts with James Dashner at the End of Each Month

Join new and established James Dashner fans in THE #DASHNERDASH BINGE READ, a rereading of all four titles in the bestselling Maze Runner series, in advance of the September 27 publication of the eagerly anticipated Maze Runner prequel novel, The Fever Code.When discussing the reread on social media, readers are encouraged to use the hashtag #DashnerDash to follow along in the conversation.

Has it been a while since you have entered the Glade, or are you curious to know more about all the Maze Runner series buzz? Now is the time to have your questions answered and discussed as Random House Children’s Books invites Dashner fans worldwide to participate in a discussion of one title in the series each month.

The reread will kick off on May 27 with The Maze Runner—fans can submit questions via the James Dashner Facebook page. Selected questions will then be discussed by the author and his editor, Krista Marino, in a series of live Google Hangouts during the last week of each month. The first Google Hangout with Dashner and Marino will happen the week of June 27. Specific details will be posted on the Facebook page and shared via social media.

Rereads of The Scorch Trials begin on June 27, followed by The Death Cure onJuly 27, and The Kill Order on August 27. Questions can again be submitted via Facebook, and a book-club-style discussion will occur at the end of each month. The Google Hangout for The Kill Order at the end of August will lead right into the publication of The Fever Code on September 27.

Bloggers are encouraged to take part in the binge read, and those participating will receive a number of signed Dashner books to give away.
What better way to celebrate the start of summer than by revisiting a beloved series and introducing the books to new fans? Look for the first two chapters of The Fever Code, recently revealed in the paperback edition of The Rule of Thoughts, to be discussed in the Maze Runner Google Hangout as well. Titles are available wherever books are sold. The series has sold over 14 million copies in all formats.

JAMES DASHNER is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series—The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure,and The Kill Order—as well as the bestselling Mortality Doctrine series, which includes The Eye of Minds, The Rule of Thoughts, and The Game of Lives. To learn more about James and his books, visit, follow @jamesdashner on Twitter, and find dashnerjames on Instagram.

#DashnerDash / Facebook

Displaying Re-Read Dashner Postcard Side B.jpg




Young adult edition to release in the UK on September 8 and in the US on September 13, 2016

New York and London (May 18, 2016)—The Random House US and Penguin Random House UK children’s divisions of Penguin Random House will jointly publish a young adult adaptation of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code this fall. The acquisition was announced today by Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher of Random House Children’s Books (US), and Francesca Dow, Managing Director, Penguin Random House Children’s UK, who obtained World English rights from Heide Lange of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

In the US, the Delacorte Press imprint of Random House Children’s Books will release The Da Vinci Code (Young Adult Adaptation)in hardcover and ebook on September 13, 2016. In the UK, the Penguin imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s will release The Da Vinci Code (Abridged) in paperback and ebook on September 8, 2016. Beverly Horowitz, SVP & Publisher, Delacorte Press, and Shannon Cullen, Publishing Director, Penguin Random House Children’s UK are overseeing the editorial process.

“My parents were educators, and so it’s no surprise that I have a fascination with history and research,” says Brown. “In fact, if I weren’t an author, I’m sure I would be a teacher myself. It is my sincere hope that this adaptation of The Da Vinci Code sparks in young adults the same thrill of discovery that I feel while exploring hidden history and the mysteries of the world we live in.” 

Since its publication in 2003, The Da Vinci Code has become a global publishing success story, selling 82 million copies worldwide. The young adult adaptations will have new cover designs and will introduce a new generation of readers to Dan Brown’s well-known characters, among them professor and famed symbologist Robert Langdon and cryptographer Sophie Neveu. Abridged in length while maintaining Brown’s original plot that was hailed by the New York Times as “blockbuster perfection,” readers will experience the thrilling, lightning-paced journey from Paris to London that reveals the unraveling of the greatest conspiracy of the past two thousand years.

“It is incredibly exciting for us to bring The Da Vinci Code to our young adult market in the US, and to introduce young people to Dan Brown’s masterful storytelling, and his brilliant ability to bring history to life on the page,” says Marcus. “We are delighted to work with our colleagues here at Doubleday to further expand the reach of this special book, and build on its extraordinary success.”

The Da Vinci Code is a thrilling, page-turning adventure that we know older teenagers are already reading,” says Cullen. “We’re pleased that our abridged edition is going to enable more young adults to enjoy Dan Brown’s international bestseller, which is packed with fascinating historical content and a clever code-breaking mystery.”

In the US, the Listening Library imprint of Penguin Random House will simultaneously publish an audiobook edition, available on CD and as a digital download. 

This fall also brings the movie release of Inferno, in theaters nationwide on October 28, 2016 and based on Brown’s novel published by Doubleday in 2013. 

DAN BROWN is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, The Lost Symbol, Angels & Demons, Deception Point, and Digital Fortress. He lives in New England with his wife and is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent time as an English teacher before turning his efforts fully to writing. Visit him at and follow him at @AuthorDanBrown on Twitter and on Facebook at

By Dan Brown / Delacorte Press / On sale 9/13/16
HC ISBN: 978-1-5247-1582-3 / Price: $18.99 / $24.99 Can. / Ebook ISBN: 978-1-5247-1584-7
Audio edition available from Listening Library

Jazz Jennings Named Latest Read Proud Listen Proud Author Ambassador

Her new book, BEING JAZZ: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen, goes on sale June 7

NEW YORK, NY (May 25, 2016)—Teen transgender rights advocate Jazz Jennings has been named the second Read Proud Listen Proud Author Ambassador. Jennings follows Stonewall author Ann Bausum and narrator Tim Federle, who kicked off the LGBTQ literature awareness campaign last year.

Jennings is a role model for fellow LGBTQ teens, speaking out for equality and acceptance via her groundbreaking TV series, I Am Jazz(the second season premieres on TLC June 8), TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation, picture book I Am Jazz, and memoir Being Jazz:My Life as a (Transgender) TeenTime named Jennings one of the most influential teens of 2014 and 2015, and I Am Jazz was recently recognized alongside I Am Cait as Outstanding Reality Program at the 2016 GLAAD Media Awards.

Read Proud Listen Proud, a joint effort by Listening Library, Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books, is an online resource designed to spark discussion in the classroom and at home and to encourage understanding through storytelling, celebrating everyone for who they are.

The website recommends LGBTQ books for young adults and provides kids and teens, parents, educators and librarians thought-provoking discussion guides, inspiring author interviews, and audio clips, all hosted at

Read Proud Listen Proud represents the LGBTQ community by celebrating the power of literature and can help people better understand how to accept LGBTQ individuals for who they are,” says Jennings. “When I was younger and transitioning, I would have loved to have a book like Being Jazz to let me know that I wasn’t alone in the process.”

Read Proud Listen Proud was inspired by the work of the We Need Diverse Books movement. Since its launch in June 2015, Read Proud Listen Proud has received an enthusiastic response from the publishing community, educators, and librarians and was nominated for an Excellence in Marketing Award by the Audio Publishers Association.

About Jazz Jennings
Jazz Jennings is a trans girl, YouTube celebrity, spokesmodel, activist, and co-author of the picture book I Am Jazz. She has a docu-series about her life also called I Am Jazz on TLC, which started airing in July 2015. She was named to Time’s “Most Influential Teens” list two years in a row, was one of Huffington Post’s “14 Most Fearless Teens,” and was the youngest person ever featured on Out’s “Out100,” as well as on Advocate’s “40 Under 40” list. In 2014, she was named a Human Rights Campaign Youth Ambassador and received LogoTV’s Youth Trailblazer Award. Jazz also hosts a series of videos about her life on YouTube and is one of the faces of Clean & Clear. You can follow her on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter at @jazzjennings__, or subscribe to her YouTube channel.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mr. Particular: The World's Choosiest Champion Blog Tour with Guest Post!

"I enjoyed Mr. Particular and so will you.
This is a great book for kids--a terrific story, beautifully illustrated."
--David Letterman

Sterling Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1-4549-1818-9
$14.95 ($16.95 Canada)
Hardcover, 40p
May 10, 2016

Meet Mr. Particular

Meet Mr. Particular--the world's choosiest champion! This superhero's super picky: he says NO to squishy mud, gross green things, tucked-in shirts, humming, and anything with coconut. But, when his friends in the "Super-Duper Group" finally get fed up with his fussiness, can Mr. Particular prove that even the super-squeamish can save the day? Mr. Particular (Sterling Children's Books; May 2016) is a fun comic-book-style story that will delight even the most finicky kids!

Jason Kirschner Guest Post

Will the Real Mr. Particular Please Stand Up?

I’ve had a bunch of people ask me about the inspiration for Mr. Particular, my persnickety protagonist.  Most people think its my son, who’s certainly picky in his own way.  Some have pointed to my daughter which is easily disputed —she’ll eat almost anything.  There are even a select few who look in my cat’s direction, siting the millions of different brands of cat food we went through to find one that he’d eat.

I try to laugh it off.  I’ve shrugged and muttered and stared at my shoes for long stretches hoping that the question would simply disappear. But then this picture appears from 1970’s courtesy of Facebook (and my mother). There I am with a red cape and blue shirt and the truth is hard to deny.  To paraphrase Robert Downey Jr.,


And as long as we’re being honest, my particular particulars were far worse than our friend Mr. P’s. When writing the book, I actually had to come up with some hangups that sounded more realistic than the ones I walked around with as a kid or no-one would have found the character believable.  

I did not like the smell of tuna fish and would leave the table if it was produced — even in school.  (I was super-popular—obviously.)  I would become enraged if anyone wrote in my books.  Dog-eared pages were also NOT acceptable.  I never ate cheese.  Seriously. No delicious cheese.  I didn't try cheese again until college and even then I was a bit scared of it.

Well I hope this puts the rumors to rest.  And I can also say that, like Mr. Particular, I got to a place where I made fewer fusses too.  I won’t say what age I was when that happened…(I might have already had a college degree) but it happened.  It did. I swear.  I’m pretty sure that your picky progeny will turn ok — great even.

Wait. Wait a second…is someone humming?  I hate humming.

If you’ve got a Mr. or Ms. Particular in your home, I’d love to hear about it.  

You can find Mr. Particular: The World’s Choosiest Champion wherever books are sold and you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at my website .

There’s that humming again.  I’ve got to go.  Enjoy the book!

Jason Kirschner is the author and illustrator of Mr. Particular: The World's Choosiest Champion from Sterling which you can now find on shelves in bookstores everywhere. Get your own copy by clicking here and see more of Jason's work at


With the recent release of Captain America: Civil War and the overall blockbuster success of other Marvel enterprises (let's not talk about DC, shall we?), it's no wonder comic books are retaking their spot in the literary genre. While there are inappropriate comic book movies out there (cough, Deadpool), most of the Marvel universe is family friendly. Still, there's not much out there for little kids, until now.

Jason Kirschner, writer and illustrator, gives kids a gorgeous, glossy, comic book-style book filled with morals and lessons that are universal to most children. Notorious for their peculiarities, young readers will connect with Mr. Particular and his band of superhero friends. They will fly with him, laugh with him, be sad with him, and at the end of the book, save the day. 

Mr. Particular embodies the superhero with the red cape, homemade costume, and sense of fearlessness (well, he is pretty particular). When friends Atomic Bear and Daring Duck decide to kick Mr. P out of the club, he wonders if he should change his ways and become more easygoing, but that, even for adults, is difficult. But when he looks out his window and sees Atomic Bear swarmed by bees, he may the only one who can save him.

Kirschner's pages are expansive, the text easy to read, and the colors rich. Young readers will ooh and ahh at the "super items" that open and close the book as well as the overall creative designs and elements that any child will love (and put their dirty little fingers all over!). The characters are diverse, and the ending begs, actually offers, a sequel. Kirschner has my attention in the children's literature universe!