Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday: Time for More Austin Teen Book Festival

Time for more author spotlights for the upcoming


Starting us off Today is.... 

E.M Kokie 

Often opinionated. Sometimes sarcastic. My debut YA novel PERSONAL EFFECTS to be published by Candlewick in 2012. Represented by Chris Richman of Upstart Crow. 



Personal Effects

Ever since his brother, T.J., was killed in Iraq, Matt feels like he’s been sleepwalking through life — failing classes, getting into fights, and avoiding his dad’s lectures about following in his brother’s footsteps. T.J.’s gone, but Matt can’t shake the feeling that if only he could get his hands on his brother’s stuff from Iraq, he’d be able to make sense of his death. But as Matt searches for answers about T.J.’s death, he faces a shocking revelation about T.J.’s life that suggests he may not have known T.J. as well as he thought. What he learns challenges him to stand up to his father, honor his brother’s memory, and take charge of his own life. With compassion, humor, and a compelling narrative voice, E. M. Kokie explores grief, social mores, and self-discovery in a provocative first novel.


I have not read Personal Effects yet, but I have an ARC copy, as soon as I read it I will get the review up. It looks really good! 


Next we have... 

Jessica Lee Anderson 


I was born in Phoenix, Arizona, although my family didn't stay there long. 

My father served in the Air Force and we soon moved to Texas. Honolulu,
Hawaii was our most exotic station. I'll never forget the excitement of
winning a hula competition. Those who know me now would never guess I
had that kind of coordination. 

When we moved back to San Antonio, Texas, I missed the Aloha State, but
books served as a great distraction. Around that same time, I wrote my first
book, Fuzzy the Fox. I tried to write my first novel in high school. The
story had a strong beginning and a promising ending, but the middle of the
book ruined it all. Even though the book was not a success, the experience
taught me much about the writing process, especially about revision.

In college, I took a children's literature course that inspired me to write
books for children and teens I eventually went on to graduate from Hollins University with an M.A. in children's literature. In addition to my book publications, I've written magazine articles for Highlights for Children, Wee Ones Magazine, and Holiday Crafts 4 Kids. In addition to writing, I also teach at the Institute of Children's Literature. 

I love to read, and some of my favorite authors are: Mildred Taylor, Han
Nolan, David LaRochelle, S.E. Hinton, Karen Hesse, Judy Blume, Avi, Eoin
Colfer, and Christopher Paul Curtis. The list could go on and on! 

I live north of Austin with my supportive husband, Michael, and my dogs
Buster and JoJo. When not writing, Michael and I enjoy traveling and have
a goal to travel to as many national parks as possible. 


She has a few books published. I have not read any as of yet,.but they look good. 

Calli

Fifteen-year-old Calli has just about everything she could want in life—two loving moms, a good-looking boyfriend, and a best friend who has always been there for support. An only child, Calli is excited when her parents announce that they want to be foster parents. Unfortunately, being a foster sister to Cherish is not at all what Calli expected. First Cherish steals Calli’s boyfriend, then begins to pit Calli’s moms against one another, and she even steals Calli’s iPod. Tired of being pushed around and determined to get even, Calli steals one of Cherish’s necklaces. But this plan for revenge goes horribly awry, and Cherish ends up in juvenile detention.

Isolating herself from her moms, her boyfriend, and even her best friend, Calli wrestles with her guilt and tries to figure out a way to undo the damage she’s caused. When her moms are asked to take on another foster child, Calli sees an opportunity to make amends for her past mistakes.

Funny, moving, and emotionally rich, Calli is a portrait of an endearing young woman caught between adolescence and adulthood, striving to do the right thing even when all of her options seem wrong.



Border Crossing


The mixed-race son of apple pickers, Manz lives with his hard-drinking mother and her truck-driver boyfriend in the hardscrabble world of dusty Rockhill, Texas. Forced to take a summer job rebuilding fence of a cattle ranch, Manz works alongside his friend Jed and meets a girl named Vanessa — but even among his friends, Manz suffers from an uncontrollable paranoia. As the summer wears on, Manz becomes convinced that "Operation Wetback," a brutal postwar relocation program, is being put back into effect. As the voices in his head grow louder and more insistent, Manz struggles to negotiate the difficulties of adolescence, the perils of an oppressed environment, and the terror of losing his grip on reality.





Trudy

Trudy's having a hard time at school: math class isn't going well, and her best friend, the one she pinky-swore she would always be friends with, has found a new group to hang out with. To top things off, her parents are old — really old — and while she loves them with all her heart, she dislikes it when other people mistake them for her grandparents. When Trudy's father starts acting strangely, Trudy and her mother can't figure out what the problem is. But when he forgets to pick Trudy up from school and starts to put groceries away in the wrong place, they decide to take him to the doctor. Once Trudy's father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Trudy and her mother are faced with some tough decisions.

This is a touching, beautifully told story that young people relate to, particularly those who have parents or grandparents dealing with an illness. Trudy’s challenges and her strength in dealing with them make her a heroine with whom young readers identify.




Last but not Least we have....Another new author to me. 

Guadalupe Garcia McCall

I was born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. My family immigrated into the U.S. when I was six years old. I grew up in Eagle Pass, a small, border town in South Texas. Eagle Pass is the setting of both, my debut novel in verse, UNDER THE MESQUITE, and my 2nd novel, SUMMER OF THE MARIPOSAS, coming in the fall of 2012 from TU Books. After high school, I went off to Alpine in West Texas to study to become a teacher. I have a BA in Theatre Arts and English from Sul Ross State University. In Alpine, I met my husband, Jim. We have 3 sons, a dog, and a cat. We moved to Somerset many years ago. We love living the simple life in the country, where I get to be close to what I love, nature.




Under the Mesquite

When Lupita sees Mami crying over a pesky mesquite growing in her rose garden, she knows something is wrong. Through the kitchen window, she overhears that Mami has cancer. After an operation, things seem to return to normal for Lupita and her family, and they go on with their lives, going back and forth between attending school, working, and living in the United States and visiting family and friends in Mexico. However, when Mami’s cancer returns, Papi doesn’t know whether he should accompany Mami during her long convalescence at an out of town cancer clinic or stay home to care for Lupita and her seven brothers and sisters. Suddenly, being a high school student, dealing with difficult friends, starring in the school play, even writing, become less important to Lupita than doing whatever it takes to save Mami’s life.





Summer of the Mariposas

When Odilia and her four sisters find a dead body in the swimming hole, they embark on a hero’s journey to return the dead man to his family in Mexico. But returning home to Texas turns into an odyssey that would rival Homer’s original tale.

With the supernatural aid of ghostly La Llorona via a magical earring, Odilia and her little sisters travel a road of tribulation to their long-lost grandmother’s house. Along the way, they must outsmart a witch and her Evil Trinity: a wily warlock, a coven of vicious half-human barn owls, and a bloodthirsty livestock-hunting chupacabras. Can these fantastic trials prepare Odilia and her sisters for what happens when they face their final test, returning home to the real world, where goddesses and ghosts can no longer help them? 

Summer of the Mariposas is not just a magical Mexican American retelling of The Odyssey, it is a celebration of sisterhood and maternal love.

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