Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Up next on Second Story Reading Series: Lynne Jonell and Stephanie Watson

Little refresher:  Heather Bouwman and I co-curate the Loft's Second Story Reading Series.  We feature MG and YA authors and pair them up so that readers can come for their favorite and discover another author.  We've been having a blast at these.  

This time we are doing book giveaways!  You'll have a chance to win Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls, and The Secret of Zoom.  But that's not all.  You could also win Elvis and Olive or an ARC of Stephanie Watson's second in the Elvis and Olive Series, which is coming out in July. Honestly, these book are so great that I want to enter. But, I'll buy them at the reading instead, so I won't go home empty-handed.

We'll also have tasty treats and door prizes.

And, because the Loft is awesome, all readings are free.

Second Story Readings:  A Reading Series for Children’s and Young Adult Literature
Come to listen to one author.  Stay to discover another.

The Loft Literary Center
Open Book, second story
1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis
Saturday, March 6th, at 10 a.m.

Lynne captures and keeps her readers from word one.  She's one of those authors who knows how to keep the pages turning while giving us such much more than a page-turner.  She gets to a deeper level that makes her stories valuable without ever sacrificing a sense of play and suspense.  I can see why she won a Minnesota Book Award for her fabulous Emmy books.  Great writing! Open one of these book and you'll sink right in.

Lynne Jonell is the author of three middle-grade novels (Emmy & the Incredible Shrinking Rat, winner of the 2008 Minnesota Book Award; Emmy & the Home for Troubled Girls, and The Secret of Zoom) and seven picture books.  Her work has received starred reviews in Horn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Sesame Street Parents.  She lives in Plymouth, Minnesota with her husband and has two grown sons.  

The Secret Zoom 
By Lynne Jonel
Christina lives in a stone mansion on the edge of a forest surrounded by barbed wire, an electrified fence, and signs that read “TRESPASSERS WILL BE BOILED.” High above looms the Starkian Mountain Ridge, and deep within the forest is the laboratory where her mother was blown to bits when Christina was just a baby.
 Christina’s father, the head scientist at Loompski Labs, knows how dangerous the world can be.  So he keeps his daughter safe at home, and forbids her to talk to the very interesting orphans down the road.
 But when an orphan named Taft talks to her, whispering of a secret tunnel, Christina forgets about safety to help him escape.  All too soon she and Taft discover that there is far more to the orphanage, Loompski Labs, and the mystery of her mother’s supposed death than she ever suspected...

Stephanie's Elvis and Olive is one of the best book I've read for capturing that period in girlhood when you're just learning that your parents aren't always right, that friendships are strange and wonderous things, and that boys are next on the horizon.  Her characters are drawn in a crystal-clear fashion and I recognize them and want to spend time with them.  So, I'm excited that Elvis and Olive is a series.  

Stephanie Watson’s debut novel, Elvis & Olive, was a 2008 Junior Library Book selection and a Washington Post Book of the Week. The sequel, Elvis & Olive: Super Detectives will be on store shelves in July of 2010. Last year, Stephanie created Life is Life, an online story in words and pictures. A groundbreaking storytelling experiment, Life is Life has drawn online readers from over 50 countries.
In addition to creating fiction, she teaches writing at the Loft Literary Center, gives classes in improvisation at Dreamland Arts in St. Paul, and runs a web copywriting agency called PlumLines. 

Elvis and Olive
By Stephanie Watson
Ten-year-old Natalie Wallis is a shy bookish perfectionist. Annie Beckett (age nine) is a wild tomboy liar. Why do these two very different girls become friends? Because they’ve got some serious spying to do.
“Even the most dull-looking people do all kinds of weird, interesting things when they think no one’s watching,” Annie says. With this in mind, the girls form a secret spying club and start snooping on their neighbors under the code names Elvis & Olive.

By the end of their summer together, Elvis & Olive have uncovered a number of strange secrets about their neighbors. Eaten far too many freeze pops. And formed a friendship like no other. 

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