Monday, December 10, 2007


Well, not everyone is going to get them but your chances are way better if you enter! We found these two authors doing book giveaways! Check them out.

Lisa Schroeder author of I Heart You, I Haunt You is currently running 12 Books of Christmas Book Giveaway!

Mon., Dec. 10th - HARD LOVE, by Ellen Wittlinger
Dec. 11th - CRANK, by Ellen Hopkins
Dec. 12th - STARGIRL, by Jerry Spinelli
Dec. 13th - STORY OF A GIRL, by Sara Zarr (National Book Award nominee)
Dec. 14th - LOOKING FOR ALASKA, by John Green (Printz Award winner)
Dec. 15th - TWILIGHT, by Stephenie Meyer
Dec. 16th - 30 GUYS IN 30 DAYS, by Micol Ostow

Dec. 17th - TRIPPING TO SOMEWHERE, by Kristopher Reisz
Dec. 18th - THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, by Alexie Sherman (National Book Award winner!)

Dec. 19th - DRAMA! THE FOUR DOROTHYS, by Paul Ruditis
Dec. 20th - STUCK IN THE 70's, by D.L. Garfinkle
Dec. 21st - I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, by Lisa Schroeder

Check Out all the details Here: Lisa's MySpace visit her myspace blog!

Jo Knowles author of Lessons from a Dead Girl is giving her book away Dec. 12th on her blog! Get all the juicy details HERE.

The Golden Compass - Review

The Golden Compass
Author: Philip Pullman
The Golden Compass Website
The Golden Compass Movie Site
Reviewer: David

I thought that The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman was a very good book for three main reasons. It is very suspenseful, full of adventure and action, and makes you think about Pullman ’s world that he created in the first book of this trilogy. This book is a mix of Lord of the Rings and the Alex Rider series. It has the fantasy twist, but is set in the 20th to 21st Century.
The first reason that I liked this book is because it is very suspenseful and kept me at the edge of my seat. During The Golden Compass a reader will never know what will happen next. For example, you never know who will win a duel or a battle. The part that kept me on the edge of my seat the most was the duel between Lyra’s polar bear and the king of all of the bears. I kept on thinking that one bear was winning, and then the other bear would lash out a vicious blow towards the other bear. Also, I kept on thinking that Lyra’s uncle was good until the end when he did something that was uncalled for. The real thing that surprised me was that during Lyra’s whole adventure you never know if she will die or live. At a few points during the story I thought that Lyra was surely going to die.
The second reason that I liked The Golden Compass was because it was full of adventure and action. The story starts in the in the middle of Jordan College , near Oxford , and at the end they are at the North Pole. The story is full of escapes, capture, and battles. For example, when Lyra gets captured at Brothangar, there seems to be no way of escape, but then Lyra gets away and rescues a lot of children in the act.
The third reason why I liked The Golden Compass was because I loved the world that Philip Pullman created in this thriller. The main thing that I loved was the daemons that were soul mates and could take the form of any animal at any time. The weird things about the daemons were that they couldn’t get ore than 3-4 feet away from their human companion without having a weird pull on their heart. Also, when daemons reached a certain age they only became one shape and couldn’t shape shift any more. Philip Pullman also created witches, armored bears (amazing fighters who served as mercenaries), and other worlds that you can travel through, through the Aurora .
Overall, I thought that The Golden Compass was one of the best books that I have ever read. It was a thrilling book with many twists. The Golden Compass is the first in a trilogy and if you don’t like cliffhangers this isn’t the book for you.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Quaking - Review and Interview

Author: Kathryn Erskine
Kathy's MySpace!
Reviewer: Kurtis

Quaking is an inspiring story about a girl whose been to one too many foster homes and never found peace with anyone. After her dad beat her and her mom died she felt completely alone. Sam and Jessica are Quakers and become Matt’s foster parents. Of course this is an unlikely match because of her completely contradicting personality. She is Goth and amazingly apathetic towards just about everything while the Quakers are loving caring concerned people who only want the best for their new daughter. But in her new high school her history teacher and classmate are complete war mongers and are failing her solely because of her beliefs. She is too afraid to speak out against these monstrous people so she has to rely on here new guardians to protect her. And as the story goes on she rediscovers what its like to have someone who cares. As I was reading I was given the opportunity to rethink what my priorities are in life. Although there aren’t many Quakers left in the world it seems to me they have a better life than half the people I see walking around trash talking peace lovers. Kathy did a wonderful job with Quaking. I’m hoping to read many more books from her in the near future.

Author Interview: Kathy Erskine

Thank you Ms. Erskine for doing the interview with us. Its cool getting to know the author behind such a great book.

Kurtis: What was your inspiration for writing Quaking?
Kathy:Although it stems from my concerns about the war in Iraq and the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Matt's voice came to me when I was simply out on a walk, wondering if it was going to snow. A snarky teenage girl voice told me it was "too cold to snow" (which became the book's working title) and grew from there--her anger, what she'd been through, her attitude towards violence, her appreciation of peaceful people.
Kurtis: Are you a peace lover yourself?
Kathy: Definitely. From bumper stickers on my car to sending money to brave charities like Doctors without Borders (they enter wartorn countries) to writing about peace. Notice nothing about attending actual demonstrations -- I have done this but I'm a bit of an introvert and it's not something that comes easily to me. We all express ourselves in different ways.
Kurtis: I noticed that Matt did everything she could to avoid being talked to. Why is it that you chose the gothic type character?
Kathy: Matt is hiding from the world and puts on a tough exterior to protect herself. She puts others off because she's afraid of relationships. In her life, relationships have often led to pain.
Kurtis: Do you see any of Matt's personality traits in yourself?
Kathy: Yes--her desire for peace, her reluctance to speak out (until it's vital to do so), her humor (mine is not quite as snarky!).
Kurtis: Who would your characters be if they were in a movie? (Actor wise?)
Kathy: I wish I knew -- you'd be better at choosing, I'm sure. Then let me know! I'd love to hear what you think!
Kurtis: How long did it take to get Quaking in stores?
Kathy: Hmm . . . the novel was finished by late 2004, then got picked up in late 2005 and went through the editing process for about 6 months and was published a year after that in mid-2007. So, from completion of the manuscript until publication was 2 and a half years, or a year and a half if you count from when an editor took it.
Kurtis: Did it ever get turned down by the editors?
Kathy: I was lucky with Quaking. I had one editor who said if I made changes she'd look at it again, one editor who was interested but hadn't finished reading it, and Patti Gauch, who was very interested in it and I really loved working with her.
Kurtis: Did you think you would be a writer when you were my age (14)?
Kathy: No--I thought authors were special people who lived in a different stratosphere. I had no idea you could actually be one yourself.
Kurtis: Can we expect any new novels in the future?
Kathy: I'm about to submit one right now -- about a 14-year-old boy, in fact! I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Then I have 3 already written but they need some revision, another 4 partially written, and several more in the "many pages of notes" stage. And, of course, tons of ideas for more books.

Kathy: Thanks for giving me this opportunity, Kurtis (and friends)!
By the way, Quaking has been nominated by the American Library Association to be on its 2008 list of "Best Books for Young Adults!"
Kurtis: Congratulations that is really cool. I bet you're very excited!

Kathy: I just put up a myspace page!
Kurtis: Hmmmm. Were missing the myspace address. I'll check into and post it when we get it.
Kathy's MySpace!

Kurtis: It's been great learning more about you. I'm going to think about the character choices and post them later.

If anyone has read Quaking let us know who you think would play the role of your favorite characters from the book if they were in a movie.

Monday, December 3, 2007

What's Coming Up

Just to keep you updated the boys are busy reading their hearts out! The holiday and school have slowed them down just slightly.

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions for the boys. We are compiling a survey and will be sending it out soon. We will post the results as soon as they are in.

Just around the corner look forward to a review of Quaking and an interview with the author Kathy Erskine. Kurtis will also be interviewing John Green, author of Looking for Alaska, a Printz Award-winning first novel. Kurtis will share what captured his attention about this book.

Sometime before the new year the boys will be putting together a list of their favorite books of 2007.

Thanks to all who continue to support the boys efforts!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Please note that Boys Blogging Books is a collective project between a mom and her boys. It started as an idea for the boys to share their thoughts and opinions about the books they read. It has grown into a bit more than what we expected, very quickly.

There is talk on the web about “The adult behind the curtain.” Yes there is an adult behind the curtain.

The boys like to read. They are excited about sharing their thoughts, especially when they know someone is listening to them. They also have music lessons, and homework, and sports and friends. They get to do the fun stuff, read the books, write the reviews, and I tackle the technical stuff. Some of the site ideas are theirs and some are mine. All opinions are theirs. They get final say on everything. They are solely responsible for writing their own reviews* and coming up with questions for author interviews.

Before the first post ever made its way to public eyes, we spent weeks reviewing Scholastics how to on book reviews.

Thanks goes out to everyone who has passed along the info about BBB and everyone who has stopped by to visit.

Most Sincerely,

Sheri Goad
Blog Moderator (aka an adult)

If there are any questions, feel free to contact me.
Goadingthepen at yahoo dot com

I will gladly pass messages on to the boys, I just prefer the WWW doesn’t have a direct link to their inboxes. =)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Calling all Authors and Writer's!

Here is your chance to interview your audience! For the next week we will be taking questions from you. A Reverse Interview! Want to know what makes us open a book? Just ask. Interested in what really makes us turn a page, or what makes us close a book? Just ask. It’s up to you. What do you want to know?

At the end of the week we will be making a survey and taking it to both a middle school and a high school to be passed out and completed. Once we get all the information gathered we’ll post the results here!

If you aren’t a blogger and can’t post your question in the comments feel free to email them to goadingthepen at yahoo dot com. Please put BBB-Survey in the subject line.

We can’t wait to hear from you.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Eighth Grade Bites: Chronicles of Vladimir Tod - Review

Eighth Grade Bites
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod
Author: Heather Brewer
Reviewer: Michael

If you like blood dipped chocolate chip cookies, if your snack pack is missing the chocolate pudding and instead holds a pint of blood, if you prefer your steaks extra rare, you might find Eighth Grade Bites a fanglicious read! Even if these vampire treats aren’t quite your bite, Heather Brewer writes a story that surely will be.

Vladimir Tod isn’t so different than you or me, well uh, except he’s a vampire. He has to deal with bullies, strange substitutes, a principal that doesn’t like him, and the love of his life just happens to choose his best friend over him, not to mention he lost both of his parents in a freak fire accident. What else could go wrong? Little does he know there’s a vampire killer on his trail. The one person he could relate to was his teacher that went missing. Bringing the strange substitute in his place, Mr. Otis Otis. Freeky!

Ms. Brewer brought me right into the story. I felt like I was standing with poor Vlad. It was a down right fangtastic read. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into Ninth Grade Slays!

Check out Eighth Grade Bites trailer:

Flash Movie: Vladimir Tod by *mree on deviantART

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thirteen Reasons Why - Review and Interview!

Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Edited to add that Thirteen Reasons Why has been nominated for the ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2008!
Reviewer: Kurtis

This book gave me the chills! Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is the story of Clay Jensen and how he became one of the 13 reasons why Hannah Baker committed suicide. Clay receives an unexpected package that turns out to be 7 cassettes recorded by Hannah explaining why she committed suicide. Unfortunate for him, the reason he is receiving the tapes is because he is one of the reasons why. Mr. Asher uses great descriptive imagery to guide us through the cassette tapes that explain it all. He had me on the edge of my seat right next to Clay as he wondered how he fit into the big picture. To make things more intense there is a map that the reader can follow along with Clay that shows all the places that were significant to Hannah.

This story delivers a great message. It definitely makes you stop and think about what you are doing. You never know when something you do or say is going to impact someone in ways you could never imagine.

This is one of those books that I just had to talk to all my friends about. They got chills before they even read it! It's really that good!

EVERY teen and adult should read this book!

For more spine chilling additions to this book check out the website:
I dare you to call Hannah’s cell phone! Creepy!
Drag a cassette from the map onto the recorder and listen to the haunting voice of Hannah. Imagine yourself in Clay’s shoes! He listened to hours of her voice.

Author Interview: Jay Asher

Thank You Mr. Asher for taking time out of your schedule to answer some questions for us. It was cool getting to know you a little bit better.
Jay Ashers debut novel Thirteen Reasons Why came out in October. We had these questions:

Kurtis: What were you like as a child?
Jay: Pretty much how I am now...just a little shorter (and with a little more hair). I was always highly excitable and easily distracted, so I would become massively interested in a subject or activity, such as the exploration of outer space or playing guitar, but then I'd drop that interest to pursue something else. In high school, I never played any sports, but instead played guitar or sang in several bands which never wound up playing in front of any live audiences.

Kurtis: Have you always liked to write?
Jay: Definitely. I started off writing and illustrating my own comic strip, which is something I'd still love to do, but I'd have to find an illustrator because I never took the time to learn to draw very well. Right now I'm most interested in writing for teens (and younger) as well as screenplays.

Kurtis: What was your motivation to write 13 Reasons Why?
Jay: The idea of telling someone's story through a series of audiotapes had been in the back of my mind for years, I just couldn't find an appropriate subject. I never actually sat down to look for ideas to tell in that format, though. One day, Hannah's story just popped into my head while I was driving and I immediately pulled into a gas station parking lot to scribble down some notes while the ideas were still fresh in my mind. How did you expect the book to turn out?I wanted to write an extremely suspenseful novel which discussed some important issues. I think suspense is the best way to bring up those issues, because otherwise it'd be easy for people to set the novel down when things got too heavy. But when you're writing suspense, it's almost impossible to know if it's working until other people read it. Thankfully, if there's one thing almost everyone has said about this book, it's that they couldn't put it down.

Kurtis: Has anything similar to the events in 13 Reasons Why, ever happen in your life?
Jay: Many of the events were inspired by the emotions of real events, but the actual events have been changed so much that they're unrecognizable. But a couple of the embarrassing situations (such as what happens when Clay first meets Hannah...with the untied shoelace) happened to me exactly as I wrote it. In that case, it happened between me and the first girl I ever went on a date with.Do any of the characters in the book resemble people from your life or yourself?I think some of the ways Hannah and Clay feel about themselves are ways that I, at times, feel about myself. Clay likes to see himself as a good person, but sometimes he can be a little afraid to stand up for what's right. And Hannah gets extremely bothered when people get the wrong impression of her, even if she's partially to blame. But none of the other characters were inspired by anyone I know.

Kurtis: What kind of work did you have to do to get it published?
Jay: It took me approximately 12 years to sell a book. But, up until this book, I was only writing humorous books for younger children. Having editors reject books which I spent months, if not years, writing was extremely difficult at times. The first few years, every rejection absolutely crushed my self-confidence. But I soon learned that the only thing I could do was write the best books I knew how to write and hope that someone would eventually see something promising in my work.Did you ever think of quitting?Many times. In fact, ten months before I sold this book, I told my wife that if Thirteen Reasons Why didn't sell, I was going to take a long break from writing (if not quit entirely) to see what other creative pursuits I might be missing out on. Fortunately, it pains me to make my wife cry...which she did at that I promised her that I wouldn't stop until I sold a book.

Kurtis: What kept you going through the long process?
Jay: I've made some great friends (such as my co-bloggers at, Robin and Eve) in the writing world. Without their constant encouragement, I don't know how I would've lasted 12 years. I think, especially when you're doing something creative, you need people around you who understand and can empathize with the ups and downs you're going through.

Kurtis: Do you have anything in the works now that we can look forward to reading?
Jay: I'm currently working on my next novel for teens. Eventually, I'd like to polish up some of my old humorous manuscripts and see if I can sell one of those again.

Kurtis: Do you by chance listen to music while writing? If so what kind and who?
Jay: I don't listen to music while I'm actually writing (like I said, I'm easily distracted). But I do listen to music before I begin writing to inspire a certain mood which I'm trying to capture. For example, with this book, I mostly listened to the soundtrack of My So-Called Life and the band Buffalo Tom (I discovered them because they have a song on the MSCL soundtrack). For the very last scene in my book, I listened to Buffalo Tom's "Larry" over and over.

Here's a YouTube Video with a concert clip of "Larry" by Buffalo Tom

Please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you thought about this book.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Stay Tuned!

Boys Blogging Books is getting ready to launch!
Get yourself ready because we are kicking things off with a bang as we Review Thirteen Reasons Why and interview Jay Asher the author!

You won't want to miss this!