Today is Free Comic Book Day, so find your nearest participating comics store here and get there fast, before the excellent selection of free comic books runs out!
It’s also Star Wars Day – a good opportunity to point you to another volume in Ian Doescher’s Shakespearean retellings of the Star Wars movies… read ye now the Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge (movie episode three).
Yes, our valiant Chewbacca appears in this volume (farewell too soon, actor Peter Mayhew), as do many characters good and evil from the episodes in this series before and after this one:
And as I wrote in 2015:
Why speak just now of this most-worthy tome,
Why note it not upon its natal day?
Mark well today’s harmonious date, kind one,
And may the Force be with us all, I pray!
Book info: William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge (Star Wars Part the Third) / Ian Doescher. Quirk Books, 2015. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
How much of your freedom would you sacrifice for safety? **kmm
Book info: The Dark Intercept (Dark Intercept, book 1) / Julia Keller. Tor Teen, hardcover 2017, paperback 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: As the all-encompassing Intercept collects every emotion from each human, sixteen-year-old Violet uncovers a rebellion on New Earth and must decide which side is telling the truth about its powers.
Violet’s father founded New Earth a generation ago, ensuring that the best and brightest escaped there from the disease and destruction on Old Earth.
Now the Intercept can monitor everyone on both Earths, crime is down everywhere, yet policeman Danny (brother of the Intercept inventor) insists on returning often to patrol Old Earth – is he looking for something?
As cameras monitor the safety of people on missions down to Old Earth, Violet sees the dire poverty there – why does New Earth only allow a few immigrations up every year?
Rumors swirl about a way to bypass the Intercept, to keep thoughts and emotions out of the New Earth government computers – what are the Rebels of Light planning?
Violet and Danny find themselves together more and more, but what the Intercept can record, the Intercept can repeat…
New school year, new students, old faces… cloned teens in their first public appearance!
Darkwood Academy’s generations-strong tradition of academic excellence gets a huge shock as Emma’s junior year begins, worse for her as Levi is the clone of her best friend Eli who committed suicide during the summer.
But why did someone invest a true fortune to get these six from the “misguided lab technician” who cloned them from the umbilical cord blood of Emma’s classmates, then give them the best-possible homeschooling on his island-nation estate until just this moment to reveal them to the world?
The near-future of Darkwood’s cloned teens may be nearer than we think.
Book info: The Similars / Rebecca Hanover. Sourcebooks Fire, 2019. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk:
Every day at Darkwood reminds Emma of her best friend’s recent suicide – because his clone is one of the new students at their exclusive school. Sixteen years after being illegally cloned, the other “Similars” are in classes with their genetic twins, competing for grades, honors, and status.
While some families embrace the chance to welcome another member into their family, virulent anti-clone rhetoric invades classes and club meetings, especially after Emma’s roommate (an Original) is brutally attacked.
Who is the mysterious man who acquired and raised the Similars in secrecy till now? Why were the clones allowed to apply to the same exclusive school as their Originals? How can Emma endure seeing Levi when Eli is gone forever?
As some Similars edge out their Originals in academic rank and status, Darkwood Academy is on edge. What Emma learns from Levi may push them over the brink!
Life aboard an old space station alternates between boring and emergency, even for its kids. (Please say that school won’t be same old routine in the future!)
With something loose in the maintenance tunnels disrupting power and other essential services, our genius middle-schoolers are on the search team, trying to locate Princess Sparkle before anyone else finds their three-headed kitten – or anything else goes wrong!
What’s your favorite cute/oops pet story? **kmm
Book info: Sanity & Tallulah / written & illustrated by Molly Brooks. Disney/Hyperion, 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My Book Talk: When her lab-engineered (cute, but very illegal) pet escapes, preteen genius Sanity and best friend Tallulah must find the three-headed kitten before it causes any more critical outages in the space station!
Sanity used only outdated (very unstable) tech and her own energy allowance to create Princess Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds, but the Wilnick’s lab director (Tallulah’s mom) still confiscates the cute carnivore. Three heads are smarter than one – Princess quickly gets out of confinement and into the station’s maintenance tunnels.
Sudden power disruptions all over Wilnick! Something has been chewing on the coolant lines.
Weird noises on the supply shuttle! Tallulah’s dad and little brother can track that down.
Power outage locks their class in the chemistry lab! Sanity can find a way to get them out safely.
Everyone’s on alert so they can eliminate the “huge beast” threatening this old space station’s life support systems – Sanity and Tallulah must find the kitten first in this futuristic graphic novel!
Male or female?
Freedom Province gives the choice,
but it’s the only choice they’ll ever get to make!
Imagine being raised with a batch of non-related siblings by a rotating crew of caretakers, medically kept from reaching puberty until age 17 when you decide all your adult physical characteristics including gender…
Which cover do you prefer – the misty hardcover or the mix-and-match paperback?
Book info: Remake (Remake, book 1) / Ilima Todd. Shadow Mountain, 2014 (hardcover); Simon Pulse, 2016 (paperback). [author site] [publisher site] [book trailer] Review copy and cover images courtesy of the publishers.
My book talk: Perhaps “Uncertain” would be a better name for Nine, who wants to run away on Remake Day instead of deciding whether to remain female or become male. The other 17 year olds in her Batch know exactly who they want to be as adults, unconcerned about the Prime Maker’s master plan for total control over Freedom Province.
When an accident rocks the Remake shuttle, Nine washes ashore on an island with people who aren’t perfectly formed, who don’t live in identical highrise buildings, who nurture the tropical land and each other.
Pregancy? Illness? Disability? What are those things?
How does being a “family” make those worries easier?
Can Nine adapt when Freedom’s medications leave her system?
Decisions that Nine must make on the island may have even greater consequences than her Remake Day choice, as she discovers Freedom Province’s deepest secrets.
He dreams of NBA fame,
not math or astronomy,
but suddenly, he must use every skill…to stay alive!
When an explosion hits their neighborhood, young teens must get over old disagreements and pool their talents so they can escape the danger and find their parents, using a new computer game that calls into question everything they ‘know’ about their families and themselves.
Would you run for safety or stay to find your family?
Book info: The Lost Tribes (Lost Tribes, book 1) / C. Taylor-Butler; illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith. Move Books, 2015. [author site] [illustrator site] [publisher site] [book trailer] Review copy from author for MultiCultural Children’s Book Day 2018; cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Life on their boring California street explodes into adventure as Ben and his friends work together on an amazing quest computer game, just before all their parents go missing!
Ben and younger sister April seize Uncle Henry’s challenge to solve the game in one week, bringing in neighbors Carlos (great at programming, bad at basketball), Grace (best friend since kindergarten, even if she’s a girl), and Serise (codebreaker deluxe, super snob) as the 3D interactive missions invite them to “find 8 keys” all over the world.
The five encounter puzzles and codes and stinky bird poop (almost as bad as the goopy smoothies Mom makes Ben and April drink) in Egypt, Easter Island, China – it’s so real!
But their parents are acting weirder than usual, a huge satellite dish appears near Carlos’ house then vanishes, and a nighttime attack sends all the families fleeing, kids separated from the adults!
Can the game help the teens get to the “harbor of safety” in reality?
Who would target their easy-going scientist and doctor parents with bombs?
What did Uncle Henry mean about “introducing them to the family business”?
This first book in the Lost Tribes series takes readers on a wide-ranging adventure as the five youths of different cultural backgrounds must use their individual talents together to keep the universe in balance.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day (27 Jan 2018) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom.
Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Their free download week begins Thursday through Wednesday, so click on the link following each CD’s title now. Of course, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.
Her DNA is all over the crime scene, but Casey had no reason to murder her boyfriend. The detective isn’t sure if she’s psychotic or heroic, but she’s consuming all his thoughts and if he can’t find her before the police do…
Smudges work at night, Rays work by day in this America – no mixing, ever. Until Sol decides the new baby on the Ray side of her family must visit their dying Smudge grandfather – kidnap, fugitive, conspiracy uncovered – what a time for a Ray and a Smudge to fall in love!
Ready to share their secrets? Ready to flee?
What does your favorite sci-fi teach us about life and friendship?
Book info: Randoms (Randoms, book 1) / David Liss. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, hardcover 2015; paperback 2016. [author site] [publisher site] [author video] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Recruited by the President for school on a space station, sixth grade gamer and average kid Zeke didn’t expect to be shunned by his fellow Earth students (all incredibly brilliant), visit other planets (picking up more teams for the competition), or discover that his favorite sci-fi shows were based on real alien technologies!
Then the attacks begin!
Earth’s future in the Confederation is at stake, so why was Zeke chosen?
How can he help his team succeed when they want him to stay away?
Can he level up enough that the US government will keep their promise to cure Mom?
Filled with quotes and references to all the science fiction movies, TV shows, games, and books that we love (or hate), Randoms is a rip-roaring ride into interspecies and intergalactic interactions. First in the trilogy, followed by Rebels (book 2) and Renegades (book 3).
Alien war never ending,
Youth who must master their powers.
Humanity’s future is at stake!
Ninth City Burning is great sci-fi with a magic twist, a big book that reads fast, as its many young characters take turns telling how they can use the aliens’ ‘thelemity’ power against them, find ways to work around centuries of military regulations, and scramble to shift the odds of humankind surviving to fight another day.
Be sure to read the first chapter by young cadet Jax at the publisher’s website here – this is not a drill…
My book talk: Five centuries of predictable alien attacks, then changes. Cities turn thelemity against the aliens through the few who can control it. Country folk don’t even know that Earth is at war for its existence. And then…
Told in many voices – reluctant hero cadet Jax of Ninth City, traveler Naomi missing her musical family, overconfident problem-solver Kizabel, and more – this future filled with powerful choices, harnessing power, and the power of lies is a satisfyingly complex tale of aliens, near-magic, war, loyalty, love, and family ties.
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