New Voice: Leanna Renee Hieber on Darker Still

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Leanna Renee Hieber
is the first-time YA author of Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul (Sourcebooks, 2011). From the promotional copy: 

I was obsessed. 

It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto
the canvas.

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New Voice: Krista Russell on Chasing the Nightbird

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Krista Russell is the first-time author of Chasing the Nightbird (Peachtree, 2011)(teachers guide). From the promotional copy:

Fourteen-year-old Lucky Valera is a seasoned sailor about to join the crew of the whaling ship, Nightbird. But when his estranged older brother suddenly kidnaps him and forces him into servitude as a mule spinner at the mill,

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New Voice: Shannon Wiersbitzky on Making Time to Write and The Summer of Hammers & Angels

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Shannon Wiersbitzky is the first-time author of The Summer of Hammers & Angels (Namelos, 2011). From the promotional copy:

Most folks have never seen an angel.


I know, because I’ve asked them.


I asked Miss Martha at the post office.

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New Voice: Helen Landalf on Flyaway

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Helen Landalf is the first-time novelist of Flyaway (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011). From the promotional copy:

Fifteen-year-old Stevie Calhoun is used to taking care of herself. But one night, her mom, who works as an exotic dancer in a downtown Seattle nightclub, never comes home.

That’s the night Stevie’s life turns upside down.

It’s the night that kicks off an extraordinary summer: the summer Stevie has to stay with her annoyingly perfect Aunt Mindy;

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New Voice: Prudence Breitrose on Mousenet

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Prudence Breitrose is the first-time author of Mousenet, illustrated by Stephanie Yue (Hyperion, 2011)(author blog). From the promotional copy:

When ten-year-old Megan helps her uncle invent the Thumbtop, the world’s smallest computer, mice are overjoyed, and they want one for every mouse hole.

The Big Cheese,

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New Voice: Kimberly Marcus on Exposed and Scritch-Scratch: A Perfect Match

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Kimberly Marcus is the first-time novelist behind Exposed (Random House, 2011). From the promotional copy:

Sixteen-year-old Liz is Photogirl – sharp, focused, and confident about what she sees through her camera lens. Confident that she and Kate will be best friends forever.

But everything changes in one blurry night. Suddenly, Kate is avoiding her, and people are looking the other way when she passes in the halls. 

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New Voice: Mike Mullin on Ashfall

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Mike Mullin is the first-time author of Ashfall (Tanglewood, 2011). From the promotional copy:

Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano. It has erupted three times in the last 2.1 million years, and it will erupt again, changing the earth forever.

Fifteen-year-old Alex is home alone when Yellowstone erupts.

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New Voice: Winifred Conkling on Sylvia & Aki

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Winifred Conkling is the first-time author of Sylvia & Aki (Tricycle Press, 2011). From the promotional copy: 

Sylvia never expected to be at the center of a landmark legal battle. All she wanted was to enroll in school.

Aki never expected to be relocated to a Japanese internment camp in the Arizona desert.

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New Voice: Kiki Hamilton on The Faerie Ring

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Kiki Hamilton is the first-time author of The Faerie Ring (Tor, 2011). From the promotional copy:

The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. 

One December night,

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New Voice: A. LaFaye on Walking Home to Rosie Lee

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

A. LaFaye is previously published in the novel, but Walking Home to Rosie Lee, illustrated by Keith D. Shepherd (Cinco Puntos, 2011) is her debut picture book. From the promotional copy:

Young Gabe’s is a story of heartache and jubilation. He’s a child slave freed after the Civil War, and he sets off to reunite himself with his mother who was sold before the war’s end. 

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