New Voice: Caroline Carlson on The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Caroline Carlson is The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot (HarperCollins, 2013). From the promotional copy:

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword. 

There’s only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

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New Voice: A.B. Westrick on Brotherhood

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

A.B. Westrick is the first-time author of Brotherhood (Viking, 2013). From the promotional copy:

The year is 1867, and Richmond, Virginia, lies in ruins. 

By day fourteen-year-old Shadrach apprentices with a tailor and sneaks off for reading lessons with Rachel, a freed slave, at her school for African-American children. By night he follows his older brother to the meetings of a brotherhood,

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New Voice: Annemarie O’Brien on Lara’s Gift

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Annemarie O’Brien is the first-time author of Lara’s Gift (Knopf, 2013)(author blog). From the promotional copy:

Young Lara is being groomed in the family tradition to take over as Count Vorontsov’s next kennel steward, breeding borzoi dogs worthy of the Tsar. 

But when Lara’s baby brother is born, she finds herself supplanted as her father decides to make her brother the next kennel steward. 

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New Voice: Charlotte Gunnufson on Halloween Hustle

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Charlotte Gunnufson is the first-time author of Halloween Hustle, illustrated by Kevan J. Atteberry (Two Lions, 2013). From the promotional copy:

In the dark, a funky beat. Something white with bony feet. Skeleton dancing up the street, doing the Halloween Hustle. 

Skeleton is dancing his way to a Halloween party—but as he grooves across town,

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New Voice: Amy Christine Parker on Gated

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Amy Christine Parker is the first-time author of Gated (Random House, 2013)(author blog)(excerpt). From the promotional copy:

Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?



In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer,

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New Voice: Pat Zietlow Miller on Sophie’s Squash

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Pat Zietlow Miller is the first-time author of Sophie’s Squash, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf (Schwartz & Wade, 2013). From the promotional copy:

On a trip to the farmers’ market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. 

From then on,

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New Voice & Giveaway: Sara Kocek on Promise Me Something

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Sara Kocek
is the first-time author of Promise Me Something
(Albert Whitman Teen/Open Road Media, 2013). From the promotional copy:

Reyna didn’t mean to become friends with Olive Barton . . .


But when Olive kept talking after the lunch bell, Reyna didn’t say no,

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New Voice: J.K. Rock on Camp Boyfriend

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

J.K. Rock is the YA writing partnership of sister-in-laws Joanne and Karen Rock and the talent behind the Camp Boyfriend series (Spencer Hill, 2013)(discussion guide)(educational resources)(pre-sale). From the promotional copy:

They said it couldn’t be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school half-way across the country.

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New Voice & Giveaway: Allyson Valentine on How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Allyson Valentine is the first-time author of How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend (Philomel, 2013). From the promotional copy:

Sophomore Nora Fulbright is the most talented and popular new cheerleader on the Riverbend High cheer squad. 

Never mind that she used to be queen of the nerds—a chess prodigy who answered every question first,

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