New Voice: Joshua David Bellin on Survival Colony 9

Curriculum Guide & Excerpt

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Joshua David Bellin is the first time author of Survival Colony 9 (McElderry, 2014). From the promotional copy:

In a future world of dust and ruin, fourteen-year-old Querry Genn struggles to recover the lost memory that might save the human race. 

Querry is a member of Survival Colony Nine,

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New Voice: Rachel M. Wilson on Don’t Touch

Book Club Guide

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Rachel M. Wilson is the first-time author of Don’t Touch (HarperTeen, 2014). From the promotional copy:

A powerful story of a girl who is afraid to touch another person’s skin, until the boy auditioning for Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.


Step on a crack,

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New Voice: Jennifer Mathieu on The Truth About Alice

By Emma Kate Tsai 

Jennifer Mathieu is the first-time author of The Truth About Alice (Roaring Brook, 2014). From the promotional copy: 

Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice. Ask anybody.


Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut.

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New Voice: M.K. Hutchins on Drift

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

M.K. Hutchins is the first-time author of Drift (Tu Books, 2014). From the promotional copy:

Tenjat lives on the shores of Hell, an ocean filled with ravenous naga monsters. His island, a massive Turtle, is slowed by the people living on its back. Only those poor enough to need children to support themselves in old age condescend to the shame of marriage. 

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New Voice: Adriana Brad Schanen on Quinny & Hopper

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Adriana Brad Schanen is the first-time author of Quinny & Hopper (Hyperion, 2014). From the promotional copy:

Quinny and Hopper couldn’t be more different. They’re an unstoppable team. But when summer ends, things suddenly aren’t the same. 

Can Quinny and Hopper stick together in the face of stylish bullies, a killer chicken, and those brand new Third Grade Rules – especially the one that says they aren’t allowed to be friends anymore?

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New Voice: Maria E. Andreu on The Secret Side of Empty

Resources (Discussion Guide)

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Maria E. Andreu is the first-time author of The Secret Side of Empty (Running Press, 2014). From the promotional copy:

As a straight-A student with a budding romance and loyal best friend, M.T.’s life seems as apple-pie American as her blondish hair and pale skin. But M.T. hides two facts to the contrary: her full name of Monserrat Thalia and her status as an undocumented immigrant.

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New Voice: Kate Hannigan on Cupcake Cousins

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Kate Hannigan is the first time author of Cupcake Cousins, illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes (Hyperion, 2014). From the promotional copy:

Baking a fluffy pink cupcake is awesome, but wearing a dress that looks like one? No, thank you!


Cousins Willow and Delia can’t wait to spend a week vacationing together with their families.

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New Voice: Megan Jean Sovern on The Meaning of Maggie

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Megan Jean Sovern is the first-time author of The Meaning of Maggie (Chronicle, 2014). From the promotional copy:

Eleven-year-old Maggie Mayfield can’t stop thinking about Oreos and this is just one of her many conundrums. 

She also has two older sisters with bods that don’t stop and she has to wait to campaign for president for almost an entire quarter century.

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New Voice: Rebecca Behrens on When Audrey Met Alice

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Rebecca Behrens is the first-time author of When Audrey Met Alice (Sourcebooks, 2014). From the promotional copy:

When frustrated First Daughter Audrey Rhodes discovers Alice Roosevelt’s secret diary hidden beneath the White House floorboards, she’s inspired to ask herself, “What would Alice do?” Audrey’s Alice-like antics are a lot of fun—but will they bring her happiness, or a host of new problems?

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New Voice: Yvonne Ventresca on Pandemic

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Yvonne Ventresca is the first-time author of Pandemic (Sky Pony, 2014)(blog). From the promotional copy:

Only a few people know what caused Lilianna Snyder’s sudden change from a model student to a withdrawn pessimist who worries about all kinds of disasters. 

When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat,

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