Brent Hartinger, Geography Club Author Interview by Amy Metz of A Blue Million Books

Brent Hartinger, Geography Club Author Interview by Amy Metz on A Blue Million Books

I am SO excited! The Geography Club has been made into a movie! I read the Geography Club several years ago. It’s a great story about trying to fit in. A group of gay students form a Geography Club to stay below the radar and hilarity ensues.  The characters are fantastic and the story perfect for high school students. There are three more books in the series and the newest is now.  The Elephant of Surprise is  officially on my summer reading list.

Be sure to read the interview and watch the movie trailer!


Interview with Jeff Erno, author of YA LGBT Literature

Interview with Jeff Erno, author of YA LGBT Literature

On my Facebook page I posted information on Erno’s recently released book You Belong With Me.  I  throughly enjoyed the book- it’s a sweet love story with a happy ending- my favorite kind.  I  love the book even more now that I’ve read this author interview. He is a man with a mission to write positive, supportive LGBT YA literature, and that is exactly what teens need.

I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan is not to be missed.


A student recently recommended I’ll be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan to me.  And, like the other books he’s recommended, I couldn’t but it down. 

 The story is about the parental abduction of two boys, Sam and Riddle, by their unstable father.   The boys are left to fend for themselves while their father steals things and drinks, until he gets close to being caught, which is fairly often, and they are on the road again in an old beat-up pick-up.

 Things change for Sam, the eldest, when he meets Emily Bell and later her family. His father realizes that Sam is connecting with people.  Because of his past and his mental illness he snatches the boys away from a family who loves them. 

 The author carefully, patiently reveals the stories of each of the characters and the delicate, hesitant relationships that develop are breathtaking.

 It is a survival story and a love story.  The voices are clear and true, staying with you long after you but the book down.  You will arrive at the end of the book drained from the experience and, you will love then ending. Guaranteed.

 Holly Goldberg Slone has a new book coming out in September 2013 called Counting by Sevens.  Watch for it. Publishers Weekly recently named it a Buzz Book.

 Holly has a website,  and a Facebook page.

 This would be a FANTASTIC book for a summer reading list for 8th grade and up.



eBooks are perfect for summer reading and now you can save money!

ereadersI am always looking for specials on eBooks.  I get the Kindle Daily Deal and now I have signed up for Bookbub.  It is a daily newsletter that is geared towards your reading preferences. For example, when I enrolled, I checked off mysteries, teen and young adult and bestsellers.  When I skim through the daily newsletter, I click on “buy“ and it takes me to because I indicated I have a Kindle.  The eBooks are reduced or even free so I am able to grow my summer reading options inexpensively.  (Don’t judge me, summer vacation starts in 11 weeks!)

I’ve been on the Bookbub mailing list for a few weeks now and have picked up a half dozen books by authors I can count on a few free for a limited time, a few for as low as $2.99.

Here is the link: http://wwwbookbub/home/index.php

Be sure to read their “About” statement and their guarantee.

Author Access a Great Opportunity for Readers and Writers

I won a signed copy of Elephant Run!

I won a signed copy of Elephant Run!

As my students know, I am a HUGE Roland Smith fan. He is a great storyteller with fast moving plots and smart, compassionate characters. As I hand a student any one of his books, I can guarantee that it is “the-best-book-ever” which raises my creditability several notches when they later agree with me. He writes stories that will make kids better readers and ultimately life long readers.

Roland Smith does something else really well: he is very assessable to his readers. He travels a lot and can even Skype in for a school visit. Equally important is his strong online presence with his website, blog and Facebook page.

He holds a monthly contest and winners are drawn at the end of the month. The best part is that winners get a signed copy of a Roland Smith novel. My copy of Elephant Run just arrived last week and I took it to school to share with my students. Believe me, they were impressed.:-) The four paperback copies in my class library were snapped up that day.

The opportunities for kids today are awesome; a genre they can call their own, access to their favorite authors’ via the Internet. Teachers are equally lucky; there are book trailers, professional and student made, online. Using the trailers to kick off a lesson takes 2 minutes and is so much more interesting to the students. Lesson plans and videos instantly available to help build the all important background knowledge. If you aren’t taking full advantage of the information available via Internet, you are short changing yourself and your students.

As teachers, we need to share author websites because it helps us help kids be better, more engaged readers. It also helps writers get to know their readers and get feedback on their books. Readers have always identified with the characters in their favorite stories and now they can identify with the writers as well.