Firstborn (Blink, 2014) by Lorie Ann Grover grabbed me by the throat right from the start with young Tiadone witnessing a Madronian priest taking a “useless” firstborn female from her R’tan parents. The baby will die. Tiadone hadn’t believed the stories, but now he knows it’s true. And it would have happened to him if his parents hadn’t declared her male at birth.
How could you not read on after that?
This is author Lorie Ann Grover’s first fantasy novel, which received a Kirkus Starred Review. Watch the book trailer here.
More importantly read why Lorie Ann wrote this novel: “The impetus for Firstborn was an article I read on gendercide. Appalled that the atrocity continues today, I funneled my anger into writing this novel. My hope is that through the power of story, awareness and action against gendercide will increase. The United Nations estimates that there are 200 million girls missing today. You can read more about gendercide and take action at www.allgirlsallowed.org or www.ggaap.com.”
Lorie Ann has 3 previous novels in verse published. Read about them on her website.
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Write something so painfully personal you pray nobody reads it. Chad Gervich
In The Pledge (Margaret K. McElderry, 2011) by Kimberly Derting, 17-year-old Charlaina speaks her vendor language of Parshon and the universal Englaise just as she should. But she also understands the languages of the classes above her and that’s a secret she must keep hidden. It’s forbidden in the country of Ludania to even look into the eyes of someone of higher class when they are speaking. And looking at a Council girl puts Charlaina’s life at risk.
But that’s just the start of this story. There’s also underground dance clubs, an ancient autocratic queen looking for her replacement, and more secrets–like who Max is and the language he speaks–that affect the lives of everyone Charlaina cares for.
This book is the first in a trilogy and was chosen as a 2013 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection. I need to get the rest of the books about Charlaina and her world!
The sidebar on Kimberly Derting’s blog “The Road to Publication,” shows how many other countries The Pledge has been published in–9 besides US/Canada! Is that cool or what?
Kimberly has another trilogy in process and a series, too. Check them out here.
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Write about what you’re most afraid of. Donald Barthelme
If you love super heroes, these two books are must reads. Both are fast paced and funny.
First, is Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities (Scholastic, 2012) by Mike Jung. Vincent Wu and his friends love Captain Stupendous. But when Vincent learns the Captain’s secret identity, he and his friends have to act to save Captain Stupendous, because the Captain is really a girl who doesn’t know anything about being a super hero!
The opening line of the book: “There are four Captain Stupendous fan clubs in Copperplate City, but ours is the only one that doesn’t suck.” This story definitely doesn’t suck either. In fact, it’s so appealing my copy was recently stolen… No kidding!
Read author Mike Jung’s description of himself on his blog to laugh, too. But besides being a funny guy, he’s honest about how difficult life can be. Can’t wait to see his next book.
Next, is Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain (Curiosity Quills Press, 2014) by Richard Roberts. In this case Penelope Akk knows she could be a superhero, because her parents are ones. But as her powers begin emerging she finds it is so much fun being a villain instead.
The opening line of the book: “On the last day before I got my super power, I was sulking because I didn’t have a super power.” You can probably tell that Penny is a teen.
This is author Richard Roberts’ fourth book. Read more about him and his other books here.
Hmm, I wonder if these two authors have ever met… Who would dominate the world?!