Today in YA History: November 10, 1971 – Holly Black born!

November 10, 1971: Author Holly Black (Tithe, Spiderwick Chronicles) is born in West Long Branch, New Jersey.

Born Holly Riggenbach, during her early years Holly’s family lived in a “decrepit Victorian house” in New Jersey. She studied at Rutgers University and ultimately graduated from The College of New Jersey in 1994, with a B.A. in English. She married high school sweetheart, Theo Black (illustrator and web designer), in 1999. They now live together in Amherst, Massachusetts in “a house with a secret library”!

She briefly considered becoming a librarian before her writing career took off with the publication of her first novel, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, in 2002. The world of Kaye, a young changeling, is continued in Valiant : A Modern Tale of Faerie and concluded in Ironside: A Modern Faery’s Tale.

Holly has “edited and contributed to the role-playing culture magazine “d8” (and has made allusions to Role-playing and LARPing in her works), worked as a production editor for medical journals such as The Journal of Pain, and was the co-executive producer for The Spiderwick Chronicles film based on her mid-grade series of the same name.

The Spiderwick Series–translated in 32 languages since the five-book series was published–spawned not only a film, but also a video game, and several world-expanding collections such as the illustrated Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to The Fantastical World Around You, The Notebook for Fantastical Observations, Care and Feeding of Sprites and the three-book follow-up series Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles.

She has contributed to and edited anthologies such as “Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd”, “Eternal Kiss”, and “Zombies vs. Unicorns”.

In October 2011, she made an announcement that fans had long been waiting for: Holly had signed a deal with Little Brown Books for Young Readers for a YA vampire novel titled The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

Happy birthday, Holly!


100 Words: The Goddess Test

Kate Winters, 18, moves to her dying mother’s childhood home. There she meets broody, handsome Henry… who can keep her mother alive if Kate promises to stay six months with him to take The Goddess Test. The prize? Immortality as Queen of the Underworld!

A positive mother-daughter relationship makes Kate likeable and sympathetic. Though being tested, the romance is the focal point and Kate never feels put upon: Henry’s mansion is dream-like. The reader may wonder how Kate wasn’t angrier as lies emerged but, with the sequel soon, hopefully everything will sink in for Kate! A quick, fun read.

Author: Aimée Carter
Publishing info: April 19, 2011 by HarlequinTEEN— ISBN 978-0373210268
Age Range: 12+, YMMV… (Mild romance, doesn’t even say “sex” just calls it “that”; no drugs; mild violence. Emotional situations with the dying mother may upset more sensitive readers.)
Olivia’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5 smiley pumpkins

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New YA Mag needs 3 minutes of your time!

There’s a new Young Adult Literary magazine on its way this winter… and you could help out just by taking 3 minutes of your day RIGHT NOW and clicking a few buttons on this poll.

CLICK HERE to help out

This magazine will include author interviews, book and movie reviews, up-coming book releases, tour dates, and a lot more I’m sure I don’t yet know about! Maybe it’ll be able to announce new book acquisitions? Maybe offer YA writing and publishing advice? Maybe host ARC contests, or fan-cover contests? Insight midnight book release parties? Offer a place for reviews from teen readers? Interview with agents and editors in the field, and get the inside scoop on one of the hottest genres in the industry?

The possibilities are endless, my friends! ENDLESS!

I am really excited about this mag… can you tell? But I would really appreciate if you could fill that out, and pass it along. ^_^

And if you are a teen or otherwise reader of the YA genre: what would YOU want in a magazine aimed at our favorite literary reading? If we let the magazine know now, it could happen. Don’t be shy!

Once more… CLICK HERE to help out

100 Words: It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Life doesn’t have the same appeal to Craig Gilner, 15, after acceptance into a difficult, prestigious school. Unable to eat or sleep and wanting the wrong girl, he decides to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. But instead, Craig checks into a psychiatric ward. There, he meets a quirky group of patients… including teenage Noelle. Away from the Tentacles of his old life, can Craig find the Anchors to a new one?

Inspired by his own stay in psychiatric care, Vizzini’s book rings true. Have a teenager in your life suffering from depression or another mental condition? Hand them this book.

Learn More: It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Author: Ned Vizzini
Publishing info: April 1st 2006 by Miramax — ISBN 978-0786851973
Age Range: 14+, YMMV… (Strong language, sexual situations, drug use, difficult subject matter including discussions of suicide and frank discussions of mental conditions.)
Olivia’s Rating: 4 out of 5 smiley pumpkins

Psssst! There’s also the movie to check out!