PRINT VERSION COMING SOON!!!
Who doesn’t love a free book? Here are five, YA ebooks currently listed as free on Amazon. Make sure they still are before you download them. Looking for a new book? Maybe one of these is your next read. Don’t forget to leave a review to thank the author for the freebie!
No doubt that teens are under more pressure than previous generations. YALSA highlights some books which deal with coping skills for depression and anxiety. Click the link and take a look.
2014 was a big sales year for juvenile fiction. Publishers Weekly credits the Divergent novels and John Green for a good part of it. Unfortunately, print sales for kids’ fiction decreased by 3% in 2015. Apparently, the latest Wimpy Kid book was the only one to sell a million copies or more.
Although the category split out for juvenile fiction is far from perfect, a few insights can be gleaned. Harken back to what I wrote about predicting YA trends relating to the astrology of the up and coming generation (https://ellisnelsonbooks.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/can-ya-reading-trends-be-predicted/). Up 9% was a category called Holidays/Festivals/Religion. Is this the start of the Pluto in Sagittarius group taking an interest in spiritual and religious things? Maybe. Also notable was a 12% rise in purchases of animal fiction.
Social situations/Family/Health was down 10%. Small declines were also seen in SF/Fantasy/Magic (-2%) and History/Sports/People/Places (-4%).
Overall though, it’s hard to see emerging trends in the data when a bestseller in any category can really distort the picture. I would rather see the categories broken down and distributed by age group because picture book buying by adults is different than teens buying their own books. And this is only print sales. E-books are certainly playing an increasing role in sales for older kids. Even the decrease of 3% overall, needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Are e-books drawing off that amount or more? Is the decrease related to our overall flat economy?
Publishers Weekly Article: http://goo.gl/SoiKEu
Jan. 14: THE WINNERS ARE: Patricia Robertson & KDKH. I will be contacting you both.
It’s contest time! Leave a comment below and be entered to win a copy of the electronic version of Elephants Never Forgotten. Contest closes at noon (EST) on Wednesday (Jan.13th). Two books will be awarded by a random drawing on Thursday, January 14th. As a theme, tell me something about elephants. I’ll start us off with how the idea for the book came into being.
Here’s the synopsis:
A hundred years in the future, twelve-year-old Nigella receives a shipment from her deceased grandfather. Her inheritance is a herd of micro-elephants. While a lot of her friends have micro-pets, Nigella is at a loss on how to care for them. Why are her micro-pets so different from everyone else’s? What was her grandfather up to? With the help of her best friend, Kepler, the girls set off on an adventure to discover the truth.
What readers are saying:
“Ellis Nelson’s superb writing made this book a joy to read. I felt like I was right there experiencing the journey, the concerns, the total adventure. Lessons about friendship and family, ecology abound.”
“The leading characters are smart and resourceful girls. They set off for adventure and help make the world a better place. An intriguing, positive read for tweens.”
In an effort to satisfy my hunger for a good ghost story around Halloween, I stumbled on two firmly planted in the horror genre. Read at your own peril. Spoiler alert.
Beyond- A Ghost Story by Graham McNamee
Seventeen year old Jane was born dead and revived. In her short life she has escaped death four more times, but her shadow is after her. While Jane wrestles with these issues her best friend, Lexi, provides necessary comic relief. As the “Creep Sisters”, Jane and Lexi have to deal with being outsiders at school. Jane must find out why death haunts her before it’s too late and the opportunity comes when a skull is unearthed on the edge of town. Solving that mystery brings her face to face with a serial killer and reveals why her shadow is after her. McNamee successfully incorporates the idea of a dark, lost region that contrasts sharply to the bright light bliss of near death experiences. It’s a nice twist making it a unique ghost story. Sufficiently creepy, fast paced, and satisfying.
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Cas Lowood has inherited the job of ghost killer from his dad. Armed with a powerful knife, he seeks his prey. His next case draws him to Anna, a girl killed in 1958 on her way to a dance. Anna has the nasty habit of killing anyone who enters the house where she resides. This is a fairly well-crafted story, but not as original as Beyond. It has garnered quite a following seemingly attracting the Twilight crowd because of the romance between Cas and Anna. That part didn’t resonate with me. Cass witnessed a kid being ripped apart by Anna and yet he falls for her. The most unique aspect of the story comes from the idea of the Obeah- a creature seeking power and the Wicca traditions brought to the story by some of the lesser characters. This is a fast read, entertaining, but a bit familiar.
The winners are: m15alien and Susan Bernhardt. I’ll contact you with the e-files. Thanks to everyone who entered.
It’s contest time! Leave a comment below and be entered to win a copy of the electronic version of Elephants Never Forgotten. Contest closes at noon (EST) on Wednesday. Two books will be awarded on Thursday, October 8th. As a theme, tell me something about elephants. I’ll start us off with how the idea for the book came into being.
Today is World Elephant Day. Since 2011, this day has been used to highlight the plight of elephants around the world, both wild and those in captivity. Ivory is still a commodity and poaching still happens. Not to mention abuse which occurs in captivity.
In a few weeks, I’ll be releasing a middle grade novel which highlights these sentient beings. Elephants Never Forgotten takes us into a world of the future where elephants and their habitat are gone. One twelve year old girl stumbles onto a mystery that might allow them to return. Details on the release will be coming soon.
From the distant past and the present, here is some of the wisdom shared by authors who write for children.
“Don’t try to comprehend with your mind. Your mind is very limited. Use your intuition.” Madeleine L’Engle
“Maybe we’re all in somebody’s dream. Maybe everything’s a dream, and nothing else.” David Almond
“The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things.” Hans Christian Andersen
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” JK Rowling
“A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds.” JRR Tolkien
“Never give up. No one knows what’s going to happen next.” L. Frank Baum
“I believe stories are incredibly important, possibly in ways we don’t understand, in allowing us to make sense of our lives, in giving us empathy and in creating the world that we live in.” Neil Gaiman
“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Lewis Carroll
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss
“Kids deserve the right to think they can change the world.” Lois Lowry
No doubt about it, the cover is creepy. This was one of those books with a promising premise. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the wildly successful Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children in its use of odd, black and white photos. But where that book was creative and different, this one fails to deliver. Don’t get me wrong- it’s not awful, it’s just not exceptional.
Sixteen year old, Dan spends part of the summer at a college prep program. His dorm is a former psychiatric facility. When things start to happen, the reader wonders if the school is haunted, Dan is going mad, or whether something else is going on. That part of the book works. Several murders and attacks ensue along with Dan becoming a possible suspect, but when a few too many co-incidents occur, the action starts to feel campy. In the end, the storyline is partially resolved but big questions remain (I guess this is so the author gets to produce a sequel. Anyone else tired of that ploy?). The initial idea, Dan’s history, and the location should have produced a better book.