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Brad B.'s Blog

Chasing Lincoln's Killer

Tense, gripping, and even at times gruesome, this mystery has an extra punch from the fact that it's true. If you are looking for a great bit of historical non-fiction that reads as well as any fictional thriller then check this out. Chasing Lincoln's Killer chronicles the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth in all its harrowing detail. It's excellent as an audio book too with voice work by Will Paton.

2010 Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition!


Fancy yourself a writer? Enter the 2010 Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition and you could win a $30,000 scholarship to the creative writing program at Interlochen Arts Academy. For those currently in grades 8-11. Deadline Dec. 15, 2010.

Breaking News: Girl Fiction Invades Manga Book Shelves

O.k., so, fans of both teen girl fiction and manga can stop holding their breath. Yes, we've got the first Gossip Girl Manga: for Your eyes only and the first Clique Manga both now in! Go crazy. Go ahead. Just don't let anyone get caught in the wake of your reading frenzy. Ah, it's always slightly dangerous when two popular worlds collide...

Create Your Own Instant Comic!


If you're looking to pass the time, Pikikids.com lets you create an instant comic strip! It's got lots of little extras to add to the scene, like viking hats and fake noses. Some quick fun for the comic lover! Check it out.

Soul Eater

How can I describe this series? Slightly twisted… alright, very twisted. In a school run by the grim reaper kids are trained to collect the souls of evil-doers by fighting with special weapons that 'eat souls'. The strange twist is that these deadly weapons are actually characters in their own right and can transform into people at will. You with me? The pairs get sent off on missions to stop the bad of the bad. Soul Eater is definitely for mature teens with all the demented action you might expect of a horror/combat series run wild. But, for those looking for something with as much attitude as action, soul eater is a series that's hard to ignore. Check out the anime or the manga.

Teen Books for Chewing

Do you like your teen books challenging and dense — I mean that modern epic packed with so much intellectualism and sprawling storyline that you don't just read it, you chew on it and digest it, and you slowly let the epiphany set in? Well, here's some books you might like:

City of thieves : a novel by David Benioff

Going bovine by Libba Bray

The book thief by Markus Zusak

Short, Interesting Teen Classics

Looking for some classics that are relatively short and aren't, well, boring. Most of these are around 200 pages or less and packed with adventure, humor, and drama. Check them out:

The glass menagerie by Tennessee Williams; introduction by Robert Bray

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson; supplementary material written by Anna Maria Hong; series edited by Cynthia Brantley Johnson

The importance of being Earnest: a trivial comedy for serious people by Oscar Wilde; edited by Samuel Lyndon Gladden

2010 Manga Drawing Contest Winners!

We had over 50 people enter our 2010 contest with some of the most amazing art we've ever seen! This year, for our 'Making Waves' theme, bonus points were awarded to those who incorporated something 'water related'. Kudos to all the creative ways you guys did this, including those who used water colors! So many people deserved recognition, but we had to limit ourselves to 3 winners and 4 honorable mentions for each age group. Take a look at all of 2010's manga entries to see the honorable mentions and all the other fantastic artwork! Here are the winners:

Absolute

Older teen boys looking for historical fiction with a bit of action might want to check out the Jack Absolute series. Jack is the self centered sort who may secretly read Shakespeare but ultimately spends most of his time drinking, gambling, and/or wenching. Enlisted by the British Army to work as a spy during the American Revolution — yet sympathetic to the patriot cause — Jack spends most of his time just looking out for himself. This is a straight up adventure story that reads like an 18th century version of James Bond, complete with a bevy of dangerous women and ridiculous chase scenes. Over the top? Certainly. But, never, never boring.

Teen Paranormal / Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Enjoy a wide range of fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal books, just as long as they are compelling and maybe have a little romance too? Then, this list is for you:

Need by Carrie Jones

Uglies. 1 by Scott Westerfeld

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Leviathan by written by Scott Westerfeld ; illustrated by Keith Thompson

Teen Mysteries With Romance

Want a little romance with your crime sleuthing? Here's a list of books, both modern and historical:

Bad kitty by Michele Jaffe

A spy in the house by Y.S. Lee

Rose cottage by Mary Stewart

Heist society by Ally Carter

Summer Romance Reads for Teens

Like books like the princess diaries? Looking for a good, wholesome, light romance for the summer? Try these:

Amy & Roger's epic detour by Morgan Matson

The summer I turned pretty by Jenny Han

I'd tell you I love you, but then I'd have to kill you by Ally Carter

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Lips Touch Three Times

Three short stories about three magical, mostly disastrous kisses, Lips Touch Three Times oozes the kind of creative, madcap energy that reminds me of authors like Neil Gaiman or Charles De Lint. Deliciously wicked and inventive, from one-eyed fae who hunt by the smell of hair to demons that move their shadows. This has everything that a fairy tale / fantasy fan could want.

Scott Pilgrim vs. ...You

Excited for the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World movie coming out in August? Well check out the Scott Pilgrim avatar creator! Or, scope out the original graphic novels that spawned the movie. They're hilarious! They're action packed. They're... full of obscure video game references... Yeah, you know you want to read them.

Evangelion for the 21st Century

The anime classic Neon Genesis Evangelion has gotten a remake, and it's stunning. Evangleion 1.11 is the first of three planned movies set to 'retell' the original. The major difference this time around is that it has improved animation and a slightly streamlined plotline. It looks sleeker than ever, and with the quicker pace the beginning of this classic has only gotten better. Check out this old series remade new.