Author Archives: Jessica F.

April 7, 2010

A New Book for Steampunk Fans

Posted by at 7:49 am in Authors, Reads | Permalink

Fever_crumb If you are a steampunk fan, then you might already know about Philip Reeve and his Hungry City Chronicles starting with the first book Mortal Engines. Well, his new prequel to the series, called Fever Crumb, has us all excited over here at Scholastic. Take a look at this video of the author himself talking about the new book and what steampunk means to him.

So how to describe this awesome new book? We'll start with the Head.

Fever Crumb, the main character, is raised in one. A giant head, I mean. Godshawk's head.

It was built to be part of an enormous statue of Godshawk, the Scriven overlord that ruled distant-future London. When he was overthrown, this enormous statue was under construction and then abandoned. Not believing in waste, the Order of Engineers, a group of rational male scientists, moved in and made it home. Mr. Crumb, a young member of that order, found the baby Fever in a field and brought her home to be raised in the Head.

Now, for the visual: Fourteen-year-old Fever Crumb has mismatched eyes – one is dark brown and the other gray. Like the rest of the Order, she shaves her head every other day (they believe hair is unnecessary). Lastly, she wears an oversized red trench coat and “digger's” boots. A unique look.

Combine her looks with her unconventional childhood (no toys, no make-believe, no fun – nothing illogical), and Fever is an odd bird, but one you can cheer for. She's sheltered from the emotional turmoil that is outside her Head home by the orderly Order of the Engineers. But that all is about to change.

Fever is sent to apprentice with the once-promising archaeologist Kit Solent. The minute she steps out of the giant head that has been her home, major mayhem ensues and her adventure begins. Fever is chased by those who fear “scriven” – the dangerous group of people who once imprisoned London – because of her odd looks. (Watch the video of Philip Reeve reading this part out loud.) She struggles to understand the illogical workings of the world, including Kit Solent's emotional children. And she slowly realizes there's more to her past, and the silvery scar at the base of her skull, than she's been told.

This book is fast paced and often very funny, especially when Fever is amused or confused by something illogical, like cotton candy or odd sayings. And it takes a number of surprising, twisty turns, so stay on your toes when you're reading. But be warned, it's part of a series so the end doesn't really end.

— Jessica, Staffer

January 7, 2009

Meggie’s Declaration

Posted by at 12:34 pm in Book to Big Screen, Music | Permalink

Inkheart_poster_130Inkheart Movie Song

I suppose if you can read stuff out of books, it should be no surprise that you can sing well, too. So when I heard the star of the Inkheart movie sing a tune from the soundtrack, I wasn’t exactly shocked.

Sixteen-year-old Eliza Bennett, who plays Meggie, belts out “My Declaration,” which is basically her character’s anthem about growing up, being fearless, and kicking a little Capricorn butt. And she’s got a fantastic voice — though we’ve heard nothing about plans to go into the music biz.

Check out the video right now.

The song was written by Tom Baxter and found by the movie’s music supervisor, Sara Lord — who had no trouble convincing film’s director, Iain Softley, that the tune would fit with movie’s themes. (It so totally does.)

Oh yeah, and the best part? The video is filled with clips from the upcoming movie (in theaters January 23), including lots with Meggie and Farid. And Farid is WAY hotter than I pictured while reading the book. Totally crush-worthy. Though if you’ve read all three Ink-trilogy books by Cornelia Funke, then you know that at the end of the series . . . oh, never mind. I don’t want to spoil it!

— Jessica, Scholastic Staffer

Video and poster courtesty of New Line Cinema
August 29, 2008

Best Scenes in the Twilight Series

Posted by at 7:23 am in Book to Big Screen, Reads | Permalink

Twilight I’m convinced Stephenie Meyer is some kind of evil genius. I picked up Twilight (for ages 12 and up) last month after all the buzz about the movie started coming out and didn’t stop reading until I finished the four-book series. I couldn’t put them down! And now, I find myself re-reading my favorite scenes.

Here are my top five faves:

NOTE: To keep from ruining the books for those not sucked in yet (Get it? Sucked in. Vampire books! Ha!) I’ll leave out which book each scene is from. The fans will know what I’m talking about (wink wink!). But if you really don’t want to know anything, then stay away. In other words, SPOILER ALERT!

Continue reading

August 25, 2008

Book Review: A Mango-Shaped Space

Posted by at 10:12 am in Reads | Permalink

Imagine if  words and sounds drew colored shapes in front of your eyes — wonderful colors no one else could  see!

It’s called synesthesia and it’s what Mia, the main character and narrator of A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass has been hiding from everyone (even her best friend!) since she was 8-years-old, when she was called a “freeeeaaak!” (She was at the chalkboard for math and offered to put the numbers in their correct colors. Because we all know what those correct colors are, right? Wrong-o! The classroom laughed and pointed. Sad.)

Mia finally has to come clean five years later when she’s nearly failing Math and Spanish. See, the colors get her confused. Like, if the English word “mother” is purpley-red but the Spanish word “madre” is green — it doesn’t make sense they’re the same thing, right? Of course everyone thinks she’s nuts or sick with an incurable disease. Even her best friend is miffed.

I’d easily recommend this book. We all feel like freaks about something, and I like the fact that Mia learns more about herself, meets people who have similar colorful visions, and understands she doesn’t have to hide it. In fact, she finds that once people understand, they think it’s cool. (I wonder what color my name is!)

Let me know what you think!

— Jessica, Staffer

August 20, 2008

Kieran Scott

Posted by at 7:10 am in Reads | Permalink

Finding chick-lit for gals — with a brain, that is — can be like finding a needle in a haystack. But I’m never disappointed with the books by Kieran Scott. Her Non-Blonde Cheerleader series (for ages 12 and up) is funny with just a dash of romance and a big helping of girl power.

In a nutshell, the books (I Was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader, Brunettes Strike Back, and Non-Blonde Cheerleader in Love) are about Annisa. She and her family get relocated from New Jersey to sunny Florida, and she immediately feels like she’s entered the twilight zone — everyone, including the cheerleading squad she’s keen to join, is blonde. Annisa, on the other hand, is brunette and darn proud. So she’s caught between wanting to fit in and being her natural self. I should also mention a certain blonde-haired boy that’s the ying to Anissa’s clumsy, quick-tempered yang.

As a bonus, Kieran Scott broke away from her gal Anissa this summer, and introduced us to KJ, the nicest girl at school with a mad crush on the cool guy and an unfortunate fanbase of total geeks in Geek Magnet. It’s got the same brand of silly comedy and I’ve-totally-been-there situations — and I’m hoping there’s a sequel (or trilogy — fingers crossed!) so I can find out what happens next.

— Jessica, Staffer

July 31, 2008

3 Questions for Meggie

Posted by at 9:34 am in Reads | Permalink

Here are the three questions I would ask Meggie from Cornelia Funke’s Inkworld.What would you ask her if you had the chance?

1. Meggie, now that you know you have your father’s gift, are you bummed you can’t read anything out loud without risking something strange or bad happening? (not even a letter, recipe or box of cereal!?)

2. Would you trade your reading talent . . . and opt to be a cool fire-eater like Dustfinger instead?

3. And, can you PLEASE  read me into Harry Potter?

— Jessica, Staffer