Category Archives: Gordon Korman

December 26, 2008

THE FIVE: Sonja’s Top Books of 2008

Posted by at 6:33 am in Gordon Korman, Reads | Permalink

Sonja’s Top Books of 2008

I tried to make a top five list of my favorite books of 2008, but it ended up being my top six because there isn’t one book that I could drop from this list. They are all SO GOOD I couldn’t limit myself to just five. So here they are in the order that I read them during the year:

Swindle1. Swindle by Gordon Korman

When I interviewed Gordon Korman last year before Swindle came out, he told me a little about it, and he made it sound so good I just had to read it. I was not disappointed. Swindle is the perfect combination of action and adventure, but it is also funny and true-to-life at the same time. Read the first chapter!

Inkdeath_cornelia_funke2. Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

If you’ve read the Ink-world trilogy, then you know how excited I was for the third book to come out. If you haven’t yet read Inkheart and Inkspell, then please turn your computer off right now and start reading. Trust me. I have to admit, though, the beginning of Inkdeath didn’t grab me right away. It was so depressing and hopeless with Dustfinger gone. But once I got into it, I got REALLY into it, and — SPOILER ALERT! — even though I was rooting for Farid, I still loved the ending.

Theo_osiris 3. Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris by R. L. LaFevers

I am a huge Theodosia fan. Along with Lyra Belacqua and Hermione, she is one of my favorite girl characters of all time. So when I saw that R. L. LaFevers was signing copies of the sequel to Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos, I got right in line! Want to know what she wrote in my book? “For Sonja, Beware of mummies on the loose!”

Hunger_games 4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Ages 12 and up)

THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! READ IT! ‘Nuff said. Okay, I’ll say a little more. It’s about a group of teenagers who are forced to participate in a reality TV show where they have fight each other to the death. Warning: you will not be able to put this book down for anything once you start it!

Trouble 5. Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt (Ages 12 and up)

I think Gary D. Schmidt should win the Newbery Medal. I can’t believe he hasn’t won it yet. His last book,The Wednesday Wars, was really funny but had some serious undertones. This book, Trouble, is all seriousness. In the beginning of the book you find out that the main character’s brother was hit by a car and killed. The person driving the car was a student in their high school, but there is much, much more to the story, including racism, bullying, and a deep secret that doesn’t come out until the end of the book.

Masterpiece 6. Masterpiece by Elise Broach
This book is just cute, sweet fun. It’s about a boy and a beetle who get involved in a plot to catch an art thief. I know it sounds a little corny, but this book is actually pretty suspenseful once the thief shows up and they have to stop him. If you liked Chasing Vermeer, I would definitely recommend Masterpiece.

So there you have my favorite books of 2008. Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know what books you think I should read next!

— Sonja, Editor

December 1, 2008

The 39 Clues Gordon Korman Webcast Highlights

Posted by at 6:05 pm in Authors, Gordon Korman, Reads, The 39 Clues | Permalink

Hey, everyone! How awesome was that webcast? (So awesome!) Here’s what stood out to me — all exactly as I remember it:

  • Whoopi Goldberg thinks Grace Cahill’s hat is cute.
  • Gordon’s username on is GKAmadeus.
  • Gordon is a member of the Janus branch.
  • Gordon and his son are from different Cahill branches.
  • Gordon is scared of the Lucian branch because they’re sneaky spies.
  • Kids from over 100 countries have already joined the quest to discover the secret of the Cahill family’s power.
  • The clues are being kept top-secret. The clue for Book 2 was delivered to Gordon’s house in the middle of the night in an unmarked, black envelope. Gordon never saw the face of the person who delivered it. He’s not even sure the messenger was entirely human!
  • One of the special cards reveals that Hope Cahill, Amy and Dan’s mother, had a chip with one of the clues implanted in her arm.
  • Book 2 is about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his sister.
  • Mozart loved potty humor. Once, when he quit his job, he told his old boss to use his contract for toilet paper.
  • Mozart’s sister, Nannerl, was just as musically talented as Mozart.
  • Despite being the most notorious musician of his age, Mozart died broke. What was he spending his money on? Gordon thinks he was searching for the 39 clues!
  • Since Mozart died poor, he was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave. To this day, no one knows where he was buried.
  • Gordon’s favorite character to write is Jonah Wizard because of his dialogue. Gordon thinks every character has a dialogue “fingerprint,” meaning that the way each character speaks is completely unique. Jonah’s boneheaded, teen mogul speech is Gordon’s favorite.
  • At the end, someone jumped on stage. It turned out to be Peter Lerangis, who is the author of Book 3. It’s coming out in March. The title of Book 3 is The Sword Thief. The cover is red, with swords and ninja stars!

What did I miss? What was your favorite part?

— Carly H., STACKS Staffer

November 26, 2008

Gordon Korman Interview

Posted by at 2:55 pm in Authors, Gordon Korman, The 39 Clues | Permalink

If you have read the first book in The 39 Clues series, then I know you are dying to read the second book, which comes out on December 2nd. The title is One False Note by Gordon Korman, and this book is so top-secret that I couldn’t even pull any strings to get an advance copy! No fair!

I did have the chance to interview Korman a couple of weeks ago, and I tried to get him to reveal some of the secrets! He didn’t give anything away, of course, but one thing he told me is that he loves it when kids write new stories based on his books. He actually said it was one of the best gifts he ever gets from kids.

So, now it’s your turn! Let Korman’s books be a springboard for your imagination and write your own story.

— Sonja, Editor

October 8, 2008

Gordon Korman

Posted by at 6:00 am in Authors, Gordon Korman | Permalink

Working on THE STACKS means that I’ve seen every single video on the Videos page.  And I want to point you to a video that I think is especially cool from an interview with Gordon Korman.

He wrote his first book for a 7th grade English project! How awesome is that?

The book he wrote, This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall, is about two troublemakers, Bruno Walton and Melvin “Boots” O’Neal, and all the trouble they get into at a Canadian boarding school. (Korman is from Canada.)

Since then, Korman has written a ton of other books. There are the adventure series Island, Dive, and Everest. And he wrote On the Run, a series about two siblings who are trying to prove their parents’ innocents and save them from a life in jail. Plus, Swindle and the second book in The 39 Clues series.

But I can’t get over the story of his first book. It shows that becoming an author isn’t magic, that it doesn’t have to do with age or education; it’s just a matter of sitting down and writing a good story.

So now I’m curious: are any of you writers? What great stories are you telling?

— Carly H., STACKS Staffer