Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

The Poe Estate: Like Warehouse 13, for tweens!

9780399166143_b334aThe Poe Estate, by Polly Shulman (Sept. 2015, Nancy Paulsen Books), $16.99, ISBN: 9780399166143

Recommended for ages 10-14

Sukie’s not having an easy time of it these days. Her older sister, Kitty, has passed away but has vowed to always protect her – often to the point of scaring away potential new friends. Now, she’s living in some huge, creepy mansion with her distant cousin, an elderly woman named Hepzibah, and she’s dreaming about ghosts that look like her and her classmate, Cole. She’s hearing all sorts of wacky stories about magic brooms and doorknobs, and when two employees from the New-York Circulating Material Repository show up to her family’s flea market stand, she hears things she really can’t believe – but together with Cole, Hepzibah, and her new friends from the Repository, she’s off on an adventure full of adventure, pirates, possibly some romance, and maybe, just maybe, a hint of fiction – or not. Now, if only Kitty will give her some space to grow up…

The lines between fiction and reality blur in The Poe Estate, which makes it fantastic reading for tweens and young teens. It’s full of imagination and literary references, but first and foremost, it’s fun. Readers start off thinking they’re getting an interesting ghost story, but The Poe Estate becomes so much more – it’s an adventure tale heavily imbued with fantasy and book lovers won’t be able to help but think, “I knew it!” about literary artifacts they’ve always treasured. I don’t want to drop any spoilers, so I’ll just reiterate that any fans of Warehouse 13 will love this book, and fans of something new and exciting, with a light touch of reality, will enjoy. I enjoyed the characters and would love to see more tales from the Repository – after reading, so will you. Anyone unfamiliar with the SyFy Channel series Warehouse 13 can watch episodes here.

Need a good reading group activity to go with this book? Have your readers create their own Repositories, loaded with artifacts they’d track down and store there. And watch a couple of episodes of The Librarians while you’re at it.

Polly Shulman is also the author of The Grimm Legacy (a Bank Street Best Book and Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Finalist) and The Wells Bequest. Her author website includes a list of her books, a bio and FAQ, and social media links.


Posted in Uncategorized

NaNoWriMo Writers, Aspiring YA writers – A Literary Contest for You!

I received this e-mail from the Serendipity Literary Agency about a contest – with most publishers accepting only agented submissions, this is a great way to get your book in front of YA editors at some impressive publishing houses. Here are the details, and good luck!




No query? No pitch? No problem!

Have a young adult novel—or a YA novel idea—tucked away for a rainy day? Are you putting off pitching your idea simply because you’re not sure how to pitch an agent? No problem! All you have to do is submit the first 250 words of your novel, and you can win exposure to editors and a reading of your manuscript by one of New York’s TOP literary agents, Regina Brooks.   Regina Brooks is the CEO of Serendipity Literary Agency and the author of  the award-winning book, Writing Great Books for Young Adults, now available in its second edition.   The top 20 submissions will be read by a panel of judges comprised of YA editors from Random HouseHarperCollins, Harlequin, SourcebooksScholastic, Feiwel and Friends, Kensington,  CandlewickBloomsbury, and Penguin.  From the top 20 submissions, judges will select their top five submissions and provide each author with commentary. These five winners will also receive a free ONE YEAR subscription to The Writer magazine. ONE Grand Prize Winner will win a full manuscript reading and feedback from Regina Brooks.

Please submit all entries via the contest website at One entry per person; anyone age 13+ can apply. Open to the U.S. & Canada (void where prohibited). Entries for the YA Novel Discovery Contest will be accepted from November 1 12:01am (ET) until November 3011:59pm (ET).