About Me

My name is Genevieve Woods and in addition to being the mother of an adorable preschooler named Oscar and his adorable toddler brother Henry, I am the Children's Buyer at Spellbinder Books, a small independent bookstore in Bishop, California. I am often asked by customers for recommendations...and thus the idea for this blog was sparked.

Many sites recommending books for kids are created by librarians and non-profits. While these are great sites, they often recommend out-of-print books. This site is all about the great books that are available now! While I am not being paid for these recommendations, I would appreciate it if readers would purchase the books I recommend from local independent bookstores, or even B&N. Basically don't buy from the evil empire (A_A_O_), because if you do much of our literary knowledge will be lost.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Here are some fun new titles for
Halloween and beyond!

The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz
Just like the Ugly Duckling the Ugly Pumpkin just doesn't fit in, even the trees throw their apples at him. Actually the trees throwing their apples at him is one of my favorite illustrations. Finally, however the Ugly Pumpkin learns that he is a SQUASH! He makes other squash friends and enjoys a Thanksgiving feast. The rhyming text makes this book fun to read out loud.

Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex
Well the adult parody on Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Bush by Gan Golan and Erich Origen had been on the Indie Bestseller list for over a month, so why not try a different sort of parody for kids with Goodnight Goon? The truth is the original Goodnight Moon is such a classic for all ages, these parodies work really well. Kids 4 to 9 will who like gross and gnarly Halloween images will love Goodnight Goon.

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
Okay, so sometimes I feel a bit like a one pony show, and I know I've written about it before, but this book is truly spectacular. INCREDIBLE illustrations, great text. The book can be read to kiddies year round, but the bats and darkness of nighttime do make it perfect for the upcoming haunted season. It is on the bestseller list, so it is 20% off at our store. I'm a bit annoyed with locals for not buying it as often as I think they should.

Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex
Great for the kids 7 to 12! Adam Rex's poetry is hilarius and snarky, and if you don't think kids like snarky you may not have noticed how well books like A Series of Unfortunate Events do in bookstores and on film. Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich was a bestseller last year, and on the cover flap of Frankenstein Takes the Cake Adam Rex has a poem about his incentives for making this second Frankenstein book. Snarky, very snarky. Click here to see a you-tube video of Adam Rex reading the poem.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves
written by Julia Rawlinson, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
I haven't been in the book selling business that long, just about three years, so I am giving myself a pat on the back for picking this title for our store BEFORE it went on the Bestseller list. It is a fall book, but it ends in winter, so it can be read in both season. The plot is super sickly sweet, but it touches even cynical me. Fletcher tries to help the tree keep its leaves, and feels badly when it can't be done. But then the snow comes, and when Fletcher sees the beautiful snow on the tree's branches, he realizes everything is okay.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Paperback Love

So Many Cool Picture Books
in Paperback!
T is for Terrible by Peter McCarty
Tyrannosaurus doesn't want to be terrible, he would be a vegetarian if he could. Would it be better if he was pink? A quirky and hilarious book with FANTASTIC illustrations.

Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Diggory Shields, illustrated by Scott Nash
Dinosaurs party until the Cenozoic age in this fun, rhyming story with bright and goofy illustrations.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

by Julia Rawlinson, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
A Beautiful tale of a young fox's love for a tree. Fletcher tries to help the tree keep all his leaves, but wakes up to a winter surprise. The sweet story is well complemented with Beeke's soft watercolor illustrations.
Meet Wild Boars by Meg Rosoff & Sophie Blackall
A story that defies description, but I'll try. Wild boars are mean and nasty, and though you can try to be nice to them, they'll be nasty still. Rhythmic words and fun illustrations with truly ugly boars keep you turning pages.
Monkey Business by Wallace Edwards
I know I've written about this one before, but it is really really good. Edwards illustrates common idioms in their bizarreness - playing musical instruments by ear, dogs eating dogs, etc. Each illustration is so incredible you'll want to put the entire book in a frame.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Frankenstein Takes the Cake

Feel like a chuckle? Click here to see why Adam Rex made a sequel to last year's Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich with this years Frankenstein Takes the Cake. Being an Adam Rex fan I of course own both books. At first I was bummed that Frankenstein Takes the Cake didn't have as many oil illustrations as Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich (more was done with photos & cartoons), but I have to say, the poems are better than ever! I especially like the Official Blog of the Headless Horseman, whose pumpkin head starts rotting.

Great books, but I'm still waiting for a full-length novel to follow-up The True Meaning of Smekday!

Moving onto the Irish!

(An Irish Castle, A Russian Castle, and A French Castle)

Well, I've loaned out my book of Russian Fairytales, so lately I've been reading my fetus Myths and Folk-Lore of Ireland, by Jeremiah Curtin. I like the Irish tales, lots of humans turning into animals in the daylight, only to return to their man form (and their wives) at night. Also, I wonder if the Irish ever had daughters that didn't come in threes.

Speaking of three sisters, this morning I read an Irish tale that was suspiciously like a Russian tale I read some weeks ago, both of which are suspiciously like Cinderella. In the Russian tale there are three sisters, the youngest of whom is not allowed to go to church with the older two. One church-day morning she is crying into a well, when a magical fish takes pity on her, and grants her the finest clothes to go to church in. Well, all the church men are smitten of course, and as she leaves after church one grabs her shoe, and the hunt is on for the woman it fits...

In the Irish tale there are three sisters, the youngest of whom is not allowed to go to church with the older sisters. A henwife with a cloak of darkness gives her a dress, a horse, and shoes and off to church she goes, leaving as all else arise from mass. The next church day she is given a different outfit and a different horse, and escapes before the other church-goers leave the building. The third church day she is given yet another set of clothes and another horse, but the prince (who previously had wanted to marry her oldest sister) waits outside the church and grabs her shoe as she is riding away. So of course we then have the hunt for the woman who fits the shoe, but this time when she is found the prince must battle all the other princes of the world for her. They then marry, and she has a child. She invites her oldest sister to the castle to help her recover from labor, and her sister pushes her into the ocean where she is swallowed by an enchanted whale. Each day the whale vomits her onto the beach, but she cannot escape without the princes help, so she gets a young boy minding cows (the cowboy) to tell the Prince of her plight, and the Prince comes and shoots the whale with a silver bullet in a special place under the whale's fin, thus freeing the Irish Cinderella. As punishment the evil sister is put out at sea in a barrel with provisions for seven days. The Irish Cinderella gives birth to a daughter who is promised to the cowboy as a wife. Ta Da!

The Irish Cinderella tale was pulled from Gaelic in the late 1800s, the Russian Cinderella was recorded in the mid 1800s. It was Perrault's French version of Cinderella (from the late 1600s) that inspired the currently popular Disney version of the tale. All I can say is that people traveled a lot before the advent of airplanes.

Here is a fun website, discussing the Cinderella myths, and the tragedy of the feminist ideal they support: http://www.kstrom.net/isk/stories/cinder2.html . This website made me realize that maybe Drew Barrymore was trying to do something real when she re-wrote and made a Cinderella movie where Cinderella saves herself. I do have to give kudos to the Irish version, the Irish Cinderella makes the decision that the cowboy should have her daughter, and the Prince husband can do nothing to change it.

Anyway, I think my fetus and are going to be enjoying the Irish Fairytales for a while. The translation is superb, the stories flow beautifully with a delightful almost random whimsy. AND so far there hasn't been any spousal abuse! (Their has been child abuse as one Woodcutter traded all his three daughters for their weight in gold, but their animal/human husbands treated them well). Also, no one other than evil magical beings has yet to die. I guess Ireland was more politically correct than Russia.

And in line with modern fairytales let me mention one of my favorite young adult authors, Robin McKinley, who has not only created fantastic new tales with books like The Hero and the Crown and (my personal favorite) The Blue Sword, but has also done some decent fairytale retellings with books like Beauty. She is really great, I mean even her description of herself (stolen from her blog) is great:

"I am a writer. Mostly I write fantasy: wizards, dragons, enchanted swords, retold fairy tales and, er, vampires. Mostly my stories feature Women Who Do Things, as opposed to women who sit around waiting to be rescued by guys, or who aren’t in the story at all because the story is conspicuously about not sitting around. Most of my stories are so-called High Fantasy, laid in various la-la-la never-never lands, although I’ve written a few that are happening somewhere similar to this world with additional bugs/features, and I like being able to say I also write Low Fantasy. Mwa ha ha ha ha ha."

As I've been writing this post I've enjoyed listening to Irish fiddle & guitar music on http://www.pandora.com/ , if you haven't visited their site it is a MUST. Fantastic music from all over the world, and it's FREE!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Awesome New Picture Books

I've always been a sucker for the large format picture books. In hardcover, they are just about the most expensive items of children's literature around, but still, the artwork is often breathtaking. But artwork alone is not enough to make me a fan, it is when the artwork and words both add to the other, that a truly great picture books exists. We are lucky that TWO new great picture books have hit the shelves recently.

First there is Bats at the Library by Brian Lies. This is the follow-up to last summer's surprise hit Bat's at the Beach, but in this instance the sequel surpasses the original. In Bats at the Library book-loving bats roam the book-filled halls of the Public Library on Bat Night, until it's time for everyone, young and old, to settle down into the enchantment of story time. The illustrations are thrilling with an air of night time excitement, and book lovers will delight in the pictorial references to classic stories for youth. The words are rhythmic and as a reader I was torn between wanting to study the illustrations or turn the page to read next sentence. This book will be a classic.

Next we have the paperback release of Monkey Business by Wallace Edwards. Monkey Business is Edward's illustrations of common idioms. My favorite is the fish opening the can of worms. Monkey Business was originally published in hardcover in 2004, and it only took 4 years to come out in paperback! (I'm being sarcastic) I guess we are lucky it came out in paperback at all, many children's picture books never make it into paper editions. I'm not sure most children under six will understand the concept of idioms, but they will enjoy the pictures, which jump off the page in their detailed bizarreness. This is a great book for parents and slightly older kids, who will grasp and adore it, as well as learn some new idioms.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Every couple of years I read a book that seems as though it is a part of me, as though I have always known the story, even when I didn't know what the next page would bring. The Giver, by Lois Lowry is one of those books. I read it for the first time four years ago, and was shocked I hadn't read it in school. I was again shocked when I realized it had not existed when I was in school, it was published in 1993, and was not available in paperback until high school was a distant memory. Of course high school was a distant memory my first year of college.

This weekend I read another one of those eternal books, The Nation by Terry Pratchett. Although Terry Pratchett is a very well known writer, especially in the field of science fiction and fantasy, I admit I had never read him before. But I'm sure I will read something else of his soon. Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year. To watch a video of him discussing his diagnosis and symptoms click here.

The Nation starts with a captain's boat landing at a plague infested port, picking up the surviving remnants of the royal family, and then learning that he must go and search for the new King (who does not yet know he is king) on distant islands so that he can bring him back to set foot on royal ground less the crown revert to the French. A little convoluted yes, but the chaotic and confusing start does get your attention.

Then we depart to an indigenous boy who is on an island alone as part of his Nation's traditional manhood quest. The boy is preparing to depart the island and is excited about the celebration awaiting him when he returns home; except on the way home he barely survives the greatest of great waves. The wave beat him home, and on his return everyone and everything has perished; he is now the sole member of his Nation.

But he is not alone.

He hears the Grandfathers' in his head, demanding rituals and respect for their gods.

And he yells at them, unable to forgive or believe in Gods that could destroy all who worship them.

And there is another, not of his Nation, on the island. A Trouser Girl on a large boat wrapped herself in a mattress when the seas became rough, and when the boat crashed on the boy's island, she is its only survivor. Together they build a fire on the beach, and soon other wave survivors come, and eventually a motley new Nation is created.

Of course there is much much more - the discovery of the Nation's great past, the fight with cannibal raiders, the finding of the Trouser Girl by her father, and the discovery that her father is King. It is a grand, big story, but it never gets to bigger than its characters, which is a very impressive feat.

Sometimes I forget to give star ratings, but this book, which doesn't come out until September 30 2008, gets five stars. *****

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A New Life for the Reluctant Dragon

Tony DiTerlizzi, of Spiderwick Chronicles fame, has put out a fantastic new book for young readers called Kenny & the Dragon. I was first drawn to the book by the cover, which is adorable, and then when I saw the author, I figured I had to read it.

Kenny, a little rabbit, becomes friends with a dragon who has moved into the cave up the hill. He is put in a bind though, when the town's folk discover the dragon and entice Kenny's good friend George (the owner of a book store, oh it makes my heart beat), to come out of retirement and slay the "evil dragon". Oh what is to be done?

This is the plot of Kenneth Grahame's famous Reluctant Dragon, a short story that was made extra popular by a Disney short some time ago. I confess that I read Kenny & the Dragon without ever having heard of Grahame's tale, or the Disney short. Initially I thought Tony DiTerlizzi had just come up with a really cute idea, a dragon that doesn't want to fight, how sweet! This morning, however I had to joy of listening to Kenneth Grahame's version in it's entirety online here. I got about an hour of knitting in and felt I was doing something productive, instead of listening to children's stories that I am much to old for. This blog is a great excuse to read and listen to things I am much to old for. I have not, however, seen the Disney short, and at this moment, it is not on my netflix queue (you have to love netflix for re-teaching Americans this long forgotten word for a line of waiting).

Tony DiTerlizzi's version closely follows the Grahame original, but I like DiTerlizzi's story better. Kenny (or "the boy" according to Grahame) is more fleshed out and significantly less whiny. And George, the bookstore owner (or Saint according to Grahame), is simply wonderful. The Dragons seem identical.

Kenny & the Dragon is essentially an early chapter book, with short chapters and lots of illustrations. Perfect for young readers or those unexposed children who find big books intimidating; I recommend it to any child between the ages of 5 and 10 (recognizing that the younger ages would need assistance with the reading).

On a side note, Tony DiTerlizzi has written two of my most adored pictures books, The Spider and the Fly, a great tale that teaches one to never trust a sweet-talking spider, and G Is for One Gzonk!, a lovely alphabet tale that introduces Gzonks.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Shout out to Ben!

Congratulations Ben!

Local 8-year-old artist Ben Adkins has won an international art contest! Tony DiTerlizzi, author of the beloved Spiderwick Chronicles, had a dragon drawing contest, and Ben is one of six winners. His artwork is posted on Tony Di Terlizzi's Blog and is also proudly displayed in the Spellbinder children's section, along with his fabulous description of the fantastic Western Dook Dragon. Ben won a signed copy of DiTerlizzi's new book Kenny & The Dragon. I'll post a review of the book Wed.
We're proud to have you in our community Ben, the book store wouldn't be the same without you!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Entranced with a most politically incorrect Russian fairy tale

So I did actually read my fetus some fairy tales last night, much to my husband Tom's enjoyment. Perhaps the one that we enjoyed the most was the Russian Tale Wondrous Wonder Marvelous Marvel, it can be found in Alesandr A. Afanasiev's collection of Russian Fairy Tales ($18 in paperback).

The tale in a nutshell is this, a merchant asks his wife what she would like him to bring back from overseas, and she asks for a wondrous wonder, marvelous marvel (this is repeated many times through out the story and is quite fun to say over and over again). The merchant finds his wondrous wonder, marvelous marvel in the form a goose that will lay itself down on a tray on command, be cooked and eaten, and then come back to life again. He brings the goose home to his wife and she thinks it is very cool. The next day when he is off selling goods at the market the wife's lover comes over and she tries to cook the goose for him, but when she grabs the goose she is stuck. The lover then tries to pull her from the goose and becomes stuck himself. The goose then walks to market with the stuck wife and lover attached. The husband removes the goose and demands to know who the man attached to the wife is. He then beats the lover, takes his wife home and whips her. With every lash he says here's your wondrous wonder, your marvelous marvel.

Politically correct this story is not, but then...did the wife and lover not deserve to be beaten? Here is what a professor at Swathmore college has to say about the story (taken from his on-line notes for a Russian Fairy Tale class):

“The Wondrous Wonder, the Marvelous Marvel,” pp. 13-15: magic uncovers a very prosaic sin – the main character beats the wife's lover, then his wife. (Many tales treat magical items misused that the misusers stick to, or can’t turn off [they don’t know the second half of the spell, or the “off” spell], etc. -- they are frequent punishments in fairy tales for taking something that isn’t yours, or in this case offering the goose feast to the wrong man: meat as figure for sex, or nourishment as an expression of love? – a Very Eastern European thing.)"

I wonder when fetus is out, if I can edit the tale for him/her because I really like it, even though the beating is more than a bit politically incorrect. Perhaps he can say here is your wondrous wonder, marvelous marvel as he is kicking her out of the house? Maybe the lover could be arrested? When and why did all fairy tales told to children require happy endings? Why do we shield our kids from pain? And does it work?

I noted in an earlier post that teens love books about recovering addicts, and people with truly messed up lives in general. I have not had a chance to get to the root of why this is so, but could it be a desire to read about pain, as pain is certainly experienced in everyone's life? In so many of the Disney stories, the main characters have a parent die, is this so they can experience pain, and then recover? Bambi, the Lion King, Snow White, Aladdin, Ariel, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cinderella... all have one or both parents die. I guess our current fairy tales are only happy at the end.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ode to the Fairy Tale

Books Pictured: A Treasury of Children's Literature by Armand Eisen, A First Book of Fairy Tales by Mary Hoffman, and The Russian Fairy Book by Nathan Haskell Dole

Last weekend I had the joy of discovering myself in Portland, and no trip to Portland is complete without a visit to Powell's Book Store! It was my first time in Powell's, and it was beauty to my virgin eyes. I was impressed with their combination of new and used books, but I confess my interest was all in the used books as I can get any new book I want at Spellbinders. Still, there is nothing like browsing and holding books in your hands, comparing titles, prices, topics. Powell's, with it's multi-story full block of a bookstore, offers a browsing experience that no other store can compete with. The brick & mortar bookstores will not die, they just may become fewer and far between.

I found myself in the mythology section, which included a number of books on fairy tales from different countries. This was music to my eyes; I have a passion for collecting old children's anthologies. I like to see how the stories we tell change over time, and I love to see the different kinds of tales told in different areas of the world. For example, Eastern Europe & Scandinavia have numerous tales of flying ships - stories I never heard in my childhood. I purchased a Dover edition of Perrault's Fairy Tales and so far am thrilled with the French differences to the largely English & German tales I grew up with. In France Sleeping Beauty doesn't awaken and live happily ever after, her clothes are out of date and her mother-in-law is an ogre who wants to eat her children.

Although the majority of my anthologies were purchased used, the truth is I have no need to buy only used books. Most of the old tales are still in print, I just enjoy the used book store hunts. But certain books, such as The Complete Grimm Fairy Tales, make more sense to purchase new, as their new price is often equal to those you find used. I love expired copy-rights.

It is true that young children will not enjoy turning the pages of these largely picture-less anthologies as much as full-color picture books, but these stories are perfect for bedtime as eyes are closing. They are also a great excuse for parents to practice their story-telling techniques. I'm practicing on my fetus tonight.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

YA / Adult Crossovers

There is a great essay, by Margo Rabb, published in the New York Times, about the stigma against Young Adult book authors and kinds of books that are now published in that genre. To read the article, click here. To find out more about Margo Rabb click here. Ms. Rabb wrote a book she thought was for adults, but the publishers chose to publish it as a Y.A. (young adult) novel. While Ms. Rabb brings up many good and interesting points about Y.A. novels, I have to disagree with her on one thing. She believes that while teenagers will read adult books, adults do not read books for teens. As a direct seller of books, I have to say this is completely FALSE.

For example there is The Book Thief!
Gail, one of the bookstore's owners, recommended this book to me when I first started working with Spellbinder's in 2006. I shelled out the bucks for the hardcover, and FELL IN LOVE. I wrote a staff pick for the book, Gail wrote a staff pick, and the book has been on the Indie bestseller list almost continually since it was published, in hardcover and now in paperback. Here's the thing, I HAVE NEVER SOLD A COPY TO A CHILD OR TEENAGER! I'm not saying it hasn't happened in our store, but I haven't been at the cash register when it did. I have sold numerous copies to adults, I've hand sold it. Now, book clubs are reading it. While there are teenage book clubs in some cities and towns, there aren't in Bishop. Here, this book if for the adults. Adults buy it, even though it is shelved in Y.A., and it is on the children's bestseller table.
I don't believe The Book Thief was originally written for children. It is very complex, and the narration style (death narrates) is not only dark, but confusing at first. But the main character is a little girl, so it was published for children. I wonder if one of my favorite books, Lullabies for Little Criminals, would have done better if it was categorized as Y.A. instead of Adult Fiction. Like The Book Thief the main character is a little girl, and like The Book Thief it is not a happy book. But its writing style is actually less complex, though its emotions are completely raw. It has very adult themes of drugs and sex, but these themes are all over the Y.A. world! If you want a good wholesome book for your child, don't go into the Y.A. section! Ellen Hopkin's Crank & Burned have been some of our local Y.A. bestsellers. Lullabies for Little Criminals would fit right in! The thing is, although it is on our adult staff pick wall, with a tag in front of it discussing what a great book it is, we have only sold about five copies of Lullabies for Little Criminals in the last year and half. Most staff picks sell at least 10 copies a year. I think Lullabies for Little Criminals would have done better if it had been marketed to the teens.
In her essay Ms. Rabb has some great quotes by Sherman Alexie, author of a number of popular adult books, and the hugely popular The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Mr. Alexie says "I thought I’d been condescended to as an Indian — that was nothing compared to the condescension for writing Y.A." But he also admits “This book sold like crazy in a way my books never have before, and I’ve had a great career.” It is true, though his books are popular at Spellbinders, we don't usually sell more than three copies of any one of his adult titles in a year, but we have sold over 50 copies of his Y.A. novel - I've sold it to adults and kids.

Classic Classics!

The U.K. and U.S. divisions of Puffin Books have cooperated to publish new editions of unabridged puffin classics specifically for children! While a fancy new cover might not seem like a big deal, in the world of selling books, IT IS!

Which version of Treasure Island do you think a 13-year-old would prefer to read?

The Old Version
or The New Version

I'm 32, but I still would much rather read the boxy red book with a skull and crossbones on the cover. It doesn't hurt that Eoin Colfer, of Artemis Fowl fame, has written the introduction. Each classic has an introduction written by a famous children's author of today; I have a habit of skipping introductions, but these might actually be interesting. I also prefer the price of the new book, an astonishing $4.99 compared to the older edition's $7.00. It is rare to see book prices go down these days.

In addition the majority of these classics are recommended as summer reading by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a government agency that promotes research, education, and public programs in the humanities. They sound too good to be true, I bet their funding just got cut. Anyway the NEH has a summer reading list, and the following classics are on it:

by Frank L. Baum
introduction by Cornelia Funke (author of Inkheart)
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
introduction by Sophi Dahl (granddaughter of Roald Dahl)
by Anna Sewell
introduction by Meg Rosoff (author of How I Live Now)
by Kenneth Grahame
introduction by Brian Jacques (author of Redwall)
by Louisa May Alcott
introduction by Luise Rennison (author of Confessions of Georgia Nicolson)
by Jack London
introduction by Melvin Burgess (author of Junk)
by Robert Louis Stevenson
introduction by Eoin Colfer (author of Artemis Fowl)
by Mark Twain
introduction by Richard Peck (author of A Year Down Yonder)
by Mark Twain
introduction by Darren Shan (author of Cirque Du Freak)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Pop-extraordinaire, Robert Sabuda, and his partner Matthew Reinhart, have come out with a new book in their Encyclopedia series: Encyclopedia Mythologica: Fairies and Magical Creatures, a spectacular pop-up about fairies and magical creatures around the world.

What is truly great about this book is not the pop-ups, which are lovely, but the information. The book is jammed packed with fairy folklore and tales; you have Ant Hill Fairies in Africa, as well as the common European Sprite. Someone did a great job compiling fairy history from multiple cultures!

If you are interested in pop-ups and art in working life, check out the blog for Sabuda & Reinhart Studios at: http://popupstudionyc.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Top Selling Vampire Books

The Vampire Books They Love

Vampires are hot, and they will only get hotter this year as American Youth prepare for Twilight the movie to come out this December. For those living under a rock Twilight is the first book in the best-selling Vampire series by Stephenie Meyers. I still remember when I first started working at the bookstore two years ago, and some poor girl asked if we had the book Twilight that her friend was talking about. This was before the book hit the bestseller lists, and the girl didn't know the name of the author. All I was able to tell her is that there are over 700 books with the title Twilight. Of course now I would know EXACTLY what she was talking about. And I could also now tell her that the second book is New Moon, which has only recently been released in paperback. The third book is Eclipse, and the fourth book, Breaking Dawn, is due out in August. We are taking pre-orders at the store.

The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead is not as famous as Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, but the local youth love it. We added this book to our inventory last fall, we thought the cover would sell the book, and we were right. Of course it doesn't hurt that Mead is shelved right next to Meyer in our Young Adult section. Kids liked Vampire Academy so much they pre-ordered it's sequel, Frostbite, and have put their names on the list for the third book in the series, Shadow Kiss which comes out this November. The nice thing about this series is that the books are all published direct to paperback, so you are never stuck shelling out money for expensive hard-cover editions because your daughter, niece, or granddaughter simply has to read the next book in the series NOW.

Before vampires stole the scene, everyone was talking about pirates. So if you want the perfect book for youth, you stick them together with Vampirates! This series by Justin Somper has gained a loyal following at Spellbinders. The first book is Demons of the Ocean, followed by Tide of Terror, and the latest installment Blood Captain. Vampirates appeals to both boys and girls, which is nice.

And finally we have Sucks to Be Me by Kimberley Pauley. Sucks to Be Me isn't out yet, it hits the shelves in late August, but it is a great book, and it is the only vampire book that I have actually read. Sucks to Be Me is a classic teen novel, about friends, high school, family, and boys, but with the added twist that Mina, the protagonist, lives in a family of Vampires and has to decide if she want to join their immortal clan forever. It's a fun book.