Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci (Candlewick, 2005). Victoria insists on being called "Egg" in honor of her favorite sci fi heroine, pushes herself to be just as superheroic, and distances from peers, especially boys, who might try to define her in their terms. But she can't accomplish her goals--as a photographer, a scholar, even as a Vampire and Bat Wing apprentice--without reaching out and opening up to the real-world people around her. Ages 12-up. Highest recommendation.
What I like best about Boy Proof is how fresh and dynamic Egg/Victoria is. Another author might've toned her down, made her safer, more typical somehow. Instead, Miss Cecil writes with courage and reveals E/V for the dynamic, intelligent, out-of-this-world girl that she is.
I read the book in one sitting, now and again pausing to study the striking cover art. It's a tremendous novel. At times funny, at others insightful. Always compelling.
I'm pleased to hear from Candlewick's publicity manager that this novel has already received two starred reviews and am sure it will be a big hit with every teen who's ever felt outside the norm (translation: all of them).
Surf over to The Divine Miss Pixie Woods (AKA Miss Cecil).
Late Blooming Writers: "Musings" April 2005 by Margot Finke from The Purple Crayon.
Writing For Children: Meet Author Dori Hillestad Butler from suite101.com by Sue Reichard. Includes some interesting information about ghost writing series. See also interviews with Jane Yolen and Bettye Stroud.
Interview with Debut Author Mary Hershey from the "Secrets Of Success" column on author Ellen Jackson's Web site. Mary's first novel, My Big Sister Is So Bossy She Says You Can't Read This Book (Wendy Lamb/Random House, 2005). Excellent interview, including such tidbits as how long it takes "a talented, committed writer to break into the field" and thoughts on writing humor. Visit Mary Hershey's Web site to learn more.
Carol Otis Hurst's April newsletter highlights Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata, the winner of the 2005 Newbery Award. It features discussions, activities, related books, and links.