Thursday, September 25, 2008

Revew: Johnny Big Ears,The Feel-Good Friend by John Paul Padilla

This little book delivers a big lesson!

>Johnny is a 5 year old who is starting his first day of Kindergarten. With the new haircut his mother gives him, he is ready for school. Sadly for Johnny, he encounters the worst part of school, bullies. They decide to tease Johnny because of his big ears. Will Johnny be able to handle the teasing from his classmates?

>Johnny Big Ears is a cute book. I think it delivers a message that needs to be heard by all children. It features great pictures and I actually wish there were more pictures given the grade level this book is geared towards. Johnny is a relatable character due to the fact that a lot of people have had to deal with bullies. Johnny offers children great advice and shows them what really matters most. So just remember, you always have a friend in Johnny!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

13th Annual Baltimore Book Festival

The annual Baltimore Book Festival is coming and it is sure to be full of festivities. If you're in the area, feel free to check it out!

Where: Historic Mount Vernon Place
centered on the 600 block of North Charles Street, 21201. Baltimore, MD.

When: Friday, September 26 from 5-9pm

Saturday, September 27 from 11am-7pm

Sunday, September 28 from 11am-7pm


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Review: Amor and Summer Secrets by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

A hot island and even hotter temperatures brings a summer full of surprises!

>Fifteen year old Mariana Ruiz has her summer all planned out, to stay in Philadelphia and attend her friend Madison’s Sweet 16 party. But Mariana’s plan gets changed when her father ships her and her brother to Puerto Rico to stay with family they’ve never met. Now that her summer has been planned out for her, Will Mariana have a unforgettable summer or a summer she will hope to forget?

>Amor and Summer Secrets is a fun read. It has romance and drama all surrounding a great cast of characters. The best part is that Mariana is likeable, relatable and you can’t help but enjoy joining her on her summer adventure. This book really hooks you in and then at the end leaves you hanging with an amazing cliffhanger. I can’t wait to join Mariana in the sequel, Amigas and School Scandals in October.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Q & A with Tonya Hurley!

The author of Ghostgirl, Tonya Hurley has many talents. Aside from being an author, she is a writer and director in television and film. To find out more about Tonya's work just visit her website at

With a creditable portfolio and the sequel to Ghostgirl on the way, you can tell Tonya is versatile, edgy and all about standing out, even if she doesn't have purple hair anymore.

TP: How did you come up with the idea for Ghostgirl?

TH: I was working on a TV show in LA and I started thinking invisibility. A lot of time people who are talking to you are shoulder surfing to see if there's
anyone more important that they feel they 'should' be talking to. Anyway, it got me thinking about high school and how everyone is pretty much invisible - not just the outcasts and the rebels, but even the popular are being judged and can't be themselves. Then I got to thinking about how it's not just high school where people feel invisible, but life. Everyone from a person stuck in a dead-end job to a hot, young celebrity. It's something that we all deal with at one point or another in our lives. I loved the John Hughes comedies and of course the Tim Burton films, Heathers, so I drew from my inspirations and tried to write a book that was heartfelt and funny. I love satire.

TP: I must say the cover of Ghostgirl looks amazing, what was your reaction when you first saw it?

TH: My editor Nancy Conescu and the designer Alison Impey did a fabulous job! They took my web art to the next level, no doubt. I actually cried when I saw it. It was unbelievable. I still can't believe it's real. They are a very talented bunch over there. My team at Little, Brown and Company are definitely the rockstars of publishing.

TP: The characters Scarlet and Damen are big music fans, are you a big music fan? If so, what music do you listen to?
TH: Oh, my, YES. I love music. I love all kinds of music. I was in a punk band in high school and I studied music in college. I was a music publicist when I first moved to New York - most of the bands used in the book were clients and have remained friends of mine. Music is a big part of my life.

TP: Ghostgirl had a hard time in High School, how was your High School experience?
TH: I think everyone has a hard time in high school. I was pretty popular, in the popular crowd and I got so fed up with it that I came to school one day - at the age of 15 - with purple hair. It was a shock to everyone
because back then, no one colored their hair, especially in my small town. I had enough and I never looked back. I think coloring my hair and changing the way I dressed made me even more popular, so it back fired a little. It was always inside of me, I just started living it.

TP: You've done scripts for T.V shows, so let's say Ghostgirl was being turned into a T.V show, who would you cast to play your characters?
TH: I used to dream about Zooey Deschanel
playing the role, but time has passed since then. I would love for her to read the audio book, if there is one! I guess I'd want an unknown. I think that would be fitting.

TP: What can we expect next from you?

TH: The second ghostgirl book comes out next July! I really love the second book and it's equally beautiful.

TP: Who is your favorite author and what strikes you about their work?
TH: I love lots of authors. I love fantasy, but right now I am on a satire kick. I love David Sedaris. He really cracks me up. I think I am most influenced by Edward Gorey. He is a real hero of mine.

TP: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

TH: Learn to take rejection and move on. Don't let it stop you and try not to internalize it. Stay true to your story because if you don't believe in it, no one else will.

TP: What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
TH: I bird watch.
I would like to thank Tonya Hurley for allowing me to interview her.

Be sure to fulfill your Ghostgirl needs by visiting Ghostgirl's website:, where you can play Ghostgirl games, print Ghostgirl bookmarks and even write a message on the bathroom walls. So go and live it up on

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Review: Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

Despite all the dark elements, Ghostgirl can't help but shine!

>Charlotte Usher saw her new year as a new beginning. This was the year she going to finally get noticed. Things seemed to be going her way when she gets the attention of the most popular guy in school, Damen and gets assigned to be his lab partner. Sadly for Charlotte her plan goes completely wrong when she chokes on a gummy bear and dies. Charlotte now has more than her popularity to worry about.

>I absolutely love the book design of Ghostgirl. It really stands out among other books. It’s taller and more narrow than most books and it’s interior features flowers on the top and bottom borders of each page. This book looks amazing but I am not just judging the book by it’s cover here, once you get past the cover, you find out the contents of the book is what truly makes it stand out.

>Ghostgirl is unlike any book I’ve ever read. Looking through the eyes of Charlotte as a dead teen was refreshingly different. Scarlett and Charlotte are both witty and relatable and you can’t help but enjoy the antics of the Dead ED class. With an unpredictable plot and characters so full of character, Ghostgirl is a great read and I am just dying to read more.

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