Monday, April 28, 2008

Have You Heard About This Fresh Teen?

Guinness (World Records, that is) names Northport teen world's youngest professor!

That's right, nineteen-year-old Alia Sabur has broken a Guiness World record by becoming the world's youngest professor at age 18.

Alia, a child prodigy who has been setting records since she was 8 months old, was enrolled in college at age 10. Wow. And three days shy of her 19th birthday, Alia became a professor at Konkuk University, in Seoul, North Korea where she'll be teaching.

She will be doing some classroom instruction, but mostly will focus on research into developing nanotubes for use as cellular probes, which could help discover cures for diseases such as cancer, she said.

Down the road, she would like to develop a noninvasive blood-glucose meter for people with diabetes, she said. Her mother, Julia, and her father, Mark, both have diabetes.

Sabur said classroom teaching in Seoul will be challenging because she doesn't speak Korean. "I can speak math and music," she said.

Kudos to Alia and for her awesome success, and continuing her medical research. Amazing!

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's The Weekend!

Believe it or not, weekends are sometimes crazier at my house than weekdays. But no matter. Who doesn't feel that jolt of excitement at the end of a Friday, knowing it's "play-time?"

Personally, I am excited to be having a get-together this weekend with some friends I haven't seen in a while. And may I say I'm thrilled that Sunday nights means new episodes of Desperate Housewives again?

Jump in and tell us something you love about weekends...or something fun you have planned for this weekend.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Miley Cyrus Writing Her Memoirs

In case you haven't heard, Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana has signed a deal with Disney Books (Hyperion) to write about her life and her career so far:

The book will focus on the 15-year-old's road to fame, from growing up in Tennessee to navigating the spotlight as an international star, and how her family – especially mother Leticia – helps keep her grounded. According to Disney, the book will feature never-before-seen photos, family stories and a look at the star's inner circle.

"I am so excited to let fans in on how important my relationship with my family is to me," Cyrus said. "I hope to motivate mothers and daughters to build lifetimes of memories together, and inspire kids around the world to live their dreams."

Publication is scheduled in spring 2009, to coincide with the premiere of the Hannah Montana feature movie.
Good for Miley and the message she will send with this book to all her fans!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Summer Flicks

Finally, the new television episodes are getting back on track! I have been seriously TV deprived for months. It's been DVD city here, and of course books galore.

But what about the 10 most anticipated summer movies?? Is anyone else excited about this year's summer flicks?

I'll let you know which ones I can't wait to watch:

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The four Pevensie children return to the magical world of Narnia to find 1,300 years have passed and an evil king rules the land. They will need the help of the mighty lion Aslan to restore the young Prince Caspian to his rightful place on the throne.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Harrison Ford, Steven Spielburg and George Lucas reunite to bring legendary archeologist and adventurer Dr. Henry Jones Jr. (better known as "Indiana") back to the big screen.

From the director of Finding Nemo, Pixar's next groundbreaking animated film tells the story of a little robot who spends centuries cleaning up garbage all by himself who finally gets a chance to see what excitement the galaxy has to offer.

They are going to be good! *rubbing hands together*

Which summer flicks are you looking forward to??

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What's for Breakfast?

Is it just in California, or are breakfast burritos the high school and college rage where you live, too?

Cafeterias in the golden state can barely keep up with the demand. For breakfast burritos are not only delicious eye-openers, but
filled with enough protein and carbs (and calories!) to power
brains through their morning classes.

And in many schools, the caf staff (hey, that's rhymes!) lets you
pick and choose your own ingredients:

--scrambled eggs
--hash browns
--green peppers

Topped with salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, guacamole, and you are
good to go.

Tell us what's popular in your breakfast burritos or and/or what
fills your breakfast cafeteria trays...

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Long-Stemmed Rose...

Our YA FRESH friend Chuck asked for an “assignment” to write something other than a blog comment. It struck me as a fun idea for all of us. So, while there are no winners or prizes (because writing is subjective!), feel free to read the following set-up and post a paragraph or two. Kelly and I will comment on them all.

Set-Up: Darcy walks out of school to find a long-stemmed rose on the hood of her car. She suspects her ex, who she figures STILL wants her back. Troy, who got switched into her Econ project group, strolls by. He’s hot, smart, and either totally confident or a little shy (she’s unsure), but she figures he has a girlfriend--because come on, guys like Troy always do. He asks about the rose...

For those of you who don’t write every day (or for a living), may I offer the following advice? To remember to start the scene where the action is, and end it there, too. Feel no need to recap what I’ve just written, just jump on in...

Now, get writing!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

readergirlzTeen Book Drop

I know you might of heard about this through cyberspace!

YALSA and readergirlz are partnering on a second teen literacy project, Operation Teen Book Drop (TBD). To build awareness for Support Teen Literature Day, April 17th, 2008, readergirlz and YALSA have organized a massive, coordinated release of 10,000 publisher-donated YA books into the top pediatric hospitals across the country.

Of course, we at YA Fresh support Operation Teen Book Drop!

So here are the deetz:

Drop a Book on April 17th

- Leave one copy of your novel, with a TBD bookplate pasted inside, in a teen gathering spot in your community. Place it where the book will be found, taken, and read. (i.e. a coffee shop, the park, your school, a bus stop.) Imagine the fun someone will have when they find your donation! This is the same day all 10,000 publisher-donated books will be dropped in pediatric hospitals across the country, and it is the same day authors and readergirlz worldwide will release their own books into their communities just as you have.

Join the TBD Post Op Party, April 17th

- We invite all readergirlz and authors to join our online two-hour book party hosted at the readergirlz MySpace group forum (, on April 17th (Support Teen Literature Day), from 6-8pm Pacific/9-11pm Eastern. The chat will be in a thread titled "TBD Post Op Party." The readergirlz divas will be giving away books and prizes, and chatting with teens and authors from around the world. We've invited so many authors and girlz you just never know who you might end up chatting with!

Fun or what? This is one event you don't want to pass up!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Here are the Winners!

We are thrilled by the number of people who entered our contest to win a copy of Meg Cabot’s HOW TO BE POPULAR! Thanks everyone--and especially to Meg Cabot, who donated the books.

The winners were selected at random. The process was boring, and I’ll spare you the details, but it had to do asking people in my house to pick numbers.

And the winners are:

2--Shooting Stars Mag
3--Nicole W.

So if those three individuals would kindly contact me (Tina) through my MySpace (, or through the Contact Me option on the Odds and Ends page on my website,, we’ll get the books in the mail to you!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday Fresh Giveaway!

Okay, this is soooo cool: Meg Cabot donated three copies of her March 18, 2008 release paperback, How to Be Popular, as a contest giveaway for YA FRESH!

All you have to do to be entered is leave us a comment. And if you’d like to tell us your favorite Meg Cabot book, please do! Three winners will be announced on Monday morning, chosen at random.

In case you haven’t had a chance to pick this book up yet, Seventeen calls it “Hysterical,” and Publisher’s Weekly, “Genuine and funny.”

Here is the publisher’s blurb:

Ever since a fatal mistake involving a cherry Super Big Gulp, everyone in Steph Landry’s town knows her name is synonymous with screwing up (thanks to Lauren Moffat, Steph’s nemesis and victim of said Super Big Gulp disaster).

But now all of that’s about to change, thanks to one little old book called How to Be Popular. All Steph has to do is follow the instructions in The Book, and soon she’ll be partying with the It Crowd (including school quarterback Mark Finley), instead of sitting around on Saturday nights with her nerdy best pal, Becca, and even nerdier Jason (now kind of hot, but that’s beside the point.)

When her plan goes perfectly, Steph finds out that it’s easy to become popular—but she learns the hard way that staying popular is a lot more difficult.

* * *

Sounds terrific--I know! So jump over to the comments section right now and enter. Best of luck and see you back here on Monday!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

What's Fresh with E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.
Her father's "bunny rabbit."
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.
Frankie Landau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take "no" for an answer.
Especially when "no" means she's excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society.
Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she's smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew's lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.
Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.
This is the story of how she got that way.

Hello E, it's so great to have you back with us! Please tell us about your latest novel.

E: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks came out March 25th from Hyperion. It's about a girl who infiltrates her older boyfriend's all-male secret society at an elite boarding school. There are pranks. There are secret late-night adventures. There is romance. And there are lots of basset hounds.

I also had a chance to read an advanced copy--absolutely loved it! What was the most difficult part of writing this novel?

E: The pranks. Frankie dreams up a series of increasingly grandiose pranks -- "The Library Lady," "The Doggies in the Window," "The Abduction of the Guppy" and so forth -- and I had to think them up myself!
I am a lot less inventive and nefarious than Frankie.

haha! Could you tell us what type of promotion you or your publisher are doing for your novel?

E; The main thing Hyperion did was a pre-publication tour to meet booksellers, including chain stores and independents, plus a big bookseller conference. I think it was a great thing for the book. When reviews were good, they took out some ads. And I'm doing approximately 8,000 online interviews, which is fun! But I am not touring until May -- and then it is technically for How to Be Bad, which is a novel I co-wrote with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski that comes out May 6. But I'll be signing Disreputable History as well.

Wow, sounds fantastic! Please list one similarity and one difference between yourself and your main character.

E: Frankie hates to be underestimated.
Me, too.
Frankie is possibly a criminal mastermind.
Me, not so much.

Thank you again for sharing, E, could you tell us one of your favorite lines from the book?

E: From a description of the Alabaster Preparatory Academy campus:

Many of the buildings, built in the late nineteenth century, were connected by steam tunnels -- utility tunnels intended for the maintenacne of heating pipes that run underneath the ground. These tunnels were locked, and student access to them was explicitly forbidden by the administration. But there wouldn't be a story here if there weren't a way of getting in.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Kelly!

E. Lockhart is the author of The Boyfriend List and its sequel, The Boy Book; Fly on the Wall; Dramarama; and the upcoming How to Be Bad, co-written with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski. In stores March 25th is The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Visit her on the web at -- and soon (once the new web design is finished) at

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What's Fresh with Lisa McMann's WAKE

Not all dreams are sweet.
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.
She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.
Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

Hello Lisa, thanks for visiting with us at YA Fresh! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Lisa: I wanted to be a writer since I was in fourth grade. I had some great key teachers as well as high school professors who encouraged me. But I didn’t start writing seriously until 2002, the year my kids were old enough to bake a frozen pizza all on their own (a momentous occasion, indeed). Their independence was a big factor in my ability to concentrate on writing again.

My first sale, meaning the first publication that actually paid me something? That would have to be Literary Mama for a memoir called “When You’re Ten,” something I penned when reflecting on my son growing up – I had promised him he could learn how to shoot a gun when he was ten. And then suddenly, he was ten, Columbine had just happened, and I wasn’t ready to see him do that (even though I was ten when I first shot a gun). It’s in a wonderful print anthology called Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined, which I believe is still available from Seal Press.

Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Lisa: A typical writing day starts with an ice cold Diet Coke and a run-through of email. Once my kids are ready for school and out the door, I get right down to work. Sometimes I’ll read over what I wrote yesterday if I need it to refresh my memory, but I don’t usually edit what I wrote yesterday unless I’m stuck on what comes next. Most often I am aching to keep writing the rough draft and I’ll know what comes next. I don’t want to forget it, so I’ll write furiously from about 8:30 until 3:00. I take a break every now and then to stretch, grab a bite to eat, or sit outside and puzzle over an idea that isn’t quite working right, and then I’ll jump back in again. Once 3:00 hits, I finish the scene I’m on, and then my kids get home from school, so it’s time to put my mom hat on. If I’m really involved in a crucial part of the story, I may go back to it later in the evening, but most often I call it a day.

Please tell us about your novel WAKE (which just happened to hit the NYT Bestsellers list!!) and what we can expect from your characters.

Lisa: WAKE is my debut novel. It came out March 4 with Simon Pulse. Seventeen-year-old Janie gets sucked into other people’s dreams. She can’t stop it, can’t tell anybody about it or they’d think she’s a freak, and so Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control. Then she gets sucked into the nightmare of a mysterious guy named Cabe, and for the first time Janie isn’t just an onlooker in someone else’s dream, she is a participant.

Sounds so great, Lisa! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Lisa: Next up is the sequel to WAKE. It’s called FADE, and it comes out in February, 2009.

Thank you again, Lisa! I wish you the best with WAKE and FADE. Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Lisa: Absolutely. Keep a notepad next to your bed. As tired as you may be when you awake in the middle of the night from a weird dream, rouse yourself enough to write it down. Your mind is at it’s most creative when you’re dreaming. You’ll most certainly get some ideas that way.

Thanks so much for inviting me to your place, YA Fresh! (I always want to type YAY Fresh!) Love your blog and I read it often.

Lisa McMann is the author of WAKE and its upcoming sequel, FADE (February, 2009).

She was born and raised in Michigan and has been a blueberry picker, bindery worker, bookseller, and Realtor. In 2004, Lisa and her family moved to the Phoenix area and now she writes from a green chair overlooking the Superstition Mountains.

Sometimes she wears a cowboy hat.
She’s not really a cowboy.
She just likes hats.

Many of Lisa’s short stories are published online and in print, like the one about homelessness. It won a cool Templeton award. Visit her at her website at There you’ll find links to her MySpace, Facebook, and blog pages.