Monday, January 17, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday--The Emerald Atlas (plus an ARC giveaway!)

Sorry for skipping Marvelous Middle Grade Monday last week you guys (I'm STILL recovering from ALA, and the head cold I got right after just. won't. quit.) But I'm back today, and--as promised--I'm featuring one of the books that had a WHOLE lot of promotion going on at ALA. In fact, if Random House has any say in the matter, this will be the start of a very big, very popular new series. THE EMERALD ATLAS, by John Stephens.


And yes--for those of you who recognize the name--that is the same John Stephens who wrote for Gilmore Girls and The O.C. was the executive producer for Gossip Girl. But don't let those very YA-ish credits fool you. This is true middle-grade through and through, and while the length and complexity of the plot elevates it toward the upper end of the middle grade spectrum, I'm sure younger readers who are not afraid to tackle a 432 page story will love it.

Here's the blurb from the publisher:





Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.

Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.

Until now.

Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.

The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.


Sounds good, right? It is!

In fact, I'll confess--I'm usually not AS big of a fan of books with the third person omniscient POV, mainly because I tend to have a hard time connecting to a character when the book keeps switching which character I'm following. And yet, I loved this book--and I have no doubt kids are going to love it even more.

It kind of has something for everyone. Magic. Time Travel. Wizards. Monsters. Dwarves. (I'll even forgive it for all the Elf slams--I'm personally partial to the pointy-eared mythical creature variety) There's big, climactic battles and quiet, character scenes. Laugh out loud funny moments and moving moments and edge-of-your-seat moments. Just the right mix of everything to keep everybody satisfied. And the writing is top notch to boot. Well done Mr. Stephens. Well done. And please hurry up with the next one, you TOTALLY left us hanging!

I'd been planning to save my review until the release drew a little closer (THE EMERALD ATLAS doesn't hit stores until April 5th) but then I snagged an extra ARC at ALA and thought I'd pass it on to one of you. 
Ooo...pretty!
(and mind the weird shine marks from the flash)

To enter, all you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm PST on Saturday, January 22nd. I'll chose one random winner and announce their name on Sunday, January 23rd. International entries--as always--are welcome.  Good luck!

**UPDATE** The INCREDIBLY generous Natalie Aguirre has offered her ARC up for this contest as well. So that means there will be TWO lucky winners being drawn. Your chances of winning just doubled!!! Thank you Natalie. You = awesome!

Want to hear about more awesome Middle-Grade?

The always fabulous Shannon O'Donnell is featuring THE UNICORN'S SECRET series, by Kathleen Duey. Hop over to HER BLOG to see what she has to say.

The lovely Myrna Foster also has a MMGM spotlight on a favorite of mine--Tony DiTerlizzi's THE SEARCH FOR WONDLA. Go HERE to read all about it.

UPDATE: The ever-awesome Joanne Fritz is featuring another lovely middle-grade on her blog: WORDS IN THE DUST, by Trent Reedy. Make sure you stop by THERE to read her review. 

And if you've done a MMGM feature on your blog, please, drop me an email or let me know in the comments. I'll happily provide linkage! 

Happy Monday!

49 comments:

  1. Sounds amazing! I love omniscient when it's done well.

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  2. Sounds like a great book to read with my daughter. :)

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  3. I'm such a sucker for anything related to Gilmore Girls (I know--the fast talking/vocabulary issues were on par with Dawson's Creek, but I loved that mother/daughter duo). I would love to win a book by John Stephens! Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  4. This sounds like a GREAT one! Put my name in the hat, for sure.

    sf

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  5. I really enjoyed it too though I'm not a fan of omniscient POV either.

    I'd like to give my ARC away too (I meant to e-mail you about this) so pick two winners and I'll mail mine to one of the winners.

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  6. +JMJ+

    Please enter me for the giveaway! I've loved MG orphan heroes since Harry Potter!

    Thanks, Shannon. =)

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  7. Sounds delicious!!! I'm always looking for another great read so I look forward to seeing if I can snag the copy!!

    BTW I love Tony DiTerlizzi, he is the sweetest guy and The Search for Wondla is an awesome book!!! A must read!

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  8. It sounds really good. I just finished The Lost Hero (LOVE Riordan!) so I may have to wait to get into that one, but I'd love to read the ARC anyway.

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  9. I'm in! I'd love to have a copy of The Emerald Atlas - soon!

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  10. This is the one we talked about, right? I bet Madison would like it.

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  11. Count me in please.
    k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

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  12. It sounds great! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  13. hi miss shannon! wow this one sounds sooooo cool. you got me hooked cause of time travel and wizards. for sure i could wanna win this book and for sure its going on my wanna read list.
    ...hugs from lenny

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  14. Thanks for the giveaway and mostly for the other links to MG features!

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  15. This sounds like another awesome book!

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  16. As always, count me in! I'm more than game for a new adventure/fantasy MG series. :) :)

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  17. Count me in

    GFC follower

    vidishamun@gmail.com

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  18. Looks like a great read! Thanks for the giveaway!
    lexie.bookbug(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  19. This sounds like an awesome book! And I hope you get feeling better soon. :)

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  20. Sounds like a really great book. Thanks for the review, Shannon! I really do enjoy a strong fantasy.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  21. This book sounds great. I hope I win:)

    katherine.elliott.scott (at) gmail.com

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  22. This sound like a sweet adeventure, one I could share with my kids. Thanks for the contest and suggestion.

    kjovus
    kjovus(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Sounds really cute! Thanks.

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  24. Cool. Interesting to know that one of the people that wrote the Gilmore Girls wrote a MG novel.

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  25. I'm hoping to read some more MG novels this year, and this one sounds like it's a fun, adventurous read! Thanks for the giveaway :)

    Danya
    tapestrybookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. this book sounds right up my alley!
    i'm going to have to check it out... in april. :)

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  27. Thanks for introducing another interesting book!

    taffy(dot)lovell@gmail.com

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  28. Sounds just like my favorite kinds of MG novels. Sign me up!

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  29. Beautiful book with language akin to Gilmore Girls? Sign me up!!! :) Sounds like it is a ton of fun!

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  30. Wow! We've gotta wait until April for this?? Sounds like a must-read! (*scurries away to find an ARC*)

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  31. I love elves, too, but if you can forgive the elf-slams, this must be an awesome book that I'm DETERMINED to win. (Pretty please?)
    Plus, that cover is awesomeness.
    A follower and you know it ;)
    rivkarno1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  32. I'm looking to read more MG, and this one sounds like a lot of fun.

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  33. This book sounds excellent. I'd love to win!

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  34. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

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  35. This sounds like a perfect MG adventure!! :)

    Hope you're feeling better soon - take care!

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  36. I'd love to get my hands on this one early! Thanks for the great review and linkage, Shannon!

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  37. I was just talking about this book the other day! Once again, I have shameless book envy. You are not good for the "Thou shalt not covet" commandment. LOL. :-)

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  38. This sounds wonderful! Thanks for the post and the links.

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  39. Oh wow this sounds really great and I'd love to win it. Definitely need to add to my wish list too. On my second MG book for the year and I just got The Familiars in the mail. I love how UPS allows me to cheat the federal holdiay system by bringing me a book on Columbus and MLK day. lol.

    I'm a follower.

    ~Briana
    thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  40. This sounds like a wonderful book. I think the cover is awesome. I'm adding this one to my TBR book list, although I do have my fingers crossed for the drawing!

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  41. This sounds great. And I LOVED his writing in Gilmore Girls. Thanks for the heads up! And the contest :D

    ~Jen

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  42. It sounds like it has many things that make me fall in love with a story. Thanks for the chance to win it!

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  43. Wow Shannon! You always give away the most interesting books! <3

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  44. Ah! Enter me! This looks good!

    And, of course, thanks for the review.

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  45. Sounds like another wonderful mid-grade! Can't wait to read it. Thanks for sharing!

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  46. Oh my goodness, it sounds FABULOUS. Fingers crossed!

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  47. Love MG books. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Christy
    dearestdreams at gmail dot com

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Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Friendly debate is fine, but always be kind to each other). <3