Friday, April 29, 2011

South Carolina Junior Book Awards

Updated with Goliath, new Skeleton Creek books!

What Should I Read Now?

From silly humor to chilling war stories, check out these South Carolina Junior Book Award nominees for 2011-2012. (They're great for middle schoolers --and might appear on your school summer reading lists!) Last year's nominees included The Hunger Games. Which of this new batch will be the next Big Thing?

Anything But Typical
By Nora Raleigh Baskin

What is it like to be an autistic boy facing daily sixth-grade life, not to mention lifelong struggles, in a "neurotypical" world? Jason Blake is most comfortable in an online writing forum called Storyboard, where his stories spark an email friendship with a girl. But what would happen if he had to meet her in real life?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Books Fell on Charleston

#1:  Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Where Am I? 

In celebration of Teen Lit Day, Reading Underground dropped awesome books for teens in random places around downtown Charleston.

It was part of the Rock the Drop movement, and it gave us a great excuse to visit some of the interesting, historic and beautiful places around town that we sometimes forget to notice.

Do you recognize the locations where we left these books? Do you want to win a WHOLE BOX of FREE BOOKS (Advance Reading Copies of YA books that will be published later this spring/summer) AND a retro-tastic vintage summer reading t-shirt?!

If so, send an email to or leave a comment below telling us where you think these pictures were taken. First person to correctly identify all the locations wins! If no one gets them all, the prize goes to whoever gets the most right, so why not go ahead and guess?

Contest ends:  May 1, 2011.

The rest of the photos are after the jump...

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Books, Books Everywhere!

Find any teen books left in random spots around downtown Charleston today? If so, welcome to Rock the Drop 2011!

This is an awesome day-long event that gets teen books into the hands of people all over the world. Here in Charleston, the Reading Underground joined up with Readergirlz and Figment to "Rock the Drop" in honor of YALSA'S Support Teen Lit Day which is...yes, today. So, if you found books on park benches, beside cannons, strategically balanced in mounds of jasmine, consider them gifts from us. Leave a comment telling us where you found them!

Also, check back here tomorrow for a contest to see if you can identify Charleston landmarks where we "dropped" a few titles. Identify the most spots, and win a whole box of books! 

Check back soon...


Good luck!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cliques, Cats, and Bullies

Keep Your Friends Close...

If the first season of Pretty Little Liars left you hanging, where else can you get a fix of backstabbing, cattiness, and terror? Start reading, of course.

The TV show is based on Sara Shepard's books, which dish up a snarky amalgam of queen bees, fashion, beauty, crushes, and lies -- all wrapped up in a mystery.

The series begins when a mysterious person sends creepy -- and oddly personal -- texts to Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer. The girls used to be best friends until their leader, Alison, vanished a few years earlier. She'd ruled Rosewood Day, which meant they had, too. Then suddenly, the texts appear, signed simply by --A, each with threats or secrets only the girls should know. But who's sending them? And why?

The eight books in the Pretty Little Liars series are easy to spot thanks to the Barbie wannabe on each cover. (The ninth book, Twisted, comes out July 5.)

Sequels: Flawless, Perfect, Unbelievable, Wicked, Killer, Heartless, Wanted

Meanwhile, check out these other titles that feature mean girls -- some just catty, others dangerous bullies (click on any title to put it on hold):

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Wicked, It's Sexy...It's a Poem?

Warning: This Is Not Grandma's Poetry!

April is National Poetry Month -- and, sure, we love Poe and Frost and Longfellow. But let's talk modern poetry, stuff written for today's teens about today's issues -- friend drama, drugs, divorce, meltdowns, crushes, exams, peer pressure and even fun, fun, fun!

In poetry, it's all fair game. Whatever you're dealing with, there's a poem just for you. Plus, writing poetry is a great way to get down -- and get out -- whatever is on your mind.

Click on any title to learn more...


Poetry is cooler than ever, whether it's Maya Angelou or W. B. Yeats, Tupac Shakur or Sylvia Plath. As proof, Slams -- spoken word poetry readings -- are taking place in cities across the country. Check out this collection edited by the Gossip Girl series' author.