Happy Birthday to Books 10/23 to 10/29

Here at the Figment Nursery, we’re radiating joy as the proud guardians of all the beautiful books born this week. And we’re throwing a sixth book in the lineup: one that’s celebrating it’s 50th birthday!

Scored by Lauren McLaughlin (10/25/11)

You know how your teachers are always yapping about how your test scores matter? (They do, actually; you should listen to that yapping.) The stakes are definitely raised in Scored, set in a dystopian future where everyone takes a single exam to determine their entire futures. A grade over 90 guarantees test takers a full college scholarship and that dream job they’ve always wanted–Astronaut? Dolphin trainer? President? You got it. But score under 75 and they’ll be lucky to spend their days changing the pampers of the elderly.

For additional info on Scored, check out Lauren McLaughlin’s blog post on her inspiration and more!

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber (10/25/11)

Exchange students have never been cooler than they are in Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick. Perry is just a typical teen who is too cool for prom–he wants to spend prom night rocking out in the Big Apple with his band instead. But Perry’s parents (what? a YA novel in which parents play a role? Shut the front door.) insist Perry take the family’s Lithuanian exchange student, Gobi, to the prom. But Gobi’s not exactly who she pretends to be, and Perry ends up spending his prom night following his exchange-student-turned-assassin on a mission to avenge wrongs against her family.

For more on this awesome author, visit Joe Schreiber’s profile here at Figment!

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore (10/25/11)

Paranormal romances are really getting crazy here, Figs. The envelope for lovers-from-two-different-worlds has officially been pushed with this novel. A mermaid and an angel (“winged person”) are shaking the sheets, and their love will be bound by neither sea nor sky. I can’t stop thinking about what their baby would look like–assuming their love isn’t torn apart by whatever dark force will no doubt threaten it. Will the kid have a fishy tail with bird wings? Will it have a beak and gills? I don’t know and I can’t decide whether I want to think that far, but the novel raises enough questions that it’s worth reading.

Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow: Four Novellas by Daniel Nayeri (10/ /11)

and I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll BLOW THOSE BIRTHDAY CANDLES OUT! (Couldn’t resist, Figs. Sorry.)

As many of you may know, we at Figment are fans of cellphone novels. If you didn’t know this fun fact, study up on your Fig-history! Cool, right? Daniel Nayeri wrote this entire novel on his iPhone, and what a novel he wrote! These four stories are all exciting, but my personal favorite is Blow, told from Death’s perspective. I’m pro-Death as a character in general.

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tale by Chris Van Allsburg, Tabitha King, Jon Scieszka, Sherman Alexie, Gregory Maguire, Cory Doctorow, Jules Feiffer, Linda Sue Park, Walter Dean Myers, Lois Lowry, Kate DiCamillo, M.T. Anderson, Louis Sachar, Stephen King (10/25/11)

For over 25 years, the The Mystery of Harris Burdick has kept everyone scratching their heads. The story goes that an enigmatic artist came to see a publisher with 14 captioned-illustrations, promising to return the next day with the stories. But he never did come back, so we’ve had to make up our own stories. Children have used the captions as prompts for their own imaginative stories, and now these 14 big-timers have contributed their visions on the stories as well!

We’ll be having a lot of fun with The Chronicles of Harris Burdick over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for contests and keep an eye open for activities in the forums!

Happy 50th Birthday!  The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. (1961)

The Phantom Tollbooth is about Milo, a young boy who is bored out of his mind (because Figment isn’t around yet), so he steps into this tollbooth that magically appears in his bedroom and is taken on a journey. That journey has wowed readers for 50 YEARS! Whether this story was read to you as a child, or you recently read it in your young-adulthood, or you’re just discovering it now, The Phantom Tollbooth is a classic of Wonderland-esque style with a protagonist who’s sure to be remembered for another 50 years. And another 50 after that, and on and on and on . . .

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