[Note: I was honored to be invited to the Indies Introduce Children’s panel last summer. A group of ten booksellers from all over the country read through middle grade and young adult novels by first-time novelists. We had regular conference calls discussing each book and eventually selected what we considered to be the ten best books by debut authors. Those books are now (woot!) being published and I’m excited to introduce them to the Eight Cousins community.]
Todays Featured Indies Introduce titles are Far From You by Tess Sharp and The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer.
Everyone thinks that Mina died because Sophie Winters was buying drugs. It’s true that Sophie is an addict; she started abusing painkillers after a car accident when she was 14. Mina’s brother Trev was driving. But Sophie has been clean for 6 months, thanks to her aunt. And Sophie would never put Mina in jeopardy like that, not to mention that Mina would never allow Sophie to buy drugs under her watch. So what did happen that night that Mina died? Who shot Mina? Why did they frame Sophie? Why is everyone, including Trev, convinced that it’s Sophie’s fault? Part mystery, part love story, Far From You shatters expectations and deftly spins a story of loss, power, and love.
Selwyn Academy has become the background for a reality TV show called For Art’s Sake. But there is something rotten and Ethan, along with three of his friends, are determined to discover what. In an age of constant marketing and self-promotion, The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy investigates the nuances between art, commercialism, authenticity, performance, the spectacle, drama and ‘drama.’ It also looks at that moment when ideals and success collide. Highly recommended for teen book groups and high school classes. The Vigilante Poets will spark continuous discussion about one of our long-term philosophical debates: What is Art?