Tu Books fall Friends & Family sale: a reader’s guide

If you haven’t noticed me talking about it EVERYWHERE, this week is Tu Books’ Friends & Family sale! We’re offering some pretty amazing discounts on our books—in particular, Cat Girl’s Day Off by Kimberly Pauley and Vodnik by Bryce Moore are only $1.99 in e-book format! And all our paper books are on sale for 35% off plus free US shipping. See the sale announcement for more details.sale

There’s not much time left, so hurry and take advantage of the sale while it’s still available!

And please share this link on with any friends or family who you think might be interested. Books depend on word of mouth to succeed, and no books more so than those published by small presses. If you believe diversity in books for young readers is important, or you just plain think we’re publishing awesome books, please spread the word!

For those who have already bought/read the books, please consider reviewing the books on Amazon or requesting the book at your local library if it isn’t carried there. Here are a few more things you can do, too.

If you’re not really sure what you should pick to read, though, I have put together a handy guide, according to interests and mood. Find your next weekend read here!

For older readers (young adult and adult):

If you’re looking for comedy, or you’re a fan of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, or you love cats, or you have always wondered what your superpower would be, read Cat Girl’s Day Off—Kimberly Pauley’s love story to Chicago, John Hughes, and snarky cats who talk. Not to mention mystery (kidnapping of a celebrity blogger, murder plots) and adventure (literal cat herding).

If you love rich worldbuilding, inspiration from less-well-known fairy and folk tales, sympathetic characters, and complicated, dark humor,  read Vodnik—about a teen trying to avoid being drowned by a creature out of Slovak tales to capture his soul and put it in a teacup. Oh, and having to make a deal with Slovakia’s goddess of death to accomplish it.

If you’re looking for a (literal) kick-butt superheroine in a post-apocalyptic world, defending her family from despotic rulers and making the world safe for humankind, read Killer of Enemies—postapocalyptic Apache steampunk.

If you like dystopian tales with strong science fiction and human rights issues elements, read Tankborn and its sequel Awakening—hard science fiction with a romantic subplot set in a strict caste system in which “non-humans” are at the bottom rung.

Love books about reinterpreting old stories anew? Looking for a complicated father-son relationship, or love stories about genies and monsters and golem? Or a magical coming-of-age set in a rich historical time period? Read Hammer of Witches. Also the perfect classroom tie-in to a unit studying the events of 1492, particularly Columbus’s first journey westward, and particularly for reluctant readers who might need a “fun” story to get them into the history.

Read Summer of the Mariposas if you’re looking for a strong sisterhood story with no romance, a Mexican American retelling of The Odyssey, or a book that can best be described as Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets Weekend at Bernie’s. This is a great gentle read for your advanced older middle grade readers and young teens looking for a clean read, as well as a great classroom tie-in to an Odyssey unit.

Wolf Mark is great for readers who love paranormal romance and science fiction. It’s best described as Burn Notice with werewolves—Abenaki skinwalkers, actually, written by one of the best Native American writers working today.

Diverse Energies is a collection of 11 dystopian stories that all star people of color—if you’re looking for where the people of color are in the future, here’s one collection of tales exploring that lack elsewhere. Stories from Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon (both of Diversity in YA here on Tumblr), Paolo Bacigalupi, Ursula K. Le Guin, and more.

For younger readers (ages 8-12), we also have a couple of fun books: The Monster in the Mudball and Galaxy Games: The Challengers.

Monster in the Mudball is the perfect first “real” middle-grade novel for your readers who have just graduated from chapter books, and it makes a great read-aloud as well. I like to think of it as Warehouse 13 for kids–an artifact inspector comes to town, and Jin, our main character, has to help her find the monster that hatched from the artifact before it eats Jin’s baby brother!

Galaxy Games: The Challengers is a hilarious romp of a book that basically involves the Olympics in space. Aliens come to Earth to recruit Earth kids for the biggest sporting event in the galaxy—and our hero is mistaken for the best kid athlete on Earth because he got a star named after him for his birthday.

New books!

The Monster in the Mudball by S. P. GatesJust in case you haven’t been paying attention in every other social media stream, Tu’s fall 2013 books are OUT in the WILD, just in time for Halloween!

For anyone with a young reader in your life, be sure to check out The Monster in the Mudball by S.P. Gatesthe perfect read for your third and fourth graders, and any reader looking for his or her first real middle grade book now that they’ve mastered chapter books. It’s a Junior Library Guild selection, as well—funny with a lot of heart, about a boy who teams up with an artifact inspector to save his baby brother from the monster Zilombo. It’s kind of like Warehouse 13 for the very young middle grade set.

For older readers, check out Joseph Bruchac’s postapocalyptic Apache steampunk Killer of Enemies—it’s been getting a lot of great buzz, and you need to pick it up.

The books are orderable on the Lee & Low website right now, and should be available for order from Amazon and BN.com and other online vendors within a few days to a week (it takes some time for the books to get from our warehouse to theirs and to be processed, so just keep pre-ordering until it’s available via your preferred vendor).

Killer of Enemies by Joseph BruchacE-books will be available in another couple of weeks. We always try to time version releases to be close to each other, but it’s not always perfectly aligned. Keep an eye on your favorite e-book vendor, and I’ll post here with links when they’re up.

If you love Tu Books and want us to publish even more awesome diverse science fiction and fantasy, one of the best ways you can support us (or any small press you favor) is to be sure to walk into your local indie bookshop and ask for the book by name. If they don’t have a copy, ask them to order it. Indies are very happy to be sure their customers have the books they’re looking for, and the more demand they see for a particular book, the more they’ll pay attention to ordering stock to keep in the store. And at the same time, you’ll be supporting a local business that works to serve your community.

Great new review for Killer of Enemies

koe_cover_FNLFrom Kirkus Reviews:

This near future dystopia starring an Apache female superhero has the soul of a graphic novel, if not the art.

Like her famous Chiracahua ancestor, Lozen too is a warrior, but unlike her namesake, it’s by coercion. Her masters are four semihuman rulers of Haven, a walled fortress in what was once Arizona. Much of humanity perished when the Cloud, a mysterious force that’s rendered human technology useless, arrived from beyond Jupiter. Although their bio-enhancements no longer work, the despotic overlords that survive rule. Holding Lozen’s family as hostages, Haven’s rulers send her out to battle gemods, genetically modified monsters left over from pre-C days. Lozen complies while working toward her family’s escape. On each trip, she caches supplies, food, weapons. Allies—natural and supernatural, known and hidden, at Haven and in the wild—offer guidance but not rescue. For that, Lozen must rely on her wits, tracking skills and weaponry (guns have survived the Cloud), drawing strength from her warrior heritage to dispatch monstrous birds of prey, a giant anaconda and more (the cartoonish tone helps mute the graphic violence). Lozen’s tactics and weaponry are detailed at length but within a cultural framework that fosters respect for the planet and its surviving natural inhabitants.

A good bet for fans of superhero fiction and graphic novels and readers in search of superpowered female warriors.

And if you didn’t see it, here’s a post on how that great cover came to be.

Awesome blurbs for fall list of Tu Books!

We’re going to be doing a cover reveal for both of my fall titles soon, but to tide everyone over till we see those AWESOME images, we have some AWESOME blurbs from authors who have had a chance to take a look at the books a little early.

mim_jacket_06First up, our middle grade title The Monster in the Mudball by S. P. Gates, which was just named a Junior Library Guild selection. It’s a funny adventure for young middle graders that is a great fit for your 3rd and 4th graders. It’s been described as “Nerds if it had been written by Diana Wynne Jones.” Here’s the flap copy, to give you an idea of what a fun book it is:

A MONSTER IS LOOSE IN LONDON! And it’s kind of Jin’s fault that Zilombo the monster got loose.

Jin tracks the monster, but he can’t figure out how to get her back into the artifact from which she hatched. Then Jin meets Chief Inspector of Ancient Artifacts A. J. Zauyamakanda—Mizz Z, for short—who has arrived to inspect the artifact. She and Jin team up to find Zilombo.

Joining them is Frankie, Jin’s older sister, who has lost their baby brother—and Zilombo is the most likely culprit for his disappearance. Zilombo gains new, frightening powers every time she hatches. Now the monster is cleverer than ever before . . . and she likes to eat babies!

Will Jin’s baby brother be next on Zilombo’s menu? As the monster’s powers continue to grow, Jin, Frankie, and Mizz Z must find a way to outsmart Zilombo!

And the enthusiastic review:

Monster in the Mudball is a light-on-its-feet adventure full of surprises, humor, and heart!—Jessica Day George, New York Times bestselling author of Wednesdays in the Tower

Next, our other fall title is Joseph Bruchac’s follow-up to Wolf Mark (not a sequel or in the same world—just his next YA title for Tu Books). This is Joseph Bruchac’s first foray into steampunk (or at least, steampunk-adjacent), and we’re all VERY excited about it. In fact, it’s postapocalyptic Apache steampunk about a hunter named Lozen. The book can best be described as a science fiction retelling of an Apache legend, combined with a reimagining of a real historical figure, Lozen, who fought for Apache freedom in the late 1800s. Oh, let me show you:

This is not a once upon a time story.

Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones—people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human—and there was everyone else who served them.

Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones’ pets—genetically engineered monsters—turned on them and are now loose on the world.

Fate has given seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities that she uses to take down monsters for the remaining Ones, who have kidnapped her family.

But with every monster she kills, Lozen’s powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is meant to be a more than a hired-gun hunter.

Lozen is meant to be a hero.

The gushing review:

Killer of Enemies is a wild teen adventure-fantasy that starts fast, gets faster and never touches the brakes. A mind-bending fantasy that smashes across genre lines to tell a story about survival, courage, and lots of monsters. Joseph Bruchac brings serious game. Highly recommended!”—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Fire & Ash and Extinction Machine

Tankborn e-book sale

Tankborn-Cover-FinalIf you haven’t yet tried out Tankborn, now’s the time! The e-book of the first book in the series is now on sale at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for only $1.99! Check out all the great things people had to say about it:

“Tankborn is a highly recommended, thought-provoking YA novel from a new imprint dedicated to diversity.”—SF Signal

“Advanced genetic engineering and upsettingly plausible caste oppression keep pages turning in this futuristic science fiction tale… A good option for science-fiction fans interested in genetic engineering, rebellion and class issues.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Read this book and be changed.”—Mette Ivie Harrison

“Look, nothing I say will convince you as fully as reading this Awakening Final cover low resthat the novel is worthy of your time. So, go on already!”—Finding Wonderland

If you’ve already read Tankborn and didn’t realize that the sequel, Awakening, was out yet, or if you were holding out for some reason, you’re in luck, as well. Awakening is only $4.99 for a limited time in e-book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well.

Please share this news on to family and friends!

Friends & Family Sale

If you didn’t see me hyping this up on pretty much all social media on Thursday and Friday, here’s your chance to know about a sweet deal for all my books, this week only (ends Friday)—the Tu Books Friends & Family Sale.

This is our way of saying thank you to our supporters over the years, and to celebrate the release of our fourth season of books. Not to mention the 1-year anniversary of the publication of Cat Girl’s Day Off and Vodnik. Whatever you’d like to celebrate (the 1 1/2 year anniversary of the release of Tankborn!), celebrate with us by using the coupon code and by sharing the sale on to your friends and family.

 

 

Feel free to share this on with anyone who might be interested–it’s a great deal for librarians and teachers! Use the code FAMILY at check-out.

FYI, we seem to be having some trouble with the international ordering, but if  you call the office at 212-779-4400 with the coupon code FRIENDS, we can still give you the 35% off your order for international customers (no free shipping, sorry).

#diverselit

Side note: I just realized—thanks to a congratulatory email on LinkedIn, of all things—that I’ve now officially been at Lee & Low Books for 3 years, almost to the day (I believe I started on March 5, 2010, but my memory is fuzzy). YAY for Tu Books! Yay for diversity in science fiction, fantasy, and mystery for young readers!

And to celebrate that—diversity in books for young readers, that is—we’re starting a Twitter chat that we’ve dubbed #diverselit. Tomorrow—Thursday, March 7, 2013—will be our first #diverselit chat on Twitter, and I hope you’ll be able to join us, in which I and my coworker Hannah, who is Lee & Low’s marketing manager, will be talking about Diversity 101, which covers all those frequently asked questions such as:

  • Who can write what?
  • What does “POC” mean?
  • What is privilege and why does it matter?
  • Why is diversity in books for young people a problem, and why does it matter?

If you’re an expert, join in the conversation and give us your perspective. If you’re a newbie to all of this, come to learn. Everyone, come to discuss! I will be tweeting from Tu Books’ twitter, and Hannah will be tweeting from Lee & Low’s twitter, so be sure to follow us both.

If you don’t know how a Twitter chat works, check out this handy guide to hashtag chats. Not on Twitter? You can follow along by searching #diverselit on Twitter itself or on http://www.tweetchat.com, but to participate in the chat, you need a Twitter account, which is pretty easy to set up. Hope to chat with you tomorrow!

Tu spring titles–coming soon!

We’re finally going to have an official cover reveal soon of both of Tu’s spring titles—Awakening by Karen Sandler (the second book in the Tankborn trilogy) and Hammer of Witches by Shana Mlawski, who is a debut author. I’m so excited about both of them! We’ve gotten some great blurbs in from some really awesome authors, too, which I’ll share here when I link to the cover reveal for Hammer of Witches.

More on that soon! But here’s a little more about the books, to whet your appetite:

Awakening by Karen Sandler—sequel to Tankborn

EDIT: See the cover reveal here!

Once a Chadi sector GEN girl terrified of her first Assignment, Kayla is now a member of the Kinship, a secret organization of GENs, lowborns, and trueborns. Kayla travels on Kinship business, collecting information to further the cause of GEN freedom.

Despite Kayla’s relative freedom, she is still a slave to the trueborn ruling class. She rarely sees trueborn Devak, and any relationship between them is still strictly forbidden.

Kayla longs to be truly free, but other priorities have gotten in the way. A paradoxically deadly new virus has swept through GEN sectors—a disease only GENs catch. And GEN warrens and warehouses are being bombed, with only a scrawled clue: F.H.E. Freedom, Humanity, Equality.

With the virus and the bombings decimating the GEN community, freedom and love are put on the back burner as Kayla and her friends find a way to stop the killing . . . before it’s too late.

 

Hammer of Witches by Shana Mlawski

Baltasar Infante, a bookmaker’s apprentice living in 1492 Spain, can weasel out of any problem with a good story. But when he awakes one night to find a monster straight out of the stories peering at him through his window, he’s in trouble that even he can’t talk his way out of. Soon Baltasar is captured by a mysterious arm of the Spanish Inquisition, the Malleus Maleficarum, that demands he reveal the whereabouts of Amir al-Katib, a legendary Moorish sorcerer who can bring myths and the creatures within them to life. Baltasar doesn’t know where the man is—or that he himself has the power to summon genies and golems.

Baltasar must escape, find al-Katib, and defeat a dreadful power that may destroy the world. As Baltasar’s journey takes him into uncharted lands on Columbus’s voyage westward, he learns that stories are more powerful than he once believed them to be—and much more dangerous.

Change of title

You might notice some changes happening in my bio below my posts, on my About Me page, and on my social media sites. I’ve already mentioned it on Facebook, but I thought I’d better note it here, as well. For the last three years, I’ve been editorial director of Tu Books, focusing on the editorial side. Now my responsibilities have expanded to include marketing and sales, and so my title has changed to publisher to reflect that change in duties.

What this means for writers: I won’t have as much time to accept new submissions, so from time to time our submissions guidelines will reflect that we’ve closed to unagented submissions. We did this over the holidays, and haven’t yet reopened those submissions; I need time to catch up on what we’ve already received, including a nice large number of New Visions Award submissions. So keep writing, and watch for when we open for submissions periodically. This will allow me to concentrate my editorial time on the books we’ve already contracted, with concentrated windows during which I’ll seek new voices.

While this is a big change for me, for the purpose of writers things shouldn’t change too much.

Your Tu Books holiday book-buying guide

Hanukkah is in full swing, and Christmas is right around the corner. Thinking about getting a book for that teen or kid in your life? Or for the adult YA reader in your life (you are welcome in this no-judgement zone; we love YA too!). Don’t forget to include Tu Books in those plans! Here are a few examples of people you’re looking to find a gift for.

For the reader looking for comedy (sometimes light, sometimes a little morbid):

Cat Girl's Day OffGalaxyGames-FinalFront

For the teen looking for something with an edge:

Diverse EnergiesWolf Mark front cover FINALTankborn-Cover-Final

For the middle-grade reader or young teen looking for a “clean” read:

Summer of the MariposasCat Girl's Day OffGalaxyGames-FinalFront

For fans of folklore and fairy tales:

Summer of the Mariposas

For fans of science fiction, especially technology and space-related:

Tankborn-Cover-FinalGalaxyGames-FinalFront

For fans of Twilight:

Wolf Mark front cover FINAL

For fans of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Chicago:

Cat Girl's Day Off

 

Got any other kinds of readers in your life that need a Tu Book recommendation? Ask away in the comments!