Category Archives: Teen Book Reviews

Reviews of YA books you’ll love.

Teen Book Review- Undivided by Neal Shusterman


unnamed-1I just finished reading Undivided by Neal Shusterman. This is the fourth and final book in the Unwind series. Not many series hold up after the first book but this one sure does. This series holds up among my favorites. The story is about a time in our world when troublesome children can be unwind or taken apart piece by piece, while their parts are donated to people. Connor Lassiter and his partner Risa Ward fight against the individuals who feel that it’s okay to unwind troubled teens.

This book doesn’t focus on romance as much as it does survival. The book centers on various characters and each storyline draws to a conclusion. We start we Connor, a unwind AWOL turned fugitive hero and his partner Risa Ward. The book then shifts and focuses on Mason Starkey, a boy who leads the stork rebellion as they free unwinds and destroy harvest camps. The storyline shifts once more the story shifts to Cam, a rewind who is trying to find his place in the world. It’s hard to say more and not divulge too much of the story. The enemies are most deadly this time and the stakes are high for all of the characters. One by one each character faces their worst enemy and not everyone pulls through unscathed.

This book has lots of action and it’s a great read!


To Copyright or not Copyright


The Library of Congress allows writers and other creative people to register their original work. Copyrighting your work with the Library of Congress proves ownership. In the past I’ve received lots of advice on how to protect your work. Some people told me to just mail a copy of my script to myself and that was enough proof instead of doing that I decided to register my work with the Library of Congress.  For scripts I’ve used form PA and for my novel I use form TE. There are different forms to fill out depending on what you are registering.

The cost have gone up and there is a different fee if you register online or mail in your application. It cost me $35 to register my novel online. If I mailed in the material it would have cost me $85. Registering online is also a quicker process. The cool thing about registering your work is that if can log on and see all the work you’ve ever registered along with the copyright number.

If you’ve worked hard on your screenplays, stories, drawings, or other creative projects why not spend the extra money and make sure that if someone tries to make claims on your work you have proof that your own the rights to the work?



Plans for Winter Break


Prompt 128I realize that I missed a post on December 21st. Now that winter break has started what are you planning to do with all your time? We have more than a week off. The Scholastic Arts and Writing deadline has probably passed already each region has a different deadline but I think you should still work on a short story. Either one you’ve started or a new one.

I plan to work on book two and write out the synopsis for book one so I can start submitting the manuscript soon. I hear Santa is going to be giving me the new printer I desperately need in order to print out my manuscript.

I think it would be a great idea to look back at one of your stories and get to work. I’ll plan on posting some more writing competitions soon so you better get ready.  Happy writing!

Teen Writing Prompt 722


It’s 70 degrees outside but it’s suppose to be freezing. Lately, when I give students in my writing class a writing prompt each and every story is about doom! I guess that’s because things seem so bleak and there is so much violence all around us.

Write a story about the weather changing. Why is it changing and how does your character react to the change? Is it getting colder and colder? What’s the deal? Be creative and have some fun

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How to Plan Your Stories

How to Plan Your Stories

Years ago when I was working with WriteGirl, a teen mentorship program for teen writers I took part in a writing workshop. Every month we worked on a different genre and that month it was fiction. I was told to create a character and to think about what that character wanted. Years later that character and writing exercise evolved into my first novel.  I just finished my manuscript this year.

I want you to try that exercise. I’ve added a few more components. Let’s see how it works for you.

Think about a character. What does your character want? Love, success, revenge? Now think about who or what wouldn’t want your character to achieve his or her goals. Remember it can be a thing. In the book Up in the Air, the protagonist was Mount Everest.

Now create a flaw or special skill for your character. This doesn’t mean that your character has to be a superhero. Everyone is unique what makes your character different?

Now create obstacles that will make things difficult for your character to get what he/she wants. I’ll check back and add more on my next post.

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What I’m Reading


I am back to the I am Number Four series. The Fate of Ten has finally been released.  I can’t believe I missed the release date. So many books of my book list are series and I just end up reading more and more series so it’s difficult to keep up. Undivided by Neal Shusterman is also out. That book is part of the Unwind series. I think I left off at book three. Looks like I will be catching up on a lot of books.

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember what happened in the last book. I think you should all think about this especially if you are writing a series. Find a way to bring your reader back to the story. Maybe have your character reflect on what has happened to them. Anyway keep up with your writing and reading. I’ll post a review as soon as I finish the book. Happy Writing!

Teen Book Review- The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore


I just finished reading The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore aka James Frey. This is the sixth and was suppose to be the final book in the I am Number Four series. Sometimes when writers extend their series the last books tend to drag. That’s not the case in The Fate of Ten.  This book is filled with lots of action and suspense. The Fate of Ten reveals how it all started as the Mogadorian ruler Sektrakus Ra and his army of Mogs attempt to defeat humans and take over our world.

The end of the last book left us with John’s best friend, Sam developing legacies after the Lorien deity was released onto the Earth. Other humans are equipped with these special powers and they team up with John, and the other Lorians to fight for the Earth. I really enjoyed this book and read it over Thanksgiving weekend. Great book! It doesn’t disappoint. I think this book is a good example of how to write a long series and still somehow find a way to keep the story moving forward. Check it out!


Teen Writing Prompt 720



Write a poem using the letters of the alphabet. Here’s how I feel today after hearing what has happened in France. I don’t was to trivialize what has happened. Why don’t you work on this poem and share how we all feel.

This Morning

Another day has begun

But I feel shaken.

Chaos everywhere.


Everyone hurting.



Hurting people

I want to scream

Scholastics Arts and Writing Competition


writng 3The Scholastics Arts and Writing Competition has finally posted their deadlines. This is a great competition. This one is for art students, cinematic arts and animation, and writing. There are many categories are:

  1. Critical Essay
  2. Dramatic Script
  3. Flash Fiction
  4. Humor
  5. Journalism
  6. Novel Writing
  7. Personal Essay & Memoir
  8. Poetry
  9. Science Fiction & Fantasy
  10. Short Story
  11. Writing Portfolio (seniors only) *

There are cash prizes and medals awarded. Selections from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are published in the National Catalog and The Best Teen Writing, which are distributed to schools and libraries nationwide and a variety of teen publications. Check out the deadlines and go to the website for more information. Good luck!

The writing deadline is December 15, 2015

The arts deadline is January 5, 2015.

Teen Scholarship

Teen Scholarship

Anthony Quinn Foundation Accepting Applications for Arts Scholarship Program

The Anthony Quinn Foundation has announced the deadline for its 2016 Scholarship Program, an annual program that aims to perpetuate the legendary actor/artist’s vision for an art-conscious society.

Through its scholarship program, the foundation supports high school students’ extracurricular study of the visual arts and design, performing arts, media arts, and the literary arts. Scholarship amounts range from $1,000 to $3,000.

Scholarships may be used for a recognized pre-college, summer, or afterschool arts education program, but may not be used for either secondary school or college tuition.

To be eligible, applicants must be a young adult in high school who demonstrates exceptional talent, dedication, and a strong commitment to personal artistic growth and who will benefit from financial support.

The foundation will begin accepting applications on October 15, 2015. Full applications must be returned no later than January 3, 2016.

Visit the Anthony Quinn Foundation website for complete program guidelines, a promotional video, information about previous scholarship recipients, and application instructions.