Readergirlz Issue 1 (February 2007)

Welcome to readergirlz!

Readergirlz is a new online book community celebrating gutsy girls in life & lit. 

Grab your friends & get ready to gab about young adult books with the readergirlz divas: YA authors Dia Calhoun, Janet Lee Carey, Lorie Ann Grover & Justina Chen Headley.

Coming Soon:

Our amazing girl of the month

Our outstanding organizations for outreach

We are so excited to be launching our book salon on March 1, 2007 in honor of National Women's History Month. Every month, we'll showcase a YA novel featuring a strong female character (or two!). We want to connect you with stories that will change the way you and your friends see yourselves, and inspire you to have the guts to make history of your own. So you'll see lots of great community service ideas that tie in with our featured books.

Since we believe that seriously good books are best experienced through rich discussion and debate, we urge you to join readergirlz by friending us at MySpace. Get ready to read & reach out with readergirlz!

First Book:

Get ready for our readergirlz March launch by picking up a copy of Justina Chen Headley's NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (and a few white lies).

The readergirlz Book Divas

Meet Dia Calhoun, Janet Lee Carey, Lorie Ann Grover, and Justina Chen Headley, the divas of readergirlz. Aside from starting readergirlz, we're four young adult novelists who love dishing about our two favorite topics: reading and writing about memorable girls, whether they're girls in contemporary, historical, or fantasy fiction.

Dia is the winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature and has authored ALA Best Books for Young Adults. Her latest books are Avielle of Rhia and The Phoenix Dance.

Janet has penned two fantasy books, The Beast of Noor and the forthcoming Dragon's Keep, which has already earned a starred review in Booklist. She won the Mark Twain Award for Wenny Has Wings.

Lorie Ann's novels in verse, including On Pointe and Loose Threads, have been named A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age as well as A Booklist Top Ten First Novel for Youth.

Justina's debut novel, Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies), was named Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best, a Borders Original Voice, and a Book Sense pick.

In other words, we are true readergirlz who love YOU, our true reader girls! 

We can't wait to give you the inside scoop about where our ideas and characters come from as well as share our favorite reads and authors with you. 

The readergirlz Manifesta

Reading a book isn't the same thing as experiencing a book. You know what we mean. There's a reason why we readergirlz are known to shove books at our best friends - books that have rocked our world, books that have revealed our souls, books that are gifts of the heart. 

So here's our official readergirlz Manifesta: what we stand for, what we believe, what we promise YOU:

* Readergirlz is about having serious fun while talking about books with the author and your friends!

* Readergirlz is about getting the inside scoop about why the novel was written - the tears and joys and real-world angst that the author has lived and layered into her story.

* Readergirlz is about reading great books to get to know yourself, your friends, and yes, even your mother, better.

* Readergirlz is about celebrating strong girls in books who've got the guts to dream.

* Readergirlz is about reaching out to others based on what you've read.

* And most of all, readergirlz is about inspiring girls to make history of their own! 

Readergirlz Book Celebrations

Check in on the readergirlz website, blog, or MySpace every month to discover the new book we'll be reading and celebrating in the following fun, fabulous ways:

* Chat with the author

* Read and hear author interviews

* Download author-selected playlists for tunes to listen to as you read her book

* Throw a readergirlz book party, using the author's personal suggestions for menu, decorations, and of course, the all-important discussion questions

* Complete the fun readergirlz surveys to let us know exactly how you relate or don't relate to the books and win readergirlz prizes, including autographed books

The Ultimate readergirlz Group Guide

How to set up your own readergirlz group:

Ten Tips for Starting Your Own readergirlz Book Club

1. Contact other girlfriends who love to read and chat about books as much as you do, and invite them to join readergirlz. Be sure they stand by the readergirlz Manifesta!

2. Your group can be any size, but staying below 12 seems to work well. Everyone has a chance to share. Will your group be all girls or will it be a mother/daughter group?

3. Consider if there's one girl who will always be the leader or will the leader change from month to month? That person might download readergirlz monthly info and discussion questions for the group and send out meeting reminders.

4. Consider where you'll meet. Homes, a library, a bookstore, or a school classroom are great choices.

5. Is your group going to have a party each month where you follow the great readergirlz suggestions? Who will take care of the food, decorations, and music? The fun preparations might rotate through the group.

6. How long will your meeting last? Two hours is a good amount of time to gab about a book.

7. Have a commitment from everyone to keep to the readergirlz monthly pick and avoid gossip. Redirect discussion that strays.

8. Share your opinions, but be willing to hear other points of view. Everyone doesn't have to agree. Differences make great discussions!

9. Once your group is meeting regularly, be respectful of the other members and ask before inviting another readergirl. Groups can be tight with each other, and everyone needs a say before an addition.

10. As all true readergirlz are, be a great friend in the group and out. These are friendships for a lifetime!

Readergirlz Ground Rules

So here's the deal: readergirlz encourages healthy discussion and debate about the books we're celebrating. What does that mean?

1. Keep it clean: no swearing and definitely no personal attacks, threats, porno, or cybersex. That is very uncool and un-readergirlz-ish.

2. Keep it pure: no ads of any kind, please. This is about the book, the whole book, and nothing but the book.

3. Keep it safe: don't share your personal info in any of our public forums. 

A Chat with the readergirlz Divas

Read what the readergirlz divas have to say about their new book community. 

1. Where did you get your inspiration for readergirlz?

Justina: When I was out on my book tour for Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies), I made a concerted effort to visit urban high schools that didn't have the budgets to bring in authors. It broke my heart how few kids had ever met an author - even though they were avid readers. So I thought: how can I give all of my readers the opportunity to meet and talk with me - and my favorite writer-buddies? That's when I hit upon readergirlz as a concept. 

Dia: I meet girls when I visit schools, but there never seems to be enough time to talk about books and writing, especially on a personal level. So chatting about books and characters on readergirlz seemed like a fabulous idea. I love to talk about books - my books and other author's books - and with readergirlz, I will have the chance to do that with the girls I am actually writing for.

Lorie Ann: I'm inspired to be a member of readergirlz to find others who love great characters and great books like I do. Whether it's discussing a favorite novel or sharing the backstory of one of my own, talking about books is inspiring!

Janet: I do a lot of book events, but there are so many readers I never get to meet. I thought wouldn't it be great if there were a place where I could meet and talk with a reader anytime I wanted to? Where she could click a button and ask me a question as soon as it popped into her head? Where readers could meet around a favorite book and make friends? Readergirlz is just the place.

2. Who are readergirlz?

Janet: Readergirlz are thinking girls who like to speak their minds. They love to read and pass their favorite books around. Girls who read are girls that lead.

Lorie Ann: Readergirlz are book lovers who know that the written word has power to engage, encourage, and strengthen. Talking about books makes that power even stronger. Readergirlz read, think, dialogue, and act!

Dia: Readergirlz are girls who are passionate about books and love to discuss them.

Justina: Readergirlz are any girl or woman who's in touch with her inner girl and knows that bookish girls are cool girls.

3. What do you hope to accomplish with readergirlz?

Lorie Ann: I learn so much through reading, and have fun, too. I find passion and answers and understanding in books. I hope to find all of these alongside other amazing readergirlz!

Justina: I want girls to get excited about reading great books featuring super strong girl characters. And I want readers to connect deeply with books. I know for me that my appreciation and understanding of a book really deepens when I discuss it with my own book club. 

Janet: I learned how brave girls can be through books. I remember thinking, okay, if she can do it, I can do it. Great books cross cultures and break boundaries. I'm hoping readergirlz will challenge girls to dream big, support each other, and go for their dreams!

Dia: Through reading books about strong girl characters, I want readergirlz to discover they have the power to change how they look at the world, change how they act in the world, and even change how they aim their dreams.

Other readergirlz

Because true readergirlz read way more than one book a month, we salute all book clubs and encourage you to visit them, too. Here are some of our favorites:

Girls, Inc.
Not Your Mother's Book Club
Scholar's Blog Spoiler Zone

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