Coming in October 2007: 31 Flavorites

YALSA and readergirlz have teamed up to present an amazing month long experience to celebrate YALSA's Teen Read Week. The readergirlz divas will be hosting 31 authors for 31 days! Readergirlz across the world will be able to chat nightly at our group forum with a different YA author each evening.

Meg Cabot, Stephenie Meyer, John Green, Ann Brashares, and many, many more are booked to chat with you! Want to see the entire schedule? Download the 31 Flavorites poster!

The poster is available as a large PDF, small PDF and JPG.

Download and print the 31 Flavorites bookmark!

Spread the news, friend the readergirlz MySpace site and group forum, and get ready to hang out with your favorite authors and readergirlz!




Readergirlz Issue 7 (August 2007)

Welcome to our August issue! Readergirlz divas Lorie Ann Grover, Dia Calhoun, Janet Lee Carey, and Justina Chen Headley are pleased to present Holly Black's newest teen fantasy, Ironside.

Hit the beach with this luscious read. Ironside's journey into faerie is rich, tantalizing and bitter sweet as dark chocolate. This sequel to Tithe is a pleasure you won't want to miss!

In the realm of Faerie, the time has come for Roiben's coronation. Uneasy in the midst of the malevolent Unseelie Court, pixie Kaye is sure only of one thing -- her love for Roiben. But when Kaye, drunk on faerie wine, declares herself to him, he sends her on a seemingly impossible quest. Now Kaye can't see or speak with Roiben unless she can find the one thing she knows doesn't exist: a faerie who can tell a lie.

Miserable and convinced she belongs nowhere, Kaye decides to tell her mother the truth -- that she is a changeling left in place of the human daughter stolen long ago. Her mother's shock and horror sends Kaye back to the world of Faerie to find her human counterpart and return her to Ironside.

But once back in the faerie courts, Kaye finds herself a pawn in the games of Silarial, queen of the Seelie Court. Silarial wants Roiben's throne, and she will use Kaye, and any means necessary, to get it. In this game of wits and weapons, can a pixie outplay a queen?

This book is recommended to readers over the age of 14.

Join us this month on the readergirlz MySpace group to talk about all things faery and Ironside with Holly Black.

What people are saying:

"Decadent and deadly, the urban fantasy setting is not for the faint of heart; the cruelties of even the so-called good faeries are breathtaking. Fans of faerypunk will eat it up."

-- Kirkus Reviews

"Ironside is a compelling, thrilling read that paints a new picture of faeries living and coping with the evolution of the modern world. The way it sucks you in, one would almost believe the book itself had an enchantment on it."

-- The Trades

"Full of court rivalry, deception and betrayal, sword fights and murder, faerie curses, new romances, and even characters from Valiant, Ironside is another wonderful foray into the dark, gritty world of Faerie and will not leave readers disappointed. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you pound your pillow in frustration and clap your hands in delight."


"It is this combination of eternal summer and bitter sorrow, graceful beauty and cold cruelty, which Holly Black vividly captures in Ironside. More than that, it is the metaphor of fairyland, with its constant threat of stealing life, of leaving a human life empty and unfinished, which fuels the true power of this outstanding YA fantasy novel."


Live Chat

Join readergirlz on our group forum for our hour-long live chat with Ironside and Tithe author Holly Black!

Thursday, August 23rd

Beginning at 7 PM Pacific / 10 PM Eastern

Come talk about the joys and frustrations Holly Black faces while writing fantasy.

Here's your chance to ask her all those questions you've been saving up and to explore her tantalizing faery world.

Come share your fairytales with us!

The While-You-Read Playlist

Because the novel's theme song, "Sister I Need Wine" by Guided by Voices, was unavailable at Project Playlist, the divas are happy to feature "Watching You" by Velvet Chain. We immediately thought of Roiben when we heard it. Our own talented webdiva and postergirl Little Willow co-wrote the lyrics. Rock on, readergirlz!


Listen Up

Here are more of Holly's favorite tunes for Ironside not yet hosted on Project Playlist.

1. Theme song: Sister I Need Wine - Guided by Voices
2. Try Not to Breathe - REM
3. To Be of Use - Smog
4. Something I Can Never Have - Nine Inch Nails
5. Keep Me From Harm - Peter Murphy
6. Still In Love - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Community Challenge

Holly Black created a dark and fantastical world filled with dangerous faeries in Tithe and Ironside. While Kaye had to figure out on her own how to stay safe, the readergirlz were lucky to have Little Willow, one of our beloved postergirlz, to tell us how to stay safe on the Internet.

That's why this month, we're asking you to check out the website she told us about: 2 SMRT 4U at

It's a site started by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to encourage teens to practice safe, smart habits when posting information about themselves on social networking Web sites and blogs.

After you check it out, be a good friend and tell all your buddies about what you've learned. Share the tips on keeping your private info private while you're online.

Shoutout: Hayden Panettiere

We've watched her on Heroes, but to us, Hayden Panettiere is a real Hero for her work with 2 SMRT 4U. Do as she does: think before you post any private info on MySpace, Facebook, or your blog.

Recommended Reads

Our August theme is Imagine. If you love Kaye's adventures in Ironside, then you'll love the unique characters and settings in these great companion reads.


The Ferryman by Christopher Golden

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan

Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst


At the Bottom of the Garden: A Dark History of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Nymphs, and Other Troublesome Things by Diane Purkiss


The Ultimate Book Celebration Guide

Gather your favorite readergirlz together for a fun book party for Ironside. Make sure to e-mail us a picture of your readergirlz celebration. If we post it, you'll win a special readergirlz prize!


Here are a couple of different ideas for invitations. They all start with a sheet of light-colored paper (light green, light blue or cream) sent through a printer (to make a smaller invite, print one sheet of paper and cut it in half). You can then affix any of the following:

1. Sew a bundle of twigs along the top with blue, green or brown thread. If the paper is thick enough, they can be sewn on with a regular needle.
2. Using papercraft glue, affix a dried leaf (available at craft stores). You can also use a leaf removed from a silk or plastic plant.
3. Stamp the paper with a dark silver imprint of a leaf. Or use dark silver paper and imprint with black or blue ink.
4. Using a small paper punch that cuts out the shape of a leaf, punch out a bunch all over the top of the invitation.
5. If you want to send evites or e-mail invites, the book cover and/or a creepy black and white picture of icicles would dress it up.


For faerie food, Holly suggests stuffed mushrooms or different kinds of mushrooms with dip; any kind of green liquid (Mountain Dew? Iced green tea?); fruits like Asian pears, grapes and pomegranates; and cakes or scones. Edible flowers, which you can find at some supermarkets. Anything rose-flavored. (Holly has some delicious rose-flavored Turkish Delight that tastes like fairy food.) Unusual serving stuff makes the food more exotic -- encourage people to bring stuff from home. Vases make good decanters, but wash them VERY well first!


If the party is themed around the whole Modern Faerie Tale series, you can fill any old bottle with gold glitter to be the Never, then surround bottle with a bunch of leaves and with a single paper butterfly from a craft store (or printed and assembled from a computer).

Mood Music

Just download the While-You-Read Playlist and crank up the music.


1. The Fairy-Faith (2000)
2. Legend (1985)
3. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
4. The Crow (1994)
5. The Lost Boys (1987)
6. The Secret of Roan-Inish (1994)

Discussion Questions

Book spoilers ahead! Book spoilers ahead! Book spoilers ahead!

1. Near the end of Ironside, Kaye tells Roiben that he's a bad boyfriend. Do you agree with her? Do you think they have a healthy or unhealthy relationship? Do you think their relationship changed from the beginning of the book to the end?

2. Corny hated Luis because he thought Luis looked down on him and would never be attracted to him. Have you ever hated someone because you made assumptions about him or her?

3. Faeries can't outright lie, although they can bend the truth so far that it snaps on its own. How would it change your life if you couldn't lie? Or would it be enough to be able to bend the truth?

4. Luis has inherited the Sight, the ability to see faeries, from his father. Corny sees the Sight as a superpower, while Luis sees it as a curse not unlike the ones he treats. Would you want the Sight? And if you did, what would you do with it?

5. Kaye decides to tell her mother that she's a changeling and that the "real" Kaye was spirited away by the faeries. Do you think she should have told her mom or do you think she was better off keeping it a secret? If Kaye was your close friend, what advice would you have given her?

6. At the end of Ironside, Kaye refuses to choose between the human and faerie worlds. Similarly, Roiben, in the end, is attempting to straddle the line between being Seelie and Unseelie. Do you think they are being realistic? Have you ever felt like you were being pulled in two directions? Is there a way to be two seemingly opposite things at the same time?

Author Chat

Listen in as Holly Black chats with the readergirlz divas about Ironside.

Justina Chen Headley: Where did you get your inspiration for your novel?

Holly Black: After I finished Tithe, I was sure I wasn't going to write about those characters again. Then I had the idea for what happened at Roiben's coronation and the quest. And I realized that the truce had been broken so the two courts were going to be in conflict again. Before I knew it, I had a plot.

Lorie Ann Grover: Is it autobiographical?

Holly Black: No, Ironside is definitely not autobiographical, although I think all novels draw on real experiences of the novelist. Like, er, in this case, getting drunk and doing something I regretted.

Dia Calhoun: What is your writing process? Do you ever get writer's block?

Holly Black: My writing process is to sit in a café (usually with the writer Kelly Link) and write a chapter. Then I edit it. Then I write another chapter. Then I edit them both again. I don't do this because I think it's a particularly good method (it sure isn’t a quick method), but because sometimes when earlier stuff isn’t right, later stuff feels wrong -- like the foundation is unsteady. Once I get through what I call a first draft, but which has been edited all the way through about ten to thirteen times, I send it to my critique group. Often my writing buddies (Kelly Link, Cassandra Clare, Steve Berman, Justine Larbalestier and Cecil Castellucci) will have seen parts of the book, but when the group (Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Gavin Grant, Kelly Link, Sarah Smith, Cassandra Clare) go over the whole book, new problems, trends, and choices become clear. The most interesting thing that I've learned about critique is that the first level is having problems pointed out so they can be fixed, but the second level (and I am lucky enough to have a group which excels at that level) is being pushed to turn good scenes into great scenes.

Janet Lee Carey: Who are your role models and why?

Holly Black: This is a really hard question to answer because on one hand, there are certain writers (particularly Tanith Lee and Ellen Kushner and WB Yeats, but also Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, and Michael Moorcock) that informed my idea of the kind of writer I wanted to be. In terms of how to live my life, though, I've always felt that I was making things up as I went along.

Justina Chen Headley: Has your family been an important factor in your career?

Holly Black: My mother really encouraged creativity when I was a kid. She's a painter and a dollmaker. She also writes stories and can make almost anything that's crafty. I think, on one hand, that made me more focused on doing only one thing -- writing. But it made me really value the arts and value making something out of thin air.

Lorie Ann Grover: What is your favorite part of writing?

Holly Black: This is going to sound crazy, but I love revising. When I'm actually writing the first drafts of scenes, I find it incredibly frustrating that all the great ideas I had are turning into crap as I write them out. But in the editing phase, at least I'm making the writing better. And, once the basics of a scene are down, I get to mess with it and make it more dramatic and interesting. For me, that's the really fun part.

Dia Calhoun: We chose your book to represent the theme Imagine. Can you please comment on why you think the ability to imagine is important for teen girls today?

Holly Black: Girls can visualize their futures, act out possible selves, and see themselves with a different gender, cultural background, or even living in a totally different time or place, all on the stage of their imagination. Imagination lets us think outside the box and problem-solve in original ways. It gives us empathy and the vision of a future that keeps us hopeful when things seem hopeless.

Divas: Thank you, Holly, for the wonderful interview.

To learn more about our featured author, please visit her website

Also drop by her MySpace page

Discuss the book at

Additional interviews with Holly Black:

Next Month: Sold

September's spotlighted title will be Sold by Patricia McCormick.

Lakshmi's life on a hillside village in Nepal is poor but full of simple pleasures. Until her family loses everything in the monsoon and she meets a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as maid working for a wealthy woman in the city. Soon Lakshmi learns the truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

An old woman named Mumtaz runs her brothel with cruelty and cunning – telling Lakshmi she is trapped there until she can pay off her family's debt, then tricking her out of her modest wages so she can never leave. Eventually the day comes she has a chance to escape. Will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life?

What people are saying:

"Heartbreaking . . . McCormick's research for this novel involved interviewing women in Nepal and India, and her depth of detail makes the characters believable and their misery palpable. This important book was written in their honor."

-- School Library Journal

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.

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