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Please join us in welcoming our first Author-in-Residence at rgz: Beth Kephart! Beth will be in house through the end of 2009, popping into the blog, chats, and posting video blog entries on the writing life throughout her visit. We are honored to have her among us. Learn more about Beth Kephart and our author-in-residence position.

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Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce

Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce

Alianne, sole daughter of Alanna the Lioness, does not want to become a knight like her mother. She's more like her father, George, "the king of thieves." After a fight with her mother, Alianne attempts to run away but is kidnapped and sent to the Copper Isles to toil as a slave for an exiled royal family. Alone in a foreign land, Aly will need both her father's wit and her mother's courage to navigate a royal court rife with political intrigue and murderous conspiracy.

Aly's adventure continues in Trickster's Queen, when she must keep the potential teenage queen and her younger siblings safe. But Aly, who is usually adept at anticipating danger and changes, is in for a few nasty surprises.

Download this month's poster and bookmark.

Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce"In Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen, the much-lauded Tamora Pierce gives us a fantastical adventure full of intrigue, espionage and heart. Aly is a perfect example for our rgz of a witty, headstrong, and powerful female warrior. We're thrilled to welcome Tamora this month!" - Melissa Walker, rgz diva

"Aly is easily among the most interesting of Pierce's heroines. Thrilling fun." - Kirkus

"Aly arrives fully formed, a snarky, talented über-heroine. Cameos of old favorites complement a rich cast of new characters." - Kirkus Reviews

"Pierce deftly weaves an unforgettable story...The plot sweeps readers along in a whirlwind of court intrigue, deception, murder, and romance." - School Library Journal

"A complex and rewarding tale." - KLIATT

Tamora Pierce

 

Things to Know

Tamora Pierce


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On the nightstand: THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL by John le Carré, PRICE OF HONOR by Jan Goodwin, THE HUNDEFRÄULEIN PAPERS by Kathy Mac, THE MAGIC THIEF by Sarah Prineas

Favorite drink while you write: Water

Favorite bookstores: Books of Wonder in NYC

Favorite library: The NY Public Library

Pets: 2 parakeets, 8 cats in general population, 1 cat in my office, 1 in the mud room for winter, 1 in the basement for winter, 3 feral kittens in the garage for the winter and 1 cat in my husband's office

Place to write: My office at home

Inspiration: Books, music, television, movies, things I see in different places in the present and the past, comments others make, myths and legends, history, photos I see online, the news

Dream book tour: Maine (I've only been there once); Halifax, Nova Scotia; Jackson Hole, Wyoming (love it!); Boulder, Colorado; Rapid City, South Dakota (my sister lives there and I love the Badlands); Calgary; Tucson; New Mexico, San Francisco; Seattle; Victoria, BC; Vancouver, Alaska; New Zealand; Australia (both coasts this time); and then I'll fall over, because I couldn't even do a third of this without getting very tired!

Writer buddies: Bruce Coville, Esther Friesner, Nancy Werlin, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Holly Black, Maureen Johnson, Cassandra Clare, Josepha Sherman, and I'd like to think Sherwood Smith and Kristin Cashore (we did a conference recently and they were great!)

Cure for writer's block: Talking it out with my spouse-creature, Bruce (Coville), or my editor, making something happen, introducing a new character, taking a walk, washing the dishes, thinking in the shower or during a medical test (one where you just have to lay there), changing point of view, changing voice from first person to third or vice versa.

Favorite outfit: Jeans and unusual T-shirts or soft fluffy shirts for winter.

Laptop or longhand? Desktop. I can work some on a laptop (notebook, actually) if I'm away for a long time, but I really need to be set at my desk for any serious inroads to be made.

Stilettos or Uggs? Gah! Sneakers. Comfortable flats for such dressing up as I do.

Next up: MASTIFF (last of Beka Cooper trilogy), a short story collection, and the next CIRCLE OF MAGIC book. Also, I'm helping to produce a Tortall companion book.

Author idols: Mark Twain and Louisa May Alcott.

Other YA Novels: Click here for the full list of Tamora's books.

Roundtable: readergirlz divas, postergirlz, and friends discuss Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen

Website: www.tamorapierce.com

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Special Projects

TBD 2010

readergirlz and Teen Read Week

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YALSA

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Discuss the book with the author herself. Tamora Pierce will be chatting live at the readergirlz blog on Wednesday, December 16th at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST. The chat will last for an hour.

 

Amnesty International

 

Since 1961, Amnesty International has made a world-wide effort to stop the abuse of human rights. In their own words, Amnesty International is "a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. Our supporters are outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world - so we work to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity."

Want to start up a chapter of Amnesty International at your school? Check out the Student Center at the Amnesty International website, where you may register your AI student group and receive an activist toolkit for your group.

For more information, visit amnesty.org

 

The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book.

Gamelan Gong Kebjar: Hudjan Mas by Bali Golden Rain
One of Us by Joan Osborne
Gendhing Tadhak Saking by Java Court Ensemble
Sembayang Pagi by Jalan Jalan
Learning to Fly by Pink Floyd
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Opening Music by Geoffrey Burgon & the Philharmonia Orchestra
Horud Baling by Batak
Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
Now We Are Free by Lisa Gerrardi
Bridge Attack by Bill Whelan, Roots of Riverdance
Lotus by Jalan Jalan
Midsummer by Heather Dale
One of Us by Heather Dale (to represent Aly's mother, Alanna)

 

CD   CD

CD   CD

1. Aly is the daughter of Alanna, the protagonist of Pierce's first novel and subsequent series, the Song of the Lioness quartet. Can you imagine what it would be like to be the child of a famous person? How would that help or hinder you?

2. In Pierce's world, the only Immortals who can speak to humans are those with human faces or characteristics - except the dragons that are scholars. Which creatures would you love to communicate with, and how?

3. Like father, like daughter: Aly wants nothing more than to be a spy, and she's learned a great deal from her father's work. Do you hope to follow in the footsteps of either of your parents? What makes you want to pursue a career similar to that of your mom or dad?

4. Aly's full name is Alianne of Pirate's Swoop. If you were a character in a Tamora Pierce novel, what would your name be?

5. What did you think of the way slavery and racism were depicted and discussed in these novels? What about the controversy regarding mixed lineage and the line to the throne?

6. Aly is charged with protecting the Balitangs, who, unlike other royals or members of the upper class, treat their servants and slaves well, ultimately declaring Aly to be like family. What did you think of the way they ran their household? Who are the members of your household? Do you have people who aren't related to you directly by blood that you consider family members?

7. Let's discuss the differences between the Balitangs daughters: young, quiet Dove, a very observant girl, and her older sister Sarai, the romantic ingenue with unlikely strength. Which one do you resemble? Do you have sisters? If so, is your relationship like Dove and Sarai's?

8. The Trickster in the title is Kyprioth, the god of tricksters in Aly's world. Have you read other myths or novels related to tricksters?

9. In Trickster's Choice, Dove tells Aly, "Everybody needs heroes...Everybody. Even grown women. Even slaves." Do you think this is true?

10. Aly's work for the Balitangs starts somewhat forced but also seems fated, with the trickster's interference and all that follows. Do you believe in fate?

11. Even as a slave, and even under the trickster's watchful eye and 'deals,' Aly asserts her independence. How do you define independence? What's the difference between freedom and independence?

12. Nawat changes from a crow into a human in order to protect Aly and be close to her. Would you make such a huge transformation to take care of someone you loved? Would you give up all that you've ever known?

 

 


Planning your own book group/get-together for this book? Here are some party ideas from the author.

Invite: Decorate with crows and crowns.

Food: Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, or Chinese in a pinch; mangos, papaya, star fruit

Décor: Swaths of colorful silk, posters of Indonesia

Movies: Richard Lester's Three Musketeers and Four Musketeers starring Michael York, Oliver Reed, Faye Dunaway, Christopher Lee, and Charlton Heston - Tamora said, "I swiped one of the ways I write sword fighting from these." Also watch A League of Their Own for, as Tamora put it, "women being active and themselves."

 

 

His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat by Meghan Carle and Jill Carle

Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council

Fiction
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner
The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
Flora Segunda and Flora's Dare by Ysabeau S. Wilce
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede

Non-Fiction
Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat by Meghan & Jill Carle with Judi Carle

 

 

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

 

 

 

 

Get ready for our upcoming book discussions and featured authors:

January: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

February: Copper Sun by Sharon Draper

March: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

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