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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Sarah Ockler, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 11 of 11
1. Twenty Boy Summer - Banned Book Review

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Publication Date: 1 June 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN 10/13: 0316051594 | 9780316051590

Category: Young Adult Contemporary
Keywords: Contemporary, romance, death
Format: Hardcover (also available in paperback and eBook)

Alethea's note: The synopsis at the beginning seems to give away major plot points, but it really doesn't--you'll find the same info in the jacket copy :) So don't fret!

Thuy's Synopsis: 

Anna, Frankie and Matt have been best friends forever. She and Frankie are like sisters and Matt (Frankie's brother) is her best-friend-that's-a-boy. On her fifteenth birthday, Anna's deepest desire comes true when Matt kisses her. Matt convinces Anna not to tell Frankie about their relationship just yet. He wants to tell her in a few weeks during their annual family vacation to California. 

Anna doesn't like keeping secrets from Frankie but she agrees, believing that Matt knows what's best for his sister. They spend the next month meeting secretly at night and stealing moments with each other when they can. Then the unthinkable happens. Matt dies, leaving Anna and his family grief-stricken. Anna decides never to tell Frankie about what happened between her and Matt. 

A year later, Frankie's parents decide to make the trip back out to California and invite Anna along. Frankie decides to make this the Twenty Boy Summer, but how can Anna think about meeting boys when the only one she ever cared about is gone? 

Thuy's Review: 

Contemporary YA fiction isn't usually my favorite but I couldn't put this book down. Twenty Boy Summer is a beautifully written and emotionally intense account of love, friendship, loss and finding the strength to move on. My own heart felt like it was breaking at times and I teared up more than once (which I never do). 

Both Anna and Frankie are really great characters. They are emotionally complex and are dealing with their loss in different ways. Anna is the strong one, always looking out for Frankie and putting her own feelings away. Instead, she writes in her journal and pens heartfelt letters to Matt that he'll never see. 

A sweet new summer romance throws Anna into a new maelstrom of emotions. I really understood what Anna was feeling--the conflict and guilt she feels as well as the overwhelming loss of what might have been. Frankie is a fascinating character. It's obvious that the wounds from Matt's death are still raw. She's dealing with it in her own way, becoming a boy crazy super-shopper almost overnight. I admit that I was often annoyed by her, as she seemed oblivious to Anna's feelings most of the time. However, by the end of the book, I started to understand Frankie a little more and she began to grow on me.

Despite the heavy subject, this book was surprisingly funny

3 Comments on Twenty Boy Summer - Banned Book Review, last added: 9/26/2011
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2. Goodbye to Summer!

As it's been in the 90s home in Utah and at the time this posts I'll be coming back from my cousin's wedding in Dallas, Texas, which has made the news for having the longest stretch of over 100 degree days, it's hard to believe that it's actually September. But it is! And all this week, the Buzz Girls are going to be sharing their summer highlights.

As I posted in August, CLICK HERE, this was the Summer of Reunions for me. A family reunion, two high school reunions (my husband and I graduated from our respective high schools the same year), and a work reunion for the advertising agency where I used to work. All were very fun and as reunions have a way of doing, they gave me an occasion to reminisce and remember my roots. All in all, I can honestly say I've had some pretty darn amazing people in my life and I couldn't be more thankful for their support and love.

Some of my favorite moments of the summer include:
  • hanging with my almost two-year old nephew, who lives in Denver
  • witnessing the kids in my writing camps become better writers in just two weeks
  • boating in Pineview Reservoir (I only got to use my new wakeboard once, though, because I injured my back in May)
  • getting to meet talented authors Lara Zielin, Sheila Nielson, and Sarah Ockler
  • appetizers on a rooftop terrace overlooking downtown Denver with my husband, brother, sister-in-law, best girl friend from high school, and best guy friend from college
  • my youngest son's 5th birthday party which started 4 hours early and ended 5 hours late
  • rescuing Miller the Duck off the highway in Ogden Canyon (he's doing GREAT in his new home, by the way) CLICK HERE if you missed that story.

Though it's been a fabulous summer, I'm really looking forward to the fall. Now that my back is doing much better and I'm finally able to tie my own shoes, I'm going to start practicing yoga again real soon, and I'm excited to get back to work on a new YA book proposal. I've also been asked to be a writer in residence, along with the mega-talented Sydney Salter, at an alternative high school, which is a great honor.

Enough about me! What about you? What are some of the highlights of your summer and is it just me, or are you looking forward to fall, too?

2 Comments on Goodbye to Summer!, last added: 9/4/2011
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3. WOW Wednesday: Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of Fixing Delilah and
the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens'
Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. She is a championship cupcake
eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not
writing or reading, Sarah enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and
road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. Visit her website or find her on Twitter or Facebook.

Getting Lost on the Road to Publication
by Sarah Ockler

Wherever you are in the publishing journey, you've probably figured
out that writing takes serious perseverance and patience (by which I
clearly mean drugs and alcohol. Just kidding. Mostly kidding.) I mean,
books don't just write themselves! *stamps foot*

Twenty Boy Summer by SarahOcklerBy the time I
wrapped up my first novel, Twenty Boy Summer, I'd taken the
word "commitment" to frightening new heights (there's a reason it's so
close to "committed," because that's exactly what my husband wanted to
do to me). I was obsessed, writing every spare moment --
lunch hours, late nights, weekends when everyone else was having fun.
It was an intense time because I knew that if I was going to succeed,
I had to make writing my number-one priority.

I don't regret it. I finished, landed an agent, and sold the book
relatively quickly (something that still feels like a dream, even four
years later). I always advise new writers to do the same -- make
writing your top priority. But I've also realized that while I needed
to push myself hard to overcome insecurities, naysayers, and a whole
host of ready-made excuses, the write-every-spare-second method is not

Art + Business = Burnout

Fixing Delilah by SarahOcklerWhether you're
already published or still dreaming of ideas for your first book, once
you decide to write for publication, the art of writing
becomes impossibly tangled with the business of writing, and
it changes things. Some of the pure joy of it fades; the shininess
dulls. Not to say that being an author isn't rewarding and incredible,
but it's challenging at every turn, fraught with rejection,
self-doubt, publishing industry craziness, and straight-up writing

Thing is, we're writers. We can't not write. If I go more
than a week without scribbling, I get cranky and start serving myself
large quantities of Ben and Jerry's and/or white cheddar popcorn
and/or Bombay Sapphire gin, sometimes all in the same bowl. So I
realize that not writing is not an option. But
taking small breaks is an option --- a necessity, even.

Losing It

Recently, I'd noticed some serious burnout smoke coming from my head
(it smells like burnt coffee and lightening, in case you were
wondering) -- a sure sign it was time to get lost. So my husband and I
planned a week-long trip to Rocky Mountain National Park.

I left my laptop behind. I had no internet. I paused all deadlines.

Sarah Ockler, lost inRocky Mountain National Park
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4. Kurt Vonnegut & Sarah Ockler Books Removed from Missouri High School Library

A Missouri school board voted 4-0 this week to yank Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut out of the Republic High School library. The move has already drawn thousands of responses online.

Last year, Missouri State assistant professor Wesley Scroggins attacked the books at a a school board meeting and wrote a newspaper column for the Springfield News-Leader (“Filthy books demeaning to Republic education“). This GalleyCat editor will never forget the joy of discovering Vonnegut in his own high school library and can’t imagine missing that experience.

Here’s how Scroggins described Slaughterhouse-Five: “This is a book that contains so much profane language, it would make a sailor blush with shame. The ‘f word’ is plastered on almost every other page. The content ranges from naked men and women in cages together so that others can watch them having sex to God telling people that they better not mess with his loser, bum of a son, named Jesus Christ.” (Via Reddit)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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5. Sarah Ockler Responds to Library Censorship

Earlier this week, a Missouri school board voted 4-0 to remove Sarah Ockler‘s Twenty Boy Summer and Kurt Vonnegut‘s Slaughterhouse-Five from the Republic High School library.

Ockler responded in a proud blog blog post this week: “Banned, but Never Shamed.” She’s already earned over 60 comments from readers around the country. What do you think about the controversial school board decision?

Check it out: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times more. I get that my book isn’t appropriate for all teens, and that some parents are opposed to the content. That’s fine. Read it and decide for your own family. I wish more parents would do that — get involved in their kids’ reading and discuss the issues the books portray. But don’t make that decision for everyone else’s family by limiting a book’s availability and burying the issue under guise of a ‘curriculum discussion.’” (Via Reddit)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6. Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Offers Free Slaughterhouse Five Copies to Students at School that Banned the Book

In an inspiring response to censorship, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library will give away up to 150 free copies of Slaughterhouse Five to high school students in Republic, Missouri.

The school board voted to ban Kurt Vonnegut‘s book from the high school library along with Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. If you believe in this cause, the museum is asking for donations to help pay for shipping for the books. Follow this link to donate. 

Here’s more from the museum: “If you are a student at Republic High School, please e-mail us at i@vonnegutlibrary.org to request your free copy of the book. Please provide us with your name, address, and grade level. We have up to 150 books to share, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. We think it’s important for everyone to have their First Amendment rights. We’re not telling you to like the book… we just want you to read it and decide for yourself. We will not share your request or any of your personal information with anyone else.” (Via Reddit)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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7. Connecting with Authors on the Cheap

With budgets being frozen and cut, it can be hard to find the money to host a traditional author visit. Here are six tips to connect with authors – virtually and in person – for little to no money.

1. Piggyback: When you book an author, you don’t just have speaker fees. You also need to pay for travel, lodging, and other expenses. One way to cut costs is to piggy back on book tours. When Jeff Kinney came to our local Border’s, one of our elementary librarians contacted his publisher who put her in touch with his agent. She was able  to schedule a school visit between his other engagements. While this visit was not exactly cheap, it was cheaper than it might have been.

2. Buy Local: Another way to avoid travel fees is to book a local author. YALSA has a wiki which lists YA authors by state. Local authors may be more willing to work with your budget constraints since it is a way for them to support their community.

3. Skype: Author Kate Messner wrote about Skype visits with authors recently for SLJ. As she points out, many authors will do a Skype visit for free as long as the participants have read the book.

4. Let Teens Ask the Questions: At my library, I have started a blog to provide a forum for teens to interview authors. Another way to facilitate interviews is via podcasts. Check out the ones by the librarians at the Mount Kisco Public Library for good examples. How do you get interview subjects? Ask them. Most author websites list their contact information. For the AuthorView blog, so far I’ve made two interview requests. One said he was too busy. Another, Sarah Ockler, gladly agreed, and you can read her interview online now.

5. Promote Author Sites: Individual authors offer opportunities for readers to connect to them via their websites. The most involved site I know of is Nerdfighters, a community started by John Green and his brother Hank. Community members chat, share pictures and videos, and blog. The content ranges far beyond Green’s work, but does have a literary focus. Other authors, such as Maureen Johnson, Melissa Walker, and Justine Larbalestier have lively blogs which encourage comments and participation from teens through contests, advice columns and more. Link to these blogs and communities on your library site.

6. Take Advantage of Author Group Offers: Authors are joining together in groups to reach out to readers, including teachers and librarians. The Class of 2K9 has a program called Authors2Go. They plan on offering the program through the end of this school year. You’ll get a signed copy of the book, plus the opportunity to interact with an author online or in person. The Class of 2K10 plans to offer a similar program in the coming year.

There are six tips to get you started. What would you add to the list?

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8. Twenty Boy Summer

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. Little Brown. 2009. Reviewed from ARC from publisher.

The Plot: Anna and Frankie are next door neighbors, best friends since babyhood. For as long as anyone can remember, the two girls, along with Frankie's older brother, Matt, are a trio. Matt dies the summer before he was to start college. Everything changes; everyone changes.

One year later, the two girls, now sixteen, prepare for summer vacation at the beach. Frankie is now more worldly, more glittery, more stunning -- more boy crazy. It is she that comes up with the ideal summer vacation plan: if they are at the beach for twenty days, why not a boy a day? The twenty boy summer, to create a perfect vacation.

Except Anna has a secret.

The Good: Anna's secret? She and Matt were something more than friends. Anna's crush on Matt turned into something real on the night of Anna's fifteenth birthday party. Matt, afraid that Frankie would feel left out, made Anna promise to let him tell his sister and their parents that friendship had become love. Before Matt can do so, he dies.

Frankie and her family are left to grieve, a public grief of a lost son and brother. Anna's grief as girlfriend is hidden -- their relationship always a secret -- her sorrow taking second place to his family.

This is not a story about Anna's grief.

This is the story, one year later, of Anna discovering that she can fall in love again. Laugh again. And it not be a betrayal of Matt. She learns that it's not up to her to take care of Frankie. Frankie of the new sexy body, revealing bikinis, the hooking up with random hot guys.

Frankie, who lost her virginity to a foreign exchange student, both taunts and teases Anna about Anna's virgin status. But this isn't some book version of a teen sex comedy. Anna's internal struggle about her loyalty to Matt and her growing attraction to Sam, the summer boy, is respectfully portrayed. Anna and Sam are in many ways the perfect summer romance: teasing, hot, honest, lustful, fun, and any decisions Anna makes are based on what Anna wants, not what someone else pushes.

Frankie is damaged by her brother's death. Anna often thinks of the Frankie "before" and the Frankie "now" as two different people. In reality, Frankie is the same as she was, even if now she is driven by the sense that death happens and life is short so why not kiss a guy you think is cute even if you're not sure what his last name is?

Twenty Boy Summer is Anna's story, and it is warmly, wonderfully told, with humor and happiness and tears and triumph. But I ended the book wanting to know more about Frankie, still worried about her. Anna's journey is done; she loved, she lost, she found love and knows that she may fall in love again. Frankie, though -- Frankie with her searching, her quest, her pretending to be who she thinks she should be, Frankie with a loss that is deeper than Anna's -- she haunts me and I want to know more about her.

Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy somethi

3 Comments on Twenty Boy Summer, last added: 12/9/2009
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9. Sarah Ockler: What To Do When YOU Get THE CALL

Sarah Ockler, author of Twenty-Boy Summer and Fixing Delilah Hannaford (out in November 2010 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), just posted a wonderful article about not settling when it comes to literary agent offers. If you have a query out there, this is a post you do not want to miss.


Hoping you all get to put Sarah's advice to use,


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10. Advice from one YA Rebel to another!

The winners of Paranormalcy are:

Lisa Gail Green

Dorothy Dreyer

Congrads! Email me and I will send you eGalley instructions!

Thanks to YA Rebels for having me! Go check them out for more awesome videos. If I were you I would just subscribe so you don't miss any of their awesomeness.

Ok, so not that anyone needs my advice, but they asked me so hear it is.

The worst and best advice I've gotten so far in the business.

Comment and tell me "what is the worst and best advice you've gotten in this business?"

Today's giveaway is the ARC for Fixing Delilah Hannaford by Sarah Ockler (Nov 2010)

Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her friends are drifting away. Her "boyfriend" isn't a boyfriend. Her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided the Hannaford family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, runs in the family.

When Delilah must spend the summer helping to settle her estranged grandmother's estate, she's suddenly confronted by her family's painful past. Faced with questions that cannot be ignored and secrets that threaten to burst free, Delilah begins to doubt all that she's ever known to be true.

22 Comments on Advice from one YA Rebel to another!, last added: 6/25/2010
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11. Book Tour: Fixing Delilah & Giveaway

Today, Sarah Ockler has been kind enough to stop by on her Fixing Delilah tour (Click link for the other stops on the tour featuring author/character interviews, reviews, and much more!), hosted by The Teen Book Scene. Enjoy!


Top 10 Awesome Things About Small Towns (the Red Falls, Vermont edition)

10. You meet lots of really interesting (um, quirky) people in small towns. Where else but a place like Red Falls would you find the C.E.O. of Alice's Creature Creations, known for her fine weavery of discarded pet hair into sweaters and hats for the rest of us?

9. You can actually see the stars. If you've ever lived in or near a city, you know that the stars aren't *always* visible on a clear night (and sometimes what city people think is a star turns out to be a plane or some light on the other end of the freeway). But in a small town like Red Falls, you can lay in the grass by the lake at night and treat your eyes to a dazzling celestial show, complete with shooting stars, constellations, satellites, and even planets.

8. Neighbors know stuff. Yeah, it can get annoying in a small town when everyone knows your business, but when you need to dig up some dirt on your family history, the nosey neighbor epidemic sure comes in handy -- just as Delilah Hannaford.

7. Small towns are great places to run a business, no fancy marketing and branding required. Just ask the Food Dynasty in Red Falls -- when the "d" and the "Dy" in their neon sign burned out years ago, rendering them the Foo Nasty, they didn't even have to fix it. Everyone in town knows it's the place where you get your groceries -- the name is just for decorative purposes.

6. People always show up with food in a small town. Lots of it. Whether there's a funeral, a wedding, or just a nice day for a picnic, small town people stroll up to events with potato salad, cookies, and enough foil-covered pans of buttery baked goodness to feed an army. As an outsider like Delilah, you might be judged and whispered about, but you won't be hungry.

5. In small towns, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Whenever things start to get a little too predictable, the tourist season ushers in a fresh supply of entertainment. And just when the overcrowding obnoxiousness gets to be too much, thank you! Come again! Time to go home! And things return to normal.

4. You can still get yourself a non-corporate cup of coffee in a small town. In fact, in some shops, you can even find the ingenious yet increasingly rare *coffee* flavored coffee! Bonus: in Luna's cafe in Red Falls, you can catch a live acoustic show with the adorably sexy Patrick! Soulful guys who sing in coffee shops? Um, I'll take a triple extra hot with whip venti of that, please!

3. Flannel and flip-flops: not a last resort, but a way of life in a small town!'Nuff said!

2. No garage sale item is too old or too weird to close the deal. From an umbrella stand shaped like a fish to a complete set of 1978 Encyclopedia Brittanicas, one woman's junk is always another woman's treasure in small town USA.

And the number one most awesome thing about small towns...

1. The festivals. Whether it's maple season, corn season, apple season, the Fourth of July, or just a nice sunny day, there's always a reason to celebrate publicly with rides, games, and fried food on a stick. Mmm-mmm good!

If you live in a small town like Red Falls, home to generations of Hannafords in the book Fixing Delilah, then you know what I'm talking about, ri

0 Comments on Book Tour: Fixing Delilah & Giveaway as of 1/1/1900
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