Flashback Friday: FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CAN’T HAVE by Allen Zadoff
Nov 14th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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Published by EgmontUSA

Pub. Date September 8, 2009

Buy it here: IndieBound |Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For more information on Allen Zadoff & his other novels check out: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Literary awards

YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults

From Goodreads:

What’s worse than being fat your freshman year?
Being fat your sophomore year.

Life used to be so simple for Andrew Zansky–hang with the Model UN guys, avoid gym class, and eat and eat and eat. He’s used to not fitting in: into his family, his sports-crazed school, or his size 48 pants.

But not anymore. Andrew just met April, the new girl at school and the instant love of his life! He wants to find a way to win her over, but how? When O. Douglas, the heartthrob quarterback and high-school legend, saves him from getting beaten up by the school bully, Andrew sees his chance to get in with the football squad.

Is it possible to reinvent yourself in the middle of high school? Andrew is willing to try. But he’s going to have to make some changes. Fast.

Can a funny fat kid be friends with a football superstar? Can he win over the Girl of his Dreams? Can he find a way to get his mom and dad back together?

How far should you go to be the person you really want to be?

Andrew is about to find out.

My Review:
Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't HaveFood, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have by Allen Zadoff

I loved Zadoff’s Food, Girls, & Other Things I Can’t Have – winner of the 2010 Sid Fleischman award. It’s so good to read a novel with a strong male main character, one who shows his insecurities, isn’t the “hot” guy. Andy is authentic, battling real issues – weight, divorced parents, confusing friends, confusing girls. There are plenty of laughs, plenty of ah ha moments. This is a great novel for reluctant readers, especially boys who want to find their authentic selves!

Put on your must read list. 😀

View all my reviews

Highlights from the School Library Journal #TeenSummer Online Event #SLJST
Jul 24th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer


Today, I participated in the online School Library Journal SummerTeen event, which I would describe as an outstanding, informative, dynamic, interactive event with live web broadcasts, panel discussions, chats with authors, publishers, a film director & fellow YA enthusiasts-teachers, librarians, writers. Besides the online site through SLJ, we used the hashtag #SLJST to connect with others. It was a productive time and I found myself glued to the computer and actively participating and listening. It took me over an hour to prepare the omelet I made for lunch because I kept turning back to my computer.

Here were some of my favorite tweets I posted or RT














17262252While visiting the Candlewick booth, I learned about FALLOUT by Todd Strasser. The publication date is September 10, 2013 and there are 272 pages. I think it will be a fascinating historical fiction novel and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Here’s the description from Goodreads:
What if the bomb had actually been dropped? What if your family was the only one with a shelter?

In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott’s dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies to keep the four of them alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in late October, when the unthinkable happens, those same neighbors force their way into the shelter before Scott’s dad can shut the door. With not enough room, not enough food, and not enough air, life inside the shelter is filthy, physically draining, and emotionally fraught. But even worse is the question of what will — and won’t — remain when the door is opened again. Internationally best-selling author Todd Strasser has written his most impressive and personal novel to date, ruthlessly yet sensitively exploring the terrifying what-ifs of one of the most explosive moments in human history.

I also was fascinated by this YA book trailer for Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen, which is being published by Blink YA Books:

Another highlight was Penguin’s Authors Stand Up for Free Speech video, which talks about banned books:

My tweet:

Over at Disney, I participated in a wonderful chat with Tamara Ireland Stone (see tweet above about the video I discovered) and am thrilled to have been able to download onto my iPad her newest book TIME AFTER TIME! I absolutely LOVED her first novel, TIME BETWEEN US! I had posted about it on my blog here: http://www.whorublog.com/?p=1374

Here’s the video:

At Scholastic, I chatted with Katie Alender, author of Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer. I learned that she spent quite a bit of time in Paris researching this novel and took  forty-five minute tour of the Catacombs. When I asked her what her most surprising discovery was while doing research for this novel, she said that Paris was the perfect location for a murdering ghost! And since I’ve been to Paris, I’d have to agree. Lots of old buildings, nooks and crannies, and, of course, the Catacombs!

I listened to several webinars, including Tamora Pierce who was the keynote speaker. (See tweets above.) I loved Allen Zadoff, author of Boy Nobody who was a part of the Real Life Mysteries and Thrillers Panel. (See tweets above.) Technology in Teen Lit and Humor Me! Panel were great too. (See tweets above.) I had no idea that Paul Rudnick was so funny!
I can’t thank SLJ, the publishers, authors, and participants enough for this free event. I look forward to participating next year.

Waiting on Wednesday: BOY NOBODY by Allen Zadoff
May 22nd, 2013 by Liza Wiemer


by Allen Zadoff

Expected publication: June 11, 2013

Publisher Little Brown Books for Young Readers

352 pages


From Goodreads: Boy Nobody (Boy Nobody #1)9503856

by  (Goodreads Author)

Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends, and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die-of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.

But when he’s assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter is unlike anyone he has encountered before; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s mission.

In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.

My thoughts:
Even though I read an ARC of Boy Nobody, I’m including it in my Waiting on Wednesday post because I want everyone to add it to their to-read list. Teachers, parents: boys will love it as much as girls, if not more! Outstanding novel for reluctant readers because the sentences are short, direct, interesting. The writing is masterful and simplistic. But let me assure you that the plot is anything but simplistic. It’ll draw you in quickly and completely!
Here’s my review:

Boy Nobody is really somebody quite EXTRAORDINARY!

This has become one of my most favorite YA series, and yeah, I know it’s just begun! Absolutely get your hands on it! Boy Nobody is a fast-paced, heart-pounding thriller YA novel, which reminds me of Matt Damon and the Bourne Identity. Fascinating, fabulous characters and NYC setting. Lots of intrigue, twists, turns and who did it? Who is the real boy nobody? Assassin, orphan, friend or foe? Ohhhh, did I get sucked in and totally entranced in the storyline and characters. Even got misty-eyed at the end. Allen Zadoff is a master storyteller, simplistic yet so, so, so effective! Less is more, perfect for reluctant readers. It’s great to read such an amazing male character, so boys will love this book as much as girls! I believe the movie rights were sold. I can’t wait to see how this novel will translate onto the screen.
Put Boy Nobody on your must read list!

Learn more about Allen Zadoff

If you need one more reason to read Boy Nobody, then take a look at this amazing book trailer!

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