Sparkers ARC Giveaway #2

Sparkers comes out exactly three months from this past Monday, and in anticipation I’m giving away another ARC!


The little fig tree is not included.

To enter to win this advance copy, please leave a comment on this post mentioning one of the following:

1) A favorite childhood book of yours; or

2) A book you think is underrated; or

3) A book you’re excited to read but haven’t gotten around to yet

I’ll accept entries until next Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 at midnight Pacific Daylight Time. Once the entry period has ended, I’ll randomly choose one winner. If you win, I’ll contact you by e-mail to arrange for delivery. The giveaway is open internationally; if I can mail you the ARC, you can enter.

And now, I’ll answer all three of my own questions and even cheat by naming more than one book for each! A favorite childhood series would be The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. I was half-indignant when I found out they were Christian allegory (according to some) since I’d taken them completely at face value. I also had no idea what Turkish delight was; I think I pictured it as something like caramels. Also, I just finished reading The Magicians and The Magician King by Lev Grossman, which are billed as adult Harry Potter. However, they feature a fantasy world from a children’s book series that turns out to be real, and the children’s books and the world itself are unmistakably inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia and Narnia, respectively. Where Narnia has Aslan, Fillory has a pair of rams.

For underrated books, I pick Murkmere and its companion Ambergate by British author Patricia Elliott. I have never seen these books mentioned anywhere, nor have I met anyone else who’s read them, but I found them at the library a year or two ago and checked them out. They’re utterly unique and wonderful. Very atmospheric. They’re set in, as far as I can tell, an alternate Cromwellian England, and there are strange touches of magic.

Finally, there are two middle grade books I’m dying to read. The Glass Sentence, by S. E. Grove, is set in an alternate world in which the Great Disruption of 1799 has thrown different regions of the world into different times. A mapmaker’s niece sets out to find her kidnapped uncle amidst political turmoil. Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell, features a girl who was found as a baby in a cello case floating in the English Channel after a shipwreck, so really, how could I not read it? Coincidentally, the protagonist of The Glass Sentence is named Sophia and that of Rooftoppers Sophie.

Please enter the giveaway, and feel free to spread the word! Good luck to all!

34 thoughts on “Sparkers ARC Giveaway #2

  1. I’d love an ARC! I need to stay ahead of the kids in my library somehow. Here are my 3 cents:

    1. I’ll say this even though it’s already been said: The Anne of Green Gables series…I wanted to be her, or at least know her. She was a kindred spirit to this young reader. I’m looking forward to reading them again with my girl.
    2. The Gideon trilogy – I love time travel stories and all the theories of the how and why that go with them. I found this one fun and unique, with some really neat historical (and what if history were different) meat thrown in as well.
    3. Oh my, so many books, so little time! I have only read 2 of Jane Austen’s books, and I want to read the others. I just have to put down middle-grade fiction long enough to read a few things for adults.

    P.S. I really enjoyed Rooftoppers…I handed it to a young patron a couple of weeks ago who was going to travel to Paris. Truly charming.

    • The Gideon trilogy looks really good! At first, it didn’t ring a bell, but when I looked it up, I realized I’d seen it somewhere before. Hopefully I can get around to actually reading it!

  2. A free book? can’t turn that one down…
    Oof, tough questions. 1. Lisa already picked A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle, so I won’t re-use that one, though I love it. I’m going to go with the Giver by Louis Lowry, and pray that the forthcoming movie will do justice to the memory of one of my favorite books.
    2. 13 Clocks by James Thurber. Criminally underrated. One of the most unique and clever reads I’ve had the pleasure of finding, it was recently reprinted and none other than Neil Gaiman wrote the forward, crediting it as one of his influences.
    3. I’m really looking forward to reading more books this summer. First up on the list is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, though I may cheat and listen to the audiobook, since Wil Wheaton narrates.

    Sidenote: I second Wes’s recommendations.

  3. In my opinion, a substantially underrated book is Biting the Sun, by Tanith Lee. I’ve never met someone who’s read it, but it’s a fantastic journey of soul through a “utopian” dystopia.

      • I’ve read one, maybe two of her other books and I felt like they just didn’t compare and I stopped trying her other books. Any books by her you’ve read that you could recommend as very good?

      • Hmm, probably not, just because my memories are kind of hazy. I read the Claidi Journals (the titles all have “Wolf” in them), but I’m not sure I finished the series. They were very strange and different from anything else I’d read, which was refreshing, but I don’t remember them that well. And I just saw that she wrote Piratica, which I remember enjoying a long, long time ago, though I didn’t realize until just now it was by her. These are all young adult books, by the way.

  4. One of my favorite childhood books was Elsie Dinsmore, and I’m excited to read Sparkers… I’ll probably need a copy for my classroom if I move up a couple grades, and I’m definitely going to brag about being related to the author 😉

  5. Entering on behalf of my mother, who would looooove a copy of this for her students…

    1. By the Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleischmann

    2. The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong

    3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

    • Oh, cool, I didn’t know your mother was a teacher! I know of The Wheel on the School, and I possibly read it, though my memory’s a little fuzzy. And the Alexie is really good!

  6. Thanks for doing the giveaway! Also those books you mentioned at the end sound really interesting … I’ll have to look those up!

    1) Hmm I had a lot of favorite childhood books… One that comes to mind is The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw. I don’t think it’s a very famous book, I just picked it randomly from the library when I was 9 years old and totally fell in love with it. I remember it being one of the first books that got me really excited about reading. 🙂

  7. One of my favorite kids books was Anne of Green Gables 🙂 Can’t wait to read yours! (Maybe that’s too obvious… Another book I want to read is Swamplandia.)

  8. Whaa, free books? I’m in.

    1) His Dark Materials–all three books, most especially the second one. I just re-read them, and man there are some big ideas in there.

    I should also mention that there is currently Turkish Delight in my house, by virtue of living next to several Persian groceries…and it’s okay, but it’s really not as good as I imagined when I read the C’s of N.

    • I love His Dark Materials! It’s actually my usual answer to “What is your favorite book?” even though it’s hard to just pick one. Interesting that you like the second one the best; it’s the one I remember least well.

      I finally tried Turkish delight when I visited Istanbul last year. My mother was the only one in the family to really like it, and usually the rest of us like sweets more than she does, so I don’t know…

  9. So excited for your book!

    My favorite childhood book was The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, such a page turner with an amazing and strong female character! 🙂

      • It’s well worth the re-read, no disappointment in my younger self by my older self, it’s a great story for kids and adults with a lot of interesting historical references and an amazing female protagonist 🙂

  10. 1. I was a huge fan of Agatha Christie when I was a kid; still am, in fact. My favorite is undoubtedly And Then There Were None, but I also really liked The Big Four. I was never able to figure out the clues before the very end!

    2. My friend’s mother published a children’s fantasy called The Cabinet of Earths. I read it and really, really enjoyed it! I don’t know how well-known it is, but I’m going to spread the word about it here anyway. Eleanor, you’d like it because it has magic, a strong female protagonist, and bits of French culture, because it’s set in Paris!

    3. Quiet by Susan Cain is on my bookshelf, untouched. I’ve heard many good things about it. It’s supposed to explain the unrecognized strengths of introverts. Have you read it?

    • Wait, isn’t that Thera’s mother’s book? Thera and I were in a piano quintet together! It sounds amazing; I should definitely read it.

      I think one of my housemates was reading Quiet last year. Our house had a bit of a lively discussion about whether introverts or extroverts had it harder in our society (our house had both, so…). Anyway, I’d like to read it.

  11. 1. matilda by roald dahl! lol she was my role model… i wanted to be smart like her

    2. anthem by ayn rand

    3. uh sparkers!

    • I loved Matilda too! Roald Dahl is great.

      You know, when I created Question 3 it totally didn’t cross my mind that people might put my book for it. I was definitely not trying to drop a hint…

  12. I couldn’t choose so I decided to answer all of them! I hope that doesn’t disqualify me 🙂
    1. All the Laura Ingalls Wilder Books
    2. Almost anything by Christopher Moore. As a satirical writer with an absurdist style, I find he is often overlooked. But I think he deserves as much recognition as Vonnegut or Douglas Adams.
    3. So many books, so little time! I really want to read “Chronic City” by Jonathan Lethem, I just haven’t gotten around to it!

    • Nope, I thought some people might like to answer more than one! It’s interesting to hear what everyone says.

      Hmm, I hadn’t heard of Christopher Moore. I guess that proves your point about his being overlooked!

  13. One of my favourite childhood books (besides harry potter obviously): Mi Planta de Naranja Lima (My plant of orange-lime) by Brasilian author Jose Mauro de Vasconcelos. Its an autobiographical novel on his childhood, super sweet and super hard.

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