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Comparable titles for GOLDEN BOY by Tara Sullivan

Marginalized due to his albinism, thirteen-year-old Habo discovers it’s more dangerous to be seen as priceless than worthless when his family moves to Mwanza, Tanzania, and he must flee for his life from people who think his body parts are magical. 

Though GOLDEN BOY is a work of fiction, it’s a compilation of the stories of real people, and it brings to light a modern human rights tragedy that is largely unknown. In Patricia McCormick’s SOLD, a similarly dehumanizing tragedy is brought to light and made hauntingly immediate through the eyes of Lakshmi.

Like Auggie in R.J. Palacio’s WONDER, Habo was born looking different from everyone in his family, everyone in his school, everyone in his village. His older sister, Asu, tries to protect him but, like WONDER’s Via, she can’t keep the world from hurting her brother.

Like Virginia in QUEEN OF WATER by Laura Resau & María Virginia Farinango, Habo struggles to see where he fits into the clear categories of the society around him. Neither the good brown of his family, nor the white of tourists, Habo has no word for himself until he arrives at Auntie’s house in Mwanza. Only there does he find out that he belongs in another category entirely: albino.

Like Raphael, Gardo, and Rat in Andy Mulligan’s TRASH, Habo also finds himself trapped in a deadly treasure hunt… but, in Habo’s case, the items that other people believe will bring them riches are the pieces of his own body. Seen as nothing more than a collection of good-luck talismans, Habo must flee for his life.

But fleeing for his life is only half the journey. Having been seen only as an aberration and an object, Habo must discover his true value and show his worth to others. Like Tree-Ear in Linda Sue Park’s A SINGLE SHARD, Habo needs to work to sculpt a new life and learn to love and accept himself.

If you enjoyed any of these books, I hope you’ll consider reading GOLDEN BOY!

Also, check back soon on the Giveaways tab: I’ll be giving away my 2k12 mentor’s book: ONE FOR THE MURPHYS by Lynda Mullaly Hunt!

Comparable Titles for NOT A DROP TO DRINK

Pitching books is part of what I do as a librarian. Pitching my own book never ceases to make me feel like a bit of a used car salesman. Talking about comp titles works well for me because I feel like I’m saying, “Look, you like cars. You already own one. I’m just saying you should look at this one and see if you like the way it drives.”

My editor shared with me a fantastic pitch line for NOT A DROP TO DRINK – “Little House on the Prairie on steroids.” And yeah, that about sums it up. The biggest theme in DRINK is survival – against the elements, against human enemies, and against our own loss of humanity as we struggle to stay alive in both body and soul while living in a harsh world.

I think THE HUNGER GAMES has a lot of these same elements. Katniss needs to survive, but she’s not in it for glory or fame, she is in fact flustered by these side effects. She’s in it to survive in order to provide for her sister, and return to her family. Katniss jumps into the games with a heart already in place, whereas my main character needs to grow her heart in a harsh world where the soil is… well, a bit dry.

I don’t have a cover yet so I can’t give you a pretty equation ending with it, but I can provide something equally fun.

Don’t miss my giveaway! I’m supporting my Class of 2k13 mentor, Lynne Kelly and giving away her debut CHAINED – find the giveaway here!

Comparable Titles for HOOKED by Liz Fichera

Hooked is set in the American Southwest.  It’s the story of a Native American girl with a killer golf swing who takes on the boy on her team with the killer smile.

In a nutshell, it’s Perfect Chemistry meets Catching Jordan with a dash of West Side Story and has already received a starred Kirkus Review!

There’s also a very cool worldwide pre-order promo for Hooked right now.  Anyone who pre-orders Hooked by December 31, 2012, receives a free music download and gets entered to win a HarlequinTEEN gift basket chock-full of some of the latest and hottest YA books.  Pretty cool.  Click here to learn more.

In the meantime, one of the giveaways this week here at The Class of 2K13 is my Class of 2K12 mentor Megan Bostic’s debut Never Eighteen.  Awesome contemporary YA!  I loved it!! Very poignant, realistic fiction.  Click the Giveaway tab to enter.

Happy Reading and Good luck in the giveaway!

Comparable Titles for K.A. Barson’s 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS).

I’ll be honest. I feel a bit audacious even suggesting that my book is like anyone else’s. But, hey, everyone in the Class of 2k13 is doing it, so I guess I will, too. Yeah, I’m a sucker for peer pressure sometimes.

In my first conversation with my editor, she mentioned that she thinks 45 Pounds is a Cinderella story. Really? I hadn’t thought about it like that. But then I realized she’s right. (Truth be told, she’s always right, but that’s another post for another time.) The main character, Ann, does her best to transform herself from the overweight, ugly stepsister into a thin, princess-like bridesmaid before her aunt’s wedding. In the meantime, she falls for the most adorable, charming guy. There’s even a scene (or two) that involves shoes. Not glass, but still.

So, if it’s a Cinderella story, does that mean it’s a romance? Yeah, I guess it is, in a humorous, self-deprecating way. Much like (I hope) Susane Colasanti’s books, Ann’s voice is realistic and relatable. She makes you laugh and feel sad at the same time. You feel like you know her, or you might even be her.

It’s also a book about weight issues. Ann is overweight and wants to lose forty-five pounds (more or less). However, it’s not just about a diet. It’s more about fitting—in her family, in a social group, in a dress, and most importantly, in her own skin. Because of this, I hope it appeals to Carolyn Mackler fans, especially those who love The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round Things.

In short, 45 Pounds (More or Less) is a contemporary, humorous love story. The characters are not picture-perfect. Far from it. While some seem to have it together, others seem messy and misunderstood and awkward. But, like Ann finds out, you can’t judge people by how they seem.

More about 45 Pounds (More or Less):

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 8 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in two months.

Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

Cover reveal coming soon! Please watch Twitter and Facebook or check back here for details. 

Also, click the Giveaway tab to enter to win The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats, my mentor from the Class of 2k12. My classmate, Demetria Lunetta, is also giving away her mentor’s book.

If You Like ____, Try ALL OUR YESTERDAYS!

So, I’m usually pretty good at comp titles. My friends always ask me to help with theirs, but it’s a LOT harder to do it for your own book, so I turned the tables on them.

My first, best comparison came from my agent’s amazing intern, and it’s what we used for the pitch to publishers. She said my book was like:


This was a much better and much more succinct description than the one I was using, which was:

“Well, it’s kind of like The Terminator if Arnold was the good guy and instead of robots there was, like, angsty teens and lots of kissing.”

As for other YA books whose readers might like All Our Yesterdays, here’s what my friends had to say:

ImageSarah: “Tempest by Julie Cross. For the time travel (duh), the thriller feel, the besieged romance, and the nefarious government involvement.”

ImageCopil: “Variant by Robison Wells, because both have science fiction elements (without it being in-your-face), both have a shady organization behind the scenes, and both have a core mystery about just what the heck is going on.”

ImageRick: “Holly Black’s Curse Workers series, for the grim and moody atmosphere and extraordinary things happening in a world that feels like our own.”

So what’s All Our Yesterdays actually about? How convenient that you asked!

Marina has everything. She’s got money, popularity, and a bright future. Plus, she’s best friends with the boy next door, who happens to be a gorgeous prodigy from one of America’s most famous families.

Em has nothing. Imprisoned in a small white cell in the heart of a secret military base, all she has is the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

But Marina and Em have one big thing in common: they’re the same person.

Now Em must travel back four years in time in order to avert the terrible future from which she’s fled, and there’s only one way to do it. She must kill the person who invented the time machine in the first place: someone from her past. A person she loved.

But Marina won’t let them go without a fight.

Add it on Goodreads, or come chat with me on Twitter!



I was going to do another vlog post today to talk about comparable titles. So I started writing out my list of comparables, and it was… long.

Really long.

You see my book has all these different little pieces (yes, a completely shameless play on the title), and so I would think of a few books that were similar to one piece, and then three more that were comparable to another piece. The list grew so unwieldy that my little vlog would’ve turned into a long-winded yawn-inducing lecture. And nobody needs that.

So instead, I put together the handy dandy little infographic below (go ahead and click it, to make it bigger) .  If you see some titles that you’ve read and enjoyed on the list, then chances are you will like my book. Or if you haven’t read some – or any of the comparable titles – think of it as a recommended reading list.

Comparable Titles for RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

There are LOTS of fairy-tale retellings out there, and they could all be compared to RUMP in one way or another, but here are a few books that I think give a reader an idea of what they can expect from RUMP.

ELLA ENCHANTED, by Gail Carson Levine. The fairy-tale worlds in RUMP and ELLA ENCHANTED have a similar feel—timeless, magical, and adventurous. And just as Ella goes on a quest to break her curse of obedience, Rump also goes on a quest to break his curse, which results from only knowing half his name.

A more recent comparable title is Adam Gidwitz’s A TALE DARK AND GRIMM. They both weave in other fairy-tales, so you get a rich sense that all fairy-tales are connected, and things that happen in one tale might affect another. The children in both GRIMM and RUMP go through some very difficult things and face brutal foes, (though I have to say Hansel and Gretel probably trump Rump on the brutality contest. I’m not so violent or gory.)  .

And last but not least, I just had to include THE TRUE STORY OF THE 3 LITTLE PIGS by John Scieska, because my book is RUMP: THE TRUE STORY OF RUMPELSTILTSKIN. They each show a classic fairly-tale from the villain’s point-of-view in a humorous and endearing way. One of my biggest goals for RUMP was to get the reader to not only understand and sympathize with Rumpelstiltskin (probably one of the most demonized fairy-tale villains) but to actually love him and root for him. I had a lot of fun rising to the challenge!

Also, check out our giveaways this week, which includes a copy of MAY B. by Caroline Starr Rose!

GONE FISHING: A Novel in Verse – An Apples to (Caramel) Apples Comparison

Hello dear readers;

It isn’t every day that a writer has the opportunity to compare her work to some of the finest in our industry, but that’s exactly what I have the good fortune of doing today. Before going into my apples to (caramel) apples comparison, I’d like to introduce you to my book – GONE FISHING: A Novel In Verse:

Nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad. So when his pesky little sister, Lucy, horns in on their fishing trip, he’s none too pleased: “Where’s my stringer? / Something’s wrong! / This princess doll does not belong!” All ends well in this winsome book of poems—each labeled with its proper poetic form, from quatrain to tercet. Together the poems build a dawn-to-dusk story of a father-son bond, of sibling harmony lost and found—and most of all, of delicious anticipation. Charming line drawings animate the poetry with humor and drama, and the extensive Poet’s Tackle Box at the end makes this the perfect primer to hook aspiring poets of all ages.

So why apples to (caramel) apples?

As I researched comparative titles for this article, I set out to provide an apples to apples comparison, but I came up with more than apples to apples. You see, GONE FISHING is a novel that, at a humble 128 pages, covers a lot of ground. First and foremost, it is a fishing adventure with an outdoorsy spirit that may feel a bit like scenes from THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER by Mark Twain. It has a sibling rivalry that may remind readers of parts of the sister/brother feud in THE LEMONADE WAR by Jacqueline Davies. It is a novel in verse with some poetry forms that are similar to those in LOVE THAT DOG by Sharon Creech. And it has a section written for those who love teaching, learning about, or writing poetry, a little bit like what Paul B. Janeczko offered at the end of A KICK IN THE HEAD: AN EVERYDAY GUIDE TO POETIC FORMS. As surprising as it sounds, each of these four wonderful and diverse books have attributes that allow me to draw comparisons to my book. If you love one or more of the qualities mentioned here, then there is a good chance that you will love something about GONE FISHING.

These four elements  – outdoor adventure, novel in verse, sibling rivalry, and poetry forms and techniques – make up my metaphorical caramel apple: sweet gooey caramel, crunchy pecans, and colorful sprinkles layered over a fresh apple. It’s a combo that I hope strikes a balance between tasty and sensible. I haven’t decided which ingredient represents each element in the book; I’ll leave that to you, the readers.

Thank you for spending time with me today.

Best wishes, Tamera

P.S. Matthew Cordell’s delightful black and white line drawings accompany each poem – think Shel Silverstein or Quentin Blake!


This week I am honored to be giving away a copy of The MAPMAKER and the GHOST by Sarvenaz Tash, a talented Class of 2k12 author and my mentor! And that’s not all – Justina Ireland is giving away her mentor’s book: VELVETEEN by Daniel Marks, another talented Class of 2k12 author! Click here to enter our raffle to become the lucky winner of BOTH of these books: BOOK GIVEAWAY.

GONE FISHING: A Novel In Verse, by Tamera Will Wissinger, illustrated by Matthew Cordell arrives March 5, 2013 from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. Tamera was inspired to write GONE FISHING after writing “Night Crawlers,” a poem that stemmed from her fun childhood memories of night crawler hunting with her family before fishing trips. A graduate of Hamline University’s MFA Writing for Children program, Tamera and her husband share their time between Chicago and Florida. Tamera is represented by Michelle Humphrey of The Martha Kaplan Agency. Online you can find her on her website, Goodreads, Twitter, or Facebook. In real life you may just find her fishing.

Comparable Titles to THE NEPTUNE PROJECT

My agent told me that THE NEPTUNE PROJECT sold in part because there really aren’t a lot of comparable books that are set in the sea. That fact surprises me. Last time I checked, most of the earth is covered by water! Thanks to global warming, even more of it is going to be covered by water in the next few hundred years. But unless you’ve actually crossed an ocean by boat, it’s easy to forget how huge our planet is and how much of its surface already is water.

I think the most similar series out there right now to my Neptune books is KatFalls’ wonderful DARK LIFE stories. These books are also set in a dystopian future where the oceans have risen and life on land has become dangerous and difficult. Her novels are about a boy and his family homesteading on the ocean floor. Both of our series contain plenty of action, sympathetic characters, and vivid descriptions of the world beneath the waves.

Our stories differ in that my protagonist Nere is female, and Falls’ characters need a great deal more technology to survive in the sea. My heroine and her companions are actually genetically altered to breathe sea water. After they go through the Neptune transformation, they have to live in the sea because they can only breathe air for short periods of time. For the entire first book, the Neptune kids are struggling to survive on their own beneath the waves with no family to help them.

Dolphins also play a much more vital role in the Neptune series. Nere can communicate telepathically with dolphins, and her pod is like her extended family. Her loyal dolphins help to protect Nere and her friends and frequently tow them away from trouble in emergency situations. My dolphins have a dry sense of humor, and I think they end up being some of the most intriguing characters in these books.

I still have to put in a big plug for KatFalls’ novels. I really, really enjoyed DARK LIFE and RIPTIDE. And if you have read them, I think it’s pretty safe to say you’ll enjoy THE NEPTUNE PROJECT as well.

Comparable Titles for Justina Ireland’s Vengeance Bound

Justina Ireland talks about some of the comparable titles for her forthcoming YA Urban Fantasy, Vengeance Bound.

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