Welcome to my stop on the FALL 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt!

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt!

Welcome to my stop on the Fall 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt!

This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 120 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt.
YA Scavenger Hunt

There are seven contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM–

Computer generated image with clipping path – Team.

but there is also a RED, BLUE, ORANGE, GREEN, PINK, & PURPLE team -each with 20 authors, and each with a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

In addition, many of us are offering our own additional giveaways! Like me! Be sure to enter mine before you leave!


Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, October 8, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Today, I am hosting Emil Sher

    on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

    Picture books. Young adult fiction. Stage plays for young and old. Emil has his toes in many waters and most days feels he’s barely managing to tread. I’ve heard rumors that he has 9 projects going on at once.


    A picture is worth a thousand words – and with a unique photographic format, startlingly original voice, and provocative portrayal of bullying, Young Man With Camera is a debut to get people talking.

    T- is used to getting grief. Grief from his mother, who worries about him constantly; grief from Mr. Lam, who runs the corner store and suspects every kid of stealing; grief from the trio of bullies he calls Joined at the Hip, whose cruelty has left T- so battered he fears even his whole name could be used against him.

    But T- has his own strength too: his camera, which he uses to capture the unique way he sees the world. His photos connect him to Ms. Karamath, the kind librarian at school; his friend Sean, whose passion for mysteries is matched only by his love for his dog, Watson; and most of all to Lucy, a homeless woman who shares his admiration for the photographer Diane Arbus. When Lucy is attacked by Joined at the Hip, T- captures the assault on film. But those images lead him into even deeper trouble with the bullies, who threaten to hurt Sean if T- tells.

    What’s the right thing to do? Do pictures ever tell the whole truth? And what if the truth isn’t always the right answer?

    ***I just want to say that this book sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to read it. I’m grateful to YASH for introducing me to Emil and his stark, unique voice!***

    Find out more information:

    Visit Emil’s website!

    Check out the book YOUNG MAN WITH CAMERA


      Young Man with Camera

    Deleted chapter

    (I have to tell you, I read this chapter was was really drawn in. If this is what he took out, I want to know what he left in! I’m going to read this book as soon as I can catch my breath from this hunt!)

    A cemetery is a great place to hang out if you’re forced to eat grief all day long. Like when someone puts jam in your running shoes. Or a teacher looks at your handwriting and asks if your pencil is drunk and the whole class laughs. Or when you’re tied to a fire hydrant and told to imitate a horse. No matter how much grief you’re given, you can usually find someone standing at a gravesite, getting a real grief work out, making a racket with all their tears, their shoulders going up and down, up and down. It makes my grief about the size of a pea compared to their double-serving with all the toppings.
    Besides, no one bugs you in a cemetery. No one dishes out grief because they’re too busy eating their own. It’s very quiet, so it’s easy to concentrate on getting my homework over and done with. The only distraction is the crying. Some people can barely breathe when they cry and that’s okay because that means I can barely hear them. But others are loud and go on and on, like they had stocked up on tears because they were afraid they were going to run out.
    It’s very hard to do math or finish a geography quiz when someone is crying. That’s what happened after The Hitching Post Incident. There was a woman, I guess she was my mother’s age. It was hard to tell. She was wearing a lot of makeup, so she might have been forty hoping everyone would think she was thirty (as if thirty isn’t old). She was standing in front of a tombstone and crying and crying and crying. She sounded like a wounded animal with its leg caught in a leg trap. I’ve seen pictures: the animals have to chew their leg off to escape. This woman wasn’t chewing on her leg but she might as well have been for all the racket she was making. I was going to go up to her and say, Excuse me, but can you keep things down? I’m trying to finish my math homework. But I bet she wouldn’t have heard me. I’ve noticed that people who are very upset ― and cemeteries attract loads of them ― don’t hear very well. They nod their head and they may try to speak, but you can tell they didn’t hear a thing. Their minds are elsewhere. (That’s what Miss Migliarisi used to tell me in Grade 2: You’re mind is elsewhere, T―.) There’s no point talking to someone whose mind is elsewhere. That’s why I didn’t go up to Woman Wailing Like a Wounded Animal. There was no point. And if there’s no point, then it’s pointless, like a pencil without lead, which is useless. As far as I’m concerned, pointless and useless mean the same thing (though no one has ever said You’re pointless to me.)
    I was doing some fractions ― which, like the taste of sour tomatoes, I’ve learned to like ― when Woman Wailing came up to me. Did I ask her to walk up to me? No. Was I sitting next to a sign that said Please Interrupt? No. Was I minding my own business? Yes. It didn’t make one iota of difference (Iota sounds like the name of an Indian tribe, but it isn’t.) She came right up to me, sniffing, strangling this tissue with one hand.
    Excuse me.
    I was going to pretend I was deaf. I do that sometimes. I pretend I can’t hear what people are saying. They get frustrated and then they know what it’s like when you speak but your words disappear like magic ― poof! ― only you weren’t doing a magic trick so there’s no one there to clap when it’s over. So instead of pretending to be deaf I ignored her.
    Excuse me.
    I looked up. The makeup around her eyes was all runny. It looked like she had been beaten up. Which was sort of true. She had been beaten up by her sadness. If she was stronger than her sadness she wouldn’t have been crying and wailing. Not everyone cries at funerals. There’s such a thing as invisible tears. Woman Wailing had been pummeled by her sadness. That was plain for anyone to see. Her sadness had pinned her to the ground and done a real number on her.
    I’m busy.
    I turned over my page of fractions even though I didn’t have to. If you look like you’re busy people get the message that you don’t have time to be interrupted.
    I can see that. But I was wondering…
    She stopped talking, like something was caught in her throat. Maybe she was hoping I would feel bad for her. She turned away. I stared at my fraction sheet.
    What’s your name?
    I lied and told her my name was Conrad, which was the name I saw on a tombstone.
    Do you come here a lot, Conrad?
    Yes. I like cemeteries because they’re full of grief and half-truths. A half-truth is like a fraction. You get half of the truth, but you don’t even get that in a cemetery. All you get is a name, and when the person died, and a few nice words about them. Beloved mother. Loving father. Cherished daughter. What does that tell you? Beloved? Not all the time. Cherished? More when they were dead than alive. A tombstone can’t give you the whole picture. It doesn’t tell you about all the times Loving Father teased his Devoted Son in front of everyone. Maybe Devoted Son melted every time he was teased so that by the time he died you could have poured him into his coffin. You’ll never read that on a tombstone. That’s another reason why I hang out in a cemetery. It reminds me that the world is full of half-truths and quarter-truths and 1/1000 truths.
    Woman Wailing smiled a little bit. I could see she had something up her sleeve.
    Once a week?
    She was beginning to bug me. You don’t have to know someone long before they start bugging you. They can bug you before they even say a single word. She had said a few dozen. That was all I needed.
    She crouched down to get closer to me, like I was the wounded one and not her.
    Would you come here once a week if I paid you?
    She pointed to where she had been standing and bawling her eyes out. She told me it was where her mother was buried. She wanted me to sit by her mother’s grave once a week to keep her company. Like I’m supposed to read to her or something? No thank you.
    You don’t have to do anything. All you have to do is sit there.
    Woman Wailing said if I sat by her mother’s tombstone once a week for half an hour she would pay me ten dollars a week.
    I didn’t want to do it. I knew she wouldn’t pay me twenty-five dollars a week to sit by her mother’s tombstone while I wrote an essay on The Black Plague.
    She opened her purse and fished out thirty dollars. She gave me the money and her business card and pointed to her mother’s tombstone.
    You can start next week.
    She told me to drop by her office once a month and she would pay me.
    How did she know I would show up every week?
    How did she know I would show up at all?
    I trust you, Conrad.
    What she meant to say was, I trust people with no chin who look retarded. She didn’t say that. She didn’t have the courage. She didn’t have the gumption (which is another word for guts, but no one has ever told me I hate your bloody gumption).
    I looked at Wailing Woman. The runny makeup around her eyes started to dry up like the river beds we were studying in geography. She had Mick Jagger lips and talked like she had a clothespin halfway up her nose. Her face was full of similes (which we were studying in English). I asked her if I could take her picture.
    You mean looking like this?
    I nodded and pulled my camera out of my knapsack. I carry my camera wherever I go. My father says it’s my security blanket. Sometimes, he calls me Linus, the character from Peanuts who drags a blanket with him wherever he goes. I had a stuffed animal until I was fifteen, he says. And then he laughs and my mother gives him this look that pulls the plug on the laughter and it stops. He pats me on the shoulder like we’re friends but we’re not friends and the laughter I hear in my head is still plugged in. Sometimes he takes me for ice cream afterwards but that’s worse because we make small talk and the reason why it’s called small talk is because it can’t fill the big space between us, even though he’s close enough to try my ice cream with his own spoon (which he does, a lot). The small talk gets smaller and smaller and then it disappears and we don’t say anything.
    I told Wailing Woman she had a really interesting face. She started to smile. Smiles and runny makeup don’t go together but I didn’t tell her that.
    I’d really like to take your picture.

    She spent about seven years putting on lipstick and smacking her lips. Finally she put the lipstick back into her purse.
    Click away.
    I clicked. I took about twenty pictures. When I stopped clicking she looked super disappointed. Her face turned into this leaky balloon that was losing air real quick.
    She said Thank you and walked back to her mother’s grave.
    She didn’t even think of introducing us.

    Wasn’t that good??? I find this character to be so intriguing. I mean, who lies about their name just like that? And what’s going on with him? The format of this book–with pictures–sounds interesting, also.

    Now, don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Emil Sher, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 9! (In case you didn’t figure it out from my clue above.) Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


    To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! But before you go, why not enter my personal rafflecopter giveaways?

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Here’s the link to your next author:
    Amy Christine Parker!

    Hunt on!!! Have fun!!!

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