GEEKTASTIC: STORIES FROM THE NERD HERD, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. This anthology, due out in August, is a solid collection of short fiction featuring A-List novelists of YA literature tuning up their inner geek. Standout stories include those from Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith ("The Wrath of Dawn"), David Levithan ("Quiz Bowl Antichrist"), Barry Lyga ("The Truth About Dino Girl") and Wendy Mass ("The Stars at the Finish Line"). Best-in-Show goes hands down to Lisa Yee's "Everyone But You," a fiery baton-twirling tale that will stay with readers long after some of the more pop-culture-centric entries have blurred together.
RUMBLEWICK'S DIARY #1 and #2 or MY UNWILLING WITCH GOES TO BALLET SCHOOL (May) and MY UNWILLING WITCH SLEEPS OVER (Aug), Hiawyn Oram and Sarah Warburton. You've heard the saying, "Let the dog drive"? Well, how about, "Let the cat write"? Such is the conceit behind this new series for young readers aged 6-9 that pairs a feline-scrawled text with charmingly witchy artwork. Rumblewick is the diary-keeping cat. He's also the familiar of a particularly unwitchy young witch named Haggy Aggy - HA! for short. HA! wants to do things that "normal" girls do - like taking ballet, sleeping over friends' houses - and it falls to Rumblewick to keep the Powers That Be in the witch world from realizing that HA! is far too attracted to the human world. The target age group should eat these up.
Be well. Don't forget to write.