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Readergirlz Press Release

March 1st, 2007 (06:23 am)

Current Mood: happy
Current Song: Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield




SEATTLE, March 1 – In honor of Women's History Month, four young adult authors are launching readergirlz, a new online book salon celebrating gutsy girls in life and literature.

Starting on March 1, readergirlz founders Dia Calhoun, Janet Lee Carey, Lorie Ann Grover, and Justina Chen Headley will unveil a monthly book selection, featuring young adult novels with gutsy female characters.

More than just a book club, readergirlz aims to encourage teen girls to read and reach out with community service projects related to each featured novel. As well, readergirlz will host MySpace discussions with each book's author, include author interviews, and provide book party ideas, including playlists, menus, and decorations. All content will be available through the readergirlz website (www.readergirlz.com), MySpace (www.myspace.com/readergirlz and groups.myspace.com/readergirlz), and LiveJournal (readergirlz.livejournal.com).

"We want girls to be the best women they can be,' explains Headley. The inspiration for readergirlz came from Headley's book tour last spring where she made a special effort to visit urban communities that couldn't otherwise bring in authors. She recruited three critically-acclaimed novelists—Calhoun, Carey, and Grover—to start readergirlz as a way to talk to teens about reading and writing.

"Readergirlz is a way I can connect wonderful books to girls I'd never be able to meet otherwise,' agrees Calhoun.

The founders hope readergirlz will change the way girls experience literature and see themselves. "I want to challenge girls to go for their dreams,' says Carey. "I learned how brave girls can be through books, and I want to share the power of literature with girls, wherever they are.'

Using MySpace and a website, the readergirlz founders, dubbed the divas, plan to provide a rich literary experience for teen girls online. "We already have over 750 friends on MySpace. From surveys to playlists to author interviews, we'll provide young adult readers with fun, meaningful content," explains Grover. "Why not harness the power of MySpace to get girls to think critically about what they want to be in the future?'

Each book selection will dovetail to a topic, identified by the readergirlz divas and prominent children's lit bloggers as topics teen girls should know about in this millennium.

The first topic is Tolerance, a theme explored in the kick-off book selection for readergirlz, Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies). As prominent blogger, Jennifer Robinson of http://jkrbooks.typepad.com, noted, teens "need to know that when they are mean or intolerant to other people, they're doing damage.'

In conjunction with the first novel, teen girls will be encouraged to visit www.tolerance.org to learn how to safely stop bullying and to apply for one of the organization's Mix It Up grants to break social and racial barriers within their schools.


Dia Calhoun is the winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature, and author of five young adult fantasies, including Avielle of Rhia and The Phoenix Dance.

Janet Lee Carey won the 2005 Mark Twain Award for Wenny Has Wings, and her forthcoming young adult fantasy, Dragon's Keep, has already received a starred review in Booklist.

Lorie Ann Grover is a former ballerina-turned-verse-novelist whose acclaimed work includes On Pointe and Loose Threads, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age.

Justina Chen Headley sold her first two novels at auction, including her debut, Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies), named Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best.

For more information about readergirlz, please visit their website (www.readergirlz.com), MySpace (www.myspace.com/readergirlz and groups.myspace.com/readergirlz), and LiveJournal (readergirlz.livejournal.com).

Contact: Justina Chen Headley at justina@justinachenheadley.com

Would you like to receive the readergirlz newsletter in email? Sign up below!

Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Related Posts: Read the Bildungsroman Q&A with the readergirlz divas, and find out how I'm involved in readergirlz!


Posted by: crissachappell (crissachappell)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)

Most excellent...

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)

Indeed! :)

Posted by: cynleitichsmith (cynleitichsmith)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)

Now here is an idea whose time is today! Wahoo! Way to go, ladies! You're my heroes!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 04:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Hurrah!

I am passing your positive feedback right on to the divas!

Posted by: Melissa (mango_firefly)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC)

There are not enough good things that can be said about the Readergirlz! What a great idea! BTW Little Willow, they are big fans of you too.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)

Thanks! The ladies are very sweet, each talented in her own right.

Posted by: broken fairytale (new_toy)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC)

This is exactly what is needed, reading is so important to what you are. Now I need to make "Reader Women" list thingy for my friends who still don't know what they want to do.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)

AWESOME! If you take part in this month's discussion for Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) let me know what you do for it - Did you see the issue at the website, with the fun eats and discussion questions? It's such a great book.

Posted by: readergirlz (readergirlz)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Thanks for the kind words, broken fairytale! Best in books, Lorie Ann, ~readergirlz diva

Posted by: Jeannine Garsee (onegrapeshy)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)

Thanks, I subscribed. Looks like fun. :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)

Yay! Thanks for joining up!

Posted by: readergirlz (readergirlz)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks to our supporters!

Thanks for everyone's enthusiasm for readergirlz! You all are so supportive, especially Little Willow!!!! We appreciate it much!

Happy Women's History Month!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks to our supporters!


Posted by: Lisa (lovelife)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Jane Eyre

Is this open to those of us who don't fit the Teens, parents, teachers and librarians category but love to read these kinds of books & give them to our teen family & friends?

I love this idea and will be spreading the word to those I do know. :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)

ANYONE and everyone! Yes, please do!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)

Prompted by your comment, I changed the verbage over there -
- How's that? :)

Posted by: Lisa (lovelife)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
Switchfoot - Rock On

great! *grins*

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)

Thank you. :)

Posted by: Alex Richards (alexgirlnyc)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)

Dude, this is so cool. What a great idea to get teens revved up for reading and achieving their dreams.
Your site is great and I luv that you use that KT Tunstall song as your theme. I also signed up for the myspace group, so I can't wait to chat it up about kick ass chicks, tolerance, and whatever else you have up your sleeves! Cool.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 1st, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Awesome!

I will pass your fantastic feedback on to the divas! Thank you!

Posted by: booksmithkids (booksmithkids)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)

Awesome sauce!!

I'm so excited to know about great women sharing stories with girls. I've always spent the time to read all the YA fiction I could get my hands on before it made it to the shelves of my section because I feel so strongly that girls need great stories to grow with. Girls need stories of real female friendships, stories with strong women who aren't waiting for fairy godmothers to bail them out, stories full of magic and mystery.

Hurrah for Readergirlz!!

Books that I'm loving lately:
"Wicked Lovely" by Melissa Marr (Forthcoming from Harper Teen-I read my galley twice!)

"Un Lun Dun" by China Miéville (Brilliant fellow proving that men can tell wonderful girl power stories.)

“The Green Glass Sea” by Ellen Klages (no offense to the current Newberry winner but this was my pick for 2006 winner or honor at the very least. It did win the Scott O'Dell award for historical fiction!!)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)

Nice to meet you. Thank you for supporting Readergirlz.

The world is truly small: I have yet to visit Booksmith myself, as it is not in my neck of the woods, but my friends Amber and Christopher signed there the year before last - and naturally, I promoted the event at each of their websites!

I am looking quite forward to Wicked Lovely. The moment I read the summary months and months ago, I added it to my Books to Read list. It sounds right up my alley.

I am awaiting my copies of Un Lun Dun and The Green Glass Sea from the library.

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