Penny Blubaugh

Panels! A Comic Book Site for Everyone!

August 11, 2014

Tags: Comic books, Panels, Bookriot

The Panels mantra is Read Comics, Be Happy! This is a new service from BookRiot that launches this fall and it looks amazing! If you love comics, follow them on Twitter @HeyPanels. You'll get amazing art and industry news. And even though they don't launch til fall, their Twitter is running at full steam right now. Check it out.

The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

June 9, 2014

Tags: Candace Fleming, Family Romanov, Romanovs

Read this book!!

Here is the riveting story of the Russian Revolution as it unfolded. When Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew.

Deftly maneuvering between the lives of the Romanovs and the plight of Russia’s peasants—and their eventual uprising—Fleming offers up a fascinating portrait, complete with inserts featuring period photographs and compelling primary-source material that brings it all to life. History doesn’t get more interesting than the story of the Romanovs.

Rock the Drop

April 15, 2014

Tags: Rock the Drop, readergirlz, Teen Literature Day

Copies of Blood and Flowers and Serendipity Market will be dropped in random public spaces on Rock the Drop day, April 18. Rock the Drop is sponsored by readergirlz -- check them out on the left!

First Line Friday (Because there hasn't been one for too long!)

April 11, 2014

Tags: These Broken Stars, Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner, space opera

"When did you first meet Miss LaRoux?"
"Three days before the accident."
"And how did that come about?"
"The accident?"
"Meeting Miss LaRoux."
"How could it possibly matter?"
"Major, everything matters."

From These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Kirkus Review
When the richest girl in the galaxy and a burned-out war hero from lowly beginnings are the only survivors of a spaceship crash that kills 50,000 people, they grudgingly cooperate to survive. Their escape pod lands far from the ship, so Lilac and Tarver trek through cold and rain to reach the main crash site. This unknown planet has been terraformed, but frighteningly, there are no colonists—or anyone else. When they reach it, the ship’s a hazardous tomb of rotting bodies. The jam-packed plot incorporates telepathy, energy-matter conversion, an unknown life form, an explosion, two cave-ins and a temporary death. Lilac and Tarver alternate first-person narration; ratcheting up the suspense are single-page chapters in which an unknown authority interrogates Tarver. Less successful is the seemingly endless (and textually forced) clashing between the protagonists. He’s bitter and occasionally rough (in the throes of a fever, he hits her); she’s an entitled heiress whose pale, white skin warrants mention no matter who’s narrating. It’s a thin, annoying line between love and hate (guess which wins) that makes the adventure elements vie for attention.

Why this book is here:

It was fun!

LitWorks Teen Book Fest

April 4, 2014

Tags: LitWorks, Marie Lu, Jennifer E Smith, Dave Roman, Antony John, Jack Gantos, Kody Keplinger

It's the fifth year of LitWorks! Join Eisenhower Public Library and Ridgewood High School as we host Jack Gantos, Marie Lu, Kody Keplinger, Antony John, Dave Roman and Jennifer E Smith at the best Book Fest in Illinois! For more information go to

Free for all teens. (And $5.00 for adults).

See you there on Saturday, April 5th from 9:00 to 4:00!

Serendipity Market is on the Illinois READS 2014 List

February 24, 2014

Tags: Illinois READS, Illinois Reading Council, Serendipity Market

I'm pleased and honored to have Serendipity Market chosen as an Illinois READS book for 2014.

Click the link on the right for a full list of the 2014 choices.

The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate by Tara Maya

February 12, 2014

Take a look at Tara Maya's new book. I love the dance troupe!

The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate by Tara Maya


Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle (more…)

First Line Friday (Because aren't first lines exciting?)

October 25, 2013

Tags: Hothouse, Boris Kachka

Roger W. Straus, Jr. the grandson of an ambassador, would have made a terrible diplomat.

From Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America's Most Celebrate Publishing House, Farrar Straus and Giroux by Boris Kachka


Dazzling -- Toni Morrison

Exhilarating -- Junot Diaz

A wonderful book -- Larry McMurtry

Why this book is here:

Fascinating look at publishing and how it works. If you want to feel better about your rejections, well just take a look at the ones everyone else got!

First line Friday (because aren't first lines exciting?)

September 6, 2013

Tags: Neil Gaiman, Ocean at the End of the Lane, fantasy

It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm. It wasn't very big.

From Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Review from Kirkus Review:

An unnamed protagonist and narrator returns to his Sussex roots to attend a funeral. Although his boyhood dwelling no longer stands, at the end of the road lies the Hempstock farm, to which he’s drawn without knowing why. Memories begin to flow. The Hempstocks were an odd family, with 11-year-old Lettie’s claim that their duck pond was an ocean, her mother’s miraculous cooking and her grandmother’s reminiscences of the Big Bang; all three seemed much older than their apparent ages. Forty years ago, the family lodger, a South African opal miner, gambled his fortune away, then committed suicide in the Hempstock farmyard. Something dark, deadly and far distant heard his dying lament and swooped closer. As the past becomes the present, Lettie takes the boy’s hand and confidently sets off through unearthly landscapes to deal with the menace; but he’s only 7 years old, and he makes a mistake. Instead of banishing the predator, he brings it back into the familiar world.

Why this book is here:

For one thing, it's by Neil Gaiman. But more than that because it draws the boundries of fantasy and reality together, then takes them and twists them into a braid of wonder. There are truths here that are always alive just outside of the boundaries of our everyday lives. Gaiman brings them into the open, and shakes them out like well-washed laundry so we can take a quick look before they disappear again.

First Line Friday (because aren't first lines exciting?)

August 1, 2013

Tags: Anna and the French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins, Foreigh exchange students, France, Romance

Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amelie and Moulin Rouge. The Eiffel Tower and the Arc deTriomphe, although I have no idea what the function of either actually is. Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, and a lot of kings named Louis.

From Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Review from Kirkus Reviews

Since her father’s Nicholas Sparks–like novels have been turned into blockbuster movies and he now has the means (and status) to give her culture, Anna Oliphant finds herself uprooted from her Atlanta home to become the newest senior at the School of America in Paris. Her seemingly enviable situation (more…)

Read Comics, Be Happy

Serendipity Market and Illinois READS