Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Companions

We're all about Ellen this week (Ellen Hopkins, not Ellen DeGeneres, though they're both pretty freakin' awesome.)

                       The Wrong Ellen                            The Right Ellen

Lots of the books we love come with supplementary reading material that can be GREAT in terms of helping you understand the text.  They give you background information, a more accurate portrayal of the world building, and even some tidbits about the author and their inspiration.  They're kind of like movie guides for books.

Our very own Scott Westerfeld is notorious for putting out companion books.  In fact, there's TWO of them for the Uglies series.  Bogus to Bubbly tell you all about the Uglies world, from the meaning of the slang that everyone uses, to the finer points of hover-boarding.  He also has Mind Rain, which actually isn't anything of his composition (he only does the intro), but contains other author's thoughts on the book.  It's especially interesting because you have so many different views about the book.

A third, recent, bonus companion is a graphic novel he's put out called Shay's Story, telling everything from's Shay's point of view, including some stuff before the book that we don't really know that much about.

Westerfeld also has put out The Manual of Aeronautics, a companion book to the Leviathan world.  The best part about this sister book?  Keith Thompson, who does all the awesome illustrations for Leviathan, also does the illustrations for this book.

Rowling also has put out a number of companion books for the Harry Potter series.  Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beetle the Bard are probably the two most popular books from that series, but she's put out a few more.  The best part about these books?  They're all books that she mentions in the Harry Potter series somewhere, books her characters are reading.

Ellen Hopkins has a great book out as a companion book to her Crank series.  It's called Flirtin' with the Monster.  It's full of essays from people who have read her books and how the books have effected their lives.  There's even a court judge who says what an eye-opener the books have been and how it effected his judging.  But these were not the most moving parts of it.

Hopkins, along with her family, write their own essays about their experiences   Hopkins talks about how her daughter's drug abuse was handled. Kristina's (Cristal's) stepfather talks about how it all effected his trust, even "Kristina" weighs in, telling her side of the story, of the meth addiction.

Probably the most heartfelt and chilling essay was by Cristal's ten year old son.

These are just a few companion books, but there are TONS out there.  What are some of your favorite?

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