"Undercover" Garners Amazon Top Ten YA Nod

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Compelling Young Adult novel by Beth Kephart also Family Circle Teen Pick

The Young Adult novel "Undercover" continues to garner industry and YA buzz, having recently been named as an Amazon Top Ten YA pick for 2007.

The stunning YA novel, "UNDERCOVER" has also received the prestigious Kirkus YA Best Books of '07 Selection, with an interview to be featured in the 12/1 edition of Kirkus Magazine.

Undercover is being heralded as a "must-read" for teachers, young adults and librarians and features a focus on both the poetry and hope imbibed in being a teen. Family Circle chose Undercover as its October Teen reading Pick. Undercover was also named one of the Best Books of the Year by School Library Journal.

The School Library Journal featured a starred review citing, "This is a beautifully written, engrossing tale of a painfully introverted and self-effacing teen who slowly finds herself, along with love, a passion for skating, and new worlds and ways to use them."

"Undercover" also been optioned by Lifetime Television network for a film version of the story.

Naomi Shihab Nye, author of "19 Varieties of Gazelle" said, "Undercover is a shining gift. Meet Elisa, tuned into the poetic heart and layered possibility of each moment. Beth Kephart has created a vibrant story of a deep-seeing wonderfully-well-spoken girl, and the precious ways language helps us connect in our mysterious world."

Kirkus noted, "Through Elisa's poems, letters and descriptions, Kephart perfectly plumbs the thoughts and feelings of an adolescent girl. Captivating."

A recent Amazon reviewer wrote - http://tinyurl.com/2kgmts - , "As a secondary level instructor, I am always seeking well written novels for my students to read. Undercover, by Beth Kephart, is written in a beautifully descriptive tone throughout. She never misses a beat. Elisa, the heroine, is a girl whom most students can easily admire and desire to emulate. This novel helped my students understand why it's necessary to work on their language skills in order to have the power to communicate their feelings, hopes and desires."

Images:
Book Cover and Author Photos on
Beth Kephart Blog site - http://www.beth-kephart.blogspot.com .

Quotes:
Attributed to Beth Kephart --On being inspired to write "Undercover":

"I had been writing memoirs, mostly, trying to make sense of parts of my past. At the same time, I was teaching young writers about the arts of fiction and poetry, reading some favorite books out loud to them.

In the midst of all this, I had an extraordinary conversation with Laura Geringer, the editor of Undercover, who asked me to talk about who I had been as a young person. Her questions took me back to those parts of myself that I had never fully explored on the page--to a somewhat introverted young girl who wrote poems, who ice-skated, who had a teacher who believed in the power of stories. To a girl who was sometimes asked, by the popular boys, for advice and help as they pursued the girls of their dreams. I was never the girl of anyone's dreams. I took note of that. I wondered why. But some of my best friends became the guys who professed love for other girls. I was in a strange position, then--in the shadows, always, but also indispensable."

Book Summary:
The heroine of the book is named Elisa and like a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac, Elisa ghostwrites love notes for the boys in her school. But when Elisa falls for Theo Moses, things change fast. Theo asks for verses to court the lovely Lila--a girl known for her beauty, her popularity, and a cutting ability to remind Elisa that she has none of these. At home, Elisa's father, the one person she feels understands her, has left on an extended business trip. As the days grow shorter, Elisa worries that the increasingly urgent letters she sends her father won't bring him home. Like the undercover agent she feels she has become, Elisa retreats to a pond in the woods, where her talent for ice-skating gives her the confidence to come out from under cover and take center stage. But when Lila becomes jealous of Theo's friendship with Elisa, her revenge nearly destroys Elisa's ice-skating dreams and her plan to reunite her family.

About the Author:
Beth Kephart is an award-winning writer whose non-fiction, poetry and fiction works have spanned over a decade. Ms. Kephart was a National Book Award finalist for her work, "A Slant of the Sun: One Child's Courage", published in 1998, by W.W. Norton.

Ms. Kephart is an active blogger and her blog is http://www.beth-kephart.blogspot.com.

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NETTIE HARTSOCK

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