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BOOKS

SAVING MARTY

Eleven-year-old Lorenzo Ventura knows heroes are rare—like his father, who died in the war, or his friend Paloma Lee, who fearlessly pursues her dream of being a famous musician. Renzo would never describe himself as a hero, but his chance comes when he adopts Marty, a runt piglet.
 
Marty is extraordinary—he thinks he’s a dog and acts like one too—and his bond with Renzo is truly one of a kind. At first, the family farm seems like the perfect home for Marty, but as he approaches 350 pounds, it becomes harder for Renzo to convince his mom that a giant pig makes a good pet. So when Marty causes a dangerous (and expensive) accident, Renzo knows Marty’s time is up. He’d do anything and everything for his best friend, but will everything be enough to save Marty?


AUDIO BOOK

Read by Paul

 
 

signed copies available from Books of Wonder, NYC

audio book also available

When Friendship Followed Me Home

Ben Coffin knows from foster care that people can leave you without a good-bye. That’s why he prefers to hide out in the Coney Island library with his sci-fi novels, until he rescues an abandoned dog from the alley next door. Scruffy little Flip introduces Ben to fellow book lover Halley—yes, like the comet. Some call her Rainbow Girl for her crazy-colored clothes, but for Ben it’s her laugh, pure magic, the kind that makes you smile away the stormiest day. Rainbow Girl convinces “Sci-Fi Boy” to write a novel with her. What begins as a time-travel story ends up a mystery, one that has haunted Ben for as long as he can remember: If friendship is the greatest treasure of all, why can’t it last forever? Paul Griffin’s middle-grade debut will warm your heart as much as it breaks it with the story of two unforgettable kids at the crossroads of love and loss, helping each other find their way home.

★ "Will win over even the most hardened skeptics.” - Publisher's Weekly, starred
“Entrancing, magical, tragic, and uplifting.”               - Kirkus Reviews, starred

“As funny and heartwarming as it is gut-punching, thoroughly engaging.” - Shelf Awareness, starred

“…a world of imagination and true friendship.”        - School Library Connection, starred

Outstanding Merit - Bank Street best of 2017, starred

◇ “The book soars…hopeful, glittering.” - The New York Times Book Review
◇ Amazon’s Best Books of 2016           
◇ New York Times Editors’ Choice 
◇ Publishers Weekly's Best Books Summer 2016       

◇ School Library Journal's Great Titles for Middle Graders   

◇ Working Mother Magazine's Top 10 of 2016           
◇ Amazon's Best Beach Reads of 2016 

◇ Amazon Editors' Pick, Best of Month, June 2016       

◇ Bookish Best of Summer                                            

◇ An Indie Next Pick, Summer 2016
◇ A Junior Library Guild selection for Fall 2016

◇ Book Expo America 2016 Buzz Books                         

◇ “Beguiling tearjerker.” - People Mag Pick July 4 '16
◇ Barnes and Noble Kids Blog Pick
◇ AudioFile Earphones Award Winner       

 

LANGUAGES

Available in Spanish, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Hungarian, Italian, Turkish, Japanese, Romanian

AUDIO BOOK

Read by Paul

 

TEACHING GUIDE

Free PDF available for download.

 

Fifteen-year-olds Céce and Mack didn’t expect to fall in love. She’s a sensitive A student; he’s a dropout. But soon they’re spending every moment together, bonding over a rescued dog, sharing secrets, planning for the future. Everything is perfect. Until. Until. Mack makes a horrible mistake, and in just a few minutes, the future they’d planned becomes impossible. In this stark new reality, both must find meaning and hope in the memories of what they had, to survive when the person they love can’t stay. 

★ “Heartbreaking. Achingly, authentically, emotionally resonant.” - Kirkus Reviews, starred

★ “Unique and genuine. This is romance but also true tragedy. Heart-wrenching. Griffin’s great accomplishment, though, is that he subtly maintains a level of optimism in this painful story, creating in readers a mixture of emotions that won’t soon leave them.” - Katrina Hedeen, Horn Book, starred

★ “Haunting. Passionate. Bittersweet. Stellar.” - School Library Journal, starred

★ “This tender portrayal of a doomed romance is utterly engrossing, drawing readers in with engagingly authentic dialogue and fully realized characters. Be sure to hand out tissues with this one.” - KQG, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred

◇ New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

◇ Best Books of 2011, Kirkus Reviews

◇ Best Books of 2011, School Library Journal

◇ Official Selection of the Junior Library Guild

◇ Best Books 2011, Richie’s Picks

◇ Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards 2012-13

◇ 2011 Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, Young Adult Top 10

◇ Missouri Assoc School Librarians Top 25 2013-14 Gateway Award

◇ YALSA 2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

◇ “Funny, wrenching, often heartbreaking. Scarily credible dialogue. Gorgeously rendered. Gracefully answers questions and solves mysteries, leaving us with hope and a smile.” - The New York Times

◇ “Authentic, painful, and heartfelt. Griffin’s gift at giving voice to deeply flawed, disadvantaged characters without patronizing or oversimplifying their circumstances shines in this moving novel of loss, acceptance, and the possibility of redemption.” - Publishers Weekly

◇ “Realistic fiction with realistic underlined. This book will find its way to the “favorites” shelf right next to books like S.E. Hinton’s classic The Outsiders.” - VOYA

◇ “…offers a strong title in the competitive teen romance genre. With tragic Romeo-and-Juliet elements, this is a fast-paced, refreshingly honest, and surprisingly realistic urban love story. - Booklist

◇ “Exquisite, an unforgettable and intense portrait of first love, family ties and the bond between man and dog.” - Michelle Segal, Sunday Herald Sun

◇ “From its opening paragraph, this wonderful novel for young adults promises searing honesty and gut-wrenching heartache – and rarely has a book delivered with such desperate and terrible beauty upon its promise. A truly remarkable piece of writing that stays with the reader long after the last page has been turned.” - The Sunday Tazmanian

◇ “A memorable tearjerker written with rare grace.” - The Saturday Age

◇ “A beautifully written, emotional roller coaster of a love story that I could not put down.” - ReadPlus

◇ “A distinct, authentic voice.” – Lyn Linning, Magpies

audio book

Read by Mark Zeisler

stay with me
 
burning blue

How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy? When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that–he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like an outsider, and he also has a secret: He’s a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he’s in–and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself. 
 

"As always, Griffin fills his story with fascinating, distinctive characters whose interior and exterior struggles are closely entwined." - Publisher's Weekly, starred

"A dull moment does not exist in this fast-paced, modern mystery. This book will be a great addition to any fiction collection" - VOYA, starred

"A suspenseful, memorable exploration of love, identity, and beauty. Highly recommended." - Library Connection, starred

"This fourth novel establishes Griffin as one of the better writers of contemporary realistic fiction for a high school audience." - Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
​◇ School Library Journal

◇ Junior Library Guild, official selection

◇ VOYA’s Perfect Tens 2012

◇ Bank Street College Best Books 2013

◇ Texas TAYSHAS masterlist 2014

YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers 2014

◇ Missouri Association of School Librarians Gateway Awards masterlist

◇ Oklahoma Library Assoc Sequoya masterlist 2015◇ 

◇ Florida Teen Reads masterlist 2014-2015

"Readers will be swept up in this thoughtful, well-paced mystery that will have hearts racing." - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

◇ “Burning Blue is terrific. It challenges the notion of where beauty lies and reminds us what true friendship, loyalty, and love really mean. I gobbled up this page-turning mystery. Paul Griffin has a new fan.” - Jennifer Brown, author of HATE LIST

 

audio book also available

ADRIFT

Matt and John are best friends working out in Montauk for the summer.  When Driana, JoJo and Stef invite the boys to their Hamptons mansion, Matt and John find themselves in a sticky situation where temptation rivals sensibility.  The newfound friends head out into the Atlantic after midnight in a stolen boat.  None of them come back whole, and not all of them come back. 

"A terrifying survival story in which past traumas are as visceral and intense as present circumstances... will haunt readers." - Publisher's Weekly

"While the danger is real, the book’s at its most riveting as the characters interact and implode. This fast-paced survival adventure makes an excellent crucible for Griffin’s examination of class." - Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

Publisher's Weekly Best of Summer 2015 Pick

Official Selection Junior Library Guild

audio book

Ready by Paul.

the orange houses

Meet Tamika Sykes—Mik to her friends (if she had any). She’s hearing challenged and way too smart for her West Bronx high school. She copes by reading lips and selling homework answers, and looks forward to the time each day when she can be alone in her room drawing. She’s a tough girl who never gets close to anyone, until she meets Fatima, a teenage refugee who sells newspapers on Mik’s block. Both Mik and Fatima unite in their efforts to befriend Jimmi, a homeless vet who is shunned by the rest of the community. The events that follow when these three outcasts converge will break open their close-knit community and change the lives of those living in the Orange Houses in explosive and unexpected ways.

★ “A hard-hitting and lyrical novel that opens with a hanging. The prose is gorgeous and resonant, packing this slim novel with defeats, triumphs, moments of rare beauty and a cast of credible, skillfully drawn characters. A moving story of friendship and hope.”
– Publishers Weekly, starred

★ “Crushing, unnerving and honest. Griffin clearly knows teens, especially the way they speak. Readers will be floored by the turns in this swift, tense, and powerful book.” – Booklist, starred

★ “…lures his audience with authentic dialogue, an uncompromising take on harsh realities, and his characters’ heroic determination to save, if not themselves, then at least each other. A rich smorgasbord of themes demands provocative classroom discussion about bullying, war, illegal immigration, and last but so not least, friendship.” – VOYA’s Perfect Ten, starred, 5/5 P, 5/5 Q

◇ ALA Top 10 Best Books Young Adults 2009
◇ Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books of 2009
◇ International Reading Association 2010 Notable Books for a Global Society
◇ Texas Tayshas Reading list 2010
◇ Amelia Bloomer Project 2010
◇ British Fantasy Award Top 10 of 2010
◇ Richie’s Picks Best of 2009
◇ Georgia Peach Book Awards Top 20 of 2010
◇ Pennsylvania School Library Assoc. Top 40 of 2010
◇ Kentucky Book Award 2010 Master List
◇ Virginia Readers Choice List 2011-2012
◇ Florida Assoc. Media in Education Top 15 of 2011/12
◇ Simon Wiesenthal Center for Tolerance and Human Dignity 2010 Honor Book, Once Upon a World Book Award

◇ “A gorgeously realized, deeply felt meditation on the interplay among art, beauty and friendship in lives beset by cruelty and injustice.” – Junior Library Guild, featured selection, High Interest High School category

Audio book

Read by Robin Miles

audio book also available

 

audio book also available

TEN MILE RIVER

Best friends Ray and Jose are not your average teenagers. They’ve escaped foster care and juvenile detention centers to live on their own together in an abandoned building located in a Manhattan park called Ten Mile River. With no use for school or families, street-smart Jose and bookish, introspective Ray have everything they need in each other. They are closer than brothers until they meet Trini. She’s smart, beautiful, and confident, and they both fall for her immediately. As tension creeps into their relationship, Ray must struggle to find an identity separate from Jose and try to envision a future for himself beyond Jose and Ten Mile River.

★ “A striking debut, this gritty, dialogue-heavy novel about two homeless boys.  The language is illuminating, tough but convincing, the setting authentic, the characters memorable and their struggles played out with a complexity that respects the audience’s intelligence.” - Publishers Weekly, starred

◇ “A stunningly acute debut novel, unwavering, authentic, absorbing, urgent.” - VOYA

◇ “Gorgeous writing with a particular gift for dialogue that not only sounds authentic but also serves to define characters whom he knows inside out.  Clearly a talent to watch.” - Michael Cart, Booklist

◇ “Gritty, realistic plot-propelling dialogue.  The boys come to life on the pages.  Laugh-out-loud funny.” - School Library Journal

◇ “Packs in a ton of information and tension without ever, for a moment, lapsing into pedantics.  The writing is quick and to the point with a truthful voice.  Compelling, well-articulated reality.” - San Francisco Chronicle

◇ “Equal parts grit and heart. A spectacular first novel. It’s got all the right stuff to make it a major favorite.” - Richie's Picks, Best of 2008

◇ “Concise prose, humour and gritty realism make Ten Mile River a memorable read.” - Sydney Morning Herald

◇ “A standout debut that effortlessly slips into the minds and language of boys.” - Auckland Weekend Herald

◇ “A fantastic, arresting debut.” – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Audio Book

Read by Joe Rodriguez