Monday, June 30, 2014


I got the most fantastic blub over the weekend, and could not wait a second longer to share:

"Wow! This book starts off with a bang - two of them, actually - and then it sinks its claws into you and never lets go."
 - April Henry, New York Times-bestselling author 
Speaking of sharing, a few early readers have been sharing pictures of their cats with me on Twitter.  So I had to take the opportunity to share my own pic of me and the cats I grew up with.  (Our pictures--this one's a Polaroid--were always taped to the fridge or cabinet doors.  So you kinda have to look past the various kitchen spots...)

Tuffy, the calico on the left, was actually born feral.  Pete, the yellow cat on the right, was her son.  They were both members of the family before I was.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I hang good reviews on the fridge, just like I used to hang good grades...and this review for FERAL from SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL went up on the Frigidaire the minute it came in:

"Gr 9 Up-From the opening pages readers will be immediately immersed in this dark story. Two brutal attacks are described in detailed flashbacks: one resulting in death, the other in extreme psychological trauma. Although each event happened at separate times and were miles apart, the victims seem to be eerily connected: both were burgeoning writers on their school newspaper staff; both lived a somewhat marginalized existence when compared to their BFFs; both were victimized in retaliation for their investigative reporting; and one wants the other one dead.  Seventeen-year-old Claire Cain was rescued by Chicago police after having barely survived being attacked by a gang of teen thugs for snitching on them to clear her best friend's name. Even though she's been receiving treatment for the trauma, Claire continues to relive the horrible attack in her dreams. When Claire's father gets the opportunity to take a sabbatical from his job at the University of Chicago to do anthropological research in the small Missouri town of Peculiar, both Claire and her dad are hopeful that the change of scene will help her heal. She soon discovers the town's feral cat population right before getting swept up in the town's frantic search for a missing girl named Serena Sims. When Claire accidentally stumbles upon Serena's broken corpse in the icy woods behind the high school, she can hardly believe her eyes. The frozen corpse is surrounded by what seems to be the town's entire feral cat population. When she locks eyes with a battered calico, she gets an eerie feeling. With the discovery of Serena's body and the casual handling of her death by the local police, Claire's investigative juices, which have lain dormant for months, resurface driving her to dig for the back story and the truth behind the heinous act. Readers who like a gripping psychological thriller will thoroughly enjoy this psychological thriller has echoes of classic Hitchcock. Issues of cliques, peer pressure, bullying, self-esteem, post-traumatic stress syndrome, teacher-student relationships, and pet abandonment will provide substance for discussion.-Sabrina Carnesi, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, VA"

To celebrate such a lovely review, I'm also running a short giveaway of a FERAL ARC on Goodreads.  You can also enter to win a copy of my debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, which released earlier this year.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Feral by Holly Schindler


by Holly Schindler

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Monday, June 23, 2014


I'm having an utter blast meeting young readers, whether they're in a summer writing group, reading class, or are part of a story group at a bookstore.

My virtual visits are, in fact, the most rewarding part of releasing THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY.  And I'd love, love, LOVE to meet your own young readers.  Are you a teacher looking for a great classroom read and a Skype (for a summer class or even to start the school year off with a bang next fall)?  Are you a librarian looking for a way to get your youngest patrons engaged?  A tutor or parent who needs to keep your kids' reading skills up this summer?  A bookseller who would like a virtual visit?

Fill out the forms below to win a Skype visit and / or a copy of THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY:

For US / Canadian Residents -
a Rafflecopter giveaway
International -  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Following the starred PW review, I've filmed another sneak peek video.  In this clip, we pick up with Serena as her killer pulls her from the high school basement's window:

Click here to pre-order FERAL through your favorite outlet.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


I've been tweeting about it all week: FERAL has received a STARRED REVIEW in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY!  I had to reprint the entire review here:

 "Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A Blue So Dark, with its gut-wrenching portrait of mental illness. This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking. Claire Cain was an award-winning high school journalist in Chicago when she was beaten nearly to death for a story. Serena Sims lost her life while pursuing a lead in the more confined purview of Peculiar, Mo. Their stories intersect when Claire’s father’s sabbatical lands her in Peculiar just in time to discover Serena’s body, surrounded by the eerie feral cats that infest the town. Schindler avoids cardboard character types—yes, there are jocks, princesses, and nerds, but the author reveals them as people squeezed into their labels, not defined by them. And while there are touches of romance, both good and bad, adolescent hormones don’t define the plot, either. This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees. Ages 13–up. Agent: Deborah Warren, East West Literary Agency. (Aug.)"

Monday, June 9, 2014


Inspired by some of my interactions at Armchair BEA, I decided to make it a point to devote regular blog space to a new series I'm simply calling PUSH (as in: need a little extra).  I want to give extra attention to those books that are under-talked-about.  Those beautiful, breathtaking reads that need to be on everyone's radar.

Right now, I'm in the midst of revising my next YA for HarperCollins, and gazing longingly at my copy of Lockhart's WE WERE LIARS (a heavily-talked-about book that I just can't dig into until I get my rewrite done).  But what not-so-well-known book should I also add to the TBR list I'll be attacking as soon as I ship this book off to my editor?

Monday, June 2, 2014


I love to read Susan's thoughtful, intelligent reviews at Bloggin' 'bout Books.  An added bonus of reading Susan's reviews of my own releases is that she's read all of my published books--she's got the complete picture of the scope of my work so far, and writes reviews with an understanding of who I am as an author (rather than just writing a review of one specific novel).

I had to share her lovely review of THE JUNCTION in full:

Living with a trash hauler may not sound very glamorous, but Auggie Jones loves it.  Her Grandpa Gus finds all kinds of treasures and plenty of adventures in his line of work.  Auggie adores her grandpa and can't imagine him having a cooler job.  She doesn't care that Gus makes little money or that they live in a rundown section of town of Willow Grove, Missouri—she's happy.

When a brand new elementary school opens, Auggie and her friends are forced to attend.  Mingling with kids they don't know, many of whom make fun of them for having no money, Auggie realizes for the first time just how poor she and Gus really are.  For the first time, she feels ashamed of her shabby clothes, ramshackle neighborhood and, especially, Gus' less-than-elegant trash hauling job.  Apparently, Auggie's former best friend feels the same way because ever since they started fifth grade, Lexie has been ignoring her.

It seems as if things can't get any worse for Auggie—until they do.  The father of one of her wealthy classmates launches an aggressive town beautification project targeting homes like the one Auggie shares with Gus.  If the homeowners do not comply with improvement "suggestions," they will be slapped with an enormous fine.  Auggie knows people in her part of town can't afford to fix up their houses, let alone pay exorbitant fees to the city.  Desperate to save her neighborhood, Auggie starts her own project.  But what begins as an effort to beautify her part of towns becomes a crusade to answer some important questions:  What is beauty?  What is art?  And why should one person's opinion on the matters outweigh another's?  As Auggie finds the answers for herself, she realizes an undeniable truth—beauty exists all around her, even if she's the only one who can see it.

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky, the first middle grade novel from YA author Holly Schindler, offers a quirky, upbeat story about one girl's determination to be heard.  It's a sweet tale, one that resounds with both spunk and heart.  Kids of all ages will relate to Auggie's feelings of otherness and celebrate as she discovers not just herself, but her own voice.  Triumphant and compelling, this is one of those books that will make you cheer.  And look a little bit closer for the unique beauty in all of us.
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