i apologize for v bad face, but there’s a meetup soooo hoiii

It’s Ally Ambassadors time!

Congratulations @lulumccraw! You’re the winner of our grand prize, and your name is in TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP!

Stay tuned for information about new contests and challenges and really fun perks (hint: the Ally Ambassadors will be receiving the first TWO chapters of TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP next week!)

If you’re not an Ally Ambassador, and you’d like to sign up, just go right here! http://www.scholastic.com/allyambassadors/signup.asp

And you can read more about Embassy Row right here: EmbassyRowBooks.com!

Take care!



Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

“A brilliant story about the courage it takes to keep living after your world falls apart. A heart-wrenching celebration of love and friendship and family.”  – (Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak)

For an English class assignment, Laurel is asked to write a letter to a dead person. She naturally chooses to write to Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. Also, May died young like he did. Throughout time, Laurel compiles a series of written letters in her notebook to Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger and more. Although she never hands her assignment into her teacher, she opens up starting high school, falling in love and her crumbling family life on paper. Through her letters, she begins to rediscover May. May failed her as a sister when she was suffering, but she eventually accepts that May was as human as she is now.

If you enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you will revel in Love Letters to the Dead’s sentimentality. Dellaira’s prose urges you to stop and ingest every word. Love Letters to the Dead will make you cry with the tenderness that Dellaira weaves in each page. The book contains an anguished beauty, which is difficult to find, but an anguish, which fills you rather than leaving you empty.

Read excerpts from the book here!

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Language learning advice I should give myself more often

- I did not start speaking a single word of my NATIVE language until after 1 year.

- Language learning is not a race, it is a new way of life.

- Some times I will feel like I’ve made lots of progress, other times I will feel like I’ve gone 10 steps back. It’s all relative.

- Stop expecting to make leaps and bounds in a day’s work.

- I still encounter words in my native language, after 20 years, which I do not know.


- I would not think someone struggling to speak my native language is stupid, so native speakers of my target language would not think the same either.

- I know you say “I’ll never need to know this word” but honestly if you’re aiming for a high level of “”“”fluency“”“”, please learn it.

- “Fluency” is too broad a term and not a clear goal to aim for.

- Even native speakers make mistakes.

- If the content I am learning is too simple, I am not challenging myself.

- “If you do the same thing you’ve always done, you’ll always get the same results.”

- Don’t be ashamed for having an accent.

- I will one day in the distant future look back and think how amazing the journey to learn my language was.

- The journey is always more exciting than the destination.

- Speech between 2 native speakers is one of, if not the, hardest things to understand. Do not be disheartened.


My Heart and Other Black Holes  by Jasmine Warga

A captivating and emotionally-charged read, Jasmine Warga’s My Heart and Other Black Holes intelligently treads the lines between humor and tragedy. A treat for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson, we are introduced to sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel, who is obsessed with plotting her death. But there’s one huge factor impeding her ultimate annihilation: her fear. Aysel hasn’t mustered enough courage to commit the crime, until she discovers a website called Suicide Partners.

When she meets Roman, she believes to have found a solution.  As their suicide pact becomes more serious, both teens begin to heal each others wounds and fill the empty spaces in their lives. They are both are plagued by sadness and inescapable family complications, which prevent them from obtaining happiness.

The unexpected prevails. Both members begin to question if their death is what they truly desire.

A powerful meditation of love and its transformative power, Warga instills in us a deep insight into the loss of self-esteem, alienation, isolation, and how one simple word or feel has the power to diminish, such pathos.

Read excerpts from the book here!


Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

As a request from one of our followers we checked out Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, and we were pleasantly surprised. If you love the fantasy genre in literature and have an immense love of beautiful words, you will drench yourself in Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, the first book from her series The Wolves of Mercy Falls. Achingly beautiful and sad, Shiver follows the story of Sam’s desperate need to hold on to his last shred of humanity to maintain a relationship with Grace, a human he once saved. Although the book exists in a realm, where werewolves exist, it’s deeper and far more introspective than the expected course of cheesiness.

Of course there’s a vulnerable romance involved, which is deeply emotional and tender. If you want to escape, get out of the real world for a couple of days, pick this up!

Read excerpts from the book here!