What were your three favorite books this year?
Nicole: "Gossip Girl," (by Cecily Von Ziegesar) and... what was that book with the yellow cover I read?
Rachel: She only reads books with yellow covers...
Nicole: Did any Harry Potter books come out this year? (laughter) I know - "The View from Saturday," (E.L. Konigsburg), and "The Mediator Series," by Meg Cabot. It's about a ghost busting person.
Which of those stands out?
Nicole: I think "Gossip Girl" stands out.
Nicole: It's really chick litty and light and easy. They just have good characters.
Rachel: They're intriguing plots - scandalous - and the characters are very good, well-written.
Nicole: The characters relate well to teens.
Rachel: Except they're not relatable. We don't live in New York and meander around in parties and (do the things they do).
What kind of books do you like most, Nicole?
Nicole: I like sad books where people die - with yellow covers - I do judge by the cover - because in happy books they always have everything and you're all bummed out 'cause they're happier than you are.
That's very interesting. How do you judge a book by its cover?
Nicole: If a book is one solid cover I don't like that. If they have really annoying shiny covers that change in the light, I don't like that. I don't like hardcover books at all - they're too heavy - they don't bend... and I don't like really cartoony (covers).
(Then, Nicole remembered another book she read recently) "Before I Die," (by Jenny Downham) - not a kid's book though, but the character is 16. It's sad, but it's got short chapters. I like short chapters because you feel like you accomplished something.
Tell me more about why Gossip Girl is your favorite recent book, Rachel?
Rachel: The plot is very intriguing, and the end of each chapter makes you want to read the next chapter. You don't stop reading... I also love the covers of these books, 'cause you can't see the characters' eyes. So you want to read the book and imagine what they look like.
What other books have you read recently?
Rachel: "Forever Rose," (Hilary McCay), "Once Upon a Marigold," (Jean Ferris), and "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle," (Betty MacDonald).
Tell me about "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle."
Rachel: It was one of my mom's books (first published in 1947). Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's funny, it's so drole.
Rachel: (quoting a passage from the text) Because, "She said, she fell off the banister and hit her head, and they thought she said, she fell in the toaster and burned up dead."
Nicole: It's not what you see in kid's books anymore. It's an old book. It's morbid.