All posts by Ruby

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." ~ Groucho Marx As a child, I didn't have an interest in books, much less reading. I remember reading the first and last chapter of The Witch of Blackbird Pond for a book report in the fourth grade. That's how much I disliked it. I come from a family of writers, so words are in my blood and my mum and aunt are copy editors. When my family moved to the Pacific Northwest I got a job after school as a library page. It was there that a children's librarian turned me into a bibliophile. I been working with books ever since. From that point on I read mostly books for adults and very few children's and young adult books. It wasn't until I began working at the bookstore where I met Jenny, that I began reading mainly children's and young adult books. I will read almost anything, but I especially love historical fiction, paranormal romance, fantasy/adventure, and books featuring strong, kick-ass, independent female characters. But, as Jenny mentioned above we love trying new authors and getting recommendations from our readers. So please let us know what you think, and I hope we get the chance to share some really greats books with you.

Happy 3rd Birthday OTIJ!!

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. — C.S.Lewis

Today OTIJ is three years old, and like any youngster, we’re still trying to find our feet. Life has brought us new challenges and adventures, but both Jenny and I are still avid readers (like that’ll ever change!). Hopefully (fingers crossed), we’ll have some new reviews to post to the site soon. Until then…

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Celebrate Earth Day!!

Earth Day by Jane Yolen

I am the Earth

And the Earth is me.

Each blade of grass,

Each honey tree,

Each bit of mud,

And stick and stone

Is blood and muscle,

Skin and bone.

And just as I

Need every bit

Of me to make

My body fit,

So Earth needs

Grass and stone and tree

And things that grow here


That’s why we

Celebrate this day.

That’s why across

The world we say:

As long as life,

As dear, as free,

I am the Earth

And the Earth is me. 

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Happy Holidays!!

Once Was a Shining Christmas Tree

There once was a shining Christmas tree

Standing out where all could see.

Its brilliance captured every eye

And seemed to cheer each passer by.

Happy Holidays from Our Time in Juvie! Have a wonderful rest of the year and we’ll see you back here in 2013!

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Congratulations to Jenny!!

My wonderful partner in crime, Jenny, got married on June 16th!

“This is your life. Find a passion and pursue it. Fall in love (check!) Dream BIG. Drink wine, eat great food and spend quality time with good friends. Laugh everyday. Believe in magic. Tell stories. Reminisce about the good old days but look with optimism to the future. Travel often. Learn more. Be creative. Spend time with people you admire. Seize opportunities when they reveal themselves. Love with all your heart. Never give up. Do what you love. Be true to who you are. Make time to enjoy the simple things in life. Spend time with family. Forgive even when it’s hard. Smile often. Be grateful. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Follow your dreams. Try new things. Work hard. Don’t count the minutes count the laughs. Embrace change. Trust in yourself. Be thankful. Be nice to everyone. Be happy. Live for today. And above all….make every moment count.”

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Author Spotlight: Interview with Lissa Price

Please give a warm welcome to author Lissa Price whose book Starters, a sci-fi thriller for young-adults, hits bookstores and libraries this month! Starters is the first in a duology of books (the second is Enders, due out December 12th), and it has a rip-roaring pace full of twists and turns galore. We met with Lissa after a shared event she had with fellow debut author Marissa Meyer (Cinder), and it was very clear what a huge fan of YA literature she is!

If you’re new to Starters, be sure to check out our review. Also check out John Scalzi’s blog where Lissa writes about how she got the idea for the series. Here’s a teaser:

My Big Idea was that in the future, desperate teens would rent out their bodies to rich seniors who could then enjoy being young again. It came to me in Costco, a few years ago. Trying to get a flu shot.


Thanks so much for meeting with us! I’d just like to say that I really enjoyed Starters, and the way you set the pace was fantastic. You talked about some of the inspiration for Starters coming from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Did you have other literary inspirations?

I’m glad you asked that – Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron. I love that book! I am probably more passionate about that than the other two, partly because a lot of people haven’t read it and don’t know about it (even though it’s being developed into a film by Hugh Jackman’s company). I think she came up with such an amazing world. [Fisher] managed to get part of the old world in there but make everything new. I love different levels of reality–that’s my thing (MementoInceptionThe Matrix)–so, I love Incarceron. Continue reading Author Spotlight: Interview with Lissa Price

Happy Halloween!


If you are superstitious you’ll never step on cracks.
When you see a ladder you will never walk beneath it.
And if you ever spill some salt you’ll thrown some ‘cross your back,
And carry’ round a rabbit’s foot just in case you need it.
You’ll pick up any pin that you find lying on the ground,
And never, never, ever throw your hat upon the bed,
Or open an umbrella when you are in the house.
You’ll bite your tongue each time you say
A thing you shouldn’t have said.
You’ll hold your breath and cross your fingers
Walkin’ by a graveyard,
And number thirteen’s never gonna do you any good.
Black cats will all look vicious, if you’re superstitious,
But I’m not superstitious (knock on wood).

–Shel Silverstein

Have a great Halloween everybody!

Guest Review: Marin

The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

(This review based on Advanced Reader Copy.)

When former best friends Emma, 17, and Josh, 16, discover they can look into their futures via Emma’s computer, dealing with their findings will strengthen or sever their relationship forever.

If you could uncover facets of your life fifteen years in the future would you? Two high school students may have stumbled upon a way to do just that. It’s 1996 and thanks to the AOL CD-ROM Josh gave her, Emma’s internet connection mysteriously links her to her 2011 Facebook page. After exploring the future, she sets out to change her prospects, a cheating spouse and possible depression, while Josh welcomes the possibility of his future marriage to the high school “it girl”.

Small actions have big effects and anything is possible in this seamlessly co-written tale. The authors alternate points of view. Asher tells Josh’s story and Mackler Emma’s, but the narrative flows effortlessly. The characters and their ideas are relatable for teens today as well as those who lived through their adolescence before the digital age. While Josh and Emma explore who they are and what they really want, they question what friendship really means, and if destiny exists. Quirky characters and entertaining twists will keep the pages turning until the satisfactory ending.

The book will be released on November 21st, 2011.

Ages 13+

ISBN: 9781595144911

Also available as an eBook.

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Guest Review: Marin

Crossed by Ally Condie (Book 2 Matched Trilogy)

(Review based on Advanced Reader Copy)

In the sequel to Matched, star-crossed lovers, Cassia and Ky, escape the stringent rules of the Society intending to live happily ever after, but life in the outside world isn’t what they expected and perilous adventures await.

In Matched, Ky and Cassia risk life and limb escaping the vigilant and watchful eyes of the Society to find each other. They weren’t supposed to fall in love, but now that they have Cassia is forced to come to the realization that the Society’s true aims are not as benign as they appear. Two perilous escapes and long treks across dangerous wilderness with strangers find these young lovers back together and searching for the rebels.

The alternating points of view allow the reader to learn more about the motivations of Cassia and Ky. However, this narrative choice also occasionally interrupts the flow, leaving the reader with a choppy story. Crossed is not a strong stand-alone story because there isn’t much information about what exactly the Society is and why Cassia wants to join the rebellion. However, this action-packed adventure introduces new characters and enticing possibilities for the conclusion in the final book of the trilogy.

Crossed will be released on November 1st, 2011.


Ages 12+

ISBN: 9780525423652

Also available as an eBook.