Monday, April 13, 2009

More on the Great Scavenger Hunt!!

Welcome to The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest Dueling Blog Tour with YA author Kay Cassidy! Kay is the host of the brand-new Great Scavenger Hunt Contest for teen and youth librarians in the U.S. and Canada. She’s joining me today to chat about The Hunt and how it came to be.

Q: What made you decide to create The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest?

A: As a YA author and proud owner of a well-worn library card, I wanted to give something back to all the librarians whose book recommendations helped me grow as a writer and fed my imagination over the years. With the economy in turmoil, funding for public libraries is taking a major hit. School libraries are struggling as well. So I set out to create a totally free program that teen and youth librarians could use to keep kids excited about reading.

Plus, I’m a huge fan of trivia, scavenger hunts, mysteries... so The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest was a natural fit. I would’ve been all over this when I was younger. Trivia fans... unite!

Q: What exactly is The Hunt?

A: The Hunt is a brand-new, super easy, totally FREE library outreach program for teen and youth librarians. The program is open to librarians in the U.S. and Canada, in public libraries and school libraries alike. It offers year-round free programming that’ll keep readers coming back to the library for more.

Over 120 YA and middle grades authors have created a 10-question scavenger hunt (i.e. super fun trivia quiz) for one or more of their books. Scavenger hunts include questions like “What was the color of Moe’s hideous car?” or “What is Gemma’s favorite comfort food?” Every scavenger hunt also has a special note from the author to give it a personal touch.

Q: How does The Hunt work?

A: Once librarians register their library, their readers (called hunters) are eligible to participate. Hunters can check out the list of more than 200 titles in The Hunt, read the book of their choice, complete the scavenger hunt, and turn it in to their librarian. The librarian checks the answers against the quick answer key. If the hunter gets at least 8 out of 10 answers correct, the librarian can enter the hunter in the monthly contest. (NOTE: All scavenger hunts must be submitted to a participating librarian in order to be eligible for the contest. Only participating librarians may enter hunters via the official contest entry form.)

Q: And, of course, the prizes! What kinds of prizes do you have and how can people win?

A: Every month, I’ll choose one lucky hunter as the winner. The winning hunter will receive a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card (good in stores or online) to use for whatever their heart desires. Even better? When a hunter wins, the host library wins too… a library prize tote filled with more terrific scavenger hunt books for the library’s collection. It’s a win-win!

Q: Definitely a win! So, tell me more about your upcoming YA debut. When will hunters see a scavenger hunt for it in The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest?

A: My debut novel, The Cinderella Society, is the first in a new YA series. The series takes readers behind the veil of a secret society of extraordinary girls where ultimate life makeovers are the main attraction. Lifelong outsider Jess Parker thinks life on the inside is her ultimate fantasy until she discovers the real force behind her exclusive society. It’s a battle of good vs. evil played out on the high school battlefield, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairy tale and honoring the Sisterhood… and herself.

The Cinderella Society will be an April 2010 release from Egmont USA with book two in the series to follow in Spring 2011. I’m very excited about sharing a scavenger hunt of my own in The Hunt. Come on, next April!

Now, let me turn the tables on you for a minute. :-) First of all, thank you so much for participating in The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest. If it weren’t for authors like you, The Hunt couldn’t exist. Authors are incredibly busy people, so I owe a debt of gratitude to each of the authors (like you!) who graciously volunteered their time to create a scavenger hunt.

Q: What made you take time out of your busy schedule to participate in The Hunt?

Alyson: Are you kidding? Libraries, free books, a scavenger hunt??? What's not to love?! It's such a brilliant idea, I wish I'd thought of it myself!

Q: How did you decide which book(s) to create a scavenger hunt for?

Alyson- Easy! I chose them all! FAKING 19, ART GEEKS AND PROM QUEENS, LAGUNA COVE, KISS & BLOG, SAVING ZOE, CRUEL SUMMER, EVERMORE . . .and when the time is write, BLUE MOON will be there as well!

Q: Do you think you would’ve wanted to be a hunter when you were younger?

Alyson- Definitely! I would've been all over an awesome contest like this!


2008 Golden Heart winner Kay Cassidy is the author of teen fiction she wishes was based on her real life. Kay is a former college cheerleader and sorority girl, an M.B.A. and a member of Mensa. She thinks it's comical when people are surprised to discover those things aren't mutually exclusive. Kay is a seasoned professional trainer and former leadership development specialist who enjoys teaching motivational workshops around the country. She is also the founder and host of The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest, a national library outreach program that provides year-round free programming for teen and youth librarians. THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY is her first novel. Visit Kay on the web at


Kelsey said...

This is a fantastic idea! How do you know if your library is participating?

Also, Kay, you're book sounds EXTREMELY good. I love books like that and the title is so interesting! I hope I'll get to review it in the future!

Nicole G. LaBrecque said...

The Great Scavenger Hunt is a wonderful idea! Many, many [many ;) ] years ago when I was younger I participated in a similar event put on by the local library system. It was so much fun discovering books that I never would have read. And how great is it that the authors have messages for the participants.

Also, Alyson, I completely forgot about your on-line interview Friday night. (I knew there was a reason I wanted to leave my laptop on!) Is it still available to listen to on-line or are they rebroadcasting it? Sorry!

Kay Cassidy said...

Hi Kelsey!

Thanks SO much for the cheers about The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest (and about The Cinderella Society too!). You're so sweet!

The easiest way to know if your local public library or school library is participating is to ask your librarian. There's even a flyer on the Librarian Resources page on the site that you can print and take with you to entice them if they haven't already joined. :-)

Hope to see you in The Hunt taking advantage of some of Alyson's awesome scavenger hunts!

Kay Cassidy said...

Hi NiGeLa!

How cool that you did something similar when you were younger! It's such a fun way to discover new favorite authors, isn't it? And yes, the author notes really are a nice touch from them. I would've loved reading a note from my favorite authors when I was younger. (Heck, I still do!) :-)

Alyson Noel said...

Hey NiGeLa--

No worries- you can listen to it here:

It was a really fun interview-but, for the record, my last name is Noel like No-well (French for Christmas). The first time he said it wrong, I felt weird correcting him on the radio and all, and then when he kept doing it, I felt even weirder so I just let it go- until it became this funny, awkward thing, that cracked me up when I listened to it later! Anyway, enjoy!

And thanks for stopping by!

Caryn Caldwell said...

Fun interview and great idea for a contest! I may have to mention this to the librarians in our town. I bet a lot of kids here would love it!

Alyson Noel said...

Hey Caryn- I know, isn't it brilliant?!

Kay Cassidy said...

Thanks so much for helping spread the word, Caryn! I hope your local librarians have a blast with it. :-) Cheers!