Young Adult Novels by Norma Howe
Author of Novels and Stories for Young Adults

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Angel in Vegas

Winky's Guide
to Las Vegas

Angel in Vegas: The Chronicles of Noah Sark

From the book jacket:

     "It's you!" she said. "You look like an angel straight from heaven."
 My breath caught in my throat and my knees suddenly went weak.

         -- Angel in Vegas: The Chronicles of Noah Sark

Who is Noah Sark, really? And what is he doing in the men's room at ANGELO'S ALL-DAY ALL-NITE DONUT EMPORIUM in Las Vegas? No use asking him; he doesn't know, either.

Only Norma Howe, author of the beloved Blue Avenger books and a gleeful practitioner of comedic satire could blend in a devilishly funny mix one (or maybe two) budding teenage romances, a psychic fair, a dead frog, a headful of cascading blond ringlets, glorious Las Vegas in all its glitz and sparkle--including Elvis and his hound dog, erupting volcanoes, and a seeing-eye-dog video poker player--with the dramatic back story of Princess Di in Paris, to portray an unlikely teen angel on a desperate mission to save a certain unknown girl from a certain unknown disaster.

But, reader, never fear. All will be revealed in good time, so long as you resist, as Noah himself says, "the siren call of logic."



Adventures of Blue Avenger
Blue Avenger Cracks the Code
Blue Theory of Everything

The Adventures of Blue Avenger

(First book of the trilogy)

Does free will really exist? Do we actually have choices in this life?...or is our every thought and action a necessary result of the physical laws of the universe?

Those are big questions to discuss in a young-adult novel, but they are only a small part of what Norma Howe tackles in The Adventures of Blue Avenger. How did a normal sixteen-year-old boy become the hero of his own comic strip, fall in love with a girl named Omaha Nebraska Brown, and invent a recipe for perfect dripless lemon meringue pie? What does this have to do with the sixteenth-century heretic Giordano Bruno? How can we end the plague of handgun violence in America? A thought-provoking combination of humor, philosophy, and romance, The Adventures of Blue Avenger has something for every teenage reader (and even for a few smart adults).

A finalist for the 2001-2002 California Young Reader Medal, The Adventures of Blue Avenger earned "starred reviews" in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, and a "Pointer Review" in Kirkus. It was also chosen as a 1999 BCCB Blue Ribbon Book.


Blue Avenger Cracks the Code

(Second book of the trilogy)

Blue Avenger is back, but the future does not bode well. After a series of spectacular achievements, the tide is about to turn. Shortly after sixteen-year-old David Schumacher changed his name to Blue Avenger, he began to live the life of a super hero. But now, just as he reaches his greatest triumph - helping Omaha Nebraska Brown, the love of his life, to meet her long-lost father - everything unravels. Blue is as blue as Blue can be. But then he finds a cause. Blue is a natural cryptographer, and he sets out to apply his code-breaking skills to solving the greatest mystery in all of literature: Who really wrote the plays and poems attributed to William Shakespeare?

Join Blue in his new and hilarious adventures, spurred on both by an admired English teacher and his determination to have authorship credit for a stolen computer game restored to his friend. Discover how all this leads to a trip to Italy, and how Blue resolves problems with an amorous dog, a lovesick friend, and a balky ATM. Why is he accused of shoplifting? Does he succumb to the glamorous Drusie DeSoto on a romantic gondola ride in Venice? All this - and more - in Blue Avenger Cracks the Code.


Blue Avenger and the Theory of Everything

(Third book of the trilogy)

Only seventy-three days ago, on his sixteenth birthday, David Bruce Schumacher changed his name to Blue Avenger--after a comic book superhero he himself created. Since then, nothing has been the same. His exploits have become the stuff of legends, and are reviewed for the uninitiated in the unusual prologue to this book.

But now, just back from Venice, Blue is shocked to learn that Omaha Nebraska Brown, the girl he will love throughout eternity (if such a thing is possible) may soon be forced to move. It's a problem that only money can solve. Enter Tractor Nishimura, an eccentric young multi-millionaire movie-maker from Marin, with an off-the-wall offer that's right up Blue's alley: encode a certain word that rhymes with duck so it passes the personalized license plate censor, and the money is his -- with just one catch.

Blue's legend lives on, as a mix of time, money, ethics, romance, reading programs, advertising, angels, aliens, and donuts leads inexorably to love, happiness, and the theory of everything.


Shoot for the Moon

Shoot For The Moon

Gina Gari can rock the baby, split the atom, and shoot the teacher--but she never thought her yo-yo talent could take her 'round the world. So when she wins a ten-day trip to Italy in a yo-yo contest, she can't wait to hit the road. But travel turns out to mean more than a change of scene. Italy's perils and pleasures (from confusing currency to colossal cathedrals), some enlightening encounters with other travelers (especially a good-looking, deep-thinking young Dutchman named Stefan), and a mysterious mountaintop mission (her grouchy grandmother's last request) combine to show Gina more than sights. By the time her plane takes off for home, Gina's got a whole new outlook--and the confidence to master any trick she tries.

Publisher's Weekly says: Readers will be well rewarded by this lively tale of Gina, a naive 16-year-old California girl who is refreshingly different from most YA heroines in that she is neither exceptionally bright, pretty nor ambitious. ...splendidly evoked locales, well-drawn characters and a subtle yet moving theme add up to a beguiling book.


The Game Of Life

The Game Of Life

When Cairo (named after the city) Hays decides to put her terrible plan into action, it's not without a lot of thought beforehand. She's always been more of a thinker than a doer, anyway, especially when it comes to questions of life (hers or anyone else's). She asks herself: Is it caring or is it meddling if she tries to stop her older sister, Heather, from marrying Allan Allen, professional protester and an abusive jerk? And if Cairo succeeds, does that mean she's in control or just a pawn in the hands of fate? And what about helping Aunt Lucille, who's desperate to lose weight? Suddenly Cairo seems to be acting outside her usual realm in new ways, in particular when Rocky Nevin is around. Rocky has a few thoughts of his own about life, and those gorgeous eyes of his seem to Cairo to make the meaning of life worth searching for. The sixteenth year in the life of Cairo Hays is an eventful and expansive time. Her struggles to find answers to the big questions are more than insightful--they're often surprisingly hilarious! Norma Howe writes with unusual candor in her delightful new novel.

The San Francisco Chronicle says: Sacramento writer Norma Howe creates rare heroes--exceptional people who happen to be in their teens. (The) writing is so invisibly smooth that big ideas, such as the question of free will and scientific arguments against astrology, are absorbed with little effort. The Game Of Life is an exceptional novel...


In With The Out Crowd

In With The Out Crowd

Of course, Robin has seen it coming for months. Somehow, at some point, she and her friends, the "double-A tens," the in crowd, have stopped seeing things the same way. Now it seems to Robin that even she and her best friend, Jennifer, have practically nothing in common. How did it start? When did they stop laughing at the same jokes? Why is she the only one who still has the standards they all used to share? And why is everyone taking it so personally when she refuses to "really be Bill's girl'? Isn't that her decision? Still, it's hard for Robin to accept that she might not fit in anymore; in fact, it's frightening. She's always been one of the most popular girls in school, and she and her old crowd have pretty much run things. She's never even wanted to know any of the other kids in school, let alone be friends with them. After all, can life be worth living outside the in crowd?

The story of Robin's fall and rise is told with great humor and insight, as Robin learns that there's not only life but also romance out there. Norma Howe surrounds her heroine with memorable characters, from the awful kids in Robin's crowd to Robin's unusual family, including her eccentric grandmothers and an uncle who's writing a book chronicling images of Jesus that have been found in unexpected places--like on a tortilla. Fans of Ms. Howe's God, the Universe, and Hot Fudge Sundaes will enjoy this funny and perceptive romantic story.


God Universe Hot Fudge

God, the Universe, and Hot Fudge Sundaes

When Alfie hears about the upcoming trial between the evolutionists and the creationists and their fight to decide which theory of the earth's origin will be taught in the public schools, her first thought is that it will make an interesting topic for a school project. She doesn't expect it to be a replay of the growing tensions at home between her cynical father and her born-again mother as the family faces the approaching death of Alfie's little sister. And Alfie certainly isn't expecting to find romance at the trial. But when she meets handsome Kurt, there to cheer on the evolutionists, he not only captures Alfie's heart, he forces her to take a rational look at her own religious convictions. Before she knows it, Alfie finds herself torn between two opposing camps. Deep down, she suspects that faith alone does not equal truth, but she still can't help feeling that if she believes hard enough, she can save Francie's life.

Long intrigued by religious issues, Norma Howe knew that she wanted to write about the conflict between faith and reason in a young person. After she attended the "creation trial" in Sacramento, California in March 1981, the idea for this story took shape. In her own words: "I think it was Robert G. Ingersoll who said it takes real courage to choose truth over comfort. I'm interested in people who have that kind of courage--and in those who don't-- and I wanted to write about them."