Free how-to workshop for young writers

Avid Reader at the Tower will host a free writing workshop for children and young adults, staffed by authors and literary agents who are on the MFA faculty at Sierra Nevada College’s Lake Tahoe campus, and who specialize in literature for young people.

Among them are Pable Cartaya (“The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora” and “Marcus Vegas Doesn’t Speak Spanish”), Lisa Papademetriou (“A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic” and the best-selling “”Middle School: Big, Fat Liar,” with James Patterson), and literary agent Jess Regel of Foundry Literary + Media.

Bring pen and paper with you, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, 1600 Broadway, Sacramento; 916-441-4400,

The bookstore continues its program of author appearances in August:

▪  Richard Meredith for “Sky Dance,” 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.

▪  Susan Spann for “The Ninja’s Daughter,” 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13.

▪  Gail Avery Halverson for “The Boundary Stone,” 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13.

▪  Kenneth Dutton for “Path of Least Resistance,” 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20.

▪  Maureen O’Leary for “The Ghost Daughter,: 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27.

▪  Linda L. Williams for “I Wish I Could,” 4 pm. Saturday, Aug. 27.

Spann will follow her Avid Reader discussion of “The Ninja’s Daughter” (Seventh Stret Books, $16, 230 pages) with a presentation at 6:30 P.M. Friday, Aug. 26 at Face In a Book, 4359 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills; 916-941- 9401, The title is the fourth in her “Shinobi Mystery” series starring 16th century ninja Hiro Hattori, who solves crimes with his unlikely friend, Portuguese Jesuit priest Father Mateo.

Find a book deal

The Friends of the Sacramento Public Library regularly hosts book sales at the Book Den, 8250 Belvedere Ave., Sacramento; 916-731-8493. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, you can choose from among 100,000 thousand “gently used” books, videos and audiobooks priced at 50 cents to $2. More information:

‘Last’ is first

Alexandra Oliva’s debut “psychological suspense” thriller “The Last One” is gaining buzz (Ballantine, 304 page, $26). A young woman named Zoo is among the contestants on a reality-TV series, taken into the deep woods and challenged to find ways to survive. But, unbeknown to them, something horrific has happened in the outside world. Now alone, strange things keep happening to Zoo as she makes her way back to civilization – or what’s left of it.