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New chapter for teenagers

Children who can't keep their noses out of their Jacqueline Wilson books or Harry Potter adventures will be able to improve their social lives by joining an online bookclub.

Penguin has launched Spinebreakers, a book community run by and used by teenagers. It will be controlled by a core editorial team of nine, aged from 13 to 18, supported by a network of young contributors throughout Britain.

The young editors will start bringing the site to life next month with an intensive four-week internship at Livity, a youth marketing agency.

Working with journalists, authors, editors and web designers, the team will produce multimedia content including video and audio reviews, alternative book jackets and endings, soundtracks, author interviews, podcasts, blogs and short stories.

The website, spinebreakers.co.uk, will be launched in September.

A survey commissioned by Penguin revealed that three-quarters of teenagers get their information about books from the internet. Teenagers who rate reading as cool are the most frequent visitors to social networking sites, the study found.

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