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March 2012

Kidsreads.com Newsletter for Parents March 2012
Welcome to the NEW Kidsreads.com!

The BIG NEWS this month: Kidsreads.com has a whole new look! We have a fresh new look, which will make it even easier for you and your kids to read about new books and find your favorite features. We now have large images of featured books and authors on the homepage, with captions that link to reviews, interviews and contests. We’ve also updated the design, typefaces, color and layout. And for all the Booker T. Worm fans out there, have no fear --- he still has his regular spot at the top of the page! Check it out and let us know what you think by writing us here.

As always, we have MANY new reviews for you and your family. So away we go….

Carl Hiaasen’s CHOMP is about Wahoo Cray, a boy who has grown up at a zoo because his father is an animal wrangler. But when his dad gets a new job with a reality show called “Expedition Survival,” Wahoo is in for some wild adventures --- and an unexpected new friend.

Meanwhile, R.J. Palacio’s WONDER is a book I can't stop talking about --- and neither can others I know who have read it. In it, a young boy with a profound facial abnormality is mainstreamed into middle school. His story is told by him, his high-school-aged sister, her boyfriend and his friends. Reading it opens conversations about how those who are different deserve to be treated with kindness and not judged. Just when you think you know how people think about Auggie, someone else sheds new light on how he is seen. I would highly recommend this book to you AND your kids. Let us know what you think and whether it changes your kids’ perspectives on being kind and inclusive to others.

Peter Lerangis has stepped in to write the latest installment in the 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers series, THE DEAD OF NIGHT. Amy and Dan have to rescue Atticus, an innocent 11-year-old boy and Dan's only friend, who has been kidnapped by the Vespers. Now Dan and Amy are in the struggle of their lives.

We also have a review of BEYONDERS: SEEDS OF REBELLION by Brandon Mull. After the cliffhanger ending of A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES, Jason is back in the world he’s always known --- but now that he knows the shocking truth about Lyrian, he finds himself itching to return.

And THE KANE CHRONICLES SURVIVAL GUIDE boasts lenticulars, an easy-to-assemble trading card pyramid, and full-color diagrams and maps. This deluxe, lavishly illustrated guide to Rick Riordan's The Kane Chronicles series teaches your kids how to compile secret messages, read hieroglyphics, and recite ancient magic spells.

Are there any Lunch Lady fans in your house? If so, then LUNCH LADY AND THE MUTANT MATHLETES is a must-have. In Jarrett J. Krosoczka's latest, the Breakfast Bunch have joined the mathletes team and are all set to win the championship trophy --- they only need to beat the defending champs. But Lunch Lady notices something strange about the opposing mathletes and their sinister coach. Will she and her sidekick Betty be able to sort out the suspicious competitors before they snatch victory away from the Breakfast Bunch?

Fans of Lauren Child’s Clarice Bean series will want to check out RUBY REDFORT LOOK INTO MY EYES. Everyone knows that Clarice Bean is exceptionordinarily keen on the Ruby Redfort books. Now in her own starring role, Ruby, a genius code-cracker and daring detective, along with her sidekick butler, Hitch, work for a secret crime-busting organization called Spectrum.

On the big screen this month is Mirror, Mirror, a new take on the classic tale of Snow White. Seven courageous rebel dwarfs join forces with Snow White as she fights to reclaim her birthright and win her Prince. But a ruthless, evil Queen is determined to stop her.

And in case your kids missed it in theaters, they'll be happy to know that The Adventures of Tintin is now out on DVD. The film follows Tintin and Snowy as they discover a ship with a centuries-old mystery and get drawn into a desperate chase from a deadly villain. The two travel halfway around the world in search of The Unicorn, a shipwreck that may hold the key to a fortune, and are swept into exhilarating adventures along the way.

We are also continuing TWO special giveaways. If your kids haven’t entered yet, they're in luck. We’ve decided to extend our contests for IF ONLY by Carole Geithner and MUNCLE TROGG by Janet Foxley until Wednesday, April 25th at noon ET. Reviewer Sarah Rachel Egelman asked Carole some questions about her book, and you can read the entire interview here.

As always, we have plenty of books for your children to enjoy in our Cool & New Books and New in Paperback features. Among the notable titles this time around are PINCH HIT, Tim Green’s latest sports novel; ILLUSIONOLOGY, the newest discovery in the famed ’Ology series; and HALT'S PERIL and THE EMPEROR OF NIHON-JA, the final two installments in John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series.

The Children’s Book Council has announced the finalists for the fifth annual Children's Choice Book Awards, and it's up to your kids to help pick the winners. Click here and be sure they vote for their favorite book, author and illustrator of 2011 by May 3rd. Every vote counts!

And, while they're in the voting mood, don’t forget to ask them to vote in our latest poll. We want to know if their school sets aside time in class for them to read for pleasure (if it were up to us, we would assign ONLY fun reading!).

Speaking of school, the end is almost in sight. As you start helping your kids plan their summers, make sure they get in some good quality reading time!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

Now in Stores: CHOMP by Carl Hiaasen
CHOMP by Carl Hiaasen (Mystery)
In three previous mysteries --- HOOT, FLUSH and SCAT --- Carl Hiaasen has offered young readers entertaining comic mysteries that combine environmental concerns and social issues with plenty of wacky laughs. Now, in CHOMP, he extends his winning streak with a funny novel that dives into the world of reality television. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

 
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: THE 39 CLUES: CAHILLS VS. VESPERS, Book 3: THE DEAD OF NIGHT by Peter Lerangis
THE 39 CLUES: CAHILLS VS. VESPERS, Book 3: THE DEAD OF NIGHT by Peter Lerangis (Mystery/Adventure)
Amy and Dan were devastated when the Vespers kidnapped seven Cahills around the world, holding them hostage until Amy and Dan delivered an impossible ransom. But now the Vespers have gone too far. They've kidnapped Atticus, an innocent 11-year-old boy and Dan's only friend. Now Dan and Amy are in the struggle of their lives. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

 
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: BEYONDERS: SEEDS OF REBELLION by Brandon Mull
BEYONDERS: SEEDS OF REBELLION by Brandon Mull (Fantasy)
After the cliffhanger ending of A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES, Jason is back in the world he’s always known --- yet for all his efforts to get home, he finds himself itching to return to Lyrian. Jason knows that the shocking truth he learned from Maldor is precious information that all of his friends in Lyrian, including Rachel, need if they have any hope of surviving and defeating the evil emperor. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.
 
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: THE KANE CHRONICLES SURVIVAL GUIDE by Rick Riordan
THE KANE CHRONICLES SURVIVAL GUIDE by Rick Riordan (Fantasy/Adventure)
Do you need to brush up on your Egyptian history? Would you like to learn more about your favorite characters in The Kane Chronicles? Then check out the richly detailed survival guide that is packed with everything related to the exciting series, ancient Egypt, and much, much more. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.
 
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: WONDER by R. J. Palacio
WONDER by R. J. Palacio (Fiction)
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school --- until now. He's about to start fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. Auggie is just an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances? Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

 
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: LUNCH LADY AND THE MUTANT MATHLETES by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
LUNCH LADY AND THE MUTANT MATHLETES by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Graphic Novel)
The Breakfast Bunch have joined the mathletes team, and are all set to win the championship trophy for Thompson Brook Elementary School --- they only need to beat the defending champs from Willowby Academy. But Lunch Lady notices something strange about the opposing mathletes and their sinister coach. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

 
Click here to read a review.

 
Books on Screen: Now Featuring Mirror Mirror and The Adventures of Tintin
In theaters now is Mirror Mirror, a new take on the classic Snow White tale. Snow White is an innocent princess in exile, and an evil Queen is ruthlessly ruling the kingdom she has stolen. Seven courageous rebel dwarfs join forces with Snow White as she fights to reclaim her birthright and win her Prince. But the evil Queen is determined to take the prince for herself, and she'll stop at nothing to keep Snow White away from him.

And in case you missed it on the big screen, The Adventures of Tintin is now available on DVD. The film follows Tintin and Snowy as they discover a ship with a centuries-old mystery and get drawn into a desperate chase from a deadly villain. The two travel halfway around the world in search of The Unicorn, a shipwreck that may hold the key to a fortune, and are swept into exhilarating adventures along the way.

 
Click here to read more about these films.
 
Special Contest and Feature: IF ONLY by Carole Geithner

Corinna's world is crushed after her mother dies of cancer. How does she get through the funeral, trays of ziti, a father who can't communicate, the first day of school, Mother's Day, people who don't know what to say, and the entire eighth-grade year?

To celebrate the release of IF ONLY by Carole Geithner, Kidsreads.com is giving 25 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, April 25th at noon ET.

IF ONLY by Carole Geithner (Fiction)
Corinna's world is crushed after her mother dies of cancer. How does she get through the funeral, trays of ziti, a father who can't communicate, the first day of school, Mother's Day, people who don't know what to say, and the entire eighth-grade year? Despite her alienation from many of her peers, including her best friend, she succeeds in finding support. She dares to bare her innermost fears, hurts and wishes, and even allows herself to have a flowering crush on a boy in the school band. She also finds out deep secrets about her mother that she never knew. It's a year that will change Corinna's life forever.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read our interview.
-Click here to read Carole Geithner’s bio.

Click here to read all the contest details.
 
Special Contest and Feature: MUNCLE TROGG by Janet Foxley
Giants live on top of Mount Grumble, hidden from humans below. But not all of them are big. Muncle Trogg is so small that he's laughed at by the others for being human-sized. Fed up, he decides to take a look at the “Smallings” he's meant to look like.

To celebrate the release of MUNCLE TROGG by Janet Foxley, Kidsreads.com is giving 25 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, April 25th at noon ET.

MUNCLE TROGG written by Janet Foxley, illustrated by O'Kif (Fiction)
Mount Grumble is where the giants live. But (contrary to what you might think, maybe because of their name) not every "giant" (see?) is, um...big. In fact, Muncle Trogg is so SMALL that all the other giants make fun of him for being (uh-oh) people-sized. And toss him around like a football!

Fed up, Muncle Trogg climbs down Mount Grumble to take a look at the Smallings (that would be humans) he supposedly looks like. What he discovers is...

...a sulky green dragon and a terribly sensible girl? But when Mount Grumble is put in harm's way, it's up to little Muncle to be the bigger smallest giant, prove that size doesn't matter, and somehow save his home!

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Janet Foxley’s bio.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.
 
Vote for Your Favorite Books, Authors and Illustrators of 2011 in the Children's Choice Book Awards

The Children’s Book Council has announced the finalists for the fifth annual Children's Choice Book Awards. Thousands of children and teens are able to cast their votes for their favorite books, authors and illustrators at bookstores, schools, libraries and at BookWeekOnline.com from now until May 3rd.

The winners will be announced live at the annual Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala on May 7th in New York City as part of Children’s Book Week (May 7-13), the oldest national literacy event in the United States.

Click here to cast your votes for the 2012 Children's Choice Book Awards.
 
Cool & New Books for March
March’s roundup of Cool & New Books includes Carl Hiaasen’s CHOMP, an eco-mystery set in the world of reality television that will lead young Wahoo Cray into an adventure and a life-changing friendship; SEEDS OF REBELLION, the second installment in Brandon Mull's Beyonders series, in which Jason Walker must return to Lyrian to save his friends and help them defeat the evil emperor Maldor; PINCH HIT, Tim Green’s latest sports novel that introduces readers to Sam and Trevor, two boys who realize they are twins separated at birth and decide to switch places with each other; and ILLUSIONOLOGY, the newest discovery in the famed ’Ology series, which describes 25 tricks for aspiring young magicians --- ranging from ancient illusions to Houdini's greatest acts.
 
Click here to read our Cool & New Books feature for March.
 
March’s New in Paperback Roundup
March's New in Paperback roundup includes HALT'S PERIL and THE EMPEROR OF NIHON-JA, the last two installments in John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series, which sees Will and his band of Araluens fending off master Senji warriors intent on overthrowing the emperor; SCORPIA RISING, Anthony Horowitz's final Alex Rider novel, in which the teen spy tries to track down the world's most dangerous terrorist organization once and for all (only this time, he might not get away with it); THE DREAMER by Pam Muñoz Ryan, the enchanting tale of a young Chilean boy named Neftalí, who later becomes the famous poet and politician Pablo Neruda; and CRUNCH, a timely family story about sticking together and never giving up hope, from the award-winning author of WAITING FOR NORMAL.
 
Click here to see what's New in Paperback for March.
 
This Month's Reviews
RUBY REDFORT LOOK INTO MY EYES by Lauren Child (Mystery/Adventure)
Everyone knows that Clarice Bean is exceptionordinarily keen on the Ruby Redfort books. Now in her own starring role, Ruby, a genius code-cracker and daring detective, along with her sidekick butler, Hitch, work for a secret crime-busting organization called Spectrum. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK written by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Fiction)
There's only one week before the new book in the Nightmare on Zombie Street series comes out, and of course Stink will be first in line to buy his copy and join the town's Midnight Zombie Walk. Until then, Stink and his friends keep busy making ketchup-stained zombie costumes, trying to raise money to buy the book, and racking up points for Virginia Dare School's race to one million minutes of reading. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG FLIES AGAIN by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Fiction)
When the Tooting family finds an old engine and fits it to their camper van, they have no idea what kind of adventure lies ahead. The engine used to belong to an extraordinary car...and it wants its bodywork back! But as the Tootings hurtle across the world rebuilding the original Chitty, a sinister baddie is on their trail --- one who will stop at nothing to get the magnificent car for himself. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

THE INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE: Book III: THE UNSEEN GUEST by Maryrose Wood (Mystery)
While Ashton Place is being restored, Penelope, the Ashtons, and the children take up residence in London. Penelope is thrilled, as the city offers so many opportunities to further the education of her unique students. As the children explore their new home, they discover more about themselves as clues about the children's --- and Penelope's --- mysterious past crop up in the most unexpected ways. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

KASPAR THE TITANIC CAT written by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman (Historical Fiction)
When Kaspar the cat first arrived at London’s Savoy Hotel, it was Johnny Trott who carried him in. But when tragedy befalls the Countess during her stay, Kaspar becomes more than Johnny’s responsibility: Kaspar is Johnny’s new cat, and his new best friend. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

FORGIVE ME, I MEANT TO DO IT: False Apology Poems written by Gail Carson Levine, illustrated by Matthew Cordell (Poetry Collection)
A well-known apology poem by poet William Carlos Williams, in which he doesn't really ask for forgiveness for helping himself to the sweet juicy plums belonging to another, inspired this hilariously mean-spirited collection of not-really-apologies. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

COLD CEREAL by Adam Rex (Fantasy)
Ever think what might really be in the cereal you had this morning? When Scott, Erno and Emily find out what Goodco Cereal Factory has been putting in their cereal, they make plans to stop this evil company from threatening the lives of children around the world. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

ONE BOY AND HIS DOG by Eva Ibbotson (Fiction)
All Hal wants is a dog, but his mother is totally against it. So it's pretty shocking that on the morning of Hal's 10th birthday, he's allowed to choose a dog at a rent-a-pet agency. The moment he sees the odd-looking terrier, he knows he's found a friend for life. But no one tells Hal that Fleck must be returned. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

THE BOY ON CINNAMON STREET by Phoebe Stone (Fiction)
Seventh grader Louise should be the captain of her school's gymnastics team --- but she isn't. She's fun and cute and should have lots of friends --- but she doesn't. And there's a dreamy boy who has a crush on her --- but somehow they never connect. Louise has everything going for her --- so what is it that's holding her back? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

CASTLE OF SHADOWS by Ellen Renner (Fantasy/Mystery)
Ever since the Queen mysteriously disappeared and the King went mad five years ago, 11-year-old Princess Charlie has lived a wild and mostly unsupervised life in the country of Quale --- until now. With the discovery of an unfinished letter in the Queen’s handwriting, Charlie embarks on a quest to find her mother and save the kingdom from a revolution. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

 
This Month's Poll

At your school, is there time set aside in class for you to read for pleasure?

Yes
No
I’m not sure.

 

Click here to answer the poll.

Remember to be safe online. NEVER tell anyone personal information --- which includes your real name, age, address, phone number or school. Hey, pretend you are undercover when you go online and protect yourself at all times!

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