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August 2012

Kidsreads.com Newsletter for Parents August 2012
Savoring These Last Summer Days

The last week of summer means that, according to where you live, your kids either are toting a backpack full of school books or still enjoying the last week of summer vacation. We hope that they have time for at least one more pleasure read to finish the summer off with a blast! We have plenty of books this month that will keep them entertained.

Is your child a fan of The 39 Clues series? If so, then he or she MUST take a look at our newest series feature. Infinity Ring is a time-travel adventure told in seven books and seven original online episodes at www.infinityring.com. In the first book of the series, A MUTINY IN TIME, best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste discover the key to time travel --- the Infinity Ring --- and are suddenly swept up in ancient wars and secret societies. They learn that history has gotten dangerously off course, and they have to fix it before any more damage is done. James Dashner kicks off the series and then opens the door for Carrie Ryan to continue the action in DIVIDE AND CONQUER, which releases on November 6th. We can’t wait to hear what your children think about Infinity Ring!

Captain Underpants is back! In CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS by Dav Pilkey, our heroes, George and Harold, find that they’ve time traveled right back to kindergarten. There they encounter an older bully, and since they didn’t invent Captain Underpants until the fourth grade, this is a problem they have to face all by themselves.


Rebecca Stead, whose novel WHEN YOU REACH ME is a Newbery Medal winner, returns this month with LIAR & SPY. Seventh grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment and instantly meets Safer, a 12-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer’s first recruit and is assigned the task of spying on Mr. X, the man who lives upstairs. But what happens when Safer gets more demanding? How far should you be willing to go for a friend?

Rick Riordan has released THE DEMIGOD DIARIES, three never-before-seen short stories that provide vital back-story to his Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson series. What dangers do runaway demigods Luke and Thalia face on their way to Camp Half-Blood? Are Percy and Annabeth up to the task of rescuing stolen goods from a fire-breathing giant who doesn't take kindly to intruders? These are just some of the questions that will be answered here. Spectacular art, interviews with characters, puzzles and a quiz add to the fun in this action-packed collection.

Megan McDonald’s popular Judy Moody series continues with JUDY MOODY AND THE BAD-LUCK CHARM. Judy’s lucky penny is working so well for her; all she does is win. But then her penny falls into a porcelain bowl of yucky UNluck. Is all the magic from her coin gone?

Back in June, we reviewed PARANORMAN by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. I'm sure your kids have alerted you to the fact that the movie on which the book is based is now in theaters. The film is about a little boy named Norman who can see and talk to ghosts, but no one believes him. When his entire town is taken over by zombies, ghosts and witches, Norman is the only one who can save the day.

We’ve updated Geronimo Stilton’s Creepella von Cacklefur series feature with the fourth book in the series, RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE. A mysterious friend shows up at Cacklefur Castle asking for the family’s help. He’s a vampire, and his ancient castle is being infested by strange and troublesome monsters and ghosts. Will the Cacklefur family be able to help him?

Our latest Cool & New Books roundup includes many of the books mentioned above, in addition to THE EMPTY CITY, which kicks off Erin Hunter’s new Survivors series; the return of Olivia the Pig in OLIVIA AND THE FAIRY PRINCESSES by Ian Falconer; and much more.

Among this month’s New in Paperback titles are DEEP ZONE: A Football Genius Novel by Tim Green (just in time for the start of the NFL season!); LUCKY FOR GOOD, the conclusion to Susan Patron's Hard Pan trilogy, in which 11-year-old Lucky finds that the best she can do is to never give up; and LIESL & PO, Lauren Oliver’s middle-grade debut about a lonely young girl who befriends a ghost and is drawn into a world of magic.

We have a fun new poll question that asks which characters from books your kids would like to talk to during their lunch period. If none of our choices appeal to them, they can feel free to suggest their own.


That's all for this month. Please enjoy the remainder of your summer (with or without your kids) and best of luck to them in the new school year!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

New Series Feature: Infinity Ring --- Read the Book. Follow the Guide. Play the Game.

When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon the key to time travel --- a handheld device known as the Infinity Ring --- they're swept up in a centuries-long war for the fate of humankind. Join the epic time-travel adventure told in seven books and seven original online game episodes.

INFINITY RING, Book One: A MUTINY IN TIME by James Dashner (Fantasy/Adventure)
In Stores August 28th
When best friends Dak and Sera discover the key to time travel --- the Infinity Ring --- they're swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. They learn that history has gone disastrously off course --- and it's up to them to fix it. First stop: Spain, 1492, where a sailor named Christopher Columbus is about to be thrown overboard in a deadly mutiny.


INFINITY RING, Book Two: DIVIDE AND CONQUER by Carrie Ryan (Fantasy/Adventure)
In Stores November 6th
Hundreds of ships carrying thousands of Viking warriors are attacking medieval Paris. The Parisians are fighting back, but they can only hold out for so long. And that's bad news --- especially since Dak has been captured and forced to work with the invading army while Sera and Riq defend Paris from within. No matter which side wins, the kids will lose...unless Dak can find an ally among some of history's fiercest warriors.

-Click here to read a review of A MUTINY IN TIME.

-Click here to visit the official website of the series.

Click here to read our series feature.
Series Feature Update: CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS by Dav Pilkey

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS by Dav Pilkey (Humor/Adventure)
In this ninth epic novel, Dav Pilkey takes readers back in time to the carefree days of kindergarten, when the worst thing George and Harold had to face was NOT evil mad scientists or alien cafeteria ladies but a sixth-grade bully named Kipper Krupp, the nephew of their clueless school principal. And because George and Harold don't actually invent Captain Underpants until fourth grade, the two clever kindergartners are on their own --- using their brains to beat the bully. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read our series feature.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: LIAR & SPY by Rebecca Stead

LIAR & SPY by Rebecca Stead (Mystery)
Seventh grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets Safer, a 12-year-old self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: what is a lie, and what is a game? How far is too far to go for your only friend? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS: THE DEMIGOD DIARIES by Rick Riordan

THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS: THE DEMIGOD DIARIES by Rick Riordan (Fantasy/Adventure)
Rick Riordan gives readers three never-before-seen short stories that provide vital back-story to the Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson books. Original art, enlightening character interviews and illustrated profiles, puzzles, and a quiz add to the fun in this action-packed collection that is sure to delight legions of loyal fans. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: SURVIVORS #1: THE EMPTY CITY by Erin Hunter

SURVIVORS #1: THE EMPTY CITY by Erin Hunter (Fantasy/Adventure)
Lucky has always been a Lone Dog. Other dogs have Packs, but Lucky stands alone. Now Lucky is trapped in a strange and desolate new world with no food, foul water, and enemies at every turn. He falls in with others left behind, including his littermate Bella. Relying on other dogs, brings new dangers that Lucky isn't prepared for, but he may not be able to survive on his own. Can Lucky ever be a true Pack Dog? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Books on Screen: Now Featuring ParaNorman

Last month, we shined our Books on Screen spotlight on the highly-anticipated third Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie. This month, we’re excited to tell you all about ParaNorman, which is in theaters now. Norman, a young boy in a small town, has a secret --- he can talk to dead people. Watch what happens when his town gets invaded by zombies, and he's forced to deal with ghosts, witches and, worst of all, grown-ups. Will he succeed in saving his town from a centuries-old curse? Or will this all be too much for a young boy to handle on his own?

-Click here to visit the official movie website.

Click here to read more about the film.
Series Feature Update: JUDY MOODY AND THE BAD LUCK CHARM by Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds

JUDY MOODY AND THE BAD LUCK CHARM written by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Mystery)
The lucky penny in Judy Moody's pocket sure does seem to be working. She can't stop winning --- at bowling, spelling, the unbeatable Prize Claw, everything! She's confident she'll be able to ride that wave of good fortune all the way to Washington, D.C. But that was before her lucky penny did a belly flop into a porcelain bowl of yucky, blucky UNluck. Has the coin's magic gone kerflooey? Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read our series feature.

Click here to read a review.
Series Feature Update: SAMMY KEYES AND THE POWER OF JUSTICE JACK by Wendelin Van Draanen

SAMMY KEYES AND THE POWER OF JUSTICE JACK by Wendelin Van Draanen (Mystery)
Sammy thought she'd seen all the weirdness her town had to offer --- and then she met Justice Jack, Santa Martina's very own superhero. He's really just a guy in spandex and a mask who rides around town on a dirt bike, hoping to find some crime to fight. The old folks in town have asked him to track down Sammy's neighbor Mrs. Wedgewood, who seems to have disappeared --- along with a lot of other people's cash. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read our series feature.

 

Click here to read a review.
Series Feature Update: CREEPELLA VON CACKLEFUR #4: RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE by Geronimo Stilton

CREEPELLA VON CACKLEFUR #4: RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE by Geronimo Stilton (Mystery/Adventure)
A mysterious old friend of Grandpa Frankenstein shows up one night on the doorstep of Cacklefur Castle. He's a vampire...and he needs the von Cacklefur family's help. His ancient castle has been infested by strange and troublesome monsters and ghosts, and he's afraid he’ll have to move out because of them! It's up to Creepella and her family and friends to help this vampire save his home.


-Click here to read our series feature.
 

Click here to read more about the book.
Cool & New Books for August

Some of your favorite characters are back this month in all-new adventures! Among them are Captain Underpants, Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones and Olivia the Pig. August's roundup of Cool & New Books also includes the launch of two brand-new series. Infinity Ring is a time-travel adventure told in seven books and seven original online episodes at www.infinityring.com. In Book One of the series, A MUTINY IN TIME by James Dashner, best friends Dak and Sera discover the key to time travel --- the Infinity Ring --- and are suddenly swept up in ancient wars and secret societies. Meanwhile, Erin Hunter introduces her Survivors series with THE EMPTY CITY, the first installment in a six-book story arc. The humans are gone --- and a new animal is ready to rule the wild. And, as always, many more Cool & New titles are just a mouse click away!

Click here to see our latest Cool & New Books roundup.
August’s New in Paperback Roundup

August's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE THRONE OF FIRE, Book Two in Rick Riordan's The Kane Chronicles trilogy, which sees the offspring of the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane on a worldwide search for the Book of Ra; LUCKY FOR GOOD, the conclusion to Susan Patron's Hard Pan trilogy, in which 11-year-old Lucky finds that the best she can do is to never give up; LIESL & PO, Lauren Oliver’s middle-grade debut about a lonely young girl who befriends a ghost and is drawn into a world of magic; and PENNY AND HER SONG by Kevin Henkes, a picture book that introduces readers to Penny, who wants to sing her really wonderful song --- but her parents are worried she will wake the babies.

Click here to see our latest New in Paperback roundup.
This Month’s Reviews

UNGIFTED by Gordon Korman (Fiction/Humor)
The word gifted has never been applied to a kid like Donovan Curtis. But thanks to a mix-up by one of the administrators, instead of getting in trouble after a major prank, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction (ASD), a special program for gifted and talented students. It wasn't exactly what Donovan had intended, but there couldn't be a more perfect hideout for someone like him. That is, if he can manage to fool people whose IQs are above genius level. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.


CHICKADEE by Louise Erdrich (Historical Fiction)
Twin brothers Chickadee and Makoons have spent every day side by side and have done everything together since they were born --- until the day the unthinkable happens and the brothers are separated. Desperate to reunite, Chickadee and his family must travel across new territories, forge unlikely friendships, and experience both unexpected moments of unbearable heartache as well as pure happiness. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.


THE SECOND SPY: The Books of Elsewhere, Volume 3 by Jacqueline West (Fantasy/Horror)
Some terrifying things have happened to Olive in the old stone house, but none as scary as starting junior high. Or so she thinks. When she plummets through a hole in her backyard, though, she realizes two things that may change her mind. First, the wicked Annabelle McMartin is back. Second, there's a secret underground that unlocks not one but two of Elsewhere's biggest, most powerful, most dangerous forces yet. Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell.


HALFWAY TO PERFECT: A Dyamonde Daniel Book by Nikki Grimes (Fiction)
Dyamonde loves eating her mom's pancakes. Free loves eating...period. But lately Damaris just pushes her food around her plate, and Dyamonde suspects it has something to do with the mean things classmates have been saying about people's weight. She knows that Damaris doesn't have a weight problem and is perfect just the way she is --- so now it's time for her to make sure Damaris knows that, too. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.


THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS by Claire Legrand (Fantasy/Mystery)
Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster --- lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.


CAPTURE THE FLAG by Kate Messner (Mystery/Adventure)
Anna, José and Henry are complete strangers with more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a chaotic Washington, D.C. airport, they encounter several bizarre people. Even stranger, news stations everywhere have announced that the famous flag that inspired "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been stolen! Anna, certain that the culprits must be snowed in too, recruits Henry and José to help catch the thieves and bring them to justice. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.


THE LABYRINTH written by Thomas Weck and Peter Weck, illustrated by Len DiSalvo (Picture Book Fiction)
Princess Belinda Bean takes the throne as Queen and Ruler of Beandom. All are happy except the duke, Mean Ol' Bean, who wants to be the king and ruler. He lures her into a magic labyrinth from which there is no escape. L. Joe Bean, one of her subjects, discovers the plot. Will he be able to save his queen? What will happen to Mean Ol' Bean? Reviewed by Elinor Nuxoll.

This Month’s Poll

Which of the following characters from a book would you like to talk to during your lunch period? Please check as many as apply.

Alex Rider
Artemis Fowl
Captain Underpants
Chet Gecko
Curious George
Eloise
Geronimo Stilton
Greg Heffley
Harry Potter
Hermione Granger
Judy Moody
Junie B. Jones
Lunch Lady
Nancy Drew
Percy Jackson
Ron Weasley
Sammy Keyes
Stink Moody
Thea Stilton
None of the above

Other (Please specify)

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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