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July 2012

Kidsreads.com Newsletter July 2012
Summer is Zipping On By….

July is coming to an end fast…too fast! What’s on YOUR list to accomplish before the summer ends? Did you set a reading goal? If so, we are here to help with a newsletter full of books to tempt you to keep reading!

To start off, we remind you that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days will be in theaters on Friday, August 3rd. This third film adaptation of Jeff Kinney’s popular series is based on the third and fourth books, THE LAST STRAW and DOG DAYS, and it looks like it’ll be another winner. Greg Heffley thinks up a plan to keep himself away from this season’s dog days: he pretends to work at a rich country club. But things don't go quite the way he expected. Will Greg be able to make things right, or will trouble just keep following him?

This month marks the end of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series. In THE LAST GUARDIAN, the eighth and final installment, Artemis is at a loss on how to save the day. Is it possible that his archnemesis has finally figured out a plan for world domination? It appears that fans will be in for quite the ride as this blockbuster series reaches its thrilling finale. I got a chance to see Eoin in San Diego earlier this month as he performed all eight books from the eight-book Artemis Fowl series in eight minutes! Curious about this? Please check out the video on his site here.

One of the most anticipated children’s books of the season is here, and it’s written by another Colfer! Chris Colfer (who is NOT related to Eoin) brings us THE LAND OF STORIES: THE WISHING SPELL, which stars Alex and Conner Bailey, twins who find themselves in a foreign land of wonder and magic, meeting all the favorite fairy-tale characters they grew up reading about. And oh, if you recognize Chris Colfer’s name, you are right if you guessed you’ve seen him on “Glee”! We love seeing multi-talented authors.

Happy 20th anniversary, Goosebumps! R. L. Stine’s spine-tingling series appeared on shelves for the first time in 1992, and to celebrate this milestone, the very first hardcover edition of a Goosebumps book has been published. GOOSEBUMPS WANTED: THE HAUNTED MASK is a spooky stand-alone featuring two all-new chilling stories that will leave you terrified --- yet strangely enough wanting more! It's time to get the goosebumps the same as other readers have been experiencing for the last 20 years.

Just in time for the Olympics, we have a review of RUSH FOR THE GOLD, a continuation of John Feinstein’s Last Shot series. Fifteen-year-old Susan Carol Anderson has a chance to make the 2012 Olympic Swim Team. Suddenly, she is swamped with promoters and agents who make it really hard for her to know who to trust. With her reporter best friend, Stevie Thomas, Susan Carol must figure out who’s really there to help her win the gold medal. RUSH FOR THE GOLD was recently an Al’s Book Club for Kids Pick on the “Today Show.” Their latest selection is VANISHED by Sheela Chari, which we reviewed when it came out last year. Click here to read all about it.

We’re pleased to share with you an interview with Gene Ambaum, the author of a very funny (and pretty gross) graphic novel called POOPY CLAWS. It’s all about a boy and his cat, Stinky, who unfortunately doesn’t use his litter box. Instead he uses the boy’s sandbox and the mom’s closet. What happens when Stinky doesn’t clean his paws afterward and the mom’s overbearing aunt comes for a visit?

We’ve updated our Geronimo Stilton series feature with THIS HOTEL IS HAUNTED! In his 50th(!) adventure (I remember when the first one came out!), Geronimo is called to investigate a mystery at the Grand Hotel. There’s a ghost haunting the place, wearing armor and scaring the guests. Can Geronimo figure out what’s going on?

July’s Cool & New Books roundup includes many of the books mentioned above, in addition to GUYS READ: THE SPORTS PAGES, featuring 10 action-packed stories compiled by kid-lit all-star Jon Scieszka that are guaranteed to put you in the ring, under the basket, and right behind home plate; ABOUT AVERAGE by Andrew Clements, in which an average girl challenges herself to be amazing; and much more.

Among this month’s New in Paperback titles are CHECKMATE, a follow-up to THE CRUISERS, in which Walter Dean Myers explores the world of competitive chess as seen through the eyes of a group of middle school misfits; THE TRAP, book two in Michael Grant's The Magnificent 12 series; and NOAH BARLEYWATER RUNS AWAY by John Boyne, in which a runaway child discovers a mysterious toyshop in an enchanted forest and meets a toymaker with secrets and stories to tell.

Be sure to answer our new poll about how many books you usually pack for a week-long vacation. I know my answer --- way too many; one for each day we are away!

Finally, we were saddened to hear that Donald J. Sobol, the author of the Encyclopedia Brown series, passed away earlier this month. A brand-new addition to the series,
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN AND THE CASE OF THE SOCCER SCHEME, will release in October, and next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the series, all making for a celebration that will be a lot less special with his passing. Click here to read more about this wonderful author.


Well, that’s it for this month. I hope you all remember to appreciate every moment of what’s left of this beautiful summer, and that you’re enjoying all these wonderful summer reads!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

In Theaters August 3rd: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

It’s time to get wimpy! The highly-anticipated third Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, Dog Days, will be in theaters on August 3rd, and it promises to be the best one yet. In the film, which is based on the third and fourth books in Jeff Kinney’s popular series --- THE LAST STRAW and DOG DAYS --- Greg Heffley comes up with a plan to keep himself away from this season’s dog days: by pretending to work at a rich country club. But things don't go the way he envisioned them. He has an embarrassing accident at his local public pool, and disaster ensues further when he goes camping. Will Greg be able to make things right, or will trouble just keep following him?
 

-Click here to visit the official movie website.

Click here to read more about the film.
Now in Stores: THE LAST GUARDIAN by Eoin Colfer, the Final Artemis Fowl Adventure

ARTEMIS FOWL: THE LAST GUARDIAN by Eoin Colfer (Fantasy/Adventure)
The final installment in Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series has arrived, and even boy genius Artemis is at a loss on how to save the day. His archnemesis, Opal Koboi, has finally figured out a plan for world domination, and this time she has accounted for every possibility. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

 

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

 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE LAND OF STORIES: THE WISHING SPELL by Chris Colfer

THE LAND OF STORIES: THE WISHING SPELL by Chris Colfer (Fantasy/Adventure)
THE LAND OF STORIES tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner Bailey. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

 

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Don’t Miss: GOOSEBUMPS WANTED: THE HAUNTED MASK by R. L. Stine

GOOSEBUMPS WANTED: THE HAUNTED MASK by R. L. Stine (Horror)
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the classic Goosebumps books, R. L. Stine has written GOOSEBUMPS WANTED: THE HAUNTED MASK, the first-ever hardcover in the long-running series. Catch the series' most notorious characters --- undead or alive --- in two new chilling stories that will scare you to the bone!
 

Click here to read more about the book.
Olympic Tie-In: RUSH FOR THE GOLD by John Feinstein

RUSH FOR THE GOLD: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein (Mystery)
Fifteen-year-old Susan Carol Anderson has a shot at making the 2012 Olympic Swim Team. Suddenly the center of attention from agents and promoters all looking to cash in on her athletic performance and good looks, Susan Carol no longer knows who to trust. With her friend Stevie Thomas covering the games as a teen reporter, the two must uncover how far people will go to see her win Olympic Gold.
Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

-Click here to read more about the book.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
 

Click here to read a review.
An Interview with Gene Ambaum, Author of POOPY CLAWS

Gene Ambaum is a teen-services librarian who is half (along with co-creator Bill Barnes) of the force behind the hilarious comic Unshelved. He’s also now the writer of an all-ages graphic novel called POOPY CLAWS, the story of a very messy cat. GraphicNovelReporter.com’s John Hogan talked to Ambaum about his new book, which is illustrated by Sophie Goldstein, and his upcoming plans.

POOPY CLAWS written by Gene Ambaum, illustrated by Sophie Goldstein (Graphic Novel)

POOPY CLAWS is a graphic novel about a boy and his best friend, a cat named Stinky. Stinky doesn’t use his litter box, but he does like to use the boy’s sandbox and mom’s closet. Unfortunately, (1) Stinky doesn’t clean his paws afterward, (2) mom is a bit of a clean freak, and (3) mom’s overbearing aunt is coming for dinner.

Click here to read the interview.
Series Feature Update: GERONIMO STILTON #50: THIS HOTEL IS HAUNTED!

THIS HOTEL IS HAUNTED! by Geronimo Stilton (Mystery/Adventure)
Geronimo Stilton and his good friend, Hercule Poirat, are called to investigate mysterious events in the famouse Grand Hotel in New Mouse City. Supposedly there is a ghost haunting the hotel; it's wearing armor, carrying a ball and chain, and scaring guests. Will Geronimo and Poirat be able to solve this spine-tingling mystery?


-Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to see our series feature.
"Al's Book Club for Kids" Latest Pick: VANISHED by Sheela Chari

VANISHED by Sheela Chari (Mystery)
Eleven-year-old Neela dreams of being a famous musician, performing for admiring crowds on her traditional Indian stringed instrument. It used to be her grandmother’s --- but when this special family heirloom vanishes from a local church, Neela is devastated. As she searches for it, strange clues surface.


-Click here to read a review.

Click here to read more about the book.
Remembering Donald J. Sobol, Author of the Encyclopedia Brown Series
Donald J. Sobol, the author of the popular Encyclopedia Brown children's book series, featuring amateur sleuth Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown, has passed away at the age of 87. Sobol wrote the first book in 1963, and the series went on to become a staple in classrooms and children's libraries across the country. His latest Encyclopedia Brown adventure, ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN AND THE CASE OF THE SOCCER SCHEME, will be published in October.
 
Click here to read more about Donald J. Sobol.
Cool & New Books for July
July’s roundup of Cool & New Books includes THE LAST GUARDIAN, the final installment in Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series, which finds our boy genius at a loss on how to save the day; THE LAND OF STORIES: THE WISHING SPELL, Chris Colfer's much talked-about debut novel about twins who are transported to the realm of fairy tales, where they face a cast of spooky goblins, wolves, trolls and more; GOOSEBUMPS WANTED: THE HAUNTED MASK, two new chilling stand-alone stories in celebration of the 20th anniversary of R. L. Stine's classic Goosebumps series; and GUYS READ: THE SPORTS PAGES, featuring 10 action-packed stories compiled by kid-lit all-star Jon Scieszka that are guaranteed to put you in the ring, under the basket, and right behind home plate.
 
Click here to see our latest Cool & New Books roundup.
 
July’s New in Paperback Roundup
July's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes CHECKMATE, a follow-up to THE CRUISERS, in which Walter Dean Myers explores the world of competitive chess as seen through the eyes of a group of middle school misfits; THE TRAP, book two in Michael Grant's The Magnificent 12 series, which finds Mack MacAvoy challenged by his spectral mentor, Grimluk --- who only appears in the shiny chrome pipes of bathrooms; NOAH BARLEYWATER RUNS AWAY by John Boyne, in which a runaway child discovers a mysterious toyshop in an enchanted forest and meets a toymaker with secrets and stories to tell; and THE TALENT SHOW, Dan Gutman's funny, action-packed account of a community that decides to put on a talent show in order to raise money to rebuild their town following a devastating tornado.
 
Click here to see our latest New in Paperback roundup.
This Month’s Reviews

A HERO FOR WONDLA by Tony DiTerlizzi (Fantasy/Adventure)
Before the end of THE SEARCH FOR WONDLA, Eva Nine had never seen another human. But after a human boy named Hailey rescues her along with her companions, she couldn’t be happier. All is not idyllic in New Attica, though, and Eva soon realizes that something sinister is going on --- and if she doesn’t stop it, it could mean the end of everything and everyone on planet Orbona.
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.


GUYS READ: THE SPORTS PAGES edited by Jon Scieszka (Sports/Short Stories)
THE SPORTS PAGES is the third volume in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading. From fiction to nonfiction, from baseball to mixed martial arts and everything in between, these 10 stories --- compiled by kid-lit all-star Jon Scieszka --- are about the rush of victory and the crush of defeat on and off the field.
Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.


13 SECRETS by Michelle Harrison (Fantasy/Adventure)
Happy with life at Elvesden Manor, Rowan is doing her best to put the past behind her. But it's tough to do so when fairy messengers won't leave her be, no matter how many magical boundaries are put in place to keep them away. When Tanya arrives to spend the summer at the manor, she notices that Rowan is acting strangely and becomes determined to find out what she's hiding.
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

SEE YOU AT HARRY’S by Jo Knowles (Fiction)
Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. If it wasn't for Ran, her best and oldest friend, there would be nowhere to turn. But when the lives of Fern and her family are unexpectedly turned upside down, Fern feels more alone than ever, and responsible for the event that wrenches the family apart. All will never be the same.
Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

I, GALILEO written and illustrated by Bonnie Christensen (Picture Book Biography)
Galileo's contributions were so numerous and his ideas so world-changing that Albert Einstein called him "the father of modern science," but in his own time he was branded a heretic and imprisoned in his home. He was a man who insisted on his right to pursue the truth, no matter what the cost --- making his life as interesting and instructive as his ideas. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

This Month’s Poll

How many books do you typically pack for a week-long vacation?

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
More than 10
None
None, I get books on vacation.
None, I have an eReader.
 

Click here to answer the poll.

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Keep reading!

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