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February 2013

Kidsreads.com Newsletter February 2013
Kidsreads.com Counts Down to Spring Break...And Pleasure Reading!

Starting next week and running well into April, Spring Break will happen around the country. Depending upon where you live, your break will be in March or April. And whether your family is going away, or you are enjoying some school-free days at home, Spring Break is a great time for getting some FUN reading time in. Which books are you excited to read? Maybe you’ll find them here!

Have you entered our contest to win a copy of HOKEY POKEY yet? Kidsreads.com is giving TEN readers a chance to win a copy of the book. Our contest is only open until March 15th so click on over and enter to win . What’s HOKEY POKEY about? It’s Jerry Spinelli's fable about a place where there are no parents --- only kids. Everything is great, until someone steals Jack’s bike, and everything he knows begins to change… Be sure to check out an interview with the author and our review, in which Norah Piehl says, “What if childhood were not just a time but also a place? Jerry Spinelli vividly imagines this scenario in HOKEY POKEY, a bittersweet, inventive exploration of what happens when it's time to leave Hokey Pokey.”

Are you a fan of Kirby Larson’s HATTIE BIG SKY? Now, Hattie is BACK in HATTIE EVER AFTER, in which she moves to San Francisco to pursue her dream to be a journalist. We were curious about this next adventure for Hattie, and decided to ask Kirby some questions! In this interview, Kirby Larson shares why she decided to write another adventure for Hattie, discusses her favorite historical figure that she learned about while researching the story and reveals what else we can expect to see from her soon. This is a great read for those who love going on an adventure in another historical era!

Lisa Graff’s A TANGLE OF KNOTS is about 11-year-old Cady, an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a family of children searching for their own Talents and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever. As reviewer Terry Miller Shannon says, “Author Lisa Graff pens a delightful story that is sure to appeal to fans of mysteries, fantasies and family stories.” The best part about this book is it comes FILLED with cake recipes…and I’m sure you will all love baking a cake that fits your personality!

Do you have high aspirations to become the proud CEO of a detective agency? In Stephan Pastis’ TIMMY FAILURE: Mistakes Were Made, 11-year-old Timmy Failure is the clueless, self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation: Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t stress out about the bills anymore. With hilarious illustrations throughout, you’ll be sure to love the entrepreneurial series of mishaps. Sheena Kowalski explains, “[Stephan Pastis] maintains a sarcastic wit throughout the entire story, not only in his writing but also with his hilarious illustrations.”

Entertain yourself with a historical fiction novel, filled with twists and turns! BEHOLDING BEE by Kimberly Newton Fusco, is about Bee, who is an orphan living with a carnival and has birthmark on her face that everyone thinks is an ugly curse. She runs off, and two mysterious women, Mrs. Swift and Mrs. Potter, take her in. Strangely, only Bee seems able to see them. Sarah Rachel Egelman reviews, “Set against the bleak landscape of World War II America, BEHOLDING BEE is an amazing and tender story with fascinating characters and a few wonderful twists and turns."

The Heck series by Dale E. Basye continues with PRECOCIA: The Sixth Level of Heck. This time, Bea "Elsa" Bubb, the Principal of Darkness sends Milton and Marlo Fauster to Precocia, the circle of Heck for smarty-pants kids who grow up too fast. Can Milton and Marlo figure out their plan in time to stop vice principals Napoleon and Cleopatra from eliminating childhood altogether? Reviewer Benjamin Boche has to say, “The endings are so gripping and mind-boggling that just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, Dale Basye throws you for a loop.”

Do you ever feel like someone else has planned out your life for you? That’s how Emily feels in DESTINY, REWRITTEN by Kathryn Fitzmaurice. Emily Elizabeth Davis' destiny is to become a poet, just like her famous namesake, Emily Dickinson. But Emily doesn't even really like poetry. She actually prefers romance novels by Danielle Steel. After losing a volume of Emily Dickinson's poetry that contains an important family secret, Emily's understanding of destiny begins to unravel and then rewrite itself. In her review, Sally M. Tibbetts says, “Fitzmaurice gives readers entertainment along with questions about family, destiny and free will. This is a happy little book with a good story, terrific characters and some big issues."

Have you been waiting for the next book in the Infinity Ring series? Good news! You can check out Daq, Sera and Riq’s latest adventures in INFINITY RING, Book Three: THE TRAP DOOR by Lisa McMann. The year is 1850 and the SQ has taken control of the Underground Railroad. Now Dak and Sera are left wondering who to trust...while Riq risks everything to save the life of a young boy.

Did you get a chance to check out our 2013 ALA Media Awards features? On Monday, January 28th, the American Library Association announced their winners of some of the biggest book prizes of the year. Wonder who won the Newbery? The Caldecott? Check out our list of awards features to see all of the winners and honorees for each prize!

Since it’s February, we are continuing our celebration of Black History Month! To honor the achievements of African Americans, we are featuring books that boast their achievements. Check out our Black History Month Books Roundup, and share these books with your friends, teachers and family to learn more about American history and overcoming prejudice.

We’re getting excited about March. First, Daylights Savings Time starts on March 10th. Second the voting for the Children’s Choice Book Awards starts on March 19th. Third…well, this is just important to me, but my birthday is in March so OF COURSE I’m getting excited about that.

Until then, read on…

--- Liz Kossnar (liz@bookreporter.com)

Special Feature and Contest: HOKEY POKEY by Jerry Spinelli

To celebrate the release of HOKEY POKEY, Jerry Spinelli's fable of leaving childhood behind and entering the new adventures of adolescence, Kidsreads.com is giving ten readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Friday, March 15th at noon ET.

HOKEY POKEY by Jerry Spinelli (Fantasy)
Hokey Pokey is a place where childhood is at its best. The rules are simple, the games are fun, and there are no grown ups. However, when Jack, one of the biggest kids, gets his bike stolen by a girl, everything in Hokey Pokey starts to fall apart for Jack. Most troubling of all, he begins to hear a faint train whistle, and everyone knows that there are no trains in Hokey Pokey; just tracks. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

- Click here to read more about the book.

- Click here to read a review.

Click here to read more and enter the contest.

 
Now in Stores: A TANGLE OF KNOTS by Lisa Graff

A TANGLE OF KNOTS by Lisa Graff (Fantasy)
In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, 11-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a family of children searching for their own Talents and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever. If she's lucky, fate may reunite her with her long-lost parent. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: TIMMY FAILURE: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis

TIMMY FAILURE: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis (Humor)
Take 11-year-old Timmy Failure --- the clueless, self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his lazy business partner, a large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile --- Timmy’s mom’s Segway --- and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich that his mother won’t stress out about the bills anymore. Reviewed by Sheena Kowalski.

- Click here to read more about the book.

 

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: BEHOLDING BEE by Kimberly Newton Fusco

BEHOLDING BEE by Kimberly Newton Fusco (Historical Fiction)
Bee is an orphan who lives with a carnival and sleeps in the back of a tractor trailer. Every day she endures taunts for the birthmark on her face. Then, a scruffy dog shows up, and Bee realizes that she must find a home for them both. She runs off to a house with gingerbread trim. There, two mysterious women, Mrs. Swift and Mrs. Potter, take her in. And, strangely, only Bee seems able to see them. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.


- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: DESTINY REWRITTEN by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

DESTINY, REWRITTEN by Kathryn Fitzmaurice (Fiction)
Emily Elizabeth Davis' destiny is to become a poet, just like her famous namesake, Emily Dickinson. But Emily doesn't even really like poetry. Then, just after discovering that a special volume of Emily Dickinson's poetry contains an important family secret, she loses it. As Emily and her friends search for the lost book, Emily's understanding of destiny begins to unravel and then rewrite itself. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

- Click here to read more about the book.

 

 

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: PRECOCIA: The Sixth Circle of Heck by Dale E. Basye

PRECOCIA: The Sixth Circle of Heck by Dale E. Basye (Fantasy)
Bea "Elsa" Bubb, the Principal of Darkness sends Milton and Marlo Fauster to Precocia, the circle of Heck for smarty-pants kids who grow up too fast. Soon, the Fausters realize that Precocia's vice principals Napoleon and Cleopatra want more than to hasten adulthood --- they seem to want to eliminate childhood altogether. Can Milton and Marlo figure out their plan in time to stop it? Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Interview: Kirby Larson, Author of HATTIE EVER AFTER

HATTIE BIG SKY, the much beloved story by Kirby Larson, is about 16-year-old Hattie, who leaves her life in Iowa and proves up on her uncle's Montana homestead. Now, Hattie is back for another adventure in HATTIE EVER AFTER, in which she moves to San Francisco to pursue her dream to be a journalist. In this interview, Kirby Larson shares why she decided to write another adventure for Hattie, discusses her favorite historical figure that she learned about while researching the story and reveals what else we can expect to see from her soon.

HATTIE EVER AFTER by Kirby Larson (Historical Fiction)
After leaving Uncle Chester's homestead claim, Hattie Brooks throws a lasso around a new dream. She wants to be a reporter. Nothing can squash her desire to write for a big city newspaper. But, Hattie must first tell Charlie that she will not join him in Seattle. Hattie holds her own in the big city, but can making headlines compensate for the pain of betrayal and lost love?

- Click here to read more about the book.

- Click here to read a review.

Click here to read the interview.

 
Series Update: INFINITY RING, Book Three: THE TRAP DOOR by Lisa McMann

INFINITY RING, Book Three: THE TRAP DOOR by Lisa McMann (Adventure)
The year is 1850, and the nation is divided over the issue of slavery. The Underground Railroad provides a light of hope, helping runaway slaves escape to freedom. But the SQ has taken control of the Underground Railroad from within. Now Dak and Sera are left wondering who to trust...while Riq risks everything to save the life of a young boy.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to visit our series feature.

 
Black History Month Roundup of Books
February is Black History Month, and we at Kidsreads.com decided to round up some books in honor of this month. Be sure to brush up on your knowledge of the men and women who helped shape America and maybe learn something new with these new and exciting books!
Click here to visit our feature.


 
2013 ALA Youth Media Awards
On Monday, January 28th, the American Library Association announced their winners of some of the biggest book prizes of the year. Wonder who won the Newbery? The Caldecott? Check out our list of awards features to see all of the winners and honorees of each prize!
Click here to view the awards and their winners.

 
Cool & New Books for February
February's roundup of Cool & New Books includes the third book in the Infinity Ring series, THE TRAP DOOR by Lisa McMann, in which Dak, Sera and Riq return to the USA with a problem on their hands --- the SQ has taken control of the Underground Railroad from within; the second book in Mike Lupica's Game Changers series, PLAY MAKERS where there's a new point guard in town and Ben must fight for his starting position on the basketball court; and Chris Rylander's THE FOURTH STALL PART III, in which Mac and Vince think they can take a break, but that was before things at their middle school start to go haywire.

 
Click here to see February’s Cool & New Books roundup.

 
February’s New in Paperback Roundup

February's roundup of New in Paperback includes IN DISGUISE!: Undercover with Real Women Spies by Ryan Ann Hunter and Jeanette Litte, which details the lives of some of history's most daring women, all of whom risked their lives to stand up for their beliefs; Tim Green's PINCH HIT, where a movie star who's dreamed of playing baseball like a real kid and a real kid who wants to take a try swing at acting switch places...if they can get away with it; and Dale E. Basye's SNIVEL: The Fifth Circle of Heck, which follows Milton and Marlo as they are sent to Snivel, the circle of Heck reserved for crybabies, which is also a dismal camp where it's always raining and strange mosquitoes suck the color right out of the campers.

Click here to see February’s New in Paperback roundup.

 
This Month’s Reviews

BETTER NATE THAN EVER by Tim Federle (Fiction)
His whole life, Nate Foster has wanted to star in a Broadway show. But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one appreciates a good show tune? Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There’s an open casting call for "E.T.: The Musical," and it could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

ONE CAME HOME by Amy Timberlake (Historical Fiction/Mystery)

In the town of Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871, Georgie Burkhardt is known for two things: her uncanny aim with a rifle and her habit of speaking her mind plainly. But when Georgie blurts out something she shouldn't, her sister is forced to flee and is presumed dead. Refusing to believe the facts that are laid down before her, Georgie sets out on a journey to find her sister and bring her home.

IVY IN THE SHADOWS by Chris Woodworth (Family Life)

After Ivy's stepfather disappears, Ivy's mama begins waitressing to make ends meet. She also takes in a boarder --- 12-year-old Caleb, who's the weirdest guy she's ever met. With Mama working full-time, Ivy has to babysit her little brother, JJ; fend off the nosy Pastor Harold; stop Caleb from filling JJ's head with lies; and keep her best friend from knowing anything about her situation at home. Reviewed by Cyndie Stetsen.

THE COLOSSUS RISES: Seven Wonders, Book One by Peter Lerangis (Action Adventure)

Jack McKinley is an ordinary kid with an extraordinary problem. In a few months, he's going to die. The only way to save himself is to find and combine seven magic loculi. This won't be easy because the loculi are the relics of a lost civilization and haven't been seen in thousands of years. They're hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

THE FOURTH STALL PART III by Chris Rylander (Humor/Mystery)
Mac and Vince think that their business is over and that they can take a break. But that was before things at their middle school started to go haywire. Before they found out that there's a new crime boss at a school another town over, trying to consolidate power. And before their old nemesis, Staples, came back to town, begging for help after his stint in the clink. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

PRINCE PUGGLY OF SPUD AND THE KINGDOM OF SPIFF by Robert Paul Weston (Humor/Fantasy)
Prince Puggly of the muddy, terminally unfashionable Kingdom of Spud is surprised when he receives an invitation to a lavish ball in the Kingdom of Spiff. Puggly is sure that the Spiffs will laugh him out of their kingdom. And that’s exactly what they do...But then Puggly meets Francesca, the bookish Princess of Spiff, and together, the two set out to teach the Spiffians an absurd lesson in style. Kathleen Purcell.

A DASH OF MAGIC: A Bliss Novel by Kathryn Littlewood (Fantasy)
Rosemary Bliss will do anything to get back her family's magical Cookery Booke, so she challenges Aunt Lily to an international baking competition in Paris: If Rose wins, Lily agrees to return the Cookery Booke that she stole. If Rose loses...well, the consequences are too ugly to think about. Together with her long-lost grandpa, his sarcastic talking cat, and a French mouse, Rose and her brothers race to find the magical ingredients that will help her outbake her conniving aunt. Reviewed by Evan Pivazyan.

THE ODD SQUAD: Bully Bait by Michael Fry (Comic Book/Humor)
Seventh-grader Nick is forced to join the school’s lamest club by his well-intentioned guidance counselor --- along with fellow misfits Molly and Karl --- in her quest to cure all three of their “peer allergies.” What starts off as a reluctant band of hopeless oddballs morphs into an effective and empowered team ready to face whatever middle school throws at them. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

MOLLY MOON & THE MONSTER MUSIC by Georgia Byng (Humor)

Molly is back --- and she's a rock star. In this fun-filled conclusion to the Molly Moon series, Molly faces the music --- the hypnotic music --- of a magical coin that has the power to enslave its listeners...and turn them into monsters! Reviewed by Cyndie Stetsen.

THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN PROTECTION by Kevin Emerson (Science Fiction)
Haley and Dodger don't have much in common. Of course, this was all before they heard about the missing people, the untraceable radio signals and the unexplained phenomena. Before they both became the first recipients of a summer research grant from a certain mysterious foundation. Before they discovered that their fledgling theories about extraterrestrial life were all too accurate. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

 

This Month’s Poll

Where do you typically get the books that you read? (Please check ALL answers that apply.)

School library
Local library

Local independent bookstore
Chain bookstore
Order online

And keep an eye out for our new poll starting March 1st!

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!

Keep reading!

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