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March 2013

Kidsreads.com Newsletter March 2013
Spring, Books and Baseball with Kidsreads.com!
Isn’t it wonderful to be able to say it’s spring??? New York City isn’t filled with birds chirping or buds blooming yet, BUT we all see the signs of the changing seasons. And how great is it to have daylight late in the day? I look forward to spring each year because my birthday (!!!) is at the end of the month AND I love counting down the days until I don’t have to wear a jacket. Whether your favorite part of spring is the changing weather, getting closer to summer vacation or the beginning of BASEBALL SEASON (go Cubs!), we have the books to help you enjoy March!

Voice your choice! This week, voting opened for the sixth annual Children’s Choice Book Awards. Hosted by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, this is the only national book awards program where the winners are selected by children of all ages. Make sure you vote for your favorite book of 2012 because your opinion matters! And encourage your friends to vote, as well!

Are you a fan of best-selling author James Patterson or Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade? This may seem like an odd combination, but the two of them will team up for a free national webcast for kids next month to stress the importance of reading for success in life. “One on One: Fundamentals with Dwyane Wade and James Patterson” will air on April 25th at 1pm. Ask your parent to help you register in advance for the webcast here. You are also invited to submit questions to the duo through social media on March 21st, which is when the taping will occur. Read more about this event here.

Now let’s get to the books! Liz Kessler’s EMILY WINDSNAP AND THE LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN combines the magic of mermaids with the thrill of an adventure! This time around, strange storms are blowing in the ocean, and King Neptune’s dreams are causing them. Emily Windsnap and Aaron must go on a top-secret mission to find and eliminate the source of the trouble. What they find is a trove of stolen memories and Neptune’s darkest secret. What a wonderful read to welcome spring!

For the fantasy lovers, William Alexander’s follow-up to his National Book Award-winning GOBLIN SECRETS, GHOULISH SONG, is out this month. Aspiring musician Kaile is thrilled to receive a flute from a goblin. But the flute’s single, mournful song has a dangerous consequence: It separates Kaile and her shadow. Anyone without a shadow is considered dead, so her parents force her to leave so she can’t haunt their home. Will Kaile and her shadow learn the right tune to undo this separation? This is DEFINITELY a book I’m very excited for!

Maybe you’d prefer a heart-wrenching mystery to ring in the new season? HOLD FAST by Blue Balliett tells the story of Early whose father disappears and her family is forced to go into a Chicago city shelter. Early can’t believe that her father would just disappear and there are patterns and rhymes to what happened. Now it’s up to her to figure out the truth and track him down. As our reviewer Terry Miller Shannon says, “HOLD FAST offers pure enjoyment to readers of mysteries, fans of family stories, people concerned about social issues and/or to anyone who loves getting lost in an intriguing, nuanced page-turner”

If you like humor, then I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN by Jeff Baron is a book you cannot miss! Sean Rosen knows exactly what he wants: a $10 million deal with a big Hollywood studio. The problem is that he doesn’t live anywhere near Los Angeles or New York. But it’s amazing what someone can do with a laptop and phone. Christine M. Irvin reviews, "In the process of telling a good story, author Jeff Baron throws in lots of movie industry buzz words such as options, screen plays, production rights, first writer, publishing rights, etc., educating, as well as entertaining, the reader." And all I had growing up was a lemonade stand --- imagine pursuing your Hollywood dreams!

Get ready to enter a world of magic and whimsy! Kate Saunders’ THE WHIZZ POP CHOCOLATE SHOP follows 11-year-old twins Oz and Lily who have inherited the most magical house in London and the shop downstairs. Long ago, the shop’s owners were clever sorcerers…and also the twins’ great-uncles. Now, evil villains are on the hunt for the secret recipe for magic chocolate that has the power to destroy the world! Can Oz and Lily keep the recipe out of the wrong hands? You’ll be sure to indulge in a lot of chocolate while reading this book. Mmmm.

Are you planning on watching or playing baseball this year? FORCE OUT by Tim Green may just encourage you to do so. Joey and Zach have always been best friends and the best in their baseball league. Their dream is to make the all-star team together…but then they find out there’s only one spot. And Joey has to decide if he wants to spill a secret that would get Zach disqualified. How far will Joey go to win? As someone who played a LOT of sports growing up, balancing friendships and rivalries can be soooo tough.

How ready are you for the finale to the 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers series??? In David Baldacci’s DAY OF DOOM, Amy and Dan discover Vesper One’s terrifying endgame when they deliver the last ransom. The objects he demanded are vital pieces in a Vesper plot that will harm millions of innocent people. Now the two siblings and their friends are in an all-out sprint to stop Vesper One...before the whole world goes BOOM. As reviewer Chris Shanley-Dillman writes, “David Baldacci pens the sixth book with a courageous hand, tying off loose ends and answering probing questions, yet also taking fans on another wild and unpredictable ride.” Sounds like an exciting end to an incredible series!

Suh-WING battah battah! It’s almost baseball season: pitchers and catchers were called to spring training in February and opening day is April 1st. To get everyone psyched to participate in the traditions of THE American sport, we wanted to create a roundup of baseball books that are coming out this Spring. At Wrigley field, we always sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch…so that’s what I wanted to name this feature. Find a book that’s sure to be a homerun here.

I’m hoping you will find your next pleasure read with us! Just as much as I am hoping that the weather gets nice enough for me to spread a blanket out in a park and read outside! What are you getting excited for? Send me an email --- I LOVE receiving mail from all of you. :)

Keep on reading!

--- Liz Kossnar (liz@bookreporter.com)
Special Feature: EMILY WINDSNAP AND THE LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN by Liz Kessler

EMILY WINDSNAP AND THE LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN by Liz Kessler (Mermaids/Mystery)
Strange storms are blowing up from the ocean, caused by the nightmares of Neptune, King of the Sea. Convinced that his dreams herald an approaching threat, Neptune enlists half-mermaids Emily Windsnap and Aaron for a top-secret mission to find and eliminate the source of the trouble. Deep within an alpine lake the two discover a trove of stolen memories and Neptune’s darkest secret.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to visit our feature.

 
Now in Stores: GHOULISH SONG by William Alexander

GHOULISH SONG by William Alexander (Fantasy)
Kaile wants to be a musician and is delighted when a goblin gives her a flute carved out of bone. But the flute’s single, mournful song has a dangerous consequence: It separates Kaile and her shadow. With a ghoul chasing her and the river threatening to flood, Kaile has an important role to play in keeping Zombay safe. Will Kaile and her shadow be able to learn the right tune in time? Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

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Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: HOLD FAST by Blue Balliett

HOLD FAST by Blue Balliett (Mystery)
Early's father is gone and he's left a whole lot of trouble behind. With nowhere else to go, Early, her mom and her brother are forced to move into a city shelter. Once there, Early starts asking questions and looking for answers. There are patterns and rhythms to what's happened, and Early might be the only one who can use them to track him down and make her way out of a very tough place. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN by Jeff Baron

I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN by Jeff Baron (Humor)
Sean Rosen knows what he wants: a $10 million deal with a big Hollywood studio. The only problem is, he doesn't know a single person in show business. He and his family live far away from Los Angeles or New York. Figuring it out as he goes, using only his laptop and his phone, Sean makes amazing progress in his quest, which no one else has a clue about. Except you, if you read this book. Reviewed by Christine Irvin.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: THE WHIZZ POP CHOCOLATE SHOP by Kate Saunders

THE WHIZZ POP CHOCOLATE SHOP by Kate Saunders (Fantasy)
Long ago, the shop's famous chocolate-makers, who also happen to be 11-year-old twins Oz and Lily's great uncles, were clever sorcerers. Now evil villains are hunting for the secret of their greatest recipe. The terrifying powers of this magic chocolate have the ability to destroy the world. It's up to the twins to stop the villains and keep the magical chocolate recipe out of harm's way. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: FORCE OUT by Tim Green

FORCE OUT by Tim Green (Baseball)
Joey and Zach have always been best friends --- they are also two of the best baseball players in their league and shoo-ins for the all-star team at the end of the season. They'll help each other get on that team, even if it means going through with a risky plan to bail one of them out of a jam. When the friends find out there is only one spot open, best friends become greatest rivals. Reviewed by Joy Held.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Series Finale: DAY OF DOOM: The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 6 by David Baldacci

DAY OF DOOM: The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 6 by David Baldacci (Action Adventure)
When they deliver the last ransom, Amy and Dan discover Vesper One’s terrifying endgame. The objects he demanded are vital pieces in a Vesper plot that will harm millions of innocent people. Now the two siblings and their friends are in an all-out sprint to stop Vesper One...before the whole world goes BOOM. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Children's Choice Book Awards

Cast your vote for the Children's Book Council and Every Child a Reader's 6th annual Children's Choice Book Awards, the only national book awards program where the winners are selected by children of all ages.

- Click here for more information on the Children's Choice Book Awards.

- Click here for to view all of the finalists.
Click here to cast your vote for Author of the Year and Book of the Year 5-6th Grade Vote!

 
Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Baseball Books Roundup
In early February, pitchers and catchers were called in to begin their spring training. Now, as we count down the days to opening day on April 1st, Kidsreads.com wanted to provide you all with a list of books to get you hyped for this summer's baseball season! Peruse the new books out this and see if you find one fit for the baseball season. Suh-WING Battah Battah!
Click here to visit our feature.


 
Cool & New Books for March
March's roundup of Cool & New Books includes Hannah Moskowitz's MARCO IMPOSSIBLE, which follows the attempt of friends Stephen and Marco to break into the high school prom and get Marco onstage to confess his love for Benji, the bassist in the prom band; the follow-up to National Book Award Winner GOBLIN SECRETS, William Alexander's GHOULISH SONG in which aspiring musician Kaile is thrilled to have been given a flute carved out of bone, but the flute's single, mournful song has dangerous consequences; and the second in Jennifer A. Nielsen's Ascendance Trilogy, THE RUNAWAY KING, in which right after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation --- could deserting the kingdom be his only way of saving it?
Click here to see March’s Cool & New Books roundup.

 
March’s New in Paperback Roundup
March's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes Frank Cottrell Boyce's CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG FLIES AGAIN in which the Tooting don't know what they've gotten themselves into when they find an old engine who wants its bodywork back; Carl Hiaasen's CHOMP, which is another hit mystery that dives into the world of reality television; and THE INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE, Book III: THE UNSEEN GUEST by Maryrose Wood and illustrated by Jon Klassen, in which the Ashtons, the children and Penelope take up residence in London while Ashton Place is being restored.
Click here to see March’s New in Paperback roundup.

 
This Month’s Reviews

MARCO IMPOSSIBLE by Hannah Moskowitz (Humor/Fiction)
Best friends Stephen and Marco attempt a go-for-broke heist to break into the high school prom and get Marco onstage to confess his love for (and hopefully steal the heart of) Benji, the adorable exchange student and bass player of the prom band. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

THE RUNAWAY KING: Book Two of the Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Fantasy)
Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom? Reviewed by Carly Silver.

THROUGH THE SKYLIGHT Written by Ian Baucom and illustrated by Justin Gerard (Fantasy)
When Jared, Shireen and Miranda are each given one glittering gift from an old Venetian shopkeeper, they never fathom the powers they are now able to unleash. For centuries earlier, another trio --- Rashid, Maria and Francesca --- have been kidnapped and will be sold into child slavery. Unless, that is, they can find some way to save them all. Danger, it seems, has a way of spanning centuries. Reviewed by Sarah Egelman.

WHITE FUR FLYING by Patricia MacLachlan (Dogs/Fiction)
Zoe’s family rescues dogs in need. There is always a new dog to be saved and loved. Zoe’s house is never silent. But the house across the street is always silent these days. A new family has moved in and Phillip has stopped speaking. Zoe knows that saving dogs and saving boys are different jobs, but she learns that some parts are the same. Reviewed by Kathleen Purcell.

CHASING THE PROPHESY: The Beyonders, Book Three by Brandon Mull (Fantasy/Adventure)
Armed now with the prophecy of a dying oracle, they have gone on their separate quests --- each surrounded by brave and powerful allies --- knowing that the chance for success is slim. But Jason and Rachel are ready at last to become the heroes Lyrian needs, no matter the cost. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

THE MENAGERIE by T. T. Sutherland and Kari Sutherland (Fantasy)
Logan Wilde is accidentally drawn into the mysterious, dangerous world of the Menagerie when he discovers a griffin hiding under his bed...and it leads him straight to the weirdest girl in seventh grade, Zoe Kahn whose family has been guarding the Menagerie for centuries. If they don't get the cubs back fast, the whole place will be shut down. Is someone trying to sabotage the Menagerie? Reviewed by Sarah Egelman.

IN SEARCH OF GOLIATHUS HERCULES by Jennifer Angus (Adventure)
This is the fantastic story of Henri Bell, a near-orphan who in 1890 is sent to live with his ancient great-aunt. One afternoon, Henri strikes up a conversation with a fly on the windowsill and discovers he possesses the ability to speak with insects. Thus commences an epic journey for Henri as he ultimately sets out to British Malaya to find the mythical giant insect known as Goliathus hercules. Reviewed by Sheena Kowalski.

UNDERTOWN by Melvin Jules Bukiet (Adventure)
Timothy and Jessamyn are towed through the streets of Manhattan riding in Timothy’s family’s sailboat, when the boat comes unhitched from its truck. The teens “sail” backward down a hill in Upper Manhattan, then fall down a huge construction site hole and into the vast sewer system below. The kids navigate waterfalls and rapids as they travel through the rain sewers. Reviewed by Cyndie Stetsen.

PIP AND THE TWILIGHT SEEKERS: A Spindlewick Tale, Book Two by Chris Mould (Fantasy)
Pip is in hiding, trapped in the great walled city of Hangman's Hollow. The sinister Jarvis roams the streets, seeking out children wherever he can find them. And now he has a deadly ally. With his friends Toad and Frankie, Pip must seek out Jarvis in his dark forest stronghold, and strike a blow for the city's lost children. Reviewed by Sheena Kowalski.


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