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April 2013

Kidsreads.com Newsletter April 2013
April Showers Bring...Bad Jokes and Great Reading!

Have you heard of the phrase, “April showers bring May flowers?” Well, when I was in 5th grade, I LOVED telling this one joke to my family. You may have heard of this joke, too. It goes “If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?” Do you know the answer? It’s “pilgrims!” Although the worst thing you can do is explain a joke, when you say it May flowers sounds like it could be Mayflowers, which was the ship that brought over the Pilgrims. But the thing is…I didn’t actually understand the joke! Everyone always laughed so hard when I told it and I felt so good about myself for it that I didn’t want to stop telling it! I felt a little silly when my parents finally explained it to me, but I thought I was the FUNNIEST for quite some time. Every year, I think of this joke and my little gaff.

Regardless of April showers, May flowers OR Pilgrims, I’m excited to let you all know about the terrific books that we have for you this month. I’m sure you’ll find a great book to occupy you when you’re stuck inside during the rain or while you’re enjoying the warmer weather among the beautiful flowers as they blossom.

Wednesday was World Book Night in the USA! Again this year, tens of thousands of people handed out FREE BOOKS to their communities to spread the joy of reading from person to person. The goal every year is to get those who are not reading --- reading. This is a fantastic event, which is celebrated globally in the U.S., the UK, Ireland and Germany. Some of the children’s books being given that we think you would enjoy were THE LIGHTNING THIEF: Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan, THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH by Norton Juster and MIDDLE SCHOOL: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, illustrated by Laura Park. What a fun celebration of books!

Last week, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) announced the winners of the 2013 Indies Choice Awards! WONDER by R.J. Palacio won the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award for Middle Reader and EXTRA YARN by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen won the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award for Picture Book. The E.B. White Read-Aloud Middle Reader Honor Awards were given to THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer A. Nielsen, THE LAST DRAGONSLAYER by Jasper Fforde, THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao, SAME SUN HERE by Silas House and Neela Vaswani and THREE TIMES LUCKY by Sheila Turnage.

Voice YOUR choice! Voting is now open for the sixth annual Children’s Choice Book Awards --- you only have until May 7th to enter! That’s 11 more days! 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!

Here’s what else we have for you this month. HOUSE OF SECRETS by Chris Columbus, the director of the first two Harry Potter movies, and celebrated author Ned Vizzini. Brendan, Eleanor and Cordelia Walker and their family relocate to an old Victorian house that used to be the home of occult novelist Denver Kristoff. The key to survive their neighbors’ sinister plans may lie in their own connection to the Kristoff legacy.

This mystery could be a great book to read during an April thunderstorm! Tim Tharp’s MOJO follows Dylan as he dives at the chance to solve a mystery about a missing girl across town. Surely if he cracks a case involving a girl this beautiful and this rich, he'll get not only a hefty cash reward, but the mojo he's looking for.

ALL MY NOBLE DREAMS AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS by Gloria Whelan is a historical fiction that will take you to an entirely different world! Rosalind inhabits two worlds in 1920s India. There is the world of her English heritage and the world of her homeland where followers of Gandhi surround her. When her father’s military position provides Rosalind the opportunity to meet the Prince of Wales, she has the chance to tell him about the injustice she witnesses in the streets of India. Reviewer Christine M. Irvin writes, “Whelan takes the reader into Rosy’s world, that of a young girl who must decide what is right and then have the courage to do it.” What better way to learn about different cultures than by reading?

Perhaps a fantasy will suit your springtime fancy! Claire M. Caterer’s THE KEY & THE FLAME follows 11-year-old Holly Shepard as she finds the adventure she’s longing for when she is given an old iron key that unlocks a door to Angielle. When her brother, Ben, and companion, Everett, are sentenced to death by the royals, Holly must save them and find a way back home. Sarah Rachel Egelman reviews, “Mixing traditional elements of fantasy-adventure stories, some interesting new ideas and a group of unlikely heroes, THE KEY AND THE FLAME is great fun!” Definitely sounds exciting to me!

Where are you Lunch Lady fans? Jarrett J. Krosoczka gives us another calamity for Lunch Lady to solve in LUNCH LADY AND THE VIDEO VILLAIN. The Breakfast Brunch is rallying for Hector as he runs for student council president. But with everyone so busy with the election, school security is at stake as high-tech gadgets begin disappearing. Will Hector win? Will the thief be captured? How long can you last before reading the book to find out???

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!

We at Kidsreads.com know you all LOVE contests, and we have one for you this month! Enter to win one of five copies of KID PICKERS: How to Turn Junk into Treasure by Mike Wolfe. In this how-to, the star of the hit show, “American Pickers” on the History Channel, shares tips and tricks on how to start picking your own treasures. A self-taught picker, he now shares his passion for picking with his enthusiastic kid audience, and offers tips on collecting, sorting through flea market offerings, asking relatives about family heirlooms, and much, much more. Click here to enter by Tuesday, May 14th at noon!

Want another opportunity to win a book? Starting on May 1st, you can enter to win one of 25 copies of THE 39 CLUES: THE CAHILL FILES, Book Two: SPYMASTERS by Clifford Riley. Flee alongside a young Cahill as Washington burns, unlock Houdini's magic, and stow away with young Fiske Cahill on a desperate mission that could cost him his life. This volume contains three stories previously-published as ebook adventures. Click here to visit the feature, and make sure to enter the contest starting on Wednesday, May 1st.

I hope you are excited about these new books that we are sharing. For many of you the countdown to the end of school has begun! Start making your own summer reading lists NOW!

Keep on reading!

--- Liz Kossnar (liz@bookreporter.com)
Now in Stores: HOUSE OF SECRETS by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini

HOUSE OF SECRETS by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini (Action Adventure)
Brendan, Eleanor and Cordelia Walker and their family relocate to an old Victorian house that used to be the home of occult novelist Denver Kristoff. By the time the Walkers realize that one of their neighbors has sinister plans for them, they're banished to a primeval forest way off the grid. A world away. And they aren't alone. The key to survive may lie in their own connection to the Kristoff legacy. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to visit our feature.

 
Now in Stores: MOJO by Tim Tharp

MOJO by Tim Tharp (Mystery)
All Dylan wants is mojo. The ability to command respect. When Dylan hears about a missing rich girl from the other side of town, he jumps at the chance to dive into this mystery. Surely if he cracks a case involving a girl this beautiful and this rich, he'll get not only a hefty cash reward, but the mojo he's looking for. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: ALL MY NOBLE DREAMS AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS by Gloria Whelan

ALL MY NOBLE DREAMS AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS by Gloria Whelan (Historical Fiction)
Rosalind inhabits two worlds in 1920s India. There is the world of her English heritage and the world of her homeland where followers of Gandhi surround her. When her father’s military position provides Rosalind the opportunity to meet the Prince of Wales, she has the chance to tell him about the injustice she witnesses in the streets of India. Will Rosalind have the courage to do what is right --- and what will be the consequence? Reviewed by Christine Irvin.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: THE KEY & THE FLAME by Claire M. Caterer

THE KEY & THE FLAME by Claire M. Caterer (Fantasy)
Eleven-year-old Holly Shepard longs for adventure and that's precisely what she gets when she is given an old iron key that unlocks a door to Anglielle. When her brother Ben and companion Everett are sentenced to death by the royals, Holly must save them and find a way back home. But will she be able to muster the courage and rise above her ordinary past to become an extraordinary hero? Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
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.

 
Special Contest: KID PICKERS: How to Turn Junk into Treasure by Mike Wolfe and Lily Sprenglemeyer

In honor of the release of KID PICKERS: How to Turn Junk into Treasure -- where Mike Wolfe, the star of the hit show "American Pickers," shares his love of treasure-hunting with kids--- we have a special contest. Five readers will have the opportunity to win a copy of this fun tip-filled how-to book. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, May 14th at noon ET.

KID PICKERS: How to Turn Junk into Treasure by Mike Wolfe and Lily Sprengelmeyer (Nonfiction)
A self-taught picker, Mike Wolfe now shares his passion for picking with his enthusiastic kid audience, and offers tips on collecting, sorting through flea market offerings, asking relatives about family heirlooms, and much, much more. Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to enter the contest.

 
Special Contest: THE 39 CLUES: THE CAHILL FILES, Book 2: SPYMASTERS by Clifford Riley

In honor of the release of the second volume in The 39 Clues: The Cahill Vault series, Clifford Riley's SPYMASTERS --- which features three stories previously published exclusively as e-book shorts --- we have a special contest. Twenty-five readers will have the opportunity to win a copy of these adventures through time. To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, July 1st at noon ET.

THE 39 CLUES: THE CAHILL FILES, Book 2: SPYMASTERS by Clifford Riley (Action Adventure)
In 1814, redcoats burned the White House to the ground. In 1889, Harry Houdini discovered a trick that would save his life. In 1955, the U.S. launched the world's first nuclear submarine. And one family pulled the strings behind the scenes at each of these events: the Cahills--- the most powerful family the world has ever known. This volume contains three stories previously-published as ebook adventures.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to enter the contest.

 
Books On Screen

Did you enjoy The Rise of the Guardians? On May 24th, another movie based on a book by William Joyce will hit theaters. Epic follows a teenage girl as she finds herself magically transported into a microscopic universe. How would YOU feel if you were shrunked to be bug-sized?

Epic
Cast: Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Jason Sudakis Amanda Seyfried and Josh Hutcherson
Director: Chris Wedge
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: May 24th
Based On: THE LEAFMEN by William Joyce

Click here to visit our feature.

 
Series Update: LUNCH LADY AND THE VIDEO GAME VILLAIN by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

LUNCH LADY AND THE VIDEO GAME VILLAIN by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Humor)
The race is on for a new student council president, and the Breakfast Bunch is rallying for Hector! But with the school so busy with the election, school security is at stake as student and staff high-tech gadgets begin disappearing. Luckily some of Lunch Lady's own culinary gadgets have eluded the crook, but will they be enough to catch this sticky-fingered bandit? And will Hector be able to pull off a victory?

Click here to read more about the book.


 
Voice Your Choice in CBC's 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. Voting ends on May 7th --- so vote now!

- 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!

 
Cool & New Books for April

April's roundup of Cool & New Books includes Stuart Gibb's follow-up to SPY SCHOOL, SPY CAMP, where Ben Ripley is sent to camp after a year training at spy school, but there's no rest for a spy-in-training, not even in the summer; Nan Marino's HIDING OUT IN THE PANCAKE PALACE, which follows Elvis Ruby as he goes into hiding after freezing during the most coveted reality show on national television, and it's perfect, until he meets Cecilia; and M. M. Vaughan's THE ABILITY, in which Christopher Lane receives a mysterious visit from the Ministry of Education and is invited to the prestigious Myers Holt Academy for special experimentation.

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

 
April’s New in Paperback Roundup
April's roundup of New in Paperback includes Kate Messner's CAPTURE THE FLAG in which Anna, José and Henry are snowed in a chaotic Washington, D.C. airport and set out to catch the stolen flag that inspired "The Star-Spangled Banner;" Trenton Lee Stewart's THE EXTRAORDINARY EDUCATION OF NICHOLAS BENEDICT, which follows narcoleptic, nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict as he is sent to a new orphanage, where he will encounter a mystery that will change his life forever; and LUNCH LADY AND THE VIDEO GAME VILLAIN by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, where Hector runs for student council president while school security is at stake as student and staff high-tech gadgets begin to disappear.
Click here to see April’s New in Paperback roundup.

 
This Month’s Reviews

GENIE WISHES by Elisabeth Dahl (Social Issues)
Fifth-grader Genie Kunkle knows there will be good, bad, and in-between from the first day of school. The good? She’s in homeroom with her best friend, Sarah. The bad? Sarah’s friend from camp, Blair, is itching to take Genie’s place as Sarah’s BFF. The in-between? Genie is elected to write her class’s blog. But expressing her opinion in public can be scary --- especially when her opinion might make the rest of her class upset. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

SEPTIMUS HEAP, Book Seven: FYRE by Angie Sage (Fantasy)
At 14, Septimus is still battling the remnants of the Darke Domaine, which will remain until the power of the evil Two-Faced Ring is destroyed forever. The ancient Alchemie Fyre must be relit--- a task that sends Septimus to the very origins of Magyk and Physik, testing both his skills and his loyalties to ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand and Alchemist Marcellus Pye. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THE LAURA LINE by Crystal Allen (Fiction)
Thirteen-year-old Laura Dyson wants two things in life: to be accepted by her classmates and to be noticed by ultra-cute baseball star Troy Bailey. But everyone at school makes fun of her and Troy won’t give her a second glance. When Laura is forced to learn the history of the slave shack on her grandmother’s property for a school assignment, she discovers the self-esteem she’s been missing. Reviewed by Ailiyah A., Teen Board member.

GUSTAV GLOOM AND THE NIGHTMARE VAULT #2 by Adam-Troy Castro (Fantasy)
Fernie and Gustav find themselves battling another shadowy foe --- The Shadow Eater. He is after one thing, The Nightmare Vault, which his master, the evil Lord Obsidian will use to unleash the most terrifying and threatening shadows into the world. As Fernie and Gustav race to stop the Shadow Eater, Fernie learns about Gustav's mysterious past and just what happened to his missing parents. Reviewed by Sheena Kowalski.

ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS BLUE by MJ Auch (Fiction)
Twelve year-old Basil knows he’s special --- he’s been associating numbers with colors since he was a kid. His gift (or curse) has turned him into somewhat of a loner, but his world begins to change when he meets Tenzie, the new girl in school who has similar freakisms. After Basil’s estranged mother returns, his life is turned upside down...and Tenzie may be the only person to help him put it back together. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

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