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June 2013

Kidsreads.com Newsletter June 2013
Reading on the Road with Kidsreads.com

Summer arrives Friday and it’s also the longest day of the year!!!! Well, actually the day has the same 24 hours, but those hours have more daylight than usual. From what we can see, school ends by the middle of next week for everyone who is not on vacation already. Whew, if only for a couple of months, summer vacation makes it seem like you have all the time in the world! I’ve been taking advantage of the long days by sitting outside at restaurants after work and heading to the park to soak up the sun and read!

Does anyone have any vacations planned? When I was younger, my family would always take a vacation, either to visit family out of town or to a vacation spot --- Disney World was one of our favorite destinations! Though it was often easier to take the plane, my family preferred taking road trips. We’d pack our Dodge Caravan full of pillows, snacks, luggage…and books!

I remember once we took a long drive from Chicago to Buffalo, NY and I had just started a new series when we began our travels. You may not be familiar with The Rocky Ridge Years series by Roger Lea MacBride, but it followed the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter, Rose; and I was totally obsessed with them! Having all the time in the world to devour these books (probably at a faster rate than the apples and string cheese) was bliss. And fortunately, after I had finished a book, my parents would pull off into the closest town to find a bookshop for us to purchase the next one. Have you ever been an extreme backseat reader? Which books have you read while on the road?

Since it is summer, you may want a book filled with riddles and tricks to challenge your mind. In Tom McNeal’s FAR FAR AWAY, Jeremy Johnson Johnson once admitted he's able to hear voices, and the townspeople of Never Better have treated him like an outsider since. But the truth is, Jeremy can hear voices. Or, specifically, one voice: the voice of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of the infamous writing duo, The Brothers Grimm. I read this book and loved it so much, I decided to review it! I reviewed, “Tom McNeal creates a wonderful story that weaves real life situations with fantasy. Because the story is narrated entirely by the voice of Jacob Grimm --- the voice that Jeremy alone can hear --- there are excellent facts about the lives of the Brothers Grimm, as well as glimpses into the fairy tales they collected and rewrote.”

ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY by Chris Grabenstein follows Kyle Keeley as he wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the new town library for an overnight of fun, food and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high. Our reviewer, Emma Kantor says, “No matter their age, readers will enjoy playing along with the characters as they face brainteasers, picture puzzles and a who’s who game of classic authors and titles.” Sounds like quite an adventure!

Have you ever been afraid that you’ll get in trouble even though you didn’t do anything wrong? Sierra Shepard feels this way in ZERO TOLERANCE by Claudia Mills. When Sierra accidentally takes her mother’s lunch --- and the paring knife inside of it --- to school instead of her own, she does the right thing and hands it in immediately. But her beloved principal places her in in-school suspension and sets a hearing for her expulsion, citing the school's ironclad no weapons policy. Soon, the lines between good and bad aren't as clear as she once thought.

Will Nikki find loooove in DORK DIARIES, Book Six: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-HAPPY HEARTBREAKER by Rachel Renee Russell? The biggest school dance of the year is coming up and Nikki Maxwell is hoping her crush, Brandon, wants to be her date. But time is running out. What if he doesn’t want to go with her, or worse, what if he ends up going with Mackenzie??? This seems to be a fantastic book to bring with on a vacation (or stay-cation), especially for you Dork Diaries fans!

Who doesn’t love superheroes…or their sidekicks! John David Anderson‘s SIDEKICKED is about Drew Bean, who is a part of a secret organization responsible for training superhero sidekicks, as he navigates living two lives: one with superpowers and one in middle school. But when a supervillain long thought dead returns to the city of Justica, this balancing act becomes even harder. Drew has always found it pretty easy to separate right from wrong, good from evil. It’s what a superhero does. But what happens when that line starts to disappear?

Now is definitely the time for superhero stories! You may have seen the first in the Benny Breakiron series, THE RED TAXIS, on Kidsreads recently. This comic follows an honest, polite little boy who is definitely more than he appears to be. He can leap over huge distances, run unbelievably fast, has superhuman strength and spends his time stopping crime and injustice. Now, a new taxi service has moved into Benny's town, threatening to put Benny's friend, taxi driver Mr. Dussilifard, out of business. The more Benny learns about the Red Taxi Company, the more he realizes something isn't right. If you’re in the mood from a new superhero series, definitely check this one out!

Great news for all Infinity Ring fans! The next book in the series, CURSE OF THE ANCIENTS by Matt De La Pena, comes out this month. Fix the past. Save the future. What is the secret history connecting the SQ to the Ancient Mayans? Click here to check out the series feature!

We know how much you LOVE The 39 Clues, and now here’s an opportunity to win a book in The Cahill Files series! 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. We’re giving away a LOT of copies, so make sure to tell your friends and family to enter the contest until Monday, July 1st.

Speaking of treats to take with you on a vacation, why not mix sweet treats with books to savor? Good Enough to Eat: The Magical Bakery Books Roundup is our list of novels inspired by the magic of baking! In some of these stories, the magic lies in the treats themselves --- sugary delights that bestow the ingester with mighty powers. In others, the magic lies in the bonds the tradition of baking can make between friends and family. You're going to eat up these books!

If you haven’t had a chance to see Epic yet, don’t worry! It’s still in theaters. Even better is that now you can buy Oz: The Great and Powerful on DVD! Visit our June Books on Screen feature to see more details!

Even if you aren’t vacationing this summer, you can always find a way to get away by reading a great book! So whether you read on a plane, in the car or in your own room, make sure to adventure safely!

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

Now in Stores: FAR FAR AWAY by Tom McNeal
FAR FAR AWAY by Tom McNeal (Fairy Tales)
Jeremy Johnson Johnson once admitted he's able to hear voices, and the townspeople of Never Better have treated him like an outsider since. After his mother left, his father became a recluse, and it's been up to Jeremy to support the family. But it hasn't been up to Jeremy alone. The truth is, Jeremy can hear voices. Or, specifically, one voice: the voice of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of the infamous writing duo, The Brothers Grimm. Reviewed by Liz Kossnar.

- Click here for more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY by Chris Grabenstein
ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY by Chris Grabenstein (Mystery)
Lucky Kyle Keeley wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the new town library for an overnight of fun, food and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high. Reviewed by Emma Kantor.

- Click here for more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: ZERO TOLERANCE by Claudia Mills

ZERO TOLERANCE by Claudia Mills (Fiction)
Seventh-grader Sierra Shepard has always been the perfect student, so when she sees that she accidentally brought her mother's lunch bag to school, including a paring knife, she immediately turns in the knife at the school office. Much to her surprise, her beloved principal places her in in-school suspension and sets a hearing for her expulsion, citing the school's ironclad no weapons policy. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: DORK DIARIES #6: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-HAPPY HEARTBREAKER by Rachel Renée Russell

DORK DIARIES #6: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-HAPPY HEARTBREAKER by Rachel Renée Russell (Fiction)
It’s the biggest dance of the year, and Nikki Maxwell is hoping her crush, Brandon, wants to be her date. But time is running out. What if he doesn’t want to go with her? Or worse --- what if he ends up going with Mackenzie?!! Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: SIDEKICKED by John David Anderson

SIDEKICKED by John David Anderson (Superhero)
Drew is possessed of super senses --- his hearing, sight, taste, touch and smell are the most powerful on the planet --- making him literally the most sensitive kid in school. But this is all before a supervillain long thought dead returns to the city of Justica, and Drew’s two identities threaten to crash head-on into each other. Drew has always found it pretty easy to separate right from wrong, good from evil. But what happens when that line starts to disappear? Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read a review.

 
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 Files 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.

 
Graphic Novel: BENNY BREAKIRON: THE RED TAXIS by Peyo and Will Maltaite
BENNY BREAKIRON: THE RED TAXIS by Peyo and Will Maltaite (Graphic Novel)
Benny Breakiron is a smart, nice, normal little boy...with one exception: He's incredibly strong. So strong that he regularly breaks things. This is a bit troublesome for him, but he makes do the best he can. Reviewed by John Hogan.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.

 
Books On Screen

Epic, which follows a teenage girl as she finds herself magically transported into a microscopic universe, is still in theaters for you to enjoy. And now Oz: The Great and Powerful is out on DVD June 11th!

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: INFINITY RING, Book Four: CURSE OF THE ANCIENTS by Matt De La Pena

INFINITY RING, Book Four: CURSE OF THE ANCIENTS by Matt De La Pena (Action Adventure)
Fix the past. Save the future. What is the secret history connecting the SQ to the Ancient Mayans?

- Click here to visit the series feature.

 

Click here to read more about the book.


 
Good Enough to Eat: The Magical Bakery Books Roundup
The Magical Bakery Books Roundup is our list of novels inspired by the magic of baking! In some of these stories, the magic lies in the treats themselves --- sugary delights that bestow the ingester with mighty powers. In others, the magic lies in the bonds the tradition of baking can make between friends and family. You're going to eat up these books!
Click here to visit our roundup of books!

 
Cool & New Books for June
June's roundup of Cool & New Books includes Cynthia Kadohata's THE THING ABOUT LUCK, in which a family emergency whisks her parents off to Japan and she and her brother go live with their grandparents who come out of retirement for this year's harvest; TO BE A CAT by Matt Haig, where Barney thinks being a cat would be easier than being a 12-year-old boy, but when his feline fantasy comes true, the fur starts flying in this darkly hilarious and heartwarming tale; and THE BARFTASTIC LIFE OF LOUIE BURGER by Jenny Meyerhoff, which follows fifth-grader Louie Burger as he moves his stand-up comedy act from his closet to on stage in the upcoming school talent show.
Click here to see June's Cool & New Books roundup.

 
June’s New in Paperback Roundup
June's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes RACING THE MOON by Alan Armstrong, which follows 11-year-old Alex Heart and her impulsive brother, Chuck, as they build a rocket and befriend Captain Ebbs, an army scientist who is working to create food for future space travelers in 1947; Michael D. Beil's SUMMER AT FORSAKEN LAKE, in which Nicholas and younger twin sisters Haley and Hetty spend the summer with their Great-Uncle, discover a video their father made of the local legend of The Seaweed Strangler and soon they want answers; and TRIAL BY FIRE: Stranded, Book Two by Jeff Probst and Chris Tebbetts, where being shipwrecked on a jungle island was bad enough, but now Carter, Vanessa, Buzz and Jane have lost their boat---and almost everything on board --- to another violent storm.
 
Click here to see June’s New in Paperback roundup.

 
This Month’s Reviews
THE KICKS: SAVING THE TEAM by Alex Morgan (Fiction)
Twelve-year-old Devin loves to play soccer. If she hadn’t just left Connecticut to move across the country, she would have been named seventh-grade captain on her school soccer team. But now that Devin is starting seventh grade in Kentville, California, all bets are off. After all, some of the best players on the US national team come from California. She’s sure to have stiff competition. Or so she thinks. Reviewed by Liz Kossnar.

THE RITHMATIST by Brandon Sanderson (Science Fiction/Fantasy)
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist, a person who has the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. But as the son of a lowly chalkmaker, he can only watch. When students start disappearing, Joel and his friend Melody are assigned to help the professor investigating the crimes. They find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery, one that will change Rithmatics --- and their world --- forever. Reviewed by Ashley Tran.

THE LAST ACADEMY by Anne Applegate (Paranormal)
Camden Fisher arrives at boarding school haunted by a falling-out with her best friend back home. One of Cam's new friends mysteriously disappears, but the teachers don't seem too concerned. Cam wakes up to strangers in her room, who then melt into the night. She is suddenly plagued by odd memories, and senses there might be something dark and terrible brewing. Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board member.

LOKI'S WOLVES by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong (Mythology)
While Matt knew he was a modern-day descendent of Thor, he's always lived a normal kid's life. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. No big deal. But now Ragnarok is coming, and it's up to the champions to fight in the place of the long-dead gods. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team, find Thor's hammer and shield, and prevent the end of the world. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

Keep an eye out for these reviews later this month:

THE APPRENTICES by Maile Meloy (Fantasy)
It’s 1954, and Janie Scott is in boarding school in New Hampshire, trying to make a new life. Two years have passed since she last saw the mysterious apothecary --- or his defiant son, Benjamin. All she knows is that her friends are out there somewhere, trying to keep the world safe in an age of mounting atomic power. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

ACES WILD by Erica S. Perl (Fiction)
Zelly Fried has finally convinced her parents to let her get a dog, with the help of her grandfather Ace. Unfortunately, said dog (also named Ace) is a shoe-chewing, mud-tracking, floor-peeing kind of dog. Despite Zelly's best efforts to drag Ace (literally!) to puppy kindergarten, his flunking report card says it all: "This Ace is wild." Reviewed by Liz Kossnar.

PI IN THE SKY by Wendy Mass (Science Fiction)
Joss comes from a family of overachievers, and is happy to let his older brothers shine. But when Earth suddenly disappears, Joss is tasked with the not-so-simple job of bringing it back. With the help of an outspoken girl from Earth named Annika, Joss embarks on the adventure of a lifetime and learns that the universe is an even stranger place than he'd imagined. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.
 

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