Skip to main content

June 2014 Newsletter June 2014
Beach Weather = Book Weather

Hey Kidsreaders,

Happy summer! I suppose it’s not technically summer yet (two more days), but seeing as many of you are out of school, it might as well be!

A couple of weekends ago I took my first summer trip of 2014 --- I went to my friend’s house in Provincetown, which is at the very tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I spent three solid days hanging out at dog parks, eating seafood and most importantly, spending time at the beach. When I’m not playing some hybrid version of handball and monkey-in-the-middle in the ocean or dozing in the sunshine at the beach, you can definitely find me lying on a towel reading. On this particular Cape trip I devoured some young adult books, but I definitely have a hefty list of titles that will be perfect for Kidsreads stacked up for upcoming day trips to Rockaway Beach, including A HITCH AT THE FAIRMONT by Jim Averbeck (June), THE ZOO AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD by Eric Kahn Gale (August) and SISTERS by Raina Telgemeier (August). Have you made your summer reading list, yet?

If you need some inspiration, check out our new reviews this month, and also recommendations from some of our reviewers below, who shared the children’s books that they associate with summer:

  • Walter Farley's MAN O’WAR was the book I re-read every summer after going to horseback riding camp. --- Carly Silver
  • For me, nothing evokes summer quite like THE TAIL OF EMILY WINDSNAP by Liz Kessler. Not only do the mermaids and houseboats pump me up for days spent swimming laps in my gym's pool, but the overall sense of freedom pervading the novel is perfect for these three glorious months of no school, no homework and no responsibilities. --- Alison S., Teen Board member
  • I always used to dread the assigned summer reading at school. My pick of books was always so limited and in my middle school mind, boring. But on the car ride to the Jersey shore I devoured Han Nolan's IF I SHOULD DIE BEFORE I WAKE. It was such a compelling, heartfelt novel, and it changed how I viewed reading and the world in just a few hundred pages. I know my summer reading was fuller and better for that choice. --- Brianna Robinson
  • One children's picture book I always associate with summer is A HOUSE FOR A HERMIT CRAB by Eric Carle. It reminds me of going to the beach, wading in the surf, climbing over small rocks and lifting them up to see miniature crabs scuttling around. A second book is THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER by Mark Twain which I distinctly remember reading one summer through wet swim meets and on a dock during vacation. It inspired me to pretend to have adventures and build forts in the woods for years. --- Emily P., teen board member
  • My fondest summer reading memory happened at the beginning of summer vacation. I wanted to read some books, but didn't know where to begin. My boyfriend (who eventually became my husband), suggested The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and let me borrow his book set, and gave specific instructions to read THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW --- the sixth book of the seven-book series --- first. I decided to delve into that book early the next morning and --- aside of bathroom interruptions and eating --- I read till dusk. --- Anita Lock
  • This might date me a little but I always associate summer with R.L. Stine's Goosebumps books that were set at summer camps. WELCOME TO CAMP NIGHTMARE and especially THE HORROR AT CAMP JELLYJAM stick out in my mind not as great (or even good) books really, but rather as fun children's books that helped kindle a love of reading in me, staying up late to get to the endings. --- Charles Payseur
  • A couple of summers ago I read THE PENDERWICKS by Jeanne Birdsall with my daughters. It was the perfect summer book with innocent adventures and lots of time spent with family and friends in gardens. --- Sarah Egelman
  • BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL, a lovely classic picture book by Robert McCloskey, is the kind of story that conjures up the emotions and memories of being small and young, so that even when you can't remember a thing about the plot (it's about blueberries... and Sal?), the book holds a special place in your memory. Maine summers, the kind so many of us (in Maine) have had a part of, are absolute gems. --- Mary McC, Teen Board member
  • THE NIGHT BEFORE SUMMER VACATION by Natasha Wing is definitely a children's book that many can associate with summer, as it is about the hassle and chaos of preparing for a summer vacation and the things we forget along the way. --- Sara J, teen board member
  • I'm definitely a beach person; my grandparents live on Cape Cod so we always vacation there. There is nothing more special than lying on a towel beneath the bright azure sky and listening to the waves crash against the shore as you read a book. One ocean-related book that I have always loved is THE RAINBOW FISH. This delightful tale not only promotes values such as helping others and being a good friend, but also has absolutely beautiful illustrations. Whether read at the beach or at home, THE RAINBOW FISH plunges the reader into a spectacular underwater world teeming with vibrancy and life. --- Charlotte L, Teen Board member

So enjoy the newsletter, check out some great new books, and get thee to the beach, or the lake, or the pool!

All best,

Shara Zaval (


Quirky Celebrations --- World Oceans Day
Now that June is here, people in many parts of the country are finally brushing the snow off their shoulders and heading to the beach! In fact, June 8th was World Oceans Day, which had the theme "together we have the power to protect the ocean."

But you don't have to limit your ocean celebrations to just one day --- this June, pick up one of two great ocean-themed books, DEEP BLUE by Jennifer Donnelly and THE SHARK WHISPERER by Ellen Prager with illustrations by Antonio Caparo. In DEEP BLUE, the first book in the Waterfire Saga, six mermaid heroines must band together to prevent a war between the Mer nations. THE SHARK WHISPERER --- the first book in the Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians series --- follows Tristan, a 12-year-old boy who discovers he can communicate with sharks and attends a special summer camp for kids with ocean-related talents.

So read the reviews below, and choose one to dive into! Sorry, we couldn't resist.
Click here to read the full special feature!

Now in Stores: THREE BIRD SUMMER by Sara St. Antoine

THREE BIRD SUMMER by Sara St. Antoine

An introspective boy and an adventurous girl uncover a poignant family mystery during a summer on the shores of Three Bird Lake.

When Adam's grandma starts to leave strange notes in his room --- notes that hint at a hidden treasure somewhere at Three Bird Lake --- his new neighbor Alice is the one person he can rely on to help solve the mystery.

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



Now in Stores: THE NIGHT GARDENER by Jonathan Auxier

THE NIGHT GARDENER by Jonathan Auxier

This much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier’s exceptional debut, PETER NIMBLE AND HIS FANTASTIC EYES, is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling. THE NIGHT GARDENER follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious specter and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives.

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





Zita the Spacegirl has saved planets, battled monsters, and wrestled with interplanetary fame. But she faces her biggest challenge yet in the third and final installment of the Zita adventures. Wrongfully imprisoned on a penitentiary planet, Zita has to plot the galaxy's greatest jailbreak before the evil prison warden can execute his plan of interstellar domination!

Click here to read more about the book!


Now in Stores: DREAMWOOD by Heather Mackey

DREAMWOOD by Heather Mackey

Determined to find her father, Lucy and her vexingly stubborn friend Pete follow William Darrington’s trail to the deadly woods on Devil’s Thumb. As they encounter Lupine princesses, giant sea serpents and all manner of terrifying creatures, Lucy hasn’t reckoned that the dreamwood itself might be the greatest threat of all.

Click here to read more about the book!



Books on Screen

Each month, our Books on Screen feature spotlights movies, television shows, miniseries and specials that are based on books of various genres --- including novels, memoirs, comics, children's books, short stories and poetry --- along with the latest DVD releases.

Who's ready for the return of Hiccup, Toothless and the gang? How to Train Your Dragon 2 is now in theaters, and it's as funny and charming as the first film. Based on the series by Cressida Cowell, this sequel follows Hiccup and his loyal dragon, Toothless, as they once again find themselves fighting to keep the peace between dragons and humans.

Click here to read about the first book in the bestselling series!



Click here to read Books on Screen!

June's New Picture Books Roundup
Our June picture book roundup includes FOOD TRUCKS by Mark Todd, a comically illustrated book that pays homage to food trucks of every kind; PARDON ME by David Miyares, a clever and colorful book about a bird who just wants some peace and quiet; and MONSTERS LOVE SCHOOL by Mike Austin, a charming story of energetic monsters starting school, learning monster history and having lots of fun while they’re at it.
Click here to see June's New Picture Books roundup!

June’s Cool & New Books Roundup

Our June roundup includes the much-anticipated DORK DIARIES: Tales From a Not-So-Glam TV Star by Rachel Renee Russell, where Nikki is back and has a reality TV crew following her around; LINE OF FIRE: Diary of an Unknown Soldier by Barroux, a graphic novel bringing to life a 100-year-old diary from World War I; and A HITCH AT THE FAIRMONT by Jim Averbeck and illustrated by Nick Bertozzi, where an intrepid boy teams up with director Alfred Hitchcock to solve the mystery of his mother’s death and his aunt’s disappearance.



Click here to see June's Cool & New Books roundup!
June's New in Paperback Roundup

Among the paperback titles released this month, we have “WHO COULD IT BE AT THIS HOUR?” by Lemony Snicket, the noir first novel in his All the Wrong Questions series; THE DEMON NOTEBOOK by Erika McGann, in which four failed witches discover real magic that possesses their school notebook; and PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: 3 Book Paperback Boxed Set by Rick Riordan, which includes the first three books in the popular series, all with brand new cover art.



Click here to visit our June New in Paperback feature!
New Reviews

Check out our latest reviews on!

UFILES #1: A Dark Inheritance by Chris d'Lacey (Youth Paranormal Fiction)

When Michael Malone discovers his supernatural ability to alter reality, he is recruited by an organization dedicated to investigating strange and paranormal phenomena. He joins in hopes of finding his father, who mysteriously vanished three years earlier. Michael's first task is to solve the mystery of a dog he rescued from a precarious cliff top --- a mystery that leads him to a strange and sickly classmate and a young girl who was killed in a devastating accident. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

ALSO KNOWN AS ELVIS: The Misfits, Book 4 by James Howe (Fiction)

Skeezie Tookis, also known as Elvis, isn’t looking forward to this summer in Paintbrush Falls. While his best friends Bobby, Joe and Addie are off on exciting adventures, he’s stuck at home, taking care of his sisters and working five days a week to help out his mom. In the words of the King, Skeezie Tookis is All Shook Up. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

PLATYPUS POLICE SQUAD: The Ostrich Conspiracy by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Youth Mystery Fiction)

The opening of the Kalamazoo City Dome --- the world's largest indoor amusement complex --- has everyone in the city buzzing, especially because it's going to be the shooting site for Chase Mercy's new blockbuster film. But that's when things start to go haywire. Who would want to sabotage the Dome, and why? Detectives Rick Zengo and Corey O'Malley are on the case! Reviewed by Corinne Fox.

CIRCA NOW by Amber McRee Turner (Fiction)

One day, Circa's father receives a strange phone call requesting an urgent delivery, and he heads out into a storm. The unimaginable happens: a tornado, then a terrible accident, and Circa never sees her dad again. Just as Circa and her mom begin to pick up the pieces, a mysterious boy shows up on their doorstep, a boy called Miles who remembers nothing about his past. The only thing he has with him is the photograph that Circa's dad intended to deliver on the day he died. Reviewed by Kathy Purcell.

THE CASTLE BEHIND THORNS by Merrie Haskell (Youth Fiction)

When blacksmith apprentice Sand wakes up in a ruined castle, he has no idea how he got there, but the thorny brambles that surround the walls prevent him from leaving. As he begins to fix up the castle in order to survive, everything he touches somehow works better than it should. Then, as he continues to explore, Sand discovers the castle's secrets, including its long-lost heir, Perrotte. Together, they must fully repair the broken castle if they ever want to leave. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

DORK DIARIES 7: Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star by Rachel Renee Russell (Youth Fiction)

Nikki’s juggling a lot this month. A reality TV crew is following Nikki and her friends as they record their hit song together, plus there are voice lessons, dance practice and little sister Brianna’s latest wacky hijinks. Nikki’s sure she can handle everything, but will all the excitement cause new problems for Nikki and Brandon, now that cameras are everywhere Nikki goes? Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD by Paul Acampora (Fiction)

When Lucy, Elena and Michael receive their summer reading list, they are excited to see that TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was included. But not everyone in their class shares the same enthusiasm. So they hatch a plot to get the entire town talking about the well-known Harper Lee classic. They plan controversial ways to get people to read the book, including re-shelving copies of the book in bookstores so that people think they are missing and starting a website committed to “destroying the mockingbird.” Their efforts are successful when all of the hullabaloo starts to direct more people to the book. But soon, their exploits start to spin out of control and they unwittingly start a mini revolution in the name of books. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

ODIN'S RAVENS (The Blackwell Pages) by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong (Youth Fantasy)

When 13-year-old Matt Thorsen, a modern day descendant of the Norse god Thor, was chosen to represent Thor in an epic battle to prevent the apocalypse he thought he knew how things would play out. Gather the descendants standing in for gods like Loki and Odin, defeat a giant serpent and save the world. No problem, right? But the descendants' journey grinds to a halt when their friend and descendant Baldwin is poisoned and killed and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in the hopes of saving him. But that's only their first stop on their journey to reunite the challengers, find Thor's hammer and stop the apocalypse. Reviewed by Sheena Kowalski.

THE BATTLE OF DARCY LANE by Tara Altebrando (Youth Fiction)

It's summertime, and 12-year-old Julia Richards and her best friend Taylor want some real excitement. Which arrives in the form of a new neighbor named Alyssa, who introduces a ball game called Russia . . . and an unwelcome level of BFF rivalry. Suddenly nothing stands unchallenged --- not Julia's friendships, her crush or her independence. But while Julia realizes that she cannot control all the changes in her life, she hangs onto the hope that everything will go in her favor if she can just win one magnificent showdown. Reviewed by Harman K., Teen Board Member.

ABSOLUTELY ALMOST by Lisa Graff (Youth Fiction)

Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he's not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he is good at and how he can take pride in himself. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE DEMON NOTEBOOK by Erika McGann (Youth Paranormal Fiction)

Things have gone wrong for Grace, Jenny, Rachel, Adie and Una. Very wrong. A freak snowstorm stranded the whole school, the history teacher's gone bonkers and their notebook has taken on a diabolical life of its own, bringing all of their previously failed spells to life. At first the girls are thrilled to see their magic finally working. But the spells are botched and people might get hurt, plus Una's not acting quite right. Can the girls stop the madness before the demon notebook works through their list of spells, slowly creeping towards the last, truly awful spell that they didn't really want to happen? Reviewed by Sheena Kowalski.

STILL LIFE (The Book of Elsewhere) by Jacqueline West (Fiction)

In this fifth and final book, Olive must seek the full, complex story of Elsewhere, its magical origins and its creator, and in so doing, face her own fears and limitations --- and possibly the destruction of Elsewhere itself. How far will Olive go to save the people and home she loves? And what will be the final cost? Reviewed by Kathy Purcell.

LINE OF FIRE: Diary of an Unknown Soldier by Barroux (Graphic Novel)

One winter morning, Barroux was walking down a street in Paris when he made an extraordinary find: the real diary of a soldier in World War I. Barroux rescued the diary from the trash and illustrated the soldier's words. In this striking black and white graphic novel adaptation of a 100-year-old diary, the events of the first two months of World War I are given fresh meaning and relevance to modern audiences. Reviewed by Aimee Rogers.

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!

Booker T. Worm and Friends
The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107
connect with us twitterfacebook
This e-mail was sent from The Book Report Network - KidsReads
Immediate removal with PatronMail®
This e-mail is powered by PatronMail...the innovative e-marketing tool for the arts, non-profits and creative businesses.
To forward this e-mail to a friend or colleague, use this link.
To change your e-mail address or update preferences, use this link.