Skip to main content

August 2015 Newsletter August 2015
Buying a book online? Use these links and support!
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound
What Pet Should You Get?

Hi Kidsreaders,

I hope you’re doing well! Whether you're anxiously awaiting school to start or have already attended a couple weeks of classes, I know that you have lots of back-to-school shopping-related questions on the brain --- what backpack should you get? What color pens should you get? What rockstar first-day-of-school outfit should you get? Over at Kidsreads, though, our spending daydreams are a bit more animal-focused than school-focused. Why?

Because Dr. Seuss --- one of the most popular, distinctive and silly authors of all time --- is back with a new book, WHAT PET SHOULD I GET?! When I say “new” book, I don’t mean it in the traditional sense --- this formidable writer and illustrator passed away in 1991. However, his widow Audrey Geisel and former secretary Claudia Prescott recently rediscovered a box full of his writing projects…including this one!

While no one can be sure, Dr. Seuss’s former Art Director Cathy Goldsmith believes he wrote the book between 1958 and 1962, since the brother and sister protagonists are the same sibling pair that star in the 1960 book ONE FISH TWO FISH RED FISH BLUE FISH. The sketches and text for WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? were found nearly complete, and Goldsmith worked hard to match the final coloring to the tones available in the early ‘60s.

Since a “new” Dr. Seuss book --- with or without quotes --- doesn’t come along every day, we decided to celebrate by asking some of our more modern favorite children’s authors, "If you could have any creature or animal from a book as a pet, which would you choose and why?"
See a few of their answers below --- we can only imagine the stares we'd get if we took these critters for a walk!

For a pet, I would love to have Monster from THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM by Sarah Beth Durst. Monster is a monster (well, duh) who comes out of Sophie's dream. He has furry tentacles, loves cupcakes, makes loads of wisecracks...and most importantly of all, he is a good friend. --- Sam Gayton (LILLIPUT)

I would choose Charlotte, the spider from E.B. White's CHARLOTTE'S WEB. She's a writer, too, after all. --- Kekla Magoon (SHADOWS OF SHERWOOD)

If I could have any creature from a book as a pet, I would choose Falkor the Luckdragon from THE NEVERENDING STORY by Michael Ende. Falkor is so lucky, nothing bad would ever happen. We could fly around the world causing mischief, and that sounds pretty fun to me. --- Matt London (BORN TO BE WILD: The 8th Continent, Book 3)

I would love to have Piglet from A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh books. He wore a onesie with stripes, which was an excellent choice. If he lived with me, we would take long walks by the beach, and when he tired I would carry him on my back and ask him to sing. --- Holly Goldberg Sloan (APPLEBLOSSOM THE POSSUM)

To see all of our author answers, click here. We'd love to hear your thoughts, too --- if you could pick an animal or creature for a book to have as a pet, what would you choose? Let me know at!

And with that, enjoy the rest of the newsletter, happy reading, happy back-to-school shopping and happy playing-with-your-pets, if you have them! And as always, we have a few things for parents too!

--- Shara Zaval (

PS: Curious about the art on top? I took the picture on the left while on vacation in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, a few weeks ago. It’s a window display that says “welcome back to school” in Spanish! On the right you can find me posing with Sam Gayton, his book LILLIPUT and a little figurine he used to demonstrate the size of his protagonist, Lily, at a recent event in New York City. We’re glad he didn’t say he’d want Lily as a pet in his answer above --- three little girls treat her like a doll at one point in LILLIPUT and she was definitely was not a fan of that.

Worth a Thousand Words: Wordless Picture Books

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the 20 books featured below are worth millions of words --- they are nothing BUT pictures!

Relying on illustrations alone, these wordless picture books invite readers to fill the pages with imagination while still maintaining a clear storyline. For example, in BLUEBIRD, Bob Staake draws a bird that befriends a lonely boy. In FOX'S GARDEN, Princesse Camcam paints the literal picture of a fox that enters a village and receives a gift from a local child. In Aaron Becker's celebrated book JOURNEY, a young girl draws her own adventure.

Even without saying a single word, these books are still meaningful and emotional. Plus, they're perfect for people of all ages, whether kids too young to start reading or adults who are looking for a story delivered in an innovative way.

Click here to view the Wordless Picture Books Bookshelf!


On the Blog

Inspirational Cooking Blogs --- Guest Post by Shelley Sackier: Author Shelley Sackier helps us navigate through the crazed world of cooking blogs and websites with her own personal favorites.

Sports and Fiction --- More Similar Than You’d Think! --- Guest Post by Matt Oldfield: Author Matt Oldfield discusses his own childhood experience with soccer.


Click here to read the Kidsreads blog!


Summer Buzz Books: Because It's STILL Summer!
Summer means a lot of things --- going to the beach, relaxing by the pool, going to camp, taking a break from school and...drumroll please…summer reading!

There are so many books that came out this spring (and are coming out later this summer), and we asked some of our bookseller friends to weigh in on their very favorites. Read here for some of their suggestions, and get yourself to a bookstore, stat! Then slather on the sunscreen, head to the nearest sunny locale and crack open your literary prize.

Click here to see the full list of Summer Buzz Books!


Books on Screen: July to December 2015

Prepare for a cinematic season to remember! Between July and December, film adaptations of popular books spanning the decades will be coming to a theater near you. We know that many of you want the full literary experience before seeing the movie, so we’re helping you out with this bookshelf, featuring 10 novels about to hit the big screen.

Let these popular tales capture your imagination, then watch in the months to come as your favorite protagonists turn into flesh and blood characters. Journey with Katniss into the rebellious world of the thirteen Districts as she takes her final stand in MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins, or reminisce with the familiar, fantastical adventures of J.M. Barrie’s PETER PAN. No matter your age, these famous stories will get you ready for their highly anticipated movie premieres.

Click to see what books will be on the big screen soon!


August's Cool & New Books Roundup

In this month's roundup, we have GOODBYE STRANGER by bestselling author Rebecca Stead, a tale about friendship and the woes of seventh grade; LILLIPUT by Sam Gayton, a tale inspired by GULLIVER’S TRAVELS that follows a three-inch-tall girl on her epic journey through 18th-century London; and Rick Riordan's mythology guide in a sarcastic narrative: PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK HEROES.

Click here to see August's Cool & New Books roundup!


August's New in Paperback Roundup

This month's roundup includes NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS GUIDE TO PHOTOGRAPHY by Nancy Honovich and Annie Griffiths, which helps kids of all ages take the perfect picture; DARTH PAPER STRIKES BACK by Tom Angleberger, the second book in the Origami Yoda series; and GOOSEBUMPS THE MOVIE: The Movie Novel by R.L. Stine, a book that echoes the plot of the October 2015 Goosebumps film, complete with images.

Click here to visit our August New in Paperback feature!


August's New in Picture Books Roundup

Our picture book roundup this month includes THE DAY THE CRAYONS CAME HOME by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, the follow-up to the beloved THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT, in which a slew of lost art supplies attempt to return to their owners; MARVELOUS CORNELIUS: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Bildner, illustrated by John Parra, a heartwarming true story about the difference a garbage collector made during this natural disaster; and CAN WE HELP?: Kids Volunteering to Help Their Communities by George Ancona, a photo journal depicting children of all ages giving back to their community.

Click here to see August's Picture Books roundup!


Now in Stores: FUZZY MUD by Louis Sachar

FUZZY MUD by Louis Sachar (Suspense, Youth Fiction)

Combining horror-movie suspense with the issues of friendship, bullying and the possibility of ecological disaster, this novel will intrigue, surprise and inspire readers and compel them to think twice about how they treat others as well as their environment.

Be careful. Your next step may be your last.

Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Hilligas challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya, unaware of the reason for the detour, reluctantly follows. They soon get lost. And then they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.

In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.

Click here to learn more about the book.


Now in Stores: IMMORTAL GUARDIANS (Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts, Book 1) by Eliot Schrefer

IMMORTAL GUARDIANS (Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts, Book 1) by Eliot Schrefer (Fantasy)

A new threat faces the world of Erdas in this continuation of the New York Times bestselling series.

Click here to learn more about the book.


Now in Stores: OLD WOLF by Avi, with illustrations by Brian Floca

OLD WOLF by Avi, with illustrations by Brian Floca (Survival)

Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. Not a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.

Hunting --- the predator, and its prey --- is at the heart of this riveting and suspenseful novel from Newbery Medalist Avi with illustrations from Caldecott Medalist Brian Floca.

In the computer game world of Bow Hunter --- Casey’s world --- there are no deaths, just kills. In the wolf world --- Nashoba’s world --- there have been no kills. For this is March, the Starving Time in the Iron Mountain region of Colorado, when wolves and ravens alike are desperate for food.

With the help of a raven, the miraculous Merla, Nashoba must lead his pack of eight to a next meal. The wolf hates being dependent on a mere bird, but Merla is a bird wise beyond her years.

And when 13-year-old Casey crosses their path, two very different approaches to hunting collide.

Click here to learn more about the book.


New Reviews

New! A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME by Phil Bildner, illustrated by Tim Probert (Sports)

Rip and Red are best friends, and their fifth-grade year is nothing like what they expected. They have a crazy new tattooed teacher named Mr. Acevedo who doesn't believe in tests or homework and who likes off-the-wall projects, the more "off" the better. They also find themselves with a new basketball coach: Mr. Acevedo! Easy-going Rip is knocked completely out of his comfort zone. And for Red, who has autism and really needs things to be a certain way, the changes are even more of a struggle. But together these two make a great duo who know how to help each other --- and find ways to make a difference --- in the classroom and on the court. --- Reviewed by Charles Payseur.

New! THREE LINKS OF CHAIN by Dennis Maley (Historical Fiction, Youth Fiction)

Blanche, a slave, thinks he has it good. He helps run a printing press, is well-fed, never physically mistreated and has secretly taught himself to read. Most importantly, he has been promised a chance at emancipation. Then, in a single bloody morning, his world is overturned, his master lies dead and his widow has no intention of following through with her husband's promise to free him. Blanche would never have considered running away from his old life, but faced with the prospect of being sold as a laborer or worse, he forges his free papers and flees north, a fugitive, to create his own future. --- Reviewed by Aimee Rogers.

New! PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK HEROES by Rick Riordan and John Rocco (Fantasy, Mythology)

Who cut off Medusa's head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan's legions of devoted fans --- and for anyone who needs a hero. --- Reviewed by Alyssa Luis.

New! THE ENCHANTED FILES: Diary of a Mad Brownie by Bruce Coville (Fantasy, Adventure)

In the first hilarious Enchanted Files novel, Angus is a brownie. No, not the kind you eat! He’s a tiny magical creature that loves to do chores. Angus has just “inherited” a new human girl, Alex. To say that Alex is messy would be an understatement. She’s a total hurricane-like disaster --- and she likes it that way, thankyouverymuch! Living with each other isn’t easy, but Angus and Alex soon learn there is a curse that binds them. --- Reviewed by Anita Lock.

New! CLOSE TO THE WIND by Jon Walter (Youth Fiction)

Ten-year-old Malik's world is falling apart. Soldiers have invaded town and his mother is missing, leaving Malik with his grandfather, Papa. Along with 1,000 other refugees, their hope for escape lies in gaining passage aboard one ship --- but the demand for tickets is high, and so is the cost. When things don't go as planned, Malik must summon all of his courage and resourcefulness to survive. --- Reviewed by Anita Lock.

New! WATCH OUT FOR FLYING KIDS! How Two Circuses, Two Countries, and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community by Cynthia Levinson (Culture, Nonfiction)

The author of WE’VE GOT A JOB explores the world of social circus, a movement that brings kids from different worlds together to perform remarkable acts on a professional level. As the kids' relationships evolve over time, the members learn how to overcome assumptions, animosity and obstacles both physical and personal. --- Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

New! TERRIBLE TYPHOID MARY: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (History, Reference)

What happens when a person's reputation has been forever damaged? With archival photographs and text among other primary sources, this riveting biography of Mary Mallon by the Sibert medalist and Newbery Honor winner Susan Bartoletti looks beyond the tabloid scandal of Mary's controversial life. --- Reviewed by Hasnah Farraj

New! GOODBYE, STRANGER by Rebecca Stead (Youth Fiction, Friendship)

Bridge is an accident survivor who’s wondering why she’s still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody’s games --- or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade? This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl --- as a friend? --- Reviewed by Sydney Scott

New! OUT OF THE WOODS: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event by Rebecca Bond (Nature, Picture)

Antonio Willie Giroux lived in a hotel his mother ran on the edge of a lake. He loved to explore the woods and look for animals, but they always remained hidden away. One hot, dry summer, when Antonio was almost five, disaster struck: a fire rushed through the forest. Everyone ran to the lake --- the only safe place in town --- and stood knee-deep in water as they watched the fire. Then, slowly, animals emerged from their forest home and joined the people in the water. --- Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

New! CHASING SECRETS by Gennifer Choldenko (Family)

San Francisco, 1900. The Gilded Age. A fantastic time to be alive for lots of people…but not 13-year-old Lizzie Kennedy, stuck at Miss Barstow’s snobby school for girls. Lizzie’s secret passion is science, an unsuitable subject for finishing-school girls. Lizzie lives to go on house calls with her physician father. On those visits to his patients, she discovers a hidden dark side of the city --- a side that’s full of secrets, rats and rumors of the plague. --- Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

New! BAYOU MAGIC by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Youth Fiction, Fantasy)

It's Maddy's turn to have a bayou summer. At first she misses life back home in the city, but soon she grows to love everything about her new surroundings --- the glimmering fireflies, the glorious landscape and something else, deep within the water, that only Maddy sees. Could it be a mermaid? And when a disastrous oil leak threatens the bayou, she knows she may also be the only one who can help. Does she have what it takes to be a hero? --- Reviewed by Anita Lock.

New! UNTAMED by Anita Silvey and Jane Goodall (Biography, Science)

Jane Goodall, one of the most recognized scientists in the Western world, became internationally famous because of her ability to observe and connect with another species. She began tirelessly fighting to protect the environment so that chimpanzees and other animals will continue have a place and a future on our planet. --- Reviewed by Anita Lock.

New! THE KEEPER by Darragh Martin (Family, Fantasy)

Books are not supposed to jump into hands on their own, but that is exactly what happens. Olsin isn’t sure he wants to be the Keeper of The Book of Magic that jumped into his hands. But when his little sister Sorcha is kidnapped by a raven-goddess, Morrigan, he has to learn how to use the Book for good. Soon Oisín has a long journey ahead of him with only Stephen, his annoying older brother, and Antimony, a headstrong orphan with her own quest, to help him. --- Reviewed by Anita Lock.

New! IRA'S SHAKESPEARE DREAM by Glenda Armand illus. by Floyd Cooper (Inspirational, Nonfiction)

This is a nonfiction biography chronicling the life of Ira Aldridge, an African American actor who overcame racism to become one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the 19th century.--- Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

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