Skip to main content

March 2016 Newsletter March 2016
It's a Pleasure to "Meet" You!
Hi Kidsreaders,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My name is Rebecca, and I definitely feel like the luck of the Irish has been on my side lately, because I’m the new Editorial Coordinator at Kidsreads. I’ve been here about three weeks, and thus far I’ve been attending tons of really fun previews where publishers present upcoming books so I can plan fun features and reviews (you can see some pictures of these adventures above, along with some St. Patty's Day office treats).

I had the pleasure of meeting Jen Calonita at one of these previews --- she’s the author of Fairy Tale Reform School, a middle-grade series about a school where the teachers are all former villains. Jen has such a fun way of looking at beloved fairy tales and the second book in her series, CHARMED, is now in stores. In celebration of the release, Jen was kind enough to write a special blog just for our Kidsreaders, where she shares the backstory of Madame Cleo (formerly known as the Sea Witch) and how she came to Fairy Tale Reform School. Trust me, it’s a must read!

Some quick things about me. To say I’m a lifelong reader would be putting it mildly. My mom read to me while she was pregnant and only stopped when I got old enough to read to myself. From the time I could talk, we played tons of word games and I always had a book or two on hand. I guess it’s no real surprise that I went on to study literature in college and intern with a few publishers before finding myself here at Kidsreads. I actually interned at the company here before I officially came on staff!

As far as favorite books go, I am probably one of the biggest PETER PAN fans out there --- my nickname in high school was even Tink. I am a total girly-girl who loves to laugh, so I gravitated towards series like Amelia Bedelia and Eloise when I was younger. To this day, I still watch Eloise at the Plaza whenever I’m feeling down. Who wouldn’t love to have the run of the Plaza and New York City and a charming British nanny to help you out of any scrapes? More recently, I’ve loved BROWN GIRL DREAMING, THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH and the Emily Windsnap series.

Beyond books, I will do anything possible to plant myself near a cute dog, bake cupcakes (especially if they’re holiday-themed) or read outside. I spend a lot of time doing needle crafts, like knitting scarves and needlepointing tissue box covers, and I love going on adventures to my favorite book settings. Right now, I spend a good hour every week looking at vacation destinations on Prince Edward Island, the setting of Anne of Green Gables.

For my first newsletter, we have two special features and contests to share with you! First up, we’re offering 10 lucky readers the chance to win a copy of ALL RISE FOR THE HONORABLE PERRY T. COOK by Leslie Connor. In this book, young Perry has spent his whole life at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska, where his mom is an inmate. Life is going pretty well until a new district attorney takes over and separates Perry from his mother. As Perry investigates her past on the outside, he discovers the power of love and the value of home. The deadline to enter for your chance to win a copy of this heartwarming book is Thursday, March 24th at noon ET. (That’s a week from today, so enter NOW!)

We’re also giving away 50(!) copies of FIZZOPOLIS: The Trouble with Fuzzwonker Fizz, the first book in Patrick Carman’s new series with illustrator Brian Sheesley. If you have a sweet tooth like me, you’ll love the underground city of Fizzopolis, home to the world’s best soda, Fuzzwonker Fizz, created with the help of mischievous creatures known as Fizzies. Young Harold Fuzzwonker is heir to the secret recipe for Fuzzwonker Fizz, but when the recipe is at risk, he’ll have to pack up his favorite Fizzy, Floyd, and protect his family from the evil Snood Candy Factory. This fun, heavily illustrated book is in stores now, but you can still enter for your chance to win a copy here. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, April 26th at noon ET.

Ready to vote? We have an election just for you! It’s time to vote for the Children’s Choice Book Awards. It’s the ONLY book award that is selected by kids and teens. To make your voice heard, click here and vote on your favorite book, illustrator and debut author.

Happy reading!

--- Rebecca Munro (

Children's Choice Book Awards Voting

The Children's Book Council's Children's Choice Book Awards are officially upon us and open for voting! This is a big deal in the publishing industry, as it is the only national book awards program where kids and teens decide all of the finalists. From now until April 25th, you have the chance to choose not only your favorite book of 2016, but your favorite debut author and favorite illustrator as well.

This is your chance to make a difference, so click here to show your favorite books and authors some well-deserved love!


Special Contest: ALL RISE FOR THE HONORABLE PERRY T. COOK by Leslie Connor

We have 10 copies of ALL RISE FOR THE HONORABLE PERRY T. COOK by Leslie Connor to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which is now in stores. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, March 24th at noon ET.

If you are under 13 years old, you must print out this form, get a parent or guardian's signature, and send it to the office by Thursday, March 24th at noon ET.

Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth --- and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home. When Perry moves to the “outside” world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from...but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?

- Click here to read a review.
- Click here to read more about the book.
- Click here to read an excerpt.
- Click here to read Leslie Connor's bio.
- Click here to read our interview with Leslie Connor.

In our interview, Leslie Connor tells us more about the inspiration behind Perry and his mother, and the importance of discussing these tough issues with kids.


Click here to read more in Special Feature and enter the contest.

Special Contest: FIZZOPOLIS by Patrick Carman

We have 50 copies of FIZZOPOLIS: The Trouble with Fuzzwonker Fizz written by Patrick Carman and illustrated by Brian Sheesley to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which is now in stores. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, April 26th at noon ET.

If you are under 13 years old, you must print out this form, get a parent or guardian's signature and send it to office by Tuesday, April 26th at noon ET.

FIZZOPOLIS: The Trouble with Fuzzwonker Fizz by Patrick Carman, with illustrations by Brian Sheesley (Adventure)
Welcome to Fizzopolis! Home to the world’s greatest soda pop, Fuzzwonker Fizz, and the Fizzies! For Harold Fuzzwonker, it isn’t easy keeping his fizzy friend, Floyd, a secret. But when the secret family recipe for Fuzzwonker Fizz is on the line, Harold does what any good friend would do. He puts Floyd in his backpack! In this wild and wacky heavily illustrated POB series, Harold chronicles his epic adventures to protect the Fuzzwonker family trust from the evil Snood Candy factory, with a little artistic help from Floyd.

- Click here to read a review.
- Click here to read more about the book.
- Click here to read an excerpt.
- Click here to read Patrick Carman's bio.
- Click here to read Brian Sheesley's bio.
- Click here to read our interview with Patrick Carman.

In our interview, Patrick Carman tells us about the inspiration for FIZZOPOLIS, what kind of tasty treat he'd like to invent and what it was like collaborating with Brian Sheesley.

Click here to read more in our Special Feature and enter the contest.

Featured Review: MAYBE A FOX by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee

MAYBE A FOX by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee (Fantasy)
Sylvie and Jules, Jules and Sylvie. Better than just sisters, better than best friends, they’d be identical twins if only they’d been born in the same year. And if only Sylvie wasn’t such a fast runner. But Sylvie is too fast, and when she runs to the river they’re not supposed to go anywhere near to throw a wish rock just before the school bus comes on a snowy morning, she runs so fast that no one sees what happens…and no one ever sees her again. Jules is devastated, but she refuses to believe what all the others believe, that, like their mother, her sister is gone forever. At the very same time, in the shadow world, a shadow fox is born --- half of the spirit world, half of the animal world. She too is fast and she senses danger.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: THE LAND OF FORGOTTEN GIRLS by Erin Entrada Kelly

THE LAND OF FORGOTTEN GIRLS by Erin Entrada Kelly (Fiction)
Two sisters from the Philippines, abandoned by their father and living with their stepmother in Louisiana, fight to make their lives better in this remarkable story for readers of Cynthia Kadohata and Rita Williams-Garcia, and for anyone searching for the true meaning of family.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.


“Keep calm and carry on.” That’s what Katherine Bateson’s father told her, and that’s what she’s trying to do: when her father goes off to the war, when her mother sends Kat and her brother and sister away from London to escape the incessant bombing, even when the children arrive at Rookskill Castle, an ancient, crumbling manor on the misty Scottish highlands. But it’s hard to keep calm in the strange castle that seems haunted by ghosts or worse. What’s making those terrifying screeches and groans at night? Why do the castle’s walls seem to have a mind of their own? And why do people seem to mysteriously appear and disappear?

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: THE GIRL IN THE WELL IS ME by Karen Rivers

THE GIRL IN THE WELL IS ME by Karen Rivers (Fiction)
Longing to be one of the popular girls in her new town, Kammie Summers has fallen into a well during a (fake) initiation into their club. Now Kammie’s trapped in the dark, counting the hours, waiting to be rescued. As hours pass, Kammie’s real-life predicament mixes with memories of the best and worst moments of her life so far. As she begins to feel hungry and thirsty, she starts to imagine she has company, including a French-speaking coyote and goats that just might be zombies.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

March’s Cool & New Books Roundup
This month’s Cool and New roundup includes MISCHIEF SEASON, the first book in a new series by John Bemelmans Marciano and Sophie Blackall that whisks children away to Benevento, an ancient town famous for its witches; RED, Liesl Shurtliff's imaginative retelling of Little Red Riding Hood's life-changing journey to visit her grandmother; and THE SECRET OF DREADWILLOW CARSE, Brian Farrey's spooky fairy tale that celebrates the power of friendship through two strong-willed young girls.
Click here to see March's Cool & New Books roundup!

March’s New in Paperback Roundup
In paperback titles this month, we have THE BLACK CROW CONSPIRACY, the third book in Christopher Edge's Penelope Tredwell Mysteries series, in which Penelope finds herself on the hunt for stolen Crown Jewels; BILLY SURE, KID ENTREPRENEUR IS A SPY!, Luke Sharp's sixth book about everyone's favorite young CEO, set in spy school; and ON A BEAM OF LIGHT, a beautiful journey through the mind of Albert Einstein from Jennifer Berne with illustrations by Vladimir Radunsky.
Click here to visit our March New in Paperback feature!

March’s New Picture Books Roundup
In picture books this month, we have CALLING ALL CARS, Sue Fliess's bouncy book full of delightful rhymes about things that go, with vivid illustrations by Sarah Beise; FRIENDS, a heartwarming and insightful story about fitting in, from author and illustrator Aiko Ikegami; and SWATCH, a vivid exploration of color from Julia Denos that is sure to delight young readers fascinated by the world around them.
Click here to see March's Picture Book Roundup!

New Reviews
THE DRUM OF DESTINY by Chris Stevenson (Historical Fiction)
The year is 1775 and 12-year-old Gabriel Cooper is an orphaned patriot stuck living in a house of loyalists. But when the boy discovers a discarded drum in the East River, he sees it as a call to leave his home in New York and join in the fight for freedom in Boston. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

SIMON THORN AND THE WOLF'S DEN by Aimee Carter (Fantasy)
Twelve-year-old Simon Thorn's life has never been easy or normal, but things like being bullied at school and living in a cramped Manhattan apartment with his Uncle Darryl are nothing compared to his biggest secret: He can talk to animals. But when his mom is suddenly kidnapped by a herd of rats, Simon finds out that he, his mom, and his uncle are all Animalgams --- people born with the ability to change into an animal at will. In search of his mom, Simon discovers the Animalgam Academy based at the Central Park Zoo. There he learns about the fractured five kingdoms that make up this secret world --- and realizes he may be the only one who can save it. Reviewed by Alyssa Luis.

SWEET HOME ALASKA by Carole Estby Dagg (Historical Fiction)
It’s 1934, and times are tough for their family. To make a fresh start, Terpsichore’s father signs up for President Roosevelt’s Palmer Colony project, uprooting them from Wisconsin to become pioneers in Alaska. Their new home is a bit of a shock --- it’s a town still under construction in the middle of the wilderness, where the residents live in tents and share a community outhouse. Tackling its many unique challenges with her can-do attitude, Terpsichore starts making things happen to make Alaska seem more like home. Soon, she and her family are able to start settling in and enjoying their new surroundings --- everyone except her mother, that is. So, in order to stay, Terpsichore hatches a plan to convince her that it’s a wonderful --- and civilized --- place to live. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

JUST MY LUCK by Cammie McGovern (Fiction)
Fourth grade is not going at all how Benny Barrows hoped. He hasn't found a new best friend. He's still not a great bike rider --- even though his brother George, who's autistic, can do tricks. And worst of all, he worries his dad's recent accident might be all his fault. Benny tries to take his mom's advice and focus on helping others but he doesn't know how he and his family will overcome all the bad luck that life seems to have thrown their way. Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell.

TEN DAYS A MADWOMAN by Deborah Noyes (Biography)
Young Nellie Bly had ambitious goals, especially for a woman at the end of the nineteenth century, when the few female journalists were relegated to writing columns about cleaning or fashion. But fresh off a train from Pittsburgh, Nellie knew she was destined for more and pulled a major journalistic stunt that skyrocketed her to fame: feigning insanity, being committed to the notorious asylum on Blackwell's Island and writing a shocking exposé of the clinic’s horrific treatment of its patients. Nellie Bly became a household name as the world followed her enthralling career in “stunt” journalism that raised awareness of political corruption, poverty and abuses of human rights. Leading an uncommonly full life, Nellie circled the globe in a record seventy-two days and brought home a pet monkey before marrying an aged millionaire and running his company after his death. Reviewed by Aimee Rogers.

SAVING WONDER by Mary Knight (Fiction)
Having lost most of his family to coal mining accidents as a little boy, Curley Hines lives with his grandfather in the Appalachian Mountains of Wonder Gap, Kentucky. Ever since Curley can remember, Papaw has been giving him a word each week to learn and live. Papaw says words are Curley's way out of the holler. When a new coal boss takes over the local mining company, life as Curley knows it is turned upside down. Suddenly, his best friend, Jules, is interested in the coal boss's son, and worse, the mining company threatens to destroy Curley and Papaw's mountain. Now Curley faces a difficult choice --- does he use his words to speak out against Big Coal and save his mountain, or does he remain silent and save his way of life? Reviewed by Aimee Rogers.

THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY by Natalie Lloyd (Mystery)
Everyone in Emma's family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists and famous musicians --- every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream. For Emma, her own dream can't come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she'd do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn't want to let her mother down. But when Emma's dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task --- generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that's been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost? Reviewed by Emma Kantor.

RED MOON RISING by K.A. Holt (Science Fiction)
Rae Darling and her family are colonists on a moon so obscure it doesn’t merit a name. Life is hard, water is scarce, and the farm work she does is grueling. But Rae and her sister Temple are faced with an added complication --- being girls is a serious liability in their strict society. Even worse, the Cheese --- the colonists’ name for the native people on the moon --- sometimes kidnap girls from the human colony. And when Rae’s impetuous actions disrupt the fragile peace, the Cheese come for her and Temple. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

HOUR OF THE BEES by Lindsay Eagar (Magical Realism)
While her friends are spending their summers having pool parties and sleepovers, 12-year-old Carolina --- Carol --- is spending hers in the middle of the New Mexico desert, helping her parents move the grandfather she’s never met into a home for people with dementia. At first, Carol avoids prickly Grandpa Serge. But as the summer wears on and the heat bears down, Carol finds herself drawn to him, fascinated by the crazy stories he tells her about a healing tree, a green-glass lake, and the bees that will bring back the rain and end a hundred years of drought. As the thin line between magic and reality starts to blur, Carol must decide for herself what is possible --- and what it means to be true to her roots. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

WITHERING-BY-SEA by Judith Rossell (Fantasy)
High on a cliff above the gloomy Victorian town of Withering-by-Sea stands the Hotel Majestic. Inside the walls of the damp, dull hotel, 11-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery leads a miserable life with her three dreadful aunts. Stella dreams of adventuring on the Amazon --- or anyplace, really, as long as it isn’t this dreary town where nothing ever happens. Then one night Stella sees something she shouldn’t have. Soon she finds herself on the run from terrifying Professor Stark and his gang of thugs. But how can one young girl outwit an evil magician, much less rescue his poor, mistreated assistant? With the help of a mysterious maestro, his musical cats, and a lively girl named Gert, Stella Montgomery sets out to do just that. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

MISSION MUMBAI by Mahtab Narsimhan (Friendship)
When aspiring photographer Dylan Moore is invited to join his best friend Rohit Lal on a family trip to India, he jumps at the chance to embark on an exciting journey just like their Lord of the Rings heroes, Frodo and Sam. But each boy comes to the trip with a problem: Rohit is desperate to convince his parents not to leave him behind in Mumbai to finish school, and Dylan is desperate to use his time in India to prove himself as a photographer and to avoid his parents' constant fighting. Keeping their struggles to themselves threatens to tear the boys apart. But when disaster strikes, Dylan and Rohit realize they have to set aside their differences to navigate India safely, confront their family issues, and salvage their friendship. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.


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