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June 2016 Newsletter June 2016
Summer Binge-reading with Kidsreads

Hi Kidsreaders,

The past few weeks have made me feel like a kid again --- and not just because of all the candy I've been eating (see the picture on the above left for a look at the centerpiece at a children's book event that I attended recently where candy was there for the taking; it reminded me of an end-of-the-year school party). June is also giving me major book nostalgia. With readers gearing up for the release of HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD on July 31st, we have the start of a new season of Potter-mania. It's sparking memories of the many summers that I spent devouring those books as a kid, and now it's great to see a whole new era of readers joining in. I especially love seeing all of you begin to identify with your favorite houses (I speak as a proud Ravenclaw).

Of course, if Harry Potter doesn't interest you, there are MANY great series books you can enjoy this summer, which is why we've been steadily updating our Series feature. I personally adore the Ninja Librarians, a swashbuckling adventure in which 12-year-old Dorrie Barnes falls through a passage in her local library into the headquarters of a secret society of heroic librarians. You can catch the latest installment, SWORD IN THE STACKS, in stores now. Another favorite is The Jupiter Pirates, a rip-roaring adventure through time and space with the Hashoone family and their privateering business. The third book in the series, THE RISE OF EARTH, is available now. See the bottom of this newsletter for updates to these and seven other series this month.

With weeks of summer vacation ahead, you can plan to read through a series without interruption!

Still not sure what to read this summer? Kidsreads has you covered with our annual Get Ready for Summer Feature and Contest. From now until Monday, August 1st, we're giving five lucky readers a copy of each of our 10 featured titles --- one of which, MS. BIXBY'S LAST DAY, is one of our featured reviews in this newsletter.

Now for some book-to-screen news. Don't forget to check out the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's THE BFG when it hits theaters on July 1st (see the poster above on the right). Directed by Steven Spielberg, this heartwarming story about Sophie and her newest friend, the Big Friendly Giant, is sure to add some giant fun to your summer. And that's not all! Back in March, readers and movie-lovers alike were disappointed to learn that the film adaptation of THE LITTLE PRINCE was abruptly dropped by its distributor --- but don't worry, you can catch The Little Prince both in theaters and in the comfort of your own home via Netflix when it releases on August 5th.

Don't forget to wish your dads, grandads and other fatherly figures a happy Father's Day this weekend! Maybe you can even share some of your favorite books with dear old Dad this Sunday as a special treat.

Happy reading!

--- Rebecca Munro (

Feature and Contest: Get Ready for Summer 2016

It's time to think about summer reading. We're talking about the kinds of books that you're glad you now have time to kick back with and enjoy. The way we see it, it wouldn't be summer without sun, surf and great reading. We'll give you some fantastic ideas in our Second Annual Get Ready for Summer promotion. From now through Monday, August 1st at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a copy of each of our featured books.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to enter our Get Ready for Summer contest!

Featured Review: MS. BIXBY'S LAST DAY by John David Anderson

MS. BIXBY'S LAST DAY by John David Anderson (Fiction)
Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. Ms. Bixby is the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don’t even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one of a kind. Topher, Brand and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won’t be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Reviewed by Erin Siu.

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Featured Review: THE MISADVENTURES OF MAX CRUMBLY 1 by Rachel Renée Russell

THE MISADVENTURES OF MAX CRUMBLY 1: Locker Hero by Rachel Renée Russell (Graphic Novel)
Max is about to face the scariest place he’s ever been --- South Ridge Middle School! He has been home-schooled by his grandmother until now, and he’s begged his parents to finally let him start attending public middle school. He’s starting to question that choice, though, with the Thomas Silver Problem. As in, Thomas Silver keeps stuffing Max in his locker. If only Max could be like the hero in all the comics he likes to read --- or the ones he draws --- and magically escape the locker and defeat Tommy. Unfortunately, Max’s uncanny, almost superhuman ability to smell pizza from a block away won’t exactly save any lives or foil bad guys. But that doesn’t mean Max won’t do his best to be the hero his school needs! Reviewed by Brianna Robinson.

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Featured Review: GRAYLING'S SONG by Karen Cushman

GRAYLING'S SONG by Karen Cushman (Fantasy)
It’s time for Grayling to be a hero. Her mother, a “wise woman” --- a sort of witch --- has been turned into a tree by evil forces. Tangles and toadstools! Lacking confidence after years of being called “Feeble Wits” by her mother, Grayling heads off dubiously into the wilds in search of help, where she finds a weather witch, an aromatic enchantress, a cheese soothsayer, a slyly foolish apprentice, and a shape-shifting mouse named Pook! A fast-paced and funny coming-of-age odyssey from a Newbery medalist. Reviewed by Rebecca Hawkins.

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Featured Review: NINE, TEN by Nora Raleigh Baskin

NINE, TEN: A SEPTEMBER 11th STORY by Nora Raleigh Baskin (Historical Fiction)
Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day --- until a plane struck the World Trade Center. ANYTHING BUT TYPICAL is a touching look at the days leading up to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and how that day impacted the lives of four middle schoolers. These four don’t know one another, but their lives are about to intersect in ways they never could have imagined. Reviewed by Angela Warsinske.

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Featured Review: THE HAUNTING OF FALCON HOUSE by Eugene Yelchin

THE HAUNTING OF FALCON HOUSE by Eugene Yelchin (Historical Fiction)
A long undisturbed bedroom. A startling likeness. A mysterious friend. When 12-year-old Prince Lev Lvov goes to live with his aunt at Falcon House, he takes his rightful place as heir to the Lvov family estate. Prince Lev dreams of becoming a hero of Russia like his great ancestors. But he'll discover that dark secrets haunt this house. Prince Lev is the only one who can set them free-will he be the hero his family needs? Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge.

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Featured Review: THE SEVENTH WISH by Kate Messner

THE SEVENTH WISH by Kate Messner (Fantasy)
Charlie feels like she's always coming in last. From her Mom's new job to her sister's life away at college, everything else always seems to be more important than Charlie's upcoming dance competition or science project. Unsure of how to get her family's attention, Charlie comes across the surprise of her life one day while the form of a floppy, scaly fish offering to grant her a wish in exchange for its freedom. Charlie can't believe her luck until she realizes that this fish has a funny way of granting wishes, despite her best intentions. Reviewed by Angela Warsinske.

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Featured Review: ARGOS by Ralph Hardy

ARGOS: The Story of Odysseus as Told by His Loyal Dog by Ralph Hardy (Fiction)
For 20 years, the great hero Odysseus struggles to return to Ithaka. After ten years beneath the walls of Troy, he begins the long journey back home. He defeats monsters. He outsmarts the Cyclops. He battles the gods. He does whatever it takes to reunite with his family. And what of that family --- his devoted wife, Penelope; his young son, Telemachos; his dog, Argos? For those 20 years, they wait, unsure whether they will ever see Odysseus again. But Argos has found a way to track his master. Any animal who sets foot or wing on Ithaka brings him news of Odysseus’s voyage --- and what a voyage it is! Reviewed by Michelle Agudelo.

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June’s Cool & New Books Roundup
This month's Cool & New roundup includes THE WOLF'S BOY by Susan Williams Beckhorn, an engaging tale about an outcast and a wolf making their way north during an Ice Age winter; PROJECT (UN)POPULAR BOOK #1 by Kristen Tracy, where two friends are determined to photograph more than just the popular kids for the yearbook; and THE GATHERING STORM (The Hidden World of Changers) by H.K. Varian, a story about four kids who must master their newfound shapeshifting abilities in time to save their home.
Click here to see the rest of June's Cool & New Books roundup!

June’s New in Paperback Roundup
Our New in Paperback roundup this month includes THE LAND OF STORIES: Beyond the Kingdoms by Chris Colfer, in which the Bailey twins and their friends travel beyond the kingdom to stop the Masked Man's scheme; MOONPENNY ISLAND by Tricia Springstubb, where a girl grows to see the truth about herself and her loved ones as she learns about fossils; and SERAFINA AND THE BLACK CLOAK by Robert Beatty, in which a 12-year-old girl races to uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's identity before he kidnaps all the children.
Click here to see the rest of our June New in Paperback roundup!

New Picture Books
Our Picture Books roundup this month includes FRANK AND LUCKY GET SCHOOLED, Lynne Rae Perkin's story about a boy and his dog learning about biology, fractions and different languages; SCHOOL'S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, a sweet story about a nervous school going through his first day of school by Adam Rex and Christian Robinson; and THE STORYTELLER by Evan Turk, an original folktale that celebrates the power of stories and storytelling.
Click here to see the rest of June's Picture Book Roundup!

New Series Books for June

JUPITER PIRATES #3: The Rise of Earth by Jason Fry (Science Fiction)
For Tycho Hashoone and his family, space privateering is more than a business --- it’s a way of life. Now that the Jovian Union needs their help more than ever, their way of life is about to get a lot more complicated. Earth is preparing to mount an arms race. Meanwhile, the Ice Wolves of Saturn are still on the offensive, and their ruthless tactics make them look like the pirates of old. Trapped between two formidable foes, the Jovian Union has asked for all hands on deck --- and that includes the Hashoones and the Shadow Comet. With so many players vying for power, Tycho will have to decide once and for all where his allegiances lie. Because the day when his mother will step down as ship captain is approaching fast --- and the fate of much more than the Shadow Comet hangs in the balance.

THE TICK-TOCK MAN: Gadgets and Gears, Book 3 by Kersten Hamilton (Adventure)
Wally and Noodles are back to the business of scientific innovation --- and fun. In London, they meet a young pickpocket named Dobbin who works for a mysterious criminal called the Tick-Tock Man. Soon they are racing through secret tunnels in a bid to help Dobbin’s little sister. Can the brave boy-scientist and his loyal sidekick find the one person who can save her before it’s too late? History and technology collide in this humorous series brimming with mad science.

THE COLOR OF DARKNESS (The Book of Storms Trilogy, Book 2) by Ruth Hatfield (Fantasy)
After rescuing his parents, Danny returns to his old life, burying the taro that allowed him to speak to animals, trees, and the very storms that led to his adventure. Danny thinks he's left magic and mystery behind, but Sammael, a creature of terrible imagination, refuses to let him go. A strange new girl, Cath, enters Danny's world, bringing with her a message: Danny's cousin Tom has sold his soul to Sammael. It's up to Danny and Cath to find Tom and stop Sammael, who seeks to destroy humankind once and for all.

THE SHADOW CADETS OF PENNYROYAL ACADEMY (Pennyroyal Academy, Book 2) by M.A. Larson (Fantasy)
While it’s good to be returning to the Academy as a second-class Cadet, things are not as they should be. Evie witnesses the vicious attack of an innocent woman --- by a trio of princesses. Pennyroyal’s Headmistress General, Princess Beatrice, is dubious about what Evie saw --- princesses are enforcers of truth and justice, not thugs. But Evie isn’t so sure. Then, amidst piles of fan mail, she finds a letter with an ominous threat.

THE HAUNTER (Goosebumps Most Wanted Special Edition #4) by R. L. Stine (Horror)
On Halloween night, eager to prove he can be brave, Sammy Baker follows his friends to the Marple House, an abandoned mansion on the other side of town. Just past midnight, he feels a cold tingle at the back of his neck. The cold seeps down, a heavy chill he has never felt before. Soon, his whole head feels like a block of ice. He's about to scream-but the cold feeling vanishes. Sammy doesn't realize that he has just met The Haunter, and that his nightmares are only just beginning.

MISSION ATOMIC (The 39 Clues: Doublecross Book 4) by Sarwat Chadda (Mystery)
Confidential until July 2016!

THE EMERALD MASK (The Hidden World of Changers, Book 2) by H. K. Varian (Urban Fantasy)
Gabriella, Darren, Fiona and Mack are Changers, a magical line of shapeshifters that can transform into mythological creatures, from werewolves and selkies to lightning birds and spirit foxes. And they’ve just saved the world from a warlock bent on destroying life as we know it. Now, the Changers are training hard to control their growing powers. Something that seems easy for everyone except Gabriella. Gabriella loves the speed and strength that comes with being a jaguar, so much so that her transformations are out of control.

OF ENEMIES AND ENDINGS (The Ever-Afters, Book 4) by Shelby Bach (Fairy Tale)
The whole fairy-tale world is on high alert. The Snow Queen and her minions are targeting Characters, and Ever After School is the only safe refuge left. Rory Landon knows a final confrontation is inevitable, and she worries about the safety of her family and friends --- particularly Chase, who has been acting very strange lately.

THE NINJA LIBRARIANS: Sword in the Stacks by Jen Swann Downey (Fantasy)
After stumbling upon the secret society of time-traveling ninja librarians, Dorrie has finally joined Petrarch's Library as an apprentice! One day, she'll actually go on missions to rescue people whose words have gotten them into trouble. For now she's taking some interesting classes. But on a training mission to 1912 England, Dorrie finds herself dangerously close to a member of the Stronghold --- the Library's biggest enemy. This is her opportunity! Dorrie can spy on the enemy, find the missing key...and become a real Librarian! But if she makes a mistake, Dorrie could lead their enemy right to the very place she's trying to save...and everyone she cares about.

Click here for more series features.

More New Reviews

RISING ABOVE: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in Their Youth to Become Stars by Gregory Zuckerman and Elijah Zuckerman (Biography)
Athlete after athlete in this book found discipline, hope and inspiration on the playing field, rising above their circumstances. Filled with first-hand accounts from stars who exemplify the idea of enduring at all costs, RISING ABOVE will serve as a must-read source of inspiration for kids and sports fans of all ages. Reviewed by Christine Irvin.

LILY AND DUNKIN by Donna Gephart (Fiction)
Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade. Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change. Reviewed by Jared William Bowers.

NO BETTER FRIEND: Young Readers Edition by Robert Weintraub (Nonfiction)
NO BETTER FRIEND tells the true story of Frank Williams, a radarman in Britain's Royal Air Force, and Judy, a purebred pointer, who met as prisoners of war during World War II. Judy, who became the war's only official canine POW, was a fiercely loyal dog who sensed danger-warning her fellow prisoners of imminent attacks and, later, protecting them from brutal beatings. Frank and Judy's friendship, an unbreakable bond forged in the worst circumstances, is one of the great recently uncovered stories of World War II. Reviewed by Christine Irvin.

SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND by Rebecca Behrens (Historical Fiction)
From the author of WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE comes a sweeping middle grade novel about a city girl forced to spend her summer in North Carolina, where she becomes involved in a centuries-old mystery, turning her once boring vacation into an adventure she never could have imagined. Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell.

FIVE TIMES REVENGE by Lindsay Eland (Adventure)
Adam is the prank mastermind. Perk is his best friend and the computer genius. Pearl is the prettiest girl in school --- and a violin prodigy. Ray looks like a big dumb jock, but he secretly wants to be an engineer. And Dutch is the often-bullied dork who is in tune with everyone’s feelings. The five of them couldn’t be more different. But there’s one thing they have in common: they are fed up with Hill Parmar, the school bully --- and his dad, their school principal who’s always turning a blind eye. When Hill finally steps over the line, the five unlikely schemers band together for a prank like their middle school has never seen. Reviewed by Michelle Agudelo.

ELEVEN AND HOLDING by Mary Penney (Fiction)
Macy Hollinquest's 12th birthday is just days away, but she has no intention of turning 12 without her dad by her side. He’d promised to be there for her big day, and yet he’s been gone for months --- away after his discharge from the army, doing some kind of top secret, “important work.” Macy’s staying 11, no matter what --- that is, until she meets Ginger, a nice older lady who is searching for her missing dog. Ginger’s dog search is the perfect cover for Macy’s attempt to locate her dad. But when Macy learns the truth, she discovers that knowing can sometimes be a heavy burden. And that change, when finally accepted, comes with an unexpected kind of grace. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

THE BALLAD OF A BROKEN NOSE by Arne Svingen (Fiction)
From award-winning Norwegian author Arne Svingen comes “an unusually exciting and funny story” (Dagbladet) about a relentlessly positive teenager who uses his love of opera to cope with his less-than-perfect home life. Bart is an eternal optimist. At thirteen years old, he’s had a hard life. But Bart knows that things won’t get any better if you have a negative attitude. His mother has pushed him into boxing lessons so that Bart can protect himself, but Bart already has defense mechanisms: he is relentlessly positive...and he loves opera. Listening to --- and singing --- opera is Bart’s greatest escape, but he’s too shy to share this with anyone. Reviewed by Rob Bentlyewski.


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