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March 2005 Newsletter

March 2005

What's New on

Spring Break --- And a Book to Boost Your Child's BRAIN Power! Talks to Eoin Colfer and New Series Feature: ARTEMIS FOWL

Cool New Books for March

Series Update: Alex Rider

Series Update: Nancy Drew

Series Update: Geronimo Stilton

Series Features Have Been Updated

Reviews and Features
Poll: Classroom Library
Question of the Month
Some Links on
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Read our newsletter online here
Series Feature
Play a Trivia Game here
Word Scrambles

Spring Break --- And a Book to Boost Your Child's BRAIN Power!

Is it Spring Break in your house too next week? I use Spring Break as a week to evaluate what my kids are going to do on summer vacation. I find that by Spring Break they are seven months older than they were last summer and this is a great week for me to figure out what might be interesting them over the summer. Both of my boys loathe camp. They loathe most organized summer activities that other children get excited by. So....this time of year I need to get creative so summer has a plan.

They both love to read so this is a great time to think about books they may want to explore over the summer hiatus. It's a good time for me to see what they are enjoying and give some thought to what they might want to read next. Also, it's time to explore some programs that just might woo them to do something organized like last summer's science camp that included the basics of how planes fly!

Last month I wrote a note in the newsletter about my younger son who told the salesman when we were buying a new car that there was no need for a DVD player since he and his brother like to read. They do not watch DVDs in the car. In response to his comment, I got this note from a reader: "I am a first/second grade teacher and at my curriculum meeting each fall the past couple of years I've taken a stand against DVD players in cars, exhorting parents to avoid buying cars with them --- and disabling them if all else fails!  I'm appalled at the way passive, slavish devotion to TV, computers, video games, etc., is slowly undermining our intellectual development and having the most detrimental effect on our children. The car is [was] the last place where children, having no other option, might talk to their parents, listen to music, READ, play games, draw, etc. This is certainly a hot-button issue for me, and, like you, I love your son's response."

I have to say that I can understand DVDs on long car trips, but it makes me crazy when I see children riveted to the screen when they are doing a simple trip to the grocery store. And for the record, we did buy the car with the DVD --- for the resale value.  

A book that you may want to explore came across our desks earlier this month. BRAIN FOODS FOR KIDS by Nicola Graimes is filled with scientific facts and beautiful color photographs. This book, the first of its kind, features over 100 delicious recipes designed for parents who want their children to build memory, improve concentration, and optimize learning capabilities. Cooking over spring break, anyone? It could be a fun way to spend time with your child and increase their brain potential.

Happy reading...

Carol Fitzgerald for (

Read more about BRAIN FOODS FOR KIDS here. Talks to Eoin Colfer and New Series Feature: ARTEMIS FOWL reviewer Joni Rendon interviewed Eoin Colfer, author of the enormously popular Artemis Fowl novels. Colfer, a former elementary school teacher, explains how the idea for this series came about, the ways in which his students have influenced his writing, and what he would like young people to take away from reading these books.

Click here to read our Eoin Colfer interview.


Cool New Books for March

Among the titles featured in March's roundup of cool new books is WOLF BROTHER, the first installment in Michelle Paver's The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, which follows the adventures of twelve-year-old Torak and his wolf-cub companion. Garth Nix continues his Keys to the Kingdom series with DROWNED WEDNESDAY, while Nancy Drew returns with another baffling case to solve. And for all you baseball fans, we have three picture books that are sure to keep you entertained before the regular season gets underway.

Read our March Cool New Books feature here.

Series Update: Alex Rider

SCORPIA: An Alex Rider Adventure, by Anthony Horowitz

In Anthony Horowitz's fifth Alex Rider novel, the teen spy learns that his father was an assassin for Scorpia, the most powerful terrorist organization in the world. Now Scorpia wants Alex on their side, and he agrees to join them. But then he learns of their latest plot: an operation known only as "Invisible Sword" that will result in the deaths of thousands of young people.



Read more about the Alex Rider series here.

Series Update: Nancy Drew

UNCIVIL ACTS: Nancy Drew (All New) Girl Detective #10 by Carolyn Keene

A Civil War reenactment in River Heights is anything but fun when someone starts tampering with the battlefield. Nancy Drew wonders if some participants are trying to cheat and possibly hurt a few people in the process. And if so, why?


Read more about the Nancy Drew series here.

Series Update: Geronimo Stilton




A mysterious one-eyed rat is trying to steal The Rodent's Gazette from Geronimo. His business manager, Shif T. Paws, comes up with a plan: he arranges for Geronimo to appear on a TV quiz show. If he wins, the Gazette is safe. But if he loses --- well, we don't even want to think about that!



Click here to read more about the Geronimo Stilton series.

Series Features Have Been Updated

We have 68 (!) Series Features on They all have been updated to include the latest books in each series. This is a perfect time to check out what is going on with a series that you love, or to find a new one to enjoy.


Click here to read more about our series features.

Reviews and Features

DROWNED WEDNESDAY: The Keys to the Kingdom, Book Three by Garth Nix
In Garth Nix's third installment of the Keys to the Kingdom series, Arthur Penhaligon embarks on a thrilling high seas adventure where he crosses paths with strange pirates and the infamous Lady Wednesday. As Arthur gets closer to the heart of his quest, the suspense and mystery grow more and more intense. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

PERFECT by Natasha Friend
Although PERFECT is about a girl struggling with bulimia, it's so much more than just a "problem novel." It also explores the intersections between family history and personal problems, as well as the differences between outward appearances and the complex emotions that lie beneath the surface. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE CHAIN LETTER by Julie Schumacher
Livvie is not the superstitious type. So when she tears up a chain letter she receives in the mail, she doesn't think twice about it --- until she's humiliated in gym class, falls down her back stairs, and gets invited to Thanksgiving dinner at Peter Finch's house. Reviewed by Renee Kirchner.

Sixth-grader Charles Harrisong is the second child in a large, eccentric family. Following a cruel school prank involving his sister, the Harrisong family leaves their suburban home in Normal, Illinois to live on a dingy houseboat in Alabama. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

Justine Silver's best friend, Mary Catherine McAllister, has given up chocolate for Lent, but Justine doesn't think God wants her to make that kind of sacrifice. So she has decided to give up being Jewish instead! Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

SCRIB by David Ives
The night before his thirteenth birthday, Billy Christmas runs away from his home in St. Louis and rides off to the Wild West, where he becomes Scrib, letter writer for lovelorn cowboys and wild-eyed outlaws. Reviewed by Renee Kirchner.

COME, LLAMAS by Jennifer Morris
It's springtime on the Kinnaman Ranch in Alaska, and nine-year-old JT is determined to become a pitcher on his school's baseball team and to raise his very own llama, just like Grandad promised. Unfortunately, life for JT and his family is anything but peaceful. Reviewed by Bob Oksner.

Read our reviews and features here.
Poll: Classroom Library

Does your classroom have a library in it?

Do you find books there that you like to read?




Answer the Poll here.
Question of the Month
Which book would you want to donate for your classroom library since you liked it a lot?
Click here to answer our Question of the Month.

Want to know my favorite part about this newsletter? You can forward it to a friend by clicking the button on the bottom of the page. What could be easier? Now it's really easy to share your favorite book newsletter with friends, teachers and librarians! Can you tell I am excited? I hope you are too.

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Keep reading! Until next week...

Booker T. Worm and Friends
The Book Report Network
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