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October 2005 Newsletter

October 2005

What's New on

Filling Your Kids' Goody Bag With Treats from

Lionboy Series Contest

2005 Halloween Roundup

Cool New Books for October

New In Paperback: LILY'S GHOSTS by Laura Ruby


Series Features Have Been Updated!

Series Update: Redwall by Brian Jacques

Series Update: Sammy Keyes by Wendelin Van Draanen

Series Update: Mostly Ghostly by R.L. Stine

Now in Stores: THE KINGDOM KEEPERS by Ridley Pearson

Now in Stores: INKSPELL by Cornelia Funke

Reviews and Features

Poll: Favorite Authors

Question of the Month: Inspired Reading
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Series Feature
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Word Scrambles

Filling Your Kids' Goody Bag With Treats from

Halloween is just around the corner and, while the night promises sugar-highs and candy-comas, we know that you'd prefer they'd be consuming something a little more substantial. So we've stocked our October newsletter with so many chewy, crunchy, sweet and gooey literary goodies, that your kids are sure to be salivating for these books.

Along with our hair-raising Halloween roundup of books that are guaranteed to give your kids chills and thrills, we have a delectable selection of Cool New Books for October. Included in this month's featured titles is the twelfth --- and next-to-last --- installment in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Its title, THE PENULTIMATE PERIL, suggests that the Baudelaire orphans are in for their most harrowing adventures yet! And don't let your kids miss this --- Our Lionboy Series Contest is also up and running through November 7th so remind them to enter now to win free books from this unique and compelling series.

This month we're featuring author Laura Ruby and her sweet and spooky book LILY'S GHOSTS that is just out in paperback. Along with a review, we have an interview with Laura where she reveals her inspiration for the frightful tale, the reaction it's gotten and whether or not she believes in ghosts herself.

We know your kids love to stay on top of series favorites like Brian Jacques' Redwall series, Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes series and R.L. Stine's Mostly Ghostly series, and so we've updated 69 of our series features to include info on all the latest books.

If you're like me, your kids look forward to Halloween all year, but after the costume is put back on the shelf and they've consumed their last candy corn, they know they can satisfy their craving for books simply by reading one of  the titles we have recommended. At we take pride in the fact that we make reading delicious all year round.

Carol Fitzgerald for

Lionboy Series Contest

To celebrate the publication of the third book in the Lionboy series --- LIONBOY: THE TRUTH by Zizou Corder, is running a contest where one grand prize winner will receive the first three books in the series: LIONBOY, LIONBOY: THE CHASE, and LIONBOY: THE TRUTH, all personally signed to the winner! 10 runners up will win a signed copy of LIONBOY: THE TRUTH and a cool bookmark that features all the titles in the series. More about this exciting series can be found by clicking here.

To enter the LIONBOY: THE TRUTH Contest, answer the following question on our Sweepstakes Entry Form:

Question: Who is Martha Sortch?

The answer to the question can be found by reading an excerpt from LIONBOY: THE TRUTH here.

More about LIONBOY: THE TRUTH by Zizou Corder
Catspeaker Charlie Ashanti and his parents are reunited in Africa, but not for long. Charlie soon finds himself on a boat bound for the Caribbean, where he and his nemesis, Rafi Sadler, will be sold to the Corporacy! Charlie's parents and his faithful lion friends are in hot pursuit, but can Charlie outwit his captors and topple the Corporacy's wicked enterprise? He intends to pull it off --- no matter the cost --- as the exciting Lionboy trilogy roars to its thrilling conclusion.

Click here to read all the details of the Lionboy Series Contest.

2005 Halloween Roundup

We at have visions of ghosts and goblins, and (of course) mountains of sweets, dancing around in our heads. In the hopes that you are as thrilled as we are that Halloween is approaching, we've put together a list of books that surely will produce more than your fair share of hair-raising chills and thrills --- and hopefully some giggles on the side.

Click here to read our Halloween Roundup.

Cool New Books for October

The twelfth --- and next-to-last --- installment in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events has been released! It's title, THE PENULTIMATE PERIL, suggests that the Baudelaire orphans are in for their most harrowing adventures yet. October's roundup of Cool New Books also includes INKSPELL, the highly anticipated second novel in Cornelia Funke's Inkheart trilogy; REPLAY by Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech, about a boy who has a talent for transforming the everyday into the extraordinary; A TIME FOR FREEDOM, in which Lynne Cheney tells the great story of America's history; and outstanding picture books from singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan and popular children's authors Cynthia Rylant, M.T. Anderson and Pam Munoz Ryan.

Read our October Cool New Books feature here.


New In Paperback: LILY'S GHOSTS by Laura Ruby

LILY'S GHOSTS by Laura Ruby
A sinister old house, an intriguing new boy, a fifty-year old mystery, and a tag-team of disgruntled ghosts force 13-year-old Lily to unearth her family's deepest secrets in this multi-layered tale that's both hilarious and harrowing, comic and creepy.

Novelist Laura Ruby talks about her decision to write a book and specifically what inspired her to write LILY'S GHOSTS. She also reveals how some people have reacted after reading the book and offers valuable advice to children who would like to become writers.

Click here to read an interview with Laura Ruby and our review of LILY'S GHOSTS.




BOOK SENSE BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS: 240 Favorites for All Ages Recommended by Independent Booksellers compiled by Book Sense
With today's ever-growing publishing industry, the number of children's books on the market grows exponentially as each year passes. The dizzying volume of new titles on bookstore shelves can quickly transform the usually enjoyable task of finding the perfect book for your child into an overwhelming, at times even bewildering, ordeal. Book Sense, the trade organization and advocate of the independent bookseller that brought us the reading group resource favorite BOOK SENSE BEST BOOKS, lends another helping hand with BOOK SENSE BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS.

Click here to read more about BOOK SENSE BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS.


Series Features Have Been Updated!

We have 69 (!) 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.


Series Update: Redwall by Brian Jacques

HIGH RHULAIN: A Tale From Redwall by Brian Jacques
Complete with riddles, anagrams, mysterious messages, fearsome battles and delicious meals, the latest tale of Redwall from New York Times bestselling writer Brian Jacques is an empowering story of adventure and heroism sure to keep readers riveted through the final page. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

-Click here to read an excerpt from HIGH RHULAIN.

The perfect companion to the Redwall series is THE REDWALL COOKBOOK.

Click here to read our review of HIGH RHULAIN.


Series Update: Sammy Keyes by Wendelin Van Draanen

Sammy Keyes starts out (accidentally) murdering her teacher's lovebird and (accidentally) framing her worst enemy. Then things get REALLY crazy in this truly excellent and multi-layered mystery, as Sammy becomes involved with a group opposed to the city's takeover of their property. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SAMMY KEYES AND THE DEAD GIVEAWAY.

Click here to read our review of SAMMY KEYES AND THE DEAD GIVEAWAY.


Series Update: Mostly Ghostly by R.L. Stine

FREAKS AND SHRIEKS: Mostly Ghostly #7 by R. L. Stine
Max must wow the great magician Ballantine at an audition, but his mind is on whether or not he should switch brains with a chimp who is the only witness to what happened to Nicky and Tara and their parents. The brain switch offers Max a chance to find help for his friends. What should he do? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FREAKS AND SHRIEKS.

Click here to read our review of FREAKS AND SHRIEKS.


Now in Stores: THE KINGDOM KEEPERS by Ridley Pearson

In this fantastic thriller from the bestselling co-author of PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS, five teens find themselves pitted against Disney villains and witches that threaten both the future of Walt Disney World and the stability of the world outside its walls. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE KINGDOM KEEPERS.

Click here to read our review of THE KINGDOM KEEPERS.

Now in Stores: INKSPELL by Cornelia Funke

INKSPELL by Cornelia Funke
Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of INKHEART, the book whose characters became real. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval world of his past. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from INKSPELL.

Click here to read our review of INKSPELL.
Reviews and Features





DOUBLE IDENTITY by Margaret Peterson Haddix
It's sometime in the future. Mom and dad drive twelve-year-old Bethany, usually an overprotected only child, to an unknown town and leave her with a stranger. As Bethany learns truths about herself, she realizes just how much of her life is a mystery. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.

REPLAY by Sharon Creech
Leo is always dreaming, constantly replaying things in his brain. He fantasizes about who he is in order to find out who he will become. As an actor in the school play, he is poised and ready for the curtain to open. But in the play that is his life, Leo is eager to discover what part will be his. Reviewed by Joy Held.

Dom's beloved, poverty-stricken mother has no choice but to put her son on a ship bound for America. A Jewish boy from Napoli, Dom is alone in a new country, friendless and only nine years old. Can he find a way to survive on the mean streets of nineteenth-century New York? Reviewed by Paula Jolin.

POND SCUM by Alan Silberberg
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to become a bird or a fish? Oliver, a lonely kid who's been going through some pretty rough times lately, discovers a magical stone that transforms him into any creature he wants, pulling him into an exciting adventure that will change his life! Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

Kate DiCamillo's book for younger readers is a rollicking romp of a story about a beloved young pig named Mercy who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson in a comfortable family home. Mercy finds adventure and excitement at every turn in his simple suburban neighborhood when all he wants is some hot buttered toast. Reviewed by Renee Kirchner.

When Susan, Charles and Murray Oakenfield are sent to live with their eccentric Uncle Farley on the Bay of Eternity in Canada, they discover a magical world beyond their wildest imaginations. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

MR. CHICKEE'S FUNNY MONEY by Christopher Paul Curtis
Believe it or not, Mr. Othello Chickee --- a blind, elderly man in the neighborhood --- gives nine-year-old Steven a quadrillion dollar bill. Could it be real? Agent Fondoo of the U.S. Treasury Department and his team of Secret Government Agents are determined to get that money back! Reviewed by Carole Turner.

LILY B. ON THE BRINK OF LOVE by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Lily Blennerhasset, advice columnist extraordinaire who readers first met in LILY B. ON THE BRINK OF COOL, has entered eighth-grade and developed a crush on the new kid at school. She is determined to get his attention and make him realize that he's the one for her. Reviewed by Belinda Williams.

THE OUTCAST: Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book Eight by Kathryn Lasky
Determined to have nothing more to do with his evil and often bloodthirsty mother, Nyroc wishes to start a new life and meet his uncle Soren. But in his heart, Nyroc knows there is something he has to do before he can join this brave owl. Reviewed by Marya Jansen-Gruber.

In this fun-filled novel, Minerva Clark --- formerly a typical 13-year-old girl --- has a jolting experience that changes her forever. She transforms from a highly self-conscious girl to one who is almost "unself-conscious." Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

Read our reviews and features here.


Poll: Favorite Authors

Which of the following authors are among your favorites? Check as many as apply.

Patrick Carman (THE LAND OF ELYON series)
Andrew Clements (LUNCH MONEY)
Eoin Colfer (ARTEMIS FOWL series)
Zizou Corder (LIONBOY series)
Nancy Farmer (THE SEA OF TROLLS)
Cornelia Funke (INKSPELL)
Anthony Horowitz (ALEX RIDER series)
Kate Klise (REGARDING THE... series)
Iain Lawrence (THE CONVICTS)
Jenny Nimmo (CHARLIE BONE series)
Matthew Reilly (HOVER CAR RACER series)
Wendelin Van Draanen (SAMMY KEYES series)
None of the above


Answer the poll here.
Question of the Month: Inspired Reading

Share a story of how someone inspired you to read.

Answer the question here.

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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