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Late October 2006 Newsletter

Late October 2006

What's New on


Special Feature: THE END by Lemony Snicket

Series Feature: Harriet Bean by Alexander McCall Smith

Series Feature: Araminta Spookie by Angie Sage

Author Talk: Geraldine McCaughrean, Author of PETER PAN IN SCARLET

Series Update: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Series Update: Eloise by Kay Thompson

Series Update: Chet Gecko by Bruce Hale

Series Update: The Lady Grace Mysteries by Lady Grace Cavendish

Books Into Movies: Flicka

Cool New Books for October

October's New in Paperback Titles

This Month's Reviews

Poll: The End of Snicket

Question of the Month: The Best Thing About Unfortunate Events
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Remind me when Halloween became such a big holiday. I remember when I was a kid we would dress up and hit the candy trail. Now it's like a national holiday with its own batch of decorations and costumes to beat the band. A friend recently moved to the suburbs and she is in awe of the decorations and what feels like a competition on her block for the most spider webs and other ghoul-like designs! I have a great collection of costumes that I made for my boys over the years and I was oh so happy to loan her the "ear of corn" costume for her 18-month-old son.

As we know your kids just can't get enough Halloween, so we're sneaking in one more pre-Halloween newsletter. is a treasure trove of goodies this month. We're ALL about Lemony Snicket, with the release of his last book in his Series of Unfortunate Events --- THE END. We have an excerpt, a review and all the details on the thirteenth and final tale in the strange and spooky saga of the Baudelaire orphans. Our poll is Snicket-based too --- we want to know what your kids think of the series and of THE END.

Do your kids just love series features? Good thing because this month has a brand new series feature with the Harriet Bean series by Alexander McCall Smith (an author you may well be familiar with as well). We also have the Araminta Spookie series feature we launched last month. And if their goodie bag still is not full enough we have updates on ALL your favorites --- Artemis Fowl, Eloise, Chet Gecko and The Lady Grace Mysteries.

Along with our roundups of New in Paperback and Cool New Books --- as well as our regular reviews and features, and our spooooky Halloween feature, we have an interview with Geraldine McCaughrean and a review of her newest book, PETER PAN IN SCARLET.

Horse lovers and book lovers of ALL ages will love Flicka, the story of a young girl and her rebellious horse and one of our featured Book into Movie for October.

We know everyone has different tastes when it comes to candy, and if your kids are anything like we were, they sort theirs by favorites as SOON as they finish their trick or treating. But whether they like to read interviews with their favorite authors, take a sneak peak at upcoming books, read reviews or get updates on new and old series favorites, you can think of as the ultimate goody bag --- stocked with treats. And the BEST part is, unlike Halloween, we come 'round WAY more than once a year.

I hope your kids have good, safe fun out there trick or treating. By the way, if they are going dressed as anything bookish, or if you are for that matter, please be sure to drop us a line at

Carol Fitzgerald for


Special Feature: THE END by Lemony Snicket

THE END: Book the Thirteenth by Lemony Snicket
At long last, THE END is here --- the final chapter in Lemony Snicket's saga of the Baudelaire orphans. Fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events have been simultaneously awaiting and dreading this thirteenth book for some time now, but they'll probably all agree on one thing --- this capstone to one of the most beloved children's series in recent memory is an accomplishment indeed. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE END.
-Click here to read our series feature for A Series of Unfortunate Events.
-Click here to visit Lemony Snicket's website.


Click here to read our review of THE END.

Series Feature: Harriet Bean by Alexander McCall Smith

HARRIET BEAN by Alexander McCall Smith
Humor, suspense and a charming cast of characters abound in this delightful mystery series starring nine-year-old Harriet Bean. Fans of Nate the Great or Junie B. Jones will appreciate the antics of Harriet and her aunts as they discover each other and uncover baffling bedlam --- and have loads of fun doing both. These stories manage to feel both up-to-the-minute and enchantingly old-fashioned. Readers of series chapter books won't be able to resist them. Then again, why should they?'s Terry Miller Shannon interviewed Alexander McCall Smith, who explains why the idea of a girl with quirky relatives appealed to him and describes two hilarious real-life aunts who provided him with inspiration for them. He also reveals why many of his books tend to revolve around detectives and shares details about his future projects for young readers.

-Click here to read our interview with Alexander McCall Smith.

Click here to read our Harriet Bean series feature.


Series Feature: Araminta Spookie by Angie Sage

Have you ever thought, even for a second, about living in a haunted house? Well, it isn't necessary for Araminta Spookie to dream about such a thing --- because she already does! The enormous mansion where she resides with her aunt and uncle, along with a number of houseguests (both invited and uninvited!) is known as Spookie House. Bats rattle the rafters and ghosts float along the many tunnels and secret passages hidden under the house. And if Araminta's adventures in Spookie House are more hilarious than haunted, who cares? Even the grownups are having fun during Araminta's original and harebrained spooky schemes.



Click here to read our Araminta Spookie series feature.

Author Talk: Geraldine McCaughrean, Author of PETER PAN IN SCARLET

Author Geraldine McCaughrean has written over 130 books and plays for children and adults. Her latest work, PETER PAN IN SCARLET, continues the adventures of J. M. Barrie's legendary, eternally youthful hero through this first-ever authorized sequel to PETER PAN. In this interview, McCaughrean explains how she was selected to carry on Barrie's legacy and discusses the challenges of staying truthful to his style and sense of humor. She also describes her early roots as a writer, reveals the important role her daughter plays in her writing process, and shares what she hopes both children and adults will take away from her book.

PETER PAN IN SCARLET by Geraldine McCaughrean
In 2004 the Special Trustees of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital launched a worldwide search for a writer to create a sequel to J. M. Barrie's PETER PAN. Renowned and multi-award-winning English author Geraldine McCaughrean won the honor to write this official sequel, which takes readers flying back to Neverland in an adventure filled with tension, danger and swashbuckling derring-do! Reviewed by Alexis Burling and excerpted.

-Click here to read a review of PETER PAN IN SCARLET
-Click here to read an excerpt from PETER PAN IN SCARLET.

Click here to read an interview with Geraldine McCaughrean.

Series Update: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer



THE LOST COLONY: Artemis Fowl #5 by Eoin Colfer
In the next-to-last installment of this action-packed (and sometimes humorous) adventure series, the demons are coming from out of time to seek revenge on humankind and to reclaim Ireland. Only Artemis Fowl, teenage criminal mastermind, can decipher the temporal code and prevent it. Or is he? Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

-Click here to read a review of THE LOST COLONY.



Click here to read our Artemis Fowl series feature.


Series Update: Eloise by Kay Thompson



KAY THOMPSON'S ELOISE IN HOLLYWOOD written by J. David Stem and David N. Weiss
It only makes sense that Eloise, the shining star of The Plaza, would visit Hollywood. In 1957, on the set of the movie Funny Face, Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight first thought Eloise might go to La-La Land. Now, at last, after a trip to Paris, a lovely Christmas, a voyage to Moscow and a rawther bubbly bawth, Eloise will make her silver screen debut.

-Click here to read a review of ELOISE IN HOLLYWOOD.

Click here to read our Eloise series feature.

Series Update: Chet Gecko by Bruce Hale

KEY LARDO: A Chet Gecko Mystery, Case #12 by Bruce Hale
There's a new detective in town, a smooth-talking penguin named James Bland, who is taking over Chet's latest case. This twelfth installment of the series finds Chet desperately detecting, with his freedom on the line. Will he solve the case? Will he go to jail? And, maybe more importantly, will he score some great snacks and crack some groan-worthy jokes? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read a review of KEY LARDO.


Click here to read our Chet Gecko series feature.


Series Update: The Lady Grace Mysteries by Lady Grace Cavendish


FEUD: The Lady Grace Mysteries #6 by Lady Grace Cavendish
Just when Lady Grace is lamenting over not having a new case to unravel, danger strikes within the Queen's inner sanctum. Her fellow Maid of Honour is showing signs of having been poisoned, and Lady Grace must race against the clock to discover the source of the poison before the evildoer delivers a fatal dose. Reviewed by Shannon McKenna.

-Click here to read a review of FEUD.


Click here to read our Lady Grace Mysteries series feature.

Books Into Movies: Flicka

Galloping into theaters on October 20th is Flicka, the movie version of Mary O'Hara's classic novel, MY FRIEND FLICKA. The story of a young girl and her beautiful, rebellious horse will have you longing for a mountain adventure of your very own. With an amazing cast and stunning scenery, Flicka may be the next best thing to riding your own horse into the sunset.


Click here for more details about the film.

Cool New Books for October

Everyone seems to be talking about THE END, and for good reason. This thirteenth and final installment in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events answers such burning questions as: Will Count Olaf prevail? Will the Baudelaires survive? Will the series end happily? October's roundup of Cool New Books also includes PETER PAN IN SCARLET by Geraldine McCaughrean, the first-ever authorized sequel to J. M. Barrie's classic tale; MIRACLE ON 49th STREET, a sports and holiday novel from Mike Lupica about a basketball superstar who finally may have met his match; GEMINI SUMMER, Iain Lawrence's poignant story of a boy who won't allow anyone to separate him from his very special dog; and ELOISE IN HOLLYWOOD, which marks the rawther extraordinary return of the precocious six-year-old who lives with her nanny at the Plaza Hotel.


Click here to read our Cool New Books feature.

October's New in Paperback Titles

October's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes RAVEN'S GATE, book one in the chilling Gatekeepers series by Alex Rider author Anthony Horowitz; THE BLUE DJINN OF BABYLON, a continuation of Children of the Lamp, P. B. Kerr's wildly entertaining and magical adventure trilogy; THE LAST HOLIDAY CONCERT, a middle-grade novel about teamwork from the master of the school story, Andrew Clements; and the exciting conclusion of the action-packed Lionboy trilogy by mother-and-daughter writing team Zizou Corder.

Click here to read our New in Paperback roundup.
This Month's Reviews

ESCAPE FROM THE CARNIVALE: A Never Land Book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Life on Mollusk Island has settled into a regular rhythm after all the excitement surrounding the arrival of Peter, Molly and the pirates. But one day, Little Scallop and a few of her mermaid friends venture beyond the boundaries set by their parents and embark on a wild adventure that brings them face to face with some enemies that threaten the wonders of Never Land. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

LARKLIGHT: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space by Philip Reeve
Art and his sister Myrtle live with their father in Larklight, a huge and rambling house that orbits the Earth. When their dad is captured by an invasion of giant spiders, the two siblings are off on an adventure to the furthest reaches of space, where they will do battle with evil forces in order to save one another --- and the universe. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

GEMINI SUMMER by Iain Lawrence
Everybody has a dream. For young Danny River it's to have a dog of his own. He wants one so badly that he crawls around the kitchen on his hands and knees barking. Eventually, Danny's dream does come true. In fact, his dog turns out to be a way for him and his family to learn how to cope with a devastating nightmare. Reviewed by Joy Held.

THE ROAD TO PARIS by Nikki Grimes
Eight-year-old Paris Richmond and her 10-year-old brother have been abandoned by a mother who is more interested in alcohol than in her own children. Paris is bound for yet another foster home, but this time without her older brother by her side. Will she ever be able to find herself amid all of the fear and distrust? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

After their boat capsizes, twins Grace and Connor are rescued separately. Connor learns to swordfight upon his new pirate ship home, but Grace finds herself in mortal danger on a ship full of vampires. The siblings want more than anything to find each other, but their time is limited and they're an ocean apart. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

ALL OF THE ABOVE by Shelley Pearsall
In Shelley Pearsall's delightful and suspenseful story, four inner city students discover the complicated geometry of friendship and perseverance while working toward a staggeringly ambitious goal --- to build the world's largest tetrahedron. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

A DOG FOR LIFE by L. S. Matthews
L. S. Matthews's story has the familiar theme of a boy and his canine friend, but it's executed a bit differently from other classic dog tales. The lovable pooch in A DOG FOR LIFE is not merely a loyal companion, but also an equal partner in an exciting adventure packed with interesting characters and plot twists. Reviewed by Renee Kirchner.

Read our reviews and features here.


Poll: The End of Snicket

Have you read Lemony Snicket's series, A Series of Unfortunate Events?

-All of them
-Some of them
-I have not read this series.

How do you feel about the series ending?

-I knew it only would have 13 books, but I still am thinking, "Please don't let it be so."
-I like the way it wrapped up.
-I now want to start reading this series since it's complete and I can read all 13 books, in order.
-I am not sure how I feel.
-I haven't read this series and I have no desire to.

Answer the poll here.
Question of the Month: The Best Thing About Unfortunate Events

Now that A Series of Unfortunate Events has come to an end, what did you like most about the series?

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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