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January 2007

Kidsreads.com Newsletter

January 2007

What's New on Kidsreads.com

Keeping Warm With Kidsreads.com

KEY LARDO Giveaway

Series Update: The Spiderwick Chronicles

Celebrating Black History Month

Cool New Books for January

January's New in Paperback Roundup

Books Into Movies: Arthur and the Invisibles and Bridge to Terabithia

The John Newbery Medal

The Randolph Caldecott Medal

The Robert F. Sibert Award

The Coretta Scott King Award

The Schneider Family Book Award

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader Award

This Month's Reviews and Features

Poll and Question of the Month

Some Links on Kidsreads.com
 
Go to Kidsreads.com here.
Read Our Newsletter Online Here
Series Feature
Play a Trivia Game here
Word Scrambles

Keeping Warm With Kidsreads.com

It's COLD outside!!! Here at Kidsreads.com we love any excuse to curl up with a good book, spend the day at the movies, or hunker down and click away on our favorite website. Luckily Kidsreads.com is full of bookish goodies that are sure to keep your kids toasty warm.

We know kids love the Chet Gecko series by Bruce Hale --- a gecko that's a detective, what's NOT to love? To celebrate the release of the newest book in the series, KEY LARDO: A Chet Gecko Mystery, we're teaming up with Bruce and Harcourt Children's Books, his publisher, to offer kids the chance to win signed books and a very cool "Gecko Pack" prize. The Gecko Packs were completely Bruce's idea and he's stocked them with a letter, writing tips and author bio, Chet Gecko postcards to share with your friends, a Chet Gecko sticker and mini posters, a detective casebook notepad and a galley of CHET GECKO'S DETECTIVE HANDBOOK (AND COOKBOOK). You can get all the contest details here. Due to Internet privacy laws your children need your permission to enter so please be sure to take a look at this link with them and help them enter. Be sure to enter soon as the contest is only open until February 26th!

It's book award season and you can be sure Kidsreads.com has ALL the info on the winners of The Newbery Medal, The Caldecott Medal, The Robert F. Sibert Award, The Coretta Scott King Award, The Schneider Family Book Award and The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. Be sure to see if a title or author you read and LOVED was one of the winners. These award-winning titles are a great way for you to select titles to build a library for the young readers you know.

History buffs, be sure to check out our Black History Month roundup, compiled by Marisa Emralino and featuring some amazing and inspirational stories. Movie-lovers will find details about two of the winter's most anticipated movies based on books in our Books into Movies section, and our Cool New Books and New in Paperback features will give you some great ideas for winter reading.

Along with our regular reviews and features we have a review of CARE AND FEEDING OF SPRITES by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, the newest addition to the Spiderwick Chronicles series. My younger son got this one for his birthday and just loved it, so there is a true-reader endorsement! And be sure to weigh in on our poll and question --- we want to know what genres in nonfiction you like and what real-life heroes YOU would like to read a book about.

Finally, these winter days can seem very long. I know my sons are starting to feel the effects of grey days and little outside time, and spring seems very far away. If your children also are suffering from a case of mid-winter doldrums, treating them to a new book or a movie can be the best medicine. And with the February vacations and long weekends that we know are coming up, we have great ideas on how you can keep your children motivated and happy while they are stuck indoors.

Have a terrific Valentine's Day. May there be a doily glue-fused Valentine in your future!

Carol Fitzgerald for Kidsreads.com
 

KEY LARDO Giveaway

To celebrate the release of KEY LARDO: A Chet Gecko Mystery by Bruce Hale, featuring everyone's favorite reptilian private eye, Kidsreads.com is teaming up with Bruce and Harcourt Children's Books, his publisher, to offer YOU the chance to win signed books and some cool prizes! 20 Grand Prize winners will receive an autographed copy of KEY LARDO AND an exclusive "Gecko Pack." Each Gecko Pack contains a letter, writing tips and author bio from Bruce Hale, Chet Gecko postcards to share with your friends, a Chet Gecko sticker and mini posters, a detective casebook notepad and a galley of CHET GECKO'S DETECTIVE HANDBOOK (AND COOKBOOK). 10 Runner-up winners will receive the Gecko Pack.

-Click here to read a review of KEY LARDO.
-Click here to read our Chet Gecko series feature.
-For more information about Bruce Hale, visit his website, BruceHale.com.

Click here for all the contest details.
 

Series Update: The Spiderwick Chronicles

CARE AND FEEDING OF SPRITES by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
The newest addition to the popular Spiderwick Chronicles series --- brought to you by the experts of the International Sprite League, with the assistance of Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black --- is a beautifully illustrated handbook containing everything a sprite owner needs to keep a faerie pet happy and healthy. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read our Spiderwick Chronicles series feature.

Click here to read a review of CARE AND FEEDING OF SPRITES.
 

Celebrating Black History Month

Though seemingly impossible to believe, the eras of slavery and segregation were not too far back in American history. Many of us remember a time when people of different races couldn't attend the same schools, eat at the same restaurants, use the same public bathrooms, or even ride on the same buses. Thankfully, African Americans have come a long way since then. To honor their ages-long struggles and monumental achievements, the U.S. has celebrated Black History Month every February since 1976.

We at Kidsreads.com have compiled a list of titles in commemoration of Black History Month. In this roundup you'll meet characters who have defied all odds by relying on their faith, personal strengths, devotion to family and friends, and hunger for justice and equality. Whether they're real historical figures or figments of an author's imagination, the individuals found in these books demonstrate the very best of what people as a whole are capable of doing. Through their immeasurable strength and courage and their unyielding determination, they embody the idea that change is possible. We hope these amazing stories will inspire you to open your minds and hearts, right wrongs, and always strive for something better in your own lives.

Click here to read our Black History Month roundup.
 

Cool New Books for January

January's roundup of Cool New Books includes THE PHANTOM ISLES by Stephen Alter, in which a late-night excursion to a public library turns into a ghostly adventure with unpredictable consequences; THE TREASURES OF WEATHERBY, a spellbinding tale of mystery and magic from Zilpha Keatley Snyder that centers on the search for long-lost treasure hidden in the Weatherby mansion; THE COBRA KING OF KATHMANDU, the third installment in P. B. Kerr's Children of the Lamp series featuring djinn twins John and Philippa Gaunt; THE NAVIGATOR, in which author Eoin McNamee takes readers on a thrilling adventure traveling through time; and THE ANNOTATED CAT, an exploration of the world's most famous cat and the man who created him, as Random House celebrates the 50th birthday of Dr. Seuss's THE CAT IN THE HAT.

Click here to read our roundup of Cool New Books.
 

January's New in Paperback Roundup

 

 

January's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes the winner of the 2004 Newbery Medal, KIRA-KIRA, Cynthia Kadohata's poignant story of a Japanese-American girl living in Georgia during the 1950s who must take on the role of older sibling and eldest daughter when her sister becomes desperately ill; WHITTINGTON, an unforgettable tale from Alan Armstrong about the power of storytelling and how learning to read saves one little boy; and IDA B, Katherine Hannigan's debut novel, in which a fourth grader like no other plans "to maximize fun, avoid disaster, and (possibly) save the world."

 

 

 

Click here to read our New in Paperback roundup.


 

Books Into Movies: Arthur and the Invisibles and Bridge to Terabithia

 

 

It's getting cold outside, and here at Kidsreads.com we think going to the movies is the perfect way to stay warm on teeth-chattering winter days. Animation buffs will love Arthur and the Invisibles --- in theaters now --- with its cast of quirky and heroic characters voiced by some familiar names (Madonna anyone?). Be sure to visit the film's incredible website, which features downloads, games and the chance to create your own trailer! Coming to the big screen later in February is Bridge to Terabithia, based on the classic novel by Katherine Paterson. Both stories of magic, mystery and the power of friendship, Arthur and the Invisibles and Bridge to Terabithia will thrill fantasy lovers, story spinners, or anyone who has ever created a world in their imagination.

Click here to read more details about the films.
 

The John Newbery Medal

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

-This year's winner of the John Newbery Medal is THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY written by Susan Patron, illustrated by Matt Phelan.

-Three Newbery Honor Books were named: HATTIE BIG SKY by Kirby Larson, PENNY FROM HEAVEN by Jennifer L. Holm and RULES by Cynthia Lord.

Click here to read more about the John Newbery Medal.


 

The Randolph Caldecott Medal

 

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children

-This year's winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal is FLOTSAM by David Wiesner.

-Two Caldecott Honor Books were named:
GONE WILD: An Endangered Animal Alphabet by David McLimans and MOSES: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

Click here to read more about the Randolph Caldecott Medal.
 

The Robert F. Sibert Award

The Robert F. Sibert Award, established by the Association for Library Service to Children in 2001, is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished informational book published in English during the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Robert F. Sibert, the long-time President of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. of Jacksonville, Illinois, and is sponsored by the company.

 

 

-This year's winner of the Robert F. Sibert Award is TEAM MOON: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh.

-Three Robert F. Sibert Honor Books were named: FREEDOM RIDERS: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement by Ann Bausum, QUEST FOR THE TREE KANGAROO: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea written by Sy Montgomery, photographs by Nic Bishop and TO DANCE: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel written by Siena Cherson Siegel, illustrated by Mark Siegel.

Click here to read more about the Robert F. Sibert Award.
 

The Coretta Scott King Award

The Coretta Scott King Award is given to an African American author and an African American illustrator for an outstandingly inspirational and educational contribution. The books promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream. The Award is further designed to commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to honor Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.

-This year's winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award is COPPER SUN by Sharon M. Draper.

-One Coretta Scott King Honor Book was named: THE ROAD TO PARIS by Nikki Grimes.

-This year's winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award is MOSES: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

-Two Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books were named: JAZZ written by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers and POETRY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE: LANGSTON HUGHES edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersad, illustrated by Benny Andrews

-The winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Author Talent Award is Traci L. Jones, author of STANDING AGAINST THE WIND.

Click here to read more about the Coretta Scott King Award.

 

The Schneider Family Book Award

The Schneider Family Book Award, donated by Katherine Schneider, Ph.D., honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The book must portray some aspect of living with a disability or that of a friend or family member, whether the disability is physical, mental or emotional. Recipients are selected in three categories: birth through grade school (ages 0-10), middle school (ages 11-13), and teens (ages 13-18).

-This year's winner of the Schneider Family Picture Book Award is
THE DEAF MUSICIANS written by Pete Seeger and Paul Dubois Jacobs, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.

-This year's winner of the Schneider Family Middle School Award is RULES by Cynthia Lord.

-This year's winner of the Schneider Family Teen Book Award is SMALL STEPS by Louis Sachar.

Click here to read more about the Schneider Family Book Award.
 
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader Award

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, established in 2004, is given annually (beginning in 2006) to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of an outstanding book for beginning readers published in the United States during the preceding year. The award is named for the world-renowned children's author Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss.

-This year's winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is ZELDA AND IVY: THE RUNAWAYS by Laura McGee Kvasnosky.

-Three Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Books were named: MERCY WATSON GOES FOR A RIDE by Kate DiCamillo; MOVE OVER, ROVER! written by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Jane Dyer; and NOT A BOX written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis.

Click here to read more about the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award.


 

This Month's Reviews and Features

THE TREASURES OF WEATHERBY by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Harleigh J. Weatherby IV is the only child living at the Weatherby mansion until he meets Allegra, a nosy girl dressed in rags. Allegra has a talent for flying over fences and any other boundaries that stand in her way. Together the two friends search for treasure hidden in the old house. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE TREASURES OF WEATHERBY.

THE PHANTOM ISLES by Stephen Alter
A late-night excursion to a New England public library by three youngsters turns into a ghostly adventure with unpredictable consequences. While THE PHANTOM ISLES is written primarily for middle-grade students, the subject matter of this creative and visually appealing novel also will interest teens and adults. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE PHANTOM ISLES.

THE NAVIGATOR by Eoin McNamee
Owen has always been different, and not just because of the whispers about his father's suicide or his mother's wandering aimlessly around the house. He finds comfort in the Den, his sanctuary from the outside world. What he never expects is that the world as he knows it is about to change, and he will be called upon to save it. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

THE COBRA KING OF KATHMANDU: Children of the Lamp, Book 3 by P. B. Kerr
In this third installment of the Children of the Lamp series, the deadly Cult of the Nine Cobras seeks to enslave the 12-year-old djinn twins John and Philippa Gaunt --- even as they help their friend Dybbuk solve a murder mystery --- in a story full of danger, adventure, tigers, angels, snakes, dervishes, imps and much more. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

DEXTER THE TOUGH by Margaret Peterson Haddix
It's only the first day of school for Dexter, but already he's upset with the principal, the secretary, the janitor and the kids who laugh at him. When his teacher tells the class to create a story of their own, Dexter writes about how tough he is --- and how he has gotten into a fight already. Is any of Dexter's story true? Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

CLEMENTINE by Sara Pennypacker
CLEMENTINE introduces us to a delightful, lovable and totally unpredictable child who has her own way of looking at the world. In Sara Pennypacker's new chapter book we spend a week with Clementine, though it's not going well for either her or her best friend. Reviewed by Patsy Side.

THE THEFT & THE MIRACLE by Rebecca Wade
Hannah Price worries about her weight and her acne, and believes that her only redeeming quality is her talent for drawing. But when she stumbles into a mystery involving the stolen statue of the baby Christ, she begins to realize that looks can be deceiving and that everything isn't as it seems. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ORDINARY BASIL by Wiley Miller
Twelve-year-old Basil is bored by his life and ready to break free from the lighthouse he calls home. Led off by an eccentric professor in a hot-air-balloon ship, Basil travels to another dimension where he and a new friend must save the fantasy city of Helios from destruction. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

THE CASE OF THE LEFT-HANDED LADY: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer
Enola Holmes is hiding from the world's most famous detective --- her own brother, Sherlock Holmes. But when she discovers a hidden cache of bold, brilliant charcoal drawings, she can't help but venture out to find who drew them: young Lady Cecily, who has disappeared from her bedroom without a trace. Reviewed by Robert Oksner.

EXPEDITION TO BLUE CAVE: Outriders #1 by Ed Decter
Cam Walker and his friends cannot tolerate boredom, so they make sure they never experience it. In book one of this new series, they devise a plan to break one of their comrades out of summer school to witness a phenomenon that occurs only once every seven years: a cave that glows. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

EXPEDITION TO WILLOW KEY: Outriders #2 by Ed Decter
In their second plot to combat boredom, Cam Walker and his pals find themselves not only searching for lost treasure on a sunken pirate ship, but also running for their lives from environmental villains. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

CARMEN'S CRYSTAL BALL: Star Sisterz, Book 7 by Linda Johns
Carmen Bernstein has a nose for news and a heart for animals. When she finds an old crystal ball on the same day that a mysterious message appears, Carmen begins to wonder if maybe she should start predicting the future instead of reporting on the past. Now she's on the trail of a story that could change the fate of her four-legged friends. Reviewed by Paula Jolin.

Read our reviews and features here.


 

Poll and Question of the Month

Poll:

Do you like reading nonfiction books?

Yes
No
I'm not sure.


Which genres in nonfiction do you enjoy reading? Check all that apply.

Arts and Crafts
Biographies/Autobiographies/Memoirs
Entertainment (Music, television, movies)
History
How-To
Science/Nature
Sports
None of the above.
I'm not sure.
I do not like reading nonfiction.

-Click here to answer our Poll.


Question:

Important historical figures are honored in January and February through Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, Presidents' Day and Black History Month. What real-life heroes would you like to read a book about?

-Click here to answer our Question of the Month.

 


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Keep reading! Until next week...

Booker T. Worm and Friends
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