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Early February 2008

Kidsreads.com Newsletter

Early February 2008

What's New on Kidsreads.com

A Month with Much to Love

Books into Movies: The Spiderwick Chronicles --- In Theaters February 14th!

Now in Stores: RUNEMARKS by Joanne Harris

The John Newbery Medal

The Randolph Caldecott Medal

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal

The Coretta Scott King Award

The Schneider Family Book Award

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader Award

The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audibook Production

Series Update: Geronimo Stilton

Cool New Books for January

January's New in Paperback Roundup

This Month's Reviews

Poll and Question of the Month: Book Reports

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Series Feature
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Word Scrambles

A Month with Much to Love

February is not my favorite month. The weather tends to be cold and gray. Winter has lost its initial charm, and spring is still a long way off. But don't despair! We at Kidsreads.com have cooked up plenty to make this gloomy month downright cheery.

For starters, you and your child can escape the dreary weather at the movie theater. The Spiderwick Chronicles, Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's bestselling fantasy series, comes to the big screen on February 14th. In addition to reading the chapter books and seeing the fantastical film, your child can indulge in even more Spiderwick fun with special movie tie-in books. This certainly is one way to beat the mid-winter blues!

If your child likes the magical world of faeries presented in The Spiderwick Chronicles, then he or she will be fascinated by RUNEMARKS, award-winning author Joanne Harris's fantasy debut. A daring heroine, lots of mythical creatures and plenty of adventure make this a book no one will be able to put down.

We also have a new installment in the Geronimo Stilton series, VALLEY OF THE GIANT SKELETONS, in which Geronimo is off in search of ancient treasure. What an adventure!

You'll LOVE reading all about the winners of this year's American Library Association (ALA) Awards that were announced last month. We've had them up on Kidsreads.com for a while. If you missed them, be sure to see a listing of the winning titles and honor books later in this newsletter. As usual, this year brought lots of surprises and shed light on some truly outstanding books that would be worthwhile reads for your son or daughter.

We are spotlighting a few titles in our Cool New Books and New in Paperback roundups that are perfect for you and your child to read and reflect on during Black History Month, that special time of the year when we honor the numerous achievements of African Americans and the contributions they've made throughout history. Our featured books include FREEDOM TRAIN by Evelyn Coleman; NIGHT RUNNING: How James Escaped with the Help of His Faithful Dog, by Elisa Carbone; THE ROAD TO PARIS by Nikki Grimes; and WE ARE THE SHIP: The Story of Negro League Baseball, by Kadir Nelson.

Also, just for parents, there is something you may want to note on our Bookreporter.com website. Stuck on what to buy your Valentine? The titles that are being spotlighted in Bookreporter.com's Valentine's Day feature have the bookish answer. With books that include heartwarming novels, philosophical commentary, musical analogies and some titles that are just plain fun, our Valentine's Day suggestions are sure to satisfy whatever you’re craving to give on this holiday.

Here's wishing you a wonderful February filled with lots of memorable reads. We'll be back later this month with another information-packed newsletter. And Happy Valentine's Day to YOU! This newsletter is our own special valentine to you!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

 

Books into Movies: The Spiderwick Chronicles --- In Theaters February 14th!

Anyone who has ever believed that there were monsters under the bed, ghosts in the attic or faeries in the garden should not miss The Spiderwick Chronicles, which hits the big screen on February 14th. Based on the bestselling series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, this deliciously dark, enchanting and action-packed fantasy chronicles the adventures of the Grace family, whose youngest members discover a world of magic within the parameters of their great-great-uncle's dilapidated Victorian mansion. We at Kidsreads.com know how much you love the books, so we're sure you'll fall under the spell of this exciting and whimsical film, overflowing with brownies, goblins, sprites, trolls, ogres and more fantastical creatures than you can imagine lurking around every corner.

Celebrate the movie's release with special edition books that will give you an insider's view of the faerie world as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film. Check out the adventure from Thimbletack's point of view, create your own field guide, learn how to protect your home against unfriendly creatures, and much more. Have a blast interacting with these fantastical titles!

-Click here to see the Spiderwick movie tie-in books.
 

Click here for more details about the film.


 

Now in Stores: RUNEMARKS by Joanne Harris

RUNEMARKS by Joanne Harris
Five-hundred years after the End of the World, old One-Eye returns from World's End to visit Maddy, an outcast girl from the village of Malbry. Shunned by her town because of the ruinmark on her palm and her magical abilities, she'll do anything he wants if it gives her a place to be her true self --- even if it leads to goblins, Faëries, dangerous forgotten gods, the Sleepers, oracles, Chaos and magic. Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens.

-Click here to read an excerpt from RUNEMARKS.
 

Click here to read a review of RUNEMARKS.

 

The John Newbery Medal

The Newbery Medal was named for 18th-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 GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES! Voices from a Medieval Village written by Laura Amy Schlitz and illustrated by Robert Byrd. 

-Three Newbery Honor Books were named: ELIJAH OF BUXTON by Christopher Paul Curtis, FEATHERS by Jacqueline Woodson and THE WEDNESDAY WARS by Gary D. Schmidt.
 

Click here to read more about the winner of the John Newbery Medal and the honor books.
 

 

The Randolph Caldecott Medal

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of 19th-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 THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET by Brian Selznick.

-Four Caledecott Honor Books were named: FIRST THE EGG written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, HENRY'S FREEDOM BOX written by Ellen Levine and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, KNUFFLE BUNNY TOO: A Case of Mistaken Identity written and illustrated by Mo Willems, and THE WALL: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain written and illustrated by Peter Sis.

 
Click here to read more about the winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal and the honor books.

 

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal, established by the Association for Library Service to Children in 2001 with support from Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc., is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) 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.

-This year's winner of the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is THE WALL: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain written and illustrated by Peter Sis.

-Two Robert F. Sibert Honor Books were named: LIGHTSHIP written and illustrated by Brian Floca and NIC BISHOP SPIDERS written and illustrated by Nic Bishop.
 

Click here to read more about this year's winner of the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award and the honor books.


 

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 ELIJAH OF BUXTON by Christopher Paul Curtis.

-Two Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books were named: NOVEMBER BLUES by Sharon M. Draper and TWELVE ROUNDS TO GLORY: The Story of Muhammad Ali written by Charles R. Smith Jr. and illustrated by Bryan Collier.

-This year's winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award is LET IT SHINE: Three Favorite Spirituals written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan.

-Two Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books were named: JAZZ ON A SATURDAY NIGHT written and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, and THE SECRET OLIVIA TOLD ME written by N. Joy and illustrated by Nancy Devard.

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The winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Author Talent Award is Sundee T. Frazier, author of BRENDAN BUCKLEY'S UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING IN IT.

 

Click here to read more about the winners of the Coretta Scott King Award and the honor books.

 

The Schneider Family Book Award

The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Three awards each consisting of $5,000 and a framed plaque are given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (ages 0-8), middle school (ages 9-13) and teens (ages 14-18). (Age groupings are approximations.) The book must emphasize the artistic expression of the disability experience for children and/or adolescent audiences. It 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.

-
This year's winner of the Schneider Family Picture Book Award is KAMI AND THE YAKS written by Andrea Stenn Stryer and illustrated by Bert Dodson.

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This year's winner of the Schneider Family Middle School Book Award is REACHING FOR SUN by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer.

 

Click here to read more about the winners of the Schneider Family Book Award.

 

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader Award

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year. The winner(s), recognized for their literary and artistic achievements that demonstrate creativity and imagination to engage children in reading, receives a bronze medal. Honor Book authors and illustrators receive certificates, which are presented at the ALA Annual Conference. The award was established in 2004 and first presented in 2006. It is named for the world-renowned children's author Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.

-This year's winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is THERE IS A BIRD ON YOUR HEAD! written and illustrated by Mo Willems.

-Four Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Books were named: FIRST THE EGG written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, HELLO, BUMBLEBEE BAT written by Darrin Lunde and illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne, JAZZ BABY written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, and VULTURE VIEW written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins.

 
Click here to read more about this year's winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award and the honor books.

 

The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audibook Production

The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production, ALA’s newest award, is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. The selection committee may also select honor titles. The Odyssey Award is jointly given, administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist magazine.

-This year's winner of the Odyssey Award is JAZZ by Walter Dean Myers.

-Five Odyssey Honor Books were named: BLOODY JACK: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer, DOOBY DOOBY MOO by Doreen Cronin, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by J.K. Rowling, SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT by Derek Landy and TREASURE ISLAND by Robert Louis Stevenson.

 

Click here to read more about the winner of this year's Odyssey Award and the honor books.


 
Series Update: Geronimo Stilton

VALLEY OF THE GIANT SKELETONS: Geronimo Stilton #32 by Geronimo Stilton
When Geronimo's cousin Trap brings him an ancient treasure map, Geronimo finds himself irresistibly drawn into yet another terrifying but exciting adventure --- and this time, he ends up in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to see the Geronimo Stilton series feature.
 
Click here to read a review of VALLEY OF THE GIANT SKELETONS.

 

Cool New Books for January

January’s roundup of Cool New Books includes RUNEMARKS, a fresh, funny and wonderfully irreverent new take on the old Norse tales, marking the fantasy debut of bestselling author Joanne Harris; AIRMAN, a story of high adventure from Artemis Fowl creator Eoin Colfer about a boy whose happy, carefree life is changed forever when he discovers a conspiracy to overthrow the king; THE DAY OF THE DJINN WARRIORS, the fourth installment in P. B. Kerr's Children of the Lamp series featuring djinn twins John and Philippa Gaunt; and three titles that pay tribute to the struggles and achievements of African Americans, as we celebrate Black History Month in February --- FREEDOM TRAIN, NIGHT RUNNING: How James Escaped with the Help of His Faithful Dog, and WE ARE THE SHIP: The Story of Negro League Baseball.
 
Click here to see our roundup of Cool New Books for January.

 

January's New in Paperback Roundup

January’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes SMALL STEPS, Louis Sachar's follow-up to his 1998 bestseller HOLES, in which Theodore Johnson (aka Armpit) tries to turn his life around following his release from Camp Green Lake; GOSSAMER, a contemporary fantasy from two-time Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry that examines the origins of our dreams and nightmares; SWORDBIRD, a captivating tale full of adventure, bravery, heroism and a fascinating bird world created by teenage author Nancy Yi Fan; FRAMED, in which Frank Cottrell Boyce --- who wrote the award-winning novel MILLIONS --- tells the story of a boy who reminds an entire town of the power of art; and Nikki Grimes’s THE ROAD TO PARIS, a Coretta Scott King Honor book about a foster child who is half black and trying to adjust to life in a town that is mostly white.

Click here to see what's New in Paperback for January.


 

This Month's Reviews

ELEVEN by Patricia Reilly Giff
Sam is almost 11 when he discovers a locked box in the attic above his grandfather Mack’s room, and a piece of paper that says he was kidnapped. There are lots of other words, but Sam has always had trouble reading. He’s desperate to find out who he is, and if his beloved Mack is really his grandfather. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE SEEMS: THE GLITCH IN SLEEP by John Hulme and Michael Wexler
Twelve-year-old Becker Drane works as a Fixer for The Seems, a secret organization that ensures our world keeps running --- and more importantly, sticks to The Plan that’s been made for it. When a Glitch is reported in the Department of Sleep, Becker is dispatched to Fix it, but he’s not so sure this is a routine mission. Reviewed by Brian Farrey. 

TUNNELS by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams
When 14-year-old Will’s father disappears and the police fail to find any leads, Will takes it upon himself to search for clues. That’s when he and his friend, Chester, discover the tunnel hidden behind the bookcase in the cellar. So begins their nightmarish quest, uncovering deeply hidden secrets and running for their lives. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

SWORD QUEST by Nancy Yi Fan  
The formerly enslaved Wind-voice, the half-dove, is now free, and the one-winged archaeopteryx Maldeor hungers for supreme power. Can Wind-voice and his valiant companions --- Ewingerale, the woodpecker scribe; Stormac, the myna warrior; and Fleydur, the musician eagle --- save the future of their world? Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

THE FALL OF THE TEMPLAR: Grey Griffins, Book 3 by Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis
The Grey Griffins return for their third adventure. However, the future appears bleak and short-lived, as the enemy now controls the spear of Ragnarok and is planning on using it to destroy the world. The Grey Griffins still have a chance to conquer the evil, but first they must venture down into the dangerous depths of the Underworld to retrieve a magical artifact. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

FREEDOM TRAIN by Evelyn Coleman
The year is 1947, and the setting is a segregated South. Twelve-year-old Clyde Thomason has been chosen to recite the Freedom Pledge when the Freedom Train stops in Atlanta. But Clyde has a number of problems: the school bully, stage fright, losing his pet frog, his family’s poverty, and trying to understand right from wrong in an unjust world. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

SLAM DUNK! by Sharon Robinson
Elijah “Jumper” Breeze has survived his first summer in Harlem, and his first summer without his father. Now he faces the sixth grade, which includes a new school, basketball tryouts and running for class representative. Quitting is not an option, but can Jumper juggle all of his new commitments? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

GHOST LETTERS by Stephen Alter
Present-day Massachusetts and colonial India more than 100 years ago are the settings for this creative space-and-time novel. Long-lost letters, messages in a bottle, a phantom postman, an English genie and a spinster’s skeletal hand that wanders the earth add to the mysterious atmosphere of this ghostly tale. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

THE MAGIC HALF by Annie Barrows
From its charming crème-colored jacket --- with the pale pink roses in the background --- to the final page, THE MAGIC HALF takes readers on a journey through time, with 11-year-old Miri Gill leading the way. Annie Barrows has written a whimsical story that feels just right. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt. 

THE DARING ADVENTURES OF PENHALIGON BRUSH written by S. Jones Rogan  and illustrated by Christian Slade
Penhaligon Brush is a quiet young fox, the trusted apothecary of Ramble-on-the-Water. Little does he know that a letter from his brother will draw him into danger and adventure, and provide the answers to his questions about his own mysterious past. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

 

Click here to read our most recent reviews.


 

Poll and Question of the Month: Book Reports

Poll:

Do you write book reports for school?

Yes
No
Not sure

-Click here to respond to the poll. 


Question:

What is your favorite book that you did a report on for school?

-Click here to answer the question.
 

 


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