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Late August 2008

Kidsreads.com Newsletter for Parents

Late August 2008

What's New on Kidsreads.com

Where Did Summer Go?

New Special Feature: JUDY MOODY GOES TO COLLEGE by Megan McDonald

Kidsreads.com Talks to Jeff Smith, Author of the Bone Series

Special Contest and Feature: TREASURE HUNTERS: Bone, Volume 8 by Jeff Smith

Special Feature: ALEC FLINT, SUPER SLEUTH by Jill Santopolo

Series Feature: Goosebumps HorrorLand by R.L. Stine

Don't Miss: MONSTEROLOGY: The Complete Book of Monstrous Creatures

Now in Stores: ALLIE FINKLE'S RULES FOR GIRLS: Book Two - The New Girl, by Meg Cabot

Now in Stores: SEEKERS #1: THE QUEST BEGINS by Erin Hunter

Author Talk: Andrew Clements, Author of LOST AND FOUND

Author Talk: Avi, Susan Cooper, Sharon Creech, Patricia MacLachlan, Katherine Paterson and Richard Peck, the Authors of ACTING OUT

Cool New Books for August

August's New in Paperback Roundup

Kidsreads.com's Most Recent Reviews

Poll and Question: Library Visits 

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

Where Did Summer Go?

This summer seemed to just zip by. This week I am on the Outer Banks with my family. We are spending time at the beach, visiting friends and reading lots of books. Today the rain moved in, and instead of getting bummed out, we see that this will give us all a bit more reading and kicking back time. When we get back, the boys will be heading straight to school, and the routine will start all over again, so we are trying to really enjoy these last days. We know that many of your kids already may be back in school or, like my boys, are headed there next week.

Judy Moody also is going back to school in her latest adventure, JUDY MOODY GOES TO COLLEGE, by Megan McDonald. Judy is having trouble with math and needs a tutor to get her back on track. We had a chance to interview the author about how she came up with the games and ideas in this book, and what inspired her to create this third grader with plenty of attitude.

Allie Finkle also needs some help at the start of the school year, but it has nothing to do with any of her academic subjects. One of Allie’s classmates is a bully determined to make her life as miserable as possible. How does Allie handle something so serious? Find out in THE NEW GIRL, the second installment in Meg Cabot’s new middle-grade series.

We are pleased to share with you an interview with Jeff Smith, author of the Bone series of graphic novels. Click here to find out how he came up with the kooky names for his characters and what he’s working on now that Bone is complete. Don’t forget to sign your child up to win a copy of BONE #8: TREASURE HUNTERS. Also, congratulations to the winners of our MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY Tote Bag of Books Sweepstakes!

Want to hear more from great authors? Check out a Q&A with Andrew Clements about his new book, LOST AND FOUND. Find out how being a teacher impacted his writing and where he gets his inspiration. We also have a roundtable discussion with the authors of ACTING OUT, a collection of short plays by Avi, Susan Cooper, Sharon Creech, Patricia MacLachlan, Katherine Paterson and Richard Peck. In this Q&A, they compare their writing processes and talk about how your child could write something like this in his or her English class.

Is your child looking for books to read outside of class? I have two suggestions this month. First, Erin Hunter, author of the Warriors series, has written the first book in a brand-new series called Seekers. THE QUEST BEGINS sets in motion the tale of three bears, each with his or her own strengths and weaknesses, who must complete different quests. There’s lots to love in this book for fantasy fans.

Second, if your kids are tired of biology, geology and ecology, maybe they’d like to take a break with MONSTEROLOGY: The Complete Book of Monstrous Creatures. From the same group that brought you DRAGONOLOGY, this hefty tome will educate readers on griffins, krakens and more --- kids will love checking under all the hidden flaps, examining the pull-out maps and reading a letter from Dr. Ernest Drake himself.


You can find these books and many more at your library. Did you know that September is Library Card Sign-up Month? If your child doesn’t have a card, perhaps you can assist him or her in signing up for one. Our newest poll and question ask about your child's library checkout habits. Be sure to let us know and find out what other Kidsreads.com readers have to say. Not sure what to check out? Find some great suggestions in our Cool New Books and New in Paperback roundups, as well as in our most recent reviews.

Here’s to a happy last few days of summer, a successful first few days of school and many happy hours curled up with a good book!


Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)


 

New Special Feature: JUDY MOODY GOES TO COLLEGE by Megan McDonald
Kidsreads.com's Terry Miller Shannon recently spoke with Megan McDonald, author of the popular and long-running Judy Moody series. In this interview, McDonald describes how she came up with some of the innovative games and ideas from the series's latest installment, JUDY MOODY GOES TO COLLEGE, and discusses the real-life counterpart to her rambunctious main character. She also explains how she is able to accurately capture the voices of children from a wide range of ages, recalls how her very first book was published, and shares details about her latest project --- a sequel to her novel THE SISTERS CLUB.

JUDY MOODY GOES TO COLLEGE written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Judy Moody is in a mood. Not a good mood. And definitely NOT a math mood. The substitute teacher in Class 3T thinks Judy's math skills need improving. So Judy has to start meeting with a math tutor. Does this mean flash cards? Does this mean baby games? Does this mean school on weekends? But when Judy meets her tutor --- a sick-awesome college student with an uber-funky sense of style --- and gets a glimpse of college life, Judy's bad math-i-tude turns into a radical glad-i-tude. Pretty soon, Judy's not only acing her math class; she's owning it. Time to say good-bye to Judy Moody, old skool third-grader, and say hello to Miss College! Small-tall upside-down backward non-fat capp with extra whip, anyone?

It's her funniest adventure yet! A few sessions with a college-age math tutor turn Judy into a jargon-spouting polygon princess. Crucial!

-Click here to read an excerpt from JUDY MOODY GOES TO COLLEGE.
-Click here to read our interview with Megan McDonald.
-Click here to read Megan McDonald's bio.

 

Click here to read a review of JUDY MOODY GOES TO COLLEGE.

 

Kidsreads.com Talks to Jeff Smith, Author of the Bone Series

Artist and author Jeff Smith is the creator of the Bone series, which has been hailed as one of the 10 greatest graphic novels of all time. In this interview with Contributing Editor John Hogan, Smith recalls some of the early roadblocks he encountered while attempting to get his work published and muses on the appeal of the series to a wide range of audiences. He also explains how --- with its overall story spanning 1,300 pages --- he was able to keep his plot lines straight, discusses the inspiration behind some of the characters' kooky names and shares what he's working on now that the Bone epic has been completed.

-Click here to read Jeff Smith's bio.

 
Click here to read our interview with Jeff Smith.

 

Special Contest and Feature: TREASURE HUNTERS: Bone, Volume 8 by Jeff Smith

In 2005, Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic, began publishing Jeff Smith's comic book series Bone as full-color graphic novels. The eighth and next-to-last volume, TREASURE HUNTERS, is the most current reissue, and Kidsreads.com is giving 10 readers the opportunity to win a copy of the book.

TREASURE HUNTERS: Bone, Volume 8 by Jeff Smith
The Bone cousins, Gran'ma Ben and Thorn reach the city of Atheia, where they reunite with old friends and prepare to battle The Lord of the Locusts. The Pawan army has joined forces with Briar and the rat creatures, and danger increases as Thorn's visions become more threatening. Meanwhile, Phoney Bone is convinced Atheia is rich in gold, and he is determined to find it!

-Click here to read a review of TREASURE HUNTERS.
-Click here to look inside TREASURE HUNTERS.

 
Click here for all the contest details.
 

 

Special Feature: ALEC FLINT, SUPER SLEUTH by Jill Santopolo

In this interview with Kidsreads.com's Chris Shanley-Dillman, Jill Santopolo --- author of the new children's mystery Alec Flint, Super Sleuth --- explains how her own reading habits as a child inspired the idea for this series, and describes from where her hero obtained his unique and endearing personality traits. She also discusses her collaboration with illustrator C. B. Canga, shares what she hopes readers will take away from her book, and reveals details about future installments in the series.

ALEC FLINT, SUPER SLEUTH: The Nina, the Pinta, and the Vanishing Treasure by Jill Santopolo
Alec Flint is a super sleuth --- well, maybe just a super sleuth-in-training. But he has a sweatshirt with a convenient pocket, a cool detective pen that writes upside down, and a handy detective notebook. So, when the Christopher Columbus exhibit goes missing from the local museum, Alec is on the case.

With the help of his sleuthing partner, Gina, Alec Flint races to solve the mystery of the missing treasure!


-Click here to read an excerpt from THE NINA, THE PINTA, AND THE VANISHING TREASURE.
-Click here to read our interview with Jill Santopolo.
-Click here to read Jill Santopolo's bio.

 

Click here to read a review of THE NINA, THE PINTA, AND THE VANISHING TREASURE.

 

Series Feature: Goosebumps HorrorLand by R.L. Stine

Are you looking for a hilarious series that will also give you a serious case of the heebie-jeebies? The master of spooky storytelling, R.L. Stine --- author of the incredibly popular Goosebumps books --- has just the thing: a 12-book series called Goosebumps HorrorLand. Be prepared to laugh out loud, even as you break out in a cold sweat of terror!

Experience Goosebumps HorrorLand in a unique, exciting manner by reading the books and by visiting www.enterhorrorland.com, where the stories develop further and readers can discover more clues to the HorrorLand mystery.

 

Click here to read our Goosebumps HorrorLand series feature.


 

Don't Miss: MONSTEROLOGY: The Complete Book of Monstrous Creatures

MONSTEROLOGY: The Complete Book of Monstrous Creatures written by Dr. Ernest Drake, illustrated by Douglas Carrell, Nicholas Lenn and Helen Ward, and edited by Dugald A. Steer
Do krakens really lurk below the ocean waves? Do griffins command the air above? In a fascinating new discovery sure to rival the groundbreaking DRAGONOLOGY, the intrepid Dr. Ernest Drake turns his inquisitive gaze from dragons to other so-called mythical creatures. Included are a removable letter from Dr. Drake, multiple foldouts, flaps and pull-outs, and much more. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

 

Click here to read a review of MONSTEROLOGY.

 

Now in Stores: ALLIE FINKLE'S RULES FOR GIRLS: Book Two - The New Girl, by Meg Cabot

ALLIE FINKLE'S RULES FOR GIRLS: Book Two – The New Girl by Meg Cabot
Allie is very excited for her first day of school at Pine Heights Elementary. There is only one problem in Allie's perfect new life: one of the girls in Allie's new class, Rosemary, doesn't like her. In fact, Rosemary says she's going to beat Allie up after school! Everyone has an opinion on how Allie should handle the situation. How can she tell who's right? Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE NEW GIRL.
 

Click here to read a review of THE NEW GIRL.

 

Now in Stores: SEEKERS #1: THE QUEST BEGINS by Erin Hunter

SEEKERS #1: THE QUEST BEGINS by Erin Hunter  
Kallik, Lusa and Toklo are distinct in many ways. Kallik is a polar bear, Lusa is a black bear and Toklo is a grizzly bear. The three young cubs come from different families, diverse backgrounds and incomplete educations. But they do have one thing in common --- all three suddenly find themselves alone in a huge and dangerous world. Will they be able to survive long enough to complete their quests? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE QUEST BEGINS. 
 

Click here to read a review of THE QUEST BEGINS.

 

Author Talk: Andrew Clements, Author of LOST AND FOUND

In this interview, Andrew Clements --- author of numerous books for children, including FRINDLE, THE REPORT CARD, LUNCH MONEY and the Edgar Award-winning ROOM ONE: A Mystery or Two --- describes where he gets inspiration for story ideas and discusses how fathering a set of twins helped him to write about Ray and Jay Grayson, the main characters of his latest book, LOST AND FOUND. He also recalls the roundabout way he became a published author, explains how his experiences as an elementary school teacher have affected the quality of his writing, and shares some of his fans' frequently asked questions.

LOST AND FOUND by Andrew Clements
Although it's no fun to be constantly mistaken for each other, in truth, during those first days at a new school, there's nothing better than having a twin brother there with you. But on day one of sixth grade, Ray stays home sick, and Jay is on his own. Things seem to be going smoothly, and Jay already is making new friends. But he quickly discovers a major mistake: No one seems to know a thing about his brother. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gomez.

-Click here to read a review of LOST AND FOUND.
 

Click here to read an interview with Andrew Clements.


 
Author Talk: Avi, Susan Cooper, Sharon Creech, Patricia MacLachlan, Katherine Paterson and Richard Peck, the Authors of ACTING OUT

Children's authors Avi, Susan Cooper, Sharon Creech, Patricia MacLachlan, Katherine Paterson and Richard Peck have collaborated to produce ACTING OUT --- a collection of unrelated one-act plays, connected only by the six random words each writer has chosen to be included in every piece. In this interview, the playwrights share their varied backgrounds in writing and/or watching plays, and discuss the similarities and differences in their writing processes. They also reveal how they picked their random words and share advice on how to use this collection in the classroom.

ACTING OUT by Avi, Susan Cooper, Sharon Creech, Patricia MacLachlan, Katherine Paterson and Richard Peck

Six award-winning authors become playwrights for this collection of one-act plays. Even if readers manage to resist acting these out, they'll love looking for the six words chosen for each author to include. The plays make for entertaining reading as each story comes to life in "the theater of the mind." Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read a review of ACTING OUT.
 
Click here to read an interview with the authors of ACTING OUT.

 

Cool New Books for August

August's roundup of Cool New Books includes THE DIAMOND OF DARKHOLD, the fourth and final Book of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau that finds Linda and Doon having to go back underground; KINGDOM KEEPERS II: DISNEY AT DAWN, which marks the return of our heroes from Ridley Pearson’s DISNEY AFTER DARK as they embark on another adventure to save Walt Disney World; THE NEW GIRL, the second installment in Meg Cabot's middle-grade series featuring Allie Finkle, who's starting fourth grade at a brand-new school; KENNY & THE DRAGON by Tony DiTerlizzi, a fully illustrated retelling of Kenneth Grahame's classic short story "The Reluctant Dragon"; and GROOSHAM GRANGE, a fun thriller from Anthony Horowitz in which a 13-year-old quickly discovers that his new boarding school is far from ordinary.
 

Click here to see our roundup of Cool New Books for August.


 

August's New in Paperback Roundup

August's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE SEEMS: THE GLITCH IN SLEEP, John Hulme and Michael Wexler's first book for young readers, in which a 12-year-old boy must risk everything in order to save the world from falling apart at the Seems; THE FRISKATIVE DOG by Susan Straight, a chapter book about a girl's relationship with an adorable plush yellow lab that her father gave her when she was five; MY HAUNTED HOUSE and THE SWORD IN THE GROTTO, the first two installments in Angie Sage's Araminta Spookie series; and WHAT-THE-DICKENS, a transporting tale-within-a-tale from Gregory Maguire about the strange world of skibbereen --- aka tooth fairies --- and the universal need to believe.
 

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


 

Kidsreads.com's Most Recent Reviews

KENNY & THE DRAGON by Tony DiTerlizzi
Kenny Rabbit is thrilled to find a real, fire-breathing (but friendly) dragon living on his parents' farm. They soon become fast friends, united by their love of books. But the village of Roundbrook has decided that the dragon must be exterminated. The man to do it is Kenny's other good friend, George, a bookseller who also happens to be a retired knight and dragonslayer. Now it's up to Kenny to find a way to keep St. George and the dragon from fighting and killing each other. Reviewed by Usha Reynolds.

-Click here to read an excerpt from KENNY & THE DRAGON.

MERCY WATSON THINKS LIKE A PIG written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen 
She's baaaack! Yes, the porcine wonder, Mercy Watson, stars in another delectable adventure. This time, she's directly in the path of an oncoming "Unmentionable Horror"! Will lots of toast with a great deal of butter set things right? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

THE MAGIC THIEF by Sarah Prineas
Connwaer is a young orphan who has learned to survive on the streets by using his quick wits and nimble pickpocketing fingers. One day, he picks the pocket of the powerful wizard Nevery and accidentally comes away with the wizard's magicalicus (a magic stone). Instead of punishing him for his thievery, Nevery decides to make Conn his apprentice. Working together, they struggle to discover what --- or who --- is stealing Wellmet's magic. Reviewed by Usha Reynolds.

HECK: WHERE THE BAD KIDS GO by Dale E. Basye
When Milton and Marlo Fauster die in a marshmallow bear explosion at the local mall in their hometown of Generica, Kansas, they are sent to reform school in Heck, where the bad kids go. Milton can understand why a troublemaker like Marlo would end up in Heck, but why was he, a model citizen, sent there? Now the siblings must work together to escape the clutches of Bea "Elsa" Bubb, the Principal of Darkness at their new school, and find their way back to Earth. Reviewed by Usha Reynolds.

SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT: PLAYING WITH FIRE by Derek Landy
When the evil Baron Vengeous escapes from prison, it's up to ace detective Skulduggery Pleasant and his apprentice Valkyrie Cain to stop him from resurrecting the Faceless Ones and enslaving the world. Fans of Derek Landy's SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT will be very pleased with this second book, which is even funnier than the first. Reviewed by Brian Farrey.

TOM TRUEHEART AND THE LAND OF DARK STORIES by Ian Beck
When the villain Ormestone kidnaps Tom Trueheart's six older brothers and their princess brides, Tom knows he must make the journey to the Land of Dark Stories. But does he stand a chance after Ormestone shrinks him to the size of a thumb? His friend Jollity the crow will be by his side, but this adventure rests entirely on Tom's tiny shoulders. Reviewed by Joy Held.

UP AND DOWN THE SCRATCHY MOUNTAINS by Laurel Snyder
Lucy is a young milkmaid living in the distant
land of Bewilderness, in a village called Thistle. When her best friend Wynston becomes too busy learning his prince duties, Lucy decides to take off on an adventure up the Scratchy Mountains. She is determined to solve the mystery of her missing mom. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

 

Click here to read our most recent reviews.


 

Poll and Question: Library Visits 

Poll:

September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Do you have a library card?

Yes
No
No, but I'd like to get one
 

How often do you use your library card?

About once a week
About once a month
Several times a week
Less than once a month
I don't have a library card.

During a typical visit to the library, how many books do you check out yourself or have your parent or guardian check out for you?

1-3
4-6
7-10
More than 10

-Click here to participate in the poll.
 

Question:

What is your favorite thing about your local or school library?

-Click here to answer the question.

 


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