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Late October 2010

Kidsreads.com Newsletter Late October 2010

Witches and Wizards and Words, Oh My!

Who's ready for Halloween? Just a couple more days until the neighborhoods are filled with ghouls and ghosts, princesses and pirates. This month, Kidsreads.com is spotlighting some great books as we head toward the new year, along with some highly-anticipated events (cough cough, Harry Potter!) that are happening in the next few weeks.

Question: Who has a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead, and his movie is coming out in November?

Answer: Harry Potter! Okay, okay, that was easy.

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is almost here. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 hits the big screen on November 19th, so score yourselves some Bertie Botts Beans, grab your wizarding gear and take a trip to your local movie theater. Also, weigh in on our poll: Will you be re-reading the book before seeing the movie?

For all you Percy Jackson fans out there, be sure to go to the bookstore for THE LOST HERO, the first installment of Rick Riordan’s brand-new series, The Heroes of Olympus. New demigods find themselves part of a new prophecy destined to bring utter destruction to the world --- unless they can change it. We have a double dose of Riordan in this update, as we're also featuring THE BLACK BOOK OF BURIED SECRETS, a must-have companion to the 39 Clues series.

We have three new special features to tell you about. THE CLOCKWORK THREE by Matthew J. Kirby is about three children who are thrown together by chance. They discover, though, that their lives are connected, and each one holds the key to the others' puzzles. Read an interview with the author, along with our review and an excerpt.

If you like mysteries, make sure you check out our review and excerpt of GIRL'S BEST FRIEND by Leslie Margolis --- you'll want to know what happens next! In the book, neighborhood dogs are disappearing, and when Ivy, Maggie Brooklyn Sinclair's ex-best friend turned mean girl, needs help finding her dog, Maggie has to step in. But who is behind the mysterious disappearances? You'll also want to read our interview with the author.

And a great new special feature is here just in time for Halloween. GHOUL STRIKE! by Andrew Newbound is about Alannah, a ghost-busting psychic who must find a way to stop the demons who have set up shop in Pittingham Manor before they attack. Check out our review, an excerpt and our interview with the author.

We continue to feature TOUCH BLUE --- which we've been hearing raves for --- and we now have an interview with the author, Cynthia Lord, along with our review and an excerpt. When Tess's family takes in Aaron, a foster child, it becomes clear that he has a special talent for music. But his birth mother reconnects with him, and Aaron doesn't know what to do. Should he stay with Tess's family, or seek out his mother?

Also in stores now is HALT'S PERIL, the next-to-last installment of John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series; FORGE by Laurie Halse Anderson, the sequel to her National Book Award Finalist CHAINS; and GUYS READ: FUNNY BUSINESS edited by Jon Scieszka, a sidesplitting collection of short stories from such big names as Eoin Colfer, Christopher Paul Curtis and Jeff Kinney.

Don't forget about our Cool New Books and New in Paperback roundups, which includes 13 WORDS, Lemony Snicket’s latest boundary-breaking picture book; FANCY NANCY AND THE FABULOUS FASHION BOUTIQUE by Jane O’Connor, in which the fashionable Nancy struggles to save her sister’s birthday party; and THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY AND THE PRISONER’S DILEMMA, the third installment in Trenton Lee Stewart’s mind-bending mystery series.

Lastly, onto the reviews! Be sure to check out what we have to say about NO SUCH THING AS DRAGONS by Philip Reeve, FRAMED by Gordon Korman, JUDY MOODY, GIRL DETECTIVE by Megan McDonald, and more.

And for some last-minute reading suggestions to celebrate All Hallows' Eve, look no further than our Halloween roundup for some frightful reads. Also, if you are of an age where you have a Facebook or Twitter account, note that Kidsreads.com has just started accounts with each of them, with lots more to come! Be sure to "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@Kids_Reads) for the latest books we're featuring and updated news in the book world. And tell us what you're reading!

Happy Halloween!

Carol Fitzgerald for Kidsreads.com
 

In Theaters November 19th: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
The moment you've been waiting for is almost here. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 hits the big screen on November 19th, so grab your wizarding gear and take a trip to your local movie theater, where you'll enter a magical world of harrowing journeys, never-before-seen spells and hair-raising excitement.

Based on the seventh installment of J.K. Rowling's beloved series, this is the first of two riveting, full-length features (Part 2 releases on July 15, 2011) that will follow Harry and his friends as they try to outsmart the Death Eaters and put a stop to the Dark Lord's evil doings once and for all. Now that Dumbledore is gone, Voldemort's henchmen have taken over Hogwarts and seized control of the Ministry of Magic, making Harry's hunt for Horcruxes more dangerous than ever before. And to make matters worse, he's slowly starting to realize that his future might already have been decided.

Does Harry have the strength to survive long enough so that he can prepare to face Voldemort in what is sure to be their final battle? Unless you've mastered the art of Divination since the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, you'll have to see the movie to find out.
 
Click here for more details about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1.

 

Now in Stores: THE LOST HERO by Rick Riordan

THE LOST HERO: The Heroes of Olympus, Book One by Rick Riordan
Jason has lost his memory, Piper is hiding a secret, and Leo likes to play with fire. These new demigods find themselves part of a new prophecy destined to bring utter destruction to the world --- unless they can change it. Oh, and Percy Jackson just happens to be missing. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

 

Click here to read a review of THE LOST HERO.

 

New Special Feature: THE CLOCKWORK THREE by Matthew J. Kirby

School-psychologist-turned-author Matthew J. Kirby is capturing the attention of young readers with THE CLOCKWORK THREE, which follows the lives of an orphaned musician, a tenacious tenement girl and a talented clockmaker’s apprentice as they are brought together by extraordinary events. In this interview with Kidsreads.com’s Norah Piehl, Kirby talks about what inspired him to write his first novel, elaborating on the courageous story of a 19th-century Italian boy named Joseph and the amount of research it took to turn it into fiction. He also addresses the challenge of fusing fantasy with historical detail, shares a few of the surprises he has experienced as a debut author --- along with the books that inspired him to pick up a pen --- and gives the scoop on some of his future projects.

THE CLOCKWORK THREE by Matthew J. Kirby
As mysterious circumstances bring three children together, their lives soon interlock, like the turning gears of a clock, and they realize that each one holds the key to the others’ puzzles. The trio’s adventures sweep them through the winding alleyways, and glittering plazas of their city, and along the way Giuseppe, Hannah and Frederick must learn to trust in one another --- and themselves --- for they risk losing the things they hold most dear, as the dangers they face quickly become all too real.

-Click here to read more about THE CLOCKWORK THREE.
-Click here to read a review of THE CLOCKWORK THREE.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CLOCKWORK THREE.

-Click here to read Matthew J. Kirby’s bio.
-Visit Matthew J. Kirby’s official website, www.matthewjkirby.com.

 

Click here to read our interview with Matthew J. Kirby.

 

New Special Feature: GIRL'S BEST FRIEND by Leslie Margolis

Leslie Margolis is the author of the hilariously funny Annabelle Stevens series, and now she’s at it again with the first installment of her next set of books, GIRL’S BEST FRIEND, which follows a heroic dog-walker named Maggie Brooklyn as she tries to save her neighborhood from a mysterious puppy-snatcher. In this interview with Kidsreads.com’s Donna Volkenannt, Margolis explains why she decided to write a book about dognappers, elaborating on the tumultuous life of her newest heroine and how she made her come alive. She also talks about how her characters got their super-cool names, describes what it’s like to walk past a “stoop sale,” and reveals a few of her favorite books --- along with her plans for Maggie’s next adventure.

GIRL’S BEST FRIEND: A Maggie Brooklyn Mystery by Leslie Margolis

Dogs are disappearing in her neighborhood, and Maggie Brooklyn Sinclair knows all about it. After all, she has a semi-secret after-school gig as a professional (ok, amateur) dog-walker. Maggie hates to see a pup in trouble, so she’s even willing to help her ex-best friend Ivy recover her rescue-dog, Kermit. Kermit is being held for ransom, and Maggie has noticed some suspicious behavior lately. But she never suspected her crush Milo could be involved…

-Click here to read a review of GIRL’S BEST FRIEND.

-Click here to read an excerpt from GIRL’S BEST FRIEND.

-Click here to read Leslie Margolis’s bio.
-Visit Leslie Margolis’s official website, www.lesliemargolis.com.

 

Click here to read our interview with Leslie Margolis.

 

New Special Feature: GHOUL STRIKE! by Andrew Newbound

Native Englander Andrew Newbound is hitting the shelves with his action-packed American debut, GHOUL STRIKE!, which follows ghost-snatcher Alannah Malarra and her sketchy associate, Wortley Flint, as they track down ghouls, only to find themselves at the center of a dark and bitter conflict that’s been going on for centuries. In this interview with Kidsreads.com’s Usha Reynolds, Newbound talks about how he came up with the idea for a series about a psychic, ghoul-battling bounty hunter, elaborating on Alannah and Wortley’s relationship and his childhood fear of ghosts. He also explains why the names of Evanescents always seem to fit their personalities, reveals his favorite weapon in Commander Rage’s stunning arsenal, and speculates on the best cure for the common cold --- sharing the ingredients of his grandmother’s incredibly disgusting secret remedy.

GHOUL STRIKE! by Andrew Newbound

Through a dank, rank portal in Pittingham Manor, icky demonic hordes from the Dark Dimension are pouring out, infesting planet Earth --- the halfway point to their planned attack on High. Into this foul maelstrom stumble ghost-busting psychic Alannah --- she’s got the gift for blasting ghouls to goo --- and her “business partner” Wortley --- a burglar who’s never met a lock he couldn’t pick.

Before the ghoul invasion, Alannah and Wortley only bounty-hunted tame, treasure-hoarding beasties, robbing them of their purloined booty. But now, allied with heavenly, silver-haired Officer Flhi and rookies Yell and Gloom of the A.N.G.E.L. police squad, they’re tangling with true evil. The strike is on to save the human race!

-Click here to read a review of GHOUL STRIKE!.

-Click here to read an excerpt from GHOUL STRIKE!.

-Click here to read Andrew Newbound’s bio.
-Visit Andrew Newbound’s official website, www.goawayghosts.com.

 

Click here to read our interview with Andrew Newbound.

 

Special Feature: TOUCH BLUE by Cynthia Lord

Cynthia Lord follows up her Newbery Honor-winning debut, RULES, with TOUCH BLUE, in which 11-year-old Tess Brooks and a foster kid named Aaron try to save her island’s schoolhouse --- and the only home Tess has ever known. In this interview with Kidsreads.com’s Donna Volkenannt, Lord talks about the stories and close-knit communities that inspired her second novel, elaborating on how a small island off the coast of Maine can make an ideal setting for a book and why isolated areas appeal to her as a writer. She also reveals why she decided to write a first-person novel in the present tense, speculates on the value of superstitions, and shares some of the books she enjoyed as a teenager --- along with some tips for aspiring authors.

TOUCH BLUE by Cynthia Lord
“Why take chances?” asks 11-year-old Tess Brooks. “Especially when it’s so easy to let the universe know what you want by touching blue or turning around three times or crossing your fingers.”

But Tess is coming to know that it’s not always that simple. The state of Maine plans to shut down her island’s schoolhouse, which would force Tess’s family to move to the mainland --- and Tess to leave the only home she has ever known. Fortunately, the islanders have a plan, too: increase the number of students by having several families take in foster children. So now Tess and her family are taking a chance on Aaron, a 13-year-old trumpet player who has been bounced from home to home. And Tess needs a plan of her own --- and all the luck she can muster. Will Tess’s wish come true, or will her luck run out?

-Click here to read a review of TOUCH BLUE.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TOUCH BLUE.
-Click here to read Cynthia Lord’s bio.
-Visit Cynthia Lord’s official website, www.cynthialord.com.

 

Click here to read our interview with Cynthia Lord.

 

Now in Stores: RANGER'S APPRENTICE, Book 9: HALT'S PERIL by John Flanagan

RANGER’S APPRENTICE, Book 9: HALT’S PERIL by John Flanagan

Rangers Will and Halt, and their knight friend Horace, have tracked Tennyson and his religious cult, The Outsiders, into the kingdom of Araluen. New dangers await, however, as Genovesan assassins hunt the three friends down and manage to fire off a deadly, poisonous arrow that will change their lives forever. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.
 

Click here to read a review of HALT'S PERIL.

 

Now in Stores: FORGE by Laurie Halse Anderson

FORGE by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Patriot Army was shaped by the desperate circumstances at Valley Forge, where Curzon the boy becomes Curzon the young man. But as an escaped slave passing for a freedman, Curzon must face the fear of discovery along with the hardships of being a soldier. And then there’s Isabel --- who’s there against her will. Can she and Curzon sort out the tangled threads of friendship and find the path to true freedom? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
 

Click here to read a review of FORGE.

 

Now in Stores: THE 39 CLUES: THE BLACK BOOK OF BURIED SECRETS

THE 39 CLUES: THE BLACK BOOK OF BURIED SECRETS introduced by Rick Riordan

The Cahills will do whatever it takes to protect their family's most valuable --- and dangerous --- secrets. But now, after centuries of bloodshed and betrayal, the truth is about to be revealed. THE BLACK BOOK OF BURIED SECRETS uncovers everything you've ever wanted to know about the Cahill family, including the location of the branch strongholds, the truth about the fire that killed Gideon Cahill, and shocking information about Arthur Cahill's real identity. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
 

Click here to read a review of THE BLACK BOOK OF BURIED SECRETS.

 

Now in Stores: GUYS READ: FUNNY BUSINESS edited by Jon Scieszka

GUYS READ: FUNNY BUSINESS edited by Jon Scieszka

Humor is tough work, and GUYS READ: FUNNY BUSINESS guarantees to have you laughing your head off. With some of the best writers contributing hysterical stories, you won’t stop snickering as you flip through the pages. Get ready for adhesive bandages, diabolical turkeys, bloody warts, and so much more! Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.
 

Click here to read a review of GUYS READ: FUNNY BUSINESS.


 
Cool New Books for October

October’s roundup of Cool New Books includes THE LOST HERO, the first of several highly anticipated follow-up books to Rick Riordan’s bestselling, blockbuster-inspiring saga, Percy Jackson & the Olympians; HALT’S PERIL, the ninth installment in John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series, which continues to follow Halt, Will and Horace as they try to track down a band of vicious, thieving outlaws; FORGE by Laurie Halse Anderson, the page-turning sequel to CHAINS that tells of a young slave’s struggle to survive the American Revolution --- and somehow forge a path to freedom; THE BLACK BOOK OF BURIED SECRETS, a bonus book in the 39 Clues series that uncovers everything you've ever wanted to know about the Cahill family; 13 WORDS, Lemony Snicket’s latest boundary-breaking picture book; and FANCY NANCY AND THE FABULOUS FASHION BOUTIQUE by Jane O’Connor, which finds fashionista Fancy Nancy struggling to save her sister’s birthday party.
 

Click here to read our Cool New Books feature for October.

 

October's New in Paperback Roundup

October’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY AND THE PRISONER’S DILEMMA, the third installment in Trenton Lee Stewart’s mind-bending mystery series; FRIEND OR FIEND? WITH THE PAIN & THE GREAT ONE, the fourth book in a quartet of hilariously funny sibling rivalry stories by the dynamic author-illustrator duo of Judy Blume and James Stevenson; John Hulme and Michael Wexler’s THE LOST TRAIN OF THOUGHT, which follows The Seems series hero Becker Drane as he tries to track down a trainload of missing thoughts; and A SEASON OF GIFTS, a continuation of Richard Peck’s riveting saga of the clever, capable and downright amazing Grandma Dowdel.
 

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

 

This Month's Reviews

NO SUCH THING AS DRAGONS by Philip Reeve

Ansel is a mute boy whose master is a dragon-slayer. Brock has shining armor, and scars that prove his heroic stories. Ansel suspects there are no such things as dragons. So what is the man-eating monster that haunts the crags of Dragon Mountain? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

FRAMED by Gordon Korman

Griffin Bing's new principal doesn't like him. And Griffin doesn't like the boot camp football atmosphere the new principal has brought. Griffin manages to stay out of trouble --- until a Super Bowl ring disappears from the school's display case, with Griffin's retainer left in its place. Griffin has been framed! Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

JUDY MOODY, GIRL DETECTIVE written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Judy's Moody’s latest adventure finds her hot on the trail of a suspected dog thief, inspired by her hero Nancy Drew. Can Judy and her team of sleuths piece together the clues to find Mr. Chips, police-puppy-in-training? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read our Judy Moody series feature.


THE ADVENTURES OF NANNY PIGGINS written by R.A. Spratt and illustrated by Dan Santat

When stingy Mr. Green planted a Nanny Wanted sign on his front lawn for his three children, he had no idea his ad would be answered by a pig. With her insatiable urge to eat chocolate (and feed chocolate to everyone she loves), her high-flying spirit, and her unending sense of fun, Nanny Piggins takes Derrick, Samantha and Michael on a year of surprises, yummy treats, and adventures they'll never forget. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

TOBY AND THE SECRETS OF THE TREE by Timothee de Fombelle

In this sequel to TOBY ALONE, Toby Lolness returns from his banishment to the Grass People to fight against Leo Blue and the harm he’s inflicting upon the Tree. Toby must use the secrets of the tree to save Elisha, his long-lost love, and others from their potential destruction. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

THE RED BLAZER GIRLS: THE VANISHING VIOLIN by Michael D. Beil

When there are mysteries to be solved, the Red Blazer Girls are on the case! The discovery of the Ring of Rocamadour has secured the girls' reputation as Upper East Side super-sleuths. This time, they must follow a trail of cryptic clues, involving everything from logic to literature, to trace a rare violin gone missing. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE CURSE OF DEADMAN’S FOREST: Oracles of Delphi Keep, Book 2 by Victoria Laurie

It’s been almost a year since Ian and Theo discovered the box containing the ancient prophecy. In that time, they have come to accept their major roles in the ongoing battle for humankind against the evil underworld god, Demogorgon, and his four offspring. Now Ian and his team are preparing for their next magical portal trip to search for the third of seven gifted orphans. But all may be lost when a stranger shows up at the orphanage claiming to be Theo’s long-lost father. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.


Graphic Novels and Manga:

AMULET, BOOK THREE: THE CLOUD SEARCHERS written and illustrated by Kazu Kibuishi

Emily, Navin and their crew of resistance fighters charter an airship and set off in search of Cielis, a mythical city believed to be located on an island high above the clouds. The mysterious Leon Redbeard is their guide, and there's a surprising new addition to the crew: the Elf King's son, Trellis. But is he an ally or an enemy? And will Emily ever be able to trust the voice of the Amulet? Reviewed by John Hogan.

FRAGGLE ROCK, Volume 1 by Heather White, Leigh Dragoon, Jeremy Love, Joanna Estep, Bryce P. Coleman and Neil Kleid

It's time to dance your cares away as Archaia and The Jim Henson Company invite you to return once again to Fraggle Rock! Join Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober and Red for a brand-new series of hilarious and heartfelt adventures written and drawn by some of the most imaginative creators in comics. Reviewed by Brigid Alverson.

 

This Month's Poll: Re-Reading THE DEATHLY HALLOWS?

Will you be re-reading HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS before seeing the movie?

Yes

No

No, but this is a good idea

I’m not sure.
I haven’t read the book.

I’m not planning to see the movie.
 

Click here to answer our poll.

 

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