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December 2003 Newsletter December 2003
What's New on
Happy Holidays!
Check out these Cool New Books
Best of 2003
Celebrating 100 Years of Flight
Books Into Movies
Holiday Roundup
Series Features
Reviews and Features
Question of the Month
Some Links on
Go to here.
Read our newsletter online here
Series Feature
Play a trivia game here
Word Scrambles
Happy Holidays!
Happy holidays from all of us at For most of you, your holiday vacation already has begun; for others of you, it starts next week!

Here's hoping that the presents you give --- and receive --- will be just what was wanted. If not, still smile and say thanks!

Over the next few weeks instead of saying, "I'm bored," log onto We've added a number of new features. Our suggestion: take a look at the series feature and decide to explore some new storylines. Or play a trivia game. Or a word scramble. You get the idea. This will keep your mom from looking at you with an exasperated look and perhaps coming up with chores for you to do, "since you are so bored." You get the picture!

We'll see you next year! Happy 2004.

Booker T. Worm and the Staff at


Check out these Cool New Books
Strong. Courageous. Determined. Helpful. "Cool." These are just a few of the words that describe the characters featured in this roundup of cool new books. Although they're fictional, you'll find yourself genuinely caring for these young people, no matter how big or small their problems are. And be sure not to miss Madonna's second book for children or INKHEART, an engrossing fantasy written by Cornelia Funke, whose debut novel THE THIEF LORD was a huge success.
Read our Cool New Books feature here.
Best of 2003
As 2003 comes to a close, we at have assembled some of our favorite books of the year for children. Of course HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX tops our list, but if you know someone who has already read it, we suggest giving that person the audiobook --- read masterfully by award-winning Broadway actor Jim Dale --- on cassette or CD. Note that this audiobook has been nominated for a Grammy award.

A number of entertaining, educational and thought-provoking books also deserve special attention and make for great holiday gifts. They include MAGGIE'S DOOR, which recounts the journey of two youngsters from Ireland to America; the latest misunderstanding from Amelia Bedelia; and an amazing pop-up version of ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND.
Read our Best of 2003 feature here.
Celebrating 100 Years of Flight
As children, Orville and Wilbur Wright loved to build and design new things. They were fascinated with the idea of flight and were determined to build a full-size flying machine that could be controlled by a pilot. This dream became a reality on December 17, 1903 when the Wright brothers made the world's first flight. This year marks the 100th anniversary of that first flight, and to celebrate this milestone, we have assembled eight recently released titles --- both fiction and nonfiction --- that pay special tribute to this extraordinary achievement.
Read more about our Wright Brothers feature here.
Books Into Movies
What could possibly be better than reading a good book this holiday season? Seeing that book come to life on the big screen, of course! The Cat in the Hat, Peter Pan and Young Black Stallion are all books that have been filmed this year, and fans of FREAKY FRIDAY and HOLES will be thrilled to know that the film version of these popular books are now available on home video. So whether you're in the movie theater or relaxing in your living room, we hope you have a great time watching these highly anticipated films.
Read our books into movies feature here.
Holiday Roundup
In December, people from all over the world are preparing for the holidays. Although we may celebrate in different ways --- whether we're putting up and decorating a Christmas tree, lighting the menorah during Hanukkah or discussing the seven principles of Kwanzaa --- the quality time spent with family and friends is what unites us all. The books we've assembled this year are fun reads, but they also serve as powerful reminders of what the holiday season is all about.
Read our Holiday Roundup here.
Series Features
If you have time over the holidays and are looking for a book, then make sure to check out our Series Features on We're sure you'll find just the right book!
Click here for our Series Features.
Reviews and Features
DONUTHEAD by Sue Stauffacher
Can a kid who fears everything survive being paired with one who fears nothing? This hilarious and touching novel features a neurotic, scared boy and a tougher-than-nails girl who help each other in more ways than they can imagine. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.

BLACKWATER BEN by William Durbin
Thirteen-year-old Ben works at Blackwater Logging Camp as a cook's helper to his Pa, but Ben longs to be out in the woods with the lumberjacks. When an orphan boy arrives in camp and signs on to work with Pa, Ben makes both a friend and a rival. Reviewed by Marya Jansen-Gruber and excerpted.

THE MAKING OF A WRITER by Joan Lowery Nixon
In this informative and entertaining book, four-time Edgar Award winner Joan Lowery Nixon shares the incidents from her childhood that helped her to grow and develop as a writer. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.

OUTLAW PRINCESS OF SHERWOOD: A Tale of Rowan Hood by Nancy Springer
Ettarde, a runaway princess, must choose between her freedom with the outlaws of Sherwood Forest and her duty to her family. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

Second-grader Elisa Michaels misses her grandmother, helps take care of her little brother, and enjoys other quiet adventures in this heartwarming chapter book about family. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.

In this entertaining chapter book, Clarice Bean becomes a detective like her favorite mystery series hero, Ruby Redfort. The question is, can she solve the mysteries in her own life without Ruby's high-tech gadgets? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
Read our reviews and features here.
Which of the following movies (that are ALL based on books) do you plan to see this holiday season?
The Cat in the Hat
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Cheaper By The Dozen
Peter Pan
Young Black Stallion
Answer the Poll here.
Question of the Month
What is your all-time favorite movie that was based on a book? Tell us ONLY ONE!
Click here to answer our Question of the Month.

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.

Remember to be safe online. NEVER tell anyone personal information --- which includes your real name, age, address, phone number or school. Hey, pretend you are undercover when you go online and protect yourself at all times!

Keep reading! Until next week...

Booker T. Worm and Friends