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March 2007

Kidsreads.com Newsletter

March 2007

What's New on Kidsreads.com

A Bookish Spring Break

THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY Bucket Sweepstakes

Author Talk: Trenton Lee Stewart, Author of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY

Series Feature: Little House by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Series Feature: Septimus Heap by Angie Sage

Now in Stores: FEATHERS by Jacqueline Woodson

Series Update: Rotten School by R.L. Stine

Series Update: The Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix

Series Update: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

Books into Movies: Meet the Robinsons

Cool New Books for March

March's New in Paperback Roundup

This Month's Reviews and Features

Poll: Beating the Rainy Day Blues

Question of the Month: Rainy Day Books

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A Bookish Spring Break

Here at Kidsreads.com, March may have come in like a lion, but it’s DEFINITELY not going out like a lamb. Our latest update is one big King-of-the-Jungle Roar of contests, new series, series updates, reviews, books into movies and more.

We’re into the second month of our MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY Bucket of Books Sweepstakes, and we’ve already received a record number of entries --- it’s far and away the most popular contest we’ve ever run on Kidsreads.com. This month we’re continuing our MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY feature with our review of the book and an interview with the author, Trenton Lee Stewart. If you haven’t already entered to win the four fantastic books from Little,
Brown for Young Readers, click here for all the details. 

Like series? We KNOW you do, so we have all the info on two we're sure you’ll love: the classic Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which have been re-released with brand-new covers, and the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, with its wild adventures and quirky characters, imaginative spells, bizarre contraptions and more. We also have series updates to Rotten School by R.L. Stine, The Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix and Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

Rain in the forecast? May we suggest a movie? Meet the Robinsons hops, skips and jumps to theaters today. Based on the time-traveling tale
A DAY WITH WILBUR ROBINSON by William Joyce, Meet the Robinsons features a colorful cast and amazing visual effects, and is the perfect way to wile away a soggy Sunday. Click here to read our Books into Movies feature.

Speaking of rainy days, with April Showers on the horizon, our Poll and Question are about what you like to do (and read) to beat the rainy day blues. Don’t forget to weigh in.

Finally, along with our reviews and roundups of Cool New Books and New in Paperback, we’re spotlighting FEATHERS, a beautifully written and thought-provoking new book by Jacqueline Woodson. Be sure to check out the link to Jacqueline’s podcast later in the newsletter.

It’s been a long cold winter here at Kidsreads.com, and we are loving spring. Unfortunately New York weather can be pretty fickle --- a few years ago we had a huge snowstorm on April Fool's Day! Not funny! We’re prepared for a few more wintry days. And you are too, aren’t you? After all, you have books to read, contests to enter, series to catch up on, movies to see….and before you know it, spring will have sprung!


Carol Fitzgerald for Kidsreads.com

 

THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY Bucket Sweepstakes

To celebrate the release of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY by Trenton Lee Stewart, Kidsreads.com has teamed up with Little Brown for Young Readers to come up with this totally smart contest that gives 25(!) lucky kids the chance to win a Bucket of Books stocked not only with copies of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY, but also with some of the coolest books coming out this spring from Little Brown for Young Readers. In a big and colorful bucket, winners will receive TWO copies (one for you and one to give to a friend) of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY by Trenton Lee Stewart, ATHERTON: The House of Power by Patrick Carman, HOW TO CHEAT A DRAGON'S CURSE as told to Cressida Cowell and VAMPIRATES: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Stomper.

Click here for all the contest details.
 

Author Talk: Trenton Lee Stewart, Author of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY

In this interview, Trenton Lee Stewart --- author of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY --- describes how his interest in puzzles and his love of riddles inspired the idea for this story, and explains how creating his characters was one long exercise in "wishful thinking." He also offers advice to aspiring writers, discusses the kinds of books he read as a kid and shares fun facts about himself --- such as his favorite superheroes, hobbies and dessert foods.

THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY by Trenton Lee Stewart
ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD LOOKING FOR SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES? Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests. Only four succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive youngsters could complete. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY.
-Visit the official website of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY, http://www.mysteriousbenedictsociety.com, for more.

Click here to read an interview with Trenton Lee Stewart and a review of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY.
 

Series Feature: Little House by Laura Ingalls Wilder

LITTLE HOUSE Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 into a warm and loving family. She lived in a log cabin, traveled across the country in a covered wagon and shared the story of her life in the classic Little House book series, which millions of readers have loved since 1932 when LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS was first published. Through good times and bad, sorrow and pleasure, danger and celebrations, the Ingalls faced hardships and fortunate times alike, united in grace, humor, love and hard work. It's a pleasure to join them in these tales, which are as relevant and gripping today as they were 75 years ago. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

Click here to read our Little House series feature.


 

Series Feature: Septimus Heap by Angie Sage

SEPTIMUS HEAP Series by Angie Sage
Calling all Harry Potter fans! If the bespectacled wizard has you yearning for more fantasy stories, then you're going to love the Septimus Heap series, with its wild adventures and quirky characters, imaginative spells and bizarre contraptions --- not to mention wizards (including an ExtraOrdinary Wizard), witches, evil schemes, hidden royalty, dragons, spell charms, human-munching trees, vicious beasts, ghosts and much more. These books sparkle with laugh-out-loud humor and, thanks to the characters' close-knit family ties, warm the heart as well. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

Click here to read our Septimus Heap series feature.

 

Now in Stores: FEATHERS by Jacqueline Woodson

FEATHERS by Jacqueline Woodson
“Hope is the thing with feathers” starts the poem Frannie is reading in school. Frannie hasn’t thought much about hope. There are so many other things to think about. Each day, her friend Samantha seems a bit more “holy.” There is a new boy in class everyone is calling the Jesus Boy. And although the new boy looks like a white kid, he says he’s not white. Who is he?

During a winter full of surprises, good and bad, Frannie starts seeing a lot of things in a new light --- her brother Sean’s deafness, her mother’s fear, the class bully’s anger, her best friend’s faith and her own desire for “the thing with feathers.”

Jacqueline Woodson once again takes readers on a journey into a young girl’s heart and reveals the pain and the joy of learning to look beneath the surface.

-Click here to read more about FEATHERS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from FEATHERS.
-Click here to listen to Jacqueline Woodson's podcast.

Click here to read our review of FEATHERS.


 

Series Update: Rotten School by R.L. Stine

THE ROTTENEST ANGEL: Rotten School #10 by R.L. Stine
Angel Goodeboy is a perfect angel. You can almost picture a halo over his head! He even wears a T-shirt that says "Mommy's Little Angel." Bernie Bridges is horrified when Mrs. Heinie makes him share his room with Angel. She wants Angel's goodness to rub off on Bernie. But wait a minute --- when no teachers are watching, Angel is no angel!

PUNK'D AND SKUNKED: Rotten School #11 by R.L. Stine
Bernie Bridges and his Rotten House pals win a trip to the snooty prep school Preppy Prep Prep. They get to stay there for a whole week to compete in the National Student Inventors Competition. The winner gets a cash prize and a chance to appear on MTV-5! Bernie wants to win. No problem, he thinks. He can punk and skunk these preppy wimps and get them to make his winning invention. But, whoa --- who is being punk'd and skunked here? Bernie quickly learns that even the preppies at Preppy Prep Prep can play to win!

-Click here to play the Rotten School game!

Click here to read our Rotten School series feature.

 

Series Update: The Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix

LADY FRIDAY: The Keys to the Kingdom, Book Five by Garth Nix
Four of the seven Trustees have been defeated and their Keys taken, but for Arthur, the week is still getting worse. Amidst all his troubles, he must weigh an offer from Lady Friday that is either a cunning trap for the Rightful Heir or a golden opportunity he must seize --- before he's beaten to it! Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

- Read reviews of MISTER MONDAY, GRIM TUESDAY, DROWNED WEDNESDAY and SIR THURSDAY.

Click here to read our review of LADY FRIDAY.


 

Series Update: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

DUMB BUNNY: Junie B., First Grader #27 by Barbara Park
Lucille is having an Easter Egg Hunt at her expensive mansion. And the winner gets a play date to swim in Lucille's heated indoor swimming pool! But here's the problem. How did Junie B. get stuck wearing a big dumb bunny suit? And how can she possibly find eggs when she keeps tripping over her huge rabbit feet? Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

- Click here to read our Junie B. Jones series feature.

Click here to read a review of DUMB BUNNY.

 

Books into Movies: Meet the Robinsons

If you’ve been to the movies in the last few months or so, you probably have seen the singing frogs of Meet the Robinsons crooning soulfully about movie etiquette to the tune of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (a classic song your parents probably loved) before the previews roll. Here at Kidsreads.com we’ve decided that this undoubtedly is the best incentive to silence our cell phones. And, needless to say, seeing Frankie the Frog and his swinging band every time we go to the movies has gotten us totally psyched for the film. Now it’s here! So hop to the theater for this fun and fantastical time-traveling tale.
 

Click here to read more about the film.


 

Cool New Books for March

March's roundup of Cool New Books includes THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY, Trenton Lee Stewart's mind-bending, puzzle-packed debut novel for children in which  readers are taken on a dazzling adventure that puts friends, family and enemies to the test; LADY FRIDAY, the fifth installment in Garth Nix's seven-part fantasy series, The Keys to the Kingdom; FEATHERS, a novel about differences, understanding, faith and hope from award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson, who introduces her audience to two memorable characters; and picture books featuring a young mouse who attends college, the return of Fancy Nancy, and a twist on the tale of the Little Red Hen.

Click here to read our roundup of Cool New Books.

 

March's New in Paperback Roundup

March's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes the National Book Award-winning THE PENDERWICKS, Jeanne Birdsall's debut novel, in which the Penderwick sisters share a memorable summer with a local boy while vacationing with their widowed father, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother; STARLIGHT, the fourth installment in Erin Hunter's feline fantasy series, Warriors: The New Prophecy; REPLAY, a funny, poignant story of self-discovery, beautifully told by Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech; and HEAT by Mike Lupica, whose main character, a 12-year-old boy, dreams of pitching in the Little League World Series.

Click here to read our New in Paperback roundup.
 
This Month's Reviews and Features

SOUL EATER: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, Book Three by Michelle Paver
Torak has survived the summer and his heart-stopping adventure in the Seal Islands. He and Wolf are together again, but their reunion is short-lived. As midwinter approaches, Torak learns that the Soul-Eaters have snatched Wolf so they can sacrifice him. Desperate to rescue Wolf, Torak hatches a perilous plan. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SOUL EATER.

WHEN HEAVEN FELL by Carolyn Marsden
Nine-year old Binh can hardly wait for her American aunt to visit her and her family in Vietnam. Most likely, the long-lost aunt will bring amazing gifts and maybe even invite them to live in America. But cultural difficulties and unfulfilled expectations begin to interfere with the reunion. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

STINK AND THE WORLD'S WORST SUPER-STINKY SNEAKERS by Megan McDonald
In this latest Stink adventure, Judy Moody's younger brother is headed for a reeking field trip to the Gross-Me-Out show at the science museum. Stink knows a lot about the way a human nose works, but will he learn more about how, uh, good he smells? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

CORYDON AND THE FALL OF ATLANTIS by Tobias Druitt
In this second book in the Corydon trilogy, trouble has invaded the Island of Monsters once again. The peace-loving Minotaur has disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Signs suggest he's been taken to the city of Atlantis, so Corydon and his fellow monsters set sail to rescue their friend. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE RISE OF THE BLACK WOLF: Grey Griffins, Book 2 by Derek Benze & J. S. Lewis
The Grey Griffins have returned for more adventure! Max and his friends are invited to Scotland for the holidays, but their vacation hardly turns out peaceful and relaxing. They are the only ones who can stop werewolves, goblins and an evil witch from conquering the world. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE BIG ONE-OH by Dean Pitchford
Charley Maplewood has never been a fan of parties --- that would require friends, which he doesn't have. But now that he's turning 10 --- the big one-oh --- he decides to throw a birthday party for himself, complete with a "House of Horrors" theme. Unfortunately, things don't work out as he plans. Reviewed by Patsy Side.

EMMA-JEAN LAZARUS FELL OUT OF A TREE by Lauren Tarshis
Emma-Jean Lazarus is a lovable oddball who thinks she can use logic to solve the everyday problems of her seventh-grade peers. It's easy --- she just follows the example of her late father, a brilliant mathematician. Of course, the more Emma-Jean gets involved, the messier her own life becomes. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

LETTERS FROM RAPUNZEL by Sara Holmes
Once upon a time, a girl calling herself Rapunzel is trapped in Homework Club after school. Her father has fallen under an Evil Spell and is hospitalized for clinical depression. In this award-winning and irresistible tale, Rapunzel writes letters laden with humor and sorrow to an unknown recipient asking for help. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

Read our reviews and features here.


 

Poll: Beating the Rainy Day Blues

When April showers are keeping you indoors, what do you like to do on a rainy day? Check as many as apply. 

-Read a book
-Watch a television show or movie
-IM with friends
-Surf the web
-Talk on the phone
-Text message friends
-Play video games
-Play board games
-Make arts and crafts
-Cook or bake
-
None of the above

Click here to answer our Poll.


 

Question of the Month: Rainy Day Books

Name three of your favorite books to read on a rainy day.
 
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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