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Early June 2009

Kidsreads.com Newsletter Early June 2009
Summertime and the Reading is Easy

Well, summer is right around the corner, and I for one could not be happier for the soon-to-be beach weather. I know my son Cory can't wait until his vacation starts. I'm sure you're feeling the same way, especially since the school year will be coming to a close for most of you within the next few weeks, if you are not out already. This is the time of year when Cory wishes we lived in the South. That changes in August when he is perfectly happy to be in New Jersey.

Hoping for some adventure this summer? Be sure to pick up the fourth book in the 39 Clues series, BEYOND THE GRAVE. Join Amy and Dan as they continue their search for clues and answers to their family's past. Take a sneak peek of the book by reading an excerpt and then check out a Q&A with author Jude Watson. And be sure to take a look at two new titles by Andy Briggs, HERO.COM and VILLAIN.NET, the first books in a parallel series that follows a group of ordinary teens who stumble upon websites that allow them to download superpowers. Will they use them for good or evil? Find out more about this new series by reading our reviews, excerpts and interview with the author.

For even more adventurous reads, you should pick up a copy of THE LAST OLYMPIAN, the conclusion to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, in which the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy's 16th birthday unfolds. In May, Cory had the opportunity to hear Rick Riordan and have him sign a book at an event sponsored by the Clinton Bookshop. He and his friend Josh had fun at this event and were happy to add another author to their "authors we have met" list. There is something very special about hearing an author speak about his or her work.

For more adventure, there is THE DARK PLANET, the final book in Patrick Carman’s Atherton trilogy, which continues Edgar's quest to discover the truth about a mad scientist’s plan to save the Earth from self-destruction; and JAKE RANSOM AND THE SKULL KING'S SHADOW, James Rollins's first novel for young readers, in which the arrival of a mysterious envelope plunges Jake Ransom and his older sister, Kady, into a gripping chain of events. Rollins is a really nice guy, and it's nice to see him writing for kids.

No matter where your summer plans will take you --- the beach, a plane, a train, or the couch in your house or apartment --- GraphicNovelReporter.com, the newest site in The Book Report Network, has graphic novel suggestions in the Kids and Tweens categories that will keep you reading! Each group has its own printable list, so you can keep track of what you've read and what you still want to buy.


We have the complete list of winners (which many of you may have voted for!) of the Children's Choice Book Awards. These winning titles (and the runners-up) will make great additions to your summer reading list. And speaking of which, we'd like to know how you'll approach reading the books on your school's summer reading list (if you have one), so please be sure to vote in our latest poll and answer our question.

July is a huge month for Harry Potter fans. Not only is the paperback edition of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS releasing on July 7th, but eight days later, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be coming to a theater near you. While you're anticipating all this fun, take some time to complete the Hogwarts Personality Profile and see which house the Sorting Hat places you in. Are you a Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Gryffindor?

Be sure to take a look at our Cool New Books and New in Paperback roundups and our latest reviews --- which include graphic novel and manga titles --- for more great suggestions.

Happy reading!

Carol Fitzgerald for Kidsreads.com

 

Click here to see the summer's hottest graphic novels for kids and tweens.


 
New Special Feature: THE 39 CLUES Book 4: BEYOND THE GRAVE by Jude Watson

THE 39 CLUES Book 4: BEYOND THE GRAVE by Jude Watson
A Clue found in Book 3 sends Amy and Dan jetting off to find out just what’s behind the fierce rivalry between the Tomas and Ekaterina branches of the Cahill family. Was a Clue stolen from the Tomas branch? Where is it now? And most important, can Amy and Dan get their hands on it before their rivals do?

-Click here to read an excerpt from BEYOND THE GRAVE.
-Click here to read a Q&A with Jude Watson.
-Click here to read Jude Watson’s bio.
-Visit the official website of the series, www.The39Clues.com.


Click here to read a review of BEYOND THE GRAVE.


 
New Special Feature: HERO.COM and VILLAIN.NET by Andy Briggs

Screenwriter Andy Briggs is the author of a new series for young readers, Hero.com, as well as its parallel anti-series, Villain.net, which both follow ordinary teenagers who stumble upon websites that allow them to download superhuman abilities to be used for good or evil. In this interview with Kidsreads.com's Sarah A. Wood, Briggs discusses why he chose to write these stories as novels instead of the more typical comic-book format, and muses on the books’ theme regarding the fine line between heroes and villains. He also explains why he chose to give his characters seemingly strange and unusual superpowers, describes his need to balance action with humor, and shares details about the series' interactive website, www.heroorvillainbooks.com.

If you could download superpowers to fight for good or evil, would you be a HERO or a VILLAIN?

HERO.COM: RISE OF THE HEROES (#1) by Andy Briggs
Toby, Pete, Lorna and Emily are just average kids --- until they stumble upon a Web site that turns them into real heroes. Hero.com allows them to download flying, invisibility, or teleportation abilities, and suddenly, Toby’s rivalry with his sister, Lorna, and Pete’s trouble with Jake Hunter, the school bully, don’t seem so bad! But when the supervillain Doc Tempest kidnaps Toby’s and Lorna’s mom, will they be able to combine their powers to fight evil and bring their mother home? Of course, little do they know that Villain.net is out there too, recruiting teens for the other side…

VILLAIN.NET: COUNCIL OF EVIL (#1) by Andy Briggs
Jake Hunter is your quintessential bully --- tough, mean and misunderstood. While he likes the power gotten from picking on the nerdy kids, he’s sick of his dumb buddies, and he craves some adventure in his dull life. So when he stumbles upon a Web site called Villain.net that lets him download superpowers, he’s eager to try out the laser vision and the radioactivity. But when he joins forces with a supervillain named Basilisk, Jake must decide if he truly wants to accept the consequences of being a villain. And of course, little does he know that Hero.com is out there too, recruiting teens for the other side….


Good or evil, would you be a HERO or a VILLAIN?

-Read reviews of HERO.COM: RISE OF THE HEROES and VILLAIN.NET: COUNCIL OF EVIL.
-Read excerpts from HERO.COM: RISE OF THE HEROES and VILLAIN.NET: COUNCIL OF EVIL.
-Click here to read our interview with Andy Briggs.
-Click here to read Andy Briggs’s bio.
-Visit the official website of the series, www.heroorvillainbooks.com.

 

Kidsreads.com Talks to Emily Bearn, Author of TUMTUM & NUTMEG

In this interview with Kidsreads.com's Alexis Burling, author Emily Bearn recalls the incident that sparked the idea for her debut, TUMTUM & NUTMEG: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall, and explains why she decided to write for children, despite working as a journalist for many years. She also muses on why many people are afraid of mice --- regardless of the obvious difference in size --- names some of her favorite books from childhood, and shares what readers can look forward to in Tumtum and Nutmeg's next adventure.

TUMTUM & NUTMEG: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall written by Emily Bearn and pictures by Nick Price
Deep inside the broom cupboard of Rose Cottage, two mice live in great style.

Tumtum and Nutmeg lead cozy and quiet lives, secretly looking after Arthur and Lucy, the disheveled human children of the cottage, never dreaming that so many exciting adventures will soon find them. But when evil Aunt Ivy, a squeamish school-teacher named Miss Short, and pirating pond rats threaten the safety of those they hold dear, the courageous pair will stop at nothing to save the day.

In three thrilling tales of daring and wit, Tumtum and Nutmeg --- along with the valiant efforts of veteran hero General Marchmouse, Ms. Tiptoe's bouncing ballerina army, and a team of caged gerbils --- prove that small-size mice can have world-size hearts.

-Click here to read a review of TUMTUM & NUTMEG.
-Click here to read an excerpt from TUMTUM & NUTMEG.
-Click here to read the full first adventure of TUMTUM & NUTMEG.
-Click here to read Emily Bearn's bio.

 

Click here to read our interview with Emily Bearn.

 

Now in Stores: THE LAST OLYMPIAN: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book Five by Rick Riordan

The last olympian: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book Five by Rick Riordan
In this momentous final book in the New York Times bestselling Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy's 16th birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
Click here to read a review of THE LAST OLYMPIAN.

 
Now in Stores: ATHERTON #3: THE DARK PLANET by Patrick Carman
ATHERTON #3: THE DARK PLANET by Patrick Carman
When Edgar discovers a way to leave the mysterious satellite world of Atherton, he couldn't have imagined the gloom that awaited him on the dark planet, where the oceans are toxic, the forests are full of mutant monsters, and children toil in darkness, controlled by ruthless maniacs. Edgar's quest to discover Earth's dark secret leads to an out-of-this-world adventure in the final book of the Atherton trilogy. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

 
Click here to read a review of ATHERTON #3: THE DARK PLANET.

 
Now in Stores: SEEKERS #3: SMOKE MOUNTAIN by Erin Hunter
SEEKERS #3: SMOKE MOUNTAIN by Erin Hunter
There is a place where bears can live in peace, where there is sea-ice all year, where the forests are full of prey, where flat-faces never go. Polar bears Kallik and Taqqiq, black bear Lusa, grizzly Toklo, and the shape-shifting Ujurak believe that this fabled bear paradise must be the destination of their quest. But the path they follow is dangerous. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

Click here to read a review of SEEKERS #3: SMOKE MOUNTAIN.


 
Now in Stores: JAKE RANSOM AND THE SKULL KING'S SHADOW by James Rollins
JAKE RANSOM AND THE SKULL KING'S SHADOW by James Rollins
When a mysterious envelope arrives for Jake Ransom, he and his older sister, Kady, are plunged into a gripping chain of events. An artifact found by their archaeologist parents on the expedition from which they never returned leads Jake and Kady to a strange world inhabited by a peculiar mix of long-lost civilizations, a world that may hold the key to their parents' disappearance --- if Jake and Kady can survive long enough to solve the mystery.

 
Click here to send an encrypted message to a friend!

 
The 2009 Children's Choice Book Awards
The Children's Book Council announced the winners of the second annual Children's Choice Book Awards during a gala held in New York on May 12, 2009, as part of Children's Book Week (May 11-17th). Recipients of the award were selected by over 220,000 online votes by kids across the country through the website www.BookWeekOnline.com.

Now in its second year, the Children's Choice Book Awards Program was founded as a way to provide young readers the opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them, as well as to help create a reading list that will help motivate children to read more, and to cultivate a love of reading.

 
Click here to see the winners of the 2009 Children’s Choice Book Awards.

 
Take the Hogwarts Personality Quiz!

In anticipation of the July releases of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the paperback edition of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, we invite you to complete the Hogwarts Personality Profile.

Find out where you fit in the world of Harry Potter!

There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see

So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.

All first years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry try on the Sorting Hat to find out which of the four houses they belong in. And now is your chance to find out! Where would you be sorted?
 
Click here to find out where you fit in the world of Harry Potter.

 

Coming Soon: Books Releasing in the Months Ahead

Curious about what books will be released in the months ahead? Then be sure to check out our Coming Soon section on Kidsreads.com. We have titles for June, July and August listed. Please note that we have not included every book coming out, but rather some that caught our eye --- and that we thought should catch yours as well.
 
Click here to see what’s Coming Soon.

 
Cool New Books for May

May’s roundup of Cool New Books includes THE LAST OLYMPIAN, the conclusion to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, in which the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy's 16th birthday unfolds; THE DARK PLANET, the final book in Patrick Carman’s Atherton trilogy, which continues Edgar's quest to discover the truth about a mad scientist’s plan to save the Earth from self-destruction; THE CASE OF THE CRYPTIC CRINOLINE by Nancy Springer, the latest Enola Holmes mystery that finds the much younger sister of Sherlock Holmes investigating the kidnapping of Mrs. Tupper, her beloved landlady; and DORMIA, Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski’s debut novel about a 12-year-old boy who learns he is a Great Sleeper destined to save Dormia, an ancient kingdom deep in the Ural Mountains, from extinction.
 

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

 
May's New in Paperback Roundup

May’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes 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; ONE SMALL STEP by Children of the Lamp author P. B. Kerr, in which a 13-year-old recruited by NASA for their secret space program journeys to the moon with two chimps as his partners; THE CASE OF THE BIZARRE BOUQUETS, the fourth installment in Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes Mystery series that finds the much younger sister of Sherlock Holmes investigating the disappearance of Sherlock’s right-hand man, Dr. Watson; and a graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman's enchanting, nationally bestselling children's book CORALINE.
 

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

 
Kidsreads.com's Latest Reviews

Kidsreads.com Reviews:
 

DORMIA by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski
With the ability to do powerful things in his sleep, 12-year-old Alfonso always knew he was different. It isn’t until he begins to grow a mysterious plant that Alfonso learns he is a Great Sleeper destined to save Dormia, an ancient kingdom deep in the Ural Mountains, from extinction. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

MUDSHARK by Gary Paulsen
Mudshark is the go-to guy for any mysteries that need solving. That is, until the Psychic Parrot takes up residence in the school library and threatens to overturn Mudshark’s position as the guy who knows all the answers. When Mudshark solves the mystery of who’s stealing erasers, he discovers the culprit has the best of intentions. Now he has to think of a way to prevent the Psychic Parrot from revealing the eraser-thief’s identity. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

ORACLES OF DELPHI KEEP by Victoria Laurie
In the 1930s, 13-year-old Ian Wigby and his younger sister, Theo, love to explore the tunnels near their English orphanage. One day they discover a mysterious box buried in the tunnels that changes their lives forever. It contains an ancient prophesy about Ian and Theo themselves, and sets them off on an adventure filled with amazing psychics, deep mystery, rich treasure and terrifying danger. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

PETE'S DISAPPEARING ACT written by Jenny Tripp and illustrated by John Manders
After things go from bad to worse during a performance, Pete's circus mates give him the silent treatment. With a wink and a nod of the tail to THE WIZARD OF OZ, Pete finds himself air-lifted and twirled away from his problems at home…only to land in much bigger trouble. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

EMMA-JEAN LAZARUS FELL IN LOVE by Lauren Tarshis
Emma-Jean is experiencing something new and unsettling, but not entirely unpleasant. It’s a fluttering in her heart when she imagines herself asking Will to the seventh-grade dance. Her best friend Colleen is worried that Will might laugh if Emma-Jean invites him. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

HIGHWAY ROBBERY by Kate Thompson
Small in stature but big in imagination, a down-on-his-luck orphan is forced to wander the streets begging for food after his mother dies. One cold and miserable day, the boy’s luck appears to change when a gentleman promises him a gold guinea for keeping an eye on a horse. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

-Click here to read our Kidsreads.com reviews.

 


Graphic Novel Reviews:

WOLVERINE: WORST DAY EVER by Barry Lyga
Somewhere between epistolary and graphic novel, WOLVERINE: WORST DAY EVER tells the story of a student at Professor Xavier’s School for Mutants who doesn’t quite love the powers he possesses and wants to emulate someone like Wolverine. Reviewed by John Hogan.

THE ADVENTURES OF DANIEL BOOM, AKA LOUDBOY: GAME ON! written by D.J. Steinberg and illustrated by Brian Smith
Daniel and his friends are back in the third installment of this superhero-light series that is perfect for grade school–level readers. Reviewed by Eva Volin.

ADVENTURES IN CARTOONING: How to Turn Your Doodles Into Comics by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost
It’s nonfiction! It’s a story! It’s possibly the best how-to book on cartooning for kids that has been disguised as an actual comic book ever! No, really! Reviewed by Eva Volin.
 

Manga Reviews:

THE BIG ADVENTURES OF MAJOKO, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Tomomi Mizuna
Friendship and magic are on the same page when Nana, an ordinary girl, and Majoko, a witch with more confidence than skill, team up to catch a thief, meet a mermaid, and go on other adventures in this charming, timeless manga. Reviewed by Brigid Alverson.

FAIRY IDOL KANON, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Mera Hakamada
Fairy Idol Kanon is a story of aspiration, empowerment and teamwork, all wrapped up in sparkly fairy magic. Grownups may find this tale too sweet to handle, but for young fans of music and fairy stories, it’s a winner. Reviewed by Brigid Alverson.

-Click here to read our graphic novel and manga reviews.


 

Poll and Question: Required Summer Reading

Poll:

Does your school usually have a required summer reading list?

Yes
No
Not sure


How many books do you need to read?

1-3
4-6
7-9
10 or more
I do not have a required summer reading list.



What grade does your required summer reading list get?

A
B
C
D
F

I do not have a required summer reading list.

Once school ends, when will you read the books on your summer reading list?

I will start as soon as possible.
I will read them throughout the course of the whole summer.
I will start reading them just before school begins.

I do not have a required summer reading list.

-Click here to participate in the poll.


Question:


Name three books that probably won't be on your school's summer reading list, but you wish were.

-Click here to answer the question.

 


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