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July 2011

Kidsreads.com Newsletter July 2011
The Dog Days Are Here!

The heat wave that struck finally broke, but it's still nice to curl up beside a good old-fashioned air conditioner with a great book on a lazy day. Good thing we're here to let you know what's in stores now!

But before we do, we want to know what you all thought of the final Harry Potter film. Was it better than you thought? Or not good enough? Or maybe you haven't seen it yet? Take our poll and let us know!


Now, on to the update. First up is Walter Dean Myers's second book in his Cruisers series, CHECKMATE, where Sidney Aronofsky, the school's best chess player, is arrested for trying to buy drugs. We're giving away 75 copies of the book, so be sure to read our review and an excerpt, and then enter the contest. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, September 28th at noon ET.

Also in stores is a book that's sure to tap into everyone's absolute worst nightmare: IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL...FOREVER! by R.L. Stine. You can read our review here, but don't worry --- hopefully, you still have a few more weeks left to enjoy the summer sun before heading back to school.

FLAT BROKE by Gary Paulsen is a sequel to LIAR, LIAR. After getting caught in a web of lies, Kevin is told that he won't be getting an allowance as punishment. He needs money quick so he can take Tina to the dance. But will he be able to get it in time?

For those of you interested in historical fiction, THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL by Kirby Larson should be the perfect read. In it, Miss Kanagawa and her 57 doll-sisters were sent from Japan to America as Ambassadors of Friendship. But their work wasn't all peach blossoms and tea cakes! Read our review here.

We have two series feature updates that we'd like to share with you. The first is for R.L. Stine's Goosebumps HorrorLand series. In HALL OF HORRORS #3: THE FIVE MASKS OF DR. SCREEM, Monica Anderson goes out trick-or-treating with her younger brother and is sucked into a mission to keep Dr. Screem from stealing five powerful masks.

The second series feature we've updated is Geronimo Stilton with two new books: THEA STILTON AND THE STAR CASTAWAYS, in which the Thea Sisters are invited on a trip to outer space; and GERONIMO STILTON AND THE HAUNTED CASTLE, in which Geronimo gets a telephone call from his uncle, Samuel S. Stingysnout, who invites the whole Stilton family to creepy Castle for a big surprise.

We want to offer a big congratulations to SMILE by Raina Telgemeier, winner of the 2011 Eisner Award! While it is billed as a "dental drama," which anyone who's afraid of those trips to the dentist's chair (so basically, everyone!) will relate to, it's a much bigger story about friendships that matter.

If you're looking to relax in a movie theater, The Smurfs is a great choice. I was walking in Central Park just the other day when I ran into a giant balloon of Papa Smurf! Everyone in the park definitely had Smurf Fever --- unless blue-painted faces are a new fad that I missed the memo about! You can read more about the movie here.


July's Cool New Books roundup includes TROUBLEMAKER by Andrew Clements, whose main character can't shake his reputation as a troublemaker, even when he tries to change his ways; and SPIDERS ON THE CASE, the second installment in Kathryn Lasky’s Deadlies series, in which the sweet but poisonous spiders find a new hiding spot in the library’s Rare Books room.

For our New in Paperback roundup, we're spotlighting such titles as HERO by Mike Lupica, an action-packed tale of a 14-year-old who discovers that his dad was a superhero; and THE MAGNIFICENT 12: THE CALL, the first book in Michael Grant’s fantasy series about a preteen who, armed with only his phobias and quick wit, sets out to gather a team to defeat the Pale Queen and save the world.

We have lots more content for you, including reviews of FLY TRAP by Frances Hardinge and THE SUMMER BEFORE BOYS by Nora Raleigh Baskin, so read on!


Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone, and stay cool!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

 

New Special Feature and Giveaway: THE CRUISERS: CHECKMATE by Walter Dean Myers
The Cruisers are shocked when Sidney Aronofsky, the school’s most gifted chess player, is arrested for stealing drugs. But things get even more complicated when Sid’s friends start to fully understand how he has been affected by the pressures of being in the school’s spotlight.

To celebrate the release of CHECKMATE by Walter Dean Myers, the sequel to THE CRUISERS, Kidsreads.com is giving 75 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, September 28th at noon ET.

THE CRUISERS, Book Two: CHECKMATE by Walter Dean Myers (Fiction)
Sidney Aronofsky is one of the best chess players under age 16. When he's arrested for trying to buy drugs, it comes as a total surprise to those who know him. The expectations of parents, schools and tutors pressure the young players. Sidney loves and wants to play chess, but dislikes the constant spotlight. He thinks that if he appears to be involved in drugs, he'll be excused from playing on the school's team. In this book, Zander and his crew are back, using the Cruiser school newspaper to express their frustrations and triumphs.

-Click here to read a review of THE CRUISERS: CHECKMATE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CRUISERS: CHECKMATE.
-Click here to read Walter Dean Myers’s bio.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 
Books into Movies for July: Now Featuring The Smurfs
The little blue people are back in action, but this time they're a long, long way from home. Chased out of their beloved village by the evil wizard Gargamel, they end up inside our world instead --- smack dab in the middle of Central Park! What’s a Smurf to do?

Most people remember “The Smurfs” as a popular television series in the ’80s, and many will fondly recall those little figurines that came with McDonald’s Happy Meals. But did you know that the blue guys with funny white hats were originally created by a Belgian cartoonist who went by the name Peyo? He introduced the Smurfs in a series of comic strips, the first of which appeared in 1958. Since then, the Smurfs have enjoyed a long legacy, and this new film, which sees the characters rendered in both CG1 and 3D for the very first time, is sure to continue the magic.

 
Click here to read more about The Smurfs.

 
Now in Stores: IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL...FOREVER! by R.L. Stine
IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL…FOREVER! by R.L. Stine (Horror)
Artie Howard has the worst first day of school in the history of first days of school. When it’s all over, he’s relieved knowing it can never happen again. Or can it? Artie relives the first day of school over and over, and there’s nothing he can do to stop it! Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

 
Click here to read a review of IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL...FOREVER!

 
Now in Stores: FLAT BROKE by Gary Paulsen
FLAT BROKE: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Greed by Gary Paulsen (Fiction)
No allowance for a month. That’s Kevin’s punishment for getting caught in a web of lies. Kevin has learned his lesson, but being broke means he won’t be able to invite Tina Zabinski to the eighth-grade dance --- unless he can come up with a plan to earn some quick cash. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

 
Click here to read a review of FLAT BROKE.

 
Now in Stores: THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL by Kirby Larson
THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL by Kirby Larson (Historical Fiction)
In 1927, Miss Kanagawa and her 57 doll-sisters were sent from Japan to America as Ambassadors of Friendship. But their work wasn't all peach blossoms and tea cakes. Miss Kanagawa’s story will take you from New York to Oregon during the Great Depression. Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell.

 
Click here to read a review of THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL.

 
Now in Stores: FLY TRAP by Frances Hardinge
FLY TRAP by Frances Hardinge (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Having barely escaped the revolution they had a huge (if accidental) part in causing, sharp-eyed orphan Mosca Mye; her guard goose, Saracen; and their sometimes-loyal companion, the con man Eponymous Clent, must start anew. All too quickly, they find themselves embroiled in fresh schemes as they are trapped in Toll, an odd town that changes its entire personality as day turns to night. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

 
Click here to read a review of FLY TRAP.

 
Now in Stores: VANISHED by Sheela Chari
VANISHED by Sheela Chari (Mystery)
Eleven-year-old Neela dreams of being a famous musician, performing for admiring crowds on her traditional Indian stringed instrument. It used to be her grandmother’s --- but when this special family heirloom vanishes from a local church, Neela is devastated. As she searches for it, strange clues surface. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

 
Click here to read a review of VANISHED.

 
Series Feature Update: Goosebumps HorrorLand by R.L. Stine
GOOSEBUMPS: HALL OF HORRORS #3: THE FIVE MASKS OF DR. SCREEM by R.L. Stine (Horror)
It's Halloween, and Monica Anderson is out trick-or-treating with her younger brother. They knock on the door of an old, creepy house and are met by a strange woman who pleads for their help. Every year she must battle for the control of five sacred masks with the evil Dr. Screem. Monica doesn't want to help at first, but then Screem bursts in and steals the masks. This sets her and her brother off on a Halloween mission that will change their lives forever! Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read a review of THE FIVE MASKS OF DR. SCREEM.
-Click here to read our Goosebumps HorrorLand series feature with updated trivia and characters.


 
Series Feature Update: Geronimo Stilton
THEA STILTON AND THE STAR CASTAWAYS: Geronimo Stilton Special Edition by Thea Stilton (Mystery)
A professor at Mouseford Academy is organizing a trip to outer space, and the Thea Sisters are invited. The mouselings are headed on a fabumouse mission...to the moon! After much preparation, the mice blast off. But when they arrive at their lunar vacation spot, things start to go wrong, including spaceship wrecks and rebellious robots. Can the Thea Sisters save the day? Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

GERONIMO STILTON AND THE HAUNTED CASTLE by Geronimo Stilton (Mystery)
Geronimo is just minding his business at home when he gets a telephone call from his uncle, Samuel S. Stingysnout, who invites the whole Stilton family to creepy, faraway Penny Pincher Castle for a big surprise. Thea, Trap and Benjamin are going, so Geronimo can’t say no. He knows this is going to be one super-spooky trip! Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Read reviews of THEA STILTON AND THE STAR CASTAWAYS and GERONIMO STILTON AND THE HAUNTED CASTLE.
-Click here to read our Geronimo Stilton series feature with updated trivia and characters.


 
Congratulations to SMILE by Raina Telgemeier, Winner of the 2011 Eisner Award!

Congratulations to SMILE by Raina Telgemeier, winner of this year's Eisner Award! Although it won for Best Teen Publication, this much-talked-about graphic novel can be enjoyed and appreciated by younger readers as well.

SMILE written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier (Graphic Novel)
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.Reviewed by John Hogan.

-Click here to look inside SMILE.

 

Click here to read a review of SMILE.

 
Cool New Books for July
July's roundup of Cool New Books includes R.L. Stine’s latest fright --- and one of the scariest titles for a book we’ve ever seen --- IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL…FOREVER!; TROUBLEMAKER by Andrew Clements, whose main character can't shake his reputation as a troublemaker, even when he tries to change his ways; FLAT BROKE, the sequel to Gary Paulsen’s LIAR, LIAR, which finds Kevin in another round of mayhem and misunderstandings; and SPIDERS ON THE CASE, the second installment in Kathryn Lasky’s Deadlies series, in which the sweet but poisonous spiders find a new hiding spot in the library’s Rare Books room --- at least until their peace is threatened!
 
Click here to read our Cool New Books feature for July.

 
July's New in Paperback Roundup
July’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes HERO by Mike Lupica, an action-packed tale of a 14-year-old who discovers that his dad was a superhero --- and that he has some pretty incredible powers of his own; THE MAGNIFICENT 12: THE CALL, the first book in Michael Grant’s fantasy series about a preteen who, armed with only his phobias and quick wit, sets out to gather a team to defeat the Pale Queen and save the world; THE GRIMM LEGACY by Polly Shulman, a contemporary fantasy about a room of magical items straight from the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales, which leads an ordinary girl on an exciting but dangerous magical adventure; and John Grogan’s BAD DOG, MARLEY!, a picture book about a lovable but troublemaking puppy who needs to prove that he really can be a good boy.
 
Click here to see what's New in Paperback for July.

 
This Month's Reviews
THE SUMMER BEFORE BOYS by Nora Raleigh Baskin (Fiction­)
Julia and Eliza are best friends spending the summer at the resort where Eliza's father works. Julia's mother is serving in the National Guard, and Julia spends all of her time trying not to think about what could happen. But when they meet a new boy, neither one of them is prepared for what it does to their friendship. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

THE SECRET PRINCE: A Knightley Academy Book by Violet Haberdasher (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Henry Grim is back at Knightley Academy for a new term. And along with training to become a Knight, he is determined to stop the Nordlands from starting a war. Henry doesn’t realize, though, that this may hurt some of the people he cares about the most. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

THE RED BLAZER GIRLS: THE MISTAKEN MASTERPIECE by Michael D. Beil (Mystery)
Sophie, Margaret, Becca and Leigh Ann are back in an all-new Red Blazer Girls caper. Sophie is nose to fist with her arch-rival, Livvy, all while taking care of movie-star Nate Etan's dog, when Father Julian hires the Blazers to help him authenticate a painting. Mayhem and mystery follow as the girls attempt to uncover the truth. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

SCARY SCHOOL written by Derek The Ghost and illustrated by Scott M. Fischer (Fiction)
Welcome to Scary School, a place where regular kids and monsters learn together! Derek the Ghost is your tour guide to all the interesting teachers, students and happenings. He’ll tell you who to watch out for and how to prepare for this year’s exciting event --- The Ghoul Games. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

THE SPAGHETTI DETECTIVES by Andreas Steinhofel (Mystery)
Sometimes Rico acts a bit odd --- his mom calls him a "proddity" --- but he's GENIUS at noticing little things nobody else does, like a string of spaghetti stuck to the sidewalk. Oscar is a true prodigy, with a high IQ and high anxieties to match. He's the one who wears the blue helmet --- to protect his precious brain! Oscar may have a lot of book smarts, but he needs Rico's help to face his biggest fears. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THE LOVELY SHOES by Susan Shreve (Historical Fiction)
Franny is constantly embarrassed by two things in her life. One is her right foot, which curls in from a birth defect, so she has to wear ugly orthopedic shoes. And the other is her mother Margaret: beautiful, extravagant, flamboyant --- mortifying in their small Ohio town. The two travel to Italy to meet a man who will sculpt a pair of slippers especially for Franny. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

HOW BACK-BACK GOT HIS NAME written by Thomas Weck and Peter Weck, illustrated by Len DiSalvo (Illustrated Fiction)
Can you imagine what it would be like to lose your back? Well, that is exactly what happens to Plumton, the Opossum. Lima Bear and his friends become detectives searching for the missing back. Follow them as they try new and different ways of thinking to solve the mystery. Reviewed by Elinor Nuxoll.


 
This Month's Poll: The HP Finale
What did you think of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2?

I LOVED it. It was a great way to wrap up the series.
It was good, but it could’ve been better.
I didn’t like it at all. I was very disappointed.
I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to.
I’m waiting to see it on DVD.
I have no plans to see it.
I'm not sure.

 
Click here to answer the poll.

 

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