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August 2011

Kidsreads.com Newsletter August 2011
School Bells Ring, Are You Listening?

We know this time of year can be tough for many of you, as you’re thinking about school supplies, class schedules, new teachers and homework. School is back in the swing of things for many of you, and others are gearing up for the school bell ring. So we’re hoping to take your minds off all this (at least for a little while) with this month’s update, which will give you many reasons to smile.

The 39 Clues is back with a spinoff series, Cahills vs. Vespers, and Gordon Korman gets it started with THE MEDUSA PLOT. There’s another enemy lurking about, and the formerly feuding Cahills now have to band together in order to survive.

We’re thrilled to announce THREE new giveaways that will give you the opportunity to win some awesome books. First up is Patrick Carman’s FLOORS, the start of a brand-new series set at the Whippet Hotel, a wild and wacky place full of strange and mysterious people, and floors that contain their own secrets. We have 25 copies to give away to readers who enter here by Wednesday, September 28th at noon ET.

100(!) readers will win a copy of RAVENWOOD, Andrew Peters’s debut fantasy. Arborium is at risk, the sharpened blades of rival Maw poised to saw off its bark and branches. What can a poor plumber's apprentice armed with little more than a monkey wrench do to stop the chopping? Enter here by Wednesday, October 26th at noon ET to find out!

And 10 more winners will receive a copy of THE BLACKHOPE ENIGMA by first-time novelist Teresa Flavin. When a 14-year-old visits Blackhope Tower and sees her stepbrother disappear, seemingly into the painting itself, she must find him and risk being drawn into the heart of the Blackhope enigma. Enter here by Wednesday, September 28th at noon ET to help solve the mystery.

This month we shine our special feature spotlight on THE DRAGON’S TOOTH, the first book in N.D. Wilson’s Ashtown Burials series. The arrival of a strange old man with bone tattoos to a sagging roadside motel sets the stage for an adventure that will already have you looking ahead to the sequel. Read our review, an excerpt, and our interview with the author.

Our special feature for THE CRUISERS #2: CHECKMATE continues, but now we’ve added an interview with author Walter Dean Myers, who talks about the book, his own experiences playing chess, and his sixth-grade crush. Click here to read our interview, which was conducted by Donna Volkenannt, whose review you can read here.

The 39 Clues isn’t the only series to get a spinoff this month. Spooky, silly Creepella von Cacklefur is now starring in her own Geronimo Stilton adventures. You can read all about it in the first two books of the series, THE THIRTEEN GHOSTS and MEET ME IN HORRORWOOD.

Don’t miss our current Cool New Books and New in Paperback roundups. Among this month’s highlights are THE BRIDGE TO NEVER LAND, the latest installment in Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s Starcatchers series; THE RED PYRAMID, the start of Rick Riordan’s The Kane Chronicles; and SCUMBLE, a companion to Ingrid Law’s debut novel, SAVVY.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, which inspires our new poll. We’d like to know if you have a library card and, if so, how often you use it.

Here’s wishing you a fun and relaxing Labor Day weekend --- and here's to a great year at school! By the way, does your English teacher and school librarian know about Kidsreads.com? If not, let them know about us!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)


 

In Stores August 30th: THE 39 CLUES: CAHILLS VS. VESPERS, Book One: THE MEDUSA PLOT by Gordon Korman
THE 39 CLUES: CAHILLS VS. VESPERS, Book One: THE MEDUSA PLOT by Gordon Korman (Mystery/Action & Adventure)
Thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, thought they belonged to the world's most powerful family. They thought the hunt for 39 Clues leading to the source of that power was over. They even thought they'd won. But Amy and Dan were wrong. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

 
Click here to read a review of THE MEDUSA PLOT.

 
New Special Feature and Giveaway: FLOORS by Patrick Carman
In FLOORS, a new adventure from The Land of Elyon author Patrick Carman, a handyman’s son explores the mysteries of a very odd and colorful hotel. To celebrate its release, Kidsreads.com is giving 25 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, September 28th at noon ET.

FLOORS by Patrick Carman (Mystery)
The Whippet Hotel is a strange place full of strange and mysterious people. Each floor has its own quirks and secrets. Leo should know most of them --- he is the maintenance man's son, after all. But a whole lot more mystery gets thrown his way when a series of cryptic boxes are left for him...boxes that lead him to hidden floors, strange puzzles and unexpected alliances. Leo had better be quick on his feet, because the fate of the building he loves is at stake...and so is Leo's own future!

-Click here to read Patrick Carman’s bio.
-Visit Patrick Carman's official website, www.PatrickCarman.com.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 
New Special Feature: ASHTOWN BURIALS #1: THE DRAGON’S TOOTH by N.D. Wilson
N.D. Wilson knows how to merge the realities and histories of this world with one that is slightly more…fantastical. Having authored LEEPIKE RIDGE, a children's adventure story, and the multi-world fantasy series 100 Cupboards, he is now embarking on a new series called Ashtown Burials. In THE DRAGON'S TOOTH, the first installment, siblings Cyrus and Antigone swear an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world's secrets. In this interview, Kidsreads.com's Usha Rao asks Wilson why he blends elements of modern American life with mythical aspects, and why his heroes do not perform magic in the traditional sense. He also dishes about motel rooms, numbers, weapons, snakes, alchemists, and how his own kids act as his focus group.

ASHTOWN BURIALS #1: THE DRAGON’S TOOTH by N.D. Wilson (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room.

Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world's secrets, keepers of powerful relics from lost civilizations, and jailers to unkillable criminals who have terrorized the world for millennia.

-Click here to read a review of THE DRAGON’S TOOTH.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE DRAGON’S TOOTH.
-Click here to watch the book trailer.
-Click here to read N.D. Wilson’s bio.

 
Click here to read our interview with N.D. Wilson.

 
New Special Feature and Giveaway: RAVENWOOD by Andrew Peters
In RAVENWOOD, debut novelist Andrew Peters introduces readers to a 14-year-old who must save his home and people after overhearing plans of an evil plot by a sinister super-power. To celebrate its release, Kidsreads.com is giving 100 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, October 26th at noon ET.

RAVENWOOD by Andrew Peters (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Carved into a massive, mile-high canopy, the forest kingdom of Arborium stands upon the tallest of trees. Within them, 14-year-old Ark holds the lowest of jobs: unclogging toilets. He's already up to his elbows in gunk when he REALLY steps in it. He overhears a plot echoing through the pipes: Maw, a ruthless glass-and-steel superpower, is scheming to wield its axes of evil to strip Arborium of its wood --- a natural resource now more precious than gold.

-Click here to read more about RAVENWOOD.
-Click here to read an excerpt from RAVENWOOD.
-Click here to read Andrew Peters’s bio.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 
Win a Copy of THE BLACKHOPE ENIGMA by Teresa Flavin
THE BLACKHOPE ENIGMA, Teresa Flavin’s action-packed debut, follows Dean, Sunni and her friend Blaise on a journey to the heart of an age-old mystery. To celebrate its release, Kidsreads.com is giving 10 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, September 28th at noon ET.

THE BLACKHOPE ENIGMA by Teresa Flavin (Mystery/Action & Adventure)
For centuries, Blackhope Tower has been shrouded in intrigue, centering on a labyrinth and painting in the Mariner’s Chamber. When 14-year-old Sunni Forrest visits the tower and sees her stepbrother, Dean, disappear, seemingly into the painting itself, she must find him and risk being drawn into the heart of the Blackhope enigma. This action-packed debut follows Dean, Sunni, and her friend Blaise on a journey to the heart of an age-old mystery.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 
Special Feature and Giveaway: THE CRUISERS #2: 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 CHECKMATE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from CHECKMATE.
-Click here to read our interview with Walter Dean Myers.
-Click here to read Walter Dean Myers's bio.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 
In Stores August 30th: WILDWOOD by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis
WILDWOOD: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I written by Colin Meloy, illustrated by Carson Ellis (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Prue McKeel's life is ordinary. At least until her brother is abducted by a murder of crows and taken to the Impassable Wilderness, a dense, tangled forest on the edge of Portland. No one has ever gone in --- or at least returned to tell of it. So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend, Curtis, deep into the Impassable Wilderness.

 
Click here to read a review of WILDWOOD.

 
Now in Stores: THE MAGNIFICENT 12: THE TRAP by Michael Grant
THE MAGNIFICENT 12: THE TRAP by Michael Grant (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
The call for the Magnificent 12 has been placed, and it’s up to the founding member of the group, Mack, to find the other 11 kids to help defeat the Pale Queen. His travels will take him from China to Germany --- and right into a trap! Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

 
Click here to read a review of THE MAGNIFICENT 12: THE TRAP.

 
Now in Stores: LUCKY FOR GOOD by Susan Patron

LUCKY FOR GOOD by Susan Patron (Fiction)
The Hard Pan trilogy that began with the Newbery-winning THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY concludes with Lucky and all of Hard Pan a little wiser. As always, Lucky is brave and foolish, impulsive and tender, vulnerable and determined. Ultimately, she forges her own path: Lucky for Good. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.


-Click here to read an excerpt from LUCKY FOR GOOD.

 

Click here to read a review of LUCKY FOR GOOD.

 
Series Feature Update: Introducing Geronimo Stilton’s Creepella Von Cacklefur Series!

CREEPELLA VON CACKLEFUR #1: THE THIRTEEN GHOSTS by Geronimo Stilton (Mystery)
Creepella von Cacklefur and her niece, Shivereen, visit scary Squeakspeare Mansion. There they meet Bobby Squeakspeare, a descendent of the famouse writer, William Squeakspeare. Will the spooky rooms and ghosts they find inside the mansion be friendly or frightening?

CREEPELLA VON CACKLEFUR #2: MEET ME IN HORRORWOOD by Geronimo Stilton (Mystery)
Gorgo, the monster in Cacklefur Castle's moat, is in love with the famouse monster movie star Blobbina. When Creepella helps Gorgo write Blobbina a love letter, they discover that Blobbina has disappeared! Creepella heads to Horrorwood to search for the missing monster, but will she be able to find her?

 

Click here to read our Geronimo Stilton series feature.

 
Cool New Books for August
August’s roundup of Cool New Books includes THE MEDUSA PLOT by Gordon Korman, the first book in a follow-up series to The 39 Clues, which sees siblings Amy and Dan trying to fulfill a bizarre ransom request after their friends are captured by the Vespers; THE BRIDGE TO NEVER LAND, the latest installment in Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s Starcatchers series that details the startling origin of Peter Pan; LUCKY FOR GOOD, the conclusion to Susan Patron’s Hard Pan trilogy, in which 11-year-old Lucky finds that the best she can do is to never give up; and THE UNWANTEDS by Lisa McMann, a thrilling novel about twin brothers --- separated between Wanted and Unwanted --- who must face each other in an ultimate, magical battle.
 
Click here to read our Cool New Books feature for August.

 
August's New in Paperback Roundup
August's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE RED PYRAMID, the first installment in Rick Riordan’s The Kane Chronicles, in which two siblings embark on a dangerous journey to stop an ancient Egyptian god; SCUMBLE, the companion to Ingrid Law’s debut novel, which takes place nine years after Mibs’s Savvy journey and focuses on her cousin Ledge, who has just turned 13; THE BIG TIME, a Football Genius novel by Tim Green that sees football player Troy struggle to make his lifetime dreams of being with his father come true; and FEAR ITSELF, book two in Andrew Clements’s Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series, in which Ben and Jill have to stay one step ahead of the snake posing as the school janitor.
 
Click here to see what's New in Paperback for August.

 
This Month's Reviews
TROUBLEMAKER by Andrew Clements (Fiction)
When troublemaker Clay’s delinquent older brother, Mitchell, begins to wise up and pull his life together, he wants Clay to change too. And so Clay tries. But changing a reputation isn’t so easy. Clay finds that altering the attitudes of his teachers and peers, and taking responsibility for his actions, is a monumental challenge. Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell.

TORN: The Missing, Book 4 by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Historical Thriller/Action & Adventure)
Still reeling from their experiences in Roanoke in 1600, Jonah and Katherine arrive in 1611 only moments before a mutiny on Henry Hudson’s ship in the icy waters of James Bay. But things are messed up: they’ve lost the real John Hudson, and they find what seems to be the fabled Northwest Passage --- even though they are pretty sure that that route doesn’t actually exist. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE EXQUISITE CORPSE ADVENTURE: An Episodic Story Game by The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
On a quest to rescue their parents, twins Joe and Nancy will encounter mad scientists, a talking pig, creatures from another dimension, several bad knock-knock jokes, plenty of explosions, a whole army of villains and varmints, and shape-shifting Eggy-Things. Figuring out who is friend and who is foe is the least of their problems. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

DARK FALLS #2: RIP TIDE by Kat Falls (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
The mysteries of the deep are deadlier than ever when Ty’s parents are kidnapped by the hostile and mysterious Topsiders known as the Surfs. With time running out for his parents, Ty’s desperation leads the two teenagers to the underwater underworld…and into an alliance with the outlaws of the Seablite Gang. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

MAGICAL MISCHIEF by Anna Dale (Fantasy)
Magic has settled into all the corners of Hardbattle Books and is scaring customers away. After Mr. Hardbattle sets out to find a new place for it to live, the magic takes over. And it’s only a short amount of time before the real mischief begins! Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

MISSING ON SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN by Elise Broach (Mystery)
The Barker brothers --- Simon, Henry and Jack --- are unhappy and bored after their move from Chicago to Arizona. Their boredom takes an unexpected turn when their cat Josie runs away, and they track her into the dangerous and mysterious Superstition Mountain. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.


Graphic Novel Reviews:

SUPER DIAPER BABY 2: THE INVASION OF THE POTTY SNATCHERS by Dav Pilkey
George and Harold (the co-stars of the enormously popular Captain Underpants series) are in big trouble again! Their mean principal, Mr. Krupp, has had it with their comic books. But the boys aren't giving up, and they decide to create an all-new epic novel about a subject they've never tackled before! Reviewed by John Hogan.

OKIE DOKIE DONUTS: OPEN FOR BUSINESS! written and illustrated by Chris Eliopoulos
Run by pastry pioneer and cunning culinarian Big Mama, Okie Dokie Donuts is the best little donut shop in town. What's her secret? Big Mama rolls in a heaping serving of love into each of her hand-made creations. Loyal customers can't get enough of her tantalizing turnovers. But running a donut shop isn't easy. Trouble is always poking holes in Big Mama's fun. Reviewed by Brigid Alverson.


 
This Month's Poll: Library Cards
September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Do you have a library card at your local or school library?

Yes
No
No, but I plan on getting one.
I'm not sure.

How often do you use your library card?

About once a week
About once a month
Several times a week
Less than once a month
I don't have a library card.

 
Click here to answer the poll.

 

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