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International Respect for Chickens Month

Celebrate everyone's favorite fowl with three great kids' books!

Can Fyfe Turn Her Foal Into a Kentucky Derby Star?

A young girl and an unforgettable crew of animals are determined to help Shadow reach his full potential in this endearing tale.

The Best Indies, According to Your Favorite Authors!

Whether in Alabama, California or New York, middle grade writers have discovered some great bookstores across the country.

Jory's Stepfather Tells Him to Keep an Eye Out for Signs...Always

In this heartwrenching new middle grade novel, Jory learns to open his eyes to a world beyond his family.

This Graphic Novel Takes Readers on an Underground Adventure

Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio García Sánchez team up to give kids a "suspenseful, visually exciting new look at New York City." 

Celebrate the Change in Seasons with These Great Picture Books!

Say goodbye to winter with these bright tales about flowers, hatchlings, raindrops and everything in between.

Features and Contests

Best of 2014 Lists

This is the time of year when “Best Of” lists are everywhere. Although we at Kidsreads.com don’t have a “Best Of” list of our own, we’ve compiled a number of them for you here. See which of your top picks appear on these lists and which titles you feel should've been included but weren't. Perhaps you’ll even find some books to add to your reading list as we head into the new year!

 

New Picture Books Roundup

Our May roundup includes MARKET MAZE by Roxie Munro, a colorful and mesmerizing maze book that helps kids understand where food comes from and how it gets to their tables; ICE CREAM SUMMER by three-time Caldecott Honoree Peter Sis, a delectable picture book that is as breezy, sweet and irresistible as ice cream in summer; and THE WIZARD OF OZ: The Classic Edition by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by Charles Santore, a large-bound, abridged version of Dorothy’s timeless tale.

 

Cool & New Books

Our May roundup includes POP GOES THE CIRCUS!, the newest book in the Kate and M. Sarah Klise’s Three Ring Rascals series in which a circus mouse and a runaway girl form an unlikely best friendship;  FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCESS by Meg Cabot, a middle grade spin-off of The Princess Diaries series featuring Mia Thermopolis’s younger half-sister, Olivia; and EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: A Semi-Comprehensive Guide to Some of the World’s Most Fascinating Individuals by Michael Hearst and illustrated by Aaron Scamihorn, which shares true stories of 50 extraordinary people throughout history.

 

New in Paperback

In paperback this month we have UNLOCKING THE TRUTH: Three Brooklyn Teens on Life, Friendship and Making the Band by Charisse Jones, the true story of a rock band on the cusp of massive stardom; WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE by Rebecca Behrens, in which First Daughter Audrey discovers Alice Roosevelt’s diary; and URBAN OUTLAWS by Peter Jay Black, the first book in an action-packed series about five extraordinary kids dedicated to outsmarting criminals.

Latest Reviews

In a secret land, far away from the habitation of man, dwell the world's remaining dragons. In their mystical valley, they live their daily lives, but all is not well and their talents are fading. Things change, however, when, from a strange egg, Yoshiko is born --- a dragon with a unique destiny. Great adventure lies ahead as many challenges must be overcome, leading to a dangerous mission to the human world in attempt to return to the clans their missing magic! 

It's 1948 in Rippling Creek, Louisiana, and Tate P. Ellerbee's new teacher has just given her class an assignment --- learning the art of letter-writing. Luckily, Tate has the perfect pen pal in mind: Hank Williams, a country music singer whose star has just begun to rise. Tate and her great-aunt and -uncle listen to him on the radio every Saturday night, and Tate just knows that she and Hank are kindred spirits.

The Water and the Wild written by K. E. Ormsbee with illustrations by Elsa Mora - Fantasy

A green apple tree grows in the heart of Thirsby Square, and tangled up in its magical roots is the story of Lottie Fiske. For as long as Lottie can remember, the only people who seem to care about her are her best friend, Eliot, and the mysterious letter writer who sends her birthday gifts. But now strange things are happening on the island Lottie calls home, and Eliot's getting sicker, with a disease the doctors have given up trying to cure. Lottie is helpless, useless, powerless --- until a door opens in the apple tree. Follow Lottie down through the roots to another world in pursuit of the impossible: a cure for the incurable, a use for the useless, and protection against the pain of loss.

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles's half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven't spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that's been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.

Omega City by Diana Peterfreund - Science Fiction

Gillian Seagret discovers a missing page from Dr. Underberg's diary in her father's mess of an office --- a space-themed riddle promising to lead to Dr. Underberg's greatest invention. Enlisting the help of her younger brother, her best friend, and their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off on a journey into the ruins of Omega City. But they aren't alone inside its dark and flooded halls. For while Gillian wants to save her dad's reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg's secrets to light, there are others who will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried...forever.

Using engaging graphics and lively humor, Gonick covers all of the algebra essentials, including linear equations, polynomials, quadratic equations, and graphing techniques. He also offers a concise overview of algebra’s history and its many practical applications in modern life. 

Brooklyn, New York, 1951. Twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid who loves Sam Spade detective books and radio crime dramas, but when an FBI agent shows up at Pete’s doorstep accusing his father of being a Communist, Pete finds himself caught in a real-life mystery. At the same time, Pete’s class turns against him, thanks to similar rumors spread by his own teacher; even Kat, Pete’s best friend, feels the pressure to ditch him. As Pete follows the quickly accumulating clues, he begins to wonder if the truth could put his family’s livelihood--and even their freedom--at risk.

Shadow of a Doubt written by Skylar James, illustrated by Kelley McMorris - Fiction

When a new foal is born but loses his mother, Fyfe gains a loyal best friend in the colt she names "Shadow of a Doubt." Though Shadow was bred to be a work horse, Fyfe and Shadow dream that one day he'll become the greatest racehorse the world has ever known by winning the Kentucky Derby. At first, few believe in Shadow's prospects-especially when the neighbor next door, Colonel Epsom, uses his great wealth to produce racehorses of the finest caliber, and he will do whatever it takes to see them win. But Fyfe and Shadow, with the help of their animal friends, refuse to give up on their dreams.

Last of the Sandwalkers by Jay Hosler - Comics / Graphic Novel

Nestled in the grass under the big palm tree by the edge of the desert there is an entire civilization --- a civilization of beetles. In this bug's paradise, beetles write books, run restaurants, and even do scientific research. But not too much scientific research is allowed by the powerful elders, who guard a terrible secret about the world outside the shadow of the palm tree.

When Pablo gets separated from his new schoolmates during his first field trip in New York City, he doesn't know how he'll be able to find them again. Luckily, he has a little knowledge, a new friend, and the surprisingly approachable city itself to guide his way. This story features maps, archival photos, and fascinating facts to help readers explore the subway.

Eleven-year-old Nell Warne arrives on her aunt's doorstep lugging a heavy sack of sorrows. If her Aunt Kate rejects her, it's the miserable Home for the Friendless. Luckily, canny Nell makes herself indispensable to Aunt Kate...and not just by helping out with household chores. For Aunt Kate is the first-ever female detective employed by the legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency. And Nell has a knack for the kind of close listening and bold action that made Pinkerton detectives famous in Civil War-era America. With huge, nation-changing events simmering in the background, Nell uses skills new and old to uncover truths about her past and solve mysteries in the present.

The Trap by Steven Arntson - Science Fiction

It's the summer of 1963, and something strange is afoot in the quiet town of Farro, Iowa. The school district's most notorious bully has gone missing without a trace, and furthermore, seventh grader Henry Nilsson and his friends have just found an odd book stashed in the woods by Longbelly Gulch --- a moldy instruction guide written to teach the art of "subtle travel," a kind of out-of-body experience. The foursome will soon discover that out-of-body life isn't so subtle after all --- there are some very real, and very dangerous, things happening out there in the woods. 

All work and no play makes Jack extremely bored. And when Jack gets bored, he makes mischief. It’s not that he’s bad; he just longs for adventure. One day, adventure finally arrives in the form of giants, and soon Jack is chasing them to a land beyond the clouds, with his little sister, Annabella, in tow. But Jack and Annabella are on a mission. The king of the giants has taken something that belongs to them, and they’ll do anything to get it back.

Moon Bear written by Gill Lewis with illustrations by Alessandro Gottardo - Fiction

Both torn from their homes in Laos, a boy and a moon bear cub form a deep bond in this piercing tale of impossible odds and resilient hope, based on true conditions in Eastern Asia. Deeply and powerfully moving, MOON BEAR is an unforgettable story of compassion, hope, and bravery against overwhelming odds, and brings to light the real-life, heartwrenching plight of Asia’s endangered moon bears.

The signs are everywhere, Jory's stepfather, Caleb, says. Red leaves in the springtime. Pages torn from a library book. All the fish in an aquarium facing the same way. A cracked egg with twin yolks. Everywhere and anywhere. And because of them, Jory's life is far from ordinary. He must follow a very specific set of rules: don't trust anyone outside the family, have your work boots at the ready just in case, and always, always watch out for the signs. The end is coming, and they must be prepared. 
 
School is Jory's only escape from Caleb's tight grasp. With the help of new friends, he begins to explore a world beyond his family's farm. Then Caleb notifies the family that the time has come for final preparations: digging in their backyard canyon at night. Every night. 
 
As the hole gets deeper, so does Jory's doubt about whether Caleb's prophecy is true. When the real reason for their digging becomes clear, Jory must choose between living his own life or following behind Caleb, shutting his eyes to the bright world he's just begun to see.