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Three Picture Books, One Topic, One Awesome Interview

Discover all things MAPLE & WILLOW APART, IMAGINARY FRED and WE FORGOT BROCK! --- and all things imaginary --- in this interview!

The Newbery Medal-Winner Explores the Bonds and Limits of Friendship

Can best friends Bridge, Emily and Tabitha keep their one rule --- no fighting --- in seventh grade?

Percy Jackson Lends His Hilarious, Irreverent Voice to the Greek Heroes

Rick Riordan's latest will transport Percy Jackson fans back to their favorite ancient civilization

Rip and Red Are in for an Unforgettable Fifth Grade Year

A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME blends basketball and friendship with lessons on education and acceptance.

Authors Have a Go at Dr. Seuss's Big Question

We asked middle grade authors to tell us what animal or creature from a book they'd want the most. Read their answers, here!

They May Have No Text, But The Stories in This Wordless Picture Book Bookshelf are Unforgettable

Explore our 20 favorites, from FLORA AND THE FLAMINGO to FLOTSAM!

Features and Contests

Children's Choice Book Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Children's Choice Book Awards, including Jimmy Gownley, whose book THE DUMBEST IDEA EVER! won for the Book of the Year, 5th through 6th grade category, and J.A. White, who won the Children's Choice Debut Author award for THE THICKETY: A Path Begins.See all the winners, here!

 

New Picture Books Roundup

Our picture book roundup this month includes THE DAY THE CRAYONS CAME HOME by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, the follow-up to the beloved THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT in which a slew of lost art supplies attempt to return to their owners; MARVELOUS CORNELIUS: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Bildner, illustrated by John Parra, a heartwarming true story about the difference a garbage collector made during this natural disaster; and CAN WE HELP?: Kids Volunteering to Help Their Communities by George Ancona, a photo journal depicting children of all ages giving back to their community.

 

Cool & New Books

In this month's roundup we have GOODBYE STRANGER by bestselling author Rebecca Stead, a tale about friendship and the woes of seventh grade; LILLIPUT by Sam Gayton, a tale inspired by GULLIVER’S TRAVELS that follows a three-inch-tall girl on her epic journey through 18th-century London; and Rick Riordan's mythology guide in a sarcastic narrative: PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK HEROES.


New in Paperback

This month's roundup includes NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS GUIDE TO PHOTOGRAPHY by Nancy Honovich and Annie Griffiths, which helps kids of all ages take the perfect picture; DARTH PAPER STRIKES BACK by Tom Angleberger, the second book in the Origami Yoda series; and GOOSEBUMPS THE MOVIE: The Movie Novel by R.L. Stine, a book that echoes the plot of the October 2015 Goosebumps film, complete with images.

 

Latest Reviews

George by Alex Gino - Fiction

BE WHO YOU ARE.

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.

A girl and the wolves who love her embark on a rescue mission through Russian wilderness in this lyrical tale from the author of the acclaimed ROOFTOPPERS and CARTWHEELING IN THUNDERSTORMS.

The year 1852 is a dangerous time for three non-white children, and they must work together to dodge slave-catchers and save ancestors from certain death --- all while figuring out how to get back to the future. Fortunately, they have a guide in the helpful hints embedded in an ancient Chinese text called the I-Ching, which they interpret using Morse Code. But how can a three-thousand-year-old book be sending messages into the future through a code developed in the 1830s? Find out in this mind-bending, time-bending adventure!

Michael “Misha” Gruenbaum enjoyed a carefree childhood playing games and taking walks through Prague with his beloved father. All of that changed forever when the Nazis invaded Prague. The Gruenbaum family was forced to move into the Jewish Ghetto. Then, after a devastating loss, Michael, his mother and sister were deported to the Terezin concentration camp.

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, 12 year old Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.

From the groundbreaking and award-winning sister-brother team behind BABYMOUSE comes a middle-grade, semi-autobiographical graphic novel.

Following the lives of kids whose older brother's delinquent behavior has thrown their family into chaos, SUNNY SIDE UP is at once a compelling "problem" story and a love letter to the comic books that help the protagonist make sense of her world.

By sister-bother team Jennifer and Matthew Holm. A 200-page, full-color graphic novel in the vein of Raina Telgemeier's SMILE.

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar - Fiction

Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Hilligas challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya, unaware of the reason for the detour, reluctantly follows. They soon get lost. And then they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.

A secret letter must be delivered to King Unauwen across the Great Mountains --- a letter upon which the fate of the entire kingdom depends. Tiuri has a vital role to play, one that might cost him his knighthood. Tiuri's journey will take him through dark, menacing forests, across treacherous rivers, to sinister castles and strange cities. 

Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson - Graphic Novel

Highly acclaimed graphic novelist Craig Thompson's debut book for young readers about a plucky heroine on a mission to save her dad.

For Violet Marlocke, family is the most important thing in the whole galaxy. So when her father goes missing while on a hazardous job, she can't just sit around and do nothing. To get him back, Violet throws caution to the stars and sets out with a group of misfit friends on a quest to find him. But space is vast and dangerous, and she soon discovers that her dad is in big, BIG trouble. With her father's life on the line, nothing is going to stop Violet from trying to rescue him and keep her family together.

Visionary graphic novel creator Craig Thompson brings all of his wit, warmth, and humor to create a brilliantly drawn story for all ages. Set in a distant yet familiar future, SPACE DUMPLINS weaves themes of family, friendship, and loyalty into a grand space adventure filled with quirky aliens, awesome spaceships, and sharp commentary on our environmentally challenged world.

Ten-year-old Malik's world is falling apart. Soldiers have invaded town, and his mother is missing, leaving Malik with his grandfather, Papa. Along with a thousand other refugees, their hope for escape to a new life lies in gaining passage aboard one ship --- but the demand for tickets is high, and so is the cost. When things don't go as planned, Malik must summon all of his courage and resourcefulness to survive.

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans written and illustrated by Don Brown - Biography

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under 20 feet of water; property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion; and 1,833 people lost their lives. The riveting tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism and courage --- and also of incompetence, racism and criminality. Don Brown’s kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

Who cut off Medusa's head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan's legions of devoted fans --- and for anyone who needs a hero. 

Blanche thinks he has it good. He has risen above the field hands to a position helping run a printing press. He's well fed, never physically mistreated, and he has taught himself to read, though he keeps the illicit skill a secret. Most importantly, he has been promised a chance at emancipation. Then, in a single bloody morning, his world is overturned, his master lies dead, and his widow has no intention of following through with her husband's promise to free him. Blanche would never have considered running away from his old life, but faced with the prospect of being sold as a laborer or worse, he forges his free papers and flees north, a fugitive, to create his own future.
A Whole New Ballgame written by Phil Bildner with illustrations by Tim Probert - Fiction

Rip and Red are best friends whose fifth-grade year is nothing like what they expected. They have a crazy new tattooed teacher named Mr. Acevedo, who doesn't believe in tests or homework and who likes off-the-wall projects, the more "off" the better. They also find themselves with a new basketball coach: Mr. Acevedo! Easy-going Rip is knocked completely out of his comfort zone. And for Red, who has autism and really needs things to be exactly a certain way, the changes are even more of a struggle. But together these two make a great duo who know how to help each other --- and find ways to make a difference --- in the classroom and on the court.