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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!

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

This month's roundup includes SADAKO'S CRANES by Judith Loske, the true story of Sadako Sasaki, who folded 1,000 paper cranes in order to be granted a wish; GANESHA’S SWEET TOOTH by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes, a vibrant, colorful tale of the Hindu deity Ganesha’s desire for sweets; and ALPHABET SCHOOL by Stephen T. Johnson, which teaches kids the alphabet with letters hidden in a school setting..
 
 

Cool & New Books

This month's roundup includes THE MARVELS by Brian Selznick which follows two connected stories in illustration and prose, leaving readers unraveling the mysteries; THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH by Ali Benjamin, a heartfelt journey exploring life and other wonders of the world; and CHILD SOLDIER: When Boys and Girls are Used in War by Michel Chikwanine and Jessica Dee Humphreys with illustrations by Claudia Davila, the gripping true story of Michel's experience growing up in the Congo and being turned into a child soldier at age five.

New in Paperback

In this month's round up we have SECRET CODERS by graphic novel superstars Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes, where the students at Stately Academy are faced with a mystery they can’t wait to decode; WEST OF THE MOON by Margi Preus, a tale following two sisters as they escape their home in the Norwegian mountains for America; and THE SECRET MISSION OF WILLIAM TUCK by Eric Pierpont, where William goes on an epic adventure to deliver a message that might just change the course of the Civil War.

 

Latest Reviews

Twin sisters Kelsey and Michelle Maxfield look identical --- but they couldn't be more different. But despite their differences, Kelsey and Michelle can't live without each other --- until everything changes. When Michelle dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. As the only one who knows about her sister's boyfriend, Peter, Kelsey tries to tell him what happened to Michelle. But when she finally connects with Peter online, he thinks that Kelsey is Michelle and says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey lets Peter believe that she is Michelle. But soon she finds herself falling for the one boy she shouldn't want.

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory --- even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.

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.