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Kidsreads Newsletter

November 2016

Kidsreads.com Newsletter November 2016
Getting into the Holiday Spirit with Read-iculously Great Books

Hi Kidsreaders,

Phew, can you believe November is nearly behind us? Between the cooler weather, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hitting theaters, Thanksgiving and all those post-turkey naps, it's been one crazy month here at Kidsreads. Now, with our Halloween candy totally devoured and turkey day behind us, we've officially begun the holiday season and we couldn't be more excited.

While we're in a festive sort of mood, I'm delighted to announce that our annual Holiday Bundle of Cheer feature and contest is back with three amazing books for you to enter to win. From now until Wednesday, December 21st at noon ET, we're giving five lucky readers the chance to win copies of IMPYRIUM by Henry H. Neff, STRIKEOUT OF THE BLEACHER WEENIES: And Other Warped and Creepy Tales by David Lubar, and THE WISHING WORLD by Todd Fahnestock. Click here to enter --- and if you need a little extra incentive, be sure to check out last month's interview with Henry Neff, whose book, IMPYRIUM, is one of my favorites this year.

Speaking of favorite books, have you ever noticed the little logos on the spines of your books? These tiny pictures represent the publishers who create the books, and it's very possible that you may have a favorite without even knowing it. In the picture book world, there's a new publisher in town: NubeOcho. This company started in Spain in 2011 and has been earning tons of praise for its gorgeous illustration style and powerful themes. NubeOcho recently began publishing picture books in the US, and we have the full scoop about their favorite books, future goals and why they believe picture books can change the world. Click here to read more, and look out for my favorite NubeOcho book, CANDY PINK, in our New Picture Books Roundup below.

While you're taking the time to stop and enjoy a picture book or two, why not get in the holiday spirit with our Holiday Picture Books Bookshelf? Whether you enjoy heartwarming, classic tales of gift-giving and receiving, or want to know more about the science behind snow, there's something on our shelf for everyone --- no matter how you choose to celebrate. Click here to see our Holiday Picture Books roundup.

Earlier this month, the book world celebrated one of the biggest events of the year: The National Book Awards. Two days before the award ceremony, I had the honor of seeing the nominees for Young People's Literature speak to middle and high school students from all around New York City about their books. I have no shame in admitting that I totally fangirled over Jason Reynolds (GHOST), who is possibly one of the coolest people I've ever crossed paths with. Middle-grade authors Kate DiCamillo (RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE) and Grace Lin (THE SILVER SEA) were also there, and it was amazing to watch them interact with their young readers. You can see some photos from the event above.

If you're finding yourself inspired by these amazing writers, you may want to hear about Ruben Joseph, the 11-year-old who has his own children's books review site, Mango Bubbles. If you read, write and love reading our reviews, maybe you'll be the next big thing in the book world.

We have lots of books on screen news to share with you in this newsletter. Up first, Nickelodeon has announced plans to bring Chris Grabenstein's ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY to a living room near you in a 90-minute movie. In this laugh-out-loud adventure story, a group of friends are super excited when they are chosen to experience a new state-of-the-art library created by the eccentric, world-renowned game maker Luigi Lemoncello. But when they find themselves stuck in the library’s labyrinth-like collection of books, technology and games, they must complete riddles and collect clues to find a way out. We're huge Chris Grabenstein fans here, so you know we'll be tuning in.

Back in September, we reviewed Jennifer Weiner's middle-grade debut, THE LITTLEST BIGFOOT, which followed two 12-year-old girls --- one human, one Bigfoot --- as they learned about friendship, family and accepting yourself. If this sounds like a story you'd love to see brought to life, you're in luck, as plans have been made to turn this adorable book into an animated feature.

But that's not all! For those of you who prefer to watch your books at home, Amazon is now gearing up to produce the animated comedy series "The Bug Diaries," based on the bestselling book series. Aimed at preschoolers, this series follows a trio of bug friends whose tiny world is full of huge adventures. The series will let kids see the world through Fly’s compound eyes, wiggle in Worm’s “footsteps," and weave a web with Spider as they record their adventures in their bug diaries.

That's all of our news for this update. As always, remember to read below for our series update, where we've added books to 17 different series.

Happy reading!

--- Rebecca Munro (Rebecca@bookreporter.com)
 

Holiday Bundle of Cheer --- Enter for Your Chance to Win

At Kidreads.com, we're kicking off the holiday season with our second annual Holiday Bundle of Cheer Contest and Feature. We are spotlighting some amazing books. From now until Wednesday, December 21st at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a copy of each featured title to curl up with this holiday season, along with some incredibly festive goodies. From now until December 21st at noon ET

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to enter our Holiday Bundle of Cheer contest!

 
Now On Sale: DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: Double Down by Jeff Kinney

DOUBLE DOWN (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11) by Jeff Kinney (Graphic Novel)
The pressure’s really piling up on Greg Heffley. His mom thinks video games are turning his brain to mush, so she wants her son to put down the controller and explore his “creative side.” As if that’s not scary enough, Halloween’s just around the corner and the frights are coming at Greg from every angle. When Greg discovers a bag of gummy worms, it sparks an idea. Can he get his mom off his back by making a movie...and will he become rich and famous in the process.

 

Click here to learn more about the book.

 
Now on Sale: DORK DIARIES 11: Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy by Rachel Renée Russell
DORK DIARIES 11: Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy by Rachel Renée Russell (Fiction)
Nikki Maxwell has the worst luck. Of all the schools she could have been assigned to for the student exchange week program, she’s stuck at North Hampton Hills, her arch nemesis MacKenzie Hollister’s new school. Even worse, there might just be someone at NHH who can out-MacKenzie MacKenzie! At least Nikki can write about every moment of drama in her diary, so readers won’t miss a moment of it.

 
Click here to learn more about the book.

 
Featured Review: THE CHARMING LIFE OF IZZY MALONE by Jenny Lundquist

THE CHARMING LIFE OF IZZY MALONE by Jenny Lundquist (Fiction)
The only time Izzy feels at peace is when she’s on the open water, and more than anything else, she wants to become a member of the Dandelion Paddlers, her school’s competitive rowing club. But thanks to those multiple trips to the Principal’s office, Izzy’s parents force her to enroll in Mrs. Whippie’s Charm School, a home-study course in manners and etiquette, or they won’t let her race in the Dandelion Falls annual pumpkin regatta --- where Izzy hopes to prove to the Dandelion Paddlers she is more than qualified to be on their team. Reviewed by Hasnah Farraj-Doleh.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read the review.

 
Holiday Picture Books 2016 Bookshelf
Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner! What better way to celebrate than with some holiday picture books to get you in the festive mood?

We made a list --- and we checked it twice --- so that only the best of the best holiday books are on our shelf, no matter how you celebrate! Whether you like traditional stories about Christmas, like THE NUTCRACKER, or are looking for a fun spin on Christmas, like in THE BIGGEST SMALLEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT, there's sure to be something on our shelf that will warm your heart on those frosty winter days. For those of us who like a grand adventure, SHMELF THE HANUKKAH ELF takes readers on a mission to find out why children are missing from Santa's list only to uncover Hanukkah. There are also perfect books here for nonfiction fans such as BEST IN SNOW, which allows animal fans to see beautiful pictures of animals in the snow. Or, if you like a more factual approach, WONDERFUL WINTER: All Kinds of Winter Facts and Fun brings out the science behind snow (and allows you to make some cool crafts while you're at it). Finally, after all this holiday madness is over for the year, we can sit back and relax with Santa, who is taking a well-deserved break himself in SANTA'S ELEVEN MONTHS OFF.

 
Click here to see our Holiday Picture Books Bookshelf.

 
On the Kidsreads Blog

Celebrate National Ninja Day with a Picture Book! --- Do you ever dream about being a ninja? We definitely do! That's why we're super excited about December 5th --- aka National Ninja Day --- here at Kidsreads.com. In honor of this high-kicking, judo-chopping holiday, we're celebrating with some excellent ninja-themed picture books. Get ready to wow and impress your friends and family with your impressive strength, excellent balance and extreme bravery, because National Ninja Day is almost here!

Kidsreads Talks with Picture Book Publisher NubeOcho --- Here at Kidsreads.com, we love compiling our monthly roundup of new picture books. With minimal text and tons of gorgeous spreads, our selections often feature issues big and small, from dealing with new siblings to counting to 10 and even receiving dragons in the mail. In recent months, one publisher has really gained our attention with its artistic books full of big messages for small readers. Although NubeOcho is relatively new on the scene, they've been earning tons of praise for their gorgeous but insightful books. We had the chance to ask them a few questions about their picture books and goals for young readers.

S.F. Said, Author of PHOENIX, on Collaborating with Illustrator David McKean --- PHOENIX is an epic science fiction novel set in space amidst a galactic war, following a young boy named Lucky as he discovers his destiny. This novel features some incredibly inventive world building, which is heightened by the amazing artwork that accompanies the text. In this post, we have S.F. Said sharing about his experience collaborating with David McKean on PHOENIX as well as offering some explanations of the different artistic choices made in the novel.
 

Click here to visit the Kidsreads blog.

 
November’s Cool & New Books Roundup
This month's Cool & New roundup includes THE BEACH AT NIGHT, a children's fable from the point of view of a lost doll, reimagined by critically acclaimed and bestselling adult author Elena Ferrante; THE LOST PROPERTY OFFICE by James R. Hannibal, which follows a boy named Jack who is great at finding everything --- except his father, who was in a secret society of detectives; and, lastly, the second book in the Secrets of the Pied Piper series, THE MAGICIAN'S KEY, where the main character, Max, has to go back to the Summer Isle to save her brother from the legendary Pied Piper.
Click here to see the rest of November's Cool & New Books roundup!

 
November’s New in Paperback Roundup
Our New in Paperback roundup for November takes us on a trip in the world, around the world and even into outer space! So get ready to blast off with our first title, DINOSAUR BOY SAVES MARS, in which Sawyer, Elliot and Sylvie travel to Mars to find her missing father, but they find even bigger trouble. Then, brace yourself for impact as we come back down to Earth with Jon Chad's SCIENCE COMICS: Volcanoes: Fire and Life where we get to explore the inside of the Earth's crust. After you've dusted yourself off, pack your bags because a world of adventure awaits in TICKET TO INDIA, where sisters Maya and Zara travel from Delhi to their grandmother’s childhood home of Aminpur, a small town in Northern India, to find a chest full of family treasures.
 
Click here to see the rest of our November New in Paperback roundup!

 
New Picture Books
November is a month of change: the leaves change color and fall off the trees and the weather gets colder. Keeping in season, our Picture Book roundup this month includes many books that talk about change. First up is IT IS NOT TIME FOR SLEEPING by Lisa Graff, which tells the story of a boy who changes his mind and decides that it cannot be time for sleeping. Up next is Marla Frazee's THE BOSSIER BABY, the sequel to THE BOSS BABY, where Boss Baby gets a new baby sister. Finally, Keith Baker's book HAP-PEA ALL YEAR shows us just how many changes happen throughout the year by celebrating the months, seasons and holidays with colorful, vivid illustrations.
 
Click here to see the rest of November's Picture Book Roundup!

 
New Series Books for September
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: Double Down by Jeff Kinney (Fiction)
The pressure’s really piling up on Greg Heffley. His mom thinks video games are turning his brain to mush, so she wants her son to put down the controller and explore his “creative side.” As if that’s not scary enough, Halloween’s just around the corner and the frights are coming at Greg from every angle. When Greg discovers a bag of gummy worms, it sparks an idea. Can he get his mom off his back by making a movie...and will he become rich and famous in the process?

MARIE CURIE FOR KIDS: Her Life and Scientific Discoveries, with 21 Activities and Experiments by Amy M. O'Quinn (Nonfiction)
Demonstrating an uncanny ability to concentrate and persevere, Manya overcame the premature deaths of her mother and sister and the limitations and humiliations of living under a repressive Russian regime to excel in school and discover her passion for scientific research. She went on to become one of the world’s most famous scientists. Curie’s revolutionary discoveries over several decades created the field of atomic physics, and Curie herself coined the word radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person ever to win in two different fields --- chemistry and physics.

THE DRAGON'S GATE (The Chronicles of the Black Tulip, Volume II) by Barry Wolverton (Fantasy)
Mouse is determined to follow the map to a place called the Dragon’s Gate, convinced it will explain who she really is and the powers she possesses. Bren has had enough adventure for one lifetime and would like nothing more than to return to his father in Map. But nothing goes according to plan when the survivors of the Albatross are rescued by Lady Jean Barrett, a charismatic archaeologist with a sense of destiny. The only way for Bren, Mouse, and Barrett to all get what they want is to work together on a dangerous journey into the heart of China, a kingdom long closed to outsiders, where the greatest secrets about Mouse and Bren are waiting to be unveiled.

ARCHIE GREEN AND THE ALCHEMISTS' CURSE (Archie Green, Book 2) by D. D. Everest (Fantasy)
Archie and a few other apprentices, including his cousins Thistle and Bramble, have been marked with this powerful symbol and appear to be chosen to reestablish the club. They don’t know who chose them. They don’t know why. And they don’t know what perils they are about to face because the Golden Circle has returned.

BALANCE KEEPERS, BOOK 3: The Traitor of Belltroll by Lindsay Cummings (Fantasy)
Albert and his Balance Keepers teammates have been called back to the Core for immediate action! There’s a serious Imbalance in the fantastical underground Realm of Belltroll. Without intervention, everything from New York to Yellowstone above could be swallowed by earthquakes. It’s clear the mysterious traitor who caused last term’s chaos is at it again, and with a vengeance.

DISASTER DIARIES: Brainwashed! by R. McGeddon (Fiction)
Sitting Duck is the kind of town where the mayor was vaporized by aliens, so there is a vacancy. Ravenous zombie hordes and swarms of power-hungry aliens are just some of the disasters that the town has faced, so this new mayor had better be good. Now a new evil genius has arisen --- and he’s running for mayor! Thanks to his homemade brainwashing device, he just might win the election and then move on to world domination.

SCIENCE COMICS: VOLCANOES Fire and Life by Jon Chad (Nonfiction)
A lot of magic happens under the Earth's crust. Thanks to magma vents, shifting continental plates, and volcanic eruptions, we know that our planet is alive and in motion. Alongside Aurora, a young explorer, you'll learn that volcanoes are just one of the massively powerful forces at work on our planet. From catastrophic destruction to the creation of new land masses, volcanoes have made their mark on our amazing Earth.

THE ZODIAC LEGACY #2: Power Lines by Stuart Moore and Stan Lee (Fiction)
Steven Lee, fifteen-year-old leader of the Zodiac team, wields the awesome power of the Tiger-but now he's missing. So when a high-speed train runs amok in France, it's up to the other members of the team to stop it: Liam, the powerful Ram; Duane, the Pig, who controls information; and Roxanne, the fierce Rooster, with her unstoppable sonic power. But can they trust their new member-the former villain called Ox?

HILDA AND THE BIRD PARADE (Hildafolk, Book 3) by Luke Pearson (Fantasy)
Hilda may be grounded, but that won’t stop her from heading off on another daring adventure! But everything is thrown off course when her mother catches her and is dragged along for the ride. Furious with each other, the bickering pair find themselves lost in the land of the trolls, forced to embark on a dangerous journey to make their way home. And to make matters even more difficult, Hilda has to do so...as a troll?

ATLANTIS LOST (Atlantis Saga, Book 3) by T. A. Barron (Fantasy)
The veil between the Spirit Realm and the mortal world has fallen, and the evil lord Narkazan is primed to claim the magical Starstone for himself once and for all. But when tragedy befalls Promi's newly reunited family, he knows that he can't let Narkazan ruin everything his parents held dear. With his friends beside him, Promi battles Narkazan in the Spirit Realm, to ensure that the Starstone remains safe from Narkazan's mortal followers. But how far will Promi have to go to keep the world and the people he loves safe?

KATE THE GREAT: Winner Takes All by Suzy Becker (Fiction)
Fifth grader Kate (the Great) is back in business. Specifically the food-drive business, as she, Brooke, and (odd) Nora try to win the Junior Guides competition. But lately their trio has felt imbalanced, with Kate on the outside. It doesn’t help that the American Revolution unit at school is turning everyone against each other. Armed with her smarts, an artillery of doodles, and maybe even some advice from Eleanor Roosevelt, Kate must find a way to keep her friends, old and new.

THE SECRETS OF THE PIED PIPER 2: The Magician's Key by Matthew Cody (Fantasy)
On the Summer Isle, siblings Max and Carter discovered the magical land where the villainous Pied Piper led the children of Hamelin centuries ago. But only Max made it back. Now she is determined to rescue her brother. To do so, she will have to find the one and only key to the Summer Isle. That key is controlled by Vodnik, a dastardly magician and soul stealer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

THE SELKIE SONG (The Hidden World of Changers, Book 4) by H.K. Varian (Fiction)
When Fiona’s father finds out that Fiona is a Changer, he reveals a long-kept secret: Fiona’s mother is alive, and a selkie Changer just like her. Determined to reunite her family and unlock her own selkie powers, Fiona heads to the ocean to begin the search, but is she really ready to take such a big step? And how easy will it be to find her mother, when she’s spent so many years in the wild sea?

TRAIN WRECK: Kansas, 1892 by Kathleen Duey and Karen A. Bale (Historical Fiction)
The circus is the first home where Maximo has ever felt safe. He dreams of becoming an animal trainer and envies Jodi --- a girl who was born and raised in the circus and is already an accomplished performer. When a train wreck sets a herd of elephants and a dangerous Bengal tiger loose on the countryside, both Max and Jodi must face their worst fears.

DORK DIARIES 11: Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy by Rachel Renée Russell (Fiction)
Nikki Maxwell has the worst luck. Of all the schools she could have been assigned to for the student exchange week program, she’s stuck at North Hampton Hills, her arch nemesis MacKenzie Hollister’s new school. Even worse, there might just be someone at NHH who can out-MacKenzie MacKenzie! At least Nikki can write about every moment of drama in her diary, so readers won’t miss a moment of it.

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A KLUTZ! (In Due Time, Book 4) by Nicholas O. Time (Fantasy)
“Graceless Grace” is the smartest seventh grader at Sands Middle School, but she’s constantly being teased for stumbling over doorjambs and knocking over lunch trays. And lately, the name-calling has been even worse. So when Ms. Tremt offers to lend THE BOOK OF MEMORIES to Grace for an extended trip, she decides to go completely out of this world. She travels back to 1969 to stow away on Apollo 11 and become the first kid, the first female, and maybe even the first person to walk on the moon.

MURPHY (Puppy Pals) by Susan Hughes (Fiction)
Kat and her BFF Maya love playing with the puppies at her aunt Jenn's grooming business, Tails Up!
When a shy Shetland puppy named Murphy is boarded at Tails Up!, Kat and Maya can't wait to play with him! But after Kat invites new-girl Grace to join them, Kat notices Maya is less than pleased. Can sweet little Murphy help bring the three girls together?

 

Click here for more series features.

 
More New Reviews

IRENA'S CHILDREN by Tilar J. Mazzeo, adapted by Mary Cronk Farrell (Nonfiction)
Irena Sendler was a young Polish woman living in Warsaw during World War II with an incredible story of survival and selflessness. And she’s been long forgotten by history. Until now. This young readers edition of Irena’s Children tells Irena’s unbelievable story set during one of the worst times in modern history. With guts of steel and unfaltering bravery, Irena smuggled thousands of children out of the walled Jewish ghetto in toolboxes and coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints and slipped them through the dank sewers and into secret passages that led to abandoned buildings, where she convinced her friends and underground resistance network to hide them. Reviewed by Rebecca Hawkins.

THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL by Megan Shepherd (Historical Fiction)
There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital. One morning, Emmaline climbs over the wall of the hospital’s abandoned gardens and discovers a white horse with a broken wing has left the mirror-world and entered her own. The horse, named Foxfire, is hiding from a dark and sinister force. If Emmaline is to keep him from finding her new friend, she must surround Foxfire with treasures of brilliant shades. But where can Emmaline find color in a world of gray? Reviewed by Rebecca Hawkins.

LIKE MAGIC by Elaine Vickers with illustrations by Sara Not (Fiction)
For three ten-year-old girls, their once simple worlds are starting to feel too big. Painfully shy Grace dreads starting fifth grade now that her best friend has moved away. Jada hopes she’ll stop feeling so alone if she finds the mother who left years ago. And Malia fears the arrival of her new baby sister will forever change the family she loves. When the girls each find a mysterious treasure box in their library and begin to fill the box with their own precious things, they start to feel less alone. But it’s up to Grace, Jada and Malia to take the treasures and turn them into something more: true friendship. Reviewed by Emma Kantor.

HAMSTER PRINCESS: Ratpunzel by Ursula Vernon (Fantasy)
Princess Harriet Hamsterbone does not like sitting around at home. How’s a princess supposed to have any fun when her parents are constantly reminding her to be careful and act princessly? So when her pal Prince Wilbur needs help finding a stolen hydra egg, Harriet happily takes up the quest. The thief’s trail leads them to a wicked witch and a tall tower, occupied by a rat whose tail has more to it than meets the eye! Reviewed by Rachel A., Teen Board Member.

WHY IS ART FULL OF NAKED PEOPLE: And other vital questions about art by Susie Hodge (Nonfiction)
WHY IS ART FULL OF NAKED PEOPLE? is an irreverent and informative primer that asks tricky questions about what makes art art. What is with all the fruit? Why is art so weird nowadays? There are questions about how art views the world, from cave paintings through to Cubism, from the Renaissance to contemporary art, questions about different genres, including still-life painting, landscapes and portraits, and questions about the role and value of art in the past and today. Reviewed by Terrell Orr.

ADDISON COOKE AND THE TREASURES OF THE INCA by Jonathan W. Stokes (Adventure)
Luckily for Addison, adventure has a way of finding the Cookes. After his uncle unearths the first ancient Incan clue needed to find a vast trove of lost treasure, he is kidnapped. Addison’s uncle is the bandits’ key to deciphering the ancient clues and looting the treasure...unless Addison and his friends can outsmart the kidnappers and crack the code first. So it’s off to South America, where the excitement, danger, gold, booby traps and car chases are never-ending! Reviewed by Audrey Slater.

MARIE CURIE FOR KIDS: Her Life and Scientific Discoveries, with 21 Activities and Experiments by Amy M. O'Quinn (Nonfiction)
Demonstrating an uncanny ability to concentrate and persevere, Manya overcame the premature deaths of her mother and sister and the limitations and humiliations of living under a repressive Russian regime to excel in school and discover her passion for scientific research. She went on to become one of the world’s most famous scientists. Curie’s revolutionary discoveries over several decades created the field of atomic physics, and Curie herself coined the word radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person ever to win in two different fields --- chemistry and physics. Reviewed by Christine Irvin.

INTO THE LION'S DEN by Linda Fairstein (Mystery)
Someone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice --- even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence. But who is this thief? And what could the page --- an old map --- possibly lead to? With her wits, persistence, and the help of New York City’s finest (and, okay, a little bit of help from her police commissioner mother, too), Dev and her friends piece the clues together to uncover a mystery that’s bigger than anyone expected --- and more fun, too. Reviewed by Audrey Slater.

 


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