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Kidsreads Newsletter for Parents

July 2016

Kidsreads.com Newsletter for Parents July 2016
Kick Off a New Reading Routine with Kidsreads

Hi Kidsreaders,

Happy July --- or, as I like to call it, Harry Potter month! Can you believe we're already halfway through summer? I hope you've all been basking in the sun and having lots of outdoor fun with your children. I know I spent nearly all of my childhood summers splashing around in the pool and reading in the sun --- mostly, you guessed it, Harry Potter books.

With school out of session, there's no better time to kick back and goof off, but summer can also be a great time to work out some new routines with your kids, especially when it comes to reading. Here in the office, I've made it a point to read at least one picture book a day while I eat my lunch. The reading doesn't take very long, but spending those 5-10 minutes reading a cute story and looking at bright, colorful pictures really boosts my spirits --- especially when there are adorable animals involved, like in MY FAVORITE PETS: by Gus W. for Ms. Smolinski's Class by Jeanne Birdsall, one of the titles featured in our New Picture Books roundup for July. The best thing about my new routine is that it was actually inspired by Ken Burns, the author of one of our featured titles, GROVER CLEVELAND, AGAIN!.

Some of you older readers may recognize Ken as a brilliant historical documentarian, so it should come as no surprise that his young daughters are also well-versed in history. What you may not know, however, is that Ken spent many a night putting his daughters to sleep by playing a game that helped teach them to recite all the names of the presidents in order. Every night, his daughters would excitedly wait for #24, Grover Cleveland, when they could shout out “Grover Cleveland, again!” as Cleveland also served our 22nd President. Their little routine, which you can read more about here, inspired Ken to write his latest book, which includes tons of fun facts about each of the presidents, as well as terrific illustrations by Gerald Kelley.

So what kind of routines can you try this summer? If you’re taking long car rides to summery day-trip and vacation spots, try playing word games in the car with your kids. My mom and I used to have tons of fun “writing” our own stories about the people in the cars next to us by beginning each sentence with either a specific letter of the alphabet, or all of them in order (although I'm not ashamed to admit that I always conveniently "fell asleep" before we got to the letter Z). We also liked to rewrite my favorite books using ourselves as characters. The possibilities for reading games are endless --- and who knows, maybe we'll be reviewing your children's stories on Kidsreads one day!

If coloring is more your child's thing, try suggesting that they turn their favorite stories into graphic novels illustrated by THEM. They can even use one of our featured titles, BROTHERS UNITE, as inspiration --- I really love the art style and out-of-this-world storyline of this book. Later this month we'll be reviewing THE KING OF KAZOO, another great graphic novel full of fun, cartoony images you can use as examples.

Last month, we focused on binge-worthy series to read over the summer. I received a great message from mom Jacqui B. who recommended the Almost Super series by Marion Jensen to me, as her boys found the books at their local library and can't get enough of them. The latest installment, SEARCHING FOR SUPER, came out in January, so it's a great addition to your child's summer reading list. It's so rewarding to receive series recommendations from Kidsreaders --- if you have any, feel free to write me!

We have not been slacking off this summer; we have 18(!) new reviews for you this month. Betting that you will find at least one book that you and your children will want to read.

Although it feels like summer just began, our Get Ready for Summer contest will be wrapping up on Monday, August 1st at noon ET. That means that this will be your last newsletter reminder, so if you haven't entered yet, be sure to take the time to do it now! I don't want anyone missing out on the chance to receive copies of our 10 featured titles --- especially when they're all so good.

Don't worry, we also have tons of contest opportunities for YOU, including:

  • Teenreads.com: Beach Bag of Books 2016 --- It's time to think about summer reading --- and we're not talking about the list of books you'll be receiving for Required Summer Reading from school. We're talking about the kinds of books that you're glad you now have time to kick back with and enjoy. You supply the beach chair, and we'll provide the fantastic young adult fiction in our Tenth Annual Teenreads.com Beach Bag of Books Feature and Contest. From now through Monday, August 1st at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a copy of each of the featured books.
  • 20Somethingreads.com: Beach Bag of Books 2016 --- The way we see it, it wouldn't be summer without sun, surf and great reading. You supply the beach chair, and we'll provide the fantastic book ideas in our Fifth Annual Beach Bag of Books Feature and Contest. From now through Monday, August 1st at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a selection of the featured books.
  • Bookreporter.com: Summer Reading 2016 --- Summer is here! At Bookreporter.com, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Daily Contests and Feature. We will be spotlighting a different title on select days from now through the end of summer, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter. We also will be sending a special daily newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here.
  • Readinggroupguides.com: "What's Your Book Group Reading This Month?" --- Win 12 Copies of A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Williams --- Each month, we ask book groups to share the titles they are reading that month and rate them. From all entries received, three groups are selected, and each wins 12 copies of that month’s prize book. July's prize book is A CERTAIN AGE --- a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’ comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York --- from Beatriz Williams, the bestselling author of A HUNDRED SUMMERS. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, September 7th at noon ET.

Last, but certainly not least, don't forget to check out The Little Prince when it releases in theaters and on Netflix at the start of next month. If you're anything like me, you've been staring at the movie poster with starry eyes for months.

Happy reading!

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

Enter Now: Our Get Ready for Summer 2016 Contest Ends Monday, August 1st

It's time to think about summer reading. We're talking about the kinds of books that you're glad you now have time to kick back with and enjoy. The way we see it, it wouldn't be summer without sun, surf and great reading. We'll give you some fantastic ideas in our Second Annual Get Ready for Summer promotion. From now through Monday, August 1st at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a copy of each of our featured books.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to enter our Get Ready for Summer contest!

 
Featured Review: BROTHERS UNITE by Justin LaRocca Hansen

BROTHERS UNITE (Secondhand Heroes) by Justin LaRocca Hansen (Science Fiction)

Tuck and Hudson are just two average suburban brothers --- until their mother buys them a scarf and an umbrella at a yard sale. Quickly, the brothers realize that these ordinary-looking objects are full of magic, and that, with the help of their squirrel sidekick, they can use that magic to fight evil. As the boys move from fighting their neighborhood nemesis to facing bigger foes, they become Stretch and Brella, the unstoppable brother superhero duo. Reviewed by Julia Luedtke.


- Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read the review.

 
Featured Review: SERAFINA AND THE TWISTED STAFF by Robert Beatty

SERAFINA AND THE TWISTED STAFF by Robert Beatty (Historical Fiction)

Late one night, Serafina encounters a strange and terrifying figure in the forest, and is attacked by the vicious wolfhounds that seem to be under his control. Even worse, she's convinced that the stranger was not alone, that he has sent his accomplice into Biltmore in disguise. Someone is wreaking havoc at the estate. A mysterious series of attacks test Serafina's role as Biltmore's protector, culminating in a tragedy that tears Serafina's best friend and only ally, Braeden Vanderbilt, from her side. Reviewed by Becca Watts.


- Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read the review.

 
Featured Review: THE VOYAGE TO THE MAGICAL NORTH by Claire Fayers

THE VOYAGE TO THE MAGICAL NORTH by Claire Fayers (Fantasy)

Found alone in a rowboat as a child, clutching a shard of the rare starshell needed for spell-casting, Brinne Seabourne has spent the past years keeping house for an irritable magician and his obnoxious apprentice, Peter. When Brine and Peter get themselves into a load of trouble and flee, they blunder into the path of the legendary pirate ship the Onion. Before you can say "pieces of eight," they're up to their necks in the pirates' quest to find Magical North. Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge.


- Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read the review.

 
Featured Review: SOAR by Tracy Edward Wymer

SOAR by Tracy Edward Wymer (Children's Fiction)

Eddie learned everything there is to know about birding from his dad, including the legend of the Golden Eagle. But when Eddie was in 6th grade, Dad "flew away" for good. Now Eddie is starting 7th grade and trying to impress Gabriella, the new girl. The annual 7th grade Science Symposium (which Dad famously won) is looming, and Eddie is determined to claim the blue ribbon for himself. With Mr. Dover, the science teacher, seemingly against him, and with Mouton, the class bully, making his life miserable on all fronts, Eddie is determined to overcome everything and live up to Dad's memory. Reviewed by Liz Sauchelli.


- Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read the review.

 
Featured Review: GROVER CLEVELAND, AGAIN! by Ken Burns

GROVER CLEVELAND, AGAIN! by Ken Burns (History)

A gorgeous collection of American presidents filled with fun facts and sparkling with personality, from nonfiction master Ken Burns. Reviewed by Rob Bentlyewski.


- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read the review.

 
Featured Review: SUPERGIRL AT SUPER HERO HIGH by Lisa Yee

SUPERGIRL AT SUPER HERO HIGH by Lisa Yee (Science Fiction)

Supergirl is the new girl in school --- and she just also happens to be the most powerful teenager in the galaxy! After losing her home planet of Krypton and everyone she knows, Supergirl has made a new home on Earth, but she’s isn’t so sure that Super Hero High School is the right place for her. Wonder Woman, other new friends and a kindly librarian make her feel welcome, but breached inter-dimensional portals, invading alien armies and bad dreams shake her confidence. It’s not easy being a super hero and a high school student all at once! Reviewed by Katherine Szabo.


- Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read the review.

 
Now in Stores: STICKS AND STONES by Abby Cooper

STICKS AND STONES by Abby Cooper (Fiction)

Ever since she was a baby, the words people use to describe Elyse have instantly appeared on her arms and legs. At first it was just "cute" and "adorable," but as she's gotten older and kids have gotten meaner, words like "loser" and "pathetic" appear, and those words bubble up and itch. Now as she's starting middle school and her friends are drifting away, she receives an anonymous note saying "I know who you are, and I know what you're dealing with. I want to help." As Elyse works to solve the mystery of the note sender, she also finds new ways to accept who she is and to become her best self.
 
Click here to read more about the book.

 
On the Kidsreads Blog
Illustrating T.S. Elliot’s MACAVITY --- Guest Post from Illustrator Arthur Robins --- One of the most popular poems from T. S. Eliot's OLD POSSUM'S BOOK OF PRACTICAL CATS focused on Macavity, a mysterious cat who has been given new life in MACAVITY, a new picture book with illustrations by Arthur Robins. In this post, Robins shares some sneak peeks of the book and discusses how he came to illustrate MACAVITY and what his process was like.

TOO MANY MOOSE Book Trailer --- In this hilarious, exciting book, Martha learns that you can, in fact, have too much of a good thing --- even if that thing is a marvelous moose. In celebration of the release of TOO MANY MOOSE by Lisa M. Bakos, illustrator Mark Chambers has created this exciting book trailer. Get ready to laugh out loud!

 
Click here to visit the Kidsreads blog.

 
July’s Cool & New Books Roundup
This month’s Cool & New roundup includes TEDDYCATS, the first installment of a new series by Mike Storey about mysterious creatures and their hidden kingdom; Chris Colfer’s THE LAND OF STORIES: An Author’s Odyssey, wherein the race begins to put an end to the Masked Man’s reign of terror; and THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL: The Ever Never Handbook written by Soman Chainani with illustrations by Michael Blank, a handbook that offers the students of the School of Good and Evil a guide to surviving.
 
Click here to see the rest of July's Cool & New Books roundup!

 
July’s New in Paperback Roundup
Our New in Paperback roundup this month includes KNIGHTLEY AND SON, Rohan Gavin's fun new mystery series featuring a father and son duo; RIVER RUNS DEEP by Jennifer Bradbury, where an ill boy discovers runaways hiding in the secret tunnels within Mammoth Cave; and THE COPPER GAUNTLET by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, the second book in the bestselling Magisterium series, in which Callum and his friends search for the stolen Alkahest and find themselves in grave danger.
 
Click here to see the rest of our July New in Paperback roundup!

 
New Picture Books
Our Picture Book roundup this month includes T.S. Eliot's MACAVITY, just in time for the Broadway revival of “Cats”; A UNICORN NAMED SPARKLE, an adorable story by Amy Young in which a girl orders a unicorn from the newspaper and receives something unexpected; and THE NOT SO QUIET LIBRARY, a humorous and quirky story from Zachariah OHora about two boys and their weekly trip to the library with their father, which celebrates the power of books.
 
Click here to see the rest of July's Picture Book Roundup!

 
New Series Books for July

THE LAND OF STORIES: An Author's Odyssey, Book 5 by Chris Colfer (Science Fiction)
When the twins and their friends enter worlds crafted from Conner's imagination, finding allies no one else could have ever dreamed of, the race begins to put an end to the Masked Man's reign of terror. Can the twins finally restore peace in the fairy tale world?

THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL: The Ever Never Handbook (School for Good and Evil Handbook) by Soman Chainani, with illustrations by Michael Blank (Fantasy)
Every year, students flock to the School for Good and Evil, ready to prepare for life in a fairy tale. The highest-ranked students become the heroes and villains of the fairy tales, while the lowest end up enchanted animals or plants (if they’re lucky, that is). This handbook is a personal guide to help students to the top of their class --- from surviving Uglification, to picking your own sidekick or henchman, to earning a part in the yearly school musical and so much more.

BACKYARD WITCH: Jess's Story, Book 2 by Christine Heppermann and Ron Koertge, with illustrations by Deborah Marcero (Fantasy)
Jess is a superstar on the field and on the court. But she’s a disaster in the kitchen, much to the dismay of her chef mother. When Jess’s mom gets a chance to work in a famous kitchen for a week, Jess and her friends, Sadie and Maya, try to help out by making dinner. And...let’s just say that it goes up in flames. Enter Ms. M, the mysterious witch who appears right when you need her! Ms. M is a heroine to rival Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Ms. Frizzle. She doesn’t save the day herself, but she helps everyone save it for themselves.

THE MONSTER WAR: A League of Seven Novel, Book 3 by Alan Gratz (Historical Fiction)
Having discovered the monstrous secret of his origins, Archie Dent is no longer certain that he is worthy to be a member of the League of Seven. But with new enemies to face, he realizes that he may not have the luxury of questioning his destiny.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (Rip and Red, Book 2) by Phil Bildner, with illustrations by Tim Probert (Children's Fiction)
Just when they think they've got the hang of things, Rip and Red find that fifth grade continues to challenge them in head-spinning ways. Tiki, a new girl whose Egyptian dad is an animal-rights activist, has just joined their class. She's charismatic, funny --- and she's got game! Rip has his world turned upside down as Tiki proves to be tough competition on the Clifton United basketball team and leads a rebellion against the lousy new food service in the school cafeteria.

THE SHATTERED LENS: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians, Book 4 by Brandon Sanderson (Adventure)
Alcatraz Smedry is up against a whole army of Evil Librarians with only his friend Bastille, a few pairs of glasses and an unlimited supply of exploding teddy bears to help him. This time, even Alcatraz's extraordinary talent for breaking things may not be enough to defeat the army of Evil Librarians and their giant librarian robots.

THE CRIMSON SKEW (The Mapmakers Trilogy, Book 3) by S. E. Grove (Science Fiction)
It is late August 1892, and Sophia Tims is coming home from a foreign Age, having risked her life in search of her missing parents. Now she is aboard ship, with a hard-earned, cryptic map that may help her find them at long last. But her homecoming is anything but peaceful. A red fog of war is rising, and New Occident’s future hangs in the balance...

MY GYM TEACHER IS AN ALIEN OVERLORD (My Brother Is a Superhero, Book 2) by David Solomons (Science Fiction)
When Luke's annoying older brother became a superhero instead of him, Luke thought he couldn't get any more disgruntled --- until his friend Lara became a superhero, too. Now Luke's feeling totally left out; even his best friend gets mad at him when Luke's attempts at crime-solving without superpowers go terribly awry. So when Luke discovers an alien plot to overthrow the world, he's got nobody to turn to who'll listen...nobody but his sworn enemy.

STARS SO SWEET (All Four Stars, Book 3) by Tara Dairman (Children's Fiction)
As the summer winds down and Gladys Gatsby prepares to start middle school, she is nervous about juggling schoolwork and looming deadlines from her secret job as the New York Standard’s youngest restaurant critic. When her editor pushes for a face-to-face meeting to discuss more opportunities with the paper, Gladys knows she must finally come clean to her parents. But her perfectly planned reveal is put on hold when her parents arrive home with a surprise.

SUPERGIRL AT SUPER HERO HIGH (DC Super Hero Girls, Book 2) by Lisa Yee (Science Fiction)
Supergirl is the new girl in school --- and she just also happens to be the most powerful teenager in the galaxy! After losing her home planet of Krypton and everyone she knows, Supergirl has made a new home on Earth, but she’s isn’t so sure that Super Hero High School is the right place for her. Wonder Woman, other new friends and a kindly librarian make her feel welcome, but breached inter-dimensional portals, invading alien armies and bad dreams shake her confidence. It’s not easy being a super hero and a high school student all at once!

NIGHT OF THE NINTH DRAGON (Magic Tree House, No. 55) by Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca (Adventure)
Magic Tree House is the #1 bestselling chapter book series! In their NEW adventure, Jack and Annie return to Camelot! In this thrilling adventure steeped in history, Mary Pope Osborne introduces readers to classic Welsh legends and continues her own story of King Arthur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table.

MAGIC TREEHOUSE FACT CHECKER #35: DRAGONS AND MYTHICAL CREATURES: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #55: Night of the Ninth Dragon by Natalie Pope Boyce and Mary Pope Osborne, with illustrations by Carlo Molinari (Nonfiction)
Track the facts about dragons, unicorns, mermaids and more --- with Jack and Annie! When Jack and Annie came back from their adventure in Magic Tree House Super Edition #2: Night of the Nine Dragons, they had lots of questions. What do tales about dragons have in common? Are mermaids real? How do unicorns use their horns? Find out the answers to these questions and more as Jack and Annie track the facts about their favorite creatures from myths and legends. And just what might some of those creature sightings really be?

THE PHANTOM OF THE THEATER: A Geronimo Stilton Adventure (Creepella von Cacklefur #8) by Geronimo Stilton (Children's Fiction)
The famouse opera singer Violetta von Cacklefur is in Gloomeria to perform at the Royal Mousetropolitan Theater! But the mischievous phantom of the theater has an old grudge against her. It's up to Creepella and Geronimo to track him down in the theater's spooky basement...before the curtains rise and he ruins the show!

THE HYPNOTISTS BOOK 3: The Dragonfly Effect by Gordon Korman (Adventure)
The government has promised to protect Jax Opus and his family from enemies that want to use his hypnotic power to bring more evil into the world. But protection has its price --- and soon Jax learns that if the government is going to help him, it's going to want some help in return. The reach of Jax's hypnotic talents is especially dangerous because he doesn't have to be looking at people directly to control them. Even worse? Jax is not the only person who can do this. He is up against a hypnotic mastermind who has more than a few tricks up his sleeve.

STAY A SPELL (In Due Time, Book 2) by Nicholas O. Time (Adventure)
Jada doesn’t want to go anywhere special. All she wants to do is go back to last week and study for the spelling test she failed to make her parents happy. Ms. Tremt says Jada can use THE BOOK OF MEMORIES to go back a week, but Jada ends up in 1977 instead! Jada finds herself in the designer’s studio where her Aunt Katie is an intern. She watches as Katie learns just how important spelling can be. Later, Jada decides to make a quick trip to ancient Egypt to get some fashion tips from Cleopatra. But being in the past is so thrilling that Jada almost misses the deadline to return home.

RETRIBUTION: The Earthfall Trilogy, Book 2 by Mark Walden (Science Fiction)
After the harrowing events of EARTHFALL, 12-year-old Sam and his fellow resistance members meet an enigmatic man named Mason who is slowly building an army to fight back against the invaders, the Voidborn. They combine forces on a mission to disable Voidborn technology in Tokyo. But Sam soon discovers that Mason isn’t content to just destroy the Voidborn’s machines; he plans to destroy the Voidborn once and for all with a plan that will cost the lives of millions. But something is coming, something even worse than the Voidborn. Something that might mean the end for them all.

BILLY SURE, KID ENTREPRENEUR AND THE INVISIBLE INVENTOR, Book 8 by Luke Sharpe, with illustrations by Graham Ross (Children's Fiction)
Everyone is talking about Billy Sure, the boy genius and millionaire inventor whose inventions have become instant hits. From the All Ball that turns into any sports ball to his hovercraft, Sure Things, Inc. can do no wrong! Billy has been working on an invisibility invention for years --- but it isn’t quite right yet. Now suddenly there’s a new inventor on the scene who claims to have developed it first. But it might not be all it’s cracked up to be. Will Billy’s dream of creating the world’s first invisibility spray disappear?

 

Click here for more series features.

 
More New Reviews

EVERY SINGLE SECOND by Tricia Springstubb, illustrated by Diana Sudyka (Fiction)
Twelve-year-old Nella Sabatini’s life is changing too soon, too fast. Her best friend, Clem, doesn’t seem concerned; she’s busy figuring out the best way to spend the “leap second” --- an extra second about to be added to the world’s official clock. The only person who might understand how Nella feels is Angela, but the two of them have gone from being “secret sisters” to not talking at all. Then Angela’s idolized big brother makes a terrible, fatal mistake, one that tears apart their tight-knit community and plunges his family into a whirlwind of harsh publicity and judgment. As Angela’s situation becomes dangerous, Nella must choose whether to stand by or stand up. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

HOW TO (ALMOST) RUIN YOUR SUMMER by Taryn Souders (Children's Fiction)
Chloe McCorkle knew a summer camp where you had to learn a career was a bad idea. She tried to tell her parents, but they just had to go on vacation to Alaska and ship her off for two weeks. It's not ideal, but she's going to try to make the best of it. But Chloe quickly discovers there's only one area at which she excels; she manages to get more demerits than anyone else in camp...Reviewed by Terrell W. Orr.

THE GALLERY by Laura Marx Fitzgerald (Historical Fiction)
It's 1929, and 12-year-old Martha has no choice but to work as a maid in the New York City mansion of the wealthy Sewell family. But, despite the Gatsby-like parties and trimmings of success, she suspects something might be deeply wrong in the household --- specifically with Rose Sewell, the formerly vivacious lady of the house who now refuses to leave her room. The other servants say Rose is crazy, but scrappy, strong-willed Martha thinks there’s more to the story --- and that the paintings in the Sewell’s gallery contain a hidden message detailing the truth. Reviewed by Maya Berman.

THE SHADOW CADETS OF PENNYROYAL ACADEMY by M. A. Larson (Fantasy)
While it’s good to be returning to the Academy as a second-class Cadet, things are not as they should be. Evie witnesses the vicious attack of an innocent woman --- by a trio of princesses. Pennyroyal’s Headmistress General, Princess Beatrice, is dubious about what Evie saw --- princesses are enforcers of truth and justice, not thugs. But Evie isn’t so sure. Then, amidst piles of fan mail, she finds a letter with an ominous threat. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

MY MISERABLE LIFE by F. L. Block (Children's Fiction)
Ben Hunter has a miserable life --- M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E! His sister will only talk to him through text messages, his mom won't let him eat sugar or even go for a bike ride unchaperoned, and a bully at school steals all of his friends. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

YOUR PRESIDENTIAL FANTASY DREAM TEAM by Daniel O'Brien, with illustrations by Winston Rowntree (Nonfiction)
What if a zombie apocalypse or a robot uprising threatened the nation and you had the power to recruit some of the nation’s finest presidents to help save the day? By studying the most successful squads in history, Daniel O’Brien has identified the perfect ingredients for a victorious team. Which president would you choose for: the Brain, the Brawn, the Moral Compass, the Loose Cannon, and the Roosevelt? Choose wisely --- the fate of the world is in your hands! Reviewed by Rob Bentlyewski.

THE CURSE OF THE WERE-HYENA by Bruce Hale (Mystery)
Mr. Chu, the coolest teacher ever, has developed some very unusual habits, like laughing hysterically for no reason, sniffing people's homework and chasing chickens. When best friends Carlos and Benny decide to find out what's happening to him, they get caught up in some moonlight madness. And it looks like just the beginning of the weirdness that has arrived in the town of Monterrosa...This first entry in a silly, sassy, and suspenseful new series will leave readers howling with laughter. Reviewed by Adrian Meyers.

SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS YOU CAN EAT by Vicki Cobb (Nonfiction)
Kids take the reins in the kitchen with this hands-on book of edible science experiments! With contemporary information that reflects changes in the world of processing and preserving foods, this cookbook demonstrates the scientific principles that underpin the chemical reactions we witness every day --- just by cooking. This book uses food to make science accessible to a range of tastes. Also included is essential information on eating healthfully, plus additional resources for further exploration. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

DARA PALMER'S MAJOR DRAMA by Emma Shevah (Fiction)
Dara Palmer longs for stardom --- but when she isn't cast in her middle school's production of The Sound of Music, she get suspicious. It can't be because she's not the best. She was born to be a famous movie star. It must because she's adopted from Cambodia and doesn't look like a typical fraulein. (That's German for girl.) So irrepressible Dara comes up with a genius plan to shake up the school: write a play about her own life. Then she'll have to be the star. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE TREASURE OF MARIA MAMOUN by Michelle Chalfoun (Fiction)
Twelve-year-old Maria lives a lonely, latchkey-kid's life in the Bronx. She keeps her worries to herself, not wanting to be a burden. Then Mom whisks them to an altogether different world on Martha's Vineyard, where she's found a job on a seaside estate. While the owner keeps her mother busy, Maria has the freedom to explore a place she thought could only exist in the movies. Making friends with a troublesome local, Maria stumbles upon an old map that she is sure will lead to pirate's plunder --- but treasure may not be the most valuable thing she discovers for herself this special summer. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

SKELETON ISLAND by Angie Sage (Fiction)
Araminta and her best friend Wanda are going on a school trip to Skeleton Island, a place rumored to be the site of a scary ghost shipwreck. And when the pair is stranded overnight, they discover that there might be more truth to the island's name than they would have preferred. Now some terrifying pirate skeletons are on the loose, and they want to take the girls down to Davy Jones's locker with them! Reviewed by Becca Watts.

GROW! RAISE! CATCH!: How We Get Our Food by Shelley Rotner (Nonfiction)
Who grows our juicy fruits and yummy vegetables? Who raises animals for our tasty eggs, milk and meat? Who catches fresh fish for our table? Farmers and fishermen show off their bounty in this lively look at the people who produce the food on which we all rely. In a book filled with bright and enticing photographs and an accessible text, Shelley Rotner's latest book offers a breakdown of the farm-to-table process that is perfect for preschoolers and kindergarten students. Reviewed by Rebecca Hawkins.

 


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