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Kidsreads Newsletter for Parents

September 2016

Kidsreads.com Newsletter for Parents September 2016
Falling into Fall with Fabulous Reads

Hi Kidsreaders,

Happy September! While I'm sad to see summer end, the cooler weather and return of the pumpkin-spiced latte have me more than ready to cozy up with hot drinks and great reads --- when I'm not embracing my inner-child and jumping in the pretty leaves (I mean "raking," of course).

I kicked off this season by attending the Brooklyn Book Festival's Children's Day in downtown Brooklyn. As this was my first time checking it out, I had no idea what to expect, but to say that I was impressed would be putting it mildly. To start the day, I raced over to the picture books tent to see Mike Curato discuss his Little Elliot books --- a sweet, gorgeously illustrated series featuring a little elephant's big adventures and sweeping views of 1950s NYC. Elliot is one of my all-time favorite characters (seriously, I have an Elliot stuffed animal on my headboard), so it was awesome to watch as Mike sketched the tiny elephant on a giant poster in front of an audience full of kids. I had the chance to speak with Curato after his panel and take a very Elliot-themed photo (see above left).

After talking Curato's ear off, I dashed over to my most-anticipated panel of the day: Roald Dahl Villainous Villains. For this panel, authors Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm series, THE INQUISITOR'S TALE), Cassie Beasley (CIRCUS MIRANDUS), Melissa Grey (THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT) and Soman Chainani (The School for Good and Evil) all assumed villanous personas from Dahl's best-known works to compete for the title of the most evil of them all. As the authors took on the roles of The Twits, the Grand High Witch, The Giant and Miss Trunchbull, they taught us about the books and Dahl himself, often using their own knowledge of his work to sway us. When it came time to vote for the scariest and most evil of the group, Cassie Beasley --- or Miss Trunchbull, rather --- won by a landslide and we celebrated with cake! You can see a photo of Cassie channeling her alter-ego by swinging a tiny Amanda doll over her head above in the middle.

Immediately after the panel, I had the chance to speak to Adam Gidwitz (aka The Giant) about his latest book, THE INQUISITOR'S TALE, which I've been listening to as an audiobook. Although I love reading books in as many formats as possible, I admit that it's rare for me to enjoy fiction on audio --- THE INQUISITOR'S TALE, however, is a major exception. With the voices of Gidwitz, Vikas Adam, Mark Bramhall, Jonathan Cowley, Kimberly Farr, Ann Marie Lee, Bruce Mann, John H. Mayer and Arthur Morey, this audiobook gives you the full story without making you feel like you're missing any details. Another cool thing about this audiobook is that it includes an adaptation of the epic poem “The Song of Hildebrand,” the story of a father-son confrontation in battle, which Gidwitz narrates to medieval music scholar and performer Benjamin Bagby's period harp accompaniment. There is also a bonus track of the full song performed in the original Old High German, the first known recording of the poem. Adam and I discussed the bonus track a bit and how excited he was about pulling it off --- it's so refreshing to see an author go above and beyond to make their work unique. You can see a trailer for the audiobook here.

Speaking of Roald Dahl, if you've been checking our blog and social media, you might have noticed that we've been celebrating a particularly gloriumptuous event all month long: Roald Dahl's 100th birthday. You know Dahl as the legendary storyteller who brought us MATILDA, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, THE BFG and THE WITCHES. To celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday, we've been posting Dahl-ightful posts on our blog every Tuesday of the month. You can see them all below, but my personal favorite was our "birthday present" to Dahl, where we asked our Kidsreads readers and reviewers to write their own messages about him and his works. Whether you're fluent in gobblefunk or not, this post is sure to touch your heart.

Not sure how to help your children kick off their fall reading? We have just the book for them: THE ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES by Wade Albert White. This book is already earning comparisons to Harry Potter and it's easy to see why --- White combines tons of action, magic and an awesome female heroine in this first installment of his new series for a binge-worthy read that's both smart and funny. You can read more about the book in our interview with White here, then head over to our Special Feature and Contest, where we're giving away 50 copies of the book from now until Tuesday, November 8th at noon ET.

Last week, I had dinner with Henry H. Neff, the author of IMPYRIUM, an epic, adventure-filled book we'll be reviewing next month. Henry is the author of the Tapestry series, making IMPYRIUM his first stand-alone book. While it was fascinating to hear Henry talk about his worldbuilding and magic-making, I was particularly interested in learning about his writing process and ability to outline his stories only after he's written four to five chapters. We'll be sharing more about IMPYRIUM and Henry next month, so stay tuned! You can see a photo of me and Henry above on the right.

In pop culture news this month, we're congratulating author Gene Luen Yang, winner of the MacArthur Fellowship for his work as a graphic novelist and cartoonist! You can read an interview with him about his amazing win and future plans here.

Is all of this reading making you hungry? Subway is offering a free Klutz kit with every kids' meal now through Sunday, October 9th.

Last, but certainly not least, don't forget to check our Series updates below --- we have added books to 26(!) different series!

Happy reading!

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

Special Feature and Contest: THE ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES by Wade Albert White

We have 50 copies of THE ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES by Wade Albert White to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which is now in stores. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, November 8th at noon ET.

If you are under 13 years old, you must print out this form, get a parent or guardian's signature, and send it to the Kidsreads.com office by Tuesday, November 8th at noon ET.

THE ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES by Wade Albert White (Fantasy)
Anne has spent most of her 13 years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles and triumph over monstrous foes --- or face the horrible consequences.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Wade Albert White's bio.
-Click here to read our interview with Wade Albert White.

In our interview, Wade Albert White tells us more about the inspiration behind Anne's magical adventure, and how his Canadian background impacted his novel.

Click here to read more in our Special Feature and enter the contest.

 
Featured Review: GHOSTS by Raina Telgemeier

GHOSTS by Raina Telgemeier (Graphic Novel)
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. Reviewed by Julia Luedtke.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read the review.

 
Featured Review: THE LITTLEST BIGFOOT by Jennifer Weiner

THE LITTLEST BIGFOOT by Jennifer Weiner (Fantasy)
Alice Mayfair, 12 years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one. But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people --- NoFurs, as they call them --- are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice and her desire to be a star. Reviewed by Donna Rasmussen.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read the review.

 
Featured Review: ONE HALF FROM THE EAST

ONE HALF FROM THE EAST by Nadia Hashimi (Fiction)

Obayda’s family is in need of some good fortune and her aunt has an idea to bring the family luck: dress Obayda, the youngest of four sisters, as a boy, a bacha posh. Life in this in-between place is confusing, but once Obayda meets another bacha posh, everything changes. Their transformation won’t last forever, though --- unless the two best friends can figure out a way to make it stick and make their newfound freedoms endure. Reviewed by Donna Rasmussen.


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

 
Featured Review: COMICS CONFIDENTIAL by Leonard S. Marcus

COMICS CONFIDENTIAL: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft and Life Outside the Box by Leonard S. Marcus (Comic Books/Graphic Novels)

Respected anthologist Leonard S. Marcus turns his literary microscope to the world of comics, which has lately morphed and matured at a furious pace. Powerful influences from manga to the movies to underground comix have influenced the thirteen artists and writers interviewed in these pages to create their own word-and-picture narratives. Here are their moving, funny, inspirational stories: true tales from the crucible of creative struggles that led each to become a master of one of today’s most vibrant art forms. Reviewed by Michael Lee Harris.


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

 
Featured Review: BOUNCE by Megan Shull

BOUNCE by Megan Shull (Fiction)

When Frannie makes one desperate, crazy wish --- BOOM! --- she magically bounces into a whole new life, with a totally different family. And. It. Is. Amazing! There’s only one catch: waking up as someone else keeps happening. Plunged into lives and adventures she’s only imagined --- from being a pop star to meeting one super-cute boy --- Frannie finds courage in the unforgettable friends and families she meets along the way. Reviewed by Terrell W. Orr.


- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read the review.

 
Contests for YOU!

Teenreads:

  • Fall Reading 2016 --- It's that time of year when all we can think about is the cooler weather, pumpkin-spiced everything and cuddling up to read in a cozy sweater with some hot cocoa (finally!). Cue: Fall Reading. We've got some great titles for when you just need to catch a break and a cool, fall breeze in our first Fall Reading feature and contest. From now through Friday, November 4th at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a copy of each of the featured books.

20SomethingReads:

  • Win a Copy of THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah --- We have 25 copies of THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. The deadline for entries is Thursday, October 6th at noon ET.

Bookreporter:

  • Binge Read the Promise Falls Trilogy --- We are celebrating the November 1st release of THE TWENTY-THREE, the third and final installment in Linwood Barclay's Promise Falls trilogy, with a special contest. We are giving away copies of all three books in the series: BROKEN PROMISE (which is now available in paperback), FAR FROM TRUE (which is now available in hardcover), and the aforementioned THE TWENTY-THREE. We are looking for 23 readers who can commit to reading the books and sharing their comments on them by Tuesday, November 29th. The deadline for entries is Thursday, October 6th at noon ET.
  • Win a Copy of THE WANGS VS. THE WORLD by Jade Chang --- We have 25 copies of THE WANGS VS. THE WORLD by Jade Chang --- a hilarious debut novel about a wealthy but fractured Chinese immigrant family that had it all, only to lose every last cent, and about the road trip they take across America that binds them back together --- to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on October 4th, and share their comments on it. The deadline for entries is Thursday, September 29th at noon ET.

ReadingGroupGuides.com:

  • Win 12 Copies of FATES AND TRAITORS by Jennifer Chiaverini for Your Book Group --- We are celebrating the release of New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini's FATES AND TRAITORS --- a riveting work of historical fiction following the notorious John Wilkes Booth and the four women who kept his perilous confidence --- by giving three groups the chance to win 12 copies. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, October 19th at noon ET.
  • Win 12 Copies of THE BITTER SEASON by Tami Hoag for Your Book Group --- We are celebrating the paperback release of THE BITTER SEASON --- a thrilling new Kovac and Liska case that marks Tami Hoag's return to the bestselling series of her career --- with a special contest that will give three groups the chance to win 12 copies. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, October 5th at noon ET.
  • "What's Your Book Group Reading This Month?": Win 12 Copies of THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS by M. L. Stedman --- 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. September's prize book is M. L. Stedman's THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS --- the years-long New York Times bestseller about an isolated couple, an orphaned child and an impossible choice. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, October 5th at noon ET.
     
On the Kidsreads Blog --- A Dahl-ightful Month with Roald Dahl

This September marks the 100th birthday of beloved author Roald Dahl. Dahl brought us masterpieces like CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, THE BFG and our favorite bookworm, MATILDA --- all while teaching us the importance of creativity and imagination. In celebration of Dahl, we've been posting some gloriumptious blog posts every Tuesday of the month to share with all of you Dahlphiles --- who are fluent in gobblefunk. Read on to see how we're celebrating and, in the meantime, click here to head over to Roald Dahl's official website, where you can learn about upcoming celebrations and events across the country. We're so excited to invite you all into the frothbuggling, whoopsy wiffling, and jumpsquiffling world of Roald Dahl!

Trivia and Fun Facts --- To start, we decided to introduce Dahl by sharing some fun facts about his background and his most popular books.

Happy 100th Birthday, Roald Dahl --- For our second post, which went up on Dahl's birthday, we decided to wish a gloriumptious birthday to the world's best storyteller by asking our Kidsreads reviewers and readers to tell us some of their favorite things about Roald Dahl. From childhood birthday parties to late-night reading, they shared all of their favorite Dahl moments with us.

Roald Dahl in His Own Words --- For our third post, we let Dahl take over to tell us about himself in his own words, using excerpts from MORE ABOUT BOY, the follow up to Dahl's autobiography, BOY.
 

Click here to visit the Kidsreads blog.

 
September’s Cool & New Books Roundup
This month's Cool and New roundup includes NIGHTMARES! The Lost Lullaby, the third volume in Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller's hilariously scary series; THE OMINOUS EYE, the second book in Tracey Hecht's Nocturnals series, in which a new friend joins the Nocturnal Brigade to help fight a terrible beast; and BRIGHTWOOD by Tania Unsworth, the story of a young girl and the mysterious mansion she calls home.
 
Click here to see the rest of September's Cool & New Books roundup!

 
September’s New in Paperback Roundup
Our New in Paperback roundup this month includes GONE CRAZY IN ALABAMA by Rita Williams-Garcia, which chronicles the summer of a lifetime with the Gaither sisters in the rural South; WE MEET AGAIN, the third book in Stephan Pastis' Timmy Failure series, where Timmy must face academic probation in his quest for global domination; and Kirsten Miller and Jason Segel's second installment in the Nightmares! series, THE SLEEPWALKER TONIC, which follows Charlie's suspicions as rumors spread that no one is sleeping in Orville Falls.
 
Click here to see the rest of our September New in Paperback roundup!

 
New Picture Books
Our Picture Book roundup this month includes A CHILD OF BOOKS, from acclaimed author-illustrator team Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston, in which beautiful prose poetry shows readers the rewards of reading and sharing stories; THE TALE OF KITTY-IN-BOOTS by Beatrix Potter, which was written in 1941 and has only now been brought to life with illustrations by Quentin Blake; and THE JOURNEY, a haunting but important tale of turmoil, tragedy and the strength of family from newcomer Francesca Sanna.
 
Click here to see the rest of September's Picture Book Roundup!

 
New Series Books for September

FRANK EINSTEIN AND THE EVOBLASTER BELT (Frank Einstein series, Book 4) by Jon Scieszka, Brian Biggs (Illustrator) (Science Fiction)
Kid-genius and inventor Frank Einstein loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination and definitely unusual. Frank --- along with his best friend, Watson, and Klink and Klank --- once again finds himself in competition with his classmate and archrival T. Edison and his sign-language-speaking sidekick, Mr. Chimp, over Frank’s newest invention: the EvoBlaster Belt, which allows the user to evolve and devolve into other forms of life, blasting from one species to another.

CLASS ELECTION (The Secrets to Ruling School, Book 2) by Neil Swaab (Graphic Novel)
The competition is fierce, but luckily, you’ve got a killer campaign manager on your side. With Max’s help, you’ll conquer all the steps of running for office and winning votes, including advertisements, endorsements, campaign speeches and more. Along the way, you’ll learn more essential skills for thriving in middle school, including making a viral video, trading your lunch in the school cafeteria and putting a positive spin on any situation.

CURSE OF THE ATTACK-O-LANTERNS (The Creeps, Book 3) by Chris Schweizer (Science Fiction)
When rule breaking during one of their investigations lands the detectives in “service detention,” the four friends find themselves lugging pumpkins off a foreclosed pumpkin patch. To thank them for their service, Sheriff Obie allows each Creep to take home a pumpkin. Once carved, the jack-o-lanterns come to life --- and attack everyone within reach! It turns out the pumpkins came from a cursed patch, and to stop the Attack-o-Lanterns from destroying their town, the Creeps will have to team up with the patch’s owner, Old Lady Bitterwood, who happens to be a witch.

HIDDEN IN THE HAUNTED SCHOOL (The Boxcar Children Mysteries) by Gertrude Chandler Warner (Mystery)
The old abandoned school in Silver City is being fixed up as an art center and the Boxcar Children volunteer to help clean up the place. But the other volunteers are scared by the spooky goings-on in the school --- doors lock by themselves, and chalkboard messages appear out of nowhere! Will the Aldens find out the secret of the haunted school?

THE ELECTION DAY DILEMMA (The Boxcar Children Mysteries) by Gertrude Chandler Warner (Mystery)
Cousin Alice is running for mayor in her town, and the Aldens are helping with her campaign! But Alice’s campaign posters are torn down and painted over --- and the same thing happens to her opponent! Then posters for a third candidate appear around town, but nobody has ever seen him in person. Will the town elect a mystery man for mayor? The Aldens are on the case!

CATS ON TRACK (Anton and Cecil, Book 2) by Lisa Martin, Valerie Martin, Kelly Murphy (Illustrator) (Fiction)
Terrible news has reached cat brothers Anton and Cecil: their rodent friend Hieronymus has been captured. Anton and Cecil must try to rescue the mouse who once saved Anton’s life. Boarding one of the monstrous machines the mice call “landships,” the brothers travel to the Wild West. In the face of many dangers, can Anton and Cecil find the courage and wit to save Hieronymus?

OVER THE UNDERWORLD (The Unbelievable FIB, Book 2) by Adam Shaughnessy (Fiction)
It’s been a year since friends ABE and Pru joined Mister Fox’s Fantasy Investigation Bureau --- otherwise known as the Unbelievable FIB --- to save their hometown from an invasion of Viking gods and giants. Life has been incredibly ordinary ever since. But that’s all about to change when the Norse Allfather, Odin, appears with terrible news: Baldur, his favorite son, has been murdered. It’s the first step in a fated chain of events that leads to Ragnarok --- the end of the world.

MRS. MOODY IN THE BIRTHDAY JINX (Judy Moody and Friends) by Megan McDonald, Erwin Madrid (Illustrator) (Fiction)
Make a wish, Mrs. Moody! Every year on Mom’s birthday, one way or another, something goes wrong-not-right. Maybe Judy’s been in a bad mood. Maybe Stink’s gotten a little carsick. Maybe Dad can’t bake Mom’s favorite carrot cake. But this year is going to be different. This year is going to be perfect. This year, Judy is going to do all she can to make sure Mom gets the happy birthday she deserves. Watch out! The Boss of Birthday (aka Judy) is on the job! Parsnip cake with avocado frosting, anyone?

SMASHIE MCPERTER AND THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING GOOP (Smashie McPerter, Book 2) by N. Griffin, Kate Hindley (Illustrator) (Mystery)
When the third-graders of Room 11 learn that they all must take part in a musical, Smashie can’t wait to sing something heartfelt and loud. But the others are not so eager. Luckily, Charlene’s mom has agreed to donate her special gel that lengthens and sculpts hair into shapes, and soon, with the help of some retro sixties go-go dancing, all the kids are raring to go. That is, until their jars of goop go missing! Who would steal their beloved Herr Goop, and why? Time for Smashie and her best friend, Dontel, to get out their Investigation Notebooks!

THE BOOK YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE (Timmy Failure, Book 5) by Stephan Pastis (Mystery)
This book was never meant to exist. No one needs to know the details. Just know this: there’s a Merry, a Larry, a missing tooth and a teachers’ strike that is crippling Timmy Failure’s academic future. Worst of all, Timmy is banned from detective work. It’s a conspiracy of buffoons. He recorded everything in his private notebook, but then the manuscript was stolen. If this book gets out, he will be grounded for life. Or maybe longer. And will Timmy’s mom really marry Doorman Dave?

THE OMINOUS EYE (The Nocturnals, Book 2) by Tracey Hecht, Kate Liebman (Illustrator) (Fantasy)
When a violent jolt fractures the earth, the Nocturnal Brigade sets out to investigate its source. Along their journey, Dawn, Bismark and Tobin meet an unfamiliar reptile --- a tuatara --- who reveals that a giant beast caused the destruction and will soon strike again. The tuatara --- with her special insights --- is the only one who can help them stop this fearsome predator…but can she be trusted?

TOP DOG (Roxbury Park Club, Book 3) by Daphne Maple (Fiction)
In this third book, Taylor discovers that not everyone in Roxbury Park is as welcoming as her two best friends, Kim and Sasha. A girl at school won’t stop picking on Taylor for being new. Even worse, the Dog Club is under attack, too! A fancy dog grooming shop across town has set up a competing dog day care and unless the girls figure out how to keep their customers, the Pampered Puppy might put them out business --- for good.

THE SECRET TALENT (Confidentially Yours, Book 4) by Jo Whittemore (Fiction)
Tim Antonides is feeling pretty good about sixth grade. He’s even begun to branch out and make some new guy friends. The only thing that could ruin his awesome reputation is his big secret --- he performs Greek folk dances with his twin sister, Gabby . . . complete with a super embarrassing outfit. Only his family and closest friends know, and he’s going to make sure it stays that way. But when the class bully, Ryan, discovers Tim’s hidden talent, he blackmails Tim into completing a list of almost-impossible tasks.

STUNT CAT ACROSS AMERICA (Mr. Puffball, Book 2) by Constance Lombardo (Fiction)
Mr. Puffball is through being a stunt cat --- he’s ready to be a real actor! It’s just too dangerous to be on fire all the time. But according to Victoria Bossypaws at Purramount Studios, Puffball and El Gato are going to lose their roles in their Hollywood buddy movie unless they can demonstrate youthful Hollywood appeal! But how? They have two weeks to film a dangerous and exciting cross-country movie reel—starring themselves --- doing amazing feats of daring and coolness!

SWAMP SCAREFEST (Tales From the Scaremaster, Book 2) by B. A. Frade (Mystery)
Aidan and Olivia live in a creaky old house on the edge of a dirty, swampy lake. Craving some excitement, they convince their parents to let them camp out by the lakeshore under a full moon, with only their dog for company. Aidan loves to scare his sister and has plenty of funny tricks up his sleeve for their campout. But the twins are about to find out that the creepy old book that washed ashore, Tales from the Scaremaster, has a mind of its own-and its mind is set on scares beyond Aidan's wildest dreams!

THE TAPPER TWINS RUN FOR PRESIDENT (The Tapper Twins, Book 3) by Geoff Rodkey (Fiction)
Claudia Tapper wants to become President of the United States someday. She’s the sixth grade class president, and has every reason to presume she’ll get reelected. Reese Tapper could not care less about student government --- until he learns becoming class president is his best shot at overturning a hated new rule. And thus, in a tangle of evil-genius advisors, meddlesome best-friends, negative campaign attacks and funny missteps, Claudia and Reese duke it out to see who will rule the school.

THE DARK TALENT (Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians) by Brandon Sanderson (Fantasy)
Alcatraz Smedry has successfully defeated the army of Evil Librarians and saved the kingdom of Mokia. Too bad he managed to break the Smedry Talents in the process. Even worse, his father is trying to enact a scheme that could ruin the world, and his best friend, Bastille, is in a coma. To revive her, Alcatraz must infiltrate the Highbrary --- known as the Library of Congress to Hushlanders --- the seat of Evil Librarian power.

BATNEEZER (The Creature From My Closet, Book 6) by Obert Skye (Fantasy)
For the first time, Rob Burnside knows when his closet is about to open --- but he's not prepared for what emerges. A mash-up of Ebenezer Scrooge and Lego Batman, this new visitor's unusual antics are only one of Rob's problems. While enduring visits by the ghosts of books past, present and future, Rob learns some shocking news: a battle is brewing and his school needs a hero. What he gets is so much more.

THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH AND THE ZOMBIE PARADE (Last Kids on Earth, Book 2) by Max Brallier, Douglas Holgate (Illustrator) (Graphic Novel)
The zombies are disappearing. This might seem like a good thing, since zombies eat your brains, but normal human kid Jack Sullivan is suspicious. He keeps hearing an eerie shrieking noise that seems to be almost summoning the zombies --- but to where, and for what (probably) foul purpose? Jack, his three best friends and their pet monster Rover need to get to the bottom of this. Along the way they encounter a lot more than they bargained for, including a giant Wormungulous, a pizza parlor monster hangout, an ancient evil who destroys worlds, and a stereo system that is totally the bomb.

BEWARE THE CLOPPER! (The Witches of Benevento, Book 3) by John Bemelmans Marciano, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator) (Fiction)
The children of Benevento have to be careful and clever to evade the clutches of such witches as the Manalonga, the Janara, and the Clopper, who hide in wells and under bridges, fly at midnight and play tricks during Mischief Season. Five cousins --- Primo, Emilio, Rosa, Maria Beppina, and Sergio --- share adventures and narrow escapes and discover astonishing secrets as they outwit the witches in each exciting story. Maria Beppina, the timid tag-along cousin, is always afraid that the Clopper, the old witch who chases the children, will catch her.

GRAVEYARD SLOT (The Kat Sinclair Files, Book 2) by Michelle Schusterman, Stephanie Olesh (Illustrator) (Fiction)
After a couple months at home dealing with her mother's upcoming wedding and trying on itchy bridesmaid dresses, Kat is more than happy to head off on another ghost-hunting and ghostbusting adventure with her dad --- especially since the cast and crew of Passport to Paranormal are headed to Brazil and Argentina and her new friends Jamie and Haley will be joining them. But the ghosts in South America are just as spooky and unpredictable as the ghosts they encountered in Europe and once again Kat finds herself involved in some mysteries that she might not be able to unravel.

TROLL OVERBOARD (Life of Zarf, Book 3) by Rob Harrell (Graphic Novel)
As a troll, Zarf is already at the bottom of the food chain when it comes to popularity at Cotswin Middle School. So when his Gramps shows up at career day, Zarf is sure his cool factor will hit an all-time low. What he doesn’t expect is for the super-obnoxious Prince Roquefort to take an interest in Gramps’s nautical know-how. Zarf is sure the prince is up to something...but why would he want Gramps to take him on a boat ride perilously close to the Berundi Rectangle? And why does he keep mumbling about magic beans?

MOONLIGHT BRIGADE (The Wild Ones, Book 2) by C. Alexander London (Fantasy)
Kit may have saved the Wild Ones from the Flealess, but he and his neighbors are not out of danger yet. Coyote has taken charge of the Thunder River Rompers, a notorious gang of nearsighted otters, and he has his sights set on Ankle Snap Alley. When, on the eve of the First Frost, Coyote and his henchmen steal all of the seeds and nuts that the Alley's residents have stored up for winter, Kit knows that he can't sit by and do nothing. As he tries to fulfill his school assignments and win himself a coveted invitation into the Moonlight Brigade, Kit knows he must outsmart the Coyote so that his fellow Wild Ones can survive the winter.

THE DH (The Triple Threat, Book 3) by John Feinstein (Fiction)
Alex Myers’s football and basketball seasons were mired in controversy and his dad’s been MIA since his parents split up. All Alex wants this spring is to work on his fastball and hang out with his maybe-girlfriend, Christine. But he runs into unexpected competition. Matt Gordon was suspended from sports after he admitted taking PEDs during football season, but the athletic board has decided to give him another chance. So he’s on the team --- and he’s got something to prove. He’s also got his eye on Christine.

SKYBORN (Thrones and Bones, Book 3) by Lou Anders (Fantasy)
Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. Not a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the city of Castlebriar, learn how to play a board game called Charioteers, decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with elves. Meanwhile, Desstra is in training to join the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?

THE LOST LULLABY (Nightmares!, Book 3) by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, Karl Kwasny (Illustrator) (Fiction)
Charlie and his friends thought they’d put the twins out of business, but it seems they didn’t quite finish the job. Now the WOOLLY NIGHTMARES are closing in, and INK has shown up at Cypress Creek Elementary! Charlie’s convinced that INK is up to NO GOOD. And if he’s right, it could be a very long time before anyone’s dreams are sweet again.
 

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More New Reviews
HOOK'S REVENGE, Book 2: The Pirate Code by Heidi Schulz with illustrations by John Hendrix (Adventure)
Jocelyn Hook decides the most practical plan is to hunt down her father's famous fortune. But the map proves to be a bit harder to crack than Jocelyn had hoped, and she's convinced that the horrible Peter Pan might be the only one with the answers. Of course, he doesn't really feel like helping her, so Jocelyn kidnaps his mother. Evie, though, is absolutely thrilled to be taken prisoner. Along with the problem of her all-too-willing captive, Jocelyn must also contend with Captain Krueger, whose general policy is that no deed is too dastardly when it comes to stealing Hook's treasure. Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge.

THE GREAT SHELBY HOLMES by Elizabeth Eulberg (Mystery)
Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She's nine years old, barely four feet tall and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen --- always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes. When 11-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that's eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn't sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that'll take both their talents to crack. Reviewed by Sally Tibbetts.

INSIDE YOUR INSIDES: A Guide to the Microbes That Call You Home by Claire Eamer and Marie-Eve Tremblay (Science)
Six of the most common “critters” that live in and on our bodies are introduced here: bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, protists and mites. Each one has its own preferred environment, and readers will be startled (and likely a little grossed out!) by the many places they live. Just as surprising, only some of them are “bad guys” that cause disease, and many of them are actually “good guys” that keep us healthy. With its cutting-edge information about a topic children will find fascinating, this book makes an excellent complement to a life science lesson on the human body. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

THE JOURNEY THAT SAVED CURIOUS GEORGE (Young Readers Edition): The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H. A. Rey by Louise Borden with illustrations by Allan Drummond (History)
In 1940, Hans and Margret Rey fled their Paris home as the German army advanced. They began their harrowing journey on bicycles, pedaling to Southern France with children’s book manuscripts, including what would become the international sensation CURIOUS GEORGE, among their few possessions. Louise Borden combed primary resources, including Hans Rey’s pocket diaries, to tell this dramatic true story, and now elementary school readers can follow the Rey’s amazing journey in this Young Reader's Edition. Reviewed by Kathleen Purcell.

ZOE IN WONDERLAND by Brenda Woods (Fiction)
Zoe Reindeer considers herself “just Zoe” --- never measuring up to her too-perfect older sister or her smarty-pants little brother. Truthfully, though, she’d rather just blend in with the plants at the family business, Doc Reindeer’s Exotic Plant Wonderland. She does have one friend, Q, but he’s moving away and she doesn’t know what she’ll do without him. That is until a tall astronomer from Madagascar comes to the nursery looking for a Baobab tree. His visit starts a ball rolling that makes Zoe long for real adventures, not just imaginary ones. Reviewed by Angela Warsinske.

THE GATHERING (Shadow House) by Dan Poblocki (Horror)
You don't just read this ghost story. You step into it. Some houses are more than just haunted...they're hungry. Dash, Dylan, Poppy, Marcus and Azumi don't know this at first. They each think they've been summoned to Shadow House for innocent reasons. But there's nothing innocent about Shadow House. Something within its walls is wickedly wrong. Nothing --- and nobody --- can be trusted. Hallways move. Doors vanish. Ghosts appear. Children disappear. And the way out? That's disappeared, too... Enter Shadow House...if you dare. Reviewed by Killian Walsh.

MISSY PIGGLE-WIGGLE AND THE WHATEVER CURE by Ann M. Martin with Annie Parnell and illustrated by Ben Hatke (Fiction)
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has gone away unexpectedly and left her niece, Missy Piggle-Wiggle, in charge of the Upside-Down House and the beloved animals who live there: Lester the pig, Wag the dog and Penelope the parrot, among others. Families in town soon realize that like her great-aunt, Missy Piggle-Wiggle has inventive cures for all sorts of childhood (mis)behavior: The Whatever Cure and the Just-a-Minute Cure, for instance. What is a stressed out parent to do? Why, call Missy Piggle-Wiggle, of course! Reviewed by Audrey Slater.

THE POET'S DOG by Patricia MacLachlan (Poetry)
Teddy is a gifted dog. Raised in a cabin by a poet named Sylvan, he grew up listening to sonnets read aloud and the comforting clicking of a keyboard. Although Teddy understands words, Sylvan always told him there are only two kinds of people in the world who can hear Teddy speak: poets and children. Then one day Teddy learns that Sylvan was right. When Teddy finds Nickel and Flora trapped in a snowstorm, he tells them that he will bring them home --- and they understand him. Reviewed by Audrey Slater.
 


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