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June 2012

Kidsreads.com Newsletter June 2012
Let the Pleasure Reading Begin!

School is out, and summer vacation is in! For many of you, that means lots and lots of free time on your hands --- time that is no longer spent writing book reports, solving math problems or doing school projects. You can do what you want, and read what you want. The only thing you need now is to figure out exactly what book you're going to pick up first. We have some amazing suggestions for you this month, so selecting the right book will be no problem at all!

We don’t want to frighten any of you this summer with the title of this book, which we know could spark fear (we’ll wait until Halloween for that!), but we are celebrating the paperback release of a book called IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL…FOREVER! with a special contest. In this middle-grade horror story from Goosebumps author R.L. Stine, a boy keeps repeating the first day of school over and over again. Ten readers will be awarded a copy of the book, so be sure to enter by Tuesday, July 24th at noon ET for your chance to be one of our lucky winners.

We’re excited to be sharing with you a brand-new series feature for Pocket Genius, which contains on-the-spot information in many favorite subject areas. Check them out for information on the biggest, fastest, tallest and oldest everything! ANIMALS, DINOSAURS, ROCKS AND MINERALS and SHARKS are all available now, and coming in October are ANCIENT EGYPT, BUGS, EARTH and SPACE. It’s a lot more fun to read facts like this than in schoolbooks, and then you can quote all the cool facts that you learn!

We have reviews of some excellent series books this month. We start off with THE CHAMBER IN THE SKY, the final book in M.T. Anderson’s The Norumbegan Quartet. Brian and Gregory have just escaped death and are now trying to make sense of all their travels and adventures. You won’t want to miss the end of their incredible and strange journey.

THE MELTING SEA is the second book in Erin Hunter’s Seekers: Return to the Wild series and is all about the bears facing the impossible decision of separating for the first time. Do they return home, or stay with the companions who have become their family?

Bink and Gollie are back in TWO FOR ONE, Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee’s sequel to their 2010 book, BINK AND GOLLIE. The unlikely duo now must navigate through the many wonders of the extravagant state fair. In the tent of the mysterious fortune-teller, they find that the one thing certain for them is that they will always be best friends.

In DORK DIARIES 4: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-GRACEFUL ICE PRINCESS by Rachel Renée Russell, Nikki finds out that her crush, Brandon, is volunteering at an animal shelter in danger of closing. They must work together to find a solution and save the shelter.

Mike Lupica, a sports columnist who has written numerous sports novels for middle-graders, continues to delight his many fans with GAME CHANGERS. This opening book of the series introduces readers to Ben McBain, who is every football team’s dream player. When the game is on the line, he’s the one who’s called upon. But now Ben wants to change all that. Rather than finishing the game, he wants to start it…and only the coach’s son stands in his way.

Garth Nix and Sean WilliamsTroubletwisters series continues with the second installment, THE MONSTER. Jaida and Jack Shield have been fighting with the deadly force, The Evil, but now they will face a challenge that’s even stranger and scarier. Thank goodness this is a series, because these books will leave you wanting more!

We’ve updated our Geronimo Stilton/Thea Stilton series feature with THEA STILTON AND THE BLUE SCARAB HUNT. The Thea Sisters have been invited to Egypt to participate in an archaeological excavation to help look for the legendary ancient Treasure of the Sun. But they also discover that thieves are after the treasure.

As always, we have our Cool & New Books and New in Paperback roundups. Among our featured titles are GOLD MEDAL SUMMER by Donna Freitas, a gymnastics story (just in time for the Olympics!) about stretching some limits, bending the rules and finding your balance; THE BRIDGE TO NEVER LAND, the latest installment in Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Starcatchers series that details the startling origin of Peter Pan; and CLEMENTINE AND THE FAMILY MEETING by Sara Pennypacker, in which Clementine receives some major news from her parents that will change her family forever.

Be sure to answer our new poll about series books you may (or may not) have read. We can’t wait to see which of our choices are most popular with you!

Back in 2009, we talked a lot about the book WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead, in which four mysterious letters change a sixth-grader’s world forever. This Newbery Medal winner was recently an Al’s Book Club pick, and the author was interviewed on “The Today Show” about the book. Al’s newest pick is a timely one: RUSH FOR THE GOLD by John Feinstein, another sports mystery featuring Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson --- this one set at the summer Olympics in London.

As you can see, we have plenty of winning reads for you this month. So wherever you are --- at summer camp or just lounging around the house --- be sure to have a book with you, as with books you can travel to MANY places.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

Special Contest: Enter to Win a Paperback Copy of IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL...FOREVER! by R.L. Stine

Artie Howard has the worst first day of school in the history of first days of school. When it’s all over, he’s relieved knowing it can never happen again. Or can it? Artie relives the first day of school over and over, and there’s nothing he can do to stop it!

To celebrate the paperback release of IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL...FOREVER! by R.L. Stine, Kidsreads.com is giving 10 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, July 24th at noon ET.

IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL...FOREVER! by R.L. Stine (Horror)
On the first day of school, Artie falls out of his bed and hits his head. Hard. He complains to his mom and she says, “You’re just worried about your first day in a new school.” Then at breakfast, his little brother, Eddie, sprays syrup everywhere, and Artie has to go to school with syrup-hair. On the way there, he gets splashed by a puddle that makes him look like he wet his pants. And that’s only the beginning. It’s not just the first day of school; it’s the worst day of school.

On the second day of school, Artie falls out of bed and hits his head. Hard. He complains to his mom and she says, “You’re just worried about your first day in a new school.”

Huh? Today is just like the day before. Can Artie find a way to change it, before it’s the first day of school...forever?

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read R.L. Stine's bio.
-Click here to visit R.L. Stine's official website.

Click here to read all the contest details and enter to win.
 
New Series Feature: Pocket Genius

Destined to be toted in backpacks everywhere, the Pocket Genius series contains on-the-spot information in favorite subject areas and will fill you in on the biggest, fastest, tallest and oldest everything!

From the tiny firefly to the might elephant, in POCKET GENIUS: ANIMALS discover the lives of nearly 200 animals --- what they eat, what eats them, where they live and how big they are.

POCKET GENIUS: DINOSAURS profiles more than 140 prehistoric animals and features fossils, skeletons, anatomy and history, as well as species including dinosaurs on land, winged pterosaurs in the sky, and a range of sea monsters in the ocean.

POCKET GENIUS: ROCKS AND MINERALS profiles nearly 200 types of rocks and minerals --- from volcanic rocks and granite to sparkling diamonds and explosive sulfur --- and tells what they are made of, how they are formed, and what they are used for.

POCKET GENIUS: SHARKS profiles more than 150 sharks and rays --- from the great white to the tiny dwarf lantern --- and tells what they eat, where they live, and how fast they swim.

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Click here to read more about the books.

Click here to read our series feature.
 
Now in Stores: THE CHAMBER IN THE SKY by M.T. Anderson

THE CHAMBER IN THE SKY by M.T. Anderson (Fantasy/Adventure)
Brian and Gregory have seen it all. They've escaped certain death, walked right into it, and wreaked small amounts of havoc of their own. And finally, they're going to make sense of all their travels and adventures...if they possibly can! THE CHAMBER IN THE SKY brings to a close their incredible, strange and funny journey. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: SEEKERS: RETURN TO THE WILD #2: THE MELTING SEA by Erin Hunter

SEEKERS: RETURN TO THE WILD #2: THE MELTING SEA by Erin Hunter (Fantasy/Adventure)
Toklo, Kallik, Lusa and Yakone trek onward toward the Melting Sea, battling the elements and struggling to move quickly as the ice begins to thaw. As the bears face separating for the first time since their quest began, they struggle with the difficult choice between returning home or remaining with the companions who have become their true family. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: BINK AND GOLLIE: TWO FOR ONE by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

BINK AND GOLLIE: TWO FOR ONE written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile (Fiction)
Best friends Bink and Gollie continue their adventures together in yet another hilarious and touching collection of stories. This time, the dynamic duo attend the state fair where Bink hopes to attain the prize in the Whack-a-Duck game, Gollie yearns to dazzle at the talent show, and the two seek their destiny in the fortune teller's tent. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: DORK DIARIES 4: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-GRACEFUL ICE PRINCESS by Rachel Renee Russell

DORK DIARIES 4: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-GRACEFUL ICE PRINCESS by Rachel Renee Russell (Fiction)
Nikki Maxwell isn’t at all surprised to find out that her crush Brandon volunteers at a local animal shelter. He’s such a sweet guy --- of course he wants to help those adorable puppies! Then Brandon tells her that the shelter is in danger of closing, and Nikki knows she can’t let that happen. Especially when she discovers a shocking secret about Brandon that makes keeping that shelter open more important than ever. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: GAME CHANGERS by Mike Lupica

GAME CHANGERS by Mike Lupica (Fiction)
Eleven-year-old Ben McBain wants to become starting quarterback on his school’s football team. Standing less than five-feet tall, Ben doesn’t measure up, especially against Shawn O’Brien. Shawn has the size and arm strength, but not the heart. And he has a secret that Ben has promised not to tell. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: TROUBLETWISTERS, Book 2: THE MONSTER by Garth Nix and Sean Williams

TROUBLETWISTERS, Book 2: THE MONSTER by Garth Nix and Sean Williams (Fantasy/Adventure)
Twins Jack and Jaide Shield have used their supernatural powers to defeat The Evil before, but a remnant remains and threatens to wreak havoc once again. As their powers fail them in crucial moments, will they be able to fight once again, or will the monster take control? Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
 
Series Feature Update: THEA STILTON AND THE BLUE SCARAB HUNT

THEA STILTON AND THE BLUE SCARAB HUNT by Thea Stilton (Mystery/Adventure)
The Thea Sisters have been invited to Egypt to participate in a fabumouse archaeological excavation. They are helping to look for the legendary ancient Treasure of the Sun! A precious blue stone scarab may be the key to their search, and they work enthusiastically to uncover the past. But they also discover that thieves are after the hidden treasure.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read our series feature.
 
Cool & New Books for June
June’s roundup of Cool & New Books includes THE CHAMBER IN THE SKY, the final volume in M. T. Anderson’s The Norumbegan Quartet, where Brian and Gregory will see if they finally can make sense of their travels; THE MELTING SEA, the second installment in Erin Hunter’s Seekers: Return to the Wild series, which finds the Seeker bears having to convince Taqqiq to leave a gang of bears who are set on terrorizing others; Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee’s BINK AND GOLLIE: TWO FOR ONE, in which the unlikely duo go to the state fair and use their teamwork to navigate the wonder of it all; and GOLD MEDAL SUMMER by Donna Freitas, a gymnastics story (just in time for the Olympics!) about stretching some limits, bending the rules and finding your balance.
 
Click here to see our latest Cool & New Books roundup
 
June’s New in Paperback Roundup
June's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE BRIDGE TO NEVER LAND, the latest installment in Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Starcatchers series that details the startling origin of Peter Pan; CLEMENTINE AND THE FAMILY MEETING by Sara Pennypacker, in which Clementine receives some major news from her parents that will change her family forever; TORN, Margaret Peterson Haddix's fourth Missing novel that finds Jonah and Katherine embarking on a chilling journey to discover the Northwest Passage; and THE DANGER BOX, a stand-alone mystery from Blue Balliett (author of CHASING VERMEER, THE WRIGHT 3 and THE CALDER GAME) about a boy whose curiosity just might get the best of him.
 
Click here to see our latest New in Paperback roundup.
 
This Month’s Reviews

SPIRAL by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams (Mystery/Adventure)
Creeping into the open through cracks in the earth, the Styx have surfaced, and are now infesting England like some parasitic scourge --- carriers of a bizarre black secret that will place every last Topsoiler in mortal peril. Unless Will Burrows puts a stop to the propagation. Can Will, Chester and Elliott find a way to squash the threat? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

CRUSH: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Love by Gary Paulsen (Fiction)
Fourteen-year-old Kevin Spencer has a huge crush on Tina Zabinski. To Kevin, Tina is “the most beautiful girl in the world.” He’s working up the courage to ask her out on a date, but every time he’s around her, he makes a fool of himself. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

TWO CRAFTY CRIMINALS!: And How They Were Captured by the Daring Detectives of the New Cut Gang by Philip Pullman (Historical Mystery)
Benny Kaminsky and Thunderbolt Dobney lead a rag-tag gang of neighborhood rowdies on London's South Bank --- a place bristling with swindlers, bookies, pickpockets, and the occasional policeman --- with an aim to solve crimes. When counterfeit coins start showing up in their neighborhood, Thunderbolt fears his own father may be behind the crime, and his friends must devise a way to trap the real culprit. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

FARM BOY by Michael Morpurgo (Fiction)
In this sequel to WAR HORSE, Albert's son is an old man now. But he has a shameful secret he's kept to himself his whole life. As he comes to terms with the truth, he tells stories of the farm of his childhood --- his war hero dad, skipping school to help with the harvest, and of course the wonderful horses, Joey and Zoey. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

PARANORMAN written by Elizabeth Cody Kimmell, illustrated by Ross Stewart (Supernatural Thriller)
Norman is anything but normal. He has the ability to talk to the dead, and that can only mean one thing --- trouble! The anniversary of the Blithe Hollow witch’s curse is coming up, and it’s up to Norman to stop her from wreaking havoc. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

LIBBY OF HIGH HOPES by Elise Primavera (Fiction)
Ten-year-old Libby Thump wants more than anything to learn to ride like a real horsewoman. But when her mother decides to give the lessons to her older sister instead, Libby is beside herself. Libby’s mom says Brittany needs the lessons more, to cure her “boy crazy phase” --- and she also wants Libby to be “more girly,” like Brittany. But Libby just wants to be herself. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

The Month’s Poll

Which of the following series have you read? Please check as many as apply.

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Goosebumps by R. L. Stine
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
The Magic School Bus by Joanna Cole
Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
Ramona and Beezus by Beverly Cleary
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
I haven't read any of these series.

Click here to answer the poll.

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