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December 2005

Kidsreads.com Newsletter

December 2005

What's New on Kidsreads.com

Kidsreads.com Takes On the Holidaze

WHAT TO GIVE/WHAT TO GET for Kids!

Kidsreads.com Talks to Ron Barrett, Author of THE NUTTY NEWS

The Best Books of the Year for Kids

2005 Holiday Roundup

Books Into Movies: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

Our Review of THE PENDERWICKS, Winner of This Year's National Book Award

Don't Miss: THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK by Alan Lee

Coming January 10th: A New Novel from Louis Sachar -- SMALL STEPS

Now in Stores: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book #12

Series Update: Andrew Lost by J. C. Greenburg

Series Update: Geronimo Stilton

Reviews and Features

Poll: YOUR Favorite Books of 2005

Question of the Month: YOUR Favorite Holiday Books
Some Links on Kidsreads.com
 
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Series Feature
Play a Trivia Game here
Word Scrambles

Kidsreads.com Takes On the Holidaze

Happy holidays, or as I am calling it, Happy Holidaze! Here comes school vacation and all kinds of holiday celebrations.

We're keeping our message here short and sweet. We have a VERY full lineup this month, with our Best of Titles, as well as a What to Give/What to Get Guide for any of you who still need to give or get.

Here's wishing you a holiday that is a nice blend of traditions and new special memories. Happy New Year too! We'll see you next year.

Carol Fitzgerald for Kidsreads.com

xxx


 

WHAT TO GIVE/WHAT TO GET for Kids!

We've created a special What to Give/What to Get Guide with you in mind --- it's just for kids! We have books that we know you'll love to unwrap this season, so check it out. We're sure you'll end up spotting a title or two that you can add to YOUR holiday list.

 

Click here to read our What to Give/What to Get guide for kids.
 

Kidsreads.com Talks to Ron Barrett, Author of THE NUTTY NEWS

Ron Barrett, best known for the picture book CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS, tries his hand at both writing and drawing with THE NUTTY NEWS. He recently spoke with Kidsreads.com reviewer Bob Oksner about his first childhood art lessons and how he chooses to view himself as an "idea maker" rather than just a "writer" or an "illustrator." Barrett also shares amusing anecdotes concerning his history with the newspaper business, and dispenses humorous but helpful words of wisdom to future authors and artists.

THE NUTTY NEWS by Ron Barrett
If you've been reading newspapers lately and saddened by all the bad news, then we have some good news for you: THE NUTTY NEWS is here! This crazy newspaper is filled with nothing but hilarious news, features and advertisements. They include such headlines as "One-Minute-a-Day School Opens," an interview with New York's first teddy bear cab driver, a weather forecast prepared by the United States Bureau of Guessing, Your Horoscope, and other items that will make you laugh out loud. Reviewed by Robert Oksner.

Click here to look inside the book.

Click here to read our interview with Ron Barrett and a review of THE NUTTY NEWS.


 

The Best Books of the Year for Kids

As 2005 comes to a close, we at Kidsreads.com have compiled some of our favorite books of the year for children. Along with HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE and THE PENULTIMATE PERIL --- two of the year's most anticipated and talked-about releases --- we spotlight the winner of this year's National Book Award for Young People's Literature, in addition to such standouts as THE KINGDOM KEEPERS and ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA: DINOSAURS. We also revisit the series that made their debuts this year, including Michelle Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, as well as updates to Artemis Fowl, Redwall, and many more series titles.

Read our Best Books of 2005 feature here.


 

2005 Holiday Roundup

We at Kidsreads.com know there's a lot to do before the upcoming holidays --- lists to write, presents to wrap, decorations to prepare, and so much more. But before you deck those halls and spin those dreidels, make the best of this season by grabbing a book and curling up with a loved one. In this roundup you'll meet three Hanukkah-celebrating French hens, two snowman-building mice, and a fairy in a Christmas tree. Have the happiest of holidays!

Click here to read our 2005 Holiday Roundup.  
 

Books Into Movies: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

 

 

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe finally has hit theaters! Our copies of all the books in this classic series by C.S. Lewis are dog-eared and worn from being read and re-read --- THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE truly is one of our favorite fantastical fables. The movie is equally as spectacular, full of amazing special effects, elaborate costumes and an impressive group of actors, both young and old alike. It certainly lives up to all the buzz it received!

Click here for more details about the film.
 

Our Review of THE PENDERWICKS, Winner of This Year's National Book Award

THE PENDERWICKS: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
In Jeanne Birdsall's debut novel, winner of the 2005 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Penderwick sisters share a memorable summer with a local boy while vacationing with their widowed father, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE PENDERWICKS.

 

Click here to read our review of THE PENDERWICKS.


 

Don't Miss: THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK by Alan Lee

THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK by Alan Lee (Fantasy/Art)
Alan Lee, the Oscar-winning conceptual designer for the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, discusses his approach to depicting Tolkien's imaginary world. THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK presents more than 150 of Lee's celebrated illustrations to show how his imagery for both the illustrated LORD OF THE RINGS and the films progressed from concept to finished art. In addition, the book contains 20 full-color plates and numerous examples of the conceptual art produced for Peter Jackson's film adaptation

 

Click here to learn more about THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK.


 

Coming January 10th: A New Novel from Louis Sachar -- SMALL STEPS

Two years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is home in Austin, Texas, trying to turn his life around. But it's hard when you have a record, and everyone expects the worst from you. The only person who believes in him is Ginny, his 10-year old disabled neighbor. Together, they are learning to take small steps. And he seems to be on the right path, until X-Ray, a buddy from Camp Green Lake, comes up with a get-rich-quick scheme. This leads to a chance encounter with teen pop sensation, Kaira DeLeon, and suddenly his life spins out of control, with only one thing for certain. He'll never be the same again.

In his first major novel since HOLES, critically acclaimed novelist Louis Sachar uses his signature wit combined with a unique blend of adventure and deeply felt characters to explore issues of race, the nature of celebrity, the invisible connections that determine a person's life, and what it takes to stay on course. Doing the right thing is never a wrong choice --- but a small step in the right direction.

SMALL STEPS will be available in stores on January 10th!

 

Click here to read an excerpt from SMALL STEPS.
 

Now in Stores: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book #12

THE PENULTIMATE PERIL: A Series of Unfortunate Events #12 by Lemony Snicket
The unfortunate Baudelaire orphans set sail for uncharted territory in the latest (and next-to-last) installment of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Now that they've reached the Hotel Denouement, the hapless siblings must pose as concierges and discern the true motives and identities of the hotel's many mysterious guests. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

Play our new Series of Unfortunate Events Trivia Game and Word Scramble.

Click here to read an excerpt from THE PENULTIMATE PERIL.

Click here to read our review of THE PENULTIMATE PERIL.


 

Series Update: Andrew Lost by J. C. Greenburg

ANDREW LOST: IN THE ICE AGE by J. C. Greenburg
Andrew, Judy and Thudd --- along with Beeper Jones and Professor Winka Wilde --- have escaped the dinosaurs but now find themselves stuck in the Ice Age! With the help of the DNA Detector, Andrew and Judy are at last reunited with their Uncle Al. So they all return to present-day Montana and live happily ever after, right? Not a chance!

 

Click here to read our review of ANDREW LOST: IN THE ICE AGE
 

Series Update: Geronimo Stilton

A CHRISTMAS TALE: Geronimo Stilton Special Edition by Geronimo Stilton
It's Christmastime on Mouse Island, and Geronimo can't wait to celebrate with his friends and family. But then he discovers that they all will be out of town for the holidays, which means he'll be spending Christmas alone! Will this be Geronimo's loneliest Christmas ever? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon

 

Click here to read our review of A CHRISTMAS TALE.
 
Reviews and Features

 

 

 

 

DAWN UNDERCOVER by Anna Dale
Dawn Buckle spends most of her days trying to get people to notice her, but whether at home or at school, it's as if she's invisible. And that's exactly what makes her the ideal recruit for S.H.H. (Strictly Hush Hush), a secret intelligence agency that will transform Dawn into a world-class spy. Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

THE TROUBLE BEGINS by Linda Himelblau
Du Nguyen's mother, father, brother, and two sisters immigrated to California when he was just a baby. Du and his grandmother had to stay behind in the Philippines. But now, 10 years later, Du has finally joined his family. And that's when the trouble begins. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

SIMEON'S FIRE by Cathryn Clinton
Can Simeon find the courage to tell all he knows about the arsonists who are setting fires to the barns of his Amish community? If he does, will his life ever be the same? Cathryn Clinton presents a compelling story about one boy growing up Amish in a rural community in Pennsylvania. Reviewed by Paula Jolin.

UNEXPECTED: 11 Mysterious Stories edited by Laura E. Williams
These 11 stories are almost guaranteed to surprise --- and delight --- you. Some are mysterious, some are funny, and some are very touching. But all of them will keep you reading until you the reach the last word on the last page, when you will be surprised each and every time. Reviewed by Robert Oksner.

BEFIDDLED by Pedro de Alcantara
Becky Cohen, who dreams of becoming a great violinist, is an outsider everywhere she goes. Her only true friend is her brilliant little brother, newspaper-loving Benjy. This is a charming coming-of-age novel about a girl who must stand up for herself in order for others to take notice. Reviewed by Renee Kirchner.

Read our reviews and features here.


 

Poll: YOUR Favorite Books of 2005

Which of the following books were among your favorites in 2005? Check as many as apply.

DROWNED WEDNESDAY: The Keys to the Kingdom, Book Three by Garth Nix
EACH LITTLE BIRD THAT SINGS by Deborah Wiles
FLUSH by Carl Hiaasen
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE by J.K. Rowling
HIGH RHULAIN: A Tale From Redwall, by Brian Jacques
INKSPELL by Cornelia Funke
THE KINGDOM KEEPERS by Ridley Pearson
LIONBOY: THE TRUTH by Zizou Corder
THE OPAL DECEPTION: Artemis Fowl #4 by Eoin Colfer
THE PENDERWICKS by Jeanne Birdsall
THE PENULTIMATE PERIL: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the Twelfth by Lemony Snicket
SCORPIA: An Alex Rider Adventure, Book Five by Anthony Horowitz
THE TIME HACKERS by Gary Paulsen
WOLF BROTHER: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #1 by Michelle Paver
None of the above

Answer the poll here.
 
Question of the Month: YOUR Favorite Holiday Books

Name up to five holiday-related books that you've read and enjoyed.
 

Answer the question here.
 

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Keep reading! Until next week...

Booker T. Worm and Friends
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