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Wednesday, October 15, 2008


September 2008

THE 39 CLUES, Book One: The Maze of Bones, by Rick Riordan
Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world's most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. Thirty-nine clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what's important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.

The 39 Clues is Scholastic's groundbreaking new series, spanning 10 adrenaline-charged books, 350 trading cards, and an online game where readers play a part in the story and compete for over $100,000 in prizes.

SNAKEHEAD: Alex Rider #7 by Anthony Horowitz
Now Available in Paperback
When Alex Rider crash-lands off the coast of Australia, the Australian Secret Service recruits him to infiltrate one of the ruthless gangs operating across Southeast Asia. Known as snakeheads, the gangs smuggle drugs, weapons, and worst of all, people. Alex accepts the assignment, in part for the chance to work with his godfather and learn more about his parents. What he uncovers, however, is a secret that will make this his darkest and most dangerous mission yet…and the knowledge that his old nemesis, Scorpia, is anything but out of his life.

JUDY MOODY GOES TO COLLEGE written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Judy Moody is in a mood. Not a good mood. And definitely NOT a math mood. The substitute teacher in Class 3T thinks Judy's math skills need improving. So Judy has to start meeting with a math tutor. Does this mean flash cards? Does this mean baby games? Does this mean school on weekends? But when Judy meets her tutor --- a sick-awesome college student with an uber-funky sense of style --- and gets a glimpse of college life, Judy's bad math-i-tude turns into a radical glad-i-tude. Pretty soon, Judy's not only acing her math class; she's owning it. Time to say good-bye to Judy Moody, old skool third-grader, and say hello to Miss College! Small-tall upside-down backward non-fat capp with extra whip, anyone?

It's her funniest adventure yet! A few sessions with a college-age math tutor turn Judy into a jargon-spouting polygon princess. Crucial!


Megan McDonald's Terry Miller Shannon recently spoke with Megan McDonald, author of the popular and long-running Judy Moody series. In this interview, McDonald describes how she came up with some of the innovative games and ideas from the series's latest installment, JUDY MOODY GOES TO COLLEGE, and discusses the real-life counterpart to her rambunctious main character. She also explains how she is able to accurately capture the voices of children from a wide range of ages, recalls how her very first book was published, and shares details about her latest project --- a sequel to her novel THE SISTERS CLUB.


Are you looking for a hilarious series that will also give you a serious case of the heebie-jeebies? The master of spooky storytelling, R.L. Stine --- author of the incredibly popular Goosebumps books --- has just the thing: a 12-book series called Goosebumps HorrorLand. is giving 10 readers the opportunity to win the first two books in this series: REVENGE OF THE LIVING DUMMY (signed by the author himself!) and CREEP FROM THE DEEP.

Books into Movies:

With the arrival of autumn, it's difficult not to notice that the air is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter and the sun is starting to set a few hours earlier than we'd like. While it's hard to say goodbye to those gloriously long, sunny summer days, can you imagine what it would be like to never see daylight at all? October's Books into Movies feature gives audiences of all ages a taste of just how insane that could be with City of Ember, based on the first book in Jeanne DuPrau's sci-fi/fantasy series about a mysterious, crumbling underground city lit entirely by electric floodlamps. On October 10th, join 12-year-olds Lina and Doon as they race against the clock --- as well as some shady politicians --- not only to discover the city's secrets but also to keep Ember's generator from going out forever.

Special Features: Halloween Roundup
Spooky greetings, trick-or-treaters! We at have lots of goodies for you in our roundup of this year’s scariest, funniest and all-around Halloween-iest titles. Do you happen to be the only living resident of a graveyard? Is your dad married to a Kreep? Has your best friend ever been kidnapped by goblins? No? You must be kidding. These are just some of the experiences faced by the characters in our featured books. Well, count yourself among the lucky few, dig into your candy stash and turn the pages of these ghostly tales.

Series Updates
When a mysterious stranger approaches the Clans with dire warnings, Jaypaw, Hollypaw and Lionpaw must acknowledge the importance of their destiny since they now realize that they hold the future of the warriors. This fourth book in the Power of Three series meets all fans' expectations of continuing intrigue and drama. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

Robby enjoys creating web comic strips about the evil scoundrel he calls "Dr. Maniac" --- until Dr. Maniac escapes the computer and becomes a danger in real life. Can Robby overcome his own creepy villain long enough to help the seven kids trapped in the HorrorLand Theme Park? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE written by Shannon and Dean Hale, and illustrated by Nathan Hale
An old fairy tale gets a new face in RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE, complete with a sassy heroine who takes no nonsense from evil stepmothers or pompous princes. This Rapunzel is much more fun (and a whole lot more adventurous) than any version you may have encountered before. Reviewed by John Hogan.

Cool New Books:

September’s roundup of Cool New Books includes The 39 Clues, an exciting series from Scholastic consisting of 10 books, 350 trading cards and an online game where readers play a part in the story and compete for over $100,000 in prizes; INKDEATH, the conclusion to Cornelia Funke's Inkheart trilogy; A GIANT PROBLEM, the second installment in Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black’s Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles; STARGAZER, the sequel to Patrick Carman’s Land of Elyon trilogy and a continuation of Alexa Daley’s heroic adventures after a tragic attack by an evil force; THE CASE OF THE PECULIAR PINK FAN, the latest Enola Holmes mystery from Edgar Award-winning author Nancy Springer; and THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman, a chilling tale about an unusual boy who is the only living resident of a graveyard.

New in Paperback:
September’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes SNAKEHEAD, the seventh installment in Anthony Horowitz’s action-packed series starring 14-year-old secret agent Alex Rider; THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET, an exceptional novel featuring two intrepid 11-year-olds, evil villains and a mysterious box with secret potions, narrated by the unknown Pseudonymous Bosch; STARCROSS, the sequel to Philip Reeve’s LARKLIGHT, in which the main characters hurtle into an adventure complete with time travel, mind-controlling headwear, dastardly foes and heroic exploits; THE JADE DRAGON, Carolyn Marsden and Virginia Shin-Mui Loh’s story of a young girl who delicately navigates between her Chinese culture and her friendship with the new girl in second grade; and three books that will get readers in the holiday spirit early this year: JUDY MOODY & STINK: THE HOLLY JOLIDAY, THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS and CHRISTMAS TAPESTRY.

Reviews and Excerpts:

It's supposed to be a happy day at the Magic Kingdom --- the return of the teenaged holographic hosts. But things go very wrong when a sudden lightning storm disrupts the celebration, and Amanda's mysterious sister, Jez, disappears. The only clue is the sighting of a wild monkey in the Magic Kingdom during the storm. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle and excerpted.

A GIANT PROBLEM: Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2 by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
In this sequel to Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black’s THE NIXIE'S SONG, Nick and Laurie know they must band together to save Florida by killing the giants that threaten the state. Taking care of the problem would be so much easier if Laurie stopped trying to make the new creatures they encounter her pets, but at least they find help in giant hunter Noseeum Jack; Nick’s skeptical older brother, Jules; and even some singing mermaids (who may or may not be trusted). Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

HATE THAT CAT by Sharon Creech
Jack, the boy who loved that dog in LOVE THAT DOG, is back for another school year and another batch of poems. School has just started, and Jack is lucky enough to have the same teacher from last year, Miss Stretchberry. But that means he's in store for a lot more poetry. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

Ty’s big brother, Thane “Tiger” Lewis, has graduated from college and has been drafted into the pro leagues by the New York Jets. That couldn’t be better news for young Ty because he lives in New Jersey with a disagreeable uncle, but now he gets to see Thane every week. They have gotten even closer since their parents died six months earlier in a car accident and need each other in more ways than one. Reviewed by Joy Held.

THE SÉANCE by Iain Lawrence
In the midst of the Roaring Twenties, Scooter King performs illusions behind the scenes at his mother's séances, giving the impression that Madam King communicates with the dead. Scooter also admires Harry Houdini and can hardly wait to see the famed magician escape from his razzle-dazzle Burmese Torture Tank. But when Scooter stumbles upon a dead body in the visiting Houdini's tank, it's no illusion. Reviewed by Joy Held.

When Troll-Son runs away from home, he decides to leave the Shadow Forest behind and move in with his idol, Samuel Blink. Samuel isn’t thrilled with the idea of hiding a runaway troll, especially one who copies everything he does, even using his toothbrush. But should Samuel return Troll-Son to the Shadow Forest? What danger still lurks there? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE HUNT FOR THE SEVENTH by Christine Morton-Shaw
Jim Brown and his family are trying to start over after the death of his mother. His father gets a new job as head gardener at a fancy historical English mansion. Unfortunately, the cranky owner detests kids and warns Jim and his sister to behave themselves. But Jim has far more serious concerns on his mind, like the feeling that he’s being watched and the voices whispering to “find the seventh.” Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

PIRATE WARS: The Wave Walkers #3 by Kai Meyer
The entire population of the floating coral island Aelenium prepares for battle against the monstrous kobalins, while the two polliwogs, Jolly and Munk, set off to confront the evil Maelstom. Will our band of misfit heroes save the day, or will the horrors of the Maelstom take over the Caribbean? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

Two very different boys, both on the eve of becoming men, must prove their worth to their society --- and themselves --- in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. BRINGING THE BOY HOME is N. A. Nelson’s compelling debut novel about family, determination and what it means to become a man. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.


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