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Thursday, November 13, 2008


October 2008

Series Feature
Meet 16-year-old Dakota Brown. She used to love all things "horse" until she lost everything, including hope. The minute she sets foot on her foster parents' farm --- Starlight Animal Rescue --- she plans her escape. But can an "impossible" horse named Blackfire and this quirky collection of animal lovers be the home she's always dreamed of?

Starlight Animal Rescue: Where problem horses are trained and loved, where abandoned dogs become heroes, where stray cats become loyal companions. And where people with nowhere to fit in find a place to belong.

Don't Miss
SPYOLOGY: The Complete Book of Spycraft, written by Spencer Blake and edited by Dugald A. Steer
The art of spying and secret identities is one of those typical and wonderfully creative childhood fantasies. With SPYOLOGY, young people now have a fun and fascinating introduction and guide to the fantasy. This large book is chock-a-block full of information, games and stories to inspire and challenge. Like all the volumes in the 'Ologies series, readers will come across fantastic illustrations and flaps and pockets galore. The red jewel on the cover is even a "magnifying filter decoder" that can be used to find hidden messages and pictures in the book. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

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.

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.

Series Updates
AMELIA BEDELIA AND THE CAT written by Herman Parish and illustrated by Lynn Sweat
Leave it to Amelia Bedelia to find a real cat on a day it's "raining cats and dogs." She names him Tiger, and in no time, the two are inseparable and as happy as clams. But then Tiger gets into trouble. Will Amelia Bedelia go out on a limb to save him? Reviewed by Tom Donadio.

AMELIA BEDELIA TALKS TURKEY written by Herman Parish and illustrated by Lynn Sweat
When Amelia Bedelia is put in charge of the school Thanksgiving pageant, things are bound to get a little mixed up. After all, she thinks roles are a type of bread, the dressing room is where the turkey's stuffing goes, and that a cast party happens after you've followed a well-wisher's command to "break a leg!" Will Amelia Bedelia bring the house down…literally? Reviewed by Tom Donadio.

Unlike Geronimo, his sister Thea is a mystery-loving rodent. But somehow he finds himself going undercover to get to the bottom of a case, and he hardly knows where to start. Geronimo Stilton, Secret Agent Mouse? Maybe he could get used to that. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

Cool New Books:
October's roundup of Cool New Books includes the National Book Award finalist CHAINS, Laurie Halse Anderson's compelling examination of the very different implications of freedom and loyalty for slaves during the American Revolution; IF YOU'RE READING THIS, IT'S TOO LATE, a sequel to the Edgar Award-nominated THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET, which marks the return of mysterious narrator Pseudonymous Bosch; DOOMWYTE by Brian Jacques, a thrilling tale from Redwall featuring a hunt for long-lost treasure; and THE GATE OF DAYS, the second novel in Guillaume Prėvost's The Book of Time trilogy, which finds Sam Faulkner on a desperate journey through the ages to collect the coins that will allow him to locate his father, who is trapped in a dungeon in Transylvania.

New in Paperback:
October's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes ON THE WINGS OF HEROES, award-winning author Richard Peck's unforgettable portrait of the World War II homefront and a family's love; FIRST LIGHT, a dazzling tale of mystery, science and adventure at the top of the world from first-time author Rebecca Stead; MOSTLY MONTY, a chapter book by Johanna Hurwitz about a six-year-old boy who refuses to let his asthma get in the way of a happy and fun-filled childhood; and the 1994 Newbery Medal-winning GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, Allen Say's deeply personal tale of one man's love for two countries and his constant desire to be in both places.

Reviews and Excerpts:
THE GRAVEYARD BOOK written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean
Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place --- he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their timely ghostly teachings --- like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? Reviewed by Brian Farrey and excerpted.

INKDEATH by Cornelia Funke
It's been five years since German author Cornelia Funke's novel INKHEART was first published in English. Since then, the absorbing fantasy, which focuses on characters who can travel in and out of worlds simply by reading books aloud, has captivated millions of fans and will even be made into a feature film in 2009. Now, the story that began with INKHEART and continued in INKSPELL comes full circle with INKDEATH. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.

STARGAZER: The Land of Elyon, Book 4 by Patrick Carman
In this fourth book of The Land of Elyon, Alexa and Yipes finally reach their mysterious destination called the Five Stone Pillars. But unknowingly, they also led the evil Abaddon to this amazing colony. Now Abaddon is determined to rule the Pillars…or destroy them in the process! Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman and excerpted.

As oath-bound members of the secret Terces Society, Cass and Max-Ernest once again battle the evil Masters of the Midnight Sun: Dr. L. and Ms. Mauvais. This time, they get help from some old friends --- and a few new ones --- in this sequel to THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

THE CASE OF THE PECULIAR PINK FAN: An Enola Holmes Mystery, by Nancy Springer
When Enola Holmes encounters her friend Lady Cecily hiding behind a pink fan, she finds it peculiar. In fact, she realizes Cecily is in danger. But what exactly is the matter? And how can Enola help? After examining the clues, Enola discovers that Lady Cecily is being held hostage in an abysmal orphanage, and if she isn't rescued, she'll be forced into a miserable marriage. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

Nathaniel Philbrick has adapted and abridged his New York Times bestselling historical narrative MAYFLOWER: A Story of Courage, Community, and War for a younger audience. THE MAYFLOWER AND THE PILGRIMS' NEW WORLD includes numerous sketches, maps and photographs of artifacts, detailed timelines and insets of historical biographies, all of which add to its accessibility. Reviewed by Usha Reynolds.

GULLY'S TRAVELS written by Tor Seidler and illustrated by Brock Cole
Gulliver is a dog who enjoys the finer things in life and looks forward to his annual trip to Paris, where he and his girlfriend Chloe share fabulous French cuisine. But it's there that his master, Professor Rattigan, falls in love with a woman who turns out to be allergic to long-haired dogs. Forced to choose between his prospective wife and his beloved pet, Professor Rattigan sadly gives Gulliver up --- to his doorman. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

LIFEBLOOD: Darkside, Book 2 by Tom Becker
A series of unexplained murders on the Darkside of London has Jonathan tangled up in another dangerous mystery. He becomes obsessed with solving the crimes and finding his mother, who was investigating similar murders before she vanished. Meanwhile, the Ripper family is involved in a deadly scandal that goes right to the heart of Darkside society --- and they're watching Jonathan. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

Trip Dinkleman hates to read and is not exactly happy when he's asked to help set up the book fair. All he wants to do is go play lacrosse with his buddy Lionel. When a stack of books knocks him out, he awakens to find himself the main character in one book genre after another. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

TURKEY BOWL written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by C. F. Payne
Nine-year-old Ethan has been waiting his entire life to join in on his family's traditional Thanksgiving football game. Finally he's old enough! So imagine his woe when Thanksgiving brings such heavy snow that his teammate relatives aren't able to show up for the game. Sounds like a ruined Turkey Bowl. Or does it? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.


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