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Thursday, April 30, 2009

 

April 2009

The following reviews, interviews and features are running on Kidsreads.com for the month of April.

Reviews and Excerpts
BASEBALL GREAT by Tim Green
Josh’s dad signs him up with Coach Rocky Valentine's youth championship team, the Titans. As Josh gets in deeper with the team, there are questions he needs to ask. As Josh and his new friend Jaden investigate their suspicions, they find themselves in a dangerous struggle with a desperate man who doesn't want them to expose the nasty secrets they uncover. Reviewed by Joy Held and excerpted.

NEWS FOR DOGS by Lois Duncan
Now that Andi is no longer running a hotel for dogs, she decides to start a new project --- a newspaper for dogs! With her brother Bruce and a few friends, the kids make a hit out of their paper. But they also attract the attention of some mysterious dognappers. Can the kids find the criminals and bring their dogs safely home? Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

ANYTHING BUT TYPICAL by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it's just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

SCIENCE FAIR: A Story of Mystery, Danger, International Suspense and a Very Nervous Frog, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Grdankl the Strong, president of Kprshtskan, is plotting to take over the American government. His plan is to infiltrate the science fair at Hubble Middle School, located in a Maryland suburb just outside Washington. What transpires is a hilarious adventure filled with mystery, suspense and levitating frogs. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

TIMOTHY AND THE DRAGON’S GATE by Adrienne Kress
In this sequel to ALEX AND THE IRONIC GENTLEMAN, Timothy Freshwater finds himself keeper of an ancient dragon confined in human form. Numerous obstacles stand in the way as Timothy races to overcome his disappointing past and, with the help of Alex Morningside, free the dragon. Reviewed by Ben Boche.

BARNABY GRIMES: RETURN OF THE EMERALD SKULL by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
After collecting a strange parcel from a deserted ship in the fog of the docks and delivering it to the local schoolmaster, Barnaby Grimes soon realizes that all is not well at the school. But is the problem quite as he expects it? RETURN OF THE EMERALD SKULL is a gruesome tale of a school overrun by a terrible curse. Who will survive? Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THE YEAR THE SWALLOWS CAME EARLY by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Eleanor "Groovy" Robinson loves cooking and plans to go to culinary school just as soon as she's old enough. But even Groovy's thoughtfully planned menus won't fix the things that start to go wrong the year she turns 11. Forgiveness and self-confidence intermingle with a memorable setting in Kathryn Fitzmaurice’s debut novel. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE RED BLAZER GIRLS: THE RING OF ROCAMADOUR by Michael D. Beil
This is an intriguing mystery, complete with adventure, excitement, clues, danger, treasure, puzzles, snooping, friendship, romance, and lots of hysterical humor. Join seventh graders Sophie, Margaret and Rebecca as they stumble into a 20-year-old mystery, where they have to depend on each other, and their brains, to help a new friend. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

CROWS & CARDS by Joseph Helgerson
In 1849, when Zebulon Crabtree turns 12, his father decides it’s time for him to learn a trade. After his folks scrape together enough money, they ship him off to apprentice as a tanner with his Great-Uncle Seth. On the voyage to St. Louis, Zeb meets a fancy riverboat gambler who has other plans for the impressionable young lad. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

TOBY ALONE by Timothee de Fombelle
Thirteen years old and one and a half millimeters tall, Toby Lolness is on the run from his own people throughout the great oak Tree they call home. Toby carries with him the secret of the Tree’s power, and his pursuers will do anything to possess it --- even kill. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

THE PROBLEM WITH THE PUDDLES written by Kate Feiffer and illustrated by Tricia Tusa
Meet the Puddles: Mr. and Mrs. Puddle, who agree to disagree about nearly everything; their son, Tom; and their daughter, Baby, who has three names because her parents could not agree on one. The Puddles have two dogs, a teacup Chihuahua and a Great Dane, both named Sally. Since Mr. and Mrs. Puddle disagree about so many things, their lives are often filled with confusion and chaos. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

THE DOG DAYS OF CHARLOTTE HAYES by Marlane Kennedy
Charlotte Hayes just does not get why everyone adores dogs so much. She doesn't detest them, but she could take or leave them. So it's ironic that she ends up taking care of a Saint Bernard named Killer (Charlotte nicknames him Beauregard). She has a plan that should result in a happy ending for both Charlotte and Beauregard, but she keeps running into one roadblock after another. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.


Graphic Novel Reviews
AMULET, BOOK ONE: THE STONEKEEPER by Kazu Kibuishi
Kazu Kibuishi begins a new fantasy series in AMULET, BOOK ONE: THE STONEKEEPER. As a young girl and her brother seek to rescue their mother from an evil power, they also try to understand the strange new power that has come their way in the form of the young girl’s necklace. Reviewed by John Hogan.

BENNY AND PENNY: THE BIG NO-NO! by Geoffrey Hayes
Benny and Penny sneak into a new neighbor’s garden and accidentally wreck her mudpies, then scurry into the tall grass to hide. The situation descends into mudslinging, literally, but Geoffrey Hayes’s super-cute art and charmingly human characters keep the story light. Reviewed by Brigid Alverson.

LUKE ON THE LOOSE by Harry Bliss
A bored little boy chases a flock of pigeons through Manhattan and Brooklyn, leaving chaos in his wake, in this energetic slapstick comedy told with a cheery palette and charming details --- including a few winks to the grownups. Reviewed by Brigid Alverson.

SUPERMAN: PAST AND FUTURE
Superman has always been a hero for the ages. This collection proves how true that is, reprinting stories from Superman's decades of comics history, all taking place in various points in the time stream. The Man of Steel translates in any period he finds himself in, thankfully. Reviewed by David Serchay.


Manga Review
VIDIA AND THE FAIRY CROWN by Haruhi Kato
Vidia has never quite fit in with the rest of the Never Fairies in Pixie Hollow. But when she is framed for a crime she never committed, she will stop at nothing to clear her name. This manga is a delightful East/West amalgamation based upon the Disney Fairies franchise. Reviewed by Casey Brienza.


Special Feature
TUMTUM & NUTMEG: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall, stories by Emily Bearn and pictures by Nick Price
Deep inside the broom cupboard of Rose Cottage, two mice live in great style.

Tumtum and Nutmeg lead cozy and quiet lives, secretly looking after Arthur and Lucy, the disheveled human children of the cottage, never dreaming that so many exciting adventures will soon find them. But when evil Aunt Ivy, a squeamish school-teacher named Miss Short, and pirating pond rats threaten the safety of those they hold dear, the courageous pair will stop at nothing to save the day.

In three thrilling tales of daring and wit, Tumtum and Nutmeg --- along with the valiant efforts of veteran hero General Marchmouse, Ms. Tiptoe’s bouncing ballerina army, and a team of caged gerbils --- prove that small-size mice can have world-size hearts.
- Click here to read an excerpt from TUMTUM & NUTMEG.
- Click here to read Emily Bearn’s bio.
- Click here to read the full first adventure of TUMTUM & NUTMEG.


Series Books
WARRIORS: POWER OF THREE #6: SUNRISE by Erin Hunter
In the gripping (and shocking) conclusion to the Power of Three series, the Clans search for a murderer. Meanwhile, Jayfeather, Hollyleaf and Lionblaze are on a more personal investigation, as they attempt to discover their true identities. Now that they know enough about their background to wonder about the gaps in their knowledge, the bigger question remains: What about the prophecy? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
- Click here to read our Warriors: Power of Three series feature.

GOOSEBUMPS HORRORLAND #9: WELCOME TO CAMP SLITHER by R.L. Stine
Boone and his sister head off to summer camp. Boone is excited even though Roddy, a fellow camper on the bus, informs him there is major creepiness in their near future (swimming across a lake filled with snakes, for example). Boone knows Roddy is just the nervous sort…or is he? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

GOOSEBUMPS HORRORLAND #10: HELP! WE HAVE STRANGE POWERS! by R.L. Stine
Twins Jillian and Jackson get a (literally) shocking surprise when a fortune teller's booth malfunctions. Now they have super powers! So that means life will be easy from now on, right? Not unless you consider it pleasant to have someone who just happens to want to drain your brains stalking you. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
- Click here to read our Goosebumps HorrorLand series feature.

THEA STILTON AND THE DRAGON'S CODE: Geronimo Stilton Special Edition , by Geronimo Stilton
Geronimo's adventurous journalist sister stars in this special edition of the Geronimo Stilton series. When she returns to Mouseford Academy as an adult, she's ready to teach a journalism class. But as she sets sail for the remote school, little does she know that she is heading straight into an intriguing mystery. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
- Click here to read our Geronimo Stilton series feature.


Cool New Books
April's roundup of Cool New Books includes NEWS FOR DOGS, a sequel to Lois Duncan's HOTEL FOR DOGS that finds Andi, who's no longer running a hotel for dogs, starting a newspaper for dogs; WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE, the fourth installment in Loren Long and Phil Bildner's newly titled Sluggers series (formerly Barnstormers) featuring the return of the Travelin' Nine; JAKE RANSOM AND THE SKULL KING'S SHADOW, James Rollins's first book for young readers, in which the arrival of a mysterious envelope plunges Jake Ransom and his older sister, Kady, into a gripping chain of events; TUMTUM & NUTMEG by Emily Bearn, a delightful peek into the lives of a pair of mice who, in three captivating stories, are called on time and again to save the day; and two picture books --- MOONSHOT and ONE GIANT LEAP --- that celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

New in Paperback
April's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY AND THE PERILOUS JOURNEY, the sequel to Trenton Lee Stewart's bestseller about four children who are brought together to go on secret missions that only the most intelligent and inventive youngsters can complete; RIVERS OF FIRE, a riveting follow-up to Patrick Carman's ATHERTON: THE HOUSE OF POWER, in which the world collapses and a new danger emerges; THE TRUTH ABOUT MY BAT MITZVAH, Nora Raleigh Baskin's novel about a seventh grader who has a growing interest in her Jewish identity; ELEVEN, a psychological mystery from Patricia Reilly Giff whose main character is a soon-to-be 11-year-old desperate to find out who he really is; and OGGIE COODER by Sarah Weeks, a chapter book that introduces readers to a fourth grader whose talent for charving (the carving and chewing of a piece of cheese with one's teeth) leads him on the path to fame and fortune.


Click here to read the full newsletter.

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