Skip navigation

home reviews home paperback features series
coming authors movies audio search
teachers parents faq clubs newsletter write about

Friday, October 1, 2010


September 2010

The following reviews, interviews and features are running on for the month of September.

Reviews and Excerpts

Click Here
THE 39 CLUES, Book Ten: INTO THE GAUNTLET by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Throughout the hunt for the 39 Clues, Amy and Dan Cahill have uncovered history's greatest mysteries and their family's deadliest secrets. But are they ready to face the truth about the Cahills and the key to their unmatched power? After a whirlwind race that's taken them across five continents, Amy and Dan face the most difficult challenge yet --- a task no Cahill dared to imagine. When faced with a choice that could change the future of the world, can two kids succeed where 500 years worth of famous ancestors failed? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman and excerpted.
Click HereTHE SEARCH FOR WONDLA written and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
When the Sanctuary where Eva Nine has lived all 12 years of her life is destroyed, she must learn to survive in the outside world. Outside is nothing like she has been taught to expect, and much of the technology she depends upon no longer works. With little more than a photograph showing a picture of a human, a robot and a child, and bearing the mysterious letters “WondLa,” Eva embarks on a quest with her new friends to discover where she is, who she is, and if there are any other humans left in her world. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood and excerpted.
Allie is excited about her class field trip. Sure, it’s to a one-room schoolhouse, but at least she gets to ride the bus. But when Mrs. Hunter announces that every student has been assigned a buddy, Allie finds herself stuck next to Mary Kay, the ex-best friend who betrayed her right before she moved. Can Allie survive this blast from the past, or is it time to make some new rules? Reviewed by Jana Siciliano and excerpted.
Click HereSKELETON CREEK #3: THE CROSSBONES by Patrick Carman
Strange things always happen in Skeleton Creek, and when they do, Ryan writes them down, and Sarah captures them on video. But now the spookiness is spreading, and this time the mystery is going to take them far beyond the Creek itself…into places both unexpectedly sinister and spine-chillingly haunted. Reviewed by Sally Tibbetts.
Click HereBINK AND GOLLIE written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile
In these three irresistibly good-natured and high-spirited tales, best friends Bink and Gollie share their exploits with each other and with young readers. We join them as they attain new socks, compromise (or not), journey to the Andes Mountains, welcome a goldfish into a new home, and --- most of all --- celebrate a joyous friendship. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
Click HereDEAR AMERICA: THE FENCES BETWEEN US: The Diary of Piper Davis - Seattle, Washington, 1941 by Kirby Larson
Before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Piper Davis was a normal girl. But now her brother is stationed in the Pacific, and her brother-in-law is fighting in Europe. To make matters worse, her father’s congregation gets interned, and she has to move to Idaho. But with the help of a new friend named Betty, Piper realizes the importance of these events --- and that she has to write them down. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

» Click here to read our Dear America series feature.
Click HereTHE DANGER BOX by Blue Balliett
A boy in a small town who has a different way of seeing things. A mischievous girl who won't stay in one place. A mysterious notebook. A fire. A stranger. A death. These are some of the things you’ll find inside THE DANGER BOX, a new mystery by bestselling author Blue Balliett. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
Click HereRADIANCE by Alyson Noël
Twelve-year-old Riley Bloom feels cheated out of life when she died in a car accident. She lingered on the earth plane for quite a while, watching her older sister, Ever, live her life and peaking in on some of her favorite celebrities. When she finally crosses over the bridge to the next phase of her existence, Riley has trouble adjusting to the afterlife. So she jumps at the chance for an assignment --- to return to earth as a Soul Catcher. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
Click HereTHE SMOKY CORRIDOR: A Haunted Places Mystery, by Chris Grabenstein
Zack is starting at a new school --- a school with a haunted janitor’s closet, the specter of a dead crossing guard, and the ghosts of two brothers who perished in a suspicious fire. But there’s also an evil zombie lurking, whose bites turn living people into living dead. Can Zack deal with midterms, monsters and a friend who’s put him on their menu? Reviewed by Amy Alessio
Click HereTHE CASE OF THE GYPSY GOOD-BYE: An Enola Holmes Mystery, by Nancy Springer
Enola’s brother Sherlock has been searching for her --- he’s come across a message from their long-lost mother, one that only Enola can decipher. Now Sherlock and their brother Mycroft must follow her into London’s reeking tunnels to solve a triple mystery: What has happened to their mother and Lady Blanchefleur? And what do they have to do with Mycroft, who holds Enola’s future in his hands? Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.
Click HereTHE GRIMM LEGACY by Polly Shulman
Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library --- a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That’s where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime --- or captured by the thief. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.
Click HereTHE MAGIC THIEF: FOUND by Sarah Prineas
The final book in the fascinating
Magic Thieftrilogy has thief-turned-wizard Conn leaving the city of Wellmet in desperate search of a locus magicalicus, a stone with which to perform his magic and save the city from a perilous enemy who is approaching. What Conn finds at the end of his journey --- a long-forgotten, magical being out of myth and legend --- will change his life and his city forever. Reviewed by Usha Reynolds.
Click HereWORD AFTER WORD AFTER WORD by Patricia MacLachlan
Every school day feels the same for fourth graders Lucy, Henry, Evie, Russell and May. Then Ms. Mirabel comes to their class, bringing magical words and a whole new way of seeing and understanding. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
Click HereMY LIFE AS A BOOK written by Janet Tashjian and cartoons by Jake Tashjian
Derek Fallon wants to spend his summer doing anything and everything but reading. When his parents sign him up for learning camp, he thinks his life is over. Derek learns, though, that the best adventures are found in the most unexpected places, especially when a mystery needs to be solved. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

Click HereTHE ADVENTURES OF OOK AND GLUK, KUNG-FU CAVEMEN FROM THE FUTURE written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
Caveboys Ook and Gluk have a pretty awesome life growing up together in Caveland, Ohio, in 500,001 BC --- even though they’re always getting in trouble with their nasty leader, Big Chief Goppernopper. But Ook and Gluk’s idyllic life takes a turn for the terrible when an evil corporation from the future invades their quiet, prehistoric town. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.
Click HereCARS: RALLY RACE written by Alan J. Porter and Mark Cooper, illustrated by Allen Gladfelter, Magic Eye Studios and Travis Hill
Alan Porter returns with an all-new, never-before-seen original adventure with your favorite Disney/Pixar’s THE WORLD OF CARS characters, as Lightning McQueen organizes a Radiator Springs rally race to raise money for his favorite charity…but finds some of his old rivals are feeling somewhat less than charitable! Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

Manhwa Reviews

Click HereONE FINE DAY, Volume 2 written and illustrated by Sirial
With No-Ah's childhood friend/tormenter added to the mix, all sorts of new adventures are brewing at the green-roofed house. Nanai the dog, Guru the cat, and Rang the mouse have cooked up even more fun this time around: visiting the library, searching for treasure --- and tailing Rang on her first date?! Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

Author Interview

Author Photo and Cover ArtLane Smith
Caldecott Honor recipient Lane Smith is wooing audiences once again with his most recent illustrated work,
IT’S A BOOK, a story about a book-loving monkey, a tech-savvy jackass and a straight-talking mouse that reminds readers of all ages just why they became bookworms in the first place. In this interview, Smith talks about his inspiration for his latest tale and the books that influenced him as a child, weighing in on the debate over the perks of technology and the importance of print, and sharing a few of his favorite authors. He also addresses some of the controversies that have surrounded his previous picture books, speculates on why grown-ups are always underestimating kids, and muses on how being torn between three states has affected his work.

» Read an author talk with Lane Smith and the review.

Special Feature

TOUCH BLUE by Cynthia Lord
“Why take chances?” asks 11-year-old Tess Brooks. “Especially when it’s so easy to let the universe know what you want by touching blue or turning around three times or crossing your fingers.”

But Tess is coming to know that it’s not always that simple. The state of Maine plans to shut down her island’s schoolhouse, which would force Tess’s family to move to the mainland --- and Tess to leave the only home she has ever known. Fortunately, the islanders have a plan, too: increase the number of students by having several families take in foster children. So now Tess and her family are taking a chance on Aaron, a 13-year-old trumpet player who has been bounced from home to home. And Tess needs a plan of her own --- and all the luck she can muster. Will Tess’s wish come true, or will her luck run out?

» Click here to read a review of TOUCH BLUE.
» Click here to read an excerpt from TOUCH BLUE.
» Click here to read Cynthia Lord’s bio.
» Visit Cynthia Lord’s official website,

Cool New Books

September’s roundup of Cool New Books includes RECKLESS, the highly anticipated new novel from Cornelia Funke, who was inspired by the Brothers Grimm to create a world filled with danger, mystery and magic, with fairy tales and legends reimagined as never before; BINK & GOLLIE, a chapter book by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee that introduces readers to two precocious little girls who are the very best of friends; GUYS READ, a sidesplitting collection of short stories from such big names as Eoin Colfer, Christopher Paul Curtis, Jeff Kinney and Jon Scieszka; THE ODIOUS OGRE, a picture book that reunites Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, the author and illustrator of the 1961 classic THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH; and updates to such popular series as Dear America(which returns after a five–year absence), Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls, Skeleton Creek, Olivia (the hyperactive piglet’s first escapade in three years) and The Edge Chronicles (the 10th and final tale in the sequence). » Click Here

New in Paperback

September’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, Neil Gaiman’s Newbery Medal-winning tale of an unusual boy who is the only living resident of a graveyard; THE SOLDIERS OF HALLA, the breathtaking conclusion to D.J. MacHale’s Pendragon series, in which Bobby Pendragon and his fellow Travelers must join forces one last desperate time; THE PORCUPINE YEAR, which completes the trilogy based on the life of an Ojibwe girl and her family that began with THE BIRCHBARK HOUSE and continued with THE GAME OF SILENCE; THIS BOOK IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU, the third book from Pseudonymous Bosch that sees our intrepid heroes facing off against an evil dessert chef and chocolatier; and A WHOLE NOTHER STORY, as told by (the one and only) Dr. Cuthbert Soup, who chronicles the madcap adventures of Ethan Cheeseman and his children as they’re being chased by international super spies, top secret government agents, and a genius monkey. » Click Here

Click here to read the full newsletter.

Back to top