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Monday, January 31, 2011


January 2011


TRACKERS, Book Two: SHANTORIAN by Patrick Carman
In this second installment of Patrick Carman’s newest series, the FBI is interrogating the Trackers over four billion dollars that turned up missing from the system. The FBI believes that Adam and his friends are guilty of stealing the money, but the Trackers have video evidence to prove otherwise. When suspicions start to fly, Adam is not sure who he can trust, even among his own friends. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
SPHDZ Book #2! written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Shane Prigmore
In the second book of this wild and wacky series, Michael K. and his SPHDZ alien friends continue to try to get 3.4 million and one humans to join the SPHDZ group. Their goal, of course, is to save Earth. But even with new helpers, they have their work cut out for them. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
THE RIVALRY: Mystery at the Army-Navy, Game by John Feinstein
Teen sportswriters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson can’t wait to cover "America's Game." Army and Navy have been football rivals since 1890, so they’ve spent weeks getting to know the players and the coaches. And the secret service. The president is attending, so security is extra tight. But nothing is as it seems --- and someone else is calling plays. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.
Felicity's parents have a secret. So they leave her with her closed-mouthed Uncle Gideon, her star-crossed Aunt Miami, and a kid named Derek, who won’t leave his room. But Felicity needs his help. Gideon is getting coded letters from her parents and is sure they’re in trouble. Can Felicity crack the code, heal her family, and survive her first crush? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
ELIZA’S FREEDOM ROAD: An Underground Railroad Diary, by Jerdine Nolen
Eliza, a 12-year-old slave, lives on a tobacco farm in Virginia. She's lucky because Mistress taught her how to read and write, even though slaves are not allowed to do so. Eliza dreams of being free and finding her mother someday. Before long, she’s on her own challenging and hopeful journey to freedom on a unique kind of railroad --- the Underground Railroad. Reviewed by Carole Turner.
THE STAR MAKER by Laurence Yep
If only Artie had kept his mouth shut! But his mean cousin Petey was putting him down, so Artie started bragging. Now he has to come up with enough money to buy firecrackers for all his cousins by the Lunar New Year. But luckily, there's one person he can count on: Uncle Chester! Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.
ALMOST ZERO: A Dyamonde Daniel Book, written by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Dyamonde really wants red high-top sneakers. According to her classmate, it’s her mom’s job to give her what she needs, but when Dyamonde tries that argument, her mom decides to teach her a lesson…and now she’s down to almost zero outfits! Then Dyamonde finds out that her friend has it much worse, and she’s determined to find a way to help. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.
BOBBY THE BRAVE (SOMETIMES) written by Lisa Yee and illustrated by Dan Santat
Bobby Ellis-Chan is an awesome skateboarder, but he’s lousy at football. He wishes he could measure up to his older sister, Annie, a quarterback on her high school’s football team. Even more importantly, he wants to please his dad, “The Freezer,” a former star NFL player. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

Graphic Novels and Manga

The Breakfast Bunch is excited for the upcoming bake sale --- and raising money for an awesome field trip. But when all the snacks go missing, it's no laughing matter. Someone is sabotaging the bake sale. But why? Lunch Lady and the Breakfast Bunch are hot on the trail, one brownie crumb at a time. Reviewed by Brigid Alverson.
NANCY DREW, THE NEW CASE FILES: VAMPIRE SLAYER, Part One written by Stefan Petrucha and Sarah Kinney, illustrated by Sho Murase
Vampire-mania has gripped River Heights, with teenage girls going wild over the new "DieLite" novels and movies. But what happens when a supposedly "real" handsome young vampire arrives on the scene? Will Nancy Drew expose him as a fraud -- or fall under his dark spell? As if that wasn't enough, there's something dark and sinister happening while everyone is distracted by the vampire madness. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.
RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN written by Jim McCann and illustrated by Janet Lee
An epic fairy tale that's as vividly imaginative as it is wonderfully drawn, RETURN OF THE DAPPER MENis a magical treat. Set in a world where children who never age past 11 coexist peacefully with robots, it's a bright, sprawling tale that seems to ramble far from where it started without ever feeling as though it has stumbled even a step out of its way. Reviewed by John Hogan.

CHI’S SWEET HOME, Volume 2 written and illustrated by Kanata Konami
In the second volume of Chi's Sweet Home, Chi's new world slowly begins to grow. As Yohei Yamada grows up, it is rapidly becoming apparent to his parents that Chi grows up twice as fast! Now moving into the feline version of the terrible twos, Chi's increasingly curious and independent behavior begins to wear on each member of the Yamada household. Reviewed by Kyla Hunt.


2011 ALA Youth Media Awards

Each year the American Library Association (ALA) honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards --- including the Newbery, Caldecott, Sibert and Coretta Scott King Book Awards --- guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media.

» Click here to see this year's winning titles and honor books.

Celebrating Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a time when America honors the struggles and successes of African Americans. This year, we at have complied a number of fiction and nonfiction titles about slavery, the civil rights movement, and the unforgettable contributions black artists and athletes have made to American culture. From legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong to “the mother of the freedom movement,” Rosa Parks, these individuals all deserve to be remembered and celebrated not only during Black History Month, but throughout the entire year as well. We hope readers of all ages will be moved and inspired by their remarkable stories. Click here »


DEAR AMERICA: LIKE THE WILLOW TREE: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce - Portland, Maine, 1918 by Lois Lowry
Suddenly orphaned by the Spanish flu epidemic in the fall of 1918, Lydia Pierce and her older brother, Daniel, are taken by their uncle to the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake --- where she’s separated from Daniel. Thrust into an unfamiliar way of life, Lydia’s new world is nothing like the one she knew. But with the help of time and her courageous spirit, she learns to find joy again. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

» Click here to read a review of LIKE THE WILLOW TREE.
» Click here to read our Dear America series feature.

Jonathan Chiller has called the kids from books #13-18 back to HorrorLand to collect payment. The only way for them to get back home is to win at a HorrorLand-style scavenger hunt. They each must find a red chest. Inside, the miniature Horror will act as a portal to return them to their loved ones. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

» Click here to read a review of THE HORROR AT CHILLER HOUSE.
» Click here to read our Goosebumps HorrorLand series feature with updated trivia and characters.

Geronimo Stilton is no sportsmouse, but that doesn’t stop Grandfather William from dragging him to a golf tournament so that he can be his caddie. Once Geronimo arrives, he bumps into his friend Kornelius Von Kickpaw, aka Special Agent 00K. Someone is plotting to steal the Super Mouse Cup, and it’s up to Geronimo and Kornelius to crack the case. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

» Click here to read a review of THE GIANT DIAMOND ROBBERY.
» Click here to read our Geronimo Stilton series feature with updated trivia and characters.

When Officer Borsch asks Sammy Keyes to be in his wedding (what was he thinking?!), naturally it all goes quite awry. The young detective not only has to deal with a poufy lavender dress, but she also needs to get to the bottom of a death threat to her least favorite teacher, while struggling with boy issues and mother troubles. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

» Click here to read a review of SAMMY KEYES AND THE WEDDING CRASHER.
» Click here to read our Sammy Keyes series feature with updated trivia.


Win a Copy of MISSILE MOUSE #2: RESCUE ON TANKIUM3 by Jake Parker
In THE STAR CRUSHER, Missile Mouse was on a mission to save the galaxy from surefire doom after a scientist equipped with the knowledge to create a black hole had been kidnapped. This knowledge was a dangerous weapon soon to be used by the baddies, until Missile Mouse foiled their plans. Now, in RESCUE ON TANKIUM3, the feisty secret agent has a new assignment: to free a planet forced into slavery by evil King Bognarsh. But things get dicey when Bognarsh hires the Blazing Bat to take Missile Mouse out before he can shut down the operation.

To celebrate the release of RESCUE ON TANKIUM3, is giving 25 readers the chance to win a copy of Jake Parker’s latest graphic novel. The deadline for entries is Monday, March 28, 2011 at noon ET.

MISSILE MOUSE #2: RESCUE ON TANKIUM3 written and illustrated by Jake Parker
Missile Mouse, secret agent for the Galactic Security Agency, is back in a new adventure! For his new mission, he bounds across the galaxy to save a planet from the clutches of the evil King Bognarsh and his favorite hired gun, the Blazing Bat!

» Click here for all the contest details.
» Click here here to read an excerpt from MISSILE MOUSE #2: RESCUE ON TANKIUM3.
» Click here here to Jake Parker's bio.


CLARA LEE AND THE APPLE PIE DREAM written by Jenny Han, illustrated by Julia Kuo
Clara Lee likes her best friends, her grandpa, kimchi, candy necklaces (her signature look!), and the idea of winning the Little Miss Apple Pie contest.

Clara Lee doesn't like her mom's fish soup, bad dreams (but Grandpa says they mean good luck!), speaking in public, or when her little sister is being annoying.

One day, after a bad dream, Clara Lee is thrilled to have a whole day of luck (Like!). But then, bad luck starts to follow (Dislike!). When will Clara Lee's luck change again? Will it change in time for the Little Miss Apple Pie contest?

» Click here to read a review of CLARA LEE AND THE APPLE PIE DREAM.
» Click here to read an interview with Jenny Han.
» Click here to read Jenny Han’s bio.

PILOT & HUXLEY: THE FIRST ADVENTURE written and illustrated by Dan McGuiness
In this funny comic, best buddies Pilot and Huxley get zapped to another dimension by aliens seeking to enslave the planet Earth. Things get even weirder when they have to traverse a swamp made of bees, battle a sea monster, and seek the golden nose-hair of a giant dragon. But with some luck, some fast thinking, and a lot of help from a girl who can transform into a monster, they might just make it back home in one piece.

» Click here to read a review of PILOT & HUXLEY: THE FIRST ADVENTURE.
» Click here to look inside PILOT & HUXLEY: THE FIRST ADVENTURE.
» Click here to read our interview with Dan McGuiness.
» Click here to read Dan McGuiness’s bio.

January’s roundup of Cool New Books includes SHANTORIAN, the second installment in Patrick Carman’s suspense-filled Trackersseries, about four tech-savvy teens caught in a game of cat and mouse with the world’s most dangerous hacker; LIKE THE WILLOW TREE by Lois Lowry, the latest addition to the Dear Americaseries, which tells the courageous story of an 11-year-old girl who must adjust to life in a Shaker community after being orphaned by the Spanish flu; FEAR ITSELF, book two in Andrew Clements’sBenjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series, in which Ben and Jill have to decipher a set of clues in order to save their school from Lyman, the (literally) snake-like school janitor; and LITTLE WHITE RABBIT by Kevin Henkes, a heartwarming tale of an adventurous rabbit who discovers that anything is possible. »Click here

January’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE LAST OLYMPIAN, the fifth and final installment in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, in which Percy must defend a virtually unguarded Mount Olympus against an assault from the evil Kronos; INTO THE MIST, Patrick Carman’s long-awaited prequel to the Land of Elyon trilogy, which tells of Thomas and Roland Warvold’s relentless quest to discover their true identities --- one that will alter the fate of their homeland forever; PETER AND THE SWORD OF MERCY by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, in which Wendy must find a legendary weapon that will prevent the Others from seizing London’s secret stash of starstuff --- and hopefully save her mother; and Gennifer Choldenko’s AL CAPONE SHINES MY SHOES, which continues the story of Moose Flanagan, a prison guard’s son who keeps receiving mysterious notes that may or may not be from the infamous Al Capone. » Click here

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