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Monday, February 28, 2011

 

February 2011

REVIEWS
SEEKERS #6: SPIRITS IN THE STARS by Erin Hunter (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
United again, Toklo, Lusa, Kallik and Ujurak continue across the ice. Upon reaching land at last, they're overjoyed. But something isn't right. The bears who live there are ill. Now that their task appears more difficult than ever, they must make a critical decision…and for one bear, the path ends here. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
NO PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT by Gennifer Choldenko (Fantasy)
With their house in foreclosure, siblings India, Finn and Mouse are forced to move to Colorado to live with an uncle they hardly remember. The flight, though, doesn't go according to schedule, and they soon find themselves in a mysterious land with no idea how to get home. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.
BONE: QUEST FOR THE SPARK, Book One written by Tom Sniegoski, illustrated by Jeff Smith (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
When 12-year-old Tom Elm discovers that everyone in his village is asleep and plagued by nightmares, he and a band of unlikely heroes must fight to preserve the Spark, a divine light born at the core of a vast, dark nothingness called the Nacht. The Nacht is trying to permeate the Waking World with nightmares of the Dreaming, and it's Tom's mission to defeat the Nacht and its most loyal follower, the Constable. Reviewed by John Hogan.
FEAR ITSELF: Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School, Book 2 written by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Adam Stower(Mystery)
The clock is ticking for sixth graders Benjamin Pratt and Jill Acton. With less than a month left to save their historic school from being destroyed, Ben and Jill must decipher a centuries-old message hidden in a secret compartment, while being followed by a creepy spy. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.
THE FOURTH STALL by Chris Rylander (Mystery)
Mac's business of solving kids' problems at school had been running smoothly until an innocent looking third-grader asked for protection against the legendary high school crime boss, Staples. Mac takes the job because it appears easy at first, but soon finds out that messing with Staples just might cost him everything.
Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.
THE INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE, Book II: THE HIDDEN GALLERY by Maryrose Wood (Mystery)
Thanks to Miss Penelope Lumley, the Incorrigibles are more like children than wolves now. But they still manage to ruin Lady Constance's Christmas ball, so they have to move to London while Ashton Place is being restored. There, the children learn more about themselves than ever before, as clues to their past --- and Penelope's --- crop up in unexpected ways. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.
YOUNG FREDLE written by Cynthia Voigt and illustrated by Louise Yates (Fiction)
When Fredle is cast out of his home behind the kitchen cabinets, he finds himself on the outside: a new world of color and texture and grass and sky. But with all that comes snakes, rain, lawnmowers and raccoons --- and a different sort of mouse that's not entirely trustworthy. Do the dangers outweigh the thrill of discovery? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
SEASON OF SECRETS by Sally Nicholls (Fiction)
When Molly and Hannah lose their mother, they're sent to stay with their grandparents while their dad "figures things out." Hannah runs away, and when Molly follows her, she sees strange men chasing someone down the road. Later, she finds the man injured --- and realizes there's something magical about him. If he can bring trees to life, is their hope for her mom? Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.
WHAT'S BUGGING BAILEY BLECKER? by Gail Donovan (Fiction)
For fifth-grader Bailey Blecker, a class-wide case of head lice is the worst thing that could happen. Bailey wants to donate her hair, and she's determined not to cut it until it's long enough. But lice are only the beginning of Bailey's troubles, and in this classroom comedy, the solution is full of twists and tangles. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.
MACKENZIE BLUE: MIXED MESSAGES by Tina Wells (Fiction)
Mackenzie Blue and her friends are back from their camping trip and get busy practicing for their band's big performance at the Brookdale Day festival. In the meantime, they're having a blast with a new social networking site created by their own friend, Jasper. And to add more chaos to the mix, Zee's parents make an announcement that will change her life forever. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
THE FIEND AND THE FORGE: Book Three of The Tapestry by Henry H. Neff (Fantasy)
The action in this third book of the Tapestry series picks up with the evil demon, Astaroth, now in control of the entire world. As he removes mankind's greatest discoveries from existence, Max McDaniels embarks on a dangerous quest to stop him. Will Max be the hero the world desperately needs? Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

GRAPHIC NOVELS AND MANGA
HARRY POTTY AND THE DEATHLY BORING written by Stefan Petrucha and illustrated by Rick Parker
When the seemingly traitorous barista Frappe kills their mentor Dumb-as-a-door, Harry Potty, Don Measley and Whiny Stranger must find a way to defeat the nose-less dark lord Value-Mart (He-Whose-Prices-Can't-Be-Beat) and his followers, the Odor Eaters, in order to avenge the death of Potty's parents and bring balance to the world of magic. Reviewed by Tina Vasquez.
TALES FROM THE CRYPT #9: WICKEDER written by David Gerrold, Jim Salicrup and Stefan Petrucha and illustrated by Rick Parker, Stuart Sayger and Richard Hack
Tales from the Crypt is back and “WICKEDER” than ever! This time, the popular musical “Wicked” can't hide from the Crypt-Keeper and his GhouLunatics. Combined with a new story featuring the star of DIARY OF A STINKY DEAD KID and another from Star Trek Fan favorite David Gerrold, “Sales of a Deathman,” this Tales from the Crypt graphic novel is not to be missed! Reviewed by Tina Vasquez.
SILLY LILLY IN WHAT WILL I BE TODAY? written and illustrated by Agnès Rosenstiehl
In her second TOON adventure, no job is too tough for Silly Lilly: first she's a cook who paints, then an acrobat who tumbles, then a city planner… Agnès Rosenstiehl's spunky heroine, one of France's most beloved children's book characters, takes on a new role every day of this week. Reviewed by John Hogan.
MOUSE GUARD: WINTER 1152 written and illustrated by David Petersen
In the Winter of 1152, the Mouse Guard face a food and supply shortage. Some of the Guard's finest traverse the snow-blanketed territories acting as diplomats to improve relations between the mouse cities and the Guard, and find themselves on a race against time to deliver crucial medicines. This is a winter not every Guard may survive... Reviewed by Michael Hicks.

SEASONAL FEATURE
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 Kidsreads.com 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

SPECIAL FEATURE
PILOT & HUXLEY: THE FIRST ADVENTURE written and illustrated by Dan McGuiness (Graphic Novel)
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.

CONTEST
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, Kidsreads.com 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 (Graphic Novel)
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 to read a review of MISSILE MOUSE #2: RESCUE ON TANKIUM3.
» Click here here to read an excerpt from MISSILE MOUSE #2: RESCUE ON TANKIUM3.
» Click here here to Jake Parker's bio.

COOL NEW BOOKS
February's roundup of Cool New Books includes SPIRITS IN THE STARS, the latest addition to Erin Hunter's Seekers series, which follows the four bear cubs as they continue their epic journey across the Arctic ice; NO PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT, Gennifer Choldenko's story of three siblings who find themselves trapped in a fantastical place they've never heard of; LOOKING FOR THE EASY LIFE, a picture book from Walter Dean Myers about a tribe of slick-talking monkeys in search of a better (aka lazier) way of life; and THE FOURTH STALL by Chris Rylander, in which a rule-breaking problem-solver and his business manager run afoul of a high school crime boss and get sucked into a world of intramural gambling, dangerous bullies and graffiti ninjas. » Click here

NEW IN PAPERBACK
February's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes GLITTER GIRLS AND THE GREAT FAKE OUT by Meg Cabot, which finds Allie Finkle's parent-free weekend ruined when her mom makes her go to snobby Brittany Hauser's birthday party; MOCKINGBIRD, Kathryn Erskine's compelling tale of an 11-year-old's struggle to navigate the black-and-white world of Asperger's syndrome in the wake of her brother's death; and EXTRA CREDIT by Andrew Clements, in which a spunky sixth-grader must write letters to a pen pal in Afghanistan --- or risk getting held back. And just in time for spring training, we're featuring a number of unbeatable baseball stories, including THE BATBOY by Mike Lupica; RIVALS, Tim Green's action-packed sequel to BASEBALL GREAT; and BLASTIN' THE BLUES and HOME OF THE BRAVE, the final two books in Loren Long and Phil Bildner's Sluggers series. » Click here


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