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Saturday, April 30, 2011


April 2011


THE EMERALD ATLAS by John Stephens(Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Orphans Kate, Michael and Emma P (that's right, P) stumble upon an old atlas that has the power to transport them through time. At first, the children seek answers to their mysterious past. But they eventually come to realize that before they learn the truth, they must save the world. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche and excerpted.
SHIMMER: A Riley Bloom Book, by Alyson Noël(Supernatural Fantasy)
After the successful completion of her first assignment as a Soul Catcher, Riley Bloom gets to enjoy a much-needed vacation with her dog Buttercup and guide Bodhi. But their fun is interrupted by a very disturbed lost soul who has managed to trap other lost souls in her own personal nightmare. Despite warnings from Bodhi to leave the situation alone, Riley sets off to save them all. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman and excerpted.
BEYONDERS: A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES by Brandon Mull (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
After being transported to the mysterious world of Lyrian, teenagers Jason and Rachel embark on a quest to defeat the evil wizard Maldor and end his terrible reign. They must collect all six parts of a word that, when uttered in his presence, will destroy him. But it won't be easy. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche and excerpted.
BEST OF THE BEST: A Baseball Great Novel, by Tim Green (Fiction)
Josh is still flying high from his baseball team's win when his parents start talking divorce. Now his dad is challenging him to play the best of the best at the Little League World Series. Does he just want Josh out of the way? With the help of two friends, Josh races to get the facts that can help keep his family together. Reviewed by Joy Held.
STINK: THE ULTIMATE THUMB-WRESTLING SMACKDOWN written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Fiction)
Stink Moody, family brain, brings home a report card that isn't perfect. It's time for him to get into fighting shape and beat back that U for Unsatisfactory in gym! A scan of the sports channel leads to a knock-out find: world-class thumb wrestling. But then Stink gets an even better idea: he'll kick and punch his way to a yellow belt with the help of a Dragon Master, a seeing-eye Moose, and a mind as still as a pond. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
THE MIDNIGHT TUNNEL: A Suzanna Snow Mystery, by Angie Frazier (Historical Mystery)
In 1904, 11-year-old Suzanna Snow spends most of her summer working at a fancy hotel in a coastal Canadian town. Rather than follow in her parents' footsteps of hotel management, she wants to be a detective, just like her famous uncle in Boston. Then a real-life mystery opens up right in front of her when a seven-year-old hotel guest disappears in the middle of a storm. Zanna is on the case! Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
A TRUE PRINCESS by Diane Zahler (Fantasy)
Twelve-year-old Lilia is a terrible servant. She daydreams, breaks dishes, and her cooking is awful. Still, she hardly deserves to be sold off to the mean-spirited miller and his family. Refusing to accept that dreadful fate, she decides to flee with her best friend, Kai, and his sister, Karina. But danger awaits in the elves' domain, where Lilia must find a jewel of ancient power that lies somewhere in the North Kingdoms. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
Unlike her ghost-chasing parents, Poppy Malone isn't the kind of girl who sees goblins. But then she begins to collect evidence: a snicker, soft but clear, and white teeth gleaming in the shadows. What could it be? Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, fairies, or (gulp) goblins? She needs to record all the evidence in a logbook, set a trap, employ a motion-sensor camera, and maybe even ask her siblings for help. Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell.
A DOG'S WAY HOME by Bobbie Pyron (Fiction)
Abby loves her Shetland sheepdog, Tam. When an accident separates them, it feels as though nothing will ever be right again. As the days between them turn to weeks and then months, dangers and changes fill up Abby's and Tam's lives. Will they ever find their way home to each other? Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell.


BABYMOUSE #13: CUPCAKE TYCOON written by Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by Matthew Holm
When Babymouse accidentally destroys her school library, the school has a cupcake sale to help pay to replace it. Babymouse longs to win the grand prize, but an aggressive classmate is way ahead of her. What's a little pink mouse to do? Reviewed by Brigid Alverson.


Win a Copy of BIRD IN A BOX by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Famed boxer Joe Louis is miles away from Otis, Willie and Hibernia, but that doesn't stop them from looking to him during times of hardship. Like Joe Louis, these three children are fighters in their own right --- when loss strikes their families, they refuse to let go of their dreams. And when the three finally meet, they'll have not only their idol to look to, but each other as well.

To celebrate the release of BIRD IN A BOX by Andrea Davis Pinkney, is giving 10 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, June 28th at noon ET.

BIRD IN A BOX by Andrea Davis Pinkney (Historical Fiction)
Otis, Willie and Hibernia are three children with a lot in common: they've all lost a loved one, they each have secret dreams, and they won't stop fighting for what they want. And they're also a lot like their hero, famed boxer Joe Louis. Throughout this moving novel, their lives gradually converge to form friendship, family and love. Their trials and triumphs echo those of Joe Louis, as he fights to become the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion.

» Click here to read all the contest details.
» Click here to read a review of BIRD IN A BOX.
» Click here to read an excerpt from BIRD IN A BOX.
» Click here to see the reading group guide for BIRD IN A BOX.
» Click here to visit the book's official website.
» Click here to read our interview with Andrea Davis Pinkney.
» Click here to read Andrea Davis Pinkney's bio.

Win a Copy of THE LOSER LIST by H.N. Kowitt
Being a loser is bad enough, but now comics-obsessed Danny is actually on the list: the Loser List --- it's right there, hanging in the girls' bathroom, for everyone (and one girl in particular) to see. There's only one thing for him to do about it. He must get his name off. But just when his world starts looking up again, Danny may find that being cool isn't all it's cracked up to be.

To celebrate the release of THE LOSER LIST, is giving 100 readers the chance to win a copy of H.N. Kowitt's illustrated book. The deadline for entries is Thursday, May 26th at noon ET.

THE LOSER LIST by H.N. Kowitt (Illustrated Fiction/Humor)
When Danny gets caught trying to cross his name off the "Geek" list in the girls' bathroom, he's sent to detention. Bullies torment him mercilessly --- until they discover that Danny can draw. He enjoys his new "bad boy" status, supplying tattoos and graffiti, until he's unknowingly drawn into a theft. Turns out the bullies took a comic book from Danny's favorite store. Can he steal it back before they get caught --- and break off with the bullies before he gets in too deep?

» Click here to read all the contest details.
» Click here to read a review of THE LOSER LIST.
» Click here to look inside THE LOSER LIST.
» Click here to read our interview with H.N. Kowitt.
» Click here to read H.N. Kowitt's bio.

Announcing's First "Bunch o' Books" Giveaway!
In our first-ever Bunch o' Books Giveaway, is giving 20 lucky readers the chance to each win four books that we think they'll enjoy!

Each winner will receive:

- IN FRONT OF GOD AND EVERYBODY: The Confessions of April Grace by K.D. McCrite
- IZZY'S POPSTAR PLAN by Alex Marestaing
- NO PLACE LIKE HOLMES by Jason Lethcoe
- THE SECRETS BENEATH by Kathleen Fuller

The deadline for entries is Wednesday, June 15th at noon ET.

» Click here to read all the contest details.
» Click here to read more about the prize books.

April's roundup of Cool New Books includes John Stephens's much-talked-about debut, THE EMERALD ATLAS, which finds three orphaned siblings on a journey to secret corners of the world, where magic and mayhem await; VESPERS RISING, a multi-authored addition to the 39 Clues series, bringing the Cahills up against the powerful Vespers, who have been waiting in the shadows for their time to rise; THE EMPEROR OF NIHON-JA by John Flanagan, the final adventure in the worldwide phenomenon Ranger's Apprentice,which sees Will and his band of Araluens fending off master Senji warriors intent on overthrowing the emperor; and ARTHUR TURNS GREEN, the long-awaited return of Marc Brown's beloved aardvark, who is making a poster listing all the ways to save energy at home --- and go green! » Click here

April's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE SUMMER BEFORE, Ann M. Martin's prequel to The Baby-sitters Club, which marks the long-awaited return of a much-loved group of friends; the opening volumes of two new series by Newbery Medal-winning author Kathryn Lasky, Wolves of the Beyond and The Deadlies; THE BRIMSTONE KEY, the first installment in Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis'sClockwork Chronicles trilogy, starring the Grey Griffins, who are now monster-hunters, celebrated heroes, and allies to the legendary Templar knights; and DEWEY THE LIBRARY CAT, a middle-grade adaptation of Vicki Myron's nonfiction bestseller about a cat who was abandoned in a library book drop slot and gained worldwide fame as a symbol of hope that one small cat could change a town, one reader at a time. » Click here

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