Our recent October orders are now either available or in the catalog; I can now show you their cool covers and tell you more about them! Lots to get through, so these will only be brief annotations.
The word-play extraordinaire returns with a friendship story about a dog and a bird. But what's with the title? The title refers to 13 words to which the reader/listener is introduced (despondent, haberdashery, scarlet, panache, etc). The illustrations by Maira Kalman have received special attention in the reviews; can't wait to check them out.
The Adventures of Granny Clearwater & Little Critter
Adventures are in store for Granny and Critter after they are thrown from their covered wagon. Kimberly Willis Holt is a terrific storyteller, so I'm eagerly anticipating this one!
I've been anxious to read this ever since I learned about this fictionalized account of Peter van Pels, Anne Frank's romantic interest during their fateful teenage years. Annexed has received a lot of praise, but since Holocaust fiction puts some people on edge (hand raised), it's also received some criticism (even more so since this is based upon an actual person). Will report ASAP.
Art & Max
Art and Max sounds really cool; two (lizard) friends at various levels of painting expertise attempt a variety of media.
Carmen Learns English
Starting school is a big deal for any child, but when you're starting school in a new country and you don't know the language, it's even scarier. Carmen's situation is one in which many children find themselves, so it's wonderful to find a picture book that speaks to them.
It's always a good day when Walter Dean Myers has a new book out. The Cruisers tells the tale of four friends who start their own newspaper at their Harlem school. When a mock Civil War erupts at their school, they use the newspaper to establish peace. This is the first in a series.
The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter
Thaddeus is a smart kid. Really smart. When he finds himself in in-school suspension, he creates a case file arguing for his release. Sounds funny and something that Wimpy Kid fans would like.
Ernest, The Moose Who Doesn't Fit
Poor Ernest. He's such a big moose that he can't even fit on the page! Luckily, he has a chipmunk friend ready to help. Reviews have pointed out that this is a fun read aloud, so I'm looking forward to this.
Laurie Halse Anderson's sequel to Chains. Very excited.
A Girl Named Mister
I was thrilled when I saw that Nikki Grimes had a new book out for Zondervan. When Mister, a pregnant Christian girl, discovers a book of poetry written from the Virgin Mary's perspective, she finds hope and inspiration from Mary's story. Cannot wait.
The Good, The Bad, And the Barbie
I was such a Barbie girl. I had the house, the pool, the car, the Ken, tons of clothes, and even the Barbie McDonald's playset (ha ha ha...can you imagine the outrage if Mattel came out with this gem now? ). Loved, loved, loved my Barbie stuff. Can you think of any other toy that has inspired such passionate scholarship and editorializing? Most toys, if they're lucky, are remembered as fads (Cabbage Patch Kids, Beanie Babies, etc). Barbie is a legend. I've read many of the Barbie books written for an adult readership, but I believe this may be the first comprehensive Barbie biography written for a juvenile audience (geared toward YA).
The House of Dead Maids
Oooh, creepy. I'm not a huge fan of prequels and spinoffs of classic literature, but this has received such strong reviews that I'm eager to read it. This is a prequel to Wuthering Heights told from the perspective of Heathcliff's nursemaid. Booklist has compared the climax to something akin to Shirley Jackson.
I Didn't Do It
Once I Ate a Pie is one of my standard recommendations for National Poetry Month assignments. It's such an irresistable and hilarious collection of poetry from dogs' perspectives. Patricia MacLachlan has undoubtedly upped the cuteness factor into hyperspeed: these poems are written from puppies' points of view!
Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever
I'm a little nervous. Justin Bieber's autobiography is not checked out. Where are you, Bieber-ites? Don't tell me everyone's over him already (I had a feeling this might happen, so I only ordered one copy). I know how this can happen; my mother can tell you that after outfitting my bedroom in a (disgusting, Pepto-Bismol colored) pink New Kids on the Block bedroom set, I decided that I hated NKOTB. Anyway, it's there.
Dev Logan is the creator of the world's most popular online multiplayer game. He's the only one that knows that the game is actually alive. This techno-thriller should appeal to the gamers out there.
I'm a big fan of A Northern Light, so I'm super excited to read Jennifer Donnelly's latest novel. Andi, a gifted young musician, spends winter break in Paris with her estranged father. While in Paris, she stumbles upon a diary written by a French Revolution era actress, who had a life-changing encounter with Louis XVI and his young son. This has received enthusiastic reviews; sounds like a compelling read.
Shine, Coconut Moon
Published in 2009, this is the story of Samar, a young girl of Indian heritage who has never given much thought to her heritage and background until the events of 9/11.
Somebody Everybody Listens To
I really liked Artichoke's Heart (reviewed it for School Library Journal), so you can imagine that I'm impatient to read Suzanne Supplee's latest story. Retta Lee Jones escapes her tiny Tennessee town as soon as possible after her high school graduation. Dreams of Nashville and a country music career consume her thoughts; I don't know much beyond that, but I will bet that this is another warm and endearing Southern novel.
Like all fads in publishing, the blog-to-book phenomenon has overstayed its welcome.
Nonetheless, I couldn't resist the book version of the insanely adorable Zooborns blog. I adore pictures of animals, but I can only take so much of the cutesy talk found on the more popular "cute animals" blogs. Although it may not be as informative as some reviewers would have liked, it looks like a sure-fire hit.
We're already receiving Christmas books; I'll talk about those in a few weeks.