We just sent off our August order--woo hoo! Sooooo many awesome reads--where to begin?
The Second Life of Abigail Walker
I adore Frances O'Roark Dowell's novels. She captures middle school life perfectly without resorting to slang or pop culture references that instantly age stories. Her new heroine, Abby, is in sixth grade and dealing with clique and mean-girl issues. Kirkus and Publishers Weekly both starred their reviews.
Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick
Squeeee! Jennifer Holm has a new book out. Yay. Oh, yay. As I've said before--kids love her, parents love her, teachers and librarians love her, and critics love her. Newbery committees love her too (but have yet to award her the big enchilada--the Newbery Medal. She has three Honor citations.). Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick is a sequel to Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf, and it seems a bit more serious than its predecessor. Her new sibling is born premature, her brother commits computer fraud, and Ginny herself is diagnosed with a chronic illness involving her stomach (celiac? I'm not sure). That being said, Kirkus points out that "the tone is positive, and the ending hopeful."
Bang! Boom! Roar! A Busy Crew of Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs and construction equipment--this will make any dinosaur-obsessed or construction-obsessed child very happy! Not only that--it's an alphabet book.
Bears in Beds
I'm a big fan of Bears on Chairs, so I'm tickled that Shirley Paranteau has written a sequel. This is a bedtime story involving the bears (complete with a bedtime story--Goldilocks and the Three Bears).
Kizzy Ann Stamps
First of all--that is an adorable cover. I saw it several months ago, fell in love with it, and hoped that the story was as appealing as the cover. Set in 1963, this chronicles Kizzy Ann's experiences at her newly integrated school and training her dog for a dog show. School Library Journal opines that "[T]his is a touching story with a sharp and insightful protagonist." Other reviews have been very encouraging.
Liar and Spy
Oh, buddy. This is getting a lot of online buzz; it's already received two starred reviews. Rebecca Stead won the Newbery for When You Reach Me, and readers are already saying that this is just as strong and powerful as WYRM. Two middle school boys (one public school student, one home schooled student) spy on a weird neighbor. How far is too far is a question that Georges must decide when investigating their unusual neighbor. Reviews are out of this world: "Original and winning," says Kirkus Reviews; "Chock-full of fascinating characters and intelligent questions, this is as close to perfect as middle-grade novels come," according to Publishers Weekly. That's a strong statement; can't wait to read this.
Ollie's School Day: A Yes-and-No Story
I wish this had been published a little bit sooner than early August, because this sounds like a unique first-day-of-school book. Seasonal books should really be published at least a month before the actual event, in my opinion. Oh, well. The reader is asked questions about Ollie's school day: what he should wear, eat, how he should ask a question, etc. Of course, the wrong answers are so crazy that the correct one is quite obvious (and should lead to plenty of giggles).
Presiona aqui/Press Here
I saw this in Chronicle Books's online catalog and knew we had to order it. Press Here is one of the most creative books published in the past several years, and now it's available in Spanish (thought it was a bilingual book, but I'm not 100% sure)!
What are wumbers? You cre8 wumbers when you combine letters and numbers. And if you concentr8 and pay a10tion, you'll get the ba6 down fairly quickly. Wumbers are often found in textspeak and on Twitter, where economy of words is paramount. The reviews are quite good, with Publishers Weekly stating that "[T]he puns aren't labored, and some are entertainingly complex." Lots of cre8tive wordplay 4 readers who like wordplay and cartoons.
Whoa! There are plenty of other titles that I didn't include. What a fantastic month. September looks to be just as plentiful. We are at the height of the 2012 publishing season, so get ready!