You Asked, We Answered: Poetry

December 11th, 2016 by

On October 30, 2016, Kidsmomo reader Aaron asked us for book recommendations based on his interests:

Is poetry nonfiction and fiction ? What is a good poetry book ?

Aaron, thank you for sending in your questions! Let’s go in order:

Is poetry nonfiction and fiction? Yes, it can be either! Poetry is really just a form for telling a story or sharing a message. In other words, it’s the content of the poem that determines whether it’s nonfiction or fiction. For example, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai are both books written in verse, both about girls growing up in the United States in the past. But Brown Girl Dreaming is a memoir about the author’s real life, while Inside Out and Back Again tells a fictional story. That makes Brown Girl Dreaming nonfiction and Inside Out and Back Again fiction, even though both books are in verse.

Brown Girl Dreaming_ Jacqueline Woodson     inside-out-and-back-again

But if you’re just trying to figure out where to find poetry books at the library or bookstore, there’s usually a section specifically for books that are collections of poems, like Laugh-eteria and Bing Bang Boing by Douglas Florian.

laugh-eteriabing-bang-boing

Of course, if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, we can help with that too! That leads us to your second question: What is a good poetry book?

To start, check out our Books for Poetry Month blog post, which includes our personal picks:

  • A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms, written by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka (Karen’s pick)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (Nancy’s pick)

 

a-kick-in-the-head   where-the-sidewalk-ends

You can also hear us talking about these books in the podcast episode, “Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue.”

Of course, Kidsmomo is all about connecting young readers with each other. So instead of just getting book recommendations from old fogeys like Karen and Nancy, check out these Reviews by You(th):

LoveThatDog-SharonCreech  hate-that-cat  A Pizza the Size of the Sun

Aaron, we hope that gives you some good ideas for your next read!

To the rest of you: If you’re like Aaron and want some customized book recommendations just for you, submit an Ask Kidsmomo question in the form below!

Kids: Ask your parents or teachers for approval before you submit anything to us, and read our Privacy Policy Statement.

Your Name (optional):

Your Message (required):

You Asked, We Answered: Historical Fiction

December 4th, 2016 by

On October 30, 2016, Kidsmomo reader Cassie asked us for book recommendations based on her interests:

I love to read Historical fiction and I need help . Do you have a idea

Cassie, thank you for sending in your question! Historical fiction happens to be one of Nancy’s favorite book genres, so this will be a piece of cake. Well, several pieces of cake, since there are so many interesting eras that authors can write about!

alien-typing

Nancy (post-Thanksgiving meal size) is on the historical fiction case!

To start, check out our Timeless Historical Fiction blog post, which includes many classics and our personal picks:

  • A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (Karen’s pick)
  • By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman (Nancy’s pick)

a-long-way-from-chicago a_year_down_yonder by-the-great-horn-spoon

You can also hear us talking about these books in the podcast episode, “History Repeating”.

In addition to our Timeless Historical Fiction book list, you can also check out these books written after we compiled that list:

  • Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes (post-Civil War 1860s)
  • One Came Home by Amy Timberlake (1871)
  • Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War by Helen Frost (War of 1812)
  • Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper (1930s)
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk (1930s)
  • Listening for Lucca by Suzanne M. LaFleur (World War II)
  • The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (World War II)
  • Night on Fire by Ronald Kidd (1960s)
  • Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (1970s)
  • Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai (Vietnam War, 1975)
  • Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo (1975)
  • One Crazy Summer, P.S. Be Eleven, and Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia (1968)
  • Finding Someplace by Denise Lewis Patrick (Hurricane Katrina, 2005)

 

If you’re not sure what era to travel to, check out Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan: The book sweeps across decades and continents, from Nazi Germany to Depression-era Pennsylvania, and more — all tied together by the power of music. Another story that spans multiple time periods is the beautifully illustrated book The Marvels by Brian Selznick.

Echo Pam Munoz Ryan  Marvels Brian Selznick

Also, to our Kidsmomo visitors and Cassie, especially: If you’re interested in a specific era or type of historical fiction, feel free to submit another Ask Kidsmomo question in the form below and we’ll get right on it for you!

Kids: Ask your parents or teachers for approval before you submit anything to us, and read our Privacy Policy Statement.

Your Name (optional):

Your Message (required):

Farewell, Natalie Babbitt

November 27th, 2016 by

tuck-everlastingWe’ve spent the last few days stuffing our faces, relaxing on the couch, and wishing we never had to return to the real world. But we didn’t want to let the month end without a tribute to beloved author Natalie Babbitt, who passed away on October 31st.

You probably know her as the author of Tuck Everlasting, the story of a girl who meets an immortal family and has the option to join them. Tuck Everlasting is definitely Babbitt’s most famous book, and was also adapted into a movie and a Broadway musical. But it started as a gift from Babbitt to her then 4-year-old daughter, Lucy, after Lucy woke up crying one day because she was scared of dying. Babbitt decided to write the story of Tuck Everlasting because she didn’t want Lucy to be anxious about death.

Babbitt’s other books include:

  • Goody Hall, a mystery set in a strange mansion
  • Kneeknock Rise, about a boy who visits a small village and tries to get to the bottom of an unearthly moaning noise in the mountains nearby
  • The Search for Delicious, which follows the journey of a young messenger taking a poll for the king, in order to determine the best example of the meaning of “delicious”
  • The Devil’s Storybook, a book of short stories about — who else? — the devil
  • The Moon Over High Street, in which an orphan has a sudden chance at a brand new life

Some of these books also include artwork by Babbitt, who began her career as a children’s book illustrator. Babbitt got her start when she did the illustrations to go along with her husband’s story in a picture book called The Forty-Ninth Magician.

Of course, as we know, Babbitt went on to be both an author and an artist — and her books have captivated generations of young readers over the years. Through the many stories she shared with the world, it seems safe to say that Babbitt lived up to this advice given by one of the characters in Tuck Everlasting: “Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Review & Easter Eggs

November 20th, 2016 by

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them

It’s finally time, you guys… As author/goddess J.K. Rowling recently said, now is “the dawn of the Age of Hufflepuff“!!!!! Could there be any better news than that?!

Well, if you’re not a die-hard Badger like Karen, maybe you don’t care quite as much about that and you’re just excited about a new story from the Harry Potter universe. Fair enough. Either way, with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, this is a good weekend to be a Potterhead!

Like any other obsessed fans, we got tickets to see the film on opening night, November 18th. Here’s our review:

Nancy: I liked the movie, mostly because we were back in the Wizarding World! The movie was a good set-up for this pre-Harry Potter-era, and I’m very excited to see what happens in the next four movies.

Karen: I agree; being back in the Harry Potter world was definitely the best part for me. In fact, if I weren’t already a Harry Potter fan, I probably would not have enjoyed this movie. I don’t think it really stands on its own. Then again, as you say, it’s the first in a series of five films, so maybe that’s okay!

Nancy: My favorite scenes were the ones with the Niffler creature and a very powerful wizard we’ve never met before, Percival Graves. Also, there’s a scene where a strudel pastry is made magically. Yum!

Karen: YES! I wish I could cook and bake with a wand! But I also really enjoyed seeing all the pastries made the old-fashioned way by Jacob Kowalski, the American No-Maj who gets mixed up in wizarding business. Actually, I think he was my favorite character.

We can’t get into really reviewing the movie for Potterheards without getting into the magical details, so get ready for SERIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD. Don’t read on if you haven’t seen the movie!
spoiler-alert

7 Things Harry Potter Fans Would Recognize

(a.k.a. Things We Noticed, Looked Over to Our Friends, Pointed at the Screen, Smiled Excitedly, and Nodded Knowingly At)

Nifflers and Bowtruckles

First introduced in Goblet of Fire, Nifflers are furry, dark-haired creatures who like to find treasure (and according to this movie, hoard quite a bit of it magically in their bodies!). The Niffler in FBAWTFT is quite a sassy scene-stealer, and like Ron Weasley, we would all like to have one as a pet.

fb_niffler_pottermore

Niffler: Best. Character. Ever.

Bowtruckles are small, twig-like creatures that guard wand-wood trees. They first appear in Order of the Phoenix, in Professor Grubbly-Planks’ Care of Magical Creatures class. Like most class subjects, with the exception of Defense of the Dark Arts, Harry Potter has trouble with Bowtruckles in school. Newt Scamander’s favorite Bowtruckle, named “Pickett,” plays a key role in FBAWTFT.

bowtruckle_fbawtft

“Call me Groot one more time and I’ll bite you!”

Newt is a Hufflepuff

It’s been long established that Newt is a Hufflepuff, but it was nice to see his house subtly represented with his scarf in his suitcase.

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Karen heading back to Hogwarts and Hufflepuff House a few years back. Maybe she’ll see Newt at a reunion some day!

Albus Dumbledore

When Percival Graves interrogates Newt, he name-drops Professor Dumbledore, but as we come to realize in one of the last scenes in FBAWTFT, Graves knows a lot more about Dumbledore than he lets on… Rumor has it that a young Dumbledore will be appearing in the next movie!

The Deathly Hallows

When Graves gives a necklace to Credence, it’s very clearly the symbol of the Deathly Hallows, which represents the Resurrection Stone, the Invisibility Cloak, and the Elder Wand — all things Voldemort and Gellert Grindelwald were seeking.

fantastic-beasts-credence-graves-hallows

Left: Credence; Right: Percival Graves (with the Deathly Hallows hanging in the back!)

Quidditch

At the beginning of the movie, newspaper headlines bring the audience up to speed on what’s going on in the Wizarding World. At one point, we see the headline, “Soccer: Quidditch for No-Majs?”, so it looks like Quidditch is just as popular in North America as it is in Europe.

In addition, the helmet and protective gear that Newt gives Jacob to protect his skull and body looks a bit like an early version of Ron’s Keeper uniform. Newt also answers, “I’m more of a chaser, really,” when asked if he is a seeker of truth. Could Quidditch play a role in some of the later films? We’ll see!

Leta Lestrange

Newt’s Hogwarts school chum was Leta Lestrange, whom we’ll see in the sequels. She’s from the family that Bellatrix Lestrange (boo! hiss!) married into.

bellatrix-lestrange-worst

Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein (and future Mrs. Scamander)

Even though the romance between Newt and Tina has just begun in FBAWTFT, we’re pretty sure they’re eventually going to live happily ever after! As we already know from Pottermore, their marriage eventually leads to their grandson Rolf Scamander, also a magizoologist, who marries Luna Lovegood.

Did we miss any other connections between FBAWTFT and the original Harry Potter books? Leave a comment and share! And also tell us: What did you think of the movie? What do you think will happen in the sequels?

icon_nancyNancy can’t decide if it’s worth saying “Fuh-Baw-Tuft” (FBAWTFT) or just say the full title as is. “Fuhbawtuft” does potentially sound like a magical spell…

 

icon_karenKaren was disappointed there wasn’t more Hufflepuff stuff in the movie. Hopefully her house will get their due in future films!

Back-to-School Book Giveaway!

September 5th, 2016 by

2016-btsWell, it’s Labor Day. The unofficial end of summer. Goodbye, swimming pool. Goodbye, barbecues. Goodbye, beach time. And most monumentally: Goodbye, summer break.

On the other hand, hello to seeing your friends every day. Hello to new beginnings. Hello to your favorite clubs and sports. And hello, Kidsmomo sweepstakes!

To celebrate the start of a new school year (or to soften the blow, depending on how you look at it), we’re hosting a Back-to-School Book Giveaway! With this new pack of books in your bag, you’re sure to be the envy of all your friends, frenemies, actual enemies, and most importantly, your crushes! Well, maybe not… But we’ve still got a big pack of awesome books to give away!

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN…

PRIZE PACK #1

  • The World from Up Here by Cecilia Galante
  • Saving Wonder by Mary Knight
  • Big Wish by Brandon Robshaw
  • Summerlost by Ally Condie
  • Josh Baxter Levels Up by Gavin Brown
  • Allie, First at Last by Angela Cervantes
  • Life of Zarf by Rob Harrell

PRIZE PACK #2

  • My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman (signed by the author!)
  • It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas
  • As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
  • The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
  • Save Me a Seat by Gita Varadarajan and Sarah Weeks
  • Class Dismissed by Allan Woodrow
  • Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis

This sweepstakes is now closed. See official rules.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — FINALLY!

July 31st, 2016 by

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Rehearsal ScriptA few months ago, we shared the exciting news that the official 8th story in the Harry Potter saga was on its way. Well, the wait is now over: As of today (Harry Potter’s birthday), the Special Rehearsal Edition of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is now available!

If you recall, this is a printing of the full script for the new Cursed Child stage play in London, which follows the lives of Harry and his family 19 years after the main action in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. At first, we thought only those lucky enough to watch the play would be able to see what unfolds, but thanks to this printing, wizards and witches all over the world (including us!) can now catch up with the Boy Who Lived.

Let’s all do a Dumbledore dance of joy!

dumbledore-dance

 

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems…

If you want to see how some other Potterheads celebrated the occasion, check out this video from Scholastic, the American publishers of the Harry Potter books. We both used to work there, but sadly, we left way before The Cursed Child came about. So we were not part of this “MuggleMob” — although we wish we could have been!

So, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, what are YOU doing to celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildDid you attend a midnight release party? Did you clear your calendar for today in order to read uninterrupted? Are you wearing any gear to show your house pride? Leave a comment and share your Cursed Child activities!

And obviously, please share your thoughts on the book too! (But please, no spoilers! We haven’t finished reading it yet. Speaking of which… gotta go!)

You Asked, We Answered: Paranormal Romance

June 19th, 2016 by

On June 16, 2016, Kidsmomo reader Emily asked us for book recommendations based on her interests:

I love teen paranormal romance books but I don’t know what I should read next.

Well, Emily, we’d love to help! A lot of thought, and then furious typing, immediately occurred when we saw your message:

typing_kitten

Emily, teen paranormal romance books are very popular these days, but there are so many of them! To avoid a ridiculously long list, we’ve skipped over the most well-known series, like Twilight (for ages 13+). Click on the description links below to see the entirety of the official publisher overview for each book:

[Note: Some of these books are recommended for older readers, so take note of the age ranges listed under the titles.]

Never Ever by Sara SaediNever Ever by Sara Saedi
Ages 12+

Speedy Summary: Peter Pan retelling, flying, romance, family issues.

Wylie Dalton didn’t believe in fairy tales or love at first sight. Then she met a real-life Peter Pan.

Full Description

When Wylie encounters Phinn — confident, mature, and devastatingly handsome — at a party the night before her brother goes to juvie, she can’t believe how fast she falls for him. And that’s before he shows her how to fly.

Soon Wylie and her brothers find themselves whisked away to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of New York City where nobody ages beyond 17 and life is a constant party. Wylie’s in heaven: now her brother won’t go to jail and she can escape her over-scheduled life with all its woes and responsibilities — permanently.

But the deeper Wylie falls for Phinn, the more she begins to discover has been kept from her and her brothers. Somebody on the island has been lying to her, but the truth can’t stay hidden forever.

 

 

Rebel of the Sands_Alywyn HamiltonRebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Ages 12+

Speedy Summary: Annie Oakley’s Wild West meets evil genies and mythical beasts a la Aladdin.

She’s more gunpowder than girl — and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Full Description

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him… or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

 

 

 

The Darkest Minds Alexandra BrackenThe Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Ages 12+

Speedy Summary: One of Nancy’s favorite series! Teenagers with special powers, and the government doesn’t know what to do with them. The romance is light, but really addicting.

When Ruby woke up on her 10th birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police.

Full Description

Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now 16, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her — East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Fallen_Lauren KateFallen by Lauren Kate
Ages 13+

Speedy Summary: Fallen angels, private school, a little cheesy, and lots of romance.

What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

Full Description

Seventeen-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross… only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good and evil forces plot to keep them apart.

Get ready to fall… 

 

 

 

Shiver_Maggie StiefvtaerShiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Ages 13+

Speedy Summary: A typical girl meets boy love story, but the boy happens to be a werewolf.

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf — her wolf — is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without.

Full Description

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human — or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

 

Soundless Richelle MeadSoundless by Richelle Mead
Ages 12+

Speedy Summary: A fantasy set in China, deafness, and social class systems to deal with.

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear.

Full Description
Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.

 

 
 

ForbiddenWish_BOM.inddThe Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
Ages 12+

Speedy Summary: Another retelling of Aladdin, with a female genie that totally kicks butt (and possibly falls in love with him).

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world…

Full Description

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years — a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity — only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: Is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

 

 

And if you decide to take a break from paranormal romance after reading all the awesomely romantic books described above, then check out our answers to other “Ask Kidsmomo” questions!

If any readers — especially Emily! — decide to read any of these books, please leave us a review! And if there are any other Kidsmomo readers unsure about what to read next, feel free to submit an Ask Kidsmomo question below:

Kids: Ask your parents or teachers for approval before you submit anything to us, and read our Privacy Policy Statement.

Your Name (optional):

Your Message (required):

The Classy Crooks Club: Book Giveaway & Author Interview

April 4th, 2016 by

the-classy-crooks-club

Imagine you’re living with your grandmother for the summer — but she’s not the awesome kind of grandma who bakes you cookies every day and always wants to give you hugs and presents. No, you have to live with a grandmother who wants you to behave “properly” all the time and even give up your favorite activities (like skateboarding) if she doesn’t deem them acceptable.

If you’re anything like AJ, the main character in The Classy Crooks Club by Alison Cherry, then that sounds like just about the worst summer ever. And at the beginning, it is. But then AJ discovers something shocking about her grandmother and the other elderly women who come to visit on a regular basis: They’re actually a heist club, intent on “liberating” other people’s possessions for their own motives.

The Classy Crooks Club is a really fun read. Overall, it’s a light-hearted caper with some definite suspense. But besides AJ’s training as a thief — ahem, “liberator” — there’s also a storyline about AJ’s misunderstandings with her best friend, which we can all identify with. In other words: something for everyone!

alison-cherryAnd if you think this book could be for you, then you’re in luck because the author is offering a signed copy for one lucky Kidsmomo reader! Just enter the book giveaway below — but first, check out our Q&A with the author herself:

We’ve read books where kids organize heists, but we’ve never seen a story about a group of old ladies who run a heist club — until now! Where did you get the idea for this book?
I often get ideas for books that have way too many moving parts and need to be split in half or don’t have nearly enough content and need to be combined. This book was an example of the first. My original idea was to write an epistolary novel between a girl at sleepaway camp and her best friend, who was living with her super-strict grandma for the summer and having a horrible time. I spent a weekend with some friends as that idea was percolating, and when someone said the words “old lady” and “pirate” in the same sentence, I suddenly thought, oh my god, what if the strict grandmother were a pirate?? But that didn’t seem quite right — I couldn’t see her on a ship — so I ended up making her a thief on dry land instead. That new twist gave me so many ideas for the grandmother story that I abandoned the epistolary plan altogether, and the sleepaway camp story became its own book. It’s called WILLOWS VS. WOLVERINES, and it comes out next year!

If you were going to “liberate” an item from someone else’s possession, what would it be?
If my living arrangements were equipped for such a thing, I would steal a platypus to keep as a pet. But I’m pretty sure a platypus wouldn’t be very happy in my Brooklyn apartment, so I’d steal a painting from a museum instead — maybe Van Gogh’s “Wheatfield with Cypresses,” or Toulouse-Lautrec’s “The Bed,” or Girodet’s “Endymion.” It would be such a delight to wake up every day and see them on my walls…

We have to ask: In the book, AJ has a fear of birds based on a traumatic run-in with a swan as a child. Did anything similar happen to you?
Nope! I actually like birds a lot, including swans — The Trumpet of the Swan was my favorite book as a kid. My only traumatic childhood run-in that still affects me today was with the movie E.T. I saw it when I was in kindergarten, and it terrified me so much that I still picture the scary scenes in great detail, despite not having seen it in almost 30 years. I guarantee I will never watch it again.

the-classy-crooks-clubEnter for a chance to win a signed copy of The Classy Crooks Club by Alison Cherry!

Enter before May 1st! See official rules. 

This sweepstakes has ended.

Review copy and prizing provided by the author.

Awards Announcements: The Newbery and The Cybils!

January 21st, 2016 by

newbery-medalYou’ve probably heard of the John Newbery Medal, a very big deal in the children’s book world. Well, it was recently announced that this year’s medal goes to picture book Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña! Woo hoo! Congrats!

If you’re looking for a heftier page-turner, check out this year’s Newbery Honor books: The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson and Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan:


Cybils_2015And in other news, we’re celebrating Cybil’s 10th birthday: Happy 10th Birthday, Cybil — I mean, THE Cybils! You’re all grown up! Wait — maybe we should back up and answer the question: What (not who) is the Cybils?

The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal.”

We love The Cybils Awards, because they put a spotlight on awesome books — some well-known and some hidden gems. Check out this year’s middle grade finalists in each category:

The Cybils 2016: Non-Fiction Finalists

The Cybils 2016: Speculative Fiction Finalists

  • Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon
  • Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall
  • The Dungeoneers by John David Anderson
  • The Fog Diver by Joel Ross
  • Wings of Fire Book Six: Moon Rising by Tui T. Sutherland

The Cybils 2016: Graphic Novels Finalists

  • Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola
  • Courtney Crumrin, Volume 7: Tales of a Warlock by Ted Naifeh
  • Dragons Beware! by Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre
  • Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
  • Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
  • Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
  • The Marvels by Brian Selznick

The Cybils 2016: Fiction Finalists

  • Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
  • The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
  • Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  • Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy by Susan Vaught
  • Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai

Have you read any of these award winners? Leave a comment and let everyone know your thoughts!

— Kidsmomo

You Asked, We Answered: Freak the Mighty

January 8th, 2016 by

Freak the Mighty_Rodman Philbrick
On 12/30/2015, Kidsmomo reader Marie asked us for book recommendations:

Freak the mighty
what is another book like this

A little about Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick, from the publisher:

Two boys — a slow learner stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein in leg braces — forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force.

When we saw your message, Marie, we immediately began thinking about it:

batman-thinking

Here are some suggestions:

  • Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
  • Rules by Cynthia Lord
  • Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements
  • Bluish by Virginia Hamilton
  • When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt

 

If any readers (especially Marie!) decide to read any of these books, please leave us a review! And if you have a recommendation for Marie, definitely leave it in the comments!

And, as always, if any other Kidsmomo readers are unsure about what to read next or have a question about a book, feel free to submit an Ask Kidsmomo question here:

Kids: Ask your parents or teachers for approval before you submit anything to us, and read our Privacy Policy Statement.

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