More School Stories

August 23rd, 2011 by

Sure, summer’s pretty fun and you’re probably sad to see it end, but let’s not forget… school is NEVER boring! From an alien take-over to a secret society to having your sister as your teacher — we’ve got it all in our booklist of school stories (in no particular order):

  1. Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School series by Andrew Clements (Karen’s pick)
  2. The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne (Nancy’s pick)
  3. The Teacher’s Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts by Richard Peck
  4. SPHDZ series by Jon Scieszka
  5. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
  6. Schooled by Gordon Korman
  7. Fourth-Grade Fuss by Johanna Hurwitz
  8. My Weird School series by Dan Gutman
  9. Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) by Lisa Yee
  10. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
  11. Fourth Grade Rats by Jerry Spinelli
  12. Knights of the Lunch Table graphic novel series by Frank Cammuso
  13. The Secret Language of Girls by Frances O’Roark Dowell
  14. Shredderman series by Wendelin van Draanen
  15. Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park

(Also, here’s a printable version of our More School Stories booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or show to your new teacher and see if you can get extra credit.)

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of your favorite school story book.

And don’t forget our previous school story recommendations from last fall!

UPDATE 9/20/11: We revealed the answer to our More School Stories Mystery Book Theater in the “Rule the School” Podcast, so take a listen if you want to know the answer. Or just tune in if you want to hear Karen’s comedy attempt fails. You know, the usual.

Fall Preview: Upcoming Books for Your “To Read” List

July 26th, 2011 by

Yes, summer is awesome. Between summer camp, pool-side popsicles, and beach vacations, maybe you’re wishing that fall would never arrive.

But guys, autumn isn’t all bad! And to prove it to you, we’ve put together this monster list of books that are coming out in the fall — all of which we’re really, really excited about.

And for each upcoming book, we’ve also got a recommendation for a fun read to tide you over. So take a break from your summer break and check these out (in publication order):

  1. Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger (Aug. 1)
    — Get ready with: The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
  2. Bridge to Never Land by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (Aug. 9)
    — Get ready with: the Peter and the Starcatchers series
  3. City of Orphans by Avi (Aug. 15)
    — Get ready with: The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
  4. Big Nate on a Roll by Lincoln Peirce (Aug. 16)
    — Get ready with: Big Nate Books 1-3
  5. The Worst-Case Scenario Survive-o-pedia Junior Edition (Aug. 17)
    — Get ready with: The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Gross Junior Edition
  6. Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Rule the School (Aug. 23)
    — Get ready with: Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World
  7. The Magnificent 12 Book 2: The Trap by Michael Grant (Aug. 23)
    — Get ready with: The Magnificent 12 Book 2: The Call
  8. The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 1: The Medusa Plot by Gordon Korman (Aug. 30)
    — Get ready with: the original 39 Clues series
  9. Karen’s pick: The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann (Aug. 30)
    — Get ready with: The Giver by Lois Lowry
  10. Floors by Patrick Carman (Sept. 1)
    — Get ready with: Olivia Kidney by Ellen Potter
  11. NERDS Book 3: The Cheerleaders of Doom by Michael Buckley (Sept. 1)
    — Get ready with: NERDS Books 1-2
  12. How to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston (Sept. 5)
    — Get ready with: the Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renee Russell
  13. Nancy’s pick: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick (Sept. 13)
    — Get ready with: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  14. You Have to Stop This by Pseudonymous Bosch (Sept. 20)
    — Get ready with: the Secret Series Books 1-4
  15. The Flint Heart by Katherine Paterson and John Paterson (Sept. 27)
    — Get ready with: The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
  16. Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver (Oct. 1)
    — Get ready with: The Books of Elsewhere Book 1: The Shadows by Jacqueline West
  17. Seriously, Norman! by Chris Raschka (Oct. 1)
    — Get ready with: A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
  18. The Heroes of Olympus Book 2: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (Oct. 4)
    — Get ready with: The Heroes of Olympus Book 1: The Lost Hero
  19. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by authors including M.T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka, and Lemony Snicket (Oct. 25)
    — Get ready with: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg
  20. Brotherband Chronicles Book 1 by John Flanagan: The Outcasts (Nov. 1)
    — Get ready with: the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan

(Also, here’s a printable version of our Fall Preview booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or show to your parents to prove you are indeed doing your summer reading. Between dips in the pool and trips to the ice cream shop, of course.)

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of any books you’re reading this summer.

A Summer Grab Bag of Book Recommendations

June 29th, 2011 by

Lemonade! Popsicles! Picnics! The beach! Watermelon! Swimming! Camp! No school!

Oh, sorry, were you looking for a full sentence that actually made some sense? Too bad! It’s bright and sunny out, and we’ve got summer on the brain!

So for this special month-long theme, it’s a Summer Grab Bag of books. We’ve each selected some great reads that we’ve never mentioned before in the history of Kidsmomo. So grab some ice cream for sustenance, and then check out any of these books (in no particular order):

Karen’s Recs:

  1. The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit (Karen’s pick)
    I’ve read this one over and over again! Perfect for fans of The Penderwicks and Edward Eager’s books.
  2. Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
    A lesser-known book by the author of Anne of Green Gables. As a kid, I related to Emily because she loves to write, just like me!
  3. The Naked Mole-Rat Letters by Mary Amato
    I’m pretty sure I picked up this book just because of the title. I mean, how you can resist? But there’s more to the story than just the punchline, I promise!
  4. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
    If you like The Phantom Tollbooth, try this one out!
  5. Everyone Else’s Parents said Yes by Paula Danziger
    I love love love Paula Danziger’s hilarious books. Puns galore!
  6. The Hot and Cold Summer by Johanna Hurwitz
    A perfect pick for the season. 🙂
  7. Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary
    Move over, Ramona Quimby… Meet Maggie!
  8. The Silver Crown by Robert C. O’Brien
    Recently, Nancy recommended Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien. He also wrote this fantasy novel that I really enjoyed as a kid.
  9. Mandy by Julie Edwards
    If you like The Secret Garden, I highly recommend Mandy. I loved this book so much when I was growing up, it even inspired me to write a short story that was kind of similar!
  10. Atherton series by Patrick Carman
    If you’re in search of a good summer series, look no further. These books are totally awesome. Guaranteed.

Nancy’s Recs:

  1. The Magic Half by Annie Barrows (Nancy’s pick)
    Miri, a lonely middle kid between two sets of twins, finally finds her other half — who lives in the past!
  2. Sea City, Here We Come (Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #10) by Ann M. Martin
    A great summer read! All of the BSC Super Specials are fun and I, a West Coaster, especially liked #10 because it was summer on the East Coast.
  3. The Cay by Theodore Taylor
    Just because I read this for class doesn’t mean it wasn’t mesmerizing!
  4. Sweet Farts by Raymond Bean
    Keith is NOT happy with his new nickname “S.B.D.” (Silent But Deadly)… so he makes it his mission (and science project) to discover the cure for the common fart.
  5. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
    A classic about Omri and his friend Little Bear… who’s a plastic toy Indian that comes to life!
  6. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) by Ally Carter
    15-year-old Cammie goes to boarding school. Boarding school for spies in training, that is.
  7. Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum
    Did you know that there’s more to this magical land than The Wizard of Oz? It’s up to Dorothy to save the day again!
  8. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
    It’s like Jane Eyre + Lemony Snicket + Mary Poppins + three wild children. Need I add more?
  9. The New Girl (Sweet Valley Twins #6) by Francine Pascal
    Find out in why newcomer Brooke Dennis is a big jerk to identical siblings Elizabeth, Jessica, and “Jennifer” Wakefield!
  10. The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
    What happens when you give a mouse a motorcycle? He rides it, of course!

(Also, here’s a printable version of our Summer Grab Bag booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or the lake house or the pool or day camp or a road trip or a plane, etc.)

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of any books you’re reading this summer.

UPDATE 7/26/11: We revealed the answer to our Summer Grab Bag Mystery Book Theater in the “Endless Summer” Podcast, so take a listen if you want to know the answer. Or just tune in if you want to hear us revel in our own surprising amazingness. No, really.

Books About Dads

June 14th, 2011 by

It’s almost Father’s Day, and you know what that means… time to pick out another tie for the collection! OR you could celebrate by reading one of these books about dads. You may think that’s not much of a gift, but believe you me, every dad appreciates some quiet time!

So check out these books about fathers in all shapes and sizes — from always there to long-gone to everything in between (in no particular order):

  1. Amalee by Dar Williams (Karen’s pick)
  2. Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl (Nancy’s pick)
  3. The Janitor’s Boy by Andrew Clements
  4. Travel Team by Mike Lupica
  5. Savvy by Ingrid Law
  6. A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
  7. Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg
  8. Becoming Naomi León by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  9. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  10. Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes
  11. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
  12. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

(Also, here’s a printable version of our Books About Dads booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or leave lying around where your dad will see it and think you’re just the cutest thing in the world, and hopefully increase your allowance in gratitude or something.)

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of your favorite book about a dad.

UPDATE 6/29/11: We revealed the answer to our Books About Dads Mystery Book Theater in the “Yo, Daddy-o!” Podcast, so take a listen if you want to know the answer. Or just tune in if you want to hear us talk about how extremely amazing we are. For serious.

Multi-Animal Adventure Books

May 31st, 2011 by

A canine detective in search of missing chickens. Dog and cat housemates with a new vampire(?!) bunny roommate. And several epic tales about rats versus mice — apparently, legendary enemies… Those are just a few of the several-species-stories you’ll find in our new booklist of multi-animal adventures (in no particular order):

  1. The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick (Karen’s pick)
  2. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (Nancy’s pick)
  3. The Trouble with Chickens, written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Kevin Cornell
  4. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  5. Bunnicula books by James Howe
  6. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  7. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  8. The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
  9. Redwall series by Brian Jacques
  10. The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
  11. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  12. Poppy by Avi
  13. The Incredible Journey by author Sheila Burnford
  14. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  15. I, Freddy books by Dietlof Reiche

(Also, here’s a printable version of our Multi-Animal Adventures booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or read aloud to your pets to give them some inspiration.)

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of your favorite multi-animal adventure book.

Wacky, Gross, Weird, and Real: Nonfiction Books

May 17th, 2011 by

Did you know that a slinky can stretch from a sixth-floor window to the ground? Or that a “zedonk” is a cross between a female donkey and a male zebra? Or that the government used to operate a top-secret military base underground in Colorado — and it included an on-site dentist’s office?! These are just a few of the totally crazy but completely real factoids you’ll discover in these “strange but true” nonfiction books (in no particular order):

  1. 100 Most Awesome Things On The Planet (Karen’s pick)
  2. Ripley’s Believe It or Not: Special Edition 2011 (Nancy’s pick)
  3. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook Gross Junior Edition
  4. TIME for Kids BIG Book of Why: 1,001 Facts Kids Want to Know
  5. A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  6. Weird But True: 300 Outrageous Facts
  7. Scholastic Book Of World Records 2011
  8. Pick Me Up by Jeremy Leslie, David Roberts, Roger Bridgman, Philip Wilkinson
  9. Scholastic Book of Lists
  10. Do Not Open by John Farndon

(Also, here’s a printable version of our “Wacky, Gross, Weird — and Real” booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or memorize so you can win big on game shows.)

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of your favorite nonfiction book.

Books Starring Guys

May 4th, 2011 by

Every March, we honor totally rockin’ ladies because of Women’s History Month. So we thought it’s time we celebrate some awesome dudes! From a boy raised in a cemetary to an evil(?) boy genius, from a guy fighting against an oppressive government to a dude who lives among lawbreakers on Alcatraz… meet them all in these books starring guys (in no particular order):

  1. 8th Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Karen’s pick)
  2. Big Nate books by Lincoln Peirce (Nancy’s pick)
  3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  4. Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  5. The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
  6. How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen
  7. Shredderman series by Wendelin Van Draanen
  8. Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
  9. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
  10. Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
  11. Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  12. Heat by Mike Lupica
  13. Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis
  14. Joey Pigza books by Jack Gantos
  15. Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
  16. Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
  17. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  18. Fourth Grade Rats by Jerry Spinelli
  19. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  20. The Seems series by John Hulme and Michael Wexler

(Also, here’s a printable version of our Books Starring Guys booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or post up in your “BOYS ONLY. NO GIRLS ALLOWED.” fort.)

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of your favorite book starring a guy (or multiple guys). We’ll feature the best kid-submitted reviews in our next podcast!

UPDATE 5/17/11: We revealed the answer to our Books Starring Guys Mystery Book Theater in the “Boys Will Be Boys” Podcast, so take a listen if you want to know the answer. Or just tune in if you want to hear about cheese puffs and public vomiting — not connected to each other, thank goodness!

Books for Poetry Month

April 19th, 2011 by

There once were two girls with a website.
They loved finding books that were just right.
Then Poetry Month came,
And true to their claim,
Here are poetry books sure to delight!

Hey, we never said we were Shakespeare… But we DID round up a bunch of poetry and verse offerings for National Poetry Month. Enjoy them this April or anytime (in no particular order):

  1. A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms, written by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka (Karen’s pick)
  2. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (Nancy’s pick)
  3. The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky
  4. Laugh-eteria by Douglas Florian
  5. Rimshots: Basketball Pix, Rolls, and Rhythms by Charles R. Smith Jr.
  6. Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems by Kristine O’Connell George
  7. Night Garden: Poems From the World of Dreams, written by Janet S. Wong and illustrated by Julie Paschkis
  8. Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
  9. Science Verse, written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith
  10. A Writing Kind Of Day: Poems for Young Poets by Ralph Fletcher

(Also, here’s a printable version of our Poetry and Verse booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or use to impress that classmate you have a crush on.)

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of your favorite poetry book.

UPDATE 5/4/11: We revealed the answer to our Poetry and Verse Mystery Book Theater in the “Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue” Podcast, so take a listen if you want to know the answer. Or just tune in if you want to hear our semi-successful attempts at writing our own poetry. (We won’t hold our breath for any awards…)

More Haha-Hilarious Books

April 5th, 2011 by

What’s funnier than successfully slipping a whoopee cushion onto your teacher’s chair? How about successfully slipping a whoopee cushion onto your teacher’s chair right before the principal arrives to observe the class? HA HA HA HA! Or if fart humor isn’t really your thing (like, if you’re not as immature as we are), why don’t you check out some of these funny books?

In honor of April being National Humor Month, enjoy our previous picks for LOL funny books, plus these new additions (in no particular order):

  1. Alvin Ho series, written by Lenore Look and illustrated by LeUyen Pham (Karen’s pick)
  2. A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup (Nancy’s pick)
  3. Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce
  4. The Name of this Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
  5. Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
  6. How to Train Your Dragon books by Cressida Cowell
  7. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
  8. Babymouse series by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
  9. George Brown, Class Clown books, written by Nancy Krulik and illustrated by Aaron Blecha
  10. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  11. My Weird School Daze series by Dan Gutman
  12. Guys Read: Funny Business edited by Jon Scieszka
  13. How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen
  14. Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters, written by Rachel Vail and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
  15. The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer
  16. Clementine series, written by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Marla Frazee

(Also, here’s a printable version of our Haha-Hilarious booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or read out loud to your friends so that they’ll shoot milk out their noses.)

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of your favorite funny book. We’ll feature the best kid-submitted reviews in our next podcast!
If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of your favorite funny book.

UPDATE 4/19/11: We revealed the answer to our More Haha-Hilarious Books Mystery Book Theater in the “ROFL, LOL, :-D” Podcast, so take a listen if you want to know the answer. Or just tune in if you want to hear Karen call Nancy some pretty ridiculous names!

Books About Siblings

March 22nd, 2011 by

I know you are, but what am I?

Stop hitting yourself.

I’m telling Mom!

You’re in trouble…

Are any of those phrases familiar to you? Then it probably means you have a sibling. And if you do, then you know that sometimes they can be a best friend, a shoulder to cry on, someone who understands you in a way no one else ever could… and sometimes you just want to bop them over the head in frustration. Well, join the club! All the characters in these books about siblings feel your pain. Meet them all (in no particular order):

  1. The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter (Karen’s pick)
  2. Soupy Saturdays with the Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume (Nancy’s pick)
  3. Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
  4. Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  5. Rules by Cynthia Lord
  6. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  7. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
  8. The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
  9. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
  10. Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  11. Never Mind!: A Twin Novel by Avi and Rachel Vail
  12. Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
  13. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
  14. The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles Book 1) by Rick Riordan
  15. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

(Also, here’s a printable version of our Siblings booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or use to taunt your brother or sister.)

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of your favorite book about siblings. We’ll feature the best kid-submitted reviews in our next podcast!

UPDATE 4/5/11: We revealed the answer to our Books About Siblings Mystery Book Theater in the “Oh, Brother! (And Sister)” Podcast, so take a listen if you want to know the answer. Or just tune in if you want to hear some hilarious stories about Nancy’s childhood – direct from her siblings!

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