Kidsmomo Podcast #52: “Endless Summer”

July 26th, 2011 by

Reach into our summer grab bag of book recs and what do you get? How about kid con men, for a start? Then a castle that may or may not be magical… And a time traveler hoping to rescue a new friend…

Yes, it truly is a mish-mosh of books in our latest podcast, but hey — summer’s the time for relaxing the rules, right? And also a time for ice cream treats. But back to our podcast…

    Listen now:
    Download the MP3 (3.3 MB)

  • Ocean’s Eleven… Junior Edition” — aka our mystery book revealed!
  • Our Summer Grab Bag picks (The Enchanted Castle and The Magic Half)
  • A book review from YOU (Double Eagle)
  • We surprise even ourselves with our awesomeness!

Also, don’t forget: we’re kicking off a special month-long Fall Preview theme! So send us a review of any of our “in the meantime” picks, or any new books you’re reading this summer.

— Karen and Nancy

Summer Picnic Time!

July 9th, 2011 by

It’s summer!

Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear. It’s SUM-MMMMMEERRRRR!!! (Ya gotta say it in a singsongy voice like me.)

Now is the perfect time to grab your books, a blanket, and some snacks — and have a picnic outside! Here are my suggestions for what to accompany each of my Summer Grab Bag Recommendations:

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
Miri, a lonely middle kid between two sets of twins, finally finds her other half — who lives in the past!

This was a no-brainer: peanut butter and jelly sandwich, to represent Miri and Molly (her “other half.”)

This is a recent photo of me eating lobster. Yes, I was THAT happy.

Sea City, Here We Come by Ann M. Martin
A great summer read! All of the BSC Super Specials are fun and I, a West Coaster, especially liked this one because it was set in summer on the East Coast.

A book set in Sea City definitely deserves to be in the company of delicious lobster and clam chowder!

The Cay by Theodore Taylor
Just because I read this for class doesn’t mean it wasn’t mesmerizing!

You won’t be able to put this down, so drink a banana and coconut juice smoothie to stay hydrated!

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Summer Re-Reads

July 7th, 2011 by

Recently, someone posted this question to kidlit lovers around the interwebs: Is there any book you read over and over again every summer?

My short answer: No.

But obviously, I’m going to treat you all to my long answer; otherwise, this would be a very teeny blog post!

So here’s my long answer:

Since new Harry Potter books and movies often come out in the summer, I usually re-read old HP books in preparation. So, I guess you could say I read that series (in part) every summer.

But if you consider that cheating, then I’ll have to turn to a childhood favorite that I used to read over and over again: The Baby-sitter’s Club Super Special #1: Baby-sitters on Board! Yep, that’s right. Not exactly high-brow literature, but completely entertaining, and I LOVED my copy to tatters. It’s because of those girls’ adventures on a Disney cruise that I begged and begged my parents to take me on a similar vacation.

And was I successful? Well, we did make it to Disney World, and I eventually went on a cruise with a friend many, many years later. But I’m sorry to report that I did NOT meet a “stowaway,” go on a hunt for buried treasure, charge a manicure to my cabin, or meet a ghost — all of which happened in the pages of Baby-sitters on Board! I DID stuff my face on snacks, but that’s not so different from my normal life anyway…

So, what about you? Is there any book that you read over and over again every summer? If not, maybe it’s time you find one! Check out our recommended reads for this fun-filled, sun-filled season:

— Karen

Have you ever eaten a barbeque dinner at 5:00 pm and then a full three-course meal at 7:00? Well, Karen has. And if you want to, then she highly suggests you go on a cruise.

More about Karen »

Book Trailer: Swindle

July 5th, 2011 by

This book trailer for Swindle was originally the Mystery Book Theater video for our Summer Grab Bag theme. For more on Swindle, check out our “Endless Summer” podcast.

Some kids set up lemonade stands. Others hold bake sales or car washes. But the hero of Gordon Korman’s Swindle decides to sell a valuable baseball card for some quick cash. The only problem? He sells it to a cheat.

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.