Monday, February 15, 2010

The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott

"There was a curse. It was reversed. And this is the boy who did it."

In 1919, the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. Since that day, the Sox have been cursed. They will never win a World Series.

It is now 2004, and twelve-year old Oscar Egg also believes he is cursed. Or at least betrayed. His adoptive parents have divorced. He rarely sees his Dad, who seems like an old man to Oscar. And now his mother has gone off to live with the Condo King. Somehow Oscar thinks this must all be his fault - after all, he doesn't look like either of his parents. The kids at school teases him - "Who's your Daddy" they chant.

And now Oscar has to live with his Dad, who seems really upset. Reluctantly, Oscar's Dad takes him home - to Fenway Park - the home of the Red Sox. Very strange and bizarre things begin to happen almost immediately. Who is my Daddy, Oscar begins to worry.

And just what part does Oscar play here?

May you be cursed, Fenway Park,
May horned creatures reign the dark.
May a Pooka roost in your hill,
May the Banshee cry and keen at will.
May weasels nest
and nettles infest.
May herds of mice swarm
and evil managers do harm.
May you be close enough to taste the win
but always, truly, lose before you even begin.

Julianna Baggott also writes under the pen name N.E. Bode - who is the author of The Anybodies series. Check out The Prince of Fenway Park - just in time for spring training.

Click here to take a virtual tour of Fenway Park.

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner

Gianna Z. is a multi-faceted person. She's an athlete, an artist, and a good friend. She's not, however, a very good student. She's disorganized and has trouble getting things turned in on time. If she misses the due date for her leaf collection project, she won't be able to go the cross country sectionals. She knows she has to get it done, and her best friend, Zig, her mom and her grandmother all try to help her, but things just keep getting in the way. If she doesn't get it done, her arch nemesis, Bianca, will get to go in her place. That would be awful!

This novel is at times, funny, and at others, extremely touching. It's always fast paced and entertaining. Gianna Z. is a winner!

What kind of tree are you? Click here to take a quiz and find out.
First watch this video from the author, Kate Messner. Look carefully in the background and see if you can find either Mrs. Dohner or Mrs. Weyand. We were lurking around all these authors while the video was being filmed!

Find more videos like this on Kidlit Book Trailers

Monday, February 1, 2010

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen has written another exciting tale of adventure.

This time we follow Samuel, a 13-year-old boy living during the time of the Revolutionary War. He and his parents live in a small colony in Pennsylvania. Samuel is a woods runner - someone who spends much of his time in the woods hunting for food.

He returns to the settlement after a lengthy hunt to find the houses burned, several of the settlers murdered and his parents gone! He determines that they have been taken prisoner and he sets out to find them. His journey is long and dangerous and leads him into enemy territory. Follow him as he fights for his family, meeting some wonderful characters and facing more tragedy along the way.

This is a real story of courage, not only Samuel's, but of many people he meets along the way.