Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Birthday Ball

One of my favorite authors, Lois Lowry, has written a new book that is very different from The Giver. The Birthday Ball is a fairy tale-like story about a bored princess who trades places with one of her maids to see how the rest of the world lives. She goes to school for the first time and experiences life beyond the castle walls. She also must figure out how to choose her husband at her Birthday Ball. The only three suitors are VERY unsuitable!

This fast-paced story has elements of the silly and the serious. The illustrations by the famous cartoonist Jules Feiffer add to the fun.

Lois Lowry explains where she got the idea for The Birthday Ball and explains how she developed the story, in the video below:

Friday, May 14, 2010

The BIG 39 Clues Summer Book Club

Get ready for the BIG Maltby summer reading club - The 39 Clues. the 39 Clues books are a terrific mix of adventure, history, biography, geography and mystery. Brother and sister, Dana and Amy, are hunting the hidden 39 clues, left by their Aunt Grace, in order to inherit one million dollars. The books follow Dana and Amy as they pursue the clues. The books are also written by several of our favorite authors.

There are lots of ways to participate this summer.

1. Go to our local Barnes and Noble store beginning May 25th for our monthly book club meeting. Find all the dates and times here. Our reading therapy dog Caesar will also be there to greet you.

2. Join the Scholastic Read for the World Record Challenge. Login in here

3. Play online here.

The 39 Clues books:
Book 1: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
Book 2: One False Note by Gordon Korman
Book 3: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis
Book 4: Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson
Book 5: The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
Book 6: In Too Deep by Jude Watson
Book 7: The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis
Book 8: The Emperor's Code by Gordon Korman
Book 9: (due out May 25, 2010) by Linda Sue Park
Book 10: (due ou August 31, 2010) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Watch the Advanced Agent Training video featuring The 39 Clues authors: Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, Peter Lerangis, Jude Watson, and Patrick Carman

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

The Mysterious Howling is the first in a new series called The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. The children are not really incorrigible, but are called that by their adopted father. He found them in the woods, believing they were raised by wolves. Have you heard people say that? "Were you raised by wolves?" Incorrigible means "incapable of being corrected or reformed." How harsh!

Miss Lumley is the new, young governess for these incorrigible children - Alexander, Cassiopeia, and Beowulf. These three act like wolves - Alexander gives little nips, Cassiopeia barks, and Beowulf chases squirrels!
If you like Lemony Snicket and the Series of Unfortunate Events, this is the book for you!

Click here to listen to a great podcast by the author. Maryrose Wood tells you about how she came to write this book, the first in a new series, and reads an excerpt aloud.

Click here if you would like to browse inside the ebook of The Mysterious Howling.

The incorrigible children themselves are very good at spotting squirrels! See how good you are here.

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

"Peter blinked his eyes but there was no question that the rat was suspended in space, as if from a string, but there was no string."

Well - if you didn't get goosebumps from that, then go ask your parents is you are human! Peter and the Starcatchers is a must read.

Our story starts out with Peter and his friends, the orphans, who are about to be sent as slaves to Rundoon. Peter's suspicions begin when a mysterious trunk is also brought onboard their boat, The Neverland. On the voyage, Peter meet a girl named Molly, who has some unusual secrets which will be revealed throughout the story. They also meet the most feared pirate in the world, Black Stache. He is willing to do anything to get the mysterious trunk - even if if it means death! Peter learns there is much more at stake than his life - the world itself.

- Written and reviewed by Harrison Greenleaf

Be sure and catch up with the entire Peter and the Starcatchers series! Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson are well-known adult authors. Together they have also written another great book for middle schoolers - Science Fair - non-stop action adventure with spies, secret agents, and - yes - a science fair! Ridley Pearson has another good series as well - The Kingdom Keepers - where holographic teens battle villains in Disneyland at night! Click here to play the online Kingdom Keepers game!

Click here to see some funny photos of these two authors on tour for their books.