Out This Week: Sharks, Whales, and Dogs.. Oh My!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 / Share your comments...

We’ve got a lot of great animal books coming at you this week. From great white sharks in the ocean to the astronaut dog, Laika, we’ve got it all. Click on the links below to learn more about each book coming out. There’s sure to be something that sparks your eye!

Picture Books: 

The World According to Musk Ox by Erin Cabatingan and Matthew Myers

Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy

The Storm Whale by Benji Davies

If You Were a Dog by Jaime A. Swenson

This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne

Middle Grade/ Chapter Books:

The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue by Zack Giallongo and Ian Lendler

Laika by Nick Abadiz

Zorgoochi Intergalactic Pizza by Dan Yaccarino

Young Adult:

The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope

The Fallout by S.A. Bodeen


Banned Books Week Roundup!

Saturday, September 27th, 2014 / 4 Comments

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Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2014 celebration will be held September 21-27.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported.

Here’s to working toward a world where books are never challenged, because who knows what you could have missed? Join us in celebrating the freedom to read!

Enter To Win:

For our grand prize package we are giving away all the books we have featured this week. These title include: A Wrinkle in Time, Get Well Soon, Speak, Annie on My Mind, Doing It, and The Color of Earth. To enter just respond to this post in the comments below, and you could be the lucky winner!



Friday, September 26th, 2014 / Share your comments...

If you haven’t picked up a copy of THE GRAHAM CRACKER PLOT by Shelley Tougas, you are seriously missing out. It iso the perfect book to read with your child because you will both be laughing at Tougas’s perfect comedy. We’ve gathered some of our favorite quotes from THE GRAHAM CRACKER PLOT! And since we know these quotes will make you want to go out and buy it you can do that here. Feel free to read our excerpt as well.

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Banned Books Week: A Wrinkle in Time

Friday, September 26th, 2014 / 5 Comments

9781466850477Our Banned Books Week Feature of the Day is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle.

The school system of Anniston, Alabama, challenged it in 1990 because someone objected to the book’s citing the name of Jesus together with the names of other artists, philosophers, scientists, and religious leaders who defended Earth against evil. Several other attempts to ban the book has occurred as well.  A Wrinkle in Time is number 23 of the 100 most-challenged books of 1990-1999.

Fifty years ago, Madeleine L’Engle introduced the world to A Wrinkle in Timeand the wonderful and unforgettable characters Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe. Now their first three adventures are together in one volume.


“A book that every young person should read, a book that provides a road map for seeking knowledge and compassion even at the worst of times, a book to make the world a better place.” —Cory Doctorow (A Wrinkle in Time)

“Madeleine L’Engle mixes classical theology, contemporary family life, and futuristic science fiction to make a completely convincing tale that should put under its spell both readers familiar with the Murrys and those meeting them for the first time.” —The New York Times Book Review (A Wind in the Door)

“Charles Wallace, now 15, Meg, and the Murrys reappear in an intricately woven fantasy in which the boy time-spins through a tangle of history to find and mend the broken link that threatens to disturb the harmony of today. Theme is L’Engle’s greatest forte and once again she proves this with a compelling plot, rich in style that vibrates with provocative thoughts on universal love, individual caring, and the need for the joy in living.” —Booklist, starred review (A Swiftly Tilting Planet)

Enter to Win:

Comment below for a chance to win A Wrinkle in Time Trilogy which includes A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle. Winners will be chosen at the end of the week and announced soon after.


Interior Spreads: And Two Boys Booed

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Popular children’s book writer Judith Viorst’s AND TWO BOYS BOOED went on sale at the beginning of the month. We’ve been sharing some of our favorite images across our social media channels. Now we’ve collected them all for you to see! Be sure to pick up a copy of AND TWO BOYS BOOED today!

On the day of the talent show, a boy is ready to sing his song, and he isn’t one bit scared because he has practiced a billion times, plus he’s wearing his lucky blue boots and his pants with all ten pockets. But as all of the other kids perform before him, he gets more and more nervous. How the boy overcomes his fear of performing in front of the class makes a charming and funny read-aloud, complete with ten novelty flaps to lift. 

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Banned Book Week: Doing It

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 / 4 Comments

9780312551353Our Banned Books Week Feature of the Day is Doing It by Melvin Burgess.

This book was challenged due to the fran discussion of sex and sometimes graphic descriptions.


The award-winning author Melvin Burgess’s ribald and insightful account of contemporary teenage life chronicles the ups and downs of doing it. The controversial book on which the cult favorite ABC television series Life As We Know It was based, Doing It introduces us to Dino, Jon, and Ben, three teenage best friends who can’t stop thinking about, and talking about (and hoping to experience) sex.


“Fun, peppy and unusually frank . . . Readers of both sexes whose hormones have just begun to simmer will welcome a book that so accurately mirrors their new worldview.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“As a card-carrying boy, I appreciate the male P.O.V. of this novel, so kudos to Burgess for exploring a sensitive subject in an honest way.”—Elle Girl

Enter to Win:

Comment below to enter to win a copy of Doing It by Melvin Burgess. The book includes a Q&A from the author. Winners will be chosen at the end of the week and notified soon after.

“…What I’d like to see is every young person given a party when they reach puberty…there should be fireworks and cake. Intsead, sex education is all about disease and dirtiness…and fear and pregnancy and don’t do this and don’t do that. Of course you need to be aware and not take stupid risks and not get pregnant unless you’re planning it and don’t do it unless you really want to…But, please, let’s not deny the fun, and the humor as well” - Melvin Burgess in the Afterword for Doing It

If you would like to purchase this book go here.


Banned Book Week: Get Well Soon

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 / 10 Comments


Our Banned Books Week Feature of the Day is Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern! This book was banned because parents believed it encouraged disrespect toward authority.


I got a better look at some of my fellow patients in this freak hole, and they all look pretty close to my age. They come up to the check-in desk to get pills. After they take them, the desk people look in their mouths to make sure they’ve swallowed. It’s like something out of The Twilight Zone. Are they going to do that to me?
Anna Bloom is depressed—so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here, she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her. But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn’t supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it?
“An upbeat story that offers a hype-free, realistic look inside a teen ward . . . As the novel progresses, readers will get a kick out of Anna’s snarky sense of humor and her capacity for self-renewal.”—Publishers Weekly
“A funny novel about depression. That’s the welcome, endearing product Julie Halpern offers readers . . . a never-didactic message about emotional growth and psychic healing.”—Kirkus Reviews Best Young-Adult Books 2007
Enter to Win:
Comment below to enter to win a copy of Get Well Soon. Winners will be chosen at random at the end of the week!
If you would like to buy a copy go here.

Banned Book Week: The Color of Earth

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 / 10 Comments

9781596434585Our Banned Books Week Feature of the Day is The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa.

In honor of Banned Books Week celebrating graphic novels this year we have chosen one of our most challenged graphic novels from :01 (First Second).


First love is never easy.
Ehwa grows up helping her widowed mother run the local tavern, watching as their customers – both neighbors and strangers – look down on her mother for her single lifestyle.  Their social status isolates Ehwa and her mother from the rest of the people in their quiet country village.  But as she gets older and sees her mother fall in love again, Ehwa slowly begins to open up to the possibility of love in her life.


“The first in a trilogy, this beautifully scripted and drawn Korean manhwa provides a truly intimate but respectful journey in the company of a young girl and her widowed mother.  Spanning Ehwa’s life from age seven to 16, each chapter shows the progress of her sexual awakening, much more as an emotional and social reality than a set of physical circumstances.  As Ehwa moves from the open curiosity of childhood that fixates on body parts to the mysteries of attraction and her own heartbreak, she and her mother navigate common issues that range from defending one’s feelings from bullies (little boys in Ehwa’s life; gossipy men in her mother’s) to mutual attraction (a young monk and a visiting boy from a more monied class for Ehwa; an itinerant painter/scholar for her mother).  The mother and daughter share their stories with each other in a developmentally appropriate and credible fashion. The black-and-white art is presented in generous panels and several full-page spreads.  While there is some nudity appropriate to the narrative, both the natural and social worlds are depicted to call attention to facial expressions rather than body parts.  A variety of flowers adorns the pages, lending a palpable scent of perfume to this heady and gentle read.  This is an exquisite and feminist-positive story richly literate and imaginative. ” – Francisca Goldsmith (Booklist)

Enter to Win:

To enter to win a copy of The Color of Earth by Nancy Garden just comment below! One winner will be chosen at random at the end of the week!


Banned Book Week: Speak

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 / 6 Comments

9780312674397Our Banned Books Week Feature of the Day is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Speak has been banned mostly for the description of the rape scenes. Many believe this topic as inappropriate for the age group. Do you think rape is a subject young adults should be exposed to?

“When Speak was published, there was some whispering that this was not an appropriate topic for teens. I knew from my personal experience that it was. This notion was validated by thousands and thousands of readers who connected with me to thank me for the book. They said it made them feel less alone and gave them the strength to speak up about being sexually assaulted and other painful secrets.” Laurie Anderson Hall


“Speak up for yourself–we want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson’s powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.


“An uncannily funny book even as it plumbs the darkness, Speak will hold readers from first word to last.”—The Horn Book, Starred Review

“Melinda’s pain is palpable, and readers will totally empathize with her. This is a compelling book, with sharp, crisp writing that draws readers in, engulfing them in the story.”—School Library Journal

“Melinda’s voice is distinct, unusual, and very real as she recounts her past and present experiences in bitterly ironic, occasionally even amusing vignettes. . . . Melinda’s sarcastic wit, honesty, and courage make her a memorable character whose ultimate triumph will inspire and empower readers.”—Booklist

Enter to Win:

Comment below for your chance to win Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. The book also includes a Q&A with the author, discussion guides, and more!


Banned Book Week: Annie On My Mind

Sunday, September 21st, 2014 / 3 Comments

Our first Banned Books Week feature is Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden.

9780374400118Nancy Garden’s groundbreaking novel, Annie On My Mind, first published in 1982, introduced literature on LGBT themes to a generation of young readers. In 1993, copies of the book were burned in Kansas City to protest the presence of a book about a lesbian relationship in the high school library. Garden became an outspoken defender of the First Amendment rights of readers of all ages.

Annie On My Mind is the story of two teenage girls whose friendship blossoms into love and who, despite pressures from family and school that threaten their relationship, promise to be true to each other and their feelings. From the moment Lia Winthrop meets Annie Kenyon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she knows there is something special between them. But Liza never knew falling in love could be so wonderful…or so confusing.

Macmillan has honored Nancy’s memory with a donation to the Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP), a National Coalition Against Censorship signature project. For more information, visit their website.

Praise for Annie On My Mind:

“Brings this classic of the genre to a whole new generation of readers.”- Publishers Weekly
“The body of adolescent literature has waited for this book a long time . . . Gut-level believable.”  – VOYA
“An eye-opener (maybe ‘heart-opener’ is a better term) . . . Just the thing to provoke some honest conversation.”  – The Milwaukee Journal
“No single work has done more for young adult LGBT fiction than this classic about two teenage girls who fall in love. - School Library Journal

Enter to Win:

To enter to win a copy of Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden just comment below!
The 25th Anniversary Edition features a full-length interview with the author by Kathleen T. Horning, Director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Ms. Garden answers such revealing questions as how she knew she was gay, why she wrote the book, censorship, and the book’s impact on readers – then and now.

If you would like to purchase a copy of your own go here.