What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones. Fans of Sones have been waiting a long time for this companion novel/sequel to the ever-popular What My Mother Doesn't Know. Sones is a great writer, a verse novelist. Simon & Schuster. June 5, 2007. (Read my review, here.)
Strange Relations by Sonia Levitin will be released June 12, 2007, by Random House. A summer in paradise. That's all Marne wants. That's all she can think of when she asks her parents permission to spend the summer in Hawaii with Aunt Carole and her family. But Marne quickly realizes her visit isn't going to be just about learning to surf and morning runs along the beach, despite the cute surfer boy she keeps bumping into. For one thing, Aunt Carole isn't even Aunt Carole anymore—she's Aunt Chaya, married to a Chasidic rabbi and deeply rooted in her religious community. Nothing could be more foreign to Marne, and fitting into this new culture—and house full of kids—is a challenge. But as she settles into her newfound family's daily routine, she begins to think about spirituality, identity, and finding a place in the world in a way she never has before.This rich novel is a window into a different life and gets to the very heart of faith, identity, and family ties.
And here's a book you don't see every day, Tall Tales of the West: A Humorous Collection of Cowboy Poems and Songs by Eric Ode. Illustrated by Ben Crane. The publisher is Meadowbrook. It releases June 26, 2007. Tall Tales of the Wild West is the first major collection of “cowboy poetry” for kids! Cowboy poet Eric Ode has written a humorous collection of entertaining shorts about the legendary cowboys and cowgirls who had a home where the buffalo roamed. Ode is an award-winning singer/songwriter who is one of the most prolific and popular Giggle Poets. His work appears in seven Meadowbrook Press poetry and song anthologies. This collection of 20 sidesplitting poems and knee-slapping songs has been tested on more than 1,000 kids to prove they are side-splitting fun! It includes poems about a cowboy who only bathes once a year, a chili contest with a very explosive ending, the world's tiniest cowboy (who rounds up rodents instead of cows), a shy cowboy who selects a horse from a line of charming dance partners, and a song about “Horseshoe Hannah,” a bandit who steals both wallets and hearts. This collection proves Ode to be a true “wrangler” of poetry and music! Doesn't that sound fun?
And here's a fun-sounding picture book: How Do You Make A Baby Smile? (Almost sounds like a question Elmo would ask Dorothy, doesn't it?) It is written by Philemon Sturges and illustrated by Bridget Streven-s Marzo. HarperCollins is the publisher, and it was released on June 1, 2007. Wiggle your ear! Play peekaboo! Make a face! And join dozens of friendly animals—plus one very patient older sister—as they use their best tricks to make their babies smile, laugh, coo, and grin. With a simple rhyming text by Philemon Sturges and bright, bold illustrations by Bridget Strevens-Marzo, How Do You Make a Baby Smile? is the perfect book for babies and all those who love them!
And one of many classics reprinted this June is The Growing Story by Ruth Krauss. Originally published in 1947, it is now being republished with new illustrations by Helen Oxenbury. The publisher is HarperCollins, and the release date was June 1, 2007. (Others in this category include: Nicolas, Where Have You Been? by Leo Lionni which was originally published in 1987; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum which was originally published in 1900; A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
First Light by Rebecca Stead will be released on June 26, 2007. The publisher is Random House. (I'll try to have it read and reviewed by then. The ARC has been sitting in my to-be-read pile for a few weeks now. But I will get to it soon.) In the meantime, you can content yourself with this description: Peter is thrilled to join his parents on an expedition to Greenland, where his father studies global warming. Peter will get to skip school, drive a dogsled, and–finally–share in his dad’s adventures. But on the ice cap, Peter struggles to understand a series of visions that both frighten and entice him. Thea has never seen the sun. Her extraordinary people, suspected of witchcraft and nearly driven to extinction, have retreated to a secret world they’ve built deep inside the arctic ice. As Thea dreams of a path to Earth’s surface, Peter’s search for answers brings him ever closer to her hidden home. Rebecca Stead’s fascinating debut novel is a dazzling tale of mystery, science and adventure at the top of the world.
Spells & Sleeping Bags by Sarah Mlynowski will be released on June 26, 2007. The publisher is Random House. While I didn't get a chance to read the second book in the series, I did read the first book several years ago. So it's nice to see the series continue. Perhaps I'll catch up with these characters again soon. At long last, Rachel's powers have arrived and she's a bona fide get-your-broom-ready witch! And it's happened just in time. No Manhattan for her this summer—she's spending her vacation at Camp Wood Lake. But she's having some serious issues: Mosquitoes in the Adirondacks are incredibly thirsty. Her stepmom keeps sending embarrassing feminine hygiene care packages. She accidentally zapped away all her clothes. And there's a backstabber in her cabin intent on making life miserable. Good thing Rachel's a witch.
And doesn't this sound like delicious nonfiction? I Want to Live: The Diary of A Young Girl in Stalin's Russia by Nina Lugovskaya. It is published by Houghton Mifflin. Recently unearthed in the archives of Stalin's secret police, the NKVD, Nina Lugovskaya's diary offers rare insight into the life of a teenage girl in Stalin's Russia—when fear of arrest was a fact of daily life. Like Anne Frank, thirteen-year-old Nina is conscious of the extraordinary dangers around her and her family, yet she is preoccupied by ordinary teenage concerns: boys, parties, her appearance, who she wants to be when she grows up. As Nina records her most personal emotions and observations, her reflections shape a diary that is as much a portrait of her intense inner world as it is the Soviet outer one.Preserved here, these markings—the evidence used to convict Nina as a "counterrevolutionary"—offer today's reader a fascinating perspective on the era in which she lived.
And here's another title from Meadowbrook Press, I'm Allergic To School: Funny Poems and Songs About School by Robert Pottle and illustrated by Mike & Carl Gordon. It is releasing June 26, 2007. While it may be summer, it's never too early to be picking out school-related titles for next year! (After all, summer is when teachers have a chance to catch up on reading!)
The Wonderful Thing About Hiccups by Cece Meng and illustrated by Janet Pedersen. The publisher is Houghton Mifflin Company. The release date is June 4, 2007. As the cover clearly shows, this book is all about fun. It starts with a case of hiccups during story time at the library. And that leads to an outrageous and hilarious adventure involving a hippo, a little sister, an overturned ice cream cart, a librarian who's afraid of heights, and a stack of library books that must be returned—on time and in good condition—if the narrator is going to get her very own library card. And nothing could be more wonderful than that! Brightly colored, energetic illustrations make the most of the slapstick humor in this rollicking readaloud.
Billie Standish Was Here by Nancy Crocker. Releases June 5, 2007, from Simon & Schuster. CAN ONE UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP SAVE A LIFE? Billie Standish has pretty much no one. Her parents are too caught up in their own lives, and the only two girls in town her age want nothing to do with her. When it looks like a nearby levee might break, and Billie's elderly neighbor, Miss Lydia, is the only other person besides her family to stick around, a friendship is born out of circumstance. What happens during that time, in that empty town, is a tragedy that Billie can't bear alone. Can the love of one woman nearing the end of her life save the life of a young woman just at the beginning of living hers?
The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is releasing June 4, 2007. The publisher is Houghton Mifflin. You can read my review here. This is one of my favorites so far.
The Siren Song by Anne Ursu is releasing June 5, 2007. It is the sequel to The Shadow Thieves. The publisher is Simon & Schuster. Inside an ordinary middle school in an ordinary city, a small redheaded eighth grader is doing something very ordinary, indeed. Ever since Charlotte Mielswetzski and her cousin, Zee, saved the world, life has been rather ordinary. Ordinary, that is, if you call being ultramegagrounded (in Charlotte's case) or treated as if you might fall to pieces (in Zee's case) ordinary. Either way, heroes deserve better. Of course, no one knows Charlotte and Zee are heroes. It's not like they can simply announce that Greek myths are real or proclaim they have returned from the Underworld, where they rescued all of mankind from Philonecron, a deranged demigod with delusions of grandeur. Instead, they are forced to keep this terrible knowledge to themselves, and are stuck in a state of extraordinary ordinariness. But things aren't quite as ordinary as they seem. For Philonecron is the grandson of Poseidon, and you don't mess with the progeny of the second most powerful god in the universe. And Philonecron himself isn't so happy about having all of his delicious plans thwarted by mortal children. He wants revenge, and with his grandfather to help him, he is going to get what he wants. For Charlotte and Zee, their not-so-ordinary lives are about to be disrupted once again. This time it's not the world they must save -- it's themselves. In the thrilling second installment of the Cronus Chronicles trilogy, author Anne Ursu brings her trademark wit to a spectacular adventure on the high seas.
No Talking by Andrew Clements will be released on June 26, 2007. The publisher is Simon & Schuster. "You have the right to remain silent." However...The fifth-grade girls and the fifth-grade boys at Laketon Elementary don't get along very well. But the real problem is that these kids are loud and disorderly. That's why the principal uses her red plastic bullhorn. A lot.Then one day Dave Packer, a certified loudmouth, bumps into an idea -- a big one that makes him try to keep quiet for a whole day. But what does Dave hear during lunch? A girl, Lynsey Burgess, jabbering away. So Dave breaks his silence and lobs an insult. And those words spark a contest: Which team can say the fewest words during two whole days? And it's the boys against the girls.How do the teachers react to the silence? What happens when the principal feels she's losing control? And will Dave and Lynsey plunge the whole school into chaos?This funny and surprising book is about language and thought, about words unspoken, words spoken in anger, and especially about the power of words spoken in kindness...with or without a bullhorn. It's Andrew Clements at his best -- thought-provoking, true-to-life, and very entertaining.
Justin Somper continues his vampire series with the release of Vampirates: Tide of Terror on June 1, 2007. The publisher is Little, Brown Young Readers. In this sequel to Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean, there's a traitor aboard the Diablo and enemies at every turn. As the danger intensifies, Grace discovers a place where her twin brother Connor could learn more about the pirate way without risking his life: the elite Pirate Academy. Will Connor choose an education by sea or by school, and will Grace be forced to follow him wherever he goes?
The Adventures of Thor The Thunder God by Lise Lunge-Larsen and illustrated by Jim Madsen. The publisher is Houghton Mifflin. Releases June 18, 2007. He is the biggest and mightiest of the gods. If he tightens his belt, he doubles his strength. If he swings his hammer, lightning flashes. When he races his billy goats across the sky, their hooves kick up huge thunderclouds. And when the folks below in Middle Earth hear a boom of thunder, they always smile, for they know their loyal Thor, protector and defender of civilization, has once again brought order to the universe. Told and retold often and with great affection, the Thor stories have been around since the days of the Vikings. Here, illustrated with high drama and written with humor and skill, are ancient stories made accessible and fun.
The Eyes of van Gogh by Cathryn Clinton will be released on June 12, 2007 by Candlewick Press. You can read about it here.
Penguin by Polly Dunbar will be released June 12, 2007. (I absolutely loved Dog Blue.) The publisher is Candlewick Press. A quirky new tale from a rising talent — in which a bossy little boy receives a surprising comeuppance.When Ben rips open his present, he finds a penguin inside. "Hello, Penguin!" he says. "What shall we play?" But Penguin says nothing. Even when Ben tickles its belly, sings a funny song, does a dizzy dance, stands on his head, sticks out his tongue, and resorts to increasingly rude and drastic measures, Penguin makes no response. What will it take for Penguin to say something — or for Ben to understand what Penguin has to say? Fresh, spare illustrations bring whimsy to this wonderful tale, in which a silent Penguin turns marvelously eloquent and a little boy finally gets his heart’s desire.
Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen. Published by Random House. Releases June 12, 2007.
Read about it here.
Duchessina by Carolyn Meyer. Published by Harcourt. Released June 1, 2007. You can read my review of it here.
And isn't this a unique title for a picture book? Dadblamed Union Army Cow by Susan Fletcher. Illustrated by Kimberly Bulcken Root. Published by Candlewick Press. She just won’t git! A Union army soldier can’t shake his dadblamed cow in this uplifting tale based on a true story."THAT DADBLAMED COW!" She follows her owner into the Union army and then straight on south to fight in the war. She needs unstomped grass to eat, she gets stuck in the mud, and she’s just plain DANGEROUS in battle. But this peculiar cow also gives the weary soldiers some surprising comforts. Based on stories and newspaper reports from the Civil War and full of lively illustrations, this is a heartwarming tale of one wonderfully dadblamed PERSISTENT cow. Doesn't that description make you want to read the book? I've just got to know this story! So if you're a publicist at Candlewick, please send me a review copy!
A Portrait of Pia by Marisabina Russo. Published by Harcourt. Released June 1, 2007. You can read about it here.
Eggs by Jerry Spinelli. Published by Little, Brown Young Readers. Released June 1, 2007. Read about it here.
Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst. Published by Penguin Group, USA. Releases June 21, 2007. I do have an ARC of this to review. I just haven't gotten a chance to read it yet. But the review will be forthcoming, I promise.
They Came From Below by Blake Nelson. Published by Tom Doherty Associates. Releases June 26, 2007. Read about it here.
A Darkling Plain by Philip Reeve. Published by HarperCollins. Released June 1, 2007. Read about it here.
A Non-blonde Cheerleader in Love by Kieran Scott. Published by Penguin Group USA. Releases June 21, 2007. Description. I've read the first in the series, but not the second.
Girl At Sea by Maureen Johnson. Published by HarperCollins. Released June 1, 2007. Sometimes you have to get lost. The Girl: Clio, seventeen, wants to spend the summer smooching her art-store crush, not stuck on a boat in the Mediterranean. At least she'll get a killer tan. The Mission: Survive her father's annoying antics. Oh, also find some underwater treasure that could be the missing link to a long-lost civilization. The Crew: Dad's absentminded best friend Martin, his scary girlfriend Julia, her voluptuous daughter Elsa . . . and then there's Aidan, Julia's incredibly attractive, incredibly arrogant research assistant. What's going on behind Aidan's intellectual, intensely green eyes, anyway? As Clio sails into uncharted territory she unveils secrets that have the power to change history. But her most surprising discovery is that there's something deeper and more mysterious than the sea—her own heart.
There are many other titles that look great. I may make another installment of June Releases soon.