Thursday, November 01, 2007

November Book Releases

Race: A History Beyond Black and White by Marc Aronson (Simon & Schuster) November 6, 2007.

Race. You know it at a glance: he's black; she's white. They're Asian; we're Latino.Racism. I'm better; she's worse. Those people do those kinds of things.We all know it's wrong to make these judgments, but they come faster than thought.Why? Where did those feelings come from? Why are they so powerful? Why have millions been enslaved, murdered, denied their rights because of the color of their skin, the shape of their eyes?Acclaimed young-adult historian Marc Aronson tackles these and other questions in this astounding book, which traces the history of racial prejudice in Western culture back to ancient Sumer and beyond. He shows us Greeks dividing the world into civilized and barbarian, medieval men writing about the traits of monstrous men, until, finally, Enlightenment scientists scrap all those mythologies and come up with a new one: charts spelling out the traits of human races. Aronson's journey of discovery yields many surprising discoveries. For instance, throughout most of human history, slavery had nothing to do with race. In fact, the idea of race itself did not exist in the West before the 1600s. But once the idea was established and backed up by "scientific" theory, its influence grew with devastating consequences, from the appalling lynchings in the American South to the catastrophe known as the Holocaust in Europe.With one hundred images, this is a dynamic, thought-provoking work-history as quest, written as only Marc Aronson could do it.

America Dreaming: How Youth Changed America in the 60's by Laban Carrick Hill (Little, Brown Young Readers) November 1, 2007

Laban Hill, author of the acclaimed Harlem Stomp, is back with an in-depth exploration of America in the 1960's and the young people who built a new world around them and changed our society significantly.Like Harlem Stomp, America Dreaming is an educational and visual look into a time of energy and influence. Covering subjects such as the civil rights movement, hippie culture, black nationalism, and the feminist movement, Hill paints a sprawling picture of life in the '60's and shows how teenagers were on the forefront of the societal changes that occurred during this grand decade.

Archie's War by Marcia Williams (Candlewick) November 13, 2007

Marcia Williams captures the Great War through a child’s eyes with a fascinating fictional scrapbook including real mementos of the day. Meet ten-year-old Archie, his family, and best friend in a scrapbook Archie has made himself, full of comic strips and plenty of other memorabilia. The year is 1914, and as the Great War begins, Archie’s scrapbook reflects the war’s impact on his life and on those who write back from the front. Marcia Williams retains her humor and energy as she employs a new collage style to present an intimate and compelling view of the First World War and its era.

Leading Ladies by Marlee Matlin and Doug Cooney (Simon & Schuster) November 6, 2007

"It doesn't make sense to me...in the book, Dorothy is a girl who can hear and talk - and Toto is a little dog. So I'm sorry - but I just don't see a Dorothy who's deaf and talks with her hands and has a great big dog for Toto!" Megan's fourth-grade class is putting on their own original musical based on the book The Wizard of Oz, and Megan wants to be the star of the show and play Dorothy. Since she's deaf, she will sign the songs for her audition. However, a problem develops when Lizzie, her best friend from camp, transfers from her all-deaf school to Megan's class - and signs the same two songs that Megan was going to do! Luckily, Megan has some other ideas up her sleeve...Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin and Doug Cooney follow Deaf Child Crossing and Nobody's Perfect with this winning story that perfectly captures the humor, joys, and frustration of childhood friendships.

Also available, Nobody's Perfect, in paperback.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman (Simon & Schuster) November 6, 2007

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" themConnor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until theireighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers' ideas about life -- not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.

Also available, Everlost, in paperback.

The Twilight Collection by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown Young Readers) November 1, 2007

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse capture the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This stunning set includes three hardcover books, two full-color posters and exclusive tattoos, and makes the perfect gift for fans of this bestselling vampire love story.

The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup the Viking: The First Collection (Little, Brown Young Readers) November 1, 2007

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was a truly extraordinary Viking Hero, Warrior chieftan, awesome sword-fighter, and amateur naturalist. He was known throughout Vikingdom as "the Dragon Whisperer," on account of his power over the terrible beasts. But it wasn't always like that... Now, for the first time, three of Hiccup's legendary adventures, How to Train Your Dragon, How to Speak Dragonese, and How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse are being included in a collectable gift set that is just in time for the holidays!

The Adventures of Tintin: Collector's Gift Set by Herge (Little, Brown Young Readers) November 1, 2007

Little, Brown is celebrating 100 years of Herge© with a new hardcover boxed set. Join traveling reporter Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy, along with well-known friends such as Captain Haddock, as they embark on extraordinary adventures spanning historical and political events, fantasy and science-fiction adventures and thrilling mysteries. These full-color graphic novels broke new ground when they were first released and became the inspiration for countless modern-day comic artists. This fantastic collection, containing the complete Tintin series, is lavishly designed and a great gift for Tintin lovers and first-time fans everywhere.

An Extremely Winter Winter Activity Kit by Lauren Child (Penguin) November 8, 2007

What could be better after playing in the snow all day than coming inside to warm up with games, crafts, and a good book in your cozy house? Nothing that we can think of! And now all of these extremely special activities come together in one package. The best part is that the activity kit features those lovable siblings Charlie and Lola, who know how to have a truly super good time.

Kids will be able to make their own glittery snowflakes, and play a snowyday dress-up game with puzzle cards and a spinner. And when playtime is done, they can settle in for a complete picture book story: Snow Is My Favorite and My Best. Once kids start playing and reading, they will never not ever want to stop!

We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families by Todd Parr (Little, Brown Young Readers) November 1, 2007.

In a kid-friendly, accessible way, this book explores the ways that people can choose to come together to make a family. It's about sharing your home and sharing your heart to make a family that belongs together.

Geek High by Piper Banks (Penguin) November 6, 2007

At this school, everyone's a geek. And Miranda Bloom still can't fit in...

Miranda is a math genius with divorced parents, an evil stepmother, and no boyfriend in sight. She can't even fit in with the other geeks at the Nottingham Independent School for high-IQ students, because they actually have useful talents. Miranda, on the other hand, is known as "The Human Calculator," which doesn't amount to much when people have, you know, their own calculators.

Then Miranda gets stuck planning the school's Snowflake Gala. And as she struggles to find a date and drum up some school spirit at Nottingham-aka "Geek High"-she finds that who you are means more than where you fit in.

Hans Brinker by Bruce Coville, Illustrated by Laurel Long. (Penguin) November 1, 2007

The story of Hans Brinker is a true classic, but few still read the novel, which was written in the 1860s. Now Bruce Coville and Laurel Long are reintroducing the charming tale in this glorious picture book version. Laurel Long’s paintings are breathtaking and luminous. And as he has done in his retellings of Shakespeare’s plays, Bruce Coville has masterfully reshaped the sprawling story into a picture book that’s fresh, engrossing, and faithful to the intent of the original. This is a tale of a family sticking together through hardship, and of wishes granted just in the nick of time. The race to win the silver skates is well-known, but the mystery of the watch and the missing riches is equally enticing. This is the best kind of fairy tale, and kids will be riveted by its drama. For the winter holidays or anytime, this is a book to cherish.

Tomie dePaola's Front Porch Tales and North Country Whoppers by Tomie dePaola (Penguin) November 1, 2007

These laugh-out-loud stories from New Hampshire and Vermont are set during the four seasons of the year. The storyteller in his appealing dialect tells little-known tales, among them “Mothah Skunk” and the night she had to move out with her kits because Sherman Curtis smelled so bad; the escapades of Big Gertie Benson, the lumberjacks’ cook and a cousin of the Bunyans in the Midwest; and George Petty, who delivered the mail even during mud season by standing on the back of his horse with only his head sticking out. Interspersed throughout are comic style episodes as an unsuspecting tourist tries to get information from the “locals.”

A delightful preface about living in New Hampshire for the past thirty-five years and visiting the North Country since he was a boy, explains why Tomie dePaola has perfect pitch for the dialect and a genuine appreciation for these unforgettable characters and their understated humor. Perfect for reading aloud to the family or in the classroom with a glossary to help with the pronunciations, these tales are sure to be a hit with Tomie’s fans, young and old.

Also available Tomie dePaola's Big Book of Favorite Legends.

The Ever-After Bird by Ann Rinaldi (Harcourt) November 1, 2007

Now that her father is dead, CeCe McGill is left to wonder why he risked his life for the ragged slaves who came to their door in the dead of night. When her uncle, an ornithologist, insists she accompany him to Georgia on an expedition in search of the rare scarlet ibis, CeCe is surprised to learn there's a second reason for their journey: Along the way, Uncle Alex secretly points slaves north in the direction of the Underground Railroad. Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous pre-Civil War South, The Ever-After Bird is the story of a young woman's education about the horrors of slavery and the realization about the kind of person she wants to become.

Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler (Harcourt) November 1, 2007

With a simple clap of hands, an itty-bitty beboppin' baby gets his whole family singing and dancing. Sister's hands snap. Granny sings scat. Uncle soft-shoes--and Baby keeps the groove. Things start to wind down when Mama and Daddy sing blues so sweet. Now a perfectly drowsy baby sleeps deep, deep, deep. Lisa Wheeler and R. Gregory Christie pair up for a celebration of music, imagination, and big families--but they know that even a jazz baby needs to snooze. Oh yeah.

Wenceslas by Geraldine McCaughrean (Transworld) November 27, 2007

Good King Wenceslas looked outOn the Feast of Stephen,When the snow lay round about,Deep and crisp and even…A beautiful telling of the age-old carol of Good King Wenceslas and his page, who set out on a bitter winter night to deliver the spirit of Christmas.

Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali by Charles R. Smith (Candlewick) November 13, 2007.

A dynamic author-illustrator team follows the threetime heavyweight champ through twelve rounds of a remarkable life."Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. . . . I’m the prettiest thing that ever lived!"From the moment a fired-up teenager from Kentucky won 1960 Olympic gold to the day in 1996 when a retired legend, hands shaking from Parkinson’s, returned to raise the Olympic torch, the boxer known as "The Greatest" waged many a fight. Some were in the ring, against opponents like Sonny Liston and Joe Frazier; others were against societal prejudice and against a war he refused to support because of his Islamic faith. Charles R. Smith Jr.’s rap-inspired verse weaves and bobs and jabs with relentless energy, while Bryan Collier’s bold collage artwork matches every move — capturing the "Louisville loudmouth with the great gift of rhyme" who shed the name Cassius Clay to take on the world as Muhammad Ali.

Remembering Raquel by Vivian Vande Velde (Harcourt) November 1, 2007

Fifteen-year-old Raquel Falcone is, as one of her classmates puts it, the kind of kid who has a tendency to be invisible. That is until the night she's hit by a car and killed while walking home from the movies. In brief, moving chapters, we hear about Raquel from her classmates, her best friend, her family--and the woman who was driving the car that struck her. The loss of this seemingly invisible girl deeply affects her entire community, proving just how interconnected and similar we all really are.

Princess Alyss of Wonderland by Frank Beddor. Illustrated by Catia Chien. (Penguin) November 1, 2007.

Enter the exciting world of the real Alyss of Wonderland! Behold the stunning proof that the fictitious little girl you have known as Alice was actually a very real little princess named Alyss. Assembled in this scrapbook are the collected letters, journals, and art of the princess who fled her world of wonder only to fi nd herself alone in our world with nothing but her imagination to sustain her. Lavishly illustrated and fully interactive, this book will captivate and delight princess enthusiasts and fans of the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Star Wars Pop-up (Scholastic) November 1, 2007

Sabuda and Reinhart Studios have created another spectacular pop-up book for George Lucas's epic STAR WARS movies! Bestselling pop-up artist and engineer Matthew Reinhart has designed a thirtieth anniversary commemorative edition that comes packed with a variety of novelty features -- pop-ups, working light sabers, pull tabs, and other interactive looks at the exciting and popular movies. This beautiful book will impress all fans of STAR WARS and gives a whole new perspective to the films. MATTHEW REINHART is a renowned paper engineer and bona fide STARS WARS aficionado. He has worked with Robert Sabuda on many wonderful pop-up titles such as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, A B C Disney, Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs, and Movable Mother Goose. He also created Mommy? by Maurice Sendak, The Pop-Up Book of Nightmares, and The Pop-Up Book of Phobias. He lives in New York City.

My First by Eva Montanari (Houghton Mifflin) November 12, 2007

All Alice wants for her birthday is a doll. That is all—just a doll! She gets the baby carriage and embroidered socks ready. But her parents give her something entirely different! Will she learn to appreciate the extraordinary nature of her present? Will you? Unique artwork with unusual perspectives and colors fill this special book about a young girl's enjoyment of her book.

The Seems: Glitch In Sleep by John Hulme (Scholastic) November 1, 2007

The world as you know it was created and is still maintained by The Seems. From the Department of Weather to the Department of Emotions, the Seems ensure our world is just as we like it. Occasionally, something in one of these departments will break down, and a Fixer is sent in to repair it before there is damage to our world. Becker Drane may seem like your average 7th grader, but he's actually one of 37 Fixers in the entire world, and is just about to embark on his first mission. Will Becker fix the Glitch in Sleep and become the hero of the Seems, or will his first assignment be his last? Michael Wexler and John Hulme are the editors of Voices of the Xiled, a short story collection for adults, and authors of other works of adult nonfiction. Michael and John both live in the New York City area.

How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World by Craig Hatkoff (Scholastic) November 1, 2007

When Knut was born, the first polar bear cub at the Berlin Zoo in more than thirty years, he was no bigger than a snowball and unable to care for himself. His mother, a rescued East German circus bear, didn't know how to take care of Knut and rejected him. Knut would have died if it weren't for Thomas Dorflein, a zookeeper who nurtured Knut, feeding him, sleeping with him, and giving him the love and attention Knut needed to thrive. But Thomas wasn't the only one who adopted Knut. The adorable little polar bear captured the world's attention, and now Knut is loved around the globe.

The Chronicles of Narnia Pop-up by C.S. Lewis, illustrated by Robert Sabuda, Matthew Armstrong, and Matthew Reinhart

C. S. Lewis's classic Narnia books spring to life in the hands of award-winning paper engineer Robert Sabuda. Each of the seven books in the series has its own pop-up spread rendered in spectacular detail with stunning special effects. Experience a different adventure from Narnia on every spread in this beautiful addition to the Narnia library—sure to enchant fans of both C. S. Lewis and Robert Sabuda.

1 comments:

Artemis 1:45 PM  

I can't believe anybody could recommend Twilight and its sequels as good books for young adults, with all their disturbing Mormon propaganda and rampant anti-feminism, but to recommend them on the basis of the quality of her writing is a joke. Did you read the same books I did? There are so many wonderful books on this great list; it's like comparing a macaroni necklace to diamonds.

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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