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he Case of the Stolen Sixpence is the first book in a fun new mystery series by Holly Webb, author of the Rose series. The Maisie Hitchins series is aimed at readers who are past early readers, but not quite ready for middle grade novels. The lines are widely spaced, the chapters are fairly short, and there are black and white illustrations by Marion Lindsay every few pages. I believe that this title would fall happily into the Early Chapter Books category for the Cybils awards.    ...
Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts is, yes, another young adult novel about two kids with cancer who become involved with one another. But it's quite distinct from The Fault in Our Stars, from characters to setting (Australia). Zac and Mia begins with a first-person section from Zac's viewpoint. Zac is in isolation in a hospital in Perth recovering from a bone marrow transplant. He is intrigued when he glimpses and hears a new patient in the room next door, a girl of about his age. The two teens connect by tapping on their shared hospital wall, and eventually on Facebook.    ...
This post is a status update for the 2014 Cybils Book Awards and the 8th Annual Kidlitosphere Conference.        Related Stories
Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. There is a TON of great stuff this week, so I have moved Cybils and KidLitCon links to a separate post. In this post we have...        Related Stories
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The Worst Princess, by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie, is an antidote to tales of conventional Disney-fied princesses who sit around and wait to be rescued. Well, Princess Sue does initially sit trapped in a tower, waiting to be rescued. She is utterly bored, and is thrilled when a prince finally comes to set her free. But then she is chagrined when the prince expects her to spend her time trapped (for safety) in a penthouse tower of his own castle. At this point, however, the princess rebels, and establishes a mutually beneficial alliance with a fire-breathing dragon.    ...
The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on children's and young adult books and raising readers. I currently send the newsletter out every two weeks. In this relatively brief issue I have four book reviews (picture book to young adult) and two posts with links that I shared on Twitter recently. I had a bit of travel and a lot of work over the past couple of weeks, so that's all I have for your this time.     ...
In Rose by Holly Webb, Rose is young girl (10 or 11) who has been raised in an orphanage in an alternate version of Victorian London in which magic exists. As the story begins, Rose has just discovered within herself what appears to be magical ability. Rose squashes that down as secondary to her life-long dream of getting a job as a maid, so that she can work to support herself. But, as it happens, the household that hires Rose turns out to be that of a well-known magician, Mr. Fountain. And despite her best efforts to keep her special abilities under wraps, Rose soon finds herself embroiled in a magical mystery involving kidnapped children.    ...
Last year I read and enjoyed the first book in D. J. MacHale's SLYO Chronicles series. I'm happy to report that I was not disappointed with the second book, Storm. This review will contain spoilers for the first book (it would be impossible not to, though I'll try to keep them to a minimum). The SYLO series started with a mysterious government quarantine of a small island off the coast of Maine. Book 1, SYLO, was fast-paced and intriguing, with a nicely-realized depiction of island life, and the reluctant coming together of four teens. In the second book, D. J. MacHale dramatically raises the stakes for teen hero Tucker Pierce.    ...
Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include book lists, the cybils awards, diversity, growing bookworms, kidlitcon, nonfiction, schools, libraries, and Dr. Seuss.        Related...
In Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, Melody is a brilliant young girl with a photographic memory (probably) and a passion for words. No one knows this, however, because Melody spends her days trapped in a wheelchair, unable to utter more than a few grunt-like sounds. What bothers Melody is not so much her inability to do anything for herself, but her inability to communicate with her family, let alone with the larger world.    ...


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