NEW BOOKS YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS
Getting ready for summer reading
A poem to share for children
Writing for Children—Tips for
Spring is everywhere...
except here in Alaska, and we still have a lot
of snow piles, that frequently get dusted with
Mt. Redoubt volcano ash this spring. Aside from
that, I'm definitely ready for spring and a
new supply of great books.
School will be out very soon, and I am sure
that your teachers will give you a list of summer
reading. When you become a better reader, any
goal is easier to achieve. I'm sure that the
lists will include lots of classics that you
might discount as being old and stuffy, but
you might want to reconsider. They are classics
because they have withstood the test of time,
and their stories are as relevant today as they
were yesterday. Dust them off, and give them
a try. In the meantime, here are some of the
newest offerings by publishers.
Miranda Peabody Learns What
It Takes to Make New Friends (Paperback)
by Susan DeBell, PhD.
Miranda is sad to leave her parents and friends
and spend two weeks at summer camp. Even though
her parents tell her it will be an exciting
and wonderful experience, she is worried because
she will not know anyone and will find it difficult
to make new friends. Sure enough, after arriving
at the camp, the other campers seem to know
one another and are already good friends. Every
camper that is except Miranda! Then she learns
the secret that will help her to make friendships
that can last a lifetime! Discussion questions
and activity pages provide ways that children
can practice a clear and simple way of making
Remember the Boxcar Children?
They are back with a brand new adventure in
the form of a graphic novel.
The Boxcar Children Graphic Novels 6: Blue Bay
Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner (Creator),
Mark Bloodworth (Illustrator).
The Boxcar Children are going on a trip on
a huge cargo ship to a deserted South Seas island.
While fishing and exploring the island, the
children discover clues that it isn't deserted
after all! But who lives there? Join the kids
in this exciting story.
Here is the story of a dog that
you will love.
Maggie the Beagle with a Broken Tail Gets a
New Home by Evelyn Gilmer.
At Growlers Puppy Farm, Ms. Evie falls in love
with Maggie the beagle with a broken tail. After
a long wait, Maggie finally gets to leave the
farm with Ms. Evie. Maggie loves her new home,
with its toys, soft bed, and two doggy doors,
which she finds she is very good at using. Everything
is wonderful until she discovers Ms. Evie's
secret... a secret that is shocking. Readers
of all ages will be captivated by Maggie.
you know that Nancy Drew beat out Batman
as the favorite fictional hero? Papercutzís
Nancy Drew outranks Batman
in Entertainment Weekly's new list,
ď20 All-Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture.Ē
You can find Nancyís entry here.
Identity Revealed: Book Three in the Identity
Mystery Trilogy, (Nancy Drew, Girl Detective)
by Carolyn Keene.
Of course this Nancy Drew is new and
modern as she tries to stop a case of cyberbullying.
When the bullies turn or her, she discovers
that nothing on the Internet is quite what it
seems. Catching this crook turns out to be a
This one is for parents to help
you raise critical thinkers.
What to Read When: The Books and Stories to
Read With Your Child—and All the Best
Times to Read Them by Pam Allyn.
Here, Allyn offers parents advice on choosing
appropriate titles for their children—taking
into account a childís age, attention ability,
gender, and interests—along with techniques
for reading aloud effectively. But what sets
this book apart is the extraordinary, annotated
list of more than three hundred titles suitable
for the pivotal moments in a childís life.
Max (Maximum Ride, Book 5) by James Patterson.
Maximum Ride and her team have barely recovered
from their Arctic adventure, when they are confronted
by the most frightening catastrophe yet. Millions
of fish are dying off the coast of Hawaii and
someone—or something—is destroying
hundreds of ships. Unable to discover the cause,
the government enlists the gang to help them
get to the bottom of the disaster before it
is too late.
While Max and her team are exploring the depths
of the ocean, their every move is being carefully
tracked by Mr. Chu—a criminal mastermind
with his own agenda. Can they protect themselves
from Mr. Chu's mercenaries and save the ocean
Here is a poem I thought
you might enjoy. This was written by my beloved
husband many years ago, when my children were
small. One day we heard a mother bobcat calling
to her kitten on the hillside across from the
ranch. The kids asked what the sound was, and
Bill jokingly said that it was a "Ring-tailed
Kabeezzo"...and then he made up a poem on the
spot to explain what that was... The poem has
been a family favorite ever since, and, in his
memory, I would like to share it with you.
THE RING TAILED KABEEZZO
By William D. Rowe
Sit down kids, donít yell or shout,
and I will tell you of something
you have been asking about.
You ask where it comes from?
We should know real soon,
either out of the ground
or perhaps from the moon.
You ask, is it purple, yellow, or green?
I think itís orange or pink
or some other color I have seen.
You ask is it big?
Iíll answer that.
It can eat an elephant
or get inside of a cat.
You ask me, is it quite small?
It can run under the bed
or step over a wall.
You ask me, what does it eat?
It eats the needles from the evergreen tree,
or maybe the whales from the dark blue sea.
Iíve often heard it would eat an old hat,
and pick its teeth with the tail of a cat.
You ask is it pretty, and is it sweet?
Itís more than that. It is really neat.
It has hair like sage brush, eyes red as
a nose like a cork-screw, and five crooked
You ask, is it real fast?
It raced with a stink bug and came in last.
But donít feel bad. Just hold it right there.
It can pick a jet plane right out of the
You ask, is it mean?
And that is quite simple.
It bites little girls,
and leaves them with dimples.
When little boys have been bad,
when they go to bed,
they might find it sitting on top of their
You ask is it strong,
and if it is brave?
It was dead seven years,
and then dug its own grave.
It was scared half to death
by a small baby calf.
Then it got mad,
and tore a mountain in half.
If you should see one just like Iíve explained,
either a wild one or one thatís been trained,
donít call Santa Claus.
Just let me know.
And weíll take a look
at a RING TAILED KABEEZZO.
for Children—Tips for your Success
Writing for children is a challenge that is
much harder than it looks. You must create a
strong story built around exciting characters.
If the main character is a child, he must think
and feel like a real child of that age. Many
new writers tend to "talk down" to children,
but kids are very sensitive to that and you
won't hold their interest for long unless you
are able to create characters that your readers
can relate to and sympathize with.
Your main character must be well rounded with
flaws that land him in trouble, and redeeming
traits that allow him to overcome his situation,
or at least point him in the right direction.
The available subject matter is limitless,
but sensitive subjects must be handled carefully.
Publishers seem to be buying manuscripts that
deal with everything from child abuse to teens
dealing with their sexuality. There is a fine
line between reality and what is acceptable
for reading material as far as parents and librarians
are concerned. Explaining the dilemma without
going into graphic detail is challenging, but
worth the extra effort. Remember that your manuscript
must pass muster with the adults in the publishing
industry before it will be read by the intended
Write the bare bones of your story quickly,
and then re-write... and re-write... and re-write
until it sparkles.
Check out these contests & web sites....
HarperCollins Children's: Enter The Baseball
HarperCollins Childrenís: Enter The Composer
is Dead Sweepstakes
Kids at Random House - GAMES & COMPETITIONS