By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: October 30, 2009

The 13 Days of Halloween

The Thirteen Days of Halloween

by Carol Greene (Author), Tim Raglin (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (September 2009)

What to expect: Halloween, Rhyme, Parody, ghosts and gouls

I love a good song and it looks like Carol Greene does, too. She has taken “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and put her own spooky spin on it.

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: October 27, 2009


“In the early 1950s, legendary baseball hero Jackie Robinson literally “tested the ice” for his kids who so eagerly wanted to skate on the frozen lake near their home. Under Sharon Robinson’s skillful authorship and Kadir Nelson’s vivid illustrations, TESTING THE ICE also becomes a stunning metaphor for her father’s remarkable racial breakthrough.”

Thanks to Scholastic, we have a wonderful Testing the Ice prize pack to giveaway, as well as four additional copies of the book. You can find out how to enter, below.

By Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin
Published: October 26, 2009

The Children’s Book Review presents a guest post by Pat Perrin and Wim Colemen, a duo who thrive on collaboration. As co-creators of many books for young readers, they’ve managed to stay full-time writers for well over a decade.

Photo: Pat Perrin and Wim Colemen

What if you don’t gain fame and fortune? Can you still make a living as a writer? Can you even keep writing?

As married collaborative writers, semi-success came pretty quickly for us. So did semi-fame. So did semi-failure. That last one in particular brought us face to face with essential questions about what writing meant to us.

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: October 23, 2009

Good books make the best books. But … what makes a good book, good?

It may be a matter of opinion, however, whether it’s non-fiction or fiction, a “good book” is one that entertains its readers and has them eager to turn the next page. The author and/or illustrator connects the reader to the characters or subject, provoking an emotional response. “Good books” are original, and often spark imagination and curiosity.

Here is our list of “good books” for 2009, thus far:

By Bob Lemstrom-Sheedy
Published: October 22, 2009

Author Showcase: A place for authors and illustrators to gain visibility for their works.*

Pemba Sherpa

by Olga Cossi (Author), Gary Bernard

Reading Level: Ages 7 and up

Hardcover: 32 pages

Odyssey Books (October 2009)

In a Sherpa village in the foothills of Nepal’s Himalayas, seven year old Yang Ki wants to haul wood like her brother so she will grow strong enough to be a porter. “I want to talk to people on the trail and learn to speak English, and then I can be a guide”. But “girls can’t be guides,” her brother tells her. Yang Li, however, is very determined, and her resolve and bravery when she rescues her brother who is caught in a landslide, changes his perception of what girls can do.

By Amanda Lynch, The Children’s Book Review
Published: October 21, 2009

The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate (Book Two)

by Michael P. Spradlin

Reading Level: Ages 10 and up

Hardcover: 256 pages

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (October 29, 2009)

What to Expect: Action, Drama, Suspense, Mystery, Orphans, Historical Fiction

I always worry about sequels.  It’s especially hard when you liked the first book so much, as I did The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail.  What if the characters change?  What if I don’t like the outcome?  And the first book in Michael Spradlin’s series ended on a perilous cliffhanger–will all of my favorite characters survive?

As it turns out, I needn’t have worried.

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: October 20, 2009

The 39 Clues Book 2: One False Note The 39 Clues: Book Two: One False Note

by Gordon Korman

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Hardcover: 220 pages

Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (December, 2008)

What to expect: Mystery, Action, Suspense, Babysitter, Brothers and Sisters, Family, Orphans, Travel

Here is what I had to say after reading book one: Calling all reluctant readers! Action, mystery, suspense, and orphans, all mixed into a well-balanced, fast read. Not to mention the interactive website and collectible clue cards. Maze of Bones is the first book of a ten book series written by ten different well-known authors. Rick Riordan (author of The Lightning Thief) has set the pace well, creating a suspenseful adventure and scattering it with secretive clues. Riordan has outlined the rest of the series, but it will be completed by the 9 other authors.

Note: A discovery I made is that the books will be completed by 5 authors, each writing 2 of the books in the series.

Author number 2 of 5, Gordon Korman, transitions readers smoothly into book two, One False Note, and manages to strengthen the readers relationship with the characters. As the Cahill siblings continue on their journey to win the race by solving the mystery of all 39 clues, determination and self discovery are key themes. Knowing your grass roots, extended family and all, can be a huge part of understanding one’s self. The Cahill’s certainly have an exciting and powerful family, including Benjamin Franklin (book one), and a whole branch of artistic members, including the historical figures Mozart and Picasso (who both appear in book two).

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: October 19, 2009

Seeing Is Believing Cover[1]

Ripley’s Believe It or Not: Seeing Is Believing

Reading Level: Ages 9-99

Hardcover: 256 pages

Publisher: Ripley Publishing; Ill edition (August 4, 2009)

Language: English

What do you want to know? What don’t you want to know? What interests you? What doesn’t interest you? Not sure? Here’s a list of topics to get you started: