Archive for the ‘book of the month’ Category
Keris Stainton’s new book, Jessie Hearts NYC, is out to buy this month, so she’s sharing with us her favourite NYC books…
Top 5 Children’s Books set in New York
Eloise by Kay Thompson
Eloise lives with her nanny at The Plaza Hotel in New York. The daughter of rich parents, she is left daily to her own devices. She knows everything about The Plaza and everyone in it. Henry James would want to study her, and Queen Victoria would recognise her as an equal.
I thought I’d start with a classic. Eloise lives in The Plaza Hotel. She spends a lot of time running around the hotel, causing trouble. She has a pug named Weenie and a turtle named Skipperdee. She is awesome, obviously.
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
This funny story tells how Trixie and Knuffel Bunny’s trip to the laundromat with Dad goes terribly wrong when Trixie realizes some bunny’s been left behind…! Her attempts to alert Dad all the way home are unsuccessful, until Mum points out that Knuffel Bunny is missing and the family hotfoot it back to the laundromat. Fortunately, KB is safe, if a little wet…
I adore Mo Willems books and fortunately so do my children. Knuffle Bunny – about a toddler who leave her favourite toy at the laundrette – was the first we ever read and I must admit I was attracted to it by its gorgeous illustrations. The illustrations are on photographs of Park Slope, Brooklyn (where Willems lives) and Trixie, the toddler, is based on Willems’ own daughter.
From the Mixed up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler by E L Konigsburg
Claudia and Jamie run away from home and wind up living at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There they are privy to the introduction of a new statue and immediately are suspicious of its authenticity. 1968 Newbery Medal; Library of Congress Children’s Book of the Year; ALA Notable Children’s Book.
11-year-old Claudia and her younger brother Jamie run away to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eloise made me want to live in a hotel and this book made me want to live in a museum.
A Walk in New York by Salvatore Rubbino
A boy, his father and their dog wander in midtown Manhattan, taking in some of New York’s most famous landmarks and well-known streets, meeting New Yorkers and discovering how the iconic city looks, sounds, smells, tastes and feels…
A friend bought this for me for my 40th birthday and it probably is more suitable for me than for either of my young sons. There’s no story as such, it’s just a boy and his dad exploring New York with accompanying facts and figures (like ‘More hot dogs are eaten in New York than anywhere else in the USA’) and gorgeous retro illustrations.
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
After Chester, a cricket, arrives in the Times Square subway station, he takes up residence in a newsstand. Between escapades in New York City, Chester and four new friends manage to bring success to the almost bankrupt newsstand.
Another classic that I was obsessed with as a child. It made me yearn to go to New York… and live in an abandoned drain pipe in the Times Square subway station. I was a weird kid.
Thanks, Keris. To find out more about Keris, check out her website here, and you can buy these reads, along with Keris’ new book, Jessie Hearts NYC, here..
Wow – it’s time to be thinking of Christmas already! Still time to get plenty of reading in before then, though, and this month we’ve chosen 3 old favourites for you to read with us, and have made sure that all are available from our shop, linked to Amazon, for less than £4 each – book bargains! Remember, when you do get round to Christmas shopping, buy from Amazon via our shop (anything at all, not just wonderful books!!) and you’ll be supporting Bookbabblers – thanks. Onto our delicious reads….
The Iron Man – Ted Hughes
Mankind must put a stop to the dreadful destruction by the Iron Man and set a trap for him, but he cannot be kept down. Then, when a terrible monster from outer space threatens to lay waste to the planet, it is the Iron Man who finds a way to save the world.
Charlotte’s Web – EB White
The tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider, saved her pig Wilbur from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Joan Aiken
It’s 19th-century England during the reign of King James II, but it’s not the England we know from the history books. This country is overrun with wolves that roam the forests, providing the perfect setting for a witty and dramatic story spanning the whole country, from the frozen North to the city of London, and peopled with all manner of evil governesses and ancient aunts.
Now, you may well have read these already. If you have, go tell us what you thought in our forum now. This may also be a chance to revisit them and enjoy them all over again. If you haven’t, please take this opportunity to discover them with us.
Happy Reading, Bookbabblers!
October’s here! At Bookbabblers, this means new books and a new ‘author in residence’…Thanks to Tamsyn Murray who was with us last month, and welcome to Lee Weatherly, who joins us for October. The long-awaited ‘Angel’ comes out this month, so we’re delighted to have Lee babbling along with us! There’s a thread set up in our forum now for you to ask her any questions, and we’ll be sharing our Q&A with her and more…
Onto our books for this month..
Running Wild – Michael Morpurgo
For Will and his mother, going to Indonesia isn’t just a holiday. It’s an escape, a new start, a chance to put things behind them – things like the death of Will’s father. And to begin with, it seems to be just what they both needed. But then Oona, the elephant Will is riding on the beach, begins acting strangely, shying away from the sea. And that’s when the tsunami comes crashing in, and Oona begins to run. Except that when the tsunami is gone, Oona just keeps on running. With nothing on his back but a shirt and nothing to sustain him but a bottle of water, Will must learn to survive deep in the jungle. Luckily, though, he’s not completely alone! He’s got Oona.
The Firework-Maker’s Daughter – Philip Pullman
More than anything else in the world, Lila wants to be a Firework-Maker. But every Firework-Maker must make a perilous journey to face the terrifying Fire-Fiend! Can Lila possibly survive? Especially when she doesn’t know she needs special protection to survive his flames…The exciting and heart-warming story of Lila’s journey to face the fearful fire demon fizzes with fun and drama.
Raven Queen – Pauline Francis
This is a powerful historical novel that brings to life an unforgettable story of love, hope and royal duty, from a hugely talented new author. The life of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day Queen, is all too often remembered as just a line in a history book, but this stunning debut novel reveals the full fascinating and tragic story – a tale of treachery, power struggles, and religious turmoil in the Tudor court. Intricately woven and passionately written, “The Raven Queen” is also a sensitive story of love against all odds that will enchant readers.
Surely one of those can tempt you?? We don’t know which one to read first – they all look so good, yet so different. Read along with us and then share your thoughts in our forum. If you’ve already read one of them, pop to the forum and tell us what you thought. All are available to buy through our Amazon shop now, so treat yourselves..!
It’s September already! Back to school for many of you, so we’ll make sure we bring you loads of fab posts and books this month to keep you cheery!!
Thanks to Ellen Renner who was with us throughout August. A new month brings a new author…
Author in Residence: Tamsyn Murray. The brilliant Tamsyn will be with us this month, so we’ll be reviewing her books, hearing about her new book, and we’ve a few posts lined up from her, too. There’s now a Tamsyn thread in our forum, so pop any questions you have for her in there.
Onto our September reads..
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been clse to death before—and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever…
Goodnight Mr Tom – Michelle Magorian
Young Willie Beech is evacuated to the country as Britain stands on the brink of WW2. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley – but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London… Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award.
Wolf Brother: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Book 1 – Michelle Paver
Thousands of years ago the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and powerful magic. Until an ambitious and malevolent force conjures a demon: a demon so evil that it can be contained only in the body of a ferocious bear that will slay everything it sees, a demon determined to destroy the world. Only one boy can stop it – 12 year old Torak, who has seen his father murdered by the bear. With his dying breath, Torak’s father tells his son of the burden that is his. He must lead the bear to the mountain of the World Spirit and beg that spirit’s help to overcome it. Torak is an unwilling hero. He is scared and trusts no one. His only companion is a wolf cub only three moons old, whom he seems to understand better than any human. Theirs is a terrifying quest in a world of wolves, tree spirits and Hidden People, a world in which trusting a friend means risking your life.
Try them and read with us. Whether these are books you’d normally pick for yourself or not – give them a whirl as you might just love them! Buy them in our shop and then tell us what you think of them in our forum..
It’s that time already! Hope everyone enjoyed last month’s picks – we certainly did. We asked you in our online meetings what you want us all reading, so some of these ideas are yours – August will see us reading and babbling about…
Holes – Louis Sachar
Camp Greenlake is a place for bad boys, where the belief is: “if you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy.” When Stanley Yelnats, accused and found guilty of a crime he did not commit, is sent to Camp Greenlake he really doesn’t think it can be so bad. Stanley and his family try to pretend that he is just going away to camp like the rich kids do, and he promises to write to them every day. But the harsh realities of the camp, and the evil Warden with her lizard-venom impregnated fingernails with her own reasons for making the boys in her charge dig so many holes, sometimes make dying seem like a great idea. When Stanley leaves the camp to go in search of his friend Zero, their journey towards freedom becomes a battle with hunger, thirst and heat in the shadow of Big Thumb–a mountain so entwined in Stanley’s own family history that he knows if they can reach it they will somehow find salvation.
I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain wants to become a writer. Trouble is, she’s the daughter of a once-famous author with a severe case of writer’s block. Her family–beautiful sister Rose, brooding father James, ethereal stepmother Topaz–is barely scraping by in a crumbling English castle they leased when times were good. Now there’s very little furniture, hardly any food, and just a few pages of notebook paper left to write on. Bravely making the best of things, Cassandra gets hold of a journal and begins her literary apprenticeship by refusing to face the facts. She writes, “I have just remarked to Rose that our situation is really rather romantic, two girls in this strange and lonely house. She replied that she saw nothing romantic about being shut up in a crumbling ruin surrounded by a sea of mud.”
Rose longs for suitors and new tea dresses while Cassandra scorns romance: “I know all about the facts of life. And I don’t think much of them.” But romantic isolation comes to an end both for the family and for Cassandra’s heart when the wealthy, adventurous Cotton family takes over the nearby estate. Cassandra is a witty, pensive, observant heroine, just the right voice for chronicling the perilous cusp of adulthood.
Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater
Grace is fascinated by the wolves in the woods behind her house; one yellow-eyed wolf in particular. Every winter, she watches him but every summer, he disappears. Sam leads two lives. In winter he stays in the frozen woods, with the protection of the pack.n summer, he has a few precious months to be human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. When Grace and Sam finally meet they realize they can’t bear to be apart. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human – or risk losing himself, and Grace, for ever.
Look good, don’t they? Do tell us in our poll which of these you’ll be reading with us. And remember, we have online meetings every Sunday 11-11.30am, so we can share what we think of these books there.
August Author in Residence: We’re excited to tell you that, as of today, we have an ‘author in residence’ – yippee! Ellen Renner will be popping by this month, chatting with us and offering us a fab signed giveaway. We’ve got an ‘Ellen’ thread in our forum and on our Facebook discussions wall now, so do add to those as Ellen will swing by and reply.
Well aren’t we the busy little bees?! Hope you have all been enjoying our posts throughout June? There have been reviews, author interviews, giveaways and we’ve started getting some author guest posts now, too. July will bring more of the same for you. You can expect lots more reviews, brought to you by our Bookbabbler review panel, more books For Little Ones, author Q&A’s and you can expect guest posts from Sue Limb, Sophia Bennett and Simon Cheshire, to name but a few.
Now, onto what we’ll be reading together this month:
Ballet Shoes – Noel Streatfeild
Pauline, Petrova and Posy are found as orphaned babies in different parts of the world by eccentric fossil collector and explorer Gum. He adopts them, takes them to his London home and leaves them in the care of his niece Sylvia and the family Nurse. Then off he goes to continue his exploring, saying that he’ll be back in five years’ time. When the three little girls are old enough, they choose the surname Fossil for themselves and vow to make the name famous. At first they lead privileged and sheltered lives. But when Gum fails to return after five years, Sylvia’s money begins to run out. First she is forced to take in some boarders – an engaging and eclectic mix of characters – but then she decides that the girls should go to acting school. This way they will be able to earn some money before they grow up. Pauline adores the school, as she dreams of becoming an actress. Petrova hates it, all she wants to do is learn about cars and planes and engines. Posy loves it too – she is born to be a dancer and the school is the perfect place for her.
Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy
Meet the great Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, master of dirty tricks and burglary (in the name of the greater good, of course). Oh yeah. And dead. Then there’s his sidekick, Stephanie. She’s! well, she’s a twelve-year-old girl. With a pair like this on the case, evil had better watch out! “So you won’t keep anything from me again?” He put his hand to his chest. “Cross my heart and hope to die.” “Okay then. Though you don’t actually have a heart,” she said. “I know.” “And technically, you’ve already died.” “I know that too.” “Just so we’re clear.” Stephanie’s uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn’t fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source — the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard. When all hell breaks loose, it’s lucky for Skulduggery that he’s already dead. Though he’s about to discover that being a skeleton doesn’t stop you from being tortured, if the torturer is determined enough. And if there’s anything Skulduggery hates, it’s torture! Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing’s for sure: evil won’t know what’s hit it.
Gimme A Call – Sarah Mlynowski
“See, I was at the mall and I dropped my phone into the fountain. And I had been thinking about all the things I would tell myself if I could call myself when I was fourteen. And now I’m talking to you.”
“What,” I say slowly, “are you talking about?” I would hang up, should hang up, but she sounds so familiar.
“Don’t you see?” she says, bursting with excitement. “I’m pretty sure I’m you. In the future.”
Devi is a mess. Her boyfriend just dumped her, and the only college that accepted her is known to everyone as ‘Stupid State’. But suddenly, she can talk to herself three-and-a-half years earlier – which means she can totally change her future for the better! Either that, or create hilarious and disastrous consequences…
All of our Book of the Month choices were inspired by our Bookbabbler review panel this month. We’re looking forward to reading them all – hope you are, too! Tell us all which book you’ll be reading in our poll on the left. All books now have a thread in our forum, so go babble about them together..
June already?! Well that can only mean one thing – we’re onto some new books for the month.. Hope you all enjoyed last month’s – there’s been a few chats in the forum about them so we know some of your views. If you’ve read them, do go share. We’re also excited, as today we get to pick the winners of all our launch month freebies – if it’s you, we’ll be in touch soon! And our review panel will be formed this week, too – it just gets better and better…!
Anyway, this month we’ll be reading and babbling about:
The Butterfly Lion – Michael Morpurgo
A lyrical and moving tale of a young boy growing up in Africa, and his lifelong friendship with a white lion. “All my life I’ll think you you, I promise I will. I won’t ever forget you.” Bertie rescues an orphaned white lion cub from the African veld. They are inseparable until Bertie is sent to boarding school far away in England and the lion is sold to a circus. Bertie swears that one day they will see one another again, but it is the butterfly lion which ensures that their friendship will never be forgotten.
Find out more about the author at www.michaelmorpurgo.com.
The Dragonfly Pool – Eva Ibbotson
Tally Hamilton is furious to hear she is being sent from London to a horrid, stuffy boarding school in the countryside. And all because of the stupid war. But Delderton Hall is a far more interesting place than Tally ever imagined, and an exciting school trip to the beautiful and luscious kingdom of Bergania whisks Tally into an unexpected adventure . . . will she be able to save her new friend, Prince Tamil, before it’s too late?
We’ve added Eva’s page to one of our favourites on Facebook, so pop along to find out more.
The Star Shack – Lila Castle
Pete and Annabelle always believed they were a perfect pair-until junior year, when Annabelle became obsessed with astrology. Now they can hardly stand each other. Pete thinks Annabelle has become a total flake; she thinks he’s an uptight jerk. To prove her point, Annabelle dares Pete to open a summer business on the boardwalk giving advice based on the stars. ”You and me and an astrology booth. I dare you.” Annabelle knows Pete can never say no to a dare. Together they’ll run the Star Shack and read visitors’ charts for romance and see what happens. Will a simple dare lead to a summer to remember or to something even more?
Out this month, this is Lila’s debut novel. We’re following her on Twitter and will be bringing you our chat with her here soon.
Hopefully there’s something for everyone there. As always, we’ll enjoy reading all 3 anyway. All of them have been added to our shop now so go grab a copy and vote in our poll to tell us all which one you’ll be reading.
May is just round the corner already, so what will we be reading this month?
Fallen – Lauren Kate
What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours? 17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross …only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart. Some angels are destined to fall…
Granny – Anthony Horowitz
Twelve-year-old Joe Warden isn’t happy. He has rich, uncaring parents and is virtually a prisoner in the huge family mansion, Thattlebee Hall. Worst of all, though, is his granny. Not only is she physically repulsive, she’s horribly mean. She has the look in her eye of a predatory crocodile and Joe starts to suspect that she has unpleasant designs on him. But what are they and how can he foil them?
Chips, Beans and Limousines – Leila Rasheed
Bathsheba Clarice de Trop thinks she’s a star. Well, her mum is a world-famous novelist whose books are all about the amazing adventures of her fabulous daughter, and of course the stories must be true. But when Bathsheba is confronted by her down-and-out father, and discovers that her role in the fantastic new Bathsheba film will be played by hot US actress Avocado Dieppe, she has to face reality. She might not be as famous as she liked to think, but maybe she can still be a star in her own right.
Pick whichever one appeals to you, or read all three with us. The books have been added to our book shop to make it easy for you to get a copy. To find out more about the authors, a link to their website is on our LitBits page and check out our Q&A with Leila Rasheed in our post on 17.04.2010 . Each book’s got a thread created for it in the forum, ready for you to go in and get chatting about it as soon as you want.
Until then, happy reading!
Hello! Bookbabblers – the online book group for kids and young adults – is here! We have arrived, and invite you to join us. For our first month, April, we are reading:
The Wind Singer – William Nicholson
The first part of a planned trilogy, this fast-moving fantasy conjures up exciting and extraordinary images. It is set in the imaginary city of Aramanth, in which citizens must continuously pass exams to get on in society. Kestrel Hath rebels against the system, and is forced to flee Aramanth. She takes up the quest to find and bring back the voice of the ‘wind singer’ that she thinks is destined to free the city.
The BFG – Roald Dahl
A tale of a girl and a vegetarian giant with an odd manner of speaking, who together save the country from Fleshlumpeater, Bonecruncher, Gizzardgulper and other hideous giants.
Glass Houses – Rachel Caine
College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school’s social scene: somewhere less than zero. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don’t show many signs of life, but they come out fighting when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood…
It’s entirely up to you which one you fancy reading, let age be no barrier! We’ll be reading all three anyway. If you’ve already read them, join in and start babbling about them. If you’re going to read them with us during April, perhaps don’t go to the ‘Book of the Month’ forum posts until you’re finished as we’d hate to spoil the end for anyone!!
If you fancy finding out a bit more about the authors of our books this month, or other stuff they’ve written, try the following links:
Check out the websites, read the books and join us in our first month and get babbling!! We look forward to welcoming you..
We’re brand new so are in the middle of building contacts with publishers and authors to make sure we can bring you loads of info and news here first. We are updating our progress on twitter so follow us by clicking on the link at the top of the page to keep up with us, and of course, click the link on the right to get this emailed to you whenever we update it. We will be updating it shortly with next month’s reads, so to make sure you’re getting your copy ready, get our emails! Thanks x