Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kevin's Point of View

To escape the emotional turmoil of his father’s death 12-year-old Kevin Tobin has retreated inside himself, developing his imagination into a dangerous foil and a powerful ally. While he antagonizes everyone with his superhero antics, his ability to escape inside himself becomes critical to his survival after his life is once-again turned upside down a year after his father’s death. When a mysterious package arrives in the mail, Kevin and his best friend are hunted by a ruthless villain who is determined to retrieve the package, which holds the key to his plans for world domination. After enlisting Kevin’s teenage sister and her pizza-delivery boyfriend in a battle for control over time itself, the group escapes into the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado and eventually discover that Kevin’s entire existence is because of the love of someone we never expected.

Kevin's Point of View is Del Shannon's debut novel and shows a deep appreciation for the powers of imagination, family ties, and the desire of young boys to both escape reality and prove themselves within it. The fast-paced, adventure-filled storytelling style makes this a book with wide appeal for readers of all ages.

To learn more about Del and Kevin's Point of View, click here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Owl Moon

I had a craving for Owl Moon tonight. This is a classic that I re-visit every winter. The moon has been full and shining bright over the Cascade Mountains near my home in Seattle. Below is an overview borrowed from Jane Yolen's website.

"This gentle tone poem about a father taking his daughter (yes–it’s a girl!) out owling one cold wintry night is arguably my best book. Certainly it’s my best known book. The 1988 Caldecott Medal winner for John Schoenherr’s beautiful, frosty, tender, exacting pictures, the book has been translated into nine languages, been an ALA Notable Book, a Reading Rainbow book, a Junior Literary Guild selection, and on dozens of state award lists. Though I envisioned the book in the little woods near our house, Schoenherr used his own farm in New Jersey as the setting. The father is my husband David, the child our daughter Heidi. It’s not an exact story of David taking Heidi out owling, but an amalgam of many such trips he did with all of our children. I purposefully didn’t mention the child’s gender, though the flap copy gives the secret away. Heidi is now an adult with her own daughters, Maddison Jane and Glendon Alexandria. Their grandfather–Pa–has already taken them out owling. The only paperback edition so far is the Scholastic Book Club edition, not sold in bookstores. Publishers like to keep books in hardcover as long as possible (read: as long as it’s selling well). It will be some time by that measure before “Owl Moon” goes into paperback. There are over a dozen editions in foreign languages, including French, German, Chinese, and Korean. I wrote an article for the New Advocate magazine called “On Silent Wings” in the Fall 1989 edition that tells the complete story of the making of the book and what happened on the day the Caldecott was announced. The book was one of Yankee Magazine’s 100 Classic New England Children’s Books. It was also on the 1989 Kentucky Bluegrass Master List and a 1991 North Dakota Flickertail Award nominee."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Butt Book

Here's a book that will get kids laughing. The Butt Book is all you could ever expect from a book about butts. This unique picture book is clever, wonderfully illustrated, and would make a great holiday gift for most young boys. The Butt Book is by Artie Bennett, who's claim to fame is possibly be the youngest person ever to have sold a crossword to the New York Times.

Click here for The Butt Book and more on Artie.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Sentinels

From the author of more than a dozen New York Times best sellers and his son, comes the third installment of a brand-new fantasy trilogy written just for young readers.

After dueling with a dragon and a demon, Maimun knows he must destroy the stone that has kept him on the run for most of his life. The question now is how. With Joen by his side, Maimun journeys to the Tower of Twilight to beg famed wizard Malchor Harpell for answers. But Harpell’s help comes at a steep price.

Friends become enemies. Lost secrets come to light. And deep in the shadows, the sentinels are watching, scheming to save the stone—even if it means someone must die.

Featuring the sage wisdom of R.A. Salvatore’s beloved character Drizzt Do’Urden, this final book of the Stone of Tymora trilogy is packed with action, magic, intrigue, and a heart-stopping twist that Salvatore fans won’t want to miss.

Click here to learn more about Salvatore's books.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Classic Graphic Novels

"To entertain and educate young minds by creating unique illustrated books to recount stories of human values, to arouse curiosity in the world around us, and to inspire by tales of great deeds of unforgettable people." This is Campfire's mission statement. If you have not heard of this up and coming graphic novel publisher, you can check them out by clicking here.

I love their classic title list and I believe their cutting-edge illustrations will captivate boys and draw them into the story. Graphic Novels are an innovative approach to get reluctant readers to read.

Click here to visit their Facebook page.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mouse Deer

You know about Brer Rabbit from the southern United States. You may also know about Anansi the Spider from West Africa. These animals are called “tricksters,” because they trick other animals in the stories. There are many trickster animals around the world, and stories told about one are often told about others.
Mouse Deer is the favorite trickster of Indonesia and Malaysia, two countries of Southeast Asia. But what is a mouse deer? It is an animal about the size of a cat, and it lives in the jungles of Africa, Asia, and many Pacific islands. It has the legs and the tail of a deer, and the face and the body of a mouse—but it is not really a mouse or a deer.
The mouse deer eats only plants, but lots of animals eat the mouse deer. To stay alive, it must be quick and smart. That is why the Indonesians and Malaysians have made Mouse Deer their favorite trickster. Any of their boys or girls can tell you tales about him.

We all owe a big thanks to Aaron Shepard for bringing Mouse Deer to the Web. Aaron is the award-winning author of The Legend of Lightning Larry, The Sea King’s Daughter, The Baker’s Dozen, and many more children’s books from publishers large and small. His stories have also appeared often in Cricket and Australia’s School Magazine.

Aaron’s specialty is retelling folktales and other traditional literature from around the world. His work has been honored by the American Library Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, the American Folklore Society, the New York Public Library, and the Bank Street College of Education. His stories are enjoyed by a wide range of young readers—as well as by adults—and are perfect for reading aloud.

On the Web, Aaron maintains an extensive collection of resources for teachers, librarians, storytellers, children’s writers, parents, and kids. His site has been viewed by over seven million visitors and has drawn over 25,000 visitors a week. Among its offerings is the Web’s premier collection of free reader’s theater scripts, used in schools and libraries around the world.

An acclaimed author with real kid appeal, Aaron takes pleasure in sharing the magic of story.

To learn more about Aaron and these awesome tales, click here.

Friday, October 29, 2010


WRAITH is a covert ops thriller that had to be “sanitized” by the Air Force’s Stealth Program Security Office before publication. Clive Cussler described it as, “non-stop action,” and Publishers Weekly said it showed that “high tech weapons are only tools, and it’s the people doing the fighting who win the day.” Because of the war theme and some violence, it is appropriate for ages 13 and up.

WRAITH was written by James Hannibal, an Air Force Predator pilot and former Stealth Bomber. Outside of flying, he's passionate about writing and his two sons. His objective is to create books that he would enjoy as a man, but can also share with his boys. He works hard to write stories full of action and adventure, but devoid of foul language or sexual themes.

To see a very cool trailer, click here. To visit Hannibal's very cool website, click here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dripping Blood Cave

In this delightful new collection of humorous ghost stories by noted children’s author Raymond Bial, young readers will enjoy the further adventures of young teen Hank Cantrell and his fleet-of-foot, ’fraidy-cat sidekick, Clifford Hopkins.

Together, the two ghost magnets encounter a host of spooks, haunts, spectres, and just plain ornery folks who won’t die and go away . . . until Hank works out a solution (assisted – if that’s the word – by the big-talking, fainthearted Cliffie).

The book picks up where two previous volumes of Hank & Clifford stories left off (The Ghost of Honeymoon Creek and The Fresh Grave & Other Ghostly Stories).

Join the plucky fellows, and their sweethearts Rosie and Mary Ethel, as they scour the surroundings of mythical small-town Myrtleville, somewhere in the rural Midwest, for another round of fun, not-so-scary adventures . . . facing (and learning some valuable lessons from) the ghosts of the past.

RAY BIAL is the acclaimed author of more than 100 books for children and adults, including many historical photodocumentary books such as Amish Home, The Underground Railroad, Where Lincoln Walked, Nauvoo, Ellis Island, and others. His previous ghost stories include The Fresh Grave, The Ghost of Honeymoon Creek, and Shadow Island. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.

To learn more about Ray Bial and Dripping Blood Cave, click here and visit Crickhollow Books.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Shouty was written by Seon Ricks, an Atlanta businesswoman who has now turned her talent to writing children’s books. Below is an interview that was written by Laura Braddick.


“You only live once and I’m the only person who could bring Shouty into the world,” said the Chicago native of her main character, which she created 19 years ago as a junior in a cartoon for her high school newspaper.
Her first book, “Life of Shouty: Good Habits,” published by Rixkin, will be available Tuesday on Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. She said she hopes to print 11 more books for the series.
The first book, fully illustrated and written in verse by Ms. Ricks under the pen name NeonSeon, introduces Shouty Mack as a young man who procrastinates and puts off important tasks.
“He has a messy room. He doesn’t prioritize his life and focuses on the least important things,” she said. “By the end of the book, he goes through a transformation. He decides that he doesn’t want to live like that.”
Ms. Ricks, who has a master’s degree in humanities and social thought from New York University, hopes the book will teach children 8 and older important life lessons about setting goals, prioritizing tasks and dispelling self doubt.
“[Shouty’s] an everyman,” she said. “The themes are universal.”
The next book, “Life of Shouty: Food and Fitness,” due out in January, will focus on healthy living.
Even though Ms. Ricks said she is happy to be following her personal aspirations, she could not have done it without her corporate experience as a brand manager and Web developer.
“There are certain reasons why we go our certain ways,” she said. “I couldn’t have done all this out of high school. The experience has been invaluable.”
Wanting to maintain creative control and rights to Shouty, Ms. Ricks used her corporate prowess to infiltrate the publishing market by helping create Rixkin publishing and production company with the help of investors to launch the Shouty series.
“She’s always been a very creative person,” said her brother Hoyland, who helped her get the book to market. “I believed a lot in the character and I think that her book is great and it’s a great beginning.”
With all the irreverent and bawdy cartoon characters on television, Hoyland Ricks said he thinks Shouty is a refreshing alternative.
“I think he’ll be received very well,” he said. “I think the main challenge is not the content but marketing and getting the word out that Shouty exists. I think parents will be pleased with the message not only for their children, but what they learn from him too.”

To learn more about Shouty and Seon Ricks, click here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

That's Awesome!

That’s Awesome! brings kids awesome facts and records guaranteed to impress and remain with the reader long after they are finished with the book. Written in an authoritative, age-appropriate and clear style, this beautiful book incorporates fascinating photos and diagrams.

Included in That’s Awesome!:

Awesome Size – Although humans like super-sized French fries and monster TV sets, sometimes small items are just as much fun. Every size has its place in this awesome world. How do you measure up to daunting dinosaurs, the world’s largest Ferris wheel or tallest building, or the smallest gecko?
Awesome Price Tags – What does it cost to take a roundtrip voyage to the International Space Station? What items are worth their awesome price tags? You decide if the price is right.
Awesome Sports – Whether you’re a player or a fan, whether you compete with muscle or brain power, there are more awesome sports and competitions today than ever before. From extreme sports to perfect scores, what record will be broken next?
Awesome Eats – The world is full of awesome eats, including eel soda, saliva soup and insects. What are some of the most unusual dishes to eat?
Awesome Weather and Other Forces of Nature – Earthquakes, volcanoes and avalanches are only some of the most awesome forces of nature. How do we protect ourselves from unavoidable events and why do they occur?
Awesome Human Body – The human body is truly an awesome machine made up of many parts that work in extraordinary ways. Discover some surprising facts about what the body can do.

To purchase That's Awesome!, click here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ultimate Trains

Today's trains are sleeker, greener and faster than ever before. Tomorrow's trains could travel through space at 23 times the speed of sound! But did you know that train technology goes back 5 000 years?

In Ultimate Trains, boys will love the five "Build It Yourself" experiments. Boys can also learn how to build a steam engine from a soda pop can, test an electromagnetic track and go online to construct their own magnetic levitation train.

For more on Ultimate Trains, click here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dope Sick

The itch starts when things get too heavy for Lil J. Skin popping or stealing pain pills from his mom help him relax. But Lil J's focus is wandering because money is short, and his man Rico knows a way to make some quick cash. It's supposed to be an easy deal, but it isn't so simple when the buyer is an undercover cop.

With a gunshot wound to the arm, Rico in jail, and a police officer clinging to life, Lil J is starting to get dope sick. He'd do anything to change the last twenty-four hours, and when he stumbles into an abandoned crack house, it actually might be possible. . . .

Walter Dean Myers weaves elements of magical realism into a harrowing story about drug use, violence, alternate perceptions of reality, and second chances.

To visit Walter Dean Myers' website, click here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Boys of the Dark

A story that garnered national attention, this is the harrowing tale of two men who suffered abuses at a reform school in Florida in the 1950s and 60s, and who banded together fifty years later to confront their attackers.

Michael O’McCarthy and Robert W. Straley were teens when they were termed “incorrigible youth” by authorities and ordered to attend the Florida School for Boys. They discovered in Marianna, the “City of Southern Charm,” an immaculately groomed campus that looked more like an idyllic university than a reform school. But hidden behind the gates of the Florida School for Boys was a hell unlike any they could have imagined. The school’s guards and administrators acted as their jailers and tormentors. The boys allegedly bore witness to assault, rape, and possibly even murder.

For fifty years, both men---and countless others like them---carried their torment in silence. But a series of unlikely events brought O’McCarthy, now a successful rights activist, and Straley together, and they became determined to expose the Florida School for Boys for what they believed it to be: a youth prison with a century-long history of abuse. They embarked upon a campaign that would change their lives and inspire others.

Robin Gaby Fisher, a Pulitzer Prize--winning journalist and author of the New York Times bestselling After the Fire, collaborates with Straley and O’McCarthy to offer a riveting account of their harrowing ordeal. The Boys of the Dark goes beyond the story of the two men to expose the truth about a century-old institution and a town that adopted a Nuremberg-like code of secrecy and a government that failed to address its own wrongdoing. What emerges is a tale of strength, resolve, and vindication in the face of the kinds of terror few can imagine.

Praise for The Boys of the Dark
"Haunting and disturbing. The voices of the victims will forever touch my heart. To turn a deaf ear to this type of injustice is to give permission for it to continue. As a people, as a society, we should be outraged." —Jennifer Thompson, coauthor of Picking Cotton

"[The Boys of the Dark] reads seamlessly.... A worthy exploration of a regrettably long-lasting true-crime nightmare." —Kirkus

“This deeply moving story is highly recommended to readers of heart-wrenching memoirs, 20th-century American studies, or true crime.” —Library Journal

To learn more about Robin's work, click here. To purchase, click here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Douglas E. Richards

Douglas E Richards is the author of The Prometheus Project series: fast-paced science fiction thrillers praised by kids, parents, educators, and science fiction enthusiasts alike. He has also written extensively for the award-winning magazine, National Geographic KIDS, with several of his articles appearing in a dozen languages in as many as sixteen countries.

While today's kids have plenty of fantasy to choose from, there is very little hard science fiction available for young readers. Douglas is trying to do his part to remedy this situation. While kids report being glued to the pages of his books (boys, girls, reluctant and advanced readers alike) , numberous adults have reported enjoying them almost as much as threir kids.

To learn more about his work, click here. I also highly recommend his insightful article on the secret to happiness. To read it, click here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Fourteen-year-old Max Murphy is looking forward to a family vacation. But his parents, both archaeologists and Maya experts, announce a change in plan. They must leave immediately for a dig in the tiny Central American country of San Xavier. Max will go to summer camp. Max is furious. When he's mysteriously summoned to San Xavier, he thinks they've had a change of heart.

Upon his arrival, Max's wild adventure in the tropical rainforests of San Xavier begins. During his journey, he will unlock ancient secrets and meet strangers who are connected to him in ways he could never have imagined. For fate has delivered a challenge of epic proportions to this pampered teenager. Can Max rescue his parents from the Maya Underworld and save the world from the Lords of Death, who now control the power of the Jaguar Stones in their villainous hands? The scene is set for a roller-coaster ride of suspense and terror, as the good guys and the bad guys face off against a background of haunted temples, zombie armies, and even human sacrifice!

MiddleWord was written by a husband and wife team, the Voekel's. Jon Voelkel grew up in Peru, Costa Rica, and Colombia. He was not a natural-born adventurer and found life in the jungle difficult, to say the least. After college and business school in Barcelona, he worked in advertising agencies in Spain, Holland, and England, ultimately starting his own agency with four other partners - one of whom would be his future wife. In 2001, The Financial Times named him one of the top fifty creative minds in Britain.

Pamela Craik Voelkel graduated from Leeds University in English Language and Literature. After stints reviewing books, writing catalogs, and penning speech bubbles for photo-romances, she become an advertising copywriter. As Creative Director of Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel, she helped the agency win hundreds of creative awards.

The Voelkels' collaboration continues in Vermont, where they live with their three children.

The questions below were answered for Boys Read by Jon Voelkel - the male half of the J&P Voelkel writing team!

1. Why will Middleworld appeal to boys?

It’s the kind of book I loved when I was a kid. Lots of action and cliffhangers and nailbiting scenarios to keep you turning the pages – and you don’t have to wade through pages of description to get to the next big surprise! It’s a funny, fast paced roller-coaster ride of adventure as 14 year-old Max Murphy - a pizza loving, video gamer from Boston - faces off against the ancient Maya lords of death. There are secret passageways, haunted temples, raging underground rivers, ancient Maya kings, ruthless smugglers, zombie armies and, most important of all, a beautiful, jungle-savvy Maya girl.

2. What was the hardest part of writing your novel?

Getting started. I was supposed to be writing a marketing book. Our advertising agency in London had produced some groundbreaking campaigns and I’d been asked to write a book about our approach. But when I sat down to write it, I realized that my heart wasn’t in it. It was quite a difficult moment to tell Pamela that I thought we should write a children’s novel instead. And the next hardest thing was giving a draft to the owners of our local Norwich Bookstore and waiting on tenterhooks for their verdict.

3. Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite characters were the Maya lords of death. It’s not often that you get to write characters that are pure evil and insanely fun as the same time. Their mix of outrageous humor, practical jokes and sheer villainy is not something we made up - it’s straight out of Maya mythology. Our favorite scene is in the Black Pyramid where Ah Pukuh, the god of Violent and Unnatural Death, throws a party and Max has a string of misadventures. It was so much fun to write - I was giggling the whole way through it.

4. Who are your favorite middle-grade authors?

There are so many great middle-grade authors, but my son and I particularly enjoyed Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines series and the Monster Blood Tattoo Series by D.M. Cornish.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Morgan’s Pasture

Child psychologist Will Border retreats to the summer of his thirteenth year after a traumatic event forces him to reexamine childhood events and the choices he made in becoming a man. A period piece set in 1950s rural America, Morgan’s Pasture guides young adult readers in examining their own roles in life as they develop into loners, followers, or even reluctant leaders like Will. With one eye on child psychology and the other on plain common sense, Morgan’s Pasture offers a unique perspective on the growth of a boy and the longing of a man for a mythic peaceful pasture, not as a place to live, but as a reason to.

This unique book is by Wallace J. Swenson, an award-winning poet, novelist, and short-story writer. To order Morgan's Pasture, click here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bull Rider and Suzanne Morgan Williams' take on books and boys

So I spent four days selling books, and particularly my book, Bull Rider, with a local indie bookstore at the Reno Rodeo at the end of June. We had a great view of team roping and cutting events and the people watching was to die for. I learned more about readers there than I do at a lot of other places. Mostly because people don’t come to the rodeo to buy books – even if the books are about rodeo and the West. When I go on a school visit, kids know what they are supposed to do, and at libraries and book stores the audiences are self selected book lovers, or children of book lovers. The rodeo is different. Here’s what I observed about the boys.

Most of them won’t look at books. Those that do are often accompanied by a parent and after a little coaxing they may admit that they love to read. I think it’s a status thing. Books are academic. They are often written for girls. They aren’t necessarily cool. Many of those boys at the rodeo, if they are young teens, are sure to tell me they read “adult” books or that they follow the big fantasy series. Some of the rodeo type kids like old time adventure Westerns like Louis L’Amour’s. I don’t think a lot of those boys have read much contemporary adventure – which if they do, many of them love.

So first, hats off and a standing ovation to the librarians out there, who when an active boy appears at your desks, find them something great to read, whatever their taste – fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, nonfiction. And here’s a double cheer to those of you who will stretch those boys and offer them something new to read that you believe will suit them. You provide sustenance for their minds and support for writers like me who love writing for boys but aren’t so much into sci-fi or fantasy.

The publishing market has tightened during the recession and many of the big publishers are looking to produce big hits and that often means creating more of the same. And here’s what you already know – most block buster books aren’t written with boys in mind. It is girls who generally peruse bookstores looking for a new book to read. Boys will read, but they may need an excuse to do it. So here are some of the books I’ve read this year that I think boys would get into. Feel free to give them a gentle nudge.

About war – these are YA books and certainly suitable for any junior high or high school kid:

The Ghosts of War; the true story of a 19-year-old-GI, by Ryan Smithson, Collins, 2009

Purple Heart, by Patricia McCormick, Balzer and Bray, 2009

About military family life – these are sweeter and will appeal to boys and girls from 3rd through 6th grade

Heart of a Shepherd, by Rosanne Parry, Random House, 2009

Operation Yes, by Sara Lewis Holmes, Scholastic, 2009

Contemporary issues

Freeze Frame, by Heidi Ayarbe, Laura Geringer Books, Harper Teen, 2008 (fallout when teen accidentally shoots and kills his best friend.) YA

Home of the Brave, Kathryn Applegate, Feiwel and Friends, 2007 (African refuge boy adjusts to a new life in Minnesota, in part because of a connection with a cow and its owner.) MG

I Am Jack by Susanne Gervay, Tricycle Press, 2009 (addresses bullying in school) for young MG readers


When the Whistle Blows by Fran Cannon Slayton – (Jimmy Cannon celebrates six Halloweens between his 12th and 18th birthdays learning about the changes that life brings to his small town and his family.)

My novel Bull Rider (Margaret K. McElderry/Simon and Schuster, 2009)fits all these categories –

It’s the story of a 14 year old Nevada ranch kid whose life is turned upside down when the older brother he idealizes returns from Iraq with a traumatic brain injury and having lost an arm, Cam struggles to find a way to help. a good read for anyone ten or eleven and up, I’d say, and Bull Rider has appeared on both intermediate/junior high and high school state reading lists.

To learn more about Suzanne, click here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Haunted Series

What do you do when a ghost needs your help?

Jon doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not even if his mother does, and married a man who researches ghost sightings for his own TV show. Not even when they travel with the show, and visit “haunted” places.

But his younger sister Tania claims she can see the ghosts. Deciding to believe her is just the first challenge. Softhearted Tania wants to help the ghosts. First the siblings have to find out what happened to keep each ghost trapped in this world. Then they have to help the ghosts move on—sometimes by letting them take over Tania’s body. All this while dealing with their overprotective mother, a stepfather who’d want to exploit Tania’s gift, and a changing assortment of human troublemakers.

Life gets interesting when your sister sees ghosts. And the TV show’s shooting season is just beginning....

This paranormal adventure series, for children ages 8-12, features The Ghost on the Stairs, The Riverboat Phantom and The Knight in the Shadows.

The Haunted Series is by Chris Eboch. She's a wonderful writer and editor. If you want to write like a pro, follow Chris' blog by clicking here. To learn more about the Haunted Series, click here.

To lesnrarents’ ghost hunter TV show and try to help the ghosts. The Well of Sacrifice is a middle grade Mayan drama that is used in many schools. Click on the photo to link to myHaunted series, for ages 8-12, follows a brother and sister who travel with their parents’ ghost hunter TV show and try to help the ghosts. The Well of Sacrifice is a middle grade Mayan drama that is used in many schools. Click on the photo to link to my web site. web site.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lost Island Smugglers - August 1 Release

Sam Cooper had just moved to Harper’s Inlet
when he met Tony. Tony’s father owned a marina.
Sam, Tony, and Tyler took scuba lessons together.
Tony got them in for free. After they completed the
course, the boys decided to try out their new skills in
the real world…the ocean. The only problem was,
no one had permission.

While Tony’s father was away on a buying trip,
the boys took one of the rental sailboats out for their
diving adventure. Everything went well until the
biggest storm Tony had ever seen blew up from out
of nowhere, and the boys found themselves stranded
on Lost Island.

But, if they thought the worst had happened, they
were wrong. The boys discovered a secret hideout
that was used by men in high powered speedboats.
Sam and his friends knew the men were up to
something, only they didn’t know what. They had to
find a way to stop them, but how? And, even if they
did, the boys could never tell anyone about it. Join
Sam Cooper, Tony, and Tyler on their scary scuba,
ocean, island adventure.

Click here to learn more about the author, Max Elliot Anderson.
Click here to learn more about the publisher.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Amazing Alexander

Alex loves magic. Since he was a little tyke, his grandfather amazed him with card tricks, magic coloring books, floating fireballs, disappearing bottle-caps, and magic crystal balls - and now its time for Alex to go to his first magic show. He is excited! Maybe he will even be chosen to come up on stage. When he arrives, however, a pair of mysterious eyes seem to be watching him from back stage and he nervously changes his mind; but fate steps in and takes him on a magical adventure with twists and turns and white tigers and gleaming, razor sharp blades designed to cut the victim in half - not quite what Alex had in mind!

This is no ordinary picture book series. This is an extraordinary adventure that teaches the art and ethics of magic. Each book includes a wonderful magic trick that the reader can do! The new trick Alex learns in each book, the reader will also learn. There are instructions in a secret section of this book, where Alex learns - and so does the reader - how to magically transform two one-dollar bills into a million-dollar bill.

Adults as well as youth will love this wonderful book series, illustrated with original art, which combines an exciting childhood adventure with the joy of learning and performing truly mystifying magic.

Click here to see a very cool trailer.

Click here for The Amazing Alexander website.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Monster Slayers

For as long as Evin can remember, he has dreamed of being a real hero. And when his entire village is kidnapped by evil monsters, he finally gets his wish. With the help of his friend Jorick, a young elf wizard named Betilivatis, and an ancient guidebook of magical beasts called A Practical Guide to Monsters, Evin treks through ancient ruins and faces all kinds of strange and terrible creatures on his quest to find his family.

But soon, Evin realizes that not everything is as it seems. Why is Betilivatis sneaking off to report their every move to someone only she can see? Why can’t Evin remember anything before the day of the kidnapping? Why does it seem as if someone—or something—is controlling the monsters and drawing the three friends deeper into a battle they might never win?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid book FIVE!

HOT OF THE PRESS: The fifth volume in Jeff Kinney’s bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series will be on sale nationwide Tuesday, November 9, 2010. The cover will be purple, which follows the red, blue, green, and yellow of the first four installments.

“I feel like everything in the series has been leading up to the fifth book, which is about change and the different ways Greg and his best friend, Rowley, deal with it,” said Jeff Kinney. “To me, this book is the lynchpin in the series, and I’m excited to be writing it.”

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Place for Delta

A Place for Delta is a wonderful story written by Melissa Walker. When eleven-year-old Joseph Morse is invited to visit his aunt Kate in the northern most town in the US, Barrow, Alaska, he’s thrilled. But the real icing on the cake is the polar bear cub named Delta that he will be taking care of while there!

After arriving, Joseph adjusts to his new surroundings and falls into a pattern of care for Delta. He even makes a new friend, an Eskimo girl named Ada. Joseph and Ada soon find a murdered polar bear. They're determined to help solve the mystery and save Delta, who they know is also in danger. Joseph's adventure sets him off on an epic journey.

This is a great story for both boys and girls. Click here to learn more about Saving Delta.

Melissa Walker has been a Professor of English at the University of New Orleans and Mercer University and a Fellow in Women’s Studies at Emory University. She’s a vocal advocate for civil rights and for wilderness. Her previous books include Reading the Environment (W.W.Norton, 1994) and Living on Wilderness Time: 200 Days Alone in America’s Wild Places (Univ. of Va. Press, 2002). She lives with her husband Jerome in Atlanta and spends much of the summer in Alaska.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

All Star

Nothing announces the beginning of spring like baseball. Jane Yolen has knocked the cover of the ball with her new Honus Wagner book. Wagner was known as the Flying Dutchman, and was famous for hitting, stealing bases, and speed. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.

Written by award-winning children's author Jane Yolen, All Star! is the story of a hatchet-faced boy from a poor mining town who somehow became one of the greatest shortstops in history. Boy's will love this book and will be thrilled to learn that Wagner's baseball card sold for almost three million dollars. It's a heartwarming story that comes to life with beautiful retro illustrations that perfectly capture the era.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Real Guns

Dr. David P Reiter, a multi-award winning author and publisher living in Brisbane, Australia has published an interesting book called Real Guns. Dr. Reiter's book confronts the topical issues of gun control and the effects of war—past and present—on returning soldiers and their families. Jon, like many young boys, is fascinated by guns. He finds a loaded pistol hidden under his parents’ bed, with nearly tragic consequences.

The close call prompts his father to explain to Jon why he needs to keep the gun, forging a much closer bond between father and son, and emphasising the need for parents to talk to their children about issues affecting their safety.

Patrick Murphy’s stunning illustrations are a perfect complement to Reiter’s timeless story, allowing younger readers to better understand why guns are at once a necessary part of contemporary life but also a danger when they get into the wrong hands.

To learn more about Real Guns, click here. The book can be purchased in the US by clicking here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Morpheus Road

Marshall Seaver is being haunted. In The Light, the first installment of this chillingly compelling trilogy, sixteen-year-old Marshall discovers that something beyond our world is after him. The eerie clues pile up quickly, and when people start dying, it's clear whatever this is--it's huge.

Marshall has no idea what's happening to him, but he's soon convinced that it has something to do with his best friend Cooper, who's been missing for over a week. Together with Coop's sister, Marsh searches for the truth about what happened to his friend, ultimately uncovering something bigger than he could ever have imagined.

D.J. MacHale is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pendragon series. He has written, directed and produced many television series and movies for young people including ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK. His work has been seen on Nickelodeon, The Disney Channel, HBO, Showtime, PBS, Discovery Kids and the broadcast networks. D.J. lives with his family in Southern California.

To win a signed copy of The Light, send us an email and we'll enter your name in our FREE book drawing.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Plato the Platypus Plumber

Hazel Edwards, a wonderful writer from Australia has a new picture book out. Kids who love strange creatures will love Plato. Plato is a platypus and a part-time plumber with a tool kit. On call, Plato fixes watery problems like leaking taps, but he also fixes grumpy people. From his tool kit, he uses smile spray, a feather or a joke. Sometimes Zanzibar's family need a little help. Plato always comes, despite the ferals along the creek bank. Water carries secrets, stories and (yucky) stuff! An eco-warrior, Plato knows how to fix things.

Hazel is a 2010 Astrid Lindgren Award nominee, and a few of her other books are: 'There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake' (Penguin) series and ‘The Flight of the Bumblebee'(New Frontier). Her unique books have been translated into Chinese, Korean, Tamil, Auslan and Braille.

To learn more about Hazel's books, click here.

You can order Hazel's lovable Plato the Platypus Plumber by clicking here. It's also available through many independent bookstores in North America. Click here to order through Small Press Distribution in Berkeley, CA.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mark Fink

Checkout Mark Fink's books. The Summer I Got A Life is a humorous story of first love and self discovery. It follows the exploits of Andy Crenshaw, a fourteen year old who, with his older brother, gets shipped off to an Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Wisconsin. What starts out as a disastrous summer, turns into an amazing, life changing experience for him.

Stepping Up is an insightful, moving and funny novel about basketball. Ernie Dolan, 14, is plagued by the curse of the average. Nothing about him stands out—except his stutter. Things change dramatically when Ernie morphs from outcast to hero, risking his life to save three campmates from near tragedy. Ernie finds out what it means to be a hero and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. His compelling, heartwarming story unfolds against the backdrop of exciting, authentic basketball action and a lot of humor, while touching on teen issues of friendship and the near-deadly consequences of peer pressure.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Best-practice gets Florida students on Oprah

Students and faculty at Ocoee Middle School who made a music video to promote reading -- changing the lyrics to a song by the Black-Eyed Peas -- shared the spotlight with Diane Sawyer on the Oprah show.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bug Butts

From blowing bubbles to shooting poop, the world’s insects do amazing things with their butts. Discover the wild and weird ways insects use their butts to avoid predators. Spittlebugs blow bubbles from their butts and hide under them, while some caterpillars shoot their poop far from their bodies to throw poop-searching wasps off their trail. Ants and beetles spray acid from their butts into the faces of predators, while some caterpillars and larvae build hide-outs with their poop to keep predators away.

Insects also use pheromones from their butts to communicate with friends, relatives, and enemies. Still other insects say “thank you for protecting me” by sharing their high-sugar poop. And speaking of poop, some termites and roaches feed their children their poop to give them the microorganisms they will need to help digest wood.

Illustrated by a PhD biologist in a playful yet scientifically accurate style and tech edited by a PhD entomologist, Bug Butts combines the best of real science and real fun.

Includes glossary, index, and anatomy appendix.Bug Butts has received strong reviews from School Library Journal, National Science Teacher's Association, and was recently placed on the list of best children's science books for 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science Books & Films (AAAS SB&F).

To learn more about Bug Butts, click here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gold Dragon Codex

The blue dragon, Lazuli, lives to torment the villagers of Sandon's hometown, Hartfall. He demands more and more riches until the Baron, Sandon's father, has only one thing left to give: himself. Lazuli will arrive at midnight to take the Baron away. Sandon has only one hope left: the gold dragon that sits atop a ledge above the village, silently watching. In one legendary battle Lazuli magically petrified the gold dragon, once Hartfall's sworn protector. But Sandon is sure he can find a way to awaken the beast. In the dead of night, he sneaks out onto the gold dragon's ledge. And there he stumbles onto a secret that throws everything he thought he knew about his home and his family into question. Can Sandon unlock the secret of the gold dragon in time to save his village--and his dad?

This next installment of the series inspired by The New York Times best-seller A Practical Guide to Dragons shows just how much a young boy can do when he realizes that the strength of a gold dragon may lie inside himself.

Click here for Gold Dragon Codex.

Conspiracy 365 Series

The Conspiracy 365 Series is action-packed. Warning, when you click here to access their website, don't have your headphones on. Everything about this site and series is fast and hard-hitting.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Blogs of Wrath

Carl DeReese only wants to survive junior high school in the Salt Lake City suburbs, but in an era when teachers are afraid of the students, some of his behavior is misdiagnosed as threatening. His longing to fit into a new school is complicated by a family tragedy, followed by a breakdown in the classroom that leads to criminal charges. The trials and adversities of growing up are catalogued on his online blog. Carl’s initial desire to fit in at a new school is challenged by his own insecurities. When he finally makes friends with a kid named Dex, his troubles seem to have ended. Typical teenage angst is multiplied when the expected birth of a sibling turns tragic, leaving Carl heartbroken and confused. A callous teacher pushes Carl into an emotional corner, and his outburst results in suspension from school and criminal charges.

Facing another regular day of junior high school is more than enough for anyone. Carl has to live through not only adolescence, but circumstances that could land him in a juvenile detention center without his family and friends. With so many authority figures assuming that he is dangerous and threatening, Carl has to decide for himself if he truly believes what everyone is telling him. The friends he makes and the support from his parents might be the only things that help him survive.

His emotions are honest, his online confessions are genuine and heartbreaking, and his fear of what the next day brings will make even older readers wonder how they survived junior high school.

This book is for ages 12-14. Many boys will identify with this cutting-edge theme. Congrats to Todd Noker and Zack Shutt for their vision and commitment to bring a rare and raw story to life for reluctant male readers. Click here for some cool Facebook info from Todd and Zack.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Up North Adventure Series

G.M. Moore's second book in the Up North Adventure Series is now available. Boys who liked book one, Muskie Attack, will love book two, Ancient Elk Hunt. Click here to access the series. G. M. Moore is a former newspaper writer, editor and columnist. The author grew up battling game fish on the lakes of northern Wisconsin. During the summer months, you can still find the Chicago-area author up north and out on the lake.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Kingfisher's New Books

Kingfisher Publications has two new interesting books that should appeal to most boys. Lost Worlds is by John Howe, the concept artist for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. From the world of Aratta and Mohenjo-Daro to Atlantis and Camelot, this visually stunning book explores lost worlds. Rich and stunning illustrations take you on a historical, archaeological, and mythological journey to far off lands abandoned in time. You'll find yourself flipping through these worlds over and over. Click here to watch a video trailer.

Versus: Warriors. Steve Stone is the illustrator of this very cool book. He has worked on hundreds of book covers, most notable Stephen King’s DARK TOWER series and Terry Brooks’ epic fantasy series SHANNARA. In this epic story, ten of the greatest warriors of history meet for the first time. From Viking vs. Aztec Warrior and Samurai v. Gladiator to Medieval Knight vs. Zulu, Versus explores who would triuimph and why, if these fiercest warriors were to engage in deadly battle against one another. Only one can be crowned history's ultimate warrior. Who will it be? Watch a video by clicking here.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Runaway Storm

Runaway Storm, D.E. Knobbe's fast-paced adventure book is for readers ages 12 and up. It's an exciting story about a 15 year-old runaway who takes off on a kayak, but quickly sees his adventure turn into a struggle for survival. You can see an interesting video preview of this gripping story by clicking here.

The author has also launched a great summer giveaway - the right answers to a few questions can win one lucky reader a kayak! Check out the contest by clicking the above link as well. I'm looking forward to reading Runaway Storm!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eric Walters

Eric Walters is currently the Feature Author on our home page. Eric is a prolific storyteller who shares his gifts and passions with the world in many innovative ways. One of Eric's current philanthropy projects is with Toronto District Schools. Eric is part of a team that uses an interactive approach to literature to engage boys in the writing process by incorporating technology. This unique reading program's goal is to ultimately involve up to 5,000 students across Canada. Kids who take part can win basketballs, tickets etc, and at the end of the year the program will conclude with a massive group literacy day.

Creation of Hope is another project Eric has founded. This project began with a chance meeting with a young boy in a marketplace and the discovery that he was one of over 500 orphans in and around Kikima – a small rural community in Kenya. To learn more about this innovative project, click here. To learn more about Eric's unique body-of-work, click here.