Monday, June 13, 2016

Thunder Boy Jr

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn't mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name...a name that is sure to light up the sky.

National Book Award-winner Sherman Alexie's lyrical text and Caldecott Honor-winner Yuyi Morales's striking and beautiful illustrations celebrate the special relationship between father and son.

Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Stephen Manes

Stephen Manes is the author of more than thirty books for children and young adults. His Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days! won kid-voted awards in five states and is a curriculum staple in American and French schools. The sequel, Make Four Million Dollars by Next Thursday!, quickly became a Publishers Weekly  bestseller. His Some of the Adventures of Rhode Island Red was illustrated by William Joyce, creator of Rolie Polie Olie. With Ron Barrett of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs fame, Manes wrote Encyclopedia Placematica, a collection of paper placemats that may remain the only book scalloped on all four sides. His books have been adapted for stage, television, and opera productions, including a Montreal children’s theater version of Perfect Person directed by Robert Lepage. The books have won commendations from the National Science Foundation and the Child Study Children’s Book Committee, as well as International Reading Association Children’s Choice awards. 

He is currently serving his fifth term as an elected member of the National Council of the Authors Guild, the country’s oldest and largest organization of book authors. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Susan Kocik.  He is a terrible dancer. (Stephen says this.  I haven't actually seen him dance)

Click here to see all of Stephen's awesome books.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Arken Freeth

Part Neanderthal, but raised as a human, Arken Freeth finds that he doesn’t fit in either world as he struggles to survive. Yet the very Neanderthal heritage that makes Arken an outsider gives him extraordinary strength and fighting skills. In order to survive and become the warrior he knows he can be, Arken must brave the dangers that lurk beneath the depths of the Circle Sea, the old Atlantic, as well as the Tookan pirates who roam its surface.

Many boys rarely get an opportunity to experience hunting and fishing firsthand, so these books give them a sense of what it is like to hunt big game and use that skill to keep yourself alive.

In addition, the protaganist is a 14-year-old boy who is a "double" fish out of water, not only is he the only commoner in a military academy for the sons and daughters of noble families, he is also part Neanderthal in a lost civilization existing 13,000 years ago. And if anyone finds out that he has Neanderthal blood, the laws of their society forbid racial mixing with Neanderthal slaves and he and his family will be put to death.

Top that off with the fact that Arken begins the series by being very short and being bullied and manages to overcome these obstacles through wit and tenacity and I feel it is an inspiring message to young boys and the problems they face in society today.

This unique book is by Alex Paul and is the first of a series of seven books.  Alex lives in Portland, OR.  Many of his childhood experiences helped craft his books. He grew up in small Oregon logging towns, mainly Mill City on the N. Santiam River.  His parents were British colonialists who escaped Hong Kong on the last ocean liner that left before the Japanese invasion the same day Pearl Harbor was hit.  They emigrated to Canada and both served in the war, his father in Canadian infantry and his mother in the WAC. After the war his father got a degree in English and they moved to the US where he had a career as a teacher in small Oregon towns.

Click here to visit Alex Paul's awesome website.