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Tag: Children's Books (21-30 of 89)

Ann M. Martin picks her top 10 'Baby-sitters' books

What’s the secret to The Baby-sitters Club‘s phenomenal success? According to Scholastic editorial director David Levithan — who began working on the series as a 19-year-old Scholastic intern — it’s simple: “Girls have always connected with The Baby-sitters Club [because] they feel it’s real. It’s not amped up, action-packed drama or mythology or something that has no bearing on their lives,” he says. “And reading the books now, it’s amazing how relatable it all still is.”

Levithan is right. Any girl — any person, for that matter — can empathize with the struggles BSC members faced, from dealing with divorce to experiencing your first major crush. Relive all of middle-school’s trials, tribulations, and triumphs throughout the following pages, in which author Ann M. Martin selects her favorite titles from the 20 BSC books that are getting an electronic re-release in December. Martin has also added personal commentary about each of her picks, which are accompanied by their classic cover illustrations. You want side ponytails? We’ve got your side ponytails right here.

So, which books made the cut? Find out below!

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A sequel to 'The Giver'? It's true -- and here's what Lois Lowry has to say about it

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Before Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior, and dozens of other teenage characters began raging against dystopian machines, there was a 12-year-old kid named Jonas — protagonist of The Giver, a slim novel first published in 1993 that’s become a modern children’s classic. The Giver was Brave New World for the under-18 set before books about futuristic totalitarian societies became a dime a dozen — and most of today’s popular dystopian stories are in Lowry and The Giver‘s debt.

Middle schoolers and former middle schoolers across the world know that Lowry’s Newbery winner ends on an ambiguous note; it’s unclear whether Jonas and Gabriel, the baby he’s rescued from their colorless community, find the safe haven they’ve been seeking or freeze to death on a hillside. In 2000, Lowry decided to partially answer that question by inserting an oblique reference to Jonas into another futuristic novel, Gathering Blue. Jonas reappeared for the first time as a full-fledged character — albeit under a different name — in 2004′s Messenger, a sequel to Gathering Blue. And today, his saga (and Gabe’s) finally comes to an end with the release of Son, the first direct sequel to The Giver. The novel travels back to the community Jonas fled to tell the story of Claire — a 14-year-old girl drafted to be a Birthmother who finds that she, too, cannot live in a society devoid of love.

Before Son‘s release, I spent half an hour chatting with Lowry about everything from her childhood favorite reads — The Yearling and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, for the record — to the unfinished Anastasia Krupnik book sitting on her hard drive. Most of our conversation, though, focused on her now-finished Giver quartet. Read on to learn why she elected to continue Jonas’s story, what she thinks about the dystopian trend, and why she believes The Giver has been one of history’s most frequently challenged children’s books. (Want even more? Check our Inside Movies blog for Lowry’s comments about the long-gestating Giver movie.)

Scholastic’s reading guide for The Giver includes an interview in which you’re quoted saying that you would never want to write a sequel–
Uh huh. Oh, how I wish I had never said that publicly! [laughs] It comes back to haunt me. I didn’t have any intention of writing a sequel. I liked the ambiguity of the ending. Over the years, though, it became clear that younger readers in particular did not. The amount of mail I got passionately asking what had happened to Jonas — I suppose after a period of time, it made me wonder as well. So I guess it was in response to the kids who didn’t quit asking and wondering.

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Weekend Book Pick: 'Skulduggery Pleasant' by Derek Landy

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Hey, readers! I’m really excited so many of you were Relic fans. Let’s see if we can continue the streak with this week’s pick. Let me offer a quick disclaimer before we start: This book is actually a children’s book, but it doesn’t read like one (aside from the enormous font) so I hope you’ll give it a chance regardless.

The Choice: Skulduggery Pleasant (2007) by Derek Landy.

You’ll like this if: You’re a fan of Harry Potter or Grimm. READ FULL STORY

Roald Dahl is coming to your e-reader! Which books would you like to see?

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Today would have been Roald Dahl’s 96th birthday — and Penguin Young Readers is celebrating the occasion by releasing electronic versions of eight of his most beloved stories.

Kids of all ages can now stock their e-readers with James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Danny, the Champion of the World, George’s Marvelous Medicine, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Twits – an octet of yarns that represent Dahl’s uniquely wicked worldview, as well as his essential humanity. (Just try to make it all the way through Danny without shedding a single tear. Unless you’re a Twit, it’s impossible.) They all cost $6.99 — except George, which for some reason is one dollar more. Maybe the publisher wants to sell fewer copies so that fewer children will be inspired to try this at home?

For any fan of Dahl, this news is exciting. Still, I can’t help but think that this list doesn’t exactly contain the author’s eight best works — who would ever choose the wispy George’s Marvelous Medicine over a fantastically creepy story like The Witches or The BFG?

But clearly, the biggest oversight on this initial e-book list is MatildaREAD FULL STORY

Groups lobby HarperCollins to remove 'Berenstain Bears' books from Chik-fil-A restaurants

How’s this for a book title: The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Fast Food Chicken.

Social change organizations CREDO Action, SumofUs.org, and Faithful America have gathered 80,000 signatures to urge publisher HarperCollins to take Berenstain Bears books out of Chik-fil-A restaurants after Dan Cathy, the CEO of the fast-food chain made statements opposing gay marriage. Following Cathy’s statement, the Jim Henson Company pulled its Muppets toys from Chik-fil-A’s kids meals — the petitioners are hoping HarperCollins will follow suit. READ FULL STORY

Read this, not that: 'Goosebumps' author R L Stine on his summer book recommendations

We recently caught up with R. L. Stine on the 20th anniversary of his iconic Goosebumps  series to talk about two decades in scaring young readers. While he’s mostly known for writing children’s horror, it turns out Stine has diverse taste in literature. Read on for his top summer book picks, and also the most overlooked Goosebumps book that he hopes readers will check out. READ FULL STORY

Protect our youth: Dennis Rodman has written a children's book

All parents who can’t wait to head over to the bookstore to pick up a copy of a Dennis Rodman-penned children’s book for the young ones, please raise your hand and say, “I.”

Not all at once, please.

Okay, so maybe “The Worm” isn’t exactly the best candidate to impart wisdom on our nation’s impressionable youth (ahem, ahem). But that hasn’t stopped the 2011 NBA Hall of Fame inductee from trying his hand at doing just that.

The eccentric Rodman, who became just as famous for doing stuff like this off the court as he did for snagging rebounds during his 14-year career, has announced via his agent that he has co-written (with screenwriter Dustin Warburton) a book for youngsters entitled Dennis the Wild Bull.  Per a release on the book’s official blog, Rodman embarked on the process “with the sole purpose of conveying good lessons to children based on…[his] own experiences.”

The book is slated to debut in September 2012, at what we can certainly deem an interesting time in the ex-NBA star’s own family life. In May he was sentenced to 104 hours of community service for failing to pay child support, and earlier this month, he reunited with his father (himself a daddy to 29 kids of his own!) after 42 years of separation.

No shelf price has been set, but any young adoring soul hoping to perhaps one day party as hard as Dennis did (does?) can receive a pre-ordered, personalized signed copy of the book for $30.

Read More on EW.com: 
The problem with publishing the Joe Paterno biography
Cover and excerpt reveal for Hilary Duff’s third novel ‘True’ — EXCLUSIVE
New biography: Mick Jagger had sex with David Bowie, Eric Clapton, every other famous person

Watch the trailer for Bob Balaban's 'The Creature From the Seventh Grade' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Bob Balaban, actor and author of the McGrowl series, is launching a new middle-grade series in September with The Creature From the Seventh Grade. Creature tells the tale of Charlie Drinkwater, a young boy who finds that he has morphed into a giant mutant dinosaur sometime between his first period science class and third period English. In this exclusive video, Bob Balaban (dressed as a dinosaur, natch) interviews Bob Balaban (dressed normally) about his new book.

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'Encyclopedia Brown' author dies at age 87

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Donald J. Sobol, creator of the Encyclopedia Brown series for children, died at age 87 on July 11. Over the course of his mystery writing career, which began in 1959 with Two-Minute Mysteries, Sobol wrote more than 65 books and won a special Edgar Award in 1976.

The Encyclopedia Brown series centers on Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown, a boy detective nicknamed for his vast knowledge of facts, who helps his police chief father solve local cases, usually by dinner time. Sobol came up with the concept when he came across a book by chance at the New York Public Library. The book had puzzles on one side of the page and solutions on the other, and it occurred to him to write a mystery book in the same style. Since the publication of the first Encyclopedia Brown novel in 1963, the books have never been out of print and have been translated into 12 languages.

He is survived by his wife, Rose; a sister, Helen; three children Diane, Eric and John; and four grandchildren, Gregory, Bryan, Lauren and Nicholas.

Did you grow up with Encyclopedia Brown, Bugs Meany, and Sally Kimball? What was your favorite mystery?

Listen to 'Glee' star Chris Colfer read from his children's novel 'The Land of Stories' -- EXCLUSIVE

There’s only a week left until Chris Colfer’s first novel The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell hits shelves, and for those of you who miss hearing his golden voice every week, EW has an exclusive aural treat. The audiobook version of The Land of Stories will also be available on July 17, and it features the Glee star reading his own work.

Described as a “modern-day fairy tale,” the book will focus on twins Alex and Conner, who leave the real world behind and find themselves in a land where they come face-to-face with the fairy-tale characters — witches, goblins, trolls — they’ve always read about.

See below for a never-before-heard snippet! READ FULL STORY

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