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Summer reading: Children's books

May 22, 2011

The Accidental Genius of Weasel High

Rick Detorie

Egmont: $9.99 paper, ages 12 and up

A 14-year-old's quest to become the next great director is stymied by his inability to get his hands on a camcorder in this graphic novel by the creator of the comic strip "One Big Happy."

(now available)

Arthur Turns Green

Marc Brown

Little, Brown: $16.99, ages 6-9

America's favorite aardvark is trying to save the Earth, but his spunky little sister D.W. can't understand her brother's weird behavior — or his green hands!

(now available)

Blueberry Girl

Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess

Harper: $17.99, ages 4-8

The author of "Coraline" pens a blessing for girls as they grow: "Let her tell stories and dance in the rain, somersault, tumble and run," bathed in the swirling illustrations of Charles Vess.

(now available)

Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun

22 Super-Charged Science Projects for Kids

Michael J. Caduto

Storey: $16.95 paper, $26.95 hardcover, ages 8-13

Activities to get kids excited about renewable energy, such as using a bicycle to power a 12-volt battery or an umbrella cooker that harnesses the sun's energy to cook food.

(now available)


Ethan Long

Little, Brown: $16.99, ages 4-8

A flashy chameleon who likes to stand out learns that joining in can be just as much fun.

(now available)

Charlie the Ranch Dog

Ree Drummond, illustrated by Diane deGroat

Harper: $16.99 ages 4-8

A cute little pooch introduces children—and urban canines—to the chores and challenges facing a dog living in the country, especially when the cows start grazing in Mama's vegetable garden. (now available)

Chike and the River

A Novel

Chinua Achebe

Anchor: $10 paper, ages 9-12

A tale of bravery and courage centered on an 11-year-old Nigerian boy's quest to cross the Niger River.


I'm Not Her

A Novel

Janet Gurtler

Sourcebooks Fire: $9.99 paper, ages 13 and up

Two sisters are different in every way, but when beautiful, sporty Kristina is diagnosed with cancer, everyone turns to brainy Tess, who finds herself bearing responsibilities she's never had before.

(now available)

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

A Novel

Megan McDonald

Candlewick Press: $5.99 paper, ages 6-11

All her friends and family are leaving town for summer, and Judy Moody's stuck with boring Aunt Opal — until she comes up with one of her plans leading to adventures — and some trouble, of course.


Just Being Audrey

Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos

Balzer & Bray: 32 pp., $16.99

How the ugly duckling that was Audrey Hepburn growing up in Nazi-occupied Holland became the swan that lit up the screen and used her fame to help the world's needy children.

(now available)

The Last Apprentice

Rage of the Fallen

Joseph Delaney, illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith

Greenwillow: $17.99 (13 & up)

Tom Ward has battled boggarts, witches and all manner of fiends in previous books in this series. But is he strong enough to handle what awaits him in Ireland, a land he was warned to never set foot on?

(now available)

LaRue Across America

Postcards From the Vacation

Mark Teague

Blue Sky Press: $16.99, ages 4-8

Ike the dog's correspondence from his road trip across America on which he is forced to bring two cats along as companions.

(now available)

The Midnight Palace

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Little, Brown: $17.99, ages 12 & up

From the author of the blockbuster "The Shadow of the Wind" comes this story following the lives of twin teens born in Kolkata, India and kept hidden from a mysterious evil that hunts for them.


Queen of the Falls

Chris Van Allsburg

Houghton Mifflin: $18.99, ages 6-9

This story of charm school teacher Annie Edson Taylor's attempt to be the first person to ride down Niagara Falls in a barrel deserves a spot on the bookshelf alongside the author's earlier books "The Polar Express" and "Jumanji."

(now available)

To Do

A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays

Gertrude Stein, illustrated by Giselle Potter

Yale University Press: $25, all ages

"Alphabets and names make games," wrote Gertrude Stein — modernist writer, expat and friend of Hemingway's — who provides an adventure in language for minds both young and old in the first illustrated edition of the book written more than 70 years ago.


The Watcher

Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps

Jeanette Winter

Schwartz & Wade: $17.99, ages 4-8

The life of the famed English primatologist's studies of chimpanzees is brought to life with vivid colors and a clear, simple overview of her life.

(now available)

We Are America

A Tribute From the Heart

Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers

Collins: $16.99, ages 4-8

Panoramic paintings are paired with free verse and historic sayings in this sweeping look at our nation's history and its people.

(now available)

When Bob Met Woody

The Story of the Young Bob Dylan

Gary Golio, illustrated by Marc Burckhardt

Little, Brown: $17.99, ages 9-12

The early days of a young Bob Zimmerman as he follows his dreams from rural Minnesota to New York City, where he meets his idol, Woody Guthrie.

(now available)


Tracy C. Read, photographs by Tim Fitzharris

Firefly Books: $9.95 paper

Sharp, vivid images of Old Faithful and other wonders in Yellowstone National Park give young readers a sense of its grandeur whether or not they're planning a visit.

(now available)

You Can Count on Monsters

The First 100 Numbers and Their Characters

Richard Evan Schwartz

CRC Press: $24.95, ages 4-8

Math is more fun when monsters are along! This colorful illustrated journey through the factor trees of 1-100 features a different creature for each prime number to help take the scariness out of arithmetic.

(now available)

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