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January Bestsellers

11 Jan

Picture Books

1. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff ($2 in Firefly)
2. You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt ($4 in SeeSaw)
3. Penguins by Liz Pichon ($3 in
Firefly)
4. Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holub ($4 in
SeeSaw)
5. Grumpy Gloria by Anna Dewdney ($2 in
Firefly)

Transitional Readers

1. Gus Makes a Friend by Frank Remkiewicz ($2 in Firefly)
2. Fancy Nancy: The 100th Day of School by Jane O’Connor ($3 in
SeeSaw)
3. Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl! by Tedd Arnold ($3 in
SeeSaw)
4. Ant Hill: Big Heart! A Valentine’s Day Tale by Joan Holub ($2 in
SeeSaw)
5. It’s the 100th Day, Stinky Face! by Lisa McCourt ($3 in
SeeSaw)

Early Chapter Books

1. Moonlight on the Magic Flute (Magic Tree House® #41) by Mary Pope Osborne ($2 in Lucky)
2. Horrible Harry on the Ropes by Suzy Kline ($2 in
Lucky)
3. My Weird School: Mr. Macky Is Wacky! by Dan Gutman ($3 in
Lucky)
4. Geronimo Stilton: The Giant Diamond Robbery ($5 in
Lucky)
5. Horrible Harry and the Dead Letters by Suzy Kline ($2 in
SeeSaw)

Chapter Books

1. Dear Dumb Diary: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers by Jim Benton ($3 in Arrow)
2. Wild Card by Tiki and Ronde Barber ($3 in
Arrow)
3. Goddess Girls: Aphrodite the Beauty by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams ($3 in
Arrow)
4. Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord ($3 in
Arrow)
5. Matilda by Roald Dahl ($3 in
Arrow)

Middle Grade

1. Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow ($4 in Arrow)
2. Rules by Cynthia Lord ($3 in
Arrow)
3.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan ($4 in
Arrow)
4. Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko ($5 in
TAB)
5. Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan ($12 in
TAB)

Young Adult

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins ($7 in TAB)
2. Rules by Cynthia Lord ($3 in
Arrow)
3. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine ($4 in
TAB)
4. Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko ($5 in
TAB)
5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins ($7 in
TAB)


Nonfiction

1. If You Were a Penguin by Wendell Minor ($3 in SeeSaw)
2. Bad Pets by Allan Zullo ($2 in
Lucky)
3. Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters ($4 in
Lucky)
4. Meet George Washington by Patricia A. Pingry ($4 in
SeeSaw)
5. Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport ($4 in
SeeSaw)

 

Scholastic Book Clubs’ Bestsellers are the most popular books offered across all age groups (PreK–8) each month. The ranking is based on the unit sales of titles available at the time through Scholastic Book Clubs. Books available each month for $1 are not included.

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Picture Books

1. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff ($2 in Firefly)

2. You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt ($4 in SeeSaw)

3. Penguins by Liz Pichon ($3 in Firefly)

4. Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holub ($4 in SeeSaw)

5. Grumpy Gloria by Anna Dewdney ($2 in Firefly)

Transitional Readers

1. Gus Makes a Friend by Frank Remkiewicz ($2 in Firefly)

2. Fancy Nancy: The 100th Day of School by Jane O’Connor ($3 in SeeSaw)

3. Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl! by Tedd Arnold ($3 in SeeSaw)

4. Ant Hill: Big Heart! A Valentine’s Day Tale by Joan Holub ($2 in SeeSaw)

5. It’s the 100th Day, Stinky Face! by Lisa McCourt ($3 in SeeSaw)

Early Chapter Books

1. Moonlight on the Magic Flute (Magic Tree House® #41) by Mary Pope Osborne ($2 in Lucky)

2. Horrible Harry on the Ropes by Suzy Kline ($2 in Lucky)

3. My Weird School: Mr. Macky Is Wacky! by Dan Gutman ($3 in Lucky)

4. Geronimo Stilton: The Giant Diamond Robbery ($5 in Lucky)

5. Horrible Harry and the Dead Letters by Suzy Kline ($2 in SeeSaw)

Chapter Books

1. Dear Dumb Diary: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers by Jim Benton ($3 in Arrow)

2. Wild Card by Tiki and Ronde Barber ($3 in Arrow)

3. Goddess Girls: Aphrodite the Beauty by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams ($3 in Arrow)

4. Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord ($3 in Arrow)

5. Matilda by Roald Dahl ($3 in Arrow)

Young Adult

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins ($7 in TAB)

2. Rules by Cynthia Lord ($3 in Arrow)

3. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine ($4 in TAB)

4. Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko ($5 in TAB)

5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins ($7 in TAB)

Nonfiction

1. If You Were a Penguin by Wendell Minor ($3 in SeeSaw)

2. Bad Pets by Allan Zullo ($2 in Lucky)

3. Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters ($4 in Lucky)

4. Meet George Washington by Patricia A. Pingry ($4 in SeeSaw)

5. Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport ($4 in SeeSaw)

Your 2011 Newbery and Caldecott Winners!

10 Jan

Congratulations to Clare Vanderpool and Erin E. Stead, the 2011 Newbery and Caldecott winners!

The Caldecott Medal goes to A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Erin Stead, written by Philip Christian Stead
In this heartwarming picture book with a classic feel, zookeeper Amos McGee is nursed back to health by some very unusual visitors! Surprising, funny, and very, very sweet.

The Caldecott Honors books are as follow (and you can find both on Book Clubs this January!):


Dave the Potter
by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill

The perfect balance of depth and beauty, this is a rich picture book about an enslaved potter and talented poet living in South Carolina in the 1800’s. You can find Dave the Potter on Voices this January!

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
You will laugh uproariously at this absolute gem of a picture book – without a doubt one of the year’s funniest and most clever read-alouds! You can find Interrupting Chicken on Firefly this January!

The Newbery Medal goes to Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
A true page-turner, this debut novel is a compelling mystery and rich coming-of-age story set during the Great Depression.

The Newbery Honor books are as follows:

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen
Delicious language, rich vocabulary, and interesting science converge on the pages of this beautiful book of poems about nocturnal life.

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
This is a captivating seafaring adventure based on the remarkable true story that took one teenage boy from Japan to America and back again, beginning in 1841.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
This charming and funny adventure swirls in lively fashion around Turtle, a tough and witty 11 year-old, and the eccentric relatives she meets in Depression-era Key West. Laughs galore!

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
In this truly entertaining ode to the 1960’s, Rita Williams-Garcia introduces readers to three likable and precocious sisters, whose entertaining squabbles are an absolute delight.

Author Interview: Kathryn Erskine

6 Jan

This January, Book Talk was lucky enough to pose a few questions to Kathryn Erskine, author of the National Book Award–winning Mockingbird. (You know how excited we are about this book!)

Read on to find out how Erskine came up with Caitlin and the whole Mockingbird story, as well as her own history as a reader.

Book Talk: You just won the National Book Award; are you going to Disney World after this?

Kathryn Erskine: Well, I came home from New York to a broken fridge-freezer and rotten, stinky, dripping food, so I got to clean my fridge! Woo hoo! Actually, I thought it was pretty funny—no chance of the award going to my head when I was on my hands and knees scrubbing out the fridge!

BT: How does it feel to win the National Book Award?

KE: Pretty amazing. It’s still sinking in. When I read an article about it in my local paper, that’s when it felt real. I guess I’m such a reader that I have to read something to believe it!

BT: After you finished the book, did you know you had written something special?

KE: Because Asperger’s is so much a part of my life, I thought it might be too ordinary, but others who don’t live with it every day assured me that it was something quite different and special. People seem so touched that I think there must be something special about it.

BT: When you first conceived of the idea of this book, which came first for you—the plot or the characters?

KE: The characters always come first for me. They have conversations in my head and whole scenes take place. The plot is often hard to pin down. After the Virginia Tech shootings, however, I knew I had to incorporate a school shooting aspect into the plot and, since it’s a book for kids, I wanted that event to have already occurred before the book opened, so it wouldn’t be so scary.

BT: In your mind, is this a book about a girl with Asperger’s or a family dealing with an unspeakable act of violence?

KE: It’s more about a girl feeling alone in dealing with her brother’s death. To her, the fact that it was a school shooting is not as huge as it is to the rest of the community. For Caitlin, the bottom line is that she has lost her brother who was her link to the outside world. And, because she has Asperger’s, she has a particularly tough road to travel to make connections with her community again.

BT: Caitlin is so endearing. Was there an inspiration for her character?

KE: As always, my characters contain bits and pieces of people I know. Caitlin, in particular, was inspired by a close family member, but mostly she’s a made-up character. She is, so to speak, her own person.

BT: How did you manage to get inside Caitlin’s head in order to write from her point of view? Did you have much prior knowledge of Asperger’s?

KE: I do have experience with Asperger’s, but I also did a lot of research. Just as every kid is different, every kid with Asperger’s is different, so I needed to look at a wide variety of personality traits, behaviors, and habits in order to create an authentic character on the autism spectrum. I went to seminars and workshops, read a lot of books and articles, talked with teachers and parents who interact daily with kids on the spectrum, and I know kids with Asperger’s, too. For me, it felt perfectly natural to be inside her head, and the story just flowed.

BT: Caitlin starts the book by looking up the word “closure.” Language is a big aspect of Mockingbird with certain syllables of words being capitalized and Caitlin’s own infatuation with language. Did this evolve naturally from Caitlin’s character or did you want language to be a part of the book from the beginning?

KE: It’s really a part of Caitlin’s character and I wanted to preserve the unconventional way she wrote throughout the book as a constant reminder to the reader that she sees things differently. Also, words and books are a source of comfort to Caitlin because they don’t change. She can rely on them because they’re constant. Finding a definition is another way for her to hold on to something and have control over her world.

BT: This is such a heartbreaking story; did you cry while writing it at anytime?

KE: Yes, particularly at the end. I needed to rewrite the final chapter because it wasn’t quite working, and my editor told me that when I was crying at my keyboard, I would know I’d hit the right ending. And that’s what happened.

BT: When you hear from kids, what do they tell you they’ve learned or thought about as a result of reading Mockingbird?

KE: Younger kids tend to be very pragmatic about it. They say that now they get people like Caitlin and they think she’s funny—but ha-ha funny, not weird funny. Older kids, teens, and adults feel the poignancy and are grateful to have a chance to understand those like Caitlin. And people, young and older, with Asperger’s have thanked me for “nailing it” and telling this story.

BT: Were you a big reader as a kid? If so, what books?

KE: I’ve always loved reading and read a lot as a kid. I went through phases: series, biographies, mysteries, adventures, encyclopedias (really!), nonfiction on specific topics (horses, Australia, earth sciences, etc.), and specific authors like Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome. I tended to pull books off our shelves at home, so I read Nevil Shute and Graham Greene when I was 10 and 11. We were allowed to read anything, encouraged to, actually. That’s why I read To Kill a Mockingbird at 8. I don’t think any of the books scarred me; in fact, they helped me look at the world from viewpoints I’d never imagined…sort of like Caitlin does.

You can find Mockingbird on TAB this January!

Caldecott and Newbery Predictions!

5 Jan

The Caldecott and Newbery awards are just around the corner, and our offices are all abuzz with excitement. The Caldecott and the Newbery awards are given to outstanding children’s books each year. Past winners include Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me (2010 Newbery Medal winner) and The Lion & the Mouse (Jerry Pinkney’s 2010 Caldecott Medal winner).

We here at Book Clubs take children’s literature seriously—all year we follow what books have the best reviews, which ones are the most popular, and the cult favorites. Thanks to that, we all have opinions about what books will win! In the spirit of that excitement, we wanted to share what some of our senior editors predicted to be the award winners.

Steve M., our Senior Editor for younger clubs, has the following Caldecott predictions:

Medal:

City Dog, Country Frog written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Jon J Muth

Honors:

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange
Farm
written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper
Art & Max
written and illustrated by David Wiesner

Lucille S., Senior Editor of Acquisitions, sent in her Newbery predictions:

The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan, with illustrations by Peter Sís
Mockingbird
by Kathryn Erskine
Countdown
by Deborah Wiles
Keeper
by Kathi Appelt
The Cardturner
by Louis Sachar
Forge
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Of course, like many of us, Managing Editor David A. is rooting for Mockingbird!

A Reader’s Resolution

30 Dec

Happy New Year, everyone! In honor of 2011, we thought we’d do a quick “Reader’s Resolution.” These are books I am resolving to read this year. Leave a comment with some of yours!

In 2011, I plan to finally read The Brothers Karamazov and Boneshaker.

How about you?

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

29 Dec

This holiday season I was lucky enough to head down to Florida to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It – was – awesome! Walking up to the gates, we began to hear John Williams’ score from the movies, and then the Hogwarts Express came into sight.

And then of course, Hogsmeade.

They had everything—from Zonko’s to Honeydukes, and of course the Three Broomsticks…but we had a different plan. First off, we went to Olivander’s where we got to see a special kid get chosen by a new wand, and then Hogwarts!

The ”castle ride” had a bit of a wait (2 hours!), but all the while we were in line, we got to walk through Hogwarts. There were mandrakes in the conservatory and Harry, Hermione, and Ron even paid a visit to let us know what we were getting into (lots of flying and action, it seemed). We actually passed by the entrance of Dumbledore’s office!

And they were kind enough to give us warnings early on:

Once we got out of Hogwarts, we of course had to try Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice! And then it was straight on to Honeydukes and Zonko’s!

There were Ton Tongue Toffees and Cauldron Cakes, and Extendable Ears and U-No-Poo tablets!

We headed back to Platform 9 ¾, where the conductor and a Weasley twin were kind enough to take a picture with a friend. (As you can see, the twin is still a bit of a prankster).

Sadly, we did have to leave The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, our own money bags a few galleons lighter, but our eyes full of wonder and magic in real life! I have to be honest, I bought a wand.

Overall, the experience was wonderful and it really was Harry Potter come to life. I just wish I could live there! I suppose I’ll just have to reread them yet again!

January Dollar Books!

16 Dec

Hey BookTalkers, we have a special holiday treat for you… it’s the January $1 books! Click through for more! Continue reading