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New Books for a New Year: Lucky Edition!

20 Dec

The holiday season is upon us, and that means a new year is just around the bend. To get ready for the upcoming 2011 year, Lucky January has some suggestions to start your year off right!

Two brand-new mystery series are premiering in Lucky January. Pony Mysteries: Penny and Pepper is all about a girl who moves to the country and has to make friends in a new town. Penny meets a horse named Pepper and finds out there is more to the country than she thought! When a mystery arises, Pepper helps Penny start searching for clues. The second series is Jack Gets a Clue. In the first book, The Case of the Beagle Burglar, Jack gets hit on the head with an acorn and finds out he can talk to animals! When his friend’s plans to build the best robot get stolen, Jack uses his brand-new talent to sniff out the thief.

Frankly, Frannie and George Brown, Class Clown are also making an appearance in Lucky January. These two hilarious kids are always trying to help, but just can’t seem to keep out of trouble. When Frannie decides to help out a local restaurant on the busiest night ever, she is shocked to find out they are serving people snails! Find out if Frannie can save the customers from escargot or if the restaurant will let her go in Frankly Frannie: Check, Please! In George Brown, Class Clown: World’s Worst Wedgie, George is determined to make some money. There is the most amazing remote control toy that he is dying to have and George tries all sorts of odd jobs to get to his goal. Check out this hilarious story and see if George’s burps will blunder up his day again!

Everyone has a favorite character and this January, two of Lucky’s favorites—Fancy Nancy and Fly Guy—are coming out with brand-new stories for you! Fancy Nancy is back in her brand-new book, Fancy Nancy Sees Stars (available in the Fancy Nancy Pack on Lucky). When Nancy finds out her class is going on a field trip to the planetarium, she can’t wait! Stars are so sparkly and all the constellations have such fancy names. But will a rainy night ruin her fancy field trip? Fly Guy is also buzzing around this January in his new book, Buzz Boy and Fly Guy. Buzz Boy makes a book and Fly Guy is up against pirates and fire-breathing dragons! This easy-to-read format will have you laughing along with your favorite characters in this low-price special hardcover format.

Find all these books and more in Lucky January 2011. Happy holidays and happy reading!

—Caitlin, Editor

This guest post was brought to you by one of our Lucky Editors, Caitlin!

December’s Bestsellers

14 Dec

Picture Books


1. Little Critter’s The Night Before Christmas by Mercer Mayer ($2.00 in Firefly)
2. The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup ($4.00 in SeeSaw)
3. Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright ($4.00 in SeeSaw)
4. The Night Before New Year’s by Natasha Wing ($2.00 in Firefly)
5. The Little Reindeer by Caroline Repchuk ($3.00 in SeeSaw)


Transitional Readers and Early Chapter Books

1. I SPY Santa Claus riddles by Jean Marzollo, photos by Walter Wick ($2.00 in SeeSaw)
2. Tangled: Kingdom of Color ($3.00 in SeeSaw)
3. Magic Tree House® #29: Christmas in Camelot by Mary Pope Osborne ($2.00 in Lucky)
4. A Cars Christmas ($3.00 in Firefly)
5. Ready, Freddy! The Perfect Present by Abby Klein ($2.00 in Lucky)

Chapter Books

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney ($7.00 in Arrow)
2. The Pup Who Cried Wolf by Chris Kurtz ($2.00 in Arrow)
3. The Christmas Genie by Dan Gutman ($3.00 in Arrow)
4. Tangled: The Junior Novelization ($4.00 in Arrow)
5. Thirteen Ways to Sink a Sub by Jamie Gilson ($3.00 in Arrow)

Middle Grade Fiction

1. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan ($9.00 in Arrow and TAB)
2. The Winter Room by Gary Paulsen ($3.00 in Arrow)
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling ($8.00 in Lucky, Arrow, and TAB)
4. Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter ($5.00 in Arrow)
5. Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn ($3.00 in TAB)

Young Adult Fiction

1. How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier ($5.00 in TAB)
2. Accidental Love by Gary Soto ($4.00 in TAB)
3. Missing by Catherine MacPhail ($4.00 in TAB)
4. The Dying Breath by Alane Ferguson ($5.00 in TAB)
5. Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs ($4.00 in TAB)

Nonfiction (All Ages)

1. 3-D Thrillers! The Ice Age and Incredible Pre-Historic Animals ($4.00 in Lucky)
2. How to Do Homework Without Throwing Up by Trevor Romain ($3.00 in Lucky and Arrow)
3. Scholastic Book of World Records 2011 ($9.00 in Lucky)
4 Why Is the White House White? by Connie and Peter Roop ($2.00 in Lucky)
5. Thirty Days Has September: Cool Ways to Remember Stuff ($3.00 in Arrow)

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.

Guys Read: Funny Business

30 Nov

Let’s go back to May of this year. I was looking at the panels for the Book Expo of America conference and my eyes landed on the panel for Guys Read, and I thought, hey, this could be interesting. Then I saw the panelists: Adam Rex, Mac Barnett, Jon Scieszka, Jeff Kinney, and David Lubar! How could I not go to this thing?

The panel was amazing, hilarious, and informative. They spoke about why they wanted to participate in this short story compilation and it was simple: They wanted to do this because guys reading humor doesn’t mean that it has to be gross—it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Needless to say, I was hooked. Then (as if I wasn’t already dying to read this book) they showed the audience a book trailer featuring all the authors.  I’ll let the trailer speak for itself:

This book, which you can find in December’s Arrow catalog, is perfect for not only reluctant readers, but anyone who loves a funny story. From a story about a kid who has no superpowers in a class where everyone does, to a story about a kid whose parents give his bedroom to a biker, this book has everything.

And if that’s not enough, check out the list of authors that have stories in this book: Mac Barnett (Brixton Brothers), Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl), Adam Rex (Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich), David Lubar (Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie; the Weenie books), Kate DiCamillo (The Magician’s Elephant; The Tale of Despereaux), Jon Scieszka (Spaceheadz; The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales), David Yoo (Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One Before), Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Christopher Paul Curtis (Bud, Not Buddy; Elijah of Buxton), Paul Feig (the Ignatius MacFarland series), and Jack Gantos (Hole in My Life; the Joey Pigza books).

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Awesome Truth

23 Nov

Well, it’s been two weeks. I’m sure some of us have read and re-read the fifth installment in the Wimpy Kid series. One thing is for sure, kids love these books! On the publication date (November 9, 2010) Scholastic Book Clubs sent out copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth to 300,000 classrooms (see map below). I thought we at the office were excited for this book. That was nothing compared to the reaction I saw from flipcams we sent to various classrooms around the country. Check it out:

Map Key

  • Each spot is a U.S. City

White point: 1000 to 9999 shipments in city

Yellow point: 100 to 999 shipments in city

Red point: 10 to 99 shipments in city

Black point: 1 to 9 shipments in city

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Muggle-less No More

19 Nov

That’s right. Sticking to the deadline I set for myself, I have finished all seven of the Harry Potter books just as the movie releases today! I am Muggle-less no more!

We were going to do another riveting video with our amazing puppets, but some people went to the midnight showing last night and came into work a wee bit tardy (cough, Preeti, cough). Not to worry though, I am here to entertain you with my thoughts on the series for the next hundred or so words!

Like everyone, I received my honorary scar on my forehead after turning the last page—wait, what? Not everyone gets that? Um…maybe I should head to Diagon Alley to have that looked at then…. Anyway, I loved, LOVED, LOVED the last book and am equally excited to see the first installment of the movie this weekend. For me, the best thing about this book was that I didn’t know what was going to happen. Like I said before, I had seen the movies previous to reading the other six, so there wasn’t much of a surprise to any of them, whereas in Deathly Hallows there was a twist and turn on every page. I can’t believe I waited this long to read them, and yes, this is a series that I will read over and over again.

Time for some awards without spoilers:

Favorite character: Severus Snape. He’s just fascinating!

Favorite moment: The ending, but of course!

Favorite charm or spell: Patronus or Stupefy. (I really like saying “stupefy”!)

And last, but not least…favorite book:

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I loved all of the books, but the third one, for me, was where I really got into the world Rowling had created and started to really care about the characters.

All right, I better get back to work so I can leave on time to catch the movie. If you haven’t read Harry Potter yet, I highly recommend it. You can find the books in November’s Holiday Gift Books catalog.

Virtual Catalog Tour

11 Nov

I don’t know about you, but I just looked at the calendar and realized that, OM-Goodness, it’s November 11! Thanksgiving is in two weeks and the holidays, like a 5th grade pop quiz, are upon us! Where does the time go? I have yet to even think about shopping—just the idea of it gives me hives and I have to go hide in a good book—and let’s not even talk about finding the time to actually do it. What is one to do!?!?

Books make great gifts and this year’s Holiday Gift Books catalog is overflowing with awesome gift ideas. I’m lucky. I get to work on the catalog and that means I know THE BEST books available this season. Yes, I know you’re jealous. But I’m here to help! We have so many great books that I, along with my fellow Book Talker, Erin, and Holiday Gift Books Editor, Sada, decided to give you an exclusive virtual tour of the catalog. We wanted to show some of our favorites and give you something a little more than what you see on the printed pages.

Books not only make great gifts, they make kids better readers. I remember getting Where’s Waldo?, A Wrinkle in Time, The Hardy Boys, and Goosebumps as gifts when I was younger and they definitely shaped me into the voracious reader that I am today. I hope you enjoyed the video and we’re also here to answer questions…so ask away!

If you want to look more at the Holiday Gift Books catalog, click here.

Happy Wimpy Kid Day!

9 Nov

It has finally arrived! The day everyone has been waiting for…when the newest diary of a certain wimpy kid comes in that Scholastic book box and kids can hold the books in their hands and go off and read. These books have made readers out of thousands and thousands of kids and we’re thrilled that we could be a part of that excitement. Scholastic Book Clubs has sent out over 300,000 shipments containing close to 800,000 copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth. We needed 34 truck trailers to ensure that we could ship the books to classrooms across America—and that is just for those who pre-ordered the books. Check out our crew in our warehouse in Jefferson City packing the books! They even had a “packathon” for it.

If you are interested in joining Wimpy Kid mania, you can find the new book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth in November’s Arrow! Also, be sure to check out Scholastic’s Jeff Kinney author page which has awesome interviews and more!

Muggle-less Muggle: On to Deathly Hallows!

4 Nov

Oh man! I am so excited! I am finishing the Half-Blood Prince today and will be vaulting directly into Deathly Hallows, so there won’t be any video today because I am too busy getting my read on! I mean, we only have two weeks until the movie comes out, Muggles, so I have to be ready!

Now, before I launch into how excited I am to read Deathly Hallows, let’s take a moment to reflect on Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince. Rather than go on some long rant about each book, I will give you my favorite and least-favorite thing about each one:

Order of the Pheonix:

Most Fave: Dumbledore’s Army. Man, that is just awesome! This (for me, anyway) is when the books become more about kids doing something to save the world. It’s not just Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It’s everyone coming together to take on evil and make the world a better place!

Least Fave: Dolores Umbridge—need I say more? She is a vile woman and, for me, one of the greatest moments in the series is when she is relieved as the headmistress of Hogwarts! Man, I hate her!

Half-Blood Prince:

Most Fave: Probably Harry doing a curse on Draco. Great moment for many reasons.

Least Fave: The Half-Blood Prince (I’ll refrain from using names so as not to spoil it for anyone). That was a huge twist that wasn’t, ya know? I mean, I expected something to be revealed like that eventually—but this far into the series, the fact that it didn’t happen sort of lulled me to sleep about that character. UGH! I can’t wait for Deathly Hallows.

Now, on to Deathly Hallows! The main reason I am excited about delving into this finale is that this is the only book that I have absolutely no knowledge as to what will happen. I had previously seen all the movies for the other books, so while I enjoyed reading them, there was that missing element of uncertainty So I am going in with clear eyes and expecting the unexpected.

I’ll be back with a video recapping my thoughts on the final book, the series, and my excitement about the movie in two weeks. How excited are you for the movie? I’d love to hear about it. I know a few in our office have already bought tickets for the midnight showing. They’re going to be some tired Muggles at work that day.

Don’t forget, you can relive the magic or live the magic for the first time! All the Harry Potter books are on November’s Holiday Gift Books catalog.

Catastrophic Science

2 Nov

One of the best things about science class is when you get to do the fun experiments. You know which ones we’re talking about—the ones where things may get a little messy. That’s why when we saw The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science: 50 Experiments for Daring Young Scientists, we knew we had to offer it in our Book Clubs because what student, or anyone interested in science for that matter, wouldn’t want to try out the awesome experiments inside? What’s really great about this book is that it goes into the history and science behind each experiment so you can really learn how and why each experiment is important. From making your own X-ray machine to making a soda bottle rocket based on Robert Goddard’s experiment, there is something that is awesome and daring for all young budding scientists.

In fact, we were so excited about this book that we had to try an experiment out for ourselves. Check out Experiment #34: Robert Goddard’s Soda Bottle Rocket.

Want some more catastrophic science? You can find this HUGE PAPERBACK in November’s TAB.

Book Trailer Friday! The Lost Hero!

29 Oct

Happy Friday everyone!

It’s time for another exciting installment of Book Trailer Friday! This week’s pick is from Rick Riordan’s new series, The Heroes of Olympus. We’re very excited about this book here in the office and if you haven’t read the book already, what are you waiting for? It’s Percy Jackson times two! Well, why don’t we let Rick tell you about it:

Don’t forget, you can find The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero in November’s Arrow and TAB catalogs. Can’t get enough Rick Riordan? Be sure to check out his author page here.