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Seven Half-Bloods Shall Answer the Call…

12 Oct

Last month, we mentioned how excited we were about the imminent release of the first book in Rick Riordan’s latest series. Well, now it’s finally here! The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero hits bookstores and Scholastic Book Clubs book boxes. We’ve already read the first two chapters of The Lost Hero, and we can’t wait to get our hands on a freshly printed copy to find out what happens to Piper, Jason, Leo, and the rest of the newly discovered Half-Bloods.

To refresh your memory, what we know so far is that a new generation of demigods from Camp Half-Blood will be called upon to take up a quest:

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

What will happen and who they’ll meet along the way is anybody’s guess—will these heroes quarrel with the gods like Percy did? Will they find out who their godly parents are? WILL PERCY APPEAR IN THIS SERIES? What about the prophecy and the new Oracle, Percy’s friend Rachel Elizabeth?! So many questions left unanswered. I’m looking forward to meeting these new characters, but I’m really hoping that this first book will include some familiar faces from the first New York Times best-selling series!

If you pre-ordered The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero from Scholastic Book Clubs, you should be receiving it soon! If not, you can still purchase it from the Arrow or TAB October or November catalogs.  Visit our Rick Riordan Fan Page to learn more.

Go Further into Narnia Than Ever Before! Plus, Win a Chance to Go to London!

8 Oct

What makes a classic? Could it be when over 100 million copies of the books have been sold? Is it when a book has been translated into over 47 languages? Maybe it’s when a book has been in continuous publication since 1950? The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis ticks all of those boxes, but readers who love the Narnia series know that there is so much that makes these books classic reads. Narnia is a world that every child can visualize and see themselves in. It’s the precursor to J.K. Rowling’s magical world of Muggles and Hogwarts (which Trevor is reading about now!), and it’s a world that existed before Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. The characters are at once identifiable and relatable, but also exciting and completely fantastical. We want to fight alongside Prince Caspian and journey to see the Great Lion, Aslan, who speaks to children as if he were human.

So why bring up The Chronicles now? With the release of the latest movie in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, there’s never been a better time to start reading (or begin rereading!) The Chronicles of Narnia. Start The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as a good-night read-aloud—that’s how I first “read” it! Or read it along with your class and discuss the big issues in the book as a fun classroom activity. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

As always, all seven books in the series are available anytime, online or in our Holiday Gift Books catalog.

BUT WAIT! Have you heard? Pack your bags and practice your best British accent, Scholastic is giving YOU a chance to win a trip to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie premiere in LONDON, ENGLAND!  Click here for details.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

24 Sep

The owls of Ga’Hoole have had a pretty exciting fall, with the theatrical release of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole happening this week. (Today, in fact. Right now. What are you doing here?)

I’ve been asked by the awesome Book Talk staff to talk a little bit about the film, and how it compares to the books. Beware, there might be some *SPOILERS* below. If you want to go see the film now, we’ll wait here patiently.

Back? Cool. Let’s just start.

…….

Legend of the Guardians covers the story of the first three books of the Ga’Hoole series. It’s a lot of ground to cover, but the movie handles it with skill and gallgrot (an owl word meaning nerve). Of course, certain things have to be shortened, changed, or even cut when you are turning a book into a film, but screenwriter John Orloff has done a great job being faithful to the spirit of the books. (And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Watch this YouTube video made by Kathryn Lasky to get her opinion on the film.)

The movie follows Soren, a young owlet who falls out of his family’s nest and is kidnapped by the evil St. Aggie’s—an “orphanage” that turns young owlets into mindless slaves. He manages to escape, however, and then he and his new band of friends seek out the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a noble group of owl warriors thought only to be legend.

The movie focuses a lot more on Soren’s family, closing in and fleshing out some of these relationships. Kludd, Soren’s dubious older brother, gets a much bigger role in the film, as does his younger sister Eglantine—though she is ostensibly a ball of fluff with eyelashes. In fact, Eglantine steals pretty much every scene she’s in. Her cuteness is hard to resist, and there’s a very fluffy Beanie Baby available of her through Ty Inc.

That’s not to say the movie is all sweetness and down feathers, though. The owls of Ga’Hoole are warriors, and much like the books, there’s a lot of exciting aerial combat and clinking battle claws.

Also like the books, the film might be a better fit for kids about ages eight and up. The fighting can be a little intense (the director is Zack Snyder, after all), and the story might be a bit involved for younger viewers. (I had a toddler sitting in front of me that became very vocal about his shrinking attention span toward the end of the screening.) Still, the graphics are so beautiful and the story so fast-paced and fun, I think Ga’Hoole fans of all ages will really get a kick out of seeing their favorite characters on-screen.

Be sure to check out the first Guardians of Ga’Hoole book, The Capture, on Arrow and Lucky this October!

This post comes to us from a friend in our Trade Editorial department, Zach. He is the expert on all things Guardians of Ga’Hoole!


Back to School!

31 Aug

 

Strange new teacher.
Strange new toys.
Lots of kids and lots of noise!

Llama Llama Misses Mama! Like many kids this fall, Llama Llama is heading to school for the first time. Anna Dewdney has provided teachers and parents alike with a great story to encourage social and emotional development. Brand new on Firefly this September, Llama Llama must learn how to get along with a new teacher and new friends and without Mama Llama. Check out our Firefly editor’s review of Llama Llama Misses Mama! Our friends at Penguin have also put together a collection of classroom activities go along with Llama Llama Misses Mama, grab them here!

In celebration of back to school stories, we Book Talkers thought we’d let you know about some other great September titles for all ages!

Ready for Kindergarten, Stinky Face?

On SeeSaw this September, Stinky Face has a million questions for his mother – What if the sink pours grape juice instead of water? Just how strange will Kindergarten be?



Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School

Meet our favorite mixed-up lady as a young girl, in this Lucky September offer! Amelia Bedelia can’t WAIT for school!



Dexter the Tough

On Arrow this fall, Dexter starts his first day in the fourth grade at a new school by slipping and falling in front of everyone – could it get any worse? This is a wonderful chapter book chronicling a boy’s trouble fitting in – in school and life.

 

What are some books that have helped your kids get ready for school? Leave a comment and let us know!

Book Talk’n: Miss Fortune

25 Aug

One of our editors is so excited about Miss Fortune–available in September’s Arrow–she had to write a review and asked the author do a video for us! Jill is the editor of the Tab Book Club and co-edits the TeenRC Book Club with yours truly (Trevor)!

Full disclosure, Brandi is a good friend of mine. We got to know each other when Brandi worked at Scholastic for eight years choosing the books for the Arrow book club (grades 4-6). So I was thrilled to be asked to talk to her about her new middle grade novel Miss Fortune, which is part of The Poison Apple series. I really enjoyed reading this spooky novel set in Portland. The novel centers around best friends, Zoe and Mia. On one fateful night Zoe and Mia decide to get their fortunes read at a carnival. While Mia hears only good news from the fortune teller, Zoe’s fortune is decidedly less positive. That’s OK–Zoe’s never been particularly superstitious…that is until some pretty scary stuff starts happening to her. As Zoe’s luck gets worse and worse, Zoe and Mia race to find out what’s going on and how to stop it. This is a perfect middle grade novel with an accessible and engaging storyline.


Meet the New Kids in Class!

23 Aug

This fall, Scholastic Book Clubs wants to introduce you to the new kids in school—Frankly, Frannie and George Brown, Class Clown!  We are just so excited about these two new series, and can’t wait for you to read them, too!  We asked our Lucky Editor, Caitlin (of Ook and Gluck video fame) to tell us a little bit about these two new characters.  Check them out in your Lucky September flyers!

Frannie Miller is not your average kid. She desperately wants a job, loves offices, and hopes to get her very own assistant for Christmas. Frannie is a true original, which is why she changes her name so often. “Frankly” is her newest name—she would tell you it’s also a scientific fact! Frankly wants to be a grown-up, and she is learning to act like one every day so she can become one super fast. Actually, she has a briefcase, a résumé, and business cards already! Some of Frankly’s jobs have been a table clearer (her best one), a temperature taker, and a mustard sniffer. She wants to help out all the time; however, she sometimes gets “Frances-ed” by her mom. (That means Frankly, Frannie thought she helped, but she actually made a big mess of things.) You’ll love reading about Frannie’s crazy antics, especially if you’re already a fan of Clementine and Junie B.!

George Brown has to move around a lot because his dad is in the army. His brand-new town is Beaver Brook and his new school is Edith B. Sugarman Elementary. Since George has left Cherrydale, he has also left all his friends (including Katie Kazoo!), his old house, and even the old George behind. He wants a new start at being a new George, and that means no more class clown. In Cherrydale, everyone knew George as the funniest kid around—he was full of jokes and silly pranks! George starts out not being a total goof, but when he makes a wish on a star to make the kids in his class laugh, everything changes. Now whenever George gets this rumbly, grumbly, bubbly feeling in his stomach, a HUGE burp happens and turns him into a complete clown! Perfect for fans of Stink and Fudge!

Meet these new kids this September in Lucky to find out if Frannie will become a radio star, and whether George will get rid of his bad case of the burps, or be a class clown for life!

Goldilicious and More Favorites!

19 Aug

When I was younger, I loved reading about characters I could connect with and look up to – more often than not, these characters were little girls just like me… if a little more precocious. There was Olivia and Eloise, not to mention Madeline!

Now, there’s exciting news about one of today’s favorite girls (drum roll, please!) Goldilicious is finally out in paperback! In the third installment of Victoria Kann’s best selling series, we meet Pinkalicious’ unicorn, Goldilicious. Goldilicious high jumps, roller skates, and is always there for Pinkalicious – especially when she has to fend off her little brother Peter’s evil magic! You can find it on Firefly this September!

There are so many great characters for girls to read about and admire! In honor of Goldlicious’ paperback debut, here’s a list of Book Talk’s top five girl characters, in no particular order as we could never really choose 🙂

Pinkalicious

Pinkalicious has to be on the list, she’s just so cute! And who doesn’t want a unicorn for a best friend?

Fancy Nancy

This lovely fancy lady is an intelligent, sassy, and very imaginative girl. Nancy is très jolie, and très drôle. Did I mention she’s a great way to pick up some French lingo?

Ramona

Well, you all already know that we here at Book Talk adore Ramona. She’s the classic every girl, though sometimes she’s brave enough to say what some of us could only think – and that’s why we love her!

Ladybug Girl

Ladybug Girl is always on a mission with her loyal sidekick, a basset hound named Bingo. Whether it’s playing in the forest, forming The Bug Squad, or conquering the ocean, Ladybug Girl can always make the most of any situation!

Ginny Fry

A bit newer to the list than the others, Ginny is an adorable first grader with a penchant for excitement. You can meet her in SeeSaw this September!

What would yours be?