Tag Archives: Chapter Books

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)

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!

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!

Disney’s Tangled!

10 Dec

(Or, how I turned into a ten-year-old girl for two hours.)

Full disclosure: I am a product of what I like to call the golden age of Disney cinema—the first movie I can remember seeing in the theater is The Little Mermaid and I’m fairly certain I watched my Aladdin VHS every day for a month…or until it wouldn’t play anymore. I can still play Beauty and the Beast songs on the piano, and my iTunes still has a very extensive Disney playlist.

That being said, I went into Tangled with some trepidation. Disney had yet to recapture that, dare I say, magic quality it had in abundance when I was younger.

Tangled easily took me back to that time. There’s the princess, Rapunzel, locked away in her tower, the rakish (but still heroic) Flynn Rider, the sidekicks, and, of course, the evil villain, Mother Gothel…and to top it all off, music by Disney heavyweight Alan Menken. The story is funny, adventurous, and romantic.

But my favorite part of Disney movies (and Tangled is no exception) is how strong the female characters are. Rapunzel is not a damsel in distress—she fights for herself, maintains her independence, and saves the hero! She, like princesses before her, is strong, capable, and confident.

We’ve got several books available so that kids of all ages can read about the fairy tale as well!

In Firefly December, you can find Tangled: A Dazzling Day, a picture book perfect for reading aloud.

In SeeSaw December, you’ll find the early reader, Tangled: Kingdom of Color. This is great for kindergartners or first graders just beginning to read themselves.

In Lucky December, we have a stepping-stone reader, Tangled: Rapunzel’s Tale, for slightly more advanced readers.

Lastly, in Arrow December you can find the junior novelization for kids who want to relive the movie (I know that I did!).

Bad Kitty!

9 Dec

Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty is back! And this time, it’s Bad Kitty vs Uncle Murray: The Uproar at the Front Door. Kitty’s owners are going away for a week and while they’re gone, Uncle Murray’s going to be watching Kitty and Puppy. This cannot possibly go well. In what is now his standard, Bruel brings together easy-to-read text, great kitty teaching points, and hilarious turns of events in the latest Bad Kitty book. And just in time for you to find it on Lucky December, he’s launched a new Web site!

BadKittyBooks.com has all sorts of extras. There’s an interview with Nick Bruel and games for every reader, like word searches and the “Bad Kitty BAD Libs.” For teachers, he’s even got a few classroom resources for students from kindergarten to 3rd grade. Check out the trailer below for the Bad Kitty series!

Wayside Stories in Real-Life Situations

7 Dec

Maybe we all teach at Wayside School. Maybe we all have a Maurecia, who only eats ice cream (and Todd-flavored ice cream at that!); a Paul (who only sees two things: Pigtail 1 and Pigtail 2); and a Joy (who has the biggest mouth at school) in our classroom.

Maybe we’ve all had teachers at Wayside School. Maybe we’ve been served lunch by a Miss Much (a lunch lady), a Mrs. Gorf (the meanest teacher in the school), or a Mrs. Jewls (a teacher who believes her students are monkeys).

In any case, we want to know: What’s the most “sideways” experience you’ve had as a student, a teacher, or a parent in the classroom?

If you want to learn more about these crazy students and teachers, check out Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar, available for only $1 in Arrow December.

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.

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.