Tag Archives: Middle Grade

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)

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).

Comics in the Classroom

13 Oct

Call them what you will—comic books, graphic novels, illustrated guides—but these formats are permeating the mainstream. On Monday, we posted a mini picture post from our adventures at New York Comic Con this past weekend, and you guys had plenty to say! The comments covered everything from comic books being just like TV and video games to comic books being a great gateway into reading. Just like any other medium, comics are both these things and many others.

We were lucky enough to attend a lecture given by Scott Westerfeld on Sunday. He spent a few minutes talking about how he decided to write a series of novels (the Leviathan trilogy) with illustrations, and reminded us that, historically, most novels were once illustrated. On the right, you’ll see illustrations from a late 18thcentury edition of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. He noted an edition of The War of the Worlds that heralded the illustrator’s name far larger than that of H.G. Wells! Illustrations are beginning to regain the reputation they lost for being just as legitimate as the words themselves.

Comic books aren’t comic books because of their content—they are comic books because of the heavy use of illustrations to denote action that interacts with the text. They can contain any type of story or information: Comic books can be about superheroes or space aliens, but they can also be about history (as with the Maus graphic novels) or science (as with The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook)! For some children, sequential art makes difficult concepts easier to grasp.

Elephant & Piggie, a series of beginning readers by award-winning illustrator Mo Willems, feature common comic-book styles while still using the repetitive text and illustrations classically used in the genre. Compare these illustrations below: On the top, you have Elephant & Piggie and underneath, you have a strip from Scholastic’s own middle-grade graphic novel series, Amulet. Both use sequential art and speech balloons while also containing positive themes that students can relate to…but one is a reader and one is a comic.

Books for older children are also embracing traditional comic-book characteristics. Did you know that Jeff Kinney actually started the ever-successful Diary of a Wimpy Kid as a Web comic? Now the very same series has kids thrilled about reading! It also deals with issues kids face every day: bullying, growing up, friendship—look how excited these kids were to get their copies of the fourth book, Dog Days.

Graphic novels, illustrated guides, comic books—however you want to refer to them—have evolved into an excellent reading tool. Many of them cover complex issues and concepts in an accessible design. Some of you noted that this format has aided students with learning disabilities, others mentioned that these books were a great way to get kids interested in reading. After reading your comments, we decided to put together a list of classroom-appropriate graphic novels that cover a variety of subjects. If you have any suggestions, definitely leave a comment! We’d love to see what books you use!

Ghostopolis | Tab October
Bone | October
Amulet | Teens September
Resistance | Teens September
Maus | Teens September
Diary of a Wimpy Kid | Pre-order #5
Calvin and Hobbes | Fall
Dork Diaries | Arrow October
Popularity Papers | Arrow September
Adventures of Ook and Gluk | Lucky September
Elephant & Piggie Pack | SeeSaw October

The 39 Clues® Book 10 Is Here!

27 Aug

When The 39 Clues® series launched in September 2008, we just couldn’t wait to read the first one! But when we found out that the series was not just made up of ten adventure-filled novels written by seven of the best children’s authors today, but that it was also a multiplatform series that combined books, collectible cards, and an online game, we were absolutely floored! There was nothing like it on the market and we just knew that kids were going to go wild for this interactive way of reading–we were right!

Two years later, the groundbreaking series comes to an end with Book 10, which releases nationwide next Tuesday, August 31. In it, Margaret Peterson Haddix picks up the quest of Amy and Dan Cahill as they face their final challenge on a mysterious lost island. Margaret, who is also the author of the exciting Shadow Children series, agreed to speak to Book Talk about her experiences writing this final installment of The 39 Clues®. We can’t wait to get our hands on this one!

One-on-One with Margaret Peterson Haddix:

BT: What branch of the Cahill family do you belong to?

MPH: Ekaterina.

BT: Which member of the Cahill family would you team up with on the hunt?

MPH: Oh, definitely Amy and Dan!

BT: If you could change the identity of the man in black from Book 9, who would he be and why?

MPH: Interesting question! I think if the man in black weren’t…uh…who he really is, I would want him to be Amy and Dan’s grandfather. Partly this is because I feel so bad for Amy and Dan that all their closest relatives (except each other) are dead. I’m not sure how it could be explained why everyone thought the grandfather was dead—or where he’s been for most of Amy and Dan’s lives—but it might be fun to try. Or, possibly the man in black could have been their grandfather on their father’s side, so it would turn out that they have Cahill connections on both sides….

Photo Credit: The Backstage Studio

MPH: Still having exciting adventures.

BT: If you could join Amy and Dan on one of their adventures, which one would it be and why?

MPH: The one in Book 10. Because they know the most about what’s going on then.

BT: Did you work with the other authors of The 39 Clues® series in planning/writing Book 10?

MPH: Rick Riordan, who wrote the first book in the series, also wrote brief outlines for all the other books, including Book 10. But, given that he wrote it before the other books were finished, that outline was fairly sketchy, and I was happy that it left a lot of room for me to use my own imagination. I had a lot more contact with Linda Sue Park, who was writing Book 9 about the same time that I was writing Book 10. Linda Sue and I—and The 39 Clues® editor, Rachel Griffiths—had a long conversation early on to make sure that our character development and plotlines would work together. And then while Linda Sue and I were both in the writing process, we occasionally exchanged e-mails along the lines of, “Someone’s going to need to address this particular issue before the end of the series. Are you handling that in your book, or should I take care of it?”

BT: Did you have any input in the planning/writing of Books 1–9?

MPH: None at all with Books 1–8. But, as I mentioned in my last answer, Linda Sue and I did compare notes while we were writing Books 9 and 10.

BT: How was writing Book 10 different from writing other books you’ve written?

MPH: This was the first time I’ve ever written a book based on a situation and characters that someone else came up with. I was a little worried about being able to write from the perspective of certain characters who were very different from me—for example, the Holts or Jonah Wizard—but it turned out that their scenes were some of the ones that I had the most fun writing.

The other big difference was that this had to be a much more collaborative process than I’ve ever been involved in before. In one sense, this made me less decisive than I usually am as a writer, because certain things were outside of my control. But I also felt a huge sense of responsibility, because I absolutely did not want to mess up anything when so many other people were also working hard to make The 39 Clues® project great.

BT: How long did it take you to write Book 10?

MPH: It took two months to write the first draft of the book, then about another two months to revise. Then, for a couple months after that, I worked on the book for a few days at a time, here and there, to deal with line editing, copy editor questions, etc.

BT: Was it more difficult to write the last book of this EPIC series after so many other great authors (besides yourself, of course) had contributed to it?

MPH: Absolutely! After nine books of incredible, dramatic, heart-stopping action, it was really hard for me to think of something that hadn’t already been done!

We want to thank Margaret for so graciously agreeing to stop by our blog and Book Talk with us!

You’re invited to a LIVE GLOBAL WEBCAST EVENT for the release of The 39 Clues®, Book 10 on August 31, 2010!

The 39 Clues®, Book 10: Into the Gauntlet and the complete boxed set of Books 1–10 are being offered this September in the Arrow, TAB, and Teachers’ Picks catalogs! If you haven’t already, join the hunt!


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.


Kind of Friends We Used to Be

17 Aug

September has so many great books that our editors are excited about, we just had to share our own reviews. Here is one for The Kind of Friends We Used to Be by Frances O’Roark Dowell which can be found on September’s Arrow. Our very own Arrow editor, Ann Marie, had this to say:

“No one said middle school was easy…. and it’s even harder without a best friend to share it with.  As Marilyn and Kate begin a new school year, they’re learning way more than what’s happening in the classroom.  Marilyn is dealing with her parents’ divorce and Kate can’t help but crush on the cute guy from her creative writing class.  Marilyn is finding her inner cheerleader, while Kate is discovering her flare for music.  Can these two former BFF’s find a common ground, or have they drifted too far apart?  Told in alternating voices, Frances O’Roark Dowell has created a relatable story infused with honesty, humor and heart.”

If you like The Kind of Friends We Used to Be, here are 5 other great reads about friendship on September’s Arrow:

1. The Secret Language of Girls

2. When You Reach Me

3. Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.

4. Flipped

5. Popularity Papers


Happy Reading!

Mythology Meets the Modern World!

3 Aug

If you haven’t read Rick Riordan’s series “Percy Jackson & The Olympians”, this is the year to start!  Not only is the fifth and final book coming out in paperback this fall (exclusively from Scholastic Book Clubs!) but there is also a brand-new Camp Half-Blood spin-off trilogy being released on October 12, which will feature brand-new demi-gods and a few well-known characters from Riordan’s first series (more on that next month!)

The Percy Jackson series has been a blockbuster hit—#1 Bestselling New York Times series, a movie that was released in February—and teachers and parents everywhere have learned that it’s a perfect way to get reluctant readers interested in reading.  The series combines ancient Greek mythology with contemporary action so deftly that readers hardly realize they are learning along the way.  When we meet Percy in Book 1, he is a struggling student who can’t seem to stay out of trouble, or in school.  He’s been kicked out of every school he’s attended, and weird stuff happens wherever he goes. How could one middle-schooler have such bad luck?  The character is immediately identifiable, which makes his adventures all the more engaging.

Rick Riordan, who first created the series for his son as bedtime stories, was a middle school teacher and a reluctant reader himself.  He knows exactly what his audience is looking for, and the result is a series that will appeal to every reader – reluctant or not!

Recommended for Arrow and Tab level readers (Grades 4-7), this series is a must have for home and classroom libraries alike.  Just don’t be surprised when your 9-12 year old can’t stop reading – even at the dinner table!