Kids New Title Radar; Week of Sept. 23

Two titles on just-announced longlist for the National Book Awards for Young People’s Literature arrive tomorrow; The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu (Walden Pond Press) and Kate DiCamillo’s Flora and Ulysses (Candlewick). On our Watch List is the next title in one of my favorite new middle grade series and a title that’s been buzzed on YA GalleyChat. With all the ads out there for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, we probably don’t need to remind you that it opens this weekend. For those who want to read ahead, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 3 : Planet of the Pies came out last month.

See our downloadable spreadsheet with the movie tie-ins, the titles highlighted here, and many more  coming this week, Kids New Title Radar — Wk. of Sept 23.

Flora and UlyssesFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, Kate DiCamillo, illus. by K.G. Campbell, (Candlewick)

It’s no surprise that the latest by award winning author Kate DiCamillo is a delight to hold. Those who read it digitally will miss the beautiful bookmaking, the heft, the delicious paper stock and the shiny embossed red detail that dances across the cover, even landing on the tiny letters on the comic that Flora is hugging. DiCamillo and her partners-in-crime the creative team at Candlewick, fearlessly experiment with a hybrid graphic format telling the quiet, funny and sometimes sad tale of self-proclaimed cynic Flora and her superhero squirrel companion Ulysses.

The review in the New York Times Book Review  is particularly insightful. Christine Scheper, Children’s Materials Specialist, Queens Library, NYC gives the ultimate librarian recommendation “As a children’s librarian I am always thinking ‘who is this book for?’ I would give this book to everyone! It’s hysterically funny.”

As a special gift from the publisher and School Library Journal, you are invited to join a Livestream Event featuring Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka live from Bank Street College of Education on Monday October 21st. Set up an assembly so all of your students, parents, and teachers can share the belly laughs with these two hilarious authors. It’s the school visit to end all school visits!

Watch List

Good night, zombie

Good Night, Zombie, James Preller, illus. by Iacopo Bruno, (S&S/Feiwell & Friends, simultaneous paper and hardcover)

AsI said about the earlier titles in this series, I am thrilled with these early chapter books that are just scary enough for newly fluent third graders. Lots of dark scratchboard illustrations, and a flip animation spider that crawls down the margin, adds visual interest. Happily, at least three more titles are planned in the series.

9780385743563-1Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson, (Delacorte Press; Brilliance Audio)

As proclaimed on the cover, Sanderson is a NYT best selling author, but for adult titles (he completed Robert Jordan’s fantasy series The Wheel of Time). He has also published a series of YA novels (beginning with the marvelously-titled Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians) and the standalone YA/middle grade novel, The Rithmatist, which came out in May. This beginning of a new series is called by SLJ a “fun, fast-paced, futuristic science-fiction superhero story.” Librarians on YA GalleyChat report that kids are eagerly awaiting this one.

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