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KidsBuzz
 
   October 17, 2011 

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories
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Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club

     
FabulousFlying          StealingKevin      Lessonof




Greetings:

 

In this issue of KidsBuzz, featuring book giveaways and behind-the-scenes stories from top kids' authors, you'll   

 

-learn who really invented the airplane in Victoria Griffith's THE FABULOUS FLYING MACHINES OF ALBERTO SANTOS-DUMONT


-meet Alex, a teenager working through the accidental death of his friend, in STEALING KEVIN'S HEART by M. Scott Carter


-get to know Dusty Hamilton, a fifteen-year-old witness to a hate crime in LESSON OF THE WHITE EAGLE by Barbara Hay.   

 

Warm wishes,

 

Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp

kidsbookclubbook.com


 

      BlockOne Ages 5 and up / Picture Book / Abrams

 

Win a set of THE FABULOUS FLYING MACHINES OF ALBERTO SANTOS-DUMONT for your book club; enter to win by emailing the author. 

 

Dear ReadFabulousFlyinger,

 

Like most Americans, I always thought the Wright brothers invented the airplane. My Brazilian husband one day told me I was wrong -- that it was actually a Brazilian by the name of Alberto Santos-Dumont.

 

Here's the controversy:  the Wright brothers flew their plane first, but they needed help from high winds or catapults to get it into the sky. AlbertVictoriaGriffitho's plane took off on its own. The Wright brothers were secretive, afraid someone would steal their idea. Santos-Dumont, who used a motorized balloon to run his errands in Paris, thought every person in the world should have a private airplane.

 

I wrote this book because I believe Alberto deserves more credit. THE FABULOUS FLYING MACHINES OF ALBERTO SANTOS-DUMONT tells the story of his adventures.

 

Happy reading!

 

Victoria Griffith

 

 

Book reviews:

 

 "Though Alberto's hopes for international amity were never borne out, he did become, as we see in an exciting sequence here, the first man to take off in a plane using its own power."

- Wall Street Journal

 

"The story's suspense (rival pilots! harrowing landings!) and surprise cameos (Louis Cartier!) make this an elegant tribute to a hero of early aviation."

- Publishers Weekly

 

"Montanari captures the look, dress, and formality of the era in her splendid, impressionistic paintings."

- School Library Journal

 

 

Discussion questions:

   

1.     Who do YOU think was the true inventor of the airplane? The Wright brothers, or Alberto Santos-Dumont?

 

 2.     Most Americans would give credit to the Wright brothers for inventing the airplane, while most Brazilians would say Alberto Santos-Dumont was the true inventor. How do you think patriotism influences our views of history?

 

 3.     Alberto Santos-Dumont believed the airplane would bring world peace, because we would all fly to other countries and make friends. Today, lots of people fly to other places, but war still exists. Why do you think that is?

 

 4.     In 1905, Alberto Santos-Dumont was one of the most famous men in the world, yet today many people have never heard his name. Does knowing this change your ideas about fame?

 

To find out more about Alberto, including a time line and historical photos, visit Victoria Griffith's website 

 

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Victoria Grifith is happy to call in or skype with your club. Email her to submit your request.  


 BlockTwo
 

     Ages 12 and up / Young Adult Fiction / RoadRunner Press

 

Win a set of STEALING KEVIN'S HEART for your book club; enter to win by emailing the publisher (write "Kidsbookclubbing - STEALING KEVIN'S HEART" in the subject line).
   

StealingKevin Dear Reader,

 

Alex Anderson is sixteen, and he's not fighting vampires or zombies.  No, the demons Alex battles are the kind that only life can throw at you, and they were unleashed by the death of his best friend in a freak motorcycle crash.

 

That accident left Alex angry and borderline suicidal.

 

You might not like Alex at first -- he's a mad, mouthy kid when our story starts.  But by the story's end, I hope Alex, the misfits who come to his rescue, and, yes, our heroine will have won over your heart.

 

Stealing Kevin's Heart isn't your typical teen love story, but it iMScottCarters the story I was born to tell.  It's my debut young adult novel, and it is my hope that you will enjoy reading Stealing Kevin's Heart as much as I enjoyed writing it.  

 

M. Scott Carter

 

 

Book reviews:

 

". . . a Twilight-Zone-esque paranormal twist."  

- Kirkus Reviews

 

". . . an interesting take on the boy-meets-girl scenario."  

- RT Book Reviews

 

Discussion questions:

 

1. How does the title of Stealing Kevin's Heart relate to the story? What hint does the cover photograph of the book refer to?

 

2. How believable were the characters? Which character do you identify with? Why?

 

3. Is Alex Anderson sympathetic or unsympathetic? Why? If not, what would make him someone you could empathize with?

 

4. What themes -- friendship, religion, young love -- recur throughout the book? How does the author use and develop these themes? Do they work?

 

5. Discuss the broader social issues that this book tries to address. Does the author believe different religious groups can coexist in a community? What is the book trying to say about juvenile organ transplants? About the young people who have transplants? Does the story make you more inclined to encourage a teen to donate his or her organs? Less so?

 

To read a few chapters and learn more about the author, visit his website.

 

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: M. Scott Carter is happy to call in or skype with your club. He can also meet with your group if you live in the Boston area.  Email his publisher to submit your request.



       
      Ages 12 and up / Young Adult Fiction / RoadRunner Press
ThreeBlock
 

 

Win a set of LESSON OF THE WHITE EAGLE for your book club; enter to win by emailing the publisher. (write "Kidsbookclubbing - LESSON OF THE WHITE EAGLE" in the subject line). 

  

Dear Reader,Lessonof

 

One rowdy weekend -- not too many years ago -- a Native American man was killed in my hometown.  The white man who did it got one-year in jail.  That injustice spurred me to write my debut young adult novel, Lesson of the White Eagle, with the hope that I could help the next generation do better.

 

In my story, all fifteen-year-old Dusty Hamilton wants to do is go to his hometown's bash for the 1893 Land Run centennial.  Instead, he finds himself a witness to a hate crime -- and he's driving the getaway car.

 

Then a mystical white eagle invades his dreams, taking DustyBarbaraHay back in time to watch the horrors the Poncas endured on their forced removal to Oklahoma Territory and the courageous stand taken on their behalf by one of the first civil rights activists in the United States -- the Ponca's own Chief Standing  Bear.

 

Will Dusty learn the lessons the white eagle has to teach him?  Will he learn that being a friend should never mean having to hate another?  Or will he bow to the status quo?  You'll have to read it to find out.

 

Enjoy,

 

Barbara Hay

 

 

Book reviews:

 

"Hay's story about the power of honor in an imperfect world has an inspirational message . . . . the story and history are solid."

- RT Book Reviews     

 

Discussion questions:  

 

1. What themes -- friendship, racism, bullying, family -- recur throughout the book? How does the author use and develop these themes? Do they work?

 

2. Why do certain characters act the way they do? What motivates Dusty Hamilton to do something that he would not normally do? Why does Dusty make excuses for Garret? Is there anything you would call "out of character"? Does the character grow over the course of the story?

 

3. Discuss the broader social issues that this book tries to address. Does the author believe different racial groups can coexist in a community? How are the two cultures -- the Ponca people and non-Natives -- portrayed in the book? Fairly? Unfairly? Favorably? Unfavorably?

 

4. Where could the story go from here? What do you see as the future of these characters? What would our lives be like if we lived in this story? Do you believe the community is portrayed as it actually exists? Could communities like it exist in other parts of the country?

 

5. How do you think treatment of Native Americans differs in small towns versus big cities, in western versus eastern states, in the north versus the south?

 

6. What did you like best about this story? What did you like least? What will you take away from this book?

 

To read excerpts and learn more about Barbara Hay, visit her website. 

 

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Barbara Hay is happy to call in or skype with your club. She can also meet with your group if you live in the Boston area. Email her publisher to submit your request.

 


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