March 1,  2012   

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club

                                     Trouble with Half a Moon ClicksHicks


Dear Readers,


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


- 13 year-old Dellie and a young boy who knocks on her door for food in Danette Vigilante's THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON


- April Grace as she deals with siblings, boys, and the many changes that come with growing up in K.D. McCrite's CLIQUES, HICKS AND UGLY STICKS


Warm wishes,


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp 


FirstBlockAges 10 & up / Middle-grade Fiction / G.P. Putnam's Sons

Win a set of THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON by Danette Vigilante for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).  


Trouble with Half a Moon Dear Reader,

I grew up in a housing project where every few days, a little boy would knock on some of the neighbors' doors asking for food. Sometimes he would ask for a slice of bread or an egg. Even though I was just a kid myself, my heart broke every time he'd come to our door. His small hands cupped, waiting for something to be placed in them, a tiny shy smile on his lips. If we had it, I happily gave him what he needed and wondered just what such a small boy could do with those things. Would he make toast? What about the raw egg? And most importantly, why didn't he have any food in his apartment?


This boy stayed in my heart for years until I had the courage to write his story and give him what every child should have: safety, love, happiness and a full belly. This little boy desperately needed to be rescued, not just by anyone but someone very brave.   


I hope my readers will take away with them this thought: even the smallest good deed holds the power to lead to something great. Maybe even life changing.Danielle


In THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON, thirteen year old Dellie lives with the guilt that her little brother's death was her fault. Her mother cries all the time and because she wants Dellie to stay safe, she keeps her inside as much as she can.


Things start to change when new neighbors move in. There are men fighting on the stoop, gunshots echoing through the night and Corey, a hungry and abused five year old boy knocking on her door looking for something to eat. Corey reminds Dellie of her brother and even though their friendship is dangerous, she wonders if this time, she'll be able to do what needs to be done.    


Wishing you all the very best,


Danette Vigilante


Book reviews:


"Dellie's story will speak to young people who've needed a little faith to get them through tough times. Interesting scenarios, like the cloaked Jamaican woman who moves in next door, provide interest to an already well-developed story."

-School Library Journal


"The first-person, present-tense narration allows readers to feel Dellie's pain and confusion ... Readers cannot help but cheer for Dellie and the little boy who helps pull her family together. Rich secondary characters add depth and dimension to this fast-paced tale of bereavement, forgiveness and healing."

-Kirkus Reviews


Discussion questions:


1. Why doesn't Dellie want her parents to meet Corey?


2. What do you think Corey's home life is like? Which clues from the text helped you arrive at an answer? Look at your own home the way Corey might. Make a list of things about your home that Corey might appreciate. How many items on your list are things that you usually don't notice?


3. Dellie says she doesn't want Corey to believe in her because she might not always be there to help him. What would you do to help Corey if you were Dellie? Come up with a plan of action you could follow if you think someone is being neglected or hurt.

To read an excerpt of THE TROUBLE WITH HALF A MOON and keep up with Danette via her blog, Facebook, or Twitter, please visit her website.


AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION:: Danette is happy to call-in or Skype with your club. She can also meet with your group if you live anywhere in the New York, Connecticut, New Jersey area. Email Danette to submit your request.

       Ages 8-12 / Middle Grade Fiction, Humor / Thomas Nelson

Win a set of In Front of God & Everybody and Cliques, Hicks and Ugly Sticks by K.D. McCrite for your book club.  Enter to win by emailing the publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).


ClicksHicks Dear Reader,

Who has time to get bored? There are many cool things for me to do: playing with my four dogs and two cats, taking a walk in my neighborhood, or getting together with friends. But what do I do if my pets are asleep, or it's too cold and rainy to walk, or my friends are busy? I write!


Writing helps me do fun things, like discovering secrets and solving mysteries or meeting new people. You know what? Reading does theMcCrite same thing! I hope you love to read as much as I do. If you've read the first book in the Confessions of April Grace series, In Front of God and Everybody, you're familiar with the wacky people in the life of April Grace Reilly. All those characters, plus a few ones, are in the second book, Cliques, Hicks and Ugly Sticks. Believe me, there's no time to get bored when you're hanging out with April Grace!   Enjoy.


Your friend,  


K.D. McCrite


Book reviews:

"April Grace is such a great likable character. I love this series of book for tweens. Tween girls need a lot more books like this. Books that show life is not all roses but that family is always there for you, even if they drive you batty sometimes."

-Peace, Love & Rainbows blog  


"(This) book kept my attention and was a quick read. It is definitely recommended for the young adult crowd."
-Concert Katie blog 

Discussion questions:

1. Did you like the book? If you have read the first April Grace book, how does this compare?

2. What effects, if any, do the events (time, rural setting) have on April Grace's character or personality?

3. What is the message(s) found in Cliques, Hicks and Ugly Sticks?

4. How did you feel about the characters? Whom did you like or not like and why?

To keep up with K.D. via her blog, Twitter or Facebook, please see her website.

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