November 1, 2013

  Kids' Authors Share Their Stories

Fabulous Book Giveaways for Your Club




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

...Eel and Florrie as they work to help solve the mystery of cholera in a book of historical fiction and great adventure, THE GREAT TROUBLE... 

...and Marie Claire (Rat) and her older brother Bob (Protector of the Rat) in the sister-brother road trip adventure, UNHOOKING THE MOON.


Warm wishes,


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp


Ages 9 and up / Middle Grade Adventure and Historical Fiction / Knopf   


Win one set of THE GREAT TROUBLE for your book club by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line). Free Common Core Standards Educator Guides are also available to the first 25 people who contact the author.

Dear Reader,


Do you like mystery, adventure, science, or history? Those are exactly the kinds of books I like to read. So when I first heard about Dr. John Snow, who discovered the cause of cholera in 1854, I knew I had to tell this story.


Eel and his friend, Florrie (and, of course, Dilly the dog) are caught up in a horrible epidemic in their neighborhood. Eel knows of only one man who might have answers. But can Eel help Dr. Snow
lve the mystery of cholera while still staying out of the grasp of his evil stepfather, Fisheye Bill Tyler?


Based on real events, THE GREAT TROUBLE is about an important  discovery in medical history. But the story is still relevant today: cholera struck the people of Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. I hope you'll be curious to find out more by reading my book! 

Deborah Hopkinson


Book reviews:

 "Set amid the 1854 London cholera outbreak, Hopkinson's attention-grabbing story of Eel, an orphan who survives by combing the filthy banks of the Thames for anything he might sell, is a delightful combination of race-against-the-clock medical mystery and outwit-the-bad-guys adventure."

- Publishers Weekly (starred review)


"Eel struggles to survive as he is falsely accused of stealing by his boss at the brewery, tries to stay clear of his evil stepfather, and watches his neighbors fall ill and die."

- School Library Journal (starred review)


"It's impossible not to like the fictional Eel, who tells the tale in journal form from a first-person point of view, with a convincingly childcentric focus on lovable pets, lemon ice, trust and justice."

- Kirkus Reviews


Discussion questions:
  1. Why do you think cholera is also called "the blue death"?
  2. What is Dr. Snow's hypothesis and how does he try to go about trying to prove it?
  3. Why do we still have cholera epidemics today, even when we know what causes the disease?
  4. Why is Eel's trip to Mrs. Eley's house in the country so important?
  5. Why do you think people still remember Dr. Snow's map and the Broad Street pump?


To learn about Deborah Hopkinson and her other books, including TITANIC: VOICES FROM THE DISASTER, visit her website.  

AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Deborah Hopkinson is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club or answer questions on email. Email her to get in touch.




Ages 9-12 / Middle-grade fiction / Quercus US


Win a set of UNHOOKING THE MOON by Gregory Hughes for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).   


Dear Reader,


After hearing a friend describe Winnipeg as "a land so flat you can watch your dog run away for three days," I had to see the landscape for myself. And when I did, I was so taken with the image I decided on the spot to set a book there and it became UNHOOKING THE MOON, a brother-sister road trip adventure -- and that line made it into the book too (see of you can find it). I was also inspired by people in my life -- Rat and Bob are based on my niece and godson -- and by my own travels. If you want to find out more about my inspirations and adventures, see this article.      

Thank you for reading my book and I hope you enjoy reading it as much  as I enjoyed writing it.     



Gregory Hughes


Book reviews:    


"[A] quirky, poignant debut."
- Publishers Weekly     


"Though many of Hughes' characters will sink emotional hooks into readers, Rat takes and earns center stage by glibly charming the pants off every adult, showing a winning mix of quick wits and vulnerability. . . . Rousing adventures on the not-so-mean streets, with heart aplenty."

- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 


Discussion questions:

  1. How does your relationship with your siblings compare to Rat and Bob's?
  2. What character were you most rooting for, and why?
  3. If you could rewrite the ending, would you change anything? If so, how and why?
  4. If you could take anyone on a road-trip adventure who would it be and where would you go?

To learn about Gregory Hughes, visit the publisher's website. 

  • A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.    
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