November 3,  2014
 New Titles, Author Notes, Book Giveaways, and More



Dear Readers,     


In this issue of KidsBookClubbing, you'll meet   

- Finley and her BFF, Maya, as they try to categorize their middle-school classmates which turns into a battle of girls and boys in THE (ALMOST) PERFECT GUIDE TO IMPERFECT BOYS by Barbara Dee.

- Holly and her cousin Ivy, as they discover family secrets no one has spoken of since World War II in PAINTING THE RAINBOW by Amy Gordon.

- Lug who has to bring warring Ice Age clans together in LUG: DAWN OF THE ICE AGE by David Zeltser, a hilarious middle-grade novel about a misunderstood caveboy.  

Warm wishes, 


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp 



Ages 9-13 / Middle-Grade Fiction / Simon & Schuster


Win a set of THE (ALMOST) PERFECT GUIDE TO IMPERFECT BOYS by Barbara Dee for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).


Dear Reader,  


A confession: when I was a newbie English teacher, I asked never to teach the ninth grade. The girls were fine, I thought, but the boys had me baffled. They weren't little kids, but they weren't teens, either.

So in my new tween novel, THE (ALMOST) PERFECT GUIDE TO IMPERFECT BOYS, eighth grader Finley Davis and her best friend Maya Lopez do a study of male immaturity. They're right about middle school boys...until they aren't.

Here's the librarian blogger at "Barbara Dee has an uncanny knack for capturing middle school behavior in a fun and engaging way. The focus on friendship and smarts make me smile and there's the hint of romance but not in an overwhelming way. This is a book that I can confidently hand to readers looking for a friendship book, or a book with stellar parental examples." (GOLD STAR REVIEW)

Happy reading,

Barbara Dee 


Book Reviews:


"An ideal book for tween girls. Highly recommended."

"Barbara Dee perfectly described 8th grade friendships, school life and family life. This is one of those books perfect for middle grade girls."

Discussion questions:     


1.    What's great about the friendship between Finley and Maya? What's not so great about it?
2.    What do you think about Finley's mom's blog? Is she right about the difference between boys and girls? Do you think giving boys and girls "gender neutral" toys is a good idea?
3.    Why does Zachary become a Croaker Hero? What do the boys respect about him? Is it the same thing the girls respect about Chloe?
4.    Do you think Finley is right to be mad when Zachary confesses about the "wrist tattoo"?
5.    What do you think will happen next year? Who will be friends? Who won't be friends?

To read an excerpt and keep up with the author, please visit her website and follow her on Twitter.

Author Call-in Information: Barbara Dee is happy to Skype with your club. She can also meet with your group if you're in the NYC/Westchester area. Email Barbara to submit your request. 


Ages 8-12 / Historical Fiction/Mystery / Holiday House

Win a set of Painting the Rainbow by Amy Gordon for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in subject line).

Dear Reader,

Painting the Rainbow is about two girls caught up in misunderstandings that have troubled their family for years. The story unfolds through the alternating viewpoints of 13-year-old cousins Holly and Ivy.

Holly and Ivy have always been each other's best friends, but this summer, as the whole family gathers on a lake in New Hampshire, the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement are causing tensions in the background, and the girls are also fighting.

Then Holly and Ivy begin to discover letters relating to a Japanese boy named Kiyo, a friend of their Uncle Jesse's at the time that Pearl Harbor was bombed. As the girls begin to learn more about both Kiyo and Jesse and also about an older generation's war, they end up learning important truths about themselves.  


Here's to a more peaceful world,    


Amy Gordon


Book Reviews 


"Gordon's story will leave readers thinking about the politics and chaos of relationships and the effect war has on individuals."
- Publishers Weekly

"Award-winning author Gordon has written a heart wrenching and poignant novel about the dynamics of family life in the midst of tragedy. Though clearly a work of fiction, Painting the Rainbow offers young adult readers a stark reminder that history is much more than just a collection of facts and figures."
- Kids Reads

Discussion questions: 

1.    Holly and Ivy each have moments when they have to face their fears. Describe an incident in your own life when you decided to do something that had scared you previously. How did your feelings change after you accomplished the task?

2.    Ivy's dad wants her to compete in sailing races and her mom wants her to enter a piano competition. Ivy wonders why you can't just do something for fun rather than having to compete. What are your feelings or opinions on this issue? What things do you enjoy doing but might enjoy less if you had to compete?

3.    The story describes certain conflicts and differences of opinion between various members of this large extended family. How are conflicts handled in this family? What do you think family members could do to avoid conflicts?

4.    Holly and Ivy have been best friends. Events occur that make each of them question their friendship and how it is changing. What types of problems have you had with good friends? How have you dealt with these issues? Do you feel that friendships change over time? How and why?

5.    Several of the characters in the story voice their prejudice against the Japanese, especially during the segments that deal with World War II. Find examples of this in the story; then talk or write about whether you have experienced prejudice in your own life. You can include things you've heard in the news or things that have happened to you or to friends or acquaintances.

Please visit Amy's website for a discussion guide
and more information about PAINTING THE RAINBOW and her other books.

Author Call-in Information: Amy Gordon is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club. She can also meet with your group and is willing to travel far and wide. Email Amy
to submit your request.

Ages 8-12 / Middle grade novel / Egmont

Win a set of LUG: DAWN OF THE ICE AGE by David Zeltser for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).


Dear Reader,

Imagine waking up one morning to find your inbox COMPLETELY FLOODED by messages from total strangers. That's what recently happened to me when Al Gore tweeted about my book to nearly 3 million people, calling my middle grade novel "a great combination of humor and powerful insight."

LUG: Dawn of the Ice Age is a satire about the world's inaction on climate change, but I wrote it to be much more! Read on to find out what the first major reviewers are saying.

Warmly ;-)


Book Reviews:


"A Stone Age comedy features a caveboy guilty of 'uncavemanlike behavior.' . . . Fred Flintstone would feel right at home in this light-as-pumice comedy."
- Kirkus Reviews

"This book is filled with humor but also a deeper message of learning to accept who you are and not backing down from what you are passionate about. . . . A roaring addition for public and school libraries."
- School Library Journal

"Readers will cheer for prehistory's earliest underdog in this rollicking adventure of cave kids, wild boars, and woolly mammoths. LUG makes the Ice Age sizzle."
- Gordon Korman, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 39 Clues and Swindle series.

"What a find! LUG blasts its way from prehistory to the present in a laugh-aloud-funny, big-hearted story full of smart surprises. David Zeltser's voice is fresh and witty, with some important things to say about modern life, in a delightful mix of satire and silliness. Kids and adults alike will love this book. It deserves to be Bigbigbig."
- Peter Lerangis, New York Times best-selling author of the Seven Wonders series


Discussion questions:

1. Life as a caveboy is rough. What's the toughest experience you've had and how would you compare it to the experiences of the characters in LUG? Do you ever yearn to have a truly primal experience? What do you think it would be like?
2. Lug is banished for being different. Do you know any kids who you'd consider outsiders? How does the larger group treat them? Why? What do you think the consequences might be?
3. How does this book change the way you think about the climate change discussion going on in our world?
4. Who is your favorite character? Why do you think you connected with him or her?
5. What is your favorite scene or moment? What made it particularly memorable for you?

Check out the author's website for reviews, activity kit, shelf talker, curriculum guide, and a fun trailer!

Author Call-in Information: David Zeltser is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club. He can also meet with your group if you live near Santa Cruz, California. Email David to submit your request.  


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