January 2016
 
 New Titles, Author Notes, Book Giveaways, and More

         

 


Dear Readers,    

Happy New Year!
        
In this issue of KidsBookClubbing, you'll 
 
... travel back in time with 12-year-olds Mel, Bev and Brandon as they meet Abe Lincoln in THE LEFT BEHINDS: ABE LINCOLN AND THE SELFIE THAT SAVED THE UNION

... meet Kai as he travels from Japan, after the catastrophic earthquake of 2011, to New York City to deal with the tragedy that changed his life in UP FROM THE SEA

... get to know 17-year-old Kira whose relaxing contemplation of the universe is interrupted by a chain of events that could unexpectedly lead to the one thing in her life that's missing -- her father, in LINK.

Best, 
 
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
 

FirstBlock 
Ages 8-12 / Middle Grade Fiction / Crown Books For Young Readers 

Enter to win a set of THE LEFT BEHINDS: ABE LINCOLN AND THE SELFIE THAT SAVED THE UNION by David Potter for your book club by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

Dear Reader,

Since my objective with The LEFT BEHINDS series is to have modern kids, as personified by Mel, Bev, and Brandon, not only visit but also play a role in critical turning points in American history, what could be more significant than Abe Lincoln and the Civil War? Thus was born Book #2, ABE LINCOLN AND THE SELFIE THAT SAVED THE UNION, which continues the time-travel adventures of our 12 year-old heroes.

Now they find themselves in Washington, DC, in July 1863 -- just as the epic battle of Gettysburg is about to begin. Soon they encounter Abe and Mary Lincoln, their 10-year-old son Tad, who takes them to his "fort" on
the White House roof, and finally they have a run-in with General Robert E. Lee himself! This time the gang is going to have to make sure things turn out exactly as they're supposed to turn out -- otherwise history will be changed forever!
 
Thank you for taking another reimagined journey with me back to a pivotal point in American history.           
             
Huzzah!

David Potter
 
Book reviews:
           
"The narrative is pure fun, relying on the delicious notion that history is far from immutable and is in fact full of what-ifs. The madcap story may just inspire readers to want to learn more about the Civil War, and a superb recommended-readings section lists many of the best books on the subject for young readers."
- Kirkus Reviews

"Fabulous, interesting...perfect for those who have outgrown Magic Tree House."
- San Francisco Times
 
Discussion questions:

1. Mel and the gang think that if the South wins at Gettysburg, they will be able to march unimpeded to Washington and force the North to accept the Confederacy. Do you agree? If that had happened, how would things be different today?
 
2. President Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, did conduct sťances in the White House, much to the President's dismay. How do you think people would react if it happened today?
 
3. Pretend you are President Lincoln. Although you have far superior resources, you can't seem to find capable generals to lead the Union troops. How would you go about finding the best general? What qualities would you look for?
 
 
To keep up with David Potter via his blog, Twitter, Goodreads, or Facebook, please visit his website.

Author call-in information: David is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club. He can also meet with your group if you live in New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania area. To arrange a call or visit email
 
the author. 

 SecondBlock  
 
Ages 12 and up / Young Adult Fiction / Crown
 
Enter to win a set of UP FROM THE SEA by Leza Lowitz for your book club by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).

Dear Reader,

I was living in Tokyo, Japan, when the massive earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11, 2011. Like many others, I wanted to help, so I went to the disaster-stricken area to volunteer. The brave children I met inspired me to write this novel in verse about Kai, a multiracial boy who loses nearly everyone and everything he cares about on that fateful day. Everything, that is, except hope.
 
When Kai is offered a trip to New York to meet kids whose lives were  changed by 9/11, he realizes he also has a chance to look for his estranged American father. Visiting Ground Zero on its tenth anniversary, Kai learns that the only way something good can come out of the disaster is to return home to help rebuild his town. I hope UP FROM THE SEA will inspire readers to reach out across oceans to help others.
 
Leza Lowitz
 
Book reviews:

"How [his rural Japanese community] endure[s] catastrophe and overwhelming losses -- what they do and don't do for one another, comforts they miss, kindnesses they value -- spring to life. It's the haunting details of those around Kai that readers will remember."
- Kirkus Reviews

"A thoughtful exploration of the March 2011 tsunami in Japan and its aftermath....The fast-paced writing progresses the plot perfectly to fit with the subject. The narration exudes emotion, and teens will connect with Kai as he faces the usual trials of growing up while living through such a difficult time. Fans of Ellen Hopkins's work will enjoy the immediacy of this novel-in-verse. VERDICT A well-written first purchase for teen collections."
-School Library Journal

"UP FROM THE SEA touched me deeply with its beautiful message of hope and the resilience of humanity. Bravo." 
-Ellen Oh, author of The Prophecy series

"Readers who appreciate the power of sports, friendship, and family to heal and to restore will engage with this well-paced emotional journey." 
- Booklist

"This moving story about a young adult trying to stay optimistic in times of tragedy appeals to all age groups, and is great for anyone who follows global issues. I recommend it to fans of I AM MALALA or the more recent NEVER SAID."
- Emma, Teen Advisory Board Member, BookPeople of Idaho ( Age 14,  Grade 9)
 
Discussion questions:
  

1. At the beginning of UP FROM THE SEA Kai wants to leave his small seaside village in Japan. At the end of the novel, he decides to stay.  Why?

 

2. Kai loses a lot in the tragedy, but he also gains some very important things.  What are some of the things that are lost and gained in this novel?

 

3. Kai and his community in Japan help each other through the tragedy, and they are also helped by survivors of the 9-11 tragedy in America, among others. What are some of the ways people help each other in the novel? How could you help others if you or they were to experience a natural disaster or tragedy?

 
Keep up with Leza via Twitter, on Facebook, or visit her website.
 
Author call-in information: Leza Lowitz is happy to Skype and/or email with your club. She can also meet with your group if you live in Japan (!!). Email Leza to submit your request 



ThirdBlock
Ages 12 and up / Young Adult Science Fiction / REUTS Publishing

Enter to win a set of LINK by Summer Wier for your book club by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).
 
Dear Reader,

The origin of LINK was inspired by a NASA video clip that illustrates what happens to a star when it travels too close to a black hole. From that visual, I wanted to create a story that tiptoed around reality and, at the same time, challenged readers to question the confines of our universe. Though based on documented evidence, many of LINK's concepts went against everything scientists believed about black holes. Recently, the scientific  community changed its thinking when it comes to this phenomenon, even sharing theories remarkably similar to those I created. What is fact and what's fiction? That's for you to decide.

Happy Reading!
 
Summer Wier
 
Book reviews:

"A robust, well-realized universe that sparkles with promise."
- Kirkus Reviews
 
"The theories Wier presents about black holes and how she weaves them into a page-turning plot was so impressive, I could not put this down. Standing ovation!"
- Rachel Fausnaugh, Reader
 
"A captivating YA sci-fi read! I was hooked from beginning to end!"
- Emma Adams, author of The Darkworld Series
 
Discussion questions:
 
1. There's a lot we don't know about our infinite universe, but new celestial events are discovered all the time. Do you think LINK's theories about black holes and light as power are within a realm of possibility or too far-fetched? Why?

2. LINK takes a unique view on extraterrestrials. What do you think? Is space filled with little green men or androids, or are the inhabitants much more like you and me?

3. What is your favorite scene or moment? What made it particularly memorable for you?

4. Kira has different relationships with her mom, friends, and the strangers she meets. Which secondary character is your favorite? Why? 
 
To read an excerpt and keep up with the author via her blog, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest, please visit her website
 
Author call-in information: Summer Wier is happy to call-in to, or Skype with your club. She can also meet with your group if you live in or around the Corpus Christi, Texas area. Email Summer to submit your request.

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