Thursday, April 11, 2013

Who's On Top: Children's Books






This Week's Spotlight:
Children's Picture Book:
POEMS TO LEARN BY HEART
by Caroline Kennedy. Illustrated by Jon J Muth

For this companion to her New York Times bestselling collection "A Family of Poems," Caroline Kennedy has hand-selected more than a hundred of her favorite poems that lend themselves to memorization. Some are joyful. Some are sad. Some are funny and lighthearted. Many offer layers of meaning that reveal themselves only after the poem has been studied so closely as to be learned by heart. 

In issuing the challenge to memorize great poetry, Caroline Kennedy invites us to a deeply enriching experience. For as she reminds us, "If we learn poems by heart, not only do we have their wisdom to draw on, we also gain confidence, knowledge and understanding that no one can take away." 


Illustrated with gorgeous, original watercolor paintings by award-winning artist Jon J Muth, this is truly a book for all ages, and one that families will share again and again. Caroline's thoughtful introductions shed light on the many ways we can appreciate poetry, and the special tradition of memorizing and reciting poetry that she celebrates within her own family. 



Children's Middle Grade:
TIMMY FAILURE
by Stephan Pastis


Meet "detective" Timmy Failure, star of the kids’ comedy of the year. Created by New York Times best-selling cartoonist Stephan Pastis.

Take eleven-year-old Timmy Failure — the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile — Timmy’s mom’s Segway — and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t have to stress out about the bills anymore. Of course, Timmy’s plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. And it doesn’t include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into "Stanfurd" that he can’t carry out a no-brainer spy mission. From the offbeat creator of Pearls Before Swine comes an endearingly bumbling hero in a caper whose peerless hilarity is accompanied by a whodunit twist. With perfectly paced visual humor, Stephan Pastis gets you snorting with laughter, then slyly carries the joke a beat further — or sweetens it with an unexpected poignant moment — making this a comics-inspired story (the first in a new series) that truly stands apart from the pack.


Young Adult:
THE BOOK THIEF
by Markus Zusak

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery....

Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.

With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.


Children's Series
Clockwork Prince 
by Cassandra Clare
 
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

     
Top 5 Children's Books:

Children's Picture Book:
1. POEMS TO LEARN BY HEART, by Caroline Kennedy. Illustrated by Jon J Muth
2. EMERALDALICIOUS, by Victoria Kann
3. GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE, by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
4. THE EASTER EGG, by Jan Brett
5. THIS IS NOT MY HAT, by Jon Klassen
Children's Middle Grade:
1. WONDER, by R. J. Palacio
2. THE CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU 2, by Cara Natterson. Illustrated by Josee Masse
3. THE CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU 1, by Valorie Schaefer. Illustrated by Josee Masse
4. THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, by Katherine Applegate
5. TIMMY FAILURE, by Stephan Pastis
Young Adult:
1. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, by John Green
2. THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, by Stephen Chbosky
3. DIVERGENT, by Veronica Roth
4. LOOKING FOR ALASKA, by John Green
5. INSURGENT, by Veronica Roth
Children's Series
1. THE TWILIGHT SAGA, by Stephenie Meyer
2. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney
3. THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins
4. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
5. THE INFERNAL DEVICES, by Cassandra Clare


Disclaimer: All blurbs come from Goodreads, all list come from NYTimes.com.

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