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Kim Tomsic

Monday, November 11, 2013

Books to Buy for Boys...Especially the Reluctant Reader

Black Friday shopping in the bookstore? Ahhhh, my kind of person! But maybe you're not a bookstore troll; you just need help with gift shopping. Perhaps you need a way to ignite a non-reader with a spark of reading interest. If your reluctant reader happens to be an 8-14 year old boy, I have a couple of solid suggestions. THE BIG SPLASH and THE FOURTH STALL are sure winners. Both books feature boy protagonist in mafia-esque humorous situations. The authors pack the pages with great writing, authentic voices, outrageous comedy and page-turning intrigue.

It's no wonder these books are award winners. THE BIG SPLASH was nominated for the Edgar Award in 2009 and THE FOURTH STALL won the Sid Fleischman award for comedy in 2012.

Jacket Flap:

The treacherous, hormone-soaked hallways of Franklin Middle School are the setting for this sharp, funny noir novel about tough guys and even tougher girls. The Frankis in the clutches of a crime syndicate run by seventh-grader Vinny Mr. Biggs Biggio, who deals in forged hall passes and blackmarket candy. Double-cross him and your number is punched by one of his deadly water gun-toting assassins. One hit in the pants and you are in the Outs forever. Matt Stevens is a proud loner with his own code of justice. He's avoided being pulled into Vinny's organization until now: Mr. Biggs has offered him a job he can't resist, even if it means bringing down one of his oldest friends. Nominated for an Edgar Award in 2009, The Big Splash revitalizes the noir novel while delivering a terrific, addictive mystery that crackles with wit and excitement.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810970670
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 622,609
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. It's what he does—he and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay him, Mac is on your side. His office is located in the East Wing boys' bathroom, fourth stall from the high window. And business is booming.
Or at least it was, until one particular Monday. It starts with a third grader in need of protection. And before this ordeal is over, it's going to involve a legendary high school crime boss named Staples, an intramural gambling ring, a graffiti ninja, the nine most dangerous bullies in school, and the first Chicago Cubs World Series game in almost seventy years. And that's just the beginning. Mac and Vince soon realize that the trouble with solving everyone else's problems is that there's no one left to solve yours.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061994975
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 50,786
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Monday, November 4, 2013

National Book Award Young People's Literature Nominees

from the 2013 National Book Award announcement site

UPDATE:  wINNER:        tHE tHING ABOUT LUCK by cynthia Kadohata


Kathi AppeltThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
 Meet Bingo and J’miah, raccoon brothers on a mission to save Sugar Man Swamp in this National Book Award finalist from Newbery Honoree Kathi Appelt.
Cynthia KadohataThe Thing About Luck (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
 There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck—which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family

Tom McNealFar Far Away (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)
 Amazon's page has it listed as a "dark, traditional fairytale in the tradition of Neil Gaiman.
Meg RosoffPicture Me Gone (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Group USA)
 Amazon, "Unforgettable page turner about the relationship between parents and children, love and loss."

Gene Luen YangBoxers & Saints (First Second/Macmillan) 
Graphic Novel:  China,1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants.


- Kate DiCamilloFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (Candlewick Press)
- Lisa Graff, A Tangle of Knots (Philomel, A division of Penguin Group USA)
- Alaya Dawn JohnsonThe Summer Prince (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic)
- David LevithanTwo Boys Kissing (Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House)
- Anne UrsuThe Real Boy (Walden Pond Press/an Imprint HarperCollinsPublishers)


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