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1. 9 Books for When You Are 9

9 Books for When You Are 99 books for when you are 9

Nine is a really rad number, and a really rad age. And here are nine great books that every nine-year-old totally MUST read! From wacky to wild, these books will take you on some seriously awesome adventures.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Middle school is full of drama — just ask Greg Heffley. After his mom forces him to keep a diary, he starts writing down all the (really hilarious) misadventures and happenings from his school year. Greg and his BFF Rowley get into all sorts of sticky situations that will keep you laughing until your sides hurt. Middle school may be full of drama, but, man, the drama is funny!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Nine is the BEST time to start reading Harry Potter (though I strongly believe it’s never too late, even if you’re 119). Harry has had a miserable life so far, losing his parents when he was just an infant and being raised by his dreadful aunt and uncle, but things are about to get pretty magical in his world. When he finds out he’s actually a wizard, he is whisked away to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where all kinds of life-changing adventures await him.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Pippi is the new girl in town, and boy, is she wild! She may have no parents, but she DOES have a pet monkey and a pet horse . . . and a knack for living life freely. The sky’s the limit when it comes to Pippi, and her new neighbors Tommy and Annika are in for a whole lot of wacky surprises!

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
There seems to be nothing the unusual orphan Maniac Magee can’t do: outrun dogs, untie impossible knots, hit a homerun . . . the list is endless. When Maniac Magee arrives in the town of Two Mills, he hopes to find a home, but it’s not that easy. The troubled small town is very divided, and tensions are about to reach a fever pitch. But Maniac Magee might just be the key to helping everyone find peace.

Time Warp Trio: The Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Sciezska and Lane Smith
When Joe and his two friends are transported back in time to King Arthur’s court by a magical book, they accidentally defeat the dreaded Black Knight and are mistaken for heroes by King Arthur’s knights. But what will they do when they are confronted with a (really gross) giant and an attacking dragon? And how will they get home?! This super-funny book will keep you guessing — and laughing — as the trio blunder their way from one adventure to the next.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Milo is really bored by everything, but that’s all about to change because a mysterious and magical tollbooth has suddenly appeared in his bedroom. Out of boredom (of course), Milo hops into his dusty old toy car, pays the toll, and finds himself driving directly into a wild, wacky world in which each adventure is even more bizarre than the last!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Hugo, a young orphan living in the Paris train station, is an expert at staying invisible. But when he meets a most unusual girl and a mysterious toymaker, his life changes. Hugo finds himself thrust headfirst into a mystery that will force him out of hiding for the first time, and reveal more of his own secret past.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Nine-year-old Peter Hatcher has THE. MOST. ANNOYING. BROTHER. EVER. Little, two-year-old Fudge gets away with everything, including tormenting Peter’s pet turtle, Dribble. But one day Fudge’s antics go too far — will Peter ever be able to forgive him?

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to live in the wild? Sam Gribley is fed up with living in a cramped apartment with his parents and eight (Eight!! Can you imagine?) siblings in New York City, so he runs away to his grandparents’ home upstate. What he’s not ready for is the harsh wilderness living he encounters, but armed with the survival skills preparation and endless curiosity, Sam just might have what it takes to last the winter..

Which books from this list have you read? Which books do you think every nine-year-old should read? Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

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2. Captain Underpants Kid Review

captain underpants and the sensational saga of Sir stinks-a-lotCaptain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks a Lot

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Captain Underpants series, right? Well, the newest 12th novel of the series is out, and I LOVE it! I really like this story because it has a lot of humor; it is really action-packed, and I love the characters. The main characters are George, Harold, Mr. Meaner, and Captain Underpants. Their characters make the story really fun and interesting to read. The characters are very funny, in particular Captain Underpants and the teachers. If you see Mr. Meaner at all, watch out! He might spray you with a little something . . .

Not to spoil the story, but here is the main gist of what goes on. A planet just like Earth, but called Smart Earth, explodes (Read the book to find out how and why . . .), and a small piece flies out and lands on Earth, right in front of Mr. Meaner (the notorious gym teacher), and let’s just say things don’t work out very well! After EATING the piece of Smart Earth, he becomes really smart, obviously. He invents a spray called Rid-o-Kid 2000 and bad things happen, very bad things.

Dav Pilkey is a great author and really makes this story come to life. He does this by being very descriptive with his writing, and he uses this thing called Flip-O-Rama. Flip-O-Rama is a special comic book type of animated pictures. By flipping pages back and forth a certain way, Flip-O-Rama™ makes the pictures look really cool and animated.

I would highly recommend for all of you to read this great series, Captain Underpants, if you want to get lost in a great sea of awesomeness. Read a sneak peek here.

Alex, Scholastic Kids Council

 

 

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3. Books About Magical Kids

Recommend me!Books about MAGICAL KIDS!

Do you ever wish you could wake up with magical powers? It would be so cool to make myself invisible, or move objects just by waving my hands, or eat endless amounts of chocolate without getting sick . . . Well, that last one is more of a superpower, but you get my point. If you love the idea of being able to do magic, here are some awesome books about kids with magical powers.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Of course Harry Potter is on this list. What’s not to love about this amazing series? After a pretty rough start in life, young orphan Harry Potter is surprised to discover that he’s actually a wizard. At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he learns to master his abilities, makes some incredible fellow wizard and witch friends, goes on wild adventures, and finds himself at the center of an epic battle between good and evil!

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Poor dyslexic Percy’s life changes once he learns he is the son of the Greed god Poseidon. As if this news doesn’t make his world complicated enough, he also discovers that his life is in danger! At Camp Half-Blood, he meets other demigods (half-god, half-humans) and is tasked with the responsibility of preventing an all-out war from erupting between the gods . . . which is no easy task for someone just learning of his magical abilities!

Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
Charlie is less than happy when he discovers that he can suddenly hear people speaking to him through photographs. (I mean, it is pretty creepy! And probably totally annoying.) Once his special talent is discovered, though, he is shipped off by his scheming aunts to the dreary Bloor Academy. But what is the history behind his talent, and why is he being kept at this horrid school with all these other gifted children?

The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling
Isn’t chocolate amazing? John Midas certainly thinks so, and he gets really mad when he’s told by the doctor to eat more healthy food and less chocolate. But a seemingly chance encounter with a mysterious candy man leaves John with an even stranger magical power: everything he touches turns into chocolate! That may seem like a very awesome (maybe the awesomest?) magical power to have, but things start to get messy really, really fast!

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
For everyone who ever thought, “By golly, having ANY magical power sure beats having NO magical power,” meet Ella. Given the “gift” of obedience at birth by a fairy, Ella is unable to disobey any direct order. After her mother passes away, Ella finds herself at the mercy of her truly terrible stepsisters and equally horrid stepmother who have learned to make her their slave. But with a little creativity and some wonderful friends, Ella may just find a way out from under her “gift”—and even find true love.

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Felicity Pickle has a very unusual ability: she can SEE words, and the words tell her an awful lot about people and places. In the town of Midnight Gulch, she sees “home.” But there’s also a terrible spell hanging over Midnight Gulch, and unless Felicity can return magic back into the once magical town, she may never get to call this place her home.

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
Emily lives on a boat with her mom, but weirdly enough, she’s always been told to stay away from the water. It turns out, she’s actually a mermaid! Emily embarks on a journey to find her real mer-father and the truth behind her birth (and tail!). Along the way, she discovers some incredible and heartbreaking things about the magical creatures she is beginning to understand are her family.

The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
Living in a city that runs on magic would be pretty cool . . . unless that magic started running out. Conn, a young boy living in such a city, accidentally comes in contact with a powerful stone while trying to pickpocket a wizard. When he doesn’t die, he’s taken in as the wizard’s apprentice. While learning his own magical abilities and searching for his own stone, he begins to discover exactly that is draining his city’s magic.

Savvy by Ingrid Law
What if you knew you had a magical power, but you had to wait until you turned thirteen to find out what it was? Welcome to Mibs’ world! In her family, everyone possesses an ability (known as a “savvy”) that reveals itself to them on their thirteenth birthday. But on the days leading up to her big day, Mibs’ world is suddenly turned upside down. Can her power—whatever it is—save a loved one who needs it the most?

Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda
Rowan is shy and likes to spend his time caring for animals, unlike the rest of the people in his village who are bold and brave. But when the river running through the village runs dry, Rowan is the only one able to read a magical map that can lead a band of villagers up a mountain and to the river’s source . . . and whatever mystery has stopped it from flowing.

Well now, that’s some list! Did I miss any of your favorites? Which ones are you most excited to read, and which ones have you read and loved? Share your picks in the Comments below!

Happy magical adventuring,

En-Szu

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4. Books About Bullying

Recommend me!Books About Bullying

Being bullied is the worst. If you are being bullied right now, please try these tips and tell a grown-up what you are going through. Definitely do not suffer alone! I wish for a world where no one ever has to feel bullied, but here are some books to help you relate.

The Survival Guide to Bullying by Aija Mayrock
for ages 10 and up

Written by a teenager who was bullied throughout middle school and high school, this book offers a fresh and relatable perspective on bullying. Along the way, the author offers guidance as well as different strategies that helped her get through even the toughest of days. From inspiring “roems” (rap poems), survival tips, personal stories, and quick quizzes, this book will light the way to a brighter future.

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
for ages 8-12

This is a powerful story of a unique friendship between a troubled, over-sized boy and the tiny, physically challenged genius who proves that courage comes in all sizes. This simple yet timeless story explores many themes

The Loser List by H.N. Kowitt
for ages 8-12

When Danny Shine (rhymes with “whine”) finds out he’s on the infamous Loser List in the girls’ bathroom, his mission to erase it lands him in detention. That fateful afternoon, the school’s bullies (who live in detention) discover that Danny can draw. Suddenly he’s not a target anymore—he’s a “bad boy”! Supplying tattoos and graffiti for the bullies is great, until Danny is unwittingly drawn into a crime. His new friends took a comic from Danny’s favorite store, and now Danny has to steal it back, return it, and break off with the bullies—before he goes from dork to delinquent. See also the other books in the Loser List series.

Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy
for ages 8-12

Zulaikha hopes for peace now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her—“Inshallah,” God willing. Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to her village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha—but can she dare to hope they’ll come true?

Warp Speed by Lisa Yee
for ages 8-12

Entering seventh grade is no big deal for Marley Sandelski: Same old boring classes, same old boring life. The only thing he has to look forward to is the upcoming Star Trek convention. But when he inadvertently draws the attention of Digger Ronster, the biggest bully in school, his life officially moves from boring to far too dramatic . . . from invisible to center stage.

Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine
for ages 10-14

National Book Award winner Kathryn Erskine delivers a powerful story of family, friendship, and race relations in the South. Life will never be the same for Red Porter. He’s a kid growing up around black car grease, white fence paint, and the backward attitudes of the folks who live in his hometown, Rocky Gap, Virginia. Red’s daddy, his idol, has just died, leaving Red and Mama with some hard decisions and a whole lot of doubt. Should they sell the Porter family business, a gas station, repair shop, and convenience store rolled into one, where the slogan—“Porter’s: We Fix it Right!”—has been shouting the family’s pride for as long as anyone can remember? With Daddy gone, everything’s different. Through his friendship with Thomas, Beau, and Miss Georgia, Red starts to see there’s a lot more than car motors and rusty fenders that need fixing in his world. When Red discovers the injustices that have been happening in Rocky Gap since before he was born, he’s faced with unsettling questions about his family’s legacy.

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5. Twisted Fairy Tales

Recommend me!I love all fairy tales whether they are books, movies, plays, or even ballets! From Frozen to Sisters Grimm, to Swan Lake, I love it all. The fairy tales in this list are a bit . . . twisted. They are based on the original stories, but then there is some kind of twist to make it different and interesting.

Big Bad Detective Agency by Bruce Hale for Ages 7–10
The houses of all Three (not-so-) Little Pigs were broken into and ransacked, and the Pigs are squealing for justice. So Prince Tyrone, ruler of Fairylandia, drags in the obvious suspect: Wolfgang.

The lone wolf has big teeth, sharp claws, no alibi—and a single day to find the real culprit and clear his big bad name. When Wolf (reluctantly) teams up with the fourth Little Pig to crack the case, the Big Bad Detective Agency—and an adventure way funnier than your average fairy tale—is born!

Tyme #1: Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison for Ages 8–12
In all of Tyme, from the Redlands to the Grey, no one is as lucky as Rapunzel. She lives in a magic tower that obeys her every wish; she reads wonderful books starring herself as the heroine; her hair is the longest, most glorious thing in the world. And she knows this because Witch tells her so—her beloved Witch, who protects her from evil princes, the dangerous ground under the tower, even unhappy thoughts. Rapunzel can’t imagine any other life.

Then a thief named Jack climbs into her room to steal one of her enchanted roses. He’s the first person Rapunzel’s ever met who isn’t completely charmed by her (well, the first person she’s met at all, really), and he is infuriating—especially when he hints that Witch isn’t telling her the whole truth. Driven by anger at Jack and her own nameless fears, Rapunzel descends to the ground for the first time, and finds a world filled with more peril than Witch promised . . . and more beauty, wonder, and adventure than she could have dreamed.

Whatever After: Beauty Queen by Sarah Mlynowski for Ages 8-12
This time, the magic mirror sucks Abby and Jonah into the story of Beauty and the Beast. When the siblings accidentally mess up this enchanting and magical tale, hijinks and hilarity ensue . . . and things get pretty ugly! See also the other books in the Whatever After series.

Grimmtastic Girls #6: Goldilocks Breaks In by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams for Ages 8–12
Goldilocks wants everything in her life to be just right, but sometimes at Grimm Academy, there are too many choices. When she sneaks into Grimmstone Library after hours, she’ll have to make a tough decision if she wants to discover her magic charm! See also the other Grimmtastic books.

Twice Upon a Time #1: Rapunzel, the One With All the Hair by Wendy Mass for Ages 8-12
Rapunzel is having the ultimate bad day. She’s been stolen from home by an evil witch, locked in an incredibly high tower, and doesn’t even have a decent brush for her hair. Prince Benjamin is in a pretty uncomfortable situation himself. His father wants him to be more kingly, his mother wants him to never leave her sight, and his cousin wants to get him into as much trouble as possible. Plus, there’s the little matter of prearranged marriages. . . . Both Rapunzel and Prince Benjamin are trapped—in very different ways. It’s only when their paths cross, that things really start to change. Also available: Twice Upon a Time #2: Sleeping Beauty, The One Who Took the Really Long Nap. Twice Upon a Time #3: Beauty and the Beast, the Only One Who Didn’t Run Away

If you love fairy tales like I do, try these books and tell me what you think in the Comments.

Sonja

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6. Baseball Books

Recommend me!Baseball Books for Kids Aged 7-12

The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend: A Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend

By Sharon Robinson
Ages 8-12

Based on the true story of a boy in Brooklyn who became neighbors and friends with his hero, Jackie Robinson.

The year is 1948, and the place is Brooklyn, New York. Stephen Satlow, a local Jewish boy, is an avid Brooklyn Dodgers’ fan but a mediocre athlete, at best. When Jackie Robinson moves into his predominantly Jewish neighborhood and befriends Steve, his status changes instantly.
Their bond deepens when Jackie commits a well-intentioned blunder. He mistakenly gives Steve’s family a Christmas tree. As the tension clears, acceptance of Jackie’s gift of the tree becomes symbolic of two families from different religious and cultural backgrounds finding common ground. The friendship between the two families grows over the next few decades, when enormous social changes sweep the nation.

Scholastic Year in Sports 2016
By James Buckley Jr.
Ages 8-12
Featuring the latest and greatest superstars, this is a must-have guide for sports fans of all ages!
For sports fans everywhere, the 2016 edition of Year in Sports features full-color action photographs throughout, completely updated facts and stats, and a colorful interior design. Features info about all of the top athletes, championships, and legends from the major and secondary sports. Including your favorite stars like LeBron James, JJ Watt, Clayton Kershaw, Serena Williams, Lionel Messi, and McKayla Maroney, Scholastic Year in Sports 2016 is perfect for sports beginners, as well as the most devoted of fans.

Little Rhino #1: My New Team
By Ryan Howard and Krystle Howard; Illustrated by Erwin Madrid
Ages 7–10
From Major League Baseball superstar Ryan Howard and his wife, Krystle Howard, a former elementary schoolteacher, this exciting new series is a fun read for sports and book fans alike.
One afternoon, after a long day of second grade, Little Rhino comes home to find out that Grandpa James has signed him up for a baseball league. Little Rhino will finally be a part of a team. But Little Rhino will quickly learn that it is not always so easy to be a good teammate, especially when there’s a bully wearing the same uniform as you. See also the other Little Rhino books. 

The Way Home Looks Now
By Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Ages 8–12

Twelve-year-old Peter Lee and his family are baseball lovers, who bond over back lot games and talk of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But when tragedy strikes, the family flies apart and baseball no longer seems to matter. Is that true? Peter wonders if just maybe the game they love can pull them together and bring them back, safe at home.

Game Changers #3: Heavy Hitters
By Mike Lupica
Ages 8-12
Ben and his friends, the Core Four Plus One, are so excited to play in their town’s All-Star Baseball league. But in the first game of the season, Ben gets hit by a pitch. It’s never happened to him before and it shakes him up. Another player on Ben’s team, Justin, is acting really strangely. Ben has known Justin for a while and they’re friendly, but he’s not one of Ben’s closest “boys.” Justin is the team’s best hitter, but his behavior on and off the field is erratic.
Ben discovers that Justin’s parents are getting a divorce and Justin is thinking about quitting the team. Like good teammates do, Justin helps Ben deal with his hitting issues while Ben is there for his friend while his family is struggling.

42: The Jackie Robinson Story
By Aaron Rosenberg
Ages 8-12
A novel based on the movie 42—a biopic about Jackie Robinson’s history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African American Major League Baseball player.

Champ
By Marcia Thornton Jones
Ages 7-10
Riley is awful at sports. He wants to quit the baseball team, but his dad won’t let him give up. So when one bad swing brings a three-legged dog into his life, Riley feels like he’s been thrown a curveball. How can he take care of a dog and make his dad proud? Champ is a former champion show dog. But when the accident that leaves him with Riley also leaves him with three legs, this dog has to learn some new tricks. Can Champ show Riley that winning doesn’t always mean coming in first? Together, Riley and Champ make a great team, but not everyone thinks so. Could they be separated?

Down to the Last Out: The Journal of Biddy Owens, The Negro Leagues
By Walter Dean Myers
Ages 8-12
Seventeen-year-old Biddy Owens is part of the Birmingham Black Barons baseball team and dreams of becoming a major league baseball player. However, in 1948 most black players can only play for the Negro Leagues. Jackie Robinson has just recently integrated and is playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but the white owners are reluctant to add too many blacks to their rosters. The Birmingham Black Barons are some of the best players in the league. But as they travel around playing ball, Biddy realizes that not everyone is ready for blacks and whites to play on the same team. Can Biddy prove he’s good enough to be part of the game he loves, no matter what color his skin is?

Plunked
By Michael Northrop
Ages 8-12
When a young slugger gets hit by a pitch, he needs more than practice to get back his game.
Jack Mogens thinks he’s got it all figured out: he has his batting routine down, and now that he’s in sixth grade, he has a lock on a starting spot in Little League. (Well, almost. Okay, not really. It’s a two-man race, though, so he has a shot.) And if he can manage to have a not-totally-embarrassing conversation with Katie, his team’s killer shortstop, he’ll be golden. But when a powerful stray pitch turns his world upside down, Jack discovers it’s going to take more than a love of baseball to get back his game.

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7. HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD!!

Extra!HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD PARTS I & II TO BE PUBLISHED IN PRINT BY SCHOLASTIC IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA  AT 12:01 A.M. ON JULY 31, 2016

Scholastic will publish a script book based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth Harry Potter story, will be priced at $29.99 U.S. and $39.99 Canada. The script eBook will be published by Pottermore simultaneously with the print editions by Scholastic in the US and Canada, and Little, Brown Book Group in the UK.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

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8. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

SneakPeekTake a Sneak Peek at the New Raina Telgemeier Graphic Novel!

Raina Telgemeier announced her next book titled Ghosts coming out in September, 2016.

Eleven-year-old Catrina and her family are moving to the small coastal town of Bahía de la Luna because her younger sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends, but she tries not to complain because she knows Maya will benefit from the clean, cool air that blows in from the sea. As the girls settle in, they learn there’s something a little spooky about their new town . . .

Sounds good, right? Take a sneak peek inside Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier!

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9. A Christmas Carol

Recommend me!A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Reading is one of my favorite things to do. I really like stories with interesting characters who go through a real journey, especially ones that have to find courage to face a challenge. I enjoy books with action and adventure like Harry Potter. I also like stories with strong and smart girl characters like Divergent and Fairest (for ages 12 and up). But I also enjoy reading stories that have been told for a long time.

For as long as I can remember, I have grown up hearing about A Christmas Carol. I always loved the story but I never understood its true meaning until I read the book.

A Christmas Carol is about a grumpy, old man named Scrooge, who is cold to the bone and doesn’t care about anyone or anything besides money. He is a cheapskate who doesn’t even pay for electricity in his own home. But the thing Scrooge hates the most is the Christmas spirit. He doesn’t give money to the poor or take the invitation from his nephew to a nice Christmas party.  Instead he chooses to work, get money, scare off some Christmas carolers, and lecture his poor apprentice about the unfairness of having to pay him on Christmas Day for not doing any work.

christmas_carolHis mood changes, though, when he sees the ghost of his dead friend, Marley. Marley tells Scrooge of three ghosts that will come to help him change his ways. Scrooge is then taken on three journeys by the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future. As Scrooge goes through each journey, you see him change and become more sentimental and loving. You see him change from a miserable person to a person who learns and becomes better. By going through this experience with the ghosts, Scrooge is given a second chance to change his future.

I would recommend this book because it has a great moral. It teaches us all important lessons and allows us to see the world in a different light. Another reason I would recommend this book is that Dickens has a very poetic and beautiful way of writing. It can be very playful in one moment, and be very serious or heartfelt in the next. The way he writes hooks me in and entices me to read more. If you enjoy heart-touching stories with an amazing moral, I would definitely suggest A Christmas Carol.

Cynthia, Scholastic Kids Council

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10. Best Book Series

Recommend me!Best Book Series

I don’t have just one book to recommend. I have several series for kids aged 8-12.

so you want to be a wizardThe first: the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, beginning with So You Want to Be a Wizard (for ages 10 and up). This series is about Nita and Kit, two friends who found copies of a book entitled So You Want to Be a Wizard and were brought together. They must learn to use their wizardry while battling to postpone the universe’s death.

The second: the Unwanteds series (for ages 8 and up) by Lisa McMann. These books tell the story of the land of Quill, where creativity is a crime, and those caught committing it are sentenced to death. But the sentence isn’t exactly what is seems.

loki's wolvesThe third: the Michael Vey series (for ages 12 and up) by Richard Paul Evans. A prototype imaging machine malfunctioned, and of the 59 people born in that hospital during its test period, only 17 survived. These children acquired electrical powers. A madman makes it his goal to use them to take over the world, and gets all of them except Michael Vey.

The fourth: the Blackwell Pages series (for ages 8 and up) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr. This trilogy is about the descendants of the Norse gods and their battle to prevent the world from ending. It begins with Loki’s Wolves.

Julie, Scholastic Kids Council

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11. Dog Man By Dav Pilkey

Dog Man #1Check out the cover of Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey’s new graphic novel!

Dog Man 1George and Harold have created a new hero who digs into deception, claws after crooks, and rolls over robbers. He’s half man, half dog, and all cop! This heroic hound has a real nose for justice. But can this crime-biting canine resist the call of the wild to answer the call of duty?

Get ready to howl with laughter. You can read Dog Man on August 30!

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12. Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy KidDiary of a Wimpy Kid Book Review

Out of the books I picked to be my favorite over time, the very best is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. I like these books the best because they are really funny, are an easy read, have entertaining artwork, and they relate to the real world and how you are feeling as a middle schooler sometimes.

The books are about a boy named Greg who has a troublesome older brother and an annoying little brother. They are funny because Greg gets blamed for everything his little brother, Manny, does. His older brother, Rodrick, gets in a lot of trouble, but the blame always ends up on Greg.

Those are some reasons why the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series are the books that I enjoy the most.

Leah, Scholastic Kids Council

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13. Introducing BEETLE BOY by M. G. Leonard

Beetle BoyAdventure! Laughter! Rhinoceros Beetles!

Darkus Cuttle’s dad mysteriously goes missing from his job as Director of Science at the Natural History Museum. Vanished without a trace! From a locked room! So Darkus moves in with his eccentric Uncle Max and next door to Humphrey and Pickering, two lunatic cousins with an enormous beetle infestation.Beetle Boy

Darkus soon discovers that the beetles are anything but ordinary. They’re an amazing, intelligent super species and they’re in danger of being exterminated. It’s up to Darkus and his friends to save the beetles. But they’re up against an even more terrifying villain–the mad scientist of fashion, haute couture villainess Lucretia Cutter.

Lucretia has an alarming interest in insects and dastardly plans for the bugs. She won’t let anyone or anything stop her, including Darkus’s dad, whom she has locked up in her dungeons! The beetles and kids join forces to rescue Mr. Cuttle and thwart Lucretia.

Beetle Boy is the story of a brilliant boy, his loyal friends, and some amazingly intelligent beetles.

Read an excerpt.

Watch a video with the author. 

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14. Books About Girls Who Rock

Recommend me!Books about GIRLS WHO ROCK!

Being a girl is awesome. Girls are funny, smart, cool, and brave! Read these ten super-fantastic books about girls who rock, so you can remember that you, too, are a girl who rocks!

Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda is a smart, funny girl who loves a good prank—especially if it’s on one of her terrible, selfish family members. Her teacher, Ms. Honey, realizes that Matilda is very smart — but the bully headmistress, Ms. Trunchbull, is determined to prevent Matilda from moving up to a higher class. Meanwhile, Matilda discovers that she has developed a strange superpower . . . and while it’s good for a prank or two (or three!), it might also be the key to changing her life forever.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Things are getting steadily worse for everyone in Annamarie’s Nazi-occupied hometown of Copenhagen in 1943, but things are especially bad for the Jewish residents. First their stores are closed down, and then they are rounded up by Nazis and shipped off to concentration camps. Annamarie’s best friend, Ellen, is Jewish. To protect her, Annamarie and her family pretend that Ellen is Annamarie’s sister . . . but how long can they keep up the act before they are discovered?

El Deafo by Cece Bell
Cece loses her hearing when she is just a toddler, and has to wear a very bulky and uncomfortable hearing aid. And the hearing aid (called The Phonic Ear) doesn’t just get in her way physically: Cece wonders if it’s getting in the way of her making a real friend. But Cece discovers that The Phonic Ear is a lot more powerful than most people realize . . . not just her “superpower,” but a way for her to find her inner superhero.

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet is bright and can sometimes be a know-it-all, but she’s a lovable one with great friends. Her favorite activity is to observe other people and record her thoughts in a notebook, as training for her future dream job as a writer. But when Harriet’s caretaker announces she’s getting married and leaving, and Harriet’s notebook is discovered by her schoolmates, everything turns topsy-turvy. Harriet finds herself friendless, and the kids at school have formed a club against her! Can Harriet find a way to use her smarts to get out of this pickle, or is she doomed to be lonely forever?

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
For Jacqueline, growing up in the segregated south in the 1960s is not easy. There is a lot of racism, and even though there are good people, they are outnumbered by the bad. So it’s no surprise when her mother decides to move to New York City. Splitting her time between New York City with her mother and Greenville, South Carolina with her grandparents, Jacqueline struggles to understand where she fits in to the rapidly changing world . . . and the answer might be much closer than she thinks.

Sweet Home Alaska by Carol Estby Dagg
During the great depression, Terpischore and her family are given the chance to start a new life in Alaska (thanks to some land given to them by the government). After reading books about frontier life, Terpischore feels like she’s ready for anything . . . and even when it’s tougher than she ever imagined, upbeat Terpischore always finds something to be happy about. But her greatest challenge of all is making Alaska feel like home for everyone in her family. Can she do it?

The Finisher by David Baldacci
Vega was born and raised in the town of Wormwood, a town surrounded by a deep and mysterious forest. All her life, she has been warned of the danger that lies beyond the borders of Wormwood. One day, however, she sees someone willingly running INTO the forest . . . and he leaves behind, for Vega, a note and a map. Vega’s about to dig up a whole lot of dirt on Wormwood, and get to the bottom of the mystery!

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
When the Vietnam War reaches Ha’s hometown of Saigon, she flees with her mother and brothers. Bound for the unfamiliar shores of America, Ha has no idea what to expect—and what she finds is not at all the shiny, hopeful land she was promised. Bullied, tormented, and made to feel unwelcome, Ha’s attempts at fitting in just don’t seem to work . . . but learning just how strong she really is might be the key to Ha finding happiness once again.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan 
Esperanza lives an almost fairy tale-like life in Mexico, with a beautiful home and wonderful parents and amazing friends. She is surrounded by love and kindness and never wants for anything, but that all changes the day her father is killed by bandits, and Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave the life they have known for an uncertain future in the United States. Working in a poor labor camp is in no way like the princess treatment she is used to, but in spite of the grueling work and shabby living conditions, Esperanza is starting to see that true happiness may just come from deep within.

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
Katie’s sister Lynn always finds the silver lining in every situation, even when their family moves from their Japanese community in Iowa to the unfamiliar state of Georgia. Katie is learning to think like Lynn, and be hopeful in the face of all the bullying, teasing, and homesickness she faces every day. When Lynn gets very sick, though, Katie struggles to find the hope that Lynn still has . . . and to be grateful for all the kira-kira (glittering) moments in life.

What do you think? Do you have other favorite books about girls who rock? Do you have a favorite book from this list? Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

Yours in rocking,

En-Szu

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15. Revenge of the Angels by Jennifer Ziegler

Revenge of the AngelsRevenge of the Angels by Jennifer Ziegler

When I was growing up, the holidays seemed magical. It felt like there was a balloon inside me, slowly filling as the celebrations grew closer, until I felt like I might burst—or maybe float up to the ceiling. But as I got older, I started to feel more stress around the holidays, and I’d worry that I didn’t have enough time or money to make things special.

In my new book, Revenge of the Angels, the holidays are not going well for Dawn, Darby, and Delaney Brewster. They’ve been told they aren’t going to get the presents they asked for, weather has stranded their mom and beloved older sister in Boston, their dad has to work a lot, and they didn’t get the parts of the Three Wise Men in their church Christmas pageant just because they are girls. To make things worse, someone is stealing decorations and baked goods off people’s porches! It’s enough to make anyone with holiday spirit turn into a Grinch.

But here’s something I’ve learned that the triplets also come to realize: The holidays don’t have to go perfectly to be magical. The point is to enjoy special moments with people who matter to you, and show them how much you care for them—with a gift, a baked treat, or simply some kind words or deeds. And it’s also a time to enjoy shared traditions. You know those special things you do year after year? Maybe there’s a recipe you cook or bake only around the holidays. Or maybe there are songs you sing, items you display, games you play, or places you visit during this time. There’s something comforting about doing the same things with the same people at the same time of year.

My family eats tamales on Christmas Eve and we always watch the movie A Christmas Story. There’s also an ornament I was given when I was a baby—an elf wearing glasses that I named Doc. Doc is now scuffed and a little shabby in places, but he’s like an old friend, and I look forward to hanging him on our tree every year.

What special things make your holidays seem a little magical each year?

Jennifer Ziegler, Scholastic Author

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16. Book Title Mashup

Guess the bookBook Title Mashup

PurpleFairy challenges you to a Book Title Mashup Quiz. Can you name the 2 books mashed up together in the following titles? If you need a hint, then click on the links.

  1. The 39 Rules for Girls
  2. The Hunger Amulet
  3. The Deathly Bone
  4. Captain Dumb Diary
  5. Grimmtastic Potter
  6. Geronimo Wonderstruck
  7. Wings of Whatever After
  8. How I Survived Mean Janine
  9. Charlotte’s Keepers
  10. Diary of Sisters

Leave your answers in the Comments and then go chat on the STACK Back Board!

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17. Book Wars: Avengers vs. Guardians of the Galaxy

Book warsBook Wars: Avengers vs. Guardians of the Galaxy

The superheroes of comic books have been capturing our minds and our hearts for many years, so I am going to be comparing two great superhero teams: Avengers vs. Guardians of the Galaxy.

guardians of the galaxyLet’s compare the leader of each team. In Avengers, our leader is Captain America. In Guardians of the Galaxy, the leader is Starlord. Both of these characters are American human beings trapped in the wrong place or time. The main difference between them is their attitude. While Captain America is a natural do-gooder who always strives to help people, Starlord is an ex-thief whose primary concern is himself. He is witty, unlike Captain America, who is constantly serious. Despite their differences, in the end, both heroes lead their teams to save the world.

Secondly, we have Iron Man from Avengers and Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy. Each is a technology genius with a quick wit and a high ego. However, Iron Man is a human in a suit of armour, whereas Rocket is an anthropomorphic raccoon. Each of these two heroes is often a diffuser of tension when his team is struggling to find the fun in the world.

avengersNext, Avengers’ Black Widow and Guardians’Gamora also have some similarities. Both of them serve as spies and sometimes as double agents. They are trained warriors and very strong female characters. Of course, Black Widow is a fiery, red-haired human and Gamora is a green-skinned, purple-haired alien, but both women take their jobs very seriously and are the best at what they do.

On to Thor from Avengers and Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy. Both of them are very skilled in combat, and would do anything to save their loved ones. They are very different from the other members of their teams as they have different customs and sayings. I suppose the only difference would be that Thor is a dashing, good-looking Norse God, and Drax is a multi-colored alien.

Lastly, we have Avengers’ Hulk and Guardians’ Groot. Both are super-natural beings that are incredibly strong but do not understand much English or how to communicate with other people. However, the Hulk is a human who transforms into a raging beast, and Groot is a living tree.

Although the characters have some definite similarities, the settings are very different. Avengers comic books usually take place in New York, whereas Guardians of the Galaxy comic happen in outer space. The plots of each are very generic superhero plots where they fight villains in order to protect the world or, in some cases, the galaxy.

Which team would you want to be a part of? Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy? Why? Leave your opinions in the Comments below. I hope you liked this special edition of Book Wars.

Until next time, keep reading!

Izzy, Scholastic Kids Council

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18. Race the Wild

Rain Forest RelayRace the Wild: Rain Forest Relay by Kristin Earhart (for ages 7-10)

On a once-in-a-lifetime race through the animal kingdom, it takes smarts, strength, and skill to win!

When Russell entered the race, he knew it was going to be a wild ride. Especially the first race course! He’d been studying up on the Amazon’s animals and culture forever. But nothing could prepare him or his teammates for what they’d find in the rain forest: raging rapids, poisonous venom, and sneaky competitors who’d do anything to win.

Can the red team work together to make it to the finish line in one piece? Each chapter in this action-packed adventure series is bursting with totally true facts about wild and wonderful creatures, dangerous habitats, maps, and more!

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19. Ranger in Time #3: Long Road to Freedom

Ranger in TimeRanger in Time #3: Long Road to Freedom

Everybody’s favorite time-traveling dog is back in the newest installment of Ranger in Time! Ranger has traversed the Oregon Trail and escaped the Roman Colosseum, and now he’s back to help two kids navigate the Underground Railroad!

In this adventure, Ranger travels to a Maryland plantation during the time of American slavery, where he meets a young girl named Sarah. When Sarah learns that the plantation owner has plans to sell her little brother, Jesse, to a plantation in the Deep South, it means they could be separated forever. Sarah takes their future into her own hands and decides there’s only one way to run—north.

Will Sarah and Jesse make it to freedom? Anything is possible with Ranger at their side! Start reading an excerpt from Ranger in Time #3: Long Road to Freedom!

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20. I Survived True Stories: Nature Attacks

ISurvivedBlogI Survived True Stories: Nature Attacks

Picture this: You’re at the beach and you hop into the ocean for a little swim when all of a sudden you are attacked by a giant jellyfish! Ouch! This actually happened to 10-year-old Rachael in Australia. Read the true story here.

Are you a fan of the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis? Which book is your favorite? Tell us in the Comments.

 

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21. The Oodlethunks

OodlethunksIntroducing a hilarious new comedy of prehistoric proportions!

Welcome to West Woggle, home of woolly mammoths, fruitafossors, and the Oodlethunk family!

One day, Oona Oodlethunk finds a mysterious—and very special—egg. She doesn’t know what’s in it, but she does know one thing: she’ll do anything to protect her egg until it hatches. But it looks like everybody in West Wog wants a piece of her treasure, including her little brother Thunk and that smelly kid Bruce Brute. Oona will do whatever it takes to safeguard her egg—no one will get their grimy, Cro-Magnon hands on it! Oona can’t wait to find out what’s inside her egg—even though it might just gobble her up!

Want to learn more about the Oodlethunks? Watch the series trailer!

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22. Books to Read for Valentine’s Day

Recommend me!Valentine’s Day Book Picks for Ages 8-12

February has me thinking about Valentine’s Day, and while I’m not really a mushy, love-y kind of girl, sometimes I like a good story about everyday, typical kids in real, true to life situations. Here are three not-super-mushy books to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day this year.

Sit Stay Love Sit, Stay, Love: A Wish Novel by J.J. Howard

Puppy love was never so complicated! A funny and heartwarming story about a meet-cute at a pet shelter.

The Boy Problem
The Boy Problem by Kami Kinard

From Kami Kinard comes an illustrated companion novel to The Boy Project that further explores what it’s like to be a 12-year-old girl looking for the perfect crush. The Boy Problem: Notes and Predictions of Tabitha Reddy is a laugh-out-loud peek in the life of a precocious and bubbly girl. Full of illustrations and doodles, hilarious formulas and equations, as well as lessons in life, love, friendship, and baking, this diary will have you laughing and crying at the same time.

Romeo Blue
Romeo Blue
by Phoebe Stone

Secrets, spies and sleuthing abound in this follow-up to Phoebe Stone’s The Romeo and Juliet Code. When Flissy Budwig’s parents first dropped her off in Bottlebay, Maine, she hated everything about it. Most of all, she hated knowing that she was safe in America while her parents faced the guns of WWII in Europe. Especially when she discovered her parents were spies. Especially when she learned her parents were missing.

But a year has passed now, and Flissy has grown to love life in Bottlebay and grown to love Derek, the boy the Bathburns have adopted. Then a man claiming to be Derek’s true father arrives, and soon he’s asking all sorts of strange questions. Flissy has a nose for trouble. Has Derek’s new father come to take him away from Flissy forever, or is there something even more sinister afoot in Bottlebay, Maine?

What books are YOU reading this month? Tell us in the Comments!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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23. Books to Read for Valentine's Day

heart4Valentine’s Day Book Picks for Ages 8-12

February has me thinking about Valentine’s Day, and while I’m not really a mushy, love-y kind of girl, sometimes I like a good story about everyday, typical kids in real, true to life situations. Here are three not-super-mushy books to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day this year.

Sit Stay Love Sit, Stay, Love: A Wish Novel by J.J. Howard

Puppy love was never so complicated! A funny and heartwarming story about a meet-cute at a pet shelter.

The Boy Problem
The Boy Problem by Kami Kinard

From Kami Kinard comes an illustrated companion novel to The Boy Project that further explores what it’s like to be a 12-year-old girl looking for the perfect crush. The Boy Problem: Notes and Predictions of Tabitha Reddy is a laugh-out-loud peek in the life of a precocious and bubbly girl. Full of illustrations and doodles, hilarious formulas and equations, as well as lessons in life, love, friendship, and baking, this diary will have you laughing and crying at the same time.

Romeo Blue
Romeo Blue
by Phoebe Stone

Secrets, spies and sleuthing abound in this follow-up to Phoebe Stone’s The Romeo and Juliet Code. When Flissy Budwig’s parents first dropped her off in Bottlebay, Maine, she hated everything about it. Most of all, she hated knowing that she was safe in America while her parents faced the guns of WWII in Europe. Especially when she discovered her parents were spies. Especially when she learned her parents were missing.

But a year has passed now, and Flissy has grown to love life in Bottlebay and grown to love Derek, the boy the Bathburns have adopted. Then a man claiming to be Derek’s true father arrives, and soon he’s asking all sorts of strange questions. Flissy has a nose for trouble. Has Derek’s new father come to take him away from Flissy forever, or is there something even more sinister afoot in Bottlebay, Maine?

What books are YOU reading this month? Tell us in the Comments!

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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24. Book Wars: Out of My Mind vs. Wonder

Book warsBook Wars: Out of My Mind vs. Wonder

Today we will be comparing two amazing books: Out Of My Mind and Wonder. You may think that think that Out Of My Mind and Wonder are the same, but they are very different.

The two main characters Auggie and Melody both have physical disabilities. These disabilities don’t stop them from still being very bright children. They both want to be apart of the big group with so-called “normal” kids. After many attempts they were rejected.

In Out of My Mind, Melody continues to try different ways to work around her disabilities. Instead of giving up, Melody joins a trivia group with “normal” kids. Melody is then accepted. Melody accepts how she is and deals with what she can do.

In Wonder on the other hand, Auggie just gives up because he feels he is not wanted at school. He thinks about what he wants to be, not what he can do with his disabilities.

Read these books to figure out the true stories of these wonderful characters.

Michael, Scholastic Kids Council

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25. Fablehaven

Recommend me!Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Have you ever heard stories where mythical creatures help the hero save the day? Well, the creatures at Fablehaven aren’t that nice. Fablehaven is a preserve for magical creatures, but dangerous creatures that are on the brink of extinction. The creatures usually stay in their territories, but on the equinox and solstice, the creatures run wild through Fablehaven. The caretakers, Stan Sorenson and his wife, Ruth, can usually defend themselves, but as Midsummer’s Eve nears (a.k.a. the summer solstice), Stan and Ruth’s grandchildren stay with them. Kendra and Seth have no clue when they arrive at their grandparents’ house that it is a magical preserve. Piece by piece, as Midsummer’s Eve draws near, Seth and Kendra learn more about Fablehaven and its secrets.

On Midsummer’s Eve, Kendra and Seth are instructed by Stan to go to bed immediately at sundown, and NEVER, under ANY circumstances, open the window. But of course, that rule gets broken. And bad things happen. Very bad things happen.

I think that Fablehaven is a really good book series and all of you should read it. It is a page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to read the other four books in the series. Happy reading!

Alex, Scholastic Kids Council

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