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Book Review: The Potter’s Boy By Tony Mitton
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The Potter's Boy by Tony Mitton

The Potter’s Boy
Hardcover | Kindle
By Tony Mitton
Publisher: David Fickling Books | Scholastic Press
Release date: February 26, 2019

Many years ago, 12-year-old Ryo played the role of dutiful son, learning to ply his future trade as a pottery maker like his father. However, when his small village is raided by brigands and a single stranger steps forward and ends the attack, Ryo changes his mind and wants to become a warrior like the stranger.

After obtaining his father’s blessing and waiting for his 13th birthday, Ryo heads out to find the stranger and train as he did so he can protect those who cannot protect themselves. What he encounters are challenges that he never expected, but is more than willing to face.

...continue reading »
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Book Spotlight: Dactyl Hill Squad By Daniel Jose Older
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Dactyl Hill Squad review

Dactyl Hill Squad
Dactyl Hill Squad Series Book 1
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Written by Daniel José Older
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books | Scholastic
Release Date: September 11, 2018

Magdalys Roca, an orphan girl at the Colored Orphans Asylum, dreams of finding her scattered family, especially her brother Montez, fighting on the front lines in the Civil War. The children were on their way to the theater, when they were stopped by Magistrate Riker, who scared them with threats of paperwork, or he would have to take the children in as fugitive slaves. He does allow them to continue on, but soon after, all hell breaks loose, as the Draft Riots begin. The orphanage is burned, some children are abducted, and all hope seems lost. In the midst of it all, Magdalys seems to have a close connection to the dinosaurs – did I mention dinosaurs are ridden like horses? It’s up to her and her Dactyl Hill Squad to save the children and then go find her family.

More below on Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older.

...continue reading »
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Book Spotlight: Dragon Rider: The Griffin’s Feather By Cornelia Funke
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Dragon Rider The Griffin's Feather Cornelia Funke

The Griffin’s Feather
Dragon Rider Book #2
Hardcover | Kindle
Sequel to Dragon Rider Book 1
Written & illustrated by Cornelia Funke
English translation by Anthea Bell
Publisher: Chicken House | Scholastic
Release Date: July 31, 2018

With the imminent threat of human invasion, the silver dragons must relocate to a safe haven in Cornelia Funke‘s children’s fantasy novel Dragon Rider, originally released in the U.S. in 2004 by Scholastic’s Chicken House. In this first novel in the series, reissued by the publisher this year, one young brave dragon named Firedrake teams up with Ben, a lonely young boy, on a fantastical journey to find a mythical safe haven for the dragons that’s threatened by an evil dragon hunter.

Now, the German author, best known for her best-selling Inkheart series, reunites Firedrake and Ben for a new adventure in The Griffin’s Feather. This time around, the boy and his dragon volunteer for a mission to Norway and beyond to help three orphaned Pegasus foals who need a griffin’s feather to stay alive. Unfortunately, a griffin’s feather is not too easy to come by — and going after one is a dangerous feat.

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Book Expo 2017: Scholastic Press Spotlight
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Book Expo

Book Expo descended on NYC Thursday and Friday, and it was a reader’s dream. The prelude to Book Con (Saturday and Sunday), Book Expo was like having a Jacob Javitz Center sized library organized by publisher, where free books are literally thrown at you. And not only that, many of the books have not been released yet, and the authors are just hanging out ready to talk.

One of the many many publishers was Scholastic which handed out books like candy in “read-topia.” There are many lovely tomes headed our way from this kid-centric press (young adult too!) this fall.

Check them out below.

...continue reading »
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Book Review: The Keeper (Vega Jane Book 2) by David Baldacci
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David Baldacci The Keeper Header

The Keeper (Vega Jane Book 2)
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audible
Written by David Baldacci
Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 8th, 2015
Cover Price: $17.99

When we last saw Vega Jane in The Finisher, she had left her very “Giver” life in Wormwood, for possible freedom (and death) in the Quag that surrounded it, with her canine Harry 2, and her gorgeous (former stutterer) best friend, Delph. That’s not all she has with her. She still has Destin, the chain that allows her to fly, the Adder Stone that can heal all wounds (cannot regrow limbs or bring back the dead – she tried), and the Elemental, when combined with the glove can change its shape, and seems to be what she needs at the time that she needs it (not fully explored yet). Vega Jane, et al., had just leapt off a cliff to escape the herd of garms and armarocs that had been chasing them – a literal cliffhanger. Now, in The Keeper, David Baldacci continues her story at that exact moment.

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Book Review: I Am Princess X
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I Am Princess X

I Am Princess X
Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Cherie Priest
Illustrated by Kali Ciesemier
Arthur A. Levine Books | Scholastic
Release Date: May 26th, 2015
Cover Price: $18.99

May was a loner in a new school. One day, a girl came up to her and drew on the playground with some chalk. That was the birth of Princess X. This girl, Libby (also new to the school), became May’s best frend. They were inseperable. Together, Libby and May created notebooks upon notebooks of the adventures of Princess X. Libby drew the pictures. May wrote the stories. But they came up with the adventures together. And they didn’t need anyone else.

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Geek Peek: First Fully Illustrated ‘Harry Potter’ Re-Release Images Are Here
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

For those who weren’t aware, author J.K. Rowling‘s juggernaut Harry Potter book series is going to be re-released with fully illustrated editions of the books including art by Jim Kay.

The first of the books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, will be released by Scholastic in the fall on October 6th—the first of Rowling’s Potter series to be illustrated. After that, one new book will be released each year for the next seven years.

The first four images of what the illustrated versions of Harry Potter will look like have been released online, offering our first peek at Hermione, Ron, Hagrid, and Draco. You can check them out below.

...continue reading »
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Book Review: Smasher
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Smasher bannerSmasher
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Scott Bly
The Blue Sky Press/Scholastic, Inc.
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Cover Price: $16.99

“A long, long time ago…” there was a special boy named Charlie, who could feel the Hum all around him. He was learning (secretly) to manipulate it, under the tutelage of his too harsh grandfather. Charlie is bullied, as most unlikely heroes are. A robot girl from the future, Geneva, “smashes” in to save him from those bullies in order to enlist him to help to save the future from “The Future.”

The city of LAnges in the year 2042 is in danger of losing its humanity to a bigger bully, Gramercy Foxx, corporate billionaire inventor. Charlie has to harness the power of the Hum to stop Foxx, who can make everyone he comes in contact with do whatever he wants. “The Future” will expand that to the world. Charlie only has Geneva, the Hum, and a puppy.

Smasher by Scott Bly will keep the YA audience enthralled with this time-traveling thriller.

...continue reading »
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Book Review: Where The Rock Splits The Sky
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Where The Rock Splits The Sky by Phillip Webb Scholastic Press banner

Where The Rock Splits The Sky
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Phillip Webb
Chicken House/Scholastic Press
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Cover Price: $17.99

Perpetual sunset. That’s what happens when the world stops spinning on its axis. That’s elementary school science, right? It’s the only time of day Megan has ever known. She has never seen a sunrise and has never walked in moonlight. Not that there’s a moon anymore anyway. It was cracked in half 20 years ago, when the Visitors came. It is the “rock that splits the sky.” In the west is the Zone, a dangerous, time-warped and space-warped area, where Megan’s father has disappeared. Megan has had a vision — the vision of the Visitors plan for the rest of the survivors. She has to brave the Zone to find her father and stop the Visitors. She, her friend Luis, and Kelly, the girl they find along the way, set out into this unknown.

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Book Review: The Finisher
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The Finisher book coverThe Finisher
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by David Baldacci
Scholastic Press
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Cover Price: $17.99

Vega Jane (quite possible the coolest name ever) is a 14 session female Wug. She lives in Wormwood with her brother, works as a finisher at Stacks, and spends time with the stuttering Delph. Everybody’s dirty, everybody’s hungry, and everybody exhausted….everybody….except the Council, of course. Surrounding Wormwood is the Quag, the whole Quag and nothing but the Quag. If you dare to even stick a pinky toe into the Quag, the garms, jabbits, and colossals will get you in a sliver if the freks don’t get you first. Or will they?

Vega Jane is not sure.

David Baldacci’s The Finisher is literally another world from the adult thriller novels he usually writes. This YA first of an obvious series has a very slow start as one tries to navigate the made-up language. It ends up pulling you out of the story in order to decode, rather than allowing you to fully immerse yourself into Wug life. Stick it out though. Baldacci ends most chapters with teasers, urging you to read on like:
“None of them would turn out to be right.”

    and

“Until I knew my fate there would be no rest for me.”

...continue reading »
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