Friday, April 11, 2008

Wimpy kids, globally aware kids, Pigeon-loving kids, and new Philip Pullman!

If you're a Boston Globe reader, you may have already seen the feature on Jeff Kinney's best-selling novel Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Somewhat of an underdog itself, with its diary format and cartoon illustrations, this book about a self-proclaimed wimp trying to survive middle school with a series of plots to win popularity has become extremely... well, popular with middle-grade readers. Despite Kinney's claim that he's "shocked that the book even got published," Diary of a Wimpy Kid and its sequel, Rodrick Rules, are a constant presence on the Publisher's Weekly Children's Bestsellers list. We've taken to stocking about ten copies at a time just to keep them on the shelf! Check them out before Wimpy Kid III and the Wimpy Kid movie come out. All the cool kids are doing it. If your middle school days are behind you, give Sherman Alexie's National Book Award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian a try. It’s got the hilarious (and poignant) cartoons, the self-deprecating narrator, and the quirky adventures along with a healthy dose of angst and realism on which high schoolers thrive.

We are really excited to introduce two new sections in our store. The “Environmental Awareness” section features books about endangered animals, recycling and global warming (Think Al Gore for kids! No, really, you should read the adolescent adaptation of An Inconvenient Truth. Seriously good photos and diagrams.) as well as lots of books about ways kids and teens can affect change. The “Teens” section is chock full of Chicken Soup, GLBTQ literature, puberty books and other self-help literature for this younger set. We particularly love Body Drama for the ladies in the crowd. Penned by former Miss America contestant Nancy Amanda Reed, this seriously serious and really real guide to the female body is a must-have for teen aged women.

Some new arrivals for you:

From the author/illustrator who brought us DOG and Tails comes Alphabet, an alphabet book full of all the colors and textures you’d expect from Matthew Van Fleet. Even the cover is fun to explore, with “Alphabet” spelled out in lots of different animal parts. Guess which “letter” belongs to whom before flipping the cover open to view the menagerie in all its glory.

Judith Kerr’s beloved stories about Mog the cat are now available in a boxed set. The six paperback volumes are packaged in an attractive box featuring Mog herself. As our wise buyer says, “Mog’s the bomb!”

Just when we didn’t think we could enjoy The Pigeon any more, Mo Willems has reincarnated him in another totally lovable mess: insatiable desire for a puppy. Despite his promises to water his puppy every week, readers must tell The Pigeon “no!” Which is, as always, the very best part.

The prequel to His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman has hit our shelves! Once Upon a Time in the North details the meeting of Texan balloonist Lee Skoresby and armored bear Iorek Byrnison. This compact, cloth bound book with pretty wood cut illustrations by John Lawrence also features memorabilia, clues and a miniature board game. For our part, we're just pretty jazzed to see Hester again.

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