Mockingjay: Suzanne Collins
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Growing Bookworms Newsletter: End of Summer Edition

Jpg_book007Today, after a five month hiatus, I will be sending out the new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on children's books and raising readers. There are currently 1276 subscribers.

The newsletter was formerly sent out once every two weeks. However, following the unexpectedly early birth of my daughter (born 10 weeks premature) I had to put the newsletter on hiatus for a while. I'm now slowly getting back up to speed, but expect the newsletter schedule to remain a bit erratic for right now. I thank you all for your patience. It's great to be back!

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have one book review. I also have an announcement about the Cybils and a link to an interview that I did recently, two annoucements related to the fourth annual Kidlitosphere conference, and several "Baby Bookworm Updates" that include discussion of the books that my daughter and I have been reading together. I'll include some further discussion of what I've been reading on my own in this post.

Reading Update: Since my last newsletter, I've read lamentably few books (though I'm increasing my picture book repetoire every day - that will be the subject of a future post). Much of what I've read has been adult novels that I listened to on MP3, while my hands were otherwise occupied (like when I was driving back and forth to the hospital every day). I have been grateful for my Audible subscription.

  • Frances Hodsgon Burnett (ill. Tasha Tudor): The Secret Garden. HarperTrophy. Completed May 27, 2010. (Read aloud to Baby Bookworm, her first chapter book)
  • Astrid Lindgren: Pippi Longstocking. Puffin. Completed June 3, 2010 (read aloud to Baby Bookworm).
  • Barrie Summy: I So Don't Do Mysteries. Yearling. Completed June 3, 2010.
  • Rick Riordan: The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, Book 1). Hyperion. Completed July 20, 2010, on MP3. This is the first of new series that brings Egyptian mythology to life. The main characters are a brother and sister, raised apart after their mother's death, brought together by their father's disappearance, and learning about a whole new world swirling around them. I liked that Carter and Sadie have a realistic sibling rivalry going, and I found the treatment of the siblings' biracial heritage refreshing.
  • Meg Cabot: Runaway (Airhead #3). Point. Completed June 15, 2010. This is the conclusion to the Airhead trilogy. It was the only thing that I could stay awake to read after Baby Bookworm first came home from the hospital, but alas, that time is such a blur that I really don't have anything to say about the book.
  • Carol Plum-Ucci: Fire Will Fall. Harcourt. Completed August 5, 2010. This is the sequel to Streams of Babel, which I reviewed here. It follows the Trinity Four, teen survivors recuperating from a bioterrorist attack, as well as two v-spies also damaged in the first book. The narration rotates between the various teens, as they adapt to their current circumstances, and recognize a new threat from the terrorists. I enjoyed the interpersonal dynamics between the teens, and especially liked the teen hackers. But I found the pace of the book a bit slow for my current sleep-deprived state.
  • Lauren Henderson: Kisses and Lies (Scarlett Wakefield, #2). Delacorte. Completed August 18, 2010. Kiss in the Dark (Scarlett Wakefield, #3). Delacorte. Completed August 24, 2010. I like this UK-based teen mystery series, featuring a physically strong female protagonist with a complex family history. The books fall into pairs, with Kisses and Lies solving the mystery launched in the first book of the series (reviewed here), while Kiss in the Dark leaves a number of questions open for a presumed fourth book.
  • Suzanne Collins: Mockingjay (Hunger Games series). Scholastic. Completed August 31, 2010. Reviewed here.
  • Lisa Lutz: The Spellmans Strike Again. Simon & Schuster. Completed May 3, 2010, on MP3. An entertaining adult mystery series, set in San Francisco among a quirky family of private investigators.
  • Louise Penny: A Rule Against Murder. Minotaur. Completed May 14, 2010. This is the library book that I was reading when BB was born. I had to renew it twice before I found time to finish it.
  • Michael Connelly: The Brass Verdict. Little, Brown and Company. Completed June 11, on MP3. In this book, Connelly's two series protagonists meet for the first time.
  • Harlan Coben: Caught. Dutton. Completed June 16 (on MP3). Fast-paced standalone thriller.
  • Lee Child: 61 Hours. Delacorte. Completed June 20, 2010. This is the latest installment of Child's Reacher series, which I find utterly compelling, and has spread virally through friends and family and friends of friends. I'm baffled as to why Reacher isn't a movie hero (though I kind of like that he's not).
  • Michael Connelly: Nine Dragons. Vision. Completed June 20, 2010, on MP3.
  • Charlaine Harris: Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 10). Ace Books. Completed June 25, 2010, on MP3. While I've generally enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse books, and think that they make great audio, I found this one a bit too disjointed, plot-wise, for my taste.
  • Laurie R. King: God of the Hive (A Russell/Holmes novel). Bantam. Completed July 5, 2010, on MP3. This book concludes the cliff-hanger at the end of the previous book, and is a must-read for fans of this intelligent historial mystery series.
  • Linwood Barclay: Never Look Away. Delacorte. Completed July 10, 2010, on MP3. Barclay writes suburban thrillers in a similar vein to Harlan Coben's standalone novels. In this one, reporter Dan Harwood's life is turned upside down when his wife disappears during a family outing to an amusement park, and evidence starts to mount that Dan may have had something to do with it.
  • Janet Evanovich: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum series). St. Martin's Press. Completed August 1, 2010, on MP3. What can I say? These books are fun, decadent reads, full of over-the-top characters and ludicrous escapades.
  • Jacqueline Winspear: The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs series). Completed August 10, 2010, on MP3. I think that this is one of the best historical mystery series being published today. Maisie has brains, class, and heart. The mysteries are complex and dark, without being gratuitously violent. This one is no exception.
  • Craig Johnson: Junkyard Dogs (Walt Longiore series). Completed August 31, on MP3. I've recently become addicted to Johnson's series, about a crusty small-town Wyoming sheriff. I enjoyed this one, though I missed the active presence of Walt's best friend, Henry Standing Bear.

How about you? What have you been reading and enjoying? Thanks for reading the newsletter, and for growing bookworms.

© 2010 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission on purchases (with no additional cost to you).