100 Scope Notes 2009 Fall Preview
Don’t tell my seersucker shorts, but Fall will soon be gracing us with it’s cooler temps, apples, apple cider, apple flavored doughnut holes, and other apple related consumables. It’s also a time when I crack open publisher catalogs and pick out the upcoming releases that catch my eye. I’ll likely review some of these in the coming months.
A few notes before diving in:
1. This list is subjective. Since I work with students K-6th grade, that’s the focus. It is simply a compilation of titles that strike this 28 year old elementary school librarian as interesting.
2. It’s mostly major publishers. That whole “24 hours in a day” rule didn’t allow me to peruse every fall catalog out there, so I hit the big ones.
3. If a book’s on the list, it doesn’t mean I like it. These are just titles that, in my opinion, have potential.
Now let’s get down to business:
Abrams Books for Young Readers
Monster Sleepover by Scott Beck. (Oct. 1)
I was a big fan of Beck’s last title, Happy Birthday Monster! (100 Scope Notes review), so I was excited to see this follow-up.
If you know me than you know that I’m an absolute sucker for graphic novels for younger readers. That’s what this is. I’m in.
Cover look a bit familiar? John Hendrix illustrated last year’s outstanding Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek (100 Scope Notes review) and the man’s style has a way of jumping out at you. Looking forward to him taking on another historical figure. You can see the evolution of this cover at designer Chad W. Beckerman’s blog Mishaps and Adventures – interesting stuff.
The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. (Sept. 22)
You likely know Van Dusen’s work in the Mercy Watson series or in his books, If I Built a Car and A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee. All of those are ace in my book, so I’m interested to see what the man has next. Little known fact – this is the first book Van Dusen has written that has a villain. I’m intrigued.
Oscar and the Bird by Geoff Waring. (Sept. 22)
I’ve talked about it before – nonfiction for the youngest of readers is an oft-neglected category that I’ll always be on the lookout for. Oscar and the Bird is part of the new “A Start with Science” series. This one’s about electricity.
The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan. (Sept. 8)
Matt Phelan is probably best known for his illustrations in Newbery winner The Higher Power of Lucky. From all the advance praise I’m hearing about this, his first graphic novel, I think that’s about to change.
This one is adapted from bestseller for adults, Show Me How. It gives step by step instructions for how to do a wide variety of things. I read this one already and will be reviewing it soon. It is as if the book were spun from pure reluctant reader gold.
If David McKee is involved, I’m interested. Author/ilustrator of the classic Elmer, McKee teams up here with Gordon Snell in a book about a king setting out for the edge of the world. I like the looks of it.
The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino. (Oct. 7)
I think I first saw this one in a Fuse #8 Production post. 100 Scope Notes Research Department says “That’s affirmative“. Look, Michigan gets a lot of snow. This book should help explain it to kids. Plus I hear Snowflake Bentley is happy to have some company.
A family of spies, a graphing calculator that is really a communication device. Sounds good all around.
Waddell’s Owl Babies is a read-aloud classic in my book. Try it out with your K-1st graders. Now that he’s tackling dinosaurs, I want to see the results.
109 Forgotten American Heroes. (Oct. 5)
I’ve watched enough “One Hit Wonders” shows to know that I like things that have been forgotten about. While I’m not sure if there will be anything as amazing as At this Moment by Billy Vera & The Beaters in this book, there probably will be some amazing stories that deserve to be told.
How to be a Genius. (Oct. 5)
All about the brain, I’m anxious to see how DK covers a subject that I haven’t seen covered in a while.
Are there kids out there that don’t like secret codes? Can’t say I know any. This history of codes looks to be a winner.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
A Family Secret by Eric Heuvel. (Oct. 13)
A graphic novel dealing with the Holocaust. A secret hidden for years. Classroom connections. Count me in.
I noticed this one as a Fall 2009 Kid’s Indie Next Pick (a list I would encourage everyone to take a look at). The old meets new style of illustration is alluring, to be sure. I want to read this if for no other reason than to be able to describe something as “modern-retro”. Little known fact – this book was written by the former nanny of David Letterman, who has a son named Harry. coincidence? Probably not. In USA Today, Letterman calls it “an amazing read”.
Archie and the Pirates by Marc Rosenthal. (Sept. 29)
I know Rosenthal from 2007’s Phooey!.Â Interested to see what else he has up his sleeve.
Reading the description for this title, I wanted to know more:
Tollins are not fairies. Though they both have wingsâ€š fairies are delicate creatures and much smaller. Tollins are also a lot less fragile than fairies. In factâ€š the word ?fragile? can?t really be used about them at all. They are about as fragile as a housebrick…
Are you with me?
Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty. (Sept. 1)
Another Indie Next List pick. Peter McCarty has done some pretty nice work, including Caldecott Honor-winning Hondo and Fabian. This looks to be about imagination, which I’m always down with.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I loved the last one in this series (100 Scope Notes review), I’m pretty pumped to read the follow up. It will be interesting to see how the story continues, as the first book stood alone so well.
Girl as the hero of the family – a dose of empowerment never hurts.
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney. (Sept. 1)
Illustration at it’s finest. I looked this wordless tale over at the bookstore and it’s as good as advertised. Caldecott may come a-callin’.
School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari. (Sept. 1)
Okay, tell me this doesn’t sound good – a group of kids with severe phobias are sent to the mysterious School of Fear for treatment, but their teacher’s methods are far scarier than they imagined. I’m looking forward to this.
Dark Night by Dorothee de Monfreid. (Sept. 22)
Monfreid illustrated 2007’s I’d Really Like to Eat a Child, which was outstanding. The theme of Dark Night is taking on your fears. I’m guessing that the author will put a nice twist on things.
While I could go on and bore you, I think I’ll stop here. I’m off to go track some of these down…
(Top Image: ‘Fountain‘
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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