Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!


Summer Must-Have Books!

June 21st, 2012

In the Bag
By Kate Klise, $14.99, Harper Collins, ISBN 978-0062108050

A successful chef and single mother, Daisy Sprinkle is on vacation with her teenage daughter, Coco, who picks up the wrong duffle bag at the airport. That situation is not improved by the note Daisy finds tucked into her carry-on, apparently from the man in 13-C. Daisy is in no mood for secret admirer notes or dinner dates. Or even men, for that matter. Andrew doesn’t know what possessed him to do something like that. Hitting on strange women on airplanes is definitely not his typical style. But there was something about the woman in 6-B that could not be ignored. Of course, now he has no time to think about her, since his son Webb seems to have made off with a budding fashionista’s luggage.

Determined to make the best of a bad situation, Daisy cooks up a plan to calm her daughter’s panic over the lost bag with a week of fabulous food, shopping, and museum hopping. Andrew is busy working on his latest project and hoping Webb finds enough to entertain himself. Little do they know the teens are making their own plan. . . one that will ultimately reunite Ms. 6-B and Mr. 13-C.


Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake
By Kate Klise, $16.99, MacMillian, ISBN 9978-0805093131

How embarrassing! Grammy Lamby is coming to visit, but one little lamb is anything but pleased.

Larry is continually rattled by his grandma, what with her secret handshake (which means “I love you”), her flouncy church clothes and loud voice and her extravagant plans for future travel (what if he doesn’t want to go?). Warm and appealing acrylic paintings with just the right amount of detail show Larry’s quiet distress and Grammy’s abundant character as she visits the Lamby home. Grammy is patient and kind despite her eccentricities, and when a summer storm frightens Larry and damages the house, fearless Grammy steps in and helps with comfort and repair. Maybe Grammy isn’t so embarrassing after all! How can Larry show her what he feels? Between a new secret handshake and a surprise that Grammy can open on the train, he is certain to find a way. While providing a nice acknowledgement of Larry’s feelings, this decidedly un-pedantic selection is replete with affection and gentle humor, from the simple text to the beguiling illustrations, and shows how feelings and perspectives can develop and change. Sister team Kate and M. Sarah Klise collaborated here and share some of their own grandma memories on the sleeve in this paean to embarrassing but wonderful grandmothers everywhere.


43 Old Cementary Road: The Phantom of the Post Office
By Kate Klise, $15.99, Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 978-0547519746The letter-loving trio at Spence Mansion has something to grieve about-Ghastly’s post office is about to close, which will cut off their connection to their fans. A new invention called VEXT-mail is threatening to replace not only letters, but books, hair dryers, and even garage door openers! Could the mysterious occupant of P.O. Box 5 and his seemingly sinister plan save the doomed post office?  KidsReads





Ms. Beard is Weird #5
By Dan Gutman, $3.99, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0062042095

My Weirder School is weirder than ever! A hot  new reality show, The Real Teachers of Ella  Mentry, is filming at school. Everybody wants  to win the TV show’s grand prize! The weird  director, Ms. Beard, tells the teachers and  students to act normal. Yeah, like that’s gonna  happen! 


Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust
By Doreen Rappaport, $22.99, Random House, ISBN 978-0763629762

Under the noses of the military, Georges Loinger smuggles thousands of children out of occupied France into Switzerland. In Belgium, three resisters ambush a train, allowing scores of Jews to flee from the cattle cars. In Poland, four brothers lead more than 1,200 ghetto refugees into the forest to build a guerilla force and self-sufficient village. And twelve-year-old Motele Shlayan entertains German officers with his violin moments before setting off a bomb. Through twenty-one meticulously researched accounts — some chronicled in book form for the first time — Doreen Rappaport illuminates the defiance of tens of thousands of Jews across eleven Nazi-occupied countries during World War II. In answer to the genocidal madness that was Hitler’s Holocaust, the only response they could abide was resistance, and their greatest weapons were courage, ingenuity, the will to survive, and the resolve to save others or to die trying.