Hot off the Press: How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend


When Nora transfers schools she successfully transforms herself from nerdy brainiac into ditzy, but popular, varsity cheerleader. But when a brilliant new kid catches her attention, she has to convince him that she is smarter than her carefully-crafted clueless persona. This light-hearted romance about reinventing yourself will keep you laughing until the end. 

Valentine’s book is fun, fresh, and fast-paced: the perfect summer read. Teenage girls will love the romance, and it won’t make their moms squeamish. Fans of I’d Tell You I Loved You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You or The Truth About Forever will love this book.



How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend by Allyson Valentine; Philomel; $16.99


More if you liked this…

If you liked this:sharkvstrain1


Pirate vs Pirate by Mary Quattlebaum, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger; Hyperion; $16.99

This rhyming pirate showdown is both a battle of the sexes and a lesson in collaboration.

The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Dan Santat; Putnam; $16.99

A high kicking, kiya-ing twist on the a classic that’s sure to please the most energetic readers.

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything; Elise Broach, illustrated by David Small; Atheneum Young Readers; $17.99

Errand day has never been so exciting because today only when real, live dinosaurs come with everything!

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers; Philomel; $17.99

In this hilariously improbable story a boy manages to get a giant steam ship, a blue whale, and a firetruck (among other things) stuck in a tree.

–          Erin

A Pirate’s Life For Me

With International Talk Like A Pirate Day coming up September 19, and Alexandria’s pirate weekend coming up September 16-18, we thought we’d highlight some book booty for you and your pirate crew:

Pirates Go to School by Corinne Demas and illustrated by John Manders; Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic; 2011; $16.99; 3-6

Like a memorable sea shanty, Corinne Demas’s lyrical rhyming text stays with you in this mash-up of two topics that don’t usually go together: pirates and school.

“Pirates like to paint black skies, make cannonballs with clay. Pirates bring home artwork to their pirate ship each day.”

Making the story even more entertaining is the fact that the pirates’ school isn’t exclusive to pirates, but shared by regular everyday school-going children. John Manders’ illustrations of the reactions of these children to their pirate classmates is highly humorous. We also like that the pirates include a pirate girl in their ranks.

Pirate Creativity Book CoverThe Pirate Creativity Book by Andrea Pinnington; Barrons; 2011; $12.99; ages 6-10

Whether sailing on the high seas, cruising in the car on errands or marooned indoors on a rainy day, your young scallywags will have no problem entertaining themselves with this book. It’s a true treasure trove of activities: coloring pages, spot the difference pictures, create your own story, stencils, stickers and much, much more. You’ll never say “Aarrrrg!” with bordom with this handy activity book around.

Pirates Don't Take Baths Book CoverPirates Don’t Take Baths by John Segal; Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Group; 2011; ages 3-6

A cute book about a little piggy who refuses to take a bath and the piggy parent who tries to reason with him. This little piggy comes up with excuse after excuse for not getting into the tub: I’m a pirate, a cowboy, a knight–none of them take baths. The piggy parent counters each iteration of his child’s declarations with the problems associated with them: getting seasick, sleeping on the hard cold ground, facing fire-breathing dragons. Eventually the piggy settles on being an treasure hunter and the piggy parent knows exactly where to find some–underwater. A great book to read (after your little piggy has had his/her bath)

Pirates of the Sea! Book CoverPirates of the Sea! by Brandon Dorman; Greenwillow Books, an imprint of Harper Collins; 2011; ages 3-6; $16.99

After spending all their booty, a band of pirates sets sail in search of treasure, facing sharks, sea monsters and storms along the way. Dorman has created a story with rich illustrations full of color, action and things you’ll miss the first time around, so you’ll have to look again and again.

Beware of the The Talent Thief

The Talent Thief, by Alex Williams

Children and young adults all over the world are brought together for the Festival of Youthful Genius to celebrate their talents.  Intellectual minds, renowned singers, brilliant composers, athletes of prowess converge on the city of Paralin for a weekend of display and competition of each of their respective talents.  But the host and organizer of the Festival, Fortescue, has a dastardly motive for the gathering; he plans to steal each and every one of the talents  from the youthful geniuses.

Adam Bloom, who has no real talent of his own other than his admiration of and praise for his sister Cressida’s signing ability, is accompanying her to the Festival. He stumbles upon Fortescue’s plan as well as the strange creature that Fortescue is using to steal the talents. With a former race car driver, his sister and a sheepherder by his side, Adam gives chase across the countryside to rescue and return the talents, battling avalanches, a booby-trapped mansion and kidnapping.  Will he accomplish his personal mission? What will he discover about himself during his journey?

For young folks aged 9-12, genius or not, The Talent Thief takes readers on a wild ride of adventure. The story is filled with colorful characters–both heroes and villains–and near escapes from diabolical and desperate situations. Each chapter ends with a cliffhanger, driving you to read on to the end of the story. Good for reading to yourself or for reading aloud.

The Talent Thief, by Alex Williams (Philomel) ; Ages 9-12; $16.99