A novel young men-to-be will find worth picking up is SHADOW
OF TRUTH by S.L. Rottman, the story of a boy dealing with his
brotherís incarceration (Peachtree). In PICTURE PERFECT
(Lerner) by Elaine Marie Alphin, a boyís friend goes missing. The high-tech
mystery of BRAINBOY AND THE DEATHMASTER (HarperCollins/Geringer)
by Tor Siedler will entice the computer-savvy. PREP (Dutton),
a debut novel by Jake Coburn set in a NYC prep school, will also make
the list of must-reads.
HOW I BECAME A PIRATE
Young adventurers will gravitate to AMERICAN BOY: ADVENTURES
OF YOUNG MARK TWAIN, a picture book biography by Don Brown (Houghton-Mifflin).
From Harcourt comes the story of a boy who gets homesick on the high seas,
HOW I BECAME A PIRATE by Melinda Long with illustrations
by David Shannon. They will also run to read THE RACE CAR ALPHABET
by Brian Floca (S&S/Atheneum/Jackson).
And what boy could resist the charms of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND
THE BIG BAD BATTLE OF THE BIONIC BOOGER BOY PART 1 AND 2 by that
master of boydom, Dave Pilkey? Also sure to make the charts is Dialís
JIMMY BOA AND THE BUNGEE JUMP SLAM DUNK, a basketball/dancing
adventure by Trinka Hakes Noble with art by Stephen Kellogg. Even the
littlest will appreciate BIG BOY BED (Clarion) by Eve
When We Were Saints
Middle-graders have much to choose from this fall, starting with SPORTS
ILLUSTRATED FOR KIDS: YEAR IN SPORTS by the staff of SIFK Magazine.
Milkweed Editionís THE TROUBLE WITH JEREMY CHANCE by
George Harrar, set at the end of WWII, will appeal to serious readers.
Even poetry has a chance with TROY THOMPSONíS EXCELLENT POETRY
BOOK (Kane/Miller), a fictional 6th-grade-boyís journal in verse
by Gary Crew. A new novel from Jack Gantos, JACK ADRIFT: FOURTH
GRADE WITHOUT A CLUE (Farrar) is sure to please, and WHEN
WE WERE SAINTS by Han Nolan (Harcourt), in which a boy is told
he is a saint, will intrigue as well.
Writer's Bio: Karen Mendez Smith has been involved
in children's media for over twenty years as a literary agent, writer,
and creator of animated television and film. Co-founder of Satori Organics
and M/Path Press, she is a parent to eight children and five incredible
grandchildren (and counting).