New Releases, Authors, Book Giveaways, and More
...Kat Greene who learns how to help someone with a problem...a problem they don't think they have!... in Melissa Roske's KAT GREENE COMES CLEAN
11-year-old Travis who, with 12-year-old Marina, is thrown overboard when disaster strikes on a whale-watching tour and must survive freezing waters and more in Terry Lynn Johnson's fast-paced adventure story, OVERBOARD!
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
Ages 9-12 / Middle-Grade Fiction / Charlesbridge
Win a copy of KAT GREENE COMES CLEAN by Melissa Roske for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).
Believe it or not, I first got the idea for KAT GREENE COMES CLEAN from a fortune cookie. It said, "A winsome smile is your sure protection." I wasn't sure what it meant at the time, but I liked the sentiment and started writing in my journal. Before I knew it, Kat Greene -- a smart, funny, kind 11-year-old fifth grader -- popped out!
Why I wrote the story is more complicated. In the book, Kat's mom suffers from a cleaning compulsion -- a symptom of her OCD. She's also afraid of germs. It wasn't until I was done writing the book that I realized that the mom in the story is actually based on my dad. He's the exact opposite of Kat's mom, though. He is extremely messy and keeps everything. I
actually found a datebook in his apartment from 1973!
Keep it clean,
"Kat Greene mixes HARRIET THE SPY with some Windex and a dash of humor for a compelling story about the lengths we'll go to for the people we love. A sparkling debut!"
-Erin Donne, author of The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet
"I absolutely loved Kat's warm, funny, perfectly-pitched middle-grade voice. This book fits perfectly in the heartwarming tradition of Manhattan-based stories from E.L. Konigsburg, Rebecca Stead, Louise Fitzhugh, and Judy Blume. Highly recommended!"
-Sally J. Pla, author of The Someday Birds
"With the same timeless feel as Judy Blume's middle-grade books, Kat Greene relays its themes in a similarly clever and entertaining way. Along with its winsome voice, I loved the way author Melissa Roske empowers Kat and, as a result, her tween readers."
-Katy Upperman, author of Kissing Max Holden
"Melissa Roske gives us an easy-to-love protagonist in Kat Greene. She's smart, authentic, and very relatable. Kat navigates her struggles in realistic ways and never loses heart -- even when things get tough. Teachers will want this one on their shelves."
-Patricia Bailey, author of The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan
1. Take a close look at the front cover of KAT GREENE COMES CLEAN. Create a list of everything you see.
2. Can you make any predictions about the main character, Kat Greene? What from the illustration and title of the book supports your prediction?
3. Can you predict what this book might be about?
4. Look closely at the design of the book: the colors, text, illustrations, and word choice. How would you describe the design?
5. Who do you think is the intended audience for this book? If you saw this book on a shelf, would you want to read it? Why or why not?
To keep up with Melissa Roske, visit her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Melissa Roske is available to talk with your book club via phone, Skype or email. Please email the author to submit your request.
Ages 7-10 / Middle-Grade Fiction / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Win a copy of OVERBOARD! (SURVIVOR DIARIES) by Terry Lynn Johnson for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the author (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).
Writing OVERBOARD has been a blend of my knowledge gained while working as a marine conservation officer, and experience from spending years canoeing, kayaking, and sailing the Great Lakes in northern Ontario. I'm so thankful to be able to share my passion and enthusiasm for spending time outdoors! Following Travis and Marina who are thrown into icy waters might be thrilling, but also the steps they take to survive may be interesting to learn about. Though, I hope that none of my readers ever need the skills learned from reading this book!
Terry Lynn Johnson
"Children ages 7-11 who love mettle-testing stories will love this one: They'll study the lurid front cover, with its towering, terrifying green wave, and pore over the 'U.S. Coast Guard-Approved Cold-Water Survival Tips' at the end."
-Wall Street Journal
"This short, promising series opener contains plenty to inspire young readers while they await Vol. 2: AVALANCHE!"
All discussion questions are aligned with CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.1; CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.1; CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.1; CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.1 unless otherwise noted.
1. The story begins with Travis being interviewed by a reporter about how Travis survived the capsizing of his whale-watching boat. What do you think would be important survival tips for Travis to share about being thrown overboard?
2. What is the first safety lesson Marina teaches Travis after the two find themselves drifting away from the life raft and feeling the effects of the cold water?
3. Getting and staying warm is important for Marina and Travis to survive. What steps does Travis take to try to start a fire to warm him and Marina?
4. The morning after Marina and Travis camp out on the island, they awake with two new problems: hunger and thirst. How do the two find water and food?
5. In this story, not only did Travis have to deal with the dangers of falling overboard, but he also had to face other fears. What events in the story challenged Travis to confront his fears? How did he respond to these challenges?
To read an excerpt, download the curriculum guide, play the WILL YOU SURVIVE game, or for more information about the series, please see the author's website.
AUTHOR CALL-IN INFORMATION: Terry Lynn Johnson is happy to call-in or Skype with your club. She can also meet with your group if you live in northern Ontario. Email Terry to submit your request.
- A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.