When it comes to reading, my tween aged daughter (age 8) takes after me. I was a book worm when I was younger, so now she’s a book worm. After we say good night, she reads into the wee hours. I don’t want to know what time her light goes off. It’s been so interesting to see her book choices develop as a tween and how they compare to my own choices, either now or back then. She’s slightly selective based on the cover of a book, which I’m constantly trying to convince her not to be, but I must admit that even as an adult, a cover can be enticing to me, too. She likes stories about girls, and I have to admit that I am a big fan of female-dominated stories. She also likes stories that take place at school, while I like stories about moms trying to achieve balance and stories about real women. My greatest achievement recently as a mother was to turn her on to the works of Beverly Cleary, who was my favorite author as an 8 year-old. But we are always looking for new books and I want to widen her choices in the kinds of books she reads. For a while, she was focused on the Junie B. Jones series, then it was the Fairy books. We need to expand her book choices, and I have every intention of helping her do that.
So, when given the opportunity to preview new fall/winter tween books published by Simon & Schuster arose, we jumped at the opportunity. She started with Rachel Renee Russell’s Dork Diaries: How to Dork Your Diary. Following the tale of Nikki Maxwell and her search for her diary, my daughter learned how to keep her own diary in the pages with blanks and suggestions for her to write down her own thoughts. She took great pride in collecting her thoughts and every time I’ve gone into her room recently, she has protected the book, telling me not to read her carefully recorded secrets. She took the book on our recent trip to Atlanta and delved in to it with a heavy heart on the plane. She’s really looking forward to reading Dork Diaries 2: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl, which, debuted at #4 on the June 27th New York Times Bestsellers List, continues with things looking up for Nikki as she adjusts to life at her new school and new friends Chloe and Zoey. When I left my daughter tonight in bed, she was half-way through.
Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret by Wanda Coven is about a little girl much like my daughter herself. She’s also 8 years -old and has a little brother who annoys her. Heidi is starting a new school and has to deal with a bully who turns her first day into a nightmare. With a little bit of carefully concealed magic, Heidi might be able to give Melanie a taste of her own medicine and decides to use her “special powers” (she thinks she’s a witch, I have been led to believe from what my daughter said about the book). I like the fact that my daughter is reading a fictionalized account about how to deal with bullies as we’ve yet to encounter bullies ourselves (knock on wood).
Other soon-to-be-released books on our shelf from the Simon & Schuster collection include Odd Girl In by Joe Whittemore, Katie and the Cupcake Cure by Coco Simon, Candy Fairies Caramel Moon by Helen Perelman, Goddess Girls Aphrodite the Beauty by Joan Halub, Confessions of a Wannabe Cheerleader by Zoe Evans, Trading Faces by Julia DeVillers. My daughter will be reading all season!
A little about Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, one of the leading children’s book publishers in the world, is comprised of the following imprints: Aladdin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Libros para niños, Little Simon, Little Simon Inspirations, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon Pulse, Simon Scribbles, and Simon Spotlight. While maintaining an extensive award-winning backlist, the division continues to publish acclaimed and bestselling books for children of all ages. In addition to numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners, Simon & Schuster publishes such high-profile properties and series as Eloise, Olivia, Raggedy Ann & Andy™, Henry & Mudge®, The Hardy Boys®, Nancy Drew®, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Nickelodeon’s® Dora the ExplorerTM, Blue’s CluesTM and SpongeBob SquarePantsTM, and Mirage studios’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™.
Disclosure: These books were provided to me to facilitate this review.