With the end of summer officially upon us, our mornings are spent concentrating on getting ready for school rather than the pool these days. The good thing? There’s always time for reading, whatever season it may be. My oldest son can be found at the breakfast table every morning with trusty morning companions, a bagel and a book. One of his recent reads was Jon Scieszka’s Spaceheadz, the first in new series that had him guffawing over his juice. We’re happy to be participating in the official blog tour for Spaceheadz as stop number five today, with fun info about the book, a super-cool giveaway and a few words from Mr. Scieszka himself!
Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn’t hard enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren’t kids at all. They are aliens. Real aliens who have invaded our planet in the form of school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to convince 3,140,001 kids to BE SPHDZ. But with a hamster as their leader, “kids” who talk like walking advertisements, and Michael K as their first convert, will the SPHDZ be able to keep their cover and pull off their assignment?
Over on 5 Minutes for Books today, you can find my full review of Spaceheadz (click to read) where I declare it to be a unique and hilarious read!
The online fun includes several websites associated with the book. At sphdz.com, you can sign up to be a SPHDZ and help stop the Earth from being turned off. At antialienagency.com, you can see what the government is doing to protect the Earth from the alien menace. At mrshalleyscomets.com, you can see Michael K.’s fifth-grade class website. You can even watch the book trailer featuring Jon Scieszka himself, so you know it’s funny.
Jon Scieszka is the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, named by the Library of Congress. He is also the author of some of the best known and funniest books written for children including The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Time Warp Trio series and the Caldecott Honor Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Fairy Tales. He is the creator of the Trucktown series, of which Smash! Crash! was an NY Times bestseller for many weeks. Jon is a former elementary school teacher, and a avid promoter of literacy—particularly for boys. His website Guys Read focuses on his national campaign. Jon lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY.
Speaking of Jon Scieszka, he’s been so kind as to share some of his own book recommendations with us today!
Back to School Reads
Guest Post by Jon Scieszka
You don’t even want to know what was on my back-to-school reading list when I was a kid. Because I don’t remember any of those books. What I do remember is all of the great stuff I read during the summer . . . when I got to choose whatever I wanted to read.
I re-read my little-kid favorites like:
My brother and I collected the whole set of mysteries of:
All of us on the block devoured:
- Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos
- Nancy and Sluggo, and Peanuts comic strips
I loved all kinds of history, and found it in:
- The Landmark Books set of nonfiction
- every book I could find about the Civil War and WWII
I was also a fact and information fan. So one year I read my way through the entire:
- Golden Book Encyclopedia, from A-AR to W-Z
Then a friend and I got hooked on Science Fiction and Fantasy. Two favorites:
- The Illustrated Man
- everything Conan the Barbarian
And most importantly, something funny:
- MAD magazine always
What I love about the children’s book world of 2010, is that kids now have hundreds of great reading choices in exactly these same categories.
New little-kid favorites like:
Great new mystery series:
- The Brixton Brothers by Mac Barnett
- The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix
- MT Anderson’s Thrilling Tales
Comic book / graphic stories:
- Lunch Lady series by Jarrett Krosocska
- Babymouse series by Jennifer Holm
- The entire collection of Calvin and Hobbes!
- Star Wars graphic novels
- The Dear America series
- A Savage Thunder (and anything else) by Jim Murphy
- Fallen Angels and Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
- the DK Eyewitness Books
SciFi and Fantasy:
- Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series
- Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy (and her older series, Gregor the Overlander)
- Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan
And most importantly, something funny:
- A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
With this many suggestions, especially ones from such a beloved author as Jon Scieszka, don’t you just want to start your book shopping list right now?
We’re happy to help one lucky reader out with those purchases, because we’re giving away one $50 Visa Card to purchase YOUR favorite Back-to-school picks (U.S. shipping addresses only).
Leave a comment if you’d like to win. We’ll announce the winner on September 20 in our book column that runs every Monday here at 5 Minutes for Mom. This Giveaway is now Closed.
If you want more Spaceheadz fun, visit stop number six on the tour tomorrow, September 7, at GreenBeanTeenQueen!