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January Joker (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Calendar Mysteries (Pb)) Library Binding – December 22, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

January Joker (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Calendar Mysteries (Pb)) + Calendar Mysteries #2: February Friend (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) + Calendar Mysteries #4: April Adventure (A Stepping Stone Book(TM))
Price for all three: $36.65

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Series: Calendar Mysteries (Pb) (Book 1)
  • Library Binding: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606068996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606068994
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,428,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–3—This spin-off of the popular "A to Z Mysteries" series (Random) stars the younger siblings and cousin of sixth-graders Josh, Ruth Rose, and Dink. In this first installment, seven-year-old Bradley wakes up to see strange lights in the backyard. He rouses his twin and friends Nate and Lucy to investigate the strange occurrence and is convinced that aliens have landed in Green Lawn. Bradley has an easier time convincing the others when Josh, Ruth Rose, Dink, and the dog go missing the next day. The kids find a piece of paper about alien abductions in Josh's printer tray and receive two disturbing phone calls from the suspected abductees. Things get even more harried when they catch glimpses of strange creatures and hear thumps in the attic. The story is full of clever twists and turns and is an excellent choice for reluctant readers. This early chapter book should be a hit with young readers.—Beth Cuddy, Seward Elementary School, Auburn, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Library Binding edition.

About the Author

RON ROY has been writing books for children since 1974. He is the author of dozens of books, including the popular A to Z Mysteries, Capital Mysteries, and Calendar Mysteries. When not working on a new book in his Connecticut home, Ron likes to teach tricks to his dog Pal, play poker with friends, travel, and read thrilling mystery books. Visit him online at RonRoy.com.

JOHN STEVEN GURNEY has illustrated many books for children, including the entire A to Z Mysteries series and Scholastic’s popular Bailey School Kids series. He lives in Brattleboro, Vermont. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

author spotlight
"I'm totally convinced that I am a writer today because I loved books as a kid."--Ron Roy

Ron Roy is the author of the popular A to Z Mysteries series, as well as the Capital Mysteries series, and several picture books. He lives in Connecticut.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

"When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?" I have been asked that question many times since my first book, A Thousand Pails of Water, was published in 1978. Now that I've had so many years to think of an answer, I guess I have to say that at age nine I had an inkling that words were going to be a big part of my life.

When I turned nine, I received for my birthday a wonderful gift--a book. It was about King Arthur and his knights. Even though I vividly remember the shiny blue and red cover and the smell of the new paper, I don't remember the author. But I thank her or him every day of my writing life. That writer stirred up something in me that has been bubbling ever since: a love for reading, and the urgent need to put words down on paper.

In spite of my love for reading, writing as a profession never occurred to me until I became an adult. I worked at an odd variety of jobs before I realized that writing was what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life. Over the years, I waited tables, sold hot dogs, and drove a "Tooth" van from which I taught kids how to brush their teeth and floss. One year I traveled across the world to Hong Kong and taught English to Vietnamese adults. I wrote feature stories for a newspaper and designed letterhead for a printer. One happy summer I worked as a camp counselor.

After two years in the navy and more travel, I landed in the freshman class at the University of Connecticut. Naturally, I majored in English literature. More doors opened for me as I read poetry, novels, essays, and did my share of writing. Still, I did not see myself as a writer. I knew that I enjoyed being around kids, so I became a schoolteacher.

And then, finally, in a fourth-grade classroom, the light bulb in my head flickered on and shone brightly. Its message was, I WANT TO WRITE! In my classroom, I was surrounded by kids and their books. I read those books and fell in love with the characters, the authors, the messages. I was hooked, but I never fought. I allowed myself to be reeled in.

My writing life began one evening after reading parts of Charlotte's Web to my class. Home from teaching, I walked into my apartment, dropped my bookbag, and headed for the typewriter (this was before word processing came along!). I wrote my first story that night and sent it to a book publisher the next day. Four weeks later I received my first rejection slip. But by then, I had written more stories, and they, too, were in the mail, soon to appear on editors' desks around the country.

The rejection slips came in, often flooding my mailbox. But I wrote, and I sent my best work along to a long list of publishing houses. Although more rejection slips arrived with each mail, I never felt rejected. My routine was set, and it didn't change: I taught by day and wrote by night. Each evening found me hunched over the typewriter creating characters, settings, and plots. Most weekends I walked on the beach with a dream in my head and a notebook in my back pocket. From those dreams and notes I wrote story after story.

Four years passed. Dozens of book manuscripts had been written, sent, and rejected. Then the day came when one of those "rejection" envelopes turned out to contain not a rejection but an acceptance. "Dear Mr. Roy . . . We are happy to tell you that we would love to publish your book. . ." Those seventeen words changed my life. I was no longer a schoolteacher who tried to write. I was going to be a published author!

Today, with more than 50 children's books behind me, I can think of no other occupation that would make me as happy. As a writer, I get to do all the things I love most: speak to kids, invent stories, travel, and of course, read. My A to Z Mysteries series sends me to classrooms where I listen to and learn so much from the students. I receive letters from young readers across the globe, and I answer every letter. Many of the letters contain suggestions for new plots, titles, characters. One girl asked if I would use her dog in one of my mysteries. What a great idea, I thought, and invented a canine character for an upcoming book.

Children ask about my writing, but they also want to know about my personal life. "Where do you live?" "Do you have any pets?" "What's your favorite food, color, author, TV show?" I'm happy to tell kids about my life as a writer as well as my life as a person. I live in an old farmhouse in Connecticut. My property consists of three acres of large trees, a barn, and a wonderful chicken coop. Recently, I brought a few chickens to live there, and they have become pets. Like E. B. White (my favorite author!) I love the sound and smell and warmth of animals. But since I travel a lot, I can't fill my barn with critters.

"Where do you get your ideas?" is a question that teachers ask often. "Everywhere," I respond, then I give specifics. Ideas come from reading newspapers and books. Ideas come from TV shows and movies and the news on the radio. I bring ideas back from trips, from church, from the grocery store. The letters I receive from kids are often filled with ideas.

The idea for my first published book evolved from a stroll on the beach. While walking, I came upon an overturned horseshoe crab. With legs frantically waving, the crab tried unsuccessfully to flip over onto its stomach. I uprighted the crab, then watched it scurry into the water and swim away. From that little episode came A Thousand Pails of Water, my picture book about a boy and a beached whale. Not really much of a leap--I saved a crab, the boy in my book saved a whale.

I smile when kids ask me if I write every hour of every day. Some writers do, I suppose, but I find that I need a balance. I spend a goodly number of hours each week actually writing but leave plenty of time for playing with friends, going to the movies and on vacations, and taking naps with my cat. I also work on my house, which seems to require a lot of attention.

In many ways, however, I am "writing" even when doing chores. As I paint my barn, I am thinking of story plots. As I weed my garden, I daydream about new characters. When I nap, I dream about the next mystery in my series . . . and the next.

It's a cycle, really. As a child, I loved to read. Reading led me to writing as a career. I share my books--and thus my love for reading and writing--with children. From them I receive warm feelings and some great ideas.

Now when I write my books, one of my hopes is that I can give back at least a part of the joy I have received.

Happy reading!

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I read a few of Ron Roy's "A to Z" mysteries and was so impressed that I grabbed the first two from the Calendar series for younger readers. I'm happy to report that those volumes were just as entertaining.

Roy has three sets of mysteries. The "A to Z" mysteries, (26 volumes for the 26 letters and then three bonus volumes), are for older chapter book readers. The "Calendar" mysteries, (surprise - 12 volumes), are for younger readers and, in a clever twist, feature the younger siblings of the protagonists from the "A to Z" set. The third series features mysteries that take place at various national landmarks in Washington, D.C.

Both the "A to Z" books and the "Calendar" books feature an appealing set of characters, fair mystery plots, a bit of action and decent secondary characters. The Calendar books are like junior junior junior versions of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries. They have younger heroes, they are shorter, there are fewer twists and turns, there's very little danger, and the mysteries are a lot tamer.

But that said, they have many of the same strengths. The four heroes, (first graders Bradley, Brian, Nate and Lucy), play equal roles, with no apparent bias between boys and girls. There is the same authentic and mutually supportive friendship among them. Adults are generally patient, resourceful and dependable, (when they aren't the villain in disguise). There is a good balance between clue hunting and figuring things out. Probably the biggest difference between these books and the sets for older kids is that there is very little adventure, in that the kids are rarely chased or trapped or threatened or menaced. These are much milder on that score.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mountain Mama on August 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
My 4 year old gobbled up the A-Z Mysteries series (we read it to him). And now he will complete inhale this new series! So fun! We didn't buy it here, we checked it out at the public library. Yeah libraries! Yeah Ron Roy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luci C on June 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
My son fell in love with the A to Z mysteries in Kindergarten (we started reading them to him, but he's a strong reader and now reads them himself), also by Ron Roy. Now, on the first week of summer break between 1st and 2nd grade, he found The Calendar Mysteries January Joker and couldn't put it down. He read it all in a few hours, and we couldn't distract him until it was through. I guess we'll be reading the rest of the series soon!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Herman on June 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was happy to find this new series because my students really enjoy the A to Z Mysteries. The Calendar Mysteries are a hit with my fourth graders, and they are great chapter books for some of the students who are just starting to read chapter books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrea VINE VOICE on August 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
"January Joker" by Ron Roy. The month is January, and there is snow on the ground. Bradley finds tracks/marks in the snow that look like aliens. He alerts the other kids, Brian, Nate, and Lucy. They then find other "evidence" that there are aliens attacking. They even see two aliens in the window. Is this all a joke or are there really aliens that are about to kidnap these four kids?

This is the first book of the Calendar Mysteries, featuring the younger kids of the families of Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose of the A-Z mysteries.

The A-Z Mysteries series features best friends Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose. They solve mysteries all through the alphabet. This particular series, the Calendar Mysteries, features Bradley and Brian (twin younger brothers of Josh), Nate (younger brother of Ruth Rose), and Lucy (younger cousin of Dink).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Jane Gaddy on June 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked the introduction of Josh, Dink, and Ruth Rose's younger siblings. Stories about aliens are cool. Review by an 8 year old.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Emmaline Turner Estep on June 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I love this book it is awesome I hope you read it!! Hope you enjoy it like I did!

Thank you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bryce Knier on February 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this book because you can never turn away especially at the end I think the A To Z Calendar Mysteries will be a big hit.
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