“Why do it?” I asked myself. “Just months ago, you reviewed a book about a dog with a second chance at a happy life (Saving Audie by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent), so why do another so soon?” “I can’t help it!” was my reply. “I’ve fallen in love, and people in love can do foolish things. So there!”
On August 28, 1963, almost 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his powerful and iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. The “Dream” portion of the stirring speech provides the narrative for this picture book, illustrated with inspired and inspiring paintings by Caldecott Honor Award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. Nelson includes portraits of Dr.
"Mission Unstoppable" is the exciting first book in the Genius Files series by Dan Gutman. Coke and Pepsi are twins who are being chased across the country by people who want to kill them! In the first chapter alone, the twins are jumping off a cliff to save their lives...you want to know more, don't you?
This fun series is recommended for grades 5 and up.
Sinister Scenes is the 3rd book of the series about the eerier town of Spooking. Joy Wells is the heroine of the book. When a movie company comes to Spooking to film a movie based on one of E. A. Pengeot’s horror books, Joy is convinced that Spooking will be recognized as the hometown of her favorite author.
Middle school student and troublemaker Donovan Curtis is well known for his pranks around school. Due to a big mistake and miscommunication, Donovan is transferred from his "normal" middle school to the "Academy for Scholastic Distinction" for highly gifted students. Multiple characters, including adults, take turns telling the story, and it becomes clear than Donovan doesn't belong at ASD due to his ungifted status, but could it be that the students at ASD need Donovan, as he slowly leads them to normalcy?
In this second book, Goldie Roth is accompanied by her friends from the first book on another adventure. New characters are introduced and assist Goldie and Toadspit in their adventure. Goldie is reluctant to become the fifth Keeper of the mysterious Museum of Dunt. Even though she wants to be a keeper, she feels a duty to protect and take care of her sick parents.
Seventh grader, Marley Sidelski is a self-described geek and Star Trek fan. He gets a lot of practice running from school bullies. In fact, he's so good a running that he gets the attention of the gym teacher, who wants him on the track team. Finally, Marley gets a taste of popularity, in this less than believable but very funny book about surviving middle school. Recommended for grades 5-8.
This easy to read mystery takes place in an unusual setting. The story depicts the legends centering on Iowa City’s Oakland Cemetery’s Black Angel monument. Linc (Lincoln Raintree Crenshaw), 12-years-old, and his mother, Lottie Landers, an absent-minded professor who studies burial customs, live in a house bordering the cemetery. Linc’s struggle in starting public school and leaving his private Home-Away-From-Home School, known as the Ho-Hos brings many challenges.
May Elizabeth Bitterly lives on the Kansas frontier with her family. May wants to study and become a teacher, but her father needs her to earn some money for the familiy by living and working on the neighboring Oblinger homestead, but just until Christmas. Mr. Oblinger has made a rustic sod house for his new young bride, who is not use to the roughness of life on the frontier. May cooks, washes and offers Mrs. Oblinger lessons of life on the frontier. Mrs. Oblinger does not return May’s kindness.
Fourteen-year-old Mike, a mathematically-challenged young man with dyscalculia, unfortunately has a brilliant engineer/professor father. Mike is forced to live with relatives he has never met for six weeks in summer while his father teaches in Romania. Mike’s father hopes that his son will improve his math and engineering skills by working on a local project.
The story is a typical who-done-it mystery. The story begins with 13 year-old, Oz Keiller opening the refrigerator door at his family's restaurant and discovering the body of Aaron Sneider, a journalist. He discovers that Sneider was a reporter who had accused his deceased father of being a spy and a traitor. His father was accused of stealing nuclear secrets from the company he had worked for. If this isn’t bad enough his older brother is arrested for the murder and Oz jumps into action to save him.
Life wasn't easy for anyone during the Great Depression, but it could be even harder if you were African American. In this work of historical fiction, Hibernia a preacher's daughter, dreams of becoming a singer. Willie is recovering from a burn that will keep him from fulfilling his dream of becoming a boxer. Otis, an orphan, is struggling to find happiness but finds comfort in his family's radio and the sense of humor that was passed down to him from his father.
Book 1 of the Books of Beginning Series. This fantasy adventure story starts off with the main characters, Kate - 14, Michael-12, and Emma – 11 left as orphans when they were taken from their home at night during Christmas. The children are passed from one orphanage to another within a ten year span until they end up at a secluded orphanage operated by Dr. Stanislaus Pym. The mansion is located in the remote town of Cambridge Falls and the children find out they are the only ones there.
Author, Helen Frost elegantly hides poetic verse within a three part story told through the internal monologues of two girls whose paths will coincidentally cross twice in life. Darra and Wren, both ages 14, recognize each other at summer camp.
Newbery award winner Avi (2003 for Crispin: The Cross of Lead) creates a captivating adventure set in his hometown of New York City in 1893. Life is a hardscrabble existence for Maks and his immigrant family: poverty, illness, threats of gangs, shortage of food, filthy living conditions, and dependence on an unfamiliar society. Thirteen-year-old Maks sells newspapers to earn a few pennies a day which sets him up as a target of the Plug Ugly Gang.
This is a tragic story of a wild, white Manchurian pony’s capture by men and his forced life of serving cruel owners, and later becoming part of an historic journey--the 1910 Terra Nova polar expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Robert Scott. James Pigg, as he is named after a book character, tells his story from his pony point of view. He finds kindness and friendship in Patrick, one of Scott’s men, and decides to work hard to help men accomplish their goal.
Illustrator Ed Young, winner of the Caldecott Medal for his book Lon Po Po, tells the unique story of his childhood in wartime China through award-winning author Libby Koponen. Young’s father, Baba, an engineer, devises a way of protecting his wife and five children and numerous other relatives and friends by constructing a bomb-proof house that becomes a playground for the children complete with a swimming pool.
An inspirational and engaging biography of award-winning author, Avi. The story of how he became fondly known as only “Avi”, which is not his real name, is revealed. It describes his poor childhood in New York during the war years and how he learned to survive. He fights a lifelong battle with dysgraphia. (“Dysgraphic people have trouble writing. They mix up or invert letters and misspell words.” p.
This is the first book in a series designed for young readers who like fast-paced, space, science fiction adventures. There are many elements of space machines, large fighting insects, and alien interactions.
This fast-paced thriller includes intriguing characters, realistic events, and many surprising story twists. Pre-teens and teenagers who like spy stories with a lot of intrigue and action will enjoy this book.
The story is an enjoyable dystopian fantasy centering around the city of Quill and the hidden magical city of Artimé. In the city of Quill, every year the thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the Wanteds – the strong, intelligent children that attend the University; the Necessary – the children who do manual labor; and the Unwanteds – the artistic, creative children who are sent to the “Death Farm”. Alex and Aaron Stowe are twins who are separated into different categories.
Cupcake’s life is full: he runs a bakery, plays drums in a band, and enjoys city living with his best friend, Eggplant. Even so, Cupcake is in a bit of a creative slump, and he longs for—well, something more. Meanwhile, Eggplant is invited to visit Aunt Aubergine in Turkey, who happens to work with baking celebrity Turkish Delight. Eggplant wants Cupcake to come along.
Turning thirteen is not just about becoming a teenager for Mibs Beaumont. It is a milestone for her family members who turn the magical thirteen because it is the beginning of their unique savvy. Grandma Bomba can move mountains. Grandma cans radio waves to preserve her favorite songs in mason jars. Mother is perfect. Brother Fish creates wind, rain and hurricanes equal to the intensity of his anger and brother Rocket can spark electricity. What will Mibs’ special supernatural gift be?
If you like a James Bond mystery you will definitely like Alex Rider, a 14 year old miniature James Bond spy. After finding out that his uncle was killed and not in a car accident, Alex is reluctantly recruited by M16, a British intelligence agency. Equipped with his own special gadgets Alex is off on his first mission. He is sent to Cornwall to investigate a new computer system which Darrius Sayle has created. Sayle is donating a free Stormbreaker mega-computer to every school in Britain.
A touching story of self-reliance and survival. Eleven year old Jack Martel is abandoned by his mom, who is close to him but suffers from episodes of mental illness. He is left alone at their camping site in Acadia National Park in Maine. Jack must find food in any way he can—digging through trash for lobster leftovers, eating carrots from an older lady’s garden, dining on employees’ lunches while spending the night in an L. L. Bean store. He avoids authorities for fear they will permanently separate him from his mom.
The characters from Gordon Korman’s Swindle are back in Zoobreak, a novel about children fighting for animal rights. When the kids visit a floating zoo, they discover that the animals are living in deplorable conditions and decide to break out the animals and bring them to another zoo. A subplot featuring the disappearance of a main character’s pet monkey brings excitement to the story. This moving, yet funny story is recommended for 5th grade and up, and younger for reading aloud.
In The Princess Plot, a German bestseller, Jenna is recruited to play the role of Princess Malena of Scandia in a new movie. She becomes suspicious when she finds herself impersonating the princess at a public event. What has happened to the real princess? A subplot involving rebels looking for equal rights in Scandia adds to the excitement. Recommended for 5th grade and up.
Georgina and her family suddenly find themselves homeless. Living out of a car with her mother and little brother while her mother works two jobs makes Georgina think about what she can do to help the situation. She comes up with a wild idea to steal a dog and claim reward money after the owner posts reward signs for the lost dog. As the story unfolds, Georgina and the reader grow fond of a mysterious man named Mookie, an old woman named Carmella, and a little dog named Willy. Sometimes, the best lessons happen in the worst of times.
Whose side do you fight for if you're a slave during the American Revolution? While our country is fighting for freedom from Britain, who will fight for the slaves' freedom? The truth is that sometimes the slaves would fight for whoever promised them their freedom after the war. This book of incredibly well researched historical fiction takes the reader through the harrowing times of a slave girl named Isabel, herlittle sister Ruth, and a slave boy named Curzon as they fight for their freedom.
In the first novel of this series, amateur detectives Sophie, Margaret, and Rebecca (the Red Blazer Girls) band together to discover the location of the Ring of Rocamadour. They meet Ms. Harriman, who delivers the challenge to the three—they must follow clues and solve puzzles to discern the secret of the Ring. The puzzles are given to the reader to try to solve before reading ahead.
It's 1872 in New York City and Horace Carpetine is a photography apprentice. Horace and a black servant girl named Peggy discover that his photographs for Mrs. Von Macht are evoking the ghost of her deceased daughter, Eleanora. Things really heat up when Horace and Peggy discover that the ghost of Eleanora is out for revenge. This book is a great chiller for those who liked to get spooked; recommended for grades 5-8.
Meet spunky Abilene Tucker, 12 year old daughter of a drifter, who puts her on a train to Manifest, Kansas, to spend the summer of 1936 with colorful people from his past. A local diviner reveals stories from the days of World War I (1917-1918) in flashbacks that parallel life in 1936, as Abilene searches for a connection to her father. Mystery, adventure, spy hunting, secrets, and humor slowly form a memorable story of family and community.
This is really a unique book for James Patterson. It's not a graphic novel, by definition, but it is full of sketches and doodles that add a graphic novel quality to the book. This is a story about a boy named Rafe who is starting middle school and seems to only be noticed by the school bully, "Miller the Killer." After the first school assembly, Rafe makes a promise to break all the rules in the student handbook (without hurting anyone) by the end of the school year. While the story deals with some heavy issues, it does it with great humor and fun drawings along the way.
The story starts with orphans, Dan and Amy, left with a decision to make. Their Grandmother, Grace Cahill, dies and leaves a very interesting will. Her descendants have the choice to take a million dollars or take up the family hunt for the 39 clues that will make them extremely powerful. The descendants that take up this hunt will travel all over the world in search of the 39 clues to the family’s fortune. As Amy and Dan compete with other members of the Cahill clan they learn about their dead parents and some world history.
Eleven year old Delly has an impulsive nature that constantly gets her in trouble for fighting, skipping class, hacking spitballs, and more. The fact that she creates her own words like, “mysturiosity” and “bawlgrammit” is entertaining for the reader, but it also reflects a certain independent quality in Delly’s character. Unfortunately for Delly, if she does one more thing wrong, she’s going to get sent off to a school for troubled kids. To avoid more outbursts, Delly first tries counting in her head when she’s upset. Then, her attention turns to a new