5 Books Featuring…Stowaways!

Whether it’s in the far future or in the distant past, or in another world entirely, books about kids who hide on ships have always been a popular adventure topic. Here are five that you might like.

Our Five Books feature is a booklist of five books (occasionally with a few extras) on a specific topic, with a short synopsis so you can decide if it sounds like something you would like. Five Books–one old, one new, one popular with kids, one well-reviewed, and one favorite. (But you’ll have to guess which is which)!

* * *

Stowaway by John David Anderson

When scientists discover a rare and mysterious mineral buried in the Earth’s crust, they have no idea that it just happens to be the most valuable substance in the entire universe. It’s not long before aliens show up to our little corner of the galaxy offering a promise of protection, some fabulous new technology, and entry into their intergalactic coalition–all in exchange for this precious resource. A material so precious that other alien forces are willing to start a war over it. A war that soon makes its way to Earth.
Leo knows this all too well. His mother was killed in one such attack, and soon after, his father, a Coalition scientist, decides it would be best for them to leave Earth behind. It’s on this expedition that their ship is attacked, Leo’s father is kidnapped, and Leo and his brother are stranded in the middle of space. The only chance they have is for Leo to stow away on a strange ship of mercenary space pirates bound for who knows where and beg the captain to help him find his father.
But the road is dangerous, and pirates, of course, only look out for themselves. Leo must decide who to trust as he tries to stay alive and save his family, even as he comes to understand that there aren’t many people–human or alien–that he can count on in this brave new universe.

Gold Rush Girl by Avi

Victoria Blaisdell longs for independence and adventure, and she yearns to accompany her father as he sails west in search of real gold! But it is 1848, and Tory isn’t even allowed to go to school, much less travel all the way from Rhode Island to California. Determined to take control of her own destiny, Tory stows away on the ship. Though San Francisco is frenzied and full of wild and dangerous men, Tory finds freedom and friendship there. Until one day, when Father is in the gold fields, her younger brother, Jacob, is kidnapped. And so Tory is spurred on a treacherous search for him in Rotten Row, a part of San Francisco Bay crowded with hundreds of abandoned ships. Spot-on details and high suspense make this a vivid, absorbing historical adventure.

Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron

No one but Chuck, David and Mr. Bass know about the Mushroom Planet, right? There is Mr. Tyco Bass’s cousin, Mr. Theo. He is a Mushroom Person, like Mr. Tyco, so he knows. And of course David and Chuck told their families. But what if just an ordinary human being should happen to find out about it? Would it ruin everything? On their second flight to Basidium in their new space ship, David and Chuck have considerable difficulty carrying out Mr. Bass’s wish that the planet be kept a secret. One Horatio Q. Peabody makes this trip even more of an adventure than the first one…but read The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet too.

The other sequels are hard to find, but also worth reading.

Stowaway by Karen Hesse

It is known that in the summer of 1768, Captain James Cook sailed from England on H.M.S Endeavour, beginning a three-year voyage around the world on a secret mission to discover an unknown continent at the bottom of the globe. What is less known is that a boy by the name of Nicholas Young was a stowaway on that ship. As Nick travels, he keeps a journal journal filled with fierce hurricanes, warring natives, and disease, as he discovers new lands, incredible creatures, and lifelong friends.

Dognap by Patrick Jennings

Nothing gets past Logan. When he observes that the neighborhood’s dogs are mysteriously vanishing, he suspects nothing less than a full-scale alien dognapping invasion. The adults don’t believe him, of course, so he enlists his friends to investigate and soon they make a shocking discovery. Now man’s best friend needs help. Fast. Logan stows away on a spaceship in hopes of saving man’s best friend. Suddenly, Logan and his team are on a mission unlike anything known to man.

Unsinkable by Gordon Korman

The Titanic is meant to be unsinkable, but as it begins its maiden voyage, there’s plenty of danger waiting for four of its young passengers. Paddy is a stowaway, escaping a deadly past. Sophie’s mother is delivered to the ship by police – after she and Sophie have been arrested. Juliana’s father is an eccentric whose riches can barely hide his madness. And Alfie is hiding a secret that could get him kicked off the ship immediately.The lives of these four passengers will be forever linked with the fate of Titanic. And the farther they get from shore, the more the danger looms.

Read the entire trilogy!

The Highland Falcon Thief by M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman

When Harrison “Hal” Beck is forced to accompany his travel-writer uncle on the last journey of a royal train, he expects a boring trip spent away from video games and children his age. But then Hal spots a girl who should not be on board, and he quickly makes friends with the stowaway, Lenny. Things get even more interesting when the royal prince and princess board for the last leg of the journey–because the princess’s diamond necklace is soon stolen and replaced with a fake! Suspicion falls on the one person who isn’t supposed to be there: Lenny. It’s up to Hal, his keen observation, and his skill as a budding sketch artist to uncover the real jewel thief, clear his friend’s name, and return the diamond necklace before The Highland Falcon makes its last stop.

Lintang and the Pirate Queen by Tamara Moss

Lintang of Desa village, protected by the sea guardian Nyasamdra, yearns for adventure, and thinks she’s found it when pirate captain Shafira welcomes her on board in exchange for safe passage through Nyasamdra’s waters. Lintang’s friend, Bayani, for reasons of his own, stows away and joins the crew. Secrets within secrets, life-or-death battles with spectacular monsters, and hair’s breadth escapes will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next.

The first in an Australian series (which I hope will be published here!)

Red’s Planet by Eddie Pittman

Meet Red, a quirky, headstrong 10-year-old who longs to live in her own perfect paradise far away from her annoying foster family. But when a UFO mistakenly kidnaps her, Red finds herself farther away than she could have possibly imagined–across the galaxy and aboard an enormous spaceship owned by the Aquilari, an ancient creature with a taste for rare and unusual treasures. Before Red can be discovered as a stowaway, the great ship crashes on a small deserted planet, leaving her marooned with a menagerie of misfit aliens. With her newfound friend, a small gray alien named Tawee, Red must find a way to survive the hostile castaways, evade the ravenous wildlife, and contend with Goose, the planet’s grumpy, felinoid custodian. Surely this can’t be the paradise she’s been hoping for!?

Now with a sequel, and a third book coming out in 2025!

The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan StratforMath prodigy Ada Lovelace, daughter of the famous and infamous poet Lord Byron, is a genius. Isolated, awkward and socially inept–but a genius. Mary Godwin, daughter of radical philosopher William Godwin and feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft, is a romantic. It has been arranged for Mary and Ada to be tutored by the young man who calls himself Percy B. Snagsby, a nervous fellow who may or may not be a spy. Every day, Mary rides to the Byron estate in a carriage accompanied by Charles, a stowaway boy she is supposed to pretend isn’t really there and who all the while keeps his nose in a book. As the two girls become fast friends, their irrepressible curiosity leads to the formation of the secretive Wollstonecraft Detective Agency. Their first case involves a stolen pendant, a false confession, and an array of fishy suspects-but these are no match for the deductive powers and bold hearts of Ada and Mary.
Enjoy this whole series!

Race to the End of the World by A. L. Tait

The King is determined to create the first map of the world and has scoured the kingdom for boys who could become mapmakers. When Quinn is chosen for the King’s training school, he’s amazed – but that is nothing compared to his shock when he is selected as one of the three mapmakers and finds himself on board a ship, competing for the big prize. So begins Quinn’s reluctant journey deep into the unknown, on a ship captained by a slave, with a stowaway girl on board, and a mysterious sea monster that seems to be following them. Hot on their trail are the other competitors for the King’s prize, who will stop at nothing to win.

Read the whole series!

The Girl Who Sailed by Stars by Matilda Woods

When Oona Britt was born in the magical town of Nordlor, where all of the homes are built from wrecked ships, her parents never expected her to be a girl. Having listened to a faulty prediction from a washed-up soothsayer, they were promised a “bold and brave son,” so as the youngest of seven sisters, Oona’s birth became a disappointment — especially to her sea captain father, who doesn’t believe there’s a place for girls aboard ships.
But Oona is different from the rest of her family. She longs for adventure and knowledge. So she steals aboard her father’s ship just as he’s about to set sail for his annual winter whale hunt, and suddenly finds herself in the midst of a grand adventure! The ship has its own sea cat, Barnacles, and a navigator named Haroyld, who show Oona how to follow the stars. But for all that, Oona’s father is furious. Can she prove to him that she’s worth his love and pride, even though she’s not the bold and brave son he was promised?

* * *

So after reading these summaries, do you think stowing away onboard a ship is glamorous…or dangerous? And if you read the book, do you feel the same way? Read a couple and decide. You will be glad that you joined in on such a big adventure…but maybe a little glad that you’re experiencing it through a book!

Happy Reading!

Booklist…Families on Road Trips!

Have you ever gone on a road trip with your family? It’s can be the best experience of your life…or a disaster. Sharing the backseat with siblings, agreeing on stops, car sickness and heart-to-heart talks. Sometimes it’s all of these combined.

The families in these stories head out on the road for a trip that ends up changing their lives and their perspectives. Some of these stories are funny, some are heart-breaking, some are dangerous. But all of them will make you want to head out on the open road!

* * * * *

The Road to Whenever by John Ed Bradley

After June Ball’s dad disappears without so much as a note, June’s mother sends him on the road with his adult cousins, Thomas and Cornell Ball. The Balls are “Ford Men”; their calling in life is to restore old Ford cars–and only Ford cars. So begins a summer traveling around the country, encountering broken-down Fairlanes, Thunderbirds, and Model Ts. They also encounter the cars’ owners, who often need fixing of their own. June doesn’t understand his cousins’ passion for all things Ford, but in every town and city, there’s a chance he might find his father. And at every turn, June realizes that this journey is about more than giving cars some TLC–there’s room to restore the broken parts of humans, too. A story of adventure, longing, and growing up.

The Map of Me by Tami Lewis Brown

The note Momma left on the fridge says only: “I HAVE TO GO.” But go where? Twelve-year-old Margie is convinced that Momma’s gone to the Rooster Romp at the International Poultry Hall of Fame, in search of additions to her precious flock of chicken memorabilia. And it’s up to Margie to bring her home. So she commandeers her daddy’s Faithful Ford, kidnaps her nine-year-old sister, Peep, and takes to the open road. As she navigates the back roads of Kentucky with smarty-pants Peep criticizing her every move, Margie also travels along the highways and byways of her heart, mapping a course to help understand Momma–and herself.

An Occasionally Happy Family by Cliff Burke

There are zero reasons for Theo Ripley to look forward to his family vacation. Not only are he, sister Laura, and nature-obsessed Dad going to Big Bend, the least popular National Park, but once there, the family will be camping. And Theo is an indoor animal. It doesn’t help that this will be the first vacation they’re taking since Mom passed away. Once at Big Bend, the family contends with 110 degree days, wild bears, and an annoying amateur ornithologist and his awful teenage vlogger son. Then, Theo’s dad hits him with a whopper of a surprise: the whole trip is just a trick to introduce his secret new girlfriend. Theo tries to squash down the pain in his chest. But when it becomes clear that this is an auditioning-to-be-his-stepmom girlfriend, Theo must find a way to face his grief and talk to his dad before his family is forever changed.

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan–named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover–from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

When the Watson family of Flint, Michigan–ten-year-old Kenny, Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Byron–sets out on a trip south to visit Grandma, they don’t realize that they’re heading toward one of the darkest moments in America’s history. The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the whole family are drastically changed after their visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963. A hilarious, touching, and tragic novel about civil rights and the impact of violence on one African American family. The Watsons’ journey reminds us that even in the hardest times, laughter and family can help us get through anything.

The Sea in Winter by Christine Day

It’s been a hard year for Maisie Cannon, ever since she hurt her leg and could not keep up with her ballet training and auditions. Her blended family is loving and supportive, but Maisie knows that they just can’t understand how hopeless she feels. With everything she’s dealing with, Maisie is not excited for their family midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up. But soon, Maisie’s anxieties and dark moods start to hurt as much as the pain in her knee. How can she keep pretending to be strong when on the inside she feels as roiling and cold as the ocean?

When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Peach Pie by Erin Soderberg Downing

After a tough year, Lucy, Freddy, and Herb Peach are ready for vacation. Lucy wants to read all of the books on the summer reading list. Freddy wants to work on his art projects (when he isn’t stuck in summer school). Herb wants to swim every day. Then their dad makes a big announcement- one of the inventions their mom came up with before she passed away has sold, and now they’re millionaires! But Dad has bigger plans than blowing the cash on fun stuff or investing it. He’s bought a used food truck. The Peaches are going to spend the summer traveling the country selling pies. It will be the Great Peach Experiment-a summer of bonding while living out one of Mom’s dreams. Summer plans, sunk. And there’s one more issue Dad’s neglected- none of them knows how to bake….

Travels with My Family by Marie Louise Gay

Instead of dream vacations to Disney World and motels with swimming pools and water slides, the parents in Travels with My Family insist on obscure destinations — even if it means driving for hours to get to the middle of nowhere, countless back-seat games of Twenty Questions that end badly, and reading aloud the “How to Change a Tire” chapter from the Owner’s Manual. To say nothing of what happens when they arrive: eating grasshoppers in Mexico, forgetting the tide schedule while collecting sand dollars off the coast of Georgia, and mistaking alligators for logs in the middle of Okefenokee Swamp. Told from the point of view of a long-suffering big brother who must fulfill many roles in this eccentric family — keeping his little brother out of trouble; humoring artist Mom while she seeks out beauty and inspiration in the least likely places; and discouraging nearsighted, tone-deaf Dad from pulling out the road map to search for yet another strange destination.

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Five years.That’s how long Coyote and her dad, River, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters.Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished–the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box–she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state . . . without him realizing it.On the way, they’ll pick up an eclectic group of folks. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all, but that with friends, she just might be able to turn her ‘once upon a time’ into a ‘happily ever after.’

Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she’s the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she’s not very smart. If you’ve ever felt like no one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be. When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to “sing” to him! But he’s three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him? There’s one person on her side…so Iris and her grandmother drive from Texas to Alaska armed with Iris’s plan to help Blue-55.

The Long Haul by Greg Kinney

A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun . . . unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig—not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure—and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.

The Moon by Night by Madeleine L’Engle

As if simply being fourteen-years-old weren’t bad enough–what with the usual teenage angst and uncertainty, Vicky Austin’s always comforting and reliable home life is changing completely. Her brother John is going off to college in the fall. Maggy, an orphan taken in by the Austins two years ago, has gone to live with her legal guardian. And the rest of Vicky’s family is moving from their quiet house in the country to the heart of New York City. But before the big move, the entire Austin family is taking a meandering trip across the country in their station wagon, stopping to camp along the way, with no set schedule and not a single night of camping experience among them. Wild animal attacks. Life-threatening natural disasters. Cute boys on the prowl. Anything can happen in the great outdoors.

Drive Me Crazy by Tara Elan McVoy

Lana and Cassie have met only once before, at the wedding of Lana’s Grandpa Howe and Cassie’s Grandma Tess two months ago. The two girls couldn’t be more different, and they didn’t exactly hit it off–but they’re about to spend an entire week together for their grandparents’ honeymoon, road-tripping from California to Maine in the backseat of a Subaru. It’s going to be a disaster. Told in alternating chapters between Cassie and Lana, Drive Me Crazy shows that even though friendship can be a bumpy road, it just might change your life for the better.

The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane by Kate O’Shaughnessy

Maybelle Lane collects sounds. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door squeaking. But the crown jewel of her collection is a sound she didn’t collect herself- an old recording of her daddy’s warm-sunshine laugh, saved on an old phone’s voicemail. It’s the only thing she has of his, and the only thing she knows about him. Until the day she hears that laugh–his laugh–pouring out of the car radio. Going against Momma’s wishes, Maybelle starts listening to her radio DJ daddy’s new show, drinking in every word like a plant leaning toward the sun. When he announces he’ll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she signs up. What better way to meet than to stand before him and sing with all her heart? But the road to Nashville is bumpy. Her starch-stiff neighbor Mrs. Boggs offers to drive her in her RV. And a bully of a boy from the trailer park hitches a ride, too. These are not the people May would have chosen to help her, but it turns out they’re searching for things as well. And the journey will mold them into the best kind of family–the kind you choose for yourself.

The Someday Birds by Sally Pla

Charlie’s perfectly ordinary life has been unraveling ever since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan. When his father heads from California to Virginia for medical treatment, Charlie reluctantly travels cross-country with his boy-crazy sister, unruly brothers, and a mysterious new family friend. He decides that if he can spot all the birds that he and his father were hoping to see someday along the way, then everything might just turn out okay.

Surviving Summer Vacation (formerly called The Absolutely True Story: How I Visited Yellowstone Park with the Terrible Rupes, by Lewis O Dodge) by Willo Davis Roberts

What they thought would be a dream vacation turns into a nightmare for Lewis. He thinks he’s the luckiest kid around when he’s invited to go to Yellowstone with his next door neighbors the Rupes, who eat junk food, don’t assign chores, and seem to do exactly what they want. He even gets his twin sister, Alison, invited. Yet the irresponsibility and even the junk food gradually lose their appeal as the days pass in the luxurious motor home. Mr. Rupe’s ineptness in driving a vehicle this large is downright scary, Mrs. Rupe leaves all the child care to Alison, the entire family appears uninterested in any of the sights along the way, and the motor home seems to be attracting two menacing men who follow them cross-country. What is going on..?

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

For the life of him, William “Scoob” Lamar can’t seem to stay out of trouble–and now the run-ins at school have led to lockdown at home. So when G’ma, Scoob’s favorite person on Earth, asks him to go on an impromptu road trip, he’s in the RV faster than he can say FREEDOM. With G’ma’s old maps and a strange pamphlet called the ‘Travelers’ Green Book’ at their side, the pair takes off on a journey down G’ma’s memory lane. But adventure quickly turns to uncertainty: G’ma keeps changing the license plate, dodging Scoob’s questions, and refusing to check Dad’s voice mails. And the farther they go, the more Scoob realizes that the world hasn’t always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren’t always what they seem–G’ma included.

Sway by Amber McRee Turner

For four long months, ten-year-old Cass has been dreaming of the day her mom, Toodi, will come home. But when Toodi’s welcome back party takes a turn for the disastrous, Cass finds herself stuck alone with her dull-as-dirt dad, who insists that they set off for the summer on a mysterious adventure-just the two of them. It turns out Cass’s dad has some big-time surprises up his sleeve. Once they hit the road in an old RV named The Roast, he introduces her to the amazing power of “Sway,” a seemingly magical force that can bring inspiration and joy to people in major need of help. Cass can think of one particular person who could really use some Sway. If only she could track down Toodi, Cass knows she could convince her mom to come home. But with the help of a little home-spun magic, Cass realizes that the things she needs most have always been within her reach.

Cog by Greg Van Eekhout

Cog looks like a normal twelve-year-old boy. But his name is short for “cognitive development,” and he was built to learn. But after an accident leaves him damaged, Cog wakes up in an unknown lab–and Gina, the scientist who created and cared for him, is nowhere to be found. Surrounded by scientists who want to study him and remove his brain, Cog recruits four robot accomplices for a mission to find her. As they set out on their rescue road trip, Cog, ADA, Proto, Trashbot, and Car’s journey will likely involve much cognitive development in the form of mistakes, but Cog is willing to risk everything to find his way back to Gina.

* * * * *

So are you inspired to pack up the car (or van, or camper) and journey across country with YOUR family? Or would you rather stay home? Hopefully, you’re inspired to travel and spend some time with the people who know you the best!

If you need any help finding these or any other books in the Library, just ask one of our librarians for help. We love matching books and readers!

Until we see you, happy travels and happy reading!

5 Books Featuring…Mayan Adventures!

If you had a chance to go on an adventure, where would you go? What time and place in history would grab your attention and make you want to find out more? What part of the world intrigues you enough to go back again and again?

There are so many interesting places in the world, and so many mysteries to solve. In this 5 Books Feature, we’re going to go adventuring with an appreciation of Mayan culture in Mexico and Central America.

Our Five Books feature is a booklist of five books (usually with a few extras) on a specific topic, with a short synopsis so you can decide if it sounds like something you would like to read. Five Books–one old, one new, one popular with kids, one award winner, and one old favorite. Some are two or three at the same time! But you’ll have to guess which is which…if you can!

* * * * *

The Rise of the Halfling King by David Bowles, Illustrated by Charlene Bowles

Sayam has always been different from other kids–he’s very short for his age, his best friend is a monkey, and most curious of all: he was born from an egg! His grandmother, a witch, found him and taught him all the ancient magic she uses to help her people. So when a giant snake starts terrorizing a nearby city, Sayam decides it’s time for him to use his knowledge to help others, and steps into action. But the beast might not be Sayam’s biggest problem: the ruthless King Kinich Kak Ek sees Sayam as a threat to his throne. Prophecy declares that whoever succeeds at three impossible tests will be king. Monstrous snakes and impossible tests are a lot for a boy to handle, but Sayam is brave and has a loyal monkey, a wise grandmother, and magical knowledge on his side!

Colibri by Ann Cameron

Her mother nicknamed her Colibrí, Spanish for “Hummingbird.” At age four she was kidnapped, torn from her parents on a crowded bus in Guatemala City. Since then she’s traveled with “Uncle,” the ex-soldier and wandering beggar who has renamed her Rosa. Uncle has always told Rosa that he searched for her parents but had no success. But Rosa still remembers and longs for them. When she was young, Uncle consulted fortune-tellers who told him that Rosa would bring him luck – a treasure big enough to last him all his life. So he’s kept her with him. Together, they have traveled from town to town in the highlands of Guatemala, scraping out a living, hoping to find the treasure. Eight years have passed, and Rosa has turned twelve. No treasure has been found, and Uncle has almost given up hope. When he turns angry and desperate, danger threatens Rosa from all sides – but especially from Uncle himself. Can Rosa escape and find her family?

The Storm Runner by J. C. Cervantes

Zane would much rather explore the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico than go to school with kids who bully him for his limp. But what Zane doesn’t know is that the volcano is a gateway to another world, a world he’s thrust into with his dog, Rosie, and the new girl at school, Brooks – kicking off an epic adventure full of surprising discoveries, dangerous secrets, and an all-out war between the gods. To prevent the Mayan gods from battling each other and destroying the world, Zane must unravel an ancient prophecy, stop an evil god, and discover how the physical disability that makes him reliant on a cane also connects him to his father and his ancestry. To survive, Zane will have to become the Storm Runner. But how will he run with a cane?

Read The Fire Keeper and The Shadow Crosser…books two and three of this wonderful trilogy.

The Joshua Files: Invisible City by M. G. Harris

Joshua’s life was pretty average until his archaeologist father was reported dead in a plane crash. Josh’s dad had been searching for the Mayan Codex, said to contain key information about the 2012 Mayan prophecy foretelling the end of the world. Was the crash simply a tragic accident, or is there more to his father’s death than the authorities are willing to tell him?

This first novel in the action-packed Joshua Files brings Josh to the depths of the Mexican jungle and into a secret society existing beneath an ancient Mayan Pyramid. Sucked into a vortex of intrigue, Josh becomes a target for danger as he learns that his father, grandfather, and Josh himself are the key to solving the mystery of the prophecy. Can Josh find the missing codex in time to save mankind?

The first book in an exciting trilogy.

Lady of Palenque: Flower of Bacal by Anna Kirwan

In 749, a political marriage is arranged between the thirty-three-year-old king of Xukpip and Princess Green Jay, the thirteen-year-old daughter of the king of Lakamha. The two are paired because of similar horoscopes — and Green Jay possesses skills that will be valuable to her husband-to-be: She can read and write.  In 749, As she travels to Xukpip to meet King Fire Keeper, her future husband, she writes in her diary about her arduous journey.

Part of the Royal Diary series, featuring royalty through the ages.

Jake Ransom and the Skull King’s Shadow by James Rollins

When a mysterious envelope arrives for Jake Ransom, he and his older sister, Kady, are plunged into a gripping chain of events. An artifact found by their parents–on the expedition from which they never returned–leads Jake and Kady to a strange world inhabited by a peculiar mix of long-lost civilizations, a world that may hold the key to their parents’ disappearance.

But even as they enter the gate to this extraordinary place, savage grackyls soar across the sky, diving to attack. Jake’s new friends, the pretty Mayan girl Marika and the Roman Pindor, say the grackyls were created by an evil alchemist–the Skull King. And as Jake struggles to find a way home, it becomes obvious that what the Skull King wants most is Jake and Kady–dead or alive.

Check out the sequel, Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx, as well.

Me oh Maya! By Jon Scieszka

Joe, Sam, and Fred have been thrown back in time yet again. This time the Trio find themselves whisked by The Book from a basketball court in Brooklyn to the main ring ball court in Chichén Itzá, Mexico. The year is 1000 a. d. and the rules are a little different. Now the boys are playing for their lives with the Mayan High Priest as their opponent. Will they be able to get home before they learn the true meaning of a sudden death penalty?

The Time Warp Trio is a funny time travel series.

Bones of the Sun God by Peter Vegas

Sam barely escaped from Egypt after a failed search for his missing archaeologist parents. After a few months of boring safety at a Boston boarding school, he is ready to continue the search for them among the Mayan pyramids of Central America. With a little manipulation (and a lot of deception) from his partner in adventure, Mary Verulam, Sam makes it to Belize. Nonstop action ensues as Sam and Mary follow clues from Mayan mythology and the Knights Templar, hoping the secrets of the ancients will lead to his parents.

Read the first book, The Iron Tomb, as well!

The Jaguar Stones: Middleworld by J. & P. Voelkel

Max Murphy is looking forward to a family vacation. But his parents, both archaeologists and Maya experts, announce a change in plan. They must leave immediately for a dig in the tiny Central American country of San Xavier. Max will go to summer camp. Max is furious. When he’s mysteriously summoned to San Xavier, he thinks they’ve had a change of heart.  Upon his arrival, Max’s wild adventure in the tropical rainforests of San Xavier begins. During his journey, he will unlock ancient secrets and meet strangers who are connected to him in ways he could never have imagined. For fate has delivered a challenge of epic proportions to this pampered teenager. Can Max rescue his parents from the Maya Underworld and save the world from the Lords of Death, who now control the power of the Jaguar Stones in their villainous hands?

The Jaguar Stones is an exciting series full of suspense and terror, as the good guys and the bad guys face off against a background of haunted temples, zombie armies, and even human sacrifice!

Mystery in Mayan Mexico by Marcia Wells

Now that he has become the NYPD’s youngest crime-solving hero, Eddie Red and his best friend Jonah are ready to relax on a family vacation to Mexico. But when Eddie’s father is falsely accused of stealing a valuable Mayan mask, what they find is another complex mystery. Can Eddie use his artistic talent and his photographic memory to solve the mystery? Once he and Jonah meet the daughter of the local police officer in charge, can the three of them join together to uncover clues and catch the real crook in time?

Eddie Red Undercover is an exciting series for all readers.

* * * * *

And there you have it. Mystery! Adventure! Pyramids, crocodiles, rapid rivers and even a few Mayan gods. A good start if you’re planning on visiting any Mayan ruins to get your imagination going.

If you need help finding these or any other books at the Library, please ask our librarians for assistance. We love to find the right book for the right reader.

Happy Reading!

5 Books Featuring…Babysitters!

With the success of The Baby-Sitters Club, babysitting has become something EVERY kid reads about. But have you actually tried to babysit? It’s harder than Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, Dawn, Jessi and Mallory make it look! From ghosts to temper tantrums to kidnappers to monsters…babysitting can be a dangerous job! Check out these five titles (plus a few extras) and find out what it takes to be a GREAT babysitter!

In case you don’t remember, our Five Books feature is a booklist of five books (usually with a few extras) on a specific topic, with a short synopsis so you can decide if it sounds like something you would like to read. Five Books–one old, one new, one popular with kids, one award winner, and one old favorite. Some are two or three at the same time! But you’ll have to guess which is which.

And now…on with the list!

* * *

Gabby Duran and the Unsittables: The Beginning by Elise Allen & Daryle Conners

The Association Linking Intergalatics and Earthlings (hereby known as A.L.I.E.N.) has a new member. After months of investigation, Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, has proven herself to be a babysitter extraordinaire. Her celebrity clients fly her around the country to care for their rambunctious little humans. A.L.I.E.N. believes Gabby can be trusted with the truth: aliens are living among humans on Earth. After accepting the top-secret position, Gabby has her first charge, a little girl from the planet Flarknartia. The timing is less than ideal. It’s a school day on Planet Earth, Gabby’s audition for the solo part in the band is tonight, and this tiny alien is a bit more than meets the eye. Can Gabby keep her otherworldly charge safe in the unpredictable halls of middle-school and keep A.L.I.E.N hidden?

In the second story, upon successfully completing her first mission, Gabby has been assigned a more . . . puzzling charge. The relationship between trolls and humans has always been rife with tension, and the troll family Gabby is assigned to is especially prickly. But Gabby is not fazed. Gabby is happy playing, laughing, and snacking with Trymmy, the little troll boy, who seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself. When Gabby learns that trolls love nothing more than a riddle-and stealing items from unsuspecting humans to add to their trove-she’s certain that all this young troll wants is to have fun. However, it might not be as simple as she thinks. After all, there’s a reason this particular alien offspring has been labeled “Unsittable.”

The first and second books in a series that inspired a Disney series.

The Babysitters Guide to Monster Hunting by Joe Ballarini

When middle schooler Kelly Ferguson’s Halloween plans switch from party-going to babysitting, she thinks the scariest part of her night will be the death of her social life. But then Baby Jacob gets kidnapped by the Boogeyman’s minions and Kelly learns there’s a whole lot more to childcare than free snacks and Netflix. Like chasing shadow monsters, drop-kicking Toadies, and mastering monster-fighting moves like the Naptime Headlock and Playground Punch.

Now, with the help of an ancient handbook and a secret society of butt-kicking babysitters, Kelly sets out to destroy the Boogeyman before he brings Jacob’s nightmares to life. But when the monsters’ trail leads to her school’s big Halloween bash, Kelly will have to prove she can save the world–without totally embarrassing herself in front of her friends.

The first in a series that inspired a Netflix series.

Best Bad Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala

Once upon a time, a girl named Kristy Thomas had a great idea: to form The Baby-Sitters Club with her best friends. And now twelve-year-old Malia Twiggs has had a great idea too. Technically, she had Kristy’s idea.(And technically, little kids seem gross and annoying, but a paycheck is a paycheck). After a little convincing, Malia and her friends Dot and Bree start a babysitting club to earn funds for an epic birthday bash. But babysitting definitely isn’t what they thought it would be.  Mayhem ensues in their sleepy California beach town when three best friends, find an old copy of “The Babysitters Club” and decide to start their own babysitting business.

Three friends. No parents. Unlimited snacks. And, okay, occasionally watching other people’s children. What could possibly go wrong?

The first in a fun series.

Dreamer, Wisher, Liar by Charise Mericle Harper

When her best friend is moving away and her mom has arranged for some strange little girl to come and stay with them, Ash–who is petrified of change and new people–is expecting the worst summer of her life. Then seven-year-old Claire shows up. Armed with a love of thrift-store clothes and an altogether too-sunny disposition, Claire proceeds to turn Ash’s carefully constructed life upside down.

While every part of Ash’s life seems to be disrupted, she must protect a carefully hidden secret: She has discovered a magical jar in her basement. It’s a wish jar, full of someone’s old wishes–and it has the power to send her back in time and provide a window into another friendship between two girls. Discovering her own connection to the girls’ story, Ash that her life is full of surprises and friends she never saw coming.

The Day the Mustache Took Over by Alan Katz

David and Nathan are twin brothers who just can’t seem to keep a babysitter around for long-they’ve had 347 after all. Or is it 734?

Either way . . . there’s got to be someone who can handle these two. Enter: Martin Healey Discount, or “Murray Poopins” as the boys dub him. When they first meet, Martin is all business-well, business and a very bushy mustache. The boys must brush their teeth and clean their rooms and there is absolutely no television allowed. But is there more to Martin than meets the eye? When David and Nathan’s parents leave, the twins aren’t the only ones acting like children . . .

The first in a funny trilogy.

We Dare Not go A-Hunting by Charlotte MacLeod

At the end of last summer, Annette Sotherby, daughter of one of the wealthy summer people on Netaquid Island had been kidnapped under mysterious circumstances and returned under even stranger ones. The year-round Netaquidders had helped look, but hadn’t received a word of explanation or thanks from the summer cottagers when Annette was returned.

But when Molly Bassett, who lives on Netaquid year-round with her family, is hired to care for little Sammy Truell, a summer cottager, she begins to learn just why things are so problematic for the islanders. It’s not only that the cottagers blame the islanders for last summer’s mysterious events, but there’s also some secret that all the adults seem to be hiding. To protect Sammy, and Annette, who has also returned, it is up to Molly to discover the truth of what had happened last summer. Along the way, she will also have to solve a brand new and even more disastrous kidnapping in order to bring the islanders and the summer people together again.

Baby-Sitting is a Dangerous Job by Willo Davis Roberts

From the moment she set eyes on the three Foster kids, Darcy knew being their baby-sitter would be no picnic. But the pay was twice her usual rate, and the job was only for a few hours a day–surely an experienced baby-sitter like her could handle it.

But Darcy hadn’t counted on the mysterious things that started happening at the Fosters’ home after she took the job. She did everything a good baby-sitter was supposed to do: she didn’t let the stranger claiming to be from the gas company into the house and she called the police when the burglar alarm went off in the middle of the afternoon. But that wasn’t enough to prevent a baby-sitter’s worst nightmare from coming true. Now it’s up to Darcy to rescue the Foster kids–and herself–from three ruthless kidnappers.

Henry Reed’s Baby-Sitting Service by Keith Robertson

Henry Reed has another sure-fire money-making plan–but the kids of Grover’s Corner have plans of their own

An intelligent person like Henry should have no problem riding herd on the town’s toddlers. But Henry’s never tangled with such monsters as daredevil Danny, whose stunts keep Henry on his toes–when he’s not ducking the toys Danny hurls at his head. There’s also Bernice, the amazing disappearing five-year old, the always obnoxious Sebastian kids, who don’t have a regular routine, but who want in on the fun the other kids are having. Can Henry, his partner and old friend Midge, and beagle Agony outwit the fiendish plans of their preschool charges? Henry’s going to try!

This is Henry’s first babysitting venture, but he and Midge have plenty of other adventures in Grover’s Corner!

Babysitting Nightmares: The Shadow Hand by Kat Shepherd

For Rebecca Chin, babysitting has always been fun. But one night, a thunderstorm knocks the power out while she’s watching baby Kyle, and creepy things begin to happen in the house. A locked window opens by itself, mossy handprints streak the wall, and the baby begins acting strange. When she finds out that no one else in town was affected by the storm, Rebecca begins to wonder if something supernatural is going on.

Fellow sitters Tanya, Clio, and Maggie help Rebecca unravel the mystery, only to discover something unbelievable. A sinister, paranormal villain has taken the baby and replaced him with a changeling! The girls can save him–if they can survive a scary journey into the Nightmare Realm!

The first of a series that’s both creepy and fun.

* * *

So there you go. Are you inspired to find some babysitting jobs now? Or will you just read about it? 🙂 I spent a lot of time babysitting as a kid, and I have to say… I never saw any aliens, kidnappers or monsters. I did deal with floods, multiplying kids in the house, and mattress racing down the stairs though. First aid courses would have probably been a little more useful for me than than monster-hunter kits. But your experience may vary!

If you want a great movie about babysitting adventures to go with all these books being made into series and movies, I’d suggest Adventures in Babysitting. It’s a classic! (There is a remake, but it’s not nearly as good.)

As always, if you would like help finding these or any other books–or more books on a similar topic–just ask one of our librarians. We love to match readers and books!

Happy Reading!

5 Books Featuring…Pets who Solve Mysteries!

Have you ever wondered what’s in your dog or cat’s head? What they do all day when you’re at school? How smart they really are?

All–well, most of–the pets in these stories are smart! And when they’re alone, they tend to do more than you would ever expect. Some just have mysteries fall into their laps, some go out on adventures, and some go out seeking mysteries so that they have something to do.

However they start, their adventures will make you look at your cat…or dog…or gerbil…with new eyes. So let’s go solve a mystery!

In case you don’t remember, our Five Books feature is a booklist of five books (occasionally with a few extras) on a specific topic, with a short synopsis so you can decide if it sounds like something you would like. Five Books–one Old, one New, one Popular with Kids, one Award winner, and one Favorite. Some are two or three at the same time! (But you’ll have to guess which is which)!

* * *

The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy by Dori Hillestad Butler

King has a very big mystery to solve. His family is missing, and he’s been put in the P-O-U-N-D. Why doesn’t his beloved human  Kayla come to get him? When King is adopted by Connor and his mom, things get more confusing. The new family calls him Buddy! And just as Connor and Buddy start to get acquainted, Connor disappears! Buddy (aka King) has big problems to solve, but with some help from his friend Mouse (a very large dog) and the mysterious cat with no name, he shows what a smart, brave dog can do. 

The first book in a fun series.

The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure by Doreen Cronin

Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are not your typical barnyard puffs of fluff, and they are not about to spend their days pecking chicken feed and chasing bugs. No sir, they’re too busy solving mysteries and fighting crime.

So when Squirrel comes barreling into the chicken coop, the chicks know they’re about to get a case. But with his poor knowledge of shapes (“Big” is not a shape, Squirrel!) and utter fear of whatever it is that’s out there, the panicky Squirrel is NO HELP. Good thing these chicks are professionals.

But even professionals get worried. Especially once they see that round, shiny, green, BIG thing in the yard. What if it’s a UFO full of aliens who want chickens as pets? It’s up to the Chicken Squad to crack a case that just might be out of this world.

The first of four titles about The Chicken Squad. You will also enjoy the J.J. Tully Mysteries, about the Chicken Squad’s loyal protector solving his own series of mysteries.

Obi, Gerbil on the Loose! By Michael Delaney

Obi the Gerbil is home alone! Obi’s owner is on vacation, and the neighbor feeding the pets has forgotten all about the gerbil tucked away in her cage. Obi loves her cozy home, but without food and water she must escape to survive. So, taking on the courage of her namesake (Star Wars Jedi knight Obi-Wan), she breaks out and meets her fellow pets–cats up to no good, a maniacal tarantula, an insecure snake, a grumpy mouse, and a crotchety dog. Obi finds danger, but also makes new friends as she embarks on her great adventure.

A great series for gerbil fans!

The Great Pet Heist by Emily Ecton

Butterbean knew she wasn’t always a good dog. Still, she’d never considered herself a BAD dog–until the morning that her owner, Mrs. Food, fell in the hallway. Admittedly the tile was slipperier than usual, mostly because Butterbean had just thrown up on it.

Now Butterbean and her fellow pets have to come up with a grand plan to support themselves in case Mrs. Food is unable to keep taking care of them. When they discover a mysterious man in their building who seems to have lots of loot, they plan a heist. Oscar the mynah bird is the brains of the operation. Walt the cat has the necessary slyness and slink. Marco and Polo are the reconnaissance rats. And Butterbean…well, no one would ever suspect a cute little wiener dog, right? Can these animal friends can pull off the heist of the century?

Read the sequel, The Great Ghost Hoax, coming soon!

Jack and Rebel, the Police Dog as told to Patricia Finney

Jack the excitable labrador retriever tells the tale of his awesome adventures at home (like when he crashed the car) and stories about when he reunites with his old friend Rebel, the police dog…including how the two of them broke up a burglary ring that had been robbing houses while police were occupied with other strange human things. It’s almost as fun as steak and chasing cats! 

Also read I, Jack and hear about Jack’s first adventure.

My Dog is Better than Your Dog by Tommy Greenwald

Jimmy Bishop loves doing 3 things:  1) Laughing at funny dog videos online,  2) watching his favorite show (Stop! Police!) on TV,  and 3) Reading his favorite vampire book (Fang Goodness) over and over.

His self-involved older sister and workaholic Mom think he needs to stop obsessing already! But when his Dad finally allows Jimmy to get a puppy before school starts, everything changes and Jimmy has something new to focus on: his amazing dog, Abby who seems to have some very unusual habits. She sleeps all day but is wired at night, and she runs from the garlic kelp biscuit made by Jimmy’s strange new babysitter Mrs. Cragg. There’s just something different about Abby. Could she possibly be…a vampire? Jimmy’s best friend Irwin thinks Jimmy’s being ridiculous, but then when Abby uncovers a real crime in progress and helps him become friends with an actual, human girl, even Irwin has to admit that perhaps Abby might have some super powers after all. 

Read all the Crime Biters! books!

Howliday Inn by James Howe

The Monroes have gone on vacation, leaving Harold and Chester at Chateau Bow-Wow — not exactly a four-star hotel. On the animals’ very first night there, the silence is pierced by a peculiar wake-up call — an unearthly howl that makes Chester observe that the place should be called Howliday Inn.

But the mysterious cries in the night (Chester is convinced there are werewolves afoot) are just the beginning of the frightening goings-on. Soon animals start disappearing, and there are whispers of murder. Is checkout time at Chateau Bow-Wow going to come earlier than Harold and Chester anticipated? 

Read all the Bunnicula books, as well as the Howie Adventures! (My favorite is Nighty-Nightmare.)

Real Pigeons Fight Crime by Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood

What do REAL PIGEONS do? They fight crime, of course! Wait, what? You didn’t know your town is protected by a secret squad of crime-fighting feathered friends? Well, you are about to get schooled. REAL PIGEONS solve mysteries! REAL PIGEONS fight bad guys! And REAL PIGEONS won’t stop until your neighborhood is safe and the questions are all answered: Like, why have all the breadcrumbs disappeared? And which food truck smells the best? 

With master of disguise Rock Pigeon, bendy Tumbler, strong Frillback and super-finder Homey, the Real Pigeons will solve any mystery and fight any bad guy to keep the city safe! 

A trilogy sure to amuse and delight mystery fans.

The Grand Escape by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Marco and Polo might have been content to stay house cats forever. But Marco has read all about ranches and decides he must find one, while Polo longs to find the mother he barely remembers. And then Mr. Neal leaves the side door open by mistake! Now, after their Grand Escape to the outside world, their lives are full of challenges and opportunities they never imagined. Their search for food and a dry place to sleep leads them to Texas Jake, the ornery cat-leader of the Club of Mysteries. With the help of Carlotta, a friendly and resourceful she-cat, Marco and Polo try to earn admission into the club. Before they can join, however, they must solve three dangerous mysteries. Facing Bertram the Bad (every cat’s nightmare) is only the beginning….

If you enjoy this book, read the other titles in the Cat Pack Mysteries.

Nuts to You by Lynn Rae Perkins

How far would you go for a friend?  Jed, TsTs, and Chai are the very best of friends. So when Jed is snatched up by a hawk and carried away to another realm, TsTs and Chai resolve to go after him. Mysteriously, the hawk has dropped him. They saw it. Jed could be alive. New communities are discovered, new friends are made, huge danger is encountered (both man-made and of the fox and bobcat variety) and the mysteries of squirrel culture are revealed as the friends carry out their quest.

Ruff vs. Fluff: A Queenie and Arthur Novel by Spencer Quinn

From the outside, Queenie the cat and Arthur the dog appear to have a lot in common. Both pets live in the charming Blackberry Hill inn. They both love their humans, twins Harmony and Bro. They both have a fondness for sausage. But that doesn’t change the fact that they are mortal enemies. Goofy, big-hearted Arthur loves everyone he’s ever met . . . except the snobby, scheming cat who’s devoted her life to ruining his. Queenie is a bit choosier. And who can blame her? When you’re brilliant AND exquisitely beautiful, you can’t be expected to rub tails with commoners. Especially not slobbery dogs. But when the twins’ beloved cousin is framed for murder, Queenie and Arthur must work together to clear his name . . . something Queenie finds even more distasteful than inexpensive caviar. Can two enemies put aside their differences long enough to solve the mystery?

Read the whole series!

Woof: A Bowser and Birdie Novel by Spencer Quinn

There is trouble brewing in the Louisiana swamp — Bowser can smell it. Bowser is a very handsome and only slightly slobbery dog, and he can smell lots of things. Like bacon. And rawhide chews! And the sweat on humans when they’re lying.  Birdie Gaux, the girl Bowser lives with, also knows something is wrong. It’s not just that her grammy’s stuffed prize marlin has been stolen. It’s the weird rumor that the marlin is linked to a missing treasure. It’s the truck that seems to be following Birdie and the bad feeling on the back of her neck. When Birdie and Bowser start digging into the mystery, not even Bowser’s powerful sniffer can smell just how menacing the threat is. And when the danger comes straight for Birdie, Bowser knows it up to him to sic ’em. 

Read all the books in this fun series!

* * *

I don’t know about you, but now I want to set up a camera and see what my dog gets up to during the day, when I’m at work!

So stop by the library and see if one of these books is something you might enjoy! You could even read it to your pet…if you want to give them some interesting ideas…

As always, if you need help finding these or any other books, ask one of our librarians. We love to match books with readers, and we’re happy to help you find something new.

Happy Reading!

Five Books Featuring…Ghosts!

It’s October, and time for some chills! (Both in the air, and down your spine.) When the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it’s the perfect time to do some spooky reading. Plus Halloween is coming. So find a comfy spot, grab your flashlight (just in case), and prepare to scare yourself with one of these creepy reads.

In case you don’t remember, our Five Books feature is a booklist of five books (occasionally with a few extras) on a specific topic, with a short synopsis so you can decide if it sounds like something you would like. Five Books–one Old, one New, one Popular with Kids, one Award winner, and one Favorite. Some are two or three at the same time! (But you’ll have to guess which is which)!

* * *

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
When Ollie lost her mother in a plane crash, she sought solace in her books. So when she stumbles upon a distraught woman standing on the banks of the river intent on throwing a book into the water, Ollie stops her, steals the book and rides away on her bike. Upon reading, Ollie discovers a chilling ghost story about a girl named Elizabeth Morrison, who is being chased through cornfields filled with scarecrows by two brothers with deadly intent. When she finds the graves of Elizabeth and her tormentors, Jonathan and Caleb, on a creepy farm during a school field trip–on a day already full of too many odd occurrences–Ollie starts to think this book might be more than just a book. On the ride home the school bus breaks down along the side of the road; and none of the kids or their teacher can get service on their cell phones to call for help. Strange? Definitely. Then Ollie’s digital wristwatch starts a mysterious countdown, with the word RUN spelled out on the face. She and two unlikely new friends are the only ones to heed the warning. As night begins to fall, they head out into the woods, bracketed by fearsome scarecrows. The sinister bus driver gives them a word of advice. In order to survive whatever is coming, they’ll need to keep to small spaces…
The first book in a creepy trilogy which includes Dead Voices and Dark Waters. Read them all…and keep to the small spaces…

Doll Bones by Holly Black
Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her. But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen–and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave. Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?
You’ll never want a doll in your house after dark again!

Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp
Emily was a selfish, willful, hateful child who died before her thirteenth birthday. But that was a long time ago. How can she possibly be anything but a memory?
Jane is nine years old and an orphan when she and her young Aunt Louisa come to spend the summer at Jane’s grandmother’s house, a large, mysterious mansion in Massachusetts. Then one day . . . Jane stares into a reflecting ball in the garden–and the face that looks back at her is not her own. Many years earlier, a child of rage and malevolence lived in this place. And Louisa is convinced that she never left. Now Emily has dark plans for little Jane–a blood-chilling purpose that Louisa, just a girl herself, must battle with all her heart, soul, and spirit . . . or she will lose her innocent, helpless niece forever.
Also in this edition is a bonus novel: Witches Children–a story about Mary Warren, a key figure in the Witch Trials that happened in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Two spooky novels in one! How can you resist?

All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn
Travis and his sister, Corey, can’t resist a good trick. When they learn that their grandmother’s quiet Vermont inn, where they’re spending the summer, has a history of ghost sightings, they decide to do a little “haunting” of their own. Before long, their supernatural pranks have tourists flocking to the inn, and business booms. But Travis and Corey soon find out that they aren’t the only ghosts at Fox Hill Inn. Their thoughtless games have awakened something dangerous…something that should have stayed asleep. Can these siblings lay to rest the ghosts they’ve stirred?
Mary Downing Hahn has written some classic horror stories for middle grade. Books like Wait Till Helen Comes, Deep, Deep and Dark and Dangerous, The Old Willis Place and One for Sorrow…and about twenty others…each as creepy as the last!

Hide and Seeker by Daka Hermon
Something is wrong with Zee. Nobody knows what happened to him when he went missing for a year. And when he came back, he was . . . different. Now he is distracted and violent, freaking out when he sees his friends. Justin knows that something really bad happened to his best friend. At Zee’s welcome home party, Justin and the neighborhood crew think to cheer him up by playing their favorite game: Hide and Seek. But the game goes wrong. Very wrong. One by one, everyone who plays the game disappears, pulled into a world of nightmares come to life. Justin, Nia, and Lyric realize this horrible place where they’ve found themselves is where Zee had been trapped. But all they can do now is hide from the Seeker. They’ll have to confront their worst nightmares in order to find their way home.
You’ll never want to play Hide and Seek again after this book!

Whispering Pines by Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski
Rae’s father vanished without a trace–and Rae knows what happened to him. But no one believes her when she says that her father didn’t run off, that he was actually taken. Now, a year of therapy later, Rae’s mother decides they need a fresh start, and so they move to a new town in the hope that life can return to normal. The problem is, there is nothing normal about the town of Whispering Pines. No one knows this better than Caden. He’s lived in Whispering Pines his entire life, and he’s seen more than his fair share of weird–starting with his own family, as the town is the perfect home base for his mother’s ghost hunting business. When several kids go missing and then show up like zombies with their eyes removed, many locals brush it off. Just another day in Whispering Pines. But Caden has a dark secret, one that may explain why someone is stealing eyes. And Rae, who knows how it feels to not be believed, may be just the person Caden needs to help him put things right.
Ghosts…or something else?

Karma Moon, Ghost Hunter by Melissa Savage
Karma and her best friend, Mags, join her dad’s Totally Rad film crew at a famous haunted hotel in Colorado over her spring break. Their mission- find a ghost and get it on camera. If they succeed, the show will be a hit, they can pay rent on time, and just maybe, her mom will come back. Unfortunately, staying at a haunted hotel isn’t a walk in the park for someone with a big case of the what-ifs. But her dad made Karma the head of research for the docu-series, so she, Mags, and a mysterious local boy named Nyx must investigate every strange happening in the historically creepy Stanley Hotel. Karma hopes that her what-ifs don’t make her give up the ghost before they can find a starring spirit to help their show go viral–and possibly even get them a season two.
If you ever wanted to be a part of a reality ghost-hunting show, this one’s for you!

* * *

We also have some other great ghost stories, creepy mysteries, short stories and tales for Halloween on display for October. Basically, any kind of ghost story you want to read…we’ve got! So come down and check out all our books for a hauntingly good night of scares.

As always, if you need help locating these or any other book in the Library, ask one of our librarians. We’re always happy to match readers with the perfect book!

Happy Reading!

One last page of Summer Book Reviews!

Everyone is back to school, but we still have a few reviews from our summer readers! If you’re looking for something good to read this fall, these were proven popular with kids!

* * *

What Comes Next by Rob Buyea!

I loved this book, What Comes Next by Rob Buyea because it was a heartwarming, and adventurous read! This book was about a girl named Thea who recently lost her BFF, Charlie, to a car crash. She becomes mute and doesn’t speak AT ALL, because of the pain. Then, her mom and dad agree to get a cute new dog for the family to have named Jack-Jack! He changes Thea’s life by putting her out of her misery! I liked this book so much because it teaches readers to be resilient, even through hard times!

-Josie D, grade 6

Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets By J.K Rowling

This book is about Harry Potter. It starts off with Harry stuck in his Aunt and Uncle’s house. Then a house elf by the name of Dobby appears and causes trouble and Harry is not allowed to go to Hogwarts again. Then while Harry is asleep he wakes up to find his friend Ron at the window with his brothers Fred and George riding their dad’s flying car. They came to take Harry to their house for the remainder of the summer. When Harry went to Hogwarts, there started to be attacks from a basilisk which petrified people. Hermione is one of the people who got petrified. Harry finds out how to get into the Chamber of Secrets and finds out that Tom riddle is actually Voldemort and Harry saves Ginny by destroying Tom Riddle’s diary with a Basilisk fang. I liked the book because it is interesting.

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire By J.K Rowling

This book starts off with Harry in his aunt and uncle’s house like always. Dudley (his cousin) is on a diet and Harry is just not enjoying anything at all. After a while the Weasleys come and pick harry up and take him to the Quidditch World Cup. Then Death Eaters come and ruin the whole place but everybody gets out. Once Harry was at Hogwarts someone at school entered him into the Triwizard Tournament and he had to participate. Once he reached the cup he teleported to a graveyard where Voldemort regained power but Harry made it out safely. I liked this book because it is interesting.

-Danesh M, grade 5

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters By Lenore Look

Alvin is a boy. He is afraid of many things. He is scared of camping. But they are going camping, so Alvin packs up, trembling. They hop into the car and drive of. They drive into a rainstorm. They need to go back but they can’t go back. ”We need to go back” “How?“said Alvin. “ We’ll just have to figure it out.” The rainstorm stopped. They got out and set up the tent in the wood. Alvin got mostly all the stuff. They stopped. There was an alien that stood in front of him. “My name is Beaufeuillet. He joined their camping. At the end of the day they all camped under the stars. Then they went home. The End
I like this book because I like Alvin’s bravery, because he has to climb a tree to save his dad. I like this book because this book is really realistic. I like this book because it is adventurous.

-Carter M, grade 2

Beach Day by Patricia Lakin

This book is about four crocodiles named Pam, Will, Jill and Sam. They think it is hot outside so the think about going to the beach. They put their swimsuits and hats on, and sunscreen and sunglasses and they go to the beach, but they get lost and see a playground and stop and have a picnic and take a nap. They go up a big hill and finally get to the beach but it’s night and they go swimming. I like the book because it is funny and it has good pictures.

-Wesley G, grade 1

Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

The book was about a bunch of boys who play baseball and a person on their team was sick. So Amelia said she would play for him but she had no idea how to play. They tried to show her how to play. But she did not understand. Still, later that day she went to play and in the end they won. I like this book because it is funny.

-Olivia G, grade 3

The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Ada and Jamie Smith escape their cruel mother, and ride a train far away from their current home in London. Children are given away for anyone to take at the train station. Everyone gets chosen besides Ada and Jamie. People looking for children ask Ada what happened to her foot.
“Got run over by a brewers cart,” she would say. The truth, though, was that Ada had an untreated clubfoot. She didn’t want people to be scared away because of her foot.
When no one took in Ada or Jamie, Susan Smith, whose last name being the same as Ada and Jamie’s being completely coincidental, was forced to take them in. Reluctantly, she took them in. She warns them that she is not a nice person. But Ada doesn’t understand how she isn’t a nice person if she’s so much nicer than their mom. The only reason that Ada and Jamie were able to escape was because of WWII, which was allowing children to escape London and go to Kent. Ada wasn’t sure she liked Ms. Smiths parenting methods, however, she much preferred them over her mom’s. The War starts getting worse, and going into the Anderson shelter(a small room buried underground) every night was growing to be a pain. When Ada and Jamie’s old mom came back to fetch them, just realizing she paid for them to be gone, she brought them right back. Their mom was very cruel to Ada, always shaming her for her foot. When they got back, tons of bombs dropped on London, as Ada and Jamie tried to escape the bombs, they saw Ms. Smith. They ran to her. Ms. Smith brought them back home to find out that their house was bombed. Butter, Ada’s horse and Bovril, Jamie’s cat, are both alright. Ada was scared, and she had just realized how serious the war was.
I rate this book a 9/10. It was full of action and fun to read. I would totally recommend this book to a friend. The character buildup could’ve been a little bit quicker, but other than that, this book was really good and I totally recommend it

-Sahana K, grade 6

The Terrible Two Get Worse by Jory John and Mac Barnett

I like this book because it is about two friends pranking together. It is about the two friends who get their principal fired by accident and get a very strict principal and have to prank him so bad he has to leave of embarrassment and their first principal comes back.

-Linnea S, grade 5

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

The book is about two sisters who can stand each other, but one day, a snake shows up and they have to work together. I really liked that book because it shows what happens with siblings. And even if you fight, you have to get through things together. That is why i really like the book.
I give the book 100,000 stars!

-Melody W, grade 5

Mr. Terupt Falls Again by Rob Buyea

I liked this book because it is about helping people friendships and love. This book is about seven friends going into 7th grade. It is very different and they are missing their teacher from last year (Mr. Terupt). It talks about school and challenges they have to face. That is why I liked Mr. Terupt Falls Again.

-Linnea S, grade 5

Ivy’s Ever After by Dawn Lairamore

The dragon in my book is named Eldridge. My book was about a giant named Largessa who needs her magical harp back. it was stolen after Ivy’s fairy godmother Drusilla gave magic beans to Jack, they grew into a giant beanstalk which lead to Largessa’s kingdom. Jack stole a bag of gold, a magical harp, and a goose that laid golden eggs. Jack later founded a kingdom named Jackopia that was COMPLETELY made out of gold. The harp put Largessa to sleep but without it, she hasn’t slept in nearly 1,000 years and she is very grumpy. Ivy, Eldridge, and the stable boy from the castle (Owen), must travel to Jackopia to retrieve the harp or else Largessa will crush the kingdom with giant boulders and feed Toadstool (Drusilla’s fairy goat) to the Meanstalk (A new type of magical living chomping beanstalk Largessa created. I like this book because it teaches Jackopia’s kingdom a lesson.

-Isabelle M, grade 4

* * *

And there you have it…the last page of reviews by kids until 2022. (Unless you want to send us a review to share.)

But it’s not the end of reading! Just visit the library and we can give you a million (okay, a dozen) suggestions for a book you might enjoy to check out and take home for a cozy day of reading. We love to help kids (and parents) find their next favorite book…

Happy Reading!

More Summer Book Reviews

Check out a few more of our favorite book reviews by kids this summer! I think some of these kids have a future in writing ahead of them…

* * *

Restart by Gordan Korman.

I like this book because it shows anyone can change and become a better person. The book is about a bully named Chase Ambrose falling on his head and forgetting everything. Chase has a chance to become a better person and change. That is what Restart is about.

Linnea S, grade 5

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl is about Zita, she accidentally opens a portal to space and ends up becoming a hero! But, in the third book, (this one) Zita gets sentenced to the dungeons by the Dungeon Lord. Even worse, her companion Mouse is sent to an execution. She sees a blue figure but doesn’t say anything about it. In the dungeon she finds Raggy, who developed from a rag pile in the dungeons. Then, there is Femur, the skeleton. They can both talk and when Zita escapes, it’s thanks to Femurs pinkie finger! She finds the blue figure again and follows it. They find a Leviathan which is suppose to be floating in space but is really giving the Dungeon Lord all of it’s power. Zita tries to free the Leviathan but ends up getting back to the dungeons. The blue figure does escape though.

The Dungeon Lord sentences Zita to the mines and says that every day she works for him he will put off Mouse’s execution. He also tells her that he plans to destroy her world!! But meanwhile, all of the friends she’s made are going to look for her! After a day after working in the mines, she thinks now she does belong in a cell. Raggy and Femur try to cheer her up but it’s no use. The next day in the mines she needs to break open a rock but instead she hits the screed. (A type of robot that’s evil) She gets saved by the blue figure again and actually gets out; but while they are jumping into a huge void Zita gets the blue figure unmasked and realizes that its Joseph, her old friend.

They get a connection with Piper and Madrigal, some other friends, they even have Strong, Strong and One. They also found… a time jump crystal! They go back to the dungeons and start their plan. Joseph betrays Zita and Raggy and Femur start a prison riot. They free Mouse and Joseph almost gets killed but they save him! Leviathan gets freed but the planet is going to implode. Joseph and Zita are about to board Zita’s spaceship but then she tells it to pick up Raggy and Femur. They start running to go to Piper’s spaceship but the Dungeon Lord grabs them. One shoots at the Dungeon Lord and Randy the Robot blasts a portal back to earth for Zita and Joseph.

Jessica M, grade 4

Upside Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins

I read Upside Down Magic. It is about a girl named Nory, and she is a Flexer. Flexers have special powers, like transforming into animals. I really liked the book because Nory isn’t a normal Flexer–she turns into two animals at once. Elliot is Nory’s friend and he is a Flare but instead of fire, he makes ice. Together they make a great team.

Toby F, grade 3

Who Was Maya Angelou, by Ellen Labrecque

The book, Who Was Maya Angelou by Ellen Labrecque, is a book about Maya Angelou. I think this person is inspiring because she wrote beautiful poems and said nice speeches. But most of all I am inspired by how she kept going even with all the sorrow in her life.

Lila P, grade 4

The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart

The book, The Mysterious Benedict Society, was a great book with many plot twists and a-lot of adventure. This book is about this group of scholars that go on a trip to a secret boarding school under-cover. On their trip they go through many secret passages and inhale huge secrets. Though they go through many challenges they have a choice to leave but they don’t…..

Lila P, grade 4

Linked by Gordon Korman

Linked is about a town in Colorado. In this town someone sprayed a swastika symbol on a wall. It happens more and more but no one knows who’s doing it. Plus, there is only one Jewish girl, or so they thought…. In the end, the first person to solve the crime was the famous Adam Tom, the YouTuber. Then the principal found out. There are no animals helping, only kids. Even though there was no detective (Police don’t count?) it was still a great mystery book! This book is definitely a 10/10!

(for the Mystery Challenge, which for the Tales & Tails summer reading program asked if any animals helped to solve the mystery)

Jessica M, grade 4

Magic Tree House: Ghost Town at Sundown by Mary Pope Osborne

A piano was playing by nothing was playing it. Then Jack and Annie heard a noise. It was loud. They went outside. They saw a troop of horses. They hid in the barrels that they saw. When they got out they saw a man with a six shooter gun. He was about to shoot when Jack and Annie told the real story. “Very brave of you taking care of my little horse” said the man. Then the troop of horses came back. Jack and Annie and the man quickly got on the horses. When they got to the Grand Canyon they drank tea and ate biscuits when it was morning. And then the man left. The End.

I like when the piano was playing by itself. The story was interesting because the man actually helped  Jack and Annie get away from the horses.

Logan M, pre-K

* * *

Do you see any books you’d like to read? Just come by the library…we have them all!

We should have one or two more entries of Summer Reading Reviews. Then on to some of the topics suggested for our blog in the BellaOnBooks Reading Challenge!

Happy Reading!

Summer Reading Reviews for kids, by kids…take two!

Here are more of our favorite reviews of this summer…

* * *

Smile, by Raina Telgemeier
Smile is about a girl named Raina that accidentally tripped and two front teeth fell out from Raina’s mouth. Raina goes to school and everyone is asking her what happened. Raina doesn’t like going to the Dentist appointments, AT ALL. Her friends make fun of her sometimes and eventually Raina yells at them and leaves their friend group. Raina does make new friends and Raina is happy again! She and her new friends are VERY happy and Raina’s teeth are better too. I really liked Smile and would rate the book five out of five stars!

– Jessica, grade 5

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Al Capone Does My Shirts was a great book! It is about a 12-year-old boy named Moose Flanagan in 1935 who moves to the prison island Alcatraz which houses infamous criminals known as notorious Roy Gardner, Machine Gun Kelly, and Al Capone. He meets kids that plan so many schemes they might as well be criminals themselves, and has to protect his older sister Natalie, who is not as normal as other kids. I really liked this book, because Moose really cares for his sister!

– Victoria, grade 6

Storm Runners By Roland Smith
Chase is a boy. He lives on a farm. Chase lives with Mama Rosa and Nicole. One day it is time for Chase to start school so Nicole takes him to the bus stop. The bus arrives and Chase hops on and goes to school. Chase meets Ricard Krupp. He is Chase’s teacher. “Hi,” says Mrs. Krupp”. “Hi” Chase says back. Chase sits back in his chair. Mrs. Krupp gave chase a math problem. Chase solved it quickly. Five hours later…RING RING! “School’s over,” said Mrs. Krupp. The bus came immediately. Chase refused to get onto the bus. “It’s dangerous,” Chase said. “Get onto the bus,” Mrs. Krupp said. “No”! Chase said. “GET ON THE BUS!!!!!” shouted Mrs. Krupp. So Chase ran onto the bus and forced the doors closed. The driver turned the key and drove away. “First stop Chase’s farm house. He lives in a…” ”Uh-oh” Chase interrupted, “Look at the sky.” Something was swirling in the sky. Suddenly the bus was lifted into the air. It fell and almost killed the driver. Two hours later….. Chase met Nicole and a new person Rashawn. They walk up a hill and saw something. “A crocodile!” They ran to Chase’s house. They all panted. “Home,” Chase said. I love this book because Chase is adventurous like me.

– Carter, grade 2

Roller Girl By Victoria Jamieson
Roller Girl is about this girl named Astrid. She has a friend named Nicole and they go to a roller derby bout and Astrid really loved it! So, Astrid goes to a junior roller camp and she assumes that Nicole wanted to go too but instead Nicole went to a Ballerina Camp. Astrid goes to the derby camp and walks or skates home, but her mom thinks that Nicole’s mom is driving her home. Nicole and Astrid get into a fight but then Astrid meets Zoey, and they become very good friends! Astrid decides to get her hair dyed and soon she has blue hair!! Her mom found out she was skating home and Astrid made up and apologized to Nicole. Astrid also gets into a fight with Zoey. She makes up with Zoey. In the end Astrid helps Zoey get a point to win the game in the bout! I really liked Roller Girl a lot and would rate it 5 out of 5!

– Jessica, grade 5

Secrets and Scones by Laurel Remington
Secrets and Scones is a really great book about a mom and a daughter. The mom has a blog and the daughter (Scarlett) does not like it because her mom is always blogging about her. Then a new girl (Violet) moves to town and she and Scarlett start cooking together! They form a club with some other people and they leave desserts at school. Scarlett keeps the cooking a secret from her mom because she is afraid that her mom will blog about it. But in the end Scarlett and her mom end up working it out and Scarlett even lets her mom help her with the blog.

-Ellie, grade 5

Breakaway by Andrea Montalbano
Breakaway is a book about a girl named LJ. LJ loves soccer more than anything, and when she’s on the field, everything’s perfect! But when she starts being selfish on the field, everything goes wrong. She lets her temper get ahead of her and takes her teammates and family for granted. What can she do to learn to be better? Read on to find out!

-Josie, grade 6

Music for Tigers By Michelle Kadarusman
This story is about a teenage violinist named Louisa who is sent to her family’s Australian bush camp with her uncle Ruff. She also meets a boy named Colin who has trouble making friends with people and cooks delicious meals. Louisa also meets Colin’s mother, Mel. Uncle Ruff is strange. He sometimes tells her about a haunted island named Convict Rock. Soon Louisa discovers that Convict Rock is a sanctuary for Tasmanian Tigers that were thought to be extinct. There is still one tiger at the sanctuary named Ellie. Convict Rock was established by Louisa’s Great Grandmother Eleanor. Then one night, Uncle Ruff brings home some bad news. The bush camp and Convict Rock are being destroyed by miners building a mine path to the mine caves. Convict Rock will be dynamited. Together Louisa, Uncle Ruff, Colin, and Mel must take Ellie deeper into the lush forest where Mel suspects there are other Tasmanian Tigers. They only had two weeks before the bush camp was bulldozed by miners. It turned out Ellie was attracted to Louisa’s violin. Uncle Ruff, Louisa, and Colin sailed to Convict Rock. Together they came up with a plan. The plan started at dusk. Uncle Ruff would put out a piece of meat. Then Louisa would play violin. Colin was ready with a lasso to lasso Ellie gently and a flashlight (Uncle Ruff called it a torch). Uncle Ruff had a net and a tranquil dart to make Ellie fall peacefully into sleep so they could transport her deep into the forest without pain. Their plan worked and when Ellie was caught in the net, Uncle Ruff called, “Torch!” Colin immediately turned on the flashlight so Uncle Ruff could see. He stuck the dart in Ellie’s leg and she fell into a deep sleep. Uncle Ruff radioed Mel and told her Ellie had successfully been rescued. She came in her truck and picked Ellie up. Mel took Ellie safely off into the deep forest. Their mission was complete! I like this book because it shows an appreciation for nature.

-Isabelle, grade 4

Lost at Sea By Nathen Neale
Orrie is a boy. Orrie goes onto a boat called good company. Skip a boat driver owns the boat. Jack is Orrie’s brother. They eat at the bottom of the ship which is the kitchen. Suddenly Orrie throws his plate of pasta at mom. He ran to the dock but it was too late the boat sailed into the far out sea. Jack and Skip fell into the water. Jack caught himself but Skip drowned. Orrie got the rope and caught Jack but when Orrie pulled out Jack mom gasped. Orrie caught a dolphin. He let the dolphin go and pulled up Jack. Mom hurt herself. So Orrie took the wheel. He steered left than right the left then right until dark. Orrie stopped the boat and handed Jack the wheel. Jack was driving like crazy. He was going left, left, right, left, right, right. Finally he stopped the boat. They reached their destination. Their destination was going to dad’s old home where dad was standing. “Yay”! Orrie said. They were here. The End I love this book because I love adventures and the sea.

-Carter, grade 2

A Possibility Of Whales By Karen Rivers
This book was about a girl named Natalia Rose Baleine, but a lot of people can her Nat. She had a really famous father and her mother left when she was a baby. And she just moved to Canada for the year. She makes one friend named Harry. She has a friend who she has never met (this friend dies in the end of the book) she calls this person Bird or Bird (Mom). There is one bad guy in this book–Nat and her Dad call him Loin. He is a photographer and takes pictures of them when they don’t want him too. I liked this book because Nat was very brave and she stood up for herself.

-Phoebe, grade 5

The book Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Front Desk is a sweet and terrific book. This book is about a Chinese immigrant, Mia, and her parents who are looking for a job, which is particularly hard for their race, because at the time Chinese people were not respected as much as other Americans were. They start out rough but find a job as a hotel manager, and work as hard as they can. They dealt with a mean owner pushing them to do what he wants and blaming them for others mistakes. Mia makes it all happen when one of her brilliant ideas is heard by not one, but thousands of people. They take a stand to stop Chinese racism and buy a hotel that welcomes everyone to space they all enjoy.

-Isabelle, grade 5

Crenshaw, by Kathrine Applegate
This is an extraordinary book. It starts off with Jackson, a young boy, who appears to be like any other intelligent ten-year-old boy dealing with the return of his childhood imaginary friend, the larger-than-life cat Crenshaw. As a result, the book draws you in to a very sad but realistic story about family problems. Although the story has elements of fantasy, the author includes sections that make Crenshaw seem real.

-Jenna, grade 6

El Deafo by Cece Bell
This is a auto biography and it is a amazing story and book. It’s about Cece and how she became deaf. In a movie a girl like her with a hearing aid (like her) was called “deafo” by a bully. She could not stop laughing until she hod to use the restroom. She thought “Deafo, hm… Well you gonna call me deafo, that’s right call me El Deafo.” She imagined herself everyday saving herself from her bullies and friends that betray her. In this book she goes through many frendships and struggles.

-Alyssa, grade 5

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
Coyote Sunrise is a 12 year old adventurous girl who lives and travels all over The United States in a school bus with her caring father while they try to forget and escape their past. Coyote heard that her childhood park in Poplin Springs, Washington, was going to be ripped down and Coyote was determined to travel back across the country to find her buried time capsule. The time capsule holds many locked up secrets of Coyote’s life. Coyote’s mother and two sisters passed away in a tragic car crash leaving just Coyote and her father. The time capsule contains everything from old pictures of her mother along with locks of hair from her two sisters. Coyote’s main focus is to return back to Poplin Springs in time to retrieve the time capsule before the park gets destroyed. However she cannot openly tell her father that they need to return back home because he is trying so hard to forget the pain of losing a huge part of their family. Along the way back to Washington, Coyote and her father find hitchhikers stranded along the road. Coyote has no choice but to have the hitchhikers pitch in on her journey as her father is always wanting to help anyone in need. In conclusion, I rate this story a 10/10 as, this story is remarkable with many cliffhangers that will keep you engaged page after page. The depth and intrigue of this story will leave you with a very memorable impression. If you like realistic fiction, then you will definitely love this book.

-Jenna, grade 6

Jenny and the Cat Club, by Esther Averill.
A cute yet interesting book. In the book Jenny goes though five adventures. Becoming a member of the Cat Club, losing her scarf that her master, Captain Tinker, knit for her, going to her first party, Captain Tinker adopting two stray cats that become her brothers, and her brothers joining the Cat Club. If you like cats, then you should read this book – Jenny and the Cat Club.

-Lyla, grade 2

Upside Down Magic: The Big Shrink by Sarah Mlynowski
Marigold has size changing magic that she is still learning how to control. She has a tutor named Layla. When Nory’s sister Dahlia tells her about something amazing called a Dregg (dragon egg), everybody in the Dunnwiddle fifth grade wants one. They became distractions during school and so Principal Gonzales had to ban them from school. Any Dregg taken out of backpacks at all during teaching, recess, and lunch were confiscated. The Upside Down Magic Class decided to make a peaceful protest against this new rule. Marigold shrunk most of the Upside Down Magic Class and any other fifth graders from the five Fs of magic. So many students wanted to be shrunk. Principal Gonzales finally offered Dreggs on Fridays out in the recess yard. Nory loved this idea but Marigold refused to back down and said she wanted Dreggs every day. Because everybody was tiny, their magic was also tiny so Marigold couldn’t unshrink anybody. Everybody had to go to the hospital but then Marigold had an idea. If she was unshrunk by the hospital, she could unshrink everybody else instead of them having to go through the ten shots and 18 glasses of coconut water. It worked. And Principal Gonzales still was letting people bring their Dreggs on Fridays during recess. I like this book because the message is it’s okay do make mistakes.

-Isabelle, grade 4

The Boys Start the War Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The Hatford family has four boys. Jake, Josh, Peter, and Wally. Their best friends the Bensons just moved to Georgia and a boring new family has taken their place. It is a family of three girls. The War of Pranks starts when the boys dump dead animals into the river so the girls wouldn’t swim in it. Then the girls pretend the youngest sister Caroline is dead and dump her into the river. Then Mrs. Hatford made the boys give the girls her special Chocolate Chiffon Cake on her best plate but the girls think it is a trick and dump the cake into the river along with the plate. Then they have to retrieve the plate and unluckily, it has a single hairline crack. Mrs. Hatford keeps asking about the cake, but no one knows what she was talking about because it was dumped into the river. Then the girls climb up onto the Hatford’s roof at night while it is raining and sing a long, eerie call. The boys take away the girls’ ladder so they can’t get off the roof. The girls open the trapdoor on their roof and let the rain in along with themselves. Then the boys make a haunted face by Beth’s window (the oldest sister) by sticking a flashlight under a rubber mask Josh is wearing. Then Caroline goes to spy on the Hatfords along with a snack of marshmallows and cheese and crackers in their shed. The boys find out and padlock the shed so Caroline can’t escape. Caroline pretends to be rabid by sticking marsh mellows on her lips and melting them in the hot sun. I like that this book is really funny.

– Isabelle, grade 4

Real Friends by Shannon Hale and Leuyen Phan
I read the book Real Friends about two girls Shannon and Adrienne who have been best friends seen they were little but when Adrienne come back from her little move. She starts to play with someone else at school. There friendship get torn is two. I really like this book. I think it might be the author’s childhood because it show pictures in the back

-Alima, grade 6

The Leak by Kate Reed Petty and Andrea Bell
The book was about a girl named Ruth who went fishing. She saw in the water that it was all black and there was a dead fish in the water. She thought it was weird so she got a little bit of the water and did a test on it at school with the teachers help. The teacher realized there was something bad in the water. The rest of the book was about her figuring out the problem with the water. She started a blog about the water problem. She realized it was a leak from a Country Club. There were chemicals going into the water. The water was giving people cavities and hurting people. She gave a speech and people starting using better water and get new tap water. The were able to stop the Country Club from leaking. Why I like the book was because Ruth was really determined to find out the problem. I really liked that it was a graphic novel because I think they are fun to read.

-Olivia, grade 3

Demon Dentist by David Williams
Demon Dentist is such a good book. It is about a boy named Alfie who hasn’t gone to the dentist in years. But then a evil dentist named Miss Root comes to his school and sees Alfies teeth. She gives him a toothpaste that burns through stone. But she didn’t tell Alfie that. Read the book to find out what happens to Alfie and the toothpaste will he figure out that it burns through stone or use it on his teeth? With its humor, sadness and scariness this is definitely one of my new favorite books.

-Katerina, grade 5

Clash By Kayla Miller
Clash is about a girl named Olive. Natasha had just moved to her town and Olive is Natasha’s buddy, Olive shows her around the school and Natasha meets all of her friends. Natasha doesn’t seem to like Olive that much and soon is taking Olive’s friends. Olive decides to hang out with her other friends but Natasha still is bugging her. Then, it’s Halloween and Olive is having a party because one of her friends, Willow isn’t allowed out this year. During the party, Natasha gets a lot of people to go trick-or-treating with her and ends up throwing an egg and Olive’s house. Suddenly, no one likes Natasha and doesn’t do anything with her. One day though, Olive decides to sit with Natasha and they may not become friends but they won’t hate each other. I really liked Clash and can’t wait to read Kayla Miller’s next book!

-Jessica, grade 5

Who Is Malala Yousafzai by Dinah Brown.
This book is about the life and achievements of Malala Yousafzai! I think Malala Yousafzai is very inspiring because she fought for girls school rights, and was the youngest person ever to win the famous Nobel Peace Prize!

-Josie, grade 6

Big Nate Blasts Off By Lincoln Peirce
Big Nate Blasts Off is about Nate, and he meets a new girl named Ruby. Instantly he falls in love but the school jerk, Randy likes Ruby too! When Nate gets hired by the weekly Bungle he wrote about Randy as a guess the person. But, he made it mean so Randy got SUPER mad!! Ruby seems to like Nate more and when she gives him some Root Bear, Randy gets in on the action by shaking it up and getting Nate all sprayed up. Nate’s dad says that they might move to California so Nate is down in the dumps and gets paired up with Randy for a field trip. Of course, they don’t get along but =by the end they’ve come to an understanding. They team up for the 37th annual Mud Bowl against Jefferson and guess what? They win! When Nate says that he isn’t moving Ruby kisses him and Randy gets mad and jealouse. Nate talks to Randy and they may not become friends, but they are not enemies. I really like Big Nate and I can’t wait to read the next one!

– Jessica, grade 5

The Baby-Sitters Club; Kristy’s Big Day By Ann Martin and Gale Galligan
Kristy’s Big Day is about Kristy’s mom and Watson, a millionaire getting married! in this book, Kristy and the rest of the Baby-Sitters club has to baby-sit 14 kids! They work it out though and Kristy and her mom faces many problems but they successfully complete the wedding! Kristy is happy for her mom and Watson! I think this book was great and I really can’t wait to read the 7th book!

-Jessica, grade 5

Magic Tree House #35; Camp Time in California By Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie see two blank sketchbooks, two magic drawing pencils, a rhyme from Morgan, and a book about Yosemite National Park when they climb into their treehouse at dusk one evening. The rhyme goes: The trees are calling Hurry and go Into the forest, Through sunshine and snow. Call yourselves artists. Draw what you see. Give help to others. Give it for free. Before you go home, Speak truth to power. Help save the wilderness By Sunday’s noon hour. Jack and Annie are whisked away to Yosemite National Park and meet four horsemen. They let Jack and Annie travel with them. They help the horsemen (for free), draw all the simple but amazing sights of Yosemite in their sketchbooks, and help President Roosevelt save Yosemite by putting it under protection from the wildlife societies. I like this book because it is showing an amazing example of how to protect nature and its natural beauties.

-Isabelle, grade 4

* * *


That was more reviews than planned, but I enjoyed hearing about all the titles so much, it wouldn’t have been easy to cut any of them!

So what has been YOUR favorite books this summer? Feel free to share it with library staff…either in your reading log, at the library, or here in the comments!

Happy Reading!

Summer Reading Reviews–From Kids!

Here are some of our favorite Summer Reading Reviews!

If you’re looking for a book to read, try one of these–recommended by kids, for kids.

* * *

I liked Invisible Emmie by Terri Liberson because I like the idea of how Emmie, the most invisible kid in the school that’s shy, turns eventually to be very popular. Kate, on the other hand, was very, very popular but that all changed. To add onto that, when Katie starts to help Emmie after someone found her love note to Tyler and her world becomes a disaster. She even lost her best friend, Brianna. Emmie likes Katies help but then just wants her to stop. Furthermore, I also like how the author separated this book from two different perspectives and you know both sides of the story. This is why I like invisible Emmie. I would recommend this book to anyone and I rate it a 5 out of 5!

-Jessica M

* * * *

This is a book review for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K.Rowling. I really like how the author includes the details in the book and a lot of imagination about the wizard world. It is about a young boy named Harry Potter who is actually a wizard raised by muggles! He goes to Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. He makes friends like Ron and Hermoinnie and learns different spells. But, there a really evil wizard named Voldemort, who killed Harry’s parents and also wants to kill him. This book has a very creative world, and while I was reading it I felt that I was in it! I recommend you should read it. It’s even better than the movie!

-Anay M

* * * *

The title of this book is Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone by J K Rowling. The book was about Harry Potter (who is a wizard) survives when Voldemort (who is a bad wizard) try’s to kill harry. harry is sent to his aunt, uncle and cousin who are all very mean to him. Then one day letters start coming in and his aunt and uncle don’t let harry see it. Then so many come in that they go into a houseboat. Then exactly on Harry’s eleventh birthday an expelled wizard (who is also the gamekeeper) named Hagrid smashes down the door and gives harry his letter. It is an invitation to Hogwarts a school of witchcraft and wizardry. After that harry see’s Voldemort again trying to steal the sorcerers stone (he is not really Voldemort and his Professor Quirrell with Voldemort’s head). He defeats Professor Quirrell by touching him and the stone was destroyed. I liked this book because of when harry touched Professor Quirrell. That is the reason why I liked Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone.

-Danesh M

* * * *

The Heroes of Olympus, Book Four: The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan The fourth book in the second Percy Jackson series starts off when Leo Valdez, Piper McLean, Jason Grace, Hazel Levesque, and Frank Zhang are flying through an angry mountain gods area in their flying ship: the Argo II, and are getting pelted with giant rocks. Meanwhile, Percy Jackson and his girlfriend Annabeth Chase are falling down into Tartarus: a giant pit of doom where gods imprison their enemies known as the Underworld. My favorite part of the book was when Bob the nice titan brings Percy and Annabeth to Akhlys, who can make them invisible. “His whole body was dissolving. He held up his hands and found they were fuzzy and indistinct,” the book stated. “Her skin was sallow, her eye sockets dark and sunken.” In this part, I think the author did a great job of describing the scene and creating a visual for the reader to see in their head. Overall, I think this was a great book and I look forward to reading the next one in the series.

-Bogdan C

* * * *

I read the book Just Jaime by Terri Libenson, the book was about a girl whose best friend got influenced by the popular girls, and they made her say mean things about her, because she was a late bloomer, but she meets nice people and the girls friend relzies what she did wrong and they become friends againI loved the book because it shows the meaning of true friendship and having real friends. I give it a 10 star!

-Melody W

* * * *

Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom By Teresa Robeson The Queen of Physics is about an Asian woman named Wu Chien Shiung. Her name means courageous hero. Her parents were also courageous. They opened a school for only girls. Shien Shiung learned all she could there and then she went to Suzhou, fifty miles away. At night after her classes were over, she read textbooks about physics and electricity and atoms. She was not afraid of challenges. She was chosen to lead their “underground group” a group to fight against the unfair government. Chien Shiung traveled even farther away. She went to the National Central University. And she studied some more physics. Later, she was chosen to lead the march to General Chiang’s headquarters. Then she traveled to Berkeley, California to get deeper into her studies of atoms. She proved other people’s theories right or wrong with her knowledge and studies. Many people say she should have won the Nobel Prize but she didn’t. Chien Shiung helped two physicists Yang Ning and Lee Dao. She even cancelled her trip to China to see her parents in her commitment to her work. She proved Lee and Yang right. They won the Nobel Prize but again, she didn’t. Another two physicists Richard Feynman and Murray Gell- Mann needed Chien Shiung’s help. She proved yet another theory but for the third time, they got the Nobel Prize and she didn’t. Chien Shiung worked so hard that a little while later, newspapers declared that she had been given a new title: The Queen of Physics! I like this book because Chien Shiung proved persistence and she tried her best and faced challenges even when things were hard.

-Isabelle M

* * * *

The book, Who is Ken Jennings? by Kirsten Anderson is all about Ken Jennings who holds some records on the game show Jeopardy. In the book it is mostly about his time on the show. Did you know that Ken won his first game because of the answer, “Jones”? Ken Jennings won 74 games in a row! Did you know that Ken had less than a month to get ready for Jeopardy? Ken Jennings practiced using a buzzer and one of his sons toys became a practice buzzer? In the end of his time on Jeopardy he won a total of $2,522,700! I think that Ken Jennings is inspiring because he worked really hard to try his best when he was playing Jeopardy.

-Jessica M

* * * *

These were some of our favorite reviews of the summer so far. Have you read any of these books? Do they sound good to you? Check one out and see what you think!

Check back next week for more!