Fun Summer Reads #3

A mystery, this time!

Key to the Treasure, by Peggy Parishkey  to the treasure, illustrated by Paul Frame

Liza, Bill and Jed are spending their summer vacation with their grandparents.  They have no problem keeping busy and finding fun things to do.  But one day, a thunderstorm rolls in and the kids are stuck in the house.  While they listen to the rain drumming on the roof and the thunder rolling, their grandfather tells them a story about the house, and his grandfather who lived in it during the Civil War, and the clues to a lost treasure he had left for his children.  Grandfather’s story ends sadly, for his grandfather died in the Civil War, and his children were never able to find the treasure, only the first clue.  And Grandfather shows them the first clue…four sketches, preserved in a photo frame beside the fireplace.

When the storm is over, Liza, Bill and Jed help clear up some of the mess; everything from broken key to the treasure 1branches to a broken tree limb.  Because of the broken limb, their plans for building a treehouse have to be put on hold…so while they’re waiting, they examine the items left behind by Grandfather’s grandfather…and Liza discovers a worn clue hidden in a headdress!   But it’s in code!  Can Liza and her brothers uncover the code that will let them decipher the clues and find the treasure?

Key to the Treasure is the  first book in a fun mystery series for second and third grade readers, written by the author of the popular Amelia Bedelia books!

 

Open Book: June 26, 2015

OPEN BOOK: AN EMAIL NEWSLETTER FOR TEENS from the Weston Public Library

Open Book is an email newsletter of book recommendations for teens. It is sent once a month and includes book excerpts in six teen fiction categories (realistic fiction, historical fiction, action/ adventure/fantasy/science fiction, romance, the buzz: middle school, and the buzz: high school). If you wish to subscribe to Open Book, please email smitchill@minlib.net or sign up in person at the Youth Services desk at the Library. Open Book email newsletters are also archived here on our blog.

Here are the picks for this week…

Don’t forget to click on the title to be connected to our catalog where you can

Request the book

Read reviews of the book from multiple sources

Saint Anything  Boys Who Challenged Hitler   Mosquitoland   Every Last Word   I Will Always Write Back   Go Set a Watchman

Realistic Fiction

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Sydney’s charismatic older brother Peyton has always been the center of attention in the family, but when he’s sent to jail, Sydney struggles to find her place at home and the world until she meets the Chathams, including gentle, protective Mac, who makes her feel seen for the first time.

Read an excerpt


Historical Fiction / Nonfiction

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pederson and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose

At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation’s leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys‘ exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance. Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, here is Phil Hoose’s inspiring story of these young war heroes

Read an excerpt


Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

When she learns that her mother is sick in Ohio, Mim confronts her demons on a thousand-mile odyssey from Mississippi that redefines her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

Read an excerpt


Romance

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Read an excerpt


Buzz: Middle School

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda

Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda met as pen pals in 1997 and are still best friends today.

NY Times Review
Read an excerpt


Buzz:  High School

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

 

Read an excerpt from To Kill a Mockingbird

Go Set a Watchman comes out on July 14.  Request a copy today!

Fun Summer Reads #2

Looking for something fun to read this summer?  Try one of our Fun Summer suggestions!

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The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain, Book One)
by Lloyd Alexander

Say you were a lowly assistant pig keeper in a castle, but you wanted to be something grander, something more important.  Might you–perhaps–neglect your charge?  Even if she was Hen Wen, the only oracular pig in all of Prydain? And instead try to learn sword making, sword-fighting, and other skills that befit a true warrior?

Because that’s what Taran does.  He longs to become an expert swordsman and have adventures.  But book of three 70instead, he’s watching a pig.  It’s true, she’s the most special pig in the kingdom, but wallowing in the mud isn’t Taran’s idea of an adventure.  But when Taran’s on duty and all of the animals in Caer Dallben react to an approaching danger with terror, Hen Wen is so frightened she digs under her fence and escapes into the forest.  Taran follows her.  His plan is to rescue her and bring her back, but instead he manages to fall into the adventure he always craved.

With the dreaded Horned King on the loose and King Arawn gathering the forces of evil, Taran is soon book of three 80in the middle of an adventure.  But it’s not as easy being a hero as it might sound, and adventures are not as exciting when you’re in the middle of them as they are when you’re hearing them as legends.  Taran’s bravery, cunning and, yes his swordsmanship, is put to the test…along with his connection to Hen Wen and his ability to think on his feet.

The Book of Three is the first book in an award-winning Chronicles of Prydain series, partially based on Welsh legends, with some of the best characters in children’s literature.  A book that I read and re-read as a kid, with a quest that keeps its thrilling life or death drama.

::Kelly::book of three 1

Fun Summer Reads, #1

Looking for something fun to read this summer?  Try one of our Fun Summer suggestions!

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If I Built a Car, by Chris van Dusen

If you were building a car from scratch, what would you add?  Three headlights?  Jet engines?  A swimming pool, complete with a snack machine and robot driver?

In this fun book, young Jack tells his father exactly what he’d put in a new car.

Filled with a bouncy narration that’s fun to read out loud and illustrations reminiscent of colorful 50s style of cartoons like The Jetsons, this book is wonderful from top to bottom. Make sure to check out the details in the illustrations, as well as Jack’s designs on the endpapers.

If you liked this, don’t miss If I Built a House, where Jack designs his dream home and shares it with his mom!  And really, check out everything by Chris Van Dusen.  They’re all great books for kids of all ages.

if I built a carif i built a car illustrationif i built a house

 

 

 

Enjoy!

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::Kelly::

New Books for…May!

Continuing from yesterday’s post…favorite new books in April.  Only now, I guess, it’s May.

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New titles by Favorite Authors:
(or, as they should be called, probable series)

stolen magicStolen Magic, by Gail Carson Levine
Elodie, the dragon detective Meenore, and the kindly ogre Count Jonty Um are all on their way to Elodie’s home island of Lahnt. Elodie has barely set foot on land before she learns that the Replica, a statue that keeps her island’s deadly volcano from erupting, has been stolen! If the Replica isn’t found in three days, a mountain will be destroyed. And when Elodie ends up alone with a cast of characters each of whom may be guilty, she has to use her wits to try to unravel a tangled web of lies.
The popular author of many thrilling (and award winning) fantasy titles has written another one sure to be a hit. This isn’t really a series (not yet, anyway), but the book is a sequel to A Tale of Two Castles.

rat with a human faceThe Rat with the Human Face, by Tom Angleberger
Another sequel, this will be a series before too long! Lyle Hertzog and his friends Marilla and Dave are the Qwikpick Adventure Society, three kids who seek out adventure in their seemingly quiet hometown of Crickenburg. On the hunt for their next big adventure, the kids overhear a construction worker telling his buddies about a rat with a human face he saw in the basement of an old research facility. The decision is unanimous: the next adventure for the Qwikpick Society is on! But when their trip to find the rat doesn’t go quite as expected, the trio gets in big trouble. Will the second adventure for the Qwikpick Society also be their last?

tombquest 1Tombquest, by Michael Northrop
A new series by the publisher who brought us 39 Clues and Spirit Animals!
Nothing can save Alex Sennefer’s life. That’s what all the doctors say, but his mother knows it’s not true. She knows that the Lost Spells of the Egyptian Book of the Dead can crack open a door to the afterlife and pull her son back from the brink. But when she uses the spells, five evil ancients–the Death Walkers–are also brought back to life. An ancient evil has been unleashed. Mummies are awakening. New York is overrun with scorpions. And worst of all for Alex, his mom and the Lost Spells have both disappeared. He and his best friend, Ren, will do anything to find his mom and save the world . . . even if that means going head-to-head with a Death Walker who has been plotting his revenge for 3,000 years! We currently have the first two books, Book of the Dead and Amulet Keepers.

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And these just look good:
  (Mostly because I like the cover.  But also because spot-reading a few pages made me want to read more.  Lots more!)

valiantValiant, by Sarah McGuire
Saville hates sewing. How can she not when her father, the Tailor, loves his bolts of velvet and silk far more than he’s ever loved her? But when he is struck ill, Saville must don boy’s clothes in the hopes of gaining a commission from the king to keep them fed. The kingdom is on edge when stories spread of an army of giants led by a man who cannot be killed. No one believes that, of course!. But when Saville cunningly tricks two large men into leaving the city, suddenly the Tailor of Reggen is the hero of the kingdom! The king even promises his sister’s hand in marriage, and by the time Saville reaches the palace doors, it is widely known that the Tailor single-handedly killed giants. When it’s discovered that she’s a girl, Saville is swept into the twists and turns of court politics. The deathless man is very real, and he will use his giant army to ensure he is given the throne freely or by force. Now, only a tailor girl with courage and cunning can see beyond the tales to discover the truth and save the kingdom again.

Untitled-2Drive Me Crazy, by Terra Elan McVoy
Friendship can be a bumpy road, especially when two people don’t exactly start off as friends. 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 now they’re about to spend an entire week together, stuck in the backseat of a Subaru. They’re traveling with their grandparents on their honeymoon, road-tripping from California to Maine. It’s going to be a disaster.

woofWoof by Spencer Quinn
Trouble is brewing in the Louisiana swamp, and Bowser , the handsome and only slightly slobbery dog detective, is on the trail with his girl, Birdie. When a prize stuffed marlin is stolen from Birdie’s Grammy’s bait and tackle shop, Birdie and Bowser start digging for clues. But what looks like a straight-forward break-in soon becomes as tangled as a tourist’s fishing line. Was Grammy hiding a treasure map in the marlin? What’s up with Old Man Straker, owner of a rival tackle shop, and his juvenile delinquent son? And most sinister of all, why does it suddenly look as if someone wants to harm Birdie? Whatever it takes, Bowser is going follow the scent and solve the mystery.

league of beastly dreadfulsThe League of Beastly Dreadfuls, by Holly Grant
Anastasia is a completely average almost-eleven-year-old. That is, UNTIL her parents die in a tragic vacuum-cleaner accident. UNTIL she’s rescued by two long-lost great-aunties. And UNTIL she’s taken to their delightful and, er, “authentic” Victorian home, St. Agony’s Asylum for the Criminally Insane. But something strange is going on at the asylum. Anastasia soon begins to suspect that her aunties are not who they say they are. So when she meets Ollie and Quentin, two mysterious brothers, the three join together to plot their great escape.

archie greeneArchie Greene and the Magician’s Secret, by D.D. Everest
On his twelfth birthday, Archie Greene receives a mysterious package containing an ancient book in a language he doesn’t recognize. The gift leads him to a family he didn’t know he had and a world he never knew existed.  With the help of his  cousins, Bramble and Thistle, Archie tries to unravel the mystery behind his book, but he begins to realize that his gift is something more powerful than he could have imagined. And the only thing more perilous than its contents is being its owner. The book waited four hundred years for Archie Greene. Now Archie must discover why.

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So come to the library and see what’s new!  There are some great choices available.

::Kelly::

The end of the April New Books!

It’s the end of the month, and April is ending with a bang!  On this very last day of the month, we have some great additions to our collection.  I haven’t had a chance to read these new fiction offerings yet, but they’re all on my TBR list.  Some are new entries in popular series, some are books by popular authors, and some just look really, really good.  :)

Check it out!

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New Series additions:

gracefulGraceful, by Wendy Mass
The newest entry in the popular Willow Falls series, following 11 Birthdays, Finally, 13 Gifts and The Last Present.  Angelina, the force behind the magic in Willow Falls has left town to see the world, leaving Grace in charge.  Grace does her best to use the powers, with help from the hints left behind by Angelica. Grace is supposed to come into her powers gradually, but something’s affecting the magic in the town of Willow Falls, and she needs to do something now! Luckily, she’s got friends who can help.  Family, friendship, and everyday magic — what could be better!

gone crazy in alabamaGone Crazy in Alabama, by Rita Williams-Garcia
The third book about the Gaither sisters, following One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven.  This time, the girls aren’t in Brooklyn or L.A, but instead in Alabama, spending the summer of 1969 in  the rural South.  Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are vistiting their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. The girls meet Miss Trotter, who they discover is Ma Charles’ half sister  They can’t understand why the two women haven’t spoken for years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers a surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.

evil spy schoolEvil Spy School, by Stuart Gibbs
After attending  Spy School and Spy Camp Ben thought that he was all set with becoming an operative for the CIA.  That is, until during a spy school game of Capture the Flag, Ben somehow accidentally shoots a live mortar into the principal’s office-and immediately gets himself expelled. Not long after going back to the boring old real world, Ben gets recruited by evil crime organization SPYDER, an offer which he accepts.  As a new student in SPYDER’s evil spy school, which trains kids to become bad guys, Ben does some secret spying of his own. Working as an unofficial undercover agent, he discovers that SPYDER is planning something very big-and very evil.  Ben can tell he’s a key part of the plan, but he’s not quite sure what the plan is. Can Ben figure out what SPYDER is up to-and get word to the good guys without getting caught-before it’s too late?

gollywhipper games friend or foeGollywhopper Games: Friend or Foe, by Jody Feldman
In this third installment of The Gollywhopper Games, a new kid is ready for the Games…or is he?  Zane would rather play football than compete in the Games, and he’s sure that he’s headed straight for the NFL. But when he gets his second concussion, his parents tell him, “No football for a year.” Instead, to his surprise, he gets a chance to compete in the Gollywhopper Games. Zane’s sense of strategy, his physical strength, and his competitive edge are all assets, and so is his ability to motivate his teammates and get them to work together. Zane becomes particularly close to Elijah, a young and scrawny genius who is friendly, awkward, and funny–Zane’s polar opposite. These two unlikely friends end up head-to-head in the final challenge, where Elijah’s quick thinking and Zane’s physical strength make it a tough fight. Can they win?

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Tomorrow…more great new titles coming!

::Kelly::