5 Books Featuring…Illustrated Adventures!

Five Finely Illustrated Adventure Books!

In much of children’s literature from the early 1900s through the 1960s, chapter books had a few drawings sprinkled throughout the text; either to illustrate a chapter, to give an idea of what characters looked like, or to point out some action taking place.  Around the late 1960s, it seemed illustrations in fiction were phased out.  When illustrated chapter books for younger readers started becoming popular with the advent of The Magic Tree House books, some publishers started bringing back illustrations for older readers as well.  Then The Invention of Hugo Cabret happened, and suddenly, illustrations were really making a comeback!

This week’s 5 Books is about books that are wonderfully illustrated, where the illustrations tell as much of the story as the words do.  You won’t find any wimpy kids here though…these are detailed, lavish illustrations that will leave you wanting more.

In case you don’t remember, our 5 Books Featuring are five related Books–One Old, One New, One Popular with Kids, One Well-Reviewed, and One Favorite of library staff–but you’ll have to guess which is which! Each book has a short synopsis and link to the book in the catalog, so you can easily find and request it.

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Balthazar, Armand.  Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlanticdiego and vastlantic
You’ve never seen Earth like this before: continents reshaped, oceans re-formed, cities rebuilt, and mountains sculpted anew. Dinosaurs roam the plains alongside herds of buffalo, and giant robots navigate the same waters as steam-powered ships.
This is the world Diego Ribera was born into. The past, present, and future coexisting together. In New Chicago, Diego’s middle school hallways buzz with kids from all eras of history and from cultures all over the world. The pieces do not always fit together neatly, but this is the world he loves.
There are those, however, who do not share his affection. On his thirteenth birthday, Diego learns of a special gift he has within, a secret that is part of something much bigger–something he cannot understand. When his father, New Chicago’s top engineer, is taken by the Aeternum, Diego must rescue him and prevent this evil group from disrupting the fragile peace humanity has forged.  This beautifully  full-color illustrated book is the first volume in a new series!

De Lint, Charles.  The Cats of Tanglewood Forestcats of tanglewood forest
Lillian Kindred spends her days exploring the Tanglewood Forest, a magical, rolling wilderness that she imagines to be full of fairies. The trouble is, Lillian has never seen a wisp of magic in her hills–until the day the cats of the forest save her life by transforming her into a kitten. Now she must set out on a perilous adventure that will lead her through untamed lands of fabled creates–from Old Mother Possum to the fearsome Bear People–to find a way to make things right.
In this whimsical original folktale, written and illustrated throughout in vibrant full color by two celebrated masters of modern fantasy, a young girl’s journey becomes an enchanting coming-of-age story about magic, friendship, and the courage to shape one’s own destiny.
Also try Seven Wild Sisters, a companion tale.

Lin, Grace.  When the Sea Turned to Silverwhen the sea turned to silver
Pinmei’s gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller.
Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide. Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei’s grandmother–before it’s too late.
A fast-paced adventure that is extraordinarily written and beautifully illustrated, When the Sea Turned to Silver is a masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky.

Selznick, Brian.  Wonderstruckwonderstruck
Set fifty years apart, two independent stories – Ben’s told in words and Rose’s in pictures – weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder.
Ever since his mom died, Ben feels lost.
At home with her father, Rose feels alone.
He is searching for someone, but he is not sure who.
She is searching for something, but she is not sure what.
When Ben finds a mysterious clue hidden in his mom’s room…
When a tempting opportunity presents itself to Rose…
Both children risk everything to find what’s missing.
With over 460 pages of original drawings and playing with the form he invented in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.  Also try his most recent novel, The Marvels.

Van Allsburgh, Chris.  The Chronicles of Harris Burdickchronicles of harris burdick
For more than twenty-five years, the illustrations in the extraordinary Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg have intrigued and entertained readers of all ages. Thousands of children have been inspired to weave their own stories to go with these enigmatic pictures. Now we’ve asked some of our very best storytellers to spin the tales. Enter The Chronicles of Harris Burdick to gather this incredible compendium of stories: mysterious, funny, creepy, poignant, these are tales you won’t soon forget.
This collection of short stories features many remarkable, best-selling authors in the worlds of both young adult and children’s literature: Sherman Alexie, M.T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Cory Doctorow, Jules Feiffer, Stephen King, Tabitha King, Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire, Walter Dean Myers, Linda Sue Park, Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka, Lemony Snicket, and Chris Van Allsburg himself.
The illustrations have evoked such wonderment and imagination since Harris Burdick‘s original publication in 1984; many have speculated or have woven their own stories to go with his images. More than ever, the illustrations send off their eerie call for text and continue to compel and pick at the reader’s brain for a backstory–a threaded tale behind the image. In this book, we’ve collected some of the best storytellers to spin them, accompanied by the illustrations that inspired them.

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Do you have any books you’d like to add to this list?  (I was reaching a little with the Harris Burdick book…I’m not sure it exactly fits the pattern.)  If you do, let us know!  Until then, try one of these five wonderfully illustrated books and see what you think.

As always, if you need help finding these or any other books at the library, please ask one of our librarians.  We all love to help!

::Kelly::

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5 Books Featuring…Magic Schools!

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ve probably wondered about how you’d do if you went to school at Hogwarts.  But Hogwarts isn’t the only magical school in the children’s book world!  Try one of these five favorites featuring other magical schools!

In case you don’t remember, our 5 Books Featuring are five related Books–One Old, One New, One Popular with Kids, One Well-Reviewed, and One Favorite of library staff–but you’ll have to guess which is which! Each book has a short synopsis and link to the book in the catalog, so you can easily find and request it.

5 Books Featuring Magical Schools:

Black, Holly.  The Iron Trial iron trial
                               School: The Magisterium

Most people would do anything to get into the Magisterium and pass the Iron Trial. Not Callum Hunt. Call has been told his whole life that he should never trust a magician. And so he tries his best to do his worst – but fails at failing. Now he must enter the Magisterium. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister. And Call realizes it has dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future. The Iron Trial is just the beginning. Call’s biggest test is still to come . . .
Find out how difficult The Magisterium is to graduate from in the sequels…The Copper Gauntlet, The Bronze Key, The Silver Mask, and (coming in 2018) The Golden Tower.

 

Blackwood, Sage.  Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Mindedmiss elicott's school
                                          School: Miss Ellicott’s School for Magical Maidens
Chantel would much rather focus on her magic than on curtsying, which is why she often finds herself in trouble at Miss Ellicott’s School for Magical Maidens. But when Miss Ellicott mysteriously disappears along with all the other sorceresses in the city, Chantel’s behavior becomes the least of her problems.
Without any magic protecting the city, it is up to Chantel and her friends to save the Kingdom. On a dangerous mission, Chantel will discover a crossbow-wielding boy, a dragon, and a new, fiery magic that burns inside her–but can she find the sorceresses and transform Lightning Pass into the city it was meant to be?
So far, this is a one-shot, but maybe if readers really like it, there will be a sequel..?

 

Mlynowski, Sarah.  Upside Down Magicupside down magic
School:  Dunwiddle Magic School

Nory Horace is nine years old. She’s resourceful, she’s brave, she likes peanut butter cookies. Nory’s father is the headmaster of an elite magic academy, but if Nory wants to enter fifth grade there in the fall, she’ll have to get her “wonky” magic under control. Unfortunately, Nory always turns herself into odd animal combos like a kitten and a beaver or a kitten and a dragon, and she has a hard time controlling herself in her animal form. When Nory fails Sage Academy’s Big Test, she’s sent to live with her aunt and attend  Dunwiddle Magic School, where she meets a group of kids whose magic is also…well…different.
This offbeat new series chronicles the misadventures of Nory and her oddball friends Elliot and Bax, who prove that upside-down magic definitely beats right side up.
The adventures continue for the friends in Sticks & Stones, Showing Off, and Dragon Overnight.

 

Neff, Henry.  The Hound of RowanHound_of_Rowan
School:  Rowan Academy

Max  McDaniels lives a quiet life in the suburbs of Chicago, until the day he stumbles upon a mysterious Celtic tapestry. Many strange people are interested in Max and his tapestry. His discovery leads him to Rowan Academy, a secret school where great things await him. At Rowan Academy,  young people with Potential are trained to fight an unnamed enemy.  Max and the other apprentices are housed in magically morphing rooms and assigned animal charges. Max is paired with the last lymrill in the world, a nocturnal creature with metallic quills. They train on the Course, where they experience different scenarios as they try to achieve a goal and move up levels as they progress.  But dark things are waiting, too.  When Max learns that priceless artworks and gifted children are disappearing, he finds himself in the crossfire of an ancient struggle between good and evil. To survive, he’ll have to rely on a network of agents and mystics, the genius of his roommate, and the frightening power awakening within him.
Max’s adventures continue in The Second Siege, The Fiend and the Forge, and The Maelstrom.

 

Smith, L. J.  Wren to the Rescuewren to the rescue
School:  The Magic School

All her life Wren has hoped for an adventure. Now she has one-with a kidnapped princess, a handsome prince, and a magician. What does it matter if the princess is only Tess, her best friend from the orphanage; if the prince is a youngest son with no chance of becoming king; and the magician is an apprentice? Finding herself a natural-born leader (or maybe just bossy!) Wren leads the other three over mountains and past killing spells, fighting battles along the way. But then she finds herself up against some shape-changing magic that may end her life as a human forever!
The four friends’ adventures continue in Wren’s Quest and Wren’s War.

 

Yep, Laurence.  A Dragon’s Guide to Making Your Human Smarterdragon's guide to making your human smarter
School: Spriggs Academy

Three-thousand-year-old Miss Drake has arranged to send her dear pet Winnie to The Spriggs Academy, an extraordinary school for humans and magicals alike. Winnie is particularly excited about magic class and having Sir Isaac Newton for science. She’s also making new friends–and frenemies. . . .
When a plot to snatch Winnie from her San Francisco home is uncovered, Miss Drake is ready to use all her cunning and magic to thwart it. Not that feisty Winnie needs the help. . . . As a team, the intrepid duo you first met in A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans is unstoppable!  Their third adventure is  A Dragon’s Guide to Making Perfect Wishes.

 

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Oops, that’s six!  But I don’t want to take out any of them…I guess you get a bonus book this time.  🙂  I already cut out the schools based on Grimms’ Fairy Tales.  That might be a later list…

So which of these magic schools sounds the most interesting to you?  Read them all and find out…

As always, if you would like any help finding these or any other books, ask one of our librarians for help.  We love helping you find books!

::Kelly::

 

 

5 Books Featuring…Treehouses!

Not really the right time of the year for this topic…but maybe as you’re huddled by the fireplace or your radiator, you might enjoy reading about these adventures in the (warmer!) outdoors.  And once you thaw out from this winter blast, maybe you could stop by the library and check out a book about building a tree house in the spring!

In case you don’t remember, our 5 Books Featuring are five related Books–One Old, One New, One Popular with Kids, One Well-Reviewed, and One Favorite of library staff–but you’ll have to guess which is which! Each book has a short synopsis and link to the book in the catalog, so you can easily find and request it.

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Graff, Lisa.  The Great Treehouse WarThe Great Treehouse Wargreat treehouse war
Winnie’s last day of fourth grade ended with a pretty life-changing surprise. That was the day Winnie’s parents got divorced and decided that Winnie would live three days a week with each of them and spend Wednesdays by herself in a treehouse between their houses, to divide her time perfectly evenly. Too bad no one consulted Winnie.
By the end of fifth grade, Winnie decides that the only way to change things is to barricade herself in her treehouse until her parents come to their senses–and her friends decide to join. It’s kids vs. grown-ups, and no one wants to back down first. But with ten kids in one treehouse, all with their own demands, things get pretty complicated! Even if they are having the most epic slumber party ever.

Griffiths, Andy.  The 13-Story Treehouse13 story treehouse
Andy and Terry live in the most amazing treehouse in the world!   It has thirteen stories, a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a secret underground laboratory, and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you are hungry.  Life would be perfect for Andy and Terry if it wasn’t for the fact that they have to write their next book, which is almost impossible because there are just so many distractions, including thirteen flying cats, giant bananas, mermaids, a sea monsters pretending to be mermaids, enormous gorillas, and dangerous burp gas-bubblegum bubbles!  (If you read the whole series, you’ll find out that the boys will get up to 91 stories…)

Kimmel, Haven.  Kaline Klattermaster’s Tree Housekaline klattermasters
Kaline Klattermaster loves his mom. Adores his mom. But she can be, well…a bit forgetful sometimes. A bit lax. A bit…crazy? For instance, when she gives him a chicken leg for breakfast…or forgets that he needs to go to school. And he’s not completely sure his mother understands how time works.
His mom has been  a bit more crazy since his dad left. So it’s a very good thing that the folks in Kaline’s tree house are not so crazy.  The two brothers and one hundred dogs that live in his tree house–and his strange neighbor Mr. Osiris Putnaminski–help him cope. They understand him.  His mom hints that the tree house is imaginary, but Kaline is unconvinced. Kaline Klattermaster is a boy who understands the importance of a few good friends!

Roberts, Willo Davis.  The View From the Cherry Treeview from the cherry tree 2
Rob is the youngest in his family, and is used to being ignored.  But with his older sister getting married, and everyone wrapped up in wedding preparations, Rob is left to his own devices even more than usual.  He doesn’t mind though, he kind of enjoys sitting up in his perch way up in the cherry tree, looking down on everyone while he remains unseen.
But when Rob looks over at Mrs. Calloway’s house, he sees something he never expected; the murder of his elderly neighbor.  Rob tries to tell his family, but no one believes him.  No one, but the murderer.  Rob didn’t see his face, but now he has to figure out who it is, before he’s the next victim.

Wyss, Johann David.  The Swiss Family Robinsonswiss family robinson
A terrible shipwreck; a deserted island. One family will emerge alive from this terrible storm: the Robinsons–a Swiss pastor, his wife, and their four sons, plus two dogs and a shipload of livestock.  As they struggle to create a new life on a strange and fantastic tropical island home, each boy must learn to utilize his own unique nature.   Their adventures lead to difficult challenges and amazing discoveries, including a puzzling message tied to an albatross’s leg. Featuring amazingly resourceful characters and a wondrous landscape bursting with exotic wildlife and plants, (as well as a treehouse home!) this is an irresistible tale of ingenuity.  A wonderful adventure, where each moment brings a new thrill.
If the original is too old-fashioned in language and style, try the Classic Starts version by Chris Tait.  It retains the flavor of the original for modern readers.

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Stay warm in this cold as you enjoy these tropical (and not-so-tropical) adventures!

::Kelly::

2017 December Gift Suggestions!

Are you looking for some gift-giving book ideas for the holidays?  We’ve pulled together a list to start with!  All of our suggestions were published in 2017, so they should be available in most bookstores.  (Of course, they’re also good to check out from the library, even if you don’t need to buy a gift for a reader you know.)

If you’re looking for something more specific, come in and visit the Library.  We can help with suggestions, or you could just look through our New Book Shelves for ideas…

dec gifts 1

dec gifts 2

And, if you just want the cover pictures instead:

dec gifts pics 1

gift books 2017 2 pics

Happy Shopping!

::Kelly::

5 Books Featuring…

5 Books Featuring…Icy Adventures!

With the return of winter–cold and snow and all the shoveling we had over the weekend (and coming up), we thought you might enjoy some stories in a similar atmosphere.  So here’s a list of five books featuring icy settings with some suspenseful mysteries.

Remember, our 5 books feature 5 related Books–One Old, One New, One Popular with Kids, One Well-Reviewed, and One Favorite of library staff–but you’ll have to guess which is which!  Each book has a short synopsis and link to the book in the catalog, so you can easily find and request it.

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5 Books Featuring…Icy and Suspenseful Mysteries!

Corbalis, Judy.  The Ice Cream Heroesice cream heroes
When Oskar sets off to help his mountaineering mother by delivering her needed ice pick, he is happy not to go alone. His new friend Henrietta (who he met when she was delivering a gorillagram, and never sees outside her gorillagram costume) set out for the Himalayas on what they think will be a simple task. But upon arrival, the two meet a tribe of abominable snowmen who capture them and imprison them in a sinister palace made of ice cream.  There, they meet the Great Khone, an ice cream maker searching for the world’s stolen ice cream supply.  Before they can escape from their tasty prison, Oskar and Henrietta know they must save the world’s ice cream and face the evil ice cream thief.  But first they’ll have to escape and save themselves…

Curry, Jane Louise.  The Ice Ghosts Mysteryice ghosts mystery 2
Could Professor Bird really have fallen into a crevice and died while skiing with and old friend in Austria after a seismological conference?  If so, what was the true meaning of the mysterious cable from the hospital that told his family to disregard his reported death?  The Bird family isn’t sure what to do, but they want to find their father. Oriole, Perry and Mab fly with their mother to Austria to try and unravel the conflicting reports themselves.  Certain that their father is missing, not dead, Perry and Mab soon uncover that Professor Bird has fallen prey to a diabolic scheme that could end the world as we know it.  Can they convince the adults that their father is alive and needs them?  Can they rescue him themselves?  Can they stop the unscrupulous scientists who want to change the world?

L’Engle, Madeleine.  Troubling a Startroubling a star 2
After more than a year away, Vicky Austin is discovering that slipping back into her predictable and secure of life in Thornhill isn’t easy. She’s been changed, both by her life in New York City and her travels around the country. But her old friends seem to have stayed the same. Vicky finds herself spending time with a new friend, Serena Eddington–the great-aunt of a boy Vicky met over the summer.  Aunt Serena gives Vicky an incredible birthday gift–a month-long trip to Antarctica. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. But Vicky is nervous. She’s never been away from her family before. Once she sets off though, she finds that’s the least of her worries. First come the threatening letters, then the strange things happening around her. Vicky is surrounded by suspicious characters and no longer knows who to trust. But she has to figure it out quickly, or she might not make it home alive.

Pullman, Phillip.  The Golden Compassgolden compass
Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal–including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.  Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? Yes, because this is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.  But what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other…

Ruby, Jeffrey Michael.  Penelope March is Meltingpenelope march is melting
Something sinister has come to Glacier Cove, an icy-cold town that sits on top of an iceberg.  Everyone knows that nothing bad has ever happened here…until now. It’s up to Penelope March to stop it. Penelope–the bookworm who lives in the ramshackle house with her brother, Miles. The girl with the mom who disappeared. The one everyone ignores . . . except strange Coral Wanamaker, a tiny thing with raven-black hair and a black coat.  When Penelope meets someone who seems to know secrets not only about Glacier Cove but about Penelope herself, she and Miles are pulled into an ancient mystery. Together, they’ll face the coldest, cruelest enemy ever known. Looks like the girl who only reads about adventures is going to start living one.

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So there you have it…5 icy adventures in (mostly) the far north!  If you’d like some other suggestions, there’s always our Winter Survival Booklist, from a couple years ago.  And, as always, you can ask any of our librarians for help finding a book to read.  There are many new chilly titles, not on that list.  And we do love to help you find books!

So find a cozy spot and read one of these nnow-filled books.  And let us know how you liked any of these titles!

::Kelly::

Booklist: If You Liked Wonder

wonder if you liked

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder was published in February 2012 — almost six years ago — and it has been one of our most popular children’s novels here at the library ever since. We created a list of Wonder read-alikes a few years ago; with the release of the movie this fall, we’re revisiting that list, and adding several new titles that have been published since. Starring Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, and Owen Wilson, the film Wonder has received great reviews so far. But before you head to the theaters, make sure you read the book first! If you’re already a fan of Wonder, try one of the suggestions below:

The Crossover by Kwame AlexanderCrossover
Josh Bell and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse.  In this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood, Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

one and only ivanThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home–and his own art–through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

war that saved my lifeThe War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute–she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan–and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

because of mr teruptBecause of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school. Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything—and everyone.

see you in the cosmosSee 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.

freaky fast frankie joeFreaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton
Frankie Joe Huckaby, forced to live with the father he never knew, a stepmother, and four stepbrothers in Illinois, starts a delivery service to finance his escape back to his mother in Texas, not realizing he is making a better life for himself than he ever had with her.

mighty miss maloneThe Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie’s beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father.

lemonade warThe Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings’ lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win — or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.

out of my mind draperOut of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom — the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it… somehow.

mockingbirdMockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
In Caitlin’s world, everything is black or white. Things are good or bad. Anything in between is confusing. That’s the stuff Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, has always explained. But now Devon’s dead and Dad is no help at all. Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s, she doesn’t know how. When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs. In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white — the world is full of colors–messy and beautiful.

better nate than everBetter Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he’d settle for seeing a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There’s an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.

joey pigza swallowedJoey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
Joey Pigza’s got heart, he’s got a mom who loves him, and he’s got “dud meds,” which is what he calls the Ritalin pills that are supposed to even out his wild mood swings. Sometimes Joey makes bad choices. He learns the hard way that he shouldn’t stick his finger in the pencil sharpener, or swallow his house key, or run with scissors. Joey ends up bouncing around a lot – and eventually he bounces himself all the way downtown, into the district special-ed program, which could be the end of the line. As Joey knows, if he keeps making bad choices, he could just fall between the cracks for good. But he is determined not to let that happen.

absolutely almostAbsolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he’s not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he is good at and how he can take pride in himself.

words with wingsWords with Wings by Nikki Grimes
Gaby daydreams to tune out her parents’ arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her… until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day. With a notebook “thick with daydreams,” Gaby grows more confident about herself.

full cicada monFull Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
It’s 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimi’s appearance is all anyone notices. She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi’s dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade — no matter how many times she’s told no.

uglyUgly by Robert Hoge
When Robert Hoge was born, he had a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs. Surgeons removed the tumor and made him a new nose from one of his toes. Amazingly, he survived — with a face that would never be the same. Strangers stared at him. Kids called him names, and adults could be cruel, too. Everybody seemed to agree that he was “ugly.” But Robert refused to let his face define him. He played pranks, got into trouble, had adventures with his big family, and finally found a sport that was perfect for him to play. And when Robert came face to face with the biggest decision of his life, he followed his heart.

same sun hereSame Sun Here by Silas House
Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City’s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner’s son. As Meena’s family studies for citizenship exams and River’s town faces devastating mountaintop removal, this unlikely pair become pen pals, sharing thoughts and, as their camaraderie deepens, discovering common ground in their disparate experiences

fish in a treeFish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid. Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her — and to everyone — than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

one for the murphysOne for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick. But the day she becomes a foster child, and moves in with the Murphys, she’s blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed, and she feels like an alien in their cookie-cutter-perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong — until her mother wants her back and Carley has to decide where and how to live. She’s not really a Murphy, but the gifts they’ve given her have opened up a new future.

lions-of-little-rockThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Marlee doesn’t have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave, and always knows the right thing to say, especially to Sally, the resident mean girl. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her greatest fear – speaking, which Marlee never does outside her family. But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. But Marlee decides that doesn’t matter. Liz is her best friend. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.

flying the dragonFlying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
American-born Skye is a good student and a star soccer player who never really gives any thought to the fact that her father is Japanese. Her cousin, Hiroshi, lives in Japan, and never really gives a thought to his uncle’s family living in the United States. Skye and Hiroshi’s lives are thrown together when Hiroshi’s family, with his grandfather (who is also his best friend), suddenly moves to the U.S. Now Skye doesn’t know who she is anymore: at school she’s suddenly too Japanese, but at home she’s not Japanese enough. Hiroshi has a hard time adjusting to life in a new culture, and resents Skye’s intrusions on his time with Grandfather. Through all of this is woven Hiroshi’s expertise, and Skye’s growing interest in, kite making and competitive rokkaku kite flying.

rulesRules by Cynthia Lord
Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She’s spent years trying to teach David the rules — from “a peach is not a funny-looking apple” to “keep your pants on in public!” — in order to head off his embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising new sort-of friend, and Kristi, the next-door friend she’s always wished for, it’s her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?

touch-blueTouch Blue by Cynthia Lord
“Why take chances?” says 11-year-old Tess Brooks. Especially when it’s so easy to let the universe know what you want by touching blue or turning around three times or crossing your fingers. But Tess is coming to know that it’s not always that simple. The state of Maine has a plan to shut down her island’s schoolhouse, which would force Tess’s family to move to the mainland – and Tess to leave the only home she has ever known. Fortunately the islanders have a plan, too: increase the school numbers by having several families take in foster children. So now Tess and her family are taking a chance on Aaron, a thirteen-year-old trumpet player who has been bounced from home to home, and Tess needs a plan of her own-and all the luck she can muster. Will Tess’s wish come true or will her luck run out?

white fur flyingWhite Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan
Zoe’s family rescues dogs in need. There is always the sweet smell of dog and a warm body looking to cuddle or play. There is always a new dog to be saved and loved. Fur flies everywhere. It covers everything. Zoe’s house is never silent. But the house across the street is always silent these days. A new family has moved in and Phillip, the boy, has stopped speaking. He doesn’t even want to try. Zoe knows that saving dogs and saving boys are different jobs, but she learns that some parts are the same. Both take attention and care, understanding and time. And maybe just a bit of white fur flying.

gold threaded dressThe Gold-Threaded Dress by Carolyn Marsden
In Thailand she was named Oy, but here in America the teachers call her Olivia. Other things are not so easy to change, however. When Oy draws a self-portrait that has brown hair and eyes round as coins, her classmate Frankie makes fun and calls her Chinese. And the popular girl, Liliandra, barely speaks to her, until she learns that Oy has something very special: a Thai dancing dress from her grandmother, shimmering with pink silk and golden threads that make her look like a princess. Will Oy risk shaming her family to win Liliandra’s approval – and be part of the club she has envied from afar?

rain reignRain Reign by Ann M. Martin
Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father. When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.

mango shaped spaceA Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
Mia Winchell is far from ordinary: she suffers from a rare condition called synesthesia, the mingling of perceptions whereby a person can see sounds, smell colors, or taste shapes. But because she has kept it a secret from everyone, she appears to be the most normal kid in her family. When trouble in the school finally convinces Mia to reveal her secret, she feels like a freak; and as she embarks on an intense journey of self-discovery, her family and friends have trouble relating to her. By the time she realizes she has isolated herself from all the people who care about her, it is almost too late. Mia has to lose something very special in order to understand and appreciate her special gift in this coming-of-age novel.

seventh most important thingThe Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall
Arthur T. Owens grabbed a brick and hurled it at the trash picker. Arthur had his reasons, and the brick hit the Junk Man in the arm, not the head. But none of that matters to the judge — he is ready to send Arthur to juvie forever. Amazingly, it’s the Junk Man himself who offers an alternative: 120 hours of community service… working for him. Arthur is given a rickety shopping cart and a list of the Seven Most Important Things: glass bottles, foil, cardboard, pieces of wood, lightbulbs, coffee cans, and mirrors. He can’t believe it–is he really supposed to rummage through people’s trash? But it isn’t long before Arthur realizes there’s more to the Junk Man than meets the eye, and the “trash” he’s collecting is being transformed into something more precious than anyone could imagine…
summer of the gypsy mothsSummer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker
Stella loves living with Great-Aunt Louise in her big old house near the water on Cape Cod for many reasons, but mostly because Louise likes routine as much as she does, something Stella appreciates since her mom is, well, kind of unreliable. So while Mom “finds herself,” Stella fantasizes that someday she’ll come back to the Cape and settle down. The only obstacle to her plan? Angel, the foster kid Louise has taken in. Angel couldn’t be less like her name—she’s tough and prickly, and the girls hardly speak to each other. But when tragedy unexpectedly strikes, Stella and Angel are forced to rely on each other to survive, and they learn that they are stronger together than they could have imagined.


glory beGlory Be
by Augusta Scattergood

As much as Gloriana June Hemphill, or Glory as everyone knows her, wants to turn twelve, there are times when Glory wishes she could turn back the clock a year. Jesslyn, her sister and former confidante, no longer has the time of day for her now that she’ll be entering high school. Then there’s her best friend, Frankie. Things have always been so easy with Frankie, and now suddenly they aren’t. Maybe it’s the new girl from the North that’s got everyone out of sorts. Or maybe it’s the debate about whether or not the town should keep the segregated public pool open.

counting by 7sCounting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life… until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

shortShort by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Julia is very short for her age, but by the end of the summer run of The Wizard of Oz, she’ll realize how big she is inside, where it counts. She hasn’t ever thought of herself as a performer, but when the wonderful director of Oz casts her as a Munchkin, she begins to see herself in a new way. As Julia becomes friendly with the poised and wise Olive — one of the adults with dwarfism who’ve joined the production’s motley crew of Munchkins — and with her deeply artistic neighbor, Mrs. Chang, Julia’s own sense of self as an artist grows. Soon, she doesn’t want to fade into the background — and it’s a good thing, because her director has more big plans for Julia!

stargirlStargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’ s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first. Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal.

liar & spyLiar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
When seventh grader Georges (the S is silent) moves into a Brooklyn apartment building, he meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer’s first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?

center of everythingThe Center of Everything by Linda Urban
For Ruby Pepperdine, the “center of everything” is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors in her donut-obsessed town of Bunning, New Hampshire, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi’s hug.  That’s how everything is supposed to be—until Ruby messes up and things spin out of control. But she has one last hope. It all depends on what happens on Bunning Day, when the entire town will hear Ruby read her winning essay. And it depends on her twelfth birthday wish—unless she messes that up too. Can Ruby’s wish set everything straight in her topsy-turvy world?

save me a seatSave Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they’re both stuck in the same place: school. Joe’s lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi’s family just moved to America from India, and he’s finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. Joe and Ravi don’t think they have anything in common – but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.

 

Booklist by Casey 12/17

5 Books Featuring…

Our new feature…five books on a specific topic, with a short synopsis and link to the book in the catalog. 5 Books–One Old, One New, One Popular with Kids, One Well-Reviewed, and One Favorite. (But you’ll have to guess which is which)!

This week…we all know Mary Poppins, but did you know there are several other famous (or infamous!) magical nannies and babysitters in kids books?  Here are 5…

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5 Books Featuring…Magical Nannies!

Bland, Christianna.  The Collected Tales of Nurse Matildanurse matilda
Mr. and Mrs. Brown were forever having trouble with their numerous and incredibly naughty children . . . until the day Nurse Matilda entered their lives. The Brown children are terribly, terribly, unbelievably naughty. All the nannies and nursery-maids and governesses in the directory are called upon to implement some kind of order in the house but, inevitably, they are soon driven to distraction and of course leave having had absolutely no positive effect on the children’s indefatigable resource of mischief and anti-social conduct – all much to Mr and Mrs Brown’s horror and dismay. But apparently there is one last resort…Nurse Matilda.
A contemporary of Mary Poppins, Nurse Matilda became Nanny McPhee in the movies.  (But the books are better!)

Fisher, Isla.  Marge in Chargemarge in charge
Jemima and Jake Button don’t know what to make of their new babysitter, Marge: She’s not tall enough to ride a rollercoaster and, when she first arrives, she’s dressed like a grandma and looks very serious. But as soon as Mommy and Dad are gone, mischievous Marge lets down her rainbow hair and the adventures begin. Jemima and Jake aren’t supposed to shoot apple juice out of water guns, eat pancakes off the ceiling, or throw impromptu concerts during music class–but with Marge here, everything’s gone topsy-turvy! Can they have this much fun and still finish everything on Mommy’s list before their parents come home to discover what’s been going on?
In these three madcap stories, featuring zany illustrations by Eglantine Ceulemans, it’s obvious that everything’s way more fun when Marge is in charge.

Green, Phyllis.  Eating Ice Cream with a Werewolfeating ice cream with a werewolf
Brad knows that Phoebe Hadley isn’t a monster, but she’s definitely not your run-of-the-mill babysitter either.  She likes to try things when she’s taking care of Brad and his sister, Fat Nancy. So it’s no surprise that she arrives with Dr. Curmudgeion’s Book of Magic when their parents go to Bermuda. Neither Phoebe nor Brad expect much when they cast their first spell, but a week of mysterious coincidences gives Brad a healthy respect for Dr. Curmudgeon and Phoebe.  Is it magic?  Or just happenstance?
Quirky drawings by Patti Stren and some judicious application of imagination will make this a fun read-aloud for families.

Spratt, R. A.  The Adventures of Nanny Pigginsnanny piggins
The woman was not a woman. She was a pig. A common, pink farm pig. The type bacon came from.”Good evening, I am Nanny Piggins,” said Nanny Piggins the pig.
When stingy Mr. Green planted a Nanny Wanted sign on his front lawn for his three children, he had no idea his ad would be answered by a pig. A fabulously sassy and impeccably dressed pig! With her insatiable urge to eat chocolate (and feed chocolate to everyone she loves), her high-flying spirit, and her unending sense of fun, Nanny Piggins takes Derrick, Samantha, and Michael on a year of surprises, yummy treats, and adventures they’ll never forget.
Paired with Dan Santat’s charming illustrations, comedian and children’s TV writer R.A. Spratt’s wildly funny debut novel will have adults and kids alike laughing and rooting for the feisty porcine nanny and her three lovable human charges.

Wood, Maryrose.  The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howlingincorrigible children of ashton place
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.
Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.  But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance’s holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?
Humorous antics and a climactic cliff-hanger ending will keep children turning pages and clamoring for the next volume, while more sophisticated readers will take away much more. Frequent plate-sized illustrations by Jon Klassen add wit and period flair.

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There you have it…five mysterious and magical nannies!  And that’s not even bringing in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Amelia Bedelia, Mrs. Noodlekugel,  Mr. Pudgins, or even the BFG!
If you would like your own fantastic 5 Book suggestions, stop by the Library and ask one of our librarians for assistance!  We’re happy to help you find anything on any topic.  Until then…Happy Reading!
::Kelly::