Booklist: If you Like Ivy + Bean!

Do we have a booklist for you!  All the books on this list feature girls who, when they put their minds to it, can do anything!  Solve mysteries, care for animals, even do magic!  If you like  Ivy and Bean, you sure to love these titles too.

(You’ll find these titles in the Beginning Chapter Books section unless noted).

Atinuke. Anna Hibiscus
AAnna Hibiscusnna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa. She lives with her whole family in a wonderful house. There is always somebody to laugh and play with. Anna Hibiscus loves to splash in the sea with her cousins and have parties with her aunties. But more than anything else in the world, Anna Hibiscus would love to see snow. Featuring warm, loving multi-generational family relationships, this Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor winner showcases daily life in modern, urban Africa.

Barkley, Callie. The Critter Club
Critter ClubIntroducing the Critter Club! Amy and her friends solve a canine caper in this start to a pet-friendly illustrated chapter book series. It’s Spring Break in Santa Vista, and everyone has big plans… everyone except for Amy, that is! As her best friends head out of town on exciting adventures, Amy resigns herself to helping out at her mom’s vet clinic. At least she’ll be around cute animals! But when Santa Vista’s cold and elusive millionaire, Marge Sullivan, brings her puppy Rufus for a check-up, Amy encounters an unexpected mystery. After her friends return home, the girls get to the bottom of what happened to Rufus—and discover a way to help other lost and lonely animals in their town.

Benton, Jim. Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist
Franny K Stein
Franny K. Stein is not your average girl — she’s a mad scientist. She prefers poison ivy to daisies, and when Franny jumps rope, she uses her pet snake. The kids in Franny’s class think she’s weird, wacky, and just plain creepy. Tired of being stared at, Franny decides to attempt her most dangerous experiment yet — she’s going to fit in. But when a giant Monstrous Fiend attacks the class, everyone knows it’s up to a mad scientist to save the day. But has Franny lost her creepy, crawly ways?

Pain and the Great OneBlume, Judy. The Pain and the Great One
When an eight-year-old girl and her six-year-old brother take turns describing each other, it’s no surprise that “The Pain” and “The Great One” are the nicknames that emerge. As this duo debates whom Mom and Dad love most, their competition becomes increasingly humorous—because when it comes to family affection, there’s no such thing as win or lose.

Branford, Anna. Violet Mackerel
Violet MackerelViolet is a seven-year-old with a knack for appreciating the smallest things in life: her “Theory of Finding Small Things” states that the moment of finding a tiny treasure usually coincides with the moment of having a genius idea. This creative little girl always strives to think outside the box, so when she spots a small china bird that she desperately wants, she forms an imaginative plan for getting it—and her methods are anything but ordinary!

Coven, Wanda. Heidi Heckelbeck
Heidi Heckelbeck seems like any other eight-year-old, but she has a secret: She’s a witch in disguise. Careful to keep her powers hidden (but excited to use them all the same), Heidi’s learningheidi heckelbeck to live like any other kid — who just happens to be a witch. Heidi and her brother Henry have always been homeschooled — until now. But Heidi is not happy about attending Brewster Elementary, especially not when meanie Melanie Maplethorpe turns Heidi’s first day of school into a nightmare by announcing that Heidi is smelly and ruining her art project. Heidi feels horrible and never wants to go back to school-but while sulking in her room at home, she remembers her special medallion and Book of Spells. With a little bit of carefully concealed magic, Heidi might be able to give Melanie a taste of her own medicine….

Friedman, Laurie. Mallory McDonald   *located in Fiction
Mallory
When eight-and-a-half-year-old Mallory McDonald’s parents tell her that they are moving, she’s mad–really mad! It’s not fair! How can they make her move away from Mary Ann, her best friend in the whole wide world? Who will she paint her toenails with, tell secrets to, and make scrapbooks with? When Mallory arrives at her new house on Wish Pond Road, things are terrible. Her room is too small and the girl next door is mean. But Joey lives next door, too. Even though he doesn’t paint his toes, he tells jokes, helps teach her cat to do tricks, and shows her how to skateboard. Mallory’s having so much fun she forgets the pact she made with Mary Ann never to make friends with a boy next door. But when Mary Ann comes to visit, what will Mallory do? Will she have to choose between her best friend and her new friend?

Greene, Stephanie. Princess Posey
Princess Posey
Posey is really nervous about starting first grade. Instead of getting walked to her classroom, her mom has to drop her off at the Kiss-and-Go Lane. Then she’ll have to walk into school and face the Monster of the Blue Hall all by herself. Worst of all, she has to do it without the one thing that always makes her feel brave and special: the tutu that turns her into the Pink Princess. But when Posey inspires her new teacher to throw a first-day parade in which all the kids are invited to wear whatever makes them feel the most comfortable, first grade starts to look a lot more promising.

Hale, Shannon and Dean. The Princess in Black
Princess in BlackPrincess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when… Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.

Dory FantasmagoryHanlon, Abby. Dory Fantasmagory
As the youngest in her family, Dory really wants attention, and more than anything, she wants her brother and sister to play with her. But she’s too much of a baby for them, so she’s left to her own devices—including her wild imagination and untiring energy. Her siblings may roll their eyes at her childish games, but Dory has lots of things to do: outsmarting the monsters all over the house, escaping from prison (aka time-out), and exacting revenge on her sister’s favorite doll. And when they really need her, daring Dory will prove her bravery, and finally get exactly what she has been looking for.

Harper, Charise Mericle. Just Grace  *located in Fiction
Just Grace
Grace loves cats. She also loves taking pictures of cats and drawing Not-So-Super comics. She doesn’t like Sammy Stringer, a boy in her class. She’s got lots and lots of ideas, and when her neighbor’s cat goes missing, Grace does her best to make Mrs. Luther feel less lonely. But as the mystery of the missing cat continues, Grace’s well-intentioned plan backfires, and she finds herself in a bit of trouble. Maybe, just maybe, Sammy Stringer will help her through.

Look, Lenore. Ruby Lu
Ruby LuMost days the best thing about being Ruby is everything. Like when she’s the star of her own backyard magic show. Or when she gives a talk at the school safety assembly on the benefits of reflective tape. Or when she rides the No. 3 bus all the way to Chinatown to visit GungGung and PohPoh. And then there are the days when it’s very hard to be Ruby. Like when her mom suggests Chinese school on Saturdays. Or when her little brother, Oscar, spills all of Ruby’s best magician secrets. Or when her parents don’t think she’s old enough to drive!

Lowry, Lois. Gooney Bird Greene
Gooney BirdFrom the moment Gooney Bird Greene arrives at Watertower Elementary School, her fellow second-graders are intrigued by her unique sense of style and her unusual lunches. So when story time arrives, the choice is unanimous: they want to hear about Gooney Bird Greene. And that suits her just fine, because, as it turns out, Gooney Bird has quite a few interesting and “absolutely true” stories to tell.

McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody   *located in Fiction
Judy Moody“Judy Moody was in a mood. Not a good mood. A bad mood. A mad-faced mood.” To start, Judy Moody doesn’t have high hopes for third grade. Her new desk won’t have an armadillo sticker with her name on it. Her new classroom will not have a porcupine named Roger. And with her luck, she’ll get stuck sitting in the first row, where Mr. Todd will notice every time she tries to pass a note to her best friend, Rocky. An aspiring doctor, Judy does have a little brother who comes in handy for practicing medicine, a cool new pet, and a huge Band-Aid collection. Judy also has an abundance of individuality and attitude, and when Mr. Todd assigns a very special class project, she really gets a chance to express herself!

McDonald, Megan. Stink
StinkShrink, shrank, shrunk! Every morning, Judy Moody measures Stink and it’s always the same: three feet, eight inches tall. Stink feels like even the class newt is growing faster than he is. Then, one day, the ruler reads — can it be? — three feet, seven and three quarters inches! Is Stink shrinking? He tries everything to look like he’s growing, but wearing up-and-down stripes and spiking his hair aren’t fooling anyone into thinking he’s taller. If only he could ask James Madison — Stink’s hero, and the shortest person ever to serve as President of the United States. In Stink’s first solo adventure, his special style comes through loud and strong — enhanced by a series of comic strips, drawn by Stink himself, which are sprinkled throughout the book.

lulu and the duck in the parkMcKay, Hilary. Lulu
When Lulu finds a duck egg that has rolled out of its nest, she takes it to class to keep it safe. Lulu isn’t allowed to bring pets to school. But she’s not really breaking the rules because it’s just an egg. Surely nothing bad will happen…will it?
In this series, Lulu loves all animals, and since her classmates know that, they come to her for advice, and sometimes to re-home a problem pet.  What’s a girl to do?

O’Connor, Jane. Nancy Clancy
Nancy ClancyKids who grew up with Jane O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy picture books can spend some quality time with their BFF because Nancy Clancy is now starring in her own chapter books!  Sassy Fancy Nancy is now a detective. When one of Nancy’s classmate’s most special possessions disappears from school, it’s up to her to save the day. With the help of her friend Bree, she follows the clues to an unexpected source. Fans of Nancy Drew’s Clue Crew will be happy to see a new Nancy join the ranks of super sleuths.

Parish, Herman. Amelia Bedelia Chapter Books
Amelia BedeliaYoung Amelia Bedelia will do almost anything for a shiny new bicycle. Amelia Bedelia’s parents say they’ll split the cost of a new bike with her, and that means Amelia Bedelia needs to put the pedal to the metal and earn some dough! With Amelia Bedelia anything can happen, and it usually does. Short, fast-paced chapters, tons of friends, silly situations, and funny wordplay and misunderstandings make the Amelia Bedelia chapter books an ideal choice for readers of the Ivy and Bean, Magic Tree House, and Judy Moody books. Look out! Here comes Amelia Bedelia, and she means business!

Park, Barbara. Junie B. Jones   *located in Series Section
Junie BMeet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! Remember when it was scary to go to school? In the first Junie B. Jones book, it’s Junie B.’s first day and she doesn’t know anything. She’s so scared of the school bus and the meanies on it that when it’s time to go home, she doesn’t.
Follow all of Junie B.’s  (that B. is Very Important to Junie!) adventures as she moves from kindergarten to first grade!

clementinePennypacker, Sara. Clementine   *located in Fiction
Clementine is having not so good of a week. On Monday she’s sent to the principal’s office for cutting off Margaret’s hair. Tuesday, Margaret’s mother is mad at her. Wednesday, she’s sent to the principal again. Thursday, Margaret stops speaking to her. Friday starts with yucky eggs and gets worse. And by Saturday, even her mother is mad at her. Okay, fine. Clementine is having a DISASTROUS week.

Peschke, Marci. Kylie Jean
kylie jean blueberryIn her first book, it’s time for the Blueberry Festival, and everyone in town is busy getting ready. Kylie Jean Carter’s momma is baking pies, her pa is picking berries, and Kylie is thinking about becoming the Blueberry Queen.
Kylie Jean lives in Jacksonville, Texas.  She has two brothers, T.J. and Ugly Brother (who is really a dog, but they don’t tell him that), she is surrounded by her whole family in Jacksonville, and she is the queen of everything!  (Well, everything that’s important, anyway.)

Rylant, Cynthia. Cobble Street Cousins
Cobble Street Cousins
Welcome to Cobble Street! Meet Lily, Rosie, and Tess. Lily wants to be a poet. Tess wants to act on Broadway. And Rosie wants a little cottage with flowers by the door. But for right now, the three cousins are happy staying with their Aunt Lucy on Cobble Street. It’s summer, school’s out, and the cousins have a project — a cookie company! They deliver fresh-baked cookies and meet a customer who has a crush on Aunt Lucy. But he’s too shy to tell her. How will these two ever get together? It’s up to the cousins to make romance bloom on Cobble Street!

Stern, A.J. Frankly Frannie
Frankly FrannieFrannie Miller cannot wait to grow up and work in an office with a swivel chair and her own assistant. She’s already got her resume, business cards, and mustard packets (which are so much more grown up than ketchup) ready. So why is it taking eleventeen hundred years? Frannie’s class is visiting the local radio station and the radio host is nowhere to be found. Should Frannie cover for him–after all, this could be her big break! But what happens when listeners call in with questions, and Frannie doesn’t know the answers?

Sternberg, Julie. Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie   (Eleanor series)
Like Pickle JuiceWhen Eleanor’s beloved babysitter, Bibi, has to move away to take care of her ailing father, Eleanor must try to bear the summer without Bibi and prepare for the upcoming school year. Her new, less-than-perfect babysitter just isn’t up to snuff, and she doesn’t take care of things like Bibi used to. But as the school year looms, it’s time for new beginnings. Eleanor soon realizes that she will always have Bibi, no matter how far away she is.

Viorst, Judith. Lulu
Lulu ViorstIt’s Lulu’s birthday and she’s decided she’d like a pet brontosaurus as a present. When Lulu’s parents tell her that’s not possible, Lulu gets very upset. She does not like it when things don’t go her way. So she takes matters into her own hands and storms off into the forest to find herself a new pet, where she encounters a number of animals; a snake, a tiger, a bear, all of whom don’t particularly impress her. And then she finds him…a beautiful, long-necked, gentle, graceful brontosaurus. And he completely agrees with Lulu that having a pet would be a wonderful thing, indeed! Lulu thinks she’s gotten her birthday wish at last. Until she realizes that Mr. Brontosaurus thinks that she would make an ideal pet for him!

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Do you have any other favorite books on this level?  Beginning Chapter Books are a fun place to meet new characters and see how they deal with situations.  If you’ve read all of these, just ask one of our librarians to help you find something else.  We love to help readers find the right book.

Coming soon…If You Like Horrible Harry–Beginning Chapter Books with main characters that are boys!

::Kelly::

Booklist prepared by Casey!

Terrific Trilogies As & Bs

Terrific Trilogies You May have Missed:
Authors A & B

Everybody enjoys a good trilogy! One good story, split into three episodes. Most of these are fantasy or adventure, but there are some are mysteries, sports and other genres thrown in. There are also a few that aren’t exactly trilogies, but that sort of belong on this list anyway!The plan is to go through the entire J Fiction collection and share some of the lesser known trilogies that you may have missed! Check them out and see what you think.

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Applebaum, Susannah – The Poisons of Caux
Poisons of Caux
The Hollow BettleThe Tasters GuildThe Shepherd of Weeds
There’s little joy left in the kingdom of Caux: the evil King Nightshade rules with terrible tyranny and the law of the land is poison or be poisoned. Worse, Ivy’s uncle, a famous healer, has disappeared, and Ivy sets out to find him, joined by a young taster named Rowan. But these are corrupt times, and the children—enemies of the realm—are not alone. What exactly do Ivy and Rowan’s pursuers want? Is it Ivy’s prized red bettle, which, unlike any other gemstone in Caux, appears—impossibly—to be hollow? Is it the elixir she concocted—the one with the mysterious healing powers? Or could it be Ivy herself?
Action Adventure, Survival, Magic

Bach, Shelby – The Ever Afters
Ever Afters trilogy
Of Giants and Ice – Of Witches and Wind – Of Sorcery and Snow
Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. And after she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional.
Fairy Tales, Magic, Adventure

Bacon, Lee – Joshua Dread trilogy
joshua dread trilogy
Joshua Dread – The Nameless Hero -The Dominion Key
For Joshua Dread, middle school is proving to be, well, awkward. Not only do bullies pick on him, but do you see those supervillains over there trying to flood the world? The ones that everyone, including his best friend Milton, are rooting for Captain Justice to take down? They’re the Dread Duo, and they just happen to be his parents. As if trying to hide his identity wasn’t hard enough, Joshua has started leaving a trail of exploding pencils and scorched handprints in his wake, and only Sophie, the new girl in town with a mysterious past, seems unsurprised. When a violent attack at the Vile Fair makes it clear someone is abducting supervillains, and that his parents may be next, Joshua must enlist both Sophie and Milton’s help to save them.
Superheroes, Supervillains, Identity, School

Bardugo, Leigh – The Grisha Trilogy
Gisha trilogy
Shadow and Bone -Siege and Storm – Ruin and Rising
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a nearly impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked and her best friend is injured, Alina reveals a power that saves his life–a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha and the secrets of her heart.
Fantasy, Powers, Orphans, War

Bell, Hilary – Knight & Rogue
knight and rogue trilogy
The Last Knight – Rogue’s Home – Player’s Ruse – Thief’s War
Need a Hero? You’ve got one in Sir Michael Sevenson. Although there hasn’t been a knight errant in over two hundred years, this young noble has decided to revive the trade. He’s found himself a reluctant partner in Fisk, a clever rogue who has been given the choice of serving as Michael’s squire or going to jail for a very long time. Now Michael and Fisk are on a quest to right wrongs, protect the innocent, and make the world a happier place. It’s not going to be easy. On their first attempt at rescuing a damsel in distress, they break a lady out of a tower, only to discover she was there for good reason: awaiting trial for poisoning her husband. Now the would-be heroes must find Lady Cecile and return her to justice or be condemned themselves. Bonus! Apparently I missed that a fourth book was published, so it has been ordered and will be added to the collection. So, not an actual trilogy, but an honorary one.
Knights, Thieves, Heroes, Fantasy

Bell, Hilari – The Shield and Crown trilogy
shield and crown trilogy
Shield of Stars – Sword of Water – Crown of Earth
A former pickpocket, Weasel is the type of boy most people would avoid. Certainly, no one would ever trust him — except for one man. Justice Holis took Weasel off the streets, gave him a home, a job as his clerk, and a key to his house. Weasel’s new life may be a bit boring, but for the first time someone actually cares about him. But now Justice Holis is the one in trouble. Arrested for treason, he will surely hang unless someone saves him — and that someone can only be Weasel. But what can one boy do? With a mysterious girl named Arisa by his side, Weasel goes in search of the Falcon, the most dangerous bandit in Deorthas, but also the one person who would be able — and possibly willing — to stage a prison break. But Weasel’s fate changes when he stumbles upon a shield. Could this be the one said to have been lost for centuries, the one that bestows power on whoever holds it? If so, Weasel, once a lowly pickpocket, could be the most powerful person in the land.
Fantasy, Adventure, Thieves

Bellairs, John. The Lewis Barnavelt Mysteries
house with a clock trilogy
The House with a Clock in Its Walls – The Figure in the Shadows – The Letter, the Witch and the Ring
Lewis always dreamed of living in an old house full of secret passageways, hidden rooms, and big marble fireplaces. And suddenly, after the death of his parents, he finds himself in just such a mansion–his Uncle Jonathan’s. When he discovers that his big friendly uncle is also a wizard, Lewis has a hard time keeping himself from jumping up and down in his seat. Unfortunately, what Lewis doesn’t bank on is the fact that the previous owner of the mansion was also a wizard–but an evil one who has placed a tick-tocking clock somewhere in the bowels of the house, marking off the minutes until the end of the world. And when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead on Halloween night, the clock only ticks louder and faster. Doomsday draws near–unless Lewis can stop the clock!
Mystery, Horror, Family

Benz, Derek – Grey Griffins and Grey Griffins: The Clockwork Chronicles – TWO Trilogies!
grey griffins two trilogiesThe Revenge of the Shadow King – The Rise of the Black Wolf – The Fall of the Templar
Max Sumner and his three best friends, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia–who form the secret club The Grey Griffins–seem to be the only people in their very normal Minnesota town to notice that strange things have started to happen. When creatures like goblins and fairies and unicorns, all characters from a card game the Grey Griffins play, begin to make appearances in Max’s backyard, Max and his friends know something is terribly wrong. And it’s up to them to stop the wicked creatures of the cards from destroying their town-indeed, their world. (Ugly covers, great books!)
Grey Griffins: The Clockwork Chronicles
The Brimstone Key – The Relic Hunters – The Paragon Prison
A year ago, the Grey Griffins were just regular kids from Avalon, Minnesota. That was before they learned about the existence of evil fairies, werewolves, and other things that go bump in the night. Now they are monster-hunters, celebrated heroes, and allies to the legendary Templar knights—but even heroes have to go to school. When the Griffins enroll at Iron Bridge Academy, a school to train young recruits in the fight against the forces of evil, they find themselves at the center of a whole new adventure. The Clockwork King, a Templar foe from days past, has returned to finish the plan he set in motion decades ago. A plot to steal the souls of changelings—humans infused with fairy blood and supernatural abilities—in order to power his army of clockwork war machines.
Magic, Goblins, Card Games, Adventure

Berkeley, Jon – The Wednesday Tales
wednesday tales trilogy
The Palace of Laughter – The Tiger’s Egg – The Lightning Key

Miles Wednesday, orphaned, unwashed and living in a barrel, has never been to a circus before-but then the Circus Oscuro, which arrives in town in the dead of night, is no ordinary circus. There’s a strange beast called The Null and an array of sinister-looking clowns, and a tiger who claims to “smell the circus” in Miles. When one of the performers, an unusual little girl with wings, falls from a tower during the performance, Miles’s life is changed forever. As Miles and Little embark on an extraordinary journey to rescue two friends who have been captured at the Palace of Laughter, which is more dangerous and sinister than the name suggests. Can they succeed?
Adventure, Circuses, Orphans, Friendship

Blackwood, Sage – Jinx’s Series
jinx trilogy
Jinx – Jinx’s Magic – Jinx’s Fire

Abandoned in a forest by his stepfather, young orphan Jinx manages to avoid the dangerous trolls and werewolves. He has nowhere to go though, until he meets a crusty, morally ambiguous wizard named Simon, who takes him in as a servant. Jinx, who has always had an ability to see feelings in colors and symbols, develops the ability to communicate with the forest’s trees. But after Simon selfishly performs a spell, Jinx loses his abilities. Setting out into the forest to look for a counterspell, Jinx joins company with a girl and a boy, both of whom are suffering under their own curses, and all three set off to find another wizard, the monstrous Bonemaster, in hopes he can help them overcome their respective magical troubles.
Magic, Wizards, Fantasy, Friendship

Bode, N.E. – Anybodies Trilogy
anybodies trilogy
The Anybodies – The Nobodies – The Somebodies

Fern Drudger, an imaginative misfit in her extraordinarily boring family. When Fern discovers that she was swapped at birth, she leaves her tragically dull parents for an unforgettable adventure with her true father, the Bone. She discovers he is an “Anybody”-he can change into someone or something else—but he’s not very good at it. He’s convinced that Fern can help him find The Art of Being Anybody, a book which will allow him to improve his skills. The only problem? He must locate it before his enemy does and uses it for evil purposes. Fern and the Bone end up in disguise at Fern’s grandmother’s boarding house, a magical, dilapidated palace of books, where anything can happen, especially if you happen to be an Anybody!
Shapeshifters, Magic, Adventure, Family

Boniface, William – The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy
extraordinary adventures trilogy
The Hero Revealed – The Return of Meteor Boy? – The Great Powers Revealed

In the town of Superopolis, everyone has a superpower. Everyone, that is, except Ordinary Boy. Be he is part of the Junior Leaguers, a hero team that includes Halogen Boy, Plasma Girl and Stench. Not such good powers, but good friends! It turns out that things are not so super in Superopolis these days, with the evil Professor Brain-Drain on the loose. Ordinary Boy and the Junior Leaguers are thrown into the middle of a baffling mystery. Forget the regular superheroes. In a city where everyone is extraordinary, this just might be a job for . . . Ordinary Boy.
Humor, Superheroes, Friendship

Bracegirdle, P.J. – The Joy of Spooking
joy of spooking
Fiendish Deeds – Unearthly Asylum – Sinister Scenes

Spooking is the terrible town on the hideous hill — and Joy Wells is a proud resident. A fan of classic horror stories, Joy is convinced that famous author E. A. Peugeot based his spine-tingling tales on her town. Take the eerie similarities between the nearby swamp and the setting of his masterpiece, “The Bawl of the Bog Fiend.” Could the story be true? Could the bog fiend be on the loose? Things become truly horrifying when Joy learns that Darlington, the despicable suburban city where she is forced to go to school, is planning to build a water park over her beloved bog. It is up to her to safeguard the endangered area and its secrets. Little does she know that there is someone determined to destroy not only the bog but the town of Spooking itself — and anyone who dares stand in his way.
Horror, Mysteries, Brothers and Sisters

Bradley, F.T. – Double Vision
Double vision trilogy
Double Vision – Code Name 711 – The Alias Men

Lincoln Baker finds himself in a world of trouble when his seemingly harmless prank on a school field trip ends in expulsion and a lawsuit. Then two mysterious figures from a secret government agency called Pandora show up at Linc’s house with a proposition. Turns out Linc looks exactly like one of Pandora’s top kid agents, Benjamin Green, who vanished while on a critical spy mission in Paris. If Linc agrees to take his place, they’ll get him back in school and make that lawsuit disappear. But the mission is a lot more complicated than it seems. A highly valuable copy of the Mona Lisa has gone missing and now Linc must make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Too bad Linc isn’t a black belt math genius who can run a four-minute mile like his double, Ben, because he’ll need those skills to make it out alive!
Spies, Adventure, Action

Burgis, Stephanie – The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson
kat incorrigible series
Kat Incorrigible – Renegade Magic – Stolen Magic

Resentful of her stepmother, her secretive older sisters, and the whole code of ladylike conduct in early-19th-century England, 12-year-old Kat Stephenson takes action. She chops off her hair, learns to use her mother’s magical mirror, and fends off both well-meaning and threatening adults. With a group of witches after her to use the magical powers she seems to be developing for their mysterious ends, Kat also has to deal with sorting through her older sisters’ romantic lives, evading her bumbling father’s good intention (but bad plans), and her stepmother’s vicious attempts at sabotaging her life. Can she manage to find a way to save her family and still get proper training in magic?
Historical, Magic, Mystery, Romance

Burns, T.R. – The Merits of Mischief
merits of mischief trilogy
The Bad Apple – A World of Trouble – Watch Your Step

Twelve-year-old Seamus Hinkle is a good kid with a perfect school record-until the day he accidently kills his substitute teacher with an apple. Seamus is immediately shipped off to a detention facility-only to discover that Kilter Academy is actually a school to mold future Troublemakers, where demerits are awarded as a prize for bad behavior and each student is tasked to pull various pranks on their teachers in order to excel. Initially determined to avoid any more mishaps, Seamus nonetheless inadvertently emerges as a uniquely skilled troublemaker. Together with new friends Lemon and Elinor, he rises to the top of his class while beginning to discover that Kilter Academy has some major secrets and surprises in store….
Humor, School, Trickery

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And there you have it!  Did you read them all, or have you missed any?  Try one on your next visit to the Library!

::Kelly::

 

If you liked Wonder…

wonderWonder, by R.J. Polacio has been a very popular book over the last few years.

Wonder tells the story of Auggie, a fifth-grade boy going to school for the very first time.  Because of a frequent hospitalizations, and the reaction of people around him, Auggie has always been home schooled.  But now that his parents have given him a choice, he chooses to meet more people and be a “regular kid”. 

But the thing is, Auggie will always stand out.  He was born with severe facial abnormalities, which cause people to stare at him.  He’s hoping that his new classmates at the private school he’s about to attend will judge him on his actions, not his face.  But will they?

Told in alternating chapters by Auggie, his sister, his classmates and his parents, this is a powerful story about being different, friendship and courage.

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And if you liked Wonder, you might try:

 

CrossoverThe Crossover by Kwame Alexander
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.

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.

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 is miserable. Trying to adjust to his blended family proves too much to bear, so Frankie Joe hatches a plot to escape on his bike back home to Texas. For that he needs money, and so Frankie Joe’s Freaky Fast Delivery Service is born. His deliveries win new friends, a place in the rural Illinois community, and a sense of achievement. But his planned escape is destroyed by a heartbreaking betrayal, and Frankie Joe needs all of his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new family to survive the devastating loss.

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 mindOut 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.

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.

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.  An inspiring novel about figuring out who you are and doing what you love.

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.

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 discovering common ground in their disparate experiences.

one for the murphysOne for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Twelve-year-old Carley Connors can take a lot. Growing up in Las Vegas with her fun-loving mother, she’s learned to be tough. But she never expected a betrayal that would land her in a foster care. When she’s placed with the Murphys, a lively family with three boys, she’s blindsided. Do happy families really exist? Carley knows she could never belong in their world, so she keeps her distance.

lions of little rockThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Twelve-year-old 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.

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 David’s 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?

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 portrait of herself with brown hair and eyes as round as coins, her classmate Frankie makes fun of her 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 makes 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 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.

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.

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?

each kindnessEach Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Maya is different–she wears hand-me-downs and plays with old-fashioned toys. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her gang, they reject her. Eventually, Maya stops coming to school altogether. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, how much better it could have been if she’d shown Maya a little kindness. This picture book is perfect for sharing with a class about differences and what makes a bully.

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And if you loved Wonder and can’t get enough, there is a another book by R.J. Palacio: 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Brown’s Book of Precepts.  There are also three e-books, which can be borrowed through Minuteman’s Overdrive Catalog: The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story, Pluto: A Wonder Story, and Shingaling: A Wonder Story (coming in May).

Happy Reading!

::Kelly::

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Booklist: Fairy Tale Re-tellings – Modern and Traditional

Everyone THINKS they know everything about Snow White, Beauty, Cinderella and all the other characters that populate fairy tales.  But do you know the WHOLE story?  Here are a few (okay, maybe more than a few) re-tellings of classic tales. Some are set in modern times, some in medieval times, and some in “once upon a time” times. But each one features a re-telling of a classic.  See if you still see fairy tales the same way, once you read the characters’ stories…

Books with a J at the end of the synopsis are in the Juvenile section of the library, books with a YA are in the Young Adult/Teen section. If they have both, we have a copy in both collections!

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Fairy Tale Retellings

Traditional and Modern re-tellings of Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Twelve Dancing Princesses and more…

Baker, E.D.  The Frog Princess
Shy and clumsy and facing an arranged marriage with a dull prince, Princess Emeralda hides out in the nearby swamp or escapes to the chambers of her aunt Grassina, who is a witch. One day she meets a talking frog who claims to be a prince. Eventually the frog persuades Emeralda to give him a kiss, but  instead of turning him into a prince, she becomes a frog!. Working together, the two frogs must escape the swamp and reach the castle. Will Emeralda regain her human form, or remain a frog forever? Read the entire Tales of a Frog Princess series!  J

Dokey, Cameron.  Golden
Before Rapunzel’s birth, her mother made a deal with sorceress Melisande: if she could not love the newborn just as she appeared, she would surrender the baby. Horrified when Rapunzel is born bald with no hope of ever growing hair, she’s given to the sorceress. Sixteen years later, Melisande reveals that she has another daughter, Rue, who was cursed by a wizard. Even though the girls don’t get along, Rue and Rapunzel have exactly “two nights and the day that falls between” to break the enchantment. If they fail to work together, Rue will remain cursed…forever. Try other Once Upon a Time series titles: Beauty Sleep, Before Midnight, Belle, The Storyteller’s Daughter, Wild Orchid, Winter’s Child and The World Above.  YA

Durst, Sarah Beth.  Ice
Cassie always told herself that her mother had been taken prisoner by trolls because of a deal she’d made with the Polar Bear King, a fairy tale to soothe a child whose mother had died. But on her eighteenth birthday, the “fairy tale” comes true when the Polar Bear King comes to take Cassie for his bride. Realizing she has the power to save her mother, Cassie makes her own deal with the bear and finds herself on a journey against time, traveling to a land east of the sun and west of the moon. It is a journey that will teach Cassie the true meaning of love and family—and what it means to become an adult.  YA

Ensor, Barbara.  Cinderella (as if you didn’t already know)
You’ve heard the story a million times before. Mean stepmother. Lots of sweeping. Fancy ball. You remember. Or do you?  Did you remember that Cinderella was such a nice girl—so smart and funny? You probably would’ve liked her. Did you know that “Cinderella” was just a nickname? And that her handsome prince loved Jell-o and was a wonderful dancer?  Read this take on the classic tale. J

Ensor, Barbara. Thumbelina: The Tiny Runaway Bride
Thumbelina is that story most of us can’t quite remember. Okay, sure, it’s about a tiny girl just the size of your thumb. But did you know that her troubles (or adventures, if you prefer) begin when she begs her mother to let her sleep outside on the porch? And that in no time she is engaged to a frog, and then a mole, and even receives a proposal from a miniature king? Just read  what all the fuss is about.  J

Fletcher, Susan.  Shadow Spinner
Every night, Shahrazad begins a story. And every morning, the Sultan lets her live another day — IF the story is interesting enough to capture his attention. After almost one thousand nights, Shahrazad is running out of tales. It falls to her friend Marjan to help find new stories — ones the Sultan has never heard before. To do that, Marjan must sneak from the harem and travel the city, pulling tales from strangers and bringing them back to Shahrazad. But as she searches the city, a wonderful thing happens. From a quiet spinner of tales, Marjan suddenly becomes the center of a more surprising story than she ever could have imagined.  J & YA

George, Jessica Day.  Princess of the Midnight Ball
Rose is one of twelve princesses forced to dance through the night in an underground palace. Each of the twelve sisters long for a way to escape the enchantment, but the rules of the curse call for items that are dangerous or impossible to find. Breaking the spell calls for magic knitting needles, an invisibility cloak, and—of course—true love. Are the princesses doomed to dance their way into marriage with twelve brutish underground princes? Or will they find a way to escape their fate? Follow up with the sequel, Princess of Glass. J & YA

Haddix, Margaret Peterson.  Just Ella
You’ve heard the fairytale: a glass slipper, Prince Charming, happily ever after…  Welcome to reality: royal genealogy lessons, needlepoint, acting like “a proper lady,” and — worst of all — a prince who is not the least bit interesting, and certainly not charming. As soon-to-be princess Ella deals with her newfound status, she comes to realize she is not “your majesty” material. But breaking off a royal engagement is no easy feat, especially when you’re crushing on another boy in the palace…. For Ella to escape, it will take intelligence, determination, and spunk — and no ladylike behavior allowed. J & YA

Hale, Shannon.  The Goose Girl
Ani, the Princess of Kildenree, is being sent to marry the prince of a neighboring kingdom. When her handmaiden, Celia, plots to replace her, the resulting deception, stolen identity, and danger transform Ani into a peasant girl, the caretaker of the king’s geese. If Ani is to expose Celia and the danger to two kingdoms, she and her new friends must find a way for a goose girl to counsel a King.  Try the other Books of Bayrn too; they’re not based on any fairy tales, but on the characters introduced in this story. J & YA

Hale, Shannon.  Rapunzel’s Revenge
After using her hair to free herself from her prison tower, this Rapunzel ignores the pompous prince and teams up with Jack (of Beanstalk fame) in an attempt to free her birth mother and an entire kingdom from the evil witch who once moonlighted as her mother. Dogged by both the witch’s henchman and Jack’s outlaw past, the heroes travel across the map as they right wrongs, help the oppressed, and generally try to stay alive. Try the sequel, Calamity Jack, too. J COMICS

Holmes, Sara Lewis.  Letters from Rapunzel
Once upon a time, there was a girl called Rapunzel. Abandoned, alone, waiting for her hair to grow and dreaming of a way to escape from her tower. Trapped by the dreaded after-school Homework Club. A desolate place where Rapunzel sat, day after day, cursing the evil spell cast over her father. The doctors called it something else, but a true heroine can smell an evil spell a mile away. So when a mysterious letter falls into her hands, she knows she’s found the pea under her mattress. But since when is finding happily ever after as simple as Just Writing Back? J

Jones, Diana Wynne. Fire and Hemlock
Polly Whittacker has two sets of memories. In the first, things are boringly normal; in the second, her life is entangled with the mysterious, complicated cellist Thomas Lynn. One day, the second set of memories overpowers the first, and Polly knows something is very wrong. Someone has been trying to make her forget Tom – whose life, she realizes, is at supernatural risk. Based on the ballad of Tam Lin, this is a fantasy filled with sorcery and intrigue, magic and mystery. J & YA

Lairamore, Dawn.  Ivy and the Meanstalk
Princess Ivy and her dragon friend, Elridge, are called to defend their kingdom! Many years ago, a magical harp and a hen that laid golden eggs were stolen by a youth named Jack. The rightful owner, a surly giantess who hasn’t slept a wink since the thefts, needs her harp back to cure her insomnia; otherwise, the kingdom will suffer an unspeakable fate. So Ivy and Elridge set off on an adventure–a quest for the magical harp that takes them across the sea, into the fiery depths of a magnificent golden kingdom, and high into the clouds to the top of a vicious man-eating meanstalk. J

Levine, Gail Carson.  Ella Enchanted
At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy’s gift — the “gift’ of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it’s hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse — once and for all.  J & YA

Levine, Gail Carson.  The Princess Test
King Humphrey has decided its time for his son, Prince Nicholas, to marry. But he must make sure the bride is a real princess. So he devises a series of princess tests, designed to weed out the phonies and the fakes. Meanwhile, Nicholas has fallen in love with Lorelei, a mere blacksmith’s daughter. She’s no princess, but he wants to marry her all the same–but how will she ever pass the terrible tests?  Make sure you read the other Princess Tales: Cinderellis and the Glass Hill, For Biddle’s Sake, The Fairy’s Mistake, The Fairy’s Return, and Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep. J

Lynn, Tracy.  Snow
After her mother’s death, Jessica spent the first eleven years of her life running free on the family estate, cared for only by the servants. Then her father decides to remarry. At first her new stepmother just seems overly strict. But as Jessica grows into a beautiful young woman, it becomes clear that her stepmother is also wildly (and murderously) jealous.  Escaping to London and going by the name Snow, Jessica falls in love with an odd band of outcasts who accept her into their makeshift family. But when her stepmother appears in the city seeking her forgiveness, Jessica will have to decide whom to trust…with her life. YA

Marriot, Juliet.  Swan Kingdom
After Alexa’s mother is killed, her father remarries a cunning and powerful woman. Shadows fall on the once-lush kingdom. Alexa knows the new queen is responsible when her beloved brothers disappear, and she is banished to a barren land.  To save her family and her kingdom, Alexa must take matters into her own hands and fight. She sets out on a long, dangerous journey as she attempts to harness the mystical power she inherited from her mother and restore the kingdom to its proper balance.  J & YA

Mass, Wendy.  Rapunzel, the One With the Hair
Rapunzel is having the ultimate bad day. She’s been stolen by a witch, may have a ghost for a roommate, and doesn’t even have a decent brush for her hair.  Prince Benjamin’s got it pretty tough, too. His father wants him to be more kingly, his mother wants him to never leave her sight, and his cousin wants to get him into as much trouble as possible (possibly with a troll). Both Rapunzel and Prince Benjamin are trapped–in very different ways. Once their paths cross, though, that’s when things get really strange. Look for Sleeping Beauty, the One who Took a Long Nap, coming soon.  J

McGowan, Keith.  The Witch’s Guide to Cooking with Children
When Sol and Connie Blink move to Grand Creek, one of the first people to welcome them is an odd older woman and her friendly dog (who carries a very strange bone in his mouth). Sol knows a lot more than the average eleven-year-old, so when he identifies the bone as human, he and Connie begin to wonder if their new neighbor is up to no good.  In a spine-tingling adventure that makes them think twice about who they can trust, Sol and Connie discover that solving mysteries can be a dangerous game—even for skilled junior sleuths.  J

McKinley, Robin.  Beauty
Beauty has never liked her nickname; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage. When her father comes home from a long and dangerous trip, he tells the family of an enchanted castle in the forest and the horrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there. To save her family, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Will she have the courage to stay in the enchanted castle, with its mysterious servants and terrible master? J & YA

McKinley, Robin.  Spindle’s End
All the creatures of the forest and field and riverbank knew the infant was special. She was the princess, spirited away from the evil fairy Pernicia on her name-day. But even though she has escaped the castle, the curse was cast: Rosie was fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a poisoned sleep—a slumber from which no one would be able to rouse her.  Or is there still some hope for Rosie?  YA

Napoli, Donna Jo.  Ugly
Ugly just isn’t like the other ducklings in the clutch. Whether he’s stretching his long neck to feed on the succulent grasses at the bottom of the pond (and making a mess of it too!), climbing onto his mother’s back whenever he’s afraid, or nipping sharply at those who threaten him, Ugly’s behavior is distinctly unducklike. When all the other birds of Dove Lake turn against him, Ugly’s mother has no choice but to protect her family. Left on his own, what is a genius duckling to do? J

Napoli, Donna Jo.  Zel
High in the mountains, Zel lives with her mother, who insists they have all they need — for they have each other. Zel’s life is peaceful and protected — until a chance encounter changes everything. When she meets a beautiful young prince at the market one day, she is profoundly moved by new emotions. But Zel’s mother sees the future unfolding — and she will do the unspeakable to prevent Zel from leaving her. YA

Pearce, Jackson.  Sweetly
As a child, Gretchen’s twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch’s forest threatening to make them disappear, too. After their stepmother casts them out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They’re invited to stay with a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic. When Gretchen meets handsome outcast Samuel, he tells her the witch is still lurking, preying on girls and looking to make Gretchen it’s next victim. Determined to stop running and start fighting back, Gretchen investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims. The more she discovers,  the more she wonders who the real monster is.  J

Pope, Elizabeth Marie.  The Perilous Gard
Exiled by Queen Mary Tudor for supporting the young Princess Elizabeth, Kate Sutton is sent to a remote castle known as Perilous Gard. There, she becomes involved in a series of mysterious events; her guardian’s daughter has vanished, and his brother Christopher blames himself.  Then Kate stumbles upon clues that lead her to an underground world peopled by Fairy Folk, whose customs are even older than the Druids’ and include human sacrifice. In terrible danger from what she’s learned, can Kate save both Christopher and herself? A beautiful and adventure-filled retelling of Tam Lin. J & YA

Skurzynski, Gloria.  What Happened in Hamelin?
The stranger appeared on a rainy day , and promised to run the rats out of the town of Hamelin. He did so, and asked for the agreed-upon wages. But after the townspeople of Hamelin refuse to pay, and all the children of Hamelin disappear. Can piper’s young apprentice discover his master’s horrifying scheme to revenge himself on Hamelin’s children in time to save them?  J

Stanley, Diane.  Bella at Midnight
Bella has grown up thinking that she was just a simple peasant girl until her world collapses. First, her best friend, Julian, betrays her. Then she finds out that she is, in fact, Isabel, the daughter of a knight who abandoned her in infancy. And now he wants her back. Bella is torn from her beloved foster family and tries to accept her new life with her deranged father and his resentful wife. But when she finds out about a terrible plot that threatens the kingdom, she sets out on a journey that will lead her to a destiny far greater than she could have imagined. J

Tomlinson, Heather. The Swan Maiden
In the quiet hour before dawn, Doucette can dream of being a creature of flight and magic, of wearing a swan skin like her older sisters. But in reality, she must run the castle household while her sisters learn to weave spells. Her dream of flying suddenly comes true the day she discovers her own hidden birthright. Yet, not even magic can protect against every danger, especially when the heart is involved. As she struggles to find her own way in the world, Doucette risks losing the one person she loves most of all. J

Tomlinson, Heather.  Toads and Diamonds
Diribani never expected to meet a goddess or be granted a remarkable gift. But she did, and now flowers and jewels drop from her lips when she speaks. It seems only right to Tana that the goddess judged her kind stepsister worthy of such riches. When Tana encounters the goddess, she is not surprised to find herself speaking snakes and toads as a reward. Blessings and curses are never so clear as they might seem, however.  Each sister struggles to understand her figt as their fates hang in the balance. Will it bring her wisdom, good fortune, love . . . or death? YA

Ursu, Anne.  Breadcrumbs
Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. When glass falls from the sky and pierces  Jack’s heart, it changes his behavior toward his family and friends. He won’t even speak to Hazel. Soon afterward, a white woman, seemingly made of ice, lures Jack to a frozen pond.  Now it’s up to a devastated Hazel to go in after him.  She plunges into an icy world filled with people, creatures, and elements that echo the books she loves in order to find her best friend and return him. But things are not always as they seem to be, and Hazel will be fighting more than the icy queen.  J

Valentino, Serena.  Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen
For anyone who’s seen Walt Disney’s Snow White, you’ll know that the Wicked Queen is one evil woman! After all, it’s not everyone who wants to cut out their teenage step-daughter’s heart and have it delivered back in a locked keepsake box. But if you examine the life of the Wicked Queen and find out just what it is that makes her so nasty. Here’s a hint: the creepy-looking man in the magic mirror is not just some random spooky visage—and he just might have something to do with the Queen’s wicked ways! J

Viguie, Debbie.  Violet Eyes
Violet is amazed when a storm brings the dashing Prince Richard to her impoverished family’s farm. The two fall in love at first sight, but although Richard has given his heart to Violet, his parents will only let him marry a princess of their choosing, a lady of the highest nobility and sensitivity. Now on a quest to be reunited with her true love, Violet must rely on her wits—and a little help from an unexpected source—to compete with princesses, pass the king and queen’s tests, and prove herself worthy of being Richard’s bride. Try other Once Upon a Time books: Midnight Pearls, and Scarlet Moon. YA

Weatherill, Cat.  Wild Magic
The Pied Piper had his reasons for enchanting the children of Hamelin and stealing them away—ones rooted in a deep history of wild magic. Mari and her brother Jakob are among the children who followed the piper’s song, and they are now trapped in a beautiful but cruel world inhabited by a horrid Beast. They must remain there until he finds the right child, the chosen one, who can lift his century old curse. But the price of breaking the curse is a terrible one. ..J

Weyn, Suzanne.  The Crimson Thread
Bertie is grateful to be given work as a seamstress in the home of a textile tycoon.  But when his business is in peril, Bertie’s father boasts that Bertie is so skillful she can “practically spin straw into gold.” When pressured to do so, Bertie creates exquisite evening gowns overnight. What she doesn’t tell people is that she had help. Ray Stalls uses an old spinning wheel to create dresses that are woven with crimson thread and look as though they are spun with real gold. An indebted Bertie asks how she can repay him, and Ray asks for her firstborn child. Bertie agrees, never dreaming that he is serious….  Try other books in the Once Upon a Time series: The Diamond Secret, The Night Dance, and Water Song. YA

Wrede, Patricia.  Snow White and Rose Red
Blanche and Rosamund gather the herbs their widowedmother  needs for her business, sometimes crossing into the realm of Faerie, whose borders lies in the forest nearby.   The sisters know enough about magic to know when a spell is being cast, and watch uneasily as two nearby “magicians”  seek to harness the magic near the border. However, they cannot act without endangering their mother and themselves. When an intelligent, kind black bear shows up at Snow White and Rose Red’s home, they realize he’s connected to the spell-making they saw.  Even though they couldn’t act at the onset of the spell, the girls vow to help free the bear of what’s been done to him.  YA

Yolen, Jane. Snow in Summer: Fairest of Them All
With her black hair, red lips, and lily-white skin, Summer is as beautiful as her father’s garden. And her life in the mountains of West Virginia seems like a fairy tale; her parents sing and dance with her, Cousin Nancy dotes on her, and she is about to get a new baby brother. But when the baby dies soon after he’s born, taking Summer’s mama with him, Summer’s fairy-tale life turns grim. Things get even worse when her father marries a woman who brings poisons and magical mirrors into Summer’s world. Stepmama puts up a pretty face, but Summer suspects she’s up to no good – and is afraid she’s powerless to stop her.  J

Yolen, Jane.  Pay the Piper: A Rock ’n’ Roll Fairy Tale
Not much happens in Callie McCallan’s sleepy Massachusetts town. So when the famous rock band, Brass Rat, schedules a concert in the Valley, it’s big news. Callie isn’t sure what the fuss is all about . . . until she meets the band. Lead singer. Peter Gringras and his band mates are so cool. Especially Peter. When he plays his flute, it’s as if he has some kind of hypnotic power. But there is something strange about the band. Maybe she’s just being weird, but it’s as if they’re from here-but not from here-at the same time.  Also try Troll Bridge. YA

Zahler, Diane. Princess of the Wild Swans
Princess Meriel’s brothers have been cursed by a terrible enchantment–cast by their conniving new stepmother. The handsome princes have been turned  into swans. They now swim forlornly on a beautiful heart-shaped lake that lies just beyond the castle walls. Meriel will do whatever it takes to rescue her beloved brothers, but she must act quickly. If Heart Lake freezes, her brothers will be forced to fly south or perish. Meriel knows what will save them and  vows to finish the seemingly impossible task. If she completes it, her brothers may be saved.  But if she fails . . . all will be lost.  J

Zahler, Diane.  The Thirteenth Princess
Zita is not an ordinary servant girl—she’s the thirteenth daughter of a king who wanted only sons. When she was born, Zita’s father banished her to the servants’ quarters to work in the kitchens, where she can only communicate with her royal sisters in secret.  When the princesses all fall mysteriously ill, the only clue is their strangely worn and tattered shoes. With the help of her friends Zita follows her bewitched sisters into a magical world of endless dancing and dreams. But something more sinister is afoot—and unless Zita and her friends can break the curse, the twelve princesses will surely dance to their deaths.  J

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 So there you have it…princesses, peasant girls and other fairy tales characters with an old (or new!) story to tell.  Would you have guessed that the two most popular re-tellings would be The Twelve Dancing Princesses and The Swan Princess? Neither would have been my first guess!

Coming soon…tales with a slant for boys, and tales for older teens.  As always, let us know what you think!

::Kelly::

Booklist: Fairy Tale Re-tellings: Mixed Tales

Fairy Tales have been passed down for generations, sparking imaginations and making princesses, magic objects and a variety of beasts and monsters popular.  With all the new TV shows and movies out there featuring fairy tale characters and their stories, it seemed like a good time to put out a booklist of some of our favorite stories.  You won’t find the straightforward tales of Cinderella, Jack the Giant Killer or Beauty and The Beast here though!  No, these are stories that take elements from favorite tales and swirl them together into something new.

So, pick up your glass slippers, curl up on your magic carpet with an enchanted frog or two, and read one of these fun and fantastic Fairy Tale retellings!  Books with a J at the end of the summary are in the Juvenile collection, books marked YA are in the Young Adult/Teen collection.  Books with both are in both!

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Fairy Tale Re-tellings

Combined fairy tale re-tellings—Crossing over multiple tales, you never know who you will meet!

Ahlberg, Allan.  Ten in a Bed
One night Dinah goes upstairs and finds three grumbly bears in her bed. They refuse to budge until she’s told them a story, and that’s the end. Or is it? Each night, Dinah discovers that her bed is occupied by a different nursery rhyme or fairy tale character who refuses to leave until she tells them a story. Dinah’s bed is full of surprises and her own story is full of other stories; fantastic ones and wild ones and some that are just a bit frightening. J

Baker, E.D.  The Wide-Awake Princess
Princess Annie is frustratingly (and luckily) resistant to magic. When her sister Gwen pricks her finger and the whole castle falls asleep, only Annie stays awake. Now it’s up to Annie to find a prince to kiss her sister and break the spell. But who is her sister’s true love? And what about Annie’s own happily-ever-after? Annie travels through a fairy tale land filled with characters both familiar and new as she tries to save her kingdom. J

Blubaugh, Penny.  Serendipity Market
When Toby breathes on Mama Inez’s bird-shaped invitations and gives them the power to fly, plans for the Serendipity Market begin. Eleven honored guests travel from afar to share their stories in the storytellers’ tent. Each tale proves what Mama Inez knows: magic is everywhere. Sometimes it shows itself subtly—a ray of sun glinting on a gold coin, or a girl picking a rose without getting pricked by the thorn—and sometimes it makes itself known with trumpets and fireworks. But when real magic is combined with the magic of storytelling, it can change the world.  YA

Buckley, Michael.  The Fairy Tale Detectives
After their parents vanish, sisters Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm. The sisters learn they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, whose famous book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files. The girls are the latest in a long line of fairy-tale detectives, and their new hometown is filled with Everafters (as magical folks like to be called)—some good and some very, very bad. When a mysterious Everafter sets a giant loose on the town, it’s up to the Sisters Grimm to save the day.  Read all the books in the Sisters Grimm series! J

Dowell, Frances O’Rourke.  Falling In
When Isabelle gets sent to the principal’s office, she stumbles into an adventure.  Actually, she tumbles into  another world that’s a little bit different, a little bit Hansel & Gretel-y, a little bit like a fairy tale, which would be great, but…did I mention that Isabelle is an unusual dresser? When she shows up in fairy-tale land wearing her favorite high, pointy boots, the fairy-tale people start thinking that Isabelle is a witch — and not just any witch, but THE witch!  Uh-oh…  J

Durst, Sarah Beth.  Into the Wild
There has always been a monster under her bed, but Julie had no idea that it was biding its time, waiting to escape.  Her mother and grandmother did though. When the magical world of the Wild takes over Julie’s town, she must venture deep into the heart of the fairy tale to outsmart wicked witches, feisty giants, and super cute princes in the ultimate quest to save her family. But can an ordinary girl defeat the rapidly growing happily-ever-after?  Read and find out!  And if you liked the first adventure, try the sequel: Out of the Wild.  J

Flinn, Alix.  Cloaked
Johnny is a cobbler in the family shoe repair shop in a posh hotel. His days are spent either with his friend Meg or designing his own line of shoes while he dreams of wealth to free his family from poverty. An unexpected visit from a super-hot partying princess changes his life. She begs for help finding her missing brother, who has been turned into a frog. With the aid of a magical cloak and a spell that allows him to hear animals speak, Johnny embarks on a journey where he encounters everything from talking swans to angry giants to a witch who vows to kill him. Will Johnny manage to survive? YA

Gardiner, Lynn.  Into the Woods
Storm, Aurora, and Anything Eden live in a decaying mansion on the edge of the wilds with their parents. When an accident leaves them orphaned and at the mercy of the sinister Dr. DeWilde, the three courageous and eccentric sisters are forced to flee into the woods, where they encounter kidnappers, sweet-filled orphanages, mountains of ice, diamond mines, and some ravenously hungry wolves. With inspiration from numerous fairytales this tale is woven into a wholly original story,  Also read the sequel: Out of the Woods.  J

Gidwitz, Adam.  A Tale Dark and Grimm
In this mischievous tale, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches. Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after. J

Harrison, Mette Ivie.  Mira, Mirror
Abandoned by her parents and apprenticed to a witch, Mira is captivated by the other young apprentice, who adopts her as a sister. Mira would do anything for her sister…and that’s just what the other girl bargains for. With a simple spell, Mira’s body is turned to wood, her face to glass. Her only power is the magic her sister gives her. But the sister disappears, and Mira is left to gather dust until a new hope arrives—a peasant girl with troubles of her own. Soon the two are on their way to find a new kind of magic, one that gives life instead of taking it.  J & YA

Kindl, Patrice.  Goose Chase
Her name is Alexandria Aurora Fortunato, and she is as lovely as the dawn. But that’s just one of her problems. She has three magical gifts bestowed on her by a mysterious old woman. King Claudio the Cruel wants to marry her for her beauty and her wealth, as does his rival, Prince Edmund. Worst of all, she is locked in a tower with a grille of iron bars and several hundred tons of stone between her and freedom. Some days Alexandria wishes she looked like a pickled onion. Clearly the only thing to do is escape — and, with the aid of twelve goose companions, that’s precisely what Alexandria does.  J & YA

Norton, Mary. Are All the Giants Dead?
James somehow accidentally finds himself in a land filled with the characters of long-ago tales, from Cinderella and Beauty to Jack-the-Giant-Slayer and Jack-of-the-Beanstalk. Older and (somewhat) wiser, they are past adventures. But when the daughter of Beauty and the Beast needs help, James rises to the occasion. Although usually a fan of science fiction, James must maneuver himself and the princess through a  magical wonderland, in search of a magical frog, to answer the question, “Are all the giants dead?”  J

Rallison, Janette.  My Fair Godmother
Savannah wishes for a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone-carrying, high heel-wearing Fairy Godmother.  Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class back instead, to turn him into a  prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and sexy Black Knight.  Also try the sequel: My UnFair Godmother, coming soon.  YA

Schulman, Polly.  The Grimm Legacy
Elizabeth has just started working as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository – a lending library of objects, contemporary and historical, common and obscure. And secret, too – for in the repository’s basement lies the Grimm Collection, a room of magical items straight from the Grimm Brother’s fairy tales. But the magic mirrors and seven-league boots and other items are starting to disappear. And before she knows it, she and her fellow pages are suddenly caught up in an exciting, and dangerous, magical adventure.  J & YA

Staniszewski, Anna.  My Very Un-Fairy Tale Life
You know all those stories that claim fairies cry sparkle tears and elves travel by rainbow? They’re lies. All lies. Jenny has spent her life as an official adventurer. She travels across enchanted kingdoms saving magical creatures and fighting horrible beasts that most of people think are only myths and legends. She’s never had a social life. Her friends have all forgotten  her. And let’s not even talk about trying to do homework. She’s done!!  All she wants is to go back to being a normal girl. But then along comes “Prince Charming” asking for help, and, well, what’s a girl like Jenny supposed to do? J

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…and that’s it!  (For the mixed tales, anyway.) If we forgot your favorite mixed tales, let us know!

Coming soon: traditional and modern re-tellings of one tale, fairy tale re-tellings with boys as the main character, fairy tale re-tellings for older teens, and some short story collections of re-told fairy tales.  Look for them in the next few Booklist posts!

::Kelly::

If you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

Guess what came out today?  Cabin Fever!  And if you’re a fan of the Wimpy Kid books, you’ve been waiting for this one (book six) for awhile.

Kinney, Jeff.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever
Greg Heffley is in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent. Or at least sort of.  The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors. Greg knows that when the snow melts he’s going to have to face the music, but could any punishment be worse than being stuck inside with your family for the holidays?

We have three copies, so reserve yours today!

And if you like The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, try some of these new titles. They have a similar format, and are just as crazy.  Also, look at our post from last spring for other recommendations!

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Collins, Tim.  Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire: Because the Undead Have Feelings Too!   and   Prince of Dorkness: More Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire
Nigel is your average teenage boy next door. He spends most of his time worrying about getting a girlfriend, fitting in, and dealing with acne. He’s also a vampire…although not anything like the vampires in books.  When Nigel falls head over heels for the new girl in school, he spends his time plotting ways to get Chloe to notice he’s “alive” while writing pathetic poetry declaring his love. You think you have problems? Wait until you see what Nigel has to face!

Griffiths, Andy.  Killer Koalas from Outer Space: and Lots of Other Very Bad Stuff That Will Make Your Brain Explode!
Surprise, absurdity, and laugh-out-loud humor are the hallmarks of this collection of ridiculous short stories featuring zombie kittens, rocket stealing ants, and of course, killer koalas from outer space.  Some stories are cartoons, some are text, but all are funny!

Patterson, James.  Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
Rafe Khatchadorian has an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school’s oppressive Code of Conduct. But when Rafe’s game starts to catch up with him, he’ll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he’s finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he’s been avoiding.  Is middle school always this bad?

Seegert, Scott.  Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World    and   Vordak the Incomprehensible: Rule the School
It’s not easy being an evil genius!  Evil mastermind Vordak the Incomprehensible shares his “evilosity” with aspiring supervillains. His comical narration features over-the-top self-congratulation matched by supreme contempt for readers and everyone else.  Pop-culture references and varied elements of grossness are sprinkled in regularly, along with 15 “commandments of incomprehensibility” and repeated references to “diabolically clever yet slow-acting death traps,” which get funnier each time. So does the ironic fact that despite his egotistical rants, Vordak is actually a completely unsuccessful supervillain.

Tashjian, Janet.  My Life as a Book    and   My Life as a Stuntboy
Derek Fallon is looking forward to a summer of fun, pelting the UPS truck with water balloons, climbing onto the garage roof, and conducting silly investigations. But when his parents decide to send him to Learning Camp, Derek’s dreams stutter.  As Derek forges unexpected friendships and uncovers a family secret involving himself (in diapers! no less), he realizes that adventures and surprises are around the corner, complete with curve balls.

Zelnick, Aldo.  Cahoots
As summer draws to a close, Aldo Zelnick ends up on a farm. Aldo’s mom is eager for him to experience her favorite childhood pastimes such as shucking  corn, milking cows, gathering eggs–and enjoying fresh air and living off the land. But Aldo suspects that farm life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and his worst fears are confirmed. The rooster wakes him at dawn, the chores exhaust him, and the cousins—identical twin pranksters—are in cahoots against him. Even the creepy old portrait of his great-grandfather seems to be watching these shenanigans from the frame on the wall. Aldo must endure all this without the consolation of TV or computers, because the farm is (gasp!) technology free.

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So, if you like your books with some cartoon illustration and a dash (a REALLY BIG dash) of humor, try one of these titles.

::Kelly::

Booklist: Pickpockets, Thieves and Scoundrels!

With the success of books like The Thief Lord and The Lightning Thief, books about thieves seem to have gained popularity. Just put it in as a key word in a Minuteman search and see how many books for middle grades and teens pop up!  Or check out the kids in these books; they are thieves, robbers or outlaws in their worlds, for a variety of reasons. From fantasy to historical fiction to adventure, these characters are determined to survive, whatever skills they might have to use.

The books on this list are pretty evenly split between the Juvenile (J) and Teen (YA) collections; their placement in our collection is listed at the end of the brief summary.

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Pickpockets, Thieves and Scoundrels!

Barratt, Mark. Joe Rat
In the dark, dank sewers of Victorian London, an abandoned boy known as Joe Rat scrounges for valuables, not for himself, to give to a woman known as “Mother,” a criminal mastermind who considers him a favorite among her “rats”.   But it’s a chance meeting with a runaway girl and a stranger called “the Madman” that transforms Joe’s life, as well as the lives of all who know him.  J

Bell, Hilaire. Shield of Stars
A former pickpocket, Weasel is the type of boy most people would avoid.  Justice Holis took Weasel off the streets, gave him a home, a job, and the key to his house. When Justice Holis finds himself in trouble, only Weasel can save him. But what can one boy do? Not much without help…so Weasel will find that help.  Try the other books in this trilogy!  J & YA

Blackwood, Gary.  The Shakespeare Stealer
Widge is an orphan with a rare talent for shorthand. His fearsome master has just one demand: steal Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”–or else. Widge has no choice but to follow orders, so he works his way into the heart of the Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare’s players perform.  J

Bradshaw, Gillian. The Dragon and the Thief
Prahotep has been plagued with bad luck his whole life. When he takes up tomb robbing, he stumbles across Hathor, the last dragon in Egypt. Hathor requests his assistance in her escape to Nubia in search of fellow dragons, and suddenly, although they’re pursued by evil magicians, the usually unlucky boy suddenly finds the gods and a little fortune on his side.  J

Brennan, Herbie. Shadow Project
A young English thief stumbles on, and subsequently is recruited for, a super-secret operation that trains teenagers in remote viewing and astral projection techniques in order to engage in spying. Danny Lipman is a young thief who stumbles into a clandestine operation that he does not immediately understand. The staff of the Shadow Project allows him to escape after deciding that he shows natural talent for their work but not before bugging his jacket.  J & YA

Bunce, Elizabeth. Starcrossed
In a kingdom dominated by religious intolerance, Digger, a teenage orphaned thief, is on the run after a botched job ends in a violent ambush. Desperate lies help her escape with some young aristocrats, who take her to their remote mountain estate. While posing as Celyn, a ladies’ maid, Digger meets a visiting lord who blackmails her into uncovering dangerous political plot. YA

Buckley-Archer. Gideon the Cutpurse
Peter and Kate have somehow stumbled from the 21st century back to 1763, and even though they are still in England, everything has changed. They believe their time travel must be connected to the antigravity machine Kate’s father has been working on, but it has been stolen by a criminal called The Tar Man. To survive, they really have no choice but to trust Gideon, a stranger whose offer of help seems genuine, even if he is known as a cutpurse and thief.  J

Carter, Ally. Heist Society
A group of teenagers uses their combined talents to re-steal several priceless paintings and save fifteen-year-old Kat Bishop’s father, himself an international art thief, from a vengeful collector. The daughter of notorious thieves, Kat Bishop has enrolled in the exclusive Colgan School to escape the family business and try to live a normal life. But when she is kicked out, Kat has to return to her roots. YA

 Catanese, P.W. The Thief and the Beanstalk
Orphaned and desperate, Nick joins a band of thieves; in exchange Nick must help them break into the lavish castle rumored to belong to an old man named Jack. When Nick’s dangerous mission leads him straight to Jack, he sees a chance to climb the famed beanstalk himself. But what Nick doesn’t know is that things are different from when Jack made his climb. There are new foes at the top now. Will Nick come down the beanstalk a hero? Will he come down at all?  J

Cole, Stephen. Thieves Like Us
Jonah, a brilliant computer hacker, is the newest addition to an elite group of teen outlaws all hired by the same mysterious benefactor. Each of them offers a unique talent: Patch is a locksmith; Motti can dismantle any electrical system; Con’s charm is mesmerizing; and Tye can detect a lie with more precision than a polygraph. Together, this motley crew races from a high-tech underground centre to exotic locations where they hunt for priceless ancient artifacts that may bring riches . . . or the secret to eternal life. YA

 Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl
Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit.  These aren’t the fairies of bedtime stories; these fairies are armed and dangerous. Artemis thinks he has them right where he wants them…but then they stop playing by the rules.  Read all the sequels too!  J & YA

Couloumbus, Audrey. The Misadventures of Maude March
When Sallie March and her sister Maude escape their self-serving guardians for the wilds of the frontier, they begin an adventure the likes of which Sallie has only read about. This time however, the “wanted woman” isn’t a dime-novel villain, it’s Sallie’s very own sister! What follows is not the lies the papers printed, but the honest-to-goodness truth of how two sisters went from being orphans to being outlaws—and lived to tell the tale!  J

Deary, Terry. The Fire Thief
Greek God Prometheus travels into the future, and falls in with a pair of itinerant thieves: Jim, a young orphan and his “Uncle” Edward. They gain admittance to wealthy homes, and while Uncle Edward stages a theatrical performance in the downstairs parlor, Jim steals valuables upstairs.   Is Jim really the person who can save the god of fire?   Read all three books!  J

Engh, M.J.  The House in the Snow
Runaway Benjamin meets another boy, newly escaped from the mysterious House in the Forest. He learns that it is inhabited by robbers who can make themselves invisible; they keep a group of stolen boys as servants. Faced with starvation, the two sneak boys make a desperate plan: they will sneak into the House and discover the robbers’ cloaks of invisibility. Will it work?   J

 Fagan, Deva. The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle
The personal quests of a young witch who aspires to be a villain and a young thief who is determined to become a hero intersect in a swampy bog. On their travels, it becomes clear that what little magic there is in the Uplands is draining away. As Prunella and Barnaby try to discover the cause, they realize that good and evil can come packaged in deceptive forms-nasty bog-witches, malevolent wizards, and beautiful queens aren’t always what they seem.  J

Funke, Cornelia. The Thief Lord
After escaping from their cruel aunt and uncle, orphans Prosper and Bo meet a mysterious boy who calls himself the “Thief Lord.” Clever and charming, the Thief Lord leads a band of street children who enjoy making mischief. But the Thief Lord also has a dark secret. And suddenly Prosper and Bo find themselves on a fantastical journey to a forgotten place. What they discover there will change the course of their destiny … forever.  J & YA

 Hahn, Mary.  The Gentleman Outlaw and Me—Eli
Eliza Yates reinvents herself as Elijah Bates when she runs away from her unloving relatives, is headed west in search of her absent father. She finds Calvin Featherstone, left for dead by his muggers, and so begins a funny, cliff-hanging melodrama that features a sparkling text containing rapid-fire dry humour and a fresh, determined heroine who manages everything to her satisfaction.  J

 Harlow, Joan.  Firestorm!
Poppy, a skilled pickpocket working the streets of 1870s Chicago, meets 13-year-old Justin Butterworth, a prominent jeweler’s son A twelve-year-old street urchin and the son of Chicago’s most important jeweler strike up an unlikely friendship in the days before the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and both are nearly trapped when the city goes up in flames.  J

Haydon, Elizabeth. The Thief Queen’s Daughter
Young Ven Polypheme is sent on a secret mission within the walls of the Gated City, a former penal colony in the land of Serendair, where he and his friends face kidnapping and even worse dangers from the ruthless Thief Queen, who is trying to reclaim her runaway daughter. The first book in an exciting trilogy!  J & YA

Hughes, Carol. Jack Black and the Ship of Thieves
Captain Henry Hugo Black, of the world’s largest airship, has agreed to let his son, Jack, come along on her maiden voyage. But there is  treachery aboard! Jack finds himself a prisoner aboard a ship of thieves that hasn’t seen port for more than 25 years. From an erupting volcano to encounters with a sea monster…will Jack survive? J

Korman, Gordon.  Swindle
After a mean collector cons him out of his most valuable baseball card, Griffin Bing must put together a band of misfits to break into the man’s compound and recapture the card. There are many things standing in their way — a menacing guard dog, a high-tech security system, a very secret hiding place, and their inability to drive — but Griffin and his team are determined to get back what’s rightfully his.  J

 Lawrence, Carol.  The Thieves of Ostia
Flavia lives in the Roman Empire, in the port city of Ostia. When the dogs on Flavia’s street start dying, she is determined to find out who is killing them–and why. Her investigation leads her to three extraordinary people: Jonathan, her new neighbor; Nubia, an African slave girl; and Lupus, a mute beggar boy. They become firm friends as they search for the killer, narrowly escape being kidnapped by a slave dealer, and uncover a run  of burglaries.  A great series!  J

 McKinley, Robin.  The Outlaws of Sherwood
In the days of King Richard the Lionheart, a young forester named Robin set out one morning for the Nottingham Fair. But he never arrived. By the end of the day a man lay dead in the King’s Forest, and Robin was an outlaw with a price on his head.  This retelling of the outlaws hiding in Sherwood Forest, robbing from the rich to feed the poor is sure to be popular with readers.  J & YA

 Michaelis, Antonia. Tiger Moon
Sold to be the eighth wife of a rich and cruel merchant, Safia, also called Raka, tries to escape her fate by telling stories of Farhad the thief, his companion Nitish the white tiger, and their travels across India to retrieve a famous jewel that will save a kidnapped princess from becoming the bride of a demon king. J & YA

Mikelson, Ben.  Sparrow Hawk Red
Ricky Diaz, the son of an ex-DEA pilot, vows to avenge the death of his mother by a Mexican drug cartel. When he overhears his father refuse a secret mission to confiscate their plane, Ricky decides to do it himself. Spanish-speaking and able to fly small aircraft, he heads for the border. Once across, he lives among the rateros (homeless children) and meets Soledad, a streetwise waif who shares not only survival tips, but also strategies for penetrating the high-security cartel compound.  J

Prineas, Sarah. The Magic Thief
Conn picks the pocket of a wizard, who is startled that the stolen magical stone didn’t kill the boy. Nevery takes on Conn as a servant, but the boy’s inquisitiveness and talents move him to apprentice status. As Conn becomes more enmeshed in his new life, he navigates through the intricate dealings of both the wizarding world and the political machinations in a plot to overtake the wizard council and king.  Read all three books in this trilogy!  J

 Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief
Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea. His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.  His first mission? To steal the lightning bolts of Zeus!  The first book in an excellent series!  J & YA

Schwabach, Karen. A Pickpocket’s Tale
Molly Abraham is a kinchin mort: a ten-year-old thief trying not to starve on the London streets. But everything changes for Molly when she is sentenced to be transported to the American colonies. She becomes an indentured servant to a kind Jewish family in New York City, and Molly has it good. So why is it that all she wants to do is go back to London?  J

 Tanner, Lian. Museum of Thieves
In the city of Jewel, children are chained to their Blessed Guardians from birth until Separation Day. When a bomb interrupts Separation Day, Goldie runs away and ends up at the mysterious Museum, where she discovers terrible secrets. Only the cunning mind of a thief can understand the museum’s strange, shifting rooms. Fortunately, Goldie has a talent for thieving.   Look for the new sequel: City of Lies.  J

Thompson, Kate. Highway Robbery
A stranger leaves his magnificent horse in the care of a boy he’s never met. As dusk falls, soldiers arrive, demanding to know where the horse’s owner has gone. Could the stranger be the notorious Dick Turpin, known for his daring holdups and amazing exploits? Is the horse the legendary Black Bess? And will the boy ever see the reward he’s been promised?  Or is his story just a story?  J

Turner, Megan Whelan.  The Thief
Because of his great skill at thievery, Gen lands in the King’s prison. After months of isolation, kept sane only by his sharp intelligence, Gen is released by the King’s Scholar, the Magus, who believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. The Magus needs the best thief in the land to help him steal it, and that thief is Gen. But Gen is also a survivor and a trickster–and he has ideas of his own.  The first book in a truly wonderful series.  J & YA

Updale, Elizabeth. Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman
When a petty thief falls though a glass roof in his attempt to escape from the police, what should have been the death of him marks the beginning of a whole new life. He adopts a dual existence as a respectable, wealthy gentleman named Montmorency, and his degenerate servant Scarper. But Montmorency must always be on guard. The smallest mistake could reveal his secret and ruin both his lives. YA

Walden, Mark. H.I.V.E.; Higher-Institute-of-Villainous-Education
H.I.V.E. is operated on a volcanic island in a distant ocean by G.L.O.V.E., a shadowy organization of worldwide wickedness. And, as Otto Malpense soon discovers, here the slickest of young tricksters, thieves, and hackers have been brought against their will to be trained as the next generation of supervillains. Otto and his friends refuse to be held and develop a scheme to escape from the island, but they must face many perils to succeed.  J & YA

Williams, Alex. The Talent Thief
Orphaned Cressida, a magnificent singer, and her brother Adam attend the by-invitation-only Festival of Youthful Genius, where they join forces with a former race car driver to try to stop a bizarre creature from stealing the talents of the young prodigies.  J

Wooding, Chris. Storm Thief
Orokos is a city of chaos, surrounded by an endless ocean, lashed by probability storms that re-order the world wherever they strike. When teen thieves Moa and Rail stumble upon a valuable artifact, they must flee pursuers who covet their find. Their journey brings them into contact with a half-mechanical homunculus and a group of rebels preparing to escape the city permanently. YA

Wrede, Patricia. Mairelon the Magician
Kim, a young street waif disguised as a boy, takes up with traveling magician Mairelon and his coachman after she is paid to search Mairelon’s wagon and is caught in the act. She agrees to travel with Mairelon, but is this part of her plan?  As she helps with the show, she learns some real magic, and eventually her plans fall apart. Can she find a new life as something better than a thief?   J & YA

 Zahn, Timothy.  Dragon and Thief
Assistant con-man Jack Morgan is on the run after being framed for a crime he didn’t commit.  Jack pilots his uncle’s spaceship to a remote and uninhabited planet hoping to escape capture. When another ship crashes after a fierce battle, Jack rescues the sole survivor– a K’da warrior names Draycos. It turns out Draycos can help Jack clear his name. All they have to do is team up. Not a problem, until learns that Draycos is not your average alien.  YA

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For some other titles, try:

Bell, Hilari.  Player’s Ruse J & YA

Cadnum, Michael.  Flash  YA

Fleischman, Sid.  Bandit’s Moon  J

Lindgren, Astrid. Ronia, The Robber’s Daughter  J

Rees, Celia.  Sovay  YA

Roberts, Willo.  Jo and the Bandit  J

These titles all sort of fit our list, but not quite.

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If you have any other titles to add, let us know!  And if you’re looking for these books or any others, please ask any of our librarians for assistance!

::Kelly::