5 Books!

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

If you have a topic you’d like to see, just reply to this post (or any future 5 Books! post), or send us a message with a suggestion.  We’ll see what we can do!

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5 Books Featuring…Families!
(Because November is Family Stories month)

These five books are fiction, appropriate for readers from grades three to five.  These are also all great read-alouds for slightly younger listeners.  And, of course, families.

Birdsall, Jeanne.  The Penderwickspenderwicks
This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.
The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will–won’t they? One thing’s for sure: THIS will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.

Estes, Eleanor.  The MoffatsMoffats
Meet the Moffats. There is Sylvie, the oldest, the cleverest, and-most days at least-the responsible one; Joey, who though only twelve is the man of the house…sometimes; Janey, who has a terrific upside-down way of looking at the world; and Rufus, who may be the littlest but always gets in the biggest trouble.
For sixty years this classic novel about a family struggling to get along in the early part of the century has charmed readers with its warmth and gentle humor.  Even the most ordinary Moffat day is packed with extraordinary fun! Only a Moffat could get locked in a bread box all afternoon, or dance with a dog in front of the whole town, or hitch a ride on a boxcar during kindergarten recess. And only a Moffat could turn mistakes and mischief into hilarious one-of-a-kind adventure.  From their hilarious Halloween hijinks to their touching concerns about coal on a winter evening, the adventures of Sylvie, Joe, Jane, and Rufus Moffat remind us of what family is really all about.

Glaser, Karina Yan.  The Vanderbeekers of 141st Streetvanderbeekers
The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. Twins Isa and Jessie, along with siblings Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney (ranging from ages four-and-three-quarters to 12), plus a dog, a cat, a bunny, and their parents all love their home. Unfortunately, cantankerous landlord Mr. Biederman refuses to renew the lease. They have the five days before Christmas to change his mind or they will have to move out of the only home they have ever known. It’s practically another member of the family. From the moment they find out, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.  The Boys Start the War/The Girls Get Evenboys start the war girls get even
Just when the Hatford brothers were expecting three boys to move into the house across the river, where their best friends, the Bensons, used to live, the Malloys arrive instead. Wally and his brothers decide to make Caroline and her sisters so miserable that they’ll want to go back to Ohio, but they haven’t counted on the ingenuity of the girls.
From dead fish to dead bodies, floating cakes to floating heads, the pranks and tricks continue–first by the boys, then the girls–until someone is taken prisoner! Will the Malloys leave West Virginia? Will the Bensons come back? Trust the four Hatford boys and the three Malloy girls to do anything to get one up on each other in this fun-filled war of the wits.
Watch for the continuing chronicles of the Hatfords and the Malloys.

Spalding, Esta.  Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts!Fitzgerald-Trouts
Kim Fitzgerald-Trout took to driving with ease–as most children would if their parents would ever let them try. She had to. After all, she and her siblings live in a car.
Technically, the Fitzgerald-Trout children are stepsiblings, but family is family.  Kim, Kimo, Pippa, and Toby live in a parked car on an unnamed tropical island, a setting that comes alive with its lush beaches and to-be-avoided forest filled with poisonous iguanas.  They take care of themselves. They sleep in their car, bathe in the ocean, eat fish they catch and fruit they pick, and can drive anywhere they need to go–to the school, the laundromat, or the drive-in. If they put their minds to it, the Fitzgerald-Trouts can do anything. Even, they hope, find a real home.


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So there you have it!  5 Family Stories! 

But, you ask, what about the Quigleys? The Melendys? The Fletchers? The Quimbys and the Stanleys and the Aldens and the Hatchers and the Lotterys?  The All-of-a-Kind family? The Pain and the Great One?  There are quite a few other famous families in books for kids…

So apparently, I can’t stop there; it’s so difficult to limit a list when it comes to books!  So here are five MORE for your reading pleasure…

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5 Books Featuring Early Chapter Books Families:

This second set of five books are also fiction, and are in our Purple Dot Section of Early Chapter Books, for 2nd & 3rd grade readers moving up from Early Readers.

Atinuke.  Anna Hibiscusanna hibiscus
Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa, in a city of lagoons and bridges . . . skyscrapers and shanty towns. Her mother is from Canada, her father from Africa, and she has twin baby brothers, Double and Trouble. Anna and her whole family in a wonderful house where 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 a warm, loving multi-generational family relationships and daily life in modern, urban Africa. Great as a classroom or family read-aloud, it illustrates the commonality of cultures and experiences and inspires discussion.

Blume, Judy.  Soupy Saturdays with the Pain and the Great Onesoupy saturdays pain and great one
MEET THE PAIN: My sister’s name is Abigail. I call her The Great One because she thinks she’s so great. Who cares if she’s in third grade and I’m just in first?
MEET THE GREAT ONE: My brother’s name is Jacob Edward, but everyone calls him Jake. Everyone but me. I call him The Pain because that’s what he is. He’s a first-grade pain. I’ll always know exactly what he’s thinking. That’s just the way it is.
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.

Friedman, Laurie.  Mallory on the Movemallory on the move
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?
Mallory is a lively, appealing character with a penchant for jokes, which are scattered throughout. The first-person narrative, written in short, descriptive sentences, makes this series both accessible and entertaining for young readers.

Hanlon, Abby.  Dory Fantasmagorydory fantsmagory
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, moving into the closet, 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.
With plenty of pictures bursting with charm and character, this hilarious book about an irresistible rascal is the new must-read for the chapter book set.

Kelly, Jacqueline.  Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vetskunked calpurnia tate
The year is 1901, and Calpurnia lives in a big white house in Texas with her mother, father, grandfather, and six brothers. Living with so many brothers can bring excitement and, at times, trouble. High jinks ensue when Cal’s younger brother Travis discovers an abandoned baby skunk.  Soft-hearted Travis can’t help but bring him home and take care of him. Stinky, as Travis names him, settles in pretty well. But when Travis discovers Stinky’s litter-mate, Winky, who is in need of some help, things get complicated around the Tate house. One skunk is a piece of cake; two is just asking for trouble. Will Travis and Callie be able to keep the critters away from Mother’s careful eyes–and nose?
Written with simplicity, grace, and humor, the story is accessible to the many young readers looking for large type and wide-spaced lines.

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And that’s where we stop…before we get to Charlie & Lola, Max & Ruby, Amanda & Oliver…the fun never stops!

As always, if you would like suggestions for 5 books (more or less!) come into the library and ask one of our librarians.  We are always happy to help!

::Kelly::

 

 

 

 

 

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Audio Review: The League of Beastly Dreadfuls

Time for another audio review!  This one is a mystery with a little horror, a little comedy, and a lot of action adventure!   It’s also the first book in a trilogy that promises to be a mix of A Series of Unfortunate Events and 39 Clues, with a sprinkling of The Little Princess, Charlie Bone, and Peppermints in the Parlor mixed in.  (If you don’t know any of those titles, check one or all of them out at the library as well!)

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league of beastly dreadfulsThe League of Beastly Dreadfuls
By Holly Grant, Read by Rosalyn Landor
6 Hours, 41 Minutes; 6 CDs

Anastasia McCrumpet is a perfectly ordinary 11 year old girl with almost ordinary parents.  (Mr. McCrumpet is pretty ordinary, though obsessed with plants; when they die, he holds funerals.  Mrs. McCrumpet is…not so ordinary.  But perhaps not in a good way.)  Anastasia loves both her parents, which is why she’s so upset when two great-aunts she never met show up at school to take her to their home, while her parents recover from a freak vacuum-cleaning accident at St. Shirley’s Hospital for the Seriously Mangled.  Auntie Prim and Auntie Prude whisk her away in their second-hand hearse without even a trip home for clothing or supplies.

Anastasia has serious qualms when she finds out the aunties live in in a Victorian mansion…or, to be absolutely correct, a former Victorian lunatic asylum–St. Agony’s Asylum for the Deranged, Despotic, Demented, and Otherwise Undesirable (That is to Say, Criminally Insane). Not only is the Asylum at the end of a deserted road and surrounded by a high iron fence, it’s also guarded by ferocious attack poodles, and has no electricity.   Aunt Prim and Aunt Prude, although they seem to be very sweet, lock her in her room every night, and she has to eat Mystery Lumps for breakfast, lunch and dinner…when she gets the last two meals.  Keeping a child is expensive, the aunties tell her, so she has to make some allowances.  And then the aunties tell her she has to live with them forever, as her parents are as dead as dormice.

Now an orphan, Anastasia is sunk in despair…but not so sunk that she doesn’t start wondering what is going on around her.  Isn’t it peculiar that the aunties have the same ring as the evil school secretary back at home?  Is the deranged teenage gardener with the silver cage on his head really chasing her, or is he only trying to talk to her?  And what is making that eerie EeeeooooEeeooooo sound in the night?

When Anastasia starts exploring St. Agony’s she finds secret rooms, hidden dumbwaiters and disguised speaking tubes, which lead to even more mysteries.  Why are there clippings of missing children in an empty desk?  Who are the strange women with uni-brows in the portrait hall, and why do some of them look familiar?  Most importantly, who are the deranged gardener and the boy trapped behind a mirror?  Eavesdropping might not be polite, but what can she learn from listening to the aunties secret discussions?   When Anastasia finds and reunites brothers Ollie and Quentin, both prisoners in separate areas of St. Agony’s, the three of them decide to work together.  Can the newly-named League of Beastly Dreadfuls find out what Prim and Prude are up to and escape the dire fate the two have in mind for them?

The League of Beastly Dreadfuls is one of those stories that is funny while it’s at its most perilous.  Anastasia takes everything coming at her with the utmost seriousness, even when a reader (or listener) knows that things are probably not exactly what they seem…

league of beastly dreadfuls soundThe sound recording of The League of Beastly Dreadfuls is absolutely wonderful!  It’s funny, scary and suspenseful, all in turns.  The reader, Rosalyn Landor, has a beautiful British accent, and her character voices are distinctive and perfectly narrated.  If you do listen to the sound recording, make sure to check out the print copy of the book as well; the illustrations by Josie Portillo are quirky and a wonderful addition to the text.

I highly recommend The League of Beastly Dreadfuls for kids in third through sixth grades to read; for listening, I think it would be accessible to kids ages 7 to 14;  older teens and adults would enjoy it for the storytelling.  Like the Series of Unfortunate Events, much of the humor is in the way the characters don’t recognize that their world is not quite as it seems to be…but the reader (or listener) can see what the characters might not.

Book Two in The League of Beastly Dreadfuls, The Dastardly Deed, came out this spring.  I haven’t read it yet, but I am looking forward to it!  If you would like other books or recordings that are similar to The League of Beastly Dreadfuls, try Caroline Carlson’s The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series, Brandon Sanderson’s Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series, or The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency series by Jordan Stratford.  As well as A Series of Unfortunate Events.

league of beastly dreadfuls 2 magic marks the spot alcatraz vs the evil librarians wollstonecraft detective agency series of unfortunate events

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As always, if you would like a personal recommendation or need help finding something to read or listen to, ask one of our librarians for assistance.  We’re always happy to help you find the perfect thing to read!

::Kelly::

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Tremendous Trilogies – C Authors

More fun trilogies…moving on to authors whose names start with the letter C!  Do you like long stories?  Trilogies are great because the plot and characters span three books, not just one.  Great for hours of reading!  Here are a few more to try from our library collection.  This isn’t a complete list, so ask a librarian if you’re looking for something that’s not here.

If you missed our list of trilogies from authors whose names start with A & B, look HERE

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Calonita, Jen — Fairy Tale Reform School
fairy tale reform flunked fairy tale reform charmed fairy tale reform tricked
Flunked – Charmed – Tricked
Twelve-year-old Gilly is mostly happy living in a shoe with her parents and five siblings. Times are hard though, so to help feed her family, Gilly steals food and trinkets from the wealthier residents of Enchantasia.  Gilly’s a pretty good thief (if she does say so herself).  But then she is busted and sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School where all of the teachers are reformed villains. Harsh!  When she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns that Fairy Tale Reform School is not all it seems. Someone has a secret, sinister agenda, and Gilly and pals must quickly discern perpetrator and plot, whom to trust, and what to do to avert a not-so-happy ending for everyone. There’s a battle brewing and Gilly has to wonder: can a villain really change?
Fairy Tales, Adventure, Humor, Magic

Cameron, Anne – The Lightning Catcher trilogy
lightning catcher trilogy
The Lightning Catcher – The Storm Tower Thief – The Secrets of the Storm Vortex

Eleven-year-old Angus’s world is turned upside down when he is mysteriously whisked away to become an apprentice at the Perilous Exploratorium for Weather and Vicious Storms. At Perilous, the world’s most dangerous weather is studied to protect mankind from its ravages. There, Angus discovers that his parents aren’t boring government workers after all—they are actually famous Lightning Catchers, and they’ve been kidnapped. With the help of two new friends, Angus intends to find them. It’s Angus, Indigo, and Dougal to the rescue. . . . Will they get there in time and all in one piece?
Adventure, Weather, Nature Magic

Carlson, Caroline – The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates
very nearly honorable league trilogy
Magic Marks the Spot – The Terror of the Southland – The Buccaneers’ Code

Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle?  Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. There’s only one problem: the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags. But Hilary won’t let this stop her; instead, she sets out to find her own piratical adventure and gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas. Read Weston’s very own most famous library graduate’s exciting trilogy!
Adventure, Humor, Magic, Pirates

Carman, Patrick – Floors trilogy
floors trilogy
Floors – 3 Below – The Field of Wacky Inventions

With mystery and adventure on every floor, there’s no other place quite like the Whippet Hotel. Each and every floor has its own wacky design–and its own wacky secrets. The guests are either mad or mysterious. And ducks are everywhere. Leo Fillmore should know everything there is to know about the Whippet Hotel–he is the janitor’s son, after all. But a whole lot more mystery gets thrown his way when four cryptic boxes are left for him…boxes that lead him to hidden floors, strange puzzles, and an unexpected friend or two. Join Leo as he takes the ride of his life, without ever having to step outside. As the hotel starts falling apart and the mystery thickens, there’s only one thing Leo can know for sure: The future of the Whippet Hotel depends on him.
Puzzles, Humor, Hotels

Carroll, Michael – Quantum Prophecy
quantum prophecy trilogy
The Awakening – The Gathering – The Reckoning

It has been ten years since the great battle that wiped out all the superhumans. Whether they all died that day or simply lost their powers and blended back into society, only one thing is certain: They are gone. Or are they? Thirteen-year-olds Danny and Colin have recently begun changing. How can they explain Danny’s newfound ability to move at the speed of light, or Colin’s surprising strength? They can’t, but their parents, the lost generation of superhumans, can. They have been watching and waiting for these changes. So have others—and not everyone is happy about the boys’ new powers. Some will do anything to stop them.
Science Fiction, Superheroes, Adventure

Castle, M.E. – The Clone Chronicles
clone chronicles
Popular Clone – Cloneward Bound – Game of Clones – Clones vs. Aliens
Meet Fisher Bas– 12 years old, growth-stunted, geeky science genius, and son of the Nobel Prize-winning creators of the Bas-Hermaphrodite-Sea-Slug-Hypothesis. No surprise: Fisher isn’t exactly the most popular kid in his school, tormented daily by the beefy, overgrown goons he calls The Vikings. But he senses relief when he comes upon the idea of cloning himself–creating a second Fisher to go to school each day while he stays at home playing video games and eating cheetos with ketchup. It’s an ingenious plan that works brilliantly, until Fisher’s clone turns out to be more popular than him–and soon after gets clone-napped by the evil scientist Dr. Xander. Another trilogy that turned into a quartet when I wasn’t looking!
Science Fiction, Humor, Schools

Catanese, P.W. – The Books of Umber
books of umber
Happenstance Found – Dragon Game – The End of Time

Twelve-year-old Happenstance awakens in a cave with no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. Soon a mysterious trio arrives to take him away: the explorer Umber, shy archer Sophie, and Oates, whose strength and honesty are both brutal. Hap and his new acquaintances narrowly escape the cavernous underworld and make their way to Lord Umber’s harbor city, Kurahaven. Once there, Hap learns that Lord Umber is an extraordinary man — he’s a merchant, adventurer, inventor, royal adviser, and chronicler of all things monstrous and magical. But Umber’s accomplishments can’t answer the question closest to the boy’s heart: Who is Happenstance? Desperate to uncover clues in his new, baffling surroundings, Hap accompanies Umber on dangerous and unusual missions. Hap soon learns that there are powerful enemies inside the kingdom, and a ruthless assassin hot on his trail. Faced with many unknowns, Hap knows one thing for certain: There’s a reason Umber has chosen him…if only he could figure it out.
Magic, Imaginary Animals, Adventure

Child, Lauren – Ruby Redfort trilogg
ruby redfort trilogy
Look into My Eyes – Take Your Last Breath – Catch Your Death

Ruby Redfort is a genius code-cracker and daring detective. She gets into lots of scrapes with evil villains, but she’s always ice-cool in a crisis. Ruby gets to prove that when she gets an anonymous call setting a challenge that leads her to the headquarters of Spectrum, a highly secret anti-crime agency. They need her help to crack a code. But Ruby quickly becomes bored with her first Spectrum assignment. With the help of her sidekick/classmate Clancy Crew, she ventures out from her well-hidden office into more dangerous territory to prevent the theft of a priceless jade Buddha statue. Playing a game of cat and mouse with criminals and fellow agents, Ruby finds her way into some dire situations. Can she and her back-up team get her out of them?
Codes and Ciphers, Mystery, Adventure

Clark, Platte, F. – Bad Unicorn Trilogy
bad unicorn trilogy
Bad Unicorn – Fluff Dragon – Good Ogre

It wasn’t Max Spencer’s idea to fight robots, lead an army, or save the world-it just so happens that he’s the only living person who can read the most fantastical book ever written: The Codex of Infinite Knowability. The Codex is no ordinary book, and among other things, it describes Princess the Destroyer, an unusual unicorn who loves nothing more than hunting down, killing, and eating other creatures. And right now Princess is on Max’s trail. Her mission? To retrieve the lost Codex for an evil sorcerer and his mysterious master. If she can do that, she’s been promised an all-the-humans-you-can-eat buffet in Texas. Stuck in another world and with a carnivorous unicorn on his trail, Max must find the courage to save himself, his friends, and, oh yeah…the entire human race.
Wizards, Humor, Urban Fantasy

Clarke, Cassandra Rose – The Assassin’s Curse duology
assassin's curse trilogy
The Assassin’s Curse – The Pirate’s Wish
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.  And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be. Not actually a trilogy, unless you count the novelettes available only as 3-books, it’s too good to miss!
Magic, Adventure, Thieves, Pirates

Cody, Matthew – Powerless trilogy
powerless trilogy
Powerless – Super – Villainous

Twelve year old Daniel, the new kid in town, soon learns the truth about his nice–but odd–new friends: one can fly, another can turn invisible, yet another controls electricity. Incredible. The superkids use their powers to secretly do good in the town, but they’re haunted by the fact that the moment they turn thirteen, their abilities will disappear–along with any memory that they ever had them. Is a memory-stealing supervillain sapping their powers?   The answers lie in a long-ago meteor strike, a World War II-era comic book, the green-flamed Witch Fire, a hidden Shroud cave, and–possibly, unbelievably–“powerless” regular-kid Daniel himself.
Heroes, Paranormal, Mysteries

Cole, Steve. The Hunting trilogy
zrex trilogy
Z.Rex – Z.Raptor – Z.Apocalypse

Adam Adler is thirteen and suddenly on his own. His father, who has developed the world’s cutting edge research on virtual electronic game-playing, has been missing for weeks. And suddenly Adam is being hunted by men with guns, his picture is on the news, and, worst of all, something seemingly impossible is chasing him–a savage, man-eating dinosaur…his father’s greatest creation, which has seemingly escaped from the game. How can that be? Can Adam gain control of Z.Rex and rescue his father from the people who have kidnapped him?
Adventure, Gaming, Kidnapping, Dinosaurs

Colfer, Eoin – W.A.R.P. trilogy
WARP reluctant assassin WARP hangmans revolution WARP forever man
The Reluctant Assassin – The Hangman’s Revolution – The Forever Man
Teenage Riley, an orphan living in Victorian London, is unwillingly apprenticed to Albert Garrick, an illusionist who uses his unique conjuring skills for murder and other crimes. Riley is saved from having to participate when his intended victim turns out to be a scientist from the future, part of W.A.R.P. –the FBI’s Witness Anonymous Relocation Program.  Riley is unwittingly transported via wormhole to modern day London, followed closely by Garrick.
In modern London, Riley teams up with Chevron Savano, a nineteen-year-old FBI agent with a bad record. Together Riley and Chevie must evade Garrick, who has been altered by his trip through the wormhole. Not only is Garrick evil, but now he also possesses all of the scientist’s knowledge. He is determined to track Riley down and use the timekey in Chevie’s possession to make his way back to Victorian London where he can literally change the world.
Adventure, Time Travel, Mysteries

Corder, Zizou – Lion Boy trilogy
lionboy trilogy
Lion Boy – The Chase – The Truth

When his parents are kidnapped, what’s ten-year-old Charlie Ashanti to do? Rescue them, that’s what! He doesn’t know who has taken them, or why. But he does know that one special talent will aid him on his journey: his amazing ability to speak Cat. Charlie calls on his clever feline friends –from stray city cats to magnificent caged lions–for help. With them by his side, Charlie uses wit and courage to try to find his parents before it’s too late.
Kidnapping, Survival, Adventure

Up Next: Trilogies D – F

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For help finding any of these books, check the Minuteman Library Catalog, or visit the Library.  We’re happy to pull these books for you, and have they ready for pick up.

Happy Reading!

::Kelly::

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::