5 Books Featuring…

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

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

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5 Books Featuring…Magical Nannies!

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s been busy here, with no time for blog entries!  Fortunately, there’s still been time to listen to audio books to (eventually) report back and review.   I’ve listened to six different books since the last audio entry, but I’m not sure all six will make it into this blog entry.  We’ll see.  So, without further ado…

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No Place For Magic
by E.D. Baker, Performed by Katherine Kellgren
6.25 Hours; 6 CDs

no place for magicEmma is the princess of Greater Greensward, but even more important, she’s also the Green Witch of Greater Greensward, in charge of all the magic use in the kingdom.  Not bad, for a sixteen-year-old former cursed frog. After attending the spur-of-the-moment swamp wedding of her Aunt Grassina and her beau, the former enchanted otter Haywood, Emma and her fiance, Prince Eadric of Upper Montevista decide that it’s time to clear up some issues with Eadric’s parents, King Bodamin and Queen Frazzela.  Although it pains Emma to admit it, it’s time for a visit to Upper Montevista.

The biggest issue that Emma is avoiding is Queen Frazzela’s hatred of any magic and magic users.  For Emma, who uses magic daily for everything from cleaning her room to weeding her garden to settling a dispute between warring factions of witches, the queen’s attitude is incomprehensible.  But she is the Queen, and Eadric’s mother.  And the two of them have been avoiding facing the King and Queen of Upper Montevista for months.  Adventures with dragons and curses are fun, but even Eadric has admitted that it’s time to start planning for their own wedding.

no_place_for_magic 2The first snag is when Emma’s mother, Queen Chartreuse, decides that she must join Emma.  Although the queen understands the need for magic, she really doesn’t approve of it any more than Eadric’s mother does.  So long, quick magic carpet ride!  Since the queen doesn’t think it’s proper for a princess to be traveling unchaperoned, she can’t even ride horseback with Eadric.  So it’s an uncomfortably long horse-drawn carriage ride for Emma, complete with maids, trunks of wardrobe, dressmakers, a trousseau, and the company of her mother.  And her grandmother, the formerly evil witch, her grandfather the ghost, her aunt, the royal fairies…pretty much everyone at the castle! Emma manages to leave quickly though, leaving the queen and her entourage to follow a few days behind.  In the carriage it will be just Emma, her friend Lily, a bat who can talk, and Shelton, a crab she’s taking care of for her mermaid friend.

The journey isn’t easy, and Emma is tempted to use her magic as they run into problems along the way.  Their arrival in Upper Montevista is no happy homecoming though, as they learn that Prince Eadric’s younger brother, Prince Bradston, has been kidnapped by trolls!  Emma and Eadric set off on a mission to rescue the prince, even though Emma isn’t sure that he hasn’t brought this catastrophe upon himself.  The problem is that, to satisfy both Queen Frazzela and Queen Chartreuse, Emma has promised not to use magic.  Even as a last resort.  What’s a Green Witch to do?  When it becomes apparent that there are trolls, dragons, vampires, sea monsters and other creatures after Emma and Eadric (not to mention the girls fluttering over and flirting with the prince, right under Emma’s nose) Emma has to make some difficult decisions about magic and friendship, not to mention allies, enemies and family.

no place for magic audioThe audio recording of No Place for Magic is absolutely, incredibly wonderful! Katherine Kellgren, the reader, has a huge range of voices, each with a different accent, speech pattern and tone.  I absolutely adored her vocal range and voices.  Not surprising!  When you look her up online, you will find that she has recorded over a hundred audio books, and she won the Audie Award for Best Voice in Young Adult and Fantasy from 2008 through 2011.  She’s a finalist for the 2014 Audie Award for the narration of a book that’s near and dear to my heart, Magic Marks the Spot, by local author Caroline Carlson.  In other words, she’s a shining star of audio books!  I would highly recommend anything Ms. Kellgren has narrated, not just No Place for Magic.

Although No Place for Magic is Book Four in The Tales of the Frog Princess, you don’t necessarily have had to read the previous volumes to enjoy this title.  Although the listener (or reader) would perhaps have a better idea of the background characters if they did read the previous books, No Place for Magic does stand well on its own.  It’s an enjoyable story with fairy tale characters, monsters and humor each playing a sizable role.  The stellar performance of Ms. Kellgren is a reason to listen as well.  There are currently eight volumes in the Tales of the Frog Princess series

No Place for Magic is written for third through sixth grade readers.  The audio recording would be enjoyable for the entire family, with good listeners as young as four or five.  Fans of fairy tales would love it.  It would make a perfect audio book for a family car ride!  It’s also available as an e-book through the Minuteman Library Network Digital Media Page.  If you’re going on vacation, it would be a fun pick to bring along.

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And that’s it.  I think I’ll try to write one review every day until I catch up with all the listening.  So…until tomorrow!

::Kelly::

 

 

 

Booklist — Daring Girls! (in Honor of our Very Special Author Visit)

Booklist—Girls who Adventure!

In celebration of our visit from Caroline Carlson, author of Magic Marks the Spot, here’s a booklist of girls who leave society behind to do their own thing!

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magic marks the spotCarlson, Caroline.  Magic Marks the Spot
Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle?   Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword. 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 is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she 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.

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The Other Books:
          (Many of them have sequels or are the first book in a trilogy or a series, so make sure you look for the other titles!)

Amaranth EnchantmentBerry, Julie.  The Amaranth Enchantment
When a mysterious piece of jewelry and a strange visitor arrive within minutes of each other  in the jewelry shop where she works for her evil aunt, Lucinda’s course takes a surprising turn. With the help of the Amaranth Witch, a young (and harmless) con-artist, and a prince, Lucinda uncovers secrets about her own royal past.

wrappedBradbury, Jennifer.  Wrapped
Agnes Wilkins dreams of adventures that reach beyond the garden walls, but reality for a debutante in 1815 London does not allow for camels—or dust, even. No, Agnes can only see a mummy when she is wearing a new silk gown on the lawns of Lord Showalter’s estate, with chaperones fussing about and strolling sitar players straining to create an exotic “atmosphere” for the first party of the season.  This is the start of it all, Agnes’s debut season, the pretty girl parade that offers only ever-shrinking options. It’s also the start of something else, because the mummy Agnes unwraps isn’t just a mummy; it’s a host for a secret unleashing mystery, international intrigue, and possibly a curse in the bargain.

kat incorrigibleBurgis, Stephanie.  Kat, Incorrigible
Katherine Ann Stephenson has just discovered that she’s inherited her late mother’s magical talents, and despite Stepmama’s stern objections, she’s determined to learn how to use them. But with her eldest sister Elissa’s intended fiancé, the sinister Sir Neville, showing a dangerous interest in Kat’s magical potential; her other sister, Angeline, wreaking romantic havoc with her own witchcraft; and a highwayman lurking in the forest, Kat’s reckless heroism will be tested to the utmost. If she can learn to control her new powers, will Kat be able to rescue her family and win her sisters their true loves?

runaway princessCoombs, Kate.  The Runaway Princess
King Stromgard offers his daughter’s hand in marriage and half his kingdom to the prince who can rid the kingdom of evil and restore peace and prosperity to our realm.  But Princess Margaret is not your traditional princess. Meg firmly objects to her parents’ giving her away, and she certainly has no intention of remaining in the tower where she is sequestered. Instead, she sets out to win the contest herself by enlisting the help of her good friend, her loyal maid, an eager guardsman, a young wizard, and a tenacious witch. Does Meg find her distinct place in the kingdom, or is she doomed to fulfill her royal duties?

bewtching seasonDoyle, Marissa.  Bewitching Season
In 1837 London, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic. At least, most of them didn’t. Shy, studious Persephone Leland would far rather devote herself to her secret magic studies than enter society and look for a suitable husband. But right as the inevitable season for “coming out” is about to begin, Persy and her twin sister discover that their governess in magic has been kidnapped as part of a plot to gain control of the soon-to-be Queen Victoria. Racing through Mayfair ballrooms and royal palaces, the sisters overcome bad millinery, shady royal spinsters, and a mysterious Irish wizard. And along the way, Persy learns that husband hunting isn’t such an odious task after all, if you can find the right quarry.  YA

howls-moving-castleJones, Diana Wynne.  Howl’s Moving Castle
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl–and herself–than first meets the eye.

alex and the ironic gentlemanKress, Adrienne.  Alex and the Ironic Gentleman 
A student at the prestigious Wigpowder-Steele Academy, Alex is often mistaken for a boy because of her haircut, but that’s okay—she has an excellent sense of humor.  As much as she enjoys learning, she doesn’t enjoy anything else about school. Luckily for Alex, the new school year brings an exciting new teacher. Mr. Underwood makes lessons fun and teaches her how to fence. But Mr. Underwood has a mysterious family secret and not everyone is glad he has come to school. When the pirates of a ship called The Ironic Gentleman kidnap him, Alex sets off on a journey to rescue him, along the way encountering a steady stream of hilarious and colorful characters!

piraticaLee, Tanith.  Piratica 
Artemesia is the daughter of a pirate queen, and she’s sick of practicing deportment. Escaping from her school, she hunts up her mother’s crew and breezily commands them out to sea in a leaky boat. Unfortunately, Art’s memories of her early life may not be accurate-her seasick crew are actors, and Art’s infamous mother was the darling of the stage in a pirate drama. But fiery Art soon shapes her men into the cleverest pirate crew afloat. And when they meet the dread ship Enemy and her beautiful, treacherous captain, Goldie Girl, Art is certain that the Seven Seas aren’t large enough for two pirate queens!  Art will have the battle of her life and the race for the most fabulous treasure in pirate lore. YA

flora segundaWilce, Ysabeau.  Flora Segunda
Flora knows better than to take shortcuts in her family home, Crackpot Hall–the house has eleven thousand rooms, and ever since her mother banished the magickal butler, those rooms move around at random. But Flora is late for school, so she takes the unpredictable elevator anyway. Huge mistake. Lost in her own house, she stumbles upon the long-banished butler–and into a mind-blowing muddle of intrigue and betrayal that changes her world forever. Flora has to deal with soldiers, Dainty Pirates, amazing hounds, magical potions and a magical butler who may be her undoing.

dealing with dragons (2)Wrede, Patricia.  Dealing with Dragons
The youngest of seven beautiful princesses in the kingdom of Lindenwall, Princess Cimorene wants more out of life than to be the wife of a boring, proper prince. Tired of her sedate existence, she takes up fencing, cooking, Latin, even magic. But each endeavor is ended with the admonition that “princesses just don’t do that.” Faced with marriage, she decides it’s time to find some adventures of her own and runs away, ending up as the dragon Kazul’s princess, and finding adventure, danger, and challenges galore.  It turns out that the life of a dragon’s princess is exactly what Cimorene needed!

mairelon the magicianWrede, Patricia.  Mairelon the Magician
Kim doesn’t hesitate when a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into the travelling magician’s wagon in search of a silver bowl. Kim isn’t above a bit of breaking-and-entering. Growing up a waif in the dirty streets of London has schooled her in one hard lesson: steal from them before they steal from you. But there is something odd about this magician. He isn’t like the other hucksters and swindlers that Kim is used to. When he catches her in the act, Kim thinks she’s done for–until he suggests she become his apprentice. Kim wonders how tough it could be faking a bit of hocus pocus. But Mairelon isn’t an act. His magic is real.

sorcery and cecelia (2)Wrede, Patrica & Stevermer, Caroline.  Sorcery & Cecelia
A great deal is happening in London and the country this season. For starters, there’s the witch who tried to poison Kate at the Royal College of Wizards. There’s also the man who seems to be spying on Cecelia. (Though he’s not doing a very good job of it–so just what are his intentions?) And then there’s Oliver. Ever since he was turned into a tree, he hasn’t bothered to tell anyone where he is. Clearly, magic is a deadly and dangerous business. Strange forces are convening to destroy a beloved wizard, and only Kate and Cecelia can stop the plot. And the girls might be in fear for their lives . . .if only they weren’t having so much fun!

Weston Public Library
March 2014
Kelly Wood

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And there you have it–a list of some remarkably determined young women!  After reading Caroline’s book, try one of these others and get lost in a magical adventure!

And don’t forget to join us tonight and hear Caroline talking about her writing experience.caroline magic marks the spot3

New York, New York! Audio books

I just finished listening to two audio books I grabbed at random, and by coincidence, both are set in New York City.  Now, I like visiting New York, but to really know the city, you have to grow up there.  Here are two girls, from very different worlds, who really know all the ins and outs of The City That Never Sleeps!

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The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour
by Michael D. Beil, read by Tai Alexandra Ricci
6 CDs, 6 hours, 55 minutes

red blazer girls ringThe mystery starts with a spooky face in the window of a church–a pale face with long white hair where no face should be.  In the middle of English class, Sophie screams at the sight.  She knows she wasn’t daydreaming though, and is determined to find out who was in the tiny window set high in St. Veronica’s church.   Sophie attends Saint Veronica’s Academy, a New York City girls’  attached to the church, and her fifth story classroom is opposite the window.  Saint Veronica’s church is a huge, grand structure, with lots of alcoves, tiny rooms and tunnels that provide many hiding places, for people and for treasured artwork.

Determined to prove that she did see something strange, Sophie drags her friends  Margaret and Rebecca into the church, where they evade security and priests alike to find a cat that leads them to a little-known passageway through the church and into the former convent next door.  The first mystery is solved when they meet Ms. Harriman, and elderly lady who lives in the former convent.  She introduces them to the second mystery, which involves a hidden treasure.

Ms. Harriman has just discovered a card that was sent to her daughter Caroline Chance twenty years ago for her thirteenth birthday, by her grandfather Everett Harriman.  It’s the first clue in a treasure hunt that leads to a priceless treasure.  The problem is that the second clue is somewhere inside a book in the St. Veronica’s school library, and Ms. Harriman has no way to access it.  There’s also a problem with her ex-husband, Caroline’s father Malcolm Chance, who is also searching for the treasure. When Mrs. Harriman meets the girls, who DO have access to the school, and they team up. Suddenly, the hunt is on!

red blazer girls soundThe audio recording of The Ring of Rocamadour is an excellent production.  I loved the reader’s voice…she has a slight New York accent, so the narration sounds very authentic.  The voices of Mrs. Harriman and Malcolm Chance sound very different, with Mrs. Harriman having an excellent sort of “elderly eccentric” voice, and Malcolm Chance being very British.  There are five girls who play strongly into the plot–my only issue with the voices was that the girls sound a little too similar.  Still, the pacing for each is a little different, so it’s not difficult to follow who is speaking.

The Ring of Rocamadour is an excellent mystery, with a great sense of place.  Listeners will find themselves absorbed in the characters and the mystery, walking through the city, rooting for Sophie and trying to figure out “whodunnit”!  And if you like this book and/or audio, it’s the first in a series about The Red Blazer Girls.

I would recommend The Ring of Rocamadour (and all of  The Red Blazer Girls mysteries) to mystery lovers in fifth grade through eighth grade.  It would be a fun CD to listen to for a family car trip, and a great selection to listen to if you’re planning a visit to New York City.

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Bras & Broomsticks
by Sarah Mlynowski, Read by Ariadne Meyers
7 CDs, 8 hours, 11 minutes

bras and broomsticksRachel’s morning has a great start when she looks down and her crappy old black boots have been replaced by the fashionable pair of green suede designer sneakers she’d seen at Bloomies the previous weekend.  How did that happen?  How could she forget lacing them up? Buying them? Thinking she just had a strange lapse in memory, Rachel calls home to thank her mother (and maybe get an idea about how she could have forgotten.)  But her mother seems to be worried about something else and doesn’t even want to talk about the sneakers…she just orders Rachel to come home, even though she knew she had plans for after school.

Extremely reluctantly (and with maybe a tiny bit of an attitude) Rachel goes home.  Her younger sister Miri is already there, having stayed home from school, and looking extremely smug about something.  Rachel’s mom is smoking, something she never does anymore, and she looks even more worried than she sounded over the phone. Rachel knows something is wrong, but she never expected the problem to be what it is!  Miri is a witch.  So is Rachel’s mom.  It’s inherited at puberty, it just seems to have skipped Rachel.

What?

At first, Rachel thinks her mom has cracked.  Ditto Miri.  But Miri does some magic, and so does Mom, and suddenly, Rachel has to be a believer.  Mom lays down the rules–Miri has a new spellbook, The Authorized and Absolute Reference Handbook to Astonishing Spells, Astounding Potions, and History of Witchcraft Since the Beginning of Time, but she is not allowed to use it.  Seriously?  Color Rachel Not Impressed.  If you have magic, why not use it?  With a little wheedling and a bit of blackmail, Rachel gets Miri to do a spell.  In secret, of course.  And that opens the floodgates.

What is the teenage sister of a pre-teen witch to do?  If you have magic at your fingertips (or at your sister’s) it’s just too tempting.  Popularity, here comes Rachel!  But even the best-intentioned spells seem to have some consequences, and the ones that are…maybe…a teeny bit selfish have even more.  Rachel has all her witches come true, but will it really help her with her achieve popularity and a place in the high school movers and shakers?

bras and broomsticks soundBras & Broomsticks was a fun book to listen to.  I loved the narrator’s voice, and all of the main characters are clearly different.  Rachel and Miri sound different, which is great when they spend so much time talking to each other.  Rachel’s mom has a Brooklyn accent, while her father sounds like he’s from Long Island.  Several of the other characters–Rachel’s friends and the girls’ stepmother-to-be–are clearly differentiated.

Within the story, there are  a lot of details about daily life in New York City. Even though it’s flavored with a bit of witchcraft, it rings true.  From traveling by subway to finding the best coffee shops and shopping, the flavors of New York are there.  There’s also the question of popularity…and if the ends justify the means.

Bras and Broomsticks is in the Teen section of the library. It’s best for upper middle school and high school readers.  There are several more books about Rachel and her friends that are just as funny as this one.  (And Rachel has one of her greatest wishes come true in Book Two!)  Bras & Broomsticks will probably be most enjoyed by girls facing the issues of dating, crushes and popularity.  It might be a great book for a family trip, with a discussion about some of these things afterward!

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If you’re looking for other audio titles set in New York City, you could also try Liar & Spy or When You Reach Me, both by Rebecca Stead, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburgh or How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff.

I wish there were as many great books set in Boston!

::Kelly::

The Pirate Magic Show!

Ready for some Halloween Pirate Magic?  If your answer is “Aye”, join us on Saturday, October 19th at 1:00 p.m. in the Weston Library Community Room.  What kind of pirate makes magic?  Why, Awesome Robb, of course!

Hear the roars of laughter when Captain Robbie Bones shows up with a chest full of Magic and Juggling Apparatus. See some piratey tricks and illusions as Captain Robbie takes charge and teaches his crew how to speak pirate and laugh like a rogue!  Wear your best Pirate Gear (or your Halloween costume) and join us at the library for this treasure chest full of Halloween fun and magic!  You’ll laugh your head off!  (But not really, we promise!)

A fun family event for ages four and up.  Arrr!

13 robb the pirate

Booklist: Double (or Triple!) the Trouble – Fantasy stories!

Continuing our booklist on twins, triplets and other multiples…this time with a Fantasy twist!

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Double (or Triple!) the Trouble Family Stories:
Twins, Triplets, Quadruplets…

FANTASY STYLE

Hollow Earth by John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman

hollow earthLots of twins have a special connection, but twelve-year-old Matt and Emily Calder can do way more than finish each other’s sentences. Together, they are able to bring art to life and enter paintings at will. Their extraordinary abilities are highly sought after, particularly by a secret group who want to access the terrors called Hollow Earth. All the demons, devils, and evil creatures ever imagined are trapped for eternity in the world of Hollow Earth—trapped unless special powers release them. The twins flee from London to a remote island off the west coast of Scotland in hopes of escaping their pursuers and gaining the protection of their grandfather, who has powers of his own. But the villains will stop at nothing to find Hollow Earth and harness the powers within. With so much at stake, nowhere is safe—and survival might be a fantasy.

First Hero by Adam Blade

first heroAt the age of seven, Tanner’s father was killed in front of him by the evil warlord Derthsin. But his father’s death was not in vain and Derthsin was carried away to his doom by a good Beast, Firepos the Flame Bird. Now, eight years later, another evil army is wreaking havoc across Avantia. But Tanner has been training with Firepos, waiting to avenge his father’s death. There is something familiar about this new menace, who rides with a Beast of his own. The evil army is after the pieces of the Mask of Death–which allows whoever wears it to control all Beasts. Tanner sets off on a journey to stop them. Along the way, he encounters twins Gwen and Geffen, who hold the map to finding the remaining pieces. Check out #2 (Chasing Evil) and #3 (Call to War) in the series!

Doctor Illuminatus by Martin Booth

doctor illuminatusWhen a family moves to an old English country estate, Sebastian, the son of an alchemist, is accidentally awakened from a centuries-long sleep. The evil enemy of Sebastian’s father has also been awakened and continues to pursue his sinister plan.
Check out Part II: Soul stealer.

 

The Land of Stories: the Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

land of storiesAlex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales. The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

Witch Twins and the Ghost of Glenn Bly by Adele Griffin

witch twins and the ghost of glenn blyClaire and Luna are thrilled to visit an ancient castle in Scotland with their five-star-witch grandmother, Grandy. But this is no ordinary vacation. The three witches are on a mission: to rid Glenn Bly castle of the terrifying ghost that haunts it. The situation at Glenn Bly is more complicated than the twins had imagined. There’s prickly Daphne, who lives with her grandfather in the castle and seems to be hiding something. There are the awful Shrillingbirds, the absentee landlords who now want to make Glenn Bly their permanent home. Finally, there is the ghost himself. And when Claire and Luna meet him, the real mystery begins. The twins turn ghost-busters in this fourth magically funny book in the Witch Twins series about these novice witches.

 

Otto and the Flying Twins by Charlotte Haptie

otto and the flying twinsIt is the spring following the events in Otto and the Flying Twins, and Otto’s world is still strangely unpredictable: the Karmidee still an underclass of ‘magicos’, his parents at odds, and the twins still unable to fly free. And the City of Trees is in the grip of something strange – with the approach of spring, when there should be warmer weather, carnivals and celebration, there is instead increasing cold, snow, bitter blizzards, a frightening upside-down world of ice. Once again, the Karmidee are blamed. But if they ever knew how to control the weather, they have long ago forgotten. Otto and Mab must help to find the answer. Otto encounters the legendary Wool Bandits, helps a miniature family with a dangerous secret and, together with new and extraordinary friends, must challenge the ancient powers of the sinister Bird Charmers. Read the next books in the series: Otto and the Bird Charmers and Otto in the Time of the Warrior.

The Akhenaten Adventure by P.B. Kerr

A251SchAkhenaten_0.tifMeet John and Philippa Gaunt, twelve-year-old twins who one day discover themselves to be descended from a long line of djinn. All of a sudden, they have the power to grant wishes, travel to extraordinary places, and make people and objects disappear. Luckily, the twins are introduced to their eccentric djinn-uncle Nimrod, who will teach them how to harness their newly found power. And not a moment too soon . . . since John and Philippa are about to embark on a search to locate a monstrous pharaoh named Akhenaten and his eerie tomb. Read all seven books in the Children of the Lamp series!

Flip by David Lubar

flipIf you could become anyone in the world, who would you be? Did you ever wish you could be anyone else but who you are? Twins Ryan and Taylor do it all the time. Now their dream is about to come true. They’ve discovered mysterious alien disks that allow they to “flip”–to become legendary heroes from the past. But who?

 

 

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

unwantedsWhen Alex finds out he is Unwanted, he expects to die. That is the way of the people of Quill. Each year, all the thirteen-year-olds are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Wanteds get more schooling and train to join the Quillitary. Necessaries keep the farms running. Unwanteds are set for elimination. It’s hard for Alex to leave behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted, but he makes peace with his fate—until he discovers that instead of a “death farm,” what awaits him is a magical place called Artimé. There, Alex and his fellow Unwanteds are encouraged to cultivate their creative abilities and use them magically. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation. But it’s a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be divided between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron’s bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artimé that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate magical battle. Check out book #2: Island of Silence.

Facing the hunchback of Notre Dame by L. L. Samson

facing the hunchback of notre dameA hidden attic. A classic story. A very unexpected twist. Twin twelve-year-old bookworms Ophelia and Linus Easterday discover a hidden attic that once belonged to a mad scientist. While relaxing in the attic and enjoying her latest book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ophelia dozes off, and within moments finds herself facing a fully alive and completely bewildered Quasimodo. Ophelia and Linus team up with a clever neighbor, a hippy priest, and a college custodian, learning Quasimodo’s story while searching for some way to get him back home—if he can survive long enough in the modern world. Read the next two books in the series: Saving Moby Dick and Dueling with the Three Musketeers.

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

alchemystThe legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time. Read all of the books in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series!

The Storm Makers by Jennifer E. Smith

storm makersWhat starts as an ordinary summer turns exciting and perilous for twins Ruby and Simon when strange occurrences begin happening on their farm — sudden gusts of wind, rainstorms, and even tornado warnings — that seem eerily timed to Simon’s emotions. Then a stranger arrives and tells the twins that Simon is a Storm Maker — part of a clandestine group of people entrusted with controlling and taming the weather — and that he is in great danger. Soon Simon and Ruby must race against the clock as they try to master Simon’s powers in time to stop a rogue Storm Maker’s treacherous — and potentially deadly — plans.

Troubletwisters by Garth Nix and Sean Williams

TroubletwistersJaide and Jack Shield’s lives are changing in a very, very strange way. The weather is turning against them. Magical disasters occur when they’re around. And a mysterious explosion has just destroyed their house…from the inside. Without knowing why, the twins are stolen away to live with Grandma X–a relative they’ve never, ever met. At Grandma X’s house, things are even stranger. Weather vanes point in the opposite direction of the wind. Doors appear and disappear. Cats talk. Read book 2: The Monster!

Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede

thirteenth childEff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he’s supposed to possess amazing talent — and she’s supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild. Read #2 (Across the Great Barrier) and #3 (The Far West) in the series!

 Booklist by Julie G!

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Hmm.  In Fantasy stories, multiples always seem to be twins. There’s not a triplet or quadruplet in the bunch!  Maybe that’s a book that someone should write…

Next up: Twins, triplets and more in Science Fiction.  (I’m thinking that’s going to be doubles too.)

::Kelly::