Sunday, June 29, 2008


Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
Some friends fade away....Others disappear.Imagine you and your best friend head out West on a cross-country bike trek.Imagine that the two of you get into a fight -- and stop riding together.Imagine you reach Seattle, go back home, start college.Imagine you think your former best friend does too.Imagine he doesn't.Imagine your world shifting....

Climbing the Stairs

Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
During World War II and the last days of British occupation in India, fifteen-year-old Vidya dreams of attending college. But when her forward-thinking father is beaten senseless by the British police, she is forced to live with her grandfather's large traditional family, where the women live apart from the men and are meant to be married off as soon as possible.Vidya's only refuge becomes her grandfather's upstairs library, which is forbidden to women. There she meets Raman, a young man also living in the house who relishes her intellectual curiosity. But when Vidya's brother makes a choice the family cannot condone, and when Raman seems to want more than friendship, Vidkya must question all she has believed in.

Ironman: Beneath the Armor

Ironman: Beneath the Armor by Andy Mangels
HE LIVES! HE WALKS! HE CONQUERS! In the age of high-tech warfare, he’s the ultimate smart weapon: man and machine combined for maximum impact. He’s Iron Man, AKA millionaire industrialist and visionary genius turned superhero Tony Stark–and he’s rocketing onto the big screen in the most eagerly anticipated new action movie of the year. Now discover everything you need to know about this sensational superhero.

The Ruby Key (Moon and Sun Book 1)

The Ruby Key (Moon and Sun Book 1) by Holly Lisle
In a world where an uneasy peace binds Humans and Nightlings, fourteen-year-old Genna and her twelve-year-old brother Dan learn of their uncle's plot to gain immortality in exchange for human lives, and the two strike their own bargain with the Nightling lord, which sets them on a dangerous journey along the Moonroads in search of a key.

Rat Trap

Rat Trap by Michael J. Daley
Jeff and Rat return in this stand-alone sequel to Space Station Rat. Having defeated Nanny, Jeff's wicked robot caretaker, Jeff and Rat begin to learn more about each other. Jeff thinks Rat studies too much. Rat is sick of how Jeff always wants to play games-after a life spent with harsh scientists, it's hard for Rat to let loose. Still, her friendship with Jeff grows stronger-the boy does bring her delicious fruit, after all-but then Rat learns that Dr. Vivexian from the lab she escaped from has figured out she is on the space station. And he's coming to get her.

The Dragon Tree (Hall Family Chronicles #8)

The Dragon Tree (Hall Family Chronicles #8) by Jane Langton
Strange and magical things continually occur at the Hall family's home at 40 Walden Street. Now there's a terrible sound throughout the town of Concord—the buzzing of a chain saw. Only one thing is worse for Eddy and Georgie Hall than that noise: the man who causes it, Mortimer Moon. When all the trees in town are falling to his hand and he threatens the mysterious tree sprouting in the Halls' backyard, Georgie and Eddy will do anything to stop him. In the eighth installment of the Hall Family Chronicles, secrets—all caused by the growth of a miraculous tree—will be unlocked.

Dodger and Me

Dodger and Me by Jordan Sonnenblick
Willie Ryan is a boy with three problems: he's terrible at baseball and keeps letting his team down, his mother is overprotective, and a girl named Lizzie won't leave him alone. A detour through the woods leads him to a genielike blue chimpanzee called Dodger, who is at first visible only to the fifth grader. Dodger's attempts to solve Willie's problems lead to disaster.

Dangerous Alphabet

Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Gris Grimly
A boy and a girl clad in rumpled Victorian weeds and their stalwart gazelle navigate both monsters and madmen in hopes of reaching their final destination. Unfortunately, along the way the girl is taken captive and it's up to the boy and gazelle to rescue her from a series of ingenious nightmares. Each letter of the alphabet occupies one half of a rhyming couplet, objects that begin with each letter appearing on the pages in a sort of Gothic Animalia.

The Truth about Truman School

The Truth about Truman School by Dori Hillestad Butler
Fourteen-year-old Zebby, an aspiring journalist frustrated by the restrictions she perceives to be placed on her writing for the school newspaper, convinces her best friend Amr to help her launch a new website. This free and open forum allows students to express their true thoughts and feelings about their school, Truman Middle School. Little do they realize that their open policy allows the website to become a platform for the persecution of their classmate and former friend, Lilly. There's more out there about this book -- are you interested? Click here.

Howtoons: The Possibilities are Endless!

Howtoons: The Possibilities are Endless! by Saul Griffith (writer and engineer), Nick Dragotta (writer and artist), and Joost Bonsen (writer and inspiration)
Part comic strip and part science experiment, Howtoons shows children how to find imaginative new uses for common household items like soda bottles, duct tape, mop buckets, and more–to teach kids the "Tools of Mass Construction"! Howtoons are cartoons that teach 8– to 15–year–old readers "how to" build, create, and explore things. Combining a fun, full–color cartoon format and real life science and engineering principles, Howtoons are designed to encourage kids to become active participants in the world around them.

Way Up and Over Everything

Way Up and Over Everything by Alice McGill, illustrated by Jude Daly
My great-grandmama's mama told her and she told me this story about a long time ago . . . So begins this account of the author's great-great-grandmother Jane, and how she meets a slave new to the plantation, a slave who would prove to have magical powers . . . created by the wish for freedom. Alice McGill remembers this story, passed down in her family through the generations, from her childhood and how her greatgrandmother told it to her "as if unveiling a great, wonderful secret. My siblings and I believed that certain Africans shared this gift of taking to the air--'way up and over everything.'"

Friday, June 27, 2008

Little Vampire

Little Vampire, stories and drawings by Joann Sfar, colors by Walter, translated by Alexis Siegel and Edward Gauvin
Living in a house filled with grown-up ghouls and monsters, Little Vampire is so lonely that he’s even willing to go to school if that’s what it takes to find friends. Unfortunately, school seems to be filled with children who are still alive. . . .Little Vampire finds friendship with a boy named Michael, and they embark on adventures in the three stories in this collection. Included in this book are Little Vampire Goes to School (a New York Times Bestseller), Little Vampire Does Kung Fu, and Little Vampire and the Society of Canine Defenders (now published in the United States for the first time).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chicken Feathers

Chicken Feathers by Joy Cowley
This is a story about a boy who lives on a hillside chicken farm with his pet chicken, Semolina, who is is very best friend -- and who can speak! But only to him! Which is okay with the boy until the eggs start disappearing from the nests. Only Semolina knows where the eggs have gone. The chicken tells the boy, but will anyone believe him in time?

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell
Meet Ottoline Brown and her best friend Mr. Munroe. No puzzle is too tricky for the two of them to solve. A string of daring burglaries has taken place in Big City, and precious lapdogs are disappearing. Who is behind this crime wave? Can Ottoline and Mr. Munroe come up with a clever plan?

Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire

Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire
When the evil Baron Vengeous escapes from prison, Detective Skulduggery Pleasant and his apprentice, Valkyrie Cain, have just two days to recapture him or the Baron's creature, the Grotesquery, may summon the Faceless Ones back to their world.

Dark Wraith of Shannara

Dark Wraith of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Possessing an awesome power he is only beginning to understand, young Jair Ohmsford must summon the devastating yet darkly seductive magic of the wishsong on a fateful mission to save his friends . . . and protect the future from the forces of evil.

See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White House

See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White House by Susan E. Goodman, illustrated by Elwood H. Smith
Using witty anecdotes and clear explanations, the author takes readers from the birth of democracy to the electoral college; from front porch campaigning to hanging chads.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Last of the High Kings

The Last of the High Kings by Kate Thompson
This sequel catches up with its hero, J.J. Liddy, now married with four children, including one intractable 11-year-old whose mysterious destiny is intertwined with the mythic fairy kingdom of their native Ireland. Jenny regularly ditches school to talk to goats and ghosts, "a skill that had taken her some time to acquire," roaming the rocky countryside barefoot because her "feet can't see where they're going when they have shoes on them." Thompson weaves a line of dread about Jenny's future into a narrative that centers on the fate of a ghost she's befriended, that of a boy who's been guarding a beacon with an odd treasure beneath it, for thousands of years.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem

Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem by Jack Prelutsky
Jack Prelutsky has written more than one thousand poems about all of these things—and many others. In this book he gives you the inside scoop on writing poetry and shows you how you can turn your own experiences and stories about your family, your pets, and your friends into poems. He offers tips, advice, and secrets about writing and provides some fun exercises to help you get started (or unstuck). You'll also get a behind-the-scenes look at the ingredients of some of his most popular poems.

Gods of Manhattan

Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus
Rory, 13, and his sister Bridget, 9, live in present-day New York City unaware of the spirits from Manhattan's or "Mannahatta's" past that coexist alongside them. Rory has a gift for seeing this other world but has repressed this ability until the day he notices a cockroach riding a rat, an ancient Indian warrior, a papier-mâché boy, and other oddities. He's able to see such historical figures as Peter Stuyvesant, Walt Whitman, John Jacob Astor, Alexander Hamilton, and Babe Ruth-all immortal gods in this parallel world-and he learns that it's up to him to thwart an evil assassin who has been killing the gods, and free the Munsee Indians who are imprisoned in Central Park.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dragon Flight

Dragon Flight by Jessica Day George
With the Dragon Wars over, Creel finds herself bored with life as a seamstress. Then word comes that a bordering country has been breeding dragons in preparation for an invasion. Never one to sit around, Creel throws herself headlong into an adventure that will reunite her with her dragon friend Shardas, pit her against a vicious new enemy and perhaps rekindle a friendship with Prince Luka that seems to have gone cold. This is a sequel to Dragon Slippers.


Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams and Deeper (Tunnels 2)
14-year-old Will Burrows has little in common with his strange, dysfunctional family. In fact, the only bond he shares with his eccentric father is a passion for archaeological excavation. So when his dad mysteriously vanishes, Will is compelled to dig up the truth behind his disappearance. He unearths the unbelievable: a subterranean society that time forgot. "The Colony" has existed unchanged for a century, but it's no benign time capsule of a bygone era. Because the Colony is ruled by a merciless overclass, the Styx. Will must free his father--is he also about to ignite a revolution? Deeper will be published in the United States in 2009, at present available by order from the U.K.

Road of Bones

Road of Bones by Anne Fine
In school, Yuri is taught that the revolution liberated his country. He learns how the new leaders are always working for the greater good. But the truth is that life for his family and those around him is a brutal, poverty-stricken struggle. The government does nothing except punish those who protest. And one day, to his shock and horror, Yuri himself is branded an “enemy of the state” simply for dropping a few careless words.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lost Time

Lost Time by Susan Maupin Schmid
An intrepid 12-year-old picks up her parents' trail a year after they vanish at an archeological dig on planet Lindos. That trail leads Violynne into brushes with the autocratic planetary Arbiter and with several sorts of enigmatic aliens, then into a dramatic flight that culminates in the discovery of an ancient time machine deep underground.

The Magic Thief

The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery's pocket and touched the wizard's locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the provision that the boy find a locus stone of his own. But Conn has little time to search for his stone between wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who—or what—is stealing the city of Wellmet's magic.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thoreau at Walden

Thoreau at Walden by John Porcellino from the writings of Henry David Thoreau
John Porcellino uses only the visionary words of Thoreau himself to tell the story of those two years off the beaten track. The pared-down text focuses on Thoreau's most profound ideas, and Porcellino's fresh, simple pictures bring the philosopher's sojourn at Walden to cinematic life. For readers who know Walden intimately, this graphic treatment will provide a vivid new interpretation of Thoreau's story. For those who have never read the original, it presents a contemporary look at Thoreau's call to slow down in an ever-accelerating world, a message that is as relevant today (if not more so) as it was 150 years ago.

the dead & the gone

the dead & the gone: A Novel by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Seventeen-year-old Alex, the son of a Puerto Rican New York City working-class family, attends college-prep Vincent de Paul on scholarship. An after-school job and chores assigned by his building superintendent father keep Alex focused on a better future, with ambitions of attending an Ivy League school through study, hard work and a little faith. But when his parents fail to return home after the catastrophic environmental events following the moon's altered gravitational pull, Alex suddenly faces the reality of survival and the obligation to protect his two younger sisters.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Itch by Michelle D. Kwasney
In 1968, after the death of her beloved Gramps, Delores "Itch" Colchester and her grandmother move from Florida to an Ohio trailer park where she meets new people and, when she learns that a friend is being abused by her mother, tries her best to emulate her plain-spoken grandfather.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Did Fleming Rescue Churchill?

Did Fleming Rescue Churchill: A Research Puzzle by James Cross Giblin, illustrated by Erik Brooks
Jason, 10, has to do a report on Alexander Fleming. Stumbling upon conflicting stories on the Internet about a possible connection between Fleming and Winston Churchill, he is encouraged to dig deeper and find out the truth.

42 Miles

42 Miles by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, illustrated by Elaine Clayton
JoEllen's parents divorced when she was very young, so she was used to splitting her time between them, shuttling four blocks from one Cincinnati apartment to another. But when her dad moved to the old family farm last year, her life was suddenly divided. Now on weekdays she's a city girl, called Ellen, who hangs out with her friends, plays the sax, and loves old movies. And on weekends she's a country girl, nicknamed Joey, who rides horseback with her cousin, Hayden, goes fishing, and listens to bluegrass. So where do her loyalties lie? Who is the real JoEllen? Linked free-verse poems, illustrated with a quirky array of found objects and mementos, create the vivid, realistic portrait of a young girl at a defining moment in her life.

In the Small

In the Small by Michael Hague
When a mysterious cataclysmic event, "the blue flash," causes the population of the earth to shrink in size to six inches tall, suddenly humanity has the tables turned on itself: The very civilization it has created becomes its greatest obstacle to survival. Animals and the environment, which have long suffered under the rule and/or destruction of humans, are now some of their most feared enemies. Amid the confusion and turmoil, two strong teenagers, 18-year-old Mouse and his younger sister Beat, emerge as the most promising leaders, eventually setting out on a quest to discover the secret that could redeem this strange new world.


Varmints by Helen Ward
Once, the peaceful, quiet world was populated by few. Then, "others" arrived, building tall buildings to fill the sky, making "so much NOISE that no one could hear themselves think! So they stopped thinking." Still the small, strange protagonist, one of the early "few," nurtures "a little piece of wilderness" high above the streets. When he feels the time is right, he takes this piece away and sends it aloft, nourishing new hope for the few.

The Red Ghost

The Red Ghost by Marion Dane Bauer
Fourth-grader Jenna and a friend find a doll at Miss Tate's garage sale that would be a perfect birthday present for Jenna's little sister. However, there is something about its eyes that makes the girls uneasy, and they're suspicious when Miss Tate gives it to them for free. Jenna's cat furiously spits and strikes at the wrapped gift, and in the middle of the night, Jenna is wakened by rustling and crying sounds. When she gives the doll to her sister, Quinn refuses to keep it, saying "she's full." The easy-to-follow plot involves the ghost of a child who died from scarlet fever years earlier and has a happy ending.

The Curse of Addy McMahon

The Curse of Addy McMahon by Katie Davis

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine

The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine by April Lurie
A mother who split for another man. A father who works 24/7.
An older brother who excels at everything—and smokes a lot of weed.
A best friend, of the feminine persuasion, who only wants to be a friend, and who’s shooting a film set in cool Greenwich Village, New York.
Dylan Fontaine’s life seems to be full of drama he can’t control. But when he stars in his best friend’s movie, Dylan discovers that, sometimes, life’s big shake-ups force you to take risks—and to step into the spotlight.

The Patron Saint of Butterflies

The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante
Secluded at the Mount Blessing compound under the rule of the manipulative Emmanuel, 14-year-old Agnes strives for sainthood. Her best friend, Honey, however, questions Emmanuel's tactics and authority, and secretly longs for a normal life with TV, fashionable clothes and fast food. An injury to Agnes's younger brother sets in motion a daring escape from Mount Blessing orchestrated by the siblings' grandmother, with Honey along for the ride.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

100 Days, 99 Nights (and 15 Saturdays without Dad's Pancakes)

100 Days, 99 Nights (and 15 Saturdays without Dad's Pancakes) by Alan Madison, illustrated by Julia Denos
Esmerelda Swishback McCarther has spent most of her seven years living in four different countries on four different continents with her military family. Arriving back in the United States, she and her brother begin school in a suburb of Washington, DC. Unfortunately, her father must leave for a tour of duty-100 days and 99 nights. Saddened and fearful for him, Esme gives him the precious remnant square from her "blankie" to take with him. While he is away, she struggles to remain dutiful and strong, traits that her family values.

Pirates of Underwhere

Pirates of Underwhere by Bruce Hale, illustrated by Shane Hillman
Stephanie has a whole underwear drawer full of trouble. A week ago, Stephanie's biggest problem was finding enough time to complete her homework and study for her Mathletes competition. Now, thanks to her big-mouth brother, Zeke, she has to deal with magical toilet brushes, sinister talking cats, nearsighted sea serpents, singing custodians, feminist pirates, runty freedom fighters, and all the cottony-white weirdness of Underwhere—the world beneath our own where people wear their undies on the outside of their clothes.

Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing)

Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing) by Alison McGhee, with pictures by Drazen Kozjan
Nine-year-old Julia Gillian learns a lot about facing fear as she and her St. Bernard, Bigfoot, take long walks through their Minneapolis neighborhood one hot summer, and she seeks the courage to finish a book that could have an unhappy ending.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Keeping the Night Watch

Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith with illustrations by E.B. Lewis
Now that C.J.'s father, who had left the family, has returned, the teen notes that dinners are like "a roomful of strangers" and that he feels weighed down by "brick heavy" questions. Wise beyond his years, eldest son C.J. felt it was his role to "keep the night watch" during his father's absence. Now, he feels displaced in his own home and seethes with anger and resentment. Gradually, everyone starts to move on: C.J. experiences the awkward elation of first love, tries his hand at shaving, and argues and makes up with his best friend. His little sister sends love notes to each family member, and, at book's end, C.J. and his family come together: "We dance on our tears."

As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel"s Amazing March Toward Freedom

As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel"s Amazing March Toward Freedom by Richard Michelson, Illustrated by Raul Colon
Martin grew up in a loving family in the American South, at a time when this country was plagued by racial discrimination. He aimed to put a stop to it. He became a minister like his daddy, and he preached and marched for his cause. Abraham grew up in a loving family many years earlier, in a Europe that did not welcome Jews. He found a new home in America, where he became a respected rabbi like his father, carrying a message of peace and acceptance. Here is the story of two icons for social justice, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.

The Underneath

The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small
When fate separates them, an old hound dog and two foster kittens survive the dangers of the bayou to find one another. Seeking shelter, a homeless pregnant cat responds to the "bluesy" baying of a hound named Ranger who lives chained under the porch of a shack in the woods of the East Texas bayou. He happily shares the Underneath with the cat and her two kittens, Sabine and Puck. The kittens are safe from Ranger's evil master Gar Face as long as they remain hidden, but Puck ventures out "straight into the terrible hands of Gar Face," who does his best to drown both the curious kitten and his mother. Somehow Puck escapes after promising his dying mother he will find Sabine and free Ranger, but he's on his own in a bayou teeming with mysterious creatures.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Love Me Tender

Love Me Tender by Audrey Couloumbis
The narrator, 13-year-old Elvira, is horrified when her father leaves home after a quarrel, bound for an Elvis impersonation competition in Las Vegas even though Elvira's pregnant mother, Mel, wanted him to stay home. Elvira worries that he won't come back, but her concerns shift when, prompted by a dire phone call, Mel packs up Elvira and her younger sister, Kerrie, and drives everyone off to visit her long-estranged mother in Memphis.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ibby's Magic Weekend

Ibby's Magic Weekend by Heather Dyer
When straight-arrow Ibby visits her two troublemaking cousins in their chaotic country house, she learns of an old box of magic tricks they found hidden in the attic. Ibby thinks magic is nothing but sleight of hand...until her cousin Francis shrinks to the size of her thumb! The trio gets into all sorts of hijinks, from levitating to turning invisible. Then they uncover the mystery of Uncle Godfrey, a professional magician who disappeared years ago. After some sleuthing, the kids decide Godfrey's Vanishing Act must have gone wrong. Now it's up to Ibby to be the magician-- and find him!

Spin the Bottle

Spin the Bottle by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Phoebe is excited to be starting seventh grade. The aspiring actress is finally able to join Drama Club, a day she has been preparing for since elementary school. No more class plays but genuine productions with auditions. Then she discovers how much drama she has to endure before rehearsals start: mean divas, a crush, digestive malfunctions, and a rift between her and a friend. Despite all this, Phoebe perseveres and is disappointed to find herself cast in the Mission Choir in Guys and Dolls . Things only get worse when she finds out that everyone in the cast is expected to play spin the bottle.

Sound Off! (The Adventures of Daniel Boom (aka Loud Boy)), Volume 1

Sound Off! (The Adventures of Daniel Boom (aka Loud Boy)), Volume 1 by D.J. Steinberg, Brian Smith (Illustrator)
Being the new kid in town with no volume control on his voice, Daniel Boom discovers an even bigger problem— the evil Kid-Rid Corporation has silenced the entire world with their terrible Soundsucker LX machine! Daniel taps into his inner superhero to become Loud Boy, along with his new pals who have bad habits (aka superpowers) of their own. The unlikely heroes are able to turn the tables on the villains, restoring peace and un-quiet to the world once more! But is it the end of Kid-Rid?