Sunday, August 31, 2008

Escape the Mask: Grassland Trilogy Book One

Escape the Mask: Grassland Trilogy Book One by David Ward
Six young friends, tortured by the Spears and forced to work as slaves in the harsh fields of Grassland, vow to escape to find the freedom that was stolen from them long ago, and their opportunity arises when Outsiders come and wage war against the Spears.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What They Always Tell Us

What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson
Sixteen-year-old Alex feels so disconnected from his friends that he starts his junior year at a Tuscaloosa, Alabama, high school by attempting suicide, but soon, a friend of his older brother draws him into cross-country running and a new understanding of himself.


Storyteller by Edward Myers
Jack, a seventeen-year-old storyteller, goes to the royal city seeking his fortune and soon attracts the attention of the grief-stricken king, his beautiful eldest daughter, and his cruel young son, and he attempts to help them and the entire kingdom through his stories.


13 by Jason Robert Brown
Almost thirteen-year-old Evan Goldman learns what it means to be a man when his parents separate and he and his mother move from New York City to Appleton, Indiana, right before his bar mitzvah. Watch the video from the new musical based on this book.

The Possibilities of Sainthood

The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas
While regularly petitioning the Vatican to make her the first living saint, fifteen-year-old Antonia Labella prays to assorted patron saints for everything from help with preparing the family's fig trees for a Rhode Island winter to getting her first kiss from the right boy.


Primavera by Mary Jane Beaufrand
Two powerful families, the tyrannical Medici and their biggest rivals, the Pazzi, are tangled in a bloody struggle for ultimate power. Caught in the whirlwind is Flora, the last daughter of the Pazzi. As her beautiful older sister is being painted by the famed artist Botticelli, Flora is dreading her fate. Destined for life in a convent, Flora is determined to take matters into her own hands, even as her world crumbles around her. When Flora decides runs away, she has no idea that the decision will save her life. As her family falls to their murderous enemy, Flora must find a new life and a new identity.

The Séance

The Séance by Iain Lawrence
In 1926, magician Harry Houdini arrives in the city to perform magic and to expose fraudulent mediums but thirteen-year-old Scooter King, who works for his mother making her séances seem real, needs Houdini's help to solve a murder.

Hurricane Song: A Novel of New Orleans

Hurricane Song: A Novel of New Orleans by Paul Volponi
Twelve-year-old Miles Shaw goes to live with his father, a jazz musician, in New Orleans, and together they survive the horrors of Hurricane Katrina in the Superdome, learning about each other and growing closer through their painful experiences.

Roots and Wings

Roots and Wings by Many Ly
While in St. Petersburg, Florida, to give her grandmother a Cambodian funeral, fourteen-year-old Grace, who was raised in Pennsylvania, finally gets some answers about the father she never met, her mother's and grandmother's youth, and her Asian-American heritage.

The Laugh Stand: Adventures in Humor

The Laugh Stand: Adventures in Humor by Brian P. Cleary, illustrations by J.P. Sandy
Humor is on sale at the Laugh Stand, so step up and pick out the laugh of your choice. Perhaps you're in the market for a Tom Swiftie--something along the lines of "'These are my underpants,' Tom said briefly." Not for you? Then how about a daffy definition--"Benign: What you are after you be eight." Chuckle your way through the Stand's cartoon and wacky headline section and you'll come to the grams department--a full selection of pangrams, anagrams, and even word diagrams.

The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows

The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows, An Original Science Fiction Anthololgy edited by Jonathan Strahan
Whether on spaceships, in suburbia, or in simulated gaming worlds, whether about cloning, battle tactics, or corporate politics, the stories of The Starry Rift will give every reader something to consider. This original anthology is crucial reading for those who want to see where the future-and the future of science fiction-is headed.

Gully's Travels

Gully's Travels by Tor Seidler, pictures by Brock Cole

A Girl, A Boy, and Three Robbers

A Girl, A Boy, and Three Robbers by Gail Gauthier, illustrated by Joe Cepeda
When Brandon has to go to Hannah's house after school, she always gets to be the leader while he has to play her sidekick or some villain she's out to destroy. Then the horrible Sunderland kids try to steal Hannah's monster cat, Buttercup, and suddenly Brandon and Hannah have an exciting real-life mission on their hands. All the games of vampire hunter and enemy agent in the world couldn't have prepared them for the task of saving Buttercup from the Sunderlands' grubby clutches.

Bringing the Boy Home

Bringing the Boy Home by N.A. Nelson

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Vanities

The Vanities by Terence Lawlor
The Cinderella legend takes a star turn in this imaginative and contemporary retelling of the familiar tale. Giselle is a savvy and stylish young woman with an unsurpassed talent for hair-styling. Orphaned in childhood, she has since been confined to the shadows of the palace by Carlotta, Delight, and Wilhelmina, three of the most narcissistic and vain denizens of the court. When the town ruler decides to end his reign, he proclaims a grand ball, where the citizen with the most amazing coiffure will be awarded the crown. The three divas squabble to have Giselle execute their creations, but when the contest day arrives, her masterpiece is concealed by a voluminous hood. In a stunning upset, she takes a stand against useless vanity and demonstrates to the townspeople that a true leader must never be victim to fashion. With one bold move Giselle changes her lot in life and transforms the very roots of society.


Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley
After dying, high school senior Charlotte Usher is as invisible to nearly everyone as she always felt, but despite what she learns in a sort of alternative high school for dead teens, she clings to life while seeking a way to go to the Fall Ball with the boy of her dreams. Visit the website.

Ways to Live Forever

Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls
Eleven-year-old Sam McQueen, who has leukemia, writes a book during the last three months of his life, in which he tells about what he would like to accomplish, how he feels, and things that have happened to him.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Gypsy Crown

The Gypsy Crown by Kate Forsyth
Emilia Finch and her cousin Luka are gypsies. For them, that means they live a strongly traditional life, rich with story, music, dance, and magic, governed by the laws of the clan and the ways of the road. To the repressive Puritanical government of 17th century England, however, the gypsies are thieving, fortune-telling vagrants who are most likely allies of the devil. While the Finches have managed to steer clear of trouble, it finds them when they decide to raise dowry money for one of their daughters, by performing in Kingston square one ill-fated market day. A series of terrible events lands the family in jail, charged with murder. Only Emilia and Luka manage to escape, promising to bring back help and free them.

Everything You Want

Everything You Want by Barbara Shoup
Eighteen-year-old Emma, a freshman at Indiana University, has enough trouble trying to figure out relationships but when her father wins fifty million dollars in a lottery, life becomes even more confusing and complicated.

The Diamond of Drury Lane: A Cat Royal Adventure

The Diamond of Drury Lane: A Cat Royal Adventure by Julia Golding
Orphan Catherine "Cat" Royal, living at the Drury Lane Theater in 1790s London, tries to find the "diamond" supposedly hidden in the theater, which unmasks a treasonous political cartoonist, and involves her in the street gangs of Covent Garden and the world of nobility.

The City in the Lake

The City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier
A teenage girl who is learning to be a mage must save her mysterious, magical homeland, The Kingdom, from a powerful force that is trying to control it.


Nothing by Robin Friedman

The Mystery of the Third Lucretia

The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt

Crossing to Paradise

Crossing to Paradise by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Little Leap Forward: A Boy in Beijing

Little Leap Forward: A Boy in Beijing by Guo Yue, Clare Farrow, Helen Cann (Illustrator)
In Communist China in 1966, eight-year-old Leap Forward learns about freedom while flying kites with his best friend, by trying to get a caged wild bird to sing, and through the music he is leaning to play on a bamboo flute. Includes author's notes on his childhood in Beijing. life under Mao Zedong, and the Cultural Revolution.

Trick of the Tale: A Collection of Trickster Tales

Trick of the Tale: A Collection of Trickster Tales by John and Caitlin Matthews, illustrated by Tomislav Tomic
An illustrated collection of tales featuring notable trickster characters such as Raven and Hare, from the folk traditions of many countries.

Kenny and the Dragon

Kenny and the Dragon written and illlustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
When the simple folks in the sleepy little village of Roundbrook catch wind that there's a dragon running loose in the countryside, they get the wrong idea and the stage is set for a fight to the death. So it's up to Kenny to give his neighbors front-row seats to one of the best-known battles in history -- the legendary showdown between St. George and the dragon -- without losing a friend in the fray.

Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak

Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak by Kay Winters, illustrated by Larry Day
Follow an errand boy through colonial Boston as he spreads word of rebellion. It's December 16, 1773, and Boston is about to explode! King George has decided to tax the colonists' tea. The Patriots have had enough. Ethan, the printer's errand boy, is running through town to deliver a message about an important meeting. As he stops along his route- at the bakery, the schoolhouse, the tavern, and more-readers learn about the occupations of colonial workers and their differing opinions about living under Britain's rule. This fascinating book is like a field trip to a living history village.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Floating Circus

The Floating Circus by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
Twelve-year-old Owen forgoes an orphan train that's headed west only to find himself falling in with a completely unexpected group of misfits—circus performers on the River Palace. As this floating circus makes its way down the Mississippi, Owen slowly discovers that his fellow workers aren't freaks, but loners, like he is. A brush with yellow-fever in New Orleans and a devastating storm threaten the boat and its passengers. But it's the menace of slave catchers that poses the greatest danger of all, and will put Owen's loyalty to a freed black man to the test.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rapunzel's Revenge

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale
Rapunzel is raised in a grand villa surrounded by towering walls. Rapunzel dreams of a different mother than Gothel, the woman she calls Mother. She climbs over the wall and finds out the truth. Her real mother, Kate, is a slave in Gothel's gold mine. In this Old West retelling, Rapunzel uses her hair as a lasso and to take on outlaws--including Gothel.

Life on Earth-and Beyond: An Astrobiologist's Quest

Life on Earth-and Beyond: An Astrobiologist's Quest by Pamela S. Turner
Astrobiologists have searched Earth's most extreme environments in their quest to understand what factors are necessary to sustain life. Dr. Chris McKay's scientific journey has taken him from the freezing cold of Antarctica's Dry Valleys to the rocky wasteland of the Atacama Desert in Chile to the permafrost-covered tundra of Siberia. By studying environments on Earth that resemble those on Mars and other planets, Dr. McKay hopes that his experiments will help answer the question: can life exist beyond Earth?

Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

Listening for Crickets

Listening for Crickets by David Grifaldi
With parents that fight all the time, ten-year-old Jake finds comfort and escape in the stories he creates for himself and his little sister.

10 Lucky Things That Have Happened to Me Since I Nearly Got Hit by Lightning

10 Lucky Things That Have Happened to Me Since I Nearly Got Hit by Lightning by Mary Hershey
Even though her father is in prison for embezzlement, ten-year-old Effie considers herself pretty lucky until her mother's old friend, Father Frank, comes to stay with them, Effie's friend Aurora decides to quit their Catholic school to attend public school, and her contrary sister begins to transform herself into "Saint Maxey."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gotcha Good!: Nonfiction Books to Get Kids Excited About Reading

Gotcha Good!: Nonfiction Books to Get Kids Excited About Reading by Kathleen A. Baxter, Marcia Agness Kochel
This fifth Gotcha! book, aimed at public and school librarians, as well as elementary and middle school teachers, discusses well-reviewed and kid-tested nonfiction titles for third through eighth grade readers published in 2005-2007 with a few extra oldies but goodies added in. Chapters are built around the high-interest topics kids love as the authors provide irresistible book descriptions to guide librarians and teachers to nonfiction books kids will want to read. Features include numerous booklists that can be copied and saved (similar to the bookmarks in the authors' Gotcha for Guys!), as well as profiles and interviews of some innovative nonfiction authors such as Sally Walker, Shelley Tanaka, Donna Jackson, James Deem, Seymour Simon, and others. Learn more about Kathleen and her high-energy booktalks that get people revved up about books!

Painting the Wild Frontier: The Art and Adventures of George Catlin

Painting the Wild Frontier: The Art and Adventures of George Catlin by Susanna Reich
George Catlin is one of America's best-known painters, famous for his iconic portraits of Native Americans. He spent much of his life in the wilderness, sketching and painting as he traveled. A solo trek across 500 miles of uncharted prairie, an expedition to the Andes, harrowing encounters with grizzly bears and panthers, and tours of the royal palaces of Europe were among his many adventures. In an era when territorial expansion resulted in the near annihilation of many indigenous cultures, George Catlin dedicated himself to meeting and writing about the native peoples of the western hemisphere. With his "Indian Gallery" of paintings and artifacts, he toured the United States and Europe, stirring up controversy and creating a sensation.

Hippos: Three Board Books

Hippos: Three Board Books by Jane Yolen, Illustrated by Vlasta van Kampen
From the author of Owl Moon and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight comes an original series of board books. Meet the hippos—a lovable, zany crew ready to take the youngest reader on a rollicking ride... In One Hippo Hops, hippos jump, glide, trot, march and skip their way from one through 10. Featuring Jane Yolen’s delightful rhyming text and Vlasta van Kampen’s spectacular illustrations, each edition has been designed to appeal to the imagination of infants and toddlers.

Ridiculous/Hilarious/Terrible/Cool: A Year in an American High School

Ridiculous/Hilarious/Terrible/Cool: A Year in an American High School by Elisha Cooper
Emily has big goals. Like leading her soccer team to States. Maya is the best actor in school. She doesn't have a boyfriend ... yet. Diana has big worries. Things are happening at home. Daniel is class president. Naturally, he's applying to Harvard. Anais just wants to dance. Anthony is failing almost everything, and then there's The Girl. Aisha is the only new student in her class, and the only Muslim. Zef can't stay awake in class - all this and prom -- a year in the life of a high school.

Billy Bones: Tales from the Secrets Closet

Billy Bones: Tales from the Secrets Closet by Christopher Lincoln, Avi Ofer, illustrations by Avi Ofer
Deep within High Manners Manor, Billy and his skeleton parents live in the Secrets Closet, where they're in charge of filing all the secrets and lies of the unscrupulous Biglum family. Then Billy meets Millicent, Sir Biglum's niece who has been recently orphaned. Together, Billy and Millicent encounter ghosts and other uncanny creatures as they explore each other's worlds and uncover the biggest secret of all.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman

Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman, illustrated by Ross MacDonald
Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, two misfit teens in Cleveland, were more like Clark Kent than Superman. Both boys escaped into the worlds of science fiction and pulp magazine tales. In 1934, they created the superhero, but it was four years before they convinced a publisher to take a chance on their Man of Steel in a new format--the comic book.

Overlord Protocol (H.I.V.E. Series #2)

Overlord Protocol (H.I.V.E. Series #2) by Mark Walden
When Otto and Wing are allowed off campus to attend Wing's father's funeral, they have no idea it's a trap, all part of a lethal plan organized by Cypher, the most ruthless supervillain any of them have ever known. He intends to use them to retrieve the Overlord Protocol, a device that has the capacity to help him take over the world. But when things go terribly wrong, Otto will stop at nothing to hunt him down and make him pay. With the help of Laura, Shelby, Raven, and his former nemesis, Dr. Nero, Otto must find a way to defeat an enemy that has overcome some of the planet's most infamous villains without even breaking a sweat. Because if he doesn't, the world as they know it will be changed forever.

Tim, Defender of the Earth

Tim, Defender of the Earth by Sam Enthoven
TIM, aka Tyrannosaurus: Improved Model, is the product of a top-secret government military experiment, and he couldn't be more loveable. Sure, he's an enormous monster to most, but at heart he's just a big, awkward, thirteen-yearold who realizes he could be all that stands between the earth and total destruction. Now TIM must form an unlikely alliance with fifteen-year-olds Chris and Anna in order to save humanity from the greatest threat it has ever known: Anna's father, the brilliant and demented Professor Mallahide, and his growing tide of vicious, all-consuming nanobots.

Chancey of the Maury River

Chancey of the Maury River by Gigi Amateau
Told through a horse's eyes, here is the entrancing tale of an Appaloosa who finds a chance to renew his trust, and of the humans he helps to restore. On the night that Chancey is born, a "fire star" gallops across the sky, a signal that a great horse has entered the world. But it will take many years of slights and hardships before the orphaned albino will believe that the prophecy is truly meant for him. First he must find a home at the Maury River Stables and a girl named Claire who needs him as much as he needs her. Then, when his aching joints and impending blindness bring an end to their training together, he must start a new chapter as a therapeutic horse, healing people with wounds both visible and unseen.


Evernight by Claudia Gray
Sixteen-year-old Bianca, a new girl at the sinister Evernight boarding school, finds herself drawn to another outsider, Jared, but dark forces threaten to tear them apart and destroy Bianca's entire world.

Lizard Love

Lizard Love by Wendy Townsend

The Kingdom of Strange

The Kingdom of Strange by Shula Klinger
Ninth grader Thisbe has entered the Era of Weird. She's not sure she likes her best friends anymore, and her house has been invaded by yoga-loving Granny Ed and her smelly dog, Chutney. When she's assigned a group project in English (what could be worse?), Thisbe decides to work online with a student from another school. The next twelve weeks change her life in ways she never imagined as she forms an important new friendship and makes new discoveries about writing, identity, loss, and love.