Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Humming of Numbers

The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel

Artichoke's Heart

Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee
When she is almost sixteen years old, Rosemary decides she is sick of being overweight, mocked at school and at Heavenly Hair, her mother's beauty salon, and feeling out of control. As she slowly loses weight, she realizes that she is able to cope with her mother's cancer, having a boyfriend for the first time, and discovering that other people's lives are not as perfect as they seem from the outside.

Blue Like Friday

Blue Like Friday by Siobhan Parkinson

The Eyes of a King

The Eyes of a King by Catherine Banner
In Malonia, fifteen-year-old Leo North finds a mysterious book that slowly reveals information about his family's history, the history of his war-torn country, and glimpses of two other teenagers living in a country called England, which Malonians think is make-believe.

Girl, Hero

Girl, Hero by Carrie Jones
High school freshman Lily pours her heart out in letters to her hero, dead movie star John Wayne, in which she tells him about the death of her beloved stepfather, her mother's abusive boyfriends, her fears that her father is gay, getting the lead in the high school play, and her burgeoning romance with a classmate who reminds her of Mr. Wayne. Nan says: I read this book over the two days of my once-every-fifteen-years garage sale. Listening to Liliana's voice (the "hero" in Girl, Hero) and greeting and meeting with my customers, I made a new friend and read a remarkable story. Lily's insights and youthful wisdom enrich this good book. As she writes to John Wayne -- an unusual hero and imaginary friend -- she narrates her life in her own voice.
"We ride by a horse farm. Horses stand waiting for something to happen. I want to jump on and ride off into the sunset, but it's only noon."
"I know what that's like, not wanting to tell someone what's wrong, because if you tell them it isn't a relief. It just makes it more real, or maybe if you tell them they'll pity you, and when you add someone's pity onto your own sadness it's like all the strings inside of you become untuned, stretched too tight, and you can feel them ready to snap apart if anyone says anything, or if you even move..."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beneath My Mother's Feet

Beneath My Mother's Feet by Amjed Qamar
When her father is injured, fourteen-year-old Nazia is pulled away from school, her friends, and her preparations for an arranged marriage, to help her mother clean houses in a wealthy part of Karachi, Pakistan, where she finally rebels against the destiny that is planned for her.

Lost and Found

Lost and Found by Andrew Clements, illustrations by Mark Elliott

Elvis & Olive

Elvis & Olive by Stephanie Watson
Natalie and Annie become friends and decide to spend their summer spying on their neighbors. What begins as a game turns serious when their findings are revealed to the neighborhood, and when the girls discover unexpected things about each other. While the girls learn that it's sometimes helpful to reveal secrets, they also learn a lesson about the importance of privacy.


Frogs by Nic Bishop, illustrated by Nic Bishop
...Frogs are an endless source of fascination, especially when looked at VERY close up. See tiny poison dart frogs and mammoth bullfrogs, as Nic Bishop's amazing images show the beauty and diversity of frogs from around the globe. And simple, engaging text conveys basic information about frogs -- as well as cool and quirky facts. Nic Bishop Frogs is a fun and informative tour through an exciting amphibian world.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Like a Thorn

Like a Thorn by Clara Vidal
Mélie's mother is sometimes nice, sometimes mean—prone to erratic behavior that Mélie does her best to cope with. As a young girl, she invents rituals to protect herself from her mother’s moods; but as Mélie becomes a teenager, the years of tiptoeing around her own home take their toll, and Mélie sinks into increasing unhappiness. No one understands her situation.No one understands that Mélie is treated like a thorn in her mother’s side. Since Mélie’s mother isn’t capable of change, it’s up to Mélie to find the strength to break free.

Grk and the Hot Dog Trail

Grk and the Hot Dog Trail by Joshua Doder
On holiday from school, the Malts, the Raffifis, and Grk are in New York City to see the Empire State building, ride the Staten Island Ferry, shop the stores of Fifth Avenue, and see the Golden Dachshund in the new exhibit at the National Museum. But when the billion dollar statue goes missing, Max and Tim both claim to know who’s behind the theft. While Max waits in the hotel to speak with the police, Tim and Grk set off through the streets of New York to capture the criminal.

Jumpy Jack & Googily

Jumpy Jack & Googily by Meg Rosoff, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Meet Jumpy Jack, a very nervous snail who’s afraid of monsters, and Googily, who is a—well, who is a very good friend, indeed. Wherever they go, Googily kindly checks high and low just to make sure there are no scary monsters about. But as every child knows, monsters come in many shapes and sizes. Some are even blue with hairy eyebrows and pointy teeth.

McFig & McFly: A Tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and Death (with a Happy Ending)

McFig & McFly: A Tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and Death (with a Happy Ending) by Henrik Drescher
McFig lives with his daughter, Rosie, in a lovely little cottage far away from anywhere big and important. One day, McFly and his son, Anton, buy the land next door. At first McFig and McFly hit it off big-time and build McFly a cottage modeled exactly after McFig’s house. But then the two start to add things onto their houses — a medieval tower, a second-story playroom — and soon McFig and McFly are in a lifelong competition to be bigger and better than each other. Where will all their obsessive one-upmanship end?

Darkside (Darkside Series #1)

Darkside (Darkside Series #1) by Tom Becker
Jonathan Starling's father is in an asylum and his home has been attacked when, while running away from kidnappers, he stumbles upon Darkside, a terrifying and hidden part of London ruled by the descendants of Jack the Ripper. The Darkside is a place where vampires and werewolves walk the streets. It's a world of nightmares and deadly secrets. Jonathan is in mortal danger if he cannot find the way out.

How to Build a House

How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt
Harper's dad is getting a divorce from her beloved stepmother, Jane. Even worse, Harper has lost her stepsister, Tess; the divorce divides them. Harper decides to escape by joining a volunteer program to build a house for a family in Tennessee who lost their home in a tornado. Not that she knows a thing about construction.Soon she’s living in a funky motel and working long days in blazing heat with a group of kids from all over the country. At the site, she works alongside Teddy, the son of the family for whom they are building the house. Their partnership turns into a summer romance, complete with power tools. Learning to trust and love Teddy isn’t easy for Harper, but it’s the first step toward finding her way back home.

Alive and Well in Prague, New York

Alive and Well in Prague, New York by Daphne Grab
Manhattanites Matisse Osgood and her artist parents move to upstate New York when her father's Parkinson's disease worsens, and Matisse must face high school in a small, provincial town as she tries to avoid thinking about her father's future.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

No Cream Puffs

No Cream Puffs by Karen L. Day
In 1980, when twelve-year-old Madison, who loves to play baseball, decides to play in her town's baseball league, she never envisions the uproar it causes when she becomes the first girl to join.


Spellbound by Anna Dale
An innocent summer holiday turns out to be anything but for Athene and her younger brother, Zach, when they find themselves caught up in a skirmish between two groups of gnome-like creatures: The Humble Gloam live above ground and get along with humans; the Low Gloam live below ground and despise everyone. But when Zach stumbles into Low Gloam territory, Athene disguises herself to rescue him—and discovers a secret that could bring the two Gloam tribes together—if it doesn't tear them apart, first.

The Disappeared

The Disappeared by Gloria Whelan
The Disappeared. Los desaparecidos. This is the name given to those who opposed Argentina’s dictatorial government and were kidnapped to ensure their silence. With her hometown of Buenos Aires ensconsced in the political nightmare, Silvia devises a plan to save her missing brother. She’ll make Norberto, son of the general who arrests dissenters, fall in love with her–and he’ll have his father set Eduardo free. Told in alternating chapters, this powerful and poetic story follows Silvia as she spirals into Norberto’s world, and Eduardo as he struggles to endure physical and emotional torture. Will Silvia’s scheme reunite her family? Or will the pursuit of freedom cost these devoted siblings their lives?


Angel by Cliff McNish
An unlikely friendship develops between fourteen-year-olds Stephanie, an angel-obsessed social outcast, and Freya, a popular student whose visions of angels sent her to a mental institution and who is now seeing a dark angel at every turn.

The Swan Kingdom

The Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Out of the Wild

Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
Having decided that they no longer want to live the same stories over and over again, fairy-tale characters have escaped The Wild (where fairy tales are nurtured) to lead ordinary lives in the real world. ..The Wild lives under Julie Marchen's bed in her Massachusetts home, which is only just beginning to recover from its last incursion. Julie and her mother, Rapunzel, realize that all is not well when Julie's father, the Prince, emerges, intent on living out his tale in his new environment. An energetic series of events causes the Prince to fulfill his identity repeatedly (he saves a princess, fights a dragon, etc.) and in doing this, he causes The Wild to grow-threatening the entire United States.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Acting Out: Six One-Act Plays! Six Newbery Stars!

Acting Out: Six One-Act Plays! Six Newbery Stars!
Six masterful children's authors have become master playwrights in this collection of one-act plays that might just make you want to ACT OUT! In The Raven, Sharon Creech spoofs a publishing office while Susan Cooper shows the environment fighting back against overdevelopment in The Dollop. Patricia MacLachlan puts a twist on detention in The Bad Room and Katherine Paterson gives us a new twist on a classic fairy tale in The Billionaire and the Bird. Richard Peck's Effigy in the Outhouse is the story of schoolboys doing their best to trick a spooky substitute while Avi's Not Seeing Is Believing has words playing tricks on everyone. With a star-studded lineup of writers there's a stage full of drama, comedy, and great storytelling waiting behind these curtains!

Clementine's Letter

Clementine's Letter by Sara Pennypacker, pictures by Marla Frazee

Diamond Willow

Diamond Willow by Helen Frost
Diamond Willow, a young Alaskan of Athabascan and European descent, doesn't have many friends; she's happiest when she's sledding her father's dogs and visiting her grandparents. When her first solo dogsled trip to her grandparents ends with a terrible crash that blinds her father's favorite dog, Roxy, she sets to making sure that Roxy will live out her days with care and not undergo euthanasia-a decision that leads to an amazing revelation about her family.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Outside Beauty

Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata


Gone by Michael Grant


Coraline by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell (Illustrator), Lovern Kindzierski (Illustrator)
Coraline's often wondered what's behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her "other" parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.

Ghost of Spirit Bear

Ghost of Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen
After a year in exile on an Alaskan island as punishment for severely beating a fellow student, Cole Matthews returns to school in Minneapolis having made peace with himself and his victim--but he finds that surviving the violence and hatred of high school is even harder than surviving in the wilderness.

Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown, and Me

Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown, and Me, A Memoir by John A. Stokes with Lois Wolfe, PhD
As a child tending crops on the family farm, John Stokes never dreamed that one day he would be at the center of the Civil Rights Movement. Yet, on April 23, 1951, he and his fellow students walked out of the school and into the history books. Their school was built to accommodate 180 students, yet over 400 black students attended classes in leaky buildings with tar paper walls. A potbelly stove served as the only source of heat, and the school lacked running water, indoor plumbing, and a cafeteria. Yet to Stokes and his fellow students, it was their path to a better life.

The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and Science & Invention in America

The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and Science & Invention in America , written and illustrated by Cheryl Harness
Follow the action as Confederate raiders kidnap young Carver—along with his mother and siblings—and sell them to Arkansas slaveholders. Here, whooping cough threatens George’s life, yet the disease will be the key to his future. Unable to work in the fields, he spends his days studying plants. His desire for knowledge leads him to the rich farmlands of Iowa, where he becomes the first black student—and later the first black faculty member—at the state university. Carver pioneers hundreds of new uses for plants and revolutionizes American agriculture by teaching farmers the value of rotating cotton with nitrogen-rich crops.

A Difficult Boy

A Difficult Boy by M.P. Barker
It is 1839 and nine-year-old Ethan finds himself an indentured servant working for Mr. Lyman, a mean-spirited shopkeeper in Massachusetts. When Ethan and another young servant are beaten by Mr. Lyman, the two boys find out what it takes to be a friend.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Chiggers by Hope Larson
After arriving at camp, bookish Abby finds herself torn between her familiar bunkmates and the intriguing new girl Shasta, who has an older boyfriend and claims to have been struck by lightning. Amid the rounds of swimming and hiking, Abby learns to stand up for her new friend when other girls judge her unfairly. Tensions rise when both girls find themselves attracted to the same boy (a sweetly nerdy Dungeon Master named Teal), but after Abby saves Shasta from a mysterious will-o'-the-wisp that results in a second near-lightning strike, they part amicably and Abby gets the guy.

The Girl Who Could Fly

The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
When homeschooled farm girl Piper McCloud reveals her ability to fly, she is quickly taken to a secret government facility to be trained with other exceptional children, but she soon realizes that something is very wrong and begins working with brilliant and wealthy Conrad to escape.

Silly Lilly: And The Four Seasons, A Toon Book

Silly Lilly: And The Four Seasons by Agnes Rosenstiehl
Lilly is a spunky little girl who delights in the unexpected pleasures of each season, peering inside shells in the summer and tasting different kinds of apples in the fall. In this charming and subtle book by one of France's premier children's book authors, Lilly learns more about the outdoors, and introduces the youngest readers to the colors, words, and shapes that arise in nature.

Benny and Penny in Just Pretend, A Toon Book

Benny and Penny in Just Pretend, A Toon Book by Geoffrey Hayes
In this graphic mini-novel, a mouse in pirate dress fends off the overtures of his persistent little sister (garbed as a princess), then turns out to be more of a wuss than she is when it comes to bugs. Launching an easy-reader series with this tried-and-true narrative arc, this episode features two very young-looking sibs moving through an idyllic outdoorsy setting and, after a series of tiffs and temporary setbacks, sharing a make-up hug before embarking together on an imagined pirate adventure.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sisters of the Sword

Sisters of the Sword by Maya Snow
Kimi dreams of being a great samurai warrior, but she and her sister, Hana, are young ladies of feudal Japan, daughters of the Jito of the province. Her future seems clear: Girls do not become samurai. Then, betrayal shatters the sisters' world. Their power-hungry uncle murders their father, and their mother and little brother mysteriously disappear. Determined to seek revenge and restore their honor, they disguise themselves as boys to train at a school for samurai. Kimi and Hana are thrown headlong into a life of warrior codes, sharp swords, and shadowy figures—as they work with fierce determination to avenge the brutal wrongs done to their family.

Memories of Babi

Memories of Babi by Aranka Siegal
Piri is a city girl, but every year she goes to visit her grandmother Babi on her farm in the Ukrainian village of Komjaty. There is a lot that Piri finds strange, even scary, in Komjaty, such as the ghost in the form of a rooster who supposedly haunts the cemetery! But Piri loves country life: making corn bread, eating plums right off the tree, venturing out with her grandmother in the early morning to hunt for mushrooms. And during her time with Babi, Piri learns lessons that will stay with her all of her life, about the importance of honest hard work, of caring for the less fortunate, and of having the courage to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Even More Children's Miscellany: Smart, Silly, and Strange Information That's Essential To Know

Even More Children's Miscellany: Smart, Silly, and Strange Information That's Essential To Know by Guy Macdonald, illustrated by Niki Catlow
Even more fascinating and bizarre facts to excite and entertain young readers! How to talk like a pirate . . . which snakes can eat a 6-foot crocodile . . . whose favorite food is caterpillar milk . . . who holds the world record for the loudest burp . . . and many, many more! Packed with useless facts that are essential to know, Even More Children's Miscellany collects the best of the smart, the silly, and the strange.

Forever Rose

Forever Rose by Hilary McKay
Rose Casson and her unconventional family are back in McKay's fifth novel chronicling the family's adventures. This book finds Rose a bit lonely for her family. Her father is in London, her mom is spending all her time in the shed (trying to get over a cold and finish her commissioned paintings), one sister has gone off and will not tell the family where she went, and the rest of her siblings are busy living their lives. To make matters worse, Rose and her friends are trapped at school with an awful teacher who cancels Christmas. Rose solves the mystery of her sister's whereabouts when she joins her friend Molly in a crazy plot to spend the night at the zoo.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Skim by Mariko Tamaki, drawings by Jillian Tamaki
Kim and Lisa share almost everything and understand what the other is feeling. They argue, go to parties together, share secrets, and are both unhappy. Their lives in high school are anything but pleasant, and actually are on the dark side. A boy commits suicide because he is gay, and Kim tries to find herself in tarot cards and Wicca. Kim comes from a broken home and has to split her time between her mom and dad who has a new girl friend. A favorite teacher leaves for a different job and this affects the students. Lisa is afraid Kim is getting depressed, and she is afraid Kim will commit suicide.


Hummingbird by Kimberly Greene Angle
In spite of a busy life on the family pumpkin and watermelon farm in Jubilee, Georgia, twelve-year-old March Anne Tanner feels that something is missing, and when Grenna, the grandmother who has helped raise her since her mother died when she was three, also passes on, March Anne finds that she must act on her feelings of loss.

Well Witched

Well Witched by Frances Hardinge
Tweens Ryan, Carrie, and Josh do not realize the price they will pay when they steal coins from an old wishing well. The stolen coins bind them into the service of the spirit who inhabits the well and grants wishes. The three friends are given special powers to aid them as they begin fulfilling their obligation to the Well Spirit. They realize, however, that the spirit does not always have the wishers' best interests at heart. As Ryan and Chelle begin to disobey the Well Spirit, Josh's character takes a sinister turn as he embraces his new power.

Nurk The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew

Nurk The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew by Ursula Vernon
Nurk is a quiet homebody of a shrew. But when a mysterious plea for help arrives in the mail, he invokes the spirit of his fearless warrior-shrew grandmother, Surka, and sets off to find the sender. It seems the prince of the dragonflies has been kidnapped, and Nurk is his last hope for rescue. Such a mission would be daunting for even the biggest, baddest, and bravest of shrews, and Nurk is neither big nor bad, and only a little brave. But he does his very best--and hopes his grandmother would be proud.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

House of Many Ways

House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

A Thousand Never Evers

A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg
By the time Addie Ann Pickett, the narrator, enters junior high, she is well aware of the racial divisions in her county. She has been warned not to stay on the white side of town after the sun has set and not to "look at white folks too close." But her older brother and the local minister have different ideas and argue that "there comes a time when a man's dignity's worth more than his life." Caught between her mother's rule to stay away from trouble and the call to take action, Addie must make decisions, especially when the lives of two family members are at stake.