Friday, October 31, 2008

Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris (Theodosia)

Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris (Theodosia) by R. L. LaFevers
When mummies go missing all over London, eleven-year-old Theodosia puts aside her fight against the Serpents of Chaos to save her father, who is suspected in the thefts, all the while avoiding a string of new governesses. Visit the Theodosia Throckmorton website here.

Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls

Ten-year-old Emmy wants to be an ordinary girl, but the evil nanny Miss Barmy, now a rat, has trapped five of her former charges and when she uses them to steal jewels belonging to Emmy's parents, it is up to Emmy, Joe, and their rodent friends to stop her.

Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning

Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth
In 1970s Florida, eleven-year-old Violet's world is upturned by the arrival of a girl from Detroit who seems bent on stealing Violet's best friends.

Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head

Ten-year-old Samantha Hanson must try to control her temper and get along with her older sister if she wants to go on a vacation to the Grand Canyon, but she has some bigger problems too, like figuring out why her mother will not talk about her father, who died when Sam was very young.

Lincoln Shot: A President's Life Remembered

Lincoln Shot: A President's Life Remembered by Barry Denenberg, Christopher Bing (Illustrator)
Conceived as a one-year anniversary newspaper edition of Lincoln's assassination, this brilliant, beautiful, and bold biographical portrait of Abraham Lincoln mimics 19th-century newsprint, combining pen and ink drawings with archival photography, and period typography with articles surveying Lincoln's life. (Oversize 12 × 18 inches)

A Summer of Hummingbirds

A Summer of Hummingbirds : Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade
by Christopher E G Benfey

A story of how the interaction within a group of exceptional and uniquely talented characters shaped and changed American thought at the close of the Civil War....From the naturalist writings of abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson to the poems of his wayward pupil Emily Dickinson; into the mind of Henry Ward Beecher and within the writings and paintings of his famous sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe. A Summer of Hummingbirds unveils how, through the art of these great thinkers, the hummingbird became the symbol of an era, an image through which they could explore their controversial (and often contradictory) ideas of nature, religion, sexuality, family, time, exoticism, and beauty. (

Pocket Guide to Mischief

Pocket Guide to Mischief by Bart King, Brenda Brown (Illustrator)
The perfect addition to any prankster's collection, as well as a fun-filled how-to for the budding troublemaker in all of us. This author has a video of one of the pranks on his website, check it out here. Remember it was Will Shakespeare who said, "Mischief, thou art afoot."

On the Farm

On the Farm by David Elliott, Holly Meade (Illustrator)
David Elliott’s graceful, simple verse and Holly Meade’s exquisite woodcut and watercolor illustrations capture a world that is at once timeless yet disappearing from view — the world of the family farm.

Paper Towns

Paper Towns by John Green
One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q's neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears. Visit the internet home of John Green here.


After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives. Visit Terry Pratchett's website.

The Devil's Breath (Danger Zone)

The Devil's Breath (Danger Zone) by David Gilman
When fifteen-year-old Max Gordon's environmentalist-adventurer father goes missing while working in Namibia and Max becomes the target of a would-be assassin at his school in England, he decides he must follow his father to Africa and find him before they both are killed.


Chameleon by Charles R. Smith Jr.
The summer before starting high school in inner-city Los Angeles, fourteen-year-old Shawn grapples with his first experience of love, the complicated bonds of friends and family, and the reality of street gang violence.

A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams

A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
This picture book biography of William Carlos Williams traces childhood events that lead him to become a doctor and a poet.

STORM: The Ghost Machine

STORM: The Ghost Machine by Emma Young
The fourteen-year-old geniuses of STORM, a secret organization dedicated to eliminating the world's misery through science and technology, travel to Venice to investigate two "ghostly" burglaries and uncover a larger, more sinister plan involving teleportation, quantum computers, and a plot to assassinate the leading figures of international intelligence.

Runaway Dolls, The (The Doll People)

The Runaway Dolls (The Doll People) by Ann M Martin, Laura Godwin, Brian Selznic (Illustrator)
Best friends Annabelle and Tiffany risk placing all of doll kind in danger when they run away while trying to prevent Tilly from being sent back to London before they can determine if she is Annabelle's long-lost baby sister.

Dark Dude

Dark Dude by Oscar Hijuelos
In the 1960s, Rico Fuentes, a pale-skinned Cuban American teenager, abandons drug-infested New York City for the picket fence and apple pie world of Wisconsin, only to discover that he still feels like an outsider and that violent and judgmental people can be found even in the wholesome Midwest.

Down Sand Mountain

Down Sand Mountain by Steve Watkins
In a small Florida mining town in 1966, twelve-year-old Dewey faces one worst-day-ever after another, but comes to know that the issues he faces about bullies, girls, race, and identity are part of the adult world, as well.

Planet Pregnancy

Planet Pregnancy by Linda Oatman High
Sixteen-year-old Sahara struggles with an unplanned pregnancy, and all its conflicting emotions, in this novel told in free verse.

Flora's Dare

Flora's Dare: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room) by Ysabeau S. Wilce
Fourteen-year-old Flora Fyrdraaca fights a giant sea creature, rescues her best friend from a mass murderer, and more, all while lamenting her father's newly strict enforcement of household rules now that he is no longer drinking.

The Dragon Heir

The Dragon Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Books in this trilogy: Book 1. The Warrior heir -- Book 2. The Wizard heir -- Book 3. The Dragon heir. In Book 3 Moral compasses spin out of control as a final battle storms through a town that was meant to be a refuge.

Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash (Sammy Keyes)

Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash (Sammy Keyes) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Thirteen-year-old Sammy meets a mysterious man who dies of a heart attack after telling her to get rid of the large amount of money he is carrying, leading her to investigate who the man was and how he came to be carrying so much cash.

Ignatius MacFarland: Frequenaut!

Ignatius MacFarland: Frequenaut! by Paul Feig
After being teased one too many times, Ignatius MacFarland decides to build a rocket. Maybe extraterrestrials are nicer than his classmates! But when his rocket takes an explosive wrong turn, Ignatius ends up in another frequency run by former English-teacher-turned-dictator, Chester Arthur. Mr. Arthur has taken the art, culture, and advancements of our world, shared them with this new frequency, and convinced the creatures around him that he’s a genius. It’s up to Iggy and Karen, another trapped frequenaut, to expose Mr. Arthur for the fraud that he is – and to hopefully make it home alive.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gran, You've Got Mail!

Gran, You've Got Mail! by Jo Hoestlandt, Aurlie Abolivier (Illustrator), Y. Maudet (Translator)
Lively letters between a self-centered young girl and her wise great-grandmother reveal generational differences and a deep affection for each other.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Savage

The Savage by David Almond, Dave McKean (Illustrator)
A boy tells about a story he wrote when dealing with his father's death about a savage kid living in a ruined chapel in the woods--and the tale about the savage kid coming to life in the real world.

The Trouble with Rules

The Trouble with Rules by Leslie Bulion
Now that she is in fourth grade and is not supposed to be friends with boys anymore, Nadie must hide her friendship with Nick, her neighbor and lifelong best friend, but when a new girl arrives who believes that some rules need to be broken, Nadie learns a lot from her.

The Invasion of Sandy Bay

The Invasion of Sandy Bay by Anita Sanchez
In 1814, as the War of 1812 rages, twelve-year-old Lemuel Brooks tries to save the sleepy fishing village of Sandy Bay, Massachussetts, where he, himself, is an outsider, from bumbling British invaders. Includes historical notes.

The Hinky-Pink: An Old Tale

The Hinky-Pink: An Old Tale by Megan McDonald, Brian Floca (Illustrator), Megan McDonald (Retold by)
Summoned to the Great Castle of Firenze to create a special dress for Princess Isabella Caramella Gorgonzola, Anabel, a talented seamstress, is at first delighted but then increasingly despairing as time passes and her efforts are continually subverted by an unseen sprite.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Fifteen-year-old Andy, fed up with his alcoholic father and annoying older brother, leaves their northern Wisconsin cabin on his version of a walkabout, leaving his medications to combat depression, anxiety, and delusions behind.

Wooden Mile and Icy Hand: Something Wickedly Weird Volume 1 and Volume 2

Wooden Mile: Something Wickedly Weird Volume 1 by Chris Mould
Eleven-year-old Stanley Buggle, happily anticipating a long summer vacation in the house he inherits from his great-uncle, discovers, soon after arriving in the seemingly peaceful village of Crampton Rock, that along with the house he has also inherited some sinister neighbors, a talking stuffed fish, and a host of mysteries surrounding his great-uncle's death.

Icy Hand: Something Wickedly Weird, Vol. 2 by Chris Mould
Spending the winter at Candlestick Hall, the home he inherited from his great-uncle Bartholomew, young Stanley encounters a headless ghost, a talking fish, and a female companion who joins Stanley in a battle against "deadly" pirates bent on stealing a magical family heirloom.

Lost Sock!: 200 Clever Ways to Use Your Single Socks

Lost Sock!: 200 Clever Ways to Use Your Single Socks by Cynthia L. Copeland
200 surprising, clever, and fun uses for the lost sock, along with humorous insights into where all these missing ones may have washed off to.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

That Book Woman

That Book Woman by Heather Henson, David Small (Illustrator)
A family living in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1930s gets books to read during the regular visits of the "Book Woman"--a librarian who rides a pack horse through the mountains, lending books to the isolated residents. Read the history of the Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky here.

Ten Mile River

Ten Mile River by Paul Griffin
Having escaped from juvenile detention centers and foster care, two teenaged boys live on their own in an abandoned shack in a New York City park, making their way by stealing, occasionally working, and trying to keep from being arrested.


Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Kristi, a sophomore in an alternative high school, is aware that nearly everyone dislikes her and begins to doubt her psychic insights after learning long-held family secrets and some classmates' true feelings.

Voss: How I Come to America and Am Hero, Mostly

Voss: How I Come to America and Am Hero, Mostly by David Ives
Through a series of letters home, fifteen-year-old Vospop "Voss" Vsklzwczdztwczky shares his experiences as he is smuggled out of Slobovia in a crate of black-market cheese puffs, tries to find a job in an American city, and foils a sinister plot.

White Sands, Red Menace

White Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages
It is 1946, and Dewey Kerrigan is now living near the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with the Gordon family. Dewey and her "sister," Suze, share secrets, art, and science as they adjust to high school in an isolated desert town. Then, Dewey's long-lost mother, Rita Gallucci, reappears in their lives.

The Gold Rush Kid

The Gold Rush Kid by Mary Waldorf
When their mother dies in 1897, twelve-year-old Billy McGee and his angry, older sister leave Skagway, Alaska, to find their father who is trekking north to the Klondike to prospect for gold.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Rabbi's Cat 2

The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar, color by Brigitte Finakly
"Joann Sfar's beloved, humorous, and wise talking cat is back for more beautifully illustrated adventures in Algiers and across Africa in the 1930s. While the rabbi is away, his cat tags along with Malka of the Lions (the rabbi's enigmatic cousin), who roams the desert with his ferocious-on-demand lion. Some believe Malka to be a pious Jew, others think he's a shrewd womanizer, but the cat will be the one to discover the surprising truth. Back in Algiers, the rabbi's daughter, Zlabya, and her new husband fill the house with their fighting, while the city around them fills with a rising tide of anti-Semitism. On a whim, the rabbi's cat, the rabbi, a sheikh (also a cousin of the rabbi), and a very misplaced Russian painter set out on a fantastic journey (even encountering a young reporter named Tintin in the Congo) in search of an African Jerusalem. It turns out to be very fortuitous that the rabbi's cat is not just a talking cat, but a multilingual talking cat"--Jacket.

A Wild Ride Through the Night

A Wild Ride Through the Night : Suggested by Twenty-One Illustrations by Gustave Doré by Walter Moers
When a disaster at sea puts twelve-year-old Gustave in the hand of Death, he has the choice to give up the ghost or take on a series of six impossible tasks.

Raining Cats and Dogs: A Collection of Irresistible Idioms and Illustrations to Tickle the Funny Bones of Young People

Raining Cats and Dogs: A Collection of Irresistible Idioms and Illustrations to Tickle the Funny Bones of Young People by Will Moses, Will Moses (Illustrator)
For anyone who's ever wondered how a groom can get cold feet when he's wearing shoes and socks, or how a person can be in a pickle when pickles are so small, or how butterflies could possibly get into your stomach, Will Moses has the answers. Using his trademark folkart style along with plenty of mischief and humor, Will Moses shed some light on these often puzzling phrases, educating young readers while entertaining them in high style.


Shifty by Lynn E. Hazen
Fifteen-year-old Soli, nicknamed Shifty, keeps getting into trouble without trying, but as he strives to trust and be trusted, he grows in appreciation of his foster family and works toward putting his past behind him. Find out more about this book here.

Hit the Road, Manny (Manny Files Series)

Hit the Road, Manny (Manny Files Series) by Christian Burch
As the Dalinger family travels across America in a rented recreational vehicle, Keats grows more accepting of the attention-getting behavior of their "manny"--male nanny--especially after a visit with the manny's parents on their Wyoming ranch.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Did It Without Thinking: True Stories About Impulsive Decisions that Changed Lives

I Did It Without Thinking: True Stories About Impulsive Decisions that Changed Lives (Scholastic Choices Series) by Bob Hugel
Teenagers give their stories of impulsive decisions, their reasons for making them, and the consequences--whether good or bad.
Contents: Wired to act -- Behind bars -- Teen parents -- So long, school -- Spreading lies -- Painful and permanent -- Hero teen -- Saying no; and meaning it -- Stepping up.

Cricket Man

Cricket Man by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Thirteen-year-old Kenny secretly calls himself "Cricket Man" after a summer of rescuing creatures from his family's Bethesda, Maryland, pool, which gives him more self-confidence and an urge to be a hero, especially for his depressed sixteen-year-old neighbor, Jodie.


Kendra by Coe Booth
High schooler Kendra longs to live with her mother who, unprepared for motherhood at age fourteen, left Kendra in the care of her grandmother. Read an excerpt and found out more about the author and her books here.

Friends Forever?: Why Your Friendships are So Important

Friends Forever?: Why Your Friendships are So Important by Odile Amblard, Andrea Bussell (Editor), Andree Prigent (Illustrator)
This book helps readers define all sorts of friendships and offers tips for getting and keeping pals. Some of the most important relationships in our lives are with our friends . . . so why does friendship have to be so difficult sometimes? Is it better to have one best friend, or is there safety in numbers? What do you do if your friend turns his or her back on you? And can boys and girls really be “just friends”? Friends Forever? helps teens get to the bottom of these questions and more while helping them understand another key friendship: the one they are trying to have with themselves.

Forever Young

Forever Young by Bob Dylan, Illustrated by Paul Rogers
Bob Dylan's classic 1974 anthem Forever Young is reimagined by award-willing illustrator Rogers. In this picture book, the lyrics follow the story of a young boy who travels through Dylan's life, living in the footsteps of a musical legend.

Window Boy

Window Boy by Andrea White
After his mother finally convinces the principal of Greenfield Junior High to admit him, twelve-year-old Sam arrives for his first day of school, along with his imaginary friend Winston Churchill, who encourages him to persevere with his cerebral palsy.

Two Miserable Presidents: Everything Your Textbooks Didn't Tell You About the American Civil War

Two Miserable Presidents: Everything Your Textbooks Didn't Tell You About the American Civil War by Steve Sheinkin, Tim Robinson (Illustrator)
May 22, 1856: a member of Congress from South Carolina walks into the Senate chamber, looking for trouble. That Congressman, Preston Brooks, was ready to attack Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts over remarks Sumner made slamming senators who supported slavery in Kansas. Brooks lifted his cane to beat Sumner, and here the action in the book stops, so that Steve Sheinkin can explain just where this confrontation started. In the process, he unravels the complicated string of events – the small things, the personal ones, the big issues– that led to The Civil War. It is a time and a war that threatened America’s very existence, revealed in the surprising true stories of the soldiers and statesmen who battled it out.