Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book

Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book by Yuyi Morales
As Senor Calavera prepares for Grandma Beetle's birthday he finds an alphabetical assortment of unusual presents, but with the help of Zelmiro the Ghost, he finds the best gift of all. Find out more about this author/illustrator here.

The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop (Humpty Dumpty, Jr., Hard Boiled Detective)

The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop (Humpty Dumpty, Jr., Hard Boiled Detective) by Nate Evans, Paul Hindman, Vince Evans
When hard-shelled detective Humpty Dumpty, Jr. investigates the break-in of the Pat-a-Cake Bakery and the kidnapping of its owner, the trail of clues leads to a ne'er-do-well pancake.

The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones

The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones by Hemphill Helen
Thirteen-year-old Prometheus Jones and his eleven-year-old cousin Omer flee Tennessee and join a cattle drive that will eventually take them to Texas, where Prometheus hopes his father lives, and they find adventure and face challenges as African Americans in a land still recovering from the Civil War.

Twelve Terrible Things

Twelve Terrible Things by Marty Kelley
Grownups who wax nostalgic about their youth are given a visual tour through twelve terrible experiences of childhood, including bedtime monsters and scary aunties. This author has an amazing webpage full of art and humor.

Milagros: Girl from Away

Milagros: Girl from Away by Meg Medina
Twelve-year-old Milagros barely survives an invasion of her tiny, Caribbean island home, escapes with the help of mysterious sea creatures, reunites briefly with her pirate-father, and learns about a mother's love when cast ashore on another island. Read an excerpt from Milagros here.


Lexi by L. S. Matthews
When twelve-year-old Lexi wakes up in the middle of a forest with no memory of her name or anything else, she slowly reconstructs her forgotten life with the help of some shelter workers, an ex-boxer, and her long-lost grandmother.

The Mysterious Universe: Supernovae, Dark Energy, and Black Holes

The Mysterious Universe: Supernovae, Dark Energy, and Black Holes by Ellen Jackson, Nic Bishop (Photographer)
Follow Dr. Alex Fillippenko and his High-Z Supernova Search Team to Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, where they will study space phenomena and look for supernovae, dying stars that explode with the power of billions of hydrogen bombs. Dr. Fillippenko looks for black holes--areas in space with such a strong gravitational pull that no matter or energy can escape from them--with his robotic telescope. And they study the effects of dark energy, the mysterious force that scientists believe is pushing the universe apart, causing its constant and accelerating expansion.

The Song of Pentecost

The Song of Pentecost by W.J. Corbett (Author), Martin Ursell (Illustrator)
The first book of a trilogy, and winner of the 1982 Whitbread Award. Pentecost leads his tribe of harvest mice from their polluted home to a new place of safety in the hills. Some unsavoury characters are encountered on the way, and the journey is not accomplished without hazard and loss.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Last Invisible Boy

The Last Invisible Boy by Evan Kuhlman, J. P. Coovert (Illustrator)
In the wake of his father's sudden death, twelve-year-old Finn feels he is becoming invisible as his hair and skin become whiter by the day, and so he writes and illustrates a book to try to understand what is happening and to hold on to himself and his father.


Mattland by Hazel Hutchins, Gail Herbert, Dusan Petricic (Illustrator)
Matt's new subdivision is nothing but rocks and mud, but with help from his imagination and friends he maps out a new world. This artist might inspire you, check out Dusan Petricic on Google Images.

The Lump of Coal

The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
A lump of coal that wants to be an artist, but would settle for making decorative marks on a piece of grilled meat, rolls out of a forgotten bag of charcoal one winter and takes a spin through town seeking a miracle.

1001 Cranes

1001 Cranes by Naomi Hirahara
With her parents on the verge of separating, a devastated twelve-year-old Japanese American girl spends the summer in Los Angeles with her grandparents, where she folds paper cranes into wedding displays, becomes involved with a young skateboarder, and learns how complicated relationships can be.

Tale of Despereaux Movie Tie-In Graphic Novel

Tale of Despereaux Movie Tie-In Graphic Novel by Kate DiCamillo, Matt Smith, David Tilton
The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.

The Indigo King (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica #3)

The Indigo King (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica #3) by James A. Owen
When, in 1931, there is a breach between this world and the Archipelago of Dreams, John and Jack, two of the Caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica, must race through history using a time travel device left by Jules Verne, and discover the identity of the Cartographer.

I Feel a Foot!

I Feel a Foot! by Maranke Rinck & Martijn van der Linden
Five animal friends, awakened by a strange noise, discover a creature in the dark that seems to be a giant-sized version of each of them.

Lost Childhood: My Life in a Japanese Prison Camp During World War II

Lost Childhood: My Life in a Japanese Prison Camp During World War II by Herman J. Viola, Annelex Hofstra Layson
In a straightforward honest narrative, a former prisoner-of-war tells how her family, along with ten thousand other Dutch residents living in the Dutch East Indies were shipped off to interment camps where food rationing, terrible sanitary conditions, and an uncertain future were the norms for more than three years.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Spuds by Karen Hesse, Wendy Watson (Illustrator)
Maybelle, Jack, and Eddie want to help Ma by putting something extra on the table, so they set out in the dark to take potatoes from a nearby field, but when they arrive home and empty their potato sacks, they are surprised by what they see.


Guardian by Julius Lester
In a rural southern town in 1946, a white man and his son witness the lynching of an innocent black man. Includes historical note on lynching.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl Series, #6) by Eoin Colfer
Artemis's mother has contracted a deadly disease -- and the only cure lies in the brain fluid of African lemurs. Unfortunately, Artemis himself was responsible for making the lemurs extinct five years ago. Now he must enlist the aid of his fairy friends to travel back in time and save them. Not only that, but he must face his deadliest foe yet...his younger self.

Melvin Might? (Jon Scieszka's Trucktown Series)

Melvin Might? (Jon Scieszka's Trucktown Series) by Jon Scieszka, David Gordon (Illustrator), David Shannon (Illustrator), Loren Long (Illustrator)
Melvin, a cautious cement mixer, worries that he can't keep up with the other trucks, but when Rescue Rita needs to be rescued, he overcomes his worries and fears in order to help her.

Amazing Peace : A Christmas Poem

Amazing Peace : A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou, Steve Johnson (Illustrator) , Lou Fancher (Illustrator)
Maya Angelou inspires us to embrace the peace and promise of Christmas, so that hope and love can once again light up our holidays and the world. “Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers, look heavenward,” she writes, “and speak the word aloud. Peace.”


Bird by Zetta Elliott, Shadra Strickland (Illustrator)
Bird, an artistic young African American boy, expresses himself through drawing as he struggles to understand his older brother's drug addiction and death, while a family friend, Uncle Son, provides guidance and understanding.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fern Verdant and the Silver Rose

Fern Verdant and the Silver Rose by Diana Leszczynski
Fern Verdant's mother, a famous botanist, disappears just before Fern's thirteenth birthday, and when Fern discovers that she has inherited the ability to communicate with plants, she realizes that this is the only way she will be able to find and save her mother.

It's Complicated: The American Teenager

It's Complicated: The American Teenager by Robin Bowman (Photographer), Robert Coles (Afterword)
In searing and intimate contemporary photographs, the book charts the coming of age of the largest generation ever in America, almost double the 1960s baby boomers. Her intimate photographs invite individuals to look more closely at how complex challenges facing a rising generation of Americans have informed individual identities. The photographs also ask us to reconcile preconceived ideas and stereotypes of teenagers with the diversity of individuals in the portraits. The 77 million teenagers now or soon to enter high school are the Gen Y, following on another 50 million they called Gen X. This book is about the inside lives of these kids and how they see their reality.

Tiger Moon

Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis, translated from German by Anthea Bell
Sold to be the eighth wife of a rich and cruel merchant, Safia, also called Raka, tries to escape her fate by telling stories of Farhad the thief, his companion Nitish the white tiger, and their travels across India to retrieve a famous jewel that will save a kidnapped princess from becoming the bride of a demon king.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Tugging String: A Novel about Growing up during the Civil Rights Era

A Tugging String: A Novel about Growing up during the Civil Rights Era by David Greenberg
A fictionalized account of the author's years growing up in Great Neck, New York, during the turbulent civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, when African Americans were struggling to attain equality, with his father, who was a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Includes commentary from the author's father, Jack Greenberg.

A Dog on His Own

A Dog on His Own by Mary Jane Auch
After a daring escape from the animal shelter, Pearl, Peppy, and K-10--so named because he is one step above all the other canines--explore the outside world while moving from one adventure to another. Find out more about the author Mary Jane Auch and all her books here.

Tender Morsels

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
A young woman who has endured unspeakable cruelties is magically granted a safe haven apart from the real world and allowed to raise her two daughters in this alternate reality, until the barrier between her world and the real one begins to break down.

The Chimera's Curse (Companions Quartet, Book Four)

The Chimera's Curse (Companions Quartet, Book Four) by Julia Golding
Connie and Col band together to save the world for all creatures, including the mythical ones of which few humans are aware, from the shape-shifter Kullervo's army and, along the way, Connie finds herself transformed in an amazing way. Visit the website of the Companions Club and find out more about this series.

The Deep Freeze of Bartholomew Tullock

The Deep Freeze of Bartholomew Tullock by Alex Williams
In a land of never-ending snow, Rufus Breeze and his mother must protect the family home from being seized by tyrant Bartholomew Tullock, while sister Madeline and her father, an inventor of fans that are now useless, join forces with a ne'er-do-well adventurer and his blue-haired terrier, hoping to make some money. This author has invited you to check out his website here.

Manga Shakespeare: Macbeth

Manga Shakespeare: Macbeth by Robert Deas, Richard Appignanesi
Retells, in comic book format, Shakespeare's play about a man who kills his king after hearing the prophesies of three witches.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains or The Search for a Suitable Princess

Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains or The Search for a Suitable Princess by Laurel Snyder, Greg Call (Illustrator)
Lucy, a milkmaid, and her best friend Wynston, a reluctant prince, go in search of information about Lucy's missing mother--even though Wynston is supposed to be searching for a proper princess to marry.

Dr. Frankenstein's Human Body Book

Dr. Frankenstein's Human Body Book: The Monstrous Truth about How Your Body Works by Richard Walker, Penny Preston (Consultant)
Young readers are invited to Dr. Frankenstein's freaky lab to help him reconstruct a human body from the skeleton out. This innovative, chunky format offers bold imagery and includes an incredible special effect on the cover.

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel by Cynthia Rylant, Jen Corace (Illustrator)
A retelling of the well-known tale in which two children lost in the woods find their way home despite an encounter with a wicked witch who wants to eat them.

The War of the Witches

The War of the Witches by Maite Carranza, Noel Baca Castex (Translator)
When her mother disappears, fourteen-year-old Anaíd sets out on a dangerous journey after learning that her mother is a witch, prophesied to be the chosen one to end an ancient war between two feuding clans.

The Monster Who Ate Darkness

The Monster Who Ate Darkness by Joyce Dunbar, Jimmy Liao (Illustrator)
Why can't Jo-Jo go to sleep? He doesn't like the darkness under the bed --a monster might be hiding there. And one is! It's a tiny speck of a monster with a huge appetite for darkness, gobbling it up under the bed, in every nook and cranny, and in the wide world outside, growing bigger with every bite. Soon there is no darkness left anywhere, from the earth to the stars. All the world is light, but the monster still has an empty feeling inside. Only a sleepless boy will help him be fulfilled at last.

The Running Man

The Running Man by Michael Gerard Bauer
Fourteen-year-old Joseph reluctantly agrees to draw a portrait of his reclusive neighbor, Tom, for a class assignment, and over time, like the silkworms Tom raises, both men come out of their cocoons and face their fears.

Pet Dragon: A Story about Adventure, Friendship, and Chinese Characters

Pet Dragon: A Story about Adventure, Friendship, and Chinese Characters by Christoph Niemann, Christoph Niemann (Illustrator)
When Lin's beloved pet dragon disappears, she searches for him far and wide until a witch helps her to reach the dragon's new home. Introduces a different Chinese character on each step of Lin's adventure.

Voices in First Person: Reflections on Latino Identity

Voices in First Person: Reflections on Latino Identity by Lori Marie Carlson, Flavio Morais (Illustrator), Manuel Rivera-Ortiz (Photographer)
A collection of brief fictional pieces about the experiences of Latinos in the United States, by such writers as Sandra Cisneros, Gary Soto, Oscar Hijuelos, and others.

Shoulder a Coffin, Kuro, Volume 1

Shoulder a Coffin, Kuro, Volume 1 by Satoko Kiyuduki
Kuro, a little tomboy garbed in pitch-black with a little-tomboy-sized coffin on her back, heads out on a journey to find a certain witch. In the company of her faithful bat friend, Zen, Kuro encounters all manners of people and places which fire the readers' imaginations.

A Very Improbable Story

A Very Improbable Story: A Math Adventure by Edward Einhorn, Adam Gustavson (Illustrator)
Waking up one morning to find a talking cat on his head, Ethan is informed that the cat will not leave until he - Ethan - wins a game of probability.

Arab in America

Arab in America by Toufic El Rassi
The eye-opening story of the life of an average Arab-American struggling with his identity in an increasingly hostile nation. Using the graphic novel as his medium, Lebanon-born Toufic El Rassi chronicles his experience growing up Arab in America. Keen observations, clever insights and painful honesty make El Rassi's work shine as a critical 21st century memoir.

The Bite of the Mango

The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara, Susan McClelland
Mariatu Kamara led a carefree childhood growing up in a small rural village in Sierra Leone, until the fateful day she was sent to fetch food from a nearby village. One there, armed rebels attacked, many no older than 12 year-old Mariatu herself. The Young Rebels brutally cur off Mariatu's hands. She survived to begin a journey that took her from the African bush to begging in the streets of Freetown, and ultimately to a new life in North America.