August (Auggie) Pullman is different from other ten year old kids. Born with a rare congenital condition resulting in startling facial deformities, he has a not so ordinary face that invites curiosity and criticism, as well as compassion. He leaves the bubble of his loving and safe home-schooled environment to attend fifth grade at Beecher Prep in New York City. For one year, readers follow Auggie as he stumbles through the minefields of adolescence: vulnerable in a school culture where being different is an oddity not
At thirteen, Tula wonders "how many slaves / Mama will buy with the money / she gains by marrying me to / the highest bidder." Loosely based on the early life of the Cuban novelist and human rights advocate Gertrudis Gmez de Avellaneda (1814-73) who was nicknamed Tula, this novel in verse follows her through a dangerous open rebellion against 19th century slavery in Cuba and a personal fight to resist an arranged marriage. During this time in Cuban history, the most open rebels were poets like Gmez de Avellaneda. This award winning novel is recommended for gra
Odette is an only child living with her parents when Paris is invaded by Nazi's. Her father enlists in the French Army, leaving Odette and her mother living with food shortages and constant fear of being taken prisoner. Odette is sent to live in the countryside, hiding in plain sight while living with a family and pretending to be Christian. Her journey takes her on a personal search for her own religious identity. This work of historical fiction was inspired by the autobiography of Odette Meyers, an adult book titled
It's the summer of 1871 in the small town of Placid, Wisconsin when 13 year old Georgia Burkhardt, a rugged girl with a bullseye shot, sets out to find the truth behind her older sister, Agatha's disappearance. Georgia knew that she had something to do with her sister's broken engagement to a wealthy older gentleman but Georgia didn't expect Agatha to run off like that. After the town sheriff is sent to find Agatha and bring her home, he returns with an unrecognizable body wearing Agatha's dress. Everyone in the family but Georgia, accept
November has been designated National Native American Heritage Month. Even if it weren’t, I would still sing the praises of this wonderful book and its sequels. The Birchbark House introduces the reader to Omakayas (“Little Frog”), a young Ojibwa girl living on what is now known as Madeline Island, Wisconsin, on Lake Superior in the 1840’s.
If you believe that zombies are only in scary stories or movies…think again. If you are grossed out at the thought of creatures that take over the bodies and brains of other creatures, this review--let alone this book--is not for you. Just walk away.
Is your best never good enough? Do you keep trying and trying and still the people you are trying to help trash your efforts? Then you might find accidental superhero Lin fascinating as she brings her writings to life with the push of a button when she becomes the hero from her books. With flash photography as her superhero weakness, Lin a.k.a. AC makes an interesting if unsure teen champion whose cell phone uses binary code to transform her into a superhero.
This work of historical fiction is based on a true story of a boy who spied for the Resistance during the 1940 Nazi occupation of Norway.Espen is an average teenager whose life is caught up in a time in history that is anything but typical.Before the occupation he spent his days at school, playing soccer or participating in Scouts.
Twelve-years-old Zach tells his lifelong friends Poppy and Alice that he is giving up playing fantasy games with their dolls and action figures, telling them that “you can’t play pretend forever”.Poppy and Alice don’t know that Zach’s father has thrown his action figures out and told him that “it’s time you grew up”.However, Poppy tells Zach and Alice that their game can
Home alone during a fierce thunderstorm; Emily hears a loud thud on the roof of her top-floor Manhattan apartment. Bravely investigating, she finds a badly wounded Pegasus and learns not only that Olympus is real, but that something terrible has been happening there. Enlisting the help of surly schoolmate Joel, Emily tries desperately to keep Pegasus a secret and still get him the help he needs to heal.
This story follows where The Shifterended. In Blue Fire, our heroine, 15-year-old Nya, begins with the same goal that she had in The Shifter – to keep the people she loves safe. Unfortunately, because of her unique ability to shift pain from one person to another, this is tougher than it sounds. Tali, Nya’s sister, and the other takers are hiding in Geveg from the evil invading Duke of Baser. He is hunting for Nya and the taker
I found this book on a table near the new book shelves at the library. I picked it up in order to put it back on the shelf, but the cover caught my eye. I peeked inside, and before I knew it, I was off on an adventure complete with danger, magic, aliens, robots, monsters, mutants, battles, humor, and a tiny bit of romance (but not too much).
In a letter to her English teacher Lizzy Mortimer tells her story about how she discovered that she was a Death Catcher, formally known as “The Hands of Fate”, like her grandmother. She has this gift to see the future death of people that are close to her. She finds out that she is related to Morgan le Faye and the sisters of Avalon. She uncovers the Arthurian origins of her destiny and is charged with saving the last descendant of King Arthur from an untimely death that would endanger the world. This last descendant of King Arthur is he
“Line up every kind of plant and animal on Earth…and one of every four will be a beetle.” So begins the Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins, a treasure trove of fascinating facts about beetles the world over, including information about body structure, life cycles, communication, defenses, and other beetle behaviors.
Imagine being in charge of a jackalope with razor-sharp antlers and being pursued by government agents. Professor Twitchett abandons his animal science experiment in Jeremy’s room and disappears. Where can he hide “Jack”? Not the clothes hamper. Jack shreds clothes, including Jeremy’s underwear. What do you feed a killer bunny? Well, Jack loves whiskey, so Jeremy robs minibars to keep him placated.
This psychological thriller was published in 2005, but it remains one of my favorites. Seventeen year old, Doug Hanson lacks social skills, making him a target at school. The only "perfect" relationship he has is with his next door neighbor and boyhood friend, Andy Morrow who is a popular football player.
Amy and Dan Cahill, with their friends, Atticus and Jake Rosenbloom, are on the run from Interpol. They have no choice but to fulfill every demand of Vesper One or else one of the hostages will die. They are ordered to steal the world’s largest diamond from one of Berlin’s famous museums. If they do not succeed, what will become of them or the hostages?
On August 28, 1963, almost 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his powerful and iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. The “Dream” portion of the stirring speech provides the narrative for this picture book, illustrated with inspired and inspiring paintings by Caldecott Honor Award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. Nelson includes portraits of Dr.
"Mission Unstoppable" is the exciting first book in the Genius Files series by Dan Gutman. Coke and Pepsi are twins who are being chased across the country by people who want to kill them! In the first chapter alone, the twins are jumping off a cliff to save their lives...you want to know more, don't you?
This fun series is recommended for grades 5 and up.
Middle school student and troublemaker Donovan Curtis is well known for his pranks around school. Due to a big mistake and miscommunication, Donovan is transferred from his "normal" middle school to the "Academy for Scholastic Distinction" for highly gifted students. Multiple characters, including adults, take turns telling the story, and it becomes clear than Donovan doesn't belong at ASD due to his ungifted status, but could it be that the students at ASD need Donovan, as he slowly leads them to normalcy?
In this second book, Goldie Roth is accompanied by her friends from the first book on another adventure. New characters are introduced and assist Goldie and Toadspit in their adventure. Goldie is reluctant to become the fifth Keeper of the mysterious Museum of Dunt. Even though she wants to be a keeper, she feels a duty to protect and take care of her sick parents.
Seventh grader, Marley Sidelski is a self-described geek and Star Trek fan. He gets a lot of practice running from school bullies. In fact, he's so good a running that he gets the attention of the gym teacher, who wants him on the track team. Finally, Marley gets a taste of popularity, in this less than believable but very funny book about surviving middle school. Recommended for grades 5-8.
This easy to read mystery takes place in an unusual setting. The story depicts the legends centering on Iowa City’s Oakland Cemetery’s Black Angel monument. Linc (Lincoln Raintree Crenshaw), 12-years-old, and his mother, Lottie Landers, an absent-minded professor who studies burial customs, live in a house bordering the cemetery. Linc’s struggle in starting public school and leaving his private Home-Away-From-Home School, known as the Ho-Hos brings many challenges.
Fourteen-year-old Mike, a mathematically-challenged young man with dyscalculia, unfortunately has a brilliant engineer/professor father. Mike is forced to live with relatives he has never met for six weeks in summer while his father teaches in Romania. Mike’s father hopes that his son will improve his math and engineering skills by working on a local project.
Life wasn't easy for anyone during the Great Depression, but it could be even harder if you were African American. In this work of historical fiction, Hibernia a preacher's daughter, dreams of becoming a singer. Willie is recovering from a burn that will keep him from fulfilling his dream of becoming a boxer. Otis, an orphan, is struggling to find happiness but finds comfort in his family's radio and the sense of humor that was passed down to him from his father.
Book 1 of the Books of Beginning Series. This fantasy adventure story starts off with the main characters, Kate - 14, Michael-12, and Emma – 11 left as orphans when they were taken from their home at night during Christmas. The children are passed from one orphanage to another within a ten year span until they end up at a secluded orphanage operated by Dr. Stanislaus Pym. The mansion is located in the remote town of Cambridge Falls and the children find out they are the only ones there.
Author, Helen Frost elegantly hides poetic verse within a three part story told through the internal monologues of two girls whose paths will coincidentally cross twice in life. Darra and Wren, both ages 14, recognize each other at summer camp.
Newbery award winner Avi (2003 for Crispin: The Cross of Lead) creates a captivating adventure set in his hometown of New York City in 1893. Life is a hardscrabble existence for Maks and his immigrant family: poverty, illness, threats of gangs, shortage of food, filthy living conditions, and dependence on an unfamiliar society. Thirteen-year-old Maks sells newspapers to earn a few pennies a day which sets him up as a target of the Plug Ugly Gang.
This is a tragic story of a wild, white Manchurian pony’s capture by men and his forced life of serving cruel owners, and later becoming part of an historic journey--the 1910 Terra Nova polar expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Robert Scott. James Pigg, as he is named after a book character, tells his story from his pony point of view. He finds kindness and friendship in Patrick, one of Scott’s men, and decides to work hard to help men accomplish their goal.
Illustrator Ed Young, winner of the Caldecott Medal for his book Lon Po Po, tells the unique story of his childhood in wartime China through award-winning author Libby Koponen. Young’s father, Baba, an engineer, devises a way of protecting his wife and five children and numerous other relatives and friends by constructing a bomb-proof house that becomes a playground for the children complete with a swimming pool.
An inspirational and engaging biography of award-winning author, Avi. The story of how he became fondly known as only “Avi”, which is not his real name, is revealed. It describes his poor childhood in New York during the war years and how he learned to survive. He fights a lifelong battle with dysgraphia. (“Dysgraphic people have trouble writing. They mix up or invert letters and misspell words.” p.