Once again, Polly Horvath delivers a satisfying and entirely unpredictable tale! To Franny, WWII seems very far away from her home on Vancouver Island . . . until her neighbor starts sending secret messages from an airbase, then disappears, and his kids are left with Franny and her parents. Mystery and magic start to permeate Franny’s everyday world. Did a mermaid rescue the local hermit? Was that a UFO flying around town? Are there ghosts in the kitchen, messages on the radio, and a psychic in the kitchen? And what will happen if Franny and her visitors set foot in the forbidden Night Garden?
This is a modern retelling of the classic: Little Women. It follows four sisters Meg, Jo, Beth & Amy throughout a year of their lives. With their father overseas & their mom working at a community center, it can be hard to make ends meet. Still, the four sisters go through life & try to tackle the things it throws at them. This book is great for those who have & have not the original. For those who have read the original, this a refreshing retelling (believe me, I read the classics!) with a modern twist. I loved reading it & seeing how some of the events were changed to be more modern. For those who haven’t read it, this is a great way to be introduced to this story. And for anyone, this is a sweet & easy read that pulls at your heart.
— Jenna U., Age 13
A great start to a clever new series! Lucy has a pressing need to learn how to code- but when she joins the coding club at her school she discovers that it might not be something she can rush. This story shows girls that many important things- coding, friendship, school- can take time, patience, and hard work. It also makes a fun introduction to loops, variables, input/output, and conditionals!
When I read this, I had no clue that The Fourth Ruby was book 2 of the Section 13 series. I just plowed through it because I loved it—a super-clever fantasy/adventure. I was intrigued that part of Jack’s character parallels the author’s—both have an existing condition, a super power I’d call it, to be hyper-observant because of synesthesia. And this “super power” helps Jack figure out & solve quite a few problems in the story in a unique way. Do start with book 1: The Lost Property Office, & when you finish, you know book 2 is already waiting, & James Hannibal is busy at work on book 3!
Here’s a great story about Kaylan & Arianna—BFF—who are starting middle school. They have one goal: complete eleven things before they turn twelve! However, many obstacles come in between & they must learn to keep their friendship strong. I really enjoyed this book because it was funny, while also being relatable. I recommend it to anyone, but especially for those about to start middle school.
- Lucy F., age 12
Karma is about to enter the 6th grade and it seems everything is changing; her body; her best friend; her school; her family. Everything! And to top it all off Karma has noticed hair growing on her upper lip. OMG-What to do? How to handle all of this and remain true to the "self" instilled in her by her grandmother Dadima? Go on this journey with Karma. You will recognize her struggle and also the inner strength and confidence that show her the path to resolution. Very fun and satisfying
Do you like to read? Alec does, a lot. Do you ever get lost in a book? Alec does, often. Do you ever want to be left alone so that you can read in peace? Alec does. His solution? To start an after school club that no one will want to join. Boy, was he wrong! In some stories, when everything goes wrong, there’s room for an unexpected ending that is just right.
Must Begonia take care of everything? A lazy sister, a runaway cow, greedy villains, a missing Emperor.
But she does have help: A magical map, an unusual mustard pot, interfering ancestor spirits and a boy named "Key" who is good at finding things.
Can Begonia save an empire and find her cow? Find out in this fast-paced adventure!
Zoey has a dream to open a restaurant and not just anywhere, she wants to use a trolley car! However, there are many others who don’t want that and try to stop her. That’s what I like about this story - Zoey never gives up! This book includes real recipes you can make. Recommended to anyone who likes to cook. Also, if you like this story then try Diane Muldrow’s Dish series.
— YuJi, age 9
Picky eaters? Maybe they need to get more involved with the process of cooking—maybe they even need to try out different spices! This fantastic book has lots of fun information about places around the world, and easy delicious new ways to prepare food your kids will recognize. Not too many recipes make this the perfect first cookbook or a second great cookbook for your little foodie.
Eric Harper has lived in his family’s part of the woods his whole life. So, of course, he has heard the stories of a white deer. One night, when he spots a “white some- thing,” he follows it…to his new neighbor’s veterinarian clinic. There he discovers that the creature is a unicorn! And his neighbors take care of magical creatures like this all the time. After swearing to secrecy, Eric begins to work with the stern, but caring, Dr. B, & her not-so-caring daughter, Allegra. Of course, not everything in Eric’s life is as great as a unicorn. I really liked this book because it was sweet & drove home the point that life can get very hectic—something relatable to all of us. And reading it was like a roller coaster ride because I was continually Smacked in the Face with feelings! Obviously, it had magical creatures too…which is always a plus!
- Jenna U., age 13
This fantastic book teaches us that there will always be bumps in the road. At 14 Hollow road, the bump is a tornado that comes through on the same days as Maddie’s 6th grade dance—a dance that Maddie wanted to go perfectly. Through this story we see that good can grow from bad. That bumps can bring us closer to family & friends. Jenn Bishop did an amazing job writing this novel & sending out an important message that we all can benefit from!
-Emma T., age 11
Imagine living in the year 2065 and discovering letters from the 1900s. Now, imagine that the lives of the people who wrote the letters are somehow interconnected with your own… Midnight at the Electric is not just another book related to time travel. Instead, the novel differentiates itself through Anderson’s eloquent dialogue and through the book's statement on what it truly means to be a living, breathing human being, no matter the era.
I’ve always thought that James Patterson understood kids in middle school, but this book took it to a whole other level. David (Stoopid) & his best friend Michael (Potty-mouth) used to be completely normal kids until they both messed up & got stuck with the silly nicknames. Most kids with nick-names like these don’t amount to much, but the names take these two on a wild journey that actually ends up making them famous, thanks to David’s divorced father, who David calls his “ex-dad.” How will Michael & David handle this newfound fame, swearing parents & lifelong bullies? Find out in Pottymouth & Stoopid!
-Quinn D., age 10
Grab your Rubik’s Cube and your favorite energy drink, and settle in for a fantastic action thriller!
Secrets surround thirteen year old William, but none haunt him as much as his grandfather’s disappearance. Having inherited his code-cracking genius from his grandfather, William will have to use those talents to find him (if he's not already dead) even as he learns that the biggest puzzle is his own story.
Diamond smuggling. Graffiti. Parkour. What’s that? You’ve never heard of parkour? Look it up because it is so cool.
Along the train lines north of NYC, twelve-year-old neighbors Myla & Peter search for the link between Myla’s necklace & the disappearance of Peter’s brother, Randall. Soon Myla and Peter encounter a band of thugs who are after the same thing as Randall. Can Myla and Peter find him before it’s too late? With highly authentic, relatable characters, this is one book that once you start reading it, you won’t want to stop! This is a great story for both guys and girls.
Have your hot chocolate ready BEFORE you start reading this book, because I guarantee you won’t want to stop reading to make a cup once you’ve begun. In a delightful (and delicious) tale of friendship and growing up, Aventurine is a young dragon whose scales aren’t hard enough to protect her yet. Tired of being stuck at home, she runs away to prove herself. When she tries to eat a human, the delicious smell of chocolate he is cooking reaches her nostrils first and instead, she drinks his hot chocolate. It is the most wonderful thing she has tasted, and yet when she wakes she finds it was enchanted and now she’s a human girl. Feeling like she has failed her family, Aventurine travels to the closest city in search of more chocolate and, with the help of a new friend and a chocolatier boss, she finds so much more than just chocolate.
I loved this book! There was so much history that I didn’t know before. Some parts were even a little funny to keep you interested! The perfect combination. This book teaches you about the Marquise de Lafayette, the legend of Molly Pitcher, the Culper Spy Ring, and so many more facts you wouldn’t find anywhere else. I recommend this book for people interested in the American Revolution or just interested in being smarter than their teachers! I love this book!
—Kennedy, age 9
“Merpups” Lilly and Fin will win your heart. They slip past the boundaries of where they are allowed to go, and meet up with some unsavory characters Roald Dahl might have invented. Lavishly illustrated throughout, with some fun activities suggested when the story is finished, it’s the perfect summer read.
Navigating her parents divorce has been quite tricky for Winnie, who honestly is just trying to get through 5th grade. After three days with mom and three days with dad, Wednesday is the only day she gets to herself. When she decides to barricade herself in her treehouse and her friends join her, the epic battle begins. Will the parents listen to the kids' demands?
What a tremendously entertaining, tightly crafted and just down-right clever mystery. Toby's detective uncle is struggling to make ends meet. So when the famous detective, Hugh Abernathy, hosts a contest to win $10,000, Toby knows he must enter (even if Uncle Gabriel forbids it) or risk being sent to the orphanage. While on his quest, Toby is joined by the slightly odd and difficult Ivy...after all it's her family's home where the contest is being held. But soon he's glad for her help as well as her eventual friendship. Equal time is given to Toby and Ivy which makes this a great read for guys and girls. Caroline Carlson's writing gets better with every book.
The witty chapter titles alone are reason enough to read this hilarious adventure set in 1724 England. Avi has created a cast of rich and complex characters in a spellbinding tale, with a guaranteed sequel that I am anxiously waiting for.
Buck loves the series: The Triumphant Gnome Syndicate. He knows the trivia, the facts about the Troll Vanquishing Mace & the snack custard the Gnome likes. On the night of the release party, the author goes missing. Everyone goes crazy. Will they ever find the author or will he be missing forever? I give this book 20 trillion stars! Best Book Ever and I recommend you get it!
Jesse, age 9
In the first book from Bill Nye the Science Guy and Gregory Moan, Jack and his genius foster siblings Ava and Matt travel to Antarctica for a science competition! Jack, Ava, Matt, and their partner Dr. Hank Witherspoon find that a fellow scientist has gone missing, and all her research with her. This science-based mystery, is funny and suspenseful-- great for both reluctant and enthusiastic readers! Each book in the series has a super-cool science experiment project in the back, Jack and the Geniuses has one on density.
When FunJungle’s latest addition, a giant panda, goes missing, FunJungle goes into a frenzy. Even the FBI show up at the scene of the crime. Teddy Fitzroy is (for once) happy to leave the detective work up to the FBI — that is, until he is black-mailed into working on the case. Full to the brim with twists, turns, and stolen bathing suits, this is sure to be an enjoyable read.
-Matthew X., age 12
A young girl, who has lost her mother and baby brother in a tragic accident, helps provide for her struggling family by foraging in the woods – a place of comfort that she used to share with her mom. When a fracking operation comes to town and plans to use the woods for their wastewater pond, she learns how to see both sides of not only situations and people, but how to forgive and give second chances.
Thirteen-year-old Stevie loses her parents in a tragic accident and must go live with her estranged grandfather at the Texas Sunrise Motel. What follows is nothing short of miraculous as Stevie changes the lives of everyone she meets! A book filled with love, loss and finding your way, a must read!
Superb accessible poetry with colorful mix-media images, the incomparable Kwame Alexander delivers a thoughtful collection. Short biographies of the celebrated poets complete the collection.
The newest book from award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly is a funny, poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships. Told from four intertwining points of view - -two boys and two girls - Hello, Universe celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero). Perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Thanhha Lai, Rita Williams-Garcia and other realistic fiction authors!