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Explorer: The Mystery Boxes
edited by Kazu Kibuishi – Ages 9 and up
Seven graphic novel artists tackle the question, “What’s in the box?” – each with a different short story told in comic form. (Kazu Kibuishi, Raina Telgemeier (Smile), and Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), as well as Jason Caffoe, Stuart Livingston, Johane Matte, Rad Sechrist, and Emily Carroll.) I loved the surprise of each artist’s story, as well as the answer to the question.
by Jorge Aguirre illustrated by Rafael Rosado – Ages 7 and up
Claudette is a dragon slaying, mischievous girl who tricks her little brother and her best friend (a princess) into questing to kill the dragon. It’s a delightful story, I loved every second of it. And, don’t worry, there is no killing of any dragons. Your boys and girls will love this one — I just gave it to a third grader reluctant reader and his mom said he’s already on his third time through.
The Agency 3: The Traitor in the Tunnel
by Y.S. Lee – Ages 12 and up
Non-dystopian alert! Finally, a historical fiction – mystery SERIES to love! This third book in the stellar Mary Quinn mystery series is a delightful story. The premise is an orphan, Mary, is recruited by a clandestine detective agency of women, an agency who is very successful because no one would suspect women to be spies. Mary goes undercover in Queen Victoria’s palace while facing other issues – one of a love interest and one that her long-lost father isn’t so long lost after all.
The Storm Makers
by Jennifer E. Smith – Ages 8 and up
An interesting middle grade novel about boy and girl twins who discover that crazy weather might be controlled by one of them — and that an evil Storm Maker might be trying to control the pair.
by Lauren Oliver – Ages 14 and up
If you loved the first book, Delirium, you’ll want to read this, too. In this book, Lena is in “the wilds” and trying to live with the fact that Alex is dead – which she isn’t sure she can do.
by Kristin Cashore – Ages 14 and up
I loved the first two books in the Graceling Realm series, and #3, while quite different, didn’t disappoint. What I loved is that the story stayed with me for days. We met Bitterblue’s psychotic father book #2, Fire. Now he’s dead and she is queen at a young age. Bitterblue feels that her advisers aren’t always telling her the truth about the situation in her country. She begins sneaking out of the castle and discovers the truth, friendship, and love.
The Book of Wonders
by Jasmine Richards – Ages 8 and up
A fantasy story set in Arribithia, somewhere in the historical times of sultans and dijinns and magic, we meet 13-year old Zardi and her best friend, Ridhan who must seek Captain Sinbad and his ship in order to save Zardi’s sister from the evil sultan. Entertaining and a nice respite from the typical dystopian books in YA currently.
The Amazing Adventures of John Smith, Jr. AKA Houdini
by Peter Johnson – Ages 8 and up
What I like about this book is Houdini’s transformation – and so will you. He writes his own story and in the process discovers who he is and changes the way he sees the world. Don’t you love the sound of that?
Applewhites at Wit’s End
by Stephanie S. Tolan – Ages 10 and up
This extended family of artists determine to save their house and land (Wit’s End) by becoming a summer camp for creative children. Which, as you can imagine, is no easy task.
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book III: The Unseen Guest
by MaryRose Wood – ages 8 and up
We still have very little clue about the children’s or the governess’s past, but I’m only slightly annoyed and mostly enthralled with the adventures in this third story. Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia
The Adventures of Beanboy
by Lisa Harkrader – ages 9 and up
Tucker’s mom works all day and goes to college at night so he takes care of his special needs brother mostly by himself. All he wants is for his mom to not work so much. He decides to enter a cartoon contest with a sidekick hero he will invent. While he’s thinking, he starts noticing the girl he dubs the villain of the story, Sam, may not be such a bad person after all. A great story.
MORE books that look great but I haven’t read yet . . .
by Chudney Ross – Ages 8 and up
Middle School: Get Me out of Here!
by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts – Ages 8 and up
The Six Crowns: Fire over Swallowhaven
by Allan Jones – Ages 7 and up
Guys Read: The Sports Pages
edited by Jon Scieszka – Ages 8 and up
Jake and Lily
by Jerry Spinnelli – Ages 8 and up
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