Thursday, March 27, 2008


Junior high is a great time to work on invisibility - or is it? Agnes Parker seems to think so. Attending Toll Middle School can have it's rather embarrassing moments, or at least normal things have become more embarrassing, and Agnes is doing her best to avoid any extra attention, especially from annoying 8th grade boys! Her plan is working very well until her best friend decides to run for class president! You'll love reading about places you see every day, and definitely relate to Agnes' school-related angst. For 5th grade and older.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Seeing the opera version of this story, a couple of years ago, was not as fun as reading the story of Madame Butterfly. It is an intriguing story about love, loss, hatred and racism. The themes in the book are not about light subjects but yet the young readers will find themselves drawn to the characters do to the fact that it is written in a fairy tale like manner. The illustrations are beautiful and intricate and are based on Japanese style wood block printing, the color palate that is used will make you want to look at the pictures for a long time. MADAME BUTTERFLY THE STORY OF THE OPERA BY GIACOMO PUCCINI and the drawings by RENATA FUCIKOVA.

For grades five and older.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


The Great Texas Hamster Drive: An Original Tall Tale by Eric A. Kimmel

Pecos Bill and Slue Foot Sue are now married and have five kids. The littlest one, a girl named Sal, who Bill can't help but give her anything her little heart desires, wants just one little hamster. How much trouble can one little pet be? Well, since this is a tall tale, Sal didn't get just one hamster, but two! And boy did they multiply!!! I'm sure you can guess what happens next.

This is a cautionary tale to all you little ones out there who are thinking of geting a pet hamster. Beware! You might get more than you bargained for.

A picture book for ages 5 and older.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Cornelius the wizard, Gurkintrude the fey, Hans the giant, and Odge the Hag are in charge of rescuing the prince from the human world on the other side of the Gump. That is THE SECRET OF PLATFORM 13, also the title of this book by Eva Ibbotson. Nine years earlier, the last time the Gump passageway between the worlds was open, the prince was kidnapped by an evil woman named Mrs. Trottle. The King and Queen have longed for the return of their only child, and send the crew of four from the Island, an almost mythical place hidden to most humans by a thick mist. But the nine-year-old boy, Raymond, turns out to be a lot less like a prince than they would've hoped, and some strange events change the lives of more than one boy by the end of the book! For 4th grade and older.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Sammy is back, but this time with some new classmates who invite her on a hiking and camping trip to help save some endangered condors. When the condors go missing and the ranger's look out tower is trashed, her friend is determined to find them. Sammy and the rest of the group must go search for her before she gets lost in the mountains or worse, suffer some unknown fate like the condors.

A little mystery, a little camping, a little romance, and a lot of detecting are involved in Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things by Wendelin Van Draanen. Perfect for middle school readers.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Are you in a mood to do something different and fun with your friends? Do you want to skip the movies and have a more meaningful and exciting time? Most likely you answered yes to these questions, so...grab the book SLEEPOVER PARTY! GAMES AND GIGGLES FOR A FUN NIGHT by JAMIE KYLE McGILLIAN and do what the book says. The book is filled with tones of ideas, from a pillow fight to sharing secrets in a fun way to making beautiful hair pieces that not only can be worn by you but given away as gifts. The many pictures will definitely be a very good visual guide that will motivate you as well.

For grades four and up.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


The year is 1569, and the 13-year-old Lady Grace is about to choose her husband from three potential suitors. She is the favorite of Queen Elizabeth's maids of honour, and while Grace's mother was on her death bed, the Queen promised to marry Grace to a worthy courter. Grace chooses Lord Robert as her potential husband, but it isn't long before a wrench is thrown into the works and Lady Grace must find the killer of the suitor she turned down. Written in a journalistic format, ASSASSIN by "Grace Cavendish" is the first in the Lady Grace Mysteries series, and chronicles Grace's first "pursuivant" adventure for the Queen. For 5th grade and older.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Sherlock Holmes' much younger sister is once again entangled in a mystery where she herself is now in danger. In the midst of trying to start a new life for herself, Enola opens up a detective investigation agency using multiple disguises and pretenses, but things prove difficult when she becomes a victim herself while looking for a missing baronet's daughter. All the while trying to dodge her brother Sherlock.

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer is a suspenseful detective novel with a great heroine. For middle school readers and those who enjoy Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


RED MEANS GOOD FORTUNE: A STORY OF SAN FRANCISCO'S CHINATOWN is a small book with a big story. Like so many other immigrant groups, the Chinese-Americans experienced difficulties adapting to this country's new rules and ways of living. The story talks about the financial, social and physical hardships that the Chinese Americans faced during the 1860's in San Francisco. It is written in a way where you are getting lots of information but at the same time do not feel overwhelmed or bored. There are also illustrations in black and white which are a good distraction. The story is by BARBARA DIAMOND GOLDIN and the illustrations are are WENHAI MA.

For grades four and up.