Friday, February 29, 2008
Veronica, Fleur, and Claude (Les Bambinos Dangereuses or the LBD) are totally, completely bummed out. Their evil fun-hating parents won't let them go to the Astlebury Music Festival, the biggest music event of the year! The girls think that their fifteen year old lives are over when they get the news. But, have no fear. Soon after, these three fabulous friends come up with an even better idea: if they can't go to the music, then the music will have to come to them! That's right: the terrific trio decides to have their very own music festival at school, nicknaming it Blackwell Live! There'll be live music performed by the most talented (and cute)members of Blackwell School. But it's going to be harder then it looks to the LBD: there's big egos, grouchy roadies, finding enough money to pay for it all, a fun-hating headmaster, mean girls, cute boys, great music, a big surprise, and a whole lot of fun-LBD style! Will Blackwell Live be a bust? And what's going on with Ronnie's parents?
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Monday, February 25, 2008
Arson, ghosts, and haunted toasters! Girl detective Minerva Clark sure has her work cut out for her in this third book in the thrilling Minerva Clark series by bestselling author Karen Karbo! When Minerva agrees to help odd boy Angus Paine solve the mystery of who burned down his parent's grocery store, she doesn't know what she's getting into. But it gets even odder when Minerva discovers that the grocery store is haunted....and Minerva's clues tell her that the ghost may be a prime suspect in the fire! But things are not as they seem....
That's not the only thing going on in this sassy sleuth's life. Nope. There's still boy trouble, and her mom and her annoying new husband are in town for some special (and stressful, not to mention annoying!) "family bonding time". And last, but not least, Minerva's got a whopping load on her shoulders: she's suspected of being the arsonist! Can Minerva work out this case before it's too late? This might be her hardest case yet, but the ferret-loving, brave, and funny girl detective will figure out her newest case with humor and wit!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Nerdy Berdette Weaver (aka "Bird") is a sixth grader whose main goals in life are to get fame and glory and to visit Disney World. But her town of Freedom, Georgia is no place to pursue these wild dreams. In this dinky little town, she has no friends and barely anything exciting happens. But that's before Harlem, a boy with an attitude and a bad record, comes to town. And it's just her luck when her school announces that it's going to have a spelling bee. Even better yet, the winner gets to go to Disney World! So Bird decides that she's going to make Harlem be her partner, and possibly even her friend! But it's going to be harder than it looks, especially since Harlem is one stubborn kid...Can Bird win the bee, make friends with Harlem, show the world that Harlem is actually a very nice kid, and find fame and glory? It's a long shot, but this sweet and sassy character is sure going to try! Readers will love author Barbara O' Connor's wonderful style of writing, and will be rooting Bird on from start to finish.
Sisters Em and Dori (descendants of The Wizard of Oz's Dorothy Gale) are back in this thrilling sequel to Sherwood Smith's fantastic fantasy novel The Emerald Wand of Oz. This time, there's big trouble in both Oz and back home in Kansas. Creepy clouds are constantly hanging over the Emerald City, and the girls' friend Rik (whom they met in the first novel), prince of the Nome kingdom, has decided to get his throne as king back in Nome, and some scary inhabitants of neighboring kingdoms want to declare war on the Nomes-which could be big trouble for the underground kingdom. So Princess Ozma of Oz sends out a help signal to the two sisters through the magical snowglobe that took Dori and Em to Oz in their first adventure. But only one sister can respond to Princess Ozma's call because of trouble and home. So while Dori tries to keep the Nomes from starting a war, Em is struggling with their arguing parents and a nosy neighbor. Can Oz and Nomes be saved? And will Em blow Dori's cover back home? Trouble Under Oz, an exciting and adventure-packed novel, won't disappoint readers!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Nim is a young girl living alone on a remote tropical island with her father, Jack, a pet iguana named Fred, and her pet seal named Selkie. When Jack sets off for a three-day expedition to study plankton, Nim's on her own on the island. But then Jack's boat gets wrecked in a storm, delaying him yet another two weeks, and the only way Nim can communicate with her dad is sending messages via frigate bird. Life is never dull for Nim on the island. There's food to be found, places to explore, the hut to clean, and games to be played with her animal friends. And, of course, it's her duty to keep a pack of evil tourists away from their secret island! But real adventure begins when Nim starts corresponding via e-mail with a bestselling adventure novelist named Alex Rover, who has never been out of the house and is terrified of the world outside her door. When trouble brews on the island in the form of a huge tropical storm and a volcano erupting, Nim calls on Alex Rover for help. But will Nim herself end up saving the day? Wendy Orr's sweet novel is a breath of tropical air, with Kerry Millard's wonderful black-and-white illustrations nicely peppering up the fantastic novel. Fans of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking and kids in grades 3-5 will enjoy this adventurous novel for young people.
SUBMITTED BY JOSIE GRUBB
Princess Emeralda ("Emma") isn't your average princess. Her feet are huge and clumsy, her laugh is louder than a donkey's bray, and she'd rather spend time with her favorite aunt (and witch) Grassina than attend a ball. But when she runs away to a swamp one morning, adventure begins when she kisses a frog who claims to be a prince named Eadric. And instead of turning him back into royalty, Emma becomes a frog, too! Now Emma and Eadric must reverse the spell for their happily-ever-after! But first they must encounter a wannabe witch, some new friends, and a whole lot of rollicking, rousing magic, adventure, and danger! If you're looking for a 5-star fantasuc fantasy/adventure/romantic comedy, E.D. Baker's Frog Princess is simply perfect!
Katelin Kingsford (Jordan Hinson) is a figure skating girl with a dream--some day she wants to go to the Olympics. So when a famous Russian figure skating coach tells Katelin that she has potential, Katelin is thrilled. But the only way that Katelin can train with Natasha is by enrolling in Buxton Academy, a prestigious boarding school. Unfortunately, Katelin's parents can't come up with enough money for tuition, and the talented 14 year old is afraid that her dreams of being an Olympic skater are over. But not yet--there's one way that Katelin can still get into Buxton. That's right. She gets a hockey scholarship. But these girls are scarier than any of the competition on the ice. They're mean. They're tough. And they hate "twirl girls", or figure skaters. At first, Katelin's sure that she's going to hate hockey. But after making some friends, she realizes it's not so bad after all. But can she keep her secret ice skating career secret? And, in the end, will she have to choose ice skating over hockey and friends? Disney has created a sweet-yet-predictable flick that fans of "Ice Princess" will love.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
In this sequel to Grace Lin's beautiful children's novel The Year of the Dog, big changes are coming Pacy Lin's way in the new Year of the Rat. The Year of the Dog was the best year ever: she and her best friend Melody became the closest of friends and much, much more. But this year, Pacy must deal with a lot more, including Melody moving away! She also has to find her true talents, new friends, and inner courage that she didn't think she had. Is change really as bad as Pacy thinks it is? Grace Lin's humorous and fantastic second novel comes to life with gorgeous hand-drawn illustrations. Girls and boys in grades 3-6 will adore this talented writer and illustrator's fun and spunky book. After reading The Year of the Rat, readers will have a warm, happy feeling that only an exceptionally good book about family and friends can give you.
Pengey wasn't expecting to have a big adventure when he left his colony one night to explore. But that's what ended up happening...
Join this little but curious penguin on a rollicking, funny adventure as he travels around the world, trying to find his human mom Wendy. Along the way, he collects a wide assortment of friends that readers will love. Will Pengey ever find Wendy? John Burns' endearing character will steal many hearts. This charming bedtime story will be a favorite for both children and parents.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Sameera Righton (known as "Sparrow") is used to being ordinary. But when her father's campaign for President of the United States starts getting exciting, it's Sparrow's turn in the spotlight. Before she knows it, she's gotten an amazing makeover and is practically a celebrity. But that's not the only change that Sparrow is going to have to go through! Her father's campaign staffers want to turn her into giggly, carefree "Sammy" Righton, an all-American teenager, despite the fact that Sparrow is a brown-skinned girl from Pakistan, adopted by her parents at a young age. But Sparrow's not so intent on this, and she secretly is showing it on her own, awesome blog: sparrowblog.com, where she's always got plenty to say. Will Sparrow's new looks change the person inside? Or will small, spunky, Sparrow be the same as always? This funny book by Mitali Perkins is a wonderful peek inside the world of American politics in the view of a girl who doesn't fit in all the time. First Daughter might appear to be about presidential elections, but it's really about finding out who you really are. An excellent read!
SUBMITTED BY REENA PATEL
Livvie has never been superstitious like her best friend Joyce. So it's no big deal when a chain letter arrives in her mailbox. She simply rips it up and tears it away-much to Joyce's dismay. But then the unexplainable happens-Livvie breaks her foot, endures an embarrassing PE class, and is forced to go to yucky Peter Finch's house for Thanksgiving (ew). Is this the chain letter's doing, or is Livvie just letting herself believe Joyce? And can Livvie stop her train of bad luck before something really bad happens? The Chain Letter is both a slightly spooky and funny story by Julie Schumacher that kids in grades 4-7 will enjoy.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Hollywood Bliss Winterman is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary mother. Yup, that's right--her mother is the ultra-rich mega-popstar Kandhi. So when Holly is yanked out of school due to some "nasty threats" aimed at Kandhi, it's no surprise. Holly is used to her mother's drama. That's before Holly is plunked down in a hotel in London with absolutely nothing to do. And the worst part is that Kandhi's trying to turn Holly into a mini-version of herself, even though Holly would much rather become a vet! With this comes drama, hilarious moments, an annoying possible-stepbrother, secret shopping trips, a cute tutor, a surprise trip to Paris, movie auditions, and much, much more! One things for sure: life is never normal when Kandhi's your mum! Chloë Rayban has created a deliciously funny and awesome story best for preteen girls.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Cole Matthews is a boy with a history of violence and anger. But when he smashes Peter Driscal's head into the sidewalk, the court decides that this is his last chance. So Cole is having to make a decision: either face jail or the alternative, Native American Circle Justice, healing through isolation. Of course, Cole does what any kid trying to avoid jail would do: he applies for Circle Justice, thinking it'll be the easy way out. But just days into Cole's banishment on a faraway Alaskan island, he is attacked by a bear. But not just any bear. Could this strange white bear be the mysterious Spirit Bear, a legend among the Native Alaskans? Cole nearly dies from the mauling, and soon realizes that life is a privilege. Could this attack make Cole's attitude for life change? Or will it destroy him altogether? Ben Mikaelsen has created a haunting, fast-paced story that teaches an important lesson. Touching Spirit Bear would most likely appeal to mainly boys.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Ophie Peeler feels so out-of-place in her new home, rainy, dull Oregon. She has to get used to her new house, new school, and new classmates. She has absolutely no friends, except for dorky Brittany Borg ("Hey there, Peeler!"). Ophie has always considered herself like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Glamorous, fabulous, and destined for fun and adventure, which she had with her old best friend Lizzy in California. So Ophie can't stand Oregon. Will Ophie finally realize that change isn't so bad? And why can't life be perfect for once?
Kathleen O'Dell, author of Agnes Parker: Girl In Progress has created a sweet and funny novel that would be ideal for 3-6 graders.
Everything seems great for teenager Jenna Boller. She's got a driver's license and a great job at Gladstone's shoe store. But it isn't all so fabulous....Jenna's secretly struggling with the fact that her dad is an alcoholic, and her family is majorly messed up now because of that. Then Jenna's offered the job of a lifetime--to be the driver for the wealthy owner of the Gladstone's Shoes chain of stores. As Jenna drives Mrs. Madeline Gladstone from Chicago to Dallas, she learns various things. She gets to try out being a shoe saleswoman at the various Gladstone's stores, but she also learns something much more shocking that could affect Madeline and all of the rest of the stores....Joan Bauer has written a beautiful story that's about more than shoes and road trips. Throughout the story, Jenna learns about life.
Jenna Boller (from Joan Bauer's Rules of the Road) is back in this witty, fun sequel. This time, high school junior Jenna's got a lot on her hands. She's been promoted in her great job as a shoes saleswoman at Gladstone Shoes, she's trying to get rid of her dad's alcohol problems, and on top of it all, she's desperate for a date with donut-expert Charlie Duran. Then Jenna's given the responsibility to train juvenile delinquent Tanner Cobb, a boy with an attitude and a criminal record, to be one of Gladstone's new salespeople, and Mrs. Gladstone's smarmy son Elden is up to no good as usual....It's a lot to handle. Will Jenna be able to put her best foot forward and save Gladstone's once and for all?
Nicky's mother has been transferred to work at Bloodybow Castle in Scotland, but Nicky feels that there is something odd about this stable, and there are. The spirits are restless, and will stop at nothing to get their way. The ghost of a young boy who was killed in a battle five hundred years ago haunts the stable, and someone might get hurt, or worse! Can Nicky, her friend Jed, and a very special ghostly white pony save Bloodybow Castle from the spirits of the past and put them to rest? Or will it be haunted forever, disturbed by the restless ghosts? KM Peyton has created a beautifully written, haunting, yet exciting short read!
Hope has been a waitress for as long as she can remember. She and her aunt Addy (a chef) are constantly moving from one restaurant or cafe to another. But this time is different. This time, Hope and Addy are moving into rural Wisconsin. Hope is not pleased whatsoever, as she is a city girl. But once the duo arrives at Welcome Stairways cafe, things change. Hope meets G.T., the owner of the cafe, who is dying of leukemia while running for mayor of the town against the evil Eli Millstone. Along the way, Hope and Addy find romance, fun, and heartbreak. Can G.T. win the elections? And will Hope be able to stay at Welcome Stairways for good? Joan Bauer, author of Rules of the Road, has served up a scrumptious novel that is sweet, sad, and savory.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
In this sequel to Esmé Raji Codell's book Sahara Special, Sahara's spunky classmate Paris McCray is back, this time with her own book. Paris's life is confusing. Her little brother keeps on getting bullied by his mean classmates. Then Paris begins taking piano lessons with old Mrs. Rosen. At first, Paris thinks that Mrs. Rosen is a spy. After all, she had weird numbers tattooed onto her arm. But this tattoo turns out being something much more different than what Paris imagined...
As Paris takes more and more lessons with Mrs. Rosen, she becomes very attached to her teacher. And during these piano lessons, Paris learns more than just music. She learns about life, how you must always look at your world through rose-colored glasses, friendship, and much more.
When her mother discovered the unmailed letters (instead of homework assignments) to her father (who had left the family), Sahara Jones is immediately put into Special Ed classes at school and being talked to by guidance counselors 24/7. It's hard for Sahara to fit in with the rest of her class, and she documents these hardships in her secret journals, stashed between stacks of books in the school library. Sahara begins to stop doing her homework assignments altogether, resulting in having to repeat fifth grade again. But this year, fifth grade's going to be different. There's a new teacher in town. Miss Poitier (Miss Pointy), is unlike any teacher that Sahara's had. And maybe, just maybe, Sahara will get through this school year with a little fun here and there. Esmé Raji Codell has created a sweet and lovable story that will appeal to readers in grades 4-6.
Everyone thinks Syrah Cheng's got it all. After all, her father is a multibillionaire and Syrah's got everything any kid would ever want: her own art studio, beautiful room, hefty allowance, and custom-designed snowboards. But this privileged girl's life is definitely not perfect. It seems like her "friends" only want her for her parent's money. Her best friend in the whole world is ditching her for his girlfriend, and both are drawing farther and farther apart from each other. Her half-siblings can't stand her. Her mother is always disgusted by her unladylike habits. And, worst of all, after a tragic snowboarding accident, Syrah is too banged up to pursue her dream as a champion snowboarder. Can Syrah heal her heart and bruised body as she tries to break away from her former image as "daughter of Ethan Cheng" and find who she really is? Justina Chen Headley has created an interesting novel about family, friends, and finding the true meaning of being yourself. Although it's seemingly slow in the beginning, "Girl Overboard" proves to be a true treasure.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Em and Dori (descendants of Dorothy Gale--yes, The Wizard of Oz's Dorothy) embark on a magical adventure to their great-aunt's world of Oz. Dori has always loved the "Oz" books, but her younger sister Em thinks that they're childish. So she doesn't believe that the snow globe left behind for them by Dorothy really is magical. But that's before the two sisters are swept off to Oz in a tornado--where unicorns have beauty pageants, flying monkeys guard a castle, and magic is a part of everyday life. Em and Dori both have to face a terrifying conclusion- they are definitely not in Kansas anymore. And it doesn't quite feel like the Oz in Dori's books, either. Dark storm clouds constantly fill the sky, Dorothy is lost (for good?), and the new Wicked Witch of the West, Bastinda, has cast a curse over cheerful Princess Ozma and her palace. Can the brave sisters find Bastinda's emerald wand and reverse the curse? And can they make Oz a happy place once again? Sherwood Smith has created a magical and intriuging novel that fans of L. Frank Baum-- and new readers, too--will enjoy.
The Year of the Dog is definitely going to be a big year for Taiwanese-American girl Pacy. It's always been hard for herself and her sisters for her at school-they're the only kids of Taiwanese descent there. But that's before Melody moves to school, and she and Pacy become best friends. These two are totally going to have the best year ever! Readers will watch Pacy grow throughout the year-physically and mentally. This sweet coming-of-age novel will appeal most to children in grades 3-6. With cute child-like illustrations scattered throughout the novel, Grace Lin's The Year of the Dog is an important and wonderful multicultural novel about howe important it is to be who you really are.
Clarice Bean is up to her head in worries! First off, her rickety house seems to be falling apart. And her parents have been arguing a lot lately. Not to mention the fact that there's always the worry you haven't even thought to worry about that should worry you the most (as her favorite heroine of her favorite girl's spy series, Ruby Redfort would say) lurking around the corner. Could it include the awful possibility of Clarice's best friend, Betty Moody, moving far, far away? And then there is the seemingly mean new girl...should Clarice like her or not? Clarice Bean, a humorous and amusing character is back in this 3rd book of the witty Clarice Bean series by Lauren Child. Don't look now, but this one might be the best yet!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
The summer (and the internship at Flirt) is finally coming to an end for Kiyoko Katsuda, but that doesn't mean that she has time to sit around and relax! In this fourth installment of the fantastic Flirt series by Nicole Clarke, Kiyoko is as busy as ever. There's a new department boss, new rules, and, of course, the strict editor-in-chief, Ms. Bishop keeping an eye on wild child Kiyoko. One false move for this spunky music-lover, and she's headed back to Japan for good! Bye-bye internship, bye-bye summer fun! Can Kiyoko pull it together and write a brilliant piece for the magazine? Will she be able to get through the summer with some romance, music, and friends? This fourth book of the Flirt series is a bit repetitive, but if you're a fan, you won't want to miss out on this latest installment by Nicole Clarke!
Can funny and sweet Clarice Bean stay out of trouble for once? It's sure going to be hard, with this spunky and wise heroine trying to impress her grouchy hippopotamus of a teacher by winning the spelling bee. And--on top of that, she's vying for the lead role in her class play! Can Clarice Bean get to the tippity-top without getting in too much trouble? Watch out, because Lauren Child's enjoyable character is back for another round of humor and sticky situations that kids ages 8-10 will adore!
Clarice Bean is a spunky, funny younger girl who just can't pay attention in class. And who can blame her when her teacher is a shouting hippopotamus and there are secrets all around her? Clarice is starting to feel like her favorite girl superspy from her favorite book series, Ruby Redfort, just trying to figure everything out! With help from her best friend Betty Moody, can Clarice Bean figure out how to create an awesome book report (even if she has to do it with her archenemy) and win the big prize? Author Lauren Child has created a funny and colorfully artistic story for younger children. Clarice Bean is utterly perfect for those who want a step up from the Junie B. Jones books, and everyone else, too!
SUBMITTED BY FRANCINE LARSSON