Friday, March 26, 2010

Private I. Guana

by Nina Laden

Leon the Chameleon is missing! Luckily, ace detective Private I. Guana is on the case. This engaging mystery will tickle your funny bone! Click here to listen to Esai Morales read it aloud.

The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline: An Enola Holmes Mystery

by Nancy Springer

Enola is horrified one day to find that her beloved landlady, Mrs. Tupper, has been kidnapped. Using her wealth of disguises, Enola sets out to solve the crime. Kids who enjoy the details of historical settings and solving mysterious ciphers will cheer this feisty heroine as she leaps out of windows, jumps onto the backs of coaches, and fights evil villains in the dark streets of London to rescue her dear landlady.

Closed for the Season

by Mary Downing Hahn

This book starts off as seventh-grader Logan Forbes learns that a murder had been committed in his family's new house three years earlier. Myrtle Donaldson, a bookkeeper accused of embezzling from the local amusement park, was found dead in her ransacked house and her killer is still at large. Logan's next-door neighbor, Arthur Jenkins, a sixth grader with a bottomless stomach and a quirky personality, is convinced that Mrs. Donaldson was falsely accused, and he wants Logan to help him find the real perpetrator.

This is an enjoyable mystery with just the right amount of frightening and dangerous elements. Logan is a great character — a new kid in town trying to find his place, almost immediately befriended by someone on the lowest rung who turns out the be the right friend for him.

Creepy Crawly Crime

by Aaron Reynolds

In a city totally inhabited by insects, Joey Fly is a private eye combating crime for a fee (which for a housefly is usually crumbs). Recently, Joey reluctantly hired a junior partner, a tough but clumsy scorpion named Sammy Stingtail. Together, the two are hired by a damsel in distress, the beautiful but airheaded butterfly Delilah, to recover her diamond pencil box. Simple, whimsical drawings and humorous dialogue make this a great mystery book for kids.

The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour

by Michael D. Beil

Sophie and her pals Margaret and Rebecca go St. Veronica’s, on the Upper East Side, where, one afternoon in English class, Sophie screams. She has seen a ghostly face in the church window across the courtyard. The woman is real and needs help!  The dialogue is fast and funny, and the clues are often solvable in this mystery.

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity

by Mac Barnett

Aspiring detective Steve Brixton, 12, gets more than he bargained for when he becomes mixed up with crime-fighting and undercover operatives who are also—librarians! The fast-moving plot is sure to hold your attention, and you will love Steve's ability to outsmart many of the adults in the story. This is a fun, humorous adventure.

Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone: The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival

by Dene Low

This book is part farce, part mystery, part political thriller, all told in Petronella's upper-crust voice, laced with humor and a painless dose of history. Characters are skillfully drawn, time and place are clearly evoked, and excitement and intrigue abound amid the hilarity. It all wraps up nicely - well, almost - with a suggestion of more to come.

Reality Check

by Peter Abrahams

Cody sustains a serious knee injury that leaves him on the bench during the most important recruiting year in his high school career. With no college scholarship in sight, he drops out of school. When his rich girlfriend, Clea, is reported missing from her Vermont boarding school, he drives East to find her and endangers himself in the process.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Gardener

by Sarah Stewart and David Small (Caldecott Honor)

Where in the big gray city can Lydia ever grow all the seeds and bulbs her Grandma sends her? Will Lydia ever coax a smile from Uncle Jim? Read Lydia's charming letters to find out how one determined slip of a girl brightens her city corner of the grim 1930's world.

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

by Phillip Hoose

Nine months before Rosa Parks' stand for equality, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white passenger. The unexpected consequences of her decision to take a stand against the injustice of segregation and her perseverance make her an unsung heroine in the Civil Rights Movement.

The Shepherd's Granddaughter

by Anne Laurel Carter

Amani defies family tradition and cultural expectations to become a shepherd, but when Israeli settlers threaten to take over her family’s land, she must choose between violent reaction and peaceful resistance.

Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator

by Shelley Tanaka

Tanaka writes with the sweep and excitement of an airplane climbing into the sky, while the format and visuals wonderfully enhance the text. In addition to a treasure trove of archival photographs, which capture Earhart’s appeal from her youth, there are a variety of handsomely rendered paintings, starting with the cover illustration that shows Earhart in her plane as crowds of male onlookers cheer. They match the feeling of the historical photos and the tone of the narrative. This is a good choice for those needing a profile of the famous flier.

My Name is Not Isabella

by Jennifer Fosberry

Amelia Bloomer Project List 2010

Join Isabella as an ordinary day turns into an extraordinary adventure through history!

Featured Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Read Jacqueline Woodson's biography in her own words

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom

by Margarita Engle

Spanning the years 1850–1899, Engle's poems construct a narrative woven around the nation's Wars for Independence. The poems are told in alternating voices, though predominantly by Rosa, a "freed" slave and natural healer destined to a life on the lam in the island' s wild interior.