The Fourth Stall (Lexile: 760; Interest Level: Grades 3-6) is a story about a boy named Christian, but nicknamed "Mac," who runs a business of helping people. Through a series of "trades" and "favors," he manages to get his business set up in the 4th stall of an unused school bathroom. Students (and the occasional adult) from all over the school come to him with problems to solve, and he and his best friend Vince trade favors for solutions. Then, one day, a kid comes in looking for protection from a bigger kid who is running a gambling business. Mac and Vince embark on a school yard adventure that challenges their very friendship.
So, I have to admit that I thought the premise of this book was pretty fun, and I know a lot of students (and other adults) who LOVE it, but this was not one of my favorite reads. Parts of it were really funny, especially the mention of The Godfather movie, but I found a lot of the story to be really far fetched. I hope that when you read this book, you are one of the people who love it!
It isn't often that I get a chance to finish a series all at once, but this is the third book in the 100 Cupboards series, following Dandelion Fire. At the beginning of The Chestnut King (Lexile: 670L, Interest Level: Grades 3-6), Henry has been living with his family in Hylfing, but the soldiers of the evil Queen Nimiane are seeking out his family for a fight. It is up to Henry to save his family from a fire, travel through the cupboards to seek his father, find the Chestnut King and make a deal with the faeren to save his family and all of the land from the Endorians, who suck the life force from all they encounter. Can Henry do this before the Queen's pull through the wound on his jaw is too strong? Is 13 year old Henry strong enough to fight this battle? Check out the final book (I think) in the trilogy!
Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson is the second book in the 100 Cupboards series. I really enjoy this series because it is fantasy and adventure. In the first book (100 Cupboards), Henry York is sent to live with his uncle, aunt and cousins in the tiny town of Henry, Kansas. He discovers that his room contains a wall on which there are 98 cupboards, all leading to different locations, possibly even different worlds! Henry and his cousin Henrietta investigate these cupboards in the first book.
At the beginning of Dandelion Fire (Lexile: 680L, Interest Level: Grades 3-6), Henry is preparing to go back to Boston to live with his parents. While hanging out behind the barn right before a storm, something strange happens to Henry. His cousin, Henrietta thinks he may have been hit by lightening, but the only injury he has is a mark on the palm of his hand. Henry becomes filled with the Fire of the Dandelion, a powerful magical force of life. This sends him off on another adventure into the cupboards to find and battle the evil Nimiane, Queen of Endor. You won't want to miss the adventure in this story!
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.