In an interesting twist on the fairy tale story, what if it was a true princess story? In The Princess Plot by Kirsten Boie (Lexile: 720; Reading Level: Grades 4-7), Jenna defies her over-protective mother and auditions for a part in a movie. When she gets the part, she is whisked off on an adventure in another country that tests more than her acting abilities--she also must show herself to be independent and strong as she slowly learns her role isn't really cinematic, but a real-life audition to play the role of a missing princess! As she learns new things about her role, she gets suspicious that she can't reach her mother or her best friend to talk to them about what's going on. So, when things get really strange, Jenna must rely on the etiquette her mother taught her and her own wit to make the right choices. But what is really going on? And will Jenna escape with her life? Check out The Princess Plot to find out!
Another series that you want to read in order is Storm Runners by Roland Smith. In this trilogy, the story continues from one book to the next. Eruption (Lexile: 590; Reading Level: Grades 4-8) is the third book in the series. If you haven't read these yet, the first is called Storm Runners. The series is about Chase Masters and his father, who is a storm chaser, as they travel into the path of a nasty hurricane. In the first book, Chase gets stranded when his school bus falls victim to the Hurricane. The story continues through book two (Storm Runners: The Surge), and in Eruption, the storm is over, but Chase and his father must help some new friends with difficulties from the storm. Helping them, however, sends them into the path of an erupting volcano.
I won't tell much more about the story because I definitely think you should read it yourself, but I will say that it was hard to wait for the third book to be published after reading the first two. Roland Smith is a master of adventure writing, and the short books in this series should appeal to even the most reluctant reader! 158 p
OK, so I am sort of a sucker for fairy tale stories--especially ones in which there is a little change up. This particular one was really easy to read (Lexile: 400; Reading Level: Grades 2-4). The first book in the Whatever After series, Fairest of All by Sarah Mylnowski was an interesting story of what it might be like to fall into a fairy tale. And what happens if you (accidentally, on purpose?) change the story?
The characters (Abby and Jonah) discover a mirror in their basement that seems to call for them. When they touch it, or more accurately, when Jonah knocks on it, they get sucked in through the mirror and into Snow White's story. Hey, here's a chance to protect her from what's going to happen--she doesn't HAVE to eat the apple, right? Well, if she doesn't eat the apple, can she still meet the prince? And what other evil idea with the queen think up? Check out Fairest of All to find out how Abby and her brother try to save Snow White--and her story!
Caught by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Lexile: 730; Reading Level: Grades 5-8) is the 5th book in the Missing series about children who were kidnapped out of their proper places in history. Jonah (one of the kidnapped children) and his sister Katherine have been trying to return the children to their proper timelines to repair history.
In Caught, Jonah and Katherine travel to the early 1900s in Switzerland and Serbia to return Lieserl (Albert Einstein's daughter) to her proper timeline. Travel through time is getting more and more complicated because of the interference of Second and others who don't want to return history to it's proper path. And, the children know something is really off when they realize that Albert Einstein is studying time travel (which wasn't part of the original history) and his wife seems to know they are there (despite them being invisible). And, there is another little complication when Jonah and Katherine realize what really happened to Lieserl in her time. Will they be able to allow that event to really happen?
This is one of my favorite series, especially because it is a fun mix of science fiction (time travel) and historical fiction (about the time period to which they travel). This is a series you should probably read in order, so if you haven't tried it yet, start with Found. I am also looking forward to book 6: Risked, which was just published in September. Caught has 343 pages.
Caught by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Lexile: 730; Reading Level: Grades 5-8) is the 5th book in the Missing series about children who have been kidnapped from their proper times in history. Jonah and Katherine have to help restore the children to their proper timelines.
In this book, Jonah and Katherine travel back to the early 1900s in Switzerland and Serbia to restore Lierserl (Albert Einstein's daughter) to her proper timeline. There is some difficulty for the kids as they try to understand where they are and what happened in the original time because they had to read some of Einstein's complicated notes. And, it appears, that Einstein was investigating time travel! Jonah and Katherine discovered that this was NOT part of the original timeline, but how could they stop it? And what if Einstein's wife knew they were there (even though they were invisible)?
I love reading this series, which is a cross between science fiction (time travel) and historical fiction (the times to which they travel). This series is one you should probably read in order, so I would start with Found. I am looking forward to book six: Risked, which was just published in September. Caught has 343 pages.
Sophia's War by Avi (Lexile: 730; Reading Level: Grades 3-6) is a story about a young girl who lived in New York during the Revolutionary War (1770s). Sophia is about 11 years old, an her older brother fights for George Washington. This is a tough situation for Sophia and her family because New York is under British control--to the point where they have to house a British officer in their house. Sophia tries to figure out how to help her brother when she finds out he has been captured, but she also has to help father with his business. Then she was offered a job as a spy in the house of the British general. What she learned while working in the General's household was so unbelievable she was afraid no one would ever believe her. But what would happen when the person she was supposed to report to disappeared?
Sophia shows immense courage as she searches for a way to help the Patriot cause, and even just as she walked the streets of her town. Fans of war stories, strong girl characters, and historical fiction will enjoy Sophia's War.
Wild Life by Cynthia DeFelice (Lexile: 860; Reading Level: Grades 3-6) is a book way out of my normal genre. Erik is a young boy (about 11 or 12, I think) who has just completed a hunter safety course in New York when he discovers his parents have both been chosen for deployment to Iraq. He then has to move across the country to North Dakota to live with his grandparents. Life in North Dakota is lonely for Erik, but when he rescues a dog, he thinks it just might be bearable--if he can keep the dog. When things really turn against him, he decides that he can live by himself out on the North Dakota prairie, and he leaves with the dog on an adventure to fend for himself. Fans of hunting and survival stories will enjoy Wild Life. 177 pages.
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.