Most of the time what grown-ups do has little to do with kids, but sometimes the two worlds collide in very unexpected ways. In Fuzzy Mud (Lexile: 700; Interest Level: Grades 4-8), Louis Sachar intertwines the stories of Marshall and Tamaya with that of big business looking for new energy sources.
Marshall is a timid boy who usually keeps to himself, but the new boy, Chad, has targeted him for bullying. This drives Marshall even farther into himself and makes him get snippy at his neighbor Tamaya, who sees him as her only friend. When Marshall takes a shortcut through the woods to avoid Chad, he and Tamaya discover the "fuzzy mud." At first Tamaya thinks it is just weird, but when Chad ends up missing, Tamaya realizes that the mud (and the rash on her arm from it) may have something to do with it.
Readers who enjoy Louis Sachar's other stories, adventure and mystery are sure to enjoy this one as well. I know I sure did! (192 p.)
A lot of people have interesting collections, but none are quite like the collections at the New York Circulating Materials Repository. In the previous books, we encountered items from fairy tales and H.G. Wells' time machine, but haunted houses? Really?
Suki was very close to her older sister, and it was very difficult for her when her sister died. Luckily, Kitty's ghost is still around to keep Suki company when she needs her. However, things are really hard in Suki's family, and they move in with her great-aunt. Suki didn't really want to move, but she finds an amazing ally in her great-aunt when she starts seeing other family members' ghosts as well.
When she makes an unusual friend at school, who Kitty does not like, things get more and more complicated. Then add in the strange feelings she gets from touching certain objects, and the strange people who want to buy her great-aunt's broom, and Suki launches into a great adventure involving Andre, a boy who works in New York and calls her on a phone that doesn't work, and Cole, the boy at school whose family history seems intertwined with hers. Cole and Suki investigate the family mysteries with the help of Andre as they uncover secrets that you won't believe, including the collection of haunted houses kept at the New York Circulating Materials Repository. Readers who enjoy haunted houses, strange library collections, adventure and mystery will enjoy The Poe Estate (Lexile: 670; Interest Level: Grades 4-7) by Polly Shulman! (272 p.)
In The Wells Bequest (Lexile: HL 600; Interest Level: Grades 4-7), a companion book to The Grimm Legacy, Polly Schulman takes us into another of the Special Collections at the New York Circulating Materials Repository. This time, we explore the wonderful science fiction world of H.G. Wells when Leo discovers that the New York Circulating Materials Repository exists and has a time machine!
Leo is playing video games in his room when the whole building shakes and he turns around to see a small motorcycle-like device on his table, being driven by a beautiful miniature girl and, wait, is that a miniature of himself?!? His miniature future-self delivers a cryptic message that he should read H.G. Well's book The Time Machine, and launches Leo into an amazing adventure in which he will meet not only the beautiful girl who appeared in his room, but also Mark Twain and Nicola Tesla! Fans of science fiction will find this story engaging and may even find themselves wishing they had a time machine of their own! (288 p.)
Matthew Thorsen is the son of the Chief of Police in his town. The Thorsen family has always been in charge in Blackwell, South Dakota, because they are descendants of Thor, the Norse god of Thunder. Matt has always known this, but he is unprepared for finding out exactly what that means for him when he is unexpectedly chosen to be the Champion in the great battle of Ragnarok.
In Loki's Wolves (Lexile: 680; Interest Level: Grades 3-6), K. L. Armstrong incorporates the modern-day life of Matt and his classmates (not all of whom are friends) and the ancient mythology of the Norse gods and monsters into an engaging tale of adventure. Through some interesting twists of fate, Matt must locate the other descendants of the gods and decide which ones he can trust. This is the first book in the Blackwell Pages Series. Readers who enjoy Percy Jackson may also enjoy this series while waiting for Rick Riordan's Norse mythology series to begin. (358 p.)
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, the Japanese people in America were feared, even if they were citizens who had lived here their entire lives. Mitsi's friends started acting differently towards her, and no one wanted to hang out with her at school. Soon, the government decided that all Japanese people must be sent to relocation camps, which meant that Mitsi and her family had to leave their home behind. They were only allowed to take a few items that they could carry, and soon Mitsi discovered that this meant her dog Dash must stay behind.
In Dash (Lexile: 570; Interest Level: Grades 3-6), Kirby Larsen tells the story of what it is like for Mitsi to live during this time, and what she does to try to protect her beloved pet and her family. This 2015-2016 Indian Paintbrush Nominee is a touching historical fiction account based upon a true story. (256 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.