Mary's Review: In Heather Vogel Frederick’s Absolutely Truly,
Twelve-year-old ornithologist Truly Lovejoy is not happy that her
family is moving from Austin, Texas to the small town of Pumpkin
Falls, New Hampshire, even if it does mean her parents are going to
get to take over her grandparent's bookstore. For one, she's leaving
behind her best friend, but she's also recently shot up to six feet
tall and has a hard time going into "stealth mode" and
fitting in. But when Truly discovers a mysterious letter in an old
copy of Charlotte's Web that begins a scavenger hunt, she must rely
on a new group of friends to help her solve each new letter's clues.
Mary's Review: Murilla Gorilla is my favorite new detective for
young readers. Murilla lives on a hut on the side of the mountain and
she's the town detective. She might be a little lazy (she loves naps)
and she's a little unorganized (she often find a shoe in the fridge
instead of dinner) but when someone steals the muffins from Mrs.
Chimpanzee's Magnificent Muffin stand or when Parrot's yellow parasol
goes missing or when someone leaves a hole in Mr Okapi's hammock,
they all known who to call! These beautifully illustrated little
books are not text-heavy and are split into very, very small
chapters, making them perfect for beginning readers or kids who like
to listen to a longer story." Start with Murilla Gorilla, Jungle
Detective. Also available: Murilla Gorilla & the Lost Parasol and
Murilla Gorilla & the Hammock Problem.
John's Review: None of the girls really cared for the headmistress Mrs. Plackett,
or her brother. When both die in the middle of dinner, the girls bury
them in the vegetable garden and run the school themselves. Each girl
uses her skills to help keep the school going in 1890, England, but
it's not easy. Mrs. Plackett might not have been well liked, but she
was popular. Part mystery, part hilarious farce, this is a
deliciously wicked read!
Mary's Review: Milo's family owns a rambling inn called the Greenglass House
which caters to a special clientele - smugglers. When an unexpected
influx of patrons arrives during the holiday season and things start
to go missing, Milo must team up with the cook's daughter, Meddy, to
piece together the puzzle. A fantastical blend of mystery, treasure
hunting, and friendship - perfect for fans of the Mysterious Benedict
Mary's Review: I LOVED this book! So spooky and fun!
Molly and Kip are orphaned during the Irish Potato Famine. They move
to England and find work with a family that lives in a crumbling
manor, but when they discover the family/manor are connected to a
magical tree that's being tended by an ominous specter, Molly and Kip
must fight to save themselves and their new friends.
Mary's Review: A Hitch at the Fairmont is a romp
through one of San Francisco's most historic buildings with one of
cinema's most fascinating characters. When Jack's mother dies, he has
to go live with awful Aunt Edith at the swanky Fairmont hotel. He
hasn't even settled in when Aunt Edith disappears and Jack finds the
words "We have her. No police" written with chocolates
across his aunt's bedsheets. Luckily, Jack discovers that Alfred
Hitchcock is his next-door neighbor and the two team up to solve the
mystery. Each chapter is named after one of Hitchcock's iconic films
and includes fun comic illustrations by Nick Bertozzi. Recommended
for ages 8-12 and perfect for reluctant readers.
John's Review: Hampered by his inability to spell in a world where magic must be written in order to work, gifted young wizard Nicodemus experiences disturbing dreams in the wake of an ancient demon's murderous campaign that suggests that Nicodemus's spelling problem may be related to a curse.
While not specifically for young adults, Spellwright and it's sequel Spellbound are perfect for teen fantasy readers.
A descendant of the inspiration for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, sixteen-year-old Alyssa Gardner fears she is mentally ill like her mother until she finds that Wonderland is real and, if she passes a series of tests to fix Alice's mistakes, she may save her family from their curse.
John's Review: Howard uses Lewis Carroll's story as a jumping off point, but quickly builds her own twisted version of Wonderland. Alyssa's voice and narrative grabs you immediately, and the books stayed with me long after I finished it!
When feisty teenaged thief and Kat's on-again off-again boyfriend, Hale, suddenly inherits his family's billion dollar company, Kat gets a tip-off that the will is a fake.
Highly recommended by McKenna and John!
While seeking the perfect dress for her friend's birthday party, 12-year-old Louise Lambert dons a vintage gown and finds herself with a young Marie Antoinette in 18th-century France where, between cute commoner boys and glamorous trips to Paris, she finds that life in the palace is not all cake and couture. Illustrations.
HIGHLY recommended by McKenna and Sally!
Louise Lambert accepts an invitation to a private sale of vintage clothing but upon donning an evening gown, she finds herself in 1912 aboard the "Titanic" as the gown's original owner, silent film star Alice Baxter.
HIGHLY recommended by McKenna and Sally!
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