After the tumultuous events of last winter, Kate, Michael, and Emma long to continue the hunt for their missing parents. But they themselves are now in great danger, and so the wizard Stanislaus Pym hides the children at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. There, he says, they will be safe. How wrong he is.
The children are soon discovered by their enemies, and a frantic chase sends Kate a hundred years into the past, to a perilous, enchanted New York City. Searching for a way back to her brother and sister, she meets a mysterious boy whose fate is intricately—and dangerously—tied to her own.
Meanwhile, Michael and Emma have set off to find the second of the Books of Beginning. A series of clues leads them into a hidden world where they must brave harsh polar storms, track down an ancient order of warriors, and confront terrible monsters. Will Michael and Emma find the legendary book of fire—and master its powers—before Kate is lost to them forever?
Exciting, suspenseful, and brimming with humor and heart, the next installment of the bestselling Books of Beginning trilogy will lead Kate, Michael, and Emma closer to their family—and to the magic that could save, or destroy, them all.
Called “A new Narnia for the tween set” by the New York Times and perfect for fans of the His Dark Materials series, The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma’s extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.
These three siblings have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.
Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.
Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey through time to dangerous and secret corners of the world…a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.
Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, seven years ago. Even though her father and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past.
When the girls arrive in Oakland in the summer of 1968, Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She makes them eat Chinese takeout dinners, forbids them to enter her kitchen, and never explains the strange visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education.
Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, one crazy summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls in search of the mother who abandoned them-an unforgettable story told by a distinguished author of books for children and teens, Rita Williams-Garcia.
Piper Lee’s mama is getting married. She is going to marry Ben. Piper Lee isn’t real happy about this. Her daddy disappeared in a plane crash several years ago and she still hopes that one day he will come home. Ben’s daughter Ginger is happier about the marriage. Her mama left when she was a baby and she really likes Piper’s mom, Heather. Piper decides that something must be done. She tracks down Ginger’s mama, which causes all kinds of excitement. She also has a plan to find out more about her daddy’s disappearance. Piper gets into all kinds of trouble and causes problems in the family, but it isn’t until tragedy strikes that she realizes what she really wants.
I enjoyed this story. I thought Piper was pretty realistic for a ten year old. She doesn’t always do the smart thing and she is often selfish, but she is definitely real. I liked the relationship between Ben and Heather and between Ginger and Piper. I thought everything was pretty realistic and could easily happen (and probably does happen). I did think there was a lot of extras thrown in. I am not sure we needed the whole stranger danger episode; sure it isn’t out of the realm of possibility but it didn’t seem necessary. Overall, this was a fun, quick read and I would recommend it for middle grades.
Katrina Katrell has a lot of imagination, which unfortunately her guardian Mrs. Krabone can not stand. She has finally had enough and invites Dr. LeFang, the Lobotomy Doc, to take care of Katrina. Katrina decides to run away (understandably). Mortimer Yorgle, or Morty for short, is a Zorgle from Underwood Bluff. His pop is a great explorer and adventure, but Morty likes to stay close to home. Unfortunately, he receives a lottery ticket for the lottery draw. This draw is not for cash or prizes, but for adventure and quest. The Zorgles of Zorgamazoo have vanished and Morty is given the task of finding them. Along the way he meets Katrina and they decide to do the task together. What they discover will shock and amaze you. It is all about boredom and tedium and all things gray.
It takes a lot of creativity and guts to write an entire novel in rhyme, but Zorgamazoo is worth it. Katrina is just what you want in a spunky, young heroine, and Morty just seems so lovable and courageous. The others in the story are equally imaginative and fun. This is a wonderful adventure story and would definitely be fun to read aloud.
Mason Stark is a cadet on the USS Egypt. He and several other cadets are riding along as part of their training. Suddenly the Tremists attack the ship. Earth and the Tremists have been at war for years, fighting over the only other inhabitable planet in the galaxy. The crew of the Egypt is taken hostage and Mason and the other cadets must liberate the ship. The Tremists were after a giant cross gate that can transport entire planets. They steal Earth and are about to steal the other planet. Mason and the rest of the cadets must stop them and find a way to save the human race.
This was non-stop action adventure in space. Mason is your take charge kind of kid. Not always right, but has good training to help him out in stressful situations. He is surrounded by bright young things who are also good soldiers. I loved the interactions of these kids. I especially enjoyed Merrin and her backstory and friendship with Mason. I believe this is the start of a series and the end definitely justifies this. I will be ordering this book for my library.
I received a copy of the book from the publishers on Netgalley.
Will lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with his mother and three sisters. His father is a doctor helping out in Washington and his brother is a prisoner of the South. It is 1863 and the Civil War is raging. Will dreams of being a drummer boy for the Union Army and doing heroic deeds, but his mom won’t let him join up. Then the war comes to Gettysburg. The bloodiest battle of the War is fought right on Will’s doorstep and he is right in the middle of it. He finds that war is not heroic deeds and glory but bloody, chaotic and terrifying.
This was an amazing story of what it was like in Gettysburg during the battle. Calkhoven does a great job weaving historical details into her fictional characters’ story. She shows the true horror of war, but also the selflessness of some of the people. I really enjoyed how she showed the townspeople opening their homes for the soldiers on both sides and taking care of the sick and wounded. She also provides historical notes at the end of the book with details about the battle and the Civil War.
2013-14 Mark Twain Nominee.
This is a very whimsical children’s poetry book about books with fun titles like “Calling all Readers,” “A Character Pleads for his Life,” “On the Shelf and Under the Bed,” “Paper Sky, Bookplate,” and “I’ve got this covered” just to name a few. Characters plead for sequels, book jackets strut their stuff, and we get a sneak peek at the raucous parties in the aisles when all the lights go out at the bookstore! My daughter and I took turns reading the twenty-one poems aloud to each other and found ourselves giggling until the very end.
Grow is a novel in verse. Twelve-year-old Katie tells the story of the summer she helped Berneetha start a garden in their urban community. The poems describe how they cleaned up a vacant lot, how they planted their garden, how they got other members of the community involved and how friendships developed over the summer. It is a beautiful story not just about Katie and Berneetha, but about Harlan. Harlan is a young boy with an abusive father who finds his place in the garden with Katie and Berneetha. It is also the story of how the community came together to create a green space in the middle of the concrete jungle.
Liza wakes up one morning and realizes her brother Patrick is not her brother. His soul has been stolen by the Spindlers. No one believes her, but she knows she has to get Patrick back. Liza journeys below into a a fantastical world of amazing creatures. She befriends a rat named Mirabella, who promises to help her find the Spindlers’ nest. The journey is not without its dangers and Liza and Mirabella have to pass many tests in order to save Patrick and make it back to the surface.
I thought this was a great adventure story. Liza is a wonderfully spunky heroine and really who doesn’t love a rat that wears lipstick? Liza and Mirabella make a great team in this creepy world Oliver has created. I loved all the other creatures down below and the Spindlers were truly CREEPY! I definitely don’t want them to get my soul. I listened to the audio of this book and it was great. The narrator did a wonderful job telling the story.
Addie is tall, loud, outspoken and socially conscious. This does not make her popular. In fact, her tendency to always say what she thinks makes her decidedly unpopular. But Addie has a great supportive family and group of friends. She is dating a popular boy, but they keep breaking up and getting back together. This book covers the trials and tribulations and triumphs of Addie’s seventh grade year. The story is told through a variety of poems in different styles each depicting a different moment in the life of Addie.
Addie is an interesting girl and very realistic and the poems really work for telling her story. Addie seems like your average middle school girl, maybe a little more aware of what is happening in the world and a little more outspoken than most, but still your average girl going through what all middle school girls go through. I really enjoyed the sections on her grandma; they were fun and touching. I think Addie is a girl lots of girls will enjoy reading about.
Sasha has lost his mother and now his father is gone. He leaves the streets of Paris and wonders into the forest. In the forest he finds a talking cat. Sasha and the cat make their way through the mist until they come upon a circus tent. They join the Misty Circus. The circus master sends them on a journey to a land of witches where they meet a young blind witch. They convince her to join the circus as well.
This was a charming little book. Very short, but with lovely illustrations. It reminded me of the Brian Selznick books in a way. I was definitely left wanting more.
Eleanor is having a very bad summer. Her babysitter, Bibi, has moved away. Her parents force her to get another babysitter, Natalie. Natalie is not Bibi, but she understands what Eleanor is going through. By the end of the summer, Eleanor has accepted Natalie and had a letter from Bibi so things are looking up.
This is a fun little book. I really enjoyed Eleanor’s story. The verse works really well and definitely translates what Eleanor is going through. I also enjoyed the illustrations. They are fun and silly.
Yeung Ying is a young Chinese girl living in Hong Kong in the 1960s. She likes to write stories and hates doing math. She writes letters for her family members, many of whom can’t write. She dreams of being a writer someday. This collection of poems tells her story as she discovers who she wants to be and what she wants to do with her life. I think they really invoke her love of her family and her desire to be someone someday. This collection is short and sweet and easy to read. Lovely novel in verse.
Johanna is the maidservant for Dame Margery. Dame Margery is considered a holy woman. She speaks to God which causes her to weep constantly. Dame Margery decides to go on pilgrimage to Rome and takes Johanna with her. Johanna has no choice in the matter and is expected to not only take care of Dame Margery, but of the whole group. She has to cook (even though she doesn’t know how), clean their clothes, sew and fetch water and wood. She is not treated well by most of the company, especially grumpy Petrus Tappester who likes to slap her around. Dame Margery even leaves Johanna in the middle of no where on the way to Rome; forcing Johanna to find her way there by herself.
Johanna is spunky and brave and a creature of her times. She doesn’t have modern ideas, but that doesn’t mean she is lacking; it means she is authentic. I enjoyed her wit and commentary on the holiness of those around her, especially Dame Margery. She was not treated well yet she persevered. According to the author’s note, Dame Margery and Johanna actually existed. Dame Margery wrote a book about her pilgrimage which became the first biography. She describes her servant as disobedient. Barnhouse, like the reader, found Johanna fascinating and developed her tale.
Book 1 of the new children’s series, All the Wrong Questions, by Lemony Snicket. The main character is a young Lemony Snicket relating his adventures. Instead of heading off to a boarding school Lemony has found himself an apprenticeship with an unusual secret organization. He thinks his first adventure will be assisting a friend of his but instead he is sent to an isolated town separated from everyone else by an inland sea that is now dry. He starts by asking questions that shouldn’t have even been on his mind. Will he think of the right questions in time to find the real answers?