Winter is here, and with it comes some great mysteries to read on a chilly day – including those stories which take place during the winter season. Today’s selection is from popular Tween author Patricia Reilly Giff: Winter Sky.
Sirens! A scary sound, especially to Siria, whose brave father is a firefighter. Siria loves everyone at Pop’s city firehouse. She also loves to study the stars. Her mother named her after the brightest start in the winter sky. When Siria hears sirens, she sneaks out to chase the trucks, to bring Pop and the other firefighters luck. She’d be in big trouble if she ever got caught. Good thing her best friend, Douglas, is always by her side. As Christmas approaches, Siria suspects that someone in the neighborhood is setting fires. She has to find out who’s doing it. When clues point to a surprising suspect, she realizes that solving this mystery will take all kinds of courage. Patricia Reilly Giff, the author of many beloved and award-winning books, is at her best in this action-packed story. In Winter Sky, friends, family, and a very special dog help Siria see how brave she really is. Nominated to the Arkansas Charlie May Simon Children’s Book Award.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction Section at J GIFF.
With Christmas coming in less than two weeks, some of you might enjoy reading a mystery and detective story which takes place this time of year: Tru & Nelle: A Christmas Tale by Greg Neri. When they were younger, Tru and Nelle were best friends, sharing adventures and solving mysteries in Monroeville, Alabama. But then Tru moved to New York City to live with his mother and their friendship slowly faded away. Life in the big city wasn’t as fun as Tru had hoped it would be. In fact, he ran away, and now he’s back and hoping he and Nelle can be friends again.Unfortunately, thing’s aren’t so great in Munroeville, either. Maybe he should have run away to somewhere else.
But Christmas is just around the corner, and there’s nothing like the holidays to bring everyone back together. Based on true events, Tru & Nelle: A Christmas Tale is the continuing story of one of the greatest literary friendships of the 20th century.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J NERI.
For those who enjoy traveling back in time, I recommend: The Safest Lie by Angela Cerrito. Anna Bauman, a Polish Jew lives in the Warsaw ghetto. She is smuggled out of the ghetto and into a Catholic orphanage where she is trained to be a Christian so that she can hide in plain sight. Eventually she is adopted by a Polish family who have secrets of their own. Told from Anna’s perspective, this is a harrowing tale of secrets and survival. Anna must become a whole new person, Anna Korwolska a Catholic girl, in order to fool the Germans. At the same time, Anna desperately tries to hold onto her Jewish past, a past that keeps her connected to the loving parents, grandparents, and family members she so desperately refuses to forget.
You can find this moving book in the Juvenile Fiction section at:
Basketball season is well under way! For those guys and girls who like sports stories, today’s recommendation is: Hot Hand: a Comeback Kids Novel. #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica scores from downtown with his Comeback Kids series for middle-grade readers. It’s simple. All Billy Raynor wants to do is shoot. After all, he is one of the best shooters in the league. But with his dad as his coach, and his parents newly separated, somehow everything has become complicated. His brother Ben, a piano prodigy, hardly speaks anymore. His mom is always traveling on business. And his dad is always on his case about not being a team player. But when Ben’s piano recital falls on the same day as the championship game, it is Billy who teaches his dad the true meaning of being a team player.
You can find this title in the Juvenile Fiction section at J LUPICA.
Today’s review goes under the category of, “If you have not read this yet, this is a “must read.”
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is truly a wonder. Auggie Pullman, a tween born with a number of physical deformities in his face and head, starts his 5th grade year at a private school after being homeschooled for his entire life. The book follows Auggie, his friends, and his family throughout his school year as he deals with transitioning into middle school life and the way he looks.
The way the book is written is that it switches points of view between many of the characters in the book including Auggie himself, his sister, his friends, and his sister’s friends. This is what really makes the book so fantastic. Not only are we getting the story from Auggie’s point of view, but from other characters as well. We can truly see the impact of Auggie and his appearance on other young people in his life. The short chapters and life-like narration and dialogue also help to make this book so enjoyable to read. I recommend seeing the movie as well!
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section under J PALACIO. We also have this book in Large Print, as well as in Audiobook and Playaway format. For “movie night” we also have the DVD available!
Continue reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Today’s Recommendation: Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings. A courageous teen’s moral dilemma—and how he comes to terms with it—underscores this well-written, sometimes gripping story. Living near the water on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, thirteen-year-old Brady and his best friends J.T. and Digger become entangled in a tragedy which tests their friendship and their ideas about right and wrong. A young child, for whom 15-year-old Brady Parks once baby-sat, dies after his family’s kayak sinks during an outing. Brady’s valiant attempts to revive little Ben actually get him to breathe for a few minutes. Sadly, the tiny boy succumbs and Brady’s plagued with guilt and grief. His sorrow is nothing, though, compared with the shock of discovering that the tragedy was the result of a malicious prank by his two best friends. Even worse is Brady’s discovery that he himself unwittingly gave them the idea. This sickening fact, reluctance to “rat” on his pals, and the thought that he, too, could be criminally charged in the death keep Brady silent. In the end, though, Brady knows what he must do. A great read that deals with the courage that is sometimes needed to do the right thing.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J CUMMINGS
Today I recommend: Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz.
World War II is raging and Michael O’Shaunessey, originally from Ireland, now lives with his parents in Nazi Germany. Everyone knows that Ireland is “neutral,” but Michael and his family have a secret. He and his parents are spies for the Allies. Michael joins the Hitler Youth and becomes everything he despises to play the part so he can assist his parents by gaining insider knowledge. Soon Michael learns about “Projekt 1065,” a secret Nazi fighter jet, and things get even more complicated for him and his parents. Now he must risk his life and the lives of others to get the secret plans into the hands of the British Secret Service. Short and to the point chapters add to this book’s appeal. This is a fast-paced spy thriller and accurate historical account of the Hitler Youth – making this a great book for World War II, as well as realistic fiction fans.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J GRATZ
Today I recommend: Twerp by Mark Goldblatt.
“It’s not like I meant for Danley to get hurt…” Julian Twerski isn’t a bully. He’s just made a big mistake. So when he returns to school after a week long suspension, his English teacher offers him a deal – if he keeps a journal and writes about the terrible incident that got him and his friends suspended, he can get out of writing a report on Shakespeare. Julian jumps at the chance. And so begins his account of life in sixth grade – blowing up homemade fireworks, writing a love letter for his best friend (with disastrous results) and worrying whether he’s still the fastest kid in school. Lurking in the background, though, is the one story he can’t bring himself to tell, the one story his teacher most wants to hear. Inspired by Mark Goldblatt’s own childhood growing up in 1960’s Queens, Twerp shines with humor and heart. This remarkably powerful story will have readers laughing and crying right along with these flawed but unforgettable characters.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J GOLDBLATT
Today I recommend: Denis Ever After by Tony Abbott
As the month of October is rapidly coming to the end, here is a “modern day ghost story” which is sure to keep the reader wanting to find answers to this baffling supernatural mystery. Since his death at age seven, Denis has been living in Port Haven, where souls still remembered by the living go after they die. Denis had a twin brother, still living, named Matt, who is now twelve-years-old. Matt remembers Denis so vividly that Denis has continued to grow, unlike most of the Port Haven residents, who remain the age that they were upon their death and, once they are completely forgotten by the living, move on to Garden Hills. But Matt has just discovered that the investigation surrounding Denis’ death has been deliberately left unresolved by their father, who can’t seem to let Denis go. Matt becomes so obsessed with finding the killer that he asks his brother to “haunt” him, in order for the both of them to solve the mystery behind Denis’ death. Author Tony Abbot (the Secrets of Droon series) creates a murder mystery with lots of twists and turns, as the reader realizes that the powerful connections forged through love cannot be broken, even in death.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ABBOTT