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.
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
Teen Book Blogger, Elizabeth N. recommends Why Can’t I Be You by Melissa Walker
Why Can’t I Be You is a realistic fiction novel about a girl named Claire, who is a tween. This summer, she is finally old enough to not go to summer camp, and now she can decide what she wants to do. She has two best friends, Brianna and Ronan, but Brianna’s cousin always takes the spotlight and acts very sophisticated and glamorous. Also, Brianna moved into a new, big house which reminds Claire that her friends have more money than her family. And Ronan has been acting really weird whenever anyone ever talks about, or mentions his father. As she has troubles with her friends, she starts to wish that she could be someone else. I liked this novel. It had lots of meaning and was very realistic in the way that the main character thought. It is a very addicting book. I wanted to know what would happen next in the book. I recommend this book to whoever likes The First Rule of Punk because they are both realistic novels about tween girls dealing with problems with family and a little bit about “fitting in.” Why Can’t I Be You is a great realistic fiction novel that you should read.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J WALKER
Today I recommend: Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer and Matthew Holm.
This page-turning, graphic novel is the sequel to Sunny Side Up. It’s autumn and Sunny is back home and starting middle school. Her brother, Dale, has been sent to a boarding school to help with his drug problems. Sunny misses him terribly, and her fun is often interrupted by thoughts of him, thoughts that are often completely unrelated to what Sunny is doing. When Dale returns home for the holidays feeling angry and betrayed by his family, it’s Gramps who helps Sunny see the “sunny side of things” again. If you like this book, you may also like Drama, by Raina Telgemeier or All’s Fair in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.
You can find this book in the Juvenile section at J GRAPHIC HOLM.
For this Throwback Thursday, I recommend: Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn.
Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their younger stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she’s made Molly’s and Michael’s lives miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church – with a cemetery in the backyard. If that’s not bad enough, Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen and warning Molly and Michael that Helen is coming to them. Molly feels certain Heather is in some kind of danger, but every time she tries to help, Heather twists things around to get her into trouble. It seems as if things can’t get any worse. But they do – when Helen comes.
This frightening ghost story, complete with secrets from the past and unsettled graves, makes it one of my favorite books to recommend to those who want to savor a frightening read on a spooky October night! You can find this novel in the Juvenile section at J HAHN.
Today I recommend: The Girl in the Locked Room: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn
We are now in the month of October, and I wanted to make sure to feature some scary stories to tingle your spine on chilly autumn nights! In the latest spooky middle grade tale by Mary Downing Hahn, twelve-year-old Jules is tired of being dragged from town to town with her novelist mother and her father, whose work restoring old houses keeps them on the road. Their latest move takes them to Virginia, where Jules encounters a menacing, long-abandoned house, Oak Hill. Readers will know before Jules does that her intuition about the house being haunted is correct! Told in two voices, one being Jules and the other, of a girl who lived in the house a century before, the reader slowly learns of the the girl’s tragic story. With a new local friend, Jules researches what happened at Oak Hill. Can they actually make a difference in the ghost girl’s afterlife? This is a very gentle ghost story: the creepy factor is just right for reading alone at night with the lights out, covers pulled over your head with a flashlight to see the pages.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J HAHN.