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.
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: 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
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: Number the Stars
This is a recommendation from the Teen Advisory Board
Annemarie Johansen has, at the age of ten, been under Nazi occupation for three years in her native land of Denmark. When the Nazis begin to round up Jewish people, she and her family take in Annemarie’s friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend Ellen is their daughter. But the family knows Ellen and her family will never be safe in Denmark so they must find a way to smuggle them out of the country and into neighboring Sweden. This is a wonderful story of courage in the face of terrible circumstances.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J LOWRY.
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.
Today I recommend: Beyond Lucky by Sarah Aronson
Believing his luck has changed for the better after finding a rare soccer card, aspiring young goalie Ari Fish finds his athletic skills floundering in the face of a dispute between his best friend and the new girl on the team, who both accuse each other of stealing the card. Beyond Lucky is not only about soccer. It’s also about friendships and how complicated they can be in middle school. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and was surprised by the turn of events a few times. This was a fun book that kept me guessing until the end. It’s great fiction for the middle school soccer lover or sports fan. Ari is competitive, yet relatable and endearing. And if you love the play-by-play, Aronson pulls you right into the games!
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ARONSON