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.
For this Throwback Thursday I recommend: The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall.
While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four young sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.
First published in 2005, this is a modern classic that won a National Book Award in 2005. This story of siblings is perfect for readers who enjoyed Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. You can find it in the Juvenile Fiction section at J BIRDSALL.
Today’s recommended read is: Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.
It’s autumn and Sunny is back home and starting middle school. Dale her brother 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. Through it all, Sunny tries to stay positive and learns we can’t always fix everything.
If you like this book you may like DRAMA by Raina Telgemeier or All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC HOLM.
Ebo is alone. His brother, Kwame, has disappeared, and Ebo knows it can only be to attempt the hazardous journey to Europe, and a better life, the same journey their sister set out on months ago. But Ebo refuses to be left behind in Ghana. He sets out after Kwame and joins him on the quest to reach Europe. Ebo’s epic journey takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life, and a reunion with his family.
As the author notes although Illegal is a work of fiction all of the different portions of it are true, and events similar to what happen to Ebo happen to children, teens, and adults each day. This graphic novel is a compassionate look at the plight of refugees and immigrants. Readers will gain empathy for Ebo as the novel does not shy away from the terrible events that happen to him but his positive outlook lessens the overwhelming nature of the tragedies. The graphic novel would be an excellent teaching tool- to combine with history lessons or current events. Readers who enjoy graphic novel memoirs or graphic novel nonfiction such as Spinning by Walden or March by Lewis should check out this book.
You can find Illegal by Eoin Colfer in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC COLFER.
For this Throwback Thursday Ruth Anne recommends: Fair Weather by Richard Peck.
In 1893, thirteen-year-old Rosie and members of her family travel from their Illinois farm to Chicago to visit Aunt Euterpe and attend the World’s Columbian Exposition which, along with an encounter with Buffalo Bill and Lillian Russell, turns out to be a life-changing experience for everyone.
Richard Peck passed away on May 23, 2018- but his books are well regarded and on their way to becoming classics. This is perfect for readers who enjoy historical fiction especially readers who live in and around Chicago and Illinois. Full of humor and fast-paced this is also a great inter-generational story that shows relationships between children and grandparents.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J PECK.
~ra & aw
Paper Things – Jennifer Jacobson
Paper Things is a thrilling novel by Jennifer Jacobson that tells the life of a nineteen-year-old Gage and his younger sister being homeless for six weeks. When Ari’s mother died four years ago, she had two final wishes: that Ari and her older brother, Gage, would stay together always, and that Ari would go to Carter, the middle school for gifted students. So, when nineteen-year-old Gage decides he can no longer live with their bossy guardian, Janna, Ari knows she must go with him. But it’s been two months, and Gage still hasn’t found them an apartment. He and Ari have been “couch surfing,” staying with Gage’s friend in a tiny apartment, crashing with Gage’s girlfriend and two roommates, and if necessary, sneaking into a juvenile shelter to escape the cold Maine nights. But all this jumping around makes it hard for Ari to keep up with her schoolwork, never mind her friendships, and getting into Carter starts to seem impossible. Will Ari be forced to break one of her promises to Mama?
This novel will engender empathy and understanding of a serious and all-too-real problem. Jacobson’s story is poignant but never preachy. — School Library Journal
Paper Things by Jennifer Jacobson is a heart-touching novel and is originally published on February 10, 2015. Paper Things is a Rebecca Caudill 2019 nominee and has won several awards such as, the ILA Social Justice Literature Award for Fiction winner, and Hudson Bookseller’s Best of Summer 2015. I would recommend Paper Things to a reader that is looking for a thrilling novel.
~Vishnu, Teen Blogger
You can find Paper Things on the Rebecca Caudill shelf during the 2018-19, and in the Juvenile Fiction section at J JACOBSEN.
Today I Recommend Love, Penelope written by Joanne Rocklin and illustrated by Lucy Knisley.
Love, Penelope is an illustrated novel about a basketball loving girl named Penelope who can’t wait to welcome her new baby sister to the world. Penelope is in fifth grade and lives with her two mothers with happiness. Penelope writes every day in her journal about her life, addressing them all to her soon to be baby sister. Penelope and her friends face big problems and try to overcome them together, like fabrications (lies), school projects, heritage and family.
I loved this novel so much. Penelope is very lovable with the big words she uses and the jokes she and her friends tell. One of my favorite things in this novel has to be the fact that one of Penelope’s friend owns a goat. The goat helps calm down the girls by letting the girls pet itself and get milked. This book was very enjoyable and I recommend this book to anyone because it covers a lot of topics that is very diverse.
~Teen blogger, Elizabeth N.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ROCKLIN.
A year in the life of two young girls growing up on the Wisconsin frontier, as they help their mother with the daily chores, enjoy their father’s stories and singing, and share special occasions when they get together with relatives or neighbors.
This is the book that started the well known series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was first published in 1932. I loved this book as a kid, and first encountered it when my mother read it to me aloud. Laura is a protagonist who is easy to cheer for and it is touching to read about her as she grows up. This classic is a perfect choice for those who love historical fiction or are interested in pioneers.
You can find Little House in the Big Woods
and the rest of this series by Laura Ingalls Wilder in the Juvenile Fiction section at J WILDER.
The Vanderbeeker family have been happily living in their Harlem brownstone apartment unit their landlord refuses to renew their lease. Now, they have five days before Christmas to convince him to let them stay. Each of the five siblings craft a different strategy to change his mind.
Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny Alden are brothers and sisters – and they’re orphans. The only way they can stay together is to make it on their own. One night, during a storm, the children find an old red boxcar that keeps them warm and safe. They decide to make it their home.
The first book in the series serves as the introduction to these four plucky orphans and the boxcar that they turn into their home but the series quickly focuses on the children’s abilities to solve mysteries. The first book, The Boxcar Children, was published in 1924 and written by Gertrude Chandler Warner who went on to write the first 19 books in the series. Other authors have contributed the other books in this popular series which numbers over 130 books and continue to be published today!
You can find the Boxcar Children series in the Juvenile Mystery section at J MYSTERY WARNER.