Kelly's blog

Tesla's Attic by Neal Shusterman

Nick’s family moves to Colorado Springs, into a new home.  The attic is full of clutter and Nick decides to have a garage sale to make space for a bedroom.  After he sells all the items, Nick learns they have strange powers and a sinister group of scientists wants them back.  It’s up to Nick and his friends to get the stuff out of the wrong hands so they can figure out exactly what power this mismatched pile of junk holds.

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Ada was born with a clubfoot.  Her single mother is ashamed and keeps her inside their cramped apartment at all times. It’s only when her little brother James starts going to school and exploring the neighborhood that Ada learns what happens beyond her walls. When the children of London are evacuated due to the German bombings during WWII, Ada runs away with her brother.  They are placed with a reluctant guardian, Susan, who is suffering with depression. 

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Cece was four when she got meningitis and lost her hearing.    As she prepares for school, she gets a sonic ear which is a microphone and amplifier device.  It works so well, she can even hear when her teacher goes to the bathroom. The sonic ear is a bulky box that she wears on her chest, it’s hot in summer and cold in the winter and pretty obvious.  Throughout the book, Cece really just wants a true best friend, a sidekick.  So she creates a superhero character for herself, El Deafo! 

Mr. Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt

Max is almost thirteen when his parents go to India to start a theatrical company.  The problem is, the ship they were supposed to sail on doesn’t exist.  Max needs a way to make a living after they disappear, so he starts a business solving problems and recovering items for clients. And he investigates what happened to his parents.  He uses a number of their theatrical costumes as he goes about this work around town, sometimes with comic effect.

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

This is the story of the House of Romanov: Tsar Nicolas II of Russia, the wealthiest monarch in the world who ruled over 130 million people; his powerful wife; their friend Rasputin and his influence on them; and their five children. Included throughout are pictures and diary entries of the family, as well as those of the peasants who were just trying to survive.

Nightmares by Jason Segel

When Charlie Laird’s dad remarries and they move into his new stepmother’s house, Charlie’s nightmares become real.  He thinks his stepmom is a witch and is upset that his little brother likes her. Then his nightmare witch enters the real world and takes his younger brother.  Charlie discovers and enters the Netherworld through a portal in the house and enlists his friends to help get him and his brother out.  

Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

“Home isn’t just a house or a city or a place.”  After being constantly on the move for the last five years, Felicity has finally made a friend and wishes more than anything that her wandering mother will let them stay in Midnight Gulch, a town that was once considered magical.  When she participates in the town Duel (a talent contest), everyone’s luck changes and perhaps the magic has returned after all.

Maleficent by Elizabeth Runick

And her name was Maleficent…   This is actually the thinly-veiled story of Sleeping Beauty told from Maleficent’s point of view.  Beginning with her idyllic childhood in the Moors, this story continues with her crush on Stefan and how he becomes king by betraying her, and then the curse she puts on his child, Aurora.

Tesla's Attic by Neal Shusterman

Nick’s family moves to Colorado Springs and into a deceased aunt’s home.  The attic is full of clutter and Nick decides to have a garage sale to make space for a bedroom.  The items turn out to have strange powers which attract a sinister group of scientists who have suspect reasons for wanting them.  It is up to Nick and his friends to keep the stuff out of the wrong hands so they can figure out exactly what power this pile of junk holds.

The Dark Lady by Irene Adler

This first book in the Sherlock, Lupin & Me series introduces the reader to young Sherlock Holmes and his two best friends in the summer of 1870.  While at a seaside resort town, the three find a dead man on the beach with an apparent suicide note in his pocket.  Then a diamond necklace gets stolen and they wonder if there’s a connection.  The friends end up in jeopardy more than once as they investigate, and the cliffhanger chapter endings keep the suspense moving.

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