Children’s

Life on Mars by Jennifer Brown

Arty’s goal is to find life on Mars. On the roof outside his bedroom, using a homemade signaling device, Arty directs messages toward Mars and waits for a response.  One night he sees a man come out of the house next door, carrying a black garbage bag into the woods. Arty and his friends Tripp and Priya decide his neighbor is a face-eating zombie and call him Mr. Death. Arty is upset to learn his family is moving far from the Midwest. Plans get mixed up while his parents are in Las Vegas, looking for a new house, and Arty must spend the night at Mr. Death’s house.

Shipwreck Island by S.A. Bodeen

Sarah Robinson’s dad has decided to marry a woman after only three dates. Now Sarah’s new stepmom is moving in with her two sons, Marco who’s also twelve and Nacho who is ten. Life is never going to be the same! Hoping to unite their new family, Sarah’s dad and stepmom decide to take them on a dream vacation to Fiji, where they’ll charter a boat and go sailing amongst the islands.

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.  

Nuts To You by Lynne Rae Perkins

This story started with the author sitting down with a peanut butter sandwich and a squirrel, Jed, itching to tell a tale. One day while minding his own business, Jed gets picked up by a hungry hawk. He tricks the hawk and is dropped to safety, but far away from his grove.  While Jed is a gray squirrel, these squirrels are red and speak with a Scottish brogue. In the meantime, Jed’s friends discover he’s alive and travel electric lines, buzzpaths in squirrel-talk, to find him.

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

Will is an artistic boy whose father works on the new mega-train, The Boundless.  It is miles long, and is considered the greatest train ever built.  It is so enormous that it even has a traveling circus!  When Will stumbles upon a crime in progress, he needs to hide on the train to protect himself from the criminals. As he works his way from the caboose to the front, he encounters a circus owner/performer with designs on a magical painting in the front of the train. Together, and with a girl aerialist, they outwit the criminals.  

Mindwar by Andrew Klaven

Rick Dial was the best quarterback in Putnam Hills High’s history, the unstoppable Number 12.  But when an accident destroyed his legs, his heroic life ended. Around the same time, his dad disappeared, leaving Rick and little brother alone with his financially-strapped mom. To cope, Rick disappears into his room and loses himself in his video games. Badgered by his mother to get out of his dark room, Rick teeters on crutches and painfully walks to the corner where he is grabbed and a syringe is plunged into his neck . . .

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

This is the story of Tsar Nicolas II of Russia, the wealthiest monarch in the world, who ruled over 130 million people. It’s also the story of his powerful wife, their friend Rasputin, and their five children. Included throughout are pictures and diary entries from the family, as well as from the peasants who were struggling to survive. Miss Kelly says. “This is a fascinating history of Imperial Russia, for people who normally would not read a history book.

Under the Egg by Laura Marz Fitzgerald

Theodora Tenpenny’s grandfather Jack was an artist, as well as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Upon his death he whispers to Theo to “look under the egg” where he promises she will find a letter and a treasure. The “egg” he mentioned is a painting that he made, which has hung over the fireplace for as long as Theo can remember. Taking the painting down, Theo accidently spills alcohol on it and exposes another painting underneath.

Bird by Crystal Chan

Jewel never knew her brother John. Jewel’s grandfather nicknamed her brother Bird, and encouraged him to pretend he could fly. Bird jumped off a cliff and died the day Jewel was born. No one talks about Bird or how he died, and her grandfather doesn’t speak at all. One night Jewel climbs her favorite tree and discovers someone else is already there, and his name is John. The two become fast friends, sharing their hopes and dreams for the future. 

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