In Jennifer Bradbury’s exciting new work of historical fiction, River Runs Deep, 12-year-old Elias is suffering from tuberculosis in 1842. He’s sent from his home in Norfolk, Virginia, to recover in an underground hut in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. He will be cared for by the real-life Dr. John Croghan, who during one winter ministered to 16 tuberculosis patients, who sought the benefit of the cave's dank air and lived in small rooms built by slaves.
It’s hard to navigate the world when you’re 12 years old, especially when you’re the chubby kid at a secret spy school. Not only is Hale Jordan having trouble passing his junior agent exam, but he’s the son of the Sub Rosa Society’s most elite spy team.
Val and Lanora were BFFs—that is, until they entered middle school and Lanora decided to reinvent herself, straightening her curly hair and hanging out with the popular girls. Being popular isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as Lanora adds stealing to her list of reinventions. However, Val misses Lanora and can’t let their friendship go without a fight.
On the third spread of this story of a rushed parent with a curious child, readers see a street scene with a “one way” sign in the background. It’s fitting for this horizontally oriented book of a mother rushing to get someplace on time. “Hurry!” she keeps telling her son, rushing to the next page. But “wait,” he says. There’s a big and endlessly intriguing world to see, and he wants to slow down and take it all in.
Young readers are lucky to have a new book posthumously published by Bernard Waber, the talented creator of more than 30 titles, including the beloved Lyle the Crocodile series.
Bernice Gets Carried Away begins with a zinger: “It was a horrible, dreary day, and it suited Bernice’s mood just fine.” This young cat stands sulking behind a tree while her animal friends enjoy an outdoor birthday party. No doubt young readers will sympathize with Bernice’s plight, since birthday parties can frequently be filled with intense emotions and overwhelming disappointment.
Self-confidence is not all it’s cracked up to be, as we learn from ebullient little Poppy in Susan Eaddy’s Poppy’s Best Paper, charmingly illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet.
Bear enjoys his house in the woods and the perfect solitude it offers. When a group of rabbits build a house up the hill and get too neighborly, he’s less than kind about it. Can he learn to adapt, or will Those Pesky Rabbits destroy his peace?
When Burdock—a one-eyed cat named for the prickly burr seeds that inspired Velcro—discovers that Dewey Baxter is planning to burn down his barn, it becomes his mission to save the barn’s inhabitants. It isn’t long before the whole farm—workhorses Tug and Pull, Fluff the sheep, Figgy the pig, Mrs. Brown the cow, Nanny the goat and her kid, Tick—work with Burdock to concoct an escape plan.
Tamara Ellis Smith’s first novel sweeps readers up in a tale imbued with magical realism, a definitive mix of gritty realism and magic that allows the possibility for life-affirming choices.