Good historical fiction is hard to find, but it’s probably even harder to write. Newbery Honor winner Gennifer Choldenko’s ability to research obscure yet intriguing topics is uncanny, and as she did with the popular Al Capone trilogy, she turns a tough topic into a high-interest read with Chasing Secrets.
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.
You could say Mark is running from death. But, in a way, he’s also running toward it.
Grumpy Cat’s got nothing on Hissy Fitz, the eponymous feline of Patrick Jenning’s latest middle grade novel. Hissy lives with the Fitz family, and he loves his owner, young Georgie; she’s his favorite, and she treats Hissy just like a sibling. Unfortunately, Georgie’s actual sibling, young Zeb, lives to annoy Hissy. Zeb is noisy, rambunctious and does what little boys do.
Most people don’t think much about homonyms or prime numbers. But most people aren’t 12-year-old Rose Howard, whose every waking moment is spent thinking about just those things. So it’s especially good luck that both her name (Rose/rows) and her dog’s (Rain/reign) are homonyms.
A nest is a haven—a place of safety and repose. But for 11-year-old Naomi Orenstein, her safe haven is turned upside down after mounting family tragedy.
Lots of scientists—Newton, Salk, Galileo—changed the world. Now Ellie’s grandfather Melvin might be on the same track. But is that a good thing?
When antimatter combines with matter, it creates an explosion of energy. That’s an accurate formula for what Jon Scieszka has created with this excellent first book in his new middle grade series.
Everyone should read Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird; at least that’s what eighth-graders Lucy and her friends Michael and Elena think. In fact, they believe so strongly in this summer reading-list classic that they decide to put their clever and surreptitious marketing skills to work to get everyone talking about—and searching for—the book. The trio begins creatively “hiding” copies of the book in stores and libraries; they’re not doing anything illegal, just generating some buzz.
Separating fact from fantasy is no small order in The Riverman, Aaron Starmer’s first installment in a planned trilogy. And discerning what is real is a challenge for the reader as well as for 12-year-old Alistair Cleary, the well-meaning protagonist of this dark and multilayered novel set in a small town in the 1980s.