Lane Smith is a hilarious, irreverent and award-winning children's illustrator and author, with titles under his belt like The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. His first middle grade novel, Return to Augie Hobble, starts out just as one might expect.
It’s 1948, and 11-year-old Tate P. Ellerbee’s teacher wants each of her students to choose a pen pal, hoping that “new worlds will unfold in front of you, and you’ll see your own world through fresh eyes.” Tate decides to write to rising country singer Hank Williams. She pours her heart out to her idol in letter after letter, even though he sends her fan photos but never writes back.
The latest novel by award-winning author Pam Muñoz Ryan is a hefty yet riveting page-turner containing four interwoven stories.
Twelve-year-old Mel isn’t expecting Christmas to be exciting. His family life has recently come apart, so he and two other classmates are spending the holidays at their posh boarding school, where they’re known as “the Left Behinds.” When a history teacher escorts the trio to a Christmas Day re-enactment of Washington’s crossing of the Delaware, things go strangely haywire, and Mel, Bev and Brandon inexplicably find themselves thrust back in time to December 25, 1776.
According to author Jessica Lawson, Tom Sawyer was a tattletale and Becky Thatcher was the real rascal getting into all sorts of trouble in St. Petersburg, Missouri. That’s the inventive premise of this gem of a chapter book that stirs up all of the ingredients of the American classic to create a thoughtful, energetic new debut novel.
What happens when a group of middle school geniuses trains for months to win a special contest at a Disney World-style Florida theme park called Incredo Land? That’s the premise of Bringing Down the Mouse, a page-turning caper whose hero is sixth-grader Charlie Lewis, known as “Numbers,” the nerdy son of an MIT professor dad and a mom with two Ph.D.s.
Under the Egg starts out with a horrific bang: 13-year-old Theodora Tenpenny sees that her beloved grandfather Jack has just been struck by a cab. She’s just in time to hear his dying words, “Look under the egg,” with instructions to also look for a letter and a treasure.
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny are back, and so are Madeline and her ex-hippie parents, Flo and Mildred, in this sequel to Mr. and Mrs. Bunny―Detectives Extraordinare! Imagine if Tina Fey wrote a middle grade novel, and you’ll have a sense of the nonstop quips packed into these pages.
If you enjoy black humor, then you will adore the opening lines of The Nine Lives of Alexander Baddenfield:"A grave should be a sad thing, and the grave of a child the saddest thing of all.The tombstone reads:Here Lies Alexander Baddenfield,Who Departed This Mortal Coil after a Dozen Years.He was the Last of the Baddenfields?Thank God!"Imagine, if you will, an Edward Gorey-like tale...
Many people believe God is everywhere, and He/She certainly is in this captivating book of verse. In a series of 16 poems, Cynthia Rylant imagines God wondering what it’s like to be human. To find out, God pursues a variety of very human endeavors, such as becoming a beautician, making spaghetti on a lonely night, going to the doctor and watching cable TV.Of course, an irreverent book...