Thanks to a smart-alecky student who sat in the back row of her classroom, Sharon M. Draper went from teacher to award-winning writer. Of course, there were other factors: a lifelong love of reading, plus years of hard work and outstanding scholarship, for starters.
This charming book by Sebastian Meschenmoser has the feel of a classic fable. Mr. Squirrel and the Moon begins with an illustration of a large yellow circle of cheese that bounces out of a wheelbarrow, shoots down a hillside and soars off a cliff.
The indefatigable Mary Pope Osborne returns with a new title in her popular Magic Tree House series. Set in occupied France during World War II, Danger in the Darkest Hour, the first Magic Tree House Super Edition, provides the same reading level as the Merlin Missions (books 29 through 52) but with a longer story and more complex plot.
Miles Murphy is not happy about starting at a new school in the snoringly boring town of Yawnee Valley. The only thing that might make this OK is becoming the greatest prankster the school has ever seen. Miles was proud of his reputation as “King Prankster” at his old school, even if it meant that some of his friends didn’t like hanging out with him anymore.
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.
Carrie Ryan, who is best known for the young adult apocalyptic zombie series, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, finds her kindler, gentler (but no less thrilling) side as she teams up with her husband, John Parke Davis, for the first in a projected four-part middle grade adventure series.
First there was Wilbur the pig. Then there was Ivan the shopping mall gorilla. Now there’s Audrey the cow.
It’s 1861, and the men of Keokuk, Iowa, have finally been called to war. Unfortunately for 11-year-old Ike Button, he’ll have to stay behind with the women while his older brothers, father and uncles all serve in the Union Army. Ike doesn’t want to care for his baby cousins when he could be off fighting like the men. Determined to forge his own destiny, Ike conjures up a scheme to go to Missouri and slip into the regiment. But before those ill-conceived plans come to fruition, Ike discovers that the war is happening in Keokuk, too, and he doesn’t need to be a soldier to fight for the cause.
Truly Lovejoy, or Drooly as her brother calls her, tries to stay under the radar. But she’s nearly six feet tall and sporting size 10.5 shoes, so being overlooked is impossible.
Martine Leavitt has a super-cool dad—a smart, rugged man named James Webster who, throughout his life, has gone on countless hikes into mountain ranges and national parks in his native Canada, where he immersed himself in and learned about nature. He also took pages and pages of notes, and countless photographs of the flora and fauna he encountered.