Convicted of murder, John O’Malley is sentenced to death by Judge Lucas Biggs. But, O’Malley’s daughter, Margaret, knows that her father is innocent. Normally a thirteen-year-old girl won’t be able to do much against the law, but Margaret has a secret. Her family has a certain quirk that allows them to time travel. Even though she made a vow to never use this ability, Margaret feels that this is a situation where it is necessary, especially after her best friend’s grandfather, Joshua, encourages her to go back in time. Margaret and Joshua both hope that by changing the town’s history, they can change the events that led up to John’s conviction.
Saving Lucas Biggs is a really cute story. The characters are gutsy and full of determination to stand up for what’s right. Even though the plot is predictable, it’s still a good book about the classic battle between good and evil.
In a small village in Finland, it is tradition for a thirteen-year old boy to spend the night in the wilderness, where he must kill an animal and bring it back the next day in order to become a man. What animal is killed helps define who that boy becomes.
Oskari has always dreaded the day he would have to go out into the woods because he doesn’t feel he can kill something impressive. While hunting, Oskari comes across an escape pod from Air Force One containing the president. Air Force One was shot down, and the men who shot it down are now after the president.
Instead of hunting, Oskari and the president become the hunted as they try to avoid the group of men who are determined to capture the president at all costs.
Big Game is a really exciting book, filled with adventure and action. This would be a great book for middle school boys.
A chilling mystery, Finding Jake begins with every parent’s worst nightmare, a shooting at their child’s school. But, what happens when it’s your child who is accused of being one of the shooters?
Told from a father’s perspective, and jumping from the past to present, Finding Jake is an amazing story that I couldn’t put down. This is going to be my first permanent staff pick of this year.
When Stan and his mother head off to a lumberjack camp, Stan has to survive all sorts of scary things. For instance, his 100 percent evil grandmother, sharp axes, his cousin who is always getting him into trouble, Scary Geri, and a lumberjack who killed a man. But, Stan's long-lost father will understand everything Stan has been through-that is, once Stan finds him.
Alison DeCamp's family has lived in Michigan for several generations, and she pulled aspects from their lives to write My Near-Death Adventures. Told through letters, clippings from magazines, and Stan's overactive imagination and creative personality, this is a really fun book.
Alison DeCamp will be here on March 17th to visit several of the schools, and will be in the store from 3:30-5:30 to sign books. This would be a wonderful book to give a child (it's appropriate for ages 8-12), so to get more information or to order a copy, just click the link.
Ally Nickerson has managed to hide the fact that she can’t read from all of her teachers. She is convinced that she is dumb, and that she can never change that. However, her new teacher, Mr. Daniels, notices more than Ally is comfortable with. He asks questions and challenges all of Ally’s attempted distractions. With his help, Ally discovers that she is capable of more than she ever thought she was.
Fish in a Tree is a wonderful book. I didn’t want to put it down after the last page because I wanted to know what happened next with the characters. This is definitely one of my favorite books for the year so far.
When Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Rapunzel all decide that they are sick of their lives, they decide the best solution is to switch places. However, the switch shows them that maybe their lives aren’t quite as bad as they thought.
I thought this was a really cute and creative book. It’s hard to rewrite classics in a new and unique way, but author Stephanie Clarkson manages to bring a refreshing new angle to the stories. The whole book rhymes and is hilarious. Any little girl who loves princess stories is sure to be pleased with Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-Ups.
I love to write, but creative writing has never been one of my strong points. There are all sorts of books out there with suggestions on how to be a better creative writer, but Rip the Page is one of the most unique ones that I’ve seen.
Rip the Page is written for a young adult audience, but I think writers of all ages will enjoy using this book. It’s funny, has great suggestions for ways to get those creative juices flowing, and has letters written by several famous authors giving advice and encouragement.
I think this is a wonderful book for anyone interested in writing or for teachers to use in their classrooms.
Charlie is just starting high school. He has always been the person standing on the sidelines, but after his English teacher challenges him to start participating in life, Charlie decides he’ll give it a shot.
While attending one of his high school’s football games, Charlie meets two seniors, Sam and Patrick. Sam and Patrick quickly welcome Charlie into their crowd, and help encourage him to try new experiences.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a realistic look at high school life, so it’s a great read for those who are in high school. I loved the fact that the book was told in letters that were written by Charlie because it added so much to the mood of the story. This book has been on my must-read list for a while, and overall it was a good read.
Snoop to Nuts is the second book in Elizabeth Lee’s Nut House mysteries. In this book, Riverville, Texas is at the end of its Agriculture Fair. In a town where pecans are the primary source of income, the “Most Original Pecan Treat” contest that ends the fair is the biggest event. Everyone expects Amelia Blanchard to win with her Heavenly Texas Pecan Caviar, but when she doesn’t even place, it’s shocking.
At the closing dinner for the fair, a local pastor dies after taking a bite of Amelia’s caviar. With her grandma a suspect in the murder of the pastor, Lindy is determined to figure out who would want to frame her grandmother and why.
The Nut House mystery series is fun, especially the quirky characters that make up the town of Riverville.
If You Give a Mouse an iPhone is the second Plugged-In parody written by David Milgrim, under the pseudonym Ann Droyd. In this story the mouse, Applesauce, wants to be entertained, but the boy in the story is busy. The boy gives Applesauce an iPhone to keep him occupied for ten minutes, but that ten minutes quickly becomes hours. Applesauce gets so involved in what he is doing on the iPhone that he completely misses that the boy takes him to an amusement park for a day of fun. All sorts of havoc is caused because Applesauce is not paying attention, and it eventually leads him and the boy to be stuck on an island for the night.
I’m just as guilty as anyone else in getting too involved in my phone sometimes; Milgrim’s book reminds us in this funny parody to put the smartphones down once in a while and pay attention to the world, and people, around us.
Faces of the Dead is a historical fiction novel that takes place in France during the revolution that dethroned King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Their daughter, Marie-Therese, looked a lot like one of the servants at the palace, Ernestine. It was rumored that they would switch places, and that they may have done so before the Revolution destroyed the monarchy. Faces of the Dead examines what Marie-Therese’s life might have been like if the two girls did actually switch places.
Marie-Therese has always had a life of privilege but, after fleeing the palace disguised as a servant, she has to learn to survive as a commoner and hide who she truly is while her family and friends are judged by those in the revolution. Marie-Therese loves her family, but she can’t ignore what she learns about them on the streets of France. She’s stuck between the two lives, with her family wanting her to regain the throne and her new friends wanting her to accept the regime change.
Faces of the Dead had a lot of elements that I really liked. The story is told from Marie-Therese’s perspective, and as such you get to see both sides of the French Revolution. I also like the fact that Weyn took a “What if?” situation based on a real life mystery and explored a possible answer. Fans of historical fiction should definitely read this.