Monday, September 5, 2011

9. Log It!

Need help filling nightly reading logs? Try these: Ten books kids will love and teachers will be thrilled they read. The first seven were just released; the last three are due out later this fall.

City of Orphans, by Avi, illustrated by Greg Ruth, Atheneum, $16.99, ages 10-14, 368 pages. With the help of a homeless urchin and an eccentric lawyer, a 13-year-old newsboy scrambles to prove his sister innocent of a crime she didn't commit, in this exciting story set in the dangerous streets of New York in 1893. Maks Geless has just four days to clear his sister Emma of charges of stealing from the glamorous Waldorf Hotel, and free her from the notoriously harsh "Tomb" prison. But he'll have to watch his back. The Pug Ugly Gang is plotting to control newsies on the lower East Side and its ruthless leader has singled him out.

The Flint Heart, by Katherine Paterson and John Patterson, illustrated by John Rocco, Candlewick, ages 7-12, 304 pages. Charles and sister Unity try to rescue their father from the dark influence of a Stone Age amulet with the help of enchanted creatures in this wry retelling of Eden Phillpott's 1910 fantasy. This charmer is written by the author of The Bridge to Terabithia and her husband, and illustrated by the creator of Moondust.  Even before it was out, film makers were clamoring for screen rights (Bedrock Studios acquired them last spring and is teaming with a company run by the Patersons' son to write the screenplay).

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, by Jonathan Auxier, Amulet, $16.95, ages 10 and up, 400 pages. A blind 10-year-old orphan schooled in a life of thievery steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher containing three pairs of magical eyes. When he tries the first pair, he's suddenly transported to a hidden island where he's given a quest: to rescue a people in need from the dangerous Vanished Kingdom. With the help of a loyal sidekick who's been turned into a horse-cat creature, Peter Nimble embarks on a fantastical journey to discover his true destiny.

The Bridge to Never Land, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Disney-Hyperion, $18.99, ages 9-12, 448 pages. Aidan and Sarah Cooper discover a mysterious coded document in a secret compartment of their father's English desk that seems to be referring to the Starcatcher series, Barry and Pearson's best-selling series about the origin of Peter Pan. As they begin to decipher its codes, they embark on a quest that convinces them that Peter Pan is not fiction after all. In fact, the battle between good and evil is still going on, and they've become part of it. Worse yet, a being capable of taking any form will stop at nothing to get what it wants from them.

Lucky for Good (Book 3 in the Lucky trilogy), by Susan Patron, illustrated by Erin McGuire, Atheneum, $16.99, ages 8-12, 224 pages. In this final book in Patron's beloved Hard Pan trilogy, 11-year-old Lucky Trimble has just settled into a comfortable life with her adoptive French mother Brigitte in Hard Pan, when uncertainties strike again. Miles' mom has returned from prison and has forbidden him from reading about dinosaurs, and now a county health inspector is shutting down Brigitte's restaurant. It'll take all of the good folks of Hard Pan, along with a rolling cabin, a stairway of mouse bones and her Higher Power to see the positive in it all. And in the end, Lucky will discover that she can cope with just about anything if she has to. The first book, The Higher Power of Lucky, won the Newbery Award.

The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann, Aladdin, $16.99, ages 8-12, 400 pages. When 13-year-old Alex is separated from his identical twin Aaron and declared an Unwanted, he expects to be put death by the cruel and controlling rulers of Quill. The rulers fear creativity and at the age of 13, order any child with artistic leaning is be purged from society. But as Alex arrives at a "death farm" to be eliminated, he discovers that a magician has created a hidden world to save condemned children like himself. The world, Artime, is nothing like drab, colorless Quill; here there are talking statues and creativity is considered not only a gift, but a weapon. McMann is also author of the Wake trilogy.

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale, by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright, drawings by Barry Moser, Peachtree, $16.95, ages 9-12, 256 pages. Skilley, a tomcat, is tired of dodging fishwives' brooms and carriage wheels, so he comes up with a scheme to take up residence in a British pub patronized by the famous writer Charles Dickens. Once inside, a mouse-resident discovers that Skilley has a scandalous secret, and gets Skilley to make a pact with him to protect the local mouse population. The two become allies, and along with a raven named Maldwyn, become drawn into a mystery involving a tyrannical cook, a stranger in the attic and an evil tomcat. From the author of the acclaimed picture book, 14 Cows for America, comes a charming ode to Dickens.

The Midnight Zoo, by Sonya Hartnett, illustrated by Andrea Offermann, Candlewick,  $16.99, ages 9-12, 208 pages. Released Sept. 13. While fleeing from a German attack on their encampment during World War II, Andrej and younger brother Tomas discover a hidden wonder, a zoo filled with creatures in need of hope. From the acclaimed author of The Silver Donkey comes a magical, moving fable about war, redemption and what it means to be free.

The Unforgotten Coat, by Frank Cottrell Boyce, Candlewick, $15.99, ages 9-12, 112 pages. Released Sept. 13.  When two Mongolian brothers inexplicably appear one morning in Julie's class in Liverpool, one appoints her their "Good Guide," a nomadic tradition that makes her responsible for welcoming them into their new home. But will Julie be able to protect them from vanishing? From the author of the Carnegie Medal-winning Millions comes a funny, moving novella about immigration.

A Web of Air (the sequel to Fever Crumb), by Phillip Reeve, Scholastic, $17.99, ages 10 and up, 304 pages. Released Oct. 1. After fleeing war-torn London and her troubled past two years ago, Fever Crumb, now 16, is working as a member of the Lyceum, a traveling barge-theater, and caring for orphans Ruan and Fern. Then one day the barge-theater arrives in a faraway corner of a ruined world, the city of Maysa, and her life of respite turns to one of excitement, urgency and hidden treachery. There she meets a handsome, brilliant orphan boy named Arlo who draws her into a dangerous race to build the first flying machine.

No comments:

Post a Comment