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Books for Kids (Ages 9-12)


Big Bad Detective Agency 

By Bruce Hale

(Juvenile Fiction; ages 7-10 years)

When the Three Little Pigs’ homes are wrecked all eyes turn toward the traditional Suspect Number One: Wolfgang, otherwise known as the Big Bad Wolf, who swears he’s innocent. Prince Tyrone of Fairylandia gives him just one day to solve the crime. Short on time and desperate, Wolfgang grudgingly accepts the help of Ferkel, the fourth little pig, and off they go to interview other potential criminals. Was it Hansel and Gretel, known housebreakers? Cinderella, who used to date one of the pigs? Jack? Goldilocks? Or someone else altogether? This humorous story is a great crowd-pleaser, appealing to anyone familiar with traditional fairy tale characters. Excellent for independent reading or for sharing out loud. (Format: Print)




The War That Saved My Life

By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

(Juvenile Fiction; ages 9-12 years)

Ada is born with a clubfoot and a hateful mother. When her little brother is sent away from London to the English countryside at the opening of World War II, Ada sneaks off to stay with him and escape her own horrible situation.   Thus begins the story of a young girl who doesn’t want (or know how to accept) help from anyone her confused younger brother, and their new foster mother, who overcomes her own sorrows to care for them. This is an excellent story about making a family and a new life in unusual circumstances, with fully realized characters that are impossible to ignore. Ada is a sympathetic narrator from the start, and her journey – which includes teaching herself how to ride the family pony, watching out for German spies, and bombs – will be hard for readers to put down. (Format: Print)






By Gordan Korman

(Juvenile Fiction; ages 8-12 years)

Eli Frieden lives in Serenity, New Mexico: population 185; 30 of whom are kids attending the same small school. There is no poverty, unemployment, or crime. It’s the perfect town. But when one of his classmates is abruptly sent away after an accident, Eli can’t help but wonder if there’s something deeper going on. The more he and his friends investigate, the more they start to see where things don’t add up. Is it possible that Serenity is too perfect? What are the grownups hiding? The plotline here is exciting and brilliantly laid out. Each character stands on their own two feet, and the teamwork dynamic between the kids – who have a common goal, even when they don’t like each other - is excellently portrayed. Perfect for any mystery-thriller fan. (Format: Print)




 Rain Reign

By Ann M. Martin

(Juvenile Fiction; ages 9-12 years)

More than anything else, this is a story about a girl and her dog. Rose is a girl with high-functioning autism, who enjoys homonyms, prime numbers, and following rules. Her dog Rain (homonym: Reign!) is her best friend. They live with Rose’s father, and Uncle Weldon lives nearby. The story is narrated by Rose, which allows the reader to get an excellent first-hand look at how Rose thinks and feels about things, especially when Rain is lost during Superstorm Susan. With planning, persistence, and help from her uncle, Rose is able to find Rain again, only to be faced with a hard moral decision. This is a thoughtful, emotional tale about what it means to be a hero and how to be a friend. (Format: Print)




El Deafo

By CeCe Bell

(Juvenile Graphic Novel)

The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her "superpower."  (Format: Print)




The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

By Julie Berry

(Juvenile Fiction; ages 10-14 years)

There are seven students at St. Etheldreda’s School for Young Ladies when the proprietress, Mrs. Plackett, and her unsavory brother drop dead, presumably from poison, and the girls are faced with several dilemmas: who killed them? Why? And of most immediate concern: how will any of them cope with being separated and sent back to their own families once they alert the authorities? Unless of course, they don’t alert any one at all, bury the adults in the garden, and carry on as though all is well. All seven girls are realistic, well-developed characters with distinct voices and abilities, and brief biographies at the beginning of the book help readers keep them straight until the pot gets going. Once it does, it’s a delightful (if somewhat ghoulish) romp/school story/murder mystery mix straight out of Victorian England (Format: Print)




Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood

By Nathan Hale

(Juvenile Graphic Novel)

Nathan Hale, the Revolutionary War hero, is explaining to his British executioners what will happen in the future during World War I. Members of the different warring nations are represented by different animals (bulldogs for the British; Eagles for Germany; etc.), which helps keep the battle scenes easy to read. The key causes of the war are clearly explained for a child audience, as are the actual battles themselves. The graphics make apparent the horrors of war, both on the front ad at home, without ever venturing into gory territory. Hand this book to any fan of history, war, adventure, and/or graphic novels. (Series title: Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales).  (Format: Print)




ChopChop: the Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family

By Sally Sampson

(Juvenile Non-Fiction; ages 9 - 14)

This simple cookbook with its mouth-watering recipes is a great way to get your tween interested in food. ChopChop not only features 100 delicious meals with step-by-step instructions, but focuses on real foods and their importance in our everyday diets with facts and charts abut healthy eating. Definitely a book tasty enough to inspire the inner chef in us all. (Format: Print)





By Deborah Wiles

(Juvenile Fiction; ages 9-12)

Revolution takes place in Greenwood, Mississippi in the summer of 1954: Freedom Summer, when large numbers of college students and other activists went south to help black citizens register to vote. Twelve-year-old Sunny is already struggling with the adjustment to a new step-mother and step-siblings when the “invaders” (as some townspeople refer to the activists) arrive in town. Meanwhile, Raymond, a young boy with a talent for baseball, is impatient for integration to open the town’s pool and ball field for everyone. The intertwining stories of Sunny and Raymond and the effect the summer’s events have on their lives are supplemented with historic photographs, song lyrics, and excerpts from newspapers, leaflets, and speeches of the time, firmly grounding the novel in the historic events of Freedom Summer. (Formats: Print; Book-on-CD)




Secrets of the Sky Caves: Danger and Discovery on Nepal’s Mustang Cliffs

By Sandra K. Athans

(Juvenile Non-fiction; ages 10 and up)

Adventure into the mountains of Nepal to discover the mysterious Sky Caves. Carved by humans, these caves have existed for thousands of years. Originally created as burial chambers, these caves became homes, it is believed, during a time of warfare. Some are single-story homes, others are multi-level colonies. With entrances as high as a ten-story building, these caves have no stairs or ladders. They are only accessible by climbing the sheer rock face. Secrets of the Sky Caves follows an expedition team of scientists, scholars, mountain climbers, and two children as they explore and examine the amazing caves in the sky. (Format: Print)




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