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Books for Kids (Ages 9-12)

 

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)

 

 

 

 

Revolution

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)

 

 

 

 

Sisters

By Raina Telgemeier

(Juvenile Graphic Novel; ages 8-12 years)

Uh-oh. A long road trip to a family reunion and back, stuck in a van with both of your younger siblings – that sounds like a recipe for a long summer.  In this excellent companion to her award-winning book Smile, Raina Telgemeier recalls a particularly trying adolescent memory: it’s the summer before she starts high school, her parents have been bickering, and she has to go to a family reunion full of people she hasn’t seen in ten years, dealing with her attitudinal little sister every mile of the way. For anyone who has ever had a sibling (of any gender), each panel of this clever book rings with humorous authenticity. (Format: Print)

 

 

 

The Greenglass House

By Kate Mitford

(Juvenile Fiction; ages 10-14 years)

Milo is looking forward to spending a quiet winter break at home with his parents – a home that doubles as a smugglers’ inn, which his parents run. Usually, the weeks surrounding Christmas mark a slow season for the inn, so when a gaggle of strange, unexpected guests mysteriously show up, separately, Milo is both unprepared and intrigued. He and his new friend, Meddy, start investigating, making it into a fantasy game as they go. The way that Milo and Meddy play their game and combine it with their real lives is especially convincing. Hand this book to any kid with an active imagination who enjoys mysteries and game playing. (Format: Print)

 

 

 

Better Nate than Ever

By Tim Federle

 (Juvenile Fiction; ages 9-13 years)

An eighth-grader who dreams of performing in a Broadway musical concocts a plan to run away to New York and audition for the role of Elliot in the musical version of "E.T." A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Publishers' Weekly Best Book of the Year, and a Slate Favorite Book of the Year. (Formats: Print; Book-on-CD)

 

 

 

Hey Charleston!: The True Story of the Jenkins Orphanage Band

By Anne Rockwell; illus. by Colin Bootman

(Juvenile Non-fiction; ages 8 and up)

Occasionally, you read a book and the information inside just blows you away. Sometimes, the information is really important, other times it’s simply a “who knew?” moment; the latter may be your experience while reading Hey Charleston!  This is the story of Reverend Jenkins, who took in a few homeless children one cold night, and next thing he knew, had to open an orphanage so as to care for all the orphans that came to him for help. To drown out the convicts from the prison next door, he taught the orphans to play instruments. Slowly, this musical training led these children to become The Jenkins Orphanage Band, which traveled the world and even escaped the attacks of Nazi Germany on London. The Jenkins Orphanage Band was also the inadvertent creator of the dance known as “The Charleston” – but you’ll have to read the book to find out how that came about. This is an excellent book for music students, history buffs, and those interested in African-American history and in dance. (Format: Print)

 

 

  

At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui 

 By Christine Liu-Perkins

(Juvenile Non-fiction; ages 10 and up)

In the early 1970’s, a tomb was discovered in southern China. Inside was found a well-reserved body of a woman, remains of other family members, and extraordinary amounts of artifacts and historical treasures. Unlike the dry, dusty mummies of Egypt, this mummy was soft, moist, and most importantly, completely intact.  Although this woman’s body had lain in the tomb for over 2000 years, scientists were able to perform an autopsy on the body. (They were even able to determine what she had eaten before she died!)  At Home in Her Tomb is filled with photographs, artwork, and details of the artifacts found in the tomb. (There are also photographs of the mummy and some of her entrails, which are both fascinating and gross.) This book would be an excellent choice for those with an interest in China, archaeology, mummies, and ancient cultures. (Format: Print)

 

 

 

Fighting Fire!  Ten of the Deadliest Fires in American History and How We Fought Them

By Michael L. Cooper

 (Juvenile Non-Fiction; ages 10 - 14)

This book has it all: history, dramatic pictures, first-hand accounts, and a truly gripping topic. Each fire is placed squarely in historical context and explained in gripping, vivid detail. The author realistically describes the effect each fire has on human life, without crossing the line into goriness. Cooper seamlessly integrates the history of American firefighting into a page-turning series of disasters, from colonial fires in Boston and New York City, to the 2007 fires in California. Excellent for disaster enthusiasts, history buffs, heroes, and daredevils. (Format: Print)

 

 

  

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