Summer 2019


Stories from the Past to
Read, Share, and Treasure

These are the magical stories, full of imagination and fun. These are the stories that take children into a world of delightful imagination and adventure and present storytelling at its best.


written & illus. by Jez Alborough, (Candlewick Press, 1998), 32p,Ages 3-7

Eddie and the bear, from Where’s My Teddy? (1992) and It’s the Bear!, (1994) finally establish a friendship by way of their teddy bears. One day while walking through the woods, Eddie comes across a giant teddy bear and decides to hide behind it when he hears Bear coming. When Bear begins to complain tearfully to his teddy about his lack of friends, it is Eddie who answers. Bear isn’t fooled for long, and after his initial shock at finding Eddie, the two become life-long friends.
        Themes: Animals, Bears, Classics, Friendship, Series


written/illus. by Keith Baker, (Beach Lane Books, 2010), 40p, Ages 3-7

In this unusual alphabet book, occupations instead of animals are presented by dozens of little green peas around, above, and inside 4-inch letters of the alphabet. From artists, acrobats, builders, bikers, and flaggers to gardeners, inventors, miners, and outlaws, they come together pursuing vigorous work. “We’re painters,/poets,/and lumbers fixing leaks./We’re pilots,/parachutists, /we’re peas and . . ./we’re unique!” Children will enjoy the lively little green peaple, with their stick legs, lively faces, and colorful costumes.
        Themes: Concept, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Others in the Series
   1-2-3 Peas | Little Green Peas |
   Hap-Pea All Year | LMNO Pea-Quel


Ages 4 - 8

written by Bonny Becker, illus. by Kady MacDonald Denton, (Candlewick Press, 2008), 56p,Ages 2-6

“No visitors allowed” reads the sign on Bear’s front door. “No one ever came to Bear’s house. It had always been that way, and Bear was quite sure he didn’t like visitors.” However, all this changes after a small, gray, wide-eyed mouse knocks on Bear’s door. When rebuffed, mouse turns up in the cupboard asking for a cup of tea, in a drawer inquiring about a bit of cheese, and finally in the refrigerator.

When mouse shows up in the teakettle, an exhausted Bear breaks down and relents. The two become friends, discovering that they have many things in common. Bear decides that his sign is for salesmen, not for friends, and a lasting friendship begins.
        Themes: Bears, Friendship, Humor, Series
Others in the Series
   Bedtime for Bear | A Birthday for Bear |
   A Christmas for Bear | A Library Book for
   Bear | Sniffles for Bear | A Visitor for Bear


written/illus. by Jean-François Dumont, (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014), 34p, Ages 4-8

Tired of being cold, sheared, and receiving shots, the sheep cause havoc on their farm by striking. Ralph, the sheepdog, tries to intervene, but the sheep stampede him claiming police brutality. “After that, he stayed in his doghouse and refused to talk with delegates from the flock.” Opinions are divided with the farm animals taking sides (including insects and a snail). The sheep protest carrying banners. They march for justice, while Ralph organizes the other sheepdogs to stop the confrontation.

How an equitable compromise is reached, the sheep stay warm for the winter, and enjoy their wool, make this humorous tale one that kids will thoroughly enjoy.
        Animals, Humor, Series
Others in the Series
   Edgar Wants to Be Alone |
   The Geese March in Step

Ages 8 - 12

written/illus. by Robert McCloskey, (Viking Press 1943, Puffin Books 1976), 160p, Ages 8-11

Welcome to Centerburg, America where a young boy named Homer Price resides with his family, builds radio sets for fun, pumps gas at his father’s gas station, helps his mother clean the tourist cabins she manages, and tinkers with his uncle's new invention—an automatic donut maker.

Readers will love Homer using his wits and pet skunk to catch bandits, a rampaging donut machine making hundreds of donuts with a lost diamond bracelet in one, a competition between his uncle and the sheriff involving a local widow and a ball of string, and a mysterious shaggy-looking stranger claiming he can rid the town of mice with a fancy musical machine.

Written in 1943, this classic with its colorful townspeople, humorous events, and one clever and thoughtful boy from small-town America, make is a winner for the whole family.
        Themes: Adventure, Classics, Families, Friendship, Heroes, Humor, Series
Others in the Series
   Centerburg Tales


written by Edward Eager, illus. by N. M. Bodecker, (Harcourt Children’s Books, 1954 / 2004), 240p, Ages 8+.

One summer four children’s lives are suddenly changed when the oldest finds what she thinks is a nickel on the sidewalk. They discover that the mysterious coin grants half wishes, so they learn to wish for twice as much.

Of course, there are complications, when some doubled wishes cause strange happenings (What is half of a twice talking cat?) The magic and humor of this classic is sure to delight each new generation of children.
        Themes: Classics, Families, Fantasy, Series
Others in the Series
   Knight’s Castle
   Magic by the Lake
   The Time Garden

Ages 10 - 13

written by Patrick Carman, (Scholastic Press, 2011), 272p, Ages 9-12

10-year-old Leo lives in the basement of New York’s Whippet Hotel with his handyman father. A most unusual hotel, each floor has it’s own quirky personality, where some floors contain elaborate themed rooms, some are occupied with eccentric guests, while other floors wait to be discovered.

When the owner, Mercanzer D. Whippet disappears, the building begins to deteriorate. Kind-hearted and adventurous Leo, sidekick Remi, the new bellboy, and Mercanzer’s pumpernickel-eating ducks, follow, decipher, and collect clues, placed in four boxes around the hotel, which lead them to puzzle rooms, haunted floors, train rooms, and a duck elevator.

When Mercanzer returns, Leo realizes that he and the Whippet have a future beyond imagination. Kids will love this first book and eagerly await the next installment.
        Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Friendship, Series
   3 Below #2
   The Field of Wacky Inventions #3


Ages 12 - 15

EXPLORERS: Door in the Alley
written by Adrienne Kress, (Delacorte Press, 2017), 320p, Ages 11+

Twelve-year-old Sebastian is a serious rule follower and never takes chances, until one day on his way home from school he accidentally takes a wrong turn into a strange alley and stumbles upon the mysterious Explorers Society.

The next day he rescues a little pig in a teeny hat, whose owner belongs to the society. He is invited in, has tea with its leader, and begins to work at the Society to avoid being arrested for trespassing. There he discovers strange rooms, the original Filipendulous Five members, and a hidden box containing information about them.

Eleven-year-old Evie is an orphan fleeing from two dangerous men who are seeking a message she carries from her grandfather, a member of the Filipendulous Five. When she seeks help from the Society, she and Sebastian begin an adventure to locate a missing key and her grandfather while avoiding dastardly villains who seek the key.

Readers will enjoy this very mysterious society with its famous explorers, missing persons, hired thugs, perilous chases, a lost map, and two courageous children.
        Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Mysteries, Series
Others in the Series
   The Reckless Rescue
   The Quest for the Kid


THE LAST DRAGONSLAYER: The Chronicles of Kazam
written by Jaspar Fforde, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), 304p, Ages 13+

Sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange, foundling from the Blessed Ladies of the Lobster, is in charge of the Kazam Mystical Arts Management, an employment agency for magicians.

With magic slowly drying up, Jennifer hires out once powerful sorcerers and wizards to magically repair plumbing and electrical systems, deliver pizza, and perform various low level spells around the town of Herford, part of the United Kingdom. After magicians begin predicting the death of the last dragon, Jennifer is appointed to kill him. Her negotiating skills are tested as she wrestles with duty, political maneuvering, corruption, and greed.

Hilarious characters, unpredictable magic, a Transient Moose, and a Quarkbeast round out this wacky and imaginative tale.
        Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Series
Others in the Series
   The Song of the Quarkbeast
   The Eye of Zoltar


Ages 14 - 18

RUBY RED: The Ruby Red Triolgy
written by Kirsten Gier, translated by Anthea Bell, (Henry Holt & Co., 2011), 336p, Ages 14+

16-year-old Gwyneth Shepherd lives in London with her mother and eccentric family, who are members of a time traveling society, the Guardians. Believing that Gwyneth’s cousin, Charlotte, is the new time traveler, the family prepares for her roll as the Ruby, the crucial last link in the Circle of Twelve time travelers.

When Gwen suddenly begins to travel back in time, the family is forced to accept her as the Ruby. Together with 19-year-old Gideon, the Diamond time traveler, they journey back in time to meet the Guardians. Life takes a mysterious turn when Gwen’s life is threatened and they are ambushed by highwaymen, who seek to prohibit the completion of the Circle.

Fun, fast-paced, and full of unusual characters, ghosts, and talking gargoyles, readers will enjoy the humor, mystery, suspense, adventure, and emerging romance in this first volume of a planned trilogy, originally published in Germany.
        Themes: Fantasy, Time Travel, Series
Others in the Series
   Sapphire Blue
   Emerald Green


ENCHANTED: The Woodcutter Sisters
written by Alethea Kontis, (Graphia, 2013), 336p, Ages 14-18

Readers who love fairy tales will enjoy this charming mixture of classics. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jack in the Beanstalk, and more are woven into a complex story about seven sisters, a frog prince, battling fairy godmothers, and evil villains.

Sunday Woodcutter, the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, discovers an enchanted frog in the forest. As their friendship grows into love, Sunday unknowingly breaks his curse and frees Prince Rumbold. As he searches the kingdom for her, the path to true love is filled with obstacles from Sunday’s stubborn family, wicked kings, fairy godmothers, giants, golden eggs, glass slippers, and beanstalks.

Intricately threaded with humor, drama, magic, intrigue, and romance, readers will enjoy the elaborate plots, colorful characters, hidden agendas, family dynamics, and the delectable enchantment of book one.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Folk Literature, Heroes, Series
Others in the Series


DEATH CLOUD: Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins
written by Andrew Lane, (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011), 320p, Ages 14+

In the summer of 1868 fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes is sent to live with his eccentric aunt and uncle in their Hampshire mansion. His brother, Mycroft, sends an American tutor to keep Sherlock out of trouble.

When two people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Sherlock, a streetwise orphan Matty, and the tutor’s daughter, Virginia, investigate the bizarre murders. Sherlock encounters mysterious beekeepers, escapes from kidnappers, participate in brutal boxing matches, and thwarts an eccentric crippled mastermind behind the plot to destroy the British Empire.

This action packed first adventure of a young Sherlock Holmes offers a solid introduction to the younger years of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic character. It provides an insight to the adult Holmes’ interest in bees, future drug addition, boxing, sword fighting, and investigation skills he uses later in life. Authorized by the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle, this first adventure/detective tale of Sherlock Holmes’ younger years is an engaging tale.
        Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Mysteries, Series
Others in the Series
   Rebel Fire
   Black Ice
   Fire Storm
   Snake Bite
   Knife Edge
   Stone Cold
   Night Break


For more information on great children's literature for reading to children and by children, visit us at:

Bringing you
books that:

Touch the Heart,
Color the Imagination, and
Delight the Mind

Welcome to our newsletter, The Storytellers, where some of the best books in children’s literature are presented for kids’ reading and listening enjoyment.

Summer is here. Warm weather and a relaxed environment is great time to read or listen to a summer series. We hope you enjoy our choices below, especially for road trips, warm evenings in the backyard, and anywhere else in between.

For parents, who are looking for ways to teach their children positive values and enjoy classic children’s books, email us at for a complete list of great books to read and read-aloud. Please indicate the age or grade level desired.

For more information on reading to children and great books to read and read aloud, log on to our web site at


written/illus. by Marie-Louise Gay, (Groundwood Books, 2013), 32p, Ages 3-5

Stella loves reading and her little brother, Sam, loves asking questions. Whether building a doghouse for Fred, enjoying a picnic at the pond, flying a kite, investigating caterpillars, or waiting for carrots to grow, Stella reads and calmly answers Sam’s questions. “Does your book tell you how to build a doghouse?” “Are there Crocodiles in the pond?” “Are there any frogs in that book?” “Caterpillars become butterflies?” “Could you read a story to me and Fred?” This is another charming addition to the Stella series about encouragement, curiosity, and a great sibling relationship.
        Themes: Families, Friendship, Humor, Series

Others in the Series
        Good Night Sam | Stella, Fairy of the Forest | Stella, Princess of the Sky |
        When Stella Was Very, Very Small | Stella Queen of the Snow | Stella, Star
        of the Sea | What Are You Doing, Sam?


written/illus. by Olivier Dunrea, (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2002, 2007), 32p, Ages 2+

“This is Gossie. Gossie is a gosling. A small, yellow gosling who likes to wear bright red boots. Every day.” Whether walking uphill or downhill, forward or backward, in rain or snow, Gossie is never without her boots. One morning she awakes to find them missing. Heartbroken, she spies them on her best friend’s feet. Both Gossie and Gertie love the boots, so they decide to share—one boot apiece. Now in board format, the use of bright illustrations, simple words, and repetitive sentences are perfect for small listeners.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Series

Others in the Series
        Boo Boo | Jasper & Joop | Gideon | Gemma & Gus | Gossie |
        Gossie & Gertie | Gus | Ollie the Stomper /| Peedie


written/illus. by Tad H. Hills, (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2006), 40p, Ages 3-7

In a cute finders-keepers tale, Duck and Goose find what they believe to be an egg. They constantly quibble about ownership, but they finally decide to share the duty of keeping the egg warm and raising the baby when it hatches. Upon learning from a little bird that their baby is a toy ball, Duck and Goose decide to make the best of the situation and have a great time quacking, honking, and playing with the ball.
        Themes: Animals, Friendship, Series

Others in the Series
        Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin | Duck, Duck, Goose | Duck and Goose 1 2 3 |
        Duck & Goose: Goose Needs a Hug | Duck & Goose Go to the Beach | Duck
        & Goose, How Are You? | What’s Up Duck?: A Book of Opposites

Ages 4-8

TOOT & PUDDLE: Wish You Were Here
written/illus. by Holly Hobbie, (Little, Brown & Co., 2005), 32p, Ages 4-7

Toot travels to Borneo in search of exotic plants, but returns with the Violet Virus. The only cure is to drink tea made from the purple Slimecat Stinkhorn. Wouldn’t you know? it’s only found in their own meadow.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Humor, Series
Others in the Series
        Toot & Puddle | Toot & Puddle: The New Friend | Toot & Puddle: Let It Snow |
        You Are My Sunshine | A Present for Toot | Top of the World | I’ll Be Home for
        & Christmas | The One and Only | Welcome to Woodcock Pocket |
        Charming Opal


written/illus. by Arthur Geisert, (Houghton Mifflin, 2005), 32p, Ages 4-8

In an almost wordless picture book, little piglet devises a way to prolong turning his light out at eight o’clock. Piglet invents a series of contraptions that run up to the roof, down the walls, through the yard, and into the basement, eventually turning his light off in the bedroom. Children as well as adults will love the detailed etchings of household items that are rigged to trigger reactions with other items before the room goes dark.
        Themes: Bedtime, Humor, Inventions, Series, Wordless

Others in the Series
        Hogwash | The Giant Ball of String | Ice | The Giant Seed


written/illus. by Judy Schachner, (Dutton Children’s Books, 2006), 32p, Ages 4-8

Skippyjon is a Siamese kitten with an alter ego of a Chihuahua. To avoid another lecture from Mama Junebug, Skippyjon hides in a closet, only to find himself in Egypt. His doggy friends, Los Chimichangos, want to visit the pyramids “where mummitos rest in peas.” When Skippyjon solves an ancient Finx riddle, he discovers the tomb of King Rootin-Tootin-Kitten-Kabootin. Find out how this pint-size kitty avoids capture, gets the peas, and scurries home.
        Themes: Animals, Families, Humor, Series

Others in the Series
        Skippyjon Jones | Skippyjon Jones Snow What | Skippyjon Jones in the
        Doghouse | Skippyjon Jones Cirque de Ole | Skippyjon Jones and the Big
        & Bones | Skippyjon Jones and the Treasure Hunt | Skippyjon Jones
        Lost in Spice

Ages 8-12

ARMSTRONG: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon
written/illus. by Torben Kuhlmann, (NorthSouth Books, 2016), 128p, Ages 8-11

In the mid 1950’s, a young mouse resolves to explore space. After receiving an invitation to visit a hidden wing of the Smithsonian, where flying machines built by mice aviators of the past reside, the little mouse resolves to prove his theory that the moon is made of stone, not cheese. Plagued by setbacks, including a fire that started from his skate rocket, he perseveres and constructs a multi-stage rocket that launches him into space, narrowly escaping agents that were pursing him on charges of arson.

Landing on the moon, he collects souvenir rocks, and plants a tiny flag. His successful mission is only known to mice, until astronauts land years later and discover a tiny flag. Kuhlmann’s artwork is incredible from hand-sown space suits, space catapults, fierce police dogs and Floppy Hats (detectives) to diagrams of experimental vehicles and marvelous space scenes. Endpapers feature A Short History of Space Travel, as well as a synopsis of Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Heroes, Inventions, Series

Others in the Series
        Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse | Edison: The Mystery of the Missing
        Mouse Treasure | Moletown


THE PENDERWICKS: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy Book 1
written by Jeanne Birdsall, (Alfred A. Knopf Books, 2005), 272p, Ages 8-12

When the summer vacation plans of the Penderwick family change, a widowed father and his four spirited daughters rent a cottage in the Berkshire Mountains. Located on the grounds of a large estate in Massachusetts, the cottage is owned by the snobbish and rude Mrs. Tilton. 12-year-old Rosalind, 11-year-old Skye, 10-year old Jane, and 4-year-old Batty are delighted with their quaint cottage and are eager to explore the grounds.

There, they meet Jeffery, the lonely 11-year-old son of Mrs. Tifton, Cagney, the teenage gardener, Churchie, the housekeeper, and Harry, the tomato man. After Skye nearly knocks Jeffrey unconscious, they become good friends and share adventures, mishaps, and accidents. From the innocent fun of catching fireflies on a summer night and baking scrumptious brownies to rescuing Jeffrey from a dreaded military school, this delightful and memorable tale of a charming, close-knit, eccentric family will have readers begging for more adventures.
         Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Series

Others in the Series
        The Penderwicks on Gardam Street #2 | The Penderwicks at Point Mouette #3 |
        The Penderwicks in Spring #4 | The Penderwicks at Last #5


written by Elise Broach, illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo, (Henry Holt, 2011), 272p, Ages 8-12

Recently arrived from Chicago, three brothers, 11-year-old Simon, 10-year-old Henry (narrator), and 6-year-old Jack envision a boring summer in Arizona, until the day their cat runs away to the forbidden Superstition Mountain.

Against their parents warning, the three chase after Josie up the mountain, only to discover three human sculls neatly lined up on an unstable ledge. Rescued from an accidental fall, Jack and his brothers return home to research the mountain’s history and prepare for another trip, this time with a new acquaintance and neighbor, 10-year-old Delilah. The local library provides information on a Lost Dutchman’s Mine, a fortune in gold, strange disappearances, and unexplained murders on the mountain.

The return trip reveals hidden canyons, saddlebags of old coins, a strange map, and a shooting. Adventure, mystery, secrets, and intrigue prepare readers for the next installment of this page-turner trilogy.
         Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Mysteries, Series

Others in the Series
        Treasure on Superstition Mountain #2 | Revenge on Superstition Mountain #3

Ages 10-13

CHILDREN OF THE LAMP #1: The Akhenaten Adventure #1
written by P. B. Kerr, (Orchard Books, 2004), 368p, Ages 10+

Twelve-year-old twins John and Philippa Gaunt live an uneventful life in New York City, until they have their wisdom teeth out, and discover they love smoke and heat and an ability to grant wishes. When they visit their eccentric uncle Nimrod in London, he informs them that they are descended from Djinn.

As Nimrod begins their training, they travel to Egypt in search of the pharaoh, Akhenaten and his 70 lost Djinn. Legend states that whoever finds the tomb will have the ability to command them. With the help of an Irish speaking Djinn, a human butler, and an Egyptian chauffeur, the children manage to save the world from evil.
        Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Folk Literature, Series

Others in the Series
        The Blue Djionn of Babylon #2 | The Cobra King of Kathmandu #3 | Day of the
        Djinn Warriors #4 | The Eye of the Forest #5 | The Five Fakirs of Faizabad #6 |
        The Grave Robbers of Genghis Khan #7


FRAMED!: A T.O.A.S.T. Novel
written by James Ponti, (Aladdin, 2016), 304p, Ages 10+

Having recently moved to Washington D.C. with his parents, seventh-grader Florian Bates uses his observation skills of T.O.A.S.T (Theory of All Small Things) to help recover three masterpieces that were stolen from the National Gallery of Art, where his mother works. When the FBI asks for further help, Florian discovers a fourth theft at the Gallery, which leads to a European Crime Syndicate. When a new friend, Margaret, asks him to investigate the mysterious circumstances of her adoption, they create their own FBI—Florian Bates Investigation.

This tightly woven, well crafted mystery surrounding a smart, funny, and unusual 12-year-old will have readers considering their own observation skills and looking forward to a sequel.
        Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Mysteries, Series

Others in the Series
        The Vanished: A Framed Novel #2 | Trapped: A Framed Novel #3


THE LAND OF STORIES: The Wishing Spell #1
written by Chris Colfer, (Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012), 464p, Ages 10+

On their 12th birthday, twins Alex and Conner are given an unusual book by their grandmother. The Land of Stories contains famous fairy tales that their late father told them over the years. When pulled into the book, they discover that the only way home is The Wishing Spell. A friendly frog explains that the spell requires the collection of eight items to complete one wish.

During the rigorous quest, they encounter famous fairy tale characters, scale castle walls, dive with mermaids, flee from the hungry Big Bad Wolf Pack, and swim an icy moat. Captured by trolls, kidnapped by Snow White’s evil stepmother, and rescued by a frog prince, they learn of their relationship to the famous Fairy Godmother.

Hope, forgiveness, moral choices, overcoming hardships, and sadness come together in a clever ending that promises more tales about Alex, Conner, and The Land of Stories.
        Themes: Adventure, Folk Literature, Families, Series

Others in the Series
        The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns #2 | The Land of Stories:
        A Grimm Warning #3 | The Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdoms #4 |
        The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey #5 | The Land of Stories:
        Worlds Collide #6

Ages 12-15

written by Sheila Turnage, (Kathy Dawson Books, 2012), 256p, Ages 11-14

“Trouble cruised into Tupelo Landing at exactly seven minutes past noon on Wednesday, the third of June, flashing a gold badge and driving a Chevy Impala the color of dirt.” Feisty, charming, and wise, Mo LoBeau is a natural born detective and partner with her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, in the Desperado Detective Agency.

Washed ashore in Tupelo Landing, N.C. during a hurricane 11 years ago and rescued by the Colonel, a stranger with memory loss, both are cared for by Miss Lana, who runs the Tupelo Café. Always searching for her “upstream mother,” Mo helps at the café, stands up to bullies, investigates a murder, and tries to save the only family she has ever known.

Metaphors and similes abound. “Rumors swirl around the Colonel like ink around an octopus.” Mystery, secret identities, stock-car racing, family dynamics, and Southern humor make this honor book a great read, but parents should be cautious of some violence.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Mysteries, Series

Others in the Series
        The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing | The Odds of Getting Even |
        The Law of Finders Keepers


THE LIGHTNING THIEF (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book 1)
written by Rick Riordan (Hyperion Books, 2005), 384p, Ages 12+

In this first of five books surrounding the struggles and victories of the half-blood children of Greek gods, 12-year-old Percy Jackson, struggling with dyslexia and ADHD, discovers that he is the son of Poseidon, god of the sea.

Sent to Camp Half-Blood for training, Percy meets Annabelle, daughter of Athena. Along with Grover, a satyr and Percy’s protector, they begin a quest to locate and return Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt, in order to prevent a war between brothers Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon. Journeying from coast to coast, they encounter evil gods, who seek to thwart their efforts and bring about their demise.

With amazing powers, clever weapons, and a determination to correct wrong doings, the three heroes develop courage, loyalty, and persistence on their journey through Greek mythology. Humor, magic, action, and mystery make this page-turner a great read for all.
        Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Folk Literature, Heroes, Series

Others in the Series
        The Sea of Monsters #2 | The Titan’s Curse #3 | The Battle of the Labyrinth #4 |
        The Last Olympian #5


written by Gavin Rohan, (Bloomsbury, 2014), 272p, Ages 12-15

Alan Knightley, a brilliant, dedicated, but obsessive detective suddenly awakens from a four-year coma ready to take on the Combination, an ancient criminal organization responsible for his coma and all unexplained crime in the world. Escaping the hospital, Alan seeks out his 13-year-old son, Darkus, who holds the key to his stolen records. With the help of Darkus’ deductive and observation skills, they unravel the mystery behind a self-help mystical book, THE CODE, tied to spontaneous criminal activity.

When Alan is kidnapped, Darkus continues the investigation, narrowly avoiding death at the hands of his stepfather, who has been hypnotized by THE CODE to kill him. Conspiracy theories, high speed car chases, irrational criminal behavior, secret WW II underground railway stations, and blended family dynamics, make this Sherlock Holmes-like read a great page-turner for the start of a new father-son detective series.
        Themes: Adventure, Mystery, Suspense, Series

Others in the Series
        Knightley & Son: K-9 | Knightley & Son: 3 of a Kind

Ages 14-18

FALLOUT #1 (Lois Lane series)
written by Gwenda Bond, (Switch Press, 2015), 304p, Ages 14-18+

16-year-old Army brat, Lois Lane, has lived many places, but now that her family is setting down roots in Metropolis, she is determined to keep a low profile in a new high school. Due to her brash personality and highly ethical nature, trouble is no stranger to Lois.

On her first day, Lois meets the weird Warheads, and bristles at their bulling of another girl. Using her new position as junior reporter for the Daily Planet, Lois convinces the other three teen reporters to join in her investigation of high-tech immersive video games that the Warheads are using to manipulate students’ minds. Trouble follows, when Lois discovers that an unscrupulous research laboratory and the principal are behind the mind-controlling experiments called Hydra. Readers will enjoy piecing together the identity of Lois’ online mysterious friend, “Smallville Guy.”

Friendships are tested, loyalties are questioned, teamwork is solidified, and one headstrong, capable, and persistent teen finds purpose and direction as an investigative reporter. Readers are in for a treat in a great investigative series featuring a DC Comics’ fantastic lady.
        Themes: Fantasy, Friendship, Mysteries, Suspense, Series

Others in the Series
        Double Down #2 | Triple Threat #3


CLOAK OF THE LIGHT #1 (Wars of the Realm)
written by Chuck Black, (Multnomah Books, 2014), 320p, Ages 16+

At the age of twelve, Drew Carter’s father, a member of a Special Forces unit, dies in action. Since then, tragedy and heartache seem to follow Drew from one school to another. Over the years his father’s best friend and fellow soldier, Jake Blanchard, helps Drew through his grief, takes him on camping trips, and eventually teaches him combat training.

When college offers Drew a chance to start over, a physics experiment explodes leaving him blind and his high school friend, Ben, missing. After his sight miraculously returns, Drew discovers he has skills and sight beyond the normal and can observe what he calls invaders influencing humans for good or evil. When Drew begins to question his sanity, he remembers his father’s advice: “It’s wrong to do nothing when you have the power to do something.”

Determined to thwart the invaders, Drew moves to the inner-city of Chicago, locates Ben, discovers a long lost love Sydney, and protects his neighborhood from a local gang, earning him the nickname of “The Guardian,” which brings him to the attention of the FBI. Teens will enjoy this first book in the Wars of the Realm series containing humor, heartache, suspense, action, a touch of romance, and an insight to the real spiritual battle between angels and demons.
        Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Suspense, Intrigue, Series

Others in the Series
        Rise of the Fallen #2 | Light of the Last #3


written by Katherine Woodfine, illus. by Julia Sardà, (Kane Miller Books, 2016), 352p, Ages 14+

“NEW YORK TYCOON TO TAKE LONDON BY STORM! New York millionaire Mr. Edward Sinclair is set to throw open the doors of London’s largest department store this week. The new Piccadilly store, which has been a year in construction, stands an impressive eight storeys high, with six acres of floor space, nine state-of-the-art lifts, and over one hundred different departments.”

During the Edwardian era of England, fourteen-year-old Sophie Taylor, orphaned after her father’s death and considered too old for an orphanage and old enough to support herself, is hired by Sinclair’s as a shopgirl to work in the Millinery Dept. Sophie is impressed with Mr. Sinclair’s special exhibition of jewels, including the Clockwork Sparrow, a musical box in the shape of a bird from the Russian Imperial Court. The Sparrow is considered priceless as it contains valuable gems with a unique ability to play a different tune whenever wound.

When a burglary occurs and the Sparrow is taken, Sophie is fired due to accusations by the store manager. With the help of new friends, Billy Parker, an apprentice porter and mystery-lover, Lilian Rose, a friendly store model and aspiring actress, and Joe, a homeless boy, who was involved with the crime lord known as the Baron, they band together to solve the mystery. Readers will enjoy the intrepid heroes as they solve messages coded in ciphers, uncover police corruption, discover explosive devices, and devour iced buns, while attempting to bring the villainous Baron to justice.
        Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Mysteries, Series

Others in the Series
        The Mystery of the Jeweled Moth #2 | The Mystery of the Painted Dragon #3 |
        The Mystery of the Midnight Peacock #4


written by Bree Despain, (Egmont, 2014), 496p, Ages 14-18

This retelling of the Hades and Persephone mythological tale finds two teenagers wrestling with family issues, destinies, and a growing attraction to each other.

Haden, a disgraced prince of the Underworld, is chosen to travel to the human world to lure Daphne, a strong-willed musical prodigy, into returning with him in order to restore immortality to his dying kingdom. Their destinies are bound together, but their personalities often clash. Finding themselves working together to fight evil from the Underworld, they discover a mutual talent for music, realize common family issues, and experience a growing and changing relationship.

From car chases, family dynamics, near-death experiences, and lethal Underworld creatures, to war between the gods, and prophesies, Haden and Daphne struggle to rewrite their destinies and change the fate of two worlds. Readers, who enjoy heroes, quests, mythology, adventure, mystery, and cliff-hanging endings, will love this first book in a planned trilogy.
        Themes: Adventure, Folk Literature, Heroes, Mysteries, Series

Others in the Series
        The Eternity Key #2 | The Immortal Throne #3


Over the years, we have researched thousands of children's books, and can recommend some of the best in outstanding children's literature for parents to read aloud and children to read.

Our recommendations must meet certain criteria: fun, creative and imaginative stories, delightful illustrations, and excellent for age appropriate listening and reading. We hope that you enjoyed our recommendations. If you desire further information some of the best in children's literature, please visit our website,

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