August/September 2022


Stories from the Past to Read,
Share, and Treasure


written by Alison Jackson, illus. by Karla Firehammer, Henry Holt, 2001), 32p, Ages 3-7

“There was an old woman / who lived in a shoe. / She had so many children, / she didn't know what to do. / She gave them some broth / without any bread, / Then took them to live / in a new home instead.”

The old woman and her children, who once lived in a shoe, can’t see to find the right house—it’s too messy, too noisy, or too small. Humpty Dumpty’s wall or Mother Hubbard’s cupboard just don’t seem to measure up. Will they ever find the perfect place? Maybe, right under their noses.

Themes: Families, Folk Literature, Rhythm & Rhyme


written & illus. by Peggy Rathman, (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1998), 32p, Ages 3-7

A little boy’s pet hamster advertises a special 10-minute bedtime tour at #1 Hoppin Place. Unbeknownst to the boy and his father, who is reading a newspaper while clocking the minutes out loud, the enterprising blue uniformed pet directs carloads and busloads of vacationing hamsters into the kitchen for a snack, the bathroom for tooth brushing, and to the bedroom for a story.

When dad finally announces “Bedtime!” the group clears out, except for a family of hamsters, who decide to stay. Kids will thoroughly enjoy this keeper.

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Bedtime, Humor


Ages 4 - 7

written by Margie Palatini, illus. by Barry Moser, (Simon & Schuster, 2009), 32p, Ages 4-8

In a humorous twist on Aesop’s fable, “The Fox and the Grapes”, fox spies mouth-watering grapes on a vine high in a tree. Priding himself on his cleverness, he gathers paper, pencil, and graphs to calculate a method of reaching the luscious grapes. He tells Possum, “Here’s the plan. Bear stands—here. Beaver stands on Bear’s head—there. Porcupine stands on Beaver’s tail. I stand on Porcupine. You stand on me … and voila! Grapes!”

Each animal tries to convince fox of a simpler plan, but fox ignores their ideas. When all his calculations yield no grapes, fox gives up and stomps off, stating, “I, for one, wouldn’t think of eating those lousy, rotten, stinkin’ grapes now, even if I could.” The other animals are shown enjoying the grapes thrown down by Possum, who climbed the tree to pick them. Readers and listeners will enjoy the expressions of the doubting animals trying to accommodate the prideful fox.

Themes: Animals, Folk Literature, Humor


written & illus. by Janet Stevens, (Harcourt Brace Children’s Books, 1995), 40p, Ages 4-8

In the tradition of European folktales and the American south, this trickster tale takes trickery to a comical extreme. Bear and Hare decide to go into a gardening partnership. Bear donates the land, and Hare plants the vegetables, but Bear is extremely lazy and expects Hare to do all the work. Discover how Hare outwits Bear and still manages to feed his hungry family. The book is unique in that it opens vertically.

Themes: Animals, Folk Literature, Humor, Series
Other Books in the Series: The Donkey Egg


Ages 7 - 10

written by Sam Hay, illus. by Marek Jagucki, (Feiwel and Friends, $13.99, Sept. 2018, ISBN 978-1-250-18838-0), 240p, Ages 7-11

Two adventure-loving, gadget-obsessed penguins, Jackson and Quigley from the town of Rookeryville, long to join the FBI (Frosty Bureau of Investigation). Dismissed as too young to join up, they are determined to prove their detective abilities. When one of Quigley’s inventions misfires, Secret Agent OOZero Jackson is dropped into an FBI stakeout. There they discover that rare and exotic fish are vanishing from the local aquarium. To solve the crime, they must evade the detective skills of Jackson’s mother, avoid Frost-Wasp Bots, and outmaneuver Coldfinger, owner of the Shark’s Pit Restaurant.

Kids will love this middle grade chapter book with its fast-paced action, penguin humor, and quirky inventions (wall-climbing poo-glue, the voice-activated flipper-print quadruple locking system, and sardine invisibility suits).

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Chapter Book, Heroes, Humor, Mysteries Series
Other in the Series: The Spy Who Loved Ice Cream #2, Golden Egg #3


THE CHICKEN SQUAD #1: The First Misadventure
written by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Kevin Cornell, (Antheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014), 112p, Ages 7-10

Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie, The Chicken Squad, spend their days solving mysteries and fighting crime. They take on a new case, when a frightened squirrel, Tail, barges into the chicken coop claiming that something big, scary, enormous, frightening, huge, and terrifying is in the yard.

Thinking that a UFO may have landed, the chicks use grass clippings as a camouflage and pelt a new barbecue grill. Retired search-and-rescue dog, J. J. Tully, races in to save the day.

This great chapter book for young readers will tickle their funny bones with laugh-out-loud silliness.

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Chapter Book, Families, Humor, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in Series: The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken: The Next Adventure #2, Into the Wild: Yet Another Adventure #3 Dark, Shadows: Yes Another Misadventure #4, Gimmie Shelter: Misadventures & Misinformation #5, Bear Country: Bearly a Misadventure #6


written/illus. by Robert Ingpen, (minedition, 2005), 48p, Ages 7+

In ancient Peru a community of miniature people lead a peaceful life, until the Spanish invade, and they must relocate. Transforming an old tea kettle into a ship, the Hairy Peruvian fishermen cross the ocean, keep watch for giant iguanas, and avoid the Sea God, El Nino.

From Peru to the Pacific Islands to Australia, this trip of imagination is sure to please all who read and read-aloud this Australian folktale. As always, Robert Ingpen’s illustrations are a marvel to behold.

Themes: Adventure, Folk Literature


Ages 8 - 12

PAUL REVERE’S RIDE: The Landlord’s Tale
written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, illus. by Charles Santore, (HarperCollins, 2003), 40p, Ages 8-11

“Listen, my children, and you shall hear / Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, / On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; / Hardly a man is now alive / Who remembers that famous day and year.”

So begins Longfellow’s Revolutionary war poem of Paul Revere’s famous ride, to prepare Colonial villages to take up the battle cry for American independence and arm themselves against the arrival of the British.

A signal light from the old North Church alerts Paul Revere to begin his dramatic horseback ride across the Colonial landscape. One can almost hear the thundering hoofs of Paul Revere’s horse as they cross over village cobblestones and bridges. “In the darkness and peril and need, / the people will waken and listen to hear / The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, / And the midnight message of Paul Revere.”

Narrated by the landlord of the Wayside Inn, this story-within-a-story is an exciting tale of adventure, courage, and patriotism. Charles Santore’s marvelous illustrations bring to life the urgency of this race against time that no one should miss.

Themes: Adventure, Classics, Heroes, Historical Fiction


written by Geoff Watson, (Egmont USA, $15.99, 2010, ISBN 978-1-60684-094-8), 320p, Ages 9-12

With his father out of work, thirteen-year-old Thomas Edison, named for his famous “double great” grandfather, is determined to prevent his family from moving to Kansas. This becomes a reality, when he discovers a clue to a centuries-old family secret involving a method for turning medal into gold.

Tom and his two friends, Colby and Noodle, begin a wild treasure hunt for the formula, attempt to solve a string of riddles involving a secret society, and outsmart the bad guys. One of which is an evil descendant of his great great grandfather’s partner, billionaire Curt Keller, a corrupt and cunning businessman determined to find and exploit the formula.

Crawling through the Metropolitan Museum’s airshafts, racing head of a speeding train, and swimming through storm drains into the Hudson River, the race is on to find the formula first. This fast-paced, fun-filled adventure/mystery will leave kinds craving for more treasure hunts.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Mysteries


Ages 10 - 13

written/illus. by Thacher Hurd, (Henry Holt & Co., 2011), 240p, Ages 10+

James Jameson’s ordinary life takes an exciting turn when he encounters Sam, a friendly blue alien mechanic from the Pleiades, who travels to earth in a lime green 1960 Dodge Dart spaceship and crashes in James’ neighborhood. Familiar with American culture from previous visits, Sam, loves American glazed donuts and listens to Count Basie on the interstellar radio.

After helping Sam repair the Dart with ketchup, James is introduced to space travel, Bongo Fishing in the South Pleiades, and Sam’s Elvis-loving wife, Edna. Subsequent visits become new adventures of manufacturing fuel (a concoction of broccoli, bubblegum, baking soda, and vinegar) in James’ kitchen, finding a cure for Sputnik (James’ cat), which has the Bleagles (Pleiades blue measles), learning to fly a rocket cycle, and rescuing Sam and Edna from a mysterious and deranged Zimborian therapist in Area 51’s restricted area.

Short on science fiction, but full of humor and zaniness, James, Sam, and Edna are permanent fixtures in fiction.

Themes: Adventure, Humor, Science Fiction


written by Trent Reedy, (Scholastic Press, $16.99, 2012, ISBN 978-0-545-38307-3), 288p, Ages 9-12

Kids who love middle grade action, adventure, humor (pigout eating contests), old-fashioned ingenuity, skateboarding, and secret labs will enjoy how three creative sixth grade boys steal air and fly. Brian, new to Riverside, Iowa and dynamic skateboarder, Max, an inventor and Star Trek nerd, and Alex, a budding entrepreneur, team up to save a struggling family business. They construct an experimental airplane, risk their lives flying without safety precautions, and teach a bully to behave. Kids interested in amateur aviation, challenges, overcoming odds, the enjoyment of success, and just deserts for bullies will love this treat.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Humor, Machines


written by Ben Mezrich, (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $16.99, July 2014, ISBN 978-1-4424-9626-2), 336p, Ages 10-13

Exceptionally good at math equations, sixth-grader Charlie Lewis hangs out with kids known as the Geek Squad, earning the nickname of Numbers. Charlie is rescued from a school bully by a seventh grader, who invites him to join a secret gang, the Carnival Killers.

This group of middle school kids is headed by a college student, who needs Charlie’s math abilities to defeat the rigged carnival midway games, win lifetime tickets for the group to Incredo Land in Florida, and $50,000 for a teacher’s aid program. . When Charlie realizes the leader’s illegal purposes, he decides to change the outcome. Excitement, adventure, and risk-taking will keep readers guessing the conclusion.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Series


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 The Storytellers, a monthly newsletter of outstanding children’s literature to read and read aloud from preschoolers to teens.

The best children's books and filled with imagination and fun. Stories that take children into a world of delight and adventure present storytelling at its best. Children need stories for pleasure, laughter and fun; imaginative and nonsensical stories that may not have a scrap of useful information or lesson, but cheerful and delightful lunacy. Give as many as possible to your children, because imagination and fund are essential to life.

The days of Summer are winding down and Fall is almost here with leaves turning, pumpkins almost ripe, and a great time for storytelling. Our recommendations represent some of the best of imagination and fun in children's literature, and are presented for the reading and listening enjoyment of all.

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

Read to your children before they’re too old
to listen and love the stories you hold.
But after they’re grown, keep reading, no worries,
they’ll never grow tired of hearing great stories.
The Children’s Hour ©2022.


written/illus. by Jay Fleck, (Chronicle Books, $8.99, May 2022, ISBN
978-1-4521-8166-0), 10p, Ages 0-3

Unable to sleep, a cute little orange car, decides to make a fast trip through the night sky, but his exuberance disturbs the sleeping stars. “Crinkle, crinkle, little car / How did you get up so far? / When twinkly stars are trying to sleep, / You wake them up with one loud BEEP!” His noisy engine awakens the Moon and Mars, who shout “Can you PUH-LEASE pipe down?!”.

Eventually he tires, realizes that sleep is needed, zooms home, turns off his lights, and says goodnight to Mama. Little ones will love the crinkly feel of this special little fellow and sing along to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.
        Themes: Adventure, Bedtime, Humor, Machines-Cars, Outer Space, Rhythm & Rhyme


written by Danna Smith, illus. by Jon Andersen, (Little Simon, $7.99, March 2022, ISBN 978-1-5344-9251-6), 16p, Ages 2-4

“Wake up, steam engine, alone on your track. / Let’s hook up the freight cars to the hitch on your back. / It may be nighttime, but that’s when we ride / through cities and towns and the wide countryside.”

Little ones who love trains will enjoy the sights and sounds of a freight train hooking up the cars and freight to travel on a nighttime journey. Kids will love the tender carrying coal, the flatcar where lumber is stacked, the gondola with building supplies, the tank car with oil inside, the hopper with its gravel, the cattle car with cows and fresh hay, the boxcar, and caboose with the crew inside. Kids will also delight in the animals watching the preparations.

And the train is off. “Blow the train whistle. Shovel more coal. / Here we go freight train! Get ready to roll!’ Train-loving kids will enjoy winding down at bedtime with this fun, all-night journey with its soothing rhymes and illustrations.
        Themes: Adventure, Bedtime, Machines-Trains, Rhythm & Rhyme


written/illus. by Lita Judge, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, June 2022, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-5344-8513-6), 40p, Ages 3+

“Mouse, Elephant, and Giraffe had so much in common. They liked the same games. They ate the same snacks. They needed no one else.” When Porcupine crossed their path and wanted to play, he wasn’t good at games and ate strange snacks, but he taught them how to climb trees. They discovered that Warthog’s flowers made wonderful wands, but when they ran into Lion, he showed them the fun of sitting & watching nature unfold.

“Together, Mouse, Elephant, Giraffe, Porcupine, Warthog, and Lion explored the world and found that each of them, in their own unique way, was also something beautiful.” Little ones will fall in love with Lita Judge’s unique, exceptional, and outstanding illustrations, especially the expressions of the birds.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Humor


written/illus. by Francesca Pirrone, (Clavis Publishing, Inc., $12.95, Aug. 2022, ISBN 978-1605377858), 56p, Ages 3-6

“It doesn’t take much to show others that you care. Look after them, be welcoming, share what you don’t need anymore . . . Care for the little things and they’ll grow big.”

This second book of Francesca Pirrone’s Little Book series features a sweater clad, friendly pig sharing words of wisdom through small acts of kindness to many animals. Whether it’s apologizing for stepping on a small turtle’s foot (“Say I’m sorry”), offering a bike ride to a tired rabbit (“Be helpful”), sharing things no longer needed (“Share what you don’t need anymore”), or freeing a sad goldfish from its bowl (“Think of someone else’s feelings”), these clever admonitions with cheery illustrations make for a delightful message to little ones.

Translated from Dutch, this lovely little book of kindness, friendship, sharing, and caring should be in every child’s home library.
        Themes: Animals, Friendship, Heroes, Values
Other Books in the Series: Little Book of Kindness #1

Ages 4-8

written/illus. by Leo Timmers, translated by James Brown, (Gecko Press, $18.99, March 2022, ISBN
978-1-776574-34-6), 40p, Ages 4-7.

“Arnold had always been a seafaring elephant. He considered the sea his friend, but one day a boisterous wave sank his boat.” Fortunately, his built-in, snorkel-like trunk enables him to swim to a tiny rock. One by one animals come by to rescue him with their boats, but as soon as he steps on board, their boats sink. A mouse in a dingy, a dog in a sailboat, and an alligator in a fishing boat also become shipwrecked, until Arnold begins to use the wreckage to create a bigger island. Soon everyone is having too much fun to leave the island, and more animals set course for Elephant Island.

Find out what happened when “the sea lost its temper…” and destroyed the new island. Do they go home or build a better island? Kids will love the elaborate, multi-leveled structures and a Ferris wheel powered by a bicycle rider. As Arnold would say, “There’s always room for one more.”
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Heroes, Humor, Inventions, Oceans


written/illus. by Sven Nordqvist, (Floris Books, $19.95, Oct. 2021, ISBN 978-178250-743-7), 32p, Ages 4-7

Children will thoroughly enjoy this wordless picture book adventure surrounding a young boy, who takes his grandma’s white shaggy dog for an elaborately detailed adventure through fairy-tale worlds. The boy’s bright red baseball cap serves as a locator as they first travel on a miniature train that loops around on top of walls, then walk through a park filled with a menagerie of statues and animals, where over-sized teapots serve guests. Meandering through castles, across islands, into European cities, toy stores, treehouses, and many more fantastic scenes, they return home to Grandma’s house.

Kids will enjoy the croquet game, a town made up entirely of cats, the Alice-in-Wonderland atmosphere, and the marvelously detailed scenes of castles, knights, playrooms, cities, islands, dungeons, and forests on 21 detailed pages.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Concept, Fantasy, Humor, Wordless


written/illus. by Chad Otis, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/A Caitlyn Dlouhy Book, $18.99, Aug. 2022, ISBN 978-1-5344-8769-7), 40p, Ages 4-7

Little Ferry is gentle, dependable, and always on time as she carries passengers to a small wildlife island. However, she is envious of the other vessels on the water and desires to be fearless like Tugboat, elegant like Sailboat, and wild like Speedboat. Realizing that she “wasn’t made to be any of those things,” when an emergency occurs on the little island, guess who becomes a hero when the Little Ferry lowers her ramp to rescue the animals?

“Forever after, Little Ferry brought people back and forth to the little island, happy to know that what she was best at was. . . being exactly who she was.” Little Ferry’s adventure is a great lesson for kids—that everyone is valuable with different abilities and strengths.
        Themes: Adventure, Heroes, Transportation-Boats, Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Ponds

Ages 7-10

written/illus. by Patricia Polacco, (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 2021,ISBN 978-1-5344-7855-8), 56p, Ages 7-10

It’s the mid-1950’s in Oakland, California and Patricia Polacco is in junior high where her rotten red-headed brother, Richie, also attends and delights in embarrassing her. Three years her senior, Richie has horrible hygiene, messy clothes, and doesn’t seem to care. At Ozzie’s Soda Fountain, where all the kids hang out, Ozzie listens to her problems and dispenses advise. “You aren’t going to believe this. But one day you’ll discover that Richie isn’t as rotten as you think he is!”

One morning Ozzie’s prediction comes true, when Richie cleans himself and his room up, all because of a girl. He even teaches Patricia the latest dances for her ballroom dancing class. Kids will enjoy Patricia Polacco’s sibling rivalry tale, its fairytale ending, the final over-the-top dance throw, and her marvelous illustrations full of fun and movement.
         Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Heroes, Humor

Ages 8-12

written by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by Alex William (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, $15.99, 2021, ISBN
978-1-5476-0367-1), 192p, Ages 8-12

Reever, the race car loving squirrel, returns as a member of the pit crew and enjoys riding with his friend Bill hauling race cars on the car transporter from race to race. However, Revver’s intense curiosity and lack of patience results in disastrous problems. “Slow and think things through was just not Revver’s speed.” From accidentally crashing the car transporter into a limousine, to missing a flight at the airport with the team, Revver learns patience and kindness from animal friends who help him on a perilous journey to find his team.

Kids will love the humor and compassion from animals who help him stow away on a train, unite with his beloved crew, and teach him the circle of kindness.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Family, Friendship, Heroes, Machines
Other Book in the Series: Revver the Speedway Squirrel #1


written by Elise Broach, illus. by Ziyue Chen, (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / Christy Ottaviano Books, $16.99, May 2022, ISBN
978-0-31631-135-9), 304p, Ages 8-12

What does a singing goldfinch, an eleven-year-old piano prodigy, and the mystery of Chopin’s lost piano have in common? It’s one great tale that will hook readers and listeners into rooting for Michael Jin, as he prepares for a piano competition at the prestigious Chopin Festival with a new instructor that he dislikes.

Lesson after lesson, Michael refuses to play for his new teacher, Mr. Starek, an extremely talented pianist who loves to play Chopin. Unknown to Mr. Starek, a young goldfinch named Mirabelle listens to his playing, sings along outside his window, and is intrigued by his newest pupil. One day when Michael is struggling with his lessons, he hears Mirabelle is singing along with him, and their friendship and duets open a whole new world for Michael, which eventually leads to the mystery of Chopin’s lost piano and a house full of treasures that holds the clues.

Lovers of animals and music will enjoy Mirabelle’s narration of the tale, including her escapades with Mr. Starke’s cat, Harmony, as well as interesting historical information surrounding the friendship among three geniuses: Frédéric Chopin; his muse, the writer George Sand; and painter Eugene Delacroix. This endearing tale of friendship, adventure, history, music, magic, and mystery with Mirabelle and Michael is a winner.
         Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Mystery, Music
Other Book in the Series: Masterpiece | Shakespeare’s Secret | Superstition Mountain trilogy


written by James Riley, (Aladdin Books, April 2022, $18.99, ISBN
978-1-5344-2587-3), 336p, Ages 9-12

James Riley returns to the world of his “Half Upon a Time” series featuring giants, genies, power-hungry kings, Faceless Knights, and the Last Knight. Twelve-year-old Lena is the daughter of giants but is tiny at five feet and longs to be accepted by other giants. Jin is a young genie-in-training, currently in service to the power-hungry Golden King, who holds Jin’s magic ring. With two wishes left, Jin is ordered to capture the Last Knight in the Cursed City which contains many fairy tale characters from Pinnochio to Humpty Dumpty. Their two worlds collide as Lena has friends in the city protected by her friend the Last Knight.

Small but brave, Lena hopes to be accepted as a giant, while Jin struggles with learning humility from the Cosmic Knowledge: “To know you are humble we must see you put someone else before yourself. If you wish to be free of service before your one thousand and fifty years are up, you must perform a truly selfless act.” Both characters have something to prove, and kids will enjoy their triumphs, failures, story twists, and turns of this magical adventure.
         Themes: Adventure, Folk Literature, Friendship, Heroes, Series

Ages 10-13

written by Stuart Gibbs, (Simon & Schuster, 2021, $17.99, ISBN
978-1-5344-7943-2), 352p, Ages 10-13

“Agent: Ben Ripley Mission: Deadly Manatee Objectives: Evil agent Murray Hill is rumored to be plotting something extremely dangerous aboard the world’s biggest cruise ship. Go undercover with fellow spies Alexander, Catherine, and Erica Hale, posing as a family on vacation, and find out what Murray is up to.”

Masquerading as part of the Hale family, CIA agents-in-training, Ben and his friend Mike are determined to thwart any fiendish scheme that Murry Hill is up to. Ben, with his talent to see what others do not, is still klutzy and is incapable of handling weapons, but manages to survive destructive chases, attempts on his life, and avert a world disaster with the help of his new family. Humor is woven through the plot with, as always, dysfunctional Alexander and his mysterious bouts of sea sickness, a sweet grandfatherly eco-conscious drug lord, and a Chinese teen who jumbles American sayings.

Readers will enjoy the colorful characters, the crazy chases, and the clever twists, turns, and solutions to save the world in this nineth action/adventure tale inspired by a Disney cruise.
         Themes: Adventure, Families, Heroes, Humor, Mysteries, Series
Other Book in the Series: Spy School | Spy Camp | Evil Spy School | Spy Ski School | Spy School Secret Service | Spy School Goes South | Spy School British Invasion | Spy School Revolution


CROWN HEIST (A Lost Art Mystery) #3
written by Deron Hicks, (Clarion Books, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-358-39606-2), 320p, Ages 10-13

In the newest mystery, Camille, Art, and Camille’s mother, Mary Sullivan, travel to London to meet Camille’s estranged father, a professor of English Renaissance history and expert in myths and legends. Upon arriving in London, they find him missing and begin to search for a lost art object surrounding a dead monarch and legendary figure in England’s history, as well as meet Camille’s grandmother for the first time. Following clues from Camille’s missing father’s office, they travel to Windsor Castle, The National Portrait Gallery, The Tower of London, and Westminster Abbey.

Readers will enjoy the fascinating facts and history lessons surrounding the various pieces of art, in addition to QR codes that link directly to the referenced art in the galleries.
         Themes: Adventure, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in Series: The Van Gogh Deception #1 | The Rembrandt Conspiracy#2

Ages 12-15

written by Stuart Gibbs, (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99, June 2022, ISBN
978-1-5344-9934-8), 400p, Ages 12-15

Charlie Thorne, a 13-year-old genius with a photographic memory, is now following clues to Cleopatra’s priceless treasure buried in Egypt 2,000 years ago. Along with her half-brother, Dante, a CIA agent, and his partner Milana, they travel from Egypt to Greece to Rome, which finally leads to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Dodging the Israeli Mossad, the Egyptian Mukhabarat, a wealthy Egyptian billionaire, and the CIA, Charlie has her hands full deciphering an ancient Egyptian stone tablet, discovering the Philosopher’s Stone, while dodging ambushes, gunfire, and high-speed chases.

Readers will enjoy the archaeological highlights and bits of historical facts surrounding Cleopatra in this fast-paced, high-action third book and look forward to the new CIA chief’s comeuppance.
         Themes: Adventure, Families, Heroes, Historical Fiction, Mysteries, Series
Other Book in the Series: Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation #1 | Charlie Thorne and the Lost City #2

Ages 16+

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. Endpapers provide readers with Biblical facts versus the author’s fictional account of each chapter.
         Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Heroes, Suspense, Intrigue, Series
Others in the Series: Rise of the Fallen #2 | Light of the Last #3

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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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