Monday, 14 August 2017

The Princess In Black

The Princess in Black
The Princess In Black

By Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Princess Magnolia is prim and proper, as a princess should be.  She wears frilly pink dresses and takes tea with duchesses and never gets her hands dirty.  But Princess Magnolia has a secret: when the monster alarm rings, she knows she has to go.  She runs to her broom closet and quickly transforms into the Princess in Black!

Now, a princess/superhero needs a trusty steed.  Luckily, Princess Magnolia’s unicorn Frimplepants also has an alter-ego: the faithful Blacky.

The Princess in Black lives near the entrance to Monster Land.  Those mischievous monsters come out of their hole to try to eat local goats and cause all kinds of destruction. Luckily the Princess in Black and Blacky are ready to fight.  But can Princess Magnolia keep her identity a secret?

Girl power abounds in this series of stories for early readers.  Chapters are short and illustrations abound.   They also make great read-alouds.

Friday, 28 July 2017

The Incredible Journey
The Incredible Journey

We just unpacked new copies of this classic. If you are looking for an award winning adventure story The Incredible Journey is for you! 
Three unlikely friends; two dogs and a cat, need to get back to their owner and family they love. The three animals are put to many tests as they do their best to survive the wild. From dangerous animals to torturous terrain, the three help each other and work together, inspiring for readers of any age.
Winner of the Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year for Children, Sheila Burnford has written a timeless classic. This novel was first published in 1960 and has been reprinted several times over the decades. I discovered it when I was around 12 years old and read it again as a teen when the 1990’s movie adaptation came out (Homeward Bound). There is also a 1960’s movie adaptation called The Incredible Journey, it is instantly available for RPL cardholders to stream from Hoopla.
Warning to everyone; there are some stressful moments, tears might be shed but there are also some wonderful moments. A well written story of friendship, endurance and perseverance. If you are looking for talking animals though there are none here, sorry. Sheila Burnford has made sure to create realistic versions of animal behavior and her descriptions of the scenery is sure to whisk the reader away.
Find this on the shelves at your local branch or place a hold today.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Like Magic

by Elaine Vickers

A wise librarian nurtures friendship between three ten-year-old girls experiencing significant changes in their young lives. Grace's best friend has moved away and now she cannot find the ability to speak. Jada has just moved to Salt Lake City with her father because of his new teaching job. Malia's mother is in the hospital expecting a baby, and Malia worries about her place in the family and her mom's health. When Grace visits the library to find paper stars she folded with her best friend Katie, Hazel the librarian leads her to the lost and found drawer. Hazel presents Grace with a locked book titled "AMICITIA", Latin for friendship. Grace promises to keep the book safe and return it to Hazel after she discovers a way to open it. This locked book turns out to be a treasure box with a short verse explaining to share a personal treasure that someone else who borrows the box will find. Grace decides to share a poem which is "found" by Jada. The poem gives Jada an idea for a painting since she is an artist and she leaves a postcard painting behind for the next girl, Malia. Malia leaves behind a CD with the song "Ave Maria" as she was reminded of her family by Jada's postcard. Each girl's special contribution to the treasure box is just the beginning to them finding one another through chance or "magical" meetings as they navigate changes that are taking place in their individual lives.     

Monday, 26 June 2017

Mighty Jack

Mighty Jack
Mighty Jack
By Ben Hatke

Mighty Jack is a modern interpretation of Jack and the Beanstalk.  You might call it a fractured fairy tale transformed into a graphic novel.

Jack has been left in charge of his autistic sister Maddy for the summer.  Of course, his mom has to work, but Jack doesn’t want the responsibility.  When Jack finally hears Maddy speak for the first time, he is so stunned that he lets her talk him into trading his mom’s car for some magic seeds.

Using those seeds, Jack and Maddy plant a garden in the backyard.  But the magical jungle that grows is more than they bargained for.  Onion babies that run around, plants that bite and other terrifying and thrilling creatures populate the garden.

As Jack and Maddy watch the garden grow, Maddy begins to come to out of her shell, connecting with the garden in ways Jack didn’t think were possible.  The garden also attracts Lilly, a neighbour from down the road.  Jack’s summer might just be turning around.  

But when the garden turns really sinister, Jack must make a decision: allow the magic to flourish, or save his sister’s life.  Both Maddy and Lilly want to keep the magic, no matter what the danger.  What should Jack do?

Friday, 9 June 2017

Under Their Skin

Under Their Skin
Under Their Skin
By Margaret Peterson Haddix

Nick and Eryn are 12-year-old twins who lead a pretty normal life, spending half their time at their mom’s house and half the time with their dad.  When their mom announces that she is getting married to Michael, Nick and Eryn know that life will change.  But change comes faster than they expect when they learn that Michael, whom they have known for several years, has kids of his own. 

Having Ava and Jackson as stepsiblings will have a big impact on Nick and Eryn’s life.  But Nick and Eryn are profoundly disturbed when their mom announces that the stepsiblings will never have to meet each other.  To say that this is an unusual start to a blended family is an understatement.  Nick and Eryn are determined to know why Ava and Jackson are being kept hidden from them.

Nick and Eryn begin to do things they wouldn't normally do: they break into rooms and sneak out of the house, all in an effort to discover the secret behind Ava and Jackson.  When they show up at Ava and Jackson’s house unannounced, they get the surprise of their lives.  Nothing in their world is as it seems… Their parents have been keeping secrets from them.

Blending science fiction and mystery, Under Their Skin describes the shock and horror that arises when you realize that everything you believe in is wrong.

Friday, 2 June 2017

The Unbreakable Code

The Unbreakable Code
The Unbreakable Code

By Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

This follow-up to Book Scavenger has Emily and her best friend James solving yet another mystery.  This time they come across the infamous Unbreakable Code, which has gone unsolved for 150 years.  

Emily and James try desperately to crack the code which leads to some kind of treasure.  Along the way, they discover that their teacher, Mr. Quisling, is also trying to crack the code.  In their zeal to beat him, they learn that their teacher is involved in another, much more dangerous quest which is linked to a series of arsons around San Francisco.

Emily and James are only 12.  Should they really get involved with something so sinister? 

With the help of Emily’s brother Matthew and Ms. Linden, a curious librarian who works in the history section of the library, Emily and James embark on another dangerous and thrilling journey through San Francisco.
Book lovers and puzzle solvers alike will love this book as much as the first one. Another great read!

Highly recommended.