The Last Wild

LastWildBy Piers Torday

In a world where animals no longer exist, twelve-year-old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he’s told there’s something wrong with him. So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he’s finally gone crazy. But the animals have something to say. And they need him. The pigeons fly Kester to a wild place where the last creatures in the land have survived. A wise stag needs Kester’s help, and together they must embark on a great journey, joined along the way by an overenthusiastic wolf cub, a military-trained cockroach, a mouse with a ritual for everything, and a stubborn girl named Polly. The animals saved Kester Jaynes. But can Kester save the animals?

Wildwood Imperium

WildwoodImperiumBy Colin Meloy

From Colin Meloy, lead singer of the Decemberists, and Carson Ellis, acclaimed illustrator of The Mysterious Benedict Society, comes the stunning third book in the New York Times bestselling fantasy-adventure series the Wildwood Chronicles.

A young girl’s midnight seance awakens a long-slumbering malevolent spirit… A band of runaway orphans allies with an underground collective of saboteurs and plans a daring rescue of their friends, imprisoned in the belly of an industrial wasteland… Two old friends draw closer to their goal of bringing together a pair of exiled toy makers in order to reanimate a mechanical boy prince… As the fate of Wildwood hangs in the balance.

The Wildwood Chronicles is a mesmerizing and epic tale, at once firmly steeped in the classics of children’s literature and completely fresh at the same time. In this book, Colin Meloy continues to expand and enrich the magical world and cast of characters he created in Wildwood, while Carson Ellis once again brings that world to life with her gorgeous artwork, including six full-color plates.

Under the Egg

UnderEggBy Laura Marx Fitzgerald

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler meets Chasing Vermeer in this clever middle grade debut.

When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That’s great news for Theo, who’s struggling to hang onto her family’s two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather’s legacy of $463. There’s just one problem: Theo’s grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen.

With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo’s search for answers takes her all around Manhattan, and introduces her to a side of the city – and her grandfather – that she never knew. To solve the mystery, she’ll have to abandon her hard-won self-reliance and build a community, one serendipitous friendship at a time.

The River

RiverBy Alessandro Sanna

Surprising, original, and gorgeous, The River is a book about the seasons and the different kinds of experiences and stories that each season brings. Consisting almost entirely of images, The River presents each of the four seasons as its own chapter and story. A few sentences at the start of each chapter set the stage and provide clues for following each story. Beginning in autumn and ending in summer, The River is about our connection to place, as well as about the connections between geography, setting, and the stories we tell. The River is also about the flow of time, which flows like the river, and carries us.

Alessandro Sanna and his work are renowned throughout Italy and this book, which will fascinate young and old alike, demonstrates why.

Born in 1975, Alessandro Sanna’s work is well-known throughout Italy. He has earned wide recognition across Europe as an illustrator and author, and his work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review and the New Yorker. He is a prolific and popular creator of illustrated books for children and readers of all ages and has received many awards and had many exhibitions. He lives and works in Mantua, Italy.

P.S. Be Eleven

BeElevenBy Rita Williams-Garcia

Winner of the 2014 Coretta Scott King Author Award!

Things are changing in the Gaither household. After soaking up a “power to the people” mind-set over the summer, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern return to Brooklyn with a newfound streak of independence. Pa has a girlfriend. Uncle Darnell is home from Vietnam, but he’s not the same. And a new singing group called the Jackson Five has the girls seeing stars.

But the one thing that doesn’t change? Big Ma still expects Delphine to keep everything together. That’s even harder now that her sisters refuse to be bossed around, and now that Pa’s girlfriend voices her own opinions about things. Through letters, Delphine confides in her mother, who reminds her not to grow up too fast. To be eleven while she can.

An outstanding successor to the Newbery Honor Book One Crazy Summer, P.S. Be Eleven stands on its own as a moving, funny story of three sisters growing up amid the radical change of the 1960s, beautifully written by the inimitable Rita Williams-Garcia.

Swimming to the Moon

Swimming to the MoonBy Jeff McMahon

“So use your time as best you can, be happy when you’re done, and live your life with no regrets, they only give you one.”

Words of wisdom, whimsy and wonder fill this collection of tall tales and silly stories. As you wander through the pages you just may come across a rare Giraffapotamus, or meet The Remarkable Hector McTwee, and maybe even take a ride on a Unicornicycle. There are Cannonballs and Cartwheelers, Tree Climbers and Trampolinists, Moon Swimmers and Moose Riders, and an amazing assortment of funny, strange, and unforgettable rhymes that will have you wondering just what’s coming next. A timeless collection of poems and art keeping the tradition of hardcover books and bedtime reading alive. This is the first in a projected trilogy which will include the sequel Running To The Sun, to be followed by Sailing To The Stars.

In the spirit of the wonderful books by Shel Silverstein, these beautifully illustrated verses and story-poems come to life with memorable characters and messages that will appeal to youngsters, parents, grandparents, adults, teens, and basically children of all ages. This poetry collection will become a favorite that you will turn to again and again, for bedtime reading, family time, or if you just need a smile to brighten your day.

The Boy on the Porch

Boy on the PorchBy Sharon Creech

When John and Marta found the boy on the porch, they were curious, naturally, as to why he was there – and they hadn’t expected him to stay, not at first, but he did stay, day after day, until it seemed as if he belonged, running and smiling and laughing his silent laugh, tapping and patting on every surface as he made his music, and painting – with water, with paint, with mud – those swirly swirls and swings and trees.

One day a young couple wakes to find a boy asleep on their porch. Unable to speak, the boy cannot explain his history. What kind of people would leave their child with strangers? All John and Marta know is that they have been chosen to care for this boy. As their connection to him grows, they embrace his exuberant spirit and talents. The three of them blossom into an unlikely family, but how long can their happiness last? From Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech comes a singular story that reminds us of the surprising connections that emerge when generosity prevails.

The Real Boy

Real BoyBy Anne Ursu

On an island on the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy. The city is called Asteri, a perfect city saved by the magic woven into its walls when a devastating plague swept through the world years before. The forest is called the Barrow, a vast wood of ancient trees that encircles the city and feeds the earth with magic. And the boy is called Oscar, a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the Barrow, who spends his days in the dark cellar of his master’s shop grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island. Oscar’s world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in it.

But it’s been a long time since anyone who could call himself a wizard walked the world, and now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill; something sinister lurks in the forest. Oscar has long been content to stay in his small room, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the trees will keep his island safe. Now, even magic may not be enough to save it.

Anne Ursu has written an unforgettable story of transformation and belonging – a spellbinding tale of the way in which the power we all wield, great and small, lies in the choices we make.

The Truth of Me: About a Boy, His Grandmother, and a Very Good Dog

Truth of MeBy Patricia MacLachlan

Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medal-winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall, is celebrated for making emotions accessible to children through her gentle writing style. She brings this gift, as well as her talent for writing about families, to the chapter book The Truth of Me. The Truth of Me tells the story of Robbie, who loves spending time with his grandmother Maddy. Robbie loves the stories Maddy tells, and also how wild animals trust her enough to come right up to her. But Robbie has always felt as if something is missing in his life – his parents don’t always act like they love him. Maddy helps him understand that an experience his mother had long ago is at the heart of the problem in his family. With this knowledge, Robbie finds the courage to try to make things right. This poignant story celebrates how our unique “small truths” make each of us magical and brave in our own ways.

The Templeton Twins Make a Scene

TempletonTwinsBy Ellis Weiner

With its kid-perfect humor and dynamic illustrations, Book 1 of the hilarious Templeton Twins series left young readers clamoring for more. This time, Abigail and John Templeton find themselves at TAPAS (the Thespian Academy of the Performing Arts and Sciences) where their father, the illustrious Professor Templeton, has been hired to invent a groundbreaking theatrical device. Once again, there is drama (of course!), silliness, and suspense, as the twins (and their ridiculous dog) must thwart the dastardly Dean brothers in order to save the invention as well as their father (and the dog). Oh yes, there is sure to be another recipe. This time for guacamole. Or is it coleslaw?

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