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Tween Reads April 2014
"I keep waiting for this to get less weird, and it keeps not happening."
~ from Brandon Mull's Sky Raiders
New and Recently Released!
Wildwood Imperium - by Colin Meloy; illustrated by Carson Ellis
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/04/2014
Share Wildwood Imperium ISBN-13: 9780062024749
ISBN-10: 0062024744
Fantasy. Old friends and old enemies resurface for more unusual adventures in the 3rd book of the Wildwood Chronicles. After helping to overthrow the unjust government of Wildwood (a magical realm located near Portland, Oregon), humans Prue, Curtis, and the Unadoptable children take on daring new quests: to rescue prisoners, revive a mechanical prince, and restore peace to the volatile Wood. While fans of the series will dig in to Wildwood Imperium's multiple storylines, whimsical tone, and eerie, expressive illustrations with satisfaction, newcomers may want to start at the beginning with Wildwood and Under Wildwood.
Sky Raiders - by Brandon Mull
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/11/2014
Share Sky Raiders ISBN-13: 9781442497009
ISBN-10: 1442497009
Fantasy. Sixth-grader Cole and his friends Dalton and Jenna are only looking for a Halloween thrill in the creepy haunted house. Instead, they find themselves kidnapped and sold as slaves in the Outskirts, a strange, spellbinding world located between dreams and reality.  Separated from his friends, Cole is forced to become a Sky Raider, stealing treasure from flying castles...and waiting for the right moment to make an intrepid escape. If you like inventive fantasy bursting with magic, monsters, and tons of splashy action, this series-starter from the author of Fablehaven is the book for you.
Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina - by Rodman Philbrick
Publisher: Scholastic
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/25/2014
Share Zane and the Hurricane%3a A Story of Katrina ISBN-13: 9780545342384
ISBN-10: 0545342384
Fiction. It's 2005, and just as Zane Dupree arrives in New Orleans to meet his great-grandmother for the first time, Hurricane Katrina hurtles toward the city. During the evacuation, Zane's beloved dog Bandy leaps out of the van, and Zane chases after her, leaving them both stranded. They manage to weather the storm in an attic until they're rescued by young Malvina and elderly musician Tru, and together the unorthodox group canoes through the polluted floodwaters, avoiding snakes, drug dealers, and armed neighbors as they search for help. Readers who appreciate the suspense and hard-earned hope in this realistic survival story may also enjoy Saint Louis Armstrong Beach by Brenda Woods.
Saving Kabul Corner - by N.H. Senzai
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/04/2014
Share Saving Kabul Corner ISBN-13: 9781442484948
ISBN-10: 1442484942
Fiction. Ariana Shinwari's annoyingly perfect cousin Laila has just arrived from Afghanistan, and not only is she moving into Ariana's crowded California home, she's also moving in on Mariam, Ariana's best friend. Adding to Ariana's stress is the escalating feud between her family's store and a rival Afghan market owned by the family of a classmate, Wali. When both stores are vandalized, the families are quick to blame each other, but Ariana, Laila, and Wali have their doubts. Can the three of them work together long enough to uncover the truth? Find out in this empowering and absorbing "multicultural suburban mystery" (Booklist).
Norse, of Course!
The Sea of Trolls - by Nancy Farmer
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/07/2004
Share The Sea of Trolls ISBN-13: 9780689867446
ISBN-10: 0689867441
Fantasy. At 12 years old, Jack begins learning the songs, magic, and history of the Vikings and their enemies, the trolls, from the Bard -- but his education is cut short when he and his sister are kidnapped during a Viking raid on their Saxon village. From then on, it's perilous adventures, bold quests, daring rescues, and a parade of bloodthirsty baddies from giant spiders to dragons to berserkers with names like Ivar the Boneless, Einar the Ear-Hoarder, and Magnus the Mauler. History buffs who like a little humor in their adventure stories will be well pleased.
Odd and the Frost Giants - by Neil Gaiman; illustrated by Brett Helquist
Publisher: HarperCollins
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/01/2009
Share Odd and the Frost Giants ISBN-13: 9780061671739
ISBN-10: 0061671738
Fantasy. Award-winning author Neil Gaiman brings his distinct, imaginative style to this fast-paced fantasy about gods, magic, and destiny. Unhappy at home, young Viking Odd strikes out on his own through the freezing wilderness, stopping along the way to assist a bear, a fox, and an eagle -- only to learn that the animals are actually the gods Thor, Loki, and Odin! A wily Frost Giant has banished them from Asgard, and now they need Odd's help to get back home. Aimed at younger readers but enjoyable for all ages, this slim volume provides a "sweet, wistful, slyly funny" (Kirkus Reviews) introduction to Norse mythology.
Runemarks - by Joanne Harris
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/13/2009
Share Runemarks ISBN-13: 9780375844454
ISBN-10: 0375844457
Fantasy. In Norse mythology, the battle of Ragnarok ends the world with the gods defeated and permanent winter descended upon the globe. Runemarks picks up 500 years after Ragnarok, when the oppressive Order rules everything and forbids magic. The people in Maddy Smith's village believe that Maddy, who was born with a rune-shaped mark on her hand, is a witch. But after a mysterious traveler "reads" her birthmark, Maddy learns that she's actually the daughter of a Norse god -- and she has a destiny to fulfill. Mature readers who like complex, epic fantasies rich with detail won't mind the length of this grand adventure.
Heroes of the Valley - by Jonathan Stroud
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/27/2009
Share Heroes of the Valley ISBN-13: 9781423109662
ISBN-10: 142310966X
In days of yore, 12 heroes bravely defended their valley from the dreadful Trows. Now, no one in the valley has adventures -- they only squabble over the details of their forebears' legends. Young Halli Sveinsson plays practical jokes to relieve the boredom. Then one of his jokes goes too far, and Halli is compelled to go on a hero's quest -- which turns out (despite the highway robbers and terrifying monsters he encounters) to be nothing like the legends he knows so well. If you like this smart, adventurous story by the author of the Bartimaeus Trilogy, you'll want to check out Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, too.  
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