The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth EulbergMystery. BOOM! Eleven-year-old John Watson has only just moved into 221A Baker Street in Harlem when he's startled by a nearby explosion. The source of the noise turns out to be nine-year-old Shelby Holmes, John's fast-talking, sharp-eyed new neighbor. Shelby is known in the neighborhood for her detective skills, and despite her prickly attitude, John winds up helping her with a dognapping case, kicking off an unlikely but lasting friendship. Though it includes some sly jokes just for fans of the original Sherlock Holmes, anyone can enjoy this clever, page-turning series opener. For another adventurous young "consulting detective," be sure to check out James Ponti's Framed!.
Catching a Storyfish by Janice N. HarringtonVerse Fiction. Keet has always been a talker and a storyteller. Her grandpa says she could "talk the whiskers off a catfish," but now that her family has moved from Alabama to Illinois, Keet feels stuck in silence. What's the point of telling stories when the kids at school make fun of her accent, and her grandpa is too sick to take her fishing? With a realistic blend of warmth and sadness, this tale of a girl who loses (and finds) her voice is perfect for readers who love the stories-in-poetry written by Nikki Grimes and Jacqueline Woodson.
The Best Man by Richard PeckFiction. Some kids might feel weird about having their teacher marry their uncle, but sixth-grader Archer Magill just feels lucky. Besides his dad, his grandfather, and his Uncle Paul, Mr. McLeod (student teacher, National Guardsman, reluctant Twitter celebrity) is the person Archer admires most. And honestly, Uncle Paul and Mr. McLeod's wedding is just the most recent in the constant stream of changes Archer has been through lately, which include confronting school bullies, dealing with heartbreaking loss, and finally starting middle school. Served up by "master storyteller" (Booklist) Richard Peck, this funny, down-to-earth slice of life is hard to resist.
The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee StewartAdventure. During his exploration of the walls, rooftops, and out-of-the-way spots in his hometown of New Umbra, Reuben Pedley finds a hidden pocket watch that gives him the power to turn invisible...but also makes him a target. Chased by agents of The Smoke, the mysterious figure that controls New Umbra, Reuben has to outwit and outrun his enemies as he tries to uncover the secrets of the watch's origins and the reach of its incredible powers. If you like the brain-twisting puzzles, breathless adventure, and outlandish characters of author Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society series, be sure to check out The Secret Keepers.
Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White by Melissa SweetBiography. How did a shy farm boy became one of America's most beloved children's book authors? Curious readers can find out in this eye-catching illustrated biography of Elwyn White (better known to readers as E.B. White). At a young age, Elwyn learned to love animals as well as writing -- two passions that would define his life. In Some Writer!, you'll not only read about Elwyn's family and work (including behind-the-scenes details about classics like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little), you'll also get to see it up-close through the busy, colorful illustrations, which include photos, handwritten papers, and other real objects from Elwyn's extraordinary life.
The Zero Degree Zombie Zone by Patrik Henry BassFantasy. Bakari Johnson's worries about running for fourth-grade hall monitor against popular Tariq suddenly seem less important after he's sucked into an icy, otherworldly dimension. The wicked, spiky ice king Zenon has lost a magical ring in Bakari's school, and he's sending Bakari back to find it…or else Zenon's hordes of ice zombies will invade the school! Unfortunately, to complete the quest, Bakari and his friend Wardell will have to convince Tariq and his queen-bee cousin, Keisha, to help them. Cartoon illustrations keep the action front and center in this fast-moving supernatural adventure.
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier; illustrated by Douglas HolgateScience Fiction. After monsters attack the town of Wakefield, 13-year-old foster kid Jack is among the few who haven't been zombified. Venturing out of his treehouse fortress, Jack uses his video gaming skills to tackle various "Feats of Apocalyptic Success," which include assembling a team of other survivors (such as his science-geek friend Quentin, middle school bully Dirk, and pet monster Rover), and rescuing his crush, June Del Toro (whether she needs rescuing or not). Blending wisecracking characters with splattering monster guts, this cartoon-illustrated series-starter is sure to draw in fans of Paolo Bacigalupi's Zombie Baseball Beatdown.
Zombie Tag by Hannah MoskowitzParanormal Fiction. In a world where the paranormal is possible, 12-year-old Will believes that the recent death of his older brother, Graham, doesn't have to be permanent. After researching a previous zombie uprising, Will finds a way to raise all the dead people in town, including Graham. However, real zombies turn out to be the opposite of exciting, and having slow, unfeeling zombie Graham around only makes Will miss his brother more. Zombie Tag offers an unusual combination of horror, humor, and bittersweet emotions; for zombie stories with less shambling and more brain-eating, try John Kloepfer's Zombie Chasers.
Dead City by James PontiHorror. When she starts seventh grade, Molly Bigelow joins an unusual extracurricular group: Omega, an underground organization whose mission is to "police and protect" New York City's zombies. Already skilled at science and martial arts, Molly learns to send secret messages and interact with the undead, who are usually gruesome, but rarely menacing. After she's targeted by a dangerous zombie, Molly is confronted with a generations-old mystery that seems to be connected to her mother -- who was a notorious zombie hunter herself. Smart, quirky, and just scary enough, Dead City is the 1st in a series.
Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis; illustrated by Shannon Watters and Brooke AllenGraphic Fantasy. From the outside, Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types looks like a pretty typical Lumberjanes scout camp. But cabin-mates Mal, Molly, April, Jo, and Ripley are earning their merit badges through some pretty bizarre supernatural activities: arm-wrestling giants, battling three-eyed beasts, and escaping traps in an underground cave, to name just a few. If you're hooked on this upbeat, high-octane comic book starring kick-butt heroines who believe in "friendship to the max!", we've got good news for you: this collection is the 1st of many in the ongoing Lumberjanes series.
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