Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. by Betsy Bird, editorShort Stories. What makes you laugh the hardest? Is it embarrassing stories, the grosser the better? A joke with the perfect punchline? Or maybe smart, sarcastic humor? Whatever it is, you'll find it in this collection of stories, jokes, advice, comics, and activities (mad libs, anyone?). Created by funny ladies whose names you might recognize -- such as Raina Telgemeier, Cece Bell, Rita Williams-Garcia, Jennifer Holm, and Shannon Hale -- as well as a few who might be new to you, Funny Girl is overflowing with laugh-til-you-snort comedy for all kinds of readers.
The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie BurgisFantasy. Aventurine is disgusted by what she's become: a human! Ugh! One cup of enchanted hot chocolate has transformed her from a fierce young dragon into a fangless human girl. The only upside to this change is that as a human, Aventurine can escape her over-protective family and follow her newfound passion…for chocolate, of course. Readers who love feisty heroines will root for Aventurine as she becomes an apprentice chocolatier, collects a group of diverse friends, and puzzles out her place in the human world. For another confectionary fantasy, try The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders.
The Great Treehouse War by Lisa GraffFiction. Winne's parents' divorce agreement is a little bit weird. In order to divide their daughter's time equally, they build a fancy treehouse between their yards, so that Winnie can spend three days a week with each parent and one day in the treehouse. It's a stressful set-up, and when the push-and-pull between her parents becomes too much, Winnie climbs into the treehouse and refuses to come down until they see reason. She's soon joined by nine of her friends with demands of their own, leading to an outrageous kids versus adults standoff that you won't soon forget.
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-GarciaFiction. Harmonica player Clayton Byrd is heartbroken by the sudden death of his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd. A talented musician, Cool Papa had been teaching Clayton all about the blues, something Clayton's mom just can't seem to understand. Longing to connect with the music his grandfather loved, Clayton runs away to find Cool Papa's band, the Bluesmen...only to discover a different kind of music in the underground world of the New York subway system. No matter what kind of music you like, you can relate to authentic characters and emotions in this moving story by the award-winning author of One Crazy Summer.
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren WolkHistorical Fiction. Twelve years ago, baby Crow was rescued from the water near Cuttyhunk Island, and she's lived on the island ever since. Though most of the islanders shun her, Crow has a loving home with her adoptive father Osh and their friend Miss Maggie. When a fire appears on the nearby abandoned island of Penikese, Crow's curiosity about her birth family is ignited, and she sets out in search of answers. Set in 1920s Massachusetts, this poetic and bittersweet tale of family history, hidden pirate treasure, and other long-buried secrets might make you want to go on a searfaring adventure of your own.
The 8th Continent by Matt LondonScience Fiction. Dedicated to helping their scientist father achieve his dream of turning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch into a new continent, siblings Evie and Rick Lane embark on a worldwide quest. All they need is the lost half of their dad's formula for turning plastic into land, but to find it they'll have to travel to far-flung places, dodging their opponents -- shady international organization Winterpole and power-hungry kid CEO Vesuvia Piffle -- every step of the way. Bursting with "fast-paced action, cool inventions and remarkable robots" (Kirkus Reviews), this offbeat eco-fiction page-turner kicks off the 8th Continent series, which continues in Welcome to the Jungle.
The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra MarkleNonfiction. Honeybees around the world are disappearing -- but why? That question is at the heart of this unusual scientific mystery. Packed with color photos on every page, this book gives you the scoop on honeybees and why they're important to the environment before looking at the scientists studying Colony Collapse Disorder, an unexplained phenomenon that causes large numbers of worker bees to abandon their hives. Young entomologists and detectives alike will be fascinated by this complex, real-life puzzle -- and those who want learn more should be sure to pick up Loree Griffin Burns’ The Hive Detectives.
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin; illustrated by Eric Shabazz-LarkinBiography. What do professional basketball and farming have in common? Both are skills of Will Allen, a former basketball player who became a visionary urban farmer. As a kid, Allen longed for experiences outside the family farm, but later in life, he returned to his roots by buying some run-down greenhouses in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With the help of volunteers (many of them kids), the polluted soil in the greenhouses became an urban farm, providing food for the neighborhood and blossoming into Growing Power, an organization that helps people start food gardens. This delicious biography may inspire you -- and make you hungry!
A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz; illustrated by Catia ChienBiography. Talking to people is difficult for young Alan Rabinowitz. Every time he tries, he stutters and shakes and just can't get the words out. Talking to animals, however, just feels right. As Alan grows up, his bond with animals (especially jaguars) and his ability to understand them only grows stronger -- but will he be able to speak out in front of powerful people to defend the animals he loves? Honest and uplifting, this illustrated biography of a famous zoologist will encourage readers of all ages to go after their goals, no matter how difficult they may be.
Fuzzy Mud by Louis SacharScience Fiction. Tamaya and her neighbor Marshall are walking home through the woods when they're confronted by Chad, a bully looking to start a fight. Tamaya gives Chad a faceful of mud instead, but afterwards, she develops a rash where she touched the mud…and something even worse happens to Chad. What was in that mud? Hints -- in the form of top-secret government information -- are scattered throughout Tamaya and Marshall's story, creating a growing sense of danger that will keep you turning pages right up until the end. Thought-provoking and just possible enough to be scary, Fuzzy Mud is a must-read for eco-fiction fans.
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