Title: Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus
Recommended for: Ages 9-12
Genre: Historical fiction, Adventure
Awards: 2016 Rebecca Caudill Book Award Nominee
Reviewed by: Ms. Mrunal
Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus is a spy thriller about the adventures of 14 year old Espen and his friends during the Norwegian resistance movement during World War II.
After Nazi Germany invades and occupies Norway, Espen, his sister, and their parents live in fear of raids and arrests for five years. While secretly taking part in the resistance movement, they begin to question the loyalties of people they have known forever. Espen starts by delivering newspapers, then becomes a courier and finally becomes a spy. On his journey, Espen falls in love, makes new friends, and also loses some.
While everything is going as planned, he makes a small mistake which might threaten his plan to escape on skis over the mountains to Sweden. Does he get caught? Or does the escape plan save his life?
Read this page-turning, thrilling adventure story based on the real-life experiences of a Norwegian spy named Erling Storrusten.
Title: Poop Fountain! by Tom Angleberger
Recommended for: Grades 3-6
Genre: Funny stories
Series: The Qwikpick Papers
Reviewed by: Ms. Laurie
Lyle and his friends, Marilla and Dave, spend a lot of time together at the Qwikpick gas station where Lyle’s parents work. This book is actually the report of the first journey of the Qwikpick Adventure Society, the group the three friends decide to form. They decide to explore the “Poop Fountain” at the Crickenburg Wastewater Treatment Plant. Their report includes photos, drawings, and handwritten notes, and it’s both funny and interesting. Lyle and his friends seem like kids who could live on your street, and it’s easy to become involved in their adventure because they are likeable, realistic characters. I learned a lot with this read, too. I didn’t know much about what happens to water once it is flushed or swirls down the drain, and – although it is sometimes a little gross – it’s an interesting journey that water makes once it leaves your sight! It looks like there will be further adventures of Lyle and his friends, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next. If you like stories with a lot of funny and maybe a little bit of gross, too, this might be the perfect book for you.
Title: The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull
Recommended for: Grades 4-7
Reviewed by: Ms. Sue
What if there was a place where you could get magical candy? Moon rocks that made you feel weightless, jawbreakers that made you unbreakable, or candy that gave animals temporary human intelligence (what would your pet say?).
Four young friends befriend Mrs. White, the owner of Sweet Tooth Ice Cream and Candy Shoppe. However, Mrs. White is not an ordinary candy maker. She is a magician and needs their help in finding a buried treasure. If they help her, she will give them even better candy, magic candy that will give them powers. It turns out Mrs. White isn’t telling the whole truth and she isn’t the only one in town looking for the long buried treasure!
The Candy Shop War is another exciting and creative book from Brandon Mull, NY Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven series. If you are a fan of adventure and fantasy, then you will be sweet on this book!
Title: The Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale
Recommended for: K-3; ages 5-8
Genre: Beginning reader
Awards: Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014; ALSC Summer Reading List
Reviewed by: Ms. Gayle
The Princess in Black is perfect for newly independent readers, girls or boys, who like superhero capes or pink sparkles!!! Get ready for some comic action and a self-reliant, adventurous heroine. Princess Magnolia is enjoying hot chocolate and scones with the nosy Duchess Wigtower when her monster alarm (a glitter stone ring) sounds. She quickly changes into her alter ego, Princess in Black, and jumps on her steed Blacky , aka Frimplepants, the unicorn. Princess in Black has a gentle fight with the shaggy blue goat-eating monster to protect Duff, her friend the goat boy, and his goats. Meanwhile, Duchess Wigtower is snooping around the Princess’ castle. Will Duchess Wigtower uncover Princess Magnolia’s secret? Can’t wait for the release of The Princess in Black and The Perfect Princess Party, the next book in this new beginning chapter book series due to be released in October 2015. Hope Princess Magnolia can keep her secret and continue to use her ninja moves as she keeps all safe from the (rather adorable) monsters!
Title: One White Dolphin by Gill Lewis
Recommended for: Ages 8-12
Genre: Eealistic fiction, environmental protection, wildlife rescue
Awards: Green Earth Book Award Winner 2013
Reviewed by: Miss Joanne
Living in a small English coastal town, Kara Wood faces many challenges. School is frustrating because she is dyslexic and the target of bullies. She and her fisherman father must live with relatives because money is scarce. Her father may even have to sell their lovingly restored fishing boat. Worst of all, her marine biologist mother, who spearheaded a ban on the harmful practice of dredging the area’s coral reef, disappeared a year ago leaving Kara and her father baffled and heartbroken. The ban is now just weeks from expiring and Kara does not know which way to turn.
One day she spots an albino dolphin calf frolicking in the ocean with its mother and her whole life changes. Days later Kara finds the calf injured as a result of unsafe fishing methods and her efforts to save it become a catalyst for change in a community that is torn between economic need and the long-term protection of the coral reef.
An unexpected friendship, the perils of an ocean storm, and Kara’s courage and willingness to do what must be done bring the story to a heart pounding yet satisfying conclusion.
Title: The Way To Stay in Destiny by Augusta Scattergood
Recommended for: Ages 9-12
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by: Miss Penne
Theo M. Thomas is moved from his grandparents’ Kentucky farm, and everything and everyone that he has known his entire life. Theo’s Uncle Raymond, an Uncle he has never met, has moved him to Destiny, Florida. Music, baseball and friendships help convince Theo that Destiny, Florida can be a place to stay.
Read the book to learn the famous musician that Theo is named after!
- Probably the World’s Best Story About a Dog and the Girl Who Loved Me by D.J. Smith
Title: Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George
Recommended for: Grades 4-7
Reviewed by: Ms.Tery, Chief Novel Detective
Celie, the youngest child of the King and Queen of Sleyne, rides a griffin named Rufus. Her home, Castle Glower, unexpectedly travels to an unknown country with Celie and her siblings inside. The children meet the King and Queen Griffin and two unexpected wizards who may, or may not, help them get back home. This third book in the Castle series continues the adventures of Celie, Pogue, Rolf, Lulath, Lilah and the Castle Glower.
- Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
- Shattering by Kathryn Lasky
- Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
- The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
- Other books by Jessica Day George.