Title: Mouse Scouts
Author: Sarah Dillard
Recommended for: Grades 1-4
Genre: Early Chapter Books
Reviewed by: Ms. Gayle
Join Violet, Tigerlily, Hyacinth, Petunia, Junebug and Cricket in the first book in this cheerful new series as they explore friendship, teamwork, and facing challenges. Can the friends come up with a plan to plant a garden and save it from the vegetable thieves and bugs, slugs, and grubs? Can they get their stern leader, Miss Poppy, to smile? Also enjoyable are the informative pages from the “Official Mouse Scout Handbook” that include diagrams, games, and activities about nature and DIY projects. Maybe you’ll even decide to plant a garden next year!
Be sure to read this if you are excited about scouting or just want to read a story filled with adventure and laughter! Can’t wait to find out what adventures the mouse scouts have in their next book, Making a Difference or in the newest book, Mouse Scouts: Campout coming out October 2016.
Title: The Secret Keepers
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Recommended for: Ages 8-12
Reviewed by: Ms. Tery
The Secret Keepers will be released in September 2016. This 500-page book keeps you guessing as 10 year old Reuben discovers an extraordinary antique watch with a secret –it turns the one holding it invisible. Reuben and his mom live in New Umbra, which is run by an evil dictator, The Smoke. His evil Directions have been on the lookout for this watch for a long time. Will Reuben find the watch’s real owner or keep it for himself, all the while staying one step ahead of the Directions? The suspense keeps the pages turning! If you liked Andrew Clements mystery series Benjamin Pratt & The Keepers of the School and the Lemony Snicket series, you’ll love this intriguing story.
Title: Phineas L. MacGuire Gets Cooking!
Author: Frances O’Roark Dowell
Recommended for: Grades 2-5
Genre: Realistic fiction, Humor
Reviewed by: Ms. Penne
Phineas L. MacGuire, budding fourth grade scientist, complains about his family’s nightly dinners. His mother decides that Phineas has time after school to shop and cook dinner. Phineas’ first meal is a learning experience, if not an eating experience. His mother gives him a cookbook, and Phineas learns that cooking is just another science experiment. With the encouragement and help of his best friends Ben and Aretha, the experiments/cooking adventures begin. Ben wants him to enter a food channel recipe contest and thinks bacon improves any recipe. Aretha needs help with the food science part of her Girl Scout badge. She wants to make exploding brownies.
This book is a fun read for budding scientists, cooks or anyone that enjoys a good story with great characters.
Title: Listen to the Moon
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Recommended for: Grades 4-6
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewed by: Ms. Penne
This story takes the reader from New York City to the Scilly Islands off the coast of Cornwall, England. It is the story of two families and the events of May 1915. The First World War is raging in Europe and ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean are not safe from German U-boat attacks. The S.S. Lusitania, the largest, most luxurious passenger ship, set sail from New York believing it was safe from submarine attacks.
Alfie Wheatcroft and his father Jim, fishing in a spot close to the deserted island of St. Helens, hear a human or animal cry. They discover a young girl near death and unable to speak. The only word the girl murmurs is Lucy. The Wheatcroft family lovingly nurses her back to health; however, Lucy Lost never speaks.
Author Michael Morpurgo takes the reader to an important time in history. His historical facts are woven in a captivating, life-affirming story. The reader learns about the lives and emotions of people during a time of war. Michael Morpurgo books bring history to life and encourage further reading of important events in history.
Listen to the Moon is a must read and I would recommend all of Michael Morpurgo’s books.
Title: The Dragonsitter
Author: Josh Lacey
Recommended for: Grades 1-4
Genre: Early chapter books, Fantasy, Funny books
Reviewed by: Ms. Joanne
You have heard of babysitters, dog sitters, even cat sitters, but in this first book in the series Eddie and his mother agree to be sitters for Uncle Morton’s dragon while he goes away on vacation. The story is told with emails and we see that taking care of a dragon can be quite frustrating, as well as expensive. Eddie is determined not to fail his uncle and the story ends with some surprising news about a new character. The Dragonsitter is a book that will make you laugh out loud as well as keep you guessing.
Title: The Secret Mission of William Tuck
Author: Eric Pierpoint
Recommended for: Ages 9-12
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure
Reviewed by: Ms. Pat
Twelve-year old William Tuck heard those words only moments before he saw his brother Asher executed by a British firing squad. Heartbroken and full of anger, William leaves home to join the militia as a drummer boy. After a deadly battle, Will stumbles across a dying Patriot courier who gives him an important secret message for the eyes of General George Washington only. As Will starts his journey to find General Washington, he meets up with Rebecca Townsend, who is disguised as a boy. Together they encounter spy rings and learn the basics of cryptography as they make their way from Virginia to New York. If you enjoy historical fiction or adventure books, this is a great read.
Title: Rain Forest Relay by Kristin Earhart
Recommended for: Grades 2-4
Series: Race the Wild
Reviewed by: Ms.Tery, Head of GAPL’s Novel Detective Agency
Rain Forest Relay, a newly released book from Scholastic, grips the reader through all 144 pages of intense action. Master Detective Inspector Gadget recommended this book to me to read and it was a thumbs up. Russell and his friends enter a race around the world, starting in the lush Amazon rain forest. Unfortunately, they are divided into separate teams. What will Russell do when his friends on the other team start to cheat? What would you do?