Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon

Danny Dragonbreath is a dragon, but so far he’s not a very good one – he can’t even breathe fire, no matter how much he practices (and he’s getting tired of his dad’s long-winded lectures on the subject). He goes to a school for reptiles and amphibians and his best friend, Wendell, is an iguana. When Danny receives a failing grade on his report about the ocean, he decides to…

April 15, 2012

Mr. & Mrs. Bunny: Detectives Extraordinaire! By Mrs. Bunny,Translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath

Mr. & Mrs. Bunny have just decided (one of Mrs. Bunny’s many whims) to become detectives when Madeline’s parents (humans) go missing. Madeline is a responsible young girl, who is about to graduate from the 5th grade, and she’s accustomed to taking care of her folks. When they are abducted by foxes, she is sick with worry about them (how will they manage without her?). All Madeline has to work…

March 26, 2012

Masterpiece by Elise Broach

Martin is a young beetle who lives in the walls of the Pompaday’s apartment in New York City. The beetles don’t think much of Mr. & Mrs. Pompaday or bouncing baby William, but they are quite fond of 11-year old James (Mrs. Pompaday’s son from a previous marriage). Martin wants to do something special for James on his birthday, so he uses James’ new drawing set to make him a…

February 7, 2012

Wild Things by Clay Carmichael

When 11-year old Zoë’s mother passes away, she is taken in by her uncle, Dr. Henry Royster. Both are accustomed to being on their own – Zoë had to take care of herself because of her mom’s mental illness and poor choices, and Henry lost wife #3 and became an artist (he makes large metal sculptures) – and both are rather independent and stubborn. Like the feral cat, Mr. C’mere,…

February 7, 2012

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Minli lives in a small, poor, rural village in the shadow of Fruitless Mountain (called so because it is barren of life). Her parents – Ma and Ba – work hard cultivating crops, but barely manage to get by. Ma is bitter and resentful about their misfortune and poor circumstances, and when Minli uses one of her copper coins to buy a goldfish to brighten up their lives, Ma scolds…

September 21, 2011

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

2011 Newbery Medal Winner 12-year-old Abilene Tucker’s father has raised her “on the rails”, but now he has chosen to abandon her in the town of Manifest where he spent his youth, as he heads back to his wanderer's life. Abilene discovers a hidden box of keepsakes, which leads her and her new friends on a search for a spy. The objects in the box, (a fishing lure, a silver…

April 20, 2011

Mockingbird By Kathryn Erskine

mockingbird.jpg Caitlin’s (5th grader) brother Devon was killed in a devastating shooting at the Virginia Dare Middle School and she’s not sure life is ever going to be the same. She misses him, but she has Asperger’s syndrome, so her way of relating to people and the world is a little different than normal. It doesn’t help that Caitlin’s dad is falling apart with grief, either. Although she’s different, Caitlin…

April 14, 2011

Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry

Heart of a Shepherd is a touching and memorable story of family loyalty and faith. Ignatius "Brother" Alderman, nearly twelve, is in charge of the family ranch when his father leaves for Iraq with his Army Reserve Unit. Birthing calves, raising newborn lambs, and fighting wildfires are all part of a rancher’s duty, and Brother accepts it all courageously. He is committed to doing his father’s work on the family…

April 1, 2011

Skellig by David Almond

In his dilapidated garage, Michael hears movement, and digging through the dirt and junk, he finds a creature that seems to be part man and part bird or angel. He is filthy, smelly and apparently near to starvation. As disturbing as this discovery is, it is the least of Michael's worries. The new house is a mess, his parents are distracted, and his brand-new baby sister is seriously ill. Still,…

October 28, 2010

Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher

Henry Grim, 14, was a servant at the exclusive Midsummer School up until recently. When one of the Midsummer professors caught him borrowing textbooks, he decided to tutor him instead of reporting him to school administrators for theft. Henry Grim then became one of the most promising students Midsummer School never had the privilege of teaching! Encouraged by his tutor to take the entrance exams for Knightley Academy, Henry became…

October 14, 2010