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Mystery/Adventure

This category contains 35 posts

THE STRANGERS (Greystone Secrets #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

The Strangers is the first in a new series, Greystone Secrets, by Margaret Peterson Haddix. The Greystones live in Ohio with their mother, Kate. (Their father died eight years before we meet them.) The story begins with the three Greystone children–Chess (6th grade), Emma (4th Grade) and Finn (2nd Grade)–racing each other home from school … Continue reading

WILD RIVER by P.J. Lodehouse…2016-17 LOVELACE nominee Division I

Wild River tells the story of Ryan’s and his older brother, Tanner’s, kayaking trip.  The author does a nice job of creating a believable voice for Ryan–a middle school boy who prefers video games to outdoor activities.  The fact that Ryan’s expertise with outdoor adventures is much less than Tanner’s is essential to the story.  … Continue reading

AN ARMY OF FROGS by Trevor Pryce…2016-17 LOVELACE nominee Division I

I had seen An Army of Frogs at the library.  I had checked it out twice.  It looked interesting.  It looked fun.  But I couldn’t get into it.  I groaned when I saw it come up on the Lovelace nominee list for 2016-17.  I was not looking forward to forcing myself to read it all … Continue reading

CAPTURE THE FLAG by Kate Messner…2016-17 LOVELACE nominee Division I

The flag which Francis Scott Key used as inspiration to compose The Star Spangled Banner is stolen from the Smithsonian after a gala event.  That evening four children with different ties to the museum and, consequently, the flag, meet by chance in the airport, waiting to board their flights home.  A massive snowstorm shuts down … Continue reading

THE CASE OF THE STOLEN SIXPENCE by Holly Webb

The Case of the Stolen Sixpence is the first in the Maisie Hitchins mysteries series by Holly Webb.  Maisie is 12 years old and lives with her grandmother in the boarding house she owns and operates.  Maisie desperately wants to be a detective like the famous Gilbert Carrington.  When George, the butcher’s delivery boy, is … Continue reading

CHOMP by Carl Hiaasen…LOVELACE nominee Division II 2014-15

Wahoo (yes, that’s his given name–read the book to find out why) is left at home with his father while his mother travels to China to teach Mandarin to American businessmen overseas.  Wahoo’s father, Mickey, is an animal wrangler.  Unfortunately, Mickey is not able to work due to a freak accident wherein a frozen iguana … Continue reading

THE ACTUAL & TRUTHFUL ADVENTURES OF BECKY THATCHER by Jessica Lawson

I liked a lot of moments in The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher.  The author’s decision to portray Becky Thatcher (the classic character from Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer) as a bold and daring spitfire of a young girl in 19th Century America is perfect.  Becky’s character is well-defined and three-dimensional in thought and … Continue reading

THE FORBIDDEN LIBRARY by Django Wexler

The Forbidden Library is a must-read especially for fans of Harry Potter, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke and Chris Colfer’s newer The Land of Stories series. Alice’s perceptions of reality are turned upside-down when she stumbles upon a fairy (not a nice one) in heated conversation with her father.  When her father disappears four days later … Continue reading

THE CHICKEN SQUAD: The First Misadventure by Doreen Cronin Illustrated by Kevin Cornwell

Delightfully slapstick in nature The Chicken Squad builds on the tiny, comical characters who first appear in The Trouble with Chickens, the original J.J. Tully mystery.  A perfect graduation from her brilliant picture books, these short, easy chapter books by Doreen Cronin (of Click, Clack, Moo fame) provide an ideal bridge for young readers. J.J. … Continue reading

LANTERN SAM AND THE BLUE STREAK BANDITS by Michael D. Beil

Lantern Sam is a dual narrative:  one part told by 10-year-old Henry Shipley and one told in flashback by Lantern Sam (a male calico cat).  Henry’s narration relates the events on the Shoreliner (a famous express train taking passengers from New York to Chicago–960 miles–in less than 20 hours) in 1938 when he and Sam first … Continue reading

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