Do you love a challenge?
Are you great at solving puzzles?
Maybe your special talent is in creatively solving the problems you encounter?
Meet the children of the Mysterious Benedict Society. Each one of them has been handpicked through a series of tests and challenges to join a team. Their mission? Save the world, of course.
Follow along as Sticky, Constance, Reynie and Kate take on that secret mission. Can you figure out the puzzles before they do?
This book is a wonderful combination of mystery, adventure, and teamwork. Go along for the ride! http://www.mysteriousbenedictsociety.com/
Join the adventure, try out puzzles and games, and read excerpts from upcoming books here!
Imagine you live in New York City. Not the city of our time, though, the city as it was just before the dawn of the 20th century.
You’re thirteen years old. You’ve quit school because the crowded classroom with 100 kids was too much to bear. You also quit because you need to work to help your family survive.
Eight cents a day. That is what you bring in by selling newspapers on the street as a “newsie”. At least, that’s what you make on a good day when you can actually sell them all.
What will you do when the bullies attack and try to take it all away from you? What will you do when your sister, who earns a large chunk of the family’s wages, is accused of stealing at the hotel where she is employed?
Maks decides to learn how to be a detective to help clear her name. Can he find out the truth?
Part historical fiction – part mystery – City of Orphans is a wonderful story about a world quite different from our own.
Check out the short book trailer below
Miranda’s life is one that passes for normal for a New York City sixth grader. She goes to school, hangs out with her friends, and avoids the crazy guy on the corner who spouts nonsense about pocket shoes and kicks at the air.
Things begin to go wrong for her the day her best friend Sal is punched by a stranger on the street and refuses to hang out with her anymore. Then the mysterious notes begin to arrive.
“I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.”
What follows is an amazing tale that is part mystery, part growing up tale, with a little splash of science fiction. It’s a perfect blend for kids (and adults) who like figuring out a puzzle along with the characters in a story. You need to read this book!
Perfect for upper elementary and middle school kids. It is especially recommended for fans of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 classic – A Wrinkle in Time.
Check out Rebecca Stead's own website
for more information about this book and her other books! Also, watch the interview with the author below.
Don’t let the title fool you – girls will also love this book!
This is an exciting collection of short stories that will make you bite your nails until the very end. Creepy but funny. Scary but not too scary. There are tales about ghosts, pirates, wishes, a terrible private investigator, and more.
My favorite story was "Ghost Vision Goggles"; a story about boy who sends away for weird items from the back of old comics. When he receives goggles that let him see ghosts, he gets more than he expected.
The best part of this book? When I held it up in my classroom the first student to jump up and grab it was a girl. Oh yeah, I love that. I don't expect this book to stay on my shelf for long stretches at a time.
The stories are by authors my students already love: Anthony Horowitz, Margaret Peterson Haddix, James Patterson and more!
(Middle grades: 3-6)
Check out the Guys Read website
for more information about this book and other reading ideas with boys in mind. (but girls will like them too!)
Author: M.P. Kozlowsky
What would you sacrifice to make your fondest wishes come true?
Juniper's family used to be close and loving. Juniper would write elaborate plays and her actor parents would make them come to life. Her parents longed for fame and fortune, though. When they finally "made it" in the movies, their lives changed drastically. Suddenly, Juniper's parents have no time for her, and don't even seem to really care about her anymore. When she meets a new neighbor named Giles with similar parental problems, they decide to investigate.
This isn't just a tale of family changes, though. Juniper suspects something sinister has happened to her formerly loving parents. When she follows them out into the woods one dark and dreary night, her suspicions are confirmed. Can she withstand the temptations of her own deepest desires long enough to rescue her parents?
Juniper Berry is a wonderfully creepy tale, but not terrifying. It's a great choice for kids who want to dive into a book that will make them shiver. Students who are overly sensitive (as some of my students tend to be) may want to wait until they are slightly older. It's a great example of a strong female lead who will also appeal to the boys in the room!
Note: I won a copy of this book from Walden Pond Press. Check them out on Twitter! (@WaldenPondPress)
Check out the trailer here!
Gerald is just a typical kid, looking forward to a vacation on the slopes with his friends. But when a death in the family leaves him stinking rich, his life is changed forever.
His mysterious great aunt Geraldine has left him more than just a tremendous fortune, though. She left him a letter declaring that she has been murdered. It's up to Gerald to figure out who killed her, before he becomes the next victim!
This week's book of the week is a mystery, as part of my effort to stretch my students beyond the science fiction and fantasy that they adore (Okay, I love it too). The plot is bursting with action that will firmly put it on the "must have" list for middle grade readers. There is even a touch of the fantastic along the way, which will help it appeal to the firmly fantasy contingent. While some of the miraculous coincidences can be a bit of a stretch, I think kids will enjoy the adventures of the resourceful Gerald and the friends he makes along the way. Give it a shot!
Visit the author's webpage here!http://www.richardnewsome.com/richardnewsome/Home.htmlReviewer's Note: I was provided a copy of the book to read by the publisher - Walden Pond Press. They have a great Twitter feed! @WaldenPondPress
Check out the book trailer!
I had two books to recommend this week, in anticipation of Halloween. In honor of All Hallows Read, I offered this one up to my older, more mature elementary students.
There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”
So begins the creepy tale of Nobody Owens, an infant who escapes the murder of his family and is raised by an unlikely assortment of ghosts and supernatural beings in the local graveyard. This book is not for the faint of heart. Bod, as he is called by his friends, faces dangers and adventures in his graveyard home. If he leaves, however, he’ll be at the mercy the man who assassinated his family, since we learn that Bod was the real target. We follow his childhood and adolescence through a series of chapters that are short stories in style. Each story is fascinating, and Gaiman’s writing style is intense and captivating.
I read this book after several of my strong readers recommended it to me. They commented that it was “scary, but everything turns out okay”.
5th to 8th graders who enjoy creepy tales, though older students and adults would also enjoy this book (I certainly loved it, as it was very well written!)
The events in his life (especially at the beginning) are frightening at times, and may scare younger or more sensitive readers. In spite of that, the book is not overly graphic in its depiction of those events.
Check out more information at Neil Gaiman's websitehttp://www.neilgaiman.com/works/Books/The+Graveyard+Book/
This week's Book of the Week is funny, mysterious, and sure to please students with a hankering for English humor. There is even a sequel! (It's on my "to read" list).
"Wanted Immediately: energetic governess for three lively children."
The adventures of Penelope Lumley, an orphan seeking employment, begin with this simple ad. Penelope is a recent graduate of Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. She's smart, resourceful, and ready for anything. Or so she thinks.
Penelope follows a strange howling noise to the barn, intent on helping the injured animals she expects to find. Instead, she meets her new young charges, huddled together and yipping at one another. Having been raised in the wild, she needs to teach them all the things they need to know to be "civilized". This includes learning how to put on trousers, not chase squirrels up a tree, read Latin, and dance the schottische.
Mystery surrounds the children, and her new home, as she tries to uncover their origin. Why did her employer adopt the children, and why did he invite his hunting buddies to a Christmas gala event to meet them? Join Penelope in her adventures!
Literary references and a wry sense of humor made this book an enjoyable read for me and my students.