WOLF BROTHER: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #1, by Michelle Paver
Six thousand years ago, evil stalks the land. Only twelve-year-old Torak and his wolf-cub companion can defeat it, in Michelle Paver's first book in "The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness." Their journey takes them through deep forests, across giant glaciers, and into dangers they never imagined. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts and excerpted.
WHALES ON STILTS! M. T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales by M. T. Anderson
Diabolically clever M. T. Anderson devises a homage to adventure novels of old in his new thrilling tale, featuring Lily Gefelty and her two best friends --- who are both stars of their own middle-grade series of novels. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.
SECRET AGENT by Robyn Freedman Spizman & Mark Johnston
Kyle Parker's mother kicks her husband out of the house --- for good! The reason? Kyle's dad has been unsuccessful in getting his novel published. Kyle wants to help, so he swears in three of his friends as secret agents. Their mission: to get the book published once and for all. Reviewed by Robert Oksner and excerpted.
NOVA ROCKS: Star Sisterz, Book 1 by Tea Emesse
Act like a rock star in front of a group of strangers. When Nova Darling sees this message on an ATM, she can't believe her eyes. No one knows about her passion for playing the electric guitar, and Nova's mother is convinced that Nova is destined to be a ballet star. Will the mystery message help Nova follow her dreams without breaking her mom's heart? Reviewed by Paula Jolin.
CARMEN DIVES IN: Star Sisterz, Book 2 by Linda Johns
Carmen Bernstein feels neglected now that her father has re-married and is heavily involved with his "new and improved" family. Then one day, while snooping on her Dad's PocketPC, Carmen sees a message telling her to make up a crazy cheer. She doesn't know anything about cheerleading, but in a moment of desperation Carmen gives the silly cheer a try --- and discovers something she never expected. Reviewed by Paula Jolin.
CLICK HERE (TO FIND OUT HOW I SURVIVED SEVENTH GRADE) by Denise Vega
Erin Swift talks about the agonies of starting seventh grade on her own secret home page. She starts out by not being on the same track with her best friend, progresses on to being the butt of practical jokes --- and things go downhill from there! Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
MEASLE AND THE DRAGODON by Ian Ogilvy
When Measle Stubbs broke free from Basil Tramplebone's evil spell, he was ready to live happily ever after. But he wasn't expecting the Dragodon, his most terrifying opponent yet. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.
STINK: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald
Stink, the younger brother of Judy Moody, is only three feet, eight inches tall --- and he appears to be shrinking! He tries everything to look like he's growing, but he isn't fooling anyone. If only he could confide in his hero, the shortest person ever to serve as President of the United States. Reviewed by Renee Kirchner.
A FRIEND CALLED ANNE: One Girl's Story of War, Peace, and a Unique Friendship with Anne Frank by Jacqueline van Maarsen, retold for children by Carol Anne Lee
Jacqueline van Maarsen met Anne Frank in 1941, and the two girls quickly became best friends. This eloquent memoir details their relationship and Jacqueline's own chilling experience of narrowly escaping Nazi deportation thanks to her Catholic mother. Reviewed by Carole Turner.
THE MAGICIAN'S BOY by Susan Cooper
The Magician's Boy sets out on a journey in the strange Land of Story to find the missing Saint George puppet from the Magician's famous puppet play, "Saint George and the Dragon." Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.
GRANDMA'S GENERAL STORE: The Ark by Dorothy Carter
When Prince and Pearl's father loses his job at the sawmill, he and their mother head north to make a better life for themselves and their children. They leave Prince and Pearl in Florida helping their grandma run her small general store she calls "the Ark." The youngsters must quickly adapt to their new situation and learn what it means to be strong and responsible grownups. Reviewed by Alexis Burling.
MADCAT by Kathy Mackel
MadCat Campione is the best twelve-year-old catcher in New Hampshire. And this year her fastpitch softball team, the Norwich Sting, is going National. They'll be trying to make the National Fastpitch Softball World Series, playing against the best teams from around the country. But going National isn't quite what MadCat expected. Reviewed by Renee Kirchner.
MOON RUNNER by Carolyn Marsden
At her new school Mina joins a club called the Fellow Friends, complete with a secret handshake and a Friendship Ball. But when Mina discovers that she excels at track, will this mean an end to her friendship with the competitive Ruth? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
BASKETBALL (OR SOMETHING LIKE IT) by Nora Raleigh Baskin
North Bridge's basketball team is a mess. The parents want new coaches. Jeremy, the team's best player, doesn't want to play. Nathan, the worst player, holds the tie-breaking shot in his hands. And Hank, the player who the coach is counting on, gets himself purposely kicked out of a crucial game. Reviewed by Robert Oksner.
PROJECT MULBERRY by Linda Sue Park
In Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park's first contemporary novel, Julia and her friend Patrick decide to raise silkworms hoping to win a blue ribbon at the state fair. But Julia has mixed feelings about their project, which she feels might be "too Korean." This richly layered story includes an unexpected bonus: conversations between Julia, the main character, and Ms. Park, the author! Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
LOWJI DISCOVERS AMERICA by Candace Fleming
Lowji Sanjana is feeling sad and lonely after he and his family move to America from Bombay, India. He misses his friends and desperately wants to have a pet of his own. But the summer becomes more enjoyable for Lowji thanks to Ms. Crisp, his landlady. Reviewed by Ashley Hartlaub.