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Korman, Gordon.
MASTERMINDS
New York : Balzer + Bray, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 5.2
ISBN 0062299964

Your life is perfect- Your town is perfect- Serenity, … New Mexico. Population- 185. Kids-30.

No crime, no poverty, no unemployment, what more could anyone want or need?

Why would anyone want to leave Serenity? Could they leave even if they wanted to?

13 year old Eli and his friend Randy soon discover mysterious illnesses occur when the kids try to pass the town border. Eli is hit with waves of crampling nausea and paralyzing pain. Memories become vague. Randy doesn’t seem to suffer the same illness, but fate has something else in store. Within days, Randy leaves town.
No one has ever left town. What could this mean? As Eli discovers the clues Randy left behind for him, he enlists the help of an unlikely crew of his peers. The clues mount, and evidence is gathered as the kids discover Serenity may not be crime free after all. Slowly they realize the grown-ups they trust might just be the criminals they should fear. Follow the journey of Eli, Malik, Hector and Tori as they slowly find out the town’s secrets and unravel the mystery of the disappearance of their friend Randy. (Booktalk by the NH Great Stone Face Committee)

May 28, 15

Weeks. Sarah.
HONEY
New York : Scholastic, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 4.8
ISBN 0545465575

Ten year old Melody, lives in Royal Indiana where life has always been simple. It’s been just her and her dad. Then her dad’s mood starts to change. He becomes forgetful and starts singing for no reason. Melody overhears strange calls at night. “Who was on the phone?” she asks. “Wrong number,” her dad says. Even groggy Melody knows she heard her dad say Honey. Does dad have a girlfriend? Who could it be? Why all the secrets? Join Melody and her pal Nick as they start gathering evidence and putting the pieces together. But do the pieces really fit they way they think? (Booktalk by the NH Great Stone Face Committee)

May 27, 15

Gemeinhart, Dan.
THE HONEST TRUTH
New York : Schholastic Press, 2015
IL 5-8, RL 4.0
ISBN 0545665736

We all have our bad days. Days when we feel like we’d love to just walk away from everything—school, family, even friends…

Mark is a good kid, but when he finds out that he’s going to have to be admitted to the hospital again, he makes a decision. He’s been fighting this disease for so long---maybe it’s time to walk away…from days in bed, treatments that make him sick, and from everyone who means well but doesn’t understand.

He’s always dreamed of climbing nearby Mt. Rainier. Maybe now is the time to make that dream a reality—even if it’s the last thing he ever does.

With only his dog for company, Mark sets off on his journey, seeking to evade all the well-meaning people who try to stop him. Only his best friend Jessie has a clue as to his intentions. Will he manage to make a success of this final trip? Will Jessie be able to keep her suspicions to herself, or will she decide to point the searchers in Mark’s direction?

The most meaningful journeys teach us something about ourselves. Mark has a lot to learn---if he can just survive. His epic journey will keep you riveted from the first page to the last. (Booktalk by the NH Great Stone Face Committee)

May 26, 15

Hagen, George.
GABRIEL FINLEY AND THE RAVEN'S RIDDLE
New York : Scwartz & Wade, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 4.8
ISBN 0385371039

Ravens love riddles. This is the way they can tell the good ravens from the bad. Long ago, ravens were our best friends…they watched over us and conversed with us easily. That was before a phantom raven named Corax went rogue and lured some others to the dark side. His new disciples were called valravens…

Gabriel Finley knew little about ravens, but was soon to learn a good deal more. When he rescued an orphaned baby raven named Paladin, he discovered his family’s long-kept secret: the Finelys had a special bond with these birds…they could talk with them, receive their protection, and even briefly blend into the bodies of their familiars for adventures in flight.

Gabriel loved riddles…his father had been a master of riddles right up until the day he disappeared. Aunt Jaz seemed to know a lot more than she was telling about his dad’s current whereabouts. With the help of Paladin and a very reluctant writing desk, he just might be able to rescue his dad from the clutches of the evil Corax.

From Brooklyn to Aviopolis, a thrilling adventure, indeed! (Booktalk by the NH Great Stone Face Committee)

May 24, 15

Larson, Kirby.
DASH
New York : Scholastic, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 3.2
ISBN 0545416353

The attack of Japan on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii changed the lives of Americans forever. Mitisue “Mitsi” Kashino is 10 years old and living in Seattle, Washington. She is second generation Japanese American, or “Nisei” in Japanese. She experiences the injustice and cruelty of treatment of Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants following the attack on Pearl Harbor when the fear of the invasion and attack of the west coast of the United States loomed as a possibility. Mitsi is bullied by neighborhood boys and dropped from her circle of friends. The situation becomes much worse when her family along with other Japanese and Japanese Americans are sent away to relocation camps in the spring of 1942. They must give up their homes, and bring only what they can carry to the camp. Mitsi also learns that she will not be able to take her beloved dog Dash along with her to the camp. Based on the true story of Mitsue Shiraishi and her dog Chubby, this book is a personal look back in time exploring the true meaning of friendship both human and canine. (Booktalk by the NH Great Stone Face Committee)

May 22, 15

Martin, Lisa.
ANTON AND CECIL : CATS AT SEA
New York : Algonquin Young Readers, 2013
IL 3-6, RL 6.4
ISBN 1616202467

Two Cats, two brothers---night and day.
Anton, sleek and grey, enjoys watching the ships as they venture in and out of the harbor. He is content to watch.
Cecil, stocky with black and whites patches is thirsty for adventure. He roams the harbor, taking daily trips on the fish boats.
Then one day all changes. Anton is swept up and thrown on a vessel to be a ratter. Bound for the seas, will Anton ever see his family and harbor again?
His capture does not go unnoticed. Cecil stows away on another vessel determined to rescue his brother.
As the two brothers face the unknown, will their paths ever cross? Will their ships survive? Will they? Will Anton and Cecil find safe harbor? (Booktalk by the NH Great Stone Face Committee)

May 13, 15

Yates, Louise.
DOG LOVES COUNTING
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
IL K-3, RL 2.2
ISBN 0449813428

Dog loves reading and he often reads into the night. But he needed to get some sleep. He needed something to help him sleep so he decided that counting was a good way. He tried counting sheep but that didn't work for him. So he reached for one of his books and found the perfect answer -- animals.

May 12, 15

Yaccarino, Dan.
DOUG UNPLUGS ON THE FARM
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2014
IL K-3, RL 1.7
ISBN 0385753284

Doug is a little robot. When his family is on the way to visit the grandbots, they all plug in. Doug learns about farm animals and other things about the country life. Suddenly, their car swerves off the road to avoid a sheep. And they all come unplugged. The little farm girl asks Doug if he would like to help around the farm and off they go. Will Doug miss being plugged in all day?

May 11, 15

Wood, Maryrose.
THE HIDDEN GALLERY
New York : Balzer + Bray, 2011
IL 3-6, RL 6.7
ISBN 0061791121

Back for book 2 of the series, life has not changed that much for the Incorrigibles – Alexander, Beowulf and Cassiopeia, the children who were raised by wolves. Miss Penelope Lumley is doing a great job of civilizing them even if Lady Constance thinks they should be sent to an orphan home. After the disastrous Christmas party where the children nearly destroyed the house, Lady Constance is more convinced than ever that they cannot be tamed. With the noise of the workman and the continual interruptions, she is beyond annoyed. When Penelope receives a message from Miss Mortimer, her former head mistress, with an invitation to meet her in London, Lady Constance thinks it is a fine idea for the entire household to visit. She plans to stay in London until the house is back to normal. Penelope is sent a travel book from the headmistress and a man tries to steal it on the train. How odd. But when she and the children arrive in London, they find that their guide book is not all that useful. Instead of pictures of London sites, it is filled with pictures of mountains and beautiful valleys. And there is an entire section on one gallery at the British Museum. Why would they have been given a useless guide book?

May 07, 15

Van Riper, Guernsey.
BABE RUTH
New York : Aladdin, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 4.0
ISBN 1481425099

Have you heard of Babe Ruth? I bet you have. Especially if you are a baseball fan like I am. Did you ever wonder about what he was like when he was your age? He was actually an orphan who spent his early years living in an orphanage. And a reformatory. He tended to be a bit on the bad side as a kid. But then some monks stepped in and decided to teach Babe to play baseball to keep him out of trouble. They thought the discipline of the game might help him become a better person. Little could they know that Babe would turn into one of the best baseball players ever and one of the first to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

May 06, 15

Stevenson, Augusta.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN
New York : Aladdin, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 3.3
ISBN 1481425064

There have been many books written about Abraham Lincoln. And a lot of legends. Like Abe walking miles to school every day and then studying by candle light. The truth is that Abe only went to school for about two years. He did have a passion for learning and taught himself through reading a lot. He eventually was able to teach himself enough about the law to become a lawyer. This led to him becoming a US Representative for Illinois. He became President at a very stressful time in history. Within just a few years, the country would enter the Civil War.

May 05, 15

Na, Il Sung.
A BOOK OF BABIES
New York : Knopf, 2014
IL K-3
ISBN 0385752911

In the Spring when flowers begin to bloom and the grass begins to grow, the world is full of animal babies. There are ducks and birds and all sorts of babies. Which ones have you seen?

May 03, 15

Mellom, Robin.
THE CLASSROOM : EPIC DOCUMENTARY OF A NOT-YET-EPIC KID
New York : Hyperion, 2012
IL 3-6, RL 5.3
ISBN 1423150635

Trevor has been gearing up all summer for this year. Seventh grade is going to be great. Or is it? On day one, his best friend Libby tells him that he needs to make other friends. And ask someone to the dance!! What? Libby tells him about being cool in 7th grade. Trevor is not so sure about this. And to make matters worse, a film crew has arrived at the school to shoot a documentary about a typical seventh grader and guess who they have in mind.

May 02, 15

Kudlinski, Kathleen V.
HARRIET TUBMAN
New York : Aladdin, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 3.8
ISBN 1481425110

When Harriet Tubman was a young girl, she was a slave. She escaped slavery by traveling on the Underground Railroad. This involved traveling mainly at night and staying at safe houses. Once she was safely in the North, she decided that she needed to help others reach their freedom. She risked everything to help slaves find their way to safety. She helped more than 700 slaves in her lifetime. This devotion led to her nickname -- Moses.

May 01, 15

Whitby, Adele.
KAY'S STORY, 1934
New York : Simon Spotlight, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 5.4
ISBN 1481427563

Life in the 1930s was hard for many Americans. The Great Depression found many people losing their jobs, their homes and their life savings. For Kay, life was not as hard as for others but her life was certainly changed. No longer did the family live in Vandermeer Manor surrounded by maids and servants. They were now living in the groundskeeper cottage and worried about saving the manor. But Kay was excited for a visit from her cousin Betsy and her Aunt Beth. They lived in England at Chatwoods Manor and the economy hadn't affected them as badly as Kay's family. The two girls had never met but had written many times. Their mother's were close as children and they were all looking forward to the visit. Making the best of a bad situation helps the girls become close friends and solving a mystery may just save the Manor.

Apr 30, 15

Whitby, Adele.
BETSY'S STORY, 1934
New York : Simon Spotlight, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 5.4
BN 1481427520

Lady Betsy lives in England in her family's home. Chatswood Manor is a beautiful home and Betsy has grown up in luxury. She has her own lady's maid and plenty of servants. Her 12th birthday is coming up and it has been the tradition in the family that a ball is held to celebrate the occasion. Betsy is looking forward to it. Not only will it be a grand affair, she will finally become the owner of the Elizabeth necklace. It has been in the family for several generations and handed down to the eldest daughter on her 12th birthday. But when she hears of her cousin Kay's problems in America, she decides to cancel her ball in solidarity with Kay. If Kay can't have her ball and receive her necklace because of money problems, than Betsy won't either. But odd things are happening at Chatswood Manor. There are rumors that they may be in financial difficulty as well. Can that possible be true?

Apr 26, 15

Pinkney, Andrea Davis.
THE RED PENCIL
Boston : Little, Brown, 2014
IL 3-6
ISBN 0316247804

Amira and her family are living in a peaceful Sudanese village and she is hoping to be able to go to school. But when the Janjaweed attack the village, the family must run for their lives. Amira's father is killed in the raid and the family has no choice but to keep walking to live. They finally arrive at a refugee camp but don't know what to expect. Life in the refugee is camp is brutal and very different from their life in the village. Among the harsh reality of her day to day life, Amira is given a gift that can help her survive the horror around her -- a red pencil.

Apr 25, 15

Mellom, Robin.
THE CLASSROOM : TRICK OUT MY SCHOOL
New York : Hyperion, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 6.5
ISBN 1423150651

Libby Gardner just knows this is going to make her the most popular student at Westside Middle School. She and the principal have kept it a secret and now it is time to make the big announcement. Libby has entered their school into a contest to win a school makeover -- and they won! None other than Kip Lee is coming to trick out the school for his reality tv show -- Trick Out My School. It is so exciting when the tv crews and the cameras arrive. But the hammering and all the construction is not making everyone happy. What Libby doesn't know is that things are not going to be as wonderful as she thought.

Apr 24, 15

Mellom, Robin.
THE CLASSROOM : STUDENT COUNCIL SMACKDOWN!
New York : Hyperion, 2013
IL 3-6, RL 4.9
ISBN 1423150643

Things may get ugly this year at Westside Middle School. Libby Gardner and Cindy Applegate have been best friends and nothing can come between them, right? Well, the position of class president may mean the end of the friendship. They have flip-flopped the office for the past few years -- Cindy in fourth and sixth grades and Libby in fifth. But they are both determined to win the seventh grade election no matter what it takes. When Trevor is forced into the race, he wants to find a way to help Libby win. When Libby hires Molly Decker as her campaign manager, things change. Now Trevor is determined to win. And things are getting ugly. All the while, a film crew is on hand to document it all.

Apr 23, 15

Martin, Ann M.
RAIN REIGN
New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 3.5
ISBN 0312643004

Rose is a young girl living with Asperger's syndrome. She tries to remember the rules and live by them but others seem to be breaking the rules all the time. Rose gets upset when she sees drivers breaking rules. She's even gotten kicked off the school bus for her obsession with rules of the road. Another obsession she has is with homonyms -- words that sound the same but are not spelled the same. Her classmates and even her teachers get a bit tired of her obsessions but try to work with her. When her father brings home a stray dog, Rose is very excited. She names the dog Rain since she was found in the rain and the two become very close. When Rain follows Rose to school, the other kids fall in love also and now Rose has something to share with the other kids. But when a major hurricane hits their small town things are changed forever.

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