Friday, January 15, 2010

Books for the long winter month of January

Let's face it, January is a slow month -- it's cold, Christmas was last year, and it seems like a long way until Spring. Here are some books to keep you turning the pages during what feels like the longest month of the year. Find these books using the WorldCatalog and Amazon search boxes here on BookBag.

I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President, by Josh Lieb (Razorbill) Fiction. Seventh-grader Oliver Watson, billionaire super-genius and by his own account "unceasingly, unreservedly, unspeakably evil," has managed to pass himself off as the dumbest boy in his class in order to keep his wealth and power a secret. And now he's running for class president...if he can oust foreign dictators, what's one little school election? Fans of books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney and Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks will get a kick out of this diabolically funny book.

Hannah, by Kathryn Lasky (Scholastic Press) Historical Fantasy. In 1899, after being stricken with an illness that only improves when she is near the ocean, 15-year-old orphan Hannah finds work as a servant in the home of one of Boston's wealthiest families. When a well-known artist arrives to paint portraits of her employers' three daughters, he seems to know things about Hannah that even she cannot fathom. Rich with details about 19th-century daily life, this first entry in the Daughters of the Sea series will keep readers mesmerized as Hannah's destiny is gradually revealed.

Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood, by Tony Lee (Candlewick Press) Graphic Novel. In Crusades-era England, the Sheriff of Nottingham rules with an iron fist. But in the haunted heart of Sherwood Forest, a defiant rogue disguises himself to become an outlaw--a hero known as Robin Hood. Sure, it's a familiar story; but whether you have heard once or many times about the man who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, you'll still want to check out this thrilling comic-book interpretation of the tale. Its breathtaking artwork and exciting action are sure to make it a hit with fans of adventure books like the Ranger's Apprentice series.

The Doom Machine: A Novel, by Mark Teague (Blue Sky Press) Science Fiction. Jack Creedle's "no-account" Uncle Bud, an inventor, has been tinkering with something in the barn again...and a spaceship full of spidery aliens has arrived to steal it. The aliens, called skreeps, kidnap Jack, Uncle Bud, and a pair of stranded motorists and whisk them away to Planet Skreepia, where the fate of Earth rests in the captives' hands. Illustrated with plenty of drawings of various alien creatures and full of pell-mell adventure, this humorous sci-fi yarn set in the 1950s will be a hit with anyone who liked Adam Rex's The True Meaning of Smekday or Michael Simmons' Alien Feast.

Sunny Side Up, by Marion Roberts (Wendy Lamb Books) Realistic Fiction. It's summertime in Australia, which means that Christmas is near. Happy to be an only child living with her mother on a picturesque beach, 11-year-old Sunny is not pleased when her mum invites her boyfriend, Carl, and his two kids to spend the holiday with them. Sunny doesn't much like change of any kind, and this is just the first of several changes to come. Told in the form of Sunny's diary, this funny novel about family, friends, jealousy, and first crushes will be a hit with readers who like their characters to have plenty of personality.

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