Monday, January 25, 2010

Just for fun: some new books for young readers

It can be great reading just for fun! Here are some new books that are fast, funny, and full of exciting adventures for young readers. Find copies here at BookBag by typing in the titles on the WorldCatalog and Amazon search boxes.

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity, by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Adam Rex (Simon & Schuster) Humorous Mystery. Steve Brixton's second through fifty-ninth favorite books are the entire Bailey Brothers series of detective novels (which bear a striking resemblance to the real-life Hardy Boys Mysteries). His first favorite book is The Bailey Brothers' Detective Handbook, as he wants to be a detective someday. Little does he know that, very soon, he'll have to solve a mystery in order to save his own hide! Featuring secret-agent librarians, a missing encoded quilt, smart-alecky humor, and action and adventure galore, this 1st volume of the new Brixton Brothers series pays tribute to mystery classics like Encyclopedia Brown and the Hardy Boys while also poking (hilarious) fun at them.

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle, by Brian Dennis, Kirby Larson, and Mary Nethery (Little, Brown) Nonfiction. Major Brian Dennis didn't intend to adopt a dog while serving in Iraq--actually, it would be more precise to say that a dog adopted him. Brian's team was met by a pack of wild dogs when they reached their desert post, and Brian and the pack's leader "clicked right away." Naming the dog "Nubs" because of his clipped ears, Brian gave his new pal belly rubs and shared his dinners and his guard duty with him. But Marines aren't allowed to have pets. This amazing true story (with lots of photos) tells how Nubs got around that rule, following Brian on foot, while injured, to his next post more than 70 miles away. Warning: animal lovers should have tissues nearby when reading this book!

Operation Yes, by Sara Lewis Holmes (Arthur A. Levine Books) Fiction. The kids in Miss Loupe's class (on a North Carolina military base) can tell right away that she is unusual. Honestly, have you ever had a teacher bring a big, ugly couch into a classroom...and start talking to it?!? But once they get to know her and learn a little bit about improvisational theater in the process, they can't imagine having any other sixth-grade teacher. When Miss Loupe's brother, a soldier serving in Afghanistan, goes missing, she breaks down--and the class bands together to do something big to show their support. If you like realistic stories with lots of great characters, say yes to Operation Yes.

Flight of the Phoenix, by R. L. LaFevers; illustrated by Kelly Murphy (Houghton Mifflin) Fantasy. Ten-year-old Nathaniel Fludd's parents, who are beastologists, have been off studying supposedly mythical creatures for several years when they are declared lost at sea in 1928. Sent to live with a relative, Nate--who really doesn't care much for adventure--soon finds himself tagging along to attend the birth of a phoenix, an exceedingly rare event. When his "Aunt" Phil is abducted, it's up to Nate to protect the phoenix and rescue his guardian. Packed with exciting adventure, talking gremlins, family secrets, and even a bit of history, this 1st book in the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series is a fast, fun read.

The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis, by Barbara O'Connor (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Fiction. Henry--a.k.a. Popeye, ever since his Uncle Dooley accidentally shot him in the eye with a BB gun--is pretty sure that every day in his home of Fayette, South Carolina, is always going to be the same as the last boring day. But when a motor home containing young Elvis Jewell and his family gets stranded in the mud near Popeye's house, there's finally something to do (besides listening to his grandmother, Velma, recite all of the kings and queens of England in order to avoid "cracking up"). No adventure is too small for Popeye, and his brief but memorable friendship with Elvis opens up a whole new world. Fans of unusual characters and country settings will be in hog heaven reading this book.

Kit Feeny: On the Move, by Michael Townsend (Alfred A. Knopf) Graphic Novel. Kit Feeny's family is moving -- but how will Kit find another best friend like his buddy Arnold? When Kit's plan to find a replacement friend fails miserably (nobody in his new town likes comics, ninja fishing, and making things out of cheeseballs like Arnold did), he decides that he'll have to become a lonesome hobo. This fast-paced story packed with goofy humor, "stupid-awesome" shenanigans, and crazy schemes will make you want to read the next book in the series, Kit Feeny: The Ugly Necklace.

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