Friday, March 12, 2010

Escape with brand-new adventure stories for March

Here are stories to help you get away from it all! Travel back to the wild west, cross through France on a wild adventure, get tangled up in a spy caper with a clairvoyant pooch ... check out these chances to escape the winter blues by using the WorldCatalog and Amazon search boxes here on BookBag.

Calamity Jack, by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale; illustrated by Nathan Hale (Bloomsbury) Graphic Novel. In the authors' Wild-West retelling of the Rapunzel story, Rapunzel's Revenge, Jack (of beanstalk fame) helped the braid-whipping heroine in her quest to save her mother. This equally witty and exciting continuation of their story goes back to Jack's humble beginnings in the American city of Shyport, where the young scalawag gets into a heap of trouble and leaves town after tussling with the power-hungry giant Blunderboar. He later returns with Rapunzel, intent on freeing his own mother--and the entire city--from the giant's stranglehold. Fans of steampunk or humorous fantasy will love this "gleeful mix of fairy tale, adventure and romance" (Kirkus Reviews) which features bold, expressive artwork that brings the rambunctious story to life.

The Crimson Cap, by Ellen Howar (Holiday House) Historical Fiction. It's 1687, and 11-year-old Pierre Talon lives in a squalid French settlement in the New World with his mother and siblings. When famous explorer La Salle invites him to join an expedition to find the Mississippi River, Pierre accepts and departs with nothing more than the clothes on his back, a few hard biscuits, and the crimson cap that belonged to his father. The expedition party soon meets with trouble, and most of its members (including La Salle) are killed ... but Pierre is taken by the Hasinai Indians. This fast-paced and moving tale of Pierre's life with the Hasinai is based on a true story and will fascinate history buffs and adventure fans alike.

The Death-Defying Pepper Roux, by Geraldine McCaughrean (Harper) Adventure. Because his devout (and jealous) aunt was told so in a dream, everyone in Pepper Roux's family, including him, is convinced that he's going to die on the day that he turns 14. So when Pepper wakes up and finds himself both 14 and alive, he high-tails it out of town believing that the grim reaper must be on his heels. This rollicking and hilarious story follows Pepper's adventures -- at sea, wrangling horses, posing as a journalist, and more -- all across early-20th-century France, and it's sure to charm anyone who likes plenty of action and fascinating characters.

A Whole Nother Story, by Gerry Swallow writing as Cuthbert Soup; illustrated by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins (Bloomsbury) Humorous Adventure. Inventor Ethan Cheeseman is working on a time machine, and as a result, he and his three "smart, polite, and relatively odor-free children" are on the run from the CIA, several corporate agents, and a couple of international super-spies. With help from their clairvoyant dog and various colorful characters they meet along the way, the Cheesemans manage to stay one step ahead of their pursuers...for a while. Madcap misadventures, groan-worthy jokes, and irrelevant asides and unsolicited advice from the narrator make this hilarious romp a great pick for fans of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events books.

I So Don't Do Spooky, by Barrie Summy (Delacorte Press) Mystery. Despite her reluctance, 13-year-old Sherry Holmes Baldwin (from I So Don't Do Mysteries) has another case to crack. Sherry's mom, a ghost, is trying to figure out who is stalking Sherry's stepmom, and she needs help. If Sherry can find the stalker and her mom can win first place at the Ghostlympics, the two of them will be granted five minutes of "Real Time" together, which means that Sherry's got to "get involved in a creepy, freaky mystery." But she so doesn't do spooky. This funny, clever novel does a great job of blending the everyday with the supernatural and also works in a touch of romance. Fans of Michele Jaffe's Bad Kitty graphic-novel mysteries should be well pleased.

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