Monday, March 29, 2010

New tween fiction for March

Mystery, fantasy ... and snacks! Here are some great new reads for tweens, including artwork by John Howe, who helped create the visual effects of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There's magic of all kinds here, from the mysterious Breath World to the strange happenings in Green Lawn! Look for these using the WorldCatalog and Amazon search boxes here on BookBag

The Ever Breath, by Julianna Baggott (Delacorte Press) Fantasy. Twins and complete opposites Truman and Camille Cragmeal are spending the winter holidays with their peculiar Grandmother Swelda. Swelda tells the twins unbelievable stories (which turn out to be true) about a place called Breath World. When they stumble into that magical yet dangerous realm, Truman and Camille learn that an amber orb called the Ever Breath, which maintains the balance between the real world and Breath World, has been stolen...and it's up to the two of them to get it back before it's too late. Author Julianna Baggott also writes under the name N.E. Bode; if you liked her Anybodies series -- or Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell's Edge Chronicles -- you'll enjoy this fast-paced adventure that introduces a variety of bizarre creatures.

Just Grace and the Snack Attack, by Charise Mericle Harper (Houghton Mifflin) Fiction. After one kid calls another's lunch "disgusting," Grace's whole class ends up studying foods of the world. And, after a friend gives her a bag of French roasted-chicken flavored potato chips, Grace has the perfect project idea--to learn about all kinds of unusual chips! Meanwhile, she is trying not to be jealous of her best friend and also trying to figure out what makes Owen 1, the only troublemaker of the three boys named "Owen" in her class, act out so much. This hilarious 5th book in the Just Grace series is illustrated, as usual, with Grace's own cartoons and also includes instructions for making your own mini-zine (a homemade magazine).

Lost Worlds, by John Howe (Kingfisher) Visual Nonfiction. Created by one of the two lead artists for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Lost Worlds provides a window onto 24 worlds or cultures--some real, some mythological--that have disappeared. Tantalizing bits of history (or, in some cases, legend) offer explanations for what became of these worlds, from Pompeii and Babylon to Atlantis, Shambhala, and Faerie. If you love history (or fantasy!) and like to flip through books and read only what strikes your fancy, this gorgeous and generously illustrated book is for you.

January Joker, by Ron Roy; illustrated by John Steven Gurney (Random House) Mystery. Bradley Pinto is absolutely convinced that aliens have landed in Green Lawn and abducted his older brother, Josh--along with Josh's friends Dink and Ruth Rose (from the popular A to Z Mysteries). The eerie lights and strange footprints that Bradley saw before the trio of older kids went missing were enough to convince him of his theory, but his twin, Brian, and their friends Lucy and Nate aren't so sure ... until even more strange things happen. This super-easy-to-read first book in the new Calendar Mysteries series is full of surprises and lots of fun.

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