Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring fiction for tweens: heists, escapes, and high school

Spring has sprung, so it's time to think about going outside with a good book and enjoying the warm sunshine! Here are some fun reads that will keep you entertained to the end. Look for them here on BookBag using the WorldCatalog and Amazon search boxes.

Heist Society, by Ally Carter (Disney/Hyperion) Fiction. Katarina Bishop comes from a long line of thieves and is an old hand at running cons, but she's ready to leave "the life." By scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, she meant to get out of the family business for good. But a powerful mobster has framed her for an act of vandalism that gets her expelled because he believes that Kat's dad stole his collection of priceless paintings. Kat's dad has Interpol on his tail, so Kat and her talented teenage crew have just two weeks to pull off an impossible heist -- stealing the paintings back -- or he'll be sleeping with the fishes. Ranging all over Europe and packed with action, intrigue, quirky characters, and a dash of romance, this fast-paced caper is a fun, popcorn-ready read.

Out of My Mind, by Sharon M. Draper (Atheneum Books) Realistic Fiction. Nearly 11 years old, Melody Brooks has never spoken a word. She has cerebral palsy and can't walk, talk, or feed herself, and her body "tends to move on its own agenda" -- but, while the kids and teachers around her don't know it, she is the smartest kid in the whole school. Being stuck inside her head is driving Melody out of her mind ... until she gets a special computer that allows her to finally express her thoughts. But are people ready to hear them? This emotionally intense and compelling story, narrated by Melody, is a tribute to the strength and bravery of every kid with challenges to overcome.

Copper, by Kazu Kibuishi (Graphix) Graphic Novel. Bright, optimistic Copper and his worry-wart dog, Fred, have adventures both ordinary and fantastic in this collection of short tales (many of them just one page). From hiking across the tops of enormous mushrooms to diving in the ocean to dancing with robots, there's no telling what sort of scene the pair will be part of ... until you turn the page. Beautiful, softly colored artwork and deep, thoughtful themes make this book calmer than creator Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet series. Artists will appreciate Kibuishi's explanation of how he made these comics, and fans of slightly offbeat stories will love Copper and Fred.

Lone Wolf, by Kathryn Lasky (Scholastic Press) Animal Fantasy. In the harsh wilderness beyond the owl world of Ga'Hoole, a wolf mother hides her silvery-gray pup Faolan, born with a twisted paw, in fear. She knows that the pack will force her to leave him on the icy riverbank to die. But when they do, Thunderheart the grizzly bear finds Faolan and raises him as her own. This first installment in the Wolves of the Beyond series vividly describes both Faolan's world and the wolves' mythology, and readers will be captivated by the young wolf's struggle to survive.

Boys Without Names, by Kashmira Sheth (Balzer + Bray) Fiction. Deep in debt, Gopal's father is moving the family from their rural Indian village to Mum
bai in the hope of finding work and building a new life. But not long after they arrive in Mumbai, Gopal's father disappears. Gopal tries to help out by taking a factory job, but he has been tricked: trapped in a sweatshop with five other boys, he is forced to work in horrible conditions for no pay and very little food. Telling stories of his previous life every night, Gopal desperately tries to befriend the other boys and rally the group for a daring escape. This moving story is based on the author's extensive research on child labor in her native India and is a haunting, eye-opening read.

Smile, by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix) Graphic Memoir. In the sixth grade, author Raina Telgemeier tripped while running, fell, and badly damaged her two front teeth. For years afterward she suffered braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached--all while trying to navigate the confusing world of frenemies, fashion missteps, boys, middle school, and, later, high school. Funny, honest, and hopeful, Telgemeier's story (and her smiling picture on the back flap of the book) proves that there's life after dental drama.

No comments:

Post a Comment