Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Going green, arctic survival, and a dog mystery for kids

There's adventure, arctic survival at 40 degrees below zero, and even a canine mystery for kids who want to stay cool this summer and read. Look for these fiction and non-fiction titles on BookBag using the Amazon.com and World Catalog search boxes.

The Fast and the Furriest, by Andy Behrens (Alfred A. Knopf) Fiction. Twelve-year-old couch-potato Kevin Pugh is looking forward to a lazy summer of playing video games and watching TV, but his football-hero father wants him to go to sports camp. When Kevin stumbles across a broadcast of the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge while channel-surfing, he has a great idea: he'll enroll his portly beagle, Cromwell, in agility classes! But can he convince his dad that leading Cromwell through a doggie obstacle course counts as a sport? This hilarious, feel-good story has great characters and lots of family drama and is sure to be a winner with dog lovers.

The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy, by Dori Hillestad Butler; illustrated by Jeremy Tugeau (Albert Whitman) Mystery. When King, a golden retriever, finds himself at the P-O-U-N-D, he can't believe that his family would leave him there. Are the good times that King had solving mysteries with his beloved human, Kayla, gone forever? Before King can figure out a way to escape, he's adopted by a boy named Connor and his mom, who re-name him Buddy. Buddy is still determined to locate his real family, but just when he's getting settled at his new home, Connor disappears -- and Buddy intends to find him! This very funny, suspenseful, and easy-to-read story is told in the dog's voice and is the first of three books (so far) in the Buddy Files series.

Survival at 40 Below, by Debbie S. Miller; illustrated by Jon Van Zyle (Walker & Company) Nonfiction Picture Book. Talk about extreme! Winter is rough and very, very cold in Alaska's Arctic National Park, but many different types of wildlife flourish there, and this follow-up to the award-winning Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights describes the brutal conditions that they endure. From hibernating ground squirrels to bears, foxes, musk oxen, and wood frogs that literally freeze and then thaw out in the spring, each tundra animal has a different survival strategy that Survival at 40 Below explains in fascinating detail.

Mallory Goes Green! by Laurie B. Friedman; illustrated by Jennifer Kalis (Carolrhoda Books) Realistic Fiction. Mallory has a new favorite color--green! Inspired by her school's new Environmental Committee, she's excited about doing whatever she can to save the Earth. But when Mallory is chosen to represent her class at the schoolwide Green Fair, she gets a little too excited. Before long, no one wants to hear her "expert" opinions about going green, and they really don't appreciate the tickets that she's started issuing to energy-wasters. Can Mallory find a way save the planet and her friendships? Fans of characters like Junie B. Jones and Judy Moody should also enjoy the Mallory McDonald series, of which this is the 13th book.

The Fizzy Whiz Kid, by Maiya Williams (Amulet Books) Fiction. It's tough enough to be the new kid at school, but when sixth-grader Mitch Mathis and his family move to Hollywood, Mitch finds himself surrounded by sophisticated, TV- and movie-obsessed classmates. Mitch doesn't even watch TV and is clueless about show biz. So, when he learns that there's a casting call for a Fizzy
hiz soda commercial, Mitch auditions in an attempt to fit in -- and gets the part! Suddenly he's famous. But is stardom all it's cracked up to be? Full of realistic details about the entertainment industry, The Fizzy Whiz Kid is a fun, goofy yet realistic read.

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