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Fall 2011 Sneak Peeks: Part III

May 25, 2011

Today we present the third installment in our Fall 2011 Sneak Peeks. Read on for some of our favorites.

Also, you can click here to read our first Sneak Peek post highlighting some of our other fall picture book faves and here for some additional middle grade and YA favorites. 

Fun for any age:

LOTS OF BOTS! The first title in a brand new preschool pop-up series by David Carter and Noelle Carter. This book will appeal to anyone with a sense of whimsy.Here are bots that brush your teeth (who wouldn’t want that!), hip hop bots throwing a party in the street and my favorite – Kooky Kissing bots who make you feel better when you’ve had a bad day. It’s an endlessly amusing book with pull tab bots, fold out bots and lots of pop up bots. – Sarah W.


Neville   Norton Juster (author of The Phantom Tollbooth which celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year ) does it again. I am sure that at some point in your life or child’s life you’ve moved to a new place. In this book Neville makes friends quickly and in a very unique  and fun way. Take a walk with Neville. You too will want to shout out! This book presents a positive message, new moves need not be scary for long! –Lillian 

The Hungry Ghost of Rue Orleans  Fred the ghost is miffed when “his” house is taken over by Pierre and his daughter Marie and turned into a restaurant.  Fred’s determination to get rid of the restaurant with a dinner time haunting has a surprising result.  This book made me want to go to New Orleans and look for haunted restaurants and beignets. -SarahW.



The Power of Cute I’ve loved all of Charise Harper’s books.  But I’m not sure there are bigger fans out there than my two sons Emerson & Lucas.  Our tattered copy of Good Night Leo is still a bedtime staple.  Her latest is The Power of Cute, a ‘first graphic novel’ that has lots of fun flaps to flip & tabs to pull.  My favorite part is how it masterfully empowers the reader over something bigger without the use of X-rays or superspeed.  All you have to do is… be yourself. After we finished reading my sample for the 100th time Lucas turned to me & asked in a sweet little voice “mom, do I have the power of cute?”   He might as well have used a laser beam on me!  I have found my kryptonite.  So activate those force fields, but I doubt you’ll be able to resist The Power of Cute.-Dandy

 Middle Grade:

The Girl behind the Glass  When you look in the mirror you expect to see your reflection, but what if you didn’t? Hannah and Anna are twins forced to move to a house on Hemlock Road for a few months. Strange things begin to happen causing these close sisters to start disagreeing. For some reason only Hannah feels and sees these strange occurrences. At night when she turns of the light it’s as though someone is talking to her. This book kept my curiosity piqued throughout. I couldn’t wait to find out what was behind the mirror. I know you’ll feel the same.…… -Lillian

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals, and Other Fatal Circumstances  In Lenore Look’s fourth novel our beloved Alvin gets brave, for a minute. Alvin’s grandfather Gunggung’s best friend passes away, and Alvin tells Gunggung that he will go to the funeral with him. Then he starts to wonder what will happen at a funeral, and his schoolmates fill his head with some pretty scary ideas, which of course is not a good thing to do to a boy who is already pretty nervous about life in general.Rest assured, the most wonderful family in the world, his own, comes to the rescue—Dad sees that Alvin is in distress and finds a way to explain to Alvin and his siblings that “Saying goodbye to someone we love is particularly important”. Touching and funny, we could all use another visit with the Ho family.-Kate

 Young Adult: 

My Beating Teenage Heart  A disembodied voice comes to consciousness in a teenaged boy’s room. She has no idea who she is or where she is, but she knows that the boy she’s looking at is in pain. So begins the story of Ashlyn and Breckon. Breckon has just lost his sister in a senseless accident that he blames himself for.  As he sinks deeper into despair and begins a pattern of reckless and self-mutilating behavior, Ashlyn is trying to figure out who she is and why she’s there. Without a physical presence she is powerless to stop Breckon’s downward spiral. Or is she?  Let’s be clear: this is not paranormal and it is definitely not romance. This is a story of isolating pain and loss and the connectedness that can save us. -Deanna


The Silence of Murder Fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime may be interested in this well-written YA mystery. Jeremy is “mute by choice” and most likely on the autism spectrum (though undiagnosed). When he is accused of murder, it’s up to his sister, appropriately named Hope, to prove his innocence. This proves more and more difficult as Hope unearths town secrets and, in the process, becomes unsure of her brother’s involvement. This works as a suspense novel but is also an interesting glimpse into the behaviors of those that are considered “other” in our society. -Deanna


Juliet Immortal  So what happens when Romeo and Juliet aren’t really dead after all, but continue to be “reborn” in the bodies of teenagers every few decades or so? An absolutely engrossing, action-packed teen novel that makes you think twice about love at first sight. Juliet’s is now an Ambassador of Light, her mission is to bring together star-crossed lovers, and Romeo (a very angry Romeo) has his own mission to make every attempt to destroy their happiness. Sparks fly, there’s a school production of West Side Story underway and you’ll race to the end to see if true love really will conquer all. -Kate


Ashes It could happen tomorrow…. a cataclysmic event that forever changes the world as we know it. In Ashes that event becomes known as the ‘zap’ to 15 year old Alex and her new companions – Ellie, a young girl and Tom, an army veteran a few years older than Alex – who must fight to survive and uncover what happened. This is an apocalyptic thriller that one of my colleagues dubbed Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth meets Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet. It reminded me a lot of The Passage by Justin Cronin in that it begins pre-apocalypse but quickly become very much post-apocalypse. Either way you slice it, this book is fantastic. It is suspenseful, thrilling, and terrifying with a hint of romance and an eerily realistic feel. Get ready because if you’re like me, after you devour this book you’ll immediately want to prepare your survival backpack! – Sarah N.

Finding SomewhereIn this quiet but emotionally charged young adult novel two best friends, Hattie and Delores, escape their small New Hampshire town and embark on a cross country journey west to free their beloved horse Speed and, they soon discover, escape from their own demons. Along the way they meet fascinating people, deepen their friendship, and begin to heal old wounds. This is a beautifully written and absorbing tale of self-discovery, friendship, and the love between two teens and their ‘one true horse’. – Sarah N.


Be sure to visit us tomorrow for one more  special review from Tim – he’ll be talking about DOGLANDS by Tim Willocks.

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