During a war hundreds of years ago, the seven sons of King Agamon of Balabad were each given a key. The seven keys were part of the security built around a grand treasure. The sons were sent to seven different places in the world to keep themselves (and the keys) safe until the war was over. Only when the keys came together again could the treasure of Balabad be found again.
500 years have passed since the seven sons were sent into the world. The sons are long gone, the fate of the keys unknown.
In today’s Balabad, a tiny (made up) Middle Eastern country, Oliver Finch is living with his parents, his Dad a foreign correspondant and his mom an art curator. Oliver is homesick for his friends, movies, pizza and everything familiar about New York City. Oliver and his only friend Zee find amusement and relief from the heat and blowing sand in the tent of the local carpet seller, Haji, an excellent storyteller.
One day, the boys learn about the theft of a 500 year-old carpet, The Sacred Carpet of Agamon. Then Zee overhears his father having a curious conversation and then Zee finds something interesting…an old key….and then Haji disappears under mysterious circumstances. An Indiana Jones-like adventure with a secret map, a cavern of mazes, greedy bad guys and smart kids who figure out the clues that lead to the secret of the seven keys.
This story is based on a real treasure found in Afghanistan called the Golden Hoard of Bactria. The treasure lay buried under a hill for 2,000 years before it was found again in the late 1970s.
Conn is an orphan surviving the best he can picking locks, thieving and picking pockets. One night, he picks the pocket of the powerful wizard, Neverly Flinglas. Conn gets the wizard’s locus magicalicus, a stone that is the center of the magician’s power. Nevery isn’t mad that Conn tried to pick his pocket, he’s astonished that touching the magic stone didn’t kill Conn. No one else is supposed to be able to touch a wizard’s stone. Intrigued, Nevery takes on Conn as a servant and when Conn shows he indeed has a mysterious and powerful attraction to magic and magical things, Neverly makes him his apprentice.
The two of them get caught up in a magical investigation when Neverly is hired to figure out why magic is draining away from their city. This story has it all: wizards, a power hungry crime boss, friends, enemies, spying & betrayal. Nevery and Conn are both great characters. Neverly is grouchy and stern, but Conn is so endearing, smart and funny he manages to weasel his way straight into Nevery’s heart…although Neverly would never admit it. Author: Sarah Prineas
Great reading in league with Harry Potter, Septimus Heap and The Bartimaeus Trilogy.
The Irregulars, those delinquent Girl Scouts: Kiki, Ananka, Oona, Betty & Iris, are still protecting the secret city that lies beneath Manhatten. Trouble comes from an unlikely insider when it is discovered that Oona’s father is Lester Liu, the New York gangster they are protecting the secret city FROM.
The trouble is, Oona has known this all along and never told the Irregulars. Oona wants to trust that her Dad has turned over a new leaf but the Irregulars are skeptical and hatch a plan to find out what Lester is up to as well as keep an eye on Oona while she is in Lester’s mansion. Illegal immigrants, Russian operatives, an art museum and a Chinese mummy all play a part in the mystery of Lester Liu’s new life. Is he really turning into Daddy of the Year or is this just another plan to line his wealthy pockets? The Irregulars won’t stop until they find out the truth.
“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” When this unusual ad appears in the newspaper, lots of children show up to take a series of mysterious tests, but just four succeed: brilliant orphan Reynie, Sticky (everything he sees, hears or reads…sticks), Kate (with her bucket of tools) and tiny, brilliant Constance. The children learn that an evil genius is secretly broadcasting subliminal messages to the world and it is up to them to stop him. There are clues to follow and puzzles to solve and codes to understand. They have no choice but to turn to each other. No magic, just smart kid power and a lot of heart. Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society Web Comic Used With Permission:
@bookblrb: Four peculiar kids made it through the test. Now they’re the world’s last hope.
Don’t miss the Society’s other adventures..and try Kiki Strike: Five delinquent Girl Scouts, a million hungry rats, one secret city beneath Manhattan, and a butt-kicking girl superspy – that’s Kiki Strike!
If you haven’t tried any of The Sisters Grimm series, I’ll fill you in a little. Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are sisters who find out The Grimm Brother stories are actually a history of all the crimes committed by fairy tale characters. The girls are part of a long line of detectives from the Grimm family whose job it is to investigate the fairy tale crimes. In each book the girls do some sleuthing to figure out which fairy tale characters have been behaving badly.
In Book Seven, The Everafter War, things are really heating up in Ferryport Landing. Prince Charming is gathering an Everafter Army to protect the city from the mysterious “Master” who threatens to use an army of his own made up of evil fairy tale characters.
As the story begins, Sabrina and Daphne’s parents wake up from a sleeping spell. Everybody is happy for about 5 minutes…until the girls’ Dad and their Grandmother disagree about whether the two girls should be involved in the “family business”. What their Dad doesn’t understand is that he has been asleep for a couple years – the girls are already up to their eyeballs in the growing conflict and already in danger.
All the Grimms, Dad included, are caught up in the conflict when The Prince organizes the rebels to make a final stand against their deadly enemy. Who exactly is “The Master” and what does he/she hope to accomplish? It can’t be anything good. (And you won’t believe who it is!)