Despereaux is a lovable big-eared underdog, um, mouse. When he’s born, he’s too small and his ears are too big and his eyes are weird. He’s so puny no one thinks he will even live. Even his own mother describes him as a disappointment. Now that’s sad. And as he grows, he’s just not good at being a mouse, but he’s got dreams, big ones. Go see the movie (opens Dec. 19), sure, but don’t miss the book, Despereaux might be tiny but he’s one mighty mouse. Author: Kate DiCamillo
Gary Paulsen, the author of this book, calls it “the true and fictional account of the most valiant marshal in the West.” Mr. Paulsen adds a little here and there to fill in the places where history left gaps…but for the most part, this is the story of a real guy – the first African-American U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi – and this was in the 1870s! Bass became a legend, even in his own time. Some outlaws turned themselves in once they heard it was Bass that would be looking for them!
Bass was born to slave parents in the 1830s but escaped to the Indian Territory during the Civil War and lived with the Seminole and Creek Indians. After the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in 1863, Bass returned from the Indian Territory and settled in Arkansas. Because he knew how to speak several tribal languages and knew the land so well, he was hired as a U.S. Marshal. In his lifetime he brought in over 3,000 outlaws. This book is the story of how he went from being a child slave to being one of the most respected lawmen in the West. A really inspiring story and fun to read too. Bass was not boring and thought up all kinds of interesting ways to trap outlaws or trick them into custody. He could fight and he could shoot when he had too, but mostly, he was smart! Truly, one-of- kind! Author: Gary Paulsen
This Rapunzel is no princess in distress waiting to be rescued, in fact, she’s an Old West cowgirl ready for action. She can handle those braids like Indiana Jones and his whip. When Rapunzel discovers that she is indeed strandard in the tower until death, she makes a daring escape and discovers the truth about her stay in the tower and about what lies behind the wall that encircles her kingdom. She sets out to right the many wrongs that have been done against her and the people she cares about. This one is a graphic novel – it looks like a comic book inside. Take a look at the excerpt to see what I mean – it is action packed and a lot of fun! Author: Shannon Hale Illustrator: Nathan Hale
Franny, Pru, and Cat all live on Gumm Street in the town of Sherbet. Three girls with three different personalities. The fact is, they don’t even like each other. But then some weird things begin to happen on their street…about the time a girl named Ivy moves in. First, a man claiming to be 122 years-old gives Ivy some familiar looking red slippers and then disappears. Then, a once in a lifetime storm blows through bringing with it a mysterious women who won’t give up until the red slippers are hers. The four girls put aside their differences to face off against the wicked witc…I mean woman. If you like The Wizard of Oz you’ll like visiting Sherbet and the adventure that happens to four girls there. Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow & the Lion all learned a lot in Oz – these four girls do too – especially about what it is to be a good friend. Author & Illustrator: Elise Primavera
Stephanie leads a very ordinary life until the death of her novel-writing uncle Gordon. In his will, Uncle Gordon leaves Stephanie his mansion and everything in it. She also inherits Uncle Gordon’s mysterious friend, Skulduggery Pleasant, who just happens to be a wise-cracking, classic car driving detective, an impeccable dresser…and a skeleton with magical abilities!
When a crazed stranger tries to break into Stephanie’s house, it’s Skulduggery who comes to her rescue and reveals a world within her world…a world with magic and vampires and and a slew of creepy villains bent on taking over the world. This is about as perfect a Halloween adventure as you can get – action packed creature combat, a little magic and very funny. Stephanie doesn’t have to worry, Skulduggery’s watching her back…even if he doesn’t have one! The sequel just came out. It’s called Playing with Fire and it’s just as good! Author: Derek Landy