Wilson David the fifth, or “Wil,” for short, is about to turn 12 years old. He can’t wait for his birthday because it signals the day he can take over his older brother’s paper route. The David boys have delivered The Cooper County Caller newspaper to the people in tiny Steele, Pennsylvania for as long as anyone can remember. The first David boy to deliver the route was Wil’s Grandfather.
Wil has been practicing and is more than ready to take over. He can fling newspapers as he rides his bike past houses. He can fling them so that they land squarely on people’s porches, right by the door, but not blocking the door – perfect. Wil’s also ready for some spending money of his own and has his eye on a laptop computer.
Wil’s dreams are brought to a screeching halt the day before his birthday when the newspaper calls and tells him that they have cancelled home delivery in Steele and no longer need a paperboy. Wil is devastated. That laptop vanishes before his very eyes, but what’s more, he doesn’t get the chance to do what all of the David boys have done for three generations…deliver the daily newspaper.
The more Wil thinks about it the more unfair it seems. His laptop dreams start to fade as he considers the fact that the people in his town will no longer be able to read the daily news or even look for jobs in the classified ads. Steele is so small, there is no cable TV. The newspaper is the only way most of the people in the town get any news.
Find out why the people in Steele call Wil “Wil of Steele”. What can one boy do to fight injustice? The Cooper County Caller is about to find out. One boy rallying one tiny town – it’s the little guys against the big corporation.
Lucy’s Mom and Grandma run a small town pharmacy. Lucy hangs out there a lot to help out. She straightens shelves and runs the cash register too, but her favorite part of the pharmacy is the beauty aisle. Lucy reads all the boxes and tries out the samples and even though she’s only twelve, she’s kind of an expert.
The problem with the pharmacy is that it is in trouble. There is a lunch counter and soda fountain that nobody is visiting anymore. Too many people are going to Wal-mart instead of their small main street pharmacy. Bills are not getting paid and there’s talk that the family may have to sell their house.
When the local homecoming queen comes in with a major hair disaster, Lucy is able to fix her up for the big night. The beauty queen and her friends become loyal customers.
You saved my friend from horrible hair humiliation at homecoming. You’re like a a hair-care prodigy.
Word gets around and Lucy is soon dishing out beauty tips, make-up lessons, doing nails and offering beauty advice. While kids are there for beauty tips, they begin ordering from the soda counter and buying things. When Lucy joins her school’s Earth Club, her plan really begins to come together, she’s determined to open an Eco-Spa right in her family pharmacy and save it from going out of business
While on the internet, Lucy discovers a grant application for businesses going green. With the help of her college age sister Lucy puts together the grant proposal to make her eco-beauty dreams come true. Will her Mom and Grandma stop bickering long enough to listen to her plan? Do they notice that Lucy has loyal customers of her own, returning for their beauty treatments before the prom and graduation? Do they realize that Lucy has a plan, a real business plan, even if she is just a kid? This is a story for any kid who has ever been frustrated by grownups that won’t take them seriously, just because of their age. Old people don’t want discriminated against because of their age – neither do kids!
Here are some books about other kids who take charge when there is something to fix or fight for. They also don’t like grownups not believing they are capable of big things.
Don’t miss World Origami Day tomorrow, Saturday, November 7 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Drop in and try some paper folding with the Indianapolis Regional Origami Network (IRON) of Folders. This program will be held in The Learning Curve. Questions? Call Central Library 275-4100.
Piper and The Gypsy Club (Piper and her friends Hailey, Michael and Nicole) have a problem. Since Piper moved and left her treehouse behind, there is nowhere good for them to hold their Gypsy Club meetings. They find an ad in a magazine for the perfect clubhouse – it has window boxes, wooden shingles…and it only costs $1,999.00. Now that’s cash The Gypsy Club doesn’t have, but they figure if they each ask their parents, at least ONE set of parents ought to say yes.
They figured wrong. Three sets of parents (Michael & Nicole are twins)=three answers:
“We aren’t rich like the Trumps in New York.”
“No, no, and no with a cherry on top.”
“No way. Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
On to plan B. The kids decide that the only way they can get their clubhouse is to earn the money themselves – that’s $500 each. Piper is so intent on earning her money she says “yes” to every job she can get: planning a three-year-old’s birthday party, drawing the pictures for her sister’s book and babysitting…for triplets! Unfortunately Piper schedules these things all for the same weekend. As if she hasn’t heard, “Piper Read, you’re in trouble” before! Piper finds out that bringing home the bacon takes more than just doing the work, you have to have a good plan and good friends to get all the jobs done. And it helps a lot to get your homework done first too. Author: Kimberly Willis Holt
Sandy and Jack are scared of their Dad. He knocked their little brother down the stairs one day and then their brother never woke up again.
One day, their Dad shows up at school to take them home, but he doesn’t go home…he gets on the interstate and drives hours and hours and hours from Pennsylvania to the Florida Keys. He won’t answer their questions about where their Mom is either.
Convinced that their Dad is dangerous and has hurt their Mom, the boys wait for him to fall asleep, steal his money, “borrow” a boat and flee into an area of the Florida Keys known as “Crocodile Swamp.” Surely no one will follow them into a crocodile infested swamp.
Armed with some basic survival skills and knowledge about the habits of the critters sharing the swamp including crocodiles, sharks and poisonous snakes, the boys set up camp.
With the help of an old fisherman and a young girl they meet making supply runs, the boys manage to evade their Dad..for awhile. During their life in hiding, the boys come to understand that people survival skills are just as important as wild surival skills and that figuring out who your allies are is very important indeed.
This story has some tough family problems in it but the resourcefulness of the boys, their desire to stay together and the friends who step up to help them find their way out of a scary situation make it a good true-to-life adventure. Author: Jim Arnosky
The author of The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp is also a nature writer. Here are a couple of his books about the swamp, wild places and wild things. The action in Crocodile Swamp is very realistic because Mr. Arnosky knows so much about the Florida Keys. If you liked this wilderness survival story, try Alabama Moon or The Night of the Howling Dogs. In these, kids use their knowledge to survive in the wild also.
Molly’s a pitcher. Her eighth grade year she does something a little different. She tries out for the boys baseball team instead of the girl’s softball team. When she shows up for try-outs, Molly brings her secret weapon, a weapon that comes as a suprise to the other boys trying out as well as her coaches. Molly can throw a floating knuckleball (a butterfly). And she can throw it hard.
But this story is about much more than a girl trying out for a usually all-boys team. Boys’ baseball isn’t the only thing different about Molly’s eighth grade year. This year, she has to learn how to do everything, including baseball, without her Dad, who died in a car accident before the school year began. Molly’s Mom is barely holding it together herself, which is hard, because now it’s like Molly’s lost both parents.
Molly is pretty honest about how she feels about her Mom. At one point Molly imagines telling her, “I love you and all that, but right now everything about you bothers me.” And it isn’t that Molly doesn’t love her Mom, it’s that her Mom isn’t her Dad, and the Mom she once knew is now different. The best part about this book is how intensely honest Molly is. She also has a best friend, Celia, who is the same way and is the only person Molly knows who still treats her like Molly, not like “Miss Difficulty Overcome.” It’s Celia that keeps Molly talking about her feelings so that she can deal with them. It’s Celia that nudges Molly and her Mom toward each other again.
To make the story even better, the baseball part is realistic – the boys are competitive and the games are intense. Some of the boys are not happy at all about Molly making the team. When Lonnie steps forward to give Molly someone to pitch to, he turns out to be a really good friend too. Author: Mick Cochrane