It’s just a normal day for Zita and Joseph, until they come upon a crashed meteor. Zita decides to investigate, discovering a strange button. She presses it, and Joseph is pulled through a portal. At first frightened, Zita becomes determined to save her friend. She presses the button again, finding herself pulled onto an amazing planet, full of alien creatures and alien ways. In her quest, she meets many interesting new friends. This is a wonderful story about friendship. Beautifully drawn, this is hopefully the first of many adventures for the feisty, smart, and resourceful Zita the Spacegirl.
If you like Zita here are some more space adventures full of action and friendship. Missile Mouse is impulsive and takes action, just like Zita. Wondla has a lot of space action too but will make you laugh and cry both. If you like Zita’s robots try Amulet: The Stonekeepr, very cool tranformer-like robots. Smekday is especially funny with a sassy main character who takes on the aliens without flinching a bit.
Piper Reed is a great character to read about on Veteran’s Day – today – the day our country honors the men and women who serve or have served in the military.
Piper Reed is proud of her Navy Dad and her Navy family. Piper calls her father Chief and loves to salute. She has never minded the moves the family must make because of the military but then again she has never had to move in the middle of the school year before. In Piper Reed Navy Brat, Piper’s father announces they are moving from a very comfortable home in San Diego to military housing in Pensacola, Florida. Piper feels her life has come undone. But change can bring surprises as Piper finds out. Piper is an adventurous fourth grader never lacking in excitement. -Recommended by Laura Dixon, Outreach Service Section
In Piper Reed The Great Gypsy, Piper’s Dad ships out for six months leaving Piper, her Mom and her sisters to face many months — even Christmas — all alone. Dad’s girls make the best of it and try as hard as they can to keep their Dad in the loop of family news and activities. Two good stories about a proud girl doing her part to keep the home fires burning for her Navy Dad. Author Kimberly Willis Holt Illustrator: Christine Davenier
If you like Sherlock Holmes, you will be excited by this Canadian author’s exploration of Holmes’s life as a 12-year old. It is 1867 in London. A terrible murder has been committed and an Arab immigrant has been arrested for it. Young Sherlock Holmes, with his odd ways, gets sucked into the mystery and is accused of being an accomplice. He must find the real killer or face the gallows himself. In this tense and well-written mystery, we meet Holmes’s parents and understand the circumstances of racism (Sherlock is half-Jewish) and poverty that led him to be the moody, brilliant detective he became as an adult. We also meet the younger versions of the mysterious Professor Moriarity and even Irene Adler (the only woman Sherlock Holmes ever loved). An attention-grabbing and creative book. Author: Shane Peacock
A true story. It’s 1948 during the Berlin Airlift. Pilots, who three years earlier were bombing Berlin, are now in the business of saving Berliners from a slow, wintry starvation. One of those pilots is Lt. Gail Halvorsen. In addition to his deliveries of flour and coal, he parachutes Hershey Bars to the watching children. These children have never tasted candy. Halvorsen’s kindness is a hit. He receives fan mail, and in one letter, a child named Mercedes asks the “Chocolate Pilot” to please drop some candy at her house. A knock on Mercedes’ door begins a unique friendship. Author: Margot Raven Illustrator: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen