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The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows

The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows

The Shadows

Olive moves into an old Victorian mansion that is just as the previous (now dead) owner left it. The furniture, the clocks, the mirrors, the paintings on the walls – all are exactly the way they were the moment the former owner died…as well as the clothes and personal items neatly folded in the drawers.

Isolated in the big old house and ignored by her parents, Olive does what any self-respecting kid would do. She explores. She opens doors and cupboards. She goes through drawers and wonders about who lived in the house before her.

She also looks closely at the paintings on the walls, especially the one outside her bedroom. It seriously creeps her out. When her mother can’t remove the painting from the wall she dismisses Olive’s fears and tells her “Herschel will protect you.” Herschel is a teddy bear. (See how clueless her mother is?!) Because there really IS something creepy about the paintings, especially when Olive notices that things MOVE in them. Things that definitely should not be moving.

When a talking cat shows up with a sinister warning and Olive finds an old fashioned pair of glasses that allow her to “fall” right into the paintings; to walk around, to talk to people, Olive knows she has stumbled onto something big. Something big and terrifying. This one is a little bit of the paintings in Harry Potter, a little bit of Coraline and lot of creepy fun! Author: Jacqueline West Series: The Books of Elsewhere

If you like the idea of a house with secrets; a house with doorways to secret places you can actually go to, try these:
Coraline 100 Cupbaords The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
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The 39 Clues #9: Storm Warning

The 39 Clues #9: Storm Warning

Storm Warning

Hmm. If you have been staying with The 39 Clues and following each of the 8 books before this one, then you are probably like I was, ready for some answers. Storm Warning delivers some interesting answers – particularly some answers about Grace, Aunt Beatrice, Nellie, Dan & Amy’s parents, the Madrigals & the Man in Black. Getting some answers doesn’t necessarily mean the secrets are over though. (I for one, am getting suspicious about Grandma Grace. Do you think she’s really dead? I can’t decide whether I would think it was lame or genius for Grace to have faked her own death and set the whole clue hunt in motion. It’s possible.)

There are plenty of secrets still to be revealed in the last book, Into the Gauntlet, which comes out August 31, 2010. Storm Warning still has plenty of the globe-trotting clue finding that you expect from The 39 Clues. This time the action takes place in the Bahamas & Jamaica following the connection between the Cahills and notorious pirates. I loved finding out more about Nellie, but I really did miss some of the other Cahill relatives and their down and dirty ways. I’m sure they’ll all be back in book 10 though. It just isn’t the same without the Holts and the Kabras stirring things up.

I just discovered that there is going to be a companion book to the series called The Black Book of Buried Secrets. It is going to be written by Rick Riordan, who opened the series in 2008. The Black Book of Secrets will come out October 26, 2010. Here is what the publisher says:

In full, lush color, The 39 Clues: The Black Book of Buried Secrets lays bare each hidden fact, concealed strategy, top agent, lost founder, secret base and hushed-up scandal of the Clue hunt. This complete guide to the Cahills contains information on all five branches, including the notoriously elusive Madrigals. The must-know information includes:
– Full files on the enigmatic Man in Black.
– The true purpose of the Madrigal branch.
– The complete story of the fire that split the original Cahill family.
– The truth about the night Hope and Arthur Cahill died.
– Open access to the secrets of the Lucian, Ekaterina, Tomas and Janus branches.

Now that sounds fun. I’m sure the list of clues and details I’ve missed is long. It will be fun to see a recap like that.

The first four 39 Clues Books so far…there will be 10 in all.
The Maze of Bones Once False Note The Sword Thief Beyond the Grave
The Black Circle In Too Deep The Viper's Nest Emperor's Code
Storm Warning Book 10: Into the Gauntlet(August 31, 2010) by Margaret Peterson Haddix Book 10: Into the Gauntlet(August 31, 2010) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
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When Jim’s sister Becky informs him she overheard a teacher saying he is a lazy nuisance and likely being sent to Fenham – a school for kids with problems – Jim doesn’t know if the story is true, or he’s being punked. Becky isn’t exactly trustworthy, but at the same time, what if it’s true?

The only way to know for sure is to do some investigating. Jim’s friend Charlie has the just the thing – a set of walkie talkies. One walkie talkie can be hidden in the teacher’s lounge while Jim and Charlie listen in on the conversation on the other.

This terrific plan goes bad when A.) the teacher’s lounge conversations are too boring for words and B.) Jim and Charlie overhear something odd. Something crazy. Something they just can’t leave alone. The thing is SO huge and SO not able to be ignored the two break into their teacher’s house to get to the bottom of it…and find out more than they ever wanted to know. Sometimes, teachers seems like they are from Mars…but what if your teacher really is an alien? What if the alien plan is to destroy the earth? What can a couple lazy nuisance kids do about it? Jim and Charlie are about to show what a real nuisance they can be! Author: Mark Haddon 

Google Preview Boom!

If you like Jim and Charlie’s outer space adventure try these:
Mike Stellar Nerves of Steel The Doom Machine Cosmic The True Meaning of Smekday
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Dear Dumb Diary, The Worst Things in Life are Also Free

Dear Dumb Diary, The Worst Things in Life are Also Free

The Worst Things in Life Are Also Free

Jamie Kelly’s got some big plans for her summer vacation including swimming with dolphins and watching every scary movie ever made. Her best friend Isabella has a list too. They combine the two lists for a shared “List of Summer Excellence.” The problem is that every single thing on their lists costs money, which they don’t have.

At dinner tonight, I talked a little about my summer plans. Mom and Dad made their “expensive” face at every one of my ideas. I don’t know how they do it, but they have a way of tilting their heads and twisting their eyebrows as if to say, “That Costs Too Much,” without ever actually opeing their mouths. It’s like living with a pair of disapproving mimes. (page 18)

Things start to look up for The Summer of Excellence when Jamie’s Uncle Dan and Aunt Carol come over and announce that they will take Jamie, Isabella, & their other (sort of) friend Angeline (who happens to be Uncle Dan’s niece) to Screamotopia, an amusement park at which they can accomplish one of their Summer of Excellence goals – ride a roller coaster.

Uncle Dan and Aunt Carol will pay for the car trip and the hotel – the three girls have to come up with the price of admission. No problem, they say. They can babysit, walk dogs, wash cars, sell lemonade – it will be noooo problem coming up with $100 a piece in 3 weeks. Exept we’re talking Jamie Kelly here. If there was ever a kid who could turn a group project into a disaster…it’s her! Laugh outloud funny diary entries from the one and only Jamie Kelly. If you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, give these a try. Author: Jim Benton

Jim Benton – The Worst Things in Life Are Also Free (Dear Dumb Diary) from Expanded Books on Vimeo.

Dear Dumb Diary Series:

#1 Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
#2 My Pants are Haunted (When Bad Clothes Happen to Good People)
#3 Am I the Princess or the Frog
#4 Never Do Anything, Ever
#5 Can Adults Become Human?
#6 The Problem with Here is That it’s Where I’m From
#7 Never Underestimate Your Dumbness
#8 It’s Not My Fault I Know Everything
#9 That’s What Friends Aren’t For
#10 The Worst Things in Life are Also Free
#11: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers
#12: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)

Dear Dumb Diary Year Two Series:

#1 School Hasn’t This Gone on Long Enough?
#2 The Super Nice are Super Annoying
#3 Nobody’s Perfect I’m as Close as it Gets
#4 What I Don’t Know Might Hurt Me
#5 You Can Bet on That
#6 Live Each Day to the Dumbest

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Kid Review – Pee Wee’s Tale

Kid Review – Pee Wee’s Tale

Pee Wee's Tale

When his owner’s parents let him go in Central Park, a young guinea pig learns to survive in the natural world with the help of a “park-wise” squirrel while trying to find his way back home.

D.R. says:

Peewee’s Tale is a great book about a guinea pig named Peewee that gets given to a little boy for his birthday by his uncle, which his parents dislike greatly. When the boy goes on a sleepover at his friend’s house, his parents let the guinea pig run away. Read Peewee’s Tale to find out if Peewee finds his owner or if he’s on his own.

:If you like Pee-Wee’s adventures trying to survive in a human world, try these:
I Freddy Streg Nona: Her Story A Cricket in Time's Square Charlotte's Web
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