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Spirits in the Park

Spirits in the Park

In Book 1: Gods of Manhattan, we found out that 13 year-old Rory can see impossible things…a cockroach riding a rat like a horse, American Indians, and lots of people who have been dead for two hundred years! Rory is a “Light,” one of the few mortals who can see the spirit world, the Gods of Manhattan, who live in his city. Rory can see and talk to the spirits of Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Walt Whitman and many more people from New York history.  He can also see the Munsee Indians whose spirits are trapped inside Central Park. To understand how Rory came to know he is a “Light” and understand how our world and the spirit world co-exist, I think it would be good if you started with book 1. There are a lot of characters to meet who all play important roles as the story moves along – a lot like all the characters in the Percy Jackson stories.

In Book 2:  Spirits in the Park, Rory, his little sister Bridget (aka “Malibu Death Barbie”), his dog, some teenage Spirit friends and a couple cockroach warriors take on some of the most powerful and sinister figures in New York history.  The kids and their cockroach warriors want to free the Munsee Indian spirits trapped in Central Park . When they find out that freeing the Indians could start a war between the Indians and the Gods of Manhattan, the kids need to get to the bottom of who trapped the Indians in the first place, and why. The answers are not at all what they expect. Can they free the Indians and prevent an all-out war at the same time? Author: Scott Mebus; Series: Gods of Manhattan

Series: The Gods of Manhattan
#1: The Gods of Manhattan
#2: Spirits in the Park
#3: The Sorcerer’s Secret

Like I said, you probably want to start with Book 1: Gods of Manhattan. Then, read the book Duel! It tells the story of the longstanding feud between Alexander Hamilton and Aarron Burr. Really, this is historically real…and the two guys appear in Spirits in the Park still hating each other. Knowing their real story will help you understand the conflict in Spirits in the Park. Plus, Duel! is a great book itself. Then, if you like the idea of a spirit world co-existing with ours, try The Night Tourist and of course, the all-time favorite, The Lightning Thief.
God's of Manhattan Duel The Night Tourist The Lightning Thief
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The Tomorrow Code

The Tomorrow Code

The Tomorrow Code

Start this book when you have a nice block of time because you won’t want to put it down. The action starts very close to the beginning and is non-stop to the very end. This is an action movie blockbuster on paper.

Tane and Rebecca receive a mysterious coded message. What first appear to be random numbers turn out to be the winning numbers in the lottery! Who sent them the prize-winning numbers? Why didn’t the person just play the numbers themselves?

More messages come. Tane and Rebecca realize that the message are coming from themselves…from the future! The lotto numbers are one thing, but when one of the messages includes an SOS the kids realize that the future of the world just might lay in their own hands. Can they decipher the messages and save the world, and themselves, before it is too late?

Computers, high speed chases, science gone wrong, night vision goggles, scuba gear, a submarine, biohazard suits, a super virus, military special forces…it’s all in here. I’m usually not a big fan of time travel stories, but I liked this one a lot. It it a wild ride and it has several “makes the hair on your arms stand up” moments too. Author: Brian Falkner

If you liked The Tomorrow Code try these time-bending adventures:
When You Reach Me Found Sent
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Franny Parker

Franny Parker

Franny Parker

Franny has plans for the summer, mostly to take care of all the animals in her barn. Since deciding to open her own Animal Hospital, everybody in town has been delivering hard-up animals on their last leg: abandoned baby mice, a turtle with a broken shell, some opossums and some baby birds.

The summer gets a little more interesting when the new neighbors move in. Lucas is a little older than Franny, and he’s a boy, but he’s interested in her animals and he’s fun to be around.

It’s kind of weird when Lucas and his mom paint over their name on their mailbox. Even weirder is Lucas’s reaction when Franny tells him there was a strange car in his driveway. “When? Who was in it?…What did he say? Did you talk to him?…Why didn’t you tell me Franny?”

The strange car, and the man in it, returns…and life for Lucas and his mom suddenly gets very hard. Franny’s parents try to help, but what do you do if the people you are trying to help say they don’t need any help? And what do you do if you think the people aren’t asking for help because they are too scared? Franny and her family face these tough questions as they try to reach out to Lucas and his mom. Author: Hannah McKinnon

Look Inside Franny Parker

If you liked reading about Franny and Lucas, try one of these stories. Tough things are going on for these kids too. Each one needs a good friend to step in and help them find their way:
Waiting for Normal The Year the Swallows Came Early Umbrella Summer Also Known as Harper
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Escape Under the Forever Sky

Escape Under the Forever Sky

Escape Under the Forever Sky

Thirteen year-old Lucy’s mom is the American Ambassador to Ethiopia. You’d think Lucy’s life would be exciting, exotic and adventure filled. Instead, Lucy lives in the Embassy compound behind walls that separate her from the real Ethiopia. She’s bored! The prospect of a long, hot, boring summer is more than she can stand! Enter her friend Tana who is more than happy to arrange an evening “jail break” when Lucy’s mother is out of town.

The problem? There is a reason for those protective walls around the Embassy compound and one of those reasons snatches Lucy off the street and whisks her far away from everything and everyone she knows.  Lucy finds herself tied up in a scrap-wood shack with nothing but a straw mat, a blanket, a kerosene lamp and a bucket.

Don’t let the cover fool you – this is a tense, breathless survival story that tells Lucy’s tale – how she figured out how to get out of the shack only to find herself lost in the middle of a forbidding jungle and how she uses her wits, her knowledge of the land and animals and her ability to calm herself to think her way out of a worst case scenario. It also helped to have some lions on her side. Yes, lions!

This story could have come right from today’s headlines, and in fact, it did! Escape from the Forever Sky is based on the story of a real 12 year-old girl who was kidnapped in 2005 in Ethopia and managed to escape and save herself, not only from the kidnappers, but from the harsh environment she escaped to. Author: Eve Yohalem

Look Inside Escape From the Forever Sky

In Escape Under the Forever Sky Lucy uses her wits and her outdoor skills to survive. She’s not the only one who can survive a worst-case-scenario in the great outdoors:
Night of the Howling Dogs Hatchet My Side of the Mountain How to Survive in the Wilderness
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43 Old Cemetery Road #1: Dying to Meet You

43 Old Cemetery Road #1: Dying to Meet You

Dying to Meet You

This book doesn’t have any chapters in it. It’s a collection of letters and notes with a few newspaper articles thrown in here and there. You have to figure out who is who and what is going on by reading the letters the characters write to each other and by reading the newspaper articles that report the strange happenings at 43 Old Cemetery Road.

Ignatius B. Grumply is a crabby old author with writer’s block who has rented a creepy old house for the summer. He doesn’t know it, but a boy named Seymour is living on the third floor and a ghost lives in the attic – a bossy old lady ghost.

The old man is none too happy when he discovers the boy. Seymour isn’t too happy about the old man either. The two set up a few house rules to keep things from getting ugly:

Mr. Grumply’s Rules:

  • You will not bother me when I am writing
  • You will stay out of my bedroom and bathroom at all times.
  • You will not lurk in doorways or dark hallways.
  • You are not permitted on the second floor, which I have claimed as my own for the duration of the summer.

Seymour’s Rules:

  • You will not tell me what time I have to go to bed.
  • You will not tell me what to eat or when to eat it.
  • You will not play old man music on the stereo.
  • You’re not allowed on the third floor. No exceptions.

And this begins a tentative agreement to help the two get through the summer without all out war breaking loose. They agree to communicate by letter, which is fine, until the old man shoots some accusations at Seymour that are simply not true. The slamming doors, the loudly playing piano, the falling chandalier – none of that was Seymour, that was the ghost!  Mr. Grumply doesn’t believe a word of it and he isn’t at all interested in having a liar for a housemate.

Read the letters to hear them duke it out in writing – the letters are funny exchanges between these people who don’t care for each other at all…at first! Author: Kate Klise Series: 43 Old Cemetery Road

If you liked Dying to Meet You don’t miss the other 3 in  the 43 Old Cemetery Road series, and when you get done with those, try Billy Bones – he’s another ghost in hiding with a fun family. 
Dying to Meet You Til Death Do Us Bark The Phantom of the Post Office Billy Bones a Tale from the Secret Closet
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