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We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes

We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes

We Can't All Be Rattlesnakes

  • If you’ve ever thought about what it might be like to be your pet, try Crusher’s story, the tale of snake held captive in a young boy’s bedroom.

Remember Syd in Toy Story? The boy who abused toys? Remember, Syd straps Woody and Buzz to the rocket?  The boy in this story reminds me of Syd. I really would not want to be one of his pets.

The boy’s name is Gunnar and he has captured Crusher because he wants to watch her eat mice. Gunnar gets mad when Crusher refuses to eat. Crusher is determined to escape despite the warnings given to her by other captive creatures in Gunnar’s room. When he gets bored, Gunner forgets to feed the animals. In their view, the only way out is dead.

Crusher is determined to break that cycle and studies the human that has captured her to strategize a way out.

It’s always good to think about things from another person (or animal’s) perspective. As Crusher says,  ”Humans give me the creeps. Theyare so slimy.” Crusher will remind you to get up and go feed those goldfish and take the dog for a nice long walk. Those pets can’t talk, but if they could, they’d probably sound a lot like Crusher.

Browse Inside We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes

Crusher looks like a Rattlesnake but is actually a Gopher Snake. Read more:

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Sherlock Files: The 100 Year-Old Mystery

Sherlock Files: The 100 Year-Old Mystery

The 100-Year-Old SecretXander and Xena Holmes are spending a year in London with their family. While the kids are sitting on the steps of their hotel, a stranger passes by, presses a paper into Xena’s hand and says, “it fades fast.” The paper says “…I speak for the whole Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives (SPFD) when I say that we are thrilled beyond words to welcome you to England, the home of your ancestors.” The kids manage to read the rest of the note (which tells them about a meeting place and a password) before the ink fades and the paper is left blank.

Not kids to pass up a mystery, they head to the meeting place, a neighborhood pub, and take a chance revealing the password to a waitress. The waitress freezes, startled, and then leads the kids to a back room…and locks them in! What have they gotten themselves into? The locked room is really a doorway into the SPFD. The kids discover that Sherlock Holmes is their great-great-great grandfather and they are given a casebook of his unsolved cases. The cases are old, the book contains 100-year-old secrets. Are the mysteries too old to solve? Not for the descendents of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the worlds greatest detective. Author: Tracy Barrett

Listen to an Excerpt from The 100-Year-Old Secret

The Beast of BlackslopeAnd if you like this one, try #2: The Sherlock Files The Beast of Blackslope. In this one Xander and Xena are investigating a bigfoot kind of beast terrorizing a village again after being absent for several years. Why is the beast back?

Some of Tomie’s Books You Might Remember:
The Beast of Blackslope The Case That Time Forgot For the Duration Favorite Legends
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The Mystery of the Third Lucretia

The Mystery of the Third Lucretia

The Mystery of the Third Lucretia

In The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, Kari and Lucas use disguises during their surveillance so that their suspect will (hopefully) not notice them lurking around.

The girls are in London with Kari’s mom, a teen magazine journalist. They have tagged along to do some sightseeing but also stumble across an international art forgery mystery. I liked their story because they do a lot of legwork and piecing together clues – more like what I would expect a real detective to do. There are no fancy lab tests or expensive gadgets. These two use their brains, simple disguises, their listening skills, their memories and their instincts to solve the mystery.

Read Chapter One

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Heroes of the Valley

Heroes of the Valley

Heroes of the Valley

Halli Sveinsson lives in Medieval times (warrior/knights, castles, sword fighting) in a valley divided into 12 family groups, or Houses, each descended from one of 12 heroes who long ago fought the troll-like Trows and drove them out of the valley. The 12 Houses share a peaceful existence in the valley gathering once a year to trade stories and brag about their own Hero’s bravery and strength. Each House is sure their Hero is the best one.

Halli lives in the House of Svein and he’s tired of living in his older brother’s shadow. He’s so bored he makes his own adventures playing pranks on unsuspecting family members. He can’t wait for the once a year Gathering that is just a few days away – at last something exciting will be happening!

During the Gathering, one of Halli’s pranks goes bad, setting in motion a series of events that reignites a feud between Houses that has been lying dormant for generations. Now a futigive, Halli is on the run for his life. He finds a hiding place in the House of Arne where Aud – a girl he met at the Gathering, lives. Wanting some excitement of her own, Aud joins Halli and his pursuit of adventure and glory. But glory has a price when these two unsuspecting heroes find themselves the new leaders in a fight to keep their valley and the people they care about safe. Author: Jonathon Stroud (he wrote The Bartimaeus Trilogy)

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Skeleton Creek

Skeleton Creek

Skeleton Creek

Ryan is stuck at home recovering from a broken leg. This is his journal. Ryan is keeping the journal because something scary has happened and writing in the journal helps him deal with his lingering fear.

Despite the accident and the broken leg, Ryan and his best friend Sarah Fincher are determined to investigate the strange things that happen in their hometown of Skeleton Creek.  The two friends have been forbidden to see each other – they get into too much trouble when they are together. But they find a way to keep in touch through secert e-mail messages.

Sarah is still out looking for clues.  She sends Ryan video clips of her ongoing investigation. As you read Ryan’s journal, he tells you when Sarah has sent him a new video. He gives you the url and password you need to go on the internet and watch the video. (You can really do this – her videos are really there on the internet.) Sarah’s video clips are pretty creepy and Ryan sounds very scared in his journal. Going back and fourth between the book and the videos draws you in to their experience and why they feel so unsettled about what they have discovered.

Ryan and Sarah have uncovered something important in Skeleton Creek…and the adults don’t want to talk about it.  Author: Patrick Carman Series: Skeleton Creek

Book #2 will come out in October, 2009.

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