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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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Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos

Theodosia and the Serpents of ChaosTheodosia spends most of her time in her dad’s museum that is filled with artifacts her mom digs up in Egypt. But Theo is a wreck! She’s constantly worried about her parents, who are so busy they sometimes forget to feed her, and what’s worse, they have no idea their artifacts are cursed. Theo is so concerned about the curses, she’s developed her own curse removing kit and sleeps in a sarcophagus (mummy’s coffin) for safety. If sleeping in a coffin makes sense…you’re really scared!

Theo’s mom returns from a dig with an amulet inscribed with curses that could destroy the British Empire. Like Indiana Jones, Theo is up against some powerful Germans that want to use the cursed amulet as a weapon against England. Theo fights back using her gutsy attitude, ancient texts, her curse-removing kit, some well connected allies, and brains…a recipe for adventure! Author: R.L. LaFevers

Theodosia Throckmorton Series:

#1: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos on CD & Downloadable eBook
#2: Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris on CD
#3: Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus on CD
#4: Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh

Theo is back removing curses in The Staff of Osiris. Theo might be able to detect ancient curses but she isn’t the only girl with special powers. Emmy can shrink, Molly can hypnotize people and Gilda, well, Gilda sees dead people!
Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism Gilda Joyce: The Dead Drop
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The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia TateIt’s 1899. Calpurnia is 11 years old and lives in Texas with her six (six!) brothers – three older and three younger. On her report card, Calpurnia gets an “acceptable” grade for “Posture” and an “unsatisfactory”  grade for “Use of Hankie and Thimble”. Her Mother is not pleased! Can you imagine having “Use of a Hankie” as a school subject? (A hankie is a square piece of cloth they used in the old days to wipe their eyes or nose – no kleenex back then.)

Calpurnia isn’t the least bit interested in what is known as “woman’s work.” She doesn’t want to cook and sew and knit – she wants to run and swim and explore everything that lives in the woods and river near her house. She likes to study bugs. The dirtier Calpurnia gets, the happier she is.

After observing some curious grasshoppers in her yard, Calpurnia has some questions. Why are some of the grasshoppers large, yellow and slow, and some of the grasshoppers small, green and quick? And why is it that the smaller quick ones are easier to catch? No one is able to answer her questions, in fact, her family seems completely uninterested.

Calpurnia gets up the courage to ask her Granddaddy, a man who lives in the family house but hardly speaks a word to anyone. He shows up for meals and then disappears: out in the woods to collect specimens, into his library or out to his backyard shed/laboratory. Nobody in the family is quite sure what he is up to, but everybody knows to stay out of his way. Except Calpurnia. She steps into the shed to ask her question and a friendship is born. After 11 years of thinking that she is an oddball, Calpurnia finds a kindred spirit in her quiet, cantankerous Granddaddy who shows her that being a girl who loves books and science is OK.

If you have ever wanted something different than you think is expected of you, or if you have ever felt uninterested in the same things as the people around you, maybe you and Calpurnia are kindred spirits too.  Sometimes blazing your own way can be pretty exciting. Author: Jacqueline Kelly

More kindred spirits like Calpurnia:

Caddie Woodlawn

A Girl of the Limberlost

Here Lies the Librarian

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The Books of Umber: Happenstance Found

The Books of Umber: Happenstance Found

Happenstance Found

A boy wakes up in a dark cave, confused. He doesn’t know where he is or even who he is. Three people mysteriously appear to lead him to safety. The leader of the three is Lord Umber, an explorer, inventor and adventurer who studies all things mysterious and magical. He gives the boy a name, Happenstance, or Hap for short.

As the group heads to Lord Umber’s home, they discover unusual things about Hap besides his startlingly green eyes. For one, he never sleeps. Ever. He can see in the dark and he can jump high…Superman high.

How did Lord Umber know where to find Hap? Does Lord Umber know who and what Hap is? Lord Umber seems to be trying to solve the mystery of where Hap came from, but at the same time, he keeps deep secrets about himself.

Lord Umber and Hap are only the beginning of the great characters you meet in this book. Try the creepy villain who is after Hap. Naturally this guy’s name is ”The Creep.” He has a multitude of eyes. He has stolen them from unsuspecting animals and people. His knees bend in the wrong direction…like a bird. You also meet Nima, captain of the Leviathan Barge, a ship/submarine carried on the back of a huge sea creature. And living in the walls of Lord Umber’s castle is Thimble, a fierce warrior that is only a few inches tall.

All of these mysterous and magical elements begin a really original and exciting new adventure series. There will be more – Happenstance Found is just the beginning.

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