Nic Bishop is on a roll cranking out animal books with stunning pictures and interesting information. Spiders, Frogs, Butterflies and now, Marsupials. Nic’s motto seems to be, “have camera, will travel.” This time he heads to Australia where the world’s largest concentration of marsupials live.
Mammals are warm-blooded animals that have fur and raise their babies on milk. Mammals are dogs, cats, cows, bears, etc. Marsupials are a special kind of mammal whose mothers raise their babies inside a furry pouch. The most well-known marsupials are probably kangaroos. But there are lots of marsupials – opossums, koalas, wombats…and bettons, bilbies, potoroos & dibblers. I’ve never even heard of those, have you? This book will give you an up close look at these furry little pouched creatures. Some of them look made up – like someone took parts of different animals and stuck them together.
One of the marsupials is a tasmanian devil – like Taz on Looney Toons. The real tasmanian devils don’t really look like Taz, they look like cute mini black bears. Their behavior, though, is more like Taz. They get really excited when they eat and like to fight over food, their favorite being animals that have been dead for so long they smell bad. Yuck! They also have really, really strong jaws that can crunch through bones. When I think about those habits, then I can picture crazy, slobbery Taz and see where he got his name.
Cass and Max-Ernest from The Name of This Book is Secret are back in another sense-filled adventure as members of the secret Terces Society. Cass and Max-Ernest have been inducted into the Society as agents keeping the world safe from the evil Midnight Sun, people who will stop at nothing (even murder!) to carry out their plans to live forever. Their previous adventures involved the senses of smell and sound. This time around, it’s taste, and what tastes better than chocolate? Nothing!
Cass’s mom is obsessed with the blind chef Señor Hugo and is invited to one of his exclusive dinner parties. Cass and Max-Ernest come along and are suprised to learn that at these parties the guests dine in complete darkness so that they can focus on their sense of taste. Partway through dinner Cass gets a feeling something isn’t right and when she shines a contraband light, she and Max-Ernest realize that all of the tables in the restaurant are empty and Cass’s mom is nowhere to be found. Señor Hugo has kidnapped Cass’s mom and is demanding the legendary Tuning Fork for her safe return. Somehow, he knows about Cass and Max-Ernest and The Terces Society. What is the Tuning Fork and what does the chef want to do with it? You can bet that The Midnight Sun and the creepy Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais are in on it too. Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Here are the first two in the Secret Series with Cass and Max-Ernest: The Name of This Book is Secret and If you’re Reading This It’s Too Late and book #4 This Isn’t What It Looks Like. If you like these, you might also like the rest, each are about kids having incredible adventures, but without wands or dragons or spells. These kids fly airplanes, shrink, hypnotize people, solve puzzles and more.
In Amulet Book 1: The Stonekeeper, Emily and Navin teamed up with some of their Great Grandpa Silas’s robots to rescue their mother who had been transported to an alternative world and was captured by a tentacled creature. The kids traveled inside a house invented by Great Grandpa Silas. The house can transform into a giant robot and move on their command. Emily wears an amulet that wields power in the alternative world. The kids recovered their mom, but she is poisoned.
In Amulet Book 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse, the family is safely back in their robotic house but their poisoned Mother has not awakened and is growing weaker. The kids point their house toward Kanalis, a mysterious and beautiful city, in hopes of finding an antidote for the poison. The kids’ mom is fighting for her life against the poison. Emily is fighting to figure out the power of the amulet she wears and how to control it. The amulet seems to be fighting to control HER.
At the same time, the family is being pursued by the Elf King’s son, Trellis, who needs to prove his abilities and loyalty by capturing them. The elves are NOT cute and have the most evil looking mouths full of shark-like teeth. What do they use those teeth for? I’m sure Emily and Navin do not want to know. In Kanalis the kids find that there is an underground resistance, an army of citizens fighting to free themselves from the elves. This group knew their Great Grandpa Silas and recognize the power of Emily’s amulet
This story is action scene upon action scene. Be sure to look at the Look Inside link to see the lush artwork – this is a graphic novel whose pictures tell the story as much as the words. Author: Kazu Kibuishi
Lucy’s Mom and Grandma run a small town pharmacy. Lucy hangs out there a lot to help out. She straightens shelves and runs the cash register too, but her favorite part of the pharmacy is the beauty aisle. Lucy reads all the boxes and tries out the samples and even though she’s only twelve, she’s kind of an expert.
The problem with the pharmacy is that it is in trouble. There is a lunch counter and soda fountain that nobody is visiting anymore. Too many people are going to Wal-mart instead of their small main street pharmacy. Bills are not getting paid and there’s talk that the family may have to sell their house.
When the local homecoming queen comes in with a major hair disaster, Lucy is able to fix her up for the big night. The beauty queen and her friends become loyal customers.
You saved my friend from horrible hair humiliation at homecoming. You’re like a a hair-care prodigy.
Word gets around and Lucy is soon dishing out beauty tips, make-up lessons, doing nails and offering beauty advice. While kids are there for beauty tips, they begin ordering from the soda counter and buying things. When Lucy joins her school’s Earth Club, her plan really begins to come together, she’s determined to open an Eco-Spa right in her family pharmacy and save it from going out of business
While on the internet, Lucy discovers a grant application for businesses going green. With the help of her college age sister Lucy puts together the grant proposal to make her eco-beauty dreams come true. Will her Mom and Grandma stop bickering long enough to listen to her plan? Do they notice that Lucy has loyal customers of her own, returning for their beauty treatments before the prom and graduation? Do they realize that Lucy has a plan, a real business plan, even if she is just a kid? This is a story for any kid who has ever been frustrated by grownups that won’t take them seriously, just because of their age. Old people don’t want discriminated against because of their age – neither do kids!
Here are some books about other kids who take charge when there is something to fix or fight for. They also don’t like grownups not believing they are capable of big things.
Don’t miss World Origami Day tomorrow, Saturday, November 7 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Drop in and try some paper folding with the Indianapolis Regional Origami Network (IRON) of Folders. This program will be held in The Learning Curve. Questions? Call Central Library 275-4100.
Here is a perfect Halloween adventure for you – book 3 in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, The Faceless Ones. If you haven’t read Skulduggery yet you’re missing something. Skulduggery Pleasant is a wise-cracking, classic car driving detective, an impeccable dresser…and a skeleton with magical abilities! With his 14 year-old detective in training sidekick Valkyrie Cain, he’s out to save the world from all kinds of vampires and and a slew of creepy villains bent on taking over the world.
In The Faceless Ones, Skulduggery and Valkyrie are working their beat following up on some mysterious murders. They are really undercover this time as they have been banned from working for the official police force and deemed dangerous “loose cannons.” (A “loose cannon” is someone who is unpredictable or reckless, a person whose behavior is believed to put the people around them in danger. The phrase originates from heavy cannons that used to be secured to the decks of ships. If a cannon came loose and was able to slide around the deck on its own it endangered all of the sailors on the ship.)
Anyway, Skulduggery and Valkyrie ARE unconventional…and they DO bend the rules on occasion, so they find themselves working the case secretly. They’re good though, and they begin to piece together a plot by their arch enemies, the evil Diablerie, to bring back to our time the Faceless Ones, beings that will threaten life on earth as we know it if they are allowed to return.
Of course Skulduggery’s former boss thinks he’s a trouble maker and doesn’t believe him, or maybe he just doesn’t want to believe him, or maaaaybe he’s working for the bad guys. It takes a good detective to figure that out. Skulduggery’s former boss is a lot like Cornelius Fudge actually, when Fudge doesn’t want to believe that Voldemort is back.
Skulduggery and Valkyrie have to call on all their friends, make some new friends and take some risks to rally a ragtag group that are willing to confront the Diablerie and keep the Faceless Ones from returning. Who to trust and who not to trust is a challenge this time around. Also, Skulduggery is not above making an alliance with someone he may or may not trust in different circumstances. To complicate matters, even some of Skulduggery’s close associates are beginning to question his judgement, mainly his judgement about the dangerous situations he puts Valkyrie in. She IS only fourteen. Why DOES Skulduggery train Valkyrie and what does he really want for her future? In this book, we find out more about Skulduggery’s past and what might motivate him as he continues to exist as an immortal skeleton.
Hand to hand combat, trying to weed out double crossers, following hunches, planning surveillance…it’s all here…plus the sarcasm and wise-cracking. Skulduggery and Valkyrie can dish it out as fast as they can take it.
I think you will enjoy these more if you start at the beginning and read them in order. There are a lot of characters and a whole different world to understand. Besides, all three are good! They are full of action and very funny. Dialogue like this that is truly funny is rare – don’t pass it up. Author: Derek Landy
Don’t miss the first two Skulduggery Pleasant books. And if you like the idea of a wise-cracking, unconventional team – try the Bartimaeus Trilogy beginning with The Amulet of Samarkand. It is the story of a magician’s apprentice and a sarcastic, wise-cracking genie. They also team up to save the world.