Nick Rostov lives in Las Vegas. His Dad is a magician and performs his show of mediocre tricks all over town. Nick’s actually a little embarrassed by it. But on his 13th birthday, Nick learns that he isn’t just the son of a marginally talented trickster…he’s actually descended from a long line of Russian magicians on his mother’s side of the family – the real kind. No illusions here just powerful, real magic. Nick’s relatives “blend in” by doing a show in Las Vegas. The audience dcesn’t know it, but their show is the real deal.
Nick is invited to join his newfound family to learn about his talents and practice them in their Vegas show. He also begins to learn about his Russian heritage and try more new things than just magic, like beet soup and cavier (that’s fish eggs!). During has magic lessons Nick finds out this his family members are known as “Magickeeprs.” Their job is to keep ancient magical objects safe from the evil “Shadowkeepers.”
It isn’t too long before the “Shadowkeepers” arrive and will stop at nothing to get an ancient hourglass that has the power to stop time. Author: Erica Kirov
Look insideMagickeepers: The Eternal Hourglass Book One
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
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.
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
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
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