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The Year the Swallows Came Early

The Year the Swallows Came Early

The Year the Swallows Came EarlyGroovy Robinson has a dream and a plan to go with it. She’s a foodie and she loves to cook. She helps out at a local restaurant and hopes to go to culinary (cooking) school someday with an inheritance left to her by her great-grandma.

Much to Groovy’s surprise, her own father is arrested right in front of her. His crime? Taking her inheritance and gambling it away. How did he get caught? Groovy’s exasperated mother turned him in herself. Groovy is hurt, mad and confused. And then there’s Groovy’s friend Frankie. He’s got his own parent problems. He lives with his stepbrother because his mother ran off and only sends him an occasional postcard.

Aren’t the grown-ups supposed to act right? Groovy and Frankie are left with each other to try to figure out how to love these grown-ups – these parents – that are far from perfect. A really powerful story of two real families with real problems and two friends that help each other learn to forgive. Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice


 

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The 39 Clues #3 The Sword Thief

The 39 Clues #3 The Sword Thief

The Sword Thief

Amy and Dan Cahill are still hot on the trail of the 39 Clues, the real life treasure hunt they began in The 39 Clues #1 Maze of Bones and #2 One False Note. Amy, Dan and their nanny Nellie begin their third adventure at an Italian airport preparing to board a plane to Japan, where they think they will find the next clue. Nellie boards the plane while Dan and Amy try to figure out a problem with security – could it be the swords hidden in Dan’s luggage?! No, it isn’t the swords, it’s their evil cousins Ian and Natalie Kabra who have boarded the plane in Amy and Dan’s place. Dan and Amy are stranded at the airport with No Nellie, no money and no plane tickets.

Who should come to their rescue but Uncle Alistair Oh, the man who left them inside their Grandmother’s burning home. Alistair offers them passage to Japan. Should they trust him? When they began their clue hunt, their only directions were “trust no one.” The thing is, Alistair can get them to Japan. The Cahills take a chance and forge an alliance with Uncle Alistair. Is this the beginning of a new chapter in their quest…or the beginning of the end?

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Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree

Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a TreeThe kids at school think Emma-Jean is weird. Emma Jean thinks the kids at school are weird. The other kids are overly emotional and unpredictable and a lot of the time, what they do just doesn’t make sense to Emma-Jean! Sometimes, the kids are mean to each other on purpose. Sometimes, the kids don’t tell the truth about what they think or what they feel. For a practical mind like Emma-Jean, Middle Schoolers are just plain crazy.

At school Emma-Jean studies the kids from afar.  She doesn’t really have any friends herself, until the day she comes across a classmate crying in the bathroom and decides to take action against the craziness. Emma-Jean doesn’t really understand the events that have lead up to the tears, but fixing the problem seems easy enough. Beware when things seem easy! Rather than keeping herself detached from the kids at school, Emma-Jean’s actions instead put her right smack in the middle of their emotional mess. The kids have a lot to learn about friendship, including Emma-Jean. Author: Lauren Tarshis

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Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf: a Year Told Through Stuff

Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf: a Year Told Through Stuff

Middle School is Worse Then Meatloaf

Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf is a different sort of book.  It’s a scrapbook full of stuff that 7th grader Ginny Davis collects all year: diary entries, post-it notes, instant messages, e-mails, report cards, candy wrappers,  sales receipts and more. The scrapbook pages are a collage of all of this. As you turn the pages you read and look at all of this stuff…and it’s the stuff that tells Ginny’s story. There are things to read, like diary entries and e-mails, but the rest of the things on the pages are more like clues to look at and the clues really do help you understand who Ginny is and what is going on with her. In a lot of ways Ginny is typical.  She wants her school picture to look good and she wants friends, clothes and maybe even a boyfriend. She also has problems just like everybody. She’s having trouble getting used to a new step-dad and her older brother is making bad choices that cause problems for the whole family. All of this happy, sad, funny stuff in Ginny’s life you figure out by looking at the pages in this scrapbook. After reading this book, try making a scrapbook page or a collage of yourself. There is more than one way to make a self-portrait – as you can tell by reading Ginny’s story. Author: Jennifer L. Holm

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Sisters Grimm: Fairy Tale Detectives

Sisters Grimm: Fairy Tale Detectives

Fairy Tale DetectivesSabrina and Daphne have been sent to live with their mysterious Grandmother, Relda Grimm, a Grandmother they didn’t even know they had. Once they arrive the girls find out they are direct descendants of the Grimm Brothers – the fairy tale guys. They also discover that the Grimm Brother stories actually happened and that the fairy tale characters are alive and well and living in their Grandmother’s town, Ferryport Landing. The Grimm Brother stories are actually a history of all the crimes committed by the fairy tale characters. The girls are part of a long line of detectives from the Grimm family whose job it is to investigate the fairy tale crimes. The girls and their Grandmother are hot on the case of a giant that has been unleashed into Ferryport Landing by one of the fairy tale characters, or Everafters, as they like to be called. Which character set the giant loose…and why? Author: Michael Buckley

And if you like this one – there’s more!

#1 The Fairy-Tale Detectives (Bonus Book - 30 points!)
#2 The Unusal Suspects
#3 The Problem Child
#4 Once Upon a Crime
#5 Magic and Other Misdemeanors
#6 Tales from the Hood
#7 The Everafter War

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