Conn is an orphan surviving the best he can picking locks, thieving and picking pockets. One night, he picks the pocket of the powerful wizard, Neverly Flinglas. Conn gets the wizard’s locus magicalicus, a stone that is the center of the magician’s power. Nevery isn’t mad that Conn tried to pick his pocket, he’s astonished that touching the magic stone didn’t kill Conn. No one else is supposed to be able to touch a wizard’s stone. Intrigued, Nevery takes on Conn as a servant and when Conn shows he indeed has a mysterious and powerful attraction to magic and magical things, Neverly makes him his apprentice.
The two of them get caught up in a magical investigation when Neverly is hired to figure out why magic is draining away from their city. This story has it all: wizards, a power hungry crime boss, friends, enemies, spying & betrayal. Nevery and Conn are both great characters. Neverly is grouchy and stern, but Conn is so endearing, smart and funny he manages to weasel his way straight into Nevery’s heart…although Neverly would never admit it. Author: Sarah Prineas
Great reading in league with Harry Potter, Septimus Heap and The Bartimaeus Trilogy.
The Irregulars, those delinquent Girl Scouts: Kiki, Ananka, Oona, Betty & Iris, are still protecting the secret city that lies beneath Manhatten. Trouble comes from an unlikely insider when it is discovered that Oona’s father is Lester Liu, the New York gangster they are protecting the secret city FROM.
The trouble is, Oona has known this all along and never told the Irregulars. Oona wants to trust that her Dad has turned over a new leaf but the Irregulars are skeptical and hatch a plan to find out what Lester is up to as well as keep an eye on Oona while she is in Lester’s mansion. Illegal immigrants, Russian operatives, an art museum and a Chinese mummy all play a part in the mystery of Lester Liu’s new life. Is he really turning into Daddy of the Year or is this just another plan to line his wealthy pockets? The Irregulars won’t stop until they find out the truth.
“Emma-Jean Lazarus knew very well that the seventh-grade boys at William Gladstone Middle School behaved like animals at times. They threw fruit in the cafeteria and stampeded through the hallways. They chased balls on the blacktop and laughed in a howling manner when Mr. Petrowsky discussed a certain part of the digestive system in science.”
But Emma-Jean doesn’t really have to care about the boys and their mysterious behaviors, she’s got Colleen, Valerie, Kaitlin and Michelle. But then the Spring Fling comes along – a girls ask boys dance at school. The girls immediately decide to have a sleepover instead since the gross boys are hardly worth their time. But that plan falls apart when Valerie, Kaitlin and Michelle all ask a boy to the dance.
Emma-Jean is again caught in the middle of seventh grade drama when Colleen begins receiving notes from a secret admirer and enlists Emma-Jean to find out who it is. Author: Lauren Tarshis
“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” When this unusual ad appears in the newspaper, lots of children show up to take a series of mysterious tests, but just four succeed: brilliant orphan Reynie, Sticky (everything he sees, hears or reads…sticks), Kate (with her bucket of tools) and tiny, brilliant Constance. The children learn that an evil genius is secretly broadcasting subliminal messages to the world and it is up to them to stop him. There are clues to follow and puzzles to solve and codes to understand. They have no choice but to turn to each other. No magic, just smart kid power and a lot of heart. Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society Web Comic Used With Permission:
@bookblrb: Four peculiar kids made it through the test. Now they’re the world’s last hope.
Don’t miss the Society’s other adventures..and try Kiki Strike: Five delinquent Girl Scouts, a million hungry rats, one secret city beneath Manhattan, and a butt-kicking girl superspy – that’s Kiki Strike!
If you want to really challenge yourself try out the CIA Break the Code website. You can choose from several code games to see if you qualify to be an ace code maker and breaker.
In the bonus book The Mysterious Benedict Society, the kids use morse code. Morse code is a code in which dots and dashes are used to represent the letters of the alphabet. The dots and dashes can be transmitted over a telegraph or even by turning a light on and off and the right intervals. Try out The Benedict Society’s morse code matching game and then if you think you’re REALLY good try CSS Sam Operation Dit Dah. THAT one is hard. If any of you can do it, let me know. I’ll be impressed.