Meet Ally. Ally lives in the middle of picturesque, but isolated Utah. Her family lives at least an hour’s drive from any town. They spend their time tending the campground and star watching. Ally loves her life that follows the patterns of campers and constellations as each pass through. But Ally’s parents have dropped a bombshell – this is the family’s last summer at the campground. After the upcoming, once in a lifetime solar eclipse, the family is moving to the city so that Ally and her brother can have friends and go to a regular school.
Now meet Bree. Bree loves the movies, the mall, fashion and her friend Candace. She has a summer job lined up at the mall, her outfits and accessories are color coordinated and ready to go. But then Bree’s parents drop a bombshell – the family is moving….to nowhere Utah to run a star gazer’s campground! They leave in just one week so that they can arrive in time to see a once in a lifetime solar eclipse.
Ally and Bree meet at the campground, one freaking out at the thought of leaving, the other freaking out at the thought of staying. The two forge an unlikely but necessary friendship. Bree needs to learn the chores at the campground. Ally needs to learn how to survive middle school.
Add in a few more campers…Michael, David, Olivia and Dan, to round out an unlikely but affective team of friends who find out that change can be a good thing, a very good thing. But it isn’t easy. Author: Wendy Mass
On one of their many trips abroad, Henry’s parents fail to return and Henry is sent to live with his Uncle Frank, Aunt Dotty and three cousins on their Kansas farm. At Uncle Frank’s, Henry discovers something new – people that care about him. He discovers good home cooking, riding in the back of a pickup trick and playing in the barn loft. He begins thinking that he just might get the chance to learn how to throw a baseball.
One night when Henry can’t sleep, he hears a thumping sound in the wall. A mouse? A squirrel? He decides to ignore the sound and go back to sleep. The next morning he wakes up with dust and bits of plaster in his hair. When he opens his eyes, he discovers two knobs poking through the wall, and one of them is slowly turning!
Henry picks at the plaster around the knobs and discovers a hidden door. He picks at some more plaster, and then more and more…until he uncovers 99 small doors of various sizes and shapes behind his bedroom wall. Through one door, he can smell the ocean and feel the ocean breeze. Through another he can peek inside a post office. One door that is completely dark, he is too afraid to open. The doors seem to lead to other places, 99 other places.
Henry and his cousin Henrietta set out to solve the mystery of the 99 cupboards…plus 1 more. The two unravel a safely guarded family secret and unleash a magical power that hasn’t been heard from for years and years. And some magical powers, the world is better off without! Author: N.D. Wilson
Having survived a fire, a bomb, and a sink hole, Dan and Amy Cahill and their nanny Nellie are still hot on the trail of the 39 clues. Clues they began to hunt down in The 39 Clues Book One:The Maze of Bones…clues that will eventually lead to unimaginable treasure!
There are six teams of Cahill relatives all trying to be the first to find all the clues. The relatives are ruthless double crossers all out for themselves. Most of them will stop at nothing, even murder, to continue their pursuit of the clues. So far, Dan and Amy have been able to stay a step ahead of even the worst threats against them.
In Book Two, the kids are headed to VIenna to follow up on a clue involving Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. (As if having Ben Franklin in the family wasn’t enough!) Pursuing the clues is never easy and this time, it’s not just the backstabbing relatives after them, it’s the police!
Nathaniel is a magician’s apprentice. He’s like the magician’s son…but not. His bedroom is in the attic. His food is brought to him in his room. He is provided for, but he isn’t nurtured or made to feel loved. He only sees the magician during his lessons. Nathaniel is lonely and the only way he knows to get the attention he desires is to do really well in his lessons, and that he does. He practices advanced magic on his own and becomes so good at it, he manages to steal an important magical object from a much older and more experienced magician.
He reminds me a lot of another wizard you know…but not the one you’re thinking. Nathaniel doesn’t remind me of Harry, he reminds me of Tom Riddle. Like Tom, Nathaniel is aloof, detached from people, brooding, only concentrating on his own abilities and obsessed with improving them. He seeks revenge for the wrongs he feels have been done to him. But he has one thing Tom Riddle didn’t…Bartimeaus, a djinn (genie/demon) Nathanial has summoned to help him accomplish his magical goals. And this demon is up for whatever Nathaniel can dish out! He is funny, wise-cracking, irreverant and ready to put Nathanial in his place at any opportunity. He is exactly what Nathaniel needs. Bartimeaus tries to warn Nathaniel that he is growing into a typical power-hungry magician, but Nathaniel doesn’t listen. Will Nathaniel ever turn away from his anger and bitterness? Will he make the choice Tom Riddle didn’t? Will he learn what love is? You have to read all three in this trilogy…and then you’ll find out!
If you liked Harry Potter, this adventure will give you another original magical world to enter. There are magical battles, back-stabbing, lying and cheating…plenty of traitors and double-crossers, but then there is also a mysterious pretty girl and also Bartimeaus. Who says a demon can’t be lovable?
It’s been several months since the Society (Reynie, Kate, Sticky & Constance) had their first adventure in The Mysterious Benedict Society, and frankly, they’re bored! Nothing is going on until they each get an invitation from Mr. Benedict for a surprise reunion. Excited to be together again, the children happily head to Mr. Benedict’s house. When they arrive, his house is surrounded by policeman – something terrible has happened! Mr. Benedict and Number 2 have disappeared. The first clue, a ransom note delivered by carrier pigeon:
“I write to report that your friends are in grave danger…If you hope to see either of them again, you will give me exactly what I wish, and without delay…We shall all be most unhappy if you delay.” L. Curtain
The kids find out that Mr. Benedict had devised an elaborate, puzzle-filled, international scavenger hunt for them as a surprise. While out planting clues, Mr. Benedict and Number 2 were kidnapped by evil Mr. Curtain. And it isn’t just Mr. Benedict and Number 2 that are in danger, it’s all of us! Aided by some clues and puzzles that Mr. Benedict left behind, the kids begin to piece together where Mr. Benedict and Number 2 might have gone before they disappeared. By following the scavenger hunt clues, the kids use their unique talents to attempt a rescue before it is too late. Another great adventure full of clever clues and mind bending puzzles solved by four friends who find out once again how great their friendship is. Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Coming Soon, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma: October 13, 2009.