Dit Sims lives in tiny Moundville, Alabama in 1917. He’s got nine brothers and sisters and his Dad routinely forgets his name. It’s summer, it’s hot and Dit’s best friend is away for the summer. When he finds out that a new postmaster is coming to town, Dit hopes the new postmaster, Mr. Walker, has a son close to his age that will want to go fishing and play baseball.
The postmaster comes, and Dit is disappointed to learn that he doesn’t bring a son, he brings prissy, brainiac Emma who always has her nose in a book and doesn’t know one thing about baseball. Dit’s town is disappointed to learn that the Walkers are African-American.
Dit’s family welcomes the Walkers and the two families slowly build a relationaship sharing chores and helping out when family members are sick. Dit and Emma start building a friendship too. Dit teaches Emma how to throw and hit a baseball. Emma helps Dit with math and introduces him to exciting adventure books like Treasure Island. Slowly, over the summer, the two kids become best friends.
Some people in Dit’s town don’t welcome the Walkers, especially the town sheriff. Some people object to Dit and Emma’s friendship, even object to the Walkers living in Moundville at all. When the two kids witness a racially motivated shooting and realize their friend, the town’s black barber, is unjustly blamed and sentenced to hang, they secretly come up with a daring plan to save him.
This story brings the injustice and horrors of racial bigotry to life. It’s a story about friendship between people and how that friendship is stronger than the forces around it that try to tear it apart. Two thumbs up historical fiction. Author: Kristin Levine
Kendra and Seth are back in book 4 of the Fablehaven series and this time the stakes are greater than ever before. The kids are officially memebers of the Knights of Dawn, a group that is committed to keeping all the magical creature preserves in the world secret, and therefore safe.
The Society of the Evening Star, the bad guys, led by the mysterious Sphinx, are on a mission to collect artifacts hidden in the preserves that will give them the key to the demon prison and power over the whole world.
The Knights of Dawn decide that their best defense is a good offense. They decide to steal the hidden artifacts first to keep them out of the hands of the Society of the Evening Star.
By reading the journals of the original caretaker, Patton, Kendra discovers the location of one of the hidden artifacts. The problem is, it is hidden in the middle of a dragon sanctuary and guarded by an unknown number of dragons.
Kendra and other members of the Knights of Dawn set out for the sanctuary hoping that they know enough and have skill enough to find the artifact…and stay alive. As usual, Seth follows his instincts instead of the rules and manages to stow away on the trip. And it’s a good thing. What makes each of them strong is made even stronger when they are together, a fact that really becomes clear this time around. I can’t wait for number 5.
Nic Bishop, who also wrote Nic Bishop Spiders and Nic Bishop Frogs, has now turned his camera lens toward butterflies and moths. He continues to capture really amazing pictures of animals. You really have to see the rain forest caterpillar on page 16. When it’s scared, it flips its upper body over and puffs up its head so that it looks exactly like a poisonous snake – really. If you didn’t know it was a caterpillar you’d never guess.
Jamie’s teacher assigns keeping a diary for three weeks, something Jamie is all over…until she finds out the diary entries will be read by EVERYONE. Even though the author’s name will be anonymous, this clearly violates the Sacred Secrecy of Dairies.
And how can Jamie violate that? She won’t, so she writes a a fake diary to turn in at school, and lucky for us, keeps her real diary too. That’s how we find out Jamie has a new attachment to her nemsis Angeline. Jamie’s dog Stinker has gone and had puppies with Angeline’s dog Stickybuns. According to Jamies, this makes she and Angeline not related exactly, but dog-in-laws. “In-laws are like a side order that you didn’t ask for that comes with the food you DID order.”
Dandelion Fire picks up the adventure begun in 100 Cupboards. Henry York is back in his Kansas bedroom sleeping next to his wall of 99 cupboard doors that lead to other worlds. Henry can’t sleep and he can’t stop thinking about what lies behind the doors.
When Henry discovers that he and uncle Frank actually come from one of the other worlds behind the magic cupboards, Henry can’t resist exploring in the cupboards again. Henry’s cousin Henrietta also can’t resist and is soon caught up in her own adventure. When uncle Frank goes after them, the family becomes hopelessly separated – scattered in different parts of the magical world Henry and uncle Frank come from. And there is evil there waiting for them – the Witch of Endor and her evil accomplice. Will it be divide and conquer? Or will Henry’s family overcome the evil forces that are out to destroy them?
If you haven’t already, I think you’ll want to read 100 Cupboards first so that you understand how the magical doors work. These are imaginative and original – who wouldn’t want to be able to adventure through magical doors? It’s like the door in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe…only 98 more! Author: N.D. Wilson