It’s 1852, 12-year-old Omakayas and her family are setting out on a dangerous and uncertain journey. Forced from their land by incoming white settlers, Omakayas and her people are travelling by canoe and by foot west along the shores of Lake Superior in search of a new home. They set out prepared for a long, hard winter but unexpected things happen that put their survival in question. There are unfriendly enemies to avoid, a forest fire and an evil traitor who puts all their lives in peril by stealing their food and other provisions. Near starvation, the group trudges forward bouyed by their attachment to each other and the way of life they cherish. Omakaya’s story shows how people can survive and overcome even the most perilous circumstances. Author: Louise Erdrich
Getting locked out of a hotel room wearing only underwear…hanging from a tree and having your pants fall down…could these two things actually happen to the same person in the same year? Yes, if that person is Greg Heffley! That wimp can’t catch a break. He gets deodorant, a travel dictionary and a laundry bag for Christmas. The cute girl at school does finally write in his yearbook, “I don’t really know you all that well, but you seem O.K., I guess.” Which isn’t bad, until you read what she wrote in Greg’s best friend Rowley’s yearbook “You are so adorable & funny! I hope we have the same homeroom next Year. Stay cute!” Whew. It’s tough being Greg! Author: Jeff Kinney
11 year-old Cass is practical. Her motto is “be prepared.” She is so sure that a disaster is coming that she carries survival gear in her backpack everyday: a flashlight, topographic maps, rope, a first aid kit, matches, a dust mask, etc. Max-Ernest is also eleven. His hair stands on end, he talks all the time and continually tells jokes that aren’t funny. His classmates don’t laugh. They don’t even smile.
Misfits at school, the two tentatively begin a friendship one day on the soccer field when they begin exploring a mysterious box of test tubes labelled “the symphony of smells”. Cass and Max-Ernest discover what they think is a coded SOS message that sends them on the trail of a magician who owned the box, and who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While on the trail, they are pursued by evil Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais, who are also after the box of smells. What do they want with the box and why is it so important? The answer to those questions and many more are in this book, but the book is dangerous.
The author has a warning for you, “Not knowing a secret is just about the worst thing in the world. No, I can think of one thing worse. Knowing a secret. Read on, if you must. But remember, I warned you.” Are you curious? Brave? Are you not afraid to lead a life of crime? If you are all of those things…read on. If you like Molly Moon or The Mysterious Benedict Society, give this one a try. Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Clementine likes to know what the rules are, especially at school. That way she can keep herself from making mistakes. When her regular teacher, Mr. DMatz, becomes a finalist for the Adventures for Teachers Contest and leaves school for a week, Clementine has to get used to the rules of her new substitute teacher…and she doesn’t understand them one bit.
When the Principal announces that Clementine and her friends can help Mr. D’Matz win the Adventures for Teachers Contest by writing a recommendation letter for him, Clementine has a better idea, she’ll write a letter alright, a great letter, a letter that will guarantee he loses – and get rid of that awful substitute teacher forever. Author: Sara Pennypacker
STORM (Society to Over-Rule Misery) is a group of kids brought together by 14 year-old Andrew, a computer genius and software designing multimillionaire. Andrew’s vision is for STORM to use science & technology to make the world a better place…even though the members are all kids. Andrew has recruited Will, an inventor whose specialty is cutting-edge gadgets, Gaia, a brilliant chemist who speaks several different languages, and Caspian, a brilliant astro physicist.
With the latest computer technology at their fingertips, the kids uncover a plan that involves the building of a top secret weapon. Who is building it, and why? Using their brains, their gadgets and their trust in each other, the kids race to find and dismantle the weapon while trying to figure out who is behind the sinister plot.
The author, E.L. Young, a science writer for New Scientist magazine, puts a lot high-tech gadgetry in the story. What’s interesting is that she bases these gadgets on genuine research, inventions & patents. At the end of the book she explains the science and gadgets she has used in STORM. It’s hard to believe some of the things are actually real!
The author says “I wanted to write an exciting story about characters that might in other circumstances be dismissed as nerds. Science isn’t often seen as particularly glamorous. And yet it’s transforming lives all the time, and the biggest threats facing the world today—climate change, water shortages, bio-terror attacks, and so on—need scientific heroes to overcome them.” Author: E.L. Young
If you are a fan of Alex Rider, Artemis Fowl, or H.I.V.E. – give STORM a try. The STORM kids also appear in STORM The Ghost Machine.