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.
The rest of this title is “How Alice Roosevelt broke the rules, charmed the world, and drove her father Teddy crazy!” That about says it all. Alice was a teenager when her father, Theodore Roosevelt, became president. She is really fun to read about – talk about a free spirit! Alice drove her car fast, stayed out late and even liked horse racing and poker. She kept a pet snake…at the White House! Not your usual presidential behavior! Her own dad described her as an unruly, inconsiderate tomboy. He famously said “I can be president of the United States, or I can control Alice, I cannot possibly DO BOTH.”
Alice finally did settle down a little. She taught herself from her father’s library and eventually became one of his most trusted advisers. She traveled all over the world making headlines – and making friends. Author: Barbara Kerley Illustrator: Edwin Fotheringham
Hermux Tantamoq is an organized, meticulous little mouse that owns a watch repair shop. He wears clothes decorated with cheese and spoils on his pet ladybug Terfle. Hermux’s ordered life is turned upside down one day when the beautiful, adventurous mouse Linka Perflinger, an accomplished aviator, stops by his shop and drops off her watch for repair – and she needs the watch fixed ASAP!
Hermux knocks himself out getting the watch finished, and then days go by and the mysterious lady mouse never returns. And then out of the blue, a shifty looking rat shows up demanding Linka’s watch. No way will Hermux let the watch go. He is convinced something shady is going on and sets out to follow the evil-looking rat. In no time, Hermux is in over his carefully combed head…mixed up with spies, kidnappers, thieves, even killers! But Hermux is committed to finding Miss Perflinger and musters all the courage and pluck he needs to go undercover and get to the bottom of the mystery. Author: Michael Hoeye