Geronimo Stilton’s cousin Trap shows up with a treasure map he found in a trunk belonging to the Stilton’s adventerous Uncle Wally – a rodent Indiana Jones. Geronimo and Trap team up with Thea and Benjamin Stilton and travel to Mongolia and its famous Gobi Desert in search of the treasure. They travel by plane, bus & camel, sleep in a Mongolian gher (tent) and sample delicious Mongolian food – sausages with steamed onion and meat ravioli. Yum! Little do they know that they are not alone in the search for the buried treasure. Out in the desert – danger awaits – and it isn’t just the heat, scorpions & sand storms! Everybody wants this treasure – it’s huge! Author: Geronimo Stilton Illustrator: Claudio Cernuschi and Christian Aliprandi
“We’ve danced on the biggest stage in the world.” Five orphaned rats – Benny, Fletcher, Ella, Woody, and Monk – have dreams of following in their parents’ footsteps and making it big in show business. The adventures of the newly organized group, The Rattoons, take readers into the underground world of Rat Hallow, Big City, and the Crystal as they chase their biggest dream for a chance to perform at the legendary Boom Boom Room. Their story offers a ground up view of New York City and some important lessons that they learn along the way. Author: Elizabeth Winthrop Illustrator: Betsy Lewin
Recommended by Janet Spaulding, Glendale Branch Library
While their rambling space station home is being renovated, Art, Myrtle and their 4 million year-old space alien Mom accept an invitation to a vacation resort located out in the far reaches of the universe. The resort, it’s guests and the resort’s owner are not at all what they first appear. Creepy attack puppets, aliens disquised as hats that attach to your head and control your every thought, a maniac evil genius bent on dominating the universe…the usual for Art and Myrtle. Luckily, their favorite space pirate Jack Havock is at the resort too, undercover and ready for action. If you haven’t read Larklight, read it first, then read Starcross – you will be happy to know that a third book called Mothstorm is on the way (Oct. 14, 2008), and that the series has been optioned for a movie. Author: Philip Reeve Illustrator: David Wyatt
In 1832, three-year-old Laura Bridgman and her two sisters were stricken with scarlet fever. In those days, there were no antiobotics or fever reducing medicines. Laura’s two sisters died. Laura’s fever lasted for many weeks and left her blind, deaf and without her senses of taste and smell. The only sense Laura had left was touch. Like Helen Keller, who was born many years later, Laura was often frustrated and threw temper tantrums, angry about her inability to make other people understand what she wanted.
Luckily, a man named Samuel Howe was at the same time opening a school for the blind and figuring out ways to help deaf and blind children learn. (It later became the Perkins School for the Blind.) Laura went to live at Mr. Howe’s school and he was able to teach her to read and write. Laura became famous. The English writer Charles Dickens even came to visit her and included a story about her in his book American Notes. 40 years later, Helen Keller’s mother read that book by Charles Dickens and realized that her daughter Helen cold be helped! Can you imagine her reaction when she was reading, realizing that there was another girl like Helen who had learned to read!
It was Laura Bridgman who taught Annie Sullivan how to fingerspell. Annie Sullian became Helen Keller’s teacher. I never knew there were deaf and blind students before Helen Keller that could communicate like her. It was Laura, not Helen, that was the very first deaf and blind student to learn to read and write.
It is hard to even imagine…living in silence and darkness…and then having someone teach you how to share your thoughts with others. What a miracle! In the biography below Helen talks about what it was like to learn how to read…and then what it felt like to go to the Perkins School for the blind and meet other blind children who could also fingerspell…she had friends for the very first time. Cool! Author: Sally Hobart Alexander
So, it was Mr. Samuel Howe who worked with Laura and taught her how to fingerspell. Laura taught Anne and Anne taught Helen. It all started with Mr. Howe. His methods are still used today to teach deaf and blind students how to read and write. Now that’s one guy who made a big difference.
House Jackson, team captain and star pitcher of the Aurora County All-Stars, loves baseball. He’s had a bum year nursing a broken elbow – an elbow broken by his least favorite girl in the world, Frances Shotz. While sitting out the last season, House’s father ropes home into reading classic books outloud to a bed bound old guy the other kids call “mean man Boyd”. The thing is, House likes Mr. Norwood Rhinehart Beauregard Boyd. Embarrassed about how he’s spent his time, House manages to keep his reading aloud secret, until Mr. Boyd dies and leaves House a note that sets in motion the revelation of several town secrets. The secrets unravel as Frances and House battle over which event will occur on July fourth, the town’s bicentennial pageant or the annual fourth of July baseball game. Author: Deborah Wiles