Zoe wants to learn to play the piano more than anything but has to settle for a wheezy Perfectone D-60 organ that her Dad brings home. Instead of playing classical music Zoe is left with organ versions of old TV theme songs. Things just aren’t right, and it’s not just the organ. Zoe’s mom is always at work, her Dad is afraid to leave the house and a weird boy from school starts following her home from school every day! When Zoe enters an organ competition, she and and the people around her find out that trying your best, even if it is on a wheezy old organ, is what really matters. Zoe finds that her life isn’t perfect, but it’s perfect enough. Available on CD. Author: Linda Urban
That wimp Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid is back. In Rodrick Rules, Greg tells us about his summer vacation and his plan to stay out of trouble when he returns to middle school. (I’m pretty sure he can’t do it!) His bigger problem though, is keeping his brother Rodrick from telling everyone about Greg’s most embarrassing experience of the summer. If you missed Greg’s first story, you can read it online on Funbrain. You can also watch aninterview with Jeff Kinney, the author. He shares everything you ever wanted to know about Greg and his story. Author: Jeff Kinney
It is with a lot of sad feelings that we read about the flooding in Indiana and the tornado in Iowa that killed four boy scouts. As the story of those events continues to unfold, a single message is very clear: knowing what to do saves lives. The story of the boy scouts in particular points out the fact that kids like you can, and do, make a difference in an emergency. It’s good to know about the different kinds of disasters so you can be prepared to take care of yourself, and maybe some of the people around you:
Thinking about these disasters can be scary. Sometimes, it helps to read about events that are scary in a fiction book. Reading about the event helps us live the experience…without actually having to live it. We can envision ourselvs in the situation and ask good questions while we have time to get good answers. Where should I go at home if a tornado is coming?
There is a fiction book some of you might be interested in called Night of the Howling Dogs. It is the story of a boy scout troup that is camping in Hawaii on Kilauea (a volcano) when an earthquake strikes and their campsite is overrun by a tsunami. It sounds like an, “oh, that would never happen” kind of story…but it is based on the true experience of a boy scout troup in 1975. One of the boy scouts that was actually there, is the cousin of the author. Like the boy scouts in Iowa, the scouts in this story use their knowledge of first aid & search & rescue, as well as courage and strength, to help each other survive. Author: Graham Salisbury
Two thumbs up to all boy scouts and the skills they learn, and our sympathies for the losses they have suffered this week.
13 year-old Otto finds himself spirited away to a secret school hidden inside a volcano. The school is designed to train supervillains, that’s right, a school for the bad guys. The kids at the school are the most athletic, the most computer savvy, and the smartest in the world. They are also the most daring young hackers, thieves and cons. Soon after arriving Otto realizes that leaving is not an option. Along with his new friends: a marital arts expert, a computer genius and a world famous jewel thief, can Otto achieve what has never been done before and break out of H.I.V.E.? Author: Mark Walden
Another book of poems from Jack Prelutsky, the guy who brought you the lines “Homework! Oh Homework! I hate you! You stink! I wish I could wash you away in the sink.” (from The New Kid on the Block) Laugh outloud poems to last all day. Author: Jack Prelutsky