Mibs Beaumont is almost ready to turn thirteen and waiting to finally find out what her special talent is going to be. In Mibs’ family, turning 13 is more than just growing into your natural talents, like playing the violin or scoring soccer goals or being good at listening to other people’s troubles. In Mibs’ family turning thirteen means growing into your savvy. Mibs’ Great-aunt Jules could step back twenty minutes in time every time she sneezed. Her cousin Olive can melt ice with a single red-hot stare. Mibs’ can’t wait to figure out what she’ll get..but she’s kind of scared too. Because these talents, however magical, are also dangerous. Her savvy could be something cool, like x-ray vision. It could be something dangerous, like fire, or worse, something boring!
When Mibs’ Dad is in a terrible accident all she really wants is the savvy power of healing. She’s so sure that this is her destiny, she manages to highjack a bus in an attempt to get to the hospital and prove her talents before it’s too late. As if she isn’t in trouble enough, her brothers and the preacher’s kids are all stowaways! On the bus, Mibs’ savvy starts to show, and it isn’t at all what she had in mind! If Mibs’ can finally get the bus to the hospital, will her savvy make any difference at all? Author: Ingrid Law
This one is optioned for a movie by the same people who made the Narnia movies, Holes, The Bridge to Terabithia and Because of Winn-Dixie. If I could, I’d buy my ticket today.
In the 1970s “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” was a regular television show watched by a lot of people. Jacques Cousteau was the host of the show – an adventurer, explorer and teacher who took his boat called the Calypso all over the world filming amazing underwater creatures to show the rest of us. Jacques was like Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, but without all the “Crikey!” and alligator wrestling.
This book is the story of Jacques life as an adventurer and inventor. He helped develop the aqua lung – the tank that allows people to breath underwater. Jacques’s message about keeping the ocean clean and protecting ocean creatures was way ahead of everyone else. Jacques was green before being green was cool! Author: Jennifer Berne Illustrator: Éric Puybaret
If you want to know what it was really like during the California Gold Rush, this book is a great place to start. It isn’t a textbook telling all the facts, this is the inside story of the gold rush told by one of the miners himself, Thomas Hartley. Thomas tells the story from the day he heard about the discovery of gold in California. All the people around him can talk about is gold, “how much and how to get it and how to spend it once you’ve got it.” Of course, they forget to talk about all the work…and the danger. Thomas’s story includes blisters and rotting teeth, scurvy, dysentery, scheamers, crooks and murderers. A true adventure that just might end in fortune. Author: Tod Olson Illustrator: Scott Allred
Gary Paulsen, the author of this book, calls it “the true and fictional account of the most valiant marshal in the West.” Mr. Paulsen adds a little here and there to fill in the places where history left gaps…but for the most part, this is the story of a real guy – the first African-American U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi – and this was in the 1870s! Bass became a legend, even in his own time. Some outlaws turned themselves in once they heard it was Bass that would be looking for them!
Bass was born to slave parents in the 1830s but escaped to the Indian Territory during the Civil War and lived with the Seminole and Creek Indians. After the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in 1863, Bass returned from the Indian Territory and settled in Arkansas. Because he knew how to speak several tribal languages and knew the land so well, he was hired as a U.S. Marshal. In his lifetime he brought in over 3,000 outlaws. This book is the story of how he went from being a child slave to being one of the most respected lawmen in the West. A really inspiring story and fun to read too. Bass was not boring and thought up all kinds of interesting ways to trap outlaws or trick them into custody. He could fight and he could shoot when he had too, but mostly, he was smart! Truly, one-of- kind! Author: Gary Paulsen
This Rapunzel is no princess in distress waiting to be rescued, in fact, she’s an Old West cowgirl ready for action. She can handle those braids like Indiana Jones and his whip. When Rapunzel discovers that she is indeed strandard in the tower until death, she makes a daring escape and discovers the truth about her stay in the tower and about what lies behind the wall that encircles her kingdom. She sets out to right the many wrongs that have been done against her and the people she cares about. This one is a graphic novel – it looks like a comic book inside. Take a look at the excerpt to see what I mean – it is action packed and a lot of fun! Author: Shannon Hale Illustrator: Nathan Hale