Isabelle is an orphan. She works in a factory to pay the rent and buy food for herself and the ailing elderly lady who adopted her. Her job? Sticking address labels on umbrella boxes…all…day…long. And she’s only ten! It rains all the time in her town. She doesn’t even know what sunshine feels like.
Even though this life sounds miserable, Isabelle is sure that one day, something special will happen to her and one day, something special does! Isabelle unexpectedly receives a perfect red apple from a very unusual source. This gift begins Isabelle’s journey to her home, not her room in the attic of the decrepit boardinghouse, but her real home - Fortune’s Magic Farm. The Farm is Isabelle’s real home, it’s the place where the ingredients for magic potions are grown. At the Farm, Isabelle meets some people like herself – special people who have an important job to do saving the world from misery and unhappiness. Author: Suzanne Selfors
Isabelle reminds me a lot of Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Charlie is also down on his luck when he finds the golden ticket – his ticket to a magical place that is actually meant for him, like he was destined to go there. Isabelle is destined to go to Fortune’s Magic Farm too.
I loved the characters in this book. In Isabelle’s crummy town, Runny Cove, there are some real meanies. On Fortune’s Magic Farm there are some really fun, crazy characters – crazy in a good way – like Willy Wonka.
A plane makes an unscheduled landing at an airport. There is no record of it landing, not even radar images. No airport personnel seem to know where the plane came from or who could be on it. The cockpit windows are dark. The plane just sits on the runway with no passengers getting off. Finally, an airline employee looks in the plane and discovers that each seat is occupied…by a baby…and there are no adults on board…not even a pilot!
Fast forward 13 years to friends Jonah and Chip who begin receiving mysterious warnings in the mail that say “You are one of the missing” and “Beware! They’re coming back to get you.” What do the letters mean? With the help of Jonah’s sister, the boys set out to find the story of their past. Using computers and cell phones the kids follow clues and learn that their adoptions are somehow tied to the FBI. The warning letters keep coming. People the kids talk to about their situation seem to appear and disappear out of nowhere.
This is a really exciting, original adventure/mystery. Don’t think you’ll get all the answers at the end either – Found is just the beginning. Book #2 called Sent will come out August 25, 2009. There will be seven books in all. Author: Margaret Haddix Series: The Missing
If you like Margaret Haddix, try her series The Shadow Children. If you are reading The 39 Clues – Margaret Haddix will be the author writing the last book, #10, that will come out in 2010. If you haven’t tried the 39 Clues yet, start with book #1 The Maze of Bones.
Find out more about Chip and Jonah in book #2 Sent and book #3 Sabotaged or try one of these other time-bending adventures:
During a war hundreds of years ago, the seven sons of King Agamon of Balabad were each given a key. The seven keys were part of the security built around a grand treasure. The sons were sent to seven different places in the world to keep themselves (and the keys) safe until the war was over. Only when the keys came together again could the treasure of Balabad be found again.
500 years have passed since the seven sons were sent into the world. The sons are long gone, the fate of the keys unknown.
In today’s Balabad, a tiny (made up) Middle Eastern country, Oliver Finch is living with his parents, his Dad a foreign correspondant and his mom an art curator. Oliver is homesick for his friends, movies, pizza and everything familiar about New York City. Oliver and his only friend Zee find amusement and relief from the heat and blowing sand in the tent of the local carpet seller, Haji, an excellent storyteller.
One day, the boys learn about the theft of a 500 year-old carpet, The Sacred Carpet of Agamon. Then Zee overhears his father having a curious conversation and then Zee finds something interesting…an old key….and then Haji disappears under mysterious circumstances. An Indiana Jones-like adventure with a secret map, a cavern of mazes, greedy bad guys and smart kids who figure out the clues that lead to the secret of the seven keys.
This story is based on a real treasure found in Afghanistan called the Golden Hoard of Bactria. The treasure lay buried under a hill for 2,000 years before it was found again in the late 1970s.
Conn is an orphan surviving the best he can picking locks, thieving and picking pockets. One night, he picks the pocket of the powerful wizard, Neverly Flinglas. Conn gets the wizard’s locus magicalicus, a stone that is the center of the magician’s power. Nevery isn’t mad that Conn tried to pick his pocket, he’s astonished that touching the magic stone didn’t kill Conn. No one else is supposed to be able to touch a wizard’s stone. Intrigued, Nevery takes on Conn as a servant and when Conn shows he indeed has a mysterious and powerful attraction to magic and magical things, Neverly makes him his apprentice.
The two of them get caught up in a magical investigation when Neverly is hired to figure out why magic is draining away from their city. This story has it all: wizards, a power hungry crime boss, friends, enemies, spying & betrayal. Nevery and Conn are both great characters. Neverly is grouchy and stern, but Conn is so endearing, smart and funny he manages to weasel his way straight into Nevery’s heart…although Neverly would never admit it. Author: Sarah Prineas
Great reading in league with Harry Potter, Septimus Heap and The Bartimaeus Trilogy.
The Irregulars, those delinquent Girl Scouts: Kiki, Ananka, Oona, Betty & Iris, are still protecting the secret city that lies beneath Manhatten. Trouble comes from an unlikely insider when it is discovered that Oona’s father is Lester Liu, the New York gangster they are protecting the secret city FROM.
The trouble is, Oona has known this all along and never told the Irregulars. Oona wants to trust that her Dad has turned over a new leaf but the Irregulars are skeptical and hatch a plan to find out what Lester is up to as well as keep an eye on Oona while she is in Lester’s mansion. Illegal immigrants, Russian operatives, an art museum and a Chinese mummy all play a part in the mystery of Lester Liu’s new life. Is he really turning into Daddy of the Year or is this just another plan to line his wealthy pockets? The Irregulars won’t stop until they find out the truth.