Despereaux is a lovable big-eared underdog, um, mouse. When he’s born, he’s too small and his ears are too big and his eyes are weird. He’s so puny no one thinks he will even live. Even his own mother describes him as a disappointment. Now that’s sad. And as he grows, he’s just not good at being a mouse, but he’s got dreams, big ones. Go see the movie (opens Dec. 19), sure, but don’t miss the book, Despereaux might be tiny but he’s one mighty mouse. Author: Kate DiCamillo
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
Franny, Pru, and Cat all live on Gumm Street in the town of Sherbet. Three girls with three different personalities. The fact is, they don’t even like each other. But then some weird things begin to happen on their street…about the time a girl named Ivy moves in. First, a man claiming to be 122 years-old gives Ivy some familiar looking red slippers and then disappears. Then, a once in a lifetime storm blows through bringing with it a mysterious women who won’t give up until the red slippers are hers. The four girls put aside their differences to face off against the wicked witc…I mean woman. If you like The Wizard of Oz you’ll like visiting Sherbet and the adventure that happens to four girls there. Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow & the Lion all learned a lot in Oz – these four girls do too – especially about what it is to be a good friend. Author & Illustrator: Elise Primavera
Stephanie leads a very ordinary life until the death of her novel-writing uncle Gordon. In his will, Uncle Gordon leaves Stephanie his mansion and everything in it. She also inherits Uncle Gordon’s mysterious friend, Skulduggery Pleasant, who just happens to be a wise-cracking, classic car driving detective, an impeccable dresser…and a skeleton with magical abilities!
When a crazed stranger tries to break into Stephanie’s house, it’s Skulduggery who comes to her rescue and reveals a world within her world…a world with magic and vampires and and a slew of creepy villains bent on taking over the world. This is about as perfect a Halloween adventure as you can get – action packed creature combat, a little magic and very funny. Stephanie doesn’t have to worry, Skulduggery’s watching her back…even if he doesn’t have one! The sequel just came out. It’s called Playing with Fire and it’s just as good! Author: Derek Landy
The 39 Clues is a series of ten books that tells the story of a world-wide treasure hunt. It reminds me a lot of National Treasure. You can solve puzzles and look for the 39 clues yourself by reading the books and playing online – you just might win a prize.
To find the 39 Clues: Read the Books – Each 39 Clues book unlocks one Clue. Collect the Cards – Game cards help reveal Clues. Play the Game – Find Clues through online missions.
The first book is called The Maze of Bones. It was written by Rick Riordan – the author who writes the Percy Jackson books. The next nine books will follow one at a time through September 2010. (Number two comes out Dec. 2.)
The Maze of Bones starts off the adventure when Dan and Amy Cahill’s Grandmother dies and includes them in her will. At the reading of the will, Dan and Amy are given the choice of receiving a million dollars instantly or receiving the first of 39 clues that are hidden around the world. They are told that the clues will lead to the source of the family’s power. To accept the first clue means giving up the million dollars. It also means competing against other Cahill family members. Some family members are annoying, some mysterious, and some downright dangerous. Dan and Amy take the first clue of course and it’s up to them (and you) to find the clues. Try to do it without getting blown up, OK? Author: Rick Riordan