When Jim’s sister Becky informs him she overheard a teacher saying he is a lazy nuisance and likely being sent to Fenham – a school for kids with problems – Jim doesn’t know if the story is true, or he’s being punked. Becky isn’t exactly trustworthy, but at the same time, what if it’s true?
The only way to know for sure is to do some investigating. Jim’s friend Charlie has the just the thing – a set of walkie talkies. One walkie talkie can be hidden in the teacher’s lounge while Jim and Charlie listen in on the conversation on the other.
This terrific plan goes bad when A.) the teacher’s lounge conversations are too boring for words and B.) Jim and Charlie overhear something odd. Something crazy. Something they just can’t leave alone. The thing is SO huge and SO not able to be ignored the two break into their teacher’s house to get to the bottom of it…and find out more than they ever wanted to know. Sometimes, teachers seems like they are from Mars…but what if your teacher really is an alien? What if the alien plan is to destroy the earth? What can a couple lazy nuisance kids do about it? Jim and Charlie are about to show what a real nuisance they can be! Author: Mark Haddon
Jamie Kelly’s got some big plans for her summer vacation including swimming with dolphins and watching every scary movie ever made. Her best friend Isabella has a list too. They combine the two lists for a shared “List of Summer Excellence.” The problem is that every single thing on their lists costs money, which they don’t have.
At dinner tonight, I talked a little about my summer plans. Mom and Dad made their “expensive” face at every one of my ideas. I don’t know how they do it, but they have a way of tilting their heads and twisting their eyebrows as if to say, “That Costs Too Much,” without ever actually opeing their mouths. It’s like living with a pair of disapproving mimes. (page 18)
Things start to look up for The Summer of Excellence when Jamie’s Uncle Dan and Aunt Carol come over and announce that they will take Jamie, Isabella, & their other (sort of) friend Angeline (who happens to be Uncle Dan’s niece) to Screamotopia, an amusement park at which they can accomplish one of their Summer of Excellence goals – ride a roller coaster.
Uncle Dan and Aunt Carol will pay for the car trip and the hotel – the three girls have to come up with the price of admission. No problem, they say. They can babysit, walk dogs, wash cars, sell lemonade - it will be noooo problem coming up with $100 a piece in 3 weeks. Exept we’re talking Jamie Kelly here. If there was ever a kid who could turn a group project into a disaster…it’s her! Laugh outloud funny diary entries from the one and only Jamie Kelly. If you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, give these a try. Author: Jim Benton
Willa still lives in Cape Cod with her Mom and Stepdad at the Bramblebriar Inn. She’s looking forward to a great summer with her best friend Tina and her boyfriend JFK. But before the summer really gets started Tina starts hanging out a lot with Ruby and JFK goes to baseball camp leaving Willa to wonder what happened to her fabulous summer.
And then there’s the new boy, Will. He seems pretty interested in Willa and he has a pretty big secret that involves Willa too. Should JFK be jealous?
Podunk, rain-soaked Elbow, home of Herman’s Devil Tongue Relish, is not the place to be stuck for a whole summer. The Devil Tongue Relish comes in three strengths: Easy Does It, Turning Up the Heat, and Burning Down the House. What goes on in Elbow comes in three strengths: boring, more boring & even more boring.
The kids stuck in Elbow for the summer call themselves the Raintown Convicts – they have no escape from the town, the boredom, or each other…until the morning Sam knocks on Bea’s door and insists on showing her something. It’s the morning that changes everything.
Bea & Sam round up all the Convicts: Madison, Butterfly & Eric and they begin a summer of sneaking, running, climbing, riding bikes & stealing a car to solve a mystery in their normally boring, but now very, very interesting town. What’s so interesting? How about–
a fortune teller
a loyal dog
a secret cave
a forgotten attic
a dead body…intestines…an eyeball…& pickles!
If you like the movie Goonies you’ll like this one. Five kids with nothing in common stuck together for a mystery/adventure they’ll never forget. Did you catch the part about intestines and an eyeball? They’re in there. Really. Gross in the funnest possible sense. Author: Rebecca Promitzer
The sweet, streetwise gutterboy Conn and the crusty, lovable old wizard Nevery are back for a third magical adventure in the city of Welmet. Conn is in hiding after breaking out of the Dawn Palace prison. He’s holed up in secret within Welment, helping Nevery devise some kind of plan to keep an evil magic from taking over the city.
What Conn needs is a new locus magicalicus, the stone that focuses a wizard’s magic – kind of like a wand. Conn sacrificed his locus stone to save Welmet in The Magic Thief: Lost. Nevery and Conn discover a finding spell that will lead Conn to a new locus stone. The spell scorches a fiery line right through Welmet and out of sight. At the end of the spell-line, somewhere, lies Conn’s locus stone. Conn sets out on a long, hard and dangerous journey, lucky for him he’s still got Rowan on his side. But even Rowan, who can handle a sword like nobody else, can keep Conn safe when a dragon snatches him up right before her eyes. Author: Sarah Prineas
Don’t miss #1 The Magic Thief and #2 The Magic Thief: Lost. If you like Nevery and Conn and the whole mentor/apprentice part of the story, try Magyk, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone or The Books of Umber: Dragon Games. If what you like is dragons, try Fablehave: Secret of the Dragon Sanctuary, The Dragon of Trelian or Where teh Mountain Meets the Moon. All very, very good!