Tag Archives: Friendship

Alchemy and Meggy Swann

Alchemy and Meggy Swann

Alchmey and Meggy Swann

Turned out by her mother and sent to live with her father, Meggy shows up in London and her dad wastes no time showing his disappointment. “What use is a daughter to me?” (page #8) He was expecting a boy. I guess he didn’t pay too much attention when Meggy was born.

So Meggy’s stuck in London at her father’s house where it is dark and cold and quiet. Meggy has no food. Her dad seems to have let her in the door and then promptly forgotten she exists. He’s closed up in his shop studying alchemy, searching for the elixir of life…while Meggy sits cold and alone, starving.

Enter Roger, her dad’s errand boy. Roger knows his way around London. Roger knows how to get food. Roger knows how to survive. Roger also knows how to smile, have fun…and be a friend, something Meggy has never had before. Author: Karen Cushman

If you like stories like Meggy’s set in the Middle Ages try some of these. They also feature tough kids, some orphaned like Meggy, living in a time period that was rough even for people in a family. These kids are survivors in the worst of circumstances. They are feisty and strong and often funny too, like Roger. Some of them are girls trying to be feisty and strong at a time when girls were really not supposed to act that way.
The Midwife's Apprentice Catherine Called Birdy The Door in the Wall Crispin the Cross of Lead
The Ramsay Scallop Alanna The First Adventure The Trumpeter of Krakow
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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 seem 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 

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If you like Jim and Charlie’s outer space adventure try these:
Mike Stellar Nerves of Steel The Doom Machine Cosmic The True Meaning of Smekday
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Dear Dumb Diary, The Worst Things in Life are Also Free

Dear Dumb Diary, The Worst Things in Life are Also Free

The Worst Things in Life Are Also Free

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

Jim Benton – The Worst Things in Life Are Also Free (Dear Dumb Diary) from Expanded Books on Vimeo.

Dear Dumb Diary Series:

#1 Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
#2 My Pants are Haunted (When Bad Clothes Happen to Good People)
#3 Am I the Princess or the Frog
#4 Never Do Anything, Ever
#5 Can Adults Become Human?
#6 The Problem with Here is That it’s Where I’m From
#7 Never Underestimate Your Dumbness
#8 It’s Not My Fault I Know Everything
#9 That’s What Friends Aren’t For
#10 The Worst Things in Life are Also Free
#11: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers
#12: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)

Dear Dumb Diary Year Two Series:

#1 School Hasn’t This Gone on Long Enough?
#2 The Super Nice are Super Annoying
#3 Nobody’s Perfect I’m as Close as it Gets
#4 What I Don’t Know Might Hurt Me
#5 You Can Bet on That
#6 Live Each Day to the Dumbest

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Wish I Might

Wish I Might

Wish I Might

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?

Look Inside Wish I Might

Other Books from the Life of Willa Havisham:
#1 The Wedding Planner’s Daughter on CD
#2 The Cupid Chronicles on CD
#3 Willa By Heart
#4 Forget Me Not
#5 Wish I Might

If you like Willa you’ll like these girls too. They are also trying to figure out their family, their friends, their (maybe) boyfriends and all the other things that come with Middle School.
My Life in Pink and Green The Cupcake Queen Every Soul a Star Finally
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The Pickle King

The Pickle King

The Pickle King

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 ghost
  • an asylum
  • a fortune teller
  • a ring
  • a loyal dog
  • a secret cave
  • a dump
  • a forgotten attic
  • a diner
  • a camera
  • 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

More teams of kids solving over-the-top mysteries:
Goonies Canned The Mysterious Benedict Society The Secret of Zoom
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