Some kids find out they are really a wizard with magical powers. Some kids find out their dad is a Greek God. Other kids work at a pizza shop.
But wait, Killer Pizza isn’t just any pizza shop. Sure it puts out tasty, cheesy pies, but Killer Pizza is much more. Killer Pizza is the front for a top-secret monster fighting organization that recruits and trains top notch monster hunters.
As a new recruit, Toby feels anything but top notch, but the more he learns and trains, the more he understands that he and his friends Annabel and Strobe are all that keep their town from certain monster doom.
Their pizza delivery uniforms are perfect disguises and pizza delivery the perfect cover for stakeouts all over town. It’s not Men in Black it’s “Kids in Black Backpacks,” but still, they’re saving the world. These Monster Combat Officers are ready for action. Author: Greg Taylor
Don’t miss Terrorpalooza! At The Learning Curve @ Central Library on October 29th at 7pm in the Auditorim as the Learning Curve, Herron High School, and Young Actor’s Theatre present a fright-filled Film premiere and performance event.
Ryan is stuck at home recovering from a broken leg. This is his journal. Ryan is keeping the journal because something scary has happened and writing in the journal helps him deal with his lingering fear.
Despite the accident and the broken leg, Ryan and his best friend Sarah Fincher are determined to investigate the strange things that happen in their hometown of Skeleton Creek. The two friends have been forbidden to see each other – they get into too much trouble when they are together. But they find a way to keep in touch through secert e-mail messages.
Sarah is still out looking for clues. She sends Ryan video clips of her ongoing investigation. As you read Ryan’s journal, he tells you when Sarah has sent him a new video. He gives you the url and password you need to go on the internet and watch the video. (You can really do this – her videos are really there on the internet.) Sarah’s video clips are pretty creepy and Ryan sounds very scared in his journal. Going back and fourth between the book and the videos draws you in to their experience and why they feel so unsettled about what they have discovered.
Ryan and Sarah have uncovered something important in Skeleton Creek…and the adults don’t want to talk about it. Author: Patrick Carman Series: Skeleton Creek
As a little girl, Ali’s mom spent her summers at a Main beach house with her parents and her sister Dulcie. Whenever the beach house is mentioned, Ali’s mom begins to act strange, and Ali’s mom has never wanted to go back to the beach house, even though it sits there, still owned by the family.
One day, Ali finds an old picture of her mom and her aunt taken when the two were little girls. Oddly, a third little girl has been torn from the picture. Who is that girl? And why won’t Ali’s mom talk about her?
Ali’s mom is not happy when Aunt Dulcie invites Ali to the beach house for the summer. Ali is hoping to relax, far away from her mom’s over-protective hovering. One day at the beach, Ali and her cousin Emma meet a little girl named Sissy. At first Sissy is nice, and seems like a good playmate for Emma, but she soon reveals herself to be an angry, mean little girl who delights in scaring Emma with a story about Theresa, a girl who drowned at the beach about the time Ali’s mom was a kid. A girl whose body was never found. Are you creeped out yet? You will be! Author: Mary Downing Hahn
When Coraline moves into a new house she’s lonely and bored. Her parents are busy and she hasn’t made any friends yet. One day she finds a hidden door. When she goes through the door she enters a world that is a dream come true, a world like her world…only better! Her house is there, only better. Her bedroom has in it what she’s always wanted. Her parents are there, only better. They have time for her and are even fun. And suddenly, her mom can cook delicious meals!
But Coraline’s mom and dad are also different, their eyes are nothing but empty…black…buttons. They want her to sew buttons over her own eyes and stay with them forever. Horrified, Coraline runs back through the hidden door to her own world only to find that her real parents are missing – taken by the “other” mother and trapped in the “other” world. To get them back, Coraline has to return and confront the “other” mother.
Talk about creepy! Monsters and vampires and other things can be scary but you know that really they can’t be real. But what if the scary thing is disguised as something familiar, like your mother? This “other” mother reveals herself to be a very spooky woman! She eats black beetles with her long spindly fingers and tells Coraline that her parents don’t really love her anymore. Coraline’s “real” family might not be perfect, but she wishes them back more than anything, more than glitzy toys and good food and getting her every wish. It takes all of Coraline’s wits and bravery to outsmart the “other” mother and bring her family home. Author: Neil Gaiman
You can read this one two ways, as a regular book or a graphic novel, and you can also go see the movie, it opens Feb. 6th. The author also wrote The Graveyard Book – don’t miss that one either!
“There was a hand in the darkness and it had a knife. The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut, not immediately. The knife had done almost everything it was brought to that house to do, and both the blade and the handle were wet.” And you know why the blade and handle are wet, even though the book doesn’t say. Scary. Really scary.
But one person escapes the house, a toddler who makes his way to the neighboring graveyard and is taken under the protection of the resident ghosts to keep him safe from the mysterious man with the knife. And that, this very unconventional family, not the knife, is the heart of the story.
At first, the ghosts in the graveyard have a discussion about whether or not it is OK to keep the baby and raise it in the confines of the graveyard. A childless ghost couple, Mr. and Mrs. Owens, agree to raise the baby as their own. But as one of the graveyard inhabitants points out, “It is going to take more than just a couple of good-hearted souls to raise this child. It will take a graveyard.” And so the group agrees to offer the little boy protection from the danger that lies outside the graveyard fence and raise him as their own, a living boy in a village of spirits, ghosts and ghouls.
The Graveyard Book is a really delicious story about what makes a family and how that family raises up a child to go out into the world and face the dangers there. This book was just named this morning as the 2009 Newbery Medal Winner. One of the links below is to a set of online videos of the author, Neil Gaiman, reading the whole book outloud. Yes, you can listen to the whole thing. Cool! Author: Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book Trailer Narrated by Neil Gaiman:
And here is a review of this book from Bethany, a reader of IMCPL’s Readers Connection:
A murderer goes after an entire family, but the youngest member — just a toddler — manages to slip away… and toddle into a nearby graveyard. There, the toddler becomes Nobody “Bod” Owens and is raised as a living boy among the dead. Bod is taught the secrets of the graveyard, how to Fade and frighten people, but he craves human companionship. As he grows up, it becomes clear that those who originally wanted to do Bod harm want to see the job finished.
This is another one of those books that shouldn’t be labeled as a kid’s book, becaus grown-ups really should read it too. Gaiman’s spooky riff on Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” is great storytelling, with a full cast of delightful characters. Bod’s struggle to figure out what it means to be human among a graveyard full of dead people from different times is poignant and surprising.