AUGUST
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall
A gentle and full of familial love story. For the first time the Penderwicks are going different directions and Skye has to be OAP--the oldest Available Penderwick. The girls minus eldest Rosalind go off for two weeks in Maine in a cottage on the ocean. Full of mild catastrophes, this is perfect for those who love Laura Ingalls Wilder. Pleasant. 3rd+

Virals by Kathy Reichs
The opposite of Penderwicks! Lots of intrigue, scary moments and action. Tory Brennan (yes, Temperance's grand-niece) lives off of Loggerhead Island (Next to Charleston, SC) where her dad does research. Something strange is happening and a wolfdog pup disappears. This gets REALLY complicated really fast and has several gunfights and a couple of murders to be solved. Great for Alex Ryder fans. YA for violence.

The Human Body by Ken Jennings
This is surprisingly fun to read. Lots and lots of trivia in small boxes or short paragraphs. I read it to make sure it was school appropriate and found myself enjoying the read. Jennings has a dry sense of humor that is funny to an adult but not over the heads of a fourth grader. Excellent.

The 39-story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
For some weird reason this truly appeals to my funny bone. Each time the boys are supposed to write and submit a novel to BigNoseBooks, the writing itself becomes the novel. And the ridiculousness just keeps escalating. This time they seek the help of Professor Stupido who uninvents things. But thankfully Terry's spooncil saves the Universe. Perfect. Good 2nd grade+

Aoleon:the Martian Girl by Brent LeVasseur
Part One. The Martian shows up in Gilbert's neighbor's wheat field and he goes back to Mars with her. This picked up at about 70% through. Blah. I didn't like this. The illustrations are computer generated. meh. The language goes from super science (injected with nanobots) to what seemed like junior writing that was edited with a Thesauraus. "the strange light pulsed, changing hue with each beat like fingers reaching skyward, growing steadily brighter. His heart leapt in anticipation..." Also, what passes for humor is odd. The neighbor's dog is Tripod because his owner accidentally shot one leg off. And the President of the US wears fuzzy bunny slippers and drops his robe revealing his underwear. Not really funny. I won't buy this.

Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly
Zoe meets Digby right after moving to noplace in upstate New York after her mom finally leaves her dad. Digby is odd to say the least, but pulls Zoe into his search for answers about two girls who have disappeared-one his sister. This is surprisingly humorous at times. And exciting. It does have some complications that make this more high school. There's a very creepy gynocologist. And a very weird cult across the street. It works. Excellent for high school.

Seizure by Kathy Reichs
Book Two of Virals. Their home is threatened as funding disappears for Loggerhead Island studies. But Tory discovers no one has ever found treasure left by pirate Anne Bonney. Following complex historical clues while being threatened by gun shooting strangers, the pack goes through amazing places. Very very good. YA for violence.

Code by Kathy Reichs
Book Three of Virals. A sociopathic GameMaster has set up a series of clues with codes that get more and more complicated. Tori and her pack are pulled into the deadly game. Not a book to read before bed! Lots of scientific undercurrents. Should appeal to many readers. Very good. YA for violence.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
graphic novel that continues the story of Smile. Callie is the stage manager for the middle school stage production. Drama describes the dating relationships that swirl around the theater though, including a clearly gay student and an ambiguous one. OK. YA for dating and kissing.

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
unusual. This is a pretty easy read. For 4th or 5th grades. But it's also pretty freaky. Tamaya Dhilwaddi and her neighbor Marshall walk home together every day until one day Marshall cuts through the forest to avoid bully Chad. Interspersed with the story is a Congressional hearing about the development of a microbe called Biolene that could fuel our cars for pennies. It's the microbe and the power of exponential multiplication that's the creepy part. Not unusual for YA but yes for intermediate fiction. Very good.

Exposure by Kahty Reichs
Book Four of Virals. Yes more sociopaths. ick. But equally as well written. Plus the plot thickens as Ben is going rogue and the flares seem to be becoming dibilitating. Two of Tory's classmates have been kidnapped and it looks like it's up to our wolfie teens to find them. Quotes like this--"I'll superimpose the Simmons map over the mining chart." Shelton cracked his knuckles...he opened GIMP and got to work." p310. keep this a favorite of nerds and geeks everywhere. Very very good. YA for violence.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeir
Told within the story of a family roadtrip from San Francisco to Colorado for a family reunion, this is the story of Raina growing up with her sister Amara. Graphic novel art is appealling although the switches from trip to flashbacks can be confusing. This is pretty classic love/hate relationship mishaps. OK for 4th+

Walking with the Dead by L.M. Falcone
Quick but intense story including many of the Greek myths. Alex's dad brings home an ancient coffin with a Greek corpse in it. Alex learns that the dead need a gold coin to be able to cross the river into the other world. The story gets faster and more intense right up to the last page. Might be a good follow up after finishing Riordan's Greek stories.

Solomon Snow and the Silver Spoon by Kaye Umansky
In the style of Oliver Twist except tongue in cheek, this is classic melodrama. Solly lives in abject poverty eating pottage until he discovers his is actually a foundling and goes off to find his true parents. Along the way he is joined by smart but sharp tongued Prudence, the charming Infant Prodigy, Mr. Skippy, and Freddy the chimney sweep. Lots of not stressful complications. This was a fun read. 4th+