Avani doesn't fit in with the flower scouts as they talk about boys and make -up tips. But an accidental alien abduction leads to her true scout calling: star scouts. This inter-galactic troupe of kids may not be the most skilled or organized, but they love being together and embrace their quirkiness. Where can I sign up?
Star Scouts by Mike Lawrence
Erica's Picks 3rd - 5th Tags: adventure, comics, humor, people of color, science fiction
Crow washed up on the shore of a tiny island twelve years ago. Osh took her in and raised her and Miss Maggie nursed her when she was ill and taught her how to read and write. No one else on the island will come near her. They're afraid she was born on the nearby leper colony and might carry the dreaded disease. So Crow has lived her life full of love and sea salt and beautiful views that Osh paints, isolated on her tiny island. Until the day she decides to look into the mystery of her past, and she discovers pirate treasure, danger, and sorrow. Will finding the truth be worth it, or will it destroy the happy life she already has?
This setting of this book is practically the main character of this story and I could almost taste the salt air as I read it. The adventure is slow to start, but picks up. Crow, Osh, and Miss Maggie are all characters that will stay with me.
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Erica's Pick 4th - 6th Grade Tags: Adventure, character driven, family life, historical fiction, mystery, people of color
“Not the truth, but close enough. Maybe she ought to make that her life motto” Echo is a runaway and a thief. She lives in a secret room in a library and survives on the edges of two societies: the one we know, and the society of the Avicen. The Avicen are a proud and ancient race of people who grow feathers instead of hair. Some might find this disconcerting, but they're the only family Echo has ever known. So when a threat to the Avicen emerges, Echo is determined to risk everything to help.
What's not to love: a girl who lives in a library, an alternate world full of magic and strange creatures hidden behind the one we know, a thief with a sarcastic wit but a strong moral compass. This book is firing on all cylinders.
People of With a diverse cast of characters, Harlem Charade takes on real-life issues of gentrification, big money and the loss of a neighborhood's history and culture. Harlem has long been synonymous with black culture and this books explores the rich heritage and present day issues. Three 7th graders band together to solve a mystery and save their community. Jin who lives with her grandparents and helps run their bodega, keeps her keen observations in notebooks. Alex hides her embarrassing wealth and spends her free time trying to help the disadvantaged. Elvin has just arrived in Harlem to live with his estranged grandfather but is living on the streets after grandfather is mysteriously attacked. In their efforts to find the attackers, the three discover that there are missing master pieces from the past worth a fortune. If they can uncover them, they may be able to stop an ambitious politician who wants to turn their neighborhood into a ludicrous historic theme park. Daring, danger and plenty of action enliven this story about what it means to be a community and the power of art to show truth and define home.
Tessa's Picks, 6th grade Summer 2017, 7th grade, Adventure, Contemporary fiction, Friendship, Mystery, Issues Fiction, People of Color
Alina has always hidden her magic. She knew that her powers would set her apart. They'd take her away from her best friend, Mal, and the closest thing to family she had left. So she pretended to be normal, and she had everyone fooled. Until the day Mal got injured and only she could save him. Suddenly she's thrust into a world of magic and politics for which she was never prepared. With her country's fate in the balance, Alina needs to decide where her loyalties lie: with Mal and the other common soldiers, or with her fellow magic-wielders led by the mysterious Darkling.
Alina is a compelling protagonist and the choices she faces are complex and thrilling. The world is a fantasy one, but rooted in Russian mythology. There's many different factions at play which make for a complicated political situation as alliances are formed and broken and corruption is discovered in various guises. An excellent series from start to finish!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Erica's Picks 6th & up Tags: Adventure, Fantasy, Mytholgoy, Romance
You may think you know the stories of Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel but don't believe everything a bard tells you. And what about those nameless Princes Charming? Read this book to get the low-down: the pampered, sheltered life was not enough for Cinderella. Rapunzel saved herself and her prince never lived it down. Sleeping Beauty is a spoiled brat. Snow White's prince can't be left unsupervised. Somehow this unlikely band finds themselves thrown together on a quest to save each other, defeat an evil witch, and show the world that they're more than their stories.
This book is a hilarious take on classic fairy tales. Having the various Princes Charming meet and lament over their plight at being looked over for their princesses adds a fun twist. Each have very distinct personalities and watching them interact and learn to get along is both entertaining and touching. It contains a lot of great lessons ranging from how to be a good friend to how to be true to your self. I particularly appreciate that there's male characters who are hopeless with swords and fierce female fighters and vice versa. The illustrations throughout only add to the already ample humor.
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy Erica's Picks Tags: Adventure, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Friendship, Humor, People of Color, Retellings
This book, while non-fiction, reads like an adventure novel. The story of Minamoto Yoshitsune is larger than life and the bravery, betrayals, and brutal ending felt like the best kind of Hollywood epic. When Yoshitsune was just a baby, his father was killed by a rival clan. Raised in a monastery, Yoshitsune was determined to escape and learn the way of the Samurai. Despite a late start in training, he became one of the most famous samurai of all time known for his fearless leadership in battle and the fierce loyalty he inspired among his men. But not everyone loved Yoshitsune, and when he was finally betrayed his death by seppuku would solidify the practice in Samurai tradition. Don't miss this thrilling tale!
Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner, Illustrated by Gareth Hinds
Erica's Picks 6th & up Tags: Adventure, Biography, Fast-Paced, History, Nonfiction, People of Color
n 20th century Tsarist Russia, aristocrats raise wolf cubs as pets. Wolves are at heart wild creatures and when their true nature comes out they must be sent away for it is considered bad luck to kill a wolf. Feo and her mother are wolf wilders; they retrain the creatures to survive in the forests. When a sadistic general demands that they kill the wolves including the three who have bonded with Feo, they refuse. General Rakov takes the mother, Marina prisoner and burns down their house. Feo and her wolves escape and travel through the icy woods determined to free her mother. In evocative prose, the author evokes the courage and fierceness of the girl and her wolves. Help comes from villagers who have been brutalized by Rakov and Feo realizes she is not alone..."The moments in which the world turns suddenly kind can feel like a punctured lung." The children of the village become her army as they march to St Petersburg to stage a revolution and free Marina. The climax will have you cheering!
Tuesday, along with her dog Baxterr, set out on a magical journey to find her missing mother Serendipity Smith. Her quest leads her into her own story in a magical land. In order to return home she must finish her story. Tuesday befriends the brave Vivienne Small, tangles with a pirate, learns to sail an enchanted boat and discovers the truth about her loyal dog. Writing is not easy and making your way to the end is difficult. Can she find a happy ending?
Climb into the world behind the canvas with Claudia. There you will meet an evil witch who holds new found friend Pim under a spell. They must go on a quest to destroy the witch’s most precious possession in order to order to set Pim free. Characters from famous paintings appear to add to the adventure. Nothing in this magical world is what it appears to be.