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.
Nandu who was raised by wild dogs in the jungle of Nepal, by a twist of fate finds himself at the King’s elephant stable. His “parents” are the wise stable head, Subba-Sahib, and an affectionate elephant Devi Kali. Although he is only twelve, Nandu becomes the most skilled elephant handler. When the government threatens to close the stable, he searches for a way to save his community and his family. To accomplish this he must find a great tusker; a bull elephant must be bought and lead back to the stable. This pays homage to The Jungle book, another coming of age tale where adventure, animals, family and bravery lead to wisdom.
Seth feels the impact of a rock against his head as the waters close in around him and he drowns. He dies in America, but he wakes up again in his childhood home in England. His neighbors' houses are exactly how he remembers them, except that nobody's home. He ventures into town for supplies and finds that nature has begun to reclaim the town with wild plants and animals. It's like nobody has lived there for years. He thinks he's in his own personal afterlife until he finds two others like him and a mysterious enemy that is hunting them all down. I always go into Patrick Ness novels expecting death, so I was actually a bit relieved when it came at the very beginning. I had hoped that would remove some of the suspense and eventual emotional devastation--oh how wrong I was! I think talking too much about the plot will just ruin it for people who haven't read it yet so I'll just say that I love the the characters and the mind-trip that was the ever-twisting plot.
More Than This by Patrick Ness
Erica's Picks 8th Tags: Adventure, Character Driven, Dystopian, LGBTQ, People of Color, Science Fiction, Tear Jerker
Jocelyn Hook knows that one day she will follow in the footsteps of her famous father Captain Hook: scourge of the seven seas! The only problem is that she's never actually met him, or set foot on a pirate ship. That, and her mother and grandfather who are determined to cinch her into corsets and stuff her with teacakes until she finally succumbs and turns into the meek lady of good breeding that they hope to marry off one day. But while suffering through the tortures of finishing school she finally hears from her father. The note promises danger, encounters with terrible beasts, and a wardrobe entirely free of corsets. Jocelyn doesn't have to think twice before accepting her father's request and jumping headlong into adventure!
Jocelyn is a firey, witty, young girl who is full of bravado but still has doubts. This book is full of adventure and heart and did I mention the humor? The book had me laughing out loud. Plus there's the appeal of Peter Pan, Smee, and all those other familiar never-land faces.
Have you ever seen a dragon attack up close? Felt the heat from their flame on your skin and smelled the sulfur in the air? Most people run for cover as soon as one is spotted. It takes a special type of person to run toward one. You need bravery, training, agility, skill, and a touch of madness. But slayers aren't the only ones crazy enough to seek out a dragon. Their trusty bards are always close behind. Everyone in Trondheim has great hopes for Owen, the youngest in a long line of dragonslayers. But before he can fulfill his destiny, he and his bard must face a more fearsome foe: his algebra test.
This story is a cross between an epic dragon-slaying fantasy novel and a regular school story about a new student in town. There's plenty of action as well as great bits about Owen's family (he is raised by his aunt who is a famous retired dragon slayer and her wife who is a blacksmith) and his budding friendship with the story's narrator (who has musical talent and becomes his bard/tutor.) An all around great novel! Erica's Picks 6th - 8th grade Tags: Adventure, Family Life, Fantasy, Friendship, LGBTQ, School Stories
Everyone thinks that Nolan suffers from seizures, but the truth is much stranger. When he closes his eyes, he sees out of the eyes of a girl who lives in a world filled with danger and magic. He is powerless to do anything and she seems unaware of his presence. Until the day Nolan realizes he can control her and sends a message. At first she is terrified, then she is furious, but soon she realizes that they must work together if either of them want to survive.
The premise of the novel is wholly unique. Their connection raises a lot of interesting possibilities. The girl's story, full of magic, assassins, and princesses in disguise is a great adventure.
Erica's Picks 7th & 8th Tags: Adventure, Character Driven, Fantasy, LGBTQ, People of Color
"There was a city that could not be mapped, and inside it a house that could not be drawn." Milo lives with his parents in a rambling old inn filled with as many secrets as the smugglers that come to stay there. The inn sits high on a hill overlooking a harbor with two ways up: a steep path, or a cable railway. Tourist season was long over and snows were arriving to leave them stranded from the main town. Which is why Milo was surprised when the cable railway's bell rang to notify them of a waiting passenger. Soon Milo's quiet holiday has turned into a loud and chaotic mystery as eccentric guests fill the inn and begin to hunt for hidden treasure. Milo joins forces with a new friend to solve the mystery and find the treasure, but what starts as a game to pass the time soon turns into a dangerous adventure.
An old inn in a smuggler's bay trapped by a winter storm--what more could you ask for from a mystery setting? The characters are eccentric but well-rounded. Milo and his new friend use the framework of a role playing game to provide a cover and give them courage to investigate the inn's mysteries. I'd give this to anyone looking for a good adventure or mystery.
Erica's Picks 4th - 6th Grade Tags: Adventure, Family Life, Mystery, People of Color