It’s a murder mystery on the moon in this humorous and suspenseful space adventure from the author of Belly Up and Spy School.Like his fellow...
Crone LMC's insight:
Possible author visit, with Stu Gibbs, on Thursday, September 25, any time of day available at this point. good for 6th or 7th grade. His earlier mysteries have been popular with 6th and 7th grade students.
Kirkus Reviews starred (June 15, 2014)
When Dr. Holtz's body is discovered just outside the lunar colony, everyone assumes he made a mistake putting on his spacesuit;but 12-year-old Dashiell Gibson has reason to believe this was no accident. Earth's first space base has been a living hell for Dash. There's not much to do on the moon besides schoolwork and virtual-reality gaming, and there's only a handful of kids his age up there with him. The chance to solve a murder is exactly the type of excitement Dash needs. As clues are found and secrets are uncovered, Dash comes to understand that some of the base's residents aren't what they seem to be. With a small cast of characters supplying an excellent variety of suspects, Gibbs creates the best kind of murder on a train mystery. The genius, however, is putting the train in space. Closed quarters and techno mumbo-jumbo add delightful color to the proceedings. Thankfully, the author doesn't let the high-concept setting overshadow the novel's mystery. The whodunit is smartly paced and intricately plotted. Best of all, the reveal is actually worth all the buildup. Thrillers too often fly off the rails in their final moments, but the author's steady hand keeps everything here on track. Fully absorbing. (Mystery. 9-12)
School Library Journal (July 1, 2014)
Gr 4-6-It's 2041, and 12-year-old Dash Gibson lives with his family in Moon Base Alpha, the first lunar outpost. Life is mostly dull (watching TV, going to the gym to keep fit, and playing video games-not much variety) until Ronald Holtz, beloved base physician, dies under suspicious circumstances. Despite warnings from the base's autocratic commander, Dash continues to investigate the incident as a possible murder. The story is fun, if somewhat thin; a space-age Agatha Christie mystery grafted onto a Scooby Doo plot. There are multiple suspects, each with a seemingly plausible motive-the scientist who accuses Dr. Holtz of stealing his brilliant idea; the shoddy psychiatrist whom Holtz tried to keep off of the mission; even Lars Sjoberg, the hapless and arrogant billionaire space tourist. Some of the characters are colored with a broad brush, such as Kira the tween-age super hacker; the vile, "pure white" Sjoberg family; and Chang Hi-Tech, the tattooed and mohawked tech guru. But Gibbs's passion for science is obvious, and his portrayal of what life might be like for a middle schooler in space is credible and insightful. The difficulty of learning to run in reduced gravity, the dreary food, ubiquitous technologies, and recycled water (urine is purified and returned to the reservoir) all are treated evenhandedly and with reference to relevant science. The prospect and related concerns of contact with a distant race of super-intelligent beings provide an intriguing "what if" counterpoint. Recommended as a breezy read, especially for the budding space scientist.-Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA
Believe in the possible . . . with this brilliantly quirky, thought-provoking novel from New York Times bestseller, three-time Newbery Honor winner Jenn...
Crone LMC's insight:
Possible author visit on Monday, September 29, morning or afternoon available at this point.
Booklist starred (July 2014 (Vol. 110, No. 21))
Grades 4-6. It’s a little strange for 11-year-old Ellie when her mother brings home a boy who looks to be about 13 but dresses like Ellie’s grandfather. But it’s a shocker when Ellie realizes that the kid is her grandfather, a scientist who has suddenly succeeded in reversing the aging process. Now sleeping in their den and newly enrolled in Ellie’s middle school, Grandpa connives with her to sneak into his old lab and swipe what he needs to continue his research. Meanwhile, Ellie comes to admire the grandfather she has barely known, listens to his stories of famous scientists, and discovers her own passion for science. Written in a clean, crisp style, with lively dialogue and wit, this highly accessible novel will find a ready audience. The idea of an adult in a young teen’s body may not be new, but Ellie’s first-person narrative makes good use of the situation’s comic potential, particularly in the fractious, role-reversed relationship between Mom and Grandpa. Along with the comedy, the story has a reflective side, too, as Ellie thinks through issues such as death and immortality and confronts Grandpa with the social consequences of his research. A great choice for book groups and class discussions as well as individual reading. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A three-time Newbery Honor–winning author, whose books have also ranked on the New York Times best-seller lists, Holm has a formidably sized fan base waiting for her next release.
Kirkus Reviews (July 1, 2014)
What would it be like if your grandfather turned up in your house as a 13-year-old boy? For sixth-grader Ellie, this leads to a recognition of the importance of the cycle of life and the discovery of her own passion for science. After her scientist grandfather finds a way to regain his youth, he’s denied access to his lab and must come to live with Ellie and her mother. Although he looks young, his intellect and attitudes haven't changed. He still tells Ellie's mother what to wear and when to come home, and he loathes middle school even more than Ellie does. There's plenty of opportunity for humor in this fish-out-of-water story and also a lesson on the perils as well as the pluses of scientific discovery. Divorced parents, a goth friend and a longed-for cellphone birthday present are among the familiar details setting this story firmly in the present day, like Holm's Year Told Through Stuff series, rather than in the past, like her three Newbery Honor-winning historical novels. The author demonstrates understanding of and sympathy for the awkwardness of those middle school years. But she also gets in a plug for the excitement of science, following it up with an author's note and suggestions for further exploration, mostly on the Web. Appealing and thought-provoking, with an ending that suggests endless possibilities. (Science fiction. 10-14)
School Library Journal (June 1, 2014)
Gr 5-7-Eleven-year-old Ellie Cruz's life changes dramatically when her mother brings a teenage boy home one night and she learns it is her estranged grandfather. Melvin is a scientist who has figured out how to reverse aging and is now 13 again. Tensions are high between Melvin and his adult daughter, Ellie's mother, but Ellie feels like she now has the opportunity to really get to know her grandfather. Her interest in science blossoms, and she is eager to help Melvin retrieve the jellyfish specimen he used in his experiments so he can publish his discovery. Fascinated, Ellie learns about the work of Jonas Salk, Robert Oppenheimer, and Marie Curie. But as she learns more, she realizes that scientific discoveries often have unforeseen consequences. Readers are carried along with Ellie as she navigates old and new friendships in her first year in middle school with the added complication of her teenage grandfather at the same school. Short chapters keep the story moving at an engaging pace, and the interactions among the characters will easily hold readers' interest. Ellie's growing relationship with her grandfather helps her make discoveries about herself. Melvin, who begins as unapologetically single-minded in his determination to continue his work, also learns from Ellie. With humor and heart, Holm has crafted a story about life, family, and finding one's passion that will appeal to readers willing to imagine the possible.-Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL
Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember meets Louis Sachar's Holes in this imaginative and hilarious middle grade novel from New York Times bestselling...
Crone LMC's insight:
Possible school visit: Tuesday, September 23, morning or afternoon available at this point. Best for 6th grade. I haven't read it yet, but know Michael Perry from his adult books. He's an amazing storyteller and would be great with the kids. Not picturing a whole grade level though. Maybe just one team. Im confident, if teachers and parents buy in, we can get more authors to share around with all the teams through the course of the year.
Through personal narrative and candid photographs, a photojournalist chronicles young lives upended by violence and strife.The right to adequate nutrition and medical care. The right to free education. The right to a name and nationality. The right to affection, love, and understanding. In conflict zones around the world, children are denied these and other basic rights. Follow photographer Jenny Matthews into refugee camps, overcrowded cities, damaged villages, clinics, and support centers where children and their families live, work, play, learn, heal, and try to survive the devastating impact of war. This moving book depicts the resilience and resourcefulness of young people who, though heavily impacted by the ravages of war, search for a better future for themselves, their families, and their cultures.
In this tour de force, master storyteller Gregory Maguire offers a dazzling novel for fantasy lovers of all ages.Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. One of her brothers has been conscripted into the Tsar’s army, the other taken as a servant in the house of the local landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in Saint Petersburg — a family that includes Ekaterina, a girl of Elena’s age. When the two girls’ lives collide, an adventure is set in motion, an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and — in a starring role only Gregory Maguire could have conjured — Baba Yaga, witch of Russian folklore, in her ambulatory house perched on chicken legs.
Meet Tom Gates. When his teachers don't have their beady eyes on him, he likes to draw pictures and write about stuff, like last summer's worst camping vacation ever (five merits!), or how much he hates sitting next to nosy Marcus Meldrew, the most annoying boy at school. All Tom really wants is to score tickets to see the best band ever, Dude3, when they come to town, and to impress Amy Porter, who is very nice and smart (but is currently ignoring him). Tom's teachers think he is easily distracted and "lacks focus," but that's a bit harsh -- can he help it if his grumpy big sister, Delia, made him late for school (again), or that last night's homework had to be sacrificed to stave off a vicious dog attack?
Is Lemony Snicket a detective or a smoke detector?
Do you smell smoke? Young apprentice Lemony Snicket is investigating a case of arson but soon finds himself enveloped in the ever-increasing mystery that haunts the town of Stain'd-by-the-Sea. Who is setting the fires? What secrets are hidden in the Department of Education? Why are so many schoolchildren in danger? Is it all the work of the notorious villain Hangfire? How could you even ask that? What kind of education have you had?
"Amira, look at me," Muma insists.She collects both my hands in hers."The Janjaweed attack without warning.If ever they come-- run." Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala-- Amira's one true dream. But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything...
Gabe Fuentes is in for the ride of his life when he becomes Earth’s ambassador to the galaxy in this otherworldly adventure from the National...
Crone LMC's insight:
Possible author visit, with Stu Gibbs, on Thursday, September 25, any time of day available at this point. Good for 6th or 7th grade.
School Library Journal (July 1, 2014)
Gr 4-7-While reading in his room, Gabe Fuentes is visited by an Envoy, an amorphous being that resembles a sock puppet, minus the eyes. It informs the 11-year-old that he has been chosen as Earth's ambassador and must discover why there are alien aircraft in the solar system. Thus begins an action-packed adventure for the hero and his plucky companion that's full of unusual creatures and one very menacing ambassador, Omegan of the Outlast. In the midst of their various escapades, Gabe's parents are detained by immigration authorities and face deportation, along with his older sister, for residing in the U.S. illegally. Alexander compares the relationship between aliens in other worlds with the plight of illegal immigrants in ours. There is no doubt where Alexander's sympathies lie and the tone becomes didactic, which may leave readers weary. The political commentary dilutes a promising tale of adventure.-Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, St. Joseph, MI
Kirkus Reviews starred (August 1, 2014)
An interstellar embassy, alien assassins, galactic mass extinctions: These are Gabe's small problems. Gabriel Fuentes is looking at a summer of nothing but babysitting his toddler siblings at home in Minneapolis, so he's pleasantly surprised when an animate purple blob arrives in his bedroom, asking him to be the ambassador for Earth. The Envoy looks like a giant purple eyeball, eats baking soda and grows a pseudopod mouth whenever it needs to speak, but its mission is a serious one: Earth is without any representation in the galaxy, and 11-year-old peacemaker Gabe is perfect for the job. The Envoy quantum-entangles all of Gabe's particles to enable virtual communication with the other ambassadors (in a process peppered with snarky, science-inflected humor from Gabe). But no sooner has Gabe begun his ambassadorial duties than real life intrudes in all its ugliness. While Gabe is American-born, the same is not true for his archaeologist mother or chef father--and their immigration paperwork is not in order. The turn to the devastatingly serious, handled with grace and empathy, may hit some readers like a sucker punch after the humorous opening, despite its foreshadowing. Even though his family has troubles, Gabe can't ignore his extraterrestrial obligations, if only because somebody from space is trying to kill him. It will take all of Gabe's diplomatic skills to find the assassin, save himself and deliver a perfect setup for Book 2. Physics lovers will enjoy this clever series opener--but so will those who enjoy comedy, politics, diplomacy or strange-looking aliens. (Science fiction. 11-13)
An astonishing memoir for the untold number of children whose lives have been touched by bullying. Positive is a must-read for teens, their parents, educators,...
Crone LMC's insight:
Possible author visit Monday, September 29, morning or afternoon at this point. 8th grade? We'd definitely have to read this one to decide.
School Library Journal (July 1, 2014)
Gr 7 Up-This realistic and honest biography of a young woman living with HIV will draw readers in, shedding light on this difficult topic. Though Rawl was born with HIV, she never experienced symptoms of the virus or AIDS, as she was diagnosed early and used medications. In middle school, she confided in a friend about her HIV-positive status, who told others, leading to bullying and name-calling from fellow students as well as lack of support from her school's administration. While the experience was painful, Rawl eventually gained control of her life. Now a college student planning to study molecular biology, she is an advocate against bullying and an HIV/AIDS educator. Through short chapters, teens will get a sense of the girl's life, including her happy childhood, the strong bond between her and her mother, and the difficulties she faced, as well as gain accessible information on HIV/AIDS. Back matter incorporates websites and resources on AIDS, HIV, bullying, and suicide. The book beautifully conveys what it's like to grow up with HIV, dispelling myths about the virus and imparting useful knowledge.-Paige Bentley-Flannery, Deschutes Public Library, Bend, OR
Kirkus Reviews (June 15, 2014)
Rawl's journey from secrecy to acceptance thanks to her friends and family makes for a compelling memoir. As a child, Paige saw her daily doses of medicine as normal-;not strange at all. It wasn't until she was in sixth grade that her mother told her that Paige had been born with HIV. That revelation ends her idyllic life in Indianapolis, forever transforming the energetic girl who did cheerleading, pageants and soccer. Because when Paige tells her best friend, Yasmine, about her HIV-positive status, the news spreads through her middle school, prompting bullies to target Paige and accuse her of having AIDS. Now known as PAIDS, Paige loses interest in school, suffers from stress-induced pseudo-seizures and even attempts suicide. But slowly, thanks to counseling, time at a camp for kids affected by HIV/AIDS and all her friends, Paige learns how to forgive and move on with her life. Rawl and Benjamin deftly capture the mindset of middle schooler Paige with anecdotes that reveal the teen's innocence and tracking her progress toward adulthood. They tackle tough subjects such as suicide delicately but honestly. Readers will come away feeling inspired by Rawl's work as an HIV/AIDS speaker and anti-bullying advocate. (Nonfiction. 12-16)
We're living in an Ah-Ha moment. Take 250 years of human ingenuity. Add abundant fossil fuels. The result: a population and lifestyle never before seen. The downsides weren't visible for centuries, but now they are. Suddenly everything needs rethinking – suburbs, cars, fast food, cheap prices. It's a changed world.This book explains it. Not with isolated facts, but the principles driving attitudes and events, from vested interests to denial to big-country syndrome. Because money is as important as molecules in the environment, science is joined with politics, history, and psychology to provide the briefing needed to comprehend the 21st century.Extensive back matter, including a glossary, bibliography, and index, as well as numerous references to websites, provides further resources.
After their nan accidentally burns their home down, twin brothers Pat and Dom must move with their parents and baby sister to the seaside cottage they've summered in, now made desolate by the winter wind. It's there that the ghost appears?-?a strange boy who cries black tears and fears a bad man, a soldier, who is chasing him. Soon Dom has become not-Dom, and Pat can sense that his brother is going to die...
Photographs can be beautiful or harrowing, honest or manipulative, dramatic or comforting. Photos Framed explores twenty-seven of the most important and vivid photos taken over the medium's history, from a formal portrait of Louis Daguerre taken in 1844 to a candid shot of a Cuban girl and her doll in 2011. Readers are invited to use their powers of observation to zoom in on photographic elements, blow up details of the subject matter, think about the big picture, and pan out on the photographer.
Mariano Rivera never dreamed of becoming a professional athlete. He didn't grow up collecting baseball cards, playing Little League, or cheering on his home team at the World Series. He had never heard of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, or Mickey Mantle.
One day, that all changed. From a childhood playing pickup games in Panama