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Archive for January, 2011

Keeper

Monday, January 17th, 2011

keeperBy Kathi Appelt, 399 pages  Grades 5-7

Keeper has messed up… really messed up, and she needs to fix things.  During the blue moon, she plans to visit the sandbar where mermaids gather, to find her mother who disappeared when Keeper was 3 years-old.  Keeper has a plan and is sure that her A to A plan will work.

Check out the book trailer at the author’s website.

Connections:  For another story that make you question a character’s reality, try reading Signal by Cynthia DeFelice.  Another magical story by Kathi Appelt is The Underneath.

Closed for the Season

Monday, January 17th, 2011

closed for the seasonMary Downing Hahn, 182 pages  Grades 5-8

Logan is unhappy to have to move to a new city.  He knows his family’s new house is a fixer-upper, but he isn’t prepared for the wreck they find or the annoying kid next door.  Logan also finds that his parents were hiding the fact that the previous owner died in the house.  It turns out that his parents weren’t informed of the whole story…  Her murder remains a mystery and it seems that the answer might be found in the creepy, over-grown, abandoned amusement park nearby.

Check out the author’s video trailer – Closed for the Season

Connections:  For other recent, creepy tales by the same author, try reading All the Lovely Bad Ones, Deep and Dark and Dangerous, and The Old Willis Place.  Other favorite scary, mystery writers include: Lois Duncan, Joan Lowry Nixon and Barbara Brooks Wallace.

Eye of the Whale

Monday, January 17th, 2011

eye of the whale*Green Team Recommends*

by Douglas Carlton Abrams, 365 pages  Adult Novel

Though not strictly written as young adult fiction, this book will appeal to Middle Schoolers interested in the natural world, especially in marine life.  Eye of the Whale is an eco-thriller set primarily in the greater Bay Area, bringing together whale researchers, whalers, corporate lobbyists, activists, and government agents.  One central character is actually a humpback whale, nicknamed Apollo, who swims up the Sacramento River to deliver a message, but to whom?  And what is the message?  And who is it that doesn’t want the message to get delivered?  This thriller uses fascinating and startling facts and theories– about whales and about the impact of chemical pollutants accumulating in the natural world and eventually in our own bodies (body burden)– to tell a story that is both a page turner and a cutting commentary on the destruction, waste and poisoning that has flowed out from our modern industrial civilization into the natural world.