Saturday, October 15, 2016

October Recommendations

Have you read anything great lately? Here are my recent favorites:


THE SECRET KEEPERS is by Trenton Lee Stewart, who also wrote The Mysterious Benedict Society. It’s a wonderful, suspense-filled story, wherein eleven-year-old Reuben Pedley squeezes into the narrowest alley he’s ever seen, climbs to a dangerously high ledge, and discovers a wonderful treasure—a round, antique pocket watch with an incredible secret power. Reuben has to escape danger after danger to outwit The Smoke, the dangerous mob boss-like ruler of New Umbra, who wants that watch at all costs! Smart fiction for readers who aren’t afraid of a long book. (MG)

THE FORBIDDEN WISH, by Jessica Khoury, is a superb original take on the story of Aladdin. Zahra is the genie of the lamp, where she’s been imprisoned for hundreds of years. Apparently she got too emotionally involved with her last master and caused the destruction of an empire. When Aladdin finds her and takes her to his city, the King of the Jinn forces Zahra into a bargain. But which will she chose—love or freedom? Really great adaptation! (YA)

Two amazing early readers are from Holiday House’s I Like to Read series.:
In PUG, Ethan Long tells a complete, funny story, with just 30 words (plus some doggie yapping). Pug wants to go out, but everyone is warm and cozy inside. Who wins? and why?
Likewise, in UP, Joe Cepeda pulls off a wholly imaginative tale using only 27 words. In both cases, excellent full-color art does a lot of heavy lifting. These two books are standout examples of the genre.

Picture Books:

In MOTOR MILES, by picture book master John Burningham, we meet Miles, a difficult dog who doesn’t seem to like doing any of the normal doggy things. What Miles does like is going for rides in the car. So Mr. Huddy, the man who lives next door, makes Miles his own car. Of course he does! Miles practices a lot, and pretty soon he’s driving himself and his owner Norman to school, to the seaside, to the countryside, and all over the place. When Norman grows too big to join Miles in his car, Mr. Huddy comes to the rescue once again. Just amazing!

GIANT SQUID, written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann, is stunning non-fiction from the Neal Porter imprint at Roaring Brook. Fleming's beautiful poetic text is perfectly paired with Caldecott-medalist Rohmann’s lush oil paintings, and the result is a surprisingly comprehensive portrait of the elusive creature.

Finally, I’ve been a fan of the Little Elliot books right from the beginning, and this third one doesn’t disappoint. In LITTLE ELLIOT, BIG FUN, by Mike Curato, we join Little Elliot and Mouse as they visit the amusement park. The rides are all too scary for Little Elliot, until Mouse shows his friend something special. A sweet story is accompanied by the distinctive, detailed art that makes it so special.


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