Library News, Recommendations, Summer Reading

Ms. Pretz’s Top Picks – 2014

We’re nearly half way through 2014 and I have several favorite reads.  If you are looking for some great reads, check out one of these books.

Curiosity

In 1835, when his father is put in a Philadelphia debtor’s prison, twelve-year-old chess prodigy Rufus Goodspeed is relieved to be recruited to secretly operate a chess-playing automaton named The Turk, but soon questions the fate of his predecessors and his own safety.

upside down in the middle of nowhere

At the end of August 2005, ten-year-old Armani is looking forward to her birthday party in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, where she and her extended family live, but Hurricane Katrina is on the way, bringing destruction and tragedy in its wake.

hope is a ferris wheel

After moving from Oregon to a trailer park in California, ten-year-old Star participates in a poetry club, where she learns some important lessons about herself and her own hopes and dreams for the future.

lantern sam

In 1937, ten-year-old Henry Shipley must rely on a talking cat named Lantern Sam and a kindly conductor named Clarence to help solve the kidnapping of a young heiress aboard the Lake Erie Shoreliner passenger train.

boys of blur

When his stepfather moves them to Taper, Florida, in the Everglades, twelve-year-old Charlie discovers a secret world hidden within the sugar cane fields, as well as new family connections and friendships.

mark of the dragonfly

Since her father’s death in a factory in the Dragonfly territories, thirteen-year-old Piper has eked out a living as a scrapper in Merrow Kingdom, but the arrival of a mysterious girl sends her on a dangerous journey to distant lands.

nightingale's nest

In this twist on “The Nightingale,” Little John, despite his own poverty and grief, reaches out to Gayle, an unhappy foster child living next-door who sings beautifully and hides a great secret.

the riverman

Fiona Loomis claims she is visiting a parallel universe where a nefarious being called The Riverman is stealing the souls of children and the boy she asks to write her biography because she fears her soul may be next.

a snicker of magic

The Pickles are new to Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, a town which legend says was once magic–but Felicity is convinced the magic is still there, and with the help of her new friend Jonah the Beedle she hopes to bring the magic back.

seven stories up

In 1987, while her mother sits in a Baltimore hotel at the deathbed of a grandmother twelve-year-old Annie never knew, Annie travels back fifty years and shares adventures with the lonely girl who will grow up to be her feisty grandmother.

under the egg

Her grandfather’s dying words lead thirteen-year-old Theodora Tenpenny to a valuable, hidden painting she fears may be stolen, but it is her search for answers in her Greenwich Village neighborhood that brings a real treasure.

half a chance

Lucy, with her mother and her photographer father, has just moved to a small rural community in New Hampshire, and with her new friend Nate she plans to spend the summer taking photos for a contest, but pictures sometimes reveal more than people are willing to see.

ophelia and the marvelous boy

Ophelia, a timid eleven-year-old girl grieving her mother, suspends her disbelief in things non-scientific when a boy locked in the museum where her father is working asks her to help him complete an age-old mission.

the ghosts of tupelo landing

When Miss Lana accidentally buys a haunted inn at the Tupelo Landing town auction, Desperado Detectives–aka Mo LoBeau and her best friend Dale–open up a paranormal division to solve the ghost’s identity before the town’s big 250th anniversary bash.

bird chan

Twelve-year-old Jewel was born on the day her brother Bird died and lives in a house of silence and secrets, but a new boy in her Iowa town may help find the answers Jewel wants despite her Jamaican grandfather’s warning that he is a “duppy,” a malevolent spirit.

the night gardener

Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house.

west of the moon

In nineteenth-century Norway, fourteen-year-old Astri, whose aunt has sold her to a mean goatherder, dreams of joining her father in America.

the spy catchers of maple hill

Hazel Kaplansky and new student Samuel Butler investigate rumors that a Russian spy has infiltrated their small Vermont town, amidst the fervor of Cold War era McCarthyism, but more is revealed than they could ever have imagined.

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