How to Build a Family Library
Dad and Pop
by Kelly Bennett
Candlewick Press, 2010, $15.99. Ages 4 to 7.
In this ode to fathers and stepfathers, a young girl explains that although "Dad" and "Pop" have differences ("Pop is bald; Dad is not"), they have one important thing in common – they both love her.
Judy Moody & Stink:The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt
by Megan McDonald
Candlewick Press, paperback edition, 2010, $6.99. Ages 6 to 9.
Stink and Judy's race across "Artichoke Island" in search of gold starts as soon as they drop anchor. But they're not the only ones searching for the treasure…Readers will love working out the hidden clues, cracking secret codes and solving tricky puzzles as they help Stink and Judy beat out their rivals Tall Boy and Smart Girl.
Bag in the Wind
by Ted Kooser
Candlewick Press, 2010, $17.99. Ages 5 to 8.
Pulitzer Prize winner and US Poet Laureate (2004-2006) Ted Kooser crafts an intriguing tale that follows the path of an empty plastic bag as it blows from a landfill through the lives of townspeople. Tender illustrations express compassion in a world full of waste.
The Shadow Project
by Herbie Brennan
Balzer and Bray, 2010, $16.99. Ages 10 & up.
Danny Lipman, a teenage thief, broke into the wrong house one night. But when the Shadow Project leaders learn of Danny's psychic abilities, he is given a choice: help them or go to jail. A suspense novel crafted for middle-graders, this is a fast-paced thriller packed with adventure.
31 Ways to Change the World
by We Are What We Do
Candlewick Press, 2010, $8.99. Ages 8 to 12.
This bubbly, thought-provoking book gives kids ideas (31, to be exact) on little things they can do to make big changes in the world. From suggestions that have come from children themselves, suggestions range from standing up for something they believe in to teaching Grandma how to text.
by Michael Crichton
Harper, 2009, $27.99.
This, the last novel by this beloved author (Michael Crichton died in 2009), is set in a bawdy, sweltering, unruly town of Port Royal, an English colony on Jamaica in 1665. When Captain Charles Hunter hears a Spanish galleon El Trinidad is about to make port in a nearby harbor, he assembles some of the most ruthless thugs he can find to infiltrate the "impregnable" harbor, overthrow the Spaniards and walk away with the gold.