The Secrets at the Chocolate Mansion

The Secrets at the Chocolate MansionThe Secrets at the Chocolate Mansion
by Leslie Margolis
Grades 4-7

Maggie’s friend Sonya’s mother just opened a fabulous old-fashioned soda shop called Sonya’s Sweets, but when Maggie and her friends show up for the grand opening, everything is going wrong. Someone switched the salt and the sugar in the pie, the big stain glass window is broken, and an ominous note is found among the shards of glass. When orders go missing and the power goes out, it appears that someone is sabotaging the business. Can Maggie figure out what is going on before it is too late?

This is the third book in the Maggie Brooklyn series. I have not read the first two, but it looks like a fun mystery series.

Little Red Writing

Little Red WritingLittle Red Writing
by Joan Holub
Grades K-3

This book is hilarious! Little Red Writing (a pencil) sets off to write a story, and along the way encounters the Wolf 3000 (a pencil sharpener). Sprinkled throughout the story are writing tips and tricks, about word choice and plot structure, as well as basic grammar. A really fun read, this will make a great introduction to creative writing projects in the younger grades! Highly recommended!

Alice Alone

Alice AloneAlice Alone
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Grades 7 & up

This book picks up right where The Grooming of Alice left off. Alice has started ninth grade, and things are a little rocky with Patrick, who has been her boyfriend for the past two years. He is trying to finish high school in three years and is always busy with homework or band. When he begins to spend more and more time with Penny, a new girl in town, Alice ends their relationship. She is absolutely devastated and wonders how she can possibly go on without him. Luckily, she has good friends and a great family. This is her journey to discover who she is and if she can make it on her own.

The Last Dogs: Dark Waters

The Last Dogs: Dark WatersThe Last Dogs: Dark Waters
by Christopher Holt
Grades 4-7

This second book in the Last Dogs series picks up where the first left off. Max, Rocky, and Gizmo are floating down the river, following Madame’s directions to go to the ocean to find the people. After several days they come upon a riverboat casino stuck in sandbar. They find another pack of dogs, but fortunately this one is friendly. After seeing the symbol of the three linked circles, Max, Rocky, and Gizmo set off to investigate. There are finally some answers in this book as to what happened and why the people all disappeared. I am looking forward to more answers in the next book.

Clementine and the Spring Trip

Clementine and the Spring Trip (Clementine, #6)Clementine and the Spring Trip
by Sara Pennypacker
Grades 2-4

It is the spring of Clementine’s third grade year, and all the 3rd and 4th graders are getting ready to go on their big field trip to Plimouth Plantation. Clementine and Margaret have agreed to be partners, so that Clementine can help Margaret with anything that is germy or dirty, and Margaret can help Clementine with the “no food noises” rule that the 4th graders have put in place. But when a new girl named Olive joins Clementine’s class, all of their plans are turned upside down. Another great Clementine story, looking at how we handle friendship and the changes in our lives.

Ball

BallBall
by Mary Sullivan
Grades PreK-1

This fantastic day in the life look at a dog obsessed with his ball will ring true for many a dog owner! As the dog waits for his beloved owner to return to play ball again after school, we get a glimpse at his hopes and dreams about playing ball. Pair this with A Ball for Daisy for an excellent look at dogs and the balls they love. A 2014 Geisel Honor Book.

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert EinsteinOn a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein
by Jennifer Berne
For Kindergarten & up

What a fantastic introduction to Albert Einstein for young and old alike! The words are beautiful and the pictures draw in the readers, explaining Einstein’s background and accomplishments in a friendly and accessible way. Children will want to know more about this great man and his contributions to our scientific knowledge and understanding of the world around us.

The Grooming of Alice

The Grooming of Alice (Alice, #12)The Grooming of Alice
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Grades 7 & up

Alice, Pamela, and Elizabeth make a pact to run every morning the summer before ninth grade, so they can fix the flaws they see in their bodies. But when Elizabeth takes it too far, and Pamela continually fights with her dad, Alice is stretched in more directions than ever. How can she make the right choices, and help her friends with theirs? An emotional read as life turns more complicated going into high school.

Al Capone Does My Homework

Al Capone Does My Homework (Al Capone at Alcatraz, #3)Al Capone Does My Homework
by Gennifer Choldenko
Grades 5-8

I enjoyed this third book in the series much more than the second. It is grittier, and there is a lot more at stake. Moose’s father has just been promoted to Assistant Warden after the events in book two. At his first day on the job, the family apartment is set on fire, and Moose’s autistic sister Natalie is immediately blamed. Moose, Jimmy, Annie, Theresa, and even Piper band together to find out what really happened. They uncover a lot of secrets along the way. I recommended reading the first two, so you will better understand the social dynamics of the kids growing up on Alcatraz Island.

The Qwikpick Papers: Poop Fountain!

The Qwikpick Papers: Journey to the Fountain of PoopThe Qwikpick Papers: Poop Fountain!
by Tom Angleberger
Grades 3-6

Lyle, Marilla, and Dave hang out at the Qwikpick gas station and convenience store where Lyle’s parents work. Realizing that they each have nothing to do on Christmas Day for a variety of reasons, they end up planning an adventure to visit the “poop fountain” at their town’s waste treatment management center. Scheduled to be closing in order to be replaced with updated technology, they want to see it before it is gone for good. Told through photos, notes, and journal entries, this is a great adventure through the outskirts of suburbia. I am so glad that I couldn’t smell what they were describing!

ARC provided by publisher.
This is a new version of the previously published 2007 edition.