Toilet: How It Works

Toilet: How It WorksToilet: How It Works
by David Macaulay
Grades 1-4

Toilets. We all use them everyday. But most children (and probably plenty of adults) don’t know how they work, or what happens after you flush. David Macauley’s book takes a look at that process. With a brief introduction to where the waste in your body comes from, Macauley explains what happens next. Using plenty of illustrations, he explains how a tank toilet disposes of waste. Next he follows where it goes, depending on whether you have a septic tank or are on the sewer line. An interesting look at something we all take for granted.

Including Alice

Including Alice (Alice, #16)Including Alice
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Grades 8 & up

The first half of 10th grade holds a lot of changes for Alice. Lester has moved in to his own apartment, and Alice’s dad finally marries Sylvia Summers. This is what Alice has been waiting for for three years, but Alice realizes that having Sylvia as a stepmother does not fix all of her problems. The books seem to be losing their edge. Only for die-hard Alice fans.

I Even Funnier

I Even Funnier (I Funny, #2)I Even Funnier
by James Patterson
Grades 4-8

Fans of I Funny will definitely want to pick up this sequel. Jamie Grimm, your favorite wheelchair-bound middle school comedian, won the New York State championship of the Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic Contest at the end of the first book. Now he is preparing for the regional semi-finals. In addition to finding good material, he still has to get good grades, help his friends through some rough stuff, and deal with the school’s biggest bully, his cousin Stevie. Can he leap these middle school hurdles and find away to become even funnier?

Chick-o-Saurus Rex

Chick-o-Saurus RexChick-o-Saurus Rex
by Lenore Jennewein
Grades K-3

Little Chicken really wants to play in the tree house, but it is being guarded by the local farmyard bullies. Little Pig, Little Sheep, and Little Donkey won’t let anyone in whose father isn’t “brave and mighty.” When Little Chicken goes to research his ancestry, he learns that legend has it they have a mighty ancestor. Together he and his father go searching, and find the fossilized remains of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. I especially enjoyed the author’s note, explaining the scientific facts proving that the chicken is the closest living relative of the T-Rex. A great story about science and bullies.

Patiently Alice

Patiently Alice (Alice, #15)Patiently Alice
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Grades 8 & up

After surviving (and thriving in) their freshman year of high school, Alice, Pamela, and Elizabeth are looking for something different to do over the summer. The three of them, along with Gwen, apply and are accepted to be assistant counselors at a three week long sleepaway camp for underprivileged children. Their own problems pale in comparison to the lives their campers are leading, and they learn a lot about themselves and each other over the summer. Another solid entry in the Alice saga.

A Question of Magic

A Question of MagicA Question of Magic
by E.D. Baker
Grades 3-8

In this extended version of the fairy tale, Serafina is tricked into becoming the next Baba Yaga by a promised inheritance from a great-aunt she had never heard of. As Baba Yaga, she is able to answer one question for each person truthfully, but becomes older with each answer she gives. As she travels around the war torn kingdom in her house on chicken feet, she does what she can to help the people who ask her questions. But while she ever be able to return to her old life, her family, and her beloved Alek? This is a kinder, gentler Baba Yaga than portrayed in most stories about her. Readers will find themselves rooting for Serafina as she seeks the magic she needs to help those around her and get her life back.

Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad?

Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad?Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad?
by Julie Middleton
Grades K-2

Dave and his dad are taking a trip through a local museum, looking at each of the dinosaurs. As Dave ask questions about what he sees the dinosaurs doing, his father insists it must just be Dave’s imagination. But is it? A fun story to share.

Simply Alice

Simply AliceSimply Alice
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Grades 7 & up

It is the second half of ninth grade, and Alice is making a life for herself with out Patrick. She is on the stage crew for the play, she’s writing articles for the school paper, and she’s picking up more hours at the Melody Inn. Unfortunately, she also seems to be making a life for herself away from Pamela and Elizabeth. She doesn’t want to lose her two best friends, but can’t they understand all of the different things that she is juggling?

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!