Out of My Mind

Out of My MindOut of My Mind
by Sharon M. Draper
Grades 5-8

Melody has severe cerebral palsy — she can’t walk, talk, or do anything for herself. Inside, though, she is bright and aware of everything going on around her. School for her is beyond tedious. She is stuck in a room, mostly with teachers who don’t want to teach, listening to nursery songs and learning the alphabet even though she is in fifth grade. All of this changes when the school begins an inclusivity program and she receives a Medi-Talker device, which finally gives her a way to communicate. A fascinating and touching story, it will change the way you look at abilities and disabilities.

That Is Not a Good Idea!

That Is Not a Good Idea!That Is Not a Good Idea!
by Mo Willems
Grades K-2

Another winner from Mo Willems! In this book, a fox invites a duck home for “soup.” After each exchange, a chick interrupts the story to let the reader know that this is not a good idea. The twist at the end will leave readers chuckling.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

Ophelia and the Marvelous BoyOphelia and the Marvelous Boy
by Karen Foxlee
Grades 4-8

In this reworking of Anderson’s Snow Queen, the Marvelous Boy has been locked away in the Snow Queen’s palace, which has since turned into a museum. Ophelia’s father takes a job at the museum, curating an exhibit of swords, and brings Ophelia and her older sister Alice along with him. All three are still grieving for Ophelia’s mother, who passed away a few months before. As Ophelia wanders the museum alone, she happens upon the Marvelous Boy in his locked room. Although it doesn’t fit in with her scientific view of life, she finds herself drawn into his stories and his quest to defeat the Snow Queen and save the world.

Stealing Time: A Jonah Wiley Adventure

Stealing Time: A Jonah Wiley AdventureStealing Time: A Jonah Wiley Adventure
by Anne Dublin
Grades 3-6

Jonah feels betrayed by his father, who has remarried in the year since the divorce. He does not want to spend the weekend with his father, step-mother, and step-brother Toby. In his anger, he takes the ancient watch that was once his grandfather’s. To his frustration and dismay, Toby sees him with it, and insists on winding. This sends the boys together on an adventure through time, beginning in ancient Egypt, China, Prague, England, and finally back to Canada. Each stop has a historical importance to the evolution of time keepers through the ages. Along the way, Jonah and Toby learn that they must work together to make it home.

eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

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.