Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tween Reads

Tween Reads
January 2016
"Always check for traps, left is always right unless there's a middle, always put your healer in the best armor and wear your magic rings on your toes instead of your fingers."
~ from Kate Milford's Greenglass House
Recent Releases
On the Run
by Tristan Bancks

Suspense. If you knew your parents had committed a crime, would you turn them in? It's a question that 12-year-old Ben never thought he'd have to answer. But after his parents drag him and his younger sister Olive on a surprise "vacation" to the Australian bush, he follows the clues to the disturbing truth: his parents are hiding millions in stolen cash. Now, instead of quietly writing crime stories, Ben is stuck inside one, and he has to figure out how to escape with his sister before their particular story becomes a tragedy. Combining action, suspense, and survival, this high-stakes thriller will keep you turning pages right up until the end.
by Eve Bunting

Historical Fiction. Sixteen-year-old Josie feels a tingle of foreboding when she arrives in the seaside Scottish town of Brindle, and not just because of her aunt and uncle's chilly welcome. Everything about the place is unsettling, from the gloomy landscape to the secretive behavior of the townspeople (including the alluring but off-limits Eli). Though she's forbidden from asking questions, Josie can't control her curiosity…not even when it puts her in danger. Set in 1807, Forbidden will satisfy fans of historical mystery, as well as readers who relish atmospheric tales with hints of the paranormal. For a similar story with a different setting, try Laura Amy Schlitz's A Drowned Maiden's Hair.
Fast Break
by Mike Lupica

Sports Fiction. Though he's gotten pretty good at stealing food, Jayson gets collared when he tries to shoplift a new pair of sneakers. A talented middle school basketball player, Jayson needs the shoes to keep playing, but he can't afford them since his mom died and her boyfriend took off. Once it's revealed that he's living on his own, Jayson is taken in by the Lawtons, a wealthy older couple Though he resists being sent to a fancy private school, he doesn't hesitate to join the basketball team, channeling his grief and anger into the game. On-the-court action and authentic emotions make Fast Break a perfect pick for sports fans, as well as anyone looking for a quick, upbeat read.
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse
by Joseph Marshall III

Fiction. Jimmy McClean is three-quarters Lakota and one-quarter white, but his light hair and blue eyes make him a target for the bullies at his school on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. Seeing Jimmy's frustration at having to constantly defend his heritage, Grandpa Nyles decides to take him on a "vision journey" to explore the life of another light-haired Lakota: the famous leader Crazy Horse. As they travel across the Great Plains, stopping along the way for Grandpa Nyles to tell intriguing stories about Crazy Horse's victories and struggles, Jimmy gradually discovers a sense of pride -- not just in himself, but in the pain and power of his people's history. 
Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert
by Marc Aronson

Nonfiction. Imagine: you're stuck thousands of feet below the surface of the earth. There's hardly any food. It's brutally hot, and it gets harder to breathe every day. Those were the conditions that 33 Chilean miners endured for 69 days in 2010. Trapped is the astonishing account of their ordeal, as well as the heroic (and sometime bizarre) efforts of their rescuers. Alongside fascinating insights into the history, science, politics, and mythology of mining, author Marc Aronson vividly describes the miners' suspenseful struggles and the increasingly desperate attempts to save them. Eye-catching photos, diagrams, and quotations drive home the drama of this real-life survival story.
Zebra Forest
by Adina Rishe Gewirtz

Fiction. In their isolated house at the edge of a forest, Annie, her younger brother Rew, and their mentally unstable Gran are held hostage by an escaped convict. Their terror turns to shock, however, when they learn that the convict is the children's father, who they believed to be dead. Gran is too far gone to help, Rew is disbelieving and furious, but Annie is strangely reluctant to let go of this unexpected chance to know her father. If you love intense, character-driven stories about imperfect families and uneasy truths, don't miss this poignant and poetic debut novel.
Greenglass House
by Kate Milford

Mystery. In the midst of a wild snowstorm, five unusual guests turn up unannounced at the creaky old Greenglass Inn. Milo, the innkeepers' son, is annoyed by the interruption to his winter break, but his frustration turns to intrigue when several items go missing from the guests' rooms. Encouraged by his friend Meddy, Milo draws on the skills of Negret (his character from the role-playing game Odd Trails) to investigate the strange thefts. Offbeat and vividly written, Greenglass House is loaded with tension, twists, and touches of fantasy. If you like this multilayered mystery, you should check out Chris Grabenstein's Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, which also features young gamers in puzzling circumstances.
by Todd Strasser

Suspense. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, many Americans braced for a nuclear attack that never occurred. But in Fallout, the bomb actually does drop, trapping 11-year-old Scott -- along with his family and several of their neighbors -- in an underground bomb shelter. As the food supply runs low, tensions run high, exposing guilt, fear, and prejudice among the survivors, who begin to wonder if they'll ever make it out alive. Contrasting the familiar concerns of Scott's life before the bomb with the horror of the aftermath, this thought-provoking read is the perfect pick for those who enjoy  speculating about what might have been.

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