Sunday 28 April 2013




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Unlike her rebellious sister Lucinda, fifteen-year-old Lexa prefers to spend her free time playing video games, fighting the forces of evil with her partner-in-crime Marlon. But when Lucinda steals an invisibility potion from their uncle’s storeroom, she unleashes chaos into their lives. Lexa and Marlon find themselves catapulted into a world far more dangerous than any video game, full of misleading illusions, sinister Conjurors and deadly Fey, and threatened by a man with a grudge known as the Puppeteer. Accompanied only by Lexa’s uncle’s unreliable (and rather dangerous) Chimera, Lexa and Marlon must navigate this world to find Lucinda- before they too fall under the spell of the puppet master…

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Michaela Cochran still believes in enchanted mountains and fairytale castles, but her happily-ever-after will never happen if she can’t convince her mother to accept the magical gift Michaela has inherited.Michaela Cochran and her family make the trip to her father’s ancestral home every year, but this year is special. Michaela is now twelve, the age when every girl in the family receives a special gift. When Aunt Sharon explains that Michaela’s gift is a magical ability to bring one of her drawings to life, Michaela begins making plans. What she wants most is a castle high on the mountain, where her family can live together. But if she can’t figure out how to resolve the growing hostility between herself and her mother, her gift is meaningless

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Jinjing, a socially awkward, insecure and fearful girl living in Hong Kong, is about as far from a brave hero as you can get. But when a legendary golden dragon pulls Jinjing and three other kids—dishonest Pietro from Italy, moody Saburo from Japan and overconfident Kate from America--into another dimension, Jinjing discovers courage and strength she never knew she possessed.

A group of horrible monsters—the Four Fiends—have kidnapped the Earth’s Guardians. These ancient creatures protect the world from harm, and while they’re missing, life on Earth will spiral into chaos. The Golden Dragon tasks Jinjing and her new friends to find the Fiends and rescue the Guardians.

Now, Jinjing must unlock the courage hidden deep inside and lead the others through faraway lands in their quest to confront the Fiends. Can they pull together and save the Guardians? Or will their personal struggles overwhelm their combined strengths and doom the world?

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Caleb Reed is losing his mind, at least that’s what his father thinks.

If it were only the show - America's Funniest Home Videos - the same taped episode he's watched every night for the last six years - then perhaps his parental unit wouldn’t worry so much. But there’s far more to the thirteen year-old’s manic daily regimen that makes even Caleb himself question his mental health. 

For starters, there's his obsessive worry about the abandoned mansion across the street, and then there's that curious note someone left on his doorstep. It's neatly folded, black ribbon wrapped, and signed by a stranger named Emily Dickinson.

"I'm nobody. Who are you?" it reads. "Are you nobody too?"

In time, more of these strange, poetic messages arrive, silently beckoning the agoraphobic seventh grader to venture further and further from the safety of his home in order to retrieve them. Are the notes from Iris, the YouTube obsessed eighth grader who has begun filming an indie film on his street? Has his deceased older sister returned from the grave to deliver some sort of message? Or are the pages actually from the pen of Emily Dickinson, the reclusive and long dead 19th century poet? 

With his sanity in question, Caleb Reed's entire existence depends on finding an answer.

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Anna Olswanger's second book for young readers is an illustrated novel for middle grade readers based on a true story. In Greenhorn, a young Holocaust survivor named Daniel arrives at a Brooklyn yeshiva in the 1940s with only a small box that he won't let out of his sight. His obsessive attachment to the mysterious box excites the curiosity and unkind attention of the other boys. Free downloads of a Discussion Guide and Classroom Guide for Greenhorn are available from the publisher's website:
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Caramel Cinnamon thought the worst day of her life was the day her grandparent’s the King and Queen of the Elves of Cardamom went missing. 

She was wrong! 

The day she spills sticky toffee syrup onto her father’s computer, that's when her worst nightmare begins. Suddenly she finds herself marooned on a forbidden planet by an evil clone, with a very sticky secret. 

Caramel is desperate to find a way to escape and rescue her grandparents. If she doesn't she will lose her dreams of returning to Cardamom to become a healer like her mum. 

Luckily, she has a secret of her own and the lives of her family and friends depend on it!

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A Hilarious Dog and Cat Chapter Book for All Ages
* What happens when a super smart cat and precocious dog finally decide to communicate with each other after three years of living under the same roof?
* Will they do well in the pet show? 
* What REALLY happens when you leave your pets alone in the house?

Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom & Knowledge is an eight-year-old grey tabby cat who loves her toy mouse. Stanley is a three-year-old black Labrador/Rottweiler mix who does his best to ignore Katrina. Morty,a bunny, assists in the narration of their story. 

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The Princelings of the East is the first of a trilogy telling of the adventures of Fred and George.When the King's Birthday feast is ruined by an unnatural power drain, our Princeling heroes leave their scientific experiments to set out in search of answers. They encounter the enigmatic businessman Hugo, the impressive Prince of Buckmore, the wise Lady Nimrod, the irrepressible barkeep Victor, but find themselves threatened by those with vested interests. The scene shifts from a rural, feudal setting to the towers and heights of the curious Isle of Hattan, but where, or when, are they? Time is of the essence in solving this puzzle, and our heroes must keep their wits sharp and their heads clear if they are to survive.
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Ten-year-old Orion Spence never expected to wake up alone on the HMS Exploricus after his birthday. After finally locating the first officer of the time-traveling airship and the rest of the crew, Orion gets the horrible news. His parents, who serve as captain and science officer, have been kidnapped by the evil Emperor Daaggerd. The emperor has taken Orion's parents in order to get control of the Exploricus and also the Ancient Book of Spells, a powerful book Orion's family is pledged to protect.
Orion joins forces with the ship's officers and begins a desperate chase across space and time to save his family. First, Orion must unravel the clues to the seven keys on each continent needed to open the book. Then, he must pass deadly tests of strength, honesty, leadership, and everything else that is important to be the keeper of the Ancient Book of Spells.

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Heath always looked forward to summer visits at Grandpa’s—long days in the wild Rocky Mountains, fishing with Dad on the Piedra River, and nights sleeping on the screened-in porch. Plus this summer, Dad promised to finally tell him the secret about old Mrs. Baylis—a mysterious Native American woman living down the dusty dirt road… But now, after Dad’s accident, it can never happen that way. Heath and his mother go to Grandpa’s, but only to spread Dad’s ashes in the river. 
In the beginning, Heath feels like he's been swallowed by the raging Piedra, held upside down in some dark and unforgiving eddy. But one day, wandering along the riverbank, he meets Annie, a wild-eyed tomboy who shows him a hidden cave with a litter of orphaned coyote pups. Together they discover the cave holds another secret—one that might help them figure out the mystery of old Mrs. Baylis. During that summer in the mountains, Heath comes to realize there is both beauty and ugliness in the world, sometimes all tangled together. By opening himself up to Annie and the coyotes, he rediscovers hope and joy in this big, beautiful, mixed-up world.

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A door that leads nowhere… A key to open it. A map of a land that doesn’t exist, and a monster that does. Four sisters; a hypochondriac scientist, a mordant writer, and two feisty twins aspiring to be pirates, set off to retrieve their eldest sister who has been kidnapped into an unknown world. The four sisters must work together to outwit the monster Brakkus, face their fears, and unravel the clues of an ominous prophecy before time runs out: “Follow the river of blood and you will find a coffin of leaves... You will find her in the clutches of two great forces seeking power. They both prowl behind curtains of violence, but one can deliver only evil and the other, possible freedom. The one you seek is in the jaws of the deliverers, but you must hurry, for like meat thrown to dogs she will be ripped apart.
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Ten-year-old Stanley Delacourt loves his quiet life in the peaceful village of Meadowwood. At least, he does until his best friend is killed. Then the town library—where Stanley lives and works—is burned to the ground. The individuals responsible for both tragedies are a nasty group of soldiers. They work for the kingdom’s new leader, Christopher Siren. With the grown-ups too fearful to take action, Stanley vows to confront Siren. He plans to get answers and demand justice. Little does he know that his journey will involve sword-wielding knights, kidnapper fairies, and dark magic. Stanley has only two allies back home: a witch named Meredith, and a young apothecary called Sophie. Can they help him discover the reason behind Siren’s crimes and end this terrible reign? Or is Stanley set to become the next victim in the tyrant’s evil plot?
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Matthew and Mason are on vacation in Greece with their parents. While exploring the ruins at Knossos Palace on the island of Crete, they wander off and suddenly find themselves at Knossos in its prime, 4,000 years ago, when the Minoans were in power. Captured by guards, they barely escape execution and are forced to join a team of slaves who are training as bull dancers. That means they have to dance with a live bull in front of Minoan royalty. Mason is picked to be a bull leaper along with a girl named Bracche. They have to leap onto the bull's back and off again without getting gored. Will they be able to survive this ordeal, and is there any chance they can escape and take the other members of their team with them?
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Finn has never been on a cruise ship before, much less stowed away on one. He's never impersonated a fairy tale character, sought lost treasure or gotten to know his real dad. Annual visits to family in Germany are normally highlighted by skateboarding, playing soccer with cousins, and getting spoiled by his grandparents. But all that is about to change when a mysterious foreigner hands Finn his father's diary. He and best friend Burrito embark on the pursuit of his previously unknown inheritance -- a fortune in Nazi Gold.
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In the Window Room is a story about a young girl, Delany Calbefur, who's caused some trouble one fall, while she attended the Mayfield School for Girls. And she, as a punishment then, is made to leave the dormitory, and is forced to stay by herself in an old abandoned home on the outskirts of the school grounds. This story is about the dangerous and mysterious adventures she found there.
There are many... very secret, mysterious places in our world. Yet some of which, that hold no other foreseeable worth except that they are hidden, and those, by my judgement, should remain as such. However, there are certain other places, which if one can find them, that are both mysterious and immeasurably valuable. And it is of this latter kind that our story is concerned.
More specifically, the room that Delany Calbefur found, hidden away in the undiscovered corner of an old house, one Fall while she attended the Mayfield School for Girls, and the story of her adventures there is a tale that well deserves retelling. And so, within the pages of this book, I shall try my best at it.

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If Timothy Hayfield had known the mysterious secrets his grandmother had kept quiet all these years, and if he'd known the peril that would await him during a seemingly average summer's holiday in Mayfield, then he might have stayed behind. But who can tell what simple decisions may lead to grand adventures? In the undiscovered corners of his family's estate, he would find the fates of kings, and of worlds, that are hung in the balance. In places that would take him beyond our world, there would be battles, and valor, but only if Timothy wished it. For you see, this was choice, not a requirement: A simple decision that would make him a Prince of Earth.
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Soon to be twelve-year-old Miranda Moon's overactive imagination has landed her in trouble again. This time, she's been suspended from school. Since her Halloween weekend just got extended, her parents decide to take her and her straight-laced younger brother, Marcus, to her late grandparents' old cabin. That suits Miranda just fine. She's always felt there was something special about the place. Besides, she has a knack for making the best of things. 
But when Miranda finds a curious water globe hidden in the cabin, she and Marcus are catapulted into a world even she never imagined. A world where everybody already knows their family name and magic flows through the trees. A world called Wunderwood. But their arrival happens to coincide with the release of a sinister warlock from a forty-year imprisonment. Thornton Crow resumes his deadly agenda to find the source of Wunderwood's magical power, the Tree of Mindala, and seize it for his own.
As Miranda learns of her own connection to Thornton, she realizes that it's up to her to end his cruel and relentless cycle of death that would steal not just magic, but also hope. With only the cryptic words of a prophecy to guide her, she holds the fate of the entire realm as well as the safety of Marcus and the newly found branches of her family tree in her hands. Miranda's signature optimism is put to the ultimate test when she chooses to carry out the task that will save Wunderwood... or doom it forever.



  1. So great to be on this awesome list! Thank you so much, Sandra. Best of luck to all who enter.

  2. I loved The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt. Great to see Ilana Waters in this batch of authors.
    I loved Asimov's Lucky Starr's series as a kid. Adventure in space!

  3. Thanks for including Stanley & Katrina's book on the list! They are happy to be a part of it.

  4. I'm honored that Coyote Summer is on this great list, and I look forward to reading some of the other books you've shared here. Thanks!