Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
169 Pages
Age Range: 9-12

In this classic fantasy, Alice follows the trail of a very odd rabbit, one wearing a vest and carrying a pocket watch, down his rabbit hole. She suddenly finds herself in a mystical world, filled with cakes and tea, rabbits and mice, and cards and gardens. In this world, Alice finds everything peculiar, as she goes through various changes in her height, talks to animals (most of which she finds very rude), and seeks to enter the beautiful garden. Come along with Alice on this tale into another world! - AB

Among the Barons
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Copyright 2004
208 pages
Ages 9-12
Shadow Children #4

This is book number 4 in the shadow children series. Luke (the main character from the first two books in the series) has adjusted to life at Hendricks school as Lee Grant. Just when life seems to be going great he gets news that his “brother” will be attending his school. Having never met the family of whom he is impersonating to be a part of Lee (Luke) does not know what to expect. Having Smits on campus will be a challenge as he does not know who to trust about the fact that he is an illegal third child. Some strange events happen that include Smits’ bodyguard and both Smits and Lee are sent home to their parents. Lee (Luke) has never lived as a baron and is not accustomed to the lifestyle he encounters. Life turns dangerous as Lee learns that he could die numerous ways. Things turn very climactic and Lee and Smits become allies in this very suspenseful book. - JK

Among the Betrayed
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Aladdin Paperbacks
Copyright 2003
Ages 9-12
Pages: 176
Shadow Children #3

This story is the third book in Haddix’s “Shadow Children Series.” This story centers on a girl named Nina who has been taken prisoner by the population police. She has been accused of crimes she did not do but worries that her true identity as a third child might be discovered. Nina faces certain death if she does not do what her interrogator asks of her and he wants her to betray her fellow prisoners, three children. Nina does not know what to do but for the time being avoids making a decision. There becomes an opportunity for the prisoners to escape and Nina learns that these other children’s wit can save her life. She seeks out Lee and the students she knows at Hendricks school and in the end great revelations are made which ease Nina’s mind regarding what has all happened. - JK

Among the Brave
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: August 2005
Age Range: 8 to 12
240pp
Shadow Children #5

This is the fifth book in the shadow children series. This book focuses on Trey, a student from Hendricks school. Trey helped Lee and Smits during the end of “Among the Barons” and now wants the opportunity to prove himself to be brave although he feels bound to fail. Trey soon learns that everyone that who knows and trusted has been captured by the government. Trey meets up with Lee’s real brother Mark but soon thereafter Mark is also captured and Trey works to be able to help his friends. Trey turns out to save the day and is able to save his friends. - JK

Among the Hidden
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Aladdin Paperbacks
Pub. Date: October 2002
Age Range: 12 and up
192pp
Shadow Children #1

The Haddix series is packed with adventure and unexpected twists to the story. The main character in these books is Luke Gardener. He lives a life of hiding and dreaming of the world outside. Luke lives in a world where it is illegal to have more then two kids. He feels alone and is unsure if there is anyone illegal like him in the world. - EM

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Among the Impostors
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Aladdin Paperbacks
Pub. Date: October 2002
Age Range: 12 and up
192pp
Shadow Children #2

In the second book of the series, Luke gets a fake I.D. and he attends a very suspicious all boys school using his fake I.D. in search of trying to figure out how to help the other illegal kids in the world. Through a hard couple of months at an all boy school, Luke ends up saving himself and four other illegal boys. - EM

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Briar Rose
Jane Yolen
Pages: 200
Grade Level: 9 up
Copyright : 1992
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates

Growing up listening to her grandma tell an unusual and somewhat frightening version of Sleeping Beauty, twenty-three year old journalist Rebecca Berlin embarks on a quest to uncover the mysteries of her grandmother’s past. With the story as one of the only clues that she has, Rebecca travels to Poland to investigate which parts of the story are fact and fiction. In Briar Rose, Jane Yolen masterfully marries the popular fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and one of the most outrageous acts of injustice in history: the Holocaust. In the story, Gemma is both the heroine and victim of the story. Read the story to find out the mysteries hidden deep in Gemma’s past. - MM

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Duckling Ugly
Neil Shusterman
213 pages
Copyright 2006
Young Adult

When sixteen-year-old Cara, a girl ugly enough to break mirrors, is drawn to a place where everyone can be beautiful, her deepest desire is to return home to say goodbye--and get revenge.

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Ella Enchanted
Gail Carson Levine
Harpercollins Childrens Books
Pub. Date: August 1998
Age Range: 8 to 12
272pp

Ella of Frell is a fifteen year old girl with a fairy godmother. At her birth, her Aunt Lucinda gave her a gift that turned into a curse – that of obedience. Her mother was the only one who helped Ella understand her gift while growing up. However, when her mother died, her father remarried an evil lady with two daughters. One of the daughters, Hattie, found out about Ella’s curse and constantly used it against her. The main cause of their disagreements: Prince Char. Who will win this prize? Will Ella overcome her curse? Find out in the Cinderella story how a young girl overcame the obstacles around her as she seeks to fulfill her dreams. - AB

*****

Ella Enchanted written by Gail Carson Levine, is the exciting "Cinderella story" with a bit of a twist Ella is a spunky girl, who was given a very special gift at birth, by her wonderful fairy godmother. Ella was given the gift of obedience. At first glance. It seems that this would be a very good and useful gift, but as her mother knew from the very beginning, the gift would and could cause her much harm. Anything that anybody told Ella to do, she would have to obey---not only was this a nuisance, it could become dangerous! Ella goes through many trials and quests, encountering trolls and other such things, but in the end is finally liberated from her gift by refusing to marry the prince even when he commands her to and even though he really is her true love, because she knows that if she ever married him, she would be putting him in great danger! - KH

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Full Tilt
Neil Shusterman
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pub. Date: July 2004
Age Range: Young Adult
208pp

When sixteen-year-old Blake goes to a mysterious, by-invitation-only carnival he somehow knows that it could save his comatose brother, but soon learns that much more is at stake if he fails to meet the challenge presented there by the beautiful Cassandra.

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Gathering Blue
Lois Lowry
© 2000
215 Pages
Age Range: Young Adult

Kira’s life had always been different from those of around her. For one thing, she was born with a twisted leg. Many believed she should have been taken to the Field before given a name. But her mother refused. Secondly, her father had been killed by the beasts. When her mother suddenly dies, she finds herself fighting against the harsh women of the village for a chance to stay and make a life for herself – despite the difficulties that would arise. At her trial, the guardian, Jamison, defends her and gives her a place to stay. She has been given a project – her life’s work: to restore and improve the Singer’s robe. Soon Kira begins to question what she has already known. What will she discover? AB

The Giver
Lois Lowry
Pages: 180
Grade Level: 8 - Up
Copyright : 1995
Publisher: Delacorte Books

Summation: The Giver is about a little boy who realizes the truth about the world around him, and those that he loves. On his twelfth year graduation, he is given his assignment for his adult life. He is to be the Receiver. He learns what this means when he goes to the Giver for his training. The boy’s life is turned upside down as he learns new things called feelings. He receives all the world’s memories and is faced with many pleasures and many heartbreaks. Overcome by the sorrow in these memories, he and the Giver decide on a plan of escape. He has learned the truth, and runs away to never come back.

Comments: This book was very pleasant to read. It really drew me in as the reader, riding wave after wave of emotion that Josiah experienced. My heart was moved and inspired by this. It is perfect for middle school and high school readers. It explains what the world would be like if everyone was the same. - KP

*****

What if everything was perfect: no pain, war, fear, prejudice, and hatred? What if choices were made for you; all you have to do is exist. Life would be easy, but would it be life? Jonas discovers that this perfect society he has been living in isn’t so perfect after all. It’s bland, boring, numb, and robotic. People are missing out on the true joys of life in exchange for peacefulness. Jonas wishes to show the people in his life the richness they have been missing. It’s not so easy, though. When Jonas discovers that Gabriel, a baby that his family is taking care of, is going to be “released” (killed), Jonas must act, but what can he do? Find out in The Giver by Lois Lowry. - MM

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Gregor the Overlander
Suzanne Collins
311 Pages
Copyright 2003
Grades 3 - up

When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving humans, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

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Fairest
Gail Carson Levine
Harpercollins Childrens Books
Pub. Date: May 2008
Age Range: 8 to 12
352pp

This book is a slight variation on the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. A young girl named Aza lives with her family in the inn that they own. She was found when she was a baby and taken in by this family. She is awkward and homely and does not look like her family, but she has the voice of an angel. One day, a duchess comes to the inn and she asks Aza to be her companion as the duchess’s companion became ill. Aza goes to the castle for the king’s wedding, and there she first meets Prince Ijori. Aza soon becomes the queen’s assistant, as she can throw her voice and this helps to hide the queen’s lack of ability in singing. The deception is soon discovered, and Aza is put into prison. She escapes and goes to stay with the gnomes, who she discovers are her cousins. She finally makes her way back to the castle, and the queen’s evil intent is discovered and Aza marries Prince Ijori. - JH

Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Ireland
Retold by: Virginia Haviland; Illustrated by: Catharine O’Neill
HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: October 1994
Age Range: 9 to 12
96pp

This book contains five fairy tales from traditional Ireland. These stories contain some kind of lesson, and a happy ending. One of the stories was about a young girl that was very lazy and wanted only to marry the prince. One day he was riding his horse by her and he took her to marry her. His mother, however, wanted to make sure that the girl was a hard worker. She put her in a room to make thread. The girl wept and wept, for she had no idea how to make thread. A fairy then came and helped her. The next day, the girl was told to make cloth. She wept and wept, for she had no idea how to make cloth. A fairy came again and helped her. The next day, the girl was told to knit stockings from yards and yards of yarn. A fairy came once more and helped her. The girl married the prince, and at the wedding feast the fairies all came to the door, telling the king that the new princess had invited them to the wedding. The first fairy had a large foot from working the pedal to make thread. The second fairy had long arms from working the machine to make cloth. The third fairy had a large nose from knitting so much and so close to her face. The prince decided that if that was what came of lots of work, he did not want his princess to work. The queen saw that the princess had the blessings of the fairies and so the marriage was meant to be. - JH

Invisible Stanley
Author: Jeff Brown
HarperCollins Children's Books
Pub. Date: July 2003Recommended Ages: 7-10
Pages: 84

Annotation : This story is about a little boy names Stanley Lambchop. One evening, after eating apples and raisins during a thunderstorm, Stanley becomes invisible. Dr. Dan, the family physician, was unable to find a cure for this mysterious illness which, according to the book of Difficult and Peculiar Cases, had only been reported on three other occasions. Stanley enjoyed his invisible state for a few days, during which he was able to be discreetly helpful in a number of ways—including foiling a bank robbery. However, the novelty of being invisible soon wore off. There seemed to be no hope until Stanley’s brother, who previously found a cure for Stanley’s flattened state, developed a plan to make his brother visible again. Arthur’s plan worked, and order was restored to the Lambchop home.

Reaction : This book was an easy read for a beginning reader. It was engaging and somewhat suspenseful. I really enjoyed it. - EH

Left Behind
Tim LaHaye
Tyndale House Publishers
Pub. Date: January 1996
480pp

Publisher's Description: This fictional account of life after the Rapture delivers an urgent call to today's readers to prepare their own hearts and minister to others.

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Life as We Knew It
Susan Pfeffer
Harcourt Children's Books
Pub. Date: May 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
360pp

The book, “Life As We Knew It”, is a personal diary from a 16 year old girl named Miranda. Miranda lives with her two older brothers and her mom. She also has a dad and stepmom and they have a baby on the way. As this book opens up it seems like a regular diary. Miranda writes about her family, school, and life. As the diary goes on we figure out that there are some weird things that are about t happen to the world. After a crater hits the moon, everyone’s lives change. All the stores and gas stations start to close. Everything just seemed to keep getting worse and worse. There was no longer electricity, or running water. People were dying left and right. After a very close call for Miranda’s family after they got really sick, things started looking up. Miranda was about ready to let herself die when she found out the mayor was giving food away. The book ends on Miranda’s birthday and with things looking more positive for her, her brothers, and her mom. - EM

*****No one knows that things on earth are about to drastically change. An asteroid is going to hit the moon, but that does not mean that anything bad is going to happen. People are outside watching to see what will happen.

The moon has been hit far closer to the earth than it should be. This means catastrophic events. Tsunamis wipe out entire cities on the coast, volcanoes appear where they would never have appeared before. The ash from the volcanoes is so strong it leaves a gray covering in the sky, blocking the sun and keeping any plants or crops from growing.

Miranda and her family are stuck. Fortunately, as soon as Miranda’s mom knew what was happening, she took Miranda and her younger brother to the store to stock up on canned goods and anything else they could fit into their carts.

As the electricity goes out and the weather gets colder and the well dries up, Miranda’s family must learn to survive. They eat very little, hoping to have enough food to keep them alive for as long as possible. Everyone in Miranda’s family gets sick except for her, so she is the caregiver and she must keep her family alive and keep the woodstove going so they do not all freeze to death.

One day, Miranda knows that she is on the verge of death. She tells her mom and two brothers that she is going to town to the post office. She knows that she will not have the strength to make it back home, but she cannot bear to let her mom see her die.

Once in town, she sees a yellow piece of paper flying across the ground. She grabs it and finds that there might possibly be food at the city hall. She makes her way over to the building, and finds that there is food. Each member of a household is to receive one bag of food every week.

The man at city hall takes Miranda home along with three more bags of food. He promises to bring more the following week. The electricity comes on at random points, and the radio is broadcasting sometimes during the day. This means that the world is slowly going back to normal. - JH

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The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Beverly Cleary
Pages: 153
Grade Level: 3
Copyright : 1965
Publisher: Morrow Junior Books

Perhaps one of the most beloved children’s novels of all time is The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. Children get to experience first hand the life of fun-loving, adventurous Ralph. Even the simplest of things can be a great adventure for a mouse on a boy’s toy motorcycle. What will Ralph do next? Children will not be able to keep from turning the page to find out what happens next. - MM

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Robert C. O'Brien
233 pages
Copyright 1971
Grades 3 and up

With nowhere else to turn, a field mouse asks the clever escaped lab rats living under the rosebush to help save her son, who lies in the path of the farmer's tractor, too ill to be moved.

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New Moon
Stephenie Meyer
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: May 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
608pp
(This book is the sequel to Meyer’s book, Twilight.)

It is Bella’s birthday and she refuses to acknowledge it. It is just another reminder that she is human and will continue to grow older while Edward will stay exactly the same. There is a birthday party at the Cullens’ house. Bella gets a paper cut while opening a present, and Jasper, Edward’s brother, springs on her. It is a fight to keep everyone from attacking Bella while the blood gets cleaned up. Edward finally decides that it is far too dangerous for Bella to be with him. He convinces her that he does not love her and he leaves with his family.

Bella is completely miserable and becomes simply a shell of a person. She finds a friend in Jacob Black, only to find that he is a werewolf and equally dangerous as Edward had been. But he makes her happy, and she convinces herself that she could love him, even though her heart has been ripped out and will never be the same.

However, she finds out that Edward is in trouble and goes to save him. In order for all of them to be saved, the vampires must promise that they will bite Bella and turn her into a vampire. Edward makes this promise, and they all return home and life goes back to the way it was before Edward left. - JH

Pippi Longstocking
Astrid Lindgren
Pages: 160
Grade Level: 3
Copyright : 1977
Publisher: Puffin Books

What child has not imagined how fantastic life would be to live all by themselves without parents, school, or anyone to tell them what to do? Children everywhere imagine what it would be like to have whatever they want, like a pet horse, monkey, supernatural strength, and a treasure of gold. Who can not say that they wish they could do and say whatever they wanted, no matter how wild or socially unacceptable it may be? Pippi lives this fantasy life, along with her friends Tommy and Annika. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren will entertain young children or those who are still children at heart – no matter what age. - MM

The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
Vivian Vande Velde
© 2002
116 Pages
Age Range: 9-12

Have you ever looked closely at the fairytale of Rumpelstiltskin and wondered how the miller and the king were talking in the first place? Or why the king does not wonder why the miller is not rich if his daughter can spin straw into gold? Or why Rumpelstiltskin does not know how to make a good bargain? Vivian Vande Velde has always been puzzled by these questions and more, so she decided to solve the problem. In this novel, Vande Velde offers six different renditions of what could have happened in the Rumpelstiltskin story if it did not have all of the aforementioned holes. Come along on six tales of kings, gold, and little men, and discover for yourself the story of Rumpelstiltskin. - AB

Prince Caspian
C.S. Lewis
238 Pages
Copyright 1951
Age Range: Grade 5 up

Four children help Prince Caspian and his army of Talking Beasts to free Narnia from evil.

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Shape - Changer
Bill Brittain
Pages: 108
Grade Level: 4
Copyright : 1995
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

How many 12 year old boys get the chance to save the world from certain peril? At least one if you ask Frank Dunn. Frank’s world is turned upside down when he stumbles across a fire hydrant. This is not just any fire hydrant; it talks. As it turns out, the hydrant is a shape-changer named Zymel. Zymel is a police officer who was transporting Fek, a master criminal to prison. Both Fek and Zymel can take the shape of any object they choose. Zymel is concerned that Fek will reek havoc on Earth if he is not captured soon. Will Frank and Zymel capture Fek before he unleashes his terror on Earth? Find out in Bill Brittain’s Shape-Changer. - MM

Spinners
Donna Jo Napoli And Richard Tchen
© 2001
Pages: 197
Age Range: 9-12

The fairytale of Rumpelstiltskin has always been a vague one, allowing for many different possible interpretations of the story. Donna Jo Napoli and Richard Tchen work together to weave a story behind this fairytale. Beginning with a beautiful love scene and the grandparents of the miller’s daughter, this story expands grows deeper and more intriguing with each twist and turn. Though the general story of Rumpelstiltskin is assumed when reading this book, how the story takes place and the reasons behind each action are very different. Enter the world of Rumpelstiltskin and his daughter Saskia for an exciting adventure you’ll not soon forget! - AB

Stuart Little
Written by: E.B. White; Illustrated by: Garth Williams
HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: May 1974
Copyright: 1945
Age Range: 5 to 12
144pp

Stuart Little is a very different child. He looks nothing like his family. He is a mouse while the rest of his family is humans. Stuart has many problems because of his size but knows his family loves him all the same. Things are made difficult too by the family cat, Snowball. Eventually Stuart decides it is time to go off on his own and drives off in his little car to have more adventures. - JK

Tale of Despereaux
Kate DiCamillo
Candlewick Press
Pub. Date: April 2006
Recommended Ages: 7-12
Pages: 272
Awards: Newberry Medal

Rejected by his family for being un-mouse-like, and sentenced by the Mouse Council to death-by-rats, Despereaux Tilling embarks on a dangerous quest to save the life of his heart’s desire, the Princess Pea. In the process, he helps a rat named Roscuro to escape the darkness of the dungeons and find the light for which he truly longs. Throughout his quest, Despereaux encounters many different personalities in the human and rodent worlds in which he finds himself. His courage in allowing his uniqueness to come through serves as the spark that drives him and enable him to overcome the darkness in his world and save the lives, figuratively and literally, of those around him.

Reaction : I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I decided to write my Literacy unit on it. It was a very engaging story and I had a hard time putting it down. I really think I will read it again just for fun. - EH

Trollbridge: A Rock’N’Roll Fairy Tale
Jane Yolen
Copyright 2006
240 Pages
Grade 5 - up

Sixteen-year-old harpist prodigy Moira is transported to a strange and mystical wilderness, where she finds herself in the middle of a deadly struggle between a magical fox and a monstrous troll.

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Twilight
Stephenie Meyer
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers (September 6, 2006)

Bella Swan is a seventeen-year-old high school student who has chosen to live with her dad, Charlie, in Forks, Washington. She leaves her mom and her home in Phoenix, Arizona, and moves to a town that is extremely small and where everyone knows everyone else. Bella’s dad is the sheriff in town, so everyone at her new school knows her immediately. There are a couple of boys whose attention she immediately catches. But as far as her attention goes, there is a group of five people who catch it. - JH

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Tuck Everlasting
Natalie Babbitt
Pages: 139
Grade Level: 4
Copyright : 1975
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux

What if the “Fountain of Youth” were real? What if it were actually possible to capture youth in a bottle? Would you drink it, and if you did, what would happen? Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting takes a unique look at this surface Utopia and exposes it as something far less glamorous. When Winnie discovers a boy drinking from a spring in the woods, she is kidnapped and taken back to their home. She soon discovers that their intentions are pure, and that they only desire to do what is best for her and the rest of humanity. All of this is changed when a man discovers their secret and plans to buy the wood and sell the water; making it available to only the smartest and richest members of society. What will the Tucks do to stop him? - MM

Uglies
Scott Westerfeld
Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: February 2005
Age Range: Young Adult
448pp

This story is about a girl named Tally who can’t wait to turn sixteen so she can get her life changing plastic surgery done. This surgery takes each girl at the age of sixteen from the world of “uglies” into the world of “pretties”. She is ecstatic about it until she meets a girl named Shay that makes her question everything she knows about the world of “uglies” and “pretties”. Shay tells Tally that she is going to run away because she does not want to become a “pretty” but Tally does not understand why. The night that Shay leaves town she asks Tally if she would like to come with her but Tally says that she does not want to go. Shay leaves a note giving her directions incase she changes her mind but Tally still wants to go get her surgery. She gets in her car to go and get her surgery the morning of her birthday but the “specials” stop her and tell her that she is never going to get her surgery until she tells them where Shay escaped to. She decides that she will find Shay and give her up so that she can get her surgery. When she gets to the “rusty ruins” she changes her mind and falls in love with a man named David. He is the leader of the “uglies” that have escaped. Tally then meets his parents and discovers that they were surgeons for the “pretties”. They tell Tally that not only did the surgery make people pretty but while these people were in surgery they put in lesions which make the “pretties” submissive to the “specials”. While all of this is going on the “specials” have been tracking Tally every since she left there supervision. They go to the “rusty ruins” and capture everyone but Tally and David. While Tally and David are trying to find everyone Shay was forced to get the “pretty” surgery done. Finally Tally and David find them and they escape. Tally is saddened by what happened to Shay and is trying to find an answer. David’s mom finds a cure but Shay won’t let her do surgery on her. The book ends by Tally telling the “specials” to make her pretty. - RC

Wayside School is Falling Down

Louis Sacher
HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: August 1990
Age Range: 8 to 12
192pp

The thirtieth floor of Wayside School is home to Mrs. Jewls’ class and the setting for some of the craziest situations you will ever read about. Louis Sachar, the author of Wayside School is Falling Down, has written another excellent story about the perils of elementary school and all the inner workings that only students can truly understand and appreciate. There are lots of stories about socks, tempting pigtails, non existent floors and teachers, the three Erics, bad men in the basement, an evil teacher and cows stuck on the roof. KW

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Winnie The Pooh
A.A. Milne; Illustrated by: Ernest H. Shepard
Penguin Young Readers Group
Pub. Date: October 1988
Age Range: 5 to 8
176pp

This is the story of a little boy named Christopher Robin who has a bear named Winnie-the-Pooh. He asks the narrator of the story – we are not sure who this is, if it is his father or grandfather or what – to tell the bear a story. So the narrator proceeds to tell a story of the bear and all of his friends. They all live in the 100 Acre Wood. Winnie-the-Pooh has all sorts of adventures and gets into all sorts of messes. His favorite thing in the whole world is honey, so he decides that he will find a balloon and fly above a tree in order to get some honey. He knows that the bees will believe that he is a cloud. He eats so much honey one day that he gets stuck in his friend Rabbit’s doorway. One day there is a huge rainstorm and Pooh’s best friend, Piglet, was in danger. Pooh went with Christopher Robin out to save Piglet and everything was all right. Even though Pooh is silly, he is a sweet little bear and helps his friends. - JH

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The Witches
Roald Dahl; Illustrated by: Quentin Blake
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Pub. Date: August 2007
Age Range: 9 to 12
208pp

This is the story of a young boy. His parents die when he is young, so he goes to live with his grandmother. His grandmother tells him many stories about the witches that live all over the world. She tells him that the witches hate little children and they do everything they can to get rid of all the children. She tells him how the witches disguise themselves and how they look like normal women. But, witches exist and the grandmother warns her grandson to be careful.

One day, the boy and his grandmother go on vacation and stay in a hotel. The young boy has two pet mice that he is trying to train to become circus mice. He finds an empty room in the hotel and tries to train the mice. While he is there, many women enter the room and sit down. A lady goes up to the front to speak. All of the women eventually remove their masks and their shoes and the young boy knows that they are all witches.

The head witch has created a new potion to turn children into mice. In the meeting, she explains to all of the witches how to make the potion and to give it to the children. At the end of the meeting, one of the witches smells the boy. They find him and turn him into a mouse.

The boy makes his way up to his grandmother’s room and explains everything that had happened to him. He decides that he must get rid of all of these witches to save the children of England. He and his grandmother come up with a plan to put the mouse potion into the food of the witches at dinnertime. This plan works and all of the witches are turned into mice.

The boy and his grandmother return home. As the boy gets used to being a mouse, he and his grandmother continue to talk about all of the witches that are still around the world. They decide to make it their life mission to turn these witches into mice and to keep them from destroying all of the children. - JH


A Wrinkle in Time

Madeleine L’Engle,
Copyright: 1962
Pages: 203
Ages: 9 - 14

Margaret Murry is not sure what to think about life. She is seen as an oddball at school, the whole town is making assumptions about her father-gone-missing, and her little brother can, it seems, read her and her mother’s minds. All of these things become quite trivial, though, when Meg, her brother, Charles Wallace, and her new friend, Calvin, seek out Mrs Whatsit and her friends, whom Charles Wallace has befriended. This interesting group of six travels through time/space to try to save Meg and Charles Wallace’s father from a force much stronger than the children might expect. Encountering other planets and finding hope, solace, and strength in places and people she never imagined, Meg realizes the importance of being who she is made to be. Interlaced with religious (Biblical) insight, this book is sure to capture the reader’s full attention. - SK

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