February 2015



Rhythm & Rhyme for
Preschooler

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IF THE SHOE FITS
written by Alison Jackson, illus. by Karla Firehammer, (Henry Holt and Co., 2001), 32p, Ages 3-7

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LITTLE BITTY MOUSIE
written by Jim Aylesworth, illus. by Michael Hague, (Walker Children's Books, 2007), 32p, Ages 3-6

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SYLVIA LONG'S MOTHER GOOSE
gathered/illus. by Sylvia Long, (Chronicle Books, 1999), 112p, Ages 3+

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A WAS ONCE AN APPLE PIE
written by Edward Lear, adapted/illus. by Suse MacDonald, (Orchard Books, 2005), 32p, Ages 3-6

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BEARS IN THE BATH
written by Shirley Parenteau, illus. by David Walker, (Candlewick Press, 2014), 32p, Ages 2-5

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CAT & MOUSE
written/illus. by Ian Schoenherr, (Greenwillow Books, 2008), 40p, Ages 2-4



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Folk Literature for
Ages 4-8

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THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF
written/illus. by B. G. Hennessey, illus. by Boris Kulikov, (Simon & Schuster, 2006), 40 p., Ages 3-7

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THE DRAGON TAKES A WIFE
written by Walter Dean Myers, illus. by Fiona French, (Scholastic, 1995), 40p, Ages 6+

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THE NOTHING KING
written by Elle van Lieshout & Erik van Os, illus. by Paula Gerritsen, (Lemniscaat USA, 2004), 32p, Ages 4-7

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CHIN YU MIN AND THE GINGER CAT
written by Jennifer Armstrong, illus. by Mary GrandPré, (Knopf Books, 1993), 32p, Ages 4-8

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THE KING OF LITTLE THINGS
written by Bil Lepp, illus. by Daniel T. Wenzel, (Peachtree Publishers, 2013), 32p, Ages 4-9

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THE ODIOUS OGRE
written by Norton Juster, illus. by Jules Feiffer, (Michael de Capua Books, 2010), 32p, Ages 6+





Folk Literature for
Ages 8-12

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THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread
written by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Timothy Basil Ering, (Candlewick Press, 2006), 272p, Ages 8-12


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THE VOYAGE OF THE POPPYKETTLE
written/illus. by Robert Ingpen, (minedition, 2005), 48p, Ages 7+


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MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER
written by Mal Peet/Elspeth Graham, illus. by P. J. Lynch, (Candlewick Press, 2013), 48p, Ages 7-9


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ONCE UPON A TOAD
written by Heather Vogel Frederick, (Simon & Schuster, 2012), 272p, Ages 10+


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TWICE UPON A TIME : Beauty and the Beast, the Only One Who Didn't Run Away
written by Wendy Mass, (Scholastic Press, 2012), 282p, Ages 9-12


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THORNSPELL
written by Helen Lowe, (Alfred A. Knopf Books, 2008), 320p, Ages 9-12


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HALF UPON A TIME
written by James Riley, (Aladdin, 2010), 400p, Ages 8-12





Folk Literature for
Ages 12+

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BELLA AT MIDNIGHT
written by Diane Stanley, illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline, (HarperCollins, 2006), 208p, 10-14


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THE FALSE PRINCE: The Ascendance Trilogy: Book 1
written by Jennifer A. Nielsen, (Scholastic Press, 2012), 352p, Ages 13+


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THE LAST DRAGONSLAYER: The Chronicles of Kazam: Book 1
written by Jaspar Fforde, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), 296p, Ages 10-14


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SUN AND MOON, ICE AND SNOW
written by Jessica Day George, (Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2008), 336p, Ages 13-17









For more information on great children's literature for reading to children and by children, visit us at:

www.tchliteracy.com

Bringing you
books that:


Touch the Heart,
Color the Imagination, and
Delight the Mind


Welcome to The Storytellers, a monthly newsletter of outstanding children's literature to read and read aloud from preschoolers to middle graders.

In addition to featuring great stories currently available for reading and reading aloud, this month we are pleased to present stories from the past, memorable little gems that deserve a place of prominence in children's literature, but perhaps have been forgotten. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do.

For more information on reading to children, great books to read and read aloud, and a summer reading program, log on to our web site at www.tchliteracy.com.


Preschool
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PLEASE, MR. PANDA
written/illus. by Steve Antony, (Scholastic Press, $16.99, Jan 2015, ISBN 978-0-545-78892-2), 32 Ages 3-5

With patience persistence, and politeness, Mr. Panda asks various animals if they would like one of his colorful iced doughnuts, but receives various reactions from a penguin, ostrich, skunk, and whale. To their selfish replies, ("Give me the pink one." "No, go away." I want the blue one and the yellow one." "I want them all.") Mr. Panda answers, "No, you cannot have a doughnut. I have changed my mind." Only when a lemur asks nicely with a "please" and "thank you", that the entire box of doughnuts finds a new home. Young and old will appreciate the manners lesson and the magic words that open up worlds of pleasure.

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BALL
written/illus. by Mary Sullivan, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $7.99, Feb 2015, ISBN 978-0-544-31361-3),
32p, Ages 3+

Now in board book, a lovable, but relentless dog thrives on fetching a ball with a variety of emotions and a single word, "Ball." He begins the day waiting for his mistress to wake up and throw the ball. After his best pal leaves for school, he begs a meditating mom, the baby, and the family cat to play, but with no success. Forced to play alone, he tires, takes a nap, and dreams of wild ball chasing scenarios. When the young girl returns from school, the exuberant game begins again. Dog lovers will sympathize with the determination, frustration, anticipation, and happiness of one endearing, ball-obsessed canine.

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PEEP AND DUCKY
written by David Martin, illus. by David Walker, (Candlewick Press, $6.99, Feb 2015,
ISBN 978-0-7636-7243-0), 24p, Ages 2-6

Best friends, Peep and Ducky enjoy a day in the park, sharing giggles, romps, tag, slides, mud puddles, snacks, spilled drinks, and potty breaks. When the fun afternoon ends, no one wants to leave. "Then Momma says, 'Time …' / And Poppa says, 'To go!' / But Ducky and Peep cry, / 'No, no, no!'" Days are sweeter when shared with friends.

 
Preschool
Gems from the Past
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LITTLE BEAR'S LITTLE BOAT
written by Eve Bunting, illus. by Nancy Carpenter, (Clarion Books, 2003), 32p, Ages 3-6

Little Bear cherishes his small boat, which he rows, fishes, and dreams in all around Huckleberry Lake. When he outgrows the little boat, he is devastated. With ageless wisdom Mother Bear explains, "It is a little bear's destiny to grow and grow till he is a BIG BEAR. It is a little boat's destiny to stay the same size." Applying wisdom of his own, Little Bear passes his boat to another little bear with the same advice given by his mother. With old-fashioned charm, this gentle tale of growing up and leaving treasures behind should be read to every child.

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BIG BROWN BEAR GOES TO TOWN
written/illus. David McPhail, (Harcourt Children's Books., 2006), 40p, Ages 3-7

One morning when Bear collects his mail, he realizes that Rat's little yellow car is full of rainwater. Bear removes the water, goes to town, and purchases a mailbox for Rat's little car. Rat is so touched by Bear's generosity that he shares his special oatmeal and brown sugar meal. Simple acts of kindness make for wonderful read-alouds.

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BOBO THE SAILOR MAN!
written by Eileen Rosenthal, illus. by Marc Rosenthal, (Antheneum Books for Young Readers, $15.99, Sept 2013, ISBN 978-1-4424-4443-0), 40p, Ages 3-6

"This morning Willy woke up with a plan. 'Come on, Bobo, today we're going exploring.'" With an exceptional imagination, Willy explores the forest with Bobo, his trusted sock monkey and pet cat, Earl. They find poison mushrooms, nuts with hats, flowers, a friendly caterpillar, an explorer stick, an abandoned comb, and a red bucket, which Willy uses to launch Bobo into the river. While Bobo floats away, Willy returns home for the proper rescue gear (fishing line and rain gear), but a certain cat delicately steps across rocks to rescue the sailor man, only to receive an accidental drenching for his effort. Heroism comes in all shapes and sizes, but it is delightful when unexpected. With humor, exuberance, and curiosity, this follow-up to I Must Have Bobo! (2011) and I'll Save You Bobo! (2012) will captivate small listeners, and it is a wonderful choice for storytime.

 
Ages 4-8
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HUNTERS OF THE GREAT FOREST
written, illus. by Dennis Nolan, (Neal Porter Books, Roaring Brook Press, $17.99, Oct 2014,
ISBN 978-1-59643-896-5), 40p, Ages 3-7

In this charming wordless quest, seven tiny, brave, and fearless hunters set out on a long expedition. Carrying a spear, map, bedroll, magnifying glass, and telescope, the fearless hunters travel through arid land, climb over rocks and tree roots, and narrowly escape a huge dragonfly, an angry mother bird, a giant toad, and a scary squirrel. After losing their possessions, they find protection in a cave, only to spy a human girl roasting marshmallows by a campfire. Four of the hunters snatch a gigantic marshmallow from her unguarded bag, while another fends off hungry ants. Scampering back to the village, all celebrate a well-earned victory and the pleasure of a fabulous treat. Endpapers show the clever ants sprinting away with the forgotten equipment. The excitement of adventure and the humorous drama make for an entertaining, wordless read.

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ANDREW DRAWS
written/illus. by David McPhail, (Holiday House, $16.95, July 2014, ISBN 978-0-8234-3063-5), 32p, Ages 4-8

A small boy with an extraordinary talent finds a crayon under the sofa, and he begins to draw in the bathroom, bathtub, at bedtime with a flashlight, the zoo, aquarium, and museum. When Grandma's drawing of a bird comes off the page and settles on her shoulder, everyone is amazed. Mom gets a cat, Dad enjoys a comfy chair, and even the President asks for Andrew's help. "Andrew agreed to try. He drew a picture of some trucks filled with food for hungry people … and one of a big ship loaded with supplies for people whose homes had been washed away by a flood." He sends schools and hospitals to needed places, and boats full of supplies to flood victims. Using his last piece of paper and bit of crayon, Andrew draws something special for himself. With humor and the message of imagination and caring, children might wonder about the possibilities, if they had Andrew's talent.

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THE FARMER AND THE CLOWN
written/illus. by Marla Frazee, (Beach Lane Books, $17.99, Sept 2014, ISBN 978-1-4424-9744-3), 32p, Ages 4-8

An unexpected friendship develops between a lonely farmer and a young boy, when a passing circus train bumps on the tracks and ejects the young clown into the farmer's field. The farmer takes him home, washes his face, tries to cheer up the child, and watches over his sleeping visitor that night. The next day they eat, play, milk cows, gather eggs, and take a nap. While picnicking, they spy the returning train, rush down the hill, and meet an ecstatic clown family. Sudden surprises, affection, warmth, and compassion make this delightful wordless picture book worth reading to every young and young at heart believer.

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WINNIE: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
written by Sally M. Walker, illus. by Jonathan D. Voss, (Henry Holt & Co., $17.99, Jan 2015,
ISBN 978-0-8050-9715-3), 40p, Ages 6-9

During World War I, soldier and veterinarian Harry Colebourn discovers and buys an orphaned bear cub at a train station in Canada. Naming her Winnie (short for Winnipeg), Harry takes her along to his training camp in Quebec and onto England as the war progresses. Winnie becomes a favorite pet of the regiment, but when Harry goes into battle, Winnie is placed with the London Zoo. Tame and gentle, the zookeepers permit children to ride on her back. There, A. A. Milne's son, Christopher, meets Winnie, and it is love at first sight, prompting Milne to write the famous Winnie-the-Pooh books. Additional facts on Harry Colebourn, the American black bear, and Milne's writings are found in the Author's Note, as well as photos from the Manitoba Archives, Zoological Society of London, and the National Portrait Gallery in London. Children who cherish the beloved Pooh books will love this fascinating insight into the real bear behind the stories.


Ages 4 – 8
Gems from the Past
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GUJI GUJI
written & illus. by Chih-Yuan Chen, (Kane/Miller Publishers, 2004), 32p, Ages 4-8

When a very large egg rolls into a Mother duck's nest, she does not notice the difference, even when a crocodile baby emerges. Raised as a member of the duck family, Guji Guji knows that he is a bit different from his brothers, but he loves them anyway. When three hungry crocodiles appear and threaten to eat the duck family, Guji Guji proves that family is more important and worth protecting. This great little story about family differences and loyalty is a worthy addition to every home library.

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HOW TO HEAL A BROKEN WING
Written/illus. by Bob Graham, (Candlewick Press, 2008), 40 p., Ages 3-7

"High above the city, no one heard the soft thud of feathers against glass." So begins a tender and compassionate tale of a small boy, who discovers an injured bird and convinces his mother to take it home. With the help of his parents and a lot of love and patience, over the next month the bird is healed and released to fly again. The appeal of the story is in the details—the saving of one feather, the feeding with an eyedropper, a child's room filled with animal objects, and a calendar on which the days of healing are marked. As the author states, "… there is still hope in a coming generation of children who have curiosity and empathy with the world around them, and that care and attention can sometimes fix broken wings."


Ages 8-12
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ANDI UNDER PRESSURE
written by Amanda Flower, (Zondervan Books, $10.99, Sept 2014, ISBN 978-0-310-73705-5), 176p, Ages 10-14

Sixth grader Andi Boggs and her partner/neighbor Colin Carter, are mystery solvers extraordinaire. Continuing their adventures from Andi Unexpected (2013), Andi and Colin are determined to solve a new mystery surrounding their summer science camp at a local university in Killdeer, Ohio. Discover Camp is plagued by a series of pranks (missing markers, crickets, stolen equipment) until a science demonstration explodes sending their professor to the hospital with serious burns. Campus security's prime suspect is the mysterious janitor, Polk, a gentle 80-year-old man. As Andy and Colin delve into Polk's background, they realize that some of the camp counselors have greater motives. Will they solve the case before the camp and possibly the School of Sciences are closed for good? Tragedy, revenge, and jealousy are revealed as Andi and Colin unravel secrets surrounding old mysteries and middle school hijinks.

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A MILLION WAYS HOME
written by Dianna Dorisi Winget, (Scholastic Press, $16.99, Aug 2014, ISBN 978-0-545-66706-7), 272p, Ages 10-13

Twelve-year-old Poppy Parker has lived with her grandmother since the death of her parents in Botswana. When her grandmother suffers a stroke, Poppy lands in children's home, where life is radically different. In a series of bad decisions, Poppy sneaks out to visit her grandmother in the hospital and witnesses an armed robbery. For her protection, Detective Trey Brannigan moves her in with his compassionate mother, where she befriends a troubled girl her own age, meets the owner of the Spokane Animal Shelter, rehabilitates a German Shepard that is scheduled to be put down, and helps police capture a killer. Through loneliness and grief, Poppy learns the importance of making good choices, helping others, and begins to trust and love again. Suspense, resolutions, and hope make this poignant story an exciting read.

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ABSOLUTELY TRULY: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery
written by Heather Vogel Frederick, (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $16.99, Nov 2014,
ISBN 978-1-4424-2972-7), 368p, Ages 9-12

Twelve-year-old Truly Lovejoy, tall for her age (just under six feet) and the middle child of five children, finds her family uprooted in a move to New Hampshire, when her father loses an arm in Afghanistan. Truly quickly settles into school and community life and helps in the bookshop that her father and aunt own. Finding a mysterious note in a first edition copy of Charlotte's Web, Truly and her new friends begin a hunt through town as the Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes. Extremely busy adjusting to small town life, Truly tries out for the swim team, practices ballroom dancing for the Winter Festival, battles school bullies, investigates a theft, nearly drowns, and helps remodel the family's bookstore. An assortment of friends, eccentric citizens, quirky family, and an intriguing mystery make the first installment a fun read.


Ages 8-12
Gems from the Past
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THE MOUSE WITH THE QUESTION MARK TAIL
written by Richard Peck, illus. by Kelly Murphy, (Dial Books for Young Readers, July 2013), 240p, Ages 8-12

While preparations for Queen Victoria's 1897 Diamond Jubilee celebration are in full swing at Buckingham Palace, a secret mouse society underneath the Palace is also preparing for a parallel celebration. With schools, military, royalty, and industries, it is a world of the Great Truth: "For every human on earth, there is a mouse doing the same job, and doing it better." This is the world of Mouse Minor, a small foundling born with a special tail in the form of a question mark. Tormented by bullies at the Royal Mews Mouse Academy, he runs away and begins searching for clues to his heritage. From the royal stables to the Queen's chambers, the plucky little hero converses with animals and humans, uncovers royal secrets, and is unaware that spies stalking him. As two worlds collide, readers and listeners will enjoy the adventure, humor, and pluck of a small hero, who finds his purpose in life and a marvelous destiny. Even the bat rhymes are entertaining!

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MASTERPIECE
written by Elise Broach, illus. by Kelly Murphy, (Henry Holt and Co., 2008), 320p, Ages 9-13

"A great friendship, was like a great work of art he thought. It took time and attention, and a spark of something that was impossible to describe. It was a happy, lucky accident, finding some kindred part of yourself in a total stranger." From a gifted storyteller comes a powerful tale of an unlikely friendship between an eleven-year-old boy and a small beetle. James lives in a New York apartment with his social climbing mother and her new family. Marvin and his family reside behind the kitchen sink. The two form a bond when James' father gives him a pen and ink set as a birthday gift, and Marvin sketches the landscape outside of James window and presents it to him as a birthday gift. Misunderstandings arise when James' family believes him to be the artist, and matters escalate when James is recruited to help catch a thief by creating a replica of a famous drawing for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Marvin reproduces the drawing, but the original masterpiece is stolen. Surprises, mystery, intrigue, art history, family dynamics, and an endearing friendship combine to thoroughly entertain the most reluctant reader and listener.


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I HEARD IT FROM ALICE ZUCCHINI
written by Juanita Havill, illus. by Christine Davenier, (Chronicle Books, 2006), 32p, Ages 6+

Twenty delightful storytelling poems celebrate the world of the garden. Viewed from the ground level perspective of mice, snails, crickets, and a young fairy, children will enjoy the rhythmic stories and lovely illustrations. "I heard it from Alice Zucchini. / I wonder what the neighbors will say. / Max Bean said a bad word at recess, / so bad that Ms. Spinach turned gray." A King and Queen beetles lose their home when their Rhubarb Forest is baked in a pie. An elegant gentleman bee wishes to marry the flower Sweet Cicely. From vegetables and rodents to summer storms and fairy tale pumpkins, the poems are arranged in seasonal order with a table of contents.


Ages 12+
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THE PENNYROYAL ACADEMY
written by M. A. Larson, (G. P. Putnam's Sons, $16.99, Oct 2014, ISBN 978-0-399-16324-1), 304p, Ages 12+

The Pennyroyal Academy exists to train and equip princesses and knights to battle witches and dragons for a coming world war. This year the Academy opens its doors to commoners, and a teenage girl arrives with no name, no memory of her human parentage, and clad in only spider webs. She brings with her Prince Remington, who she rescued from a witch's cage along the way. Given the name Cadet Eleven (Evie), she endures harsh training, jealous rivalries, and impossible tests. Raised by dragons, Evie discovers her strange human family, unexpected friendships, and a Frog Prince. Along with the remaining first year students, Evie learns courage, kindness, compassion, and discipline, the four requirements to fight evil. When discouragement begins to overwhelm Evie, her teacher, Rumpleshirtsleeves, gives wise counsel: "You are not a victim in this world unless you choose to be. And if that's your choice, then you'll never be more than a frightened girl lost in the woods." Readers will look forward to Evie's second year at the Pennyroyal Academy with friends, enemies, witches, dragons, and a bit of romance.


Ages 12+
Gems from the Past
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THE SECRET PRINCE: A Knightley Academy
written by Violet Haberdasher, (Aladdin Books, 2011), 512p, Ages 11-13

Knowledge comes from learning, but wisdom directs that knowledge for good, not evil. Henry Grim, orphan and first year student from the Knightley Academy (2010), learns this lesson as rumors of war persist in the Nordlands. Henry begins a secret battle club with a former nemesis, Valmont, stows away with a roommate on an envoy across the guarded border to the Nordlands, impersonates servants at Nordlands' Partison School, and rescues the willful headmaster's runaway daughter. On this covert mission to the North, Henry discovers a secret rebellion in the Northlands, his parents' fate, and a family history that will change his destiny forever. Reminiscent of the Harry Potter series, but without the wizardry, the mystery, action, secret clubs, surprising friendships, unexpected love, death, and life-altering decisions will have readers anxiously awaiting the next volume.

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THE THIEF LORD
written/illus. by Cornelia Funke, (Chicken House, 2010), 376p, Ages 9-14

An abandoned movie theater, a magical carousel, a soft-hearted disguise-obsessed detective, two orphaned run-away brothers, evil relatives, a greedy shop owner, a kind photographer, and street children under the care of a cocky young thief combine to make this tale one of the most fascinating in print. After their mother's death, twelve-year-old Prosper and five-year-old Bo run away to Venice and try to avoid their aunt, uncle, and a detective, hired to locate them. In Venice, they join street children, who live in an old abandoned theatre under the protection of a youth called the Thief Lord. When offered a job by a nasty shop owner on behalf of his mysterious client, the Thief Lord and kids search for a missing carousel lion's wing. According to legend, the wing belonged to a lion, one of four animals attached to a magical merry-go-round, which was donated to an orphanage by a wealthy Venice merchant 150 years earlier. "People said that a few turns on the merry-go-round of the Merciful Sisters made adults out of children and children out of adults." The missing wing now belongs to a Venice photographer, who joins the children in hunting for the magical carousel. Find out whose lives are altered by riding it, how the children find a permanent home, and if the young Thief Lord finds happiness. Endpapers contain interesting information and facts about the lovely city of Venice

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THE HAUNTING OF CHARLES DICKENS
written by Lewis Buzbee, illus. by Greg Ruth, (Feiwel & Friends, 2010), 368p, Ages 12+

In 1862 twelve-year-old Meg Pickel roams the streets and rooftops of London in search of her missing fifteen-year-old brother, Orion. One night from the roof of a well-known mansion, she meets a family friend, Charles Dickens, who is searching for a new story. They witness a phony séance, encounter a child ghost, and realize that Orion may be alive. Joining together to search city streets, docks, pubs, and harsh workhouses for Orion, they encounter dangerous pickpockets and pressgangs. Fortunately, the fame and fortune of Charles Dickens opens doors and resolves difficult circumstances. They soon discover a sinister plot of greed, cruelty, and child labor connected to Orion's disappearance. Appealing illustrations add authenticity to this fascinating underworld of nineteenth-century London. Endpapers contain notes on "Children and Charles Dickens" and "Source Notes."

Over the years, we have researched thousands of children's books, and can recommend some of the best in outstanding children's literature for parents to read aloud and children to read. Our recommendations must meet certain criteria: fun, creative and imaginative stories, delightful illustrations, and excellent for age appropriate listening and reading. We hope that you enjoyed our recommendations. If you desire further information some of the best in children's literature, please visit our website, www.tchliteracy.com.

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