Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cryptid Hunters by Roland Smith

Roland Smith is one of my favorite adventure writers. He worked as a zookeeper and wildlife biologist before he became a writer. Animals still are important in most of the books he writes.

Cryptid Hunters is about the search for animals that are strange or mysterious. Some cryptids, like the Coelacanth, were thought to be extinct until they were discovered again. Other cryptids are really unbelievable - like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.

In this book thirteen-year-old twins Grace and Marty have come to live with their Uncle Wolfe, a cryptid hunter. Along with his research team, they all go in search of a living dinosaur called the Mokele-mbembe and find lots of mystery and thrilling adventure along the way.

The sequel to Cryptid Hunters has just been released. It is called Tentacles. This time the group is in search of a giant squid! If you would like to watch a short video interview with Roland Smith, just click the title link above.

Therapy Dogs by Linda Tagliaferro

We have exciting news here at Maltby this year! We have our very own facility dog or therapy dog. His name is Caesar and he is a beautiful black Labrador Retriever. We are the first public school in Michigan to own a therapy dog! He spends his days in the counseling office, in classrooms, the computer lab, and visiting the media center. Caesar loves to have students read to him. Caesar was trained for his job by For Better Independence, a non-profit group that trains many different types of service or assistance dogs.

Therapy Dogs by Linda Tagliaferro explains what these specially trained dogs do for people and how they are trained from the time they are puppies. Some dogs help people or kids feel better when they are in the hospital or a nursing home. Some dogs can even help with physical therapy or if someone is in pain from a medical procedure. Other dogs can just offer a warm, furry shoulder to hug when things get upsetting at school.

Caesar is becoming a little famous around our town. He has even been on television. If you would like to see a video clip of Caesar and the kids at our school, click on the book title above.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What the Dickens

Dinah, her brother and her sister, are trapped in their house during the worst storm ever. Their parents have gone missing and they are under the care of their young adult cousin, Gage. To occupy them, Gage tells them stories of the skibbereen, also known as tooth fairies, in particular one inventive tooth fairy called What the Dickens.

Master story teller Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked (and several others), takes you through this fantastic world and will make a believer out of you.

To read the first chapter online, click on the the title above.

Once Upon a Marigold, Twice Upon a Marigold

Marigold is a princess in this fairy tale with a modern twist. Not your typical beautiful princess, she spends most of her time in her room and on her balcony with her dog. It is there that Christian sees her through his telescope and falls in love. Christian, who lives in a cave with his troll father, is not what he seems. Laugh with them as Christian wins her hand and they battle with the evil queen.

Stay tuned for Twice Upon a Marigold, the sequel by Jean Ferris.

The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

Franny Hansen is a ten year old girl living in Rusty Nail, Minnesota in the 1950's. She is a typical girl, except that she is an extremely talented pianist. Her talent can only go so far in Rusty Nail, until she comes into contact with a mysterious "Commie." While some of the neighbors think this Russian woman is a threat to their way of life, Franny sees in her an opportunity to learn and become a better pianist.

Lesley Blume has created a story that can be laugh out loud funny as well as touching. She also shows us what life was like in the 50's and by letting us see a glimpse of the life of someone who was victimized by the McCarthy era "witch hunts," we can see how sad that time truly was.

Click on the title above for 6 Insider Secrets!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede

Imagine an America settled by colonists and pioneers who all know how to use magic! Magic is necessary to protect the settlers against powerful animals such as woolly rhinos, mammoths, and steam dragons. Patricia Wrede has created this amazing and original fantasy world for the first book in her new series Frontier Magic.

Eff Rothmer has a twin brother, Lan, who is the seventh son of a seventh son - destined to be a truly powerful magician. Unfortunately she is also the thirteenth child of her family and she suffers from the superstition that she is a jinx or perhaps something worse. Eff is relieved when her family moves West, when her father accepts a position as a professor of magic at a new college near the frontier. Eff loves the excitement of moving closer to the great magical barrier created by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, which keeps out all the truly dangerous magical creatures. She makes a good friend in William. And she adores her new magic teacher Miss Ochiba, who teaches non-traditional magic. Unfortunately there are real dangers out on the frontier. And Eff worries that she is a danger to others since her magic seems so unreliable.

I really like the cover illustration for this book. It reminds me of the black paper silhouettes that people used to make.

To read the first chapter of Thirteenth Child, click on the book title link above.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Margaret Haddix wrote a very popular series that began with a book called Among the Hidden. This new book, Found, is the first book in her new series called The Missing. And it is quite a thriller!

Thirteen years ago a very mysterious event occurred at an airport. Suddenly, a jet plane materialized at a gateway. Aboard the plane there were only thirty-six babies. No crew. No adults. This bizarre occurrence was covered-up by the government, which secretly placed the babies in adoptive homes. The adoptive parents did not know that there was anything unusual about their new children.

Jonah was one of these adopted children. Now a seventh grader, Jonah began receiving strange messages in the mail. The first one read - You are one of the missing. The second one was more threatening - Beware! They're coming back to get you. Jonah's friend Chip, who didn't know he was adopted, also receives the messages. Chip, Jonah, and Jonah's sister Katherine decide to investigate and they locate more thirteen-year-old adopted children right in their area. Events soon turn terrifying.

If you click on the book title above, you can watch a short video about Found.

This is a great beginning to a new series and the second book in the series has just been published. It's called Sent. Check it out at the media center!