Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Shadows by Jacqueline West

"Sometimes it's hard to know whom to trust,"Annabelle said softly. "And heaven knows we all make mistakes."

Who is Annabelle? Is she real? Is she good or evil? And the little boy Morton - is a real boy trapped in a painting or a painting come to life? And what about the three cats Horatio, Harvey and Leopold? Are they the familiars of witches or will they help save Olive?

When Olive moved to this old Victorian house with her parents, things were definitely strange - especially all those paintings stuck to the walls. But when Olive discovered how to step into the world inside the frame, events turned really ominous. This is the kind of book where you shout to the main character "No, don't go down into the basement!" or "No, don't open that door!"

Yikes, this is a scary story! If you liked Coraline by Neil Gaiman, then you will enjoy The Shadows, the first book in the new series The Books of Elsewhere.

Make sure to check out the author's website here. You can explore Olive's creepy house yourself!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

Sherlock Holmes is certainly the most famous detective in literature. Did you ever wonder what his childhood was like? How did he become the master of deduction? How did he learn to observe the smallest details and put them all together to solve mysteries? Death Cloud is the first book in a new series about the young Sherlock Holmes.

Fourteen-year-old Sherlock is looking forward to his summer vacation; however, his brother Mycroft picks him up from boarding school instead of his father. Mycroft explains that their father has been sent by the British Army to India and won't be home for nearly a year. Their mother is feeling ill so Sherlock is sent to his elderly uncle and aunt's home in the country. Expecting a very boring summer, Sherlock is quite unhappy with this situation.

Things look up when he meets a local boy his age and begins to explore the countryside. His uncle also hires a tutor for Sherlock - Amyus Crowe, a curious American, with a broad knowledge of the world.

Then the dead bodies begin to turn up! Is it the plague or something more mysterious?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Middleword by J and P Voelkel

Wow - this is the first book in the next, hot new series - the Jaguar Stones. If you loved Percy Jackson or the Kane Chronicles - you will definitely enjoy this book!

First, there is something definitely end-of-the-world spooky going on here. You may have heard about the year 2012, when the old Mayan calendar ends. Supposedly the world will end on that date - not that WE believe that!

Fourteen-year-old Max Murphy is the son of Mayan archaeologists and he is quite angry when they leave him home when they set off on a sudden expedition to Central America. Unexpectedly, he receives a ticket to join them, but when he gets to his uncle's home in Puerto Muerto, he discovers that they are missing in the jungle. And his uncle, who is supposedly in the banana business, seems to be involved with some dangerous characters buying and selling illegal Mayan artifacts.

When he first learns about the Mayan story of the Jaguar Stones, Max dismisses it as just an old legend about the long-dead Mayan gods - but then he finds a real Jaguar stone. Soon he finds himself deep in the jungle with Ix Sak Lol (who goes by the nickname Lola) and they are running for their very lives!

Book two, The End of the World Club, is already out - so now is the time to catch up in this new and very timely trilogy.

Click here to check out the super Jaguar Stones website! Lots of information on the Mayas, the mysterious Mayan calendar, Mayan glyphs, and even the ballgame played by the ancient Mayans.

The Rivalry: Mystery at the Army-Navy Game by John Feinstein

John Feinstein, who is a real sportswriter, has written another book in his great series of sports-based mysteries. There is something for everyone in this book - sports, mystery and intrigue!

Teen sportswriters, Steve and Susan, are back again reporting on real sports events for their newspapers. The game this time is the very famous rivalry between West Point, the Army academy, and Annapolis, the Navy academy. The President of the United States, will also be at the game so the Secret Service if busy all week checking things out. Susan and Steve wonder if there is a real threat to the President at this game, since the agents seem to be getting very tense. And then, they stumble on a possible referee scandal.

John Feinstein's books are very real, since he knows the people and events he writes about very well.

Click here to read a free sample chapter of The Rivalry.