Program Date: January 28, 6:30-8:30 PM
Lovers of dogs and/or dog stories will be delighted to know that a deluge of delights awaits them this publishing season. Here is but a sampling of some recent dog tales. Take your pick of the litter!
A dog called Homeless by Sarah Lean
The vanishing by Christopher Holt
The dogs of winter by Bobbie Pyron
The dogs of winter by Bobbie Pyron is an incredible, heart-pounding survival story based on fact. Ivan is but one of 80,000 to 2 million homeless children forced to fend for himself in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Most of these abandoned children form packs and live in vacant buildings and/or underground train stations. What distinguishes four year old Ivan Mishukov is his decision to depend on a pack of feral street dogs instead of other children for his survival. For two years they eek out an existence together, helping one another just as a family would. Enduring the brutal Russian winters with temperatures often twenty below zero is almost beyond belief. As Ivan is later quoted as saying, "I was better off with the dogs.
The scorpions of Zahir by Christine Brodien-Jones is a riveting, fast-paced mixture of fantasy, sci-fi, adventure, mythology, mystery, family affairs, and travel. Feisty Zagora Pym sets off for Morocco with her astronomy-crazed brother and archaeologist father to connect with a long lost colleague (Pitblade Yegen) of her father and explore ruins of the ancient city of Zahir. But Pitblade had been kidnapped, mammoth scorpions have invaded the city, and the rogue planet, Nar Azrak, is on a collision course with earth. With the help of members of the Azimuth tribe, thought to have been extinct, Zagora begins a daring quest to restore order and harmony to this desert land. Key to success of this mission is returning the Oryx Stone to the apex of a buried pyramid.
The secrets of Shakespeare's grave by Deron R. Hicks ; illustrated by Mark Edward Geyer has action, humor, suspense, and family intrigue. An unscrupulous, greedy relative theatens to take control of the family publishing business from Colophon and Case's father. Enter Julian, an eccentric cousin. He and Colophon join forces to solve a centuries' old mystery about a hidden family fortune that dates back to Shakespeare's time. She is even able to enlist the help of her obtuse older brother Case in a valiant attempt to save their father from financial ruin. Puzzles, hidden clues, creepy graves, slapstick chases, and diverse family dynamics keep readers riveted. A open ending ensures at least one more gripping epsisode in The Letterford Mysteries.
The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann is like Harry Potter entering the Hunger Games, according to one Kirkus reviewer. Other reviews also rave about this new teen/tween Fantasy/Sci-Fi series. In the dystopic land of Quill, when you reach age 13, you are deemed Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Alex is too creative and is thereby judged Unwanted and sentenced to be cast into the Lake of Burning Death along with the other Unwanteds. His identical brother, Aaron, is rated Wanted, turns his back on his brother, enters Wanted University, and rises quickly, becoming the protege of High Priest Justine. Meanwhile, Alex is pleasantly surprised when instead of suffering a painful death, he is welcomed into the magical realm of Artime by the kindly mage Mr. Today.
Last chance by Norah McClintock is the first book in the Robyn Hunter Mystery series. While working in an animal shelter for the summer, Robyn if forced to confront her fear of dogs as well as Nick, a boy from her past she had hoped never to see again. Nick is one of the juvenile offenders volunteering at the shelter. He is accused of hitting a pedestrian while joyriding and pleads guilty. Robyn senses something strange about his plea, begins snooping around, and once convinced of his innocence, sets out to prove it. Dog lovers and mystery fans will enjoy this book. Danger, clever detective work, and current teen/tween issues will keep even reluctant readers coming back for other titles in this series.
Merrill is best known for two popular children's books, The Pushcart War (1972) and The Toothpaste Millionaire (1972), but wrote more than 30 books and twelve movie scripts for animated adaptations of her work. A common theme in her stories is that of an underdog overcoming the constraints of the established social and economic order. Merrill grew up on a farm in upstate New York and preferred outdoor activities, such as building forts, sledding, collecting fossils, and climbing silos, to playing inside with manufactured toys and being watched by adults. She died of cancer at her home in Vermont on August 2, 2012.
The pushcart war by Jean Merrill ; with illustrations by Ronni Solbert
The wondrous journals of Dr. Wendell Wiggins: describing the most curious, fascinating, sometimes-gruesome, and seemingly impossible creatures that roamed the world before us by Lesley M.M. Blume ; illustrated by David Foote. If you don't know what a paleozoologist is, then read this extremely informative and entertaining work by Dr. Wiggin. It reveals the secrets of the very ancient earth and long-extinct plant, animal, and humanoid species. Wiggins provides detailed sketches and descriptions of such bizarre creatures as: Thunder Vulcusts, "Land" Whales, Bunny Fluffs, Cloud-Dwelling Hummingbird People, and Hapless Vampire Glow Bats.
The phantom of the post office by Kate Klise — will bring you up to speed on this next generation of electronic communication if you are not. In book four of 43 Old Cemetery Road you will also meet a new, mysterious ghost and Seymour may actually find a human friend his age. Mystery, humor, intrigue, and heart-warming relationships fill every unusual page. Nothing is predictable in this story told with illustrations, letters, newspaper articles, diagrams, VEXT-mail recordings, and ghostly insights. Join Olive, Ignatius, and Seymour on their latest adventure and you will be swept away by a literary delight.
The dragon turn by Shane Peacock will captivate readers, even if they have not read the first four cases in the award winnning The Boy Sherlock Holmes series. Actually, Sherlock is an astute teen, not boy, in these books and in addition to solving crimes Scotland Yard cannot, he is dealing with male teen coming-of-age issues. Malicious magicians, affairs d'amour gone awry, a missing body, terrifying creatures, and hidden identities keep Sherlock and readers searching for clues that will illuminate what is really going on behind the scenes of The Egyptian Hall. Adding to Sherlock's agony, is his conviction that a female's guiles has spurred him to win the freedom of a wizard who really is the murderer.
The great cake mystery: Precious Ramotswe's very first case by Alexander McCall Smith ; illustrations by Iain McIntosh is a delightful read and a quick way to claim the Sleuth It badge in the CYS program. It is written by the bestselling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (an adult series) and introduces readers to Precious Ramotswe as a child. When treats start disappearing from the kids' school lunches, a chubby boy named Poloko becomes the likely suspect. Precious believes he is innocent and sets out to find the real culprit. Set in a vividly realistic setting of Botswana with magnificent black and red illustrations and featuring compelling characters, this mystery will have readers of all ages clammering for a sequel.