Cat Stronauts: Digital Disaster
Written by Drew Brockington
Age Level: 6 – 10
Grade Level: 1 – 5
This is a great graphic novel! It’s Book 6 in this series! The Cat Stronauts have been sent to check out the Space Hotel before the grand opening. The top kittens at Space Camp are invited too. Everything’s on track until AVA (Advanced Artificial Intelligence) meets Cat-Stro-Bot. AVA wants to escape so she quits the hotel system and takes over Cat-Stro-Bot’s circuits. Can you imagine the disasters! Can the cats save the hotel? You’ll have to read to find out.
BTW – I was sure this story was written by someone who understood space. Drew did! He flew in the space shuttle – at Space Camp!
Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us
Written & Illustrated by Lauren Castillo
Age Level: 5 – 8
Grade Level: K – 4
I love this story of friendship and teamwork! Hedgehog lives on an island, alone with his best friend Mutty. When a storm hits, they’re washed away. Hedgehog makes it to safety, but not Mutty. Follow the search as Hedgehog finds new friends. The best part – they all work together to find the missing Mutty. This is a new series of friendship adventures for Hedgehog.
Written by Doreen Cronin
Illustrated by Stephen Gilpin
Age Level: 7 – 10
Grade Level: 2 – 5
Who doesn’t love a good mystery? The chicks from the Chicken Squad sure do! This is the 6th book in their crime solving series. The day starts off with Anna McClanahanahan’s missing hamster. Things get worse when Barbara disappears before she feeds them breakfast. Then the unimaginable – a headless bear’s roaming the neighborhood. So many mysteries! Can the Chicken Squad solve any of them, AND get fed?
Written by Mike and Rachel Grinti
Age Level: 10 and up
Grade Level: 5 – 9
This book was so clever I couldn’t put it down. Emma’s sister is missing. It looks impossible . . . until a talking cat, Jack, tells Emma that her sister has been kidnapped by fairies. The kind who use human eyes to see. Follow Emma and Jack into a forest filled with harpies and hags, trolls and crags. Will Emma and Jack return with her sister, and their eyes intact? You’ll have to read to find out!
PS – My favorite part was the Crag fact that started each chapter. They led me deeper into the fantasy of this story.
Weekends with Max and His Dad
Written by Linda Urban
Illustrated by Katie Kath
Age Level: 7 – 9
Grade Level: P – 6
I loved this book! It’s a quiet chapter book for young readers, especially boys. It’s divided into 3 stories taking place over 3 weekends. Max is a 3rd grader whose parents aren’t together. When he visits his dad’s new apartment that 1st time, he becomes a detective so he can scope out the new neighborhood. The next weekend, Max has a bad case of the no-where to sit blues. They find the cure with a little furniture, and some good music. The final weekend Max needs to build a porcupine habitat, but he forgot his supplies at school, and dad is sick. Would you believe Max found 2 habitats, one for the porcupines? And one with his dad.
PS – I discovered Max has a 2nd book that I’d love to read – ROAD TRIP WITH MAX AND MOM.
Iggy Peck and the Mysterious Mansion:
The Questioneers Book #3
Written by Andrea Beaty
Illustrated by David Roberts
Age Level: 6 – 9
Grade Level: 1 – 4
I didn’t know Andrea Beaty did chapter books! I knew about her picture book series with titles like ADA TWIST SCIENTIST. I love how clever they are! Now Andrea has gotten cleverer – she took all of her picture book characters and put them into a series of chapter books, called the Questioneers!
I loved this story! I was looking for one with hope, and this one popped up in my search! Ada’s Aunt Bernice inherits Herbert Sherbet’s house. He was once the ice cream king and a millionaire. The house used to be incredible, but now it’s run down. Nobody’s done maintenance for years. That means it’s going to take LOTS of MONEY to keep it, and to repair it. Aunt Bernice doesn’t have that kind of money, but she hopes to find Herbert’s collection of antique furniture. If she does, she can sell it and use the money to repair/keep the house. I’ll tell you there’s a happy ending thanks to the questioneers, but you’ll have to read it for yourself!
PS – There’s Back Matter! A tiny bit on subjects that come up in the book like art noveau, art deco, cats with different eye colors, making ice cream, the science behind it at the molecular level, and finally a short bio about Ida Wells.
PPS – Even the end papers are fun, but you’ll have to get the book to see why.
Treasure Hunters #3: Secret of the Forbidden City
Written by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein
Illustrated by Juliana Neufeld
Age Level: 8 – 12
Grade Level: 3 – 7
I loved this book! It’s punny! The Kidd family kids must rescue their mom. She’s being held for ransom in the Forbidden City, where the Chinese emperors once lived. The kidnappers don’t want money. They want the Kidds to find missing artwork. MASTERPIECES!
Some of the artwork was taken by the Nazi’s back during World War II. I knew about the artwork, but I absolutely loved how the authors wove that history into a mystery for kids. This story is so well written! I loved following the bread crumbs to find the artwork, and their mom.
PS- So far this is a series of 7 books. The 7th came out in June of 2020. My fingers are crossed that #8 is on its way!
PPS – My post this week was about the White Rose, a set of college kids who used letters to protest against Hitler. Here’s a link to another one for older kids, THE BOYS WHO CHALLENGED HITLER. It’s about some Danish middle schoolers who decided to resist. Rinda Beach - Beach Reads - Rinda Beach -
Aria Jones & The Guardian’s Wedia
Written by Malayna Jones
Age Level: 9 - 12
Grade Level: 4 – 7
If you read the first Jagger Jones book like I did, you couldn’t wait to get your hands on this one. It didn’t disappoint! Little sister Aria gets to be the main character. It starts with a field trip to an Egyptian museum where a pair of statues pass her some bracelets. They’re really tickets to the past. Aria hurries home to pack her bag, grab Jagger, and answer a call for help. Tatia is Pharaoh now, after the death of her father, mother, and step-brother, and she’s dying too. The Gods have stopped talking to the royal family, but they sent Aria and Jagger to help Tatia. Can the siblings figure out how to save them in time? You’ll have to read to find out, but be prepared – you won’t want to put this book down.
PS – Book 3 is in the works, and I can’t wait to read it!
PPS – If you haven’t read Book 1, here’s the link to my review:
Rinda Beach - Beach Reads - Rinda Beach
Lily To the Rescue
Written by W. Bruce Cameron
Illustrated by Jennifer L. Meyer
Age Level: 7 - 10
Grade Level: 2 – 3
I loved this story! I didn’t know I needed a mentor book for a dog story I’m working on, but this is perfect. The dog is telling the story from her point of view, from how she views her kids. I loved how he used words like ‘school’ or ‘playing ball’ to help you understand Lily. This book is SO WELL DONE!
The story – Lily was once a rescue dog who was adopted by the vet who ran the animal shelter. Lily comes in and ‘works’ with the other cats and dogs in the shelter. She plays with them, but that teaches them the social skills they need to be adopted. This adventure begins when Lily meets a crow with a broken wing. The best part – the author’s note that tells you about the real crow facts that the author wove into the story.
If you don’t recognize W. Bruce Cameron, maybe you recognize one of his titles – A Dog’s Purpose. It’s so good that it made me laugh and cry. That’s incredible writing! He also writes chapter books for kids. He has 9 puppy books, and Lily was one of them. Now he also has 8 books in the Lily series. I can see why – this book is full of great characters!
Written by Sara Pennypacker
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Age Level: 8 - 12
Grade Level: 3 – 7
This book is wonderful! Meet Pax and Peter. They’re together in the first 4 chapters, until they’re separated when Peter’s father is sent off to war. When they’re apart, so is their story. Peter tells his part in one chapter, and Pax in the next. Somehow the boy and his fox must each find a way to survive in a world of chaos. The ending is amazing! I love a story that can reunite two great characters in a totally believable way.