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The Secret Keepers

The Secret Keepers coverThe Secret Keepers

By Trenton Lee Stewart

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Mysteries, Adventure: Magic/Fantasy, Family Life: Neighbors/Neighborhoods

Grades: 3-7

 

Listen to Author Interview Educator Guide

When Reuben discovers an extraordinary antique watch, he soon learns it has a secret power and his life takes an intriguing turn. At first he is thrilled with his new treasure, but as one secret leads to another, Reuben finds himself torn between his innately honest nature and the lure to be a hero.

 

Now he is on a dangerous adventure–full of curious characters, treacherous traps, and hairsbreadth escapes–as he races to solve the mystery before it is too late. Even with fearless Penny, mighty Jack, and the wise Mrs. Genevieve on his side, can Reuben outwit and outmaneuver the sly villain called The Smoke and his devious defenders the Directions and save the city from a terrible fate?

 

In this ingeniously crafted novel, acclaimed author Trenton Lee Stewart invites readers to join the adventure, decipher the clues, and ask themselves the question: Is knowing a secret a gift or a curse?

 

PRAISE

★ “Stewart has created an exciting, fully imagined world filled with mystery and danger, where children can have real adventures without parental supervision. He doesn’t shy from putting the children in true danger, both physical and moral, keeping readers on tenterhooks until the final page.” —Publishers Weekly

 

★ “Children will be caught up in the mystery, trying to decipher the clues as they follow Reuben and his new-found friends in their race to save the town from a dreadful future…  All in all, this is another winner from Trenton Lee Stewart.” —School Library Connection

 

★ “Fans of Stewart’s ‘MysteriousBenedict Society’ and series like it will devour his latest novel. This epic story filled with adventure and twists and turns is certain to keep readers’interest from beginning to end.” —School Library Journal

 

secret-keepers

Nothing Up My Sleeve

Nothing Up My Sleeve coverNothing Up My Sleeve

By Diana Lopez

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family: Alternative Family; Fantasy & Magic; Social Issues:Friendship

Grades: 3rd-7th

 

<a class=”lb-school-library-button” href=”https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/PR4783_NothingUpMySleeve_EG_Final.pdf” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Educator Guide</a>

Sixth graders Dominic, Loop, and Z stumble upon a new magic shop in town and can’t wait to spend their summer mastering cool tricks to gain access to the Vault, a key holders-only back room bound to hold all kinds of secrets. And once they get in, they set their sights even higher: a huge competition at the end of the summer. They work on their card tricks, sleights, and vanishing acts, trying to come up with the most awesome routines possible….Problem is, the trip is expensive, and it’s money that each guy’s family just doesn’t have.

 

To make things worse, the shop-owners’ daughter, Ariel (who just so happens to be last year’s competition winner), will do anything to make sure the boys don’t come out on top. Even pit them against one another. Will they make it to the competition? And if so, at what cost?

 

PRAISE

“The friends’ obstacles are realistic and the finale is satisfying. A clever reveal highlights this appealing, Latino cast.” —Kirkus

 

“An upbeat coming-of-age story. The boys’ easygoing banter is true to life, and details about their shared Latino background give the novel a strong sense of culture and place.” —Publishers Weekly

 

“Intriguing magic and authentic perspectives make this a strong addition for
middle grade collections.” —School Library Journal

Zombie Baseball Beatdown

Zombie Baseball Beatdown

By Paolo Bacigalupi

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Sports: Baseball/Softball; Adventure: Science Fiction; Personal Development: Diversity/Friendship/Sports/Teamwork/Competition

Grade: 3-7

 

[button link=”http://media.hdp.hbgusa.com/titles/assets/reading_group_guide/9780316220781/EG_9780316220781.pdf”]Educator Guide[/button]

The zombie apocalypse begins on the day Rabi, Miguel, and Joe are practicing baseball near their town’s local meatpacking plant and nearly get knocked out by a really big stink. Little do they know the plant’s toxic cattle feed is turning cows into flesh-craving monsters! The boys decide to launch a stealth investigation into the plant’s dangerous practices, unknowingly discovering a greedy corporation’s plot to look the other way as tainted meat is sold to thousands all over the country. With no grownups left they can trust, Rabi and his friends will have to grab their bats to protect themselves (and a few of their enemies) if they want to stay alive…and maybe even save the world.

 

 

PRAISE

“Printz-winning Bacigalupi writing a middle-grade zombie novel? Yes, it really happened, and yes, it’s pretty darn good….Simultaneously smart, funny, and icky, this book asks a tough question: Is it worth looking the other way in order to save yourself?”– Booklist

 

“[Introduces] reluctant readers to activism through literature…. a dark comedy with a bit of heart.”– The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

 

“A high-energy, high-humor look at the zombie apocalypse….a signal alert to young teens to think about what they eat….sure to be appreciated by middle school zombie cognoscenti.”– Kirkus Reviews

 

“Batting comes in handy beating down zombies….Will appeal to reluctant readers.”– Library Media Connection

 

“Defies the expectations of the comedy-horror genre, turning this zombie novel into an effective bit of social commentary while staying true to the story’s grisly and goofy roots….Casual readers will have a blast, and those who look deeper will learn something, too.”– Publishers Weekly

 

“It’s a testament to the author’s skill that [the characters] express values of courage, friendship, and integrity as naturally as they toss off hilarious observations….[A] fast-paced home run.”– School Library Journal

 

VIDEO

If You Find This

If You Find This

By Matthew Baker

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subjects: Adventure: Mysteries, Family Life: Grandparents and Extended Family, Personal Development: Friendship

Grade: 3-7

 

[button link=”http://media.hdp.hbgusa.com/titles/assets/reading_group_guide/9780316240086/EG_9780316240086.pdf”]Download Educator Guide[/button][button link=”http://littlebrownlibrary.com/lb-school-podcast-matthew-baker/”]Listen to author interview[/button]

 

Mixing mystery and adventure in the tradition of Louis Sachar, Avi, and E.L. Konigsburg, If You Find This is the story of unlikely friendships, unexpected bravery and eleven-year-old Nicholas Funes’s quest to prove his grandfather’s treasure is real.

 

Nicholas is a math and music genius with no friends and a huge problem: His father has lost his job, and they’ll have to sell their house, which holds the only memory Nicholas has of his younger brother. Just in time, Nicholas’s senile grandfather arrives, filled with tales of priceless treasure he has hidden somewhere in town–but where?

 

With the help of misfit classmates, two grandfathers, a ghosthouse, hidden messages, séances, and an uncanny mind for numbers, Nicholas stages a nursing home breakout, tangles with high schoolers in smugglers’ tunnels, and gets swept up in a duel with the biggest bullies in the neighborhood. Will it be enough to find the treasure and save his house?

 

PRAISE

★ “The vivid setting, complex characters, and original writing style result in a story with lasting impact. Reminiscent of Louis Sachar’s Holes (1998), this is a rich, captivating tale about family and redemption that redefines the meaning of treasure.” – Booklist, starred review

 

“[T]his intriguing and multilayered novel will provoke interesting discussions.” – School Library Journal