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In the stacks: new chapter books for young readers

Posted: December 8, 2011 - 1:04am

Brand new chapter books for elementary and middle school readers are on the New Book Shelves now at all libraries. Here’s a sampling of our newest titles.

Storm Before Atlanta, by Karen Schwabach.

During the Civil War between the North and South, children as young as 11 could find places for themselves in regiments (recruiters didn’t care whether they were truly 18 or not). Meet 11-year old Jeremy, who dreams of the noble and patriotic life of a drummer boy, but finds himself disillusioned when he joins the 107th regiment. Charlie, who becomes his friend, is on the other side of the war, but he and Jeremy meet when they can to trade food and information. At one of their clandestine meetings, they rescue Dulcie, an escaped slave, from drowning, and she joins Jeremy’s regiment as a medic, hoping that if she survives long enough, she’ll be swept along out of the South and into freedom. Schwabach has chosen a time period in which story-threads could easily be tangled and confusing, but she writes smoothly and clearly, and this thoroughly-researched and historically accurate story will carry readers through to the twist at the end.

Cheesie Mack is not a genius or anything, by Steve Cotler, illustrated by Adam McCauley.

Join Cheesie (real name: Ronald) as he schemes his way through a BOORRRING fifth grade graduation and into a summer NOT filled with summer camp fun. This year, money is tight and Cheesie and his best friend Georgie are going to have to amuse themselves — and they do, big time. There’s the basement adventure (they were looking for spiders to scare Cheesie’s sister with, but they found something else instead), and the funny old coin, and the mice-plan-gone-wrong… all while Cheesie practices Mack Family Traditions, like musical burping and squinty-evil-eye. Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid have new heroes in Cheesie and Georgie.

You’ll Like it Here (everybody does), by Ruth White.

Meggie and David Blue and their mom and gramps have lived in this world for as long as they can remember, but they aren’t really from here. Life is pretty good, though every once in a while, the community catches on and the family has to move. This time, though, they don’t go from one state to another, they go from one universe to another and end up in Fashion City (city motto: Praise the Fathers!). Everyone they meet says the family will love living in Fashion City, but, well, they don’t. Meggie and David see an alternate reality Elvis Presley arrested for Gross Uniqueness, and watch a busload of 65-year olds head off for vacation, and start feeling unwelcome. It’s not till someone finds out that Gramps is really 65 (not the 60 he claimed) and gets sent off for Vacation 65 that things really go wrong. This is Orwell for the younger set — thought-provoking and fun. Will you like it? Sure! Everybody does…

Tall Story, by Candy Gourlay.

This is a book about wishes and their consequences. Andi’s mom wished for a job: she got one, but it was in London and she had to leave her newborn son in the Philippines. Andi wished to make the basketball team: she did, but then her mom’s wish for a bigger house came true and Andi had to change schools (her new school only has a boys basketball team). Bernardo, Andi’s step-brother, wished he wasn’t the shortest in his class: he grew – to nearly 8 feet! And now, his wish to be reunited with his family in London is coming true — but will the secret he’s hiding ruin his happiness at being with his mom again?

•••

Can “Toy Story” really be 15 years old? Come watch with us at the Family Movie Afternoon this Sunday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m. at the Douglas Library.

Story and Toddler Times are taking a break till January, but don’t let that stop you! We’ve got tons of great books on the shelves and comfy places to cuddle with your little ones, so come on in and create your own story time during our open hours.

For information about our upcoming programs, or to place a hold on any of our material, please visit us at www.juneau.org/library or call us at 586-5249.

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