There are lots of new chapter books for a variety of reading levels and interests at the Juneau Public Libraries. Look for them on the Juvenile New Book shelves in the kids' area.
Masterpiece, by Elise Broach.
Marvin is a young beetle who lives under the kitchen sink at Jamie's house. Jamie is an eleven-year old boy who has just had a most disappointing birthday. When Marvin ventures up to Jamie's room to leave him a gift from the beetle family, he discovers one of Jamie's presents, a pen-and-ink set, lying open on the desk alongside a pad of drawing paper and the pull is irresistible. Carefully, dipping his dexterous front legs into the nice black ink, Marvin draws a picture. It takes all night, but it is a masterpiece. And that is how Jamie and Marvin's friendship begins. But when Marvin's creations are assumed to be by Jamie, the problems begin in this suspenseful and funny mystery. (For readers in 4th grade and up)
The Amaranth Enchantment, by Julie Berry.
Orphaned Lucinda has lived with her uncle and wicked aunt for a decade, ever since her parents died in a carriage accident, and suddenly she finds herself doubly-orphaned when her uncle dies and her aunt kicks her out of the house with only the clothes on her back. Unbeknownst to her aunt, however, Lucinda has something of value in her pocket: an unusual gem brought to her uncle for resetting by a woman known as the Amaranth Witch. When she goes to the witch's house to return it and ask for a position as a servant, she is shocked to find herself in front of her old home, and mortified to find nothing but a river rock in her pocket where the precious gem had been. Beryl takes her in anyway, and Lucinda finds herself in the unusual position of becoming a devoted friend to a being from another world. All the necessary elements are here for a wonderful twisted fairy tale: the deserving heroine, the wicked aunt, a handsome prince, and a fairy godmother. (For readers in middle grades and older)
Well Witched, by Frances Hardinge.
We've all seen them: coins glittering at the bottom of fountains and wells, tossed in by those who want wishes granted. Why not gather them up and keep them for yourself? No one will miss them, right? Wrong - the well witch does! And she exacts a sinister price from Ryan, Josh, and Chelle, the three friends in need of bus fare who've dared steal her offerings. Indebted to her, each of the three gains strange powers as aids to helping fulfill the wishes they've taken. But humans are twisty and not all wishes are wholesome desires for love and good grades (heck, even those aren't always nice!) - some are dark and grim - and yet, the witch demands payback. Eventually, two of the three decide to stand firm against the witch, but the third, well, he likes the power he's gained now that he's learned how to use it. (For readers in 5th grade and up)
Mac considers himself the best scientist in 4th grade- he's already an expert in slime molds and volcanoes - but is surprised to find that Stacey Windham knows more than he does about space. Not to be outdone by Stacey, though, Mac immediately sets his sights on Space Camp. But to get there, he's got to come up with $799.00 plus airfare to Alabama - according to Mac's calculations, that's over three years' worth of allowance! Thanks to the power of positive thinking (and his friend Aretha), he comes up with a plan. Soon, he's got a job walking Lemon Drop, his neighbor's slobbery golden retriever. And after a little more creative and scientific thinking, Mac finds himself not only the proud owner of a number of dog-slobbered petri dishes, but also of a ticket to Alabama in this fast-moving story of a budding scientist and his dreams. (For readers in 2nd grade and up)
Obi: Gerbil on the loose! by Michael Delaney.
When Obi's Rachel goes on vacation with her family, Obi, three grouchy cats, a tarantula, the twins' identical goldfish, and the demented parrot are all at the mercy of the neighbor boy, Tad. Everyone is happy but Obi, who, it seems, has been forgotten. Hungry and afraid, she escapes her cushy apartment and ventures out into the house without the protection of her Gerbil Mobile in search of food. She makes friends with an old mouse living in the attic and has adventures worthy of her Star Wars namesake. And in the end, Obi finds she hasn't been forgotten, Rachel comes home, and there's a hint at a sequel to Obi's delightful story. (For readers in 3rd grade and up)
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