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Library adds to its collections of kids' series

Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2003

We've stocked up on our series chapter books: even more Hank the cowdog, "Magic Tree House", Marvin Redpost, Junie B. Jones, Cam Jansen and "The Unicorn's Secret" series books are on the shelves for all you fans. Tomie DePaola continues his autobiography for kids with "Things Will Never Be the Same," and Walter R. Brooks' great pig detective, Freddy, has returned to our shelves after a long hiatus.

"The Ugly Goddess," by Elsa Marston. The lives of three teens entwine with the Goddess Taweret in this tale of ancient Egypt. Meret, the Pharoah's daughter is sent to the temple of Amun to become the Divine Wife. Hector, the young Greek soldier who has fallen for her, follows in hopes of rescuing her. Bata, a shop sweeper, is chasing after Hector, trying to bring the statue of the Goddess Taweret to Meret. It's a lively adventure story for those who enjoy historical fiction.

"A Corner of the Universe," by Ann M. Martin. One day at the beginning of summer vacation, 11-year-old Hattie Owen discovers she has an uncle she's never heard of. He's been away at a school for the mentally ill, but the school is closing and now, at 21 years old, he's come back to live with his parents. Hattie is a little nervous about him and wonders how he'll fit into her small town. She finds that even though he embarrasses her at times, the two of them have things in common and that by taking a chance with him, she's made a new friend.

"Maata's Journal," by Paul Sullivan. Maata is only 8 when white Canadians come to her Inuit village in the Arctic and force them all to relocate to a settlement camp. Encouraged by her mother to learn about the whites but retain her heritage, she goes to school and learns to speak, read and write in English. And when the opportunity arrives to return to her homeland as part of a scientific expedition, Maata goes.

"A Company of Fools," by Deborah Ellis. When the Plague comes to the abbey where young Henri lives, the choirboys form a Company of Fools to entertain and comfort the townspeople. Micah, Henri's best friend in the abbey is the star singer, and people begin to believe that he can cure Plague sufferers. The Prior encourages this belief, the abbey earns lots of money and Micah gets the recognition he has always desired. But what if Micah can't cure anyone?

"The Ghost Behind the Wall," by Melvin Burgess. In this creepy book, David, grounded for a week for fighting, discovers that the air duct grill in his apartment isn't actually screwed in. Opening it and crawling in is scary, but worth it: he finds his way to his neighbors' grills and spies on them. There's something about the ducts that make him want to be bad, and he finds himself acting worse and worse, even after the ghost appears.

"Charm Bracelet," by Emily Rodda. Jessie is very sad when she finds out that her grandmother is going to move in with Jessie and her mom. Not because she doesn't love her grandmother, but because her grandmother's house, Blue Moon, is Jessie's favorite place to visit. On her last visit to Blue Moon, Jessie's grandmother seems awfully forgetful, and Jessie thinks it has something to do with the charm bracelet that has been lost. And then Jessie discovers that the garden at Blue Moon leads to a fairy realm and that she has to find the charm bracelet to keep the enemies of the realm from taking over - and quickly. This is the first in a new series.

"A House Called Awful End," by Philip Ardagh. One of several "Lemony Snicket Read-Alikes," this is the story of Eddie, whose parents have come down with such a dreadful disease (it turns them yellow and crinkly) that they send him off to stay with his relatives at Awful End. Since he already knows his uncle is called Mad Uncle Jack, and his aunt is called Even Madder Aunt Maud, Eddie isn't looking forward to his stay.

"Eye of the Wolf," by Daniel Pennac. In this very unusual story translated from the French, an Alaskan wolf with one eye and an African boy who has a gift for storytelling meet in the zoo where the boy's adoptive father works. How the two of them learn each other's stories, and what those stories are, will move you. With themes of love and loyalty, family and friendship, this is a magical book.

•••

The 22nd Annual Bookmark Contest starts Monday. If you are in preschool through eighth grade, come on in to any public library and pick up a form (or several) to submit your bookmark creations. And, if you want a little artistic advice, artist Dianne Anderson will be at the downtown library at 1 p.m. Saturday with a talk on what makes up good design layout. She'll even stick around until 2:30 to give pointers while you create your own bookmarks. No sign-ups necessary, but if you need more information, call the Youth Services Department at 586-5303.

• If you'd like to place a hold on any of these titles, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249. If you have Internet access, your library card and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our Web site (www.juneau.org/library) and looking at our catalogue. Placing holds on items featured In In the Stacks is now even easier. The new columns are hyperlinked to the catalogue: Simply look up the column, click on the title you want and you will be ready to place a hold.



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