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September 9, 2005 Edition

Whales on Stilts, by M.T. Anderson

Lily is twelve and perfectly ordinary. Her friends, Jasper and Katie, however, arenít: Jasper invents gadgets that are world-famous, and Katie is a tiny version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But when Lily discovers that her father works for a mad scientist who is creating an army of cranky, stilt-walking, laser-beaming whales to take over the world, it may be perfectly ordinary Lily who saves the day. (upper elementary school and middle school readers, especially Lemony Snicket, Captain Underpants, and Goosebumps fans)

Keri Tarr, Cat Detective, by Wendy Lement

One morning Keri is surprised to discover that her cat Sally has given birth to a lovely little kitten. And Keri is shocked to find that she can understand Sally when she tells Keri that the kittenís name is Mew. Keriís newfound understanding of cat language includes all cats, and she soon is famous for solving pet mysteries with the aid of temperamental and quirky feline informants that no one else can question. (elementary grade readers)

Missing Abby, by Lee Weatherly

Emma is horrified to learn that her former best friend Abby has disappeared. Though the two thirteen year-olds arenít as close as they used to be, Emma still understands the way Abby thinks, and knows that Abby, a D & D fan, was putting together a real-life role-playing game. When Emma gets together with Abbyís new gaming friends to follow the game script that Abby wrote, they are able to solve the mystery of her disappearance. (middle school readers and up, especially fans of role-playing games)

The Secret Life of Owen Skye, by Alan Cumyn

Owen and his two brothers consider themselves lucky to live in a town with a bog monster, a giant squid in the river, and a haunted house down the road. They have the Doom Monkeyís Atrocious Hat for emergencies, an uncle who lives in their basement, and girl neighbors who like to practice surgery with butter knives. But the best thing of all is their knack for turning the most ordinary things into adventures in this collection of appealing stories. (elementary grade readers)

Tiger, by Jeff Stone

Hidden in a water barrel, five warrior monk brothers are the only survivors of an attack on their secret temple by soldiers of the Emperorís army. Fu, named for the tiger he resembles in personality, is determined to recover the sacred scrolls that the soldiers have stolen, and this book, the first in a series that will follow each brother in turn, tells his story. Lightly historical, mostly kung fu adventure. (upper elementary and middle school readers)

Cryptid Hunters, by Roland Smith

Twins Grace and Marty have gone to live with their Uncle Travis after their parentsí disappearance. But Travis, a veterinarian obsessed with the idea that dinosaurs still exist, hears about a dinosaur sighting in the Congolese jungle not long after the twins move in and heads out to investigate before his rival, Dr. Blackwood, can get there. Though he intends to leave the twins behind, they stow away and find themselves in possession of secrets about their own past as well as a very large egg.

Ice Drift, by Theodore Tyler

Fourteen year-old Alika is out on an ice floe hunting seals when he hears a loud crack and sees dark icy water appear between where he stands and the island his family lives on. The water would be deadly for even a short swim, and he and his little brother are forced to stay on the floe as it drifts away. Alikaís resourcefulness is tested as he tries to keep himself, his brother, and their dog alive until they are rescued. (upper elementary and middle school readers)

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