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July 2, 2009 Edition
Dodsworth the dog and his good pal, Duck, arrive in Paris ready for a good time. With Dodsworth’s attention on other things, Duck quickly learns how to order lunch in French, how to fly paper airplanes off the Eiffel Tower (and what kind of paper he shouldn’t make airplanes out of), and what it’s like to ride in the Tour de France. Egan’s droll drawings are perfect for this beginning chapter book about a pair of mismatched friends.
When Torin’s mom becomes the new town doctor in Snow Park, Tor finds himself transplanted from sunny California to snowy Colorado, smack in the middle of snowboard heaven. Anxious to learn to snowboard, he quickly makes friends with Raine and Drake and finds he isn’t half bad on the slopes. But there’s something strange going on in town that his two new friends won’t explain. Could there really be a curse connected to the town’s doctors? Why else would everyone be treating Torin and his mom so oddly? Torin is determined to solve the mystery and stay in Snow Park, and with Raine and Drake helping him, he might even succeed.
Everyone who watches news on WBJM feels like they know eleven-year old Talia. They know about her rash, and the time she threw up on her piano teacher, and the time she stuck a blueberry-scented crayon up her nose. That’s because Talia’s mom reads the news AND tells Talia-stories on the air. Now Talia’s in middle school and been chosen for her school’s morning podcast lineup with her own commentary. And though she loves her mom dearly, now that she’s got everyone’s attention, Talia can’t help telling Mom stories. Good thing her mom sees the funny side of the turnabout – or does she?
Prince Sigismund has dreamed all his life of enchantments and daring escapades, but he’s been living at in his father’s remote castle, sheltered from all adventures. Until, that is, an unexpected carriage draws up to the castle’s front gate and an elegant lady tells him of a castle hidden in the forbidden Wood nearby. After that, Sigismund’s dreams are different than before and very real-seeming; dreams of a castle, and a young princess wrapped in thorns, sleeping. As he comes closer to finding her in his dreams, his waking life becomes more complicated and dangerous. This is the first story from the male viewpoint I’ve seen of Sleeping Beauty: pair this with other retellings (“Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep,” “Briar Rose,” and “Spindle’s End,” for instance) for the female view of the story.
Brother, the youngest of the Alderman clan, is in charge of the ranch (well, along with his Grandma and Grandpa and their ranch hand, Ernesto) while his dad’s in Iraq and his big brothers are all away at boarding school and college. The responsibility weighs heavily on Brother’s eleven-year old shoulders, but he loves the ranch and promised his father that everything would be just the same in 14 months. But it turns out to be a promise that even he, with all the best intentions, hard work, and help, can’t manage to keep in this strong family story with a theme of faith, loyalty, and love.