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April 5, 2012 Edition

Small Persons with Wings

Written by Ellen Booraem

When Mellie was in kindergarten, her best friend was a Small Person with Wings (don’t call him a fairy!) named Fidius, but when she tries to prove that he’s not imaginary, he disappears. Mellie never lived it down – and now, at thirteen, she’s turned herself into a science nerd who doesn’t have any friends and is still called Fairy Fat by the kids at school. When her grandfather dies and leaves her parents his inn, Mellie is overjoyed to be moving to a new town. It turns out, though, that the inn is infested with a ton of Small Persons with Wings who think they’re the bomb, but are really a little ridiculous and need taking care of. Mellie discovers that there’s a connection between her family, the SPWW, and a mysterious, bossy woman who keeps appearing in various guises. (Middle school readers)

The Secret Journeys of Jack London: the Wild

Written by Christopher Golden
Illustrated by Tim Lebbon

By the time real-life Jack London was 17, he’d had plenty of adventures that contributed to his later works, and here, the authors imagine what other, hazards he might have met that remained unwritten. In this fiction series opener, Jack and his brother-in-law, James Shepard, have gotten gold fever and are heading to the Yukon to make their fortunes. Shepard’s weak heart forces him to abandon Jack soon after landing in Dyea. Jack’s first winter is hard: he and two friends find themselves holed up, starving, in an isolated cabin, and then they encounter the horrors of the slave gold-panning trade. But he also meets his spirit guide, a wolf, and enters a folk-tale world of monsters and angels.

No Passengers Beyond this Point

Written by Gennifer Choldenko

The Tompkins kids couldn’t be more different: Finn is the sensible middle child in the family; his older sister, India, has her head in girl-world and his little sister Mouse is a tiny Einstein. But they all think the same about their mom’s latest plan: she’s sending them to live with an uncle they don’t remember, in a state far from California, without her! Everyone is unhappy, except perhaps the bank that’s foreclosing on their house, but no-one expects what happens next. When their plane lands, the kids are met by a pink limo covered in white feathers and chauffeured to their new homes – yep, homes, one for each of them, each equipped with their favorite things. No Uncle Red, just… everything the kids could want, including a cool new mom for India and a basketball-playing dad for Finn, with no need to share. But is it really Happily Ever After? Fantasy and reality blend well in this funny but touching story for older elementary and middle school readers.

Selling Hope

Written by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Other kids may envy her, but 13-year old Hope is tired of traveling with her father’s vaudeville troupe. They are just about to pass through her hometown of Chicago and she wants to convince her father to stay, but they need the money he earns as a magician. Fortunately, Halley’s comet is due in just a few weeks and Hope, who earns a little as a medium in the show, is well aware that many people are worried that the world will end. She has an idea: maybe people will pay for something they think will protect them against whatever the comet might bring. She enlists young Buster Keaton, who has recently joined the troupe, to help with the scheme and soon finds herself making more money than she dreamed. But is she cheating people? Or bringing them hope?

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