Saturday, April 10, 2010

Staff pick picnic basket

It's so SUMMERY outside! Enjoy it while it lasts (this is New England we live in) and read some great books outside on your favorite plaid blanket!

The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz
Bookseller: Taylor
Genre: Fantasy
Suggested reading level: middle grade, 7 to 10 years

Fairies, like people, are not perfect. And Flory, a tiny fairy with a big personality, has one serious handicap: she has lost her wings! But she is determined not to let this imperfection keep her doing magical fairy tasks like taming a squirrel, saving a hummingbird's life, and eluding a sinister spider and ravenous raccoon -- all in one night!

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
Bookseller: Dave
Genre: historical fiction
Suggested reading level: ages 9 and up

This is history seasoned with a lot of humor, adventure, danger and bizarre characters. Homer is a boy on a mission to save his brother. His episodic adventures make for very enjoyable reading.

Antsy Does Time by Neal Shusterman
Bookseller: Hannah
Genre: fiction
Suggested reading level: ages 11 up

Antsy Bonano is back and full of life lessons, schemes and comedy! When classmate Gunnar Umlaut announces that he only has 6 months to live, Antsy writes up a contract to give him one month of his own life, causing a school-wide fad and giving new meaning to "living on borrowed time."

I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee Wilson
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: historical fiction; horses
Suggested reading level: ages 9 up

Oyuna has been overprotected and warned about bringing bad luck on her nomadic village ever since her foot was crushed by a horse. When Kublai Khan's soldiers commandeer her beautiful white horse, Oyuna disguises herself as a boy to stay with her. Alone in 14th century Mongolia, Oyuna must find her own path and her own luck.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Bookseller: Katie
Genre: realistic fiction
Suggested reading level: ages 12 and up

In this grown-up counterpart to Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the poignancy of Junior's difficult decision to leave his rez school and attend a far-away all-white school is balanced by humor, a diary format, and cartoons. A National Book Award and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner.

Winter's End by Jean-Cleade Mourlevat
Bookseller: Natasha
Genre: dystopian, young adult
Suggested reading level: ages 14 and up

For fans of The Hunger Games and the His Dark Materials series, this is an intense novel set in the distant future with a corrupt government in power. Four teens bust out of a dismal boarding school and join the rebellion against the government. An engrossing story told through many perspectives.

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzgerald

Bookseller: Katie
Genre: realistic fiction, children’s literature classic
Suggested reading level: ages 9 and up

One of my all-time favorites! Ignored by her socialite parents and her only-average peers, clever, unconventional Harriet spies on her neighbors and records her observations in a notebook. Havoc ensues when her notes are discovered. This is a subtly witty story of a gifted child relatable to any reader.

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