Thursday, May 12, 2011

Staff picks in a raincoat

Rainy spring days are the best for porch reading with your feet propped up on the railing, lemonade in hand. Here are the latest chapter book favorites of our staff.

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
Bookseller: Shara
Genre: realism, school story
Suggested reading level: ages 10 up

With an abusive father, a passive mother, and a sullied reputation in a new town, Doug learns not only how to survive hardship, but also how to preserve, create, and enjoy beauty, however fleeting. Schmidt shows impeccable restraint throughout the novel, letting Doug tell his own story on his own terms.

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances Dowell
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: contemporary fiction, fans of Sarah Dessen, Dairy Queen
Suggested reading level: ages 12 up

Janie, known as "Farm Girl," hopes to fade into normality, but with an activist best friend, a boy named Monster (really), a bass guitar, the civil rights movement's Freedom School, and some delicious goat cheese, she's in for a trip beyond normal to find a wildness all her own.

For the Win by Cory Doctorow
Bookseller: John
Genre: techno-thriller, science fiction-ish
Suggested reading level: young adult (ages 14 up)

In this world-spanning adventure, teenagers struggle to survive and prosper in the virtual and real world. Where digital gold can be traded for cold hard cash, freedom and fortunes are won and lost. For fans of online games and future economists alike.

I am J by Cris Beam
Bookseller: Jose-Luis
Genre: GLBT and gender issues
Suggested reading level: ages 15 up

Call him J. Born Jeni and biologically female, J has decided to begin his transition into male by binding his chest and making plans to take testosterone. But will J's friends and parents accept his new identity, or scorn him forever? J must endure the taunts of bullies on the NYC subway, strained friendships, and homelessness, but J won't stop until he can truly be himself.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Bookseller: Michelle
Genre: fantasy, adventure, humor
Suggested reading level: ages 12 up

This is the best kind of rollickin' fantasy adventure: full of swashbuckling masked heroes, pirates, cunning villians, revenge, true love, and some of the best bantering this side of Douglas Adams...all while hilariously satirizing the adventure genre, cutting all those "boring" bits from S. Morgenstern's original "classic tale."

Horton Halfpott by Tom Angelberger
Bookseller: Shara
Genre: mystery
Suggested reading level: ages 8 up

Angleberger (author of Strange Case of Origami Yoda) delights again with this hilarious farce! The loosening of M'lady Luggertuck's corset sparks a series of miscommunications, thefts, lies, attempted kidnappings, a costume ball, and an unlikely romance that ultimately changes Horton's life forever.

Nathaniel Fludd: Flight of the Phoenix by R.L. LaFevers
Bookseller: Jose-Luis
Genre: fantasy, Harry Potter-lite
Suggested reading level: ages 8 up

Nathaniel Fludd's parents are missing, and so he must now live with his eccentric Aunt Phil. She tells him about his family's secret history as Beastologists, those who study and help the rare creatures on Earth. Together they go on a high-flying adventure to see the birth of a beautiful, fiery Phoenix. A fun read-aloud or a great book for young readers.

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