Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Picture Book Roundup: Bears, Babies, Bats, and more!

In my continuing struggle to get on top of my review list, I present another roundup; this time, with picture books!

Priscilla Pack Rat: Making Room for Friendship, by Claudine Crangle,
(March 2017, Magination Press), $15.95, ISBN: 978-1433823350
Recommended for readers 4-8

Priscilla is a very sweet rat who loves to collect things, but when she’s invited to friends’ birthday parties, she finds that she has a hard time even parting with the gifts she chooses for her friends! When Priscilla’s house finally crashes around her, she realizes that her friends are worth much more than being surrounded by stuff. Magination Press is an imprint of the American Psychological Association; this is a book designed to discuss clutter and hoarding tendencies in kids, and it does so in a mild, easy manner. This can easily be a kids’ story on sharing and giving, no red flags necessary. Adorable felted characters and found objects create a visually interesting story that you can also turn into a little game of I Spy with little ones: there are plenty of things to find! A note to parents and caregivers advises parents on what to do if children have trouble parting with possessions, the differences between hoarding and collecting, and ways to help kids organize their belongings. A nice add to developing empathy collections and for caregivers and educators who need books to address behaviors.

Letters to a Prisoner, by Jacques Goldstyn
(Sept. 2017, OwlKids Books), $18.95, ISBN: 9781771472517
Recommended for readers 4+

Letters to a Prisoner is getting rave reviews, with good reason. The wordless picture book, inspired by the letter-writing campaigns of human rights organization Amnesty International, is so impactful, so relevant, and so necessary. A man is arrested during a peaceful protest, injured by a soldier who also pops the man’s daughter’s balloon. The man is thrown in a solitary jail cell, where he befriends a mouse and a bird. When letters arrive, the guard takes joy in burning them in front of the man, but the joke’s on the guard: the smoke from the burning letters serves as a worldwide beacon. Groups of people all over send the man letters; they arrive, en masse, and turn into wings with which the prisoner soars above the helpless, infuriated guard. The watercolor over black ink sketches adds an ethereal feel to this beautiful story of hope and social justice. The book’s wordlessness allows for every reader to come together, transcending language, to take part in this inspirational story. An author’s note tells readers about Amnesty International’s inspiration. Display and booktalk with Luis Amavisca’s No Water, No Bread, and talk with little ones and their parents as you display the book during social justice and empathy themed storytimes. Letters to a Prisoner has starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Quill and Quire.


I Am Bat, by Morag Hood,
(Oct. 2017, OwlKids Books), $17.99, ISBN: 9781492660323
Recommended for readers 3-7

One of my favorite picture books this year. Bat is adorable. And he loves cherries. DO NOT TAKE HIS CHERRIES. He is quite serious about this, so you can imagine his distress when his cherries start disappearing! The reader’s clued in, naturally – we see paws and ants sneaking cherries out of the book’s margins while Bat stares at us, demanding to know what’s going on. The animals leave him a pear, which Bat embraces – and the story is ready to begin again. There’s bold, black fonts to make for expressive storytime reading, and Bat and Friends are just too much fun to read and play along with. Absolutely delightful storytime reading; just make sure you read this one before you get it in front of your group: you will squeal with glee the first couple of times you read it. Print out bat masks for the kids to color in as part of your storytime craft.

Shelter, by Céline Claire,
(Oct. 2017, Kids Can Press), $18.99, ISBN: 9781771389273
Recommended for readers 3-7

A storm’s approaching, and two strangers – brothers – arrive in the forest. They stop at several animal family homes, offering a trade for shelter; they have tea, can anyone offer them some food? A place to ride out the storm? We see each family, safe and with full larders, turn them away. A young fox feels terrible about this, and runs out to give the brothers a lamp, which they use to find shelter. But as fate would have it, the storm is even more trouble than the families expected, and soon, they’re asking the brothers for shelter: which is cheerfully given. This kind, moving story about kindness and succor is perfect for illustrating the power of empathy. Qin Leng’s watercolor and ink illustrations are soft and gentle, a perfect match for Céline Claire’s quiet narration. Shelter offers the perfect opportunity to talk about putting kind thoughts into practice; whether it’s sharing with others or offering friendship to someone who needs it.

The Little Red Wolf, by Amelie Flechais,
(Oct. 2017, Lion Forge),$19.99, ISBN: 9781941302453
Recommended for readers 6-10

A slightly macabre twist on the traditional Little Red Hiding Hood tale, The Little Red Wolf is a story about a little wolf who, on the way to visit an ailing grandma, encounters an awful human girl. The message here is consistent with the original fable: there’s a strong stranger danger warning, but also a reminder that every side has a story, every villain has an origin. The art is beautiful and dark; an additional add for collections where readers may be ready for darker fantasy.

Middle Bear, by Susanna Isern/Illustrated by Manon Gauthier,
(Oct. 2017, Kids Can Press), $18.99, ISBN: 9781771388429
Recommended for readers 3-7

The middle child gets lots of love in this adorable picture book. Middle Bear is the second of three brothers; not small, but not big; not strong, but not weak; not a lot, not a little… “he was the middle one”. He has a hard time feeling special until the day his parents both fall ill and the three cubs have to get willow tree bark from the mountain top, to help them get well. When big brother is too big, and little brother is too little, it’s up to Middle Brother to save the day: he is, to quote that other story starring three bears, “just right”. The emphasis on bear’s “middleness” will drive home the point that he persevered and succeeded as is, through determination. Manon Gauthier cut paper collage, pencil, and mixed media illustrations add texture and a childlike sense of place in the story. There’s a good lesson about empathy to be learned here, too; the bear’s brothers and parents all support him and let him know that what he may see as being a challenge – being the middle one – is what makes him the perfect bear for the job. Perfect storytelling for middle children who may be feeling the frustration of being too big for some things, not big enough for others.

No Room for Baby!, by Émile Jadoul,
(Oct. 2017, Kids Can Press), $18.99, ISBN: 9781771388412
Recommended for readers 3-7

Leon’s baby brother, Marcel, has arrived! Leon’s excited, but a little concerned about where the baby’s going to go when he’s not in his crib. He certainly can’t go in Leon’s room. And there’s no room on Mama’s lap for him; there’s only room for Leon. And Daddy’s shoulders are just too high. After Leon thinks on the situation, he discovers the best possible place for his baby brother: in his arms. This is the such a sweet story about becoming an older sibling; it addresses the fears an older sibling may have when a new baby joins the family, and it allows the sibling to work through his fears and come to his own happy decision. At no point do Leon’s parents correct him or force the baby on him; they stand back and let him reason things out for himself. It’s an empowering story with a sweet sense of humor. The simple black pencil, crayon and oils illustration feels childlike and will easily appeal to readers. I’m looking forward to adding this one to my new baby bibliography.

Posted in Animal Fiction, Fiction, Intermediate, Non-Fiction, Realistic Fiction

#AnimalPlanetAdventures mix fiction and fact for maximum fun!

Animal Planet has great nonfiction for kids. I particularly love their Animal Bites series, which looks at animals from different habitats, and offers a rich mix of beautiful photos and easy-to-read facts. For those beginning readers who want to feel part of an animal adventure, Liberty Street – Animal Planet’s publisher, a division of Time Inc. Books – introduced Animal Planet Adventures chapter books earlier this year. I read the first two adventures, Dolphin Rescue and Farm Friends Escape!

Animal Planet Adventures: Dolphin Rescue, by Catherine Nichols, (Feb. 2017, Liberty Street), $5.95, ISBN: 978-1-61893-417-8

Dolphin Rescue introduces us to siblings Maddie and Atticus, who live off the coast of Maine with their single dad and volunteer at the local aquarium. While trying to solve a rash of trash dumping incidents happening throughout their town, they notice a pod of dolphins in the nearby cove, looking very distressed. They’ll need to use their knowledge of animals, plus their problem-solving skills to help the pod out.


Animal Planet Adventures: Farm Friends Escape!, by Catherine Nichols, (Feb. 2017, Liberty Street), $5.95, ISBN: 978-1-61893-416-1

In Farm Friends Escape!, we meet cousins Luke and Sarah, who spend every summer at their grandparents’ farm. This year, their grandparents put them in charge of running the farm’s petting zoo. They’re thrilled, even if they don’t always agree on how to get things up and running. A mysterious kid lingers around the farm, though; and while they’re trying to figure him out, they discover that somehow, the animals have all gotten loose! The cousins need to track down each of the petting zoo escapees, relying on their animal knowledge and deduction skills – and they need to figure out how they got loose in the first place.

Animal Planet Adventures is a great way to reach readers who may struggle with nonfiction, but love a good story. There’s a little bit of mystery in each storyline, so your series fiction fans who love books like Ron Roy’s A to Z Mysteries, Capital Mysteries, and Calendar Mysteries will gobble these up. Books are in full color – both story illustration and nonfiction sections – and feature the beautiful photography that we already love in Animal Planet books. Nonfiction sections are spread evenly throughout the book, so it flows with the overall narrative of the story, often fleshing out information contained in the plotline. I don’t know if future books (there are two more adventures – Puppy Rescue Riddle and Zoo Camp Puddle – releasing in September) will introduce more new characters or if we’ll meet Mattie, Atticus, Luke, and Sarah again, but the character pair-ups are fun and appeal to both boys and girls. I’ve just ordered a set of Adventures for my library, because series fiction and animal nonfiction is aces around here. Display with your series mystery fiction and your animal nonfiction – it all works!

Posted in geek culture, Graphic Novels, Teen, Tween Reads, Young Adult/New Adult

YALSA releases their 2016 list of great graphic novels!

Great news! Last week, YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) published their 2016 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. There are some brilliant titles on the list, making gift purchases and library collection updates a lot easier, by the way. I was really excited to see so many great books on the list, from a diverse mix of major publishers and smaller independents.

Some highlights:

Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War. By Michel Chikwanine & Jessica Dee Humphreys/Illus. by Claudia Davila. Kids Can Press, $18.95, (9781771381260). A young man tells the story of his kidnapping by rebel militants and his time as a child soldier in the Congo.

Doomboy. By Tony Sandoval. Illustrated by the author. Magnetic Press, $24.99, (9780991332472). A teen with an active imagination and a love of heavy metal mourns his girlfriend the best way he can: through his music.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952. By Mike Mignola and John Arcudi. Illustrated by Alex Maleev. Dark Horse Books, paper, $19.99 (9781616556600). Hellboy goes on his first mission.

Human Body Theatre. By Maris Wicks. Illustrated by the author. First Second, $14.99, (9781596439290). A skeleton teaches the reader about the human body and its functions.

Last of the Sandwalkers. By Jay Hosler. Illustrated by the author. First Second, $16.99, (9781626720244). A tribe of insects goes on a voyage of discovery to explore the land beyond their borders.

Princess Ugg, vol. 1. By Ted Naifeh. Illus by the author. Oni Press, paper, $15.99, (9781620101780). Warrior Princess Ulga attends the prestigious Princess Academy at her dead mother’s request.

Roller Girl. By Victoria Jamieson. Illustrated by the author. Dial Books for Young Readers, $12.99, (9780803740167). A tween signs up for roller derby camp and learns about herself, friendship, and sacrifice.

The Scarlet Letter. By Nathaniel Hawthorne, Crystal Chan, and Stacy King. Illus by SunNeko Lee. Udon Entertainment, hardcover, $24.99, (9781927925348). A manga retelling of the classic story of a Puritan woman caught in adultery and forced to publicly bear her shame.

The Suspended Castle: A Philemon Adventure. By Fred. Illus by the author. TOON Graphics, hardcover, $16.95, (9781935179863). Bartholomew has been rescued from an alternate dimension but now misses it and wants to go back, little suspecting the adventure in store for him and Philemon.

Now, go forth and read graphic novels, and check out the rest of YALSA’s list!

Posted in Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction

Physics for Everyone! Professor Astro Cat’s on the Case!

astrocat_1Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure, by Dominic Walliman/Illustrated by Ben Newman (May 2016, Nobrow Press), $24.00, ISBN: 9781909263604

Recommended for ages 7-12

Think you’re too young to understand physics? Professor Astro Cat is here to show you how awesome the science of matter and energy is. Using language and examples that beginning learners will understand, with retro-futuristic illustrations that will catch kids’ eyes, this is a great start for kids who want to go a little bit beyond the basic states of matter and find out more.

This is the second Professor Astro Cat book – the first, Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, looked at our planets, solar system, gravity, and extraterrestrial life – and is a great addition to libraries that want STEM books available to all readers. I’ve got maker books, I’ve got robotics books and LEGO books, but physics was an area I’ve typically shied away from for the children’s room (mainly, because most of my personal physics knowledge comes from Big Bang Theory episodes). Professor Astro Cat and his friends are patient, though, and never talk down to their audience. With direct language and discussions on subjects like why snowshoes help you walk on snow, rather than sink into it, and why rainbows appear when it rains during the daytime, kids will be excited about science – and that’s what we want!

Author Dr. Dominic Walliman has a Ph.D. in Quantum Device Physics, and has taught physics to all levels of students – and has even taught at festivals. Ben Newman is an award-winning illustrator who also did the artwork on Astro Cat’s app. Newman’s website is loaded with his amazing retro art and book trailers – go check it out! And check out some more of Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure, right here!





Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

The Poe Estate: Like Warehouse 13, for tweens!

9780399166143_b334aThe Poe Estate, by Polly Shulman (Sept. 2015, Nancy Paulsen Books), $16.99, ISBN: 9780399166143

Recommended for ages 10-14

Sukie’s not having an easy time of it these days. Her older sister, Kitty, has passed away but has vowed to always protect her – often to the point of scaring away potential new friends. Now, she’s living in some huge, creepy mansion with her distant cousin, an elderly woman named Hepzibah, and she’s dreaming about ghosts that look like her and her classmate, Cole. She’s hearing all sorts of wacky stories about magic brooms and doorknobs, and when two employees from the New-York Circulating Material Repository show up to her family’s flea market stand, she hears things she really can’t believe – but together with Cole, Hepzibah, and her new friends from the Repository, she’s off on an adventure full of adventure, pirates, possibly some romance, and maybe, just maybe, a hint of fiction – or not. Now, if only Kitty will give her some space to grow up…

The lines between fiction and reality blur in The Poe Estate, which makes it fantastic reading for tweens and young teens. It’s full of imagination and literary references, but first and foremost, it’s fun. Readers start off thinking they’re getting an interesting ghost story, but The Poe Estate becomes so much more – it’s an adventure tale heavily imbued with fantasy and book lovers won’t be able to help but think, “I knew it!” about literary artifacts they’ve always treasured. I don’t want to drop any spoilers, so I’ll just reiterate that any fans of Warehouse 13 will love this book, and fans of something new and exciting, with a light touch of reality, will enjoy. I enjoyed the characters and would love to see more tales from the Repository – after reading, so will you. Anyone unfamiliar with the SyFy Channel series Warehouse 13 can watch episodes here.

Need a good reading group activity to go with this book? Have your readers create their own Repositories, loaded with artifacts they’d track down and store there. And watch a couple of episodes of The Librarians while you’re at it.

Polly Shulman is also the author of The Grimm Legacy (a Bank Street Best Book and Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Finalist) and The Wells Bequest. Her author website includes a list of her books, a bio and FAQ, and social media links.


Posted in Fantasy, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Check out Cinderella’s Shoes by Shonna Slayton!

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Cinderella’s Shoes by Shonna Slayton

Release Date: 10/06/15, Entangled Teen

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Summary from Goodreads:

The war may be over, but Kate Allen’s life is still in upheaval. Not only has she discovered that Cinderella was real, but now she’s been made Keeper of the Wardrobe, her sole responsibility to protect Cinderella’s magical dresses from the greed of the evil stepsisters’ modern descendants. 

But Cinderella’s dresses are just the beginning. It turns out that the priceless glass slippers might actually exist, too, and they could hold the power to reunite lost loved ones like her father—missing in action since World War II ended. As Kate and her boyfriend, Johnny, embark on an adventure from New York to Italy and Poland in search of the mysterious slippers, they will be tested in ways they never imagined.

Because when you harness Cinderella’s magic, danger and evil are sure to follow…

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Don’t forget to add the first book in the series, Cinderella’s Dress, to your reading list!

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shonna slaytonAbout the Author

SHONNA SLAYTON is the author of the YA novels Cinderella’s Dress, (Summer 2014) and Cinderella’s Shoes (Fall 2015) published by Entangled Teen. She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

Author Links:



From the Author… My Cinderella Shoes


In high school, one of my prized possessions was a pair of mint green Chuck Taylor All Stars. To fully understand the uniqueness of these shoes you have to know that I lived in a small town (aka very few stores, and none of them selling Chucks.)

I don’t know when my obsession with these shoes started. Probably from an ad in a magazine! But I so wanted a pair.

I couldn’t buy them off the internet because back in the day…no internet! *gasp*

Finally, on an unexpected trip to Calgary, Alberta during spring break I found a store at the mall selling Chucks. It took all the money I had with me, but I bought those shoes (and a T-shirt saying “Get your Yucks in Chucks.”) Then a few weeks later, one of my friends took a trip to Vancouver, BC and came back with a peach pair.

Being the same shoe size, we swapped one shoe each and wore two different colored shoes—mint and peach—until the end of the school year.

My feet grew a half-size since then, but I kept the Chucks. They are in one last box of my belongings left at my parent’s house. I thought maybe my daughter might want to wear a pair of retro shoes one day.


The History Behind the Story of Cinderella’s Shoes

Cinderella’s Shoes is set during the summer of 1947, and takes place mostly in Europe. Have you ever thought about what life was like in Europe after World War II?

Well, immediately after the war ended in 1945, life was about the same as it was during the war. Roads and railroads were still bombed out. Bridges were still out of commission. Food was still rationed. And the black market was still the place to get the products you really wanted.

People were angry. Some wanted revenge. And who exactly was in charge of keeping the peace?

This is the background my European characters are coming out of when my American characters arrive on the scene.

In my research, I read about many of the atrocities committed during the war, and those that were allowed to happen immediately afterward to “help” people deal with their emotions and settle back into regular, non-wartime life. (For example, Google: WWII head shaving.)

Various countries handled this change in power differently, and this transitional time led to the rise of communism in Poland, the heart of my Cinderella stories.

But Cinderella’s Shoes is mostly a fairy-tale story, so I don’t go into gruesome details, just hint at events that might have occurred in my character’s lives. However, I couldn’t avoid the setting, nor could I forget what I had learned. Neither could my characters.


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Posted in Fiction, Middle Grade, Middle School, Realistic Fiction, Tween Reads

Alex Gino’s George is wonderful, required reading for all!

georgeGeorge, by Alex Gino (Aug. 2015, Scholastic), $16.99, ISBN: 9780545812542

Recommended for ages 8-14

George looks like a boy. Her mom thinks she’s a boy; the kids and teachers at school see a boy, even if they bully her and call her a girl. Even her best friend, Kelly, thinks George is a boy. The thing is, middle schooler George is a girl, really. She knows it. It’s a painful secret that she has to keep.

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

When her teacher announces that the class play will be Charlotte’s Web, George sees her chance to let a little of the real her peek through. She wants to be Charlotte. She wants to be Charlotte so badly. Will her teacher, her classmates, or her mom understand?

At last, a middle grade book with an LGBTQ character – and a positive, upbeat one, at that! George is a fantastic book. Every page is a delight. George is a sweet, introspective character who is self-aware at a young age and owns it. She keeps her real self a secret, but is always waiting for the chance to come out, and the class play provides that moment. She’s determined to be Charlotte, knowing that everyone will understand once they see her.

Kelly wins prizes for the best friend ever. She accepts and embraces George for who she is – you’ll tear up very happily as you follow their relationship’s progression to the end of the book.

Bullies aside – because bullies are inevitable – every character in this book offers a positive, realistic support system for George, a transgender tween at the beginning of her journey. Realistic, because we see that some have some difficulty, even discomfort, understanding George’s feelings and reality, but have enough love to work through it with her and come to a path they can all walk together.

I love this book. I want to buy copies for my home, my libraries, and to hand out to kids in every middle school. I’m thrilled that it exists. Not only do I think that this is this one of the most important books you’ll read this year, it’s one of the most captivating.

Author Alex Gino is a trans activist with a website that offers resources for youth that every parent and educator should bookmark. You’ll also find an author schedule and further information.


Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Tween Reads, Uncategorized

Roller Girl brings roller derby to tweens! A WhatchaReading review!

I love a good roller derby story, and I love a good graphic novel. I got to enjoy both when I picked up Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl. I’d read the advance reviews on this one, and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. In fact, I ordered it for my library, and was the first person to borrow it. Since then, I’ve pressed it into the hands of two girls at my library, and my niece has her own copy after I raved about it for an entire lunch date.


Check out what I had to say about Roller Girl over at WhatchaReading!


Posted in Fiction, Middle Grade

Talk to Me – What did Maddie See?

talk to meTalk to Me, by Sonia Ellis/illus. by Evanleigh Davis (2014, FastPencil) $16.99, ISBN: 9781619338821

Recommended for ages 9-14

Seven year-old Maddie Reyes is a selective mute. She can talk up a storm around her mom, dad, and older sister, Sadina. She tells all of her secrets to Bella, her robotic cat. But get her outside of her family circle, and she cannot speak. Sadina, her older sister, protects her and takes care of her as much as she can, but she can’t be with Maddie all the time.

One night, Maddie discovers an intruder in the house – an intruder who knows about Maddie. When Maddie and Sadina’s mother is accused of a corporate crime, Sadina thinks her friend Rio is behind it, but Maddie knows the truth. And now, she’s not talking at all. To find out what Maddie knows, Sadina will have to team up with her friends and find a way to make Bella, the one friend that Maddie will still speak to, talk back to Maddie.

This book drew me in right away. I love there character diversity- let’s hear it for a Latina heroine!; I found it fascinating that Ms. Ellis made Maddie a selective mute, and how she worked that into the meat of the plot. The story’s pace will keep a middle grader’s attention, and there’s enough tension in the book to keep readers guessing and thinking overtime. This is a great book for discussion groups; there’s so much to cover here. From disabilities that aren’t readily visible to corporate espionage, to the reality of animating a robotic pet, this book would be a great collaborative reading assignment for English and Science classes.

There are frequent references to technology in the book – Maddie and Sadina’s mother is an engineer, working on a new cellphone battery; Sadina and her friends are very handy in the tech lab; Rio wants new design software – but I’m not sure that qualifies this as a STEM Mystery. It’s a good story with STEM references.

Evanleigh Davis’ illustrations bring a real innocence to Maddie’s character. Her large eyes, seemingly forever gazing upward, make her look small and bewildered. Every illustration is filled with character and adds another dimension to the storytelling.

I think this will be a good book to get on the shelves at my library this summer. It’s the first book in a new series, and anything to do with kids using technology to solve problems is a book I want to have at the kids’ fingertips.

Posted in Fiction, Intermediate, Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday (Better Late Than Never Edition): Top 10 Intermediate Series for Kids

I’m a day late, but I wanted to get this Top Ten Tuesday out. Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, I’m spotlighting intermediate (grades 2-4) series for kids that go beyond the ones everyone knows. (Goosebumps, My Weird School, and Magic Tree House fans, don’t take offense!)


alvin_hoAlvin Ho series, by Lenore Look – Alvin Ho is afraid of everything – but when he’s home, he’s a superhero.





luluLulu series, by Hilary McKay – Lulu loves animals – every story features a new animal adventure.





mermaid talesMermaid Tales series, by Debbie Dadey – Join this group of mermaid friends on new adventures!





goddess girlsGoddess Girls series, by Joan Holub – Join the Goddess Girls at Mount Olympus Academy.





heroes_in_trainingHeroes in Training series, by Joan Holub – Joan Holub’s got a companion series to Goddess Girls, focusing on a group of 10 year-old Olympians.




zapato powerZapato Power series, by Jacqueline Jules – A pair of shoes changes Freddie Ramos’ life by giving him Zapato Power!




captain-awesomeCaptain Awesome series, by Stan Kirby – Second grader Eugene McGillicuddy lives a secret life as superhero Captain Awesome!




Just GraceJust Grace series by Charise Mercile Harper – Third grader Grace has a “teeny tiny superpower” – she can tell when people are unhappy.




ellray jakesEllRay Jakes series by Sally Warner – Third grader EllRay Jakes navigates real life – all the good and the bad – with funny and honest results.




sugarplum ballerinasSugar Plum Ballerinas series by Whoopi Goldberg – The girls of The Nutcracker School of Ballet overcome stage fright and other hardships as a group.