Adventurous Readers Book Club
Books Inc. in Laurel Village
June 2015 Selection:
Experience the fantastic adventure filled with magical objects, secret sects, and life as we know it on the line! Mixing magic and physics, Ted Sanders has created an epic story that has the feel of classic fantasy but twists it into something new and innovative.
From the moment Horace F. Andrews sees the sign from the bus--a sign with his own name on it--everything changes. The sighting leads him underground, to the House of Answers, a hidden warehouse full of mysterious objects. But there he finds only questions. What is this curious place? Who are the strange, secretive people who entrust him with a rare and immensely powerful gift? And what is he to do with it?
When Horace finds the Box of Promises in the curio shop, he quickly discovers that ordinary-looking objects can hold extraordinary power. From the enormous, sinister man shadowing him to the gradual mastery of his newfound abilities to his encounters with Chloe--a girl who has an astonishing talent of her own--Horace follows a path that puts the pair in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between two warring factions in which every decision they make could have disastrous consequences.
May 2015 Selection:
The first book in an epic new series for fans of The School for Good and Evil and The Land of Stories.
All his life, Prince Caden has dreamed of slaying a dragon. But before he has the chance, he is ripped from his home in the Great Winterlands of Razzon and finds himself in Asheville, North Carolina--a land with no magic and no dragons.
Or so he thinks. The longer Caden spends in Asheville, the more he comes to realize that there is unexpected and dangerous magic in this strange land. There just may be dragons here, too. But what if Caden's destiny isn't to slay a dragon, after all?
April 2015 Selection: Action-packed and full of unexpected twists, this new series from New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman is perfect for young fans of James Patterson and John Grisham.
Eli Frieden lives in the most perfect town in the world: Serenity, New Mexico. In this idyllic place, every lawn is perfectly manicured and everyone has a pool and a tree house. Honesty and integrity are valued above all else. The thirty kids who live there never lie--they know it's a short leap from that to the awful problems of other, less fortunate places.
Eli has never left Serenity . . . Why would he ever want to? Then one day he bikes to the edge of the city limits and something so crazy and unexpected happens, it changes everything. Eli convinces his friends to help him investigate further, and soon it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems in Serenity. The clues mount to reveal a shocking discovery, connecting their ideal crime-free community to some of the greatest criminal masterminds ever known. The kids realize they can trust no one--least of all their own parents.
March 2015 Selection: From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic.
Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.
Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.
All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.
So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.
Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.
The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .
From the remarkable imaginations of bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a heart-stopping, mind-blowing, pulse-pounding plunge into the magical unknown.
February 2015 Selection: The wrong boy will save your life, and you will save his.A "Washington Post" Best Book of 2014 A "Kirkus Reviews "Best Children's Book of 2014 A "Publishers Weekly" Best Book of 2014 A Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" 2014 ""The Witch's Boy" is equal parts enchanting and haunting. Kelly Barnhill is master of truly potent and unruly magic." --Anne Ursu, author of "Breadcrumbs" and "The Real Boy" "The classic fantasy elements are all there, richly reimagined, with a vivid setting, a page-turning adventure of a plot, and compelling, timeless themes." --"Kirkus Reviews, "starred review When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived. But when a Bandit King comes to steal the magic Ned's mother, a witch, is meant to protect, it's Ned who safeguards the magic and summons the strength to protect his family and community. Meanwhile, across the enchanted forest that borders Ned's village lives aine, the resourceful and pragmatic daughter of the Bandit King, who is haunted by her mother's last wordsto her: "The wrong boy will save your life and you will save his." When aine's and Ned's paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to stop the war that's about to boil over between their two kingdoms?
January 2015 Selection: All aboard for an action-packed escapade from the internationally bestselling author of "Airborne "and the Silverwing trilogy.
"The Boundless," the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life
When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past.
In order to survive, Will must join a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster and leader of the troupe, and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren reach Will's father and save "The Boundless" before someone winds up dead?
November 2014 Selection: A first-rate fantasy for middle-grade readers. Like Harry Potter, ... Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, ... and Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society books. --Booklist, Starred
A vivid, compelling fantasy that sends you off to a world you will not soon forget. --Norton Juster, author of The Phantom Tollbooth
How can twelve-year-old Gabriel find his missing father, who seems to have vanished without a trace? With the help of Paladin--a young raven with whom he has a magical bond that enables them to become one creature--he flies to the foreboding land of Aviopolis, where he must face a series of difficult challenges and unanswerable riddles that could lead to his father... or to his death.
A great read for fantasy lovers who have worn out their copies of Harry Potter. --School Library Journal, Starred
...brimful of antic energy and inventive flair, like the best middle-grade fantasies; readers, like baby birds, will devour it and clamor for future installments. --Kirkus Reviews
October 2014 Selection: Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who, for generations, have been traveling and mapping the New World--a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods. Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, and went on an urgent mission. They never returned. Life with her brilliant, absent-minded, adored uncle has taught Sophia to take care of herself.
Then Shadrack is kidnapped. And Sophia, who has rarely been outside of Boston, is the only one who can search for him. Together with Theo, a refugee from the West, she travels over rough terrain and uncharted ocean, encounters pirates and traders, and relies on a combination of Shadrack's maps, common sense, and her own slantwise powers of observation. But even as Sophia and Theo try to save Shadrack's life, they are in danger of losing their own.
"The Glass Sentence" plunges readers into a time and place they will not want to leave, and introduces them to a heroine and hero they will take to their hearts. It is a remarkable debut.
September 2014 Selection: The Islands of Chaldea is a new novel of magic and adventure by the renowned fantasy author Diana Wynne Jones, who left behind many acclaimed and beloved books upon her death in 2011, including the internationally bestselling Howl's Moving Castle and the Chrestomanci books. The Islands of Chaldea was completed by Diana Wynne Jones's sister Ursula Jones, an acclaimed novelist and actress.
Aileen comes from a long line of magic makers, and her Aunt Beck is the most powerful magician on Skarr. But even though she is old enough, Aileen's magic has yet to reveal itself. When Aileen is sent over the sea on a mission for the King, she worries that she'll be useless and in the way. A powerful (but mostly invisible) cat changes all of that--and with every obstacle Aileen faces, she becomes stronger and more confident and her magic blooms. This stand-alone novel is a perfect introduction to the novels of the beloved Diana Wynne Jones.
June 2014 Selection: In a world where animals no longer exist, twelve-year-old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he's told there's something wrong with him. So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he's finally gone crazy. But the animals have something to say. And they need him. The pigeons fly Kester to a wild place where the last creatures in the land have survived. A wise stag needs Kester's help, and together they must embark on a great journey, joined along the way by an overenthusiastic wolf cub, a military-trained cockroach, a mouse with a ritual for everything, and a stubborn girl named Polly. The animals saved Kester Jaynes. But can Kester save the animals?
May 2014 Selection: Four kids . . . Two weeks in the Florida Everglades . . . One top-secret science experiment that could change them "and "the world as they know it . . . Meet Quentin, a middle-school football star from Chicago; Sarah, a hockey player from Upstate New York; Ben, a horse lover from the Pacific Northwest; and Cat, an artistic bird watcher from California.The four have little in common except the head injuries that landed them in an elite brain-science center in the wild swamps of Florida. It's known as the best clinic in the world and promises to return their lives to normal, but as days pass, the kids begin to notice strange side effects and unexplained changes.
April 2014 Selection: After their home burns down, fourteen-year-old Nick, his younger brother, and their father move into a ramshackle Victorian house they've inherited. When Nick opens the door to his attic room, he's hit in the head by a toaster. That's just the beginning of his weird experiences with the old junk stored up there. After getting rid of the odd antiques in a garage sale, Nick befriends some local kids-Mitch, Caitlin, and Vincent-and they discover that all of the objects have extraordinary properties. What's more, Nick figures out that the attic is a strange magnetic vortex, which attracts all sorts of trouble. It's as if the attic itself has an intelligence . . . and a purpose.
Ultimately Nick learns that the genius Nikola Tesla placed the items-his last inventions-in the attic as part of a larger plan that he mathematically predicted. Nick and his new friends must retrieve everything that was sold at the garage sale and keep it safe. But the task is fraught with peril-in addition to the dangers inherent in Tesla's mysterious and powerful creations, a secret society of physicists, the Accelerati, is determined to stop Nick and alter destiny to achieve its own devious ends. It's a lot for a guy to handle, especially when he'd much rather fly under the radar as the new kid in town.
Fans of intrigue, action, humor, and nonstop surprises are guaranteed a read unlike any other in "Tesla's Attic, "Book One of the Accelerati Trilogy.
March 2014 Selection: A remarkable adventure by award-winning author Matthew J. Kirby brings a fantastical American West filled with secrets and spies and terrifying creatures to vivid life.
In this extraordinary adventure story, Billy Bartram, his father, and a secret society of philosophers and scientists venture into the American wilderness in search of the lost people of the Welsh Prince Madoc, seeking aid in the coming war against the French. Traveling in a flying airship, the members of the expedition find their lives frequently endangered in the untamed American West by terrifying creatures, a party of French soldiers hot on their trail, and the constant threat of traitors and spies. Billy will face hazards greater than he can ever imagine as, together with his father, he gets caught up in the fight for the biggest prize of all: America.
THE LOST KINGDOM is an epic journey filled with marvelous exploits, courage and intrigue, and a bold reimagining of a mythical America. Matthew J. Kirby brings his signature storytelling prowess and superb craft to this astonishing story of fathers and sons, the beginnings of a nation, and wonder-filled adventure.
February 2014 Selection: A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.
In "The Screaming Staircase," the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall's legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?
Readers who enjoyed the action, suspense, and humor in Jonathan Stroud's internationally best-selling Bartimaeus books will be delighted to find the same ingredients, combined with deliciously creepy scares, in his thrilling and chilling Lockwood & Co. series.
January 2014 Selection: From Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper, a story of adventure and friendship between a young Native American and a colonial New England settler.
On the winter day Little Hawk is sent into the woods alone, he can take only a bow and arrows, his handcrafted tomahawk, and the amazing metal knife his father traded for with the new white settlers. If Little Hawk survives three moons by himself, he will be a man.
John Wakely is only ten when his father dies, but he has already experienced the warmth and friendship of the nearby tribes. Yet his fellow colonists aren't as accepting of the native people. When he is apprenticed to a barrel-maker, John sees how quickly the relationships between settlers and natives are deteriorating. His friendship with Little Hawk will put both boys in grave danger.
The intertwining stories of Little Hawk and John Wakely are a fascinating tale of friendship and an eye-opening look at the history of our nation. Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper also includes a timeline and an author's note that discusses the historical context of this important and moving novel.""
November 2013 Selection: Nere has never understood why she feels so much more comfortable and confident in water than on land, but everything falls into place when Nere learns that she is one of a group of kids who-unbeknownst to them-have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean. These products of "The Neptune Project" will be able to build a better future under the sea, safe from the barren country's famine, wars, and harsh laws.
But there are some very big problems: no one asked Nere if she "wanted "to be a science experiment, the other Neptune kids aren't exactly the friendliest bunch, and in order to reach the safe haven of the Neptune colony, Nere and her fellow mutates must swim through hundreds of miles of dangerous waters, relying only on their wits, dolphins, and each other to evade terrifying undersea creatures and a government that will stop at nothing to capture the Neptune kids...dead or alive.
Fierce battles and daring escapes abound as Nere and her friends race to safety in this action-packed aquatic adventure.
October 2013 Selection: "The runes have spoken. We have our champion...Matthew Thorsen."
Matt hears the words, but he can't believe them. He's Thor's representative? Destined to fight trolls, monstrous wolves and giant serpents...or the world ends? He's only thirteen.
While Matt knew he was a modern-day descendent of Thor, he's always lived a normal kid's life. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. No big deal.
But now Ragnarok is coming, and it's up to the champions to fight in the place of the long-dead gods. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team, find Thor's hammer and shield, and prevent the end of the world.
In their middle grade debut, K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr begin the epic Blackwell Pages series with this action-packed adventure, filled with larger-than-life legends, gripping battles, and an engaging cast of characters who bring the myths to life.
June 2013 Selection: Two tantalizing tales, magically intertwined, cross cultures and span centuries as three kids set out to save the lives of three others--who just happen to live in the Middle Ages!
A stone lion roars....
A sleek black cat speaks....
A faun leaps from the canvas of a painting....
When Jared, Shireen, and Miranda are each given one glittering gift from an old Venetian shopkeeper, they never fathom the powers they are now able to unleash; they never expect that their very reality is about to be utterly upended. And the adventure has hardly begun.
For in another time, centuries earlier, another trio--Rashid, Maria, and Francesca--have been thrown together under terrible circumstances: They have been kidnapped and, along with hundreds of other children, will be sold into child slavery. Unless, that is, they can find some way to save them all.
But all their fates lie in the hands of Jared, Shireen, and Miranda. The future--and the lives--of these three very modern children become entirely intertwined with those of the children from the past. Danger, it seems, has a way of spanning centuries.
April 2013 Selection: In the Urwald, you don't step off the path. Trolls, werewolves, and butter churn-riding witches lurk amid the clawing branches, eager to swoop up the unwary. Jinx has always feared leaving the path--then he meets the wizard Simon Magus.
Jinx knows that wizards are evil. But Simon's kitchen is cozy, and he seems cranky rather than wicked. Staying with him appears to be Jinx's safest, and perhaps only, option. As Jinx's curiosity about magic grows, he learns to listen to the trees as closely as he does to Simon's unusual visitors. The more Jinx discovers, the more determined he becomes to explore beyond the security of well-trodden paths.
But in the Urwald, a little healthy fear is never out of place, for magic--and magicians--can be as dangerous as the forest. And soon Jinx must decide which is the greater threat.
Sage Blackwood introduces a daring new hero for an innovative new world as Jinx is joined by friends, battles enemies, and discovers that life beyond--and even within--the forest is more complex than he can imagine, and that the Urwald itself needs him more than he could ever guess.
February 2013 Selection: An action-packed new series set in the mysterious, dangerous Bronze Age
Young Hylas--goatherd, Outsider, thief--is hunted by powerful warriors who want him dead and have kidnapped his sister. Hylas is forced to flee his home, but not before a mysterious stranger gives him a bronze dagger. While on the run, Hylas must use his skill and wits to survive a shipwreck and a great white shark attack, befriend a dolphin, and help Pirra, the runaway daughter of a High Priestess. Together with Pirra, the dolphin, and the valuable bronze sword, Hylas fights to discover why he's being hunted and find his sister before the warriors find them.