The Flashlight Readers Book Club
Join Books Inc. in Berkeley for the Flashlight Readers Book Club! Reading and discussing middle grade books across all genres, each meeting will feature a group discussion, a vote for the next month's pick, and an open conversation to talk about what other fun books members have been reading + snacks! This book club will be run by Books Inc. Children's Specialist, David!
Meets on the third Friday of each month at 4 P.M.
New members are always welcome!
Books Inc. 1491 Shattuck Avenue
Call or stop by Books Inc. on Shattuck for more information.
March 2020 Selection:
A Kirkus Best Book of 2019!"A delectable treat for food and literary connoisseurs alike." Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
An Indies Introduce Selection for 2019!
A Indie Next Pick for Summer 2019!
"What a wonderful, intriguing, and magical book. And wow, did it ever get my tastebuds going! Each time I picked it up, I felt the urge to head to my kitchen. . . . What I loved most was the smartness of it. It never once doubted its young readers." Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor and National Book Award Nominated author
"Midsummer's Mayhem is an enchantment of a novel, bursting with magic, mystery, and mouth-watering baked goods. Readers who have their own baking-show dreams will be cheering for Mimi until the very last page." Kate Messner, award-winning author of Breakout, The Seventh Wish, and All the Answers
Can Mimi undo the mayhem caused by her baking in this contemporary-fantasy retelling of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Eleven-year-old Mimi Mackson comes from a big Indian American family: Dad's a renowned food writer, Mom's a successful businesswoman, and her three older siblings all have their own respective accomplishments. It's easy to feel invisible in such an impressive family, but Mimi's dream of proving she's not the least-talented member of her family seems possible when she discovers a contest at the new bakery in town. Plus, it'll start her on the path to becoming a celebrity chef like her culinary idol, Puffy Fay.
But when Mimi's dad returns from a business trip, he's mysteriously lost his highly honed sense of taste. Without his help, Mimi will never be able to bake something impressive enough to propel her to gastronomic fame.
Drawn into the woods behind her house by a strangely familiar song, Mimi meets Vik, a boy who brings her to parts of the forest she's never seen. Who knew there were banyan trees and wild boars in Massachusetts? Together they discover exotic ingredients and bake them into delectable and enchanting treats.
But as her dad acts stranger every day, and her siblings' romantic entanglements cause trouble in their town, Mimi begins to wonder whether the ingredients she and Vik found are somehow the cause of it all. She needs to use her skills, deductive and epicurean, to uncover what's happened. In the process, she learns that in life, as in baking, not everything is sweet. . . .
February 2020 Selection: "I enjoyed everything about Damien Love's debut--its title, its breakneck action, its sly sense of humor. If you imagine Rick and Morty colliding with early Spielberg, you get some idea of this delirious adventure . . . and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see it on the screen. I wish my first novel had been as imaginative and assured." -- Anthony Horowitz, New York Times bestselling author of the Alex Rider series
"What fun! An evil villain, a host of scary robots, big and small, and a hero with commendably bad personal habits. Loved it!" -- John Flanagan, New York Times bestselling author of the Ranger's Apprentice and Brotherband series
" Monstrous Devices effortlessly brings mythic legend and modern life together in one exhilarating, breathless chase. With humor, relentless adventure, and true insight, Damien Love compels us to look closely at our wishes and illusions, at the dark and light forces of creation, at what really makes us tick." -- S. E. Grove, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Sentence
* "Frightening and mysterious....[A] well-crafted adventure."-- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A well-knit debut generously stocked with chills, thrills, and chancy exploits."-- Kirkus
January 2020 Selection: Anne Ursu, author of the National Book Award nominee The Real Boy, returns with a story of the power of fantasy, the limits of love, and the struggles inherent in growing up.
When you're an identical twin, your story always starts with someone else. For Iris, that means her story starts with Lark.
Iris has always been the grounded, capable, and rational one; Lark has been inventive, dreamy, and brilliant--and from their first moments in the world together, they've never left each other's side. Everyone around them realized early on what the two sisters already knew: they had better outcomes when they were together.
When fifth grade arrives, however, it's decided that Iris and Lark should be split into different classrooms, and something breaks in them both.
Iris is no longer so confident; Lark retreats into herself as she deals with challenges at school. And at the same time, something strange is happening in the city around them, things both great and small going missing without a trace.
As Iris begins to understand that anything can be lost in the blink of an eye, she decides it's up to her to find a way to keep her sister safe.
August 2018 Selection: Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate.There's plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity?before all of the children vanish one by one.
Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.
April 2017 Selection: "Like all Karen Cushman's gorgeous novels, Grayling's Song delves into the past to let us know what we must ask of our future." --Lena Dunham It's time for Grayling to be a hero. Her mother, a "wise woman"--a sort of witch--has been turned into a tree by evil forces. Tangles and toadstools! Lacking confidence after years of being called "Feeble Wits" by her mother, Grayling heads off dubiously into the wilds in search of help, where she finds a weather witch, an aromatic enchantress, a cheese soothsayer, a slyly foolish apprentice, and a shape-shifting mouse named Pook! A fast-paced and funny coming-of-age odyssey from a Newbery medalist.
March 2017 Selection: Slip behind the Iron Curtain into a world of smoke, secrets, and lies in this stunning novel where someone is always listening and nothing is as it seems.
Noah Keller has a pretty normal life, until one wild afternoon when his parents pick him up from school and head straight for the airport, telling him on the ride that his name isn't really Noah and he didn't really just turn eleven in March. And he can't even ask them why -- not because of his Astonishing Stutter, but because asking questions is against the newly instated rules. (Rule Number Two: Don't talk about serious things indoors, because Rule Number One: They will always be listening). As Noah--now "Jonah Brown"--and his parents head behind the Iron Curtain into East Berlin, the rules and secrets begin to pile up so quickly that he can hardly keep track of the questions bubbling up inside him: Who, exactly, is listening -- and why? When did his mother become fluent in so many languages? And what really happened to the parents of his only friend, Cloud-Claudia, the lonely girl who lives downstairs? In an intricately plotted novel full of espionage and intrigue, friendship and family, Anne Nesbet cracks history wide open and gets right to the heart of what it feels like to be an outsider in a world that's impossible to understand.
February 2017 Selection: A soon-to-be siren finds herself responsible for the lives of her sisters and the fisherman they curse in this haunting debut novel.
Now that I know the truth, I sometimes picture my sisters in headlights, the way they would have looked on that cold February night, armed with shovels and pickaxes, and digging in the graveyard.
Lolly Salt has beautiful sisters. When they re not in school or running their small town s diner, they re secretly luring ships to their doom from the cliffs of Starbridge Cove, Maine. With beautiful voices that twelve-year-old Lolly has yet to grow into (not that she wants to anyway) the Salt sisters do the work mandated by the Sea Witch, a glamorously frightening figure determined to keep the girls under her control. With their mother dead after a terrible car crash, and their father drowning in his grief, the sisters carry on with their lives and duties until a local sea captain gets suspicious about the shipwrecks.
On the day before her birthday, Lolly watches in helpless horror as her sisters are lured themselves by curse-reversing fishermen and suddenly it s up to her and her best friend Jason to rescue the sirens of Starbridge Cove.
January 2017 Selection: In this groundbreaking tour de force, Caldecott Medalist and bookmaking pioneer Brian Selznick sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.
Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.
Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork-- Wonderstruckis a stunning achievement from a gifted artist and visionary
September 2016 Selection: A 2015 Newbery Honor Book Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful and very awkward hearing aid.
The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear sometimes things she shouldn t but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become El Deafo, Listener for All. And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she s longed for.