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.
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.
June 2016 Selction: Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship.
Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie's picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.
April 2016 Selection:
Longing to be one of the popular girls in her new town, Kammie Summers has fallen into a well during a (fake) initiation into their club. Now Kammie s trapped in the dark, counting the hours, waiting to be rescued. (The Girls have gone for help, haven t they?) As hours pass, Kammie s real-life predicament mixes with memories of the best and worst moments of her life so far, including the awful reasons her family moved to this new town in the first place. And as she begins to feel hungry and thirsty and light-headed, Kammie starts to imagine she has company, including a French-speaking coyote and goats that just might be zombies. Karen Rivers has created a unique narrator with an authentic, sympathetic, sharp, funny voice who will have readers laughing and crying and laugh-crying over the course of physically and emotionally suspenseful, utterly believable events.
March 2016 Selection: Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech's inspired novel tells the story of a boy who fantasizes about who he is in order to discover who he will become. Now with fresh and gorgeous new cover art, this touching tale has received many starred reviews, and was called a "warm, funny, philosophical novel" by Kirkus Reviews.
With the backdrop of a large family and a theater as its frame, this is a story about twelve-year-old Leo, who has a talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. That's why he's called "fog boy." He's always dreaming, always replaying things in his brain. As an actor in the school play, he is poised and ready for the curtain to open. But in the play that is his life, he is eager to discover what part will be his.
With the universal theme of finding one's true identity, and set amid a loud, noisy, memorable family, Leo's story is one that all kids will relate to.
January 2016 Selection: Fans of Anne Ursu will love Anne Nesbet's tale of music and friendship, set against an age-old war between magic and science.
In the enchanted village of Lourka, almost-twelve-year-old Linny breaks an ancient law. Girls are forbidden to so much as touch the town's namesake musical instrument before their twelfth birthday or risk being spirited away. But Linny can't resist the call to play a lourka, so she builds one herself.
When the punishment strikes her best friend instead, Linny must leave home to try to set things right. With her father's young apprentice, Elias, along for the journey, Linny travels from the magical wrinkled country to the scientific land of the Plain, where she finds herself at the center of a battle between the logical and the magical.
November 2015 Selection: This much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier s exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.
The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.
February 2019 Selection: When Emmaline Beaumont's father started building the ghost machine, she didn't expect it to bring her mother back from the dead. But by locking himself in the basement to toil away at his hopes, Monsieur Beaumont has become obsessed with the contraption and neglected the living, and Emmaline is tired of feeling forgotten.
Nothing good has come from building the ghost machine, and Emmaline decides that the only way to bring her father back will be to make the ghost machine work . . . or destroy it forever.