The Wit and Whimsy Book Club
The Wit and Whimsy Book Club reads and discusses wondorous works for 8-12 year olds.
Meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday of each month at Noon (great for homeschoolers!) AND 5:00 PM.
New members are always welcome!
Books Inc. Santa Clara
2712 Augustine Drive, Suite #120
March 2018 Selection: "A dreamy charmer of a book, full of clever wordplay that practically demands it be read out loud."--New York Times
Have you ever wanted to hold a little piece of the impossible? The Doldrums is an extraordinary debut about friendship, imagination, and the yearning for adventure from author-artist Nicholas Gannon. A modern classic in the making, The Doldrums is for readers of inventive and timeless authors such as Brian Selznick and Lemony Snicket. The paperback edition is exquisitely illustrated throughout with black-and-white artwork.
Archer B. Helmsley wants an adventure. No, he needs an adventure. His grandparents were famous explorers . . . until they got stuck on an iceberg. Now Archer's mother barely lets him out of the house. As if that would stop a true Helmsley. Archer enlists Adelaide--the girl who, according to rumor, lost her leg to a crocodile--and Oliver--the boy next door--to help him rescue his grandparents. The Doldrums whisks us off on an adventure full of sly humor, incredible detail, and enormous heart.
With approximately twenty full-page pieces of breathtaking black-and-white artwork, as well as spot illustrations, and gorgeous, literary writing, Nicholas Gannon proves himself to be a distinctive new voice with his middle grade debut. Be in it for the limitless imagination. For the characters who capture your heart. For the rich world you'll want to settle into. But most of all, be in it for the friendship. That, after all, is the true adventure.
February 2018 Selection: It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.
"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract."
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.
January 2018 Selection: Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.
Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken, and he's imaginary. He has come back into Jackson's life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?
Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.
November 2017 Selection: Fans of fractured fairy tales will be delighted to discover the fantasy, mystery, adventure, and humor in the beloved New York Times bestselling Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley, now with new cover art. As featured on NBC's The Today Show, the nine wildly popular books are favorites around the world. They were among the first books to bring a distinctly girl-power spin to fairy tales--a spin taken up by hit movies and shows TV such as Once Upon a Time, Grimm, and Maleficent, the bestselling book series The Land of Stories , and other. New covers will appear on book one, The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives; book two, The Sisters Grimm: The Unusual Suspects; and book three, The Sisters Grimm: The Problem Child. Books four through nine will be available in revised editions soon. ?
In this first book in the series, orphaned sisters Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their recently discovered grandmother, Relda Grimm. The girls learn that they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, whose famous tome of fairy tales is actually a history book. The girls are pitted against a giant, who has been rampaging through town. But who set the giant loose in the first place? Was it Mayor Charming (formerly Prince Charming), who has plans to get his kingdom back? The Three Not-So-Little Pigs, now working as police officers? Or a giant-killer named Jack, currently working at a Big & Tall store?
With an irresistible combination of adventure and imagination, the Sisters Grimm series injects classic fairy tales with modern day sensibilities and suspense, creating a fantastical combination readers of all ages will love.
October 2017 Selection: Book 1 of The Voyages of the Legend, winner of a 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Award! ..".magical...a real page turner." - Readers' Favorite, 5-star review Ellie is a twelve-year-old orphan who desperately wants a family. She just doesn't expect to find one when she joins the crew of the Legend, a flying ship in a secret rescue fleet. On board, she meets a boy with a pet tarantula, a bully with eyes like mirrors, and a librarian who can read eighteen languages. Unexpectedly, Ellie also discovers a powerful gift that only she can wield. But when the Legend is called to a dangerous rescue mission, Ellie risks losing everyone she loves. Will her mysterious gift be enough to save her and her friends from a deadly enemy bent on destroying their world?
September 2017 Selection: In the town of Spring Haven, four children have been selected to compete in the national candymaking contest of a lifetime. Who will make a candy more delicious than the Oozing Crunchorama or the Neon Yellow Lightning Chew?
Logan, the candymaker's son, who can detect the color of chocolate by feel alone?
Miles, the boy allergic to rowboats and the color pink?
Daisy, the cheerful girl who can lift a fifty-pound lump of taffy as if it were a feather?
Philip, the suit-and-tie-wearing boy who's always scribbling in a secret notebook?
This sweet, charming, and cleverly crafted story, told from each contestant's perspective, is filled with mystery, friendship, and juicy revelations.
August 2017 Selection: Five elements. Four friends. One city--and its sinister shadow.
This epic middle grade series is filled with awesome elemental powers, nightmarish creatures, and nonstop adventure that will thrill fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Rick Riordan, and Brandon Mull.
When Gabe Conway and his friends find a strange old map in his uncle's office and follow it to a crumbling secret chamber beneath San Francisco, they think they're just having one last adventure before Gabe moves away. They don't expect to end up bound to the magic of the elements, or to set off a chain of events that none of them can explain. But they're about to get more of an adventure than they bargained for.
A power-hungry cult is plotting to merge our world with a twisted parallel realm--and now it's up to Gabe, his friends, and their new elemental powers to save San Francisco from utter destruction.
July 2017 Selection: Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer. Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?
Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He's bossy. He's cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie's grandfather, a scientist who's always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this gawky teenager really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?
With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility. Look for EXCLUSIVE NEW MATERIAL in the paperback--including Ellie's gallery of scientists and other STEM-appropriate features.
June 2017 Selection: The Real Boy, Anne Ursu's follow-up to her widely acclaimed and beloved middle grade fantasy Breadcrumbs, is a spellbinding tale of the power we all wield, great and small.
On an island on the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy named Oscar. Oscar is a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the village, and spends his days in a small room in the dark cellar of his master's shop grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island generations ago. Oscar's world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in it.
But now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill, and something sinister lurks in the forest. Oscar has long been content to stay in his small room in the cellar, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the forest will keep his island safe. Now, even magic may not be enough to save it.
May 2017 Selection: It's wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler's inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers' adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo's home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook's daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House--and themselves.
April 2017 Selection: Bestselling author Daniel Pinkwater's story of how Neddie, a shaman, a ghost, three pals, and a maneuver known as the French substitution determine the fate of the world.
Melvin the Shaman. Sandor Eucalyptus. Billy the Phantom Bellboy. Daniel Pinkwater's weird and wonderful tale of Neddie Wentworthstein's quest to save civilization features some of the most unique heroes and villains a reader could hope to meet. Despite the heavy responsibility that Neddie must carry (not every kid is charged with rescuing humankind from doom), his story is hilarious, warm, welcoming, and sweet.
March 2017 Selection: Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays' apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy.After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that could help recover a famous drawing by Albrecht Durer. But James can't go through with the plan without Marvin's help. And that's where things get really complicated (and interesting!). This fast-paced mystery will have young readers on the edge of their seats as they root for boy and beetle.
In Shakespeare's Secret Elise Broach showed her keen ability to weave storytelling with history and suspense, and Masterpiece is yet another example of her talent. This time around it's an irresistible miniature world, fascinating art history, all wrapped up in a special friendship-- something for everyone to enjoy.
Masterpiece is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
February 2017 Selection: Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London. Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo and only Theo who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum. Sneaking behind her father s back, Theo uses old, nearly forgotten Egyptian magic to remove the curses and protect her father and the rest of the museum employees from the ancient, sinister forces that lurk in the museum s dark hallways.
January 2017 Selection: Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she's been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her "upstream mother," she's found a home with the Colonel--a cafe owner with a forgotten past of his own--and Miss Lana, the fabulous cafe hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.
Full of wisdom, humor, and grit, this timeless yarn will melt the heart of even the sternest Yankee.
November 2016 Selection: The beloved 2014 Newbery Medal winner by former National Ambassador for Young People s Literature Kate DiCamillo.
Holy unanticipated occurrences! From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black and white by K. G. Campbell.
October 2016 Selection: Rosemary Bliss's family has a secret. It's the Bliss Cookery Booke an ancient, leather-bound volume of enchanted recipes like Singing Gingersnaps.
Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep the Cookery Booke locked away while their parents are out of town, but then a mysterious stranger shows up. "Aunt" Lily rides a motorcycle and also whips up exotic (but delicious) dishes for dinner. Soon boring, non-magical recipes feel like life before Aunt Lily a lot less fun.
So Rose and her siblings experiment with just a couple of recipes from the forbidden Cookery Booke. A few Love Muffins and Cookies of Truth couldn't cause too much trouble . . . could they?
Kathryn Littlewood's culinary caper blends rich emotional flavor with truly enchanting wit, yielding one heaping portion of hilarious family adventure.
September 2016 Selection: For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it's the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon her arrival, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked and is now in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself, and might contain the only copy of his mysterious new game.
Racing against time, Emily and James rush from clue to clue, desperate to figure out the secret at the heart of Griswold's new game before those who attacked Griswold come after them too.
The paperback edition of Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman features a gorgeous, brightened cover and an interview with the author.
August 2016 Selection: Penelope is running out of time!
She dreams of being a writer, but how can she pursue her passion when her mother schedules every minute of her life? And how will she ever prove that writing is worthwhile if her mother keeps telling her to "get busy!" and "be more productive"?
Then one day, Penelope discovers a hole in her schedule--an entire day completely unplanned!--and she mysteriously falls into it. What follows is a mesmerizing journey through the Realm of Possibility where Penelope sets out to find and free the Great Moodler, the one person who may have the answers she seeks. Along the way, she must face an army of Clockworkers, battle the evil Chronos, take a daring Flight of Fancy, and save herself from the grip of time.
Brimming with clever language and masterful wordplay, The Lost Track of Time is a high-stakes adventure that will take you to a place where nothing is impossible and every minute doesn't count--people do!