When Humphrey the hamster goes home with Heidi for the weekend, he has an adventure that he has never had as a classroom pet. In "Humphrey's Creepy-Crawly Camping Adventure," By Betty G. Birney, Humphrey goes backyard camping with Heidi and her three friends. At first, Humphrey's response is summed up in one squeak: "Eeeek!" After all, he has visited all kinds of apartments and homes for weekend outings with the kids in his class. But never has he slept outdoors. Humphrey's world becomes larger. He sees burgers on a grill, roasted marshmallows and constellations of stars.
If you think raising poultry is a tame hobby, think again. "Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer," by Kelly Jones, is the story of 12-year-old Sophie, who moves from Los Angeles to her great-uncle Jim's farm in rural California. Even though great-uncle Jim has died, his chickens are still in the area. One by one, they begin to return to the farm. But they aren't normal chickens. Henrietta (a Bantam White Leghorn chicken) seems perpetually mad—and can move a water jar just by staring at it. Chameleon (a Barred Plymouth Rock) can disappear. And Buffy ...
Although Mother's Day has come and gone, there's something timeless about wanting to do something special for your mom. In "Once Upon a Cloud," by Claire Keane, a little girl named Celeste seeks the perfect gift for her mother. The daytime has given her no ideas. But when night falls, her adventure begins.
If you've heard of Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman website, you've probably heard of Charlie, the family's basset hound. "Charlie Plays Ball" is a picture book about Charlie's life on the ranch. Of course, Charlie chooses to tell the story from his point of view. He starts out with a general description of ranch work (riding, roping, feeding cattle, fixing fence) and moves onto his specialty — keeping the critters out of the yard.
Kate Quinn thinks the summer before her senior year in high school will be normal. But when she sees press vehicles and gleaming black Town Cars, she knows that something has changed. In "The Wrong Side of Right," by Jenn Marie Thorne, Kate discovers that she is the daughter of Mark Cooper, the front-running Republican candidate for the president of the United States. But Kate can't ask her mom for details, she died in a car accident a year ago. Within the week, Kate finds herself on the campaign trail with the Cooper family and the inner circle of strategists.
Clementine is part Ramona Quimby, part Junie B. Jones and altogether unique. Just like the fruit she's named after, her life has plenty of sections. In "Completely Clementine," By Sara Pennypacker, Clementine is in the middle of a feud. She's a vegetarian. Her father is not. No matter how many pictures she draws of weeping cows and terrified clams her father refuses to change. Following the advice of her older friend Margaret, Clementine decides to give her dad the silent treatment. But it doesn't go as planned. Meanwhile, her mom is about ready to have a baby.
Losing your friends is bad. Losing your dog is even worse. "Dash," by Kirby Larson, is the story of 11-year-old Mitsi, a Japanese-American girl living in Seattle. After Pearl Harbor is bombed, Mitsi's friends — even her best friend, Mags — begin to ignore her.
Eleven-year-old Ada thinks about force and acceleration and sock-blasting cannons. Fourteen-year-old Mary is a bit romantic and highly intelligent, especially when it comes to words and people. The two girls meet in "The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Moonstone," by Jordan Stratford. Together they form a "clandestine" detective agency to solve the crimes of London. As girls in 1826, they must keep their identities secret. Their first case involves Miss Rebecca Verdigris. Her valuable necklace has been stolen and her maid has confessed to the crime.
Award-winning author and illustrator Kadir Nelson doesn't disappoint. However, his newest book takes readers and listeners in a new direction. Unlike his previous books, "Baby Bear" is a picture book for preschoolers. The story addresses the universal fear of being lost. We don't know how Baby Bear gets lost. Instead, Nelson throws us into the middle of the action. In the deep of night, Baby Bear asks Mountain Lion to help him find his way home. Mountain Lion answers, "Well, Baby Bear, when I am lost, I try to retrace my steps." This sets the pattern for the rest of the book.
When you think of Alaska, you may think of the early gold rush days. But "Bo at Iditarod Creek," by Kirkpatrick Hill takes place in the late 1920s. Even so, this is a time of adventure for 5-year-old Bo. The gold has run out at Ballard Creek. So she and her 4-year-old brother, Graf, and the two men who are raising them, Arvid and Jack, strap a gramophone to the bow of their boat and follow the rivers to Iditarod Creek. Here the gold is mined with four giant dredges that sound like freight trains crashing.