Staff Picks Grades 3-5
Eleven-year-old Brian's summer turns out a lot less boring than expected when he encounters a huge, wacky house in the forest and befriends the eccentric family that lives there.
On his very first day in his new home, Stuart is swept up in an extraordinary adventure. Stuart is on a quest to find his great-uncle Tony, a famous magician who literally disappeared off the face of the earth.
At school, Molly struggles to maintain the appearance of a normal life, but she's secretly embarrassed by her mother, whose life revolves around gathering herbs, preparing herbal remedies, and engaging in magical thinking. When a sip of the wrong potion turns Mama into a tree, it's up to Molly to figure out how to bring her mother back.
Little does the Queen of England know that all 149 members of the Whiskers family live in a dollhouse in Windsor Castle. When the dollhouse is suddenly closed and Henry's littlest sister, Isabel, goes missing, Henry and Jeremy must brave a gang of nasty rats, oblivious humans, and a vicious cat to rescue Isabel.
What stinks worse than having his parents suspect him of hiding his little sister's tricycle is knowing they will never believe the truth: a pair of skunks stole it in the night. Mateo Martinez knows what he saw, and he is determined to prove it. After a disastrous attempt to ambush the varmints ends with Mateo getting sprayed in the face, he learns something else incredible: the skunks can talk.
When 14-year-old William Kamkwamba's Malawi village was hit by a drought in 2001, everyone's crops began to fail. His family didn't have enough money for food, let alone school, so William spent his days in the library. He came across a book on windmills and figured out how to build a windmill that could bring electricity to his village.
While twins Ella and Herbie help the handyman, Mr. Mital, work on their new home, he tells them about such inventors as Granville Woods, Dr. Henry T. Sampson, and James West, giving them a new view of their heritage as African-Americans.
Sumac Lottery has a pretty sweet life. Four parents, six siblings, five pets, and a big old house in Toronto fill her world. But her world is turned upside down when Grumps, an estranged grandparent, comes to stay.
Everything is set for the family's camping trip until Dad wakes up with a cold so fierce both he and Mom are forced to stay home. Their absent-minded Grandpa, who "putters" and "rarely goes outdoors," steps in to salvage the trip.
Silo, an orphan, is one of the few in his island community who can read and write. He never knew his father, and his mother was killed in a terrible accident. At 10, Silo is the town historian, but he would like to leave his home and go to the big city. He's hoping to become an important Seer, one who can predict the future as well as see the past for the government.