RED GLASS, by Laura Resau, Delacorte
Books for Young Readers, $15.99; ages 11-13.
One night, Sophie and her parents are
called to the hospital. A 5-year-old boy named Pablo is the only
survivor of a group of seven people who tried to cross the border
from Mexico into Arizona. The boy has Sophie's father's business
card in his pocket.
Sophie's family has no idea why the boy
has the card, but they do know they can't leave him in fate's
hands. They bring him home and fall in love with him. After a year,
the boy's extended family in Mexico makes contact. Sophie hopes
Pablo will choose her over his family in Mexico.
What Sophie finds in Pablo's very poor
community is much more than his family. She finds a warm, caring
family who welcomes her and her aunt and Pablo with generosity and
open arms. This story is so wonderfully written, the scenery and
the people are absolutely beautiful.
GRIFFIN'S CASTLE, by Jenny Nimmo,
Orchard Books, $16.99; ages 9-12.
Eleven-year-old Dinah and her mother
have moved so many times, Dinah can't remember staying anywhere
long enough to call it home. Because she moved so often, fantasy is
her only friend.
Near her new school in Wales is an old
castle surrounded by stone animals. One day on her way home from
school she wishes the animals would come alive and be her friends.
To her surprise, three of them follow her home. At first she enjoys
their companionship, but soon realizes they want to imprison
Dinah is forced to come out of her
fantasy world, make some friends and with their help, save
BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES, by Laurie Faria
Stolarz, Llewellyn Publications, $9.95; ages 12 and up.
Stacey is a witch and her nightmares
come true. The latest nightmare is about her best friend and
roommate, Drea, dying.
Stacey, a junior at a boarding school,
must find a way to keep Drea alive. Stacey tries everything her
grandmother, also a witch, taught her but the candles, the spells,
the potions and the cards are not working. Are Stacey and her magic
strong enough to save her friend?
This book is a re-release from 2003. If
you enjoy this one, there are three more in the series waiting to
cast a spell on you.
MADDIGAN'S FANTASIA, by Margaret Mahy,
Margaret K. McElderry Books, $17.99; ages 10-13.
Twelve-year-old Maddigan and her family
are part of a traveling circus. They live in a post-apocalyptic
time period of life on earth.
Each year the circus leaves their
hometown of Solis and travels around the country in search of goods
and money. This year they are also on a mission to find a new solar
converter, the only source of power in Solis. Along the journey,
Maddigan meets Timon and Eden. The boys try to explain that they
are from the future and are there to help the circus find the
converter. They even have a very old, ratty looking copy of
Maddigan's diary in which she wrote about failure.
Maddigan takes it upon herself to help
the circus complete the journey, save her family from bad guys,
convince circus members to trust Timon and Eden and get her circus
family back home safely.
MIRACLE ON 49TH STREET, by Mike Lupica,
Puffin, $7.99; ages 9-12.
Molly is 12 and has just moved from
England to the United States to live with her mother's friend after
her mother dies from cancer. She arrives with a sad heart and a
very big secret.
Before her death, Molly's mother wrote
her letters filled with advice about life and a big secret about
her father, who just happens to be the big basketball star, Josh
Cameron. Molly, with the help of her new friend Sam, finds a way to
confront Josh. Josh does not believe Molly until she shows him the
letter. Josh and Molly's mom were college sweethearts. Josh is
concerned what an unexpected kid will do to his image and his
Sandi Pedersen is the mom of four
and the Web
mistress for Chicago Parent.
See more of Sandi's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.