LEVEN THUMPS AND THE EYES OF THE WANT, by Obert Skye, Shadow Mountain, $18.95; ages 10-13.
In this, the third book of the series, it is time for Leven to travel to Foo, the land where all our dark, scary dreams and nightmares live.
The beings of Foo are gearing up for a war to join Reality. Leven has the help of his friends, Winter, Clover and Geth, but only Leven has the power to stop the war. When Leven gets separated from his friends, he meets the Want. He doesn't know if he should trust the Want, but he finds himself helpless to do anything but follow. Will Leven be able to stop the war? Or will the secret of the Want be strong enough to cause Leven to give up all hope? You'll have to read this to find out.
SNAKEHEAD (Alex Rider Adventure), by Anthony Horowitz, Philomel, $17.99; ages 10-13.
This is Alex's biggest and best adventure yet. Alex thought he was done with the spy business, but then they hooked him in again, this time with the promise of meeting his godfather. He couldn't resist the idea of meeting someone who could connect him with his parents.
Alex's skin is dyed a darker color, his hair is chopped off and he has fake ugly teeth glued into his mouth. Alex travels to the slums of Bangkok and ends up in a fight for his life. His mission is to stop the evil people known as the Snakeheads. But stopping the Snakeheads is nothing compared to the secrets his godfather tries to keep from him.
IGRAINE THE BRAVE, by Cornelia Funke, The Chicken House, $16.99; ages 9-12.
Igraine lives in a castle in a family of magicians, but she doesn't want to be a magician. She wants to be a knight, just like her great-grandfather. The trouble is there is no trouble. Life in this castle is peaceful and happy.
Luckily for Igraine, the neighbor's evil nephew shows up to steal the magic books from Igraine's parents. Her parents think she is too young and silly to even try to be a great knight. But when her parents accidentally turn themselves into pigs it's up to Igraine to save them, the castle and the books.
THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET, by Pseudonymous Bosch, Little, Brown Young Readers, $16.99; ages 9-12.
Cass and Max-Ernest, both 11, live in the same town and go to the same school, but they were never friends. Now, they have come together to solve a mystery-a mystery so secret they are the only ones who know it is a mystery.
There is a dead magician, a notebook of clues, a box called the Symphony of Smells, a missing kid from their school and those two weird adults, Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais. Cass and Max-Ernest investigate, solve clues, find their missing classmate, but they must lie to the adults they love to get all this accomplished.
THE SORTA SISTERS, by Adrian Fogelin, Peachtree Publishers, $15.95; ages 9-12.
Anna lives with her foster mom, Miss Johnette. Mica lives on a boat with her father, The Captain. Anna moved around all her life from foster home to foster home, from one new school to another. Mica has been traveling around all her life, on the boat and is homeschooled by her father. The girls are pen pals.
They call themselves sorta sisters because they have so much in common. They write each other letters and send things, like shells and plants, from where they live, and more importantly they send each other a lasting relationship. Anna wishes Miss Johnette would adopt her so that they could be a family and Mica wishes her dad would stop drinking and settle down. In the end, even sorta sisters can give each other love and strength.
CHASING YESTERDAY #1 AWAKENING and #2 BETRAYAL, by Robin Wasserman, Scholastic Paperbacks, $5.99; ages 11-13.
JD (which stands for Jane Doe) wakes up in a hospital. According to the hospital, she was found unconscious, only slightly injured and unidentified. She may not remember anything about her past, but she does know she is in danger. She keeps having visions from her past.
In the first book, JD is sent to a juvenile detention center. Here she begins to discover powers she can't control or understand. In the second book, JD discovers she has a connection to a mysterious Dr. Styron, a man in her dreams. JD must find a way to unlock the secrets in her brain before Dr. Styron finds a way to lock up those secrets for good. I'm cheering for JD and I can't wait to read the next part of her story.
Sandi Pedersen is the mom of four and the Web
mistress for Chicago Parent.
See more of Sandi's stories here.