OPERATION REDWOOD, by S. Terrell French, Amulet books, $16.99; ages 9-12.
Julian has spent the day with a fever, stuck in his uncle's office waiting for a meeting to be over so they can go home. When he intercepts an e-mail, Julian discovers his uncle and his uncle's company plan to wipe out a very old Redwood forest. Julian, his best friend Danny and his new friend Robin devise a plan to save the Redwoods.
PARIS PAN TAKES THE DARE, by Cynthea Liu, Putnam, $16.99; ages 9-12.
Paris' dad is a builder. He buys a house, fixes it up, they move in and when the house is sold, they move to start all over again. It means Paris has to change schools a lot. In her new school, the entire seventh grade fits in one classroom. And all Paris wants to do is fit in.
THE MUSICIAN'S DAUGHTER, by Susanne Dunlap, Bloomsbury, $16.99; ages 13 and up.
On Christmas Eve, Maria's father is found dead and his violin is gone. The only clue is a strange pendant. Maria, a 15-year-old in 18th century Vienna, works for her godfather to keep her family out of debt and refuses to go along with the arranged marriage. Maria is determined to find her father's violin and his murderer.
THE DEVIL'S BREATH (Danger Zone), by David Gilman, Delecorte Press, $16.99; ages 13 and up.
Max is safely tucked away at boarding school, or so he thinks until someone tries to kill him. Max learns his dad is missing and whoever has him is after Max. The only clue leads Max to Namibia. Max's guide is a boy his own age. Together they discover a plot that has potential ecological disaster written all over it. And the man behind the madness is the one who kidnapped Max's dad.
SECRET KEEPER, by Mitali Perkins, Delacorte Press, $16.99; ages 12 and up.
Asha's dad leaves India for America to find work and Asha, her sister and her mother must live with Uncle. Life is not easy in this new home where they have to obey custom and follow Uncle's rules. Asha's only solitude is writing in her diary on the rooftop. Here she meets the neighbor boy, Jay. When news about her father arrives, Asha is forced to make a choice that will change her life forever.
Sandi Pedersen is the mom of four and the Web mistress for Chicago Parent.
See more of Sandi's stories here.