DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LAST STRAW, by Jeff Kinney, Amulet
Books, $12.95; ages 9-12.
Greg is always going to be a wimp. He knows it. His friends know
it. His brother certainly knows it. But his dad still hasn't
figured it out. Dad thinks Greg needs to toughen up and join a
sport. Not for our wimpy kid. But when dad threatens military
school, Greg realizes he has to change. I know you have been
waiting for this book.
11 BIRTHDAYS, by Wendy Mass, Scholastic Press, $16.99; ages
Amanda and Leo are neighbors who share the same birthday. Every
year they throw a party together. But this year, set to turn 11,
they are on the outs. Leo has a party; Amanda goes to bed. The next
morning, she wakes with a sigh of relief that her birthday is over,
only to find it is still her birthday. Leo must be part of this,
but that would require talking to him to figure it out.
I love every one of Wendy Mass' books and this one is no
MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD, by Francisco X. Stork, Arthur A. Levine
Books, $17.99; ages 12 and up.
Marcelo is a boy diagnosed with autism who hears music in his
head. No one understands Marcelo's music, especially his father.
The summer before Marcelo's senior year, his father makes him take
a job in his law firm because he thinks it will help Marcelo learn
about the "real world." Marcelo ends up learning much more about
himself-and we learn much more about autism.
TUNNELS, by Brian Williams and Roderick Gordon, Scholastic
Paperbacks, $7.99; ages 9-12.
Will and his father have only one thing in common-they like to
dig. Will's father is the caretaker of the local museum and the two
of them dig for things to display in the museum. Right now they
working on a secret project. But when Will's dad disappears, it is
up to Will to dig up the truth. What Will discovers is scary,
strange, evil and amazing.
The sequel, "Deeper," is on my list to read ASAP.
WAKE, by Lisa McMann, Simon Pulse, $8.99; ages 13 and up.
Janie has a secret she knows no one would believe. She can see
other people's dreams. School is the worst because kids are always
falling asleep in class and then Janie is dreaming right along with
them. One day, instead of the usual "oh no I'm naked in front of
the class" dream, Janie gets sucked into an ultra-scary dream-and
this one is real. Its sequel, Fade, hits the bookstores this
Sandi Pedersen is a mom of four and the Web mistress for
See more of Sandi's stories here.
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