Category Archives: series

Super Series – Century Quartet

Four kids.  Four cities.  And the fate of the world at stake.

Seemingly brought together by coincidence Harvey, Mistral, Sheng and Elettra discover that they are part of an ancient mystery that must be resolved every hundred years.   If they fail, disaster awaits.  They’ll need each other to survive and succeed – their lives depend on it.  Written by Italian author Pierdomenico Baccalario, this series is filled with history, mystery, action, danger, and friendship and makes for an exciting journey around the globe. MR-5/6

century1Ring of Fire (Century Quartet, Book 1) –  A strange mix-up in hotel reservations bring Harvey from New York, Mistral from Paris and Sheng from Shanghai to Elettra’s family hotel in Rome, where they all have to share a room.  Stranger yet the kids discover they all have the same unique birthday.  Is their meeting really just coincidence?  Then, a mysterious man asks them to take care of a briefcase for him.  But when the mystery man winds up murdered, things take a decidedly sinister turn.  Now there is no going back, for once the four new friends open the briefcase and begin the hunt for the Ring of Fire – a centuries old center of power – they’ll travel throughout Rome’s most secret places on a life or death mission relying on their wits and each other to survive.

century2Century #2: Star of Stone – Reunited in New York the four friends discover that the professor who sent them all over Rome isnt’ done yet.  This time a series of coded postcards provide the clues necessary to send Harvey, Mistral, Elettra and Shang throughout hidden New York City on a quest of the Star of the Stone – another ancient and powerful object.  However, new threats are at every turn and this quest will be anything but easy.

century3Century #3: City of Wind – This time it’s Paris, Mistral’s home turf!  A gift from a friend of Harvey’s father turns out to be the key to unlocking the mystery to yet a third object of power.  The gift, a clock once owned by Napoleon, takes the four friends throughout Paris’ museums and famous churches on a race to discover its hidden secrets.  But this time they’re not alone, and someone sinister is keeping an eye on their every move.

century4Century #4: Dragon of Seas – Across Shanghai the four friends, led by Shang, search for the fourth and final piece of the puzzle to save the world – for at least another century. With only an odd collection of seemingly useless items to help in their quest for the Pearl of the Sea Dragon, the kids begin to rely on strange visions that Shang is having, which lead them throughout the city on their final quest – for they will succeed or surely perish as the danger is the worst they’ve faced yet!

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Filed under Action, Adventure, Middle Reader, mystery, series, travel

Super Series – 39 Clues

If your middle reader is looking for high action, intense adventure, and danger at every turn  – all while scouring the globe securing essential information, both for the heroes success, as well as to keep it out of the wrong hands – then this series is sure to please.

The 39 Clues – by Rick Riordan & Various Authors

Amy and Dan Cahill set out on a quest to discover the 39 missing clues that will reveal the true power of the Cahill family – but they aren’t the only branch of the mysterious family searching for answers, and not everyone has noble intentions.  As Amy and Dan travel the globe each mission becomes more dangerous, it becomes less clear who to trust, and their motives are constantly questioned.  Do Amy and Dan want to find the clues or just discover what happened to their parents?  What role do they play in the larger story of the Cahill family history, and what obligation do they have to keep the clues out of the wrong hands?

Initially I loved these books, they were fun, exciting and engaging.   The appeal for middle readers was three-fold – constant action, a distinct lack of adult supervision, and familiar authors who excel at this escapist type of novel.  I was won over by the incredible locales across the globe that the kids visit throughout their quest.  Eventually, though, the repetitive nature and implausibility of the perilous situations Dan and Amy constantly find themselves in wore thin.  (Seriously, how many times can two kids be trapped in a dark cave without any light being chased, attacked, etc.)  However, most middle readers, once they are hooked, will enjoy seeing the series through.  And if they want even more 39 Clues there are additional series, Cahills vs. VespersUnstoppable, and Doublecross for readers to enjoy.

39 clues1The Maze of Bones (39 Clues, No. 1) by Rick Riordan – Author Riordan, known for the Percy Jackson series and The Kane Chronicles kicks off the series with Dan and Amy choosing between a million dollars or embarking on the quest for the 39 clues.   As they meet the other branches of the family,  the search for the clues becomes more sinister.  Danger and mystery await as Dan and Amy travel to Philadelphia and then Paris chasing after the first clue.

39clues2One False Note (The 39 Clues, Book 2) by Gordon Korman – The competition between the warring factions of the family gets fierce as Amy, Dan, and their au pair chaperon Nellie lead chase through Austria in the second book, this one authored by Korman who is known for the Swindle and Island series.

39clues3The Sword Thief (The 39 Clues, Book 3) by Peter Lerangis – Amy and Dan discover more clues that lead them through Japan and Korea where an unlikely alliance could be their undoing.  This installation is authored by Lerangis, who is known for the Seven Wonders series and the Spy X books.


39clues4Beyond the Grave (The 39 Clues , Book 4) by Jude Watson – Egypt is full of danger and mystery as Dan and Amy face betrayal and find themselves trapped in their hunt for the next clue.  Author Watson has written extensively for the Star Wars series.


39clues5The Black Circle (The 39 Clues , Book 5) by Patrick Carman – A mysterious telegram from someone known only as “NRR” lead Dan and Amy to Russia where they infiltrate the Lucian base to get the next clue.  Carman also authored the Floors stories, a PBP favorite.


39clues6In Too Deep (The 39 Clues, Book 6) by Jude Watson – Amy and Dan head to Australia to follow their parents trail on the hunt for the 39 Clues.  Being so close to their parents memory is painful for Amy and her clouded vision leads to betrayal and the loss of an ally. Will they all survive?

39clues6reallyThe Viper’s Nest (The 39 Clues, Book 7) by Peter Lerangis – Danger hits close to home in South Africa, sending Amy and Dan running from the police.  That’s the least of their problems as they discover a final, devastating secret about their family branch that could change everything.


39clues8The Emperor’s Code (The 39 Clues, Book 8) by Gordon Korman – What happens when you think you are on the right side, but it turns out you might not be?  Amy faces her toughest challenge yet when she and Dan are separated in China -does she go after Dan or the clue?  How can Dan and Amy live up to who they thought they were, or who they want to be?

39clues9Storm Warning (The 39 Clues, Book 9) by Linda Sue Park – As they explore the Bahamas and Jamaica, Dan and Amy realize that they are finally about to confront the mysterious man who’s been tracking their movements throughout the search for the clues.  However, this meeting uncovers more secrets, and reveals the truth about the Madrigal branch of the family-one Amy and Dan never could have expected. Park is also the author of the remarkable A Long Walk to Water, which chronicles the stories of two Sudanese children.

39clues10Into the Gauntlet (The 39 Clues, Book 10) by Margaret Peterson Haddix – In England it is up to Dan and Amy to finish this, once and for all.  They are tired of playing by someone else’s rules and determinedly vow to end the hunt for 39 Clues their way.  Do they have enough strength to finally put all the pieces together and come out victorious?  Or do they just want to come out alive?  Haddix is well known for The Shadow Children Series and her The Missing Collection.

39clues11Vespers Rising (The 39 Clues, Book 11) Authors Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman and Jude Watson come together to weaving four different stories, each by one author,  about the history of the Cahill family and their enemies, the Vespers.  While this book ties some loose ends together, it also leaves plenty of room and raises enough questions to introduce the next series The 39 Clues Cahills vs. Vespers.

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Filed under Action, Adventure, History, Middle Reader, mystery, series

Super Series – Agatha: Girl of Mystery

It’s easy to see why she pops up on nearly every page, because she’s traveling the world solving mysteries on almost every continent.  The very definition of a “super series”…..

Agatha: Girl of Mystery by Sir Steve Stevenson

Twelve year-old Agatha Mistery is called on by her cousin Dash to help him solve mysteries and complete assignments from his prestigious academy – the Eye International Spy School.  Jet-setting around the world, Agatha uses her remarkable photographic memory, Dash’s cool spy school gadgets, and the help of her intrepid former-boxer butler, Watson to gather clues and solve crimes.  Exploring locations across the globe – from Egypt to Scotland to Niagara Falls – Agatha tackles curses, heists, treasures and murder.  This exciting series keeps readers turning the pages while introducing diverse and exciting locales around the world. ER/3-RA

agathamystery1The Curse of the Pharaoh #1   In this debut story Agatha is off to Egypt to recover a missing artifact from an archaeological dig in the Valley of the Kings.


agathamystery2The Pearl of Bengal #2  Agatha heads to India to discover the truth behind the theft of the Pearl of Bengal.  With the help of Dash, Watson and her Uncle Raymond, a wildlife photographer, Agatha is sure to solve the crime.

agathamystery3The King of Scotland’s Sword #3  A missing sword leads Agatha to Scotland where she tackles mysterious curses and frightening ghosts to solve the mystery.


agathamystery4The Heist at Niagara Falls #4  A jewel heist takes Agatha to Niagara Falls where she and Dash encounter Canada’s most notorious thief.  Can they take on this mastermind criminal and return the jewels to their rightful owner?

agathamystery5The Eiffel Tower Incident #5 The stakes are higher in the city of lights….this time it’s murder.  Agatha and Dash rush to Paris to solve the mysterious murder of a Russian Diplomat.  As they travel the streets they only have the clue “Red Rose” to guide them in catching the culprit.

agathamystery6The Treasure of the Bermuda Triangle #6  A missing gold Mayan calendar leads Agatha on another adventure, but this time solving the mystery isn’t the only challenge- the Bermuda Triangle has it’s own mysteries and dangers that Agatha and Dash must contend with.

agathamystery7The Crown of Venice #7  – The Crown of Venice is missing!  This famous ancient artifact was stolen during carnival and everyone is a suspect!


agathakenyaThe Kenyan Expedition #8  – A rare giraffe has disappeared and it is up to Agatha and Dash to help find it.  Luckily they have a cousin who is a safari expert who can team up to help solve the mystery!


agathahollywoodThe Hollywood Intrigue #9  – Someone is trying to sabotage the Hollywood movie set for the new action film, Fatal Error.  It is up to Agatha and Dash to save the movie, and save the day!

agathanorwegianThe Crime on the Norwegian Sea #10  – It is hard work solving mysteries, so it makes sense that Agatha deserves a vacation!   But there is no rest for our intrepid detective, or her cousins!  They have to stop a spy, steal secret documents and prevent a murder – can they do it without getting caught?

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Filed under Early Readers, mystery, series, travel

Starting Super Series

The newest Paperback Pigeon page is found under Booklists and it is all about Super Series.  Over then next few months there will be quick posts adding the best series, for all ages of world travelers.  Through these books readers jet-set around the globe – discovering culture, history, art, architecture and cuisine – alongside the favorite characters they know and love.

A Walk In Series- by Salvatore Rubbino

With three titles in this series the youngest readers visit the highlights of New York, London and Paris alongside a beloved adult.  Enjoy a virtual vacation to see the iconic sights, while also soaking in the delightfully unique atmosphere of each location via charming illustrations.  A fun and fact filled adventure awaits on every walk. (PB)

walknewyorkA Walk in New York – From the Empire State building to the Statue of Liberty discover the wonders at every turn in New York City!


walklondonA Walk in London – Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London are just a couple of the sights you’ll find in this tour of London!


walkparisA Walk in Paris – La Tour Eiffel to Notre Dame – the heart of French history, culture and cuisine is discovered here!

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Filed under Picture Book, series

R is for…..

With a little spunk and confidence you are sure to make a name for yourself!

Ruby and the Booker Boys by Derrick Barnes

Eight year old Ruby is the youngest in her family, but that doesn’t mean she is a shrinking violet.  Full of spunk and confidence Ruby holds her own with her three older brothers.  Meet this strong, sassy heroine who is unforgettable just by being herself. (ER-2)

RubybravenewschoolBrand New School, Brave New Ruby – In the series debut Ruby is ready to start 3rd grade at her new school.  She’s finally going to school with her brothers, but soon discovers they’ve set quite a reputation for Ruby to live up to.  When she tries to distinguish herself from her family Ruby finds herself in big trouble.  Can Ruby live up to being a Booker while still letting her true self shine?

rubytriviaTrivia Queen, 3rd Grade Supreme – Ruby is ready to take the spotlight in the school-wide trivia contest!  Unfortunately it isn’t open to 3rd graders.  While working to convince the administration of this injustice, Ruby has to decide how to handle competing against her brothers.  Things heat up at school and at home in the race to determine who is going to be the best.

rubysleepoverSlumber Party Payback – Ruby is having a sleepover!  But with three older brothers, who love to pull pranks and cause mischief, you can be sure things won’t go as planned.  Will Ruby’s party live up to her expectations?


rubycheerleaderRuby Flips For Attention – After seeing her cousin cheerleading,  Ruby thinks this is her ticket to finally be the center of attention.  But all those tricks are harder than she thinks, and an accident while practicing sends Ruby to the hospital.  How will she ever get noticed now?

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Filed under A to Z, Early Reader, series

P is for….

It begins with “A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy”

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwick sisters are as different as can be, but all of them are truly thrilled to be spending their summer at Arundel, a country estate.  Here they discover a special friendship, the joy of of fresh baked cookies, and endless summer afternoons.  But they also learn of prejudice, the consequences of selfish behavior, and the sting of first love.  A charming, heartwarming tale that is sure to be a classic. MR-4/5

*A Paperback Pigeon All-Time Top 10 Favorite*

penderwicksThe Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy–  When Rosalind, Skye, Jane and Batty arrive at Arundel they are looking forward to a summer of outdoor adventures on the grounds of this Massachusetts estate, but they never imagined they’d meet a friend like Jeffery Tifton.  The sweet son of Arundels cold and prejudiced owner, Jeffery is in peril of being sent to a military academy his mother hopes will make him more like his grandfather.  Jeffery needs help to avoid this dreaded fate and the Penderwick sisters aren’t going to let their new friend down.  Filled with hilarious misadventures and growing pains, The Penderwicks evokes the warmth and charm essential to a childhood classic.

penderwicksgardhamstreetThe Penderwicks on Gardam Street – Fall has come and the Penderwicks are back home.  Mr. Penderwick has settled into the widower lifestyle, but his sister, Aunt Claire,  thinks it is time he consider dating again.  Leave it to the girls to come up with the “save-Daddy” plan to thwart any progress in his search for a new wife.  Can they ensure his dates are dreadful all this while dealing with neighborhood boys, homework swaps, and soccer drama?  What if the solution to their problem isn’t quite what they think, or any further away than their own neighborhood?

penderwickspointemouetteThe Penderwicks at Point Mouette – This summer Rosalind is off to the beach and the other girls are headed to Maine with Aunt Claire.  Can Skye live up to the pressure of being OAP (Oldest Available Penderwick)?  With their dear friend Jeffrey joining them, things are sure to be full of excitement, confusion, misunderstandings, and adventures.   Luckily their quaint cottage by the shore has some special neighbors who are sure to make certain it’s a summer they’ll never forget.

penderwicksspringThe Penderwicks in Spring – Due March 24, 2015 – Spring is full of surprises and the Penderwicks are sure to be up to mischief in the fourth book about this amazing family!

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Filed under A to Z, classics, Middle Reader, series

N is for….

Magical creatures are real…and your family is charged with protecting them from harm!

Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist Series by R.L. LaFevers

In 1928 Nathaniel Flood’s parents are lost at sea, and he is sent to live with his Aunt Phil, a renowned Beastologist.   As Nathaniel and Aunt Phil embark on amazing adventures he discovers first-hand the Fludd family legacy- to care for and protect magical creatures at all costs.    Nathaniel encounters gremlins, a dodo-bird, phoenix and more as he begins to understand the importance of his new position as a Beastologist-in-training.   A little bit history, a dash of magic, a commitment to family, and a good dose of mystery make Nathaniel Fludd a delightful magical hero for the pre-Harry Potter set! (ER-2/3)

nathanielfluddphoenixFlight of the Phoenix – In Nathaniel’s first adventure he barely has time to process the loss of his parents and adapt to his new home with Aunt Phil, the famous Beastologist, before he is whisked off to the Arabian desert to witness the birth of a Phoenix egg!    When Aunt Phil is kidnapped is Nathaniel up to the task of protecting the Phoenix egg?  Does he have what it takes to live up to his family name, and be a true Beastologist?  And was is wise to befriend a gremlin?  (Aunt Phil doesn’t think so!)

nathanielfluddbasiliskThe Basilisk’s Lair – Nathaniel is off to save a Dhughani village from a mysterious, missing, deadly serpent – a basilisk!  On top of this terrifying task, Nate and Aunt Phil must protect The Fludd Book of Beasts from a sinister thief.  And Nathaniel is convinced his parents disappearance isn’t what it seems – if only he can figure out how to find them.  Filled with non-stop adventure Nathaniel Fludd continues his Beastologist training, and with help from some friends, begins to discover his destiny.

nathanielfluddwyvernThe Wyverns’ Treasure – On their return to England Nathaniel and Aunt Phil discover their home has been ransacked!  Who could have done this?  Were they looking for the Book of Beasts?  No time to find out – Nate and Aunt Phil are off to Wales to help stop a Wyvern uprising.  Nate has to calm the giant dragons and restore order before he can figure out how to protect the family book.

nathanielfluddunicornThe Unicorn’s Tale – All Nate wants is to find his parents, who he is convinced are alive.  But Aunt Phil insists that Beastology takes precedence – and when a Unicorn becomes ill Nate must care for it.  And the mysterious evil man is still after them, the Book of Beasts, and the creatures they care for.  Will Nathaniel ever reunite his family and become a full Beastologist?

PBP Note: R.L. LaFevers is also the author of the Theodosia Throckmorton books- this unique heroine tackles mummies, ghosts, curses, and evil archaeologists in 1906 London.  This MR-4/5 series is a Paperback Pigeon All-Time Top 10 Favorite.

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Filed under A to Z, animals, Early Readers, magic, series, travel

M is for…

Two ordinary kids, a tree-house in the woods, and books about every subject imaginable.  Add a little magic, mystery, and adventure and you’ve got the classic early-reader series that transports every kid to places they’ve only dreamed of!

Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osbourne

Jack and Annie, siblings from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania, are transported through time and space to help the mythical Morgan LeFay save the library at Camelot.  Along the way they meet dinosaurs, visit ancient Egypt, tackle ninjas, sail on the Titanic, immerse themselves in American History, and more!   Each book is its own stand-alone adventure, but the books connect in groups of 4 to solve larger mysteries. There is a Magic Treehouse story to complement just about any trip, holiday, or historical event.

These are great stories for those ready to tackle chapter books.  However, they are perfect for older Pre-K and Kindergarten readers who are ready for a complex read-aloud.   Suitable for a wide range of readers, Magic Treehouse books address a variety of experiences in an age appropriate way.  And for more inquisitive readers, the Magic Treehouse Fact-Trackers are fantastic non-fiction companions to the series.  For even more check out to play and learn with Jack & Annie.

*A Paperback Pigeon All-Time Top 10 Favorite*

mth1-4Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-4: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon – Real dinosaurs?  Medieval Knights?  Ancient Egypt? Swashbuckling Pirates?   Adventure is just a turn of the page as Jack & Annie begin to discover the magic in their treehouse! (ER-K-3)

mth5-8Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 5-8: Night of the Ninjas, Afternoon on the Amazon, Sunset of the Sabertooth, and Midnight on the Moon –  Time and space are no match for the Magic Treehouse – or for Jack & Annie – when they travel to ancient Japan, voyage down the Amazon River, tackle the Ice Age and land on the Moon!!!

mth1-28Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-28 – Sets of 4 books just not enough to satisfy your curious reader?  Get all 28 of the original Magic Treehouse Books and join Jack & Annie for every single magical, mystical adventure from Shakespeare’s England to George Washington’s Revolutionary War encampment.

mthchristmasincamelotChristmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House, No. 29) – In the first book in the Magic Treehouse Merlin Missions, Jack & Annie take on more mythical challenges.  The series elevates in reading level, growing with its readers, as well as in content depth and story length. (ER-2/3)

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Filed under A to Z, Africa, animals, Asia, Early Readers, europe, History, Holiday, magic, mystery, North America, series, Time Travel, Uncategorized, United States

K is for….

Too old for fairy godmothers and a little too tween for the magic of the mouse?  What if it wasn’t just a fantasyland…and all of it was real…especially the evil, wicked and villainous!

Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson

Five kids – Finn, Willa, Charlene, Maybeck and Philby –  are chosen to be the new Disney Host Interactives – DHIs – essentially holographic images that can guide guests through the Disney parks.  Except when the real kids go to sleep they wake up as their holograms, in the park where, with the help of an elderly mentor imagineer named Wayne, they realize that there is a battle going on – and they’ve been recruited to help take down the most evil forces Walt Disney ever created.  MR -5/6

*PBP Note: I’ve never read these books….but I’ve listened to them.   I recommend them for those tweens who might be feeling that a trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth” is beneath them, or for those who’ve been to Disney often enough that it’s time for a new twist on an old favorite.   It is a fun ride, but don’t think too hard, or expect too much.   The first book is the best, and a great read before a trip to Disney for your upper middle reader who is looking for a new spin on what happens when the parks are closed.   I was willing to suspend disbelief enough to enjoy the first 4 books – each of which highlight a different DisneyWorld park.  As the books progress, the characters age, so be prepared for the story to get bogged down with love interests as well as excessive secondary characters.  Also, as technology changes quickly, you’ll  note some outdated references in the earlier books. Consider downloading the audiobook to an ipod or mp3 player for the plane ride or listen as a family on the drive to Florida.  Who knows what magic you might encounter?

kingdomkeepers1DADKingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark – Finn is having the most vivid dream, until he realizes it isn’t a dream at all!  He is one of 5 new Disney Host Interactives – holograms that guide guests through the Disney parks.  But there is a glitch – when the kids fall asleep they wake up as their holograms and are charged to battle the evil forces trying to take over the park.  Can these 5 new friends find a way to work together, appreciate each others strengths, and keep the Magic Kingdom safe?  See what happens when the parks close and the real excitement begins.

kingdomkeepers2DADKingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn-The Kingdom Keepers are back – this time a mysterious lightning storm at Magic Kingdom triggers events that could destroy the DHI’s forever.  They head to the Animal Kingdom where the latest DHI technology is ready to be put in place, but they only have until daylight to foil the plans of the Overtakers and secure the park.  If they can’t work together will this mean the end of the Kingdom Keepers forever?

kingdomkeepers3DISKingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow – Wayne is missing and it is up to the Kingdom Keepers to find him – fast!  A whirlwind adventure through Epcot has the team meeting new villains and old nemesis.  Struggling to keep calm and stay focused as the stakes get higher, can the DHIs find Wayne and get home safely before their cover is blown?

kingdomkeepers4PPKingdom Keepers IV: Power Play –  Life is almost back to normal for the Kingdom Keepers.  With key Overtakers locked down things are pretty calm for the DHIs – until Philby receives a mysterious video, new Overtakers pop up in Downtown Disney and Charlene starts acting strangely.  It is time to take action in Hollywood Studios and Typhoon Lagoon to protect the power center for the DHI server before the Overtakers create their own series of holograms – or is it too late?

kingdomkeepers5SGKingdom Keepers V: Shell Game – With a huge promotional voyage on the Disney Dream ahead the Kingdom Keepers are ready to tackle the high seas.  Unfortunately, the Overtakers are using this journey to regroup.  They’ve stolen one of Walt Disney’s personal journals -with cryptic information that could lead to a takeover.  From aboard ship to Castaway Cay, the Kingdom Keepers have to find a way to stop the Overtakers – and figure out just what they are trying to accomplish aboard the Dream.  But who can the Kingdom Keepers trust, and are they starting to lose faith in each other?

kingdomkeepers6DPKingdom Keepers VI: Dark Passage -As the Disney Dream makes its way through the Panama Canal things are heating up for the Kingdom Keepers.  The magic more intense and the stakes higher than ever – can the team keep it together long enough to solve the mystery of the Overtakers plans?  How will they defeat the most evil creature Disney ever imagined – and will they all see the end of this voyage?

kingdomkeepers7IKingdom Keepers VII: The Insider  – As high school seniors the Kingdom Keepers have spent the past three years in relative quiet.  Their trip aboard the Disney Dream is part of the past, and the Overtakers defeated.  Until they stage an unexpected comeback that requires the team to be back in action.    A long-lost icon is their only hope to protect Disneyland – the original park that started the magic.

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Filed under A to Z, Disney, magic, Middle Reader, mystery, series, travel

Spookiest Stories of All…

It’s Halloween!  That time of the year where spooks and ghouls are around every corner and kids of all ages dare to scare.  There are unlimited seasonal favorites for everyone to get in the mood for a night of frights.  For the budding witch or wizard The Worst Witch (MR-3/4) and Harry Potter (MR-4/5, RA) are classics that bring to life the mystery and magic of witchcraft.  Join Creepella von Cacklefur (MR-3/4) as Geronimo Stilton’s creepiest friend meets up with ghosts, pirates and vampires!  Perhaps your child would like nothing more that to move to Scream Street (MR-4/5) where the government agency G.H.O.U.L has relocated young werewolf Luke Watson to live with witches, zombies and vampires!  Maybe you have a little ghoul made of sterner stuff who gets a thrill from being scared silly – try R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps (MR-4/5) series or Alvin Schwartz Scary Stories  (MR- 4 & up).  The Short & Shivery (MR-4/5) series by Robert D. San Souci shares spooky tales from around the globe, putting a multi-cultural spin on the universal thrill of being terrified!

For my family one series stands out.  More sweet than spooky, filled with ghosts, vampires and mysterious happenings, Araminta Spookie stories are an all-time favorite.  Araminta first captured my heart when Shakespeare was a first grader with her own unique interests.  As I’ve stated before, there aren’t any “bad” books for beginning readers.  (See my post Reading is Reading).  The trouble for Shakespeare is that she was an advanced reader, but totally uninterested in “traditional” girl books.

Then we stumbled upon Araminta.  She’s kooky and crazy.  She lives with her aunt and vampire uncle in a haunted house.   She loves the bats in the belfry and the coat of armor in the hall.   We had finally found a heroine that was strong and crafty, quick-witted and quirky, proud of who she is and willing to fight to preserve her family identity.  All that, and age appropriate!December 08 153

I adored Araminta from the start, and no more so than on Christmas morning when Shakespeare received the latest book and abandoned unopened gifts to curl up on the couch and dive into the latest installment.  Proof positive of the compelling power of reading when you discover a character to identify with.

Araminta does have spooky characters, so be cautious if your young reader is sensitive to scares.  But Araminta is a refreshing member of the early reader genre for those who look for the supernatural beyond the world of fairies – and with her sidekick, Edmund the ghost, she appeals to both boys and girls in search of a spooktacular series  – anytime of the year.

aramintahauntedhouseMy Haunted House  is the first book in the Araminta Spookie series by Angie Sage.  Araminta loves her haunted house!  But her Aunt Tabby – who is never in a good mood – wants to move and she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.  It is time for Araminta to take matters into her own hands and, with the help of some of the houses more supernatural residents, plans an Awful Ambush guaranteed to keep anyone from buying their house.  But will it work?  Or will Araminta find herself packing? (ER-1-3)

araminaswordingrottoThe Sword in the Grotto The second installment in Araminta’s story finds her searching for the perfect gift for Sir Horace’s 500th birthday.  But what do you get a suit of armor?  When the search puts Araminta and new friend Wanda in danger they wonder if they’ll even survive to make it to the party!

aramintafrognappedFrognapped  Araminta didn’t do it!  Barry’s frogs have gone missing and everyone blames Araminta.  Sure, Araminta is usually at fault  when things go wrong, but this time she’s not responsible and she’s going to prove it.  A mysterious aquarium show and a cast of creepy characters won’t deter Araminta as she sets out to rescue the frogs!

aramintavampirebratVampire Brat A werewolf in the hidden passages below the house?  Araminta is sure of it and is going to prove it.  Then Max arrives, her Uncle Drac’s nephew, and he’s full of terrifying trouble as he’s creeping around the house.  Can Araminta figure out what Max is up to, and capture the werewolf?  Nothing can stop Araminta when she sets her mind to it!

aramintaghostsittersGhostsitters Isn’t it awful enough that Aunt Tabby and Uncle Drac are going to Transylvania and missing Araminta’s birthday?  Nope, it’s worse.  They’ve hired a babysitter! Things are looking up when the babysitter turns out to be Araminta’s super-cool teen cousin, Mathilda.  Until the twin trouble-making ghosts she brought with her wreak havoc on Spookie House.  How will Araminta stop them and save her birthday?

For slightly older readers Araminta author Angie Sage also wrote the Septimus Heap series – a magical story about the seventh son of a seventh son, who holds the key to defeating the Necromancer DomDaniel and saving his world from darke magic. (MR-4/5)


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