New Books About School, Friends, Family & Growing Up

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 8

England has always had ghosts, but ever since The Problem began hauntings have become more frequent and much more dangerous, with ghosts being able to kill people with a touch. Most people are born with the ability to sense ghosts, but they lose this skill when they reach adulthood so now children are employed to watch for and hunt ghosts under the supervision of an adult leader.Thirteen-year-old Lucy, who can hear ghosts, joins the rogue pair of ghost hunters known as Lockwood & Co. which has no adult in charge. Needless to say, nobody is terribly surprised when she and Lockwood accidentally burn down a house on one of her first missions. This new supernatural adventure series by the author of the the Bartemaeus books will leave the reader hoping book two comes out soon.

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Jackie Robinson: American Hero by Sharon Robinson

Reading Level: Grades 2 - 4

It's not that there's a lack of books about the racial barrier-breaking sports hero.  This biography, written by his daughter Sharon, is different.  Yes, this book about the racial divide in baseball and how Jackie Robinson was the first black man to play in the major leagues.  It also gives a clear and interesting picture of his early years, his family life, his career in the military, and his life after baseball.  Family photos throughout this short biography add that personal touch.  Sharon Robinson has every reason to be proud of her father and her work.

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The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Reading Level: Grades 6 - 9

A devastating world war has left the Earth ruined, nations destroyed, and survivors scattered in small colonies trying to restore the world. The United Commonwealth (formerly the U.S.A.) chooses the best and brightest to be tested for the University where they will be trained as scientists, educators and leaders. Cia lives in tiny Five Lakes Colony where nobody has been chosen for testing for years, until her graduation day when she and three other students are chosen. Although it is a great honor, being chosen means that Cia will never see her home again. If she passes all the tests she will go to the University and be assigned to a new colony upon graduation, and if she fails she will be removed from the testing and sent to a new colony to live. Or so the students are told...
Fans of the Hunger Games will not want to miss this new dystopian series.

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