Have you ever been wandering a library or a bookstore, and you stumble across a book cover that sends to straight back to the fourth grade? You pick it up, squealing in excitement and delight, as you remember reading this book that you had completely forgotten existed. The joy! The exhilaration! The walk down memory lane! Well, here is a blog post version of that. Now, buckle in and get ready to be taken back to the taupe-painted bookshelves of your childhood library, or wherever else it was you discovered these books for the first time!
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
by Florence and Richard Atwater
A humble house painter is sent a male penguin by the great Admiral Drake and, thanks to the arrival of a female penguin, soon has twelve penguins living in his house. First published in 1938,Mr. Popper’s Penguins has amused and enchanted generations of children and their parents.
The Secrets of Droon
by Tony Abbott
Underneath the steps leading down to Eric’s basement is a hidden storage space. It’s dusty and old- nothing special at all. But when Eric, Julie, and Neal all huddle inside the gray room together, something unbelievable happens. A glittering light and then a rainbow-colored staircase appears. And as the kids take their very first step down into the mysterious land of Droon, they know that magic and adventure await them!
The Dark Hills Divide
by Patrick Carman
Alexa Daley annually visits the town of Bridewell. Alexa is curious about what lies beyond the massive ramparts that surround the city and the walled roads that link Bridewell to nearby towns; soon after town leader Thomas Warvold passes away, Alexa finds herself outside the walls, acquires a stone with remarkable powers, and discovers that she’s meant to stop a potential war from occurring.
by Emily Rodda
The evil Shadow Lord is plotting to invade Deltora and enslave its people. All that stands against him is the magic Belt of Deltora with its seven gems of great and mysterious power. When the gems are stolen and hidden in dark terrible places throughout the kingdom, the Shadow Lord triumphs, and Deltora is lost.
In secrecy, with only a hand-drawn map to guide them, two unlikely companions set out on a perilous quest. Determined to find the lost gems and rid their land of the tyrant, they struggle towards their first goal — the sinister Forests of Silence.
The Magic Treehouse
by Mary Pope Osborne
Where did the tree house come from? Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark . . . or will they become a dinosaur’s dinner?
by Shannon Hale
Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king’s priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year’s time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king’s ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.
Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend.
The Fire Within
by Chris d’Lacey
When David moves in with Elizabeth Pennykettle and her eleven-year-old daughter, Lucy, he discovers a collection of clay dragons that come to life. David’s own special dragon inspires him to write a story, which reveals the secrets behind a mystery. In order to solve the mystery and save his dragon, David must master the magic of the fire within — not only with his hands but also with his heart.
May Bird and the Ever After
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Most people aren’t very comfortable in the woods, but the woods of Briery Swamp fit May Bird like a fuzzy mitten. There, she is safe from school and the taunts and teases of kids who don’t understand her. Hidden in the trees, May is a warrior princess, and her cat, Somber Kitty, is her brave guardian. Then May falls into the lake. When she crawls out, May finds herself in a world that most certainly does not feel like a fuzzy mitten. In fact it is a place few living people have ever seen. Here, towns glow blue beneath zipping stars and the people — people? — walk through walls. Here the Book of the Dead holds the answers to everything in the universe. And here, if May is discovered, the horrifyingly evil Bo Cleevil will turn her into nothing. May Bird must get out. Fast.
The Spiderwick Chronicles
by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
It all starts when Jared Grace finds their great uncle’s book, ‘Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastic World Around You’ and the Grace kids realize that they are not alone in their new house. Now the kids want to tell their story but the faeries will do everything they can to stop them.
The Last of the Really Great Whangadoodles
by Julie Andrews Edwards
The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with “peace, love and a sense of fun” — apart from and forgotten by people.
But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believes in the Whangdoodle. And when he tells the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben are eager to reach Whangdoodleland. Only by skill and determination are the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart’s desire.
Regarding the Fountain
by Kate Klise
The Dry Creek Middle School drinking fountain has sprung a leak, so principal Walter Russ dashes off a request to Flowing Waters Fountains, Etc. Designer Flo Waters responds: “I’d be delighted…but please understand that all of my fountains are custom-made.” Soon the fountain project takes on a life of its own, one chronicled in letters, postcards, memos, transcripts, and official documents. The school board president is up in arms. So is Dee Eel, of the water-supply company. A scandal is brewing, and Mr. Sam N.’s fifth grade class is turning up a host of hilarious secrets buried deep beneath the fountain.
The Stravaganza Series
by Mary Hoffman
Lucien is seriously ill, but his life is transformed when an old Italian notebook gives him the power to become a stravagante, a time traveller with access to 16th century Italy. He wakes up in Bellezza (Venice) during carnival and meets Arianna, a girl his own age who is disguised as a boy in the hope of being selected as one of the Duchessa’s mandoliers. Arianna gives Lucien her boy’s clothing and he is selected as a mandolier himself, becoming a friend of fellow-stravagante Rodolfo, the Duchessa’s lover. Meanwhile Lucien meets the original stravagante, the Elizabethan alchemist William Dethridge, and he begins to understand that he may be called to follow in his footsteps.
Once Upon a Marigold
by Jean Ferris
Who knew love could be so amazing — and stupefying? Not Christian. He was clueless when he started spying on the royal family through his telescope. He lives in a cave with a troll for a dad, after all. If his dad had only warned him about all that mind-boggling love stuff, maybe things wouldn’t be such a mess. But then, maybe, Princess Marigold would be dead. But Christian wasn’t warned. And now that he’s fallen for the princess, it’s up to him to untwist an odd love triangle — er, rectangle — and foil a scheming queen who wants to take over the kingdom, even if it means bumping off her own daughter.
by Sharon Creech
When she is whisked away to an international school in Switzerland, Dinnie Doone discovers all the “bloomabilities” that life has to offer. From Newbery Award-winning author Sharon Creech is a story about everyday joys.
The Secret of Platform 13
by Eva Ibbotson
When the beastly Mrs. Trottle kidnaps the prince to a magical island, it’s up to a strange band of rescuers to save him. But can a hag, a wizard, a fey, and an invisible ogre really sneak around London unnoticed?
I Am The Great Horse
by Katherine Roberts
A thundering epic about Bucephalus, young Alexander the Great’s fierce, fiery, battle-scarred stallion — straight from the horse’s mouth. From the moment they dare sit on his back, the fates of Alexander, 12-year-old heir to the Macedonian throne, and Charm, a kind stable girl, are bound to the battle-ready steed. When the boy becomes king, Bucephalus helps his young master transform into a conquering hero. In a hard-won, nearly blind blaze of glory, they gallop from Greece to the golden sands of Persia to the edge of the known world. At their side, as ever, is Charm. This is their epic. Through the eyes of a horse, history unfolds.
by Anna Sewell
Black Beauty spends his youth in a loving home, surrounded by friends and cared for by his owners. But when circumstances change, he learns that not all humans are so kind. Passed from hand to hand, Black Beauty witnesses love and cruelty, wealth and poverty, friendship and hardship . . . Will the handsome horse ever find a happy and lasting home?
Un Lun Dun
by China Mieville
Un Lun Dun is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people, too. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book. When twelve-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find a secret entrance leading out of London and into this strange city, it seems that the ancient prophecy is coming true at last. But then things begin to go shockingly wrong.
The Thief Lord
by Cornelia Funke
Two orphaned children are on the run, hiding among the crumbling canals and misty alleyways of the city of Venice. Befriended by a gang of street children and their mysterious leader, the Thief Lord, they shelter in an old, disused cinema. On their trail is a bungling detective, obsessed with disguises and the health of his pet tortoises. But a greater threat to the boys’ new-found freedom is something from a forgotten past — a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.
The Guardians of Ga’Hoole
by Kathryn Lasky
Pushed from his family’s nest by his older brother, barn owl Soren is rescued from certain death on the forest floor by agents from a mysterious school for orphaned owls, St. Aggie’s. With a new friend, clever and scrappy Gylfie, he uncovers a training camp for the leader’s own nefarious goal.