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J.M. Trewellard's BUTTERFINGERS (9780385751230, $15.99) tells of Princess Bella, snatched from her secret garden by a terrifying monster, leaving behind nothing but a golden ball. It's up to stableboy Ned and his animal friends to rescue her when all the knights fail: will he be able to effect rescue, or will his butterfingers let her slip through? Thatcher Heldring's TOBY WHEELER: EIGHTH GRADE BENCHWARMER (9780385733908, $14.99) tells of Toby, who loves basketball and playing pickup games at the rec center with his best friend JJ. But JJ's getting too busy for Toby and junior high basketball season hasn't even begun yet, where JJ is the star and Toby is just ordinary. Sports pressures and experiences make for a fine story of a boy's adjustment to friendship changes. Graham Salisbury's NIGHT OF THE HOWLING DOGS (9780385731225, $16.99) recreates in fiction the true story of a volcano's eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii. Dylan's Scout troop camps below the volcano in a beautiful setting--a nice expedition until disaster strikes and brings with it changes demanding Dylan assume an unusual leadership role. S. Jones Rogan's THE DARING ADVENTURES OF PENHALIGON BRUSH (9780375843440, $15.99) is a fantasy animal saga on the level of Watership Down or Redwall--but with young adult readers in mind. One Penhaligon Brush here finds himself in for more adventure than he wishes when he's captured by a band of armed ferrets, locked in Ferball Manor's dungeons, then thrown to his death in the sea. Upon rescue he discovers the dangers have only just begin in this hard-hitting saga of adventure. Eric A. Kimmel's A PICTURE FOR MARC (9780373832536, $11.99) tells of a boy who grows up in a small Russian town in the late 1800s, and who doesn't know what art or drawing is. When he discovers his hidden talent, he decides to make pictures nobody has ever seen before--with unexpected results. The story of artist Marc Chagall's discovery of his talent translates well to a vivid fictionalization. Katy Kelly's LUCY ROSE: WORKING MYSELF TO PIECES AND BITS (9780385734080, $12.99) tells of a girl lucky in friendships--and able to help friends in need. When a plumbing store operator seeks to turn his venture into a bakery--a job that costs lots--it's up to Lucy Rose, 4th grade wonder, to help make it happen. Sundee T. Frazier's BRENDAN BUCKLEY'S UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING IN IT (9780385734394, $14.99) tells of a ten-year-old Tae Kwon Do blue belt and rock hound who discovers a grandfather he's never met--who is an expert mineral collector who even lives nearby! Brandan sneaks off to visit his grandfather--and makes discoveries he'll come to regret in this warm story of family secrets. All are top picks for young adult leisure readers.
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Publication:Children's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2007
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