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Rodman Philbrick's ZANE AND THE HURRICANE: A STORY OF KATRINA (9780545342384, $16.99) tells of a vacation planned for a boy and his dog who journey from New Hampshire to New Orleans to meet unknown family when Hurricane Katrina strikes. Zane finds himself living through impossible conditions and his dog Bandit only gets him into more trouble. His efforts to contact his family at home are thwarted and Zane finds himself nearly alone in this engrossing, action-packed saga of survival, recommended for advanced elementary to middle-grade readers. Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed and Larkin Reed's NEVERWAS (9780545434188, $17.99) is Book II of the Amber House trilogy, and will best be enjoyed by readers of Book 1. Here Sarah has come to live at Amber House, her family's estate, and finds past and present have become mixed up in haunting ways. History has been rewritten and Sarah is haunted by another time that never was even as she tries to settle into the House and help her parents plan an exhibition. Can Sarah live in two worlds--and must she sacrifice one world for another? A fine sequel to AMBER HOUSE continues the timeslip adventure. Maggie Stiefvater's SPIRIT ANIMALS (9780545522441, $12.99) is Book II of 'Hunted', a series for advanced elementary to middle-grade readers set in the world of Erdas, where only a few can summon a spirit animal. The bond three such talents share with their animals is symbiotic and involves mutual benefits; but what if there was a way to create such an animal--a way involving giving a human partner all the control? The team has barely come into their own when this challenge emerges, testing their newfound abilities and animal co-relationships. Fans of the prior story will find this a satisfying, involving sequel. Donna Freitas' GOLD MEDAL WINNER (9780545643771, $16.99) tells of Esperanza Flores, who looks forward to skating for the U.S. in the Olympics. But even as she is on the verge of realizing her dreams, so she begins to see its limitations, preventing her from leading an ordinary life and placing her in the limelight with reporters following all her moves. Add backbiting behind the scenes and competition jitters and you have a realistic story of a girl harboring a secret that could place her at the forefront of gold medal skaters. Scott Bly's SMASHER (9780545141185, $16.99) tells of Charlie, who has never had a single friend and invites the attention of bullies. For Charlie is unusually gifted, harboring talents that won't be readily recognized in his world. Charlie lives in a place where people with his gift are killed; but this same gift is needed in the future and robotic girl Geneva finds Charlie and brings him through time and space in a desperate gambit to solve a computer code puzzle and stop a terrible future from evolving. A different kind of thriller emerges that advanced teens will find impossible to set aside. Cynthia Lord's HALF A CHANCE (9780545935330, $16.99) tells of Lucy's family, who have just moved to an old house on a New Hampshire lake when her dad decides to leave on yet another business trip. When Lucy discovers he's judging a photography contest, she decides to enter--and her quest for the perfect subject leads her directly next door, to a boy who knows the area and who harbors a secret. A fine story of achievement and salvation follows, testing the definition of family ties. Trent Reedy's DIVIDED WE FALL (9780545543675, $17.99) presents the viewpoint of a teen National Guardsman of the future who finds himself in the middle of a conflict that ends the United States of America. Mature teen readers are in for a rollicking ride as Daniel finds himself in a strange new world entirely of his making, and must find his way in a mixed up universe of different values and new beginnings. All are solid leisure reads for young adults!
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Publication:Children's Bookwatch
Article Type:Recommended readings
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2014
Previous Article:McElderry/Atheneum.
Next Article:A Cool Summer Tail.

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