June 19, 2008

Cool Down With Hot Summer Reads

This may not be a Harry Potter summer, but there are plenty of great reads. Here are our eight picks for fiction page-turners.


"The Calder Game" (Scholastic, $17.99) by Blue Balliett brings back the super sleuths from Chicago, who this time end up in England solving a mystery. Calder Pillay heads to Britain first, and right to a town with an Alexander Calder sculpture causing some controversy. Petra and Tommy fly over to find clues to find Calder when he disappears.

"The Penderwicks on Gardam Street" by Jeanne Birdsall (Alfred A. Knopf, $15.99) is a sequel book about spunky sisters and their widowed d ad. The ups and downs of sisterly squabbles, a school play and the kids' worries about dad and his dates make for a classic story.

"The Big Field" by Mike Lupica (Penguin, $17.99) is a page-turner of a baseball book by this gifted sportswriter.

"Seekers: The Quest Begins" by Erin Hunter (HarperCollins, $16.99) is a new series kicking off about bears, from the author of the popular "Warriors" series on cats.

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules" by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books, $12.95) is a sequel to the best-selling "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." This time, Greg is headed back to school after summer vacation _ with a summer secret. This is another fast read full of cartoon illustrations.

"Children of the Lamp: The Day of the Djinn Warriors" by P.B. Kerr (Scholastic, $17.99) is the fourth book in the fantasy series about the twins, John and Philippa, who have djinn (or genie) blood in them. This time, they have to rescue their mother and father as they battle evil in the form of the terracotta warriors. Start with Book One and you'll be hooked.

"The Gods of Manhattan" by Scott Mebus (Dutton, $17.99) is a book that Rick Riordan has on the top of his summer reading list. It is also about gods, but these gods are actually spirits of some legendary New York City heroes. A 13-year-old has the gift of seeing this parallel city.

"The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey" by Trenton Lee Stewart (Little, Brown, $16.99) brings back the kids who are "gifted" in more than the usual ways.


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