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Book Recommendations

Check out these recommendations from the Read and Tell Book Group!

Fantasy

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

J.K. Rowling's screenwriting debut is captured in this exciting hardcover edition of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay. When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt's fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone...

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

This stunning fantasy inspired by Chinese folklore is a companion novel to Starry River of the Sky and the New York Times bestselling and National Book Award finalist When the Sea Turned to Silver In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer. Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat returns with a wondrous story of adventure, faith, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz and Kelly Barnhill's The Girl Who Drank the Moon. Her beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. Once again, she has created a charming, engaging book for young readers.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Two the Sea of Monsters

Percy Jackson and his friends undertake a perilous voyage to save their summer camp in this modern-day adventure with a Greek mythology twist. * "In a feat worthy of his heroic subjects, Riordan crafts a sequel stronger than his compelling debut." -Publishers Weekly (starred review) New York Times best-selling series by an author beloved the world over Makes Greek mythology relevant and fun for modern readers Useful for classroom discussions Features a main character with learning differences An exciting adventure quest full of monsters and gods Ideal for middle schoolers but can be enjoyed by older readers, too Adapted into a feature film Soon to be a series on Disney+ After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson-a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any "normal" friends. But things don't stay quiet for long. Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders that protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters. To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner by the Cyclops Polyphemus on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters, the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia-only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new name?the Bermuda Triangle. Now Percy and his friends-Grover, Annabeth, and Tyson-must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes by the end of the summer or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed. But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family-one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.

The Wolf Queen

Once great and powerful sorcerers, the Amasiti were hunted to the brink of extinction by the evil Hir and his followers. For four hundred years, their legacy faded from memory waiting for the hope of Aferi to be renewed┬┐In the Land of YetAt the edge of the Forbidden ForestA young woman lives alone.Forced to fend for herself after the brutal murder of her family, Ameenah Yemini has made a life for herself as a master tanner and farmer only venturing into the world to earn her living then return to the safety and seclusion of her home.Until a chance encounter brings her work to the attention of the powerful HirAnd her careful life begins to unravel. Drawn to the hidden magic that lingers in her work, the new Hir insists on having her for himself, manipulating the fortunes of the people she cares about to force Ameenah into his grasp. When she realizes that her worst enemy may hold the key to a secret she thought lost to her forever, Ameenah is determined to reclaim her stolen past. But an ancient power is ready to be unleashed, and while Ameenah thinks she knows what she's fighting for, she has no idea who she truly is.

Nevermoor: the Trials of Morrigan Crow

A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world--but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination. Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each with an extraordinary talent that sets them apart--an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests--or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate. Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new take on magic that will appeal to a new generation of readers. "A Harry Potter-esque adventure." -- Time Magazine

The Land of Stories: the Wishing Spell

The first book in Chris Colfer's #1 New York Times bestselling series The Land of Stories about two siblings who fall into a fairy-tale world! Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales. The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

Maya and the Rising Dark

In this highly anticipated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Maya's search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister Dark world. Perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent's Secret. Twelve-year-old Maya is the only one in her South Side Chicago neighborhood who witnesses weird occurrences like werehyenas stalking the streets at night and a scary man made of shadows plaguing her dreams. Her friends try to find an explanation--perhaps a ghost uprising or a lunchroom experiment gone awry. But to Maya, it sounds like something from one of Papa's stories or her favorite comics. When Papa goes missing, Maya is thrust into a world both strange and familiar as she uncovers the truth. Her father is the guardian of the veil between our world and the Dark--where an army led by the Lord of Shadows, the man from Maya's nightmares, awaits. Maya herself is a godling, half orisha and half human, and her neighborhood is a safe haven. But now that the veil is failing, the Lord of Shadows is determined to destroy the human world and it's up to Maya to stop him. She just hopes she can do it in time to attend Comic-Con before summer's over.

Romance

The Summer I Turned Pretty

Belly has an unforgettable summer in this stunning start to the Summer I Turned Pretty series from the New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I've Loved Before (now a major motion picture!), Jenny Han. Some summers are just destined to be pretty. Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

Midnight Sun

Stephenie Meyer makes a triumphant return to the world of Twilight with this highly anticipated companion: the iconic love story of Bella and Edward told from the vampire's point of view. When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella's side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward's version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun. This unforgettable tale as told through Edward's eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward's past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

Matched

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Realistic Fiction

Here in the Real World

From the author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestselling novel Pax comes a gorgeous and moving middle grade novel that is an ode to introverts, dreamers, and misfits everywhere. Ware can't wait to spend summer "off in his own world"--dreaming of knights in the Middle Ages and generally being left alone. But then his parents sign him up for dreaded Rec camp, where he must endure Meaningful Social Interaction and whatever activities so-called "normal" kids do. On his first day Ware meets Jolene, a tough, secretive girl planting a garden in the rubble of an abandoned church next to the camp. Soon he starts skipping Rec, creating a castle-like space of his own in the church lot. Jolene scoffs, calling him a dreamer--he doesn't live in the "real world" like she does. As different as Ware and Jolene are, though, they have one thing in common: for them, the lot is a refuge. But when their sanctuary is threatened, Ware looks to the knights' Code of Chivalry: Thou shalt do battle against unfairness wherever faced with it. Thou shalt be always the champion of the Right and Good--and vows to save the lot. But what does a hero look like in real life? And what can two misfit kids do?

A Place at the Table

A timely, accessible, and beautifully written story exploring themes of food, friendship, family and what it means to belong, featuring sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara's mom. Sixth graders Sara and Elizabeth could not be more different. Sara is at a new school that is completely unlike the small Islamic school she used to attend. Elizabeth has her own problems: her British mum has been struggling with depression. The girls meet in an after-school South Asian cooking class, which Elizabeth takes because her mom has stopped cooking, and which Sara, who hates to cook, is forced to attend because her mother is the teacher. The girls form a shaky alliance that gradually deepens, and they make plans to create the most amazing, mouth-watering cross-cultural dish together and win a spot on a local food show. They make good cooking partners . . . but can they learn to trust each other enough to become true friends?

13

If you want to know the truth... Sometimes I'm not sure who I am anymore." Thirteen. It's an age of wonder...or dread. The best year of your life...or maybe the worst ever. You've just become an official teenager, even though you're not quite sure you feel like one, but you're no longer a kid, either. Here, from fourteen different points of view, are stories about that wonderful, terrible time. The big bar mitzvah that goes suddenly, wildly, hilariously out of control. A first kiss -- and a realization about one's sexual orientation. A crush on a girl that ends up putting the boy who likes her in the hospital. A pair of sneakers that a kid has to have, no matter what. Written by some of today's finest writers for young adults, these stories -- by turns funny and sad, wrenching and moving -- truly capture the agony and ecstasy of being thirteen.

Strays Like Us

From the moment Fred (never Winifred!) spots a scruffy little mutt with sad eyes, she knows she's in big trouble. Toby's in bad shape, and Fred longs to rescue him from the old man with the mile-long mean streak who lives next door. But Margery -- the straight-talking woman who is fostering Fred -- says going over to their house is against the rules. And since Fred will only be around until her mother comes to grips with her dependence, Fred can't let herself care too deeply. Not about Toby or Margery or Delia, a new classmate whose insistent friendship surprises Fred at every turn. Because the more Fred lets this lovable band of misfits into her heart, the harder it'll be to leave them all behind.In this story of loss and love, acclaimed author Cecilia Galante examines life's difficult choices and how a girl plus the dog she loves can add up to finding family in the most unlikely places.

The Science of Breakable Things

How do you grow a miracle? For the record, this is not the question Mr. Neely is looking for when he says everyone in class must answer an important question using the scientific method. But Natalie's botanist mother is suffering from depression, so this is The Question that's important to Natalie. When Mr. Neely suggests that she enter an egg drop competition, Natalie has hope. Eggs are breakable. Hope is not. Natalie has a secret plan for the prize money. She's going to fly her mother to see the Cobalt Blue Orchids--flowers that survive against impossible odds. The magical flowers are sure to inspire her mother to love life again. Because when parents are breakable, it's up to kids to save them, right? An extraordinary debut about the coming-of-age moment when kids realize that parents are people, too, and that talking about problems is like taking a plant out of a dark cupboard and giving it light. Think THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH meets THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH.

One Way or Another

Sliding Doors meets To All the Boys I've Loved Before in a sweet, smart holiday romance about a girl who decides to stop letting her anxiety stand in the way of true love.The average person makes 35,000 decisions every single day. That's about 34,999 too many for Paige Collins, who lives in debilitating fear of making the wrong choice. The simple act of picking an art elective is enough to send her into a spiral of what-ifs. What if she's destined to be a famous ceramicist but wastes her talent in drama club? What if there's a carbon monoxide leak in the ceramics studio and everyone drops dead? (Grim, but possible!)That's why when Paige is presented with two last-minute options for Christmas vacation, she's paralyzed by indecision. Should she go with her best friend (and longtime crush) Fitz to his family's romantic mountain cabin? Or should she accompany her mom to New York, a city Paige has spent her whole life dreaming about?Just when it seems like Paige will crack from the pressure of choosing, fate steps in -- in the form of a slippery grocery store floor -- and Paige's life splits into two very different parallel paths. One path leads to New York where Paige falls for the city . . . and the charms of her unexpected tour guide. The other leads to the mountains where Paige might finally get her chance with Fitz . . . until her anxiety threatens to ruin everything.However, before Paige gets her happy ending in either destiny, she'll have to face the truth about her struggle with anxiety -- and learn that you don't have to be "perfect" to deserve true love.

Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero

A coming-of-age tale about a boy who discovers a love of poetry after finding his late father's journal. Adapted from a story that first appeared in Flying Lessons & Other Stories and perfect for fans of The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson. Isaiah is now the big man of the house. But it's a lot harder than his dad made it look. His little sister, Charlie, asks too many questions, and Mama's gone totally silent. Good thing Isaiah can count on his best friend, Sneaky, who always has a scheme for getting around the rules. Plus, his classmate Angel has a few good ideas of her own--once she stops hassling Isaiah. And when things get really tough, there's Daddy's journal, filled with stories about the amazing Isaiah Dunn, a superhero who gets his powers from beans and rice. Isaiah wishes his dad's tales were real. He could use those powers right about now!

Fighting Words

A candid and fierce middle grade novel about sisterhood and sexual abuse, by Newbery Honor winner and #1 New York Times best seller Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Ten-tear-old Della has always had her older sister, Suki: When their mom went to prison, Della had Suki. When their mom's boyfriend took them in, Della had Suki. When that same boyfriend did something so awful they had to run fast, Della had Suki. Suki is Della's own wolf--her protector. But who has been protecting Suki? Della might get told off for swearing at school, but she has always known how to keep quiet where it counts. Then Suki tries to kill herself, and Della's world turns so far upside down, it feels like it's shaking her by the ankles. Maybe she's been quiet about the wrong things. Maybe it's time to be loud. In this powerful novel that explodes the stigma around child sexual abuse and leavens an intense tale with compassion and humor, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley tells a story about two sisters, linked by love and trauma, who must find their own voices before they can find their way back to each other.

Mystery

Book Scavenger

ANew York Times-Bestseller! For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it's the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon her arrival, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked and is now in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself, and might contain the only copy of his mysterious new game. Racing against time, Emily and James rush from clue to clue, desperate to figure out the secret at the heart of Griswold's new game--before those who attacked Griswold come after them too. This title has Common Core connections.

The Case of the Missing Marquess

Now a Netflix original movie starring Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, and Helena Bonham Carter! Meet Enola Holmes, teenaged girl turned detective and the younger sister to Sherlock Holmes. When Enola Holmes, sister to the detective Sherlock Holmes, discovers her mother has disappeared, she quickly embarks on a journey to London in search of her. But nothing can prepare her for what awaits. Because when she arrives, she finds herself involved in the kidnapping of a young marquess, fleeing murderous villains, and trying to elude her shrewd older brothers--all while attempting to piece together clues to her mother's strange disappearance. Amid all the mayhem, will Enola be able to decode the necessary clues and find her mother?

Adventure

Found

A teenage survival expert finds all his skills tested as he's pursued through the Canadian wilderness by men determined to silence him. On his way to teach at Camp Seven Generations, a Native outdoor school, Nick witnesses a murder and then is thrown off a train. Remembering and using the teachings of his Abenaki Elders will prove to be the difference between life and death for him. Although his pursuers have modern technology to help them, Nick has something even more useful. In addition to the skills he's learned, he has an ally in the natural world around him. Found, like the famous story "The Most Dangerous Game," is a tale that focuses on being hunted until a way can be found to become the hunter.

Hatchet

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson, haunted by his secret knowledge of his mother's infidelity, is traveling by single-engine plane to visit his father for the first time since the divorce. When the plane crashes, killing the pilot, the sole survivor is Brian. He is alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present. At first consumed by despair and self-pity, Brian slowly learns survival skills--how to make a shelter for himself, how to hunt and fish and forage for food, how to make a fire--and even finds the courage to start over from scratch when a tornado ravages his campsite. When Brian is finally rescued after fifty-four days in the wild, he emerges from his ordeal with new patience and maturity, and a greater understanding of himself and his parents.

Graphic Novels

Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, Vol. 1

"Hanako-san,Hanako-san...are you there?" At Kamome Academy, rumors abound about the school'sSeven Mysteries, one of which is Hanako-san. Said to occupy the third stall ofthe third floor girls' bathroom in the old school building, Hanako-san grantsany wish when summoned. Nene Yashiro, an occult-loving high school girl whodreams of romance, ventures into this haunted bathroom...but the Hanako-san shemeets there is nothing like she imagined! Kamome Academy's Hanako-san...is aboy!

Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill

Rafe Khatchadorian, the hero of the bestselling Middle School series, is ready for a fun summer at camp--until he finds out it's a summer school camp! Luckily, Rafe easily makes friends with his troublemaking cabin mates and bunkmate, a boy nicknamed Booger-Eater, who puts up with endless teasing from the other kids. Rafe soon realizes there's more to a person than a nickname, though, and Booger-Eater might be the kind of friend you want on your side when the boys from the Cool Cabin attack. This fourth book in the massively popular Middle School series is an unforgettable summer of hi-jinks, new friends, and surprises, all told with the hilarity and honesty readers have come to expect from blockbuster author James Patterson.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

From British illustrator, artist, and author Charlie Mackesy comes a journey for all ages that explores life's universal lessons, featuring 100 color and black-and-white drawings. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" asked the mole. "Kind," said the boy. Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book, following the tale of a curious boy, a greedy mole, a wary fox and a wise horse who find themselves together in sometimes difficult terrain, sharing their greatest fears and biggest discoveries about vulnerability, kindness, hope, friendship and love. The shared adventures and important conversations between the four friends are full of life lessons that have connected with readers of all ages.

Historical Fiction

Little Women

Timeless in its evocation of idealized family life and robustly enduring, Little Women is recognized as one of the best-loved classic children's stories of all time. Originally written as a "girls" story, its appeal transcends the boundaries of time and age, making it as popular with adults as it is with young readers. For this is a beguiling story of happiness and hope, of the joys of companionship, domestic harmony and infinite mother love, all seen through the life of the March family. But which of the four March sisters to love best? For every reader must have their favorite. Independent, tomboyish Jo; delicate, loving Beth; pretty, kind Meg, or precocious and beautiful Amy, the baby of the family? Little Women was an instant success when first published in 1868, and followed only a year later by the sequel, Little Wives.