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Hot Summer Series

For kids (and grownups), finding a new favorite author or series is like discovering a box of cupcakes sitting on the kitchen counter. But don’t gobble these books up too fast! Your kids will want to savor every delicious moment.

<i>Tunnels</i> by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams
Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

Tunnels, by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams
The First: Tunnels ISBN: 978-0545078818
The Latest: Freefall ISBN: 978-0545138772
High quality writing and a foundation of actual science set these books apart from the usual high-octane adventure. Don’t get me wrong, these books are action-packed — the kids explore an archaeological site in search of a missing father (reminiscent of Suzanne Collins’ Underland Chronicles), only to discover a strange underground world that isn’t all too friendly. Dig in!

Yours Truly, Lucy B. Parker, by Robin Palmer
The First AND Latest: Girl vs. Superstar ISBN: 978-0-14-241500-9
Fans of Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls will be all over this new series! Lucy’s a hapless sixth-grader who finds herself thrown into the midst of celebrity when her mom marries the father of Laurel Moses — THE Laurel Moses! The star of Kidz TV’s hottest show! Life is complicated enough for Lucy, who’s been dumped by her friends and is a magnet for embarrassing situations. Definitely beach reading.

Pals in Peril, by M.T. Anderson
The First: Whales on Stilts! ISBN: 978-0152053406
The Latest: Jasper Dash and the Flame Pits of Delaware ISBN: 978-1-4169-8639-3
This adventure serious centers around Lily Gefelty, an ordinary girl and her two friends who happen to be the stars of their own book series. The threesome face absurd enemies with ridiculous plans for world destruction. Of course, the real joke running through these books is on the kind of silly, old-fashioned book series that pits kids against absurd enemies with ridiculous plans for world destruction. Ha!

The Brixton Brothers, by Mac Barnett
The First AND Latest: The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity ISBN: 978-1-4169-7815-2
A brand new series! Steve Brixton has often imagined he was a famous detective like his idols the fictional Bailey Brothers. But when he’s mistaken for one, he finds himself on the run from the police, evading a bookmobile filled with deadly librarians, and facing an “F” for his essay on Early American Needlepoint. Every time Steve tries to use a Bailey Brothers technique to punch out an enemy or escape through a second story window, he fails miserably. But he really does have all the answers, in a satisfying (and funny) way.

Sammy Keyes, by Wendelin Van Draanen
The First: Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief ISBN: 978-0679892649
The Latest: Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash ISBN: 978-0440421139
Like Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden before her, Sammy Keyes is always finding herself in the middle of a mystery. But her mysteries are more manically modern, and she runs into them while doing community service for misusing the school’s PA system, sneaking out of her Gram’s apartment, or playing softball. Sammy is smart, sassy, and has no problem breaking the rules when she has to. Which is why she’s always in trouble.

How to Train Your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell
The First: How To Train Your Dragon ISBN: 978-0316085274
The Latest: How to Break a Dragon’s Heart ISBN: 978-0340996928
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III may have grown up to be a great Viking hero, but when he was a kid, things were different. Each of these books is a little nibble from Hiccup’s memoirs, and they are all silly, exciting, and a little crude. Perfect for the third grader in your life!

Stone Rabbit, by Erik Craddock
The First: BC Mambo ISBN: 978-0375843600
The Latest: Superhero Stampede ISBN: 978-0375858772
Kids who have read all of Magic Pickle will enjoy reading about the long-eared star of this graphic series, who perpetually finds himself surrounded by prehistoric creatures, ninjas, pirates, or superheroes. It’s a hard life, but he always seems to find his way out. The books are quick and colorful, a great way to keep a child reading during the summer months.

Gross Body Science, by various authors
The First: Hawk & Drool: Gross Stuff in Your Mouth ISBN: 978-0822589662
The Latest: Crust & Spray: Gross Stuff in Your Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat ISBN: 978-0822589648
Believe it or not, these books are jam-packed with information about the human body, especially all the gross bits. Kids will get a kick out of the pictures, the sidebars, and all the reasons why we have such disgusting stuff oozing out of our bodies. For the know-it-all in your life who wants to show up at school in the fall with all kinds of fascinating facts!

The Missing, by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The First: Found ISBN: 9781416954217
The Latest: Sent ISBN: 9781416954224
Fans of Haddix’s popular Shadow Children series (starting with Among the Hidden) will be happy to know that she’s started a new one. The Missing also stars a group of children who find themselves at the center of a mysterious adult conspiracy (as do many of Gordon Korman’s books). And let me just say it involves something close to my heart: time travel. Haddix knows how to write what kids like to read. You might find yourself sucked in too!

The Baby-Sitters Club, by Ann M. Martin
The NEW! First: The Summer Before ISBN: 978-0545160933
The NEW! Latest: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls ISBN: 978-0545174763
The whole world is buzzing about the rerelease of this classic series, starting with a brand new prequel. And while you and your child are waiting for each new book to come out, you can read the graphic novels (or some of those old copies you have hidden in the attic). Join the fun as Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey babysit their way through Stoneybrook — AGAIN.

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