Fans of the first book will be glad to rejoin this unlikely team of detectives.

THE MAGICIAN'S BIRD

From the Tuckernuck Mystery series , Vol. 2

In this easy, breezy mystery, Laurie and Bud spend their summer planning a scavenger hunt, discovering a secret room and solving a missing person case.

After saving their school by finding the solution to a puzzle left behind by eccentric founder Maria Tutweiler (The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck, 2012), Laurie and Bud, rising seventh-graders, are at school laying out the next hunt when they find a secret room kept by Maria Tutweiler. They have grand ideas about how to use it, but if villain Walker LeFranco has his way, they never will. He is still trying to shut down Tuckernuck Hall, this time by accusing Maria Tutweiler of having murdered Marchetti the Magician decades ago. Organized crime and an assumed identity come to light, but the young sleuths, aided by quirky Misti and former rival Calliope, will not be able to clear Maria Tutweiler’s name unless they can make a little bird sing. Really: Marchetti left a mechanical bird in the room that can reveal the truth—if they can figure out how it works. Readers who have not met the characters before may find them a bit two-dimensional here, but their sassy repartee is spot-on and comical, providing the real magic in the story. As before, lists, notes, emails and articles add depth.

Fans of the first book will be glad to rejoin this unlikely team of detectives. (Mystery. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-211895-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • National Book Award Winner

  • Newbery Honor Book

  • Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner

BROWN GIRL DREAMING

A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

NIGHTBIRD

There’s a monster in Sidwell, Massachusetts, that can only be seen at night or, as Twig reveals, if passersby are near her house.

It’s her older brother, James, born with wings just like every male in the Fowler line for the last 200 years. They were cursed by the Witch of Sidwell, left brokenhearted by their forebear Lowell Fowler. Twig and James are tired of the secret and self-imposed isolation. Lonely Twig narrates, bringing the small town and its characters to life, intertwining events present and past, and describing the effects of the spell on her fractured family’s daily life. Longing for some normalcy and companionship, she befriends new-neighbor Julia while James falls in love with Julia’s sister, Agate—only to learn they are descendants of the Witch. James and Agate seem as star-crossed as their ancestors, especially when the townspeople attribute a spate of petty thefts and graffiti protesting the development of the woods to the monster and launch a hunt. The mix of romance and magic is irresistible and the tension, compelling. With the help of friends and through a series of self-realizations and discoveries, Twig grows more self-assured. She is certain she knows how to change the curse. In so doing, Twig not only changes James’ fate, but her own, for the first time feeling the fullness of family, friends and hope for the future.

Enchanting. (Magical realism. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-38958-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

more