december 2018 Best Chapter Books
Ellie Dray and her League of Archers are keeping Robin Hood’s legacy alive by stealing from the rich to help the poor, but when they discover someone is trying to steal the crown, they learn that some things may be out of their league. Ellie and her League of Archers are still on the run—living in Sherwood Forest, trying to protect the good parts of Robin Hood’s legacy by helping the poor in the neighboring villages and eluding the Baron’s men. But then King John dies unexpectedly and Ellie learns of a plot to kidnap the new king—who’s just a boy—and steal the throne. Can the League stop this scheme before it’s too late? Kirkus Reviews described League of Archers as a book that “doesn’t shy away from deep moral dilemmas often unexplored in middle grade novels and important to acknowledge in a story with life-or-death stakes.” And Booklist said that it was a “highly enjoyable adventure story that should appeal to a wide range of readers.”
The Chicken Squad is back for their fifth (mis)adventure in this “lip-bitingly funny” (School Library Journal) chapter book from the bestselling author of Click, Clack, Moo and The Trouble with Chickens. The Chicken Squad prides themselves on being ready for anything. Marshmallow life preservers? Check. Copious bags of jellybeans for a car ride? Check. Storm shelter? Storm shelter! They need a storm shelter in case there is ever a storm. So Sugar takes it upon himself to build one in the yard. But it turns out it’s not big enough for everyone. And the big dig has unearthed some mysterious surprises.
Bella, Emily, Maddie, and Sam decide to create their very own start-up—a lemonade stand!—in this fifth book of the Craftily Ever After chapter book series. Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. Bella, Emily, Maddie, and Sam have been hard at work in their craft studio—so busy in fact, that their supplies are starting to dwindle. It’s time to stock up! In order to add a little money to their piggy bank, the friends decide to combine their skills and use the last of their allowance to create their very own business: a lemonade stand! But something’s not quite right. While the stand looks fabulous, the lemonade is…not. Can these crafty entrepreneurs save their business before it’s too late? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.
Darek and Zantor work together to stop the kidnapping of another baby dragon in this third book in the fantastical Dragonling chapter book series! Now that the villagers have finally accepted Darek’s dragonling, Zantor, they’ve all fallen in love with him. Especially Rowena, the spoiled daughter of the Chief Elder—so much so that she wants the dragonling for her very own. But Darek can’t give him up! He and Zantor are so close that he can almost get inside the little dragon’s mind. So the Chief Elder orders Darek’s father to find another dragonling. Even though a dragon mother will have to die—along with some villagers, too. Darek can’t let that happen. But how can he stop them…unless he joins the dragon quest?
While others do “penguin” things, Chilly da Vinci—self-declared inventor penguin, builds machines that don’t work…yet! Chilly ties into the popular "maker" movement with humor and imagination. While others do “penguin” things, Chilly da Vinci—self-declared inventor penguin, builds machines that don’t work…yet!
In the sixth book of the Alien Next Door series, Harris explains Valentine's Day to Zeke, and Zeke develops a crush! Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and Harris explains the holiday and its traditions to Zeke. When Zeke gets an anonymous valentine, Harris is excited to help him figure out who sent it, but Zeke is confused at the customs of Earth, and his efforts to get a girl to notice him by doing what Harris tells him to don't go quite right. Will Zeke be able to turn things around and show his valentine his feelings?
In book 6 of the Major Eights series, someone is leaving notes for the band. Do the Major Eights have a secret admirer? Scarlet is flattered when she finds a sweet message in her locker. But she doesn't know who it's from. Is it fan mail? Or a secret admirer? Can the band figure out the mystery?
In book ten of the Tales of Sasha series, Sasha must solve a riddle to discover the contents of a special message! When flying horses from the Royal Guard arrive in Crystal Cove to deliver a message for Sasha, she can't imagine what it could be! But in order to open it, Sasha must first solve a riddle, which requires her to find the petals of rare and different colored flowers. Will Sasha be able to solve the puzzle to reveal what the mystery message is all about?
In book 10 of the Ella and Owen series, Ella enters into a dragon flying contest and is magically sabotaged by one of the other contestants! Ella enters into a dragon flying contest and is magically sabotaged! When Ella blames Squeaky the gremlin, it's up to Owen to clear the gremlin's name and find the real culprit. Will Owen be able to discover who sabotaged Ella, and can Ella find a way to undo the spell in time to win the contest?
Back at the Winterhouse hotel for another holiday season, Elizabeth and Freddy dig deeper into the mystery surrounding Riley S. Granger, a hotel guest who left behind odd artifacts―one being a magical book that the evil Gracella Winters once attempted to use to gain destructive power over the entire Falls lineage. The two friends follow a trail of clues, inadvertently attracting the attention of a suspicious new hotel guest: Elana Vesper. The clock is ticking as Elizabeth and Freddy struggle to figure out whether Elana is merely a pawn or a player in the plot to revive the spirit of Gracella. If that wasn’t enough, Elizabeth suspects she is coming into her own special powers―and she’s fearful it might lead her right into Gracella’s vicious web. Mystery, adventure, and a winning friendship combine in this much anticipated sequel.
Jaundice and Kale are back from their adventure on the high seas, and they are settling back into a quiet life in Dullsville, just the way they like it. The tea is tepid, the oatmeal is tasteless, and the socks are ripe for darning . . . until Aunt Shallot shows up and reveals herself to be anything but the dull relation they were expecting. Instead, she tells her nieces she is Magique, Queen of Magic, and she's on her way to a big show and in need of two willing assistants. As Magique and the Bland sisters board the Uncanny Express, they meet a cast of mystifying characters. And when Magique goes missing, it's up to Jaundice and Kale to solve the mystery--with the help of famous detective Hugo Fromage. An inventive story in the tradition of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Uncanny Express has all the whimsy and humor that readers who are looking for an anything-but-bland adventure will love.
In her second novel, Luciana is off to youth astronaut training camp! She hopes to be chosen to dive to an underwater habitat where real astronauts train for life in space. But when Luci accuses her diving partner of sabotage, no one believes her and her chances of making the diving team sink fast. Things hit rock bottom when Luci has an underwater crisis. Suddenly, making the dive team isn’t her biggest worry. She’ll have to conquer her fears if she ever wants to make it to Mars. If she can’t, will she have to kiss her dreams of becoming an astronaut good-bye?
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