The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie BurgisFantasy. Aventurine is disgusted by what she's become: a human! Ugh! One cup of enchanted hot chocolate has transformed her from a fierce young dragon into a fangless human girl. The only upside to this change is that as a human, Aventurine can escape her over-protective family and follow her newfound passion…for chocolate, of course. Readers who love feisty heroines will root for Aventurine as she becomes an apprentice chocolatier, collects a group of diverse friends, and puzzles out her place in the human world. For another confectionary fantasy, try The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders.
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren WolkHistorical Fiction. Twelve years ago, baby Crow was rescued from the water near Cuttyhunk Island, and she's lived on the island ever since. Though most of the islanders shun her, Crow has a loving home with her adoptive father Osh and their friend Miss Maggie. When a fire appears on the nearby abandoned island of Penikese, Crow's curiosity about her birth family is ignited, and she sets out in search of answers. Set in 1920s Massachusetts, this poetic and bittersweet tale of family history, hidden pirate treasure, and other long-buried secrets might make you want to go on a searfaring adventure of your own.
The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra MarkleNonfiction. Honeybees around the world are disappearing -- but why? That question is at the heart of this unusual scientific mystery. Packed with color photos on every page, this book gives you the scoop on honeybees and why they're important to the environment before looking at the scientists studying Colony Collapse Disorder, an unexplained phenomenon that causes large numbers of worker bees to abandon their hives. Young entomologists and detectives alike will be fascinated by this complex, real-life puzzle -- and those who want learn more should be sure to pick up Loree Griffin Burns’ The Hive Detectives.
A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz; illustrated by Catia ChienBiography. Talking to people is difficult for young Alan Rabinowitz. Every time he tries, he stutters and shakes and just can't get the words out. Talking to animals, however, just feels right. As Alan grows up, his bond with animals (especially jaguars) and his ability to understand them only grows stronger -- but will he be able to speak out in front of powerful people to defend the animals he loves? Honest and uplifting, this illustrated biography of a famous zoologist will encourage readers of all ages to go after their goals, no matter how difficult they may be.
Fuzzy Mud by Louis SacharScience Fiction. Tamaya and her neighbor Marshall are walking home through the woods when they're confronted by Chad, a bully looking to start a fight. Tamaya gives Chad a faceful of mud instead, but afterwards, she develops a rash where she touched the mud…and something even worse happens to Chad. What was in that mud? Hints -- in the form of top-secret government information -- are scattered throughout Tamaya and Marshall's story, creating a growing sense of danger that will keep you turning pages right up until the end. Thought-provoking and just possible enough to be scary, Fuzzy Mud is a must-read for eco-fiction fans.
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