Five-Minute Crimebusters: Clever Mini-Mysteries

Five-Minute Crimebusters: Clever Mini-Mysteries

     Thomas P. Stanwick, amateur logician is friends with Investigator Matt Walker. Matt Walker comes upon everything in the crime world. Theft, murder, you name it. Stanwick often comes along to the crime scene or takes in the verbal account from Matt Walker so he can try to solve them for and with Matt. He always can decipher the problem that is in store so why don’t you try along with him. Read these awesome riddles and you won’t be able to shut off the light at bedtime! Five-Minute Crimebusters: Clever Mini-Mysteries by Stan Smith is an excellent book that you have to think about to get the answer. I would recommend this book to anyone!

Here is another book, Five-Minute Mini-Mysteries that has the same kind of theme to it and by the same author but I have not read it. Drop us a comment if you have!

  •Click here to buy Five-Minute Crimebusters: Clever Mini-Mysteries on!

  •Click here to buy Five-Minute Mini-Mysteries on!

The Results are in…

Who’s your favorite author??

Well, a few people answered that question that we posed a month or two ago. We got some good results:

  • Nicole O. – Cynthia Rylant, Henry and Mudge
  • Eliza H. – Julie Andrews/Edwards, Mandy
  • Mrs. Eaves – Bill Peet, Farewell to Shady Glade
  • Matt – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Laura – Patricia Reilly Giff, Pictures of Hollis Woods
  • Emily N. – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Thank you to all that contributed to this event. Thank you especially to people who gave reasoning like one person said “I love Patricia Reilly Giff’s books because the characters become so real that I miss them when I finish the book.” 
***By the way: This post is a bit late because when we were supposed to post it, we had no power in our houses. What a coincidence!***

George’s Marvelous Medicine

George's Marvellous Medicine first edition.jpgGeorge's Marvelous Medicine

George Kranky lives with his Mother, Father and Grandmother on a farm. When George is alone in the house with his Grandmother, she is rude and mean to him. She tells him that if he is selfish, he will shrink and if he wants to grow, he  has to eat some cabbage!! Ugh!!  She is the most selfish person George knows, so he thinks that she should get a taste of her new medicine. You see, his Grandmother has to take her medicine periodically, so why not make a new one for her. So George follows no specific recipe, just adds a little bit of this and a little bit of that, some toothpaste and some antifreeze and violá! Her new medicine is born! Read this book and see the spectacular affect that it causes.

***Notice that “Marvelous” is spelled differently on both covers. The alternate spelling is “Marvellous”. Maybe this is because that is the version from the UK. Maybe.

Click HERE for the Official Roald Dahl website where you can find games, lots of stuff about Roald Dahl and much more!

Watch and hear a clip from the audiobook version of George’s Marvelous Medicine:

Click HERE for which has everything, if not more than the Official Roald Dahl Site. It even includes stuff for teachers!

The Son of Neptune

The Son of NeptuneThe Son of Neptune  (Heroes of Olympus, #2)

By Rick Riordan

fantasy  – 513 pages  Seems right for middle school and beyond fantasy readers.  You won’t be disappointed.

I finished The Son of Neptune and was immediately anxious for more.  That is one problem with reading a series as it is released – waiting, wishing and wondering.   I like how these books have me wanting to know more – both about the story and about myths from around the world.

In this book three demigods – Percy Jackson, Hazel Levesque and Frank Zhang join forces, first to defeat Alcyoneus and free Thanotos, and then to defeat Polybotes and the other forces aligned with Gaea.  Gaea wants to overthrow all of the gods and have ultimate control of everything on earth.  Hazel and Frank are Romans connected Camp Juno.  They need Percy – but believe he may be a spy because all Romans know Greeks can’t be trusted.  Throughout the quest, pieces of Percy’s past come into the story and more and more the characters realize mythologies from around the world share common elements.  After all there is only one Earth whether called Gaea or Terra.

Through unique twists and turns in the story the past and present are joined, souls escape the underworld and the fate of our world rests upon the fulfillment of the Prophecy of Seven.  Just as the book ends, Festus and Leo and Tyson play a small part in the story connecting this book to The Lost Hero.  We have met six of the demigods by the end of this story.  Who will be the last?

We have a while to wait until The Mark of Athena is released in 2012.  I am hoping the title is a hint as to who the seventh demigod will be.  While I am waiting to read I think I’ll find out more about the Argonauts, the Titans and the Giants.  I am curious to learn more about the mythologies of the world in order to understand more of the links and connections that Rick Riordan creates in the Heroes of Olympus series.


We got a great comment from someone who said they would like us to post books about poetry. But none come too mind so instead we’re going to have to post poetry about books. Enjoy!

Author Unknown

I like books
I really do.
Books with stories
And pictures, too.

Books of birds
And things that grow.
Books of people
We should know.

Books of animals
And places, too.
I like books
I really do!


WonderstruckWonderstruck  by Brian Selznik

realistic fantasy   608 pages – don’t be frightened by the number. Each page will make you think and wonder, what else would a good book do?

Have you ever had a hard time explaining how or why you like a book?  I have vivid memories of past students dragging their fingers across their faces, “Ooooohhh, re – flec – tion!  Ugh!  Why do we always have to explain it all?”  Or this year, a student wrote, “It is funny.  It is cool.” And then dropped his head to the table, “Ahh…that’s not enough.”  I have a similar feeling – how can I possibly explain the wonders of Wonderstruck?

I want lots of kids to read it.  I want to talk to them about how it is written and what happens when the two stories collide.  I wonder what readers will love most?  The Cabinet of Wonders?  Learning how museum displays are created?  Deaf culture through time? Thinking about memories, what they mean and how they return?  Will they love the quote from the book “Wonderstruck” within the book Wonderstruck – “Some collections grew beyond the confines of a single cabinet and took over entire rooms.  The viewer was able to walk into one of these rooms and, as if reading a book, understand the wonder of the world just from the stories told by the collected objects and how they were displayed.”

Wonderstruck is a book I would love share with a book club.  In addition to how stories from 1927 and 1977 come together, I want to talk about how the author/illustrator’s idea emerged.  I want to wonder how we could put things together like that to come up with a totally original idea in a book.  Maybe I can do that, but if I can’t do, I hope that you will take the time to be totally wonderstruck!  And then let me know …

Click on this link and scroll down to the Meet Brian Selznik video clip.  You’ll be glad you did.

all about Wonderstruck


Freak the Mighty

“I never had a brain until Freak came along and let me borrow his for a while, and that’s the truth, the whole truth. The unvanquished truth, is how Freak would say it and for a long tine it was him who did the talking. Except I had a way of saying things with my fist and my feet even before we became Freak the Mighty, slaying dragons and fools and walking high above the world.”

Freak the Mighty, Chapter 1, The Unvanquished Truth

The first time I finished this book was when my Aunt Patrice read it aloud to us at our Beach House. At first nobody, not even me looked forward to the read aloud at the end of the day, but when we got into it, or at least I got into it, I was hooked. This book is about a oversized boy and undersized boy both going into eighth grade. The two have vague childhood memories together but no other connections to each other. They form a deep friendship that no one would expect to become of them. Max and Freak (Kevin) are two peas in a pod they quickly morphed into Freak the Mighty. I highly suggest Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick.

Click here for on Freak the Mighty.

Click here to buy the book from

Morpheus Road: The Light

Marshall Seaver is being haunted. I know you may not believe me, and I have trouble believing it as well. He is being haunted by a character that he created in his mind. Gravedigger. Marsh thinks that he may have lost his marbles, and he is having crazy hallucinations or… or what? While Marsh is being haunted by his own creation, his friend Cooper is sent up to his parents lake house to straighten things out. Recently Coop has been getting into trouble with the police and his parents are getting him away to hopefully clear his mind. But he mysteriously disappears and nobody knows where he went. But are Marsh’s hallucinations and Cooper’s disappearance connected? Read Morpheus Road: The Light to find out.

Here are the next two in the series though I have not read them:

Coming Soon: The Blood!

The Bridge to Never Land

The Bridge to Never Land

The Bridge to Never Land (Peter and the Starcatchers, #5)By Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson  – just like you’d hope, 438 pages, what readers of the series will love –  perfect for readers looking for exciting adventure….


Tell Ben Ombra’s back!

I have loved sharing Peter and the Starcatchers and Peter and the Shadow Thieves with a couple of my 3rd grade classes (Matt and his classmates were the first).  My daughters and I have enjoyed listening to Jim Dale read the audio recording of the first book and we have consumed the three final books, saddened by the ending, but satisfied too.

And then I saw The Bridge to Never Land in a book review – the weekend after, I saw it in the bookstore and so of course it had to be mine.  It is a terrific melding of past and present.  The connections between the Aster’s time with the Starcatchers and the contemporary characters are clear, believable and fun.  The twists and turns and connections between fantasy and physics clearly work for those who love fantasy first.

From the very start (I read the Shadow Thieves first), I loved to hate Ombra and the fact that his chilling badness permeates this new book makes it exciting.  How will Sarah and Aidan keep their shadows safe?  How will they find the link between the past and the present to the future?  Are there contemporary Starcatchers? Does star stuff still fall?  What will happen?  How much of the story will live on?

Have fun reading The Bridge to Never Land.  There are so many fun questions to think about and maybe, answer.  Will there be another book?  What do you think?


The Fires Beneath the Sea

The Fires Beneath the Sea: a novelThe Fires Beneath the Sea

by Lydia Millet

Fantasy     248 pages – for middle grade readers looking for a book with an exciting challenge

What would you do if your mother had been missing all summer?  What would you do if it seemed as though your family was slowly dissolving, and you had the sense there was more to it than what you could see? What would you do if suddenly it seemed as though the ocean was sending you a message? What would you do if you discovered truth in legend?

Cara is stuck in the middle of these questions, wondering what to do.  Her older brother, Max is moving into high school.  He’s a great guy but he’s got lots on his mind.  Jax, her younger brother, is different.  He’s brilliant, but in the way that makes you feel as though he should be protected.  He has the amazing ability of reading minds.  If he wants to, Jax can know what she is thinking and they can talk without a sound.  They don’t because it is totally unnerving, but when the Pouring Man begins to move through water into their lives and signs and visions become more intense, Cara knows they must do something, but they must do it together.  The power is in three.  What they do will amaze you.  Cara’s mother, Cara’s family is much more than you imagine.

The struggle between good and evil is strong in The Fires Beneath the Sea making it a great choice for fantasy lovers.  The struggle has begun because humans have put earth’s balance in peril so there’s an environmental twist too. And for readers who like strong, real characters to move through the story with, you couldn’t ask for better. The Fires Beneath the Sea is the first in the “Dissenters” series.   I will be reading them as soon as they are released.  I know you will too