Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle

Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen was a nominee for the 2016-17 South Carolina Children’s Book Award.

Gabriel Finley’s father, Adam, has been missing for several years. Gabriel lives in Brooklyn with his aunt, but he never stops wondering what happened to his father. Soon, though, Gabriel will begin to solve the riddle of his missing father…and so much more.

When Gabriel discovers that he can communicate with ravens–who are the most intelligent of all the birds–secrets begin to be revealed. As it turns out, his dad shared this gift, and it could have something to do with his disappearance. Gabriel’s dad worked with his own raven companion, or amicus, to hide a powerful object from the valravens (cursed, fiendish birds) and their leader, Corax, a being who is half-man, half-valraven…and Gabriel’s uncle.

With the help of his own amicus, Paladin, and several friends, Gabriel begins to unravel the truth of what his uncle is seeking and the whereabouts of his father. The journey involves untangling riddles, battle with a magical, music-loving desk, and learning about the Finley family’s secrets. Gabriel is determined to find his way to his father, but forces are at work that are equally determined to stop him.

Is Gabriel ready to descend into Aviopolis, Corax’s horrifying domain, risking the lives of himself and his friends, to prevent Corax from ruling both above and below the surface? Will he be able to rescue his father, save himself and his friends, and defeat the evil Corax? Read Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle to find out!

The Map to Everywhere

Fin, a young thief living in the treacherous land of Khaznot Quay, is a boy who is easily forgotten. Seriously. As soon as someone meets him, they forget he ever existed. Pretty handy if you’re a thief, especially one surrounded by pirates, con artists, and, well, other thieves. Not so much if you need help looking for something…or someone.

Marrill is a girl who’s just been handed a shock, and she’s trying to make sense of her new circumstances. That is going to be much more difficult after she sees a huge ship sailing through what was a parking lot just minutes ago. So what does Marrill, girl adventurer, do? She climbs aboard the ship…and quickly realizes that she can’t find her way back home.

Marrill does have a bit of hope, though. The ship she’s currently on is home to a wizard, Ardent, and his companion, Coll. This unlikely pair is looking for a mysterious map. The Map to Everywhere. This map will lead anyone wherever they need to go. So what’s the problem? Well, the map is in pieces, and it could be quite the quest to find the pieces and put them together. Marrill, Ardent, and Coll will have to navigate the magical waters of the Pirate Stream to even attempt their mission.

And that’s where Fin comes in…

Marrill and company sail into Khaznot Quay. After getting herself into a sticky situation, Marrill encounters Fin (who is also in a sticky wicket of his own). Unlike everyone else he’s ever met, Marrill actually remembers him, and Fin is eager to hold onto that tenuous connection to someone. He stows away on Marrill’s ride, and joins the crew’s search for the Map to Everywhere (an object that he’d also like to get his hands on).

Also, Fin would kind of like to get away from the Oracle, an evil wizard who spreads sorrow wherever he goes. Fin has something that the Oracle wants, and this shadowy figure will stop at nothing to claim his prize. It seems he is also searching for this powerful map, but what he wants to do with it could be devastating for everyone, everywhere.

Now, Marrill, Fin, Ardent, and Coll are on the hunt for the pieces of the Map to Everywhere, each for their own reasons. Can they work together to complete this dangerous puzzle before everything is torn from them? Will they succeed in their quest to bring the Map together, or will the Oracle beat them to it? Will Marrill ever find her way home? Will Fin find what he’s looking for? Nothing is certain, but one this is clear. We’re in for one heck of an adventure!

To learn more about this fantastical tale, go to http://www.themaptoeverywhere.com/.

 

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Edward Tulane, a china rabbit with a posh life and a rather inflated view of himself, loves no one. He is adored, and that is enough for him. Edward, though, is about to take a somewhat unexpected adventure that will change everything. While traveling at sea with his owner, a sweet girl named Abilene, Edward is tossed overboard, and his real journey begins…

This once-pristine rabbit travels from the bottom of the ocean to a stinky garbage heap. From the backpack of a hobo to serving as a scarecrow in a field. From the loving arms of a sick little girl to dancing on the streets for pocket change. Through all of these circumstances–some good, some bad–Edward finally begins to understand what it truly means to love.

When Edward opens his heart to the joy, hope, and even pain of loving others, he may one day, miraculously find his way home.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane was written by the fabulous Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline.

Roxie and the Hooligans

Roxie Warbler knows how to handle just about anything thanks to Lord Thistlebottom’s Book of Pitfalls and How to Survive Them. She can find water in the desert, she knows what to do if she has a malfunctioning parachute, and she could survive on top of a moving train…but Roxie doesn’t know what to do about the bullies that plague her every day.

Helvetia’s Hooligans, four of the meanest kids in town, love to torture Roxie. They seem to delight in making fun of her ears, and Roxie just wants them to stop. One day, she runs away from the Hooligans…and that leads all five kids into an adventure none of them could have ever expected.

Now, Roxie and the Hooligans are stranded on an island. They have no food, no water, and no shelter. At first, the Hooligans want to punish Roxie for getting them into this mess. (They must have forgotten the part when their bullying made Roxie run away from them in the first place.) Eventually, though, these four bullies realize that Roxie’s knowledge of survival skills might just be useful. This becomes even more important when they realize that they’re not alone on this island.

Two violent bank robbers are hiding away on this island, and Roxie and the Hooligans will have to work together to not only survive but also remain hidden from these dangerous criminals and find some way to be rescued. Can Roxie prove to everyone that she’s more than just a girl with large ears? Can she make peace with those who bully her and turn them into friends? And will Roxie and the Hooligans last through their time on this island and finally be rescued?

Answer all of these questions and more when you read Roxie and the Hooligans by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor!

Manhunt

*Note: Read Kate Messner’s Capture the Flag and Hide and Seek, the first two Silver Jaguar Society mysteries, before you read Manhunt!

In Manhunt, Henry, Anna, and Jose are once again embroiled in the business of the Silver Jaguar Society, the secret agency tasked with protecting the world’s most valuable art and artifacts. This time, the adventure begins in Boston after it’s discovered that the Serpentine Princes, the bitter enemies of the Silver Jaguar Society, have somehow managed to steal priceless art from museums around the world. How did they manage to pull this off without alerting anyone? And what could be their next target?

Soon enough, the quest for answers takes our trio and their guardians to Paris…and that’s where things really get complicated. It seems that someone within the Silver Jaguar Society is passing information on to the Serpentine Princes, so no one really knows who can be trusted.

One thing is clear, though. Something big is happening in Paris. We’re talking huge here. The bad guys, led by the horrible Vincent Goosen, are trying to get their hands on the Mona Lisa, arguably the most famous painting in the world. While the adult members of the Silver Jaguar Society go off to figure out what to do, they leave Henry, Anna, and Jose in a Parisian bookstore with an enigmatic young man named Hem.

Now, Henry doesn’t quite trust Hem, but he can’t deny that this kid definitely knows his way around Paris…and when the adults mysteriously disappear, Henry and his friends will need Hem’s knowledge to solve their biggest mystery yet. Where is the Mona Lisa, and, more importantly, where are the senior members of the Silver Jaguar Society?

This epic adventure takes these young people all over–and under–the bustling city of Paris, and danger lurks around every corner. These kids will have to evade enemies, decipher clues–written in French–navigate an unfamiliar city, and face their fears to make sense of what’s going on. But what happens when they are betrayed by a supposed ally? When they are separated, and the success of this operation depends on just one kid, one who makes it clear that he just wants to go home?

Can the junior members of the Silver Jaguar Society solve one more mystery? Can they battle treachery, terror, and nearly crippling self-doubt and emerge victorious? Will the Mona Lisa be restored to its rightful place and the Serpentine Princes vanquished? For these answers and more, join Henry, Anna, and Jose on a manhunt like no other!

Fortunately, the Milk

Who knew that being out of milk would lead to such craziness? Well, that’s exactly what happened one morning in a perfectly normal household. The father went out to get the milk, but he had quite the story for his disbelieving children when he returned.

After getting the milk that his kids needed for cereal–and he wanted for his tea–it seems that Dear Old Dad got a bit sidetracked by a few things. Things like spaceships, green globby aliens, pirates, piranhas, a professorial stegosaurus with a time-traveling Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier (hot air balloon), an ancient volcano god, ponies, wumpires, the space-time continuum, the galactic police, and dancing dwarves.

Is the father’s story true? Could he have possibly gone on a time-traveling adventure with the strange Professor Steg? And how did he ever get the much-needed milk home to his children? Read Fortunately, the Milk to find out!

Hide and Seek

Warning: You must read Capture the Flag, the first book in this series, before reading Hide and Seek

This series revolves around several young people who–along with their parents–are tasked with protecting the world’s art and artifacts. They’re known as the Silver Jaguar Society. In Capture the Flag, as the title suggests, the kids–Anna, Henry, and Jose–end up saving the original Star Spangled Banner. In Hide and Seek, though, their adventures take them far away from home and into the rain forests of Costa Rica…

Just when Anna, Henry, and Jose think that things will get just a little back to normal, their world is rocked once again. A priceless Central American artifact–and treasure of the Silver Jaguar Society–has been stolen. The Jaguar Cup was replaced with a fake, and the members of the Society are in a scramble to find out who took the original.

This mad scramble takes the Society–and its most junior members–to Costa Rica. While their parents take off on what appears to be a hot lead, Anna, Henry, and Jose remain behind at a rain forest lodge to await news. But it seems that the real mystery is at the lodge, and, once again, it will be up to a bunch of kids to save an artifact that means so much to so many.

The quest for truth will lead this merry band through a rain forest teeming with danger. But the danger won’t just come from the elements. No, the real danger will come from those who seek to claim the Jaguar Cup for their own.

How can a group of kids battle against crazed adults bent on claiming treasures at any cost? What fears will they have to face in order to come out on top? And will they finally vanquish the enemies of the Silver Jaguar Society? Join Anna, Henry, Jose, and friends in their quest for the truth when you read Hide and Seekby Kate Messner!