Young Tristan, an orphan brought up in an abbey, is swept off to war when he joins a group of Crusaders passing through on their way to distant lands. He becomes the trusted squire of Sir Thomas, who asks him to escape from the Holy Land with a sacred object and carry it to safety. Tristan now has Saracens, corrupt knights, and secret agents of the King on his trail, because the object he has to protect is none other than the Holy Grail. This is the first in an exciting new series for ages 10 and up.
Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
These three holiday romances, written by award-winning young adult authors, all take place during one Christmas Eve snowstorm that stalls trains and closes roads. As the snow piles up, a chain of events begins to unfold that changes the lives of several teens in unexpected ways. Part of the fun is discovering how the stories crisscross each other and how random events in one story have unintended consequences in another story. A perfect story to read over holiday break while sipping a big mug of hot chocolate.
Alcatraz versus The Scrivener's Bones by Brandon Sanderson
On a mission to meet up with his grandfather, Alcatraz Smedry becomes the unlikely and reluctant leader of an even more unlikely crew. Alcatraz, along with Kazan, Bastille, and Australia, faces the most frightening enemy yet in the constant struggle against the Evil Librarians who control the Hushlands. In an adventure that leads to the dangerous Library of Alexandria (where the cost of checking out a book is your soul!), Alcatraz must use his rare Talent, along with luck and wit, to save the lives of those for whom he cares. If he fails, they all could perish and the Librarians would rule the Free Kingdoms. Set aside all you've learned in school and all you think you know about the way the world works and step into the real world of Alcatraz Smedry! - Kathleen LehmanThe Gate of Days by Guillaume Prevost The Book of Time II
Sam has a problem. Well, actually, Sam has many problems, but the one that worries him the most is that his dad, Allan Faulkner, is being held captive by Vlad Tepes, the historical torturer and inspiration for the dark character Dracula. Not that Sam or his father belongs in the 1400's, that just happens to be the time to which Allan travels and in which he was captured. Sam must now use an ancient stone statue to follow his father's path through time in an effort to save his dad form certain death. Not only will facing Vlad Tepes be tricky, and dangerous, but without being able to control the destination of his travels through time, Sam's chances of reaching his dad may be just near impossible. With the help of his cousin, a few coins, and a whole lot of luck, Sam just might find his dad in time. - Kathleen Lehman
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
Evie and her mother have always stuck together "like glue" and when Joe returned from the war and married her mother, Evie got the father she always wanted. With another summer coming to an end, Evie's stepfather suddenly decides to take the family for a trip to Florida. What begins as a carefree vacation quickly turns to something else. With a a new business deal and an intriguing romance mixed with lies and deception, the mess begins even before the storm hits. In the heat of Palm Beach Evie learns the skills of a woman and must make an important decision about loyalty and betrayal. The family will never be the same, but it is Evie who will be the most dramatically changed. - Kathleen Lehman
Come Back, Cat by Joan L. Nodset illustrated by Steven Kellogg
Making friends with a cat isn't easy for the young girl in this simple story. Gradually she learns how to be gentle, how to hold a cat, and how to sit quietly letting the cat come to her. Soon the cat settles in her lap, and she is rewarded for her patience with the sound of purring. Kellogg's lovely autumn colors and swirling leaves complement the story beautifully. This would be a perfect introduction for a family getting a new pet or a toddler learning to be gentle with the family pet. Ages 3-6.
Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
Old Bear falls asleep as the first snowflakes begin to drift in the air. He dreams about being a cub wandering through spring flowers, summer butterflies, autumn leaves and winter stars. When he wakes up expecting snow, he finds a world filled with flowers and wonders if he is still dreaming. The illustrations are inviting and comforting, and the simple story flows in a reassuring cadence, adding up to a perfect bedtime book for sleepy, little ones ages birth to 4.
Big Words for Little People by Jamie Lee Curtis illustrated by Laura Cornell
A new, winning collaboration by this #1 national best-selling team. Lots of words like Stupendous, Consequence, Co-operate, Patience, and Celebrate are explained in Curtis' rollicking rhymes with underlying themes of self-esteem and respect. Cornell gives each word a familiar with a lovable cast of characters in silly scenes and lots of details to laugh about. Definitely meant to be read aloud to ages 3-6.