Monday, 8 April 2019

Bluecrowne: A Greenglass House Story

Bluecrowne: A Greenglass House Story
By Kate Milford

Fans of Greenglass House rejoice!  Kate Milford gives us some Greenglass House history in Bluecrowne.  

Lucy Bluecrowne has been raised on a schooner.  The Left-Handed Fate is her home, but in the early 1800s, a ship is not a safe place for a little girl.  Lucy’s father and the rest of the crew regularly do battle with other ships.  When Lucy is injured in one of those battles, her father decides enough is enough.  He and Lucy retrieve her stepmother, Xiaoming, and her stepbrother, Liao, from their home in China.  When they make landfall in Nagspeake, they know they have arrived at their new home.

Lucy begins the process of moving into the beautiful Greenglass House but longs for her home at sea.  She is terribly sad to be left at the house while her father continues his life aboard ship.  In an attempt to keep her happy, her father offers to buy her a small boat – her first command!  Lucy is thrilled, and drags Liao along to find one.

For his part, Liao is obsessed with fire and fireworks, and at seven years old is quite skilled with pyrotechnics.  Greenglass House will be different from China, but will at least offer him his own workshop.

As the two siblings set out to explore their new surroundings, they meet two peddlers, Trigemine and Blister, who are awfully interested in them.  Aware of Liao’s love of fire, Blister offers to bring him some supplies that can help him put on a thrilling show.  But these peddlers are not what they seem.

Trigemine and Blister arrive at Greenglass House and lure Liao into his workshop.  When Lucy sees a big explosion, she fears that Liao is dead.  When she can’t find him, she becomes frantic.  She soon begins to realize that Trigemine and Blister have powers beyond her imagining.  But to her surprise, her stepmother does too!  

Join the early inhabitants of Greenglass House on an adventure that crosses space and time, and that brings ancient Chinese mythology to life in a blaze of glory!

Monday, 1 April 2019

The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane

The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane
The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane
By Julia Nobel

Emmy is a lonely kid.  Her mother, a so-called parenting expert, is so busy that she doesn’t have much time for Emmy.  Her father disappeared when she was three, and Emmy’s mother won’t talk about him – in fact, she has disposed of everything her father owned.

But there’s one exception.  Emmy finds a box tucked away in the attic.  It looks like a treasure box, and is filled with intricately carved medallions.  Emmy is certain that the box is a clue to her dad’s whereabouts, and she takes it for herself.  When Emmy learns that she is being sent to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England, she brings the box with her.

Wellsworth is different from any school she’s ever attended.  The old stone buildings and wind off the North Sea give it an air of mystery.  As Emmy becomes immersed in life at Wellsworth, she learns that many things are not what they seem.  Latin Society, for example, is much less a society for learning Latin and more of a clique that doesn’t want her around.  Her new friends, Lola and Jack, as well as some of the teachers, even suggest she quit the Latin Society.  But why?

As Emmy delves into the secrets of the Latin Society, she stumbles upon some shocking information – her father, Thomas, attended Wellsworth as well, but Emmy is warned not to speak of him.  Those in power at Wellsworth, it seems, have secrets that they don’t want uncovered – secrets that have something to do with Emmy’s father and his box of medallions.

Emmy and her two companions begin to realize that they are becoming involved in some very serious business.  In fact, their lives might be in danger.  But Emmy is determined to learn more about her father.  When Emmy, Lola and Jack discover a secret passageway, they know it will provide some answers.  But once they enter, will they get back out in one piece?

This suspenseful page-turner is a boarding school story at its best.  Mystery-lovers: don’t miss it!

Friday, 22 March 2019

A World Below

A World Below
A World Below
By Wesley King

Eric, Silvia and the rest of Mr. Baker’s eighth grade class are less than excited about their field trip to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.  The students think that geology and cave exploration is rather boring.  Mr. Baker, however, is thrilled about their trip inside this natural phenomenon; he’s studied the caves so much, he doesn’t even bother booking a tour guide.

But while deep inside the caves, the unthinkable occurs – an earthquake.  Rocks rain down on the class, Mr. Baker disappears, and the students are washed down an underground river that takes them far beyond the known parameters of the caverns.  

Eric manages to climb out of the river, but is separated from the rest of the group.  Now he is lost, alone in the dark, and has only a tiny amount of food and water.  At least his cell phone has a light, but the battery will only last for so long.  Eric, who has always kept to himself, is now completely and truly alone.

Meanwhile, Silvia, who has anxiety issues of her own, becomes the leader of the student group and begins guiding her classmates through the caves.

All the kids are scared and quickly begin rationing their food and water.  But it soon becomes apparent that they will need more than standard survival skills.  The students discover that they are not alone in the caves.  There are other humans in the underground world.  None of the students know who they are or how they got there, and their motives are entirely mysterious.

Join Eric, Silvia and the rest of the class on a suspenseful thrill-ride through a world inhabited by man-eating insects and other creatures of the night, underground forests and glowing mushrooms, and where weapons-clad humans lurk in the darkness.

Friday, 1 March 2019

Ghosts of Greenglass House

Ghosts of Greenglass House
Ghosts of Greenglass House
By Kate Milford

Milo Pine and his family return in this follow-up story to Greenglass House.  One year has passed since Milo’s first mystery.  Christmas is rapidly approaching but there is still no snow.  To make matters worse, Milo is having trouble with his teacher, and school is really stressing him out.  He can’t wait to have a quiet holiday with his mom and dad.  When a series of unexpected guests show up, Milo realizes this will not be the holiday he’s been dreaming of.

Emmett Syebuck, a budding artist, is already staying at Greenglass House.  Next, Clem and Georgie, professional thieves and friends of the Pines, arrive for a girls’ weekend.  Then things really get weird with the arrival of the Waits, a group of Christmas carolers dressed in bizarre clothing and crowned with candles -- some are even masquerading as a hobby horse. 
Once the carolers are invited inside, things start to go missing – including the stash that Georgie and Clem had already stolen.  When Milo’s old friend Meddy shows up, he knows he will have the courage to solve the mystery and find the missing items.  But amongst these “innocent” carolers, can they really figure out which one is a thief?

As Milo and Meddy embark on their next adventure, they confront thieves, smugglers, customs agents, and even ghosts from Greenglass House’s past.  Ghosts of Greenglass House combines folklore, history and holiday traditions to make a fantastic mystery.  If you loved the first Greenglass House, read this book!

Monday, 21 January 2019

Fatty Legs

Fatty Legs
Fatty Legs
By Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

Young Olemaun Pokiak is desperate to go to school and learn to read like her sister.  But Olemaun lives in the High Arctic, and to attend school she will have to make a five-day journey to Aklavik, Northwest Territories.  Not only that, but she will have to stay at the residential school, run by nuns, for the entire school year.  Her father will not allow it.

But over time, Olemaun wears her father down.  He finally consents and at eight years old, Olemaun is brought to her new school to begin her studies.

Unfortunately, school is not what she expects.  Olemaun is quickly given a new name – Margaret.  Her hair is cut, and she is forced to do many, many chores as well as work in the adjacent hospital.  Apparently there is more to school than learning to read.

Margaret also becomes the target of one teacher’s wrath.  The Raven, as Margaret calls her, often singles her out for extra chores and sometimes, for humiliation.  When the Raven orders Margaret to wear red stockings while all the other girls wear black, Margaret is mortified.  The red stockings make her legs look huge and some of the other girls start calling her Fatty Legs.

But Margaret does not allow this treatment to interfere with her goal of learning to read.  Can she also stand up for herself and finally get rid of those red stockings?

Fatty Legs is a true story that will make readers laugh and cry.  Kids will cheer for Margaret and her stubborn, headstrong ways and celebrate her ability to overcome obstacles.  Fatty Legs will also help kids understand what happened to many children in residential schools and hopefully make them celebrate their own cultural identity.