Books for children - July 7

"The Gold Rush Kid" by Mary Waldorf, Clarion Books

Read aloud: age 8, 9 and older

Read yourself: age 9, 10 and older

In 1897, 12-year-old Billy McGee and his older sister, Edna, leave Skagway, Alaska, to trek north to the Klondike. The siblings travel alone on this grueling, treacherous trail, but they have no choice. Their mother died unexpectedly, and they are following their father who had already set off to prospect for gold.

Edna is certain that if they work hard enough, they'll find their father and strike it rich. But Billy isn't so sure. He's heard of plenty of grownups who had all the right equipment and supplies that never even made it to the gold fields. Will they be able to make it all the way to Dawson City? Will they be able to find their father?


Library: Salem Free Public Library, 264 Hartford Rd., Salem

Library Director: Jackie Hemond

Children & Teen Services: Pat Aldrich

Choices this week: "The Schwa Was Here" by Neal Schusterman; "Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan; "Land of Elyon" series by Patrick Carmen


"House of Secrets" by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini, illustrated by Greg Call, Balzer & Bray, 2013, 490 pages

Read aloud: age 7, 8 and older

Read yourself: age 9, 10 and older

Brendan, Eleanor and Cordelia's lives are turned upside down when their father loses his job and the family is forced to downsize and relocate to an inexpensive home. The family chooses an old Victorian that is very cheap, despite how beautiful it is. That should have been the first clue that something is amiss.

After a near-deadly encounter with an evil neighbor, the siblings are separated from their parents and mysteriously transported to another time and place; a primeval forest rife with bloodthirsty warriors, secret spell scrolls, pirates and more. At the root of it all is the Wind Witch's insatiable desire to possess "The Book of Doom and Desire," a book powerful enough to destroy the world if it falls into the wrong hands.

"Stick Dog" by Tom Watson, Harper, 2013, 189 pages

Read aloud: age 7 and older

Read yourself: age 8, 9 and older

Stick Dog lives in an empty pipe under Highway 16 in the suburbs, but he is not lonely or sad; he has lived in the pipe for as long as he can remember and has four very good dog friends: Poo-Poo, Karen, Mutt and Stripes. Stick Dog's friends are very important to him, but there is one thing that's even more important: food!

As is happens, it is summertime, and Stick Dog knows this is when humans grill food outdoors. One afternoon, Stick Dog and his buddies smell the irresistible aroma of hamburgers grilling in Prospect Park. Stick Dog HAS to get one of those hamburgers, and his friends decide to join him. But the task turns out to be much more complicated than any of the dogs anticipated.


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