Looking for some good books to read? Why not check out what the Blue Duke himself is reading? That's right. The Blue Duke has his own reading blog. Read about the books and then get to the library to "check them out!"
THE SECRET OF PLATFORM 13
New York : Puffin, 1994
IL 5-8, RL 7.5
The Gump is a secret passage between The World and The Island. It only opens once every nine years. The last time it opened, the young prince was lost. His nannies decided to take a short visit to the World. While there, the baby was taken by Mrs. Trottle who wanted a baby for her own -- even if it means stealing one. Now, nine years later, a group of rescuers leave the Island on a quest to return the prince to his home. This unlikely troop -- an ogre, a hag, a wizard, and a fey will have to sneak around London unnoticed. They learn that the baby was stolen by Mrs. Trottle and they find her and her son Raymond. Raymond is a lazy, spoiled child. The rescuers are shocked and the thought of him becoming their king is not making them happy. But they have a job to do. They meet a young boy named Ben who is a servant in the home and he helps them get to Raymond. What will happen when the prince is returned to the Island?
Hopkinson, Deborah. THE GREAT TROUBLE : A MYSTERY OF LONDON, THE BLUE DEATH, AND A BOY CALLED EEL
New York : Knopf, 2013
IL 5-8, RL 4.0
Eel is a young orphan living in 1854 in London. He gets by doing odd jobs but he does a bit of mudlarking to make some money too. He has to keep a low profile because his dangerous step-father is out to kill him and his brother. Life is hard for Eel. But things are going to get harder. People living on Broad Street are starting to get ill. Everyone knows that cholera has found the poor people crammed into the house on Broad Street. One of Eel's odd jobs is to take care of the animals for Dr. John Snow, a very famous doctor. When Eel begs Dr. Snow for help, the doctor is more than anxious to investigate. He has a theory of how cholera spreads and he enlists Eel's help in proving it.
Holm, Jennifer L. EIGHTH GRADE IS MAKING ME SICK
New York : Random House, 2012
IL 5-8, RL 5.3
We all know that 8th grade is a terrible year. Probably the worst year of all the school years. But Ginny is not going to let that happen to her. She has really big plans. She will make 8th grade the best one ever. She is going out for cheerleading. She wants to join the Virtual Vixens. And she may just fall in love. Well, you just know that plans don't always work out. The family need to move because her stepdad has lost his job. Her mother is pregnant. He brother keeps getting into trouble. Told in a series of post-it notes, scrapbook entries, comics and pictures, this is Ginny's journey through 8th grade.
Hoena, B. A.
MATTHEW HENSON : ARCTIC ADVENTURER
New York : Capstone, 2006
IL 5-8, RL 3.9
Way back about a hundred years ago, no one have ever been to the North Pole. Can you believe that? Well, the only way to get there was to walk so it is not too surprising. A young African America boy by the name of Matthew Henson learned about geography and navigation while serving as a cabin boy. As a young man, he was hired to be the valet of Robert Peary who was an explorer. Within a few years, Matthew would find himself on the way to the North Pole. There were several unsuccessful trips to the Pole before Matthew and Peary actually stepped foot on the Pole. Even though Matthew was there, when they got back to the States, he was rarely mentioned. You see, back in those days, African Americans were not seen as equals. It took years for Matthew to get the recognition he deserved. This is his story.
Harvey, Jacqueline. ALICE-MIRANDA TAKES THE STAGE
New York : Delacorte, 2013
IL 3-6, RL 5.3
Alice-Miranda is back for another semester at Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies. This semester is going to be great. The school is teaming up with the nearby boys' school to put on a play. The girls are all looking forward to this. All the girls except the new one. Sloane has a different idea in mind. Can Alice-Miranda figure out what is going on before things get out of hand?
Hale, Shannon. DANGEROUS
New York : Bloomsbury, 2014
Maisie has always been homeschooled and has not had the opportunity to be around other children. She hears about an opportunity to attend Space Camp and she just has to apply. Of course she probably won't get in. How many one-armed astronauts are there? But she does get in and gets a full scholarship. Some of the kids make fun of her disability but she is really enjoying all that she is learning. When she gets the opportunity to actually go into space, it is a dream come true. Or is it the beginning of a nightmare?
Giles, Gail. GIRLS LIKE US
New York : Candlewick, 2014
Graduating from high school is a major event. It is life changing. For Quincy and Biddy, it is really a major step. Both girls are in the school's special education program. The girls both struggle with learning. Their teacher has arranged for them to move into their own apartment in the home of a older woman who needs some help around the house. Biddy is very excited but Quincy is not so sure about this. The girls don't really know each other and this may be a bad idea. Biddy is very upbeat and takes to the arrangement right away. She loves cleaning the house and puts all she has into making this all work. Quincy doesn't like people much and she is angry at the world. She will do her job at the local bakery but she refuses to think this is a good thing. Is there any way that these girls can bond?