books designed for tweens and teens, but great reads for anybody
A Cabbit Tale
Meet Ace, a young and curious cat who loves his family. When Ace loses the precious stone his grandfather gave him, he must venture into the forbidden forest to retrieve it. Before he can get very far, however, his family sets out after him, determined to protect him against all odds. Along the way, Ace avoids a great winged beast and meets a woodland creature: a cabbit—half cat, half rabbit. What else lurks in these strange woods? Does Ace have what it takes to recover his stone, and perhaps solve another mystery along the way?
Learn more about Cindy and A Cabbit Tale by viewing Cindy's interview with WTVR.
Cindy has two upcoming book signings in Richmond and Charlottesville, which can be found on our events schedule.
A Chookamook Came Over for Breakfast
written by Cliff Davis
illustrated by Heidi Gibson
Lizzie Lewis hates breakfast. She’d rather eat candy and other sweet treats. But then Mama brings home a new box of cereal for Lizzie to try—magic cereal. With one bite, she finds herself shrunk down to a few inches high and entering the world of Breakfastland, where mountains are made of marshmallows and palaces are made of pancakes. There she meets the Chookamooks, tiny mouse-like creatures that help make breakfasts for the whole world. Can the Chookamooks teach Lizzie that breakfast isn’t so bad? Can she help save Breakfastland from the evil Dr. Darktooth?
To learn more about Cliff Davis and Heidi Gibson, click here.
An Evening Dream in Springtime: Memories of My Grandfather
written by Mika Matsuno
illustrated by Jack Lefcourt
Most Saturday nights, young Mika races to her grandfather’s house, where she finds him painting artful calligraphy. He chants strange words in a stirring voice, surrounded by a house filled with eccentric treasures. Mika later sifts through remembered moments as she pieces together a fuller appreciation of her grandfather. She recalls favorite passages from an ancient book, Grandfather’s collection of fine writing tools, and the red stamp marking his most distinguished art. Mika wonders how it would have sounded to hear her grandfather play the biwa. What else didn’t she know about this hardworking, dedicated, gentle man? Mika’s story invites us to wonder: Who were our grandparents? How will we hold them close when their house and most of their things are gone?
Grow with Me Poetry
Grow with Me Poetry uses poetry as a means of introducing children and early teens to the practice of mindfulness. In Grow with Me Poetry, you will find both a primer on mindfulness and basic meditation techniques, as well as a guide to incorporating that practice into your daily life. Through unique interactive exercises and discussion prompts, adults and children alike will have the opportunity to engage, to converse, to learn about each other, and ultimately, to grow. This book is sure to become a treasured keepsake on any family’s bookshelf!
Happy Tails: Jitterbug Makes a Name for Herself
written by Joy Metzer
Jitterbug lives in a modest cabin in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The runt of a litter of dachshunds, she’s hopelessly at odds with her surroundings and can’t help but dream of making a name for herself in the big city. When opportunity knocks, Jitterbug escapes her pet carrier and lands herself in show business. Her impromptu adventure takes her across the country, acting on stage, on TV, and in commercials. But how fabulous is a life of work, work, work? And how long before she starts to miss home?
Joe and Urzab the Robot
written by Dorothy Fleming
illustrated by Maa Illustration
Joe is a rascally puppy who enjoys biting, chewing Mrs. Jennifer’s shoes, and peeing on her beautiful rug. Desperate, Mrs. Jennifer shouts to the sky, “I need help with Joe!” The last thing she expects is the sky to answer back. When a robot named Urzab shows up at Mrs. Jennifer’s door, she’s not sure what to think. He’s from planet Brillianti, and wants to take Joe there so he can learn to be a more loving puppy. Even though she’s skeptical, Mrs. Jennifer agrees, and Joe and Urzab set off on their journey. But Queen Mirthless has another plan when she intercepts their spacecraft, dumping Joe and Urzab into the Violent Ocean. From there, they’ll team up with dolphins, monkeys, pigeons, and a rat named Jerboa to battle a masked soldier with a whip, a dragon, a bird of prey, and Queen Mirthless herself.
Join Joe and Urzab as they try to find their way to safety before interplanetary war breaks out. Along the way, they might just develop a friendship that unexpectedly teaches them both how to love.
John Marshall: Champion of Justice
written by Lynn Brackenridge and Barbara Schneider
illustrated by Dennis Auth
From his boyhood days on the Virginia frontier to his thirty-four years as chief justice of the United States, John Marshall was a person of intelligence, integrity, and vision. He was one of America’s Founding Fathers, and his leadership of the Supreme Court helped make the judiciary the powerful branch of government it is today. In this beautifully illustrated chapter book, you’ll get to know the man behind the historical figure. You’ll meet John Marshall the boy, soldier, husband, father, lawyer, congressman, community member, and chief justice. You’ll learn why John Marshall was beloved by those who knew him, and how he became a true Champion of Justice.
The King of the Stars
written by Brandon Layne
In the land of Kama, the stars are magical and constellations determine the future. Stars can even grant a person the power of astromy, enabling them to manipulate elements of nature. However, only one person is destined to be king. But of course, not everyone believes in the stars, and dark forces lurk with their own plans for the world.
Brian, the teenage son of a legendary warrior, is fated to possess the gift of earth astromy, but he can barely lift a rock. With a villainous overlord ruling the town, Brian needs to develop his skills -- and quickly. But then a strange boy appears in the woods, and Brian has the feeling there's more to this kid than meets the eye. It's a race against evil and against the odds to rightfully throne the king of the stars.
PRAISE FOR THE KING OF THE STARS
“Brandon Layne has created an imaginative fantasy world that young readers will love.”
—Colleen R. Lee, school librarian
“Brandon’s book is a great read to stimulate the minds and imaginations of a technologically overloaded generation.”
—Amy Powroznik, art educator for grades K-5, Henrico County Gilman Award winner 2009
Looking Through Great-Grandmother's Eyes
Nine-year-old Piper Louise Conrad is sure that the summer of 1943 will be the worst summer of her life. The world is at war, her father is fighting in North Africa, and Piper must spend three whole months at her great-grandmother’s farm in Catlett, Virginia. Grandma Jessie doesn’t seem at all like the sweet old lady Piper’s mother described. She’s bossy and cranky. She doesn’t even seem to like Piper. But Piper is about to discover that she and her great-grandmother have more in common than she thinks. In fact, Grandma Jessie holds the key to a family history Piper never knew she had. Maybe, justmaybe, this summer might not be so bad after all.
Maddy and Mia: TriPaw Tales
written by Pamela Adler
illustrated by Monique Seibel
The family poodle has a litter of puppies, and Maddy’s parents say that she can choose one for her very own. Maddy instantly falls in love with the runt of the litter, who was born with only three legs. Little Mia becomes Maddy’s constant companion. When Finn and his family move in across the street, he joins Maddy and Mia on many of their adventures. Together, they learn the value of courage, acceptance, and friendship.
Maddy y Mia: Los Cuentos de Tres Patas
written by Pamela Adler
illustrated by Monique Seibel
The family poodle has a litter of puppies, and Maddy's parents say that she can choose one for her very own. Maddy instantly falls in love with the runt of the litter, who was born with only three legs. Little Mia becomes Maddy's constant companion. When Finn and his family move in across the street, he joins Maddy and Mia on many of their adventures. Together, they learn the value of courage, acceptance, and friendship.
Max Brinkley's Military Brat Mysteries: The Case of the Cursed Curtain Call
illustrated by Mindy J.B. Whitten
Seventh-grader Max Brinkley has absolutely no intention of trying out for the middle school play—until a chance encounter with eighth-grader Savannah Montgomery changes his mind. One audition later, Max is plunged into a world of cues, crushes, and questions, as a series of mysterious notes warn of a cunning plot to sabotage the play. Soon strange accidents begin to plague the rehearsals, and amid the chaos, Max becomes a suspect.
Max could never have imagined that a play would involve this much drama! Can Max and his mystery-solving crew—his neighbor Mrs. Needlemeyer, Max’s genius little brother Knox, and a surprising new friend—discover who is really responsible before the play’s opening night is ruined?
Find out in this second installment of Max Brinkley’s Military BRAT Mysteries!