by Pam Heller
For Young Readers
by Megan McDonald
The cover illustration alone—a crayon swirled, charcoal smudged dog—sells this book! Shoe Dog is an adorable shelter dog who is hoping for a life filled with “nose kisses and tummy rubs.”His new owner fits the bill perfectly, except for one thing: she is a shoe lover, and he is a shoe chewer. Things are not going well in their relationship. But just when it seems that Shoe Dog may be headed back to the shelter, he finds a solution to his chewing habit. Perfect pacing, rich language with a good message, along with the whimsical and endearing illustrations make this a “read it to me again”winner! Ages 3 to 6.
A Boy and A Jaguar
by Alan Rabinowitz
This is the true story of the author, who as a young boy discovered he could communicate easily with animals, but stuttered uncontrollably when talking with people. He made a vow to a lonely jaguar at the Bronx zoo that if he could, he would speak for the animals and keep them from harm. The book follows his path through college, his travels through the jungles and eventually, to his speech before the prime minister advocating the protection of jaguars. His story is a lesson to be shared about the power of perseverance, overcoming social and physical adversity and embracing one’s talents and goals. Ages 4 to 8.
For Older Readers
The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck
by Emily Fairlee
Would you want to be a Tuckernuck Clucker? Neither does sixth-grader Laurie, but her parents are insisting that she attend their old junior high, Tuckernuck Hall. The school mascot is a chicken! How embarrassing! The school is decrepit, and the school board wants it torn down. But Laurie’s parents are convinced the building has historical value. Eighty years ago, the founder created a challenge that provided clues to a treasure. Laurie and classmate Bud discover the first clue, and the mystery leads them on an interesting journey of discovery. The inclusion of lists, notes and emails interspersed among the text add to the reader’s enjoyment and depth of understanding the characters and storyline. The fast pace and humor will keep readers interested to the very end. Ages 8 to 12.
The Expeditioners (Treasure of Drowned Man’s Cavern)
by S. S. Taylor
This is the first in a series of adventure novels set in a retro-futuristic time when mankind is in a race to discover viable lands. Explorer Alexander West has mysteriously disappeared and is presumed dead. His three children (Zander, Kit and their sister, M.K) come into possession of half a treasure map created by their father. The adolescents team up with the daughter of another famous explorer to solve the mystery of the map. On their quest, they encounter dangerous animals, dangerous terrain and dangerous people. The clever plot and well-developed characters hook readers into wanting more. Luckily, the second in the series is due out in September. Ages 10 and up.