February 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

New and Continuing Chapter Book Series from Hilary McKay, Lyn Gardner, Caroline Adderson, and More | Fiction Series Update

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New Series Alert

Gardner, Lyn. The Lost Treasure of Little Snoring. illus. by Ros Asquith. 144p. (The Ghastly McNastys: Bk. 1). Kids Can. Apr. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771381284; pap. $8.95. ISBN 9781771381468.

Gr 3-5 –Gruesome and Grisly McNasty are the meanest pirate twins to ever sail the seven seas and they’ve invaded the village of Little Snoring on the hunt for treasure. Only best friends Hetty and Tat can stop them—if they find the treasure first. With a narrator who addresses readers directly, loads of silly, gross-out humor, and plenty of black-and-white illustrations throughout, this is a laugh-out-loud offering for kids who enjoy the over-the-top, goofy antics of series like “Captain Underpants” (Scholastic).

Meadows, Daisy. Lucy Longwhiskers Gets Lost. 112p. (Magic Animal Friends: Bk. 1). Scholastic. May 2015. pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780545686426; ebk. $4.99. ISBN 9780545686433.

Gr 1-3 –The prolific “Daisy Meadows” strikes again. Instead of magical fairies, this slim and sparkly new series features the magical talking animals of Friendship Forest. Lucy Longwhiskers, a fluffy bunny, is the doe-eyed star of the first book. Humans Lily and Jess must rescue her from the evil witch Grizelda. With more visual appeal than the “Rainbow Magic” books (Scholastic), this new series features shorter chapters, a larger typeface, and ample black-and-white line drawings. Be prepared; rabid Meadows fans will undoubtedly drive strong demand for this latest confection.

Patton, Jack. The Lizard War. 128p. (Battle Bugs: Bk. 1). Scholastic. May 2015. pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780545707411; ebk. $4.99. ISBN 9780545709606.

Gr 2-5 –Max, a budding entomologist, suddenly finds himself transported to an island where human-size, talking bugs and lizards are engaged in an all-out war. Max and his knowledge of all things insect-related may be the only hope to save the bugs from the lizard invaders. Action-packed, with occasional illustrations and lots of white space, this entry is ideal for newly independent and reluctant readers.

Smith, J.L. The Abominators. illus. by Sam Hearn. 137p. (The Abominators: Bk. 1). Little, Brown. 2014. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781907411625.

Gr 2-5 –Boogster, Cheesy, Mucker, and Bob are a naughty group of fifth graders at the Grimely East Primary School who love making mischief and playing pranks. New kid Cecil Trumpington-Potts, who speaks in babytalk and wears “panty-wanty-woos,” wants to join their gang and must successfully pull off a daring prank in order to prove his worth. There’s a strong subversive thread, along with large doses of potty humor, in this British import. Hand to readers who’ve worn out their copies of Dav Pilkey’s books and are ready for slightly more challenging vocabulary.

Continuing Series

Adderson, Caroline. You’re In Trouble. illus. by Ben Clanton. 124p. (Jasper John Dooley: Bk. 4). Kids Can. Mar. 2015. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781554538089.

Gr 1-4 –In a parent’s worst nightmare, young Jasper accidentally consumes a “bad drink” after soccer practice: a caffeinated, fizzy beverage that tastes delicious but keeps him awake all night long. Soon the kid is a bona fide junkie—sneaking sips whenever he gets a chance, so full of buzzing energy he can’t help but get into trouble. Jasper is as charming as ever, and his ever-so-slightly naughty behavior is funny and relatable to the early elementary school audience. A perfect series installment for newly independent readers.

Cheng, Andrea. The Year of the Three Sisters. illus. by Patrice Barton. 175p. (An Anna Wang Novel: Bk. 4). Houghton Harcourt. Apr. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544344273.

Gr 1-4 –Anna and Andee campaign to bring their Chinese pen pal, Fan, to the U.S. on a cultural exchange program. But Anna begins to worry that Andee and Fan may be too different to get along. Cheng’s characters are just as charming as ever in this fourth series entry. Cultural details are woven skillfully throughout, while Barton’s comely illustrations add to the overall appeal. Another winner.

Falcone, L.M. The Missing Zucchini. 96p. (The Ghost and Max Monroe: Bk. 2). Kids Can. Apr. 2015. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781771381543; pap. $6.95. ISBN 9781771380188.

Gr 1-4 –Zeeta and Zelda Zamboni are in quite a pickle when their prized 200-pound zucchini goes missing right before the Harvest Fair. Luckily, Max and his ghost-sidekick, Uncle Larry, are on the case. The solid mystery, complete with clues, red herrings, and several suspects, is paired with humorous dialogue, chuckle-worthy puns, and clever asides. With spot illustrations throughout and quick-moving chapters, this series is perfect for readers who’ve graduated from Ron Roy’s books.

McKay, Hilary. Lulu and the Hamster in the Night. illus. by Priscilla Lamont. 97p. (Lulu: Bk. 6). Albert Whitman. Mar. 2015. pap. $13.99. ISBN 9780807548240.

Gr 2-5 –Sweet, animal-loving Lulu is back in another adventure. This time she’s adopted a hamster named Ratty. Unfortunately, she’s at her Nan’s house for a sleepover and Nan is not a fan of rodents. Then there’s Nan’s three cats. Can she keep Ratty safe—and keep him secret from Nan? This is another gentle and lighthearted story, accompanied by beguiling black-and-white illustrations of Lulu, her cousin Mellie, and Nan. A must-have for fans of the series.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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