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Cats, Birds, and a New Colfer Series: New Books for Older Readers

wildboyWild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron by Mary Losure, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
He couldn’t speak. He had no clothes. He lived in the forests, under the harsh, cold moon, as wild as a wolf or a fox. He was a young boy and when they caught him; they called him the “Savage of Aveyron” and took him to be studied by scientists and teachers. When he tried to flee, they found him and brought him back. Eventually, this mysterious young man found comfort and understanding with a doctor at an institute for deaf and mute children. In Wild Boy, Mary Losure tells his true and remarkable story. It’s one of cruelty and tenderness, of a longing for the wild countryside as fierce as nature itself, and, ultimately, of a mystery that will never be solved. It is, also, a story of being human. (grades 4-6)

tanglewood-jacket-art-2aThe Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint, illustrated by Charles Vess
Lillian Kindred has always wanted to see fairies. One day, as she hunts through the woods for them, she finds herself in an ancient clearing, a magical space where the wild cats of the forest gather. When Lillian falls asleep under a large tree, a poisonous snake bites her. The wild cats find her and save her life by working a forbidden magic that changes Lillian into a calico kitten. What happens after that, who Lillian mets, and how she seeks to change herself back into a girl makes up this surprising and adventurous tale. Filled with lush illustrations of the woods and its magical creatures and woven through with Native American lore and time travel, The Cats of Tanglewood Forest is sure to please anyone who loves a classic fairy tale. (grades 3-6)

LookUpLook Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate
In this charmingly illustrated nonfiction picture book, Annette LeBlanc Cate introduces readers to the surprises and joy of bird-watching: in the woods, at the beach, in your backyard, or from your apartment window! No matter where you are, you can spot, study and discover the winged friends (and foes) who live among us. This is an enormously appealing book, in part because it is so approachable and well-geared toward younger bird-watchers. Cate gives many different ways of identifying birds (their colors, their shapes, their sounds, their actions) and she infuses the whole book with humor by having the birds offer commentary throughout: “Oh, dear. I hope no one watches me! I haven’t preened yet!” (grades 3-8)

assassinThe Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer
In Victorian-era London, Riley is the terrified, enslaved servant to the magician-assassin Albert Garrick. A century later, in modern-day London, Chevie is a 17-year-old undercover FBI agent who has gone even deeper undercover until the L.A. “incident” blows over. Chevie thinks her new detail watching an antiquated-looking pod in a Bloomsbury house is dead-boring, until her boss’s father materializes from 100 years in the past with a knife in his back and Riley holding the handle. But all madness really breaks loose when Riley’s boss Garrick steps out of the pod as the world’s first quantum-created, FBI-merged, evil mega-mastermind. Only Eoin Colfer, the brain behind Artemis Fowl, could create such a whiplash-fast, mind-boggling, and totally funny blast of a book. Fasten your seat belts  time-travelers. It’s going to be a wormhole of a ride. (grades 5 and up)

-Molly

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