Appelt. K. (2008). The Underneath. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. This book is about a mother cat, two kittens, a hound, and a horrible man in the natural world and the way their lives intertwine with the supernatural world. In the end the supernatural helps the natural world triumph. It is easy to identify with the abandoned cat and hound while the theme proves good trumps evil. Here is the book trailer:
Gaiman, N. (2008). The graveyard book. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. Nobody Owens’ family was murdered when he was a baby and he accidentally escaped the murderer. He had lots of adventures in the graveyard where he was raised by ghosts and a guardian that was not man nor ghost. The setting gives a clear visual where events in the story happened. The plot is original and an attention grabber. Here is the book trailer:
Hale, D. & Hale, S. (2008). Rapunzel’s revenge. New York, NY: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children’s Books. Rapunzel is imprisoned in a tower by her evil mother. She escapes from the tower and fights her way back home with the help of a stranger named Jack. She defeats evil and gets the boy. The setting is visualized through the illustrations and the plot includes jobs, obstacles to overcome, and villains to defeat.
Here is the book trailer:
Holm, J. & Holm, M. (2005). Babymouse queen of the world. New York, NY: Random House. Babymouse wrangles an invitation to Felicia’s slumber party, forgetting she is supposed to be at Wison’s house. In the end she decides to go to Wilson’s where she can be herself. You can identify with the character as she grows and the language is consistent and distinctive for the story. Here is the book trailer:
Landy, D. (2007). Skulduggery Pleasant. London, England: HarperCollins. Stepahanie hooks up with an unusual detective, Skulduggery Pleasant, a walking skeleton, to find out who murdered her uncle. Through betrayals, battles, and help from friends the duo fight evil magic and win a major battle but not the war. You can feel kinship for the characters and revel in the creativity of the plot. Here is the book trailer:
Selznick, B. (2007). The invention of Hugo Cabret. New York, NY: Scholastic Press. Hugo, orphaned at a young age, lived in a train station, stole food, attended the clocks and repaired the automaton. He gains a new family when it comes to light who invented the automaton and fulfills his dreams of becoming a magician. The plot is original and creative while the setting is vividly displayed through the illustrations. Here is the book trailer:
Krosoczka, J. (2009). Lunch lady and the cyborg substitute. New York, NY: Random House. The lunch lady is secretly a super hero who fights crime. She notices something odd about the substitute and uncovers a plot to replace teachers with robots and comes to the rescue to save the day. The theme is clear, good overcomes evil and the plot defines the obstacles to overcome and villains to conqueror. Here is the book trailer: