Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Comedy
Abel’s Island (8+)
Abel’s place in his familiar, mouse world has always been secure; he had an allowance from his mother, a comfortable home, and a lovely wife, Amanda. But one stormy August day, furious flood waters carry him off and dump him on an uninhabited island. Despite his determination and stubborn resourcefulness—he tried crossing the river with boats and ropes and even on stepping-stones—Abel can’t find a way to get back home. Faced with the daily adventure of survival in his solitary, somewhat hostile domain, he is moved to reexamine the easy way of life he had always accepted and discovers skills and talents in himself that hold promise of a more meaningful life, if and when he should finally return to Mossville and his dear Amanda again.
Wrinkle in Time (10+)
Fifty years ago, Madeleine L’Engle introduced the world to A Wrinkle in Time and the wonderful and unforgettable characters of Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe. When the children learn that Mr. Murry has been captured by the Dark Thing, they time travel to Camazotz, where they must face the leader IT in the ultimate battle between good and evil—a journey that threatens their lives and our universe. A Newbery Award winner, A Wrinkle in Time is an iconic novel that continues to inspire millions of fans around the world.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (9+)
There's something very strange about the rats living under the rosebush at the Fitzgibbon farm. But Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with a sick child, is in dire straits and must turn to these exceptional creatures for assistance. Soon she finds herself flying on the back of a crow, slipping sleeping powder into a ferocious cat's dinner dish, and helping 108 brilliant, laboratory-enhanced rats escape to a utopian civilization of their own design, no longer to live "on the edge of somebody else's, like fleas on a dog's back." This unusual novel, winner of the Newbery Medal snags readers and reels them steadily in all the way through to the exhilarating conclusion.
Ella Enchanted (8+)
Every child longs for the day when he or she will be free from meddling parents and bossy grownups. For young Ella, the heroine of Gail Carson Levine's Newbury Honor-winning novel, this is more than a fanciful wish; it could be a matter of life or death. Placed under the spell of a blundering fairy, she has no choice but to go through life obeying each and every order—no matter what the consequences may be. "If you commanded me to cut off my own head, I'd have to do it."
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (9+)
Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend a famous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.
The Phantom Tollbooth (9+)
The story follows the journey of Milo, a boy bored by everything around him. One day he receives a mysterious package that turns out to be a tollbooth. For lack of anything better to do, he puts it together and begins to play, only to find himself driving in an entirely different world. There he meets all sort of curious creatures, from a giant watchdog (literally, a dog whose body is a watch) and a humbug the size of a person. Juster plays with words and continually surprises the reader by turning ordinary events into magical occurrences.
This enthralling tale is jam-packed with the things we long for in a great adventure: danger, laughter, hairbreadth escapes, tragedy, mystery, a touch of wonder, a truly despicable villain, and a hero we can take to heart. The villain is Cluny the Scourge, one of the most deliciously despicable rats of all time. The hero is Matthias, a young mouse who must rise above his fears and failures to save his friends at Redwall Abbey, seeking his true destiny in a journey that will lead through danger and despair to true wisdom.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (9+)
Called one of America’s favorite Christmas stories, and now a classic television movie, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever has been a favorite of young readers the world over since 1972. Funny, memorable, and outrageous, it is the story of a family of incorrigible children who discover the Christmas story for the first time and help everyone else rediscover its true meaning.
Cheaper by the Dozen (12+)
No growing pains have ever been more hilarious than those suffered loudly by the riotous Gilbreth clan. First there are a dozen red-haired, freckle-faced kids to contend with. Then there's Dad, a famous efficiency expert who believes a family can be run just like a factory. Finally there's Mother, his partner in everything except discipline. How they all survive such escapades as forgetting Frank Jr. in a roadside restaurant or going on a first date with Dad in the backseat or having their tonsils removed en masse will keep you in stitches. You can be sure they're not only cheaper, they're funnier by the dozen.