Bad Guys Episode Three : The Furball Strikes Again

The Bad Guys Episode Three : The Furball Strikes Again by Aaron Blalbey

The hilarity continues in Book 3, and try as I might, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Engaging, cheeky fun! Almost any age will enjoy these bad guys trying to do good. This went right into the waiting hands of Mr. Lowe and his classroom of good guys + gals.

Here’s the summary:

The Bad Guys are about to have a VERY BAD DAY! Mr. Wolf and his bad, bad buddies have messed with the wrong guinea pig. And this nasty little furball wants revenge. Will they survive? Will they be heroes? And will they stop trying to kill each other?  It’s time to put on your chuckle pants and find out.


Titles I’ll be adding to my Summer Reading List

I think I’ll be searching these titles out after reading this article.

5 Beach Reads for Teens: From Superhero Adventures to Thrilling Whodunits

When I think of a perfect summer day, I picture a cool drink, a seat in the shade, and the prospect of losing myself in the pages of a book. Whether it’s a superhero adventure, a camp experience like no other, a whodunit, a coming-of-age tale, or a short but complete history of surfing, these five choices all make me think of the old ad: Calgon, take me away. Or in this case, summer, take me away.

If for your teens summer means sun and surf, this is the book for them. An abridged version of Matt Warshaw’s adult book,

A Brief History of Surfing (Chronicle, Mar. 2017; Gr 8 Up) covers surfing from its beginnings (pre-1900) to today. Important people, moments in the history of surfing, locations, surfboard development, and more are highlighted in individual entries. The glossy pages, full-page photos, and use of white space enhance the readability of this small, almost square-shaped book. Warshaw is the former editor of Surfing magazine, and his books are considered essential reading on the sport. This book lacks source notes, end notes, or a bibliography, making it a good choice for pleasure reading, but use the unabridged version for reports.

This book about a summer camp is like nothing I’ve read before. In Mary McCoy’s Camp So-and-So (Carolrhoda Lab, Mar. 2017; Gr 8 Up), 25 girls receive a mysterious invitation to spend a week at Camp So-and-So. When they arrive, they are divided into five cabins. There’s a story devoted to each cabin. The girls of Cabin One battle their rich rivals from the camp across the lake in the All-Camp Sport & Follies. Cabin Two’s head counselor is murdered, and it appears that a deranged former camper is to blame. The campers of Cabin Three set out on a quest after they find a prophecy written in the rafters of their abode. The Cabin Four girls find a current that leads them to their soulmates, and Cabin Five is mysteriously surrounded by thorns. This title is written like a play with an omniscient narrator and more than a few dashes of horror and fantasy, and the twists and turns will keep readers guessing until the end.

After stealing her father’s credit card to finance a cooler wardrobe, Margot is stuck working at the family grocery store in the South Bronx. Angry at not being able to spend the summer in the Hamptons with her two best friends, spoiled Margot has a lot of growing up to do. Her inability to see the truth that’s in front of her about her family and new friends comes to a head in a drama-filled summer. Lilliam Rivera’s The Education of Margot Sanchez (S. & S., Feb. 2017; Gr 8 Up) is a coming-of-age story about family, friendship, and the importance of being true to oneself. Although these are familiar themes, they are treated with sensitivity and depth. Margot’s growth is hard-won but deserved.


With a setup like The Breakfast Club—five students, each a stereotypical teen, are stuck in detention at the same time—Karen M. McManus’s One of Us Is Lying (Delacorte, May 2017; Gr 9 Up) quickly turns into a murder mystery. While in detention, Simon, “the outcast,” dies after drinking water laced with peanut oil. Suspicion quickly lands on the other students—Bronwyn, “the brain”; Addy, “the beauty”; Nate, “the criminal”; and Cooper, “the athlete”—when Simon’s gossip website divulges major dirt on all four of them. Simon’s EPI pens are mysteriously missing, and it quickly becomes apparent that this was no accident. Alternating chapters in each of the four protagonists’ voices reveal that they are more than just the cookie-cutter characters they appear to be. Who is lying? Teens will be surprised when the truth comes out, making this a thrilling beach read.




At the tail end of summer and just in time for the new movie, Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Random, Aug. 2017; Gr 6 Up) tells the story of teen Diana and her quest to cure (or kill) Alia, a descendant of Helen of Troy. Diana, not yet Wonder Woman, against the rules of the Island of Themyscira, saves Alia from certain death by drowning. Bringing Alia to Themyscira has devastating consequences for the Amazons and the island. Alia is a Warbringer, and it is in her blood to bring war and destruction to the world. To save her home and humankind, Diana must bring Alia to Therapne, Greece, before the first day of Hekatombaion. Aiding Diana and Alia on their journey are Jason, Alia’s brother; Nim, Alia’s best friend; and Theo, Alia’s potential love interest. As in any good superhero story, the fun is in the battles and the relationships among the characters. An exciting adventure filled with action and wit, this new addition to the superheroine’s world earns its place in the Wonder Woman canon.

Kefira Philippe is a librarian at Nichols Middle School in Evanston, IL. She has served on YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults and, most recently, the 2017 Printz committee.

Into the Killing Seas

Into the Killing Seas by Michael P. Spradlin

This mid-sized title really packed a punch. If you’re sensitive to shark drama, don’t touch this one because OMG there is some shark drama. But if you love an action filled survival story that is based on true events well then, I think you’ve found another title to add to your list.

Here’s the summary:

When the ship goes down, the sharks come out…

Stranded in the the worn torn Pacific, Patrick and his younger brother Teddy are finally homeward bound. They have stowed away on one of the US navies finest ships, and now they just need to stay hidden. But Japanese torpedoes rip their dreams apart.

And the sinking ship isn’t the worst of it. Patrick and Teddy can handle dehydration and hunger as they float in the water and wait to be rescued. It they are smart they can even deal with the madness that seems to plagues their fellow survivors. No the real danger circles beneath the surface . And it has teeth….

Based on the true events of 1945 sinking of the USS Indianapolis author Michael Spradlin tells a harrowing tale of World War II.




Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Okay, all of you that need a perfect, sweet romancy summer read, here it is. Race down to Chapters or order it up at the public library and then savor how lucky you are to have it in your hands. I just recently learned that this one has already been optioned for a movie (is it any wonder?).


Alice doesn’t believe in luck – at least, not the good kind. Still, she buys Teddy, the boy she secretly loves, a lottery ticket on his eighteenth birthday. He wins — BIG.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two best firends are no strangers to misfortune. Through everything, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

Alice may not believe in luck, but she does believe in live. If only she can find the place where the two intersect for her and Teddy…


Brave by Svetlana Chmakova

Wow! Svetlana Chmakova just won the 2017 Rocky Mountain Book Award and now she follows it up with what I consider an even better title. I loved Brave. She has perfectly identified and illustrated middle schoolers. This book is pitch perfect. Jensen is a likable / lovable protagonist, trying his best to fit in, while daydreaming himself into heroics. In truth I want this author to draw the storyline for all of these characters. If you are a fan of Raina Telgemeier’s books, the Big Nate books or Victoria Jamieson then you should really try Brave by Svetlana Chmakova.

Here’s the summary from the book jacket:

In his daydreams, Jensen is the biggest hero that ever was, saving the world and his friends on a daily basis. But his middle school reality is VERY different – math is hard… Even finding a partner for the class project is a huge problem when you always get picked last. And the pressure’s on even more once the school newspaper’s dynamic duo, Jenny and Akilah, draw Jensen into the whirlwind of school news, social-experiments projects, and behind-the-scenes club drama. Jensen has always played the middle school game one level at a time, but suddenly, someone’s cranked up the difficulty setting. Will those daring daydreams of his finally work in his favour, or will he have to find real solutions to his real-life problems?

The charming world of Berrybrook Middle School gets a little bigger in this highly anticipated follow-up to Svetlana Chmakova’s award winning Awkward with a story about a boy who learns his own way of being brave!