Here’s this week’s edition of my list of eBooks that are currently available and recommended. I hope this list might help you find something good to read while the libraries are closed.
The descriptions of the books are taken from the databases where they were found.
eBooks available through hoopla:
Create an account — it’s free! Your checkouts are limited, but you’ll never have to wait for a book you really want.
Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic by Mark Tatulli
Meet Desmond Pucket—professor of frightology and master of monsters. Someday Desmond will be famous for his special effects wizardry, but for now he’s just trying to make it through sixth grade at Cloverfield Memorial Junior High, which means he needs to stay one step ahead of the school’s disciplinary officer, Mr. Needles. The only problem is Desmond just can’t stop pulling pranks—like the time he attached a shrieking rubber goblin to the toilet seat in the teachers’ bathroom. Mrs. Rubin screamed so loudly her wig flew off! Or the time he put giant motorized worms into the mashed potatoes in the cafeteria. Or the time Desmond and his best friend, Ricky, arranged for a three-headed ghost to crash his sister’s slumber party. Rachel still hasn’t forgiven him. And now Desmond has to stay prank-free for the rest of the year, or he won’t be able to go on the class trip to Crab Shell Pier, home of the Mountain Full of Monsters ride! It’s going to be tough, but Desmond has to try. This book includes a section of “Desmond’s Notes”: instructions for making monster magic (think scary noises, or fake blood) at home!
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John; Illustrated by Kevin Cornell
Miles Murphy had it made. He lived in a great town near the ocean, he had two best friends, and most importantly, he had a reputation for being his town’s best prankster. All of which explains why he’s not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. Worse than that, Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster-and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he’ll have to raise his game.It’s prankster against prankster in an epic war of trickery, until the two finally decide to join forces to pull off the biggest prank ever seen, a prank so huge it would make the members of the International Order of Disorder (a loose confederacy of pranksters that flourished a couple of centuries ago) proud.In The Terrible Two, bestselling authors and friends Jory John and Mac Barnett have walked an impressive tightrope, creating a series that has its roots in classic middle-grade literature yet feels fresh and daring at the same time.
Use your Pasadena library card and PIN. Call us at 626-744-4066 if you have trouble remembering your PIN.
These books may have a waitlist, but at this writing they are available (April 13, 7:30 PM).
Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala
Once upon a time, a girl named Kristy Thomas had a great idea: to form The Baby-Sitters Club with her best friends. And now twelve-year-old Malia Twiggs has had a great idea too. Technically, she had Kristy’s idea. (And technically, little kids seem gross and annoying, but a paycheck is a paycheck). After a little convincing, Malia and her friends Dot and Bree start a babysitting club to earn funds for an epic birthday bash. But babysitting definitely isn’t what they thought it would be.
Three friends. No parents. Unlimited snacks. And, okay, occasionally watching other people’s children. What could possibly go wrong?
Alien Superstar by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
No one is shocked by the six-eyed alien strolling around the Universal back lot. The tourists just think he’s part of the show. It doesn’t take long for Buddy to land a role on a popular TV show, playing (of course) an alien. He becomes an overnight heartthrob and is suddenly faced with legions of adoring fans, rides in glamorous limos, and appearances at “all-the-shrimp-you-can-eat” red carpet parties. But can Buddy maintain his secret identity while in the spotlight?
Notorious by Gordon Korman
Keenan has lived all over the world but nowhere quite as strange as Centerlight Island, which is split between the United States and Canada. The only thing weirder than Centerlight itself is his neighbor Zarabeth, aka ZeeBee.
ZeeBee is obsessed with the island’s history as a Prohibition-era smuggling route. She’s also convinced that her beloved dog, Barney, was murdered—something Keenan finds pretty hard to believe.
Just about everyone on Centerlight is a suspect, because everyone hated Barney, a huge dog—part mastiff, part rottweiler—notorious for terrorizing the community. Accompanied by a mild-mannered new dog who is practically Barney’s opposite, ZeeBee enlists Keenan’s help to solve the mystery.
As Keenan and ZeeBee start to unravel the clues, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that dates back to Centerlight’s gangster past. The good news is that Keenan may have found the best friend he’s ever had. The bad news is that the stakes are sky-high. And now someone is after them.
Middle School Fiction:
Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters, like that man in the fancy suit who was in the bleachers at her basketball game. Turns out he’s Mr. Charles, her dad’s new boss at the oil and gas company, and he’s alarmingly interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, their Navajo heritage, and the legend of the Hero Twins. Nizhoni knows he’s a threat, but her father won’t believe her. When Dad disappears the next day, leaving behind a message that says \”Run!\”, the siblings and Nizhoni’s best friend, Davery, are thrust into a rescue mission that can only be accomplished with the help of Diné Holy People, all disguised as quirky characters. Their aid will come at a price: the kids must pass a series of trials in which it seems like nature itself is out to kill them. If Nizhoni, Mac, and Davery can reach the House of the Sun, they will be outfitted with what they need to defeat the ancient monsters Mr. Charles has unleashed. But it will take more than weapons for Nizhoni to become the hero she was destined to be . . . Timeless themes such as the importance of family and respect for the land resonate in this funny, fast-paced, and exciting quest adventure set in the American Southwest.
Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor by Ally Carter
April didn’t mean to start the fire. She wasn’t the one who broke the vase. April didn’t ask to go live in a big, creepy mansion with a bunch of orphans who just don’t understand that April isn’t like them. After all, April’s mother is coming back for her someday very soon.
All April has to do is find the clues her mother left inside the massive mansion. But Winterborne House is hiding more than one secret, so April and her friends are going to have to work together to unravel the riddle of a missing heir, a creepy legend, and a mysterious key before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever.
Middle School Fiction:
Missing in Action
by Dean Hughes
Jay Thacker is used to being called names because his dad is half Navajo. But he gets a chance at a new life and a new identity when he and his mom move to the small town of Delta, Utah, to live with Jay’s grandfather. In Delta, Jay can convince everyone, and maybe even himself, that his dad –who is missing in action– as he fights in WWII is really a POW and military hero, and not gone forever. As the summer wears on and Jay finds himself growing up a little faster than he expected, he learns to look at some truths that had previously been impossible to face. Truths about his father; about Ken, his new friend from the Japanese internment camp nearby; and about himself, too.
A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord
When her blind dog slips his collar, twelve-year old Lily meets Salma Santiago, a young Hispanic girl whose migrant family are in Maine for the blueberry-picking season, and, based partly on their mutual love of dogs, the two forge a friendship while painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather — but as the Blueberry Queen pageant approaches Lily and Selma are confronted with some of the hard truths of prejudice and migrant life.
I Represent Sean Rosen by Jeff Baron
With the help of his “manager,” a thirteen-year-old boy sells a movie idea to a major Hollywood studio.
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda A. Woods
A biracial girl whose father died before she was born finally gets the chance to meet the African American side of her family.
Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee
Because their dreams of daring adventures go against the cautious teachings of their nations, Firefly and Cricket set out on their own, find a home with kindly Vole, and together help a grieving “miniature giant” named Peter.