Rita Recommends... Fantastic Adventures

Exploits and escapades for Intermediate readers (ages 9-11, grades 4-6)

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Kendra and Seth discover that their grandparents are keepers of a magic creature preserve in this first book in the “Fablehaven” series. Centaurs, fairies and demons, oh my!

Boov take over the Earth, relocating all the humans to crowded camps and inadvertently leaving Tip separated from her mother and on the run. Lucky for her one of the Boov, the oddly-named J. Lo, is also a fugitive. Together they work to find Tip’s mom and save the world from new invaders who want to not just enslave the humans but utterly destroy them. Made into the animated feature Home, Smekday is fast-paced and hilarious.

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
London has a problem - a ghost problem - and since only young people can see them, kids are best at getting rid of them. Now, kid-run Psychic Detective Agencies are popping up all over. Anthony, George, and Lucy make up Lockwood & Co. and must tackle Combre Carey Hall, the most haunted house in all of London, in this first book of the “Lockwood & Co.” series.

Poor Anastasia’s parents are killed in a tragic vacuum cleaner accident. Lucky for her two aunts she has never met show up to take care of her…or is it? It turns out her “aunts” live in a former insane asylum complete with secret rooms guarded by attack poodles and they might not be related to her at all! But who - or what - are they? And what do they want with Anastasia?

Twelve-year-old Claudia runs away to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city with her tagalong little brother. They sleep hidden during the day and explore the museum at night. A realistic adventure with a hint of mystery.

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Rita Recommends... Thrill and Chills

Check out these women of mystery:

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
If you enjoy dysfunctional families and their secrets, you might like this novel by Gillian Flynn. While visiting her hometown to cover a story about a serial killer, a reporter is confronted by both old and new demons. Written long before Gone Girl, this book is dark and haunting.

The Likeness by Tana French
The Dublin Murder Squad series is popular for good reason, and despite being the second book in the series, this can be read as a standalone novel. A detective is thrown into a case involving a mysterious murder victim who looks exactly like her. In order to discover who killed this woman, she must go undercover in a dangerous attempt to find out the victim’s true identity.

Little Face by Sophie Hannah 
Hannah’s ultra-creepy psychological thrillers focus on women caught in the horror of their everyday lives; they are the mothers and the wives we see around us every day, except something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Throughout each mystery, the relationship between two police detectives develops.

Darkness by Karen Robards
Love romantic suspense? I recommend the latest from Karen Robards. After a handsome stranger’s plane crash disrupts a scientist’s research on a remote Alaskan island, the pair must fight for their lives in order to survive.

The Ice House by Minette Walters
When an unidentifiable corpse is found in the ice house of three secluded women, unsolved disappearances and old accusations of murder are reexamined. What could be just a cozy British mystery quickly becomes a tense, layered tale of suspense.


 

 

Rita Recommends... Nonfiction

Looking for nonfiction about current events with great writing and impeccable research?
Rita Recommends these great reads:
 
This book was published in 2010 and examines the stock market crash of 2008. While the book is not new, it is of interest as the Academy Award nominated and critically acclaimed 2015 film of the same name was based on this book.

This recently published book boasts great reviews.

This book examines China’s one-child policy. Now that the policy has been eliminated, the author reflects on the social, political, and economic costs and repercussions of the policy. The author has put a tremendous amount of research into the book.

This recently published book examines military science. The author, Roach, approaches this topic with a winning combination of both humor and respectfulness. This brand new book is topping many nonfiction bestseller lists and Rita recommends this book to most fans of nonfiction.  

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
National Book Award Winner and Pulitzer Prize Finalist. The books publisher says, “Coates provides readers a thrillingly illuminating new framework for understanding race: its history, our contemporary dilemma, and where we go from here.” People have called this book a future classic. Rita recommends this book to you because of its high quality writing.

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