Bulldog Library

The Fourteenth Goldfish

JF Holm    •    Sci-Fi

fourteenth-goldfishEllie’s grandfather is a famous scientist, and he has just made his biggest breakthrough ever!  He has discovered a way to cure aging!  Now he looks like a thirteen year old boy and is going to middle school with Ellie.

Through the course of this story, Ellie learns about the history of science and the beauty of life.  The Fourteenth Goldfish is a fairly short book that is well worth reading, especially for kids who love science.

The author, Jennifer L. Holm, is likely familiar to readers as the Newberry Honor-Winning author of the delightful historical fiction novel Turtle in Paradise as well as the extraordinarily popular graphic novel series Babymouse.

Interest Level: grades 3-5  •  Lexile: 550   •  AR: 4.1

Holm, J. (2015). The Fourtenth Goldfish. New York, NY : Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

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Deep Blue

YA F Donnelly    •    Fantasy Adventure


When Serafina’s home is attacked, she is forced to flee for her life.  Now the run from her attackers, Serafina begins a perilous journey to not only save herself and defend her home, but protect the ocean itself from an ancient evil about to be unleashed.

Deep Blue is the first book in the Waterfire Saga.  It starts slow, but readers who can persevere will find themselves engrossed in an exciting mermaid adventure.  This is a wonderful read-a-like for Rick Riordan’s popular Percy Jackson series and a must read for all mermaid aficionados.

Interest Level: grades 4-8  •  Lexile: HL580  •  AR: 4.4

Donnelly, J. (2014). Deep Blue.  Los Angeles, CA : Disney-Hyperion.

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Bad Kitty: Drawn to Trouble

JF Bruel    •    Humor/How-to

bad kitty drawn to trouble

Have you ever wanted to write a book?  If so, Bad Kitty: Drawn to Trouble is a book you will want to read!

In Bad Kitty: Drawn to Trouble, Nick Bruel uses his trademark humor to help young authors create stories of their own.  There are two really great reasons to read this book.  First, it introduces readers to elements of writing like characters, plot, setting and more.  Second, this writing guide is presented in an awesome Bad Kitty story!  Why read a how-to-write textbook that gives exhaustive-but-dry definitions of the elements of a story, when you could read Bad Kitty: Drawn to Trouble that introduces all of the major elements of a story through explanation and example?  It is a wonderful bonus that the examples are expertly woven into a hilarious power struggle between Nick Bruel (the author) and Bad Kitty (the strong-willed star) to determine Bad Kitty’s fate.  Who will win?  Will Bad Kitty bully Bruel into giving her a big bowl of kitty food?  Or Nick Bruel doom Bad Kitty to a diet of turnips?

This laugh-out-loud-funny book is a must read for both aspiring young writers and Bad Kitty fans alike!

Interest Level: grades 3-5  •  Lexile: 570L   •  AR: 3.5

Bruel, N. (2014). Bad Kitty: Drawn to Trouble.  New York, NY: Roaring Press Books.

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Ninja Red Riding Hood

JE Schwartz    •    Fairytale/Humor

Ninja Red Riding Hood

The big bad wolf is hungry.  He can’t catch any dinner because his prey knows Karate.  So the big bad wolf decides to become a ninja master.

You know a book is going to be good when it begins “Once upon a ninja-filled time”!  Ninja Red Riding Hood does not disappoint.  It is a wonderful, ninja-filled twist to the time-worn tale of Little Red Riding Hood.  If you love ninjas, or twisted fairytales, like Cinderella SkeletonThe True Story of the Three Little Pigs, or The Frog Prince Continued, than you are sure to enjoy this off-beat and cleaver retelling.

Interest Level: Grades 2-5  •  Lexile: AD570L  •  AR: 3.4

Schwartz, C. R. (2014). Ninja Red Riding Hood. New York , NY: Putnam Juvenile.

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Almost Super

JF Jensen    •    Sci-Fi & Humor


Rafter and Benny Bailey come from a long line of super-heroes.  Fire-breathing.  Flying.  Super-strength.  Every Bailey has a super-power.  They use their extraordinary abilities to fight crime and save the world.

Now it is finally time for Rafter and Benny to get their super-powers.  They have been waiting for this day for a long time.  They have dreamed of the power they will receive.  Benny wants super-speed.  Rafter wants super-strength.  No one could have ever guessed they would receive totally useless super-powers.

Without any power to aid them, these two brothers must find the hero inside and stop the nefarious super-villians who stole their true super-powers.

Almost Super is a super fun book to read.  It is a comic riff on the super-hero genre, however it far more than a simple spoof.  Almost Super creates a rich world of heroes populated by characters who prove that a hero is made through bravery, courage, and determination.

In the beginning, readers will delight at the humor of the absurd super-powers.  By the end, readers will be on the edge of their seats, unable to tear themselves away from the page-turning adventure that this book becomes.

Almost Super is a very promising start to what will most certainly be a funny and exciting super-series.

Interest Level: grades 4-6  •  Lexile: 590L  •  AR: 4.2

Jensen, M. (2014). Almost Super. HarperCollins.

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