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Fall books for reading
October 8, 2018

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For young readers ready for a funny, "spooky" book is "How to Scare a Ghost" by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish (Alfred A. Knopf, $17.99.) Kids are ready to scare a ghost, and that means putting up scarecrows, carving creepy pumpkins and making scary sounds. And after scaring the ghost, you may want to calm him down with a cup of warm cider, play a game or two, and dress up for trick-or-treat.

This is a cute book that will get kids in the Halloween spirit.

If "Hamilton" mania is still going on in your house, or for kids interested in biographies, try "Eliza" by Margaret McNamara and Esme Shapiro (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99). In this picture book, the story of Eliza is told from her birth as one of 14 children, her life in Albany, and meeting a certain young man at gathering, Alexander Hamilton! Together they raised 8 children, and after he died, she attended to preserving his legacy. F

or those who want to learn a little bit more about Eliza, this is a good start.

Who would ban books? That's what one 12-year-old wants to know when the parents and teachers at her school go a little crazy in "Property of the Rebel Librarian" by Allison Varnes (Random House, $16.99.) June just wants to read a fun adventure book about witches, but her parents think it is too scary. Before she knows it, they and several others have gotten the librarian fired, an author appearance canceled and books have to be approved by the school administration. Inspired by a Little Free Library, June starts hiding "forbidden" books in an empty locker, and the other kids join in. But once the secret is out, will they be in more trouble?

This is a good book that will inspire talks about censorship and the books mentioned are all actual books that have been banned from school libraries.

The zombie apocalypse hits winter in "The Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond" by Max Brallier with illustrations by Douglas Holgate (Viking, $13.99). While Jack and his friends are prepping for a winter storm, they expect thingsd like monster ice fishing and sled catapults and monster-fighting weapons for Christmas. Instead, they get a human who steals Jack's favorite bat, a monster named Meathook and other monsters from another world.

For those that want a funny adventure that bridges Halloween and Christmas, this is a perfect fit.

They are cute, cuddly and going to fight some robots in "Cats vs. Robots" by Margaret Stohl and Lewis Peterson (HarperCollins, $16.99.) Earth is the battleground for the Robot Federation versus the Feline Empire as both vy for the Singularity Chip. When twins Max and Min meet two adorable kittens, they are accidentally swept up into the war too. Will cats or robots win the day?

A clever STEM?story with some cute animals, this will be of interest to many middle-grade readers.

Babymouse is back and in middle school in "Babymouse Tales from the Locker: Miss Communication" by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House, $13.99.) Babymouse has just gotten what every middle-schooler wants - a cellphone - and she knows how to use it. With selfies, texts and emojis flying, she's building a following on SoFamous. But she starts to feel a bit disconnected with real life. Has the phone taken over? Will she learn balance in her high-tech life?

This is a cute story that continues with heroine Babymouse as she tackles older kid issues.

For those needing a non-fiction book is "The Wonderous Workings of Planet Earth" by Rachel Ignotofsky (Ten Speed Press, $19.99.) This fully-illustrated book looks at the world's ecosystems through plants and animals, following reefs, deserts, rainforests and more. Each page has charts, drawings, maps, graphics and more to immerse the reader in the subject and bring it to life. The artwork is both fun and informative.

For those curious about the world we live in, this is a great science book to explore.

A graphic novel follows a skeleton minstrel on a wacky adventure in "Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Middle-Route Run"?by Ben Costa and James Parks (Alfred A. Knof, $20.99.) Rickety Stitch has no idea who he used to be other than a song he hears in his dreams. But he's determined to find out just who he was and why he is now an animated skeleton. With the help of his only friend, a sentient goo, he must go on an epic adventure full of giant spiders, raiders, deadly undead and more!

This is a fantasy adventure story that will entertain Dungeons and Dragons fans and has a funny set of characters that are always ready for an adventure!

Two middle schoolers find what they need most - a friend - in "In Your Shoes" by Donna Gephart (Delacorte Press, $16.99.) Amy is new at her school and Miles is suffering from anxiety, but enjoys working at his parents' bowling alley. When the two meet, a beautiful friendshp may be born. Can they overcome the pits of adolescence together?

This is a humorous and heartfelt story that will be relatable to middle grade kids.

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