From Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, the team that brought you the adventure-packed Peter and the Starcatchers series, comes Science Fair, a hilarious and thrilling story about foreign spies and middle school science projects. Toby is a geeky boy who is tired of the rich kids always winning the science fair at his school. He and his friends try to think up a project that will let them finally win the big prize. Meanwhile, Grdankl the Strong, leader of the unpronounceable country of Krpshtskan, has decided to wage war on the United States and send his minions to destroy us. However, they become sidetracked by the television shopping channels. Meanwhile, plots arise regarding Toby’s parents’ Star Wars memorabilia, an evil teacher, a mad science store owner, and a Wienermobile that will keep you glued to the book and laughing your head off.
Is Origami Yoda just a green paperwad or is he actually a source of surprisingly wise advice? This is the question that sixth-grader Tommy and his friends debate in the amusing novel, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, by Tom Angleberger. One day, Dwight, the nerdy guy who “wears shorts with his socks pulled up above his knees” and stares into space “like a hypnotized chicken” shows up at school with a folded paper Yoda stuck on his finger. Yoda proceeds to offer odd yet helpful counsel to Tommy’s friends. Tommy isn’t quite sure whether he should trust Origami Yoda with the really big question on his mind: should he ask a certain girl to the dance? So, he decides to use a scientific approach to figure out whether Origami Yoda is real or not. He has asked several students to write down their first-hand eyewitness accounts of their encounters with Yoda. The result is a series of funny stories about everyday life in middle school accompanied by zany hand-drawn illustrations. Instructions to help you construct your own Origami Yoda are included in the back of the book!
Do you enjoy mystery novels, but can't handle the blood and gore? Do you love the puzzles, but hate the violence? Do you prefer the light-hearted to the down-and-dirty? Then have I got a series for you! Pick up the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton, a mystery series where no one is ever murdered! Join Lori Shepherd, a young American woman who inherits a country cottage in the English Cotswolds from a friend of the family whom she thought was just a fictional character from her mother's stories. She uncovers puzzles and mysteries and goes after them with great gusto and merry mishaps. Loads of fun for the fainthearted!
In Going Bovine by Libba Bray, Cameron, a 16 year old slacker gets rudely jolted out of his going-nowhere life by a shocking diagnosis. He has mad cow disease. A gorgeous punk rock angel with pink hair convinces Cameron that he must go on a quest to save the world and in the process find a cure for himself. With Gonzo, a neurotic dwarf, and Balder, a Norse god trapped in the body of a garden gnome, by his side, Cameron sets out on a crazy road trip. Along the way he is attacked by fire giants, narrowly escapes the clutches of an evil happiness cult, and takes part in a near-lethal reality t.v. show contest. It’s an amazing ride - or is it all in Cameron’s mind, a symptom of his illness? Either way, this dark comedy is a kick!
Cora Felton is known as the Puzzle Lady, a symbol of crossword puzzle design mastery. Her shameful secret: she doesn’t know the first thing about crossword puzzles. Her real talents: guzzling liquor and solving murder mysteries, as the central character along with her niece Sherry in the Puzzle Lady series of annual whodunits by Parnell Hall beginning in 1999.
If you enjoy mildly humorous dialogue, American small town setting, short chapters, a colorful senior woman main character, or clues in the form of various puzzles — this cozy series of 11 titles is for you.
Excerpt: “Cora, you’re getting all worked up.” “It’s the caffeine in the coffee.” “It’s decaffeinated.” “I knew it! Sherry, I need the caffeine.” “Clearly you don’t.”
The First Entry: A Clue for the Puzzle Lady: Two murder victims are found in a small town, each with a crossword puzzle clue on their person. Local crossword “expert” Cora is called in to help the police investigate and solves the crimes after a series of cruciverbal clues are unfolded before the reader.
The Latest: The Puzzle Lady vs. the Sudoku Lady: These two rivals on the Japanese bestseller puzzle book list meet in Cora’s hometown. A murder gives Cora the chance to frame the Sudoku Lady for the murder, but her subsequent arrest pushes her book sales way ahead of Cora’s. Cora is forced to solve the murder to save her own skin and the Sudoku Lady’s.
Here is the author talking about the Puzzle Lady and his other series.