Latest Book Picks for Tweens from Sky Pony Press

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These three books are from Sky Pony Press December 2017. They are all designed for ages 8-12 although the middle book is probably better for 10+ at least.

These books were received in exchange for a feature.

Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners by Natalie Rompella

Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners by Natalie RompellaSummary: Most kids would dread the start of middle school and the year-long Explorations project that comes with it, but Ana knows that her + her best friend Lily + their plan to write and sell their own cookbook is a recipe for success. Lily’s not just the perfect partner in culinary crime—she’s also the only person in the world who understands Ana’s need to wash her hands five times before picking up a spatula, and would never make fun of her for it.

But Ana and Lily’s plan for edible entrepreneurship turns into one big baking disaster when they’re assigned to different partners for their projects. As if it wasn’t bad enough that Lily seems more excited to get to know her new partner than bummed about being separated, Lily and her new friend plan to use the cookbook idea for themselves—and they didn’t even ask! Worse, Ana’s partner is Dasher, the strange new girl from Alaska, and she wants to do their project on the weirdest thing imaginable: sled dog racing.

Dasher’s dogs are scary, slobbery, and decidedly not germ-free, but Ana thinks she’s found a loophole when she agrees to bake pancakes for spectators while Dasher mushes in a local race. That is, until Dasher sprains her ankle and has to drop out of the running. Can Ana learn to mush—and overcome her anxiety—in time to save her friendships, finish her project, and compete in the big race?

My Thoughts:

I think it’s great that a children’s book is tackling the subject of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in an everyday sort of way. It’s more than just a passing mention but it’s not the full total of the book’s story. Also by concentrating on a school project theme I think it will be interesting to the 10+ crowd who are probably doing projects of their own. My 10 year old will be enjoying this book.

Death and Douglas by J.W. Ocker

Death and Douglas by J.W. OckerSummary: Douglas has grown up around the business of death. Generations of his family have run the Mortimer Family Funeral Home. The mortician and gravediggers are all his buddies. And the display room of caskets is an awesome place for hide and seek. It’s business as usual in Douglas’s small New England town. Until one day an incredibly out of the ordinary murder victim is brought to the funeral home. And more startling: others follow.

On the cusp of Halloween, a serial killer has arrived. And unsatisfied with the small-town investigation, Douglas enlists his friends to help him solve the mystery.

With sumptuous descriptions of a bucolic town and it’s quirky people, fascinating yet middle grade–appropriate insider information about the funeral process, and a crackling mystery with a heart-pounding conclusion—Death and Douglas has something for readers young and old.


My Thoughts:

The theme of death is not for every tween of course but for those with morbid curiosity this will be right up their alley. My 12 year old is reading this one and she enjoyed The Gravedigger’s Son by Sky Pony Press as well.  Haven’t you ever wondered about the funeral process?

Christmas Carol & the Defenders of Claus by Robert L. Fouch

Christmas Carol & The Defenders of Claus by Robert L. FouchSummary: Carol really loves Christmas. The decorating and shopping, the Christmas sweaters and music—she wishes it all could be a year-round event. The only downside to the holiday is that she lives in Florida (not exactly the land of snow) and her only family is her Uncle Christopher, who adopted Carol when she was young, after her father’s disappearance and mother’s death. Her uncle owns a toy company and is super rich—but he’s a grinch and a workaholic.

Then, on a magical December trip to NYC, Carol meets her destiny. Santa—the real man with the bag—meets Carol at the top of Rockefeller Center, overlooking the tree. There he explains that Carol is descended from a long line of Defenders of Claus, those who protect and serve Santa. Carol’s dad was a Defender. And now Carol has been tapped to fulfill his legacy.

Who would want to hurt Santa? Someone pretty scary and shady, it appears—a masked man who’s trying to destroy Christmas! Carol is whisked off to the North Pole on the adventure of a lifetime. Can she help save Santa before it’s too late?

My Thoughts:

This arrived just as Christmas arrived so we didn’t have time to read it before the holidays but this book will be coming back out when December 1 rolls around again. I’m excited to see a fiction novel about Christmas that isn’t the typical family apart during Christmas or Kid visits Santa’s workshop stories. This sounds very interesting, even for me.

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