Category Archives: Chapter Book

The Dungeoneers

The Dungeoneers

The Dungeoneers

Colm Candorly has eight sisters. Eight’s a bunch of anything, but that’s a whole lot of sisters! They call him cutesy names and steal his underwear and giggle all the time. Colm copes by hiding when he can using superior stealth skills and by teasing them mercilessly, like stealing their brushes and hair pins.

Colm’s dad has it worse – he has to feed and clothe them all. But Colm’s parents make do and are happy doing it, until Colm’s sister Seysha gets sick and their  meager stack of coins isn’t enough to pay for food as well as a doctor. Colm might get annoyed at his sisters, but he can’t stand the thought of any of them suffering. He turns his stealthy brother skills to shady but necessary use heading to the Village Square and “acquiring” a rich man’s purse with his nimble fingers. Colm justifies his actions like Robin Hood would – stealing from the rich to give to the poor. When Colm’s father sees the money he doesn’t see it that way at all and is determined to have Colm confess to the Village Magistrate and return the money. Colm’s father wants him to confess, hoping to save Colm from a more severe punishment – like the removal of his thieving hand!

At just the right moment, in steps Finn Argos, a mystery man who observed Colm’s pickpocket skills in the Village Square and has an idea for how best to use them. Mr. Argos is a teacher; a mentor, looking for an apprentice. He thinks Colm is perfect for the job. Stealthy. Quick. Nimble Fingers. What does Mr. Argos teach? “The Aquisition of Resources.”  In other words, “Thievery.” Finn Argos recruits talent for a guild lead by one Tye Thwoden. The  guild practices dungeoneering, a kind of treasure hunting that pits teams of raiders against the trolls, goblins, and other assorted monsters that guard treasure hidden in dungeons – treasure protected further by sinister booby traps, diabolical wizardry and complex locks. Finn agrees to pay off Colm’s debts in exchange for Colm’s talents – Finn wants Colm to come live at the guild and learn to be part of a dungeoneer team, because all good teams need a crack lockpick wiht nimble pickpocket fingers.

Colm takes Finn up on his offer. Arriving at the guild, Colm is put on a team specifically chosen to work together. Colm’s role is to be the Rogue, picking locks & outsmarting traps. His teammates are:

  • Lena, a warrior girl (who can’t stand the sight of her own blood)
  • Quinn, a stuttering wizard (who has major confidence issues)
  • Serene, a druid who can talk to animals (who is too afraid to talk to animals with teeth)

The four of them, with their talents and fears, become a team in Thwoden’s Legion.

Friends. Adventure. Challenges. Treasure. Glory.

It is as exactly as fun as it sounds.

“Now I’m not sure how a stuttering mage, a swooning barbarian, a timid druid, and a fledgling rogue will play out in the bards’ songs, but I’ve shaped the most brittle iron into a blade so strong it can cut through a behemoth’s hide. So as long as you are members of this guild, we will turn you into dungeoneers, or my name’s not Tye Thwodin.” (page 145)

Websites:

More Books by John David Anderson:

Standard Hero Behavior Sidekicked Minion

 

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Elizabeth Queen of the Seas

Elizabeth Queen of the Seas

Animals are amazing navigators. Caribou, salmon, sea turtles, whales, monarch butterflies and many other species travel across continents and oceans to find food or have their babies. This is called migration. These animals have some kind of in-born knowledge about where to go as well as WHEN to go. This natural instinct helps them survive.

But there are some individual animals who have done the same thing…but AGAINST their natural instincts. Sometimes an animal returns to its home after being lost for YEARS. Sometimes an animal becomes uncommonly attached to a human. Sometimes two very different species of animals become close friends.

One of these unigue animals is Elizabeth, an elephant seal from Christchurch, New Zealand who lived in the Avon River in a city park. Humans tried to return her to her natural habitat in an elephant seal colony, but each time they tried…she showed up in Christchurch again! Sometimes it even took her several months to swim all the way back to her home in Christchurch. Try this story of one determined animal who insisted on living HER way. Finally, they just let her stay.

Regional fisheries officer with the ministry, RV Reid, told The Press that Elizabeth was free to roam the streets. “Under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978, we can’t disturb her at all.” She could go into Cathedral Square and bask in the sunshine for a week and we couldn’t do anything about it.” From Memories of Avon River’s Sea Elephant

So you see, this isn’t just a made up story, Elizabeth the elephant seal…was real. If you look here: Memories of Avon River’s Sea Elephant you can even see pictures of her. The author of this book is Lynne Cox, an American long-distance open-water swimmer. An open-water swimmer swims great distances not in a pool – mostly, Lynne swims in the ocean. Lynne has crossed the English Channel, the cook Strait in New Zealand, the Straits of Magellan in Chile, the Bering Strait in Alaska and many more…she even swam in Antarctica! Lynne heard Elizabeth’s story while she was in New Zealand. Lynne knew a good story when she heard it – animals sometimes have amazing relationships with humans, and with other animals. Take a look at the books below to learn about some other real animals and their amazing friendships.

 

Websites:

Books:

Elephant Seal Elephant Seals City Critters Wild Animal Neighbors

Unique Animal Relationships:

Best Friends Forever The Dog and the Piglet Hachiko How to Clean a Hippopotamus
Lenore Finds a Friend The Leopard and the Cow Lola Goes to Work The Monkey and the Dove
Owen and Mzee Owen and Mzee2 Paisano the Roadrunner Rags Hero Dog of WWI
The Right Dog for the Job A Small Dog's Big Life Stubby the War Dog Suryia and Roscoe
Tarra and Bella Tuesday Tucks Me In The World's Greatest Elephant
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The Rock and the River

The Rock and the River

The Rock and the River

Teenage brothers Sam and Stick live in Chicago in 1968. Their dad, Rev. Roland Childs, is a respected minister and close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King. Sam’s dad believes passionately in non-violent protest and tirelessly organizes and participates in peaceful protest marches.

Older brother Stick has begun to question Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and has been secretly attending meetings of the Black Panthers, an organization whose philosophies are more aggressive than Dr. King’s and are different from what Rev. Child’s preaches and teaches his boys at home. Sam is torn between the ideas of has father and the ideas of his older brother, both of whom he respects and admires.

Everybody can relate to being torn between two choices and being torn between the opinions of two people you respect. When it comes down to figuring out what you think for your own self – that’s when things get hard.

After Dr. King is assassinated and Sam witnesses the brutal beating of a friend by police officers, he becomes more interested in the ideas Stick is learning about at the Black Panther meetings. He begins to attend the meetings also. The conversation the teens have at home, at school, and at these meetings are some of the best parts of the book. They are living the civil rights struggle as they face discrimination every day. Listening to these conversations you get a real sense of each philosophy and why it was chosen by the people committed to it.

This book has a pretty explosive, surprising ending. It isn’t a book for the faint hearted. These are really hard issues and there is violence in the book. It isn’t a happy story with a happy ending because it’s not that kind of story. It wasn’t a happy time. The book is true to the historical period so the violence is part of the story being told.

It is hard for Sam and Stick to stand by watching people suffer the injustices of racism. When Sam finds out Leroy, the leader of the student Black Panthers, sneaks away to talk to Rev. Childs, the same way Sam is sneaking off to the Black Panther meetings, he realizes that these issues are hard for everyone. Sam discovers that standing quiet and firm is different than doing nothing and that you can be agressive, without being violent. A really powerful, emotional book. Don’t miss the author’s note at the end – it is a great discussion of the true events, people and groups that appear in this book. Author: Kekla Magoon Award: Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent 2010

Look Inside The Rock and the River

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Read Right Now! Big Nate

Read Right Now! Big Nate

Nate is an 11-year-old aspiring cartoonist in "Big Nate."

Websites:

Big Nate Series:


1: Big Nate in a Class By Himself
2: Big Nate Strikes Again
3: Big Nate On a Roll
4: Big Nate Goes for Broke
5: Big Nate Flips Out
6: Big Nate In the Zone
7: Big Nate Lives It Up (March 10, 2015)


Downloadable Books:

NateLoud NateWork NateFriends
NateTop NateGrade NateDibs
NatePop NateGame NateFire
Great Minds Think Alike I Can't Take It Big Nate Makes a Splash

Downloadable Audiobooks:

NateRoll NateClass In the Zone
Big Nate Flips Out Big Nate Goes for Broke

 

If you think Nate is funny, try some of these:
Dog Days Smile Amelia Rules Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday
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Minion

Minion

Minion

Michael Morn lives in New Liberty, “the City without a Super” – no superheroes, not even one. New Liberty is kind of sketchy. It’s a place where a boy like Michael can live quietly with his father building top secret electronics and selling them to the highest bidding villain. It’s not a bad gig. Lucrative. Michael and his father are doing fine, as long as they lay low, don’t cause any trouble and watch each other’s back. Michael’s father is the  engineer genius and Michael helps out, learns, and does what he’s told – he’s his Dad’s minion. On the side, they rob banks!

Sidekicked

 

It’s a little known fact that Michael can control other people’s minds. In a city full of villains, it’s really best to keep that kind of information to yourself. It’s always best to be underestimated and having a secret power as the ace up your sleeve helps you keep an edge. In a city of villains, the competition is intelligent and ruthless.

And also, Michael doesn’t want to overuse his power…to take advantage. Michael might be a villain but he’s got some standards! So even though Michael’s a bad guy…he’s not such a bad guy! One of the many interesting, complicated ironies in this non-stop adventure. The characters are full of surprises and not often what you expect at first. They make you re-think how you figure out who the bad guys even ARE.

A companion to Anderson’s Sidekicked.

Websites:

More Books If You Like Superheroes:

Avengers Assemble Marvel Avengers The Avengers Movie Storybook Avengers The Origins
Iron Man and Thor Pt 1 Captain America Pt 1 Young Justice Flash and Flame
Sidekicks NERDS HIVE Sky High
How to Draw Superheroes Heroes Draw Your Own Superheroes How to Draw Justice League How to Draw Comic Book Heroes
 
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