The Bathing Costume: Or The Worst Vacation Of My Life

The book’s protagonist is Michel, an eight-year-old Parisian boy. His brother Martin, who’s twelve, detests him, and he detests Martin right back. This summer, Michel will go away alone, which really means without his mom, to stay with his grandparents while his parents move apartments. To add to the horror, Michel’s older boy cousins will be going, too. As Michel says, “To put it simply, they are big, strong, and pals with Martin. I am their scapegoat.” Recounted by Michel himself, his vacation doesn’t turn out to be such a complete zero after all. Between a competition to see who can shower the least, wild bike rides without gear, and a tooth that finally falls out, Michel discovers both independence and real moments of happiness.

War Games

Newbery Honor winner Audrey Couloumbis (“Getting Near to Baby”) and her husband, Akila, deliver this gripping novel based on Akila’s boyhood experiences during World War II, after the Germans invaded Greece. What were once just boys’ games soon become matters of life and death for 12-year-old Petros and his older brother, Zola.

Seven Sorcerers

“Nin had never liked Wednesdays, but this one took the cake. On this Wednesday she woke up to find that it was raining buckets and that her little brother had ceased to exist.” Nin Redfern wakes up one Wednesday to discover that her little brother, Toby, has vanished and no one — not her mother, not her grandparents — can remember him. Only Nin can, and she’s going to get him back. But when Bogeyman Skerridge (who always gets his child) comes for Nin too, she realizes that finding Toby is going to be a lot harder then she thought. Toby is trapped in the House of Strood, which is located in another land called The Drift, and Skerridge can’t — or won’t — help her find him. Left with no choice, Nin heads into The Drift with her new friend Jonas. The Drift is filled with the fabulous and the terrible, but a plague is slowly killing all the magical things. The Seven Sorcerers who ruled there might have been able to prevent it, but in the end, even they have succumbed. Can Nin find Toby before he falls victim to a terrible fate in the House of Strood and before the plague makes it impossible for them to get home? Can she and Jonas avoid the tombfolk, mud men, and various creatures who want to stop them? And what is the secret of the Seven Sorcerers?