Triss: A Tale from Redwall (Redwall)
by Brian Jacques, David Elliot (Illustrator)

Wot, Wot?! Could it be another epic Redwall tale (tail?) thick with high adventure, heavy accents, and leek-and-turnip pasty from the beloved beast master himself, Brian Jacques? It is indeed, happy readers. Triss, the 15th book in the distinguished and wildly popular animal fantasy series, chronicles the exploits of a brave squirrel maid who travels from the bonds of slavery to the meeting of her destiny as a warrior at Redwall Abbey. Triss the squirrel, Shogg the otter, and Welfo the hedgehog, all slaves to the bloodthirsty royal ferret family of Riftgard, filch a ferret boat and sail away from the murderous clutches of Princess Kurda and her malevolent father, King Agarnu. Swearing revenge, Kurda sets out to recapture her slaves, her evil Ratguard troops reinforced by the pirate fox Plugg Firetail and his band of criminal Freebooters. At the same time, the badger Sagaxus and his bosom friend Bescarum the hare also set sail from Salamanstrom, to seek adventure on the high seas. Meanwhile, back at the abbey, the Redwall inhabitants are being plagued by a mystery that involves a hidden door, a secret code, and three stinking, sinister snake siblings that are picking off the gentle forest folk one by one. Any ardent fan of Redwall knows that what comes next will include sword fights, feasting, raucous good humor, and a thrilling climax. Jacques's fervent followers are rewarded with the author's usual swashbuckling good storytelling, while the newly initiated will read with wide eyes, and quickly go back to hungrily devour the rest of the series. (Ages 10 and older)

 

Hoot
by Carl Hiaasen

Roy Eberhardt is the new kid--again. This time around it's Trace Middle School in humid Coconut Grove, Florida. But it's still the same old routine: table by himself at lunch, no real friends, and thick-headed bullies like Dana Matherson pushing him around. But if it wasn't for Dana Matherson mashing his face against the school bus window that one day, he might never have seen the tow-headed running boy. And if he had never seen the running boy, he might never have met tall, tough, bully-beating Beatrice. And if he had never met Beatrice, he might never have discovered the burrowing owls living in the lot on the corner of East Oriole Avenue. And if he had never discovered the owls, he probably would have missed out on the adventure of a lifetime. Apparently, bullies do serve a greater purpose in the scope of the universe. Because if it wasn't for Dana Matherson...

In his first novel for a younger audience, Carl Hiaasen (Basket Case, etc.) plunges readers right into the middle of an ecological mystery, made up of endangered miniature owls, the Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House scheduled to be built over their burrows, and the owls' unlikely allies--three middle school kids determined to beat the screwed-up adult system. Hiaasen's tongue is firmly in cheek as he successfully cuts his slapstick sense of humor down to kid-size. Sure to be a hoot, er, hit with middle school mystery fans. (Ages 10 to 15)