I Love You, Michael Collins (2017)

ISBN-13: 978-0374303853

 

It’s 1969 and the country is gearing up for what looks to be the most exciting moment in U.S. history: men landing on the moon. Ten-year-old Mamie’s class is given an assignment to write letters to the astronauts. All the girls write to Neil Armstrong ("So cute!") and all the boys write to Buzz Aldrin ("So cool!"). Only Mamie writes to Michael Collins, the astronaut who will come so close but never achieve everyone else's dream of walking on the moon, because he is the one who must stay with the ship. After school ends, Mamie keeps writing to Michael Collins, taking comfort in telling someone about what's going on with her family as, one by one, they leave the house thinking that someone else is taking care of her—until she is all alone except for her cat and her best friend, Buster. And as the date of the launch nears, Mamie can't help but wonder: Does no one stay with the ship anymore? With I LOVE YOU, MICHAEL COLLINS, Lauren Baratz-Logsted has created a heartwarming story about family and being true to yourself.

The Adventures of Sherlock Bones #1: Doggone (2017)

ISBN-13: 978-1945107306

The Adventures of Sherlock Bones turns snooping on its floppy ear when one day, Dr. Jane Catson, a surgeon injured in the Cat Wars has an afternoon nap interrupted by a most unusual occurrence.

On the front lawn of her home, rather loud footsteps disturb her peace as Sherlock Bones, a Great Dane in a deerstalker claiming to be the greatest detective in the world arrives.

After a quick critical examination of the intrusive dog whose enormous body blocks the entire sun from view, Catson has her doubts. But that’s not all. The monstrously-sized creature makes an even more astonishing claim. He has come to live with her!

Before Catson can collect her thoughts into an intelligent rebuttal, Sherlock Bones has made himself quite at home, inventing things like a jetpack for her Castilian housekeeper-cook, a turtle named Mr. Javier and placing his gigantic food and water dishes next to hers.

But there’s no time for protest. The great detective and Dr. Catson have caught themselves their first case: A suspiciously dead human in a nearby abandoned building. Can Sherlock Bones and Dr. Catson crack the case before the killer strikes again? Or will their differences get in the way of solving Case File No. 1? One thing’s for sure, that would be a doggone shame.

The Adventures of Sherlock Bones #2: Dog Not Gone! (2017)

ISBN-13: 978-1945107337

After being introduced to Sherlock Bones, the Greatest Detective in the World, in Case File #1: Doggone, Dr. Jane Catson - surgeon and veteran of the Cat Wars - is back to share an all-new mystery adventure with readers. Despite all of Jane's resistance, Bones is now living with her and her housekeeper/chef, the turtle with a jetpack, Mr. Javier. This time out, the mismatched duo's investigations lead them to a case involving murder, of course, and - wait for it! - Utah. If there's one thing readers can be certain of it's that in this world, the animals are always smarter than the humans. Also, did we mention...Utah?

Guys Against the Girls (2012)

ASIN: B00AHZHOK2

There's trouble at Hat City Middle School! This first volume in an exciting new series by the author of the popular Sisters 8 series introduces readers to the six guys and six girls who make up a special class at Hat City Middle School. When a substitute teacher says something she shouldn't, the girls are outraged. Then their regular teacher makes matters worse, and everyone is outraged. Soon the guys and girls are facing off about everything, but will it end in victory or disaster? Told in alternating first-person plural viewpoints, GUYS AGAINST THE GIRLS is as original in its execution as any middle-grade novel out there today.

Robbie Knightley: Hat City Middle School Series, Book 2 (2012)

ASIN: B00ALZZDLA

A modern-day Dennis the Menace, Robbie Knightley stumbles through life annoying the next-door neighbor, frustrating his teachers and perplexing his parents, who can't quite understand why he's so different than his six older sisters. When Robbie opens his Christmas presents prematurely without remorse for the second year running, his parents consult his therapist grandfather and Robbie hears his parents say they think there's something wrong with him, something missing. Robbie decides he'll get by in life by keeping his mouth shut and avoiding spending too much time with other people. But when a five-day class trip is unexpectedly moved up and he can't get out of it, Robbie fears the worst: that his friends will see him for who he really is, a boy with something missing.

Annie's Adventures: The Sisters 8, Book 1 (2008)

ISBN-13: 978-0547053387

A rather large problem has befallen the Huit girls. (Sisters, actually. Octuplets to be exact.) One particular New Year’s Eve, the girls wait for their mommy to bring them hot chocolate and their daddy to return with more wood for the fire. But they don’t. Mommy and Daddy, that is. They’re gone. Poof! Maybe dead—no one knows for sure.
You must see the problem here. Eight little girls on their own, no mommy or daddy to take care of them. This is not a good thing.
So now these little girls, must take care of themselves. Get to school, cook the meals, feed the cats (eight of them, too), and pay the bills. They can’t ask for help, oh no. Any self-respecting adult would surely call in social services, and those well-meaning people would have to split them up. After losing their parents, being split up would be completely unbearable.
At the same time, the question remains: What happened to Mommy and Daddy? The Sisters Eight (as they are called, affectionately and otherwise) are determined to find out. Luckily, they do seem to have someone or something helping them. Notes keep appearing behind a loose brick in the fireplace.
It’s a good old-fashioned mystery with missing (or dead) parents, nosy neighbors, talking refrigerators, foul-smelling fruitcake (is there any other kind?), and even a little magic. Eight little girls, eight cats, and one big mystery—let the fun begin!

Annie’s Adventures, wherein the girls’ parents go missing (or die) and the girls learn each one has a power and gift. Annie, being the oldest, is the first to discover hers.

Durinda's Dangers: The Sisters 8, Book 2 (2008)

ISBN-13: 978-0547053394

A rather large problem has befallen the Huit girls. (Sisters, actually. Octuplets to be exact.) One particular New Year’s Eve, the girls wait for their mommy to bring them hot chocolate and their daddy to return with more wood for the fire. But they don’t. Mommy and Daddy, that is. They’re gone. Poof! Maybe dead—no one knows for sure.
You must see the problem here. Eight little girls on their own, no mommy or daddy to take care of them. This is not a good thing.
So now these little girls, must take care of themselves. Get to school, cook the meals, feed the cats (eight of them, too), and pay the bills. They can’t ask for help, oh no. Any self-respecting adult would surely call in social services, and those well-meaning people would have to split them up. After losing their parents, being split up would be completely unbearable.
At the same time, the question remains:What happened to Mommy and Daddy? The Sisters Eight (as they are called, affectionately and otherwise) are determined to find out. Luckily, they do seem to have someone or something helping them. Notes keep appearing behind a loose brick in the fireplace.
It’s a good old-fashioned mystery with missing (or dead) parents, nosy neighbors, talking refrigerators, foul-smelling fruitcake (is there any other kind?), and even a little magic. Eight little girls, eight cats, and one big mystery—let the fun begin!

Durinda’s Dangers, wherein Durinda, second in line, discovers her power and gift. Boy, is her power a doozy!

Georgia's Greatness: The Sisters 8, Book 3 (2009)

ISBN-13: 978-0547053400

The Sisters Eight are back in a new adventure! This time, Georgia gets her chance to be the hero--if she doesn't completely mess things up!

In the first two installments of the Sisters Eight, we met the sisters (octuplets) and their eight cats. We discovered Mommy and Daddy disappeared (or died) and that to find out what happened to them, each girl must discover her power and gift. Annie and Durinda both found theirs. We also learned that the girls' nosy neighbor The Wicket is very interested in what Mommy was working on before she disappeared (or died).

In this, the third book, the plot thickens: Mrs. McGullicudy, the girls' teacher, is AWOL, and the substitute teacher is too beautiful to be believed (in your narrator's humble opinion). Does her beautiful facade hide an evil soul? (These are books. Of course it does.) And Georgia makes a blunder that could keep the girls' from ever finding their parents. Are the Sisters Eight doomed to live alone forever?

Jackie's Jokes: The Sisters 8, Book 4 (2009)

ISBN-13: 978-0547053288

Jackie’s turn! Book four in this exciting new series!

April has finally arrived. How lucky of Jackie to have such a lovely month to tell her story. It starts off with fun and laughter on April Fool’s Day, and then all the beautiful flowers start to bloom and then . . . Wait a minute. April fifteenth. That’s not a fun day. That’s the day every adult dreads—Tax Day!

The Eights have never had to worry about taxes. Their parents always took care of everything. But as we all know, their parents are gone (or dead). Who will take care of the taxes now?

Luckily, the girls have Pete the Mechanic on their side. He’ll help them. But what’s really interesting is what the girls will discover while taking care of their parents’ taxes—somewhere there are other Eights. Other Eights??

Marcia's Madness: The Sisters 8, Book 5 (2010)

ISBN-13: 978-0547328645

“The Sisters Eight is really suspenseful and funny.” —Indrani, age 10

“I love the Sisters Eight series because I love mysteries. My cousins and friends and my sister and I like to play the Sisters Eight, and we are each a different sister.” —Claire, age 8

“I like it!” —Ian, age 5

Questions! Questions! Questions! The Sisters Eight have so many questions and so few answers! Luckily, one more month means they’ll get a few answers.

Marcia’s month is about to begin. You remember Marcia, right? The sensible one? The one who would never do anything . . . crazy?

Petal's Problems: The Sisters 8, Book 6 (2010)

ISBN-13: 978-0547334035

Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no! May is almost over and that means only one thing: Petal's month is about to begin. For most people, this would be a good thing. They would look forward to discovering their gift and their power. But not our dear Petal. As far as Petal is concerned, it could stay May forever.

At least the sisters have some excitement in their future: The wedding of Aunt Martha and Uncle George will bring them, the Petes, and the cats to Paris, where fun--and a little bit of danger--will come as surely as the changing of the month.

"Thrills, suspence and hijinks should satisfy adventure-seeking young readers." Kirkus Readers

Rebecca's Rashness: The Sisters 8, Book 7 (2011)

ISBN-13: 978-0547554341

Rebecca’s the tough one, always chastising the other Eights for not bucking up when trouble arises. But how will she fare when it’s her turn to face her power?

What kids are saying about the Sisters Eight:
     “The Sisters 8 is really suspenseful and funny. I can’t wait for the next one!”  —Indrani, age 10
     “I love the Sisters 8 series because I love mysteries. My cousins, friends, and my sister and I like to play the Sisters 8 and we are each a different sister. I also like that the sisters are 8 years old like me.”  —Claire, 8 years old
     “I like it! My favorite part [in Annie’s Adventures] is when they go to the toy store.”  —Ian Richardson, age 6

Zinnia's Zaniness: The Sisters 8, Book 8 (2011)

ISBN-13: 978-0547554396

The penultimate episode in the Sisters Eight saga!

Finally! Zinnia’s turn has arrived. The poor girl has been waiting for her time in the spotlight quite long enough. Really, it would be cruel to make her wait any longer. What will her power and her gift be? Will either of them prove to be as much of a doozy as she has been hoping for? There’s only one way to find out: Let her story begin. It’s finally Zinnia Time!

The Final Battle...For Now: The Sisters 8, Book 9 (2012)

ISBN-13: 978-0547554419

It's the final book! Each of the Eights has received her power and gift and they even know where Daddy is—inside a snowglobe-shaped Christmas tree ornament. Now all they have to do is get inside the ornament and rescue Daddy. Hopefully, Mommy's in there with him.

For heaven's sake, how are they supposed to shrink all of them (plus the cats!) down to a size small enough to fit in the globe and then actually get inside it? Of course, through magic or just shear will power—who really knows which—the girls have done quite a few things that, to be honest, they really shouldn't have been able to do. But this seems like asking too much even for these intelligent and talented girls.

But the Eights are also a very determined group. Now that they know where Daddy is, they will—and they do—find a way to him. But they never would have guessed what else awaits them inside the snowglobe.

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