Dr. Tim's Best of 2013 -- Children's Titles
Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (j SLOAN)
Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.
Doll Bones by Holly Black (j BLACK)
Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein (j GRABENS)
Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal (YA MCNEAL)
When Jeremy Johnson Johnson's strange ability to speak to the ghost of Jacob Grimm draws the interest of his classmate, Ginger Boltinghouse, the two find themselves at the center of a series of disappearances in their hometown.
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo (j DICAMIL)
Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo. It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him.
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman (j GAIMAN)
While picking up milk for his children's cereal, a father is abducted by aliens and finds himself on a wild adventure through time and space.
Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper (j COOPER and YA COOPER)
At the end of a winter-long journey into manhood, Little Hawk returns to find his village decimated by a white man's plague and soon, despite a fresh start, Little Hawk dies violently but his spirit remains trapped, seeing how his world changes.
Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt (j VOIGT)
When Max's parents leave the country without him, he must rely on his wits to get by, and before long he is running his own--rather unusual—business.
Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise by Wendelin Van Draanen (j VANDRAA)
Teen sleuth Sammy Keyes solves a classic locked-room mystery aboard a cruise ship.
Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors (j SELFORS)
When farm boy Homer Pudding's explorer-uncle dies and leaves him a droopy dog with a mysterious coin hidden on its collar, it leads him to The City, where they meet Madame La Directeur, the conniving head of the Natural History Museum, who is trying to steal the coin and take Homer's place in a secret society of adventurers. The adventure continues with Smells Like Treasure and Smells Like Pirates.
The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore (YA BLAKEMO)
When Ephraim Appledore-Smith moves into Water Castle with his mother and stroke-afflicted father, he makes two new friends whose family history is tied to the castle. The three of them set out to discover the castle's magic in the hopes of helping Ephraim's father recover.
When Did You See Her Last? (All the Wrong Questions Book 2) by Lemony Snicket (j SNICKET)
In the fading town of Stain'd-by-the-Sea, young apprentice Lemony Snicket has a new case to solve when he and his chaperone are hired to find a missing girl. Is the girl a runaway? Or was she kidnapped? Was she seen last at the grocery store? Or could she have stopped at the diner? Is it really any of your business? These are All The Wrong Questions.
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes (j HENKES)
Seven-year-old Billy Miller starts second grade with a bump on his head and a lot of worries, but by the end of the year he has developed good relationships with his teacher, his little sister, and his parents and learned many important lessons.