I know War Horse is already this month's book, but I wanted to share a few of my favorite books, series, and authors. Here's the list, in no particular order.
1) The Guardian Herd, by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez (I mean I have to love TGH if I'm on the Message Board)
2) Ranger's Apprentice series, by John Flanagan
It's a series of 12 books about a boy named Will. He is apprenticed to the Ranger named Halt. The Rangers are the protectors of the Kingdom of Araluen, where Will lives. Rangers are sort of like ancient times-policemen. Their weapons are the ability to stay unseen in their camouflaged cloaks, a throwing knife, a saxe knife (a weapon and a tool, formerly "sea ax"), and a bow and arrow. All Rangers are expert archers and their horses are highly trained.
3) Brotherband Chronicles, by John Flanagan
This is also a series by John Flanagan, but it has seven books in which the main character is a 16-year-old boy named Hal who is half Araluen and half Skandian; which are the race of seafaring raiders based on Vikings. All boys in Skandia are put in a training program when they turn 16 called Brotherband. The series is about their escapades in the training program and the battles that ensue afterwards.
4) Cynthia Lord's books, Rules, A Handful of Stars, and Half a Chance.
These are all very touching coming-of-age novels about children, roughly 11 years old, dealing with some perfectly normal struggles in life. Rules is about a girl with a younger brother who has autism. A Handful of Stars is about two girls, one whose family owns a blueberry field and another the daughter of a family that works at the blueberry field. They want to raise money for the owner's dog's eye surgery because the dog is almost totally blind. Finally, Half a Chance is about a girl whose family moves quite often because her father is a professional photographer. Their most recent move is to a cabin on a New Hampshire lake and the daughter likes taking pictures of the loons. Her father is judging a photography competition and Lucy enters without him knowing it because she wants to prove to him that she is just as good a photographer as he is.
and last, but certainly not least, . . .
5) Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
I must have read this book ten times or so, I like it so much. It is about a girl named Ally who struggles in school. She doesn't know why until her teacher goes on maternity leave, so she is assigned a new teacher that figures out she has dyslexia. This is a very touching book because everyone can relate to struggling in school. I also really like the similes that were used.