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Bronte's Book Club by Kristiana Gregory
Cat and Mouse by Günter Grass
Destination Moon by Georges Remi Hergé
Doctor Who and the Three Doctors by Terrance Dicks
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Explorers on the Moon by Georges Remi Hergé
Fairy Glade and Other Enchanting Stories by Dawn Beaumont-Lane
Firehorn by Robert Reed
Fishing, for Christians by Tim Roux
The Girls by Helen Yglesias
The Glenn Miller Conspiracy by Hunton Downs
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Harriet's Hare by Dick King-Smith
I Spy Fantasy by Jean Marzollo
Land of Black Gold by Georges Remi Hergé
The Motorman's Coat by John Kessel
The Mouse, The Cat and Grandmother's Hat by Nancy Willard
Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman
Mysterious Magical Circus Family Kids: The Chocolate Cake Turkey Lip Crumb Trail Mystery Adventure by R. Hawk Starkey
Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
One Bright Star to Guide Them by Mark C. Wright
Poor Puppy by Nick Bruel
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
A Rebel in Time by Harry Harrison
Retrograde Summer by John Varley
The Second Ship by Richard Phillips
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
She and I: A Fugue by Michael R. Brown
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke by Roald Dahl
A Walk in the Rainforest by Kristin Joy Pratt
Warrior from Heaven by Kermit Zarley

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Mysterious Magical Circus Family Kids: 07/14/09

Mysterious Magical Circus Family Kids: The Chocolate Cake Turkey Lip Crumb Trail Mystery Adventure by R. Hawk Starkey is the first in a promised series of children's books about a family of circus performers who have as many adventures in between gigs as they do during their performances. If Roald Dahl had grown up in California and moved to Oregon, this is the sort of book he'd write. Except that this one is funnier and less crude.

The book is told from the points of view of the children who like the characters in Geek Love all have some sort of magical power and a nickname that is inspired by their abilities. There's 3D who can make figments appear, Goodnight Irene who can breath fire and do sonic screams, Bobby Sock who can make things appear and disappear, Sweet Lips who talks in rhymes and is good at tongue twisters, and Little Big who can calm any animal and has a pet elephant.

The goal of the book is to get from the last gig in California across the border to their first gig in Oregon. What the kids don't expect is to have their grandfather (Hawk) take them on a trail that appears to both enchanted and populated by magical creatures. 

Starkey manages to capture the voice for each child so that it's easy to tell who is telling the story. He writes with humor but manages to make things suspenseful and sometimes scary.

Each chapter is only a few pages long and the book itself is well within the normal length of a children's chapter book. It would make good nighttime reading for a parent and child; I plan to read it to my two later in the year.

Included with the chapters are delightful line illustrations of the children and their misadventures. The artist who did the portraits had his own children pose for the drawings and that added bit of realism brings the story to life.

I have to admit that I was sad when the book ended. The next in the series will be The Vanilla Cake Twiddle Britches Crumb Trail Mystery Adventure.

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