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Kid's Book of the Month

Chasing the Phantom Ship by Deborah Toogood

Matt Simmons has two weeks left of summer before starting grade six. He wants to enjoy that time with his best friends, Danny and Emma, but has to include his younger cousin Adam who is visiting. Trapped on a sandbar in the middle of the night, Matt and Adam see a ghostly, burning schooner before a silent old man rescues them. Matt is determined to unravel the mystery and reluctantly lets Adam join in. With Danny and Emma, they visit Danny's grandpa, a retired sea captain. He warns them to leave the ghosts and mysteries of the sea alone, but the four friends ignore him. Setting out on a midnight boat trip to find the phantom ship, even little Adam proves a useful part of the team. But how dangerous is the ship, and who else is lurking in the waters of the Northumberland Strait?

Picture Book of the Month

Book Uncle and Me written by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Julianna Swaney

Every day, nine-year-old Yasmin borrows a book from Book Uncle, a retired teacher who has set up a free lending library next to her apartment building. But when the mayor tries to shut down the rickety bookstand, Yasmin has to take her nose out of her book and do something. But what can she do? The local elections are coming up but she's just a kid. She can't even vote! Still, Yasmin has friends -- her best friend, Reeni, and Anil, who even has a black belt in karate. And she has grownup family and neighbors who, no matter how preoccupied they are, care about what goes on in their community. Then Yasmin remembers a story that Book Uncle selected for her. It's an old folktale about a flock of doves trapped in a hunter's net. The birds realize that if they all flap their wings at the same time, they can lift the net and fly to safety, where they seek the help of a friendly mole who chews a hole in the net and sets them free. And so the children get to work, launching a campaign to make sure the voices of the community are heard.