There are just a few more days before school returns to session in most Austin-area districts. And while you already may be instituting earlier bedtimes and pondering revelatory lunches, don’t forget the most crucial get-ready job of all: easing your student’s brain back into school mode. Pick and choose from our list of new books that will make that suggested 20 to 30 minutes of reading a day painlessly fly by. (Dare we say it, they may even stop watching the clock?)
“What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World” begs the immediate question of what treasure is secreted inside the sofa that appears mysteriously at the bus stop near River, Freak and Fiona’s homes. It’s a rare zucchini-colored crayon, of course, and when the three friends find it, they also find the portal to an alternate — and very funny — universe. Debut middle-grade novelist Henry Clark is a longtime contributor to MAD magazine, and it shows in his sassy wordplay. But there’s also smart plotting: This adventure to outwit a dictator who plans to enslave humanity is both an intricate love letter to sussing out clues and the realities that underpin kid-hood.
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What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World
Little, Brown, $17
The Unseen World of Poppy Malone: A Mischief of Mermaids
The Truth of Me
HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, $14.99
The Ghastly Dandies Do the Classics
Candlewick Press, $15.99
The Theory of Everything