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The Chicken Squad: Bear Country (Bearly a Misadventure) by Doreen Cronin [August 14, 2018]

The Chicken Squad is back in their sixth misadventure, and this time there's a headless bear on the loose!
It’s fall in the backyard, and though the weather is cooling down, the crime solving business is still hot. When the Chicken Squad’s neighbor Anna McClanahanahan comes looking for her missing hamster one morning, it’s an easy case to solve (Ziggy always takes a stroll from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m.). The Chicken Squad is now ready to settle in for a relaxing day of knitting—that is, until Ziggy points out that Barbara, the Chicken Squad’s caretaker—the one who FEEDS THEM!!—is missing! And not only that, but there have been sightings of a headless bear in the neighborhood! Will the Chicken Squad be able to save their beloved Barbara and get some breakfast? Or will this case be too much to bear?

Are you familiar with Brightly?  Founded in 2014 by a small team of passionate bookworms and parents, Brightly is a resource to help moms, dads, and educators grow lifelong readers. Launched in partnership with Penguin Random House, the Webby-nominated website features book recommendations from all publishers for every age and stage, reading tips and insights, seasonal inspirations, author essays, and more.  It is a resource that I use all the time . . . like right now.  This blog  was inspired by one of their articles.

The start of a new school year seems to me a wonderful time to read books about new beginnings of all types.  Here are a few newer titles that I've read and loved. 

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
In art, maybe, there is no such thing as a mistake. In fact, a mistake can lead to a beautiful new image. Come read along as one creative journey changes with each unintended stroke of a pen or swipe of a brush.

I'm a Duck by Eve Bunting
This little duckling is too afraid to even try to swim! Thankfully, with some encouragement from his friends, love from his mother, and lots of practice, he finally takes a deep breath and dives right in.

This Zoo Is Not for You by Ross Collins
Platypus discovers that trying to find a new home can be a challenge, especially if no one wants you. But when some snobby zoo animals have a change of heart, he also discovers it’s never too late to make a first impression.

Hope in the Holler by Lisa Lewis Tyre
Wavie has had a tough time since her mother passed away, but things are going to get a lot harder when she is sent to live with some unpleasant relatives in the small Appalachian town her mother desperately wanted to escape. However, Wavie is resilient and, remembering the lessons her mother taught her, determined to bravely forge ahead into a new life that she controls.

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar
Our bodies are constantly changing: growing, adapting, healing. And so it is with Ruthie Mizrahi who has to reinvent her life when a car accident leaves her in a full-body cast and she has to find a way to participate in the world around her when she can’t leave her bed.