MAINE HAS MOXIE

The best Maine vacation ever is coming up for 10-year-old Cody.  And yes, there will be plenty of Moxie.

“Maine Has Moxie” is Sabattus author Deborah Meroff’s fun story of a young boy’s weeklong vacation in Maine with his grandparents in Cundy’s Harbor. For ages 8-12, this story is loaded with Maine history, fun facts, local coastal lore, famous people, loving grandparents and a frisky dog named Moxie.

A city boy from Chicago, Cody spends a fun-filled vacation learning about lobster fishing with his grandfather; visiting Admiral Peary’s Eagle Island; the Peary-Macmillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College; the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath; camping and learning to kayak.  His grandmother is a wonderful cook and tour guide, too, and teaches Cody how to create a scrapbook of his adventures, with hand-drawn pictures of each day’s experiences.

Cody’s grandparents also teach him that Moxie is much more than a bad-tasting soft drink — he learns that people can have moxie, too, with courage and determination. Even Moxie the dog displays doggy moxie. Despite a few errors of historical fact, this is a heartwarming story of a little boy’s Maine vacation.

 

HOW DO FAIRIES HAVE FUN IN THE SUN?

Camden author Liza Walsh has made a career with her children’s books about fairies. She has written about fairy houses, crafts and cooking, as well as what fairies do for fun in the winter and spring.

Here, she presents a fanciful children’s story of fairy fun in the summertime, beautifully illustrated by Maine artist Hazel Mitchell. Written in rhyming verse for ages 4-6, Walsh and Mitchell show boy and girl fairies at summertime play, accompanied by forest and garden critters like the playful purple lizard, the chubby porcupine and the sneaker-wearing bunny rabbit.

Children will love the fairy adventures at the beach, in the hot tub, surfing the waves at the seashore, hiking in the woods, sailing on the sea, playing games, putting up nectar stands (five cents a cup), relaxing on the porch and napping.

Look carefully and see if kids can spot the lizard eating an ice cream cone and the bunny reading a trail map. And the fairies are forever grateful when thoughtful children build their fairy houses.

 

CINNAMON BIRDS

It’s summertime, and sixth-grader Selby is spending her vacation with her aunt and uncle on Seskip Island in this debut middle-grade fiction for ages 8-12 by Maine author Jeniferlee Pace Tucker.

Selby is a bright girl, loves to read, paint and study nature — especially birds.  As she explores an abandoned lakeside cabin on the island, she discovers a rarely seen bird: the veery, with its beautiful song. Selby makes friends with the local ornithologist Mrs. Hartnett, as well as the family that owns the cabin and a neighbor boy named Cole.

She worries about the veery and its nest of babies, and about the real possibility that the cabin and land will be sold for development, destroying the veery habitat. Her friend Cole has his own family worries, too, but the two kids find comfortable companionship and become best friends.

When a storm, a lightning strike and a devastating fire threaten everything, Selby must rely on other kids and adults to save the birds and protect the land. This is a warm, tender story of supportive friendship, kids growing up and adults recognizing the value of parental love and attention.

Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell.

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