Monday, April 23, 2007

Bella Baxter - Intermediate Series

One of the questions I am most frequently asked is, "I like the Junie B. Jones books, what else can I read?" As a result, I am continuously on the hunt for other series to recommend to those asking me this question. Recently I discovered a fabulous new series by Jane B. Mason and Sarah Hines Stephens. Bella Baxter is the heroine of these titles. She is the only child of a flustered cook of a mom and a clumsy, wanna-be do-it-yourself dad. The first of the three books is Bella Baxter Inn Trouble. The Baxter clan won an on-line contest, the prize being a run-down Bed and Breakfast on the Eastern coast. They tackle the project with much enthusiasm and soon have The Sea Inn up and running. Bella and her new best friend, the local librarian, are invaluable when it comes to researching how to fix everything, including who to call to remove the skunk from the basement. In the second book, Bella Baxter and the Itchy Disaster, Bella continues her amazing use of the library by researching local plants and flowers so she will be able to impress one of their guests. Unfortunately she visits the library a little to late, after she has already picked a bouquet of Poison Ivy! The third in the series (and as of now, the last) is Bella Baxter and the Lighthouse Mystery. Bella's favorite documentary filmmaker is coming to visit the inn. When Bella finds out he is doing a piece about the local lighthouse she again makes her way to the library for some rapid research. What she is not prepared for is finding out there is a ghost haunting the lighthouse. The authors excel at showing the myriad of topics one can research at the library, even going as far as including the actual Dewey Decimal numbers for everything Bella is looking for. So if you are looking for a book to give to those Junie B. or Judy Moody fans, I definitely recommend this series.

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