A Lot of Keys

The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

The old woman followed closely behind, fumbling with her handbag until she fished out what looked like the largest key ring in the world. Hundreds of keys were attached to it, each different from the others: skeleton keys made from what looked like crystal, ancient brass keys, bright new silver ones in many sizes, and several that didn’t look like keys at all.

“Wow, that’s a lot of keys,” Daphne said.

“That’s a lot of locks,” Sabrina added as she eyed the front door. It must have had a dozen bolts of all shapes and sizes.

The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

Worth Keeping

Rules by Cynthia Lord

On the next shelf are paint bottles and stacks of paper, everything from thick watercolor paper to flimsy sheets of jewel-colored tissue paper. And lots of things I’ve collected: shells, rocks, a tiny glass elephant, a blackened old skeleton key my grandmother found in a chest but which unlocks nothing. I kept it because I like how it feels in my hand, the heart shape of the top and the jagged teeth at the bottom, and because—Not everything worth keeping has to be useful.

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Her Royal Highness

Air by Monica Roe

“There she is!” Ale says suddenly. “Her Royal Highness,” I follow her pointing finger to the queen bee, bigger than the rest, with a cluster of other bees surrounding her like flower petals. I admit, I don’t always pay close attention when Ale goes on about her bees, but I know the queen is the boss of the whole hive.

Air by Monica Roe


The Girl and the Witch's Garden by Erin Bowman

Everything was so well maintained. Looking it over again, she noticed a new detail: the paths that wove through the garden didn’t meander pointlessly. They formed a shape, the outline of a butterfly, just like the door knocker she’d rapped on the estate’s front steps.

The Girl and the Witch’s Garden by Erin Bowman

Jeweled Beetle

The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal

Even as he made the transmission, Biddle noticed movement on the radio. He held it farther from his face and saw an enormous beetle perched on the dial, beautiful, with shimmering faceted wings and silvery legs. If it hadn’t moved, he would have taken it for a jeweled trinket.

The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal

Blue Leather

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

At the far end of the last row of shelves I found a strange pair of shoes. Well, not really all that strange—they were sitting beside two somethings made of black and white feathers, which could not possibly fit human feet— but they caught my attention nonetheless. They were a rich azure blue, and made from very soft, thick leather. They had no laces, but slipped over the foot to reach a little way up the front and back of the ankle. The heels were low, the soles were made of some stiffer dark gold leather, and the interiors were lined with white silk. They were much too fancy for my needs, but I couldn’t tear my eyes from them all the same.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

Seven-League Boots

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

The seven-league boots were not in the cupboard. Sophie could not believe it at first. She turned everything out. And there was nothing but ordinary buckets, brooms, and the other velvet cloak. “Drat the man!” Sophie exclaimed. Howl had obviously made sure she would not follow him anywhere again.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

High Tech High-Tops

Jack and the Geniuses in the Deep Blue Sea by Bill Nye & Gregory Mone

“Did you hear that?” I asked. “The woman’s voice?”
Matt stared down at my high-tops. “Your shoes,” he said.
Since when was he interested in style? “I was going to wear nicer ones, but Ava said—”
“No, Jack, the voice is coming from your shoes. You got those at the lab, right?” I nodded. “They’re weight-loss sneakers. They count your steps and encourage you to move instead of sitting on your butt. There are little speakers near the ankles.”

Jack and the Geniuses in the Deep Blue Sea by Bill Nye & Gregory Mone