Reviews for month


Experiment
Scobre Press [Scobre Press]
Ronan, Amanda
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 02, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Shawn Cole has an identical twin, Cyrus, a robot his mechanical engineer mother brought home to learn how to be a human, or, “to integrate with the Cole family . . . study human emotions and try to replicate feelings . . .” Humorous incidents abound as the first night Shawn is awoken by a malfunction siren, network password need, dog play, and Cyrus playing with his prized basketball. But when Shawn needs to complete his math homework or face being ejected from the basketball team, he connives Cyrus into completing his math fraction work. Of course the moment Mr. Velazquez meets Cyrus, the gig is up and of course no more basketball team. But that punishment just may launch the beginning of some brotherly affection and set the scene for the many sequels now published. Double spaced print and only 50 pages make this an appealing Hi-Low book for struggling or reluctant readers as well as younger ones looking for a step up in plot complexity without the length. Sure to be popular, this is a series to add to an elementary library collection.
Sweet Buttercup
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Green, D L
Wallis, Emily
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 02, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Sisters Tori and Miranda excitedly plan for their first horse show but are confronted with show-off Ashley, new to town, and boarding her horse at Grans. Typical bragging and put-downs present some struggles for the girls but are successfully shrugged off with Gran’s help. The predictable plot is a bit saccharine, but horse-loving girls will be drawn to the brightly colored cover showing 8-year old Miranda smiling and holding the reins of her horse Buttercup. Black-and-white sketches complement the double-spaced text with each covering about one-half the page. Although the second book of a series, it can easily stand alone. Despite its flaws, this transitional series will be checked out by the 1st – early 3rd grade readers reading the equivalent of the Magic Tree House Series.
Ballpark Cookbook : The American League : Recipes Inspired B
Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr [Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr]
Jorgensen, Katrina
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
April 02, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
“Take me out to the ball game . . . buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks” and the seventh inning stretch are some of my favorite memories of baseball games at the local farm league ball field. But the big leagues and their fancy stadiums feature an eclectic of local specialties that fans have come to associate with a game. What would a game in Chicago be without a special Chicago-style hot dog or baked beans at Fenway Park? Crab Cakes at Camden Yard and Sandwich Sushi at Safeco Field are just a few more of the specialties fans appreciate. Each of the 15 teams in the American League rate a four-page spread featuring a photo and facts about the stadium, full-page photograph of an iconic food and two pages with a baseball score sheet fielding the recipes, and scoreboard giving time stats. An inset baseball gives some player trivia and assorted other facts add humor with word play. Clear ingredient lists and numbered steps set cooks up for success. This is a cookbook that hits a Grand Slam and is sure to draw a crowd cheer.
Please, Mr. Panda
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Antony, Steve
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 03, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
The 2015 picture book now has a board book version available for the toddler and preschool set. This very simple, appealing, humorous story focuses on Mr. Panda and his doughnuts. Wearing a tiny white hat that says, “Doughnuts” and carrying an 8-pack of these multicolored treats, Mr. Panda offers different animals a doughnut. When each replies in a demanding manner, he says, “No, you cannot have a doughnut. I have changed my mind." Thus the other black and white animals—the penguin, orca, and skunk are all turned down. Only the ostrich tells him to go away. Finally Mr. Panda asks if anyone else would like a doughnut, and a very polite upside down lemur uses “please”, “may I” and “thank you” to get his due reward. The isolated illustrations on gray background are striking with hilarious expressions in Mr. Panda’s eyes. Well done especially if the reader knows what a doughnut is, and the very young will love the upside down Mr. Panda as seen through the lemur’s eyes.
Life, Loss, And Lemonade
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Friedman, Laurie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In the continuing saga of "The Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair" April is dealing with loss and change. Her beloved grandmother passes away in this book. She deals with love and the loss of new friends and, hopefully, the reacquisition of old ones. Don't grow up too fast, April! At 15 you've still got a long way to go and the world's a big place. The author has created a likeable world of characters dealing with typical teen and family issues with realism and hope and frustration and sorrow and...well, you get the drift. This is realistic fiction that would appeal to the middle school crowd.
Hooray For Fish!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Cousins, Lucy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 03, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
In distinctive Lucy Cousins's style, this vibrant board book is a new version of of a 2005 picture book, but translates very nicely into a smaller, sturdier format still in 34 pages. With a vivid blue background on every page and bold thick black handwritten text, a myriad of colorful fish all with thick black outlines populate this entertaining, lively rhyme. The very thin plot has a little fish swimming through the sea greeting many fishy friends including "spotty fish, stripy fish, happy fish" and "gripy fish", different numbered and colored fish, as well as “curly whirly, twisty twirly” ones, until he meets his favorite fish, his mom. This is a visual and lyrical treat for both the very young and their adult readers.
Elmer The Very Sneaky Sheep
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
Harrington, Claudia
Syed, Anoosha
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Hank needs to get a new bike and so he's pet-sitting. Each book in the series features a different pet and Hank faces a different problem. In this book he ends up sheep-sitting, but the clever sheep gets out of the garage and ends up at his bedside over and over again. Soon the sheep is joined by friends. Poor Hank. What's he going to do? With sturdy binding, colorful digital illustrations, and four short chapters this is an acceptable transitional reader series.
Yum-Yum The Very Spoiled Fish
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
Harrington, Claudia
Syed, Anoosha
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Hank needs to get a new bike and so he's pet-sitting. Each book in the series features a different pet and Hank faces a different problem. In this book he tends a spoiled girl's fish. It ought to be an easy assignment until the fish ends belly-up. Time for a toilet funeral and a quick replacement. His deception is discovered, but all ends well. With sturdy binding, colorful digital illustrations, and four short chapters this is an acceptable transitional reader series.
Spunky Little Monkey
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Martin, Bill, Jr
Won, Brian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Want a story time that involves movement, with those little wiggling ones? Here's your book! Spunky little monkey is clapping his hands, stomping his feet, bobbing his head and swinging his hips. Rootabaga, rootabaga, sis boom bah! This book is a rhythmic, whole body experience that invites young listeners to join in. Add some musical rhythm instruments and have a ball!
My Manners
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Jones, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Big crisp photographs of children from different ethnic groups fill the pages of this simple introduction to manners. Younsters get a quick definition of manners, Polite words are introduced, and manners at home, school and elsewhere are briefly discussed. The bold text and simple sentences leave a lot of room for classroom discussion. This would be an excellent book to introduce the ideas of good behavior and classroom rules to preschool and kindergarten students.
Bad Guys
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Blabey, Aaron
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Hilarious--absolutely hilarious. The big bad wolf is tired of being a villain. He wants to be a hero! He recruits others with bad reps--a snake, a shark, and a piranha. Can he convince them to give up their evil ways? It's a tough row to hoe. their first attempt--rescuing a kitten--goes badly. Frankly, the second attempt--rescuing puppies from the pound--isn't much better. (Although the shark in a dress is an absolute hoot.) Still, onward they forge! The book may be 138 pages long, but those are pages filled with bold conversation and delightful black and white illustrations. C'mon, this is a cleverly disguised graphic novel and it will be a hit with Bad Kitty fans and anyone who likes a good laugh with tongue firmly in cheek. (And, yes, it might make you think a little of Aaron Reynold's "Carnivores.")
Hector And Hummingbird
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Frith, Nicholas John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 03, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
In the mountains of Peru, Hector the bear and Hummingbird are the best of friends, mostly. There are two problems, Hummingbird just won’t stop talking and often copies Hector, both of which annoy him. One day he gets fed up, leaves and tells Hummingbird not to follow though Hummingbird does. Not surprisingly to adults Hector actually does not enjoy his solitary activities without his friend, especially at night. Fortunately Hummingbird is there to tell him a story and explain that his incessant talking is being friendly and copying Hector is a compliment to his good ideas. When asked to copy the bear’s quietness, Hummingbird tries, mostly. The illustrations in secondary and tertiary hues on matte finish paper are in a large format with Hummingbird’s chattering accentuated in constant dialogue boxes. The last page asks how many of the 15 depicted animals did they spot in the jungle, each with a label. This is not an original tale, but a warm story of friendship despite differences.
Courage Test
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Preller, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Will is not thrilled when, instead of playing on his baseball team, he is forced to go on a trip with his father. After the divorce he's felt abandoned. Besides, his father's obsession with the Lewis and Clark expedition, parts of which they are reenacting is, initially, highly annoying. Will, however, is soon dragged into the history and begins to find at least parts of this trip compelling. Add in a girl who needs help, a large dog, and a bear and you have the ingredients for an interesting book. This is a story about facing your fears, forgiveness, and moving forward. This is the trip that will help Will face his next challenge.
Fairy Felicity's Moonlight Adventure
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Murray, Alison
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
On a warm summer evening Fairy Felicity finds a note outside her door. It tells her to follow the silvery snail. What can it mean? Fairy Felicity follows the snail's silvery track past flowers and over beehives, picking up a few companions along the way. What surprise waits at the end of the trail? The snail trail is an actual silvery band that zig-zags and weaves and swirls through the pages. Readers can, and will, follow it with their fingers a they turn the pages and enjoy the page-filling digital illustrations. While not a first purchase this book will be popular and will especially please the readers who enjoy tactile experiences.
Lola Gets A Cat
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Mcquinn, Anna
Beardshaw, Rosalind
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Lola books are delightful, and this is no exception. Lola wants a cat. Mom points out that cats are a lot of work. Lola does a little research and, when she gets her cat, she makes its transition easy. She has the right supplies, and she is a good pet owner. The Lola books are simple and sweet, and each has a valuable message that is so nicely integrated into the story that readers don't even know they're learning. Rosalind Beardshaw's acrylic illustrations are perfect for the story--warm, smiling, and big enough for sharing. This is a positive, happy book that would be a nice addition to any story time about pets.
Gg
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Davis, Bela
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "The Alphabet" series, this sturdy 24-page book features color photographs showing children from many ethnic backgrounds. The photographs spill across the pages and face a sentence of text featuring the highlighted letter, as well as showing the letter both in upper and lower cases. These sentences highlighting the letter G mostly focus on its hard sound with a few exceptions. The photographs are cute, but have a posed "Sears Catalog" feel. Still, kindergarten teachers might enjoy the whole series as they introduce the alphabet to their classes.
Xx
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Davis, Bela
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "The Alphabet" series, this sturdy 24-page book features color photographs showing children from many ethnic backgrounds. The photographs spill across the pages and face a sentence of text featuring the highlighted letter, as well as showing the letter both in upper and lower cases. For the letter X, which is tricky, many of the words have x in the middle, rather than at the beginning. The photographs are cute, but have a posed "Sears Catalog" feel. Still, kindergarten teachers might enjoy the whole series as they introduce the alphabet to their classes.
Mister Pip
Tate Publishing [Tate Publishing]
Rowe, Thereza
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Stylized digital illustrations leap across the pages of this imaginative UK import. Mister Pib is a cat doing typical cat things. But he's also having adventures with a fairy-sized girl, not mentioned in the text but shown in the illustrations. The understated text contrasts with the illustrations that show a lot more is going on. This is a flight of fancy that would appeal to cat lovers.
Cabin : The Sound Of Hard C
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Amoroso, Cynthia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The consonants" series, this book focuses on the sound of hard c. There's a very thin story here with plenty of the requisite sounds. A full-page photograph faces a sentence or text. "At the cabin I wear my cap." "At the cabin I call my cat." The repetitive beginning phrase makes this a good choice for beginning readers, and the focus on the consonant sound makes the series a valuable resource for that age group. While not extraordinary literature, this definitely serves a specific need.
William Heads To Hollywood
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Hancocks, Helen
Mizielinski, Daniel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Cool cat, William, (from "William and the Missing Masterpiece") is back for another high-class case. He's driving his convertible to Hollywood to find the missing Golden Cuckoo Awards. This urbane "international cat of mystery" can schmooze with the best of them, but it is his ability to recognize a good clue (like a feather) that helps him solve this case. Naturally he enjoys the help and companionship of Hollywood star Audrey Meowski. Is he thinking of a new career that would bring them closer? Smooth pencil and gouache illustrations show a classy cat-about-town in a world of bling and high fashion. The story is fun, but it seems aimed more at adults than children.
Amazing Animals = Animales Increibles
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This board book is part of the "Words are Fun" series. Each page features small color pictures of animals with something in common. Beneath the animals are their names in both Spanish and English. A question is asked. Basically the book is a picture dictionary in two languages. It offers plenty of opportunity for parents and children to point out and name different animals in two languages.
Wake Up!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Frost, Helen
Lieder, Rick
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In a joyous celebration of spring, Helen Frost and Rick Lieder are back with crisp color photographs filling pages, and a few poetic lines drawing readers in. Helen Frost's rhyming poem invites young readers to see what is waking up as spring arrives, while Lieder's close-up photographs open their eyes to new worlds. The poetry is lyrical, but the photographs are extraordinary--suspended dandelion fluff, close-ups of insects and birds. Teachers will want to share this with young students as they introduce spring. My only reason for not rating it higher is that it feels like the poem was picture-driven, rather than the other way around. It doesn't flow as nicely as "Among a Thousand Fireflies."
Farmer Duck
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Waddell, Martin
Oxenbury, Helen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Has it really been 25 years since this classic children's book first came out? (I'm getting old.) Poor Duck. He works his feathers to the quill doing all the work around the farm while the lazy farmer lies in bed eating bon-bons and calling out orders. Finally the barnyard animals have had enough. An uprising results and the final solution is a happy one. The work is much easier when it is chosen, not ordered. Helen Oxenbury's expressive warm watercolor illustrations are absolutely perfect. Bring this book out for a new generation.
Mummy Dogs And Other Horrifying Snacks
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Vega, Ali
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Halloween isn't the only time you can creep people out. These tasty and horrifying treats are good (or bad) year 'round! This is a well-written and fun cookbook that provides recipes for everything from mummy cakes (a pizza treat) to popped brains to sweet cake eyeballs. Each recipe includes ingredient and tool lists followed by step-by-step instructions with photographs illustrating key points. The author also often includes ways in which the recipe can be modified, with useful tips. All of the recipes are not only "doable", but really kind of cool. Children will want to try them out, and adults will find them both fun and tasty. I especially appreciated the section on cleaning up after yourself at the end of the book. Definitely add this to your culinary collection, and display it around Halloween.
Charlotte The Scientist Is Squished
CLARION [CLARION]
Andros, Camille
Farley, Brianne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Charlotte is a bunny scientist from a big family. This means that she never has the room, or privacy, to really do her experiments. She uses the scientific method to find a solution and, after several unsuccessful attempts, decides she needs space. So she builds a carrot-shaped spaceship and takes off. It's lovely and peaceful on the moon, with no interruptions. Her spaceship is beautifully designed. However, she begins to miss the squash and squeeze of her big family. Eventually she comes up with a solution that answers all of her needs. This is a fun, bouncy book with humorous bright illustrations by Brianne Farley. It clearly lays out the scientific method and shows how it can be used in a life dilemma. This is a terrific way to present the concept to students while also entertaining them.
Hatching Chicks In Room 6
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Arnold, Caroline
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
We used to have a kindergarten teacher who, every year, hatched eggs in her classroom. New health rules, however, make this a much more difficult classroom project. Don't worry--you can use this book instead! Caroline Arnold uses crisp and informative photographs, as well as compelling and very informative text, to show young readers a classroom hatching project. Readers learn about chickens and then, step-by-step, they learn about the process of hatching and chick growth. Mention is made that both a male and female chicken are required. Young involved children of various ethnicities are shown throughout the project. This is fascinating, and beautifully done. Every elementary school library needs this book.
Green Pants
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Kraegel, Kenneth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Jameson loves, loves, loves his green pants. Other pants introduced into his wardrobe somehow disappear. (The illustrations hilariously show the various places they end up.) The pants help him dunk, dive, and especially dance. Now he faces a dilemma. He's been asked to be part of a wedding party for his cousin. This, unfortunately, involves wearing a tux...without green pants. What to do, what to do? He holds off his decision until the last minute, finally bowing to the inevitable...or does he? When the dancing starts the truth is revealed. This is a fun, humorous story that will appeal to all those children who have favorite clothes they can't live without.
Lines On Granny's Face
Flying Eye Books [Flying Eye Books]
Ciraolo, Simona
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A young girl ponders the lines on her grandma's face. Why does she sometimes look happy and sad and worried and surprised all at the same time? Grandma explains that each line has a memory, and recounts some of them for the child. These memories show Grandma through the years, with her joys and sorrows, including the joy of the birth of her granddaughter. The illustrations are big and happy. This is a sweet and gentle story that grandparents may want to share with their grandchildren.
Game Over, Super Rabbit Boy!
Branches [Branches]
Flintham, Thomas
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! King Viking has kidnapped Singing Dog from Animal Town and sent his army of robots to make the residents of the town miserable. Who can save them? Only Super Rabbit Boy who gains his power from carrots. But can he conquer the various levels of the game to rescue Singing Dog? Video-game kids will enjoy this book and appreciate the pixilated illustrations. They will also appreciate the frustration of losing a life and having to start a level over again. There's a lesson here about perseverance. The book is slight, but there is an audience of transitional readers, especially boys, who will embrace it and beg for more. This is part of the ever popular Branches series.
Bradford Street Buddies : Springtime Blossoms
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Nolen, Jerdine
Henninger, Michelle
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Spring has come and the diverse students at the Bradford Street school are celebrating Earth Day by planting, painting, and beautifying. This is a Level 3 Green Light Reader with four short chapters and bright, cheerful watercolor and ink illustrations. The story shows families and neighbors gathering together to beautify their community. This would be a good choice for classrooms teaching about spring and Earth Day.
Yvonne Brill And Satellite Propulsion
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Labrecque, Ellen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
When Yvonne Madelaine Claeys was born in 1924 there were no female rocket scientists. The field itself was barely getting off the ground. She studied and worked hard and at the time was the only woman rocket scientist working in the United States. She later married William Brill and patented a propulsion system to help keep satellites in orbit. Her thrusters were later used by NASA in the space program. In 2010 she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Her contributions continue to impact space science. the book includes photographs, index, glossary, and a bibliography. Part of the "women Innovators" series this 24-page book introduces young readers to an amazing woman. This would be a good addition to Women's History Month.
Posy The Puppy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Clarke, Jane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This is Book #1 in the "Dr. Kitty Cat" series. Dr. Kitty and her mouse nurse, Peanuts, deal with the health issues of the various animals in their neighborhood. In this book they have a puppy trapped in a narrow cloth tunnel. Posy complains of pain, but what is causing it? First they must rescue, then diagnose, then treat. This is an easy chapter book series with short chapters, easy vocabulary, and purple and white illustrations over black and white photographs of animals. While not exceptional the series should appeal to transitional readers who like animals.
Big Blue Forever : The Story Of Canada's Largest Blue Whale
RED DEER PRESS [RED DEER PRESS]
Miettunen, Anita
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In 1987 a blue whale washed ashore on Prince Edward Island. A decision was made to bury the whale in hopes that in the future it will have decomposed leaving bones which might have scientific or display value. In 2007 scientists found that decomposition had only been partial. Still, this was a chance for a complete whale skeleton. This book chronicles the challenges and process involved in excavating, transporting, removing flesh and oil from bones, and finally constructing the world's largest skeleton exhibit suspended without external armature. This skeleton is on display in the Beaty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver, B.C. The story is interesting and accompanied by photographs. The first part of the book can be shared with younger students. the second half gives additional information on Big Blue, the team involved in creating the exhibit, what happens to whales normally when they die in the ocean (quite fascinating), essential blue whale facts, and dangers facing blue whales today. A bibliography is included. Yes, there's some repetition here, and the book could have been more tightly edited. Nevertheless it is a fascinating story that deserves to be told.
Alia Muhammad Baker : Saving A Library From War
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Bacher, Lindsay
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
During the Iraq War the Central Library in Basra, Iraq, was under siege. Librarian Alia Muhammad Baker took it upon herself to save as much of the collection as possible. With the help of friends and neighbors she rescued 30,000 books before the library was looted and burned to the ground. Because of her, priceless volumes and important knowledge were saved. This is the story of that historical event, with photographs and quotes. The author takes care to be nonjudgmental about the war, using it only as the background for Baker's story. This is a fascinating and inspiring historical event. Unfortunately, the retelling is not as compelling as the story itself. The intent is good, but the execution is rather dull.
Penguin Day
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Bishop, Nic
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
When it's a Nic Bishop book you know it's going to be good and this does not disappoint. The author/photographer spent three weeks photographing rockhopper penguins and has created a unique and compelling book about a baby penguin and what its parents do to enable its survival. The story is crisp and warm and suited perfectly to the extraordinary photographs. Readers dive with the penguins into the sea, endure the long march home, duck from scavenging birds, and welcome the care of loving parents. This is a book to be read aloud and read alone; to be savored and perused. It's going to win awards.
Hidden Life Of A Toad
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Wechsler, Doug
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In this fascinating book young readers can follow the entire life cycle of an American toad from egg to tadpole to toadlet to adult toad to new eggs. The clear, crisp close-up photographs spill across double-page spreads to face fascinating text that chronologically follows development from day 1to day 1099 highlighting significant changes. The story is engrossing and the photographs enthrall. Appendix information includes a glossary, a page discussing the differences between frogs and toads (not as cut and dried as you'd think), additional toad facts, information on saving toads especially during their migration home again, a bibliography, website list, map, and information on how the photographs were taken. It's all interesting from the first page to the last. Every library needs this book.
Don't Blow Your Top! : A Look Inside Volcanoes
RED CHAIR PRESS [RED CHAIR PRESS]
Prokos, Anna
Selivanova, Elena
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
When Kayla misses a goal at her soccer game she gets angry--ready to blow just like a volcano. Then she finds herself on an actual volcano with a volcanologist who explains the science and vocabulary that goes with volcanoes. Caught in an eruption they escape with their lives and Kayla finds herself back at the soccer game, better able to control her temper. This is part of the "Imagine That" series that blends fiction and nonfiction. The color illustrations are bright and interesting. The volcano information, including a diagram, is solid and clear. Their ability to escape a volcanic eruption is definitely on the fiction side of the story. While an adequate introduction to the topic, and a good way to teach about self-control, this book doesn't excel at either.
Sir Cumference And The Fracton Faire
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Neuschwander, Cindy
Geehan, Wayne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Sir Cumference books teach interesting and important math lessons and this is no different. The Fraction Faire is going on, and Lady Di of Ameter and Sir Cumference, as well as the Earl of Fracton, are enjoying the sights and sounds. Purchases can be made. You can buy wholes or parts. How the system works is carefully and clearly explained in the context of the story. All is not well at the faire, however. Thieves are at work! Can they be captured? Because they are not locals they won't understand the system and a trap is set. The acrylic illustrations show a medieval faire, and the text contains both a story and a lesson. This is a nice series to have in your library.
U.s. Navy Seal Missions : A Timeline
Blazers Books/capstone Press [Blazers Books/capstone Press]
Simons, Lisa M Bolt
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This entry in the "Special Ops Mission Timelines" series focuses on the U.S. Navy Seals. First a page briefly introduces this fighting force, then 11 of their missions are highlighted in two-page spreads, from Operation Torch in 1942 to Operation Neptune Spear in 2011. Each includes the date, location, mission goal and outcome, a timeline and a map. Photographs enhance the text. Standard text features apply. While interesting, the information given here is so slight that you can barely get a taste before the text moves on. That makes the book a poor resource for both browsing and research.
Hotel Strange : 4 : The Ghosts In The Clouds
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Ferrier, Katherine
Ferrier, Katherine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Winter's coming and it's time for Hotel Strange to hibernate. All the preparations are being made when unexpected visitors arrive from the Land of Ghosts, who take Mr. Snarf away. Marietta, Celestin, Mr. Leclair, and Kiki set off to rescue him. It's a long and dangerous journey, and their final destination is very strange. Everything is forbidden in the Land of Ghosts. This gets the travelers in trouble and they end up in prison with Mr. Snarf. Can their Mr. Leclair use the law to free them? This is book #4 in the "Hotel Strange" graphic novel series, imported from France. It is a fanciful, brightly illustrated romp.
Elsie Piddock Skips In Her Sleep
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Farjeon, Eleanor
Voake, Charlotte
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 05, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
This very British text was originally published in a 1937 short story collection and then reissued in 1997, 2000 (with Charlotte Voake’s illustrations) and again in 2016. Farjeon is considered as one of England’s premier poets and writers for children, which doesn’t necessarily translate into a sure thing for today’s American children. The language will be a bit challenging, but perhaps if read aloud by an adult the lyricism will come alive. The star of the book is the best jump rope skipper in Glynde under Caburn, who from a very young age takes to the sport. The local fairies know her name, and their skipping-master takes her under his wing to push Elsie to even greater heights as she skips in her sleep every month under the new moon. He bequeaths a special rope to her with magical powers allowing her to exceed all others in the High Skip, the Sly Skip, the Skip Like a Feather, the Long Skip, the Strong Skip, the Skip All Together!, the Slow Skip, the Toe Skip, the Skip Double-Double, the Fast Skip, the Last Skip, and the Skip Against Trouble. After she outgrows this special rope, it is not until she’s very old and shrunken that she comes to rescue her beloved town from a greedy new Lord. Small 67-page chapter book.
How Do Dinosaurs Choose Their Pets?
BLUE SKY [BLUE SKY]
Yolen, Jane
Teague, Mark
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Jane Yolen and Mark Teague are back with another big, bright dinosaur book. So, how do dinosaurs choose their pets? Lots of options are given, as brightly colored and patterned dinosaurs bring home inappropriate pets--tigers, dragons, elephants, etc. Is that the right way to do it? Of course not. The correct way to pick a pet is described and illustrated. With bouncy, rhyming text and big, humorous illustrations these books are always a lot of fun and enjoyed by their fans. This will be no exception.
Peppa Pig And The Backyard Circus
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Granny Pig is having a garden party in a circus tent. But is that what a circus tent is really for? Peppa and friends come up with some acts and hold a circus of their own. This is another simple story based on the TV show, with bright digital illustrations. It's adequate at best. However, I cannot keep these books on the shelf. The students love, love, love them.
Stop Feedin' Da Boids!
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Sage, James
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In the country Swanda had plenty of wildlife to enjoy. Now she lives in the city, however. What to do, what to do? Why, feed the birds, of course! her activities on her apartment balcony soon bring swarms of birds to the neighborhood and an equal number of complaints from the neighbors. She needs to stop feeding those birds. So she moves on to fish. However, her tendency to excess may not have abated. The digital and pencil illustrations show skewed perspectives and sizes. They also show a very diverse inner city neighborhood. While not a first purchase this would be an obvious way to teach problem/solution to a class.
Ninja On The Farm
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Flowers, Luke
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A ninja's coming to the farm, but what jobs are right for a ninja? Turns out that most things don't go well with ninja skills. They're not good for gathering eggs, or hay, or feeding pigs...at least not with the energy this particular ninja has. He is good at getting the cow out of the corn field, however. Simple rhyming text and colorful bold illustrations combine to tell this simple story. The rhymes are a little forced, and the ending doesn't really make sense but hey, it's got ninjas in it. It'll be popular.
Tree
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Layton, Neal
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A tree stands in the middle of an empty meadow with a "Land for Sale" sign. A couple buy the land and have plans for a house, but first they must cut down the tree. However, when they lay a saw to the wood all of the creatures who live in, and under the tree are affected. The couple reconsiders and builds a tree house while improving the homes of their new neighbors. this is a simple and sweet ecological tale about blending in with nature, rather than changing it to fit your design. The watercolor and ink illustrations flow nicely with the very simple story and are big enough for sharing. Perhaps this might be a choice for Earth Day.
When The World Is Dreaming
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Gray, Rita
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
When all the world is dreaming, what are dreamers dreaming of? The woodland creatures dream of sailing, or soaring up above. Sleep little creatures, safe and warm. Dream until the light of morn. Every creature has a dream, after a day of play. When slumber comes imagination takes them far away. Sleep little creatures, safe and warm. Dream until the light of morn. Soft illustrations pillow the tale that will have kids yawning without fail. Sleep little reader, safe and warm. Dream until the light of morn.
Fish Girl
CLARION [CLARION]
Napoli, Donna Jo
Wiesner, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 06, 2017
Dame, Anne
An oceanfront attraction touting "Fish Girl" in the aquarium. She makes peek-a-boo appearances that leave everyone wondering whether she really is a mermaid or not. One day, a girl named Livia visits and manages to sneak into a private part of the building where she meets "Fish Girl". Despite the difficulties, they become friends. But there are some challenges for them to face. Gorgeous artwork adds a lot to the story. It will be a big hit with graphic novel fans and for those who like Raina Telgemeier's work as well.
Milk
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Squire, Ann O
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This "A True Book" gives young readers the down-and-dirty on how that glass of milk gets to their tables. Where does milk come from? Most from cows, but other sources are also mentioned. Modern dairy farming is highlighted, not the idealized picture of a family farm. The process is carefully followed from cow to truck to testing, pasteurization, and homogenization. Milk substitutes, ethical issues, hormones, and methane are all explained. There's even a nice pro and con debate on full fat vs. low fat milk. This is a solid, informative book with photographs, graphs, tables, and all the standard text features. it would be an excellent resource for report-writing as well as general information.
What You Need To Know About Head Lice
Fact Finders/capstone Press [Fact Finders/capstone Press]
Dickmann, Nancy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Starting with the close-up microscopic picture on the cover, this book has all the "EWWWW" factor you could possibly desire. Better, it has solid and fascinating information about head lice that will both gross out and fascinate the reader. 32-pages of well-written, well-researched text dispel myths and enhance knowledge. Readers learn aobut the life cycle of lice, what they eat, and how they can be spotted. Lice detection combs are highlighted and treatments are mentioned, with specific directions given for wet combing. Avoiding head lice by not sharing headwear, and not letting hair touch is emphasized. This is truly an enthralling look at a disgusting little critter. It would be a nice pick for teachers dealing with the problem in their classroom or, better, as a pre-emptive strike.
Delta Force
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Slater, Lee
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the nicely-presented "Special Ops" series this book focuses on Delta Force. The author provides the history behind this elite unit, and how a person may join. It's surprising how much information the author is able to give out, considering that Delta Force is a highly classified unit whose members are recruited specifically for their skills. Readers learn about the types of missions Delta Force is sent on, physical requirements, and training. A few declassified missions are mentioned, as well as two members of Delta Force who were awarded medals, posthumously. The book includes a timeline, glossary, and index. The writing is clear, informative, and compelling. Accompanying photographs enhance the text. This is a solid addition to military shelves.
Fighter Pilots In Action
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Carpenter, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Dangerous Jobs In Action" series, this 32 page book combines photographs and crisp, informative text to introducer young readers to the dangerous job of fighter pilot. A quick double-page spread explains the job and its dangers, and provides some important statistics. The rest of the book doesn't say much about the qualifications and training needed for the job. Instead it tells the story of fighter pilot Scott O'Grady who was shot down behind enemy lines, Kim Campbell who had to land her plane after it was severely damaged due to enemy attack, and Dan "Two Dogs" Hampton who had to use all his skills when under missile attack. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. The stories make for interesting reading, but I would have appreciated more information on the job itself.
Clover The Bunny
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Clarke, Jane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #2 in the "Dr. Kitty Cat" series featuring Dr. Kitty Cat and her mouse assistant, Peanuts. A plague of pawpox is hitting the animal community and Dr. Kitty Cat is up to her furry ears. That doesn't mean she can't get away for a camping trip, however. That doesn't mean her medical skills will not be called on, however. Carsickness, slivers and more all require a little TLC and, of course, a sticker. This is a gentle and amusing series with occasional illustrations that mix photographs with drawings. It would appeal to young animal lovers.
Service Dogs On The Job
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Ventura, Marne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Dogs can be more than pets. Many are trained as service animals, meeting specific human needs. Part of the "Helping Dogs" series, this 24-page book begins with the story of a man whose wheelchair is stuck in the mud. The story is completed at the end of the book. In between, readers learn about different service dogs, how they are trained, and the impact they have on the lives of the people they serve. Photographs accompany the clear and informative text. The book also includes a glossary, website link, bibliography, and index. This is a nice overview of an important topic.
Marine Force Recon
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Slater, Lee
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Special Ops" series, this sturdy 32 page book contains solid and interesting information about Marine Force Recon units. A brief history is given, and readers learn what sorts of missions are best suited to this elite fighting force. Qualifications for joining are enumerated, and the rigorous training involved is emphasized. The Force Recon creed, ghillie suits, gear, and the future of this fighting force are all briefly examined. Photographs, a timeline, a website link, and a glossary and index are included. This is a well-written clear introduction to the subject matter that gives a surprising amount of information in this small format. It would be a good book to add to library collections.
Quien Esta En El Granero?
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Sims, Nat
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
This bilingual board book asks, "Who is in the barn?" Each page has printed one or two animal sounds with lift-the-flaps to discover the hidden animal. Some pages have animal with English and Spanish utterances. Others have one animal with a choice of two different sounds (Meeooww or Naaah). And... other pages have two different animal sounds...with both animals in the barn. It might be confusing to the child and adult reader as to the pattern of: one animal, guess the animal, or two animals--but after reading this kind of book over and over and over.... children will be familiar with each page and intended response. Pictures are a delight, book is sturdy and the flaps will endure.
Word Problems Using Decimals And Percents
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Williams, Zella
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Word problems often stymie students. Learning how to solve them is an important skill. That is the focus of this "Mastering Math Word Problems" series. Each sturdy 48-page book gives problem-solving tips and then clearly sets up the steps needed--Read and understand the problem, make a plan, solve the problem, look back (examine your answer for accuracy). These steps are then clearly demonstrated in a series of word problems. Important tools are highlighted such as rewording the problem, using a model or number line, estimating, or drawing a picture. Clue words in the word problem are highlighted with a magnifying glass. This book focuses on the skills needed to solve decimal and percentage word problems. Multiple examples are given and readers are led through the solution process. Color photographs accompany the text, and interesting additional facts are added about the subject matter which is really unnecessary. There's a glossary, bibliography, and index, though I'm not sure why. This is a clear and cogent approach to an important topic. Teachers should appreciate it.
Word Problems Using Multiplication And Division
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Williams, Zella
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Word problems often stymie students. Learning how to solve them is an important skill. That is the focus of this "Mastering Math Word Problems" series. Each sturdy 48-page book gives problem-solving tips and then clearly sets up the steps needed--Read and understand the problem, make a plan, solve the problem, look back (examine your answer for accuracy). These steps are then clearly demonstrated in a series of word problems. Important tools are highlighted such as rewording the problem, using a model or number line, estimating, or drawing a picture. Clue words in the word problem are highlighted with a magnifying glass. This book focuses on the skills needed to solve multiplication and division word problems. Multiple examples are given and readers are led through the solution process. Color photographs accompany the text, and interesting additional facts are added about the subject matter which is really unnecessary. There's a glossary, bibliography, and index, though I'm not sure why. This is a clear and cogent approach to an important topic. Teachers should appreciate it.
Word Problems Using Addition And Subtraction
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Williams, Zella
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Word problems often stymie students. Learning how to solve them is an important skill. That is the focus of this "Mastering Math Word Problems" series. Each sturdy 48-page book gives problem-solving tips and then clearly sets up the steps needed--Read and understand the problem, make a plan, solve the problem, look back (examine your answer for accuracy). These steps are then clearly demonstrated in a series of word problems. Important tools are highlighted such as rewording the problem, using a model or number line, estimating, or drawing a picture. Clue words in the word problem are highlighted with a magnifying glass. This book focuses on the skills needed to solve fraction word problems. Multiple examples are given and readers are led through the solution process. Color photographs accompany the text, and interesting additional facts are added about the subject matter which is really unnecessary. There's a glossary, bibliography, and index, though I'm not sure why. This is a clear and cogent approach to an important topic. Teachers should appreciate it.
Word Problems Using Fractions
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Williams, Zella
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Word problems often stymie students. Learning how to solve them is an important skill. That is the focus of this "Mastering Math Word Problems" series. Each sturdy 48-page book gives problem-solving tips and then clearly sets up the steps needed--Read and understand the problem, make a plan, solve the problem, look back (examine your answer for accuracy). These steps are then clearly demonstrated in a series of word problems. Important tools are highlighted such as rewording the problem, using a model or number line, estimating, or drawing a picture. Clue words in the word problem are highlighted with a magnifying glass. This book focuses on the skills needed to solve addition and subtraction word problems. Multiple examples are given and readers are led through the solution process. Color photographs accompany the text, and interesting additional facts are added about the subject matter which is really unnecessary. There's a glossary, bibliography, and index, though I'm not sure why. This is a clear and cogent approach to an important topic. Teachers should appreciate it.
Humpback Whale
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
O'keefe, Emily
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Back From Near Extinction" series, this 48 page book combines primary sources, crisp photographs, and informative text to teach readers about humpback whales. The author discusses the history behind whale hunting, whale migration, some basics of whale anatomy and communication, as well as behavior, and more. The true focus of the book, however, is on the challenges that humpback whales face. Hunting, fishing, noise pollution, and other human activity can adversely impact whales. Readers are urged to find solutions, and learn what is being done to preserve this species. Standard text features apply. This is a book clearly written for report-writing, and it contains solid well-formatted information that both students and teachers will appreciate.
Space Exploration : Triumphs And Tragedies
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Newland, Sonya
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This 48-page paperback book is well titled. With illustrations, photographs and clear, well-organized text, it walks young readers through a brief overview of space exploration. A brief overview of ancient astronomy is followed by Sputnik and the space race. While Soviet achievements are mentioned, the focus of the book is on the Apollo program, as well as shuttles, space stations, and unmanned missions and probes to the outer reaches of the solar system and beyond. Achievements and tragedies are all briefly mentioned. The book includes an index, glossary, and bibliography. The book is too short to delve deeply into any one topic. Instead, it skims the surface, providing a broad overview. This would be a good way for young readers to get foundational knowledge before further exploration.
Marine Science In The Real World
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Hand, Carol
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Stem in the Real World" series, this 48-page book explores how STEM topics are deployed by those working in the field of marine science. Marine science is defined and readers learn a bit about the ocean and oceanography. A history of marine sciences is briefly provided. The author then spends some time on various careers associated with this field, pointing out that they are many and varied. Particular scientists are briefly highlighted. the book doesn't really talk about how you prepare for these careers. It simply shows what scientists are doing now. Primary sources are quoted. Thought questions are provided. The future of marine science is considered. Photographs, glossary, bibliography, and an index are included. This would be a solid addition to middle school libraries.
Science Of A Fastball
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Orr, Tamra B
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Full-Speed Sports" series, this 32-page book talks about the history of baseball and the evolution of the fastball. Aerodynamics and physics of a fastball are briefly discussed, with emphasis placed on the toll such pitches take on a pitcher's body. Female phenom Mo'ne Davis is highlighted. Photographs abound, and the text is crisp and clear. Baseball fans might find this a worthy choice. What I longed for, however, was a diagram showing exactly what forces impact a fast ball. The book named four types of fastballs, but never really clearly defined each. I guess I was looking for physics with a sports theme, and got sports with a vague wave to physics. Ah well. Students will find this a valuable resource for reports on sports injuries, and it raises some interesting questions.
This Is My School
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Bellamy, Adam
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
All the titles in the All About My World series from Enslow Publishing follow the same format. Young readers can peruse a table of contents and section of three words to know before learning about common people and places in their community, like the bank, school, doctor, and dentist. The information is simple, straightforward and, as a result, not particularly interesting or informative. Statements like "Cavities are bad for your teeth" left me wishing for an explanation of what a cavity is and why it is unhealthy. The last page of This Is My Bank shows a child standing in line, piggy bank in hand, and is accompanied by a single sentence on the opposite page that enthusiastically proclaims "Going to the bank can be fun!" Really? Because nothing in the previous pages convinced me of that. The people in the photographs are racially diverse and gender norms related to occupations are occasionally challenged, which is a plus, but overall the content falls flat. I can't imagine any child intentionally plucking these books off the shelf.
This Is My Dentist
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Bellamy, Adam
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
All the titles in the All About My World series from Enslow Publishing follow the same format. Young readers can peruse a table of contents and section of three words to know before learning about common people and places in their community, like the bank, school, doctor, and dentist. The information is simple, straightforward and, as a result, not particularly interesting or informative. Statements like "Cavities are bad for your teeth" left me wishing for an explanation of what a cavity is and why it is unhealthy. The last page of This Is My Bank shows a child standing in line, piggy bank in hand, and is accompanied by a single sentence on the opposite page that enthusiastically proclaims "Going to the bank can be fun!" Really? Because nothing in the previous pages convinced me of that. The people in the photographs are racially diverse and gender norms related to occupations are occasionally challenged, which is a plus, but overall the content falls flat. I can't imagine any child intentionally plucking these books off the shelf.
This Is My Bank
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Bellamy, Adam
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
All the titles in the All About My World series from Enslow Publishing follow the same format. Young readers can peruse a table of contents and section of three words to know before learning about common people and places in their community, like the bank, school, doctor, and dentist. The information is simple, straightforward and, as a result, not particularly interesting or informative. Statements like "Cavities are bad for your teeth" left me wishing for an explanation of what a cavity is and why it is unhealthy. The last page of This Is My Bank shows a child standing in line, piggy bank in hand, and is accompanied by a single sentence on the opposite page that enthusiastically proclaims "Going to the bank can be fun!" Really? Because nothing in the previous pages convinced me of that. The people in the photographs are racially diverse and gender norms related to occupations are occasionally challenged, which is a plus, but overall the content falls flat. I can't imagine any child intentionally plucking these books off the shelf.
This Is My Doctor
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Bellamy, Adam
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
All the titles in the All About My World series from Enslow Publishing follow the same format. Young readers can peruse a table of contents and section of three words to know before learning about common people and places in their community, like the bank, school, doctor, and dentist. The information is simple, straightforward and, as a result, not particularly interesting or informative. Statements like "Cavities are bad for your teeth" left me wishing for an explanation of what a cavity is and why it is unhealthy. The last page of This Is My Bank shows a child standing in line, piggy bank in hand, and is accompanied by a single sentence on the opposite page that enthusiastically proclaims "Going to the bank can be fun!" Really? Because nothing in the previous pages convinced me of that. The people in the photographs are racially diverse and gender norms related to occupations are occasionally challenged, which is a plus, but overall the content falls flat. I can't imagine any child intentionally plucking these books off the shelf.
Hostage Takers
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Steele, Philip
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Behind the News" series, this large format 48-page paperback book closely examines the issues involved in hostage-taking. Motives, methods, politics, resolutions--all are explored. The book begins with the long history of hostage taking, then examines specific modern examples with maps, photographs, nationalities involved, information about the hostage takers and their demands, how long the situation continued, and how it was resolved. Both international and national hostage events are considered, although the focus is more on international incidents. The role of media, Stockholm Syndrome, terrorism, negotiation, and hostage crisis teams are all mentioned. Throughout, readers are encouraged to think critically, and see both sides of important issues. This would be a valuable resource for report-writing and classroom discussion.
Thousand-Mile Fliers And Other Amazing Migrators
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Hirsch, Rebecca E
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Many animals migrate, some spectacularly. This book examines in depth some of those migrations, while also mentioning other animals that migrate. Wildebeests, monarch butterflies, leatherback sea turtles, and Arctic terms each get a chapter with photographs, clear and interesting text, and some information about the animals themselves. Along the way the occasional page is given to other migratory animals such as northern wheatears and red crabs. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and amusingly useless index--danger, flight, food, mating, seasons, swimming, young. No mention of specific animals at all. What? This would be a useful resource for report-writing on migrations.
Do Fish Fart? : Answers To Kids' Questions About Lakes
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Thomas, Keltie
Ouseley, Deryk
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
School children in the Lake Simcoe watershed submitted questions about lakes, the best of which are included and answered in this paperback Canadian import. Do fish fart? Do fish drink water? How much freshwater is still left on Earth? What if there is a monster in the lake? Should you pee when you're swimming? These are just a few of the many and varied questions found here. The book includes questions about lakes, water, lake bottoms, fish, excrement, pollution. plants, animals, and the future. the formatting is fun and very eye-catching. The problem is that they are not talking about lakes in general. This is a book very specifically answering questions about the Great Lakes. Too much of the information is regionally specific, making this a poor choice for west coast collections.
Can You Say It, Too? Cheep! Cheep!
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Braun, Sebastien
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 10, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Braun’s latest addition to his Can You Say It, Too? series of five double-page spreads highlights the sounds of a chick, lamb, kitten, young donkey and a mother duck all hiding behind a flap. In answer to each question, “Who’s that….?” the very young child should be able to predict from the left hand adult animal what’s under the sturdy flap on the right, which not only has the visual answer, but the verbal answer such as, “It’s a hungry donkey. Hee-haw! Hee-haw!” This very simple board book will appeal to the very youngest and toddlers who enjoy manipulating the flaps. The colorful digital illustrations provide an attractive invitation. Intended for ages 0-3.
Hush-A-Bye Bunny
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Surplice, Holly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 10, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
The title words that begin the verse on each double-page spread almost command the adult to sing it as the lullaby. Most pages work well with this well-known rhyme/song, but do not use the original words. It begins, “Hush-a-bye, Bunny. It’s late in the day—time to stop playing and put toys away.” as a loving adult rabbit gently moves the child through preparations for bedtime which include dinner, bathtime, pajamas, sharing a book, and calming any worries until the baby bunny falls asleep. The last page is especially sweet with the young bunny stretched out on its back comfortably snoozing. The padded cover and sturdy pages make this a durable, attractive offering appropriate for a reassuring bedtime routine. My 22-month-old reader was not interested in this during the daytime!
Where's The Giraffe?
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Arrhenius, Ingela P
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 10, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
This very simple board book will be a hit with ages 0-3. It’s bright, vibrant digital illustrations will draw the very young reader in asking on each page, “Where’s the …?” The soft felt flaps covering the animal in question should surprisingly withstand multiple uses. The simple call/response repetition will work for the intended audience, but toddlers will really enjoy the final double-page spread with “Where are you? opposite a mirror with “There you are!” A 22-month-old laughed every time! Animals include a lion, crocodile, elephant and giraffe.
Children Of The Past : Archaeology And The Lives Of Kids
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Huey, Lois Miner
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What can archaeologists tell us about children in the past from the few clues left behind? This engrossing book examines cave-roaming kids from 18,000 BCE, as evidence by cave handprints and art. Hunter-gatherer kids from 6000 BCE learned to make stone tools. Farmer kids from 1000 CD learned to make pots. Colonial children had vital roles to play in the colonies. And in Florida, in the 1700's, African-American families including children escaped slavery to Fort Mose. Along the way readers see crisp photographs of artifacts, including a coprolite. They learn about the history and culture of the times, and survival skills. The impact of immigration on Native Americans is a key focus, as is the history of slavery in the Americas. Granted, much is speculation--whole cloth woven from a few lingering threads. Nevertheless, the assumptions are based on what we know, and the few remnants that remain. Each chapter begins with a story of what might have been, and contains photographs, fact boxes, maps, and clear interesting text. The glossary, bibliography, and index are part of a good list of resources. This book is interesting from start to finish.
Insects : The Most Fun Bug Book Ever
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Collard, Sneed B
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
You gotta love Sneed B. Collard III. Every time I see his name as the author of a nonfiction book I know I'm in for a treat. It's not just the careful research, and the interesting facts that he delves up to share with readers. It's not just the incredible photographs and personal anecdotes. It's not even just the truly useful index and glossary, and fascinating fact boxes. In truth, what draws me to his books is the writing style. He is both friendly and scholarly. His humorous asides make me grin, but never detract from the focus of the text. It's like sitting down with your uncle, who's an expert, and getting a one-on-one lesson. This book focuses on insects. Readers learn about insect anatomy, communication, life cycles, diet, defenses, and other important insect facts. it all flows and makes for both an informative and fun book to read. I recommend it for all library collections.
Haydn's Farewell Symphony
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Celenza, Anna Harwell
Kitchel, Joann E.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 12, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
As the summer of 1772 stretched into fall, composer Joseph Haydn wrote his Symphony in F-Sharp Major as a pointed musical message to his employer Austrian Prince Nicholas of Esterhazy. Both Haydn and the 22 court musicians had spent all summer serving the court's demanding schedule of multiple daily performances and expectations for musical entertainment all the while longing for the company of families and wives. Once Haydn dared to ask the prince if families might join the musicians, only to be met with threat of firing the entire orchestra. In this version of events as told by music educator Anna Harwell Celenza and illustrated by JoAnn Kitchel, Haydn cleverly composed his innovative F-Sharp Major symphony with musical motifs that communicated the musicians longing for family and home, even tossing in a impish musical jab at the prince's poor dancing skills. In the final movement the musicians literally leave the performance in pairs, until only Haydn and a violinist remained on stage for the final notes. Fortunately, Prince Nicholas got the musical message and announced that the musicians could return home the very next day. While noble in intent, the storytelling and illustrations are likely to inspire fewer new fans.
Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Celenza, Anna Harwell
Kitchel, Joann E.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 12, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Great music deserves a wide audience, so music educator Anna Harwell Celenza has created this picture book based on real events to bring Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" to life for elementary students. When Mussorgsky's friend the artist/architect Victor Hartmann died suddenly in 1873, Mussorgsky was plunged into grief. A mutual friend Vladimir Stasov mounted an exhibition of Hartmann's drawings and insisted that Mussorgsky attend the opening. Confronted with hundreds of paintings at the exhibition, the composer turned from his depression to compose a piano suite capturing impressions of the paintings and thus immortalizing his friend's pictures in orchestral music that continues to be celebrated 140 years later. Illustrations of Celenza's storytelling are watercolor and ink paintings by JoAnn E. Kitchel that draw on Russian decorative motifs to frame the story with sufficient detail to enhance the narrative. An accompanying website www.charlesbridge.com/AnnasMusicSpot provides links to several performances of the now-famous orchestral suite as well as to other Celenza-Kitchel books on Hayden's Farwell Symphony, Beethoven's Eroica Symphony and Bach's Goldberg Variations.
World's Worst Mistakes
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Gay, Kathlyn
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Granted, people make mistakes. Some mistakes, however are particularly egregious. This can result in amusing situations, or terrible tragedies. This 160 page book examines both. With chapters titled "People and Places," "Sea and Air," "Victims and Villains," and "Victors and Vanquished," it provides short busts of errors, and longer narratives of more significant disasters. You can find the Titanic here, of course, as well as the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the start of WWI. the Great London Fire is near the world's first driver and crash victim. Can you really pull a plug and accidentally drain a canal. Turns out the answer is yes! Ships run aground, diamonds are thought to have arrived in ostrich droppings. Jets collide, the Red Baron goes down in flames, and art forgers make you wonder if anything can be trusted. The writing is crisp and fascinating and the stories will widen your eyes and your horizons. Useful both for reports and casual browsing, this book should not be a shelf-sitter.
The Complete Alice
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [MACMILLAN]
CARROLL, LEWIS
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 13, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s famous novels, this lovely new edition of both “Alice” books features all the bells and whistles: full colorings of John Tenniel’s original illustrations, a few rarely published notes from the author and an extra Alice story called “Wasp in a Wig,” and a foreword by Philip Pullman (who states, regarding the novels’ longevity, “Nothing will last that long if it doesn’t cause delight”). The book’s hard, heavy cover and luxuriously thick pages (trimmed with red foil!) make it a bit unwieldly (the volume weighs upwards of five pounds) but its large type setting is perfect for group read-aloud sessions. Harry Theaker and Diz Wallis’ colorings soften the edges of the illustrations, making them lush. Those missing the sharp-edges of Tenniel’s etchings, rest easy: the pictures still retain the wit and vivacity we’re used to.
Recess Is Ruined
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Sazaklis, John
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Billy Burger and his friends are in trouble. They snuck into the library during recess, while the librarian was gone, to play their game. Books were stacked, Stacks fell. Retribution is due. However, Billy changes his mind about books and starts a book drive at his school. This turns out to be a good thing when a small fire at school destroys a class library. It's nice that Billy is an African-American character. However, his change of heart is rather abrupt and everything seems too coincidental. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. This could be a fun series for those who like short chapter books.
Figment 2 : The Legacy Of Imagination : 4
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 13, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
If Disney theme park fans, rejoice: now you can enjoy a graphic-novel adventure based on your favorite Disney park attractions. As part of the “Disney Kingdoms” series, readers can enjoy stories based on either Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Haunted Mansion, or “Figment,” which is inspired by the Journey Into Imagination ride, which can only be found at EPCOT (sorry, West Coast Disney fans). As expected, “Big Mountain” features a large-cast Western adventure, filled with multiple storylines about a train heist, mine explosives, and sharp-shootin’ cowboys. “Mansion” revolves around Danny a young boy braving the many perils of a haunted house in a quest to find a buried treasure -- and set the mansion’s imprisoned ghosts free. “Figment 2” employs a manga-inspired art style and a storyline similar to Pixar’s “Inside Out”: a young girl and her magical-creature friends embark on a “journey of the imagination” to conquer the demons of Fear and Doubt to rescue her great-great uncle and prevent the world from going Dreamless. It’s fine, fluffy fun (the art in all three books are full-color and beautiful) and while the storylines are fast-paced to the point of being difficult to follow, but young fans will still give it a gander.
Hooray For Birds!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Cousins, Lucy
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 15, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
In the same format as Hooray for Fish!, Lucy Cousins has another winner in this visually astonishing celebration of birds. The text asks the young reader to imagine him/herself as a busy bird for a day from sun-up with a rooster and its crowing until a satisfying end with, “You began the day ‘Cock-a-doodle-doo!’ Now say good night…Tuwit tuwoo! Whoo! Whoo!’ as an owl. Each bird throughout the day is spectacular in its color enhanced by black outlines, and the simple rhyming text adds to the enjoyment. Adults and their young readers will welcome this vibrant, lively romp with feathered creatures including penguins, cardinals, starlings, parrots, swans, woodpeckers, flamingos, chicken, ostriches and peacocks. The end sheets with a myriad of birds on dark blue background can be pored over. This review copy's binding has very large stitches.
Year Of The Rooster : Tales From The Chinese Zodiac
IMMEDIUM [IMMEDIUM]
Chin, Oliver
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 15, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Continuing the Tales of from the Chinese Zodiac series, this bilingual title (English tranlasted from the Chinese characters) features the rooster for the year 2017. This 34-page picture book begins with a page introducing the 12 animals & their symbols, and ends with the years of the rooster since 1921, characteristics of people born in those years, and a last page of the same zodiac creatures. The brightly illustrated tale follows the birth of a young rooster Ray on his quest with his gal pal Ying to find the illusive phoenix. They track her many colored feathers via different zodiac animals as each points to the next destination. Finally after an arduous journey they are rewarded by meeting the glorious bird, receiving her praises and hopping a ride with her back home. The vibrant, lively illustrations are the strong point where the text is rather choppy and somewhat casual at times.
The Scribble Squad in the Weird Wild West
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Ross, Donald
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 17, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Rumpus Horn is a rhino. His friends, Tai Bengali (tiger), and Phil Prairie (prairie dog) love to do street art. Rumpus's grandpa has given them the side of his store to decorate. Phil's sister, Phlox, is there to write a newspaper article. Grandpa Horn also gave the boys some rather special paint. They draw an imaginative old west landscape with wild and crazy critters, but when it glows they discover they can walk into the painting! Now the kids have to help solve a problem between the Native American animals and the townsfolk animals, all of which was started by a crooked mayor and his cronies. Can their art skills save the day and fulfill prophecy? How are they getting home? This fun story comes with colorful illustrations, lots of action, and great silliness.
Wolf In The Snow
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Cordell, Matthew
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 17, 2017
Averill, Linda
Pen and ink with watercolor illustrations capture the feelings in this picture book; the cold of the snowstorm, the courage of the child attempting to reunite a wolf cub with his pack, the child's exhaustion. Wordless, except for a few hand lettered sound effects (sniff, whine, howl, screech, bark) the pictures tell the story well and will keep the reader turning pages to see if the wolf pack will help the child reunite with her family.
Gabby : Wonder Girl
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Grant, Joyce
Dolby, Jan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 17, 2017
Averill, Linda
Bright letters with appealing patterns and fonts introduce children to phonics, punctuation and spelling. Third in the series, this book has Gabby and Roy encounter a mystery when Gabby's magic book hits the ground and letters and question marks tumble out. A black-and-white photograph is a clue that helps the two super heroes but they must determine who?, where?, what?, how? to earn a reward. End pages include a drawing activity and literacy games.
Splashdance
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Starin, Liz
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 17, 2017
Averill, Linda
Anthropomorphized animals practice for a water ballet competition. Pool management decides bears are too hairy to be in the pool and are no longer welcome. Ursula is a polar bear and her human partner, Ricardo finds another partner (Hortense, a giraffe) and Ursula goes to the local pond where she meets a new group. They practice together and crash the contest. Ricardo and Hortense win first place but Ursula's group is the audience favorite. As a result policy changes and everyone is welcome at the pool. This is a pleasing way of beginning discussions about including everyone.
Wearle
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
D'lacey, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 17, 2017
Averill, Linda
Dragons have come to Erth seeking an earlier colonizing expedition. The dragons are referred to as "skalers" by the Kaal, a human tribe that hates and fears them as they have taken over the mountain caves, forcing the people to move to the flatlands. Ren Whitehair, 12 years old, is fascinated with the dragons and devises a way to sneak past the scorch line into the dragons territory, only to find himself inside a crumbling mountain near a female dragon as her 2 eggs hatch. Ren's quest is to prevent a war between the Kaal and Skalers. This fantasy will hold the reader's attention and pull him into the intertwined lives of humans and dragons.
Mesmerist
CLARION [CLARION]
Smith, Ronald L
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 17, 2017
Averill, Linda
When a message Jess and her mother have prepared for a client is altered the two, who had been posing a spiritualists, flee to a friend in Victorian London. There Balthazar, a wealthy, half-faerie associate of the family reveals that in the past he and Jess' parents had formed the League of Ravens to fight and eliminate Mestapho, and evil gang. That gang has now made another appearance and is resurrecting the dead. Jess discovers they want her to join them. Jess, with her mind-reading powers and the aid of two other orphans, Emily who can conjure light, and Gabriel who can use music to an advantage, must reconvene the League of Ravens to renew the fight against the regenerated evil.
Death On The River Of Doubt : Theodore Roosevelt's Amazon Ad
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Seiple, Samantha
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 17, 2017
Averill, Linda
The prologue of this historical nonfiction immediately places the reader in the inhospitable Amazon jungle with a starving expedition facing a river full of dangerous rapids. The first chapter briefly covers Roosevelt's early childhood, interest in the natural sciences and how this passion lasted and changed through his education, careers and Presidency. Chapters 2 through 21 detail Teddy Roosevelt's involvement in the exploration and mapping of an uncharted river in the Amazon. Vivid description of the harsh conditions, interactions of the team, accidents, injuries and shortage of supplies kept theis reader turning the pages. Photographs from the expedition, diary entries and historical background quotes provide authenticity that will engage readers.
Storm Horse
Chicken House [Chicken House]
Garlick, Nick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 17, 2017
Averill, Linda
In 1966 Flip was a 12 year-old living in Amsterdam. He is told that his father a criminal has died while in the process of stealing a car. Flip's only relative, a taciturn uncle, takes the boy to live on his farm on a small island whose residents cling to old customs and view mainlanders with suspicion. During a storm Flip and Ghost Girl rescue a horse from the sea. When no one claims the horse Flip is given temporary custody, but when the horse creates havoc it appears that not only will Flip lose the horse but his new family will lose their farm. Adult and juvenile bullies abound but are finally banished. This is a book that horse lovers will enjoy.
Return Fire
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Gonzalez, Christina Diaz
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 18, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
At the end of Moving Target Cassie has been betrayed by her best friend, saves her father's life, and is forever linked to Asher after using the Spear of Destiny. Return Fire picks up right where the first book left off with Cassie and Asher on the run from the Hastati and desperately trying to make it to the Knights of Malta compound to get some answers from Cassie's grandmother. When Cassie held the Spear in the first book she saw a possible future full of mass death from an unknown disease and she is convinced that if she gets her hands back on the Spear of Destiny she will be able to alter the future once again and save the world. The premise of the second book is interesting and the main characters are developed further, but unfortunately it just isn't as fast-paced, action-packed, and riveting as Moving Target. The first half creeps along, with occasional moments of tension, and then picks up for the second half, but by then readers may have lost interest. A solid purchase for schools with a lot of Moving Target fans; otherwise, there are stronger action-adventure middle grade titles available that are more worth your time and money.
Anywhere Farm
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Root, Phyllis
Karas, G. Brian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 20, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Interested in starting a garden or farm, but don't have land for one? No problem! Grab some soil, a few seeds, and any old container that's lying around and you're good to go. Heck, you can even grow turnips in an old trumpet or beets in a boot! With a spot on rhyme scheme, lovely illustrations that reflect a diverse group of people, and a sense of whimsy, Anywhere Farm will delight readers of all ages. The story will inspire students to get their hands dirty planting flowers, veggies and fruits, and lends itself to tons of extension activities. A must-have for any picture book collection.
Exploring Mountains
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Perdew, Laura
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 21, 2017
Norton, Geneva
One of The Story of Exploration series, these sturdy bound books are a well-written, with each book written by different author and research consultant. They are appealing introductions to wonders of our earth. Lexiles range from 1080-1210, but younger children will love browsing them as well. The publishers review of the series states: “Easy-to-read, engaging text takes readers to Everest and other world-famous mountains, examines the explorers who journeyed to Earth's highest peaks, and traces the development of the technology and techniques that made this exploration possible. Well-placed sidebars, vivid photos, helpful maps, and a glossary enhance readers' understanding of the topic. Additional features include a table of contents, a selected bibliography, source notes, and an index, plus a timeline and essential facts. Aligned to CCSS and correlated to state standards.” I agree with this summary, but was disappointed that each of the books in the series has unique vocabulary, but Glossary is quite skimpy. Photo credits are not included, either. It seems that the template for each title required inclusion of great non-fiction components with no requirement as to how thorough those components needed to be.
Exploring Deserts
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Sirvaitis, Karen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 21, 2017
Norton, Geneva
One of The Story of Exploration series, these sturdy bound books are a well-written, with each book written by different author and research consultant. They are appealing introductions to wonders of our earth. Lexiles range from 1080-1210, but younger children will love browsing them as well. The publishers states: “This title examines the exploration of deserts. Easy-to-read, engaging text takes readers to the Sahara and beyond, examines the explorers who journeyed to these vast, arid landscapes, and traces the development of the technology and techniques that made this exploration possible. Well-placed sidebars, vivid photos, helpful maps, and a glossary enhance readers' understanding of the topic. Additional features include a table of contents, a selected bibliography, source notes, and an index, plus a timeline and essential facts. Aligned to CCSS and correlated to state standards.” I agree with this summary, but was disappointed that each of the books in the series has unique vocabulary, but Glossary is quite skimpy. Photo credits are not included, either. It seems that the template for each title required inclusion of great non-fiction components with no requirement as to how thorough those components needed to be.
Exploring Under The Sea
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Pratt, Mary K
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 21, 2017
Norton, Geneva
One of The Story of Exploration series, these sturdy bound books are a well-written, with each book written by different author and research consultant. They are appealing introductions to wonders of our earth. Lexiles range from 1080-1210, but younger children will love browsing them as well. The publishers states: “This title examines the exploration under the sea. Easy-to-read, engaging text takes readers to deep ocean trenches, examines the explorers who journeyed to these strange, fascinating areas, and traces the development of the technology and techniques that made this exploration possible. Well-placed sidebars, vivid photos, helpful maps, and a glossary enhance readers' understanding of the topic. Additional features include a table of contents, a selected bibliography, source notes, and an index, plus a timeline and essential facts. Aligned to CCSS and correlated to state standards.” I agree with this summary, but was disappointed that each of the books in the series has unique vocabulary, but Glossary is quite skimpy. Photo credits are not included, either. It seems that the template for each title required inclusion of great non-fiction components with no requirement as to how thoroughness of components.
Exploring Space
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Grayson, Robert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 21, 2017
Norton, Geneva
One of The Story of Exploration series, these sturdy bound books are a well-written, with each book written by different author and research consultant. They are appealing introductions to wonders of our earth. Lexiles range from 1080-1210, but younger children will love browsing them as well. The publisher states: “This title examines the exploration of space. Easy-to-read, engaging text sends readers across the solar system, examines the explorers who journeyed into Earth's orbit and beyond, and traces the development of the technology and techniques that made this exploration possible. Well-placed sidebars, vivid photos, helpful maps, and a glossary enhance readers' understanding of the topic. Additional features include a table of contents, a selected bibliography, source notes, and an index, plus a timeline and essential facts. Aligned to CCSS and correlated to state standards.” I agree with this summary, but was disappointed that each of the books in the series has unique vocabulary, but Glossary is quite skimpy. Photo credits are not included, either. It seems that the template for each title required inclusion of great non-fiction components with no requirement as to how thorough those components needed to be.
MYSTERY AT LAKE PLACID
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
MACGREGOR, ROY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
The Screech Owls, a coed, school-age hockey team, head from Canada to Lake Placid for an international tournament. Their equipment is being sabotaged. There are many suspects. Can they solve the mystery before they are eliminated from the tournament? This is fun mystery for sports fans. The only drawback is the play-by-play descriptions will be most appreciated by hockey fans and cumbersome to those who do not know the game. The writing is crisp and the pace is fast. 256 pages, part of the “Screech Owl” series.
Castle Attack : Make Your Own Medieval Battlefield
Hungry Tomato [Hungry Tomato]
Ives, Rob
De Quay, John Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Tabletop Wars" series, this 32 page book will be devoured by fans of knights, castles, and medieval times. The book opens with an overview of projects, materials, and tips. Then the reader learns how to build knights, a round tower, drawbridge, portcullis, siege towers, and castle towers. Along with clear step by step directions, readers learn about the history and purpose of the object. There is a great deal of information in this short book. The book includes a table of contents, index, and author information. This would be a great addition to a STEM collection or if a class studies medieval history.
Zombies And Meatballs
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Hoena, Blake
Bardin, Dave
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
This short, 32 page, transitional chapter book is perfect for readers making the move between picture books and chapter books. The book is part of the "Monster Heroes" series. After the table of contents, the book has a two page spread that describes each of the four main characters. The story is simple. The zombies need brains and the Tofu Brains deli is closed. The monster hero team must find a way to satisfy the zombies before they destroy the town. Color, graphic novel inspired illustrations are found on most two page spreads. This is a fun book that will appeal to boys (and girls) getting ready to make the lead into chapter books. Author/illustrator information, glossary, comprehension questions, and writing prompts are included.
Playing With Solar Heat
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Rowe, Brooke
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page, level H, book is part of the "My Science Fun" series. The book contains directions and questions regarding one science experiment. The solution is found on page 3 under the heading "science note" on the table of contents page. The first few pages provide background information. Most pages have 1 to 3 simple sentence and a color illustration. After the introduction a question is stated and an experiment is described. Bottles are painted with different colors of paint, left in the sun. Students can find out which one it warmest. Variations or follow-up ideas are suggested. While the book goes through the scientific process, it is not specifically called out. The book contains a 2 word glossary and a small index. There are better books with more experiments out there to purchase.
Atlanta Falcons
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
Part of "The NFL's Greatest Teams" series, this 32 page book gives an overview of the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons, began playing in the NFL in 1966. Most chapters are 2 pages (one is 4 pages). Each chapter contains a topic and color, captioned photographs. The text is well-written and will appeal to young football fans. The reader will learn about the team's history, famous coaches and players, stadium (it mentions that they will have a new stadium in 2017), fans, and game highlights (including it's 1999 Super Bowl appearance). A stat page is found in the middle of the book, titled "Halftime! Stat Break." The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline (through 2015), quiz (4 questions), glossary, and index. Web resources are available through the publisher's website. An additional book for your sports section.
Super Simple Experiments With Mass : Fun And Innovative Scie
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Polinsky, Paige V
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
Six experiments are featured in this book on the concept of mass. The 32 page book is a part of the "Super Simple Science at Work" series. The book opens with information on mass and density, the scientific method, and materials needed. Then each experiment is shown on several pages. There is an introduction to the work, step by step directions (with accompanying photos), and finally an explanation of why it works. This book could be used to enhance science classes on this topic or for science fair projects. The book has a table of contents and glossary. This will be a good addition to your science experiment section.
Maria von Trapp and the Trapp Family Singers
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Tiehel, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "A Beacon Biography," this 32 page book explores the life of Maria von Trapp and her family. Von Trapp was made famous from the musical and movie, "The Sound of Music." The book opens with the families escape from Austria at the beginning of World War II, then follows her life chronologically. We learn of the differences between the family portrayed in the theater and their real life. Her faith, love of family, and love of music are highlighted. We also learn about the adjustments the family made as they immigrated to America. Photographs enhance the well-written text. The book has a list of awards von Trapp earned books she wrote. Non-fiction text features including: table of contents, timeline, chapter notes, bibliography, glossary, and index are included. A strong purchase if you are updating your biography section.
How Do Video Games Work?
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Carmichael, L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Our Digital World" series, this 32 page book provides a general over view of how video games are designed, tested, and played. The book contains colorful and inviting pages that include color, captioned photographs and a few sentences of text. Different formats and platforms of games are shown, including virtual reality. This would be a good STEM book when learning about computer programming. The book closes with some safety tips and fun facts. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography. This would be a good book to add to your video game section for students who are interested in how things work.
All about drawing : Dinosaurs & Reptiles
Walter Foster/lerner Publications C [Walter Foster/lerner Publications C]
Fisher, Diana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
This how to draw book is part of the "All About Drawing" series. The book tackles both dinosaurs and reptiles. The book opens with general directions to get started and tips for coloring drawings the reader may create. Then there is information about dinosaurs. After that, readers will find directions for drawing many dinosaurs. 6-8 steps are common with the final step as coloring suggestions. Many pages have fun facts and quick quizzes. After the dinosaur section, the same is repeated with reptiles. Although, in the reptile section readers will find color photographs which can aid in drawing. There is a glossary in the back of the book. This will get a lot of circulation in your library. Buy if you are updating your drawing section!
Peeking Under The City
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Porter, Esther
Lazano, Andres
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "What's Beneath" series, this 32 page book takes a visual look at what you might find under a city. The 2 page spreads are vertical, so pages must be turned to the top. The illustrations will excite kids who wonder what's below. Sometimes, however, important parts of the image are lost in the gutter. The text flows down the page with an introduction of the drawing's topic (water, gas, electricity, sewer, transportation, foundations, and even catacombs! "Did you know" boxes are found on some pages and provide additional interesting facts. The last pages include a glossary, common core related questions, and bibliography (web pages are linked on the publisher's website). This could be used with a city unit or as a browsing book to give students background information of what is found below ground.
Vultures
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Gregory, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Nature's Children" series, this 48 page book explores the Vulture. Readers will learn about different types of vultures, habitat, food sources, life cycle, and how they protect themselves. We also learn how they are related to eagles, hawks, and storks. The end of the book focuses on their role in the environment and how humans can keep them safe. The text is well written and accompanied by color, captioned photographs. The book has all of the non-fiction text features making it useful for research projects: table of contents, glossary (Words to Know), habitat map, bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website), index, and author information. A strong purchase if you are updating this part of your collection.
Government In Your City Or Town
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Kenney, Karen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 21, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "US Government and Civics" series, this offering looks at local government. The reader will learn what a local government is, the services they provide, the limits in their powers, and forms of government. The book ends with some information about famous mayors (LaGuardia, Salter, and Stokes). The book has a table of contents, glossary, index, web resource list, author information, and 5 comprehension questions. Color photographs enhance the text. This would be a good basic text for the introduction of local government study. 24 pages.
Cheyenne
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Rice, Earle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 21, 2017
Norton, Geneva
This book is one of the series, We Were Here First: the Native Americans. Purple Toad Publishing has created a vibrant set of very readable books detailing facts about different native American societies. The books are a nicely laid out with sidebars and interesting “tidbits”. However, some of the pages, perhaps in an effort to refocus reader in its detail are rather small to read. It highlights their unique cultures and beliefs and contributions each of the group in modern society. History in each book is told with more Native American perspective that earlier books have shown. Although this reviewer would have liked to have a map showing their native lands, it does not detract from the overall excellence of the books. There are attribution notes divided by chapter, as well as detailed bibliography with both print and non-print references and other internet sources, a glossary(not very detailed), and an index.
Choctaw
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Tamra B
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 21, 2017
Norton, Geneva
This book is one of the series, We Were Here First: the Native Americans. Purple Toad Publishing has created a vibrant set of very readable books detailing facts about different native American societies. The books are a nicely laid out with sidebars and interesting “tidbits”. However, some of the pages, perhaps in an effort to refocus reader in its detail are rather small to read. It highlights their unique cultures and beliefs and contributions each of the group in modern society. History in each book is told with more Native American perspective that earlier books have shown. Although this reviewer would have liked to have a map showing their native lands, it does not detract from the overall excellence of the books. There are attribution notes divided by chapter, as well as detailed bibliography with both print and non-print references and other internet sources, a glossary(not very detailed), and an index. See Cherokee, Cheyenne, Comanche, Creek, Seminole.
Creek
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Roberts, Russell
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 21, 2017
Norton, Geneva
This book is one of the series, We Were Here First: the Native Americans. Purple Toad Publishing has created a vibrant set of very readable books detailing facts about different native American societies. The books are a nicely laid out with sidebars and interesting “tidbits”. However, some of the pages, perhaps in an effort to refocus reader in its detail are rather small to read. It highlights their unique cultures and beliefs and contributions each of the group in modern society. History in each book is told with more Native American perspective that earlier books have shown. Although this reviewer would have liked to have a map showing their native lands, it does not detract from the overall excellence of the books. There are attribution notes divided by chapter, as well as detailed bibliography with both print and non-print references and other internet sources, a glossary(not very detailed), and an index. See Cherokee, Cheyenne, Choctaw, Comanche, Seminole,
Comanche
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Roberts, Russell
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 21, 2017
Norton, Geneva
This book is one of the series, We Were Here First: the Native Americans. Purple Toad Publishing has created a vibrant set of very readable books detailing facts about different native American societies. The books are a nicely laid out with sidebars and interesting “tidbits”. However, some of the pages, perhaps in an effort to refocus reader in its detail are rather small to read. It highlights their unique cultures and beliefs and contributions each of the group in modern society. History in each book is told with more Native American perspective that earlier books have shown. Although this reviewer would have liked to have a map showing their native lands, it does not detract from the overall excellence of the books. There are attribution notes divided by chapter, as well as detailed bibliography with both print and non-print references and other internet sources, a glossary(not very detailed), and an index. See Cherokee, Cheyenne, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole.
Seminole
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Wilson, Wayne L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 21, 2017
Norton, Geneva
This book is one of the series, We Were Here First: the Native Americans. Purple Toad Publishing has created a vibrant set of very readable books detailing facts about different native American societies. The books are a nicely laid out with sidebars and interesting “tidbits”. However, some of the pages, perhaps in an effort to refocus reader in its detail are rather small to read. It highlights their unique cultures and beliefs and contributions each of the group in modern society. History in each book is told with more Native American perspective that earlier books have shown. Although this reviewer would have liked to have a map showing their native lands, it does not detract from the overall excellence of the books. There are attribution notes divided by chapter, as well as detailed bibliography with both print and non-print references and other internet sources, a glossary(not very detailed), and an index. See Cherokee, Cheyenne, Choctaw, Comanche, Creek.
Shoshone
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 21, 2017
Norton, Geneva
This book is part of the ABDO Native Americans series. Bright and colorful photos and illustrations in these library bound books introduce young readers to basic traditions and "social structure, homes, food, art, clothing, and more". Very appealing and readable, but inconsistencies in correlation between pictures are text would not bother young readers, but were a bit jarring to this reviewer. It would be nice if Glossary included page number where term is introduced. The book links.abdopublishing.com is more detailed and a wonderful companion site for each of these titles. Lexile: 700
Chickasaw
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 21, 2017
Norton, Geneva
This book is part of the ABDO Native Americans series. Bright and colorful photos and illustrations in these library bound books introduce young readers to basic traditions and "social structure, homes, food, art, clothing, and more". Very appealing and readable, but inconsistencies in correlation between pictures are text would not bother young readers, but were a bit jarring to this reviewer. It would be nice if Glossary included page number where term is introduced. The book links.abdopublishing.com is more detailed and a wonderful companion site for each of these titles.
Pope Francis
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Morreale, Marie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 22, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
This 48-page brief biography in the "A True Book" series by Scholastic is worthy of a place in any elementary library collection. The author provides a brief explanation of Catholicism and the Jesuit division (of which Pope Francis is a member) of the Church, in addition to showing the highlights of this current pope's life. The book is driven by questions for which students will find answers once they've finished reading. A table of contents, resources list (bibliography), Scholastic website for online information about Francis, true statistics (as opposed to...?), and an important words (glossary) section are all included. Words throughout the text that are "important" are bolded. Photographs are in black and white (historical photos of Francis's early life in Argentina) and in color. This book would be perfect for a biography report.
Bartholomew Quill : A Crow's Quest To Know Who's Who
Little Bigfoot [Little Bigfoot]
Hanson, Thor
Arnim, Dana
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 22, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Crow flies around the Pacific Northwest forest and water areas in the beginning of time, trying to figure out who he is. He's not the only one doing this; all of the living things--bears, bees, hares, and trees--are all "learning to tell which was who." Through a series of encounters, crow discovers what he is not: an eagle, a salmon, a raven, and more. Finally, he takes a good look at his reflection in the still water of a lake and then searches for and finds others that look like him. The easy rhyming verse and the gorgeous illustrations (watercolors?) by Dana Armin make this a definite purchase for an elementary library. There are many teaching ideas and resources listed in the back of the book.
Left-Handed Fate
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Milford, Kate
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 22, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Lucy Bluecrowne, her brother, Liao, and her father live aboard the cutter, Left-Handed Fate, of which her father is captain. The time period is the beginning of the war of 1812 and the place is around Baltimore. The Left-Handed Fate is a privateer and its occupants are British. When Lucy's father takes on board Max Ault, the philosopher in search of a magical and powerful machine, trouble starts. The French are after Max and the British end up in a skirmish with both the privateer and the French ship. When Captain Bluecrowne is killed in the ensuing battle, Oliver takes over the Aramanthine and the children become captives on their own ship. Oliver steers them to Nagspeake (as in The Greenglass House) where they eventually evade enough of their enemies to locate the machine. Milford knows her rigging and sailing terms, and reading this book made me want to read more of Patrick O'Brien! If students are interested in historical fiction, like to grapple with some pretty weighty ideas, such as can weapons be used for good instead of evil, they will love this book.
Treasure Of Maria Mamoun
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Chalfoun, Michelle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 22, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Maria is a 12-year-old growing up as a latchkey kid in New York City. She has no friends, is bullied by the "Bad Barbies," and spends most of her time alone since her single mother has to work two jobs to support them. When the story begins, it seems like a hopeless situation. After Maria is physically bullied by the girls, her mother realizes Maria cannot be raised in such dire conditions; so, the mother finds a job as a registered nurse on Martha's Vineyard and they move there forthwith. Slowly, Maria and her mother become attached to the rich old man that mother is nursing. Then, mother and daughter start to assimilate into the island life. Maria finds a treasure map, gets involved in the mystery of The Last Privateer, and begins to search for the gold that she knows will keep her and her mother from ever having to return to the city. Maria's friendship with a local boy who assists her search, her genuine affection for the old man, and the lovely interaction between Maria and her Lebanese-born mother make this a perfect choice for 4th - 6th grade readers.
Liszts
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Maclear, Kyo
Sarda, Julia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 22, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
The definition of whimsy is what The Liszts is all about! Before reading, I thought the book would be about musicians, but what a surprise to find out it is about the Liszts who make lists of all kinds and who are occasionally listless (as in restless). There are only two mentions of music in the story. One is the top ten list of the author/illustrator's favorite David Bowie songs. Also, there is a picture of a piano with sheet music on it, looking like someone had recently been playing. One day an unannounced mysterious visitor appears at the Liszts's front door and he presents the family with lists of questions instead of statements. Eventually, and inexplicably, this visitor moves in with the family. The illustrations are stupendous and provide lively, colorful, and fanciful accompaniments to the text. I love this book, and think that it could be used in fun lessons on list-making (with poetry or prose assignments). It is the type of book that I believe would need to be introduced to students before they would consider checking it out.
San Francisco Giants
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Monnig, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 22, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my other reviews of books in this series. Search by author, Alex Monnig.
Wish
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
O'connor, Barbara
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 22, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Charlie Reese has landed in her Aunt Bertha and Uncle Gus's house in Nowheresville, North Carolina, a place that her friends back home told her would be full of hillbillies who eat squirrel meat sandwiches. Why Charlie is there at all is because her Scrappy pappy is in a correctional facility and her mama just doesn't seem to have the gumption to take care of her two daughters (one is a senior in high school and is staying with a friend). Charlie has a bad attitude and is letting her temper fly free, but, meanwhile, she is making wishes on everything there is to wish on: dandelions, crows, yellow train cars, you name it! While Charlie is angry, she has some pretty nice happenings come her way: Howard, a neighbor her own age; Wishbone, a stray mutt; and the unconditional love of her aunt and uncle. Watch Charlie grow and change in this sweet, honest, and heartwarming book.
Unicorn Named Sparkle
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Young, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 22, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Little Lucy has always wanted a blue unicorn with a pink mane and tail. So, when a goat (with a blue horn) arrives instead of her long-awaited unicorn Lucy is none-too-pleased. It doesn't help that Sparkle eats everything in sight, including the underwear hanging on the clothes line, "p-toots" in her sleep, and bleats during Lucy's show-and-tell time in the classroom. Sparkle is nothing like the unicorn Lucy wanted! However, when Lucy comforts Sparkle during a storm and then realizes after a play session that Sparkle does make her laugh sometimes, she begins to love him for who he is. It might be too late, though, since Lucy has already scheduled the unicorn man to take Sparkle away again. The message of pets are forever, loving animals for their good and their unusual qualities, and of being empathetic come across quite strongly in this sweet and simple story.
Patron Saint For Junior Bridesmaids
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Tougas, Shelley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 22, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
When Mary is asked to be a junior bridesmaid in her cousin's wedding, she doesn't fully realize the responsibilities she is taking on! Her cousin, Eden, has anxiety disorder and doesn't want a big wedding; it's grandma who is making all the decisions. Mary already has enough going on in her life: her dad has moved to South Dakota to take an oil job after the family business shut down, her mom is stressed out having to manage two kids and a job, and, to top it all off, Mary has punched a boy in the face. The worries and guilt that weigh on Mary are not alleviated by her prayers to various patron saints (St. Anthony of Lost Causes, St. Dominic for Juvenile Delinquents are among them) who do not seem to be acting on her behalf. What does a Catholic girl do? Lose her faith? Stop praying? In the end, Mary finds out what believing in God truly means to her. I enjoyed this story very much, but wonder how non-Catholics will tolerate the many religious references. If girls like tales about being involved in weddings, they might simply focus on the bridesmaid aspect of the story.
Bad Guys In Mission Unpluckable
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Blabey, Aaron
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 23, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
The gang of reformed bad guys is back and determined to free 10,000 chickens from a maximum security chicken farm (there are lasers, people!). This hilarious sequel to Bad Guys picks up right where the first book left off, with Mr. Shark, Mr. Fox, Mr. Snake and Mr. Piranha fleeing from a dog pound after releasing all the canines into the world as an act of mercy. Sadly, the animals' good deed is painted as an act of destruction and terror. These formerly vicious creatures just can't get a break! To prove to the world that they are, in fact, good guys, Mr. Fox convinces the gang, with the help of new member Mr. Tarantula, to override the security system at Sunnyside Chicken Farm and save thousands of chickens from a life of misery. Of course, nothing goes as planned and readers will guffaw at the hilarity that ensues. Mission Unpluckable will fly off the shelves, appealing to transitional readers who love graphic novels, capers, animal stories, or just want a good laugh.
Josh Baxter Levels Up
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Brown, Gavin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 23, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Josh Baxter views his life like the video games he loves. The level of difficulty has been raised, however, with the loss of his father, moving to a new house and a new school, and antagonizing the school bully. Is it too much for him to handle? Gradually he learns the rules of the new game, gains allies and important skills, and finds his own place. This is a fun realistic fiction book that will appeal to gamers who will enjoy the overlap as Josh applies his gaming skills to his real life challenges.
Madeline Finn And The Library Dog
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Papp, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 23, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Lisa Papp captures in words and watercolors the anxiety of a child who finds learning to read a difficult process. Madeline Finn watches her classmates earn stars for reading while she, herself, receives only hearts with the words, "Keep trying," written on them by her teacher. With the gentle help of a sympathetic mother and a public librarian, Madeline is matched with Bonnie, a big, white, polar bear of a dog, who listens while Madeline reads each Saturday morning. It's fun to read when you don't make mistakes, Madeline realizes. Her practice pays off when she earns a reading star in class. Bonnie has a surprise in store, for Madeline, too! If you would like to know more about reading-to-dogs programs in classrooms and public libraries, check out this website: http://thebark.com/content/reading-dogs-help-children-learn.
Pruwahaha Monster
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Mulders, Jean-Paul
Braekers, Lise
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 23, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
What is the Pruwahaha Monster? Is it the wind? Is it a beast? Is it a scarf blowing in the wind?Readers never discover exactly what it is, but the author and illustrators keep them guessing. It has claws, it eats children, and it is HUGE! However, all the monster ends up with in this story is a pile of leaves by its front door. Meanwhile, the young boy keeps swinging and smiling, never afraid. And his father keeps telling the story. The simple line drawings in three or four colors are delightful and the story is engaging. Readers will want to pore over the pictures to see if any clues give away who the monster is. The book cover and dust jacket are textured and encouraged this tactile reader to rub her nails along the surface to make a creepy sound while thinking about monsters.
Toby
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Mitchell, Hazel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 23, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Upon moving in to a new house, an elementary school aged boy and his father (there is no mention of a mother) decide to adopt a dog from their local animal shelter only if the boy promises to take care of the pet. Of course, he agrees but then finds out that training a dog is not so easy. Toby came with some emotional baggage and it is going to take a while until he trusts people and settles down enough to learn commands and not go potty in the house. Father is on the verge of returning Toby to the shelter after a fatal incident with father's eyeglasses. Luckily, Toby learns his commands and is able to find the boy's lost shoe, so his place in the home is safe. Told in comic book-style format, the illustrations are sweet, depicting the growing love between dog and boy, and the vocabulary is sparse. Toby is based on the author's own experience with a rescue dog of the same name.
Underdogs
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Hammel, Sara
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 23, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Chelsea and Evie have to hang out all summer at the local country club because their parents work there. Both Chelsea and Evie come from dysfunctional and/or abusive homes and have been adopted into better circumstances. Evie hides in the back room, feeling fat and unliked. It doesn't help that she is bullied by one of the rich kids at the tennis camp. Chelsea hangs with Evie, at least for a while, giving her the friendship that no one else offers. When a popular 16-year-old member of the club is murdered, Chelsea and Evie take up amatuer sleuthing. Who committed the crime? The popular young Czech tennis star? Lisa, the flirtatious front desk clerk? Detective Ashbury is at the club every day, questioning members and letting Chelsea and Evie in on some of the evidence. Two twists at the end of the story leave the reader both satisfied and surprised and almost wanting to start the story all over again to see what clues were missed!
Pope Francis : The People's Pope
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Worth, Richard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 23, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Richard Worth's biography of Pope Francis (Jorge Bergoglio) is aimed at middle to high school students who need resource material to write a report. The biography covers a range of topics, from basic information about the Ignatian group of Catholics to Bergoglio's birth and childhood in Argentina, his politics while serving as priest and archbishop, and then his accomplishments so far as pope (this book was published in 2016). Quite a bit of Argentinian 20th-century political history is included to explain the context of Bergoglio's actions and the criticism he received because of those actions. (My only questions about facts cited in this book are: 1. Why such an unnecessarily lengthy portion of one chapter about the Falkland War. And 2. Was Francis the 266th or the 216th pope?) The rise of humble, yet driven Bergoglio is understandable the way that the author describes it. The priest's dedication to the poor and needy of the world, his humility, compassion, and willingness to tackle social issues (immigration, climate change, same sex marriage, and poverty) make him the kind of pope needed in today's world. Chronology, extensive chapter notes, further reading, glossary, table of contents, glossary make this top-notch.
Bridge From Me To You
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
Schroeder, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 23, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
In alternating chapters two high school seniors in a small Oregon town—Colby, a football star, in prose and Lauren, the new girl in town, who came to live with her aunt, uncle and three young cousins, in free verse—narrate how they meet and come to care for each other very quickly. Colby does not want to live out his father’s dream of a college football career, but can’t tell him. Lauren’s secret is that she called the police when she thought her very young brother was in danger of her mother’s alcoholic physical abuse, and her mother sent her away. Despite a quick, sweet attraction between these two very smart, sensible, and almost too good to be true teenagers, roadblocks keep them from following their hearts immediately, but are ultimately resolved in a satisfying, though almost too easy ending. This story should appeal to middle and junior high school readers. This is pretty wholesome overall.
Animals
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Arrhenius, Ingela P
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 24, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
A big, BIG book of animals, illustrated with whimsy and a great graphic design sense makes this a fun-on-the-floor oversized book lovers book. Visually appealing simple geometric designs of no practical value other than delight...and there's plenty of that. Youngsters will proudly struggle to hold and peer over the 18'x13"book; librarians will want to creatively display its eye-catching critters. It's eye candy at $22...and an antidote to sharp photographic non-fiction. No information is presented, just the critter.
Secret Sea
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Lyga, Barry
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 24, 2017
Dame, Anne
Zak has always thought that he had a guardian angel watching over him. He's heard a voice warning him of danger throughout his life. However, this time the voice warned him about a flood in the subway tunnel, but there was nothing there. Now his parents are making him see a counselor to help him sort things out. Something weird is going on, though, because he and his two best friends Moira and Khalid all end up in an alternate universe - and it turns out the voices weren't just in his head! Lots of action, sort of creepy. Not truly horror, but students looking for horror that aren't ready for Stephen King might like it. Grades 6-10
Alphabet Trains
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Vamos, Samantha R
O?rourke, Ryan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 24, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Rhyming text rides through the alphabet with 26 different trains pulling their various loads, delivering a satisfying ABC book for K-1 set.Ryan O'Rourke's illustrations are flat but functional, adding a playful "find the letter" appeal to each page. This will be popular with young engineers and librarians looking to add to 420s. All aboard " A is for Auto Train./Load your car on the rack./B is for bullet train-/high speed on welded track." "Around the world,/from land to sea,/trains work hard/from A to Z." A few fun facts close out the book, providing a satisfying finish to the journey, Indeed.
In Case You Missed It
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Littman, Sarah Darer
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 28, 2017
Dame, Anne
Sammy is the typical teenager and as such, she doesn't tell her parents everything. Like the time that she snuck out and went to a concert or borrowed her mom's sweater without permission, etc. Unfortunately, her account gets hacked and posted publicly revealing all sorts of personal information that she didn't want shared. All about the dangers of personal information being leaked digitally. There's a little bit of a message, but he writing is strong enough for it not to feel pedantic. Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti fans will enjoy this one.
Crystal Ribbon
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Lim, Celeste
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 28, 2017
Dame, Anne
Li Jing is often teased because her name is so close to that of the guardian spirit of her village: Huli Jing. When she talks to the oracle/revered wise woman of her village, however, she is assured that her name is a good, strong name and that her fate is entwined with that of Huli Jing. This is important because she will experience many things that will test her strength, courage, and character. Strong female character. Loved the setting. Hard to believe this was a debut novel. Well-written and engaging throughout.
Velocity
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Wooding, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
LEX 780 H/L, 7+, Kirkus*, Pub Weekly* The story lives up to its Tank Girl inspired cover. And blends the speed of NASCAR with the fight-to-the-death competition of The Hunger Games. Life in post-apocalyptic Coppermouth is an endless stretch of killer dust and boredom, so when best friends and driving teammates Cassica and Shiara are offered the chance to compete in the Widowmaker, the final leg of the Maximum Racing competition, Cassica can’t wait. Shiara is more cautious. But they can only win if they work together. They are beset by danger and treachery on all sides as they traverse a wasteland filled with ancient war machines, wreckers, roaming cannibals, and fellow drivers out to kill them. The secondary characters have little development; but adrenalin junkies won’t care. Girls rule in the dystopian setting, as fiercely resourceful with fast cars, and an explosive climax, Wooding's story is perfect for fans of Mad Max. Pair with Danica Patrick’s story Crossing the Line (2006) for real thrills.
Pigs
Abdo Zoom [Abdo Zoom]
Statts, Leo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 30, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Pigs are introduced in this beginning nonfiction book with simple sentences in large font and large up-close photographs. The five chapters cover wild and farm pigs, body, food, farm life, and names for pigs. The one or two sentences on each page are supported by the uncaptioned photographs. It could be used for very simple research. There are also two statistics about pigs, four-word glossary, simple index, and a monitored links sponsored by the publisher. It is part of the Zoom In on Farm Animals series.
Critical Perspectives On Minors Playing High-Contact Sports
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Torres, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Playing team sports has many benefits, and yet high-contact sports such as football and rugby have also been linked to serious injuries, including concussions, and a higher risk of dementia, depression, and Parkinson's disease. If this is the case, is it morally right to continue junior leagues in high-contact sports? How can we weigh the potential benefits of contact sports with their potentially serious risks? This reader examines viewpoints in a pro/con format. Experts, journalists, and politicians, both with mainstream and alternative perspectives, all weigh in on this important topic in order to help students reach their own conclusions. This format objectively exposes readers to a wide variety of views on a controversial topic to promote critical thinking about and analysis of topics that directly affect their lives and the larger society around them. Large dense print on white pages may put off some readers, however the guiding questions will help keep them on track. Information is current to 2016. Includes glossary, bib., chapter notes, index. Must have for contemporary problems.
Critical Perspectives On Us Engagement In The Middle East
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Cunningham, Anne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
The Middle East is almost always in the American news and US forces, whether providing political support, or on the ground and in the air providing military support, the US has been involved in the region almost consistently for generations. Yet many people don't fully understand the intricacies of US military engagement in the Middle East. Some experts believe that is essential to the stability of the region. Others argue that US intervention has caused the instability now present. Who is right? This reader examines viewpoints in a pro/con format. Experts, journalists, and politicians, both with mainstream and alternative perspectives, all weigh in on this important topic in order to help students reach their own conclusions. This format objectively exposes readers to a wide variety of views on a controversial topic to promote critical thinking about and analysis of topics that directly affect their lives and the larger society around them. Large dense print on white pages may put off some readers, however the guiding questions will help keep them on track. Information is current to 2016. Includes glossary, bib., chapter notes, index. Must have for contemporary problems.
Critical Perspectives On Gun Control
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Cunningham, Anne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Every day, forty-eight children and teens are shot; seven will die from gun-related violence. Everyone agrees that these statistics are horrific, and yet people disagree about how to reduce gun-related violence. Many commentators link this increased gun violence with decreased gun regulation. However gun control advocates state that American Citizens should be allowed to carry weapons freely – precisely to stop potential attacks from occurring. Will more federal control of gun sales help? Or will this lead to an uptick in violence among those who obtain guns illegally? This examines viewpoints in a pro/con format. Experts, journalists, and politicians, both with mainstream and alternative perspectives, all weigh in on this important topic in order to help students reach their own conclusions. This format objectively exposes readers to a wide variety of views on a controversial topic to promote critical thinking about and analysis of topics that directly affect their lives and the larger society around them. Large dense print on white pages may put off some readers, however the guiding questions will help keep them on track. Information is current to 2016. Includes glossary, bib., chapter notes, index. Must have for CWP
Critical Perspectives On Fossil Fuels Vs. Renewable Energy
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Cunningham, Anne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
For many activists, climate change and the need for renewable energy are the most important issues facing our world right now. If we exhaust all of the available fossil fuels and continue on a path toward destroying Earth’s natural resources, there will be on recourse. Oil companies and those affected by the oil lobby have a different perspective as well as those who do not feel that renewable energies are not advance enough to replace fossil fuels. This reader examines viewpoints in a pro/con format. Experts, journalists, and politicians, both with mainstream and alternative perspectives, all weigh in on this important topic in order to help students reach their own conclusions. This format objectively exposes readers to a wide variety of views on a controversial topic to promote critical thinking about and analysis of topics that directly affect their lives and the larger society around them. Large dense print on white pages may put off some readers, however the guiding questions will help keep them on track. Information is current to 2016. Includes glossary, bib., chapter notes, index. Must have for contemporary problems.
Critical Perspectives On Vaccinations
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Johanson, Paula
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
In recent years, particularly in North America, parents have decided to forgo vaccinating their children due to potential health risks. Many of these parents cite a discredited study linking the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) to increased risks for autism. Others choose not to vaccinate because they feel that their parental decisions should not be taken away by the federal government. According to health experts, this has led to an increase in potentially deadly diseases and an overall decrease in herd immunity. With so much fear mongering online about the potential deadly consequences of vaccinations, however, what information can we trust? This reader examines viewpoints in a pro/con format. Experts, journalists, and politicians, both with mainstream and alternative perspectives, all weigh in on this important topic in order to help students reach their own conclusions. This format objectively exposes readers to a wide variety of views on a controversial topic to promote critical thinking about and analysis of topics that directly affect their lives and the larger society around them. Large dense print on white pages may put off some readers, however the guiding questions will help keep them on track.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of T.s. Eliot
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Pasachoff, Naomi
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Students often approach the complex poetry of T. S. Eliot with some degree of trepidation, but as this comprehensive text demonstrates, that need not be the case. With its thoughtful analysis and engaging writing style, this guide provides readers with the tools they need to approach Eliot’s works with confidence, while at the same time encouraging them to draw their own meaning from the words and sounds of the poetry. The text also explores Eliot’s life beyond his poems, including his extensive work as an essayist, editor, and critic. Given this context, readers will establish a deeper understanding of the poet as well as his work. Featuring quotes, excerpts, and in-depth critical analysis of a “the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “The Waste Land,” The Hollow Men,” “Ash-Wednesday,” and “Four Quartets.” as well as his lesser-known works the text provides an in-depth look at this hard-working, prolific poet considered by many to be among the greatest of the Twentieth Century. Eliot’s legacy is traced through chronology, photos, chapter notes, short literary glossary, list of works, websites, and suggestions for further reading and index. Useful in Common Core non-fiction analysis.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of J.r.r. Tolkien
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Clinton, Greg
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
The world of J.R.R. Tolkien is one that is inhabited by hobbits, dwarves, elves, wizards, and dragons. As a young man, Tolkien created his very own language, and from there he went on to imagine an entire magical world and its detailed history. Students will take an in-depth and thought-provoking look at The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, as well as The Silmarillion, which provides the foundation for his classic works. This engaging text provides readers with critical analysis of his themes, style, and language; direct quotations from Tolkien; and relevant biographical details. Students will learn about the world Tolkien was reflecting in his writing and why his works have become world-wide classics. Tolkien’s legacy is traced through chronology, photos, chapter notes, short literary glossary, list or works, websites, and suggestions for further reading and index. Useful in Common Core non-fiction analysis.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of George Orwell
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Borus, Audrey
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
“Big Brother is watching you.” Are some of the most well-known in literature. As a young man, Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell, traveled to Spain to fight in that country's civil war. Although he was a British citizen, he felt the need to fight for the rights of the oppressed in that country. As the writer of the classics Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell used his pen to comment on power and corruption in government and how they affect society. This engaging text provides readers with critical analysis of his themes, style, and language; direct quotations from Orwell; and relevant biographical details. Students will learn about the world George Orwell was reflecting in his writing and why his works have become world-wide classics. Orwell’s legacy is traced through chronology, photos, chapter notes, short literary glossary, list of plays, fiction, non-fiction, essays, websites, and suggestions for further reading and index. Useful in Common Core non-fiction analysis.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of Tennessee Williams
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Hermann, Spring
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
As a child growing up in the Deep South, Tom “Tennessee” Williams escaped from his tumultuous home life by retreating into his imagination. His love for made-up stories would eventually translate into a propensity for writing drama and poetry. This compelling text places the playwright’s work in the context of his life and times, allowing readers to gain a greater understanding of the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. Featuring quotes, excerpts, and in-depth critical analysis of a Streetcar Named Desire, Summer and Smoke, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Rose Tattoo, the Night of the Iguana, Camino Real, Suddenly Last Summer, and Sweet Bird of Youth as well as his lesser-known works, the text provides an in-depth look at this hard-working, prolific playwright considered by many to be among the greatest of his time. Williams’ legacy is traced through chronology, photos, chapter notes, short literary glossary, list of works, websites, and suggestions for further reading and index. Useful in Common Core non-fiction analysis.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of Jhumpa Lahiri
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Clinton, Greg
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Although Jhumpha Lairi’s works are not as well-known as some other US authors, she addresses the universal questions? What is culture? What is national identity? Jhumpa Lahiri understands what it means to be caught between two cultures. Born in London to Indian immigrants, she has spent most of her life in the United States but still struggles to feel "American." This is the challenge facing many new Indian Americans, and it is the focal point of Lahiri's novels and stories, which examine various aspects of the culture clashes that come from being a newcomer in a foreign land. .Students will take an in-depth and thought-provoking look at The Interpreter of Maladies, the Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth and The Lowland. This engaging text provides readers with critical analysis of her themes, style, and language; direct quotations from Lahiri; and relevant biographical details. Students will learn about the world Lahiri reflects why her works have become world-wide classics. Lahiri’s legacy is traced through chronology, photos, chapter notes, short literary glossary, list of works, websites, and suggestions for further reading and index. Useful in Common Core non-fiction analysis.
Separate But Equal : Plessy V. Ferguson
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Rauf, Don
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Following the Civil War, feelings were mixed about the freedoms that Lincoln had granted to African American citizens through his Emancipation Proclamation. A group in Louisiana decided to challenge a state law that required companies to have railway cars separated by race. They orchestrated a situation in which a "white-looking" black man would sit in the "white only" part of the train and announce he was "colored." In a landmark decision that supported the racist feelings in some areas of the country following the Civil War, the effort to secure equal rights at this time failed. Readers will find out, in rich detail, how this now basic right came to pass. Also included are questions to consider, primary source documents, chronology of the case, chapter notes, for further reading, index.
Desegregating Schools : Brown V. Board Of Education
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Torres, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
When the father of Linda Brown, an African American, sued to let his child go to a "white school" closer to home, history was made. When the court decided that "separate was inherently unequal," the world changed for many students across America. Readers will find out, in rich detail, how this now basic right came to pass and how this case changed everything when it came to race equality in the United States. Also included are questions to consider, primary source documents, chronology of the case, chapter notes, for further reading, index.
Death Penalty : Furman V. Georgia
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Herda, D J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
"In 1967, a mentally ill African American man named William Furman invaded the home of William Joseph Micke and accidentally shot him while attempting to flee. Although the evidence suggested that Micke's death was the result of an accident, the jury of the county court found Furman guilty of murder and sentenced him to death. After the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the lower court's decision, Furman appealed to the Supreme Court. Whether you believe in the death penalty or not, the Furman v. Georgia case was groundbreaking in its decision to stay Furman's execution because it was arbitrary and, very possibly, racially motivated. Though it did not stop capital punishment, the case changed the way states had to weigh their decisions. This book gives the background on the case, its path to the Supreme Court and presents both the majority and dissenting opinions related to the case. It also takes a look at the lasting impact the case has continued to have on policies and the legal system. Readers will find out, in rich detail, how this now basic right came to pass. Also included are questions to consider, primary source documents, chronology of the case, chapter notes, for further reading, index.
Woman's Right To An Abortion : Roe V. Wade
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Herda, D J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Abortion has long been a hot-button issue. In 1973, in the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court finally decided that women should be allowed to have an abortion, with some limits. This book gives the background on the case and the path the case took to make it to the Supreme Court and presents both the majority and dissenting opinions related to the case. It also takes a look at the lasting impact the case has continued to have on policies and the legal system. Readers will find out, in rich detail, how this now basic right came to pass. Also included are questions to consider, primary source documents, chronology of the case, chapter notes, for further reading, index.
Secret Diary Of Lydia Bennet
Chicken House [Chicken House]
Farrant, Natasha
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 30, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Everyone knows Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet's story. Sister Lydia intends to change that. Here’s her story of her friendship with George Wickham using a “secret” journal to document the fated duo’s first encounter, flourishing friendship (complete with horseback-riding lessons), and momentous jaunt from quaint Longbourn to the Brighton seaside. Lydia is smart enough to finally recognize that she and Wickham were never friends and never could be but that they both know how to turn adversity into opportunity and they do make a fine pair. Farrant carefully constructs her story along the same plot, time line, and character arcs (including an initially chilly, later compassionate Darcy) as Austen and pays attention to the linguistic patterns as well. Since Lydia is pretty much an open book, her diary is short on secrets and long on reactions. The ending is entirely practical, which Lydia would hate, but there is still the chance for a young woman of 16 to change her circumstances. More dessert than main course but a still a delightful visit to Austen Land. Readers who know Austen will get more out of it, but pre-knowledge isn’t required.
Octopuses
Abdo Zoom [Abdo Zoom]
Statts, Leo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 30, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Octopuses are introduced in this beginning nonfiction book with simple sentences in large font and large up-close photographs. The five chapters cover octopuses in general, body, habitat, food, and life cycle. The one or two sentences on each page are supported by the uncaptioned photographs. It could be used for very simple research. There are also two statistics about octopuses, six-word glossary, simple index, and a monitored links sponsored by the publisher. It is part of the Zoom In on Ocean Animals series.
Goats
Abdo Zoom [Abdo Zoom]
Statts, Leo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 30, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Goats are introduced in this beginning nonfiction book with simple sentences in large font and large up-close photographs. The five chapters cover wild and farm goats, body, food, farm life, and names for goats. The one or two sentences on each page are supported by the uncaptioned photographs. It could be used for very simple research. There are also two statistics about goats, five-word glossary, simple index, and a monitored links sponsored by the publisher. It is part of the Zoom In on Farm Animals series.
Seahorses
Abdo Zoom [Abdo Zoom]
Statts, Leo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 30, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Seahorses are introduced in this beginning nonfiction book with simple sentences in large font and large up-close photographs. The five chapters cover seahorses in general, body, habitat, food, and life cycle. The one or two sentences on each page are supported by the uncaptioned photographs. It could be used for very simple research. There are also two statistics about seahorses, six-word glossary, simple index, and a monitored links sponsored by the publisher. It is part of the Zoom In on Ocean Animals series.