Reviews for month


Double Cross : Deception Techniques In War
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Janeczko, Paul B
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 03, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Sun Tzu wrote, “All warfare is based on deception.” Janeczko (The Dark Game) demonstrates the truth of this by examining the various deceptive techniques used in Joshua’s battle against the Midianites a feint, the Trojan War a ruse, The Battle of Hastings in 1066 a feigned retreat, and other early examples. The principles of deception have changed little while the technology has evolved dramatically. The book focuses primarily on the US Civil War, World Wars I & II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War to show the change in attitudes toward the use and effectiveness of deceptive operations (concealment, camouflage, planted false information, double bluff, ruse). Codes and code machines, signals, ciphers, the naming of secret ops (14 different code names for D-Day alone), radar, sonar and GPS, and the effectiveness of these tools are featured in large call outs. The text is dense but will be catnip to kids who like to read about war. Includes historical photos, and maps showing specific operations, chapter notes, bib., image credits, and index.
Girl With A Camera : Margaret Bourke-White, Photographer
Calkins Creek [Calkins Creek]
Meyer, Carolyn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 03, 2017
Datisman, Eve
This historical novel mostly follows the facts of Bourke-White’s life from 1916-1942 but embellishes them with fictional details to flesh out the story. It’s narrated chronologically in first person and filled with the minutia of daily life. The latter makes for mundane reading because it often waters down the fascinating story of this first female war correspondent. Growing up, young Peggy White was interested in snakes and caterpillars and other unfeminine things. She intended to become a herpetologist, but while she was still in college, her interest in nature changed to a fascination with photography after taking a class from Clarence H. White (a contemporary of Alfred Stieglitz). Noted for her fearlessness and innovation, she did not let gender present a huge barrier to her ambition, although a husband nearly derailed her dreams. Her work for Life, which featured one of her photographs on the cover of its very first issue, established her credentials as a storyteller with a camera. There are few photos; and not tied to narration. The small print and dense text may put off younger and less competent readers, but it offers curricular connections and may inspire readers to follow their dreams. Know your audience before purchase.
Exo Project
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Deyoung, Andrew
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 03, 2017
Datisman, Eve
L 750 H/L This debut novel is Star Trek original and Abrams’ reboot worthy. Take an ecological disaster on earth – no clean air, no clean water, dying crops and a dystopian split between the super-rich and the99%; add a corporate cryogenic project that will send volunteers on a one-way 100 light year voyage from launch to explore new habitable worlds, mix in first contact. Stir with fear of newcomers, old biases from Earth, power struggles yielding disruption of the old order on Earth as well as on Gle’ah, cool with some telepathy, peacemaking, and planetary discoveries and there’s a chance to discover a new way to live provided by Gle’ah itself. Frost with a love story between the boy from earth and the girl from Gle’ah, sprinkle nanites liberally. Add the deliberate decision NOT to report the findings back to corporate so they cannot make the same mistakes on a new world. Some of the characters are not as developed as they need to be for the roles that they play, but the links to STEM topics, like Wier’s The Martian or Roach’s Packing for Mars make this is rich book to build conceptual thinking.
Beastly Brains : Exploring How Animals Think, Talk, And Feel
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Castaldo, Nancy F
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 03, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Castaldo lays out the history of ideas about animal intelligence before covering the myriad ways researchers evaluate it. There are lots of fascinating examples of the components of intelligence, such as empathy, fairness, self-awareness, communication, and even planning for the future, many of which will surprise readers when attributed to animals. The chapters build on each other; empathy, for instance, plays a major role in developing a sense of fairness, while “mental time travel,” or the ability to distinguish between the present and the future, is key to solving problems with multiple steps. Most of the chapters are broken up into subtopics with catchy headings like “The Hive Brain”; “Emo Rats” but the structure of the book is not consistent and it’s hard to tell just who the target audience is. There are a lot of exclamation points which points to a younger readership but plenty of terms like “habeas corpus” and “prosocial,” that are not found in a glossary, as well as a conceptually complex model of brain processing, assumes a fairly sophisticated audience. High interest for middle and high school - needs some editing to smooth out the execution. Related resources for naturalist projects, glossary, source notes, bib. indx
Women With Wings : Women Pilots Of World War Ii
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Moore, Shannon Baker
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 03, 2017
Datisman, Eve
L1020 Women with Wings begins with Dora Dougherty and Didi Johnson, two Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) who jumped at the chance to prove that B-29 was safe to fly after the second test flight had ended in a crash killing 11 crew members and 20 factory workers. In order to convince the male pilots, Paul Tibbitts, a pilot with 1000 hours of safe flight in the B-29, decided to train woman to fly the plane. A brief history of female pioneers in flight begins with Sophie Blanchard who flew a hot air balloon in 1805 followed by female fliers in WWI and those of the 20s and 30s. The ATA-Girls, Air Transport Auxiliary of England who took over the non-combat duties of the RAF, delivering mail, supplies, and ferrying planes from the factories to air bases using only a compass and map are profiled as are the Russian all-female combat flight group. The US WASPs flew all types of aircraft as test pilots, flight instructors, and cargo transport pilots. Sidebars and photos in the body of the book, adds targeted information as do the timeline, key figures and statistics, historical importance, glossary, additional resources, source notes, index.
Sarah Winnemucca : The Inspiring Life Story Of The Activist
Compass Point Books [Compass Point Books]
Green, Mary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 03, 2017
Datisman, Eve
L920 H/L Sarah Winnemucca worked tirelessly for American Indians. She led an adventure-packed life that ranged from working as a wartime scout in Nevada to meeting with the president of the United States in Washington, D.C. The noted author and speaker was a strong advocate for her people, the Northern Paiute. She began her activism in 1870 when she was 26 and working as a U.S. Army interpreter; she spoke, English, Spanish and several native languages. Her own people were living in poverty, with little to eat, not enough shelter or blankets. She took on the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the crooked agents who ran them with a letter to Major Henry Douglas, the newly appointed Indian Superintendent of Nevada. Douglas sent it on to the officials in Washington DC the story was picked up by Harper’s Weekly who wrote an article about her and her letter. In 1881 Helen Hunt Jackson published the whole letter in A Century of Dishonor assuring that Winnemucca would become a lecturer, spokesman and advocate for all Native Americans. Her success was mixed and some native people still have varied opinions about her, but she is generally well-respected. Photos, timeline, glossary, suggestions for further reading, sites, source note, bib., index
Just A Normal Tuesday
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Turrisi, Kim
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 03, 2017
Datisman, Eve
L650 H/L VOYA Starred 16-year-old Kai adores her older sister Jen and wants to be as adventurous and outgoing as she is. When Kai receives a letter from her that is a suicide note, Kai’s world crashes down. She’s not the only one dealing with grief her parents are reeling as well. Kai can’t make sense of Jen’s choice and begins to lose control. She cuts classes, drinks too much and pops the same pills that killed her sister. Her parents offer a lifeline - grief camp for teens. Kai agrees, reluctantly, and eventually accepts the camp and the people in her small group as she comes to terms with her sister's death. She particularly connects with Graham who lost his twin in a car accident. The interaction with the others in her group and nascent romance allow Kai to see there's a beautiful life waiting for her, one that her sister would want her to embrace. Turiisi’s own experience with her sister’s suicide looks at the complicated feelings and the unanswered questions that follow tragedy. Through Kai's experience at grief camp, readers understand the value of sharing their feelings with their peers and working through their emotions in a healthy and productive manner. BUY!
What Do You Find In A Rainforest Tree?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 03, 2017
Elders, Ann
Large print, clear pictures, diagrams, captions, and other text features introduce the rainforest tree—its environment, animals, and plants—to primary readers. Supplementary sections give directions for drawing a rain forest diagram showing how living things meet their needs, “Think About It” allows for deeper thought, book and web sources allow for extension, and the glossary and index help students locate and understand words. Additional titles in the series include a rainforest tree, a pond, Saguaro cactus, backyard, and the coral reef. This basic introduction will provide a basis for short reports suitable for primary grades. Basic concepts (food chains, systems, and models) of all ecosystems and man’s impact on the environment will help them understand our world. Models with labels complement the actual picture to help identify what is in the picture. This is a useful series for primary science.
What Do You Find In A Pond?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 03, 2017
Elders, Ann
Large print, clear pictures, diagrams, captions, and other text features introduce the pond—its environment, animals, and plants—to primary readers. Supplementary sections give directions for making a pond ecosystem diorama, “Think About It” allows for deeper thought, book and web sources allow for extension, and the glossary and index help students locate and understand words. Additional titles in the series include a rainforest tree, a pond, Saguaro cactus, backyard, and the coral reef. This basic introduction will provide a basis for short reports suitable for primary grades. Basic concepts (food chains, systems, and models) of all ecosystems and man’s impact on the environment will help them understand our world. Models with labels complement the actual picture to help identify what is in the picture. This is a useful series for primary science.
What Do You Find On A Saguaro Cactus?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 03, 2017
Elders, Ann
Large print, clear pictures, diagrams, captions, and other text features introduce the saguaro cactus—its environment, animals, and plants—to primary readers. Supplementary sections give directions for make a clay model of a saguaro cactus, “Think About It” allows for deeper thought, book and web sources allow for extension, and the glossary and index help students locate and understand words. Additional titles in the series include a rainforest tree, a pond, Saguaro cactus, backyard, and the coral reef. This basic introduction will provide a basis for short reports suitable for primary grades. Basic concepts (food chains, systems, and models) of all ecosystems and man’s impact on the environment will help them understand our world. Models with labels complement the actual picture to help identify what is in the picture. On page 11 shows a jackrabbit’s large ears, instead of a picture of a desert fox as discussed. This is a useful series for primary science.
What Do You Find In A Backyard?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 03, 2017
Elders, Ann
Large print, clear pictures, diagrams, captions, and other text features introduce the backyard—its environment, animals, and plants—to primary readers. Supplementary sections give directions for drawing a backyard diagram showing living and nonliving things, “Think About It” allows for deeper thought, book and web sources allow for extension, and the glossary and index help students locate and understand words. Additional titles in the series include a rainforest tree, a pond, Saguaro cactus, backyard, and the coral reef. This basic introduction will provide a basis for short reports suitable for primary grades. Basic concepts (food chains, systems, and models) of all ecosystems and man’s impact on the environment will help them understand our world. Models with labels complement the actual picture to help identify what is in the picture. This is a useful series for primary science.
What Do You Find In A Coral Reef?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 03, 2017
Elders, Ann
Large print, clear pictures, diagrams, captions, and other text features introduce the coral reef—its environment, animals, and plants—to primary readers. Supplementary sections give directions for making a coral reef ecosystem story board, “Think About It” allows for deeper thought, book and web sources allow for extension, and the glossary and index help students locate and understand words. Additional titles in the series include a rainforest tree, a pond, Saguaro cactus, backyard, and the coral reef. This basic introduction will provide a basis for short reports suitable for primary grades. Basic concepts (food chains, systems, and models) of all ecosystems and man’s impact on the environment will help them understand our world. Models with labels complement the actual picture to help identify what is in the picture. This is a useful series for primary science.
School Freezes Over!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Chabert, Jack
Ricks, Sam
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Another series for young readers that is one page of excitement after another. When third-grade students Sam, Antonio, and Lucy discover that Orson Eerie (ex mad scientist and school architect) plans to return to human form if the school temperature drops below 13 degrees, they get busy. They find out that Eerie is controlling the weather and that he plans to devour everyone in the school when he comes back. (It is a strange situation, but Orson Eerie, when he died, became the school. A little bit…eerie.) When all is said and done, the three kids have used their wits and skills to stop the super-freeze of their school and get rid of Orson Eerie. For now… Questions and activities at the end of the book. I have heard some students say that Eerie Elementary is “scary,” so the books might come with a warning to younger readers.
Flight Of The Moon Dragon
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
West, Tracey
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
This series is very popular in my library already, so I wanted to read one of the books to see what my students liked so much. Now, I know! The story clipped right along with a group of six kids, all of whom possess dragons with special powers, who go on a search in Egypt for a prime stone that is central to their powers. This adventure takes them through several challenges and puzzles that they have to figure out before finding the stone. I appreciated how the author demonstrated some conflict between the members and how it was always positively resolved. The parents in the book were warm, friendly, and helpful people. This was a fun, engaging story and I can see why kids love these short chapter books. Questions and activities are included at the end of the book.
Sugar And Spice
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Mlynowski, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
In this episode, Abby and Jonah, with the aid of Maryrose, slip into the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. All is playing out as it does in the regular tale until Hansel and Gretel leave Abby and Jonah with the witch! Meanwhile, Hansel and Gretel go and live with Abby and Jonah’s parents and find out what it’s like not to starve and to have nice clothes and toys. At the end, when everyone’s back in their own places, Abby and Jonah realize they’ve learned a valuable lesson: to be grateful for what they have and to be generous to others who don’t have as much. These are fun and short chapters books that are well written, humorous, and contain positive messages. I like the way the author explains briefly at the beginning how the fairy tale travel works so a reader can begin with any book in the series.
Finding Perfect
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Swartz, Elly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Molly, a middle school student, is upset about her mother leaving Molly and her two siblings under the sole charge of their father. Mother moved to Canada for her job and, even though she has promised to return in a year, Molly is not convinced. She begins to worry about every little thing and soon sends herself into a tailspin, thinking that if her life isn't perfect, then her little brother will die. Molly goes online to research what is making her "crazy," and realizes that she has developed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. For a while, she tries to keep it hidden from her friends and family. Finally, a breakdown on the poetry slam stage convinces Molly that she needs help and to get help, she needs to let the people who love her know how deeply she's been suffering. I admire the author for so thoroughly researching the topic of OCD; I learned much about this, including that it is hereditary. This will be a topic of interest for middle school girls; they very well may have (or know someone who has) this disorder. The subtopics of the complexities of friendship and family, of light romance, and school will attract readers as well. 
Tale Of Rescue
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Rosen, Michael
Fellows, Stan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
A family goes out to experience a snow-adventure weekend. Their little boy gets lost. A cattle dog (that the family does not know) senses that there is a problem and goes out to find the boy. In 103 pages, the author manages to grip the reader’s heart as one brave dog follows his instincts to save a life. Definitely on my “to purchase” list!
Beatrix Potter And Her Paintbox
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Mcphail, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
This short, sweet picture book very briefly covers Potter’s life as an artist. Her influences of family and summer life in the English countryside explain Potter’s subject matter. She wanted her writing to entertain children and her books to be “little…for little hands.” I did not care for the illustrations of Potter which look nothing like her actual photographs. I will purchase this book to pair with a Beatrix Potter story, but will show photos of Potter and ask the students to see which features McPhail focused on when painting the artist himself. I look forward to their responses!
Night Thief
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Fradkin, Barbara
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Cedric O’Toole finds a boy living on his land. Who is he and why is he there, stealing the food out of Cedric’s garden? This is a short, hi-lo, engrossing mystery, that is part of a series for young readers. I will purchase it for my library and suggest it for students looking for a quick read or for those who struggle with reading.
Last Descendants
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Kirby, Matthew
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
This series is taken from a video game of the same name (the video game is aimed at adults, but the book is definitely suitable for a younger audience). The premise is that a group of young people linked by DNA in their past travel back in time to find an important relic. The person facilitating this travel is their school’s IT guy, Monroe. The kids land in the Draft Riots in 1863 New York City and become embroiled in the Brotherhood of Assassins and their rival group, The Templar Order. I enjoyed this book thoroughly, even though I do not play video games, and will put it on my library shelves. The historical information was fascinating and the interplay between the characters, and between the kids and Monroe was great. Sometimes the plot dragged on a bit when everyone was fighting for the Piece of Eden (the relic), but otherwise I think students who enjoy playing video games would appreciate this story. Matthew Kirby (I love him for this) keeps the story free of anything objectionable such as profanity, sex, drugs, or alcohol; it’s just history, action, and characters all the way. On a side note: this book was for sale at last year’s Scholastic Book Fair and very few copies sold; I always wondered why.
QUEEN'S LADY
EMBER [EMBER]
EDWARDS, EVE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
This romance/historical fiction novel takes place in the 16th century in the court of Queen Elizabeth. Lady Jane Rievaulx comes to court, serves the queen, and falls in love with James Lacey. It’s too bad that James is just about to set sail for America! James’s older brother loves Lady Jane, but he is not the one Jane wants. Will James come back to claim Jane? This is a fun read with all of the intrigue and drama one can expect of the Elizabethan court!
Gathering
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Poblocki, Dan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is aimed at those students who love “scary stories” and who say that nothing can frighten them. Poblocki certainly does his best to serve that segment of readers well. Five kids, four of whom do not know each other, are summoned to a house where they are supposed to meet a person who will help them with their greatest need, whether that be with music, movies, love, or atonement. When they arrive, there is no-one there to help them. However, there are ghosts aplenty to subject the kids to their worst nightmares and fears. The ghosts, who had been students at the school (the house itself) are vindictive. The walls and floors of the house move. The five kids themselves are confused and don’t know whom to trust. Not all of them survive the ordeal. The other Dan Poblocki books on my shelf do not circulate, but I will purchase this one and see if I can interest students.
Tangle Of Gold
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Moriarty, Jaclyn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
It is my goal to read the first two books in this series, because I liked this one so much! The Kingdom of Cello, where certain people from our world can go by slipping through cracks in the kingdom, is amazing. However, there are very serious problems here in our world that need to be solved. Are Madeleine and Elliot determined enough to stay and fix this world, rather than escape to another? I will purchase this entire trilogy for my school library. It’s not going to be wildly popular with every reader, but I can think of a few students who will love it!
Sophie Topfeather, Superstar!
Sunberry Books [Sunberry Books]
Anderson, Sonja
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Sophie’s new challenge is a big one! When the Owlympics are being organized, there is a faction of animals who want mice to be the usual prey for the rodents in the Rundown. Of course, Timley and Sophie are caught in the middle of this huge problem. Sophie goes to live somewhere else, in the belief that she is part of the problem, and makes new friends. When a big fire in the park threatens everyone, Sophie returns and rallies the troops. Sophie and Timley are Christians and there are many passages about God, references to the Holy Land (which they visited in the first book), and quotes from the Bible. If students like to read about animals and are open to overt Christian messages, then they might enjoy this story very much.
Left-Handed Fate
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Milford, Kate
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 04, 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.
Mighty Dynamo
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Crowley, Kieran
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
12-year-old Irish student Noah wants to play professional soccer, but loses his mojo when his father chooses to take a job in Australia. Noah and older sister, Simone, whose mother has died, are left to fend for themselves. Simone forgoes university to take on two jobs while father lives down under to make money to pay the mortgage. That is when Noah hears about the Schools' World Cup and decides that if his team wins the monetary prize, he'll be able to bring his dad home. Everything that can go awry does with bad guys, good guys, twists and turns and tension. Good story, but my two major reservations are (thinking about handing it to a student): It is very long (over 350 p.). It concentrates heavily on soccer, the game, the world's players, and more soccer. I enjoyed the story, but did try to picture which of my students--girl or boy--so enthusiastic about soccer that they would tackle this tome. 
Sunker's Deep
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Tanner, Lian
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
To begin with, I should say that I did not read the first book in this series, Icebreaker. There was enough background in the second book to give me an idea of what happened, but, still, it took me a while to get up to speed. The Sunkers have been living in a submersible for 300 years. They escaped from the Devout, a group of people who do not believe in technology. The Devout rampaged the land, killed and/or captured people, and got rid of all machinery. Now they find out that a small group of Sunkers are still alive and the Devout are out to kill them off, too. There is another group who live on land who also want to take the Devout down. When the Sunkers and the land group cross paths, they eventually join powers and set out to free their captured people and destroy the Devouts. The characters are interesting: a robot captain, rats who can talk, and children who possess knowledge and fortitude beyond their years. The story moves along and contains moments of tension and humor. The Claw, the submersible, is fascinating. I am definitely interested in reading the first book, but am not sure exactly what audience this story will draw in. 
Enemy : Detroit, 1954
Calkins Creek [Calkins Creek]
Holbrook, Sara
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 04, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Detroit, 1954, with the Cold War, McCarthyism, and rampant prejudice, sixth-grade Margaret tries to balance her more enlightened home life and the mean-spiritedness of her domineering best friend when a new girl joins their class. When Inga is assigned as Margaret’s desk-mate, she becomes friendly with this very nice, shy girl who speaks little English, wears immigrant clothing, is meanly called a DP (displaced person) and not welcomed by her classmates. Margaret caves to the peer pressure and distances herself from Inga though she can’t bring herself to write in the nasty slam book her friends are writing about this “germ”. Complexities continue with her war veteran father who promotes peaceful relations now that the war is over; a very angry, orphaned teenage boy whom they’re housing; and hiding a box of banned, stolen library books at the for her liberal, college-educated mother. This is a difficult read for an adult, perhaps due to the times we’re living through, but the tension, fear and setting may prove even more so for a middle-grade reader. Because the protagonist is 12, it may be hard to push this to the more appropriate middle schoolers. This first time novelist lived through this time and town.
I Want To Be In A Scary Story
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Taylor, Sean
Jullien, Jean
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 04, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Little Monster is convinced he wants to be in a scary story until the spooky setting and terrifying creatures start to freak him out just a little too much. Perhaps it would be better to be the one doing the scaring. Since this story is written as back and forth dialogue between the author and Little Monster, he gets his wish...but it doesn’t turn out quite the way he expects. This is a fun read aloud that has just enough creepiness to satisfy younger readers looking to be scared. It would be a great resource for talking with students about the typical elements found in horror stories and might spark an interesting discussion about what readers should do when the book they pick isn’t the best fit. The illustrations, which were drawn in ink and digitally filled in, are bold and often fill the entire page, making you feel as if you are in the spooky house with Little Monster. A satisfying picture book just in time for fall.
Great American Foot Race : Ballyhoo For The Bunion Derby!
Calkins Creek [Calkins Creek]
Speno, Andrew
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
In 1928, C.C. Pyle advertised a 3,400-mile footrace from California to New York, mostly along Route 66. Hundreds applied to run, mainly for the first prize of $25,000.00, the youngest a 15-year-old boy and the oldest man 63. The route took the runners through deserts, mountain passes, and along highways (where some runners were hit by cars). Pyle was a big planner, but he couldn’t always carry through on the details, such as having enough food for all of the athletes or providing satisfactory accommodation for the men. Out of the 199 runners who started the race, 55 finished. The author paints a picture of the US in 1928 to set the Bunion Derby (as the race was nicknamed) in its historical context. 66 was brand new. C.C. Pyle was part huckster, and part good man who stood by his word. Table of Contents, Index, Bibliographies, Further Reading, and more resources listed at the end of the book. This was a fast, informative, and fun read that I will purchase for my library.
Haunting Of Falcon House
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Yelchin, Eugene
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
This story is “revealed” by the author who says that back in the old days in St. Petersburg he found the manuscript, including illustrations, for this book. Eugene Yeltsin has translated the story and that is the book that we have now. In it, Prince Lvov has had to leave his mother to go and live with his deceased father’s aunt in Petersburg in order to become the next heir in line. The aunt’s mansion is haunted and, apparently, Lvov is the only person capable of releasing the ghosts. The question is whether Lvov, with his supernatural abilities, is the right leader to assume the family throne. It’s a quirky book, but has its interesting and creepy parts. I will purchase it for my library for those students who like to read about ghosts and mysteries.
Passage To Fortune : Searching For Saguenay
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Gunderson, Jessica
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
If you had the chance to go back in time and jump aboard a ship bound for the New World, would you do it? I definitely would! This series (which may be hi-lo) looks wonderful and I plan to buy each of the four books for my library. Samuel is thirteen years old and is bored with life in his wealthy family’s household. One night, a famous captain comes to dinner and Samuel overhears him saying where his ship is moored and when he plans to set sail. Forthwith, Samuel stows away on the ship and finds himself not welcomed by the crew. Eventually, he proves he can pull his own weight as a crew member. However, he has underestimated the dangers that face him and the crew when confronted with life in the New World. At 91 pages, it’s a page-turner!
Whydah : A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, And Found
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Sandler, Martin W
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
This exquisitely well-researched book on the slave ship turned pirate ship Whydah will capture readers whose interests lay in the slave trade, lost treasure, sunken ships, and/or pirate genres. I learned so much about pirate life from this book that I had never known before! I had no idea that the shores off Cape Cod were rife with pirates who swooped onto incoming ships and stole their loot, sometimes without a fight. The pirates could be ruthless with those who put up a fight, but also when recruiting men from the ships to join them in the pirate life. Black Sam Bellamy’s ship, the Whydah, was loaded with goods and money taken from other ships when it went down in a storm in 1717. In 1984, a team of marine archeologists, found the Whydah and its treasures, and gave them fresh insight into pirate life and culture. Primary documents, photographs of the underwater discoveries, and compelling writing all make the Whydah a fascinating read. The author includes table of contents, extensive source notes, a bibliography, photography credits (which would be interesting to explore with students when book-talking) and an index.
Dead To Me
Lorimer (Lerner) [Lorimer (Lerner)]
Watson, Cristy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Logan has a chip on his shoulder. He found out that his uncle, Logan’s father’s brother, played a part in the accident that killed his father. Ever since that time, Logan has rejected his uncle, who used to be one of his heroes, and has been rebellious toward his mother. He is on his last warning at school, too. When Logan and friends break into what they thought was an abandoned house so they could drink and party, they get the shock of their lives. From that moment on, Logan opens his eyes to where his anger has taken him and sees the steps he needs to follow in order to get his life back on track. This is a short (182 page) hi-lo book that will interest those kids who may not normally pick up a novel. The author has written excitement into each page and the cover, alone, looks inviting (brooding boy with hoodie on and arms crossed).
Textrovert
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Summers, Lindsey
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
In an accidental cell phone swap, Keeley winds up with a football jock’s phone and he ends up with hers. They can’t trade phones for a week because Talon is attending a football camp. So, they get to know each other by text messaging. At first Talon comes across as totally obnoxious. Then, when the messages continue, Keeley sees the real Talon beneath the bravado and she starts to fall for him. It’s then that she discovers that Talon is the main opponent on their high school rival’s football team. When the first game is played, it will be Keeley’s twin brother pitted against Talon. What is a girl to do, especially when her twin finds out that Keeley likes Talon? To whom should she show her loyalty? This is a cute story with nothing offensive in it and loads of twists, turns, and conflicts that need to be cleared up.
Isaac The Alchemist : Secrets Of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Losure, Mary
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Newton’s lonely childhood, his young life in an apothecary’s shop, his views of the world, from magic to science, are spelled out in this book by Losure. The author does not shy away from the other-ness of Newton. In fact, she acknowledges that Newton’s personality is part of his genius. He did not relate to other people well. He was smarter than his own teachers. He imagined and experimented with science what others attributed to magic. I found myself thinking of my own students and how their “genius” can show up in a variety of ways. It would be interesting to share this book with students and discuss how they would react to having a student like Newton in their midst. I enjoyed this nonfiction narrative from start to finish and will add it to my library collection.
Dog In The Cave : The Wolves Who Made Us Human
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Frydenborg, Kay
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
If students and teachers are looking for strong and compelling narrative nonfiction, this is it. Frydenborg reveals facts about the evolution of domesticated dogs from wild wolves. When cavemen and wolves first began to fraternize, it was due to a mutual need. Wolves found shelter and a regular food source; humans found protection and companionship. Over time, these wolves became dogs who now share few characteristics with their wild relatives. The research being done now shows that perhaps dogs have become so different from wild wolves that they will evolve into a new species altogether. In fact, dogs are becoming like humans after having spent centuries among people, in their homes, in their beds, and as part of their families. I enjoyed each chapter, from early man to current research. Frydenborg’s writing is engaging and informative. Many photos, glossary, Table of Contents, Further Reading list, Notes, and Internet sites are included.
Width Of The World
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Baldacci, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Not having read the first two books, I cannot comment about how this story ties in with the rest of the story. Although there were times when I wanted to know more about the history of a certain place or person, I feel that Book Three could be read as a stand alone. Tough female protagonist, Vera, with friends, and Harry Two, the dog, are free of the last bad land they had narrowly escaped. The only problem is that the new bad land is worse than the last one! The catch is that the people living there are not aware of being slaves. Baldacci is an expert storyteller with plot twists, violence, suspense, and excitement; he also makes the topics of friendship and loyalty paramount to the story. I think he hit the middle school reader mark perfectly in this sci-fi/fantasy novel.
What Girls Are Made Of
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Arnold, Elana K
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
Unsuitable
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
The author wanted to paint an accurate portrayal of what girls are actually like in this day and age. Her main character, Nina, is a girl who will do anything to keep her boyfriend. NIna’s mother told her that unconditional love does not exist and Nina is puzzled by this. What about her mother and father’s marriage? What about the animals in the high-kill shelter? Don’t they deserve unconditional love? Doesn’t everyone? When Nina’s boyfriend breaks up with her and Nina’s father ditches her mom for their anniversary trip to Rome, the truth settles in. I understand that Arnold wants to show what girls are made of, but found this story to be too brutal in its message and I would not recommend it to any young woman I know. Maybe that’s because I do believe in unconditional love and am not willing to imagine any kind of world without it.
Keep Me In Mind
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
Reed, Jaime
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Liam and Ellia, in alternating chapters, tell the story of what happened in the aftermath of Ellia’s accident from which she suffers from amnesia. Try as she might, Ellia can not remember that Liam had been her boyfriend and Liam is devastated. The girl he loves can’t recall their relationship? He sets out to make her remember, but nothing works. Liam might have been the cause of Ellia’s accident. Her parents don’t want Ellia to see Liam, but they won’t tell her why. Finally, Ellia tells Liam that she likes him, but they’ll have to start at the beginning if they want to be boyfriend and girlfriend again. The story is filled with drama and romance and may appeal to some teen readers.
Write This Down
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Mills, Claudia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Autumn loves to write; it’s her hobby and the way she expresses her feelings. In school, Autumn has a crush on Cameron, a cute boy in her class, and she gushes about him in her journal. When her brother, Hunter, who used to be nice before he turned into a teenager, reveals what Autumn wrote to Cameron’s brother, Autumn is mortified. She finds ways to prove that she is a great author, including submitting poems to The New Yorker. In the meantime, her brother struggles in school and falls under their parents’ scrutiny and Cameron turns out to be not what Autumn imagined. Claudia Mills knows teens and tweens. Her dialogue is realistic and her characters are three-dimensional. There are no simple answers or contrived plots. Friendships, hardships, family relationships are portrayed as they really are. I think that is why Mills has such a successful following of readers. I will purchase this book for my library.
Most Dangerous Thing
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Lieberman, Leanne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Teen Sydney suffers from depression and anxiety. Her parents are on it, knows she needs therapy and perhaps medication. Her friends, however, don't know about Sydney's "fog" which she keeps at bay during school and free time activities. When Paul, a boy she's known since elementary school, begins to flirt with Sydney, she wants but doesn't want to have a relationship. She and Paul kiss and Sydney virtually runs away and hides in her closet. Her anxiety spikes when she thinks of getting physically close to Paul. When Sydney's sister decides to stage the Vagina Monologues at school, Sydney loses it. What is it with everyone and their obsession with sex? Sydney goes back to her therapist, finally takes medication, and starts to be able to enjoy life without being tortured by the fog of anxiety and depression. This is not the best book I have read about teenage depression, but it does contain a dose of reality. I felt that the topic was lightly dealt with and did not offer any related resources at the end of the story.
Yellow Dog
RED DEER PRESS [RED DEER PRESS]
Korner, Miriam
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 04, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
Life in a small, rural, northern Canadian town can be rough for a young person, especially when he has no father and lives with a mother who works all the time to put food on the table. When Jeremy’s best friend, Justin, dares him to pull a dog’s tail and run off, Jeremy accepts the dare and then is sorry for his action immediately. When he finds the dog again to make amends for his cruelty, Jeremy meets the old man who is the dog’s owner. This man is gruff, and Jeremy’s mother has always told him to stay clear of the man, but eventually he and Jeremy form a bond over dogsledding. Jeremy collects as many dogs as he can from the ones that roam the town and the old man teaches him to dogsled the traditional way. All goes awry and the climax of the story is riveting. The reveal near the end explains much of the tension built up in the story. I appreciated the way the author dealt with real emotions, such as anger and regret and forgiveness, in the heart of a young teen boy and how he comes to terms with life’s endless complexities. This will be on my library shelves in the fall.
There Might Be Lobsters
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Crimi, Carolyn
Molk, Laurel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 05, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Like some humans, Sukie, the little dog, is afraid of doing things with multiple reasons. Her human, Eleanor, picks her up and takes her down the stairs to the beach area, tries to get her to play with the beach ball, go play in the water. Each time Sukie comes up with excuses in her mind and just sits with her stuffed monkey pal, Chunka Munka. Until...... Chucka Munka is pulled out into the water by a wave. Then Sukie swims to the rescue. Eleanor is proud of Sukie. Then Sukie and Chucka Munka sit on a blanket and watch for lobsters but they didn't see one. The author and illustrator have created a great read-aloud that can lead to discussions about how scary the unknowns are and how one can jump into action and overcome their fears. Reviewed in New York Times Book Reviews, Booklist, and starred in Kirkus Reviews. Reinforced Trade Edition.
Math Journey Under The Ocean
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Koll, Hilary
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 06, 2017
Elders, Ann
Exploration of the ocean is used to develop many math skills, as well as to explore the ocean depths. Sections in this title include learning to dive, coral reefs, sunken ruins, whales, krill, submarines, and other ocean related topics. The book lists equipment to solve problems, a math glossary, additional websites, answers, and an index. Among the math skills are negative numbers, linear graphs, formulae and substitution in algebra, proportions as fractions and decimals, and others. For each topic the process is described, problems to solve, answers, and charts, diagrams, graphs, and other means of presenting the data. This series promotes development of math skills by engaging interest through exciting topics. Math teachers will find this useful to inspire and supplement typical math lessons.
Math Journey Through Extreme Sports
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Koll, Hilary
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 06, 2017
Elders, Ann
Extreme sports are used to develop many math skills. Sports in this book include sky running, skeleton, motocross, rappelling, and seven others. The book shows the use of mathematical skills to explore the world of sports, solve puzzles, and complete missions. The book lists equipment to solve problems, a math glossary, additional websites, answers, and an index. Each mission features a different math skill from learning about area, coordinates and negative numbers, measurement conversions, and others. For each sport and skill the process is described, problems to solve, answers, and charts, diagrams and other means of presenting the data. This series promotes development of math skills by engaging interest through exciting topics. Math teachers will find this useful to inspire and supplement typical math lessons.
Math Journey Around The Wonders Of The World
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Koll, Hilary
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 06, 2017
Elders, Ann
The many wonders of the world are used to develop math skills as well to learn about these locations. Topics included are the pyramids, waterfalls, the terracotta army, Burj Kalifa, Antarctica, Stonehenge, and others. The book lists equipment to solve problems, a math glossary, additional websites, answers, and an index. Among the math skills are hectares and multiplying by 100, golden ration and golden rectangles, comparing and rounding numbers, data handling and others such skills. For each topic the process is described, problems to solve, answers, and charts, diagrams, graphs, and other means of presenting the data. This series promotes development of math skills by engaging interest through exciting topics. Math teachers will find this useful to inspire and supplement typical math lessons.
Friendship Experiment
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Teagan, Erin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 06, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Some kids can’t wait to start middle school. Maddie Little is not one of them. Her grandfather, who she was very close to, recently passed away, her best friend is acting distant, and she struggles to keep her rare blood disorder under control. Her older sister has the same disorder and is constantly pushing the limits when it comes to her health, which adds another layer of stress to the lives of everyone in Maddie’s family. Maddie decides it will be easier to deal with all of these changes if she takes a scientific approach to social interactions. She starts jotting down SOPs, or standard operating procedures, for the various challenges she faces. Her research goes quite well until her notebook ends up in the hands of someone who considered himself to be Maddie’s friend and not a science experiment. Suddenly science isn’t the answer to all of Maddie’s problems. What in the world should she do? This is an entertaining coming of age middle grade novel that will have readers empathizing with Maddie one moment and rolling their eyes in exasperation at her lack of social skills the next. The characters are authentic and multidimensional and, while some plot points are predictable, it is still a satisfying read.
Great Leopard Rescue : Saving The Amur Leopards
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Markle, Sandra
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 06, 2017
Korf, Clarence
The amur leopard is on the brink of extinction in the wild. In 2007, there were only 30 known leopards found in eastern Russia. An excellent book which explores the life and needs of a amur leopard through photographs and targeted text on the leopards plight for survival. The text and photographs are well balanced as well as reinforcing the concepts being presented on each page. The focus of the book is the rescue effort to first thoroughly understand the needs of the amur leopard but to also find ways to support their habitat, their food supply and their ability to reproduce. One of the rescue efforts includes reintroducing captive zoo offspring back into the wild which includes an area set aside specifically to minimize human influence and to assist in helping train young leopards to be re-introduced back in the wild. The book includes a table of contents, author's note, timeline, glossary, index and books and websites for further exploration.
Patrick And The President
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Tubridy, Ryan
Lynch, P. J.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 06, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Patrick was so looking forward to being able to meet the president of the United States. John F. Kennedy was making a trip to his ancestors homeland in Ireland in June of 1963. The visit came at a time which really encouraged the people of Ireland. This fictionalized story about a young boy who so looked forward to the event and having the hope of shaking the hand of John F. Kennedy. His first opportunity falls short but he is given a second opportunity to serve the president at a ball. The interaction is minimal but the event gets retold over and over in Patrick's family as would anyone meeting someone famous. The story would have had a little more appeal if the Patrick's interaction with the president had more substance as the picture on the front cover would indicate. The Norman Rockwell type illustrations support the story well and are reflective of the time in history. The book includes details at the end of the story about the three days John F. Kennedy spent in Ireland.
Sound Of All Things
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Uhlberg, Myron
Papoulas, Ted
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 06, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Young Myron was always asked by his father to tell him to describe what things sound like. What do the wheels of the roller coaster sound like when they go downhill? What does the ocean sound like? Myron had challenges coming up with words which would provide his deaf father a good understanding about what did things sound like through sign language. He struggled with coming up with the vocabulary until he met a librarian who provided a book of poetry to help him describe some of the sounds. The book is an autobiography of a boy growing up with two deaf parents and the challenges of helping them process the sounds they did not hear. An author's note at the end gives credit to his father's continual desire to have sounds translated for him and the discovery of the library which gave him all the words he needed to describe sounds to his parents. The painted illustrations support the text and give a feel for the visual aspect of growing up in Myron's family.
Thing Lou Couldn't Do
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Spires, Ashley
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 06, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Lou is a girl of many talents. She and her friends are brave adventures when they play together and she is willing to do most things until she encounters one thing she can't. She can't climb trees. She doesn't want to tell her friends so she comes up with lots of excuses. Her arm is sore. Her cat needs a walk. A slug she just stepped on needs a funeral. She wants an easy solution to get her up in the tree but there is none. So when her friends need the pirate captain, she makes her attempt to climb the tree even though she knows it is hard. Leaving her ultimate success is left for the reader to speculate. This is a great book to discuss a growth mindset. The illustrations are full of expression and convey the mood of the story well. The author has also written the book "The Most Magnificent Thing" which is recognized to support the understanding of a growth mindset.
Laundry Day
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Bagley, Jessixa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 06, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
As someone who enjoys hanging laundry on the line, I enjoyed Seattle author Jessixa Bagley's mischievous badger brothers Tic and Tac getting carried away with helping their mother on Laundry Day. Ma Badger's busy scrubbing with a washboard, while the boys don underwear-helmets and capes to frolic about in utter childish abandon. When she gets them to actually hang the laundry on the line while she goes to town, their irrepressible energy quickly hangs all they're supposed to hang...and, well, they just weren't ready to stop. By the time mother returns, the entire contents of their home are hanging on the line and an exasperated mother hangs them up to dry too! A adorable and playful story perfect for preschool-and KG.
Esquivel! : Space-Age Sound Artist
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Wood, Susan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
September 06, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Juan Garcia Esquivel started messing with music at 6, and went on to experiment with early stereophonic recording in dazzlingly unexpected ways. A pioneer in what is now known as "lounge music" of the 50's and 60's Esquivel's "out of this world" music was sound painting with voice and instrumentation creating a mood that lifted him from his home in Mexico City to a global stage, and into the ears of another generation via Starbucks' Holiday Samplers. Play his "jingle Bells" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTLmTyVwtu4 or his groovy "Mini Skirt" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLCp2KYPdnU while reading this book. Illustrated wonderfully by can-do-no-wrong Duncan Tonatiuh, this giant of pop lounge music will come alive to the unexpected delight of readers of today in search of an audio-education.
Whose Poop Is That?
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Lunde, Darrin
Oseid, Kelsey
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 06, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
You can't candy coat the basic info here : poop tells us a lot about the animal it comes from. As someone who will stoop to examine scat on the trail, I enjoyed this introduction to the science of scat from a mammal collection manager at the Smithsonian National Museum. The simple repeating question "Whose poop is that?" faces illustrations by Kelsey Oseid, who give enough visual information to make an educated guess before turning the page for illustration of the animal and an explanation that would make this a fun non-fiction read-aloud or early independent reader for early elementary.
Two Truths And A Lie : It's Alive!
Walden Pond Press [Walden Pond Press]
Paquette, Ammi-Joan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 06, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Though this is not a new concept, this lively science title is co-authored by a local writer Laurie Ann Thompson. The book is divided into three parts—plants, animals and humans. Each of these is subdivided into three chapters, and each chapter has two truths and a lie. Each lie lies at the back of the book with an explanation of what was false and why despite some facts being accurate. The jaunty text invites the reader to learn more about these natural world topics and become a more discerning reader and researcher. Some of the lies are more obvious to an adult reader especially when the notorious tree octopods of the Pacific Northwest are included. Added quiz lists augment each chapter with the answers again at the back. Color photos and illustrations are included, and new vocabulary is highlighted in text bars. I question how many will actually read and/or try the added activities such as Talk It Out or Try This. It’s well researched (detailed bibliography for each entry) and includes research tips such as be engine-savy and wiki-wise. For students who enjoy stranger than fiction books as I did as a child plus guessing games with critical thinking this will fit the bill. Gr. 4-7
Real Cowboys
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Hoefler, Kate
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 06, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
I'm much obliged that Kate Hoefler done wrote us a real fine book about real cowboys. Jonathan Bean's illustrations show all the care and patience that cowpunchers must have to tend their herds in the wide open Western landscape. "Their work is to think of others: of the calf stranded on the ridge..and of how hundreds of moving cattle will feel about the sound of distant thunder." And as we ride along we learn "Real cowboys are gentle." and "Real cowboys are safe." "Real cowboys ask for help." And when stampedes do happen, and animals are lost, "Real cowboys cry." "Real cowboys can be strong, and tough, and homesick at the same time." The blend of information and emotions make this a wonderful addition and a perfect antidote for more glamorous but less accurate portrayals of the men and women who ride the range. "Real cowboys are as many different colors as the earth...they sit under skies so big, the stars take shape on the ground, and they wonder what's past the horizon. And one day, when their work is done, real cowboys find out." Amen, pardner. Amen.
Stanley's Store
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Bee, William
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
September 06, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
If a child likes the other Stanley books he/she will enjoy this one as well. In typical Stanley fashion he has a new occupation, this time running a grocery store where all of his friends either work or come to shop. The strength of this title is in its bold illustrations with thick black outlines that attract the young reader. Fruits, vegetables, cheeses and breads along with Little Woo’s sweets and chocolate are highlighted though many more items are on the shelves and usually labeled for the adult reader to share. I’m not sure what a cottage loaf is, but that’s what Gabriel gives Myrtle in the bakery section. After a busy day at the store Stanley, the multitalented hamster, retires to his home for dinner, bath and bedtime.
Porcupine's Picnic : Who Eats What?
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Rosenthal, Betsy R
Capizzi, Giusi
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
September 06, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
When Porcupine sits down for a perfect picnic, she is suddenly inundated with repeated queries of “May I join you?” from a variety of animals including a koala, baboon, tortoise, Giant Panda and ostrich. Most of these creatures don’t take her up on her offer of clover, but bring their own delicacies. The festivities end when Tiger joins them, and when asked what he would eat, he roars, “ALL OF YOU!” The colorful, digital illustrations mostly reflect stylized animals, and despite the scary ending children will learn what many animals eat. The concluding page provides added information about the three groups of animals based on what they eat—herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. I wish there were commas in the many “No thanks” responses.
Fantastic Flowers
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Stockdale, Susan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 06, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Have you ever looked at an object and noticed a face? Maybe you've enjoyed finding animals in fluffy white clouds on a summer’s day. With bold, bright acrylic illustrations and evocative language, Stockdale has created a picture book that invites readers to discover flowers masquerading as other creatures and things, like ballerinas, hats, snakes, and purses. It ends with a spread of two young children tending to a flower garden. There is also a page in the back about pollination, as well as photographs of each flower in the book accompanied by its common name, scientific name, native range, and pollinators. This book will be enjoyed by readers of all ages and could lead into engaging extension activities in the school setting.
Donald Trump
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lee, Jake
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 06, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. Interesting introduction leads into a timeline of highlights of his life. Readers will learn about his early life, schooling, work and family, how he built a business empire and had troubles, being a TV personality, and how he chose to run for President in 1999 with being in three different political parties. Some of the controversial positions he is known for and his slogans is followed by information about the election. The difference between total popular vote count won by Hilary Clinton while Trump won the electoral college vote and became President is not explained which would have taken more space. In the section about "Office of the President" is a discussion of the branches of our government; qualifications for the office of president; about the electoral college; and term of office including the oath of office; line of succession; monetary benefits of the office. Each of the Presidents and their terms are listed with name, party, date he took office, left office, terms served, and the vice president. Glossary and Index. Good resource for information about America's newest President.
Handprint Transportation
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Mehtani, Henu
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 06, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
From the Handprint Art series that encourages creative kids to use their hands to create colorful projects with step-by- step instructions and pictures of the vehicles. Fun, fun, fun! Review copy in paperback and available in hardback. Could be used by 3rd to 7th graders.
John Deere, That's Who!
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Maurer, Tracy Nelson
Zeltner, Tim
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 06, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Life and times of John Deere who many students would connect with mowers and tractors. John Deere was a blacksmith who had bad luck with people paying their bills and two fires that destroyed his forge. He moved from Vermont to Grand Detour, Illinois in 1836. The town needed a blacksmith and he worked long hours to repair items such as tools and the farmers' heavy iron plows over and over which they used to plow gummy gumbo soil. Deere heard the farmers complain about cleaning the plows so many times each day that he was afraid of losing his customers whom he needed. One day he takes a broken steel saw blade and makes it into a plow blade. It worked and he built more for other farmers to try before they bought them. Customers began requesting his plow. He moved to Moline, Illinois, where his company made steel plows to be sold in "branch houses." He didn't invent the tractor but 32 years after his death, his company bought an engine company and began selling tractors. "Who changed a nation forever? John Deere, that's who!" Glossary, More facts, Bibliography. Reviewed by Kirkus. Reinforced binding according to the dust jacket but the stitches are one inch.
To The Moon!
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Shepherd, Jodie
Bryne, Mike
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 06, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Neil Strong and his class visit the Space Museum where he sees the photo Neil Armstrong who was the first person the set foot on the moon. The teacher informs the students that the last astronauts visited the moon in 1972 and within the next ten years humans or androids are expected to go. While sitting at the control panel of a model of Apollo 11, Neil dreams that he has blasted off to space and lands on the moon. An android named Luna gives him a guided tour so that he learns a great deal about the moon. Neil wakes up with some ideas for his science fair project. Saturn shapes hold small bites of information. Readers are invited to create a moon diary by writing and drawing what the moon looks like for a month. Glossary, index, and list of books and websites. Review copy is in Library binding. Also available in paperback and Kindle. Other books in Space Adventure series to Mars, the stars, the Sun, and planet Earth.
Turtle Tug To The Rescue
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Slack, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 06, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Rhyming tale of Turtle Tug who is helping his friends in the sea when a storm starts up and gets worse. Various other animals have problems and Turtle Tug comes to the rescue. From panicking puffins, a seal pup stuck on a rock, to a sperm whale entangled in lines, Tug takes everyone to a safe harbor. Review copy in Reinforced binding. Also available in Kindle. Reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, SLJ, and Kirkus Reviews.
How To Find A Fox
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Magruder, Nilah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 06, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
In her debut picture book, first time author but accomplished illustrator, Nilah Magruder has a tale about an unnamed little girl with a camera who is looking for a fox but the task is more difficult than she has imagined. Yet, the fox might be closer than you imagined and with determined effort and persistence you might just be successful. Reviewed in SLJ and Kirkus Reviews. Review book in Reinforced binding and available for Kindle.
Step Forward With Optimism
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Miller, Reagan
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
September 06, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Explains what optimism and pessimism are and why optimism is important. Positive discussion starters. Multicultural pictures of kids and adults. Useful anytime but excellent for the start of school. Contains two biographies of optimistic individuals. Khadijah Williams overcame homelessness by working hard, being positive, and thereby earned a scholarship and graduated from Harvard University. Robby Novak is a 12 year old who spreads the message of “working together to make the world a better place“ even though he has had to deal with a medical condition where he has had more than 70 broken bones. With the help of his brother-in-law, he is “Kid President” in videos that they have shared online on UTube. (Be sure to watch some!) Awesome! Positive discussion starters. Review copy is paperback. Also available in hardback.
Maker Projects For Kids Who Love Designing Communities
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 06, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Starts with explaining what a community is and what is a maker. Includes background information and different aspects of community planning and development and step-by-step instructions for several projects such as a model park and little free libraries that are popular in my community. Would be of interest to readers who want to make their community a better place or be responsible in the future for the design and/or building of communities or specific areas within such as a park. Several individuals are mentioned with their contributions. Recommend rating. Although available in hardback, I would suggest purchase in paperback to encourage a specific group of interested readers as the series has at least 17 topics in the Be A Maker series. Guided Reader level: V. Glossary, index, and further reading suggestions and websites to visit.
Lonely Giant
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Ambrose, Sophie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 06, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
A giant loves to pull up trees like weeds, throws logs like spears, and smash and mashes mountains until the forest becomes smaller and quieter. He has destroyed this home environment and now misses the warm fire and the sweet song of the little yellow bird. The author’s debut tale will fit with environmental studies and Earth Day activities. Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and SLJ. Dust jacket on hardback indicates Reinforced Trade Edition but the book has wide stitching. Would suggest getting in Library Binding.
How To Find A Friend
CLARION [CLARION]
Costa, Maria S
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 06, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
A rabbit and squirrel each want a friend after moving into a new home. They are looking but always in the opposite direction from the other. Color matching slug type creatures are trying to direct them to each other but they don't hear the suggestions. They finally bump into each other and find the new friend they have been searching for. Available in Kindle and paperback. Maria Costa's first book has a combination of digital and traditional techniques used to create her illustrations. End papers are a map of the places the two friends have missed each other. Reviewed by SLJ, Booklist, and Kirkus.
Tony
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Galing, Ed
Stead, Erin E.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 07, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
In the early morning, before dawn, a big white horse named Tony pulls a wagon for Tom the milk driver, delivering milk, eggs and butter to customers. One of those customers is an unnamed child, who faithfully gets up every day to give Tony a hug and let him know that “he is such a wonderful horse, and so handsome.” Ed Galing’s poem might need some explanations for young children (the days of milk delivery via wagon are long gone) but is universal in its depiction of a quiet, sweet memory of childhood and the connection kids have with the animals they love. Stead’s remarkable pencil and monoprint illustrations are a perfect match for the text; the use of only green and yellow paint perfectly evokes early morning; her drawings of Tony the horse are deeply expressive, showing exactly how he is “large, sturdy, with wide gentle eyes and a ton of love.” A simple enough book to read to a group, yet effective at showing the intimacy of a small moment.
Charles Darwin's around-the-world adventure
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Thermes, Jennifer
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Young naturalists who like to watch critters and get their hands dirty will surely find a kindred spirit in the likes of Charles Darwin. Thermes’ gentle biography briefly shows the famous biologist as a child, collecting insects in the forests of England, but the bulk of the story is focused on Darwin’s epic adventures as the naturalist on the HMS Beagle. The vivid watercolor-and-ink illustrations incorporate maps into the page designs so that readers can follow along as the intrepid Darwin finds fossils, collects unusual animals, and examines plants along the coasts and islands of South America. There are a few clues given to how these observations would later shape his views as a revolutionary scientist, but there is no mention at all of what made him famous. The only reference to The Origin of Species or evolution is in the author’s afterword. Kids who know nothing about Darwin might come away thinking he is well known for being a world traveler, not for his ideas. Otherwise, this is a fine book for nature lovers who dream of discovering their own new species someday.
Great, Now We've Got Barbarians!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Eaton, Jason Carter
Fearing, Mark
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
September 07, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Messy eaters of the world, beware. When Mom’s warnings about keeping trash on the floor go unheeded, a boy is dismayed to find new pests around the house: not ants or mice, but barbarians. At first the fur-and-armor clad lugs seem “kinda cute,” but soon they turn into a nuisance, fighting over cupcakes, using toys as backscratchers, and “leaving behind yak pelts and horned helmets” everywhere. Traps and exterminators are no match for the likes of Vlad and Torr, leaving the family with a choice: either move to a new house, or -- horrors! -- clean up the current one. Eaton’s story might be a little heavy-handed with its moral, but that is readily compensated with its clever, witty text. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with warriors who come seeking “cheese curls and glory”? Fearing’s cartoon-inspired illustrations play up the humor perfectly, showing barbarians popping out of kitchen cupboards, building couch-cushion forts, and hastily escaping being hit with a fly swatter. An excellent choice for reading aloud and getting some laughs.
Riding Chance
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Kendall, Christine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 07, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Can a horse fix a broken heart? For Troy, that might be his last hope. Living in inner-city Philadelphia, he’s been sliding towards delinquency since the death of his mother. After being caught one too many times, he lands in a program that puts kids to work cleaning stables in a city park, and in return gets therapeutic riding lessons. Troy bonds with a horse named Chance right away, and also becomes curious about the sport of polo, which the program’s other participants are learning to play. Kendall juggles a lot in this book, from navigating grief, to Troy’s problems being bullied by teammates, to the ordeals of racial injustice (during one intense scene, city policemen think Troy’s polo mallet is a gun and jump him), and the dilemmas of upward mobility (Troy’s polo coaches and teammates are all black, while polo historically is a sport associated with wealthy whites), but she handles them deftly. The nuances of the rider-horse relationship are particularly well described. There aren’t any surprising story twists here; if you’ve read any book with the “troubled teen turns life around through new hobby” plot, then you know what’s going to happen. But for sheer uniqueness of the story and setting, this is one to recommend.
Mwd : Hell Is Coming Home
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Johnson, Brian David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 07, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Liz is spiralling downwards: her leg is shattered while serving in Iraq, and life after returning to her hometown is hellish. Dealing with PTSD as well as a sexual assault from one of her fellow soldiers, Liz is sleeps with a gun under her pillow at night, relentlessly pushes away friends and family, and drinks hard in order to prove how tough she still is. Her only way out is through Brutus, the stray dog that reminds her of Ender, the military working dog who she believes saved her life. After Brutus is sent to the pound, Liz ends up working there as a volunteer, watched over by the married couple who run the facility, one of whom is a veteran of the Vietnam War and empathises with her plight. The contrast between Milevski and Stevens’ art is effective; the scenes in Iraq are in sharp-edged ink, with carefully detailed cross-hatching. Scenes of civilian life are blurred and muted, in soft grey charcoal. Johnson and Egleson’s writing pulls no punches in its depiction of the realities of war and its after-effects; the use of strong language and brief nudity (Liz bares her chest to show her battle scars) makes this a book for older teens. The spare, efficient storytelling makes this an intimate, painful but redemptive booke
Way Home In The Night
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Miyakoshi, Akiko
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 07, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
A city landscape forms the backdrop for this pleasing bedtime story. A tired little bunny is carried home by his parents through an urban neighborhood, and along the way he notices other animals through their apartment windows, busily baking pies, closing up a bookshop, or getting ready for a party. After being tucked in bed, the bunny keeps wondering about those neighbors: did the pie taste good? Is it time for the party to end? Just before nodding off, he hears footsteps echoing down the street, and imagines them leading a mouse taking the last train home. “Some nights are different, some are special. But every night, we all go to bed.” Akiko’s Miyahoshi’s charcoal and pastel illustrations are masterful in their depiction of the yellow and whites of city lights in contrast with the dark textures of brick and concrete. The effect is luminous instead of harsh. The imagined scenes are given small, round-cornered frames, as if we ourselves are peeking through a window. A refreshing take on bedtime stories.
Come Home, Angus
Orchard Books (Scholastic) [Orchard Books (Scholastic)]
Downes, Patrick
Kulikov, Boris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 07, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Little Angus woke up on the wrong side of the bed. He angrily yells at his pets and refuses breakfast, and when Mama insists he apologize, he decides to run away. Unfortunately for him, living in the middle of a large city makes running away a more daunting prospect than he initially realized. Fortunately, Mama has quietly followed him from a distance, ready with lunch and a hug when Angus realizes that running away perhaps isn’t what he wants after all. He and Mom end our story sharing a sardine sandwich on a park bench and feeling much better. Kulikov’s illustrations make the emotions at play literal: as Angus gets angrier, his body can hardly contain itself; his limbs thrust in different directions, filling up the blank spaces on the page. On the next spread, we see that Angus has grown to twice the size of his mother, and keeps expanding, Alice-like, until he bursts outside, only to find that the houses on his block barely come to his ankles. It isn’t until he is surrounded by wave after wave of skyscrapers that Angus cools off and shrinks, barely filling a corner of the park bench his mother finds him in. A familiar kind of story, but expertly told an executed.
Most Mysterious Mouse
ENCHANTED LION BOOKS [ENCHANTED LION BOOKS]
Zoboli, Giovanna
D?andrea, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 08, 2017
Korf, Clarence
A handsome tabby cat has a headful of mice. He thinks about them all the time. He thinks about them individually and thinks about them in groups. Even in groups, all the mice are unique. His friends are asking him to go out but he refuses because he is too busy thinking about mice. His ultimate dream was to imagine one million mice by his eighteenth birthday. But then there was one mouse, "a most remarkable mouse," was always alluding his imagination and it bothers him immensely. This bugged him for days until there was a knock at the door and he recognized the visitor immediately. The story takes many unusual twists and it may be difficult for some to follow. The wonderful pencil illustrations of the cats and mice are full of whimsy and expression which give the story more than half the fun. The book is a translation from Italian.
Frail Human Heart
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Marriott, Zoe
Tobia, Lauren
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 08, 2017
Dame, Anne
Book 3 (and conclusion) to the Name of the Blade series. As is true with most series books for me, I really enjoyed the first one but found them decreasingly interesting by the final one. With that said, however, this is a satisfying conclusion to the series and picks up right where book 2 left off. Mio has had to imprison Shinobu back into the sword, but that has not solved all of the problems in their world. London is being overrun by creatures from hell as two gods continue their destructive fight and confrontation. Mio must risk all to save the world.
Big Nate : A Good Old-Fashioned Wedgie
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Peirce, Lincoln
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 08, 2017
Dame, Anne
The latest in the Big Nate graphic novel series will not disappoint fans of Nate and his antics. Colorful, funny. Will also appeal to reluctant/struggling readers (especially true in middle school settings).
It's Not Me, It's You
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
Strohm, Stephanie Kate
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 08, 2017
Dame, Anne
A good rom-com read-alike for Sarah Dessen fans (although Dessen's characters are not usually quite this shallow). Avery Dennis, popular girl who has ALWAYS had a boyfriend, gets dumped right before prom! Avery writes the story as a narrative essay to one of her teachers as a fulfillment a required assignment. Lots of interviews throughout with editorial comments added by Avery. Smart readers will figure out where the story is heading long before the end of the book, but will not disappoint for a happy ending.
Christmas
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 08, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
The Story of our Holidays series includes secular, American and religious holidays, describing the origins, history, and traditions associated with each. The quality of information and illustrations vary widely from book to book, but the series as a whole is a worthwhile addition. Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus, wasn’t declared a holiday until 300 C.E. and his birth was assigned to December 25, an existing Roman pagan celebration day honoring the return of the sun. Christmas today has religious and secular traditions and often includes Advent and Christmas Eve services awaiting the birth of Jesus, gift giving, Christmas trees, and, caroling. But many of the secular traditions come from pagan roots and originated in different places and time periods. Unfortunately the cover and photographs are based on unattractive green and red colors and don’t adequately depict the secular side of the holiday. Photographs include a beautiful church decorated with poinsettas and seasonal colors, children on Santas lap, carolers, a crèche scene, and a person writing a card. A recipe for Christmas Gingerbread, and a simple reindeer ornament as well as standard non-fiction text features are included.
Hanukkah
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 08, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
The Story of our Holidays series includes secular, American and religious holidays, describing the origins, history, and traditions associated with each. The quality of information and illustrations vary widely from book to book, but the series as a whole is a worthwhile addition. Hanukkah means dedication and honors a 2000-year-old battle where the Maccabeen Jews revolted against the Greeks in order to practice their religion and against overwhelming odds took back their temple. Basic background in Judaism, it’s history, traditional and current practices and holiday traditions are explained and directions given for an applesauce recipe and Dreidel game. Israel is mentioned including a photograph of the blue and white flag. A full-page photo colorfully depicts the celebration with smaller ones less eye-catching ones showing lighting the menorah, worshiping in the temple or synagogue, and images from the time of the Maccabees. Standard non-fiction text features include a glossary, book and website recommendations and index but no sources for information.
Kwanzaa
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 08, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
The Story of our Holidays series includes secular, American and religious holidays, describing the origins, history, and traditions associated with each. The quality of information and illustrations vary widely from book to book, but the series as a whole is a worthwhile addition. Kwanzaa while celebrated between Christmas and New Years is not a religious holiday and does not replace any of those celebrations. Instead it was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga merging old and new traditions from harvest festivals in Africa and the United States to celebrate family and 7 important values in life. Information describes how each day focuses on one principal and is known by both Swahili and English names, as well as symbols, different colored candles, and activities. A recipe for Botswanan Chicken Groundnut Stew and directions for making a Mancala game are included. Photographs show colorful fabric hangings, kente cloth, candles, homemade gift making, and community gatherings. Unfortunately the inset box describing the Kwanzaa flag does not share a photo. Standard non-fiction text features included but no sources for information.
3D Printing : Science, Technology, And Engineering
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Otfinoski, Steven
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 08, 2017
Dame, Anne
This 64 page informational book has a lot of great information in it - however, my big concern is how long it will stay relevant as the field is changing so quickly. There are many full color photographs as well as a few black and white photos showing the changes in printing capabilities over time. This is a good addition for a STEM curriculum (with the caveat noted above). Some of the more fascinating uses for 3D printing include: creating a new beak for a turtle, chocolate, and skin! There are also interviews and a few graphs to add to the overview of 3D printing. For so few pages, it is quite thorough.
Catching A Storyfish
Wordsong [Wordsong]
Harrington, Janice N
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 08, 2017
Dame, Anne
This novel in verse is about a girl named Keet who loves to talk and tell stories. That changes when her family moves from Alabama to Illinois and people make fun of her accent. Grandpa encourages her to find the story-teller within again. Sweet story about families and friendships. Seems about right for 3rd-6th grade.
To Catch A Cheat
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Johnson, Varian
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 08, 2017
Dame, Anne
Second book in the Jackson Greene books. Not strictly necessary to have read the first book, but there are references to it throughout, so it is helpful. When the school is flooded, a video is released that shows Jackson and his friends as being the guilty party. They need to figure out who made the video to get themselves out of hot water. A fun read with engaging characters and several of their problems are very authentic to middle school.
Earth Day
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 10, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
The Story of our Holidays series includes secular, American and religious holidays, describing the origins, history, and traditions associated with each. The quality of information and illustrations vary widely from book to book, but the series as a whole is a worthwhile addition. Combining historical photos and tracing the history of the holiday includes information on the original Earth Day in 1970 to today’s recognition of the day around the Globe. This is a timely topic as results of the first Earth Day included the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Ironically these very Acts have been watered down and threatened themselves today as the impact of industry, business and downplay of science have become priorities in recent legislation. Unfortunately, the actions recommended in the last chapter are the same individual actions encouraged almost 50 years ago with the addition of more emphasis on students’ letter writing to newspapers, internet and elected officials about concerns. Still it is important to include this in the series. Glossary, recommended books and websites, and index are included.
Groundhog Day
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Isbell, Hannah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 10, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Who would have known that Groundhog’s Day has ancient roots in early Christianity and pagan myths of bears and badgers predicting the weather? The book does a good job explaining how the ancient Celtic holiday Imbolc, celebrating the coming of spring on Feb. 1, and the Christian holiday, Candlemass celebrated on February 2 were both based in the anticipation of the changing weather and the animals that were coming out of hibernation. The journey of myth to modern Groundhog’s day is detailed as well as information about groundhogs and other animals used to predict spring’s arrival. An accuracy check compares the predictions with meteorologists’ data. (Groundhogs are not good predictors) Photographs alternate between showing the animal in its natural habitat and those taking part in the holiday. Story of our Holidays series includes secular, American and religious holidays, describing the origins, history, and traditions associated with each. The quality of information and illustrations vary widely from book to book, but the series as a whole is a worthwhile addition. Glossary, recommended books and websites, and index are included.
Presidents' Day
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Wade, Mary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 10, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Presidents’ Day fuels a rush on my holiday books in the library and I can always use another one to check out. Here you will find the evolution of the holiday from a celebration of George Washington to the 1971 proclamation setting the date for the third Monday in February to celebrate all our Presidents. Most of the chapters recount biographical details for George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, also born in February. Interestingly the book mentions that in 2017 we have now elected 45 Presidents but no list of names is included. A recipe for cherry pie is included and a slightly more complicated “If I were President . . .” book craft complete the text. Illustrations are unimpressive photos of a few presidents, people voting, the White House, and some historical paintings. Glossary, recommended books and websites and index are included.
Cinco De Mayo
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 10, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Festive Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the teamwork involved in the defeat and overthrow of the French in the 1860’s. Against all odds, an eclectic group of farmers, ranchers and only a few unarmed Mexican soldiers defeated a French army in Puebla on May 5, 1862. Although soon defeated, Mexico eventually defeated the French and gained their independence. One chapter details the life of Benito Juárez, who similar to Abraham Lincoln grew up poor and self-educated recognizing the inequality amongst the people, and chose to enact reforms in education and protected the poor. Today much rejoicing in Mexico and America includes festive parades and parties, reenactments, folkloric dancing and mariachi bands. Brightly colored photographs focus on the celebrations as well as historical illustrations. Also included is a recipe for salsa and directions for creating a tissue paper Mexican flag. Story of our Holidays series includes secular, American and religious holidays, describing the origins, history, and traditions associated with each. The quality of information and illustrations vary widely from book to book, but the series as a whole is a worthwhile addition. Glossary, recommended books and websites, and index are included.
Chinese New Year
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Robinson, Fay
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 10, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
“Gung hay fat choy!” Flashes of red, noisy firecrackers, lion dances, and dragon parades are just a few of the more sensational ways that Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Korea, Vietnam and cities around the world. Why firecrackers and dragons and oranges and tangerines though? Noise scares away the monster who would come down to the villages and oranges and tangerines bring good luck as the words for those fruits sound like the word for “good luck”. According to this book, the dragon was formed from the collection of animal symbols of the tribes who united in Ancient China. Concise, clear explanations of many of the traditions to obtain luck, wealth, happiness, and health are paired with colorful, eye-catching photographs and smaller city specific events are also mentioned. A Fried Rice recipe and directions for a money envelope craft are included. Part of The Story of our Holidays series including secular, American and religious holidays is a worthwhile addition to your school library.
Juneteenth
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 10, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
The striking cover image of two strong brown arms with fists shown breaking the binding chains is a stark contrast to most celebratory holiday book covers. Juneteenth is a celebration of African-Americans’ freedom from slavery marking the day, June 19, 1865, when the slaves in Galveston finally learned they were free – two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. The holiday started in Texas, 1866 with parades and fancy dress as well as a rereading of the Proclamation and General Order Number 3 and stories and speeches about slavery and the future. Church services were attended thanking God for their new freedom. Juneteenth was declared a Texas State holiday in 1979 and the movement has spread to other states as well. In 1997 the US Congress proclaimed Juneteenth Independence Day and other are working towards it becoming an official national holiday. A brief bit of background on slavery and examples of how the day is often celebrated round out the chapters. Historical illustrations and a few photos of people celebrating are uninspiring. Corn muffin recipe and a construction paper pinwheel craft project as well as glossary, recommended resources, and index is included.
Eye Of The Storm : Nasa, Drones, And The Race To Crack The H
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Cherrix, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 10, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
I am reviewing this "Scientists in the Field" book "where science meets adventure" on the day Hurricane Irma is pummeling the Gulf Coast of Florida. This book starts out with a selfie and tragically prescient "SANDYCOMEEATME" message posted by 13 year old Angela Dresch, just hours before that Super Storm did just that. RIP Angela. Meteorology matters. Like other books in the series, plentiful crisp photographs illustrate the ways scientists do their work, in this case following a NASA Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) team as they ready and launch a drone to study Hurricane Edouard in 2014. Readers get a behind the scenes, hour by hour account of the team work required for such an unmanned flight as well as insights into the science of storms. Plentiful notes, research tips, hurricane safety information, glossary and index compliment the 64 pages of text. This book will delight 4th -through middle school science buffs and would be most helpful for units on meteorology and for readers living in areas affected by Hurricanes. For our Pacific Northwest school library collections I'm hoping WWW.Sciencemeetsadventure.com will have a forthcoming title to cover seismology and the science of shifting plate tectonics.
How Samantha Smart Became A Revolutionary
RED DEER PRESS [RED DEER PRESS]
Green, Dawn
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 10, 2017
Datisman, Eve
This debut novel could be set in Germany in 1932, in a galaxy far, far away, or 1984 but Samantha Smart is a current figure caught in a time when a totalitarian government is taking power in the US. She’s a typical college freshman on a soccer scholarship; her guardian is her grandad and he’s given her plenty of help in learning to grow in spite of adversity. Sam is Salt to her BFF and teammate Kayla’s Pepper; her boyfriend Brady, on the football team, is from a well-to-do- family. Sam enrolls in a political science class but finds she hates it; the TA, Aaron, is always the anti to her pro. When corporate leader John King wins the presidential election, protests and demonstrations breakout; King introduces the Elite Guard, a private protection force, to keep order. Uneasy, Kayla and Sam attend the school’s football game where King will be in attendance. An explosion and gunfire, blamed on the Resistance, kills hundreds including Kayla. Someone takes a photo of Sam carrying Kayla’s body that goes viral and she’s a wanted person. Narrated in Then and Now chapters with commentary from Medianet broadcasts; she becomes nobody and everybody in a society divided and opposed to itself.
Katie Ledecky
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Scheff, Matt
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 10, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
A smiling and confidant Ledecky wearing her USA swim cap, raises a triumphant arm on the cover of the flamboyantly colored Olympic Stars biography. Swimmer Katie Ledecky at 19 became an international sensation winning five Olympic medals, four gold and one silver, in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. Outdistancing her competitors by body lengths in the longer races, she became a role model for swimmers everywhere with her love of the sport and determination. Biographical details show how the determined six-year-old who couldn’t even swim a length of the pool, set goals, worked as hard as she could and as soon as she achieved these goals created more difficult ones. Each two-page spread features one or more photographs of Ledecky swimming or with teammates along with one-two paragraphs of text written in a bright yellow band with accompanying red Fast Fact boxes. Swirling orange, yellow, green and blue colors match the Olympic medal ribbon colors and sweep across the page edges bringing a heightened energy to both text and photographs. Timeline, Glossary and Index are included. Purchase this high-interest biography for it’s motivational message, but beware that it will quickly be outdated as new accomplishments occur.
Pizza Mouse
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Garland, Michael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The big city should be a treasure trove for a food-hunting, creative mouse. That's true, but you can either find the feast or be it. Cleverness and agility help him bring home the ultimate dinner--pizza. This is a simple story--with a guided reading level of D. It provides early readers with a readable tale and terrific illustrations by Michael Garland. They're bright, expressive, and eye-catching, providing much more depth to the story. Unfortunately the publisher saves a little money by having the title page as the first page, making it a challenge to put library barcodes or other identifiers inside the book. The stitching is good, and I'm sure they're doing this to keep the price down. However, the result is a hardback book that feels more like a paperback book and that won't last as long as it should.
I Can Run
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Head, Murray
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Our district recently adopted a new reading curriculum that levels books by IRLA level. My teachers despair of finding library books at the lowest levels for beginning readers. Well, Holiday House has it's "I Like to Read" series that meets that need. This is a guided reading level A book. The very simple text consists entirely of 3 word sentences all beginning with "I can..." and ending with a verb. Each sentence is accompanied by a crisp, bright full-page photograph of a squirrel running, hopping, hiding, etc. The pictures are delightful and fun. While the text seems slight (and I'm not sure why two pages both contain the text "I can hide") it is perfect for those just learning to read. This is just what my K teachers are looking for.
Hello Autumn!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Rotner, Shelley
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Vivid, crisp photographs celebrate the season as equally crisp text introduces young readers to the changes that come with autumn. The photographs show children from a variety of ethnicities, all with big smiles as they enjoy the benefits of the season--pumpkins, apples, colorful leaves, and more. Teachers adore good books about the seasons and this is an exceptional choice. The author has previously created a similar book about spring. Let's hope the other two seasons are on the way! You'll want these for your library.
Falling Over Sideways
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Sonnenblick, Jordan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 11, 2017
Dame, Anne
Claire is struggling with a number of different things: mean girls at school, a boy who constantly mocks her, friends who are advancing faster in their dance classes... Things get infinitely worse, however, when she is home alone with her dad and he has a medical emergency. ******SPOILER****** Claire's dad has a stroke. As far as I can tell, the medical information given and portrayed throughout the book is accurate. I think this is a great addition to a middle school collection. (Good for high school also, but the main character is a a little young for high school.) I feel like there are many books that address cancer but I can't think of any that address something like a stroke and how that affects a family. I also like Sonnenblick's voice. His characters feel authentic.
Sleepers
Mims House [Mims House]
Pattison, Darcy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
It seems a reasonable request. Earth doesn't really use its oceans, and the Risonians are about to lose their planet. Surely they can live in Earth's oceans, leaving the land for the original inhabitants of the planet. However, nothing is ever so simple, and compromise is not easily reached. Teen-aged Jake is quite literally caught in the middle. He's a test-tube baby, combining the genes of both Earth and Rison. Everyone thinks he's an ordinary Earth kid, but he has some unique abilities. The hope for refuge for his mother's people, however, is being threatened by a group determined to create a huge natural disaster that an be blamed on the aliens. What can Jake and his friends do to stop it? this is the first book in a proposed trilogy that combines science fiction with a unique refugee crisis.
Owl Bat Bat Owl
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Fitzpatrick, Marie-Louis
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In this wordless picture book a mother owl and her three owlets are perched on a branch. sleeping. Wait, what's this? A mother bat and her three babies decide to hang upside down on the same branch. This creates some discomfort and concern for the owl mother, especially when one of her owlets seems overly influenced by the new arrivals. However, when a gale blows through motherhood overcomes species aversion. The story is gently sweet and the illustrations are priceless, telling much through simple expression and basic actions. Young children will love to "read" this book to their parents, telling the story in their own words.
Who's Hungry?
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hacohen, Dean
Scharschmidt, Sherry
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 11, 2017
Elders, Ann
“Time to eat. Is anybody hungry?” Each page spread features an animal who shows on the slit half-page what he would eat. This is an ideal book for children learning to read with its repetition featuring animals and food. More difficult fun words add to the learning experience. Drawings are simplistic in basic colors. Animals include squirrel, seal, mouse, horse, monkey, bunny, and panda in their habitat. From empty plate with fork and spoon in the beginning it goes through each animal and ends with a plate, fork and spoon with food for the reader—chicken leg, broccoli, and carrots. This is a fun presentation that young children will love to read.
Madame Martine Breaks The Rules
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Brannen, Sarah S
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 11, 2017
Elders, Ann
Madame Martine and her dog Max live in Paris and do everything together. When her friend Louis asks if she’d like to go to the Louvre Museum where he works, she refuses because dogs aren’t allowed. However, on one of their exploration trips Louis dashes into the Louvre. What follows is and a chase that shows some of the exciting exhibits at the Louvre. This lovely andexciting story provides an introduction to the Louvre. One sees drawings of some statues and paintings.
Where's Waldo?
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Handford, Martin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 12, 2017
Burton, Paula
It has been 30 years since the first Waldo book was published. To celebrate the 30 years of looking for the familiar character in his striped hat and shirt, there is an extra scene in this version. All the familiar searches are also included; looking for the wizard Whitebeard, Wenda, Woof, and Odlaw. Every spread starts with a postcard from Waldo with some other interactive opportunities. Each scene has many hilarious moments. The last spread has a checklist with additional events, objects, and other weird situations to look for. The reviewer had a paperback version.
Putting Earth First : Eating And Living Green
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 12, 2017
Burton, Paula
Next Generation Energy books are a series of books with the environment in mind. Other titles in the series are; Burning out: Energy from Fossil Fuels, Energy from Earth’s Core: Geothermal Energy, and Leaving our Mark: Reducing our Carbon Footprint. Chapters are the length of a spread, and the first seven chapters are very general environmental topics; green living, energy choices. It is not until page 18 that the topic of the title is approached. Since there is only 32 pages in the book, it does not leave much information of the topic. There is a content page and in the back an index. The last spread has a glossary and a short list of books ad websites to learn more about the topic. Photographs and colorful backgrounds make this an attractive looking book but the content does not live up to the title. The reviewer had a paperback version of the book.
How To Pee : Potty Training For Girls
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Spector, Todd
Chung, Arree
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
September 12, 2017
Burton, Paula
Using a creative approach to potty training, the author takes on a different style and within four steps this little girl is on her potty. Either princess style, Fresh air style (outdoors), Witchy style, or dance party style, the little girl does her business. Most of the styles are stereotypical for girls and do not state anything outside of the pink colors, floral patterns, or sparkly outfits. There is a page with helpful hints by the author, a family practice physician, prior to the story and some helpful hints for parents on the last spread. Humorous and a change from the usual potty books.
There, There
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Beiser, Tim
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
It's raining. That's OK with Bear. The same cannot be said for Hare. Poor Bear is forced to say, "There, There." He says it now, and later too. Yes, Hare's determined to be blue. No comfort for that long-eared Hare can be found in a warm "there, there." Now even bears can have enough. Bear drags Hare out. He's rather rough. And in the mud he makes Hare squirm as he compares his life to Worm. Hare soon agrees that Bear is right. Perhaps that rabbit's seen the light. But as the two friends leave, poor Worm is feeling quite a bit infirm. Is HIS life really that unfair? It's Worm who needs a soft, "There, There."
Listen : How Pete Seeger Got America Singing
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Schubert, Leda
Colon, Raul
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
September 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Pete Seeger was an activist who lured others into his causes with a warm heart, and sing-along music. This book's text reads like poetry, with song titles woven into the story like gold threads. Young readers will learn about his causes, those who sang with him, and a little about his adult life. An author's note provides further information. The story is good, and beautifully told. Add to that the extraordinary illustrations by Raul Colon and you have something truly special. Look at his shirt on the cover. Are those song titles written in almost hidden cursive? Check out the other illustrations curving lines that draw you in, and background details that tell you more. This is sure to be on award lists.
Identity And Gender
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Ogden, Charlie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 12, 2017
Burton, Paula
An informative book on the important topic of identity and gender. Large typeface, and photographs on every page could make this also interesting to a reluctant reader in an older grade. Every chapter is about four pages and has a different topic on each page. For example in What shapes your identity there is a heading passions, families, and cultures. It explains what identity is, and tells about the history of gender identity. The book has only 32 pages but that could be perfect for a reluctant reader. Other books in the “Our values” series are; Government & Democracy, Human rights & Liberty, and Equality & Diversity. Content page, Index are available and on the last full spread a page of questions to make the readers community more accepting, and a glossary of terms. The reviewer had a paperback version.
Transphobia : Deal With It And Be A Gender Transcender
Lorimer (Lerner) [Lorimer (Lerner)]
Skelton, J Wallace
Johnson, Nick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 12, 2017
Burton, Paula
This book is part of the series “Deal with it” by publisher Lorimer. There is a wide variety of topics applicable to kids today which helps them solve conflicts around issues like gangs, homophobia, girlness, guyness, anxiety, bullying and more in this series. The publisher advertises this particular book in the series for 4th through 9th grade. The book is set up to make it look like a magazine; with different size fonts, quizzes, a dear Abby section with questions and answers although in this book it is called “dear conflict counsellor, and article looking sections. Together with colorful illustrations the publisher makes it appealing for a tween crowd. There is a section on the last page for more help. Unfortunately since the book is published by a Canadian publisher, there are no American websites included. The one disappointing aspect of the book is its contrast for the cover, where they do use a photograph of a person but the inside is illustrated. The topic is very important to discuss with kids and this book does it in an age appropriate way. The reviewer had a hardcover copy.
Lost And Found : Adele & Simon In China
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Mcclintock, Barbara
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 12, 2017
Burton, Paula
Well known author and illustrator Barbara McClintock has another book in the Adele And Simon series. This time the brother and sister travel off to china to visit their uncle Sidney. Adele relays their adventures in postcards and a letter to her mom. Uncle Sidney buys the children several items. For Adele it is a camera and for Simon items that he loses on their trip. Hints for where Simon’s items can be found are in the pictures that Adele has taken. It makes this book not only an informative account of the country at the time that Simon and Adele lived, but also an interactive book to look for the lost articles. The last spread explains the different sites with historical and geographical notes the kids saw on their adventure. A true delight of beautiful illustrations and a fun search-and-find aspect.
Bad Kitty Takes The Test
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Bruel, Nick
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 12, 2017
Burton, Paula
This is the last in the series about the very popular cat invented by Nick bruel for beginning readers. Bad Kitty has to proof she is actually a feline to keep her cat license. With the help of Chatty Kitty, Bad Kitty is trying to make sense of the class on how to become a cat which is taught by Strange Kitty. The familiar humor, black and white illustrations, and comic book style text will be attractive for fans, and new beginning readers.
Spidey : 5
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thompson, Robbie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 12, 2017
Burton, Paula
This is a hardback bound version of the comic and would be a version that can last a long time in a school library. One would have to purchase the other 5 installments of the series to make the set and the story complete. The first page does review the story in a couple of panels; how Spider-Man got his superpowers and how Peter Parker hides during his regular life in school and from aunt May. In this installment Peter meets his friend Harry's father; mr. Osborn or should it say the green goblin. A lot of action and some fight scenes. The predictable ending and a realization for both Peter and Mr. Osborn. Short but an attractive full color hard bound book for those interested in superheroes.
Big Nate : What's A Little Noogie Between Friends?
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Peirce, Lincoln
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 12, 2017
Burton, Paula
Big Nate is back. A new book in a brand new series of familiar one page comics by New York Times bestseller Lincoln Peirce. Nate is again in situations that are not always in his favor but he's resilient and it will deliver the laughs for readers of graphic novels and comics. nate’s school picture is still no better than the previous year, his soccer team is losing from the team that hasn't won a game in ages , and his seat at the movie turns out to be next to Gina. He and his friends come to comic solutions that will generate new readers and satisfy the fans. The reviewer had a full color paperback version with a pull-out poster in the back.
Bear's Life
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Mcallister, Ian
Read, Nicholas
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This book is hard to quantify. The photographs of bears found in the Great Bear Rainforest are extraordinary. The text that accompanies them seems driven by the photographs rather than the photographs enhancing the text, however. So it wanders, somewhat following the seasons, with occasional excursions to other tidbits of information. This lack of clear focus and format can be somewhat frustrating for report-writers, but will interest readers who just like cool bear facts. Especially interesting is the information about spirit bears--black bears that have white fur--and the photographs that accompany this information. This book would be a worthy addition to your nonfiction shelves.
Alexander Graham Bell Answers The Call
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Fraser, Mary Ann
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
From his childhood Alexander Bell was interested in sounds. Perhaps this had to do with his mother's deafness, or his brothers' pranks, or the music that surrounded his life. His natural inventiveness made him want to understand more about sound, and how it is perceived and transmitted. With clear and bouncy text, and beautiful multimedia illustrations this is a wonderful example of narrative nonfiction. Young readers learn about Alexander's childhood, youth, and growth into an inventor. The focus is on the transmission of sound, but the author points out some of his other inventions. Fact boxes and some photographs are included, as well as a timeline of Alexander Graham Bell's life. This would make a fun read-aloud and a natural lead-in to science units on the study of sound.
Fleatastics
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Desimini, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Sarafleana comes from a family of acrobatic fleas and is encouraged to fit in. She, however, has a special talent for leaping. Why can't that be her act, instead of standing on top of the pyramid? The show is nearly destroyed, however, when the dog they're on hears the word "treat." It is only Sarafleana's amazing talent that saves the day. The story is based on a standard theme, but the illustrations are lots of fun--digital, with paper collage and paint. They are filled with side conversations, action, and information from the end papers right through the middle.
Kid Amazing Vs. The Blob
CLARION [CLARION]
Schneider, Josh
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 15, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Jimmy is secretly a superhero--Kid Amazing. He has to use his super powers in dealing with a local threat--the Blob (aka his baby sister). His tool belt includes de-stinking spray and de-sliming wipes, but will that be enough? AHA! There's the neutralizer. It will stop the creature's howls. Indeed, the pacifier is effective. Another successful mission! Particularly fun are the detailed, bright illustrations showing just how far Jimmy's imagination stretches. This is an amusing look at a boy with a tremendous imagination dealing with life's little problems.
Seven Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want To Sur
CLARION [CLARION]
Grandits, John
Austin, Michael Allen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 15, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Kyle usually brown-bags it, but today he is buying a school lunch. No big deal, right? Not according to his friend, Ginny who, in her infinite wisdom offers all sorts of advice. Kyle never realized buying lunch was so fraught with problems. The story is a little wordy, but humorous. What really blows this out of the water are the incredible three-dimensional illustrations by Michael Allen Austin that hilariously reflect Kyle's obsession with bugs while exaggerating the horror of the school lunchroom. Visually, this is a treat. The story is also a lot of fun as well, mixing hyperbole with kid social angst. Students will appreciate the protagonist's problems and empathize, while recognizing their absurdity.
Second Grade Holdout
CLARION [CLARION]
Vernick, Audrey
Cordell, Matthew
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 15, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
First grade was great, but what is second grade going to be like? He won't be with his best friend, Tyler. He won't have his favorite teacher. He won't know the rules. In fact, if you believe Tyler's older sisters, second grade is fraught with danger and difficulty. Told in the first person, the protagonist considers the advantages of just staying in first grade. Eventually, however, both he and Tyler realize their legs are being pulled. That makes them believe they truly are ready for their new experiences. This would be a fun read-aloud for the first day of school as it aptly expresses some of the worries students have, while popping each worry bubble with humor. The watercolor and ink illustrations are filled with delightful details that will make children giggle. This is a fun book that will find a ready readership.
New School Year : Stories In Six Voices
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Derby, Sally
Song, Mika
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
September 15, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What is it like to start a new year at school? See that first day through the eyes of six children, in grades K to 5. Each is facing challenges, and a little nervous about new experiences. Muted illustrations by Mika Song accompany the text which is divided into four sections--the night before school starts, the morning of the first day, at school, and after school. In each section we hear from each child through individual poems. I hesitate, however, to call them poems. They certainly are formatted as poems, but read more like standard text. No poetic devices are used at all, except for formatting. Nevertheless, they delve into the personality of each child and provide insights that students will understand. This might be a good way to start a school year, letting students express their emotions through writing. Continued throughout the year, it would create an interesting journal of their school experiences.
No More Noisy Nights
FLASHLIGHT PRESS [FLASHLIGHT PRESS]
Niner, Holly L
Wolek, Guy
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
Jackson the mole has moved into a new burrow, but he can't get a good night's sleep. There's a ghost in the attic, a boogey monster in the basement, and a pixie in the piano, all noisy and unsettled. Jackson figures out a way to quiet each of them, but the happy ending feels rushed and unconnected. A darker color pallette convincingly conveys life underground; the characters are somewhat cartoonish.
Carson Crosses Canada
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Bailey, Linda
Reich, Kass
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 15, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
Carson, and charming dog, and Annie, his person, live on Vancouver Island, but when they receive word that Annie's sister is poorly, they begin an epic cross country road trip to visit her on Prince Edward Island. The endpapers delightfully preview the trip with a map of the stops along the way, Carson's point of view prevails and he is delightful with the surprise he has been promised at the end of the trip. The art if bright and cheerful. An excellent introduction to Canada; our frequently ignored neighbor.
And The Robot Went...
CLARION [CLARION]
Robinson, Michelle
Ruzzier, Sergio
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
An unexpected box arrives and the nosy fox discovers the piece of what could be a robot. Each character tries a different strategy to assemble it, with comic and noisy results. This is an accumulative tale, with delightful language and repitition and a satisfying, slightly open ending. There's plenty to see in the artwork but it's not too cluttered. I think this will make a satisfying read aloud for my kindergarten group.
No Kimchi For Me
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Kim, Aram
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 15, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
Yoomi is the youngest child in the family, and her brothers tease her and call her a baby because, unlike the rest of the family, Yoomi does not like kimchi. Finally grandma puts kimchi in pancakes and Yoomi finds them delicious. The family are depicted as cats, illusttrations are sharp and brightly colored. My students at a Japanese Immersion school are going to love this one.
There's A Pest In The Garden!
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Thomas, Jan
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 15, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
Four barnyard animals watch the destruction of their garden by a determined mole with varrying degrees of dismay, then finally decide they will have to replant and put up a fence. The brightly colored art is engaging and kids will enjoy the expressive faces of the animals, but most will be confused that a fence could keep out a pest that clearly destroys by burrowing. Didn't make enough sense for me.
Emperor Penguins : Antarctic Diving Birds
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Waxman, Laura Hamilton
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 15, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Hmmmm. I thought I was picking up a book that would inform me about emperor penguins. Perhaps I should have checked the series title instead of the book title. Part of the "Comparing Animal Traits" series, this book compares emperor penguins to other birds, finding similarities and differences. Emperor penguins are introduced then compared to royal penguins, painted buntings, Antarctic petrels, scarlet macaws, emus and more. The choice of comparison birds seems odd. I guess it is because they have one thing in common--penguins are flightless, emus are flightless, etc. Scattered throughout are penguin facts, and also facts about the other birds, but the information lacks cohesion. Questions are raised that are never answered. There's a whole section on how similar royal and emperor penguins are, but nowhere is it explained how the two differ enough to be distinct. The crisp photographs are beautiful, and text features abound. I just wish this were more coherent.
Amazon Adventure : How Tiny Fish Are Saving The World's Larg
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Montgomery, Sy
Ellenbogen, Keith
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 16, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
I love the "Scientists in the Field" series by Sy Montgomery. In this volume he and his family go to the Amazon rainforest to investigate the impact that tiny fish, known as piabas, have on the health of the region. It's not what you think. These fish are the popular fish found in aquariums throughout the world. They form the livelihood of people who gather them and those people have a solid reason to maintain the health of the rainforest for their continued employment. You might also believe that taking the small fish from their natural habitat and placing them elsewhere is inherently dangerous for the environment and the fish. The author, however, points out that the fish are gathered at the beginning of the dry season when many of the fish would end up dead, as the water recede. Sy Montgomery takes readers along on the adventure, meeting the people, learning of their culture, and swimming in the waters looking for the fish. Readers learn of the 7 deadly plagues of the Amazon, and sees them debunked. Scientists are highlighted, culture is celebrated, photographs abound. I read this book in one sitting. Couldn't put it down. Every secondary school should have the entire series.
Top 10 Worst Injuries In Football
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Aretha, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 16, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
All right, admit it--some folks watch football just for the possibility of horrific injuries. This book records what it considers to be the ten worst football injuries in gory and, mostly, career-ending detail. Readers learn the player, team, opponent, and setting. Then the author provides some background and play-by-play coverage of how the injury happened, what it was, and the resulting impact on the player. These 10 injuries cover everything from death to paralysis to brain injury. The writing is brisk and immediate, bringing the situation to life for the reader, which adds to the horror. Photographs accompany the text although, thankfully, most do not show the injury itself. After reading this book you'll wonder why we have a sport with such potential for life-changing injury. Wait, are the Huskies playing today?
Top 10 Injuries In Basketball
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Hinnant, Jamal
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 16, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Sports Greats" series, this sturdy 48-page book is about those painful moments that inevitably show up at sporting events. Here are injuries to players from LeBron James to Isiah Thomas to Shaun Livingston. Each of the ten injuries are given 4 pages in which readers learn more about the player's career including teams the player played for, jersey number, noted skills, and then what the injury was and the recovery time involved. The writing is crisp and sports-fan friendly, accompanied by color photographs. (Thankfully, the photographs don't usually show the injury in all its gore.) Standard text features apply. Sports fans will enjoy this book, while grimacing at the toll basketball takes on the human body.
Partido De Futbol = The Soccer Match
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Dominguez, Maria
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 17, 2017
Harkness, Marie-Anne
A slapstick adventure of cartoon character El Chavo: Prof. Jirafales announces to the class that they have been invited to a soccer tournament. The neighborhood team must win or be banished from living in the neighborhood. With no skills and no coach, the neighborhood team is sure to lose when the visiting team scores seven goals in quick succession. But unskilled antics and a new goalie save the day when Chavo trips and loses his shoe but inadvertently makes the winning goal. Silly but very attractive for soccer lovers. Ad grades 2-5
Construcciones Duraderas
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Mattern, Joanne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 17, 2017
Harkness, Marie-Anne
Rourke continues to publish excellent non-fiction science and technology books for grades 5-8. With clear color photographs, this book shows natural and man-made disasters with descriptions of buildings and communities that can be constructed to withstand the onslaught. Table of Contents, Glossary, Index and Internet sites for further study are included. Attractive cover and excellent hardcover binding. 48 pages. One of the series Exploremos La Sciencia.
Francisco's Kites = Las Cometas De Francisco
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Klepeis, Alicia Z
Undercuffler, Gary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 17, 2017
Harkness, Marie-Anne
This is the story of Francisco and his mother, new immigrants from Alegria, El Salvador living in a high rise apartment in Chicago. Francisco is bored with nothing to do but longingly remembers flying kites and playing with his friends back home. Mama cannot afford to buy a kite. She suggests he take a walk but warns not to enter the movie theater or the library (with no explanation why). Out walking Francisco finds materials from recycled bins or on the street to make his own kite. There is a satisfying ending. The story is told in a bilingual format, English at the top of the page and Spanish on the bottom with a full page pen and watercolor wash illustration facing the text.
Animales Invasores
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Tourville, Amanda Doerin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 17, 2017
Harkness, Marie-Anne
Explains how animals from different regions can be brought in and become a menace to the local ecology. 48 pages of solid scientific information and colorful photographs will be an attractive addition to the Spanish language collection for students grades 4-8. Excellent hardcover binding, table of contents and glossary. Mi biblioteca de ciencias series.
Ciencia De Los Animales
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Duke, Shirley
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 17, 2017
Harkness, Marie-Anne
From horses to honey bees, sheep and cattle, service animals and competitions, this title does an excellent job of explaining animal husbandry, genetics, and the regulatory systems in place in the United States. 48 pages of solid scientific information and colorful photographs will be an attractive addition to the Spanish language collection for students grades 4-8. Excellent hardcover binding, table of contents and glossary. R+ grades 4-8. Mi biblioteca de ciencias series
Lo Que Comemos Y El Sistema Digestivo
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Lundgren, Julie K
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 17, 2017
Harkness, Marie-Anne
This Spanish language science book gives an overview of the digestive system, with photographs and diagrams. 24 pages of scientific information and colorful photographs will be an attractive addition to the Spanish language collection for students grades 4-6. Excellent hardcover binding, table of contents, study questions, websites and glossary. Ad grades 4-6. Mi biblioteca de ciencias series
Mapping South America
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rockett, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 17, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
*see review of Mapping North America
Mapping Australia And Oceania, And Antarctica
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rockett, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 17, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
*see review of Mapping North America
Mapping Africa
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rockett, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 17, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
*see review of Mapping North America This title touches on colonialism and the slave trade, which is appreciated, even if the presentation style is a tad dry.
Mapping Europe
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rockett, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 17, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
*see review of Mapping North America
Mapping Asia
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rockett, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 17, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
*see review of Mapping North America The only additional note to make about this title is due to the massive size of Asia and the immense diversity of the continent, the book doesn't go in-depth on any particular topic. Reading it felt more like getting a small taste of information, whereas the book about North America felt a little meatier.
Mapping North America
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rockett, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 17, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Part of Crabtree's Mapping the Continents series, this thin paperback is packed with interesting information and eye-catching illustrations about North America. The content feels more like infographics than traditional nonfiction with a mix of captions, maps, charts, photographs, and informational paragraphs about a specific topic spread across 1-2 pages. A range of subject matter is presented, including geography, climate, wildlife, culture, food and drink, and industries. The author does an excellent job of spotlighting the many countries and cultures of North America, rather than skewing toward the United States, which is refreshing. As expected, the series also includes a table of contents, glossary and index. Overall, a solid resource for classroom teachers who want to supplement the social studies curriculum with something that will pique student interest, but not a title that will circulate among lots of students.
Plantas Como Alimentos, Combustibles Y Medicinas
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Lundgren, Julie K
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 17, 2017
Harkness, Marie-Anne
This Spanish language science book gives an overview of the use of plants for food energy, and medicine containing diagrams, and photographs aimed at a younger audience than the other books in the series. It has a political point of view, influencing young people on the negative effects of fossil fuels. 24 pages of scientific information and colorful photographs will be an attractive addition to the Spanish language collection for students grades 4-6. Excellent hardcover binding, table of contents, study questions, 3 websites (2 out of 3 are government sites) and glossary. Lacking is a bibliography and balance. Ad grades 4-6. Mi biblioteca de ciencias series Others in the series would be a welcome addition to your library: La ciencia de los animals 978-1-63155-084-3 Lo Que Comemos y el sistema digestivo 978-1-63155-067-6 Alimentos producidos por el sol 978-1-63155-070-6 Las plantas como alimentos, combustibles y medicinas 978-1-63155-061-4
Bedtime 123
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Walters, Eric
Bisaillon, Josee
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
September 18, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
This original board book features the numbers from 1 to 10 as the text gently moves from one moon rising beside a barn to 10 ducklings tucked beneath a warm wing. Thus this is a beginning counting book and lullaby with wonderful illustrations using cut paper, pastels, watercolor, pencils and digital collage that so aptly capture the warmth and softness of this quiet time. Rating can be higher for those needing a gift book or new bedtime story.
Wake Up, Tug!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Garland, Michael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
September 18, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
In this small board book the little red tug boat has many jobs, which include guiding a cargo ship, pulling different barges, and pushing a cruise ship. Each double-page spread depicts one of these activities in a colorful, clear illustration. The text is minimal, just describing the job on that page such as, “Carry the bridge.” making it appropriate for the toddler interested in such vehicles. They will look for the tug on each page.
What Is Baby Gorilla Doing?
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Nippert-Eng, Christena
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
September 18, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
This very simple board book was a summer favorite of a 2-year-old. Each page shows a photograph of a baby gorilla doing something with one word describing that action. Since all gorilla babies are cute this compilation captures the curiosity, expression-filled faces, and silly behavior that a toddler can relate to. This is a great book to use in expanding a child’s repertoire of words and actions, all in the form of “ing” words. The clean backgrounds highlight each activity which range from peeking and sleeping to scratching and smiling. The last end pages provide a review of all 18 photos and words found in the book making a good immediate review. The back states that these babies “were photographed alongside their families in their regular zoo habitat, doing what they normally do.”
Jelly Bean Tree
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Yuly, Toni
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
September 18, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Jelly Bean is a blue giraffe with black spots. One day during a very long nap her head becomes the site of Mama Bird’s nest building, and to accommodate this new responsibility, acts like the tree she now seems to be. Thus her friends bring her food while she stays calm until the eggs hatch, but even then her head seems to be the perfect place for the little chicks. This is a very sweet, simple story with perfect illustrations of torn tissue paper, twine, cut and torn construction paper, pen and ink, and digital collage by an author/illustrator much loved by the toddler set. Jelly Bean’s big eyes along with her long legs and tail will enamor old and young alike.
Grandma Loves You!
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
James, Helen Foster
Brown, Petra
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
September 18, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Originally published as a picture book in 2013 this gentle board book affirms the love a grandmother bunny has for her grandchild as soon as it is born. In sweet rhyming text Grandma describes her progeny with all sorts of endearments such as, “Now you’re my moon and my star in the sky. My sweet, little pea, my sugar plum pie.” The soft, pastel illustrations depict a pastoral setting that reinforces the sense of reassurance, warmth and love for the littlest bunny readers. See its counterpart in Grandpa Loves You!
Grandpa Loves You!
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
James, Helen Foster
Brown, Petra
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
September 18, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
This gentle board book affirms the love a grandfather bunny has for his grandchild as soon as it is born. In rhyming text a doting Grandpa tells this child all of things they’ll do together—hop, hike, fly kites, swing and twirl, as well as giving advice such as, “Be brave and take chances, have fun and enjoy each moment, my love, my pride and my joy.” The soft, pastel illustrations depict a pastoral setting that reinforces the sense of hope, warmth and love for the littlest bunny reader. See its counterpart in Grandma Loves You!
Rally Car Racing
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Bowman, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 18, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What are rally cars? Where did the sport originate? What terms, gear, and people are involved? These are questions that are briefly answered in this flashy, photo-filled nonfiction book. There are only 24 pages, so the coverage is slight, but young car racing fans will enjoy the crisp text and high-action photographs.
Green Eggs and Ham
RANDOM HOUSE [RANDOM HOUSE]
Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 20, 2017
Jennings, John
While the book is real, this review is not. I can edit a review, should I decide to additional comments are needed.
Gila Monster : Venomous Desert Dweller
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Bernhardt, Carolyn
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 22, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Real Monsters is a graphically dynamic non-fiction series that capitalizes on student’s fascination and attraction to dangerous animals. Information is presented in an easygoing narrative with plentiful academic language and a moderate depth, adequate for an understanding of their physical and behavioral characteristics. Intriguing chapter titles in Gila Monster, suggest the content without being explicit such as lifecycle information is found in “Buried at Birth, and “Death Breath” addresses myths about the reptiles and scientific investigations of these myths. Abundant photographs as well as range maps, a Creature Feature highlighting characteristics, fun facts, and a Predator-Prey graphic diagram substantially add to the content as well heighten interest. The final chapter emphasizes the threats to habitats that are bringing Gila Monsters close to endangered status as well as a recent discovery that a substance in the venom could help treat Type 2 Diabetes. 23 Glossary words such as bask, crevice, incubate, sluggish, and lethal include action verbs, adjectives, and nouns broaden a readers understanding. With sensational graphics, high-interest topics and solid information this a series to strongly consider.