Reviews for month


Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Environmentalism
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Gillam, Scott
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
July 06, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
The 112 page, library bound Essential Lives series continues to introduce new sets of well researched events, biographies and issues in a format that introduces, elaborates and offers suggestions for additional research. Primary documents are quoted and historical photographs, maps and artwork are accompanied by sidebars and textboxes topics offering greater depth. These are excellent books to use as starting places for more extensive research. Rachel Carson, famous for her book the Silent Spring, was first employed to write scripts for a radio program series. From this came opportunities to write for the public descriptions of sea life and other aspects of the fishing industry. This experience combined with her 15 years as a government scientist in aquatic biology and conservation provided the background for her other successful books. But it was the impact of Silent Spring and her tireless work to make the dangers of DDT know that gives her credit as one of the pioneers of the environmental movement. Timeline, essential facts, event highlights, glossary, additional resouces, web links, suggested places to visit, source notes, photo credits and index are also included.
Pandemics
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Pratt, Mary K.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
July 06, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
The 112 page, library bound Essential Issues series continues to publish new sets of well researched events, and issues in a format that introduces, elaborates and offers suggestions for additional research. Primary documents are quoted and historical photographs, maps and artwork are accompanied by sidebars and textboxes topics offering greater depth. These are excellent books to use as starting places for more extensive research. Pandemics covers the evolving definition of what is a Pandemic as well as the complexities in calling a disease event a pandemic. Historically pandemics included diseases spread by poor sanitation as well as bodily fluids, sneezing, person to person transmission and animal to person transmission that occurred over larger regions in the world. Bubonic plague, cholera, smallpox, HIV, various influenzas including the 1918, Asian, avian, H1N1, and Ebola virus are discussed along with the discoveries of causes, cures, vaccines and current research. Timeline, essential facts, event highlights, glossary, additional resouces, web links, suggested places to visit, source notes, photo credits and index are also included.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias: Groundbreaking All-Around Athlete
Sportszone [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Lobby, Mackenzie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
July 06, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
The 112 page, library bound Essential Lives series continues to introduce new sets of well researched events, biographies and issues in a format that introduces, elaborates and offers suggestions for additional research. Primary documents are quoted and historical photographs, maps and artwork are accompanied by sidebars and textboxes topics offering greater depth. These are excellent books to use as starting places for more extensive research. Babe Didrikson Zaharias has been called the best woman athlete of all times and she competed in the highest levels of competition in Track & Field and Golf. Babe competed for the Golden Cyclones, a woman's athletic team sponsored by her employer, an insurance company and and in the Olympic trials and AAU championship, Babe won 5 events, tied in her 6th and won the team competition all by herself. From a working class background, she fought to gain acceptance in the country club sport of golf for the wealthy and she struggled with being barred from amateur competition after she had turned professional. This biography introduces and balances her success as an athlete with her brash and highly competitive nature that often created conflict. Timeline, essential facts, event highlights, glossary, additional resouces, web links, suggested places to visit, source notes, photo credits and index are also included.
Che Guevara: Political Activist & Revolutionary
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Bodden, Valerie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
July 06, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
The 112 page, library bound Essential Lives series continues to introduce new sets of well researched events, biographies and issues in a format that introduces, elaborates and offers suggestions for additional research. Primary documents are quoted and historical photographs, maps and artwork are accompanied by sidebars and textboxes topics offering greater depth. These are excellent books to use as starting places for more extensive research. Timeline, essential facts, event highlights, glossary, additional resouces, web links, suggested places to visit, source notes, photo credits and index are also included. Che Guevara, a sickly boy born in Argentina and profoundly influenced by his socialist sympathizing mother, trained as a Doctor but went on to become a mercenary fighter in several different countries. Best known for his role in the Cuban revolution gaining his Cuban citizenship and several influential government positions, he then traveled to the Congo and back to Bolivia before being executed for his activities against the state.
Arthur Ashe: Tennis Great & Civil Rights Leader
Sportszone [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
MCDOUGALL, CHROS
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
July 06, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
The 112 page, library bound Essential Lives series continues to introduce new sets of well researched events, biographies and issues in a format that introduces, elaborates and offers suggestions for additional research. Primary documents are quoted and historical photographs, maps and artwork are accompanied by sidebars and textboxes topics offering greater depth. These are excellent books to use as starting places for more extensive research. Arthur Ashe is best known for his immense success as the first African-American tennis player to win the US Open, Australian Open, the Davis Cup and his restrained demeanor on the court. Readers will also learn of his role in several civil rights struggles within America as well as in the South African system of Apartheid. He was very involved in starting the Association of Tennis Players, (ATP) a players union and worked for players rights. Unfortunately his poor health, several heart attacks and a blood transfusion that was HIV positive led to his early death. Tennis afficionadas are reminded of his contributions every late summer when the US Open culminates in the final rounds in Arthur Ashe stadium. Timeline, essential facts, event highlights, glossary, additional resouces, web links, suggested places to visit, source notes, photo credits and index are also included.
Louis Pasteur: Groundbreaking Chemist & Biologist
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Vander Hook, Sue
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
July 06, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
The 112 page, library bound Essential Lives series continues to publish new sets of well researched events, biographies and issues in a format that introduces, elaborates and offers suggestions for additional research. Primary documents are quoted and historical photographs, maps and artwork are accompanied by sidebars and textboxes topics offering greater depth. These are excellent books to use as starting places for more extensive research. Louis Pasteur was a pivotal scientist whose dedication and adherence to the principles of the scientific method led to discoveries that radically improved the health of our food, recovery and prevention from fatal diseases and the creation of the Pasteur Institute that continues his work today. Students today may not have even heard of the diseases such as cholera, anthrax, and can not imagine a time when rabies was always fatal. Other accomplishments mentioned in the biography include his further work understanding the germ theory, saving the French wine and silkworm industries and proving that spontaneous generation was a false theory. Timeline, essential facts, event highlights, glossary, additional resouces, web links, suggested places to visit, source notes, photo credits and index are also included.
Loss of Biodiversity
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Barker, David M.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
July 06, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
The 112 page, library bound Essential Issues series continues to introduce new sets of well researched events, biographies and issues in a format that gives a basic foundation of the topic, elaborates and offers suggestions for additional research. Primary documents are quoted and historical photographs, maps and artwork are accompanied by sidebars and textboxes topics offering greater depth. These are excellent books to use as starting places for more extensive research. Definitions and examples of biodiversity are paired with a discussion of how biodiversity leads to a healthy environment resulting in healthy food, pure water, diversity of crops, healthy soil and human and economic stability. Historical extinctions as well as current issues of habitat loss, overfishing, overhunting, invasive species, and global warming are all discussed as well as the roles that parks and government and private protected land, sanctuaries, preserves and activism play in trying to maintain and even rebuild the biodiversity on our planet. Timeline, essential facts, event highlights, glossary, additional resouces, web links, suggested places to visit, source notes, photo credits and index are also included.
ORPHAN TRAINS
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
JOHNSON, KRISTIN F
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 06, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
The 112 page, library bound Essential Events series continues to introduce new sets of well researched events and issues in a format that presents basic information, elaborates and offers suggestions for additional research. Primary documents are quoted and historical photographs, maps and artwork are accompanied by sidebars and textboxes topics offering greater depth. These are excellent books to use as starting places for more extensive research. Orphan trains brought homeless and orphaned children from the streets of the East coast cities to agricultural regions to be housed, welcomed into family life, given an education, and saved from a life of crime in return for helping with the farm work and other chores. Charles Loring Brace noticed the plight of the children living on the streets of the New York tenemants, exposed to the crime and desperation surrounding them. His own experience of nature and that of his close friends, the Olmstead brothers, gave him the idea of sending these orphans to a more wholesome life where they could provide needed labor. Brace founded several organizations directed to helping alleviate suffering and eliminating the factors contributing to crime. Timeline, essential facts, event highlights, glossary, additional resouces, web links, suggested places to visit, source notes, photo credits and index are also included.
Organ & Body Donations
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Marcovitz, Hal
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
July 06, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
The 112 page, library bound Essential Viewpoints series continues to introduce new sets of well researched events and issues in a format that presents the basic information, elaborates and offers suggestions for additional research. Primary documents are quoted and historical photographs, maps and artwork are accompanied by sidebars and textboxes topics offering greater depth. These are excellent books to use as starting places for more extensive research. The history of organ donation and transplants starting with the 1968 conference that medically defined death and including the first heart transplants, locating donors and patient lists, animal transplants, stem cell work and ethical concerns are all introduced in this book. Potential in the future for artifical organs, organ regeneration research and stem cell therapies is balanced with the realism and issues of "transplant tourism," kidney trafficking from disaster victims and religious objections to transplant procedures. Timeline, essential facts, event highlights, glossary, additional resouces, web links, suggested places to visit, source notes, photo credits and index are also included.
The Manhattan Project
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Vander Hook, Sue
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
July 06, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
The 112 page, library bound Essential Events series continues to introduce new sets of pivotal events in history and subsequent issues in a format that presents the basic information, elaborates and offers suggestions for additional research. Primary documents are quoted and historical photographs, maps and artwork are accompanied by sidebars and textboxes topics offering greater depth. These are excellent books to use as starting places for more extensive research. One of the defining moments of the 20th century was when the US ushered in the Nuclear Age by dropping the bombs on Japan, but less well known was the intense efforts in several countries that led to the creation of a working bomb. Code named, The Manhattan Project, thousands of scientists and support staff worked in secrecy in several locations including Los Alamos, a self-contained city built specifically for this project. Interesting anecdotes bring to life the uncertainty of whether the scientists would succeed within the time frame available and their mostly unquestioning focus on the scientific problems with little reflection on the consequences of unleashing this deadly weapon. Timeline, essential facts, event highlights, glossary, additional resouces, web links, suggested places to visit, source notes, photo credits and index are also included.
HAZE
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
THOMAS, ERIN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
July 08, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Bram is a swimmer, hoping to make the school team and become a Shark. He puts up with the stupid pranks the hopefuls are forced to endure but gets warned by a friend to stay away the initiation party. The next day, the friend is seriously injured and Bram begins to wonder if something sinister is afoot, perhaps related to the death of a swimmer several years ago. Bram puts himself and others in danger as he investigates. A great addition to the Orca Sports series for reluctant readers.
A Friendship Begins
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Racine, Patrice
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This is book number one in the Cosmo series; it is a translation from the French of a book that was very popular in French-speaking parts of Canada. It is a difficult book to rate as it has some extraordinarily admirable qualities like an environment theme of endangered and extinct animals and colorful cartoon-like animated pictures that were all computer generated. On the other hand, some might not be familiar with the layered look produced by the computer program, and the vocabulary and theme could be a little high for first graders who will be attracted to its picture book format. Although it is geared to primary students, it may also have a place in secondary technology classes who are studying the techniques of computer animation and methods of creating photographic scenes.
Butterflies
Kane/Miller Book Publishers [Kane/Miller Book Publishers]
Gervay, Susanne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This is a heart-wrenching story of high schooler Katherine who was disfigured by a fire and then left behind by her father. She is a girl of strong determination who plans to overcome her disfigurement and soar in swimming and in academics. She is often weighted down by the cruel comments of her classmates, but she always picks herself up and moves forward. Our young adult readers will find encouragement to face difficulties and patience for those who must endure emotionally and physically.
Do Not Pass Go
Margaret K. McElderry Books [Margaret K. McElderry Books]
Hill, Kirkpatrick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Set in Fairbanks, Alaska, this story centers on Deet, a high school student who feels ostracized because his family is poor and his stepdad has to work two jobs to maintain the family. To keep going at such a frantic pace, Dad begins to take drugs to stay awake. He is arrested for possession of narcotics and ends up in the local jail. Deet often visits him and meets some of the other inmates who share their stories with him. There really isn't much plot here, it is mainly Deet's narrative of his personal thoughts while Dad is incarcerated and later released to a halfway house. Students will find it engaging, especially those who are grappling with a similar situation.
Timber Wolf
RED DEER PRESS [RED DEER PRESS]
Pignat, Caroline
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This is the third book in the Green Grass series, but it is written as an individual title that is complete without the first two books. The main character is the same Jack Byrne who seeks adventures in desolate logging scenes. All goes well until he is injured and lost in the forest. He loses his memory and he is very alone in the encompassing wilderness that seems to be populated by only a hunting wolf who is chasing him. The book is akin to the survival stories of Paulsen and will be popular with students who are attuned to the Hunger Games books and movie.
Kai-Lan's Carnival
Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
Inches, Alison
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Based on a popular Nick Jr. TV show and on a screenplay, this picture book tells the story of some Chinese friends enjoying themselves on carnival rides, but then one of them causes a friend's rocket ride to smash into pieces. Oh! What a crisis! But, alas, the friends learn to step-up and do the right thing when they know they have caused an accident. At the beginning of the book is a list of Chinese words used in the text with their English meaning. The book also directs readers to a Website to hear the Chinese vocabulary pronounced correctly. It is refreshing to have a book that is bilingual Chinese/English.
Rock & Roll Literacy
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Brouwer, Sigmund
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This is a great book for teachers who instruct students on how to write stories. His ideas are appropriate for teaching all grade levels from elementary through secondary. There are chapters dealing with prewriting, research, organization, themes, and editing and revising.
The Shadow of Death
Simon Pulse [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
Pike, Christopher
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This is the fourth book in the Thirst series and originally thought to be the conclusion, but now number five is scheduled to be released soon. It is a "should buy" if you have the other books in the series. Once again vampire Alisa, now five thousand years old, returns to earth as a baby who craves blood and is ready to battle her enemies and even her turn-face cohorts. She learns to use her powers to overcome fearsome foes while putting herself in great danger.
The Mexican Drug War
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Farrell, Courtney
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Nothing compares with the Essential Issues series for information on contemporary conflicts. The books are designed for young people with pictures and sidebars with interesting information about little-known facts akin to the drug war ? information about arrested drug lords and about Mexican musicians who are commissioned by the cartels to write songs to glamorize drug trafficking. Although loaded with historical data, sociological perspectives on the effects the war has on people's lives, and a look at the international drug arena, the book does not offer one cure-all solution, but, rather, describes current efforts to educate and legislate to end the demand for the drugs.
The Great Illusion
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Racine, Patrice
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Carrying on the environment theme of this series, The Great Illusion tackles the topic of recycling in a zany, intriguing story as Dodo bird Cosmo, the hero, and his friend 3R-V venture forth to a planet with trash everywhere. What to do? It's a quirky tale with hypnotizing pictures. Most of the younger readers will enjoy the comic nature of the book and will get the theme somewhat. Teachers will appreciate a fanciful story to introduce and reinforce environment teaching.
In Search of the Jewel
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Racine, Patrice
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
It was really difficult to rate this book. It is another addition to The Adventures of Cosmo The Dodo Bird series, so it will trill young readers with its computer generated photos that have a comic book intrigue. And who can resist Cosmo and his spaceship 3R-V that becomes his friend, a friend personified, with feelings and the ability to talk. On the other hand, the story has a contrived environmental lesson on what the author perceives as the evils of oil drilling. I hesitate to put this book in the picture book section where it appears to belong; it really is a fictionalized story about the evils of oil drilling. The theme of the story is not obvious from the animated, cartoon-looking cover. I think it should go in the Professional section where teachers can use it in either an environmental studies unit or to demonstrate point of view. It needs to be balanced with another source that presents the opposing view on oil drilling.
Times Squared
Aladdin [Aladdin]
DeVilliers, Julia; Roy, Jennifer
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Are you ready for another story about identical twins who trade places whenever it works to their advantage? DeVillers and Roy have a whole series about two girls who end up in predicaments and create havoc wherever they go. This is book number 3 in the series. This time both girls are headed to New York City where one girl is scheduled to compete in a high-level math tournament and the other just wants to catch an off-Broadway show. Are you getting some ideas how this story will progress?? Yes, there is humor, but it's an overworked storyline; however, our students love twin stories, so it is a good read for them. The book is basically an escape novel without any great teaching or lessons to be learned.
Slobodan Milosevic's Yugoslavia
21st Century Books [21st Century Books]
Sullivan, Kimberly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Is this expensive, or what! Yet, the information contained in this book makes it a good choice for older students who need condensed, current information on Milosevic. However, I think most students would prefer to go to the Internet and get the same facts and pictures. The book details the history of Yugoslavia, its Communist roots, the ravages of wartime, and an introduction to life in the country after the war. Throughout the book, the emphasis is on the role of Milosevic. His outlandish and brutal ways are described, but the other side is also presented as the reader glimpses the struggles he contended with in a country divided by influential factions. As relevant as the information is, I think I would wait for a cheaper paperback edition.
Cristales
HEINEMANN RAINTREE LIBRARY [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
Spilsbury, Richard & Louise
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
For our elementary students who are studying rocks and minerals this Spanish version of a popular English title will be a welcome addition for those with limited English vocabulary. Beautiful photographs and well-organized mini-chapters detail the locations where crystals may be found, how they form, and how they are collected. It has charts to differentiate the colors and weight of various stones and a section on how they are used in laser treatments.
Alice in Charge
ATHENEUM BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ATHENEUM BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Here's high school student and typical, everyday girl Alice back again. This time she is working on the high school newspaper and must make decisions about what types of letters to the editor the paper will print. They have received anonymous posts from a Neo-Nazi group that is responsible for vandalism on the campus, but the editor does not want to publish their disagreeable rhetoric. On top of that, she learns about a teacher-student harassment situation and must deal with it. All in all, Naylor shows us the drama and fun of a young girl experiencing her senior year.
Dreamland
SQUARE FISH [MACMILLAN]
Noel, Alyson
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Once again teenage ghost Riley Bloom shows us what it's like to be a young adult who wants to have fun and learn about the world, but she is limited by her place in the afterlife and her responsibilities to coax souls to her place and catch them as they cross over. She decides to try to contact her sister through dreams. It is a scary adventure as she learns about nightmares and breaking into dreams. This is number three in the Riley Bloom series and a happy addition to the collection for those girls who are enamored with Riley.
Basketball Disasters
RANDOM HOUSE [RANDOM HOUSE]
Mills, Claudia
Francis, Guy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
For tall, lanky, uncoordinated, and stumbling fourth-grader Mason Dixon, joining the school basketball team is a confusing and difficult adventure. To begin with, the team is a group of unruly oddballs. Add to that the fact that his dad is an eager-beaver volunteer coach. Plus, he really doesn't want to play the sport. This is book number three in Mills' series of school stories with an unlikely, catastrophe-prone protagonist.
How to Draw the Darkest, Baddest Graphic Novels
Raintree Paperbacks [Raintree Paperbacks]
Singh, Asavari
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
For a simple, process-oriented guide to drawing graphic novels, this is a good match for middle school students. Each chapter focuses on a specific human characteristic such as facial features or body types or on an original type of person such as a superhero or a power woman. It also includes instruction on creating background scenery and how to put the frames together to create a story line. I think it is very pricey with today's budgets ? maybe a paperback version will be released later.
Illusionology
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
Schafer, Albert
Wyatt, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
I am excited to see this latest addition to the Ologies series. The subtitle is The Secret Science of Magic, and it is believed to be the actual work of Albert Schafer, a famous magician, who disappeared in 1915. The publishers will not authenticate it as actually Schafer's work, but they think it probably is. Also, they warn readers that some of the antics described in the book are for reading pleasure only ? like the aerial straitjacket trick or the decapitation of an ox ? and should not be experimented with. I have found that most students like the Ologies series; however, the attractive hardbound covers are not library quality and deteriorate before the pages do. Also, there are loose pieces that will be easily lost and popup pictures that will get lots of wear and tear.
Animal Spikes and Spines
HEINEMANN RAINTREE LIBRARY [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
Rissman, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This is a beautiful addition to a nonfiction animal collection. I am impressed by the detailed photographs and simple text. Not only will it be useful for second grade classes researching animals, but it can also be a guide for teaching information text features as there is a table of contents, boldface text, labels on animal parts, a glossary, and an index. Also in the back are pre- and post-teaching ideas.
Grace at Christmas
DIAL [DIAL]
Hoffman, Mary
VanWright, Cornelius
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
It seems like it's been a long time since we've seen a new Grace book, but here it is with those same endearing characters ? Grace, Ma, Nana, and Rosalie the ballet dancer. Hoffman introduces some new folks as well ? Rosalie's sister and niece. Set in the holiday season, it shows one family's concern for travelers and how they open their home only to receive more than they gave.
Misty of Chincoteague
Aladdin [Aladdin]
Henry, Marguerite
Dennis, Wesley
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This is one of those timeless classic books, but many students have missed it as it gets hidden on the shelves and never seen by students. This new edition captures the exact cover and text of the original 1947 edition, but the dustcover looks updated, so I think students will be attracted to it. Purchase recommended if your copies of the book are worn and look like antiques.
BFF Breakup
Aladdin [Aladdin]
Morris, Taylor
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
For a funny twist on a contemporary theme, BFF Breakup will be popular with our intermediate and middle school students. The front cover and just the title words BFF are appealing enough, but the story itself is real for many girls. It begins with two close friends who swear to be Best Friends Forever and ever and ever with plans to go to college together, marry guys who are also best friends, and raise their families next door to each other. Like so many teen friendships, a splinter situation tears them apart and they must reevaluate their Best Friends Forever pledge.
What Would My Cell Phone Do?
Speak [Speak]
Ostow, Micol
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Sixteen year old and non-assuming Aggie moves with her family from Florida to a small Alaskan town where she must adjust to her new environs. As she acclimates to her unfamiliar situation, she gradually makes a close friend and even develops a love interest, but he is a half-hearted romantic player who is ambivalent and wishy-washy. Then one day her cell phone goes missing, so Aggie uses its built-in GPS tracking system and finds it having a ball ? just the opposite of her problem-enhanced and boring life. It's a turning point for her, as she decides it is time to start enjoying life too. So the humor begins! The story is a little contrived, but the cell phone topic and the GPS navigation experience will appeal to our tech-savvy secondary students.
Shimmer
SQUARE FISH [MACMILLAN]
Noel, Alyson
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
For all those girls who fell in love with ghost Riley Bloom in Radiance, here is the first sequel, the story of what happens when a ghost goes on holiday or at least tries to get away from it all. She meets up with a wild dog and decides to have him enter the ghost world, and then she meets another ghost who might make a good friend for the "teenage' Riley. But, oops, this new ghost girl has some baggage as she resents the fact that she was killed during a slave revolt in the mid eighteenth century. She spurts evil on other ghosts and makes it difficult for Riley to be her friend. A necessary addition to the Riley Bloom series.
Entrapment
Margaret K. McElderry Books [Margaret K. McElderry Books]
Spooner, M.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Take two young couples, take a social network, take some mischievousness and some mistrust and put them all together for a twenty-first century comedy that will spark the curiosity of middle school girls. It has all the intrigue of a great play, but it's totally written in chat room jargon.The book tells the story of two girls who decide to test the faithfulness and sincerity of their boyfriends by pretending to be out of town for an extended stay and then flirtatiously enticing the guys into online conversations. Will the guys succumb to these "new" girls?
Movie Mayhem: Book Three in the DeathStalker Triology
Aladdin [Aladdin]
Dixon, Franklin W
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This is the third book in the new Deathstalker Trilogy series and is a definite buy for those boys who are stuck on the contemporary, up-dated Hardy Boys mysteries. Movie Mayhem completes the first two books: Movie Menace and Movie Mission. Set in New York City at a movie awards program at Radio City Music Hall, this story tells how the boys take on a special mission to keep an assailant from blowing up the awards ceremony and the actors and crew of the hit movie Deathstalker.
FLICKA, RICKA, DICKA GO TO MARKET
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
LINDMAN, MAJ
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Just in time for the harvest season comes this remake of a popular book from bygone days. With simple, cheery illustrations, Lindman teaches children the basics of vegetable gardening in story form. Since so many of our elementary schools are now planting community gardens and emphasizing nutritional eating, this is still a timely addition to the collection. If you have the older version, I would suggest purchasing this newer one for its attractive cover and large, full-page illustrations.
Taylor Lautner: Overnight Sizzlin' Sensation
Simon Pulse [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
Williams, Mel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Mel Williams once again entertains us with a short sweet biography of a current heartthrob. If your students have liked his book Robert Pattinson, you know this new edition will be a hit as well, especially with our middle school girls who are wild about Twilight and Hunger Games stars. It is a tiny book which is loaded with color photos and facts galore and text boxes with quotes from Taylor himself. Although definitely not an in-depth volume on Taylor's life, its movie-magazine layout will attract students who have read all the Twilight books and seen the movies.
Puckster's First Hockey Sweater
FENN-TUNDRA [FENN-TUNDRA]
Nicholson, Lorna Schultz
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Finally, a picture storybook about ice hockey players! Yes, it is fiction, but realistic with a decided Canadian flair. It's all about a team of young athletes who desperately want to play, but they have not accumulated the funds to buy uniforms which are essential. With industry and vision, they solve their problem and play the big game with new matching sweaters. The last page of this paperback has tips on caring for hockey equipment and on playing the sport. It is also available in hardcover for $11, but I would recommend the paper edition.
Puckster's First Hockey Game
FENN-TUNDRA [FENN-TUNDRA]
Nicholson, Lorna Schultz
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
The exciting game of competition ice hockey comes to life in this brightly illustrated picture book about two Canadian teams battling to win. It's a close game with lots of action, lots of disappointment, and the joy of victory. So many of our students are getting into hockey ? both ice hockey and street hockey; this book series really fills a void in the elementary collection.
Arms Trade
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Harris, Ashley Rae
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
For our eighth graders who are doing CBAs, here is an excellent, up-to-date look at a contemporary issue. It begins with a historical overview of the problem of arms trafficking, its economic effect on poorer countries, and the roles of governments. It ends with a discussion of possible buy-back programs and present United Nations efforts to control sales and distribution of arms. Students will find the timeline in the back to be very helpful.
The Dragon's Apprentice
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
Steer, Dugald
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Here is the latest addition to the Dragonology Chronicles series; this is number 3 and a must-have if you have started the series. It is a continuation of the saga of Daniel and Beatrice and their pet baby dragon who want to open an orphanage for dragons, but the area they have chosen for their venture has encountered multiple attacks on dragons by a secretive group thought to have been destroyed eons ago. That means their orphans and their pet dragon and all other neighboring dragons are in imminent danger. They enlist the help of a Guardian Dragon apprentice to save the day. A great read for those students who want everything dragon.
HAZE
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
THOMAS, ERIN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 08, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Bram is a swimmer, hoping to make the school team and become a Shark. ?He puts up with the stupid pranks the hopefuls are forced to endure but gets warned by a friend to stay away the initiation party. ?The next day, the friend is seriously injured and Bram begins to wonder if something sinister is afoot, related to the death of a swimmer several years ago. ?His investigation puts himself and others in danger. ?A great addition to the Orca Sports series for reluctant readers.
Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide
RAZORBILL [PENGUIN]
Rowen, Michelle
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
July 09, 2012
Haines, Hazel
For those with students who love the six books in theVampire Academy series, this will be a popular book that will not stay on the shelves. It is loaded with information including a glossary of vampire terms. Each book is summarized; there is information about each of the characters; the intricate love and friendship relationships are detailed and explained; and St. Vladimir's Academy is described. At the very back of the book are several levels of questions for those readers who want to qualify as Guardians.
Ritual & Legacy
Simon Pulse [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
Duval, Alex
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
July 09, 2012
Haines, Hazel
The Vampire Beach series continues with this second book which actually includes 2 stories -- Ritual & Legacy. The third book has the last 2 stories. What an idyllic setting: gorgeous, classy Mailbu, where Jason Freeman gets invited to all kinds of fancy gatherings,but they are gatherings with vampires afloat. Even his love interest is a vampire. For all those teen girls who were part of the Twilight frenzy, this is a natural follow-up,
Unfriended: A Top 8 Novel
Point [Point]
Finn, Katie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
July 09, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This is number 3 in the Top 8 series so be sure to add it to your collection if you have the first two. In Unfriended we meet up with high schooler Madison MacDonald and a group of her friends who often communicate via a social network. Teens will love the format -- internet postings interspersed with plot action and dialogue plus references to popular music and poetry.
SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS
Simon Pulse [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
MCVOY, TERRA ELAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
July 09, 2012
Haines, Hazel
It's summer camp time for three teenage sister who determine to make the most of their time away from home, and, of course, they each have a hunky love interest complete with complications, some disobeying the rules, and some declarations of love. This time away from home is not only a romantic adventure for each of the girls, but it impacts their relationships with each other, as they discover more about each other.
Tangled
GROSSET & DUNLAP [GROSSET & DUNLAP]
Morris, Taylor
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 10, 2012
Tucker, Merrilyn
Mickey has a close knit group of girlfriends at school. They hang out and share each other's passion for make up and gossip. Now the girls all seem boy crazy, all except for Mickey. Her best friend, a boy named Jonah, falls for Eve. Two of her girlfriends go crazy over two boys. Only Mickey and Jonah's friend, Kyle, are not touched by the aliens that have snatched their friends' bodies and possessed them. In the meantime, Mickey's mother's hair salon, Hello, Gorgeous, is being featured on a reality tv show that features salons around the country. Times are tense, since Mickey is the one who contacted the show to focus on her mom's shop. Everything heats up as Mickey plays a trick on Jonah and Eve to get them to separate for an evening and the reality tv show finds something about the shop that isn't up to par. The author is transparent in her messages: stay honest with yourself and others, work hard, keep promises, and take it nice and easy when experiencing first crushes.
Now You See Me
Kingfisher [Kingfisher]
Kaye, Marilyn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
July 11, 2012
Tucker, Merrilyn
Tracey's gift is that she can make herself invisible. In this installment in the series, the Gifted class suspects there is a spy among them. Tracey who always feels unimportant and "invisible," realizes she can lend her special talent to solve this case. Kaye's books appeal to readers who like mysteries and a bit of the paranormal. Kaye writes well, is appropriate in language and topics, and touches on many issues significant to girls and boys around middle school age.
COOL POTATOES FROM GARDEN TO TABLE : HOW TO PLANT, GROW, AND
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HENGEL, KATHERINE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
July 14, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo's Checkerboard line has added a great 6 book activity series called, Cool Garden To Table, featuring Basil, Carrots, Green Beans, Leaf Lettuce, Potatoes and Tomatoes. Each book includes a brief introduction to the plant, how to grow, care for and harvest the vegetable or herb, and several recipes. Two-page spreads show steps in the planting and growth of the plants,and the ingredients, kitchen tools and cooking terms used in the recipes. 4 types of smaller potatoes (out of 5,000) are pictured and steps of watering, hilling, fertilizing and harvesting are illustrated. Recipes include Oh, Yeah! Oven Fries, Positively Potato Soup, Tempting Twice-Baked Potatoes, Fantastic Onion Fingerlings, Savory Potato-Bacon Salad and Cheddar Potato Cakes. Each recipe features a full page photo of the finished dish, list of ingredients and tools, and photos matched to the step of the process. Symbols indicate safety concerns. Recipes are easy to follow although ingredient lists for some recipes are longer than in some children's cookbooks. What stands out though is the transparency and clarity of directions making this a useful and attractive book for home and school gardeners and worthy of purchase if your budget or curriculum will support it. Contents, labeled photographs, additional text boxes, web link, glossary and index included.
COOL LEAF LETTUCE FROM GARDEN TO TABLE : HOW TO PLANT, GROW,
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HENGEL, KATHERINE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
July 14, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo's Checkerboard line has added a great 6 book activity series called, Cool Garden To Table, featuring Basil, Carrots, Green Beans, Leaf Lettuce, Potatoes and Tomatoes. Each book includes a brief introduction to the plant, how to grow, care for and harvest the vegetable or herb, and several recipes. Two-page spreads show steps in the planting and growth of the plants,and the ingredients, kitchen tools and cooking terms used in the recipes. 5 types of leaf lettuce are pictured and steps of watering, fertilizing, thinning, mulching, trimming and harvesting are illustrated. Recipes include Sort-of-Sushi Rolls, Rock-On Raisin Salad, Bright Beginning Breakfast Wrap, Berry Good Vinaigrette Salad, the Amazing ALT Sandwich and Nacho Average Taco Bowl. Each recipe features a full page photo of the finished dish, list of ingredients and tools, and photos matched to the step of the process. Symbols indicate safety concerns. Recipes are easy to follow although ingredient lists for some recipes are longer than in some children's cookbooks. What stands out though is the transparency and clarity of directions making this a useful and attractive book for home and school gardeners and worthy of purchase if your budget or curriculum will support it. Contents, labeled photographs, additional text boxes, web link, glossary and index included.
COOL BASIL FROM GARDEN TO TABLE : HOW TO PLANT, GROW, AND PR
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HENGEL, KATHERINE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
July 14, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo's Checkerboard line has added a great 6 book activity series called, Cool Garden To Table, featuring Basil, Carrots, Green Beans, Leaf Lettuce, Potatoes and Tomatoes. Each book includes a brief introduction to the plant, how to grow, care for and harvest the vegetable or herb, and several recipes. Two-page spreads show steps in the planting and growth of the plants,and the ingredients, kitchen tools and cooking terms used in the recipes. 5 types of basil are pictured and steps of watering, thinning, pinching and harvesting are illustrated. Recipes include Big-Rime Basil Parmesan Dip, Perfect Pizza Margherita, Tempting Tomato Basil Soup, Tasty Thai Noodles & Basil, Grilled Cheese & Pesto Sammy and Beauteous Basil-Lemon Cake. Each recipe features a full page photo of the finished dish, list of ingredients and tools, and photos matched to the step of the process. Symbols indicate safety concerns. Recipes are easy to follow although ingredient lists for some recipes are longer than in some children's cookbooks. What stands out though is the transparency and clarity of directions making this a useful and attractive book for home and school gardeners and worthy of purchase if your budget or curriculum will support it. Contents, labeled photographs, additional text boxes, web link, glossary and index included.
Rash
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers [Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers]
Hautman, Pete
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
July 14, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Several of Bo's family members are locked up and he REALLY doesn't want to follow in their footsteps. But in 2076 in the United Safer States of America, the craziest things can get you in trouble. Bo's temper causes him to be sent to a pizza-making "prison" near Hudson Bay where he endures pain and humiliation. Once his school-project artificial intelligence "being," Bork, contacts him, Bo begins to think he may be able to reduce his three-year sentence. A great sci-fi look at government control and how the rules we live by today may not be as bad as they could be. Because the game of football plays a large part in Bo's time in prison, teen sports fans will enjoy this book.
OLLIE & MOON : FUHGEDDABOUDIT!
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
KREDENSOR, DIANE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Ollie and Moon are two cat friends who enjoy spending time together. Now they're in the Big Apple and Moon is trying to make Ollie laugh. They bounce around the city visiting various spots and Moon does her best, but it isn't until a pigeon poops on both their heads that laughter erupts. This is a slight story. The illustrations are interesting, however. Crisp color photograph backgrounds are integrated with cartoon characters. This is visually fun, but the story hasn't got much else to recommend it.
TRACTION MAN AND THE BEACH ODYSSEY
Knopf Books for Young Readers [RANDOM HOUSE]
GREY, MINI
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
The first book, Traction Man is Here, was good. The second book, Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog, was OK. This entry in the series, however, is great. Action figure Traction Man and his faithful companion, Brush, are off to the beach with his boy. He has some diving adventures, is buried by a dog, then is swept out to sea with Brush. Washed ashore he's now being played with by a little girl who has her Beach-Time Brenda dolls to keep him company. He must escape! Of course his owner is desperate to find him as well. This is hilarious, all told in the voice of a child narrating the adventures a toy might have, including humorous asides and plenty of comments about attire. Traction Man has the James Bond jawline, while the Beach-Time Brendas seem at first to be typical vapid girly dolls. Yet they seem to have unplumbed plastic depths, not to mention useful accessories! This is the most "English" of the series, clearly showing it comes from across the sea in candy wrappers and some language choices. It doesn't matter. Children will appreciate the adventure. Adults will catch the tongue-in-cheek more subtle humor. Detailed illustrations add to the fun and the end papers and cover are a hoot. This is the best book in the series.
Dragon's Tooth
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Wilson, N.D.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Once Cyrus, his brother Dan, and his sister Antigone lived with their parents in California near the ocean. It was a great life. Now Dad's gone, Mom's in a coma, and the three kids are trying to survive running a dilapidated roadside motel in Wisconsin. How could things have changed so quickly? But if you thought those changes were fast, worse is on the way. A stranger shows up at the motel. Evil follows, as well as destruction. Now Antigone and Cyrus are on the run heading to Ashtown, their older brother and mother are prisoners, and everything they have believed to be true is in question. Who were their parents, really? What is their heritage? They have the potential of joining a society of explorers that goes back generations, but there are those who distrust them and are out to make sure they can't succeed. Joining the society seems the only way they can find their brother and mother, but who can they trust? This is a complex, densely-written fantasy book. The author creates pictures with words, and has a completely-imagined world created within our own. As the first book in the "Ashtown Burials" series, readers know that Cyrus and his family will be back, once again facing the evil that threatens all their lives.
Fibble: The Fourth Circle of Heck
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Basye, Dale E.
Dob, Bob
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Poor brother and sister Milton and Marlo Fauster, trapped in h-e-double-hockey-sticks. This is their fourth book and, if possible, things are getting worse. Annubis has switched their souls, so Marlo is in Milton's body and vice versa. And they're both involved in prevarications of various sorts, not just living lies but actively promoting them. Milton, in Marlo's body, is working for the devil's TV network, which is creating highly offensive shows with apocalyptic undertones and sending them up to the real world. Marlo, in Milton's body, is in a three-ring-circus school of lying featuring P.T. Barnum, Richard Nixon, and highly annoying little white lice. In the meantime there's a missing hellhound and aliens are planning on inheriting the earth because the meek are too clueless to stop them. This book is chock-a-block full of awful puns and funny references that adults will catch but most kids won't. The book pokes fun at advertising, entertainment, celebrity causes, religion, and the media. It has moments of genius, and is action-packed, but reading it is like trying to watch all three rings of a circus at the same time. Annubis is trying to rescue his wife and daughter, dead animals need to be rescued, and did I mention the highly offensive television shows? There's a rebellious teen Jesus who spikes the punch at the school dance by turning it into wine. Don't forget his Auntie Christ. There's "Allah in the Family," "Queen of the Shebrews," "Peek-a-Buddha," and more. The author is an equal-opportunity offender but that's not really a recommendation. In the end the book is like a gigantic fireworks display that is eye-catching and attention-grabbing, but leaves the street littered with junk the next morning. Its point
OLD ROBERT AND THE SEA-SILLY CATS
PHILOMEL [PHILOMEL]
JOOSSE, BARBARA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Old Robert lives by himself on a boat and is set in his solitary ways?until the cats come, one by one, with their various talents. Soon they are added to the list of the things he cares about and finally, with a full boat, he sets sail. This is a sweet, silly, repetitive and cumulative book that is clearly designed for reading aloud. Jan Jutte's watercolor and acrylic illustrations contain bold blocks of color, with whimsical details that nicely suit the text. Children will join in as you read aloud, and wiggle with delight as they see Robert's life change for the better with a little companionship.
OWLET'S FIRST FLIGHT
PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE) [PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE)]
MODARRESSI, MITRA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Little Owlet is hesitant to test his wings in the night sky, though his brothers and sisters have already done so. In gently rhyming couplets Owlet expresses his fears and his mother provides gentle reassurance that he is ready. When he finally takes flight, Owlet faces his fears and discovers a wonderful nighttime world that he explores until dawn. Then it's time to head home, safe and snug with his family to sleep through the day. This is a sweet book with soft, muted illustrations that would be perfect for bedtime sharing.
Alice Ray and the Salem Witch Trials
Millbrook Press [Millbrook Press]
Knuden, Shannon
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "History Speaks" series, this book takes young readers back to 1692 when 4 girls in Salem started a literal witch-hunt that eventually resulted in people being put to death. While based on the historical facts, this book introduces a fictional character named Alice Ray who is concerned about the hysteria and sympathetic to the accused. At the trial she stands up for those who are said to be witches, to no avail, and later helps gather money to get a young girl out of jail. This is noble and heart-touching?and totally fictitious. The story is followed by a reader's theater of the identical material, which accounts for the book's 812 CIP. This blend of fact and fiction is a bit troubling, especially in this case where it dilutes the rampant hysteria that led to great injustice. Do we need a "feel good" ending? No other information or theories about the Salem witch trials is given. Still, this would be a way to introduce an historical topic, and show students how history can be turned to theater. Just be sure the students know where the line between truth and fiction is drawn.
TOO YOUNG FOR YIDDISH
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
MICHELSON, RICHARD
Waldman, Neil
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Warm sepia-toned illustrations by Neil Waldman accompany this gentle story about a young boy named Aaron and his grandfather, or Zayde. Zayde spoke English, but also Yiddish, which Aaron didn't understand too well. Aaron spoke his own vocabulary of baseball. The two shared their experiences and as Aaron grew his grandfather let him glimpse pieces of his life before he'd come to America. His grandfather's books, and his love of language were an inheritance that became precious to Aaron. They began to share more as Aaron learned Yiddish, and he went on to teach it to his own son. The rich threads of a loving relationship are beautifully woven into a tapestry in this book. It comes with a CD of Leonard Nimoy reading the story. Yiddish is scattered throughout the pages like gold dust in a stream. This is a wonderful book to add to your multicultural collection.
Roscoe and the Pelican Rescue
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Reed, Lynn Rowe
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Tony is looking forward to visiting his aunt and uncle who live on the Louisiana coast. But his summer plans change when he and his cousin discover the beach is covered with tar balls from an oil spill, and there are pelicans in trouble. Soon he and his family are involved in an animal rescue situation. The book shows the steps taken to clean sea animals, and gives young readers insight into the consequences of oil spills. This book was influenced by the Deepwater Horizon incident. Childlike acrylic illustrations suit the first-person child's voice relating the tale and are big and bold enough for sharing. This would be a nice literature tie-in to environmental units.
Missing! A Cat Called Buster
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [MACMILLAN]
Orr, Wendy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
The "Rainbow Street Shelter" series consists of easy chapter books about abandoned animals who find homes through the shelter. Buster isn't the prettiest cat. Abandoned with his brothers and sisters, he's soon the only one left at the shelter. Then an elderly man adopts him and life is good. All of this changes when Buster's elderly owner falls. Buster runs from the noise of the emergency people, and ends up as a stray. When he returns home his owner isn't there. Josh is a neighbor who had a beloved bunny who died and doesn't want a new pet. He is, however, determines to help find the missing cat. When he does it's a match made in heaven since Buster's original owner is moving and will be unable to keep him. This is a sweet, simple story, and most children love books about pets. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. HOWEVER, the review copy had a printing problem where 6 pages of text were printed on dark gray paper, making them pretty much unreadable. Let's hope no one else encounters the same problem.
WHEN DADS DON'T GROW UP
DIAL [DIAL]
PARKER, MARJORIE
Alley, R.W.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Bright, watercolor and ink illustrations with great detail but casual edges set the perfect stage for this book about dads. Nope, not fathers?DADS. Indeed, the illustrations are the punch lines to the simple text. How can you tell which dads don't grow up? They read comics, watch cartoons with their kids, and play around with the bedtime stories. They wear non-matching clothes, don't worry about looking goofy and are willing to face monsters both under the bed and in the cellar. Their kids are lucky. No, not children?KIDS. This is a joyous celebration of hands-on dads. Yes, they can look responsible on the outside, but inside, well, they never grew up. Kids will enjoy this book, and adults will want to give it to their own dads for Father's Day.
EVERY DAY'S A DOG'S DAY : A YEAR IN POEMS
DIAL [DIAL]
SINGER, MARILYN
Sakamoto, Miki
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Buddy, Rosalie, Barkley, and Fizz are the four dogs who romp through the pages of this poetry book. Young readers get to enjoy them throughout the year as poems talk of snow, 4th of July fireworks, Halloween, visits to the vet and more. It quickly becomes apparent that each dog has a unique personality but they all share a love of their owners and a delight in fun activities. The poems are well-written, most with a traditional rhyme and rhythm format. Miki Sakamoto's enthusiastic and colorful illustrations are filled with bright smiles and interesting details. This would be a fun book to add to poetry collections.
Pip's Trip
DIAL [DIAL]
Stoeke, Janet Morgan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Midge, Dot, and Pip are hens at the Loopy Coop farm. In 6 very short chapters they see the farm truck and speculate about where it goes and what they might see if they got on board. Pip ends up almost living their dreams?with great nervousness. All ends well. Stoeke is the author of a previous book about our heroines and, of course, many books about Minerva Louise. Her bold, colorful illustrations express much with the use of simple lines and are terrific read-alouds. Kindergartners LOVE her books. They're right on target. Definitely add the Loopy Coop hens to your collection.
Bloodsucking Creatures
Enslow Publishers [Enslow Publishers]
Knapp, Ron
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Ron Knapp adds to the "Bizarre Science" series with this book about critters that vant to suck your blooooood. In 48 well-bound pages young readers learn about mosquitoes, vampire bats, head lice, lamprey eels, fleas and leeches. And not just the basics, either. He delves into the diseases carried by these creatures, exactly how they get their meals, and quick information about their life cycles. Close-up color photographs, often at a microscopic level, illustrate important points all too well and are nicely captioned. (I'm a big fan of good captions.)There are source notes, a glossary, bibliography, and an index. This would be useful for report-writing and is also sure to find a ready audience for casual reading.
I SPY UNDER THE SEA
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
GIBBS, EDWARD
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
This toy and movable book has holes through which young readers can see hints of what is coming, making it a good choice for prediction lessons. It highlights sea creatures starting (oddly) with 7 and going down to one. Each new creature is introduced with an "I spy with my little eye?" and a porthole view of part of the animal. Two clues and an additional peek are given before you flip the page and get your answer. The watery digital illustrations with many shades of blue are big enough for group sharing and the cover is sturdy, but with 7 stitches, the binding will not last.
Secret Lives of Burrowing Beasts
Benchmark Books [Benchmark Books]
Miller, Sara Swan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
In 48 well-bound pages Sara Swan Miller introduces young readers to burrowing animals. She first defines significant issues with underground living?security, temperature, and so forth. Then she focuses on mammals, amphibians, and reptiles that live underground. Readers learn about aardvarks, badgers, star-nosed moles, naked mole rats, prairie dogs, wombats, woodchucks, caecilians, Mexican burrowing toads, worm lizards, and blind snakes. Crisp color photographs and informative text combine to present interesting information in an eye-catching format. I just wish there had been labeled pictures. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index, making it a useful resource for report-writing. It's also a good book for casual browsing.
LUCKY LUIS
PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE) [PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE)]
SOTO, GARY
Montijo, Rhode
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Luis is a baseball-playing bunny who gets caught up in a superstition that if he eats supermarket samples he'll play better and if not, his game will suffer. This proves to be true until he decides to break the curse and choose his own fate. This is a bit of a disappointment from Gary Soto. The story is silly and somewhat slight and the acrylic illustrations lack crispness. On the other hand, the book has some Spanish scattered throughout, and Luis has a supportive father. Young children who play baseball may see themselves here.
POLICE FORENSICS
Lerner Publishing Group [Lerner Publishing Group]
SUTHERLAND, ADAM
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
What exactly is forensic science and how is it used to solve crimes? That's the focus of this 32-page book that gives a nice overview. Readers learn some of the history of the science, the vocabulary, and some of the tools common to forensics. Fingerprints, DNA, crime scene protocol, blood types, and even cyber crime are covered, albeit briefly. Two experts in the field, both women, are highlighted. Famous cases are presented. There's a brief bibliography and index. (The glossary is found in the vocabulary intro at the beginning of the book.) The format is designed to be teen-friendly with bright colors, information presented in short bursts, photographs, and cool fonts. This is a good introduction to the science that will lead CSI fans to want to know more.
CADDY EVER AFTER
Margaret K. McElderry Books [Margaret K. McElderry Books]
MCKAY, HILARY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Hilary McKay takes readers back for another cosmic visit to the Casson family. The title, originally published in 2006, may seem as if the focus is on Caddy, but truthfully the majority of the book contains intertwining stories told in the first person by Rose, Indigo, and Saffy before we finally come to Caddy and then back to Rose again. The changing viewpoints can be a bit disconcerting, but each character is a delight and it's fun to gaze from their eyes. Each of their stories has to do with relationships?friendship, boyfriend/girlfriend, family, and more. Catastrophes happen, art abounds, a weird coincidence or two gently emphasize a point, and a subtle humor pervades. It all leads up to Caddy and her wedding that may or may not happen. Reading McKay's books is like going to a family reunion where conversations ebb and flow around shared memories and experiences. I love her books. However, I cannot get my elementary students to read them. However, put the series in a middle school and hand them to the right readers and they will gain a loyal, happy following.
Seven Wonders of Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors
21st Century Books [21st Century Books]
Miller, Ron
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Seven Wonders" series, this well-bound 80-page book concentrates on exactly what the title says. Let's face it, the series title is just a gimmick. Unlike the seven wonders of the ancient world, these books just focus on a topic, divide it into 7 significant parts, and then provide information. Still, the information is solid and interesting. Accompanied by great photographs, charts, and artist's renditions, this book provides information on 1) Ceres, 2) Ganymede and other Earthgrazers, 3) Halley's Comet, 4) Borealis Basin, 5) The Perseid Meteor Shower, 6) The Kuiper Belt, and 7) Pluto and Charon. At least that's what the table of contents says. The truth is that each chapter expands widely on the subject. The chapter on Ceres expounds widely on asteroids both in general and specific, as does the second chapter which also addresses what might happen if an asteroid should hit Earth. The Halley's Comet chapter provides a nice overview on comets, while the Borealis Basin chapter explores craters found throughout the solar system. The most significant meteor showers are discussed and meteorites are introduced. Both the Kuiper Belt and Kuiper Belt Objects are examined. And where exactly does Pluto belong? This is jam-packed with solid and interesting information, useful for reports or for science geeks who really enjoy a good astronomy book. Me, me! It would fit nicely in a secondary school library.
BIG BIRTHDAY
CAROLRHODA [Lerner Publishing Group]
HOSFORD, KATE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Annabelle's bored. Every birthday, it's true, up to this point has been spent at the zoo. She wants something different?a new kind of tune. This birthday she'll celebrate up on the moon! The party has moments that really are fun, but the trip and the cake cannot please everyone. So next year she's planning to try something new?a pirate ship party is just what she'll do! Quirky illustrations with lots of detail suit the text well, hit it right on the nail. This fanciful flight full of color and glee may please youthful readers who like to party.
Children of the Holocaust
COMPASS POINT BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
Fitzgerald, Stephanie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Using quotes, memories, photographs, and historical information, this 64-page book brings the Holocaust to life and forces readers to face the human costs involved. The author provides historical context, and shows how the situation quickly escalated. The focus is on Jewish children, so information is provided about Kindertransport, the ghettos, children who were hidden or "passed" as gentiles, and those who survived in concentration camps. The stories are heart-rending, and the author does nothing to soften the blow, providing stark details about the millions who did not survive Hitler's "final solution." The impact on lives is clearly presented through the eyes of the children who lived to tell the tale. There's a timeline, glossary, bibliography, and index.
DEAR CINDERELLA
ORCHARD BOOKS [SCHOLASTIC]
KENSINGTON, MARY JANE
Olsen, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Snow White and Cinderella write each other letters about their lives, and as the letters progress so do the stories. They commiserate about stepmother problems, long for princes, and share their secret desires. At last they hold a double-wedding! You've got princesses in sparkly gowns on the cover, bright illustrations with plenty of pink, and just a touch of romance. Clearly these authors (Marian Moore & Mary Jane Kensington) know their audience. Granted, the stories follow Disney more than Grimm, but teachers will also find this book useful for teaching letter-writing, for a story-starter, for teaching point of view, and for prediction and sequence. Not bad for one book!
HOMER
ORCHARD BOOKS [SCHOLASTIC]
DEGROAT, DIANE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
At night, when his owner finally drops off to sleep, Homer slips out of the house and joins his fellow dogs at the ball park. It's the championship game between the Hounds and the Doggers. Who will win? First baseman Homer is up to bat. It's the deciding play. This is a humorous dog baseball story with Shelley Rotner's photo-illustrations combining crisp color photographs with bright illustrations, often with humorous asides. It's got dogs. It's got baseball. What more could a kid desire? If doing a storytime it would be fun to combine this with William Wegman's dog baseball video, if you can locate it. Also, take a moment to enjoy the doggy baseball card endpapers.
MINERVA LOUISE
DUTTON JUVENILE [DUTTON JUVENILE]
STOEKE, JANET MORGAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Minerva Louise loves the house with the red curtains. One day she slips inside to find a strange and magical place with things she thinks she recognizes. She uses her barnyard experiences to name the items in the home, and leave its occupants oblivious to her visit. Well, except for the pie incident. This book was originally published in 1988 and is an absolute winner for preschool or kindergarten story times. Simple text is, nevertheless, hilarious as children catch the hen's mistakes. Bold bright illustrations convey a bevy of emotions in a few masterful strokes. If you don't have it, get it. If you do you know to buy it prebound because this binding is no better than the original and will not last.
Mario and Baby Gia
Celebra Children's Books [Celebra Children's Books]
Lopez, Mario
Roos, maryn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Mario's birthday is coming up and he wants to talk about it. However, it seems like nobody in the family is available. Besides, Nana needs him to babysit his baby cousin Gia. Gia loves spending time with Mario, calling him "Marygold" much to his consternation. They spend the whole day together while Grandma is busy baking. And why is she baking? Why, it's Gia's birthday, of course, and the family has planned a combined party for him and his little cousin. This is a nice story of family togetherness with big, bright, expressive illustrations by Maryn Roos.
Snow in Summer: Fairest of Them All
PHILOMEL [PHILOMEL]
Yolen, Jane
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Snow in Summer lost her mother years ago. Her father mourned and seemed to lose heart. Then a strange woman appeared who beguiled her father. Soon the two were married and Snow in Summer had a stepmother who had a plan that involved sucking the life out of her new family. This is an interesting retelling of "Snow White" in an Appalachian setting. There's a talking mirror, but also a loving aunt and a strange church with serpents. Each element of the original story has been reimagined and you'll never guess who Summer marries. Yolen uses her skills to weave a fanciful tale that gives a different view on a traditional story.
UP, TALL AND HIGH!
PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE) [PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE)]
LONG, ETHAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
There are three short stories in this very easy reader. Three birds compare themselves. Who is tall? Who is taller? Who can fly high? Who is up? Who is down? It doesn't really matter. They're friends. The text is very simple. The book is on thick glossy paper just this side of a board book but in a bigger format. There are fold-out pages that extend the illustrations. The stitching will not last. This is a la "Elephant and Piggy" and clearly aimed at the same audience, who would probably adore it.
SILLY GOOSE'S BIG STORY
PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE) [PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE)]
KASZA, KEIKO
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Goose's friends appreciate his great imagination. He tells the stories that they act out while playing each day. Unfortunately, Goose also chooses to be the hero in each of his tales. The others think this isn't fair. When Goose is caught by Wolf he has to pull out his best story-telling skills to survive, but his friends put the frosting on the cake and save the day. Goose learns to appreciate others and share, and everyone learns what it means to be a good friend. This is another winning story from Keiko Kasza. The writing is excellent and kid-friendly. The bright color illustrations are warm and inviting. This would be a good addition to story times about friendship.
NOT-SO-PERFECT PLANET
Darby Creek Publishing [Darby Creek Publishing]
SERVICE, PAMELA F
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Drat, I always said I would automatically love any book that contained the phrase "in durance vile" and this book is only average. However, children will probably enjoy it. This is the second book in the "Way-Too-Real Aliens" series (a sequel to Escape from Planet Yastol.) In the first book young author, Josh, discovered that his stories are true and he and his sister were kidnapped by aliens and transported to another planet. They still have some relics from that original adventure that allow them to travel, and to understand alien languages. Josh is convinced using these is a bad idea, but his sister insists that if he writes a happy story about a perfect world with unicorns and mermaids what could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot, as it happens, since he wasn't nearly specific enough. Soon they're on another planet, trying to avoid becoming lunch or being sacrificed to the volcano god. They team up with an underprivileged minority?the youngest children of most of the species on the planet, and hope teamwork will lead to both success and survival. This is a quick read, but how many science fiction books aim at the short chapter book crowd? It certainly meets a need and you don't have to be held in durance vile to be forced to read it.
ALIENS IN UNDERPANTS SAVE THE WORLD
Aladdin [Aladdin]
FREEDMAN, CLAIRE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
The aliens are back and they're worried. Earth is their primary source of underpants and now it is threatened by a giant meteor or asteroid. (Except that the rhyming text says it's a meteorite which is incorrect since a meteorite is, by definition, a meteor that has actually reached the surface without burning up.) The aliens gather underwear and sew it together into a giant protective shield which the meteor hits. Due to its fine elastic quality this sends the meteor bouncing out again into space saving the earth. The big, colorful illustrations are amusing and filled with aliens in underwear. The rhyming text is simple and fun, but not always as rhythmic as it could be. Anytime you get underwear in a book you're sure to have a hit. However, despite its ease in rhyming, there's really no excuse for using the term "meteorite" when it is incorrect. (Although I guess the author might have been skittish about underwear and the obvious rhyme for "asteroid"?)
HAPPY, HEALTHY AJAY!
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
MURPHY, STUART J
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Ajay isn't keeping up with his friends. What could be the problem? Maybe he's not as healthy as he should be. Time to turn it around! In this book Ajay learns to exercise, eat good food, hydrate, and enjoy healthy snacks. Readers are encouraged to evaluate their own health and make positive changes. Let's face it, this really isn't much of a story. On the other hand, we need more materials on healthy living and the advice offered in the book is good. Bright color illustrations accompany the text. This is a nice literature tie-in to health units.
FREDA STOPS A BULLY
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
MURPHY, STUART J
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
A boy at school teases Freda about her bright new shoes. She follows the rules for dealing with buillies?don't listen, walk away, get help, and say stop. He does and all ends well. This is a book with a clear message and it presents it well. The colorful illustrations show animal-headed children dealing with a common problem. However, I would suggest moving rule #4 up to rule #1.
EIGHT DAYS GONE
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
MCREYNOLDS, LINDA
O'Rourke, Ryan
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
With stark, simple rhyming text Linda McReynolds introduces young readers to the Apollo 11 mission. From its takeoff, to the moon landing, to its return, she clearly highlights key moments in the mission's history. The basic facts are here and nicely accented by Ryan O'Rourke's simple yet evocative oil illustrations that match the text in brevity and beauty. The author's note gives additional information about the first lunar landing and a photograph from the mission is included. There's a bibliography as well. This is excellent easy nonfiction that informs while also tapping into the emotions of the event.
Emily and Carlo
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Figley, Marty Rhodes
Stock, Catherine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
The author spent some time at Amherst and learned about Emily Dickinson's Newfoundland dog, Carlo. In this lyrical book she gives readers an insight into the warm friendship that probably existed between Emily and her dear companion. Snippets of quotes from the poet are included. Catherine Stock's flowing watercolors aptly suit the text. This might be a good way to introduce children to Emily Dickinson, before exploring her poetry.
Alicia's Fruity Drinks/Las aguas frescas de Alicia
Arte Publico Press [Arte Publico Press]
Ruiz-Flores, Lupe
Lacamara, Laura
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
At the annual celebration for Mexican Independence Day, Alicia's mom introduces her to agues frescas?fruit drinks made from fresh fruit. Alicia likes the new drink so much it replaces soda in her diet, and soon she's serving a home-made variety to all of her sports team friends. This is a bilingual book in Spanish and English showing a loving Latino family. The healthy eating message is clear, but not annoying. Laura Lacamara's big, bold illustrations show lots of action and detail, and a multi-ethnic cast of characters. Published by Pi?ata Books, the binding is excellent and should stand up to library use.
Sofia and the Purple Dress/Sofia y el vestido morado
Arte Publico Press [Arte Publico Press]
Bertrand, Diane Gonzales
Fields, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Sofia's favorite cousin, who often sends her wonderful hand-me-down clothes, is soon to celebrate her quincea?era. When Sofia tries on a beautiful purple dress her cousin sent her, however, it doesn't fit. She and her mother decide they could both adopt a healthier lifestyle. They watch what they eat and increase their exercise. When the big day arrives the dress fits and they both look good. This is a nice multicultural book with a good health message. It is also a bilingual book in both Spanish and English, and features a Latino family. That opens it up for multiple uses in a school library. Lisa Field's rounded and warm illustrations show a happy family making positive choices. Binding is excellent.
Today, Maybe
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Demers, Dominique
Grimmard, Gabrielle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Translated from the French this is a gently sweet story about a young girl who decided to stop growing and live with her bird deep in the forest. She's waiting for someone, but who? Occasional visitors come?thieves, a witch, a wolf, even a prince. Yet she manages to send them all away. They're not what she's waiting for. At last someone arrives who calls to her heart?a large bear. And they both find happiness. A psychologist would have a field day with this book, but judging it strictly as a warm story with roots lightly drinking from fairy-tale waters, it will do. Gabrielle Grimard's watercolor, oil, and pencil illustrations fit the text beautifully?the young girl in soft comforting colors and lines, and all but her last visitor dark and large and foreboding?touches of harsh reality impinging on her dream world? Ah but the bear?all sunshine and cuddle and comfort. Children will enjoy the outer story. Adults will see a deeper message. Or maybe it's just me?
EMMA ALL STIRRED UP!
Simon Spotlight [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
SIMON, COCO
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
The "Cupcake Diaries" books are all the rage at both my schools. Four middle school girls run a part-time business making cupcakes, while dealing with friends, bullies, weddings, brothers, and life in general. Each volume focuses on a different girl but includes them all. In this one Emma and her sometimes annoying little brother Jake are at a summer day camp, along with another Cupcake Club member, Alexis. Emma's learning some valuable lessons about making others comfortable, scheduling conflicts, and making new friends while keeping the old ones happy. She gets to meet a celebrity and participate in the camp talent show. This is another fun, breezy story with real-life conflict, nicely frosted over?with sprinkles. I enjoy these books but their "reality" is always spiced with things that never happen to real girls. I mean?modeling for a celebrity? Really? The readers don't care, however. I guess to them it's the equivalent of Nancy Drew's roadster. Forget reality. They eat these books up!
OLIVIA MAKES A CHARM BRACELET
Simon Spotlight [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
MCDOOGLE, FARRAH
Osterhold, Jared
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Based on the screenplay "Olivia's Charmed Life" from the TV show, this is another Olivia the pig tale. She wants to give her friend a charm bracelet from a cereal box for her birthday. When that becomes unavailable she makes her own charm bracelet out of things that are significant to both of them. The book includes 2 paper charm bracelets and 38 stickers you can put on them. It would be a fun personal book for a child, but isn't library material.
Mars Trilogy: A Princess of Mars; The Gods of Mars; The Warlord of Mars
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers [Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers]
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Originally published in the early 1900's, Edgar Rice Burrough's books about John Carter's strange and amazing visit to the planet Mars are classic sci-fi. Here are the first three books in the lengthy series (A Princess of Mars, The Gods of Mars, and The Warlord of Mars) combined into one volume. In the first, John Carter finds himself mysteriously swept from the Arizona desert to the rugged hills of Mars where he meets the strange and fierce denizens of the planet, finds his Earth muscles give him a strategic advantage in combat, and rescues and marries his beautiful Martian princess, Dejah Thoris, while making friends with both the green and the red men of Mars. Called upon to save the planet he returns to Earth not knowing if he was successful. In the second book he returns to Mars and finds himself in the valley of the dead, again fighting all manner of strange creatures, meeting friends and trying to upset a corrupt religion. Again his princess is found and lost. The third book focuses on his efforts to rescue Dejah Thoris yet again as he unites all the peoples of Mars against the evil forces that seek to rule them. The first book is the strongest. All are densely written and filled with high adventure, battle, noble quests and chivalry. Of course there are also amazing coincidences, friendships forged in battle, and romance. Suspension of disbelief is essential. We now know much more about Mars and little in the books fits the "sci" part of "sci-fi." Still, everyone into the genre should have read at least the first book of the series to establish their "geek" creds. With the John Carter movie out a new interest may arise regarding the books. Would that it had been a better movie, but I digress. There are occasiona
Once: Before Midnight / Golden / Wild Orchid
Simon Pulse [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
Dokey, Cameron
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Not all of the "Once Upon a Time" series books are written by Cameron Dokey, but this local author is my favorite. Here are compiled 3 of her novelized fairy tale retellings, originally published in 2006, 2007, and 2009. Here is the story of Cendrillon ? a babe abandoned by her father after the death of her mother as she was born. Raised in a remote stone house with a boy whose origins are a mystery she eventually gets a stepmother and two stepsisters, and goes to a ball where she loses a slipper. But there is more at play here as politics and hints of magic twist through the story like threads in a tapestry. Rapunzel, in her own tale has no hair at all, but a sorceress for a stepmother and a mission she is unaware of to rescue the sorceress's daughter from an enchanted tower. The tale of Mulan, too, has been reimaged. She saves China but takes her father's place to save him from not only death but from revisiting an ancient and terrible pain. Each tale is skillfully crafted and delightfully written with characters that glow with life. Yes, they could use a little more tension, but whatchagonna do? These may come from the seeds of stories you know, but they have grown into trees that bear a different fruit that leaves a unique taste on the tongue.
Trauma Queen
Aladdin [Aladdin]
Dee, Barbara
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Parents? Divorced. Recent status? Moved to new town and left best friend behind. Mom? A performance artist where the potential for embarrassment and misunderstanding is high. (Hey, it's the reason you moved.) Dad? Seriously dating and talking about a dude ranch. Little sister? Cute, but needy. Life is hard enough for a 13-year-old girl but Marigold is saddled with more than a weird name. Is there any hope for her survival? In a new town folks don't know about her mother's previous antics, but when Mom decides to teach an after-school improve club at Marigold's school she's sure disaster is ahead. Barbara Dee clearly understands this age group and has written a funny book filled with characters you'd want to meet?including that cute boy. This is a fun realistic fiction book that should appeal to slightly older Allie Finkle fans.
HAVEN
Simon Pulse [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
COOK, KRISTI
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Violet's new boarding school is a change from what she's used to, but she doesn't realize just how much of a change until she discovers that every student there has at least one secret?and so does she. Her ability to predict the future didn't save her father's life, but perhaps it can save the life of a boy she loves?a hunky vampire. Yep, it's one of those books?a cute vampire with soulful eyes, a tender innocent who loves him, friends who are in danger. Typical young adult fodder. But this is well-written and the first in a series that is likely to become popular.
Happy Halloween, Kai-Lan!: A Lift-The-Flap Story
Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
Shaw, Natalie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Kai-Lan and her friends are excited about Halloween. What will they use for costumes? Lift the flap and find out. Then lift more flaps to follow their adventures as Rintoo injures himself and the friends find a unique way to make sure he still gets to trick-or-treat. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany the text. This is based on the Nick Jr. series and includes Chinese words and a page that gives their pronunciation and meaning. The pages of this paperback book are sturdy, but it's really designed for home, not library, use.
I Know Someone Who is Obese
HEINEMANN RAINTREE LIBRARY [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
Barraclough, Sue
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Understanding Health Issues" series which includes books about knowing someone with ADHD, Dyslexia, Eczema, and more, this book addresses the touchy subject of childhood obesity. In 32 well-bound pages readers are introduced to the health problem of obesity, and some of the consequences that may result. While genetics is acknowledged as playing a role, diet and exercise are emphasized as the chief culprits. Healthy eating and an active lifestyle are presented as the best ways to combat this problem. Children are encouraged to support their friends dealing with the issue and provide needed backup as they make good choices. Bullying is addressed as well. Crisp color photographs of children and adults accompany the text. A glossary, index, bibliography and quick quiz are included. The book strives to be non-judgmental, treating this as a medical condition while emphasizing that personal responsibility plays a major role. It deals positively with the topic.
Out of Bounce
Disney Hyperion [Disney Hyperion]
Marsoli, Lisa
Disney Storybook Artists
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Tigger is teaching Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore how to bounce. He gives them each "bouncy" objects to help?springs for Eeyore's feet, a ball for the bear, and a pogo stick for Piglet. Then it's only a case of having a good teacher, right? Unfortunately none of his pupils share Tigger's natural affinity for bouncing. This is a humorous board book cut in the shape of Tigger. With its enthusiastic text and bright illustrations it should please young fans and set them bouncing.
YES, YES, YAUL!
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
CZEKAJ, JEF
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Hip and Hop are a rapping turtle and rabbit team who travel the world bringing joy to all those around them. Well, almost all those around them. There's a porcupine named Yaul who is never happy with anything. He's like a walking rainstorm. When the rappers throw Yaul a surprise birthday party the guest of honor drags everyone down. An unfortunate gift, however, changes everything. This is an amusing tale that is clearly designed for group sharing. The turtle talks slowly. Therabbittalksfast. Rhyming segments in graphic-novel style will get the audience to join in. The bright cartoon illustrations are big enough for sharing. Besides, the message of choosing to be happy is a good one.
BLACK WIDOW JOINS THE MIGHTY AVENGERS
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
A product of Marvelkids, this short easy paperback gives some information on Black Widow, her background, and how she joined The Mighty Avengers. Raised to be a spy, and trained with her younger brother, she turned to the Avengers to rescue her brother when she decided to change sides. With bold illustrations and high-action text this flows along nicely and will please young Avenger fans.
HAWKEYE JOINS THE MIGHTY AVENGERS
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Clint and his brother joined the circus where Clint learned to be a master bowman and became "Hawkeye," one of the most important acts. When he caught a thief, however, he lost his job and decided he needed to find a new career?as a superhero. Unfortunately his intentions were initially misunderstood, but he went on to become one of the Avengers. This is a short book about a popular topic. It's flimsy and won't last, but the students will love, love, love it.
LUNA
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
CASAROSA, ENRICO
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
While the title is "The Moon" in Spanish, this is an English-language book about a young boy who is finally able to join his father and grandfather in the family business. They row out to the huge moon rising on the horizon, set up a ladder, and then climb it to clear fallen stars off the moon. The stars make musical sounds and a brief problem with a very large star is quickly solved by the boy. Finally they descend to the boat again, leaving behind a crescent moon in the sky. The watercolor illustrations have a nice use of light and dark and fit the fanciful theme. This is a gentle, whimsical tale that is sweet but slight.
BAILANDO AL RESCATE
LIBROS PARA NINOS [LIBROS PARA NINOS]
DRISCOLL, LAURA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
This is the Spanish-language version of the book Dance to the Rescue, a Dora the Explorer adventure. Swiper is trapped in a magic bottle by a tricky dancing leprechaun. To rescue him Dora must win a dance contest. To get to the contest, however, she has to pass various obstacles and learn how to dance like different animals. This ends up helping her win, and rescue Swiper. This is a typical Dora book, with lots of chances for audience participation. The books aren't great literature, but kids do adore them.
GUN SAFETY
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KEVIN, BRIAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Gun Education" series, this well-bound 32-page book presents basic gun safety rules in a clear, informative style. Guns ownership and use can be controversial but for many rural children guns and hunting are a natural part of their lives. This series is an excellent introduction to the subject providing solid information without making guns overwhelmingly attractive. The book includes the basics of gun safety and information about permits and registration. The need for hunter education classes is emphasized. Safe carrying of guns both on foot and in vehicles is explained and illustrated. Locations where guns are never appropriate are clearly indicated. Readers are told to report any guns sighted at school, for example. An index and glossary, as well as a publisher's website link, are included. Color photographs accompany the text (although the two-handed carry doesn't exactly match the printed description.) This is a useful and educational series that meets a particular need.
PRESIDENTIAL PETS : THE WEIRD, WACKY, LITTLE, BIG, SCARY, ST
Imagine Publishing [Imagine Publishing]
MOBERG, JULIA
Jeff Albrecht Studios
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
What kinds of pets did each president have? This book offers information on that and much more as it takes readers from Washington to Obama. Each president merits a two-page spread. A short poem introduces the man and the pet(s). Then Presidential Stats provides quick facts about term years, first lady, vice president, political party, birth and death dates and locations, occupations before the presidency, and nickname(s). A "Tell Me More!" section contains some bulleted interesting, and often oddball, facts. "Accomplishments & Events" lists a few highlights or historical events of each presidency. Big, bright, humorous illustrations by Jeff Albrecht Studios are eye-catching and make the book visually fun. The title, however, is a tad misleading. Yes, presidential pets are here, but they often make up less than half of the entry. Policies, historical events, and interesting odd facts make up the rest. There's not enough content for report-writing in this 94-page book, but this would certainly serve as a source to augment a dull report with something interesting. It's also a fun browsing book. We've had HOW MANY alligators in the White House? Who knew?
GUNS & SPECIAL WEAPONS
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KEVIN, BRIAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Gun Education" series, this well-bound 32-page book gives a solid and interesting look at unusual guns, both modern and ancient. Readers learn about combination guns?gun/shields, gun/axes, gun/swords (bayonets). Artillery, rocket and grenade-launchers, underwater guns and non-lethal weapons such as Tasers, flare guns and tranquilizer guns are also included. There's even a short bit about spy weapons. It's all quite fascinating and presented in a clear informative fashion. Plenty of crisp color photographs accompany the text which includes an index, glossary, and publisher's website address. This is exactly the book for boys who ask for books on weapons. Safety and responsibility are emphasized. This is a useful and educational series that meets a particular need.
Queen of the Track: Alice Coachman, Olympic High-Jump Champion
Boyds Mill Press [Boyds Mill Press]
Lang, Heather
Cooper, Floyd
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Here we are in an Olympics year and we're seeing more books about Olympic medalists. This is the second new book out on Alice Coachman. From a dirt-poor African-American family, Alice was the first to go to college and did track during Segregation. Denied her Olympic opportunities during WWII, she was finally able to compete in the 1948 London Olympics becoming the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal. Her story is inspiring and Heather Lang tells it well, including small details about Alice's life, and interesting facts about an Olympic games held in a country still recovering from war. Floyd Cooper's pastel illustrations in shades of bronze and brown aptly convey the emotional underpinnings of the story. Notes at the end provide additional information and a photograph of Alice Coachman is included. This would be an excellent addition to biography collections, and useful for Black History Month and Women's History Month.
GUN SPORTS
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KEVIN, BRIAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Gun Education" series, this well-bound 32-page book introduces young readers to various sports tied to guns. A history behind gun sports is briefly presented. Target shooting, shotgun sports such as trapshooting and skeet shooting are explained. Then readers learn about the biathlon and pentathlon. There's even a segment about cowboy action shooting. Good, specific information is presented, including diagrams when needed. Safety gear is emphasized. This is a clear and interesting introduction to the topic that explains things well, showing guns as tools and sports equipment. Safety is highlighted at all times. An index and glossary, as well as a publisher's website link, are included. Color photographs accompany the text. This is a useful and educational series that meets a particular need. This volume, especially, would be handy in understanding Olympic gun sports.
GUN HISTORY & DEVELOPMENT
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KEVIN, BRIAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Gun Education" series, this well-bound 32-page book gives a solid and interesting look at the history of guns, treating them as any other invention. From the development of black powder to cannons then handheld guns such as arquebuses, muskets, rifles, pistols and revolvers this clearly shows the step-by-step progression as new innovations improved on both the weapons and the ammunition used in them. It also points out how this impacts guns today. Plenty of crisp color photographs show weapons and ammunition from various eras. The final segment addresses the issue of gun rights in a reasoned and clear way. This is actually quite fascinating and informative, regardless of your stand on guns. An index and glossary, as well as a publisher's website link, are included. This is a useful and educational series that meets a particular need.
EARS ARE FOR EARRINGS : THE SENSE OF HEARING
SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HENGEL, KATHERINE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Sandcastle "All About Your Senses" series this well-bound 24-page book combines crisp color photographs with simple text giving basic facts about how we use our ears. They're more than earring holders! They're for quiet sounds and loud sounds; for plugging, and for headphones. Boy, they're useful. Nowhere is there a diagram of the ear, or an explanation on how it works. The book includes a brief glossary as well as a short fact page and quiz. While this introduces the sense that's all it does?introduces. Buy something with a little more content for your sense units.
GET MOVING WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
HIGGINS, NADIA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Childhood obesity is an increasing problem as both children and adults lead more sedentary lives. In this well-bound 32-page book bright cartoon illustrations show children from a variety of ethnicities and abilities adopting an active lifestyle. 60 minutes of exercise a day is encouraged, and the book includes games and ideas for getting that exercise. Safety is emphasized, and getting your heart working and getting sweaty are encouraged. This is a good, positive introduction to an important topic that parents and children should share.
GET MOVING IN THE CITY
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
HERON, JACKIE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Childhood obesity is an increasing problem as both children and adults lead more sedentary lives. In this well-bound 32-page book bright cartoon illustrations show children from a variety of ethnicities and abilities adopting an active lifestyle in the city. The importance of healthy muscles is emphasized. Movement and a healthy lifestyle are vital. This books includes games and ideas for getting out and getting active. Safety is emphasized, and tracking your progress is encouraged. There's an introduction to BMI and children are encouraged to not compare themselves to others. This is a good, positive introduction to an important topic that parents and children should share.
Pulling the Rip Cord: Skydiving
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Young, Jeff C.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Adrenaline Adventures" series, this 32-page book features cool color photographs and clear, interesting text as it introduces young readers to skydiving. A bit of history is followed by vocabulary, clothing and equipment, training, safety, and the difference between tandem, static-line, and accelerated free fall jumps. There's a great picture of a skydiver wearing a wing suit, information about competitions, and a quick highlight section on famous skydivers. Indoor skydiving centers are introduced as a way for younger people to get an introduction to the sport. There's even a mention of skysurfing. The book includes glossary, a publisher's website, and an index. This is an interesting introduction to the sport that children will enjoy.
Military
Benchmark Books [Benchmark Books]
Grayson, Robert
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Working Animals" series this sturdy 62-page book is a fascinating look at different animals that, over time, have served the military. This isn't just about service dogs, and it isn't just the U.S. military. Hannibal marched elephants over the Alps, and that wasn't the only time they were used. There are also stories about camels, horses, a bear that served the Polish army during WWII, and pigeons that saved lives by carrying messages. Marine mammals, water buffalo, mules and donkeys have also played a role and are still in use today. And did you know that trained rats are great at finding land mines? The stories are enthralling, and could easily lead to readers doing their own research to find out more. Naturally dogs take up a significant portion of the book. Dogs have been a part of the military as far back as ancient Rome, and George Washington actually arranged a temporary truce to return British General William Howe's dog who was found wandering the battlefield. Dogs are used today to sniff out explosives and guard supplies and troops. Jobs working with military canines are highlighted. Photographs and historical artwork accompany the text. There's a glossary, bibliography, and index. This would be useful for report-writing, but will also find a ready audience who will simply find it an interesting book to read.
Hurricanes!
Marshall Cavendish Children's Books [Marshall Cavendish Children's Books]
Royston, Angela
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Eyewitness Disaster" series, this 32-page well-bound book gives a clear definition of hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons along with a map showing where they occur and the season when they are most common. Information about hurricane formation, tracking, and rating is also included. Quotes from people impacted by the storms, as well as color photographs of preparation, evacuation, and damage are found throughout the book. There is also a glossary, bibliography, and index. Key storms and their aftermaths are highlighted. While this book is about hurricanes, the focus is actually on the toll they take on the people and communities they hit. It emphasizes working together to rebuild. The quotes and vignettes personalize the storms and make this more than just a "weather" book.
STAR WARS : DARTH VADER AND THE LOST COMMAND : 1
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
BLACKMAN, HADEN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Darth Vader is rising to power, gradually losing his humanity as bits of him are torturously replaced. At the same time he is tormented by flashbacks to his time as a young husband to Padme. Will his regrets affect his decision to choose the Dark Side? Nope. In this 5-volume graphic novel set he and his forces are invading the Ghost Nebula. They'll need inside intel. Will Lady Saro be their source? Crisp, detailed illustrations will please graphic novel fans, while the plot is in keeping with the Star Wars universe. However, these books are pricey and ought to have been combined into a single volume, rather than 5 24-page books (at over $20 a pop). The books do not stand alone. Each is an integral part of the story. If one is lost the entire set is invalidated. This is more than most school libraries can afford. However, libraries with bigger budgets will find this a series their readers will relish.
SUPER OSCAR
SIMON & SCHUSTER [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
DE LA HOYA, OSCAR
Kopelke, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Apparently when not winning boxing championships Oscar de la Hoya is now writing children's books. In this story a young daydreaming Oscar lacks motivation, but when a neighborhood picnic is threatened he comes through in a pinch, saving the day. The story is unlikely and lacks cohesion, but this bilingual book has it in both Spanish and English and the bright acrylic and collage illustrations by Lisa Kopelke are fun. The final 2 pages offer parents advice to help their children be more active. This could tie in with health curriculum, and the Latino neighborhood setting is a plus.
GUNS & AMMUNITION
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KEVIN, BRIAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Gun Education" series, this well-bound 32-page book introduces young readers to a wide variety of guns and ammunition. There is information here about long guns and their various actions?bolt, pump, lever, break, and semiautomatic. Readers also learn about the two main types of handguns?pistols and revolvers. Air guns are also presented, along with automatic guns, as is information about bores and ammunition. This is a clear, concise introduction to an interesting, if controversial, subject. In no way does it glamorize. It only informs. And the father/son team visiting a gun show at the beginning of the book neither purchase nor use the weapons. As the book points out, sometimes the fun part is just looking at them and learning. This book does a nice job with that. An index and glossary, as well as a publisher's website link, are included. Well-captioned color photographs accompany the text. This is a useful and educational series that meets a particular need.
GIFT FOR POOH
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
MILLER, SARA F
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Christopher Robin has a great idea?to have everyone visit everyone else and give them a gift. Pooh brings along honey, but other gifts get given along the way and fortunately he ends up with what he loves the most. This lift-the-flap paperback hides the gifts until the flap is lifted, giving young readers a chance to guess. Bright cartoon illustrations add to the fun.
SO YOU WANT TO BE PRESIDENT?
PHILOMEL [PHILOMEL]
ST GEORGE, JUDITH
Small, David
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
It's been over a decade since this book won the Caldecott Medal. Here is a new, updated and revised edition reflecting some of the changes in presidents, adding new material, and ending in a more evocative way. Most of the old stuff is here, but additional details have been added, including mentions of Barak Obama. He also appears in the illustrations. The book still bears the Caldecott medal (which is a tad confusing because it's not quite the same book?but the illustrations that won the award are largely the same). The changes in text and illustration only make the book stronger and are significant enough to warrant updating your collection.
Ice Island
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
Shahan, Sherry
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 23, 2012
Bateman, Teresa
Tatum has a fascination with sled-dog racing, encouraged by her father. She's even had some training. However, when she's on a practice run with Cole, a Yupik boy, in the icy cold of a remote Alaskan island, they find themselves in over their heads. A sudden storm blows in. The situation deteriorates. The focus has to be on survival, and getting back to civilization but that requires overcoming frigid temperatures, battling frostbite, dehydration, and starvation, and taking care of not only themselves but the dogs. Hours turn into days, each bringing them closer to death. Supplies are running out. One of them has to go for help, but who? This is a terrific adventure/survival story. Having taught school in a remote Alaskan village, with Yupik students, I can say that the descriptions are accurate. The author brings the setting and people to life, and you can actually feel the cold blistering your lips. Lots of Iditarod and Alaskan facts are mixed neatly with the text in the form of short vignettes, adding an educational level to the story with great subtlety. This is a compelling story that will make a reader shiver with cold, even in the middle of summer.
The Secret Prince
Aladdin [Aladdin]
Haberdasher, Violet
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
July 26, 2012
Tucker, Merrilyn
Henry Grim is back at London's Knightley Academy. In this second book, Henry's adventures take him far afield to Nordlands, where he suspects he will find war brewing. I enjoyed the first book better than this one. Flashes of good writing and intelligent wit arise in this second novel, but are inconsistent. Haberdasher's storyline and characters parallels Rowling's and become an annoyance.
What is Real
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Rivers, Karen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
July 26, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Dex narrates the story of a month of his life, plus a few pages about "Now" and a bit of the past. His wheelchair-bound dad has Dex growing pot in their basement and Dex's story is pot-induced, forcing the reader to wonder if Dex's reality is, in fact, the truth. At times the story reads like a screenplay. There is plenty of language which makes this more appropriate for older teens.
Beneath My Mother's Feet
ATHENEUM BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ATHENEUM BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Qamar, Amjed
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
July 31, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
The wonderful story of 14-year-old Nazia, a schoolgirl in Karachi whose life changes drastically when her father cannot (or will not) work. Forced to become a housekeeper, she must quit school and learn at the "school of hard knocks." She questions the arranged marriage to a cousin she doesn't know and wants to believe the best about her father, although all the signs point to him being a lying, thieving slacker. Will Nazia stand up for herself or will she buckle under pressure from her mother to make the family proud? An interesting look at a culture most Western students know nothing about.