Reviews for month


SUMMER BEFORE BOYS
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
BASKIN, NORA RALEIGH
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 03, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
When her mom is deployed to Iraq, Julia moves in with her cousin, Eliza. Best friends forever, the girls begin to grow apart as Julia becomes interested in a boy and doesn't want to participate in games the two girls had previously reveled in. Additionally, Julia anguishes over her mom's safety. Interactions between the girls are authentic to today's teens. A strong message of beginning the teen years with uncertainly, longing, and curiosity rings true. A nice read for those girls who prefer realistic fiction to the slew of paranormal romance books flooding the market.
CIVIL WAR : EARLY BATTLES
ABDO & Daughters [ABDO & Daughters]
OLLHOFF, JIM
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 04, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Complete with full-color pictures, maps, a glossary, and an index, this book about the earliest battles of the war is very thourough in its treatment of the strategies used by the genneral; on the other hand, it is lacking in depth for its high reading level of 6.4. Students who have a keen interest in the topic will enjoy the book and be intrigued with the pictures. The book is wellmade with a high quality library binding, but the $18.00 price would definitely make it an auxillary purchase.
HANDS ARE FOR HOLDING : THE SENSE OF TOUCH
SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HENGEL, KATHERINE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 04, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This is book three in the ABDO series All About Your Senses for primary students. It is a very brief book with color photographs. Students will respond to its light humor that lends interest to the informational text. At the back of the book is a glossary and a list of three important facts for students to remember. There is also a very short quiz.
CHANDELIERS
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
KIRSCH, VINCENT X
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 04, 2012
Haines, Hazel
Imagine being the youngest member of a show biz family, a family that performs night after night and relishes in their accomplishments and onstage presence; however, they will not allow Rufus, the baby in the family, to join them when they perform for an audience. Well, that's what life is like for Rufus Chandelier, and he does not feel like a part of the family. Oh, did I mention that the Chandeliers are giraffes! Rufus solves his own dilemma by being helpful to his family when they need him the most, and he wins their respect and a place on stage. I think most adults would consider the plot line to be very predictable, but the little primary kids love the book for its wacky-looking characters that seem a like Dr. Seussish.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE : MUSICIAN, ACTOR, & DANCER
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
LUSTED, MARCIA AMIDON
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 05, 2012
Carlson, Lisa
Born into a musical family in Tennessee, Justin Timberlake's childhood always included music, dance and performance. As the biography, Justin Timberlake: Musician, Actor & Dancer, illustrates through each of its nine chapters, Timberlake's life and career have continuously evolved, from a New Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer, to member of boy band, NSync, to his acting role in Oscar-winning film, The Social Network. However, he's had his share of scandals, most notably the "wardrobe malfunction" that exposed Janet Jackson's breast during the Superbowl half-time show in 2004. Timberlake has since started several business ventures as well as continuing his acting career. Book format and layout follow the same as Justin Bieber: Musical Phenom (Contemporary Lives).
TAYLOR SWIFT : COUNTRY & POP SUPERSTAR
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HIGGINS, MELISSA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 05, 2012
Carlson, Lisa
Taylor Swift started her climb to musical stardom at the tender age of ten when she won a local karaoke contest in a smalltown in Pennsylvania. From there, according to Taylor Swift: Country & Pop Superstar, Taylor learned guitar, wrote music about the drama of teen life and became the youngest songwriter for Sony at age 15. The following year, she caught the attention of a music-industry veteran and soon her music career exploded. As popular as Swift has become in country music circles, she has had many challenges along the way, including an uncomfortable altercation with Kanye West during the MTV VMA awards. Currently, Taylor continues to make music, tour, has dabbled in business and fundraises for charities. Book format and layout follow the same as Justin Bieber: Musical Phenom (Contemporary Lives).
LADY GAGA : POP SINGER & SONGWRITER
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
MARSICO, KATIE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 05, 2012
Carlson, Lisa
Known for her provocative fashion and social statements, Stephani Germanotta, a.k.a. Lady Gaga, has reached the heights of pop star fame just as Madonna did in the 1980s. Lady Gaga: Pop Singer & Songwriter reveals not only events from Gaga's childhood and early career, but the impact she's had on others. Much of her philanthropic work focuses on raising awareness about HIV/AIDS, supporting and advocating for the LGBT community (Gaga is a professed bisexual), as well as doing charitable fundraisers for disaster relief in Haiti. Nevertheless, one common thread the author continues to weave throughout this biography revolves around Lady Gaga's controversial persona. Book format and layout follow the same as Justin Bieber: Musical Phenom (Contemporary Lives).
KIM KARDASHIAN : REALITY TV STAR
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
MATTERN, JOANNE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 05, 2012
Carlson, Lisa
The grand-daughter of Armenian immigrants, Kim Kardashian, grew up in a wealthy, close-knit family near Los Angeles. Throughout the eight chapters of Kim Kardashian: Reality TV Star, the reader learns about Kim the socialite, the college drop-out, entrepreneur and the TV celebrity, as well as her rocky relationships, failed marriage, and family fame. The biography concludes with a short passage on Kardashian's activism and charity fund-raising work. Book format and layout follow the same as Justin Bieber: Musical Phenom (Contemporary Lives).
JAY-Z : HIP-HOP MOGUL
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HOBLIN, PAUL
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 05, 2012
Carlson, Lisa
New York hip-hop icon, Jay-Z, grew up Shawn Carter in the projects in one of the poorest areas of Brooklyn, New York during the volatile 1970s. He grew up around music, but he also grew up around drugs and violence?both of which played important roles in his life and career. As indicated in Jay-Z: Hip-Hop Mogul, Carter became a drug dealer, using the money he made to eventually produce his own album as artist Jay-Z. Crime and violence followed Jay-Z through his career until he retired from the music business in the early 2000's. In recent years, the former rapper has become a CEO and philanthropist, donating $1 million to the Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Book format and layout follow the same as Justin Bieber: Musical Phenom (Contemporary Lives).
EMINEM : GRAMMY-WINNING RAPPER
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
ARETHA, DAVID
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 05, 2012
Carlson, Lisa
Eminem: Grammy-winning Rapper follows Marshall Bruce Mathers III from his childhood growing up in the infamous 8 Mile area of Detroit, through his climb to stardom as a white rapper--Eminem--in a predominantly African-American-dominated industry, and the various controversies and scandals that his music generated especially with women and the LGBT communities. A broken marriage, drug habit, industry rivalries and other problems threatened to end his career. However, in the past few years, Eminem has kicked the drug habit, produced two top-chart albums and in 2011, Rolling Stone magazine labeled him "King of Hip-Hop"?reflecting his popularity with the public. Book format and layout follow the same as Justin Bieber: Musical Phenom (Contemporary Lives).
JUSTIN BIEBER : MUSICAL PHENOM
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
BODDEN, VALERIE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 05, 2012
Carlson, Lisa
Justin Bieber: Musical Phenom is one of a series of eight Contemporary Lives biographies about current celebrities?singers, TV personalities, and actors, primarily. This volume focuses on the teen heartthrob, Justin Bieber, covering his childhood and family life, his interest in music, and his rise to fame. Each of the 112-page Contemporary Lives volume includes a table of contents, eight to ten chapters (each approximately 10 pages), a timeline, a two-page "dossier," a glossary, a list of additional resources, bibliography, and index. Chapters have clearly focused titles and short titled sub-sections. Text is large and well-spaced, flowing from page to page without unnecessary disruptions. Small orange text-boxes are interspersed throughout each chapter containing supplemental information relating to the focus chapter. These boxes are placed either at the bottom of a page or at the top of a page rather than in the middle or at the side thereby reducing any interruptions in the flow of the main text. Finally, each chapter includes two or more three-quarter to full page color photographs. Each of the book covers is brightly colored and durable. These features, as well as the biographical content make them more suitable for a younger readership, perhaps upper elementary or middle school, although they could be appropriate for low-level high school readers. Subjective caveat: These books too often paint a glorified picture of celebrity status, depicting each of these "stars" in the best possible light regardless of their more obvious and well-documented issues. The fact that each of these people is branded as a commodity, which goes unmentioned, disturbs me tremendously. All of these featured celebrities repres
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. : BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE STAR
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
WATSON, STEPHANIE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 05, 2012
Carlson, Lisa
Starting with his most famous role to-date, "Ironman", Robert Downey, Jr.: Blockbuster Movie Star, takes the reader through the highs and lows of Robert Downey Jr.'s life and career. Beginning chapters focus on Downey's childhood and early career; the mid-section covers the actor's successes in film but also his problems with drugs and the law. The book ends on a positive note as Downey ends his drug dependency and appears to have gotten his life together. Book format and layout follow the same as Justin Bieber: Musical Phenom (Contemporary Lives).
INTENTIONS
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
HEILIGMAN, DEBORAH
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 07, 2012
Dame, Anne
Rachel is struggling with a number of crises all at once: family, faith, and friendship. Throw in some confusing boy drama as well, and you have the basis for a solid realistic fiction novel. The faith in question here is Judaism, which will make a nice addition to my collection as it addresses issues clearly enough that you don't need a deep background in the faith to understand what is happening and yet the lessons learn could be applied to just about any religious philosophy. Through all that, it manages not to take a preachy tone. The main character is not perfect and does and says things that teen readers will easily be able to relate to.
DESERT SEASONS
CAPSTONE PRESS INC [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
DEMARIN, LAYNE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 07, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This was a difficult book to categorize because the reading level and vocabulary are high as opposed to its format which is geared to primary readers. With the coming of Common Core with its emphasis on high content reading I can see this book as a valuable addition to our nonfiction collections. It is part of the Capstone Press series Wonder Readers: Science. full-color photographs intertwine with the text, and at the back is a glosssary, a list of Internet resources for children, and an investigational activity.
EAST DRAGON, WEST DRAGON
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
EVERSOLE, ROBYN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 12, 2012
Sepessy, Lona
East Dragon and West Dragon avoid each other as they are suspicious and fearful that the other is bigger, fiercer and more dangerous. Detailed watercolor illustrations present contrasting portraits of the two dragons with both their appearance and culturally distinguished homes. Closer examination reveals a consistency such as the East Dragon using a brush pen to paint calligraphy and the West Dragon lounging in a beanbag chair wearing a shirt embellished with a castle. When the East Dragon's Emperor imprisons the West Dragon's King and knights, the West Dragon sets off to rescue them. Unfortunately, despite a successful rescue, the West Dragon is shot and falls into the water. After the East Dragon rescues all, the two realize that none of their fears were true and become fast friends. Useful as an allegory to human experience or as a simple exercise in compare and contrast, this beautifully illustrated picture book will have an audience for both read-aloud and individual checkout.
EIGHTH GRADE IS MAKING ME SICK
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
HOLM, JENNIFER L
CASTALDI, ELICIA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 15, 2012
Dame, Anne
Ginny Davis is now in 8th grade and she has another list of things to accomplish during the school year, including trying out for the cheer team, teaching her grandpa how to email, and having a good Halloween costume for a change. The story is told very colorfully through digital collages of poems, refrigerator notes, report cards, chat screens, etc. Fans of the previous story "Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf" will also enjoy this book that is not quite graphic novel but not traditional prose either.
FIRE ASCENDING
ORCHARD BOOKS [SCHOLASTIC]
D'LACEY, CHRIS
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 15, 2012
Dame, Anne
The final book in the "Last Dragon Chronicles" series. Easily readable even without having read the other books in the series. The author does a really nice job of giving the readers necessary details without going into great detail about the back story. In this story, there is the final battle between dragons and darklings, with lots of timeline travel. Fans of the series will not be disappointed.
CORDIALLY UNINVITED
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
ROY, JENNIFER
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 18, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
The prince of England has chosen a bride, and it's Claire's cousin, Belle! As a junior bridesmaid, Claire is full of nerves; snooty Pandora, another bridesmaid, makes things worse by trying to ruin the wedding. Claire's best friend, Evie, is a stalwart supporter whose wit via texting and Skype keeps Claire on an even keel. Comparisons with the recent royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton are inevitable. Some upper elementary and middle school girls will enjoy this light read for the royalty, romance (just a bit), and even the evil Pandora.
BEVAN VS. EVAN (AND OTHER SCHOOL RIVALRIES)
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
EVANS, ZOE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 25, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Katie didn't make the cut the last time she tried out for the Titans cheer squad and she's thinking about giving it another go. While she trains in secret with a friend, she wonders why a couple girls at school are so mean to her. And why hasn't Bevan asked her to the school dance? Sure, soccer practice takes up most of his life but can Katie get a few moments with her crush? Good friend Evan is looking more and more like a date possibility--what's a girl to do? This installment in the CHEER!: Confessions of a Wannabe Cheerleader series has drama, sweet crushes, and cattiness tied up in a diary-format novel, written on graph-like paper. The page numbers are inside a thought bubble with a tie-in to cheering--"Give me a ___!" (insert page number). The teen voice is authentic, with plenty of abbreviations. A fun read for pre-teens, even those not interested in cheering. A BIG problem for me is the advertisement page for a snack food at the back of the book.
BEYOND COURAGE : THE UNTOLD STORY OF JEWISH RESISTANCE DURIN
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
RAPPAPORT, DOREEN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 29, 2012
Dame, Anne
Filled with primary source photographs and thoroughly researched stories of individuals and groups who defied the Nazi regime during the Holocaust, this is a welcome addition to any collection. There is prevalent belief that Jews "went like sheep to the slaughter" and yet the stories here will show that to be completely false. Old and young alike did whatever they could to stand up to the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis ? and were willing to die trying to help themselves and others escape. A meticulous bibliography is included with many web and print resources. My only complaint is that some pages had a background image but they were too faint to be seen clearly.
SNOW DAY FOR MOUSE
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
COX, JUDY
EBBELER, JEFFREY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 30, 2012
Crickmore, Kelly
This is the fourth book about Mouse, again in pursuit of the elusive snack, this time a stray gumdrop. Cox takes us on another adventure through the white world of winter as a cat stalks him. Mouse befriends three "Snow Birds"
HOUSE THAT GEORGE BUILT
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
SLADE, SUZANNE
Bond, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 30, 2012
Crickmore, Kelly
This book is an overview of George Washington's influence on building 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. He was involved with every step of the building process. George never lived in his vision for the White House; the first President to live in the White House was our second president John Adams. This book is a good addition to the Presidential section of your library.
SPELLING QUEEN
PICTURE WINDOW BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
PESCHKE, MARCI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 30, 2012
Crickmore, Kelly
Another in the Kylie Jean series by Marci Peschke, will be a hit with the Kylie followers. This is a good early chapter book, for the girls who come to your library that are looking a feisty character who loves for tiaras and frilly pink?well everything. Kylie Jean now lives in Texas with her family and the series keeps Kylie Jean busy (Drama Queen, Rodeo Queen & Football Queen to name a few). This is another fun read perfect for second grade girls.