Reviews for month


I LIKE OLD CLOTHES
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
HOBERMAN, MARY ANN
BARTON, PATRICE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 05, 2012
Wittmann, Teresa
A little girl extols the virtues of old clothes in this picture book style illustrated poem. She likes the comfort of worn clothes, but even more she likes the mystery of who wore them and what happened in them before they came to her. Soft inviting illustrations that are slightly fuzzy and faded- just like that favorite old pair of jeans- bring the poem alive. The girl joyously cavorts, dresses up and creates with old clothes inviting the readers with her actions and words to imagine the story of their old clothes as well. The poem, first written in 1974, fits just right in its new illustrations. Cozy, just like an old shirt.
KIDS' GUIDE TO PROJECTS FOR YOUR PET
EDGE BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
GREEN, GAIL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 05, 2012
Wittmann, Teresa
Animal loving library patrons will appreciate this title filled with ways to treat their pets. After a short introduction to basic hand sewing stitches, the book launches into projects for dogs, cats, small rodents and tank animals. Some are basic such as a treat jar, a cat toy and a recipe for dog treats. Others are more complex such as the maze out of tissue boxes and paper towel tubes or the decorative fleece cover for a dog crate. I personally was drawn to the decoupage habitat to put on a tank. What reptile wouldn't appreciate a tissue paper sky above a collage of rock and cactus pictures? Directions are thorough though not simple. Projects spreads include vocabulary, safety tips, and fact boxes. The book also has a glossary, index, related books and "FactHound" internet links.
MRS. NOODLEKUGEL
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
PINKWATER, DANIEL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 05, 2012
Wittmann, Teresa
Tucked in behind high rise apartments, Nick and Maxine discover a tiny house. When they ask the building janitor about it they are shown the way to visit and encouraged to introduce themselves to the woman who lives there. However they are told to leave the house alone by their parents. Needless to say, they go anyway and meet Mrs. Noodlekugel a wonderful old woman who lives with a talking cat and four mice with bad eyesight. When they tell their parents they find out that it has already been decided that she will be their new baby sitter. The next day they visit again and make magical gingerbread cookies that dance. Just right for readers just moving into chapter books with plenty of white space and charming illustrations this magical tale should please many young readers.
MISS SALLY ANN AND THE PANTHER
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
MILLER, BOBBI
LLOYD, MEGAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 05, 2012
Wittmann, Teresa
Miss Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind could do anything, She could rope a hurricane, knit, churn, and make bread at the same time. She was even able to blow out the moonlight and sing the wolves to sleep. However, she met her match with Fireeyes the panther. In true tall tale fashion she and the panther fight fierce and long forming canyons and even curdling the milky way. In the end the two realize that they are better off admiring each other's talents and strengths rather than engaging in an endless fight. They settle in togetherin Sally Ann's cabin with Fireeyes plowing the fields with his claws and Sally Ann sharing her warm bear fur to keep him warm at night. This is a rip snorting tale filled with exaggeration, action and newly minted words will add to tall tale units.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
Marshall Cavendish Children's Books [Marshall Cavendish Children's Books]
Gold, Susan Dudley
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 06, 2012
Datisman, Eve
Non fiction Dewey 342.7308 -- Part of the Landmark Legislation series 1 from Marshall Cavendish. The history of the United States can be told by the history of legislation. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 chronicles the what happened in the United States to set the stage for the writing and passing of the bill and the effect that its passage has had. The growing demands of black Americans for civil rights in the 1950's and ?60's eventually drew the attention of the nation's politicians, and produced the 1957 Voting rights Act and 1960's Civil Rights Act both guaranteeing voting rights; and gave state attorneys general the right to enforce and move cases from state to federal courts where there was generally less bias. Personal meetings with President Johnson to convince Seneaors and Representatives, filibusters, freedom rides, bombings of churches and the work of leaders such as the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. are all chronicled making the time come to life. Included are a bill to law feature, the text of the act, extensive chapter notes, suggestions for further reading, bibliography, index, and a note about unfinished business. Library binding, color and black and white photos, 142 pages. Other Titles in Series 1: Americans with Disabilities Act, Missouri Compromise, Patriot Act, and Social Security Act.
WUFTOOM
CLARION [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
THOMPSON, MARY
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 06, 2012
Datisman, Eve
Thompson creates a strange world of bizarre underground species at war with one another. Caught in the middle is Evan, a seventh-grader who has been slowly transforming into a Wulftoom, an inhuman worm creature, ever since he stepped in a puddle of pink goo two years earlier. He is thrust into a war when a giant moth-like creature, a Vitfly ? the Wultoom's hereditary enemy -- offers him a chance to experience his human form again in exchange for his spying on the Wulftoom. He struggles with his metamorphosis and with his conscience. In the end, he fully merges with the Wultoom and leads a raid on the Vitflies who have kidnapped his mother in order to force his hand. Creepy, gross, horror much like Rick Yancy's the Monstromologist special kind of horror. This starts out as a morality tale with a nod to Kafka, but the book doesn't live up to the possibilities suggested by either. This will have a very narrow appeal.
Ghosts of the Titanic
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Lawson, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 06, 2012
Datisman, Eve
When twelve-year-old Kevin Messenger is the class clown and is almost always in trouble. However his is fascinated by the Titanic disaster and works harder in his class to find out about everything he can. When Kevin's father inherits a house in Halifax, Canada, left to him by a complete stranger named Angus Seaton, Kevin is not thrilled to make the trip. Soon he is haunted by a woman's cries for help in his dreams. Kevin decides to investigate. The story of Angus Seaton, a seventeen-year-old seaman was one of the crewmen who were sent to retrieve the bodies and effects of the Titanic's dead, twines around Kevin's search. Kevin is a pretty convincing middle school boy. The book's a good introduction to the disaster for middle-school students with time-travel, body-swapping, and the chance to right a 100-year-old wrong all based on real events. A niche read, but could be tied to the Immigration CBA in social studies or tangentially to iceberg study.
DOUBLE
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
VALENTINE, JENNY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 06, 2012
Datisman, Eve
Originally published in Great Britain in 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. under the title The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight. What are the chances that a homeless 16-year-old caught up on juvenile services and looking for a way out will be recognized as is a boy who has been missing for two years? Chap figures that it couldn't hurt to answer to the name of Cassiel Roadnight. He gets a home and a family, both of which he wants; but he also gets a mental unstable mother, a sister who is angry with him at what she thinks is his casual abandonment of them and a murderously inclined older brother. What are the consequences of stealing another person's life? It could be the loss of his own as Chap tries to figure out what happened to Cass and the events that led to his disappearance. The pacing is tightly controlled with the exploration of character and plot twists that explode. Nerve-wracking and highly seductive writing, both male and female readers will want this tightly-wound mystery.
Froi of the Exiles
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
Larson, Cathy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 06, 2012
Datisman, Eve
Froi was a secondary character in Finnikin of the Rock, the first book in the series. Here he has been asked to become an assassin and is sent to the kingdom of Charyn to murder the king. When he gets there he finds that his is one of a cast of a surreal court. Posing as the fianc? to Quintana, the Princess he learns about chaotic political situation in Charyn and is drawn to the unpredictable princess, who has been horribly abused in an attempt to break Charyn's curse. . . no living thing has been born in seventeen years. Froi is drawn into the lives of those in the Charyn palace, including the king's wife, imprisoned for years in the palace for attempted murder, and a priestling said to be gods' touched and his crippled, brilliant twin brother. Lots of twists and turns, action, sub-plots, and carefully crafted predicaments to be dealt with in the third book of the trilogy. Froi stands alone as a story and for those who read for character and setting as well as plot will not be disappointed in any of the three. Marchetta is a masterful world builder.
MASTER OF DECEIT : J. EDGAR HOOVER AND AMERICA IN THE AGE OF
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
ARONSON, MARC
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 06, 2012
Datisman, Eve
Non-fiction 363.25 For almost 50 years J. Edgar Hoover was the head of the FBI and had a strangle hold on that organization. Hoover's personal need for power, control, secrecy and deceit influenced events US history from the end of WWI through the Vietnam War. One of his men, in an effort to impress him, sent a letter to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. telling him to commit suicide "before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation." Most young people living in the ?60's and early ?70's didn't feel they had lived their lives correctly or righteously unless they were pretty sure that J. Edgar was keeping a secret file on them. In the beginning, Hoover may have given the American public the security and safety from crime that they wanted; but the secrets he knew gave him and the Bureau all the power he wanted. Dossiers of photos from his files, FBI memoranda, movie posters, and cartoons from the Hoover era are included as well as an extensively documented account of Hoover's public and private life and his eventual forced retirement from the Bureau. Aronson asks some hard questions about the price of security in the Twentieth century, the trends that began under Hoover, and offers insights about our choices in the Twenty-first Century. Good resource for the Social Studies CBA's. Starred reviews in Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, and School Library Journal.
LOOK INTO MY EYES
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
CHILD, LAUREN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 06, 2012
Datisman, Eve
Ruby Redfort is every kid's smart kid. She's thirteen, a code craker, and on here way to becoming Spectre's
DAYS OF LITTLE TEXAS
Knopf Books for Young Readers [RANDOM HOUSE]
NELSON, R A
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 06, 2012
Datisman, Eve
A ghost story, romance, and an altar call. Little Texas at sixteen is no longer the boy-wonder preacher who can heal the sick and bring the Grace of God to all who listen to him. It's not that he doesn't have the power, but he wonders if he has the calling. Is he simply the meal ticket for Sugar Tom, Miss Wanda Joy, and Certain Certain as they travel the tent-revival circuit? Every time he begins to preach he feels the power build up in him and he's convinced that he is an instrument of good in the wicked world. But now he's getting older he feels like he's a fraud, there is a little seed of doubt. Little Texas' name is Ronald Earl and he's starting to think about a different kind of life. So when a girl in a blue dress is brought to him nearly lifeless, he lays his hands on her as he does every time he preaches. He feels the power shoot through him; he sees her eyes open; but, this time it's different. This healing isn't quite right. Travel the tent-revival circuit with Ronald Earl and his family. Work out the attraction of the girl in the blue dress and help lay an old evil to rest on the Devil Hill.
RAPTURE
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
KATE, LAUREN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 06, 2012
Datisman, Eve
The fourth novel in the Fallen trilogy ? there is a book of short stories revolving about Valentine's Day and featuring several of the characters in this installment. It's a good idea to have read all of the Fallen novels in order to best understand the story line. Rapture begins with Lucifer's bid to change history and erase The Fall. Star-crossed lovers Daniel and Lucinda have nine days to solve a 7000-year-old mystery and preventing the end of the world and break the curse that has kept them apart through history. There are some cinema-worthy action scenes, enough judicious doling out of detail and new characters interacting with the old that this makes a satisfying conclusion to the series. If you've bought one, get them all.
UNDERWORLD
POINT SIGNATURE [SCHOLASTIC]
CABOT, MEG
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 06, 2012
Datisman, Eve
Book 2 of the Abandon Series. Pierce Olivera lives on a tiny island called Isla de Huesos ? Bone Island. Aptly named since it is one of the gateways to the Underworld where souls go to wait on their way to heaven or hell and Pierce is in love with the Lord of the Underworld, John Hayden. Pierce wakes up in John's arms and he says that nothing happened ? She's not sure, can't remember. Then there are the waffles, apparently the eating a bite or a stack anything while in the Underworld traps one there, not just the pomegranate seeds that trapped Persephone. The big questions that Pierce has to face are will she or won't she find a way out? Does she or does she not want to? Will John or won't John reveal his past to her? Will the people who she loves on earth be able to survive the wrath of the Furies ? one of whom is her grandmother? Will she pay too high a price for her freedom? Cliff-hanger ending, several unresolved questions that will have readers of the trilogy slavering for the next and last installment, Awaken in May of 2013. The sexual innuendo, off page sex, and lots of death make this more for high school readers.
GRAVE MERCY
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
LAFEVERS, ROBIN
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 06, 2012
Datisman, Eve
First book in the His Fair Assassin series. -- -Ismae Rienne, born with an ugly red scar, is believed to have been sired by Death himself, and, when she escapes from her abusive husband on her wedding night, she finds refuge in the convent of St. Mortain where handmaidens are prepared to carry out Death's wishes. Trained in poisons, weaponry, and the wiles of seduction, she is sent off to prove herself by posing as the mistress of Gavriel Duval, a Breton working against the French so that his sister Anne can rightfully be crowned Duchess of Brittany. Ismae finds herself terribly underprepared and alas falling in love ? not something the Handmaidens of Mortain are called upon to do. LaFevers is not unprepared in presenting this slice of time when Brittany was struggling to remain an independent from France and is historically accurate when presenting the machinations of those in power and seeking more. This is a rich portrayal of the complexities of courtly life, featuring explicit details of costume and custom and showing how the lives of royalty and those who served them intertwined. The book is for older readers because of the cult of death, the use of seduction as a weapon in the assassin's tool kit and the tender description of Ismae and Gavriel's first sexual encounter. The fast-pace and short chapters will attract readers to this thriller. There is serious hype for this series from Houghton-Mifflin and an intriguing book trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veNfBjNwA70 . For additional information about the world of his Fair Assassin visit LaFever's website. http://www.robinlafevers.com/the-world-of-his-fair-assassin/
GREG AND THE MURAL
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
WIGGINS, THALIA
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
Greg's design wins the mural contest for the new community center, but this makes him the target of anger from Mark, one of the losers, and of jealousy from his cousin James. Mark tries to initiate graffiti wars, and James retaliates, but Greg tries to stop him and refuses to participate. This drives a wedge between the cousins, until James starts making better decisions at the end. Large print and spaces at the end of every paragraph reduce the amount of text on each page which may increase the appeal to reluctant readers, but the tone is preachy and the characters are not very believable.
TRUCOS EN LA PATINETA = SKATE TRICK
STONE ARCH BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
SUEN, ANASTASIA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
Rico shows his robot friend a skateboard trick which the robot tries to imitate several times. He repeatedly crashes, but Rico encourages him to keep trying. When the robot breaks the skateboard, he makes them each a new one in his workshop, and then he succeeds in completing the trick. This bilingual easy reader uses both English and Spanish text on every page along with appealing and colorful illustrations to help tell the story. Robots and skateboards should have boy appeal, and the message of perseverance is a good one.
JACK SWAGGER
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
ROEMHILDT, MARK
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
This biography of the professional wrestler known as Jack Swagger focuses mainly on the significant events in his career and on some of the signature wrestling moves he has used on his way to becoming a champion. Well-chosen action photographs from the ring cover at least half the pages in the book. This book will have special appeal to wrestling fans.
ELEPHANT JOE, BRAVE KNIGHT!
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
WOJTOWYCZ, DAVID
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
When the Dark Knight steals the King's crown, Elephant Joe and Zebra Pete set out to retrieve it. They befriend the dragon who is guarding his tower, but the Dark Knight tricks them and locks them inside. With the dragon's help, they escape and arrive back just in time to rescue the crown and bring the Dark Knight to justice. The colorful digital illustrations add to the humor in the book, as do the comments in the word balloons. Fairy tale fans will enjoy the variations in this playful story.
OVERBOARD
STONE ARCH BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
BREZENOFF, STEVE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
In this fourth and final episode of Return to the Titanic, friends Tucker and Maya once again travel from the present back to the Titanic in 1912 with the help of a magical artifact. As the Titanic sinks, they join the survivors awaiting rescue in the lifeboats and continue to work to save the life of a boy named Liam, whose fate is more important to them than they realize. The inclusion of real life passengers and historical detail helps the story overcome a somewhat predictable plot. Plentiful maps and mediocre black and white illustrations fill up about a third of the pages, making this an accessible chapter book for weaker readers. The story of the Titanic continues to fascinate audiences a century later, and this book captures some of that appeal.
GHOSTS IN THE HOUSE!
ROARING BROOK PRESS [MACMILLAN]
KOHARA, KAZUNO
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
When a clever young witch and her helpful cat move into a haunted house, they capture the playful ghosts who live there, wash and dry them, and then use them for curtains, tablecloths, and blankets. The black and white illustrations on orange paper are sweet, as well as striking, and earned a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year award. In this board book version, it will stand up well under the heavy use that it is sure to get from younger student.
RAINFOREST RESCUE
STONE ARCH BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
BURCHETT, JAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
The mastermind behind a secret organization dedicated to saving endangered animals is the uncle of twins Zoe and Ben, and he has recruited them as agents. In this third book of a series, they are equipped with some special spy gear and sent to an orangutan preserve in the jungles of South Borneo. The preserve is under threat from illegal logging, the neighboring palm oil plantation, and a scheme to burn the preserve and drive away its owner. The ample white space and the black and white illustrations make this an accessible book for weaker readers. The animal interactions and the James Bond-style gadgets may be enough to hold their interest. The predictable plot may also be a plus for the intended audience.
BEST CAMOUFLAGED ANIMALS
PEBBLE PLUS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
PETERSON, MEGAN COOLEY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
Part of Snap Books' Get in the Game series of nonfiction sports books for girls, the soccer title includes a multiple choice knowledge quiz, a section on the rules, a discussion of health benefits from playing, and tips related to nutrition and conditioning. On many pages the text is wrapped around the plentiful photographs. Some sections seem to be aimed at serious soccer girls, but others are more appropriate to casual or recreational players. If the goal is really to "take your knowledge of soccer to the next level," then the author should have at least attempted to explain the two most misunderstood rules ? offside and deliberate handling ? but these don't rate a mention. Maybe there wasn't room, because two pages had to be saved for a recipe for edible soccer balls and two more were devoted to the directions for making team spirit hats. A soccer guide book that allocates 15% of the content pages to those topics can't expect to be taken seriously.
DISNEY*PIXAR 5-MINUTE STORIES
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
These twelve short stories from Monsters, Inc., A Bug's Life, Cars, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Wall-E, and Up, each take about five minutes to read aloud, making them fitting bedtime stories for young fans of the Pixar movies. The illustrations that decorate over half of the book will also appeal to youngsters. While the padded cover suggests that this is not intended as a library book, it is sure to be checked out often by primary students.
LEATHERBACK TURTLES
PEBBLE PLUS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
MARX, MANDY R
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
This title is part of the Pebble Plus series on reptiles. Like most Pebble Plus books, this one has one or two simple sentences on each left hand page covering topics like food, habitat, and life cycle. On each right hand page, there is a colorful, sometimes striking photograph, such as the one of a boy walking next to a massive leatherback on a beach. The easy text and large photos are a perfect combination for early readers. The oddest picture is one taken from above of a turtleback eating a jellyfish. Even with the label on the jellyfish, one is inclined to question what it is. A quick search of the internet shows that better versions of the turtle-eating-a-jellyfish picture have been taken. For this reason, this books rates an Ad+.
PIRANHAS
PEBBLE PLUS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
DUNN, MARY R
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
This title is part of the Pebble Plus nonfiction series on South American animals. Like most Pebble Plus books, this one has one or two simple sentences on each left hand page covering topics like food, habitat, and life cycle. On each right hand page, there is a colorful, sometimes striking photograph, such as the close-up of a piranha's sharp teeth. The easy text and large photos are a perfect combination for early readers. Unfortunately, the book avoids any mention of the danger piranhas can pose to humans, which would be the main reason my students would pick up this book. For this reason, I consider this an Ad+.
HAPPY LIKE SOCCER
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
BOELTS, MARIBETH
Castillo, Lauren
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
Nothing makes Sierra happy like soccer, but her new team plays outside the city on days when her auntie has to work. The other players' parents cheer for her by her number, but they don't know her name. Because she perseveres and is willing to ask her coach for what she wants, her team's rescheduled game ends up being played in her neighborhood on her auntie's day off. Now there are voices cheering her by name. The watercolor illustrations add clarity to the socioeconomic divide that Sierra is trying to bridge in pursuit of her passion. This sweet story reminds us that all kids need someone to root them on.
IT'S A DOG'S LIFE : HOW MAN'S BEST FRIEND SEES, HEARS, AND S
FLASH POINT [PM PRESS]
GOODMAN, SUSAN E
SLONIM, DAVID
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 07, 2012
Garrard, Thom
In this humorous non-fiction book, an introduction to the world of man's best friend is presented from a dog's point of view. The canine guide explains how dogs experience the world, discusses various breeds, tells why they behave as they do, and shares a few secrets. The human perspective is included on a few pages at the end. The colorful illustration are a fitting match for the humor in the text. Students who live with dogs or hope to do so in the future will find this book enjoyable and enlightening.
MOUTHS ARE FOR SMILING : THE SENSE OF TASTE
SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HENGEL, KATHERINE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 07, 2012
Haines, Hazel
For our very young students who are learning about the senses, this well-constructed book offers a modern, fresh, and somewhat humorous look at the topic. It is arranged with a color photo on one page with a very short, large-print text on the opposing page. In the back is a short, simple glossary, short summary of the facts in list form, and a quiz.
EAGLES
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
SCHUETZ, KARI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 07, 2012
Haines, Hazel
This easy-to-read book describes the lifecycle, the different habitats, and the physical characteristis of various eagles in a well-organized chapter book. The text is informative, and it also have beautiful photos in full color. In the back is an extensive glossary and a list of resources. It is an ideal book for teachers who need a short text to teach textual feature or to use as a basis for teaching students how to make concept maps.
WATERLOO & TRAFALGAR
ENCHANTED LION BOOKS [ENCHANTED LION BOOKS]
TALLEC, OLIVIER
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 08, 2012
Seasholes, Craig L
A wordless story of two vigilant, but slightly silly soldiers. Blue Waterloo is a decidedly French and mustached gendarme keeping his telescope on the orange and tea-sipping Trafalgar who also keeps tabs on the other another across a wall and "no-man's land" that seemingly divides them. This fine and humorous meditation on war, like Nikolai Popov's "Why?" is a worthwhile additional purchase for elementary collections wanting a gentle examination of the source and futility of armed conflict. It can be used as a writing prompt as well as for collections that hope to expose students to the distinctly French style of comic humor.
IN SEARCH OF THE FOG ZOMBIE : A MYSTERY ABOUT MATTER
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
BEAUREGARD, LYNDA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Seasholes, Craig L
A crew of curious kids explore a science camp for clues of the mysterious Fog Zombie in this full-color graphic novel adventure written for upper elementary. Along the way they uncover clues -left by a clever camp counselor- that lead them to discover the real source of mysterious sounds attributed to a Fog Zombie, in the dripping of condensation in a lakeside cavern. What readers really discover, of course are any number of fun science facts woven into the clues and characters' dialog, inset text boxes, a couple of simple science experiments, and glossary of this #1 of four "summer Camp Science Mysteries" from Lerner's Graphic Universe publishing. Listed by publisher as Gr 3-6, Guided Reading Level R, Lexile 350 this is a solid library-bound addition to non-fiction graphic collections, which like the Max Axiom, Super Scientist from Capstone-may appeal more to educators than to the intended "cool its a comic, so I'll read it and learn" upper elementary school audience. "In Search of the Fog Zombie's" subtitle "A Mystery About Matter" continues to apply to the search for high-quality non-fiction. I rate it AD+ to encourage librarians and publishers to continue to search for better solutions.
SWAT
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
OLLHOFF, JIM
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Kline, Karen
SWAT or Special Weapons and Tactics teams have only been around since the 1960s when the use of violence and terrorists began to overwhelm local police agencies. ?It was the Los Angeles Police Department that first trained a special group of officers to deal with these difficult situations, and now most large cities throughout the world have SWAT teams. ?This book gives a brief history of SWAT teams, how the teams are trained, the weaponry used, and an interview with a SWAT team member. ?Photographs dominate each double page spread, and many include captions. ?Descriptions of training simulations and the psychology of dealing with criminals is included with an emphasis on the goal of safety. ?A table of contents, glossary, and index are also featured in this book with reinforced binding. ?
Demolition
Candlewick [Candlewick]
Sutton, Sally
Lovelock, Brian
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2012
Seasholes, Craig L
Who doesn't love to watch a building come down? Listen to Sutton's descriptive, simple yet sound-rich rhymes: "Swing the ball. Swing the ball. /Thump and smash and whack./Bring the top floors tumbling down./ Bang! Clang! Crack!" Brian Lovelock's detailed watercolor and ink illustrations are a smash hit with anyone who has ever watch heavy equipment tearing into a formerly solid-looking structure. Eleven two-page spreads detail the job from start to finish-including modern industrial recycling of concrete, metal and wood- as a building gives way to a children's park. The title page seems a fine and fitting graphic tribute to the books of Donald Crews, whose books provide the closest comparison and suggests that Sutton and Lovelock's partnership (begun with "Roadwork" which paved their way into the yellow-paint zone) is one on which great library collections are built. A final page of heavy-machine facts adds to this most-highly recommended addition for K-2.
SCIENCE OF WEAPONS
COMPASS POINT BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
TOUGAS, SHELLEY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Kline, Karen
Six concise chapters describe the science behind sticks, firearms, artillery, bombs, grenades, rockets, and missiles. ?The author cites her consultant, a historian/retired military officer, on the title page giving further credibility to this book that does double duty to inform about weapons and science. ??Readers will learn about Newton's laws of motion as the basis for understanding rocket thrust and force. ?Atomic theory is introduced with an explanation and history of hydrogen bombs. ?Text features like captioned full-color photos, subheadings, and content sidebars add to the accessibility of this book for a wide range of readers. ?
Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Vernon, Caitlyn
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 08, 2012
Seasholes, Craig L
Subtitled "Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest," this Orca Book Canadian imprint is a solid addition to library Pacific Northwest environmental studies collections. Written in a informal style accessible to grades 4 and up, the book is jam packed with information on the plants, animals, First Peoples and environmental issues that inhabit the Canadian coastal temperate rainforest north of Vancouver Island. Amply illustrated with sharp photographs and a wide variety of text features, glossary, recource suggestions and associated website, greatbearrainforest.ca, the book is a rich resource for a focus on non-fiction. The author's work with the Sierra Club CA's work to preserve the Great Bear Rainforest are evident throughout in her sensitive "eco-story" inserts of personal encounters in the forest, as well as in "Take Action" text boxes that describe dozens of ways that young people can take steps to help protect these, and other natural resource treasures closer to home. Numerous "Voices from the coast" inserts present the thoughts of First People who provide insight into the human ecology of this place, their home, which is truly like "Nowhere Else on Earth." Recommended
CALLIE CAT, ICE SKATER
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
SPINELLI, EILEEN
KENNEDY, ANNE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2012
Kline, Karen
Callie Cat loves to ice skate and feels a "melting sweetness" when she is out at her backyard pond skating. ?Her two good friends are not interested in ice skating, though, until they notice a poster for a skating competition and urge Callie to enter -- she'd be a "banana" not to enter. ?She practices with the critical eye of her friends and their suggestions, and finally competition day arrives. ?Callie watches as several competitors fall short of perfect and even "burst into tears." ?Callie does her best as her parents encourage her without pressure, and she feels pleased with her performance. ?When Callie doesn't win the competition and prizes, she doesn't feel disappointed as her friends say she must. ?Callie is just tired. ?The next day Callie Cat is back on the ice, but her friends and their criticisms are nowhere to be found. ?Callie realizes that her love of skating brings her more joy than any competition or prize could, and the message is a timely one for many of today's young readers. ?Charming and detailed illustrations support the text in a large enough format for sharing in a read aloud setting. ??
THIS BOOK MIGHT MAKE YOU GAG : A COLLECTION OF CRAZY GROSS T
EDGE BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
MILLER, CONNIE COLWELL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
This is a book full of, well, crazy, gross things, and at some point, you will gag. Really. You will. Great for kids who love a good gross out book, this one covers topics such as food, animals, people, and other ooky things. It also does something a lot of other books in this vein do not, which is to point out that food that we find gross might be a delicacy in other places and that's ok! It even points out that we eat hot dogs, which are often full of things we would normally never eat. With an introduction, table of contents, glossary, index, and other resources page, this book is a solid addition to a collection needing something a little gross. What made this reviewer gag? The hagfish, which bores a hole in its prey, wiggles inside, and then eats its prey from the inside out.
PUGGLE : A CROSS BETWEEN A PUG AND A BEAGLE
SNAP BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
KOLPIN, MOLLY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
About the popular designer breed of puggles, this book is full of cute puppy pictures along with plenty of distracting background art. A lot of the information in this book is not terribly specific to puggles and could be applied to many different dogs, as it covers puppy mills, dog adoption, the AKC, and the general care and exercise of dogs. The book does explain about both beagles and pugs, and what the difference is between a mutt, a purebred, and a designer breed dog. More information could be obtained from a better book or website than this particular one.
GOING TO A ZOO
HEINEMANN RAINTREE LIBRARY [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
RISSMAN, REBECCA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
From the A World of Field Trips series, this book for very young readers prepares kids for a trip to the zoo and teaches them about the different kinds of zoos there are. The book contains a table of contents, index, notes, picture glossary, and one question in the text with the answer at the end. There is about 1 sentence per page, with very large, bold font, and each chapter is very short. While serviceable, there are plenty of books out there about zoos and field trips that are more informational and interesting.
ART AND MAKING OF TOY STORY 1, 2, & 3
DISNEY EDITIONS [DISNEY BOOK GROUP]
SOLOMON, CHARLES
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
A large, heavy, beautiful book full of pictures from the three Pixar Toy Story movies, this lovely, informative book is suited for a coffee table and interested adults, but not children or a school library.
Roller Rintoo!
Golden Books [Golden Books]
Smith, Geof
Fruchter, Jason
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
From the Nickelodeon show Ni Hao, Kai-lan, this Little Golden Book follows the characters as they go roller skating at a rink. Rintoo gets frustrated trying to learn how to skate and gets help from YeYe (Kai-lan grandfather) and all his friends. The book shows characters using helmets and pads and includes romanized Chinese words mixed into the text, but there is no glossary or pronunciation guide at the end.
BE ON TIME!
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
MARSICO, KATIE
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
From the Kids Can Make Manners Count series, I had high hopes for this book, but was very disappointed. The book is aimed at very young readers, but by aiming for such basic vocabulary, the resulting "story" is very stilted and uninteresting. The font is very, very large and has about 3-4 sentences per page, with glossary terms in bold. Readers learn about a girl who loves to play soccer but who is usually late to games and can not play, so her team usually loses. She learns how to be on time in an overly simplified manner that talks down to the reader (which should never happen no matter how new the reader!). The book includes a "Home and School Connection" section at the end, but all it is is a list of every word in the book (including "a" and "the") with no explanation of WHAT to do with them or HOW to help kids learn them or HOW play the word games they allude to. As it is from the 21st Century Basic Skills Library (Reading level 3), I would expect this book to be of much better quality.
Getting Over Garrett Delaney
Candlewick [Candlewick]
McDonald, Abby
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
17 year old Sadie has been in love with Garrett Delaney for two years. While it is obvious to the reader that she doesn't have an identity outside of him, it takes her awhile to discover that her whole world revolves around him. She resolves to change this while he is away at camp and embarks on her own 12 step program to Get Over Him. With help from her new friends at her new barista job, as well as an old friend she reconnects with, Sadie tries, fails, and tries again to move on and find out who she is. With fun side characters with their own stories to tell, this book is more engaging and less predictable then expected. Girls will appreciate the love story and adventures, and adults will appreciate the solid, empowering message lurking underneath all the fun.
Higgins Hole
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Boreen, Kevin; Clark, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
Petronius, a poetic (and somewhat prideful seahorse), recounts the tale of how his home of Higgins Hole and its many residents saved themselves from an invasion of great white sharks. It is a fun, sweet, funny story that will appeal to kids who loved Spongebob Squarepants but are ready for a more challenging undersea adventure. The story is full of delightful characters with punny names (but will kids catch any of the puns?) and the story is interesting, but kids looking for a quick read or more adventure may be put off by the details of undersea travel, government, and historic military tactics. Parents will enjoy the puns and plays on words, but kids might not know enough to "let whale enough alone" or understand vocabulary such as " in deference to his unassuming manner". This book has so much potential and it a lovely idea, but it misses the mark somewhat for its intended audience.
GOOD MANNERS IN PUBLIC
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
INGALLS, ANN
ROONEY, RONNI
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
While a topic that definitely needs to be taught in and outside of school, this particular book about manners is not the best out there. A short book (1-3 short paragraphs per chapter) with large print, it covers some basics about behaving in public and being considerate, but it very general terms (under "Being Clean" it tells kids to take a shower "as often as you need them"). The examples it provides are mostly what NOT to do, not what to do, and may in fact give kids more ideas of how to misbehave! There is a brief quiz at the end, but of course, there is also a reminder to not write in the book. The book did, however, included a section on how to properly walk in a crowd while using an umbrella?maybe this was included because the illustrator is from Fort Lewis and knows
Tina Fey: Comeday Superstar
Enslow Publishers [Enslow Publishers]
Schuman, Michael A.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
Part of the People to Know Today series, this book from 2011 will be quickly dated as Tina Fey is still alive, and her career is, too. (This series also has a book about Lance Armstrong?) The book spends a lot of time talking about 30 Rock and tosses in jokes that kids might not get (a pun about labor pains? really?). The tone talks down to the reader and some parts are so poorly written that passages have to be reread to understand them. The summary on the back of the book is stilted and odd, and can then be found verbatim as text within the book. There are plenty of better biographes out there. Skip this one.
ISLAND SANTA
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
MCFARLANE, SHERYL
LOTT, SHEENA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 08, 2012
Garrard, Thom
Christmas is coming, but Sam's little sister Sophie is sick again, and their dad has to take her back to the city hospital from the island where they live. Sam gets the chance to join them by riding on the Santa Boat and helping out as Santa stops to visit a dozen small coastal communities on the way. Sam sorts presents, learns to make balloon animals, and endures a storm at sea before the happy reunion with his family. Beautiful watercolor illustrations lend a magical quality to this touching story that will help children think about giving to others and appreciating what they have.
CARTER'S CHRISTMAS
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
BULLARD, LISA
SAUNDERS, KATIE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2012
Garrard, Thom
Four short chapters discuss Christmas preparations, food, history, traditions and celebrations. In addition to a few sentences per page that tell the story of the narrator's holiday, short sidebars on every other page provide additional factual information about each topic. The religious aspects are objectively handled, telling what some people believe, while also acknowledging secular aspects and winter traditions that pre-date Christmas. The colorful, cartoon-style illustrations add to the book's appeal. Directions for making an ornament are included, along with a glossary, an index and a list of additional resources. This book is sure to be enjoyed by many primary students.
WHAT THE DOG SAID
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
REISFELD, RANDI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
Grace, deep in grief over her detective dad's death, helps her bossy older sister complete a project for a college entrance essay?training an adopted dog to be a service dog. At the pound, Rex speaks to Grace, but no one else can hear him. As his training begins, her isolation and guilt become evident. Is Rex the key to finding the truth about her dad's murder and providing her family with healing? Realistic (despite the talking dog!), honest, a bit funny, and plenty sad, this book will appeal to animal lovers and those who are a sucker for an emotional story.
I LOVE SCHOOL!
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
This paperback picture book is from Disney's "It's a Small World" series and shows a day at school for kids all over the world. While the activities and children shown are pretty stereotypical for the countries represented, the book is fairly well balanced. The book would be better if it included pictures of actual children and places, not simplistic illustrations, and if the ending wasn't so abrupt. The book is acceptable, but there are better books out there.
CHIEN-SHIUNG WU : PHENOMENAL PHYSICIST
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
WHEELER, JILL C
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Sonnen, Dave
Wu was an amazing physicist who lived from 1912 to 1997. She made major contibutions in the area of nuclear physics, but also faced discrimination in the scientific world because she was a woman. This book, part of the Women in Science series tells her story in 32 pages of easy to read text. Photographs accompany the text. The book includes a table of contents, index, glossary, timeline, and an experiment to try. Add this book to your biography collection, especially if you need more books about women and scientists. 32 pages.
Chosen: Super Special
Aladdin [Aladdin]
Burkhart, Jessica
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 08, 2012
Samuel, Treasure
A Super Special from the popular Canterwood Crest series, this book starts with a new group of girls, moving on from Sasha Silver to Lauren Towers. Like the other books, this one is full of wealthy, white people and plenty of brand name dropping. While not necessarily realistic (and certainly not diverse) fiction, this book is great escapist fiction for young horse and fashion lovers. The book jacket summary is misleading, as it sounds as though Lauren is already AT Canterwood Crest having new adventures, but in fact the whole book is about whether or not she will get in to the school (spoiler alert, she does!). It is essentially a 300 page character introduction of Lauren, who seems awfully wise and mature (and rather boring) for your average 12 year old. Followers of the series will be eager for new books, but if your library doesn't already have the series, this is not the book to purchase to begin a collection.
BULLY-FREE PLAYGROUND
LOOKING GLASS LIBRARY [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
HALL, PAMELA
OSTROM, BOB
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 08, 2012
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "A Bully-Free World" series, this short 24 page book describes some events that happen on most playgrounds (peer pressure, name calling, pushing and kicking, being left out) and what to do in each situation. Color illustration compliment the text. Would probably work best with small groups or, if a document camera is used, classes. There is a table of contents, bully quiz, a short note to parents/care givers, and glossary.
MIAMI MARLINS
Sportszone [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
SMOLKA, BO
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 08, 2012
Sonnen, Dave
The history of the Miami Marlins, formerly the Florida Marlins, is described in this 48 page book. The Marlins are a relatively new team, but have won two world series. Since the team was established in 1993 they have gone through several owners. Finally in 2011 they christened a new stadium and changed their name from Florida to Miami. This book will delight baseball fans but will have limited appeal in the Pacific Northwest. The book includes a table of contents, index, glossary, timeline, and quick facts.
ANCIENT EGYPT
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
YOMTOV, NEL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 08, 2012
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Ancient World" series, this 112 page book give a clear and consise overview of Ancient Egypt. The book covers the beginning of the civilization through the fall of the the civilization to Rome. The customs and daily rituals are covered. The book has beautiful color photographs. The book also connects the reader to the legacy Ancient Egypt has given to the world. This book would be very useful in ancient civilization studies. The book includes a table of contents, index, glossary, timeline, bibliography, and biographical notes. Add to your collection if there is a need.
MAE JEMISON : AWESOME ASTRONAUT
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
WHEELER, JILL C
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Sonnen, Dave
Jemison was the first African American woman to travel in space. This book describes her life up to 2011. Jemison was inspired by "Star Trek" and the many space missions of the 60s and 70s. She pursued her dreams and is currently on a team planning a star ship. The book, part of the Women in Science series, includes a table of contents, index, glossary, timeline, and an experiment to try. Add this book to your biography collection, especially if you need more books about women and scientists. 32 pages.
CONES
LOOKING GLASS LIBRARY [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
WAXMAN, LAURA HAMILTON
MITTER, KATHRYN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2012
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Everyday 3-D Shapes series, this book looks at cones. It shows cones from different perspectives and describes the attributes of a cone. Each 2 page spread has a color illustration and 2 simple sentences describing the concept. The final page has a couple of game ideas and a short glossary. This book would be good for those students who need a quick review of this shape.
HAYAT SINDI : BRILLIANT BIOCHEMIST
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
WHEELER, JILL C
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Sonnen, Dave
It's not often you find a biography about a Saudi woman, so this book has a place in your biography collection. Sindi grew up in a traditional Muslim family. She was encouraged to read and found her way to science. This book describes the path she took to become the first female biotechnology expert up through 2011. Color photos enhance the consise text. The book, part of the Women in Science series, includes a table of contents, index, glossary, timeline, and an experiment to try. Add this book to your biography collection. 32 pages.
MONSTER WHO LOST HIS MEAN
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
HABER, TIFFANY STRELITZ
EDMUNDS, KIRSTIE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2012
Wittmann, Teresa
Everyone knows how annoying, strong, and mean monsters are, but when one monster loses his "M" in monster he becomes an Onster and isn't mean anymore. The other monsters tease him and he just doesn't belong. The Onster looks everywhere for his M, but can't find it. Since he can't be mean to human kids anymore, he decides to help them with chores and play with them. He likes it so much that when he tries to be mean he just ends up being nice. In the end he decides to stay with his human friends and give up being with his mean monster friends. This is a fun book about being nice and how it feels to help others. The charming full-page illustrations add to the humor of the book especially the cute green Onster.
COOL THINKING : HEALTHY & FUN WAYS TO TRAIN YOUR BRAIN
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KUSKOWSKI, ALEX
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Sonnen, Dave
After giving readers basic information about the brain, this book presents 7 activities to get the brain working. Each activity has a supply list and detailed directions. The book also has a table of contents, index, and glossary. 32 pages.
Oakland Athletics
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Howell, Brian
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 08, 2012
Sonnen, Dave
The Oakland A's baseball team is the focus of this 48 page book, part of the "Inside MLB" series. The book contains the history of the Atletics from their beginning in 1901 in Phiadelphia to their time in Kansas City and their final location Oakland. Players, records, and tales of their 9 World Series wins are described in well-written, easy to understand text. This book will appeal to baseball lovers. It comes complete with a table of contents, index, timeline, stats, quotes, and a bibliography.
THE MORGAN HORSE
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
GREEN, SARA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Wittmann, Teresa
Morgan horses are one of the few original American horse breeds and are known for their small size, strength, and agility. Learn about the history, characteristics, competitions, and a few famous Morgans in three chapters. There are four to six paragraphs of informative text in each chapter as well as several full-page uncaptioned photographs and fact boxes. There is enough information for a basic research report, but most readers will just want to browse the text and look at the photographs. An index, glossary, and list of resources are included. It is part of the Horse Breed Roundup series.
Lighthouse
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Orr, Tamra B.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Sonnen, Dave
Color photographs illustrate the consise, simple text describing the history, purpose, and future of lighthouses. The photographs show the wide variety of lighthouses. Vocabulary words are in bold colored print and defined in the glossary. With the advent of GPS, lighthouses are less needed. One interesting note, that only one page is dedicated to the constuction materials of a lighthouse, but no page describe how they are actually built. The book includes a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, and index. 24 pages. An additional purchase.
John Quincy Adams
Marshall Cavendish Children's Books [Marshall Cavendish Children's Books]
Elish, Dan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 08, 2012
Sonnen, Dave
This 112 page book, part of the "Presidents and Their Times" series, describes the life of our sixth president, John Quincy Adams. Adams was the son of John Adams. He dedicated his life to public service, serving as an ambassador, senator, secretary of state, president, and congressman. The text clearly explains his life. Portraits and images of news articles are intersperced through out the book. Red boxes highlight issues and events related to Adams experiences. The book includes a table of contents, timeline, footnotes, glossary, index, and bibliography. Purchase this book if you are updating your biography collection and have a need for president books.
U.S. LANDFORMS
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
RAU, DANA MEACHEN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 08, 2012
Wittmann, Teresa
This book should be called U.S. Landforms Plus Some Water Features because it covers basic landforms like peninsulas, plains, and mountains, but also included rivers, glaciers, and waterfalls. There is good basic information on these features such as what they are and where some are located in the United States. There are also small captioned photographs to go with the text. How the land features where formed by volcanoes, glaciers, wind and water erosion is also explained in a basic way. More diagrams and labeled photographs at a larger scale would really help the reader understand the forces at work. A glossary, list of resouces, and index are included. The layout and photographs of this book make it appealing, but the small format of this True Book and the limited information make it better for browsing than learning new concepts.
Case of the Ruby Slippers
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Freeman, Martha
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2012
Wittmann, Teresa
Sisters Cammie and Tessa find plenty of excitement living in the White House while their mom is President. There are all sorts of special guests, security, and also mysteries to solve. This case revolves around the famous ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz movie being stolen while on loan to the White House for a party. Cammie and Tessa find time to interview suspects and look for clues in between everyday things like going to school, playing Monopoly, and going to ballet class. Their clumsy oversized dog Hooligan and a visiting terrier who likes to collect items both add to the mayhem and also help them solve the case. This is a fun mystery book that readers who are looking for easy chapter books with action, humor, and interesting characters. It is the third book in the First Kids Mysteries series.
BON APPETIT! : THE DELICIOUS LIFE OF JULIA CHILD
SCHWARTZ & WADE [RANDOM HOUSE]
HARTLAND, JESSIE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 08, 2012
Wittmann, Teresa
If you are looking for a lively picture biography of celebrated chef Julia Child with lots of information but in a hand-written graphic novel format, then this is the book for you. The reader will learn about Julia Child's life including her childhood and education, her travels around the world with Paul her husband, how she learned to cook, plus her television show and later life. There is a lot of interesting information on how she worked collaboratively for years to test and write the famous cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking including looking for the perfect combination of ingredients and how to explain the steps in a complicated recipe to a cook at home. The look of the book is unique with hand-lettered text, graphic novel format, charming sketchy painted illustrations with lots of extra details in notes, dialogue bubbles and labels. A photo of Julia Child and a multimedia resource list is included. There is enough information for a short research project but young chefs will also enjoy the book and the recipes for crepes at the end.
Create with Maisy
Candlewick [Candlewick]
Cousins, Lucy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 08, 2012
Wittmann, Teresa
The famous mouse book character Maisy has created an easy to use crafts book that will make young readers want to create handmade toys and gifts. There are 17 fun projects in a simple oversized format. On one page is a large photograph of the finished project and on the other page is a list of materials, and simple text directions and an illustration of Maisy or her friends using the project. The projects include very simple projects like paper lanterns and painted rocks to more complicated ones like a clay button bowl and decorated cookies. Most of the projects could be made without buying materials if you already have basic craft supplies like paint, stickers, sequins, pasta, and tissue paper. The projects aren't especially innovative, but they are bright and fun and a young child could easily accomplish them with a little adult help. Teachers could also use the projects in the classroom. The big collage and paint illustrations and Maisy add to the appeal of the book.
GUY LANGMAN, CRIME SCENE PROCRASTINATOR
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
BERK, JOSH
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 08, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Guy seems to be dealing with the death of his dad. He and his best friend, Anoop, join the forensics club at school; who is also a member but Raquel, the girl of Guy's dreams. The story drags for half the book, with the best parts being the teen boy potty humor (which I didn't necessarily enjoy but the target audience most likely will). When a murder finally appears, the story picks up but it wasn't enough for me to enjoy the story as a whole. Some forensic science, some mystery. My favorite character was Anoop, who puts up with his friend's ups and downs and has witty, comical comments for every turn of events. Booktalking needed to really sell this to students.
SPIDERS
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
BISHOP, NIC
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Unsuitable
December 09, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Bishops's book was a 2008 Sibert Honor book; this version is adapted for young readers. [The Sibert award "is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguised informational book published in the United States in English in the preceding year." - from the American Library Association.] Many of the full-page color photos are creepy due to their up-close nature; the corresponding text complements those photos and includes the six words from the glossary in italics. A two-page photo index with species names is included. Great resource for grades 2+ including teens who are learning English.
I CAN RIDE!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
KERTELL, LYNN MASLEN
HENDRA, SUE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 10, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
The family is going on a bike ride and Jack longs to ride on his own, not behind Dad. Dad takes off the training wheels but Jack can't master the skill. Instead Dad takes him to the park where Jack learns to ride going down a hill. Sight words with brightly-colored illustrations will be fun for children but how unrealistic is the way Jack learns to ride? If he can't keep upright on a driveway, how does he figure it out on a hill? Suggested grade and reading levels on the back cover help parents find the right book for their child.
SUPER SECRET ADVENTURE CLUB
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
MCCLEMENTS, GEORGE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 10, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Sam, Matt and Luke don't agree on what to call their new clubhouse, artfully made of cardboard boxes. Sam's sister Bea tires of the arguing and unwittingly comes up with the name. Bea is dressed in pink, holds a pink stuffed animal, and plays with a pink tea set; the two-page spread where she yells about the clubhouse is predominantly pink and white. Is the message "Pink is for girls?" My feeling is that while adults might see that, children might not. Each of the boys has a different skin color. Love the whimsical illustrations.
BUDDY TO THE RESCUE
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
KERTELL, LYNN MASLEN
HENDRA, SUE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 11, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Buddy goes to the fair with Mom, Dad, Jack and Anna. He really wants a hot dog but is told he can't have one. He sees the bumper cars and the crazy mirrors and when he barks near the hot dog stand, the family thinks he still wants a treat. But instead he smells the smoke of the hot dog stand burning. Firemen extinguish the fire and Buddy is given a hot dog as a reward for being a hero. Seeing the three firemen smiling as they hose down the hot dog stand doesn't send the right message in my mind. Suggested grade and reading levels on the back cover help parents find the right book for their child.
AFRICA
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
HIRSCH, REBECCA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 11, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Part of Scholastic's 2013 series on the continents, this title follows the well-known format of other Rookie Read-About books. The 32 pages generally alternate between text and full-page color photos. Basic information is given about people and animals that live on the continent, geography (water and land) and "Modern Marvels." The plural is not necessary since the Library of Alexandria is the only item discussed on the page. Four words with pictures are printed on the "Words to Know" page; I would prefer the title be "Glossary" so that young people can begin the learn the descriptors they will use in school. The index includes many more words than I would've expected in a book this length, a very nice surprise.
LOOKING AT MAPS AND GLOBES
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
OLIEN, REBECCA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 15, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
This book follows Scholastic's well-known format of other Rookie Read-About books. The 32 pages generally alternate between text and photos or illustrations. The purpose of maps and globes is described in general terms as is the way both maps and globes work. A variety of maps includes world and U.S. maps, floor plans, weather maps, and aerial street maps. A "Try It!" exerciseusing a world map is included. Four words with pictures are printed on the "Words to Know" page; I would prefer the title be "Glossary" so that young people can begin the learn the descriptors they will use in school.
MAP SCALES
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
WADE, MARY DODSON
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 17, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
This book follows Scholastic's well-known format of other Rookie Read-About books. The 32 pages generally alternate between text and photos or illustrations. The purpose of maps and map scales is described in general terms; map keys include scales. I appreciate seeing a variety of maps with scales, including world, U.S., state, and local maps. A "Try It!" exercise requiring finding distances between three objects on a map using a scale is included. Four words with pictures are printed on the "Words to Know" page; I would prefer the title be "Glossary" so that young people can begin the learn the descriptors they will use in school.
MAGISTERIUM
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
HIRSCH, JEFF
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 17, 2012
Gustafson, Chris
Life in the 22nd?century is pretty comfortable for teen Glenn with school and fending off the advances of classmate Kevin, but she misses her mom, who deserted the family years ago, and doesn't get much emotional support from dad, who is continually tinkering with technology in the family garage.? When dad shows Glenn a bracelet he's created that he's sure will help them travel over the border to a forbidden zone that is supposed to be uninhabited to find their mom and bring her back, Glenn is sure it's a sign of mental illness.? She tells her therapist, Kevin's dad, about what dad has created and almost instantly the government agent types are pursuing Glenn, now in possession of the bracelet, and Kevin, who tries to warn her not to trust his dad.? Dystopian fans will enjoy this.
FALLING TOO FAST
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
ALEGRIA, MALIN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 18, 2012
Gustafson, Chris
The third book in the Blueford-like Bordertown series featuring Hispanic teens in Texas featuring an extended family and their friends.? Alexis takes center stage here as she pursues a singing career and navigates a crush on a guy from another high school.?
COMING CLEAN
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
ROSS, JEFF
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 19, 2012
Gustafson, Chris
Rob's DJ career looks like it's finally taking off when he gets a club gig despite being underage, but the evening is ruined when he discovers the body of a girl he knows who has OD'd on Ecstasy.? Rob's crusade to prove his innocence when he's accused of her murder is aimed squarely at reluctant readers.? An Orca Soundings hi-lo book.
POISON TREE
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
ATWATER-RHODES, AMELIA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 20, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Love the cover! The poem by William Blake that begins the book made me eagerly turn the pages, but I must say I wasn't impressed with the book. While there was a lot of action between the characters, at times the story seemed to drag. The four protagonists alternate chapters for much of the book and it would be stretching things to say it was always easy to see how they tied together in the story. Lots of action, intrigue which seemed more appropriate for adults, and romance that wasn't over the top. While I enjoyed Atwater-Rhodes' two previous series, I would call this effort average.
RAT
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
CHOYCE, LESLEY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 20, 2012
Gustafson, Chris
From the "Rapid Read" series of short, easy fiction for young adults.? Young widow Sandra is swept off her feet by Joe's interest in her and kindness to her young teen daughter Jane, but once Joe and Sandra are married, his obsessive, controlling nature is revealed she must figure out a way to escape.? Edge of your seat suspense and a gruesomely satisfying ending.
DEAD RUN
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
RODMAN, SEAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 21, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Sam lives for cycling and thinks he has a chance of being a world-class racer. His attidue and lack of discipline always seem to get in the way, though, resulting in being kicked off his cycling team. He meets Viktor, an aging Olympic cycling champion who agrees to train him as well as giving him a job as a bike courier. When Viktor gives him special pickups to make, in unmarked packages from shady characters, Sam realizes there may be something illegal going on. What choices will he make? A somewhat similar situation arises in Carl Deuker's Runner. The low reading level will appeal to struggling teen readers but also to those reading at grade level who want a quick, action-packed story.
CLEANUP
RAVEN BOOKS [RAVEN BOOKS]
MCCLINTOCK, NORAH
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 21, 2012
Gustafson, Chris
From the "Rapid Read" series of short, easy fiction for young adults.? Connie has lost her job as a legal secretary and is making ends meet on a crew of maids, working with Maria to regularly clean the house of an elderly man they find dead as they arrive for work.? Maria's illegal status makes her fearful of making a statement to the police and she enlists Connie's help in protecting her identity and relationship to the deceased.? Plenty of plot twists and surprises will keep reluctant readers turning pages.
SCRIVENER'S MOON
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
REEVE, PHILIP
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 22, 2012
Gustafson, Chris
This third book in the "Fever Crumb" series does not really stand alone, but anyone already immersed in the complex world Reeve has created in this set of prequels to the "Mortal Engines" quartet will feel right at home.? Fever returns to London to find her mom serving as Chief Engineer in charge of moving the city into its traction form with dad assisting her.? Reports of a mysterious Black Pyramid in the north send mom and Fever on a trek to find it and it ends poorly with mom's murder and Fever fighting for her life among tribes who are opposed to the transformation of London.? Plenty of shades of grey as the theme, plot, and characters are well-drawn and there's plenty of writing craft to appreciate.
The Winter Pony
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Lawrence, Iain
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 26, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
The story of Robert Scott's quest to be the first man to reach the South Pole is told by a white pony. A much shorter parallel story is told of Roald Amundsen's successful journey to the same location. The hardships of the journey are detailed, from the harsh weather to whales breaking the ice to drown the ponies to the mercy killing of some of the ponies. This is not a story for gentle readers as there is much grief throughout the journey. But it is a wonderful tale of love between animal and man, and of determination by both man and beast.
Rope Burn
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Siebold, Jan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
Richard likes his teacher but when Mr. Best assigns his students to write about their lives using proverbs, Richard just can't seem to come up with what is expected. He's got plenty going on to write about--the breakup of his family, the move to a new school, and the fact that he will probably be laughed at in his PE class--but Mr. Best says Richard's writing points toward what Richard thinks Mr. Best wants, not what is really coming from Richard himself. Valuable lessons are learned as he navigates the writing assignment, keeping secrets from his mom involving his dad's new girlfriend, and the usual social (mis)adventures that come from trying to fit in. A great read about believing in your own self. Although the protagonist is 11 years old, the subject matter is entirely appropriate for older readers, including those struggling with reading.
LOCKDOWN
STONE ARCH BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
MANNING, MATTHEW K
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 30, 2012
Gleb, Heidi
The Revolution is a group of teens, with an older man as their leader, who have gathered broken pieces of Tony Hawk's prized skateboard. They try to keep those pieces safe while searching for the remaining pieces. At the same time, people from the Collective will do anything it takes to take control of all the pieces. The attraction is the power that each piece contains and thus transfers to the human who possesses it. Lockdown is volume 8 in the series but easily works as a stand-alone read. The few pages of graphic novel artwork are interesting and appropriate to the story. The low reading level works for struggling readers.