Reviews for month


DODSWORTH IN ROME
SANDPIPER [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
EGAN, TIM
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
This four chapter easy reading book from the Green Light Readers series (Level 3) takes our pal Dodsworth and his duck roaming to Rome, Italy. ?Puns and wordplay abound as the friends rent a scooter and tour the famous sites like the Trevi fountain, St. Peter's Square, the Pantheon and more. ?The pair experience the pleasures of gelato, a pizza-throwing contest, and a flea market. ?It's not all fun and games, though, as the duck decides to make his mark on Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel fresco -- seems it is missing a duck. ?And the trip wouldn't be complete without lost luggage, so poor Dodsworth and the duck must sleep outside on the Spanish steps before a kind stranger reunites them with their suitcase...but not before Dodsworth accuses a number of strangers and upends a market cart of produce, and the duck helps himself to some coins in fountain. ?Familiar characters, engaging plot with enough silly happenstance to keep the pages turning, this book will stand alone or be a nice addition to the series. ?Each page is illustrated with detailed ink and watercolor art that supports the text for the beginning reader. ?
MEASURING TIME : THE CLOCK
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
VOGEL, JULIA
MARTEN, LUANNE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
This brief introduction to timekeeping includes information about sundials, hourglasses, and clocks (both analog and digital), as well as basics about time telling. ?Concepts of hours, minutes, and seconds are described and simple photographs and illustrations on each double page spread support the text with labels and captions. ?About half of the book focuses on the history of timekeeping while the other half is instructional. ?Educators and parents will use this book to succinctly explain time to the intended audience. ?
MORE
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
SPRINGMAN, I C
LIES, BRIAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
Sparse text and life-sized pictures tell the story of a magpie overcome with collecting. ?It starts simply enough with one trinket for the nest. ?But the concept of more is driven home as we watch thing upon thing upon thing pile up to a branch-breaking crescendo until the bird-brained protagonist is buried in his own treasures to the concern of the woodland mice around him. ?The furry rodents come to the hoarder's rescue, parcelling out item by item to lighten the load until the magpie is freed of most of his belongings taking flight with a couple of cherished items and a beloved mouse friend. ?Less is more and certainly enough. ?
Earth
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Aitken, Stephen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
Seven short chapters tackle climate change issues to inform young readers in this title from a four book series including Fever at the Poles, Fever in the Oceans, and Fever on the Land. ?Each double page spread with computer-generated art provides a "hot fact" or a "cool idea" about topics ranging from methane gas to calculating a carbon footprint. ?Each spread also includes a corresponding narrative suitable for read aloud. ?A glossary, index, recommended websites (updated at the publisher's website), and end sections entitled "Did You Know?," "Dr. Know Recycles!," and "What Can You Do?" add to the volume's resourcefulness. ??Pair this book with Brenda Guiberson's Earth: ?Feeling the Heat to inform readers about the effects of climate change on animals around the world.
Science at Work in Basketball
Benchmark Books [Benchmark Books]
Hantula, Richard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
In 32 short pages the author of this book, a senior editor for Macmillan Encyclopedia of Science, shares a lot of physics concepts. ?If you ever wanted to know why the jump shot is so popular, why Michael Jordan seems to hang in the air so long, or how topspin can make a reverse layup more effective, you can deconstruct the science behind the answers with this handy book. ?Key terms are highlighted in the text and defined in the glossary. ?Diagrams, action photos, and fact boxes support the main text and provide access points. ?Kobe Bryant and Isaac Newton get equal time and billing with their own biographical insets. ?An index, a find-out-more page of resources and a reinforced binding enhance the quality of this book. ?This book may turn basketball fans and players into physics students, and it will be a unique offering for students to use for science project ideas they can implement on the gym floor. ?Teachers will enjoy the cross curricular tease of bringing physical education and science together. ?The Science at Work series includes titles on auto racing, baseball, football, snowboarding, and soccer. ?
INTRIGUING SOURCES OF HOLD YOUR HORSES AND OTHER IDIOMS
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
RINGSTAD, ARNOLD
MACGEEHAN, DAN
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
Twenty-eight idioms are presented on single page spreads with computer-generated, comical art that depict the literal meanings of the words clearly titling the pages. ?The meaning, the origin, and an example of each idiom is included with inset boxes. ?A table of contents lists the idioms in the order in which they appear in the book; more helpful would have been an alphabetical index of the phrases or to have simply presented the phrases in alphabetical order in the book. ?This book is one of eight in the series. Combining the series into one volume would have made this a better source for libraries, English Language Learners, and educators.
STEP-BY-STEP EXPERIMENTS WITH ELECTRICITY
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
HAGLER, GINA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
Basics of electricity are introduced in a short, clear format in this book. ?Six chapters ranging from two to seven pages each define electricity, the scientific method, and present four experiments. ?The experiments chapters include a complete seven-step method down to examples of predictions, results and conclusions with bold colored headings throughout. ?The experiments are predictable classics on circuits, conductors, static electricity, and batteries. ?Glossary words are color-coded throughout. ?Minimal text, clean layout, and plenty of ?illustrations and photos make this book accessible for beginning readers and easy to share in a classroom setting. ?A reinforced binding adds to its longevity. ?An index and brief bibliography are also included. ?While there is nothing "electrifyingly" novel in this book, it is a solid choice to support the topic in any elementary library. ?The series includes eleven other titles including Step-By-Step Experiments with Soils, Step-By-Step Experiments with the Water Cycle, Step-By-Step Experiments with Insects, and others. ?Had the publisher included all life sciences, physical sciences, and earth sciences in single volumes this series would be more reasonably priced for today's library budgets.
BILL THE BOY WONDER : THE SECRET CO-CREATOR OF BATMAN
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
NOBLEMAN, MARC TYLER
Templeton, Ty
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
Bob Kane is credited as the only creator of Batman, but this book tells the real story behind the creation of Batman. ?It is an important one, because Batman's co-creator, and perhaps the person with the greater contribution to the creation of Batman was never credited. ?His name was Bill Finger. ?With an extensive, six-page author's note and bibliography, Nobleman pulls together a lot of evidence about Bill Finger. Bill and Bob were friends who collaborated on a number of projects, and when Bob got an offer to develop a new superhero in the wake of Superman's early fame he turned to Bill to help him flesh out his first draft. ?Bill's changes were instrumental in what we know of Batman today ? the black costume, the bat ears, the cape, and more. ?Bill continued to come up with amazing stories for the comic too, and Bob left him out of the negotiations and contracts that would credit Bill for his work. ?As other artists made the comic editors aware of Bill's contribution to Batman, the editors began to give jobs directly to Bill instead of Bob but Bill's name never appeared on any of the comics credits of authorship. ?This continued for twenty-five years. ?Finally, at a New York City comic convention in 1964 Bill was featured on a panel of comic creators and many learned of his contributions to the Batman comics. Bill ended up working mostly on other projects after that, and died before ever resolving the issue of his contributions to the creation of Batman. ?The pen and ink art in this picture book biography mimics that of the old Batman comics and adds greatly to the effect of the book. ?Educators will find this book a valuable and engaging tool in starting discussions about copyright and intellectual property rights. ?
TECHNOLOGY
Scholastic Reference [Scholastic Reference]
GIFFORD, CLIVE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
Several editors, a literacy consultant, and an author came together to make this book a tour de force overview of today's technology. ?The layout of the book is a visual treat -- stop action photos, timelines, graphs and diagrams surround each other with headings, captions, and small blocks of text. ?Typically complex information is approachable and accessible for the intended audience. ??If you don't know what a microprocessor is while reading about the uses of GPS receivers, just look it up in the glossary or get more info using the index. ?High interest topics like 3D movies, Xbox Kinect, and roller coasters are featured and the science explained. ?A free digital book is mentioned on the cover, and a unique code (that can be used multiple times) allows readers to download a digital book entitled Cool Tech Heroes featuring historical figures like Marie Curie as well as recent noteworthies like Mark Zuckerberg. ?Each of the four sections entitled Microchips and smart tech; Fun, games, & thrills; Force, speed, & power; and Technology for life provide equally interesting and report-worthy topics. ?The reinforced paperback cover makes the book well worth price, but this reviewer's only complaint is that it should have been hardcover. ?This book is one of four in the series of titles including Ocean and Sea, Night Sky, and The Elements
ONE TWO THAT'S MY SHOE!
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
MURRAY, ALISON
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
Young readers will be delighted to find Alison Murray reintroduces the same dog and little girl (as well as color scheme and font) from Apple Pie ABC in this counting book that pays homage to the classic nursery rhyme. ?As the book counts up to ten each number is blocked in with small images to illustrate the number concept repeated on the page. ?Brief text will allow emergent readers to master this book after one or two readings. The lovely, crisp illustrations depict the doggy hero playfully stealing the girl's red shoe and romping out the door and gate into the chicken yard only to be chased by ten hens until the girl shoos them away retrieving her shoe and relieving the startled dog.
100TH DAY : A SPOT-IT CHALLENGE
A+ BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
SCHUETTE, SARAH L
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
Twelve double page spreads depict photographs of typical 100th day counting items like colors, beans, and words that challenge the reader to spot it. ?The real challenge is that on most pages the concept items are not pictured in quantities of one hundred or they are not pictured at all. ?For instance, on the "100 Miles" page there is a map of the United States with toy trinkets scattered atop. ?On the "100 Pages" page stacks of books are surrounded by toy trinkets, but it would be impossible to count one-hundred pages. ?Each spread has six challenge items featured in a word list inset box, appended on the "Spot Even More!" page are four or five more challenges for each spread, and if that's not enough there is an "Extreme Spot-It Challenge" with seventeen items to find with no page hints. ?The book ends with a gratuitous "read more" section of two more Capstone "Spot it" books and a Capstone "Look Again" book. ?There are fourteen books in the "Spot-It Challenge" series including Season Search, Science Fun, Princesses and Fairies, and more.
BEYBLADE : OFFICIAL HANDBOOK : METAL FUSION/METAL MASTERS
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
WEST, TRACEY
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
The Beyblade toy phenomenon has an official handbook to guide its top-spinning aficionados to ?World Championship success. ?Because the Cartoon Network series of anime characters is just not enough to satisfy Beyblade fans, we can use this book to understand the good vs. evil story behind the tops that were made in reaction to a meteor that created a crater in Koma, Japan where chips of the meteor were used to create a Bey of light or good. ?This Bey would try to defend against the other meteor that had absorbed the feelings of dark or evil and was turned into the first Bey. ?The handbook introduces readers to the famous and infamous metal fusion heros and rivals describing their individual traits on single page spreads. ?Each toy top gets its own page as well, with a chart rating its strengths and weaknesses for attack, defense, and stamina and a description of its battle powers and a photograph. ?The book spins on to a section of Metal Master teams from around the world including the US, Brazil, Japan and others. ?Finally, blade fans will learn how each of the Beyblade parts contribute to its strengths or weaknesses thereby allowing the knowledgeable blader to strategize in battle. ?Wide appeal of the toy and tv series will assure readership of this book at least until the next marketing craze hits the toy stores. ?
APPLE PIE ABC
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
MURRAY, ALISON
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
A girl, her dog, and an apple pie -- what a satisfying way to experience an ABC book! ?Just as the little dog "pines" for and "ogles" the pie in the story, readers will be "eager" to turn the page to see if he gets it. ?The suspense mounts as the dog seizes the "time to go for it." ?The cheerful, simple illustrations capture the emotions of the dog and the reactions of the girl with perfect clarity. ?Super-sized alphabet letters accompany single words and phrases of two to four per double page spread, moving the story along at a breezy clip for storytime listeners. ?Libraries will most likely want to purchase the picture book edition of this book, though this review is based on the board book. ?
MY FIRST MANDARIN CHINESE PHRASES
PICTURE WINDOW BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
KALZ, JILL
FABBRI, DANIELE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
Introductory pages explain Chinese writing, Pinyin and a pronunciation key, and the tonal qualities of the Chinese language. ?Fourteen double-page spreads depict cartoonish digital illustrations of themed topics and characters with speech bubbles. ?Each speech bubble contains a sentence of English in green font, a Mandarin Chinese character translation in black, and below those a Pinyin pronunciation. ?Themes include topics like home, school, family, numbers and colors. ?A "read more" section recommends three more sources of information and a facthound.com code to get internet sources as well. ?Other titles in the Speak Another Language! series include French, German, and Spanish. ??
AMAZING ABC
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
KENNEY, SEAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
This book will intrigue LEGO lovers young and old, but the board book format limits its audience and desirability for libraries. ?LEGO creations both simple and complex adorn the pages of this nifty book. ?Each page contains an alphabet letter created from, you guessed it, LEGOs! ?One word per page labels LEGO items including an apple, a goblin, kites, a xylophone and so on. ?The leading character of the word is highlighted with color to match the LEGO letter on each page reinforcing the alphabet concept. ?
TIME TO SAY BYE-BYE
VIKING JUVENILE [PENGUIN]
COCCA-LEFFLER, MARYANN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
January 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
As a toddler goes through the day from park, to grandma's, to home, bath and bed, it is hard to transition from one to the next. ?Saying bye-bye to each beloved item or activity makes the transition easier. ?Young children will identify with the familiar settings, toys, and language. ?Simple text keeps the pages turning, and colorful mixed media watercolor and fabric collage illustrations will grab pre-readers' attention. ??Libraries with preschool programs will find an audience for this simple, early childhood title.
FISH
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
SCHUETZ, KARI
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Fish are a huge category of animals and include almost 30,000 species and this beginning research book tries to cover them. It starts by defining the animal kingdom and the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates. Then clear basic characteristics of fish are introduced such as living in water, being cold-blooded, having gills and fins. Another chapter covers the three groups that all fish belong to and the last and shortest chapter just lists fish with specific characteristics like smallest fish, fastest fish, and longest life span but without the details to explain how small, fast, or how long it lives. The bright backgrounds and colorful photographs are very appealing and add information, but several are not captioned and most are just briefly labeled. The information in this book for a young researcher varies because some parts are clear and informative and other parts such as what fish eat or how young are born are not mentioned. An index, glossary, table of contents, and list of resources are included. It is a Level 3 Blastoff Reader in the Animal Classes series.
HARLEM'S LITTLE BLACKBIRD : THE STORY OF FLORENCE MILLS
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
WATSON, RENEE
ROBINSON, CHRISTIAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Florence Mills grew up poor in Washington, D.C. at the turn of the century, but she always had a talent for singing and dancing that filled her life. She sang and danced at home and at school and won many contests. As a young girl she was invited to perform at a fancy theater, but she refused until her black friends and family were allowed to be in the audience. As a young woman she continued to amaze people with her singing and dancing in the United States and Europe. She faced discrimination over and over because she was black, but she dedicated her life to helping others and to promoting other black artists. When she died young in 1927 people came from all over to mourn her death and give tribute to her life. This picture biography uses powerful words and bold cut-paper illustrations to give life to the story of Florence Mills. Her talent and her giving heart are inspirations for everyone.
FROGS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
MCLEESE, DON
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
The world of frogs is introduced with common characteristics as well as physical differences between the many species of frogs. The frog life cycle is explained in a diagram with photographs as well as text. The habitats, food, and physical characteristics of frogs are introduced as well as the differences between toads and frogs. One short chapter focuses on three specific frogs from different parts of the world. The last chapter talks about threats to frogs and how to help save frogs. Interesting photographs that are usually labeled or captioned add greatly to the text. A young reader could use this book to research frogs in general. An index, glossary, list of resources, and table of contents are included. It is part of the Eye to Eye with Animals series.
SHARKS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
MCLEESE, DON
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
There are over 400 species of sharks, but this book covers the basics of sharks in general plus a little more information about a few specific sharks. General physical features such as cartilage, fins, and teeth are covered in the first two chapters The fact that sharks have been around for almost 400 million years, where sharks live, and shark pups are in the next two chapters. The last two chapters are dedicated to great white sharks, tiger sharks, and hammerhead sharks and a very brief introduction to studying and protecting sharks. Young researchers will find just enough information to do a basic report on sharks in general. Many photographs that are usually captioned supplement the text and provide interest. A table of contents, index, glossary and list of resources are included. It is part of the Eye to Eye with Animals series.
HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS?
BLUE SKY [BLUE SKY]
YOLEN, JANE
TEAGUE, MARK
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
If you need a books that combines dinosaurs and Christmas, then this is the book for you. The first half of the books questions whether dinosaurs with human families will do things to ruin Christmas like ripping open presents or eating cookies sent out for Santa Claus. Then second half describes how the dinosaurs will do all the correct things for Christmas like helping trim the tree and singing carols with care. The text in verse is fun, but it is the playful full-page illustrations of the dinosaurs doing Christmas activities that will really appeal to the reader. This is a fun Christmas book that is sure to be a hit just like the other books in the series.
PERFECT PREDATORS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
MATTERN, JOANNE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
If you need an overview of predators and how they use special characteristics to kill, then this a good book to start. The first and longest chapter give a definition of a predator and how different animals use talons, teeth, and poison. The next three chapters focus on groups of predators from big cats, reptiles, and ocean predators using paragraphs of text or lists of basic facts. The last chapter is about how many predators are endangered and why. The text is clear and informational, but the captioned or labeled photographs on every page give visual information and add interest. The variety of animal predators in this short book includes large mammals, reptiles, birds, insects, and ocean animals. It could be used for basic research on predators as well as an interesting book to browse. A table of contents, index, list of resources, and glossary are included. It is part of the Eye to Eye with Animals series.
BIRTHDAY CAKE MYSTERY
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
TJONG-KHING, THE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a very unusual and quirky wordless book with multiple storylines and lots of mysteries. Whose birthday is it? Do the red footprints lead to whoever stole the necklace? Why is everyone doing what they are doing? It is set outside several small buildings near the edge of a forest with a multitude of human like animals doing everything from baking a cake, to swatting flies, to digging tunnels, and to drawing odd pictures. The reader will want the flip the pages over and over to pore over the detailed illustrations for clues about what is going on in each part of the picture and how they overlap. Don't expect too many answers in the end, just the chance for more stories to continue in this whacky neighborhood.
I AM SO HANDSOME
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
RAMOS, MARIO
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
The wolf puts on a tie and strolls through the forest looking for confirmation that he is the handsomest of all. Of course everyone he meets from Little Red Riding Hood to the three little pigs agrees with him in fear of what he might do if they contradict him. Then he meets a baby dragon who doesn't agree that he is the handsomest of all, but thinks that his father is handsomer and scorches the wolf with flames. This is a simple fun books about vanity that mixes several folk tale characters, humorous dialogue, and light-hearted full-page illustrations. It is the sequel to I Am So Strong that also features the vain wolf.
MONSIEUR MARCEAU
FLASH POINT [FLASH POINT]
SCHUBERT, LEDA
DUBOIS, GERARD
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
This picture biography of Marcel Marceau does a wonderful job of introducing the famous mime to students who may not even know what a mime does. There are few sentences on each page, but the full page illustrations convey the action and emotions hinted at in the text. It briefly tells about Marceau's life from his birth in 1923 in Strasbourg, France and how he fled the city with his family at age sixteen when World War II began. He was Jewish and he fought against the Nazis in the resistence movement saving many lives. His father died in the concentration camps and he changed his name from Mangel to Marceau . At age twenty-four Marceau created his famous mime character Bip and traveled the world giving silent performances that mesmerized everyone. The second half of the book tells of his performances and view of the world through short text, expressive illustrations, and quotes from Marceau. The afterword gives more detailed information about Marceau and hints how to try mime yourself. A list of resources is also included. This is a solid and approachable picture biography that everyone will enjoy.
HIPPOS AND RHINOS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
MATTERN, JOANNE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Hippos and rhinos are paired up in this nonfiction book that explains their similarities as well as their unique characteristics. Three of the five short chapters explain similarities such as that they are both endangered large land animals and each one has been on earth for at least 25 million years. The other two chapters give details about each animals unique habitat, physical features, food, and how it protects itself. The chapters are only two to six pages but they include maps, fact boxes, several photographs that are usually captioned, and paragraphs of clear and interesting text. There is enough information for a young student to research either animal for a basic report so you get two animals for the price of one book. A table of contents, glossary, list of resources, and index are included. It is part of the Eye to Eye with Animals series.
MISS LINA'S BALLERINAS AND THE WICKED WISH
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
MACCARONE, GRACE
DAVANIER, CHRISTINE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Miss Lina and her ballerinas are back joyfully practicing ballet when Mister Brise comes to watch them and give them parts in a City Ballet production. When Regina is given the part of a rat with Tony, the only boy ballet dancer in the group, she longs to dance the waltz with the other girls. She has the wicked wish for one of her friends to become to sick to dance so she can take their part. She gets her chance to substitute when some dancers get sick but she soon realizes that she would rather that everyone was well and that she could dance the part of the rat which she does to great applause. Fans of Miss Lina books will enjoy the story in verse as well as the lively and sketchy illustrations. It is sure to be as popular as the other books in this series of picture books.
MONSTERS
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
EPPARD, JON
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Learn how to draw eight monsters from Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster to zombie and chupacabra using this simple how-to book. Each two-page spread has a short introduction to the monster and five steps on how to draw it from the basic shape to the finished color drawing. Very short directions accompany each step plus there is a drawing tip and a coloring tip for each monster. Only one view of each monster is given, but young drawers will get an idea about how to draw it. An introduction, glossary, list of resources, and index are included. Young drawers will enjoy trying out the ideas in this how-to book, but it would be a stronger choice if there were more than one view of each monster or more monsters.
The Pig War
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform [CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform]
Holtzen, Mark
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
January 04, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Kell and Grace are sent to live with a grandfather they have never met on the fictional Mobray Island in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. He is very grumpy and nothing like his beloved deceased wife who had visited her grandchildren in Portland several times. Kell is bored at first on the remote island, but soon he and Grace find things to do including chores, exploring, and most importantly trying to find out more about an old revolver they find buried nearby. They make friends with Bernadette who runs the local store and library as Kell secretly does research on who might have owned the revolver. It could have been a soldier in the Pig War on nearby San Juan Island where American and English soldiers were ready to fight each other for years. Free-spirited Grace gets closer to Grandad over time, but Kell cannot figure him out until a crisis hits and they must work together to avoid disaster. This is an interesting story in a local setting involving details from the infamous Pig War, but this self-published novel needs polish. There are several parts that are either confusing or seem extraneous and interrupt the storyline. The basis of the novel will interest budding local historians and those familiar with the San Juan Islands.
POET UPSTAIRS
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
COFER, JUDITH ORTIZ
ORTIZ, OSCAR
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
A young girl discovers the transformative power of poetry to change the world, "even if only for a little time." Falling asleep to the sound of a typewriter clacking in a poet's upstairs apartment, Juliana dreams of "floating on a river, a wide river that took her through a grove of palm trees" before "her bed became a kite...(and flew) over a mountain range that divided a beautiful island down the middle, like a brown belt." Telling her mother and drawing her dream and later slipping it under the poet's door of brings an invitation for a visit where they write a poem together. In it they themselves in a world brighter and warmer than the cold, city confines. Drawing on warm tropical images from Puerto Rico, illustrator Oscar Ortiz' colorful pallet is a good match for Judith Ortiz Cofer's poetic affirmation of the power of well written words. A pleasant read-aloud that highlights descriptive language, this Arte Publico Press "Pinata book" is also worthy for its Hispanic cultural connections.
SUPER GRAMMAR
Scholastic Reference [Scholastic Reference]
PRECIADO, TONY
MONTIJO, RHODE
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
"What's faster than a run-on sentence, more powerful than a double negative, and able to stop a sentence fragment in a single bound? It's Super Grammar!" These brightly drawn spandex-clad superheroes cleverly put KA-POWer back into grammar lessons with the yellow Completion Team (Subject and Predicate), the red Noun Team (Proper and Common), the blue super Symbols (.?!,':;-_()"...) doing battle against the villianously green Sabotage Squad(Double Negative, Fragment, Run-On, Comma Splice and Disagreement). And do you know what? I think Super Grammar just might be exactly what teachers need to liven up lessons and help kids write more clearly. It provides a terrific number of humorous illustrations of grammatical predicaments and shows solutions with graphic visual appeal.Tony Preciado and illustrator Rhode Montijo have done us all a favor. Hip Hip Horray!
CHEESIE MACK IS COOL IN A DUEL
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
COTLER, STEVE
MCCAULEY, ADAM
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Ronald "Cheesie" Mack is the loving 11 year old narrator "author" of this second breezy book, this about escapades at summer camp. Interspersed with Illustrations (like the spitball attack on the bus going to camp) abound along with frequent suggestion that readers refer to his website (www.cheesiemack.com) clearly cater to contemporary readers looking for fun print and online reading. After the spitball attack on the bus, Cheesie and his sister "The Goon" 's 14 year old boyfriend decide on a one week "Cool Duel" where cabin mates vote on who did the coolest thing each day. Day by day the boys try short-sheeting, snakes in the bed, nutty dancing at a camp dance, ghost story pranks...all sorts of foolery are tried to win the admiration and votes of peers. By the end of the week the two rivals are locked in a virtual tie, but resolve in a handshake just in time for the end of camp and the start of middle school. Wholesome fun.
Sequins, Secrets, and Silver Linings
Chicken House [Chicken House]
Bennett, Sophia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 05, 2013
Gustafson, Chris
Nonie loves fashion and would love to be like her fashion model mum, but her body is too much like dad's. ?Best friend Edie has the body of a future model, but is much more focused on ecology.? Jenny, the third of the group, just completed her work in a major Hollywood movie but is self-conscious about her weight and is uncertain about whether acting is really for her.? All three are tag-sale, thrift store shoppers who meet Ugandan refuge Crow selling her yarn crafts and decide to put all their efforts toward promoting Crow's fashion career.? A good-hearted fairy tale for those who love the latest looks?and?social justice.
Robots in Space
Capstone Press [Capstone Press]
Forest, Christopher
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Stunningly crisp photographs and well organized information about robots in space are packed into 32 pages to make this an out-of-this-worldly-attractive, non-fiction brag-book for NASA engineers. These technological "wonder babies" are "helpers, workers, and explorers" extending the capability of mankind to explore in ways only dreamed of in previous generations. Each concise chapter is filled with facts, key vocabulary and proud examples of human ingenuity in action. The final chapter on "the Future of Space Robots" mentions a few near-future dates for data from probes already launched as well as delivering a very useful diagram of name and location of 18 robotic missions currently underway. A glossary, three additional resource titles and a publisher's web link lend some support for further research in this, one of 10 titles in Capstone's "the Solar System and Beyond" series for library collections. Like the space program it describes, limited budgets may determine just how much of these tantalizing titles your library can afford...but money's well spent on "Robots in Space."
LITTLE TUG
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
SAVAGE, STEPHEN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
January 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
"Meet Little Tug. He's not the tallest boat in the harbor. He's not the fastest boat in the harbor. He's not the biggest boat in the harbor. But....." just like a tired boat-loving tyke who might like snuggling onto your lap to read this great little book, when " Little Tug tires out...the tall ship tucks him in with his sail. The speedboat hums him a lullaby with her motor. And the great big ocean liner gives Little Tug a great big--hug." A delightful lap book, beautifully illustrated by the author of other minimal-text picture books for the naptime pre-K set.
MOUSTERPIECE
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
ZALBEN, JANE BRESKIN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Little mouse Janson explores her home at the Museum of Modern Art. Enchanted by the art she sees on the walls, our heroine learns to create art in the style of 22 modern masters. One day she finds the gallery walls bare and decides to hang her own creations to great surprise and mixed reviews from the humans. Her personal "mousterpiece" is unique and in her own style, "and that is when Janson knew she had become a true artist." The cute story is an effective survey of modern art that will be both enjoyed and useful to elementary school collections. The illustrations are a clever demonstration of Zablen's artistic appreciation of painting; which she credits to childhood exposure to MOMA and HW Janson's extensive "History of Modern Art" whose images of painting from prehistory through mid-twentieth century she memorized in college art classes.
GIANT AND HOW HE HUMBUGGED AMERICA
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
MURPHY, JIM
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
January 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
"Bah HUMBUG!" What an important and delightful term to use when denouncing deception and fraud. Author Jim Murphy does a splendid job of telling the story of the 1869 unearthing of 10-foot tall Cardiff Giant, a "petrified man" and the discoverer and subsequent owners' unscrupulous profiting from a knowing deception of a gullible public. Telling the story 70 succinct pages, and illustrated with period photographs and playbill reproductions Murphy's also done a great job providing detailed notes and references. There is a additional author's note describing how the 2008 Madoff Ponzi scheme, which netted between 18-68 billion dollars of unearned profit as the motivating Humbug that set Murphy on his research that has again delivered top-flight history. This books is just the sort of high-quality non-fiction called for in the Common Core State Standards.
JUSTINE MCKEEN, POOPER SCOOPER
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
BROUWER, SIGMUND
WHAMOND, DAVE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Cheerful Justine smells something stinky and decides to do something about it. As in two previous books in the series, Justine's can-do attitude enlists a crew of "green" classmates and together they raise awareness as they clean up the park across from the school board's offices. An easy early chapter book for 2-4th grade readers with a positive social and ecological message, the plot may be overstretched a bit by having Justine's pooper scooper efforts also impress the district superintendent enough to reinstate funding for a full time school librarian. Justine is a responsible Canadian cousin for readers looking for something at the Junie B Jones and Frannie K. Stein reading level.
ZEPHYR TAKES FLIGHT
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
LIGHT, STEVEN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
A girl named Zephyr is fixated on dreams of flying and spends all her time drawing, building and dreaming of flight. When a triple loop-to-loop ends in a crash landing that breaks a few family collectibles she is sent to her room to bed. Like Max (in Where the Wild Things Are) her imagination takes over and flies her to a world of flying pigs and fanciful airships. Noticing a sad little earthbound piglet, Zephyr's skillfully fashions a pair of wings and together they soar aloft and help Zephyr return to her world, where like Max, she finds pancakes waiting for her, and a family that still loves her. The pen and ink, colored pencil illustrations are as busy as Zephyr's imagination and work to make this a delightful read aloud for spirited girls and boys alike.
MY BIG SISTER = MI HERMANA MAYOR
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
CARABALLO, SAMUEL
NURAIDA, THELMA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Simple, positive story and watercolor illustrations in this bi-lingual picture book shows how a responsible big sister takes care of her elementary aged little brother Pablito while their mother and father are off at work at the factory, "sewing jeans for the whole world/Cosen pantalones para el mundo entero." From morning to night the children take good care of themselves getting breakfast and off to school, then home again for dinner and into bed. Anita stays awake to watch over her little brother until "My parents are finally home/Por fin mis papas regresan a casa!" A worethwhile addition for bilingual elementary collections, and for anyone just learning to read or speak Spanish, or English.
TEDDY BEAR, TEDDY BEAR, SCHOOL DAY MATH
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
MCGRATH, BARBARA BARBIER
Nihoff, Tim
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 08, 2013
Kline, Karen
Many basic math concepts are covered in this book which will keep pre-readers' interest for both read-aloud and lap sit reading. ?Greater than, less than, patterns, fractions, simple addition and subtraction, just to name a few, introduce the reader to a wide range of math topics. ?The rhyming text capitalizes on the cadence of the familiar nursery rhyme, and the illustrations are vibrant and humorous at times. ?Readers will associate the bear illustrations in the book with the oft-used manipulatives in early childhood classrooms, and the book could provide a perfect intro to using manipulatives. ?Each double page spread of couplets ends with a question, so listeners will want to engage with this text. ?
POPTROPICA OFFICIAL GUIDE
GROSSET & DUNLAP [GROSSET & DUNLAP]
WEST, TRACEY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 08, 2013
Kline, Karen
Poptropica is the online Flash-software game developed by Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney. ?Poptropica Official Guide author Tracey West is best known for her Pokemon series books, and she will delight her followers with this one as well. ?Every page is covered with original screen shots from the online game and even the text font of the book mimics the game. ?Readers can access the cheats and hints in the book organized in chapters of the associated game islands. ?There is plenty of text in this 190-page book to satisfy gamers and educators alike. ?Far from highbrow literature, yet noteworthy given the popularity of the game which is harmless fun, this book will have instant name recognition with the target audience. ?As the gamers' avatar bops and swings from island to island, the readers and gamers learn about history, science, and other important content. ?This high-interest read deserves space on your shelves, and reluctant readers will find a gold mine of reading here to challenge and amuse. ?This reviewer had trouble finding this book after bringing it home to review, as her nine-year-old son kept "borrowing" it. ?Table of contents and poster included, but sadly there is no index, and since the online game is always adding new islands of adventure there will be some issues with the guide being dated over time.
WHITE HOUSE KIDS : THE PERKS, PLEASURES, PROBLEMS, AND PRATF
Imagine Publishing [Imagine Publishing]
RHATIGAN, JOE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
January 08, 2013
Kline, Karen
This mixed-media book includes photographs, primary resource documents, and illustrations depicting interesting trivia and facts about children who have lived in the White House. ?The title is slightly misleading, as we learn in the book that some US Presidents raised children in the White House that were not their own. ?For instance, George Washington, James Madison, and Andrew Jackson raised nieces, nephews, wives' children and/or grandchildren at the White House. ?Divided into four chapters of broad topics like "In the Spotlight," the 96-page book is a hodgepodge of esoteric information. ?We learn that Amy Carter had thirty-nine teddy bears, and that Teddy Roosevelt's children used tin trays from the kitchen to slide down the White House stairs. ?Despite the disjointed presentation of sometimes off-beat facts, the book is a substantial compendium of anecdotes about an often cloistered group of famous young people. ?Young readers are sure to absorb a number of historical facts by reading most any page in this book containing excessive numbers of access points per page. ?Two appendices entitled "And Then What Happened" (giving short details of what White House kids grew up to accomplish) and "The Presidents and First Ladies" (listing the basic birthday/death dates), a bibliography and an index are included as well. ?A fun book to share during election years, Presidents' Day, or other patriotic occasions.
The Manhattan Project
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Vander Hook, Sue
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 10, 2013
Kline, Karen
The significance of the atomic bomb's development is both a scientific and a historical turning point. ?This 48-page book introduces young readers to the importance of scientists, military leaders and politicians who were involved with the Manhattan Project. ?Captioned photographs, maps, and sidebars of related info enhance the text. This readable book is divided into sections, not chapters, that could easily be read aloud in a classroom setting. ?The controversial topic is sure to inspire discussion, but the book sidesteps editorializing and remains a factual study of the science and time period. ?The book includes a timeline that may help readers, since the text is not sequential. ?A glossary and index make this book useful for research. ?The online sites cited in the "To Find Out More" section have become defunct. ?Still, the book is an important resource and curriculum connections abound. ?
MOBY DICK : CHASING THE GREAT WHITE WHALE
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
KIMMEL, ERIC A
GLASS, ANDREW
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 10, 2013
Kline, Karen
"Call me Ishmael..." this recount of the famous book begins. ?The rhyming text of this book has the language and lilt of a sea shanty, as Kimmel packs plenty of plot, characters, and theme into the four to twelve lines on each double page spread. ?Mood and tone are deftly portrayed in the oil paintings by Andrew Glass illustrating this feast for the eyes. ??The disheveled sailors with their rosy cheeks and bulbous noses bring a softness to this very serious tale making the book interesting and accessible to younger readers. ?Vocabulary from the original book is infused here, but Kimmel balances it with mostly simple words. ?A glossary is appended and helps readers to appreciate the word choice throughout. ?An author's note gives a page of background about Melville and what influenced him to write the famous epic novel. ?This book will be appreciated by young readers who deserve an introduction to Melville's work that may entice them to read the original one day. ?Teachers of older students and especially those with special needs will find a great tool here. ?
BOXCAR CHILDREN BEGINNING : THE ALDENS OF FAIR MEADOW FARM
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
MACLACHLAN, PATRICIA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 10, 2013
Kline, Karen
Inquisitive young readers have long wondered about the backstory of the Boxcar Children. ?What were Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny's lives like before they were orphaned? ?What led them to fear their grandfather and only living relative causing them to seek a life of refuge in a boxcar? ?This book seeks to take readers back to the time before the Alden children were orphaned, and it does it with much the same tone as the original nineteen books by Gertrude Warner. ?We get to see the family's daily life on the Alden farm and even hear Mama, Kate Alden, explain about "differences" that Papa and the children's grandfather have about living on the farm and grandfather's "stubbornness." ?Fans of the series will enjoy Newbery-winner Maclachlan's ability to interweave a rather outlandish side story involving a down-on-their-luck family who moves in with the Alden family quite unexpectedly. ?Much to the delight of the Alden children there are two children and a dog thrown into their midst that help out with the chores and even go to school with the kids the next day. ?Eventually, we see the children deal with the deaths of their parents pragmatically by packing up and leaving the farm before the authorities can send them to an orphanage. ?There is little time for tears and grieving, as the children take to the road calling it their new "adventure." ?Such a tidy ending may leave some readers balking and wondering how the beloved characters could walk away from their home in such a crisis. ?Maybe Warner chose to leave this aspect of the children's lives a bit hazy for good reason -- the "can-do" spirit of the Boxcar Children is hard to temper even when there is good reason for other emotions.
BECAUSE OF SHOE AND OTHER DOG STORIES
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
MARTIN, ANN M
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 10, 2013
Kline, Karen
Dog lovers unite! ?These short stories are by award-winning, big name authors like the editor Ann Martin who authors one of the nine titles. ?The stories are schmaltzy, but they have redeeming moments like in "Trail Magic." ?The twelve-year-old unnamed narrator lives with his uncle who is a forest ranger. ?The boy's mom is in prison for holding dog fights. ?When a call comes in for a rescue alert and the boy can't find his uncle, the boy decides to take their search dog Gabe out to look for a missing child. ?One bad decision follows another and pretty soon, the boy and Gabe are lost too. ?The boy reflects in this free verse poem/story, "I make up my mind to take dog training classes, and pay more attention to my surroundings, and visit Mom more often, now that I know what it feels like to do something dumb and mess up." ?All but one of the first person narratives are from the point of view of a tween-aged kid. ?"Brancusi and Me" by Jon J. Muth, stands out from the rest and is from the dog's point of view. ?Charming pencil line drawings interspersed throughout the book by illustrators, Olga and Aleksey Ivanov, enhance the mood and light-hearted nature of most of the book. ?This one won't replace Shelter Dogs by Peg Kehret, but it will be a nice runner up to suggest to fans of the genre.
DINOSAURS
Scholastic Reference [Scholastic Reference]
ARLON, PENELOPE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 10, 2013
Kline, Karen
Arranged in three sections, this dinosaur compendium is divided into an intro section with general information, Triassic and Jurassic dinosaurs, and Cretaceous period dinosaurs. ?Like other books in this series, each double page spread is dominated with outstanding graphics, themed text boxes, and bold headings with short factoids of information based on a topic -- in this case dinosaurs. ?Beginning readers will find many text features here to support their reading and research. ?Many pages have consistent features like pronunciation keys for dino names, the literal meaning of the names, and their dietary preferences. ?Other pages with "vs." headings encourage compare and contrasting, as two dinos' are juxtaposed and challenge the reader to imagine which dinosaur would successfully prey upon the other based on their physical features. ?A table of contents, pronunciation guide, short glossary, and index are included. ?This book cannot compare in scope with Scholastic Dinosaurs A to Z: ?The Ultimate Dinosaur Encyclopedia (c2003), but it does have a digital companion book like others in the "Discover More" series that includes quizzes and extra dinosaurs not featured in the print book. ?This 80-page "super paperback" has a more rigid cover than typical, so many libraries will not need to add laminate or adhesive covers to get books from this series shelf ready.
JANGLES : A BIG FISH STORY
BLUE SKY [BLUE SKY]
SHANNON, DAVID
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 10, 2013
Kline, Karen
Imagine a fish that has gotten away from so many fisherman that it makes a jangling sound from all the collected lures abandoned in its scales. Now imagine a father who shares with his son his secret fish story about the one he let get away. Add to it illustrations that convey the murky stillness of an early morning on a lake and others with vibrant, sun-drenched action that capture the excitement of a giant tug on a line. No fish story would be complete without some lies and exagerations, and you'll find all this and a bit more in David Shannon's latest book. The final page of this book literally lures readers in, asking them to take leap of faith and make their own interpretations of a wild and outlandish tale that makes us think twice about what we think we want and what really satisfies.
FABULOUS FISHES
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
STOCKDALE, SUSAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
January 10, 2013
Kline, Karen
Simple rhyming text describes fish pictured throughout this board book, a reissue of the original trade book from 2008.. Both ocean and fresh water dwelling fish are included in the colorful illustrations. The author-illustrator's words and pictures accurately portray a wide variety of fish that a parent or older reader may enjoy helping younger children name. For instance, the page with an illustration of a group of seahorses reads, "fish with tails curled tight," leaving the reader to infer what fish it is. This simple concept book will be useful in classrooms, homes and libraries of very young readers.
MEAL OF THE STARS : POEMS UP AND DOWN
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
JENSEN, DANA
TUSA, TRICIA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
This short collection of poems, only 15, is unique and approachable. Each poem consists of a stack of words that is either read from the bottom up or the top down. This simple twist invites the reader to engage with the words as they decide which way makes sense. Most topics fit well with the theme of long and skinny from giraffe necks to kite strings to elevator rides. Readers might well be tempted to try their own up or down poem. The collection is cheerfully illustrated in ink and watercolor and feature a diverse group of people.
WHAT'S THE PLACE VALUE?
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
DUKE, SHIRLEY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
From the Little World Math Concepts series, this very colorful book tells in simple terms what the one and ten place values are and how to use them. Place value is taught clearly with bright, yummy looking popsicles. Some children may need adult help to completely understand the concept, but this book will go a long way in helping students learn, The book includes an index, author biography, and websites on one page. The book is 20 pages long with large font and short, simple sentences. With solid binding, this is a great addition to a math collection.
LEMONADE IN WINTER : A BOOK ABOUT TWO KIDS COUNTING MONEY
SCHWARTZ & WADE [SCHWARTZ & WADE]
JENKINS, EMILY
KARAS, G. BRIAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Pauline and her little brother John-John want to have lemonade/limeade stand. However, their parents aren't willing to go along because it is snowing like crazy outside. That doesn't stop the two kids who scrounge for quarters, head off to the store, make the drinks and set up shop on a folding table outside their city apartment. However, no one comes along, maybe their parents were right... They try a little advertising singing out a jingle they make up. A dog walker buys two cups. Next they try entertainment. More sold. They try a sale, slashing the prices from 50 cents to 25 cents a cup. More sold. Their last attempt to boost sales is to decorate with balloons, stuffed animals and flashlights. Finally, they are sold out. They total their sales and find that they lost money... but they do have enough to buy a popsicle each! Even with the wintery setting the illustrations by Brian Karas are downright cozy and kids will cheer on the persistent entrepreneurs. Teachers will appreciate the counting by quarters and the different sales boosting tactics to start a discussion on economics. Included is a page on how big sister Pauline explains money denominations to her little brother.
SUPER SECRET ADVENTURE CLUB
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
MCCLEMENTS, GEORGE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
This beginning reader book (Lexile number 160, Guided Reading level G--the Scholastic Reader levels are nicely explained on the back cover) is full of colorful two page spread illustrations that will grab readers' attention. The text is minimal and in large, often bolded font. The book follows a group of rambunctious, imaginative boys as they try to pick the perfect name for their clubhouse. The argue about the name and try to keep smart little sister Bea out of the clubhouse, though in the end she's the one who points out that they should name their super secret adventure club the, well, Super Secret Adventure Club. A cute story with fun characters, this is a great book for new readers.
UNSPOKEN : A STORY FROM THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
COLE, HENRY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Luminous black and white pencil illustrations capture a time and story in this wordless book. During the Civil War a young girl discovers a runaway slave hiding behind the corn stalks in a store room. She makes the decision to keep the information to herself and delivers food in a napkin when she is able. Two men come bearing a reward poster for the runaway slave as the girl watches from a hiding place. Later, that night when she visits the store room she finds the slave gone and a corn husk doll with clothes from the napkin she had shared food in waiting for her. The last illustration shows her snuggled in bed with the doll beside her. An author's note shares information about where the idea for the story came from and his intention to tell the tale of the everyday bravery that happened during the time and why he chose to make the book wordless.
SECRET OF THE STONE FROG
CANDLEWICK PRESS: TOON BOOKS [WALKER & COMPANY]
NYTRA, DAVID
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Brother and Sister Alan and Leah awake to find themselves not in their room but in a forest. They know they are in for an adventure when a stone frog speaks up and gives them the directions home. Follow the path behind the stone frog and don't stray from it. Of course the siblings do stray and find themselves meeting characters such as a woman (who is illustrated strikingly similar to the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland) who keeps pet bees, animals dressed in 18th century gentleman's attire, rabbits large enough to ride, and deep sea animals dressed in Victorian fashions. All comes to a climax when they turned into the police building by a street pickpocket and they race across the town as buildings and even the street come alive. Luckily they spot another stone frog and are able to follow the path back to their own beds in. The last scene pans out of their room and home across the garden to a fountain with a stone frog. Readers who like a classic adventure will enjoy this black and white graphic novel. The story, takes plenty of twists and turns but ends up safely back home. It is the amazing illustrations- evoking children's tales of the past, which really make the tale come alive.
Six Days
Chicken House [Chicken House]
Webb, Philip
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Cass and her family are scavs, scavengers rummaging through a ruined London destroyed years ago by wars and biochemical attacks. The Vlads, what they call the Russian invaders now in charge, are systematically tearing apart the city building by building looking for an "artifact". Wilbur, Cass's little brother has dreams and ideas where to look and when her runs off to check Big Ben they meet Peyto and the race begins. Peyto knows what the artifact is, in fact he has one of the other 48. It is a flinder, a living organism that allows the bearers to share and influence others through their dreams. Together with Peyto, Erin (another flinder bearer) and Maleva, the daughter of a Vlad commander, Cass's family works to save the Earth from the organic spaceship Aoelis that will crash into earth in just six days unless it is repaired by having all the flinders reunited. Filled with action and science fiction and dystopian elements this should appeal to many readers. They will , however, have to work a bit to get used to the London in the future slang that Cass uses. One kissing scene will push the audience toward middle school (or just make some readers squeamish for a page..).
DOUBLE TEAM
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
STOUDEMIRE, AMAR'E
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Based on NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire's life and written by him as well, this series follows his childhood as he works to become a basketball star and learns important life lessons. S.T.A.T. stands for Standing Tall and Talented, a nickname Amar'e's dad gave to him. This book, the second in the series, is about 11 year old Amar'e, as he suddenly becomes much better at basketball then his friends and must decide between the game and keeping his envious friends happy. The book is told in first person and contains plenty of interesting details, funny asides, and basketball scenes. Occasional black and white drawings will help keep readers interested. Each chapter is about 8-10 pages and contains good vocabulary without sounding unrealistic. This series would be especially great for reluctant readers and sports fans.
STORY OF THE MIGHTY AVENGERS
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
A Marvel book for new readers, this book is labeled as Level 2 for Junior Readers, which is supposed to include compound sentences and contractions. While not a comic book, this early reader book introduces the characters and background history of The Avengers using bright illustrations, white space, large text, and short sentences. The plot is jumpy and lacks an introduction and includes stitled sentences, such as "On Earth, Hulk smashed." With flimsy binding, this book won't last long, but due to the characters will be popular among young readers.
SNEAKY SNOW FOX
ORCHARD BOOKS [ORCHARD BOOKS]
GIFF, PATRICIA REILLY
PALMISCIANO, DIANE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
From the Fiercely and Friends series, this book for early chapter readers includes four chapters and a table of contents. Fiercely the dog sneaks outside during a snow storm and Jilli and her friend Jim must go after him. But Jilli has just read a book about sneaky snow foxes and is scared that a fox has Fiercely! While they imagine all sorts of peril, they all end up safe, sound, and warm. (And better educated about snow foxes!) Well laid out, nicely illustrated, and interesting to read, this is a great addition to any library needing more books for readers who are ready to try books with short chapters.
BANKS & BANKING
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
GUNDERSON, MEGAN M
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 10, 2013
Swann, Rick
Part of the Economy in Action series. It is difficult to write about complex topics so that kids can understand them. Sometimes it can be accomplished through effective analogies or by going into depth on certain aspects of a topic that might be more accessible to kids. The approach of this series is to cover the main concepts encountered in the study of economics, while introducing the vocabulary adults would use to talk about them. A lot of ground is covered briefly, so that the end result at times reads like an extended glossary. That said, some of the books are more accessible than others, Banks & Banking being one of them. Table of contents, glossary, web sites and index included.
TABLE WARS!
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
STEINKRAUS, KYLA
DUFALLA, ANITA
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Part of the Little Birdie Books series, this particular book follows a group of animal friends as they have a food fight at school. The book does end with them cleaning up their mess, but there is no mention of food fights being a bad idea, only how fun they are. The Words to Know Before You Read list at the beginning did not include the words walloped, sheepishly, bologna, or cafeteria, all of which are in the text. The book has cute, colorful illustrations, but needs additional editing and more thought put into it to be a solid book for libraries to purchase.
GUY-WRITE : WHAT EVERY GUY WRITER NEEDS TO KNOW
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
FLETCHER, RALPH
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 10, 2013
Swann, Rick
Fletcher's chapter titles set the tone for this book: Riding the Vomit Comet, Writes of Blood, Battles and Gore, and Freaky Stories. This is a book to get reluctant boys jazzed about creative writing. The chapter titles, artwork by boys of warriors and boogers, and general tone of the writing mask what is, essentially, a very solid how-to book on creative writing with specific information on several popular genres for kids, girls included. There are writing tips galore, both from Fletcher and the many authors whose interviews are included in the book: Jon Scieszka, Robert San Souci, Robert Lipsyte, and Jane Yolen. There are also examples of writings to illustrate his points, including writing by kids. Fletcher also offers advice to kids on successfully negotiating topic choices with teachers. Included is a bibliography of books kids might like to read to for each genre, as well as an index.
WEDNESDAYS
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
BOURBEAU, JULIE
BEENE, JASON
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Max V. Bernard lives in a small village halfway up Mount Tibidabo, which is a lovely place to live. Except on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, the entire village shuts down to protect themselves from the crazy miahaps that occur. Bored with being stuck inside, one day Max heads outside to meet the strange little creatures called wednesdays, and then discovers that he has now CAUGHT a case of the wednesdays! A magical but honest and real story of family, friendship, and courage, Harry Potter fans will enjoy this slightly dark but still innocently fun story.
MONEY MATTERS
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
RUMSCH, BREANN
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 10, 2013
Swann, Rick
Part of the Economy in Action series. It is difficult to write about complex topics so that kids can understand them. Sometimes it can be accomplished through effective analogies or by going into depth on certain aspects of a topic that might be more accessible to kids. The approach of this series is to cover the main concepts encountered in the study of economics, while introducing the vocabulary adults would use to talk about them. A lot of ground is covered briefly, so that the end result at times reads like an extended glossary. Table of contents, glossary, web sites and index included.
ECONOMIC SYSTEMS
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
BRITTON, TAMARA L
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 10, 2013
Swann, Rick
Part of the Economy in Action series. It is difficult to write about complex topics so that kids can understand them. Sometimes it can be accomplished through effective analogies or by going into depth on certain aspects of a topic that might be accessible kids. The approach of this series is to cover the main concepts encountered in the study of economics, while introducing the vocabulary adults would use to talk about them. A lot of ground is covered briefly, so that the end result at times reads like an extended glossary. Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek, for example, are covered in a chapter entitled Economic Theories, with their respective theories explained and contrasted in less than 150 words. There are also blanket statements that are debatable: "The free market economy rewards initiative, ambition, and ingenuity. However, not everyone has these qualities. So, some people can achieve less economic success than others." I think most children would struggle to get through this book. Table of contents, glossary, web sites and index included.
This is the Amazing Spider-Man
Turtleback [Turtleback]
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
A Marvel book for new readers, this book is labeled as Level 1 for Junior Readers. While not a comic book, this early reader book introduces Peter Parker and how he became Spider-Man. Fans of Spider-Man will love to read this book with its bright illustrations and simple sentences in large text. There is an introduction and plot, which is pretty good considering how short and simple the book is. The book glosses over the death of Uncle Ben seamlessly and allows readers to enjoy and get to know Spider-Man. With flimsy binding, this book won't last long, but kids will love to read about their favorite comic book hero.
The Undrowned Child
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Lovric, Michelle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 10, 2013
Swann, Rick
It's 1899 and 11-year old Teodora is excited to be visiting the city of her dreams: Venice. She gets more excitement than she bargained for?Venice is besieged by plague, sharks, and rising temperatures and waters. The spirit of an ancient enemy, Bajamonte Tiepolo, is revenging himself on the city that destroyed him. All that stands between his evil spirit and Venice's destruction is Teodora, her new friend Renzo, and a troop of mermaids. The book successfully blends fantasy and historical fiction. A sequel, The Mourning Emporium, is already out.
DIAMOND IN THE DESERT
VIKING JUVENILE [PENGUIN]
FITZMAURICE, KATHRYN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
January 10, 2013
Swann, Rick
From 1942 to 1945, 12 year-old Tetsu, a Japanese-American boy, is forced to live within the confines of the Gila River Relocation Center along with his mother and sister and scores of other families of Japanese descent, interned for the duration of the war by the United States government. Tetsu becomes so excited by the prospect of helping build a baseball field in the desert to the extent that he fails to keep an eye on his younger sister who is in his care. She wanders off and gets lost in the desert overnight and becomes seriously ill. Tetsu stops playing ball in penance. Only after his sister's recovery and the reuniting of the family with his father, who'd been imprisoned for interrogation, does Tetsu become part of the team, in time to for the book's ending: the true story of the Gila River team playing and beating the Arizona State champions in 1945. While a well-researched book, including documentation in the back, it falls short of Ken Mochizuki's Baseball Saved Us on the same theme. Extremely short chapters make this a good choice for reluctant readers.
UCLA BRUINS
Sportszone [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
SILVERMAN, DREW
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 10, 2013
Swann, Rick
Part of the series Inside College Basketball , UCLA Bruins covers the team from its inception in 1919 through 2011, with most of the focus on the years John Wooden was coach and the Bruins dominated college basketball like no team ever has or probably will. Surprisingly, the only player who rates an entire chapter is Bill Walton. I think most basketball fans would choose Lew Alcindor, which would be more fitting for another reason as well: one of the reasons for UCLA's domination during the Wooden era was that UCLA's team was often built around a nucleus of African-American players, which many of the other universities at the time were reluctant to do, something not stated in the main text of the book, but buried in a quote at the back. There is a timeline, stat page, quote page, glossary, resource page, table of contents and index.
Initiation
Aladdin [Aladdin]
Burkhart, Jessica
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
There are a new crop of girls at Canterwood Crest Academy, and fans of the first series will eagerly pick up this first book in the new series. There is enough information for new readers to also be able to start with this character, Lauren, rather than the original, Sasha. Readers who enjoy immersing themselves in characters with privileged surroundings will love all the product name dropping and fashion tips, though others may be turned off by the lack of diversity. Horse lovers will of course be crazy over these books and eat up all the details, but there is plenty of non-horse drama for the rest of the readers as well (boys! roommates! decor! fashion! teachers! homework! glee club!). While Lauren is awfully mature and overly committed for a 7th grader, she still has typical friend and school problems, and readers will enjoy escaping into her world.
IT'S MILKING TIME
SCHWARTZ & WADE [RANDOM HOUSE]
ALSDURF, PHYLLIS
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 10, 2013
Swann, Rick
Alsdurf, who grew up on a dairy farm, tells in simple, lyrical language, the story of a young girl helping her dad with the daily milking chores on a small farm in a past era: leading the cows to the barn, putting their feed and straw down, locking them in their stanchions, attaching a milking machine, and milking the herd one at a time. The comeback line, Every morning, every night, it's milking time, emphasizes the daily routine. Realistic watercolors in soft tones perfectly compliment the text.
FROSTBITE : A GRAPHIC NOVEL
RAZORBILL [PENGUIN]
MEAD, RICHELLE
VIECELI, EMMA
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Volume 2 of the graphic novel adaptation of the popular Vampire Academy series. The prologue does a nice job of catching up anyone who is new to the books (either the original ones or the graphic novels), but the books are going to be most appealing to those who have read the books and want to see the characters and action happen in pictures rather than just words. The format is great for setting the mood and highlighting all the action, but the plot and characterization are mediocre. The plot involves students (who are either vampires or half human/half vampire) from St. Vladimir's Academy being attacked by walking dead vampires and two of the main characters, Rose and Christian, going after three students who think they are strong enough to fight the bad guys themselves. There is plenty of violence (including beheading), sex, and swearing, which is why this book is better suited for high school age and up, and is better suited for a public library collection than a school library.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
SELLECK, RICHELLE
MYER, ED
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Part of the Little Birdie Books series, this particular book is a fractured version of Little Red Riding Hood. Red is caught caring for baby wolves and the Fairy Tale Land people are upset until she points out that they all need the wolves to grow up to be big bad wolves for their stories! At the end of the book, the wolves are spotted at Yellowstone, and there is additional information after the story about the actual wolves at Yellowstone. While a very cute story, the rhyming isn't consistent and the Words to Know Before You Read list at the beginning did not include the words hometown or stripped, both of which are in the text. The book has cute, colorful illustrations, but needs additional editing to be a better read alone book.
GREECE
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
HEINRICHS, ANN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
January 10, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
The country of Greece is described in detail in this 144 page book, part of the "Enchantment of the World" series. The books covers history, geography, government, and culture. The text is well-written and illustrated by beautiful color photographs. The book includes a table of contents, index, timeline, glossary, and bibliography. Buy if you need to update your country collection.
KEVIN DURANT : BASKETBALL SUPERSTAR
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED KIDS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
DOEDEN, MATT
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
4th grade to 6th grade
January 10, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
The rating of this book is low because although it is a 2011 book, it is out of date. The book ends with Durant leading the Thunder into the Western Conference Finals of 2011, but since that time his team has gone to the NBA Championships in 2012. I'm sure with all of Durants success there will be more to come. The book uses color photographs and understandable text to describe the life of NBA star Kevin Durant. Drafted by the Seattle Supersonics, Durant has become one of the NBA's stars. The book contains a table of contents, index, glossary, timeline, and a strange feeling cover.
BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
BENOIT, PETER
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 10, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This 64 page book is part of Scholastic's Cornerstones of Freedom series. It covers the historic segregation case. Although the page talks about how history can be fun, the book is a typical book describing the events that lead up to the case and what happened after the decision was rendered. The text is clear and consise and assessible for students studying this topic. The book includes a table of contents, many photographs, timeline, map, resource list, glossary, and index.
B IS FOR BROOKLYN
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
ALKO, SELINA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 10, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This book describes in pictures the wonders of the Borough of Brooklyn, part of New York City. Gouache and collage on watercolor paper illustrations create a fun visual for the many things that represent each letter. The book has a forward by the author about Brooklyn. Students in our area will not be able to connect with many of the things shown (russian baths, Carroll Gardens, Coney Island, Gowanus Canal, etc) so this book will have limited appeal in the Northwest. 32 pages.
FOSSILS AND ROCKS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
HUTMACHER, KIMBERLY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 10, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "My Science Library" this 24 page book provides readers with a very basic introduction to fossils and rocks. It describes how rocks and fossils are formed, the various types, and the people who study them. Color photographs are used throughout the book to enhance the text. The layout will appeal to budding geologists. The book has a table of contents, glossary, show what you know page, index, author information, and a list of 3 websites readers could visit after reading.
WHO'S RIGHT
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
PICOU, LIN
DUFALLA, ANITA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Part of the Little Birdie Books series, this particular book follows Priscilla Pony and Lucy Goosey as they try to find friends to play with them. All of their friends are busy, so they make new friends, but then ruin it by dominating the game of Duck Duck Goose. The book abruptly ends with the new friends leaving. The book includes questions and activities at the end that allude to the reason why the new friends would leave, but it is never explained to the reader and kids will need an adult to help them infer the answer. The book includes a list of words at the beginning for readers to know before they read, but there are no definitions or pronunciation guides, and many other equally challenging words are in the book itself but are not on the list. The book has cute, colorful illustrations, but needs additional editing and more thought put into it to be a solid book for libraries to purchase.
CLEAN TEETH, DIRTY TEETH
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
CLELAND, JO
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 10, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
To the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" students learn the value of dental hygene. Students are reminded to brush, floss, and choose good foods. Each page contains two color photographs and one or two simple sentences. The 24 page book also has a glossary, complete lyrics, and index. A website with teacher resources is offered. Buy if you have teachers needing some help with dental health lessons.
BIG RACE
RED CHAIR PRESS [RED CHAIR PRESS]
BARCHERS, SUZANNE I
CERATO, MATTIA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
From the Probem Solved! Readers series, this book follow a group of people-like animals who are persevering to train for and run a race. Each page has a double page spread of brightly colored illustrations on glossy paper with a few short sentences in large font underneath. The book also includes an introductory summary and the pictures and names of the 5 characters at the beginning. After the story, there are sections for Big Questions, Big Words, further discussion, and activities to try. The text rhymes for the most part, though "been" and "grin" are used as rhymes, as is "day" and "day". While the book does deal with persevering, in fact empathy, kindness, and friendship end up being the big lessons at the end of the book. The back cover does list these as additional topics, but the subtitle is misleading as it focuses only on perseverance, which isn't the main point by the end.
IN THE BIG CITY
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
SUEN, ANASTASIA
MYER, ED
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Part of the Little Birdie Books series, this particular book follows a family of elephants as they move into, well, the big city! The plot is very, very simple and the words and sentence are short. The book employs rhythm and repetition, and includes a list of Words to Know at the beginning and follow up activities at the end. The book has cute, colorful illustrations, and solid binding, but should not be the first on a list for libraries with tight budgets.
BREATHING ROOM
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
HAYLES, MARSHA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Evvy is suffering from tuberculosis in 1940 and is sent to a sanatorium in Minnesota in hopes of recovering. What follows is a story not just of the history of life in a sanatorium, but also of Evvy's coming of age, as she struggles to learn how to be a whole person, when up until now she has always been one half of a set of twins. While this book is honest in its portrayal of sickness, primitive TB treatments, and death, it is also a slow, subtle story that will appeal to gentle readers. The author's notes on her interest in the topic of TB, and the source notes for the pictures used in the book are interesting and informative, though there is no seperate section for the sources she used to research (they are mixed in with her acknowledgements). A great addition to a historical fiction section.
ITSY BITSY SPIDER
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
HORD, COLLEEN
POOLE, HELEN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 10, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Part of the Little Birdie Books series, this particular book is a cute retelling of the classic Itsy Bitsy Spider song (a girl and her shadow help the spider). The book includes activities at the end and focuses on syllables. The Words to Know Before You Read list at the beginning did not include the words pretending, pouring, sierra, or water spout, all of which are in the text. The book has cute, colorful illustrations, but needs additional editing to be a better read alone book.
STINGRAYS
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
ZEIGER, JENNIFER
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 10, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Learn about Stingrays in this 48 page book, part of the "Nature's Children" series. The book has full page, color photographs and well written text. It describes the stingrays life cycle, feeding, habits, camoflague and danger to humans. "Fun Facts" are highlighted throughout the book that share amazing details about this animal. The book has everything a student would need for a research report including a table of contents, glossary, index, range map, author information, and bibliography.
Statue of Liberty: A Tale of Two Countries
Mikaya Press [Mikaya Press]
Mann, Elizabeth
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 10, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This beautiful book tells the story of the Statue of liberty from inception to today. The well written text details how the statue was designed, how models were enlarged and panels were constructed, how the site was chosen, how money was raised, and how the super-structure was created. The book also tells of the inspiration of democracy America gave France during the rule of Napolean. Color illustration, reproduction of newspaper articles, and black/white photos enchance the story. The book also includes a timeline, index, and small glossary. It is part of the Wonders of the World series, 48 pages.
GEOLOGY : THE STUDY OF ROCKS
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
GRAY, SUSAN H
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
January 10, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This appealing book is a good introduction to the field of Geology. Color photographs compliment the well-written text. Part of the "A True Book" series, this book describes what geology is, the various disciplines within geology (i.e. seismology, volcanology), the rock cycle, several basic ideas of geology, and how geology can help people. The 48 page book has a table of contents, glossary, index, resources, and author information.
SERVING ON A JURY
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
DE CAPUA, SARAH
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 10, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Starting with a two question quiz, this book explains the importance of our jury system. It introduces the history of juries coming from England, how juries are used, the qualifications to be a juror, how they are chosen, and deliberations. The book also describes bias and being excused from a jury. The book is clear and consise. Color photographs and illustrations ehance the text. My only concern is that the only photograph of a defendant shows an African American male, which seems a bit sterotypical. The book includes a table of contents, index, glossary, bibliography, statistics, and author information. Would be useful when developing your government section.
SPAIN
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
SOMERVILL, BARBARA A
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
7th grade to 9th grade
January 10, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This 144 page book about the country of Spain is part of the "Enchantment of the World" series. It contains all of the information one would need to complete a country project or learn about this European country. While the author includes paragraph sketchs of children in Spain, at times they seem disjointed. Nothing really pulls them together. The chapter on Catholic Traditions also includes information on Judiasm and Islam. A simple title of religion would have been more appropriate. There is no conclusion in the book, it just ends. The book contains a table of contents, color photographs, timeline, index, fast facts, and bibliography. I wish a little more editing was done to raise the quality of this book.
DINOSAUR THUNDER
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
BAUER, MARION DANE
CHODOS-IRVINE, MARGARET
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
January 11, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
When little Brannon hides from a thunderstorm, everyone in the family tries to comfort him. "That thunder is only a big cat purring," says Dad, but Brannon imagines a giant cat out to scratch him. "It's only the angels bowling in heaven," tries Grandma, but again Brannon finds this terrifying. Only when big brother Chad tells him to imagine dinosaurs stomping in the clouds does Brannon overcome his fear. This is a familiar tale in children's literature, but parents with children who are scared of thunderstorms may appreciate it. It is told well, although some of Brannon's fears feel like a stretch (he's scared of angels bowling? Really?). Margaret Chodos-Irvine's linocut illustrations are incredible as always, especially in the scenes depicting various threatening creatures lurking in the thunderclouds ? they add just the right amount of spookiness. AD
BABY THAT ROARED
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
PUTTOCK, SIMON
SHIREEN, NADIA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 11, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
Be careful what you wish for. When childless Mr. and Mrs. Deer wish for a baby, a furry blue baby wearing antlers arrives on their doorstep, roaring like crazy. Various wise animals (an owl, rabbit, and fox) are summoned for advice on childrearing, but when each of them are left alone with the baby, they "disappear" ? or are eaten, as readers may guess. Eventually Granny Bear makes the connection: "This baby is a monster!" A pat on the back leads the baby to "burp" up the other animals, and the monster wanders off into the forest. This gently silly tale treads a fine line between cute and gross, with obvious appeal for the K-2 set; the set-up is almost a parody of other picture books about babies. Nadia Shireen's ultrabright, fine-lined illustrations keep the tone light; all the animals ? even the baby monster ? are adorably loopy. AD
OLIVE AND THE BIG SECRET
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
FREEMAN, TOR
FREEMAN, TOR
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 11, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
Schoolyard gossip provides the fodder for this brief schoolyard tale. Olive's friend Molly whispers a secret in her ear. Despite Olive's promise to keep the secret, she eventually gives in to temptation and spills it. Readers then observe the secret as it is sent from ear to ear until it is whispered right back to Molly, who is understandably annoyed as a result. Readers aren't told outright what the secret is ? although illustrations give clues. Unfortunately, the lighthearted tone doesn't show any real negative effects of what it means to betray a friend's trust, or just how damaging gossip can be. Tor Freeman's cast of chubby anthropomorphic animals are winning, dressed in patterned overalls, dresses, and striped stockings as they play across pages that are mostly-white, with a few key background images painted or drawn in. The elongated rectangular trim size allows for great movement of design ? readers see a clear pathway as the see the secret travel from one ear to the next. It's too bad that the payoff isn't what it could be. AD
BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW
SCHWARTZ & WADE [RANDOM HOUSE]
WASSERMAN, ROBIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 11, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
Nora Kane is on the run. Her best friend was brutally murdered, and her boyfriend has skipped town, leaving only a trail of cryptic messages behind. The tragedy seems connected to a series of cryptic 16th-century manuscripts Nora has been translating as part of her schoolwork. When more threats become imminent, Nora is drawn to the city of Prague for the answers, followed closely by a handsome young scholar named Eli, who claims to be her friend but may have other motives. The chase begins when Nora runs afoul of an ancient, secret organization on a quest to find the Lumens Dei, an alchemical device from the Renaissance which may unlock the mysteries of the universe. Wasserman's novel will draw inevitable comparisons to historical thrillers like The DaVinci Code, but her pacing, thematic elements, and impressively strong characterizations raise this novel above its competitors. Nora is a strong character, her voice the perfect mix of hardboiled and na?f to give credence to an otherwise unbelievable premise; the city of Prague itself becomes another character, as its rich colorful history is put on fine display. A splendid thriller with a hint of gothic romance.
GOBLIN SECRETS
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
ALEXANDER, WILLIAM
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 11, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
Rownie is an orphan in the colorful city of Zombay, toiling away for the powerful chicken-legged witch Graba while searching for his older brother, Rowan, who disappeared months earlier. When Rownie makes the mistake of crossing Graba, he finds himself on the run from her minions, eventually finding shelter with a theatrical troupe of goblins, who enlist him as a stagehand. The goblins are also on the lookout for Rowan, and whether or not he can be found will determine not only Rownie's fate, but that of all Zombay. Alexander is an absolute whiz with world-building; his invented city is multilayered and complex, with a touch of steampunk: the captain of the guard has clockwork eyes; a circus wagon is pulled by an unfolding automaton donkey. Not much is spelled out for readers; they are required to figure out the mechanics of this imaginary world on their own, and while this may alienate some, it will absolutely enchant many others, especially fans of Diana Wynne Jones. Goblin Secrets was recently awarded the National Book Award in the Young People's Literature category; libraries would do well to add it to their collections.
Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children [Houghton Mifflin Books for Children]
Warren, Andrea
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 11, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
This biography of Dickens seeks to do so through the lens of his philanthropic work, especially concerning the homeless children of Victorian England. Angela Warren's writing is affecting; her depictions of the horrible poverty of the era is vivid and effective. Less effective is the book's focus as it moves forward. Warren has a wealth of good stories to tell, but sometimes they are only tangentially related to Dicken's life, such as the fascinating founding of the London Foundling Hospital. Meanwhile, interesting stories about Dickens' life (such as the publication of A Christmas Carol) have little to do with the story of the street children. Overall, the book is well-researched, but somewhat unfocussed. Deeper treatments of both subjects could likely be found elsewhere. Although the book is nicely illustrated with period art and photographs, the brown period-art cover design is woeful ? good luck getting a young reader to pick up that. An afterward includes information about contemporary child poverty and what readers can do to help; there is also a wonderfully long list of annotations as well as a biography and list of recommended reading, plus index. A good choice for beefing up a biography collection, but not necessarily a must-buy. AD
NATURE'S PATCHWORK QUILT : UNDERSTANDING HABITATS
DAWN PUBLICATIONS [DAWN PUBLICATIONS]
MICHE, MARY
POWELL, CONSIE
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 11, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
Is nature like a patchwork quilt? Mich? uses the idea allegorically to explain basic ecology ? "each plant or animal depends on others, like a quilt stitched together." Consie Powell's illustrations extend this idea, with vibrant, powerhouse page spreads depicting the natural inhabitants of a particular ecosystem. Each illustration is sectioned off into miniature portraits of animals, very much like patchwork. This sometimes leads to a disconnect between text and image ? the page describing animal adaptations contains a description of a water bird's webbed feet, and of how a fish may camouflage itself, but there is no accompanying illustration to show this. Key vocabulary words are printed in bold, but there is no accompanying glossary. The overall quilt-like design is beautiful, but sometimes overly busy, making this an excellent choice for independent reading, but perhaps not so much for classroom sharing. Mich? has been an environmental educator for years, and a "Tips from the Author" section in the back contains a wealth of resources and ideas for teachers, including discussion questions, role-playing games, seek-and-find activities, and a list of books for further reading. AD-
IMMORTAL CITY
RAZORBILL [PENGUIN]
SPEER, SCOTT
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
January 11, 2013
Gustafson, Chris
Seventeen year old Maddy has a pretty good head on her shoulders.? Since her parents died when she was tiny, she's lived with Uncle Kevin, who is barely scraping by running Kevin's Diner.? Maddy works at the diner before and after school, so there's little time for any kind of social life. ?Her focus is on keeping her grades up and getting those scholarship apps in so she can go to college; she's pretty immune to the drama of living in Los Angeles, the literal city of Angels since a small group of Immortals revealed themselves a hundreds years earlier and now provide miraculous saves and protecting for the favored few that can afford their coverage.? The offspring of the original angels are trained as Guardians and a small group of them are commissioned each year ? all the angels are the focus of a huge publicity machine and their lives are the endless targets of all types of media since they are rich, attractive, and powerful.? To keep the interest of the common folks, a reality TV show each year provides the winner with angelic protection for free, which keeps the public whipped to a froth.? Jackson Godspeed is in this year's graduating Guardian class, his induction accelerated a year because of his spectacular skills, impeccable angel pedigree, and possibly also his amazing good looks.? There's plenty of drama when Jacks and Maddy cross paths and each has plenty to learn from the other.? Not brilliantly written but the plotting will keep boy and girl readers turning pages and it's nicely set up for a sequel.? It's a first novel for Speer, a movie and music video director.
FANGBONE! : THIRD-GRADE BARBARIAN
PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE) [PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE)]
REX, MICHAEL
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
January 12, 2013
Kline, Karen
Ancient warrior Fangbone of Skullbania is transported to today in this graphic novel. ?A wizard sends Fangbone to build an army of today's third graders to fight the venomous Drool who has been cut into pieces only to be reassembled. ?The only piece missing from Drool and preventing him from becoming the ruler of Skullbania is his big toe. ?Fangbone is determined to guard the big toe and prevent Drool from taking power. ?As Fangbone tries to assimilate into a third grade class at Eastwood Elementary, his fellow classmate Bill is convinced that Fangbone will be his class's secret weapon for winning the school beanball tournament. ?Unfortunately, Fangbone is not interested and tells Bill that warriors don't play games. ?In the end, though, friendship and loyalty win out as Fangbone assists the Extreme Attack Unicorns of room 3G to win their first beanball game and 3G rallies to help Fangbone battle the Bat-King, Drool's personal attack pet. ?Fans of Captain Underpants and the like will enjoy the wacky humor of Fangbone. ?Parents and teachers will cringe at the booger jokes. ?
ADVENTURES OF LITTLE NUTBROWN HARE
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
MCBRATNEY, SAM
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 12, 2013
Kline, Karen
This four chapter picture book features the beloved Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare from McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You. ?Fans will delight to have these additional stories that celebrate the special bond between a child and parent doing the ordinary. ?A game of hide-and-seek, a caution of safety, getting lost (and found), and a guessing game all remind the reader of the significance that an adult plays in the life of a child. ?But McBratney doesn't stop there, he deftly underscores the importance of a child in the life of an adult. ?Warm-hearted and familiar, this book will be treasured by many.
MONSTER MASH
ORCHARD BOOKS [SCHOLASTIC]
CATROW, DAVID
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
January 12, 2013
Kline, Karen
Halloween music fans rejoice! ?The words to the Monster Mash song have been captured in this wild and wacky children's book illustrated by David Catrow. ?Foil insets ignite the cover and spine of the book jacket, and fun-but-not-too-scary creatures adorn the pages of this sure-fire hit. ?Creepy details like a dancing eyeball and the skull-topped microphone in watercolor, ink and gouache illustrations will give little ghouls plenty to pour over. ??What story time wouldn't raise the roof with the refrain, "It was a graveyard smash!?" ?Fans of Catrow will find his artistic style true to form in this book, so be sure to add at least one copy to your library collection.
BOY AND A BEAR IN A BOAT
David Fickling Books [RANDOM HOUSE]
SHELTON, DAVE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 12, 2013
Kline, Karen
This allegorical tale takes the reader on a voyage of fantasy. ?Part Alice in Wonderland, part Phantom Tollbooth, and part Life of Pi this book requires the reader to take a leap of faith and just follow along as a boy embarks on what is meant to be a short trip "just to the other side." ?The Harriet is a small vessel, captained by the bear who rows it dutifully if somewhat misguidedly. ?The boy finds that he has gotten himself into a boring, scary, and relentless trip to nowhere, and the bear seems completely nonplussed by the situation regardless of the circumstances that become more dire by the chapter. ?Lovely pencil drawings and occasional full color ink illustrations are interspersed throughout, lending an artful visualization tool to the reader at just the right moments.
BIGGEST, BADDEST BOOK OF BEASTS
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HANSON, ANDERS
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 12, 2013
Kline, Karen
One of six titles in the Biggest, Baddest Books for Boys series, this 24-page book of beastly animals is edited by professional educators and reading specialists specifically for guided reading and early reading intervention. ?The book features large photos, colorful headings, and text boxes of short paragraphs on every page. ?High-interest information like, "Vultures sometimes throw up on other animals to scare them away," will keep the attention of the target audience. ?The book ends with a four-question quiz page of true/false questions and a glossary. ??The reinforced binding is quality and the cover is sturdy. ?A solid choice for building the reading stamina of boys and girls alike. ?Other titles in the series include Biggest, Baddest Book for...Bugs, ? Dinosaurs, ...Monsters, ...Pirates, and ...Warriors.
BIGGEST, BADDEST BOOK OF BUGS
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HANSON, ANDERS
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 12, 2013
Kline, Karen
Fascinating facts about a wide range of bugs is presented in this visually stunning book. ?a double-page spread of information on camouflage in this book is a perfect example of show-don't-tell in non-fiction. ?See review in this issue for Biggest, Baddest Book of Beasts for additional review info and other titles in series.
BIGGEST, BADDEST BOOK OF DINOSAURS
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HANSON, ANDERS
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 12, 2013
Kline, Karen
Each double page spread of this book features different topics of information like specific species of dinosaurs, facts about physical features, scale diagrams. ?See review in this issue for Biggest, Baddest Book of Beasts for additional review info and other titles in series.
BIGGEST, BADDEST BOOK OF MONSTERS
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HANSON, ANDERS
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 12, 2013
Kline, Karen
A wide range of art and illustrations bring a varied texture to the visual appeal of this high-interest title. ?Monsters like vampires and cryptids are defined and described briefly. ?See review in this issue for Biggest, Baddest Book of Beasts for additional review info and other titles in series.
BIGGEST, BADDEST BOOK OF PIRATES
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HANSON, ANDERS
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 12, 2013
Kline, Karen
Short biographies of famous pirates, pirate jokes, and a page of Jolly Roger flags are just a few of the topics covered in this series title. ???See review in this issue for Biggest, Baddest Book of Beasts for additional review info and other titles in series.
BIGGEST, BADDEST BOOK OF WARRIORS
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HANSON, ANDERS
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 12, 2013
Kline, Karen
This series title features multi-cultural warriors like Joan of Arc and Genghis Khan. ?Maps, illustrations and photos enliven the simple text. ?See review in this issue for Biggest, Baddest Book of Beasts for additional review info and other titles in series.
JUST RIGHT FOR CHRISTMAS
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
BLACK, BIRDIE
BEARDSHAW, ROSALIND
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
January 12, 2013
Kline, Karen
When the king selects a bolt of Christmassy red fabric and commissions the sewing maids to fashion his daughter a cloak, he tells the maids to bundle the scraps and place them outside the back door. ?The kitchen maid finds the scraps bundle and proceeds to make a gift for her ma. ?Again the scraps are bundled and put out only to be found by Bertie Badger who makes a hat for his pa. ?Sam Squirrel and Billy Mouse continue the accummulative tale until nothing is left of fabric. ?Each gift is wrapped in smaller and less ostentatious ways until Billy Mouse just places his gift unwrapped under a twig of a Christmas tree. ?Finally, we see all the gift recipients open their gifts, and on the last double page spread each gift giver and recipient is out on the frozen lake ice skating with the red gifts boldly accenting the page. ?Children will enjoy the repetitive, predictable tale, and anyone who has been inspired to make a gift from a scrap of this or that will smile knowingly.
Wonkenstein: The Creature From My Closet
Henry Holt and Co [Henry Holt and Co]
Skye, Obert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 12, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Calling all those Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans to a new series that combines a similar style of graphics and humorous text. The Creature from my Closet stars Robert Columbo Burnside navigating the middle-school pitfalls of girls, awkwardness and misunderstandings. Robert's closet has become a laboratory from all the junk he throws in there including books given to him by his mother. When a wild little man erupts from the closet singing Ompha, Umpaha, chaos reigns supreme. The little man seems as surprised as Robert to be there and calls out for Charlie before climbing out the third floor window causing panic amongst Robert and friends until captured and returned to the bedroom. The tiny, escape artist now named Wonkenstein, appears to be a combination of Willy Wonka and some other creature manufactured in the Chocolate factory. He manages to burn food in the kitchen, knock a hole in the garage wall and sneak into the car of a girl he's trying to impress. Robert finds himself in one awkward situation after another, alienating his peers and parents as he attempts to keep Wonkenstein hidden. The mess builds up until finally on the school poetry night, Roberto, suffering from acute stage fright, finds the courage to recite his poem entitled "Misunderstandings," setting things right with friends and family. Upon returning home, the door to the closet clicks open and Wonkenstein heads back in. Fans will eagerly await the sequel announced on the last page as Potterwookie. Harry Potter anyone?
My Life as a Stuntboy
Henry Holt and Co [Henry Holt and Co]
Tashjian, Janet
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
January 12, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Derek and his best friend Matt's hopes for a male teacher are dashed when their kindergarten teacher, Ms. McCuddles, takes over their classroom. Readers were first introduced to Derek in My Life As A Book, when he discovered that drawing stick figures to illustrate words helped him deal with the learning disabilities that made reading a tortuous experience. While the reading difficulties remain, what Derek and Matt really excel at is skateboarding and they have mastered quite a number of tricks bouncing from ledges, railings and staircases without falling. When Derek executes a particularly difficult run, a Hollywood stunt coordinator invites him to be a stand-in for an actor the same size and age. Thrilled, Derek begs his parents who reluctantly give him permission on three conditions: he performs daily chores with Frank, the family's foster capuchin monkey, meet with a reading tutor and have fun. But jealousy erodes Derek's friendship with Matt ultimately placing Frank, in danger and jeopardizing his placement in their house. Stick figures illustrating vocabulary words line the margins and with the large font and high interest plot make this a winning book to recommend to struggling and reluctant readers as well as Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans. Especially recommended for students with learning disabilities and other difficulties who may recognize some of their own frustrations in this thoroughly likeable character.
You'll Like It Here (Everybody Does)
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
White, Ruth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
January 12, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Meggie Blue and her family appear like any other normal family until a town resident starts talking to them about reports of alien sightings and Meggie erupts in foreign language babble. Soon after, a town mob attacks them, and the family barely escapes in a space-traveling Carriage. While the family travels, Meggie attempts to remember an event in her past that was so terrifying she blocked it out of her consciousness. The book's title derives from the new and unknown community's standard response to the Blue family, (You'll Like It Here (Everybody Does.) As the Blues attempt to decipher the underlying workings of Fashion City with the uniformity of citizens' lives, propaganda TV broadcasting every morning and evening and reprogramming of irregulars, Meggie slowly awakens to her prior trauma. Readers are treated to a fast-paced, science-fiction adventure with a satisfying conclusion. This is an excellent choice for elementary libraries seeking to beef up their science fiction collections, and could also serve as a read aloud or small group novel with obvious discussion questions at several key points in the book. Thoroughly satisfying read!
UNITED STATES V. NIXON : THE WATERGATE SCANDAL AND LIMITS TO
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
WITTEKIND, ERIKA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Each year, more than 7,000 cases are appealed to the US Supreme Court. But only 100 to 150 are accepted. The decisions the Supreme Court makes change the course of US history and shape the country we live in. In this case the exploration focuses on the second term of President Richard Nixon and his use of secret dirty tricks organizations, wire-taps, secret tapings of white House conversations and the cover-up of the Watergate Hotel break-in designed to sabotage the campaign of his Democratic challenger, George McGovern. s: Includes bibliographical references and index.;Straight to the Supreme Court -- Historical roots of executive privilege -- The rise of Richard Nixon -- Watergate erupts -- The investigation -- Subpoenas and showdowns -- The Supreme Court -- The hearing -- The fallout -- Lasting impact. discussed the involvement of the Supreme Court in the Watergate Scandal during Richard Nixon's presidency. 342.73
HARBINGER
PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE) [PUTNAM PUBLISHING (JUVENILE)]
ETIENNE, SARA WILSON
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Faye Robson, a 16-year-old girl plagued by mysterious "episodes" and shipped off to Holbrook Academy by her parents, ostensibly for her own good. Thus betrayed by her family, Faye quickly connects with a small group of fellow students, bound together by mysterious happenings at the school. Desperate to uncover the secrets of her past, the source of her visions and the truth behind the frightening goings-on at Holbrook, a school promoted as a caring place for troubled youth, which is actually a harsh, violent prison manned by sadistic guards and "health professionals" where the teens are mentally and physically tormented for the slightest transgression. When Faye and her assigned "Family" wake up every morning on the floor with their hands stained red and no memory of what's happened, she begins to connect current events to recovered memories of her childhood. Clues lead her to a century-old prophecy written in blood that predicts the coming of the Harbinger, a force that will wash the world clean, prompting Faye's resolve to stop the destruction of humanity. An interesting premise for first novel. There are some tense moments and the plot is pretty tight, but for the most part, I couldn't like many of the characters and because I didn't care enough about them I found myself saying "Let's get on with it," mentally in more than one place. Issues with language, lots of f-bombs.
CALIFORNIA'S GOLD RUSH
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
GRAYSON, ROBERT
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Essential Events explores historic happenings around the globe, and how those events have sculpted societies, the sciences, and politics. Presents a detailed chronology of the California gold rush. Includes: timeline, essential facts, glossary Additional resources, source notes, bibliographical references (p. 104-109) and index. Chapters: Eureka ? Word Gets Out ? Rush to Riches ? Westward Ho! ? Perils at Sea ? a Long, Unforgiving Trail ? Culture of Hatred ? Sins of Gold Country ? As Good as Gold. Dewey 979.404
BOSTON STRANGLER
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HOBLIN, PAUL
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
You won't find the Bermuda Triangle on the map. Is it real? Hijacker D. B. Cooper parachuted into the wilderness. Will we ever catch him? Crop circles occur all over the world. How are they created? Put on your detective hat and uncover the facts and myths about Unsolved Mysteries. Learn how scientists, theorists, and others have examined the evidence of each case, sighting, killing, or disappearance. Discover the current standings of each investigation and -weigh the data for yourself. Can you find a new lead, or will these cases remain Unsolved Mysteries? Discusses the facts and myths surrounding the case of the Boston Strangler, in which eleven women living in and around the Boston area were murdered in similarly brutal ways in 1962. Contents: Includes bibliographical references and index. Chapters: Case closed? -- A tense town -- The measuring man -- Suspect under scrutiny -- No positive IDs -- DeSalvo's confession -- The real Boston Strangler -- More suspects -- A madman's motives -- The Strangler today. Dewey 364.152
DISAPPEARANCE OF AMELIA EARHART
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
BUCKLEY, A M
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
You won't find the Bermuda Triangle on the map. Is it real? Hijacker D. B. Cooper parachuted into the wilderness. Will we ever catch him? Crop circles occur all over the world. How are they created? Put on your detective hat and uncover the facts and myths about Unsolved Mysteries. Learn how scientists, theorists, and others have examined the evidence of each case, sighting, killing, or disappearance. Discover the current standings of each investigation and -weigh the data for yourself. Can you find a new lead, or will these cases remain Unsolved Mysteries? In this case, Amelia Earhart's disappearance in the Pacific Ocean in July of 1937 is explored. Includes bibliographical references (p. 104-109) and index. Chapters: Scanning the sky -- A girl born to fly -- An adventurer's life -- Around the world -- The final journey -- Searching for Earhart -- Theories and possibilities -- Where is she? Profiles the life and adventures of Amelia Earhart, and includes clues and theories as to what happened to her. Dewey 629.13092
BLEEDING KANSAS
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
REECE, RICHARD
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Essential Events explores historic happenings around the globe, and how those events have sculpted societies, the sciences, and politics. Explores the history of America during the violent time period as territories entered the Union as free or slave states, discussing the Missouri Compromise, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the abolition movement, Nat Turner's Rebellion, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Includes: timeline, essential facts, glossary Additional resources, source notes, bibliographical references (p. 104-109) and index. Chapters: The Kansas Question -- Slavery in the United States -- The Race to Kansas -- A Territory Divided -- Bleeding Kansas -- The Path Toward Statehood -- Guerilla Warfare -- Civil War -- Bleeding Kansas Legacy. Dewey 978.102
HUDSON PLANE LANDING
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
GITLIN, MARTIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Essential Events explores historic happenings around the globe, and how those events have sculpted societies, the sciences, and politics. Examines Captain Chesley Sullenberger's emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River; offers accounts from passengers, air traffic controllers, and others who were involved; and explores how the event has affected society. Includes: timeline, essential facts, glossary Additional resources, source notes, bibliographical references (p. 104-109) and index. Chapters: Just another Day? ? the Molding of a Pilot ? Winged, Flying Pests ? The Collision ? calm on the Outside, Panic on the Inside ? "Brace for Impact" ? The Crash ? Trying to Stay Alive ? The Rescue ? No Return to Normal. Dewey 363.12
THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR DISASTER
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
LUSTED, MARCIA AMIDON
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Essential Events explores historic happenings around the globe, and how those events have sculpted societies, the sciences, and politics. Chronicles the history of the disaster at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in 1979, describing the events, the history of nuclear power in the United States, how a nuclear plant works, the resolution of the crisis, and the lasting effects on the United States' nuclear industry. Includes: timeline, essential facts, glossary Additional resources, source notes, bibliographical references (p. 104-109) and index. Chapters: March 28, 1979 ? Nuclear Power in the United States ? How a Nuclear Plant, Works ? Emergency -- March 29, 1979 -- March 30, 1979 ? The Hydrogen Bubble ? The Crisis Resolved ? The Legacy of Three Mile Island. Dewey 363.17
ROE V. WADE : ABORTION AND A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO PRIVACY
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HIGGINS, MELISSA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Includes bibliographical references (p. 146-154) and index.;A winter day in Dallas -- About abortion -- America prior to Roe v. Wade (1900 - 1970) -- Two young attorneys, one historical moment -- Constructing and filing Roe v. Wade -- The Dallas hearing -- Roe v. Wade goes to the Supreme Court -- Reargument and a decision -- Early challenges to Roe v. Wade -- Roe v. Wade's broad shadow -- Abortion today and the future of Roe v. Wade. discussed the history of the landmark Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal and a women's right. 345.73
BUSH V. GORE : THE FLORIDA RECOUNTS OF THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HEPPERMANN, CHRISTINE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
The US Supreme Court is the head of the judicial branch of the federal government. It is the highest court in the land, with thousands of cases appealed to it every year. One of those history-making cases was Bush v. Gore, which addressed the Florida voting irregularities in the 2000 presidential election. : Includes bibliographical references (p. 146-156) and index.;Not over yet -- A tight race -- Ballot issues -- The protest -- Stopping Harris -- Going to the Florida Supreme Court -- Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board -- The contest -- Bush v. Gore -- Justice served or election stolen? -- The legacy of Bush v. Gore. Investigates the Supreme Court ruling on the Florida vote count in the 2000 presidential election, describing the back story, the key people, and the political climate that shaped the decision. 342.73
HOW TO ANALYZE THE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KESSELRING, MARI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Have you ever watched a play and wondered about its deeper meaning? William Shakespeare's plays have captivated audiences all over the world for hundreds of years. By using critical theory, viewers might find inspiring new ideas in Shakespeare's fascinating characters and story lines? Critical theory allows readers to examine the influences behind a creation as well as the impacts of that creation. Consider how others of critiqued Shakespeare's work. You may discover an entirely fresh view of literature. Includes bibliographical references (p. 102-109) and index. Explains how to use critical theory to analyze the works of William Shakespeare and provides summaries of his plays as well as critiques of each. Works analyzed include The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, The Tragedy of Richard III, The Tempest, and As You Like It. Dewey 822.3
HOW TO ANALYZE THE FILMS OF THE COEN BROTHERS
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HAMEN, SUSAN E
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Have you ever watched a film and wondered about its deeper meaning? Ethan and Joel Coen's films have been viewed by audiences worldwide. By using critical theory, you might find new ideas the Coen brothers' unique plots and characters. Critical theory allows views to examine the influences behind a creation as well as the impacts of the creation. Consider how others have critiqued Ethan and Joe Coen's work. Clear, comprehensive text gives background biographical information of the Coen brothers. Films analyzed include O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and True Grit. Contents: Includes bibliographical references (p. 103-109), filmography (p. 102), and index.;Introduction to critiques -- A closer look at the Coen brothers -- An overview of O Brother, Where Art Thou??How to apply new criticism to O Brother, Where Art Thou?-- An overview of Fargo -- How to apply gender criticism to Fargo -- An overview of The Big Lebowski -- How to apply archetypal theory to The Big Lebowski -- An overview of True Grit -- How to apply feminist criticism to True Grit. Explains how to use critical theory to analyze the films of the Coen brothers, and provides overviews of movies directed by the brothers as well as critiques of each. Dewey 791.4302
HOW TO ANALYZE THE FILMS OF CLINT EASTWOOD
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HERMANSSON, CASIE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Have you ever watched a film and wondered about its deeper meaning? Clint Eastwood's films have entertained audiences for many years. By using critical theory, you might find new ideas in Eastwood's stunning filmmaking and stories. Critical theory allows views to examine the influences behind a creation as well as the impacts of the creation. Consider how others have critiqued Eastwood's work. This title explores the creative works of famous actor and director Clint Eastwood. Films analyzed include Dirty Harry, Pale Rider, Unforgiven, and Million Dollar Baby. Clear, comprehensive text gives background biographical information of Eastwood. Includes bibliographical references (p. 103-109), filmography (p. 102), and index. Chapters: Introduction to critiques -- A closer look at Clint Eastwood -- An overview of Dirty Harry -- How to apply gender criticism to Dirty Harry -- An overview of Pale Rider -- How to apply archetypal criticism to Pale Rider -- An overview of Unforgiven -- How to apply moralist criticism to Unforgiven -- An overview of Million Dollar Baby -- How to apply feminist criticism to Million Dollar Baby. Explains how to use critical theory to analyze the films of Clint Eastwood, and provides overviews of movies directed by him as well as critiques of each. Dewey 781.4302
TRAGEDY IN TUCSON : THE ARIZONA SHOOTING RAMPAGE
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HOUSER, AIMEE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Essential Events explores historic happenings around the globe, and how those events have sculpted societies, the sciences, and politics. Examines the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and explores mental health policy and law, gun laws, and more. . Includes: timeline, essential facts, glossary Additional resources, source notes, bibliographical references (p. 104-109) and index. Chapters: Three Days in January ? Gabrielle Giffords and Jared Loughner ? Five Fatal Minutes ? For What Reason? ? Mental Illness, Policy and Law ? United States v. Loughner ? The Survivors Heal ? The Nation Remembers. Dewey 364.152
GRIM
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
WAGGENER, ANNA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Waggener visits the world of Greek and Christian mythology in this exploration of life and death and good and evil. Erika Stripling's life ends tragically when Jeremiah, the grim reaper, needs a soul in order to save himself. Jeremiah feels guilty about his selfish decision to end a single mom's life and tries to grant her heart's desire, which is to see her three children. Jeremiah eventually accomplishes the impossible task of transporting three human children into the realm of the dead. The story is uneven and the continuing motif of the controlling man is infuriating as is the feuding and scheming of Jeremiah's half-brothers and the impotence of their father the King of Limbo. There are better explorations of these themes.
ILLUMINATE
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
AGRESTI, AIMEE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
While middle school students would have no difficulty reading this, they probably won't be as interested in the plot line and the characters as high school readers. It's Senior Year for Haven Terra, her best friend Dante Dennis, and Lance, a fellow student from Terra's high school who Haven has seen but doesn't really know. All three of them have scored off the charts on their SATs and have been tapped by Aurelia Brown to be the first student interns at the Lexington Hotel in Chicago. The Lexington had been Al Capone's favorite hotel and Ms. Brown is capitalizing on the idea that the Lexington is a little sinful and everything sinful is glamorous. Haven it tapped to be Ms. Brown's personal assistant, Dante is apprenticed to the world famous chef and Lance seems to be assigned to Lucian ? Aurelia's second in command. Almost as soon as they are assigned to their rooms in the basement, things start to get creepy. Terra gets a book that starts writing her warnings and giving her a rigorous workout routine underground in the Prohibition tunnels; Dante's new boos begins to isolate him from this friends: Lance doesn't seem to have much of a job other than to be Terra's foil and to fall for one of the other employees knows as the Outfit. Terra starts her job by taking pictures of all of the employees and finds that all of them begin to show signs of age and rot while the people they were taken of stay supremely and serenely beautiful and nonplussed. Shades of Dorian Gray. There is something evil going on in the Lexington. Is that the smell of brimstone in Aurelia Brown's office? Are those famous Lexington Hotel chocolates meant to cast a spell on the recipients who just happen to be the most powerful and influential people in Ch
SCOTTSBORO BOYS
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
CATES, DAVID
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Essential Events explores historic happenings around the globe, and how those events have sculpted societies, the sciences, and politics. This book is an account of the Scottsboro trial of 1931, discussing segregation and Jim Crow, the trial and retrial, and the lasting effect on the lives of the men involved. Includes: timeline, essential facts, glossary Additional resources, source notes, bibliographical references (p. 104-109) and index. Chapters: The South, segregation, and Jim Crow -- The terrible journey begins -- The trial -- The CPUSA, ILD, and the NAACP -- The Supreme Court -- The retrial -- Tried again -- Supreme Court justice -- Back to Alabama -- The bitter end. Dewey 345.761
COLUMBINE SHOOTINGS
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
GIMPEL, DIANE MARCZELY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Essential Events explores historic happenings around the globe, and how those events have sculpted societies, the sciences, and politics. Photographs and text offer an account of the deadly 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, examining the motivations of teenage killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Includes: timeline, essential facts, glossary Additional resources, source notes, bibliographical references (p. 104-109) and index. Chapters: Tragedy Strikes a US High School ? the Boys and the Bombing ? April 20, 1999 ? Law Enforcement Responds ? Saying Good-bye ? Back to School ? Someone to Blame ? Why? -- Preventing another Columbine. Dewey 373.17
Parliaments
Essential Library [Essential Library]
Pratt, Mary K.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
What is government and why is it necessary? What purposes should a government serve? This is an exploration of parliaments as a system of government and the social, political, economic, religious, and cultural effects. It also explores parliaments' impact on neighboring nations and the global community, how leaders gain and keep control and how they are replaced. Includes bibliographical references (p. 150-156) and index. Chapters: What is government?-- A parliament renews itself -- What is a parliamentary government? -- Parliaments in history -- All parliaments are different -- Rights and responsibilities -- A stable society -- Fair representation -- Parliaments and economies -- International relations -- Benefits of a parliamentary system -- Criticisms of a parliamentary system -- Parliaments in the twenty-first century. A discussion of parliaments that defines government and examines their history, principles, ideals, leaders, and political, economic, and social implications. Dewey 328.3
Monarchies
Essential Library [Essential Library]
Gimpel, , Diane
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
What is government and why is it necessary? What purposes should a government serve? This is an exploration of monarchy as a system of government and the social, political, economic, religious, and cultural effects. It also explores monarchies' impact on neighboring nations and the global community, how leaders gain and keep control and how they are replaced. Key figures are discussed and how they influenced history. Includes bibliographical references (p. 150-156) and index. Chapters: What is government? -- Queen Elizabeth II, a modern monarch -- What is a monarchy? -- Key monarchies in world history -- The origins and expansion of power -- Staying in power -- Succession in monarchies -- How monarchies end -- Monarchies and international relations -- Monarchies, media, and celebrity -- Downsides to modern monarchies -- Positive attributes of modern monarchies. A discussion of monarchies that defines government and examines their history, principles, ideals, leaders, and political, economic, and social implications. 321.8
Dictatorships
Essential Library [Essential Library]
Marcovitz, Hal
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
What is government and why is it necessary? What purposes should a government serve? This is an exploration of dictatorship as a system of government and the social, political, economic, religious, and cultural effects. It also explores dictatorship's impact on neighboring nations and the global community, how leaders gain and keep control and how they are replaced. Key figures are discussed and how they influenced history. : Includes bibliographical references (p. 150-156) and index.;What is government? -- Butcher of the Balkans -- The first dictators -- Dictators of the modern era -- How do dictators gain power? -- How do dictators maintain control? -- Life in a dictatorship -- Foreign relations -- How are dictators deposed? -- Moving beyond dictatorships -- Could a dictator rule the United States? A discussion of dictatorships that defines government and examines their history, principles, ideals, leaders, and political, economic, and social implications. Dewey 321.9
Communism
Essential Library [Essential Library]
VanderHook, Sue
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
What is government and why is it necessary? What purposes should a government serve? This is an exploration of communism as a system of government and the social, political, economic, religious, and cultural effects. It also explores communism's impact on neighboring nations and the global community, how leaders gain and keep control and how they are replaced. Key figures are discussed and how they influenced history. Includes bibliographical references (p. 150-156) and index. Chapters: What is government? -- Beginnings of communism -- The Russian Revolution -- Spread and decline -- Communism as a government -- Dictatorial trend -- Life in a communist country -- Politics and elections -- Communist economics -- International relations -- Human rights -- Criticism of communism. A discussion of communism that defines government and examines its history, principles, ideals, leaders, and political, economic, and social implications. Dewey: 321.9
Anarchism
Essential Library [Essential Library]
Buckley, A. M.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
What is government and why is it necessary? What purposes should a government serve? The is an exploration of anarchy as a system of government and the social, political, economic, religious, and cultural effects. It also explores anarchy's impact on neighboring nations and the global community, how leaders gain and keep control and how they are replaced. Key figures are discussed and how they influenced history. Includes bibliographical references (p. 150-156) and index. Chapters: What is government? -- What is anarchism -- Early history of anarchism -- The heyday Part One : Anarchism and violence -- The heyday Part Two : Anarchy and culture -- Poetry, protest, and punks -- Anarchy and revolution -- Anarchist economics -- Anarchism and art -- Forms of anarchism -- Case studies -- An anarchist legacy -- Reality or Utopia. A discussion of anarchism as a political theory, examining the early history of anarchism, explaining the principles and ideals of the no-government system, and including case studies. 355.83
PALADIN PROPHECY
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
FROST, MARK
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Mark Frost, co-creator of Twin Peaks, has started a new series for the YA audience that is an effective mash-up of Harry Potter, Pittacus Lore, and the Jason Bourne series. Will West has been very careful to live under the radar. He and his family move every years, he has been carefully trained by his parents to sit quietly in the middle of the pack when he runs, when he tests, in his habits. He is trained to be unnoticeable. But Will slips ups accidentally and scores off the charts on a nationwide exam. Because of that he has been offered a place at an exclusive prep school for the gifted, the Center for Integrated Learning all expenses paid. That might not be a bad thing but the men in the black sedans who have taken his parents and the mysterious Dave in his unworldly wicked Prowler have set off more than one set of alarms. His only chance is to make it to the Center without getting caught. Will is forced to live up to his true potential. There, he's confronted by a demanding academic schedule, but encouraged to embrace his abilities as a superhumanly fast runner and a scholastic genius. He befriends his roommates, investigates his parents' odd behavior, is targeted by a malevolent secret society, and discovers the extent of his and their superhuman abilities. The characters are interesting and the action is non-stop and the appeal is cross-gender and across genre. I want one of the computers and the SIM that is part of the school's gear.
UNSPOKEN
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
BRENNAN, SARAH REES
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Sarah Rees Brennean is the author of the Demon's Lexicon series and is no stranger urban fantasy. This is a much gentler foray into that world. Kami glass has an imaginary friend named Jared; she's been talking to him in her head for as long as she can remember. It's cost her at least one friend and now that she is seventeen, she's learned to not stare too blankly for too long so that she almost seems to be just like any other teen age girl with hopes of becoming a reported and a trendy sense of fashion. This seventeen-year-old doesn't play as old as her age. She seems much more like a poised British public school 3rd or 4th form student. Kami lives in Sorry-in-the-Vale and her life takes a turn toward the more interesting when the Lynburn family returns. Jared turns out to be real and one of them. They are spectacularly sinister, mysterious, and eerily familiar. Since Kami isn't about to let a good story for the school newspaper get away from her she goes in search of that answers to the questions: Who is responsible f or the bloody deeds in the depths of woods? What is her mother hiding? Now that her imaginary boyfriend has become a real, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him? A lovely little Gothic romance with moments of comedy, a heroine who can take care of herself, a boy who needs saving, and magical forces. Book One in The Lynburn Legacy. Study Guide questions at http://sarahreesbrennan.com/book-pages/unspoken/a-reading-group-guide-to-unspoken.
ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
WATSON, STEPHANIE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Datisman, Eve
You won't find the Bermuda Triangle on the map. Is it real? Hijacker D. B. Cooper parachuted into the wilderness. Will we ever catch him? Crop circles occur all over the world. How are they created? Put on your detective hat and uncover the facts and myths about Unsolved Mysteries. Learn how scientists, theorists, and others have examined the evidence of each case, sighting, killing, or disappearance. Discover the current standings of each investigation and -weigh the data for yourself. Can you find a new lead, or will these cases remain Unsolved Mysteries? Presents facts and myths about the escape from Alcatraz, looking at the history of Alcatraz Island and the prison in San Francisco Bay, the men involved in the escape, the escape plot, and other related topics. Contents: : Includes timeline, glossary, additional references list, source notes, bibliographical references (p. 104-107) and index. Chapters: Escape from the Rock ? the History of Alcatraz ? Life on the Rock ? Security on Alcatraz ? Escape attempts ? The Players ? the Plan ? Breaking Out ? The Investigation ? Did They Make It? Dewey 365.641
FAULT IN OUR STARS
DUTTON JUVENILE [DUTTON JUVENILE]
GREEN, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Tucker, Merrilyn
This very sad story takes the reader into the lives of two teens who fall in love after meeting in a cancer support group. The tale revolves around their getting to know each other and understand each other's life philosphies and perspectives. They truly learn to value the gifts that the other has to offer in the short time they have together. Unlike the quotation from Julius Caesar, the fault is in their stars and not in themselves. These two teenagers face life and death every day and don't give in to the doom that ahead of them. The subject matter is gritty and Green does not gloss over the ugly parts of the disease. This is a unique premise with believable characters, and the writing is literary and polished. I reviewed the harback, but the paperback is available now as well. Starred review from Booklist.
KISSING SHAKESPEARE
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
MINGLE, PAMELA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
January 13, 2013
Tucker, Merrilyn
16-year-old Miranda yearns to be a Shakespearean actor like her parents, but is not having much success in her high school acting career. After a play one day, a fellow actor takes Miranda time-traveling to the 16th century where he (the fellow actor) is actually from. He tells Miranda that he needs her to intervene in William Shakespeare's life now or he will never write his plays and poems, and the world will be completely changed because of the lack of Shakespeare's creations. Miranda pretends to be Stephen's sister and she must seduce Shakespeare in order to turn him away from the path he is on: to become a Catholic priest. Mingle's debut novel is fun to read; it's historically accurate (she tries to account for Shakespeare's lost years), and full of good old 16th century intrigue. Time-travel or historical fiction readers will love it!
BAD HAIR DAY
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
HARRIS, CARRIE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
January 17, 2013
Gustafson, Chris
Not as tightly plotted as Bad Taste in Boys, this entertaining sequel returns to the complicated life of high school nerd Kate, who is flirting with fame after her heroic efforts to cure zombies in book one. Her job shadow work at a local hospital takes her to the morgue and involves her with victims of what might be werewolf attacks! Pretty light-hearted, short, and Kate is a delightfully geeky role model.?
When I Was Your Age: Original Stories About Growing Up
Candlewick [Candlewick]
Ehrich, Amy, Ed.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
January 23, 2013
Tucker, Merrilyn
20 stories about authors' growing up memories did not excite me to pick up the book. I am not a fan of the memoir genre. This one, though, is different. These authors relate stories that take the reader right back to his or her own childhood days. These are recollections of the finest and funniest order. It brings back memories of misunderstandings, of feeling that life will never change, of adults who seemed so very foreign, out of touch, and and downright strange. It also brought to mind all of the mistakes made and the lessons that came with those errors. Needless to say, I ended up loving this book and will purchasetwo: one for my library and another for myself. For younger readers, it may be more suitable as a read aloud. For older readers, they can read and see themselves on the pages in a more personal, private way. Each story is backed by a statement from the author. Also included is a section on authors' biographies in the back of the book. Authors include a wide assortment from Fracesca Lia Block to Joseph Bruchac. This edition of the book combines Vols. I and II.
BOY ON CINNAMON STREET
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
STONE, PHOEBE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 23, 2013
Tucker, Merrilyn
Very sweet story with light touches of romance and sadness. When the story opens, the reader understands that main character 7th grader Louise aka Thumbelina is living with her grandparents, but no reason is given yet. Louise is extremely small for her age and is sensitive about it. She also was a gymnastics star and has given it up because she was being bullied. After a misunderstanding, Louise and her best friend decide that a popular older teenage boy is crushing on Louise. In the end, the mystery about Louise's life is revealed to the reader and the boy situation is resolved in a happy way. Stone's writing is lovely to read. The tender age of 13 is captured nicely with all of the disappointments of loss, hopes dashed, and heartache explored. Louise's grandparents are described as so caring and supportive, and it is only near the end of the novel that the reader sees that they were helping themselves, too, to cope with the tragedy that had befallen their lives.
ASK AMY GREEN : LOVE AND OTHER DRAMA-RAMAS!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
WEBB, SARAH
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
January 24, 2013
Tucker, Merrilyn
This book is part of the Ask Amy Green series. Amy Green is a thirteen-year-old Irish girl living in Dublin. She enjoys helping people out with their problems, even though it seems to land her in a fair bit of trouble, especially when the people have not asked her for help in the first place. Amy, her best friend, Mills, and Amy's cousin, Clover, all assist Amy in this book to match new boy student Bailey to his estranged father father, now-famous Irish Surf Chef Finn. In addition to the main story, are several tween-ish "drama-ramas" that Amy has to sort out. The writing is well done, with a bit of Gaelic thrown in (if only I knew how to pronouce it!), and the author offers valuable insights and wisdom.