Reviews for month


Sesame Street Brand New Readers: Box Set
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
illus by Kwiat, Ernie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 02, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
Each of the 10 emergent reader stores in this set, "created by literacy experts", consists of 8 pages, one simple sentence per page with as many words as possible repeated on the following pages. "Elmo sees snow. He puts on a green sweater. He puts on a blue jacket. He puts on a red hat." Only the first and last page do not repeat the pattern in Elmo Gets Dressed.Some of the stories have two characters who alternate on pages; Grover and Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Big Bird, etc. The bright full color illustrtions of of recognizable characters demonstrating the action. These "short, funny stories" with short, simple sentences are ideal for the emergent reader who is just beginning to try to read on his own. Purchase if you have need of these types of materials, but are better used by parent and child. Each title includes notes to parents for use with a child.
STAY FIT: YOUR GUIDE TO STAYING ACTIVE
Capstone Press [Capstone Press]
Hunt, Sara
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 03, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
Want to become more active? How about eating right? Here is a book that encourages the reader to get started on a healthy lifestyle focusing on exercise. Tips, guidelines and ideas for the reader to try, plan and explore different ways to get moving, keep moving, and moving safely are presented in five short chapters. Well illustrated with photographs, mostly of girls, show a variety of activities of interest to young readers. There is enough information for students to use in reports and an excellent resource for informational text reading in Health and P.E. curriculums. The binding is good but the paper on board cover will not stand up well to contiual use. Also reviewed in Library Media Connection and SLJ.
WHAT AM I? EASTER
Albert Whitman & Co [Albert Whitman & Co]
Lewis, Anne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 03, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
This is part of the My Look and See Holiday Book. The reader is given a clue on one page, the answer is revealed in the illustration partially under a flap with the words "What am I? What could I be? Printed in white on a fold over flap that when lifted lets the reader see and read the answer. In this volume we are given 11 riddles for items connected with Easter. The pages are thick tagboard type paper with a slick finish and should not tear easily as they flap is unfolded. The illustrations are simple and sweet, appealing to the very young. The paper on board cover will not last long with much handling. This is one purchase that would be useful if you have preschoolers. Also reviewed in Publishers Weekley and SLJ.
HOP, SKIP, AND JUMP, MAISY!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Cousins, Lucy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 03, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
Hop, Skip and Jump Maisy! is one of A Maisy First Science Book series by Lucy Cousins. In this title Maisy is very busy, full of energy; stretching, hopping, skipping and jumping through her day. The bright colorful childlike illustrations draw in young children, the text is simple with an added side bars asking who else might perform the action. The pull tabs that show Maisy's movement will delight children (and older ones also) who love pop-up style books. This is a title that is best used one on one or individually. The paper on board cover and the pull tabs will not stand up to much handling. This would be best in an individual's library. No other reviews were found.
SHALLOW GRAVE
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
VAN TOL, ALEX
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 04, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
School newcomer Eliott was in the wrong place at the wrong time; goth girl Shannon and her friends have taken the principal's car into the wood and were caught. The punishment: cleaning out an old boathouse. As alike as night and day (or so they think), the teens do not look forward to the long day and sarcasm rules their words. Shannon makes an Ouija board and although Eliott is skeptical of any possible contact with the dead, creepy things begin to happen. How did the door slam shut when it was propped open with a brick? What caused the sense of touch on the back of Eliott's neck? Shannon supplies information about a missing school mate and the possibility of a connection becomes stronger. Will they find a body? Is there really something to this connection with the dead? A good read for someone wanting just a bit of a scare. When describing the book, I had to explain to a 7th-grader what an Ouija board does so the current generation of readers might need some background knowledge to enjoy the book. Another good read in the Orca Soundings series.
THE AVATAR'S RETURN
Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon [Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon]
Kilpatrick, Irene
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 04, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
Based on the series Avatar: The Last Airbender by Michael Dante DiMartino and Brian Konietzko and the screenplay by M. Knight Shyamalan this retelling is aimed at young reader. The language used is lifeless and basically retells the movie in short sentences and paragraphs. It is choppy and seems to leave large holes in the flow of the story. The illustrations are of the actors and scenes of the movie. I would only accept it as a donation and not waste money on purchasing it, thought you may have some diehard Avatar fans who might pick it up. No other reviews were found.
LEAVE YOUR SLEEP
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX [FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX]
MERCHANT, NATALIE
MCCLINTOCK, BARBARA
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
Leave Your Sleep is a beautifully illustrated children's poetry collection. The author, an accomplished musician, has set these children's classics to music. A CD of these poems turned into songs makes this book an enchanting fusion of word and sound. I can imagine a child spending several hours listening and wandering through this lovely book. It would be a great way to link the idea of poetry and music in an early elementary classroom.
SKY HIGH
WENDY LAMB BOOKS [WENDY LAMB BOOKS]
GIFF, PATRICIA REILLY
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
A book that leaves the reader constantly trying to figure out what is going on, Sky High by Patricia Reilly Giff tells the story of a boy who spends his time inventing things. One day at school he learns that there will be an inventing fair coming up. Testing his new invention gets Charlie in trouble and getting out of his messes lead to create one invention after another. In the end, Charlie has made new friends and has an unexpected success at the invention fair. The storyline is inviting, but, unfortunately the book is poorly written. There is no development of character. The writing is choppy and disconnected. There is a significant lack of transitions which leaves the reader confused and makes it difficult to follow the sequence of events. I'm surprised this book made it past an editor's desk.
OLIVER
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
SIF, BIRGITTA
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
Oliver is a book that will speak to the hearts of all ages. Birgitta Sif paints the picture of a boy who prefers his stuffed animals and books over people. He feels different. One day, while chasing down a run-away tennis ball he unexpectedly discovers something that changes his world, a friend. This book is engaging. The rich, warm language paired with the lovely illustrations brings the reader into Oliver's world and invite us to come along with him on his adventures. Sif helps to build community by reminding us that it's okay to be different and that there is someone for everyone.
LESTER'S DREADFUL SWEATERS
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
CAMPBELL, K G
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
Lester's Dreadful Sweaters is a must have for any elementary classroom. K.G. Campbell tells the story of a boy who likes order in his life when unexpectedly a whacky aunt moves in to shake up his world. From the title you can guess what her pastime is and when Lester is expected to wear these dreadful sweaters to school life gets humorously grim. This book is chalked full of instructional possibilities for reading, writing and social skills. Campbell's uses of word choice and clever alliterations as well as adorable illustrations make the book a real page turner; students from grades k ? 5 will find this book enchanting.
ABE LINCOLN'S DREAM
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
SMITH, LANE
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
Abe Lincoln's Dream by Lane Smith unfolds with the ghost of Abraham Lincoln taking a trip outside the White House to visit the present day United States with a young visitor. They fly around the US to see how all of the concerns that Abe contended with have turned out. While the book minimizes the answers to Abe's questions, it does invite great discussions for debate: "Are the states united?", "Is there equality for all?" "Does man no longer fuss ?n' fight with his fellow man?" I think the book could be used with upper elementary students to research and write opinion papers based off of Abe's questions. It reminded me of Faith Ringold's "Tar Beach" and would be a nice theme partner to her book. The introduction is weak and leaves the reader a bit confused. The the illustrations and font changes don't take away from the story. In fact, it feels like they were added to take away from the poor story development. That being said, it could serve as a baseline for comparing the past and the present. 2 stars.
WARRIORS AND WAILERS : ONE HUNDRED ANCIENT CHINESE JOBS YOU
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
TSIANG, SARAH
NEWBIGGING, MARTHA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
An interesting way to travel through the dynasties of China, Warriors and Wailers paints a vivid picture of what the reader's life might have been like had they lived in China anytime from 1600 BCE ? 618 CE. There were some whacky jobs that are sure to get a kids attention. How would you like to make a living evaluating people based on their appearance? Or, be a Night Soil Spreader, which, is much worse than it sounds. A fun read and good way to teach the practice of scanning and skimming to intermediate grades.
CHARLEY'S FIRST NIGHT
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
HEST, AMY
OXENBURY, HELEN
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
Focusing on the small moment of getting a new dog, Charley's First Night by Amy Hest is a delightful tale. The story begins with Henry (Charley's new owner) walking, and then carrying him home in the snow. After Henry's parents lay down the rules for Charley and Henry, they all go off to their separate beds. This is when Henry's duties as a true friend begin. He helps Charley make it through it first bumpy night. Hest's warm word choice and Oxenbury's charming illustrations make this story a lovely read for primary aged children. A beautiful tale to help beginning writers understand how to write about a small moment.
LATIN AMERICANS THOUGHT OF IT : AMAZING INNOVATIONS
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
SALINAS, EVA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
Latin Americans Thought of It is told from the perspective of young Chilean women raised in the US. Eva Salinas does a great job of sharing cultural universals of this rich and varied culture. Salinas shares with the reader the history behind Latin America's contributions to our global community by discussing traditional universals such as food and the arts to more unusual considerations like tools and inventions. Easy to read and full of fun facts, this book is a gem of a resource about our friends to the south.
FORGIVENESS GARDEN
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
THOMPSON, LAUREN
HALE, CHRISTY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
A book that reveals the theme that love overcomes hate, The Forgiveness Garden, by Lauren Thompson, tells the age old story of two feuding tribes. The war escalates when a young boy throws a stone that severely injures a young girl from the other tribe. When her tribe captures the offender and she refuses to cast a stone at him; instead she encourages both tribes to begin to build a garden of forgiveness. This is a story that belongs on a list of books that allow students the opportunity to connect the theme of forgiveness across text.
LAND OF NEVERBELIEVE
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
MESSENGER, NORMAN
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
* A fantasy lover's dream, The Land of Neverbelieve is a whimsical look at the flora, fauna and characters of an elusive island that moves about when it gets the notion; leaving the author with only his memory of discovery. The reader is introduced to the island through a detailed map/table of contents revealing points of interest and creative landforms. The author/illustrator goes on to elaborate what can be found at each point noted on the map. This book would be an outstanding resource for creative writing, development of setting, visualizing or for the pure enjoyment of the authors clever imagination.
HORSE AND THE PLAINS INDIANS : A POWERFUL PARTNERSHIP
CLARION [CLARION]
PATENT, DOROTHY HINSHAW
MUNIZ, WILLIAM
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
The Horse and the Plains Indians is the perfect book for the kid who locks onto particular topic and just can't get enough. While the book focuses on the essential role the horse has played in the Plains Indians culture, it also documents their history from as far back as we know up through the present day life. Told in a narrative style it is an interesting and often captivating read for an age range of 4th grade - 7th. As I was reading I found myself looking for a map and/or a timeline. While there are none to be found these items would be a great assignment that could be generated from the book.
I WANT TO BE A SOLDIER
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
LIEBMAN, DAN
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
A terrible example of the most basic of writing skills. I Want to be a Soldier is part of a series from Firefly Publications. It is full of statements about what soldiers do. As a teacher, we work hard to get primary students to organize their thoughts in a sequence. This book would be a lot better if it supported the first line of the book, "soldiers must be strong, brave, honest and loyal to their country; or the last line of the book, "soldiers work on the ground, on the water and in the air," and used it as a beginning statement to organize the thoughts in this book in some kind of sequence; a horrible example of organization. That, being said I'm sure young children would love to look at the great pictures.
TALES FROM THE TOP OF THE WORLD : CLIMBING MOUNT EVEREST WIT
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
ATHANS, SANDRA K
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 04, 2013
Teachout, Kait
If you've ever wondered what it might be like to climb Mt. Everest, this book is a great start. Sandra Athans has written a very thorough book including everything you might want to know about the tallest mountain in the world in her book, Tales from the Top of the World. The reader starts at Base Camp and climbs through several landmarks on Everest describing every detail along the way from how to go to the bathroom to discussing the dangers of and defenses against dehydration on this dangerous mountain. Paired with the facts about Everest are the stories of a climber who has experienced climbing Everest fourteen times and conquered the top seven times. His stories layer in the ?real world' perspective of battling the dangers of Everest. The photographs and maps complete the reader's up close and personal experience with this incredible mountain. A great read for the adventurous upper elementary ? middle school student.
LONELY BOOK
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
BERNHEIMER, KATE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 05, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Muted illustrations and quiet prose create an atmosphere of wonder and delight for a favorite book. A bright new book has become a forgotten, shabby, lonely book until one day a little girl, Alice, rediscovers it and immediately falls in love with the beautiful fairytale. Alice reads the book every night, sleeps with it under her pillow and shares it at show-and-tell. "The book has never felt so loved." But amidst the excitement of a special story event, Alice forgets to renew the book and it disappears before she can find it again. Placed in the basement in preparation for the library book sale, the fairytale becomes more and more lonely. When the eventful day of the book sale arrives, the rediscovery occurs as Alice finds her beloved book and the two are reunited. Chris Sheban's illustrations, (Because of Winn Dixie,) rendered in watercolor, graphite and colored pencil on paper carry the subtle plot along but may be best appreciated as a bedtime story by individual readers. The magical full page spread of the fairies and Alice dancing under a giant toadstool while Alice sleeps, concludes the picture book and is made for the lights out. The Lonely Book may be savored by parents as much or maybe more than the younger reader though and librarians may need to encourage selected students to check it out at first.
LARRY GETS LOST IN PORTLAND
SASQUATCH BOOKS [SASQUATCH BOOKS]
SKEWES, JOHN
SKEWES, JOHN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 05, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
The irrepressible Pete and his dog Larry travel to Portland resulting in the inevitable separation, plentiful adventures and joyous reunion. Like Skewes' other books in the Larry Gets Lost series, readers are treated to visits to the major landmarks and experiences found in Portland. For readers acquainted with the city or planning a visit, the specificity and familiarity is especially engaging and will warrant several reads to notice all the additional details shown in the digitally drawn illustrations. Separated when Larry, smelling a dog treat at one of the plentiful food courts, runs off and returns to find Pete missing. Heading towards Portland's Old Town, Larry passes such contemporary landmarks as Voodoo Doughnut and the 24 Hour Church of Elvis before arriving at the Chinatown gates and the Burnside Bridge. Portland's plentiful bridges criss-cross the Willamette River forming a great backdrop to Larry's adventures. Larry's travels bring him to OMSI's underwater submarine, several well-know sculptures, the stadium, Zoo, Rose Garden and of course Powell's Books. Multiple types of Portland's public transportation are highlighted and eventually lead to the twosome's reuniting scene at the Union Train Station. The colorful illustrations with plentiful shadows and white dotted lines tracking Larry's movements circling trees and joyfully prancing forward are suitable for whole group reading as well as individual readers.
I, GALILEO
Knopf Books for Young Readers [RANDOM HOUSE]
CHRISTENSEN, BONNIE
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 05, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
This gorgeous 1st person narrative of Galileo's life is a visual treat equally matched by Bonnie Christensen's beautiful prose. Wonderful full page illustrations of gouache resist with oil paints depict scenes of Galileo's life as he recounts his life's story from his garden, an old blind man sentenced to his house by the Pope for heretical writings. A father that believed, "A person must be allowed to ask questions and seek answers in search of truth", influenced Galileo's childhood. An early fascination with moving objects, led Galileo to his most significant inventions including: the telescope, microscope, pocket compass, irrigation system, thermometer, and pendulum clock. Best known for his certainty that the earth and planets orbited the sun, Galileo was never to enjoy the public acknowledgement of his discoveries. Illustrations include scenes of Galileo's pendulum experiments, his gravity experiment at the Leaning university tower at Pisa, his early sightings with a telescope and a microscope including a sequence of the phases of the moon and diagrams of celestial movement. But the crowning pinnacle of Galileo's work was his book, constructed as a dialog between the old and new system but soon banned and labeled heretical by the Church's Inquisition. Christensen closes the narrative with these beautiful lines, "The old man is a prisoner, but the truth? The truth has a way of escaping into the light." Additional materials include a Preface, Afterword, Chronology, Galileo's Experiments, Galileo's inventions and Improvements, Astronomical Discoveries, Glossary, Bibliography, and Websites.
Soil
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Barker, David A.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 05, 2013
Swann, Rick
Written in the narrative voice of a student researching soil, this book explains the properties of soil. The book is framed by the scientific method of forming and answering questions based on research and fact gathering. A reader would get a real sense of how a soil scientist would think and work from reading this book. Actual research, charts, diagrams and demonstrations are included in the text. A glossary, index, further resources, and further activities to try on your own are included as well.
WHO LIVES HERE?
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
DAVIES, NICOLA
BOUTAVANT, MARC
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 05, 2013
Swann, Rick
This book introduces the concept of animal habitats to young readers. A left-hand page illustrates a habitat, such as grassland, pond or coral reef. The right-hand page has four lift-the-flap features with pictures of animals underneath them and a "Not me! I live?." response or "It's me. I live here." The two-page spread that follows has a picture of the appropriate animal now illustrated living in its habitat with basic information about it, such as what it eats. Every time, by the way, the correct answer is given under the lower right flap. The illustrations of the animals are kid-friendly, but not completely realistic. The animals' eyes, for instance, are enlarged to create a cuteness factor. Young children will enjoy the book.
Step Inside! A look inside animal houses
EarlyLight Books [EarlyLight Books]
Ham, Catherine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 05, 2013
Swann, Rick
This well designed book showcases a variety of animal homes in photographs combined with rhyming poems. The full color photographs of animals peering out of or perched on their homes will appeal to young readers. While the poems are fun to read aloud, having a rhyming text for an information book with 591 Dewey cataloging is an interesting choice over using a straightforward expository text. Includes index.
HUNTER MORAN SAVES THE UNIVERSE
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
GIFF, PATRICIA REILLY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 05, 2013
Swann, Rick
Hunter Moran and his twin brother Zack are fifth graders just beginning summer vacation. They have plenty to occupy themselves with: in addition to sparring with their older sister and brother, they need to keep an eye on their younger brother, Steadman, while somehow managing to stop the town dentist from what they think is his plot to blow up the town. This is a zany tale of two brothers whose over-the-top behavior provides non-stop entertainment if you can keep up with the large cast of characters and incidents the boys find themselves a part of.
MAYA MAKES A MESS
CANDLEWICK PRESS: TOON BOOKS [WALKER & COMPANY]
MODAN, RUTU
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 05, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
The ever-popular Toon books are great entr?e's into graphic novels for younger readers. With only 1-4 panels per page, many without text, they teach how to read the panels, clue into the facial expressions and background details and extract meaning. Rutu Modan's story of Maya's bad table manners was sparked by an incident with her child, Michal, when her son coolly responded to her, "What if you ate with the Queen?" "Well! It just so happens that the Queen is a VERY good friend of mine, and she told me that I eat perfectly." Described as an "Easy-to-Read" comic for emerging readers, the book has the absurd humor that many beginning and struggling readers need to persevere. Maya is chastised for her table manners by repetitive commands, "Sit down! Sit up! Use a napkin!, Use a spoon!," when the doorbell rings and off she's whisked to attend a formal dinner with the Queen. Confronted with fancy dishes and 5 types of each utensil, Maya requests pasta with ketchup and is told to eat it just like she always does. Most readers will be laughing by this time and shouting predictions. The inevitable occurs and Maya disgraces herself with awful table manners. When the horrified Queen discovers that just as Maya had announced, it did make the food taste better, she proclaims this will be the custom on holidays. This satisfying conclusion to an experience most children face of expectations for table manners, will not stay on the shelf for long.
Secrets of Light
Benchmark Books [Benchmark Books]
Claybourne, Anna
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 05, 2013
Haines, Hazel
I am amazed at the wealth of information in this 32-page booklet and the trivia-type method used to relay facts and ideas so they seem common and understandable. It has simple experiments as well so students can detect key concepts for themselves. I like the way it explains how items like modern energy-saving lightbulbs work and how rainbows form and what the camera does. There's also a section about light-producing animals and another about optical fibers. With the Common Core standards coming next year, a new emphasis will be placed on quality non-fiction and this is sure to fit that need.
Susan B. Anthony
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Wallner, Alexandra
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 05, 2013
Haines, Hazel
For an informative biography of Susan B. Anthony and the movement to assure the vote for women and the passage of the 19th Amendment, this book is a reliable resource written in a picture book format with many large two-page color illustrations, a short time line, and a bibliography as well as a list of Susan's famous quotations. This is not a book that students will pick up on their own, unfortunately; however, with some introduction to the topic and some librarian input, it will be well read.
Dragon's Leaf Collection
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Matheson, Becky
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 05, 2013
Haines, Hazel
This is a fun book for students and teachers to read in the fall when the trees are dropping their leaves. It is a beautiful story of friends helping each other and Dragon's care of the Earth. With delightful pictures and text of only one or two sentences per page, it is ideal for students who are just learning to read. It is part of the Scholastic Readers with a very controlled vocabulary.
Carl and the Puppies
Square Fish [Square Fish]
Day, Alexandra
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 05, 2013
Haines, Hazel
Here's everybody's favorite dog Carl in a simple remake of the classic story. Kind-hearted Carl decides to dog-sit for a mommy dog who needs a nap. Always gentle and always inventive, Carl keeps three little pups occupied for a afternoon of frolicking and adventure. That's all done in a short paperback booklet with large primary letters and pictures reminiscent of the earlier edition.
KILLING
SIMON PULSE [SIMON PULSE]
MUCHAMORE, ROBERT
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 05, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
Thirteen-year-old James is a member of CHERUB, a group of children and teens who work for the Biritsh secret service. Due to his lack of discipline and his aggression following the breakup of a relationship, he is punished by his adult handlers and shunned by his peers. Sent on a mission to get information on a possible organized crime group, James does his job while falling for another girl, getting himself in a bit of a jam, and discovering that sometime the adults supposed to protect him and the law of the land (the police) are as corrupt as the criminals James is going after. A murder that took place a year in the past figures prominently in the plot. There is plenty of action and emotion in this book. There is sexual content in the last half of the book which might be inappropriate for younger teens.
KILLING
SIMON PULSE [SIMON PULSE]
MUCHAMORE, ROBERT
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 06, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
Thirteen-year-old James is a member of CHERUB, a group of children and teens who work for the Biritsh secret service. Due to his lack of discipline and his aggression following the breakup of a relationship, he is punished by his adult handlers and shunned by his peers. Sent on a mission to get information on a possible organized crime group, James does his job while falling for another girl, getting himself in a bit of a jam, and discovering that sometime the adults supposed to protect him and the law of the land (the police) are as corrupt as the criminals James is going after. A murder that took place a year in the past figures prominently in the plot. There is plenty of action and emotion in this book. There is sexual content in the last half of the book which might be inappropriate for younger teens.
GREAT SHEEP SHENANIGANS
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
BENTLY, PETER
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
With rhyming text and a smart mouthed wolf the readers are in for a bit of a romp. The wily wolf isn't as wily as he thinks since his plan to sneak up on a flock of sheep is subverted by Rambo the Ram. The wolf then tries a variety of disguises that prove less than successful. He finally bullies Red Riding Hood's gran into knitting him a white woolly sweater, but she outsmarts him by tying the end of his sweater to her bedpost. The farther away he gets, the more he unravels and reveals his true, annoying self. Rambo comes to the rescue and kicks the wolf's bottom sending him into a pile of poo. His stench will give him away from now on. Children will find this a funny story; adults may dislike the wolf's character enough not to. The illustrations are large and entertaining.
CAMELS
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
BERGERT-SPANIOL, MEGAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
See review for Gazelles by same author. The photos clearly illustrate the floppy hump that low on fat, the bushy eyebrows and long lashes that protect the eyes, and zoom in on the round foot made for walking on top of ice or sand. One cold weather dessert is depicted. This glossary has only 4 terms, where as Gazelles has eight and Warthogs nine.
GAZELLES
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
BORGERT-SPANIOL, MEGAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
This is one of the Blastoff! Readers in the Animal Safari series Level 1: Emergent. As such it has all of the desired nonfiction features including a table of contents, glossary of the highlighted words, further reading and long enough index. This is really intended for the beginning reader to read on his/her own as it's a little too easy as a second grade read aloud. Each double page spread has the large text on the left page opposite a full color photo (non-captioned) on the right. Captions aren't necessary as the clear photographs illustrate the text. The one illustrating when a gazelle "pronks" is quite cute and illuminating. The colorful graphics are clean and add bounce to the book making this an appealing purchase despite being the shorter 24 pages. Many others abound in this series such as Alligators, Camels, Koalas, Meerkats and Warthogs if the wild animal section needs sprucing up.
Warthogs
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Borgert-Spaniol, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
See review for Gazelles by same author. In this title there were two labels added for "tusk" and "wart". The term "sounders" was introduced which describes the groups of females and their young as they raise them together, which proved a new word for this reviewer. The first grade boys tended to enjoy this creature more than the girls, but all enjoy learning new information.
LET'S GO FOR A DRIVE!
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
WILLEMS, MO
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Another Elephant & Piggie Book will be a welcome addition to any library serving Mo Willems's fans. When Elephant has the great idea to go for a drive, he thinks he's a great planner. Really he's a great reactor, but has Piggie's help in trying to execute his "plan". "Drive! Drive! Drivey-drive-drive!" sounds like so much fun. Elephant realizes they need a map, then sunglasses, umbrellas, and bags, all of which Piggie happens to have and retrieves. The only thing missing, which some astute readers will figure out ahead of time, is a car. Piggie can't come up with one of these. When their plan seems ruined, Piggie comes to the rescue again with a better idea that will work. First graders loved reading the all caps demands of Elephant, and ended storytime with big smiles.
GABBY
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
GRANT, JOYCE
DOLBY, JAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Red-headed, pig-tailed Gabby with her red glasses is a distinctive character visually and this makes her the perfect star of this book letters and spelling. When she's reaching to put her last book away on the top shelf, it falls, hits a shelf and all of the letters bounce out of the book. Some just happen to land on very appropriate items (C on a carpet, A on an armchair, and T on a table) and actually form words. When she sounds out the combined letters that word comes to life. First a hungry cat needs somethiing to eat. Next the letters for "fish" become evident and realized. When a bird is formed Gabby must intervene before something disastrous happens. Her solution is found in the word "friends" and then "pillow", which make for the perfect way to share another book. Two pages of fun and creative activities conclude the book which can also be enhanced by visiting part of the Fitzhenry publisher's website--making bouncing letters, creating a Memory Game, finding the frog on every page, how to draw Gabby and the cat, and how to make Gabby's ribbon words. This is a very clever and pleasant offering worth sharing with primary age children.
PENGUIN'S HIDDEN TALENT
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
LATIMER, ALEX
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
First and second graders gave Penguin a thumbs up. They enjoyed the story of a penguin, who doesn't know what his talent is. He tries his friends' talents such as burping the alphabet, but can only hiccup; makes a watch disappear, but not reappear; juggles appliances so they break or land in a tree; and the largest fish he can swallow is a sardine. Thus he relegates himself to organizing the event that showcases his snowland creatures' many talents. His successful program receives great accolades, but he goes home alone without a trophy. His friends, trying to cheer him up, execute a dismal thank you party, whiich makes Penguin finally realize that his true talent lies in planning and organizing such events. The story is fun, the illustrations light, clean and humorous, and it's an all-around pleasant offering worth purchasing even though foxes, bears, rabbits, pigs and goats do not live near penguins:)
APPLES A TO Z
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
MCNAMARA, MARGARET
PARKER, JAKE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Apples A to Z is a clever, multilayered addition to both the apple and alphabet sections of a children's library. Fox and Bear and friends very reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh characters are depicted throughout this alphabet book eating, making cider, planting, baking, harvesting, shopping and grafting all related to apples. Each letter has its own page with a heading such as "D is for DECIDUOUS" or "Y is for YIELD." Then several sentences inform the young reader about that topic in understandable language that doesn't talk down to the reader. "V" is especially interesting as it puts forth 26 "varieties" of apples, one for each letter of the alphabet. "X" is for an X in a pie to let out the steam. The book is not over after Z, since it has added activities and information about Johnny Appleseed, apple expressions, and several apple jokes. The illustrations make is seem more appropriate for young children, but the content is suitable for up to 3rd grade. Sewn binding will not last long with such long stitches especially with the glossy cardboard cover.
APPLE CAKE : A RECIPE FOR LOVE
HARCOURT BRACE JOVANOVICH [HARCOURT BRACE JOVANOVICH]
PASCHKIS, JULIE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Whimsical illustrations embellish and expand the simple story in this lovely picture book. Alfonso is trying hard to win the affection of Ida, but she has her nose stuck in a book. He brings her a huge bouquet of flowers, he plays her a song, but still the book holds her attention. And so he decides to make her an apple cake. The reader sees him traveling far and wide, up mountains, to the sun, up trees and to exotic cities as he gathers the ingredients. Then he stirs the batter together, adds three wishes and bakes it. When the smell comes wafting towards Ida she looks up from her book and smiles at Alfonso. Together they eat it all up. This is a sweet love story, and it includes the recipe for the apple Cake that wins Ida's heart.
FLABBERSMASHED ABOUT YOU
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [MACMILLAN]
VAIL, RACHEL
HEO, YUMI
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Katie always plays with her best friend Jennifer at recess. But one day Jennifer decides to play with Roy leaving Katie "flabersmashed" that she is not playing with her. She thinks of mean things to say with them but worries that she might start crying. To make things worse, Katie chooses Roy as her line partner, and doesn't seem to understand why Katie is upset. Luckily Arabella steps in not only to be Katies line partner, but also to listen and to say that she would like to play with Katie at the next recess. This book rings true about the difficulty some children have in giving friends freedom without feeling hurt when they choose others and the power that a little compassion can have in turning a bad day into a good one. Teachers and counselors will be happy to add this to read-aloud possibilities for social skills lessons.
LAUGH WITH THE MOON
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
BURG, SHANA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Clare is angry at her father when he takes her with him while he works for 8 weeks at a rural hospital in Malawi. Doesn't he understand that her world has been torn apart enough already from the recent death of her mother? When she arrives she feels angry and alone, but she soon finds a friend in Memory a girl who has been orphaned and lives with her little brother and Grandmother. Clare also comes to realize that her father has brought them there to heal from the death of her mother, not to escape it. During her stay, Clare experiences even more death when Memory's little brother dies from Malaria, but she also learns from Memory how to be strong and move on while still honoring and remembering the dead. During her stay Clare gains confidence in her ability to be a leader and finds a way to share her talent for art and drama with the people she meets during her stay. Readers will enjoy the African setting of this book and respond to the character of Clare as she struggles with the changes in her family and life.
BALLYWHINNEY GIRL
CLARION [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
BUNTING, EVE
MCCULLY, EMILY A.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Maeve is cutting turf for the fire from the peat bog near her Irish home with her Grandfather when he uncovers a body. He sends her quick to run home and have her mother phone the police. However, what they have uncovered is no regular body, but rather a girl preserved for centuries in the peat. Archeologists arrive and carefully remove the mummy to take to a lab for testing. When they tell the family the results Maeve tries to imagine the life the girl must have lived. She also tries to reconcile her feelings about the information, the media frenzy surrounding the find and the information that the body will be on show in a museum. She begs her family to go to the museum and see the body and it makes her cry, but when she goes home she finds her own way to honor the girl and finally say good-bye. This unusual offering will appeal to readers for its unique story and strong point of view.
OTHER SIDE OF TOWN
MICHAEL DI CAPUA BOOKS [MICHAEL DI CAPUA BOOKS]
AGEE, JON
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
A New York cabbie picks up a little man in a goofy body suit. He asks to go to Schmeeker Street (not Bleeker Street) and as he gives direction the cabbie ends up visiting a topsy turvy variation of New York filled with pink domed homes and glom trees (not palm trees). He finally makes it back to regular New York, but when he comes home to his apartment his wife is serving tweet loaf with bravy- a dish very popular on the other side of town. Young New Yorkers would probably respond to this homage well, but I fear it will not translate quite as well with northwest readers. However, readers who admire Agee's other quirky offerings will probably be happy enough with this one as well.
LENORE FINDS A FRIEND : A TRUE STORY FROM BEDLAM FARM
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
KATZ, JON
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Lenore was brought as a puppy to a farm full of animals, but did not quickly find a friend. Many of the farm animal were not kind, and the other dog, Rose, was focused on her sheep herding duties. Eventually, Lenore found a friend in a cranky ram named Brutus. Rose, wasn't too happy about the friendship at first, but eventually reconciled herself to the friendship. Lenore then set about winning over Rose's friendship as well. Lovers of animal friendship stories will enjoy the photos and story of this book, but it is not as compelling as many other cross animal friendship stories available.
OTTER AND ODDER : A LOVE STORY
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
HOWE, JAMES
RASCHKA, CHRIS
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Otter did not expect to fall in love with a fish. In fact, he had been planning on eating it for dinner. However, fall in love he did, as did she. They talked they swam and played. Otter could not help but hear the other otters talk about his love, "It isn't right. It isn't natural." And, Myrtle, the fish, couldn't help but feel that perhaps it wasn't okay to love someone who viewed her species as a food source. Otter, with the help of a wise beaver comes to realize that his love for Myrtle is more important than acting like an otter or eating fish. And Myrtle realized that that Otter was no ordinary otter, he was willing to live a different life with her. This picture love story combines humor and sweetness while showing that sometimes love is tricky. Fabulous watercolor and pencil illustrations by Chris Raschka add to the charm and endearing quality of this unusual offering.
MAGRITTE'S MARVELOUS HAT
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
JOHNSON, D B
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Rene Magritte's art is brought to life in this imaginative tale by D. B Johnson. Magritte, portrayed as a dog in a suit, buys a hat that floats above his head. The hat inspires him as an artist and adds fun to his interactions in the world. However, when the hat distracts him while he is painting he insults it and it flies away. Magritte quickly realizes his mistake and searches for the hat which eludes him. Just he is about to give up he realizes that the hat just wants to play so he hides from it and the hat comes home. The story explores the unique vision found in Magritte's art. However, it is the illustrations with their visual nods to Rene Magritte's paintings that will engage the readers to explore Magritte's art. Art teachers of all ages will find this a valuable teaching resource.
STORY OF SILK : FROM WORM SPIT TO WOVEN SCARVES
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
SOBOL, RICHARD
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Author/photographer Richard Sobol returned to the Thai village he wrote about in his book The Life of Rice to document the silk making that happens when rice season is over. In this chatty first person narrative he tells of his trip back to the village and what he learned of the silk making that happens there. Readers will learn the process of raising silkworms, and the many jobs that are required of the villagers. They will respond to interesting descriptions like the "marshmallowy body", and gross-out facts such as the job of picking out poop from the trays and the fact that the boiled caterpillars are eaten with relish once their silk cocoons have been removed. Readers will also come away with an appreciation of the pride that the villagers have in the finished product and the importance of it to clothe themselves, but also to provide money after the rice season is over. Clear photos show the process, but also share the setting and the way that skills are passed from one generation to the next.
MAGICAL LIFE OF MR. RENNY
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
TIMMERS, LEO
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
A picture book about a dog who paints beautiful pictures but never manages to sell any. One day, a mysterious man brings his paintings to life, and suddenly the dog can eat his fill, as well as drive a sweet car and drink plenty of champagne. Eventually, he asks his paintings to be changed back because someone wants to buy his painting and he misses his artwork. While a cute story, readers might be a little unsure of the overall point to/moral of this story (to be honest, I'm a little unsure). With solid binding, thick paper, and bright illustrations, children will enjoy this story by a European author/illustrator.
ALL IN A NIGHT'S WORK
CALICO CHAPTER BOOKS [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
SPECTOR, BARON
KNEUPPER, SETCH
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Book 6 in the Graveyard Diaries series, which follows 5 kids who each live near a graveyard in their small town and are frequently witness to strange, supernatural events (ghosts, vampires, werewolves, etc.). The kids have formed a group called the Zombie Hunters and write diaries to record the spooky adventures they find themselves in. This particular story follows Stan as he gets pulled into the past to try to end a feud over an apple orchard. The original feud resulted in four deaths (and those four ghosts of course haunt the graveyard by Stan's house) and if Stan can't resolve the problem, he may very well end up dead, too! The chapters range from 5-12 pages long, and the book ends with Stan's ghost facts and recommendations on how to time travel. With a large font and occasional illustrations, this book is a great for readers who need a bit of extra help. The diary entries are a bit stilted, though, and seem unrealistic for 6th graders to have written. They kids also seem to instantly solve problems (I know what the feud is about! I just time traveled!), but are otherwise enjoyable characters to read about.
BOY PROJECT : NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS OF KARA MCALLISTER
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
KINARD, KAMI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
6th grader Kara is desperate to have a boyfriend, and decides to employ the scientific method to achieve her goal. What follows is a hilarious, occasionally cringe-worthy story of a nerdy, crafty, funny girl navigating middle school, family, friends, and boys. Her adventures find her getting caught in the boys' bathroom, visiting the principal's office, up at 6 am to run with her older sister, and starting a blog about crafts. The book is sprinkled with her notecards on each "subject" she is observing (her fellow classmates), as well as surveys, emails, and illustrations. Kara is a likeable, flawed character and is a solid offering for tween girls. Librarians will appreciate the books she reads throughout the book, including Inkheart.
WHAT'S IN MY HOUSE?
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
TRANCHANT, GERALDINE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
A chunky, miniature picture book (it is board book sized but with paper pages) full of pictures and lables of practically everything inside a baby's house. The book goes room by room highlighting in detail what can be found there, resulting in 251 pages of photos! This thick, heavy book could pose some danger to very young readers and the binding and pages will not withstand the heavy use of baby and toddler readers.
MOOGEES MOVE HOUSE
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
MCGUIRK, LESLIE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Strange looking, cartoonish creatures called Moogees are hunting for a new house. Mom and Dad Moogee have issues with each of the houses they are shown, but the three baby Moogees only say "waa waa moogee doogee wee wee low lum!". Finally, Mom and Dad find the right house and the realtor realizes that the babies have been saying all along that they are happy anywhere, as long as they are with their loved ones.The story is cute, but the point of the story (being happy anywhere...) is told, never shown. The story lacks connection with the reader and there isn't much to the book overall.
WONDERFUL WORLD OF EARTH
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Full of interesting facts about a wide range of space topics, this book is sure to grab the interest of young readers and encourage their curiosity to seek out more in depth resources. The book covers planets, stars, the story of Pluto's demotion, the International Space Station, comets, myths and legends, and more. Disney characters appear frequently to comment on different facts and topics in the book. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, planet facts, and loads of colorful pictures and illustrations. Chapters are short, about two pages, and include bold text and picture captions. The pages are thick and the binding is very sturdy. Other books in the series include sharks, dinoaurs, earth, and nature. At about $8 a book, this is a great addition to a library.
TECH TITANS
Scholastic Paperbacks [Scholastic Paperbacks]
MCCLAFFERTY, CARLA KILLO
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Touted as "One Frontier, Six Bios", this book highlights six leaders in the technology field: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page. The book dedicates one chapter to each person's biography and contributions to the world of technology and innovation. The book also has an introduction, table of contents, conclusion, map, timeline, index, and a really helpful, thorough resources page. Each chapter also contains sections to break up different parts of their life, and occasional color pictures pop up as well. The writing is straight forward and interesting, but did not earn an R because of the flimsy pages and binding, lack of female presence (there are a lack of women in the upper echelon of the tech world, but STILL), and outdated information on Zuckerberg. The other titles in the series, about the Civil War and World War II, will be more accurate, but will continue to have the poor binding and lack of women issues.
HAPPY HANUKKAH, CURIOUS GEORGE
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
REY, H A
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
This Curious George board book tells of everyone's favorite monkey and the Man with the Yellow Hat celebrating Hanukkah with friends. Each two page spread has a poem about a different aspect of the celebration and each of those pages has a tab on the side of the book which indicates what the page is about (menorah, dreidel, gold gelts, etc.). The rhyme and rhythm are definitely off at times, but overall the book does a good job sharing the basics about this holiday with young children.
Elixir
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers [Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers]
Duff, Hilary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Published in 2010, this is the first book in the teen supernatural romance series by celebrity Hilary Duff. Jumping on the love triangle with supernatural characters trend, this book follows unrelatable Clea, who is living a fabulous, unrealistic life as a wealthy, largely unsupervised 17 year old. She is a world traveling photo journalist who uses a pseudonym while landing jobs, as her famous last name makse it difficult otherwise. Clea travels with her friend/paid companion Ben as they search for the Elixir of Life (and her missing father) and they encounter mysterious Sage, who has a suspicious connection to both the Elixir and her father. The adventure and love triangle pick up from there, though sex scenes are skipped over. The plot is somewhat predictable, but it is the cliched phrases and awkward sentences that really demonstrate the lack of editing and polishing this book received. Twilight fans will enjoy the book, and for a celebrity written book, it isn't terrible, but there are better books out there, despite its New York Times bestseller status.
MEET ME AT THE MOON
VIKING JUVENILE [PENGUIN]
MARINO, GIANNA
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
A picture book about a mama elephant reassuring her Little One about how much she loves them, adults and children both will appreciate the sweet story and gorgeous pictures. Mama must go to the mountains to ask the sky for some much needed rain, and Little One is left behind on the African savannah to wait for her. With colorful, two page spread illustrations of African animals and gorgeous African scenes, this book makes an excellent story time or lapsit book. The solid binding and thick pages will hold up well to use and children who need extra reassurance (say, before being left with a baby-sitter) will be particularly drawn to it.
SWEET BABY FEET
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR)]
O'HAIR, MARGARET
DOCKRAY, TRACY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
A picture book on thick, almost board book-like pages (great for little fingers to turn pages!), this book talks about the glories of those sweet baby feet! A funny story following a mama and her baby throughout the day, there are also appearances by the cat, dog, and dad. The book is cute, sweet, and well illustrated, but the rhythm of the text is often off and several of the rhymes are not true rhymes, which mar the overall reading experience.
BESSICA LEFTER BITES BACK
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
TRACY, KRISTEN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
The second book about Bessica Lefter follows her ongoing problems with her BFF, "psycho bullies", family, and general middle school drama. Bessica has won a spot as one half of their school mascot and she takes her new duties very seriously, as she believes it is her chance to stand out and be somebody in middle school. The book contains the usual drama of tween books (detention! boys! text fights!), including school mishaps and a cute boy next door. Little asides are sprinkled throughout the book-- texts, notes, etc. to help keep interest. Bessica is a pretty flawed person and isn't always very likeable, but there is value in reading about such characters, even if it makes it harder to connect with the character, events, and other people in the book. Overall, the book is funny, sweet, and positive, but there are better books out there.
GIRL OUT LOUD
CHICKEN HOUSE [SCHOLASTIC]
GALE, EMILY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Kassidy is a 15 year old in Australia with an emotionally absent mother, a deliquent younger brother, and a mentally fragile father. Kassidy can't sing, but her father is obsessed with getting her on a reality TV music competition, which her mother enables and her little brother ignores. Add frenemy issues, a parental affair, the usual school drama, and a cute boy who pushes her too far sexually, and you've got one exhausting novel on your hands. While the focus on mental illness (father is clearly bipolar) and how it affects families is an important topic, readers may also find the plot too much (how many "issues" can be crammed in one book?). I wanted to give this book a R rating for its choice of subject matter and writing quality, but the plot kept piling on more and more issues on poor Kassidy and the writing turned quite didactic at times.
HOME COURT
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
STOUDEMIRE, AMAR'E
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 07, 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 first in the series, is about 11 year old Amar'e, as he handles neighborhood bullies, along with issues at school, on the basketball court, and at the skate park. The book is told in first person and contains plenty of interesting details, funny asides, and basketball scenes, and never talks down to the reader. 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.
PORTUGAL
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
SCHUETZ, KARI
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Exploring Countries series, this Blastoff Reader Level 5 book describes the European country of Portugal. The book explores the geography and culture of this nation. There is very little about the history (some content on explorers) and about the government. Color photograph enhance the well-written, easy to follow text. Although this book will help lower level students with country projects, they will have to go to other sources for more information. The book includes a table of contents, index, glossary, and country fast facts. There is a bibliography that contains 3 books and leads readers to a publisher maintained website. 32 pages, purchase if you have the need for additional books on this country.
STALK, DON'T RUN : BOOK THREE IN THE MALIBU MAYHEM TRILOGY
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
KEENE, CAROLYN
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Book 3 in the Malibu Mayhem trilogy, part of the updated Nancy Drew series. While the characters and setting of the original and beloved Nancy Drew remain the same, the series has been rebooted with updated technology, slang, and media (Nancy drives a hybrid, for instance). It is an odd mix of old fashioned, small town values and present day reality TV obsession and it simply doesn't work. The many things that made the original Nancy unique and delightful are gone and what is left is a one dimensional character and an unbelievable and uninteresting mystery to solve. Nancy, Bess,and George are trying to figure out what is going on with the mysterious leader of Camp Athena and why the mean girls at camp are getting away with everything. To complicate things, the famous reality TV sisters Mandy, Mallory, and Mia Casabian are in town and making things worse. Unimaginative and predictable, the original series and other, present day, non-Nancy Drew mysteries aimed at kids are much, much better.
OCEANOGRAPHY : THE STUDY OF OCEANS
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
GRAY, SUSAN H
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Tectonic plates, bioluminescence, tsunamis, tides, reefs, currents - this book has it all. Part of the "A True Book" series, this 48 page book presents and overview of oceanography to the reader. The well-written text explains the history of oceanic discovery from Columbus to the present. It describes the Southern Ocean, our fifth and newest ocean created in 2000 and what oceanographers are studying today. Color photographs give the reader more to wonder about. The book contains a table of contents, resources, glossary, index, and author information. Buy if you need a solid introduction in this scientific area.
ANCIENT INCAS
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
BURGAN, MICHAEL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
The world of the ancient Inca civilization comes alive in this book, part of "The Ancient World" series. The formation, customs, and demise of the civilization are well covered in this 112 page book. The book also explainscontributions from the civilization that are still in use today. Color photographs and illustrations enhance the well-written text. The book includes a timeline, glossary, table of contents, index, and bibliography. Buy this book to update your South America collection.
STEVE JOBS
HEINEMANN RAINTREE LIBRARY [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
HUNTER, NICK
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 07, 2013
Samuel, Treasure
Part of Capstone's Titans of Business series, this particular book tells the life story of Steve Jobs. The book is well bound with glossy pages and contaits maps, pictures, quotes, and facts in separate boxes. There is a table of contents, glossary, index, and find out more section, and words bolded in the text are listed in the glossary. The table of contents also include 4 boxes describing what readers will learn from reading the book. The book tells the story of Jobs' life and success, and ends with a chapter on How to Be an Entreprenuer (branding, innovation, etc.). The book is great addition to a library, my only complaint is that the other books in the series so far (Jay-Z, Simon Cowell, Rupert Murdoch, etc.) only feature men.
CHE GUEVARA : YOU WIN OR YOU DIE
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
KALLEN, STUART A
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
The life of revolutionary Che Guevara is explored in this 88 page book. The well-written text describes his upbringing, his travels through South and Central America, his participation in the Cuban Revolution, and his time on the world stage. The book is balanced and explores his compassion and cruelty,as well as, his thoughtfulness and abandon. Because of brief descriptions of his womanizing, this book is more appropriate for the junior high and high school level. Photographs, maps, and information boxes give the reader background. Highlighted quotes focus the readers attention. The book contains a table of contents, timeline, glossary, footnotes, index, bibliography, and author information. I wish more biographies we as well researched and written as this one.
KEVIN KEEPS UP
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
NAGDA, ANN WHITEHEAD
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Looking for good, quality fiction for the grade 2-3 crowd? This book might just fit the bill. Kevin, who has ADHD (although it's not really the focus of this book), has to deal with a substitute teacher who doesn't understand him when his teacher goes on a trip to Africa. Kevin is working on an animal project and is having trouble. Through emails with his teacher and a challenge from the PE teacher, Kevin succeeds in completing his project. A fun read that students will be able to relate to.
COOKIES : A MR. AND MRS. GREEN ADVENTURE
SANDPIPER [SANDPIPER]
BAKER, KEITH
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Mr. Green, a lovable green alligator, wakes up from a nap and smells cookies! Mrs. Green had left a note with the cooling cookies stating that they were terrible and shouldn't be eaten. Mr. Green can't figure out why since they smell so delicious and he ends up eating them all. Luckily when Mrs. Green comes home he finds out that he only read half the note and there are even more cookies in the refridgerator waiting to be baked. This is a fun story full of eating that young readers will enjoy. The simple lively illustrations add to the charm of the story. It is a level 2 Green Light Reader.
IRAN
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
PRENTZAS, G S
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Social Studies Explorer series, this 48 page book describes, in brief, the history, economy, government, and culture of this Asian country. While the text seems like the typical country book, the layout is engaging. The book contain several activities: recipe, kite making, graphing, and tracing a map. Although the cover says "It's cool to learn about countries", the graphing and tracing activity don't seem very cool. Postcard boxes highlight facts and concepts. The book contains many color photographs. Also included is a table of contents, index, glossary, resources, and a few sentences about the author. Buy if you have a need to update this section of your library.
Board Sports
Heinemann-Raintree [Heinemann-Raintree]
Hurley, Michael
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
This is an uninspired look at board sports that is so general that it isn't useful and also isn't especially visually appealing.The first chapter is called What are Board Sports?, but a definition is never provided. The following eight chapters are each two pages long and each one focuses on a board sport, such as snowboarding, windsurfing, and mountain boarding. Each mini chapter is a few sentences of general text and two uncaptioned photographs and usually a quick fact. The exception is surfing which is four pages long. The last two chapters tell the reader to be safe by using proper equipment and listen to experts and also to get fit. An index, glossary, and list of resources are included.
HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS LETTER
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
MINDEN, CECILIA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Step-by-step directions to write a quality business letter are described in this 24 page book, part of the "Language Arts Explorer Junior" series. The book describes the parts of a business letter and then take the reader through each part using the example of writing a toy company. Color photos and drawing liven the clear and consice text. Although this book will never be checked out on it's own, it will find use in one-on-one situations where students are working on this type of letter. It includes a table of contents, glossary, index, and author information. Review copy was paperback.
Neptune
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Kazunas, Ariel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
A 24 page book in the 21st Century Junior Library Series, Neptune describes the eighth planet from the sun and it's place in our solar system. Color photographs enhance the simple, yet descriptive text. Assessbile for younger readers this overview will excite budding astronomers. My only complaint is there is no timeline and while the author describes how Neptune was discovered, there is no date of discovery in the text. The book contains the usual non-fiction features: table of contents, index, glossary, resource list, and author information.
How to Write an Ad
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Minden, Cecilia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This book explains how to write an appealing advertisment. It takes the reader step-by-step through the process in its 24 pages: how to be persuasive, knowing your audience, questions to answer, design elements, and final production. While it may not be checked out on it's own, it will be useful for students creating ads for school events. It includes a table of contents, index, glossary, author information. Part of the Language Arts Explorer Junior series, it has a strong hardcover binding.
HIKING
BUDDY BOOKS [ABDO]
TIECK, SARAH
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
All sorts of basic information on hiking is covered in this book from gear, different kinds of hiking, safety, being a responsible hiker. The paragraphs of information are on top of full-page photographs that relate to the text along with quick facts. The types of hikes covered are ones close to cities, day trips, backpacking trips, and hiking in different natural environments such as mountains, near water, or in the desert. A short chapter on the Appalachian Trail is also included. The information on gear and safety and gear is enough to get someone started on a basic day hike with some information for getting ready for longer hikes. This is an appealing and informative book that will appeal to those who want to hike or already like hiking. An index, glossary, and list of resources is included. It is part of the Outdoor Adventures series.
PAKISTAN
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
SONNEBORN, LIZ
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This 144 page book is part of the "Enchantment of the World" series. It contain information regarding the history, religion, culture, economy, government, and geography of this south Asian nation. With current events focusing in this area, this book will make a good resource. The text is well-written, clear, and concise. Color photographs, maps, and charts provide the reader with additional information. The book includes non-fiction features: table of contents, bibliography, index, timeline, author information, reference facts, and even a Pakistani recipe. Pakistan is a book to buy to update this section of your library.
RUNNING FOR PUBLIC OFFICE
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
DE CAPUA, SARAH
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This 48 page "A True Book" opens with 2 true/false questions. Readers are encouraged to discover the answers while reading this book. The well-written text describes qualifications for public office, campaigning, what happens on election day, and how the US president is elected. Captioned color photographs add to the text. The use of social media for elections is also described in this book. The book contains a table of contents, resources, glossary, index, and author information.
CANOEING
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
GREEN, SARA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
This is an attractive book for someone who has never been canoeing. It covers the basics of equipment, strokes, and safety. There is also section on The Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Interesting full-page uncaptioned photographs make canoeing look fun for all ages and diagrams show basic strokes and parts of a boat. This is a book to get someone interested in canoeing, but they will have to find more information to pursue the idea. Young readers who already enjoy canoeing will enjoy browsing this book. It has an idex, glossary, and list of resources. It is part of the Outdoor Adventures series.
REPTILES
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
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Reptiles are one class within the animal kingdom and this book briefly explains how reptiles fit in the animal kingdom and their common characteristics. It also divides reptiles into four main groups, such as tortoises and turtles. The last chapter is just a list of unique reptiles, such as largest reptile and reptile with the shortest life span, but without details. Each chapter is two to eight pages long with a few clear sentences of text and photos that are sometimes labeled. An index, glossary, and list of resources is included. The strengths of this book is the visual appeal and the clear but very basic information.
Freestyle BMX
Lerner Publications [Lerner Publications]
Thomas, Isabel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 07, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "On the Radar" series, this 32 page book looks at the world of Freestyle BMX. The book is laid out in an uncoventional way, but will appeal to its readers. Facts are described in small boxes. The book explains the origins of the sport, some of its stars, and the future (which may include the Olympics). The book also gives step-by-step instruction to several stunts. The glossary of BMX lingo is found in the middle of the book (and is poorly edited: the word "urban landscape" is divided between two columns). The book also contains a small resource section and miniscule index. Buy if you have a need in this area, it will attract readers.
CAMPING : A MR. AND MRS. GREEN ADVENTURE
SANDPIPER [SANDPIPER]
BAKER, KEITH
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Mr. Green has never been camping, so he is excited when Mrs. Green suggests it. The two alligators carefully gather supplies from practical ones like warm clothes to fun ones like a harmonica. When Mrs. Green says they must follow a map, Mr. Green starts to get nervous about things like the dark and mosquitoes. After following the map around their neighborhood, Mr. Green is relieved to end up camping in their backyard where they have a great time. This is a fun story that young readers will like. The simple bright illustrations on a white background add to the charm of the story. It is a level 2 Green Light Reader.
VIP Pass to a Pro Baseball Game Day: from the locker room to the press box and everything in between
Capstone Press [Capstone Press]
Latimer, Clay
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2013
Dersch, Kris
As the title may indicate, this behind-the-scenes book is more about what happens on the sidelines of a baseball game than on the field. Readers follow the players, coaches, reporters, and grounds crew on the bus, in the clubhouse, in the dugout, and in the press box, but little is said about what happens between the foul lines. Color photos from around the league give visual appeal but would benefit from captions identifying players and teams, particularly as the title ages. Fun facts and sidebars give interesting information (did you know umpires used to sit in rocking chairs?) but the actual text is generally quite simple, although the behind-the-scenes nature of the title will requre an understanding of baseball to access the information presented. Index, glossary, and further reading are included, with further reading leading you to Capstone's own fact-finding website. The series includes pro basketball, football, and hockey.
SEEING RED : THE TRUE STORY OF BLOOD
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
KYI, TANYA LLOYD
ROLSTON, STEVE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 07, 2013
Dersch, Kris
This visually appealing book features a complete social and biological history of blood, including its uses in religious ceremonies, vampire myths, coming of age ceremonies and menstruation, and developments in science and medicine. Illustrated in black, white, and red comics, there is enough gore here to satisfy bloodthirsty readers, although some of the religious information feels stilted and some illustrations, such as the comic accompanying the discussion of giving blood in Indian religious ceremony, are sterotypical. Factual information is good if oddly organized, pairing the discussion of blood in ritual with bloodletting in early medicine and saving a discussion of the holy grail and religous idols for the chapter on food. While most of the comics relate directly to the information presented, midway through the book a side storyline between the comic narrator and a vampire friend takes on its own life in a way not entirely congruent with the accompanying text. Comprehensive source list and index are included as is further reading, which would benefit from the addition of websites as well as books. A solid addition to most collections, if it doesn't entirely live up to its potential.
ARMY DELTA FORCE
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
GORDON, NICK
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 07, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Part of the Epic U.S. Military series that includes Army Green Berets, Navy Seals, and all the major U.S. military branches (army, navy, Marines, and air force), this will fly off the shelves. Color photos of personnel and equipment, including assault rifles and helicopters, are accompanied by spare text, most of which is defined in the included glossary. Not a lot of text for the money, but if your budget can stretch to accomodate these titles, they will find readers. Index and further reading, which leads readers right to Scholastic's selected web resources, are included.
MASTERMIND PLOT
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
FRAZIER, ANGIE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Suzanna Snow is back in a book that would benefit from more clearly identifying itself as second in a series. While this mystery certainly stands alone, discussion of the previous book's plot in early chapters can make this story hard to get into for new readers of the series. Recently moved from Canada to Edwardian Boston, Suzanna finds herself smack in the middle of another mystery, this time involving a classmate's father's stolen art collection. Suzanna and her new friend must first learn to trust one another before they can solve the crime, and Suzanna's detective uncle is none too happy about having her help, especially when she discovers he's been hiding a family secret. The historical setting is not as successful as it could be, as dialogue and character interaction don't always fit either in their time or now. A satisfying whodunit for young mystery readers, who will relate to Suzanna.
SEEING ORANGE
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
CASSIDY, SARA
MEISSNER, AMY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 07, 2013
Dersch, Kris
From the high interest low reading level experts at Orca Books comes this addition to their Orca Echoes series for younger readers. Leland is an artist, but his imagination isn't appreciated by his teacher Mr. Carling, who just wants him to stay in at recess and write something. To protect himself from Mr. Carling and school, Leland creates Delilah, a seeing eye dog only he can see, to help him navigate the world. But it is when his actual pet, a family cat named Pumpkin, goes missing and he must draw the posters that Leland captures the attention of an actual artist and sees his talent for the valuable asset it actually is. With gentle plot twists and believable black and white illustrations, Leland's story will appeal to primary grade readers but with a reading level at four or below will not be off-putting to struggling intermediate readers, who will see themselves in Leland's struggles. A good addition to most collections.
SNOWBOY 1,2,3
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
WAHMAN, JOE
WAHMAN, WENDY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
This book starts and ends with "one snowboy all alone" and counts up to ten and back down. The snowboy and other forest animals have a somewhat disjointed adventure that includes "three ancient apple trees,"eight mittens in a row," and "four fish beneath the ice." The two children at the beginning and end of the book are unaware of all that is happening witht the snowboy and his friends. The bright full-page Photoshopped illustrations add humor and life to the story.
Experiments with Plants
Heinemann-Raintree [Heinemann-Raintree]
Taylor-Butler, Christine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 07, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
After two short chapters introducing plants and how to use the scientific method, five basic plant experiments are detailed. Each experiment has a hypothesis, procedure, usually a blank chart for recording observations, and a few sentence about how the science of the experiment works. There are also photographs showing how to set up the experiment. The experiments include growing roots without soil, taking in water without roots, and when a pinecone will open. Young scientists are encouraged to design their own experiments. This would be a helpful book for a student to organize and do a simple experiment for a science fair or just for fun with little or no adult help. An index, glossary, and list of resources is included. It is part of the My Science Investigations series.
LACEY WALKER, NONSTOP TALKER
PICTURE WINDOW BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
JONES, CHRISTIANNE C
WATSON, RICHARD
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
As the title states, Lacey the owl just can't quit talking. She talks through meals, school, her brother's monster movie, and bedtime rituals. But one morning Lacey wakes up and has lost her voice. As a result she has extra time after breakfast to do her homework, realizes her friend Nadine tells great jokes, gets a gold star for listening in class, enjoys her brother's movie, and has extra time to read more books with her father at bedtime. When she wakes up the next morning and has regained her voice, she still likes to talk, but now finds more time to also listen. Most kindergarten and first graders enjoyed this tale though they did find Lacey annoying at the beginning. The simple message is clear, but a good one. Students were happy Lacey learned her lesson, for the most part. This is a cute ctory with very cute illustrations that make it a pleasure to share either one on one or with a group.
SMOKE JUMPER
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
GORDON, NICK
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 07, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
This is a high interest topic with appropriate language for Grade 2-4 readers. Part of the Dangerous Jobs series by Torque/Bellweather Media/Children's Press/Scholastic Smoke Jumper describes the daring occupation of those people who parachute out of planes near forest fires inaccessible to firetrucks or rescue vehicles. These highly trained firefighters have special gear and equipment. Their job is to create firebreaks or backfires to contain the fires. The photos capture the danger and the job. Some headings and captions extend the text. An elementary reader should find this a decent introduction to a very specialized occupation in three chapters and 24 pages that include a 12-word glossary inlcuding "rappel" and "Kevlar" plus three books for further reading, a website and an acceptable index. Others in this series are Bomb Squad Technician, Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer, Deep Sea Fisherman and Lumberjack.
Scarlet
UNKNOWN PUBLISHER [UNKNOWN PUBLISHER]
Meyer, Marissa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 11, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
I must admit that by the time this sequel came out, I had forgotten it would be a take-off of another fairy tale--I was still thinking about Cinder, Iko, and Prince Kai. But I found Scarlet to be a likeable character, a gutsy young woman who shows compassion toward her grandmother's plight. Cinder (now Princess Selene) escapes from jail with the help of Captain Thorne, a jocular hellion who kept me in stitches. Queen Levana maintains her status as creepy miscreant and Iko continues as all-around nice keeper of Cinder and my vote for best android ever! I appreciate the suspicion that some of the characters have for each other--not quite trusting but knowing that working togther is the only way out of some sticky situation. A highly successful follow-up to Cinder.
The Limit
Aladdin [Aladdin]
Landon, Kristen
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 11, 2013
Amster-Burton, Laurie
In a not-very-far-in-the-future United States, the government monitors family spending. If a family exceeds its limit, one of their children will be forcibly transferred to a workhouse until debt is brought under control. Thirteen-year-old Matt, sent to a workhouse, swings inconsistently between credulity and cunning. Rather than exploring the totalitarian government theme popularized by The Hunger Games, The Limit ends with a whimper when Matt's nemesis is revealed to be a criminal acting almost alone and at the conclusion Matt is still in a workhouse, "making the best of things." Readers who finish the book will be puzzled by characters' ready acceptance of government control. Middle school readers who can't get enough dystopian fiction will pick up The Limit, but the slow pace and disappointing conclusion make this an additional pick at best.
VIVA JACQUELINA! : BEING AN ACCOUNT OF THE FURTHER ADVENTURE
HARCOURT BRACE JOVANOVICH [HARCOURT BRACE JOVANOVICH]
MEYER, L A
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 12, 2013
Dame, Anne
It is amazing how much trouble one young girl can get into - and back out of! Fans of the series will enjoy reading about Jackie's adventures in Spain and Portugal, including running with the bulls. Book 9 of the series.
PECOS BILL
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
YORK, J
GARLAND, MICHAEL
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 15, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Child's World has published four American Tall Tales as part of it Children's Illustrated Classics. This version of Pecos Bill in 24 pages is somewhat of a summarization more than a tale especially when compared to Steven Kellogg's picture book version. There are many differences between the two--Kellogg's has a lot more illustrations, includes Bills wife Sue and how they met, has a different reason for heading further west and a different way of falling out of the wagon. Also, Bill's older brother plays an important part in discovering 17-year-old Bill after he's been raised by coyotes in this newer account. The illustrations are colorful and entertaining, but there are only five in the whole book! Thus some double page spreads have no illustrations and could put off the intended younger reader. The last 2 pages provide background on the tale. If a book is needed for comparison this will work, but it's not a necessary purchase. Others in the series are Casey Jones, Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan.
Star Gazer
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Platt, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 15, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Chris Platt, author of the Thoroughbred Series, brings her own experience training Arabian horses and driving draft horses as well as racing as one of the first Oregon women jockeys to the writing of these stand-alone horse books. Jordan's move to a rural area feeds her dream of having her own horse, but her mother objects to the costs. But when Jordan attends an auction with strict instructions to only purchase chickens, she encounters an injured draft horse and ends up outbidding a purchaser from a rendering plant. Faced with the enormity of her deed, Jordan confesses to her mother and struggles to handle the consequences. Nursing the injured horse back to health, learning to handle a team in competition and a bit of romance with a local Amish boy keep the story hopping along. The series is an excellent addition to any library catering to a horse-loving population.
DUNDERHEADS BEHIND BARS
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
FLEISCHMAN, PAUL
Roberts, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 15, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
The Dunderhead gang exits school for a highly anticipated summer full of fun free from their teacher, Miss Breakbone. Or are they? A jewelry robbery and stint on a movie with Miss Ashley Throb-Hart, teen movie star, turns their summer into a nightmare. High climbing pal Spider, accused of the robbery by Miss Breakbone's brother the Police Chief, and is locked up in jail. When the Dunderheads devise a plan to catch the robber fails, all end up in jail despite proclaiming their innocence. But ever resourceful, the Dunderheads craft a solution with the inevitable catching the thief and reaping of rewards. Spectacular illustrations are crammed full of cartoonish renditions of the Dunderheads gleefully exiting school, signing on and acting in the movie and playing at the playground. The watercolor, pen and ink drawings contain plentiful detail to entertain individual readers as well as providing a fun read aloud. The spare text and plentiful illustrations make this an excellent recommendation for struggling and reluctant readers, especially boys. Purchase pre-bound as the binding will not hold up to the expected library circulation.
WHEN BLUE MET EGG
DIAL [DIAL]
WARD, LINDSAY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 15, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
When Blue finds a snowball lobbed into her nest, the stage is set for this endearing mistaken identity story. Blue is concerned that Egg's mother will be worried and sets off with Egg in a pail to find her. New Yorkers will be entranced as they visit familiar landmarks in their search. Ward's captivating paper-cut collage illustrations are peppered with ticket stubs, math papers, calendar fragments, and newspaper clippings leading to a book that individual readers can pour over with new discoveries at each reading. When Blue, wearing a warm red winter cap, is unsuccessful at locating Egg's mother, a delightful friendship develops and they enjoy ice skating, sledding and nestling at night. January, February and March pass by until the warming begins. As Egg shrinks, Blue tends her anxiously until the inevitable occurs and Egg disappears. But then the marvelous transformation occurs when Blue discovers a puddle and pink hat has blossomed into a beautiful spring flower. Blue sets off with the flowering Egg and wearing a sprightly spring hat to begin a new season of discovery. Lindsay Ward has blended the endearing storyline with the charming graphics to create a picture book that will delight the younger readers.
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
February 15, 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!
NEIL FLAMBE AND THE MARCO POLO MURDERS
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
SYLVESTER, KEVIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 15, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Neil Flamb?, the precocious and some would say obnoxious 14-year-old wunderchef, is called into action when mysterious deaths of chefs around Vancouver, BC pile up unsolved. Neil's exquisitely refined olfactory sense brings acclaim in the kitchen as well as assisting Inspector Sean Nakamura break open seemingly unsolvable mysteries. Reluctantly Neil visits the crime scenes where he discovers an intoxicating aroma and brown dusty residue on each dead chef's face, "contorted in a bizarre smirk." Mysterious notes clutched in the victims' hands hint at a link to Marco Polo's journeys and perhaps the source of the mysterious spice. Torn between his duties as a chef preparing the sublime feasts his guests paid top dollar for, and the murders of his fellow chefs, Neil dashes between the crime scenes and his restaurant. Increasingly intrigued by the unique scent of "a very good chai and some mysterious spicy overtone," Neil's obsessive nature and abundant ego lead him to the dangerous position of perhaps becoming the next target. Kevin Sylvester has concocted an unique repas, sprinkled with a dash of humor, spoonful of historical connections, a drizzle of danger and a satisfying conclusion sure to please your student "foodies" as well as other mystery lovers and will have them seeking for additional Neil Flamb? tales.
HORRID HENRY WAKES THE DEAD
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
SIMON, FRANCESCA
ROSS, TONY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 15, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Horrid Henry books, favorite British primary age chapter books, are chock full of over-the-top humor. Each book includes 4 stories billed as "laugh-out-loud stories!" starring Henry, his younger brother Perfect Peter, neighbor, Moody Margaret and an assortment of classmates. In Wakes the Dead's four stories, Henry fights with his brother to claim TV rights to choose the show, runs for Class President, fights Peter over a birthday present and attempts to wake the dead as a magician in his school talent show. These mundane plots though, are spiced up with naughtiness, "horrid" behavior and public humiliation. But the over-the-top-behavior has great appeal and has initiated many a young British boy when starting to read longer chapter books. Black and white illustrations punctuate the text adding additional humor and supply support for your struggling and reluctant readers. Though certain to appeal to younger Wimpy Kid wanna-be readers, these may not be favorites of parents or teachers. Test a book out with your students to determine if you have an audience.
HORRID HENRY AND THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
SIMON, FRANCESCA
ROSS, TONY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 15, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Stomping, sobbing, staggering and screaming dominate the Horrid Henry books, as Henry manages to annoy everyone with his absurd escapades. Each book includes 4 stories billed as "laugh-out-loud stories!" starring Henry, his younger brother Perfect Peter, neighbor, Moody Margaret and an assortment of classmates. In the Abominable Snowman, Henry builds a snowman to outcompete his neighbors and win a year's free supply of ice cream, imitates Moody Margaret's Makeover Business to make money, spends a rainy day creating his will and another day excited about the author's visit. These mundane plots though, are spiced up with naughtiness, "horrid" behavior and public humiliation. Henry is a greedy, horrible little boy who mercilessly teases his younger brother, regularly refuses to follow rules and home and tries to get other kids in trouble. But the over-the-top-behavior has great appeal and has initiated many a young British boy when starting to read longer chapter books. Black and white illustrations punctuate the text adding additional humor and supply support for your struggling and reluctant readers. Though certain to appeal to younger Wimpy Kid wanna-be readers, these may not be favorites of parents or teachers. Test a book out with your students to determine if you have an audience.
HORRID HENRY ROCKS
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
SIMON, FRANCESCA
ROSS, TONY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 15, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Horrid Henry books, favorite British primary age chapter books, are chock full of over-the-top humor. Each book includes 4 stories billed as "laugh-out-loud stories!" starring Henry, his younger brother Perfect Peter, neighbor, Moody Margaret and an assortment of classmates. In the four stories of Rocks, Henry and his brother invade each other's rooms, writes his autobiography, crashes Moody Margaret's sleepover and manages to earn tickets to his favorite band, the Killer Rats after he sings their songs on stage at a "Daffy and her Dancing Daisies" concert. These plots though, are spiced up with naughtiness, "horrid" behavior and public humiliation. Henry stomps, connives, cheats, and steals, all befitting someone named Horrid Henry. But the over-the-top-behavior has great appeal and has initiated many a young British boy when starting to read longer chapter books. Black and white illustrations punctuate the text adding additional humor and supply support for your struggling and reluctant readers. Though certain to appeal to younger Wimpy Kid wanna-be readers, these may not be favorites of parents or teachers. Test a book out with your students to determine if you have an audience.
HORRID HENRY AND THE SOCCER FIEND
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
SIMON, FRANCESCA
ROSS, TONY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 15, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Horrid Henry books, favorite British primary age chapter books, are chock full of over-the-top humor. Each book includes 4 stories billed as "laugh-out-loud stories!" starring Henry, his younger brother Perfect Peter, and an assortment of classmates. In Soccer Fiend, Henry: doctors up Peter's diary, scrambles on the soccer field to win tickets to a professional game, goes shopping for new pants & shoes and has to escort the "new boy," his boss's son, around school. These mundane plots though, are spiced up with naughtiness, "horrid" behavior and public humiliation. Black and white illustrations punctuate the text adding additional humor and supply support for struggling and reluctant readers. Certain to appeal to your younger Wimpy Kid wanna be readers, these may not be favorites of parents or teachers. Test a book out with your students to determine if you have an audience.
RACHEL CARSON : EXTRAORDINARY ENVIRONMENTALIST
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
WHEELER, JILL C
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 15, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
Rachel Carson, was an extraordinary women and a dedicated environmentalist. In this offering from ABDO's Women in science, we learn about her early years in Pennsylvania, exploring the area around the family's farm and writing stories. Her first teacher was her mother who shared her love of nature. The chapters about her education show that even though she could not always attend school she was an outstanding student and went on to graduate from college, and went on to further graduate studies. She became passionately interested in biology and the environment. She began working for the Dept. of Agriculture writing scripts for radio programs on marine biology and went on to become an aquatic biologist and writing. This is a well written and easily understood biography. The photographs and captions help the reader connect with Rachel and her story. There is a timeline of important events in her life, a glossary, a "Dig Deeper" page, an index, as well as directions to go to the ABDO page and to their "Book Links". this would be a good addition to any library. No other reviews were found.
ZIP IT!
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
LINDAMAN, JANE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 15, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
Joe and his Dad are off to run errands on a Saturday morning. Dad is so busy he forgets that his fly is open, showing the heart patterend underwear he has on. All through the day, from the baseball game, to fishing, to errands at the store where they mee Joe's teacher, Dad has had his fly open. Joe struggles mightly to let Dad know, "Uh-oh, Dad. Your zip . . ." "I'll buckle up if you zip . . ." Throght Nancy Carlson's brightly colored carton style illustrations we see Dad continually interupt Joe before he can finish the warning. Carlson has sprinkled refereces to the problem through out with a license plate "XYZPDQ", a fly ball and a confused house fly at various points throughout the story. Children will think this is very funny but may not catch all of the reference, such as "fly ball" and "Let's zip out of here". The binding is adequate and should stand up to the wear this one wil receive. it would be a good example of language use for older students. Also reviewed in SLJ, Library Media Connection, Kirkus Reveiw, Horn Book, and Booklist.
DOCUMENTS OF FREEDOM : A LOOK AT THE DECLARATION OF INDEPEND
Searchlight Books [Lerner Publishing Group]
SWAIN, GWENYTH
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 15, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
This title is one of six in Lerner's How Government Works series. In this volume the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution are examined. Divided into four chapters, beginning with a small bit of history of the settlement, the growth, and through the Revolution, then on to discussions of each of the documents. The text is neat and easily read, a paragraph and captioned photo, or illustration made to resemble wood cuts and drawings of the period. The binding is a good library binding, but the paper on board cover will not last long. Additional sections added at the end to the book include a glossary, an index, as well as a section titled "More About the Government" that includes additional print and digital materials for students to explore. There is enough information to provide students with an understanding of why these documents are important even now. Also reviewed in SLJ, Library Media Connection and Horn Book.
KID CONFIDENTIAL: AN INSIDER'S GUIDE TO GROWN-UPS
WALKER & COMPANY [WALKER & COMPANY]
MONTGOMERY, MONTE
Storms, Patricia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 15, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
Kids Confidential purports to be a view of adults through the eyes of children, rather precocious children. With a definite tongue-in-cheek attitude the author provides insights on adult behavior separated into chapters titled, among others: Flesh and Bones; The Sounds of Seniority and Butt-Kissing and Brown-Nosing. The language is appropriate for most fourth grade student and up, but some of the innuendo is questionable. Some will find this hilarious, others just may be bored. I'm not sure the target audience is not the adults that just might get their hands on it, though the title, illustrations and tone seems to aim at late elementary and middle school students. It might appeal to the reluctant reader, except AR places the reading level at 7.2. Positive reviews were found in SLJ, Publishers Weekly and Horn Book, but Library Media Connection gave it a Not Recommended
FAMILY TREE
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [MACMILLAN]
MCPHAIL, DAVID
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 15, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
A man loads up a coverd wagon and goes in search of a patch of land to build a home. After clearing pasture for his animals, chopping trees for his home, leaving one for "shade for his house during the long hot summers and act as a buffer against the chilly winter winds" he returns for his wife. They start a family to work the land generation after generation. As time passes we see in David McPhail's beautiful watercolor and ink illustrations the passage of time, the changes that come to the family and the land. Automobiles replace the horse and wagon. Roads encroach on the old house and still the tree is there providing shade, a buffer and a place to swing and play. Until one day the original pioneer's great-great grandson is faced with the huge earthmovers building a road, saying that the tree is in the way and must go. With a help of the animals the boy saves the tree. This is a sentimental tale of one family, one tree, progress and our enviornment. Pair this with Virgina Lee Burton's The Little House to begin a discussion about ecology and our environment. Also reviewed in SLJ, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reveiws, Horn Book and Booklist.
SUPER SIMPLE NATIVE AMERICAN ART : FUN AND EASY ART FROM ARO
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KUSKOWSKI, ALEX
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 15, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
This is a well written, well bound "Super Sand Castel Book" by ABDO. The first pages introduce the reader to the objects, and their cultural significance to the groups of people who create them. There are symbols to denote whether the student needs adult help or the item might be hot, and "Before You Start" admonitions on safety and obtaining permission. The instructions for each of the items presented begin with a photograph and include clear, easy to understand, numbered, step-by-step directions along side a photograph of the object at that particular stage all surrounded with plenty of white space. A list of "What You Need" is in a colored box that draws attention. This series not only provides instruction for creating a variety of objects, but injects a bit of the culture in it. The only small quibble I have is that in talking about Kachina Dolls they lump all the "Pueblo" peoples together, instead of identifying the two main groups, the Hopi and the Zuni, as being the main groups who have Kachina Dolls. This would be a good addition to an elementary school library. Additional titles in the series include: Super Simple African Art, American Art, Chinese Art, Mexican Art, and, South & Central American Art.
MAYA MOORE
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
SAVAGE, JEFF
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 15, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Part of Lerner's Amazing Athletes series this title features Minnesota Lynz basketball forward Maya Moore. The first chapter shows how as a rookie professional in 2011, Moore, helped turn around a losing team by leading them to a victory over the Seattle Storm. The next four chapters chronicle Maya's childhood, where at an early age she showed a propensity for basketball, like her father, who was not the one who raised her. Her mother saw that she needed the best opportunities, so moved to find her the best youth program in the country in Georgia. From then on in high school and college at UConn, Maya rose to the top of each team as a 4.0 GPA student, humble leader and top competitor, who led her teams to state titles and national championships . Her hard work and drive led her to become the number 1 draft pick of the WNBA last year. This is a great success story that only provides the positive parts of this young woman's life. The book concludes with career highlights, glossary, further reading and website, and a short index all in 32 pages. Many other athletes are featured in this large series. This is a decent biography of a woman worth emulating.
DISCONNECT
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
PETERSON, LOIS
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 17, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
This entry in the Orca Currents series is aimed straight at today's youth who seem (to many adults) to be overwhelmingly dependent up their phones and computers. Daria is constantly checking her phone and social media accounts for news from her friends in Calgary. How else will she know what's going in on their lives now that she lives in Texas? When Cleo questions the amount of time she spends being connected to technology, Daria scoffs at her new friend. But she finds herself in a dangerous situation that wouldn't have happened had technology been such an important part of her life. A quick read which will be popular with teens struggling with comprehension.
WATCHING JIMMY
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
HARTRY, NANCY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 18, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
Carolyn, 11, lives next door to her best friend, Jimmy. In the past, they did everything together but not anymore. Jimmy doesn't do anything the two children liked to do because he now wears diapers after sustaining brain damage. Carolyn watches Jimmy's family and tries to be visiting Jimmy when Uncle Ted comes for his weekly visits. Because Carolyn knows the truth: that Jimmy's injuries didn't come from falling off a swing as Uncle Ted told everyone. This wonderful book combines history (set in 1958 Canada), empathy, and heartbreak. Highly recommended for teens.
The Yo-Yo Prophet
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Krossing, Karen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 19, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
Watch out, teachers--you'll soon see yo-yos showing up in your classrooms after students read this delightful book. Calvin is a nobody at school, pushed around by Rozelle and her mean-girl friends. His grandmother is selling her dry cleaning business to a man Calvin thinks is a bit shady and she hasn't starting looking for a new place for the two of them to live. When Calvin realizes people might pay to watch him perform tricks with his yo-yo, he finds an outlet for his frustration and despair. But Rozelle demands to be his manager and takes the money he earns. You will root for the protagonist, hoping he stands up to the bully and also gets to the bottom of his grandmother's reluctance to move forward with life in the way Calvin wants her to. A fast-paced read which will appeal to all readers.
REPRODUCTION IN PLANTS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
LUNDGREN, JULIE K
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 20, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
Rourke's My Science Library is a great resource for elementary school students and for older students and adults are are either learning English or are struggling with the language. The large font, color map, photos and diagrams, and numerous other text features make the book pleasing to the eye; the text consists of one paragraph per page, with words from the glossary in bold. The superb color photos, many of them close-up shots, more than adequately complement the text. A three-quesiton quiz finishes off the book. 24 pages; includes index and the afore-mentioned glossary. An excellent resource.
STARRING ARABELLE
EERDMAN'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [EERDMAN'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
DE BAUN, HILLARY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 20, 2013
Dersch, Kris
The YA market is full of quirky stories of awkward teenagers finding their niche in high school drama clubs. This isn't really that story. Even with its mean girls angle (senior Bonnie Atwood tricks freshman Arabelle out of auditioning for the school play because she says ninth graders can't have roles), this high school feels like something out of another time, and the characters come straight from central casting. There's the know-it-all best friend cum assistant director, the cute guy at the next locker who pays attention to Arabelle despite all odds, the exchange student with the bad grammar, and the overwrought once acting star drama teacher. The twist? Arabelle, already worried about college applications, has started volunteering once a week at a nursing home while still serving as the prompter for the school play during the week, so she's a busy girl. She wants to cure Alzheimers, find a new grandpa, and try to find her way into the play, and low and behold one broken leg and she's onstage. It's easy to root for Arabelle (also known as Alex, for reasons kind of related to her love of a certain romance novel, although the connection is fuzzy), but with quirkier characters and more authenticity to be found in any number of books, this will probably fall short for any drama loving team who bypasses the terrible cover to pick it up.
MY LIFE AS A PIONEER
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
MATZKE, ANN H
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 20, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Part of the "Little World Social Studies" series, which includes My Life as an Early Settler, My Life as a Native American, and My Life as an Immigrant, this 24-page book contains only one of the "beautiful photographs" promised on the back, and that is the covered wagon on the front cover. The rest of the book is illustrated in storybook style, with illustrations that might have been common in the day of the pioneers described. Each two page spread is a step on their journey, from gathering in Independence, MO to packing supplies, to walking with the wagon, surviving weather and hard luck, seeing landmarks like Chimney Rock, and arriving in a frontier town. Three or four spreads include "Pioneer Facts" that provide additional information about distance, weight, and other facts and figures. One spread includes Native Americans, traditionally dressed and somewhat stereotypical in appearance when drawn in this illustration style, but they are portrayed as helpful to those on this journey. A two page picture index is very helpful, and the final page is index, websites, and about the author. A solid book not at all helped by its visuals.
Roots of Humanity
ABDO & Daughters [ABDO & Daughters]
Ollhoff, Jim
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 20, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Part of the African American History series, which has volumes for the slavery years, the civil war, and the civil rights movement, as well as titles called "Courage and Growth" and "Pioneers of Equality" that are less easily defined, this is a little book with a big job. Starting with a black and white cover photo of a person in very traditional African tribal dress (despite the series title "African American History,") this book tries to define who African Americans are, where they come from, what racism is and where it comes from, why skin color is what it is, the history of scientific racism, what Africa is, how the African American community grew during slavery and beyond, and much more, all in 32 pages, including glossary and index. The result is a confusing book that has some good information but doesn't fully succeed in any of its target areas. The first quarter of the book talks about the history of names for African Americans, including black and Negro, and discusses the chemical melanin and what actually makes skin color, complete with closeup photographs of black and white skinned people. The book then goes into a title chapter "The Roots of Humanity" and talks about early peoples in Africa, complete with drawings of homo erectus and other early humans, an odd follow-up to the photographs of the previous page. Another abrupt switch takes the reader to a four-page history and geography of Africa lesson, then a discussion on slavery and how it spread African culture to America, complete with a short biography of York, a slave on the Lewis and Clark expedition, as well as a large illustration of Bre'r Rabbit and one of Phillis Wheatley. The book then spends three pages documenting the history of scientific
JOIN FORCES : TEAMING UP ONLINE
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
ROSLUND, SAMANTHA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 20, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Written by a school librarian and LIS student, this addition to the "Information Explorer Junior" series, which contains volumes on everything from online manners to photo sharing to citing sources, is really about how to create and use wikis with friends. Other forms of online collaboration are not listed or defined. The book starts with a discussion on safety and manners, encouraging students to think SMART (Safety, Manners, Adult Supervision, Responsiblity and Teamwork) when working online. A garden metaphor is also used, with students planning, planting, weeding, and pondering their work. Good basic research concepts are introduced here, including a suggestion that the young collaborators each find the answer to the same question using different sources, then compare and see what they find and which sources are valid. Each chapter contains an activity, which is fully outlined in the book or can be downloaded from the publisher's website. A five-word glossary, short "Find Out More!" section with two books and two websites, and an index are included.
MUMMY IN HER BACKPACK = UNA MOMIA EN SU MOCHILA
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
LUNA, JAMES
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 20, 2013
Dersch, Kris
At 50 pages, with a similar length Spanish language translation on the flip side, this short story isn't really a chapter book. Flor is just back from visiting family in Mexico, and is at school when she discovers she is not alone. A 150 year old mummy from a museum she visited with her family has escaped and stowed away in her backpack, having always wanted to see the los Estados Unidos, the United States. His elation at having arrived is short-lived, however, as he realizes he must return to his spot in the museum before his family visits to celebrate dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Given the short format, there isn't a lot of time to truly resolve Flor's dilemma. Fortunately for her, this story takes place at a school where trusting teachers often leave kids alone during recess and always believe Flor when she tries to frame nosy classmate Sandra to keep her out of the way. The school also comes complete with kindly janitor Mr. Garcia, who can easily hide the mummy in a box and return him by mail just in time. With oversize pencil drawings featuring very typically drawn school settings, there is no wonder there isn't room for a satisfying end to this story. The dual-language format will no doubt fill a need in many school libraries; it's just a shame the writing isn't better. Between the Spanish and English sections of the book is a list of five more bilingual titles by the author. The English translation has a number of Spanish language words, all nicely defined by context clues.
ANIMAL SANCTUARIES AND RESCUE CENTERS : SAVING LIVES AND CHA
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
LAIDLAW, ROB
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 20, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Beautiful and haunting photographs and clear passion for the work make this title stand out. Rob Laidlaw works with Zoocheck, an organization that supports animal rescue and works against inhumane treatment of animals in zoos, roadside attractions, and private homes. After an introduction to animal sanctuaries with a trip to India, the bulk of this book shows animal sanctuaries by type, from farm and equine, to elephant, to chimp, to aviary, to those that help aquatic life recover from oil spills. Each sanctuary is introduced with a photo and story of an animal living there. The book rounds out with chapters on bad sanctuaries, how to start a good sanctuary, and the oddly titled and stylistically illustrated "Become a Sanctuary Hero" chapter, with good information but an unfortunate illustration that diminishes a title which otherwise would be successful with many ages. Other stylistic problems diminish the power of the book: the first pages of each chapter have the skin of the animal in question as a backdrop which can make for tough reading when reading over feathers or fur. The second section of each chapter, profiling a new sanctuary of the type introduced in that chapter, is written in a handwriting font on notebook paper, but words and paper aren't always in sync, requiring readers to read words with lines right through them. None of this diminishes the passion of the book and the stories are powerful. A selected list of sanctuaries and a glossary come before the index and are oddly separated from it by praise of the author's books, including an unfortunate page of praise on this title itself, not the most efficient use of space. The message is clear: animals deserve respect and sanitary living conditions
BIG GAME HUNTING : BEAR, DEER, ELK, SHEEP, AND MORE
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
CARPENTER, TOM
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 20, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Part of the Great Outdoors Sports Zone series, which also includes freshwater fishing, small game hunting, bird hunting, waterfowl hunting, and saltwater fishing, this is a book that fills a need and fills it well. Early chapters briefly outline the history of big game hunting in North American and include a nod to conservation and to avid hunter and early conservationist Theodor Roosevelt. Later chapters emphasize safe, ethical, and legal hunting and young hunters are repeatedly urged to get permission, take a firearms course, and closely watch the laws of their state. Novice hunters are introduced to gear, weaponry, styles of hunting, and regions where they might find common game. Photographs of ethnically diverse hunters (and even, they are careful to point out, a girl) show correct use of gear and equipment and evoke the complexity of the sport. While the voice is aimed at an intermediate reader, the unusually small font is less than successful for this audience and only the terms specific to hunting are included in the glossary. Further reading includes websites as well as books (even a biography of Teddy Roosevelt) and an index is also included. A solid choice for a sport not always included in books for younger readers.
NOISY POEMS FOR A BUSY DAY
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
HEIDBREDER, ROBERT
SMITH, LORI JOY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 20, 2013
Dersch, Kris
If you are looking for onomatopoeia, this is your book. Through 30 poems, nicely outlined in the table of contents, from wakeup to dreamland, a group ofstylistically drawn kids slurp and burp and smooch and thud and splash their way through their day. Dogs, cats, mud, slides, and other staples of their day make an appearance, as does mom, whose primary role seems to be to keep dirty feet out and make loud burpers excuse themselves. The format of most poems is standard: two couplets followed by a whish or a wow or an ah as a final line. Some variety does occur, like after mealtime when parents encourage manners and help cleaning up. More variety in format would help this title out, especially with 30 poems included.
Little Man
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Warwick, Dionne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 21, 2013
Haines, Hazel
Dionne Warwick co-authored this book with David Freeman Wooley and it is based on experiences in his life. It is the story of a young man with a passion for drum playing. He learns that passion is not enough as he has to practice and practice and practice some more. Eventually he is invited to play at a neighborhood block party where he wows the audience. However, the book is more than just his story of achieving success; he encourages others to seek their dreams as well.
Dogs Don't Eat Jam and Other Things Big Kids Know
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Tsiang, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2013
Haines, Hazel
For our young readers who are dealing with the birth of a new sibling, this is a perfect book. It is really a book of advice and knowledge that an older brother or sister might pass along to a newborn. The pictures that accompany the text are whimsical and happy and make even a crying baby seem bearable. The binding is high quality library grade.
Rainforests
Rourke Publishing [Rourke Publishing]
McKenzie, Precious
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 21, 2013
Haines, Hazel
This is a simpley-organized factural books about the tropical rainforests with and emphasis on the flauna and flora of the region. It begins wih a table of contents, and in the back the reader will find a glossary, an index, and a list of resourceful Websites. It is a well-made book with beautiful color photos and library-quality binding. Please bear in mind that it focuses entirely on tropical rainforests, so students looking for information on Washington's temperate rainforests will not find any information. It is part of the Eye to Eye with Endangered Habitats series. Even with its limited scope, I recommend it for its engaging photography and thorough look at the tropics.
Motorcycles: Explore and Draw
Rourke Publishing [Rourke Publishing]
Thompson, Gare
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 21, 2013
Haines, Hazel
There are two distinct areas of focus in this book about motorcycles -- information and drawing instruction -- and both are substantial and well done. It has a pattern of one chapter about drawing motorcycles, the next chapter information, the next one on drawing, etc. It is part of the Explore and Draw series. I like the heavy duty library binding that should hold up under heavy usage as students examine the details and work on drawing the entricacies of each cycle.
I Spy an Apple
Cartwheel Books [Cartwheel Books]
Marzollo, Jean
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2013
Haines, Hazel
Most of our students are familiar with the I Spy books with hugh picture and a list of items to find within them. This is the same format, but it is designed for younger students and shows pictures for the items to be found. In addition, the last half of the book is devoted to primary reading skills will pages match items by color or look for workds that begin with blended letters like "sh." I found some of the items difficult to find in the pictures! And it is a paperback book. The I Spy books in my library get a lot of wear and tear and I doubt the paperback edition will hold up under use. Neverthless, it will be a popular book with students.
Gus Gets Scared
Cartwheel Books [Cartwheel Books]
Remkiewicz, Frank
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2013
Haines, Hazel
This is a level 1 book from Scholastic Readers about a loveable rhinocerous named Gus who pitches a tent in his backyard for an overnight campout. Noises in the night scare him and he entices dad to join him in the tent. Unfortunately, that's not enough for Gus, so he goes in the house where mom is and leaves dad to fend for himself. With brief, large printing and colorful pictures, the book will meet the interest and reading needs of those just learning to decode. Adults will also enjoy reading along with their students as it brings back memories of youthful camping adventures.
White Water
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Bandy, Michael S.
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 21, 2013
Haines, Hazel
Rarely do I find a book that I would highly recommend as a must-buy, but this one fits that category. Bandy bases this fiction picture book on a true story from his childhood; it is a story based in pre-Civil Rights days in the south when black Americans must drink from a "Blacks only" water fountain. But the young man in this story begins to wonder what the water might taste like from the "Whites only" one. One day he plays hooky from school and wiggles his way to the forbidden fountain, only to discover the water is the same yucky stuff in his designated one. Not only that, he checks out the pipes and realizes the water in both fountains comes from the same source. It is a moment of empowerment and liberation for him. In addition to the mesmerizing plot line, the illustrations reflect the time period.
INK ME
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
SCRIMGER, RICHARD
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 22, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
Bunny knows when people call him stupid that it's pretty much the truth. But he does ok in the world, and his brother, Spencer, ensures that he doesn't get into too much trouble. When the boys' grandfather dies and assigns each of them to fulfill a task, Bunny doesn't understand why he's supposed to get a tattoo. The ink he gets turns out to have gang affiliations; Bunny doesn't understand this and gets himself into a jam. Told with Bunny's language and spelling, as a mentally challenged teen, this story was somewhat difficult to get into and might not hold the interest of young people struggling with reading. But descriptions of gang life will sell this book; the empathy shown to the delightful protagonist by some unlikely characters will pull at your heart.
BROXO
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
GIALLONGO, ZACK
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
Graphic Novel. Zora is the princess of the Granitewings Clan. She has traveled far to find the Peryton Clan ? but instead she finds Broxo, a young warrior with no clan and a very interesting companion. Broxo's lands have been invaded by the walking dead and they will have to work together in order to defeat them. A bit dark and violent but well-illustrated and quite compelling.
APPLE : THE COMPANY AND ITS VISIONARY FOUNDER, STEVE JOBS
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
LUSTED, MARCIA AMIDON
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
This visually stimulating biography of the Apple Company and it's founder, Steve Jobs, will interest those who want to know more about the start of this technology mogul. Beginning with the advent of computing and ending with the inventions of the current day, there is a lot of information packed into 100 pages, including a timeline, a glossary, additional resources, and very complete source notes. The author does a very credible job portraying Jobs as both brilliant and yet temperamental.
THEIR SKELETONS SPEAK : KENNEWICK MAN AND THE PALEOAMERICAN
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
WALKER, SALLY M
W., DOUGLAS
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
Beginning with the 1996 discovery of the Kennewick Man, this book explores the science of working with prehistoric remains and the clues that can be gathered from them to divine what life might have been like in that era. It goes on to look at other discoveries and what we have learned from those as well. Lots of photographs and illustrations to add interest. Text is dense, but authors do a good job keeping out too much of the scientific jargon. An emphasis is placed on how many people are needed of a variety of backgrounds to work together with these discoveries. Could be motivational to some as possible future career choices.
BREAKING POINT
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
FOLAN, KARYN LANGHORNE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
A novel in the Bluford High series. Vicky's family is struggling: her dad lost his job, mom and dad are fighting, the creditors keep calling, grandpa with alzheimers has moved in, little brother is acting out. With all this, it's no wonder that Vicky is having a hard time keeping her grades up and maintaining relationships with friends plus a potential romance. Fans of the series will not be disappointed.
MEGA STRUCTURES : TALLEST, LONGEST, BIGGEST, DEEPEST
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
GRAHAM, IAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
Stunning photographs and illustrations, fun facts, history, fold-out pages, failures and accidents, future projects... what more could one ask for in a book about bridges, skyscrapers, tunnels, opera houses, stadiums, mines, etc? Nothing, really. Well, it is a lot of basic, introductory information about a wide variety of topics, so someone looking for more in-depth knowledge will have to look elsewhere. This one is sure to pull in a wide audience.
MARK OF ATHENA
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
RIORDAN, RICK
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
Book 3 in the "Heroes of Olympus" series. Action and adventure continues as Percy, Annabeth, and 5 other heroes are sent on a quest to close the Doors of Death. Fans of the series will not be disappointed ? until they finish the book and realize they have to wait for the next one to be published...
COUNTING BACK FROM NINE
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
SHERRARD, VALERIE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
Novel in verse. Laren is in love with her best friend's ex-boyfriend ? and it seems as if he may like her, too. While struggling with friendship and romance issues, disaster strikes her family and she has to deal with that as well. I feel like these themes have been over-worked and the novelty here is the format.
TUNE : 1 : VANISHING POINT
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
KIM, DEREK KIRK
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
Appropriate for high school or older audience. Main characters in this graphic novel are college students. From the back cover: "your classic romantic slice-of-life science fiction sex comedy adventure." Speaking as an adult, I enjoyed it quite a bit and would read the next in the series, but it's not appropriate for my middle school and maybe not some high school students as well.
DEADLY LITTLE LESSONS
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
STOLARZ, LAURIE FARIA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
Book 5 and conclusion to the "Touch" series. Camelia has finished her junior year of high school but has learned some disturbing news. To give herself some space, she applies for a summer pottery camp at a college in Rhode Island. At the same time, a young girl's disappearance has caused Camelia's psychometry talents to affect her pottery designs and Camelia is convinced that she can help find Sasha. All the while she is also struggling with conflicting feelings for Ben and Adam. Without having read the first 4 books in the series, I was able to follow the plot and characters with no problem. I'm still not sure if that is because the author did such a skillful job filling in the back story or if everything was predictable enough to make it unnecessary. Regardless, fans of the series will find this a satisfying conclusion with all story lines seemingly tied up.
HOCKEY GIRL
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
HYDE, NATALIE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
Tara and the friends on her softball team are dared by boys in their hockey crazy town to play a "real" sport. The girls decide that hockey would actually be great off-season training. When it looks like they might actually be contenders in the league standings, the boys up the stakes. However, an upcoming tournament unfairly ends the girls' season and access to the rink. I don't typically like sports books, but this one was a really fun read with strong female characters ? plus a sport that doesn't get highlighted often.
PEANUT
SCHWARTZ & WADE [RANDOM HOUSE]
HALLIDAY, AYUN
HOPPE, PAUL
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
Graphic novel. Sadie is moving to a new high school, so she comes up with a plan for making an impression: pretending to have an allergy to peanuts. The only problem is trying to stay vigilant about the lie. Some inferential references to masturbation, but this should not at all detract from a well-told and well-illustrated story about truth and friendship.
NOT EXACTLY A LOVE STORY
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE]
COULOUMBIS, AUDREY
COULOUMBIS, AUDREY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 26, 2013
Dame, Anne
When Vinnie's parents divorce, his girl moves to CA without even saying goodbye, and then he abruptly moves from Queens to Long Island, he's convinced it is going to be the worst year of his life. Until he realizes that his next door neighbor is Patsy: beautiful, blonde, witty. A prank call in the middle of the night turns into a series of conversations where real feeling starts to develop. However, real life is about to collide with fantasy. Set in 1977, students may find the lack of technology a bit puzzling, but the humor and wit keep things engaging. A small amount of foul language and violence.
HOME IN TIME FOR DINNER
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
ELLIS, KATHRYN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 28, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
How would you feel if the life you've led turns out to be a lie? Chris lives in Dallas with his dad, who prefers not to keep photos around of Chris's deceased mom. When Chris sees a picture of a little boy in a snowsuit on a TV show about abducted children, then finds the same photo hidden amongst his dad's belongings, he realizes that his dad must've taken him away from his mother. Could she still be living in Canada? He runs away to find the true story of his life, and hopefully his mother, getting robbed, having help getting across the international border, and coming to terms with disappointment. A can't-putu-down book, because you just root for this teen throughout his entire journey.