Reviews for month


Naturals
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Barnes, Jennifer Lynn
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Dame, Anne
Cassie can piece together small details by looking at someone and figuring out a lot more about them than most people would be comfortable. Having grown up with this ability, she doesn't think much about it - until the FBI comes to recruit her for a program with equally gifted teens. Their job is to help solve cold cases. However, a serial killer on the hunt will force them all to use their skills just to survive. A friend of mine suggested that serial killers are the new vampire of YA lit. I think she's onto something. Luckily, Barnes' latest book is a well-written, intriguing serial killer novel with a fascinating cast of characters. Would be okay for 7th/8th grade as well, but there is blood/violence and some sexual situations.
Which Is Round? Which Is Bigger?
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Mamada, Mineko
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 03, 2014
Shirts, Brooke
Japanese author Mineko Mamada has created a witty puzzle of a picture book that is sure to enliven any read-aloud crowd. With spare, bright-toned illustrations, readers are presented a pair of animals and asked to compare them. Which is rounder, an apple or an armadillo? Which is faster, a dog or a snail? Which one is longer, a snake or an ant? As readers make their guesses, the page is turned, and the scene is transformed. The apple is whittled down to its core, while the armadillo is curled in a ball - which is rounder now? The dog tiptoes slowly downhill while the snail quickly rolls in its shell; and the snake is not so long compared to a page-spanning line of ants. Therefore, each set of comparisons becomes a logic puzzle for readers, probing them to come up with creative, unexpected answers. It's a great way to encourage observation skills in even the youngest children, while adults will be charmed by the witty twists. A refreshing take on a familiar trope of "concept books."
When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky : Two Artists, Their Ballet, An
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Stringer, Lauren
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 03, 2014
Shirts, Brooke
One of the most infamous artistic collaborations comes to life in "When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky," depicting the creation of "The Rite of Spring" and its riotous premiere by the Ballets Russes in 1913. It's always challenging to write about music and dancing, and Lauren Stringer's text describes the complex works of composer Stravinsky and choreographer Nijinsky in the simplest terms possible. "They took Russian folk dances and Russian folk songs, they squared them and flattened them, twisted and cubed them, turning them into something different and new!" Granted, it's difficult to truly appreciate just how "different and new" this artwork was without listening to the music (Nijinsky's choreography is tragically, famously lost) but the energy of the text is probably enough to pique the interest of young readers. This is especially so with the description of the Rite's opening night, with fans and critics of the ballet responding in the same way: "they threw hats and hairpins, gloves and boots; they pounded their fists and stampeded their feet." Stringer's exuberant illustrations are the real stars here: waves of music and bounding dancers burst from the heads of the two artists. An excellent introduction to a classic work of art.
Cowboy Up! : Ride The Navajo Rodeo
Wordsong [Wordsong]
Flood, Nancy Bo
Sonnenmair, Jan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 03, 2014
Shirts, Brooke
Here is a rarity -- a book about contemporary Native Americans for the K-3 set. Nancy Bo Flood's dawn-to-dusk peek into the world of a Navajo rodeo is down-home fun. Poems about rodeo events and highlights are interspersed with informational paragraphs describing the events, types of animals, and participants, from five-year-old "wooly riders" astride a sheep, to the bareback bull riders. Flood's poems are brief and accessible while evocative: "Big Brahma bull / hooves scraping dirt, / blocks of muscle / waiting to explode / out of the chute." This rodeo, held on the Navajo Nation reservation in Arizona, where Flood is a teacher, is a homespun family affair, rich with intergenerational tradition and sportsmanship. Any kid who has ever experimented with a jump-rope lasso is sure to find this appealing. Jan Sonnenmair's photographs expertly capture both the rodeo participants as well as the big-as-the-sky Western landscape. A wonderful addition to library collections.
Yellow Mini
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Weber, Lori
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This novel told in free verse is also told from different characters’ points of view. There’s Annabelle who stays true to herself and causes, but feels uncomfortable walking through the cool kids’ section of her high school now that former friend Stacey is one of them. Stacey has hooked up with Mark, one of the cool kids, who drives around town in his yellow Mini. Stacey seems to be a trophy girlfriend that he’s not that into since his preoccupation is trying to deal with the tragic death of his cab-driving dad in a head on collision. The Mini is Mark’s outer protection, which Stacey doesn’t understand. Mary, the third friend, is consumed by her piano playing until she becomes part of the talent show that transforms her life and others. Christopher, the science geek, has a crush on Annabelle that he finally acts on with happy results, but can he keep up the charade that her new-found political issues are his as well? Add in some adults, parents of each kid plus a teacher, and the reader has a fast-paced, thoughtful, story that rings true for the most part. Appropriate for secondary only.
A Girl Named Faithful Plum
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
Bernstein, Richard
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 03, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
The True Story of a Dancer from China and How She Achieved Her Dream recounts Li Zhongmei’s experience in 1978 at age 11 attending open auditions for the Beijing Dance Academy, and the difficult year following as she proves herself worthy of being one of the 12 girls selected from 60,000 11-year-olds. The beginning is a bit plodding when she tries to convince her poor family living in the remote northernmost part of China that she should do this. After a long, difficult journey to Beijing she encounters good people who shelter her through the try-outs. The story picks up at the Dance Academy where the students’ lives are quite prescribed in a strictly run dorm and highly rigorous program. With several people, including her ballet teacher, against this country bumpkin, she nearly gives up. Ultimately with the support of one close friend and her determination she perseveres. The drama of that first year is quite inspirational with the result that a star dancer is finally recognized. The epilogue shares her successful academic (seven more hard years) and professional career. The author, her husband, includes photos and a glossary of Chinese terms. This is well worth reading, probably mostly by Gr.5-8 girls.
Boston Marathon Bombing
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Bodden, Valerie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Events series that examines a behind-the-scenes look at crucial events of world history which include revolutions, natural disasters, discoveries and conflicts that had lasting effects. Each title includes a study of the cause and historical context of the event using eyewitness accounts. Designed to let readers discover what happened in critical moments and the impact on the world and how people live their lives after the event. This title examines an important historic event--the April 15, 2012, bomb explosions at the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts. It explores the men behind the bombing, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the emergency response, mistakes made by the media, how the search for the brothers was conducted, the help from the public, speculation on what may happen in Dzhokhar’s trial, the enhancement of security for upcoming marathon events, examines new terror threats and public policy to counteract them, and the support of the city of Boston for the survivors and the Boston Strong movement. Includes timeline, extensive side bars for related topics, chronology, glossary, additional resources, source notes and index.
Nazi Hunters : How A Team Of Spies And Survivors Captured Th
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Bascomb, Neal
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
YA version of Hunting Eichmann also by Bascome. When the Allies stormed Berlin in 1945 in the last days of the Third Reich, Adolf Eichmann shed his SS uniform and vanished into the mountains of Germany. Following his escape, his path brought him to an anonymous life in Buenos Aires. Sixteen years later (1961), an elite team of spies captured him at a bus stop in Argentina and smuggled him to Israel, resulting in one of the century's most important trials -- one that cemented the Holocaust in the public imagination. Eichmann's settlement in Argentina under an alias and the secret, careful work done by Israel and its fledgling Mossad agency to locate and bring him to justice are the subjects of the book. Thriller fans will find all their favorite plot points here, from disguises and coded messages to abduction and interrogation, and Bascomb keeps on the right side of the fine line that distinguishes suspense from sensationalism. Photographs are included throughout the text, adding not just to the evidence of Eichmann's guilt but to the reader's sense of being along on the mission, with surveillance photos of Eichmann and other newly published items. Thorough bibliography, notes, and an index included.
Cydonian Pyramid
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hautman, Pete
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 690 H/L – Book 2 in the Klaatu Diskos series. In the sequel to The Obsidian Blade, Tucker Feye , the initial guide through the time-tripping “diskos,” recedes to the background to make room for Lah Lia, brought up in the future world of Romelas as a pampered “Pure Girl” whose womanhood is celebrated by sacrificing her to the disko atop the city’s holy pyramid. Lia is shuttled back and forth through time and circumstance, from the relatively simple (working on a farm and learning to protect herself from a leering drunkard) to the mind-bogglingly complex. Book two further develops Hautman's complex constructs of scientific innovation as well as the evolution of both humanity and religions: As an Amish/Hassidic sect called the Boggsians develops the technology for time travel, the devout Lambs of September warn against Digital Plague, planting seeds for a conflict that will span centuries. Increasingly drawn together, Tucker and Lah Lia now seek each other through the layers of time, setting up a third book. This book does not stand by itself, with out back story it is disorienting, but Hautman’s deft writing keeps up the thriller style pace and the feeling of disorientation is a nice highlight of what the characters feel.
Wild Boy
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Jones, Rob Lloyd
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
If Sherlock Holmes had been born with no advantages he would still have been a keen observer of human behavior and likely would have taken up with a circus or traveling show in order to exploit his gifts. Wild Boy, covered in straggly brown hair, is a sideshow circus freak in bondage to an abusive master. On the lam after being unfairly accused of murder, he and his acrobat-cum-pickpocket frenemy, Clarissa, begin their own investigation through the gritty, smoky streets of Victorian London. From a gross anatomy lab (including a memorably gruesome scene involving toppled shelves of preserved body parts) to the Tower of London, their search gradually leads them to a secret cabal of scientists intent on building a miraculous machine that corrals the newly discovered power of electricity to perform grotesque experiments known as “The machine what changes you. At one point, Wild Boy considers using the machine to de-freak himself. Jones explores the traditional themes of acceptance and identity. Wild Boy comes to accept his knack for detective work and faces a choice between honoring his friendship with Clarissa and personal gain. Cinematic in world building, l you will be able to guess as to who the culprit is, but not quickly.
GHOST FLOWER
RAZORBILL [PENGUIN]
JAFFE, MICHELE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Sometimes the best way to hide something is in plain sight is the structural premise of Ghost Flower. Edie Poe is a girl from the streets, a runaway from foster homes, sleeping in abandoned buildings and sleazy motels and more than one alias. In discarding the reality of what the street actually does to children, the author writes her as sweet, concerned about others and humble. She saves another foster child from her foster home but she cannot cure her. Later, she is discovered by a brother and sister who believe she has an uncanny resemblance to their sister, Aurora, who vanished three years ago. They bribe her with money to become Aurora . Drawn into a scheme to win Aurora's inheritance, Edie – becoming Eve Brightman finds herself impersonating the girl, who disappeared three years ago on the night her best friend Elizabeth died. But when Liza's ghost begins to haunt Eve, doing harm to the people close to her under the guise of "protecting" her, Eve finds herself in a nightmare maze of lies and deception that leads her to question even her own identity. She realizes her only chance is to uncover the truth about what happened the night Liza died, and to find Liza's killer - before she's next. First rate thriller, well plotted
Enchanter Heir
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Chima, Cinda Williams
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
The fourth installment to Chima's "Heir Chronicles" is set in a not too distant future magical US and centers around two teens, Jonah Kinlock and Emma Greenwood. Ten years earlier, a massacre killed off all adults, leaving just child survivors known as savants, who are mutants endowed with skills that, once brought under control, can be used in ways to contribute to the survival of the community. Many of the them, however, require heavy medication and rarely live to adulthood. Those that die turn into shades, zombielike creatures that retain the memories of their past life and inhabit dead bodies. Jonah is a talented musician, enchanter, and trained assassin. His skin is poisonous and he can kill from a simple touch; his job is to rid the world of shades. Emma is also a talented musician, but unlike Jonah, she is not aware of her special abilities. The teens are star-crossed lovers with overwhelming obstacles blocking their paths. As Emma's world slowly converges with Jonah's, both of their lives spin into a chaotic downward spiral. Scattered with musical references throughout (especially song titles and lyrics), the book also tackles serious themes of disability and discrimination. Cliff hanger ending will have readers waiting
Newtown School Shooting
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Owings, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Events series that examines a behind-the-scenes look at crucial events of world history which include revolutions, natural disasters, discoveries and conflicts that had lasting effects. Each title includes a study of the cause and historical context of the event using eyewitness accounts. Designed to let readers discover what happened in critical moments and the impact on the world and how people live their lives after the event. This book provides an in depth examination of the events surrounding the deadly mass shooting by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtwon, Connecticut in 2012. There is considerable attention given to discovering what motivated Lanza and the strained relationship between his mother, Anita who also one of the victims. Some focus on misinformation distributed through social media and discussion about gun control and need for better mental health services. Includes timeline, extensive side bars for related topics, chronology, glossary, additional resources, source notes and index. Might be a good idea to buy those titles that have application to curriculum and student interest.
1964 Freedom Summer
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Felix, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
A re-telling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass with influences from Tim Burton’s landscape. When she reached adolescence, Alyssa Gardner began to hear voices, like her mother and the other "Alices" before her. Instead of talking back, she kills the whispering bugs and flowers and uses them in her morbid art, maintaining her spot as school oddball and tortured artiste. Madness, gift or curse, Alyssa ignores the legacy of Alice Liddell until she must enter Wonderland to save her mother. With neighbor and secret hot crush Jebediah Holt--artistic, scarred and with an endlessly fascinating labret--in tow, Alyssa races to correct the original Alice's mistakes, drying up the sea of tears, punishing the walrus and restarting the tea party. Alyssa's rather muddled mission becomes even more convoluted thanks to tasks assigned by Morpheus--a dark butterfly-boy who has haunted her since childhood. Alyssa thrives in the chaos, though characters' murky motivations cast her as pawn rather than queen in Morpheus' ever-shifting chess game. The re-imagined characters of the story are truly nightmarish monsters. The addition of love triangle and he creepy, eerie setting will have teens enthralled.
2013 Oklahoma City Tornadoes
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Watson, Stephanie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Events series that examines a behind-the-scenes look at crucial events of world history which include revolutions, natural disasters, discoveries and conflicts that had lasting effects. Each title includes a study of the cause and historical context of the event using eyewitness accounts. Designed to let readers discover what happened in critical moments and the impact on the world and how people live their lives after the event. This book provides an in depth examination of the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma City in 2013, gives information about what causes tornadoes, details on the destruction, computer modeling of tornadoes and weather patterns in general, storm shelters, effects of climate change on weather patterns and tornadoes, and clean up and recovery efforts. Includes timeline, extensive side bars for related topics, chronology, glossary, additional resources, source notes and index. Might be a good idea to buy those titles that have application to curriculum and student interest particularly for science and meteorology classes.
Waco Standoff
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Gillam, Scott
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Events series that examines a behind-the-scenes look at crucial events of world history which include revolutions, natural disasters, discoveries and conflicts that had lasting effects. Each title includes a study of the cause and historical context of the event using eyewitness accounts. Designed to let readers discover what happened in critical moments and the impact on the world and how people live their lives after the event. This books provides an account of the events surrounding the disastrous fire at the compound of the Branch Davidian religious group lead by David Koresh in Waco, Texas, in 1993. Included in the issues surrounding the Branch Davidians (a splinter group of the Seventh-Day Advent were differing interpretations of the 1st, 4th and 2nd amendments, allegations of child abuse, and media treatment of the situation. . It examines the implications of the decisions made in order to prevent major loss of life . Includes timeline, extensive side bars for related topics, chronology, glossary, additional resources, source notes and index. Might be a good idea to buy those titles that have application to curriculum and student interest.
Rodney King And The L.a. Riots
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Rissman, Rebecca
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Events series that examines a behind-the-scenes look at crucial events of world history which include revolutions, natural disasters, discoveries and conflicts that had lasting effects. Each title includes a study of the cause and historical context of the event using eyewitness accounts. Designed to let readers discover what happened in critical moments and the impact on the world and how people live their lives after the event. This book provides an in depth examination of the riots in Los Angeles, California in 1992 which occurred in reaction to an assault on Rodney King by four officers of the LAPD using police batons after a routine speeding vehicle stop. The attack was caught on tape, shown on the air and questions of race and police brutality erupted into one of the largest riots in the US. Includes discussions of poverty, inequality in income, and education. Includes timeline, extensive side bars for related topics, chronology, glossary, additional resources, source notes and index. Might be a good idea to buy those titles that have application to curriculum and student interest.
D-Day : The Normandy Invasion
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Lusted, Marcia Amidon
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Events series that examines a behind-the-scenes look at crucial events of world history which include revolutions, natural disasters, discoveries and conflicts that had lasting effects. Each title includes a study of the cause and historical context of the event using eyewitness accounts. Designed to let readers discover what happened in critical moments and the impact on the world and how people live their lives after the event. This book provides an in depth examination of the Normandy invasion which at the time was seen as a necessary risk needed to shorten the war with Germany and to shatter the grip of Germany’s Nazi Party on continental Europe. Much space is given to the events leading up to and the planning of the allied Invasion including focus on technology to reduce casualties. Includes timeline, extensive side bars for related topics, chronology, glossary, additional resources, source notes and index. Might be a good idea to buy those titles that have application to curriculum and student interest.
Spelling Bee Before Recess
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Rose, Deborah Lee
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 03, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Using the rhyming pattern, which the students recognized as Twas the Night Before Christmas, a spelling bee is in progress as the reader enters the story. At 10:23 AM it’s down to just three spellers from the whole school—Cornelius, the genius; smart Ruby, and “me”, the baseball player who memorized word lists. The narrator is confident he will win until it’s down to just him and a very calm Ruby. The tie breaking word is “sesquipedalian” which the speller also has to define. Ruby wins because she hasn’t just memorized words, she knows how to use them. In this case it’s someone who uses big words. Feeling defeated, “Slugger” is congratulated by the librarian who encourages him that reading and using your words well are the key to this win. She reminds him there’s always next year. The book concludes with the principal’s spelling word list plus more words in the story. The author’s note explains how she culled the words from actual school spelling lists and the winning word was in a national spelling bee. The illustrations entertain and the rhyming text keeps things rolling. It's ironic that all the spelling words can be seen by the readers. End sheets contain more words and active bees.
Super Simple Ice Projects : Fun And Easy Crafts Inspired By
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Doudna, Kelly
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 03, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This one of Abdo’s Super Simple Nature Crafts series would best be used in climates where it’s frequently below freezing part of the year. In the Pacific Northwest this might not have much of a window for use as it’s intended that each project be put outside once it’s completed. Doudna, a prolific nonfiction writer, begins with an introduction to ice, the materials needed, and then clearly sets forth the eight projects. Clearly numbered steps with illustrations for each and the final outcome make this easy to follow. Some include freezing balloons around water, using twigs to create letters, making decorative tea candle holders, wreaths, or ornaments, all for the outdoors. Using any kind of candle is a concern with children. The results are colorful if short-lived depending on the climate. Concludes with a glossary.
Dozens Of Cousins
CLARION [CLARION]
Crum, Shutta
Catrow, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 03, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Before reading ask students what a family reunion is and if they’ve ever been to one. This will help set up the story that begins, “Oh, we are hungry ogres, my cousins and I. As kinfolks gather once again, we spill out of cars, snatch up greetings, stuff ourselves on hellos and howdys. A beastie family reunion.” From there the young cousins do what cousins do when young children get together and swarm around as fast friends. Both the text and illustrations both capture this frenetic energy throughout the day. The ogres and beasties references may be off putting to adults though it does reflect the wildness of the first person narrator and his kin. Word choice is strong and creates a rhythm of its own. Catrow’s exaggerated illustrations are always entertaining and full of details. Students and adults had mixed reactions to this overall, so it’s not a first choice.
Animals In Danger In Asia
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Spilsbury, Richard
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 03, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This Heinemann Library Animals in Danger title features animals on the continent of Asia. This is well done nonfiction with all of the desired text features from table of contents, clear headings and organization (by parts of the continent), clear photos with captions that extend the text, interesting animals, text that is readable for the primary student, chart, maps, glossary, read more and index. Second grade students gave this a thumbs up especially since it had so many things going for it. The only limitation would be that a whole continent is covered in one title, and the targeted students might have difficulty understanding the map of each section of that continent. The point is clearly made that habitats are being invaded contributing to the endangerment of these animals. There’s a decent amount of text that explains this with each featured animal—proboscis monkey, saiga antelope, snow leopard, wild Bactrian camel, Arabian tahr, Kaznakow’s Caucasian viper, Arabian woodpecker, giant panda, Chinese giant salamander, baiji, gharial crocodile, tiger, great Indian bustard, elephant, Borean orangutan, and Mekon freshwater stingray. It concludes with a short section on what humans can do to help.
Freddie & Gingersnap
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Kirsch, Vincent X
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 03, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
With the subtitle “How a dinosaur taught a dragon to fly” the simple story is summed up. Freddie, a little green dinosaur, wonders what it’s like to have his head in the clouds like the other dinosaurs. Gingersnap, a little purple dragon, wonders if she could fly. Though usually such creatures stay away from each other, on this day when they bump into one another they are at first ready to fight with the click and clack of their claws and the snip, snap of their sharp teeth. This initial instinctive animosity turns to play where they chase each other for fun. Freddie catches Gingersnap before she falls off a cliff and doesn’t let go. Thus they both fall down, down into the trees below. (The tri-fold page falling down the cliff will be enjoyed by readers, but not librarians☺) Freddie, after observing her, then teaches Gingersnap how she can fly and hold on to him. The great strength of this story of new friendship is in the brilliant bold illustrations with black outlines. Children enjoy it more than adults, and there is some fun word play.
Shadowlark
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Spooner, Meagan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 03, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Lark Ainsley has unusual abilities with the magic that has run amok in her world. She can suck it from others. In fact, she longs to do just that. To do so, however, is a violation of the worst kind. She is on a quest to find her brother and, hopefully, some answers, if she survives. The hidden city of Lethe may hold the key, not just to her long search but to her friend Oren's needs as well. However, the very thing that makes the city safe for its people is an abomination. Joining the resistance, Lark must make difficult decisions, learn to control her own abilities, and decide what she truly believes. This is the middle book of a dystopian trilogy with intriguing concepts, well-defined characters, and plenty of action. Fans of the first book will not be disappointed, but they will be anxious for the third book.
President Has Been Shot! : The Assassination Of John F. Kenn
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Swanson, James L
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
7th grade to 9th grade
March 03, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Appropriate for grades 7-12, this wonderful book has lots of appeal for teen readers--short chapters, plenty of photographs, and easy-to-read maps that help tell the fascinating story. The majority of the book relates details of those four days in November 1963 when panic and uncertainty were the norms for many Americans. The placement of black-and-white photos, from the well-known shots of John, Jr. saluting his father's casket and of the fatal shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald to a series of photographs taken quickly in succession after JFK was shot, go a long way in giving readers an understanding of the events of the day. Noteworthy is the "Diagrams, Photos, and Illustrations" section at the end of the book; so too are the source notes for each section. Simply superb!
In The Bag! : Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Kulling, Monica
Parkins, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 04, 2014
Stein, Valerie
Margaret Knight was an inventive girl in a time when girls were not considered intelligent enough to understand mechanical things. She wanted to make work life safer in the mill where she worked, so she invented a shuttle stop for the looms after a worker was hurt. She enjoyed tinkering with ideas that made work easier, and when her design for an automated paper bag maker was stolen, she stood up for her rights in court, showed evidence that she was the designer, and won her right to patent the design. She went on to patent many other inventions, and to open her own paper bag factory. Told in accessible text with rich, detailed illustrations which not only complement the story but evoke an age gone by, this is an excellent picture book biography for almost any level. It would support units on invention and women's rights alike.
All Aboard! : Elijah Mccoy's Steam Engine
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Kulling, Monica
Slavin, Bill
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 04, 2014
Stein, Valerie
Looking for the Real McCoy? Here it is, in this very accessible picture book biography, part of the Great Ideas Series. Author Monica Nulling has done it again (It's in the Bag! and It's a Snap!, reviewed here, are part of this series too). This is the story of Elijah McCoy's dream of becoming an engineer. Son of slaves who escaped to Canada on the Underground Railroad, Elijah's determination to follow his dreams in spite of discrimination against Blacks is highlighted in this story. After getting his engineering degree overseas, Elijah came to the US, where the only job he was able to get on the railroad was as an "ashcat", the stoker for the coal boiler on a steam engine.His frustrations with this job led to the invention for oiling engines under way which was so well-conceived that when others' copies of his design failed, those in the know began asking for the "real McCoy". Illustrations are lively and appealing, complementing the story very well. A good choice for supporting Units on discrimination and invention alike, this would also be an appealing choice during Black History month.
When Mermaids Sleep
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE]
Bonwill, Ann
Johnson, Steve & Fancher, Lou
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 04, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Written in rhyme, this sweet fantasy lullaby to the “land where mermaids sleep and pirates snore” is meant to quietly send a little one off to sleep dreaming of mermaids, fairies, giants and pirates. The rich colors in the beautiful illustrations are muted just enough to evoke the feeling of slumber time and will send the listener off to sleep dreaming of magical kingdom with streams of gold fairy dust streaming through it like the Northern Lights across the sky. This is a book meant to be read aloud, but the somewhat contrived rhyme at times trips the tongue and makes the story falter. Your young readers who love all things magical will be interested so purchase if you can’t have enough titles about mermaids, fairies and all thing magical. The binding is adequate for the amount of use this one will receive.
Winter Of The Robots
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Scaletta, Kurtis
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 05, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
An old junkyard, a destroyed robotics factory, a fence that is more temptation than deterrent--these lead Jim and his friends Oliver, Dmitri, and Rocky into a strange adventure. Robots are fine, but when feral robots start building their own golem nobody is going to be safe. Will adults believe what is going on? The kids decide it's up to them to solve the problem by creating their own robot-destroying robot. This is a fun fiction book with some suspense and lots of robots. Robots have been in high demand in my library. Tech-savy readers will enjoy this low-key sci-fi offering.
Europe
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Francis, Suzanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 06, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
ABDO’s Core Library imprint brings us the Continents series. Each 48-page book contains information about the people, animals, culture and places on the continent being described. Young readers will be drawn to the full-page photos and the numerous text boxes that focus on extended information on a single topic. A map showing the countries and major cities begins the book, followed by a page of facts (highest point, key industries, common languages and more). A half page of “Further Evidence” asks students to think about the chapter, refer to a web site which has links to further sources such as National Geographic and Encyclopedia Britannica, and then rethink any questions they have. I appreciate the way the questions are written so that students aren’t answering rote questions but are be asked to think and form their own conclusions. Two-plus pages describe the European Union. Includes contents, glossary, book and web sources, and index. A good resource for both intermediate readers and for older students who may be struggling with or learning the English language.
Do You Know Porcupines?
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Bergeron, Alain M
Sampar
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 07, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
Science that any joker can understand. Short text boxes of interesting facts, a glossary and index make this a easy to read addition for animal studies; but it is the colorful and humorous cartoon illustrations help deliver science facts about porcupines that will really stick! These anthropomorphic animals wear glasses when discussing their vision, and get no takers when asking other animals (already sorely covered in quills), "Want to play Twister?" This is one of a series from www.fitzhenry.ca translated into English from their French-Canadian 2010 editions that covers eight North American animals in all. Great for elementary science collections that while not thorough in information, they are thoroughly enjoyable and likely to be read eagerly.
Do You Know Crows?
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Bergeron, Alain M
Sampar
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 07, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
"Crows" draws reader/researcher into some basic information about these those curious Corvids while tickling our funny bone with anthropomorphic cartoon illustrations. Two Horned Owls in hockey sweaters consider jumping a sleeping crow to illustrate nighttime predators. An omnivorous, scavenging crow with a bottle of ketchup eyes a dead mob-mate on the center of the road. Can we be serious here? I fear the answer is no, though a glossary, index and small text boxes will provide basic information about crows enough to inform elementary students on research expeditions to the library. One of eight of the "Do You Know...?" titles from French-Canadian Fitzhenry & Whiteside publishers. Easily recommended for nobly keeping nonsense in the mix of non-fiction for middle elementary.
Jade
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Petersen, Christine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 07, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Earth's Treasures series, this 8" x 8", 32 page book describes the mineral jade. Readers will learn how jade was used in the Mayan civilization, China, Maori tribes, and First Nations in Canada. The book also explains how jade is created in the Earth and the different types of jade. The book ends with tips on finding jade at Jade Cove in California. The text is descriptive and clear. Photographs, mostly in color, are found on every page. Words found in the glossary are in bold typeface in the text. The book is complete with a large world map, a table of contents, glossary, and index. There is no bibliography and web resources are provided by the publisher's website. A good purchase if you have a need.
Best Gifts
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk
Mckay, Elly
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Sara's birth was welcomed with great joy, and gifts from family and friends. Her parents put the gifts away and Mom breastfed Sara while Dad curled nearby. Sara's future successes were also celebrated, but the gifts were put away, the family finding more value in shared experiences. When Sara married and had her own baby she, too, chose to breastfeed. This is a sweet, evocative story about love and family, with curved, multimedia digital illustrations facing softly into warm backgrounds. The entire feel is that of a warm hug. The book ends with breastfeeding resources. While framed as a picture book, this is really more of a book for new mothers, to inspire them to start their child's life right. Gently sweet, it's a beautiful book, but not really designed for school libraries.
Chameleons!
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Bergeron, Alain M
Sampar
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is an odd and interesting combination. On one hand you have a few sentences of factual information about chameleons on each double-page spread--so this is nonfiction. On the other hand, the rest of the double-paged spreads are filled up with cartoons with talking chameleons and other animals that reinforce the key facts in a humorous manner. Originally published in French, in Canada, the humor generally translates well. The cartoons are funny and beautifully drawn. The facts are interesting, but not particularly sequential, connected, or organized, often leaving the reader wanting to know more. There's even a glossary and index. Is this a valuable study resource? No, but it is a fun, eclectic introduction to chameleons that children would pick up for casual browsing and actually learn something.
Ding Dong! Gorilla!
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Robinson, Michelle
Lord, Leonie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
In this large format picture book a young boy tells his parents that he has some bad news. It's not that, instead of the pizza boy, a gorilla showed up at their door. It's not that the gorilla proceeded to make a terrible mess. It's not even that, when the pizza boy did show up he ran away, dropping the pizza. Or that the gorilla left when he heard the boy's parents coming downstairs. The bad news is...there's no pizza left. Filled with big splashy pictures of childlike gorilla mayhem, as a young boy tries to react responsibly, this is a fun story. Words bounce across the pages, and children will appreciate the idea of passing the blame along. Was there really a gorilla? Well, he was certainly there in the illustrations. Children should enjoy this lighthearted excuse book.
Haunting Urban Legends
Snap Books/capstone Press [Snap Books/capstone Press]
Peterson, Megan Cooley
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The scratching sound on the car door after reports of an escape from a nearby asylum. The threatening phone call traced to an upstairs room in the same house. The visitor seeking help who was later proven to be a ghost. The pimple that gave birth to a hoard of baby spiders. Here are twelve classic urban legends told succinctly, with enough of a spooky shiver to please any child seeking "something scary." The author first defines urban legends and then presents some. Hopefully this will made readers less credulous, but more probably it will give them fuel for storytelling at the next sleepover.
Gross Science Projects
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Wheeler-Toppen, Jodi Lyn
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Tired of celery in colored water, and baking soda and vinegar volcanoes? Well, here's the science fair book for you! After a brief introduction, and some basic safety rules, the author presents ten gross science experiments. Predigest a cracker with spit, make slime, illustrate why snot is so useful, bounce an egg, grow fungus on poop. Oh, the possibilities are both gross and endless. (Well, OK, not endless. There are only ten experiments here.) The author gives a list of supplies and step-by-step instructions, with photographs. Particularly nice is the scientific explanation for what happened, and the correct way to responsibly dispose of the finished product. The book includes an index, glossary, and weblinks. This won't be a shelf-sitter.
Cool Game Day Parties : Beyond The Basics For Kids Who Cook
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Wagner, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
March 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Want a nice series of cookbooks? Hey, here it is! Part of the "Cool Young Chefs" Checkerboard series by Abdo, this well-bound 32 page book invites young readers (and anyone else who likes to cook) into the fun of planning that special game-day party with all the right food. The concept is introduced, and basics of cooking, including cautions, are presented. Techniques, tools, and ingredients are shown, then 9 recipes are presented in two-page spreads. The recipes include ingredient and tool lists, then step-by-step instructions with plenty of visual cues. "Cool Tips" provide some nice cooking how-to's, while "Beyond Cool" boxes show how the recipe could be adapted based on your tastes, and the ingredients you have available. Dips, dogs, wings, sliders and two desserts are presented. (The caramelized onion dip looks particularly tasty, though the chocolate hot lava cakes also called to me.) This is a good, solid cookbook with plenty of guidance for new chefs and what look to be some mighty tasty "from scratch" recipes.
Nurses
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Minden, Cecilia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "People in Our Community" series, this well-stitched 24-page book introduces young readers to nurses. Each book in the series begins with a child considering the highlighted career, and then continues with the who, what, where, when, and why of that particular job. Professionals in the career are shown. Crisp color photographs accompany clear text providing readers with information on education, wardrobe, and tools required for the career, and a list of similar careers. Average salary ranges and job availability are also indicated. Both men and women, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, are shown. In this book readers meet Mary Cordova, a nurse. They learn about her background and some of her responsibilities. A glossary, bibliography, publisher's weblink, and index are included. Big enough for sharing, this would be a good addition to community helper units.
Garbage Trucks
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Alinas, Marv
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Machines at Work" series, this well-bound 24-page book (with the corn-starchy cover) introduces young readers to garbage trucks. Readers learn what garbage trucks (and recycling trucks) are and how they are used. The parts of a garbage truck are described and labeled. Different types of garbage trucks are highlighted. Pages of clear, simple, and interesting text face nicely-captioned color photographs. The book includes an easy glossary, index, bibliography, and a publisher's website link. This is a good choice for easy nonfiction collections and will be a hit with "big machine" fans.
Polar Exploration
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Xtreme Adventure" series, this sturdy book takes young readers off to both the North and the South Pole. Readers learn about the appropriate clothing, equipment, and safety precautions necessary. Readers also learn how explorers reach these locations and about the different wildlife to be found there. (I never knew polar bears are sometimes considered to be marine mammals!) The author also clearly explains how the poles are located on moving sheets of ice, and so must be relocated on a regular basis. The book is filled with crisp action photographs showing both the thrill of the sport and the beauty of the locations. Granted, you can't get into a lot of detail in 32 pages, but the writing is clear and interesting, and the facts are fascinating. This is a good basic introduction that should inspire young readers to want to learn more. The book includes an index and glossary.
Flicka, Ricka, Dicka And The Little Dog
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Lindman, Maj
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Flick, Ricka, and Dicka are tow-headed triplets who dress alike and live in Sweden. Originally published over 50 years ago, the books have been reissued for a new generation, probably with the hopes that grandparents who have loving memories of the series will buy them for their grandchildren. In this book the triplets find a dog out in the rain, and care for him. They discover he belongs to an orchard-owner who doesn't seem to care for him. Reluctantly they return the dog, but he shows up at their door again. This time the man gets a new watch dog and lets the girls keep the dog they love. The soft watercolor illustrations reflect the era in which they were drawn, and the text is very wordy and has not aged well. Adults who loved the series as children will be pleased, but the books are a little dated for today's young readers.
Flicka, Ricka, Dicka And The Three Kittens
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Lindman, Maj
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Flick, Ricka, and Dicka are tow-headed triplets who live in Sweden. Originally published in 1941, the books have been reissued for a new generation, probably with the hopes that grandparents who have loving memories of the series will buy them for their grandchildren. In this book the triplets care for the aunt and uncle's cat while they are away. They buy her fish and milk, and coo over her. When the cat goes missing they are horrified. However, all turns out well when the cat turns up with 3 kittens - one for each girl. The soft watercolor illustrations reflect the era in which they were drawn, and the text is very wordy and has not aged well. Adults who loved the series as children will be pleased, but the books are a little dated for today's young readers.
What's In There? : All About Before You Were Born
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Harris, Robie
Westcott, Nadine Bernard
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 08, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
Robie Harris has crafted another excellent picture book to help young children understand human reproduction. Nadine Bernard Westcott's cheery illustrations depict our diverse, multiracial society with the same relaxed, age-appropriate openness that Harris invites as her two children characters explain, "No, Gus, (Sofia's baby sister) did not grow in her mommy's tummy. She grew in her mommy's uterus." As their mother advances through her pregnancy, illustrations of the developing baby let us see what the children chat about what the narration tells us is going on inside THERE . Meanwhile the family goes on through the seasons with two page illustrations depicting spring walks in the park, backyard picnics, summer swims, fall farm visits, and Halloween before their baby is born. Add this book to your "Harris Collection" alongside "It's NOT the Story! and "It's So Amazing," as a highly recommended title for preK-primary settings where open information and discussion of this most marvelous mother of all science topics can be borne by all.
Saturn
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Squire, Ann O
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of "A True Book" series, this 48 page, colorful book describes the planet Saturn. The book begins with an anticipatory question and then describes this gas planet. How the planet was discovered, how it compares to Earth, its seasons, winds, moons, and famous rings are told. The text reads well and is accompanied by colorful illustrations and images. The book ends with a chapter on probes of the planet from Earth. A table of contents, timeline, bibliography (only 2 books, web resources lie with the publisher), statistics, author information, and index are found. A good purchase if you need to update or strengthen your planet collection.
Hunter Hayes : Country Singing Sensation
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Hunter Hayes is an up-and-coming country music phenom who started at a young age. This short, large format biography gives brief information about the performer's life, introduction to music, songs, awards, and professional life. Bright graphics and color photographs splash across large double-page spreads, accompanied by simple text with glossary words highlighted. Fact boxes add additional informational tidbits. The 32 pages include a glossary, index, and weblink. There's not a ton of information here, and the enthusiastic writing makes this a bit of a "puff piece," nevertheless young fans will be thrilled.
Andrew Garfield : Star Of The Amazing Spider-Man
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The Buddy Bio series provides young readers with easy, large-format 32-page biographies of popular celebrities. This focuses on Andrew Garfield, who played Spiderman in "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." Readers learn about his family and childhood, then about his growth in acting. Roles he's played in both movies and stage productions, as well as the awards he has won, are highlighted. The hard work involved is emphasized. Bright graphics and color photographs splash across large double-page spreads, accompanied by simple text with glossary words highlighted. Fact boxes add additional informational tidbits. The 32 pages include a glossary, index, and weblink. There's not a lot of information here, and the enthusiastic writing makes this a bit of a "puff piece," nevertheless young fans will find this an enjoyable introduction to the actor.
Phillip Phillips : American Idol Winner
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Phillip Phillips won "American Idol" in 2012. This short, large format biography gives brief information about the performer's life, introduction to music, "American Idol" experience, and his career since. Bright graphics and color photographs march across large double-page spreads, accompanied by simple text with glossary words highlighted. Fact boxes add additional informational tidbits. The 32 pages include a glossary, index, and weblink. There's not a ton of information here, and the enthusiastic writing makes this a bit of a "puff piece," nevertheless young fans will be thrilled.
ICE FISHING
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
March 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Ice fishing is a popular winter sport, where weather conditions occur that make it both possible and safe. This book, part of the "Outdoor Adventures" series, gives young readers a nice introduction to the sport in 24 well-bound pages. Safety, equipment, shelters, and the basics are all briefly covered. Ice fishing etiquette is mentioned, as well as the camaraderie found in the sport, and the expectation of mutual support should an emergency arise. There's a particular emphasis on ice fishing in Minnesota. The book is beautifully designed with good graphics, bright pictures, maps, highlighted glossary words, and plenty of photographs. A glossary, index, bibliography, and weblink are also included. If ice fishing is possible in your location this would be a great introduction to the basics.
Jonas Salk : Medical Innovator And Polio Vaccine Developer
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Llanas, Sheila
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 09, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Essential Lives" series, this 112 page book details the life of polio vaccine developer, Jonas Salk. The biography begins with a chapter of his discovery, then goes back to his birth and chronicles his life. The text describes his upbringing, education, and the steps he took to become a great epidemiologist. The book also records controversy regarding his scientific ideas when he began work on a polio vaccine and competition with other scientists. The book explores his legacy and how even after his death in 1995, the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California continues his work. The text is well-written and understandable for the audience. Captioned (mostly) black and white photographs are found throughout the book. Sidebars call out deeper information. The book includes a table of contents, timeline, glossary, index, additional resource, author information, and extensive source notes. A worthy purchase if you have a need.
Triceratops
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Zeiger, Jennifer
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 10, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "21st Century Junior Library" series, this 24 page book covers the Triceratops. The dinosaur's believed appearance, territory, food, habitat, and extinction are covered in simple text. Color illustrations are captioned and connect well to the text. Reader activities are found every few pages. Students are to "ask questions, look, and create." Words found in the glossary are in bold print in the text. The book also includes a table of contents, index, bibliography, and two sentences about the author. There is nothing exciting about the book, but it will appeal to dinosaur fans. The book is an additional purchase for this section of the library.
I'm A Frog!
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Willems, Mo
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 10, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Elephant & Piggie fans will welcome another fun addition to the series. In this one Piggie decides to be a frog, much to Gerald, the elephant’s consternation. Piggie has to explain that he’s just pretending to be a frog, and encourages Gerald to ribbit along with him. They finally get into an arguing match since Gerald claims he can’t do it. It turns out that’s because he’s a cow, much to Piggie’s enjoyment. If more simple, fun, comic stories about these two friends are needed, this one won’t disappoint.
Good Manners With Your Teachers
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Felix, Rebecca
Lacoste, Gary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 10, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
One of Magic Wagon’s Good Manners in Relationship series this title focuses on students demonstrating manners in school. After setting forth why manners and respect at school are important, the text explains what that looks like—paying attention, using the magic words, participating, raising hands, and turning in homework. Examples with children are used. Every double page spread contains a left hand page with a paragraph or two of text opposite a colored, somewhat cartoonish illustration page. Some of the illustrations have a fact box/caption that reiterates the point. The 32-page book begins with a table of contents and ends with two amazing facts about manners with teachers, the top five tips for good manners with teachers, a seven-word glossary, the Abdo website, and an index. This isn’t a book that students will pick up on their own, but it may find a place in schools. Young kindergarten students could appreciate the specific examples though that doesn’t mean they followed them☺ Others in the series deal with parents, friends and siblings.
Mesmerizing Math
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Litton, Jonathan
Flintham, Thomas
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 10, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
16 pages of pop-ups, pull tabs and lift-the-flap discoveries enliven 7 big ideas of mathematical thinking: number, geometry, statistics, measurement, transformation, probability and sequence/series. Each topic gets its own 2 page spread, with short conversational text and questions. Clever paper engineering and colorful, humorous illustrations make this a thoughtful gift for ages 7-10- or to adults who seek to teach. Unfortunately the wear and tear of circulation in a library setting would too-quickly diminish the value of this lovely book to make it a recommended purchase for limited budgets.
Toilet : How It Works
David Macaulay Studio [David Macaulay Studio]
Macaulay, David
Keenan, Sheila
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 10, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
What fun! "Everyone knows what a toilet is for" begins MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient David Macaulay, and he delivers clear illustrations and succinct descriptive text to show just how the humble toilet and waste-water systems handles our digestive by-products. Whether showing human digestion or the way a toilet bowl float controls the water levels, he makes the mechanics of the things make sense. As he has in more than two dozen other highly praised books, Macaulay's illustrations guide the reader to a visual understanding that far exceeds what words alone could convey. Writing for newly independent readers, titles in this non-fiction How It Works series (Castle, Jet Plane, Eye and Toilet) include illustrated index, several useful references to learn more and a simple index. Highly recommended.
Buzz About Bees
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Winters, Kari-Lynn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This is an incredible book about bees. The 48 pages are entertaining and informative. The book begins with a 10 question true and false quiz to create a buzz and then describes bees. Some of the topics include: body parts, food, homes, stinging, types of bees, life cycle, honey, effects on the world, and beekeepers. The text is well written, the layout is engaging, and the color photographs are superb. This will make a great resource for students researching this insect and will be great for insect lovers. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography. Although not mentioned in the book, the publisher's website contains an extensive teacher's guide for a unit on bees: http://www.fitzhenry.ca/detail.aspx?ID=10508. This is a must have when you are updating your insect collection.
Discovered! A Beagle Called Bella
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
Orr, Wendy
Castelao, Patricia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 11, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Here's another warm animal story from the "Rainbow Street Shelter" series. This one focuses on an energetic beagle called Bella. Bella is adopted by a young professional couple who love her, but can't really meet her need for activity. When she gets lost she ends up at the shelter where Mona finds the perfect job for her--being trained as a sniffer dog. This series teaches about caring for animals, and making wise decisions for their welfare, all tied in with a nice plot and likeable characters. Occasional black and white illustrations are scattered throughout the book. The side story about a boy named Tim whose father needs a new sniffer dog adds that kid-friendly element to the story. This is a great series for easy chapter book readers who love animals.
Tiana : The Stolen Jewel
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Glass, Calliope
Disney Storybook Artists
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 11, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Tiana, a Disney princess from "The Princess and the Frog" is back in a short chapter adventure. Running her restaurant is a delight, but she has to leave it to her less-than-skilled princely husband when she's summoned back to the swamp on a mission. A pearl has been stolen and she must recover it, using its twin. Talking gators, a touch of magic, humor, and a simple plot combine to make this a story girls will enjoy. The occasional color illustrations are exactly what you'd expect, and the cover is glittery. This bit of fan literature has little substance, but it will find a ready audience.
Constellation Hercules : The Story Of The Hero
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
York, J
Morrow, Jt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is a hybrid non-fiction book. It describes the Constellation Hercules and the Greek mythology behind it. The first chapter tackles the astronomy information explaining stars and constellations, the starts that make up Hercules, and related stars. The second chapter explains the origin of the myth of Hercules, son of Zeus, and how the Greeks came to name the constellation. The third chapter is the myth of Hercules and the final chapters explains how other cultures view the constellation and how the reader can find it in the sky today. Sidebars contain more details about topics covered in the text. Words found in the glossary are bold in the text. The book also has non-fiction features such as a table of contents, bibliography, and index. Web resources are provided through the publisher's web page and author/illustrator information can be found on the verso. The book would find use in sixth grade ancient world units and in astronomy units. A Strong purchase when you update your astronomy section.
Crocodiles!
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Bergeron, Alain M
Sampar
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 11, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Do you know crocodiles? Do you want to know crocodiles? What would you like to know? In this funny graphic novel inspired information book about crocodiles the authors blend information with humor and folklore. “Mom there’s a fly in my soup!” says junior, “It’s not fair! I want one too” cries his sibling, pictured over the factoid: “Young crocodiles mostly eat insects and other invertebrates.” The bright colorful cartoon style digital illustrations bestow the humor. Older students may get the jokes more than younger students, which don’t always work or seem aimed an older audience. There is just enough information to contribute to a research project, but readers be drawn to the illustration and humor, if they can understand it.
Toads!
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Bergeron, Alain M
Sampar
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 11, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Do you know toads? Do you want to know toads? What would you like to know? In this funny graphic novel inspired information book about toads the authors blend information with humor and folklore. “No! I’m not Prince Charming!” says the toad to the wart covered princess holding him. The factoid: “Toads can’t actually spread warts to humans.” is noted at the bottom of the page. The bright colorful cartoon style digital illustrations bestow the humor. Older students may get the jokes more than younger students, which don’t always work or seem aimed an older audience. There is just enough information to contribute to a research project, but readers be drawn to the illustration and humor if they can understand it.
Spiders!
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Bergeron, Alain M
Sampar
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 11, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Do you know spiders? Do you want to know spiders? What would you like to know? In this funny graphic novel inspired information book about spiders the authors blend information with humor and folklore.”Counting on your legs isn’t allowed!” says the spider’s teacher as it is adding 4 + 4. The factoid at the bottom of the page reads “These eight-legged creatures aren’t actually insects; they’re arachnids.” The bright colorful cartoon style digital illustrations bestow the humor. Older students may get the jokes more than younger students, which don’t always work or seem aimed an older audience. There is just enough information to contribute to a research project, but readers be drawn to the illustration humor, if they can understand it.
BEYONCE : SINGER, SONGWRITER, & ACTRESS
ESSENTIAL LIBRARY [ABDO]
KRAMER, BARBARA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 13, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Contemporary Lives" series, this 112 page book chronicles the life of pop star Beyonce'. The book opens with a description of her performance during the final evening of the Glastonbury Festival in 2011 then retraces her life beginning with he birth in Houston, Texas in 1981. The book describes the formation of Destiny's Child, her acting roles, and her family. Side bars detail topics mentioned in the text to give the reader more background information. Color photographs enhance the text. The book ends in May 2013, so it will become out of date rapidly, as Beyonce' is still performing. The book is complete with a table of contents, index, glossary, source notes, timeline, fact pages, and bibliography (web resources are provided by the publisher's website). An additional purchase as I don't see a large audience as this performer ages and the book become outdated, but fans of the singer will enjoy this book.
Ronald Reagan : 40Th Us President
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Boshier, Rosa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 13, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Essential Lives" series, this 120 page book chronicles the life of the 40th US President, Ronald Reagan. The well-written book opens with a chapter describing his second inauguration and then goes to the beginning of his life in Illinois and follows his life. Information about his time in radio, acting career, having families, becoming political (first as head of SAG, then governor of California, and finally President), and his life after office (including his battle with Alzheimer's disease). The book also describes some of his challenges: Iran-Contra, Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars), as well as, describing his successful efforts to end Communism. Sidebars give additional details to help the reader understand the text. Photographs are found throughout the book. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, glossary, bibliography, essential facts page, source notes, and author information. This would be a strong addition to your presidential biographies.
US CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
SCHMIDT, MAEGAN
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 13, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Foundations of Our Nation", this 48 page book describes the development of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The book explains life in the colonies and how they were moved to revolution and how after the revolution, they needed to develop a new government that reflected their newly won freedom. The text is descriptive and for the most part easy to follow. Illustrations are found throughout the text and will appeal to readers. At several point readers are given activities to complete, which gives it a textbook feel. The book contains non-fiction features: table of contents, glossary, index, author information, timeline, and bibliography (web resources are through the publisher's site). This book could use some editing. I noticed 3 glaring errors - see comments for the specific error. I would not purchase this book until it is edited and corrected.
Dark Secret
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Sutherland, Tui T
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The Dragonets of Destiny have returned in their 4th book. This book focuses on Starflight. The NightWings are planning on invading the RainWing territory, conquering it and making it their own. Starflight has to figure out a way to save the other dragons and his friends. With the help of a fellow NightWing he devises a dangerous plan. In this book readers are introduced to the devastated homeland of yet another group of dragons, and gain an understanding as to why they behave as they do. As always this is a fast-paced book with interesting characters and compelling moral questions. This is a popular series and fans will be anxious to read the book. It does not, however, resolve the issue of whether these are, indeed, the dragonets of destiny. Indeed, it offers an unexpected plot twist that seems to put their whole mission at peril. Now we have to wait for the next book in the series. Sigh.
FROM BIRDS TO... AIRCRAFT
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
GREGORY, JOSH
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 14, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "21st Century Skills Innovation Library: Innovations from Nature" series. The book provides a simple overview of the development of flight from about 1500. Emphasis is placed on observations of birds to develop flight theories. Photographs and illustrations are found throughout and compliment the informative text. The final chapter contains short biographical sketches of 3 famous pilots: Cal Rodgers, Bessie Coleman, and Charles Lindbergh. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, index, and author information (2 sentences). A good purchase if you are updating the aviation section in your library. Students who are starting to study flight will find this book useful.
PARENTAL GUIDANCE RATINGS
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
HERMANSSON, CASIE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 14, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Hot Topics in Media" series, this 48 page book explores parental guidance rating systems. Movie, television, and computer game ratings are explained. The book begins with the reasons behind ratings and the history of ratings systems. They also mention other organizations who rate media such as Focus on the Family and Common Sense Media. The text is well written and color photographs are found throughout the book. Sidebars give more background information. Activities at the send of some chapters seem like assignments and will be skipped by readers. The book contains the usual non-fiction text features: table of contents, index, glossary, bibliography (web resources are found through the publisher's website), timeline, and author information (2 sentences). This book would be best used in a teaching situation as students would not pick it off the shelf.
Skin And Bones
Albert Whitman Teen [Albert Whitman Teen]
Shahan, Sherry
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 14, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
Perdu knows the dangers of the east African wilderness at night, but he’s still surprised to be the target of a lion attack. When he wakes up in the hospital, his father is with him but his arm is missing. As Perdu adapts to life with one arm, he must come to terms with his desire to get revenge on the lion who maimed him. Working with some conservationists, Perdu is introduced to the family of the lion he wishes to kill and he comes to realize why the lion might deserve to live. Short, thoughtful look at survival v. preservation issues.
Lion Who Stole My Arm
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Davies, Nicola
Wright, Annabel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 14, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
The last time I purchased a book by this author, it was a survival adventure that my 6th graders loved. Despite the wildly confusing, cartoony cover, this is a book squarely aimed at 8th grade and up as it deals with Jack’s struggle with anorexia. Jack is newly arrived at a residential facility that he knows is a huge expense to his parents. Jack feels guilty the he really doesn't want to get well, and once he crushes on fellow patient Alice, it’s Jack’s goal to help keep both of them as beautiful and skinny as possible. The consequences for Alice are nearly fatal, causing Jack to rethink his resistance to treatment. The raunchiness level targets this toward "Carter Finally Gets It" fans.
It's A Snap! : George Eastman's First Photo
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Kulling, Monica
Slavin, Bill
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 16, 2014
Stein, Valerie
George Eastman first got interested in taking pictures as a hobby. In the early days, it took determination and lots of muscle to take photographs outside of a studio. George carried his bulky, heavy gear everywhere. The more he became fascinated with the process, the more he liked the possibility that everyone could take photographs. He became determined to make it easier, and built a career and ultimately a business empire around just that idea, devising cameras (and a wide variety of film types to feed them) which were truly meant for anyone to use. He truly revolutionized picture taking for everyone. This very accessible picture book biography would complement units on inventions or photography for a wide range of ages. Illustrations fit the text and complement the storytelling style admirably.
Field Trip
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Nees, Susan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 16, 2014
Stein, Valerie
Missy is determined (and appealing, in a mildly annoying sort of way). She is paired with a quiet boy on their field trip to visit the State Government. Missy is looking forward to buying stuff in the gift shop. He’s looking forward to the display showing how a bill becomes law. Imagine Missy’s disappointment when she discovers no sparkles, and no gift shop! Together the partners shake up a few things and become friends along the way. This is great fun and quite accessible for the earliest chapter readers. Part of a series. Fine additional purchase for early readers, with a fun main character you’ll want to meet again.
City Of Death
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Chadda, Sarwat
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 16, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
We first met Ash in "The Savage Fortress" and now he's back in book #2 of the series that's a bloodier sort of Percy Jackson based on legendary characters from India. In the first book Ash became the Kali-astra, working for the goddess of death. He managed to save himself and his sister from the evil Lord Savage who desired them for his own fiendish purposes. In this book demons attack in England and Ash loses a beloved friend. When the Koh-I-Noor diamond is stolen, and Lord Savage wants it to gain additional powers that will make him unstoppable, Ash is pressed into service again. Working with the demon Pavarti, Ash returns to Indian to stop Savage, using his powers, and gaining more from each death near him. Yet Savage's promise that his new powers will redeem Ash's mistakes, bringing someone back to life, are very tempting. Whose side is Ash on, and who can he trust? Far too gory for elementary school, this is sure to be a hit with secondary students who have read the first book.
What Can We Play Today?
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Gallagher-Cole, Mernie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 17, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Magic Castle Readers" series, this 32 page book focuses on community jobs. A boy opens a "word window" and reads the story. The story is about a group of children (various sex & ethnicity) as they play dress-up. As they pull items out of the box they dress as a community helper and a couple simple sentences explains what they do. Careers include: firefighter, police officer, doctor/nurse, "fix-it" people, and mail carriers. The illustrations are colorful and large enough for group sharing. The word window concept seems awkward to the children I had read this book. Questions on the final page could be used by the teacher, but would be difficult for this level of reader to complete on their own. The book could work as an introduction to a primary community career unit.
Superstorm Sandy
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Bailey, Rachel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 17, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: History's Greatest Disasters" series, this 48 page book explores the 2012 hurricane named Sandy. It describes how hurricanes are forms and how this storm was different from others. It shares the havoc that Sandy created from the Caribbean through the Northeast, with emphasis on New York City and New Jersey. The text is well-written and the photographs are stunning. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, timeline, index, author information, and bibliography (web resources through the publisher's website). Activities at the end of most chapters reflect the common core but make the book feel more like a text book. While the storm is still fresh in the minds of the east coast, this book will loose interest quickly. It would work well for short research projects on natural disasters. Because of it's limited appeal, this book is an additional purchase.
ON THE HARDWOOD : DALLAS MAVERICKS
MVP BOOKS [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
SKOGEN, JENNY
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 17, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "On the Hardwood" series, that will eventually cover all 30 NBA teams. This 47 page book might be of interest to Dallas Mavericks fans, but will not see much circulation elsewhere. The opening chapter takes eight pages to describe Game 5 of the 2011 NBA Finals. It seems tedious and will be a challenge for readers to keep their interest. The text then follows pro basketball in Dallas, Texas from the Dallas Chaparals (now the San Antonio Spurs) to the current team which began play in 1980. The reader learns how the team was named, the various owners, coaches, and players, and the successes of the team. The text layout is poor. Basketball fans will appreciate the captioned, color photographs. This book contains none of the traditional non-fiction text features except for a table of contents. A glossary, index, and timeline would be helpful. Even though this is an officially licensed product of the NBA, there are other books about sports teams that are better written and designed.
MARK TWAIN
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
BODDEN, VALERIE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 17, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Great American Authors" series, this 48 page book explores the life of writer Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens). The opening chapter gains reader's interest by describing Twain's beginning as a steamboat pilot. The book then goes back to his birth in 1835 and follows his life. Reader's learn of the events in his life that shaped his writing. Samples of his writing are found, as are, color and gray scale captioned illustrations, a graph, and sidebars which describe background material to help the reader understand the text. The information in the book is presented in a clear and concise manner and will work well for student biographical research. The book contains traditional non-fiction features: table of contents, glossary, index, timeline, author information, list of key works, and bibliography (web resources are obtained through the publisher's website). Because this is a part of their "Core Library" activities that reflect common core are at the end of most chapters and might be useful if used in direct instruction, but will be ignored by most readers. A strong purchase if needed to update your biography collection.
Drills
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Gregory, Josh
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 18, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page book is about drills. The book defines drills as tools that put holes in things. The book describes power drills, uses for drills, and other kinds of drills. Each two page spread has a colorful captioned photograph on one page and text on the other. A focus question appears within each chapter to connect the book to the Common Core. Five words in the glossary are printed in bold within the text. The book also has a table of contents, bibliography, index, and author information (2 sentences...he writes, he lives in Chicago). Purchase if you have a curriculum need for this type of material.
Army Rangers : Elite Operations
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Lusted, Marcia Amidon
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 18, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Military Special Ops" series, this 32 page book describes the US Army Rangers. The first chapter sets the stage by describing an Afghanistan operation in 2010. Then the book explains the history of the Rangers, dating back to 1756. The current formations began in 1941 to become a "super infantry" for the army. The remaining chapters discuss selection, training, and gear. Color, captioned photographs will attract readers and enhance the well written text. Schools that are sensitive to weapons in books should be warned that most photos include a ranger holding (but not firing) a gun. Side bars and boxes describe missions and details (one explains suicide bombers) to give the reader context to understand the text. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, Index, and author information (two sentences). Could also be used in middle school as a high/low book.
Bears In Beds
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Parenteau, Shirley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 18, 2014
Evey, Kay
This is a board book best used as a bedtime story. There are five beds and five bears but only the brown bear is bigger or older. The brown bear tucks all the bears in a kisses them goodnight but when the wind blows it scares all the bears and the four little bears snuggle in with the brown bear and are read a story about three bears and a girl with golden hair. The illustrations by David Walker are done in acrylic paint in soft pastel colors and add to the quiet coziness of this book.
Can You Say It, Too? Woof! Woof!
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Braun, Sebastien
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 18, 2014
Evey, Kay
This board book includes five animals that are hidden under big flaps to lift. They include a dog, cat, rabbit, fish, and bird with chicks. The illustrations are created digitally. Very young children enjoy finding something hidden behind the flaps and guessing at what it is and this is as sturdy as can be expected with the flaps.
CLIMATE SCIENTIST
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
GREGORY, JOSH
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 18, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Cool STEM Careers" series, this 32 page book provides an introduction to science careers related to climate. The beginning of the book explains the difference between weather and climate, some processes that can effect climate, and global warming due to human impact. This covers many topics and may overwhelm the reader. The next chapters explain the schooling needed to work in this field and the variety of jobs and employers. Three climate scientists are shared in short paragraph sketch biographies. Color, captioned photographs match the text. Words in bold print within the text are defined in the glossary. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, index, and two sentence about the author (he writes/edits books and lives in Chicago - probably not a needed feature if no substantial information is shared). An additional purchase for your career section.
LAST FREE CAT
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
BLAKE, JON
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
After the big HN51 scare--a supposed deadly strain of cat flu--all cats are severely regulated by a company that breeds and neuters them, so it holds the monopoly on the pet. Only the rich can afford them and any "free" cat is considered a public health hazard. Corporations have also taken over England, and their security forces enforce their draconian laws. When a cat shows up in Jade's garden she can't help but take it in. It's so beautiful, and comforting. Her mother is reluctant, but drawn in by the cat as well. Kris, a boy at school, soon becomes involved. All are at risk, because of a cat. When Jade's home is raided and her mother dies, she is on the run with Kris, trying to save the cat by getting to Ireland. Traced by security forces, smuggled by an underground that believes in free cats, can they survive? This is a fast-paced dystopian book originally published in Great Britain in 2008. While it seems a little over-the-top, readers will be carried along by the strong characters and the fast-paced plot.
St. Patrick's Day From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 19, 2014
Evey, Kay
This is a slightly smaller format than the original "teacher from the black lagoon" series but is presented in the same way. There are cartoon black and white illustrations that dominate every page. While this is a chapter book, it contains only 64 pages and less than a paragraph of text on any one page. The humor is more sophisticated than a second grader but the reading level is not. This is one of the holidays at the black lagoon series and fans of the others will enjoy this as well. You may learn a few tidbits of information about the holiday but that is not intentionally the reason for the book. It is a fun read.
Carly Rae Jepsen : Call Her Amazing
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Higgins, Nadia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 19, 2014
Soel, Barbara
This very slender book will give Carly fans quick biographical information arranged in paragraphs, captions, and info boxes scattered throughout its 32 pages, along with a number of color photos of the young musical artist. The reading audience for Carly Rae Jepsen is a bit uncertain, as it seemed to be written for elementary students with its very casual narrative voice; however, a few references took it right up into middle school: “Then, in July, some creeper posted fake nude photos of her on the Web.” It may be enticing for a short while, but with the popularity of her song, “Call Me Maybe,” interest in the book may quickly fade.
Tribe : Homeroom Headhunters
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Chapman, Clay Mcleod
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Spencer is new at Greenfield Middle School and he comes with some baggage--separated parents, an asthma inhaler, and having burned down his previous school. OK, the last is an exaggeration, and it was totally an accident. He's promised his Mom he's not going to make waves at this new school. He's going to try to fit in. It doesn't help that he becomes the target of the local bully on his first day, and that he discovers there are former students actually living in the school. They travel through the suspended ceilings, come out at night to wreak havoc, and have their own codes and laws mostly based on literature. Think "Lord of the Flies" and "call of the Wild." They decide Spencer would fit the tribe perfectly and soon he's involved in some of their exploits. Still, is he ready to give up real life to disappear into the ceilings? As he gets to know this group of supposedly "free" students, he begins to realize that they've taken things too far, and their supposed rebellion against rules and cliques has created a rule-bound clique with archaic punishments that can actually result in physical injury. Quitting may not be an option. This is an interesting concept, and may appeal to middle-schoolers who feel like misfits.
Football
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Hurley, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 19, 2014
Soel, Barbara
If you are new to football, and have very little knowledge of the game or its history, you are likely to find this slim book a quick and interesting read. It’s full of colorful football photos, charts, paragraphs, and information boxes that share various facts about professional football. It doesn’t explain how the game is played or scored, so you’ll have to find that information elsewhere. It contains standard text features, and it keeps the reader interested from beginning to end by not creating unanswered questions. This non-football fan learned a thing or two about a football thing or two. It will not be a shelf-sitter.
FROM SHARKS TO... SWIMSUITS
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
MARA, WIL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 19, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "21st Century Skills Innovation Library: Innovations from Nature" series. The book explores how swimwear has been developed by mimicking attributes found in nature and how that helps increase competitive speed in the water. The book also mentions how some of these concepts can help in other areas such as cars, operating rooms, and boats. Readers learn about drag, biomimicry, and resistance. Color, captioned photographs enhance the well-written text. The final chapter contains short biographical sketches of 3 innovators: Fiona Fairhurst, Leonardo da Vinci, and Janine Benyus. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, index, and author information (2 sentences). While it is a good book, I'm not sure where it would be used. It may attract shark book lovers, but it's appeal will be limited.
NAVY SEALS
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
MARCINIAK, KRISTIN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 19, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Great Warriors" series, this 48 page book will attract your military book readers. The book begins with a description of the Navy SEAL mission that killed terrorist Osama bin Laden in 2011. The book then describes the history of the Navy SEALs program. Readers learns that SEALs stands for sea, air, and land. It started in 1962 but was based on many war units before. The qualifications, training, and mission are described in well-written and concise text. Captioned photographs, charts,diagrams, timeline, and call-out boxes enhance the text and will give the reader background information. Activities at the end of some chapters make the book seem like a text book and could be used for teaching, however, most readers will skip over this material. The book contains a table of contents, index, glossary, author information, and bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website). A strong purchase when you are updating your military collection.
Can You Say It, Too? Moo! Moo!
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Braun, Sebastien
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 19, 2014
Evey, Kay
This board book has five farm animals and the sound they make hidden behind large flaps. The illustrations are created digitally. This is a good additional purchase for the intended audience to introduce them to farm animals and the sounds they make. Children of a very young age enjoy lifting the flap to see the hidden animal and then making the noise. The animals include cow, horse, pig, rooster and sheep.
League
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Heldring, Thatcher
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 20, 2014
Dame, Anne
Wyatt is a conscientious student who is a target for bullies and unpopular with girls. The last straw for him is when his parents sign him up for golf camp over the summer instead of letting him play football. A surprising offer from his older brother to play in a very rough, very secret football league leads Wyatt into many moral dilemmas. One thing that really bothered me was that Wyatt's best friend is a girl named Evan. Every time I read the name Evan, I pictured a boy. Very frustrating, but doesn't have a thing to do with the actual quality of the writing. This is a good fit for those wanting a sports book, but it often felt quite pedantic and heavy on the implied moral lesson. I also found the ending to be unrealistic and too good to be true.
MIAMI HURRICANES
SPORTSZONE [ABDO]
HOWELL, BRIAN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 21, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Inside College Football" series, this 48 page book describes the football program at the University of Miami in Florida. The book opens with a description of the 2002 Rose Bowl game against the University of Nebraska for the 2001 National Championship, then goes through the history of the program from 1926 to 2011. The program has won 5 national championships (although one is shared with Univ. of Washington) and has had more positive years than negative. A good read for any college football fan. Color, captioned photographs are found throughout and will excite the reader. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, stats, glossary, bibliography, index, and author information.
Salem Witch Trials
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Benoit, Peter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 21, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Cornerstones of Freedom" series, this 64 page book describes the trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The text describes the differences between the village and townspeople, their background in Maine, their religious beliefs and conflicts, the rule of law, and the trials. The book explains how the trials were conducted, the results, and the lasting impact of this event in American history. The reader will learn that some of the victims were cleared in 2001! The book is a fascinating read. Illustrations are captioned and found throughout the book and help with the tone. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, biographical sketches, bibliography, glossary (words are bolded in the text), index, and author information. Web resources including links to primary source material is found on the publisher's website. A strong additional purchase for your collection.
CLAWS
Chicken House [Chicken House]
GRINTI, MIKE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 23, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
In a world where "crags" (trolls, hags, and other magical creatures) are now a regular part of the landscape is it so surprising that Emma meets a talking cat? Cats are known users of magic, and her parents are not pleased. Their situation is already grave since Emma's sister vanished. They've had to move out of the human part of town and into a trailer near the deep forest, in hopes that the crags will help them locate the missing girl. When Jack, the cat, convinces Emma to swallow magic and become leader of the cats she only does so to save her sister. However, she soon finds life becoming very complicated. Jack seems to have his own agenda. Then there's the whole "saving your sister from the fairies" thing. This is a well-written fantasy with an interesting way of looking at the magical world. It provides a compelling story, plenty of suspense, and just a touch of humor.
Empire Of Bones
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Wilson, N D
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 23, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
In book 3 of "The Ashtown Burials" siblings Cyrus and Antigone Smith, along with other characters we've grown to know and love in the previous books, go to war. Phoenix has raised an army. The Order of Brenden is its intended victim. Foolish members of the O of B fail to see the danger. Cyrus may be the key to it all, but the final battle is epic and magic of all kinds abounds. This is not fluffy happy fantasy. The danger is real, and the battles are bloody. The author includes a hint here and a hint there from established mythologies and religions, while keeping the whole thing uniquely his own. The plot is action-packed and fast-paced. This series is not for the faint of heart, and is not one that you can skim. You have to totally immerse yourself in the characters and concepts--buy into the ideas of ancient honor, and mystical possibilities. Readers who have done so will find this a compelling and satisfying read. If you have the other books in the series this is a "must-buy."
SCIENTIFIC METHOD IN THE REAL WORLD
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
CARMICHAEL, L E
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 24, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Science in the Real World" series, this 48 page book looks at applications of the scientific method. The book begins with some real life situations where the scientific method is used, then describes the method. The book explains how the scientific method was developed, hypotheses, designing experiments, and how answers can lead to more questions. The book contains a chart, timeline, table of contents, index, glossary, author information, and bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website). Side bars and extension activities in each chapter will focus the reader. This would be a strong addition to your library if you need a book describing the scientific method
Good Manners With Your Friends
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Felix, Rebecca
Lacoste, Gary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 24, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
See review for Good Manners with Your Teachers by same author. Format is the same in this Good Manners in Relationships series. Again kids won't pick this up on their own, but it can generate good discussion starters. The first scenario involves Jen inviting Hazel and Tyler over for a movie and board games. What should Jen do when Hazel arrives first and they're already in conversation by the time Tyler arrives? Kids can give thoughtful responses and understand about always politely greeting others and making them feel included. The top five tips for good manners with friends include being kind, treating them with respect, sharing, taking turns and practicing the "magic words". Includes the desired nonfiction features of table of contents, glossary, ABDO web site, and brief index.
Zebra Stripes Go Head To Toe
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Shapiro, Sheryl
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 24, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
See review for Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots in same series--Shapes & Spaces. The appeal of this Shapes & Spaces book is in its bright color photos on clean white backgrounds. The rhyming text compliments this simple concept book and young children will be able to complete the brief rhymes on each double page spread. This book starts with squares and cubes, move on to stripes, slats, lines and bands. The cohesion in this title is not as clear as the previous one, as it contains a variety of shapes as evidenced by the last page of nine different items. There's not a lot to this book, but it's still a visual pleasure. An added aspect to this title is the page numbers on the bottom of each page incorporate the shape of concept from that page giving it a bit more to work with when reading aloud with a child.
Ladybugs Have Lots Of Spots
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Shapiro, Sheryl
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 24, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
The appeal of this Shapes & Spaces book is in its bright color photos on clean white backgrounds. The rhyming text compliments this simple concept book and young children will be able to complete the brief rhymes on each double page spread i.e. "Spokes in wheels spin round and round, in the air or on the ground." This book starts with rings, moves on to spots, circles, holes, cylinders, all things that are round. There's not a lot to this book, but it's a visual pleasure. Another in the same series is Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe.
Good Manners With Your Parents
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Felix, Rebecca
Lacoste, Gary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 24, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
See review for Good Manners with Your Teachers by same author. Format is the same in this Good Manners in Relationships series. Again kids won't pick this up on their own, but it can generate good discussion starters. The top five tips for good manners with parents include treating them with respect, listening to their rules and following their directions, being kind and practicing the "magic words". Includes the desired nonfiction features.
Sea Turtle
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Hanson, Anders
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 25, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
One of SandCastle’s Giant Animals series, this 24-page offering features sea turtles. What isn’t clear is the series title. Though the leatherback sea turtle is introduced on the first page of text as the largest of the seven sea turtles it seems that information is provided regarding sea turtles in general. The students weren’t annoyed by the chapter headings such as What Are You Up To? or Do You Have a Family? that use the familiar second person pronoun. The answer (the text) is in more appropriate nonfiction third person. Though the information is limited it’s appropriate for the intended transitional reader. The color photos nicely capture sea turtles, and the little sand-covered babies crawling to the ocean will be a favorite. Several diagrams are included—one of the 7-foot leatherback opposite a 6-foot human soccer player (but placed perpendicular to each other). A map has circles on it supposedly indicating where in the oceans these reptiles live, though the difference between clear and red circles is not explained. One photo of a leatherback is labeled perhaps to distinguish it from the hard shelled turtle on the opposite page? The book concludes with a True/False quiz and glossary.
Enrique's Journey : The True Story Of A Boy Determined To Re
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Nazario, Sonia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 25, 2014
Dame, Anne
Originally published in 2006 as an adult book, the author has adapted the story for a teen audience, updating information along the way. This is an intense look at the harsh realities suffered by immigrants from Central America, especially Honduras. Enrique's mom left when he was 5 in order to move to America where she could earn enough money to send back to take care of her family in Honduras. She thought she would be able to save money quickly and get back to her children right away. However, when she had not returned by the time he was 17-years-old, Enrique decided to set out for the US on his own so they can be together again. While there are no graphic descriptions, there is a lot of violence, injury, and rape related matter in this book.
Monster Trucks
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
GORDON, NICK
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 26, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This emergent reader title will be a hit with primary students. The kindergartners, boys and girls alike, enjoyed the topic and photos of these monster trucks. With only 24 pages and a large font sentence or two per page there is not much information. Kids won't care as long as they can look at the pictures and see a few tricks such as the donuts or slap wheelies. Includes a table of contents of the three "chapters" which are really just 4 pages each; labels of parts i.e. roll cage and super charged engine; a four-word glossary, three current books to read more plus the factsurfer web site, and a pretty detailed index. This should be a highly motivating beginning reader. Others in this Blastoff! Readers: Monster machines series include Monster Cars, Monster Cranes, Monster Diggers, Monster Dump Trucks, and Monster Trains.
Shocking Sharks
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Guillain, Charlotte
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 26, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Raintree has produced a great piece of nonfiction for the primary student in this high interest topic of sharks. Many interesting facts will be gleaned by children and adults alike. All of the sharp color photos have clear captions, labels or a factoid box unless the text explains the photo. Some of these photos are quite stunning, and the one with a human hand next to a set of shark’s teeth makes quite the point☺ Though different sharks are mentioned the bulk of the book focuses on the great white shark. This solidly bound 32-page book includes a table of contents with “chapters” of double page spreads, a 12-word glossary, four books to find out more plus the Facthound web site, and a very detailed index. Others in the Walk on the Wild Side series include Amazing Elephants, Mighty Lions, Powerful Polar Bears, Soaring Eagles and Super Spiders.
Asia
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Onsgard, Bethany
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 26, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
ABDO’s Core Library imprint brings us the Continents series. Each 48-page book contains information about the people, animals, culture and places on the continent being described. Young readers will be drawn to the full-page photos and the numerous text boxes that focus on extended information on a single topic. A map showing the countries and major cities begins the book, followed by a page of facts (highest point, key industries, common languages and more). A half page of “Further Evidence” asks students to think about the chapter, refer to a web site which has links to further sources such as National Geographic and Encyclopedia Britannica, and then rethink any questions they have. I appreciate the way the questions are written so that students aren’t answering rote questions but are be asked to think and form their own conclusions. A full-color map does a good job showin where major religions are practicedon the continent. Includes contents, glossary, book and web sources, and index. A good resource for both intermediate readers and for older students who may be struggling with or learning the English language.
Earth Day
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 27, 2014
Evey, Kay
Earth Day is one title in the 'Holidays' series from Abdo Publishing Company. Its 24 page format includes a table of contents, index, glossary and publisher's website for additional information (bibliography). The illustrations are captioned. Glossary words used in the text appear in bold blue type. This includes basic information about conservation, the importance of being green, environmental protection and a short history of the movement. This is a good introductory title for a young audience or supplemental read aloud to acquaint the elementary student with the importance of the day and working on the stewardship of the environment.
Toucans
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 27, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
One of the South American Animals series, this title features the tropical bird most known for its impressive, colorful beak. The brilliant color photos capture these amazing creatures from their variety to their chicks. As with ABDO's other similar series, this is well executed nonfiction with all of the desired features from table of contents through Important Words, the ABDO web site and a detailed index. The graphics and layouts are very attractive, captions extend the already informative and interesting text, "Uncovered" fact boxes include additional information, and a map delineates their territory in Central and South America. First graders enjoyed hearing this read aloud which is a testament to the quality of the information, the photos and the readability of the text. Others in the series include Howler Monkeys, Jaquars, Piranhas, Poison Dart Frogs, and Sloths. Toucans just happens to be the prettiest due to its subject.
EXISTENCE OF SASQUATCH AND YETI
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HAND, CAROL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 27, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Living in the Pacific NW, Sasquatch and Bigfoot are familiar names given to the cryptid described as a giant gorilla-like primate and human-like creature living in the most inaccessible places and whose existence is an unresolved question. Yeti is the name given to a similarly large animal/human living high in the Himalayas and well known in the folklore of the region. Abdo’s Unsolved Mysteries book recounts anecdotes, sightings and possible evidence of scat, hair, vocal recordings and tracks. The scientific community disregards any of this proposed evidence, labels researchers as on the fringe, and so far has not invested the funds for large-scale research projects. While admitted frauds exist, many groups persist in looking for evidence using ever more refined tools and the book refrains from taking a position. Photographs, insert descriptive fact boxes, brief explanations of the tools used in the lab, timeline, glossary, additional resources, source notes and index included.
MAGICAL MONTY
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
HURWITZ, JOHANNA
MCGRORY, ANIK
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 27, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
First –grader Monty, now a big brother, returns in this early chapter book series. Gentle struggles are overcome as he earns a higher belt in Karate, learns magic tricks, and takes the perfect photo of himself reading to his sister for a library project. His growing understanding of his baby sister and their relationship will appeal to other younger students with new babies at home. This would be an excellent book to recommend to strong Kindergarten and 1st grade readers and is suitable for a read aloud.
Stuey Lewis Against All Odds
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
Schoenberg, Jane
Eveans, Cambria
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 27, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Stuey Lewis returns as a third grader in this chapter book written at the same level as Magic Tree House. Four humorous short stories include a surprise virtual space trip with Stuey’s Dad at the Space Station in Texas, getting separated from his airline escort, a unique Mother’s Day present, and a creative pet for the classroom pet show day. Stuey’s nemesis know-it-all Lilly and best friend Will provide typical relationship interactions and model ignoring annoying behavior. Large font and plentiful drawings by Cambria Evans make this a reader friendly book. Suggest this series for your younger boy readers.
Whale Shark
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Hanson, Anders
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 27, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
See review for Sea Turtle by the same author in SandCastle's Giant Animals series for transitional readers. In exactly the same format with the same or similar chapter headings the book more clearly focuses on just whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea. Astonishingly one can live up to 100 years. Its eggs hatch inside its body and then the babies are born. A key would help the map again more clearly show the blue as their territory. Photos with whale sharks and humans show just how large these creatures are. This is a better offering than Sea Turtle.
Sam And Charlie (And Sam Too!) Return!
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Kimmelman, Leslie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 27, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This sequel to Sam and Charlie (and Sam Too!) is a transitional reader on the order of Pinky and Rex, but with a bit easier reading level. The five stories in 39 pages traverse the year starting with winter when Sam and his next door neighbor friend Charlie (a girl) help shovel snow on their own and a neighbor's walkway getting much snow on themselves. They also plant a new tree to replace a downed favorite and celebrate Tu B'Shevat, a Jewish holiday celebrating a tree's birthday. During Passover they search for the hidden afikomen (wrapped matzah), and during Hanukkah Charlie and Sam secretly let Charlie's little sister Sam Too win the three games. Each story has a satisfactory, pleasant, sometimes humorous conclusion. The first graders enjoyed this book of friendship and positive family relationships. The colorful pictures add to the enjoyment of text making it most appropriate for the picture book section.
When The Beat Was Born : Dj Kool Herc And The Creation Of Hi
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Hill, Laban Carrick
Taylor, Theodore, Iii
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 28, 2014
Stein, Valerie
An essential piece of music history is captured in this excellent nonfiction picture book, which took the John Steptoe award for New talent in this year's Youth Media Awards. When I saw the bold images paired with interesting and informative text, I was delighted. Picture book biographies are highly prized at our Arts-rich school, especially those of musicians.This one is an outstanding example of the right balance between appeal and information. I know students will enjoy as much as I have. I shared it with our band leader, whose delight was even greater than mine, since he grew up in the Bronx, home of Hip Hop. The names, faces and places were all part of his life there, and he delighted in visiting his 'hood through the pages of this book. In addition to great artwork and engaging text, this book includes very good author notes, a comprehensive timeline and a select bibliography which includes books, film and DVD, and a few excellent web sources. Age range could be much broader than this, as low as third if interest exists, and into high school.
Freedom Maze
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Sherman, Delia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 28, 2014
Datisman, Eve
It's 1960, and thirteen-year-old Sophie Martineau has just been deposited by her imperious, newly divorced mother at their ancestral home in the Louisiana bayou, once the site of a grand sugar plantation, to spend the summer with her spinster aunt and bedridden grandmother. She soon gets lost in the estate's overgrown maze, meets a Creature that is equal parts Psammead (rather grumpy, ugly and occasionally malevolent sand-fairy) and Brer Rabbit, and is transported back in time one hundred years. Her summer tan marks her as a slave to her own ancestors. As she experiences the moral injustices of slavery, however, she falls out of favor and is reassigned to the quarters. After she has played a dangerous but critical role in the novel's climax, the Creature whisks her back to 1960, where she must research the end of the story. In doing so, she finds the courage to defy her own mother and reconnect with her father. Sherman evokes two historical settings, turning a glaring light on the uncomfortable attitudes and practices of earlier eras. There is something of the White Savior motif, but the classic fairytale tropes overshadow that. Starred in Kirkus reviews, paperback reissue of the 2011 book.
Beauty's Daughter : The Story Of Hermione And Helen Of Troy
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS]
Meyer, Carolyn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 28, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Meyer’s latest historical novel delves into Greek mythology with a retelling of the Trojan War from the point of view of Hermione, the daughter of Helen and Menelaus of Sparta. Hermione lives in the shadow of her vainglorious mother, whose beauty bewitches all men. Though her mother is often critical or neglectful, Hermione is hurt when Helen runs away with Paris, abandoning her and her father but taking her brother. Hermione follows her father and cousins into a long war filled with interfering gods, sexual abuse and gory violence. For the next 10 years, former friends become enemies or slaves, and Hermione tries to console captive brides without becoming one. When the war ends, Troy is destroyed, Helen is reclaimed, and Hermione is a woman and a wife, pledged to the cruel Pyrrhus rather than her childhood love, Orestes. There is little mention of Hermione in the original texts but her journey to find love and understand the political events surrounding Orestes punishment by the Fates provides room for character development. Will whet the appetite for more Greek mythology and history. Short bib. included.
The Dead Gentleman
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Cody, Matthew
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 28, 2014
Dame, Anne
Tommy is an orphan in the 19th century. When he steals a mechanical canary from creepy skeleton (the Dead Gentleman), he gets involved in a world threatening battle of good versus evil. He becomes a member of the Explorers Society, exploring portals, worlds, and traveling through time. He meets Jezebel Lemon and they join forces for a fast-moving action-packed steampunk adventure. The door is left wide open for a sequel, but this story is complete (ie, no horrible cliff hanger).
Meeting Cezanne
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Morpurgo, Michael
Place, Francois
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 28, 2014
Stein, Valerie
This is a beautiful little book. It feels nice in the hands, with accessible text and a light, open feel. Francois Place’s accompanying watercolor artwork is such a treat for the eyes, gracing nearly every page. The two page spreads are lovely and bear looking at over and over. Told in the first person, it chronicles a young boy’s summer in Provence, with his aunt and uncle in their rural home. The boy explores the countryside, learns to cook from his uncle, and meets a famous artist. Since his mother told him Cezanne loved to paint Provence, he knows that’s who he has met. The paintings made me smile when my eyes would encounter their stunning color and line. The writing, as with all of Morpurgo’s, is captivating and simple, evoking another time with such grace. The question, though, is its intended audience. It reads and feels like a picture book, but its form doesn’t quite fit our expectations. Is this an American style issue, or is it really this difficult to define the intended audience. Lovely for the Morpurgo lover. Hard to say where to pitch it in a school library, though.
Where My Wellies Take Me
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Morpurgo, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
March 28, 2014
Stein, Valerie
What a lovely, intimate book. I wasn't sure when I first started reading it of the intended audience, but I can see it shared in families. Each spread is like a new adventure, some with fold outs or other flaps, and along with the visual feast, each of Pippa's adventures is filled with poetry by familiar poets. The book is infused with Michael and Clare Morpurgo's own childhoods, and is a delight for the senses. Some of the lovely, roughly scratched lines of narrative might be difficult for younger children to read on their own, but it really is a book to pore over for hours with a loved companion, to dip into at bedtime, to explore and savor. A great additional purchae for a library; though it might not circulate briskly, it has its place for the curious.
Deep In The Sahara
SCHWARTZ & WADE [SCHWARTZ & WADE]
Cunnane, Kelly
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 28, 2014
Stein, Valerie
What a beautiful book. Beautiful artwork, beautiful lyrical text. For some reason I can’t give it an R* because while most of the pages had very deliberate rhyming, a few didn’t, and they were somehow jarring. That difficulty aside, this is a lovely simple and gentle book which helps young ones understand the reasons for the wearing of malafa, the fabric Muslim women in Mauritania, Africa wear to cover their heads. At the heart of it is a little girl’s desire to be like her mother, sister, aunt and grandma, and in the end she shows her mother that she is truly ready to wear a malafa. Author’s notes at the end add a depth to the meaning of the story as well, and makes this a great choice to share with students as part of an inquiry into other cultures.
Day Of The Dead
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 28, 2014
Evey, Kay
Day of the Dead is one of the titles in the 'Holidays' series from Abdo Publishing Company. Book design includes a Table of Contents, index, glossary and the publishers website for additional information (Bibliography). In 24 pages introductory information about the day, its story, tradition and customs and other important facts are presented. The book is illustrated with full-color photographs that are captioned. Words within the information that are included in the glossary are bold and orange in the paragraph. This is a good introduction for a young audience.
Loud Awake And Lost
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Griffin, Adele
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 28, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Another YA psychological thriller from two-time National Book Award finalist Griffin. There's not a lot that Ember is certain about except that she barely survived a horrific car accident, and her passenger did not. After emergency surgery followed by eight months in a hospital, 17-year-old Ember arrives home with many visible scars, but the most troubling are those that don't show. Her memory is fragmented; some of her recollections of the crash and of her life before that fateful night are jumbled, while others are simply missing. Who was she before the accident? What was she doing/hiding the night before the accident? Is she hallucinating or is this real? But if she can sort out her impulses to venture outside her safety zone, she might find the key to her memory loss. Readers will like the surprise ending and in most cases they won’t figure it out before they get to it. Ad+/R depending upon what your readers like.
Pirate Island Treasure
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Helmer, Marilyn
Parkins, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 28, 2014
Stein, Valerie
The Orca Echoes series offers solid early chapter books. This is one of those, with just enough mystery and adventure to satisfy younger readers, paired with some accessible text features. Though font size can run a bit small in these books, line spacing is good and illustrations frequent enough to add to the fun, every 3 pages or so. In this story, Charlotte and Jacob go exploring with Grandpa and get to ride in his boat to spend a day exploring on Pirate Island. Siblings are having trouble sharing in this homey adventure, and they have to work together to solve their problems in order not to spoil the fun of playing pirate with their grandfather.
Justine Mckeen And The Bird Nerd
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Brouwer, Sigmund
Whamond, Dave
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 28, 2014
Stein, Valerie
This is another in the Justine McKeen series, another Orca Echoes offering that does not disappoint. Justine is up to her usual earth-saving high-jinks, this time trying to sell disposable plates that are good for the environment - plates made out of pig urine. Her plan is not going so well when she’s roped in to help a kid considered the school bully, Jimmy Blatzo. The problem is a sad one - they keep finding dead birds below the windows of the school. Jimmy and Justine cement their friendship as they dig into the mystery behind this problem, and with Justine’s support, Jimmy even speaks at a town council meeting, calling on the town officials for help. Like Justine McKeen’s other adventures, here’s proof that even kids can make a difference to the earth, without preaching and with some fun along along the way. As with others in the Orca Echoes series, font is a tad small for an early reader, but line spacing, number of words on a page and use of frequent pictures all help to make it a good choice for younger chapter book readers nonetheless.
Portland Abc
SASQUATCH BOOKS [SASQUATCH BOOKS]
Skewes, John
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 28, 2014
Stein, Valerie
I love Larry Gets Lost in Seattle. It’s a fun adventure with color combinations on each page that are a treat for the eyes. I know Portland, and thought that this one would be as delightful. What a disappointment. Characters and landmarks alike fade into uninteresting color schemes on each spread, and it doesn’t grab my interest as many other alphabet books do. It simply feels much too much like a marketing tool, a tack-on book to make the series go a little farther. It doesn’t really feel like a book with any effort behind it. Now, in addition to the Gets Lost and ABC books, there is yet another set to choose from: “Larry Loves…” I’d recommend picking the ones you love and leaving the rest on the shelf.
Defriended
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Baron, Ruth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 28, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Drawn together by a love of indie rock, guitar, obscure quotes, and cheesy ‘80’s films Jason and Lacey have been corresponding through Facebook for a while. He’s just about ready to set a date to meet face to face when suddenly, he finds that their relationship is much more complicated that he thought. Lacey is dead and has been for about a year. Is she communicating with him from the grave or is there something more sinister going on? Stunned by this revelation, Jason is soon enveloped by the mystery surrounding Lacey's death and the dramas of the high school caste system that he has tried so hard to avoid. Defriended is mystery that will appeal to today's digital natives who have grown up surrounded by status updates, tweets, and mobile devices. Furthermore, this novel is timely due to recent high-profile examples of "catfishing"-where an individual creates a false online identity, often with deceptive or malicious romantic goals. The characters are not overly developed and the story relies on its fast pace. Engaging Hi/Lo read.
My Chemical Mountain
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Vacco, Corina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
March 28, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Winner of the thirtieth annual Delacorte Press Prize for a First Young Adult Novel. Vacco’s first novel is written in the tradition of such early twentieth-century muckrakers as Upton Sinclair, Frank Norris, and Ida M. Tarbell. Urgent, topical and timely, it exposes corporate abuse of the environment that threatens the viability of communities throughout America. If the local chemical plant killed your father and used your backyard as a dumping ground, you'd want revenge, too. Jason is about to enter high school with his two best friends, dangerously confident football star Charlie Pellitero and cautious and sickly William "Cornpup" Schumacher. They live in a town all but owned by the overarching and ominous company Mareno Chem, and their noxious playgrounds are waste-coated landfills. Whether it's swimming in the polluted Two Mile Creek or dirt biking up Chemical Mountain, there's no part of Poxton that doesn't belong to them. Following his father's death in an accident at the plant that employs most of the town, Jason and his friends concoct a plan to bring Mareno Chemical down. Cornpup shows off the cysts covering his back at a town meeting, and a shift occurs among the boys and allows for an unexpected ending.
Life In Outer Space
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Keil, Melissa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 28, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Sam Kinnison is a budding Australian horror-film writer who plays World of Warcraft and hangs out with his equally geeky buddies: highly excitable Adrian; consummate nerd-girl Allison; and gay best friend Mike. They are THE targets of Bowen Lakes Secondary’s A group until Camilla Carter – an unbelievably cool English transfer student - walks in. She crosses the barriers between coo and uncool with ease and seems to prefer to hang out with Sam and his group. Lots of fish-out-of-water situations narrated by a bewildered Sam, are peppered with references to classic horror movies, plot points (guy in the yellow shirt will be the first to get killed), theme music and 80’s John Hughes movies and show up in the text and chapter headings. The support characters are finely written, and fully developed. Sam comes to know himself better as he is forced out of his comfort zone and realizes that his friendship with Camilla is a two-way street and more that just an infatuation, though there is some of that as well. A YA-lit version of a John Hughes film, charming, sweet, gentle, and awkward with terrific odd ducks.
Torn
Chicken House [Chicken House]
Massey, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 28, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Torn follows Ellie, a 19-year-old British medic, during her first few days in Afghanistan. Her squad is attached to a small troop of American SEALs who must find a hidden cache of arms and learn about a children's army that is fighting both the Western Coalition and the Taliban, including child warriors. Ellie becomes a surrogate big sister to a young POW and also deals with an intense attraction to the commander of the SEALs. This book covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time, which is probably realistic and works well in a Hi/Low title. The unrelenting pace, vivid and terrifying action, and the tension are also big plusses for readers who are dropped into the war with Ellie and have to cope with the issues that she has to deal with. Massey’s writing in clear, spare, and realistic conveys the horror of war, but never with gratuitous violence. He creates a solid sense of mood; wartime has intense energy, with almost constant fear and worry, yet there are also moments of calm and peace, and soldiers (and readers) grab onto those moments tightly when they appear. A hint of magical realism is part of the story, but doesn’t detract – it’s a lot like the wishful thinking of wearing a particular jersey to ensure victory.
World War Ii In Numbers : An Infographic Guide To The Confli
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Doyle, Peter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 28, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Fans of Edward Tufte (author of Visual Display of Quantitative Analysis), American statistician and pioneer in the field of data visualization, will love this book. It’s a generalized overview of key World War II statistics, in graphical format. It begins with Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 and ends in 1945 with the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima/Nagasaki. It shows the war's devastation and its long-term impact on Asia, Europe, and beyond derived from the mountains of data that have been collected. The work is divided into six chapters: "Preparation for War," "Land Campaigns," "Weapons and Innovations," "In the Air," "At Sea," and "Costs." Approximately 70 topics are addressed within the chapters, in roughly three pages per topic. Many of the graphics include a key and an explanatory caption where necessary. They also tie in closely to the text on the page. A fine source for middle and high school students in need of statistical information for reports. The book concludes with a selection of sources for further reading, a list of web resources, and a short index. Could be and R depending on staff use of the resource.
Rebel Spirits
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
Ruby, Lois
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 28, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Civil War fervor never dies and neither does one of its soldiers. Although the title implies something different, Nathaniel Pierce is a Union soldier can’t find peace in death, not because of the war, but because the war was used to cover up is death. The object of his haunting is 16 year old Lori Chase whose parents have opened a snazzy B&B in Gettysburg. In just a few days' time, Lori not only agrees to solve the mystery of Nathaniel's death, but falls deeply in love with the soldier. Competing theories, involving treason, a Hatfield-McCoy--type family feud and a missing ring once owned by Abraham Lincoln, as well as numerous historical elements, keep the action quick enough to keep the reader’s interest in a somewhat predictable supernatural romance. The juxtaposition of past and present is the backbone of the story. Lori's modern existence of Skyping and wearing shorts offers a striking comparison to Nathaniel's 1860s' strict social mores and cringe-worthy health care. The integration of the real Gettysburg cemetery, Evergreen, provides a haunting backdrop. The mystery is tangential. At the outset, it is pretty clear who is in the shed at night for reasons foul, and who killed Nathaniel. Good horror-lite.
DIVA
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
LARKIN, JILLIAN
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
7th grade to 9th grade
March 28, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Conclusion to the Flappers series (Vixen, Ingenue, -- the book doesn't stand alone. More dresses, drinks, and drama dominate this final volume chronicling the exploits of the three young flappers, reformed bad girl Clara Knowles, songbird Gloria, and calculating Lorraine Dyer. Rich girl Gloria Carmody is in prison, while her African American boyfriend is losing jobs playing piano because of the notoriety. Meanwhile, cousin Clara, a gossip reporter for the Manhattanite, is dealing with rejection from her boyfriend, who seems to have found another girl rather quickly (is she a gold digger?). Their friendship recovers and their moral missteps are repaired as the three unite to stop real criminals and focus on true love. Plausibility is not high on the list, but breezy romance lovers will be happy with the end.
SWAY
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
TURNER, AMBER MCREE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 28, 2014
Stein, Valerie
Everyone needs a little magic to believe in, and Cass has need of a bellyfull when things start to fall apart at home, when Mom leaves and Dad gets a crazy idea about driving around in a beat up old motor home peddling… what, exactly? SWAY. Influence. But what is it? Cass, hurting since Mom chose another family over theirs, doesn't understand. And yet, maybe she does.There is some imagination in there, and some magic indeed- but is it the magic of sparkles and mystery, or of hoodwinks and sleight of hand? Most important of all, can she believe in it for real? Along the way, Cass and the other luminous characters journey through a maze of confusion to the heart of family and redemption and in the process, find their way home.
Dogs Of War
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Keenan, Sheila
Fox, Nathan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 29, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Dogs have gone to war with man from Roman times to today. The three fictional stories in this graphic novel inspired by the heroism and devotion service dogs have shown through the ages are intense and believable. Boots is a medical dog in WWI; Loki is a sled dog in Greenland in WWII and Sheba, a scout dog in Vietnam. Dogs of War illustrate the strength, adventure and devastation war brings to both the humans and canine participants. The illustrations are classic graphic novel style, with a dark color palette communicating the atmosphere of war and it consequences. Fans of the graphic novel genre and military subjects, especially boys, will keep it in circulation. However, the glued binding, typical for a paperback graphic novel, will not survive the handling this title is likely to receive.
Cart That Carried Martin
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Bunting, Eve
Tate, Don
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 29, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
They needed a cart to carry his coffin and they found the perfect ordinary cart outside an antique store. The store was never open so they decided to borrow it. Two mules pulled the humble cart with the coffin of the great man whom everyone had come to remember and honor at his funeral. The cart and coffin processed through Atlanta with the family following and crowds gathered to say good bye. After the funeral services the cart was returned to the store where it had been borrowed from and eventually it was placed in the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site where people still visit it today to remember a great man. This is another view of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. from a different perspective. Students who know about him will understand the calm power of this simple story. At the end is a photograph of the cart carrying his coffin and some facts about his life and death. The full-page pencil and gouache illustrations are true to the historical events in the story and fit the quiet magnitude of the story.
Henry's Hand
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Macdonald, Ross
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 29, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Henry was a giant whose parts would sometimes come off, but his favorite part of all was his right hand. They did everything together until Henry started to boss Hand around. So Hand ran away to the city. Hand saved a man from being struck by a truck and the newspaper cameras captured the event. Soon Hand was famous with a mansion and servants to do everything for him. Meanwhile Henry carried on without Hand, but he was sorry that he had treated Hand badly. Hand decided to come home to Henry because he missed him and also Henry needed him. This is an odd book about friendship that may appeal to some readers. The watercolor and pencil crayon illustrations have an old-fashioned look and make Henry and Hand seem quite lovable at times.
White-Tailed Deer
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Llanas, Sheila Griffin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 29, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Aspiring young hunters will enjoy this book about white-tailed deer and how to hunt them. The first seven short chapters tell about the white-tailed deer as an animal from history and taxonomy to habitat and life cycle. The last three chapters focus on hunting and safety. All the hunters in the photographs are men and only one gun is shown. There is enough detail in the text for intermediate readers and every two-page spread has a fact box, captioned photograph, map or diagram. A glossary, hosted web site for more information, and index are included. This book would appeal to researchers, animal lovers, and those who like to hunt. It is part of the Fish & Game series.
Catfish
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Llanas, Sheila Griffin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 29, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Aspiring young fishers will enjoy this book about catfish and how to catch them. The first eight short chapters tell about the catfish as an animal from history and taxonomy to habitat and life cycle. The last three chapters focus on catching and preparing catfish to eat including fishing with a pole and noodling which is also called handfishing. There is enough detail in the text for intermediate readers and every two-page spread has a fact box, captioned photograph, map or diagram. A glossary, hosted web site for more information, and index are included. This book would appeal to researchers, animal lovers, and those who like to fish. It is part of the Fish & Game series.
Walleyed Pike
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Llanas, Sheila Griffin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 29, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Aspiring young fishers will enjoy this book about walleyed pike and how to catch them. The first eight short chapters tell about the walleyed pike as an animal from history and taxonomy to habitat and life cycle. The last three chapters focus on catching and including fishing with a pole and what kind of bait to use. There is enough detail in the text for intermediate readers and every two-page spread has a fact box, captioned photograph, map or diagram. A glossary, hosted web site for more information, and index are included. This book would appeal to researchers, animal lovers, and those who like to fish. It is part of the Fish & Game series.
Wild Turkey
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Llanas, Sheila Griffin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 29, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Aspiring young hunters will enjoy this book about wild turkeys and how to catch them. The first eight short chapters tell about the wild turkey as an animal from history and taxonomy to habitat and life cycle. The last four chapters focus on scouting and hunting wild turkeys to eat including safety, equipment, and regulations. There is enough detail in the text for intermediate readers and every two-page spread has a fact box, captioned photograph, map or diagram. A glossary, hosted web site for more information, and index are included. This book would appeal to researchers and those who like to hunt. It is part of the Fish & Game series.
Common Pheasant
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Llanas, Sheila Griffin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 29, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Aspiring young hunters will enjoy this book about common pheasant and how to catch them. The first eight short chapters tell about the common pheasant as an animal from history and taxonomy to habitat and life cycle. The last four chapters focus on scouting and hunting common pheasants to eat including safety, equipment, and regulations. There is enough detail in the text for intermediate readers and every two-page spread has a fact box, captioned photograph, map or diagram. A glossary, hosted web site for more information, and index are included. This book would appeal to researchers and those who like to hunt. It is part of the Fish & Game series.
Wallace Stegner
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Mattern, Joanne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 29, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Wallace Stegner, known to adults as a Pulitzer prize winning author, was also a conservationist. With his father traveling from job to job in the US and Canada, Stegner even spent time in an orphanage until the family got back on its feet. He found stability in Salt Lake City where he completed his schooling and graduated college. With a PhD he became a lifelong teacher and writer working at Harvard and Stanford. He became an advocate for saving wilderness areas such as Dinosaur National Monument and wrote the Wilderness Letter, a prelude to the Wilderness Act protecting millions of acres of American land. He also served as assistant to the Secretary to the Interior. This very readable 32-page biography of an interesting man has a chapter for every double-page spread with accompanying photo and caption, all in chronological order. Two fun facts and one Conservation Alert! are inserted. The book concludes with a timeline, quotation, glossary, website, and detailed index. This is quality nonfiction that may not be picked up by the intermediate student unless given an assignment to do so. Others in the Checkerboard Biography Library Conservationists series include Burroughs, Muir, Olson, Steger and Stoneman Douglas.
King Of Little Things
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Lepp, Bil
Wenzel, Daniel T.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 29, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Long ago the King of Little Things ruled over all of the small things such as “coins, candles, combs, keys, knots, nods, knobby knees” and was very content unlike the bigger kings, who wanted more and bigger everything. The greediest King Normous built an army and conquered every royal so to rule over the world. He was surprised to find that he had overlooked the King of Little Things. He also underestimated the little things, who in serving their kind king, undermined all of the food, clothing, and equipment of the invading army with termites, water droplets and rust, mealworms, chiggers, and fungus. When the King of Little Things was imprisoned in a faraway cavern with a BIG stone, he bid the little things make themselves known. As a result, “Strings unstrung Hanger unhung. Doors closed. Campfires froze” as every little thing refused to work. The insurrection that followed restored the King of Little Things to his freedom. Despite the alliterative rhymes from time to time, the pleasant message, and the warm illustrations, this received mixed reviews from the first grade audience. The vocabulary is at times suited to an older age group as in, “raided realms...squashed sovereignties...eradicated empires."
My Blue Is Happy
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Young, Jessica
Chien, Catia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 30, 2014
Kline, Karen
We all know the drill when it comes to colors and emotions-- blue is a sad, calming color, but the girl in this book is a divergent thinker who finds pleasure in seeing things her own way and declares blue to be "happy like (her) favorite jeans. Does brown have to be “ordinary like a plain paper bag,” as her father says? No! Hers is “special like chocolate syrup” and her own piece of earth. Each double page spread, sometimes spilling over to a third page, is awash with the emotive color of the girl’s interest and imagination. This simple narrative of a girl comparing her colorful views of the world with others’ is a wonderful concept book for artistic appreciation as well as for teaching the power of the simile and metaphor as well as compare/contrast. The book further succeeds with its theme of being your own person with your own thoughts no matter what others may say.
Paperboy
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
Vawter, Vince
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 30, 2014
Kline, Karen
This Newbery Honor book is a debut novel that the author says is “more memoir” than fiction. Main character, Victor Vollmer, has taken up his friend’s paper route for a month while the friend is visiting his relatives at a farm one summer. Since Victor is known for his excellent skills at baseball pitching, he seems like a natural for delivering newspapers. The only problem is that Vince has to go door-to-door and ask to collect the paper fees weekly, and since he has a severe stuttering challenge he dreads this almost insurmountable challenge. Victor struggles to make sense of how to communicate with a variety of people he meets on the paper route, and it’s his family’s live-in housekeeper, Mam, who gives advice and support to Victor along the way. Set in 1950s Memphis this book is steeped in the problems of its day including race relations and segregation. When some of Victor’s belongings start to go missing, he and Mam suspect that it is the local junkman Ara T who trolls the neighborhood that’s to blame. Finding the courage to confront Ara T takes more than words, though, and Victor learns that dealing with this bully takes skill, planning, and help from a trusted friend.
Nowhere Box
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Zuppardi, Sam
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 30, 2014
Kline, Karen
Sometimes a big brother just has to get away from his two tormenting little brothers. George gets a belly full of being followed around and dealing with the antics of his siblings and takes refuge in a cardboard box that takes him to Nowhere. With a bit of creative decoration and a helmet and flashlight, George is off to a wonderland of his own fascinating imagination. The illustrations are a perfect compliment to the story with their childlike stick-figure-ish characters and mixed media embellishments of cardboard from this author/illustrator’s debut picture book. Meanwhile the little brothers are looking all over for their leader, when George realizes that he is “Nowhere” without some enemy pirates and dragons to complete his fantasy world. All’s well as the brothers reunite after some time spent away from each other. A simple story that siblings from any place in the birth order will identify with.
John Muir
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Mattern, Joanne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 30, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
See review of Wallace Stegner by Joanne Mattern in the same Checkerboard Biography Library Conservationists series. An equally readable and informative biography of a more well known environmentalist John Muir chronicles his life from birth in Scotland and childhood farming in the woods of Wisconsin to his beloved California wilderness. A man who walked thousands of miles and recorded his observations of the beauty of nature, he became a proponent of protecting the Yosemite Valley, the giant sequoias, as well as wilderness areas throughout the West. A friend of Teddy Roosevelt and a peer of Ralph Waldo Emerson he persuaded such men through first hand experiences and his writings of the need to set aside these regions from interference by humans earning his title the "Father of Our National Park System". A shorter timeline than Stegner's allows a page listing places named for Muir.
Bunny Boo Has Lost Her Teddy : A Tiny Tab Book
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Ho, Jannie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 31, 2014
Evey, Kay
This is a sturdy board book with pull tabs to reveal what the text has told the child. Bunny is looking for a toy and all of the places she looks have a pull tab but reveal other toys until she looks under the bed and there he is, without a tab. They then cuddle into bed and say Good night. The illustrations are rendered digitally and are in bright colors. The pull tabs give you a hint of what the toys that appear will be so the very young can "read" along and find the other toys until the end. The paper covering around the holes that the tabs reveal will show wear after minimal use so this book is best given to a baby as a gift and not a circulating library book.
Zebra Forest
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Gewirtz, Adina Rishe
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 31, 2014
Shirts, Brooke
It's the summer of 1980, and 11-year-old Annie often thinks of the victims of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, mainly because she a hostage herself: first, to her Gran, who is quickly sliding into dementia and has taught Annie and her brother to expertly lie to social workers. She is later hostage to the escaped prison inmate who breaks into their house. Annie is shocked to learn that the true identity of this prisoner changes everything she thought she knew about her family, especially the facts regarding her long-dead father. The only escape is via imagination, as Annie remembers her time spent playing in the black-and-white trunks of the "zebra forest" behind her house. Gewirtz has created a hot, claustrophobic atmosphere for this novel. It almost reads like a stage play as the characters drift from room to room, confronting each other's pasts, feelings, and decisions. Annie's voice is plain-spoken and wistful at the same time, an excellent depiction of age eleven. The novel's only flaw is this: the whole plot hangs on a coincidence so unlikely that it requires serious suspension of disbelief. However, this earnest coming-of-age story is still worth reading and recommending to readers wanting an emotional story.
Battle Of Gettysburg
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Hamilton, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 31, 2014
Norton, Geneva
The is one of six in the ABDO Daughters Great Battles series. They are great introduction to selected events in history. Titles are are famous battles from different conflicts and different eras, but excellently written. The clearly written text is enhanced by both color and black and white illustrations. Each title includes an Aftermath section that nicely frames this battle in context of a larger picture of history. Included are maps, charts, a glossary and an index. This would be a good set to have in a hi/low collection at the high grades, that is the reason I selected grade level above. Sturdy library bindings, this series is also available as an eBook, multi-user, and downloadable PDF.
DIARY OF A PARENT TRAINER
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
SMITH, JENNIFER
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
March 31, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Training a parent can be trying, especially when you mum is trying to raise three kids on her own after your dad died. 13-year-old Katie things she has grown-ups figured out, however, and elucidates in this diary-formatted book. How do you gently deal with your parent through grumpy mode, embarrassing mode, happy mode, sleep mode, or (worse) fancying the pants of a younger man mode. Granted, he's only 5 years younger, but still... And it's worse when you live in a small close-knit English community where most of your neighbors are relatives. Katie's having her own problems dealing with an emerging interest in boys, and the resultant flap this creates among her friends, and dealing with bullies. First kisses, her mother's boyfriend staying over--Katie's world is changing and not, necessarily for the better. Still, change is inevitable. This is a very British import, and takes a bit to get into. Still, in the end the reader is left appropriately satisfied and, thank heavens, not with Katie's mum's cooking. Consider this the place to send middle-school girls who loved the Dork Diaries.
Nighty-Night, Cooper
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Numeroff, Laura
Munsinger, Lynn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 31, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
It's time for Cooper kangaroo to go to bed, Mama kangaroo sings lullabies to get him to sleep. He asks her to sing special songs and she does. The songs are tailored to Cooper but are sung using traditional tunes: Rock-a-Bye Baby, Farmer in the Dell, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Jingle Bells, and Lullaby and Good Night. In the end it's mama who falls alseep, or does she. A fun book with wonderful Lynn Munsinger watercolor illustrations. A good addition to your picture book section. 32 pages.
Summer Prince
Arthur A Levine Books [Scholastic, Inc.]
Johnson, Alaya Dawn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 31, 2014
Shirts, Brooke
In a distant post-pandemic future, the lush, high-tech city of Palmeres Tres has arisen out of the ruins of Brazil. To ensure peace, an annual competition chooses a Summer King, a young man who will wield absolute power and celebrity for one year before being ritually sacrificed. Rebellious teen June Costas finds herself suddenly in close contact with the newest Summer King, Enki, as they collaborate together in the underground art scene. Together they work to create edgy public art installations that challenge the rigid class structure and authority of Palmeres Tres -- but not without encountering grave danger, and ultimately questioning the fate of the Summer King. Johnson's fusion of sci-fi tropes with Brazilian culture is the real star in this novel: while the many characters are all vibrant and articulately rendered (including a non-traditional love triangle that plays with sexual orientation), it is Palmeres Tres -- where robot spiders and samba co-exist on nearly every page -- that will draw readers in. While some of the world-building doesn't always make sense (the need for human sacrifice isn't always clear) readers hungry for more dystopian fiction would do well to pick up this new flavor of the gen
Diwali
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 31, 2014
Evey, Kay
This book is one from the 'Holidays' series from Abdo Publishing Company. Book design includes a table of contents, glossary, index and the publishers website for additional information (bibliography) in 24 pages. Words appear bols and rust colored in the text that are included in the glossary. The book is illustrated with full-color photographs that are captioned. This is an introductory book for a younger audience about the holiday of Diwali celebrated by the Hindus and others in India and in other countries by Hindus. It explains the story, food and symbols of the holiday in one or two paragraphs per chapter with one accompanying illustration. The font is large and there is plenty of white space on the text page.
Cesky Terriers
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Petrie, Kristin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 31, 2014
Evey, Kay
This is one of the titles from the 'Dogs XI (11)" series by Abdo Publishing Company. Book design includes a table of contents, index, glossary, and the publishers web site for additional information (bibliography). For some words the pronunciation is included, words are bold in the text that are included in the glossary, illustrations are large full-color photographs that are captioned. The information is more dense than some of the other series by the same publisher but includes basic information about care, feeding, things that are needed and about the breed.
Rutherford B., Who Was He? : Poems About Our Presidents
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Singer, Marilyn
Hendrix, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 31, 2014
Kline, Karen
These chronologically arranged poems about each of the forty-three presidents will give readers an overview of each administration. Details like who set up the national treasury (James Polk) and who annexed Texas (John Tyler) are cleverly incorporated into the mostly rhyming and pithy poems. The colorful illustrations of each President depict the mens’ prominent and recognizable features in settings that add a lively texture to the book. Word art included in many of the illustrations adds dimension and another layer of meaning and context for readers, such as, the page on Lincoln shows him in this stereotypical black stovepipe hat and the words “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back,” encircling the hatband and brim of the hat. The book concludes with a few pages of short biographical sketches of each President in a paragraph of prose as well as a quotation from each man. Very similar in format to this book is the 2012 publication, The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz. Readers will find much to enjoy in both books, but libraries on a budget may not need both titles.
Meriendas Saludables En Miplato = Healthy Snacks On Myplate
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Schuh, Mari
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 31, 2014
Norton, Geneva
This delightful bilingual picture book is part of the PebblePlus Bilingual titles. Nicely laid out with English and Spanish on each text page. Colored photos of children of different ethnic backgrounds are great visuals, along with the other bright and crisp pictures.Other heathy snack ideas are includes at the end along with a glossary, index, and internet sites from the publisher that include more facts, projects, and games. Library binding.
Battle Of Gettysburg
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Hamilton, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 31, 2014
Norton, Geneva
The is one of six in the ABDO Daughters Great Battles series. Titles are are famous battles from different conflicts and different eras, but excellently written. The clearly written text is enhanced by both color and black and white illustrations. Each title includes an Aftermath section that nicely frames this battle in context of a larger picture of history. Included are maps, charts, a glossary and an index. This would be a good set to have in a hi/low collection at the high grades. They are great introduction to selected events in history. Sturdy library bindings, this series is also available as an eBook, multi-user and downloadable PDF.
Battle Of Waterloo
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Hamilton, John
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 31, 2014
Norton, Geneva
The is one of six in the ABDO Daughters Great Battles series. Titles are are famous battles from different conflicts and different eras, but excellently written. The clearly written text is enhanced by both color and black and white illustrations. Each title includes an Aftermath section that nicely frames this battle in context of a larger picture of history. Included are maps, charts, a glossary and an index. This would be a good set to have in a hi/low collection at the high grades. They are great introduction to selected events in history. Sturdy library bindings, this series is also available as an eBook, multi-user, and downloadable PDF.
Battle of Little Bighorn
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HAMILTON, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 31, 2014
Norton, Geneva
The is one of six in the ABDO Daughters Great Battles series. They are great introduction to selected events in history. Titles are are famous battles from different conflicts and different eras, but excellently written. The clearly written text is enhanced by both color and black and white illustrations. Each title includes an Aftermath section that nicely frames this battle in context of a larger picture of history. Included are maps, charts, a glossary and an index. This would be a good set to have in a hi/low collection at the high grades; that is the reason I selected grade level above. Sturdy library bindings, this series is also available as an eBook, multi-user, and downloadable PDF.
White House
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Wilson, Jon
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 31, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This book gives a brief overview of The White House in Washington, DC. It is part of the "United States Landmarks" series. Each of the nine "chapters" include one page of text on a particular topic and a page with a captioned illustration. The text is not overwhelming and describes the design, construction, the War of 1812 attack, expansion, and some of the famous rooms. The book contains a table of contents, glossary (word are in bold red within the text), bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), and index. Purchase if you have a need in your history section. 24 pages.
Gorillas
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Wang, Andrea
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 31, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: The Smartest Animals" series, this 48 page book explores the gorilla. The opening chapter describes the gorilla's place in the animal kingdom and general information. The following chapters look at the life cycle, intelligence, habitat, threats, and why they are important to the world. Common core related activities follow most chapters, but will seldom be used by casual readers. Color, captioned photographs fit with the well written text. Sidebars give additional background information to the reader. The book also has a primate species chart and map. Other non-fiction features found in the book include: table of contents, fact page, glossary, index, author information, and bibliography (web resources are found on the publisher's website). A strong purchase when updating your mammal section.
Steelheart
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Sanderson, Brandon
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 31, 2014
Dame, Anne
Sanderson has gotten yet another series off to a great start with "Steelheart". A calamity has befallen earth and certain people now have supernatural abilities. These people are known as Epics and do not use their powers for good. They intimidate and dominate the rest of the people. An Epic known as Steelheart has taken over Chicago. He can turn any non-living thing into steel and has no known vulnerabilities. A boy named David saw Steelheart murder his father 10 years ago. Now that David is older, he is looking for revenge. Lots of action, adventure, and plot twists. Interesting characters and world-building. Some violence; can be a little graphic.
UNITED STATES
ESSENTIAL LIBRARY [ABDO]
GRAYSON, ROBERT
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 31, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Countries of the World" series, this 144 page book explores the United States of America. The book covers the geography, ecology, history, culture, government, and economy of this North American nation. While the book does not cover everything, due to the nation's size, it does provide a quality overview. The well-written text is accompanied by color captioned photographs and many maps. The book also contains a table of contents, timeline, fact page, glossary, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher website), source notes, and index. A worthy purchase if you have a need for your country section.
Martin Luther King Jr. : Civil Rights Leader
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Asselin, Kristine Carlso
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 31, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Essential Lives" series, this book covers the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The book opens with a chapter about the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott of 1955 then follows King's life beginning with his birth in 1929 through his assassination in 1968. The book ends with information about the creation of the national holiday, his legacy, and impact in today's world. The well-written text covers the triumphs and lessons in his life. Sidebars help explain key background readers might find helpful. Photographs are captioned and fit the text. The book contains a table of contents, timeline, fact page, glossary, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), source notes, index and author/consultant information. A strong purchase for your biography collection.