Reviews for month


Scottish Fold Cats
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Dash, Meredith
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This ABDO Kids Cats series has wonderful large color photographs that capture the cuteness of the Scottish Fold cats with their ears that fold forward when they’re about three weeks old. With four “chapters” in 24 pages there is not a lot of information with only two large font, simple sentences per double page spread. Still this will draw young readers to it with the accessibility and the photos. The text about this friendly creature concludes with a page of three facts, a 3-word glossary, an index, and the ABDO Kids website with access code. Others in this series include Calico Cats, Maine Coon Cats, Manx Cats, Persian Cats, and Siamese Cats, all equally enticing from the full cat face on each cover. Audience seems to be Pre-Gr. 2, mostly for beginning readers.
Justin Case : Rules, Tools, And Maybe A Bully
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Vail, Rachel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This seems to be the third book featuring Justin Case by Rachel Vail with pen and ink drawings by Matthew Cordell. Justin, a worrier, is entering fourth grade. He faces changing friendships with the addition of new boy, Cash, who surprisingly thinks of him as a friend. He also spends more time with Montana C., the most popular girl. Both of these relationships put a strain on his friendship with Noah, his long-term best friend. Noah’s reaction to exclusion by the others is to take it out on Justin, usually with stray arms hitting their mark. Who the bully is in the story is complicated. Is it Cash, the popular, charismatic new boy, who can be exclusive? Is it Noah who punches Justin out of jealousy? Is it Justin when he participates in the exclusion? Justin, in the end, finds a clever way to try to correct the situation and be true to himself and all of his friends. This will appeal to thoughtful children. Usually I’m a Rachel Vail fan, and though this is well written, it’s not as engaging as the Shredderman series or Sammy Keyes.
Calico Cats
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Dash, Meredith
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This ABDO Kids Cats series has wonderful large color photographs. With four “chapters” in 24 pages there is not a lot of information with only two large font, simple sentences per double page spread. This one features the tri-colored calicos, which can come in any breed, and are usually females. The specifics in this title bring it up a notch from Scottish Fold Cats. This will draw young readers into it with the accessibility and the photos. The text concludes with a page of three facts, a five-word glossary, index, and the ABDO Kids website with access code. Others in this series include Scottish Fold Cats, Maine Coon Cats, Manx Cats, Persian Cats, and Siamese Cats, all equally enticing from the full cat face on each cover. Audience - beginning readers, mostly Gr. 1-2.
Library Book For Bear
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Becker, Bonny
Denton, Kady Macdonald
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This Seattle author has produced another Bear and Mouse book that started with A Visitor for Bear. Bear, once again, is a bit hard to please, but Mouse is ever optimistic in converting his friend. This time Bear is convinced he owns enough books and does not need a trip to the library. Once there he finds the size of the building and the number of books terribly extravagant. Mouse tries to find Bear the perfect book, but with each attempt Bear gets louder in his dismissal of books about rocket ships, wooden canoes or teapots. He only needs a good book about pickles, but not dancing pickles. When they are shushed by a story time listener, Bear knows it’s time to leave, but becomes hooked by the librarian’s story about a very brave bear and a treasure chest. Guess what’s in the treasure chest? And guess what book Bear checks out? This is a pleasant story about a friendship that works because of the illustrations that capture Bear’s annoyance and Mouse’s exuberance.
United States Navy
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 05, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
The Navy, well known from their recognizable sailor uniforms, has quite a varied role in the Armed Forces. Military vehicles operated by the Navy and pictured in the book include submarines, aircraft carriers, warships and destroyers. The formulaic chapters provide minimal information in just one or two sentences, but the stock photos are magnificent. Short and simple sentences with subject specific language, fill the need for the easiest military non-fiction and the glossary defines fleet, warship and armed forces but should also include submarine and carrier. Also included is a Fact page extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
United States Army
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 05, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Attention grabbing photographs of tanks, fighter jets, aircraft carriers and other military vehicles will attract your youngest readers to the Abdo Kids, U.S. Armed Forces series. Large horizontally oriented books pair a striking close-up photograph with one to two brief sentences on the facing page. The formulaic chapters provide minimal information but the stock photos are magnificent. Each book explains that the group is part of the Armed Forces and highlights their primary duty. The Army fights battles on the ground and night vision goggles are part of their specialized gear. Cooks, medics and paratroopers are some of the jobs within the Army. Short and simple sentences with subject specific language, fill the need for the easiest military non-fiction and a glossary defines camouflage, GPS, medic, vehicle, weapon and armed forces. Also included are facts extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
United States Coast Guard
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 05, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Did you know the Coast Guard rescues an average of 10 people every day! A variety of vehicles used by the Coast Guard are shown in the striking close-up photographs of an ice cutter, rescue helicopters, other cutters patrolling the coastline and an armed boat with gunner mates. The formulaic chapters provide minimal information in just one or two sentences, but the stock photos are magnificent. The Coast Guard protects our waters, rescues boats and provides assistance during hurricanes and floods. There are many close connections with Pacific Northwest fishing and boating, especially rescues in rough waters. This reviewer has experienced a Coast Guard random stop to check for safety equipment on a boat as well as riding ferries with a Coast Guard escort in the San Juan Islands here in WA. Short and simple sentences with subject specific language, fill the need for the easiest military non-fiction and a glossary defines cutters, emergency, stranded and armed forces. Also included are facts extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
United States Marine Corps
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 05, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Did you know the Marine Corps is the branch of Armed Forces to guard the White House and the English bulldog is their mascot! The Marines operate on land, air and sea using some of the same vehicles as the other Armed Services. Known also for their amphibious vehicles and toughness, the Marines have similar jobs such as mechanics, support person, and pilots, but are also used for fire fighting and helping with flooding. The formulaic chapters provide minimal information in just one or two sentences, but the stock photos are magnificent. Short and simple sentences with subject specific language, fill the need for the easiest military non-fiction and a glossary defines vehicle, emergency, weapon, and armed forces. Also included is a Fact page extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
United States Air Force
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 05, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Did you know the Air Force helps people in need by delivering supplies quickly? Of course their main role of protecting our country is the focus of the text and photographs of various fighter jets, bomber, drones and other planes. The formulaic chapters provide minimal information in just one or two sentences, but the stock photos are magnificent. I learned that only officers can fly jets but other jobs such as air controllers, mechanics and support personal are mentioned as well. Short and simple sentences with subject specific language, fill the need for the easiest military non-fiction and a glossary airmen, drone, officer, and armed forces. Also included are facts extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Golden Retrievers
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 05, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
As with the other new ABDO Kids titles this provides general information, but great photos of the subject, in this case a popular dog breed Golden Retrievers. With four “chapters” in 24 pages there is limited information with only two large font, simple sentences per double page spread. Still this will draw young readers to it with the accessibility and the photos. The text about this friendly creature concludes with a page of three facts, a six-word glossary, an index, and the ABDO Kids website with access code. One quibble in the glossary is that when defining “breed” it uses “breeding” and “offspring” which are more difficult than the original term. Others in this series include Bulldogs, German Shepherds, Jack Russell Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, and Pug.
Dark Inheritance
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
D'lacey, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 05, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Michael's father is missing. Now he has discovered he occasionally has strange abilities that involve traveling through the multiverse in short spurts. When he saves a dog, using his abilities, he becomes connected with a family who lost a daughter. A daughter whose heart now beats in the chest of a girl Michael likes. With that heart, however, comes the ghost of its original owner. What, exactly, is going on? Reality keeps shifting in small ways. There's a man who claims to have a level of control. He recruits Michael into a covert organization called Unicorne, promising him word of his father. But now Michael's life is at risk, and there's a ghost to appease. Who can he trust? With so many exciting elements, this story is surprisingly slow-moving and thoughtful. It also is a bit of a mishmash of genres, and seems to be setting things up for a new series. Fans of the author will probably be delighted.
Colonization And Settlement In The New World : 1585-1763
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Mccarthy, Pat
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 06, 2014
Dame, Anne
Written at a level for 3rd-6th graders, this could also be utilized in higher grades for struggling/reluctant readers or ELL students. This is the second book in the series that tells the story of the United states from it's beginnings until the present (2013). Topics addressed include: the settlement of Jamestown, the arrival of the Mayflower, the beginnings of other settlements and colonies, some of the interactions with Native Americans, the British, and the French - including the French and Indian War. Throughout the book are excerpts from primary sources from that time. Pictures, maps, charts, and a timeline help add perspective. There is also a "stop and think" section at the end that encourages student reflection and processing of the information. A glossary, index, and suggestions for further research round out the reference section at the end of the book - however, there is no bibliography listing the sources used by this author.
Westward Expansion Of The United States : 1801-1861
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Yasuda, Anita
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 06, 2014
Dame, Anne
Written at a level for 3rd-6th graders, this could also be utilized in higher grades for struggling/reluctant readers or ELL students. This is the fourth book in the series that tells the story of the United states from it's beginnings until the present (2013). Topics addressed include: the Louisiana purchase, exploration of the west, conflicts between slave and free states, manifest destiny, and the California gold rush. Throughout the book are excerpts from primary sources from that time. Pictures, maps, charts, and a timeline help add perspective. There is also a "stop and think" section at the end that encourages student reflection and processing of the information. A glossary, index, and suggestions for further research round out the reference section at the end of the book - however, there is no bibliography listing the sources used by this author.
Civil War And Reconstruction : 1850-1877
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Van Zee, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 06, 2014
Dame, Anne
Written at a level for 3rd-6th graders, this could also be utilized in higher grades for struggling/reluctant readers or ELL students. This is the fifth book in the series that tells the story of the United states from it's beginnings until the present (2013). Topics addressed include: Harper's Ferry, the slavery debate, the secession of the south, the beginning of the war, important battles, the end of the war, and Lincoln's assassination. This is a very broad overview of such a huge topic. Throughout the book are excerpts from primary sources from that time. Pictures, maps, charts, and a timeline help add perspective. There is also a "stop and think" section at the end that encourages student reflection and processing of the information. A glossary, index, and suggestions for further research round out the reference section at the end of the book - however, there is no bibliography listing the sources used by this author.
Nation Is Born : 1754-1820S
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Sepahban, Lois
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 06, 2014
Dame, Anne
Written at a level for 3rd-6th graders, this could also be utilized in higher grades for struggling/reluctant readers or ELL students. This is the third book in the series that tells the story of the United states from it's beginnings until the present (2013). Topics addressed include: the French and Indian war, the seeds of revolution, the Revolutionary war, the new nation, constitution, and government, as well as westward expansion. This is a very broad overview of a huge time period. Throughout the book are excerpts from primary sources from that time. Pictures, maps, charts, and a timeline help add perspective. There is also a "stop and think" section at the end that encourages student reflection and processing of the information. A glossary, index, and suggestions for further research round out the reference section at the end of the book - however, there is no bibliography listing the sources used by this author.
Rise Of Industry : 1870-1900
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Van Zee, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 06, 2014
Dame, Anne
Written at a level for 3rd-6th graders, this could also be utilized in higher grades for struggling/reluctant readers or ELL students. This is the sixth book in the series that tells the story of the United states from it's beginnings until the present (2013). Topics addressed include: the railroads, monopolies and unions, the depression, immigration, the Homestead Act, the Dawes Act, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the opening of Indian territory to settlers, and the Spanish-American war. Throughout the book are excerpts from primary sources from that time. Pictures, maps, charts, and a timeline help add perspective. There is also a "stop and think" section at the end that encourages student reflection and processing of the information. A glossary, index, and suggestions for further research round out the reference section at the end of the book - however, there is no bibliography listing the sources used by this author.
World War I And Modern America : 1890-1930
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Fromowitz, Lori
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 06, 2014
Dame, Anne
Written at a level for 3rd-6th graders, this could also be utilized in higher grades for struggling/reluctant readers or ELL students. This is the seventh book in the series that tells the story of the United states from it's beginnings until the present (2013). Topics addressed include: the Industrial revolution, the Progressive era and Teddy Roosevelt, labor laws, World War I and the changes it brought to the US, automobiles, prohibition, and the Roaring 20's. This is a very broad overview of some huge topics. Throughout the book are excerpts from primary sources from that time. Pictures, maps, charts, and a timeline help add perspective. There is also a "stop and think" section at the end that encourages student reflection and processing of the information. A glossary, index, and suggestions for further research round out the reference section at the end of the book - however, there is no bibliography listing the sources used by this author.
Great Depression And World War Ii : 1929-1945
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Hamen, Susan E
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 06, 2014
Dame, Anne
Written at a level for 3rd-6th graders, this could also be utilized in higher grades for struggling/reluctant readers or ELL students. This is the eighth book in the series that tells the story of the United states from it's beginnings until the present (2013). Topics addressed include: the great depression, the New Deal, and World War II. This is a very broad overview of some huge topics. Throughout the book are excerpts from primary sources from that time. Pictures, maps, charts, and a timeline help add perspective. There is also a "stop and think" section at the end that encourages student reflection and processing of the information. A glossary, index, and suggestions for further research round out the reference section at the end of the book - however, there is no bibliography listing the sources used by this author.
Worlds Collide In Early America : Beginnings Through 1620
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Terp, Gail
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 06, 2014
Dame, Anne
Written at a level for 3rd-6th graders, this could also be utilized in higher grades for struggling/reluctant readers or ELL students. This is the first book in the series that tells the story of the United states from it's beginnings until the present (2013). Topics addressed include: the Native-American world, events in Europe, the early explorers and their continuing exploration, and changes that were occurring in the US and in Europe. Throughout the book are excerpts from primary sources from that time. Pictures, maps, charts, and a timeline help add perspective. There is also a "stop and think" section at the end that encourages student reflection and processing of the information. A glossary, index, and suggestions for further research round out the reference section at the end of the book - however, there is no bibliography listing the sources used by this author.
United States Today : 1968-Present
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Krieg, Katherine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 06, 2014
Dame, Anne
Written at a level for 3rd-6th graders, this could also be utilized in higher grades for struggling/reluctant readers or ELL students. This is the ninth book in the series that tells the story of the United states from it's beginnings until the present (2013). Topics addressed include: the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam war, the Cold War, the Persian Gulf war, the new millennium, 9/11, the Iraq war, social changes, technology, and the election of our first black president. This is a very broad overview of some huge topics. Throughout the book are excerpts from primary sources from that time. Pictures, maps, charts, and a timeline help add perspective. There is also a "stop and think" section at the end that encourages student reflection and processing of the information. A glossary, index, and suggestions for further research round out the reference section at the end of the book - however, there is no bibliography listing the sources used by this author.
Forms Of Government
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Benoit, Peter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 06, 2014
Dame, Anne
Many primary source photos, a timeline, glossary, index, and a list of internet resources for additional reading add to the value of this broad overlook of several common types of governments. The first focus is on the US and a Democratic type of government. Other chapters look at constitutional monarchies, dictatorships, theocracies, and true monarchies. Text boxes throughout the book provide specific information about particular countries, events, and leaders.
Civil War
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Cummings, Judy Dodge
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 06, 2014
Dame, Anne
Lots of information delivered in a straight-forward and easy to understand manner. While much more could be written about the Civil War, this text covers the key points, documents, battles, and people. For those looking to learn more there are additional resources listed at the back. This list is quite brief and could have been fleshed out much more since this is such a key part of American history and social studies curricula. There are a few primary source letters/diaries, many photos/paintings, and frequent sidebars with additional interesting tidbits. Recommended for those who need the basics of the struggle laid out in a clear and orderly fashion.
May
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kelley, C
Ostrom, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Happy National Bike Month! The "Twelve Magic Months" series features well-stitched books with matte covers. Each book focuses on a specific month. Readers learn the source of the month's name. its birthstone(s), and the month's name in nine different languages. A brief explanation is given of the major holidays as well as other things typical of the month, such as sports events. Special May days such as "National Chocolate Chip Day" are mentioned. The author also explains about weeks that are celebrated, and the month's focus, if it has one, or more. May's holidays around the world are briefly mentioned. A few historical events are highlighted. States that joined the union in this month, as well as famous May birthdays, round out the mix. The book includes a glossary, index, and table of contents. Crisp color photographs, and illustrations, make the text pop. This is a thorough book, despite its 24 pages. The text is chatty and fun, although the author overuses exclamation marks. Really! There are enough fun facts mixed in to make this an enjoyable series to read at the beginning of each month, and enough information is included for report-writing. There is, however, an incomplete sentence on page 14.
March
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kelley, C
Ostrom, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Happy National Umbrella Month! The "Twelve Magic Months" series features well-stitched books with matte covers. Each book focuses on a specific month. Readers learn the source of the month's name. its birthstone(s), and the month's name in different languages. A brief explanation is given of the major holidays as well as other things typical of the month, such as sports events. Special March days such as "National Dentist Day" and "National Puppy Day" are mentioned. The author also explains about weeks that are celebrated, and the month's focus, if it has one. March's holidays around the world are briefly mentioned. A few historical events are highlighted. States that joined the union in this month, as well as famous March birthdays, round out the mix. The book includes a glossary, index, and table of contents. Crisp color photographs, and illustrations, make the text pop. This is a thorough book, despite its 24 pages. The text is chatty and fun, although the author overuses exclamation marks. Really! There are enough fun facts mixed in to make this an enjoyable series to read at the beginning of each month, and enough information is included for report-writing.
January
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kelley, C
Ostrom, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Happy National Oatmeal Month! The "Twelve Magic Months" series features well-stitched books with matte covers. Each book focuses on a specific month. Readers learn the source of the month's name. its birthstone(s), and the month's name in nine different languages. A brief explanation is given of the major holidays as well as other things typical of the month, such as sports events. Special January days such as "National Bubble Bath Day" and "National Popcorn Day" are mentioned. The author also explains about weeks that are celebrated, and the month's focus, if it has one. January's holidays around the world are briefly mentioned. A few historical events are highlighted. States that joined the union in this month, as well as famous January birthdays, round out the mix. The book includes a glossary, index, and table of contents. Crisp color photographs, and illustrations, make the text pop. This is a thorough book, despite its 24 pages. The text is chatty and fun, although the author overuses exclamation marks. Really! There are enough fun facts mixed in to make this an enjoyable series to read at the beginning of each month, and enough information is included for report-writing.
April
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kelley, C
Ostrom, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Welcome to National Grilled Cheese Month! The "Twelve Magic Months" series features well-stitched books with that corn-starchy cover. Each book focuses on a specific month. Readers learn the source of the month's name. its birthstone(s), and the month's name in nine different languages. A brief explanation is given of the major holidays as well as other things typical of the month, such as sports events. Special days such as "National Librarian Day" and "National Pet Day" are mentioned. The author also explains about weeks that are celebrated, and the month's focus, if it has one. April's holidays around the world are briefly mentioned. A few historical events are highlighted. States that joined the union in this month, as well as famous April birthdays, round out the mix. The book includes a glossary, index, and table of contents. Crisp color photographs, and illustrations, make the text pop. This is a thorough book, despite its 24 pages. The text is chatty and fun, although the author overuses exclamation marks. Really! There are enough fun facts mixed in to make this an enjoyable series to read at the beginning of each month, and enough information is included for report-writing.
December
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kelley, C
Ostrom, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Welcome to Fruitcake Month! The "Twelve Magic Months" series features well-stitched books with that corn-starchy cover. Each book focuses on a specific month. Readers learn the source of the month's name. its birthstone(s), and the month's name in nine different languages. A brief explanation is given of the major holidays as well as other things typical of the month, such as sports events. Special days such as "National Maple Syrup Day" and "National Flashlight Day" are mentioned. The author also explains about weeks that are celebrated, and the month's focus, if it has one. December's holidays around the world are briefly mentioned. A few historical events are highlighted. States that joined the union in this month, as well as famous December birthdays, round out the mix. The book includes a glossary, index, and table of contents. Crisp color photographs, and illustrations, make the text pop. This is a thorough book, despite its 24 pages. The text is chatty and fun, although the author overuses exclamation marks. Really! There are enough fun facts mixed in to make this an enjoyable series to read at the beginning of each month, and enough information is included for report-writing.
November
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kelley, C
Ostrom, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Welcome to National Novel-Writing Month! The "Twelve Magic Months" series features well-stitched books with that corn-starchy cover. Each book focuses on a specific month. Readers learn the source of the month's name. its birthstone(s), and the month's name in nine different languages. A brief explanation is given of the major holidays as well as other things typical of the month, such as sports events. Special days such as "National Sandwich Day" and "World Kindness Day" are mentioned. The author also explains about weeks that are celebrated, and the month's focus, if it has one. November's holidays around the world are briefly mentioned. A few historical events are highlighted. States that joined the union in this month, as well as famous November birthdays, round out the mix. The book includes a glossary, index, and table of contents. Crisp color photographs, and illustrations, make the text pop. This is a thorough book, despite its 24 pages. The text is chatty and fun, although the author overuses exclamation marks. Really! There are enough fun facts mixed in to make this an enjoyable series to read at the beginning of each month, and enough information is included for report-writing.
October
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kelley, C
Ostrom, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Welcome to National Caramel Month! The "Twelve Magic Months" series features well-stitched books with that corn-starchy cover. Each book focuses on a specific month. Readers learn the source of the month's name. its birthstone(s), and the month's name in nine different languages. A brief explanation is given of the major holidays as well as other things typical of the month, such as sports events. Special days such as "National Dessert Day" and "World Teachers Day" are mentioned. The author also explains about weeks that are celebrated, and the month's focus, if it has one. October's holidays around the world are briefly mentioned. A few historical events are highlighted. States that joined the union in this month, as well as famous October birthdays, round out the mix. The book includes a glossary, index, and table of contents. Crisp color photographs, and illustrations, make the text pop. This is a thorough book, despite its 24 pages. The text is chatty and fun, although the author overuses exclamation marks. Really! There are enough fun facts mixed in to make this an enjoyable series to read at the beginning of each month, and enough information is included for report-writing.
August
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kelley, C
Ostrom, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Twelve Magic Months" series features well-stitched books with that corn-starchy feeling cover. Each book focuses on a specific month. Readers learn the source of the month's name. its birthstone(s), and the month's name in nine different languages. A brief explanation is given of the month's major holidays as well as other things typical of the month, such as sports events. Special days such as "National Mustard Day" and "Wiggle-Your-Toes Day" are mentioned. The author also explains about weeks that are celebrated, and what the month's focus is, if it has one. August is National Peach Month. March holidays around the world are briefly mentioned. A few historical events are highlighted. States that joined the union in this month, as well as famous March birthdays, round out the mix. The book includes a glossary, index, and table of contents. Crisp color photographs, as well as illustrations, make the text pop. This is a remarkably thorough book, despite its 24 pages. The text is chatty and fun, although the author overuses exclamation marks. Really! There are enough fun facts mixed in to make this an enjoyable series to read at the beginning of each month, and enough information for report-writing.
June
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kelley, C
Ostrom, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Twelve Magic Months" series features well-stitched books with that corn-starchy feeling cover. Each book focuses on a specific month. Readers learn the source of the month's name. its birthstone(s), and the month's name in nine different languages. A brief explanation is given of the month's major holidays as well as other things typical of the month, such as sports events. Special days such as "Hug Your Cat Day" and "National Doughnut Day" are mentioned. The author also explains about weeks that are celebrated, and what the month's focus is, if it has one. Did you know June is National Accordion Awareness Month?" June holidays around the world are briefly mentioned. A few historical events are highlighted. States that joined the union in this month, as well as famous June birthdays, round out the mix. The book includes a glossary, index, and table of contents. Crisp color photographs, as well as illustrations, make the text pop. This is a remarkably thorough book, despite its 24 pages. The text is chatty and fun, although the author overuses exclamation marks. Really! There are enough fun facts mixed in to make this an enjoyable series to read at the beginning of each month, and enough information for report-writing.
February
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kelley, C
Ostrom, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Twelve Magic Months" series features well-stitched books with that corn-starchy feeling cover. Each book focuses on a specific month. Readers learn the source of the month's name. its birthstone(s), and the month's name in nine different languages. A brief explanation is given of the month's major holidays as well as other things typical of the month, such as sports events. Special days such as "National Stop Bullying Day" and "National Hippo Day" are mentioned. The author also explains about weeks that are celebrated, and what the month's focus is, if it has one, such as "African-American History Month." February holidays around the world are briefly mentioned. A few historical events are highlighted. States that joined the union in this month, as well as famous February birthdays, round out the mix. The book includes a glossary, index, and table of contents. Crisp color photographs, as well as illustrations, make the text pop. This is a remarkably thorough book, despite its 24 pages. The text is chatty and fun, although the author overuses exclamation marks. Really! There are enough fun facts mixed in to make this an enjoyable series to read at the beginning of each month, and enough information for report-writing.
Loot : How To Steal A Fortune
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Watson, Jude
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
When March's father dies in a jewel heist his dying words are cryptic. March, however, soon discovers that he has a twin sister. Neither teen was raised in a normal environment. March followed his father as he went about his criminal enterprises. Jules was raised in a sort of circus. Their father had kept them apart deliberately. A moonstone curse led to the death of their parents and they, too, fell under its influence. Still, along with some friends, stealing the moonstones back seems the only way they can stop the curse, and those who are pursuing them. But can some kids truly pull off the kind of heists needed? Well, these kids can. This is a fast-paced action novel with interesting characters and an unusual concept for the plot. While it ends cleanly, there is clearly room here for a sequel.
CYNTHIA KADOHATA
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO]
WHEELER, JILL C
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 10, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
A well-written brief introduction to the life of Newberry Award winning author Cynthia Kadohata is one of the Checkerboard Biography Library: Children’s Author series. The illustrations are photographs; one is a small snapshot of Cynthia Kadohata as young child all the others are of her as an adult. Many of her stories incorporate the ups and downs of her own life, “she admits she sometimes mixes up things that really happened to her and thing that happened to her characters.” Wheeler highlights the struggles Cynthia Kadohata has overcome to become the illustrator & author she is today. At one time, becuase of her family’s time in Georgia she had a teacher in Chicago threaten to send her to speech therapy if she did not work to eradicate the thick southern accent she had acquired. This is a good beginning biography and should encourage and inspire young readers.
Superman Fights For Truth!
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Lemke, Donald
Marginal -- Contains so many weaknesses that it might be considered for purchase only as supplementary material in its field or to meet special localized subject needs.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 10, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Superman - “The man of steel , who fights for “truth, justice, and the American way” is now ready to show the youngest members of society how to “Fight for Truth” in a board book format. Help! Ttitano stole a bunch of bananas! Superman hears the storekeeper’s cries for help and tracks down the big ape, chasing him all over the city until Titano turns and faces Superman then burps showing the empty banana peels. Superman’s reaction? Well - “You see?” says Superman. “Letting out the truth always makes you feel better.” The bright, colorful comic book illustrations of this board book will attract the younger set. The story is a flimsy, didactic attempt to use Superman to teach honesty. It might suffice for a parent to share with young toddler - think 2-year-old and even then it would take a lot of explaining.
Countdown
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Standiford, Natalie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #3 in the "39 Clues Unstoppable" series. After the original 39 Clues, brother and sister team Dan and Amy Cahill hoped things would be over, but a good franchise will never die! Once they had amassed the ingredients for the serum someone had to take it. Now they're desperate to find a cure. Sure, it enhances abilities, but it also results in death. As they go on a search for the various ingredients they'll need, their team heads to Tikal in Guatemala. Naturally the bad guys are after them. Nellie has infiltrated a lab. Amy has taken the serum to save her brother's life. Things are getting hairier by the moment and...the book is over. Gotta read book #4. Yes, the stories are interesting, but this series lives to stretch out a plot into as many required book purchases as possible. I think the only way to stop it is to stop buying the books. Just a thought.
West Of The Moon
Amulet Books [Amulet Books]
Preus, Margi
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 11, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Set in mid-1800’s Norway, this story mixes historical fiction with Norwegian folk and fairy tales. Fourteen-year-old Astri and her younger sister Greta have had to live with their stingy aunt and uncle since their mother died after childbirth and their father left for America to make a better life for them. As the book begins she has been sold to mean Svaalberd, a goat farmer, to act as his slave and do his bidding, which might mean becoming his wife. She’s a hard worker, but this grim life is torture. Her goal is to escape, find her sister and somehow get on the ship that is to sail for America. Complicating her plans is the discovery of a strange girl spinning gold straw in a locked away shed. There is violence with Svaalberd, who hits her a lot, and she carries a knife for protection, which she ultimately uses. Interwoven throughout are Astri’s recollection of folk stories, local superstitions, Lutheran teachings and her belief that she’s ultimately a bad person, but she must save her sweet sister. Due to the darkness this is best for Grades 5+. Well written and intriguing, the inspiration comes from the author’s great-great grandmother’s diary en route to America. Includes author’s notes, glossary and bibliography.
Performance-Enhancing Drugs In Sports
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Khing, Tony
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
October 11, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
One of six in ABDO's "Issues in Sports" series, this 64-page book describes what performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are, what they do to the human body, and why many are banned at both the professional level and also in high schools. Many professional athletes in a variety of sports are profiled, including Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez, both in sidebars and in the body of the text. Large color photos complement the chapters. The yellow and orange color scheme both on the cover and the pages works well with the topic. Discussion questions, glossary, and index are included. Although a topic of interest to teens, I don't see this as a book they will likely check out.
Unicorns
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Atwood, Megan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 12, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
See reviews of other Core Library Creatures of Legend series--Bigfoot and Yeti by Jennifer Joline Anderson and Dragons by Carla Mooney. This title seems even more accessible for Gr. 3-6 as the text is very clearly written with a young audience in mind. Again, this mythological creature is introduced along with some of the prominent legends in Europe and Asia that have advanced its continued popularity. Comparisons between Eastern and Western motifs, artwork depicting these creatures, animals they may have been confused with, current day books and movies, and creating real one-horned animals are all covered. This will be eye-opening and entertaining to the unicorn enthusiast among the intermediate readership, and they may even look at the websites referred to for further learning.
Vampires
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Felix, Rebecca
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 12, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
See reviews for others in this Core Library Creatures of Legend series that include Dragons, Unicorns, and Bigfoot and Yeti, all by different authors. This title featuring vampires across time will not sit on the shelf, but it is a bit dark and possibly disturbing for Gr. 3 students. As with the other books in the series it gives a historical overview of vampires in most cultures around the world, their common traits and changes over time, and some of the key legends especially Dracula by Bram Stoker with its influence and longevity. At times the language insinuates that vampires are real by not always qualifying it with "according to legend". Due to the topic's killing and drinking of blood this may give younger students, who though they think they are ready for it, nightmares. Includes information regarding the TV and movies of the late 1990s and into the Twilight series of the recent past. Map, Venn diagram comparing Dracula to Edward Cullen, list of different countries' vampires, portraits of real people who acted like vampires (Romanian ruler Vlad the Impaler and Hungarian noblewoman Elizabeth Bathory) plus information on vampirology, people devoted to studying vampires today.
Dragons
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Mooney, Carla
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 12, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
See review of Bigfoot and Yeti by Jennifer Joline Anderson in same Creatures of Legend series. A book describing the history, qualities, varieties, and origins of the popular dragon will be welcome by fantasy readers. There is a niche for this title featuring the mythological being that has infused the legends of many cultures, some for 4,000 years. Through the 1700s some people still believed in dragons, but today most people know this is not true. The confusion with and comparison to dinosaurs is included. From the kind helpers of the East to the deadly monsters of the West, dragons continue to fire readers’ imaginations. Includes references to Marco Polo, The Egyptian Legend of Apep, Saint George, the Chinese Legend of the Four Dragons, and modern dragons of books and movies. Text features that enhance the text consist of a diagram of a dragon’s key parts and characteristics, Venn diagram of Eastern vs. Western dragons, appropriate photos, dragons around the world list, description and map plus glossary, further learning, and index.
Bigfoot And Yeti
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Anderson, Jennifer Jolin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 12, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
As with other CORE Library books I’ve reviewed this Creatures of Legend series is quite good. In 48 pages of straight forward, unbiased text, the author strives to present the history, sitings, and truth of these forest creatures that are common in many places of the world, and in some cases for thousands of years. Despite many legends and names in lots of cultures from Native Americans to Himalayans and Scotland to Australia, it has yet to be proved that these creatures actually exist(ed). Current science and some cryptozoologists are using DNA to test artifacts though they have mainly proven to be other creatures such as bears, elk, or humans. The intrigue continues with those committed to finding a new species. In Core Library books the reader is asked to question, further investigate, compare or write, using quotations and online sources. Again, this reads like a textbook in those instances though directed at the young reader, and may not be acted upon. All desired text features are present including maps, two-page summary of the different creatures around the world, glossary, learn more with web links, and detailed index. Others in the series include Dragons, Sea Monsters, Unicorns, Vampires and Werewolves.
Iron Man And The Armor Wars : Part 4 : The Golden Avenger St
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Caramagna, Joe
Rousseau, Craig
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 14, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, the billionaire entrepreneur has everything anyone could possible want. But, when every one of his Iron Man suits of armor is stolen and used against him, he is in trouble! The government is after him, believing Tony is trying to defraud the government of $5 billion. Tony not only has to prove the suits were stolen, but has to battle his own creations and tries to discover who is trying to outsmart him! The entire story is told in four volumes: Part 1: Down and Out in Beverly Hills – the armor is stole and Tony is accused. Part 2: The Big Red Machine – Now villains are wearing the Iron Man armor , trying kill Tony and Dr. Doom shows up. Part 3: How I Learned to Love the Bomb – Tony is on the run with Rodey in a stolen government plane. Part 4: The Golden Avenger Strikes Back – Tony is chained in the Barbarian’s Lair and has to find a way to get out. Many parts of the story was used for the movie “Iron Man 2”. The graphics are crisp, clean and brightly colored, as is expected from Marvel comic books. The library binding will be a huge plus as you won’t be able to keep these titles on the shelf if you have any Iron Man lovers.
Iron Man And The Armor Wars : Part 2 : The Big Red Machine
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Caramagna, Joe
Rousseau, Craig
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 14, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, the billionaire entrepreneur has everything anyone could possible want. But, when every one of his Iron Man suits of armor is stolen and used against him. The government is after him, believing Tony is trying to defraud the government of $5 billion. Tony not only has to prove the suits were stolen, but has to battle his own creations and tries to discover who is trying to outsmart him! The entire story is told in four volumes: Part 1 Down and Out in Beverly Hills – the armor is stole and Tony is accused. Part 2: The Big Red Machine – Now villains are wearing the Iron Man armor , trying kill Tony and Dr. Doom shows up. Part 3: How I Learned to Love the Bomb – Tony is on the run with Rodey in a stolen government plane. Part 4: The Golden Avenger Strikes Back – Tony is chained in the Barbarian’s Lair and has to find a way to get out. Many parts of the story was used for the movie “Iron Man 2”. The graphics are crisp, clean and brightly colored, as is expected from Marvel comic books. The library binding will be a huge plus as you won’t be able to keep these titles on the shelf if you have any Iron Man lovers.
Iron Man And The Armor Wars : Part 1 : Down And Out In Bever
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Caramagna, Joe
Rousseau, Craig
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 14, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, the billionaire entrepreneur has everything anyone could possible want. But, when every one of his Iron Man suits of armor is stolen and used against him. The government is after him, believing Tony is trying to defraud the government of $5 billion. Tony not only has to prove the suits were stolen, but has to battle his own creations and tries to discover who is trying to outsmart him! The entire story is told in four volumes: Part 1 Down and Out in Beverly Hills – the armor is stole and Tony is accused. Part 2: The Big Red Machine – Now villains are wearing the Iron Man armor , trying kill Tony and Dr. Doom shows up. Part 3: How I Learned to Love the Bomb – Tony is on the run with Rodey in a stolen government plane. Part 4: The Golden Avenger Strikes Back – Tony is chained in the Barbarian’s Lair and has to find a way to get out. Many parts of the story was used for the movie “Iron Man 2”. The graphics are crisp, clean and brightly colored, as is expected from Marvel comic books. The library binding will be a huge plus as you won’t be able to keep these titles on the shelf if you have any Iron Man lovers.
Iron Man And The Armor Wars : Part 3 : How I Learned To Love
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Caramagna, Joe
Rousseau, Craig
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 14, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, the billionaire entrepreneur has everything anyone could possible want. But, when every one of his Iron Man suits of armor is stolen and used against him, he is in trouble. The government is after him, believing Tony is trying to defraud the government of $5 billion. Tony not only has to prove the suits were stolen, but has to battle his own creations and tries to discover who is trying to outsmart him! The entire story is told in four volumes: Part 1: Down and Out in Beverly Hills – the armor is stole and Tony is accused. Part 2: The Big Red Machine – Now villains are wearing the Iron Man armor , trying kill Tony and Dr. Doom shows up. Part 3: How I Learned to Love the Bomb – Tony is on the run with Rodey in a stolen government plane. Part 4: The Golden Avenger Strikes Back – Tony is chained in the Barbarian’s Lair and has to find a way to get out. Many parts of the story was used for the movie “Iron Man 2”. The graphics are crisp, clean and brightly colored, as is expected from Marvel comic books. The library binding will be a huge plus as you won’t be able to keep these titles on the shelf if you have any Iron Man lovers.
Marvel Super Heroes Origin Storybook Collection
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 14, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
This collection of origin stories of Marvel’s superhero’s, Thor, Spider-man, Hulk, Captain America, Wolverine, The X-Men, and fourteen others, is basic. Each story is a separate chapter relating the origin of one of the super heroes, many stories beginning in childhood. The writing is simple, flat and uninspired with little to excite readers. The Hulk is the first story: “Bruce Banner had always dealt with bullies. His childhood was sad and lonely. . . He became a doctor of science for the army. He studied a type of energy called gamma radiation. It was a dangerous energy source. . .” it does not improve as more stories are told. This will appeal to students who are so into Super Heroes they will read anything about them or listen to any story about them. The illustrations look for the most part to be as expected from Marvel comics with bright colors and sharp images. The binding is adequate but the paper on board cover will not stand up to much handling well.
Thor : An Origin Story
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Thomas, Rich, Jr
Semeiks, Val
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 14, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Thor’s story starts asking the reader “What would it be like to live among the gods? To be something more than human?” on the first page accompanied by a stylized modernistic rendering of what is assumed to be Asgard. Each of the following ten pages has the important word in each sentence either printed in bold red type or bold capital letters describing some aspect the super hero’s character. The story begins with the god Thor from Norse mythology then is embroidered and added to creating Marvel’s origin story, which many Marvel readers will recognize. The writing could be more interesting with better word choice, but it is interesting enough that die-hard fans of Marvel’s Thor will keep it circulating. The illustrations are brightly colored, some covering one to two-page spreads, others taking half of the page, all seeming to be computer generated, but the young readers won’t mind. The binding is acceptable, but the paper on board cover will not hold up to a great deal of handling fans are likely to bestow on this one.
NOBODY ASKED THE PEA
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
STEWIG, JOHN WARREN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 14, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Did you ever wonder what the inside scoop was at the castle when the Queen decided to test all the candidates for her son’s bride by placing a pea under 20 mattresses? Here are 10 characters, er, residents to tell you about the entire goings on in the castle. Queen Mildred who rules the roost, her son Harold, whose only interest is in hunting and not a prim and proper princess to the Doorman and Patrick Pea the “most impressive pea in the entire garden.” even if he does say so himself. Each character has a two page spread to present their view of things in this slightly choppy but entertaining retelling of the Princess and the Pea. This would be a great way to examine point of view. Younger students may have some trouble following the story, but older students and adults will enjoy the slanted story telling from each participant. The delightful watercolor-and-pencil pastel-hued illustrations are more caricatures than realistic renditions of the characters. These contribute much to the understanding of each of the featured characters. Also reviewed in School Library Journal, Library Media Connection, Kirkus Reviews and Horn Book.
PETS YOU GET!
ANDERSEN PRESS USA [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
TAYLOR, THOMAS
TAYLOR, THOMAS
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 14, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Pets are great! Pets are fun! A small boy wants an exciting pet like a dog who can bark, jump and run on the beach; or huge shaggy bear or a huge smoking dragon. But, when his sister shares her small, cute guinea pig with him he decides it isn’t quite as boring as he first thought, but he would still like to have the huge smoking dragon . . . someday. This delightful flight of fancy takes into the realm of a young boy’s dream of an exciting pet with which to run, play and imagine the world around him. The bright, boldly colored illustrations helps you see the animals from the boy’s point of view. This is a story that young children will enjoy. The binding could be stronger.
Brightest Night
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Sutherland, Tui T
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #5 in the "Wings of Fire" series. In the previous books the dragonets of destiny have sought links to their lost past, usually in the form of family members. Each book focused on a different dragon, with the others added to the mix as the story progressed. This one features unusual, kind-hearted, well-named Sunny. The home of the Darkwings has been destroyed. She has learned that the prophecy she and her friends sought to fulfill, which would bring an end to the dragon war, was false. Now kidnapped, she has a choice of depending on her friends, or discovering her own inner strength, as well as her own family. Maybe they're not the dragonets of destiny, but that doesn't mean they can't stop a war! Sunny forms unusual alliances, and uses her wits rather than her talons to solve problems. This ties the series up nicely, but leaves room for more books which are, obviously , coming. Fans of the series will find this a satisfying read, featuring all the characters they've grown to love.
Outlaws, Spies, And Gangsters : Chasing Notorious Criminals
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Scandiffio, Laura
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 16, 2014
Dame, Anne
The ways that we track and hunt down criminals has changed over the years as technology has advanced. This book tells eight different stories about capturing dangerous criminals - from John Dillinger to Osama bin Laden. It covers a lot of territory, going from the remote Canadian wilderness to the deserts of the Middle East, as well as time, starting in the 1930's and continuing to present day. Although the stories by necessity are a bit brief, they still encompass all the pertinent information about the people involved, the background of the case, and how it was resolved. When mistakes were made, on either side, they are discussed. The full color pictures add to the interest of the book, although I felt they verged on the edge of cartoonish and I would have preferred just a bit more realism. Altogether an interesting informational text that should especially appeal to middle school boys.
Emma Watson : From Wizards To Wallflowers
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Higgins, Nadia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 16, 2014
Dame, Anne
This 32 page biography of Emma Watson has tons of photos following her from her debut in the Harry Potter movies to her most recent performance in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. There is also a lot of information about her family, her background, her interests, schooling, co-stars, etc. Although brief, it is surprisingly thorough, and also includes suggestions for finding additional information about Emma.
Red Madness : How A Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat
Calkins Creek [Calkins Creek]
Jarrow, Gail
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 16, 2014
Dame, Anne
I was absolutely fascinated by this book. In the early 1900's a horrific and deadly disease struck the southern US states. One doctor finally diagnosed it as pellagra. Previously, pellagra had mainly been confined to Europe. Now it was here and people were dying. No one knew what caused it, how it spread, or how to cure it. Pellagra affected the skin with a thick scaly rash, caused diarrhea and dementia, and eventually ended in death. Doctors scrambled to find answers and a cure for this terrible disease. The book includes many primary source photos and recounts actual cases. In addition there are stories of the doctors, researchers, and public health officials who wrestled with this medical mystery. What some of the doctors did to test their hypotheses was quite astonishing (and disgusting). I really liked how the author relayed events as they happened, so the reader does not find out the solution until one tenacious doctor finally figures it out.
Angel Island : Gateway To Gold Mountain
CLARION [CLARION]
Freedman, Russell
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 16, 2014
Dame, Anne
I have found that there are many texts available about Ellis Island and very few about Angel Island. I was very excited to learn that Russell Freedman had written a book about Angel Island - and I was not disappointed. Full of primary source photos, quotes, and songs, this informational text accurately conveys the lives of the Asian immigrants who entered the US through the Angel Island station. Freedman does not hold back in showing the blatant discrimination of the time but he uses facts not opinion to do so. An excellent resource for the immigration curriculum studied in middle school.
How To Draw Steampunk
Walter Foster/lerner Publications C [Walter Foster/lerner Publications C]
Marsocci, Joey
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 16, 2014
Dame, Anne
This how-to book is not for the beginning artist! While there is some basic rudimentary instruction/reminders at the beginning, as well as a brief history and definition of steampunk, it rapidly advances to quite a high artistic level. I only wish I could accomplish what this book depicts. Avid and/or highly motivated artists will do well with this guide. It is quite beautiful and includes some instruction on doing digital illustration as well. There are techniques for adding both action and color to your images.
Noisy Paint Box : The Colors And Sounds Of Kandinsky's Ab
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Rosenstock, Barb
Grandpre, Mary
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 17, 2014
Dame, Anne
This beautifully illustrated picture book biographical fiction tale tells the story of Vasily Kandinsky, known as one of the first painters of abstract art. Vasya was raised in Russia as a member of a well-to-do family. He was educated, took piano lessons, and was trained to be proper and polite. When his aunt gave him a box of paints to kindle his appreciation for the arts, he heard music from the different colors in the box. When he went to the opera "Vasya heard the colors singing. He saw the music dancing." After that, his paintings were never "proper" again. In the Author's Note, Rosenstock explains the genetic condition synesthesia, which it is thought that Kandinsky had. It also goes into further detail about his artistic life and influence in the art world. There are also suggestions for websites with more information about Kandinsky.
Streak : How Joe Dimaggio Became America's Hero
Calkins Creek [Calkins Creek]
Rosenstock, Barb
Widener, Terry
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 17, 2014
Dame, Anne
Joe DiMaggio is one of America's best known baseball players. This is a picture book biographical tale of what he became famous for and how it happened. DiMaggio was playing baseball at the same time that World War II was occurring, so many people looked for diversion through entertainment such as sports. DiMaggio gave them something to dream about with his long and impressive hitting streak during the summer of 1941. There is an author's note at the back with additional information about DiMaggio as well as other great baseball players. There is also a list of additional resources with information about DiMaggio. Personally, I did not like the impressionistic feel of the illustrations; I do not feel like they added to the story.
Yes! We Are Latinos!
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Ada, Alma Flor
Diaz, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 17, 2014
Dame, Anne
People often think that Latinos refers only to Mexicans and maybe South or Central Americans. However, the Latino culture and people encompass so much more than that. This book has 12 narrative poems from a wide variety of Latino heritage and experience, from Puerto Ricaños to Sephardic Jews to Guatemalan-Chinese. After each poem, there is informational text giving more detail about that particular culture. The poems are especially captivating; I did find myself occasionally skimming the informational text rahter than reading it closely. Striking black and white illustrations add to the "flavor" of the book. An excellent addition for a diverse and inclusive collection.
Evil Librarian
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Knudsen, Michelle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
October 17, 2014
Dame, Anne
Cynthia has a lot to worry about: her best friend seems to be falling under the spell of the handsome, but strange, new librarian; she is the tech person for the school production of "Sweeney Todd" and still needs to figure out a lot of details for the staging; her long-time crush actually seems to be showing some interest in her and she is not sure how to act or respond. Those all seem a bit minor when it turns out that ****SPOILER**** there are actually demons in the school! A good read for fans of Lauren Kate, Heather Brewer, etc. The librarian humor will likely go over the heads of the students, but did cause me to laugh out loud a time or two.
September
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kelley, C
Ostrom, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 18, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
A book for each month would be a nice addition to any collection, especially schools. Affording all 12 of these Twelve Magic Months titles may be prohibitive. Selecting a few key months, or those under appreciated, is a possibility. September fills a niche for the beginning of the school year. It’s fact filled with lots of desirable text features beginning with a table of contents which reflects seven chapters, not just double page spreads. The first two pages contain a paragraph introduction, a graphic indicating the month number and number of days. At the bottom of this page is a bright green fact box explaining how this month got its name opposite a page with a photo of a ripened apple and leaves on a book. The fact box in orange-red on this page describes A Sad Day, September 11, 2001. Succeeding pages cover the birthstone, September around the world in words and events; in 1752 how 13 days were lost when the English switched calendars; key holidays and lesser known ones—Read a Book Day, National Dog Week, National Honey Month; and famous September days and births. Page 24 ends with a short glossary and detailed index. Adults may choose this attractive book more, but children will be rewarded for their selection.
Take Away The A
ENCHANTED LION BOOKS [ENCHANTED LION BOOKS]
Escoffier, Michael
Di Giacomo, Kris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 18, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This clever alphabet book has a eye-catching cover with a beast eating a big letter A. The text begins with, “Without the A,” on the left page followed by “the BEAST is the BEST.” on the right. The illustration depicts the cover monster holding the winning trophy with a duck and fish in 2nd and 3rd place. Each double page spread thereafter follows this same pattern,“Without the ____ the _________ is the ___________.” Unless shared one-on-one this becomes a book that needs to be read along rather than having children chime in. First grade classes could read the words, but not predict the change from BRIDE to RIDE unless the letter B was covered up. The accompanying illustration has an tuxedoed deer sitting in a Ferris wheel carriage reaching towards his veiled bride in a separate, higher carriage. The illustrations are much needed adding humor and style to this successful, quality production. Front endsheets have a mishmash of capital letters; preceding the end sheets are two pages of the words with the highlighted letter in each; and back endsheets have a mirror image of the front. The French author and American illustrator live in France and have produced other picture books together for Enchanted Lion Books.
Shh! We Have A Plan
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Haughton, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 18, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
In signature Chris Haughton primitive art style as in Little Owl Lost and Oh No, George! the digital illustrations tell most of the story with very minimal, but important text. In dark blues, black and purple, four people? (dressed up for the cold in hats and coats) are on a mission to capture a red bird. The three adult size carry nets and the smallest brings up the rear. The stand out for each are the big white eyes with a big black pupil. When the see the bird they shush the little one who calls out, “hello, birdie” as they keep repeating, “we have a plan.” They first tiptoe slowly, climb slowly, and finally paddle slowly, but each time on the count of three their “plan” fails disastrously and the bird escapes. When the small one lures the bird and his many friends with bread crumbs, his comrades are amazed and then fear for retaliation from the birds. At they end they find a new creature to try to trap. Hilarious illustrations through understatement and primitive artwork with amazing expression in such simple details. This is fun, simple, rewarding repetition and pattern with enough surprises in actions and color to make it a hit. This Irish author illustrator now lives in the Netherlands.
Pumas
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 18, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
One of the new Abdo Kids titles this is in the Big Cats series written by the same author who did their Spiders books. After the table of contents there are double page spreads composed of two to three sentences on the left page with a photo taking up two-thirds of the overall spread. The clear color photos show these pumas AKA cougars AKA mountain lions in their habitats with up-close looks at their features. Unfortunately the one depicting the back legs leaping longer than their front legs is disturbed by the gutter lessening the effect. This is a good introduction for the beginning primary reader. The last three of the 24 pages includes three more facts, a five-word glossary, 15-word index, and the Abdo Kids website and code for further activities. Others in this series by the same author include Cheetahs, Jaguars, Leopards, Lions and Tigers. One quibble was that “markings” was in the index, but page 20 did not have that term on the page though it did refer to the spots on the cubs.
Hickory Dickory Dog
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Murray, Alison
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 18, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Alison Murray's new take-off on an old nursery rhyme will introduce young children to the old as well as new rhyme. The very simple sequence begins, “Hickory, dickory, dock, A dog, a boy…(turn the page) and children will already have chimed in with “clock” since it’s pictured in red by the head of the boy’s bed. The reader continues through the boy and dog’s day with the rhyme changing to match the event i.e. “Hickory, dickory, dare. Rufus must stay here.” when the boy heads to school. Clocks with hands are depicted on most pages as the day progresses from the playground to art to “Hickory, lickery, lunch.” After school is raking leaves with this enthusiastic pup who has acquired paint, glue and now leaves leading to bath time and bedtime, culminating in the title line. The thick Candlewick pages and Murray's digital illustrations in muted tones make this a quality production. Pair this with another counting book and/or an online rendition of the original song and your children will have a simple, fun romp.
Black Widow Spiders
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 18, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
One of the new Abdo Kids titles this is in the Spiders series that has been well received. The photos are the standout in this book and in the Abdo Kids books. With close-ups the young reader will have a clear view of this spider in action. Differences between the male and female, catching prey, plus images of spiderlings are depicted. After a two-sentence introduction, the following pages describe hunting, food, babies and then four more facts. The glossary defines words well and the index has key terms. Though venom was highlighted in several places, it only made one page number in the index. Page 24 also concludes with the Abdo Kids website and code for further activities. Others in this consistent series by the same author include Bird-Eating Spiders, Jumping Spiders, Trapdoor Spiders, Tarantula Spiders and Wolf Spiders. Lexile 410.
Tarantula Spiders
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 18, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
One of the new Abdo Kids titles this is in the Spiders series that has been well received. The photos are the standout in this book and in the Abdo Kids books. With close-ups the young reader will have a clear view of this spider in action from its hairy legs to waiting next to a fly. A couple of quibbles—1) On page 15 it was unclear how this photo depicted waiting or pouncing on prey. The rest clearly match the large font, short text. 2) One photo has a tarantula in a person’s hands and the fact at the back states that some people have them as pets. It would be helpful to know how people can handle these venomous creatures safely. Overall this is a good introduction for the very beginning readers. The 24 pages concludes with three extra facts, five-word glossary, index and the Abdo Kids website and code for further activities. Others in this consistent series by the same author include Bird-Eating Spiders, Jumping Spiders, Trapdoor Spiders, Tarantula Spiders and Wolf Spiders. Lexile 370.
How To Bake A Book
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky [Sourcebooks Jabberwocky]
Burfoot, Ella
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 18, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This clever metaphor begins with the young female narrator stating, "I am going to bake a book. I'll break some ideas into a cup. I'll beat them, whisk them, mix them up.” The jaunty rhyming continues through the creative process of cooking and composition—weigh out words, little and big; cutting out characters; add feelings, color and flavor; let it sit; roll it out and let the characters jump in; add the filling (action) with pinch of bad and spoonful of good; let the plot thicken; add the right touches (punctuation, capitals); press down the end and decorate; bake it and voila! a delicious book. The cheerful, lively watercolor illustrations carry the reader along through this fun process of "baking" a book that will captivate the imagination. Looking for literary details also adds to the joy of this experience.
Lions
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 18, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Did you know that a lion’s roar can be heard 5 miles away or that they are excellent climbers and swimmers? Stunning photographs of the majestic male lions, a pride resting on the savannah, and little cubs playing will attract the younger readers and the additional facts will add to the limited text. Large horizontally oriented books pair a striking close-up photograph with one to two brief sentences on the facing page. The formulaic chapters provide minimal information but the stock photos are magnificent. Each book in the Big Cat series describes the cats’ habitats, physical appearance, food preferences, life cycle information and of course some cute photographs of the playful young. Vocabulary words include mane, plain, pride, savanna and territory. Also included are a fact page extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Tigers
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 18, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Did you know that there are “more tigers captive in the United States than there are tigers in the wild all around the world?” That alarming piece of information may not startle the younger readers but is worth pointing out in an introduction to young students. Large horizontally oriented books pair a striking close-up photograph with one to two brief sentences on the facing page. The formulaic chapters provide minimal information but the stock photos are magnificent. Each book in the Big Cat series describes the cats’ habitats, physical appearance, food preferences, life cycle information and of course some cute photographs of the playful young. Photographs of tigers in different habitats, tearing a hunk of meat while lying on a log, drinking water in the grasslands and roaring accompany the text. Vocabulary words include grassland, habitat and rainforest. Also included are a fact page extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Leopards
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Archer, Claire
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 18, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Attention grabbing photographs of leopards prowling the forest, sleeping in trees or stalking their prey, will entice your younger readers to pick up this Abdo Kids book. Large horizontally oriented books pair a striking close-up photograph with one to two brief sentences on the facing page. The formulaic chapters provide minimal information but the stock photos are magnificent. Each book in the Big Cat series describes the cats’ habitats, physical appearance, food preferences, life cycle information and of course some cute photographs of the playful young. A grey spotted leopard cub learning to hunt while mother leopard watches nearby and a photograph of a black panther demonstrate some of the color variation. Glossary words include habitat, reptile, rosette, and prey. Also included are facts extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Dino Destruction
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Howard, Lee
Alcadia Snc.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 18, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This Scooby-Doo Comic Storybook Issue # 4 will be a hit with Scooby fans. Scooby-Doo and the kids from Mystery, Inc. are vacationing in Costa Rica where they visit the natural history museum famous for its dinosaur bones. A legendary fossil hunter has located dino bones for this exhibit, but seemingly aroused the wrath of their spirit as evidenced by a “real” dinosaur that scares the troupe and seemingly haunts the mine. The detectives deduce that the dinosaur is not real, but the gold in the mine is. This is fast paced, not at all believable, but entertaining. Bright colors, graphic format, sturdy binding and pages all contribute to the quality that will be needed to keep it circulating as it won’t stay on the shelf. Lexile 530.
Bulldogs
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Barnes, Nico
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 19, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
A bulldog's distinctive grumpy and fierce looking face belies its generally easy-going personality. But that wrinkly, droopy face with the loose folds requires extra cleaning on a regular basis. These brief tidbits of information, contained in just a few sentences on one side of the large horizontal spread, are paired with a matching close-up photograph. While the very simple text is formulaic, the splendid stock photos are sure to provoke oohs and aahs from the intended audience of early primary grade students. Vocabulary words include droopy, feature, general, protective and wrinkle. Also included are a fact page extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Similar to Capstone’s A+ series, these books are even aimed at younger readers. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Turtles
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 19, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Did you know that turtles are believed to have been around for millions of years making them one of the oldest living animals on earth? Or that the temperature of then nest determines whether the hatchlings are female or male? Abdo Kids’ large horizontally oriented books pair a striking close-up photograph with one to two brief sentences on the facing page. Each book in the Reptile series describes the different reptiles’ habitat, physical appearance, food preferences, life cycle information and unusual facts. Photographs show young hatching from eggs, turtles living in a variety of habitats, swimming in the ocean, and tucking into its shell. Vocabulary words include freshwater, predator, protect, shield, swamp, cold-blooded, scales, and habitat. Also included are a fact page extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Snakes
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 19, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids’ large horizontally oriented books pair a striking close-up photograph with one to two brief sentences on the facing page. Each book in the Reptile series describes the different reptiles’ habitat, physical appearance, food preferences, life cycle information and unusual facts. Photographs show young hatching from eggs, shedding a skin, swallowing a rat and coiled on branches. Unfortunately the different snakes are not identified or labeled. Vocabulary words include prairie, forest, mammal, cold-blooded, scales, venom, and desert. Also included are a fact page extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Iguanas
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 19, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids’ large horizontally oriented books pair a striking close-up photograph with one to two brief sentences on the facing page. Iguanas, cold-blooded reptiles, exhibit a spectacular array of colors and the photographs highlight the variety shown in the differences of spines, dewlaps and scales. Each book in the Reptile series describes the different reptiles’ habitat, physical appearance, food preferences, life cycle information and unusual facts. Photographs show young hatching from eggs, female digging a burrow, resting on branches, and eating plants. Vocabulary words include burrow, cold-blooded, scales, hatch, and rainforest. Also included are a fact page extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Cars
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 19, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kid’s Cars pairs 3/4 page photographs with a few simple lines of text while introducing young readers to basic parts of cars and different modes of fueling the engine. From steam-powered cars, to today’s hybrid and smart cars, fuel sources continue to evolve. This is one of the few Abdo Kid’s books with a disappointing selection of photographs including basic shots of steering wheels, a gas pump, and headlights. The hybrid and electric car are ordinary and a police car seems out of place. Vocabulary words focus on the power source including diesel, electric, fuel, hybrid, and siren. Also included are a fact page extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Purchase only if you need to satisfy the youngest car fans.
Trains
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 19, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Did you know that horses pulled the first trains? Abdo Kid’s Transportation series pairs exciting 3/4 page photographs with a few simple lines of text while introducing young readers to the main types of trains. Freight, passenger, bullet, commuter, and subway trains are mentioned and several are depicted speeding by mountains and other natural areas. A dining car is pictured for the passenger train and a woman working at a computer is shown for the commuter car. Vocabulary words include commuter, freight, locomotive, goods and passenger. Also included are a fact page extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Similar to Capstone’s A+ series, these books are even aimed at younger readers. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Boats
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 19, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids’ Boats pairs a striking photograph of many different types of boats with one to two brief sentences on the facing page. Boats are an integral part of life in the Pacific Northwest and young readers will recognize the ferries, sailboats, motorboats, fishing boats, racing boats and kayaks and canoes depicted in all different bodies of water. A simple labeled diagram points out the bow, hull and stern and the words are included in the Glossary. Other vocabulary words include motorboat, paddle and rudder. Also included are a fact page extending the simple text, index and Abdo Kids code for additional information and games. Similar to Capstone’s Pebble Plus series, these books are even aimed at younger readers. Purchase if you need non-fiction for your youngest readers.
Super Simple Pinecone Projects : Fun And Easy Crafts Inspire
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Doudna, Kelly
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 19, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This title may be one of the best in the Super Simple Nature Crafts series as the projects seem more accessible to children Gr. 2-5, both in directions and items needed. Doudna, a prolific nonfiction writer, begins with an introduction to pinecones, the three sizes used in this book, preparing them by baking to kill bugs, the materials needed for the projects, and then clearly sets forth the eight projects, some of which have several options. Clearly numbered steps with photos illustrating three or more steps and the final outcome make these easy to follow. These include glittery pinecones, ornaments, a winter scene using cotton, cute forest critters (squirrel, rabbit, owl), bobbleheads, flowers for decorating napkin rings or pendants, a photo holder and candle holder. Before the table of contents is a note to adult helpers, which the author assumes the child will have, plus the hot and sharp symbol for warnings to make sure he/she gets help. The conclusion is followed by a glossary. Others in the series cover ice, leaves, pressed flowers, seashells and twigs.
Super Simple Leaf Projects : Fun And Easy Crafts Inspired By
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Doudna, Kelly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 19, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
One of Abdo’s Super Simple Nature Crafts series has a broader use and audience than the ice projects book. Doudna, a prolific nonfiction writer, begins with an introduction to trees and leaves, 3 ways to press and preserve leaves, the materials needed for the projects, and then clearly sets forth the eight projects. Clearly numbered steps with photos illustrating three or more steps and the final outcome make this easy to follow. Some include note cards, place mats, a fall wreath, painted print t-shirt, coasters and decorated candle. Before the table of contents is a note to adult helpers, which the author assumes the child will have, plus the hot and sharp symbol for warnings to make sure he/she gets help. Suggestion—perhaps the easiest way to preserve leaves should have been presented first rather than last, since pressing leaves is the safest and simplest. Using glycerin or a hot iron would be secondary choices though specific methods are recommended within each craft project. There are quite a few required that would need to be purchased which might limit who can afford to do these projects. The conclusion is followed by a glossary. Others in the series cover pinecones, pressed flowers, seashells and twigs. Gr. 2-5
Treasure Hunting
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 20, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
In 32 pages this Xtreme Adventure title introduces the intermediate reader to treasure hunting, its tools & equipment (most importantly a metal detector with headphones) and dangers (getting lost, hurt or drowning). Then it delves into different treasure people hunt—coins, jewelry, silver, gold. glass & bottles, and artifacts. It then concludes with where to hunt for these. All desired text features are evident—table of contents, glossary (11 words), and index, except no bibliography is listed at the end. On the verso, an astute reader would see an ABDO Booklinks mention where web sites related to the Xtreme Adventure titles can be found. The large font in small chunks of text make this a high interest book though the reading level is 980 Lexile. It’s fast paced, interesting and informative and includes lots of captioned photos plus Xtreme facts. Most needed terms were defined though “outhouse” could have been in the glossary and index as not all kids will know what this is. Others in this series include Caving, Ghost Hunting, Mountaineering, Polar Exploration, and Storm Chasing. Gr. 3-6.
Fallen
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Higson, Charlie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
October 21, 2014
Dame, Anne
Book 5 in The Enemy series. Fans of the series will enjoy this next installment. It happens right after The Enemy and simultaneously with The Sacrifice. The Holloway crew joins the kids at the Museum in the fight to stay alive and kill any infected adults that attack them. The museum kids are also determined to find a cure, even if it means leaving the shelter of the museum to find necessary supplies. Of course, the museum may not be as safe as one would think because there appears to be a traitor in their midst!
Egg & Spoon
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Maguire, Gregory
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
October 21, 2014
Dame, Anne
Despite the interesting plot-line and beautiful use of language, the narrative voice throughout the book pretty much ruined it for me. Others who can get past that will likely enjoy this book. Elena is a Russian peasant; her father is dead, her mother is dying. One brother has been conscripted into the Tsar's army, the other is a servant for a wealthy land-owner. There is very little food and not much hope. One day a small train with a very fancy coach car pulls into the station in their town. The train must stay there until a bridge can be repaired. Elena meets the young girl named Ekaterina, who is riding on the train to St. Petersburg where she will be introduced to the Tsar's godson. Many mishaps and adventures ensue.
King Tut's Tomb
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Moore, Shannon Baker
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 21, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Digging Up the Past" series. The 112 pages tell the story of the discoveries in King Tut's tomb. The well written book explains how the Valley of the Kings was explored, the people involved in digs, how the items were preserved, and the legacy of the find. The book also gives the reader information about pharaohs, Egyptian life, religion, and mummification. Captioned illustrations (mostly photographs) are found throughout the book and call out boxes give the reader additional information to help in understanding, It is interesting that study of the tomb, contents, and body continues today. The book ends in 2011. All of the needed research tools are contained in the book: table of contents, map, timeline, key fact page, glossary, bibliography (websites available through the publisher's site), source notes, and index. This book will be used during ancient civilization studies and deserves a place on your shelf.
Learn German Words
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
York, J
Petelinsek, Kathleen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 23, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Foreign Language Basics" series. The book begins with a two page overview of the German language (letters, sounds, location). Then there are 9 two-page spreads that include a color illustration with objects identified. The identification includes the English word, German word, and pronunciation. The spread loosely follow the time of day and include: house, school, store, dinner, etc. Call out boxes include additional words such as numbers, phrases, and days of the week. The final page includes months and seasons. 24 pages. This is not a complete picture dictionary, there are others out there that contain many more words, so buy if you have a need.
Smart Kid's Guide To Using The Internet
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Cosson, J
Rooney, Ronnie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 23, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Smart Kids Guide to Everyday life" series, this 32 page books gives an simple overview of the internet. Students learn the many things people do on the internet, some ideas for searching, using the internet to communicate, and how to be safe on the internet. The text is well-written and accompanied by color, captioned photographs. The book has a list of 10 things to know about the internet, including getting off the computer and playing outside! The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary (words are bolded within the text), index, and bibliography (3 items, web resources through publisher). While I don't believe a student will pick this title up, a teacher or librarian could read the section appropriate to their lesson.
Assassination Of Jfk
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Benoit, Peter
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 24, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Bringing History to Life" this 64 page book chronicles the events surrounding the assassination of the 35th US President, John F. Kennedy. The book describes why Kennedy was in Dallas, what happened at Dealey Plaza, what occurred immediately after the assassination, the capture of the shooter, the investigation, and the lasting impact of the event. The text is understandable, but seem to take the tone "that they should have known", which seems a little hard to believe. Captioned photographs are included on nearly every page. The book includes a table of contents, map of downtown Dallas, Texas, a bibliographic dictionary of individuals involved in the event, a timeline (Nov. 22 time is divided into time of events), links to primary sources (provided through the publisher's website, bibliography (3 items), glossary (words bolded within the main text), index, and author information. The book will provide the reader with a solid overview to this event and might lead them to want to research more on this topic.
Celebrating Illinois : 50 States To Celebrate
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Bauer, Marion Dane
Canga, C.b.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 24, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "50 States to Celebrate" series. It is a Level 3 reader which is for independent readers. The 36 pages contain a tour of the state of Illinois. The character, Mr. Geo, first shares with the reader a map of the state and a map with its location within the United States. The first half of the book shares points of interest and interesting facts about Chicago. The second half looks at the rest of the state including the Cahokia Mounds, Springfield, New Salem, and Starving Rock. Along the way the reader learns about the history, culture, weather, and recreational opportunities in this state. The text is engaging and understandable which is what I would expect from Marion Dane Bauer. The color illustrations and bright and fit the text well. This is a great book for lower readers who would like to learn about Illinois, however, it might not work that well for in depth research. The book includes a basic fact page, timeline, activities, glossary, and author/illustrator information. This is no table of contents or index.
Claude Monet
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Krieg, Katherine
Morrow, J. T.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 24, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of "The World's Greatest Artists" series, this 24 page book, will provide the reader an overview of the life of impressionist, Claude Monet. The reader will learn about impressionism, Monet's childhood, his evolution into this style of work, his various works of art, and his later life. Cartoons with speech bubbles are found on various pages and while they might attract readers, don't add much to the text. For example on the page that shows "Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies" the cartoons say "What is that?" "I think it's a pond..". Many of Monet's famous works are reproduced in the book. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary (words bolded within the text), bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website), index, and author/illustrator information. A good book to use during an art unit on impressionism.
Midnight Thief
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Blackburne, Livia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 24, 2014
Dame, Anne
Debut author Livia Blackburne's "Midnight Thief" is an excellent addition for those who can't get enough fantasy fiction. This is especially true for those who are younger but are reading at a higher level. There is a little bit of romance and one kiss, but there is no swearing and the fighting/limited violence is not graphic or gory. My big complaint is that everybody has excellent grammar except for the street kids use the word "i'nt" as opposed to ain't or isn't. If the street kids consistently spoke with broken grammar, then this would not be an issue at all, but it is very jarring as it is. Kyra is a thief who grew up on the streets. She was rescued by a friend and taken in by a kindly cook at an inn. Kyra only steals from those who she deems rich enough to afford it, then shares her takings with others in need. When approached by a young man named James to help him and his guild with their plan to make things in the city more equitable, she decides to join them - only to realize things were not quite as James portrayed them. Meanwhile, Tristam is a young knight who is sworn to protect the city and he has vowed to rid the city of the Demon Riders. He and Kyra eventually intersect. Very predictable yet thoroughly enjoyable.
Please, Papa
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR)]
Banks, Kate
Swiatkowska, Gabi
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 24, 2014
Jensen, Kathy
Alice was making a farm in her bedroom. She asked her mother for a variety of animals but forgot to use the word, "please." Her mother corrects her and gives Alice all the animals she asks for, except a horse. Alice was told to ask her father. Papa replies that he doesn't have a horse, but when Alice says "please" her father happily puts her on his shoulders and obeys his rider's commands. Playful and instructional, this story teachers children to use the word "please" as it puts a smile on the reader's face. Old-fashioned illustrations bring a bit of whimsy to the story. A companion to "Thank You, Mama," this author and illustrator duo bring you another book that teachers manners in a fun and engaging style.
Love By The Morning Star
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Sullivan, Laura L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 24, 2014
Doran, Kelly
Half-Jewish Hannah's parents fear for her safety in 1938 Germany, where the Nazis are coming to power, and send her to live with her mother's estranged but wealthy family in England. At the same time, Anna, the daughter of an English Nazi sympathizer, has been asked by her father's friends to infiltrate the family's household as the new housemaid. Through coincidence and mistaken identity, each girl takes the other's place. To make things worse, Anna flirts with "her" cousin Teddy during the day, while he falls in love with Hannah by night -- believing both of them to be the same girl. Add in the sympathizers' plotting, Teddy's mother's snobbery, Hannah's independence, and Anna's ambition to get an exciting and intelligent comedy of manners. Will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey.
Monstrous Affections : An Anthology Of Beastly Tales
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Link, Kelly
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
October 24, 2014
Doran, Kelly
A collection of stories by accomplished YA authors including Holly Black, Cassandra Claire, Sarah Rees Brennan, Nalo Hopkinson, Paolo Bacigalupi, and others, about monsters and monstrous relationships. Here you will meet the girl who hears the krakens calling, an intergalactic smuggler with an unexpected business partner, one boy who unexpectedly inherits wings, another who inherits wishes (attached to a cranky wish-giver), a haunted left shoe, demons, vampires, and android boyfriends. The editors' introduction includes an entertaining and slightly creepy pop quiz on monsters, including the question "Are you *sure* there's nothing lurking in your closet?", to get readers into the right frame of mind.
World War I
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Pratt, Mary K
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 24, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Essential Library of American Wars," this 112 page book give the reader an overview of World War I. The book opens with a description of the Battle of Belleau Woods in France. The following chapters trace the war from the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, through the aligning of nations, the beginnings of the warfare, the eventual participation of the United States, and the closing of the war. The League of Nations and the post-war world are also described. The book focuses on battles in Europe. The text is clear and concise. Readers will appreciate the callout boxes which will give the reader necessary background information on the topic at hand. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, glossary (although it seems a little light), bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website), source notes, index, and author information. Readers can use this book as a jumping off point to deeper research into this topic.
History Of Just About Everything : 180 Events, People And In
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Macleod, Elizabeth
Leng, Qin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 26, 2014
Kline, Karen
This highly readable compendium of articles about 180 of the “events, people and inventions that changed the world” does its job in 123 pages. Beginning with “ca 6,000,000 bce First Humans Appear,” and ending with “2011 Japanese earthquake,” the articles are arranged chronologically. Many entries have color-contrasting insets entitled “Ripples” that further explain how the topic has had effect over time. For instance, the article on William Gilbert, the British physicist who investigated magnetism and electricity and first discovered why compasses work due to the Earth’s magnetism, gets a “Ripples” inset that reminds readers how we use magnetism and electricity today and their potentials for solving problems in the future like reducing pollution through the use of electric cars. Most articles are illustrated with pen and watercolor that add interest and enliven the text. Sufficient entries recognize history around the world and include women and a variety of cultures. The appended timeline has divisions for inventions, science, arts and history listing all the articles and citing page number references. The extensive index and quality binding are additional hallmarks that will make this book a lasting purchase for research.
Fourth Down And Inches : Concussions And Football's Make-Or-
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Mcclafferty, Carla Killo
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 26, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
Given a steady demand for football books in the library "Fourth Down and Inches" makes a welcome addition to any school library collection. " Football's make or break moments" refers not to the game winning plays that are celebrated on TV and in the popular press, but in the career-(and sometimes life-) ending injuries and chronic disabilities that come as a result of the inevitable concussions that occur with heads collide on the gridiron. Author Carla Killough McClafferty has done her homework. Going back and tracing the 100+ year history of the game shows an early concern for safety that has led to improvements in rules, equipment, and monitoring of players. The desire for a sporting testing-ground for manliness has had many supporters through the years, from President Teddy Roosevelt to coaches and players themselves. Football is primarily a collision sport, and the collateral trauma to players young and old has been an accepted cost of the game. With MRI brain scans and inside-the-helmet telemetry that allows measures impact forces exerted on players, today the risks of concussions are much better know. This is not the book our football fans want to read. But they should.
Sid The Squid And The Search For The Perfect Job
IMMEDIUM [IMMEDIUM]
Derrick, David G, Jr
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 26, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
Author/illustrator David Derrick knows his ideal job is drawing animations, and his illustrations are a charming accompaniment to this improbable though enjoyable story line of an invertebrate in search of the perfect job. Putting a happier face on the Kracken that strikes fear in the "Pirates of the Caribbean," Sid the Giant Squid comes ashore in San Francisco and with the help of a little girl decides to look for work. All those arms must be good for something! Whether trying his hand(s) at directing traffic, window washing, being a prep cook or servicing race cars; Sid doesn't find a perfect job until he sees a whale caught in a net in the harbor. Back in his natural habitat, his good heart helps him free his traditional enemy and lets him arrive at a job to which he is well suited...working alongside marine biologists at the Aquarium.
Rules Of Summer
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Tan, Shaun
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 26, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
The back cover has a simple admonition: "Never break the rules. Especially if you don't understand them." Shaun Tan's newest picture book rewards readers with a dark and strange, visually complex story full of unexpected twists and turns. In a celebration of a sometimes nightmarish imagination two brothers encounter a dozen lessons that begin with "Never leave a red sock on the clothesline" accompanied by a frighteningly huge red rabbit's red eye peering over a backyard fence while the boys cower in fear. Things get stranger and stranger, as the younger brother's failure to follow the rules of summer has him hurtling through a desolate landscape, hostage to a mob of crows. Thank goodness his older brother knows, "Always bring bolt cutters." and "Always know the way home" bringing both boys to climb an impossibly high ladder to arrive on a happier note "Never miss the last day of summer" closes the book with the brothers marching merrily amidst sky-high fruits and scrumptious desserts. "That's it." The dark landscape of children's imaginations is something Maurice Sendak and Bruno Bettelheim explored in their lifetimes: I'm sure they'd have loved "The Rules of Summer" as much as I do.
Discover Energy
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Vogel, Julia
Yamada, Jane
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 26, 2014
Jensen, Kathy
Experienced nonfiction writer, Julia Vogel, brings an easy-to-understand book about energy to young readers. Photographs and drawings help explain different types of energy that we can use. In addition to explaining what energy is and does, the author discusses energy from fossil fuels and the possible pollution that burning these can cause. She also introduces the idea of scientists looking for better ways to power cars and factories, replacing fossil fuels with energy from sunlight, wind, or ocean waves. Written in simple terms, "Discover Energy," will help young children in their beginning stages of understanding energy. A table of contents, glossary, and index help the reader navigate through the complex concept of energy. Additionally, children learn ways they can help save energy. Suggested readings and a web link to childworld.com offer further research possibilities.
Fleabrain Loves Franny
AMULET BOOKS [ABRAMS]
Rocklin, Joanne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 26, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
In 1952 Pittsburgh, Jewish fifth-grader Franny Katzenback is recovering from polio. Charlotte’s Web, a kind hospital nurse’s gift, is her favorite book while stuck in her bedroom until she finds mysterious notes signed Fleabrain. He turns out to be a highly literate, verbose flea living on her dog. Jealous of Charlotte he wants to be Franny’s best friend. He helps fill the loneliness of not being at school and the great distance her friends keep due to their fear of contagion. Confined to a wheelchair Franny has intense sessions with a mean home-visiting nurse with minimal improvement. But Fleabrain, with new super powers after two doses of flea powder, can transport Franny on night horse rides to help people or visit the Seven Wonders of the World. Her scientist neighbor assists Jonas Salk in finding a vaccine, but unfortunately for Franny, not a cure. To prove his friendship after a falling out Fleabrain must find 3 words to help her cope when told she can’t return to school due to her wheelchair. This combines historical fiction, Charlotte’s Web, & fantasy (some hard to swallow). It might take an astute reader to understand Fleabrain’s highfalutin commentary, but it’s a worthwhile story and setting with a spunky girl.
Amy Namey In Ace Reporter
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Mcdonald, Megan
Madrid, Erwin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 26, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Meet Judy Moody and friends in Megan McDonald’s newest series for readers transitioning between early chapter books and middle grade books. Brightly colored digital illustrations invite young readers to checkout and plunge into the story. While Fountas & Pinnell levels this series at L and M, the shorter sentences and blocks of text as well as an abundance of full-page illustrations, will appeal to less confidant readers as well. Amy Namey wants to be an ace reporter and is searching for a big scoop to use on the front page of her newspaper. Judy Moody joins in her search and together they dig for artifacts in the back yard, and go monster hunting in Frog Neck Creek. Journalistic lingo, including scoop, above the fold, on the beat, and cliffhanger, as well as Amy’s final article, “Great Virginia Sea Serpent Sighting,” are great models for a classroom newspaper project. The main characters are not age identified in the illustrations or text, so this book might be one to recommend for struggling 4th or 5th graders without calling attention to a clearly identified easy reader. Recommended for most elementary school libraries.
Frank Pearl In The Awful Waffle Kerfuffle
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Mcdonald, Megan
Madrid, Erwin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 26, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Frank Pearl “walks the dog” with his super-sleek Whizz Master 5000 yo-yo in preparation for a contest at the frozen yogurt shop. Descriptions of competitors fancy tricks culminate with Frank’s embarrassment when his Flying Skunk trick wraps around his head sending his glasses crashing to the floor. In his next competition, Frank’s parrot, Cookie, is spooked by the vacuum cleaner and starts calling Frank, “Poopy head,” ending hopes of winning that one. Frank’s resolve to win a competition leads him to enter the Breakfast Bash and Waffle-Off. Once again thinks don’t go as planned. Be prepared for groans and laughs as readers sympathize with all the snafus. Abundant, brightly colored digital illustrations, short sentences and blocks of text, make this transitional chapter book appealing to a wide range of readers. Fountas & Pinnell level other books in this series at L and M.
Amazing Military Robots
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Price, Sean Stewart
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 26, 2014
Kline, Karen
This four chapter book, 32-page book explains the jobs that military robots are designed for -- “the three d’s -- dull, dirty, or dangerous. Readers get a paragraph or more on more than a dozen military robots from the early 1900s to the present. One page is devoted to a working definition of a robot which includes the necessity of sensors, processors, effectors, and a power source. Descriptions of robots that can charge into burning buildings to those that can carry thousands of pounds of military equipment to remote controlled bots will make this high interest reading, though the high vocabulary will make the readability for much of the target audience challenging. Relevant and engaging photos on every two-page spread, multiple access points on a page, and bolded terms defined at the bottom of pages and repeated in the glossary are just some of the scaffolded supports readers and educators will appreciate in this book. Sure to be highly circulated in elementary libraries. Average binding quality. Other books in the series include: Awesome Space Robots, How Robots Work, and Robot Competitions.
How To Write A Comic Book
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Yomtov, Nel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 27, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page book is part of the Language Arts Explorer Junior series. The book will appeal to students who are working on their own comics. The book describes what a comic is, some expert tips for the reader's own comic, characters, story elements, and publishing. There are activities at the end of each chapter that give the readers practice on the various elements. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, index, and author information. This book will give your readers who like to draw information to take them to the next level and put their drawings into a comic. A strong purchase to enhance your drawing section.
Peggy : A Brave Chicken On A Big Adventure
CLARION [CLARION]
Walker, Anna
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 27, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Peggy enjoyed all the things a chicken does like eating breakfast and watching birds, but she also enjoyed activities like bouncing on her trampoline. One day a gust of wind picked her up and carried her far away to the city. Peggy decided to go for a walk and enjoy the pleasures of the city like shopping, riding the escalator, and going to the movies. She got on a train and followed a girl with sunflowers then pigeons helped her find home. Peggy is a charming character, but the story is slight and the ink and photo collage illustrations are the best part of the book.
Learning And Sharing With A Wiki
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Truesdell, Ann
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 27, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page book is part of the "Information Explorer Junior" series. The book explores wikis. The reader will learn what a wiki is, why one might use a wiki, and how to use a wiki. Each chapter ends with a "Try This" page which give some instructions or activities related to wikis. There is also an internet safety chapter that discusses changing things on a wiki, personal information, and plagiarism. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, index, and author information. If you have classrooms that have wikis, this could be a good resource.
Boy And A Jaguar
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Rabinowitz, Alan
Chien, Catia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 27, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
A boy is misunderstood because he stutters except when he sings and when he talks to animals. He promises a jaguar in the zoo that he will protect animals if he can learn to speak fluently. As he grows up the boy learns techniques to control his stuttering and become fluent. He also studies animals as an adult and he must overcome his stuttering to convince officials in Belize to protect wild jaguars. Later he meets a wild jaguar in his studies and talks to it like he once did in the zoo. This is a touching story based on the life of the author. The story does not flow, but it might be used to discuss overcoming challenges and following your passion as well as animal conservation. The acrylic and charcoal pencil illustration fit the darker aspects of the story.
Mouse And Mole, Secret Valentine
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Yee, Wong Herbert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 27, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Mouse and Mole are best friends and they are both very excited about Valentine’s Day. They make homemade valentines together and seek around the woods delivering them to each of their friend’s houses secretly. Mouse keep getting gifts from her secret valentine, but she can’t figure out who it is. Mole buys roses and chocolates and makes one more secret gift for Mouse to invite her to the dance. Mouse sees the invitation just in time, so she goes to the dance and finds out that Mole is her secret admirer. This is a light-hearted early chapter book with charming color illustrations sprinkled throughout the text on every page. This is a good addition to Valentine’s Day books for readers who are moving beyond picture books.
Curious George Visits The Dentist
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Rey, H A
Young, Mary O'keefe
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 27, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Curious George has an aching tooth from biting a wax apple so he needs to go to the dentist so she can check it out. He is very nervous and escapes from the dentist and finds other children at the dentist’s office. Of course he getting into mischief, but he also makes the children relax so the dentist can examine their teeth and help them. In the end George finds out that he will lose the tooth, but a permanent one will grow in its place. This is a simple story with a predictable lesson about relaxing at the dentist so the dentist can help you, but young readers will identify with this familiar character.
Princess Penelope's Parrot
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Lester, Helen
Munsinger, Lynn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 27, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Princess Penelope is greedy and spoiled, so when she receives a parrot for her birthday she wants it to do exactly what she wants. She yells insults at the parrot because it won’t speak. Then Princess Penelope finds out that a very rich prince will be visit and she does everything to try to impress him. Unfortunately the parrot decides to hide and yell at the prince all the insults he learned from the princess. The prince is disgusted and runs off and the parrot joins him and they live happily ever after. Princess Penelope does not learn her lesson, she just decides to get ready for the next rich prince. This is a cute story with fun watercolor and ink illustrations. Young children will enjoy the bratty princess and how the parrot gets her back for treating him badly. There is a free downloadable version of the story and the link and password are in the book.
Water Balloon
CLARION [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
VERNICK, AUDREY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 27, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Life is changing for seventh grader Marley and she is not sure how to deal with it. She had so much fun before with her friends playing games and hanging out together. Now Marley’s dad has moved out and her best friend since forever doesn’t seem to be around much. She decides to surprise them with a water balloon attack like they used to do, but that plan backfires and she loses her best friend forever. A boy comes into her life and everything gets even more complicated. This is a familiar coming of age story about dealing with life changes and relationships.
All About Drawing Cool Cars : Learn To Draw More Than 40 Hig
Walter Foster/lerner Publications C [Walter Foster/lerner Publications C]
Shelly, Jeff
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 27, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
If you'd like to draw vehicles, this is the book for you. 41 different vehicle are presented in this 80 page drawing book. The beginning of the book explains some drawing exercises, the tools you might use, and how the basic shapes are used to create vehicles. Then 5-6 steps help readers draw cars, boats, planes, and more. The last step is a suggestion for coloring the drawing. It seems that the last couple of steps add lots of detail that may frustrate the young artist, but will also challenge. Fun fact boxes appear throughout the book giving the reader more information about the vehicle on that page. The book has a table of contents and glossary. Binding may not hold up to heavy use. A good purchase to add variety to your popular drawing book collection.
Freddie Ramos Stomps The Snow
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Jules, Jacqueline
Benetiz, Miguel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 27, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Freddie Ramos continues his adventures in this easy chapter book. It is a simple story of a blizzard coming to Freddie’s neighborhood and he uses his “Zapato Power” in the shoes Mr. Vaslov invented to clear snow from sidewalks using super fast speed. A thief is in the neighborhood and Freddie uses his special shoes to find the thief, but he needs the help of Maria the mean girl. Large font and occasional black and white illustrations make this story appealing to readers who are just starting to read chapter books. It is the fifth book in the Zapato Power series.
Peyton Manning
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Anderson, Jameson
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 27, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Awesome Athletes" series, this 32 page biography looks at the life of Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning. The book opens with his Super Bowl win in 2007, then retraces his life from birth (1976) to Super Bowl XLVIII (2014 v. Seattle Seahawks). Because Manning is still playing in the NFL, his story is not over. Recently (Oct. 2014) he broke a passing touchdown record, making this book out of date. The "highlight reel" page (a timeline) is odd because the order is in a diagonal fashion instead of left to right, top to bottom. This might confuse young readers. The text is well-written and the book contains many color photographs. The book includes a table of contents, timeline, glossary (words are bolded within the text), web resources (provided through the publisher website), and index. The book will appeal to football fans.
Celebrating Massachusetts : 50 States To Celebrate
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Bauer, Marion Dane
Canga, C.b.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 27, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Mr. Geo is traveling to the Bay State, Massachusetts. This Level 3, Green Light Reader, is part of the "50 States to Celebrate" series. The book tells the story of Mr. Geo's visit to this state. After showing where Massachusetts is in the US, the first half of the book focuses on Boston. Mr. Geo then visits Plimouth Plantation, Cape Cod, and finally the Berkshires. Cartoon illustrations are lively and fit the well-written text. "Did You Know" sidebars are found throughout the book, giving the reader additional facts. This book will give the young reader a good introduction to this state. The book includes a fact page, timeline, glossary, author information and activities. Review copy was paperback, 36 pages.
Lord And Lady Bunny -- Almost Royalty!
SCHWARTZ & WADE [SCHWARTZ & WADE]
Horvath, Polly
Blackall, Sophie
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 27, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
I'd always considered Polly Horvath to be an acquired taste, but with this book I finally get it. This is the second book about Mr. and Mrs. Bunny. Mrs. Bunny dreadfully wishes to be queen, so with some eye-rolling Mr. Bunny indulges her in a voyage to England. On the same ship is Madeline--a human girl with a tremendous desire to have a college fund, but parents who put the "fie" in finance. They're hippies who believe life will provide. Synchronicity, you understand. A bossy bunny neighbor, a sweets shop destined for failure with the introduction of vegetables, a chance to meet the author and Oldwhatshername who wrote all those thick fantasy about the kid with the scar--this book is chock full of hilarious situations and improbable coincidences. What ties it together are the amiable but quirky Mr. and Mrs. Bunny who seem to have only one paw firmly planted in reality. Oh, and did I mention tea with the queen? This is absolutely hilarious. The writing is so clever and fresh you long to read bits aloud to anyone in your vicinity. Now I've got to go back and read the first book.
Mayflower
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Greenwood, Mark
Lessac, Frane
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 27, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 38 page picture book tells the story of the Pilgrims. The book opens explaining why the Puritans wanted to leave England. Then the text describes their journey and their first year in Plymouth. The reader will learn about the Mayflower Compact and the first Thanksgiving. The text is well-written and accompanied by beautiful color illustrations. The book includes a timeline and bibliography. Teachers will be able to use this book in social studies units, as well as, informational text lessons. If you don't have a Pilgrim story in your collection, this would work nicely.
Wild Animal Neighbors : Sharing Our Urban World
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Downer, Ann
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 27, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Everyone who lives in the city or suburbs has encountered wild animals nearby. This book takes a look at this reality in general and then focuses on seven wild animals commonly found in urban environments from crows and raccoons to sea turtles and gators. Each chapter focuses on one animal with background information, effects on the animals and humans, and reasons why the animal is often found in urban areas. There are also sidebars on scientific facts about the animal, captioned photographs, and subtitles to make the information more accessible. This would be a fine book for research or for background knowledge for nonfiction writing.
Girls Rock! : Amazing Tales Of Women In Music
Savvy/capstone Press [Savvy/capstone Press]
Tougas, Shelley
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 27, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 64 page book is a collective biography and part of the "Girls Rock!" series. The book covers many of the female icons in the music industry from yesterday and today. Janice Joplin, Selena, Grace Jones, and Marian Anderson are just a few of the women presented. Readers will learn about the innovations, contributions, and impact these musicians had on music and our culture. Each artist receives 3 or 4 paragraphs. There is a variety between vignettes, some are even written as first-person narrative (thankfully, the verso explains that they are works of creative non-fiction by the author). The reader will also learn how some of the women inspired others in the field. My only complaint is that there is no apparent logical order (not alpha, or chronological), so a table of contents would have been helpful. Also, it seems that the concluding pages that show artists by decade should have been in the front of the book to give the reader more context. While not useful for biographical research, this book would be an excellent jumping off point for students. There is an index and three item bibliography. Web resources are provided through the publisher's website.
Catfish
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 28, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Extreme Fish" series, this 32 page book looks at Catfish. Each "chapter" is two pages. They include engaging, color photographs and a paragraph or two of text (white or black text on top of the photo). The reader will learn about species, habitat, body, senses, attacks on humans, and fishing. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, and index. With a fishhook going through each chapter's title, one might consider placing it with the fishing books instead of it's 597 designation.
Sea Turtles
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Furstinger, Nancy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 28, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 48 page book is part of the "Core Library: Amazing Reptiles" series. The book explores the sea turtle. Readers learn how sea turtles are different from land turtles, the life cycle of the sea turtle, their diet, habitat, and risk of extinction. Color photographs will attract and engage the reader. Primary source quotes and common core based activities are found at the end of each chapter. The book includes a table of contents, fast facts page, glossary, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), index, and author information. A solid, well written book that will enhance your reptile section.
Geckos
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Gagne, Tammy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 28, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Amazing Reptiles" series, this 48 page book looks at the gecko. Readers learn what a gecko is, the varieties found, the range, and sizes. The book describes the life cycle, communication, diet, habitat, and camouflage. The book has common core related activities and some primary source excerpts. The book will be useful for animal research as it has a table of contents, glossary, map, bibliography (web resources provided through the publisher's website), index, and author information. A Strong purchase if you are updating your library's reptile section.
Smart Kid's Guide To Losing A Pet
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Petersen, Christine
Rooney, Ronnie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 28, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Many kids have to deal with the death of a pet. This book helps to explain many aspects of this event. Part of the "Smart Kid's Guide to Everyday Life," this 32 page book begins by explaining how animals became domesticated pets that are part of the family, the life cycle of an animal, and the end of life. The book explains euthanasia, burial, and cremation. The book then describes the grief process, how you can remember your pet, and even planning a funeral. Color photographs and illustrations enhance the well-written and concise text. My school psychologist read this book and reported that the book is well done and will be useful to some students on their own or with an adult. The book has a table of contents, fact page, glossary (words are bolded in the text), index, and 2 item bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website). This is a strong purchase for a hard topic.
Making Better Sentences : The Power Of Structure And Meaning
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Vickers, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 28, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Find Your Way With Words" series, this 56 page book looks at sentence structure. The reader will learn the different types of sentences, using punctuation, common errors to avoid, using modifiers, variety, and putting good sentences into writing. The book contains tons of information, which is broken up in a variety of ways by the engaging and colorful layout. The book not only gives grammar rules, but also many examples with humor. The book has a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography. This book will be useful for working with small groups in English Class or learning support.
Pope Francis : Spiritual Leader And Voice Of The Poor
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Lanser, Amanda
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 28, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Essential Lives" series, this 112 page book looks at the life of Roman Catholic Pope Francis. The book opens with his election as pope and the reason the church had to select a new pope in 2013. Then the book goes chronologically through his life from birth in Buenos Aries, Argentina in 1936 to the present day (2014). The reader learns about his life in Argentina and his joining the Jesuit priesthood. The book addresses Argentina's Dirty War and the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the church. There is a chapter the describes the workings of Vatican City. The text also covers his ascension in the Roman Catholic hierarchy. We learn why he chose Francis as his papal name. The text is well-written and organized. Call out boxes give the reader additional background information to help in the understanding of the church and events of the time. Photographs are found throughout. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, essential facts, bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website), source notes, index, and author/consultant information. While the book will be valuable for biographical research, Francis's life and work continues making this book quickly out of date.
MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY AND ENGINEERING
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
MOONEY, CARLA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 29, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Let's Explore Science: Science and Technology" series, this 48 page book explores how technology is helping the field of medicine. The content is broad, but very interesting. Readers will learn about medical equipment (stethoscope, thermometer, etc.), diagnosing illness (x-rays, CAT scanners, microscopes, etc.), medicines (aspirin, vaccines, etc.), technology used in surgery (anesthesia, ventilators, laparoscopic, etc.), and making replacement body parts. The future of this field is also discussed. This is clearly an overview and readers will probably want to explore some of the topics more in depth with other materials. The layout is appealing and color photographs and illustrations are found throughout the book. There is a table of contents, index, glossary, author information, and a list of three websites to visit.
Fishing
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Ringstad, Arnold
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 29, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Great Outdoors" series, this 24 page books give the reader an introduction to the sport of fishing. Each two page "chapter" discusses an aspect of the sport. What it is, equipment, places to fish, freshwater, saltwater, and safety. Call out boxes highlight additional information (ice fishing, catch & release, etc.). Color, captioned photographs are found throughout and enhance the well-written, concise text. The book has a table of contents, glossary (words are bolded within the text), bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website), and index. You probably don't have many books on fishing in your library, so this would be a strong book to add to your collection.
Discover Dirt
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Hall, Pamela
Yamada, Jane
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 29, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Science Around Us" series, this 24 page book offers a simple introduction to the study of soil. The text covers the different types of soil, why soil is important, erosion, air and water in soil, and what makes dirt. There is a two-page spread the compares soil in the desert with that on a farm. Large photographs can be shared in group/class settings making this a great book for science lessons. The book includes a table of contents, glossary (words are bolded within the text), bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website), and index. Purchase to add a lower level science book in your earth science section.
Soil
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Hirsch, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 29, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Rocks and Minerals" series, this 48 page book takes a close look at dirt. The reader learns what soil is and why it is important for life. How soil is made and the various types of soil are explained. The text also describes erosion and its effects on soil. Side boxes contain background information to help the reader understand the text (quicksand, termites & soil) or give the reader another topic to consider (Pompeii, dirt detectives). At the end of each chapter the reader will find common core related activities and sometimes a short primary source document. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, index, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), and author information. A good book to support your science curriculum.
Isaac Newton : Genius Mathematician And Physicist
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Mooney, Carla
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 29, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Great Minds of Science" series, this 48 page biography explores the life of mathematician and physicist, Sir Isaac Newton. The book begins with his early life and readers learn of the scientists the came before him and who's work he built his work upon. Then we learn about his years at Cambridge University and his work with light. The final chapters focus on his work "Principia" and his legacy. Short primary source documents and common core related activities are found at the end of each chapter. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, bibliography (web resources provided through the publisher's website), index, and author information. This book would be useful in biography research or parts could be used in the study of informational text. A solid offering for your biography section.
Mary Cassatt
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Cernak, Linda
Morrow, J. T.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 29, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of "The World's Greatest Artists" series, this 24 page book, will provide the reader an overview of the life of American impressionist, Mary Cassatt. The reader will learn about impressionism, Cassatt's childhood, her evolution as a painter, her various works of art (including her block prints), and her later life. Cartoons with speech bubbles are found on various pages and while they might attract readers, don't add much to the text. For example on the page that shows a painting of a mother and child, the cartoon says "I have a baby photo like that!" Many of Cassatt's works are reproduced in the book, however, some do not contain the title in the caption. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary (words bolded within the text), bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website), index, and author/illustrator information. A good book to use during an art unit on impressionism.
Pablo Picasso
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Bailer, Darice
Morrow, J. T.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 29, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of "The World's Greatest Artists" series, this 24 page book, will provide the reader an overview of the life of artist, Pablo Picasso. The reader will learn about cubism, Picasso's childhood, his evolution into this style of work, his various works of art, and his later life. Cartoons with speech bubbles are found on various pages and while they might attract readers, don't add much to the text. For example on the page that shows "Large Still Life on a Pedestal Table" the cartoons say "Picasso calls this painting a still life." "It doesn't look very still to me!". Many of Picasso's famous works are reproduced in the book. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary (words bolded within the text), bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website), index, and author/illustrator information. A good book to use during an art unit on cubism.
Knife Of Never Letting Go
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Ness, Patrick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
October 29, 2014
Dame, Anne
In a town where everyone can hear the thoughts of everyone else, how do you hide a secret? Well, you run away. Which is exactly what Todd did, just a month before he would become a man rather than a boy. Unfortunately, the pursuers can still hear his thoughts. Some may find the dystopian plot and the boy/girl main character combination to be a bit predictable, however, I thought it was extraordinarily well-written. Very creative use of font to indicate the Noise of everyone's thoughts. Plus it was written as the boy talks (which did drive me crazy at first) but it totally contributed to the cohesiveness of the book. It is the first of the series - and it did make me cry; there are a couple of spots that are just heart-wrenching. There is definitely violence and some cursing, making it a choice for older and/or mature readers.
Ask And The Answer
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Ness, Patrick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
October 29, 2014
Dame, Anne
Second book in the Chaos Walking series. While this book continues the darkness and violence of book 1, it does have the following great quote: "You only have to see the ocean once to learn how to miss it." I found it to be well-written and complex, but as with all second novels it is definitely a bridge to the third and conclusion of the series. There is torture and war, good vs. evil - where the good seem to keep dying and evil grow even more evil, so definitely steer this to older, more mature students.
Graduation Day
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Charbonneau, Joelle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 29, 2014
Dame, Anne
Book 3 (conclusion) in The Testing series Cia has vowed to end the testing, no matter what it takes. She decides to join the rebels which holds it's own dangers, traitors, and saboteurs. A satisfying ending to the series with some unexpected plot twists. Even though there was lots of action and adventure, it didn't draw me in as much as it potentially could have.
In The Shadows
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
White, Kiersten
Di Bartolo, Jim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 29, 2014
Dame, Anne
This is a mixed media format with the written text by Kiersten White and the art story and illustrations by Jim di Bartolo. The art is dark and creepy and intense and quite well done – except that it can be difficult to tell the characters apart. The text, which alternates with the art, lays the groundwork for the two parts to come together. There is an extraneous romance not necessary for the plot. Overall it is very interesting and unique. This is for higher level readers due to the format and some gaps in the timing and alternating storylines.
Viminy Crowe's Comic Book
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Jocelyn, Marthe
Davila, Claudia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 29, 2014
Dame, Anne
Reminiscent of "Malice" by Wooding, this book alternates between the real world and the comic book world. It is for a slightly younger audience, however. Viminy Crowe is a comic book artist and he's got a booth at the Comic Convention. Unfortunately, his shipment of comic books has not arrived and he is in panic mode. His niece, Addy Crowe, who has an advance copy of the comic, goes the the cafeteria where she runs into an annoyingly talkative boy named Wylder Wallace. Wylder is a huge fan of the comic and is terribly excited to get his hands on a copy of it. Somehow Addy and Wylder end up in the actual comic, affecting events and generally messing up the whole story. Fun characters even if a bit predictable, great steampunk drawings and setting for the comic book. Students will enjoy it.
Artemis Fowl : The Opal Deception Graphic Novel
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Colfer, Eoin
Rigano, Giovanni
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 29, 2014
Dame, Anne
The illustrations tend towards lots of blues, greens, and oranges but are clear and it is easy to differentiate the various characters. There is enough backstory for a reader to understand the action without having read the earlier books in the series. Those who have read the text version will likely find this a bit too brief for their liking. However, it may tempt some into reading the text version if they haven't.
Gems
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Vanvoorst, Jenny Fretlan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 29, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Rocks and Minerals" series, this 48 page book explores gems. Reader learn what a gem is, the four precious gems, the semiprecious gems, organic & synthetic gems, and tools of the trade. There are common core related activities and some short primary source information at the end of each chapter. Color photographs and informative sidebars enhance the well-written text. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), index, and author information. Your budding gemologists will enjoy this book and it will be used in conjunction with science units on rocks and minerals. This is a book your should add to your science collection.
Colonel Harland Sanders : Kfc Creator
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Llanas, Sheila Griffin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 29, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Food Dudes" series. While the 32 page, 8" x 8" book looks slight, it is packed with information about fast food restaurateur, Colonel Harland Sanders. Each two page "chapter" give a bit of insight into his life. Starting with his birth in 1890, the book chronicles his childhood, his service station (that began to sell chicken to go), his development of the secret KFC recipe, franchising, expanding, and eventually selling his business. The reader learns how he became a Kentucky Colonel. He died in 1980 at the age of 90. The book discusses his legacy. Captioned photographs accompany the understandable text. The book has a table of contents, timeline, glossary (words bolded within the text), and index. Web resources are available through the publisher's website. This would make a good resource for biography projects.
Garden Monster
ORCHARD BOOKS [ORCHARD BOOKS]
Giff, Patricia Reilly
Palmisciano, Diane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 29, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Best friends, Jilli and Jim, with the help of Jilli’s dog, Fiercely, are planting a garden with the seeds Nana had bought in this beginning reader chapter book. While it’s hard work, they eagerly anticipate dressing up as vegetables for the Vegetable Parade at summer’s end and perhaps winning a medal. Jim mentions a book about a garden monster that grew huge plants and ate them, providing a rather tame plot line for a book with Monster in the title. The main action is watching one particular plant grow so rapidly that it towers over the garden and of course this is the plant with half a leaf eaten and a monstrous footprint just beside. Cheerful oil pastel drawings portray a bucolic rural life, but school age readers may find the illustrations of adults dressed as a peapod or eggplant a bit preposterous. This is the third book in the Fiercely & Friends series, a bonus for young readers increasing their reading level with Easy Chapter books. Purchase if you need to build your early chapter book collection.
Dinosaur Zoom!
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Dale, Penny
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 29, 2014
Sepessy, Lona
Colorful dinosaurs zoom in vehicles, racing across deserts, splashing through rain, chugging in a tractor, and jumping mud puddles on motorcycles to gather for a surprise birthday party for the littlest dinosaur. This well-crafted board book may not be the best for bedtime, but packs in verbs, colors, weather, geography, and exclamations on every page. The varied dinosaurs and vehicles will entertain the vroom and zoom readers and the plentiful details in each two-page layout, will provide plenty of conversation for the many readings anticipated. While formatted for preschoolers, descriptive words such as, skidding, squelching, reversing, and rattling could easily be introduced with kindergarteners and left in a reading corner. A great gift for preschoolers, but purchase only if you use board books.
SONS OF THE 613
CLARION [CLARION]
RUBENS, MICHAEL
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
October 29, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Isaac is facing his upcoming bar mitzvah unprepared. When his parents go on a trip to Italy, leaving him and his younger sister under the "care" of his older brother, Josh, things go bad fast. Josh has decided to turn Isaac into a man. This involves exercise, wardrobe changes, being forced to sleep in a tent, strip clubs, bars, missing school, becoming estranged from the only friends he has, shooting guns, riding a motorcycle, jumping off a cliff, and general humiliation. The goal is apparently to make him strong enough to face up to life's bullies, but truthfully Josh is a bully and sadistic. Of course that's not the message here. The author has written a solid book with fully-realized characters and big emotional power. The bittersweet ending, however, seems forced and, as things deteriorate, it seems there is no good lesson to be learned here. My biggest issue, however is the language. Profanity flows from the author's pen like ink, and questionable situations abound. Truly, if I hadn't had to review the book I would have thrown it out after the first 20 pages. Maybe teen boys do act and talk this way, but not in my world. That makes it hard to recommend the book for school library purchase.
Cheryl Miller : Basketball Hall Of Famer & Broadcaster
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Howell, Brian
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 30, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Legendary Athletes" series, this 112 page biography focuses on the life of basketball superstar and sports broadcaster, Cheryl Miller. Miller was an amazing basketball player in high school, college, and on Olympic teams. She helped women's basketball gain in popularity. Since there was no WNBA when she finished college, she heading into coaching and broadcasting. The book opens with her 105 point performance in high school, and then follows her life chronologically through 2012. Because she is still alive and active in her career this book will eventually be out of date, thus the additional rating. The book had many photographs and the text is clear. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, source notes, bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website), author information and fast fact page. A worthy purchase if you are trying to get more women or current subjects in your biography section.
Bill Clinton
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 30, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This simple 24 page biography is part of the "Abdo Kids: US President Biographies" series. The book looks at our 42nd President, Bill Clinton. Each two page spread includes large photographs (good for group/class sharing) and 1 or 2 sentences. Readers learn only the basic facts....."Clinton was president for eight years. The US did well in those years." There is not much depth, however, this could be used to introduce the idea of biographies to our youngest students. The book has a table of contents, glossary (4 words), index, and a URL to the publisher's website. At $19.95, this is an additional purchase.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 30, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This simple 24 page biography is part of the "Abdo Kids: US President Biographies" series. The book looks at our 32nd President, Franklin Roosevelt. Each two page spread includes large photographs (good for group/class sharing) and 1 to 3 sentences. Readers learn only the basic facts....."Roosevelt married a woman named Eleanor. They had six children." There is not much depth, however, this could be used to introduce the idea of biographies to our youngest students. The book has a table of contents, glossary (4 words), index, and a URL to the publisher's website. At $19.95, this is an additional purchase.
ANCIENT MAYA
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
SOMERVILL, BARBARA A
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 30, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Ancient World" series, this 112 page book looks at the world of the ancient Maya of North America. The reader will learn what archaeologists have learned about this amazing culture. The history, art, technology, science, religion, and other aspects are covered. Side bars give the reader additional context and color, captioned illustrations accompany the well-written text. There is also information about the Maya today and the challenges they face. The book has a table of contents, biographical sketches, timeline, glossary, bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website), index, and author information. A good choice for your collection, if you have a need.
Ettore Boiardi : Chef Boyardee Manufacturer
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Llanas, Sheila Griffin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 30, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Food Dudes" series. While the 32 page, 8" x 8" book looks slight, it is packed with information about Italian chef, Ettore Boiardi. Each two page "chapter" give a bit of insight into his life. Starting with his 1897 birth in northern Italy, the book chronicles his childhood, his work as a chef, opening his own restaurants, and preparing take home meals for his customers. This developed into his line of food products, now owned by ConAgra Foods. He died in 1985 at the age of 87. The book discusses his legacy. Captioned photographs accompany the understandable text. The book has a table of contents, timeline, glossary (words bolded within the text), and index. Web resources are available through the publisher's website. This would make a good resource for biography projects.