Reviews for month


Poop And Puke Eaters Of The Animal World
Blazers Books/capstone Press [Blazers Books/capstone Press]
Rake, Jody Sullivan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 05, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Rabbits, gorillas, and chimpanzees all eat their poop, because they need nutrients from the bits of food that pass through the first time without being completely digested. This title from Capstone’s Disgusting Creature Diets series explains that poop and puke, though possibly the most disgusting things eaten by animals, are consumed for good reasons. Baby elephants lack the bacteria for proper digestion until they eat their mothers’ poop. Wolf mothers keep their dens clean and keep predators from picking up their scent by eating their babies poop. Bird parents carry food to their babies in their stomachs and then vomit it up. Ruminants chew on regurgitated food as part of the digestion process. Dung beetles and others are also included. Each two-page spread includes a photograph that extends onto both pages and a paragraph of text. Fact boxes and glossary words are also embedded on many pages. Just display the title, and students will be motivated by the gross-out factor. When they finish reading, however, they will know why animals behave in this way.
World's Strangest Foods
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Klepeis, Alicia Z
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 05, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Despite the globalization of hamburgers, fried chicken, and lattes, some food items that are favored in their country of origin are still unknown elsewhere. Even a well-travelled individual might be unacquainted with many of the unusual foods described in this book from The Library of Weird series (Edge Books). Deep-fried scorpions or tarantulas, cows’ feet soup, grubs – alive or grilled, roasted guinea pigs, cheese with maggots inside, stinky tofu, and crispy pigskin ice cream are just a few of these local favorites. Each two-page spread contains a few photographs along with descriptions of four unusual foods that people eat somewhere in the world. The text boxes that contain this information each have a title and utilize a variety of shapes and colors to add visual interest. While the book clearly employs the gross-out factor to attract an audience, the author does encourage the reader to keep an open mind. Students who enjoy the short, unusual items in the Ripley’s and Guinness books will find this one fascinating as well.
Animals Helping To Detect Diseases
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Gray, Susan H
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.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 05, 2015
Garrard, Thom
In order to accurately diagnose disease, doctors often rely on tests that are expensive, slow, or in some places in the world simply unavailable. This book from the Children’s Press True Book series explains that some dogs are able to identify cancer, prevent seizures by alerting humans to low blood sugar, and even detect germs. In addition, African pouched rats have found unnoticed cases of TB, mice can sniff out avian flu, and fruit flies change the color of their antennae in the presence of cancer. Although medical researchers have reported some success in training individual animals to help detect diseases, however, the book misleads the reader into imagining the future deployment of an army of canine medical assistants. A quick check of current literature on this topic indicates that the goal of this research is to identify the volatile organic compounds or other substances that the animals are actually sensing, so that a device can be created that will do the same. Several pages of extraneous information on the history of disease identification and documentation, as well as some marginally related facts, are included, which further diminish the value of this book.
Sneaker Century : A History Of Athletic Shoes
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Keyser, Amber J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 05, 2015
Seasholes, Craig L
Got a sneakerhead in your school? Get this book. Keyser packs considerable detail and loads of photos into this 60 page overview of the world of athletic footwear. From Keds to Chuck Taylors to AirJordans and Kanye' $800 red Yeezys the commercial bonanza that is the sport shoe business hits the page, running. Today's shoes have traveled with us from the 10,000 year old sandals of twisted sagebrush found in Central Oregon to the latex slippers of the Amazon rain forest toat resemble modern Vibram FiveFinger shoes. Goodrear discovered vulcanization of rubber by heating sulfur with latex, but died penniless. German shoe manufacturer Adi Dassler slipped his shoes onto Jesse Owen at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and launched Adidas. Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman' Nike grew from partnership with Univ of Oregon track and field to become NIKE, Inc in 1964. Moving into film and entertainment world, 1961 saw West Side Story pitting the white Keds-clad Jets face off against Shark' black Converse. There's plenty of fancy footwork going on behind the scenes of Michael Jordan's remarkable business sense, as with Maria Sharapova's tennis, the rappin of Run D.M.C, and the total package of Kanye West. An engaging read.
Won Ton And Chopstick
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Wardlaw, Lee
Yelchin, Eugene
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
September 05, 2015
Seasholes, Craig L
Black cat has it made Until puppy steals the show Hi-cute poetry This is a tale to follow up to this cat's first ALA Notable picture book, also told in haiku. All begins harmonious in the middle kingdom of a kitty Won Ton's life with Boy: "It's a fine life, Boy. /Nap, play, bathe, nap, eat, repeat./Practice makes purrfect." ...until a puppy arrives. Clever patterned poems tell the story as this cool cat's jealousy and displeasure gives way to canine companionship. Endearing watercolor and pencil illustrations by Eugene Yelchin capture Won Ton's surprise and displeasure as well as the puppy's adore-ability to win over child and cat alike. Lee Wardlaw's haiku cleverly tell the story while holding to the spirit and structure of Haiku 5-7-5 syllable form. "Your secret revealed./What kind of name is Basho?/I shall call you...Friend." this one will be popular with pet lovers, poets and teachers alike.
COME AUGUST, COME FREEDOM : THE BELLOWS, THE GALLOWS, AND TH
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
AMATEAU, GIGI
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 06, 2015
Wittmann, Paula
Gabriel is born into slavery in 1776. As he grows he sees the injustice of the institution in a land that has just fought for its freedom. Trained as a blacksmith like his father before him, Gabriel finds he is suited to the craft. He is strong and talented and perhaps more importantly finds that working at the anvil allows him to do his best thinking. The craft also allows him a measure of freedom in that he can be hired out to make additional money, part of which he can keep. He hopes to use the money to buy the freedom of his fiancée, Nanny, and then himself. However, he takes a stand when a white man threatens Nanny and is sent to prison. When he and Nanny are finally wed, they make the decision that he should use his skills at the anvil and at leading to organize and lead a slave revolt inspired by the revolt that lead to freedom in Haiti. Based on a true story, and using primary source documents interspersed this is a compelling read. I wish that there had been a more complete note about the history behind the novel though as I really hadn’t heard about this part of our history.
Nantucket Blue
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Howland, Leila
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 06, 2015
Tucker, Merrilyn
Cricket intended to spend the summer on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and her family. Life got complicated when Jules's mother died suddenly; the family closed ranks and dis-included Cricket from their Nantucket holiday. Cricket, almost 18, decides to go to the island anyway and be in close proximity if Jules needed her. Cricket finds work at a Bed and Breakfast, but discovers that Jules wants nothing at all to do with her. After several twists, turns, and drama, Cricket listens to herself and follows her own instincts, not driven by what others think of her. It turns out to be a summer to remember! I really enjoyed this book and sympathized with the main character on many occasions. Growing into and having to answer to oneself is definitely a turning point in maturity with lessons learned the hard way. Language, sex scenes, alcohol, and drugs push this into the teen realm.
Day No One Was Angry
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Tellegen, Toon
Boutavant, Marc
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 06, 2015
Wittmann, Paula
Short stories featuring the theme of anger fill the pages of this collection. The characters are a variety of mainly woodland animals that are wonderfully illustrated with illustrations that are reminiscent of Golden Books from the 1950s. The stories are unusual and would make interesting discussion starters. The animals, like people, are affected by anger in many ways. Some let anger isolate them from others, others find it cathartic, some let it change the mood of a day or how they relate to others and some are not often personally impacted. Students and adults should appreciate the complexity of anger portrayed as they read these stories.
End Of The Rainbow
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Donnelly, Liza
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 06, 2015
Garrard, Thom
When the rain stops, a little girl wonders aloud to her cat what is at the end of the rainbow that appears. As they set out to go there together, the girl imagines a teddy bear, while the cat is thinking of a fish. Along the way, they encounter a rabbit, and then a bird, a turtle, and a horse in succession. As each animal accepts an invitation to join the expedition, a thought bubble reveals what she hopes to discover there. Before they can arrive at their destination, however, the rainbow disappears. Undaunted, the girl proclaims that their new-found friendship is even better than anything else they had imagined. The simple ink and watercolor illustrations perfectly compliment the mood of this sweet celebration of companionship. Like other books in Holiday House’s I Like to Read series, the simple text uses and repeats many one- and two-syllable words. Since most pages contain one or two sentences printed in a large, clear font, beginning readers will be able to enjoy reading it independently.
3, 2, 1, Go!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Mccully, Emily Arnold
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 06, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Elephant children Ann and Bess exclude Min from their game of school because Ann says she is too young. She shows Min a line at the edge of their play area and tells her not to step over it. Min goes to work by a nearby tree gathering a couple of large rocks, a long board, and a big tube. After donning her helmet, she climbs inside the tube, uses the rope to drop the rock on one end of the board, and catapults herself and the tube into the “school.” She proclaims that she didn’t “step” over the line- she flew over it! After this display, Bess at least is ready to play rocket scientist instead. The colorful ink and watercolor illustrations help the reader understand how Min builds her launch system, (though one can only hope that they will not try this at home). Although Ann’s actions set a negative tone at the beginning, most students will relate to the feeling of being excluded, admire Min’s perseverance, and enjoy her ultimate success. Like other books in Holiday House’s I Like to Read series, the simple text uses and repeats many one-syllable words. Since most pages contain one or two sentences printed in a large, clear font, beginning readers will be able to enjoy reading it independently.
Everything
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Dodd, Emma
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
September 06, 2015
Garrard, Thom
In this brief picture book, a mother koala tries to determine what she loves best about her child. After considering the smile, the laugh, the hug, the sweet face, and other attributes, she decides that the answer is everything. The simple text consists mainly of rhyming couplets. One or two of these seem forced, which interferes a little with the flow, but the warm feelings that the book evokes are enough to overcome this. The digital illustrations are cute, and the use of reflective gold paint for some of the elements, such as water, leaves, sun, and raindrops, adds visual interest. This sweet little book would be good for one-on-one sharing with a preschooler, especially at bedtime.
Tv Remotes
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Koontz, Robin
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.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 06, 2015
Garrard, Thom
TV Remotes, part of Rourke’s How It Works series, begins with a history of the first remote controls and continues with a discussion of the functions controlled by different buttons. Remotes operate with either infrared or radio waves, but the only difference noted between the two kinds is whether or not the remote works through a wall. As far as explaining how a remote works, the book doesn’t get any deeper than “push a button and it sends a signal to the tv.” The technology involved might be tough to explain in simple terms, but most students in the intended audience probably already know everything included here. Each spread has a full page color photograph with several lines of text in a large, clear font (and sometimes a diagram) on the opposite page. A teaching plan on the verso suggests that the focus be on fluency, specifically using expression, but this is not addressed by the suggested before and after reading activities. A photo glossary of the (mostly) tier 3 vocabulary is a nice touch. Table of contents, index, and websites are also included.
Grace
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Parkinson, Kate
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 06, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Grace wants to dance, but she is saddened by her repeated failures and by discouraging comments from her classmates. She makes pictures to cheer herself up. When she paints a backdrop for the dancing, her classmates are thrilled, and she feels great. So she keeps making pictures (and dancing, too). Cartoon-like ink and watercolor illustrations provide good visual cues to support the storyline. Given that she is obviously aware of her struggles on the dance floor, the negativity of her classmates' remarks seems unnecessary. Yet, most students have probably been ridiculed at one time or another and will empathize with Grace. The flexibility that allows her to uncover her true talent and ultimately to achieve success can serve as a model for young students. As with other books in Holiday House’s I Like to Read series, the simple text uses and repeats many one- and two-syllable words. Since most pages contain one or two sentences printed in a large, clear font, beginning readers will be able to enjoy reading it independently.
Monstergami
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Mitchell, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 06, 2015
Wittmann, Paula
Libraries with origami fans will appreciate this book that features multi-paper monsters. The book begins with a basic overview of folds and directions and then shows eighteen monsters that can be created out of multiple squares of paper. This is not origami for the beginner but rather someone who has some experience. Some of the monsters are a little indistinct and would benefit from some eyes and other details drawn on them, but others are detailed and intricate featuring fangs, tails and designs using the white side of the origami paper. An added benefit is that many of the creatures could be mixed and matched with heads and bodies creating even more monsters with a little creativity.
Sport-O-Rama
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Tardif, Benoit
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 06, 2015
Seasholes, Craig L
Librarians count on our Canadian cousins at KidsCanPress to publish school-worthy titles that are deliver the goods. Sport-o-Rama is a case in point: (pulling straight from the publisher's notes) "This engaging wordbook offers a primer for young children on the essential words and phrases associated with twenty-three different sports." Indeed. http://www.kidscanpress.com/products/sport-o-rama Two facing pages are given to each sport. Simple, bright, blocky, retro-Ed Emberley-meets-Lego-people feeling the illustrations are as charming as the small humorous details in text and illustration that will make kids smile. People who like the style will recognize kinship with Blexbolex's books (Seasons, People, from Enchanted Lion Press. Sport-O-Rama is perfect for beginning readers and ELL students alike and is a word book is well worth adding to elementary school collections.
Amazing Applications And Perfect Programs
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Gifford, Clive
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2015
Seasholes, Craig L
First of four titles in a "Get Connected to Digital Literacy" series by Crabtree Publishing covers basic terminology of today's ubiquitous information technology. Written at F&P Level T, one would assume that the audience has heard most-but not all-of the terms already. Maybe useful as an overview, but will have a short shelf-life as technology continues to advance. Other titles in the series cover Coding, Networking and the Science of Computers. At $40 for the series, it may be useful in some elementary libraries or technology labs...(But that money would also buy some terrific apps!) Color pictures and text features to break it down into simply bytes-sized chunks. Text and illustrations seem to favor Microsoft over Apple programs, but may reflect a carefully calibrated "current users" rationale: also included are Android and Linux operating systems. But what's with "have a grown-up help you" text included in most of the "try this" suggestions? More likely the grownups may be asking kids "how do I...." as often as not. Maybe that's who the book is really written for, after all, folks who've grown up with books who want to be sure they know what's what in the world of computers.
Dinosaurs From Head To Tail
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Moriya, Kwanchai
Moriya, Kwanchai
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 07, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Some dinosaurs had some unusual body parts, such as a curved crest, a plated back, or a long neck, which make their identification possible. In this book, the reader is challenged to guess a dinosaur based on a close-up view of one physical feature. The next spread reveals the answer, depicting the whole dinosaur in a natural setting and providing a paragraph of text with several facts about it. After presenting seven dinosaurs and one other prehistoric creature in this way, seven more are grouped on one spread, each with a small picture and a sentence about a prominent physical characteristic. The colorful illustrations resemble cut-paper collage and could provide inspiration for art projects, although these are actually digital productions with added textures and photographs. Young dinosaur fans are sure to enjoy the interactive nature of this book, and some of the less common dinosaurs presented here will extend their knowledge base. Given the limited amount of information included, however, they will quickly absorb all of these facts and be ready for more.
Biggest Blunders In Sports
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Hoblin, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 07, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Nobody’s perfect, but errors made at critical times by professional athletes tend to have a large audience, and fans have a tendency to remember. This book covers a lot of territory, including Jim Marshall’s 66-yard run to the wrong end zone, the premature celebration that disqualified the fastest relay team at the 2001 women’s world swimming championships, the grounder that went between Bill Buckner’s legs in the World Series, Chris Webber calling a timeout the end of the NCAA title game when his Michigan team had none, and Cal’s football team scoring the winning touchdown through the Stanford band that had marched onto the field because they thought the game was over. These blunders, as well as many more from all over the sports world, are included in this book. Each story is told with sufficient detail to help the reader visual the blunder and its significance. The use of sidebars to give briefer descriptions of other incidents allows additional mistakes to be included. On average, the photographs and sidebars cover half of every two-page spread and help to draw in the reader. Like the other books in the Sports’ Biggest Moments series, fun facts, a glossary, resources and an index are included.
Nobody's Perfect
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Elliott, David
Zuppardi, Sam
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 07, 2015
Garrard, Thom
A boy finds plenty of evidence to confirm the saying that “Nobody’s perfect.” His sister is too loud, his best friend can be a show-off, his mom is stubborn and doesn’t listen, and even he will admit that he is messy. However, he also acknowledges that there are times when he enjoys being messy, or showing off with his friend, or being loud with his sister. And when his mom does listen, those times are perfect. So, although “nobody’s perfect,” he accepts that they come close enough. Despite the small amount of text, Elliott successfully addresses a big idea in a way that kids can understand. Zuppardi’s energetic illustrations feature colorful acrylic backgrounds and scribbly pencil lines. Depicting the characters in a loose, cartoonish style with oversized heads perfectly matches the tone and message. This is a book worth reading.
Everybody Needs Sleep (But Not Fred)
CLARION [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Schneider, Josh
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 07, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Every animal needs sleep, except Fred apparently. With his active imagination and a hundred things on his to-do list, this young boy postpones bedtime as he travels to various habitats and does important things. His jumping, shouting, horn testing, karate chopping, and Sasquatch hunting disrupt the sleep of the animals, so when his parents read boring poetry and he finally nods off, the animals tiptoe quietly away. The reader is warned to close the book softly, lest Fred wake and resume his activities. Just as in the storyline, each setting of sleepy animals is described in rhyming couplets, but Fred and his actions do not conform to the pattern. “But not Fred.” Small gags in the watercolor and ink illustrations complement the humor of the storyline. Parents and kids will be able to relate to this story about the boy who would not sleep, but there is probably too much humor here to make it effective as a sleep-inducing bedtime story. Boring poetry would probably work better. “ Sleepy bunnies blah, blah, blah…”
Scorching Supercars
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Goldsworthy, Steve
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 07, 2015
Seasholes, Craig L
Got kids who love cars? Need to update the applied technology section of the 600's? Supercars are unique, over-the-top engineering marvels produced to show-off just how sleek and fast cars can be. Priced at $350,000-$5 million these hot wheels are the automotive playthings of the very rich. They look cool and go fast... 200 MPH seems the current standard. The history of this unique class of cars takes readers from their origins in the '60s to the latest 2014 supercharged models. Lots of photos and details to pour over make this a high-interest addition at 3-4th grade reading level. Three other titles round out the "Dream Cars" series (with Blazing Hot Rods, Powerful Muscle Cars, Thrilling Sports Cars).
Experiments With Electricity
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Thomas, Isabel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 07, 2015
Seasholes, Craig L
Basics terms and concepts of electrical science explained with help of illustrations and simple text, along with 4 safe-for-kids experiments that demonstrate. Safety tips abound with "Have an adult...." and cautionary ! graphics. Bright color photographs and text features abound in this attractive, sturdy, serviceable book. One of four in their "Read and Experiment" series, others on Light, Heat/Cooling, Sound. While not explicit, this would align well with a early focus on NGSS activity based science lessons.
Sincerely: Sincerely, Sophie & Sincerely, Katie
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
Sheinmel, Courtney
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 07, 2015
Tucker, Merrilyn
Pen pal assignments in sixth grade lead to a friendship across the U.S. Each girl, Sophie in New York City and Katie in Redwood City, California, are going through big changes in their lives. Sophie’s parents are separating and divorcing and her best friend is only interested in being popular. Katie’s best friend, Jake, has fallen in love with a girl in their class and Sophie is thrown by his “betrayal” to their friendship. Half of the novel consists of Sophie’s first-person narration and letters, while the other half is Sophie’s. The details are remarkable realistic and created believable, flawed, rich characters with lives that mirror real kids’ lives. I will buy this book for my library and recommend it. The cover looks more light and fluffy than the story, which is a shame because it might turn off some potential readers.
Faerie After
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE]
Simner, Janni Lee
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 720 Post apocalyptic fiction and faeries seem an unlikely combination. However, Simner weaves these strands together to produce a thought-provoking and thrilling story about a girl at war with herself and her own magical abilities. In the last installment, both the worlds of faerie and mortal are disintegrating into dust. It’s up to Liza to find out what’s wrong and to find a way to repair the wounds of war. Liza must cross into faerie, putting herself, her family, her friends, and possibly a frenemy or two at risk. But the bigger is risk is hanging on to the old festering prejudices that caused the wars in the first place. Following Liza’s convoluted reasoning is a bit hard to follow and but worth the work to get to a satisfactory conclusion. Look for Bones of Faerie and Faerie Winter to complete the set. For readers who like Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. A good introductory quest series as well.
Grounded
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Wilkinson, Sheena
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
Sequel to Taking Flight. Declan Kelly is desolate when his cousin's horse, Flight, is sold, 18-year-old Declan jumps at a chance to take a job in a top German showjumping yard. He's somewhat sorry to leave his girlfriend, Seaneen, behind but not at all reluctant to leave behind his recovering-alcoholic mother and his hardscrabble life in West Belfast council housing. Before he can get his passport Seaneen turns up pregnant and Declan’s hopes are dashed but he’s determined to do the right thing. He can’t get an idea of what the right thing is and he becomes more and more emotional distanced. Meanwhile Declan rescues an abandoned and abused mare that gives him the perfect excuse to spend time at the barn. He gets entangled with a neighbor boy, who reminds him of himself in his pre-riding days. He wants to fix Cian but can’t and he can’t get the boy’s mother to intervene. Naturally there is a horrifying climax where Declan begins to understand the person he wants to be. Told in first person, the truths told in the novel are nuanced, spare and elegant. Will have to be sold because of the Belfast setting but worth the trouble.
Angel Fever
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Weatherly, L A
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
AD/AD+ In this conclusion to the Angel trilogy, the world has been devastated by earthquakes, allowing Raziel to establish Edens, battery farms that provide a controlled food source for the angels. The Angel Killers are planning for an all-or-nothing attack, but Raziel is one step ahead of them. It’s a nice twist on things since the angels are the bad guys, and there is plenty of action and heaping portions of romance, complete with jealousy, rivalries and lovers' quarrels interspersed with saving the world. The action scenes are quick and based on the “the impossible takes a little longer” premise; romance fans get supermodel beautiful characters, lots of kissing, and off page sex. A bit coincidental but readers won’t mind. If you have Angel Burn and Angel fire, you'll need this. Check out Weatherly’s site at http://www.leeweatherly.com/AngelSeries.html
Walking Wounded
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Lynch, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 930 The final book in Lynch’s historical fiction series about the Vietnam War that followed Morris, Rudi, Ivan and Beck and their experiences in the various branches of the military as they try to keep an eye on each other. In the final novel Rudi is killed and Morris goes home as his body escort. This is a more cerebral novel than the other four. Morris is trying to sort out his feelings about the war and his guilt in insisting that Ivan and Beck volunteer with him. First person narration continues, including the ghostly voice of Rudy, a good reminder that all of the characters are haunted by their experiences. There is no easy ending here. The bond between these friends “You don’t have to believe in the war to believe in the guys.” is the only meaning that they can take away. They are all walking wounded and demonstrate the inscrutable fate that these men face. The series is accessible to less facile readers and it is hard-hitting and accurate in its depictions. This is a powerful antidote to stories that glorify war.
Season Of The Witch
SCHWARTZ & WADE [SCHWARTZ & WADE]
Fredericks, Mariah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 520/ Hi Lo Toni had a great summer; at least she thought she had until she started getting text messages like “Get ready for hell.” And “Suffer bitch.” It could all stem from the fact the she had a little summer fling with Queen Bee Chloe’s boyfriend, Oliver, “Honest we’ve broken up.” Apparently on the first day of school they are back together and Revenge is the name of the game. Pretty soon Toni is starting to fear for her life. In swoops Cassandra, a girl who can take care of herself and is willing to help Toni fight back. Cassandra has been experimenting with the occult and while Toni doesn’t really believe, she’s desperate to to regain control of her life, and a little revenge might not hurt either. Oliver gets a silencing spell just at the time he’s interviewing for a prestigious intern position. If that works then there is something worse for Chloe in the offing. This is more than a novel about bullying, it’s a horror story about the seductive nature of power and how easy it is for nice kids to turn into dangerous kids. It also looks at the question of how and why girls’ sexuality is used against them when boys are not held to a similar standard. Explicit and provocative language and situations make this YA.
Exposing Torture : Centuries Of Cruelty
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Marcovitz, Hal
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 1230 The use of torture has been a concern in current history, albeit one that usually focuses on Americans as victims. But recently the debate on torture sometimes aims at Americans as practitioners. Marcovitz provides an overview of torture from ancient times through the present, the regimes who use it, and the impact on its victims. It’s a slim and well-organized volume that does not skirt around what the United States had done in places like Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, the use of extraordinary rendition, or the manuals that groups like the CIA have complied and used since the Cold War. Marcovitz avoids sensationalizing the topic, treating both it and his readers seriously; methods and particulars are described with restraint. Marcovitz succeeds in bringing focus to the larger issue of torture and the plight of individual victims around the world. As a side note, the inclusion of fraternity and sorority hazing, while brief, is timely and thought-provoking. Students doing research will find depth in this book and its extensive back matter. Includes drawings and photographs that extend the narrative, critical analysis, glossary, timeline source notes, selected bibliography, for further information, and index.
Straight Punch
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Polak, Monique
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 620/ HiLo / 8-12 /AD+/R Tessa McPhail can't stop "tagging"--spray painting designs, including her initials on buildings. She’s caught one too many times and sent to new Directions, a struggling alternative school in a poor neighborhood in Montreal. Half the day is spent in the boxing ring under the tutelage of Big Ron, a former professional boxer. The kids are tough but as Tessa gets to know them, she realizes that this is a school where she belongs. When a neighbor accuses the students of tearing out her flowers then burglarizing her house the community begins to rally around a petition to close the school. Tessa steps forward because she’s ready to fight for what’s right in and out of the ring. The writing is simple and straightforward, the students and Big Ron are given interesting back stories. The combination of graffiti, boxing and throwaway teens is an thought provoking and raises questions about what we as a society value. Kids who like problem novels will like this. Those who don’t consider themselves readers will read this.
Catch Rider
CLARION [CLARION]
Lyne, Jennifer H
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
Sid (short for Sidney) is 14 almost 15; she’s been around horses all of her life and she can ride just about anything. She just doesn’t have the money to own the horse she wants so she shovels manure, teats colic, pulls teeth, breaks and trains horses, identifies those with promise and those that are hopeless and rides anything and everything she can any weather working with her uncle Wayne an old-fashioned horse trader from Virginia horse country. She tries not to go home to an abusive step-live-in and a passive mother. She works at Oak Hill and loves the animals but not the spoiled owner or her daughter. But it’s a chance to learn to be a catch rider, the person who can be called on at any time, anywhere to ride any horse. She’ll have to curb her temper, not marry herself to any horse, get her mom free from her bad boyfriend, and get herself to the finals with two unlikely looking mounts for ASPCA Maclay finals in New York City. Lyne is a horsewoman herself so the details of horse trials and the language ring as authentic, including the occasional swear word. This is a wonderful modern day fairy tale with a spunky heroine and spunky horses
Dear Life, You Suck
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Blagden, Scott
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 740 Hi/Lo -- AD+/R Cricket Cherpin’s (yes, that’s his real name) life sucks. He’s stuck in a group home in nowhere Maine; his past is ugly and he doesn’t see much of a future. He has less than a year to figure things out before his 18th birthday. Will it be professional fighter or professional drug dealer? His fighting has earned him the rep of a bully, but his fighting keeps the younger kids at the home safe. He is thinking that the tall cliff next to the group home looks the choice might be one final cliff dive into the great unknown. Cricket tells his story with biting, irreverent sarcastic truth slowly revealing the circumstances that are leading him to the final swan dive. A sudden change in circumstances forces him to confront his penchant for violence, the relationships that has built, and the direction of his life. Cricket loves classic movies and television shows and makes frequent references to them. Readers will need to be movie and TV buffs to catch all of his references; but all readers will appreciate Cricket's complex, lovable character and the strong adults who nourish it. Plenty of f-bombs and gritty violence. Fans of teen problem novels will want this debut book.
The Throne
RED DEER PRESS [RED DEER PRESS]
Goobie, Beth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
It’s the beginning of the 10th grade and Meredith is determined to make her mark so she claims the “cool” seat in home room – behind the drums. That decision puts her direct conflict with Seymour Molyneux, a senior who because of his grade level had assumed that he would be in that coveted seat and tells her that she should “Go back where she belongs.” The Mol is the “kingpin of the underworld” and has tentacles everywhere so by the end of the week every set of pants she has worn has been ruined by gum wads surreptitiously placed on a chair seat, on a locker, on a door jamb with which she has had forced contact. She takes to wearing a rain hat with daffodils to cover her butt. It disappears. Every day it’s something else and Meredith and her friends try to figure out how to catch the culprits. Nothing works and the stand-off escalates. Meredith and her friends are threatened physically; Meredith is attacked with a rock by one of the Mol’s flunkies and ends up a partially shaved head and 10 stitches. The attacker is charged and turns in the Mol. In the end Meredith gains new friends and allies she didn’t know she had.
When The Stars Threw Down Their Spears
CLARION [CLARION]
Hamilton, Kersten
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
In this final book in the Goblin trilogy Teagan and her boyfriend Finn must keep Queen Mab and her between-worlds creatures out of modern-day Chicago. It begins in her high school cafeteria with a declaration of war. Protected by the magic of the dying faerie world, Mag Mell, Teagan, Aiden and Finn are on their way to the final confrontation, while their family and friends in Chicago defend our Earth. Tension builds exponentially with each discovery, near-capture and skirmish. The war between humans and goblins is not pretty: There's a lot of bloodletting and dying, and not all of it is on the side of the goblins. Snappy dialog, the fantastic world of sorcery and magic against the mundane 21st century balances out the darkness and doom of such a dire quest. The resolution is satisfying, but some beloved characters do not survive. Hamilton’s interpretation of Irish mythology helps with the world building and the consistency of magic in both worlds. Compelling story telling will make this a must read for fans of urban fantasy. (Grades 8-12)
Ghost Walls : The Story Of A 17Th-Century Colonial Homestead
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Walker, Sally M
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
( AD+/R) Sally Walker, winner of the 2006 Sibert Award for Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H. L. Hunley, turns her attention to the story of St. John’s House, a homestead built by John Lewger, a colonist who had come to Maryland in 1637 to escape the persecution of Catholics in England. The house stood for nearly 8o years and witnessed the beginnings of a new country, the trials of the indentured who sold their service in order to pay for their passage, and those of the slaves who had no choice in giving service or their lives. By the end of the 18th century the house and outbuildings had disappeared and all that remained were the ghost stories. However, historians and archaeologists were able to literally unearth information about the structure of the house and lifestyle of its inhabitants. The tension inherent in operating a system of indenture alongside a growing number of slaves is just one of the stories revealed by historical documents. With great attention to archaeological detail, Walker explores the work of the scientists who studied every aspect of the site, both physically and through historical records. The author's considerable skill at bringing historical stories to life is on display.
Waking Dark
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Wasserman, Robin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 870/ HiLo It’s Lord of the Flies set in Oleander, Kansas, and worse it’s a government science experiment that goes horribly wrong. Stephen King readers will gobble this one up. Twelve people dead in five hours: five murders dead by their own hand, except one and she has no answers only questions. A year later 5 survivors and the murderer are thrown together when a tornado devastates the town and the killing starts all over again. This unlikely group, a gay jock, a sweet unassuming boy, the law- abiding daughter of a meth-dealing clan, a self-described evangelist, and the sister of a victim, join forces to plot an escape. The back stories help fuel the tension until sanity is re-established. Great dialog, intriguing, sub-plots, and action packed chapters will keep readers flipping pages. Spooky, horrific, edgy, and so realistic that you’ll hope it’s only fiction. If there isn’t a movie adaptation there should be.
So much it hurts
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
POLAK, MONIQUE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 640/ HiLo /AD/AD+ Iris loves to act and at 17 she’s looking at colleges where she’ll be able to pursue her goal. But she doesn’t count on her skills becoming the only way that she can talk to her mother. All because she is now the make character in a life with an abusive partner. She didn’t think that she’d become a statistic either. But now it’s one lie not line after another and she is more confused than Ophelia whose become her alter ego. Iris is tired of lying to her mother, she’s tired of tip-toing around Mick a 31-year-old acting coach whose at school for a term. Most of all she’s tired of playing a part that is designed to have her end up dead. A straightforward cautionary tale with a couple of plot twists that include a savvy elderly neighbor, and the resurfacing of a largely absent father. Polack’s characterization and dialog are true to time and place and the addition of the interior monologues from Hamlet are bridges between the stage and reality. Kids who like problem novels will like this. Those who don’t consider themselves readers will read this.
Glamorous Garbage
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Newman, Barbara Johansen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 08, 2015
Garrard, Thom
The mess in Bobbie’s room has become a huge problem. A makeover into a glamorous big-kid room seems out of the question due to cost, but then Bobbie starts figuring out how to reuse items discarded by other people. Although she still has to make tough decisions to weed out toys she no longer uses, she and her mother paint, fix up, and repurpose the treasures she has collected. By reducing, reusing, and redecorating, she ends up with a room that she loves and enough giveaway stuff to hold a yard sale. The bright mixed-media illustrations help to convey the scope of the messiness problem and the unique character of the finished room, and far surpass the narration which much less lively. Kids who face the problem of managing and maintaining their rooms will be able to relate to Bobbie’s situation and find helpful ideas here, as will kids who want a new look but don’t have the money to purchase it.
Infinity Coil
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Chan, Marty
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 08, 2015
Datisman, Eve
Grade 7+, Ehrich Weisz, Demon Hunter, is continuing his increasingly desperate quest to rescue his brother in an alternate universe of1888 New York City. Now a fugitive, Ehrich is hiding in the city slums. Tensions are growing between the locals and the Dimensionals who are seeking to migrate to this world from other dimensions. Ehrich poses as a stage magician under the name Harry Houdini while searching for the assassin who has captured his brother’s soul. Hunted by his old comrades in the Demon Watch, helped by allies including the inventor Tesla, he struggles against two forces. Local authorities are led by Thomas Edison and his Demon Watch while a dangerous inter dimensional conqueror plots to invade this world. This is a trilogy where it is a must to read the books in order because of the complex plot, heavy reliance on fantasy worlds, and the need to know some New York City and US history, and the Steam punk conventions. Order: Demon Gate, Infinity Coil, Metamorphosis—coming in 2016.
People You Gotta Meet Before You Grow Up : Get To Know The M
Imagine Publishing [Imagine Publishing]
Rhatigan, Joe
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 09, 2015
Korf, Clarence
People You Gotta Meet sets the stage for students to interact with ordinary people in their communities who are making a difference. These individuals include common careers such engineer, doctor, police officer and firefighter but also a few unusual ones such as animal rescuer, alternative transporter and local historian. Other individuals include recent immigrants, people from different religions and seniors. The premise of the book is set up to help kids to interview various individuals in the community. Strategies and guidelines are given to help them be successful in knowing more about what these various community leaders do. Each person is given a short synopsis of who they are, strategies knowing more about them and some beginning questions to ask. Websites are provided as resources for exploration but not all were kid-friendly. Many used Bitly short URL’s which accuracy is important. Many web resources were good for students but remember any web link can become dated quickly. Overall, this book has merit in supporting students who are exploring careers and how they might be able to make difference in their community.
Secrets Underground : North America's Buried Past
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Macleod, Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 10, 2015
Korf, Clarence
Secrets Underground takes a look at a variety of underground stories all across North America. There are six chapters which provide a wide variety of archeological discoveries from buried cites to designed bunkers. Many secrets can be found including the ancient city Tenochtitlan under current Mexico City was a surprise to a worker who discovered a large carved stone, the many sailing ships were abandoned and buried in San Francisco, a cave which supported the Confederate Army during the Civil War, tunnels in Moose Jaw which were used for many purposes, a German spy mission foiled in New York city during World War II and a hidden government bunker in a resort town. The author provides a historical perspective on each of these underground stories with maps and pictures of the artifacts and individuals and groups involved in each of these locations. The mixture of popular and little known facts about underground environments made this book an intriguing read. Several sidebar clips of other undergrounds are included but placement did not consistently connect with the text. The book includes a timeline, places to visit, sources and further reading. It does not include any web resources for further online investigation.
U.s. Civil War : A Chronology Of A Divided Nation
Connect/capstone Press [Connect/capstone Press]
Peterson, Amanda
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 10, 2015
Dame, Anne
One of 4 books in a new series about the Civil War; the rest of the titles are: The Battle Over Slavery - Causes and Effects of the Civil War, Yankees and Rebels - Stories of the US Civil War leaders, and The Songs of Stone River - a Civil War Novel. This particular volume focuses on the chronology of events that happened during the war. It is quite basic, which is to be expected in a 48 page book about such a deep and broad topic. There are lots of primary source documents, including photographs, maps, paintings, and other documents. Most of the book is in full-color. There are also infographics, sidebars, fact boxes, callout definitions, critical thinking questions, and suggested internet sites as well as a table of contents, glossary, and index. A good starting place for students.
Glass Casket
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Templeman, Mccormick
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 10, 2015
Tucker, Merrilyn
Rowan and her best friend, Tom, live in a small village that also contains witches and magic and water nixies. Rowan's mother died when Rowan was young, and she has grown up with her father and a beloved house servant. When Rowan's "cousin," Fiona Eira, and her adopted family move to the village, life as the villagers knew it takes a turn for the worse. A vicious monster attacks and kills people. Fiona, although entombed in a glass casket, comes alive again. A Graywitch is bent on destroying the village. Tom falls in love with the new Fiona and she tries to lure him to the darkside. Not all is doom and gloom, however. A glimmer of a sweet young romance pops up near the end of the story.
Revolutionary War : A Chronology Of America's Fight For
Connect/capstone Press [Connect/capstone Press]
Smith-Llera, Danielle
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 10, 2015
Dame, Anne
One of 4 books in a new series about the Revolutionary War; the rest of the titles are: Battle for a New Nation - Causes and Effects of the Revolutionary War, Patriots and Redcoats - Stories of the American Revolutionary War leaders, and A Rebel Among Redcoats - a Revolutionary War Novel. This particular volume focuses on the chronology of events that happened during the war. It is quite basic, which is to be expected in a 48 page book about such a deep and broad topic. There are lots of primary source documents, including photographs, maps, paintings, and other documents. Most of the book is in full-color. There are also infographics, sidebars, fact boxes, callout definitions, critical thinking questions, and suggested internet sites as well as a table of contents, glossary, and index. A good starting place for students.
Messengers
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hogan, Edward
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 10, 2015
Dame, Anne
While Frances is at her aunt's house for the summer, she walk past an artist's beach shack. She is inexplicably drawn to him (pun intended!) and his work. As it turns out, they are both "messengers" and they have a hand in delivering peoples' fate. Frances is determined that they should be able to intervene and change the future. Peter (the artist) is scared of the possible consequences of their actions, however. It's a bit creepy, but very interesting plot with some unexpected twists here and there. Students who like Mary Downing Hahn may find this a good read-alike.
Justice
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Salane, Jeffrey
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 10, 2015
Dame, Anne
This is the sequel to "Lawless". M Freeman and some of her friends from the Lawless School have been taken captive by the Fulbrights. M has an agenda of her own to complete while appearing to work with the Fulbrights, although possibly they have some common goals. And lots of new tech! Personally, I wasn't a big fan of Lawless so it should come as no surprise that I can't rave about this one either. It's like a combination of H.I.V.E. and Heist Society - but not as good as either one. However, for your students who like action and adventure, "evil" boarding schools, and fights for world domination, this would be a good choice.
Super Sasquatch Showdown
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Harper, Charise Mericle
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 10, 2015
Dame, Anne
For your students who can't get enough of Wimpy Kid and Nate the Great. Morgan and Lewis, in this sequel to Sasquatch and Aliens: Alien Encounter, have received a mysterious letter and a key which may hold the answer to whether or not sasquatches really exist. Funny, lots of pictures, and boy appeal.
Juneteenth For Mazie
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Cooper, Floyd
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 11, 2015
Korf, Clarence
In 2015, Juneteenth celebrated its 150 year anniversary. Juneteenth for Mazie provides an introductory description of the importance of the Juneteenth celebration. Mazie is frustrated by being told no because of her age and her dad tells her a story of her great-great-great grandpa Mose and when he first heard that slaves would be free. The author goes on to tell of many of the struggles of the Afro-American community in living a life of freedom. The illustrated events will need further explanation with other titles since the text does not provide details on the Selma Bridge, Ruby Bridges and the swearing in of Barack Obama as president. The book does however provide good reasons for us to celebrate Juneteenth and remember that freedom is worth celebrating. Floyd Cooper’s illustrations enhance the text when close ups are provided with strong facial expressions. Many illustrations lose engagement when he draws back from his subject matter or does not include faces at all. At the end of this book is a brief history of why there is a celebration of freedom on June 19th.
Edwin Hubble : Genius Discoverer Of Galaxies
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Datnow, Claire L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 11, 2015
Korf, Clarence
Edwin Hubble had an incredible mind and passion for astronomy. He made amazing discoveries at an early age and influenced how we thought about the Milky Way and beyond. Readers will find out how purposeful and calculated he was in studying and photographing the night skies. His personality wasn't one of leading others through team leadership but through well thought out theories. He began the process of the big bang theory and even changed Einstein's thinking on the theory of relativity from being static to active. His discoveries brought other astronomers to build bigger and better telescopes to explore are evolving universe. This book can be a springboard for students who are beginning to explore the field of astronomy with a rich vocabulary. This book would have been enhanced if it had included a few color pictures of some of the photographs which Edwin Hubble had taken. The only photograph in the book is a black and white photograph of the Hubble Space Telescope. This book includes a chronology, glossary, further reading and index.
Les Miserables
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Williams, Marcia
Williams, Marcia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 11, 2015
Korf, Clarence
Marcia Williams’ adaptation of the classic story of Les Miserables provides younger readers access to this classic story. For all of us you enjoy reading and seeing the story of Jean Valjean will enjoy this short adaptation. The book is told in the sequence of the story with chapters created for various characters in the story. The book highlights the major events of the story briefly and understanding the plot is not difficult. As with any condensed classic, it may be better understood if the reader have seen a version of the play or movie. The graphic novel format with simple pen and ink drawings may engage a few readers but many younger readers may not enjoy the illustrations because of the lack of detail they have access to in many other graphic novels.
Driftwood
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Sherrard, Valerie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 11, 2015
Korf, Clarence
Adam is going on a two month summer coastal vacation without a friend who backed out at the last minute. His mom needs to re-discover her passion for art but Adam is all alone when his best friend decided not to join him. Adam’s frustration is quickly turned as he meets various kids his age who draw him into adventures in the coastal community. One of the individuals he meets is an older blind man named Theo who buys driftwood from whomever brings it to him. He feels the driftwood and he will tell a story of the origin of the piece of wood which come from all over the world. These stories are single chapters in the book and they each have a life lesson. Adam learns lessons of empathy, justice, trust and truth through Theo’s stories. One of the challenges of belief in this story is each piece of driftwood happened to have washed up on the same beach.
Best Soccer Players Of All Time
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Mcdougall, Chros
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 11, 2015
Garrard, Thom
The on-field careers of fourteen of the best athletes to ever play “the beautiful game” are profiled, including eleven men and three women. In addition to five paragraphs of somewhat dry text, each four-page “chapter” includes two photos in one and a half pages, a table of facts, and a number with special significance printed in an extra large font. For example, 103 is the number of games that Franz Beckenbauer played for West Germany in international competitions. These features help to make the pages more visually interesting. The claim that these are the fourteen best soccer players of all time is certainly enough to stir debate among fans because making comparisons between players of different eras is so subjective. Nonetheless, many might well agree on two-thirds of those named here. For youth who play the game, learning a little about big stars whose careers concluded before they were born will increase their soccer knowledge and their appreciation of the sport.
Football's Greatest Defenders
Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr [Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr]
Doeden, Matt
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 11, 2015
Garrard, Thom
The on-field careers of thirteen of the best defenders currently playing pro football are described in two-page spreads. Each profile begins with the description of a specific big play made by the player, tells what he does especially well, and concludes with a summary of his career from college to the NFL. A table of career stats and a few action photographs are also included. The claim that these are the best defenders in the league is certainly enough to stir debate among fans. For example, the inclusion of Earl Thomas will meet with the approval of Seahawk fans, though other members of the Legion of Boom also deserve to be included. This debate is further complicated by the fact that the 2014 season is not included. Since then, one of the thirteen featured players has retired and four more were released and are now on the rosters of other teams. Football players take such a beating that their careers are often shortened due to injury and their peak years are few in number. Young football fans might enjoy this type of book, but with a very limited shelf life its acquisition is a questionable use of limited library funds.
Wild Ideas
Owlkids Books, Inc [Owlkids Books, Inc]
Kelsey, Elin
Kim, Sayeon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 12, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Erin Kelsey and Soyeon Kim, author and illustrator of You Are Stardust, combine their talents in a beautiful picture book encouraging readers to observe nature and watch how animals solve problems. Three-dimensional dioramas illustrate a complex world of multicolor vegetation with children and animals helping each other. Part fantasy mixes with realistic animal behavior to drive home the point that sometimes, “problems spark marvelous ideas.” And there are different ways that animals deal with them. Orangutans weave nests, elephants innovate, and animals get frustrated and try again until sometimes inventions are created. Chimpanzees fold leaves to drink water and humpback whales blow bubble nets to trap fish. Kelsey concludes, “Problems that need solving will always be part of life. Untame your imagination . . .” The author leaves readers with an explanation of why she wrote this book and should be shared with students. Pair this book with “What do you do with an idea?” by Kobi Yamada.
Twin Powers
CLARION [CLARION]
Lipsyte, Robert
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 12, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Twins Tom and Eddie lived in different time periods not knowing about each other, when their worlds, Earth One and Earth Two, intersected in the first book of the series, The Twinning Project. After battling against aliens who want to destroy the Earth, the half-alien twins, and their friends and confidantes, Alessa, Britzky, and Ronnie are now being chased by Government agents masquerading as friends but with evil intentions. Hercules, an alien who challenges Tom to grow his powers, arrives and along with space and time travel, a grumpy dog micro chipped by the agents, and wonderful chase scenes, creates an action-packed, thrilling science fiction sequel. While it does stand alone, readers will better appreciate the plot after reading the first book with enough potential threads left for a third book. Note that the teen bullying, discovery of sexual identity, and level of government betrayal could be seen as controversial topics in some communities. The author has had a successful career as a New York Times journalist, ESPN ombudsman, won an Emmy as a TV host, and received the 2001 Margaret A. Edwards award for his YA books.
Volume Of Possible Endings
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Else, Barbara
Broad, Sam
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 12, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Metalboy, the creation of the inventive King of Fontania and Dorrity, the only child of Owl Town, become involved in a heroic quest in the third book of the Fontania series. Metalboy, with his carefully crafted jasper heart and the Dragon Eagle feather accidently hidden behind his heart, evolves from a purely metal existence and begins to exhibit human feelings. The drama commences when Dorrity, living with her three older brothers in Owl Town, discovers a hidden magical book recording five confusing endings that seem to point to her. The fast moving plot includes, kidnapping, motorcycle-riding anarchists, humans turned into animals, wild escapes sliding on giant flower petals and escaping in a submersible with a bear clinging over head. Fantasy lovers won’t be disappointed and can easily read this as a standalone in the series.
Willy Maykit In Space
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Trine, Greg
Burks, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 12, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
When a speedy, Android-piloted Starlite 3000 is given to the school, Willy Maykit’s fourth grade class plans a one-day field trip to Planet Ed, just outside the Solar System. But Willy wanders off by himself and is left behind after a freak hailstorm sends the Starlite speeding back to Earth. Willy discovers Cindy has been left behind and the duo encounter Norp, an alien, also left behind on a school field trip. The threesome band together and with Norp’s knowledge escape from the monsters Tarzan style and successfully scavenge for food. Later that night though, Max, the robot pilot, crashes the rescue ship and by the next day the monsters appear wearing sunglasses and more efficiently chasing them during the daylight. With a joke-cracking Android, Willy’s pet seagull, and an always-hungry alien, humor drives the action in this romp of a mild middle-grade, science fiction novel. As space travel becomes more possible, interest in planetary exploration and possibilities for alien life will fuel interest in this genre and plenty of adventures remain to drive a sequel.
Biggest Chokes In Sports
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Hawkins, Jeff
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 12, 2015
Garrard, Thom
A sports team or individual athlete who establishes a large lead early in a specific contest or season-long competition must maintain concentration and fight a natural tendency to relax, or their lead may disappear. Each story in this book describes a “choke” with sufficient detail to help the reader understand the depth of the shock and disappointment when a large, early lead vanished. For example, in a 1993 NFL playoff game, Houston led 35-3 in the third quarter, but Buffalo came back to win 41-38. In addition to football, chapters are dedicated to baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, and individual sports. The use of sidebars to give briefer descriptions allows additional chokes to be included. On average, the photographs and sidebars cover half of every two-page spread and help to draw in the reader. Like the other books in the Sports’ Biggest Moments series, fun facts, a glossary, resources and an index are included.
Rita's Rhino
ANDERSEN PRESS USA [ANDERSEN PRESS USA]
Ross, Tony
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 12, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Dissatisfied with the flea and the tadpole offered by her family, Rita goes to the zoo to find a pet. The rhino agrees to go, so she sneaks him out of the zoo, squeezes him into the elevator, and hides him in her room. Ill-prepared to care for him, she finds that his food is scarce and expensive, hiding the piles of his poop is unpleasant, and he can’t be left alone when she goes back to school. She leaves him on his back in the schoolyard with his horn stuck in the ground to prevent him from moving. After she tells her teacher he is actually her bouncy castle, the other children jump on his stomach. Finally, the rhino decides to return to the zoo. Inexplicably, they miss each other and reunite annually in the summers for a few days at the beach. Strengths of this book include the fine ink and watercolor illustrations and some humorous bits in the plot. If the author intended this as a cautionary tale about the responsibility involved in being a pet owner, however, then his point is obscured by making it about a pet rhino. Clearly, this is one animal that should never be a pet. Although the story ends with happy days at the beach, that cannot erase the horror from the way that Rita has mistreated the rhino.
TIMEKEEPER
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
MONIR, ALEXANDRA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 15, 2015
Tucker, Merrilyn
In this second book of the series (I did not read the first), Michele Windsor, a time traveling and very wealthy high school student, is yearning for the young man she left behind in an earlier era. Michele faces many obstacles in pursuing her love, and also faces challenging situations with other time traveling characters and in other events. The author tells an entertaining story on a topic that she is clearly passionate about. Not only does she write about time travel, the author also has written music to accompany both of her books, and this can be found on her web site. To me, the characters felt a bit flat, as if the plot were more important than they or their actions were. Some vocabulary was misused and shows the lack of strong editing. This book may appeal to middle or high school students who enjoy this genre.
Star Wars : Rescue From Jabba's Palace
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Siglain, Michael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 16, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this "World of Reading" Level 2 paperback young readers get a brief overview of the rescue of Han Solo from Jabba's palace and the destruction of the pleasure barge. Bold digital illustrations accompany text that briefly tells the basic story without any side trips into motives or connections between the characters. Is it great literature? No, but it will still be extremely popular with young readers who are Star Wars fans--pretty much every young reader.
Star Wars : Ewoks Join The Fight
Disney Lucasfilm Press [Disney Lucasfilm Press]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 16, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this "World of Reading" Level 1 book beginning readers get a quick and dirty overview of the fight on Endor from "Return of the Jedi." Short declarative sentences are accompanied by bold illustrations in this 32-page book. Many plot points are left out, including everything that happens on the Death Star. There is no nuance here, and no character development. Just a step-by-step brief narrative. Still this is a Star Wars book and it will leap off the shelf. It is well-suited to the intended audience.
Ollie's Class Trip : A Yes-And-No Book
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Calmenson, Stephanie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 16, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
When I stumbled upon "Ollie's School Day" last year I found a winning first-day-of-school book for my preschoolers and kindergartners. Now here's a story for teachers to share before that first field trip. Ollie's class is off to the aquarium. The text consists of questions such as "How will the class get to the aquarium?" Three totally silly possibilities are presented, each with an imaginative illustration and a big colorful NO! Turn the page and a realistic answer is offered with a vibrant YES! The format begs for reader participation, which makes it a great choice for story time. It also offers a chance for classroom discussion on key field trip points. Ollie's an enthusiastic kid, and the wonderful watercolor illustrations by Abby Carter are lively and joyous. Add both the Ollie books to your collection.
Doctor Nice
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Gorbachev, Valeri
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 16, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! Winter's here and the animals are experiencing health problems. Colds, headaches, breaks, sprains, and even frostbite abound! Luckily Doctor Nice has the cure for each condition. He truly is a treasure. At the end, when Doctor Nice's mother pokes her head in to announce lunch, the reader discovers the doctor is a child, treating his stuffed toys. This is a fine example of imaginative play and Gorbachev's watercolor and ink illustrations nicely match the text. They are filled with gentle humor, amusing details, and a sense of warm companionship. This sweet story is sure to become a favorite lap book.
Lost Dog
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Garland, Michael
Carter, Abby
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 16, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
His intentions were good. He only wanted to give a birthday gift to his grandmother. Heavy traffic, however, inspires the dog to take the road less traveled by, and soon he is completely lost. Different animals offer different directions and the types of animals show the reader that he he has, indeed, gone far afield. Luckily a lift from a whale sets him on the right path again and all ends well. The story is slight, but that's sort of the point. It's a fun easy reader designed to give beginning book-lovers a sense of triumph as they conquer the written word. This does an especially nice job of it as the simple text is accompanied by Michael Garland's trademark illustrations that pop from the page with color and expression. It's an excellent addition to collections serving the very young.
House That Jane Built : A Story About Jane Addams
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Stone, Tanya Lee
Brown, Kathryn
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Jane Addams was raised in a wealthy home, but all around her she saw people in need. How could this smart, well-educated woman help? In Europe she learned about settlement houses--places where both poor and rich lived together, creating a community of mutual assistance. Could such a thing work in the United States? Jane was determined to find out. A big house in a poor neighborhood seemed the perfect site. Soon Hull House was open. It had its bumps at the beginning, but with a strong, loving woman at the helm, willing to sacrifice everything for others, soon a community was created which grew, and grew.Education, the arts, health, food--these were only a few of the things to be found in this place that offered a step up out of poverty. This inspiring book unveils the vision of Hull House and the exceptional woman who brought it to fruition. Warm, inviting illustrations by Kathryn Brown accompany the equally heart-warming text. This is the sort of book you want to share, proving that one person with a dream can make a difference in the world.
This Is Ant-Man
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Wyatt, Chris
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Before the movie there was...ANT-MAN! In this "World of Reading" Level 1 book, beginning readers get a quick overview of Ant-Man's backstory. Short declarative sentences combine with bright comic-esque illustrations to create an easy-reader that will especially attract young boys. Is it fine literature? No, but it doesn't try to be. Instead it is the kind of candy-reading that keeps beginning readers reading.
Avengers : Beginnings
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Macri, Thomas
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
C'mon--who doesn't love the Avengers? But where did they come from? This book offers two-page spreads that give the backstory of the main Avengers, while covering their first adventure in rescuing the Hulk from a false accusation caused by Loki's trickery. Bold cartoon illustrations accompany the basic text. Mind you, youngsters who think they know the heroes because of the movies might be a bit befuddled since the backstories don't match. It doesn't matter. Anything starring the Avengers will fly off the shelves.
Evermore Dragon
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Joosse, Barbara
Cecil, Randy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Girl and Dragon are friends of a derry-day. They play hide-and-go-seek, but Girl is much better at it than Dragon. She gets lost and cries silvery worry worry tears as cricking and cracking sounds might mean monsters in the night. Fortunately a true friend's heart can hear her distress and she is rescued by her dear dear dragon. Barbara Joosse plays a bit with language, swirling it around like a fine cook so it has just the perfect taste. Randy Cecil's oil illustrations have a muted, textured look, where the facial expressions hold the key to everything. This is a lovely, heartwarming story.
What James Said
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Rosenberg, Liz
Mallett, Keith
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
James and I used to be best friends, but not after what he said. He said it to one kid, who said it to another, who said it to another. He had to have known it would come back to me. How could he have said that? I'll ignore his friendly overtures and his confusion over my anger. James should never have said that...except, it turns out, he didn't. This is a first-person account of a common childhood problem--misunderstandings, often unfounded, that lead to confusion and pain. Only when the two actually talk does she find out what James really said. Liz Rosenberg's clear and expressive text is accompanied by Matt Myers gorgeous watercolor illustrations that thrust the reader directly into the character's emotions. This would be a terrific discussion-starter for any classroom.
Llegar A Ser Pedro : Como Los Hermanos Martinez Llegaron Has
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Tavares, Matt
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Matt Tavares' beautiful and well-written book, "Growing Up Pedro" has been translated into Spanish. This is the story of Major League pitcher Pedro Martinez, but also the story of his older brother Ramon. Both, at an early age, became baseball stars in the Dominican Republic, and it was the example of his elder brother that inspired Pedro to follow, and then surpass him. The book is clear and eloquent--each word carefully chosen. The spirit of the Martinez brothers, their unity, their joy in the game, and their hard work are all clearly presented. Add to that the spectacular and evocative, beautifully-rendered illustrations and you have a true winner here that is not just for baseball fans. This radiates the spirit of the game, of course, but also illustrates how excellence can be achieved through desire and hard work--a lesson that applies to just about every endeavor.
First Grade Dropout
CLARION [CLARION]
Vernick, Audrey
Cordell, Matthew
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This first person account tells the true horror of a young boy who makes such a dreadful mistake that he knows he can never return to school again. He will, instead, become a first grade dropout. What he did was so embarrassing that everyone, even his best friend, laughed. Sure, there are things he's going to miss, but how can he show his face again? Yet he does, and somehow things work out. This is a gently humorous tale of typical kid trauma, with fun watercolor illustrations. It would make an hilarious read-aloud.
Where's The Baboon?
ENCHANTED LION BOOKS [ENCHANTED LION BOOKS]
Escoffier, Michael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
September 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The author and illustrator who brought us "Take Away the A" are back with another book about playing with words. Is it a book? Is it a game? It's two, two, two things in one...except it's not much of a book. Or rather, it's not much of a story. The broad outline is that it is a day at school. Different animals are there. Each tall double-page spread is filled with a humorous illustration and a question, within which can be found the answer. For example: Who is making SNowflAKES? Evidence in the picture, as well as the highlighted letters in the question tell us that it is the snake. This is a clever concept, and would lead naturally into readers creating their own questions with embedded answers. It's a cute gimmick, but is that enough? I loved "Take Away the A" but it sits on the shelf. Buy this only if you have a generous budget.
Avengers : The New Team
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Lim, Ron & Rachelle Rosenberg
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Bright cartoon illustrations accompany simple declarative text as beginning readers learn about the Avengers B team--handy when the A team is in trouble or unavailable. This is just a description of each person from Hawkeye to Vision, and their abilities. There's no plot. It doesn't matter. The book will still be very popular.
Dojo Daytrip
Owlkids Books, Inc [Owlkids Books, Inc]
Tougas, Chris
Maurey, Katty
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The young ninjas and their long-suffering sensei from "Dojo Daycare" are back. Now they're off on a field trip to the farm. All should go well but, typically, does not. Their poor leader finds himself in one predicament after another. Lamentably his students forget the number one rule of ninjas--to always help someone in need. They're so busy with kicks and jabs and stealth and games that they neglect their duty. Only when their master screams for help do they spring into action. This is another rollicking, rhyming tale with bold computer illustrations that pop from the page. It's sure to be a hit with the intended audience.
Water Is Water : A Book About The Water Cycle
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Paul, Miranda
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Jason Chin's beautiful and expressive watercolor illustrations combine with Miranda Paul's poetic text to create a gem of a book about water. Water is water to drink, until it heats up. Then it is steam until it cools into clouds. This doesn't just lyrically illustrate the water cycle, it follows children through the year as water changes form into fog and rain, ice and snow. It shows states of matter, changes of season, and ends with water nourishing trees that provide apples that provide cider which circles us back to a drink. Four end pages of additional information about water are included, and there's a nice bibliography. This is beautifully formatted and right on target for providing information without being didactic. Every school should have this book on their shelves.
Ben Draws Trouble
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Davies, Matt
Aguirre, Jorge
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
I LOVED the first Ben book by Pulitzer Prize winner, Matt Davies. It, like this book, had an irreverent humor reflected in the quirky illustrations and text. The first book, however, dealt with the universal theme of bullies. This one targets something a little bit different--following your muse. Ben loves to draw. The problem is that his drawing is interfering with his education. Then there are the cartoonish drawings he has created of people at his school--students and staff. Kept in his PRIVATE sketchbook they are a deep dark secret. However, secrets have a way of coming out. When his sketchbook ends up on the teacher's desk, all may be lost. However, talent can be channeled usefully and, fortunately, his teacher recognizes this. The writing is clever and beautifully matches the kid's-eye-view of the illustrations. This is another winner that speaks to the rebel in all of us.
Ghost In The House : A Lift-The-Flap Book
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Paquette, Ammi-Joan
Record, Adam
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
There's a ghost in the house all alone, until he hears a groan. Lift the flap. Now a mummy joins the ghost then they hear a growl. Lift the flap. Now a monster joins the team and so on and so on. As each sound is heard in the creepy haunted house a flap is lifted and another spooky creature joins the crowd. But it's the boy under the last flap that makes all the others flee. Rhythmic rhyming text, and the fun of lifting a flap to find out what comes next, make this book a winner. Of course it won't last, but the extra stiff pages and sturdy stitching will at least take it through Halloween. I'm going to be pairing it with Ketteman's "At the Old Haunted House" for a great Halloween/counting story time.
Not This Bear : A First Day Of School Story
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Capucilli, Alyssa Satin
Hussey, Lorna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The author of the Biscuit book now introduces us to cuddly Bear. It's Bear's first day of school and he is determined to be contrary. Soon, however, he is drawn into the various fun activities of Bear School, and he even finds a friend! This is gently sweet and all the bear cubs in the school are absolutely adorable. The day ends with coming to fetch her cub, which is warmly reassuring. One quibble--they're all bears, so why is Bear named Bear? Still, that's a minor thing. This would be a lovely book to read to a child who is about to enter preschool.
Crow Of His Own
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Lambert, Megan Dowd
Costello, David Hyde
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
It's never easy to replace someone, and even harder when that person leaves big shoes to fill. That's the situation Clyde faces. The scrawny rooster is taking the place of Larry, who's moved on. Apparently he was an amazing rooster. Most of the farmyard animals have pretty low expectations for the new guy. He ups his game, but his efforts are not really representative of who he is, and are doomed to failure. It is only when he chooses to be himself that he succeeds. This is a delightful little tale with humorous and detailed illustrations by David Hyde Costello and a lot of puns, that children probably won't catch, in the text. It could lead to some great discussions on not comparing yourself with others.
Star Wars : Rebels : Always Bet On Chopper
Disney Lucasfilm Press [Disney Lucasfilm Press]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This easy reader is from the Star Wars Rebels series and is based on the episode "Idiot's Array" from the cartoon series. Computer-generated illustrations from the cartoon accompany very simple text (Level 1) that introduces Chopper, a droid. Unfortunately Zeb loses Chopper to Lando in a card game. Only some shady dealings will get him back. Everything goes wrong, but Chopper comes through in the end. This is a very simplified telling of the story, and is not exceptional story-telling. However, Star Wars books are always popular and this will be no exception.
Sofia The First : Riches To Rags
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Amerikaner, Susan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! Sofia the First's father, the king, is overwhelmed with his duty and makes a wish that he were a baker instead. His wish is granted and soon he and his family are running a bakery. However, he soon realizes that his job as king was important and he makes a much better king than a commoner. This is a very brief easy-reader summary of the plot from the episode of the series called "The Baker King." Accompanied by cartoon illustrations, it is very slight but will have a ready-made fan base.
Star Wars : Rebels : Kanan's Jedi Training
Disney Lucasfilm Press [Disney Lucasfilm Press]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Based on the episode "Path of the Jedi" from the cartoon series, this is a Star Wars Rebels book that gives beginning readers a quick summary of Kanan training Ezra to be a Jedi. Facing your fears is the lesson to be learned, and the reward is the lightsaber crystal Ezra can use to create his own weapon. This is a very simplified version of the story, but all things Star Wars are ever popular so it's sure to find an audience.
Star Wars : Use The Force!
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Siglain, Michael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this Level 2 "World of Reading" book young readers get to read a very simplified version of Luke's training period with Yoda from "The Empire Strikes Back." Bright cartoon illustrations accompany the very simple text. There's no real development here, just a brief summary. However, that won't matter. The Force will be with this book, and the others from the series.
Avengers : Battle With Ultron
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this Level 2 "World of Reading" book beginning readers get a quick summary of the battle with Ultron from the movie. When Iron Man returns from repairing a satellite he's surprised his friends are gone. They've been captured by an evil robot named Ultron. He has to call in the B Team of Avengers to rescue them, which they do. This is just a quick overview of the plot, but it will please young fans.
Bureau Of Misplaced Dads
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Veille, Eric
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Oh dear--I accidentally misplaced my dad! A young boy tells of the problems that ensue when he loses his father. A stranger takes him to the Bureau of Misplaced Dads, where there are 20 or 30, all in fair shape. They come in all shapes, sizes, and talents, but none are quite right. Fortunately the boy realizes that he left his real dad pretending to be a coat rack, so all ends well. This is a quirky little story, translated from the French, with Gore-esque illustrations by Pauline Martin. French humor may have a harder time finding an audience here, but this would be a fun book for Fathers Day.
Achoo! : Why Pollen Counts
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Bersani, Shennen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 21, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Poor Baby Bear. He's lumbered out of his den into a beautiful spring day. Why is he so miserable and sneezy? Does it have something to do with that yellow dust all over the place? Baby Bear is allergic to pollen but he learns, from other animals, that pollen has many valuable uses. It is a food, a pollinator, and a snowflake maker. Maybe Baby Bear can learn to live with his allergies. The story is a tad didactic, but interesting and informative. The final pages of the book offer additional information on allergies, flower parts, and pollination. This is a nice mix of a narrative story and scientific fact that might find a home in a primary Common Core classroom.
Wandering Woolly
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Gabriel, Andrea
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 21, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Little Woolly is a young woolly mammoth who gets caught in the river and swept away from her herd. On her way back she encounters other animals, as well as Clovis humans, from the ice age. There is danger, but also the reassuring rumble of her family, carried through the ground. The bold illustrations have a collage quality about them. End papers provide further information about this time period and the people and animals who existed them. While not exceptional, this is still an adequate book that neatly ties in nonfiction facts with a narrative story.
Curious George Discovers the Rainbow
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 21, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In the "Curious George Discovers" series George the monkey becomes curious about a science topic and has an adventure that helps him learn more. While this book says it is about the rainbow and, indeed, does give information on that topic, it is also about weather in general. Based on the TV show, each book in the series includes a story, side panels offering more information, several experiments and a glossary. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany the text. This is no "Magic School Bus" but it does make the science approachable for young audiences, even if this book is a little random.
Curious George Discovers Germs
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Rey, H A
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 21, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In the "Curious George Discovers" series George the monkey becomes curious about a science topic and has an adventure that helps him learn more. In this book poor George is ill. What is causing his misery? Bad bad germs, of course. George dreams he travels into his own body to confront the germs. Along the way the reader learns about bacteria, hand-washing, chicken soup, and basic hygiene to prevent illness. Based on the TV series, each book includes a story, side panels offering more information, several experiments and a glossary. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany the text. This is no "Magic School Bus" but it does make the science approachable for young audiences.
Mouse's First Night At Moonlight School
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Puttock, Simon
Pye, Ali
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 21, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Oh scary-bears--it's Mouse's first night at school. A young witch is the teacher and Mouse and all of her classmates arrive carrying their lunch bags, ready for an evening of learning. Mouse is rather shy and she's nervous around Bat and Cat and Owl. (Which makes perfect sense since they are predators to mice, but that issue is never addressed in the book.) Mouse overcomes her fear by remembering good advice from her mother, and through the gentle friendship offered by her teacher and fellow students. This large format book is big enough for sharing. It would be a good book to read aloud on the first day of school.
Bad Kitty Makes Comics...and You Can Too!
Square Fish [Square Fish]
Bruel, Nick
Chin, Jason
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
September 21, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
With the rise of graphic novels more people are looking at the art of cartooning. Fans of Nick Bruel's Bad Kitty series will enjoy this humorous, yet cogent, introduction to the art form. Starting with a bad rip-off of "The Cat in The Hat" a cat provides instruction on all the basics and how to use them. Different tools are introduced. Readers learn the difference between a cartoon, a comic strip, and a comic book. Panels, splashes, different types of word balloons, sound effects, comic effects and more are all presented, with a chance to practice. It's really quite fascinating. If you were starting a cartoon club with kids this would be the book you'd use to get your lessons. However, despite the author's careful introductory text urging readers not to write in the book...c'mon, that's practically impossible. So I wouldn't recommend this for library use. However, a copy each for cartoon club members, or a birthday gift for that artistic kid-- that would be a great way to use this book.
Curious George Discovers The Sun
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Rey, H A
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
September 21, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In the "Curious George Discovers" series George the monkey becomes curious about a science topic and has an adventure that helps him learn more. This book focuses on the sun, solar energy, a blackout, and how to make a solar oven. Based on the TV series, each book includes a story, side panels offering more information, several experiments and a glossary. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany the text. This is no "Magic School Bus" but it does make the science approachable for young audiences.
Boy On The Bridge
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Standiford, Natalie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 22, 2015
Tucker, Merrilyn
When American Laura spends second semester abroad in Leningrad, Russia, she scoffs at her instructors' warning not to fall in love with a Russian. Soon, Laura meets Alyosha, in an encounter with the gypsies on a bridge. Alyosha frightens them away, and he and Laura then strike up a secret friendship. The friendship turns to love, then talk of marriage. Should she heed the warnings, or go with her heart? I enjoyed this book thoroughly, especially the details of the winter's harsh landscape, the wretched food, the 1980s era of the Soviets' love-hate relationship towards America, and the feelings of an 18-year-old girl wooed by a 23 year-old-young man. Girls and boys alike may enjoy this historical fiction novel, even with its less than perfect ending. This book is appropriate for 7th to 12th grade for its mention of drinking and alcoholism, and reference to sex scenes that take place off the page.
Kate Walden Directs : Bride Of Slug Man
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Mata, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 22, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
After the success of 7th grader Kate’s first film, “Night of the Zombie Chickens,” what will she do for her sophomore effort? Alyssa, best friend and star of “Zombie Chickens” wants a romance, but Kate is having trouble coming up with good ideas for a script. When new kid Tristan joins the 7th grade class with stories about life in NYC and about a film he has made, Kate struggles with jealousy, especially when lots of kids want to be in Tristan’s gangster movie while Kate is struggling to cast her horror flick. A subplot around bullying, sibling rivalry, and realistic middle school girl drama are handled with a light touch. Will stand on its own but is more fun if you have read the first in the series.
Dragons Beware!
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Rosado, Rafael
Myers, Matt
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 22, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Claudette's Dad lost his legs and one hand in a terrible battle with a dragon, so Claudette is determined to grow up to be a dragon slayer and to avenge him. Her friend, Princess Marie, is more interested in learning the art of diplomacy - maybe she can try that on the dragon, while little brother aspires to swordsmanship but has true gifts as a chef. Princess Marie is dogged by seven insipid suitors who are pursuing her, so the three friends, along with the suitors, sneak away to take on the dragon. Plenty of action, thoughtful and complete characters, and engaging art make this graphic novel a true hit. The grade level says through fifth, but middle school students will also enjoy this.
Star Wars : A New Hope : The Princess, The Scoundrel, And Th
Disney Lucasfilm Press [Disney Lucasfilm Press]
Bracken, Alexandra
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
4th grade to 6th grade
September 22, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Subtitled “The Princess, the Soundrel, and the Farm Boy,” Bracken retells the first released Star Wars movie from the points of view of Leia, Luke, and Han. Absolutely faithful to the movie, which is comforting and problematic as there are certainly no surprises here, but it might be fun for younger readers.
Con Academy
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Schreiber, Joe
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 22, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Most of Will’s family are involved in the family business with greater or lesser degrees of success and Will shows great promise of success – but the fun of running cons diminishes when Mom dies and Dad’s drinking causes him to become an unreliable partner, with only flashes of his old brilliance. Determined to leave it all behind, Will constructs an elaborate con that lands him a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school. There he meets Andrea, who recognizes Will’s con because that’s the way she got into the school. Threatened by Will, Andrea suggests there’s only room for one of them on campus, and the winner of an elaborate con they set up together will be allowed to stay. In order to keep his new life, Will has to dip back into his old life, and those connections may undo him. Like the Ally Carter spy books but with a delightful boy main character.
Hunted
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Higson, Charlie
Dorman, Brandon
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 22, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
The second to the last book in The Enemy series and it won’t make much sense if you have not read the others. It is truly unmitigated horror and not for the faint of heart. If you like graphic descriptions of zombies killing and being killed, this is the book for you. Some interesting characters, some you wish the zombies would eat, others you are thankful they have consumed.
Boys Who Challenged Hitler : Knud Pedersen And The Churchill
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Hoose, Phillip
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 22, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
When Denmark was taken over by the Nazi’s, middle schooler Knud, his slightly older brother, and their friends were furious at the response of the Danish government. While Norway resisted Hitler, Denmark gave in without a fight, and so Knud and his friends started the Churchill Club, a group of teens who planned and carried out resistance activities for two years until they were all captured and imprisoned. It’s a fascinating story and especially good for middle schoolers given the ages of Knud and his friends. Includes a very frank look at post-trauma and the difficulties all the boys had getting over their wartime experiences.
13 Days Of Midnight
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hunt, Leo
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
September 22, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Luke is sixteen, and it’s been ten years since Dad left the family; for the past three years there hasn’t even been a birthday card. So Luke is surprised, but not especially saddened, to receive a letter from Dad’s lawyer notifying Luke that his Dad is dead. Between a sort of general spaciness and a tendency toward incapacitating headaches, Mom has been a loving but some very impactful parent, so Luke goes on his own to the lawyer where he learns that he is his Dad’s sole heir. However, it’s always dangerous to sign without reading the contract and Luke finds that Dad was a powerful necromancer who has bound the spirits of eight ghosts into his service, and now they are Luke’s responsibility. There’s not an honest or helpful ghost among the lot of them, and Luke’s only armed with Dad’s incomprehensible notes, a book of magic he can’t open, and a mysterious ring. Luke’s voice in charmingly snarky, the premise will be a hit with teens, and if there are bits of the plot that strain credulity, there’s plenty of action to keep the pages turning. Ends neatly, leaves room for a sequel.
Worst Class Trip Ever
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Barry, Dave
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 22, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Thirteen year old Wyatt has high hopes for his class trip to Washington, D.C. – maybe he will finally figure out a way to get noticed by his crush, Suzana. It’s possible that Wyatt and buddy Matt have been reading too many spy novels, because they immediately assume that two suspicious-seeming men they overhear on the plane are plotting harm. Exciting and funny stuff ensues – a lovely next step for “Wimpy Kid” readers.
Boys Who Challenged Hitler : Knud Pedersen And The Churchill
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Hoose, Phillip
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 23, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
When Denmark was taken over by the Nazi’s, middle schooler Knud, his slightly older brother, and their friends were furious at the response of the Danish government. While Norway resisted Hitler, Denmark gave in without a fight, and so Knud and his friends started the Churchill Club, a group of teens who planned and carried out resistance activities for two years until they were all captured and imprisoned. It’s a fascinating story and especially good for middle schoolers given the ages of Knud and his friends. Includes a very frank look at post-trauma and the difficulties all the boys had getting over their wartime experiences.
Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Riordan, Rick
Carter, Abby
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 23, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Thick, lavishly illustrated, and with Riordan's clever take on the individual Greek Gods - think of it as a collective biography combined with People magazine style dishing of the dirt. Riordan is at his best when describing the larger-than-life and his word-portraits of the Gods are vivid and engaging. Fans of his books will enjoy this, as well as those just wanting to find out more about Greek divinity.
Taking Hold : From Migrant Childhood To Columbia University
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Jimenez, Francisco
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 24, 2015
Dame, Anne
4th in the memoir series of a Mexican migrant immigrant boy who went on to Columbia University. In this particular book, Jiménez focuses on his time attending Columbia University, which involved leaving his family and girlfriend in California in order to go to school in New York City. He struggled with issues of race, money, loneliness, adequacy, etc. and was able to overcome many different obstacles during his there. Personally, I love the determination this young man had and his continual will and drive to succeed despite various difficulties. I also think that it's very important for students to see this example, especially our Latino population. The thing I think students might struggle with is that the setting is mid to late 1960's and so many things may not make sense to them.
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. The Uranium Unicorns From U
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Pilkey, Dav
Santat, Dan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
September 24, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Ricky Ricotta and his mighty robot are eternally popular, and now that the stories have been reissued with full-color illustrations by Dan Santat they are impossible to keep on the shelves. Evil unicorns from Uranus have mucked up their own planet and now they're after Earth. They entice away Ricky's robot with a giant female robot. Now it's up ti Ricky and his cousin Lucy, not to mention her pet Jurassic jackrabbits, to save both the robot and the world. Naturally there will be tons of action. Of course there will be flip-o-rama pages. Of course these books will not last. Get them in BTSB and replace as needed.
Goddaughter's Revenge
RAVEN BOOKS [RAVEN BOOKS]
Campbell, Melodie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Unsuitable
September 25, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This is another Goddaughter book and, like the previous ones, it is very funny. Gina Gallo is connected. She's from a criminal family and is honestly trying to walk the straight and narrow...in stilettos. She's found the guy of her dreams, and has her own jewelry shop. She only very rarely wanders over to the dark side and then only for good reasons. Like this case, for example. Her cousin took over her shop for a few days while she went to meet the future in-laws. Unfortunately Carmine replaced some gems with fakes. Now Gina has to break in and replace the fakes with the real thing. It doesn't help that her helper in the break-ins has a desire to right all decorating wrongs in the homes they visit. Then there's the question of how to get the real gems back from Carmine. Blackmail is such an ugly word, but useful. These books are fast reads and a real hoot. Unfortunately the F word tends to fly thick and fast. I find it hard to recommend it for a school setting, but adults will enjoy the series.
This Is How I Find Her
Albert Whitman Teen [Albert Whitman Teen]
Polsky, Sara
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 27, 2015
Tucker, Merrilyn
Sophie, a 16-year-old high school student, has been her bipolar-disorder mother's caretaker and the head of the household since Sophie was 11. When she comes home from school one day to find her mother comatose from overdosing on pills, Sophie follows what her mother has told her to do in case "something" happens: move in with her mother's sister and family. Sophie and her cousin, Leila, are in the same grade in high school, but ever since sixth grade, Leila has given Sophie the freeze. Aunt Cynthia also acts distant. Only Uncle John is friendly and even invites Sophie to help him as an architect's assistant. It isn't until Amy, Sophie's mother, has been cleared to go home that Leila realizes she has to talk to and depend upon other people for help. I enjoyed this honest account of how mental health issues are difficult to discuss and open up about. Polsky has a well-written first novel and I look forward to her next offering. 7th - 12th grade
Elementals
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS]
Mitchell, Saundra
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
September 27, 2015
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is the third and final book in a series, the first two being The Verspertine and The Springsweet, respectively. Elementals relied on the premises constructed in the first two books, so, not having read them, I was lost in the beginning of the story (the author counts on the reader knowing the circumstances up to that point). Slowly, the main characters, Kate and Julian, developed. Both teens had run away from home to start a new life in 1917 Los Angeles. Kate wants to be a movie director and Julian wants to be freed from the farm he was raised on, where his polio disability defined him. Kate and Jim have magical powers and learn to embrace them. I found this story slow-going and, although intriguing in parts, difficult to wade through. Perhaps had I read the first two works, I would have loved this third one. Best for grades 7-12.
Water Balloon
CLARION [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
VERNICK, AUDREY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
September 27, 2015
Tucker, Merrilyn
Marley's life is changing quickly. She is in seventh grade, her parents are separated, and her friends have scattered. Marley still seems to be the young one in the crowd, playing games outside and wanting life to continue has it had in grade school. Marley has to spend the summer with her father, and he assigns her a very unpleasant task: keeping the lawn free of weeds. The only good part of the summer, or her life right now in general, is Jack, a boy in the neighborhood. This is a quiet, happy book that offers problem-solving ideas for friendships, family problems, and first crushes.
Sofia's Princess Adventures
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
September 28, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Have students asking for princess books? Well, this is sure to be a hit with the younger set. Here are 4 Sofia the First adventures, in this four board book collection. Each 6-page book contains a story teaching a moral. In "Best Friends" we see how Sofia and Clover support each others as friends. "Good Sports" shows how Sofia and her brother James love sports and are competitive, yet cheer each other on, being good sports. "Sofia's Amulet" features an amulet that reacts to your actions--good or bad. It is this amulet that brings princesses to help Sofia when she has problems. Amber helps Sofia with magic lessons in "Magic Class." Each story is short sweet and unexceptional. That hardly matters. They are princess books and, as such, will be very popular.
Judy Moody, Mood Martian
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Mcdonald, Megan
Reynolds, Peter H.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 28, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Judy Moody is back and this time she is trying to take control of her moods. Can she stay pleasant for a whole week? This is going to be a trial for both herself and her friends, who cannot understand why Judy is acting so strangely. Is it possible she's an alien? In the meantime Judy is finger-knitting up a storm, and her class is working on measurement. Naturally all of these plot elements are woven together into a seamless and humorous whole that will delight fans of the series. Judy and her brother, Stink, are always popular characters, and this book will be no exception.
39-Story Treehouse
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Griffiths, Andy
Wight, Eric
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
September 30, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Behold 349 pages of pure nonsense accompanied by copious kid-style black and white illustrations. It started as 13 stories, then expanded to 26 stories, and now, in this third book, Andy and Terry's treehouse is 39 stories tall. They have to write another book, and it has to be a long one. Luckily Terry has invented a once-upon-a-time machine--a clever device where you just input the story elements you desire and it will write and illustrate the book for you. Amazing! Naturally the boys toss in everything but the kitchen sink. However the machine tosses them out and now they can't re-enter their treehouse. What are they to do? Well...it involves sleeping in a bed full of animals, visiting the far side of the moon, discovering their postman is not actually a zombie, and finding a solution using an un-inventor who ends up un-inventing everything. This is another thoroughly wacky adventure that will appeal to fans of Pilkey and Kinney. It's fluff, but funny fluff.