Reviews for month


Fizzy's Lunch Lab : Escape From Greasy World
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Michalak, Jamie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Based on the PBS Kids series "Fizzy's Lunch Lab" this short book takes readers on an easy four-chapter adventure. Professor Fizzy has been kidnapped by goons from Fast Food Freddy's theme park. Avril and Henry must rescue him and others from the horrors of junk food by using their knowledge of good nutrition. Vivid digital illustrations accompany the text. Unfortunately this book is poorly written, message driven, and not particularly attractive despite the kid-friendly cover. Better books exist, although fans of the series might be interested.
To The Sea
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Atkinson, Cale
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
An observant young boy notices a whale who is quite out of place. He has taken a wrong turn and needs to get back to the sea. Luckily Tim is a good friend. Nobody notices the whale, but Tim often feels unnoticed himself so he understands and is ready to help. Coming up with a plan to help his friend, and executing it, are a challenge, but Tim is tenacious. When he is in trouble his new friend is also there for him. The illustrations use a dark palette with bright orange text that pops from the page and matches Tim's rain jacket and boots. Splashes of orange occur elsewhere also. The whale's small face in a huge body is absolutely adorable. Small people in a big world will enjoy this story of perseverance and friendship.
Petal And Poppy And The Mystery Valentine
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Clough, Lisa
Briant, Ed
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Petal and Poppy, an elephant and a rhino, are best friends. On Valentine's Day mysterious valentines gifts show up at both their houses. Oh no! Did their friend give them a gift and they forgot to reciprocate? No, a mysterious valentine-giver is on the loose. They follow a trail of valentines for a happy surprise. This is a very simple (Level 2) reader carried entirely by dialogue because it is presented in a very basic graphic novel format. Bright illustrations and simple text make this a good choice for easy reader collections.
Wonder
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Hanson, Faye
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Soft smudged illustrations with a muted palette, filled with details, show a young boy who is often admonished for having his head in the clouds. Readers get a chance to see his imaginings in bright fanciful bursts of color and creative details. Clearly his inner life does not match the outer one. His art teacher, however, recognizes a kindred spirit and encourages the side of him that others find annoying. Such encouragement inspires him along the path to becoming an artist. This is clearly a work of love by the author/illustrator, with much of the deeper layers being told entirely through the mixed media illustrations. It is a joyful homage to creativity.
Dinosaur Rescue!
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Dale, Penny
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this very busy board book colorful dinosaurs are in trouble. Their truck is stuck on the railroad tracks. Other dinosaurs hurry to help--fire and rescue, police. The dinosaurs on the train do not realize that they're heading for trouble. Will it all end well? Hey, you've got dinosaurs, firetrucks, trains, helicopters. All ends well and the rescuers get a good night's sleep. This is a lot of stuff to pack into a board book format. On the other hand, it is all stuff that appeals to young boys so I doubt they'd complain.
Peppa Pig And The Lucky Ducks
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Peppa and her little brother (from the TV series) are off on an adventure to see the ducks. But where are the ducks? In their search they find all kinds of things--one pond, two puddles, three birds and so forth up until they finally reach the 20 lucky ducks. They meet family members on their journey and have a genuinely fine time. This is typical Peppa Pig fare, with bright, colorful illustrations and a very simple text in a large format book. Fans of the series will find it a satisfying read.
Crybaby
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Beaumont, Karen
Yelchin, Eugene
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In a quiet house a baby's bawl awakens one, awakens all. The neighbors, too, all rush to see how to appease that sad baby. But it seems that the pet dog, Roy, is only there to bug, annoy the folks who seek a little peace. He won't stay out. Won't that dog cease? They're trying that, they're trying this, but something clearly is amiss. They cannot sooth their baby dear. Why won't that dog get out of here? If they'd just look they'd quickly see that Roy, the Dog, now holds the key. He has the baby's missing toy. Now quiet settles--Good Dog Roy! This story of a noisy night is rhyming, and a true delight. The illustrations also sing. For storytime it's just the thing.
My Autumn Book
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Yee, Wong Herbert
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This book gently leads readers into autumn as a young girl explores the changes taking place around her that indicate the shifting of the seasons. Animals change their behaviors. Leaves change color. Sights, sounds, and smells indicate the new season is tip-toeing in. The little girl records the changes she sees through art, collection, and photographs. She can enjoy the book she creates with this evidence as the snow falls in winter. The rhyming test is sweet, and beautifully blends with the soft and expressive watercolor illustrations. The book's smaller format invites small hands. This format does not preclude the book's use in a classroom or storytime setting where this small gem would also shine.
Ocean Babies
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Emerson, Joan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This Level 2 Reader is a typical book fair book, including two puzzle erasers in a plastic shell on the cover. It's also very informative, and has adorable photographs. 14 ocean babies, from orcas to sea otters, to seahorses, are highlighted in two-page spreads. One page contains a crisp full-page color photograph with captions. This faces a nice page of solid and interesting information with a surfeit of exclamation marks. The book includes a glossary. Useful for both simple reports and casual browsing, this would be a valuable addition to nonfiction collections, if you can get it sans erasers and prebound.
Now You See Them, Now You Don't : Poems About Creatures That
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Harrison, David
Laroche, Giles
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Gorgeous cut paper collages beautifully illustrate superb poems about various animals that use camouflage for safety and sneakiness. After the idea of camouflage is introduced sparse, carefully worded poems follow in various categories--sea life, reptiles & amphibians, mammals, insects & spiders and birds. Each poem focuses on a specific animal, and how its camouflage is used for its survival. The appendix provides a paragraph apiece about each of the animals, giving further specific information. The poems are exceptional--clever and interesting. The artwork is amazing. Together they make a combination that merits a place on your library shelves.
Legs & Feet
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Your Body" series this sturdy large-format 24-page book features crisp color photographs facing a page of very simple text. Readers are informed that they have two legs with which they can walk and run and jump. Two feet are attached, each with five toes. Knees and ankles are mentioned. Legs and feet on animals are briefly shown. A labeled picture shows parts of the legs and feet. There's a 3-word picture glossary, website link, and unnecessary index. Yes, this is designed for the very young, but the content really would be more appropriate for a boardbook format. There's just not much here.
Hexagons
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Borth, Teddy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Shapes Are Fun" series, this sturdy large-format 24-page book features crisp full-page photographs facing a page of simple text. Readers learn how hexagons are defined and then are shown various places where they can be found, both in man-made objects and in nature. The book includes a glossary and index. While slight, it would be a good introduction to the concept for young children.
Katy Perry
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Buddy Pop Biographies series, this large format 32-page book gives young readers a very quick introduction to singer Katy Perry. There's a little information here about where she was born, her family, and the evolution of her career. Readers learn about her tours and music, her sense of style, her many awards, and her business acumen. There are plenty of full-page photographs as well as a glossary, website link, and index. Sure, this is a bit of a puff piece and will become quickly outdated. However, this series is very popular in my library and it will probably be worn out before it becomes too badly outdated.
Meghan Trainor
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Buddy Pop Biographies series, this large format 32-page book gives young readers a very quick introduction to Meghan Trainor--singer, songwriter, and record producer. There's a little information here about where she was born, her family, and the evolution of her talents and career. Readers learn about her off-stage charity activities as well as her emphasis on being happy with who you are. There are plenty of full-page photographs as well as a glossary, website link, and index. Sure, this is a bit of a puff piece and will become quickly outdated. However, this series is very popular in my library and it will probably be worn out before it becomes too badly outdated.
Old Macdonald Had A Farm : Sing Along With Me!
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Huang, Yu-Hsuan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 07, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
The classic children’s interactive song is now available in a board book format along with a free downloadable app. The book itself is interactive and so can be used with or with out the app’s musical accompaniment. In the Sing Along with Me! series by Nosy Crow, this title/song includes four verses of the beloved song featuring the cow, pig, sheep and horse and their respective sounds repeated in a catchy tune. Colorful, cute digitally illustrated animals also act as humans and engage the very young reader. Though not very many verses, this is a very sturdy book with manipulative parts that should hold up well. The singer in The Wheels on the Bus app from the same series, is somewhat more pleasing. Intended for ages 2-5, but can easily go younger.
Wheels On The Bus : Sing Along With Me!
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Huang, Yu-Hsuan
Huang, Yu-Hsuan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 07, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
The classic children’s interactive song is now available in a board book format along with a free downloadable app. The book itself is interactive and so can be used with or with out the app’s musical accompaniment. In the Sing Along with Me! series by Nosy Crow, this title/song includes four verses of the beloved song starting with the title verse and a wheel that goes round and round. The rest present the swishing wipers, babies bouncing up and down and concludes with the horn beeping. Digital colorful, cute animals act as humans and engage the very young reader. Though not many verses, this is a very sturdy book with manipulative parts that should hold up well. See review for Old MacDonald Had a Farm in same series. Intended for ages 2-5, but can easily go younger.
I Spy On The Farm
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Gibbs, Edward
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 07, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Originally published as a picture book in 2012, this title is now available as a board book intended for ages 2-5 though this will work with even younger children. The pattern on each left page begins with, “I spy with my little eye..” circling an eye of the hidden animal. On the right page the text gives four hints—the color in bold letters, the beginning letter also in bold plus a cut out circle showing the body color of the mystery animal as well as a dialogue bubble of that creature’s sounds. Turning the page the reader will see the fully illustrated animal now with the cut out eye fitting over the previous eye. Besides the full picture a speech balloon confirms the farm animal’s identity i.e “I’m a DUCKLING”. Also included are a rooster, lamb, pig, cow and YOU. The very young will like the cut out circles that they can grab.
Harry Houdini : Illusionist & Stunt Performer
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this large format entry in the Abdo Kids "History Maker Biographies" series, young readers get a quick 24-page overview of that great showman, Harry Houdini. Crisp black and white photographs swoop across the gutter to face a few lines of simple and informative text. The book includes a little information his youth, original act, marriage, and some of his subsequent acts and achievements. His death is briefly mentioned. The book includes a timeline, glossary, index, and a website link. It doesn't contain a lot of information, but what is there is solid, and it does meet the need for easy biographies. Still, this is a fascinating man and the text doesn't really convey that.
Ella Fitzgerald : American Jazz Singer
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this large format entry in the Abdo Kids "History Maker Biographies" series, young readers get a quick 24-page overview of "The First Lady of Song"--Ella Fitzgerald. an extraordinary woman--Eleanor Roosevelt. Crisp photographs swoop across the gutter to face a few lines of simple and informative text. The book includes a little information about Ella's childhood, and her growth from winning talent shows to winning Grammys. The book includes a timeline, glossary, index, and a website link. It doesn't contain a lot of information, but what is there is solid, and it does meet the need for easy biographies. This would also be handy for both Black History Month and Women's History Month.
Cesar Chavez : Latino American Civil Rights Activist
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this large format entry in the Abdo Kids "History Maker Biographies" series, young readers get a quick 24-page overview of Cesar Chavez. Crisp black and white, and color, photographs swoop across the gutter to face a few lines of simple and informative text about this activist and leader. The book includes a little information about Cesar's motivation behind uniting farm workers for better pay and working conditions. His importance in the labor movement is emphasized. The book includes a timeline, glossary, index, and a website link. It doesn't contain a lot of information, but what is there is solid, and it does meet the need for easy biographies.
Eleanor Roosevelt : First Lady & Equal Rights Advocate
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this large format entry in the Abdo Kids "History Maker Biographies" series, young readers get a quick 24-page overview of an extraordinary woman--Eleanor Roosevelt. Crisp black and white photographs swoop across the gutter to face a few lines of simple and informative text. The book includes a little information about Eleanor's childhood, personality, charity work, marriage, and family. Her role as first lady is emphasized, as well as her work for the United Nations. The book includes a timeline, glossary, index, and a website link. It doesn't contain a lot of information, but what is there is solid, and it does meet the need for easy biographies.
Amelia Earhart : Aviation Pioneer
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this large format entry in the Abdo Kids "History Maker Biographies" series, young readers get a quick overview of Amelia Earhart's life and accomplishments. Well-defined black and white photographs swoop across the gutter to face a few lines of simple and informative text. The book includes a little information about Amelia's childhood, then her introduction to aviation and her growth in the field. A few of her major accomplishments are highlighted. The mystery of her disappearance, and a brief overview of her contributions to history end the book. There are maps, a timeline, a glossary, index, and a website link. This book doesn't contain a lot of information, but what is there is solid, and it does meet the need for easy biographies.
Scooby-Doo In The Coolsville Contraption Contest
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Auerbach, Annie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scooby-Doo and the gang are attending the annual Coolsville Contraption Contest. This should be a fun opportunity to see weird contraptions of all kinds. However, something is amiss. Someone is ruining the contraptions! Its up to "those meddling kids" to invent their own contraption to capture the contraption-buster. This is another fun Scooby-Doo adventure with a touch of mystery. This series is at a slightly higher reading level than the "Scooby-Doo Leveled Readers" series, but otherwise there is little difference. Cartoon illustrations. Stock characters. Throw in a little humor, some action, and some snacks and you have a recipe for Scooby-Doo.
Scooby-Doo In Raging River Adventure
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Sander, Sonia
Alcadia Snc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, and the gang are off on a white water adventure. Their host is an inventor who has come up with some amazing innovations. However, his business is under threat from a phantom eagle. What's going on? Can Scooby and the gang solve the mystery and make sure justice prevails? Naturally there will be some frantic moments, some eating of snacks, and a final unveiling. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany this simple mystery. This sturdy 32-page book is part of the "Scooby-Doo! Leveled Readers" series.
Scooby-Doo In Monkey See, Monkey Doo
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Howard, Lee
Alcadia Snc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, and the gang are visiting the zoo. But what's going on there? Sure, the snacks are tasty, but where are the monkeys? Something is frightening them. Clearly there is only one solution--Shaggy and Scooby have to dress up like monkeys to bait the trap to catch the evil villain. Naturally all ends well after some silliness. Bright cartoon illustrations aptly "ape" the origins of Scooby-Doo. This sturdy 32-page book is part of the "Scooby-Doo! Leveled Readers" series.
Dad's Favorite Toy
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Higginson, Sheila Sweeny
Maruyama, Jerrod
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Who hasn't had a favorite childhood toy? In this "Doc McStuffins" story, her father's favorite old toy shows up in the attic. It is, however, broken. Time for Doc McStuffins! A little work here, a little companionship there, and the toy is ready to go again...for a new child to love it. Based on an episode of the TV series this paperback book is typical fare. It's not exceptional but will please fans.
Bull Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Sharks" series, this large format 24 page book features big color photographs that push across the gutter and face several sentences of simple, but informative text. Young readers learn where bull sharks prefer to live, something about their appearance, behavior, and diet, and a little about their life cycle. There's is a page that includes 3 more facts, a brief glossary, an unnecessary index, and a website link. This doesn't really contain enough information for report-writing, but sharks are ever popular and it would be good to have books designed for younger readers in that section. It's a good way to start beginning readers on nonfiction books.
Coyotes After Dark
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Niver, Heather Moore
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Animals of the Night" series consists of nicely-bound 32-page books that feature white text on glossy black paper; crisp, well-lighted, informatively captioned photographs; and fun fact circles. This book focuses on coyotes. Beginning with a page of "words to know" young readers learn about coyote appearance, anatomy, diet, behavior and history. Coyote senses, hunting practices, and life cycle are also highlighted. There is a page containing hints on staying safe around coyotes, a bibliography and website list, and an index. This is an excellent series that would be valuable for report-writing and casual browsing. It merits a place in any library. The only thing needed to make it absolutely perfect would be a range map.
Foxes After Dark
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Niver, Heather Moore
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Animals of the Night" series consists of nicely-bound 32-page books that feature white text on glossy black paper; crisp, well-lighted, informatively captioned photographs; and fun fact circles. This book focuses on foxes. Beginning with a page of "words to know" young readers learn about fox appearance, anatomy, diet, behavior and senses. Basic facts about the life cycle of a fox are included. There's even a little information about fox hunts! A few different types of foxes are highlighted, and rabies is mentioned. There is a page containing hints on staying safe around foxes, a bibliography and website list, and an index. This is an excellent series that would be valuable for report-writing and casual browsing. It merits a place in any library. The only thing needed to make it absolutely perfect would be a range map.
Figment : Journey Into Imagination : 4
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Andrade, Filipe
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Volume 4 in the Figment "Journey Into Imagination" series, this sturdy and brief book features crisp, lush, detailed graphic illustrations as the series explores the origins of Dreamfinder and Figment. Here they escape from the sound sprites only to wind up in Nightmare Nation, that attempts to suck all the joy and ambition out of their souls. It is here that Dreamfinder is truly born as his imagination frees him from doubt and fear. Unfortunately, things back home are going poorly as mechanized horrors are taking over a steam-punk Earth. Both language and illustrations are rich but this is another of those graphic novel series that comes in multiple short volumes, each of which gives you only a splash of the story. I would hesitate to even call it a chapter. They must be read in order and the loss of a single volume invalidates the entire series. This is a money pit for school libraries. The volumes are expensive, but not expansive. While I love graphic novels, give your students a real book that has an entire story inside its covers.
Figment : Journey Into Imagination : 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Andrade, Filipe
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Volume 1 in the Figment "Journey Into Imagination" series, this sturdy and brief book features crisp, lush, detailed graphic illustrations as the series explores the origins of Dreamfinder and Figment. Here a brash young man attempts to create a machine powered by the mind. Initially unsuccessful, he finally finds success by imagining a dragon, Figment, and opening a portal into Imagination. Being sucked away from his steampunk home, however, will lead to danger for both him and his dragon. And that open portal now threatens his home. This is the beginning of the story. It is the first in a one of those expensive sets. I would hesitate to even call it a chapter. The set must be read in order and the loss of a single volume invalidates the entire series. This is a money pit for school libraries. The volumes are expensive, but not expansive. While I love graphic novels, give your students a real book that has an entire story inside its covers.
Stone Warriors
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Northrop, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is the 4th book in the "Tombquest" series--a taut adventure series that follows two kids who are trying to track the Lost Spells before evil, called The Order, finds them and destroys the world as we know it. Alex is still looking for his mother, and he and Ren are using all their skills to stay ahead of danger. Unfortunately, this usually means they end up right in the middle of it. Stone warriors, ready to be reanimated by The Order, promise a horrible future. Their only hope seems to be finding Alex's mother. The two children are Amulet Keepers, and their amulets grant them certain powers. That might not be enough, however, to keep them alive. Naturally the book ends in a cliff-hanger. The book plays with Egyptian mythology, and has enough action to keep young readers on the edge of their seats. It would appeal to Rick Riordan fans.
To The Stars! : The First American Woman To Walk In Space
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Van Vleet, Carmella
Wong, Nicole
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Kathy Sullivan loved to explore. As a girl she studied blueprints, daydreamed about airplane travel, and wanted to be a spy or a diplomat. Others laughed at her dreams, but she chose to do the things she loved and that eventually led to her becoming an astronaut. The organization of the book is quite interesting. A double-page spread introduces something from Kathy's youth. Turn the page and you see how this was expressed in, or impacted, her adult life. This creates a lovely opportunity to see how the past influences the future. Especially for young readers, this shows how things you do today impact what you might become tomorrow. Nicole Wong's watercolor and ink illustrations are clear and detailed, nicely capturing the feel of the text. The book is written in an optimistic, positive manner, encouraging others to follow their dreams. It would be a terrific book any time of the year, but merits a special place on the shelf during Women's History Month.
Miles From Tomorrowland : Mighty Merc
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this Disney Junior paperback, based on an episode from the TV series, Miles and his ostrich-like robot, Merc are having fun. However, Merc is outdated and the Transit Authority has sent a replacement robot--Axel. Will Miles lose Merc? Axel does have many advanced features. Unfortunately, his adherence to the rules results in danger to Miles' family members. It's up to Merc to save the day and prove his worth. 3D illustrations are from the series. There's nothing extraordinary here, but fans will be pleased.
Platypus
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Whiting, Sue
Jackson, Mark
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The platypus is a decidedly unique animal. This beaked, furred, egg-layer seems to break all the molds. Evocative and beautifully crafted text takes young readers on a journey of discovery, following a platypus and learning more about it. This is narrative nonfiction, tucking facts neatly into the story. Accompanying the text are mixed media illustrations by Mark Jackson. They fill the large format pages. Unfortunately they are less successful than the words, often appearing blurry, and failing to focus the reader's eyes on the subject matter. It just all blends together. I see where the artist was going with this, but the illustrations detract, rather than illuminate.
How Do Wind And Water Change Earth?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Hyde, Natalie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This 24-page paperback book contains a surprisingly cogent and clear explanation of many forms of erosion and weathering that constantly change our planet. Wind, and water in all of its various forms, are examined, and examples are given as to the impact they have on landforms. Well-captioned photographs clearly illustrate key principles. The book includes glossary, index, bibliography, and website list. This is a nicely done presentation on a subject that is frequently part of primary science units.
Big And Small
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Minden, Cecilia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Some animals are big and some animals are small. This book uses two-page spreads to introduce this simple concept. The left-hand page contains a crisp color photograph of the animal(s) along with a "What do you see?" question such as "What color is the cow?" The right-hand page contains a sentence or two of simple text about the picture, including either "big" or "small" and a small fact. The truth is that size is relative, but that isn't addressed in the book. I found the questions distracting and feel the book would have been better formatted by switching the order of the pages. Nevertheless, this is an easy nonfiction book that deals with a very basic concept in a clear and simple fashion.
Fun And Food With Guy Fieri
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Wheeler, Jill C
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 09, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Considering Fieri seeks out interesting dishes on Triple D, this biography is disappointingly bland. The paragraphs are choppy and often feel disconnected, which distracts from the content. Color photographs and "Did You Know" insets will appeal to elementary readers, and the book itself contains a lot of nonfiction text features, which may appeal to teachers, but overall this biography falls flat and will leave readers craving something a lot spicier. *Part of ABDO's Reality TV Titans series
Where's The Pair? : A Spotting Book
Big Picture Press [Big Picture Press]
Teckentrup, Britta
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 10, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Delightful rhyming riddles challenge readers to spot an animal matching pair by closely looking for stripes, dots, and other colorful attributes. “A gang of cool cats on soft, padded paws can pounce like tigers-watch out for those claws! But give them a pat, and these felines will purr! Which two cats match both collar and fur?” Rhyming riddles are centered on the left side with the animals depicted in a variety of patterns and positions on the right page. Birds, chameleons, yaks, dogs, cats, frogs, fish, squirrels, bears, dragonflies, zebras, otters, toucans, and beetles each have their own two pages and the book concludes in a two-page layout with two of each of the 14 animals and the challenge to find the 5 true twins! The beautiful mixed media illustrations invite close scrutiny and the muted color palette of the animals and pages are both soothing and attractive. There are just enough details to ponder and linger over but not so many as to over stimulate younger readers. Introduce this delightful book to your younger grades and encourage them to share the search with a friend or parent.
Nighttime Noise
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
Mcdonald, Kirsten
Meza, Erika
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Carlos and Carmen are twins who have a Latino family with two loving and energetic parents. In this entry in the easy chapter book series they hear strange noises. Sure, it's their first night in their new house, and the first time they've had their own bedrooms. Still...what are those sounds? They try to solve the problem themselves before turning to their parents. The answer to their question turns out to be a delightful surprise. This is a fun, well-bound series with very short chapters, bright joyous color illustrations, and a nice smattering of Spanish tossed in. People complain about a lack of diversity in children's literature. Here's a great series to add to your collection that is both diverse and well-written.
Green Surprise
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
Mcdonald, Kirsten
Meza, Erika
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Carlos and Carmen are twins who have a Latino family with two loving and energetic parents. In this entry in the easy chapter book series their uncle has come to visit and he promises a surprise. Soon a tent is in the back yard and a sleep-out is planned. Wait, what's that noise? It's just their uncle, and then their parents, joining them. This is a fun series with very short chapters, bright joyous color illustrations, and a nice smattering of Spanish tossed in. People complain about a lack of diversity in children's literature. Here's a great series to add to your collection that is both diverse and well-written. (And the binding's good, too!)
Big Rain
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
Mcdonald, Kirsten
Meza, Erika
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Carlos and Carmen are twins who have a Latino family with two loving and energetic parents. In this entry in the easy chapter book series it's been raining...and raining...and raining. The back yard is a lake. What to do? Both children get the same idea and soon their out the door having a blast in the mud and water. But will their parents let them back inside in their condition? The answer surprises them, and everyone ends up having a fun time. This is a fun series with very short chapters, bright joyous color illustrations, and a nice smattering of Spanish tossed in. You want more diversity in your collection? This series would be an excellent choice.
Not-So Itty-Bitty Spiders
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Stadelmann, Amy Marie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This "Branches" book is a transitional chapter book, part of the "Olive & Beatrix" series. (OK, it's the first book in the series.) Olive and Beatrix are twins. Beatrix is a witch and loves magic and playing practical jokes on her unmagical sister. She also hates spiders. Olive is the scientist in the family, and desperately wants to get back at her twin. But how to do that, without magic? Ah...spiders are the key! When she sets her twin up for a spidery disaster she does not anticipate that the magic that ensues will result in an invasion of giant spiders in the neighborhood. Now the two girls, their friend Eddie, and their pet pig must solve the problem they created. A little science, a little magic, and voila! Short chapters, dialogue bubbles and plenty of illustrations will encourage provide plenty of support for transitional readers. Other "Branches" books have been popular in my library.
Burmilla Cats
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Conley, Kate
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 10, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Burmillas are a great example of an experimental breed of cat that is still being developed. The breed started when a Burmese and a chinchilla Persian cat mated and had such beautiful kittens that the owners decided to breed them. Checkerboard Pet books always fly off the shelf in my library. Used by students for leisure reading as well as reports and decisions about what pet to get, most elementary libraries stock up on these. Basic information differentiating wild from domesticated cats is repeated in each book in the series as well as the more formulaic chapters on history of the breed, physical description, behavioral characteristics, care, feeding, health issues and lifecycle. Captioned photographs, table of contents, glossary, websites and index supplement the basic information. Read this one aloud and then discuss issues of breeding with your students.
Kurilian Bobtail Cats
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Conley, Kate
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 10, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Checkerboard series books about pets always fly off the shelf in my library. Used by students for leisure reading as well as reports and decisions about what pet to get, most elementary libraries stock up on these. Basic information differentiating wild from domesticated cats is repeated in each book in the series as well as the more formulaic chapters on history of the breed, physical description, behavioral characteristics, care, feeding, health issues and lifecycle. The Kurilian Bobtail was only recognized as a breed in 1996 and is mostly found in Russian, coming from the Kuril Islands between Japan & Russia. The natural breed (developed on its own without human interference) still shows strong hunting instincts and are intelligent and curious. Facts about the breed’s wild pack hunting of bears are startling when compared with pet cat behavior. Captioned photographs, table of contents, glossary, websites and index supplement the basic information.
Ragamuffin Cats
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Conley, Kate
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 10, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Checkerboard series books about pets always fly off the shelf in my library. Used by students for leisure reading as well as reports and decisions about what pet to get, most elementary libraries stock up on these. Basic information differentiating wild from domesticated cats is repeated in each book in the series as well as the more formulaic chapters on history of the breed, physical description, behavioral characteristics, care, feeding, health issues and lifecycle. The Ragamuffin breed was just registered in 2003, having their origins in interbreeding of a neighbor’s sweet cats in the 1960’s. Nicknames such as Ragdolls, Honey Bears, and Shu Schoos were given to the cats and grouped under the umbrella name, Cherubim. When the original breeder refused to allow other breeder’s flexibility with breeding these cats, they formed their own group, mixing the Cherubim breeds together and creating the Ragamuffins. Captioned photographs, table of contents, glossary, websites and index supplement the basic information. Great intro to way a breed is developed and registered today.
European Burmese Cats
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Conley, Kate
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 10, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Checkerboard series books about pets always fly off the shelf in my library. Used by students for leisure reading as well as reports and decisions about what pet to get, most elementary libraries stock up on these. Basic information differentiating wild from domesticated cats is repeated in each book in the series as well as the more formulaic chapters on history of the breed, physical description, behavioral characteristics, care, feeding, health issues and lifecycle. European Burmese have a sleek, single-colored short coat that comes in many colors. Intelligent and playful, they enjoy sitting in laps but can also learn commands and need to be kept occupied. Captioned photographs, table of contents, glossary, websites and index supplement the basic information.
Turkish Van Cats
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Conley, Kate
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 10, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Checkerboard series books about pets always fly off the shelf in my library. Used by students for leisure reading as well as reports and decisions about what pet to get, most elementary libraries stock up on these. Basic information differentiating wild from domesticated cats is repeated in each book in the series as well as the more formulaic chapters on history of the breed, physical description, behavioral characteristics, care, feeding, health issues and lifecycle. With origins in ancient Turkey, these cats are one of the earliest known breeds and are now considered a National Treasure in Turkey and may not be exported. Loving water, their coats are waterproof and their strong muscular body contributes to their excellent skills as swimmers, climbers, and jumpers. Silky white fur with contrasting red or brown markings on their heads and tails is strikingly displayed in the photographs found in each two-page spread. Captioned photographs, table of contents, glossary, websites and index supplement the basic information.
Fur, Fins, And Feathers : Abraham Dee Bartlett And The Inven
William B Eerdmans Publishing Co [William B Eerdmans Publishing Co]
Maxwell, Cassandre
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In the early to mid 1800's people were intrigued by exotic animals from foreign shores. Menageries allowed folks to view these peculiar creatures. However, the living conditions for the animals was usually abysmal. In 1812 Abraham Dee Bartlett was born. He was fascinated by animals of all types and studied them from his youth. There weren't many jobs in his area of expertise so he took what he could get and continued to learn. Particularly, he was unimpressed with the animal care at menageries. When offered the job as superintendent of the London Zoo he leaped at the chance and immediately began making changes in exhibits and animal care. Yes, today there are plenty of folks who object to the very concept of zoos, but Barlett did much to further animal welfare, and the ways in which people viewed animals both literally and physically. This is an exceptional look at an interesting man, with gorgeous cut paper collage and mixed-media illustrations, terrific writing, and a good appendix. Even the end papers are informative. This would be a valuable addition to your nonfiction collection.
Behind Enemy Lines
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Nielsen, Jennifer A
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this, book #6 in the "Infinity Ring" series Riq, Sera, and Dak are still on their quest to fix problems in history, thereby averting a tragic future that was never meant to be. Of course there are other forces at work, trying to assure that they do not succeed. In this book they find themselves in WWII, and part of an intricate plot to deceive the Nazis into thinking Allied forces have no plans to attack Sicily, but rather intend to storm Greece. This deception is key to the war's success. All three of them have an important role to play. Along the way readers learn some interesting facts about the time period. This is another well-written, suspenseful book in a series that teaches as it entertains.
Cave Of Wonders
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Kirby, Matthew J
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Riq, Dak, and Sera are traveling through time with the aim of fixing breaks in history that have led to an unfortunate future. In this, book #5 in the series, they find themselves in old Baghdad in 1258. The city is about to be sacked and when it is a library of knowledge will be destroyed. That knowledge of key to the future they hope to promote. Unfortunately these "historians" find their enemies already deeply embedded in the situation, eager to thwart their attempts to save the future. Like all the books in this series there's plenty of action, interesting snippets about the time period and the location, and quite a bit of tension. Wait, you've already got these books in your library? Well, that's because they were published in 2013. They're now out in paperback with new, more exotic, covers. It's still a fun series.
Schools In Different Places
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Mcniven, Lauren
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Learning About Our Global Community" series, this 24-page paperback book introduces young readers that education can look different, depending on where you are int he world. Crisp photographs, with good captions, pop from the pages which are filled with fact boxes and interesting text. Readers learn different ways children get to school, different types of school buildings or schools that have no buildings at all, and what the classrooms and subjects might be like. From boat schools in Bangladesh to one-room schools in Costa Rica, students get a glimpse into the lives of other children such as themselves. The book includes educator notes, a glossary, bibliography, website list, and an index. Sure, this is a quick overview of the topic, but it is interesting and would be a good resource for teachers introducing their students to the wider world.
Bizzy Bear : Deep-Sea Diver
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Davies, Benji
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Unsuitable
March 11, 2016
Burton, Paula
Cute board book with movable parts to make it even more interesting for very young readers. Rhyming and repeating text gives the submarine adventure a perfect fit for toddlers. The reader follows Bizzy Bear through the ocean with colorful illustrations. They are able to push, pull and slide parts of the pages to reveal a dolphin jumping or an octopus on a sunken ship. It all leads to the treasure at the end. There are many other board books with the same characters for very young readers which is why it has the grade level of Unsuitable.
Tractor Mac Friends On The Farm
Square Fish [Square Fish]
Steers, Billy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 11, 2016
Burton, Paula
Lift the flaps and find Carla the Chicken’s babies with the help of Tractor Mac and his friends. Each page reveals a friend from the famous picture books by the same author in this more sturdier board book. The front of the book shows all of Mac’s friends with tabbed pages if the reader would want to go ahead and skip to their favorite one. Every spread has one or two flaps that could hide a baby chick or not to make this reading experience even more fun. As is customary in a tractor Mac story, many of the farm animals cross the vehicles paths which could make this interesting for those who like things that go or animals on the farm.
Birthdays In Different Places
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Mcniven, Lauren
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Learning About Our Global Community" series, this 24-page paperback book introduces young readers to many of the ways in which birthdays are celebrated around the world. From cakes to pies, from decorations to games, this gives a quick glimpse into a variety of birthday traditions. Readers also learn about name days, and coming-of-age traditions such as Bar Mitzvahs and quinceaneras. The book includes educator notes, a glossary, bibliography, website list, and an index. Sure, this is just a glance at the topic, but it is interesting and would be a good resource for teachers introducing their students to the wider world.
Transportation In Different Places
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Morganelli, Adrianna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Learning About Our Global Community" series, this 24-page paperback book introduces young readers to the many ways that people transport themselves and goods around the world. Crisp photographs, with good captions, pop from the pages which are filled with fact boxes and interesting text. Readers learn some of the things that influence transportation choices--urban or rural, water or air or ground, climate and topography. The need for good environmental choices is mentioned. The book includes educator notes, a glossary, bibliography, website list, and an index. Sure, this is a cursory overview of the topic, but it is interesting and would be a good resource for teachers introducing their students to the wider world.
Foods In Different Places
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Barghoorn, Linda
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Learning About Our Global Community" series, this 24-page paperback book introduces young readers to the wide variety of foodsthat can be found around the world. Crisp photographs, with good captions, accompany fact boxes and interesting text. Readers learn that food is a basic need and this need is met in a variety of ways. Factors that influence the types of food we eat are discussed. Local customs and crops, as well as trade, are mentioned. Ways in which people eat, eating traditions around the world, and food restrictions are all mentioned. Readers are encouraged to eat a nutritional diet. The book includes educator notes, a glossary, bibliography, website list, and an index. Sure, this is a quick overview of the topic, but it is interesting and would be a good resource for teachers introducing their students to the wider world.
Clothing In Different Places
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Morganelli, Adrianna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Learning About Our Global Community" series, this 24-page paperback book introduces young readers to the wide variety of clothing that can be found around the world. Crisp photographs, with good captions, accompany interesting text and fact boxes. Readers learn about many aspects that influence the choice of clothing--climate, available materials, and tradition. Clothing for school and work is highlighted, as well as clothing that reflects religious beliefs and for special occasions. The book includes educator notes, a glossary, bibliography, website list, and an index. Granted, this is a very cursory introduction to the topic, but it doesn't claim to be an in-depth study. It is interesting and would be a good resource for teachers introducing their students to the wider world.
Homes In Different Places
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
O'brien, Cynthia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Learning About Our Global Community" series, this 24-page paperback book introduces young readers to the wide variety of homes that can be found around the world. Crisp photographs, with good captions, pop from the pages which are filled with fact boxes and interesting text. Readers learn that housing is a basic need and this need is met in a variety of ways. Factors that influence housing choices can be available materials, climate, and location. Both permanent and nomadic housing are mentioned, as well as green construction. The book includes educator notes, a glossary, bibliography, website list, and an index. Sure, this is a quick overview of the topic, but it is interesting and would be a good resource for teachers introducing their students to the wider world.
Kobe Bryant : All-Star Shooting Guard
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Kampff, Joseph
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Exceptional African Americans" series, this sturdy 24-page book is going to be popular with young basketball fans. Crisp writing gives young readers good information about the athlete's childhood, family, and career path. Both his weaknesses and strengths are acknowledged. Plenty of quotes fill the pages, as well as excellent well-captioned photographs. The book includes a glossary, index, timeline, bibliography, and two websites. Sure, this will become quickly outdated, but it will be a popular book and be a good choice for reluctant boy readers.
Weird Birds
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Earley, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 12, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This lovely book teaches the reader about the incredible variety in sizes, shapes, colors, and design of birds around the world. Each glossy page is dedicated to one bird featured in a half-page of color photo accompanied by a short, but informative caption including Latin and English names of birds. In the photos, birds are not featured in their habitats; rather, the background is the glossy white page. The photos are phenomenal, however, and the author credits them all. The 64 pages, including an index, but not a Table of Contents, is sure to please the young elementary audience. I read portions of it to my first grade classes and they could not get enough of the bright plumage and glorious beaks, tails, and feathers.
Time Travel : Intervals And Elapsed Time
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Arias, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 12, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Time Travel, one title in the Got Math! series, explains the concepts of time, clocks and calendars, timelines, elapsed time, start and finish times, and calendar time in off-and-on rhyming text. (The subtitle, "Intervals and Elapsed Time" is not actually written anywhere on the cover or title page, so that is a bit of a mystery.) Facing the Table of Contents is a page with reading level (zero), vocabulary, background knowledge, comprehension and extension activity. The 32 pages of the book first explain to the reader how varies aspects of time passes, then have exercises for readers to practice. The answers are written upside down on the same page. This is a very pricey book and I am not sure how much circulation it would get in my school library.
1, 2, 3 Moose
Little Bigfoot [Little Bigfoot]
Wolfe, Art
Wolfe, Art
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 14, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Originally published in 1996 as a well-received picture book this title has now been issued in board book format making it more accessible to the very young. This counting book from 1 to 12 features animals familiar to the Pacific Northwest and is photographed by a well known local photographer. As with the newly reissued O Is for Orca; A Nature Alphabet Book by the same duo, each number is for a well-known creature followed by a sentence of information. It begins, “1 WOLF Strong and smart, gray wolf pups love to eat!” The animals include moose, cougars, auklets, orcas, eagles, owls, sea otters, elk, dall sheep, bears, and sea lions. The final double page spread snow geese prove TOO MANY TO COUNT! As with the other offering this can be shared on different levels according to the age of the child. Just labeling and pointing to the item in the beautiful clear color photo will work for the youngest. Adding the number and counting by pointing at each animal will work for the next level. Reading the full text will work for the preschooler who’s ready for this information as well as the adult reader:) Well worth a new look for the youngest set of children especially those in Washington and surrounding states or provinces.
O Is For Orca
Little Bigfoot [Little Bigfoot]
Wolfe, Art
Wolfe, Art
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 14, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Originally published in 1995 as a well-received picture book this title has now been issued in board book format making it more accessible to the very young. This beautifully photographed alphabet book highlights creatures and features of the Pacific Northwest. Each letter is for a well-known creature or feature followed by a sentence of information. It begins, “A IS FOR AUKLET Using their wings to swim, rhinoceros auklets dive deep for dinner." Thus this can be shared on different levels according to the age of the child. Just labeling and pointing to the item in the photo will work for the youngest. Adding the beginning letters will work for the next level. Reading the information will inform the preschooler as well as the adult reader. Some animals include marmot, bear, coyote, and deer, while some of the features include fir trees, ice bergs, Rainier and volcanos. X,Y,Z is all together for Zigzag, so they cheated a bit. Well worth a new look for the youngest set of children especially those in Washington and surrounding states or provinces. 1 2 3 Moose; An Animal Counting Book by this same duo has also been reissued as a board book.
This Raging Light
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Laure, Estelle
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
March 14, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Lucille should be enjoying high school and figuring out how to cope with her crush on her best friend Eden’s twin brother Digby. Instead, she’s working four nights a week at a local restaurant to make enough to support herself and little sister Wren since abusive Dad left the family years ago, possibly for a mental hospital, and depressed Mom went on a “vacation” just as school was starting and never returned. It would be a tightrope walk even if nothing went wrong – but plenty does. Lucille is an interesting, likeable character and the supporting cast, especially Digby, is multi-dimensional, anguishing over his relationship with a long-time girlfriend while finding himself drawn to Lucille. Some of the plot twists – Eden’s accident and subsequent coma for example – veer off into the soap-operaish, but it’s a serviceable first novel and a good fit for grades 7-10.
Cake Pop Crush : A Wish Novel
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Nelson, Suzanne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 14, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Alicia loves to cook but wishes Dad would allow her to help more in the family bakery; seems like the fun has gone out of cooking for him since Mom has died. When a chain coffee shop/bakery opens across the street from Say It With Flour, Alicia thinks selling her cake pops will provide the needed boost in sales, but Dane, the son of the chain store owner, has just started at her school and is proving to be stiff competition. Characters are pretty stereotypical, particularly the Mean Girls, but Alicia is a hopeful and resourceful character, and there are recipes!
Swap!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Light, Steve
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 14, 2016
Burton, Paula
Another intriguing book from the author/illustrator who brought you Have you seen my dragon? And Have you seen my monster? The drawings are enchanting and there is still the educational aspect to the story. A young boy with a wooden leg helps his pirate friend. The friend is unhappy about the state of his ship but the boy finds everything to make the boat look as good as new. It all starts with just one button. Light shows that trading is the way to go, to get what you need. Although the trading starts with only one button, the pirates are able to get sails, rope, anchors, flags, oars, hats, birds, and ship’s wheels. Simple text and the recurrence of the word swap could entice the kids to read with the reader instead of only listening to the story. Traded goods are depicted in color, and so are the pirate friends, and the blue of the ocean. The black and white drawings are full of interesting happenings surrounding the main story. Although the little boy has a wooden leg, it is not mentioned in the story or hinders him from what he wants to do. It also the little boy who comes up with the plan of trading starting with the button. Things to talk about with readers after the story has been read.
Good Night Like This
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Murphy, Mary
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 14, 2016
Burton, Paula
Author illustrator Mary Murphy has created another book for the very young. This time it depicts many different animals that are getting ready with their babies to go to sleep. Rhyming text with repeating phrases, show a bunny, firefly, a bear and many more in their natural habitat with colors that remind you of night time; purple, blue, orange and pink. Black outlined illustrations tie in with the typography that has a handwritten feeling. Half page flaps are included to make this an interactive book for little ones and show a before and after scene of the animals. When the asleep side of the page is seen, there is a shadow of another animal that says Good night! This animal is set as a silhouette but has a white speech bubble to give it more attention on the page. The last page of the book even has some sparkling inlays with foils, that make it even more attractive but does not add to the story. Overall a great book for the very young.
Doublecross : Mission Hurricane
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Goebel, Jenny
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #3 in the 39 Clues "Doublecross" series. Dan and Amy and their team know the world is threatened by "The Outcast" who is planning catastrophes that will take multiple lives. This evil genius is also gathering the 39 Clues, and is sure to wreak havoc with the results if he is successful. Disillusioned by the woman they had always admired--Grace--Dan and Amy are now trying desperately to save the world and stop a new menace. The Netherlands is the next target. Can they stop massive flooding? Who's going to listen to a bunch of kids? In the meantime, Nellie and her boyfriend are risking their lives on a snow-covered mountain in Japan on their own mission. This is a taut, well-written book in the series. However, can't we just let this series end? Keeping all the subseries in order is a pain, and I grow weary of trying to figure out which ones I do and don't have. Even the students are beginning to find it all befuddling.
Army Rangers
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Slater, Lee
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Special Ops" series, this crisply-written 32-page book is a concise and fascinating look at Army Rangers. Readers get a glimpse into one of their operations, learn about the history behind the Rangers and how they are organized, then follow along through the training, requirements, and creed that makes the Rangers who they are. Information on where Rangers are located, how they are deployed, and the vehicles and weapons they use is included. There's a timeline, glossary, website link, and index, as well as a few "Extreme Facts." Plenty of pictures accompany the clear informative text. All books in this series mention that a requirement for the special ops is being male, which is currently being challenged. Nevertheless, this is a compelling and enlightening series that merits a place in any collection and will be sure to find ready readership.
Green Berets
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Slater, Lee
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Special Ops" series, this crisply-written 32-page book is a concise and fascinating look at Green Berets (the special ops force, not the fashion accessory.) Readers find out about an exceptional Green Beret who risked his life to save others. They also learn about the history behind the Green Berets and how they evolved from Jedburgh Teams used during WWII. The author is clear that their focus is unconventional warfare. Requirements, rigorous training, and team structure are all highlighted. Readers learn about weapons, transportation, and missions. The use of Green Berets in humanitarian aid is also mentioned. There's a timeline, glossary, website link, and index, as well as a few "Extreme Facts." Plenty of pictures accompany the clear informative text. All books in this series mention that a requirement for special ops is being male, which is currently being challenged. Nevertheless, this is a compelling and enlightening series that merits a place in any collection and will be sure to find ready readership.
Navy Seals
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Slater, Lee
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Special Ops" series, this crisply-written 32-page book is a concise and fascinating look at Navy Seals. Readers get a glimpse into their mission against Osama Bin Laden, learn the history behind the Seals and get a clear look at both the rigor, range, and requirements necessary to be a Navy Seal. Transportation, weapons, and a typical daily schedule are all presented. There's a timeline, glossary, website link, and index, as well as a few "Extreme Facts." Plenty of pictures accompany the clear informative text. All books in this series mention that a requirement for the special ops is being male, which is currently being challenged. Nevertheless, this is a compelling and enlightening series that merits a place in any collection and will be sure to find ready readership.
Pararescue Jumpers
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Slater, Lee
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Special Ops" series, this crisply-written 32-page book is a concise and fascinating look at Pararescue Jumpers. Readers get a glimpse into their help during Hurricane Katrina, learn about the history of PJs, and get insight into their roles in both combat and peacetime situations. Creed, requirements, rigorous training, and traditions are all briefly covered. Readers also learn about vehicles, weapons and gear PJs might use. The most highly decorated PJ is highlighted. The range of expectations for this military unit is awe-inspiring. There's a timeline, glossary, website link, and index, as well as a few "Extreme Facts." Plenty of pictures accompany the clear informative text. All books in this series mention that a requirement for the special ops is being male, which is currently being challenged. Nevertheless, this is a compelling and enlightening series that merits a place in any collection and will be sure to find ready readership.
Gettysburg
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Dunn, Joeming
Dunn, Ben
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The entire Graphic Warfare series is exceptional. While each book focuses on a specific battle, each also gives a solid overview of the war in which that battle took place. This provides context and clarity. In this entry in the series young readers learn about the causes of the Civil War, its costs, and its most significant battles. The focus, of course, is on Gettysburg. Step-by-step readers see the armies building their forces. Tactics, weapons, locations--it's all here. The graphic novel format gives an immediacy to the event, bringing it to life...and death. The result is both eye-opening and thought-provoking. A quick summary of the war is given. The book includes maps, timeline, a brief biography of both Robert E. Lee and George G. Meade, Quick Stats, a glossary, website, and index. This provides readers with a solid and sobering overview of a war that still has repercussions in our nation.
The mystery of Atlantis
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
Rea, Amy C.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Core Library books from Abdo are noted for particular text features. Well-captioned photographs, interesting fact boxes, and different perspectives make these more than you run-of-the-mill nonfiction books. Chapters end with "Straight To The Source" pages using primary sources encouraging the reader to think deeply and make some decisions. This book, part of the "Mysteries of History" series focuses on Atlantis. Did it ever really exist? What evidence is there? The book highlights the most popular theories. Readers are encouraged to "Weigh the Evidence" in a two-page summary at the end which compares key theories with the evidence for and against each carefully noted. A "Stop and Think" section encourages further introspection. The book has a glossary, bibliography, website list, and index. It manages to retain all the wonder of a fascinating scientific mystery, while carefully examining it from all sides. This is exceptionally well-written and well-researched. It would be a valuable addition to collections, most especially at the secondary level.
The mystery of the Sphinx
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
KENNEY, KAREN LATCHANA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Core Library books from Abdo are noted for particular text features. Well-captioned photographs, interesting fact boxes, and different perspectives make these more than you run-of-the-mill nonfiction books. Chapters end with "Straight To The Source" pages using primary sources encouraging the reader to think deeply and make some decisions. This book, part of the "Mysteries of History" series focuses on the Sphinx. Who built it, why, and when? There are many theories and lots of different evidence, The book highlights particular individuals who are known for their work with the Sphinx, and offers up the most popular theories. Readers are encouraged to "Weigh the Evidence" in a two-page summary of theories with the evidence for and against each carefully noted. A "Stop and Think" section encourages further introspection. The book has a glossary, bibliography, website list, and index. It manages to retain all the wonder of a fascinating scientific mystery, while carefully examining it from all sides. This is exceptionally well-written and well-researched. It would be a valuable addition to collections, most especially at the secondary level.
The mystery of the Nazcz Lines
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
HINMAN, BONNIE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Core Library books from Abdo are noted for particular text features. Well-captioned photographs, interesting fact boxes, and different perspectives make these more than you run-of-the-mill nonfiction books. Chapters end with "Straight To The Source" pages using primary sources encouraging the reader to think deeply and make some decisions. This book, part of the "Mysteries of History" series focuses on the Nazca Lines in Peru, that form giant pictures best seen from the air. Who created them? How, and why? This is a puzzle that has kept scholars going for years. The book highlights particular individuals who are known for their work with the lines, and offers up the most popular theories. Readers are encouraged to "Weigh the Evidence" in a two-page summary of theories with the evidence for and against each carefully noted. A "Stop and Think" section encourages further introspection. The book has a glossary, bibliography, website list, and index. It manages to retain all the wonder of a fascinating scientific mystery, while carefully examining it from all sides. This is exceptionally well-written and well-researched. It would be a valuable addition to collections, most especially at the secondary level.
Baby giraffes
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
BORGERT-SPANIOL, MEGAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
OOOOOH, CUTE! Big, close-up pictures of long-lashed baby giraffes steal the show in this Level 1 reader. The photos spread across two pages, with a text box containing a few sentences of simple information. These are very basic facts, but they will please beginning readers and offer them a successful nonfiction experience. This is sure to be a popular book and it includes all the standard text features you would expect.
Inside the skin, hair & nails
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO]
HALVORSON, KARIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Looking for a good set of books to update your library's human body section? This is it. Each well-bound 32-page book focuses on a different part of the body and includes diagrams, experiments, photographs, clear explanations and a good glossary. This book focuses on skin, hair, and nails. Young readers learn about different parts of the skin, skin color information, fingerprints, some hairy facts, and a bit about hygiene. The writing is clear, crisp, and fascinating--both highly informative and very kid friendly. I can heartily recommend the entire series.
Inside the bones
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO]
HALVORSON, KARIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Looking for a good set of books to update your library's human body section? This is it. Each well-bound 32-page book focuses on a different part of the body and includes diagrams, experiments, photographs, clear explanations and a good glossary. This book focuses on the bones. Young readers learn their purpose and the names of important bones. Parts of bones are nicely explained, and clearly illustrated through diagrams. Readers learn about marrow, stem cells, and the difference between ball and socket and hinge joints. The writing is clear, crisp, and fascinating--both highly informative and very kid friendly. I can heartily recommend the entire series.
Inside the blood
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO]
HALVORSON, KARIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Looking for a good set of books to update your library's human body section? This is it. Each well-bound 32-page book focuses on a different part of the body and includes diagrams, experiments, photographs, clear explanations and a good glossary. This book focuses on blood. Young readers learn about plasma and the three types of blood cells--red, white, and platelets. The role of each is carefully explained. Blood vessels, blood types, stem cells, bruises, and even critters that suck your blood are explained. The writing is clear, crisp, and fascinating--both highly informative and very kid friendly. I can heartily recommend the entire series.
Inside the kidneys
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO]
HALVORSON, KARIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Looking for a good set of books to update your library's human body section? This is it. Each well-bound 32-page book focuses on a different part of the body and includes diagrams, experiments, photographs, clear explanations and a good glossary. This book focuses on the kidneys. Young readers learn their purpose and location. Electrolytes are explained, as is the importance of water. Wonder why your urine is yellow? Hey, the answer is here, as well as information about Vitamin D and EPO. The writing is clear, crisp, and fascinating--both highly informative and very kid friendly. I can heartily recommend the entire series.
Stanley At School
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Bailey, Linda
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 15, 2016
Garrard, Thom
Stanley‘s curiosity about what kids do in school finally gets the better of him. He and several of his dog pals know they should wait outside, but they are tired of always waiting outside, so they cooperate to open the door. Before they find the kids, they do find a room full of lunches which they consume. The fun really begins when the kids show up, but the janitor interrupts them. They run down the hall, through the gym, the music room, the art room, and into the office. There they sit on chairs, waiting for the principal to decide their fate. She lets them off easy, patting them on the head and sending them off. After they pass around the news that what kids do in school is eat and run, there are a whole pack of dogs waiting at the school doors the next morning. Colorful acrylic illustrations fill each page and add humorous details, like the paint spots that the dogs pick up in the art room and the principal confronting Stanley nose to nose. The dog’s perspectives on human activity simultaneously add humor and ring true. This is a fun adventure that will be enjoyed by dog lovers and school-age kids. With this sixth book in the series, both author and illustrator clearly know their characters and how they act.
Snow Beast
ANDERSEN PRESS USA [ANDERSEN PRESS USA]
Judge, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 15, 2016
Garrard, Thom
In celebration of the first snowfall of the year the Beast and the villagers put on a festival, but this year all of the village’s tools have been stolen. Beast wades through deep snow and fashions a pair of skis to aid his pursuit of the thief. When he gets stuck, the tool-stealing Snow Beast comes to his rescue and then explains that he just wants to borrow the tools to fix his mobile iceberg home. Their friendship grows as Beast repairs the broken propeller. When Beast arrives back at the village to return the tools and introduce his new friend, it is too late to set up the festival, so the Snow Beast invites everyone to party on his iceberg. For a snowy adventure, the illustrations are amazingly eye-catching and colorful. Whether the Beast is climbing down his mountain, trudging through deep snow, or skiing after the Snow Beast, the pictures successfully extend this action-packed story beyond the point that the text leaves off. The strong visuals with imaginative details, the gentle humor, and the friendly spirit make this a winter tale that young students will enjoy.
Multiplication Master : Divisibility Rules
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Arias, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 16, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Arias's other book in the "Got Math!" series titled, Time Travel. This book on multiplication, explained mostly in rhyme, may help those students struggling in multiplication and division only if there is an adult to guide the students through the explanations. I did not find all of the examples given to be self-explanatory or helpful. If a student is already successful in multiplication and division, perhaps this could be used as supplementary or enrichment material. I have not tried out either of these math books with my students, but would be interested in their opinions on whether the books are helpful or not in elucidating the concepts given. Many of Arias's teachings seem to be tricks to understanding the math, but she does not explain the "why" of how numbers work.
Caught In The Rapids
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Law, Felicia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Illustrations combine with photographs to follow the journey of Joe and Dr. Bea as they travel from the source down streams and then to the river which finally empties out into the sea. Along the way readers learn how a river grows and changes. Information about the water cycle is included. Erosion, dams, waterfalls, meanders...it's all here. There's a little information about pollution, animals, sediment, and even famous rivers around the world. Of course there's also the excitement of the journey. The book includes a glossary and index, as well as a bibliography and website list. This is a fairly solid offering. I was, however, puzzled on pages 8 and 9 when the life of a river is explored through text and photographs. Every number photograph had text except for #6, which was left blank. Huh? It seems to be a continuation of #5, but if so why bother numbering it at all? That's a minor glitch, however in an otherwise interesting book.
Upside-Down Magic
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Mlynowski, Sarah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
There are plenty of books about magic schools out there, even books about kids whose magic doesn't fit the norm. Sarah Mlynowski has a creative new take on the subject, however, in this enjoyable chapter book that is the first of a series. There are many types of magic out there and Nory comes from a magical family. In fact, her father is headmaster of an exclusive magic school. Nory's magical ability to change into animals is, however, wonky. When she fails the entrance exams for her father's school she gets exiled to an aunt's house where she is sent to a regular magic school and put in an Upside-Down Magic Class (basically the equivalent of Special Ed.) Every kid in the class has issues and Nory allows hers to overwhelm her. She misses her family, feels out of place, and generally is miserable. Her teacher, however, tries to encourage the students to embrace their differences. This is hard when other kids poke fun at them. Can Nory learn to appreciate what she has, instead of longing for what she doesn't have? This is a delightful book that will, hopefully, get young readers thinking differently about differences.
Living Fossils : Clues To The Past
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Arnold, Caroline
Plant, Andrew
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Over time things changes--animals adapt to new environments and extinctions happen. But what about living fossils--those plants or animals that have changed little over time or, once thought to be extinct, are discovered anew? This book takes a fascinating peek at the concept, then examines some specific examples both as they were thousands of years ago, and as they appear today. Readers learn about the coelacanth, the horseshoe crab, dragonflies, sphenodontids, chambered nautiloids, and Latonia frogs. The information is intriguing for any budding scientist. The book includes a timeline, index, glossary, bibliography, and website list, as well as an appendix providing further information on the highlighted animals. Detailed and interesting acrylic illustrations by Andrew Plant accompany Caroline Arnold's well-thought-out text, creating a book that merits a place in any library.
Mystery Of The Mary Celeste
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Krasner, Barbara
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Core Library books from Abdo are noted for particular text features. Well-captioned photographs, interesting fact boxes, and different perspectives make these more than you run-of-the-mill nonfiction books. Chapters end with "Straight To The Source" pages using primary sources encouraging the reader to think deeply and make some decisions. This book, part of the "Mysteries of History" series focuses on the Mary Celeste--a ship found adrift with nobody on board. What happened to its crew? Why did they abandon ship? This book follows the ship's salvage and the subsequent investigation. The most popular theories are explored. Readers are encouraged to "Weigh the Evidence" in a two-page summary of theories with the evidence for and against each carefully noted. A "Stop and Think" section encourages further introspection. The book has a glossary, bibliography, website list, and index. It manages to retain all the wonder of a fascinating scientific mystery, while carefully examining it from all sides and avoiding sensationalism. This is exceptionally well-written and well-researched. It would be a valuable addition to collections, most especially at the secondary level.
Sinkholes
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Squire, Ann O
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
You hear about it on the news, or see pictures in the paper, still, there's something truly horrifying about a sinkhole that suddenly appears and begins gulping down cars, people, and homes. This book investigates the geology behind sinkholes, their various causes, and famous sinkholes around the world. Warnings signs are highlighted, and new methods of evaluating the danger factors are considered. This is an interesting book with great photographs and diagrams, nice captions, some stats, and all the standard text features you would expect to find in a 48-page member of the "A True Book" series. With a compelling cover photograph and solid information this would be good for both report-writing and informative reading.
Self-Driving Cars
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Marsico, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The automobile has gone through many changes from its invention each of which, this book points out, helped to make it more autonomous. Are we truly ready for the final step, relinquishing control of the wheel, gas, and brake? This book says that possibility is nearer than ever. Readers get a quick overview of the history behind the automobile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations official level indicating degrees of vehicular autonomy (1 to 4), what is currently being accomplished, and what may be ahead. This is a 48 page "A True Book" so you know it has all the standard text features, solid writing, good pictures with excellent captions, and all the information a student would need to write a basic report. Yes, the information here will become quickly outdated, but it is fascinating.
Faith The Cinderella Fairy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Meadows, Daisy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Rainbow Magic" fairy books are early chapter books. In this new series within the series--The Fairy Tale Fairies-- human girls Rachel and Kirsty are attending a Fairy Tale Festival at Tiptop Castle. This is exactly the sort of thing they love to do. In this 7 book series, however, they are faced with challenges. The 7 Fairy Tale Fairies are in trouble. Their magical talismans have been stolen by Jack Frost. Without them, their fairy tales will disappear! Indeed, their fairy tale characters have already left the realm of fairies. It's up to Rachel and Kirsty to find the magical items, thwart Jack Frost, and send the characters back where they belong. In this book who is that ragged girl cleaning up the castle? And what about those two obnoxious women? With Jack Frost wearing the glass slipper is there any chance to set the story right again? Only if they can trick the slipper off his foot. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. Yes, these books are glittery fluff, but girls love them and they're a painless quick read.
Julia The Sleeping Beauty Fairy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Meadows, Daisy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Rainbow Magic" fairy books are very popular with girls just hitting early chapter books. In this new series within the series--The Fairy Tale Fairies-- human girls Rachel and Kirsty are attending a Fairy Tale Festival at Tiptop Castle. This is exactly the sort of thing they love to do. In this 7 book series, however, they are faced with challenges. The 7 Fairy Tale Fairies are in trouble. Their magical talismans have been stolen by Jack Frost who is always trying to mess things up. Without them, their fairy tales will disappear! Indeed, their fairy tale characters have already left the realm of fairies. It's up to Rachel and Kirsty to find the magical items, thwart Jack Frost, and send the characters back where they belong. In this book Jack Frost wants to the sleeping beauty--star of the story. His goblins are at work helping him meet his goal. It will take cleverness and a pillow fight to win the day. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. Yes, these books are glittery fluff, but girls love them and they're a painless quick read.
The Louisiana Purchase Through the Eyes of Thomas Jefferson
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
YASUDA, ANITA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Core Library" books from Abdo are thoughtful, well-conceived 48-page books that incorporate primary sources, multiple perspectives, and standards-based learning into an interesting in-depth look at a topic. Part of the "Presidential Perspectives" series this book focuses on Thomas Jefferson and his role in greatly enlarging the nation's boundaries. Politics, both at home and abroad, had much to do with this opportunity and readers will gain interesting insights into the time period and the motivations for the Louisiana Purchase, as well as its impact on the nation. Thoughtful questions accompany the text. There's a timeline, some "Stop and Think" questions that require upper-level thinking skills, a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Photographs and historical paintings accompany the text. This is an exceptional series that merits a place in secondary libraries.
World War II through the eyes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
Conley, Kate
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Core Library" books from Abdo are thoughtful, well-conceived 48-page books that incorporate primary sources, multiple perspectives, and standards-based learning into an interesting in-depth look at a topic. Part of the "Presidential Perspectives" series this book focuses on World War II and Franklin Delano Roosevelt's role in that conflict. The author provides background on the war, and the elements that kept the United States out of it, and those that forced its entry. The war in Europe, as well as in the Pacific, are briefly highlighted. Readers also learn about the diplomatic aftermath of the war. Thoughtful questions accompany the text. There's a timeline, some "Stop and Think" questions that require upper-level thinking skills, a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Photographs and occasional maps accompany the text. This is an exceptional series that merits a place in secondary libraries.
The Civil War Through the Eyes of Abraham Lincoln
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
Kneib, Martha
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Core Library" books from Abdo are thoughtful, well-conceived 48-page books that incorporate primary sources, multiple perspectives, and standards-based learning into an interesting in-depth look at a topic. Part of the "Presidential Perspectives" series this book focuses on the Civil War, as seen from Abraham Lincoln's perspective. The author focuses on Lincoln's own personal losses, and his great sorrow at the losses incurred through the Civil War. His election and the subsequent dissolution of the nation are highlighted, as well as the strategies of the war, and Lincoln's feelings about what should happen afterwards. Thoughtful questions accompany the text. There's a timeline, some "Stop and Think" questions that require upper-level thinking skills, a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Photographs and historical paintings accompany the text. This is an exceptional series that merits a place in secondary libraries.
Eleanor the Snow White fairy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
MEADOWS, DAISY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Rainbow Magic" fairy books are very popular with girls just hitting early chapter books. In this new series within the series--The Fairy Tale Fairies-- human girls Rachel and Kirsty are attending a Fairy Tale Festival at Tiptop Castle. In this 7 book series, however, they are faced with challenges. The 7 Fairy Tale Fairies are in trouble. Their magical talismans have been stolen by troublesome Jack Frost and his goblins. Without them, their fairy tales will disappear! Indeed, their fairy tale characters have already left the realm of fairies. It's up to Rachel and Kirsty to find the magical items, thwart Jack Frost, and send the characters back where they belong. In this book Jack Frost has the magic comb from the Snow White tale, and a pretty girl with 7 short friends has shown up at the castle. Can Jack Frost hold his ground against the wicked queen, however? Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. Yes, these books are glittery fluff, but girls love them and they're a painless quick read.
Aisha The Princess And The Pea Fairy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Meadows, Daisy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 18, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Rachel and Kirsty are enjoying a delightful week at a Fairy Tale Festival at Tiptop Castle. The week has been full of more than fun activities, however. The seven Fairy Tale Fairies have lost their magic objects and their fairy tale characters need to get back into their stories. It's all Jack Frost's fault, of course. He and his goblins are creating trouble and our girls need to put things right. In this book Jack is stealing mattresses, intending to become the main character in the story. Will all end well? Of course it will. This is another bit of glittery fluff--a new series of 7 books in the "Rainbow Magic" series. Short chapters, occasional black and white illustrations and lots of girl-friendly fairies make the series popular with transitional girl readers.
Lacey The Little Mermaid Fairy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Meadows, Daisy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 18, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Rachel and Kirsty are enjoying a delightful week at a Fairy Tale Festival at Tiptop Castle. The week has been full of more than fun activities, however. The seven Fairy Tale Fairies have lost their magic objects and their fairy tale characters need to get back into their stories. It's all Jack Frost's fault, of course. He and his goblins are creating trouble and our girls need to put things right. In this book Jack is planning on taking over the main role in "The Little Mermaid" (apparently Disney version not Hans Christian Andersen). They must retrieve a magic shell for all to end well. Silliness competes with mild suspense. This is another bit of glittery fluff--a new series of 7 books in the "Rainbow Magic" series. Short chapters, occasional black and white illustrations and lots of girl-friendly fairies make the series popular with transitional girl readers.
Gwen The Beauty And The Beast Fairy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Meadows, Daisy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 18, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Rachel and Kirsty are enjoying a delightful week at a Fairy Tale Festival at Tiptop Castle. The week has been full of more than fun activities, however. The seven Fairy Tale Fairies have lost their magic objects and their fairy tale characters need to get back into their stories. It's all Jack Frost's fault, of course. He and his goblins are creating trouble and our girls need to put things right. In this book a costume party is coming up. With Beauty's magic book Jack wants to create a wonderful princess dress that will put him firmly in the lead role. The fairy needs back her magic rose pin. Only cleverness will save the day. This is a cotton candy sort of book, part of a new series of 7 books in the "Rainbow Magic" series. Short chapters, occasional black and white illustrations and lots of girl-friendly fairies make the series popular with transitional girl readers.
Rita The Frog Princess Fairy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Meadows, Daisy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 18, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Rachel and Kirsty are enjoying a delightful week at a Fairy Tale Festival at Tiptop Castle. The week has been full of more than fun activities, however. The seven Fairy Tale Fairies have lost their magic objects and their fairy tale characters need to get back into their stories. It's all Jack Frost's fault, of course. He and his goblins are creating trouble and our girls need to put things right. This book is based on the Russian frog princess story, which stars Vasilissa. Now Jack Frost wants to take over that role and he needs to bake a perfect cake. A magic mixing bowl will help, but there's a fairy who needs that bowl badly. Magical mayhem ensues. This is another bit of glittery fluff--a new series of 7 books in the "Rainbow Magic" series. Short chapters, occasional black and white illustrations and lots of girl-friendly fairies make the series popular with transitional girl readers.
Sugar, Gummi And Lollipop
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Miles, Ellen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 19, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this addition to "The Puppy Place" series Lizzie and her best friend Maria are off with Maria's parents to an isolated cabin. The only dog they expect to see there is Maria's mother's seeing-eye dog. Imagine their surprise at finding a box with three puggle (pug/beagle mix) puppies on the doorstep! A quiet vacation turns into a busy time training puppies, keeping them safe, and figuring out what to do with them. Since this is supposed to be a "sugar-free" vacation, the puppies all get sugary names, and each has a unique personality. They are just so darned sweet! will all end well? Of course. This series doesn't believe in unhappy endings. Short chapters make this a nice choice for those just moving up from transitional chapter books. The series is a popular one at my library and who wouldn't love the three puppies gazing at you from the cover?
K-Pop : Korea's Musical Explosion
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Kallen, Stuart A
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 19, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
I'll admit I knew nothing about K-Pop before I read this book. It is, however, a surprisingly thorough and fascinating look into this music phenomenon. Readers get a brief overview of Korean popular music from the 1960's with the Pearl Sisters and Jackie Shin up to the modern band 2NE1 and everything in between. What's fascinating is how bands and artists were often, literally created by companies to fit a certain look and sound. These artists were nurtured and trained to fit a particular mold--chosen as much for their looks as for their talent. Music by corporation is an interesting concept, and there is the amusing juxtaposition of young artists deliberately pushing the envelope of Korean censorship with language, appearance, and ideology, all while being supported by corporate interests that take most of the profit off the top. The book is interesting, highlighting specific artists and groups. It will appeal to fans, but also provides solid information on the music industry in Korea. Solidly researched, the book includes source notes, an extensive bibliography, a lengthy website list, and an index. Of course it is already outdated, but it should still appeal to fans of this type of music.
My Autosaurus Will Win!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Stilton, Geronimo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 19, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Geronimo Stiltonoot has been tricked into another adventure. In this, book #10 in the Cavemice series, we are back in the stone age and Geronimo is in a dinosaur road race to gather the peppers needed to make an exclusive and yummy cheese. Trap is, of course, the instigator. All the other competitors, including Thea, have great dinosaurs while Geronimo's autosaurus is just a reliable sturdy critter. Naturally he and Trap are in last place through much of the contest. However, part of the reason is that they keep stopping to help other competitors who are in trouble. This is another fun Geronimo adventure with lots and lots of colorful illustrations with colors that extend to the wacky, always-changing fonts. This is typical fare for the series and will be welcomed by fans.
ISLAND OF DOOM
WENDY LAMB BOOKS [WENDY LAMB BOOKS]
SLADE, ARTHUR
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 20, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
I love the Hunchback Assignment series and am truly sorry to see it come to a close with this, the fourth book, Island of Doom. Modo and Octavia head out to find Modo's parents. That pursuit does not turn out well. Without giving too much away, though, I can say that the series ended on a positive note. What I do not understand about this series is that I cannot get more students to read it. Perhaps the Victorian era does not grab the elementary crowd the way it does me! For a more thorough review, please see my other reviews of this series.
Just Right For Christmas
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Black, Birdie
Beardshaw, Rosalind
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 20, 2016
Samuel, Treasure
This sweet board book emphasizes the joy of giving. At the beginning of the story, a king uses red cloth for a Christmas gift and the rest of the book shows how the scraps are used for others to make gifts as well. The book has solid repetition and a nice mix of people and animals that are sweetly illustrated. The only problem is the large amount of text for a small board book-- this lovely story is much better suited to the picture book format.
Remaking The John : The Invention And Reinvention Of The Toi
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Dipiazza, Francesca Davi
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 20, 2016
Samuel, Treasure
This nonfiction title for middle grade readers tells the history of "the invention and reinvention of the toilet". Basically, the books covers how people go to the bathroom around the world and throughout time. Topics include current items as well, such as World Toilet Day, global sanitation problems, and the spread of disease. The book has plenty of features-- pictures, captions, and bonus information boxes, as well as standards such as source notes, an index, and an introduction. There are five chapters, each ten pages or less. The book, however, does not contain a glossary, and terms within the text are not bolded. A gross out topic covered well makes this a great addition to a collection that needs attention grabbing books for reluctant report writers.
Water Parks
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 20, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Thrill seekers searching for the fastest, highest, and longest water rides will love this photograph heavy collection of such places. Part of a series entitled Wild Water, the book provides a brief history and description of the designing of a water park ride before focusing on a myriad of the most impressive waterslides, vertical drops, water roller coasters, indoor rivers and wave pools throughout the world. Special mention is given to America’s largest outdoor water park, Noah’s Ark, in Wisconsin, and North America’s largest indoor park, World Waterpark, in Alberta, Canada. Particularly interesting are the photographs inside the rides, surfing rides, and the different park overviews. Other rides mentioned are in parks in Brazil, Kansas, Indiana, Germany, and Austria. Several areas at Disney World may be the best known though. Back material includes a glossary with multi-sentence definitions and an index. Undoubtedly this will be a popular book if your budget covers this less academic nonfiction.
Curiosity's Mission On Mars : Exploring The Red Planet
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Miller, Ron
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 20, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Haven’t we always wondered if aliens lived on Mars or nearby planets in our galaxy? With the popularity of the recent movie, The Martian, interest in our nearest neighbor has soared as we speculate whether Mars is or was hospitable to life and whether humans could eventually set up colonies. Focusing on the mechanics and explorations of the space rover Curiosity, chapters cover the design and capabilities of the Rover, research goals, and discoveries with an emphasis on learning more about the presence of water on the planet now and in the past. Discoveries of the existence of water locked deep in the ground and ancient streambeds as well as polar ice bodes well for potential habitation. The future of Mars exploration and the pathway to manned missions are detailed with a rough timeline target of 2030. The Insight, scheduled to launch this year (2016) has been postponed until 2018, but many probes and other countries’ missions are planned as well. Money and technology to sustain life for long periods in space are the biggest challenges facing future explorations today. Back material includes source notes, glossary, selected bibliography and resources for more information.
Summer Showers
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Hannigan, Kate
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 20, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Cousins and best friends Delia and Willow look forward to their summer plans when the two families gather at Whispering Pines for Aunt Rose’s baby shower. But Delia’s family is now dependent on their income from the newly opened Arts and Eats Café and sales of her father’s painting. Despite the duo’s successful baking of Aunt Rose’s wedding cake the previous summer, Willow’s hand injury has sidelined them from the kitchen. They concoct plans to win the County Fair’s baking competition in order to bring in new customers. Alternating mishaps and the girls’ tenacity drives the plot, leading to a satisfying conclusion. Scattered black & white drawings compliment the text and several recipes for the featured baked goods are included. Multi-generational family members are loving and caring, providing a stereotyped large family experience with only a touch of discord from their older sisters. The second book in this middle grade series will appeal to fans of realistic fiction that want this innocent and idealized experience.
Busy Trucks on the Go
Kane/Miller Book Publishers [Kane/Miller Book Publishers]
Ode, Eric
Culotta, Kent
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 20, 2016
Samuel, Treasure
This colorful picture book is perfect for the young truck lover in your life. A dad and his young son travel in their red car, seeing many farm and construction vehicles along the way. Then the car gets a flat tire and they get to see a tow truck! Children will love the sheer number of brightly illustrated trucks, as well as the large font and rhyming text. Adults will appreciate the subtle changes in the pictures-- the "trip" is clearly a conglomeration of many trips with this duo, as the pictures depict multiple seasons and times of day. An excellent addition to a school or public library serving young children.
Captain Underpants And The Tyrannical Retaliation Of The Tur
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Pilkey, Dav
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 20, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
I have just finished my very first Captain Underpants book and must say that it left me speechless. It is the silliest, most farcical, bad-pun-ish book ever, and I loved it. I can definitely see why kids enjoy reading these books, but I wonder how much actually goes right over their heads! I can also see why these books have found themselves on various banned books lists. What does one expect when the teachers in a school all strip down to their underwear when Harold and George and their yesterday twins show up? All I could do was laugh from start to finish. As Pilkey states, "It's my potty and I'll cry if I want to."
Ebola : Fears And Facts
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Newman, Patricia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 21, 2016
Dame, Anne
This 48 page informational text does a good job of clearly explaining what Ebola is, where it started, how it is spread, and what is being done to prevent it from spreading/cure it. Scientific terms are explained, plus there is a glossary in the back. Textual information is supplemented throughout with primary source photos, maps, and charts. One feature that I particularly liked was a text box that asked the readers to think about 5 different questions to determine if informations they see/hear/read is truth or hype. Also included: 2 pages of Frequently Asked Questions (with answers), an author's note, glossary, source notes, selected bibliography, plus books and websites for further reading and research. An excellent addition to an upper elem/middle school science collection.
Showtime!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Siegal, Ida
Pena, Karla
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 21, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Emma's dance group has been asked to participate in a parade. However, their teacher's special drum has disappeared! It's time for Emma and friends to pull out their mystery-solving skills. This is book #3 in the "Emma is on the Air" series and it features a wonderfully diverse group of friends. Emma carefully documents the mystery and the steps they take in solving it. This is an easy chapter book with short chapters and plenty of black and white illustrations. The writing is enjoyable, and this has a little more meat to it than a Cam Jansen mystery. This will be a popular series and answers that need for more diversity in our collections.
Don't Feed The Geckos!
CLARION [CLARION]
English, Karen
Freeman, Laura
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 21, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Carlos isn't very good playing the soccer his father loves. His interests lie in a different direction--animals. He is meticulous in the care of his geckos and ant farm. Still, life is generally good. Or, or least, it WAS until his cousin Bernardo comes to stay with them. This kid is trouble and is making Carlos's life miserable. It doesn't help that the new arrival is fabulous at sports and is now taking up a lot of Carlos's father's time. Can Carlos learn to better understand his cousin? Is there something Bernardo can teach him? Or is this just a case of survival? This is a crisply written, evocative book that throws readers into a situation they can all understand, but also provides that further information that gives deeper insight. It also meets the needs for a more diverse collection with a Latino family in the starring role. Short chapters and occasional black and white illustrations make this a good choice for reluctant readers. Readers will also learn quite a bit about caring for geckos and ants. All in all a terrific book. One only hopes more are on the way.
Fish
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Stevens, Kathryn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 21, 2016
Korf, Clarence
Fish is good book to give readers the basics of taking care of fish in the home. The text is simple and clear which provides simple input on selecting fish, tank, accessories and food. Text boxes add additional information to the clear full page pictures. The overall impression is having steps to set up an aquarium would make this a great beginning resource. Content includes clean water, good food, good health and loving care. The book has a table of contents, needs and dangers, fun facts, glossary, index and additional references for more information.
Stinky Cecil In Terrarium Terror
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Braddock, Paige
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 21, 2016
Burton, Paula
The second Stinky Cecil comic is as much a hit as the first one was. Cecil is a toad who enjoys his naps and his friends around the place he calls home; the pond. That is until he is caught by a miniature human and taken to a school terrarium. Here he is introduced to a chameleon named Nesbit and a well informed garter snake that is never seen but quotes Voltaire. Cecil’s friends are worried but with the help of Jeff the hamster and his remote control helicopter they are determined to get their friend back. This humorous and colorful graphic novel will entice those that like bugs, amphibians and some imagination. Three panel pages make it easy for younger readers to follow the story and reading the first one is not necessary to enjoy this installment of Cecil’s adventures. Sporadically there are some facts thrown into the story about the different animals and on the last couple of pages there is a comprehensive guide on the chameleon, garter snake and instructions on how to make your own terrarium. As seen in many graphic novels, there are a couple of pages with character sketches
Way To Glow! : Amazing Creatures That Light Up In The Dark :
SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION [SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION]
Regan, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 21, 2016
Burton, Paula
The gimmick of this book is part of the images glow in the dark; hold the image close to a light source and when taken to the dark it glows by itself. Not all the images are lighting up but all the animals are bio-luminescent, animals that provide their own light source. Each spread is devoted to one animal, most are creatures found in the ocean but also included are the firefly and the click beetle. Each spread has a photograph that is spectacular even before the gimmick of lighting up the page and shows many of the animals’ gory details. For example the dragon fish and angler fish look mighty scary. Even the enlarged photograph of plankton makes the tiny creature look intimidating. Text is a paragraph or two with some facts about the animal and an interesting “did you know” highlight about the particular animal. Apart from that it could be interesting to those who like creatures that are found far below the ocean surface.
Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Newman, Leslea
Bates, Amy June
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 21, 2016
Korf, Clarence
Ketzel, the Cat who Composed is based on a true story about a composition inspired by a cat. Moshe Cotel is a composer living in a busy city. He uses the sounds in hears to create his original works. One day, he steps out for a walk to take a break from his work. As he is walking, he hears a small sound which is coming from a black and white kitten, he names Ketzel. Moshe has Ketzel listen to his music and notices how the cat responds to the different moods in the music. When a contest is challenging composers to come up with a sixty-second composition, Moshe finds the task impossible unitl Ketzel does a walk across the piano keys. He writes what he hears and enters Ketzel's composition. The illustrations are simple watercolor and pencil which support the fun and mischief of have having a kitten in the house. An author's note provides the facts behind the story.
Elmer And The Flood
ANDERSEN PRESS USA [ANDERSEN PRESS USA]
Mckee, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 21, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Elmer, the lovable patchwork elephant, sets off on a walk, seeking peace and quiet after the noisy cave where the elephants were sheltering during the rain. Friendly conversation along the way brightens Elmer’s mood. After hearing that Young has been swept away in the flooding, the crocodiles help Elmer locate him on an island amidst the rising waters. Seeking help, Elmer corrals all the elephants, and working together they rescue Young. After Young is safely reunited with his mother, the others decide to trick Elmer stranding him on the same island. But Elmer has the last laugh, declaring he is quite content to be on the island with its peace and quiet until the waters recede. Life lessons are conveyed in the humorous content of the Elmer books as simple pranks lead to a surprising conclusion when good-natured Elmer finds beauty and pleasure anyway . Great for teaching young students to accept and cherish differences, overcome adversity, and help each other. All elementary libraries should have a few Elmer books.
Stargazing
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Stars and constellations, as well as the astronomers and telescopes used for their study are the primary topics covered in this Super Sandcastle book written at a low 3rd grade reading level. Additional information about meteors, meteorites, comets and impact craters are mentioned as well as diagrams showing star growth over time, colors reflecting a star’s temperature, antique drawings of the constellations in the hemispheres and a labeled telescope. Brief paragraphs of text accompany the plentiful photographs within the two-page chapters that resemble a visual dictionary. This format provides an overview of the topic of stars and could inspire interest in further research and reading. Back material includes a three-question recall quiz and glossary.
Universe
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Doudna, Kelly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Who isn’t awed by the immensity of the Universe? Big Bang, shape of the Universe, Galaxies, stars and their life cycles, and other celestial bodies, black holes, dark matter, and systems of stars and planets are covered in brief text, photographs, diagrams and enhancements. The time sequence for the formation of black holes, nebulae, and the progression of a star are particularly helpful for explaining words such as supernova, red giants, and black holes. Photographs illustrate the four differently sized and shapes of galaxies and define our Milky Way galaxy as spiral. Brief paragraphs of text accompany the plentiful photographs within the two-page chapters that resemble a visual dictionary. This format provides an overview of a simplistic look at the basic components of the Universe and could inspire interest in further research and reading. Back material includes a three-question recall quiz and glossary.
Space Travel
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Deyoe, Aaron
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Rockets, Probes, Space Shuttles, Landers, and Rovers are the five primary types of vehicles that have been used for space travel with only Rockets and Shuttles carrying humans. All though, have investigated aspects of planets, stars, and other bodies of space material such as meteorites and asteroids and many have far surpassed the expected life span and continue to send us valuable information. Brief paragraphs of text accompany the plentiful photographs within the two-page chapters offering a basic glimpse that is like a visual dictionary. A few labeled diagrams include a comparison of Saturn V Rocket to multiple buildings, and a labeled shuttle. The International Space station and satellites are covered as well. This format provides an overview of the topic of space travel and could inspire interest in further research and reading. Back material includes a three-question recall quiz and glossary.
Today Is The Day
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Walters, Eric
Fernandes, Eugenie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2016
Dame, Anne
Mutanu lives in an orphanage in Kenya. She is super excited because today is a special day. Everyone at the orphanage is getting ready for the big surprise: a birthday party! Because many of the children do not know their actual birthdays, one day is set aside to celebrate and make it meaningful and memorable for them. Based on a real orphanage in Kenya where the Creation of Hope charity makes this event possible. Lovely color illustrations clearly depict the African setting; there are also real photos as the end of the book.
Timeline History Of The Trail Of Tears
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Behnke, Alison
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 22, 2016
Dame, Anne
Part of the Timeline Trackers series about Westward Expansion. (Other titles include: California Gold Rush, Mexican-American War, and the Transcontinental Railroad.) This informational text is 48 pages long. It includes primary source materials as well as photographs, charts, maps, and of course, several different timelines. At the back there is a writing exercise, glossary, and a few suggestions for finding further information on the topic. It is a good introductory text. It includes some background information as scaffolding for students who are unfamiliar with the Trail of Tears and what led up to it. The reading level is still a bit high as text is pretty dense, but much more manageable for a lower level reader than many other texts available. A good supplement to upper elem/middle school curriculum.
Woman Scorned
RAVEN BOOKS [RAVEN BOOKS]
Heneghan, James
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Unsuitable
March 22, 2016
Samuel, Treasure
This Orca Rapid Read is a whodunit mystery, with enough sex and violence to make it unsuitable for most young adult audiences and school libraries, but not enough suspense to make it interesting to most adults. While it would probably find an audience in a public library, this book is not ideal for a school library.
Best Kept Secret
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Martin, Ann M
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 22, 2016
Samuel, Treasure
From best-selling author Ann M. Martin, this is book three in a series that follows four generations of women. This one beings in 1977, with first grader Francie in Princeton, New Jersey. She faces a variety of challenges while growing up, including dyslexia and her parents' divorce, but she also has many happy moments. The pivotal issue in the book, how she handles an attempted kidnapping, is not resolved by the end of the book, indicating more to come in the final book in the series. The book is interesting enough, but as it provides only snapshots of her life from first grade through adulthood, it is hard to connect with the characters. The plot moves along pretty well, but lacks detailed descriptions that would help readers feel present with Francie. This is not a stand alone book and should be read in the order of the series.
Tommy Stands Tall
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Velasquez, Gloria L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 22, 2016
Samuel, Treasure
The ninth book in the Roosevelt High School series, and the second book starring Tommy, Tommy Stands Tall picks up the story after his coming out in Tommy Stands Alone. His mom and friends are supportive, but his dad and most of his high school are not. After another student is beaten up for being gay, Tommy starts a Gay-Straight Alliance club at his school. Backed by his multiracial, supportive friends, they survive the threats and ridicule of other students and their parents. Each book in the series stars this multiracial group of kids facing a variety of social and cultural issues. While books featuring diverse characters and tough issues is vastly important, this one reads as the type of book that adults *think* kids should love, but kids may not-- the didactic tone is very obvious and boring, and the way the kids speak in the book is not how high school seniors speak to each other in real life. The issues and characters in this book are so important, but poorly executed. Let's hope there are more, better books to choose from in the future.
Cut The Lights
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Krossing, Karen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 22, 2016
Samuel, Treasure
From the Orca Limelights series, this high interest, low reading level book follows Briar, an aspiring director at an arts high school. Her parents are "ordinary" and want her to be so as well, rather than follow in the footsteps of her flighty, wannabe actress aunt. Even with the drama at home, there is even more drama at school-- Briar is directing her first play and has constant problems with her actors, stage manager, and the other directors. The plot is fast paced and interesting, though a bit predictable and over-simplified. With great descriptions that set up the scenes and create the setting well, this book is sure to grab the interests of the intended audience.
MY BEAUTIFUL HIPPIE
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
LYNCH, JANET NICHOLS
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 22, 2016
Samuel, Treasure
This is a lovely, insightful book that suffers from an unappealing cover. If students can move past the uninteresting cover, they will fall in love with Joanne, a spunky, wannabe hippie trapped in a middle class family with traditional expectations. It's 1967, and Joanne's family lives in The Haight during the peak of the Summer of Love. The story follows 15 year old Joanne as she meets and falls for Martin, a hippie that her parents despise. Other plot points that begin as side stories soon become just as fascinating and insightful, including her older sister's new marriage and her older brother's longing to go fight in Vietnam. Surrounded by the actual people, events, and attitudes that took place during the social upheaval in America in the late 60's, this book is an excellent example of how historical fiction can be done well. Reminiscent of Deborah Wiles' Countdown, this title is not to be missed!
Ghostly Thief Of Time
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Bolling, Ruben
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 22, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The EMU Club (Exploration-Mystery-Unbelievable) has just finished its first case that, oddly, resulted in alien contact and a robot dog. Now they're looking for their next case...but how are they going to find it? What mysteries are around them? The last one sort of fell into the laps of 11-year old Stuart, his friend Brian, and his little sister Violet. (Oh, let's not forget that unusual dog, Fernando.) This case is taking more time to appear. Actually it's time that gives them their first clue. It seems the closer you sit to the back of the classroom the slower time goes by, particularly near the end of school. While this is a phenomenon most children know, in this case it is really happening. The custodian is a time traveler. Unfortunately the kids think he's a ghost and thwart his plans, which may result in the eventual total destruction of the planet. What are they to do? Written in journal style with occasional color illustrations, giggle-worthy humor, and great silliness, this series will appeal to "Zack File" fans.
Digger Dog
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Bee, William
Johansson, Cecilia
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2016
Samuel, Treasure
This adorable picture book knows its audience-- it covers construction vehicles, cute animals, and dinosaurs! What's not to love? The story is of a dog, Digger Dog, who...wait for it... loves to dig! Readers will enjoy that rather than use his paws, Digger Dog uses increasingly larger construction equipment to try to get to what he believes is a big bone. His adorable animal friends help with the project, until finally the vehicles are so big that readers must unfold pages to see the entire thing. Fun little signs direct readers where to unfold pages, finally revealing the fun ending of a glorious, double fold out of "the biggest digger in the whole wide world" and the "world's biggest bone". Adults will appreciate the repetition, opportunity for prediction, the bold text, and the cute touches such as the monochromatic polka dot end pages, which are the same as the dirt and grass in the illustrations. The pages are heavy and durable, which is necessary for what is sure to be an immensely popular book.
When Butterflies Cross The Sky : The Monarch Butterfly Migra
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Cooper, Sharon Katz
Brunet, Joshua S.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2016
Samuel, Treasure
From the series "Extraordinary Migrations", this easy nonfiction book explains the migration of monarch butterflies. The book is... ok: The text is jumpy and the topics abruptly change, making it hard to read smoothly. A fascinating editor's note about monarch butterfly generations is buried on the copyright page, where it is certain to never be read by children. On the positive, the book includes the basics--20 pages of text and nice illustrations, glossary, index, and 3 "Critical Thinking Using the Common Core" questions. With such a hyper-specific topic (1 event in 1 type of butterfly), this book may not be the best choice for a cash-strapped school library, but would do fine in a larger public library.
Clouds
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The Abdo Kid’s Weather series’ consistent format, simple sentences and limited vocabulary provide excellent content and predictability for early nonfiction readers. Clouds covers different types of clouds and how they are formed, vapor, evaporation, condensation, reflection, and how clouds help maintain a balanced temperature on earth. Photographs spill across the gutter and are of variable strength. One photograph labeled dust matches the explanation for how water vapor clings to a bit of matter to start forming droplets. But the photograph looks like a pinecone. Stratus and cirrus clouds are labeled and cumulus clouds are mentioned. Cloud concludes with an excellent diagram depicting the cycle of cloud formation from the Sun heating the water, water vapor rising then condensing to form clouds. Included are a glossary, index and code for online resources. Glossary words in Clouds include condensation, evaporation, reflect, and water vapor and the diagram depicts
Snow
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The Abdo Kid’s Weather series’ consistent format, simple sentences and limited vocabulary provide predictability for early nonfiction readers. Snow covers cold clouds, ice crystals, snowflake formation, importance of snow for animals and plants, and snow melt. Photographs of six different snowflake crystals, and a bear staying warm in a snow cave are particularly interesting and well chosen. Each book concludes with an excellent diagram explaining the major concept of the book, a glossary, index and code for online resources. Glossary words in Snow include ice crystals, melt and root and the diagram shows a simplified water cycle.
Wind
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The Abdo Kid’s Weather series’ consistent format, simple sentences and limited vocabulary provide complex content along with predictability for early nonfiction readers. Wind contains content about varying strengths of wind, atmospheric pressure, how temperature and pressure create wind, and how it can be used for energy. Photographs spill across the gutters and show kite flying, wind turbines, hot air balloons, a downed tree from a storm, and two photographs from space. An excellent diagram shows how wind is formed with temperature and pressure well labeled. Back material includes a glossary, index and code for online resources. Glossary words in Wind include: atmospheric pressure, energy, and moisture.
Rain
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The Abdo Kid’s Weather series’ consistent format, simple sentences and limited vocabulary provide excellent content and predictability for early nonfiction readers. Concepts in Rain include how vapor, evaporation, condensation, and precipitation come together to form rain and how flooding and drought impact life. Photographs of flooding, drought and a rainbow are well matched to the text, but one of snow and ice in a mountain lake needs clarification in explaining vapor rising. Two diagrams depict the water cycle; an excellent one in the middle of the book and a brief one at the end. A third diagram faces a description of condensation but requires some background knowledge to interpret. Back material includes a glossary, index and code for online resources. Glossary words in Rain include condensation, drought, evaporation, precipitation, and vapor.
Tornadoes
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The Abdo Kid’s Weather series’ consistent format, simple sentences and limited vocabulary provide excellent content and predictability for early nonfiction readers. Each book provides a simple explanation for how this weather phenomenon is created providing content for the youngest readers. Dramatic photographs dominate the pages and spill across the gutters including several showing a well-defined funnel, and the destruction that can occur. The Fujita scale ranking severity of the storm, and a description of how a tornado forms and safety measures are also included. Diagrams of the EF –Scale and how a tornado forms enhance understanding. Back material includes a glossary, index and code for online resources. Glossary words in Tornadoes include Enhanced Fujita Scale, humid, and thundercloud.
Trollhunters
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Del Toro, Guillermo
Lamarca, Luke
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 23, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Over 40 years ago children disappeared from San Bernadino and were never seen again. One was Jim Sturges' brother, Jack. Time has passed and now Jim has a son of his own, and a case of paranoia that means their house is a literal fortress. Jim Jr. doesn't know it, but he's not safe because his family comes from a legendary line of trollhunters and the trolls that once consumed the children of San Bernadino are coming back. When he is kidnapped by a small band of trollhunters, along with his best friend, Tub, he is surprised to find the one human there is his long-lost uncle--still a youth and now with over 40 years of troll-hunting experience. Can Jim and Tub and Jack and their unusual allies stop the next wave of child abductions? This is a tautly-written tale with some very humorous moments and lots of splashes of blood and battle. That puts it in the PG-13 range for me. Nevertheless, the story is gripping and the characters are unique and compelling. Hand this to your blood-thirsty middle-schoolers who have no interest in vampires.
Here Comes The Shaggedy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Stine, R L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 24, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Kelli and Shawn are not happy that they've moved from New York to a Florida swamp. Their dad is there to study the environment and write a book, but the kids are having trouble adjusting. Part of it involves the local legend of the Shaggedy--a swamp monster who rises from the depths to wreak havoc. Is it just a myth, or is there truth in the old tales? What about those giant footprints and the other evidence of the supernatural? Someone may be playing a prank...or their lives may be in deadly danger. This is another typical Goosebumps book with plenty of scary, lots of suspects, and some real horror in the last few chapters. Naturally it will be snapped up by those kids who demand "something scary."
Finder, Coal Mine Dog
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Hart, Alison
Montgomery, Michael G.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 26, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
This Dog Chronicles title features Finder, a cur dog who’s been adopted by Thomas, his uncle and aunt. Thomas’s parents have both died- his father in a coal mining accident at the St. Paul Coal Mine in Cherry, Illinois. The year is 1909, and Thomas’s carefree summer helping on the farm is ending. They need him, though only 14, to work in the coal mine to help financially plus afford the dog. Finder, though good at tracking, is not a good hunting dog as he’s afraid of guns. Thus when Thomas needs help pulling the coal carts, the managers agree to let Finder work. After several months on the job, a fire breaks out in the mine leaving many people dead or trapped. Finder helps Thomas and another boy to safety as well as locating trapped men a week after the fire. The Cherry Mine disaster was real, and Hart has done her research including background information on mining and child labor plus a bibliography and websites. The suspense should appeal to intermediate and middle schoolers, especially boys. The first person/dog’s point of view is sometimes unexpected though children may not have this same issue. Diagrams of the mine prove helpful and the pen and watercolor illustrations are satisfactory.
Curious World Of Calpurnia Tate
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Kelly, Jacqueline
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 26, 2016
Burton, Paula
Follow up of the Newbery Honor book The evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Those who like the first installment will be thrilled with the returning characters but this book could be read as a stand alone. Calpurnia (Callie) is still interested in nature and science. Travis still tries to tame wild animals into pets, Lamar is not much nicer in this book as he was in the previous one, but there are some new characters. Her cousin Aggie is staying with them after the great flood and there is a new veterinarian, Dr Pritzker, in town. It is not until later in the book that the author strays away from the saga with Travis and his quest for a pet, and the book explores the topic of Callie’s future. Callie realizes that since she is a girl, opportunities are not as obvious for her as they are for her brothers. Callie is not supposed to be interested in Science. She should be working on her homemaking skills and play the piano. Although her talents are far beyond those of Travis, Dr. Pritzker would not even consider Callie as a future veterinarian. Even her own father treats her different than her brothers. I wished the author would have tackled this topic a lot sooner in the book. A good read for girls who are interested in science.
Tiger Who Would Be King
ENCHANTED LION BOOKS [ENCHANTED LION BOOKS]
Thurber, James
Di Giacomo, Kris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 27, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Cartoonist, journalist and author James Thurber's fable of the foolishness of ambitious leaders gets a hip re-illustration by South Korean JooHee Yoon. Yoon's orange, green and black block-prints flood every square inch of the coarse-textured pages of this Enchanted Lion Books' decidedly retro picture book. the tiger in this tale arises one day announcing his intention to rule the jungle declaring "We need a change," said the tiger, "The creatures are crying for a change." The tigress pays attention only to her cubs, as does the lioness. But when Lion hears of this usurper, a fight ensues that involves almost all the animals of the forest who fight in a frenzy that ends with the sun going down and 'nary a creature left breathing. Moral: "You can't very well be king of beasts if there aren't any." This is a visually enchanting reprise of Thurber's 1927 commentary on the foolishness of tyrants and war, available just in time for blustery US presidential elections. Recommended for illustration technique and message as well as for the opportunity it gives us to share a great American wit.
My Family Tree And Me
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Petrii, Duan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 27, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
KidsCan Press does a great job of presenting children with books about our diverse world without making a Big Deal of Diversity. Author/illustrator Dušan Petričić, who lives in Belgrade and Toronto, embodies this world-view in this telling of a little boy's describing his "family tree." His red-hair clearly comes from his dad's side, starting a long, long, long time ago there lived my great-great-grandfather and great-great grandmother, shown seated in an open-air, hand-crank started motorcar in pre-WWI Europe. Successive pages, each with quirky details like grandfather "Pop" crooked spectacles shown in family portrait on the wall let us enjoy seeing family traits twice as each of the boy's descendants lead to a center spread of father's side relations on the left and mother's side on the right. As we continuing the story from present to past, we see his mother's side reaching back to pre-revolutionary China. Cleverly done, as Asian books are read right to left, the final effect is to let this book lead from either end of the journey to the big happy family portrait, including uncle's male partner standing out no more than others in this multi-racial family portrait complete with descriptive familial relationships clearly noted.
Hidden Agenda Of Sigrid Sugden
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Maclean, Jill
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 28, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Sigrid is part of a group of bullying, blackmailing girls known as the shrikes in her small town on the east coast of Canada. When another girl is bullied into going out in her father’s boat in dangerous tides, Sigrid calls her home to make sure she is rescued. This incident and its aftermath of principal and parent intervention give Sigrid the chance to try to start with a different set of friends. However, starting over when you have a reputation is not easy and Sigrid finds herself friendless, a target of the other shrikes, and having to deal with family issues as well. Slowly, with many backslides Sigrid begins to build a new life that she feels better about. This is a sympathetic portrait of a girl struggling to change her life after a hard spell. This is the third book set a group of kids in the same community.
Inker's Shadow
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Say, Allen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 28, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
A companion to Sibert-award winning memoir "Drawing from Memory," the "Inker's Shadow" shows and tells of Allen Say's arrival at an American boarding school. For a 15 year old with a cardboard suitcase and a paint box, the Glendora CA military academy was both an opportunity for an American education and a challenge to avoid the worst of racial prejudice left over from the war against Japan a scant seven years before. For Say as for many young readers, a comic-strip character gave him an alter-ego who helped him overcome challenges as he advanced his artistic skills taking on anything that came his way. Say combines his brilliant ink and watercolor illustrations, with black and white comic panels and sketches to draw his memories of incidents and people he encountered on his journey to graduation. His gratitude to mentors are metioned in text, and included in photographs at the end of this 80 page memoir. As an author and illustrator of 29 books that address issues faced by Asian Americans and others in our multicultural America, this latest offering from Allen Say deserves to be read and shared widely. Domo arigatou gozaimasu Alan Say Sensei.
Inventor's Secret : What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Slade, Suzanne
Reinhardt, Jennifer Black
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 28, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
In this tandem biography of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford readers find out the importance that a single discussion might have on a life. Edison and Ford had similar childhood passions for exploring, tinkering and building. Edison, somewhat older than Ford, found success as he invented many things we still used today. Ford, though passionate in his ideas was becoming discouraged when he met Edison. But Edison, impressed with his initial plans for a four stroke engine gave him the perfect advice, “Keep at it!” to keep Ford engaged as he worked through many prototypes before creating the wildly popular and affordable Model T automobile. With its strong message of persistence and biographies of two popular inventors this is a strong addition to books supporting STEM.
Religion : A Discovery In Comics
Nbm Publishing [Nbm Publishing]
De Heer, Margreet
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 28, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Margreet de Heer, a cartoonist and daughter of a Dutch Reformed minister, has created an excellent overview of different world religions in an approachable, thoughtful and personal format. The illustrations support the explanations of a variety of different religions and also help the reader understand the delicate nature of presenting information about religions when there is so much passion, tradition, and emotion tied up with them. Readers will come away with an appreciation of the diversity, similarities and difference of the major religions of the world, but will also carry away the personal story of de Heer’s spiritual explorations.
Desmond Pucket And The Cloverfield Junior High Carnival Of H
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Tatulli, Mark
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Desmond Pucket has a problem. He loves scaring other kids, but the school Carnival of Horrors has been canceled by the principal. What's he going to do? He has a shed full of monsters and nothing to do with them! Worse, there isn't enough money to keep the librarian on at the school. Can he make all of this work in his favor? Well, sure. He pulls a "Christmas Carol" on the new principal, starts a horror contest with an arch-rival, has a mix-up about which girl he really likes, and figures out a way to earn the money to keep the librarian on. Ah, junior high school! This is the third book in the Desmond Pucket series, written in the first person and with plenty of black and white illustrations. Here's a kid who has plenty of joie de vivre facing the true horrors of junior high, and adversity, with typical kid aplomb. This would be good to lure those reluctant readers, even at a middle school level.
Raging Sea
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Buckley, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
March 28, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Not having read the first book in this series, I was intrigued from the start with this second book. Lyric, Arcade, and Bex are on the road, searching for Lyric's parents who are being kept in a secret location along with all of the other captured humans and sea creatures. A huge tidal wave up and down the east coast took out Brooklyn, Coney Island, and other places; the waves also washed up thousands of sea creatures bent on destroying humankind. Lyric has discovered that she inherited her mother's sea creature-ness, so she is a half-breed. Arcade is full-on sea creature and is training Lyric to use her own powers. Bex, a pure human, is Lyric's best friend. When, after several harrowing adventures on the run, they find Tempest (the holding cell), the fun truly begins. Tempest is training its half-breed child captives to destroy the prime (king of sea creatures) and all the chaos he has loosed on earth. Frightening, compelling, and best for students in grades 7+.
Cut Off
RED DEER PRESS [RED DEER PRESS]
Bastedo, Jamie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 700 Gr. 7+ A teen classical guitar prodigy finds new fame as an Internet blogger until cyber-addiction nearly kills him in this coming-of-age novel. Indio McCracken, half Canadian, half Mayan, leads what appears to be a privileged life as the son of the owner of a gold mine. However, behind closed doors, the life Indio leads is one of isolation and loneliness; he is a prisoner to his father in the practice space that has been created for him. Unlike his followers and peers, Indio is not awarded the same freedoms of online internet access. Soon, Indio's dream does come true, and he is given the freedom to attend school, where he endlessly blogs about his life and his guitar. Indio quickly becomes addicted to his new online presence, but then his family is forced to move to Canada, away from the life they knew and from his newfound freedom. Indio is distraught and stops playing his guitar and becomes increasingly depressed. When his mother gives him a new iPhone, Indio falls back into his online addiction. Bastedo shows readers how easy it can be to fall into the world of cyber addiction and how difficult it is to recover.
Summer We Saved The Bees
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Stevenson, Robin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 580 Hi/Lo Gr. 5-10 Wolf has had a rather unconventional upbringing. His mom is a free-spirit who is ruled by her enthusiasms and now she’s latched on to his school project about the honey bee die-off. What that means to her is a summer-long, road trip with the family in an old van painted to look like a honey bee, if honeybees were florescent lemon-lime. She’s kinda gone off the deep-end; her website about bee death is extreme; she’s not listening to her kids when they say they don’t want to wear the bee costumes she’s made. Her 15-year-old step-daughter doesn’t want to leave her boyfriend and Wolf worried that his little sister Whisper has stopped speaking. His mom doesn’t see any of this and off the family goes to juggle, tell the tale of the dying bees, and to engender support and action on behalf of the bees, or at least find a driveway in which to park the van overnight. When the van breaks down about the third day out things all boil over and it will be up to Wolf, again, to save his family rather than the world. Wolf’s story is compelling because he longs not for conformity but stability. His struggle for sense is the heart of the book and his final stand is a testament to how he was raised and about choosing.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of Arthur Miller
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Dunkleberger, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Arthur Miller is described by some as the greatest American playwright of the twentieth century. But to fully understand and appreciate his work, students must comprehend the political climate in which he was writing and the changes facing the world at the time. This engaging text provides readers with critical analysis of his themes, style, and language; direct quotations from Miller; and relevant biographical details. Students will learn about the world Arthur Miller was reflecting in his writing and why his works have become American classics. Miller’s legacy is traced through chronology, photos, chapter notes, short literary glossary, list of plays, fiction, non-fiction, essays, websites, and suggestions for further reading and index. Use with Common Core non-fiction
52-Hertz Whale
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Sommer, Bill
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
March 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
This novel is told entirely in email correspondence. James Turner is a socially awkward high school freshman in Philadelphia, caught between his obsession with whales and a disintegrating childhood friendship. When his sponsored juvenile whale, Salt, breaks away from his pod and engages in abnormal behavior, James blindly reaches out to Darren Olmstead, a former volunteer from his middle school Resource Room. Darren is quick to answer James's e-mails with long descriptions of what's happening in his life. And adding to the story are the voices (more emails) of many tangential characters who have some connection to James. Both James and Darren are learning to navigate new worlds and learning to deal with loneliness. The motif of whale study and trying to make a difference in whale existence supplies a metaphor for their respective growth. Throw in a Yeti suit, a promising documentary about WhaleBoy (James), and dedicated perusal of the Urban Dictionary for a little spice. While some of the tangential emails may seem unrelated to the story line, they do round out the characters’ backgrounds that are not available because of the email format. Some F-bombs and sexual innuendo.
Press Start
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Teitelbaum, Clancy
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 760 Hi/Lo Grades 8-12 Suzanne Thurston writes code, really good code so good that she’s developed a virtual reality fantasy quest game called Io that she and her two friends Brit and Mikayla play. This isn't an ordinary game--instead of using a normal controller, Suzanne designs the Total Immersion Interface, a virtual reality helmet that puts the player right in the game. And she’s designed AI elements so that characters evolve and a history builds itself within the game without her constant oversight. On a speed run through the game the friends discover that they are not in control and that someone or something has placed a hack point in the game. When the failsafe move to log out and shut down doesn’t work, the girls are trapped. This is another six novellas to make one novel. Again it’s a good plot, the characters are interesting, and there is good world building in the game and in the “real” world. The series has a problem with F-bombs, big white space, oversized font. The fact that the novella is divided into 6 parts that cost $18.99 each for a total of $125.00 with tax to get the whose story means I can't, in good conscience, recommend purchase.
Other Me
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Manoa, J
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
7th grade to 9th grade
March 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 690 Hi/Lo Odin Lewis has always known he is different from everyone else: he can levitate objects, look into the past, and learn things no one else can. Now, approaching his seventeenth birthday, Odin's life is changed when his old friend Wendell returns. Trouble is, Wendell isn't real; he's an imaginary friend absent since Odin was a child. Wendell brings with him secrets both powerful and disturbing. Under Wendell's influence, Odin begins to question everything he thought he knew about himself, his family, his friends, and his entire life, while slowly learning more about his powers that could mean the world's salvation or destruction. The story idea is interesting and Odin’s struggle with the Wendell voice in his head makes a plot that relies on a single character’s struggle with himself work well. I enjoyed it and kids would eat it up. However the series is a trick on the part of the publisher. What would make a good novel has been divided into six novellas. If you want to know how the story turns out you have to shell out $18.99 six (count’em 6) times for an investment of $125.00 after tax. The added white space on the page and the size 16 point font adds padding to stretch the page count.
Book
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Agard, John
Packer, Neil
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
The history of books is covered in this unique offering by the poet John Agard. In it, the book is personified and tells of the progress and lulls of the written and finally published word. From early Mesopotamian writing, to scrolls of parchment and other materials, through handwritten volumes, the invention of the printing press, libraries, braille and even e-Books the reader gains a rich appreciation of the flow of innovation in both the writing and the physical object of a book. Interspersed regularly are quotes about books and readings and pen and ink illustrations by Neil Packer. Book lovers will be charmed with this addition to your library.
Spit & Sticks : A Chimney Full Of Swifts
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Evans, Marilyn Grohoske
Gsell, Nicole
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
The story of a pair of chimney swifts returning to the chimney on a Texas farm where one was born, building a nest, and raising their own family is told in the text of this appealing book. The prose is narrative, but with plenty on factual details that make the lifecycle, nesting, and migration of the birds come alive. The illustrations are lovely water color and collage and tell a sub-story not mentioned in the text. If one pays attention to the illustrations a mixed race family is also celebrating a new addition to the family. In the early illustrations the mother is pregnant and as the seasons pass the careful observer sees the baby as a newborn and finally beginning to crawl. The book ends with an additional section of information and ideas on how the reader might help protect the chimney swift.
Boats For Papa
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Bagley, Jessixa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Buckley and his mother live together by the sea. They take pleasure in small things such as beach walks and beachcombing. Buckley especially loves to build model boats from the driftwood he collects. On his birthday, Buckley decides to send a boat to his father who is no longer with them. He sends it on the tide out saying, “If it doesn’t come back to shore, I’ll know he got it!” As the year goes by, the sending of boats made by Buckley on special days becomes a tradition. A year later on his birthday, Buckley takes his newest and best boat out to send to sea, but realizes he forgot to add a note for his papa. While looking for a pen he discovers all the boats he has sent out during the year in a drawer in his mother’s room. He writes a note to add to the ship and returns to his mother to launch the vessel to his father. Later, after he is asleep, Buckley’s mother goes out to look for the ship and think of her own memories of his father. When she finds the boat she sees that the note is to her. This is a sweet and tender story about a mother and son who support one another as they grieve.
Best Parts Of Christmas
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Murguia, Bethanie Deeney
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 29, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
It is time to get the family Christmas tree. Out they go and Fritz finds the perfect tree “A real tree! A whole tree!” It is bundled a top the car and taken home. Fritz is in charge of the ornaments as Mom and Dad take of the lights. Ignoring Mom’s request to spread out the ornaments, Fritz places them close to each other because “they want to be with their friends”. With large blank spaces on the tree, Fritz discovers “anything can be an ornament”. As the family celebrates the season, the tree is in the center of it for Fritz. Unfortunately, the time comes as it does to all “real trees” for Dad to take it down and out of the house. Fritz discovers a branch from the tree, taking it to his room, recreates the season’s feelings all over again. Told in a gentle relaxed voice with the soft water color illustrations this will help young children understand the good memories will last even when Christmas is over. Overall this title can been a good addition to your Christmas story collection.
Little Snowplow
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Koehler, Lora
Parker, Jake
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 29, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
The Little Snowplow becomes part of the Mighty Mountain Road Crew where all the trucks are BIG!, and think Little Snowplow can’t handle the all snow they receive in Might Mountain. He is just a determined that he can. After clearing streams, cleaning up after parades and pushing piles of leaves around all spring, summer and fall the little snowplow decides it is time to prepare for winter. He pushes gravel, pulls blocks of concrete and does plow lifts getting ready for the big snow. When it arrives the little snowplow is ready “Beep, beep Vrooom! They cleared the roads again and again and again and still the snow came down. The big dump truck was called out to help, but just as it was getting started, an avalanche rumbled down the mountain carrying a large bolder trapping the big dump truck. It is up to Little Snowplow to rescue Big Dump Truck. The colorful, beautiful digitally rendered pencil illustrations will invite inspection by the young audience. Readers will enjoy the variety of trucks featured in the story drawn with headlight eyes, fender eyebrows and radiator mouths. This is a story to pair with Little Toot and The Little Engine Could for the work hard and “I think I can” themes.
It's Raining Bats & Frogs
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Colby, Rebecca
Henry, Steven
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 29, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
It’s time for the Halloween Day Parade, but oh no! it is raining, buckets of rain. All the witches are wet, miserable and just a bit cranky. Delia decided she had to do something - turn the raindrops in to cats and dogs. It worked for a little while. How about hats and clogs? No one ever has too many hats or pairs of shoes. That worked until the witches began fight over which hat belonged to which witch. Delia tried bats and frogs, which created their own problem. It seems that raindrops were the better choice after all. “The floats began to float. The marching band learned synchronized swimming and everyone agreed it was the best parade ever”. . . well almost. This fun Halloween story will make readers giggle at the rhyming spells. The slightly gloomy grays, blues, purples and greens of the illustrations impart faintly spooky feel to the whole story. This is and excellent addition to your library and one I want to add to my Halloween collection.
Pirate's Mother Goose
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Sanders, Nancy I
Jack, Colin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 29, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
“Rub-a-dub-dub, three swabs in a tub, and who do ye think they be?” Well, it isn’t the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker that is for sure! Take a nursery rhyme, add a pirate, combine and you will have twenty-two pirate Mother Goose rhymes. Some the rhymes work better than others, especially those such as Hey, Diddle Diddle - Diddle, Diddle Dumpling Buccaneer John and Yo-Ho Pirate. A few have some trouble with the meter and rhyme and some substitute a few pirate words for the original nouns, but others are inspired, such as Cabin Boy Blue or Ye Can Talk Like a Pirate. The quirky cartoon style art gives the reader a wide array pirate boys and girls. This is a fun rewriting of nursery rhymes, and would be a fine addition to any discussion of rhymes or alternative fairy tale/folk tale stories. You may soon have students spouting pirate lingo.
Is It Hanukkah Yet?
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Barash, Chris
Psacharopulo, Alessandra
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 29, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
Winter is here “snow’s all around/there’s no sign of green on the trees or the ground . . .” and “Hanukkah is on its way”. The animals are preparing to sleep and the family is getting ready for the celebration of Hanukkah. The decorations - Star of David the preparation of the candles for the Menorah, applesauce, latkes, cookies and arrival of extended family members all build anticipation for the celebration on its way. Finally all is ready, the first candle on the menorah is lit and “Hanukkah is here.” This sweet, appealing story focuses more on the celebratory rituals rather than any of the religious aspects of Hanukkah. Using muted colors, digital landscapes and doll-like characters the illustrator presents a warm and cozy family feeling to the celebration for a very young audience.
Princess In Black And The Hungry Bunny Horde
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hale, Shannon
Pham, Leuyen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 29, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Princess Magnolia and her unicorn, Frimplepants, are on their way to a scrumptious breakfast when they feel compelled to follow a call for help. This time they tackle a wild and ever-increasing horde of cute bunnies that are ferociously consuming a goatherd's pasture. Soon, his goats may be consumed as well. Although the Princess in Black at first finds the bunnies adorable, she learns the hard way that they must be sent back to where they belong before they feast on her! This series is perfect for the beginning chapter book crowd. The illustrations are fun, bright, and lively. Chapters are short and full of action. The hero is a female. What's not to love? Princess in Black flies off of my library's shelves.
Desert Dark
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Stone, Sonja
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Cue the Jason Bourne theme. A fun Americanize version of The Kingsmen comic book follows the recruitment and training of potential teen-age secret agents. Teen cryptography whiz Nadia Riley has just been humiliated by both her BFF and boyfriend and can no longer face school. So when the Irish-Lebanese-American teen is offered a position at the prestigious Desert Mountain Academy, she jumps at it. It means that she can get away from love gone wrong and start over. When she discovers that the school is a cover for a Black Ops CIA training school, she is thrilled; it takes a lot of work especially since she’s starting late and has to play catch-up. It becomes a different kind of puzzle, learning to read people rather than numbers, because her life is going to depend on gaining the trust of the members of her team. The mysterious disappearance of the girl whose place she took that fuels the plot. The story is told with multiple narrators: Nadia, the members of her team, and, of course, the mole. There is a charming little love triangle to complicate matters. A fun introduction to a new series from this first time-author. Readers who like Marie Lu and James Dashner will enjoy this.
Red Ink
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Mayhew, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Some people go through a phase where they would like to have a change of name; Melon Fouraki has a real reason to. The family fairy tale is that her name is a reminder of her mother’s idyllic childhood on a melon farm in Crete before moving to London. Now there are cracks in the myth. At 15 Melon is mainly angry, not just at her name, but at her mother for stepping out in front of bus and getting killed; she’s mad at her mother’s co-worker/boyfriend, Paul, who had stepped up to be her guardian/case worker; she’s mad at the bullies at school and anyone else who might come in contact with her. Melon wrestles with her guilt as she tries to understand her mother in language that is as frank and as abrasive as she is. The painful climax is trip to Crete in order to unravel the truth of her story. She’s in for quite a shock, but that’s just what she needs to be able to heal. Gritty and sad, readers of realistic fiction will get their money’s worth. Language, references to drug use, and sexual situations put this squarely in high school. Pretty impressive for a first novel. Some characters are less developed than they need to be and the sexual objectification of Paul isn’t resolved.
Assassin's Masque
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Zettel, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 830 Hi/Lo gr 7-12 In which our heroine’s skills are tested, unlikely alliances are formed and astonishing revelations are made. In 1716 the Jacobites have not stopped trying to overthrow the House of Hanover, in fact they have upped their pressure, this time drawing in Lady Peggy Fitzroy’s aunt and her cousin Olivia. It’s a real spider’s web which entangles Peggy; her spy master, Mr. Tinderflint; Matthew Peggy’s intended; and Peggy’s newly returned father. Introduce a fluffy lap dog, given to barking at inopportune moments, and a crafty maid and the game becomes more complicated and public. It’s a fun romp and all the story lines are neatly tied at the end; but it is the weakest of the three novels because some of the rock solid characters turn a bit flakey for no apparent reason. A little more editing would help. However, if you have the other two books, buy this one.
FINE ART OF TRUTH OR DARE
Speak [Speak]
JENSEN, MELISSA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 30, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Using the game Truth or Dare as a plot structure we are introduced to Nearly Invisible Ella at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl? As readers we are given a scene and a truth or dare statement or commentary. The dialog is often clever, in fact more clever than I’d think from a pretty frothy teen romance that is a mashup of Pretty in Pink meets French Kiss. Written in 2012, reviewed in 2016 and still in print in paperback.
Eden
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Manoa, J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 30, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 740 Hi/Lo Far from the family who had secretly monitored him, armed guards follow Odin's every movement through an underground facility dedicated to the secret project known only as Solar Flare. Under the constant surveillance of General Edward Delgado, Odin is subjected to daily experiments which push his powers to their very limits and beyond. Although Odin's childhood therapist Alice Burnett assures him that these experiments are altruistic, Wendell continues to force doubt and suspicion directly into Odin's mind. Without any idea of Solar Flare's true purpose, Odin doesn't know who to trust or how to escape. This is the third chapter in the story. 3rd episode – again I can’t recommend buying a novel piece by piece.
Machine
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Manoa, J
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 30, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 650 Hi/Lo After learning the truth of what the Solar Flare project has become, General Delgado takes Dr. Burnett prisoner, and threatens Odin's life if he doesn't immediately cooperate with the Project's plans. Desperate to escape, Odin takes the only action he can which would allow him to face the hundreds of armed soldiers between him and freedom: he gives control of his powers to Wendell. Remember Wendell, his imaginary friend from chapters from episodes 1 and 2? With Wendell unleashed, Odin watches helplessly as his powers are used to carve a horrific path of destruction at the end of which Wendell has promised that he grant Odin his freedom. 4th episode – again I can’t recommend buying a novel piece by piece.
Ghetto Brother : Warrior To Peacemaker
Nbm Publishing Ebooks - Mackin [Nbm Publishing Ebooks - Mackin]
Voloj, Julian
Ahlering, Claudia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 30, 2016
Datisman, Eve
This documentary graphic novel is inspired by an ambassador from the Black Panthers to make peace among the gangs. Nixing retaliation when the diplomat was killed, Bronx’s Puerto Rican Ghetto Brothers Benji Melendez instead called a meeting of gang presidents to make a truce and turn gangs from neighborhood battle to community service. The intergang peace treaty that he brokered in 1971 laid groundwork for calmer street life, greater freedom of travel across neighborhoods, and a climate of parties and music that led to the birth of hip-hop. Melendez’s personal story about the discovery of his Jewish roots (his family had converted to Christianity in Spain to escape the Inquisition) Illustrated by Claudia Ahering. The panels are crowded and it’s sometimes hard to read the captiosn but the incorporation of the historical oppression, community empowerment, and identities of marginalized communities in 1970s New York City shows how difficult it can be to bring about social change and how unexpected positive outcomes can result Includes bibliographical references and filmography.
World War Ii Leaders
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Roberts, Russell
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 30, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 1170 Examines the world's civilian and military leaders during World War II, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Hirohito, Joseph Stalin, Chiang Kai-Shek, Douglas MacArthur, and Charles De Gaulle. The policies that their countries followed and the historical international impacts of those policies are outlined and some cases they are detailed. Photos, timeline, short biographical info of folks who individual stories are told, essential facts page, glossary, additional resources with bib. websites, places to visit, and source notes. Essential series for middle & high.
Women On The Us Home Front
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Cornell, Kari A
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 30, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 1170 When Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7l, 1942, America was caught unprepared. It didn’t take long for men to answer the call for the draft and for women to step into the jobs created in the work force They made planes, ammunition, armaments, shoes, uniforms, all types of material sent to the front. They also saved to buy war bonds to fund the war, they did without nylons, sugar, butter, cars and gasoline; they headed scrap metal drives, raised victory gardens and put up blackout curtains. The volunteered for to work in community centers to put together care packages for servicemen, knit socks, wrote letters to help the soldiers know that they were remembered and appreciated; they became code breakers, spies, support flyers, nurses, and sent their boys and men to war. Photos, timeline, short biographical info of folks who individual stories are told, essential facts page, glossary, additional resources with bib. websites, places to visit, and source notes. Essential series for middle & high.
Dropping Of The Atomic Bombs
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Meinking, Mary
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 30, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 1170 The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were controversial, though deemed necessary to end the war against Japan in 1945; it remains a controversial decision today. This volume follows the development of the atomic bombs from conception through building, testing, training the bomber teams, transporting them and finally dropping them on their targets. The issues surrounding the change wrought by our entry into the nuclear age is also explored with emphasis on the arms race, spying, atomic weapons treaties, and the moral implications of using atomic weapons. Photos, timeline, short biographical info of folks who individual stories are told, essential facts page, glossary, additional resources with bib. websites, places to visit, and source notes. Essential series for middle & high.
Tuskegee Airmen
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Zuchora-Walske, Christin
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 30, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 1090 At the beginning of WWII the US armed forces were segregated, but the Tuskegee Airmen, the Red Tails, sought to show that African-American pilots could fight just as well as their white counterparts. The desperate need for pilots lead to the creation of the Civilian Pilot Training Program whose anti-discriminatory language and policy allowed entrée for the first African-Americans into positions which had been reserved for whites. The CPTP began recruiting at African-American colleges; Tuskegee Institute being the largest of these schools became the center for training. The Red Tails flew P-40 Warhawks in Africa; in Europe they flewP-51 Mustang fighter planes which had a larger engine, better visibility and were highly maneuverable. Mustangs carried bombs, rockets, and had a flying range of more than 1000 miles. The pilots flew protection and support runs for the big US bombers and helped protect white fighter squadrons as well. Also examines the post-war challenges faced by them and in their legacy. Photos, timeline, short biographical info of folks who individual stories are told, essential facts page, glossary, additional resources with bib. websites, places to visit, and source notes. Essential series middle/high.
World War Ii Weapons
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Ringstad, Arnold
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 30, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 1170 WWII heralded a whole new kind of war planes, tanks, submarines, carrier ships, long-range and portable and heavy artillery. Personal weapons like mortar guns, Thompson sub machine guns, flame throwers had all evolved from what they had been in WWI. Rifles and long-range scopes had gotten better as had personal rifles, hand grenades and pistols. War tactics changed to adapt to the environment in which they were used. Commanders like Rommel and Patton change how tanks were used; as did the carriers changed the sea war. Readers who love combat materiel and tactics will want this. Photos, timeline, short biographical info of folks who individual stories are told, essential facts page, glossary, additional resources with bib. websites, places to visit, and source notes. Essential series for middle & high.
Battle Of Britain
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Streissguth, Tom
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 30, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 1130 The Battle of Britain began August 16, 1940 when German Heinkle HE 111 bombers and Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters took off from German and headed for London. British Radar and ground observers spotted the massive wave of German planes, the commander of the RAF airfield at Biggin Hill scrambled his fighters and the German high command’s plan to defeat Britain in the air began. A significant turning point of World War II, the Battle of Britain ended when Germany’s Luftwaffe failed to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force despite months of targeting Britain’s air bases, military posts and, ultimately, its civilian population. Britain’s decisive victory saved the country from a ground invasion and possible occupation by German forces while proving that air power alone could be used to win a major battle. Photos, timeline, short biographical info of folks who individual stories are told, essential facts page, glossary, additional resources with bib. websites, places to visit, and source notes. Essential series for middle & high.
Eating Ethically
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Felix, Rebecca
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 30, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Unlike others in the series reviewed, this volume is a clearly biased look at factory farming. The worst traits of factory farming are presented with little effort to show a middle ground between the nastiest of large factory farms and making choices such as only eating organically or ethically produced foods. For example, several times they mention animals having to live in their own waste. While this may sometimes be true it is not always true- for many farmers part of their profit comes from selling manure as fertilizer- however that is not mentioned. The book also does not address the discrepancies in cost for humanely raised and fair-trade foods making “ethical eating” challenging to many less well off. Much of the volume looks at animal farming, but there are also sections fair-trade chocolate and coffee and other crops. Though this volume looks at an important topic, it does so with a heavy bias. Part of the Food Matters Core Library series by Abdo.
Child Soldier : When Boys And Girls Are Used In War
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Humphreys, Jesscia Dee
Asquith, Ros
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 30, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
In graphic novel format, readers will learn the personal story of Michel Chikwanine who was taken by rebel soldiers at age five to fight in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His story, though harrowing, is ultimately positive as Michel makes a stand to tell his story. The book does a careful job of setting up the situation, of showing the horror of the exploitation of these children clearly but with out gratuitous violence, and showing that there were still adults in the society willing to fight for peace and justice. Through Michel’s fathers words and actions, the message of doing ones part to share good and fight against evil is clear. Included are seven pages of additional material telling of Michel’s work, about child soldiers elsewhere in the world and where to learn more and how one might help. This is unusual offering that shares a problem faced by over 250,000 children around the world.
Getting Gritty With Mike Rowe
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Finne, Stephanie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 30, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Like other books in ABDO's Reality TV Titans series, this biography of Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs, presents information in a very straightforward manner, which may not appeal to older more sophisticated readers who actually know who Mike Rowe is. The first page provides an overview of Rowe's career, alongside a full-page color photograph of Rowe's face. The book then presents individual pages of biographical information in chronological order, beginning with "Early Inspiration" and ending with "Keeping Busy." The book has all the text features one would expect from elementary nonfiction, which could make it a useful text for teachers to use as a model. Overall, this makes sense as an additional purchase for larger libraries whose patrons have a specific interest in reality TV stars.
Ghost Hunter
45Th Parallel Press [45Th Parallel Press]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
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.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 30, 2016
Garrard, Thom
Ghost Hunter, part of the Odd Jobs series from 45th Parallel Press, addresses a number of occupational questions, such as what they do, what equipment they use, and how they help people. The high-interest topic and short chapters with photos and sidebars will appeal to reluctant readers. Unfortunately, choppy writing, a poorly organized text, and confusing explanations might make the reading struggle bigger rather than smaller. For example, the author tells us, “Ghost hunters are detectives. They solve mysteries. They look for clues. They ask questions.” Readers who can handle phrases like electromagnetic field readings and electronic voice phenomena should be able to deal with smoother and more complex sentences. Curiously, a full-page sidebar of ghost hunter “lingo” and definitions pops up in the middle of the book, even though a glossary is included at the end. And confusion reigns in the final chapter which states, “Skeptics don’t believe in ghosts...Ghost hunters work to prove skeptics wrong...Ghost hunters are also skeptical.” If ghost hunters don’t believe in ghosts, then they should probably have avoided this job, just as you should avoid purchasing this book.
If Kids Ran The World
BLUE SKY [BLUE SKY]
Dillon, Leo
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 30, 2016
Garrard, Thom
Given the inflammatory rhetoric and infantile behavior on display in this year’s campaign for the presidency, this book’s idea that kids would make the world a kinder, better place seems like an appropriate rejoinder. In the author’s vision, kids would welcome everyone and ensure that all had enough to eat, a place to live, medical care, and a good education. Differences among people would be tolerated and even celebrated. The planet would be protected. Friendship, kindness, and generosity would be valued more than money. An afterword discusses ways that kids can help others, and another postscript for adults connects the book’s themes and FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights.” Against a white backdrop, the multiracial cast of energetic young characters are depicted in colorful and varied dress joyfully working together to create this better world. Though some might find the utopia envisioned here too saccharine, having a clear description of the desired destination can help kids talk about the future in which they will live and decide how to act to bring it to pass. The positive tone and the idea that humans can do a better job of living together in peace is a valuable, final legacy from the award-winning team of Leo and Diane Dillon.
Jane Goodall : Revolutionary Primatologist And Anthropologis
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Sepahban, Lois
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 30, 2016
Korf, Clarence
Engaging our students in taking time to make observations is important in helping students to be positive agents of change. Jane Goodall was an observer, scientist and activist who made great strides in what we can learn about the animals in our world. She studied animals as a child and loved reading about animals in the stories she read. These stories led her to find a way to make it to Africa and through a series of connections she was able to study and observe chimpanzees. The book steps through each part of her life from being a child observer to a chimpanzee observer as a young woman. She changed what people knew about chimpanzees and what we could learn from how they lived in community. Many of the chapters end in a paragraph which is followed by question or two to get the reader to think about Jane's observations, to compare and contrast information and to think about how the reader could share ideas with a variety of audiences. Captions for the pictures use a yellow colored font which can be challenging to read but otherwise this is a very well written beginning biography. It includes a table of contents, glossary, index and additional information. It is part of the Great Minds of Science series.
Koala Hospital
Owlkids Books, Inc [Owlkids Books, Inc]
Esterhas, Suzi
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 30, 2016
Garrard, Thom
Koalas are extremely adorable animals, but sharing their habitat with humans often leads to problems. Koala Hospital, part of Owlkids Books’ Wildlife Rescue series, documents the work of the world’s only hospital that specializes in caring for these cuddly marsupials. The author explains how the team of veterinarians and volunteers at this Australian facility assist the recovery of koalas that are sick or get injured by cars or dogs. In addition, when baby koalas are orphaned, the hospital cares for them until they can be adopted by a human foster mother. After the baby grows older and learns to climb in foster care, it goes back to live in the hospital’s outdoor yard while the human bond is broken, and then it is ready to be released into the wild. The few paragraphs of text on each spread are well-written which allows the reader to absorb many facts about koalas’ behavior and characteristics. Most of the exceptional close-up photographs are larger than a single page and will tug at your heart strings. Information about conservation and how kids can help is provided, and kids’ questions for the author-photographer and her answers are included, along with a glossary, index, and list of sources.
Sonya's Chickens
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Wahl, Phoebe
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 30, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
When Sonya’s father brings home three baby chicks to their small farm Sonya takes it upon herself to take her job as their caretaker seriously. She makes sure they are fed and watered, their coop is cleaned and each night they are safely locked inside. One night a fox manages to break into the coop and kill one of the hens. Sonya is horrified and only after a long cry and snuggle in her father’s arms is she able to listen to her father tell the foxes side of the story of needing food and needing to feed it’s kits. This, along with having a memorial service, and fixing the coop so there will be no repeat killing helps her cope with the situation. The story ends on a hopeful note when one of the eggs from a remaining chicken begins to hatch.
Urban Farming
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Rissman, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 30, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Urban farming is examined in this informative text. The history of urban farming from times when transportation made necessary, to gardening to support the war efforts of World War I and II, to modern urban farming meant to provide local foods or to help combat urban “food deserts” is covered. Also covered are the pros (such as saving on transportation, providing fresh produce to underserved populations and helping to educate the public on foods) and cons (like pollution tainted soils, high costs of labor, and the interaction of food plants and pollution) of the practice give the readers balanced coverage of the topic. Included are excerpts from other sources, a project, and a “stop and think” section. Part of the Food Matters Core Library series by Abdo.
Broken Ground
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Schwab, Victoria
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 31, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Fall of the Beasts" series is a continuation of the "Spirit Animals" series. The land of Erdas is once again endangered as an ancient evil stirs. Parasites are turning people into mind-controlled zombies. Bonds with spirit animals are threatened. Two missions set out to find a solution. Conor, infected with the parasite, and his friends make a dangerous journey underground to the roots of the Evertree. Rollan and Abeke are sent on a Green Cloak mission that lands them in extreme peril and leaves them with little hope for a future. The story is taut and well-written, although ultimately leaving the reader hopeless and waiting for the next book that may bring a ray of sunshine to the future of our heroes and their spirit animals.
How To Survive Being Lost At Sea
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Bell, Samantha
Casteel, Tom
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 31, 2016
Korf, Clarence
Surviving at sea is a challenging task. If one plans to travel on the ocean, it is important for travelers to plan ahead and think through plans because anything can happen. Three short chapters include being alone at sea, the basics and staying safe. Each chapter includes real life experiences from people who were lost at sea and what they did to survive many days, weeks and even months at sea. The chapters are short and provide only brief explanations of what is needed. The photographs are clear but it would of benefited with pictures of survival items such spear gun, solar still, flare gun and some improvised tools. The book includes a glossary, additional resources and index.
Young Man With Camera
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Sher, Emil
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 31, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Wow! Impressive, clever style, and originality combine for a compelling book. Subtitled “a novel with photographs” this powerful read proves thought provoking, but might not end as one would hope. T—, who remains nameless and faceless, is a 13-year-old boy wise beyond his years, burned at a young age with neck and facial scars that still haunt him. Photography became his true voice, and he captures the humorous homeless Lucy and his best friend Sean’s joy with his dog Watson. But T is targeted by the most evil, smart bully Ryan and his entourage. After T— captures on film Lucy being tormented and beaten by Ryan and his flock after calling them “gutless”, Ryan sets out to destroy the photos or threaten T into silence. When T—learns that Lucy has died of the beating he is kept from sharing the truth with the only adult who gets him, the thoughtful librarian who encourages his photography and truth telling. After Watson is poisoned he struggles to find a way to share the truth but keep his friend safe. But Ryan, who has charmed and fooled all of the adults, frames T-- for arson. The main character's integrity, the poignancy of relationships, the words and black and white photos will leave a deep impression.
Henry Ford
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Davis, Lynn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 31, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Super Sandcastle: Amazing Inventors & Innovators" series, this 24 page book looks, in brief, at the life of Henry Ford. Each "chapter" is two pages and includes 2-5 sentences about the topic, 2 photographs (1 of which is captioned). While there is not much information here, this would provide a start for biographical research and would be accessible for lower readers. Readers will appreciate how the text connects Ford to other inventors and car makers. We also learn about the Model T and the Model N, as well as, factory innovations. The book is complete with a table of contents, quiz (3 questions), fun facts, and glossary. An additional purchase for your biography section.
Robert E. Lee : Commander Of The Confederate Army
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Kerby, Mona
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 31, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Legendary American Biographies" series, this 96 page book was originally published in 1997 as "Robert E. Lee: Southern Hero of the Civil War." The book opens with a chapter devoted to Lee's decision to fight on the side of the Confederacy. The book then works through his life chronologically. We learn about his upbringing, military training and experience, the Civil War, and after the war. The text is understandable and well-written. It is written with a factual tone, leading the reader to understand Lee's decisions and conflicts. The book contains a table of contents, timeline, glossary, bibliography, index, and extensive source notes. This book would be used in research and would be a solid addition to your biography section.
Andrew Carnegie : Industrialist And Philanthropist
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Kent, Zachary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 31, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Legendary American Biographies" series, this 96 page book was originally published in 1999 as "Andrew Carnegie: Steel King and Friend to Libraries." The text is descriptive and well-written. It covers Carnegie's life from birth to death. We learn of his motivations and of his challenges (especially with labor). We also learn of his philanthropy. The book includes all of the typical non-fiction text features: table of contents, timeline, glossary, bibliography, index, and extensive source notes. This is a solid book that could be used in research and should be in your biography section.