Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson - ADVISABLE

Johnson, Jaleigh The Mark of the Dragonfly, 388 p. Delacorte (Random House), 2014.  Langauge: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (fighting, but not graphic).  $17.  

Piper has leads a hardscrabble life on the edge of the Meteor Fields.  On the night that her friend is gravely injured by a meteor, Piper also rescues a girl front he wreckage of a passing caravan.  A girl who bears a dragonfly tattoo.  Piper knows she needs to return the girl to the ruler of the Dragonfly Territories, but doesn’t realize how much she is putting her own life in danger with her good deed.  Nor how many secrets she is about to expose.  Or the new friends she is about to gain.  

I have no idea whether this is the beginning of a new series or not.  I do know that I was satisfied at the end.  Piper’s story was attention-catching and Johnson’s world-building is skillful.  

EL, MS - ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Plastic Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - ADVISABLE

Newman, Patricia Plastic Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, 48 p. NON-FICTION.  Millbrook (Lerner), 2014.  $23.  

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Central Gyre is a natural collector of tons of plastic pieces that are left from the garbage that dumped (consciously or inadvertently) into the ocean.  While rarely visible to the casual observer, these tiny pieces of plastic are contaminating the fish, interrupting the food chain and entering the fish eaten by consumers.  This book chronicles one o many explorations of the Garbage Patch and postulates some of the many effects the world’s garbage is having on the entire ecosystem.  Some of the information is heavy reading for some students, but for a student interested in ecology, zoology, or marine biology, this is a great way to see modern scientific research in action.  

EL - OPTIONAL, MS - ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

One Direction: Where We Are - ADVISABLE

One Direction: Where We Are, 287 p. Harper Collins, 2013.  $22.  

Three years after their meteoric rise to stardom, the boys of One Direction each look back at how their lives were changed and what they have been in those crazy, busy years.  Fans will be totally in love with the full-page photos and backstage look at this popular boy band.  There is not much substance here, but LOTS of popularity.  Good luck keeping this one from being stolen!  

EL, MS - ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Secrets of the Sky Caves: Danger and Discovery on Nepal’s Mustang Cliffs - ESSENTIAL

Athans, Sandra K. Secrets of the Sky Caves: Danger and Discovery on Nepal’s Mustang Cliffs, 55 p. NON-FICTION. Millbrook Press, 2014.  $24. 

One region of the Himalay mountain range is a warren of caves, some accessible by foot, but most accessible only by dangerous climbs, from an ancient kingdom that has completely disappeared from the world.  Called the Mustang Caves, the vanished civilization left behind art, tools, tombs, and even writings.  Little by little, expeditions into the range have started uncovering the details of the long lost culture.  

This is as much a book about mountain climbing, caving and archaeology, as it is about what we know about the Mustang culture.  Full of interesting photographs and high quality information, it would be an important resource for many different classes or just a good option for a non-fiction read.  Non-fiction is very popular at my school and I am excited to add this to my collection.  

EL, MS - ESSENTIAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Willow by Tonya Hegamin - ADVISABLE

Hegamin Tonya Cherie Willow, 374 p. Candlewick, 2014.  $17.

  Willow’s father is an obedient slave to his master, having grown up with him almost as a trusted friend.  Willow is 15 now, though, so it is time for her to marry and the Master has started courting a woman who is more interested in the slaves for their value as property.  Cato is a 17-year-old free black man who sees Willow and is instantly attracted.  When he tries to help a different slave escape, though, he breaks his leg and is now in dire circumstances.  Hegamin draws a worthwhile portrait of slavery.  I keep thinking that there isn’t much more to say, but then a fresh voice breathes life to this time period again.  

MS - ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

The Giving Tree and others by Shel Silverstein - ADVISABLE

Silverstein, Shel The Giving Tree.  PICTURE BOOK.  Harper, 1964 (2014).  $17.  In honor of the 50th anniversary of Silverstein’s ever-popular The Giving Tree, HarperCollins has printed anniversary editions of that title and many others in the Silverstein cannon.  This is also a good reminder for my that my Silverstein books are getting grungy and need to be replaced!  Unfortunately, my personal favorite, Shel Silverstein’s ABZ, didn’t make the list.  But enjoy all of these other refreshed (not changed!) titles.  EL, MS - ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

A Book of Babies by Il Sung Na- ADVISABLE

Na, Sung II A Book of Babies. PICTURE BOOK. Random House Children’s Books, 2014. $15.99. Content: G. In the spring, many baby animals are born.  From fish to monkeys and lions to kangaroos, all baby animals differ one from another.  Some are carried in their mommy’s pouch.  Some are carried in in daddy’s pouch.  Some have soft and warm fur.  Others are born with smooth scales.  But no matter their different features they all have one thing in common- at the end of the day they need their rest.  This story begins with noisy baby ducklings being hatched.  The reader follows the ducks through each page to find out differences in baby animals.  The story ends with the once noisy and active ducklings quiet and asleep in their nest.  This is a cute, simple bedtime story.  The illustrations are very detailed.  Each page is brightly colored and will keep the interest and attention of little ones.  Pre-K.  EL (K-3).  ADVISABLE. Reviewer: SL.