Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Arthur Mumby with the help of his sister Myrtle share their third adventure (Larklight, 2006; Starcross, 2007) in Victorian space. The Mumby’s and their friend’s Christmas celebration is ruined when their Christmas pudding goes rogue and a space ship from Her Majesty’s Navy arrives. There is an unknown cloud near Uranus and they go to investigate. They discover shaper and her alien minions who have come to conquer and enslave our universe. Will Art’s ingenuity and Myrtle’s manners be enough to save the day? This original and entertaining series combines history, science fiction, and adventure with a dash of romance. MS – ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.
Who knew that the English language could be so much fun? Author Ursula Dubosarky shares the odd and interesting aspects of the English Language: from doublespeak to Pig Latin, from apostrophes to acronyms. She gives explanations, examples, and interactive clues for the reader. Dubosarky covers the history of alphabet to current texting. The illustrations by Tohby Riddle are whimsical and fun; often combining heads of famous people with cartoon bodies (e.g. Benjamin Franklin kicks the alphabet).
EL- ESSENTIAL. Samantha, Public Librarian.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Pearson, Mary E. The Miles Between, 264 p. Henry Holt, 2009. $16.99. Language: PG (4 swears).
Destiny has been attending boarding schools since she was 7 years old – going from school to school to school, as she tries never to become too close to anyone. On one special morning, however, she decides that it is time for one fair day, so she steals a beautiful pink car she finds with the keys in the ignition, drags along three random kids from her school and sets off on a day long adventure – a field trip, you might say. Destiny’s journey has a very unexpected destination. I actually read this book twice. I know! How often do I take the time to do that. But I really enjoyed Destiny and her new friends and was totally blind as to her real destination. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Sturtevant, Katherine The Brother’s Story, 271 p. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. $16.99. Sexual Content – R.
Kit and Christy are twin brothers, barely surviving with their mother in a tiny, rural English village during the hard winter of 1683. Kit is tired of guiding and saving his dimwitted brother, so he quietly leaves and heads off for London. There he finds some friends, many new challenges and maybe the strength to choose the direction for his life. It’s too bad that Kit is so preoccupied with sexual things. Even though the descriptions use the vernacular of the day, the situations are still obvious, descriptive and distracting. I would have enjoyed his story much more without them.
NO. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Awdry, Reverend W Stuck in the Mud. Random House, 2009. $3.99. STEP INTO READING Level 1.
Thomas the Tank Engine finds an old broken down engine on an abandoned track and must race Spencer to Sir Topham Hat to see if they can help Hiro or not. Train-crazy little boys will love this first reading book. They can memorize all of the words or actually learn to read them.
PreK – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Elconin, Dan Never After, 295 p. Simon and Schuster, 2009. Language: R (45 “f”, 130 other – I stopped counting after 130 pages); Violence: R; Sexual Content: PG-13.
Ricky Darlin is desperate to escape his tense family situation, so when a intriguing young man offers to take him away to a magical place where he can forget his worries, he jumps at the offer. Stepping right into his worst nightmare. Now Ricky is stuck on a tiny island, with just a handful of other teens who are trying to escape Peter’s clutches. Unfortunately, Peter is protected by a crew of zombies. Together, James Hooke, Mariah Bell, Nigel, Alex and Ricky – with some help from the local Indian princess – will have to defeat Peter and find their way back home. While this book is an interesting take on the legend of Neverland, the angst and anger of these teens comes out in a spew of swear words. I finally just had to stop counting just so that I could get through the book. Too bad.
NO. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Abbott, Simon I Can Draw Wild Animals. Kingfisher, 2009. $6.99. BOARD BOOK.
Kids can learn to draw cartoon versions of six wild animals in this cute board book – including pen. Instead of having your kids watch a DVD on a road trip, give them this instead, because you don’t just have to draw animals – how about tic-tac-toe? Make sure to pack lots of Kleenex for wiping!
PARENTS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Wilson, Hannah Dinosaur Park. Kingfisher, 2009. $17.99. POP-UP BOOK. Welcome to Dinosaur Park.
Are you ready to read the information, ready the dinosaurs and then re-enact your own prehistoric scenes? The dramatic cover is only the beginning of this wonderful, gift-giving ready book for a dinosaur-crazy child. There are four pop-up backdrops, eight punch-out dinos and a supporting book of information to re-create each scene. Or, you can do as I would and make all of the dinos attack each other. Either way, it’s still a lot of fun! And if your recipient already owns some plastic dinos, they will be a welcome addition to the scenes!
PARENTS – EL (K-3) - OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Colebank, Susan Cashing In, 314 p. Dutton (Penguin), 2009. $16.99. Language: PG (5 swears). Reggie (Regina) is a senior, just barely making it through school, working diligently every day at the local Cashmart, so that she can earn enough money to get out of town and get away from her money-hungry, gambling, infomercial-shopping mother. Her dad died a couple of years earlier and since then her mother has barely held things together, mostly by using lots of credit cards or bumming money from Reggie and her brother. Then Mom pops the good news – she’s won a huge jackpot – so the family starts spending money like water. Something will have to happen to reign in Mom and get Reggie to stand up for herself. Reggie’s life is like a train wreck – you know that something bad is going to happen and you just can’t look away. She has good friends and a possible love interest – you can only hope that Reggie will make the right decisions. HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Howe, John Lost Worlds, 88 p. Kingfisher, 2009. $22.99. Take a journey to 24 worlds – most historic, some imaginary, all wonderful – through the eyes of John Howe, the concept artist for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. From the realm of Faerie, through Timbuktu and on to the city of Troy, this is a journey to delight the eye. I am not sure how it fits into ta library collection, but if you have students who love reading about wonderful worlds, drawing imaginary creatures, then this book will be one they will want to see. If you have die-hard LOTR fans, they will probably want this because of the author and illustrator. PUBLIC. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Mitton, Tony Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur! Illustrated by Lynne Chapman. Kingfisher, 2009. LIFT-THE-FLAP BOOK. $12.99. With short poems and cute illustrations, meet seven dinosaurs. While the lift-the-flap part is fun, there, unfortunately is no background information for a child who is more serious about their dinosaur knowledge. EL (K-3) – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Smith, Miranda Animals, 48 p. Kingfisher, 2009. With many photographs and some illustrations, lots of information and a wide-ranging variety of animals, explore the natural world in its infinite variety. Each topic, such as Finding Food, Hunting Skills and Self-Protection, showcases a different family of animals. While there is not enough information for any one research project, this eye-catching book will probably be pulled from shelves for just pure enjoymeny. EL (K-4) – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Friday, December 25, 2009
Buckley-Archer, Linda Time Quake (Gideon #3), 440 p. Simon and Schuster, 2009. $17.99. Violence: PG. Kate and Peter are stuck back in 1763. Their travels through time have landed them on the wrong side of the continuum. Now Lord Luxon has control of the machine and he is determined to find a way to go back and stop the American Revolution in its tracks and win modern America for England. Meanwhile, the world is fragmenting into different time lines and Kate is starting to disappear – her grasp on time and life is quickly slipping away. Gideon and the Tar Man (his brother) will have to combine forces and do something really desperate in order to save the lives of the children they have come to love. Writing about time travel can get very confusing, but Buckley-Archer has done a very good job in this series of keeping the convoluted paths from becoming quagmires. While these books may never be the most used in your library, they are a solid addition to a larger collection with a strong fantasy clientele. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Kaye, Marilyn Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, 212 p. Kingfisher, 2009. $7.99. Content: G. Amanda is the focus of this third book in the Gifted series. She supposedly has the ability to predict the future, but most of the time she doesn’t interpret her visions very well. Now kids from the gifted class are disappearing and Amanda will have to sharpen her vision if any of them are going to be rescued. In fact, every member of the class will have to step up to the plate for this challenge. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Hiaasen, Carl Scat 371 pgs. KNOF,2009. Language - PG13 (21 swears, 0 "f") Sexual Content - G; Violence - Pg. Nick Waters is an average student, and so is his friend Marsha. But one student is strange. Everyone calls him Smoke. After a tiff between smoke and the biology teacher a field trip to the Everglades goes horribly wrong. A wildfire starts deep in the swamp and the biology teacher doesn't return. Nick and Marsha think Smoke has something to do with it. And he does, just not in the way they think. This book was definitely a great reading adventure for me. I love whodunnit books. All the answers were kept till the end of the book so I really had o think. Younger elementary might not enjoy it though because of its large size and confusing content. It was a page turner for me even though it made me think. MS-HS - ESSENTIAL Student Reviewer: CRH
Marsden, Carolyn When Heaven Fell 177 pages Candlewick Press 2009 Lasnguage- G (0 Swears No F) Sexual Content- G Violence- G. 9 year old Binh lives is a little village in Vietnam selling fruit to earn money for her family. When on day her grandmother, Ba Nyoai surprises everyone when she says she has a daughter in America who is coming to visit. Binh is convinced that her new auntie, Di Thao will bring them a lot of money, even take them to America, but Thao is only a school teacher. Will Di Thao live up to Binh's expectations? This is a very good book its an easy read and tells a great story with a good message. ADVISABLE to MS/HS Student Reviewer: EM
Glass, Calliope The World of Fairies: At the Dawn of Pixie Hollow, 144 p. Disney/Hyperion, 2009. $19.99. Return to the land of the Never Fairies. Meet more fairies, learn about their talents and lives, their quirks and their fun. This book is more illustration than text and will happily poured over for hours. EL – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Schroeder, Russell Walt Disney: His Life in Pictures. Disney Press (Hyperion), 2009. PICTURE BOOK. $14.95. A wealth of photographs, from the Disney archives and from the Disney family, accompanying a large amount of easily read information about the life of Walt Disney and the birth of the Disney corporation. This book, combined with any other treatise of Disney’s life would make a quick study for any basic level biography project. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
EL-ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.
EL-ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.
EL-ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.
EL – OPTIONAL. Samantha, Public Librarian.
EL – ESSENTIAL. Samantha, Public Librarian.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
EL/MS – OPTIONAL. Samantha, Public Librarian.
PreK-K /EL- OPTIONAL. Samantha, Public Librarian.
The curtain rises on the fourth adventure of Cat Royal. Cat is bored with the life of a lady. She receives a letter from Syd’s parents informing her that he is missing. Cat, Pedro, and Frank, accompanied by his cousin Mr. Will Dixon, head to the docks in search of Syd. They are attacked and Cat, Pedro, and Frank are forced to become sailors on the Royal Navy’s boat the Courageous. Pedro and Frank find their sea feet fast, except for Cat (pretending to be a cabin boy) is being picked on by everyone. Cat wanted adventure, but she didn’t plan on proving herself on the high seas. Will she be able to escape the ship, Mr. Maclean, and the Creek Indians to find her friends before her final curtain? Author Julia Golding continues to create memorable characters and polished historical adventures. Recommend to fans of L. A. Meyer’s Bloody Jack series.
MS/HS – ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Lubar, David, My Rotten Life. Starscape. 2009. Pgs. 160. Language: G, Violence: G, Sexual Content: G.
Ten-year-old Nathan’s life is fairly normal until the worst day of his life happens. The most popular girl in school tells him about a party, but says he’s not invited, the class bully picks on him, and he gets picked last in gym. When he meets Abigail, she convinces him to come to her uncle’s lab to try the Hurt-B-Gone: a serum that’s supposed to remove your bad feelings. Things go terribly wrong, however, when he gets doused with the serum and gets turned into an accidental zombie right as Abigail’s uncle gets arrested for having endangered plants in his lab. Nathan’s only hope: to race against time to find a cure before it’s too late and the zombie problem becomes permanent. This book is a funny, well-written tale about trying to fit in with a zombie twist. Fans of David Lubar, humorous fiction, and science-fiction/fantasy will enjoy reading this book.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
“There are a million rules for being a girl. There are a million things you have to do to get through each day. High school has things that can trip you up, ruin you, people smile and say one thing and mean another, and you have to know all the rules, you have to know what you can and can’t do. And one of them is this: YOU DON’T KISS YOUR BEST FRIEND’S BOYFRIEND! (taken from The Unwritten Rule)
Sarah has been best friends with Brianna forever it seems. Now Sarah has a secret that could ruin that friendship forever. She is in love with Ryan, Brianna’s boyfriend. Sarah had given up thinking she could ever be with Ryan, because Brianna is 1-georgeous and 2-irresistable. However, things get all confused when Ryan kisses her.
This new book by Elizabeth Scott is a great book about friendship and what we will do or not do for that friendship to continue. A realistic look at relationships: parent to child, friend to friend; boyfriend to girlfriend. This book is another winner from teen writer Elizabeth Scott.
I read it in one sitting. . . . I couldn't put it down. Teens will devour this book.
MS/HS ESSENTIAL Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Library
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Johanna is a servant to Dame Margery Kempe, who is renowned (or despised) for excessive holiness and weeping. When Dame Kempe’s father dies, she decides to go on a medieval pilgrimage to the holy land. Dame Kempe brings Johanna along to clean, cook, and care for her and others on the trip. The company is attacked by robbers. There is dissent within the group. An exhausted Johanna hopes to make it home alive; with or without the hypocritical Dame Kempe. Author Rebecca Barnhouse bases her story on a medieval text The Book of Margery Kempe. The story is mostly fictional, but the details are well researched and the book is well written. Recommend to fans of author Karen Cushman.
MS – ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.
It’s a bird, It’s a plane. . . . . it’s the Lunch Lady? That’s right! This lunch lady serves justice up on a plastic tray!
In this exciting and hilarious episode the librarians are up to something. Determined to undermine the new gaming system coming to town the public, elementary and high school librarians pool their resources and devise an evil plan to get rid of the terrible X-Station 5000. The lunch lady soon discovers their plan and with the help of the Breakfast Bunch, she foils the plot of the evil librarians.
This second volume is not quite as brilliant as the first, but this new graphic novel series aimed at elementary school kids with capture their attention.
*On a personal note I was disappointed that the librarians and their books were the evil in this episode. I think there is a place for both video games and books. Both get kids to read.*
ELM –ADVISABLE Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Library
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Mitton, Tony and Parker, Ant Amazing Animals: Rainforest Romp 24 pgs. Kingfisher, 2009. PICTURE BOOK. $9.99. Come along with Rabbit, Mouse, and Bird as they take us on a tour of the South American rainforest! This is a cute rhyming book that will teach young kids all about the different kinds of amazing animals one would expect to see in a rainforest including sloths, howler monkeys, anacondas, and jaguars. There is also a look and find page at the end of the book which kids are sure to love! EL-ADVISABLE. Whitney, Library-Teacher.
Billed as “The next big epic fantasy!,” Babymouse #11 does not disappoint!
This terrific volume of Babymouse stories includes reference to some of the classic literary works of fantasy. Fans will cheer her on!
ELM –Essential Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Library