Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Diary of a Wimpy Kid-Hard Luck

The new Diary of a Wimpy Kid came out today. Please share your thoughts about Hard Luck here-no spoilers please!

Friday, March 25, 2011

2012 Bluestem Award Books

I am always very excited this time of year to get the award lists for the upcoming school year and begin reading those. Here is what I have read so far:
1. Just Grace by Charise Harper. A very appealing novel for girls in 2nd-3rd grade. The ending is left very open for a new series.
2. Animal Heroes: True Rescue Stories by Sandra Markle. This is nonfiction and includes stories of how animals have helped save people's lives in various ways. This will appeal to a wide variety of students.
3. Adventures in Cartooning by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost. Very cute-will also appeal to a wide range of kids. The authors tell you how to make a comic; the directions are embedded in a comic story about a knight who wants to fight a dragon. I was chuckling the whole way through.
4. Dying to Meet You: 43 Old Cemetery Road Book One. My favorite so far; this short novel is told completely in letters after a grumpy old author with writer's block moves into a haunted house. This is the first in a series and I can't wait to read the next one!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Getting back on the horse

It is absolutely shameful how long I have been away from this blog! I read all the time, but simply haven't made this a priority. I am thinking about adding a guest author of the week next year.
What I'm reading now:
Deadline by Chris Crutcher.
When the Stars Go Blue

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Waiting for Normal

This is the story of 12 year old Addie, who lives with her somewhat unpredictable mother. She doesn't know her father but has a wonderful ex-stepfather who is still part of her life. Addie is older and wiser than her years in many ways, and has to be. Her mom sometimes disappears for days at a time, leaving Addie to take care of herself. I was rooting for Addie the whole time and there is a happy ending.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Rebecca Caudill books

I just finished the first book on the Rebecca Caudill award list for this year and loved it. The Mailbox by Audrey Shafer focuses on Gabe, a young orphan who has been adopted by his uncle. One day his reclusive uncle dies suddenly and Gabe decides not to report it. Things get stranger when the body disappears and Gabe begins receiving mysterious notes. Although this is hard to believe, Gabe keeps the secret for over a month before his uncle's body is discovered. Do things end up well for Gabe-read and find out!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Series

I recently finished the first books in 2 new series I think will be popular. One is a mystery by Andrew Clements, one of my favorite middle grade authors. The series title is Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School, and the first book is We the Children. Benjamin Pratt receives some mysterious clues regarding how he can save the school in his town, which will soon be torn down to build an amusement park. He and his sidekick work to save the school; this first book had a plot twist I wasn't expecting and didn't really end the way I thought it would, but it left me intrigued and waiting on the next one.
The Very Little Princess by Marion Dane Bauer is about Zoey, a young girl with some family issues, and Princess Regina, a doll she finds in her grandmother's house. Princess Regina only comes to life with Zoey's tears. After Zoey's mother leaves her, there are lots of tears! Can't wait for the next one of these to see what adventures Zoey and Regina get into next.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monarch Award books, part 2

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale by Carmen Agra Deedy. Martina is 21 days old and must find a husband. Her grandmother advises the coffee test to check the personality of prospective mates. This test eliminates all the obvious candidates, but Grandma knows best and Martina ends up with her perfect mate. This book has beautiful illustrations and repetitive phrases that will draw listeners and readers in.
Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton. Splat is nervous about his first day of school, so he takes his best friend Seymour with him. This leads to a problem when Seymour (a mouse) escapes from the lunchbox and the other cats chase him. The wise teacher tries to distract the students with milk, and Seymour saves the day when the milk cabinet is stuck. Younger readers will like this one.
Tsunami! by Kimiko Kajikawa. This is a wonderfully illustrated folktale about a respected elder who sacrifices his rice fields to save the lives of his fellow villagers during a tsunami.
Too Many Toys by David Shannon. Shannon's No David series is a favorite and this will be too. The illustrations are very similar. Spencer has too many toys and his fed-up parents finally make him get rid of a few. Along the way, Spencer finds a surprising new favorite toy.
The Squeaky Door retold by Margaret Read MacDonald. This is a repetitive story that will make a great read-aloud. Grandma tries to help her grandson Little Boy when he is afraid of the squeaky door. At the end, the simplest solution saves the day.
Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas. This is the story of 4 dust bunnies: Ed, Ned, Ted and Bob. As you might expect, Bob has trouble coming up with words for their rhyming game. Luckily the other dust bunnies finally pay attention because Bob has some important information that just might save them! This is probably the only book I've ever heard of about dust bunnies and I wasn't sure what to expect; what I got was a cute story.
Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurrican Katrina, Friendship and Survival by Kirby Larsona nd Mary Nethery. The two Bobbies are a cat and dog that escape from New Orleans together after Hurricane Katrina. When they finally make it to a shelter, it is discovered that the feline Bobbie is blind and wouldn't have survived without her canine friend. This is based on a true story and will appeal to the older Monarch Award readers.
Oh, Theodore! Guinea Pig Poems by Susan Katz. I am usually not a fan of the poetry selections, but this reads like a story. All the poems are about a boy and his pet guinea pig and are told sequentially from the time the boy gets Theodore.
When Dinosaurs Came With Everything by Elise Broach. So cute! A young boy runs boring errands with his mom every Friday. But one Friday everywhere he goes they are giving away dinosaurs. He ends up with 4, which doesn't make his mom very happy until she realizes they are good for doing chores.
Mudball by Matt Tavares. This tells the true story of the shortest home run in baseball history, which occurred during a very rainy, muddy game. This will be appealing to most younger kids, and a few older baseball fans.