Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Turncoat's Gambit by Andrea Cremer - OPTIONAL

Cremer, Andrea  The Turncoat’s Gambit (Inventor’s Secret, #3), 324 pgs.  Philomel Books, 2016.  $18.99  Content: Language: PG (1 swear); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG-13.  

Charlotte has followed her heart and abandoned the Revolutionists.  She is on the run in a world where Europe is trying to overtake a corrupt American government and Charlotte’s mother leads the Revolutionists against both powers.  Charlotte trusts her friends, but it quickly becomes obvious that there is a traitor among her Revolutionist friends who is feeding the enemy information that will help them win the war.  Charlotte is trying to protect her friend Grave and the powers that he has that would turn the war.  

This is the last novel in a steampunk series set in an altered version of United States history.  The characters are memorable and the world is interesting, but it feels like a lot of running around and not a lot of depth.  I liked the series okay, the content is war like violence.  

MS, HS – OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson. 

Goodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton - OPTIONAL

Haughton, Chris  Goodnight Everyone  PICTURE BOOK  Candlewick Press, 2016.  $15.99  Content: G.  

All of the forest animals are getting sleepy, except for Little Bear.  He wanders among his friends and asks if they want to play but they are all ready for bed.  All the wandering makes bear sleepy too.  Little Bear’s mother takes him and puts him to bed.  All the forest is asleep.  

This is a good bedtime story with cute little animals.  The illustrations are done with few bold colors and there is a portion of the book with shorter pages that show the different animals getting tired.  The front and back inside covers have star constellations and pictures of the solar system.  The story isn’t anything new but the illustrations are new and fun.  

PREK, EL (K-3) – OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tale as Old as Time by Charles Solomon - OPTIONAL

Solomon, Charles Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast, 216 pages.  Disney, 2017, 2010.  $50. 

Solomon updates his in-depth book about Beauty and the Beast with 30 new pages about the live action movie.  Unlike the Cinderella book that came out a couple of years ago which provided a wealth of information about the live action film, this one adds the new movie to the original edition and it feels like an after-thought.  While I appreciate those 30 pages, I would have rather had a new book just about the movie instead. It is still a beautiful book with lots of detailed information about the story.  But if you already own the book from 2010, don’t run out and buy this one.

MS, HS – OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Lost and Found: Adele and Simon in China by McClintock - ESSENTIAL

McClintock, Barbara Lost and Found: Adele and Simon in China. PICTURE BOOK. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2016. $17.99.

 Adele and her brother Simon have traveled to China for a visit with their Uncle Sidney, a photographer. At the beginning of their journey, Uncle Sidney buys Adele a camera of her own and gets Simon a whole knapsack of treasures like a scarf, an abacus and a fan, to name a few. As they journey through China, Simon loses everything! Upon returning and developing her photos, Adele discovers each one holds the image of one of Simon’s missing items. 

The fun for the reader is in looking for the missing items as the journey goes on. Along with each image is a postcard from Adele to her mother that tells the story of their journey. I thought this was a unique and beautiful look at China. McClintock’s illustrations are lovely and remarkably detailed, but it is still possible to readily find Simon’s missing items if you look closely. The information and look at China will be more interesting to older readers, but younger audiences will still enjoy searching for Simon’s missing things. 

EL (K-3), EL—ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: TC

Dream On by Kerstin Gier - ADVISABLE

Gier, Kerstin Dream On (Silver Trilogy 2), 317 pages.  Henry Holt, 2016.  $18.  Language: PG-13 (44 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG (mild innuendos); Violence: G (threats).

Now that Annabel is in a mental hospital and Arthur is no longer a BMOC, Liv can concentrate on her boyfriend, Henry.  New problems crop up, however, as the school’s anonymous gossip blogger seems to all of her personal details.  Also, Henry has never invited her over to meet his family – nor told her much of anything about them.  Liv may wish for the day that romance problems were her biggest worries, however.  Someone is visiting her little sister, Mia, in Mia’s dreams and wants to cause her real harm.  Can Henry and Liv work together long enough to save Mia?

I liked this part of the series much more than the first book.  Instead of being just a bridge to book number 3 (which it totally is), it had a more satisfying story for me. 

MS- OPTIONAL, HS – ADVISABLE.  Cindy. Library Teacher

Monday, January 16, 2017

Timekeeper by Tara Sim - OPTIONAL

Sim, Tara Timekeeper, 414 pages.  Sky Pony Press, 2016.  $18.  Language: PG-13 (37 swears, 0 ‘f’); Violence: G (some explosions); Mature Content: PG-13 (gay main character, some passion).

Time in Danny’s world is regulated by the great clocks – if a clock stops, that area becomes Stopped.  Danny’s father has been stuck with in a Stopped city for three years.  Danny is carrying on the family business, maintaining clocks, but the Colton clock is causing him problems.  And something weird about that clock.  Danny is about to find out about the origins of the clocks and of time, and become intimately involved in finding the key to saving all Stopped clocks.

I don’t feel I did a very good job explaining this book.  It is better than my poor summary.  This is a fun steampunk, alternate Victorian world fantasy.  While the main character is gay, it is not to hit anyone over the head with issues, the book ti just romantic in that relationship.  I don’t find that steampunk books circulate very well at my school, though, so that is the drawback that I see.  

MS - OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Just Another Girl by Elizabeth Eulberg - ESSENTIAL

Eulberg, Elizabeth Just Another Girl, 256 pages.  Scholastic Point, MARCH 2017.  $18.  Language: PG-13 (23 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG (minor sleaziness); Violence: G.

Hope and Brady have been best friends since they were little.  For three years, Hope has been secretly in love with him, but Brady only has eyes for his perfect girlfriend Parker – at least that’s how Hope sees it.  Parker, however, has much bigger problems than Hope’s jealousy.  Since her dad was arrested and her mom walked out, she and her older sister are just barely holding it together.  Only a very few people know this, however.  And if Parker has her way, it will stay that way until she can escape to college in 479 days.  The universe has other ideas for both girls.

When Hope opened up this book with her jealousy, I was a little skeptical. Happily, Parker entered the story and brought depth and introspection to the story.   I will be sharing this many student when it arrives, because I want to get the word out quickly.

MS – ESSENTIAL; HS –ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher