Thursday, May 25, 2017

Outside Shot by Fred Bowen - ADVISABLE

Bowen, Fred Outside Shot,131 pages.  Peachtree Publishers, 2017, $7.  Language: G: (0 swears, 0 f words); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.

Outside Shot is about Richie Mallon who is a cocky 8th grader who is the best shooter on the team. After getting into a shooting slump Richie must learn to do more than just shoot the ball. After grumpily learning to do other than scoring he starts to become a better all- around player and earns his spot as starter on the basketball team.

I think Outside Shot is a good quick read. I liked the book was so relatable to real life and you could connect to the book very easily. I think a lot of people should read this because it helps you realise that a lot of people seem perfect but actually make a lot of mistakes but hide them by practicing. I gave it a PG rating because it is kid friendly and does not graphically describe bad stuff.

MS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CN

The Road Home by Katie Cotton - OPTIONAL

Cotton, Katie The Road Home, PICTURE BOOK. Abrams. 2017. $15.95. Content: G. 

The road of life is wild and unpredictable. Rabbits flee from wolves and find safety in their burrows. Wolves in turn then try to fight off their hunger and find their den is a sanctuary. All loving parents do their best to help their children through this sometimes tumultuous life giving them safety at home. 

This is a touching story with unique illustrations. There are many parallels and life lessons readers can draw from this story. Parents and home should protect us and help us feel safe. There is a deep and loving bond between parent and child whether in the wild or not. 

EL - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Amy Hanson, Elementary Teacher.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Vault of Dreamers by Caring O'Brien - ADVISABLE

O’Brien, Caragh The Vault of Dreamers, 418 pages. Roaring Brook Press, 2014. $18.  Language: PG-13 (10 swear words 1 f word); Mature Content: PG (teen drinking); Violence: PG.

The Vault of Dreamers is a book about a school that makes students more creative minded. When Rosie comes to the school, a lot of stuff at the school becomes kind of fishy. Rosie begins to skip her sleeping pill and talk to a worker there named Linus. She explores the hidden parts of the school after weeks of doing the same thing she gets caught…

I think this book was very fun to read. The entire time I was reading I was intrigued with all of the action that went on in the book. I would recommend this to almost every high-level reader. I hope many people get to enjoy this book. I also only put the violence rating at PG because it briefly described injuries and blood in the book.

HS - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: CN

Cricket in the Thicket by Carol Murray - ADVISABLE

Murray, Carol Cricket in the Thicket, illustrated by Melissa Sweet.  Henry Holt (Macmillan), 2017.  $18. 

Carol has paired charming rhymes with short facts about several of the different bugs that we encounter on almost a daily basis.  Sweet’s illustrations are a just-right companion to the text – I tried to imagine this with photographs, but decided I preferred the collage-like illustrations, which would be fun to emulate and have have students write new poems of their own about other bugs.

EL (K-3), EL – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Into the Hurricane by Neil Connelly - ADVISABLE

Connelly, Neil Into the Hurricane, 242 pages.  Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic), 2017.  $18.  Language: R (50 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13 (vicious hit, eaten by alligator)

Hurricane Celeste is about to roar into Eli’s small island home and everyone has been ordered to evacuate.  But Eli has something to do; his guilt over his older sister’s death has been dragging on him to the point he may just give into the dangerous thoughts that have been plaguing him.  Max (don’t call her Maxine if you want to keep her teeth) has stolen her father’s ashes out from under her stepmother’s nose and has driven hundreds of miles to fulfill one last promise.  But between Eli’s questions and the machinations of the Odenkirk’s, the island’s backwoods religious nuts clan, the pair have something more vicious working against them than any hurricane.  By the time the storm lifts, there may not be anything left standing on the island – buildings or humans.

Connelly’s novel is a white knuckle ride that mimics the ebb and flow of a major storm.  There is a bit of the supernatural in the story.  There is also plenty of action, danger, and opposition.  It was easy to forgive the parts that stretched the imagination, because the storm and the danger were so intense.  Connelly even manages to sneak some actual emotional growth into both main characters.

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