Saturday, November 28, 2009

Claim to Fame by Margaret Haddix


Haddix, Margaret Petersen Claim to Fame, 256 p. Simon and Schuster, 2009. Content: G. Lindsay Scott was 11, she walked away from a lucrative TV show career. Five years later, she has been in hiding and is one day kidnapped by two well-intentioned, but very stupid fans, who believe the tabloid reports that her father is keeping her prisoner. But Lindsay’s father is dead and her secret is much more than a young starlet wanting life away from the limelight. All of her secrets are rushing to be exposed and those secrets are so much more than Lindsay ever could have guessed. With talk about transcendentalism, the roots of this book are less accessible than Haddix’s others, but the action is still interesting. The intended audience is older than her Missing Children or Hidden Children series. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Everwild by Neal Shusterman


Shusterman, Neal Everwild, 424 p. $16.99. Simon and Schuster, 2009. Content: PG (Violence). Nick has released all of the spirits that were under Mary Hightower’s control; the monster the McGill has been reformed into a young man, Mikey, who is content with being Allie’s companion – but there is so much more to Everlost than any of these four suspected. Now they all will set out on different journeys into the Everwild – and discover new groups of lost spirits, new enemies and new challenges – even if the main focus is still the struggle between Mary and Nick and the inevitable second confrontation between them. Don’t be sad folks – there is more to come in this clever series. I, for one, can’t wait! MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Troll’s Eye View by Ellen Datlow and terri Windling


Datlow, Ellen and Terri Windling Troll’s Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales, 176 p. $16.99. Content: G. Datlow and Windling have collected another series of must read short stories, this time with a new look at the villains in classic fairy tales. My personal favorites are Garth Nix’s retake on Rapunzel as a major annoyance in The Unwelcome Guest and Catheryne M. Valente’s A Delicate Architecture, a very clever look at the origins of the witch in the story of Hansel and Gretel. Most of these stories could be fleshed out and published as a full-length novel in their own right. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld


Westerfeld, Scott Leviathan, 439 p. Simon and Schuster, 2009. $19.99. Violence: PG. Alek, the son of Archduke Ferdinand, is on the run for his life after the murder of his parents by rebels. If Alek can learn to pilot the huge mechanical Stormwalker, he and his protectors may just escape into safety in Switzerland. Deryn, a girl, has disguised herself as Dylan, a boy, and put herself forward for the British Air Service. After a disastrous first flight, she now finds herself aboard Leviathan – a giant genetically-engineered airship that was created by Darwinist. When Leviathan is shot down near Alek’s mountain hideout, the two teens will meet and disaster will ensue with rescue, perhaps, shortly behind. This strange alternate history of mechanical monstrosities on the German side and genetically-engineered creatures on the British side makes for a very different read for fans of Westerfeld’s other two series. Science fiction is not as popular as fantasy or horror, but I hope those that pick this up will find that they really enjoyed it. Personally, I can’t wait for the next in the series – I have some thoughts as to where this may be going. Cross your fingers! EL, MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler


Peeler, Nicole Tempest Rising, 368 p. Orbit. 2009. Language: R (75 swears, 15 “f”); Sexual Content: R (described sex). 20-something Jane True doesn’t fit into society in her tiny hometown of Rockbill, Maine, especially since the death of her fiancée a few years earlier. But no one, nit even Jane, really knows how much different Jane actually is, because from her mother’s side Jane is only half-human. And someone is out to kill half-humans and Jane has just entered the hit list. Only with the intervention of Rockbill’s other otherworldlies will Jane be able to solve the mystery and save her own life. This book is definitely for adults, not for schools. Lots of fun, great twist on the detective novel. PUBLIC ONLY. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Strike a Pose by Deborah Gregory


Gregory, Deborah Catwalk: Strike a Pose, 293 p. Delacorte (Random), 2009. $8.99. I really tried to sit down and read this book about a school dedicated to all aspects of the fashion industry- but between the weird, obvious names, the name-dropping, the ridiculous mannerisms and the inside-jokey slang I just couldn’t get past the first 50 pages. This is obviously not a style of writing that I understand; I'd love to hear some other, well articulated opinions. NO. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Watch Me Throw the Ball! by Mo Willems

Willems, Mo Watch Me Throw the Ball! 64 pgs. Hyperion Books for Children, 2009. EARLY READER. $8.99. In this delightful Elephant and Piggie book, Piggie wants to throw the ball after he sees Elephant do it, but Elephant warns him that there is a lot more to throwing a ball than you think. Piggie listens to all of Elephant's advice and then gives it a go...but things don't turn out quite how Elephant thought they should. In the end though, it is Elephant that learns the greater lesson....just have fun!! This is such a cute and fun book with simple illustrations and comical bubble text...kids are sure to love it! EL-ESSENTIAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley


Hanley, Victoria Violet Wings, 372 p. Egmont, 2009. $15.99. Violence: PG, Other Content: G. Zaria Tourmaline and her other friends have just reached the magic age of 12. When their fairy powers are revealed, both Zaria and her best friend Jenna are revealed to be two of the most powerful fairies seen in Tirfeyne in generations. But Zaria and Jenna are overly fascinated with Earth – Zaria because of her parents and brother’s disappearance and Jenna because it is a forbidden place. There is an enemy lurking in Tirfeyne who is more than willing to take the whole world down if Zaria gets too close to revealing the secret. Zaria will have to face betrayal from friends and enemies. I enjoyed every minute of reading this book. Younger students, any fantasy reader, will also enjoy. I can’t wait for #2! EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

My Vicksburg by Ann Rinaldi


Rinaldi, Ann My Vicksburg, 149 p. Harcourt, 2009. $16.00. Content: G. Claire, 13, is hiding with her family in the caves around the city of Vicksburg – except that Pa is off fighting with the South and Landon, her older brother, has joined the Yankee forces as a doctor. During the 1863 siege of her city, Claire’s assumptions of the world will be challenged. I have not been enthralled with Rinaldi’s books of late – this one feels better for an elementary level, because there is just not much here for anyone older. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Shooting Star by Frederick McKissack Jr.


McKissack Frederick, Jr. Shooting Star, 272 p. Atheneum (Simon), 2009. $16.99. Language: R (100+ swears, 15 “f” – at the point I stopped counting); alcohol abuse. Football reigns supreme in Jayson and Jomo’s hometown. Jayson plays with his whole heart, while Jomo isn’t always sure that he wants to be there. The boys are two of only 28 black students at their high school and on one hand Jomo’s friends tell him he is too white and the other hand tells him he sticks with “his own kind” too much. When Jomo decides to commit himself to football, he decides that juicing is the way to go. Now his life is spinning completely out of control – just as the football is coming together. Another books about the dangers of steroids in high school sports – unfortunately the language is so raw, that it is inaccessible for many schools and students. Point your boys to Gym Candy by Carl Deuker instead. NO - Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica


Lupica, Mike Million Dollar Throw, 249 p. Philomel (Penguin), 2009. $17.99. Nate Brodie, 13, has won the chance for a one-time throw during the halftime at a major league football to win $1 million. His family is struggling during the financial downturn; his best friend, Abby, is going blind - $1M would go a long way. But, just as he needs his quarterback arm the most, it seems to be failing him. Lupica’s book feels like a part of Dan Gutman’s “Million dollar” series, which is not a bad thing, as I think we need lots of boy-oriented books. I just wish the protagonists were a bit older – there are more elementary level sports books coming out – and not enough middle level sports books. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev


Mantchev, Lisa Eyes Like Stars, 356 p. Feiwel, 2009. $16.99. Beatrice Shakespeare, 17, has lived most of her life within the walls of a very important Theater – a Theater that contains the essences of every character from every work performed within its walls. Beatrice has always been a bit rebellious, but she has reached her last chance – and unless she can prove herself valuable to the Theater, the Manager has decided that it is time for her to go. The cover is very eye-catching, Beatrice is highly amusing. Beatrice’s world is so fantastical, that your hard-core fantasy readers will really enjoy the experience. It will work best in a large, active collection. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Fire by Kristin Cashore


Cashore, Kristin Fire, 461 p. $17.99. Penguin, 2009. Content: PG-13 (some violence). Beuatiful Frie is the last of the human “monsters” in her country of Dells. Her father used his powers of attraction to control a corrupt king; Fire was raised by a human with a conscience. Now Fire has been called to the capitol to help the new king hold onto his throne and she must find her place and her strength within this perilous time. Once I got over the fact that this book was not a direct sequel to Graceling, I was able to enjoy it must better. It stands on its own right and will be a great find for students who enjoyed Hilari Bell or Cinda Chima. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

The Crown of Earth by Hilari Bell

Bell, Hilari The Crown of Earth, 260pgs. Simon and Schuster. Sexual Content: G, Violence: PG, Language: G. Weasel, Prince Edoran’s most trusted friend, has been captured in his place. Edoran escapes the palace in a desperate attempt to save his best friend from possible death. One thing he does not know is that he is in for a whirlwind of discovery. Never once leaving the palace, Edoran feels what it is like to be a common worker. Can Edoran survive the reality of the common worker to save his best friend? Read the exciting conclusion to the trilogy to find out! The Crown of Earth was the perfect end. It was action packed and at times, suspenseful. If you haven’t read this trilogy, I recommend doing so if like action and fantasy in one great bundle. EL, MS--ESSENTIAL. Student reviewer: CW

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler

Hepler, Heather Cupcake Queen, 242 pgs. Penguin Group, 2009. Language-G (no swears), Sexual Content-G; Violence-G ; Penny just moved to Hog's Hollow and so far hates it. She went to a birthday party for some girl named Charity and knew that her and Charity would never be good friends.At school, it just got worse. Charity stuffed pennies in Penny's locker, to make fun of her name.Then she put a dead fish in Penny's locker. How did this all start? Read this book to find out. I found this book pretty boring. The story line is horrible and the events are so unrealistic. It was poorly written with no description of anything. I didn't like it at all. EL, MS- NO. Reviewer: AS

Clash of the Demons by Joseph Delaney

Delaney, Joseph Clash of the Demons, 393 p. Greenwillow Books, 2009- Language G, Sexual Content G, Violence PG-13- When the town spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward, receive an urgent letter from Tom's mom saying that she needs help back in her home town Greece, They quickly set off on the journey. The Ordeen, a powerful demon of the dark, is coming through a portal between our world and hers. If she manages to get through the barrier, the entire human race is threatened. Tom and the spook must get into her palace and kill the demon before she and her followers break free and devour entire towns. As soon as I started reading this book I could not stop! MS-ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: CO

Barbie and the Three Musketeers by Mary Man-Kong


Man-Kong, Mary Barbie and the Three Musketeers, 32 pgs. Random House, 2009. EARLY READER. Language-G (no swears), Sexual Content-G; Violence-G; Corinne, Aramina , Renee and Viveca are not allowed to be musketeers because, they are women. Although they cannot be musketeers they train anyways to fulfill their dreams. While the girls are training Phillipe is plotting to become king, but Louis is next in line. Can the girls stop Phillipe? This book was very cute and fun to read. It is great for younger children learning to read. I recommend this book for small girls mostly. EL(K-3)- Optional. Reviewer: AS

Prairie Winter by Bonnie Geisert


Geisert, Bonnie Prairie Winter, 218. Houghton Mifflin, 2009. Language- PG (3swears, 0 ‘f’), Sexual Content-G; Violence-G. Rachel and her family live on a farm in South Dakota in 1952, that is the year of there worst winter. Rachel’s family is not one known, as normal, her dad will not let them have a phone, a TV, and makes them do everything old fashioned. When a huge problem strikes, it makes Rachel and her sisters wish they had a phone. Prairie Winters is one of the best books I have read in a while, and it makes you wonder what you would do if you lived in Rachel’s family during that winter. EL/MS/HS- ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: MM

The Well Between the Worlds by Sam Llewellyn


Llewellyn, Sam Lyonesse: The Well Between the Worlds, 352pgs. Orchard Books - Language: G, Violence: PG, Sexual Content: G. Idris Limpet is pulled into an adventure all of his own without knowing. Lyonesse was once known as a beautiful land; however, monsters have started to arise. The once beautiful land is ravaged and torn. The humans must live in constant fear with the monsters. Idris must accept his fate or all will be lost. The adventure and mystery of the book reallly pull you into it. Once you get into the plot, the book started to move faster and faster. Before I knew it, I was done reading it. MS, HS - ESSENTIAL. Student reviewer: CW

Ocean's Child by Christine Ford

Ford, Christine, Ocean’s Child. Random House Children’s Books. 2009. PICTURE BOOK. As a mother and her child row to shore one night they say good night to all of the creatures that live on or by the sea. Great illustrations and easy to follow rhyming text. However, the book will not grab a lot of children’s attentions unless it’s near bedtime or they’re really into animals. Would work well as a parent read-aloud before bedtime or a pajama/nightime storytime book. OPTIONAL. PreK only. Reviewer: Kira-HUN Public Library

Cromwell Dixon's Sky-Cycle by John Abbott Nez

Nez, John Abbott, Cromwell Dixon’s Sky-Cycle. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. 2009. PICTURE BOOK. Cromwell had dreams of creating a bicycle that could fly through the air. He wants to be successful in creating it and make it to the St. Louis Carnival after the great flying race. However, he has some problem that come up along the way. Will Cromwell fulfill his dream? Based off a true story about Cromwell Dixon and the amazing Sky-Cycle. Young readers will enjoy learning about a boy that was their age who defied the odds and soared(literally). Would recommend this for early elementary. EL(1-3). ADVISABLE.

Two at the Zoo by Danna Smith

Smith, Danna, Two at the Zoo. Clarion Books. 2009. PICTURE BOOK. A boy and his grandpa go to the zoo to vist. They see lots of cool animals and count them along the way. This book approaches counting in a fun and easy way for kids to understand. Although this book would work best in a public library, kindergarten teachers would find this book useful for their classroom when they’re teaching the children how to count. PreK/EL(PreK-K). OPTIONAL: Kira-HUN Public Library

Pumpkin Town by Katie McKy


Mcky, Katie, Pumpkin Town. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006. PICTURE BOOK. José and his family love pumpkins and love to grow them. One year after harvesting the pumpkins, the seeds blow away and grow up in the spring on top of people’s houses! Will José and his family figure out a way to fix the pumpkin problem? A fun story that’s silly and a quick read. Young children will enjoy hearing or reading this book during the fall and around Halloween. PreEL/EL(PreK-1). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira-HUN Public Library

Glamsters by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody, Glamsters, Hyperion Books for Children. 2008. PICTURE BOOK. When Harriet and her sister, Patricia don’t seem to be getting noticed by anyone in the Hamster World pet store, Harriet takes measures into her own hands to become a “glamster.” She soon realizes, however, that being a “glamster” isn’t always a good thing. A cute picture book about two hamsters who discover the importance of being yourself. Young children who love animals will enjoy having this story read to them over and over. Pre-EL/EL(PreK-K) ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira-HUN Public Library

Mail Time

I received two very nice letters from authors who were 'googling' themselves and found our little website. I received permission from both of them to post them to the blog, so here they are!

Hi Cindy,

Thank you so much for posting a review of Shampoodle and Knuckleheads on Kiss the Book! This is a wonderful blog and the archives and rating system make it an excellent resource for libraries and schools. And you've been blogging books since 2003! That has to make you one of the earliest book bloggers around--or one of the earliest bloggers period. Very cool. I mentioned your site to my friend who teaches 2nd grade in San Francisco, and it turns out she's already a fan. I'm glad I found you, too. Kiss the Book is actually a good resource for authors who're researching book content as well.
(From Cindy - I did tell Joan that while we have been posting reviews on the internet since 2003, this particular blog has only been going since 2006)

Greetings!

My name is Pat Bauer and I'm the author of B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet. My husband, Dave Geister, is the illustrator. We want to thank you for your positive review of our book on your blog. It was truly a labor of love for us, both because we're passionate about the topic and because we love to work together. I am a middle school history teacher in my "real" life . . . and I also give many workshops on using picture books to teach about American history.

I wanted to let you know that if you go to Dave's website (davidgeister.com) you can listen to and/or download the music for the book. Several friends and I recorded "Hard Times Come Again No More", "Hard Crackers Come Again No More" and I also sing the poems in the book. I wish that this information had been in the book, but it didn't work out that way. We always include bookmarks that give this information when we do book signings. Sleeping Bear Press also has a teacher's guide (website is on the back of the book) that mentions the music. Dave and I often do performances of the book with a different set of friends who play 19th century music, and we all wear our Civil War-era costumes. We hope to get a recording of that on youtube in the near future.

Again, thank you so much for the review!

Pat

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Egg Drop by Mini Grey

Grey, Mini Egg Drop 32 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. PICTURE BOOK. $16.99. Follow the tragic tale of the egg who wanted to fly in this fun and creative story! Egg has watched bats, airplanes, balloons and clouds all his life and wants nothing more than to be able to fly...so he decides to take matters into his own hands when he climbs the Very Tall Tower and takes the plunge, quite literally! Grey does a wonderful job of using serious tones in humorous ways. This would be a fun way to introduce Bernoulli's principle! EL-ESSENTIAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher.

Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart

Stewart, Melissa. Under the Snow, illustrated by Constance R. Bergum. Peach Tree, 2009. $16.95. While children play in the snow, underneath it animals are resting for the winter. Snakes rest in holes, tunnel-digging voles, salamanders sleep, and woodchucks lie deep. Full of animal facts and lovely painted illustrations. EL-ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.

Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt! by Leslie Kimmelman

Kimmelman, Leslie. Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt! illustrated by Adam Gustavson. Peach Tree, 2009. $16.95. President Theodore Roosevelt could handle wars and governments, but he couldn’t handle his unruly daughter Alice. She jumped on the sofa, dressed eccentrically, sat on the roof, drove a car—fast, and carried a pet snake named Emily Spinach around the White House. This is fun and informative picture book biography about a girl who liked to have a good time. The illustrations look like paintings from the early 1900s. EL-ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.

The Crimson Dynamo Returns! by D.R. Shealy

Shealy, D.R. The Crimson Dynamo Returns! illustrated by Patrick Spaziante, 48 pgs. Random House, 2009. EARLY READER. $3.99. This was a great action/superhero book for younger grades. Follow Ironman, who is really a boy named Tony Sparks, as he saves the world and defeats villians. In this particular book, not only did Ironman defeat the evil villian Vanko, but he helped him find his family. A good ending all around. I think that little boys would especially love this book. EL-ESSENTIAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher.

Princess Hyacinth: (The Surprising Tale of a Girl who Floated) by Florence Parry Heide

Heide, Florence Parry. Princess Hyacinth: (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated), illustrated by Lane Smith. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2009. $17.99. Princess Hyacinth looked normal, but she wasn’t. She floated. Her parents, the king and queen, weighted her down with a royal crown to keep her on the ground. One day she meets a man selling balloons and insists he tie a string to her ankle so that she can float with the balloons. The string breaks, but Hyacinth isn’t worried. She’s floating and having fun. The illustrations by Caldecott Honor-winner Lane Smith soar well above the average picture book and add humor to this delightful tale. EL- ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.

Flight of the Phoenix by R. L. LaFevers

LaFevers, R. L. Flight of the Phoenix, illustrated by Kelly Murphy. 138 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. $16.00. Content – G. Nathaniel is told of his parent’s deaths and is sent to live with a distant relative. He meets Aunt Phil who explains that his family has studied and preserved mythical creatures for generations. Nathaniel’s training starts the next day. He and Aunt Phil fly to Arabia to assist with the death and rebirth of a phoenix. Aunt Phil is taken by hostile Bedouins. Nathaniel must protect the phoenix and save Aunt Phil. This is the first title in the Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist series; recommend this mythical adventure to fans of The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. EL-ADVISABLE. Samantha, Public Librarian.

A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper

Cooper, Michelle. A Brief History of Montmaray, 294 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009. $16.99. Language – G; Violence – PG; Sexual Content – PG. It’s 1936 and Sophia lives in a dilapidated castle on an island off the coast of Spain. Her Uncle John is the king. He wanders around in his bathrobe and is occasionally violent. Rebecca, the superstitious housekeeper, worships the king and does very little beside watch him. Sophia and her cousin Veronica are responsible for the cleaning, cooking, and educating her younger sister Henry. One day two Nazis come to the island. They are looking for the Holy Grail and want to go through the library. Veronica refuses. The Nazis break into the castle during the night and what happens will change the girl’s lives forever. The 1930s details and journal style are reminiscent of Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle. The gothic characters could easily wander into the pages of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca or Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. MS / HS – OPTIONAL. Samantha, Public Librarian.

Princess and Fairy by Anna Pignataro

Pignataro, Anna Princess and Fairy 25 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. PICTURE BOOK. $14.99. In this glittering and pink adventure, Princess bunny and Fairy bunny are invited to the Queen's birthday gala, but they must get ready! Take a twirl with Princess and Fairy as they hop through Fairyland to find--along with the reader--what they need. In this look-and-find book, you will find delightful and detailed illustrations and text as you follow Princess and Fairy through places like Three Wishes Market, Gold Penny Lane, and Fairyland Fairground. This book is sure to attract princesses and fairies everywhere! EL-ESSENTIAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher.

Caterpillar Caterpillar by Vivian French

French, Vivian Caterpillar Caterpillar illustrated by Charlotte Voake, 32 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2009. PICTURE BOOK. $6.99. This picture book talks all about the life cycle of a caterpillar as the little girl follows and watches each step. It is really a story within a story- one is about the little girl, and the other is about the caterpillar. Although it has some really great information about the life cycle of a caterpillar, the font of the informational text makes it really hard to read. The illustrations in this book were great, but I think the font looks too much like it is trying to look like the illustrations, making it hard to read. It would be a good book to have as a resource when talking about the life cycles of insects/caterpillars. EL- OPTIONAL. Whitney, Library-Teacher.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan


Riordan, Rick, The Maze of Bones, 182 pages, published 2008, Sexual Content: G, Language: G, Violence: G.

One day Dan and Amy Cahill's grandma dies and there grandma leaves them a secret message about there family. They are part of the most powerful family in the world! They give up two million dollars in exchange for one clue. They are put in a dangerous race against other powerful Cahill family members who will do anything to win the most powerful prize in the world. I really enjoyed this exiting and mysterious book. I never wanted to put it down.

EL- ESSENTIAL. Student Reviewer: SO.

100 Girls by Adam Gallardo


Gallardo, Adam 100 Girls. pg. 174: Simon Pulse. Language- PG-13, Sexual Content- PG-13, Violence- PG-13. Sylvia knew she was different. She was adopted, She was smarter and she was a lot stronger then other kids her age, but it's getting her into trouble. Too much trouble. When she decides to run away from home she has no idea how much more trouble is coming. This book was a graphic novel which made it really interesting. Most of the Story was told with pictures. The only bad thing was the violence and sexual content, the pictures were definitely PG-13. I would only recommend this to high school age groups. It was a neat book but it isn't for all people. PUBLIC ONLY, Student Reviewer-MP

The Comet's Curse by Dom Testa


Testa, Dom The Comet's Curse. Tom Doherty Associates. Language-G, Sexual content-G, Violence-G. Triana Martell is one of two hundred fifty one teenagers being sent into space as humanities last hope. When comet Bhaktul passes earth it leaves a deadly virus that kills anyone over the age of eighteen. To save humanity scientist's send two hundred fifty one teenager's into space with the knowledge and tools to survive. I really liked this book. I would recommend this book to anyone. It was well written and it was still an easy read. MS,HS - ESSENTIAL, Student Reviewer-MP

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Green Witch by Alice Hoffman


Hoffman, Alice Green Witch, 144 p. Scholastic, 2010. $17.99. Content: G. Green has survived the initial destruction of her way of life and loss of her family and her possible betrayal by Diamond , but now comes the most difficult task of all – learning to live again. IN turn, Green needs to visit four women, each suspected by others to be a witch, in order to collect their stories. These stories will give Green the clues, the answers and the strength that she needs to complete her journey with unforeseen results. I liked this much more than the first. Share this with your Language Arts teachers – it would be a good novel for reading together. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Frog in Space by Tedd Arnold


Arnold, Tedd Green Wilma: Frog in Space. Dial (Penguin), 2009. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK. A little green frog is mistaken for a little blue alien and manages to wreak havoc in space before being returned to earth. Arnold’s booksa re so fun for kids with their bold colors and silly situations. EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Dark Night by Dorothee De Monfreid


De Monfreid, Dorothee Dark Night. Random House, 2009. $14.99. PICTURE BOOK. On a dark night in the woods, a little boy is scared by a succession of monsters, until an encounter with a little rabbit gives him the tools he needs in order to make it home safely. De Monfreid’s switch on the typical monster story is fun to read – from beginning to end. EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Arthur’s Reading Trick by Marc Brown


Brown, Marc Arthur’s Reading Trick, 24 p. Random House, 2009. $3.99. EARLY READER (Step into Reading level 3). DJ tires to trick Arthur into believing that she has taught Baby Kate how to read. Arthur is pretty popular with the early reader set. EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Monster by A. Lee Martinez


Martinez, A. Lee Monster, 304 p. Orbit, 2009. $19.99. Language: R (150+ swears, 2 ‘f’), Sexual Content: R; Violence: PG-13 (lots of fighting). It all started when Judy found the yeti eating its way through the ice cream during her shift stocking shelves at the local grocery store. There she met Monster, a member of the Cryptobiological Containment and Rescue Services team and Just decides that she wants to remember, not just oh so conveniently forget, as most humans do when confronted by the unexplainable. But neither Monster nor Judy understand that the fate of our entire existence depends upon Judy – and that only Monster will be able to help her fulfill her destiny. I laughed out loud more times than I cared to count while reading this book. It is an excellent choice for adult readers – just not for schools. ADULT. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

My Little Red Fire Truck by Stephen Johnson


Johnson, Stephen T. My Little Red Fire Truck. Simon and Schuster, 2009. BOARD BOOK. Help get the fire truck ready to fight fires in this interactive board book. Each page has removal tools and spinning parts to simulate the firefighter’s job. WAY too much fun! Probably not for schools, but definitely for a gift. PARENTS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

NASCAR’s Greatest Drivers by Angela Roberts


Roberts, Angela NASCAR’s Greatest Drivers. 48 p. Random House, 2009. $3.99. EARLY READER (Step into Reading level 5). From its early beginnings to the present day, meet some of the heroes of NASCAR. This book has as more interesting information, on the same amount of pages, as the books that some other companies try to pass off as books for the middle grade and for which they charge more than $20. I am going to add this one to my own school’s collection! EL – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Big Frog Can’t Fit In by Mo Willems


Willems, Mo Big Frog Can’t Fit In. Hyperion, 2009. $19.99. Content: G. POP-UP BOOK. Big Frog is really just too big. No matter how he squirms and twist, he can’t fit within the pages of the book. With sole help from some little friends, however, there may just be a solution. Big Frog is awfully cute and so is her book. There are just so many cute pop-up (Willems call this a “pop-out”) books this season – every child you deserves one just for them. PreK – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Who are the People in Your Neighborhood?


Kleinberg, Naomi Who are the People in Your Neighborhood? Illustrated by Joe Mathieu. Sesame Street Books (random), 2009. $7.99. BOARD BOOK. Meet the people who help your neighborhood work, lifting flaps along the way. Good for young readers learning about occupations and such. PreK-K – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Tink’s Treasure Hunt by Melissa Lagonegro


Lagonegro, Melissa Tink’s Treasure Hunt. Random House, 2009. $3.99. EARLY READER (Step into Reading level 3). Follow Tink as she searches for a magic mirror that can help her fix the Autumn Scepter. Tinkerbell is a perfect subject for little girls who are ready to read on their own. EL (K-3) – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Barack Obama: Out of Many, One by Shana Corey


Corey, Shana Barack Obama: Out of Many, One, illustrated by James Bernardin. 48 p. Random House, 2009. $3.99. EARLY READER (Step into Reading level 3). For the young readers who want to read about our president on their own, Corey has written a simple biography on their level. EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Thanks a LOT, Emily Post by Jenifer Huget


Huget, Jennifer LaRue Thanks a LOT, Emily Post, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. Schwartz and Wade (Random), 2009. $16.99. Four little children are quite happy with their harem-scarem lives, until their mother discovers the world of Emily Post and tries to teach them their manners. Now the children must come up with something to rid their world of these nasty things called manners – at whatever the cost! While Huget seemed to be on the right track – the muddle at the end of the book just made this a disaster for me. I did not like the end at all! Now children who have no need for manners will probably love this title, but they will also be left with the idea that is you mess things up enough, you will always be able to get your way. And too many children have already taught their parents that lesson already. NO. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Guess Again! by Mac Barnett


Barnett, Mac Guess Again! Illustrated by Adam Rex. Simon and Schuster, 2009. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK. Every child’s sense of what is right and orderly in the world will be challenged by this adorable picture book. The funny rhymes will lead everyone reading this right into guessing the exactly wrong answer and laughing at themselves. EL (K-3) – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Revenge of the Itty-Bitty Brothers by Lin Oliver

Oliver, Lin. Revenge of the Itty-Bitty Brothers, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin. Simon & Schuster, 2009. $14.99. Content – G. In the third book in the Who Shrunk Daniel Funk series, Daniel has learned how to control his shrinking by giccuping (mix of hiccup, burp, and gargle). Daniel likes to shrink on demand to escape his many sisters and hang out with his newly discovered toe-sized twin Pablo. Pablo and Daniel stow away on model rockets for an exciting launch. All goes well for Pablo and his parachute, but Daniel’s parachute doesn’t deploy. He crashes in La Brea Tar Pits and must make his way out before he becomes the smallest fossil. The ink illustrations help propel the story along and each chapter begins with an interesting Funkster fact. Purchase title if the series is popular at your library. EL-OPTIONAL. Samantha, Public Librarian.