Monday, October 15, 2018

MEET KISS THE BOOK JR!

Kiss the Book has become big enough, that I decided a change needed to happen.  So meet Kiss the Book Jr.!  The format has not changed, the reviewers are still the same lovely librarians, teachers, and dedicated book lovers -- we have just separated the board books, picture books, early readers, chapter books, and other elementary level only books to their own blog.

I hope that you will love seeing elementary level materials on Kiss the Book Jr., while the middle school and high materials remain here, on the original Kiss the Book.  Of course, if a book crosses over, it will be posted on both blogs - so you won't miss a thing!

Let me know what you think!

--Cindy

FYI:  I will pretty up Kiss the Book Jr. in the near future - no worries!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Nothing stopped Sophie by Cheryl Bardoe - ADVISABLE

Nothing Stopped Sophie : The Story of unshakable mathematician Sophie Germain by Cheryl Bardoe illustrated by Barbara McClintock PICTURE BOOK, NON FICTION Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Hatchette, 2018 $18.  316278203

BUYING ADVISORY: EL (K-3),  EL, MS - ADVISABLE 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Sophie Germain understood math so well she thought about it all the time, her parents had to take away her candles and warm pajamas to keep her in bed at night. Her favorite thing to do was study math, but she lived during the French Revolution and women mathematicians were not taken seriously at all. Sophie studied math by correspondence (under an assumed male name) and when the Academy of Sciences offered a medal with a cash prize to anyone who could figure out a very difficult mathematical task - how to predict patterns of vibration - Sophie, then age 32, took on the challenge. 

A remarkable story about a courageous and intelligent woman; Sophie Germain is an inspiration. The true story, fully illustrated in pen and ink and watercolor, is well told, beautifully written and will make great read aloud. Can't wait to read this to the "Girls who Code" class and to hand it to my math teachers. So happy to see another picture book biography. 

Lisa Librarian 

The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage - ESSENTIAL

The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage, 356 pages. Kathy Dawson Books (Penguin Random House), 2018. $17.

Language: G (0 swears, 0 'f') Mature Content: G; Violence: G. 


BUYING ADVISORY: MS - ESSENTIAL 

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

In the concluding installment of the Tupelo Landing Series, Mo is given a clue to her upstream mother's identity - the sweater she was found wrapped in, and a necklace with a J. Speaking of clues - there's a stranger in town who thinks he has a clue to a buried treasure right there in Tupelo Landing! It seems one of Blackbeard's ex-wives lived there and may have stashed something very valuable. The Desperado Detective agency is trying to find it before Gabriel Archer does. 

I am so sorry to see this series end, but now it's great that we can read the books one after another. The mysteries are fun to help solve - lots of clues as well as red herrings. Mo and Dale and Harm are wonderful kids, good detectives and have lots of caring adults around them. You need this whole series, and please read them in order - it's best that way. 

 Lisa Librarian 

Mars One by Jonathan Maberry - ADVISABLE

Mars One by Jonathan Maberry, 429 pages. Simon and Schuster, 2017. $18.

Language: PG-13 (66 swears, 0 ‘f’); Content: PG; Violence: PG

BUYING ADVISORY: MS/HS – ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE 

Tristan has been famous most of his life.  He was ten when his family was chosen to go to Mars and they have been preparing ever since.  Finally the time has come and they are ready to leave. It is an exciting, scary time, but also a little sad.  He will be leaving behind everything and everyone he has ever known including his best friend, Herc, and girlfriend, Izzy.  It doesn’t matter how many goodbyes they have or knowing they will still be able to communicate, it’s hard knowing he will never see them again.    

Science fiction generally catches my eye and this was no exception.  I enjoyed the story, liked the characters, and appreciated the ending. The story didn’t quite go in the direction I thought it would, but it still worked.  For those that may not be drawn to science fiction, there is also mystery, intrigue, some romance, and a little reality tv thrown in to appeal to everyone.  The story is a solid PG so please note the language count(more than half are of Deity).

Reviewer: RB

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers - ESSENTIAL

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, illustrated by Julia Sarda, 235 pages.  Houghton Mifflin, 2018.  $25. 9781328498847

BUYING ADVISORY:  EL, GIFT- ESSENTIAL; MS - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

If you need or a want a new illustrated version of Mary Poppins, this is the one to get!  Sarda’s illustrations add a wry note to the clever classic.  This would be a great bedtime read for any family and a fantastic way to introduce the source material to new readers – not just the movie version.  

Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS

Friday, September 21, 2018

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier - OPTIONAL

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier, 344 pages.  Amulet (Abrams), 2018.  $19.  

Language: G; Mature Content: G;Violence: PG (some fighting)

BUYING ADVISORY:  EL, MS - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Nan Sparrow was raised by a kind, if extremely poor chimney sweep  and they roamed together all over England, until the night the Sweep disappeared. For the last five years Nan has been indentured to Crudd, a cruel London chimney sweep.  Then during a terrible accident one day, Nan escapes by faking her own death – and she also finds herself a friend – Charlie.  Whatever Charlie is, perhaps a golem, Nan knows he grew from the bit of charcoal that the Sweep left her.  Together the pair carve out a good, but hard, life until the day Crudd finds out for sure that Nan is alive.  He will do anything to reclaim her.

A historical fantasy book – Nan’s tale is mixed in with the real events and lives of chmney sweeps in 1800’s London.  As an adult, I loved The cover will draw a few students in, but I don’t think they will recommend it to hordes of their friends after.

Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS

The Selkie of San Francisco by Todd Calgi Gallicano - OPTIONAL

Delacorte (Random), 2018). $17.

Language: G; Mature Content: G;Violence: PG (some danger)

BUYING ADVISORY:  EL, MS - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Sam London may only be in middle school, but he is an important member of the Department of Mythical Wildlife team.  When a selkie appears off the shore of the San Francisco Bay, Sam is hot on his trail along with his mentor, Dr. Vantana, and his guardian Tashi.  Some how Pearl Eklund, fashion’s hottest new model, and her stepfather, are involved too.  And if Sam doesn’t solve this mystery, there maybe more than one kind of trouble under the ocean surface.  

Sam London has the feel of a Brandon Mull book – but not quite as sure to grab a student’s attention. If your middle school goes through huge amounts of fantasy, then you might want to add this series.

Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS

Walt's Imagination: The Life of Walt Disney by Doreen Rappaport - OPTIONAL

Rappaport, Doreen Walt's Imagination: The Life of Walt Disney, illustrated by John Pomeroy. NONFICTION PICTURE BOOK. Disney Hyperion, 2018. $19. 9781423184706.

BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS - OPTIONAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: EL, MS - AVERAGE

Walt Disney's life story is told in this picture book featuring long textual passages (which include actual quotes from Mr. Disney) and beautiful illustrations. The story begins with Disney's childhood in Marceline, Missouri and continues to his creation of Disneyland. The story mysteriously ends before Disneyland opens, Walt Disney World is even mentioned, or Walt Disney passes away. There are author's and illustrators notes in the back, as well as suggestions for further reading in case you, too, realize the book didn't give you the whole story.

My initial excitement for this book was quickly dampened as I started reading it out loud to my kids. Not only is the text fairly long, its also pretty dry and for all that--incomplete. The story ends so abruptly I can't help but suspect they've forgotten the last two or three pages. I feel like appeal for this topic will be high no matter what--people of all ages continue to be interested in and fans of Walt Disney--and the illustrations are beautiful here, thus the OPTIONAL rating instead of a NO.

Reviewer: TC

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Venturess (Mechanica #2) by Betsy Cornwell - ADVISABLE

NOW IN PAPERBACK:

Venturess (Mechanica #2) by Betsy Cornwell, 311 pages.  Houghton Mifflin, 2018.  $10.

Language: G; Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG

BUYING ADVISORY:  MS – OPTIONAL; HS - ADVISABLE

AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE

Read the original review here.

Now available in paperback, Venturess is a good buy for a high school library. I’m interested to see if Cornwell will further explore Nic, Fin, and Caro’s lives.  She just gets better with each book.  If you haven’t read her Forest Queen yet, please do!

Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King - ESSENTIAL


Content: G

BUYING ADVISORY: ADULTS - ESSENTIAL

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH

Fred Rogers was a iconic part of the childhood of entire generations of children.  In this book about his life, King gives depth to the life and life’s work of this man who was the epitome of kindness.  Roger’s love for and consideration of children shines through.  His forward-thinking, his ability to approach each person on their own merits, are held up as sincere examples of a great life.  Too long and complex for most students.  Perhaps a handful of 12thgraders might like to explore this, but most likely only a teacher or two would be its audience.  Gift this to a best friend.

Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things by Betsy Aldredge and Carrie Dubois-Shaw - OPTIONAL


Sasquatch, Love and Other Imaginary Things by Betsy Aldredge and Carrie DuBois-Shaw, 270 pages.  Simon Pulse, 2017.  $18.  

Content: Language: R (106 swears; 6 “f” substitutes); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: G. 

BUYING ADVISORY: MS, HS – OPTIONAL  

AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH 

Samantha’s parents have been searching for Sasquatches throughout her life, so when they are invited to a reality TV series to track down Sasquatches the whole Berger family goes.  Samantha loves her family but is embarrassed about this obsession, and what is worse is that the reality series has pitted the Berger family against some rich prep kids who have all the scientific equipment with the winner taking home 200K.  Samantha is determined to help her family win, but she can’t help but notice the hot prep boy she is competing against.  Samantha’s two sisters also have love interests that might mess with their chances at winning the competition.  

I was pleasantly surprised by this fun, kooky romance.  Sasquatches fascinate me and it was a fun setting for a Pride and Prejudice spin off romance.  I would have this book be advisable except for the high swear count.  The mature content is make-out sessions.  

C. Peterson 

Pointe, Claw by Amber J. Keyser - NO

Pointe, Claw by Amber J. Keyser, 275 pages. Carolrhoda Lab (Carolrhoda Books), 2017. $18.99

Language: R (82 swears, 25 “f”); Mature Content: R; Violence: PG

BUYING ADVISORY: HS – NO

AUDIENCE APPEAL: LOW

Jessie is trapped by the knowledge that she has to be the best dancer to get one of the two available company spots or else her parents won’t let her continue dancing. Dawn is trapped by mental illness with her mother in denial and doctors unable to diagnose what is wrong with Dawn. Pulled apart at a young age, both girls yearn for the feeling of belonging that now only occupies childhood memories.

This book was really confusing, and I everything that I understood of the book is what I wrote the summary above. Every time that I thought things were starting to make sense, one character or another would go off the deep end again and I couldn’t follow what happened. Furthermore, I was made very uncomfortable by the constant crude sexual content and felt more and more gross the longer I read.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen