Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Spelling B and the Missing Magic by Lexi Connor - ADVISABLE

Connor, Lexi, Spelling B and The Missing Magic. pgs. 130. Language: G, Scholastic Press, 2009. CHAPTER BOOK.

Content: G


Everyone in Beatrix’s family has magical powers except her. This makes fitting in with her family and their friends pretty difficult. She tries and tries to make rhymes to create spells, but nothing works. Things start to look up, however, when her teacher decides to have a spelling bee. The winner gets front row seats and backstage passes to the “Black Cats” concert. Things start to take a surprising twist, though, when she learns that there is more than one way to cast a spell. Will Beatrix win the tickets? Will she ever figure out how to cast a spell?

This book will appeal to anyone who’s ever had trouble fitting in or felt out of place at home. With magic, humor, and a little mystery, reluctant and avid readers will enjoy taking a walk in Beatrix’s shoes.

Reviewer: Kira-HUN Public Library.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Harry Hungry! by Steven Salerno

Salerno, Steven, Harry Hungry. Harcourt Childrens Books, 2009. PICTURE BOOK. Baby Harry is always hungry. If it’s in front of him, he will eat it. From his cereal to the sky, nothing is safe from his mouth, but will his parents be able to stop before he eats everything in sight? A fun story and entertaining illustrations. Kids will enjoy the silly nature of Harry and his appetite. EL (PreK-K) - ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira, Children's Librarian-HUN Public Library.

DinoTrux by Chris Gall

Gall, Chris. Dinotrux. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009. PICTURE BOOK. Long, long ago Dinotrux ruled the earth. From the obnoxious Craneosaurus to the terrifying Tyrannosaurus Trux, the cave people are constantly having to watch out for these rude, crude creatures. Until one day something happens that will change the way cave people and DinoTrux see the world forever. Children will enjoy reading this book as the laugh at the illustrations and hover over this unique story. A fun twist on two popular subjects among preschoolers, Chris Gall has outdone himself this time. This book is a must-have for any public or elementary school library. EL (PreK-2) - ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Kira, Children's Librarian-HUN
Public Library.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Confetti Girl by Diana Lopez - ADVISABLE

Lopez, Diana Confetti Girl Little Brown and Company, 2009. $15.99.

Lina Flores is a sixth grade Latina girl learning to deal with her mother's death, her father's withdrawal, and her crush on Luis. She is a unique and creative character who collects socks and uses them for coasters, bookmarks, and even wallets. The central theme of the book is the Cascarone (Mexican confetti filled egg). Her life feels as fragile as an eggshell and yet is as colorful as confetti.

Mexican traditions fill the book including dichos (truisims that help Lina feel connected to her mother) at the beginning of each chapter.

For ages 8 - 12. A wonderful multicultural title with a very appealing cover.


Larabee by Kevin Luthardt

Luthardt, Kevin, Peachtree, 2004 (paperback 2009), PICTURE BOOK. Mr. Bowman is a letter carrier with a round head and round glasses is this sweet story illustrated in solftly rounded geometric shapes with a retro feel. Larabee is his dog who helps him deliver the mail and who wishes for a letter of his own. Children will be charmed by the warm, happy story with a happy ending. A perfect book to use for units on community helpers.

Girls Acting Catty by Leslie Margolis

Margolis, Leslie Girls Acting Catty, Bloomsbury Children's Books, OCTOBER 2009. $15.99. This companion book to Boys Are Dogs follows Annabelle as she starts junior high and must confront the mean girl clique. Margolis sensitively portrays Annabelle's first bra shopping experience as well as her decision to start shaving her legs in a heartbreakingly accurate depiction of the lives of today's junior high girls as well as a very funny story. Appropriate for tweens.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Mitten by Jim Aylesworth

Aylesworth, Jim The Mitten, illustrated by Barbara McClintock. Scholastic, OCTOBER 2009. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK.

A little boy loses his mitten in the snow and during that cold winter night, several animals, increasing in size, attempt to share the warmth inside.

Aylesworth takes the Ukrainian folktale and adds depth to the story, while McClintock decorates it with her expressive illustrations. I hate to say it, but it may be time to replace your Jan Brett versions.

EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Zero is the Leaves on the Tree by Betsy Franco

Franco, Betsy Zero is the Leaves on the Tree, illustrated by Shino Arihara. Tricycle Press, 2009. $15.99. PICTURE BOOK. How do you explain the concept or purpose of zero to students? Well, use this beautifully illustrated book. The whole idea of zero takes on new meaning when Arihara matches pictures to Franco’s words. What a great reinforcer for a math lesson. EL-ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

Donaldson, Julia Stick Man, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Arthur A. Levine (Scholastic), September 2009. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK. Stick Man leaves his Stick Wife and his Stick Children home asleep as he goes for an early morning jog. Ufortunately, he is swept up in a variety of stick-related adventures, even though he tries to let everyone know that he is NOT a stick, but a Stick Man. Only with the intervention of a very special someone will Stick Man ever be able to find his way home. When this is published officially, it will be joining my personal collection. I loved Stick Man and his adventures and I was pleasantly surprised by the appearance of the special character. EL – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Sent by Margaret Peterson Haddix - ESSENTIAL

Haddix, Margaret Peterson Sent (The Missing: Book 2), 320 p. Simon and Schuster, 2009.

Jonah and his sister Katherine have been sent back in time with the chance to save the lives of two of the stolen children, Chip and Alex. Who are these two in history? The missing boy princes from the Tower of London, presumably murdered by King Edward IV. While the siblings seem to do everything wrong and the princes’ lives come into deeper danger, they are the only hope.

I love how Haddix explains her use and rules of time travel without becoming so obscure that it just sounds like gobbledygook. Her adventures make sense, as well as having healthy doses of adventure and danger. Now I am hoping that the sequels remain just as much fun to read as #1 and #2.

EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

It’s Not You, It’s Me by Kerry Cohen Hoffman

Hoffmann, Kerry Cohen It’s Not You, It’s Me, 176 p. Delacorte (Random) 2009. Language: PG (13 swears). After six blissful months, Zoe’s boyfriend Henry drops her cold. But Zoe is not ready to take no for answer. Forget homework, forget family, forget friends - she will do whatever it takes to win back her man. This is the middle/high school primer on psycho, ex-girlfriend behavior! Now if the girls who need this would just read this and get the message! Seriously, this should be mandatory reading for any girl who has just been dumped by her boyfriend. Keep a stock on hand for those tricky post-breakup tragedies. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian

Vivian, Siobhan Same Difference, 304 p. Push (Scholastic), 2009. $16.99. Language: PG-13 (21 swears, 1 “f”). Emily did pretty well in her high school art class, so she decides to take a summer class in nearby Philadelphia. Her best friend, Meg, doesn’t want Emily to go – how can Emily skip the tanning and the parties and hanging out with Meg and her boyfriend in their New Jersey suburb. But Emily finds a whole new world at the art school – including Fiona, are wacky, confident girl who challenges everything Emily thought she knew about herself. Sometimes a person has more in them than they originally thought – and sometimes others uses bravado to cover up a lack. Vivian’s novel is a subtle piece that will need help finding an audience. While I enjoyed the end of Emily’s journey, it is not a novel written for the ‘Every Student”. Instead, point this one at thoughtful young ladies who read well and might need to know that there is more to life than just their little hometown. MS, HS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

What’s Wrong with my Hair? by Satoshi Kitamura

Kitamura, Satoshi What’s Wrong with my Hair? Houghton Mifflin, 2007. $9.99. BOARD BOOK. Lionel Lion is on his way to a fancy party, but he can’t do anything with his mane. With the help of his giraffe barber, they explore several different options for a stylish do. It even includes clever cutouts so that a child and friend can try on the hair-do’s for themselves. Pre-K – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Tacky Goes to Camp by Helen Lester

Lester, Helen Tacky Goes to Camp, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Houghton Mifflin, 2009. PICTURE BOOK. $16.00. Tacky and jis perfect penguin pals are ready for a a time at Camp Whoopihaha – the perfect penguins with every needful things – and Tacky with everything he just wants. The entire time, the differences between the penguins are obvious, until the night of Scary Stories, when Tacky’s messy, avant-garde ways save the day. I think this is my favorite of Tacky’s adventures; his charm comes shining through on every page. EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Booming Bella by Carol Ann Williams

Williams, Carol Ann Booming Bella, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss. Putnam’s (Penguin), 2008. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK. Bella is excited about the school trip, but her booking voice is not exactly welcome at the art museum. Bella tries as hard as she can to whisper, but she can’t always help herself. When Bella hops on the wrong bus, however, her booming voice comes in very handy. I think most children ave run afoul of the “shusher’s” at one point or another, so they will appreciate Bella’s adventures. Plus, this is a great lead in to talk to students about when to be loud and when to be soft. EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Pond Circle by Betsy Franco

Franco, Betsy Pond Circle, illustrated by Stefano Vitale. McElderry (Simon), 2009. PICTURE BOOK. $16.99. Built upon the “This is the House That Jack Built”, come explore that food chain in a pond. The oil on wood illustrations are gorgeous – and the building rhyme is a perfect opener for a younger or older science class. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

When It’s Six O’Clock on San Francisco

Omololu, Cynthia Jaynes When It’s Six O’Clock on San Francisco, illustrated by Randy DuBurke. Houghton Mifflin, 2009. $16.00. PICTURE BOOK. When Jared is waking up in San Francisco are going through the different parts of their days. While I appreciate the concept – and find the book helpful for teaching small children about time zones – the illustrations don’t really do it for me. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pig-boy: a Trickster Tale From Hawai'i by Gerald McDermott

McDermott, Gerald Pig-Boy: A Trickster Tale From Hawai’i 32 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ~Language G, Sexual Content~G Violence~G

I don’t know about you but I love a good trickster tale! This tale from Hawai’i is about Pig-boy and his adventures. When Pig-boy gets into trouble, as he often does, he knows just what to do. He has many tricks that help him to escape trouble. The fun illustrations are accented with stunning tropical colors! A wonderful multi-cultural tale.

ELM (K-3). ESSENTIAL Allison Madsen~Youth Services Librarian-SJO Public Librarian

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Noel, Alyson Evermore 301pgs. St. Martin's Griffin Language~PG, Sexual Content~PG-13; Violence~PG-13

The accident left Ever completely alone. Her parents, sister, and even her beloved dog were all killed in the car crash. Why did she survive? This fact haunts Ever. In addition to the grief, pain, and guilt, Ever can now read peoples thoughts, see their auras, and see the spirit of her dead sister Riley. This new gift is overwhelming. Now that she is alone her aunt, who she didn’t really know until the crash, has taken her in. Ever, no longer the popular outgoing cheerleader of her past, hides in hoodies with her Ipod blaring in her ears just to survive the chaos that surrounds her every waking moment. That is until she meets Damon. Damon is every girl’s dream. He is gorgeous beyond description. He also stops the chaos of thoughts and noise in Ever’s head whenever he talks. Ever doesn’t know why, but this new kid has decided to like her! There is more to Damon than Ever would ever suspect.

In a thrilling new paranormal romance, that will satisfy even the most hardcore Twilight fans, Noel gives readers a story that will grab hold of them and not let them go until the last page is turned.

Disclaimer: There is kissing and making out, heavily, but no sex. The violence stems from physical fights and is minimal but slightly gory.

MS/HS ADVISABLE Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Library

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hello Baby by Mem Fox

Fox, Mem Hello Baby 32 pgs. Beach Lane Books ~Language G, Sexual Content~G Violence~G

In swinging, rhyming text, readers will encounter animal babies of every shape and size. The illustrations done by the very talented Steve Jenkins, are stunning! His ability to capture texture, color, and expression are unmatched. Toddlers everywhere will want this read to them over and over.

ELM (K-3). ADVISABLE Allison Madsen~Youth Services Librarian-SJO Public Librarian

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen - ADVISABLE

Dessen, Sarah Along for the Ride 383 pgs. Viking Juvenile ~

Language PG-13, Mature Content~PG-13 Violence~G

Ever since her parent’s divorce Auden doesn’t sleep at night. Instead she goes to an all night diner to wait out the night. When dawn arrives she goes home to sleep the day away. Strange huh? When the chance comes to visit her father’s house, on the beach, she decides to take him up on it, even though it includes his new wife and their newborn baby. Always a competitive student, Auden plans to study ALL summer. However, once she is there she becomes more involved with her stepmom and her business, becoming her bookkeeper. Auden also, slowly, begins to make new friends, especially with a reclusive teen named Eli. As she gets to know Eli better they begin a relationship that changes them both. . .for the better? . . . you decide.

There is some implied sex and the swears are not frequent, but this book does have 2+ ‘f’s. Overall a good choice for less conservative schools. . .most public libraries should pick this one up.

HS ADVISABLE Allison Madsen~Youth Services Librarian-SJO Public Librarian

Quiet Bunny by Lisa McCue

McCue, Lisa Quiet Bunny 32 pgs. Sterling ~Language G, Sexual Content~G Violence~G

A Cow says “Moo”, Sheep say “Baaa”, but what sound to bunnies make? Bunny likes to listen to the sounds around him. After all he has big ears! He tries to make a sound and is disappointed to find out that he can’t. He is determined and goes about trying to copy sounds he hears. The bat’s wings go ‘wha, wha, wha’ but even when flapping his ears he is quiet. Eventually Bunny finds a unique way to make a sound all his own. Quiet Bunny is a sweet story with fun illustrations that work seamlessly together. A good story about why it is okay to be different and unique.

ELM. ADVISABLE Allison Madsen~Youth Services Librarian-SJO Public Librarian

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ruined by Paula Morris

Morris, Paula Ruined: A Ghost Story, Point (Scholastic), 2009. $16.99. Language: G: (7 swears); Violence: PG (descriptions of deaths and violent climactic scene). From New York City to New Orleans during the middle of the school year? What could her dad be thinking? But here Rebecca is, starting a new school, full of snobby New Orleans socialites who think that Mardi Gras is the beginning and end of existence. Add to that living next to a cemetery and a ghost that only Rebecca can see – the ghost of a girl who was murdered by the ancestors of some of those same snobby girls. Rebecca doesn’t know it yet, but she is an integral part of breaking the curse that has lasted 150 years and already claimed seven victims. Thought he book starts a little slow (I liked this slow, it just didn’t seem like a scary, ghost story beginning), Once it reaches the crisis point, things progress so quickly that you won’t be able to put this one down. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

World’s End by Erica Verrillo

Verrillo, Erica World’s End, 322 p. Random, 2009. In celebration of her 15th birthday, Elissa’s father tells her that he is throwing a grand ball in her honor and that many eligible young men will be there from all over their world. What he doesn’t tell her (but she finds out anyway) is that he has already chosen her husband, the betrothal will be announced at the ball, and he is sending all of her friends away so that she will do what he wants. Elissa will not acquiesce without a fight – and instead chooses to flee Castlemar and find her own destiny. Go Elissa! I enjoyed this nice fantasy trilogy that reminds me of The Blue Sword. Give it a try. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

The Lions Share by Matthew McElligott

McElligott, Matthew The Lions Share: A Tale of Halving Cake and Eating it, Too. Walker & Company, 2009. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK. The animals of the jungle feast at the table of the king of the jungle, but their rude manners put the tiny any in a terrible position. After she solves her problem, they each try to top her gesture, until they themselves are now in awkward situations. This very cute book is a great new math book to look at the concept of halving and then doubling. While it doesn’t go as far as One Grain of Rice, it still illustrates it’s point in a fun, attention-drawing way. EL – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School

Anderson, Lauire Halse The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School, illustrated by Ard Hoyt. Simon and Schuster, 2009. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK. Zoe’s wild and crazy red hair is a lot of fun during kindergarten, but Zoe’s first grade teacher is not quite so understanding. Zoe does everything she can to keep her unruly hair under control, but then one day Ms. Trisk finds that she needs Zoe’s hair in all it’s uncontrolled glory. Zoe’s hair is a sight to behold – and watching the ways they try to tame it is just as fun. What a great book to read-aloud. EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

A Crazy Day at the Critter Café by Barbara Odanka

Odanaka, Barbara A Crazy Day at the Critter Café, illustrated by Lee White. McElderry (Simon), 2009. $16.99. PICTURE BOOK. The Critter Café is nice and qiet until a bus load of rude animals breaks down outside and all of the animals pile into the café, making demands and acting wild and crazy. The chaos in the café is a visual treat and the rhyming text is a grand accompaniment, but the ending left me a little flat. EL – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald

MacDonald, Suse Shape by Shape. Little Simon, 2009. $14.99. PICTURE BOOK. Page by page a mysterious something takes shape – until the three page foldout revealing the secret. Of course, it’s not too secret because the cover really gives it away. It’s still a great way to learn about different shapes. Pre-K – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies

Lubar, David Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies 192pgs. Starscape Language~PG, Sexual Content~PG; Violence~PG-13

In his fourth ‘weenie’ book, Lubar has again come up with bizarre, humorous, and sometimes scary & disturbing short stories for teens. A girl need a date for the school dance, so her father creates one named ‘Stitchy.’ A carnival ride brings to mind a whole other reason for screams and much more! You may want to read this one with the lights on. A sure laugh-out- loud thrilling read!

MS/HS ADVISABLE Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Library

Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel

Oppel, Kenneth Starclimber 490pgs. HarperCollins Canada Language~PG, Sexual Content~PG; Violence~PG

Matt Cruse is itching for another adventure. In this third adventure starring Matt and Kate, Oppel doesn’t disappoint. Scientists have secured an astral cable to a space satellite. Their goal is to reach into the heavens and research what they find. Many disasters, discoveries, and adventures await the team of astralnauts and scientists. Fans of Airborn and Skybreaker will not be disappointed. This is NOT a stand alone novel, so only purchase if you have the other two in the series.

MS/HS ADVISABLE Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Library

Birds by Kevin Henkes

Henkes, Kevin Birds pgs. 32 HarperCollins Language~G, Sexual Content~G; Violence~G

In this charming picture book, Henkes tells us about birds in a unique way. This book discusses colors, like what the sky would look like if birds left contrails of their color when they flew. Illustrator Laura Dronzek’s simple yet stunning images blend effortlessly with the text. Her simple illustrations may encourage young artists to try their hand at illustrations. This will make an excellent addition to any school library.

ELM ESSENTIAL Allison Madsen~Teen Librarian-SJO Public Library

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bait by Alex Sanchez

Sanchez, Alex Bait, 239 p. Simon & Schuster, 2009. Language: PG (10 swears, no ‘f’). Diego has a problem controlling his temper and ends up in juvenile court when he punches a classmate for “looking at him funny”. In the office of his probation officer, however, he finally finds someone whom he might just be able to bare his soul to. Someone who can get past the bravado to the injured human inside. OH MY GOSH! What Cut and Speak are for girls, Bait is for boys. This is fabulous, outstanding and I can’t wait to get back to school to share it with the students. Don’t get me wrong – the issues are deep and painful, but everything is handled so skillfully that there is only shame on those who don’t recognize this for the masterpiece it is. MS, HS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Elissa’s Quest by Erica Verrillo

Verrillo, Erica Elissa’s Quest, 336 p. Yearling (Random), 2007. Content: G. For thirteen years, Elissa has been the orphan in her village, raised only by Nana, the village healer, who will not tell her anything about her parents except that her mother is dead. Then Elissa’s father appears, takes her from the village and Elissa ends up a prisoner in the hands of a crazy Khan. She must escape into the desert, with the help of her handmaiden Maya, is she wants to learn her destiny. Elissa’s journey and Verillo’s writing remind of The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, if just for a slightly younger audience. This series is actually up to number three now, but I am catching up. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Paris Pan Takes the Dare by Cynthea Liu

Liu, Cynthea Paris Pan Takes the Dare, 248 p. Putnam (Penguin), 2009. Content: G. First Paris gets dragged to a tiny no place in the middle of nowhere. She’s made two friends, but they aren’t exactly kind to her or to each other. The boy who has kind of caught her eye, seems to be labeled “dork” by everyone in school and the girl who lives closest to her is off the chart on the loser scale according to her new “friends”. But Paris has even bigger problems – her new group has a secret tradition that all 13 year olds have to spend a night out in the woods – where a girl was purported to have disappeared years ago – and that spot is the spooky old woods behind Paris’ own house! For once a book where the kids aren’t too mean, the message comes through loud and clear and it’s pretty fun to read. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Kaleidoscope Eyes by Jen Bryant - ADVISABLE

Bryant, Jen Kaleidoscope Eyes, 257 p. Knopf (Random), 2009. Content: G.

It’s 1968 and Lyza, during the summer before 7th grade, has a lot to discover. Her older sister has become a peace-loving hippie, Mom left two years ago and Dad has left the girls mostly to fend for themselves. When Lyza’s grandfather dies and leaves a mysterious message for Lyza’s eyes only, she is sure that she is on the path of something big. With the help of her two best friends, she may just have the map to some buried treasure, but that may not be the only secret that Lyza uncovers this summer.

I must admit – I am not a fan of pseudo-poetic books, and though this book is arranged to look poetic, I couldn’t find any poetic conventions in it. BUT, I still really enjoyed reading it – more so than Collard’s Double Eagle, which is similar in flavor. I think that students will like Lyza too.

MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Top 8 by Katie Finn

Finn, Katie Top 8, 320 p. Point (Scholastic), 2008. Content: G. $8.99. While Megan MacDonald was away for Spring Break, someone hacked into her Friendverse account, said terrible things to all of her friends and broke up with her boyfriend via messages! Now she’s back and she has to pick up the pieces of her life, reconcile with her friends, placate her acquaintances and find out who did the dastardly deed. Of course, Megan did really say those things behind people’s backs, but who would hate Megan enough to tell everyone? Megan has some things to learn about herself while she’s solving her mystery. While Megan’s experience on the internet is kind of a sanitized version of cyberbullying, it certainly makes several good points. Especially about not talking behind people’s backs. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Winter Pony by Jean Slaughter Doty

Doty, Jean Slaughter, Winter Pony. Language: G, Violence: G, Sexual Content: G. Scholastic Press, 2009. CHAPTER BOOK. Ginny finally has the pony she’s always dreamed of and couldn’t be happier. Things, however, get a little rough when Ginny and her friend decide to teach Mokey(Ginny’s pony) how to pull a sleigh. First, it’s hard to teach the pony how to pull it. Then, the two decide to take Mokey out by themselves and get stranded. The surprises aren’t over yet, though, soon the two find out that Mokey is going to have a baby! Surprises, humor, friendship, danger, and even a little drama make this heartwarming story a fun read for any horse lover. If you purchase this book, however, I would recommend buying Summer Pony. This is the companion to Winter Pony. EL(2-3). ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira-HUN Public Library.

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard - ADVISABLE

Hubbard, Mandy Prada and Prejudice, 238 p. Razorbill (Penguin), 2009. $8.99.

Content: G.

Callie thinks that buying a pair of Prada shoes will get her in good with the snobby girl she has to room with on what was supposed to be a fabulous trip to England. Instead however, she wobbles her way into a concussion and wakes to find herself in 1815 England, instead. She is taken in by Emily, who thinks that Callie is a childhood friend. But the real sparks fly between Callie and Alex, the Duke of Harksbury, who is also Emily’s cousin. Callie will manage to cause plenty of trouble – even if she never finds her way back to her real life.

Despite the implication in the title, this is not a Pride and Prejudice story-line. Instead, it is a nice little take on love and romance in the 19th century, with a healthy dose of confidence building included.


Cindy, Library Teacher

This Side of Magic and The Other Side of Magic by Debbie Dadey

Dadey, Debbie and Jones, Marcia Thornton This Side of Magic/The Other Side of Magic. Scholastic Press, 2009. CHAPTER BOOK.

Content: G


From the authors of the Bailey School Kids books, comes a new series that introduces readers to a new world that will have readers interested from page one. The border between our world and the magical world is weakening and the Queen of Boggarts is determined to take advantage of the problem and take over our world. The only thing that stands between her and her goal is Mr. Leery and a group of three young apprentices. With the help of their magical helps, apprentices, Peggy, Natalie, and Luke will fight against all odds to save their world and themselves.

The unique story line, well-done illustrations, and humor makes this series a must-read for reluctant and avid readers alike.

Reviewer: kira-Youth Services Librarian-HUN Public Library.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Alibi Junior High by Greg Logsted

Logsted, Greg Alibi Junior High, 244 p. Aladdin (Simon), 2009. $15.99.

Content: PG (some violence).

For all his life, Cody has been on the move with his dad, a extra-deep cover agent for the CIA. After a brush with death on South America, Cody’s dad exiles him to middle class America to live with his Aunt Jenny and go to – gasp!- middle school. Cody thought is would be a snap – a spy with his training shouldn’t have any problem, but what he doesn’t know is that the biggest jungle of all is waiting for him! Cody may only be in middle school, but I adore him already!! I hope, hope, hope that he has further adventures awaiting him!

MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.

The Actual Real Reality of Jennifer James by Gillian Shields

Shields, Gillian The Actual Real Reality of Jennifer James, 350 p. Katherin Tegan (HarperCollins), 2006. Content: G.

 Jennifer James is the geekiest of the geeks – dedicated to school work, wears the most awful clothes because her mother is a crazy feminist who doesn’t take a single clue from “the man”, no friends to really speak of. So when a reality show is staged at her school and she is one of only 12 kids chosen to participate, Jennifer is mystified and excited, because the grand prize is school at the most fabulous boarding school in all of England. But Jennifer’s enemies – and her own mother – are working to thwart her plans for a happier life and all of England has a chance to watch every excruciating moment.

I don’t know how I missed this book back in 2006 – I thought it was really cute. I didn’t mind the British slang or the outrageousness of reality TV. I would call this a wildly fun romp. I just checked on Follett – it’s not available there, but it is on Amazon.

MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher.

Perfect Girl by Mary Hogan

Hogan, Mary Perfect Girl, 196 p. HarperTempest, 2007. $17.89. Content: G (9 swears). Ruthie Bayer, freshman, has just realized that she is in love with her bestfriend, Perry, the boy next door. BUT – Perry has just set his sights on the new girl, the perfect-looking girl. Unless Ruthie works fast, she might lose her bestfriend forever. In desperation, Ruthie calls in her Aunt Marty – also know as New York’s Goddess of Love – whom her mother hasn’t spoken to but once since Ruthie was born. But if anyone can help Ruthie snag a man, it will be Aunt Marty, even if her being in town, in the guest room, will cause HUGE waves at home. Again – another book I missed when it first came out! Totally cute and pink and perfect for girls who think they are in love! Also available in paperback. MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Q is for Quark by David M. Schwartz

Schwartz, David M. Q is for Quark: A Science Alphabet Book, 59 p. Tricycle Press, 2001. $15.95. So, I thought I was getting another picture book when this one arrived in my mailbox, but no – it is SO MUCH MORE! Every couple of pages covers a new science topic, alphabetically, of course, but every subject is with a lot of thought and depth – and cute, helpful illustrations. A science crazy kid would love this book. EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise

Klise, Kate Dying to Meet You, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise, 154 p. Harcourt (Houghton), 2009. $15.00. Content: G. Ignatius B. Grumply needs to finish the 13th book in his Ghost Tamer series, but it has been 20 years of writer’s block instead. He moves to a Victorian house for some peace in quiet, but finds it already occupied by a boy, a cat and maybe a real ghost. And Grumply is responsible, unless the boy’s parents ask for him back at the end of the summer. Now his writing process is not only interrupted by the boy, but also by all kinds of mysterious thumpings and a very annoying someone who has commandeered his computer. If your students like the Klise sisters’ Regarding The... series, they will enjoy this new series even more! EL – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Hurry! Hurry! by Eve Bunting

Bunting, Eve Hurry! Hurry! Illustrated by Jeff Mack. Houghton Mifflin, 2007, 2009. $6.99. BOARD BOOK. The farm animals are all a twitter as they rush to the barn to welcome the newest member of the group. What’s really fun with this one is the pages with the different animals and the feeling of utter excitement as you wonder what they are all so worked up about. Pre-K – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox

Fox, Mem Where is the Green Sheep? Illustrated by Judy Horacek. Houghton Mifflin, 2004, 2009. $6.99. BOARD BOOK. There are all kinds of sheeo in this cute board book, but where is the green one? The illustrations are fun anf funky – and pointing out the many different sheep is lots of fun. PRE-K – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

The Nine Lives of Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos

Gantos, Jack The Nine Lives of Rotten Ralph, illustrated by Nicole Rubel. Houghton Mifflin, 2009. $16.00. PICTURE BOOK. Rotten Ralph has been so rotten that he has used up eight of his nine lives. If he is not careful, then it is off to cat heaven for him. Sarah, his owner is determined to protect Ralph, but protection may not be what Ralph wants most. Gantos story and Rubel’s illustrations are a perfect blend for the latest of the Rotten Ralph series. I especially enjoyed the recounting of each lost life! EL – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

Dragon is Coming! by Valeri Gorbachev

Gorbachev, Valeri Dragon is Coming! Harcourt, 2009. $16.00. PICTURE BOOK. In homage to Chicken Little’s cry of “The Sky is Falling”, comes mouse with his worries about a dragon. Join him as he gathers up the barnyard animals into the barn for protection. While mouse’s take on the tale is fresh and updated, it doesn’t quite pack the lunch of the original. Children will enjoy it, while adults will only tolerate it. EL – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

The Missing Chick by Valeri Gorbachev

Gorbachev, Valeri The Missing Chick 32 pgs. Candlewick ~Language G, Sexual Content~G Violence~G

Like any mother, Hen panics when one of her chicks goes missing. She engages the entire town in her search. This funny, delightful search ends happily and kids will enjoy the pictures as much as the story. A great read for any age!

ELM. ESSENTIAL Allison Madsen~Youth Services Librarian-SJO Public Librarian