Sunday, April 30, 2017

General Relativity for Babies by Chris Ferrie - ADVISABLE

Ferrie, Chris General Relativity for Babies.  BOARD BOOK.  Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2017.  $10.

I think this is the best of Ferrie’s science concepts book.  After reading it, I had a much better picture in my head of how mass and space interact.  I really do think that even small children can understand this relationship after going through this a few times.  I guess the real question is – will they care?  I think of this series like Jennifer Adams’s BabyLit books – they are more for the adults than for the children.  I would really suggest buying these for your school library for your science teachers to use.

Pre-K, EL, MS, HS, GIFT – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts - ESSENTIAL

Shvarts, Andrew Royal Bastards, 346 pages.  Hyperion, 2017.  $19.  

Language: R (100+ swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG-13 (naked, implied sex); Violence: PG-13 (on-page murders, fighting, torture).

FYI:  The name of this book is Royal Bastards, so it uses the words bastard any time it refers to this group of adventurers.  I did not count that word as a swear.

Tilla and the other royal bastards in her father’s province are used to sitting at the back of the banquet hall with the least of everything.  When Lyriana,  the heir to the throne of the kingdom visits, she gets to know the bastards and they invite her along on their evening adventure to the shore.  There however, they witness their parents killing Lyriana’s guardian.  The teens flee in terror and must stay ahead of the pursuing soldiers if they want to stay alive.

At first the teens' story seems like so many other fantasy books that are available nowadays.  However, by the end I was fully invested in their story and am very much looking forward to the next installment.

HS – ESSENTIAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

Welcome: a Mo Willems guide for new arrivals - ADVISABLE

Willems, Mo Welcome: a Mo Willems guide for new arrivals.  BOARD BOOK.  Hyperion (Disney).  $16.

Welcome to the world!  Mo has all kinds of great advice to help you find your way.  Funny purchase for the parents of a new arrival!  It has the potential to become a home story-time classic.

Pre-K, GIFT – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

In Case You Missed It by Sarah Littman - ADVISABLE

Littman, Sarah Darer In Case You Missed It, 305 pgs. Scholastic Press (Scholastic Inc.), 2016. $17.99

Language – PG (8 swear, 0 “f”), Mature Content – PG; Violence – PG; 

Sammy has the normal frustrating parents, the normal secret crush, and the normal teenage imperfections to keep in a diary away from prying eyes. The only difference between Sammy’s normality and every other high schooler is that her diary, synced to her family’s cloud account, gets hacked in an attack on her father’s bank. And her diary is posted online for anyone to read. Suddenly, all of Sammy’s normal frustrations and secrets aren’t secret; now they are subjected to scrutiny and judgment.

Littman uses Sammy’s story to address lots of important struggles in life: downsides of technology, human fickleness, script processing, and just the fact that life is a struggle. Our lives are composed of challenges that come from our own choice or the choices of those around us and our reactions. While my problems are not the same ones that Sammy experiences, I found that the changes she made in her life encourage me to the see the good amid the embarrassing, the bad, and the ugly of life. 

HS – ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

The Too-Scary Story by Bethanie Murguia - ESSENTIAL

Murguia, Bethanie Deeney The Too-Scary Story.  PICTURE BOOK.  Arthur A. Levine, 2017.  $17.

Gracie and little brother Walter are ready for their bedtime story.  Gracie wants something really scary, but Walter is not so sure.  Each time Gracie encourages Dad to amp up the scare he does, but then he brings it back down for Walter – until the very, scary end!

This will be so much fun to read aloud.  Teague skillfully manipulates the tension within the story, creating a perfect experience for young readers.  This could also be used as a literature lesson in older grades to show the value of the ebb and flow of action.

Pre-K, EL (K-3) – ESSENTIAL.  MS, HS – OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher