Wednesday, December 07, 2005

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Flush by Carl Hiaasen
The Coral Queen is dumping sewage in the bay so Noah's Dad sinks the boat. Effective in the short-run, but his Dad ends up in jail and they raise the boat so it can pollute some more.
Noah is determined to succeed where his Dad failed and he hopes he can stay out of jail too. This is a tale of love, danger and toilets for grades 4 - 7.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

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Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and Her Students by Suzanne Jurmain
In 1831, Prudence Crandall opened the Canterbury Female Boarding School which quickly became very popular with wealthy and important local families. Unlike many educators of women, Prudence felt girls should have a real education and the courses taught included reading, writing, math, geography, history, philiosophy, chemistry, astronomy and French. The girls were happy, the school was busy, until Prudence made an unpopular decision.

On one September day in 1832, Sarah Harris, an African American, asked Miss Crandall if she could attend her school so she could "get a little more learning, teach colored children." Prudence knew if she admitted Sarah, the parents of the white students would be angry. But, she could see no reason to deny an education to a young woman because of her skin color.

In January 1833, Sarah Harris took her seat at the Canterbury Female Boarding School and Prudence Crandall's troubles began. This is the story of a time not so long ago when getting an education if you were female was difficult and almost impossible if you were African American.

Recommended for grades 5 and up. A great family read-aloud.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sketches from a Spy Tree by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

A touching story told through the poems and sketches of Anne Marie, a twin, who is adjusting to several changes that are occurring in her life. The poems link together her feelings about her family, her neighbors and friends, and the fresh perspective on it all from her "built-in / born-in / look-alike / best friend", Mary Anne.
L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz: The Graphic Novel adapted by Michael Cavallaro

Dorothy and the gang go 21st century in this graphic retelling. Have fun reliving the adventure. You can find this on the paperback rack along with Anna Sewell's Black Beauty: The Graphic Novel. Reccommended for grade 3 and above.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway by Wendelin Van Draanen
No good deed ever goes unpunished, Sammy discovers as she walks an elderly friend's dog straight into another mystery. Someone is trying to force the older woman and her neighbor out of their homes so a new rec center can be built. Even though Sammy's all for upgraded sports facilities, she can't stand silent when the methods used are underhanded. It turns out to be a little harder to speak up, however, when she accidentally kills her teacher's pet bird and her arch-enemy sets herself up to take the blame! Will Sammy still do the right thing when it's her own neck on the line? Recommended for grades 6 and up.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Even more unfortunate events envelope the Beaudulaire orphans in The Penultimate Peril, Lemony Snicket's latest chronicle of a day in the life of the world's most unfortunate orphans. Of course Count Olaf, along with many of his associates, comes to the Hotel and many volunteers are there too, but how do you know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? Are the Beaudulaires even good guys anymore? And is there a safe place still on earth? Is it possible for more unfortunate events to happen? Read this book and you still won't know the answer to any of these questions.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

Don't judge this book by it's cover! These four sisters and their dog are much more fun than the cover would lead you to believe. They are spending their vacation in the cottage on the Arundel estate where they have been warned to stay away from Mrs. Tifton and her garden. So, of course the first thing they do is check out the garden and there they meet Jeffrey, Mrs. Tifton's son who becomes their partner in soccer, bull chasing, rabbit chasing and sadly a bit of garden destruction. If you like adventure, fun, and a family that loves each other very much, but doesn't always get along, read this. Recommended for grades 4 - 6.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Witch’s Walking Stick by Susan Meddaugh

A witch's walking stick is almost out of magic, but she's determined to squeeze just a little more nastiness out of it. Before she can do more evil, however, a playful dog makes off with the stick and it winds up in the hands of Margaret, a mistreated orphan. With a few humorous twists and turns, Margaret and the pooch soon set things to rights and keep those last scraps of magic out of the witch's hands.

Recommended for Kindergarten and up.

Terrific by Jon Agee

Grumpy Eugene Mudge can't look on the bright side of anything, even when he wins an all-expenses-paid trip to Bermuda. So it's no surprise to him when his ship sinks and he winds up on a desert island with nothing but pomegranates (which he hates) to eat. Luckily, he's not the only one stranded on the island. A talking parrot named Lenny may save Eugene in more ways than one!

Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Bad Baby by Ross MacDonald

Jack's Clark Kentish alter-ego more than meets his match in his new baby sister. A towering diapered maelstrom, her destructive antics are adored by simpering adults while Jack takes the fall. As crazy as she makes him, though, Jack himself has no problem finding the perfect moment to adore her, too.

Recommended for all older siblings ages 4 and up.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Chicken Boy by Frances O’Roark Dowell

Maybe you know someone like Tobin McCauley. He gets through his day at school without any friends (just barely) only to come home to an empty house; empty of parents (his mom died of cancer awhile ago, if his dad is home, he’s not talking to Tobin), empty of siblings (they are in and out), and empty of food too. That’s why Tobin usually goes to his granny’s, although she has a bunch of her own issues. One day at school, while trying to blend into the bleachers, a few kids pick on Tobin by ridiculing a teacher that he’s fond of. Tobin jumps him. A kid named Henry is pretty impressed by Tobin and befriends him. Henry is a big fan of chickens; he raises them and is conducting research for a school project. Tobin reluctantly joins him and things start to change for him. Who would have thought you could learn so much from a chicken?
Recommended for grades 5 and up.
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Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo, author of such favorites as Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux, has started a new series for younger readers. The first book in the series is Mercy Watson to the Rescue. Mercy is the beloved pig of Mr. and Mrs. Watson. The Watson’s take very good care of Mercy. She has her own bed to sleep in, and Mrs. Watson makes her lots and lots of her favorite food, hot buttered toast. One night Mercy doesn’t sleep in her own bed and things turn chaotic. The Watson’s think their Mercy is off to rescue them, but could Mercy have other things on her mind? Recommended for readers in grades 1-3, but older readers may want to get to know Mercy too. Look for it in the Beginning Readers section. (E/DIC)

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Liberation of Gabriel King by K.L. Going
Gabriel King is afraid of alot of things - spiders, bullies, alligators,Frita's basement,cows, earwigs, blenders,moving up to fifth grade and on and on. But during the summer of 1976, his friend Frita is going to help him face his fears one by one starting with his new pet spider, Jimmy. Recommended for students in Grades 4 - 6.

Shredderman: Enemy Spy by Wendelin Van Draanen
Shredderman's sidekick and parents want him to lie low for awhile. Let the press disappear and the rumors slow. But how can you lie low in the fight for justice and truth? How can a superhero ever lie low? If you've read the earlier installments you have to read this one. If you don't know Shredderman, you are way uncool. Recommended for grades 3 and up.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Permanent Rose by Hilary McKay
This is the continuing saga of the Casson family. Rose is the youngest of three children, four if you count her cousin who has lived with them since before Rose was born, five if you count Saffy's best friend who is usually at the house too and six if you count darling Michael, her older sister's beau. This story finds Rose most unhappy. Her mother is painting at the hospital, her father seldom comes home from London, Tom, her brother's best friend has gone back to NY and not been heard from and David, a bully who preyed on her brother is hanging around the house trying to be friends. So Rose takes up shoplifting and calls her father with wild stories to see if he will really come home if needed.
If you like slightly eccentric stories, this is the one for you. You might one to pick up Saffy's Angel and Indigo's Star too.