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.
book cover
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)