Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past
by James M. Deen

All around the world glaciers are beginning to melt. Under the melting ice their have been many gruesome discoveries. As frozen and preserved bodies are being revealed, scientists are studying them and learning valuable information about glaciers and ancient cultures. Great read for anyone who loves anthropology and forensics in grades 4-6.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale; illustrated by Nathan Hale

In this graphic novel, Rapunzel is relocated to a fantastical version of the Old West. But this Rapunzel is no helpless damsel. Upon discovering that the woman she knows as her mother is really her kidnapper, Rapunzel finds the strength to stand up against cruel Mother Gothel. She gets locked in a tower for her troubles, but ultimately uses her remarkable hair to escape. That hair turns out to be handy for a lot of other purposes, too, like fightin' off villains and wild animals. Rapunzel must then rally the oppressed people to throw off Gothel’s tyrannical yoke. And, okay, maybe she does meet a cute boy along the way, too. :^) Grades 5-8.
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains
by Laurel Snyder
Lucy, who always has a song on her lips and a skip in her step, is forgotten one day by her best friend Wynston, who just happens to be a prince. Lucy’s not sure whether to be angry or sad; she’s confused, and she doesn’t like it at all. Feeling all mixed up inside, and longing more than ever for her missing mother, Lucy decides that she must head off on an adventure. She will solve the mystery of her mother by going to the mountains where her mother was born, and she will do it all by herself- who needs a rule following prince as a friend anyway? Well, it turns out that there are many surprises in store up the Scratchy Mountains, for Lucy, her animal companions, and a certain prince too. For as the book says, when you are trying to have an adventure, the adventure is also trying to have you!
Recommended for grades 3 and up

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix

After secretly living as the true princess disguised as a peasant, Cecilia finds that it is time to return to her rightful place at the Palace of Mirors. Especially after realizing her beloved Nanny and her own knight Sir Stephen are in grave danger. She flees in the night along with her best friend Harper to the Capital, only to arrive to find themselves in even more peril. Will they be able to find the decoy princess in time? If you want to find out read this new adventure and return to the world of Just Ella. Great for readers in 4th-6th grade.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein

Zack Jennings has just moved into an old house with his father and new stepmother, but there’s something odd going on. Could it be the creepy old woman who slavishly tends a memorial to her fiancĂ© at the big tree? Could it be the way Zack’s new best friend just seems to appear from nowhere? Or perhaps it’s the plumber who seems to be, well, possessed? And underneath all these eerie mysteries lurks the question he’s really been too scared to ask himself: will his stepmom love him even if he isn’t perfect? Chills with a heart.
Recommended for grades 5 and up.
Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories About Growing Up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka

Author Jon Scieszka reveals the secrets of his childhood in this hilarious book about growing up in a family of six brothers. From the horror of hand-me-downs, melting army men in the toaster, throwing up in the car together and accidentally breaking a brother’s collarbone-three times-be prepared to laugh both with them and at them!
Recommended for grades 4-6.
Thing-Thing by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Nicolas Debon

Spoiled brat Archibald Crimp has everything but he wants MORE. When his father offers him a stuffed animal of indeterminate genus, however, Archibald tosses the toy right out the window. Thing-thing has a long and interesting fall from the sixth floor. All’s well that ends well when Thing-thing finds someone who will appreciate it and Archibald gets his comeuppance.
Recommended for ages 4-7.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech

Miss Stretchberry and Jack are back! This is good. We were first introduced to Jack and his English teacher in Love That Dog. Miss Stretchberry teaches her class poetry by sharing the works of famous poets with her students. Jack writes poems in his journal using the format of the poems he hears in class. We come to understand what’s going on with Jack through his poems. Little by little we learn why Jack hates that cat, and why so much depends on it. If you haven’t read Love That Dog you will still enjoy Hate That Cat, but you will want to get your hands on a copy of Love That Dog… don’t worry, we have several.
Recommended for grades 3-6

Savvy by Ingrid Law

Mibs is turning 13. Becoming a teenager is a big deal for most kids, but for a Beaumont it's really special. At 13 they receive their savvy. Mibs mother is perfect, her grandmother can catch music in jars and play it back later, her brother creates major storms and her grandfather can move mountains. That's why on their 13th birthday, they have quiet family parties. But Mibs father was in a terrible accident and her mother is at the hospital so the minister's wife decides to throw a big party for Mibs. Not a good idea. Grades 4 - 7

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sarah Simpson’s Rules for Living by Rebecca Rupp
Sarah Simpson makes lists; it’s her way of putting her thoughts in order.
I picked up this book planning to read a few pages to get a feel for it, but I ended up reading it all the way through. I liked Sarah, I felt for her because her parents had recently divorced and she is having a really hard time. I liked reading her lists, and I liked seeing her figure it all out. This little book turned out to be a really good read.
Recommended for Grades 4-6
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Friday, March 28, 2008

Simon Bloom, the Gravity Keeper by Michael Reisman

Imagine that you can control gravity. You can make yourself float over rooftops, jump high enough to dunk the ball, or make it impossible for people to get up off the ground. And you can control friction, too. Take away all friction and people fall on their butts. Add a little, and the dodge ball stops just short of your nose. Simon is having a great time with his new skills. Unfortunately, people who are bigger, stronger, and more skillful want them back. The action just keeps coming in this science fiction for students in grades 5 - 8

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Monday, March 24, 2008

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

Salim went up in the London Eye, but he didn't come down. Ted and Kat watched their cousin get on the ride. They watched them close the door. They tracked his car, and when it came down. Salim was not there. Were they watching the wrong car? Maybe, but he wasn't in the next ones either. Was he kidnapped? Was it spontaneous combustion? Did he come out in disguise? None of the options seem likely, but Ted's determined to solve the mystery. Grades 5 - 8

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The True Meaning of SmekDay by Adam Rex

The aliens have come. Tip's mom was one of the first to be taken. The aliens are sending all humans to Florida. Tip decides she'll drive herself. She may only be in 8th grade, but she's a very good driver. So Tip and her cat Pig head south. Along the way she picks up an alien who has named himself J-Lo. Of course the drive is not easy. The Boov have destroyed most of the roads, food is hard to find, and bigger meaner aliens are on the way. Grades 5 - 8

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Waiting For Normal by Leslie Connor

Addie just wants a normal life. She wants a Mom who is there for her, but how can she when she is always going on overnights somewhere. She wants to be good at school, but how can she with a learning problem. She wants to play the flute in the school band, but how can she with a stolen flute. Addie has moved again and now lives with her Mom in a trailer, but not in a cool trailer park. She lives under the train tracks in a asphalt lot on the corner in the city. It seems as if all Addie is ever doing is waiting for her life to be normal. For grades 5 and 6.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Bearskinner: a Tale of the Brothers Grimm, retold by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Max Grafe

A destitute soldier makes a dreadful bargain with the devil. Riches will be his--if he wears a bearskin for seven years. It's not so terrible at first, but then it grows rotten and heavy and all humans despise his company. Will the soldier have to surrender his soul, or will he discover that what he does with his riches can make all things bearable? A wonderful retelling by this year's Newbery Award winner. (Grades 2-5)

Where's My Hug? by James Mayhew, illustrated by Sue Hellard

Jake's too cool to get a hug from his mother before school, so she gives it to his Dad instead. Dad in turn passes it on to the cat and off it goes. At bedtime when Jake wants his hug, he discovers that it's now in the arms of a dragon! Good thing Mom's got another one at the ready. (Grades PreK-2)