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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Mr. Pants

Mr pantsTitle: Mr. Pants: It’s Go Time
Author: Scott McCormick
Series: Mr. Pants
Recommended for: 4 years old – 10 years old
Pages: 128 pages
Call Number/Link:  J GN MRP (Just ordered)
Synopsis:On the last day of summer vacation, all Mr. Pants wants to do is play laser tag but Mom and his sisters, Foot Foot and Grommy, have other ideas.

This was a great find. We don’t have a copy at my library, but it is on order.One of my children found this at our home library and we all had fun reading together.  This completely reminded me of my children and my siblings. My favorite part was when the family went to Fairy Princess Dream Factory.  Mr. Pants gets everyone excited about making warrior princesses(loved it.)   I have a 1st grader and this is great for building confidence in his reading ability.  I will be going back to get one of the others books soon.

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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Graphic Novels, Juv

 

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Talon

TalonTitle: Talon
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Talon Saga
Recommended for:
Pages: 461 pages
Call Number/Link: TEEN FICTION KAGAWA, J.

Synopsis:Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser. Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George. Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon‘s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey–and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him–and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons. 

This is another great series by Julie Kagawa.  Ember and Dante are twin hatchling dragons that up to this point have only ever been with trainers.  This summer they actually get to be around humans and no trainers.  Unfortunately, the next level of training is moved up and for the first time  Ember and Dante are separated for training.  This starts a riff between the two sibling.  Throughout the book you can see how the Ember is maturing and growing.  Dante you see a little from him but he is secretive.  The book also introduces Riley a Rouge dragon and Garret Xavier Sebastian a soldier of St. George. These are the guys that bring in a love triangle to the story and make Ember question everything she has been taught.  This is a good set up for the Talon Saga.  It is a good pace with action spread throughout.  I have read the second book and am eagerly awaiting the third book.

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Fantasy, Teen

 

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The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The story of inventor George Ferris

 

Jacket[1]

Title: The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: the story of inventor George Ferris
Author: Betsy Harvey Kraft
Series:
Recommended for: Ages 5 to 9
Pages: 42
Call Number/Link:  E B FERRIS, G

Synopsis: The World’s Fair in Chicago, 1893, was to be a spectacular event: architects, musicians, artists, and inventors worked on special exhibits to display the glories of their countries. But the Fair’s planners wanted something really special, something on the scale of the Eiffel Tower, which had been constructed for France’s fair three years earlier. At last, engineer George Ferris had an idea–a crazy, unrealistic, gigantic idea. He would construct a twenty-six-story tall observation wheel. The planners didn’t think it could be done. They called it a ‘monstrosity.’ It wouldn’t be safe. But George fought for his design. Finally, in December 1892, with only four months to go until the fair, George was given permission to build his wheel. He had to fight the tight schedule, bad weather, and general disapproval. Against all odds, the Ferris Wheel turned out to be the talk of the Fair, and proof that dreaming big dreams could pay off. Today, George’s Ferris Wheel is an icon of adventure and amusement throughout the world.

“The writing is crisp, clear, and descriptive, moving the story along at a quick pace. . .The book’s strength are the dramatic, mixed-media illustrations, which capture the enormity of Ferris’s wheel and its spectacular appearance when lit up at night, that steal the show. . .A strong addition to book collections dealing with inventors and inventions and useful for discussing how written texts and illustrations work together.” ―School Library Journal, starred review

I included the review from School Library Journal because I thought it said it all. I found it interesting and informative without getting bogged down in too many details. I learned many things from this book. This could spark the creative juices of any child who is an aspiring engineer.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2016 in Non-Fiction, Picture Books

 

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Sword and Verse

22065067Title: Sword and Verse
Author: Kathy MacMillan
Series: First in a trilogy
Recommended for: Jr High and High School (and that Jr High girl who wanted sex scenes)
Pages: 376
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION MACMILLAN, K

Synopsis:  When Raisa, a slave since being kidnapped as a child, is chosen to become a tutor and learn a secret language, she is torn between her feelings for Prince Mati and her desire to help free her people.

 

Review:

Good points:
Not very many battle scenes
A focus on the importance of information and language
No love triangle
A moral quandary that would be a struggle to figure out
Mythology subplot
Nice world-building

Bad points:
Not very much action
Too much focus on romance (and quite a bit of non-graphic sex) to the detriment of the story

Overall, I recommend it to the fantasy reader who doesn’t read fantasy for the battle scenes.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Burning Midnight

25489041Title: Burning Midnight
Author: Will McIntosh
Series:  N/A
Recommended for: Grade 7 & up
Pages: 320
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction McIntosh, W. 

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old David Sullivan’s life is about to change—all because of one tiny, priceless item found in the murky bottom of a Brooklyn water tower.

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make rent.

No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the more expensive—and the greater the improvement.

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.

There’s no question the Gold is worth millions, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.

My Review: The start to this one is a bit slow. I’ll admit I jumped into it without re-reading the description so it took me a good 20-25 pages to really understand what was happening.Once I got the concept, I did enjoy the book. The start is where it really shines. Sully meeting Hunter, them going hunting, and the bit of luck they find together. It’s when they going off to search new and, hopefully, untouched locations that it starts to drag again. The whole searching of water towers was a bit tedious. But once they find that mysterious Gold, things kick into high speed. Maybe a little too much.

Once the Gold is found, they’re immediately on a trip to find the other. Four teenagers, alone, with no idea where they’re going. I’m not sure why any parent would think that is a good idea, but I suppose the lure of money is enough to say okay to anything. Of course, they’re also being hunted by the main baddie (if you can call him that) and he’ll start at nothing for the Golds. Of course, nothing is quite as it seems and what the Golds (and Midnights) release is not good. (There’s also a lot of suspending belief at this point, too, you just kind of have to roll with it)

What does it bring? Well, I won’t ruin it, but it’s not completely unexpected though either. I was a bit disappointed in the solution though. It felt too easy and almost like a cop-out. I would have liked to have seen more happen. It just felt unsatisfying to say the least.

Overall, it was still a fun read and I would easily hand this to kids just exploring the Sci-Fi genre. It has a 5th Wave feel to it, but I’m not sure teens who have read that series would be completely satisfied with this one. I would suspect there may not be enough grit/depth to this one for their tastes.

 

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2016 in Sci-Fi, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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First & Then

23310751Title: First & Then
Author: Emma Mills
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 267
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Mills, E.

Synopsis: Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

My Review: This was a fun, quick read. I believe it’s suppose to be a Pride and Prejudice retelling, but it more of a Jane Austen homage than anything else. There are hints of P&P and even other Austen characters, but it’s not a retelling in the straight forward sense. Both Devon and Ezra don’t quite fit their P&P counterparts attitudes. The illusion of Lizzie and Darcy’s personalities are there, but both Devon and Ezra deviate quite a bit/are their own person.

There’s a bit of problem with structure/pacing, but I think this going back to the P&P/Austen homage thing. There were characters and scenes that should have been taken out because they merely distracted from the story. The true heart of the story is Devon, Ezra, and Foster. Their relationships and hardships are truly what pull you into the story. Foster’s story is the most heartbreaking as he comes to terms with be abandoned by a drug-addict mom. All three characters go through some nice transformations that make you root for the the entire time.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2016 in Realistic, Romance, Teen

 

Escrito y Dibujado por Enriqueta ( Written and Drawn by Henrieta)

enriqueta

 

Title: Escrito y Dibujado por Enriqueta ( Written and Drawn by Henrieta)

Author: Liniers

Series: Un libro Toon

Recommended for: K-3rd 

Pages:  60
henrietta

 

 

 

 

 

Call Number/Link:  SPAN E LINIERS & GN J LINIERS

Synopsis:    A Junior Library Guild Selection

Reading books is fun . . . but what about making them? Armed with new colored pencils, Henrietta’s ready to try. Peek over her shoulder as she draws the story of a brave young girl, a three-headed monster, and an impossibly wide world of adventure. Whether read aloud to a toddler or discovered by a young reader, Liniers’ celebration of the creative process is sure to make everyone want to bring out their pencils.

Ricardo Siri Liniers, known as Liniers, is the author of Macanudo, a daily comic strip hugely popular in Argentina, now available in English. His US debut, The Big Wet Balloon, a TOON Book, was nominated for an Eisner Award and chosen as one of Parents‘ Top 10 Children’s Books. He lives in Buenos Aires with his wife and three daughters, Matilda, Clementina, and Emma, whom he credits as inspirations for this book.

My Thoughts: This is a fabulous book, especially since it is authentic Spanish.  The author writes all his books in Spanish and they are translated.  Wow, I am so happy.  It is very cute and can be read by the elementary school group.  A few of his books come in both languages and he has some awesome comic books that are numbered and are called Macanudo 1-11. I can’t wait till we are able to obtain more.  These are short and sweet with some more difficult vocabulary words but should not be a problem for a Spanish speaking child.

 

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