Monthly Archives: July 2016

Max & Ruby’s Preschool Pranks

Preschool Pranks cover

Title:   Max & Ruby’s Preschool Pranks
Author:   Rosemary Wells
Series:   Max & Ruby
Recommended for:   I think ages 4-7 would find this book funniest
Pages:   unpaged
Call Number/Link:   E Wells, R.

Rating:   ***


“Max‘s big sister Ruby and her best friend Louise play school with their younger siblings”– Provided by publisher.



I think Ruby might be the bossiest big sister ever, although her friend Louise is in close competition.  It always makes me so happy when Max outwits her.  Go Max!

This book seems best for independent or one-on-one reading rather than use in a large group.

It could be fun for the grown-up and child reading the book to make their own volcano afterwards.  They could also try different substances in the volcano to see which combination(s) worked best.  If they’re really brave, they could include everything that Max and Lily put in their volcano.  I’m unconvinced that their concoction would actually “explode,” but it could be interesting to see what (if anything) happens.

The flaps are cute and add to the story.  They are kind of fun, but they aren’t FUN.  (However, erupting volcanoes are FUN.)



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GHOSTS Front Cover

Title: Ghosts
Author: Raina Telgemeier

Series: N/A Expected Publish Date September 13, 2016
Recommended for: 8th – 12th grade
Pages: 256
Call Number/Link:  GN TEEN





Synopsis: Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.

Opinion:  I was asked to review an ARC copy of this book for my library.  I thought it was quite good.  Nice to see that there is going to be an interesting graphic book about Dia de los muertos.  This book is well written and respectful of the topic. I really liked the ways in which they explained the spirits though the ending is a bit different.  A must read if wanting to know more about the topic but definately meets a fans expectation of great visual quality at the level of a teen. I would recommend for middle and high school readers.


Posted by on July 25, 2016 in Graphic Novels, Teen


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Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy

Wings of fireTitle: The Dragonet Prophecy
Author: Tui Sutherland
Series:  Wings of Fire
Recommended for: 4th – 7th grades
Pages: 336

Synopsis: Clay has lived his whole life under the mountain. The MudWing dragonet knows war is raging between the dragon tribes in the world outside – a war that he and four other dragonets are destined to end, according to the mysterious prophecy they have been taught. The five “chosen” dragonets were stolen from their homes while they were still in their eggs – and hidden away for years – all to fulfill the prophecy. But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when danger threatens one of their own, Clay and his friends may choose freedom over fate … leave the mountain … and set the dragon world on a course that no one could have predicted.

I picked up this book because my son has been begging me to read the series. I have been putting him off, because I didn’t think that I would like it.  Well I was wrong!  I actually like the series and I am now plowing through the next book.  I found the book to have a good pacing, and developed characters.  Each book in the series focus on one of the five chosen dragonets. This book focuses on Clay the MudWing, so it follows him and what he learns about himself and more about his kind.  While all that is going on Clay and the other dragonets are thrust into their destiny as the dragonets of Prophecy.  My only complaint is that it was hard to remember who is allied with who as there are seven clans.  I think the author is doing a nice job only introducing one or two clans in a book.  ( I am only in the second book, so I will have to see if it stays that way.)

I think those who have read Warriors will enjoy this series, since Tui Sutherland is one of the many writers.

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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Fantasy, Juv


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The Great Pet Escape

great pet escapeTitle: The Great Pet Escape
Author: Victoria Jamieson
Series: Pets on the Loose
Recommended for: 2nd – 4th Grade
Pages: 63 pages
Call Number/Link:  GN J JAMIESON, V.

Synopsis: The class pets at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary School want OUT . . . and GW (short for George Washington), the deceptively cute hamster in the second-grade classroom, is just the guy to lead the way. But when he finally escapes and goes to find his former partners in crime, Barry and Biter, he finds that they actually LIKE being class pets. Impossible!

Just as GW gets Barry and Biter to agree to leave with him, a mouse named Harriet and her many mouse minions get in their way. What follows is class-pet chaos guaranteed to make readers giggle . . . and maybe look at their class pets a little differently in the future.

This is a beginning graphic novel that kids will like.  It has adventure, and humor, though some of the humor the kids will not get.  It is a fast paced, colorful graphic novel with mischief, friendship and even sharing feelings.  I recommend for 2nd grade and up because I just don’t know if most 1st graders will get the humor in the story.

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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Graphic Novels, Juv


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Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword


Title: How Mirka Got Her Sword
Author:Barry Deutsch
Recommended for: Mid-to-high 5th grade and up, especially the geek girls and fantasy enthusiasts. *Waves geek flag high*
Pages: 137
Call Number/Link:  GN J Hereville V. 1 


Spunky ten-year-old Mirka Herschberg hones her skills in her Orthodox Jewish community before accepting the challenges presented in these books.

Review: Okay, I have to confess that I have read this before. However, upon re-reading it this summer, I remembered why I originally liked it so much!

Despite a fairly unusual setting and action-packed fairy tale plot, Mirka is a familiar heroine; there are trolls to be fought and swords to be won, but the author does not shy away from including such relatable problems as grief, sibling rivalry, and tween-girl growing pains (no boy-girl drama, though. For Mirka, at least, boys still have cooties, and brothers are pains-in-the-neck who need to be protected). All the issues are handled quite well, and at a developmentally-appropriate level. The sass is strong with this one: Mirka is no shrinking violet, and her quick temper will be familiar to many readers, as will her soft heart, which causes our heroine to repent quickly when her sharp tongue gets her in trouble or stings someone she loves. (She is disrespectful towards her stepmother at times, but appropriate consequences are clearly shown.) Without giving too much away, I must say I was very pleased that, like fairy-tale heroes before her, Mirka’s gift of gab gets her into and out of hot water. It all depends on how it is used. (This is a fantasy land where there is a definite good and evil, and the author does a brilliant job of communicating that.)

Mirka’s Orthodox Jewish community may not be familiar to most readers; there was a great deal that was new to me, at least! However, there are plenty of explanations throughout the book (well-phrased, so we get the picture without feeling talked-down-to) so the reader feels relatively comfortable in Mirka’s world.

It’s an unusual, quirky book, but one that will hopefully appeal to both boys and girls who like action, adventure, and fantasy. Basically, once they are done with Zita the Spacegirl or Redwall or Warrior Cats, or even Diary of a Wimpy Kid, they can try this one.


Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History

Aaron and Alexander cover

Title:   Aaron and Alexander:  The Most Famous Duel in American History
Author:   Don Brown
Series:   —
Recommended for:   students in grades 1-6, older for a brief introduction to Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr
Pages:   unpaged
Call Number/Link:   E 973.4 Bro

Rating:   **** 



Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were both fierce patriots during the Revolutionary War, but the politics of the young United States of America put them in constant conflict. Their extraordinary story of bitter fighting and resentment culminates in their famous duel.


Don Brown somehow managed to write a clear, understandable book for elementary students despite Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr’s very complicated relationship.  By book’s end, the reader understands some of the causes for the duel that may have changed American history.

It wouldn’t be my top choice as a source for a report on the two men and their duel, but it is interesting and conveys the basic historical information.


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Posted by on July 13, 2016 in Juv, Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction, Uncategorized


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Never Missing, Never Found

27190610Title: Never Missing, Never Found
Author:  Amanda Panitch
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th Grade & Up
Pages: 320
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Panitch

Synopsis: Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.

Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she’s starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.

Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it’s too late?

Review:  This book is my…man, I just don’t know. I keep reading these thrillers in hope of getting one that’s awesome, but I’m continuously let down. This one was hard enough to follow at times due to the jumping back and forth from past to present. I’ll be honest in that the past scenes were much more interesting than the present timeline. But then you get to the end and it’s like SERIOUSLY?! This is an unreliable narrator to the max. In fact, I truly question how truthful the past scenes were now.

But will teens like it? Maybe? Either they’ll love it or be completely frustrated/disappointed like I was. The ending twist caught me off guard, but I guessed a lot of the rest as the story unfolded. Or at least guessed their involvement. I would say give this one to teens are who older and newer-ish to the thriller scene. I think teens who are well-read in this area will see it mostly as predicable.

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Posted by on July 12, 2016 in Mysteries, Realistic, Teen


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