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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Nemesis

Title: Nemesis
Author: Brendan Reichs
Series: Project Nemesis
Recommended for: Grade 7 & up
Pages: 443
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Reichs, B.

Synopsis: He killed me. He killed me not. He killed me.

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.

Review: This book had such a great premise. However, it utterly and completely failed. After reading 400+ pages, I still can’t tell you WHAT is going on. I’m not sure the author/book quite has an idea as well. It was a bit like reading whiplash to be honest. One moment we’re trying to figure out if she’s having psychotic breaks then we’re at conspiracy theories and then we end at…well, I’m not quite sure where we end up. But it’s doesn’t make much sense. And perhaps in book two, more will be revealed/it’ll make sense, but I’m not sure I want to even wade in that world again. There may be some teens who love this head-spin tale, but for most I think this book will them simply frustrated.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Sci-Fi, Teen

 

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Pupunzel

Title: Pupunzel
Author: Maribeth Boelts
Series: Dog Fairy Tales (unofficial title I just made up)
Recommended for: K-3rd Grade
Pages: 48
Call Number/Link:  READER BOELTS, M.

Synopsis:  In this Step 3 send-up, a cocker spaniel named Pupunzel grows long golden fur when a witch takes her from her family and locks her in a tall tower. Will Pupunzel’s mama and brothers and sisters ever be able to rescue her from the tower? Or does Pupunzel have some tricks up her fur?

Comments: This story is a VERY cute and clever version Rapunzel retold with puppies. The beginning of the story is pretty faithful to the original tale, with the mother puppy eating some rapunzel plants from a witches garden. The witch takes a golden haired cocker spaniel puppy and her family tries to rescue her. The ending is actually sweet, with the puppy kissing the witch to break a spell that had turned a princess into a witch. This is a great early reader for kids who have read all the Disney books, and a nice read-aloud for pre-school children with a good attention span.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Princess, Readers

 

A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans

Title: A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans
Author: Laurence Yep & Joanne Ryder
Series: Dragon’s Guide
Recommended for: Grades 3-7
Pages: 192
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction YEP, L.

Synopsis: Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion!

Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake’s combined efforts to put an end to the mayhem . . . before it’s too late.

Comments: In searching for source material for my dragon program, I picked up this book based solely on the title. It’s told from the point of view of a three thousand year old dragon, grumpy Miss Drake, who has always had a human companion. When her last human dies, the dragon is surprised to discover that she has sent for her great neice, 10 year old Winnie, to be her new companion. Miss Drake doesn’t like Winnie at first and their relationship slowly grows as they get to know eachother better. She starts to grow fond of Winnie and introduce her to the magical world. Of course something goes wrong ang they have to work together to solve it. My favorite part of this book was that it dealt with relationships, grief, and loss in a relistic way, and it was cool for a kid to read about how they might seem to a dragon.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Adventure, Fantasy, Juv

 

Too Much Glue

Title: Too Much Glue
Author: Jason Lefebvre
Series: No
Recommended for: 
Pages: 32 pages
Call Number/Link:  E LEFEBVRE, J.

Synopsis:”Matty LOVES glue. At home with Dad, he makes glue glasses, glue mustaches, and glue bouncy balls. But at school, Matty’s art teacher worries and warns, ‘Too much glue never dries.’ In art class one day, Matty decides to make the most fantastic glue project ever, with a super-special ingredient — himself!” — from publisher’s web site.

Comments:  Great art work, nice vivid pictures, ok story line.  This is a story that promotes creativity, so if you are looking for a lesson on too much glue don’t look to this book. I feel that kids will enjoy the book, and if one wants to make a lesson out of this book one can find a way.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Funny, Picture Books

 

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Kill Me Softly

Kill Me Softly

Kill-Me-Softly

Title:  Kill Me Softly

Author:   Sarah Cross

Series: Beau Rivage
Recommended for:  Ages 14-17

Pages:  336 p.

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION CROSS 

Rating:   *****

Synopsis:

In this whirlwind of a novel, Mirabelle is an average teenage girl, who lives in an average town. She has two loving godparents who take care of her, and although they’ve been strict with her upbringing, they give her the love and support she’s needed since her parent’s tragic passing. Beyond this seemingly simple life Mira has been leading, she holds within her a secret that is dying to get out. Just a week before her sixteenth birthday, Mira decides to run away to the place she was born, Beau Rivage, to finally visit her parents graves, and make peace with their deaths. However, once she gets to this town she realizes that things are not always as they seem. Here, in this tucked away town, it seems that magic and curses are all too real. Princes and princesses are destined to find each other, fairies flirt with people’s destiny, and what used to be average teenagers, try to escape their fate. Of all the uncertainty, and secrets hiding in Beau Rivage, the most important thing to remember is that not all fairy tales have a happy ending.

Comments:

 

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Fairy Tales, Realistic, Romance

 

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The Harlem Charade

Title: The Harlem Charade
Author: Natasha Tarpley
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 3rd- 8th Grade
Pages: 297 pages
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION TARPLEY, N.

Synopsis: Seventh-graders Jin, Alexandra, and Elvin come from very different backgrounds and circumstances, but they all live in Harlem, and when Elvin’s grandfather is attacked they band together to find out who is responsible–and the search leads them to an enigmatic artist whose missing masterpieces are worth a fortune, and into conflict with an ambitious politician who wants to turn Harlem into an historic amusement park.

This book is rich in culture.  We have three main characters that come from different backgrounds, that come together by chance.  Jin likes to watch people that come into her grandparents bodega. She catches Alexandra taping Met passes on food items.  Jin now has a mystery to solve to find out why. The three main characters are strong, kind-hearted teenagers.  Throughout the story they learn some history of Harlem artist from the 1960’s and come to appreciate the community.  It is a wonderful way to get children to look around their own communities.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2017 in Juv, Mysteries

 

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Stack the Cats

Title:   Stack the Cats
Author:   Susie Ghahremani
Series:   —
Recommended for:   toddlers and preschoolers as a readaloud and counting book, early elementary school students because it’s a fairly early reader and teaches alternate ways to organize sets
Pages:   32 pages
Call Number/Link:  E GHAHREMANI, S.

Rating:   ****

 

 

Synopsis:

Cats of all shapes and sizes scamper, yawn, and stretch across the pages of this playful counting book. And every now and then, some of them pile into the purrfect cat stack!

Comments:

This is such a cute book!  The cats are adorable and remind me a little of my hero Pusheen.  The bold, colorful illustrations could work well with a group of children.

It makes me happy that the book works on more than one level.  For toddlers, it is a book with cute cats having fun.  For preschoolers, it is also a counting book.  There is also slightly trickier math for the early elementary school students when sets are regrouped (or divided).  This happens when 6 cats are divided into two groups of 3 cats and 9 cats are divided into three groups of 3 cats.

 

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Concepts, Picture Books

 

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