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Category Archives: Juv

Cici’s Journal

Title:  Cici’s journal : the adventures of a writer-in-training
Author: Joris Chamblain (Author),‎ Aurélie Neyret (Illustrator)
Series: Cici’s journal
Recommended for: 8-12 year olds
Pages: 160
Call Number/Link:  GN J CHAMBLAIN, J.

Synopsis: Cici dreams of being a novelist. Her favorite subject: people, especially adults. She’s been watching them and taking notes. Everybody has one special secret, Cici figures, and if you want to write about people, you need to understand what’s hiding inside them. But now she’s discovered something truly strange: an old man who disappears into the forest every Sunday with huge pots of paint in all sorts of colors. What is he up to? Why does he look so sad when he comes back?

Comments: This book is gorgeous. I was immediately drawn to the cover. On the inside, there are a couple of journal style pages with drawing and clippings done in a childlike style, then the story unfolds in graphic novel format. The book is about a 10-year-old girl who is maybe too into “mysteries” that she notices around her. Prompted by her friendship with an elderly local author, she takes notes and follows people until she figures out what’s going on in their lives, in hopes of becoming an author herself. Besides the beautiful illustrations, the best part of this book is the relationships explored. Cici has two close friends her own age, lives with her mother, and is friends with an elderly woman. When she gets obsessed with the mysterious people in her town, it starts to strain all her other relationships. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever wanted to be a writer or loved mysteries.

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Posted by on January 10, 2018 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Mysteries, Realistic

 

The Ship of the Dead

Title: The Ship of the Dead
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the gods of Asgard
Recommended for: Grades 4-8
Pages: 421 pages
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION RIORDAN, R.
Synopsis: Magnus Chase, son of Frey, the god of summer and health, isn’t naturally inclined toward being a brave warrior. Still, with the help of his motley group of friends, he has achieved deeds he never would have thought possible. Now he faces his most dangerous trial yet. Loki is free from his chains. He’s readying Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, complete with a host of giants and zombies, to sail against the Asgardian gods and begin the final battle of Ragnarok. It’s up to Magnus and his friends to stop him, but to do so they will have to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim, and Niflheim in a desperate race to reach Naglfar before it’s ready to sail. Along the way, they will face angry sea gods, hostile giants, and an evil fire-breathing dragon. But Magnus’s biggest challenge will be facing his own inner demons. Does he have what it takes to outwit the wiley trickster god?

This is the third and final installment of Magnus Chase.  For those who are wondering Percy and Annabeth make an appearance in this book.  Magnus, Samirah, Alex, Hearthstone, Blitzen are joined by, floor 19 hall mates,  Thomas Jefferson Jr., Halfborn Gunderson, and Mallory Keen to stop Ragnarok from starting.  All of these characters are called to help aid in the trials to stop Ragnorak.  Lots of action, but it also has background information about the different charaters.  Now I am eagerly awaiting for the next Rick Riordan book that comes out in May.

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

 

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A Night Divided

Title: A Night Divided
Author: Jennifer Nielsen
Series: N/A
Recommended for:
Pages: 317 pages
Call Number/Link: J FICTION NIELSEN, J.

Synopsis: When the Berlin Wall went up, Gerta, her mother, and her brother Fritz are trapped on the eastern side where they were living, while her father, and her other brother Dominic are in the West–four years later, now twelve, Gerta sees her father on a viewing platform on the western side and realizes he wants her to risk her life trying to tunnel to freedom.

A neighbor told me that I needed to read this book, he was right.  I have read other books by the author and like her writing style. Before reading this book, I knew very little on the subject. This has prompted me to read more.  The story allowed you to see how the government pitted everyone against each other.  My only complaint is that realistically Gerta would have been caught right away.  I didn’t feel that she hid what she was doing all that well.  This book did make me want to learn more about true stories of people crossing.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2017 in Historical, Juv

 

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Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes

Title: Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes
Author: Booki Vivat
Series: Frazzled
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 6
Pages: 224
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction Vivat (Don’t currently own, but did ask Janet to order)

Synopsis: Things are looking up for Abbie Wu: this year she’ll run for class president and get a brand-new shiny locker. Until—she doesn’t…

In her second tumultuous misadventure, Abbie Wu tackles more unbelievably unfair and calamitous middle school days. From facing locker thieves and battling diabolical cats to having absolutely no idea what to build for her science project, Abbie Wu is still in perpetual crisis.

Review: Man, I’m really struggling with sequels this month! I thought this one was okay, but no where near as awesome as the first one. Abbie is a bit over-dramatic at times, but I feel like that’s typical 6th grade behavior. They’re still dealing how to deal with things that come up in life. I do like that we got to see her work through the process of thinking about one thing but realizing it wasn’t actually true. The science fair project was a little so-so as there are already automatic food feeders, but that’s a small point. And I really loved that the science teacher still gave them an A even though it didn’t work because it was about the process and not the overall result. Even though I didn’t love this one as much, I still think it’s going to be a hit with reluctant readers and those already who enjoy the series.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Funny, Juv, Realistic, Uncategorized

 

Thornhill

Title:   Thornhill
Author:   Pam Smy
Series:   —
Recommended for:  older tweens and teens who like creepy books
Pages:   533 pages
Call Number/Link:   J FICTION SMY, P.

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Parallel plotlines set in different times, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.

1982:  Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors.  When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary and on Thornhill itself.

2016:  Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one.  From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window.  Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.

Comments:

Some colleagues were surprised that I chose to read this book since I don’t usually read creepy, scary books.

As it works out, I was less scared than horrified by the book.  I was really troubled by the cruelty of the bullying that the girl from the eighties experienced, and that the orphanage’s primary caregivers truly didn’t care.  The girl obviously needed psychological help, as did the bully.

I did not get a complete picture of the contemporary girl’s situation.  I could see that she and her father had moved to a new place where she didn’t have any friends.  Her mother isn’t with them and the father works so many hours that the girl is, for all intensive purposes, an abandoned child.

There was no way that this book could end well….

 

But now for the biggest mystery of all:  should we move to book to Teen Fiction or keep it in J Fiction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Historical, Historical, Horror, Juv, Scary, Teen

 

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Yours, Sincerely, Giraffe

 

Title: Yours, Sincerely, Giraffe

Author: Megumi Iwasa

Series: N/A

Recommended for: Pre-K-3rd grades

Pages: 104

 

Call Number/Link:  J FICTION IWASA, M.

 

Synopsis: Giraffe is bored, as usual. He’d love a friend to share things with. So he writes a letter and sends it as far as possible across the other side of the horizon. There he finds a pen palPenguin.

Thoughts:  This is a really cute book to read aloud for a few days.  It shows great examples of letter writing between friends for a classroom and a child.  Fun book full of surprises at the crazy thoughts that run through both of their heads.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2017 in Adventure, Fantasy, Funny, Juv

 

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Evil Emperor Penguin

Title:   Evil Emperor Penguin
Author:   Laura Ellen Anderson
Series:   —
Recommended for:
Pages:   64 p.
Call Number/Link:   GN J Anderon, L.

 Rating:   *****

Synopsis:

Evil Emperor Penguin lives in Antarctica and plots to take over the world with his two minions: a polite and thoughtful purple octopus and an abominable snowman who loves nothing more than a hug.

 

Comments:

For whatever reason, I am a big fan of Pinky and the Brain, Phineas and Ferb and other comics that feature a ridiculous character whose life goal is to take over the world.

It doesn’t get much more ridiculous than an evil Emperor Penguin whose minions are a sweet, fluffy abominable snowman and a purple octopus who reminds me of Alfred the butler in Batman..  I absolutely love the way that Eugene the abominable snowman consistently misinterprets the penguin’s instructions and creates “evil inventions” that actually spread joy.

To quote Eugene, “Yay!”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Funny, Graphic Novels, Juv

 

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