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Category Archives: Juv

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

 

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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Boys Dancing: From School Gym to Theater Stage

Title:  Boys Dancing:  From School Gym to Theater Stage
Author:  George Ancona
Series:   —
Recommended for:  kids in grades K and up, especially active athletic boys who like to run, jump, spin and leap
Pages:   Unpaged  (approximately 46 pages)
Call Number/Link:   E 793.3 ANC

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Follow four energetic boys as they train for and take the stage in a community dance performance celebrating classic kids’ books”–Provided by publisher.

Comments:

With the exception of break dancers, there’s not a lot of support out there for boys who dance.  This book shows that average, everyday boys who like to run, jump, yell, climb and throw balls to each other at recess can also like to dance.  They warm up for dance class by running through the halls of their dance school and do pull-ups to strengthen their arms.  They are going to perform a dance number based on Treasure Island so learn how to fake fistfights.  Older boys in their school learn how to fight with swords.

As part of a collaboration between the National Dance Institute of New Mexico and several schools in their town, students are taught movement (i.e. leaping, running, spinning, jumping and showing emotions like joy or anger) set to music.  These movement classes teach students to dance – and prepare them for performances in May.  The final May performance has more than twenty dances and all of the 500 students are in the grand finale.

The book shows that dance can be fun, athletic, active and very boy (and girl and firefighter) friendly.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2017 in Juv, Non-Fiction

 

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Dragon Captives

Title: Dragon Captives
Author: Lisa McMann
Series: Unwanteds Quests
Recommended for: 4th – 8th grade
Pages: 419 pages
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION MCMANN, L. 

Synopsis: Identical twins Fifer and Thisbe Stowe have amazing yet uncontrollable magical abilities. They’re naturally more gifted than even their brother, Alex, the head mage of Artimé, could hope to be. But when they accidentally use their magic in the jungle of Artimé to strike down a beloved creature, Alex is furious, and threatens to lock them away until they can learn to control their power.
The threat is soon forgotten, though, when Hux, the ice blue dragon, comes to Artimé bearing the horrible news that his siblings have been enslaved by the notoriously evil Revinir, ruler of the dragon land.
Seeking a chance to right their wrong and escape their brother’s wrath, Thisbe, Fifer, and their friend Seth sneak away to rescue the dragons from grave peril. Will their untrained abilities be enough to save the dragons—and themselves—when they come face-to-face with the Revinir?

This is a spin off series from the original Unwanteds series.  If you wanted to begin with this one, enough information is revealed that you would be ok.  I would highly recommended that you read the other series while you wait for the next book in the series, you will enjoy it.  If you have read the series you will be able to see some old friends from the original series and see what has happened to them. This series was a fast read, with short chapters and a lot of action.  I felt that the main characters had growth and that they will continue to see more growth.  This book ended with some twists and a cliff hanger so we will have to see what comes next.  I am hoping that some of the unanswered questions from the first series will get answered. I will definitely be reading this series.  On a side note I listened to the audio of most of the first series, so I was unable to for this series because the old characters were just awful to me. Simber the huge cat/ tiger with wings voice was grating.  I understand that the series is now following the sisters, so they chose a female voice, but it was hard to adjust I gave up after listening to 3 disc.  I finished the book by reading, much more enjoyable.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2017 in Adventure, Juv

 

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Horizon

Title: Horizon
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Horizon
Recommended for: 5rd – 8th
Pages: 241 pages
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION WESTERFELD, S.

Summary: When a plane crash-lands in the arctic, eight young survivors step from the wreckage expecting to see nothing but ice and snow. Instead they find themselves lost in a strange jungle with no way to get home and little hope of rescue. Food is running out. Water is scarce. And the jungle is full of threats unlike anything the survivors have ever seen before — from razor-beaked shredder birds to carnivorous vines and much, much worse. With danger at every turn, these eight kids must learn to work together to survive. But cliques and rivalries threaten to tear them apart. And not everyone will make it out of the jungle alive.

My Thoughts:  This is another series like 39 Clues and Spirit Animals that Scholastic is putting out.  There will be a different author for each book in the series as well as an online game.  This being the first book it was laying the ground work and getting you to know the characters a little.  I am definitely intrigued as to what is going to happen next.  I would have liked to get to know more about all the survivors.  There is some details about background information on a few of the characters, but some are still an unknown.  I am hoping that as the series goes on we will get more information.  I feel kids that liked 39 Clues and Spirit Animals will enjoy this series.

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Adventure, Juv, Mysteries, Sci-Fi

 

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Star Crossed

Title: Star Crossed
Author: Barbara Dee
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Graded 6-8
Pages: 256
Call Number/Link: J Fiction Dee, B. 

Synopsis: Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after a series of events, she finds herself playing Romeo, opposite Gemma Braithwaite’s Juliet. Gemma, the new girl at school, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing—and, if all that wasn’t enough: British.

As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy named Elijah. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama! In this sweet and funny look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to be the lead player in her own life.


Review: 
This book is one of those that totally toes the line . The subject matter is totally more teen-ish, but with the cover it’ll never go in J. However, the book is still super sweet and there’s not even kissing beyond what happens in the play. The questioning is very straight forward and handled realistically. I honestly wish they would have put a better cover on it because I do believe that this type of book would circ a bit better in teen. However, I know kids are questioning at any age and I do think this book will be helpful/allow them to see their situation in a book, especially since for the most part it’s no big deal. (Her friends and anyone she tells accepts it.)

Of course, the books deals with way more than just questioning a crush. It deals with normal middle school stuff such as friendships, bullies, dances, being excluded, and more. All of this makes this book super recommendable to middle school-ers. This book is A+ in my opinion.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2017 in Juv, Realistic, Uncategorized