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Category Archives: Realistic

Karma Khullar’s Mustache

Title: Karma Khullar’s Mustache
Author: Kristi Wientge
Series: N/A
Recommended for: grades 5 – 7
Pages: 272
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction Wientge (we don’t have this yet/it comes out in Aug, but I’ll ask Janet to order it!)

Synopsis: Karma Khullar is about to start middle school, and she is super nervous. Not just because it seems like her best friend has found a newer, blonder best friend. Or the fact that her home life is shaken up by the death of her dadima. Or even that her dad is the new stay-at-home parent, leading her mother to spend most of her time at work. But because she’s realized that she has seventeen hairs that have formed a mustache on her upper lip.

With everyone around her focused on other things, Karma is left to figure out what to make of her terrifyingly hairy surprise all on her own.

Review: I absolutely adored this book. It’s perfect for those kids who are just starting middle school. It deals nicely with friendships, mean girls/bullying, & the ever dreaded “I don’t look like everyone else”/body scenario. There is also some home life issues with dad losing his job and mom picking up more hours/not being around as much. While Karma does deal some some issue appearing/revolving around her Sikh religion, the themes/issues/problems are very universal. The fears are pretty universal, where it would be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t even deal with some of the issue when they were in middle school. Super fast read and easily one of my favorite middle grades of the year.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2017 in Juv, Realistic, Uncategorized

 

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Short

Title:  Short
Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan
Series:
Recommended for: 5th grade and up
Pages: 304
Call Number/Link: Short

Synopsis: Julia is very short for her age, but by the end of the summer run of The Wizard of Oz, she’ll realize how big she is inside, where it counts. She hasn’t ever thought of herself as a performer, but when the wonderful director of Oz casts her as a Munchkin, she begins to see herself in a new way. Julia becomes friendly with the poised and wise Olive–one of the adults with dwarfism who’ve joined the production’s motley crew of Munchkins. With her deeply artistic neighbor, Mrs. Chang, Julia’s own sense of self as an artist grows. Soon, she doesn’t want to fade into the background–and it’s a good thing, because her director has more big plans for Julia!

Okay, a book involving a short person and Wizard of Oz.  How could I resist?  This is another awesome book by Holly Sloan (Counting by Sevens).  I’m usually a scifi/fantasy reader instead of sweet realistic fiction.  But this is a book that’s sweet but not syrupy. It has a message but doesn’t beat you over the head with it.  Fans of Smile, Out of My Mind and those type of books will love it.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Juv, Realistic, Uncategorized

 

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Milo and Jazz Mysteries The Case of the Poisoned Pig

 

Title: The Milo & Jazz Mysteries- The Case of the Poisoned Pig

Author: Lewis B. Montgomery

Series: The Milo & Jazz Mysteries

Recommended for: grades 2nd – 5th

Pages: 96

 

Call Number/Link:  CD J MON



SynopsisSet in Nazi Germany. 1936.

When Jazz’s pet piglet gets sick and the veterinarian suspects it was poisoned, she and Milo use their detective skills to try to figure out who did it.

My Thoughts: This is a great book to listen to in the car.  If you need a quick read for summer reading, this is a good recommendation.  It only takes one hour to listen to and you can listen in the car on the way to a adjacent town and back.  Cute story and keeps children interested.

 

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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

 

Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere

30653691Title: Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere
Author: Elise Gravel
Series: N/A (Although, I hope it ends up being one)
Recommended for: Grades 3 -5
Pages: 176
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction Gravel, E

Synopsis: When Olga crosses paths with a weird creature and becomes the first kid to discover the species olgamus ridiculus, she is ecstatic! What does an olgamus eat? How does it poop? Why does its burp sound like the word rubber? With her trusty observation notebook and the help of a librarian, a shopkeeper, and some friends, Olga sets out to do science—learning the facts about her smelly, almost-furry pal and searching for him when he goes missing. The scientific method is the best way to discover anything!

Review: This is going to be a great one for those Wimpy Kid/Dork Diary fans! I love that Olga is science-y. She loves all things animals and when she find an unknown species she tries to figure out what he is! Olga is a tween/early teen but she reads a bit younger. 6th/7th MAY like it but I think it’ll be better in the hands of 4th/5th graders. The only thing I don’t like at all is that the mean girls read a fashion magazine called TWERP GIRLS. That name is just..no. The mean girls do show they’re not all that mean and Olga does kind of want to read the magazine, but the name TWERP GIRLS just bothered me. Other than that, I found this one an extremely fun and funny read and think it’ll be a big hit with our patrons. (FYI, it doesn’t come out until end of March!)

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in Funny, Juv, Realistic, Uncategorized

 

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Ghost

28954126Title: Ghost
Author: Jason Reynolds
Series: Track
Recommended for: Grades 5-8
Pages: 192
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION REYNOLDS, J.

Synopsis: Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.

Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life

Review: I liked, but didn’t love this book. I’ve enjoyed Reynolds’ other books a bit more. However, I do think the kids will eat this one up. Ghost is a character you can relate to and he is far, far from perfect. You can’t help but root for him even when he does something stupid like steal something. There are some heavy topics of abuse, but nothing that late elementary/middle school can’t handle. I do adore the relationships between Ghost and his coach & teammates expands over the book. Bonus points for the book being about track, which there hardly ever seem to be books about. I’m highly interested to see where the series goes and look forward to reading future installments.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2016 in Juv, Realistic

 

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Moo

moo-cover

Title:   Moo   
Author:   Sharon Creech
Series:   —
Recommended for:   I don’t recommend it
Pages:   278 p.
Call Number/Link:   J FICTION CREECH, S.

Rating:  **

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Fans of Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech‘s Love That Dog and Hate That Cat will love her newest tween novel, Moo. This uplifting tale reminds us that if we’re open to new experiences, life is full of surprises. Following one family’s momentous move from the city to rural Maine, an unexpected bond develops between twelve-year-old Reena and one very ornery cow. When Reena, her little brother, Luke, and their parents first move to Maine, Reena doesn’t know what to expect. She’s ready for beaches, blueberries, and all the lobster she can eat. Instead, her parents “volunteer” Reena and Luke to work for an eccentric neighbor named Mrs. Falala, who has a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna—and that stubborn cow, Zora. This heartwarming story, told in a blend of poetry and prose, reveals the bonds that emerge when we let others into our lives.

Comments:

I’ve been trying to force myself to read this book for about 5 weeks.  I really liked Love That Dog and Granny Torrelli Makes Soup so had every expectation that I would enjoy this book too.  Logically, I should have been able to finish the book in one or two evenings, but I just couldn’t bring myself to read it for more than half an hour at a time.  I normally would have abandoned it after one or two attempts, but wanted to write my review about it.

I. just. can’t. finish. it.  I dislike the parents too much.  They “volunteered” (forced) their children to go to the home of a creepy old woman to do chores for her, even though she terrified them.  The parents weren’t willing to spend time outside with the children while the children “got to” shovel cow manure, but they thought it would be fine for the children to help at the farm every day.  The little boy was traumatized by having to deal with the nasty old woman, but the parents didn’t show any evidence that they cared.

There is the chance that this book will win awards, but I’m still unwilling to read it.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2016 in Juv, Realistic

 

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