RSS

Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

 
Leave a comment

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

 

Dear Martin

Title: Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 224
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Stone

Synopsis: Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

Review: Man, does this book pack a wallop! It’s been almost two months since I first read it and I’m *STILL* thinking about it. A lot of people have been comparing this one to The Hate You Give; and while they are similar they are also very different. This one was a bit more emotional for me, especially considering it’s just a tad over 200 pages. Dear Martin, also deals more with privilege & racial profiling in general. It’s though provoking and one that people will be talking about for sure. Easily, one of my favorite 2017 books.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Realistic, Teen, Uncategorized

 

Tags:

I Hug

Title:   I Hug
Author:   David McPhail
Series:   —
Recommended for:   babies, toddlers, preschoolers, children who are just starting to read
Pages:   22 pages
Call Number/Link:   E MCPHAIL, D.

Rating:   *****

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“A child hugs Mom, Dad, a cat, a rock, a tree and more in this easy-to-read book”– Provided by publisher.

Comments:

Thanks to its minimal text, uncomplicated illustrations and sweet story, this is a great book for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  It is also an inviting choice for children who are just beginning to read.

It would be a excellent choice for Lapsit and Toddler Time.

And it is so cute!

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 1, 2017 in Picture Books, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.

 
Leave a comment

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

 

Tags: , , , , ,

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.

 
Leave a comment

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

 

Tags: , , ,

Baby Dolphin’s First Swim

Title:   Baby Dolphin’s First Swim
Author:   American Museum of Natural History
Series:   not applicable
Recommended for:   a primary audience of preschoolers and early elementary school students, although it will also appeal to older kids and adults due to its clear appealing photos and interesting information
Pages:   approximately 25 p.
Call Number/Link:   E 599.53 BAB

Rating:   ****

Synopsis:

After a baby dolphin is born in the vast ocean, his mother and other dolphins help him as he learns and grows.

Comments:

How could you go wrong with baby dolphins?  Preschoolers can browse the book’s photos happily – and have fun learning a bit about dolphins.

i would guess that the book is actually intended for students in grades K-3, although it will appeal to a much wider audience.

 

 

 
 

Tags: , ,

All’s Faire in Middle School

Title: All’s Faire in Middle School
Author: Victoria Jamieson
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 5th – 7th grade (could go a bit younger or older)
Pages: 248
Call Number/Link:  J GN Jamieson

Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she’ll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind–she’ll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it’s not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don’t) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family’s unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.

Review:  Sooo, this one doesn’t officially come out until September, but I couldn’t wait to talk about it! I loved Roller Girl and was so excited to see another one by Jamieson coming out. And I think this one may even be a little better than Roller Girl. I love how it deals with the insecurities of starting middle school. And while in this case she’s transitioning from home school to public school, I think the general worries are still the same. I loved how Imogene deals with trying to fit in and how the subject of bullying is approached. Peer pressure is a powerful thing and when you want to fit in you’ll often to things that you know aren’t right. And sometimes how all that pressure can spill into the home life–even before one gets in trouble–as well.

The intermingling of Ren Faire stuff was a lot of fun. It was nice to see Imogene find her footing in the troup as a squire. How she was able to shake off her nervousness of performing among the streets by finding an act that worked for her. I also liked how school tied to the Ren Faire (and kind of ended there as well). And while Impy was most at home at the Ren Faire, there was still problems and lessons that she had to learn! No such thing as a perfect place, right?

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what Jamieson releases in the future.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 13, 2017 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Uncategorized

 

Con Academy

Title: Con Academy
Author: Joe Schreiber
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Well-Grounded Kids Who Like A Good Caper
Pages: 236
Call Number/Link: TEEN FICTION SCHREIBER

Synopsis: “Con man Will Shea may have met his match in scammer Andrea Dufresne as they make a high-stakes deal that will determine who gets to stay at Connaughton Academy, one of the most elite and privileged preparatory schools in the country, and who must leave.”

My Thoughts:

This was a lot of fun! There were some moral issues (it was so fast-paced I’m still debating some of the ends-justify-the-means-of-theft stuff) but, for a mature and well-grounded young adult, it’s a fun Ferris Bueler-meets-Mission-Impossible-esque adventure, if Ferris Bueler had been the son of a con man. There were also some really good points about personal growth and forgiveness.

For teens who might be concerned with sexual content, there’s a generic reference to “canoodling” and some kissing, and references to public humiliation via inappropriate pictures (in the primary case, clearly wrong,) but that’s it.

Marshall Islands, you’re always in my heart.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 30, 2017 in Adventure, Teen, Uncategorized

 

Valiant

Title: The Valiant
Author: Lesley Livingston
Series: The Valiant
Recommended for: Grades 8 & up
Pages: 372
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Livingston, L. 

Synopsis: Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

Reviews: I really, really liked this book. It read it super fast because I kept doing the “One more chapter” thing. Fallon is pretty kick butt, although, things do come a little easy to her. However, I still really enjoyed her journey. I’m super glad that the love triangle/complication that started in the beginning of the book wasn’t carried too far. There’s a lot of interesting plot twists, which I won’t spoil. My biggest complaint was I wished there was more fighting. For being a book that is supposed to be about a female gladiator there is very little description in the arena. It’s more about the intrigue/mysteries/secrets that happens outside of the arena. All that said, though, when I got to the end I was super glad to learn there will be a book 2. I will totally read it as soon as I can get my hands on it.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 8, 2017 in Historical, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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.

 
Leave a comment

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