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You Don’t Want a Unicorn!

Title: You Don’t Want a Unicorn!
Author: Ame Dyckman, Illustrated by Liz Climo
Recommended for: Preschool – 3
Pages: 40
Call Number/Link:  E DYCKMAN, A.

Synopsis: When a little boy throws a coin in a well asking for a pet unicorn, he has no idea what kind of trouble he’s in for. Unbeknownst to him, unicorns make the absolutely worst pets: they shed, they poke holes in your ceiling, and they make a big mess. 

Comments: The tag line to this book is “Be careful what you wish for!” It’s a funny look at what it’s really like to have a magical pet. Did you know unicorns poop cupcakes with sprinkles? At the end, there is a funny twist, and the little boy doesn’t learn his lesson and gets another magical pet. It would make a great pre-school read aloud.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2017 in Fantasy, Funny, Picture Books

 

Forest Life and Woodland Creatures

Title: Forest Life and Woodland Creatures
Author: DK
Series: Practical Facts For Little People
Recommended for: Preschool – 3rd grade
Pages: 32
Call Number/Link:  E 591.73 FOR

Synopsis: Packed with fun activities, crafts, reading games, and amazing facts, kids can meet all the cuddly creatures and amazing sights found in the woods—from bunnies to bears to bugs—in this educational project book.

Comments: This book is marketed towards parents looking for nature information and crafts to read together with their children. It has all the great DK illustrations that make it appealing to kids, with facts that make it educational enough for parents. I even learned a new word; squirrel nests are called dreys. There are usually a few pages of illustrations, with small chunks of information, then a spread on doing a nature craft like pine cone owls. The “reading games” are things like “count the bugs in the log” and “help the bunny through the maze. It does make it a bit more interactive, but is more of a one on one reference book than something you would read aloud to a group. My only caveat is that we’ve only had a the book for a few months and pages are already pulling apart from the spine. Also, it is easily confused with another Easy Non-Fiction DK book, Woodland and Forest, that has many of the same pictures, but is smaller and for slightly older kids.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2017 in Non-Fiction, Picture Books

 

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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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A Thousand Pieces of You

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Firebird
Recommended for: Grades 9-12
Pages: 384 pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION GRAY, C.

Synopsis: Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

Thoughts:  The book was ok.  I really didn’t care what happened for most of the book.  They talked about dimension and the main characters were a little different in the different dimensions.  I am not sure that I care enough to will finish the series. Marguerite and friend Theo use firebirds (device used to jump dimensions) to chase after Paul, who they think betrayed them. They jump five times in the book, each time they jump they have to figure out their surroundings, and the role they play in this dimension.  A lot of time is spent on the dimensions, which is interesting. I guess my biggest thing is I didn’t feel like I connected with any of the characters.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Teen

 

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Jack and the Geniuses at the Bottom of the World

Title: Jack and the Geniuses at the Bottom of the World (right now only available as e book or from other libraries)
Author: Bill Nye and Gregory Mone
Series: Jack and the Geniuses
Recommended for: 3rd grade and up
Pages: 256
Call Number/Link:  Jack and the Geniuses

Synopsis:  In the series opener, Jack and the Geniuses: At The Bottom of The World, readers meet Jack and his foster siblings, Ava and Matt, who are orphans. But they’re not your typical kind of orphans—they’re geniuses. Well, Ava and Matt are, which sometimes makes life difficult for 1twelve-year-old Jack. Ava speaks multiple languages and builds robots for fun, and Matt is into astronomy and a whiz at math. As for Jack, it’s hard to stand out when he’s surrounded by geniuses all the time.

When the kids try to spy on Dr. Hank Witherspoon, one of the world’s leading scientists, they end up working for him in his incredible laboratory. Soon, Hank and the kids travel to Antarctica for a prestigious science competition, but they find that all is not as it seems: A fellow scientist has gone missing, and so has any trace of her research. Could someone be trying to use her findings to win the contest? It’s up to Jack, Ava, and Matt to find the missing scientist and discover who’s behind it all—before it’s too late.

This was pretty much what I would expect from a book influenced by Bill Nye:  A  fast paced story with lots of science facts thrown in.  Sometimes I get tired of all of the ‘stem’ based books that are coming out but I found this one to be entertaining and fun.  I liked the fact that Jack turns out to be a very important member of this trio even though he isn’t a genius.  He’s the one with the practical knowledge and street smarts that get his adopted siblings out of trouble.

 

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Adventure, Mysteries

 

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The Great Trouble

Title: The Great Trouble
Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Series:NA
Recommended for: 4th grade and up
Pages: 272
Call Number/Link:  The Great Trouble

Synopsis: Equal parts medical mystery, historical novel, and survival story about the 1854 London cholera outbreak, this introduces Eel, a boy trying to make ends meet on Broad Street. When he visits one of his regular employers, he learns the man has fallen ill. Eel enlists the help of Dr. Snow, and together they work to solve the mystery of what exactly is causing the spread of cholera and how they can prevent it. Steeped in rich fact and detailed explanations about laboratory research, Hopkinson’s book uses a fictional story to teach readers about science, medicine, and history—and works in a few real-life characters, too. Eel serves as a peek into the lower class of London society and offers readers a way to observe—and, hopefully, ask questions about—the scientific method. An author’s note provides readers with a look at the real story behind the novel, making this a great choice for introducing readers to science and history.

This would be a great choice for those historical fiction genre assignments.  She gives a great description of London in the mid 19th century and makes you grateful for indoor plumbing and modern medicine.  My only complaint is that the pacing is a little slow.  It picks up around the middle when the cholera epidemic breaks out.  But I wouldn’t recommend it for reluctant readers.

 

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Historical

 

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