Tag Archives: school

The Testing

Title:The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Series: Testing #1
Recommended for: 
Pages: 339 pages

Synopsis: It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.

Thoughts:  I am enjoying this series.  I started reading these since the author will be visiting later this year.  I think that the story is well written and pacing is great.  Malencia (Cia) is a thinker, I love how you see her thought process in her decision making.  I really like that Cia’s never loses her humanity throughout the testing. This first book is the testing process, so you learn about the process, the next two books talk more about University and political agendas. This is a great series and look forward to reading more by Joelle Charbonneau.

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Posted by on August 23, 2017 in Dystopian, Teen


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Too Much Glue

Title: Too Much Glue
Author: Jason Lefebvre
Series: No
Recommended for: 
Pages: 32 pages
Call Number/Link:  E LEFEBVRE, J.

Synopsis:”Matty LOVES glue. At home with Dad, he makes glue glasses, glue mustaches, and glue bouncy balls. But at school, Matty’s art teacher worries and warns, ‘Too much glue never dries.’ In art class one day, Matty decides to make the most fantastic glue project ever, with a super-special ingredient — himself!” — from publisher’s web site.

Comments:  Great art work, nice vivid pictures, ok story line.  This is a story that promotes creativity, so if you are looking for a lesson on too much glue don’t look to this book. I feel that kids will enjoy the book, and if one wants to make a lesson out of this book one can find a way.

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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Funny, Picture Books


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Hatching Chicks in Room 6

hatching-chicks-coverTitle:   Hatching Chicks in Room 6
Author:   Caroline Arnold
Series:   —
Recommended for:  grades K-4 as a readaloud, grades 2 and up for children to read by themselves.  Could work for older preschoolers for one-on-one reading.
Pages:   36 p.
Call Number/Link:  E 636.5 ARN

Rating:   ****




Kindergartners learn about the life cycle of a chicken, incubating eggs, watching them hatch and raising them until they are old enough to go to the chicken coop.



It is no surprise that I enjoyed learning more about this process.  Getting to watch the eggs hatch is one of my favorite things at both the County Fair and the Museum of Science and Industry.

This book is written in a way that is interesting to children and includes clear photo illustrations that enhance the text.  The photos make the book more interesting and eye-catching.  They also help children understand how the chicks develop.

This book would be a great classroom readaloud for grades K-2, but it could also be fine to read it out loud to kids in grades 3-4.  Older preschoolers could also enjoy it one-on-one, especially if they are fascinated by chickens, eggs or farm life.



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Posted by on February 10, 2017 in Non-Fiction, Picture Books


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Waylon! One Awesome Thing.

Waylon one awesome thing cover

Title:   Waylon!  One Awesome Thing
Author:   Sara Pennypacker
Series:  Waylon!
Recommended for:  readers in grades 2-4 (and as a readaloud to the same grades) 
Pages:  198 p.
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction Pennypacker, S.

Rating:  ****






Waylon, a boy with the mind of a scientific genius and the vulnerable heart of an eight year old, is trying to understand his older sister and deal with changes among the kids at school”   – Provided by publisher. –



I love this author’s Clementine series.  Waylon is a boy from Clementine’s class.  I liked this book, but Clementine remains my favorite kid at their elementary school.

Waylon is a quirky child.  He reads a lot, loves science and has an amazing memory for random scientific things he’s read.  He loves to tell people about these scientific facts (and his ideas) at great length.  Not everyone appreciates that, including some kids in his class at school who think he talks too much.

Waylon is not thrilled with ways that things at school are changing in fourth grade.  A boy named Arlo divides the boys in the class into two teams.  Members of one team aren’t supposed to socialize with members of the other team, even if they are best friends.  Waylon winds up being one of two boys in the class who are not on a team.  On one hand, he’s happy to avoid having muddy pine cones pushed down the back of his shirt in a conflict between the teams.  On the other, he doesn’t enjoy being left out.  But mostly, he wishes that everyone in his class could get along and be friends again.

Waylon also has a teen sister who is going through an awkward, unfriendly stage.  She’s gone emo, wants to be called Neon and frequently disagrees with her parents.

Waylon is a nice boy and tries his best to make things better, both at home and at school.


One Awesome Thing would be a good classroom readaloud, especially at the beginning of the school year.

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Posted by on July 7, 2016 in Juv, Realistic


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awkward cover

Title:   Awkward
Author:   Svetlana Chmakova
Series:   –
Recommended for:   kids in grades 4-7 who like realistic graphic novels (or graphic novels in general)
Pages:   210 p.
Call Number/Link:   GN J CHMAKOVA, S.

Rating:   ****






After shunning Jaime, the school nerd, on her first day at a new middle school, Penelope Torres tries to blend in with her new friends in the art club, until the art club goes to war with the science club, of which Jaime is a member.


I’m not a big graphic novel fan, and read this on a young patron’s recommendation.  I liked it pretty well, but will probably stick with Babymouse and Lunch Lady when I feel the urge to read a graphic novel.  That said, the author gave a pretty accurate, cringeworthy picture of what middle school can be like for outsiders – whether they are new kids or lonely kids that others like to victimize.  Some situations and characters are exaggerated to make more of an impact, but it still feels like middle school.

This is a good book to recommend to kids who enjoyed Smile and Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.



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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in Graphic Novels, Juv, Realistic


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Upside-down Magic

upside down magicTitle: Upside-down Magic
Author: Sarah Mlynoswki
Series: Upside-down Magic #1
Recommended for: 2nd-4th
Pages: 196 pages
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION MLYNOWSKI, S.
Synopsis: With their magic being unpredictable, Nory, Elliott, Andres, and Bax are sent to the upsidedown magic room at Dunwiddle Magic School.

I am going to admit that I picked up this audio book because of the cover.  It is hard to resist the adorable black kitten with dragon wings. The good part is the book is about accepting who you are, no matter if others find you different.  That is great and a good message.

What I didn’t like is that (spoiler alert) her family didn’t accept Nory.  As a parent I was appalled at how Nory’s father and siblings treated her.  My youngest son of course doesn’t seem like he even notices.  I will see when he finishes it what he thinks.  I know that a second book is going to come out, and maybe the family situation will be resolved at that time.

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Posted by on December 14, 2015 in Fantasy, Juv


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A Monster Calls

monstercallsTitle: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 7th grade and Up
Pages: 205 paged
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION NESS, P. 

Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill–an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.

I first off didn’t know the story line of this book for months, all I saw was the title and cover.  My thought was this was a thriller/scary/mystery book, so not what this book is about.  The book is actually about a boy trying to come to terms with the fact that is mother, who is a single parent, is dying.  He has been keeping everything bottled up inside and doesn’t talk to anyone. The monster helps him come to terms and let out emotion which is something that no one else has been able to do. On a side note the boy is bullied at school and at least one teacher knows, but because Conor doesn’t say anything she doesn’t do anything.

I know others have raved about it, but it didn’t do anything for me. Yes it is well written and looks like it will be made in to a movie in 2016.  I cried at the end, but the whole thing just left me feeling blah.  This is a Rebecca Caudill nominee, so I am very interested to see what the kids say about this book.

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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Realistic, Teen


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