Tuesday, May 26, 2015

EverWorld: Search for Senna

EverWorld: Search for Senna
Author: K.A. Applegate
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Reviewer: Julie H.

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Summary: David is a high school student with a pretty normal life. Normal, that is, until he witnesses his girlfriend, Senna, being swallowed up by a massive wolf, and in his attempt to rescue her, he and three other kids are sucked into EverWorld after her. Then the adventure really begins. David, April, Christopher, and Jalil must escape from gods they’ve only heard about in ancient mythology as they try to find Senna (who may be a witch) and get back to the real world before it’s too late! Written for teenaged readers, this book is action-packed and filled with mythology from Aztec to Norse. Search for Senna is the exciting introduction to this series, which contains 12 books. 

Review: If you’re looking for something to read after you’ve finished or outgrown the Percy Jackson books, then pick up this series! Even though the mythology mentioned in this book may not be entirely accurate, I still enjoyed the references. The characters are likeable, the story is fast-paced, and it leaves you excited to read book two in the series: Land of Loss. I’m actually going to go check it out right now!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Rating: 3/5 stars
Reviewer: Denise Z.

http://ccsp.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/rlapl/search/results?qu=a+monster+calls+patrick+ness&te=&lm=ROUND_LAKE&dt=list

Summary: 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.

Review: After seeing a number of booklists recommend Patrick Ness’ work, I wanted to give this book a try. A Monster Calls was inspired by an idea from author Siobhan Dowd, who died of cancer. This is a thought-provoking read for mature pre-teens and teens and addresses such difficult subjects as illness, death, bullying and the emotions that follow. I enjoyed the mysterious elements involving the monster and appreciated the descriptive words. The black and white illustrations by Jim Kay add to the story. Conor is a character that needs to exist for all those young readers who may have lost a parent or are going through a difficult time. The three separate stories within the book make this a worth-while read.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Different Like Coco

Different Like Coco
Author: Elizabeth Matthews
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reviewer: Denise Z.

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Summary: The rags-to-riches story of Coco Chanel plays out in a picture book biography.

Review: This is a very interesting picture book biography that girls in grades 2-6 will appreciate. The life of Coco Chanel is told in a fun, relatable way that uses real-life examples of how Coco was unique and different and how being different made her a fashion legend. The illustrations and language used is elegant and stylish, complimenting Coco’s life. Both young and old will enjoy reading about this fashion mogul. This would be a perfect biography to pick for a homework assignment or just a nice book to read together as mother and daughter to show how being different is okay and can be an advantage.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Waiting is Not Easy

Waiting is Not Easy
Author: Mo Willems
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reviewer: Aleece

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Summary: Piggie tells Gerald she has a surprise for him, but it is not there yet so Gerald must be patient.

Review: Gerald cannot wait for his surprise.  Literally, he does NOT want to wait for the surprise.  He tries to wait patiently but it is so hard to wait.  While waiting isn't easy the results are always worth it.  This is a great story about teaching kids to be patient and the reward/surprise will be that much better after you are patient.  This is a great beginning reader for kids as well as a great addition to Mo Willem's Elephant and Piggie series.



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I Hate Picture Books

I Hate Picture Books
Author: Timothy Young
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reviewer: Aleece

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Summary: Max hates his picture books and he's throwing them all away. But he soon learns just how invaluable imagination is and has a change of heart. Find out why in this outrageous book that both pokes fun at and celebrates many of the classics of children's literature. Join writer and illustrator Timothy Young for this irreverent and humorous story.

Review: Absolutely wonderful book on how a child tells you all the things that he doesn't like about books but then when he tells you about a book that made him cry he realizes that it is his favorite book and has to find it and by digging through the picture books that he once thought he hated he comes to the realization that he loves all of his books and that he changed his mind.

This book is great for all kids because it shows that they change their minds all the time. It also showed illustrations from all of the different books and put Max into each book like he was a character himself. All the books that he talks about are recognizable and will resonate with readers. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Music Everywhere!

Music Everywhere!
Author: Maya Ajmera, Elise Hofer Derstine, and Cynthia Pon
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Reviewer: Helen
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Summary: A collection of photographs showing children enjoying music in 35 countries around the world. Some play instruments, others clap and dance, sing along and listen and share the music.

Review: This book from the Global Fund for Children celebrates music from around the world through color photos and simple detailed captions. The topics include ways to use your body to make music; clap your hands and stomp your feet; blow and whistle; strum and pluck. The photos were taken at home and in school. The music covers 6 continents and a variety of locales from a U.S community center to a West Bank Camp for Palestinian refugees.

A 2-page map of the world identifies the countries and there are added materials which include several pages of ideas on how to enjoy music; there is also a glossary of terms from the text.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Girl and the Bicycle

The Girl and the Bicycle
Author: Mark Pett
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reviewer: Helen

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Summary: There are no written words, but this is a great book about hard work and determination to get a green bicycle Little Girl saw in a store window. She realizes she does not have enough money saved to buy the bike—she checks for loose change all around the house, sells her toys, but still does not have enough money for the bike. She decides she will have to earn the money and begins working for her neighbor raking leaves and doing odd jobs. She eventually accumulates enough to purchase the bike and rushes to the store only to find that it has been sold. This not the ending. There is of course a happy surprise.

Review: This is a story of generosity and selflessness, a  touching story with a great message. It is a wordless book, but the sketches more than depict the story and are sufficient to convey the message. I enjoyed it very much. This would be a perfect book for any child in grades K through third.