Tag Archives: Book Reviews

Monday Children’s Book Reviews for January 16, 2017

i-am-not-a-numberI Am Not A Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer

“A picture book based on a true story about a young First Nations girl who was sent to a residential school. When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from despite the efforts of the nuns to force her to do otherwise. Based on the life of Jenny Kay Dupuis’ own grandmother, I Am Not a Number brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to.”             [J DUPUIS,J]

treasure-of-maria-mamounTreasure of Maria Mamoun by Michelle Chalfoun

“Twelve-year-old Maria lives a lonely, latchkey-kid’s life in the Bronx. Her Lebanese mother is working two nursing jobs to keep them afloat, and Maria keeps her worries to herself, not wanting to be a burden. Then something happens one day between home and school that changes everything. Mom whisks them to an altogether different world on Martha’s Vineyard, where she’s found a job on a seaside estate. While the mysterious bedridden owner—a former film director—keeps her mother busy, Maria has the freedom to explore a place she thought could only exist in the movies. Making friends with a troublesome local character, Maria finds an old sailboat that could make a marvelous clubhouse. She also stumbles upon an old map that she is sure will lead to pirate’s plunder—but golden treasure may not be the most valuable thing she discovers for herself this special summer.”             [J CHALFOUN,M]

one-half-from-the-eastOne Half From the East by Nadia Hashimi

“Forced to move from Kabul to a small village after her father lost one of his legs in a bomb explosion, Obayda, the youngest of her sisters, dresses as a boy to bring her family luck and encounters an entirely different outside world of play and exploration alongside a fellow bacha posh.”                               [J HASHIMI,N]

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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for January 9, 2017

because-of-an-acornBecause of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer and Adam Schaefer

“Because of an acorn, a tree grows, a bird nests, a seed becomes a flower. Enchanting die-cuts illustrate the vital connections between the layers of an ecosystem in this magical book. Wander down the forest path to learn how every tree, flower, plant, and animal connect to one another in spiraling circles of life. An acorn is just the beginning.”             [JPB SCHAEFER,L]

hurry-up-henryHurry Up, Henry by Jennifer Lanthier

“Henry’s mother and father and sister are always telling him to hurry up, and his best friend, Simon, never slows down. Henry doesn’t like to be late. But he doesn’t want to hurry, either. He likes to take his time and often sees things that his family miss in the rush. For Henry’s birthday, Simon arranges for a special present that lets Henry take the time he needs — with his whole family!”         [JPB LANTHIER,J]

freddie-ramos-rules-new-yorkFreddie Ramos Rules New York by Jacqueline Jules

“Freddie and his mom are visiting Uncle Jorge in New York City! Just before they leave, Mr. Vaslov gives Freddie a new pair of zapatos to replace the ones that were getting too small. But Freddie worries if his new zapatos will work as well as his old ones. Will Freddie be able to save the day when Uncle Jorge misplaces an engagement ring in the middle of a New York City traffic jam?”                           [J JULES,J]

best-bear-in-all-the-worldThe Best Bear in All the World: in Which We Join Winnie-the-Pooh For a Year of Adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood by Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Jeane Willis and Kate Saunders

“The Trustees of the Pooh Properties have commissioned four authors to write in the timeless style of A.A. Milne to create a quartet of charming new adventures for Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall: take a trip back to the Hundred Acre Wood with a collection of tales sure to delight year-round.

“One story finds Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet on a quest to discover the ‘Sauce of the Nile’ (they suspect it’s apple). And in another, all the animals rally around poor Eeyore when he thinks he sees another donkey eyeing his clover. Readers of all ages will love rediscovering old friends and making new ones in this essential new volume of Pooh stories.”       [J BEST]

vanishedVanished: True Tales of Mysterious Disappearances by Elizabeth MacLeod

“No one loves a mystery more than Elizabeth MacLeod, author of the award-winning Bones Never Lie and Royal Murder. In her newest book, she presents six compelling stories about some of the world’s most bewildering disappearances.

Readers will be captivated by such true tales as the Alcatraz prison break, where three dangerous convicts engineered a daring escape. Did they live to see freedom, or did they perish in the icy waters surrounding the prison? And will anyone ever know what happened to the captain and crew of the SS Mary Celeste? In 1872, it set out from New York for Genoa, Italy, but everyone on board disappeared for no apparent reason.”         [ J031.02 MACLEOD]

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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for January 2, 2017

darkest-darkThe Darkest Dark by Astronaut Chris Hadfield

“Young Chris loves pretending he’s a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem–at night, he’s afraid of the dark. Only when he watches the moon landing on TV does he realize how exciting the unknown can be. Inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield.”                 [JPB HADFIELD]

paddington-plays-onPaddington Plays On by Michael Bond

“Paddington is having a wonderful time while on vacation with the Browns in a small French town. He loves exploring and meeting new friends. So how exactly does he end up marching through town as a drummer in the local band? Sure he can keep the beat on the drum. But can keep up with the band?”                 [JE BOND,M]

big-wishBig Wish by Brandon Robshaw

“When a shooting star grants Sam a million wishes (as long as they are logically possible) he thinks that he will be able to make his life better at his new school–but he soon learns that you have to be very careful, because wishes can have unexpected consequences.”     [J ROBSHAW,B]

animal-atlasAnimal Atlas by James Buckley, Jr.

“Animal Planet’s definitive atlas of animal life takes readers on a continent-by-continent and habitat-by-habitat passport to adventure! Meet fierce snow leopards in the Tibetan mountains, giant helicopter damselflies in the rain forests of Central America, majestic eagles in the temperate forests of North America, and hundreds more fascinating creatures. What is a habitat? How is the North Pole’s animal life different from the South Pole’s? How and why do animals adapt to their environment? Is a food web different from a food chain? Animal Planet Animal Atlas answers all these questions and more in a kid-friendly, accessible format that young readers, parents, teachers, and librarians will adore.”             [J590 BUCKLEY]

 

 

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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for December 5, 2016

pearl-harbour-largeThis Wednesday, December 7, is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the event which led directly to the entry of the United States into World War II.

same-same-but-differentSame, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

“Elliot lives in America, and Kailash lives in India. They are pen pals. By exchanging letters and pictures, they learn that they both love to climb trees, have pets, and go to school. Their worlds might look different, but they are actually similar. Same, same. But different!”         [JPB KOSTECKI-SHAW,J]

beautiful-blue-worldBeautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur

“At twelve, Mathilde Joss is the oldest child in a loving family. Her country has been at war for years, and bombing and food shortages continue to increase. When the army announces that children over twelve can take a test to be chosen to serve their country, and that the relatives of children who serve will be well paid, Mathilde decides to take the test to help her family, even though she knows that it is her brilliant best friend Megs who will be selected.

“What follows is a gripping and suspenseful reimagining of war, where even kindness can be a weapon, and children have the power to see what adults cannot. It is as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking.”         [J LAFLEUR,S]

paxPax by Sara Pennypacker

“Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.

“At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.

“Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .”      [J PENNYPACKER,S]

boy-and-a-jaguarA Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz

“Alan loves animals, but the great cat house at the Bronx Zoo makes him sad. Why are they all alone in empty cages? Are they being punished? More than anything, he wants to be their champion—their voice—but he stutters uncontrollably.

“Except when he talks to animals…    Then he is fluent.

“Follow the life of the man Time Magazine calls, ‘the Indiana Jones of wildlife conservation’ as he searches for his voice and fulfills a promise to speak for animals, and people, who cannot speak for themselves.”                                [JB RABINOWITZ,A]

blood-brotherBlood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights by Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace

“Jonathan Daniels, a white seminary student from New Hampshire, traveled to Selma, Alabama, in 1965 to help with voter registration of black residents. After the voting rights marches, he remained in Alabama, in the area known as Bloody Lowndes, an extremely dangerous area for white freedom fighters, to assist civil rights workers. Five months later, Jonathan Daniels was shot and killed while saving the life of Ruby Sales, a black teenager. Through Daniels’s poignant letters, papers, photographs, and taped interviews, authors Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace explore what led Daniels to the moment of his death, the trial of his murderer, and how these events helped reshape both the legal and political climate of Lowndes County and the nation.”                     [ JB DANIELS,J]

complete-photo-guide-to-knittingComplete Photo Guide to Knitting by Mary Scott Huff

Creative Kids Complete Photo Guide to Knitting starts with the absolute basics about knitting, beginning with a discussion about needles and yarn, how to cast stitches onto the needle, then gradually introduces skills and techniques until kids are knitting confidently.

“Mary Scott Huff will guide you  through projects. With over 200 photos and clear, concise instructions in language easily understood by grade-school kids, you’re going to be creating crafty knit projects in no time!

“Each project lists the knitting skills that will be exercised in making it and projects are rated for difficulty, so kids can learn and grow as they develop dexterity and coordination. You will learn to knit by making simple projects and building skills by practicing the essentials, and this book provides a sound foundation for a lifetime of knitting enjoyment.”      [J746.432 HUFF]

 

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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for November 21, 2016

sharing-the-breadSharing the Bread: And Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller

“Celebrate food and family with this heartwarming Thanksgiving picture book. We will share the risen bread. / Our made-with-love Thanksgiving spread. / Grateful to be warm and fed. / We will share the bread.In this spirited ode to the holiday, set at the turn of the twentieth century, a large family works together to make their special meal. Mama prepares the turkey, Daddy tends the fire, Sister kneads, and Brother bastes. Everyone—from Grandma and Grandpa to the littlest baby—has a special job to do. Told in spare, rhythmic verse and lively illustrations,Sharing the Bread is a perfect read-aloud to celebrate the Thanksgiving tradition.”               [JPB MILLER,P]

look-out-for-the-fitzgerald-troutsLook Out For The Fitzgerald-Trouts by Esta Spalding

“Kim Fitzgerald-Trout took to driving with ease–as most children would if their parents would ever let them try. She had to. After all, she and her siblings live in a car.

“Meet the Fitzgerald-Trouts, a band of four loosely related children living together in a lush tropical island. They take care of themselves. They sleep in their car, bathe in the ocean, eat fish they catch and fruit they pick, and can drive anywhere they need to go–to the school, the laundromat, or the drive-in. If they put their minds to it, the Fitzgerald-Trouts can do anything. Even, they hope, find a real home.

“Award-winning poet and screenwriter Esta Spalding’s exciting middle grade debut establishes a marvelous place where children fend for themselves, and adults only seem to ruin everything. This extraordinary world is brought to vibrant life by Sydney Smith, the celebrated artist behind Sidewalk Flowers.”                        [J SPALDING,E]

storm-too-soonA Storm Too Soon: A Remarkable True Survival Story in 80-Foot Seas by Michael J. Tougias

“When a forty-seven-foot sailboat disappears in the Gulf Stream in the throes of a disastrous storm, it leaves behind three weary passengers struggling to stay alive. This middle-grade adaptation of an adult nonfiction book tells the story of the four intrepid Coast Guardsmen who braved this ruthless storm in the hopes of saving them. A spellbinding tale of courage and survival from the author of The Finest Hours, now a major motion picture.”                       [ J910.91634 TOUGIAS]

cooking-how-to-make-food-for-your-friendsCooking: How to Make Food for Your Friends, Your Family & Yourself by Patricia Daniels

“A first-step guide to cooking introduces such basic skills as chopping, mixing, and blending, and provides classic family recipes and tips for making an appetizing presentation.”                    [ J641.5 DANIELS]

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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for November 14, 2016

nanobotsNanoBots by Chris Gall

“A boy inventor creates the ultimate in high-tech superheroes that could one day save the world–but they have some smaller problems to take on first! NanoBots are tiny. They’re almost too small to see, but they can each do a unique and important job: Medibot makes sure their Inventor never catches a cold…. Chewbots gobble up that gum the Inventor trampled into the carpet… Binobot scans the scene of a crime for clues the Inventor could never see… and Seekerbots explore to meet microscopic new creatures.

“These bots and their high-tech friends sure make the inventor’s life easier, but when the most AWESOME robot in town is in real trouble, they must band together and prove that sometimes the SMALLEST helpers can be the BIGGEST heroes! Includes fun facts about real nanotechnology in the backmatter.”             [JPB GALL,C]

murder-is-bad-mannersMurder is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens

“Two friends form a detective agency—and must solve their first murder case—in this ‘sharp-witted debut’ (Publishers Weekly, starred review) that is the first adventure in a brand-new middle grade mystery series set at a 1930s boarding school.

“Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are best friends at Deepdean School for Girls, and they both have a penchant for solving mysteries. In fact, outspoken Daisy is a self-described Sherlock Holmes, and she appoints wallflower Hazel as her own personal Watson when they form their own (secret!) detective agency. The only problem? They have nothing to investigate.

“But that changes once Hazel discovers the body of their science teacher, Miss Bell—and the body subsequently disappears. She and Daisy are certain a murder must have taken place, and they can think of more than one person with a motive.

“Determined to get to the bottom of the crime—and to prove that it happened—before the killer strikes again, Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects, and use all the cunning, scheming, and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?”                 [J STEVENS,R]

everything-you-need-to-ace-englishEverything You Need to Ace English Language Arts In One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide

“An exciting book for all middle schoolers (6th-8th grade) who wish they had taken better notes in English class or just want to jump to the head of the class. Each Big Fat Notebook is like getting to borrow the notebook of the best student in English class, the one who not only writes down the important points the teacher makes—noting those crucial ‘you will get tested on these’ facts—but also meticulously transcribes key points from the chalkboard and pastes teacher handouts into her notebook. Part ‘CliffsNotes,’ part workbook, this study hack will help kids focus on the things they need to remember in order to rock their middle school exams and ace English language arts.”             [J372.61 EVERYTHING]

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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for September 12, 2016

my little sister and meMy Little Sister and Me by Maple Lam

“Today is an exciting day. I get to take my little sister home from school for the very first time. It’s a big job for a big brother, but I can do it!

“Debut author-illustrator Maple Lam’s charming story celebrates the special relationship between a little boy and his younger sister.”             [JPB LAM,M]

goblins puzzleThe Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy With No Name and Two Girls Called Alice by Andrew S. Chilton

“THE BOY is a nameless slave on a mission to uncover his true destiny.
THE GOBLIN holds all the answers, but he’s too tricky to be trusted.
PLAIN ALICE is a bookish peasant girl carried off by a confused dragon.
And PRINCESS ALICE is the lucky girl who wasn’t kidnapped.

“All four are tangled up in a sinister plot to take over the kingdom, and together they must face kind monsters, a cruel magician, and dozens of deathly boring palace bureaucrats. They’re a ragtag bunch, but with strength, courage, and plenty of deductive reasoning, they just might outwit the villains and crack the goblin’s puzzle.”     [J CHILTON,A]

bright ideas the science of lightBright Ideas: The Science of Light by Jay Hawkins

“Filled with fun experiments investigating the science of light, readers will be able to make everything from a kaleidoscope to a pinhole camera. Inventive activities make science a fun topic to tackle as an individual or in a group setting. Step-by-step instructions engage even the most reluctant of readers.”                            [J535.078 HAWKINS,J]

 

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