Tag Archives: schools

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 12, 2016

branchThe Branch by Mireille Messier and Pierre Pratt

“When a severe ice storm knocks a special branch from her favorite tree, a girl refuses to let it be discarded, and with the help of her neighbor, Mr. Frank, makes something new of it.”               [JPB MESSIER,M]

buddy-and-earl-and-the-adventureBuddy and Earl Go Exploring by Maureen Fergus

“Buddy and Earl are safely tucked in for the night; Buddy on his blanket and Earl in his cage. But just as Buddy settles in for a nice, long sleep, Earl says it’s time to say Bon voyage.

“Soon these mismatched pals are at it again, exploring the wilds of the kitchen and defending a lovely lady hedgehog – who may or may not be Mom’s hairbrush – from imminent danger. When they’ve finally vanquished the greatest monster of all – the vacuum cleaner – it’s time for some well-earned shut-eye.

“This second book in the Buddy and Earl series reunites this odd and loveable animal couple: a dog who likes to play by the rules and a hedgehog who knows no limits.”                     [JPB FERGUS,M]

water-princessThe Water Princess by Susan Verde

“With its wide sky and warm earth, Princess Gie Gie’s kingdom is a beautiful land. But clean drinking water is scarce in her small African village. And try as she might, Gie Gie cannot bring the water closer; she cannot make it run clearer. Every morning, she rises before the sun to make the long journey to the well. Instead of a crown, she wears a heavy pot on her head to collect the water. After the voyage home, after boiling the water to drink and clean with, Gie Gie thinks of the trip that tomorrow will bring. And she dreams. She dreams of a day when her village will have cool, crystal-clear water of its own.

“Inspired by the childhood of Burkina Faso–born model Georgie Badiel.”                      [JPB VERDE,S]

best-manThe Best Man by Richard Peck

“Archer Magill has spent a lively five years of grade school with one eye out in search of grown-up role models. Three of the best are his grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great vintage car customizer; and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great. These are the three he wants to be. Along the way he finds a fourth—Mr. McLeod, a teacher. In fact, the first male teacher in the history of the school.

“But now here comes middle school and puberty. Change. Archer wonders how much change has to happen before his voice does. He doesn’t see too far ahead, so every day or so a startling revelation breaks over him. Then a really big one when he’s the best man at the wedding of two of his role models. But that gets ahead of the story.”       [J PECK,R]

irenas-childrenIrena’s Children: A True Story of Courage by Tilar J. Mazzeo

“This young readers edition of Irena’s Children tells Irena’s unbelievable story set during one of the worst times in modern history. With guts of steel and unfaltering bravery, Irena smuggled thousands of children out of the walled Jewish ghetto in toolboxes and coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through the dank sewers and into secret passages that led to abandoned buildings, where she convinced her friends and underground resistance network to hide them.

“In this heroic tale of survival and resilience in the face of impossible odds, Tilar Mazzeo and adapter Mary Cronk Farrell share the true story of this bold and brave woman, overlooked by history, who risked her life to save innocent children from the horrors of the Holocaust.”                            [JB SENDLEROWA,I]

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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for September 14, 2015

banjo and ruby red Banjo and Ruby Red by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood

“Banjo is a hardworking farm dog and Ruby Red is a haughty chicken, and they never see eye to eye. But when Ruby Red falls ill, the tables seem about to turn. Stunning illustrations perfectly capture the endearing personalities of boisterous Banjo and headstrong Ruby Red.”            [JPB GLEESON,L]

flunkedFlunked by Jen Calonita

“Gilly wouldn’t call herself wicked, exactly…but when you have five little brothers and sisters and live in a run-down boot, you have to get creative to make ends meet. Gilly’s a pretty good thief (if she does say so herself).

“Until she gets caught.

“Gilly’s sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School where all of the teachers are former (super-scary) villains like the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen, and Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother. Harsh. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there’s more to this school than its heroic mission. There’s a battle brewing and Gilly has to wonder: can a villain really change?”                      [J CALONITA,J]

archie greene and the magicians secret Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret by D. D. Everest

“On his twelfth birthday, Archie Greene receives a mysterious package containing an ancient book in a language he doesn’t recognize. The gift leads him to a family he didn’t know he had and a world he never knew existed.

“With the help of his cousins, Bramble and Thistle, Archie tries to unravel the mystery behind his book, but he begins to realize that his gift is something more powerful than he could have imagined. And the only thing more perilous than its contents is being its owner. The book waited four hundred years for Archie Greene. Now Archie must discover why.”                                         [J EVEREST,D]

nest is noisyA Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

“From the award-winning creators of An Egg Is Quiet, A Seed Is Sleepy, A Butterfly Is Patient, and A Rock Is Lively comes this gorgeous and informative look at the fascinating world of nests. From tiny bee hummingbird nests to orangutan nests high in the rainforest canopy, an incredible variety of nests are showcased here in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this carefully researched book introduces children to a captivating array of nest facts and will spark the imaginations of children whether in a classroom reading circle or on a parent’s lap.”     [J591.564 ASTON]

learning about colonial america with arts and crafts Learning About Colonial America With Arts and Crafts by Paul Challen

“Life in colonial America differed greatly depending on where you lived. Colonists in New England were often close to cities and centers of trade. Many colonists in South lived on or around plantations. Learn about these different ways of life and make crafts influenced by different facets of colonial life, including candles and bonnets.”                                   [J973.2 CHALLEN,P]


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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for May 4, 2015

 blue on blue Blue on Blue by Dianne White and Beth Krommes

“Join a farming family as they experience the full range of a thrilling seaside thunderstorm—from the wild wind and the very first drops; to the pouring, pouring rain; to the wonderful messy mud after the sun returns!”                             [JPB WHITE,D]

amazing a to zThe Amazing A to Z Thing by Sally Morgan and Bronwyn Bancroft

“When Anteater makes an amazing discovery, she wants to show it to Bilby, who sends her on to an alphabet’s worth of Australian animals displaying a wide variety of emotions. This remarkable book is more than an A to Z of Australian animals. It is a spectrum of every feeling under the sun—from wonder to vanity, from weariness to delight—and every one of these passions can be found between the covers of a book, if only you take the time to have a look. ”      [JPB MORGAN,S]

scandalous sisterhood  The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

“The students of St. Etheldreda’s School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma: Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner and now the school will almost certainly be closed and the girls sent home—unless these seven very proper young ladies can hide the murders and convince their neighbors that nothing is wrong.”                [J BERRY,J]

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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for December 15, 2014

The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie by Chris Van Allsburg

“From two-time Caldecott winner Chris Van Allsburg, creator of Jumanji and The Polar Express, comes a poignant story of one hamster’s struggle with destiny. Being a pet store hamster isn’t much fun for Sweetie Pie, but life in human homes proves downright perilous. As Sweetie Pie longingly gazes out of his cage at the squirrels frolicking in the trees, he wonders if he’ll ever have the chance to feel the wind in his fur. Allsburg’s expressive, soft-hued illustrations artfully capture a hamster’s-eye view of the wide and wonderful world where maybe, just maybe, Sweetie Pie could someday run free.”                                [JPB VAN ALLSBURG,C]

Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick

“An unsent letter in a first edition copy of Charlotte’s Web leads to a hunt for treasure in this heartwarming middle grade mystery from the author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club.

“Now that Truly Lovejoy’s father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take over Lovejoy’s Books, a struggling bookstore that’s been in the family for one hundred years.

“With two older brothers and two younger sisters clamoring for attention, her mother back in school, and everyone up to their eyebrows trying to keep Lovejoy’s Books afloat, Truly feels more overlooked than usual. So she pours herself into uncovering the mystery of an undelivered letter she finds stuck in a valuable autographed first edtion of Charlotte’s Web, which subsequently goes missing from the bookshop. What’s inside the envelope leads Truly and her new Pumpkin Falls friends on a madcap treasure hunt around town, chasing clues that could spell danger.”                [J FREDERICK,H]

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

“Tenderly and courageously told, Gracefully Grayson is a small miracle of a book. Its story is so compelling I found myself holding my breath as I read it and so intimate I felt as if what was happening to Grayson was happening to me. Thank you, Ami Polonsky, for creating this memorable character who will open hearts and minds and very possibly be the miracle that changes lives.” -James Howe, award-winning and best-selling author of The Misfits

“What if who you are on the outside doesn’t match who you are on the inside?

“Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: ‘he’ is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher’s wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?”                                          [J POLONSKY]

The Sweet Story of Hot Chocolate by Stephen Krensky

“Warm up with the enticing history of hot chocolate in this fact-tastic nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read, part of a series about the history of fun stuff!

“Did you know that for thousands of years, chocolate was a beverage and not a solid candy? Or that soldiers in the Revolutionary War received a monthly ration of chocolate for drinking? Learn all about the history of America’s favorite wintertime treat in this fun, fact-filled book.      [J641.3374 KRENSKY]

Fun and Festive Winter Crafts: Snow Globes, Groundhog Puppets, and Fairy Masks by Randel McGee

“Make Cool Projects for Winter! In winter, snow and ice cover the ground, the days are short, and the nights are long. In Fun and Festive Winter Crafts create easy crafts as you learn about the winter season. Read about symbols, holidays, and special events that take place during this frosty time of year and get creative!”                           [J745.5 McGEE]

Humorous Small Critter Jokes to Tickle Your Funny Bone by Susan K. Mitchell

“Why did the mouse take a shower? To get squeaky clean!

“Humorous Small Critter Jokes to Tickle Your Funny Bone is filled with fun jokes, limericks, tongue twisters, and knock-knock jokes that will make you squeal in delight! Read fascinating facts about rodents and other small animals, and learn how to create your own book of silly limericks!”                                             [J818.60208 MITCHELL]



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New Haven Wins Race to the Top Grant

“The New Haven Unified School District was named today one of 16 nationwide winners in the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top-District competition.

“The District will receive more than $29 million over the next four-and-a-half years, to personalize student learning, improve student achievement and educator effectiveness, close achievement gaps, and prepare all students to succeed in college and careers.

“New Haven Unified serves nearly 13,000 students in Union City and south Hayward. The District includes James Logan High School, the largest high school in Northern California, along with seven elementary schools, two middle schools and a continuation high school as well as an adult school. The District also is the founding partner of the Union City Kids’ Zone, a consortium of agencies and organizations working together to provide comprehensive services for the District’s most vulnerable students and their families.”

Superintendent Kari McVeigh “thanked the Ball Foundation, which adopted New Haven four years ago and has supported the District in implementing many of its initiatives. The Foundation sponsored the District’s application, paying for the grant-writing services of Hatchuel Tabernik & Associates.”         [http://www.nhusd.k12.ca.us/node/1807]

“The district, one of just three state winners, finished second out of 372 applicants and 61 finalists competing for a pool of $400 million.” [http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_22170627/new-haven-unified-school-district-wins-29-3]

Congratulations to the school district, schools, teachers and school staff, and most of all to the students and families!

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