Sunday, May 18, 2008

Treasure Fever by Andy Griffiths - ADVISABLE

Griffiths, Andy. Treasure Fever, 198p. Scholastic- 

Language: G, Sexual Content: G, Violence: G


Henry McTrottle thought it was just going to be his everyday substitute. What he didn't expect was Mr. Brainfright. His class went from learning math to falling out of windows! Not only did they learn that, they also learned how to eat a banana, fly, and make history. While learning the weirdest things, Henry and his friends are looking for treasure... and about thirty other kids. Will they beat everyone to the chase? What is in the treasure? 

Treasure Fever was a random and funny book. A good book, but not one that you had to absolutely read. 

Student Reviewer: CW

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chasing Normal by Lisa Papademetriou - ADVISABLE

Papademetriou, Lisa Chasing Normal, 193 p. Hyperion, 2008. 


Mieka, 12, and her father, have been summoned to the side of Mieka's paternal grandmother, as she seems close to death. Never mind that Mieka and her dad are closer to her maternal grandmother and that Mieka has never even met Grandma Baker in her life. Now she is spending three weeks with her cousins and a surly old woman, and wondering the grass really is greener on this side of the fence. 

Three weeks may seem short, but it may be just enough time for Mieka to figure out what it is she wants. All in a nice, neat package that doesn't include one swear word even! 


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Portia's Ultra Mysterious Double Life - ESSENTIAL

Hays, Anna Portia's Ultra Mysterious Double Life. Pg. 211, Aladdin Mix. 


Portia Avatar lives in Palmville , California and has just experienced another earthquake, but this time it's worse than before. . While Portia's helps her mom clean up her restaurant, she is also trying to find out more about her missing father, Patch. 

I really liked this book it had a great story of how a 12yo girl tries to deal with another earthquake catastrophe and having no father. I really liked this book and would gladly add it to my own collection. 

Student Reviewer-MP

The 100 Year old Secret by Tracy Barrett - ADVISABLE

Barrett, Tracy The 100 Year Old Secret (The Sherlock Files #1), 157 p. Henry Holt, 2008. 


Xena and Xander Holmes have moved to London with their parents. Almost immediately they are contacted by a Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives and informed that they truly are descendants of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. They children, with the reluctant help of a descendant of Dr. Watson, take on a case from Holmes' unfinished files, tracking the whereabouts of a missing painting. 

Actually, the mystery is fairly clever and kind of reminds me of a more in depth Encyclopedia Brown. The twins use their brains, get in a little danger, and don't have to resort to superpowers or pretending that all adults are stupid in order to solve their crime. 


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Julia Gillian by Alison McGhee - OPTIONAL

McGhee, Alison Julia Gillian and the Art of Knowing, 288 p. Scholastic, 2008. 


Julia Gillian usually adores summer time with her doting parents, but this year Mom and Dad are both pursuing higher degrees, which leaves them very little time for their ten year old daughter. Instead, Julia Gillian is stuck walking a nine block area of downtown Minneapolis with her faithful dog Bigfoot, and feels very alone as she confronts challenges and questions that seem very important for a little girl. 

Julia Gillian is very much a typical little girl, not a souped up, over mature pre-teen. Little girls who read well and like thick girly books will like Julia Gillian. 


Monday, May 12, 2008

Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus - ESSENTIAL

Mebus, Scott Gods of Manhattan, 340 p. Dutton (Penguin), 2008. 


The magical trick of a party magician opens Rory's eyes to the real magic going on around him every day. Now, however his very life is in danger, as the Gods of Manahatta, the spirit world companion of modern Manhattan Island, have no desire for a Light, which Rory is, to interfere with their plots and schemes. Someone has figured out how to kill the gods, who should be immortal, and Hex, the magician, needs Rory to use his powers to free the Indians of ancient times, who have been trapped with the confines of Central Park for centuries. 

Every situation and every character has ulterior motives and unplumbed depths in this richly written tale - the beginning of a series. Any school that has students reading Harry Potter should add this to their shelves ASAP. 


Friday, May 9, 2008

Princess Ben by Catherine Murdock - ESSENTIAL

Murdock, Catherine Gilbert Princess Ben, 344 p. Houghton, 2008.


Princess Ben finds herself the heir to the throne of Montagne after the deaths of her king, her mother and her father. Taken to the castle by Queen Sophia for training, Ben's penchant for laziness and selfishness locks the two into a battle for control, which Ben seems to be losing. In desperation one night, Ben discovers a secret chamber where she can learn to control magic. And only magic can save her from humiliation and outrage when she learns that she is to be wed against her will. But Ben's life has many more twists and turns to complete before she can mature into a person worth holding the throne of an entire kingdom. And Ben also has to learn that she may be her own greatest enemy.

This tale may read as a rather light, fun, fairytale, but it actually has incredible depths of theme and plot. A younger student may read it on one level, while an older student can enjoy its subtler points.


Carmine: A LIttle More Red by Melissa Sweet - ESSENTIAL

Sweet, Melissa Carmine: A Little More Red. Houghton, 2005. PICTURE BOOK.


This abecedarian (alphabetically arranged) version updates the Red Riding Hood story in an art format that mimics the art journal of a precocious child. Vocabulary words are highlighted, defined, and used in sentences that advance the plot. In a nonviolent twist at the end, Sweet manages to make this a satisfying individual read for any age.

Reviewer: Beverly Stout, Elementary Library Specialist.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

HORSE by Libby Hamilton - ADVISABLE

Hamilton, Libby Horse: The Essential Guide For Young Equestrians. Candlewick Press, 2008. NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK.


This horse book is chuck full of the usual facts such as the breeds of horses, what to feed a horse, how to tell a horse's size and age. But it goes beyond the ordinary by giving advice on how to braid a tail, how to contact the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the secret art of horse whispering. It has great additions like pull outs and pop-ups, including a flip book that are fun for an individual reader, but may not hold up in a library setting.

Reviewed by Susan Huff, Area Library Media Specialist

Night Shift by Jessie Hartland - ADVISABLE

Hartland, Jessie Night Shift. PICTURE BOOK. Bloomsbury, 2007.


What is going on around the city while you are sleeping? All sorts of things - street sweeping, bridge painting, donut baking, window dressing to name a few.

This book cleverly details the jobs of fourteen different night workers, and each description leads to the next topic through a clue in the illustration and a question in the lower right of the page spread. Adding to the fun of her quirky illustrations, Hartland makes sure to place at least one cat in each picture. Further unifying the book, each night-time job depicted is represented as fourteen workers gather at the end of the shift for refreshment and sociality at an all-night diner.

Reviewer: Beverly Stout, Elementary Library Specialist.

Welcome to Kiss the Book Jr.!

Welcome! Kiss the Book Jr. is for board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books.  Also, any novels and non-fiction that we ag...