Thursday, November 16, 2017
Once upon a time Pablo was found drifting on the ocean in a small swimming pool with a bird. Ever since then Pablo has wondered where he came from and why Birdy doesn't talk or even fly like normal parrots. Meanwhile, legend says that there is a Seafarer Parrot that keeps all the sounds the world has ever heard. Is the legend true and what does it mean for Pablo and Birdy?
A quiet book but it has a lot of heart in a quirky way.
Told from multiple perspectives this book chronicles the year of several middle school children as they prepare for statewide testing and how they decide to take matters into their own hands in order to "ace the test".
I do think the test prep by the school was very extreme but in many students' minds that is probably how it feels and they won't mind. But there is more to the story than that - friendship, bullies, forgiveness, expectations, and a lot of heart. I could see a lot of good discussions around this book.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Brock and Zed are on the edge of a new life. At the guild culling they hope that they will be chosen for the guilds that they prefer and begin their adult lives. But things go terribly wrong when Zed is picked by the Adventurer's Guild and Brock volunteers to join as well to protect Zed.
But the Adventurer's Guild is dangerous. That guild is in charge of protecting the city by venturing out of the walled and protected city to face the Dangers - monsters that roam and have destroyed the rest of the world.
I was totally drawn in for the first half of the book but as the plot got thicker and the page numbers smaller I realized that the book would not end and was setting up for a sequel. Because of that I felt that some of the character development was lacking. For readers who don't mind the wait I think this is a promising series.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
This was a pretty interesting story about a middle school dance told from seven different points of view and written by seven different authors.
The characters include a lead singer of a band who is missing the dance and the band's TV debut, a popular girl who is also missing the dance because she is grounded, a girl out for revenge, a boy with a crush on his best friend, a girl who is pranked into attending, a back up lead singer who is terrified, and the drummer who is angry that her nemesis is wearing the same dress as she is and who also has the same date as she does. There were some funny moments and middle school drama. I am sure middle school girls especially will eat this up.
Friday, November 10, 2017
This is the story of Welles Crowther who helped rescue people on 9/11 and to many of those people he was known and later remembered as the man in the red bandanna. The focus of the book is primarily his life before the attacks and then the aftermath. Only 2 chapters are about 9/11 specifically and of course because he died the events are really pieced together by those he rescued and where his body was found. The most powerful part of the book was the ending and the encouragement to help others.
Two winners in a row for me. I loved this so much. I laughed out loud which I don't normally do, I read several poems to me husband and laughed again, and I reread a few that I thought were so clever. I can't wait to get this into my library!
I had never heard of Dazzle Ships so I, as an adult, found this book very interesting. I am not sure an elementary reader, without direct input from a librarian or teacher would be drawn to this topic or appreciate it as much as I did. I found Victo Ngai's illustrations to be fascinating - but it was more of the imagery of the war itself rather than the dazzle ships that intrigued me. Interesting book for sure.