Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Curious Chronicles of Jack Bokimble...




















I am not really sure how I feel about this.  It was definitely unique and humorous in places but it was also pretty odd.

Jack Bokimble has an interesting talent.  He can control his shadow.  His shadow can touch things, feel things, carry things and can move around wherever it is projected.  Jack thinks it is pretty cool and feels like his shadow is his best friend.  But, when he tries to share this unique talent with people outside his own family they are afraid of him.  So how to proceed?  Ignore his talent or use it for good?

So...  I think they are some kids who will like this quirky book so I am debating whether to purchase...  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Once You Know This


















Brittany's life is not what she would like it to be.  Her new teacher wants her to see a bright future but it's hard when you are living in poverty in Chicago.  Her mom's boyfriend is abusive, her beloved Grannie is getting old and forgetful, her brother is sickly, and her mom is scared and tired.  When her Grannie gets a letter from her younger brother in Alabama, Brittany starts developing a Plan B.  

What happens is...  once the doors open, once there seems to be a possible way out, once hope becomes evident... then things can start changing.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Chasing Augustus


















It has been a year since Rosie's papa had a stroke.  A year that she has lived with her grandfather.  A year since her mom gave away her dog.  A year of anger, disappointment, and bad grades.  All along Rosie has been trying to find her dog Augustus.  

There were parts I liked - Rosie's dedication to her dog mainly but...  Rosie was not very nice and overall she didn't seem to grow much.  I also didn't like the "retribution" given to a town bully with no consequence.  I also wish the father had played a bigger role because even when she finally went to see him there wasn't much about it.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker

















Add Beatrice Zinker to names like Ramona, Junie B. and Clementine.  Beatrice's way of looking at the world is fresh and fun.  In this first installment Beatrice has a plan with her best friend Lenny which involves spying.  But, on the first day of school Beatrice finds out that Lenny has changed over the summer and is playing with a new girl Chloe.  Can Beatrice think of a creative way to keep her best friend and adjust to some changes?

Caleb and Kit

















Kit says they were destined to be friends.  Caleb says he was just taking a walk.  Regardless of whether it was destiny or chance, Caleb and Kit met one day in the wood's behind Caleb's house and started a magical friendship that lasted the summer and helped both of escape their reality, even if it was only temporary.

Caleb has Cystic Fibrosis.  The book lays it out well - more so than other books I have read.  Caleb's disease affects his home life - his brother and mother are very protective, his dad couldn't deal with it so he left.  It also affects his friendships, his confidence, the way he treats others.  Kit seems like a breath of fresh air as she tells Caleb to just do what he wants which includes skipping out on camp everyday to hang out with Kit.  But slowly Caleb realizes that Kit is hiding a terrible secret.  Can their friendship survive Caleb's disease, Kit's secret, and the truth?

I really enjoyed this.  I wish there had been a bit more about the time Caleb and Kit spent together though.  The story really focused more on Caleb and his attempt at a bit of freedom.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library




















When Eddie's Aunt Min goes missing Eddie feels he has to go save her.  She went to the school library days ago and never returned.  The school library?  What's the big deal?  Well, it is a big deal when you belong to a family of bugs living in the wall behind an old chalkboard and the library is way down the hall.  Eddie has to find out what happened to Aunt Min and he really wants to see the library.  When he gets to the library he finds Aunt Min injured.  But things get worse from there.  The wonderful librarian goes on maternity leave after giving birth to triplets and the new substitute (and her brother who is the superintendent) want to get rid of the librarian and turn it into a testing center.  Can Eddie help others to see the value of the library before it's too late.

I loved this book in a way a school librarian whose program has been threatened would.  I loved the allusions to popular children's books and Eddie's tenacity.  The question will be whether readers enjoy it as much.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Monster, Human, Other


















Wren and Isaac have traded places.  Isaac is a monster who lives with a family of humans.  In turn, their daughter Wren, lives with a family of monsters.  This exchange program is supposed to improve relations between the two races but it's not really working.  Then to top it off another race, the Voracans, are on the move.  When the Voracans kidnap Isaac, his adopted parents are actually accused of killing him.  Can Wren figure out where Isaac is and come to the rescue?

This was a pretty interesting story.  The two kids were both likable and the plot was done well.