Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Hate Picture Books by Timothy Young


I loved this book!  It is about a boy who decides to throw away all his picture books because the things in them can never happen, or they aren't realistic, or, in the case of Green Eggs and Ham, made him throw up.  But, when he starts talking about how one book, Are You My Mother, made him cry he realizes he actually loves the book and can't possibly get ride of it or any of the others.

This book would be perfect for my second and third graders who may think they are getting too old for picture books.  There are so many picture books mentioned and pictured in the book.  I think students would love to sit and pore over the illustrations to see which books they recognize.  I could even do a display of this book and all the others that are mentioned and/or illustrated in the book.

Big Ole RIBBETT...

Ignite by Erica Crouch


Hmmm.  When I started reading it I almost stopped after the first chapter.  It was a bit graphic and disturbing for me.  The reviews said the first chapter was the "worst" so I kept going.  I am still not sure quite how I feel about it.  In a way it reminds me of The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series which I "liked".  I felt like I really needed to finish it since I requested it on NetGalley but honestly it wasn't really my thing.  As a Christian I found the whole idea distasteful.  I apologize to the author but I am definitely not your intended audience.

Will in Scarlet by Matthew Cody


Okay...if you have been reading this blog and/or my Librarian in a Candy Shop blog I need to let you know that the Librarian in a Candy Shop blog was for a class.  I have a few more entries for the class but that one is mostly done.  There were certain requirements which is why it was longer, had standards, etc.  It was a lot of work and I was doing double duty by posting on here as well.  In addition, if it is a NetGalley book (like this one is) then I post on there.  I also post on Goodreads and if it's a 2013 book I post for my Maine Student Book Award committee.  That is a lot of writing for one book and honestly it took some of the joy out of just reading. more Librarian in a Candy Shop at least for now.

I really liked this evidenced by the fact that I stayed up late to read it and then got up early to finish.  I should be doing homework, exercising, showering...etc.

Anyway, in this book Will is the son of Lord Shackley who is off fighting with King Richard the Lionhearted in the Crusades.  Meanwhile John, King Richard's brother, is trying to take over the throne.  England is in chaos and due to some thievery and backstabbing Will must run away.

Will finds himself in Sherwood Forest with a band of thieves called the Merry Men.  Yes, it is a Robin Hood tale but not your typical retelling.  I have not had a lot of experience with Robin Hood - yes the Kevin Costner movie and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (much better) but not a lot of reading.  I really enjoyed this take.  Will Scarlet is a good hero who helps the other Merry Men (including Rob) discover their purpose.  It was full of action and funny.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Scare Scape by Sam Fisher


Be careful what you wish for...right???  In this book Morton, his brother James, and his sister Melissa move into an old run down house with their father.  While mowing the lawn Morton discovers a gargoyle with a mysterious message about breaking fingers and getting wishes.  Not taking it seriously Morton wished that his scary toys from the magazine Scare Scape would be more realistic and his sister wished for an enormous closet.  James also makes a wish after a huge fight with his sister but can't actually remember what he wished for.  Unfortunately, the wishes do come true in a way they did not imagine.  The three siblings and some friends must figure out how to hide the results of their wishes and how to reverse them before it's too late.

This was a fun read.  Kids who enjoy the Goosebumps series or American Chillers will enjoy it.  The descriptions and illustrations of the creatures at the beginning of the book was a lot of fun.  The book was scary and adventurous without being overly so.  


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mystery on Pine Lake by Tamra Wight


Cooper’s family has always loved the outdoors so naturally Cooper though running a campsite would be great for the family.  Unfortunately the campground is so busy that he only sees his dad when they are cleaning bathrooms or picking up trash and his mom only seems to need him to watch his younger sister.  Then Cooper discovers that the loons, which help draw tourists to the campground, are in danger of losing their eggs.  With the help of a new friend, Packrat, Cooper discovers a way to save the loon’s eggs and unravels the mystery of who wants the loons gone.

This was a really enjoyable read.  It was not a complex mystery by any means but very appropriate for grades 3-5.  The length of the text was perfect for the intended age and it had just enough mystery and suspense without going too far.  My students especially will enjoy that it is set in Maine.


The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud


There is a big “problem” in London.  All sorts of ghosts and other paranormals have invaded.  There is a curfew and many companies are making money selling iron products to repel the ghosts.  In addition, there are many companies that employ children, with their natural psychic, to fight and get rid of the “problem”.  Lockwood and Company is run by Anthony Lockwood who is himself a child.  The only other employees are George and Lucy.  After an unfortunate accident during a case Lockwood and Company are forced to undertake a suspicious and dangerous case in order to save not only their reputations but also their company. 

I really enjoyed this book.  It had good elements of mystery and creepy without being too over the top.  I figured out some of the mystery pretty early on but I don’t think the intended audience would catch on as early as I did.  Readers will enjoy Lockwood and Company taking on the ghosts without adult help and how the characters figure out and solve the mystery.