Saturday, April 30, 2016

Floodwaters and Flames

I actually lived near Dayton, Ohio for many years and I don't really remember hearing about this.  Or maybe I did hear about it and have blocked it out ???  I found this to be an interesting lost history type of book and I like the fact that it looked at the event from multiple perspectives.  What I liked - it was relatively short and therefore accessible to my younger students.  What I didn't like - it was almost too short.  I felt like some of it was choppy and there wasn't enough information.  I feel like, as a librarian, I would need to try and find more books about the topic to supplement this.  Maybe Lauren Tarshis should do an I Survived book about this event ;0

Be Light Like a Bird

Wren's life is in turmoil after the sudden death of her father in an airplane crash.  Her mother is angry, won't talk about her dad, is moving them around every few weeks, and is dating already.  When they arrive in the town of Pyramid, Wren is determined to stay.  After a brief time trying to fit in with the popular girls, Wren instead finds a friend in Theo - a nerd who likes photography and has also suffered a loss.  Together they embark on a quest to save a nearby pond from being used as a landfill.  Along the way Wren learns some unsettling truths about her father but as a result grows closer to her mother.

While I liked the book overall, it really didn't pick up until the last third of it.  Might be hard to keep students' interest that long.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Last Boy and Girl in the World

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What would you do if you found out your town was in a flood zone and you were all going to be forced to evacuate and move somewhere else?  Keeley's dad is digging in his heels and trying to resist.  Her neighbors and taking deals and leaving.  Her best friends are drifting away.  But...all of a sudden her crush seems to like her.  Keeley is stuck in the middle - trying to make memories before her town disappears for good and trying to hold everything together.  

So, overall I liked the story but not for my age level or for the Maine Student Book Award - lots of swearing, sexual innuendo, etc.


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An A - Z look at all things frightening - spiders, zombies, werewolves, Big Foot and so much more.  Each section is a few pages long and the book also has projects to do and is also interspersed with short stories and urban legends.  A fun introduction to scary things.  

Scary stories are always popular in the library so this would probably be a hit.  I found it pretty basic but that's okay...that seems to be the intention.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Just Like Me

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Julia, Avery, and Becca were all at the same orphanage in China and were all adopted at the same time.  They even see each other pretty regularly.  They have been asked to attend a camp together and "bond" in preparation for an article being written about them.  Avery and Becca love Chines things and are excited about the camp.  But Julia doesn't like any of it.  She wishes for more information about her birth mother and even pretends that a blanket she has is from her birth mother.  The bonding that is supposed to ccur is in jeopardy with a cabin full of girls that can't seem to get along.

I really enjoyed nncy Cavenaugh's other books.  While this was good, it was not my fvorite.  I will probably still get it for the library though ;0

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles

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Bailey needs some miracles in her life.  Her parents are away at marriage camp and she and her brother have been sent to live with a grandmother she has never met (hmm, last book I read, same situation).  Soon she finds that life on this idyllic island is stirred up by past hurts and tensions.  The local ice cream man, former preacher, tells some prophecies and while Bailey wants to believe in them many of the residents are angry.  Then add in the fact that her new friend has Cystic Fibrosis - Bailey cold certainly use some help from above.

This poetic narrative while touching on some heavy topics had a light and breezy feel.  It was a quick read and while not an overly happy ending, it was satisfying.

How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer

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Chloe has summer plans - the biggest being earning money to buy a new bike so she doesn't look like a dork when she goes to Middle School.  But her parents are going on a cruise and decide to ship her off to camp for 2 weeks.  Choloe decides it won't be all bad if she can take the baking course and then return home and sell cupcakes.  Of course, things don't turn out as expected - spiders, a mean cabin mate, and a runaway goat set out to almost ruin her summer.

Cute book...  a basic fluff middle grade book with some familiar aspects.  I did like the goat and, although some of the plot was predictable, this will be liked by many 4th and 5th graders.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Secret Hum of a Daisy

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Finally took the time to read this one.  Grace has just lost her mother and is being sent to live with her grandmother whom she has never met.  She knows her grandmother sent her mother away before Grace was even born but she doesn't really understand why.  Can the two connect and cn Grace come to terms with her mother's death.

This was a nice book.  It was quiet for the most part and seemed a little slow in spots but overall I liked it.