Booktalks are added to my Booktalks Quick and Simple webpage http://www.nancykeane.com once a month. See some of Booktalker's booktalks before they are published on the website. Make comments and give suggestions, too. Listen to Booktalks daily podcast: http://nancykeane.com/rss.html And don't forget to check out my wiki ATN Reading Lists http://atn-reading-lists.wikispaces.com
Chin. Jason. REDWOODSNew York : Flash Point, 2009IL K-3, RL 5.3ISBN 1596434309If you can’t visit the redwood forest in California any time soon, reading this carefully researched book is the next best thing. In a mixture of fact and fantasy, a boy riding the subway finds a book about redwoods. Did you know that redwoods can “make their own rain” or that these trees can live more than 2,000 years and get more than 200 feet tall? As the boy reads and learns about the “oldest trees in the world,” he finds himself magically transported to a redwood forest. Read this book and join him as he explores the forest, shoots arrows, and climbs hundreds of feet in the air. (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2011-2012)
Pennypacker, Sara. THE MOUNT RUSHMORE CALAMITYNew York : Harper, 2009IL K-3, RL 3.5ISBN 0061429910Flattened by a bulletin during the night not long ago, Stanley Lambchop and his younger brother Arthur and their mom and dad get ready for a family vacation. They’re heading to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore. The two brothers have one Wild West adventure after another as they meet Calamity Jasper, the park ranger’s daughter. They join her in a search for gold in an abandoned mine when a cave-in traps Calamity Jasper. Will Stanley be able to put his flatness to good use and save her? Do they find any gold? Read this book to go on a trip out West with Flat Stanley and his family to find out. (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2011-2012)
Blue, Rose. RON'S BIG MISSIONNew York : Dutton Children's Books, 2009IL K-3, RL 2.7ISBN 0525478493Ron is the best customer at the Lake City Public Library – almost. He can read as long as he wants to and as many books as he wants to, under one condition. He has to keep all the books in the library and is not allowed to check any of them out. He knows why, and he doesn’t think it’s fair! Ron is not allowed to check any of the books out of the library because his skin color is black, and only white people are allowed to have a library card. One day when Ron is 9 years old, he has a plan to change all that, but when his momma and the police are called, will Ron’s plan work or get him in even worse trouble? This story is based on a true event from the childhood of shuttle astronaut Ron McNair. (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2011-2012)
Barton, Chris. SHARK VS. TRAINBoston : Little, Brown, 2010IL K-3, RL 4.4ISBN 0316007625 Do you like sharks? Do you like trains? Do you like contests? If yes, then this book will surely make you smile. The imaginations of two young boys kick into overdrive when they rummage through their toy box and pull out a shark and train. Immediately, the toys transform into a ferocious looking shark and a powerful locomotive train who battle it out in some really cool contests. Who, they wonder, would be the winner roasting marshmallows, burping, high diving or on a seesaw? Readers will especially love when shark and train are thrown into truly ridiculous contests where neither could ever possibly win. Who would take the prize in a piano recital? (Neither have any hands!) The wonderfully silly pictures, dialog and crazy contests will leave you laughing out loud and ready to do battle with toys of your own. (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2011-2012)
Singleton, Linda Joy. DEAD GIRL WALKINGNew York : Flux, 2008IL YAISBN 0738714054Amber has big plans. She wants to be a talent agent after school. She reads every self help book she can find to prepare her for the life she imagines she will live. She has made friends with a new girl in school hoping this may be the opening into the world of the rich and powerful. When she overhears the girls talking about her and making fun of her, she is understandably upset and discouraged. But things start to look up again when she receives a letter in the mail saying she has won a full scholarship to a California college! Walking to her house to share her news, the unthinkable happens. She is hit by the mail truck. When she wakes up, she is surprised to see her dead grandmother. And her dead dog! She learns that she has been in a serious accident and she has to decide whether she wants to stay with her grandmother or go back into her body. As much as she wants to stay, she knows that she has to go. Unfortunately, she makes a wrong turn on the way back and ends up in someone else's body!
Bloomfield, Kevin. MR. BIGGS IN THE CITYMcHenry, IL : Raven Tree Press, 2011IL K-3, RL 2.3ISBN 1936299267Mr. Biggs is just your average Sasquatch. He is out exploring when he spots the city. He decides to visit the city to find out what fun things are going on. He tries to ride a bicycle. He gets a haircut. He even tries ballet but nothing he does is fun. Will he ever find anything fun to do in the city?
Bertrand, Diane Gonzales. THE PARK OUR TOWN BUILTMcHenry, IL : Raven Tree Press, 2011IL K-3, RL 3.9ISBN 1936299143Do you have a nice park to play in near your home? The mayor of this city wants to create a nice park for the children. And who better to help him but the children themselves? Find out about all the things that go in to planning and building a park.
In a future world, we meet Nailer. Nailer works as a ship breaker. These are teens who take recycling to the ultimate. He lives in a world where fossil fuels have been used up, the oceans have ravaged cities on the coast and the world has been divided by the haves and have notes. Many ships have been wrecked off the Gulf Coast and Nailer's crew takes on the dangerous task of climbing in to the dead ships and salvaging anything they can. From copper pipe to pools of oil, it is dangerous work and one where the smaller you are, the further you can go inside the ships. After a severe storm, Nailer and his friend find a "swank" boat that has been wrecked in the storm. Thinking that his fortune has been made, things don't go as planned when they discover a young girl alive in the wreckage.
Zalben, Jane Breskin. FOUR SEASONSNew York : Knopf, 2011IL 5-8, RL 5.3ISBN 0375862226Anyone who has taken music lessons knows how much work is involved. As you become more serious about your music, the commitment grows. Allegra Katz is wondering if she has what it takes to be a great musician. She goes to Julliard's precollege program and a summer camp in Vermont. Does she want to keep this up? Or would life be better if she were just a normal kid with free time to do what teens do?
Wynne-Jones, Tim. BLINK & CAUTIONSomerville : Candlewick Press, 2011IL YAISBN 0763639834Two homeless teens are living the hard life. Blink is hanging around a hotel lobby ready to sneak in to grab food from the room service trays left in the hallways. He stumbles on a kidnapping in progress. Actually it's a fake kidnapping. In another part of the city, Caution has just run away from her drug dealing abusive boyfriend. The two meet and pair up to investigate the kidnapping of a businessman. They hope to be able to get lots of money as part of the scheme. But you know things almost never turn out as we plan.
Voigt, Cynthia. YOUNG FREDLENew York : Knopf, 2011IL 3-6, RL 4.7ISBN 0375864571Fredle is a young mouse who lives in the wall in a farmhouse kitchen. He is living the life. Until the owner finds him living there. She captures him and releases him outdoors. Fredle has never been outside before and doesn't know what to make of his new surroundings. He knows he doesn't like it and wants to find his way back into the warm kitchen. Now he faces raptors and raccoons and other dangers he had never known. He does make a couple of friends along the way and shows us a mouse-eye view of the world he finds himself in.
Tracy, Kristen. THE REINVENTION OF BESSICA LEFTERNew York : Delacorte Press, 2011IL 5-8, RL 5.6ISBN 0385736886Haven't we all imagined thowing off our old self and emerging as a reinvented, better person? Well Bessica certainly does. She wants to leave her old self behind in elementary school and emerge as a new person to start middle school. And it is just not going to work out so well. From a disastrous trip to the hairdressers, to the loss of her best friend, middle school is not going so great for her. Bessica encounters many of the middle school cliches but we find the humor in these events. Will she be able to survive her new self?
Snyder, Laurel. PENNY DREADFULNew York : Random House, 2010IL 3-6, RL 5.2ISBN 0375861998Reminiscence of the Betsy Tacy stories, we meet 9 year old Penelope Grey who is living a lovely life. Her parents have money and she lives in a mansion with servants and anything she wants. When her father tells the family he has quit his job, she is in shock. Quit?? What are they going to do? Well, her mother has inherited a house in Thrush Junction, Tennessee and they are moving there. Little do they know that the house has a huge mortgage and there are borders who have been allowed to stay. What new life awaits Penny? Will it really be dreadful?
Smiley, Jane. A GOOD HORSENew York : Knopf, 2010IL 5-8, RL 4.3ISBN 0375862293This book is really aimed at the horse lover. Set in the 1960s, Abby loves horses and everything that goes along with horses. The horse she worked with in the last book has been sold and now she is working with Black George who loves to jump. Black George will probably attract offers when he wins first place in a jumping contest. The other horse Abby is working with is Jack who she may lose for another reason. There is some doubt who really owns Jack.
Shefelman, Janice Jordan. ANNA MARIA'S GIFTNew York : Random, 2010IL 3-6, RL 3.6ISBN 0375858814Set in 18th century Venice, we meet Anna Maria, the daughter of a nenowned violin maker. A dying wish was that Anna Maria go to the Pieta Orphanage where she will be able to study violin with none other than Antonio Vivaldi. But things are not wonderful for her. A rival violinist takes Anna Maria's violin and throws it in the canal. Will she ever be able to get over the loss of her father's gift to her?
Roth, Veronica. DIVERGENTNew York : Katherine Tegen Books, 2011IL YAISBN 0062024027So which faction do you think you belong in? Abnegation who believe service to others is their calling, Candor who can speak only the truth, Erudite who value intellect above every thing else, Amity who believe friendship is paramount, or Dauntless who value fearlessness and courage. In a distant future, these factions rule the country. On your 16th birthday, you must chose your faction. You can stay in the faction you were born into or choose a new one. Your aptitude test determines your choice. But what happens if the test results aren't clear? What happens if you are Divergent? And your choice may lead to being involved in something that may change your world forever.
Reichs, Kathy. VIRALSNew York : Razorbill, 2011IL YAISBN 1595144269Tory Brennan is not happy about having to leave New England after her mother's death. But here she is living on an island in South Carolina with her marine biologist father she doesn't even know. She meets a group of kids who love science and are also stuck on this island. They investigate the island and find some dog-tags from a missing person. As they are investigating the disappearance, they are exposed to a virus that leaves them with heightened senses. Just what is going on here?
Parry, Rosanne. SECOND FIDDLENew York : Random House, 2011IL 3-6, RL 5.6ISBN 0375861963The year is 1990, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Eighth grade friends Jody, Giselle and Vivian are living is Berlin and facing the day they will be separated as their parents are reassigned. They are really looking forward to a trip to Paris for a music competition. It will be a great way to celebrate their friendship. When the music teacher cancels the trip, the girls are devastated. After the girls witness a brutal attack on a Soviet soldier, they decide to take the trip anyway -- and save the soldier. He disguises himself as their teacher and they set off to Paris. But you just know that this trip will not go as planned.
Oliver, Lauren. DELIRIUMNew York : Harper, 2011IL YAISBN 0061726826Sometimes it may appear that love is a disease but in this novel it has been classified as a disease to be cured. Called amor deliria nervosa, it is cured by an operation that everyone undergoes on their 18th birthday. Lena is just 95 days from her surgery and is looking forward to being happy and safe forever. Her mother had not been able to be cured and had commited suicide. But then she meets Alex.
Newbery, Linda. LUCY AND THE GREEN MANNew York : David Fickling Books, 2010IL 3-6, RL 4.0ISBN 0385752040I could certainly use the Green Man of this story. Grandpa's garden is amazing and he claims that the Green Man, Lob is the reason why it is so wonderful. Most people just chalk up Lob as a product of Grandpa's imagination. But Lucy doesn't believe that. She wants to believe that Lob is real and when Grandpa dies, Lucy prays that Lob will find her. What will happen when Grandpa's house is sold and the garden razed? Will that be the end of Lob?
Monninger, Joseph. FINDING SOMEWHERENew York : Delacorte, 2011IL YAISBN 0385739427A new coming of age novel by Joe Monninger. BFFs Hattie and Delores can't help but feel that their small New Hampshire town is the dullest of the dull. When they come across an old horse that is about to be put down, the adventure begins. They deicde to find a way to save Speed. They pack up and drive west trying to find a place for him to be free. What they find along the way change them forever.
Menzies, Britt. STINKYKIDS AND THE RUNAWAY SCISSORSMcHenry, IL : Raven Tree Press, 2001IL K03, RL 2.4ISBN 1936402025Britt is looking forward to her playdate with her friends but she has a really big problem. She doesn't want her mother to know about it. Mother might cancel the playdate. When she gets to Julie's house, she lets the kids in on her big secret. Can they find a way to help her? Or will the make things worse by trying to solve it on their own?
MacDonald, Betty Bard. NANCY AND PLUMNew York : Knopf, 2010IL 3-6, RL 5.5ISBN 037586685XOriginally published in 1952, this story will still appeal to 21st century children. Nancy and her sister Plum are orphans who are sent to live at Mrs. Monday's Boarding Home for Children. Life is hard for the girls but they are determined not to let it get to them. They daydream about having the perfect Christmas and having a family to call their own. That's not too much to hope for, is it?
Marrin, Albert. FLESH & BLOOD SO CHEAP : THE TRIANGLE FIRE AND ITS LEGACYNew York : Knopf, 2011IL 5-8, RL 7.1ISBN 0375868895In 1911, a fire in a factory would change the fashion industry forever. Young girls spent their days sewing the latest fashion but they worked under poor conditions. Girls as young as 14, most of them recent immigrants were forced to work in unsafe workrooms and harsh rules. If they didn't follow the rules, they would be gone and a new girl hired. When a fire broke out in the room, the fleeing girls found locked doors and guards who refused to let them leave. Imagine trying to make the choice between jumping from the building and staying to burn. Pair this book up with Haddix's Uprising.