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
Laird, Elizabeth. THE BETRAYAL OF MAGGIE BLAIRNew York : Houghton Mifflin, 2011IL YAISBN 0547341261In 17th century Scotland, 16 year old Maggie and her grandmother are living is utter poverty. Her grandmother is a grumpy woman who curses the neighbors. When a neighbor child dies, the town turns on the two women and declare them witches and sentences them to be hung. Maggie is able to escape and is taken in by her uncle's family. But has Maggie found herself in yet another bad position? Her uncle is a Convenanter, a righteous brand of Scottish Presbyterian who refuses to recognize England's rule.
Krosoczka, Jarrett. LUNCH LADY AND THE BAKE SALE BANDITNew York : Knopf, 2010IL 3-6, RL 2.8ISBN 037596729XThe Lunch Lady is back. Along with her students Dee, Hector and Terrence, they are trying to find out who stole from the bake sale. Is it the health teacher? Or the grumpy janitor? The mean bus driver? Think you can figure it out before the Breakfast Bunch? Give it a try.
Kelley, Jane. NATURE GIRLNew York : Random House, 2010IL 3-6, RL 3.9ISBN 037585634XMegan is not what you would call and outdoorsy type of girl. When her parents drag her to Vermont for the summer, she hates the whole thing. She is bored and wants to go back to Massachusetts to be with her best friend whose mother is ill. When Megan and her sister go for a walk in the woods, Megan loses sight of her sister and is lost. She doesn't panic and looks at this as an opportunity. She'll just hike to Massachusetts and see her friend. But can a city girl equipped with a few peanut butter sandwiches, some tofu and a copy of My Side of the Mountain find her way in the woods alone?
Jarkins, Sheila. THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO FLAMINGO IN THE JUNGLEMcHenry, IL : Raven Tree Press, 2011IL K-3, RL 2.5ISBN 1936299208It's Marco Flamingo's birthday! His friends give him lots of wonderful gifts. But Marco is really hoping for a special one. And Elephant comes through. Marco is going on a jungle adventure! He travels to the jungle and meets lots of new friends. Come on along as Marco Flamingo visits the jungle.
Hurwitz, Michele Weber. CALLI BE GOLDNew York : Wendy Lamb Books, 2011IL 3-6, RL 5.6ISBN 0385739702Calli is definitely the child of helicopter parents. They want all their children to have a passion that they pursue. Alex is a basketball star but Calli thinks her dad is more passionate about it than her brother. Becca is a figure skater who may not enjoy it as much as she says. But Calli is not going to be pressured into doing something she is not passionate about. And she surely is not going to shine in the athletic world. When she meets a second grader with many problems, Calli may just have found her passion.
This tall story is told from the alternating perspectives of Bernardo, a boy from the Philippines who suffers from gigantism and his sister Andi, a pint-size aspiring basketball player. Bernardo was left behind when his mother emigrated to the UK. Although the locals believe that this is a folk hero who protects the town from earthquakes, he believes he has been cursed by the local witches. When he travels to the UK to be reunited with his mother, he is nervous about people seeing him as a freak. And Andi is worried about having her older brother living there and starting a new school.
Gephart, Donna. HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOLNew York : Delacorte Press, 2010IL 5-8, RL 4.6ISBN 0385737939As the prospect of middle school looms large, David Greenberg laments how bad he has it. His mom is gone and not coming back. His best friend Elliott is acting weird and they are now ex-friends. And he is quickly becoming the target of bullies. But that may all change with the help of Hammy -- his pet hamster -- and the new girl at school. And the inspiration of Jon Stewart. For fans of The Daily Show and iCarly, this is the tale of how instant media can change our lives.
Vanderpool, Clare. MOON OVER MANIFESTNew York : Delacorte, 2010IL 5-8, RL 5.3ISBN 0385907508She isn't sure why her father has sent her to Manifest. Why can't she continue to ride the rails with him? Things have been good. But now she is in a strange town and trying to figure out what is happening to her life. She soon finds herself investigating a mystery. With the help of her new friends, Abilene learns about immigrants, newspapers, World War I, and deep seeded secrets.
Stracher, Cameron. WATER WARSNew York : Sourcebooks Fire, 2011IL YAISBN 1402243693Imagine a world in the future. A world with little water. It started when the polar caps melted. Then Canada dammed the rivers leaving the midwest with little water. Now it is almost impossible to get fresh water. Vera and her family have to depend on purchasing desalinated water. The water is not really a substitute for the real thing. As a matter of fact, Vera's mother is very ill and Vera and her brother blame the water. When Vera meets the mysterious Kai, she experiences a very different life. Kai's family has plenty of water and Kai even shows her a secret spot where there is fresh water. But when Kai is kidnapped, Vera and her brother face dangers they have never imagined.
Fusco, Kimberly Newton. THE WONDER OF CHARLIE ANNENew York : Knopf, 2010IL 3-6, RL 5.4ISBN 0375861041This story takes place during the Great Depression and Charlie Anne has her own great depression to get through. Her mother has died. Her father and brother have moved north looking for work. And she is stuck living with cousin Mirabel. Charlie Anne's life now revolves around chores and reading Charm and Fine Manners. The endless, endless chores. Laundry so heavy she can barely lift it onto the line. And no end in sight. Until Phoebe moves in next door. Phoebe is the ward of the unusual Rosalyn who volunteers to open the school and act as the teacher. With Phoebe's friendship to help, Charlie Anne's life may not be so bad after all. There is more to life than vinegar pie.
Forman, Gayle. WHERE SHE WENTNew York : Dutton Books, 2011IL YAISBN 0525422943It's been three years since Mia was seriously injured in a crash that took the lives of her family. This time the story is told from the point of view of Mia's former boyfriend, Adam. Still reeling from the break-up, Adam tries to move on. He has a successful rock band and a hit album. But he can't get Mia out of his mind. When he learns that Mia will be performing at Carnegie Hall, he buys a ticket and gets a night of conversation, arguments and a reconnection from the past.
Fleming, Candace. AMELIA LOST : THE LIFE AND DISAPPEARANCE OF AMELIA EARHARTNew York : Schwartz & Wade, 2011IL 5-8, RL 5.5ISBN 0375841989The story of Amelia Earhart is a fascinating one. She was a true pioneer and became a celebrated aviator in the days when women didn't do such things. The author tells of Earhart's life and her accomplishments. Earhart promoted her celebrity and often flew without adequate preparation to play to the public. George Putnam, Earhart's husband also worked hard to keep her in the public eye. From Earhart's free spirited childhood to her last flight, Fleming tells a gripping story of a woman who loved to fly and became the idol of teens and adults alike. And why her disappearance is still so much in our minds.
Flinn, Alex. CLOAKEDNew York : HarperTeen, 2011IL YAISBN 0060874228Johnny and his mother own a shoe repair business in a busy upscale hotel in Florida. Business isn't great. After all, most people just throw their shoes out when they have issues. They are struggling to keep the bills paid. Then a world famous princess checks into the hotel. Little does Johnny know how completely this will change his life. OK, what would you do if a princess offered you tons of money to find her brother? She even tells Johnny she'll marry him if he is successful. The catch? Her brother has been turned into a frog.
Cotler, Stephen L. CHEESIE MACK IS NOT A GENIUS OR ANYTHINGNew York : Random House, 2011IL 3-6, RL 4.0ISBN 0375864377This is good old-fashioned fun but also has a technology twist. Ronald "Cheesie" Mack is a bit silly and arrogant at the same time. And he loves words. He is about to graduate 5th grade and summer vacation is only a day away. He and his best friend Georgie will soon be off to Maine for summer camp. But Georgie's dad has lost his job and now there is no money to send Georgie to camp. Can Cheesie come up with a plan to get the needed money? He has a way of making things happen. While telling us his story, Cheesie invites us to visit his website that has stories and lots of words. Kids don't have to go to the website to enjoy this book but they may just want to take a look and see what's there.
Barrow, Randi. SAVING ZASHANew York : Scholastic Press, 2011IL 5-8, RL 4.0ISBN 0545206324"Maybe the soldier you found wasn't alone. Or he told you something important before he died. Or he still had his dog with him. His German dog," Katia said.It’s 1945, and the war with Germany is finally over. Mikhail, 13, and his family are struggling to survive in their rural Russian community, where everything German is hated and Mikhail’s father is missing in action. An injured soldier had just enough time to entrust the care of his German shepherd to Mikhail before dying, and he and his family are determined to keep and protect this gentle, beautiful dog. But German shepherds are being shot on sight by people who see them as symbols of Hitler’s Germany, and anyone who owns one is considered a traitor to Russia.Will Mikhail and his family be able to keep Zasha safe, especially with the nosey Katia asking so many questions? Read Saving Zasha to find out. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)
Cottrell Boyce, Frank. COSMICNew York : Walden Pond Press, 2010IL 5-8, RL 5.1ISBN 0061836834Have you ever wished you could be someone other than who you are? Someone more confident, someone more athletic, or maybe even—someone older? Well, Liam Digby has the “older” thing in spades---he’s only 12 years old, but is already over 6 feet tall! (back when he was 7, and really starting to grow, his dad told his mom—“this isn’t a growth spurt—it’s a mutation!”) And it’s not just his height—Liam’s already shaving, and actually does get mistaken for a grownup. Which can be pretty cool when a car salesman gives you the keys to that sick red sportscar, and tells you to take it for a test drive. But what happens when you’ve earned yourself a spot on a trip to outer space by winning a “World’s Greatest Dad” contest, and you’re now the only “grownup” on a rocketship that’s 200,000 miles from Earth, and seriously off-course? Read “Cosmic” for a lot of laughs, and for some serious thinking about the stars, the earth, and the people that we live with---especially our dads. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)
Walsh, Pat. THE CROWFIELD CURSENew York : Chicken House, 2010IL 3-6, RL 4.1ISBN 0545229227England, The winter of 1347William, age fourteen, works as a servant at Crowfield Abbey, in exchange for room and board. Gathering firewood one day, he discovers a hobgoblin caught in a trap and rescues it. The hob tells William that he can only be seen by those with the sight. This is a gift William did not know he possessed. This boy walks the line between the real world and the magical fey world. The hob has told William of the dark curse put upon the abbey and of the magical being buried in the snow. Now comes the clash of good and evil ,dark and light, for the fey war is coming. William must stand strong and believe in himself to survive. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)
Stevermer, Caroline. MAGIC BELOW STAIRSNew York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010IL 3-6, RL 5.7ISBN 0803734670Frederick Lincoln is a good boy who works hard and does what he’s told. He’s living in an orphanage when he is selected to be a footboy for the local wizard. He will be living with the other servants below stairs. Unknown to Frederick is the fact that he is accompanied by a brownie whose name is Billy Bly. The wizard has forbidden any magical creatures in his home but that won’t stop Billy Bly. He doesn’t want to leave Frederick. More magic might be what they need as it is soon discovered that the manor is under a hidden curse-- a curse so deep and ugly that it may take all of them to break it. But , first, they have to find it. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)
Clements, Andrew. WE THE CHILDREN (BENJAMIN PRATT AND THE KEEPERS OF THE SCHOOL)New York : Atheneum Books for Young Raders, 2010IL 3-6, RL 5.2ISBN 1416938869Benjamin Pratt’s school is going to be torn down to make way for an amusement park. The wrecking ball comes as soon as classes end for the summer. Ben should be happy but odd things are happening. First, the old janitor, Mr. Keane, gives Ben an old gold coin. The coin says the school belongs to the children, the school must be defended. Ben must swear to defend the school. Second, the new janitor Mr. Lyman, seems to be following Ben everywhere. He wants to know if Mr. Keane gave anything to Ben. Enlisting his super-smart friend Jill, these two students have twenty-eight days to find the clues and solve the mystery. Can they save the school against all the odds? Ben and Jill will have to work fast because Mr. Lyman is also on the hunt. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)
Kehret, Peg. GHOST DOG SECRETSNew York : Dutton's Children's Books, 2010IL 5-8, RL 6.5ISBN 0525421785Randy notices the chained German shepherd on his way to school. The weather is cold and icy and there’s no shelter for the dog. After school, Randy goes to check the dog. The shepherd looks young but his ribs are showing. There’s no food or water around either. Randy buys a couple of hot dogs to feed the shepherd and decides to feed him again the next day. That night, Randy has a strange encounter--- a ghost dog appears in his room. The ghost dog wants Randy to follow but where? The ghost takes Randy to the shepherd that he had fed. Does the ghost dog want Randy to help the shepherd? Maybe, he’s just got to take the dog to save it. Is Randy rescuing this dog or stealing it? (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)
West, Jacqueline. THE SHADOWS (THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE)New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010IL 5-8, RL 5.1ISBN 0803734409Eleven year old Olive has just moved into a weird, crumbling old mansion. What a place to explore! And all those antique paintings that line the walls, why do they seem so eerie? A secret attic room, three creepy cats and a pair of funny old-fashioned glasses, all add up to a fast moving adventure. When Olive puts on those glasses, she can see into… well, into places that she shouldn’t go. Did that spot, in that painting , just move? Yes, yes it did! What is going on? The battle begins. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)
Angleberger, Tom. THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODANew York : Amulet Books, 2010IL 3-6, RL 4.1ISBN 0810984253 Most of his sixth grade classmates think Dwight is weird but admit he does make cool origami, including a finger puppet of Yoda. When some students at the McQuarrie Middle School are faced with one question after another Dwight offers answers via his Origami Yoda. Origami Yoda appears to be able to predict the future and has advice that helps the students in puzzling situations. Before Dwight’s friend Tommy can ask a girl to dance at a school function without making a fool of himself he wants to know if he can trust Origami Yoda’s advice. To answer his question Tommy enlists the aid of fellow students to track down the results of Origami Yoda’s advice; the ensuing chapters tell of those results. Middle school can be a series of sand traps, some of them very funny to the observer, and if Origami Yoda’s advice is useful, why not take it, even if that advice does come from a green paper finger puppet? (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)
Paulsen, Gary. MASTERS OF DISASTERNew York : Wendy Lamb Books, 2010IL 3-6, RL 6.7ISBN 0385739974 After reading books like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , Treasure Island, and Hatchet, Henry Mosley tells his best friends Reed Hamner and Riley Dolen that the three of them are the most boring 12 year olds on the planet. Henry decides they need to become men of action and adventure and find out what they are made of and in the process impress girls. A bid to set the world record for the most forward airborne somersault on a bike is the first in a series of disasters that lands Reed in places filled with unmentionable types of goo. They venture into the wilderness and encounter escaped zoo animals, discover all retired bulls aren’t docile and learn that housedogs don’t make good sled dogs. Through each mishap Henry, Reed and Riley maintain their enthusiasm and certainly won’t be considered boring by anyone. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)
Behrens, Andy. THE FAST AND THE FURRIESTNew York : Knopf, 2010IL 3-6, RL 5.3ISBN 0375859225 Kevin Pugh, 12, and his dog Cromwell are the ultimate pair of couch potatoes. Kevin’s father, Howie, a former player for the Chicago Bears, encourages Kevin to play football, but Kevin is only interested in the video game form of the sport. One day in his basement retreat while flipping through tv channels, Kevin happens upon the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge, a dog agility competition. Much to Kevin’s surprise Cromwell, referred by Kevin as “part beagle, part potato chip”, sits up, takes notice and is mesmerized by the stunning performance of Jody and her dog Shasta. As a result, Cromwell is soon acting totally out of character. Cromwell asks to be taken for walks and attempts to jump through a hanging hoop in his back yard. Kevin’s father, Howie, then insists he attend football camp for the summer. When Kevin’s kicked out for injuring another player in practice he surreptitiously signs up Cromwell for agility training with Elka, the “dog-whisperer” trainer at Paw Patch. This is enthusiastically financed by best friend Zach, and Team Cromwell is born. After crashing his way through classes at Paw Patch, Cromwell surprisingly manages to win his first competition. Is it possible to transform couch potatoes Kevin and Cromwell into champions to beat rivals Jody and Shasta in the Midwest Kennel Club Championship and win his family over to support them in their kind of sport? (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)
Henson, Heather. DREAM OF NIGHTNew York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2010IL 5-8, RL 4.7ISBN 1416948996 Middle-aged Jess DiLima is finding it harder to respond to the phone calls in the middle of the night summoning her to another rescue by the Humane Society of abused and neglected horses. But she can’t resist taking on a former race horse named Dream of Night who is terrified of people because of the terrible cruelty he has suffered. When Jess returns to her farm with Dream of Night she has the additional responsibility of a new foster child, Shiloh, who, like Dream of Night, has been removed from a violent domestic life and has been bounced from one unsatisfactory foster home to another. Both Dream of Night and Shiloh arrive at Jess’s home full of anger, need and mistrust. Can Jess, using infinite patience and care help Dream of Night and Shiloh find their ways out of darkness to the hope and promise of a happier future? (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)
Sparkes, Ali. FROZEN IN TIMENew York : Egmont USA, 2009IL 3-6, RL 6.3ISBN 1606840770What would you do if you had to spend a long boring summer at your Uncle’s house out in the countryside? That is just what happens to Rachel and Ben Corder. And if things weren’t already boring enough, the TV blows up and it seems like it will never stop raining! But all of a sudden, the rain stops and the sun comes out. Rachel and Ben explore the gardens – and what do they find? An underground shelter buried long ago. Inside the shelter they find rooms and supplies -- canned food and stacks and stacks of toilet paper! But these things are old fashioned looking. Then they step into the next room. It feels cold. They notice two torpedo- like tubes. Rachel screams! There is a body within each tube! One is a girl and one is a boy. Eventually they discover that the two children are cryogenically frozen and were supposed to be that way for a short time only. But it is now more than 50 years later and Freddy and Polly wake up to find a very strange and new world. “Frozen in Time” is an action- packed adventure full of mystery and many humorous moments you will not want to put down. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)