Friday, July 27, 2012

Conkling, Winifred. SYLVIA AND AKI

Conkling, Winifred. SYLVIA & AKI 
New York : Tricycle Press, 2011 
IL 3-6, RL 4.7 
ISBN 1582463972 
This is based on the true story of two girls who lived in 1942. The United States was at war with Japan. In an attempt to keep the west coast safe, the government rounded up all Japanese Americans in California and send them to live in internment camps in Arizona. Aki and her family are one of those families and this is partly her story. The homes and businesses that were left behind by the Japanese Americans were rented out to others. Sylvia Mendez is Mexican American and her father is excited about being able to lease the farm that Aki's family had to leave behind. But things don't go well for Sylvia either. When she tries to go to school, she is turned away. She is told that Mexicans are not welcome at the neighborhood school. If she wants to go to school, she will have to attend one of the second rate Mexican schools. Her father decides to take legal action against the school district for discrimation. Learn about two girls facing different hardships during a difficult time in history.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


New York : Viking, 2010
ISBN 0670011428

No, this is not a werewolf/vampire story!

It is set in a ranch town just outside of Yellowstone National Park, and the issue is how or even whether wolves should be protected. KJ, our heroine, is 16, a bit of a spitfire, who lives with her widowed father who is a hunting and fishing guide. She thinks her town is Redneck City USA. When Virgil and his mother arrive for a year while she researches the wolf pack in the park, KJ and Virgil quickly become friends. As they are both on the school newspaper, they decide to start a column on the wolves of Yellowstone.

Very soon their articles stir up a mess of controversy in town. The ranching families experience wolves as menacing predators of their livestock; but as KJ and Virgil observe the wolf pack and their young, their articles increasingly seek to show how they are a crucial part of the local food chain.

This starts to look like an "us against them" story, especially when there are a couple nasty incidents in town. But then Virgil reaches out to help a rancher's family and through his experiences we begin to understand their concerns. This is a thoughtful story that not only offers romance and action, but also seeks to consider the complexities of our environmental concerns. (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mulligan, Andy. TRASH

Mulligan, Andy. TRASH 
New York : David Fickling Books, 2010 
ISBN 0385752148 

This story, set in Asia, is about 3 three boys whose families survive by picking through the daily mountains of rubbish at an enormous city dump. ... So, why would our kids want to read this? 

One of the boys uncovers something inside a folded newspaper, in the freshly dumped rubbish – a leather wallet with a map, a key, money, and photos. This is real wealth, but also the beginning of real trouble. In just a few hours, the dreaded police arrive asking a lot of questions, for this wallet was tossed in a street bin by a desperate man as he was being chased by the police, and shortly before he died at their hands. It contains clues to an old unsolved murder, and to the man who was sent unjustly to prison for it. The boys are scared. Aside from the money, the wallet's contents are a mystery to them; but, they know the police are corrupt, and trying to cover-up something big. They decide this is one wrong they are going to set right. But they are closing in, and they must disappear, both to protect their families and to ferret out what really happened. 

This story not only takes you to a world we know little about, it also is an action packed, tense thriller told by three interesting and very different boys. Hand it to kids who liked the movie Slum Dog Millionaire, or read and liked I am Number Four, Devil’s Breath, The Last Thing I Remember. 

The author worked in a school in Manilla that was next to an enormous city dump like the one in his book. So the story is based in reality and started when he wondered what if … (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011 
ISBN 1442403152 

Viktor and Konrad Frakenstein are identical 16-year-old twins. Their resemblance ends at their appearance, however - Konrad has a sunny, pleasing nature where Viktor is brooding and uncomfortable with his happy, close-knit family, which includes loving parents, two younger brothers, Elizabeth (a distant cousin), and Henry (a family friend close enough to be blood). While exploring the castle, the young people discover a camoflaged panel, leading them to a hidden library, full of oddly titled, old books in strange languages. The books are alchemical in nature and may lead to the fabled Elixir of Life. When Konrad falls fatally ill, Viktor and Elizabeth are consumed with translating and creating the Elixir. (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Klass, David. STUCK ON EARTH

Klass, David. STUCK ON EARTH 
New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2010 
IL 5-8, RL 6.0 
ISBN 0374399514 

Ketchvar III is an unlikely earth invader. He actually resembles a largish snail. He has been sent to earth to do some reconnaissance for his planet (Sandoval IV) before they blast humans out of existence with a Gagnerian Death Ray. Ketchvar has taken over a human boy named Tom during this observation by crawling up his left nostril and taking over lodging in his brain, while secreting the boy’s consciousness away. Ketchvar finds some serious problems taking place within Tom’s family. Unfortunately, Ketchvar loses contact with the ship which is supposed to be his transport home. While stuck on earth, Ketchvar really gets to know Tom’s family and begins to wonder if humans are as worthy of destruction as his planet believes. (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Choat, Beth. SOCCERLAND 
New York : Amazon Children's Pub, 2012 
ISBN 076146249X 

Flora’s school is at the top of Northern Maine - Acadia High School, to be precise. She has the honor of being the top player on the team, as her mother was before her. After a disappointing no-show by the Androscoggin team, Flora arrives home to discover her coach has an amazing offer for her - she has been given a tryout slot at the International Sports Academy for the United States U-15 National Women’s Soccer Team - the opportunity of a lifetime! She’s going to be the first Dupre to trade the potato fields for a soccer pitch and a chance to follow-thru on her dream. Flora’s size and strong accent make her stand out among the girls and discovers following a dream may be more work than she had anticipated. (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Leavitt, Lindsey. SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD

Leavitt, Lindsey. SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD 
New York : Bloomsbury, 2011 
ISBN 1599904985 

Payton Gritas discovered quite accidentally her family had been hiding something from her - her father's case of multiple sclerosis. Her feeling of betrayal and impending loss drive her mother to send Payton to see her guidance counselor. The guidance counselor recommends Payton find a focus object upon which to journal to her help center her emotions. Payton chooses Sean Griswold's head, the boy who has sat in front of her for many classes, but whom she has never gotten to know. Payton finds she and Sean have a mutual attraction, but she fears Sean will no longer want to be around her if he learns the real reason she has gotten close to him. Payton must decide which path she needs to take - does she tell or hide her secret. (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)


Friday, July 20, 2012

Kittle, Katrina. REASONS TO BE HAPPY

Kittle, Katrina. REASONS TO BE HAPPY 
New York : Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2011 
ISBN 1402260202 

Hannah is an adventurous spirit who delights in making lists of reasons to be happy from "sand under your bare feet" to "getting yourself all freaked out after a scary movie". When her parents who are both actors become movie stars the family moves to LA. The day before school starts Hannah makes a little list of all the great adventures she is going to seek out that first day, but as soon as she enters the building she is met by one of the stylish clicky B-Squad. They want to own the friendship of the new girl whose father is a hot star. Hannah's slightly plump, easygoing presence doesn't make the grade. Increasingly her days are about hiding who she is, and fitting the B-Squad expectations. 

Meanwhile at home her beautiful mother has been diagnosed with cancer, and Hannah feels she must not worry her mother with her own problems. She becomes overwhelmed by it all, and one day she gets so tense she throws up; but afterwords she feels really good. Ahhh, she's discovered a secret remedy! At first everyone thinks her weight loss looks good, but her secret remedy is also compulsive. Soon there are side effects which she must also hide. Her mother is too sick, and her father too distracted with grief and work to see what is happening to their daughter. 

Then her aunt comes to visit. She was once bulimic, and she sees it all. She is a documentary filmmaker and is heading out to film the plight of orphans in Africa. She convinces Hannah's father to let her bring Hannah with her. There, Hannah reawakens as she befriends a girl her age who is struggling with her own over-whelming problems, and yet brings Hannah a fresh offering of friendship and self worth. It is not a fix, but it is a strong start, and a reaffirmation of who she really is. And that gives Hannah the will to fight back. (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Schmidt, Gary. OKAY FOR NOW

Schmidt, Gary. OKAY FOR NOW 
New York : Clarion Books, 2011 
IL 5-8, RL 4.6 
ISBN 0547152604 

Doug Swietek is angry - angry his eldest brother is serving in Vietnam, angry his middle brother pounds on him regularly, and very angry Dad has lost his job and the family must move. Doug loves New York City and has no desire to move away; however, Dad has found a new job, which is supposed to have great pay. Doug discovers small town life might not be as bad as he thought as he finds he has a unknown talent for drawing. While taking drawing lessons at the library, Doug finds a book containing John Audobon prints. Unfortuantely, the book has had prints sold off to make some needed funds for the library. Doug vows to get the prints back by whatever means necessary. (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lu, Marie. LEGEND

Lu, Marie. LEGEND Set in a Dystopian future, and told in two voices. The western half of the United States has seceded and is ruled by The Republic, an oppressive totalitarian regime. 15 yr-old Day, who lives off the streets, is one of their most wanted criminals, but to others he's a kind of Robin Hood. When his younger brother is infected with a deadly virus, Day breaks into the regime hospital for the needed medicine. He is discovered on his way out and has to fight a Regime soldier to escape. That soldier dies before morning, and that soldier has a younger sister in the forces, 15 yr-old June. She is one of their brightest prodigies, and she is now committed to hunting down Day and avenging her brother's death. But when the two meet, they are both undercover and neither knows the other's true identity. As they work together, each one is drawn to the other, for they are much alike. They both are young heroes. As June begins to experience the darker side of the Republic, and learn more about that fateful night, she becomes convinced that her brother's death may involve some inside treachery. She has to solve this, and, she now is also committed to somehow saving Day from execution. In desperation she devises a plan, but can she make it work? When the story ends, you want more. Thank heavens it's the 1st of a series! (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

via Diigo

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Perera, Anna. GUANTANAMO BOY New York : Albert Whitman, 2011 IL YA ISBN 0807530778 Khalid is normal English 15-year-old-boy. He loves soccer and video games, school is not his favorite place to be, and he thinks his parents are know-nothings and way out of touch. He and his father see eye-to-eye on very little. He definitely does not want to follow in his father’s footsteps as a cook in their own little restaurant. Unfortunately, Khalid’s grandmother in Pakistan has passed away and the family must make a trip to the country to check on Khalid’s aunts and cousins. While out in the city, Khalid is mistaken for a Muslim insurgent, kidnapped, and sent to a prison where no teen should ever go, accused of crimes he does not understand. Innocent until proven guilty has no place at Guantanamo Bay. (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

via Diigo

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bedford, Martyn. FLIP

Bedford, Martyn. FLIP New York : Wendy Lamb Books, 2011 IL YA ISBN 0385739907 Ever wake up a bit groggy? 14-year-old Alex, a somewhat geeky aspiring clarinetist wakes up and finds himself in someone else's body. While he's trying to really wake up - this must be a weird dream - that someone else's mother tells him to get up and get ready for school! Who is that? What school?! Soon he is bumbling through Philip Garamond's life, for that's who everyone thinks he is now, trying to fake it till he can figure out what's going on. And they are such different people! Philip is a buff athlete and one of the "in crowd", and knows nothing about music. Days become weeks. Alex learns that his own body is lying in a coma after a car accident and that what seemed like one night was actually 3 months. One of the things I liked about this story is you only learn the answers as to what's happened through Alex. The tension of the confusion works. You get drawn in and want to know - how is this going to be resolved? Surely Alex can get his own life back, right? And, if Alex is in Philip's body, is Philip locked in Alex's body? Along the way he meets Ron, a person with the same condition, it's called psychic evacuation. Ron tells Alex to adjust to his new life and get on with it. That's not what Alex wants. How is this going to be resolved? You'll have to read it to find out. (NH Isinglass award nominee)

via Diigo

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Preller, James. BYSTANDER

Preller, James. BYSTANDER New York : Square Fish, 2011 IL 5-8, RL 4.2 ISBN 031254796X Eric is the new guy in town. His mom grew up in town, and Eric and his brother have moved with her to start a new life without dad. Eric quickly discovers the in-group lead by Griffin and their favorite activity - beating a scrawny kid named David to a pulp on a regular basis. Eric wants no part of the bullying, but he also doesn’t do anything to help David or to stop the other kids from participating. However, Eric’s role soon changes as he becomes the target of terror after making some disparaging remarks about a member of the in-crowd. Eric discovers how fast a bystander can become the object of a bully’s attention. (NH Isinglass Award nominee)

via Diigo

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Falkner, Brian. BRAIN JACK

Falkner, Brian. BRAIN JACK 
New York : Random House, 2009 
ISBN 0375843663 

When the story opens Sam is hacking into the White House Security system, well it's there and supposed to be impenetrable, but when he tries to cover his tracks on the way out he accidentally crashes the international computer grid, and that gets him busted. Not long after he is incarcerated, he gets recruited to work for the government in their super secret cyber defense force. As such he essentially joins a select group of elite hackers as they work to track down and outwit cyber terrorists. “Use your skills to keep the world and our country safe!” 

In not too long evidence of a deadly neuro-virus surfaces on the web; however, their newest and best weapon, a neuro headset that connects your brainwaves directly to the internet thus ramping up response time, skills, and range, also creates an open door that could expose your very mind to the terrorists you are hunting. So, have fun, and buckle your headset! (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Friday, July 13, 2012



New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2011
ISBN  0399254544

What Your Wish For: A Book for Darfur is a collection of writing and art from an international roster of some of the best authors and artists who are currently working.  Authors like Meg Cabot and Alexander McCall Smith, Francisco Stork, Naomi Shihab Nye, Jeanne DuPrau, Joyce Carol Oates, Nikki Giovanni, Karen Hesse, Cornelia Funke, Ann M Martin, Meg Cabot, R.L. Stine, Jane Yolen, Gary Soto, Nate Powell, Cynthia Voigt -- have all donated their work to this project.  Each piece explores wishes – some are funny, some are creepy, some are inspiring – but all are linked by the universal power of a wish, the abstract things we wish for: home, family, safety and love.

The book was created to raise awareness of the plight of the Darfuri refugees forced to live in camps in eastern Chad.  And funds from sales of the books go toward granting the Darfuri’s wishes – building libraries in the refugee camps.  Their wish is that children growing up in refugee camps will become educated about good and evil and their history and their future, and will therefore be less likely to be recruited as child  soldiers.

What You Wish For is a thoughtful book that sheds light on an important international tragedy. But readers will also become exposed to some very fine writing that will encourage them to continue to read more of these authors’ works.   (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Higson, Charlie. THE DEAD

New York : Hyperion, 2010
ISBN 1423134125

The Dead is about zombies…perfectly suited for readers who couldn't get enough of The Enemy, Charlie Higson has written a prequel that throws an entirely different set of characters into jeopardy.

If you don't know or haven't read The Enemy, the zombie disease only affects people sixteen or older. It starts with the symptoms of a cold. Then the skin begins to itch, and spots appear--spots that soon turn into pus-filled boils.

Once the teachers at Rowhurst School in London go on the attack, Ed, Jack, Bam and the other students know it's time to escape and make their way to London. It's a bit easier to escape the adults - they're usually disoriented and wandering. But once on the move, the students run into teens, who are stronger and more energetic, and hide in the shadows for unsuspecting victims.

It's all a desperate journey to get to a fortified shelter - a journey that brings them to hitch a ride on a bus driven by the seeming last lone uninfected adult on the planet…unless…

The Dead is an exciting book. And it's gross. The descriptions of decaying zombies is vivid. But the other characters are fleshed out and well-rounded. We care about them, and we want them to get to safety (even the annoying girls on the bus) Higson doesn't pull any punches or favor one character over the other. The Dead will keep readers enthralled because you never know what might be waiting around the corner. (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fletcher, Charlie. STONEHEART

Fletcher, Charlie.  STONEHEART
New York : Hyperion, 2008
IL 5-8, RL 5.8
ISBN  1423101766

On a school trip to the Natural History Museum in London, George, an awkward 12 year old, is
unfairly and wrongly blamed for knocking over a museum display…typical.  He’s always the
brunt of the other kids’ teasing.  His punishment is waiting for the rest of the class to complete
the tour, and George is angry.  He lashes out and breaks off a dragon's head carved onto the
wall of the museum.

The next thing he knows, a pterodactyl carving comes to life and begins to chase him through
the streets of London.  George runs for his life, and is saved by another statue, a soldier
named the Gunner, who informs George that he has entered another layer of reality, an
alternative London where statues move and talk -- and worse yet, he’s started a new war
between good spits (statues that hold a bit of their creators in them and are their “spittin
image”) and evil taints (statues without a bit of their creators).

George and the Gunner are eventually joined by Edie – a girl who can see the moving statues,
but there’s more to her, too – she’s a glint, because she can catch a glimpse of a past tragedy
when she touches certain things-  and the three frantically race against the clock to figure out
what George must do to make amends for his wrong and get himself back home.

Stoneheart is an exciting, imaginative story, in which Fletcher incorporates actual London
statuary, an intriguing touch.  It’s the first in a trilogy.   (NH Isinglass Teen
Award nominee, 2013)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thompson, Holly. ORCHARDS

Thompson, Holly. ORCHARDS 
New York : Delacorte, 2011 
ISBN 038573977X 

Orchards is a novel in verse that deals with a difficult subject – bullying and teen suicide. 

Kanako Goldberg is half-Japanese and half-Jewish, and a member of the clique of girls whose teasing had something to do with a classmate’s suicide. The classmate was bipolar and had all these issues anyway, and besides, it’s not like Kana was the ringleader… but she didn’t do anything to stop it either. 

Hoping that Kana will reflect on her behavior and develop some sensitivity to the situation, her parents pack her off to her mother's ancestral home in Japan for the summer. Kana spends hours under the hot sun tending to her family's mikan orange groves. 

Kana's mixed heritage makes it hard to fit in at first, especially under the critical eye of her traditional grandmother, who has never accepted Kana's father. But Kana gets to know her relatives, and Japan, and village culture. Through imaginary conversations with Ruth, the classmate who killed herself, Kana begins to process the pain and guilt she feels about the tragedy back home. But news of another tragedy sends her world spinning out of control. 

Orchards is a contemplative, beautifully written book that will evoke important conversations about some very important topics. (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Monday, July 09, 2012

Sheehan, Anna. A LONG, LONG SLEEP

Sheehan, Anna.  A LONG, LONG SLEEP
Somerville, MA : Candlewick Press, 2011
ISBN 0763652601

Rosalinda Fitzroy is awakened by a kiss. Bren, a handsome young man, was exploring the
basement of the apartment building where he lives with his parents, and found her stasis tube
and kissed her.  Biologically, Rose is 16 years old, but she learns that it’s been 62 years since
she went into stasis.  True, stasis protected her from the plague-ridden Dark Times, but she is
heartbroken to learn that everyone she knows is long dead -- particularly her beloved Xavier, a
childhood friend and first love.  Her waking also spurs a media frenzy: She’s the heir to her
father’s billionaire company that owns and operates most of the world of the future.

It’s expected that Rose will eventually take over the company – a task that she isn’t sure she’s
qualified to do.  She’s quiet and withdrawn.  Her guardians enroll her in the best intergalactic
high school but Rose struggles to keep up and fit in.  She picks up her art again and finds some
comfort in that.  She might be able to piece some kind of life together in this strange future,
except –

The media frenzy surrounding Rose’s awakening triggers another stasis sleeper – a dangerous,
virtually unstoppable killing machine called a Plastine who is programmed to assassinate her.
With the help of a few friends, and her own surprising strength, Rose must face reality –
finally – and defeat the Plastine.

This is a fast moving story, with both anticipated and surprising plot twists.  We move between
the present and the past; Rose is a complex girl whose heartbreaking past is eventually
revealed—we are constantly asking why she was in stasis at all…and the reason is really
disturbing.   ( NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Roth, Veronica. DIVERGENT

Roth, Veronica. DIVERGENT 

In the future, society has been reorganized; at 16, teens are evaluated and must choose which of the five factions they will join. Each faction highlights a particular virtue to address society’s shortcomings: out of weakness grew the Dauntless, who value bravery; from stupidity grew the Erudite, for those who value knowledge. From selfishness grew the Abnegation, for those who want to serve others; from dishonestly grew Candor for those who value truth, and from hate grew Amity, where happiness reigns. If a teen chooses a faction that differs from the one in which they grew up, they must sever all ties with their family. Beatrice Pryor is turning 16. She lives and serves with her family in Abnegation – a position that she finds very challenging. So perhaps it’s no surprise that her evaluation reveals that she can’t be easily sorted into one faction – she is Divergent, which her tester cautions her is a very dangerous label to have, and she must keep this secret. 

At her choosing ceremony she selects the Dauntless – a rowdy and reckless group. Not all initiates will be accepted and Tris (as she calls herself) must shed her selfless upbringing and excel at the intense initiation period, or risk a fate worse than death: exile and becoming factionless. 

The violent initiation – plenty of hand to hand combat here and some underhanded practices during which Tris is threatened and beat up – combined with a budding romance with a fellow Dauntless will attract many fans of The Hunger Games. Tris is a strong young woman who genuinely struggles with finding her place. She misses her family. She begins to question the “rightness” of the way her society is organized. Can people really be categorized? (NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Ness, Patrick. A MONSTER CALLS

Ness, Patrick. A MONSTER CALLS 
Somerville, MA : Candlewick Press, 2011 
ISBN 0763655597 

Every night at seven minutes past midnight, a monster visits Conor. But it’s not the monster from his nightmare--the nightmare he’s been having every night since his mother started cancer treatments. The one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming. 

This monster is different. It’s ancient and wild. It’s from his backyard, a huge treelike form, with his uppermost branches twisted into a face with a huge, gaping mouth. Conor assumes it’s just his imagination, these nightly visits, only…only in the morning, there are leaves and branches on the floor. When this monster comes to visit him, Conor finds he’s not actually afraid of him. And he tells the monster so. Because “I’ve seen worse,” Conor tells him. But this monster assures him that he’ll be afraid of him soon enough. Before it’s over…the monster will get the truth out of him. 

A Monster Calls is a heart-wrenching story of loss, of love, and of growing up. Conor must face fears that no child should face – the slow, painful death of a parent. A feeling of displacement in your world, when your world turns upside down. When your dad’s living far away and involved with his new family. When your grandma comes to stay and you can’t seem to keep yourself tidy enough for her. 

Patrick Ness, the author of the Chaos Walking Trilogy for young adults, wrote A Monster Calls based on an idea and characters by Siobhan Dowd, who lost her battle with cancer. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations by Jim Kay. ( NH Isinglass Teen Award nominee, 2013)

Friday, July 06, 2012


New York : Knopf, 2012 
IL K-3, RL 2.8 
ISBN 0517709902 
Alice and her family are planting a vegetable garden so they can have fresh, delicious vegetable all summer. They spend time plannning the garden. As they plan, plant and watch the garden grow, they learn about how plants grow, what insects eat the plants and why birds and other animals come to visit the garden.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Wright, Barbara. CROW

Wright, Barbara. CROW 
New York : Random, 2012 
IL 5-8, RL 4.6 
ISBN 037586928X 
It is 1898 and Moses and his family are living in Wilmington, NC. Moses' grandmother is a former slave who is very superstitious. His mother works as a housekeeper for a rich white family. His father is a graduate of Howard University and works for the largest black newspaper in the state. He is also an alderman in the town. Things should be looking up. The new century is right around the corner. Wilmington is the home of a growing middle class of black workers. Only one generatioin removed from slavery, Moses and his family are looking forward to living a comfortable life. Until a group of white businessmen decide that the blacks are getting too successful and set out to end their upward climb. Race riots ensue and all the blacks are thrown out of office. This little-known piece of history is told through the eyes of 11-year-old Moses.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


New York : Tricycle Press, 2011 
IL K-3, RL 4.8 
ISBN 1582464227 
This is not your typical alphabet book. Sure it has the letters and gives us a word that begins with that letter. A [is for] ants on asparagus. It then goes on to tell us more about what happens when ants get on the asparagus. And we learn that farmers do not need to plant asparagus every year. In "Stink Stank Stunk", we learn all about manure from what it is made of to how it helps the crops grow. Give it a try and learn about what happens on the farm.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


New York : Delacorte Press, 2012 
IL 5-8, RL 4.8 
ISBN 0385740697 
Bessica has tried to reinvent herself for middle school but that hasn't gone so well. We now see her wishing she still had her best friend. And sharing mascot duties with Alice, her worse enemy. When the rumor spreads that the opposing mascot is planning on face bombing Bessica and embarrassing the whole school, Bessica tries to find a way to stop it. Whatever "it" is. She has no idea of what face bombing is. Get ready for some more mis-adventures as Bessica travels through sixth grade.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Spinelli, Eileen. DO YOU HAVE A CAT?

Spinelli, Eileen. DO YOU HAVE A CAT? 
Grand Rapids, MI : Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2010 
IL K-3, RL 1.8 
ISBN 080285351X 
Do you have a cat? Did you know that many famous people had cats that meant a lot to them? Cleopatra had many cats and she considered them sacred. President Calvin Coolidge had a cat. When it went missing, he alerted the news media and made it a priority to find his missing cat. Learn about some of the famous people who had a cat as a special friend. Just like yours.

Sunday, July 01, 2012


New York : Knopf, 2009 
IL K-3, RL 1.9 
ISBN 0375858393 
Have you ever met anyone like Bertrand. He is grumpy and complains about everything! Sure he does his job but he complains, complains, complains. Nothing is good enough. He's tired, the work is too hard, the dirt is too heavy, people are in his way. When Tilly accidently hurts Bertrand, things get really bad. Can Tilly possibly find a way to make things better?