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
Lenny LOVES baseball, but unfortunately has zero skill. What he DOES have is a talent for announcing, and when his friends, Mike and Other Mike convince him to enter a contest, he wins! The prize: announcing one inning of a Phillies game, live, on the air. But before his inning, a hot new pitcher drops dead. Everyone thinks it's a heart attack. Everyone, except Lenny and the Mikes. (Isinglass Teen Award Committee, 2015)
Orphans from the Border Wars, Alina and her best friend Mal are all each other has. During a battle, Mal is horribly injured, and Alina unleashes power she never knew she had to save him. The Darkling, strongest magic-wielder in the land, promptly whisks her away to be trained. But in their world, nothing is ever what it seems. Unsure who to trust, will Alina be the savior of her nation, or another casuality in its ongoing war? (Isinglass Teen Award Committee, 2015)
12 yr old Willow Chance is brilliant, quirkie and just a bit obsessed with 7’s when she stresses. Just like her name, life has been Chance. Her first chance was being adopted as a baby. However, that all changes when Willow’s parents are suddenly lost in a car crash.
Will Willow discover a second chance at happiness? Join Willow as she discovers family takes all forms. Follow her journey as she creates an unusual connection with the most unlikely cast. Could this cast create a new family?
Find out in Counting By 7’s.
(New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
Mono! You mean I’ll be out of school for a whole month? I won’t see my friends, either? Lindy Sachs was dismayed to find herself home alone and mostly sleeping, day after day. But then her dad asked her to do him a favor…he set her up on-line to make some stock trades for him before the Market closed for the day, since he couldn’t do it from work. Even though she hated math, she found herself totally drawn in. Her dad set her up with her own $100 account to play with…and guess what?! She was good at it!! When she finally went back to school, she found her social life in shambles…new alliances had been formed, and her best friends, Howard & Steph had become a couple…and no one had the slightest interest in stock trading!
But the real trouble began when she started dipping into her parents’ portfolio to up the ante a bit….who knew they had so much money?! A sudden downturn in the market gave her some very tense moments, but in the end, Lindy thought she had gotten away with it…until the day there came a knock at the front door… a process server from the SEC (Securities Trade Commission) stood on the doorstep! (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
Times are tough for Cam and his dad. They both still miss Cam’s mom, and now his dad is out of work. With less than a dollar to spend for Cam’s birthday, what kind of present can his dad possibly afford? The lamest present on earth, he figures---and he ends up giving Cam a cardboard box he picks up from the second-hand store down the street. It turns out that they actually have a great time constructing a “man” out of the cardboard, and they both go to sleep happy. Little do they know that their lives are about to change forever thanks to the magic that cardboard box contained…and the fact that the bully next door wants to use it for his own nefarious ends…Read Cardboard for nonstop action, suspense, and a cardboard character that steals your heart. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
The weird shadow swept across the sky.
Ben blinked once, twice, three times, just in case an eyelash had drifted onto his eyeball. But it wasn’t an eyelash. Something was moving between the clouds—something with an enormous wingspan and a long tail. Ben pressed his nose to the passenger window. “Grandpa? Did you see that?”
Ben is spending the summer at his Grandpa’s house in Buttonville---the most boring town in the world. Boring, that is, until he starts seeing strange things in the sky. Until his Grandpa’s cat drops what has to be a baby…dragon?...onto his bed. Until Ben and his new friend, Pearl, decide to visit the new “doctor” who’s set up an office in the abandoned button factory and allow a big, hairy, pudding-loving beast to escape…
Read “Sasquatch Escape” to find out just what’s making a summer in Buttonville the most exciting thing ever! (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
A ship sinks in the English Channel under mysterious circumstances and a baby wrapped in a musical score of a Beethoven symphony is found floating in a cello case. Charles Maxim, another survivor, plucks the baby along with her cello case out of the water, names her Sophie, and takes on the responsibility of raising her. Through the years Charles’ methods of child-rearing are considered by some totally unsuitable. What’s wrong, I ask, with eating food off books, writing on the walls, climbing trees and a girl wearing pants? When Sophie turns twelve the threat of being sent to an orphanage prompts her and Charles to make a hasty departure for Paris in search of her mother. Once there, Sophie hides out in her hotel room by day but escapes through the skylight to the roof at night. Under the tutelage of Matteo and other children who refer to themselves as “rooftoppers” she learns to travel on the roofs above the streets of Paris via trees, drainpipes, and even a tightrope. While enjoying her freedom she is always listening, hoping to hear her mother’s music.
Will Sophie find her mother and the mother’s love she so longingly wants? You’ll have to read the spell-binding story of ROOFTOPPERS to find out. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
It’s Christmas time and in the economically depressed town of Nickel Bay, eleven year old Sam Brattle just can’t stay out of trouble. He’s unhappy because his dad’s bakery is struggling to stay open and his mom, having remarried, will be spending the holidays with her new family. And to make matters worse, there were no $100 bills left anonymously by the town’s own secret Santa, Nickel Bay Nick.
While trying to evade the police following an evening of vandalism Sam damages the house of a neighbor, Mr. Wells. It is revealed that Mr. Wells is Nickel Bay Nick, but he is unable to fill the role due to a broken leg. Sam is offered the chance to become Nickel Bay Nick to compensate for the damages to Mr. Wells’ property. All Sam has to do is learn to be a spy, a burglar and a pickpocket. NICKEL BAY NICK will warm your heart and give you faith in the potential goodness of others. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
Timmy Failure is founder, president, and CEO of what he considers the best detective agency in town, Total Failure, Inc. Timmy is assisted by a 1500-pound polar bear named Total who specializes in eating trash, and Rollo Tookus, a classmate, considered inferior in sleuthing skills by Timmy. In one case Timmy’s neighbor Gunnar hires him to find his missing candy. Timmy observes Gunnar’s brother, Gabe, face smeared with chocolate and surrounded by candy wrappers. After questioning Gabe about his whereabouts the night of the candy’s disappearance, Timmy concludes Gabe didn’t take the candy- he had an alibi: he’d been eating candy.
There’s something in Timmy Failure Mistakes Were Made for everyone, from the black and white illustrations used liberally throughout the book to Timmy’s bumbling his way from one case to the next, optimistically oblivious to the obvious. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
Concussions can be very serious, often resulting in lingering symptoms long after the fact…things like headaches, dizziness, and mental confusion. That’s why when Cat’s parents signed her up for the revolutionary I-CAN (International Center for Advanced Neurology) program in the Florida Everglades, she didn’t object….she’d do just about anything to get back to her normal self again.
When she got to the island, she discovered there were only four patients…all teens who had suffered concussions to the same area of the brain as her own. Charming Dr. Ames greeted them all warmly at the dock, but Cat already had the feeling something was amiss… and she was right! After uncovering a nefarious plot to alter their minds and their DNA, the teens found themselves involved in a harrowing quest for survival. Will they all make it back to civilization with their personalities intact? (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
12-year-old twins, Edgar & Allan Poe, were not named on the whim of some devoted fan of the classics…they were, in fact, the great-great-great-great grandnephews of the famed author of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe himself. Their most notable characteristic, aside from their astoundingly high IQ’s, was that they were literally of one mind…they shared all of each other’s thoughts. Continually outwitting their teachers may have been great sport, but there was a crazed professor out there stalking them who had more nefarious plans in mind. He intended to kill off one of the twins to see if they still communicated with each other over the great divide. If he could gain control of information from the afterlife, world domination would be within his grasp! But Edgar and Allan possessed an intellect not to be trifled with. Through one hilarious escapade after another, the twins managed to thwart all the professor’s evil designs…with a little, albeit dubious, help from a doting granduncle watching from above. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
Flora, a young pig who has been brought up on a farm raising sled dogs, sees nothing but adventure in her future. Her chance comes when she is packed into the ship’s cargo to join the sled dogs on an amazing Antarctica adventure. As Flora befriends Aleric the cabin boy, Oscar the sled dog and Sophia the cat, she dreams of life as the head sled pig.
After all, what other purpose would a pig have on a ship? (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
Jinks, Catherine. HOW TO CATCH A BOGLE
New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013
IL 3-6, RL 4.9
Before you see a Bogle you will often smell them. Their terrible odor is something even Birdie can’t get used to. A Bogel is a monster, a goblin and sometimes called “the bogeyman”. Birdie is the 10 year old girl apprentice to Bogler, Alfred Bunce. Alfred catches the Bogles and kills them with his spear. A Bogle’s favorite food is children and Birdie, who sings sweetly like a bird, is the bait. This fantasy tale set in Victorian London follows Birdie and Mr. Bunce as they come up against the trials of earning a living, along with the wishes of wealthy ladies interested in the intersection of folklore and modern science. This is the first book in a planned trilogy. How to Catch a Bogle is a rather ghastly and sometimes smelly and gooey adventure you will not be able to cast aside.
(New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
Max Segredo isn’t a bad kid---but somehow, in each of the seven foster homes he’s lived in, bad things have happened. Foster parents die in not-so-ordinary ways, fires seem to just happen, and, yes, things go missing…
“It’s not my fault!” says Max.
Now he’s down to his last chance to avoid juvenile detention---the Merry Sunshine Orphanage.
The fact that the director of the orphanage meets him at the door with a pistol in her hand is the first sign that life at Merry Sunshine is going to be a little bit…different. “Fires? Stealing?” she says. “You know what I say?”
“Learn to control fire…and if you’re stealing, don’t get caught.”
Join Max as he learns that the Merry Sunshine Orphanage is actually a training center for would-be spies, and as he discovers that the father he believed was dead may actually be the best spy of all…
(New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
This is the story of a neglected young girl, a human-sized talking cat, a fairy-hating witch with a very bad lamp, a set of temperamental magic keys, and bunnies. So. Many. Bunnies.
Emily Vole was found as a baby in a suspiciously-ticking hatbox at the airport. The Dashwoods adopted her, but the self-absorbed couple quickly turned Emily into their servant when they had their own triplets. Forced to do nothing but chores, Emily is fortunately discovered by Miss String, her eccentric neighbor, and possibly a fairy, who gives her an education, and, all-too-soon, a large inheritance. With nothing to keep her, Emily runs away with Fidget, Miss String’s talking cat, to track down the evil witch who is killing fairies and leaving a trail of formerly-human pink bunnies in her wake. With the help of a grumpy former fairy detective and an enchanted shop that refuses to stay put, Emily is on her way to a magical destiny. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
When mum goes off to a conference, dad’s routine trip to the corner store for milk becomes an epic adventure through time and space! (well, spaceSHIPS, anyway. Well, A spaceship. Twice.)
While fetching milk for his children’s cereal, a father finds himself beamed up by aliens, threatened by pirates (who don’t even know about walking the plank!), meeting the balloon-flying stegosaurus scientist who invented time travel, rather elaborately avoiding a volcanic eruption and also escaping from some very pale, rather hungry-looking (and not at all sparkly) people with funny accents.
Oh, and there’s ponies at one point.
And possibly piranhas.
Will he ever return to his poor hungry children?
Where there is milk, there is hope!
(New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
Derek Lamb is eleven years old, likes superheroes, Saturday morning cartoons and Chocolate Ka Blams. For a long time, his father has been in Afghanistan piloting Apache helicopters for the US Army. On this latest deployment, it has been more than eight months since Derek’s Dad has been home. The letters they write to each other, ninety-one letters to date, serve to bridge the gap between them. Along with his Dad serving in a war zone, Derek has to endure the taunting of Budgie, a boy who once was his best friend. Will a new friend and the distraction of the school play help Derek cope at school and carry the burdens at home? Read this dramatic and often humorous story of “The Saturday Boy”. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
Tony is sent to live with his forest ranger Uncle Tio in the Sierra Nevada after his mother is sent to prison for dog fighting. With the friendship of his uncle’s wilderness search and rescue dog named Gabe, Tony opens up to this new world in the mountains. He develops the skills he needs to survive in the wilderness. This story is written in verse and alternates the voices of Tony and Gabe. Read about how Tony faces new challenges, and finds the meaning of family, both canine and human. Mountain Dog: the story of a boy and a dog and the adventure of a lifetime. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
Sixth grader Sugar Mae Cole struggles to keep her spirits high when life starts to unravel. Her mom can no longer cope and her gambling dad has disappeared. Once the family home has been lost, Sugar’s mom uproots her to Chicago chasing phantom jobs and sinking into depression. As life continues to spiral, Sugar clings to her cherished rescue dog, Shush as they end up in a shelter.Will the homeless duo stay together once they enter foster care? Will Sugar’s mom recover? With each step taken are they almost home? (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)
Imagine flying to another country to spend the summer with your mother who just happens to live with a group of Bonobos or pigmy Chimpanzees. Sophie plans to spend the summer in the Bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Instead, Sophie finds herself falling in love with a baby chimp named Otto. When the president of the Republic of the Congo is assassinated, she finds herself running for her life. Sophie spends the summer hiding from soldiers with the group of Bonobos while raising and protecting Otto. -Peg Bruch, Bangor Area High School. (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award nominee, 2014)
Riggs, Ransom. MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
quirk books, 2011
Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham, always told him stories about the mysterious orphanage where he grew up and the peculiar children who lived there. There were stories about an invisible boy, a girl who could hold fire in her bare hands, a boy who could single-handedly lift a boulder, and a levitating girl who had to wear special shoes just to keep her from floating away. A wise old “bird” named Miss Peregrine looked after them all. Jacob always thought the stories were too weird to be true. But after Abraham dies under strange and sinister circumstances, Jacob discovers some old photographs and letters that seem to match up with his grandfather’s tall tales. With his father, he travels halfway around the world to try and find the orphanage and tell his grandfather’s childhood friends how he died. But when he finally finds the house, it is in ruins – and has been since World War II. Or has it? Where are Miss Peregrine and the peculiar children? Were they ever even real? How did Abraham really die … and is Jacob going to be next? This is a spooky, magical page-turner that includes lots of real photographs discovered by the author. You will not be able to put it down, so pick it up today! Amy V. Pickett, Ridley High School (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award nominee, 2014)