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
ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND
Alice Bell knows that her father won't go out at night. She doesn't understand why. Everyone thinks he is a bit deranged. But when he does agree to go to her sister's concert, she comes to understand why he is so afraid. On the way home, they are attacked by creatures who kill Alice's parents and her sister. Alice goes to live with her grandparents and she learns the horrible truth. There are monsters out there that only a few can see. Her father was one of them. And she is another. And now she joins a team of others teens to fight the undead and avenge the deaths of her family.
HORTON AND THE KWUGGERBUG AND MORE LOST STORIES
New York : Random House, 2014
IL K-3, RL 2.4
Do you think you have read all the Dr. Seuss books? Well this is a new one! These stories first appeared in magazines many years ago. Now they are in a book for you to enjoy. You'll find stories about your favorite characters and places. Horton the Elephant is back. Marco, Mulberry Street and even a grinch. Enjoy these stories about your favorite Dr. Seuss friends.
WHEN YOU JUST HAVE TO ROAR!
St. Paul, MN : Redleaf Lane, 2015
IL K-3, RL 3.5
"It was just one of those days in Ms. Mya's classroom." Kids were kicking. Kids were running. Kids were making a mess. And one was roaring. Ms. Mya decided that it was time to take action. She gathers the children on the carpet and talks to them about classroom expectations. Can you think of some good classroom expectations that would work in the class?
A DOG WEARING SHOES
New York : Schwartz & Wade Books, 2015
IL K-3, RL 2.9
When Mini and her mother spot a stray dog, they decide to take it home and try to find the owner. Even though he has no collar, he must belong to someone. You see, he is wearing shoes! That's right. He is wearing four very yellow shoes. Will Mini be able to keep him forever? Or will he real owner be found?
READY PLAYER ONE
The year is 2044 and the world is a lot different than we know now. The world is an ugly reality to live in so those who can escape into the OASIS, a utopian virtual world. Wade Watts can't afford to purchase a lot of extras in the world but he does attend school in OASIS and plays lots of games. When James Halliday announces the biggest game in the universe, Wade is all in. Halliday has died and in his will he has detailed an elaborate online game. Halliday is the inventor of OASIS and he has hidden an Easter egg somewhere in OASIS. The contestants must make their way through different levels of the game and duel virtual enemies to try to find the Easter egg. Wade takes on the challenge and he sends his avatar Parzival on the quest for the largest payout in history -- ownership of OASIS itself. It won't be easy. Thousands of players are also on the quest. And there are evil corporations that will do anything for the prize.
Clark, Simon P.
TELL THE STORY TO ITS END
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2015
Oli and his mother have come to the country to stay with relatives but no one will tell him why his father is not with them. Oli in encouraged to explore the house as well as the town. He explores the attic in the house and finds a mysterious creature named Eren. Oli is not quite sure if Eren is even real. But the winged creature thirsts for stories. Lots of stories. Oli tells the stories but there is always the need for another. What is Eren and why are the stories needed?
Orca Press, 2012
IL 5-8, RL 5.0
Webb is doing OK by himself. He has been kicked out of his home and now spends his time on the streets of Toronto. His stepfather is abusive and he just can't live with that anymore. If he tells anyone, he risks putting his mother into danger. When Webb's beloved grandfather dies, he is told to come to the reading of the will. In the will, his grandfather tells him he must take a journey through 110 kilometers of Canadian wilderness and find a secret in Devil's Pass. The trip is hard and confusing for Webb. But as his grandfather always said, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
Worthington, Michelle. NOAH CHASES THE WIND New York : Redleaf Lane, 2015 IL K-3, RL 3.9 ISBN 160554356X Noah sees the world differently from most children. He can see patterns in the dust that flies through the air. He can feel a storm coming long before the trees even begin trembling. He loves to read and he loves to find out about the world around him. But he hasn't been able to figure out where the wind goes. Travel with Noah and he explores the world around him.
CAMILLE'S STORY 1910
New York : Simon Spotlight, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 5.1
Camille is the daughter of the cook at Rousseau Manor. Her father had been the groundskeeper until he passed away a few years before. Now Camille's mother is trying to teach her to cook even though Camille is not that good at it. Although she is in service at the manor, the Rousseaus treat her well and she sometimes forgets that she is the help. When the family learns that a young relative from the States will be coming to live with them, Camille does her best to prepare for the arrival. But she will find that there are secrets in the Manor.
LARRY AND THE MEANING OF LIFE
New York : Square Fish, 2014
Josh Swensen, aka Larry, is back and he is still searching for the meaning of life. After his adventures writing his blog and his run for President, he is still searching. And what better place to search than Walden Pond. Here he meets a strange man who convinces him to join a study group to find answers. Josh is a bit skeptical at first but he is intrigued. He starts with the idea that this is all a joke, but when he finds that his old crush is in the group, he is drawn in even more. How far will Josh go to find the meaning of life? And what twists and turns will we be put through this time?
WHAT PET SHOULD I GET?
New York : Random House, 2015
IL K-3, RL 1.5
Long after his death, a new book by Dr. Seuss has been found and released. Such a thrill to get to read a new Dr. Seuss book! In the story, the children are told that they can have a pet. But what pet should they get? A dog? A cat? Or something more unusual? What pet would you choose if you could have only one?
New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2015
This is going to be the cruise of a lifetime. Laurel can't believe that she gets to go. There is no way her family could afford to send her but her best friend's father has paid her way. The curise is filled with celebrities and the ship is amazing. This is the launch of Solu -- a new sweetener that actually helps you loose weight. The world has been waiting for this and the guest on this cruise will be the first to use it. Laurel is wondering if she can really fit in and when the Tom Forelli, the hottest celeb on the cruise, starts to talk to her, she throws up on his shoes. Not a great start. Little does she know that things will get a lot worse on this cruise. When she realizes that Solu may have shocking side effects, can she convince her best friend to stop taking it?
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS LITTLE
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
IL K-3, RL 0.9
Even though something seems little, it doesn't mean that it is. A little fish can be very brave. An little idea can be something fantastic. Pick this book up to see how some things that seem little when you first see them, are really big.
I DON'T WANT TO BE A FROG
New York : Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2015
IL K-3, RL 1.4
Poor frog. He wants to be anything but a frog. He doesn't want to be green, slimy and wet. He dreams of becoming a cat, or an owl. What about a pig? Anything but a frog. What happens that makes him change his mind?
Kono, Erin Eitter.
CATERINA AND THE BEST BEACH DAY
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015
IL K-3, RL 1.6
Caterina and her brother are going to spend the day at the beach. And she is determined to make this the best beach day ever. She starts making lists and planning the whole day out. They will collect shells, fly kits and build a sand castle. And so much more. But when they get to the beach, will Caterina find that sometimes plans need to change?
THE NEPTUNE PROJECT
New York : Disney Hyperion Books, 2012
IL 5-8, RL 5.6
In a not so distant future, we meet Nere, a teen who is living with health issues. She has always had trouble with her lungs but the medicine helps some. She lives with her scientist mother and their dolphins. Well, technically, they don't own the dolphins but they have trained them for years and feel they are part of the family. Both Nere and her mother are telepaths and can "talk" to one of the dolphins. When the government swoops in and demands that all families move away from the coast and move inland, things are going to change forever. Nere's mother brings her down to the secret lab. Two other children are brought down as well and they learn the truth about their condition. They have been genetically modified to live underwater! It will just take one more injection. And just like that, everything Nere knows is shown to be a lie. She is an experiment. And the father who she believed had died is alive and well and creating a colony of children who live underwater. But this journey will be filled with danger, shifting friendships, and new adventures.
HANK HAS A DREAM
New York : Peter Pauper Press, 2014
IL K-3, RL 1.4
Hank is back in a new book. He is telling his friend about a dream he had. He's all alone in the dream but not afraid. And then he starts to fly. But he is not afraid. Come along in to Hank's magical forest and listen to him tell all about his dream.
HOME TWEET HOME
New York : Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2015
IL K-3, RL 2.0
Pipi and Burt don't like living with so many brothers and sisters. Those of you from large families will certainly understand their feelings. The house is so crowded and noisy. They decide to run away and see what is out there. But what they find is not what they expect. Can their life in a large, rowdy family be as bad as they thought?
THE SAFEST LIE
New York : Holiday House, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 3.9
Nine year old Anna Bauman knows that it is not safe to be a Jew in Nazi occupied Poland. The family has been forced into the Warsaw ghetto and it is a very hard life. But her parents are determined to save Anna even if they can't save themselves. She is to become Anna Karwolska, an 8 year old Catholic girl. She is smuggled out of Warsaw and is taken to a Catholic orphanage. She must never reveal her true name or the fact that she is Jewish. The story follows Anna's three years in hiding and the changes she goes through as she tries to live as Anna Karwolska while not forgetting Anna Bauman.
A PASSION FOR ELEPHANTS : THE REAL LIFE ADVENTURE OF FIELD SCIENTIST CYNTHIA MOSS
New York : Dial, 2015
Cynthia Moss was not afraid of big things. Or big challenges. I didn't know much about her before I read this biography but I am glad that I read it. After graduating from college, Cynthia decided to travel to Africa to see the big continent. While she was there, she got a job photographing elephants. They were big but Cynthia was not afraid. Day after day, Cynthia spent time with the elephants. And with each day, she learned more and more about their behavior. Would you like to find out what Cynthia Moss learned?
Baskin, Nora Raleigh.
RUBY ON THE OUTSIDE
New York : Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 4.4
Eleven year old Ruby Danes has a secret. And she has been keeping it for a long time. Her mother is in prison. Ruby just doesn't want anyone to know. She hasn't really had any friends who she feels close enough to who she wants to risk letting them know. But things may be changing. There is a new girl at the condo complex who is Ruby's age. Throughout the summer, Ruby and Margalit become close friends. Ruby is wondering if she can trust Margalit with the truth but then she learns some disturbing details about her mother's crime. Can it have something to do with Margalit?
FIND MOMO : MY DOG IS HIDING IN THIS BOOK
New York : Quirk Books, 2014
In 2012, Andrew Knapp started photographing his border collie, Momo, hiding in various places, and then posted these shots on Instagram with the hashtag #findMomo. Knapp’s 600 followers quickly grew and now he has over 350,000 followers who play this massive game of hide-and-seek. In this photo essay readers can join the fun, searching for Momo in over 100 photographs. In case readers get stumped, an answer key is included which also gives information about where each photograph was taken. This book is pure enjoyment, reminiscent of searching for Waldo, but with beautiful photography. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE
Simon & Schuster, 2014
Lara Jean’s love letters to all the boys she’s ever crushed on were never supposed to be mailed. They were just a way for her to move on by proving to herself that she is over it. The letters were sealed and safely stored away in a special hatbox that belonged to her mother, who died years ago. But somehow these secret love letters have been sent and delivered: to a crush from summer camp … to her very first kiss, Peter, who has just broken up with his girlfriend … and to her older sister’s boyfriend, the boy next door who Lara Jean adored from afar before he began dating Margot. Now that her secrets have been exposed, what will Lara Jean do next? She can’t turn to Margot, who is studying abroad. A fake relationship with Peter, who wants to get back at his ex, seems like a good idea at first. But real feelings bubble to the surface as Lara Jean realizes that maybe she’s not as over it all as she thought. Is this whole mess the worst thing that could happen, or a bit of romantic serendipity? And if you need more sweet secrets in your life, check out P.S. I Still Love You, a sequel that will make you fall for Lara Jean’s story all over again! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
THE FAMILY ROMANOV : MURDER, REBELLION, AND THE FALL OF IMPERIAL RUSSIA
New York : Schwartz & Wade, 2014
Imagine having so much money that you couldn’t spend it all in one lifetime. Then imagine ruling over a land so vast that it was morning in one part, while it was still night in another. If you were part of the Romanov family, that is what you would have done. However, you would also be brutally murdered one night along with the rest of your family. The Romanovs were a royal Russian family who lived in a fairy tale world. An evil monk named Rasputin made sure that the family didn’t know that their people were very angry and were starving. The Romanovs didn’t know how their people had to live, but the people knew how the Romanovs lived. The story is true and one you will not forget. This is an easy way to learn a bit of Russian history. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Speak, 2014
At age 13, Theo was focused on ballet, her best friend Donovan, and her secret older boyfriend Trent. But then Trent dumped her, Donovan vanished, and Theo developed a severe eating disorder. Four years later, she's healthier and steadily pursuing her dream of being one of only a few African-American ballerinas to dance with a professional company. When Donovan is found and returned home, Theo is shocked to discover that the "person of interest" in Donovan's abduction is none other than Trent. Now Theo is torn between her dark secret and her loyalty to Donovan, who isn't speaking to anyone. As one of the last people to see Donovan before his disappearance, Theo is expected to testify, and she battles with herself over how much to reveal about her history with the man on trial. Will it impact her opportunities in the dance world, and will it change how a new love interest sees her? Meanwhile, the more she worries, the less she eats. Theo’s awakening to the truth about Trent, Donovan, and especially herself is suspenseful and emotional. This beautifully creative debut novel is realistic YA fiction at its best! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Stone, Tanya Lee.
COURAGE HAS NO COLOR
Somerville, MA : Candlewick Press, 2013
The true story of the first African-American paratroopers formed during World War II. Follow their struggle as they strive to overcome discrimination and rejection despite their exemplary efforts and training. While they never did serve overseas in the war, they were sent on a secret mission to the western United States to find and dismantle balloon bombs sent over by the Japanese. This is an inspiring story of courage and determination in spite of the many hardships they faced. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Snyder, Maria V.
New York : Leap Books, 2013
IL 5-8, RL 6.0
Luke is terrified of thunderstorms! He always has been, but even more so now that his mother has been struck and killed by lightning. His dad is a rescue dog handler and has promised Luke a dog for his birthday. His dad makes arrangements for him to work at a neighboring dog kennel in order to pay for the dog, but Luke really wants a different dog than what his dad wants him to have. Will Luke get the dog he wants? Will he overcome his fear of thunderstorms? Read this compelling realistic fiction story to find out. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Scholastic, 2012
Would you hike into the forest with a stranger to help him study chimpanzees in the wild? Luc, an orphan in Gabon, Africa, does this to escape from the debt he owes to the bill collector for his mother’s medical treatment before she died. Prof is an interesting man who wants to become the authority on the endangered chimps. He helps Luc learn to read and write as they observe the chimps. Read to learn more about Luc’s adventures with these fascinating endangered animals. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Philbrick, W. R.
ZANE AND THE HURRICANE : A STORY OF KATRINA
New York : Blue Sky Press, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 6.0
Zane is visiting his great-grandmother in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina approaches. While they are evacuating, his dog, Bandit, runs away, and Zane is separated from his great-grandmother. Zane must survive the storm alone. Will he and his dog find his great-grandmother and make it safely back to his mother in New Hampshire? (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
THE SUMMER EXPERIMENT
New York : Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 4.2
Roberta and her friend Merilee are working on a science project that will surely make them the talk of the school: Are there aliens in Allagash, Maine? The girls hope to win the state science fair and they have the whole summer to work on this project. It seems like they will be able to win and beat the annoying Henry Horton Harris Hemsley when they see white lights over Allagash. Despite the family heartbreak the summer brings, the girls are convinced this will be the summer they make their mark on the world. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Clarion, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 5.8
Milo and his family run an inn in a smuggler’s town. It is supposed to be a quiet winter break with just the family, but several guests arrive at the Greenglass House and, due to snow, stay for the break. Each guest has a secretive reason for coming to Greenglass House. As Milo and his new friend Meddy try to unravel the motives, things only become more mysterious. Secrets, an old attic and buried treasure will keep you and Milo on your toes! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Hurwitz, Michele Weber.
THE SUMMER I SAVED THE WORLD IN 65 DAYS
New York : Wendy Lamb, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 3.9
It is the beginning of summer. 65 long hot, muggy days lay ahead. Nina’s parents and brother are preoccupied with their own problems. In fact, everyone in her neighborhood cul-de-sac seems to be busy. Normally, Nina and her grandmother would be involved in a project or cooking, but Grandma died last year and Nina is on her own. She needs a plan. Nina wonders, what would happen if she does one kind deed each day? “Does doing good really do any good?” (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Holm, Jennifer L.
THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH
New York : Random, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 4.4
When her mother picks her grandfather up from jail, Ellie’s sixth grade year takes a drastic turn. Her grandfather is a scientist and, in his latest experiment, has discovered the fountain of youth. He is now a teenage version of himself and will be attending her middle school! How will she survive having her cantankerous grandfather at school every day? Is the world ready for this scientific breakthrough? (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
THE CASTLE BEHIND THORNS
New York : Katherine Tegen Books, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 3.9
Sand, short for Alexandre, wakes up in an abandoned castle where everything is broken. A wall of thick, dangerous thorns makes escape impossible. Trained as a blacksmith, Sand begins to repair objects in the castle, awakening the castle’s magic. A girl appears and together they must find a way to escape before it is too late! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
DEATH BY TOILET PAPER
New York : Delacorte Press, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 4.9
Fact: Each day, 83,048,116 rolls of toilet paper are produced worldwide
Fact: Prior to the invention of toilet paper, Eskimos used snow and tundra moss.
Fact: World Toilet Day is celebrated on November 19.
Fact: The most expensive toilet is found at the international space station. NASA paid nineteen million dollars for a Russian built toilet system.
Fact: If Ben’s family can’t come up with the money, they will be evicted from their home. Ben’s dad died a year ago and things are tight. Ben tries to help by selling candy, entering sweepstakes and other contests. The latest contest is making up a new slogan for The Royal T Bathroom Tissue. How do Ben and his buddy, Toothpick, an aspiring horror movie make-up artist and Grandpa Jake save the day? Find out other amazing facts about toilets and toilet paper. Even with Ben’s serious family problems, this book will tickle your funny bone. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Bradley, F. T.
DOUBLE VISION : CODE NAME 711
New York : Harper, 2013
IL 3-6, RL 4.6
One minute Lincoln Baker is playing video games with his friends, and the next minute the CIA needs his help. An assassin is plotting to set off explosives at a White House costume party. With spies around every corner, it’s hard to know who to trust. Linc will have to team up with the President’s daughter to stand a chance at beating the clock, the assassin, and Ben, a junior secret agent who looks just like Linc. Can Linc find the Dangerous Double of George Washington’s Revolutionary War coat before it’s too late? (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Capstone Young Readers, 2013
IL 5-8, RL 4.3
When two best friends have a falling out, they find themselves in a strange new world after making a wish in the woods. Not only are fairies real, but these girls will hold the key to preventing a war in Faerieground. Read this fantasy story with numerous detailed pictures that will keep you turning the pages until the very end and then wanting more. Be careful what you wish for! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
STUBBY THE WAR DOG : THE TRUE STORY OF WORLD WAR I'S BRAVEST DOG
Washington DC : National Geographic, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 7.2
This true story will amaze you. How could a stray dog become a war hero and loving companion? Private Robert Conroy found Stubby wandering around the streets of New Haven, Connecticut. When he was being shipped over to France in 1917 to fight in World War I, he couldn’t bear to leave his dog behind. This was a good thing because Stubby turned out to be a real hero! Stubby had an amazing nose and could sniff out an enemy soldier. He could take the medical teams right to wounded ally soldiers. He even captured a German soldier sneaking forward to the American lines. Besides Stubby’s heroic efforts you will read about the grueling life in the front lines and the other perils that these young men faced. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
THE NIGHT GARDENER
New York : Amulet Books, 2014
If you are in the mood for an old-fashioned, creepy, scary, bone-chilling twisted mystery, this book is for you. The spooky Victorian house where Molly and Kip, two Irish orphans are employed holds a deep dark secret in its "roots". Does the tall stranger with the black hat and watering can, who wanders the house at night, hold the key to this murky mystery? (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 4.3
Using rap poetry, Kwame Alexander introduces you to Josh and Jordan, twin basketball stars at their school. The twins are double trouble both on and off the court until Jordan gets a girlfriend. Suddenly Josh feels left out; add to that his dad, a former professional basketball player, seems to be keeping secrets. Why is his mom on a sudden health food kick? What is his dad hiding? Find out while tapping to the beat of Josh’s rap. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
THE BLOSSOMING UNIVERSE OF VIOLET DIAMOND
New York : Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 4.6
Eleven-year-old biracial Violet has a loving family – Mom, sister Daisy, Gam and Poppy – but she often feels out of place in Moon Lake, Washington, a mostly white community. Her African American father died before she was born and she has never met his side of her family, until her grandmother has an art exhibit in Seattle. Can she convince her mother to take her to the art exhibit? And will her grandmother accept her if she does? (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Harper, 2013
IL 3-6, RL 5.1
When seventh grader Logan Wilde wakes up in his new home in rural Xanadu, Wyoming, he spots large golden feathers on the floor. He soon discovers they belong to a hungry baby griffin hiding under his bed. Logan learns the baby griffin comes from a secret place called the Menagerie, a large habitat set up for the protection of mythical beasts. It contains unicorns, dragons, and phoenixes, and many other magical beasts. Who let the baby griffin out and is sabotaging the safety of all the magical beasts? Can Logan and his friends save the Menagerie? (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
WINTER BEES AND OTHER POEMS OF THE COLD
New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
IL K-3, RL 5.1
You can feel the air get frostier as you open this book of poetry. Journey through the snow-covered forest to learn about how different animals experience winter. The page about snakes will curl your toes! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Delacorte, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 4.3
Eleven-year-old Charlie Laird is absolutely convinced that his stepmother Charlotte is a witch. Charlie's dad, little brother, and friends all like Charlotte and think Charlie's still grieving for his mom. He's also suffering from terrible nightmares. His nightmares and his real life begin to become one and the same. Then his nightmares take a bold step into his waking world. Will Charlie learn to overcome his fears and stop the nightmares? (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Scieszka , Jon.
FRANK EINSTEIN AND THE ANTIMATTER MOTOR
New York : Amulet, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 5.9
Frank Einstein, a kid genius inventor, is eager to create contraptions to figure out how the world works. Read this book with or without your safety goggles but be prepared for an action packed science fiction adventure with cool science facts, silliness, some sign language and lots of detailed diagrams throughout. Frank tries to build a SmartBot in his garage but believes he has failed. Surprisingly, overnight a bolt of electricity from a lightning storm zaps the bot’s brain to life, it self assembles and makes another robot. Unfortunately, Frank now has Klink, a smart robot full of wisecracks that’s able to learn and then there’s Klank, a robot who really just wants to hug. Nevertheless, the three of them try to work together to perfect Frank’s Antimatter Motor to win prize money so that Frank’s Grandpa won’t have to lose his Fix-It Shop. Frank’s best friend, Watson, is also always there to help. But, will this antimatter idea fall into the wrong hands of Frank’s evil arch nemesis, T. Edison? You’ll have to read this book to find out why it’s important to never give up and that when it comes to science how the failures can be just as important as the successes. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
THE SECRET BOX
New York : Katherine Tegan, 2013
IL 3-6. RL 3.9
On her 12th birthday, Jax receives a package in the mail from her great-aunt Juniper. Just another boring gift, she imagines. But when her mother anxiously snatches the mysterious package away, Jax’s curiosity is ignited. She must find out what’s inside! With the help of her shy, younger cousin Ethan and his obnoxious, older, tech genius, video gaming brother, Tyler, she begins the task of surreptitiously stealing her package back from the Post Office, where her mother has taken it to be returned to sender. Tearing the package open, Jax finds a box which can’t be opened. In order to find out what’s inside, the three learn they must unravel clues to lead them to the only location in which it will open. They are not the only ones who crave the secret box. Dangerous criminals will do anything to steal it. Will they be able to hold onto the powerful box? Are they clever enough to solve the clues in time? Told in the alternating voices of Jax and Ethan, this suspenseful mystery is full of intrigue and danger. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
SPACE TAXI : ARCHIE TAKES FLIGHT
Boston : Little, Brown, 2014
IL K-3, RL 3.6
It's not every day a regular kid like Archie gets to wake up at midnight. But today is Take Your Kid to Work Day, and Archie is finally allowed to ride along in his dad's taxi cab. He has been waiting eight years, eight months, and eight days for this moment to arrive.
But he's about to discover his dad is no ordinary cab driver...In fact, he drives an intergalactic space taxi! All night long, he shuttles aliens from one corner of the universe to another. And being a space taxi copilot is no easy task. Archie must steer them into wormholes, keep them from crashing into planets, deal with a very unusual cat...and save the universe from an evil mastermind! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
Boston : Little Brown, 2012
Four minutes. That's all. Just four minutes late for her flight. When has a flight ever left on time? As she watches the plane leave, she is wondering if maybe she wanted to miss the plane. She is on her way to London for her father's second marriage. She is not happy about him leaving and she doesn't really want to go. As she waits for a later flight, she meets a young man who is also going to London for a family event. As the hours pass by on the flight, the two talk, share, tease and pass the time. They both feel very comfortable with each other and are reluctant to part when they land. Oliver likes throwing out statistics. What would he say was the statistical probability of them ever meeting again?
RULE OF THRE3
New York : Farrar, Straus Giroux, 2014
It is just another day at school. Todd is trying to get a paper done before last period and Adam is trying to help. When the lights go out, it sends that giddy feeling to the kids in the library. But it is more than that. The cell phones don't work either. Then they find that the buses and cars don't work. Any item that needs a computer to run is just dead. No explanations and no way to find out what is going on. Fortunately Adam's car is an old one that doesn't need computers to run. He is able to get home but many others are not so fortunate. Everyone assumes things will be back to normal soon. As the days go by and that doesn't happen, things begin to get a bit desperate. There are three rules for survival. You can go 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. Beyond that, you're dead. Now it is down to survival. What will happen to Adam's neighborhood? What happens when civilization breaks down?
Martin, Ann M.
New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2014
Homophones and prime numbers provide structure and comfort for fifth-grader Rose Howard. Rose has many challenges in her life. Her mother left home when Rose was just 2 years old. Her father is often absent and has a drinking problem. Rose also has a very hard time in school. She has been diagnosed with autism and has difficulties controlling her emotions and her behavior. One day her father brings a stray dog home and allows Rose to keep him. She names him Rain because the word rain (reign, rein) is a homophone. They bond completely. However Rose discovers that Rain has another family. What will Rose do? Will she let Rain’s family know where Rain is? How can Rose survive without Rain? Can she leave her Dad and live with her supportive uncle? Read Rain Reign for Rose’s heartwarming story. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Halls, Kelly Milner.
Minneapolis MN : Darby Creek, 2015
Prolific non-fiction author Kelly Milner Halls has turned her talents to a new fiction series. In the first in the Animal Rescues series, we meet fourteen year old Annie who has always dreamed of owning her own horse. And now her dreams have come true. She has finally saved enough money to buy her own horse. She buys a four year old buckskin named Poco. He isn't the most gentle horse and she will have to work with him to settle him down. But she has the love and the will to do it. She stables Poco at Top Tier Stables where she volunteers in exchange. She loves being around the horses and her work is going well with Poco. But someone has it out for the stables. When a terrible fire breaks out, Annie must draw on all her courage to try to save her horse. But is she strong enough to face the flames?
HALF A CHANCE
New York : Scholastic, 2014
Twelve year-old Lucy is not happy to move again. This time she is moving to a remote lake in New Hampshire, but her nature photographer father will not be there. He will be traveling to Arizona for work. Moving for Lucy means new friends, new school, and lots of new experiences. Lucy handles her loneliness by entering a photography contest. She loves taking photographs. Because her father is the judge of the contest she enters under a false name. She uses the identity of her new neighbor Nate. Nate has spent all his summers at the lake with his grandmother, Lilah who is now losing her memory. Nate and Lucy try to help Lilah by working with her on her loon count. Will Nate be able to accept his grandmother’s loss of memory? Will Lucy tell her dad about deceiving him in the contest? Will Lucy and Nate’s friendship survive these challenges? Reading Half a Chance will give you some surprising answers. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH
New York : Schwartz & Wade, 2014
In 1870, widow Tulip Jones packs up her twelve pet tortoises: January, February, March, and so on, and boards a ship traveling from England to By-Golly, Texas, where she inherits a ranch, along with thirty-five million dollars. Amazed at how fast and big things grow, she discovers that even her smallest pet tortoise grows six feet long in a month. His large size makes him move even FASTER; soon, he can outrace the fastest racehorse. When word of widow Tulip Jones and her inheritance spreads across the prairie, all the bachelors in Texas, (which is every cowboy, even some nasty ones) wish to marry her. Before long, Tulip Jones is overwhelmed with unsuitable suitors. Calico, one of her three ranch hands, comes up with a clever idea. She proposes that Tulip Jones put a notice in every newspaper in the U.S. stating, “Brides wanted! 1,000 cowboys available! Free to good homes! Lariats and hats included!” Tulip Jones does exactly that. Before long, the brides come, garbed in their finest wedding dresses. Read to find out if every bride gets her cowboy, and if widow Tulip Jones finds happiness in By-Golly. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2013
Are you seeking a new adventure to take you away from your own backyard? Then you’ll want to put Mountain Dog by Margarita Engle in your backpack today and head west. This book is a compelling realistic fiction novel set in the remote Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. It’s filled with struggles and celebrations, relationships and rescues. And what’s even cooler is this story is told through two alternating perspectives. Meet Tony, the resilient 11 and a half year old boy who’s mom has been sent to jail for running pit bull fights and Gabe, the loyal chocolate lab rescue dog who becomes his trusted companion. After reading this book you’ll also be amazed at how much you will have actually learned about rescue dogs, tracking wild animals, hiking, making new friends, adapting to a new home, and even some interesting facts about bears and elephants. You’ll even manage to learn a few new Spanish phrases along the way. But more importantly, you will definitely learn the value of trust as you journey through life. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Burns, Loree Griffin.
HANDLE WITH CARE : AN UNUSUAL BUTTERFLY JOURNEY
New York : Millbrook, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 3.7
Have you been to a live butterfly exhibit at a museum or at a zoo? Where do these lovely exotic butterflies come from? Come visit a butterfly farm in Costa Rica in Central America. Follow the life cycle of the Blue Morpho Butterfly from a tiny egg to a voracious larva (caterpillar) to pupa or chrysalis to finally a beautiful adult butterfly. Raising a butterfly or moth is not easy. The farmers must find the special plants for their food and keep them safe from predators like frogs, birds or snakes! When the caterpillars become chrysalises, the farmers send them, carefully packaged, to museums and zoos all over the world. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Amulet Books, 2014
In this semi-autobiographical graphic novel, Cece, a bunny, gets sick and loses most of her hearing. She then goes to a school for the deaf for one year. After that first year, she goes to regular school where she is the only deaf student. She has to wear a device called the Phonics Ear, which allows her to hear what the teacher is saying, and often more than she wants to hear if the teacher forgets she is wearing the microphone part of the Phonics Ear and goes to the bathroom. Cece imagines herself as a superhero, El Deafo, who is accepted by classmates. This is a good story about friendship and about accepting who you are. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Boston : Little, Brown, 2013
IL 3-6, RL 4.4
Matt always knew that he was the modern day descendent of Thor, but he never guessed that he would be selected as Thor’s representative to try to prevent Ragnarök, a series of events foretold to result in the end of the world as we know it. Teamed up with his cousin Laurie and classmate Fen, Matt must find Thor’s hammer and shield to prepare for impending battle. His journey of preparation leads him and his friends into encounters with a series of monsters from Norse mythology. If you enjoyed the Percy Jackson series, you will love this adventure into lesser-known mythology from Scandinavia! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
THREE BEARS IN A BOAT
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014
IL K-3, RL 3.4
When young bears Dash, Charlie and Theo “did something they really shouldn’t have,” they accidentally break their mother’s blue seashell. Their quest to make amends takes them on a remarkable journey across the sea where they meet new friends and encounter danger. Will they make their way home again? Will they find a seashell for their mother? Read to find out! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Shea, Bob. BUDDY AND THE BUNNIES IN DON'T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD! New York : Disney Hyperion, 2014 IL K-3, RL 1.6 ISBN 1423168070 Buddy is a very grumpy monster who has no time for niceties. When he stumbles upon some bunnies, he knows he must eat them! But the bunnies have another idea. You will giggle and cheer as the bunnies find trick after trick to keep Buddy distracted from his dinner plans! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Committee)
THE NOISY PAINT BOX
New York : Knopf, 2014
Vasily Kandinsky was a pioneer of abstract painting, but as a child he was encouraged to be serious about his studies. He studied to become a lawyer and put his childhood hobby of painting aside. He had an unusual condition that allowed him to experience music and sounds visually: in addition to hearing sounds, he also saw them as colors. Read The Noisy Paint Box to find out how this condition led him to return to his childhood interest and invent a whole new style of painting. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
A BABY ELEPHANT IN THE WILD
New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
IL K-3, RL 4.6
Meet adorable Liza, a baby elephant with strikingly pink ears, toenails, and tummy. Born in Namibia, Africa, she shares her scrub desert habitat with giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and lions. As a newborn weighing 250 lbs., Liza has tons of growing to do, since her mother weighs 8,000 lbs. Within a few hours of birth, Liza must travel with her extended family, covering up to 20 miles a day, to reach food and water. All of the family-oriented elephants stick together to protect Liza and the other young from attacks by prides of lions or hyenas. Read about Liza and her elephant family and discover many fascinating elephant facts, such as, they are the largest mammal on earth with the largest teeth (tusks). Elephants pass down their wisdom from generation to generation. That must amount to a lot of knowledge, since they come from the Proboscidea order, which has been on earth for 55 million years. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Lewis, J. Patrick.
New York : Schwartz Wade, 2014
Two of children’s poetry’s most prolific and entertaining writers pair up to bring you a collection of wild and wonderful poems about cars. But you won’t see these cars on the highway! The poets and illustrator Jeremy Holmes have created a fantastical world full of imaginary automobiles like the bathtub car, the banana split car and the eel-ectric car. Filled with word play, rollicking rhymes and illustrations that are even wackier than the poems that inspired them, this book is impossible to read only once! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
LITTLE RED WRITING
New York : Chronicle Books, 2013
IL K-3, RL 3.4
Little Red Writing is a story about Little Red in Pencil School, where Ms. 2, her teacher, instructs the class on how to write a story. The other pencils, Birthday pencil, State pencil, and Basketball pencil, can’t wait to write their happy, nonfiction “Great State of Pencilvania,” stories. Ambitious Little Red truly wants to write an adventure story about a brave and courageous character, who journeys through the school, fighting evil to “save the day.” Little Red begins by traipsing through the gym, bouncing, boogieing, and finally cartwheeling into the “deep, dark, descriptive forest,” the school library, on the next page. Hearing growling, the suspense intensifies as she spots a tail, and follows it into Principal Granny’s office, where Little Red meets Wolf 3000, showing his big sharp teeth instead of her Principal. Big Red musters her courage and bravery to combat the fierce pencil sharpener. Read to find out if she saves Principal Granny, now a short stub of a pencil, before it’s too late. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014
IL K-3, RL 2.1
If you laugh at Junie B. you’ll laugh out loud when you meet lovable six-year old Dory Fantasmagory in this new beginning chapter book series. Everyone calls her Rascal but all that Dory really wants is attention and she has just enough wild imagination and endless energy to never stop trying. She’s the youngest in the family and unfortunately, her older brother, Luke, and older sister, Violet, only roll their eyes and invent scary sharp-toothed Mrs. Gobble Gracker to try and stop their little sister from being such a pest. After all, Rascal is supposed to be ready to go to first grade and it’s about time she stopped acting like a baby by asking so many annoying questions. Dory won’t quit outsmarting monsters and you’ll be surprised when she actually proves her bravery in real life! The hilarious illustrations will also help you to see her antics more clearly, and you can watch her grow in the second Dory story, Dory and the Real True Friend due out later this year. The author/illustrator, Abby Hanlon, is already thinking about her third Dory book too! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
THE PRINCESS IN BLACK
Somerville, MA : Candlewick, 2014
IL K-3, RL 3.2
While young Princess Magnolia entertains an unexpected guest with hot chocolate and delicious scones in her majestic castle, her monster alarm rings. Her guest, Duchess Wigtower, enjoys visiting unsuspecting friend’s homes to uncover their secrets. Oh no, the princess does have a big secret, and, hearing the alarm, she scurries into the broom closet, secretly changing from her frilly pink gown and tiara into her black dress, tights, and cape. Clad in her Princess in Black outfit, she slides down the secret chute of her castle, climbs upon her unicorn Frimplepants, and scoots off to Monster Land. Will she reach Monster Land before the big, hungry Blue Monster gobbles up two tasty goats? Read to find out if the Princess in Black saves the tender goats and returns to her castle before nosy Duchess Wigtower figures out her true identity. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Antheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014
IL K-3, RL 2.8
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Three of these puppies are French poodles and no bigger than teacups but Gaston, who is actually a French bulldog, is the size of a teapot! As you get to know Gaston, you’ll want to give him credit for trying to be such a proper pooch just like his sisters. One day, Gaston’s family meets a bulldog family in the park with roundish faces and three brothers named Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and their dainty poodle sister named, Antoinette. Gaston and Antoinette quickly realize there must have been a mix-up between the families and decide to switch places. The new families look right…but they just don’t feel right. You’ll have to read this book to find out where these two adorable dogs find their rightful place and happiness. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)