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
Today I am going to turn the podcasting duties over to students. 7th graders from Middlesex Middle School in Darien CT have shared their podcasts with me and I will gladly share them with others. Brown, Daniel.THE BOYS IN THE BOAT : NINE AMERICANS AND THEIR EPIC QUEST FOR GOLD AT THE 1936 BERLIN OLYMPICSNew York : Viking, 2013IL ADpodcast by Catie, Middlesex Middle School, Darien CT, 7th grade
Winters, Ben H. THE LAST POLICEMAN
New York : Quirk Books, 2012
When Detective Henry Palace is called to the scene of an apparent suicide, he is not surprised. New Hampshire has become the scene of numerous hangings since the word came that the world is about to end. A large meteor is on a collision path with Earth and there is now a 100% chance that it will hit and end our world. Since then, people have been opting out in a variety of ways. Some choose suicide. Some decide to chuck it all and work on their bucket list. But Henry Palace has chosen to stay on the job and try to do his best. So when he arrives at the scene, he doesn't assume suicide. As a matter of fact, he suspects that the man was murdered. And Henry sets out to solve the case. Along the way, he comes up against those he don't think it is even worth the investigation. After all, in a few months, everyone will be dead. But it is important to Henry to solve this crime. This is the first of a trilogy.
Wilson, N. D. NINJA BOY GOES TO SCHOOL
New York : Random House, 2014
IL K-3, RL 2.5
It is not always easy being a ninja. Especially when you are going to school. You have to use all your ninja skills. Balance life a flamingo without looking silly. Have the strength of a gorilla without the smell. And strike when the time is right. But you must also learn to face your enemies in whatever format they appear.
Walsh, Ann. FLOWER POWER
Custer, WA : Orca Book Publishers, 2005
IL 5-8, RL 3.8
Callie's mother is up a tree. Really, it's true. Dian Powers has chained herself to a tree. Callie is so embarrassed about this. Sure her mother has done some odd things in her life but this is a bit much. Their neighbor told Dian that he is cutting down the tree. This tree has so many memories for both families, it just needs to be saved. The tree house is actually in the Powers' yard but the tree belongs to the neighbor. And now there are reporters all shouting to be heard, there is a group of Singing Grammies singing protest songs, Mr. Wilson's motorcycle buddies shouting at the Grammies, neighbors furious about the mess, and now the police. How is Callie going to cope with all this?
Wescott, Shelbi. VARIABLES
North York, ON : Arthur Press, 2014
In the last book of the series, we find the groups getting ready to move to their new homes. The underground System is being left behind. There are several islands that have been built to house the new utopian society. When the assignments are given, several families find that they are assigned to the island home that is not ready. They are to stay behind in the System while everyone else begins their new lives in beautiful new societies. When Lucy and her family arrive at their new home, they find a remarkable community with amazing views. But Lucy can't be happy because Grant has been left behind and will be shipped to the last island when it is finished. Her father tried to get Grant transferred but was not successful. Lucy feels that something is just not right about all this. Huck is getting more and more controlling and it is becoming obvious that you don't go against Huck or there are consequences. Even before the move to the islands, one of the Systems dared to question him and all their power was shut off. And there are whispers of discontent even on the governing board. With Huck in total control, what can the survivors do but go along with his every demand. But what happens when his actions become known?
Wescott, Shelbi. THE SYSTEM
North York, ON : Arthur Press, 2013
It has been a week since the virus was released that killed the world. Well, most of it. There are very few survivors. Lucy and her brother Ethan were vaccinated against the virus. You see, their father is the one who created the virus. Scott left a few backup doses of the vaccine and Ethan has used them to save others. But Ethan is in trouble. He had an accident and is danger of losing his life to infection. Lucy and her friend Grant have set off for Nebraska in a hot air balloon. This is where they believe Lucy's father is. They believe that he will send rescuers to help Ethan and protect the rest of their small survivors group. Meanwhile in the underground System, Huck is moving forward on his plans to wipe out all life on earth and start again in his own utopia. When Lucy and Grant arrive at the System, they are greeted with mixed emotions. Lucy is allowed to join her family but when Huck learns that Grant survived the virus, he instructs Scott to develop a new virus to kill those who survived the first strike. He must kill Grant. And what about Ethan and the others back in Portland? Will he allow them to live?
Wescott, Shelbi. VIRULENT
North York, ON : Arthur Press, 2013
Lucy King is not having a great day. Her family is about to go on a vacation of a lifetime and yet her teachers are giving her grief for missing school. They are probably just jealous. But things are not what they seem. Little could anyone know what is really going on. On the day of their trip, Lucy and her brother Ethan sneak out and are left behind. And now the world is going crazy. People are dropping dead all over. And Lucy is stuck in lockdown at school. That doesn't stop the virus and teachers and students begin to die quickly. By the end of the day, most of the world's population has died. Lucy is among the few that are still alive. They must find a way out of the school and try to figure out what is happening. As days pass, things become more desperate and when the kids finally get out of the school, they come face to face with the enormity of the situation. Who is behind this? And how will it end?
Uchida, Yoshiko. JOURNEY HOME
New York : Aladdin, 1992
IL 3-6, RL 5.3
The world is at war again and for Yoki and her family, even living in the United States is not safe for them. The family has been forced to leave their home in California because of their Japanese heritage. It is against the law for Asians to live along the coast. The family was moved to a detention camp in the desert of Nevada. Life was hard, but eventually the family was allowed to relocate to Utah. They have lost just about everything they had before the war. Her father has had to take menial work and her mother now works as a cleaning lady. Her brother has joined the army and is fighting in Europe. Yuki won’t give up hope of returning to her home in Berkeley. When the war ends and the family is told they can go home, Yuki is so excited. But reality is not what she expected. Her father can’t get his old job back. Their house is now rented out to a new family. Her best friend has moved on and now has new friends. And her brother has been injured in the war and is in a hospital in Washington. How will the family be able to start anew after living through so much?
Thorpe, Kiki. WEDDING WINGS
New York : Random House, 2014
IL K-3, IL 2.9
I have always wanted to be a flower girl in a wedding. It sounds like so much fun. You get to get dressed up and everyone is looking at you. Gabby is so excited but there is just one thing she hasn't counted on. There is a fairy hiding in her flower basket!
Terrell, Brandon. DODGER DREAMS : THE COURAGE OF JACKIE ROBINSON
New York : Stone Arch Books, 2010
Max loves baseball and especially the Dodgers. As an African American, he is particularly fond of Jackie Robinson. Robinson is the only African American player in all of baseball. Although the Dodgers have the reputation of being a lousy team, this year they made it to the World Series. But they are up against the Yankees and no one thinks the Dodgers have a chance. When Max receives tickets to the game for his birthday, he feels he is the luckiest boy in the whole world. His first game, his first World Series and seeing his idol, Jackie Robinson.
Strasser, Todd. FALLOUT
Somerville, MA : Candlewick, 2013
IL 5-8, RL 5.3
It's 1962 and the world has become a very dangerous place. Russia is attempting to put nuclear missiles into Cuba and President Kennedy has told them that it would mean war. Everyone is talking about the possibility of nuclear war. Some believe that it will never happen. Some don't want to think about it at all. But some, like Scott's dad believe that it is a good idea to prepare just in case. So he installs a bomb shelter. Scott and his brother think it is kind of cool. Scott's friends and their families think he is an idiot. Scott's mom is not happy about it but goes along with it. Even at school, the kids are taught to duck and cover in case of a bomb but no one really believes that it will happen. But it does. And Scott's family finds their neighbors fighting to get into the shelter just as hard as his dad is fighting to keep them out.
Stewart, Trenton. THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY AND THE PERILOUS JOURNEY
Boston : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009
IL 3-6, RL 6.5
The kids from the Benedict Society are back for a new adventure in the second book of the series. Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance are all gifted children who were chosen by Mr. Benedict to solve a mystery. This time, they need to find Mr. Benedict. He and his assistant, Number 2, have been kidnapped by the evil Mr. Curtain, who just happens to be Mr. Benedict’s identical twin brother. Now what was planned as a fun scavenger hunt becomes a life or death adventure. Mr. Curtain needs a plant that will control his narcolepsy and he needs the children to find it. Constance shows the others a letter that was left by Mr. Benedict. It contains a riddle that they need to solve. When they do, it leads to other riddles and more dangers.
Marsh, Robert. AFTER THE CHALLENGER : A STORY OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE DISASTER
New York : Capstone, 2009
IL 3-6, RL 2.0
Dustin Martinez is 15 years old and he wants to be an astronaut. He lives in Cocoa Beach. Florida where a lot of the people from the space program live. In 1986, Dustin and his classmates go outside during school to watch the space shuttle Challenger take off. This is a really special shuttle launch. Onboard is Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space. Within seconds of take off, the students are shocked to see an explosion. The shuttle has blown up. Everyone is shocked. When Dustin's father is hired to help look for the wreckage, Dustin and his sister stowaway on the boat and go out to try to bring the Challenger home.
Spinelli, Jerry. KNOTS IN MY YO-YO STRING : THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A KID
New York : Knopf, 1998
IL 5-8, RL 5.4
During an author visit, award winning author Jerry Spinelli was asked if he felt that being a kid helped him become a writer. This memoir is his attempt to answer that question. Growing up in Norristown, PA during the 1940s and 1950s, we get to know what life was like for Jerry. He loved comic books and cereal boxes but seldom read books. He shares moments of triumph and defeat. He was a decent athlete in junior high but lost out to more talented boys in high school. He was a good student and was named valedictorian of his junior high. High school found him becoming an average student. He was a neat child and prided himself on his penmanship and on never coloring outside the lines. His first poem resulted in his parents making a visit to the school and being accused of plagiarism. Find out more about Jerry Spinelli’s hope and dreams while he was growing up.
Sodaro, Craig. THE DANGEROUS, DISASTROUS, UNUSUAL HISTORY OF WAR
New York : Capstone, 2012
IL 5-8, RL 5.8
This little book scans the history of war from ancient time through the present. Learn about the reasons wars are fought and the extraordinary battles that have been raged. Did you know that there have been very few year when a war wasn't being fought. The book is filled with little known facts about war, weapons and the people who fought.
Seidler, Tor. A RAT’S TALE
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008
IL 3-6, RL 5.5
Montague Mad-Rat lives in the sewers of New York. He tends to be picked on by the other rats since his family is different. His mother loves to make hats. And his father only cares about making mud castles. When Montague rescues a beautiful young she-rat, his life begins to change. Isabel Moberly-Rat is nothing like anyone he has ever met. She comes from the wealthy part of town on the wharf and has a very different outlook on life. These rats look down on those who work with their paws like Montague and his family. But the wharf rats are in trouble. The person who owns the wharf has died and now the wharf is to be sold and the rats exterminated. The rats had a deal with the previous owner. The rats gathered up money and put it in a wheelbarrow and the owner left the rats alone. Maybe they can get the new owner to leave them alone if they collect enough money. When Montague donates his painted shells to the campaign to save the wharf, he is laughed at and he runs away humiliated.
Today marks podcast number 1900. When I started doing this almost 9 years ago, I never thought I'd keep it going so long! Thank you to every one who has listened to a podcast and shared via twitter, blogs or word of mouth. Onward to podcast 2,000.
Stewart, Trenton Lee. THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY
New York : Knopf, 1998
IL 5-8, RL 5.4
When she spots the advertisement in the newspaper, Reynie Muldoon’s tutor, Miss Perumal, suggests that Reynie try for the school. Reynie is an orphan living at Stonetown Orphanage. He is very bright and the advertisement calls for gifted children to apply for special opportunities. Reynie agrees to give it a try. The testing process is rather odd but he passes all the tests. In the end, only four children are chosen from the hundreds who tested. George “Sticky” Washington is a rather shy boy with a great memory. Kate Weatherall is a gifted athlete who carries a large bucket of objects with her. Constance Contraire is a girl with a strong personality and a quick wit. The four of them finally meet Mr. Benedict. He tells them that something very strange is going on and he needs gifted children to help. The children must agree to help or they leave. Reynie realizes that all the children are loners; orphans and runaways with no one to really miss them. The children agree to work with Mr Benedict and then he lets them know what is going on.
Sadler, Marilyn. TEN EGGS IN A NEST
New York : Random, 2014
IL K-3, RL 1.4
Red Rooster wants to count the number of eggs that will hatch soon. But Gwen says it is bad luck to count your chickens before they are hatched. So when the first chick hatches, Red runs to the store to get a snack for the newborn. When he gets back, he finds more chicks have hatched. Can you count the number of times Red has to go back to the store? How many chicks do Red and Gwen have at the end?