Julia’s Review: Ms. Rapscott’s Girls

Ms Rapscott

Every year, I forget how busy summers are at the library.  Julia wrote enough reviews to keep the blog going; but I neglected to post them.  Here’s a book both Julia and I enjoyed. . .   Ms. Rapscott’s Girls by Elise Primavera.

Three words:  cute, funny, unusual (in a good way)
Favorite character:  Fay. She was very sweet to take care of Dahlia’s lamb. I also liked Bea’s spunk, and it was funny that she always yelled.
Favorite part:  When they all arrived, because the hullabaloo was very funny, especially when they were assigned to beds.
How it made me feel:  I was worried for Dahlia because she was lost, but it was all okay and mostly I was laughing.

Synopsis from Penguin website.  “Nestled inside a lighthouse, Great Rapscott School for the Daughters of Busy Parents takes its motto from Amelia Earhart: Adventure is worthwhile in itself. Headmistress Ms. Rapscott couldn’t agree more, but her students, who are shipped to the school in boxes, could use a little convincing. Still, despite their initial reluctance, the students are soon soaring through the sky and getting lost on purpose. In addition to learning what birthday cakes are and how best to approach a bumbershoot tree, the students also manage to learn a little something about strength and bravery.”

Dad’s First Day

Dad's First Day

Today is the beginning of kindergarten for the children of several friends.  Dad’s First Day by Mike Wohnoutka provides a twist on first day jitters.  It’s the parent, not the child whose tummy hurts.

Oliver’s dad doesn’t want to take him to school; so he hides all over the house and yard.  Goodbye is hard for Oliver’s dad, the teacher has to carry him outside screaming.  At one point, he screams, “I’m not ready for school!”  Ready or not it’s here.  I hope my friends have a not too teary morning; and this dreary, rainy day goes well for all our kindergarten friends and their teachers.

Daddy’s Back-to-School Shopping Adventure


The PTA at ML’s school provided a new service this year.  You could order school supplies online in May; and they would be delivered to her classroom for the first day of school.  This is on the list of my TOP three things which happened this year.  No more looking for an 8 pack of crayons with basic colors.  Based on our experience last year, this staple from my childhood no longer exists, except with sparkles in them.

School Supplies

Today, Daddy’s Back-to-School Shopping Adventure by Alan Lawrence Sitomer and illustrated by Abby Carter arrived.  I immediately laughed because ML meets her teacher tomorrow and I’m certain there may be some additional school supplies to buy.  I work this weekend; so it’s up to ML and her Dad to fight the crowds.  I won’t miss the thirty minute decision making process ML has when choosing a binder.

My friend posted,  “Two stores, both of them mad houses, and $200 later, we have most of the school supplies. I still have to get a large broom head, 3 pool noodles, paint pens???, and a roll of heavy duty aluminum foil. Sigh.”  I had a sigh of relief.  I’m sure we will get request for some interesting items throughout the year.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to fight the crowds; nor will I have to lug several bags of school supplies on the first day.

Now back to the book.  I can relate to the dad’s nostalgia.  If I saw a Holly Hobbie lunchbox at the store, I wouldn’t be able to resist.


Back to School 2015

School starts Monday!!!  During the last week, the library received several picture books about school.  Below are my favorites.

Aligator to School

If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, DON’T! by Elise Parsley – A hilarious account of what not to bring for show and tell.

Mrs Benson's Chalkboard
I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard by Jennifer K. Mann – The perfect book for a child who doesn’t conform to teacher expectations; with a happy resolution for everyone.

Maple and Willow Apart
Maple & Willow Apart by Lori Nichols – Perfect for the heart-broken child when their older sibling goes to school for the first time.

Ally-Saurus & the First Day of School by Richard Torrey – A great tale about a girl who marches to the beat of her own drummer; and meets other creative, unique friends at school.

First Grade Dropout
First Grade Dropout by Audrey Vernick and illustrated by Matthew Cordell – An important book about how one feels when they are laughed at.

Birdies First Day of School
Birdies First Day of School by Sujean Rim – A sweet tale for the child who is reluctant to start school.

Goose Goes to School
Goose Goes To School by Laura Wall – Playful goose follows Sophie to school.  Readers will enjoy spotting goose in various scenes throughout the book.

My 400th Post – Wait by Antoinette Portis


I’ve read 315 picture books this year; but blogged about very few.  That doesn’t count the 42 new picture books the library received this week.

One of my favorites is Wait by Antoinette Portis.  It reminds me of when ML was little.  We had to stop and look at every rock, bug, stick, cat, dog, and shiny thing we passed.   A four block walk to the park often took fifteen minutes.  One of the joys of being around young children is seeing the world through their eyes.  No matter how hurried we are, they always seem to find something to remind us why it’s important to slow down and wait.

I promise I won’t keep you waiting any longer.  I’m back to blogging about picture books.  And Julia will keep us up to date on middle grade novels.



Julia’s Review: Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins?

Jessica Jenkins

A third review by Julia this week.  Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins? by Liz Kessler

Three words:  funny, exciting, unique
Favorite part: I really liked when Izzy got a super power.
Favorite character:  Izzy because she was most like me- nerdy and a little geeky.
How I felt:  I got excited in this book, especially when they broke in to the house where Max was imprisoned.

Synopsis from Candlewick “Jessica Jenkins has always been a perfectly ordinary girl—until one day part of her arm vanishes in the middle of geography class! Jessica’s friends Izzy and Tom are determined to help her develop her newfound invisibility, though Jessica is more concerned with discovering where the ability came from. When it becomes apparent that there may be other kids developing strange powers of their own, Jessica marshals them into a slapdash band of “slightly superheroes.” But when an unscrupulous adult discovers the origin of their powers and kidnaps one of the team, the rest must put their heads—and all of their skills—together to avert disaster.”

Julia’s Review: Lucky Strike


Another review by seventh-grade expert, Julia.  Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pyron

Three words:  touching, charming, comfortable (the town felt comfortable, not like the book itself was soft and cozy)
Favorite person: Chum because he was nice to everybody. I sort of pitied him because he was just looking for a friend, but no one wanted to be his friend until Nate and Gen came along.
Favorite part:  When Ruth and Rebecca found the turtle nest.

Synopsis from Arthur Levine Books “Nate Harlow would love to be lucky, just once!

He’d like to win a prize, get picked first, call a coin toss right, even! But his best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn’t think for one second that there’s such a thing as luck, good or bad. She doesn’t care what names the other kids call them. She cares about being right, about saving the turtles of Paradise Beach, and she cares about Nate.

Then, on his birthday, at the Goofy Golf mini-golf course, Nate is struck by lightning — and survives! Suddenly baseballs are drawn to his bat-popular kids want HIM on their side. It seems the whole town of Paradise Beach thinks Nate has the magic touch.

But is there room for Gen in Nate’s lucky new world?”