Month: May 2016

Books for a Rising 4th Grade Dog Lover

I’m taking orders for personalized summer reading lists.  My first request was for a rising 4th grade girl who LOVES dogs.  There are 238 chapter books with the subject heading of dogs at my branch alone.  Below are my recommendations for AB.  I’ve added a story about a cat and another about a sassy girl to provide a little variety to AB’s summer reading.

rain reign

Rain Reign by Ann K. Martin – “Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father.  When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.” (from publisher’s website)

Handful Stars

Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord – “When Lily’s blind dog, Lucky, slips his collar and runs away across the wide-open blueberry barrens of eastern Maine, it’s Salma Santiago who manages to catch him. Salma, the daughter of migrant workers, is in the small town with her family for the blueberry-picking season.  After their initial chance meeting, Salma and Lily bond over painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather, and Salma’s friendship transforms Lily’s summer. But when Salma decides to run in the upcoming Blueberry Queen pageant, they’ll have to face some tough truths about friendship and belonging. Should an outsider like Salma really participate in the pageant-and possibly win?” (from publisher’s website)

Honey

Honey by Sarah Weeks -“Melody has lived in Royal, Indiana, for as long as she can remember. It’s been just her and her father, and she’s been okay with that. But then she overhears him calling someone “Honey” and suddenly it feels like everyone in Royal has a secret. It’s up to Melody and her best friend, Nick, to piece together the clues and discover why Honey is being hidden.  Meanwhile, a dog named Mo is new to Royal. He doesn’t remember much from when he was a puppy, but he keeps having dreams of a girl he is bound to meet someday. This girl, he’s sure, will change everything.” (from publisher’s website)

dog diaries

Dog Diaries by Kate Klimo – “For anyone who has ever wanted a puppy, the DOG DIARIES series tells a dog’s story in a new way–from a dog’s point of view! Focusing on a different breed for each book, starting with a Golden Retriever and a German Shepherd, these stories are based on true dog stories or on true-to-life situations.” (from publisher’s website)

Cat Who Came In Off the Roof

The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof by Annie Schmidt – “An act of kindness brings shy reporter Mr. Tibble into contact with the unusual Miss Minou. Tibble is close to losing his job because he only writes stories about cats. Fortunately, Minou provides him with real news. She gets the juicy inside information from her local feline friends, who are the eyes and ears of the neighborhood. Tibble is appreciative, but he wonders how she does it. He has noticed that Minou is terrified of dogs and can climb trees and rooftops with elegance and ease. . . . It’s almost as if she’s a cat herself. But how can that be?” (from publisher’s website)

When Mischief Came to Town

When Mischief Came to Town by Katarina Nannestad – “When Inge Maria arrives on the tiny island of Bornholm in Denmark to live with her grandmother, she’s not sure what to expect. Her grandmother is stern, the people on the island are strange, and children are supposed to be seen and not heard.   But no matter how hard Inge tries to be good, mischief has a way of finding her.     Could it be that a bit of mischief is exactly what Grandmother and the people of Bornholm need?” (from publisher’s website)

Save Me a Seat

Save Me a Seat

I LOVED Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan!  It includes the funniest scene I’ve read in children’s literature.  Let’s just say karma happens to a kleptomaniac, bully in such a way that you can’t help but cheer and laugh out loud.  I will be nominating this book to be included on the 2017-2018 North Carolina Children’s Book Award contenders.  Plus forcing it into the hands of every 4th-6th grader I know; especially boys.  First stops, Cole and Eli

Here’s a synopsis from the publisher:

“Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they’re both stuck in the same place: school.

Joe’s lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi’s family just moved to America from India, and he’s finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in.

Joe and Ravi don’t think they have anything in common, but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.”

What I Do When There Are No Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books on the Shelf?

Actually, they rarely make it to the shelf.  I make certain to check the carts ready to be shelved.  If there aren’t any copies on the shelving carts, I offer to put the book on request.  I don’t want children leaving the library without a book;  so I try to sell them another series.  Big Nate was once my got to series; but they are usually checked out these days too.

This blog post has been in draft for over a year.  Yesterday, I realized summer is approaching quickly.  I needed to complete this post so I could access it all summer.  Even though I hadn’t finished the post, I used it last night.  A mom asked me, “Where are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books?”  I explained the author’s last name was Kinney; but there probably wouldn’t be any on the shelf.  Then, added I had suggestions for similar books.  Here’s my recommendations for people who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate books.

Terrible Two

The Terrible Two  by Mac Barnett and Jory John and illustrated by Kevin Cornell

 

CluelessMcGee

Clueless McGee by Jeff Mack 

 

Julius Zebra

Julius Zebra by Gary Northfield

 

CharlieJoe

CharlieJoe Jackson by Tommy Greenwald and illustrated by JP Coovert

 

Qwikpick Papers

The Qwikpick Papers by Tom Angleberger

 

frank einstein

Frank Einstein by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Brian Biggs

 

Tapper Twins

The Tapper Twins by Geoff Rodkey

 

Stick Dog

Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog:  Another Really GOOD story with kind of BAD drawings by Tom Watson

 

Vordak

Vordak the Incomprehensible by Scott Seegert and illustrated by John Martin

 

Thirteenth Story Tree House

The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton

 

Just Jake

Just Jake by Jake Marcionette

The Classroom

The Classroom by Robin Mellom and illustrated by Stephen Gilpin

 

Shredderman

Shredderman by Wendelin Van Draanen

 

Frankie Pickle

Frankie Pickle by Eric Wight

 

Billy Sure

Billy Sure Kid Entrepeneur invented by Luke Sharpe and drawings by Graham Ross

Teddy Mars

Teddy Mars by Molly B. Burnham and illustrated by Trevor Spencer

 

Alvin Ho

Alvin Ho by Lenore Look and illustrated by LeUyen Pham

 

Melonhead

Melonhead by Katy Kelly and illustrated by Gillian Johnson

 

Spaceheadz

Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka, made extra-strength by Francesco Sedita and illustrated by Shane Prigmore

 

Timmy Failure

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis 

 

Desmond Pucket

Desmond Pucket by Mark Tatulli

 

Justin Case

Justin Case   by Rachel Vail and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

New Picture Books for the Newly Renovated Library

There are lots of pristine books at the renovated library.  Many of which I’ve read.  So I was excited when new picture books arrived at the library yesterday.  My favorites are below.

At the Farm

On the Farm, At the Market by G. Brian Karas – This book focuses on how a variety of things are grown or made for a farmer’s market. . . vegetables, mushrooms, cheese.  There’s a lot that goes into making a fresh meal.  This a fun story that shows the farm to market to restaurant concept with great illustrations.

Playtime

Playtime? by Jeff Mack – I love Jeff Mack’s book.  I once did a story time only using his books.  This one has great story time potential.  The last page will make you laugh out loud.

Sam and Jump

Sam and Jump by Jennifer K. Mann – “This one is for my sister, who took me back to the beach to look for my lost doll.  And for my dad, who made it possible to be at the beach in the first place.”  With a dedication like that, how can you resist reading the book?

More-Igami

More-igami by Dori Kleber and illustrated by G. Brian Karas – Finally, a book about the importance of practice that doesn’t feature sports.

 

 

ML Reads is Three Years Old!!!

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I started this blog.  I started it on a whim ML’s last month of kindergarten.  This weekend, I realized how very grown up and mature my soon to be fourth grader is.  The blog has evolved these past three years.  I’m certain it will continue to evolve each year.  Expect to see more chapter books and nonfiction books.  Maybe even a young adult book or two.  Don’t worry picture books are my first love; so I’ll continue to share my favorites.  Below are some books with three in their title.  I’ve read two out of three.  Three Times Lucky is on my to read list.  I’m embarrassed I haven’t read it.  It’s a Newbery Honor book by a North Carolina author.

Goldy Luck

Goldy Luck and The Three Pandas by Natasha Yim and illustrated by Grace Zong – One Chinese New Year, Goldy Luck’s mother asks her to take a plate of turnip cakes to the neighbors. The Chans aren’t home, but that doesn’t stop Goldy from trying out their rice porridge, their chairs, and their beds—with disastrous results.

Thre Times Lucky

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage – Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her “upstream mother,” she’s found a home with the Colonel–a café owner with a forgotten past of his own–and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.

Breakthrough

Breakthrough:  How Three People Saved Blue Babies and Changed Medicine Forever by Jim Murphy – In 1944 an unprecedented surgical procedure repaired the heart of a child with blue baby syndrome—lack of blood oxygen caused by a congenital defect. This landmark operation opened the way for all types of open heart surgery. The team that developed it included a cardiologist and a surgeon, but most of the actual work was done by Vivien Thomas, an African American lab assistant who was frequently mistaken for a janitor.

 

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

Bear Ate Sandwich

On Tuesday, I’ll be presenting my first program for kindergarten through second graders at my newly renovated library.  On Thursday, it will be for third –  fifth graders.  I’ll start the program with the clever book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach.  Then, we’ll brainstorm what you can put on a sandwich.  From there, its a creative mixed-media bonanza.  I have construction paper, fancy cutting scissors, colored pompoms, tissue paper, chenille stickers, feathers, buttons and more which each child can use to create their own sandwich.  Thankfully, I have artistic coworkers to compensate for my lack of visual artistry.  Below is an example sure to entice families to return to the library next week.

Hamburger

 

Meet Cody

CodyFountainCodyUniverse

There’s a new girl in town for fans of Judy Moody and Clementine.  Two books about Cody have been published.  I hope the author, Tricia Springstubb and illustrator, Eliza Wheeler are working on a third book.

I’m glad I discovered Cody before the summer reading rush.  Parents are always seeking books that are appropriate for readers who are ready for the next step from Magic Tree House books; but they aren’t ready for a more mature plot.  Think avid kindergarten – second graders.

“So many things twang Cody’s heart: her genius big brother, her new friend Spencer, and an old cat named MewMew. For her, each day brims with surprises, so grab your hat and join the fun. First book in a brand new series!” (from author’s website)

Here’s a glimpse of the first few sentences from the first two books.

Cody and the Fountain of Happiness
“In this life many things are beautiful:
Marshmallows
100% on your spelling test
Turtles, with their cute thumb-shaped head
But if Cody had to name the most beautiful thing in the world, it would be. . .
The first day of summer vacation.”

Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe
“In this life, many things are hard to wait for:
Your turn
Your birthday
Being allowed to get a real tattoo
But if Cody had to name the hardest thing of all,  it would be waiting for her best friend, Spencer.”

I read 87 pages of the first book without stopping.  That’s unusual for me in a chapter book for the younger set.  I’m eager to get home, put on my jammies and continue to read about Cody’s adventures.