Friday, October 31, 2014

Scary School by: Derek Taylor Kent AKA Derek the Ghost

I had the opportunity to meet Derek the Ghost, AKA Derek Taylor Kent and after our meeting I could not wait to read his book Scary School.  With all the wacky teachers and students at Scary School I couldn't help but think that fans of Sideways Stories From a Wayside School will also like this book.

Scary School is the first school of its kind.  It allows monsters and humans to attend the same school at the same time.  Charles, the new kid is in for some surprises on his first day of school.  He learns that one must cross the moat to gain entrance to the school.  He also notices that none of the other students are wearing the school uniform.  Students in Dr. Dragonbreath's class need to follow all of his rules or else they will be eaten.  If you get sent to Nurse Hairymoles look out, she will cure you of what you have but then you might end up with something worse.

There are those in the monster world that do not like humans interacting with monsters and will do whatever they can to close Scary School forever.  At the end of the school year a very special event, The Ghoul Games will take place at Scary School.  Contestants can choose any event they want to participate in the Ghoul Games.  However, if you lose the game your opponent can eat you!?  Will Scary School be able to stay open?  Can monsters and humans really be friends?

This is a book that you will enjoy anytime of the year, but especially now, during Halloween.  It will have you laughing on every page and you will look forward to the next in the series.

After reading this book write a thank you note to your teacher, for not eating you!

Happy Daily Reading
Me and author "Derek the Ghost"

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blast to the Past LINCOLN'S LEGACY by: Stacia Deutsch & Rhody Cohon

Authors Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon have written a great time travel book in the first of their series Blast to the Past, Lincoln's Legacy.  Mr. Caruthers begins his elementary school lessons every Monday with a question "What if...?".  This week he asks "What if Abraham Lincoln quit and never issued the Emancipation Proclamation?"  Students are asked this question and they talk about what the United States might be like today if that event had never happened.  Four students are asked to come after school to Mr. Caruthers' class and it is then that they are able to travel back in time and meet Abraham Lincoln.

The Civil War isn't going well and Lincoln isn't sure he should give his Emancipation Proclamation.  The students  help convince him that he is doing the right thing and that he must move forward even if he thinks the Union might lose the war.  The students return to school and cannot wait for next Monday, when they once again have the opportunity to answer "What if...?"

Fans of Magic Tree House books will enjoy this series.  At the end of the stor, the authors tell the reader about the historical facts in the story.  I enjoyed learning a little bit of history through the eyes of these four young students.
Stacia Deutsch and me

After reading this book go and read more about the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Happy Daily Reading

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Summer I Saved The World in 65 Days by: Michele Weber Hurwitz

I could not put down Michele Weber Hurwitz's newest book The Summer I Saved The World In 65 Days.  It is a wonderful story about doing good just because it is the right thing to do.  I think this will be a book that you will never forget.

It is the summer before High School for Nina and her friends.  She lives in a cul-de-sac with the same 7 families she has known her entire life.  Nina was very close to her grandmother and it has been one year since her grandmother's death.  Nina thinks of her grandmother all of the time and tries to live as her grandmother did.  Things are changing with some of the families on her street, so Nina decides to do anonymous good deeds for the people on her street.  She does one good deed everyday of her summer vacation.  As she begins doing these things, one neighbor suspects there is a ghost in the neighborhood doing mischief.  The neighbor begins to be on the lookout with her pet dog.  When her dog gets hurt, she is even more convinced something bad is going on and the police and ghost hunters are called.  It is too bad she doesn't see that all the "mischief" is really just helpful things for each person.  Will Nina be able to continue doing her deeds in secret?

Along with all of this, Nina and her friends are growing up and changing as well.  Her best friend is now into flirting and clothes.  Nina isn't into that and is very surprised to see that the boy next store is suddenly so cute?!   There are a lot of books out there about growing up and maturing but I think this one is the best!

After reading this book go out and do some good deeds of your own.

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, October 20, 2014

Uni the Unicorn by: Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Amy Krouse Rosenthal in her book Uni the Unicorn has written a story that I am sure all little girls will love.

Uni is the only unicorn that believes that little girls are real.  Even when all of Uni's friends laugh at her, Uni still believes.  Uni is absolutely certain little girls are real and imagines all the fun a unicorn and a little girl can have together.  Somewhere, not too far away there is a girl that is certain unicorns are real.  She imagines all the fun she would have with a unicorn as a friend.  Will these two ever meet?

Illustrator, Brigette Barrager, has drawn beautiful photos that will have even the biggest doubters believing that Uni is in fact a real animal.

After reading this story draw a few pictures of what you would do if a unicorn was your best friend.

Happy Daily Reading

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Teacher is a Monster by: Peter Brown

Author Peter Brown has written and illustrated many wonderful childrens books.  He does not disappoint with his book My Teacher Is A Monster!.

Now, to be honest, there is always one teacher during your educational years that you believe could be a monster.  That is the problem Bobby has in this book.  He is convinced that his teacher is a monster and when he sees her in the park one day, he isn't sure he should sit on his favorite bench because that is exactly where his teacher was sitting.  They end up spending an afternoon together in the park and Bobby learns the truth about his teacher.  What do you think he learns?  Is she really a monster?

After reading this book go and spend sometime at a local park.

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Book With No Pictures by: B.J. Novak

I've been reading this book to a few of my classes this past week.   They are a bit concerned when they hear the title "A Book With No Pictures" but it takes just a few pages before they absolutely love the story.   I think The Book With No Pictures is my new favorite read-aloud book.

B.J. Novak has written an entertaining book, The Book With No Pictures.  It's true, the book does not  have any pictures, but it has the reader doing some funny things!  The rules of reading this book are that the reader has to say the words that are written on the page no matter what. you turn each page you, the reader, end up saying some very funny things.  Pay attention, or you just might miss out on the giggles!

After reading this book take some time and make up some of your own nonsense words.

Happy Daily Reading

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Absolutely Almost by: Lisa Graff

Albie is a fifth grader whose life is upside down.  He has just moved, is starting a new school, dealing with a new nanny and trying to figure out where he belongs.  Lisa Graff's Absolutely Almost is a book may readers will able to relate to since we all have had those moments in life when we feel almost good enough.

Albie struggles in school with friendships and with academics.  At his new school, he is excited to attend Math Club where he doesn't have to do real math, at least he doesn't think he is doing math.  He makes a new friend at school who, like Albie, doesn't quite fit in at school.  When Albie's neighbor and friend begins a reality show with his family Albie really is left out.  When he is at his friends house he is labeled as the "no release" child so his face is blurred when it appears on TV.

With the help of his new nanny, Calista, Albie is able to find his own talents and strengths.  He learns that being kind to others is more important that trying to be cool.  He is able to make friends at a variety of places in his neighborhood.  The biggest change in Albie's life is that he finally begins to get the attention of his own parents.  I think there is a little bit of Albie in all of us and I'm sure you will enjoy this story.

After reading this book, go and eat a donut!

Happy Daily Reading!

Monday, October 6, 2014

All Four Stars by: Tara Dairman

Author Tara Dairman will leave you wanting to eat at a four star restaurant after reading her first novel All Four Stars.

Eleven-year-old Gladys loves food, especially gourmet food.  She has been cooking since the age of seven and she has become a great cook.  Unlike her parents who only serve take out or microwave meals.  When a cooking accident causes the kitchen curtains to go up in flames, Gladys is no longer allowed in the kitchen.  She must survive on what her parents believe are good meals.  Cooking is her passion and she is unsure what to do now that she is no longer allowed to cook.

This is when Ms. Quincy, her new teacher, announces an essay contest for the biggest newspaper in New York City.  Ms. Quincy wants each student to write about what they want to be when they grow up.  Gladys is convinced she should not write about cooking, since her parents no longer allow her to cook.  Gladys turns in an essay about becoming a veterinarian, but her teacher sees right through that ruse.  She makes Gladys write another essay.  Gladys decides to write about becoming a food critic.  Her essay wins at her school and is sent to the newspaper.  However, there is a mix up at the newspaper and when Gladys hears from the newspaper it isn't because she won the essay contest they believe she is an adult and they want her to review a new dessert restaurant in New York City.  How is an eleven-year-old going to get to New York without any parents?  Will she be able to actually get into the restaurant?  With the help of friends she is able to come up with a plan that will have you turning page after page to see if Gladys' dream comes true.

After reading All Four Stars do some baking of your own or write a restaurant review for your favorite restaurant.

Happy Daily Reading

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dinosaurs Before Dark by: Mary Pope Osborne

My Friday Friend, Norah is back with another book review!  Thank you, Norah, for being such a great first grade reader!
I read the book Dinosaurs Before Dark It’s the first book of the Magic Tree House series by Mary PopeOsborne.  It was about a brother and sister named Jack and Annie.  They go out to play in the woods and find a treehouse.  They go up into the tree and inside there are lots and lots of books.  Jack and Annie picked up a book about dinosaurs and Annie said “I wish we could go there.”  Then the treehouse took them there.  They had an adventure with the dinosaurs and had to figure out how to get home. 
I really liked reading about the dinosaurs and how Jack and Annie got home.  I really can’t wait to read the next one and see if they find out more clues about the treehouse.  I would recommend this book to kids that like dinosaurs and adventures. 

Happy Daily Reading