This is a wonderful adventure with humor and a great lesson of friendship. We all have talents and are here for a purpose we need to find out what that purpose is and use it to make the world a better place. Even turning green, broccoli green, can have its purpose.
Author Ingrid Law has written another Companion to her Newbery Honor book Savvy in this book Switch. The story of Switch has the Beaumont family expecting big changes in their home when Grandma comes to live with them. However, before she even arrives more changes than any of them expected come along.
When a Beaumont child turns 13 they discover their own savvy, a very special and unique talent. Gypsy's savvy is seeing quick glimpses into the past and/or the future. Thankfully she has learned how to scumble, which is using her savvy in practical ways. Gypsy is surprised when she suddenly stops time. She is the only person she sees moving around everyone and everything else is frozen. The first time this happens it takes her awhile to figure out how to get time moving and she takes advantage of being the only one moving around. She does things that she usually cannot do. Her brother's savvy has switched too, he is now burning things and her youngest brother, who isn't yet 13 can grow very BIG. What is going on?? All their savvy's are mixed up and what are they to do?
This is a very funny and fast moving story and Gypsy and her family. The kids are on their own trying to scumble their mixed up savvy's trying to save Grandma who is lost in Denver. Grandma is very forgetful and as she is walking around in a blizzard in Denver. Gypsy and her brothers have to enlist the help of neighbors and new friends. It is the first time they have told others about their savvys and they get a variety of responses as they share their savvys. Gypsy uses the gift of stopping time, her older brother's fire and younger brother's BIG size also help to find Grandma. It is a winter that they will never forget.
I loved this story and I'm sure you will too. It will be great way to end your 2015. You will realize that we all have special talents and as we use our talents with those of others we can make the world a better place.
Richard Schneider has written a wonderful story about the importance of service to others no matter what our own wants may be at the time. Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect is the perfect Christmas story to teach us all about the blessings we receive through our service to others.
Long, long ago evergreen trees were perfect but today you will not find a perfect tree you will find evidence of service. The trees that long ago were so perfect were found in the Carpathian Mountains in Europe. There was a large evergreen forest where the trees would do all they could to grow tall and perfect. Their branches turned up in just the right way and their shade of green is beautiful. All the trees wanted to be chosen as the most beautiful in order to end up in the castle during the Christmas season. One year a new sapling began to grow. All the trees were sure that she would grow up and be the most beautiful and perfect tree ever. However, when an animal needed protection this tree offered her branches to protect the animal. None of the other trees would do this as their branches would no longer be perfect. When an animal needed food she would let the animal nibble her needles. Losing needles also left her no longer perfect. As the queen entered the forest searching for the perfect tree for the castle she saw this tree. The queen saw that this tree was indeed special this tree gave of herself to those in need. The queen ordered that the tree be cut down and placed in the castle. Now all of the trees in the evergreen forest offer protection, food, etc...to those in need.
This book is one I read every year. I renew my dedication to find ways to serve others each day whenever I read it. I hope you and your children will want to offer daily service in the coming year.
This is one of my favorite Christmas books for children. I know you and your family will love it too.
Santa's First Flight is Sam Beeson's version of what happened when Santa first traveled all over the world delivering gifts to all the good boys and girls.
Santa was very young on his very first flight and he used penguins and a plow to get around the world. There were many problems he faced on this first flight. The people had heard that a stranger with penguins would be arriving and they did anything they could to try to keep this stranger out of their homes. Santa barely made it on that very first Christmas Eve but he did and the people all loved their gifts. He learned that changes needed to be made in order to be successful in the coming years. I will let you read the story to find out what he did besides replacing the penguins with reindeer.
This story will have your children giggling when they see all the problems that Santa faced on that first Christmas Eve and you all will appreciate that the gift of giving is really what we celebrate each year.
The Adventures of Nanny Piggins was first published in the United States in 2010. I recently heard of the wonderful Nanny Piggins and I couldn't wait to read R.A. Spratt's first book in the series. Yes, it is a series and I'm excited to read more of Nanny Piggins and the lucky Green children that have her as their nanny.
Mr. Green is a very busy attorney and when a nanny is needed for his children he hires the first one who applies, one who used to be a circus pig. Not just any circus pig, but a world famous pig that was shot out of a cannon each night at the circus. She is a pig who loves everything sweet, especially chocolate. She doesn't think homework, or even school, is important. Nanny Piggins believes that she can teach the children more important things than math!
The three children and Nanny have many wonderful adventures by just doing things that we all have done. For instance, going to the beach and renting a sail boat. Sounds like a nice and somewhat safe adventure...until your Nanny decides to sail to China and you end up lost in a storm saved by Korean fishermen! Or when your Nanny decides to enter a pie baking contest. She bakes a pie and then has to eat it to make sure it is good enough to enter the contest. Then you are all up all night baking and eating pies because each pie is so delicious. Will there be a pie that can be entered in the contest? And what would you do when a circus bear shows up on your doorstep? Of course you let him move into the house with you! Will Mr. Green ever see this bear?
This was a great story, I couldn't put it down as I couldn't wait to read what would happen next with Nanny and the children. I look forward to reading the other books in this series and I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this book soon.
Brian Selznick has written and drawn another great book The Marvels. Once again he draws in readers with the beautiful pencil drawings that tell a story and then there is the written story, one that you think is very different from the picture story. As you keep reading you find that the two stories are really one fantastic story.
The year is 1766 and Billy Marvel survives a shipwreck and soon is rescued. He is taken to London where he finds work in the theater. We follow him and his family over many years and see how the Marvel family influences the London Theaters for years. Each generation seems to be even more talented than the one before. However, we find that one of Billy's descendants is banished from the stage in the 1990s. What will the Marvel family do now?
We move forward in time where we meet Joseph Jarvis a young man at a boarding school. Joseph's parents are very rich and they travel all the time. Joseph never sees his parents. Joseph decides to run away to London in search of his uncle Albert Nightingale. He is able to find his uncle's home but Joseph isn't welcomed there but he stays. Albert's home is very different than any Joseph has ever seen and he is frustrated that Albert will not tell Joseph about their family. Joseph makes a friend in a neighbor and together they are able to piece together facts about Joseph's family and they find the biggest surprise of all! In finding the truth about his family, Joseph is able to help Albert and himself to become better men and he also helps the community in which Albert lives.
I really loved this story and I'm sure you will too. I hope Brian Selznick will continue to write/draw such amazing stories for us all.
A few weeks ago I read this to many of my classes as they visited the library. Each class (grades 1-6) loved this story and agreed that Everyone Loves Bacon.
Author Kelly DiPucchio has written a delightful read aloud all about Bacon. Since everyone loves him so very much he is soon very popular and forgets the friends who knew him before he became so popular. He begins to really be stuck up but no worries he learns his lesson!
A few weeks ago I read this to many of my classes as they visited the library. Each class (grades 1-6) loved this story and agreed that Everyone Loves Bacon.
Author Kelly DiPucchio has written a delightful read aloud all about Bacon. Since everyone loves him so very much he is soon very popular and forgets the friends who knew him before he became so popular. He begins to really be stuck up but no worries he learns his lesson!
Crenshaw is a VERY tall cat that is the imaginary friend of Jackson. Jackson has not seen Crenshaw in a number of years and is very surprised to find him taking a bubble bath in his bathroom. Jackson is thinking that he is going crazy because who still has an imaginary friend at his age?!
We soon learn that Jackson's family has fallen on hard times and may become homeless, once again. Jackson isn't happy that things are not working out for his family. He likes his new school and doesn't want things to change.
Crenshaw is very outspoken and he is able to help Jackson put into words what he is thinking and feeling about all the changes in his family. Crenshaw is a very good friend to Jackson and is able to help him and his entire family, even when life gets hard.
I really loved this book because of the value of friendship that is shown in this story. Friends and family are important to each of us and I think readers ages 9 and up will enjoy this book.
After reading this book spend a little time writing a thank you note to a friend, drawing a picture of your imaginary friend or playing with your best friend.
This is the first novel by author Adam Shaughnessy and I hope it isn't his last.
The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB is the story of Prudence (Pru) Potts who discovers a mysterious card in her bedroom one morning. A new kid at school, ABE, is great at solving puzzles and is soon helping Pru figure out what the card really means. They are soon roaming around the city graveyard and meet a very strange man named Mr. Fox. They also meet a talking squirrel who gives many insults to anyone he talks to. Of course, they think they must be going crazy but before you know it they are looking for the mysterious Eye of Odin and trying to get rid of the giants that have surrounded their town.
Mr. Fox is the character in the story that helps ABE and Pru realize that they are special because they can see things that others do not see, especially the magic. Mr. Fox needs the skills of Pru and ABE in order to fulfill his assignment to keep the immortal worlds away from earth.
This story has many twists and turns which will keep the reader up all night reading to the end. I enjoyed the relationships in this story as well as the adventure. Pru and ABE are children I will not forget. I hope that many of you will read this book I know you will love it!
I picked up this book because I am a big fan of author Mo Willems and I hope he will do more early chapter books with Tony DiTerlizzi as this book was great!
The Story of Diva and Flea is the story of Diva, a dog, and Flea, a cat. They have both lived in Paris all of their lives. Diva has never left her patio and Flea has never had a home. In fact he does not like humans at all. Diva loves her human and the routine of her life. Once Diva and Flea become friends they both have new adventures. Flea learns to trust and Diva learns that life can be very exciting outside of her gate. They are very different in many ways but they become the best of friends.
I really loved this simple story and I think children who are just beginning to read chapter books will love this story too.
It is almost Thanksgiving do you have your Turkey ready? Farmer Jake doesn't and this year his turkey is trying his best to not end up on the dinner table.
Author Wendi Silvano and illustrator Lee Harper have created the delightful story of Turkey Trouble. Readers of all ages will enjoy the creative way that Turkey tries his best to avoid Farmer Jake and have the best Thanksgiving a turkey has ever had. The other farm animals are not tricked at all, but will Farmer Jake be tricked and end up without a turkey for Thanksgiving?
While you wait for your Thanksgiving meal take a few minutes and enjoy this story with some of the children in your family.
Author Lisa McMann has written another great book wither book number 6 of The Unwanteds series, Island of Graves. This is my favorite current series that is out for middle grade and older readers.
In this book we find Aaron trying to survive with Ishibashi, Ito, and Sato on the Island of Shipwrecks. Aaron is needing to learn how to be humble and to serve others. A big change for him, but one that makes him a better person.
Alex is busy preparing the people of Artime to protect themselves from another attack from those still leading the people of Quill. Alex and friends use spies to find out what is happening in Quill and Alex soon finds himself doing something he never thought he would do. He is looking for his brother, Aaron, to bring him back to their island to restore peace. Alex isn't sure Aaron is capable of peace but he goes with Skye to bring Aaron back home.
While traveling to find Aaron, Alex and Skye encounter dangers at every island. They also discover a sailor who is trapped on an island with giant apes. Is there time to find Aaron and save this sailor before the new leader of Quill attacks Artime?
Alex also spends time with his baby twin sisters and he finds joy in being their big brother. Since their parents are no longer alive it is up to Alex to make sure his sisters are brought up correctly. He hopes that they will never have to experience life as he knew it in Quill as a child.
I cannot express in words how much I enjoy reading this series. If you love magic and adventure you will love these books too.
Do you like a good mystery? Do you enjoy figuring out secret codes and ciphers? Do you like games? If you answered yes to any of these questions this is the next book you should read.
Book Scavenger is the first novel written by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman and I loved it. Emily and her family move around the country because her parents think it would be great to live in all 50 states. Every few years it is a new home, school and friends that faces Emily and now it is San Francisco CA. She isn't happy about the move but she loves playing the book game "Book Scavenger" that was created by her literary idol: Garrison Griswold. Since Garrison Griswold lives in San Francisco she is sure that she can not only meet more "Book Scavenger" friends, but also play one of his local games and maybe meet him!
James lives in the apartment above her family and they are soon friends because they both love to work on and figure out puzzles especially ciphers. Soon after Emily's arrival, Mr. Griswold is attacked in the BART subway station. He is in the hospital in critical condition. James and Emily find a rare book written by Edgar Allen Poe and Emily is sure it is the first clue in the new Garrison Griswold book game. She has a hard time convincing others that it is in fact the new game that was promised by Mr. Griswold but she keeps working on the clues hoping she can find the promised treasure. Emily makes friends and finds more help in some very unlikely places. Danger is something her and James face as they get closer to the treasure. Will they find it before getting hurt or perhaps kidnapped?
Emily not only gets to participate in fun mysteries in her new town, she makes a great friend in James and learns how to be a good friend herself. I am sure anyone that enjoys games will enjoy this fantastic story.
Princess Annie is determined to find the prince who is the true love of her big sister Sleeping Beauty. E.D. Baker's The Wide-Awake Princess is a book you will love and it is the first in the Wide-Awake Princess Series.
The Copper Gauntlet is the second in the Magisterium series written by authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare and it is as good as the first.
Callum is home for the summer with his Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc, and this doesn't please his father. When Call begins to believe that his father is going to kill him he runs away heading back to the Magisterium. On the way to the Magisterium he visits his friends Aaron and Tamara and soon they are all back at the Magisterium to begin their second year of magi training. When it is discovered that the Alkahest is stolen Call believes it was his father who took it and he wants to find his father before the Magis find him. Havoc, Aaron and Tamara join Call to find his father and while on this mission they meet allies and foes. More questions arise as they fight their foes, is Call evil or not, is just one of those questions.
I am sure readers who enjoy fantasy book will enjoy this book.
Author and illustrator, Bob Shea, has a winner of a read aloud story in his book I'm A Shark. You and your child will enjoy learning about this particular shark and learn what he is afraid of and what he isn't afraid of....
Author Will Mabbitt has written a great story in his book The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones. Once I began reading this is a book I couldn't put down! Such a fun pirate tale I cannot wait to see if there will be more adventures of Mabel Jones.
Are all night animals scary? What types of animals are night animals? This is a great read-aloud that will get readers of all ages wanting to know more about these night creatures.
Gianna Marino in her book Night Animals has many of the animals of the night scared of the "big" thing that is coming. What could it be? When they discover that it is a night animal they are surprised to learn that they too are night animals! But what will the campers think of all these animals entering their campsite?
This is a fun book that I know my younger readers will enjoy.
Amanda Driscoll has written a delightful read aloud book that I think everyone will enjoy, Duncan the Story Dragon.
Duncan is a Dragon that loves to read. When he reads the story comes to life and he gets so excited that fire shoots from his mouth. Unfortunately, this burns up his book. He never knows how the stories end. He wants to read the words "the end". He searches all over the countryside for a friend who will read a story to him so that he can finally hear those words. When he finds a book loving friend Duncan truly has found happiness at last. However, will "the end" really be the end?
I really loved this story and I'm sure all my younger readers will enjoy it as well.
Author Blue Balliett has written another great mystery in her new book Pieces and Players. Calder, Petra and Tommy who have solved other big mysteries are asked to join with two other children, Zoomy and Early, to find 13 missing pieces of art that were stolen from a Chicago art museum. It is a rough start for the five kids, but they begin to work together each using their strengths to solve this mystery.
Along with the missing art pieces the kids see adults doing things that are out of the ordinary. The kids use each if these as clues, and piece the clues together to solve the larger mystery. Can they trust any of the adults? Just as they begin to think they can trust as least one adult, they end up at the police station where they are banned from working on the stolen art case. Will they really stay away?
These kids are truly amazing in how they piece together seemingly small clues into larger clues that lead to solving the mystery and finding the theives.
I am sure all mystery lovers will enjoy this book. I really enjoy all the books by Blue Balliet, so after reading this book, I recommend reading at least one of her other books. You won't be sorry.
I admit it. I am a pushover when it comes to loving books about fairy tale characters. When I learned about Jen Calonita's latest book, Flunked, I had to read it. And I think you should read it too.
The main character of this book is named Gilly. She lives with her parents and her five little brothers and sisters in a run-down boot. Money is very tight, so she finds ways to steal things from the royals, sell them, and provide food for her family. However, her parents and the local sheriff do not see any "good" in Gilly. They only see her as a thief. After she is caught stealing, Gilly is sent to Fairy Tale Reform School, (FTRS)
FTRS was founded by Cinderella's wicked step-mother. After Cinderella's wedding to the Prince, her stepmother and sisters could not go anywhere without people being upset at how they treated Cinderella. So, her stepmother begins to change for good and opens the FTRS to help others change as well. Other reformed villains, such as the Big Bad Wolf, are teachers at FTRS as well.
At first Gilly doesn't believe that she belongs at this school, but soon she finds new friends and they set off on a new adventure trying to figure out if their teachers really are reformed from their evil ways. Gilly is a very likable character and the adventures and magic in this book are fun. I'm sure you will also enjoy this story.
While walking through a bookstore one day, I came across this book. Since I loved Tara Dairman's first book in this series All Four Stars I was excited to read this sequel.
In The Stars of Summer we meet Gladys Gatsby. Gladys Gatsby is not your average 12 year old. She recently earned the job of food critic for the New York Standard newspaper and no one at the newspaper knows she is only 12 years old. Thus far, her first two restaurant reviews have been very well received by her editor and readers, which makes her excited to continue writing her reviews. As you can imagine, keeping her identity a secret from her parents, the newspaper editor, and her friends is becoming harder and harder as she finds herself working to find the best hot dog in New York City. The current food critic isn't happy about having someone who is writing better reviews that he is and he plots to ruin her by giving her this seemingly impossible task. Can she really find the best hot dog in one of the largest cities in the world?
Gladys is given a chance to attend a summer day camp and she thinks this will be the perfect cover for her to sneak off to New York City. Sneaking off soon becomes more difficult, as Gladys is put in charge of all the adult and camp counselor meals at the summer camp. Since she didn't pass her swimming test, she now has to spend her mornings in swim lessons with all the small children and the annoying "celebrity" camper. She must get creative in order to fulfill this assignment. Undeterred, she is soon finding ways to spend time with her parents in the city and getting them to take her to as many hot dog places as possible. Will she finally find the best one in all the city?
Not only does the reader learn about many different styles of hot dogs in this story. We also get to see how Gladys begins to grow as she tries new things and meets new people. She is learning that communication is key to all kinds of relationships. Gladys is one of my new friends.
I really loved this story. My interest was peaked from page one and I could hardly put the book down. I look forward to the third book of the series coming in 2016.
This is the second book that I have read by the talented author Sharon Draper. The character's in Ms. Draper's stories have helped me become a nicer person to others around me. The world needs more heroes like the heroes in these books.
Stella is the heroine in Sharon Draper's newest book Stella by Starlight. Late one night, Stella and her brother see a cross burning across the lake and they notify everyone in their small town of Bumblebee, North Carolina. The cross burning means only one thing, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is once again active in the town, and this makes all of the residents of Bumblebee nervous. It is a presidential election year. When Stella's father and two other black men go to register to vote, Stella is able to travel with them. She sees firsthand how her father and friends are treated compared to the white men who come to register to vote. After the KKK returns to Bumblebee, the house of one of the men who accompanied them to the voter registration catches fire. Stella saves one of the children of that home from the fire and she becomes a community hero.
Stella is a young girl who tries her best in school. She wants to improve her writing, so she practices at night. She feels that she can be free to write what she wants during the night. It is in her writing that she tries to sort out what she sees happening all around her. She recognizes the horse of a very wealthy, popular white citizen that was at both the cross burning and the house fire. She is not able to find any way to understand why this man would be so hurtful and mean. However, Stella finds ways to be kind to all of those around her, even those that are hurting her family and friends.
I enjoyed how the author, Sharon Draper, is able to bring historical facts into a wonderful fiction story. I hope that you will enjoy this story as much as I did. I'm so glad that I have had the opportunity to get to know Stella better. Stella is my hero.
Hoot Owl is hungry and he needs to catch his dinner. Owls are known for being wise but using his gift as a master of disguise he is sure to catch his dinner. Author Sean Taylor has written a fun read aloud that will have children at the edge of their seats wondering if his latest disguise will work.
It is late at night and owl is hungry he sees a variety of animals and tries all kinds of disguises and many fail. Will he ever find something good to eat? Read this book you and your child will love it and it will soon become one of your favorites.
This is a fun adventure book that girls and boys will enjoy. Elisa Primavera has written a fun story in which girls are the heroes but I know that boys will enjoy this story as well. Who can resist a story in which children get to experiences magic and adventures beyond anything you can imagine!
I just picked up this book from my public library. It is the perfect book for those readers that are ready to begin reading chapter books. And what child doesn't like to read about dogs, especially a dog who thinks she is a pirate. I love Pirates so that was my interest in Liz Kessler's book Poppy the Pirate Dog and the Missing Treasure.
Poppy and her family are planning a party for mom's birthday. Poppy is protecting the "treasures" as she is a great pirate treasure protector. When dad's gift to mom goes missing Poppy is on the case...however when Poppy goes running across the yard she falls and injures her eye. When she has to go to the VET she hopes to get an eye patch, just like a real pirate. However, when she comes home with a cone around her neck she isn't happy or feeling like a good pirate. Can she still help the family find dad's gift? What is that?? A walking rock?? You have to read this book to find out the surprise ending.
This is a perfect book for children who feel different from the other children in their classrooms at school. Learning that we all have strengths and weaknesses is a lesson that we all need to learn and Mr. Daniels is the perfect teacher to make sure we learn this lesson. Read author Lynda Mullaly Hunt's latest book!
Author Mac Barnett and illustrator Patrick McDonnell have published a funny story in their new book The Skunk. You and your child will laugh as the skunk follows a man all over the place. The man isn't sure why the skunk is following him. He tries to lose the Skunk but is that really what he wants?
I loved reading this book and I'm looking forward to sharing it with my students as we return to school next month. This is a very unlikely friendship and a wonderful book for all ages!
What would you do if your baby brother was kidnapped by crows? Would you enter the Impassable Wilderness where you last saw the crows? That is just what Prue does to save her brother, Max. Author Colin Meloy has written a fun story about another world that is found in the Impassable Wilderness.
Prue, aided by her friend, Curtis find friends and enemies in the Wilderness. The bandits are working to help the poor while the government is in a mess. The coyotes are fighting with the exiled queen to regain power. The birds are living in their own area and when Prue finds the animals of the North Wood are willing to help her find the Mystics and rescue her brother she is thrilled. However, while Prue is trying to get the right help, Curtis is tricked into helping the Queen. With the help of a rat Curtis learns that he is on the wrong side. He makes friends with the bandits who he first believes are the bad guys but with their help he just may be the one who finds and rescues Max. Or will Prue and the Mystics be the first to find and rescue Max?
This is a great fantasy adventure that will have you turning page after page to find out what will happen next. There are plot twists you won't be expecting. I'm sure all upper grade readers will enjoy this book and will want to read the rest in the series. You will be amazed at all the creatures that are found living in the Impassable Wilderness. Perhaps you will want to visit one day!
Cece Bell lets readers see into her life as a deaf child. This is a delightful graphic novel that you and your children will enjoy. This is a Newbery Honor book and one that will be enjoyed for years to come.
Author Sarah Lean has written a very sweet story in her book A Dog Called Homeless. Cally Fisher's mother passed away one year ago and when Cally tells her family that she can see her mother they don't believe her. She sees her mother in a variety of places and whenever she does a dog is nearby. The dog comes to Cally whenever he sees her, the dog is chased away from her school and by her father. Cally likes the dog and wonders why he shows up when she happens to see her mother. Once, Cally sees the dog near a homeless man so Cally names the dog Homeless.
Her father, brother and herself are forced to move to a new apartment building where Cally makes friends with a blind boy named Sam. Cally and Sam spend many afternoons together creating a strong bond of friendship. Sam believes that Cally has seen her mom and helps her to try to find Homeless the dog. Through these two children the wounds of losing a mother and wife begin to heal and Homeless finds a home in which he can stay, the home where he should have been all along.
I enjoyed this story it had me near tears a few times and also made me smile. It is a great story of family and friendship. Most of all it is a story of being kind at all times.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires is a magnificent read aloud story.
A young girl and her best friend, her pet dog, work together to create the most magnificent thing. It is the thing that they young girl believes will be the most magnificent thing that she has ever made. She has made many things in her young life but this time it is different this is the most magnificent thing that she has ever dreamed of making.
She creates many things trying her best to have it be just like what she has imagined. No matter how hard she works it just isn't the most magnificent thing. She makes more and more things and soon she is frustrated and quits. When she looks at all the items she has made she decides that there are some good and bad with each item made, so she combines things, shares things, and soon she is using the most magnificent thing. Finding joy in its use for her and her dog.
This story shows how we must never give up on our dreams. If we think it we can make it as long as we work hard. I liked how others found her items useful when she didn't think they were of any use to her. This is a great book to share with your children to encourage them to keep on working, to never give up on their dreams.
After reading this book go and make something, be creative!
In the world of social media there is a phrase that many use and that is "Throwback Thursday". So, this Thursday I am sharing with you an older book which was published in 1974. It may be one that you have already read. Author Julie Andrews Edwards wrote this fantasy story The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles.
I enjoyed this book so very much. Ben, Tom and Lindy Potter are visiting a local zoo where they meet Professor Savant. Lindy really enjoyed talking with Professor Savant but she is sure she won't see him again. However, on Halloween night when Lindy is dared to knock on the door of the scariest looking house on the street they once again meet Professor Savant since it is his house. The children and the Professor become friends and the professor tells them about Whangdoodleland and the strange creatures that live there. The professor wants to find the land and see the last Whangdoodle. The only way to get to this magical land is by using imagination and as an older person the professor needs help from the young Potter children to enter the land. They are successful in getting to the land and encounter many strange creatures. Some are helpful and others do all they can to keep them away from the Whangdoodle. The land has many beautiful features and many dangers. Will they be able to finally meet the Whangdoodle?
I am confident that readers of all ages will enjoy this book. Readers that enjoy fantasy stories will love this book.
After reading this book go and enjoy the great outdoors in your area.
Peter Mark Roget spent most of his life creating lists, lists of all kinds and from his lists we now have easy access to many words. Words that create stories, words to teach and inspire, words that we speak. The Right Word Roget and his Thesaurus is the story of Peter and the creation of the very first Thesaurus which was printed in 1852. Author Jen Bryant does a great job at sharing with young readers the life of Peter Mark Roget.
I really enjoyed this book and the style of making lists to describe things in the story. I learned many things about Peter Mark Roget and his many accomplishments. I marvel that the first Thesaurus was arranged by the meaning of the words instead of the words in ABC order. I imagine I would have a hard time looking for the just right word in the first edition. I'm thankful for his hard work and his sharing his lifetime passion of making lists. Because he has shared his lists made into a book it is easy for all of us to find just the right word in all we say and write.
This book is a Caldecott Honor book and a Robert F. Sibert Medal winner. It is one I'm sure you and your family will enjoy.
After reading this book go outside, just like he did, and create a list of your own.
Rita Williams-Garcia is a wonderful author of Historical Fiction. The family in this book and in her books PS Be Eleven and One Crazy Summer will become like family to you. I love them all and I'm grateful for these books.
This was a great, funny, wonderful, mysterious, history learning, fantastic story! I love this book!! Kate Hannigan will have you at the edge of your seat reading. Click on the link (the author's name) and you can find out more of the history that is contained in this story. I cannot wait to hear what you think.
This past week I had the opportunity to host a school assembly featuring author Greg Trine. My second, third and fourth graders were excited to meet this author of chapter books about super heroes that has comic style drawings as well as words. These are just right books for children making the jump from picture books to chapter books. These books are funny and will have even reluctant readers turning each page waiting to see how the story ends.
The first series of books written by Greg Trine is the Melvin Beederman Superhero series. Melvin is a young boy that is sent to a Superhero Academy where he learns how to be a superhero. He cannot control his x-ray vision, stop trains or even fly on the first try, but he is determined to learn all he can to be a great superhero. When he completes his classes at the Academy he is assigned to guard the city of Los Angeles. He finds a perfect side kick in, Candace, an elementary school girl he meets in book one. In Invasion From Plant Dork Marvin sees that aliens are headed toward Los Angeles. He is concerned about being able to handle the case with just Candace so he gets fellow Academy graduates, Margaret and James to help him keep Los Angeles safe. Unfortunately the aliens kidnap Marvin and his friends. The aliens, Monkey Wrench, Elbow and Shoe need to take earthlings back to the planet Dork for their science class. Will the superheroes escape this strange planet? Read this book to find out! I know you will enjoy reading this book. One thing I love about this book is how the "narrator" talks to the reader. At one point the waves are so good at the beach in Los Angeles the narrator takes a break to surf.
The second series written by Greg Trine is the Adventures of Jo Schmo. In the first book Dinos Are Forever Jo needs to stop the evil Dr. Dastardly from bringing the dinosaurs back to life and destroying their city.
Jo is a young girl who has had many superheroes in her family. She is feeling bad because she doesn't believe she has any superpowers. However, when a package arrives for her that has a cape and a book of instructions all that changes. Her cape is too long so she rips off some and puts a cape on her dog Raymond who becomes her trusty sidekick. Since she cannot drive she creates a super high speed scooter to help her stop crime. Her grandpa Joe helps her to learn the skills needed and he texts her when he hears of crimes on his police scanner. She usually has to leave her classroom to stop crimes, her first big case is stopping a bank robbery. She succeeds but her teacher wonders why she left the classroom for so long? This is another funny and wonderful adventure story.
Greg Trine's latest book is Willy Maykit in Space. Willy and his mom have not heard from dad for a couple of years. He is an explorer and the last they heard he was in the amazon jungle. Willy misses his dad but he also wants to be an explorer. Willy's fourth grade class has the opportunity to visit the newest planet discovered (Planet Ed) on a class field trip. Willy is so excited he can finally be an explorer just like his dad. However, will mom let him attend the field trip? Willy soon finds himself and his classmates on a space ship driven by an android named Max, and Willy cannot wait to land on Planet Ed. Once the ship has landed he goes off exploring and is separated from his classmates. When a big storm hits he is left behind his teacher, classmates and Max are flying away in the spaceship. Willy believes that he is alone but he soon finds another classmate who did not get back on the space ship. They try to figure out what to eat, where to live and what to do on this new planet. They meet an alien from yet another planet who shows them around the place. Monsters are discovered on Planet Ed and these monsters are not nice. Can they find a way back home? Will the monsters get them? This is a fast paced adventure story that you are sure to love. The author talks to the reader in this story which is something that I really enjoy. The good news is that Willy's dad is alive but he is being held captive by the foot hunters of the amazon. Will the family be reunited? Read this funny story to find out!
After reading any of these books go and share some jokes with a friend.
This is book three of the Princess Academy series. I love the first book because of the teaching that education is a way to improve your life situation. This is shown again in this book written by Shannon Hale. Go and find this book, or the entire series and read!
Three great book author/illustrators that I was able to listen to and meet for a few minutes at the 2015 LA Book Festival. It's Only Stanley is the newest book by author/illustrator Jon Agee and I've already shared it with second graders and they loved it! Salina Yoon has written and illustrated many books for children. Her newest series is Bear who you can see in this review in the book Found. In 2013 author/illustrator Bob Shea wrote a great book about envy. In Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great Goat is envious of all that Unicorn can do and Unicorn is envious of Goat, can these two learn to admire their differences and strengths and become friends? I think this would be a great book to read to any child that might need some encouragement in making new friends. I really enjoyed the Book Festival and cannot wait to attend next year.
Authors Shannon and Dean Hale have written a great beginning chapter book that may sound like the perfect girl book, but I believe that most boys will love the ninja skills this princess has.
The Princess in Black, Princess Magnolia, is being visited by the Duchess Wigtower. As they begin to enjoy some hot chocolate and scones, the Monster Alarm rings. Can the Princess leave her castle while a Duchess is visiting? Magnolia isn't sure, but she knows that she must save her kingdom from the monsters. Magnolia quickly leaves the Duchess and when she exits the castle she transforms into the Princess in Black. With the help of her pony, she is quickly at the borders of her land fighting the monsters. She demonstrates some great ninja skills and before long she is back in her castle wearing her official pink princess dress, ready to complete her visit with the Duchess.
After reading this book go out and have an adventure of your own.
The series Magic Tree House has been a popular series for many years. In the first Super Edition of the series, author Mary Pope Osborne has Jack, Annie and the treehouse going back in history. I enjoy reading historical fiction and I believe that this is a great way to get our children interested in history.
Danger in the Darkest Hour takes Annie and Jack to Normandy, France in June 1944. The battle of D-Day begins the very next day. They need to find the right people to help them figure out the clues that will enable them to help one of their friends. As they get close to their friend, they find others that need their help. Can they save all those people and make it back home before morning?
I highly recommend this book to anyone. However, if you have a child who is interested in World War II this would be a book they would enjoy and be able to relate to because I am sure most children already relate to Jack and Annie and their Magic Tree House.
After reading this story spend sometime with your family. Find out if there is anyone in your family that has served their country during time of war. Share family stories with each other and write them down so that future generations may enjoy the stories too.
Do you like to be just a little frightened while reading? If so, The Night Gardner by Jonathan Auxier is the book you should read next.
Molly and Kip are orphans and they do not want to live at the orphanage. Molly takes Kip to the Windsor estate where they can work. As they seek directions to the estate, they are told by many to turn around. People tell them that nobody lives at the Windsor estate and nobody returns from the sour woods that you must pass through in order to find the Windsor estate. Molly still believes that working there is better than the orphanage. They continue on the path, finally arriving at the estate. They find a run down house with a big tree growing right in the middle of the house. It is a strange place with some strange people living there.
Molly and Kip start to work doing everything for the family. When they begin to notice some strange noises and changes in the family they begin to investigate. What could be behind the green door? They are told to stay away. But it is irresistible. Who belongs to the footsteps Molly hears each night? The family living there doesn't believe there is anything to be afraid of, but Kit and Molly disagree.
Readers will be turning pages as fast as they can read to find out all the secrets of Windsor Estate. I am not usually a fan of "scary" stories (and this isn't very scary) but I really enjoyed this book.
After reading this story go outside and play by a scary-looking tree!
Andrea Davis Pinkney has written a wonderful story of hope in her book The Red Pencil. This book has beautiful illustrations by Shane W. Evans and it is written like a poem. It will touch your heart with the words and pictures.
Amira is a 12 year old girl living in Sudan. She is not able to attend school and she so badly wants to learn. When her best friend leaves their township in hopes to attend a school for girls, Amira finds herself longing to leave as well. Amira's mother tells her that she is meant to be a wife and mother and that there is no need to learn to read and write. Amira doesn't want the life that her mother explains to her. When they are forced to flee their home, as their town is burned, they travel for many days finding a place to finally stop walking in a refugee camp. Life in the camp is worse than anything Amira could imagine. She receives a gift of a red pencil and soon she finds the courage to flee the refugee camp. Will she finally get the change to attend a school? That is for the reader to learn.
After reading this book send a note of gratitude to someone who has given you the chance to learn. Being able to read opens the world to us all.