Monday, February 29, 2016

Friday Barnes Girl Detective by: R.A. Spratt

If you enjoy mysteries this is a book you will love.  Friday Barnes Girl Detective is the first in the new series by R.A. Spratt.  It is a story you will not soon forget.

Friday Barnes is born into a family that loves science.  Her parents and much older siblings are all busy with their science lives so Friday spends much of her time alone reading everything she can inside her home.  She is a very intelligent young girl and when she is able to solve a case for the local police she takes the reward money and enrolls in a private school.

She has never had friends or even knows how to interact with others near her age.  She has very interesting encounters with the students at her new school.  When she is asked to help a classmate prove their innocence to the Headmaster Friday doesn't realize she is beginning a new career as school detective.

She solves a few of the cases that classmates give her but the biggest mystery at the school is the "swamp monster".  Is the monster real?  As Friday uses her skills at looking for clues at all times she just might be able to help the school solve this "swamp monster" mystery once and for all.

There are funny moments that we can all relate to as Friday learns how to be at the school with others her own age.  Her roommate and BFF, Melanie, is also an interesting character.  There is even possibly a love interest for Friday, does she really like Ian??  You will laugh and you will try to solve the case right along with Friday.  She is a girl you will come to love.

I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more in the series.

After reading this book see if there isn't anyone you might be able to help just like Friday does in this story.

Happy Daily Reading

Friday, February 26, 2016

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by: Chris Grabenstein

Author Chris Grabenstein has written a wonderful sequel with this book Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics (check out my review of his first book by searching my blog for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library).

I was very excited to begin reading this book as I loved the first story so much.  Kyle and his friends have become famous for winning the competition at the Alexandriaville Ohio new library, Mr. Lemoncello's Library.  However, there are many other junior high students across the United States that feel they could have won the contest.  Since Mr. Lemoncello loves creating games he decides to hold another competition, a Library Olympics.  Teams from regions across the United States are formed and come to Alexandriaville for the games.

However, as the games progress there are those that want the library closed for good, or at least not run by Mr. Lemoncello.  Kyle and his friends find that the competition is tough and they also find that they must find out who is trying to stop the games and take over their library.  The only way they can find the people that are against them is to team up with all of their competitors which isn't really what Kyle wants to do.  Teamwork wins at the end and what a fabulous ending it is.

A quote from the book is one of my new favorites.  In the book it is at the base of the statue of Mr. Lemoncello in the library it states:  Knowledge Not Shared Remains Unknown.  I've shared what I can of this story and I hope you will read it and love it as much as I do.

After reading this book go and visit your public library.

Happy Daily Reading

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Count the Monkeys by: Mac Barnett

My students and I have enjoyed reading Mac Barnett's book Count the Monkeys.

This is not only a funny story it is also a fun interactive story as well.  You and your children will giggle as you see and read about the variety of animals and people that make counting monkeys hard work! Your children will also enjoy doing the things that the author asks you to do so that you can finally count the monkeys.

I am sure that this will become a favorite book in your home.  Just as it is a favorite at my school.

After reading this book you may have to visit the zoo to count monkeys!

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, February 22, 2016

All The Answers by: Kate Messner

What would you do if you found a pencil that would give you the answer to most questions you ask?  The answer is probably found in the book All the Answers by Kate Messner.

Ava finds a old pencil in her family junk drawer and soon learns that when she writes a question the answer is whispered to her.  Fortunately, only the person holding the pencil can hear the pencil.  Ava first learns of the power of this pencil while in math class.  As you may imagine, the pencil comes in very handy during math class.

As Ava shares the power of her pencil with her best friend and as they begin to ask a variety of questions troubles and worries come to Ava.  The worries she has about her family's store and their health is a lot for her and she cannot talk to her family about her worries or she just might lose the pencil for good and she enjoys using the pencil.  At one point the girls pretend to be fortune tellers, with some funny results.  As Ava learns more about the pencil, where it came from and who has used it in the past she begins to wonder if she really needs this pencil.

Will she keep it forever?  Can it even last that long?  This is a wonderful story that I'm sure many of you will enjoy.

After reading this story, pick up a pencil and do your homework...or just draw something fun.

Happy Daily Reading

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Who Were The Brothers Grimm by: Avery Reed

This book is part of a series titled:  "Who Was...Who Is..Who Were".  These are the biographies that my students want to read.  I decided I should check the series out and since I love fairy tales I decided to read about the Brothers Grimm in Avery Reed's book Who Were The Brothers Grimm?

Jacob and Wilhem Grimm grew up as best friends in the late 1700s in Germany.  They loved listening to the German fairy tales as far back as they could remember.  They were good at school and after the death of their father they had the opportunity to attend school in another city.  While in college, they were studying law to become judges like their father, they continued to love literature.  They would often be found acting out stories that they had read.  Jacob began working for a professor and soon dropped out of law school and moved to Paris.  It was here that he helped his professor collect children's songs to publish in a book.  From this experience Jacob began collecting fairy tales.  Soon Wilhem was also collecting stories.  It was common that the German fairy tales were not written but told and retold by parents or storytellers.  The brothers began spending time with storytellers and in 1825 their first collection of fairy tales was published.

I really enjoyed reading about these two men that I knew nothing about.  I hope you will check out this series of biographies the next time you want to learn about someone's life.

After reading a book in this series take sometime to write down facts and interesting stories about yourself.  An autobiography might be very interesting to read when you are older and your children will love reading about you as a child.  And who knows there just might be an author that will read it when you are famous and use parts in the biography they write about you!

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Tiara on the Terrace by: Kristen Kittscher

This is a book I was waiting and waiting to read.  I was lucky enough to be able to attend a book launch party with the author and a few of my students (see photos below).  It was a great night for author Kristen Kittscher and her newest mystery book The Tiara on the Terrace.

I don't know anyone who doesn't enjoy a parade.  I love them and I especially love the New Year's Pasadena Rose Parade which is where Kristen got her inspiration for the Winter Sun Festival held in fictional town of Luna Vista CA.  It is at the 125th annual Winter Sun Festival that we meet friends Sophie Young and Grace Yang.  They, as most of the children at the junior high, are busy working on the parade floats.  Everyone in the float decorating area are shocked when the President of the Winter Sun Festival is found dead on one of the parade floats.   The police think it was an accident but Young and Yang do not agree.   As soon as possible the girls start an investigation into the death of the President.  They need to get as close to those running the Festival as they can so they sign up to be assistants to the princesses and queen of the festival.  When they get to enter the Parade Headquarters they get an up close view of the workings of the festival, even seeing how the pooper scoopers get trained.  As assistants they get to spend a weekend at the Headquarters and Young and Yang figure they must solve the mystery that weekend.  Soon they are being closely watched and told to stop spying on everyone.  At one point they are even trapped in a storage shed.

The girls have to be careful who they trust as they try to solve this case.  They find themselves in danger but also having a good time with the other girls who are assistants and with the princesses and queen.  Their friendship and loyalty to each other is also tested.  Can they solve the crime before others are found injured or worse??

I really just cannot put into words how fun this story is to read.  I am sure that you will love this page turner of a mystery.  I couldn't wait to find out who did it and you won't be able to put this book down until you find out who did it.

After reading this book I suggest reading The Wig in the Window as you will love the first mystery that Young and Yang solve in Luna Vista.  Check out my review of The Wig in the Window by searching my blog.

Happy Daily Reading

Me and Kristen Kittscher

Library Helpers and Me

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

Chris Grabenstien has written a fantastic book Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library.  It will be a favorite of mine forever!  I could not put it down.  Kyle is a 12 year old boy and has never been to a public library.  His city's library burned down 12 years ago and it was never rebuilt.  However, a new one is being built and the construction has been well guarded and covered, nobody knows what to expect.

Kyle and his family love to play games, and not just video games.  They enjoy board games and outside games too, all created by Kyle's hero, Mr. Lemoncello.  Kyle isn't excited about a library, what would he do with books?  When Kyle learns that Mr. Lemoncello is the anonymous donor for the new library he is excited to enter the essay contest where 12 children, all the age of 12, will get to be the first visitors to the library.  Kyle and 11 others are let into the library the night before the grand opening.  They are now locked in and have to solve riddles and play games in order to figure out how to get out of the library.  Will the children work together to escape?  Will friendships be made or broken?  It is an adventure reading about Kyle and the others as they learn what awaits them in the new city library.  It is a mystery as you try to solve the riddles and play the games along with Kyle and friends.  Such a great book!  The most important lesson learned is by Kyle, he learns that a library can be a fun place!

Here is a riddle for you...."Once you learn to do this you will be forever free?"

After reading this book go and explore your own public library.  It is a place full of adventure, mystery, fantasy and education!

Happy Daily Reading

PS  Answer to the riddle:  READ