Thursday, April 20, 2017

Compass South FOUR POINTS by: Hope Larson

 Another wonderful graphic novel!  I never thought I would enjoy this type of book as much as I do.  Hope Larson's first book in the Compass South series Four Points is one great adventure.  The illustrations by Rebecca Mock are great as well.

Twins, Alexander and Cleopatra Dodge, have an amazing adventure when their father goes missing.  They try to make it on the streets but are soon in trouble with the sheriff.  When they rat out a local gang leader in order to save themselves they need to leave quickly.  Cleopatra disguises herself as "Patrick" so that they can travel to San Francisco and claim to be the lost twins of a very wealthy man.   They encounter another set of twins also claiming to be the sons of the wealthy man, and they get mixed up.  Alex is now with one of the other twins and so is "Patrick".  As they both try to make it to San Francisco they  face dangers on the sea and on the land.

I couldn't put this book down because of the exciting experiences these two encounter.  I just had to know if they would ever find each other and if they can find their father.  This is a very exciting adventure that you won't forget.  I cannot wait to see book 2 in this series.

Happy Daily Reading

Friday, April 14, 2017

Grandpa's Great Escape by: David Walliams

Here is another laugh-out-loud story that you and your children will love.  In fact I'm sure that David Walliams' book Grandpa's Great Escape will be enjoyed by many family generations!

Jack loves being with his grandpa even though his grandpa doesn't know his name.  Jack is called "Squadron Leader" and grandpa is "Wing Commander".  You see Grandpa thinks believes he is still a fighter pilot fighting for England in WWII.  Jack goes along with it and the two have many flying adventures together.

Grandpa goes missing from his apartment and when he moves into Jack's home he is missing once again.  Jack knows to look up when looking for grandpa because he is always going up flying his Spitfire on missions for the war.  When he is found sleeping inside a museum inside a Spitfire which is hanging from the ceiling the decision is made to send Grandpa to Twilight Towers.  Twilight Towers is the newest "old people" home in the city.  Jack isn't happy that grandpa has to go to the Towers and he really isn't happy when he learns that visiting time is only allowed on Sundays for just 15 short minutes.  Jack decides to sneak into the Towers one night and soon he is helping his "Wing Commander" escape the enemy's prison where he is being held.  The problem with the escape is that grandpa won't leave anyone behind so all the old residents "prisoner's of war" are soon escaping.  It is a grand leaving from Twilight Towers and in the middle of the escape it is discovered that the owner of Twilight Towers is stealing wills from the residents and taking all their money upon their death.

Will "Wing Commander" and "Squadron Leader" really get everyone to safety?  Have they just stumbled upon a big crime ring?  You will have to read this outstanding book to find out.  I promise that you won't be able to put this book down and Jack and Grandpa's adventure just might lead to some adventures of your own.

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, April 10, 2017

Welcome to Wonderland Home Sweet Motel by: Chris Grabenstein

Author Chris Grabenstein has written another funny middle grade novel in his book Welcome To Wonderland Home Sweet Motel.  This is the first in a new series that I'm sure even the most reluctant reader will enjoy.  Chris Grabenstein is one of my favorite authors, after you read this book he will become one of your favorites as well.

P.T. Wilkie lives at a hotel with his mother and grandfather in Florida.  He loves living in a place with all you can eat ice cream machine near the pool, a frog slide and so much history  The Hotel is losing money so P.T. thinks of ways to help bring customers to the Hotel.  To bring the Hotel back to its former glory he enlists the help of Gloria, a new resident to the Hotel.  Gloria knows business and between he two of them they create some fun events to bring in the Spring Break crowd.  The activities that they plan will have you wanting to book a visit to the Hotel.

Two older men come to the Hotel and they are acting a bit strange.  Soon, P.T. and Gloria are on a search for missing jewels from a very old robbery.  Using clues and trying to go back to the time of the robbery the kids just may solve this crime and save the Hotel.

This is a great story.  So many laughs, adventure and some crazy characters.  You will love P.T. and his family.  The second book in this series comes out in May 2017 so read this book soon so that you will be ready for book 2.

Happy Daily Reading

Thursday, April 6, 2017

One Proud Penny by: Randy Siegel

As an elementary school librarian I'm always searching for non-fiction read aloud picture books.  I've discovered a great one written by Randy Siegel and illustrated by Serge Bloch in the book One Proud Penny.

This penny was born in 1983 beginning his life just like all the other pennies in Philadelphia.  He gives the reader facts on how he was made and fills us in on his United States travels and troubles.  He spent one winter on the floor in Wisconsin, I cannot even imagine how cold he must have been!  We learn that you can buy things with him as well as spin and flip him.  When he gets placed in a jar filled with other pennies he doesn't get depressed he thinks of his favorite President.  I will let you read the book to find out who his favorite President is and if he ever gets out of that jar!

I enjoyed sharing this with my students and it now has a long list of students wanting their own turn reading it.  I am sure you and your children will enjoy this wonderful picture book.

After reading this book search your pennies for one that was born in 1983.

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Squirrel Meets World by: Shannon Hale & Dean Hale

The world needs Squirrel Girl as its newest super hero!  Authors Shannon Hale and Dean Hale have written a fun book that anyone who loves super heroes will enjoy The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Squirrel Meets World.

Doreen Green is the new girl at her school in New Jersey.  It is always hard being the new kid at school but when you have to hide your big bushy squirrel tale in your pants all day it can be very difficult.  She also has all the super skills of squirrels which she tries to hide from the world.  Doreen tries to make friends at school but her first friend is a squirrel named Tippy-Toe.  Ana Sofia becomes her first friend at school and together they have an amazing first adventure.

The city is experiencing a crime spree along with traps being set all over town to catch squirrels.  Strange microphones emit a sound that drives all the dogs crazy.  Just what is going on in this new town?

Doreen has always kept her "squirrel" side a secret but when she sees that someone needs saving she just cannot help herself.  Soon she is getting a super hero reputation as Squirrel Girl.  Her parents don't think she is ready to be a hero and they try to stop her but that doesn't work.  She is soon facing Micro-Manager a new villain.  Will she be able to stop him and his evil plan?  Nobody, not even super heroes, can always do hard things alone.  Squirrel Girl is lucky she has the Squirrels and Ana Sofia to help her.

I loved this book and I will now be looking for the Squirrel Girl Comic Books to read more about this amazing girl.

Happy Daily Reading

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pax by: Sara Pennypacker

This book has been talked about and reviewed by many.  It sat on my "to be read" pile for awhile.  I just wasn't convinced that everyone loved it.  I was afraid I would be the one who just wouldn't get into a book about a boy and his pet.  Especially a pet fox?  Who has a pet fox??

Well, I finished this book last week and I enjoyed it.  Author Sara Pennypacker's PAX is a book you won't forget and you will want to share it with your friends.

Pax is found as a fox pup by a young boy named Peter.  They are together all the time.  After the death of Peter's mother his dad decides to sign up to go to war.  Peter is to live with his grandfather and Pax will be set free into the wild.  Peter is very upset when his dad makes him trick Pax just outside a forest on their way to Peter's grandfather's home.

Pax was never a fox who lived in the wild.  He anxiously waits for Peter to return but when Peter doesn't return Pax tries to find his way in the wild.  He needs to learn how to hunt, eat, etc...  He befriends other foxes that have a hard time trusting him since he likes humans.  Wild foxes do not trust humans.  Through Pax's eyes we learn what he is learning on how to be on his own as a fox.  When the war comes close to the foxes will they survive?

Peter runs away from his grandfather's home to try to find Pax.  When he injures his foot he finds a farm in the middle of nowhere with a quirky farm woman (Vola) living there.  Vola befriends Peter making him stay with her until his foot heals.  Peter is also learning how to live on his own.  He finds new interests and skills living with Vola.  As we watch Peter grow we also see changes in Vola and how she adapts to her new housemate.  When Peter finally leaves the farm and looks for Pax he is sad to see the war so close to the forest where Pax now lives.  Will they find each other?

Each chapter is told from either Peter's or Pax's viewpoint.  I found this such a great way to get to know both of these characters as well as Vola.  I feel as though I've made three new friends and as they each go their own way I know they are forever changed because they know each other.  This is how we all go through life.  Influencing and helping those we meet along the way.

After reading this book go and try something you've never tried before.

Happy Daily Reading

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by: Michelle Edwards

Michelle Edwards has written a great story about kindness in her book A Hat for Mrs. Goldman.

Sophia has been friends with her neighbor Mrs. Goldman since birth.  As a baby Sophia wore a hat knitted by Mrs Goldman so her head could stay warm.  Mrs. Goldman makes hats for everyone.  Sophia helps by making poms for the hats.  When they go for a walk one cold day Sophia realizes that Mrs. Goldman needs a hat too.  She tries to knit her a hat but knitting is hard for Sophia.  Sophia gets creative to create a one-of-a-kind hat for her special friend, Mrs. Goldman.  Sophia teaches us all to do our best and to think of ways to make the world better by being kind.

After reading this book write a letter to thanks to someone who has done something kind for you.

Happy Daily Reading

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Life On Mars by: Jon Agee

Once again, Jon Agee has written a great picture book that adults and children will enjoy.  Life on Mars will be a treasured book for many years to come.

A small astronaut decides he will explore Mars looking for life on the planet.  He sees most of the planet and even has a gift to give to anyone he might meet.  When he finds that he cannot find his rocket he begins to panic.  He gets help, that he doesn't realize, and when he returns to Earth he still wonders if there is life on Mars.

Surprise ending that your children and you will love.  Be ready to read this story many times.

Happy Daily Reading

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Unwanteds Quests DRAGON CAPTIVES by: Lisa McMann

Lisa McMann continues the adventures of the land of Artime in her new series The Unwanteds Quests Dragon Captives.  Thisbe and Fifer, twin younger sisters of Alex, are now 12 and are looking for adventures of their own.  They have grown up in Artime hearing about their brother's adventures that have shaped the world in which they now live.  Alex has tried to keep them from learning too much magic because he sees such natural magical abilities in his sisters he is worried they have more power than they know what to do with.

When one young dragon returns to Artime stating that the other dragons are being held prisoners and used as slaves the girls want to help.  Alex, who has had life changing injuries, isn't sure that help is available.  Alex decides that the dragons need new bigger wings and he is able to make some but how to get to Dragon Island is the problem.  The twins, along with their friend Seth, set out one night to help the captured dragons.  They are able to fly to Dragon Island by riding on the back of the dragon and once they arrive at the island they are also captured.  They believe they have found friends but that isn't the case.  Now that they are captured can they ever help the dragons or even return back home.  Of course, Alex has discovered that the twins are gone and a rescue party is sent.  However, when the rescue party is also captured the situation really becomes serious.  Will anyone make it back to Artime?

I loved this story and I'm excited for the next book.  These characters feel like family to me and I look forward to more exciting adventures as the girls continue to grow and learn how to control and use their magic appropriately.

Happy Daily Reading