New Books for…May!

Continuing from yesterday’s post…favorite new books in April.  Only now, I guess, it’s May.

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New titles by Favorite Authors:
(or, as they should be called, probable series)

stolen magicStolen Magic, by Gail Carson Levine
Elodie, the dragon detective Meenore, and the kindly ogre Count Jonty Um are all on their way to Elodie’s home island of Lahnt. Elodie has barely set foot on land before she learns that the Replica, a statue that keeps her island’s deadly volcano from erupting, has been stolen! If the Replica isn’t found in three days, a mountain will be destroyed. And when Elodie ends up alone with a cast of characters each of whom may be guilty, she has to use her wits to try to unravel a tangled web of lies.
The popular author of many thrilling (and award winning) fantasy titles has written another one sure to be a hit. This isn’t really a series (not yet, anyway), but the book is a sequel to A Tale of Two Castles.

rat with a human faceThe Rat with the Human Face, by Tom Angleberger
Another sequel, this will be a series before too long! Lyle Hertzog and his friends Marilla and Dave are the Qwikpick Adventure Society, three kids who seek out adventure in their seemingly quiet hometown of Crickenburg. On the hunt for their next big adventure, the kids overhear a construction worker telling his buddies about a rat with a human face he saw in the basement of an old research facility. The decision is unanimous: the next adventure for the Qwikpick Society is on! But when their trip to find the rat doesn’t go quite as expected, the trio gets in big trouble. Will the second adventure for the Qwikpick Society also be their last?

tombquest 1Tombquest, by Michael Northrop
A new series by the publisher who brought us 39 Clues and Spirit Animals!
Nothing can save Alex Sennefer’s life. That’s what all the doctors say, but his mother knows it’s not true. She knows that the Lost Spells of the Egyptian Book of the Dead can crack open a door to the afterlife and pull her son back from the brink. But when she uses the spells, five evil ancients–the Death Walkers–are also brought back to life. An ancient evil has been unleashed. Mummies are awakening. New York is overrun with scorpions. And worst of all for Alex, his mom and the Lost Spells have both disappeared. He and his best friend, Ren, will do anything to find his mom and save the world . . . even if that means going head-to-head with a Death Walker who has been plotting his revenge for 3,000 years! We currently have the first two books, Book of the Dead and Amulet Keepers.

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And these just look good:
  (Mostly because I like the cover.  But also because spot-reading a few pages made me want to read more.  Lots more!)

valiantValiant, by Sarah McGuire
Saville hates sewing. How can she not when her father, the Tailor, loves his bolts of velvet and silk far more than he’s ever loved her? But when he is struck ill, Saville must don boy’s clothes in the hopes of gaining a commission from the king to keep them fed. The kingdom is on edge when stories spread of an army of giants led by a man who cannot be killed. No one believes that, of course!. But when Saville cunningly tricks two large men into leaving the city, suddenly the Tailor of Reggen is the hero of the kingdom! The king even promises his sister’s hand in marriage, and by the time Saville reaches the palace doors, it is widely known that the Tailor single-handedly killed giants. When it’s discovered that she’s a girl, Saville is swept into the twists and turns of court politics. The deathless man is very real, and he will use his giant army to ensure he is given the throne freely or by force. Now, only a tailor girl with courage and cunning can see beyond the tales to discover the truth and save the kingdom again.

Untitled-2Drive Me Crazy, by Terra Elan McVoy
Friendship can be a bumpy road, especially when two people don’t exactly start off as friends. Lana and Cassie have met only once before, at the wedding of Lana’s Grandpa Howe and Cassie’s Grandma Tess two months ago. The two girls couldn’t be more different, and they didn’t exactly hit it off–but now they’re about to spend an entire week together, stuck in the backseat of a Subaru. They’re traveling with their grandparents on their honeymoon, road-tripping from California to Maine. It’s going to be a disaster.

woofWoof by Spencer Quinn
Trouble is brewing in the Louisiana swamp, and Bowser , the handsome and only slightly slobbery dog detective, is on the trail with his girl, Birdie. When a prize stuffed marlin is stolen from Birdie’s Grammy’s bait and tackle shop, Birdie and Bowser start digging for clues. But what looks like a straight-forward break-in soon becomes as tangled as a tourist’s fishing line. Was Grammy hiding a treasure map in the marlin? What’s up with Old Man Straker, owner of a rival tackle shop, and his juvenile delinquent son? And most sinister of all, why does it suddenly look as if someone wants to harm Birdie? Whatever it takes, Bowser is going follow the scent and solve the mystery.

league of beastly dreadfulsThe League of Beastly Dreadfuls, by Holly Grant
Anastasia is a completely average almost-eleven-year-old. That is, UNTIL her parents die in a tragic vacuum-cleaner accident. UNTIL she’s rescued by two long-lost great-aunties. And UNTIL she’s taken to their delightful and, er, “authentic” Victorian home, St. Agony’s Asylum for the Criminally Insane. But something strange is going on at the asylum. Anastasia soon begins to suspect that her aunties are not who they say they are. So when she meets Ollie and Quentin, two mysterious brothers, the three join together to plot their great escape.

archie greeneArchie Greene and the Magician’s Secret, by D.D. Everest
On his twelfth birthday, Archie Greene receives a mysterious package containing an ancient book in a language he doesn’t recognize. The gift leads him to a family he didn’t know he had and a world he never knew existed.  With the help of his  cousins, Bramble and Thistle, Archie tries to unravel the mystery behind his book, but he begins to realize that his gift is something more powerful than he could have imagined. And the only thing more perilous than its contents is being its owner. The book waited four hundred years for Archie Greene. Now Archie must discover why.

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So come to the library and see what’s new!  There are some great choices available.

::Kelly::

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New Books, New Books, New Books!

And they just keep coming!  Here are some favorites from our latest batch…

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Picture Books:

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sweep up the sunSweep Up the Sun
By Helen Frost and Rick Lieder

Do you have a bird feeder?  Do you enjoy watching birds as they swoop and glide through the air?  Then this book is for you!

Beautiful photographs of birds in flight by RIck Lieder illustrate Helen Frost’s poem about the wonders of flight, soaring in the skies and home.  You can practically count every feather and hear the chirps and tweets.

An afterword provides information on the birds photographed, all of which could be seen in any Northeastern US backyard.  A stunning visual treat and companion book to Step Gently Out.  Nature lovers will love both of these books.

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winnie & waldorfWinnie & Waldorf
Written and illustrated by Kati Hites

Winnie and her dog Waldorf do everything together; Winnie takes care of Waldorf, and Waldorf takes care of Winnie.  And they agree on everything. Mostly.  But when the two of them get in trouble with big sister Sara, they have to be on their best behavior to prove that Waldorf can’t be replaced by a cat!

I loved the expressions on Waldorf’s face as he plays with Winnie.  Waldorf may not know exactly what is going on, but he definitely is focused on his best friend as she worries about his future.  Young readers will love the final solution and the chaos before that comes about.  Make sure you check out the endpapers for more of Winnie and Waldorf’s adventures!

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Janine

Janine.By Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Janine is one of a kind!  She marches to the beat of her own drummer, and enjoys it.  She listens to everybody, knows lots of facts, and she’ll even make up her own cheers, if they’re needed.  When one little girl challenges Janine to be COOL, Janine knows she already is.  And her classmates soon realize, she’s right!

A fun story about a little girl who unabashedly herself.  I love how her individuality is expressed in the illustrations and through her actions.  Everyone needs a Janine in their lives.

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bedtime at bessie and lilsBedtime at Bessie and Lil’s
By Julie Sternberg, Illustrated by Adam Gudeon

Big sister Bessie and little sister Lil are SUPPOSED to be listening to Mama Rabbit reading them a bedtime story.  But Bessie wants to stand on her head, and Lil wants to show Mama how she can skip, and both of them want to watch the moon and look for fireflies.  So Mama Rabbit has to read the story to herself.  And then the girls want to go and say goodnight to the baby.  Poor Mama Rabbit!  Will the girls wake the baby, or can they make it to bedtime?

Anyone who has tried to put two rambunctious bunnies…er, kids…to bed will see themselves in this story.  And any little bunny who has resisted going to bed will too.  Maybe not the best bedtime story, but one to share over and over with your bunnies.   While you’re reading, check out all the bunny details in the illustrations!

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GooseGoose
By Laura Wall

Sophie is a little girl who loves to play with her dolls, dress up and go to the park.  But it’s hard to play on the seesaw and swings alone.  She wishes for a friend.  Soon she finds Goose, who is the perfect playmate!  But mom says Goose can’t come home with them. What is a little girl to do?

This very simple story about friendship is a delightful read.  It’s short, sweet and will appeal to toddlers again and again.  I love the expressions on Sophie and Goose’s faces. A fun read-aloud for bedtime or anytime.

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Fiction:

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big gameBig Game
by Dan Smith

In Oskari’s part of Finland, boys go out into the wilderness to prove themselves in the Trial.  With only a knife, a fire kit and their wits, each boy faces a weekend on Mount Akka, starting at the Place of Skulls.  Oskari knows that he has a lot to live up to…when his father went through the Trial, he came back with a bear.  Oskari can’t pull back the bowstring to prove he’s fit for the trial, but he knows that he has other traits that will help him.  And he has a map, which his father has marked with a secret hunting ground.  If he can get there, he knows he can bring back a trophy that will prove him a man.

But just when Oskari has a deer in his sights, it’s frightened away by a helicopter.  Oskari curses at the helicopter, then realizes that its presence can only mean one thing…poachers.  And bringing back information on trespassers on the land might be even better than a deer.  He follows the helicopter in his ATV, only to find a crashed plane.  And inside…a man who claims to be the President of the United States.

Soon Oskari has the biggest prize of all…a President.  But with men hunting them, can he get the man safely back to his village and save the world from terrorists?  Up above the Arctic Circle, survival can depend on Oskari’s braveness, his wilderness skills, and his will to survive.

A thrilling adventure by a favorite author.

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lulu and the hamster in the nightLulu and the Hamster in the Night
by Hilary McKay

At her school, Lulu is famous for animals.  If anyone needs someone to care for their animals, or to learn what they need, they ask Lulu.  So when Emma Pond, one of the big girls tells Lulu that she has a hamster that she will either give to Lulu or release into the wild, Lulu knows just what she has to do.  She takes the hamster.  Her parents don’t mind…much…but they remind her that Nan, her grandmother, really doesn’t like hamsters.  Lulu doesn’t think it will be a problem, she’ll just make sure to keep Ratty (that’s the hamster) out of Nan’s sight.

But then Lulu’s parents go away with her cousin Mellie’s parents, and both girls are saying with Nan for the weekend. They can’t leave Ratty alone at home!  But they can’t let Nan see him, either.  Everything would have been fine, except that Mellie leaves the cage open and Ratty escapes into the walls of Nan’s house!  Can the girls get Ratty back and keep Nan out of it?  Maybe…maybe not!

This sixth book of Lulu and her animal adventures is delightful; a quick read with lots of adventure and love.  Try the other Lulu books too.

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The Penderwicks in SpringThe Penderwicks in Spring
by Jeanne Birdsall

Batty, the youngest of the four original Penderwick sisters is now almost eleven, and is now a big sister too.  Little brother Ben is seven, and baby sister Lydia is two.  With Rosalind in college and Skye and Jane both in high school, Batty, Ben and Lydia rely more on each other as the younger set of Penderwicks.  Batty finds it to be a big responsibility, but one she’s willing to take on.

With the arrival of spring on Gardam Street, things start  changing.  Some changes are good, some not so much.  When the Penderwick’s car breaks down, the girls all know that money is tight.  Skye and Jane are already tutoring and working, and Batty convinces Ben to help her with setting up PWTW, Penderwick Willing to Work, an odd-jobs business.  She’s willing to do almost anything!  But when “anything” turns out to be walking Duchess, the fat dachund next door, Batty isn’t so sure.  She’s still adjusting to the loss of her beloved Hound, and doesn’t think she’s up to the responsibility of caring for another dog. That chore doubles when Duchess finds a lost dog. Cilantro’s owners love him, but they don’t have a lot of extra time to walk him, so they hire Batty too.   Then Batty’s new music teacher hears her sing, and tells her her voice is spectacular.  It’s a good thing that Mr. Penderwick didn’t want Batty’s earnings for a car, now she can put them toward voice lessons.

Batty’s looking forward to Rosalind coming home from college for her birthday, the Penderwick’s favorite neighbor, Nick Geiger, coming home from fighting overseas for a visit, and Jeffrey, the honorary Penderwick coming to visit for her birthday.  She needs to ask them all for advice about different things.  But their visits don’t go quite as planned. Nick is wonderful, but seems worried about her.  Rosalind brings a detestable boyfriend with her and Jeffrey fights with Skye and leaves early, before Batty can talk to him about music.  Batty’s problems get bigger and bigger.  What’s a Penderwick to do?

I adore the Penderwick books.  No summary can give them justice–this one makes it sound like it’s all about Batty, but each Penderwick sister (and brother!) has their own story too.  And Lydia!  I think she might compete with Batty for adorableness! The Penderwicks in Spring will make you laugh, frown, giggle and even cry.  It’s perfect–definitely MY favorite book of 2015!

If you’ve read the other Penderwick titles, you’ll love this one too.  I didn’t think anything could top the first book, but The Penderwicks in Spring might be even better.  I only hope that there are more Penderwick stories coming.  With Ben and Lydia still having a lot of growing to do, there’s plenty of potential!

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Non-Fiction

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Two new Reference Books (that have to be used in the library), with circulating copies to be checked out too!  Not much to say about them, except that they’re good, and contain lots of information about women in the American Revolution.  If you’re a Weston fifth grader, doing the Wax Museum project on a little-known woman of the American Revolution, both of these books will be perfect for your researching.  And at least one copy of each will always be available to use in the Library.

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women heroes of the american revolutionWomen Heroes of the American Revolution: 20 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Defiance, and Rescue
by Susan Casey

Find out about a wide range of women who helped fight the American Revolution, from spies to resisters to soldiers to saboteurs!

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women of the revolutionWomen of the Revolution: Bravery and Sacrifice on the Southern Battlefields
by Robert M. Dunkerly

From the fields of Cowpens to Fishing Creek and Hanging Rock, these Carolina ladies helped win the battle for independence.

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All this and more…much, much more!  Visit the library and check out our new books section.  It’s chock-full of good new titles!  As always, if you need to find something specific or need reading suggestions, ask one of our librarians!

::Kelly::

February New Books!

We added lots of new books in February.  Here are a few of my favorites that I grabbed off the cart!

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PICTURE BOOKS:

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naptime with Theo and BeauNaptime with Theo & Beau
by Jessica Shyba

Theo is the puppy, Beau is the little boy.  When Beau was about a year old, he and his brother and sister asked for a puppy for Christmas.  A few months later, Theo came into their lives, adopted from a shelter.

From the moment they met, Theo and Beau were best friends.  And like all friends, they like to do things together.  Like nap!  Every day, Theo waits for Beau to fall asleep.  When he does, Theo is sleepy too!  So Beau’s mom Hoists him up on the bed, Theo plops himself on top of Beau, and they nap together for a couple hours.  With simple, descriptive text, this book shows some of the best pictures of their naps together.

I have to admit, I fell in love with the pictures of Theo and Beau online, and I follow the author’s blog: Momma’s Gone City.  There’s something special between this boy and his dog, and I hope to see pictures of Theo and Beau continue.

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Dear mr washingtonDear Mr. Washington
by Lynn Cullen, Pictures by Nancy Carpenter

Charlotte and James  and their little brother, Baby John, have promised to be on their best behavior while President George Washington comes to sit for a portrait to be painted by their father, Gilbert Stuart.   But when he comes, Baby John chews his hair ribbon, James chases their cat  up Mr. Washington’s shoulder, and Charlotte is caught spying, because she just wanted to see if the president could smile.

After the disastrous first visit, Mr. Washington sends the Stuart children a copy of his book of manners, and Charlotte, being a very polite little girl,  writes her thanks and apologies in a series of letters.  The text of this book is those letters, with illustrations showing how things *really* went.

I love this book!  The expressions on both the children and the adults’ faces; the exuberance of Charlotte, James and Baby John as they try to impress and befriend the imposing Mr. Washington, the despair of the parents as everything goes completely wrong, the illustrations of children’s interpretation of Mr. Washington’s Rules for Good Behavior, (with guest appearances from Benjamin Franklin, Martha Washington and Thomas Jefferson).  Based on a true event, described in a brief afterword, this is a perfect way to meet George Washington for young readers.

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FAIRY TALES:

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Little Red Riding HoodLittle Red Riding Hood
By the Brothers Grimm, Illustrated by Sybille Schenker, Translated by Anthea Bell

This beautiful new take on an old tale is a stunning read.

Based the tale from the Brothers Grimm, and translated from the German, the retelling of Little Red Riding Hood (called Little Red Cap in this version) is the older, traditional version of the tale.  Grandma does get eaten, as does Little Red, and the Huntsman shows up to kill the wolf in a rather gruesome way and save the day.

But the illustrations!  They are so beautifully done.  Cut-paper illustrations allow the reader to look through the woods to try to see what is happening on the next page.  And then, when you turn the page, looking back where you’ve been is almost better.  Black and red feature heavily in the color scheme, which is appropriate for Little Red and the Wolf.

I wouldn’t give this to a very young child, as the pages with the cuts are quite delicate.  But if you’re looking for a way to share Little Red Riding Hood with your child, this is a wonderful way to do it.

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classic bedtime storiesClassic Bedtime Stories
Illustrated by Scott Gustafson

Includes favorites like The Country Mouse and the City Mouse, The Tortoise and the Hair, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Story of Little Sambha and the Tigers, and Sleeping Beauty.

Wonderful re-tellings, with even more wonderful illustrations.  If you’re looking for a collection of tales to share with your child at bedtime, where they can pour over the pictures while you read the stories.

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NON-FICTION:

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Two New Series: National Geographic Kids Chapters and DK’s Eyewonder

Tiger in TroubleTiger in Trouble: And More True Stories of Amazing Animal Rescues
By Kelly Milner Halls

This series features special animals–but all of them have captured the attention of the public in one way or another!  Some are great escape artists, some have poignant stories of survival, some are strong rescuers.  All are unforgettable.  Each book features three animals and the people who care for them.

In Tiger in Trouble, you’ll meet Nitro, a tiger kept as a pet in a small cage who no one knew was blind, Etheral, a baby albino bat whose white fur made it impossible for her to catch food, and Suzie, Bob and Caleb, three Vervet monkeys each raised as a pet who had to come together to be a family.

This series is perfect for second and third grader readers who love animals.

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piratesPirates
by Deborah Lock

Every fact you wanted to know about pirates for kids!

This series is similar to the Eyewitness books, but for a slightly younger audience.  Well researched, with great photographs and illustrations.  The Eyewonder series also features some fun activities and games, as well as a facts check-up, glossary and index at the end of the book.

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FICTION:

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Smek for presidentSmek for President
By Adam Rex

I haven’t read it yet, but I can’t wait!  A sequel to one of my favorite books (and my favorite audio book of all time) The True Meaning of Smekday

Tip and J.Lo are apparently back for another hilarious intergalactic adventure, getting their former car/now spaceship Slushious out of mothballs and heading to New Boovworld to clear J.Lo’s name.  But with J.Lo dubbed Public Enemy Number One and Captain Smek out to capture him to prove his worth as the future president, it won’t be as easy as they thought.

The True Meaning of Smekday has been adapted into a film coming out this year called Home.  Read the book or listen to the audio book before you see the film though.  There’s no way it can be anywhere near as good!

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If you want more information on these books, or if you want a different new book to read, visit the library and ask a librarian for help.

As always, Happy Reading!

::Kelly::

 

More Favorite New Books – January!

Another new cart of books…more new favorites!

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Gingerbread for Liberty: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution, by Mara Rockliff, Pictures by Vincent X. Kirsch
gingerbread for libertyOnce there was a baker who lived in Philadelphia.  He was a big man, with a booming laugh, and a recipe for delicious gingerbread.  He also loved his country.  So when the American Revolution started, this baker knew he had to help somehow.  And he did!

This is a short picture book  based on the life of Christopher Ludwick, a German baker who is an forgotten hero of the Revolution.  There is a brief author’s note in the back that gives a few details of his life, and what he did after the Revolution.  He was a very interesting person, and I wish there was more information about his life.

The illustrations are wonderful–they look like gingerbread cookies!  And the book also includes Christopher Ludwick’s recipe for gingerbread.

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When Otis Courted Mama, by Kathi Appelt, Illustrated by Jill McElmurry
when otis courted mamaBefore Otis, Cardell had a mostly wonderful life.  He had a perfectly good mama and a perfectly good daddy who adored him.  Also a perfectly nice stepmama, Lulu, and a perfectly cute stepbrother, Little Frankie, who also adored him.

The only problem is that his perfectly good daddy and perfectly nice stepmama and perfectly cute stepbrother live on the other side of the desert. And his perfectly good mama, who is wonderfully busy, is quite impressed when their new neighbor, Otis, comes visiting.  With flowers.

A perfectly adorable story about a growing family, with Cardell right in the middle of a lot of love.  And the illustrations are wonderful!

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Hot Dog! Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a Picnic, by Leslie Kimmelman, Illustrated by Victor Juhasz
Hot Dog!Eleanor Roosevelt loved hot dogs!  But as the wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, her parties usually featured fancier dishes.

In 1939, the King and Queen of England were coming for a visit…the first British royalty to visit the United States since the American Revolution!  Eleanor promptly decided to host an all-American picnic…with hot dogs!

This story of two special couples and their memorable picnic is both enjoyable and true.  An afterword provides more details, along with the information on a 50th anniversary celebration that took place in 1989.

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Winnie: the True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh, By Sally M. Walker, Illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss
WinnieWhen Harry Colebourn looked out the train window and saw a baby bear on the station platform, he had to investigate!  He bought the bear for twenty dollars, named her Winnipeg, and took the baby bear with him to his military training camp at Valcartier, in Quebec.

Harry and Winnie had a wonderful time playing games at the camp with each other and the other soldiers in training while Harry took care of the horses. When the captain received orders that the troop was to go to England, Harry couldn’t leave Winnie behind, so she joined the regiment on their long trip to England.

But a bear couldn’t be brought on the front lines, and Winnie was left at the London Zoo, where she met a boy named Christopher Robin.  And a story was born…  With an afterword on the lives of Winnie and Harry, and photographs!

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A Million Ways Home, By Dianna Dorisi Winget
million ways homePoppy Parker was a perfectly ordinary girl living with her grandmother.  Then Grandma Beth ends up in the hospital after a stroke, and Poppy ends up in foster care.  Poppy has a plan to spring Grandma Beth from the nursing home, so the two of them can go home and stay in their apartment, where Poppy can take care of her.

But Poppy’s big escape ends in disaster when she’s in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Suddenly, the police have put her in protective custody, staying with Marti, the mother of Officer Brannigan, the policeman who helped her.  Living with Marti is much better than the foster facility.  Poppy meets a new friend, finds a dog in need of even more help than she is, and tries to come up with another plan to rescue Grandma Beth.

This is a quick read about a plucky girl.  There’s a lot going on, and the resolution, while not completely happy, is very hopeful.  A great middle-grade book for dog lovers and kids who like adventure and family stories.

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Other new books in this release that people will enjoy (but that I haven’t read…yet.)

lyla and mylaLila and Myla, the Twins Fairies, by Daisy Meadows

A Rainbow Magic Special edition.

Jack Frost has stolen Myla And Lila’s twin magic…and Kirsty and Rachel have to help them!

 

sleeping beauty dreams bigSleeping Beauty Dreams Big, by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Grimmtastic Girls #5

Daredevil Sleeping Beauty–or Rose, to her friends–knows that she has to avoid sharp objects after her 12th birthday.  But at Grimm Academy, that’s not as easy as it sounds!

 

big nates greatest hits Big Nate’s Greatest Hits, by Lincoln Peirce

Just what it says–Big Nate’s most popular episodes, collected together for the first time!

 

 

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As always, if you would like to find one of these books, click on the title for a link to the Minuteman Library Network Catalog, or stop by the library!  In the meantime, read, read, read!

On Monday, the American Library Association will be announcing the winners of the biggest book awards for kids and teens: the Caldecott, the Newbery and the Prinz Awards, along with the Coretta Scott King, the Schneider Family Book Award, the Seibert and several more.   We’re looking forward to it!

::Kelly::