2017 December Gift Suggestions!

Are you looking for some gift-giving book ideas for the holidays?  We’ve pulled together a list to start with!  All of our suggestions were published in 2017, so they should be available in most bookstores.  (Of course, they’re also good to check out from the library, even if you don’t need to buy a gift for a reader you know.)

If you’re looking for something more specific, come in and visit the Library.  We can help with suggestions, or you could just look through our New Book Shelves for ideas…

dec gifts 1

dec gifts 2

And, if you just want the cover pictures instead:

dec gifts pics 1

gift books 2017 2 pics

Happy Shopping!

::Kelly::

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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::

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::

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::

 

New Year, New Books!

We just added a cart of new books for January.  Here are a few of my favorites!

Picture Books

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, by Julia Sarcone-Roach

bear ate your sandwich  “By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich.  But you may not know how it happened.  So let me tell you.

It all started with the bear.”

Read all about this bear and how it came into a neighborhood from the woods and just happened upon the beautiful and delicious sandwich, all alone.  Of course it ate it!

Or is that REALLY the way it happened..?

You may see the surprise ending coming, or you may not.  Either way, this is a great story to read aloud to kids of all ages.

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Sick Simon, by Dan Krall

sick simonSimon loves school!  He looks forward to going every day.  Even the day when he’s sneezing, coughing, his nose is dripping green goo.  He feeds the class chinchilla, shares his snacks with friends, and passes around his stuffed toy for show and tell.  But by Wednesday, his classmates are running away from him.  By Friday, he’s the only one on the bus.

And that’s when the germs show up, to tell him he’s their hero.  Simon may have to change his thinking about some things…

A funny look at why going out in public with a cold isn’t the best idea.  The illustrations may be a little hard to look at (the green goo made my stomach churn!) but the resolution will make everyone–kids, parents, teachers, librarians–happy.

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The Storm Whale, by Benji Davies

storm whaleNoi and his Dad live with their six cats by the sea.

One day, when Noi’s Dad goes out in his fishing boat, Noi finds a small whale washed up on the beach.

Can he save it?

I loved the illustrations in this deceptively simple story.  I think you’ll love it too.

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Non-Fiction

Earmuffs for Everyone!  How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs, by Meghan McCarthy

Earmuffs for everyoneIt seems like such a simply idea…a cap to keep your ears warm in the winter.  And yet…the story is a lot more complicated than that.

Every year in Farmington Maine, there’s a parade commemorating Chester Greenwood, the inventor of earmuffs.  But did he really invent them?  Or did he perfect an idea that was floating around out there?

Read this book and find out!

I love Megan McCarthy’s books.  She finds something intriguing and investigates.  Whether it’s chewing gum (Pop!) or famous individuals (Seabiscuit, the Wonder Horse)  or earmuffs, her interesting facts and wonderfully funny pictures make for a great quick and interesting read.

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The Whale Who Won Hearts: and More True Stories of Adventures with Animals, by Brian Skerry

whale who won heartsBrian Skerry is a underwater photographer with National Geographic Magazine.  He grew up in Massachusetts, not far from here.  The Whale Who Won Hearts book is one of the new National Geographic Kids Chapters, a series designed for second and third grade readers interested in nature.

The book contains four different underwater stories involving leatherback turtles, harp seals, a beluga whale (on the cover) and coral reef sharks.  The stories are quick reads, and very interesting.  The photographs are wonderful.

If you have a budding naturalist, share this book with them.  And look up the other books in the series too!

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And, on a more serious note

Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat, by Gail Jarrow

red madnessHave you ever heard of Pellagra?  I hadn’t.  Apparently, it was a disease that wiped out millions of people across the world.  No one really knew what caused it, and no one knew how to treat it.  Some people didn’t even know it existed…until someone they loved came down with the deadly illness.

When people across the American South started appearing in their local doctor’s offices with a red rash on their hands and feet, it was worrisome.  When it started spreading, and people started dying, doctors started calling it an epidemic.  No one knew what caused the rash, that started small and soon spread up extremities and across people’s faces.  No one could tell who would live and who would die. Nor could anyone decide why some people died and some seemed to get the disease every year, recover and come down with it again.

At first, doctors thought that corn somehow caused the disease, but through experimentation found that wasn’t true.  There was a link though, and health officials were determined to find out what was going on.

From the 1900 to the 1940s, Pellagra caused thousands of deaths, along with madness and debilitating health hazards each year.  Now, hardly anyone knows what it is, or even what cures it.  But every day, you eat something that will keep it at bay.  Find out what it is in this well-researched and intriguing book.  You will be fascinated.

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And a few I haven’t read yet, but I want to, as soon as I clear some space in my TBR (to be read) pile!

Chapter Books:

Heidi Heckelbeck is not a thiefHeidi Heckelbeck Is Not a Thief!  By Wanda Coven

Heidi Heckelbeck’s 13th adventure!  When her best friend’s special pen goes missing, what’s a little witch to do?  Look in her Magic Book of Spells, of course!

 

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owl diaries eva's treetopOwl Diaries: Eva’s Treetop Festival,  By Rebecca Elliot

The first book in a new chapter-book series about Eva Wingdale, a little owl with big ideas!

 

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Fiction:

wollstonecraft Detective AgencyThe Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, Book One: The Case of the Missing Moonstone,  By Jordan Stratford

Just look at that cover!  Detectives, two girls in a hot air balloon, a spyglass…what’s not to love?  A made up story about two real people: Ada Byron, the world’s first computer grogrammer and Mary Shelley, the word’s first science-fiction author.  This adventurous mystery looks to be a lot of fun to read!

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Story ThievesStory Thieves, by James Riley

Another great cover!  Owen’s a normal kid with normal problems, until he sees his classmate Bethany emerging from inside a book!  Turns out that Bethany is half fictional, and she’s looking for her missing father inside probable titles.  Owen promises not to tell…IF Bethany will take him inside his favorite series to meet his favorite character.  Of course, things don’t work out quite as planned, and soon Owen and Bethany are in trouble and on the run.

From the author of the wonderful Half Upon a Time, Twice Upon a Time and Once Upon the End, this is a book I’ve been waiting to read since I heard it was being written!

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So…if you’re looking for something new to read, try one of these titles.  I think you’ll be happy that you did!

::Kelly::

New Books: The latest updates in Fantasy series

Fantasy trilogies, quartets and series are very popular right now, as every Harry, Percy and Charlie Bone knows.  (sorry, a little librarian humor there.)  It is sometimes difficult to keep up with all the new series, but since I like fantasy, I try to read at least the first book, and sometimes all of them!  There’s just not enough reading time in a day…

If you do like series, or fantasy, or best yet, a combination of the two, here are some updates from the juvenile collection to share!

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Jacques, Brian.  The Sable Quean.  (Redwall series, #21)
He appears out of thin air and vanishes just as quickly. He is Zwilt the Shade, and he is evil. Yet he is no match for his ruler, Vilaya the Sable Quean. Along with their hordes of vermin, these two have devised a plan to conquer Redwall Abbey. And when the Dibbuns are captured one by one, their plan is revealed.  Will the Redwallers risk the fate of their Abbey and  Mossflower Wood to save their precious young ones from imprisonment? Perhaps Buckler, Blademaster of the Long Patrol, can save the day. He has a score of his own to settle. And fear not, these Dibbuns are not as innocent as they appear. After all, they’re from Redwall.

Wilson, Nathan. The Chestnut King (The 100 Cupboards trilogy, #3)
When Herny York found 99 cupboards hidden behind his bedroom wall, he never dreamed they were doors to entirely new worlds! Unfortunately, Henry’s discovery freed an ancient, undying witch, whose hunger for power would destroy every world connected to the cupboards–and every person whom Henry loves. Henry must seek out the legendary Chestnut King for help. Everything has a price, however, and the Chestnut King’s desire may be as dangerous as the witch herself.  The conclusion to the trilogy.

Mull, Brandon.  Keys to the Demon Prison. (Fablehaven series, #5)
After centuries of plotting, the Sphinx is on the verge of recovering the five artifacts necessary to open the legendary Demon Prison. Facing the potential of a world-ending calamity, all friends of light must unite!  Kendra, Seth, and the Knights of the Dawn will venture far beyond the walls of Fablehaven to strange and exotic magical preserves across the globe, where the end of every quest becomes the beginning of another. In this explosive series finale, allegiances will be confirmed and secrets revealed as the forces of light and darkness collide in a desperate struggle to control the keys to the demon prison.

Dashner, James.  The Hunt for Dark Infinity (The 13th Reality series, #2)
Tick, Paul and Sophia came together to solve a set of clues that led them into other dimensions. They’ve spent the summer waiting for their next call to action.  But when they’re whisked away into another reality,  was it their teacher who did it, or something else? The Realities are crumbling around the edges, and it is up to the trio to save the day.

Llewellyn, Sam.  Lyonesse: Darksolstice. (Lyonesse series, #2)
Not long ago twelve year old Idris Limpet was just an ordinary schoolboy. Now, he is the Rightful King of the Land of Lyonesse. Even kings have their problems, however, and Idris  is an exile – hunted from his country by the evil regent and her wicked son . Moreover, his sister has been carried off as a slave to the distant land of Aegypt. So even before he can fight for his throne and his people, Idris must make the treacherous journey to rescue Morgan.

Gordon, Rodrick.  Freefall. (Tunnels series, #3)
At the end of Deeper, Will and Chester were tumbling through the subterranean Pore with the evil Rebecca twins in hot pursuit,  toting phials of a lethal virus.
Just when the drop seems infinite, the boys hit bottom, and find themselves in a realm of near-zero gravity atop a giant spongy fungus stuffed with artifacts from some lost golden age. But they are not alone. And above ground, black-clad Styx are sprouting like poison mushrooms, dead-set on spreading their plague!

Hunter, Erin. The Last Wilderness (The Seekers series, #4)
Toklo, Kallik, Lusa, and Ujurak have finally reached the the legendary bear paradise they’ve been searching for. In the Last Great Wilderness, one by one the bears begin to remember their true natures. As the bears adjust to this new life, disaster strikes. The friends are forced to venture into the world of the flat-faces to save the life of one of their own. Once there, the end of their journey seems farther away than ever, as a new path spreads out before them.

Hulme, John.  The Lost Train of Thought. (The Seems series, #3)
Fixer Becker Drane never thought things could get so bad: he’s in deep trouble with The Seems for breaking so many rules and it looks like his days as a Fixer may be numbered. So when a train carrying a load of Thought destined for The World disappears, Becker reluctantly agrees to join a crew of fixers to solve the mystery—in The Middle of Nowhere. The mission leads Becker into a scenario more terrifying and dangerous than he could have ever prepared for. Getting the Train of Thought back on track is just a temporary Fix. Becker’s real mission may prove to be saving The World from ending—forever.

Carroll, Michael.  The Reckoning. (Quantum Prophecy series,#3)
Not long ago the world thought its superhumans dead after a great battle wiped out heroes and villains alike. Now, new heroes—and new villains— have miraculously emerged in the form of teenagers. The new heroes find themselves on the cusp of WWIII, caused by their very existence. One hero is torn between right and wrong as he falls under the spell of a former ally turned villain, while another must come to terms with his dark role in the battle. If the planet is to survive, our new heroes will need to prove stronger than even they can imagine.

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If you’d like to see what other new books we have, check out Children’s Fiction BookLetters page…we try to put every new book on it.  They might not stay there long, but they’re there!

::Kelly::

New Non-Fiction for Kids!

Here are a few of our newest non-fiction titles for kids. Different formats, different subjects, different styles—but all great books to read or share at home or at school.  So, in no particular order:

A Young Dancer: The Life of an Ailey Student.  By Valerie Gladstone, photographs by Jose Ivey
Iman is a student at the prestigious Ailey School in New York City. Passionate about dance,  she also enjoys drawing, playing music, and hanging out with her friends. Follow Iman as she warms up at the barre, practices violin, and gets ready for a performance with her fellow students.  This informative picture book provides fascinating insight into the world of dance through the voice of one very talented young performer.  Appropriate for dancers of all ages.

Saving the Baghdad Zoo: A True Story of Hope and Heroes. By Kelly Milner Halls with Major William Sumner.
When U. S. Army Captain William Sumner was asked to check out the state of the Baghdad Zoo not long after the destruction of the city, he found it devastated. Hundreds of animals were missing, and those remaining were in desperate need.  Together with an international team of zoologists, veterinarians, conservationists, and dedicated animal lovers, Captain Sumner worked tirelessly to save the neglected—but tenacious—animals of Baghdad.
Saving the Baghdad Zoo
tells the poignant stories of these remarkable animals. Meet the abandoned lions who roamed an empty palace with no food or drink; the camel, Lumpy, who survived transport through sniper fire; the tigers, Riley and Hope, who traveled 7,000 miles from home; and many more.  Appropriate to animal lovers grades four and up; a warning though, some of the stories are tough to read, and while most have happy endings, not all of them do.

Benjamin and the Silver Goblet. By Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Natascia Ugliano
The story of Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors is fairly well known; a famous musical even set the story to music.  Not as well known, however, is the story of Benjamin, Joseph’s youngest brother. Told through the eyes of young Benjamin, this is the story of betrayal and redemption, of the brothers journey to Egypt, and their encounter with Joseph, once sold as a slave by his older brothers,  now Governor of Egypt. To test his family, he accuses Benjamin of theft.  The story of Joseph’s test, Benjamin’s confusion, and the dramatic reunion of the brothers will capture the imagination of readers of all ages.

Ask Dr. K Fisher about Planet Earth. Written by Claire Llewellyn, illustrated by Kate Sheppard.
Animal agony columnist extraordinaire, Dr. K. Fisher answers questions for and dispenses advice to all sorts of creatures as they write into his nest about their science concerns. In this collection, Dr. K. sympathetically responds on the subject of planet earth—about earthquakes, tides, climate, and all the things the animals observe about their surroundings. Through postcard inquiries, engaging artwork, and plenty of core knowledge, Ask Dr. K. Fisher is a hilarious and innovative approach to learning the Earth’s geography.  Try other books in the series too! Recommended for ages 4 to 10.

Survival at 40 Below. By Debbie S. Miller, illustrations by Jon Van Zyle.
Popular Alaskan author Debbie Miller (who visited Weston schools last year) has a great new addition to her titles with this book!  As temperatures drop and the snow deepens, the animals that make the tundra home must ready themselves for survival. Follow the arctic ground squirrel as it begins the cycle of sleeping, supercooling, and warming that will occur at least a dozen times before spring arrives. See how the wood frog partially freezes itself in hibernation beneath layers of snow, or how the woolly bear caterpillars makes it through the winter months with a special antifreeze substance that prevents ice from forming in their bodies. Then when the temperatures finally rise and the snow begins to melt, these creatures emerge and the pulse of life returns to the arctic.  Recommended for kids grades 2 to 5, or anyone who wants to know more about Alaska and life in the Arctic regions.

Autism and Me: Sibling Stories. By Ouisie Shapiro, photographs by Steven Vote
“If you see a kid with autism on the street, don’t yell at her if she’s doing something wrong.  She can’t help it.  Autism is really challenging,” explains Christian, who tells about life with his sister, Mary Gwen, a beautiful girl who loves to swim. In these moving essays, Christian and many other kids tell what it’s like to live with siblings who have autism.  Sometimes they can’t talk much.  Sometimes they have tantrums.  It can be tough for a family, but there are happy surprises, too. “Autism has helped us to become a better family,” adds Christian.  “It teaches us patience and understanding.” Ouisie Shapiro’s inspiring book shows how children – and all of us – can grow in wisdom, acceptance, and love.  Steven Vote’s warm photos capture the rich emotional life of these amazing families.  Appropriate for ages 8 to 12, or for anyone who knows or goes to school with a child with autism.

And one last title, for parents:

The Web and Parents: Are You Tech Savvy? By Judy Hauser
Don’t know a blog from a Wiki? MySpace from Facebook? An RSS feed from an instant message? The Web and Parents provides a brief introduction to these and other aspects of Web 2.0, including podcasts, forums, graphic generators, photo storage and file-sharing sites, and more. Parents will get a sense of what each tool or resource does, how they themselves might use them—lots of grownups do, really—and the role each plays in current K-12 education and in the lives of school-age children.   For parents who want to raise their comfort level with today’s Web capabilities, for those who want to enhance their children’s Internet usage in and out of school, and for those who want to be prepared for potential dark alleys in the online world, this book is a welcome new resource.

::Kelly::