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Archive for December, 2012

Step Gently Out by Helen Frost

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This poetry book is beautiful!  I couldn’t wait to turn the page to read the next part of the poem and see the beautiful photography of different insects. This book is much like a picture book and the last two pages have thumbnail pictures of the illustrations with information about each bug. Rick Liender provided the wonderful photographs.

Book reviewed by Barb M., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

By lbos on December 31, 2012 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Barb M.

The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

syndetics-lcI read The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch in less than 24 hours. It was funny, exciting, engaging… and pretty strange. From the very first page, the author is talking directly to you, the reader. I was hooked right away. I think this will be a favorite among the 2013 Blue Stem nominees.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By lbos on December 24, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E.

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

syndetics-lcThe Unwanteds by Lisa McMann. Alex and Aaron, identical twins, have spent all of their 13 years together in the land of Quill, but that was ending today. Quillerans are expected to conform unquestioningly to all the rules; all creativity and independence are totally not tolerated. Not “tolerated”? At 13 years of age, every child is labeled as “Wanted” (destined for higher education and a possible future leadership position), “Necessary” (deemed needed for less important positions, a worker), or “Unwanted” (not considered worthy to even live and so is condemned to death). Aaron has always met the community’s expectations and is announced as one of the celebrated Wanteds. But Alex, who has been caught drawing a few times, is consigned to go to the Death Farm and the Lake of Burning Oil. What horrors await Alex as he approaches the heavy iron gates of the Death Farm? And how will Aaron manage without him?

Book reviewed by Loreen S., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on December 20, 2012 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Loreen S.

Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer

syndetics-lcIn the book Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer, each spread consists of a page of poems next to an illustrated page. Both the words and the pictures are sort of mirror images of each other (hence, the title of this book), and both are creatively done. Each pair of poems contains exactly the same lines, but the second one is the reverse of the first. My favorite is “Bears in the News” which shows the three bears discovering Goldilocks in their bed– from both the bears’ and Goldilocks’ points of view. It’s so simple, yet so brilliant!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By lbos on December 17, 2012 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E., Picture Books

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

syndetics-lcIn Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur, 11-year-old Aubrey thinks she can live on her own. She pretends everything is fine and survives on Cheerios, Spaghetti-Os, crackers, and cheese and even buys a pet fish to keep her company!  In time, her grandmother learns that she is living alone and takes Aubrey back with her to Vermont for some healing, love, and structured family life.  While learning how to heal, Aubrey makes a best friend and receives some good advice.

Will she find her mother?  Will her physical and mental pain ever subside? Can she overcome the terrible tragedy that has turned her life upside down?  This 4-tissue book is heartfelt and beautifully written!  Recommended for grades 4-6.

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison 

By lbos on December 10, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Carol C., Realistic Stories

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

syndetics-lcWant a good read-alike for Ella Enchanted? Look no further.  This book has it all—an evil curse, a brave soldier, and twelve beautiful princesses. Every night the princesses are locked in their rooms. Yet, every morning they are discovered to be exhausted and to have worn out their dancing shoes. Where are the princesses going, and will they be able to escape before the kingdom is destroyed?

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on December 3, 2012 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.