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Archive for April, 2013

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

syndetics-lcDo you ever feel like you are living in a soap opera? In the graphic novel, Drama by Raina Telgemeier, Callie is dealing with all the “drama” in her life, while also working on the school play. Callie has a crush on Greg, who is going out with Bonnie. Greg’s younger brother Matt has a crush on Callie, although Callie does not realize it. Funny things happen as Callie continues to build the sets for the play and two twin brothers, Justin and Jesse, join the play. Drama is an enjoyable, funny story about growing up, making friends, having your first crush on someone, and being in a play. The graphic format is ideal for this story.

Book reviewed by Anne W., Youth Services Assistant

By lbos on April 29, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Graphic Novels, Picks by Anne W.

The One and Only Ivan by Kathy Applegate

syndetics-lcIt’s not easy being a gorilla.  Just ask Ivan, who lives at the Big Top Mall.  He once roamed the jungle.  Now he lives in a small cage where he drinks Pepsi, eats old apples, and watches reruns on TV.   The good things in his life are Bob the stray dog, Stella the performing elephant, and his art.  Most days Ivan likes to draw.  His drawings sell for $20 each in the gift shop.  But when he gets tired of drawing, he eats the crayons.

Ivan thinks he will live in the mall for the rest of his life.  Then one day Ruby arrives.  Ruby is an elephant, kidnapped from the wild and brought to the mall to do circus tricks.  The problem is she is just a baby and doesn’t know how to perform.  Suddenly, Ivan sees his life differently.  He has someone to protect and a purpose—finding a new home for Ruby and himself.  Will he be able to use his art to make it happen?

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on April 22, 2013 Categories: Award Winners, For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S.

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

syndetics-lcClara Wintermute disappears on her twelfth birthday. Her parents are devastated, after having lost her three siblings to cholera. Everyone suspects the puppet master Grisini who performed at her birthday party. When he too disappears, his assistants, orphans Lizzie Rose and Parsefall, are left to figure out what happened to Clara. A mysterious letter from a faraway land adds to the mystery:  a rich older woman wants to leave all of her money to Lizzie Rose and Parsefall. But what she wants in return could change their lives forever. This is a pretty complex story, but it is also very exciting. Fans of historical fantasy and mystery may want to give Splendors and Glooms a chance. It’s also a 2013 Newberry Honor!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Outreach Coordinator


By lbos on April 15, 2013 Categories: Fantasy, For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Claire B

Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn

syndetics-lcFlorence thought her life was going to get better when she left the orphanage for her family’s ancestral home. She would have a younger cousin, James, to play with and her great aunt and uncle could look after her. However, her other cousin and ghost, Sophia, has a murderous plan for her cousin and brother. Not knowing who to turn to in her new surroundings, Florence must try to resist Sophia, but can she? Whether read or listened to, the Ghost of Crutchfield Hall is a great ghost story worthy of any camp fire storytelling.

 Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian


By lbos on April 8, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Laura B.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath

syndetics-lcMadeline’s granola-eating, tie-dye wearing, hippie parents aren’t the most responsible adults, but now they have gotten themselves kidnapped by foxes and it’s up to Madeline to save them.  Luckily for her, she stumbles upon Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire!  The only clue to her parents’ whereabouts is a note on the fridge signed “The Enemy” and a file card written in secret code.  Every bunny knows that marmots are the best decoders.  Unfortunately, bunnies don’t like marmots.  They are annoying and never bring cake when they come to visit—how rude!!  Undeterred, Madeline and the bunnies bring The Marmot to the Olde Spaghetti Factory, where he is supposed to crack the code.  Just as it seems that they are about to get the first break in the case, The Marmot loses the card and can only remember one word “rubber.”   What does this mean and will it be enough to save Madeline’s parents?

This book will make you laugh out loud as you read about Mr. Bunny’s inventions (hopping roller skates) and Mrs. Bunny’s hobbies (lint art).  And you won’t want to miss the daring rescue—bunnies dressed as bloodhounds—need I say more?  I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By lbos on April 1, 2013 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Mary S.