Book Review: Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice

Today we recommend: Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Philip M. Hoose.

claudettePresents the life of the Alabama teenager who played an integral but little-known role in the Montgomery bus strike of 1955-1956, once by refusing to give up a bus seat, and again, by becoming a plaintiff in the landmark civil rights case against the bus company.
This book offers an engaging look at an almost unknown figure from the Civil Rights movement. This is a fairly long book but there are loads of pictures. Particularly nice are the sections of the books that are told from Claudette’s point of view. This book can be found in the Juvenile Nonfiction section at j323.09 HOO.

Book Review: Aliens on Vacation

Today we recommend: Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith.

Unhappaliensy at being sent to stay with his grandmother at the inn she operates, The Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, Scrub discovers that each room is actually a portal to space and the inn’s visitors are aliens who are vacationing on Earth.

At first middle-schooler Scrub is irritated that he has been sent to the gloomy state of Washington from his home in Florida to stay with his grandmother for the summer but he quickly figures out that everything is not as it seems at the quirky inn. Scrub is eventually enlisted to create disguises so the alien vacationers can pretend to be human and the real fun begins. This book is full of shenanigans and all sorts of tricky situations for Scrubb and the visiting aliens. If you’re looking for a humorous science fiction story this is the book for you! You can find it in the Juvenile Fiction section at J SMITH.

If you love Science Fiction, there are more science fiction books available at the library and you can look at our science fiction bibliography at http://www.bartlettlibrary.org/greatreadskids/ScienceFiction.shtml

~aw

On This Day: May 18th

On May 18th in 1980 Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington. This eruption caused a huge avalanche, and ash from the eruption fell as far away as Minnesota.

Throughout April, scientists watched a bulge on the north side of Mount St. Helens grow larger and larger. Finally, on May 18 at 8:32 a.m., a sudden 5.1-magnitude earthquake and eruption rocked the mountain. The north side of the peak rippled and blasted out ash at 650 miles per hour. A cloud of ash, rocks, gas and glacial ice roared down the side of the mountain at 100 mph. Fourteen miles of the Toutle River were buried up to 150 feet deep in the debris. Magma, at 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit, flowed for miles. (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mount-st-helens-erupts)

 

Book Review: Frogkisser!

frogkisserToday I recommend: Frogkisser! by Garth Nix.

Princess Anya has a big problem: Duke Rikard, her step-stepfather is an evil wizard who wants to rule the kingdom and has a habit of changing people into frogs, and her older sister Morven, the heir, is a wimp–so with the help of the librarian Gotfried (who turns into an owl when he is upset), and the Royal Dogs, she must find away to defeat Rikard, save her sister, and maybe even turn Prince Denholm back into a human being.

This fantasy book has everything you could want: humor in the shape of hilarious talking dogs, the classic fantasy elements in the magic lip balm, newts, otters, a Good Wizard, and a strong main character! It also subverts a lot of fantasy tropes, there is no romance plot for our brave main character, Princess Anya. The book also has some interesting discussions about privilege and how laws should apply equally to everyone. This book is pretty hefty at 372 pages but if you love fantasy this is a book for you! You can find it in the Juvenile Fiction section at J NIX.

~aw

On This Day: Skylab 1

skylabOn this day, May 14th, in 1973 the unmanned Skylab 1, America’s first space station,  was launched from the Kennedy Space Center. Immediately there were problems with the launch as a meteor ripped off one of the solar panels and part of the shield. The next Skylab mission would be launched on May 25th with crew members who were trained to make the workshop safe for them to work in.

You can learn more about the Skylab missions at NASA’s website: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/history/skylab.html

Image Credit: NASA

 

Book Review: Making Bombs for Hitler

making bombs for hitlerToday I recommend: Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

When Lida and her sister are caught by the Nazis they are separated. Lida is sent to a slave labour camp and must work from dawn to dusk on bread and soup, without shoes and wearing only a thin dress. Even if she survives the war, will Lida ever see her sister again?

This book grabbed my attention right away and I couldn’t put it down. This is a fictionalized account of young Ukrainian Lida’s experiences in Nazi work camps but it is based on facts and interviews as explained in the excellent author’s note. It addresses all of the horrors of the Holocaust without being too graphic in its descriptions. The strength of Lida and her struggles will hook you and you’ll feel emotional as you root for her. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J SKRYPUCH.

If Making Bombs for Hitler sounds interesting you might also enjoy: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Juvenile Fiction J LOWRY). For other books about WWII check out: Book Review: Brave Like My Brother

~aw

On this Day: May 10th

On this day in 1869 the transcontinental railroad was completed. Two railroad companies, Union Pacific and Central Pacific, connected their railways in Promontory, Utah. This made it possible to travel by train across the United States!

You can learn more about the transcontinental railroad at http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/transcontinental-railroad-completed or by checking out books at the library such as:

iron men iron railsIron Rails, Iron Men, and the Race to Link the Nation by Martin W. Sandler: (Juvenile Nonfiction j385.097 SANDLER) In one great race between iron men with iron wills, tens of thousands of workers blasted the longest tunnels that had ever been constructed, built the highest bridges that had ever been created, and finally linked the nation by two bands of steel, changing America forever.

Book Review: The First Last Day

Today we recommend: The First Last Day by Dorian Cirrone.

Eleven-year-old Haleigh Adams paints a picture with a mysterious set of paints she found and now she is stuck in a time loop, but when she realizes her parents have been keeping a secretfirst last day she and her new best friend Kevin must find the source of the magic paints and the secret of the time loop before it is too late.

Haleigh doesn’t want summer to end and finds herself repeating her last day of summer break over and over again. As you might expect, this turns out to be less fun than she thought especially when it turns out that lives are at stake. This is a really fun summer read, the writing is realistic (you know except for the time travel), and the tone is humorous. If you’re a fan of time-loops like in the movie Groundhog Day then this is the book for you! You can find it in the Juvenile Fiction section at J CIRRONE.

~aw