Monthly Archives: August 2017

Book Review: Forever, or a Long, Long Time

forever or a longToday I recommend: Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter.

Having shared so many foster homes that they are unable to trust that the family that has adopted them will last, Flora and her brother, Julian, are assisted by their new mother on a journey to resolve their past so that they can build a future.

This is a serious and thought provoking read that deals with topics such as foster care, families, and trauma as siblings Flora and Julian deal with the question of how they could be born if they don’t have a biological mother and how long their adoptive mother will be around (she says forever).

You can find Forever, or a Long, Long Time in the Juvenile Fiction section at J CARTER.

~aw

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Bluestem Book Club!

The Illinois School Library Media Association’s Bluestem award is designed for students in grades 3-5 who are ready for longer titles than found on the Monarch list, but not quite ready for the sophistication of some of the Rebecca Caudill titles.

The Bluestem list of nominees is available online: https://www.islma.org/pdf/Bluestem%202018%20Master%20List-1.pdf

You can also check out the Bluestem titles here at the library, and kids in grades 4 – 6 can join the Bluestem Book Club at the library and enjoy book-talks, games, and activities.

(Logo credit: Illinois School Library Media Association)

Book Review: Making Bombs for Hitler

Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Skrypuch

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In this historical fiction novel set during World War 11, it is 1943 and the Nazis have taken Lida and her little sister Larissa from their home country of Ukraine, and then separated. Lida is sent to a slave labor camp in Germany, but she has no idea what has happened to Larissa. We read Lida’s fight to survive along with many other children. The story brings history to life as seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old girl.

Find this in our Juvenile Fiction collection under the call number J SKRYPUCH.

 

On this Day: August 23rd

On this day in 1814, first lady Dolley Madison saves a portrait of George Washington from being looted by British troops during the war of 1812.

According to the White House Historical Society and Dolley’s personal letters, President James Madison left the White House on August 22 to meet with his generals on the battlefield, as British troops threatened to enter the capitol…Dolley wrote to her sister on the night of August 23 that a friend who came to help her escape was exasperated at her insistence on saving the portrait. Since the painting was screwed to the wall she ordered the frame to be broken and the canvas pulled out and rolled up. Two unidentified “gentlemen from New York” hustled it away for safe-keeping. (Unbeknownst to Dolley, the portrait was actually a copy of Gilbert Stuart’s original). http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/dolley-madison-saves-portrait-from-british

The picture above shows the copy of the painting that Dolley Madison saved on the left, and the original painting which can still be seen in the National Portrait Gallery on the right.

You can learn more about Dolley Madison by checking out a biography, Juvenile Biography section jBiog. Madison.

Book Review: In the Shadow of the Sun

In the Shadow of the Sun by Anne Sibley O’Brien  

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 What a timely story with all that is going on in North Korea.  This fast paced book gives a good inside peek at how North Koreans today are

living under the world’s most repressive regime.  Mia, her brother Simon and their father, an aide worker, are on a five day tour of North Korea.  Then their father is arrested for spying and Mia accidentally comes across photographs of North Korean slave-labor camps.  Mia and her brother realize that the only way to save their father is to get the pictures out of the country.  Now she and her brother must escape on foot through the forests of North Korea and into China before they are caught with the pictures.  An unforgettable story of courage, survival, and love for family.

Find this in our Juvenile Fiction collection under the call number J O’BRIEN.

National Black Cat Day!

 

August 17 is the day to celebrate your favorite black cat!  

witch and cat

Black cats have a reputation for being “bad luck.”  Back in the Middle Ages, black cats were associated with witches and evil doings.  Even today some people believe it is bad luck to have a black cat cross their path!

Did you know… ?
England’s King Charles I had a “good luck” black cat, and the day after the cat died,
the king was arrested for treason.

Many people with black cats will tell you the opposite is true and that black cats are very sweet and intelligent.  Maybe that’s why despite their reputation, black cats are seen all over pop culture!  My favorite black cats are Berlioz, from The Aristocats and Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service.  Who’s your favorite black cat?

berlioz tumblr_oiz5slRGnl1ub0p27o1_500  angel   oBcpV6  kiki tumblr_n3kmlpeHBS1s9qf9oo2_500

Back to School – with Spies!

In honor of the start of the school year, we’re highlighting some of the characters in our book collection who are studying to be spies!

Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen (Juvenile Fiction – J MCMULLEN): Twelve-year-old Abigail is shocked to discover her elite boarding school is really a cover for a huge spy ring, and must undergo Spy Training 101 in order to save her mother, who happens to be the spy ring’s top agent.

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs, Book 1 of the Spy School Series (Juvenile Fiction – J GIBBS): Twelve-year-old Ben Ripley leaves his public middle school to attend the CIA’s highly secretive Espionage Academy, which everyone is told is an elite science school.

Clayton Stone, at your service by Ena Jones (Juvenile Fiction – J JONES): Twelve-year-old Clayton Stone gets a taste of life as a special agent when he goes undercover as a decoy in a high-stakes kidnapping operation.

Bridget Wilder, Spy in Training by Jonathan Bernstein (Juvenile Fiction – J BERNSTEIN): An adopted middle child receives an unexpected package on an otherwise unremarkable birthday inviting her to join a super-secret division of the CIA.

Book Review: It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

With the new school year approaching, I recommend reading It Ain’t So Awful Falafel, by Firoozeh Dumas.

Zomorod Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block .25897857 . . for the fourth time. California’s Newport Beach is her family’s latest perch, and she’s determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new Brady Bunch name–Cindy. It’s the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even mood rings and puka shell necklaces can’t distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home. 

I picked this book up because I saw that it took place in the 1970’s which I thought would make for a fun setting.  Zomorod, or Cindy’s, family is from Iran but they love living in America.  Even though Cindy is from Iran, she’s just a kid trying to fit in and make friends, like a lot of us.  The historical events, like revolts taking place at that time in Iran, made me want to do a little research on Iran and American relations.  A little bit of humor and a little bit of history make this an appealing read!

Find it in our Juvenile Fiction collection under J DUMAS.

-AM

Throwback Thursday: Ramona Quimby, Age 8

It’s Throwback Thursday!  Today I recommend, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary.

Ramona likes that she’s old enough to be counted on, but must everything depend on her? Mrs. Quimby has gone back to work so that Mr. Quimby can return to school, and Ramona is expected to be good for Mrs. Kemp while her parents are away, to be brave enough to ride the school bus by herself, and to put up with being teased by Danny the Yard Ape. In Ramona’s world, being eight isn’t easy, but it’s never dull! 

Ramona is a third grader, but I can still relate to so much of what she feels!  I remember listening to one of my favorite teachers read Ramona Quimby, Age 8 to my class in the third grade.  I always think of her when I read this book. If you need a laugh, I recommend checking it out, if you haven’t already read it.   When I need a feel-good book to lift my spirits, I like any of the books about Ramona.

Find it in our Juvenile Fiction collection under J CLEARY.

-AM