Monthly Archives: February 2018

Book Review: Castle in the Stars

castle in the stars.jpgToday I recommend: Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869 by Alex Alice.

In search of the mysterious element known as aether, Claire Dulac flew her hot air balloon toward the edge of our stratosphere―and never returned. One year after his mother’s disappearance, Seraphin and his father are delivered a tantalizing clue: a letter from an unknown sender who claims to have Claire’s lost logbook. The letter summons them to a Bavarian castle, where an ambitious young king dreams of flying the skies in a ship powered by aether. But within the castle walls, danger lurks―there are those who would stop at nothing to conquer the stars.

Science fiction and steampunk fans rejoice! This graphic novel has gorgeous and super detailed illustrations of aetherships and other technological marvels. Seraphin quickly recruits some friends to form the Knights of the Aether to protect King Ludwig while also searching for a way to make it to the stars! There is lots of banter, and a quick pace to the adventures but it does end on quite a cliff-hanger. This is perfect for anyone who likes science fiction, Jules Verne, or adventure stories who don’t mind the quirky steampunk setting!

You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC ALEX.

~aw

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Book Review: Brave by Svetlana Chmakova

brave.jpg

Today I recommend: Brave by Svetlana Chmakova.

Brave is a humorous graphic novel about a middle school boy named Jensen. Everyday, Jensen must brave the difficult math class, bullies who follow him around, and getting along with his art club friends. On top of that, he deals with trying to find a partner for English class, and helping out his frantic friends who are in the newspaper team. Everyday, Jensen needs to be brave to survive the craziness at school.

I absolutely loved this graphic novel so much. It was humorous and the cartoonish art style is amazing! Every once in awhile, Jensen day-dreamed about being a hero, whether he was an astronaut, or stopping a zombie apocalypse from eating everyone at school. My favorite character was Jenny, the lead student of the newspaper team. She was hard working and dedicated to being in the newspaper team. When she was mad, she was “the wrath of the angels/apocalypse Jenny” and was drawn with fire in her eyes. (She was very mad at times.) The world of Brave and its characters overlapped with the book Awkward. However, Jensen was a background character in Awkward. As you can see, I loved this book and recommend this to everyone because it is a fun, quick read.

~Elizabeth, Teen Blogger

You can find Brave in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J CHMAKOVA.

Throwback Thursday: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

20,000 leaguesFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.

Professor Aronnax and his two companions, trapped aboard a fantastic submarine as prisoners of the deranged Captain Nemo, come face to face with exotic ocean creatures and strange sights hidden from the world above.

This classic book by Jules Verne was published in 1869, and like many of our Throwback Thursday classics it has been adapted into a movie. This book can get a little wordy but for anyone who enjoys serious science-fiction this classic is not to be missed!

You can find it in the Juvenile Fiction section at J VERNE.

~aw

 

Book Review: The Witch Boy

The Witch Boy.jpgToday I recommend: The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag.

In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch.

This graphic novel has a diverse cast of characters who inhabit a world where magic is divided between shapeshifting for the men and witchcraft for the women. Aster’s attempts to overcome the gender barriers blocking him from practicing the witchcraft that he is talented in are all about being true to yourself. Aster is a strong protagonist who never gives up and it is heartwarming to see him triumph and to see his family grow to accept him. This graphic novel is for fans of fantasy and those looking for titles for kids that address gender norms.

You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J Graphic OSTERTAG.

~aw

Book Review: Beyond the Bright Sea

beyond the bright sea.jpgToday I recommend: Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk.

A baby girl washes ashore in a tiny skiff.  She is found and given the name Crow.  As Crow grows, she becomes increasingly curious about many things.  Where did she come from?  Why is there a light burning on a supposedly deserted island?  Is a famed pirate treasure hidden nearby?  If you are interested in finding the answers to these questions and more, read Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk.

You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J WOLK.

~KF

Throwback Thursday: Black Beauty

Black Beauty.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.

This story, told from the animal’s perspective, captures the struggles and triumphs of this magnificent creature from his early days as a free colt to an owned creature poorly treated by evil men.

First published in 1877, this classic tale told from the point of view of the horse really captures your attention. I loved horses as a kid and read every book I could find about them. This story is great for the horse lovers and anyone who enjoyed Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry or any of her other horse stories. This story was also adapted into two great movies, one from 1994 (my personal favorite) and one from 2014!

You can find Black Beauty in the Juvenile Fiction section at J SEWELL.

~aw

Book Review: Road Trip

road trip.jpgToday I recommend Road Trip, written by Gary and Jim Paulsen.

Road Trip is a fictional novel about a spontaneous road trip to rescue a Border Collie puppy. On the way, a father and his son end up inviting many other people on board, all ready to adopt an adorable puppy, and embark on an exciting journey. On this humorous and adventurous journey, the group faces many challenges on the highway, making the Border Collie pup seem farther and farther away. The main characters include a father who spontaneously does everything, his son who is fed up with his father, a Border Collie named Atticus who notices everything, and many other interesting characters with intriguing backstories revealed throughout the novel.

I enjoyed this novel because it is humorous, and not sad or scary. It was a quick read (114 pages) but an amazing story. My favorite parts of the book was Atticus’ point of view. He thinks he is not a dog, and realizes things before the humans do. His sections were interesting, but also summed up what had happened in the previous chapter, making me think about it differently. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys dogs, humor and road trips.

~Elizabeth, Teen Blogger

You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J PAULSEN.

Throwback Thursday: Little Women

little women.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday you should check out Little Women by Louisa May Alcott!

Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in mid-nineteenth-century New England.

First published in 1868, 150 years ago, this book has truly become a classic. It has also been adapted in a movie. This classic is great for anyone who likes stories about sisters and growing up.

You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ALCOTT.

Throwback Thursday: Where the Sidewalk Ends

Where the sidewalk ends.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: Where the Sidewalk Ends: the Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein.

A boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale are only two of the characters in a collection of humorous poetry illustrated with the author’s own drawings.

This was first published in 1974! I was never a huge fan of poetry as a kid but this collection really caught my attention and I remember it fondly. The wacky poems fit perfectly with the equally odd but playful illustrations. The book goes by in a breeze and is sure to elicit giggles. For those who enjoy poetry Shel Silverstein also wrote A Light in the Attic and Everything on It among others.

You can find Where the Sidewalk Ends in the Juvenile Nonfiction section at j811.54 SIL.

~aw