Category Archives: Books

Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth

phantom tollbooth.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

A bored young boy, Milo, drives his small electric car through a toy tollbooth and finds himself in the Land Beyond. A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom.

First published in 1961, The Phantom Tollbooth has been adapted into a movie as well as published as an annotated version. Lovely illustrations just add to the appeal of this witty book about a boy searching for a cure for his boredom.

You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J JUSTER, and the movie in the Juvenile DVD section at jDVD FIC TOL.

~aw

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Book Review: The Losers Club

losers clubToday we recommend: The Losers Club by Andrew Clements.

Alec, a sixth-grade bookworm always in trouble for reading instead of listening and participating in class, starts a book club, solely to have a place to read, and discovers that real life, although messy, can be as exciting as the stories in his favorite books.

From the author of Frindle and Extra Credit comes this school story that features Alec, an avid reader who often gets in trouble while reading his favorite books while NOT paying attention to his teachers or assignments. When his working parents need him attend the After School program, he plans a way to read uninterrupted by forming an unusual book club. And to avoid unwanted members from joining, he names the club “The Losers Club” to keep other students away.  Unfortunately, trouble follows him wherever he goes.  Readers will discover many favorite titles introduced in this novel.

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

~ra

 

Throwback Thursday: Pippi Longstocking

If you have seen the movie “Pippi Longstocking,” you might like to read the story by Astrid Lindgren. The book was first published 72 years ago in 1945! The series about Pippi Longstocking has been adapted into numerous books, DVDs, and graphic novels. Pippi lives by herself on the edge of a Swedish village with a monkey and a horse.  For more adventures of Pippi read “Pippi Goes to School.”

You can find the books in the Juvenile Fiction section at J LINDGREN.

~ps

 

9/11

On this somber day, we have a couple of suggestions for books about the events of, and in remembrance of 9/11:

Nonfiction:

Saved by the Boats: the Heroic Sea Evacuation of September 11 by Julie Gassman (Juvenile Nonfiction j974.71 GASSMAN): Presents the heroic sea evacuation of September 11, 2001 with narrative text and vivid illustrations.

Cause and Effect: The September 11 Attacks by Robert Green (Juvenile Nonfiction j973.931 GREEN): Examines the September 11 terrorist attacks, discussing the events leading up to the attack, the impact on American society, and its lasting effect around America and the globe.

14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy (Juvenile Nonfiction j327.676 DEEDY): Maasai tribal members, after hearing the story of the September 11th attacks from a young Massai, who was in New York on that day, decide to present the American people with fourteen sacred cows as a healing gift.

Historical Fiction:

Nine, Ten: A September 11 story by Nora Raleigh Baskin (Juvenile Fiction J BASKIN): Relates how the lives of four children living in different parts of the country intersect and are affected by the events of September 11, 2001.

Somewhere Among by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu (Juvenile Fiction J DONWERTH): Eleven-year-old Emma’s life in Tokyo changes for the worse when she and her American mother, who is pregnant, must move in with her Japanese grandmother the summer before 9/11 changes the world.

I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001 by Lauren Tarshis (Juvenile Fiction J TARSHIS): When Lucas decides to skip school because he wants to discuss football with a firefighter friend of his father, he finds himself caught up in the terrorist attacks on New York City.

~aw

 

Throwback Thursday: Wizard of Oz

It’s time for another Throwback Thursday!

Did you know that the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, was a book published in 1900 titled, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz written by Frank L. Baum?  Read this American classic that follows Dorothy Gale through the Land of OZ and find out if the movie matches the book.  One difference is that Dorothy’s slippers are silver not ruby red!  When you finish the book, read The Road to Oz which tells the life story of the author! You can check out this classic and the other books in the Oz series in the Juvenile Fiction section at J BAUM.

Book vs. Movie!

~ps

Book Review: Awkward

awkwardToday I recommend: Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova.

After shunning Jaime, the school nerd, on her first day at a new middle school, Penelope Torres tries to blend in with her new friends in the art club, until the art club goes to war with the science club, of which Jaime is a member.

The bright colors and the expressive characters make for a playful and fun graphic novel that tackles the stress of starting at a new school, and learning how to get along with people who have different interests. If you love the characters you can check out, Brave which follows the school newspaper club and one of the art students from this graphic novel! This is a great option for readers who have already fallen in love with graphic novels like Raina Telgemeier’s Smile and Shannon Hale’s Real Friends.

As an awesome bonus the artist/author added pages at the end of the book that show how she goes about making the story and pages for the comics. This is a neat look into the process of creating a graphic novel.

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

~aw

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

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.

 

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.