Category Archives: Books

Book Review: Turn It Up!

Turn it up.jpgToday I recommend: Turn It Up! by Jen Calonita.

Bradley Academy’s all-girl a cappella group used to be the pride of the sunshine state, but the Nightingales have recently fallen out of harmony. When a boy comes between Nightingales co-captains Lidia and Sidney, the a cappella group appears in dire straits, until new girl Julianna hopes to bring the group back to their former glory in time for the big state final.

The plot may sound familiar- girl finds herself falling for the guy her best friend has a crush on- but the a cappella aspect of the books makes it fun to read this book anyway. If you liked Glee or Pitch Perfect, this is the book for you. Characters frequently burst into song, and spend much of their time picking out songs for their performances- you’ll need to be keeping up with music from the radio and from musicals to catch all the references. For middle school tweens looking for a light and quick read- this could be the right choice!

You can find Turn It Up! in the Young Adult Fiction section at YA CALONITA.

~aw

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Throwback Thursday: Fair Weather

Fair Weather.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday Ruth Anne recommends: Fair Weather by Richard Peck.

In 1893, thirteen-year-old Rosie and members of her family travel from their Illinois farm to Chicago to visit Aunt Euterpe and attend the World’s Columbian Exposition which, along with an encounter with Buffalo Bill and Lillian Russell, turns out to be a life-changing experience for everyone.

Richard Peck passed away on May 23, 2018- but his books are well regarded and on their way to becoming classics. This is perfect for readers who enjoy historical fiction especially readers who live in and around Chicago and Illinois. Full of humor and fast-paced this is also a great inter-generational story that shows relationships between children and grandparents.

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

~ra & aw

Book Review: Polly Diamond and the Magic Book

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book.jpgPolly Diamond and the Magic Book by Alice Kuipers is the story of a young girl, Polly, who discovers magic and has many misadventures.   Polly loves to write stories and begins to put them in a special book.  She soon discovers that everything she writes about will appear in real life.  Certainly, all of Polly’s dreams will come true.  Come to the library to check out a copy of this book to see if all of Polly’s dreams are as magical as they seem.

~KF

You can find Polly Diamond and the Magic Book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J KUIPERS.

Throwback Thursday: Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the blue dolphins.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.

Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.

Originally published in 1960, this classic novel was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1961. This book has also been a part of the Battle of the Books program at the Bartlett Public Library. This story of survival and resiliency is great for late elementary school readers who enjoyed books such as Hatchet by Gary Paulsen or Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George.

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

~aw

Throwback Thursday: Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

While not as old as many of the books that I have recommended for Throwback Thursday (this one was published in 2000) this book has many honors attached to it. Esperanza Rising was named an ALA Notable Children’s book in 2002, a YALSA Best Books for Young Adults in 2001, and the Pura Belpre Award in 2002. This is a great read for middle-grade children who are interested in historical fiction, and particularly those with in interest in the Great Depression.

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

~aw

Book Review: A Stitch in Time

a stitch in time.jpgToday I recommend: A Stitch in Time by Daphne Kalmar.

Donut’s father is tragically killed in an automobile accident and now her Aunt wants to take her from the small Vermont town where she grew up and bring her to Boston.  Donut refuses to go with her Aunt and runs away to an abandoned hunting cabin where she and her friend Tiny plan on how to keep her home.

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

~Phyllis

Throwback Thursday: Julie of the Wolves

Julie of the wolves.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George.

While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.

This classic novel was originally published in 1972, and was followed by two sequels Julie (in 1994) and Julie’s Wolf Pack (in 1997). The book was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1973. This book is for readers who enjoy adventure and survival stories as Julie (who prefers her Eskimo name Miyax) struggles to learn how to survive on the tundra by learning more about the wolf pack.

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

~aw

Throwback Thursday: The Borrowers

The borrowers.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: The Borrowers by Mary Norton.

Miniature people who live in an old country house by borrowing things from the humans are forced to emigrate from their home under the clock.

What could be more fascinating than the idea that there could be tiny people hiding in your own house- borrowing things and living just under your nose? This classic children’s novel was the inspiration for the Disney and Studio Ghibli movie The Secret World of Arrietty. First published in 1952 in the United Kingdom and 1953 in the United States- this book also won the British Carnegie Medal in 1952 which is awarded to the year’s most outstanding children’s literature by a British author. This is great for reader’s who enjoyed books like The Doll People by Ann M Martin.

You can find this classic in the Juvenile Fiction section at J NORTON.

~aw