Tag Archives: book review

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

 

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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

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.

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

Book Review: Charlotte’s Web

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I recommend: Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White.

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Wilbur, the pig, is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmers Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte, decides to help him.

 

First published in in 1952, Charlotte’s Web was named a Newbery Honor Book in 1953. This book was also turned into a movie twice! This charming story about the friendship between Wilbur, the pig, and Charlotte, the spider, will tug on your heartstrings! You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J WHITE.

~aw

Book Review: NewsPrints

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Today I recommend: NewsPrints by Ru Xu.

Blue is an orphan who disguises herself as a newsboy. There’s a war going on, and girls are expected to help the struggling economy by selling cookies. But Blue loves living and working at the Bugle, the only paper in town that tells the truth. Blue struggles with her secret, and worries that if her friends and adopted family at the Bugle find out, she’ll lose everything and everyone she cares about.

This is a great graphic novel for anyone who enjoyed Compass South by Hope Larson. The setting is steampunk, which makes for a very interesting read. I really enjoyed the art style which reminded me a little of manga. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger as it sets the scene for a sequel but this is still an enjoyable story. You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section under J GRAPHIC XU.

~aw

Book Review: The Lotterys Plus One

lotterys plus oneToday I recommend: The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue.

When Sumac Lottery’s estranged grandfather comes to live with her and her large family in their sprawling Victorian home, Sumac quickly realizes he’s not the easiest person to get along with. But can she help him find a home where he belongs?

Sumac has a large family, with six siblings, and two pairs of parents, PapaDam and PopCorn, and CardaMom and MaxiMom. When the estranged father of PopCorn comes to stay with the family, he struggles with the quirks and differences that the family celebrates. This is a touching story about the relationships between family members full of humorous word-play. There are also some nice illustrations throughout the text that help you keep track of the large and lively Lottery family. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J DONOGHUE.

~aw

Book Review: Mr. Popper’s Penguins

poppers penguinsIt’s Throwback Thursday! Today I recommend: Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater.

The unexpected delivery of a large crate containing an Antarctic penguin changes the life and fortunes of Mr. Popper, a house painter obsessed by dreams of the Polar regions.

Originally published in 1938, this is a humorous story about a family whose whole lives are upturned by the addition of a penguin to their household. This book was also adapted into a movie in 2011 starring Jim Carrey. You can find the book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ATWATER, as an audiobook in the Juvenile Audiobooks at J CD FIC ATW, or as a movie in the Juvenile DVDs at JDVD FIC MR.

~aw

Book Review: Enchantment Lake

enchantment lakeToday I recommend: Enchantment Lake: A Northwoods mystery by Margi Preus.

Francie, seventeen, leaves summer school and auditions in New York City for Enchantment Lake in the woods of northern Minnesota when her great-aunts call and ask for her help investigating a mystery that centers on a road no one wants built, and on the legendary treasure said to be under enchantment.

Lovers of the Nancy Drew mysteries will enjoy this Northwoods mystery entitled Enchantment Lake by award-winning Margi Preus.  Francie, a seventeen-year-old actress living in New York City, briefly played a detective on TV. When her elderly aunts call for assistance in the Northwoods of Minnesota, they mislead the residents into believing that Francie is a real detective. Now she finds herself unwillingly drawn into the role of sleuth to protect her aunts from a possible serial killer. The multiple twists and turns keep the suspense alive and readers will be anxious to discover who is the real killer before Francie becomes the next victim. You can find this book in the Young Adult section at YA PREUS.

~ra