Tag Archives: book review

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

Book Review: Jack and the Geniuses

Today I recommend: Jack and the Geniuses at the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye the Science Guy and Gregory Mone.

Traveling to Antarctica for a prestigious science competition, twelve-year-old Jack and his genius foster siblings, Ava and Matt, become caught up in a mystery involving a bill nye bookmissing scientist. (This is the first book in a series.)

You read that right! Bill Nye the Science Guy was one of the author’s for this book so as you might expect there is lots of science information, and inventions all throughout this book. It never feels slow or overwhelming, and the end-notes add even more interesting explanations. This is a fast paced mystery, and Jack is a humorous narrator. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series. You can find Jack and the Geniuses at the Bottom of the World in the Juvenile Fiction section at J NYE.

Book Review: The Best Man

the best manToday I recommend: The Best Man by Richard Peck.

Archer has four important role models in his life–his dad, his grandfather, his uncle Paul, and his favorite teacher, Mr. McLeod. When Uncle Paul and Mr. McLeod get married, Archer’s sixth-grade year becomes one he’ll never forget.

This book is an award winner! It was an American Library Association Notable for Middle Readers 2017, School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2016, and a Booklist Editor’s Choice for Middle Readers 2016. For readers that have enjoyed other works by Richard Peck, this book has the same focus on family and navigating childhood that many of his novels have. You’ll cheer for Archer as he grows up with help from all of his role models. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J PECK or as an audiobook in the Juvenile Audiobook section at jCD FIC PECK.

~aw

 

Book Review: A Whisper of Horses

Today I recommend: A Whisper of Horses by Zillah Bethell.

whisper of horsesIn a post-apocalyptic Great Britain, after her mother’s death Serendipity, about twelve, leaves Lahn Dan and teams up with an orphan, Tab, hoping to find horses surviving somewhere.

Although the start is rather slow, it is easy to become attached to determined Serendipity and her scrappy friend Tab as they journey to try and find horses. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian books. This is a nice option for the younger crowd who are not ready for YA dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games but who still enjoy the danger and adventure of those books. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J BETHELL.

~aw

Book Review: The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Because this week is National Garden Week,51bdrofa1pl-_sx336_bo1204203200_ I would like to recommend
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Readers
Edition
 by Michael Pollan.

“What’s for dinner?” seemed like a simple question—until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers’ adaptation of Pollan’s famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices.
I like learning about food and gardening so this book really had me thinking about what kind of food decisions I may make in the future.  I really like food, but I want to make good choices about what I eat.  What I like about this book is that author doesn’t try to tell you what you should eat, but he gives you a lot of information that you may not know about the food you find at the grocery store or at a restaurant.  For spreadpicexample, did you know that the corn we find at the store once looked very different!  I also like that the author uses a lot of photos and graphs to explain his research.   If you like learning about food or about how food gets to your grocery store, this is a very interesting book

Look for this book in our juvenile nonfiction section under the call number j394.12 CHEVAT.

Book Review: Real Friends

Today I recommend: Real Friends by Shannon Hale.

Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jenreal friends, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.

This is a graphic novel that has really nice artwork with bright colors. If you’re looking for a book about friendship this is a great option. It deals with the difficulties of cliques as well as the difficulties Shannon has with Obsessive compulsive disorder and adjusting to her friend Adrienne moving away.  This is a memoir and the author’s note at the end from Shannon Hale really enriches the story. For fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile and Cece Bell’s El Deafo this is a good read-alike for those novels! You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC HALE.

~aw

Book Review: Aliens on Vacation

Today we recommend: Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith.

Unhappaliensy at being sent to stay with his grandmother at the inn she operates, The Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, Scrub discovers that each room is actually a portal to space and the inn’s visitors are aliens who are vacationing on Earth.

At first middle-schooler Scrub is irritated that he has been sent to the gloomy state of Washington from his home in Florida to stay with his grandmother for the summer but he quickly figures out that everything is not as it seems at the quirky inn. Scrub is eventually enlisted to create disguises so the alien vacationers can pretend to be human and the real fun begins. This book is full of shenanigans and all sorts of tricky situations for Scrubb and the visiting aliens. If you’re looking for a humorous science fiction story this is the book for you! You can find it in the Juvenile Fiction section at J SMITH.

If you love Science Fiction, there are more science fiction books available at the library and you can look at our science fiction bibliography at http://www.bartlettlibrary.org/greatreadskids/ScienceFiction.shtml

~aw

Book Review: Secrets of a Civil War Submarine

civil war subToday we recommend: Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H. L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker.

When the Union blockade of all ports in the South stopped supplies from reaching the Confederate Army, Horace L. Hunley decided to create a submarine that would be able to sneak up on enemy ships and blow them up. After many years of trial and error, the H. L. Hunley actually succeeded in sinking the USS Housatonic in February of 1864. But the submarine never returned to port, and her crew perished in the Charleston Harbor. This book presents the history of the Civil War submarine the H.L. Hunley, including the construction, mysterious sinking, recovery, and restoration.

This book was the 2006 winner for the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal. This book hooked me right from the start, and the numerous pictures, sketches, and maps made it easy to picture the submarine. This book is perfect for those interested in the Civil War or archaelogy. It is a great nonfiction book packed with information that avoids being dry or dull. You can find it in the Juvenile Nonfiction section at j973.757 WALKER or as an audiobook in the Juvenile Audiobook section j973.757 WAL.

~aw

Book Review: The Crystal Ribbon

This week I read The Crystal Ribbon jacket
by Celeste Lim.

Li Jing is an 11 year-old girl with a special connection to the village guardian, the Great Golden Huli Jing- a five-tailed fox.  The family farm isn’t doing well, so they sell her as a bride to the 3 year-old son of the Guo family in another city.  Sadly, her new life is not what her family thought it would be. As her situation worsens, she realizes that the only thing to do is escape.  

This magical story had me hooked right away and I was desperate to know what would happen to dear Li Jing!  It also had me wondering: could I be that brave?  Would I be able to leave my family for a new life I knew would be awful, to save them?  Look for this book in our New Juvenile Fiction collection under the call number J LIM.

 

 

~am