Tag Archives: friendship

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.



Book Review: Brave by Svetlana Chmakova


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: 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.



Book Review: Gimme Shelter

Gimme ShelterToday I recommend: Gimme Shelter: Misadventures and Misinformation by Doreen Cronin.

The Chicken Squad uncovers mysterious remains while digging a meteor/storm shelter, and they stop work to investigate just as a big storm is approaching.

Do you like funny books about chickens?  If so, go on another adventure with The Chicken Squad.  Gimme Shelter: Misadventures and Misinformation by Doreen Cronin will have you laughing non-stop as Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie begin to build a storm Shelter.  Check out this book to see what The Chicken Squad uncovers as they begin their construction project!



Book Review: The Time Museum

The Time MuseumToday I recommend: The Time Museum by Matthew Loux.

Science-loving Delia Bean is expecting to have a pretty boring summer vacation looking after her little brother. But when her Uncle Lyndon offers her an internship in his Earth Time Museum, everything begins to look a lot better!

I’ll admit that I love just about anything that has to do with time travel and to have that combined with a museum that covers the entire history of Earth really caught my attention. This is a fast paced graphic novel – the action picks up quickly as Delia begins to time-travel with other prospective interns as they compete to be chosen for the coveted internship at the Earth Time Museum. The art work is really loose and fluid which just adds to the fast pace of the graphic novel. I also found myself quickly growing attached to the large cast of teens who were competing and cheering them on as they finally began to work together. I recommend this to anyone who likes graphic novels and science fiction – this was a fun read.

You can find The Time Museum in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC LOUX.



Book Review: All’s Faire in Middle School

All's Faire in Middle School.jpgToday I recommend: All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.

Homeschooled by Renaissance Fair enthusiasts, eleven-year-old Imogene has a hard time fitting in when her wish to enroll in public school is granted.

Fans of Jamieson’s graphic novel Roller Girl won’t be disappointed! Imogene is another strong female character, and the situations that she grapples with feel realistic even if growing up at a Renaissance Fair sounds far-fetched. Imogene deals with bullying and her desire to make new friends as she adjusts to going to middle school while also training to be a squire at the Ren. Faire. I recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Awkward and Brave by Chmakova or Real Friends by Shannon Hale.

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



Throwback Thursday: Misty of Chincoteague

Misty of ChincoteagueFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry.

Set on Chincoteague Island, Virginia Paul and Maureen Beebe, a brother and sister, have their hearts set on owning a wild pony and her colt, who according to legend, are descendants of the Moorish ponies who survived a Spanish shipwreck long ago.

This classic is perfect for anyone who loves horses! A sweet tale of two children who eventually have a horse to call their own, Misty of Chincoteague was first published in 1947 and has been adapted as a movie. This book was also a Newbery Honor Book in 1948.

As for a local connection, author Marguerite Henry was a resident of Wayne, Illinois. Henry bought Misty and wrote the book about that horse. Each year, Misty and Henry would visit Wayne Elementary School and would celebrat the horse’s birthday with the children. http://prev.dailyherald.com/story/?id=245797

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



Book Review: Slider

Slider.jpgToday I recommend Slider by Pete Hautman.

Hoping to win a cash prize in a pizza eating contest after racking up a tab on his mother’s credit card, David must juggle his competitive eating training with the responsibility of looking after his autistic younger brother.

This book has it all – suspense, friendship, and horrifyingly gross descriptions of competitive eating. It addresses David’s feelings of being the ‘forgotten’ middle child in his family without ever losing the humor that is necessarily part the book as David works to stretch his stomach and win a competitive eating contest in order to pay back his mom. I winced a little every time he decided to hide his mistake and lie a little more but that situation certainly added to the suspense of the story – you’ll want to know whether or not David can win right from the beginning!

You can find Slider in the Juvenile Fiction section at J HAUTMAN.



Throwback Thursday: Holes

Holes.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: Holes by Louis Sachar.

As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

I read the book well before the movie was released but I am always happy to recommend this book and the movie! This is a fun adventure story that focuses on a friendship that grows to include all of the boys who are prisoners of a terrible correctional camp in Texas. This book is also quite the award winner – Newbery Medal, Illinois’ Rebecca Caudill Award in 2002, and an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book in 1999. Published in 1998, this book is not as old as some that I recommend but it is certainly a classic.

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




Throwback Thursday: The Hundred Dresses

the hundred dresses.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.

None of her classmates pay much attention to Wanda Petronski, a Polish-American girl, until she announces she has 100 dresses in her closet. Everyone laughs and teases her so much that she stops coming to school. Then, her classmates discover she really does have 100 dresses and discover something about teasing and themselves.

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes is the tale of a young girl, Wanda,  who is bullied by her classmates for wearing the same dress each day to school. Wanda tells her peers that she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows that it is not true.  As a result, Wanda is bullied even more.  One day, Wanda is pulled out of the school and the class begins to feel terrible for their behavior toward her.  Maddie, a student from Wanda’s class, decides that she needs to take a stand so no classmate is bullied ever again.  If you like stories that are heart-felt and teach a lesson, then The Hundred Dresses is for you!

This classic story first published in 1944 was a Newbery Honor Book in 1945, and can be found in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ESTES.