Tag Archives: school

Book Review: Brave

brave.jpgToday I recommend: Brave by Svetlana Chmakova.

In his daydreams, Jensen is the biggest hero that ever was, saving the world and his friends on a daily basis. But his middle school reality is VERY different – math is hard, getting along with friends is hard…Even finding a partner for the class project is a big problem when you always get picked last. And the pressure’s on even more once the school newspaper’s dynamic duo, Jenny and Akilah, draw Jensen into the whirlwind of school news, social experiment projects, and behind-the-scenes club drama. Jensen’s always played the middle school game one level at a time, but suddenly, someone’s cranked up the difficulty setting. Will those daring daydreams of his finally work in his favor, or will he have to find real solutions to his real life problems?

Set in the same school as Chmakova’s Awkward this graphic novel focuses on Jensen whose struggles to get through difficult classes, as well as feelings of being left out and being bullied, are so easy to relate to. This story tackles some tough subjects such as bullying, dress codes, and failing classes with humor that makes the story fly by without treating them too lightly.  This is a great option for readers who enjoyed Awkward but is also great as a standalone graphic novel.  Read-alikes for this series are: Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters and Shannon Hale’s Real Friends.

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

~aw

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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

Back to School – with Spies!

In honor of the start of the school year, we’re highlighting some of the characters in our book collection who are studying to be spies!

Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen (Juvenile Fiction – J MCMULLEN): Twelve-year-old Abigail is shocked to discover her elite boarding school is really a cover for a huge spy ring, and must undergo Spy Training 101 in order to save her mother, who happens to be the spy ring’s top agent.

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs, Book 1 of the Spy School Series (Juvenile Fiction – J GIBBS): Twelve-year-old Ben Ripley leaves his public middle school to attend the CIA’s highly secretive Espionage Academy, which everyone is told is an elite science school.

Clayton Stone, at your service by Ena Jones (Juvenile Fiction – J JONES): Twelve-year-old Clayton Stone gets a taste of life as a special agent when he goes undercover as a decoy in a high-stakes kidnapping operation.

Bridget Wilder, Spy in Training by Jonathan Bernstein (Juvenile Fiction – J BERNSTEIN): An adopted middle child receives an unexpected package on an otherwise unremarkable birthday inviting her to join a super-secret division of the CIA.

Book Review: Ramona Quimby, Age 8

It’s Throwback Thursday!  Today I recommend, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary.

Ramona likes that she’s old enough to be counted on, but must everything depend on her? Mrs. Quimby has gone back to work so that Mr. Quimby can return to school, and Ramona is expected to be good for Mrs. Kemp while her parents are away, to be brave enough to ride the school bus by herself, and to put up with being teased by Danny the Yard Ape. In Ramona’s world, being eight isn’t easy, but it’s never dull! 

Ramona is a third grader, but I can still relate to so much of what she feels!  I remember listening to one of my favorite teachers read Ramona Quimby, Age 8 to my class in the third grade.  I always think of her when I read this book. If you need a laugh, I recommend checking it out, if you haven’t already read it.   When I need a feel-good book to lift my spirits, I like any of the books about Ramona.

Find it in our Juvenile Fiction collection under J CLEARY.

-AM