Children's room

 

Recommended Reads

 

July 2014

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Camping Trip

 

My Teacher Is a Monster! by Peter Brown (jE)

Bobby is convinced that his teacher, Ms. Kirby, is a stomping, roaring monster, and so that is how he sees her. One unfortunate day he runs into her at his favorite park, of all places, and can’t believe his dumb luck. It turns out that she is the lucky one, because when her favorite hat flies off of her head, Bobby rescues it for her. This breaks the ice enough for the two of them to begin to understand each other, and as they share their favorite things to do at the park, Ms. Kirby becomes less and less monstrous. Brown’s illustrations are as charming as always, and this story is a sweet way to start talking about back-to-school fears. LL

   

Camping Trip

Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann (jE)

Ginger is having a birthday party, but she must invite all the girls in her class—which means inviting Lyla, the odd girl out. Lyla is different from the other girls: she doesn’t talk much or worry about her appearance, and she even owns a tarantula! Despite her best intentions, Ginger’s party doesn’t go as planned: no one cares about playing games or following rules, and no one eats her special cake—except Lyla. By the time the gifts are opened Ginger is ready to throw in the towel, but she receives a lovely surprise that leads to the best gift of all: friendship. This is a sweet, simply illustrated story that shows the rewards of looking past our differences. BD

   

Over and Under the Snowe

 This is a Moose by Richard T. Morris (jE)

This is a moose—or is it? In this lighthearted romp Moose is the star of a documentary film all about what his life is like. But he has bigger dreams than just being a moose—he wants to be an astronaut! With a host of quirky friends and relatives on the scene, the film shoot falls into chaos as each new animal doesn’t behave like the director thinks they should. Will Moose achieve his dream? Will the film ever wrap? This is a brightly illustrated, humorous take on blazing your own trail in life. Moose and friends have some great facial expressions and there is enough side action and detail to make this story worth more than one read. BD

   
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Ava & Pip by Carol Weston (jE) 

Ava Wren is outgoing and bold and loves to write. Her sister Pip is shy and reserved. Ava tries to be understanding, but it’s hard when her accomplishments are ignored in favor everyone’s efforts to get Pip out of her shell. When Pip’s birthday party bombs, Ava writes a story about a queen bee whose behavior resembles that of a popular “mean girl” in their school. Surprise—Ava’s story is chosen for publication at school! As she navigates the fallout generated by her story, Ava realizes that people are not always who they appear to be, including Pip, and that friendship can be as rewarding as it is unexpected. BD

  

   
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The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure by Doreen Cronin, Ill. Kevin Cornell (J)

First introduced in The Trouble with Chickens, Dirt, Sweetie, Poppy, and Sugar now take a starring role in the first book in this spin-off series. They might be chicks, but they aren’t chicken when a scared squirrel named Tail barges into their coop. After running from the big, scary thing in the yard, Tail is not much help (he keeps fainting out of fear) and the chicks come to the conclusion they must save their mother from the unnamed object. Filled with expressive illustrations and hilarious hijinks, the quartet use camouflage and deductive reasoning to discover what has invaded their turf and chase it back to where it came from! But readers might come to an alternate conclusion in this slapstick comedy of errors that proves things aren’t always what they seem. AY

   

The Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni (Tween)

Jax Aubrey’s 13th birthday is anything but ordinary. He wakes up to a world without people and thinks that it’s some sort of apocalypse. However, the truth is much stranger. This peculiar day is called The Eighth Day, an extra 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday. Jax himself is a Transitioner, or someone with special abilities that is able to live through all eight days of the week. His mysterious neighbor Evangeline - who can only exist in The Eighth Day – holds the key to breaking an ancient spell created by the legendary wizard Merlin. However, this spell is the only thing keeping an actual apocalypse from occurring and Jax must stop at nothing to keep Evangeline – and the world – safe. This is an action-packed story that will have kids flipping through the pages to find out what happens next. There are some interesting references to Arthurian legend and fans of Percy Jackson or other adventurous tales will love this book. KA

   

 The Dumbest Idea Ever by Jimmy Gownley (Graphic Novel)

Jimmy Gownley is on the top of the world, scoring points both in the classroom and on the basketball court. Then he misses weeks of school and his championship basketball game (his team loses in the final minute) due to first chicken pox and then pneumonia. Jimmy’s interest in comics expands as he attempts writing and illustrating his own, but his inflated ego might get in the way of his friendships. The colors set the tone for the story, gray when Jimmy is sick and turning bright and bold again when he enters the comic book shop for the first time, resulting in an Oz-like page turn when the curtain is pulled back on a colorful landscape of possibilities. This autobiographical account by the author of the Amelia Rules graphic novel series demonstrates that anything is possible, even after some false starts. AY

   

 The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (Book-on-CD)

The Boundless, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across Canada. Will Everett, son of the railroad manager, is on board and ready to start a new life. Unfortunately, Will’s aspirations and his father’s expectations don’t mix. When Will witnesses a murder and ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of a sinister group plotting to rob the train. In order to survive, Will must seek the aid of Mr. Dorian, ringmaster of the traveling circus on board and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains closing in, can Will and Maren reach Will’s father in the locomotive and save The Boundless? Does Mr. Dorian have a sinister plan of his own? And what is really inside the mysterious train car? Nick Podehl narrates this exciting story and does a great job distinguishing character voices and keeping the listener on the edge of his seat. This is high adventure on the rails with a touch of myth, lore, legend and the fantastic. Highly recommended. BD