Friday, April 21, 2017

Books by Theme: If You Like Wonder...


Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard all about Wonder. If you've been under said rock, learn more about this excellent book and the "Choose Kind" movement here. Then read these other books that also showcase empathy, kindness, and accepting differences.


El Deafo
by Cece Bell

Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece's class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends. Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school--in the hallway...in the teacher's lounge...in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower!

Out of My Mind
by Sharon Draper

Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom - the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she's determined to let everyone know it - somehow.

Loser
by Jerry Spinelli

Just like other kids, Zinkoff rides his bike, hopes for snow days, and wants to be like his dad when he grows up. But Zinkoff also raises his hand with all the wrong answers, trips over his own feet, and falls down with laughter over a word like "Jabip." Other kids have their own word to describe him, but Zinkoff is too busy to hear it. He doesn't know he's not like everyone else. And one winter night, Zinkoff's differences show that any name can someday become "hero."

Paperboy
by Vince Vawter

An 11-year-old boy living in Memphis in 1959 throws the meanest fastball in town, but talking is a whole different ball game. He can barely say a word without stuttering, not even his own name. So when he takes over his best friend's paper route for the month of July, he knows he'll be forced to communicate with the different customers, including a housewife who drinks too much and a retired merchant marine who seems to know just about everything. The paper route poses challenges, but it's a run-in with the neighborhood junkman, a bully and thief, that stirs up real trouble--and puts the boy's life, as well as that of his family's devoted housekeeper, in danger.

Counting by 7s
by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life...until now.

Stargirl
by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’ s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first. Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal.


Monday, April 17, 2017

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Legends by Howard Bryant

Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Basketball
by Howard Bryant 
Philomel Books (2017)
Sports Nonfiction

What It's All About:

Giants of the game like Steph Curry, LeBron, and Michael Jordan have transcended the sport to become cultural icons and role models to young fans. From the cornfields of Indiana and the hills of North Carolina, to the urban sprawl of New York City, Chicago and L.A., love of the game stretches from coast to coast. Featuring Top Ten Lists to chew on and debate, and a Top 40-style Timeline of Key Moments in Basektball History, this comprehensive collection includes the greatest dynasties, from the Bill Russell-era Celtics, to the Magic Jonson-led Lakers, to the Jordan-led Bulls, right up to the Tim Duncan-led Spurs.

Why You'll Love It:
  • This is an easy hook for serious sports fans seeking an exploration of the history of basketball.
  • Alternates among overviews of each decade since the 1960s, profiles of particular players or accounts of high-profile matches, themed “Top 10” lists, and lends itself well to browsing.
  • Rather than present a rigidly systematic chronicle or an indigestible barrage of names and statistics, he begins chapters with highlight reels of each era’s leading players and teams.
Who Should Read It:

Great for 5th grade and up.

What Else You Should Read:

Friday, April 14, 2017

Books By Theme: You're In Luck...


Luck Uglies 
by Paul Durham

Strange things are happening in Village Drowning, and a terrifying encounter has Rye O'Chanter convinced that the monstrous, supposedly extinct Bog Noblins have returned. 
Now Rye's only hope is an exiled secret society so notorious its name can't be spoken aloud: the Luck Uglies. As Rye dives into Village Drowning's maze of secrets, rules, and lies, she'll discover the truth behind the village's legends of outlaws and beasts...and that it may take a villain to save them from the monsters.


A Whole Lot of Lucky
by Danette Haworth

Hailee Richardson never realized how much she hated her Salvation Army life and Goodwill accessories until the night her family wins the lottery. All of a sudden she's no longer the only girl at school without a cell phone or a brand-new bike! And the newfound popularity that comes with being a lottery winner is just what she's always dreamed of. But the glow of her smartphone and fancy new clothes wears off when Hailee is transferred to Magnolia Academy, a private school. All of a sudden, her best friend and parents seem shabby compared to the beautiful Magnolia moms and the popular bad-girl Nikki, who seems to want to be her friend.

Lucky Strike
by Bobbie Pyron

Nate Harlow would love to be lucky, just once! He'd like to win a prize, get picked first, call a coin toss right, even! But his best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn't think for one second that there's such a thing as luck, good or bad. She doesn't care what names the other kids call them. She cares about being right, about saving the turtles of Paradise Beach, and she cares about Nate.

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky
by Holly Schindler

August “Auggie” Jones lives with her Grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” Auggie is determined to prove that she is not as run-down as the outside of her house might suggest. Using the kind of items Gus usually hauls to the scrap heap, a broken toaster becomes a flower; church windows turn into a rainbow walkway; and an old car gets new life as spinning whirligigs. What starts out as a home renovation project becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time.

Three Times Lucky
by Sheila Turnage

Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she's been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her "upstream mother," she's found a home with the Colonel--a café owner with a forgotten past of his own--and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.

Monday, April 10, 2017

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Overturned

Overturned
by Lamar Giles
Scholastic (2017)
Mystery Fiction

What It's All About:

Nikki Tate's father has been on death row for killing his best friend in a gambling dispute, but he has always maintained his innocence, and now his conviction has been overturned and he is back at the casino, where high school junior Nikki has been operating illegal poker games in the hopes of saving enough money to get out of Vegas after graduation--and now he is determined to find the real killer, and Nikki is inevitably drawn into his dangerous search for the truth.

Why You'll Love It:

  • A fast-paced, compelling mystery and memorable characters and relationships make this selection a first choice.
  • The mystery never feels forced and seems to flow naturally, gaining momentum as Nikki peels away each layer until everything is ultimately revealed.
  • Racial elements at play - the Tates are black while their rivals, the Carlinos, are white - hover in the background, adding another layer to Giles's murder mystery.

Who Should Read It:

Perfect for 7th grade and up.



What Else You Should Read:

Friday, April 7, 2017

Books by Theme: If You Like Dork Diaries


I don't know about you, but I find that Dork Diaries is even more popular than Wimpy Kid at our middle school! I'm constantly directing readers to other great books to read after they've finished Russell's series. Here are the books and series I point to over and over again to whet readers' appetites.


Popularity Papers (series)
by Amy Ignatow

Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang are best friends with one goal: to crack the code of popularity. Lydia’s the bold one: aspiring theater star, stick-fighting enthusiast, human guinea pig. Julie’s the shy one: observer and artist, accidental field hockey star, faithful recorder. In this notebook they write down their observations and carry out experiments to try to determine what makes the popular girls tick. But somehow, when Lydia and Julie try to imitate the popular girls, their efforts don’t translate into instant popularity.

Dear Dumb Diary (series)
by Jim Benton

School was okay today. Actually, it was better than okay. Angeline got her long, beautiful hair tangled in one of the jillion things she has dangling from her backpack, and the school nurse -- who is now one of my main heroes -- took a pair of scissors and snipped two feet of silky blond hair from the left side of her head, so now Angeline only looks like The Prettiest Girl in the World if you're standing on her right. (Although personally, I think she would look better if I was standing on her neck.)

Amelia's Notebooks (series)
by Marissa Moss

 Moss may have her name on the title page, but this is really Amelia's book. The feisty, make-believe nine-year-old takes on a life of her own as she writes and draws her feelings about moving, starting a new school, and making new friends (some antagonism toward her older sister, Cleo, who "picks her nose with her little finger," sneaks in as well). A colorful riot of childlike drawings and lots of hand-printed text spill every which way across the pages. Both the language and the art style are on target for the age group--Amelia is droll and funny and not too sophisticated for her years; she's also poignant and real as she longs for her "far-away" friend and takes tentative steps to find one close by.

Katie Friedman Gives Up Texting

by Tommy Greenwald

Here are a few things you need to know about Katie Friedman:
1. Katie is swearing off phones for life! (No, seriously. She just sent the wrong text to the wrong person!)
2. She wants to break up with her boyfriend. (Until, that is, he surprises her with front row tickets to her favorite band, Plain Jane. Now what!?)
3. She wants to be a rock star (It's true. She has a band and everything.)
4. Her best friend is Charlie Joe Jackson. (Yeah, you know the guy.)
5. And most importantly, Katie's been offered the deal of a lifetime—get ten of her friends to give up their phones for one week and everyone can have backstage passes to Plain Jane. (A whole week!? Is that even possible?)

Ten Rules For Living With My Sister (series)
by Ann M. Martin

Pearl's older sister Lexie is in eighth grade and has a boyfriend. Pearl's only boyfriend is the family's crabby cat, Bitey. Lexie is popular. Pearl is not, mostly because of the embarrassing Three Bad Things that happened in school and which no one has forgotten. Everything Pearl does seems to drive Lexie crazy. On top of that, their grandfather is moving into their family's apartment and taking over Pearl's room. How will these sisters share without driving one another crazy?

11 Birthdays (series)
by Wendy Mass

GROUNDHOG DAY meets FLIPPED in this tale of a girl stuck in her birthday.
It's Amanda's 11th birthday and she is super excited -- after all, 11 is so different from 10. But from the start, everything goes wrong. The worst part of it all is that she and her best friend, Leo, with whom she's shared every birthday, are on the outs and this will be the first birthday they haven't shared together. When Amanda turns in for the night, glad to have her birthday behind her, she wakes up happy for a new day. Or is it? Her birthday seems to be repeating iself. What is going on?! And how can she fix it?

Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf (series)

by Jennifer Holm

Ginny has ten items on her big to-do list for seventh grade. None of them, however, include accidentally turning her hair pink. Or getting sent to detention for throwing frogs in class. Or losing the lead role in the ballet recital to her ex-best friend. Or the thousand other things that can go wrong between September and June. But it looks like it's shaping up to be that kind of a year! Here's the story of one girl's worst school year ever -- told completely through her stuff.

Gossip From the Girls' Room (series)

by Rose Cooper

Gossip from the Girls’ Room fills readers in on all there is to learn about middle school life at Middlebrooke, where Sofia has her very own blog and discusses all the juicy gossip that comes out of the Girls’ room; read along to find out just what happens when class is not in session.

Monday, April 3, 2017

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Well, That Was Awkward...

Well, That Was Awkward
by Rachel Vail
Viking (2017)
Middle Grade Fiction

What It's All About:

Gracie has never felt like this before. One day, she suddenly can't breathe, can't walk, can't anything and the reason is standing right there in front of her, all tall and weirdly good-looking: A.J. 
It turns out A.J. likes not Gracie but Gracie's beautiful best friend, Sienna. Obviously Gracie is happy for Sienna. Super happy! She helps Sienna compose the best texts, responding to A.J. s surprisingly funny and appealing texts, just as if she were Sienna. Because Gracie is fine. Always! She's had lots of practice being the sidekick, second-best. It s all good. Well, almost all. She's trying.

Why You'll Love It:

  • This modern, middle-school retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac is heartwarming, funny, and tender, offering a story of young love and loyalty, friendship and family.
  • This tween romance proves that some stories stand the test of time, even with modernization.
  • Gracie's breakneck narration is presented in and out of text messages, folding in an effortlessly diverse cast, including Latina Sienna and Filipino-Israeli Emmett.
  • Readers will see themselves in Gracie and her friends, root for them, and likely figure out who is actually texting whom before the characters do, even if they haven't read the source material.

Who Should Read It:

Great for 5th-8th graders.



What Else You Should Read:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...