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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sidney & Sydney: Big Dog Decisions by Michele Jakubowski

Sydney & Sydney: Big Dog DecisionsSidney and Sydney are back in book 3 of this series.  Sidney is a third grade boy who happens to be in the same class as third grade girl Sydney.  The two have become unlucky friends, as Sidney is into sports and Sydney is into fashion.   However their love of a favorite video game, Galaxy Conquest, ignites a friendship.  In this installment of the series, both kids want a dog of their own and try to convince their parents that they are responsible enough for one.  Of course their parents say no.  So what happens when kids are told no?  They come up with a plan to show their parents how wrong they are!  Sydney brainstorms the idea of starting a dog walking business with Sidney, Gomez and Harley (their other good friends) to show their parents how they can handle the responsibility of a dog.  At first, the business is slow, but suddenly it takes off.  The kids love walking the dogs, until they realize dogs need to be walk every day, regardless of the weather.  Plus their schedules are becoming increasingly busy with basketball, soccer, and play practice.   They need to make a decision as to what are their priorities.  Will they be able to make the right choice?

This is a great series that shows that boys and girls can be friends (girls do play video games).  The colored illustrations in the book add so much to the story.  Each book starts with a brief overview of the characters so that you don't have to read the series in order (although it is fun to do so).  The end of the book gives more insight into each of the main characters.  This time there are questions that each of the characters answers on the topic of pets.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

All Hail the Queen by Erica David Memory and Magic by Erica David

All Hail the QueenAll Hail the Queen is the first book in the series inspired by Frozen. Disney's Anna & Elsa series is subtitled Sisterhood Is the Strongest Magic. The gates of the castle are opened. Sometimes even a queen needs a day off from everything.  It is the sisters' bond that is so special. The illustrator, Bill Robinson, makes the book sparkle. Even the page numbers are hidden in snowflakes. This helps the reader concentrate on the story - not how much that they have left to read.

Did you notice that Anna comes before Elsa? That helps symbolize the equal bond that the sisters share. You will definitely have Olaf, Sven and Kristoff in this series. The second book in this series is Memory and Magic. Anna believes that memories are the most important things. I know that these books are too easy for most readers, but girls ages six to nine should know about these books. These certainly would be good for read-alouds. Wouldn't these be good for older sisters to read to younger sisters? Wouldn't these be good for cousins who don't have sisters but almost feel like sisters? I just wanted you to know that these new books are available at Roselle Library and that the publisher has promised five books for this series.. Enjoy the magic of Anna and Elsa.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Revenge of the Flower Girls by Jennifer Ziegler

Revenge of the Flower GirlsSo what do you do if your sister is going to marry a guy that looks like an armadillo?  You sabotage the wedding of course!  The three Brewster triplets, Dawn, Darby and Delaney concoct a plan to put a stop to their sister Lily from marrying the wrong man.  The triplets love their sister and they think Burton is all wrong for her because he doesn't make Lily laugh and smile like Alex, her former boyfriend did.  So the three stop at nothing to delay Lily's big day and try to get Alex and Lily back together. Mom, Dad and even Aunt Jane eventually get dragged into the plan to stop Lily from making the biggest mistake in her life.  Will she go through with the wedding?

Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the triplets, which can get confusing sometimes because they can be so similar.  It is evident that the family is a very strong and loving one, who only want the best for each other.  The triplets have an infatuation with former United States Presidents and how the government works, which is intertwined within the story. 

I really enjoyed the story and didn't want to stop reading it until I reached the end.  It was a funny and entertaining read.  One that I might just recommend to you the next time we meet!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Crossover by Kwame Alexander

CrossoverThis book is sooooooo unique. This story in verse is told by one of the twins. The brothers play basketball. They are so good that they assume that they will go pro just like their father. Their mother is also famous - their very own assistant principal at their middle school. They take equal effort for school and basketball and excel at both. The dynamics of the family change when a new girl comes to town and takes up all his brother's time. At the same time, the twins have to go through the neglected and declining health of the father.

This book is beyond unique. You can actually feel the rhythm of the story. You can actually feel the emotional punch of all characters. You might connect with the sibling situation. I would not have noticed this book if it weren't for the fact that it just won The Newbery Award for the best fiction book for children in the United States! There is so much to this book. You will be proud to be caught carrying around this awesome book. From the cover to the very end - this is a slam dunk. You might even go into overtime with this realistic fiction.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Iron TrialCallum Hunt is our hero and he is your typical hero in some ways but he isn’t. He has a bad leg and has always been the guy left out. For the most part, I liked Callum. He was fun and silly and just a kid. Callum though is one of the things that bugged me. He had a tendency to be annoying at times and he made some decisions that made me crazy. However, he is a kid and I need to remind myself of that. Yeah, I’m going to know what the correct decisions are, but Callum isn’t going to. So yeah, he made me crazy but he should. I still like him and found him funny. Tamara and Aaron were also a lot of fun. They were good friends for Callum and he really needed friends. Those three worked very well together and made a good team. The plot in The Iron Trial is a lot of fun. The world of magic is pretty cool and a school of magic is always fun. There is always added shenanigans that come along with situations like this and I always seem to enjoy them. The story was enjoyable and it was interesting to see Callum go from hating the world to finding it to be the one place he finally fits in. Now I have to discuss the twist because it was very very good and watching it play out in later books is going to be very interesting. I thought I had guessed it right, but nope I was wrong and I loved that. All in all, The Iron Trial is a good read and perfect for younger readers and is one older readers can enjoy too. Holly Black and Cassandra Clare teamed up and the result was great. I cannot wait for more from this series.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen

Skink No SurrenderIf you know anything about Carl Hiaasen's books, you probably will guess that his new one takes place in Florida with several concerns about ecology. You would be correct. He probably inspired a new genre of fiction - ecofiction. This is Carl Hiaasen's first book for teens. He uses a character from one of his adult book - Skink. Richard finds Skink hidden under sand breathing through a straw sticking out of the sand. Skink is trying to catch a person who is stealing turtle eggs. Skink is one of those compassionate people who does not do things the usual way. He just happens to be a former governor who just wants to be presumed dead. When Richard tells Skink about his missing cousin, Skink steps in right away and is determined to find her. His cousin doesn't want to be sent to a boarding school in cold New England. Instead, she runs away with guy that she met on the internet. She keeps in sporadic contact with Richard and her parents. However, it is Richard that figures out that she is in trouble. They talk in cryptic code in order for him to figure out her location. Richard couldn't have found her by himself. During their mystery adventure, Richard and Skink have time to talk about integrity, evil, books, Sasquatch and skunks. Yes, Richard had to hold a baby skunk to save it from being roadkill. Skink knew that the skunk wouldn't spray Richard. That is just one of the animals that they encounter.

The Doll People Set Sail by Ann M. Martin

The Doll People Set SailAnnabelle Doll and Tiffany Funcraft, along with their families are packed up, then placed accidentally by the family in a pile of boxes going to a charity destination instead of into the attic for safe keeping.

The dolls are very surprised when their box gets loaded onto a pallet, then dumped onto a ship in the ocean. Turns out they are not alone and it is up to them and their friends to get themselves home again!

They travel thousands of miles, face many dangers not the least is some of them fall out of the box, and then need to be rescued by the others.  Annabelle herself slides down the anchor chain and has to climb back up before she falls in the ocean.

Book # 4 keeps you on your toes and rooting for the family of dolls that just want to go home.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied by Jess Keating

How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are UntiedWow, am I lucky!  I have been browsing the "New Books" display in the library  and I am selecting some awesome reads (kudos to our librarians!).  In this story, Ana Wright is having a horrible 7th grade year.  Liv, her best friend, has moved to New Zealand (which is halfway around the world I tell you!).  She has a crazy twin brother named Daz who always has some crazy plan up his sleeve.  Then there are three popular girls at school who hate Ana (she refers to them as the Sneerers).  Her parents are zoologists at a zoo and grandpa is a famous reality television star and naturalist who wants to film a documentary about his life which will feature Ana and her family.  Oh and she has to move into a house that is IN the zoo (you read that correctly) for the summer.  Oh, oh, oh, and she was named after the snake, the anaconda!

I so enjoyed this book.  It was a story that most people can relate to because everyone has gone through an awkward time in their life (and if you haven't, the time will come).   Ana is not part of the popular crowd, but she finds that she can still have good friends and have her moment to shine.  There is a good amount of humor in the book (you will love what happens to one of the Sneerers at the end of the book!).  Each chapter starts out with an interesting animal fact too.  I was sorry when the book was over, but I am in luck as the next installment in the series is going to be released this month.  I can't wait until I see it on the "New Books" shelves in Youth Services!

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