We have a special treat today! A few weeks ago three of our former students stopped by to visit with their parents. They were here on vacation and were visiting their former teachers and friends in the Seattle area.
All of three students love to read! Lucily for them, I had just come from the American Library Association mid-winter meeting with numerous Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) of books. ARCs are copies of books that people read and review and check for errors before they are officially published. Think of them as preview copies.
It’s always fun to have a new book that nobody else has yet, so all three students went home with some new books to read for the flight back to Denmark. Mathias not only read his book, he sent us a review for the blog too!
Here is Mathias’ review of House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini. It will be officially released on April 23, 2013.
Setting: The story first takes place in Sea Cliff, San Francisco, then later in a mysterious world of adventure.
Characters: The Walker family is composed of five members.
Mr. and Mrs. Walker, were recently in a lawsuit because Mr. Walker, who is a doctor, had cut an eye into the back of his patient. They were sued by the family of the man, and used almost all their money to defend themselves.
Brendan Walker, the middle child, a computer geek and a quite smart kid. He is also very much into Lacrosse and his quick thinking saves them on several occasions.
Cordelia Walker is the oldest and smartest kid of the family. She is an avid reader and helped solve many of the problems the family were to face.
Eleanor Walker is the youngest and appears to be the most dumb. However she does show quite an appeal for helping and a very smart and quick brain, despite being dyslexic. She is also very much into horses.
Plot: A family of five are searching for a new house. Their real estate lady finds a nice house on the edge of Sea Cliff, a place known for it’s beautiful houses. At first the family is a bit worried that the house may not be as nice as the real estate lady says (their price range for houses is rather low) however they were all proved wrong. When they arrived it was a beautiful three story house, full of amazing furniture and stunning features that made the house almost seem too good to be true. This was made true when they heard the price. Their jaws dropped and they immediately decided to buy the house.
Soon after they bought the house strange things started happening. Brendan and Eleanor were seeing strange figures and shadows day after day. Brendan even thought that the statue which stood in the back had come alive and talked to him.
The next day something strange happened. First the old lady who says she lived next door comes by. Her name is Dahlia Kristoff, the relative of Denver Kristoff who used to live in this house. Brendan goes crazy on her, thinking she was the woman who had turned into the statue. After the old lady leaves the kids start doing some digging. Cordelia find out that according to a picture upstairs, she’s a 105 years old and missing a hand. Not long after the doorbell rings again. Thinking that the pizza has arrived, Mr. Walker goes over to the door and opens it. Outside stands Mrs. Dahlia again, and as soon as Mr. Walker opens the door, she steps in. Immediately she transforms. She is now bald and only a skeleton of herself. Her right hand is missing, just like Cordelia thought and she looked downright scary, especially with the brand new pair of skeletal wings that had just erupted from her back. Mrs. Walker started calling the police, but for a gust of wind that snatched up the phone and cracked it on a pedestal on the other side of the room. Then weird things start to happen. Dahlia Kristoff starts flying up, and every item currently in the vicinity start flying up. They form a vortex of flying items just zooming around the room. The two parents are knocked out by flying objects, but somehow the kids manage to stay conscious. Dahlia starts shouting about her long lost father’s (Denver Kristoff) reincarnation and suddenly everything goes black.
My Thoughts: I think this book is amazing. With all of the mystery happening in only the first instance of the story, it provides a great lead into the book. The book itself is astonishing. The idea of having an entire story based on the fusion of three books is downright fascinating. The different characters in this book are amazingly unique, in such ways that even you can’t see the events they’re going to make happen before they do. The things that happen from every angle, like betrayal, love and unexpected friendship just makes this book one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Thank you Mathias for this awesome book review! I can’t wait to buy a copy for the library in April when it comes out!
Gabe in Mrs. Adair’s class submitted this book review of Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz.
Alex knows that’s not true, and the gun marks in the driver’s side car door proves it! Alex finds out his uncle was a top field agent for a secret government division, M16.
They ask Alex to work for them, they ask him to investigate Herod Sayle. Herod came up with the most sophisticated personal computer of the decade. But M16 suspects Herod has something up his sleeve, so they send Alex undercover into Sayle Enterprises to investigate.
Alex uses a wide array of useful gadgets to baffle Herod Sayle, but will his cover be blown or worse, will he be killed?
If you like adventure books then you will love this book. Even better, there is a whole Alex Rider series, so this is just a taste of this action packed series. I think this book for readers 9 years and older.
If you like the sound of this book, come to the library! We have the entire Alex Rider series on our Action/Adventure shelves! Mrs. Hembree
Have you ever read a book that you just couldn’t forget?
Did it make you laugh? Cry? Shout?
Today’s post is about my favorite books from 2012. These are the standout books from a year of reading. Even though I may have read them months ago, I still think about them and consider them book friends. When I see the cover, or think of a passage from the book, I get a smile on my face. Not all of these books were written in 2012, although most of them were. I am in the process of reading all the Newbery Medal winners, so one book was published years ago. All, except the young adult books are available in our library. I hope you will stop in and check them out!
Tomorrow the American Library Association will announce all of the Youth Media Awards at their Mid-Winter Conference here in Seattle. I will be at the press conference for the very first time! I can’t wait to see what books won medal and honor awards. Above any other books, I have my fingers crossed for The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Wonder by RJ Palacio.
Here are my standouts from a year of reading!
Categories: Favorite Graphic Novels, Favorite Picture Books, Favorite Non-Fiction Picture Books,Favorite Middle Grade Novels, Favorite Young Adult Novels, Favorite Audio Books
So there you are…my favorites. Not all will win awards tomorrow at the ALA conference. However, they have already won a special award in my heart because each of these books has touched me in a very personal way. I’m looking forward to lots of reading in 2013 and seeing where my reading travels take me!
Were any of these books favorites for you this year?
Is there a book I should have included?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Thanks to a generous grant from the Lake Washington Schools Foundation, our library has
118 new, blazing hot books!
If you are a younger reader, you are going to love, love, love these books! Every new non-fiction book had to pass Mrs. Hembree strict wow criteria questions.
Is it a fun book to read?
Is it an exciting book to read?
Is it action packed?
Here are the new car books to select from. No boring books in this group!
To go along with our math focus at school, some of the new books are math related.
“Crunch, crunch! The farm’s horse loves munching apples.
Can you predict which color of apple the horse will eat next?
The horse has six red apples and two green apples.
Is it more or less likely she will pick a green apple?”
So, what do you think the answer is? Find out inside the book Pigs, Cows, and Probability!
I know a lot our students love joke books, so I added more to our collection! Here’s a sample from the Jokes about Bugs:
“What did the bug say after it hit the window?
If I had the guts, I would do it again.
I also bought a new series called Easy Magic Tricks. These books teach you how to perform magic tricks with playing cards, coins, straws, balloons, and more! There are plenty of ideas here to challenge our budding magicians!
Not all of the books are fact or non-fiction books. We also have some new everybody picture books for our younger readers. They are housed on a special shelf too!
It seems like there are never enough Star Wars books in our library, so look at the new ones we’ve added!
This group of books includes early chapter books that are both fun to read and a little bit longer than the usual picture book. These are perfect for our readers who are ready to read chapter books.
Ten more Backpack Buddies have been added to our expanding Backpack Buddy collection. Inside each backpack is a book, a matching puppet, a journal and instructions on what to do. They are a super fun way to practice reading at home!
If you check out one of these books from our Bulldog Library, I hope you will let me know what you think about them! You can leave a comment on the blog or you can tell me in person! I am even hoping some people what to give me a review on film with our new Flip cameras! Imagine that….YOU can be a Bulldog Reader Star!
Our LWSF grant is also featured on the Lake Washington Schools Foundation Spotlight page! You can read the full article here.
What do you think about our new books?
Which ones do you want to check out?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Today’s post features student written reviews of books! We love to showcase student writing and we especially love to publish book reviews!
Any student can submit a book review as long as they follow a few simple guidelines. First, all student reviews much be completely original and written by the student. They need to be under 300-400 words and positive in nature. I understand that sometimes there are books we don’t like, but this library blog isn’t the venue to share negative opinions. I believe strongly in maintaining our positive digital footprint. I would hate to publish something that could hurt an author’s feelings.
New book reviews are the most interesting to our readers! If you have read one of the new books in our library, be the first to have your review published! Kids want to know what to read! They especially like the new books!
Do some extra research! Find out the author’s website, or his/her audio reading of the book! Send me the link or URL address. Sometimes there are book trailers that we can link to with our blog. A book trailer is just like a movie trailer. It gives you a hint of what the book is going to be about so you will want to read it!
Even better – make your own book trailer! You can easily make a book trailer using Photostory or MovieMaker and the work will be all yours! We will load it onto SchoolTube and this blog will showcase your work. Not sure how to make a book trailer? Visit Book Trailers for Readers by Teacher Librarian Michelle Harclerode. She has some great examples and even a “how to” presentation you can view.
Now to our first student reviews of the school year, presented by Abi, Ella, Josa, Mathias, and Morgan!
Review by Josa
Peter Nimble is the main character. He is a ten year old blind orphan who is forced to become a thef in order to survive. One day he steals a mysterious box that contains three pairs of magical eyes. When he tries on the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island and then sent on a journey to save a lost kingdom.
This book will have you reading about a princess, a knight who is the victim of a curse, sea dragons, an army of talking apes and of course, Peter Nimble, the most fantastic hero of all time. (for ages 9+)
Review by Morgan
Amanda is about to turn 11 and her party is not something she is looking forward to. When she goes to bed after her birthday, she is relieved that the day is finally over! But, when she wakes up the next morning, it’s her birthday all over again…
I recommend this book to people who like realistic fiction which is what I love and enjoy. I enjoyed reading this book because of everything that keeps repeating over and over, but slightly different each time. If you want to know what I mean, check out 11 Birthdays and experience the 11 days of Amanda. (ages 9+, a Battle of the Books selection for 2012)
To hear some behind the scenes info on how 11 Birthday’s was written, along with a short reading by Wendy Mass, visit teachingbooks.net.
Review by Ella
This book is about a family of four who go on a river rafting trip. The two main characters, Ryan and Tanner are very different and go through an amazing adventure. I could not stop reading this book. It was fantastic and readers who love adventure will like this. (ages 9+, a Battle of the Books selection for 2012)
Review by Mathias
The Mysterious Island is a great book. It’s fantastic, combining complicated science with a theme of survival. Being complex in several ways, I would recommend this book for young adults and teens who like survival stories with some twists. I absolutely love this book, and after having read the book Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea think this book is absolutely fantastic. Though very scientific and complex, this book will have you holding back tears, resisting angry emotions, and fighting the urge to leap out of your chair yelling with happiness. This book could surely teach you a thing or two. (ages 11+)
Review by Abi
Skeleton Key rocked my whole mind because he’s a teen superspy working for the M16. Alex is about to face something more dangerous than he can imagine, a man with a nuclear weapon that will stop at nothing to get his world back. Read the book to find out! I love this book because it has a breathless plot with a page turning thriller. I would recommend this book to someone who likes adventure and action. If you like this, then, this is the right book for you! (ages 9+, F HOR Action/Adventure)
Which one of these books interest you now?
Have you read any of them?
Do you recommend any new books to our reviewers?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Every book has a story. No…not the one between the covers. The story that got you to the book in the first place. Was it a recommendation from a friend? Did you see it on the shelf? Did a librarian hand it to you?
My book story began with the Oprah show in January. She brought a plane load of Oprah Fans with her to Australia for an all expense paid trip. I am an Oprah fan too! However, since my invitation to join her in Australia got lost in the mail somehow, I had to watch the shows on television!
On the last day, she filmed from the Sidney Opera House and interviewed Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin. They have carried on Steve Irwin’s legacy at the Australia Zoo- Home of the Crocodile Hunter.
Bindi was talking about her new book series: Bindi Wildlife Adventures. Set in the Australia Zoo, Bindi carries on her father’s love for reptiles and other animals in an adventure book format.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Kids can read a fun and exciting book, and hopefully lose some of their fear of all things reptile. The Irwins share their knowledge of wildlife conservation with the world. And the Australia Zoo benefits by receiving a portion of the proceeds for each book sold!
That’s all it took for me to head for the store and buy a copy for our library.
Bindi’s books offer a different kind of adventure story to the chapter book genre. Any book that starts with a girl having a pet Burmese python wake her up, and smiling at the thought ,brings a whole new concept to the idea of an alarm clock!
Each story is set at the Australia Zoo and features Bindi, Robert, and their mother Terri.
In book 1, Bindi’s birthday party at the zoo is almost spoiled when a 10 year old visitor tries to steal one of the zoo’s water dragons. Can Robert and a very special green macaw save the day and Bindi’s birthday party? You will have to read the book to find out!
Animal Fact Files with important facts about the featured animals are included in each book. Including some non-fiction facts with the fictional story is a great way to get kids started in some research of their own. Bindi’s books are appropriate for ages 7+. Check them out! They are a fun addition to any children’s library!
What adventure stories do you like?
Which Bindi Wildlife Adventures have you read?
Do you have a story about how you found a book?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
February Book Reviews on PhotoPeach
Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda – Review by Julius
This is a magical and mysterious book about wizards and sorcerers. There are two boys that are best friends and one happens to be the king of all the land. The king’s best friend, Jarred is accused of trying to kill the king. He is banished from the palace and has to survive in the poor town of Del.
Suddenly he finds out that there has been a great darkness that has been attacking Del for a long time. His son and his partner in crime have to set out and find the stones that complete the belt of light and defeat the shadow lord. CAN THEY SURVIVE?
There are many reasons why I liked this book. Here are a few; this book has a lot of adventure and fantasy, and I love adventure and fantasy. Also, this book reminded me of Harry Potter because it has that whole wizards and wands defeating the darkness effect.
Another reason why I love this book is that it was very suspenseful. Throughout the book, I was so scared to turn the page because you didn`t want something horrid to happen to the characters, but yet you didn`t want to stop because you were also dying to know what happens next.
This is a quite easy read and is fairly short. I really recommend this book to any age, although you have to be a fantasy and adventure lover because this book contains a lot of it. Even so, you should still give this book a go because I am betting you will like it.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow -Review by Blake
This is a great, fun filled book about Winston, but please calls him Marcus. He is only 17 years old, but he has figured out how the system works and he works the system; a smart, fast and wise, networked world. He has no trouble outwitting his high school surveillance systems. His whole world changes when he and his friends skip school and get caught in the after math of a terrorist attack in downtown San Francisco. He is captured by the Dept. of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret asylum. Read the book to find out the rest!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney – Review by Elliott
This is about a kid named Greg who is having a hard time in middle school. He is trying to fit in with all the so called popular kids. He also just lost his best friend, but deep inside they still want to be friends. They are both trying to find new friends, but keep ending up together somehow. You will be taken on a long and funny ride with Greg as you experience his life and his friends. Be sure to read the other books first, as this is number 5 in the series. If you like really funny books, this one is for you!
Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman by Dave Pilkey- Review by Mark
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action because it is funny and it has a lot of fighting in it. It is really interesting because the teacher turned into a villain and had hands coming out of her hair!! The author gives a lot of details in the story; for example when they were about to go to sleep and they heard something in the bushes and it turned out to be the Wedgie Woman! She took them and made a portrait of George and Harold so the other children would not notice that they are not there. The author makes the story interesting and you do not want to do anything until you finish it.
Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis - Review by Devon
Have you ever felt so lonely, that you want to rip the despicable out of everybody you never met? Well I could tell you, not the best idea…. But don’t try to explain this to Buddy….. I MEAN BUD!
Bud is not too bright, which means that his imagination can lead to some drastic things, but cause some great adventures… Would you try to escape from a foster family with a boy who sticks pencils up your nose and makes your nose drip in the puddles of blood, when they lock you outside the house in a scary dark shed? I guess not, but Bud can’t stop himself. He’s pretty smart which greatly adds to the adventures of Bud Cosweld on the lam!
This book is amazing… a perfect book for anybody who wants to read an amazing story they can’t put down. This book is my favorite!
Eldest by Christopher Paolini–Review by Moses
Eldest, the second book of the Inheritance series is a timeless fantasy! After the death of Durza (Gallbatorix’s right hand man) and the victory for the Varden, Eragon suffers from a fatal scar from the duel with Durza in the first book. Too make matters worse Adjaid, king of the Varden and Murtagh dies, Eragon mourns for them. Meanwhile Gallbatorix is planning something to avenge his defeat. I recommend Eldest for older readers because of violence. I really enjoy this book, Check it out today!
Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan -Review by Jack
“Look, I don’t want to be a half blood.” This is what Percy Jackson said before he started his long journey. He did not know the gods were tangling him in a mystery of the stolen lightning bolt. One that no simple person would have imagined. He could see what no normal person could see. Percy never wanted to be a half-blood. He just was.
This book is about his big adventure to unlock the mystery of Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt. Only Percy and his two friends are on the journey. All the Greek gods think he stole it, except his father. Percy was set to have an adventure he never asked for. One a half blood had to face, even though Percy never asked to be a half blood, or have a marvelous adventure. It was hard enough with the mystery of his father’s disappearance and his mom’s terrifying boyfriend.
If you like the Greek gods, or want to read about a half blood’s exclusive adventure, this is the book for you. I recommend this book to everyone.
Bella The Bunny Fairy by Daisy Meadows- Review by Diana
Bella is a fairy that had a bunny until Jack Frost took the magical bunny. Rachel and Kristy are both best friends they also are friends to the fairies. The setting is in Rachel’s cousins house at Easter. The pets found a hole in the castle wall, so they escaped to the human world. Will the friends rescue the bunny or will the goblins take the bunny back to the castle? Read this book to find out.
Green lawns, balls of twine and 12 year old kids? You are probably wondering how those topics could possibly relate to one another. Well, really they’re not….and they are topics of the new books in our library!
Lawn Boy Returns continues the funny story of the 12 year old boy who becomes a millionaire by mowing lawns. Lawn Boy only wanted to make enough money to buy a new inner tube for his bicycle tire and ended up with a stockbroker, a prizefighter, property and more problems than any 12 year old wants to handle. Equal parts quirky and funny-check out this new book by Paulsen, author of Hatchet.
Dan Gutman’s book, The Genius Files, is the first of what looks like a new thriller adventure series. Genious 12 year old twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald (yes, those really are their names) join their parents on an RV cross-country trip visiting the Spam museum, escaping harm in some sand dunes and deciphering codes that lead them to places like The World’s Largest Ball of Twine and The House on the Rock. Gutman includes sidebar notes with information the reader can use to track the trip using GoogleMaps. If you are a Gutman fan, or liked the 39 Clues series, then you will definitely want to read this new book.
Enter into the world of talking animals with Thelonious Chipmunk! All the animals wonder….did humans really exist or are they just some kind of ancient legend?
Everyone tells Thelonious that humans aren’t real, but he believes he has proof they really did exist. Join Thelonious on his adventure from the City of Ruins to Fog Mound to find out where the humans really went.
The Fog Mound series by Susan Schade and Jon Buller are part graphic novel, regular novel, adventure, fantasy and science fiction!
Josa donated these books to our library and hopes you will join him on a Theolious Chipmunk adventure. He says these books are good because “they are the type of book with writing and comics. They tell a good story about a chipmunk on an adventure. It’s just so cool to imagine that a chipmunk could go on this kind of adventure!” You have to read them to find out more! Find them in our graphic novel section of the library!