Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fairy Tales . . . With a Twist

The new Disney live-action Beauty and the Beast movie is coming out in a few weeks.  There has been a renaissance of fairy tale movies and books for kids lately.  Here are some of my favorite fairy tale stories for kids . . . .

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
Zita, cast aside by her father and raised as a kitchen maid, learns when she is nearly twelve that she is a princess and that her twelve sisters love her, and so when she discovers they are victims of an evil enchantment, she desperately tries to save them.

Cinderellis and the Glass Hill by Gail Carson Levine
In this humorous retelling of a Perrault tale, a lonely young farm lad uses his unusual inventive ability to pass a nearly impossible test and win the hand of the neighboring princess.

Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl
Rather than marry a cruel king or a seemingly dim-witted prince, an enchanted goose girl endures imprisonment, capture by several ogresses, and other dangers, before learning exactly who she is.

Straw Into Gold by Gary D. Schmidt
Pursued by greedy villains, two boys on a quest to save innocent lives meet the banished queen whose son was stolen by Rumpelstiltskin eleven years earlier, and she provides much more than the answer they seek.

Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde
When almost-thirteen-year-old Princess Imogene is turned into a frog, she puts into practice lessons from the book, The Art of Being a Princess, as she tries to become her less-than-perfect self again.


More Fairy Tales --
Beauty and the Beast: The Only One Who Didn't Run Away by Wendy Mass
The Big, Bad Detective Agency by Bruce Hale
The Cottage in the Woods by Katherine Coville
Flunked by Jen Calonita
Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison
Jack and the Seven Deadly Giants by Sam Swope
Jack: The True Story of Jack & the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff
Princess of the Wild Swans by Diane Zahler
A Question of Magic by E.D. Baker
The Secret History of Tom Trueheart by Ian Beck
Sleeping Beauty's Daughters by Diane Zahler
The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale
Swan Sister: Fairy Tales Retold by Ellen Datlow
A True Princess by Diane Zahler

Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through March 10, 2017.

Monday, February 13, 2017

These Are the People in My Neighborhood

The other day I got the Sesame Street song "These Are the People in My Neighborhood" stuck in my head.  I just kept singing it over and over.  So today, I am sharing some of my favorite "neighborhood" stories for children . . . .

Blackout by John Rocco
Neighbors gather on the roof after the power goes out on a hot night in the city and start having so much fun not everyone is happy when the lights go back on.

Mrs. Muddle's Holidays by Laura Nielson
Although accustomed to celebrating nearly all the holidays on the calendar, the Maple Street neighbors are surprised by the newly-moved-in Mrs. Muddle's definition of a holiday.

Madlenka by Peter Sis
Madlenka, whose New York City neighbors include the French baker, the Indian news vendor, the Italian ice-cream man, the South American grocer, and the Chinese shopkeeper, goes around the block to show her friends her loose tooth and finds that it is like taking a trip around the world.

Something Beautiful by Sharon Wyeth
When she goes looking for "something beautiful" in her city neighborhood, a young girl finds beauty in many different forms.

Building Our House by Jonathan Bean
A young girl narrates her family's move from the city to the country, where they have bought a piece of land and live in a trailer while they build a house from the ground up, with help from relatives and friends.


More Neighborhood Stories --
Adele & Simon by Barbara McClintock
All Through My Town by Jean Reidy
Albert the Fix-It Man by Janet Lord
Bebe Goes Shopping by Susan Middleton Elya
A Bus Called Heaven by Bob Graham
Carl's Sleepy Afternoon by Alexandra Day
Cold Snap by Eileen Spinelli
The Construction Crew by Lynn Meltzer
The Deep, Deep Puddle by Mary Jessie Parker
Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep by Teri Sloat
Goggles by Ezra Jack Keats
The House on Dirty-Third Street by Jo Kittinger
Laundry Day by Maurie Manning
A Letter for Leo by Sergio Ruzzier
Mama and Papa Have a Store by Amelia Carling
The Milkman by Carol Cordsen
Mirror by Jeannie Baker
Out and About at the Baseball Stadium by Bitsy Kemper
Out and About at the Hospital by Nancy Attebury
Out and About at the Supermarket by Kitty Shea
People by Blexbolex
Police: Hurrying! Helping! Saving! by Patricia Hubbell
Shhhhh! Everybody's Sleeping by Julie Markes
Uptown by Bryan Collier
The Village Garage by G. Brian Karas
The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren
Wow! City! by Robert Neubecker

Check these and more "neighborhood" books on display at the Arnold Branch through March 3, 2017.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sometimes You Just Gotta Laugh

It seems to me that teen books are once more trending more towards realistic fiction.  This means that the books are turning more serious.  However, sometimes you just want to have a little humor in your stories.  So here are my favorite funny books for teens . . . .

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Sam LaCroix, a Seattle fast-food worker and college dropout, discovers that he is a necromancer, part of a world of harbingers, werewolves, satyrs, and one particular necromancer who sees Sam as a threat to his lucrative business of raising the dead.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray
In an attempt to find a cure after being diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob's (aka mad cow) disease, Cameron Smith, a disaffected sixteen-year-old boy, sets off on a road trip with a death-obsessed video gaming dwarf he meets in the hospital.

There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff
When the beautiful Lucy prays to fall in love, God, an irresponsible youth named Bob, chooses to answer her prayer personally, to the dismay of this assistant, Mr. B who must try to clean up the resulting catastrophes.

Vampire High by Douglas Rees
When his family moves from California to New Sodom, Massachusetts and Cody enters Vlad Dracul Magnet School, many things seem strange, from the dark-haired, pale-skinned, supernaturally strong students to Charon, the wolf who guides him around campus on the first day.


More Funny Teen Books --
All-American Girl by Meg Cabot
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Boys Don't Knit (in Public) by Tom Easton
Dark Lord, the Early Years by Jamie Thomson
Freshman: A Novel by Michael Gerber
Ghost Town by Richard Jennings
Hellhole by Gina Damico
Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn by Sarah Miller
Me & Earl & the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Mothership by Martin Leicht
My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger
No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
Soul Enchilada by David Macinnes Gill
The Prom Goer's Interstellar Excursion by Chris McCoy
Trouble in Me by Jack Gantos


 Check these books out at the Arnold Branch.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Dragon Tales

Stories of dragons are always a popular request at the library.  Dragons are mysterious and fantastical.  They can be thrilling or chilling.  Here are some of my favorite chapter books featuring dragons.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
Orphaned after a fever epidemic, Creel befriends a dragon and unknowingly inherits an object that can either save or destroy her kingdom.

Thomas and the Dragon Queen by Shutta Crum
When the princess is kidnapped by a dragon queen, thirteen-year-old Thomas, a new--and very small--squire-in-training boldly sets out on a quest to rescue her.

Ivy's Ever After by Dawn Lairamore
Fourteen-year-old Ivy, a most unroyal princess, befriends Elridge, the dragon sent to keep her in a tower, and together they set out on a perilous quest to find Ivy's fairy godmother, who may be able to save both from their dire fates.

Digory the Dragon Slayer by Angela McAllister
Digory, a gentle boy who likes to spend time alone in the forest and make up songs to sing, accidentally becomes a knight and reluctantly sets off to rescue damsels in distress, slay dragons, and marry a princess.


More Dragon Stories --
Aunt Severe and the Dragons by Nicholas Garlick
The Dragon in the Sock Drawer by Kate Klimo
A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans by Laurance Yep
Dragonborn by Toby Forward
Dragonsdale by Salamanda Drake
Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell
Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill
Kenny & The Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi
No Such Thing As Dragons by Philip Reeve
A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin


Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through February 17, 2017.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Whatever by S.J. Goslee

Mike is looking forward to his junior year -- hanging with his friends, dating his girlfriend Lisa, and playing in his band.

Then Lisa breaks up with him.
He's fine with that as they're still best friends and do everything together.
Until he finds out why Lisa broke up with him.

Now Mike must figure out a lot of things - the main one being whether the drunken makeout session with another guy was a one-time thing or if it was something more.


This is a great LGBT story for teens.  Mike is a sympathetic character who has great friends and family.  While he is confused and makes a lot of mistakes along the way, he is ultimately figures out his life and his relationships.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

This is the screenplay of the recently released Harry Potter prequel movie.  It includes the dialogue as well as notes on character movement.  It definitely read much better and easier than this past summer's Harry Potter and the Curse Child screenplay.  I think the additional notes on character movement helped a lot with the reading.

This is a definite must-read for Harry Potter fans and those who enjoyed the movie.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Apollo's been punished by Zeus in the worst possible way -- he's been cast out of Olympus and sent to earth as a human teenage boy.  He's immediately set upon by two thugs before being rescued by a half-feral demigod girl who attacks with rotten fruit.  Now he must serve this demigod girl while trying to keep her safe and discovering who is stealing the power of the oracles.

This is the first book in Rick Riordan's new Greek mythology series.  It was a great read!  The whiny Apollo is surprised by his new human feelings and desires which makes for some hilarious incidents.  It was also great to revisit some of the favorite characters from the two previous Percy Jackson series.