Monday, March 20, 2017

Alien Encounters & Adventures

This week, I am sharing chapter books featuring aliens.  Here are some of my favorites . . .

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
While picking up milk for his children's cereal, a father is abducted by aliens and finds himself on a wild adventure through time and space.

Can of Worms by Kathy Mackel
Bullied and unhappy at school, thirteen-year-old Mike, who has always thought that he might be an alien, sends a distress call into space asking to be rescued from the ignorance and cruelty of his life on Earth.

Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith
Unhappy at being sent to stay with his grandmother at the inn she operates, The Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, Scrub discovers that each room is actually a portal to space and the inn's visitors are aliens who are vacationing on Earth.

Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight by Wendy Mass
On "Take Your Kid to Work Day," eight-year-old Archie discovers that his father drives a space taxi that shuttles aliens from one area of the universe to another.


More Books --
Alien Encounter by Charise Mericle Harper
Alien Feast by Michael Simmons
Alienated by Andrew Auseon
Bongo Fishing by Thacher Hurd
Cakes in Space by Philip Reeve
Escape from Planet Yastol by Pamela F. Service
Froonga Planet by Bryan Fields
Galaxy's Most Wanted by John Kloepfer
Herbert's Wormhole by Peter Nelson
Little Green Men at the Mercry Inn by Greg Smith
The Orphan Army by Jonathan Maberry
Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka
Willy Maykit in Space by Greg Trine

Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through April 7, 2017.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Best Man by Richard Peck

Archer Magill has three heroes in his life -- his architect grandpa, his car remodeler dad, and his cool Uncle Paul.  Then during his fifth grade year he meets his fourth hero -- teacher Mr. McLeod.  That's the year his class and teacher become celebrities.  That's the year his life starts to change in big ways and he'll need all four of those heroes to help him through.

This is a simple everyday story of a boy's life.  It is a great book for boys as it focuses on the wonderful role models and heroes he has in his life.  I would highly recommend this chapter book for all boys to read.

Monday, March 13, 2017

It's Not Easy Being Green!

St. Patrick's Day is coming up this week which means parents and teachers are wanting books for the holiday to read to their kids.  Unfortunately, there are not a huge amount of books about St. Patrick's Day and they are usually already checked out.  So this week, I'm sharing some of my favorite books about the color green  . . .

Good Luck Bear by Greg Foley
When Bear's friend Mouse tells him that finding a four-leaf clover means one is lucky, the little bear searches for one, despite the discouraging words of other animals.

Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
A little blue spot and a little yellow spot are best friends, and when they hug each other they become green.

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary great-grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden.

Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long
Frogs sing and do their own version of the Hokey Pokey.

Turtle Island by Kevin Sherry
A giant turtle's loneliness ends when a boatload of animals is shipwrecked and makes a temporary home on his shell. But when they decide to sail for home, will the turtle be alone once more?


More Picture Books About the Color Green --
Alberto the Dancing Alligator by Richard Waring
Beware of the Frog by William Bee
Duck and Cover by Jackie Urbanovic
For Pete's Sake by Ellen Stoll Walsh
A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson
Froggy Plays in the Band by Jonathan London
Gator Gumbo by Candace Felming
A Girl and Her Gator by Sean Bryan
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Green as a Bean by Karla Kuskin
The Green Bath by Margaret Mahy
Green Beans by Elizabeth Thomas
The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber
How Marth Saved Her Parents from Green Beans by David LaRochelle
Hug Me by SImona Ciraolo
I, Crocodile by Fred Marcellino
Jump! by Scott Fischer
The Little Green Goose by Adele Sansone
Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The Little Pea by Eric Battut
Lizette's Green Sock by Catharina Valckx
Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber
My Snake Blake by Randy Siegel
The Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellop
The Pickle Patch Bathtub by Fran Kennedy
Ribbit! by Rodirgo Folguiera
Suddenly Alligator by Rick Walton
Sylvie & True by David McPhail
Underground Gators by  Tina Casey
Verdi by Janell Cannon
Very Boring Alligator by Jean Gralley
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli


Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch though March 31, 2017.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Murder, Mayhem & Mystery

This week, I am focusing on books for teens that include murder, mayhem and mystery . . . .

The Golden Day by Ursula Durbosarsky
Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, follows the chilling stories of eleven school girls who struggle to identify a mysterious poet in the aftermath of a teacher's innocence-shattering disappearance.

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
Flynn's girlfriend is missing, and people are suspecting him of knowing something, so he struggles to uncover her secrets as he must also face the truth about himself.

Fake I.D. by L.R. Riles
An African-American teen in the Witness Protection Program moves to a new town and finds himself trying to solve a murder mystery when his first friend is found dead.

The Invisible by Mats Wahl
A Swedish teenager is assaulted and killed, but returns as a ghost to find his killer.

The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni
Returning to her hometown of Catawissa, Pennsylvania, in 1867 to marry a man she has never met, seventeen-year-old Verity Boone gets caught up in the a mystery surrounding the graves of her mother and aunt and a dangerous hunt for Revolutionary-era gold.


More Books --
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Deadly Design by Debra Doktor
Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge by David Lubar
Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner
The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Sheperd
The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude
Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn
The Morgue and Me by John C. Ford
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Playing in Traffic by Gail Giles
Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard
Seraphina by Rachel Harman
A Taste for Monsters by Matthew Kirby
Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger
Unlovely by Celeste Conway
Vango: Between Sky and Earth by Timothee de Fombelle


Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through March 24, 2017.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Once a year, the youngest baby in the Protectorate is taken and left in the woods for the witch.  The witch steals the baby and eats it . . . .

Once a year, a witch finds an abandoned baby in the woods and rescues it.  She takes it to a loving family on the other side of the forest . . . .

One year, Xan the witch discovers a baby girl that steals her heart.  That year, Xan falls in love with the baby and feeds it moonlight enmagicking her.  This is the year that everything starts to change . . . for Xan, for the baby, for the forest, for the Protectorate, for the world.


I have loved all of Kelly Barnhill's books.  They are very sophisticated original fairy tales for children.  So I was looking forward to reading her latest.  Then it was declared the winner of the Newbery Award and I immediately checked it out.  I absolutely loved this book.  It's probably my favorite Newbery winner since The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  The characters capture your interest while the plot twists keep you reading.  This is a great read for all children and teens.

Monday, February 27, 2017

My Favorite Dr. Seuss Books

Each year for Read Across America, we hold a Dr. Seuss Read-A-Rama where community members read their favorite Dr. Seuss stories to children in the library.  It is one of my favorite programs each year.  Since, Read Across America is coming up on Thursday (March 2), I thought I would share my favorite Dr. Seuss books to share with kids . . . .

Fox in Socks
I love reading this silly tongue twister book with older kids.  I've read it often enough that I can read it very, very quickly.  Before reading the book, I will ask kids to keep track of any "mistakes" I make while reading the book.  I start off at a normal speed.  After reading several pages, I'll ask if they want me to go faster.  I continue to ask that throughout the book until I reach top speed for the last 2-3 pages.  I can usually read the book making only 7-8 mistakes.  If the children are older, I'll ask for some volunteers to try reading to see if they can do it without mistakes.  If I'm in a school setting, I'll sometimes do a competition with the teachers to see who reads it best.


Yertle the Turtle
I love the short story Yertle the Turtle in the compilation book of the same name.  It is the rare Dr. Seuss story with a message that I like.  I think the lesson is included in the story in a more subtle way than usual.  I think it works great with preschoolers all the way up to high school.  With the older children and teens, you can get into the comparisons with political systems and discuss dictatorships.

My Many Colored Day
This is one book that most people never associate with Dr. Seuss.  It is nothing like most of his books from the rhyming scheme to the illustrations, it is a very different Dr. Seuss.  It is a great book to use with younger children to introduce the different emotions and feelings.  It explains them all by comparing them to colors, animals, and objects.

Hooray for Diffendoofer Day
This is another Dr. Seuss book that a lot of people are not familiar with.  The text was started by Dr. Seuss and then completed by Jack Prelutsky after Seuss's death.  Prelutsky used the story notes Dr. Seuss had left to finish the story.  It was then illustrated by Lane Smith so the illustrations are very different from the classic Seuss stories.  This is a great book to read in schools around test time as both the students and the teachers enjoy the story of a school that does magnificently on a standardized test.

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.