Thursday, September 3, 2015

Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

Alanna has always dreamed of being a knight and going on adventures, but she is a girl.  When her father decrees that she will go to the convent to learn to be a lady and her twin brother Thom will go to the castle to become a knight she hatches a plan -- they switch places.  Alanna is determined to hide her identity long enough to become a knight.  But it's difficult always being on guard and hiding your true identity from your friends.  Plus, there's Duke Roger who seems to be out to get her for some reason . . .

The Song of the Lioness Quartet was one of the first female empowered fantasy series for teens.  It's a wonderful story of a girl who shows that she can do anything a boy can and often can do it better.

Alanna: The First Adventure shares the story of Alanna as a page training to be a knight.
In the Hand of the Goddess tells of her years as a squire and her showdown with Duke Roger.
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man tells of her adventures after winning her shield and revealing her true identity.
The Lioness Rampant closes the series with the story of her quest for the Dominion Jewel.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Will You Survive High School?

School has been in session for a couple of weeks now.  We've met out teachers.  We've figured out our schedules and classes.  We're settling into the school routine.  So I thought I would share some books for teens about high school.  Here are a few of my favorites . . . .

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.

The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky
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.

Story Time by Edward Bloor
George and Kate are promised the best education but instead face obsessed administrators, endless tests, and evil spirits when they are transferred to Whittaker Magnet School.

Legacies: A Shadow Grail Novel by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
After her family is killed, Spirit White is taken to Oakhurst Academy, a combination orphanage and school for those with magical powers, where she and her new friends investigate when students start mysteriously disappearing.

Quarantine by Lex Thomas
When a virus deadly to adults infects their high school, brothers David and Will and the other students soon break into gangs that fight each other for survival and the hope of escaping their quarantine.

More Teen Books About High School --
The Brimstone Journal by Ron Koertge
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Evernight by Claudia Gray
Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudson
A Field Guide to High School: A Novel by Marissa Walsh
Freshman: A Novel by Michael Gerber
Game Changer by Margaret Peterson Haddix
How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller
New Boy by Julian Houston
Nothing: A Novel by Janne Teller
Period 8 by Chris Crutcher
Rikers High by Paul Volponi
Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie: A Novel by David Lubar
The Taking of Room 114: A Hostage Drama in Poems by Mel Glenn
Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes
Variant by Robison Wells

Check out these books on display at the Arnold Branch through September 18, 2015.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Floods: Good Neighbors by Colin Thompson

Everybody has neighbors they don't care for.  Neighbors that are too loud.  Neighbors that fight.  Neighbors that annoy.

For the Floods, those neighbors are the Dents.  The Dents are a family of loud-mouths, sneaks, and thiefs.  Nobody in the neighborhood likes them.

Luckily, the Floods are just any family.  They are a family of witches.  And they have the means to make the Dents into good neighbors . . .

Good Neighbors is the first book in The Floods book series for children in elementary school.  They are family stories that include magic and humor.  In fact, they remind me a lot of the Addams Family in that they are a strange family that is extremely loving.  This is a great series for kids.

Monday, August 24, 2015

It's a Mystery

I love a good mystery book.  I like to see if I can solve the mystery before the characters in the book.  Sometimes I can.  Sometimes I can't.  Here are some great mystery books for kids . . .

Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs
Twelve-year-old Teddy investigates when a popular Texas zoo's star attraction--Henry the hippopotamus--is murdered.

Madhattan Mystery by John J. Bonk
On her first day in New York City with her younger brother, Kevin, twelve-year-old Lexi overhears thieves discussing where to hide stolen jewels, and the siblings, along with their aunt's neighbor, Kim Ling, skip day camp to investigate "the crime of thecentury."

Reality Leak by Joni Sensel
Train noises without trains and mysterious explosions baffle the residents of South Wiggot as eleven-year-old Bryan and his friend Spot try to connect the strange happenings with the town's newest industry and its president, Mr. Keen.

Kepler's Dream by Juliet Bell
While her mother undergoes radical cancer treatment, eleven-year-old Ella stays with her father's mother in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she learns about grammar and family history, and helps investigate the theft of an extremely rare book from her grandmother's library.

The Inquisitor's Apprentice by Chris Moriarity
In early twentieth-century New York, Sacha Kessler's ability to see witches earns him an apprenticeship to the police department's star Inquisitor, Maximillian Wolf, to help stop magical crime and, with fellow apprentice Lily Astral, Sacha investigates who is trying to kill Thomas Edison, whose mechanical witch detector could unleash the worst witch-hunt in American history.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Time for School!

The kids are starting back to school this week -- so I'm sharing some of my favorite school stories for children.

Minerva Louise at School by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Out for an early morning walk, a chicken wanders into a school that she mistakes for a fancy barn.

Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry Allard
The kids in Room 207 take advantage of their teacher's good nature until she disappears and they are faced with a vile substitute.

One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Lessons for the School Years and Beyond by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Presents vocabulary words and life lessons, with cookie-baking as the theme of the book.

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School by Jane Yolen
Illustrations and rhyming text depict dinosaurs as they ride the bus to school, jump on top of their desks, read their favorite books, and have fun on the playground with all of their friends.

The Orange Shoes by Trinka Hakes Noble
Delly Porter enjoys the feel of soft dirt beneath her feet as she walks to and from school, but after a classmate makes her feel ashamed of having no shoes she learns that her parents and others, too, see value in things that do not cost money.

More School Picture Books --
Axle Annie by Robin Pulver
Baloney (Henry P.) by Jon Scieszka
Bedhead by Margie Palatini
Dinosaur vs. School by Bob Shea
The Frog Principal by Stephanie Calmenson
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
I Am Absolutely Too Small for School by Lauren Child
I'm Not Ready! by Jonathan Allen
Jeeper's Creepers: A Monstrous ABC by Laura Leuck
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Little Rabbit Goes to School by Harry Horse
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind by Judy Finchler
Moses Goes to School by Isaac Millman
Mr. President Goes to School by Rick Walton
The Night Before Preschool by Natasha Wing
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
Score One for the Sloths by Helen Lester
Sector 7 by David Wiesner
Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polaaco
We Share Everything! by Robert Munsch
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
You Can't Go to School Naked! by Dianne Billstrom

Check out these books and more at the Arnold Branch.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Freakling by Lana Krumwiede

Taemon's family is slowly imploding . . .

His mother is overprotective and refuses to let her sons leave the family.
His father is speaking out against the religious leaders.
His brother is falsely being groomed as the True Son, the prophesied leader of the new age.
And Taemon must hid the fact that he has lost his psi so he doesn't get exiled to live with the Powerless.

Freakling is the first book in the Psi Chronicles by Lana Krumwiede.  It is a great introduction to a new dystopian world.  Where there have been books in the past where everything is done with magic or psychic abilities, this book takes it even further.  It is fascinating to see Taemon learn how to use his hands to accomplish tasks like eating and dressing.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Road Trip! Stories of the Journey

I love a good road trip.  Whether I have a destination in mind or if I'm just making it up as I go, a road trip is always fun.  Here are some great teen books featuring road trips . . .

The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson
Seventeen-year-old Destiny keeps a painful childhood secret all to herself until she and three classmates from her exclusive boarding school take off on an unauthorized road trip in search of "one fair day."

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.

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

Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray
After their best friend Ross dies, English teenagers Blake, Kenny, and Sim plan a proper memorial by taking his ashes to Ross, Scotland, an adventure-filled journey that tests their loyalty to each other and forces them to question what friendship means.

You Are Here: A Novel by Jennifer E. Smith
Sixteen-year-old Emma Healy has never felt that she fit in with the rest of her family, so when she discovers that she had a twin brother who died shortly after they were born, she takes off on an impulsive road trip to try to discover who she really is.

More Books Featuring Road Trips --
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Being Henry David by Cal Armistead
Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron
Num8ers by Rachel Ward
Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown
The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg
Rainbow Road by Alex Sanchez
The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti
There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf
Witch World by Christopher Pike

Check out these books on display at the Arnold Branch through August 28, 2015.