Monday, October 16, 2017

Time for a Field Trip!

School has been back in session for a couple months now.  Kids are starting to look forward to field trips.  So this week I'm sharing some great chapter books about school field trips . . . .

The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone
Ruthie thinks nothing exciting will ever happen to her until her sixth-grade class visits the Art Institute of Chicago, where she and her best friend Jack discover a magic key that shrinks them to the size of gerbils and allows them to explore the Thorne Rooms--the collection of sixty-eight miniature rooms from various time periods and places--and discover their secrets.

Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson
Keena and her second-grade class go on a field trip to the United States Capitol where they meet a congressman and Keena makes a big impression, which she documents in her new journal.

Willy Maykit in Space by Greg Trin
When Willy Maykit gets stranded on Planet Ed during a class trip to outer space, he's in for an adventure. But will he be able to outwit the monsters inhabiting Ed and find his way back home?

The Night I Flunked My Field Trip by Henry Winkler
Fourth-grader Hank, while on a field trip aboard "The Pilgrim Spirit," tries to learn knot tying in his own unique way, which causes unforeseen problems.


More Books --
Amelia's Most Unforgettable Embarrassing Moments by Marissa Moss
Bearwalker by Joseph Bruchac
Carlos Is Gonna Get It by Kevin Emerson
Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker
Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus by Tom Angleberger
Field Trip by Gary Paulsen
Magic Pickle and the Creature from the Black Legume by Scott Morse
Martin Bridge On the Lookout! by Jessica Scott Kerrin
Medusa Jones by Ross Collins
Saving Lilly by Peg Kehret
Skeleton Island by Angie Sage
Triple Take by Kenny Abdo 


Check these books out on display at the library at the Arnold Branch through November 3, 2017.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

Mary Alice and her brother have spent summers with her Grandma Dowdel in the past.  Now, however, she's spending a whole year by herself with Grandma while her father looks for work and her brother is out west working on a WPA job.  She doesn't know what to expect from the hick town or her outspoken grandma.  All she knows is that is going to be an unusual year like nothing she's ever known before.

This sequel to the Newbery Medal book A Long Way From Chicago shares a year in the life of sixteen year old Mary Alice in a small southern Illinois town.  The stories are full of hometown characters and humor.  Grandma Dowdel is a woman unlike anybody else and one that you definitely want to get to know.  The audio version would be great for a family car trip.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Colorful Stories for Preschoolers

One thing that every child needs to know before starting school is their colors.  So this week I'm sharing some of my favorite pictures books about colors . . . .

Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson
While taking a walk with Mouse, Bear meets many other friends and sees colors everywhere.

The Black Book of Colors by Merena Cottin
 This title invites readers to imagine living without sight through remarkable illustrations done with raised lines and descriptions of colors based on imagery. Braille letters accompany the illustrations and a full Braille alphabet offers sighted readers help reading along with their fingers.

Warthogs Paint: A Messy Color Book by Pamela Duncan Edwards
As some warthogs spend a rainy day painting their kitchen, they make a mess and learn about mixing colors.

Press Here by Herve Tullet
Instructs the reader on how to interact with the illustrations to manipulate yellow, blue, and red dots.

Vincent Paints His House by Tedd Arnold
In this playful picture book homage to artist Vincent van Gogh, a house gets a brilliantly colorful paint job.


More Books --
April Wilson's Magpie Magic: A Tale of Colorful Mischief by April Wilson
Baby Shoes by Dashka Slater
The Black and White Factory by Eric Telchin
Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett
Blue Goose by Nancy Tafuri
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd
Elmer by David McKee
Freight Train by Donald Crews
Hello, Red Fox by Eric Carle
I Like Black and White by Barbara Jean Hicks
I Know a Wee Piggy by Kim Norman
I Spy on the Farm by Edward Gibbs
It's an Orange Aardvark! by Michael Hall
Kitten Red, Yellow, Blue by Peter Catalanotto
Lemons Are Not Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Magic Colors by Patrick George
Mis Colores, I Mundo = My Colors, My World by Maya Christina Gonzalez
Ned's New Home by KEvin Tseng
Nighty-Night, Little Green Monster by Ed Emberley
A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis
Pirate Nap: A Book of Colors by Danna Smith
Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall
Red, Red, Red by Valeri Gorbachev
Red Sings from the Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman
The Wonders of the Color Wheel by Charles Ghigna


Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through October 27, 2017.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

It's 1888, and British magisters have always ruled the colonies of hte New World.  But now an underground society of mechanics, scientists, and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power.  With these steam engines and dynamos they hope to gain their freedom.

When Verity Newton arrives in New York and lands a job as a governess for a leading magister family, she quickly learns they have some big secrets.  Why does it seem that the children's young uncle is sympathetic to the Rebel Mechanics cause?  And why does he come home battered and bloody so often?

As Charity falls for a Rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy against the magisters, she also becomes more enmeshed in the magister family's life.  She soon realizes she's in a unique position to help the rebellion -- but to do so she'll have to reveal her dangerous secret . . .


This is the first book in the Rebel Mechanics series by Shanna Swendson.  It is a great alternate history story that incorporates both magic and steampunk.  The characters are interesting and draw you into the story.  I would highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction, romance, fantasy, or steampunk.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Laugh Out Loud

Sometimes we just need a good laugh.  So this week, I'm sharing some of my favorite funny teen books . . . .

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons' kingdom.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island's other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schrieber
Perry's parents insist that he take Gobi, their Lithuanian exchange student, to senior prom but after an incident at the dance he learns that Gobi is actually an assassin who needs him as a henchman on a mission in Manhattan.

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.

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins & Fenway Park by Steve Kluger
Three teenagers in Boston narrate their experiences of a year of new friendships, first loves, and coming into their own.


More Funny Books --
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney
Boys Don't Knit (In Public) by T.S. Easton
Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen
Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
I Woke Up Dead at the Mall by Judy Sheehan
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly
Soul Enchilada by David Gill
Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor
Three Clams and an Oyster by Randy Powell
The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer
We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen


Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through October 13, 2017.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Go on an Adventure . . . with a Book

This week, I'm sharing some of my favorite adventure chapter books with you . . . .

Jack the Castaway by Lisa Doan
Upon the death of his Aunt Julia, twelve-year-old Jack is whisked by his scheming and dreaming parents from Pennsylvania to a small Caribbean island, Compano, and soon finds himself alone on a deserted island.

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.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Gen flaunts his ingenuity as a thief and relishes the adventure which takes him to a remote temple of the gods where he will attempt to steal a precious stone.

Ms. Rapscott's Girls by Elisa Primavera
At Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents, Ms. Rapscott teaches her students How to Get Lost on Purpose, resulting in a series of fantastical adventures that makes each learn a little something about courage, strength, bravery, and teamwork.


More Adventure Tales --
The Adventures of Henry Whiskers by Gigi Priebe
Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks
Holly Farb and the Princess of the Galaxy by Gareth Wronski
The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwith
The Jolly Regina by Kara LqaReau
The Magic Mirror by Susan Hill
The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle by Deva Fagan
My Near-Death Adventures (99% True) by Alison DeCamp
Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins
Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Etsby Dagg
The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi
The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers
Walking with the Dead by L.M. Falcone


Check these books out of display at the Arnold Branch through October 6, 2017.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts by Richard Peck

Russell Culver, 15 years old, is raring to light out for the Dakotas to join one of the team of harvesters working the new 1904 all-steel Case Special threshing machine.  The only thing standing in his way is school.

Lucky for him, his teacher just dropped dead weeks before the start of school.  Hopefully, the school board will decide there aren't enough students to hire another teacher and keep the school open.

No such luck.  Russell and his schoolmates are about to get the teacher of their nightmares -- Russell's sister Tansy.

Despite stolen supplies, vandalism, privy fires, and snakes, Russell discovers the new school year isn't as bad as he first thought.  In fact, it might just give him a new dream.



This is another great historical book from Richard Peck looking at rural Indiana in 1904.  Readers will enjoy hearing how people thought differently about education years ago.  This would be a great book for boys to read.