Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Celebrate Libraries during National Library Week! -- Part 1

This week is National Library Week!  Here are a few of my favorite picture books about libraries.

The Library Lion by Michelle Knudson
A lion starts visiting the local library but runs into trouble as he tries to both obey the rules and help his librarian friend.

The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians by Carla Morris
Melvin discovers that the public library is the place where he can find just about anything--including three librarians who help in his quest for knowledge.

The Library by Sarah Stewart
Elizabeth Brown loves to read more than anything else, but when her collection of books grows and grows, she must make a change in her life.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Blue & The Gray: Stories of the Civil War

Learn a little more about the Civil War through the following stories . . .

Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel by Kathleen Karr
A first-person narrative from a camel's viewpoint about being sent from Egypt to serve in the United States Camel Corps, and life on the Mojave Desert before and during the Civil War.

Private Captain: A Story of Gettysburg by Marty Crisp
In 1863 Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Ben and his dog Captain set off in search of Ben's brother, who is missing from the Union Army.

Soldier's Heart: A Novel of the Civil War by Gary Paulsen
Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat.

All Their Names Were Courage by Sharon Phillips Denslow
In 1862, as William Burd fights in the Civil War, he exchanges letters with his sister, Sallie, who is also writing to Confederate and Union generals asking about their horses in order to write a book.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pure Poetry: Novels in Verse

April is celebrated as National Poetry Month.  In celebration, pick up a teen book written in verse . . .

The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick
A coming of age novel in verse about sixteen-year-old Billy who runs away from his alcoholic father, lives in an abandoned freight train, falls in love with a rich girl, and ultimately learns the meaning of family.

One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
Fifteen-year-old Ruby Milliken leaves her best friend, her boyfriend, her aunt, and her mother's grave in Boston and reluctantly flies to Los Angeles to live with her father, a famous movie star who divorced her mother before Ruby was born.

The Brimstone Journals by Ronald Koertge
In a series of short interconnected poems, students at a high school nicknamed Brimstone reveal the violence existing and growing in their lives.

Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood by Jame Richards
Sixteen-year-old Celestia is a wealthy member of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, where she meets and falls in love with Peter, a hired hand who lives in the valley below, and by the time of the torrential rains that lead to the disastrous Johnstown flood of 1889, she has been disowned by her family and is staying with him in Johnstown. Includes an author's note and historical timeline.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Yesterday was the home opener for the St. Louis Cardinals.  (GO CARDS!!!)  With the start of the baseball season, it is the perfect time to read some great picture books about baseball.  Here are some of my favorite baseball books . . .

Take Me Out to the Ball Game by Maryann Kovalski
A grandmother makes a special day of it with her granddaughters at the baseball game.

The Bat Boy & His Violin by Curtis Gavin
Reginald is more interested in practicing his violin than in his father's job managing the worst team in the Negro Leagues, but when Papa makes him the bat boy and his music begins to lead the team to victory, Papa realizes the value of his son's passion.

Roasted Peanuts by Tim Egan
Sam the horse gets picked to be on the local baseball team, but unfortunately his friend Jackson the cat, despite being a good thrower, is not selected.

Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth by Robert Burleigh
A poetic account of the legendary Babe Ruth as he prepares to make a home run.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Possessions by Ray Fawkes

Gurgazon the Unclean is the cutest little demon you have ever seen.  She looks like an adorable little girl -- only with dirty and smelly.  She's just been captured and trapped in Mrs. Llewellyn-Vane's house with several other ghosts and spirits.  And she is determined to escape!

The artwork for this graphic novel series for kids is great!  I love the contrast between cute little girl and dirty, smelly, mean demon.  A great graphic novel series for kids.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkuba


Maka is training Soul to become a death scythe to be used by Lord Death.  The job was nearly done when they had to start all over.  Now they have to find 99 more souls before facing a witch to finish the training.

Black Star is the best ninja assassin in the world!  If only he didn't announce his every intention with a shout - making it hard for him and Tsubaki to take any souls at all.

Death the Kid is Lord Death's son.  Although he doesn't need to, he decides to start attending the Death Weapon Meister Academy with Maka, Soul, Black Star and Tsubaki.

Now they must all learn to work together -- for soon they will be facing the witch Medusa who is trying to make a kishin to destroy the world.

Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkuba is a great manga series for both boys and girls.  It has action, the supernatural and lots of comedy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools!

April Fools Day can be a lot of fun for kids!  They love to pull a joke over on their friends and family.  Extend the fun with these two great books featuring April Fools Day stories.


April Foolishness by Teresa Bateman
Grandma, Grandpa, and the grandkids enjoy April Fools' Day on the farm.



Barnyard Fun by Maureen Wright
When Sheep finds out that it is April Fools' Day, he plays jokes on Rooster, Dog, Pig, and Cow, before Horse plays a trick on Sheep.