Thursday, December 1, 2016

Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat by Gary Paulsen

Jordan is in the bathroom after school trying to stop his latest nosebleed when the loudspeaker crackles and announces a storm warning.  All kids are to take shelter.  Five other boys quickly gather in the bathroom to wait out the storm.

Six boys are in the bathroom -- talking and passing the time.

Jordan, who has social anxiety and gets nosebleeds when he has to deal with more than a couple of people at a time.

Avery, the new kid, who hid and slept through his entire first day of school.

Taylor, the kid who is struggling and takes out his frustrations on others.

Mason, the smart kid without friends who is tutoring Taylor.

Reagan, the overachiever who has so many extracurriculars he doesn't have a free moment.

Dylan, who spends all his time in his own world rocking out and playing air guitar.

And then there is the stuffed cat . . . .


This is a great story for kids.  While it is short without a lot of action, it does contain a lot of character development.  You really get to know the six boys as they spend the afternoon in the bathroom.  As an added bonus, the story was turned into a short one-act play that is included in the book.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Stories on the Go!

Transportation is always a popular topic for young children.  It is probably one of our most requested subjects.  So this week, I am sharing some of my favorite transportation picture books for children ....

Night Light by Nicholas Blechman
Count the lights and, through die-cut pages, find out which vehicle they belong to.

Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen
Young Violet's only friend is her dog, Orville, until one of her homemade flying machines takes her to the rescue of a Boy Scout troop in trouble.

The Animals' Ark by Marianne Dubuc
When all the lands become flooded, the animals find shelter on Mr. Noah's ark, but as the rain continues, tempers flare aboard the boat.

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
A duck decides to ride a bike and soon influences all the other animals on the farm to ride bikes too.

Iron Horses by Verla Kay
Illustrations and simple rhyming text depict the race to construct railroads across the country during the second half of the nineteenth century.


More Transportation Stories --
1-2-3 Va-Va-Vroom! A Counting Book by Sarah Lynn
Airplanes: Soaring! Turning! Diving! by Patricia Hubbell
Along a Long Road by Frank Viva
Are We There Yet? by Dandi Daley MacKall
Bear on a Bike by Stella Blackstone
Big Rig by Jamie Swenson
Boats Float! by George Ella Lyon
Cars Galore by Peter Stein
Come Fly with Me by Satomi Ichikawa
The Diggers Are Coming! by Susan Steggall
Dinosoaring by Deb Lund
Down by the Barn by Will Hillenbrand
Fire Engine No. 9 by Mike Austin
Five Trucks by Brian Floca
Freight Train by Donald Crews
Honk Honk! Beep Beep! by Daniel Kirk
Hot Rod Hamster by Cynthia Lord
How to Eat an Airplane by Peter Pearson
If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
I'm Cool! by Kate McMullan
The Life of a Car by Susan Steggall
Lightship by Brian Floca
McToad Mows Tiny Island by Tom Angleberger
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Minerva Louise and the Red Truck by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Nascar ABCs by Paul DeBois Jacobs
One-Dog Canoe by Mary Casanova
A Plane Goes Ka-Zoom! by Jonathan London
Pugs in a Bug by Carolyn Crimi
Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee
Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Marla Frazee
Sakes Alive! A Cattle Drive by Karma Wilson
Scuffy the Tugboat by Gertrude Crampton
The Smushy Bus by Leslie Helakoski
Subway by Christoph Niemann
Those Magnificent Sheep in Their Flying Machine by Peter Bently
Train by Elisha Cooper
The Tweedles Go Electric by Monica Kulling
What Do Wheels Do All Day? by April Jones Prince
Yellow Copter by Kersten Hamilton
Zoom! Zoom! Sounds of Things That Go in the City by Robert Burleigh


Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through December 16, 2016.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

We Remember . . . Lest We Forget

This week, I am highlighting books featuring soldiers.  With the recent Veterans Day holiday and upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, this is a great time to remember and thank the men and women who served in our armed forces.  So here are some of my favorite war stories for teens . . .


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.

Soldier's Heart 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.

The Right Fight by Chris Lynch
When the draft board calls on the eve of World War II, Roman leaves behind a career in minor-league baseball to join the army, and finds himself driving a tank in the North African campaign.

Front Lines by Michael Grant
After a court decision that makes women eligible for service in the fight against the Nazis, three young women volunteer to serve their country, unaware that their decisions will take them to the front lines of the conflict.


More Stories of War --
B for Buster by Iain Lawrence
Crossing Stones by Helen Frost
Eyes of the Emperor by Graham Salisbury
Five 4ths of July by Pat Hughes
For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy by Kimberly Bradley
I Had Seen Castles by Cynthia Rylant
Invasion! by Walter Dean Myers
Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
Search and Destroy by Dean Hughes
Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry  Mazer
Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
Tamar by Mal Peet


Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through December 9, 2016.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

This is a copy of Harry Potter's copy of his Care of Magical Creatures textbook complete with notes written by Harry, Ron and Hermione.  It lists the many different types of magical creatures found in the world.

This is a must-read for those wanting to see the new Fantastic Beasts movie coming out this next weekend.  The "author" Newt Scamander is the basis for the movie.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Family Is What You Make It

November is National Adoption Month.  So today I am sharing books about those families that choose to be family -- books about adoption . . .

Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill
It's the 1920s, and Bo was headed for an Alaska orphanage when she won the hearts of two tough gold miners who set out to raise her, enthusiastically helped by all the kind people of the nearby Eskimo village.

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Levy
Relates the adventures of a family with two fathers, four adopted boys, and a variety of pets as they make their way through a school year, Kindergarten through sixth grade, and deal with a grumpy new neighbor.

Minion by John David Anderson
Michael Morn is a supervillain-in-training and the adoptive son of the brilliant criminal mastermind whose sense of right and wrong is thrown into question when a new superhero arrives in town.

Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay
After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron's relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes, until they help her go back to Italy where she was born to find a special momento of her past.


More Stories About Adoption --
All the Broken Pieces by Ann Burg
As Simple as It Seems by Sarah Weeks
The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh
Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata
The Imagination Box by Martyn Ford
Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent
Red Butterfly by A.L. Sonnichsen
Rory's Promise by Michaela MacCall
Trophy Kid, or, How I Was Adopted by the Rich and Famous by Steve Atinsky


Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through December 2, 2016.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

It's been six weeks since Magnus and his friends returned from defeating Fenris Wolf and the fire giants.  Magnus has been adjusting to his new life at the Hotel Valhalla.

Then he gets news that Sam needs to meet.  Turns out her father Loki has arranged a marriage between Sam and and a giant.

Magnus must help Sam avoid the marriage with the help of his friends Blitz and Hearthstone and new einherjar Alex.



This is the second book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgaard series.  It's a great addition to the series.  The peril is just as high while the humor keeps you laughing.  A definite must-read for Rick Riordan fans.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma

Yotsuba is a small, green-haired girl with an exuberant outlook on life.  She has recently moved to a new city with her "dad" and now has three sisters as her next door neighbors.

This series tells short, simple stories of Yotsuba and her interactions with her dad, neighbors, and new world.


This series would be a great introduction to manga.  It is appropriate for kids and teens.  Yotsuba is very innocent and the stories reflect that.