Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Trip Around the World

I have found myself this past week really dreaming about going on a trip . . . somewhere . . . anywhere.  So I decided to share some great books that will take us around the world.

Caddy's World by Hilary McKay (England)
Twelve-year-old Caddy's world turns upside down when her father, Bill, temporarily becomes a stay at home "mom" and her best friends since kindergarten, Ali, Beth, and Ruby, begin to move in different directions.

Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin (Soviet Union)
In the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, ten-year-old Sasha idolizes his father, a devoted Communist, but when police take his father away and leave Sasha homeless, he is forced to examine his own perceptions, values, and beliefs.

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park (Korea)
With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely.

Truth and Salsa by Linda Lowery (Mexico)
Having moved temporarily from Michigan to live with her grandmother in Mexico, twelve-year-old Hayley tries to sort out her feelings about her parents' separation while also helping some townsmen who have run into trouble while working in the United States.

Nicholas by Goscinny (France)
Presents a collection of nineteen short stories about the adventures of a young school boy, Nicholas, and his friends who always seem to end up in trouble.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dare to be Scared (Part 3)

There is just something about vampires that intrigues us . . . the eternal youth, the hypnotic powers, and the evil that lurks below the beautiful exterior.  Here are some of my favorite vampire books for teens . . .

The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce
The servant girl Aeriel must choose between destroying her vampire master for his evil deeds or saving him for the sake of his beauty and the spark of goodness she has seen in him.

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Seventeen-year-old Jessica, adopted and raised in Pennsylvania, learns that she is descended from a royal line of Romanian vampires and that she is betrothed to a vampire prince, who poses as a foreign exchange student while courting her.

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.

Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde
When sixteen-year-old Kerry Nowicki helps a young man escape from a group of men who claim he is a vampire, she finds herself faced with some bizarre and dangerous choices.

Bloodline: A Novel by Kate Cary
Nineteen-year-old John Shaw returns from World War One and is haunted by nightmares of not only the battles but the horrifying discovery that his regimental commander is descended from Count Dracula.

More Vampire Books --
Blue Bloods by  Melissa de la Cruz
Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
Evernight by Claudia Gray
Gemini Bites by Patrick Ryan
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
In the Forests of Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
My Swordhand Is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick
Suck It Up by Brian Meehl
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Sweet-Blood by Pete Hautman
Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Thicker Than Water: A Novel by Carla Jablonski
Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Boys Will Be Boys

This week, I'm sharing some great picture books featuring boys . . .

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by  Judith Viorst
On a day when everything goes wrong for him, Alexander is consoled by the thought that other people have bad days too.

Hiccup, The Seasick Viking by Cressida Cowell
Unlike his large and brave fellow Vikings, Hiccup is small and afraid of everything until he helps steer his ship to safety during a storm.

David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon
When David gets in trouble, he has excuses right up until bedtime, when he realizes he really is sorry.

I Am SO Handsome by Mario Ramos
A vain wolf takes a stroll through the woods and intimidates everyone he meets into admitting he is the handsomest of all, but the wolf encounters a dragon who has a surprise in store for him.

Pete's a Pizza by William Steig
When Pete is in a bad mood, his father turns him into a pizza by first rolling him like dough and then pretending to top him with ingredients until the final personal touch.

More Books About Boys --
Another Brother by Matthew Cordell
Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka
Hugless Douglas by David Melling
Let's Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile
The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown
Me Want Pet! by Tammi Sauer
Mitchell's License by Hallie Durand
Parts by Tedd Arnold
The Retired Kid by Jon Agee
Straight to the Pole by Kevin O'Malley

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill

The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill

Two brothers fell into the river.  The wrong one survived.

When Ned and his twin tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives.  The villagers are convinced that the wrong boy lived and spend their time either mocking or ignoring him.  Ned spends his time alone and not speaking.  But when the Bandit King comes to steal the magic that Ned's mother, Sister Witch, protects, it is Ned that finds a way to keep the magic safe.

The wrong boy will save your life, and you will save his.

Meanwhile, in the enchanted forest that borders Ned's village lives Aine, the practical and resourceful daughter of the Bandit King.  She is haunted by her mother's last words to her about "the wrong boy".

When Ned and Aine's paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to stop the war that's beginning between their two kingdoms?

This was a great fantasy story for kids.  The elements of magic, adventure, family drama, grief, and friendship are weaved together seamlessly for a story that you can't put down.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dare to Be Scared (Part 2)

While horror books of all kinds are extremely popular at this time of year, zombies are the creatures that seem to be the most fascinating.  Here are some great zombie books for teens . . .

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In a post-apocalyptic world where fences and border patrols guard the few people left from the zombies that have overtaken civilization, fifteen-year-old Benny Imura is finally convinced that he must follow in his older brother's footsteps and become a bounty hunter.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.

The End Games by T. Michael Martin
In the rural mountains of West Virginia, seventeen-year-old Michael Faris tries to protect his fragile younger brother from the horrors of the zombie apocalypse.

The Infects by Sean Beaudoin
Nero is stranded in the wilderness with fellow juvenile delinquents when their counselors transform into flesh-eating maniacs.

Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart
New Jersey teens Jake Stephenson and Amanda Blake are turning into zombies and, having devoured half of their senior class, they are on the run, pursued by teen psychic Cass, a member of a government unit charged with killing zombies and keeping their existence secret.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

1, 2, 3, Count With Me

One skill that preschoolers take a lot of pride in is being able to count.  They love to tell others how high they count -- ten, twenty, fifty, hundred, etc.  This week, I'm going to share some counting books . . .

1 2 3 by Simon Basher
Presents the numbers one through twenty alongside colorful images of animals corresponding to each number.

I Spy Under the Sea by Edward Gibbs
Prompts children to look through spy holes and use clues to guess the underwater creatures, and encourages readers to count the animals.

Mother Goose on the Loose by Leo Dillon
Presents an illustrated collection of twenty-four counting rhymes, from "Baa, baa black sheep" to "Wash the dishes, wipe the dishes."

One Rainy Day by Valeri Gorbachev
A pig and various other animals crowd under a tree to escape the rain.

Turtle Splash! Countdown at the Pond by Cathryn Falwell
As they are startled by the activities of other nearby creatures, the number of turtles on a log in a pond decreases from ten to one.

More Counting Books --
Arctic Fives Arrive by Elinor Pinczes
Cha Cha Chimps by Julia Durango
Double the Ducks by Stuart Murphy
Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree by Eileen Christelow
The House in the Meadow by Shutta Crum
One Little Chicken: A Counting Book by David Elliott
The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett
Ten Go Tango by Arthur Dorros
Ten Little Hot Dogs by John Himmelman
Wombat Walkabout by Carol Diggory Shields

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Solve the Mystery!

See if you can crack the mystery before the detectives in these books for kids . . .

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny -- Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath
Middle-schooler Madeline's hippie parents have been kidnapped from Hornby Island, Canada, by foxes, and Madeline, upon discovering that she can understand animal languages, hires two rabbit detectives to find them.

Missing on Superstition Mountain by Elise Broach
Simon, Henry, and Jack Barker decide to ignore their parents' warning to stay away from Superstition Mountain in order to search for their missing cat Josie, but they begin to see the wisdom of their mom and dad's advice when they find three human skulls.

Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors
When farm boy Homer Pudding's explorer-uncle dies and leaves him a droopy dog with a mysterious coin hidden on its collar, it leads him to The City, where they meet Madame la Directeur, the conniving head of the Museum of Natural History, who is trying to steal the coin and take Homer's place in a secret society of adventurers.

Walls Within Walls by Maureen Sherry
When the Smithfork family moves into a lavish Manhattan apartment building, they discover clues to a decades-old mystery hidden behind the walls of their new home.

The Pickle King by Rebecca Promitzer
During an endlessly rainy summer in the town of Elbow, twelve-year-old Bea and her misfit friends solve an unlikely mystery involving an unidentified dead man who is missing an eye, an evil surgeon, a ring shaped like an old castle, a bag of smelly intestines, and a helpful ghost.