Saturday, August 30, 2014

Miss Amy's Go-To Chapter Books

When asked for a good book to read, I have a few go-to books that I like to recommend.  Here are some of my favorite chapter books . . .

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.

Magyk by Angie Sage
After learning that she is the Princess, Jenna is whisked from her home and carried toward safety by the Extraordinary Wizard, those she always believed were her father and brother, and a young guard known only as Boy 412--pursued by agents of those who killed her mother ten years earlier.

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry
Soon after Peter, an orphan, sets sail from England on the ship Never Land, he befriends and assists Molly, a young Starcatcher, whose mission is to guard a trunk of magical stardust from a greedy pirate and the native inhabitants of a remote island.

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.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Could You Survive These Schools?

There are a lot of stories for teens set in school.  However, do you think you could survive at one of these high schools?

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 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies.

Jumped by Rita Garcia-Williams
The lives of Leticia, Dominique, and Trina are irrevocably intertwined through the course of one day in an urban high school after Leticia overhears Dominique's plans to beat up Trina and must decide whether or not to get involved.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Witch Sophie Mercer, having been sent to a reform school by her father after a prom night spell went horribly wrong, learns her roommate, who is the only vampire on campus, is the suspect in a series of attacks on students and sets out to find the real culprit.

Trapped by Michael Northrop
Seven high school students are stranded at their New England high school during a week-long blizzard that shuts down the power and heat, freezes the pipes, and leaves them wondering if they will survive.

More School Stories --
Avalon High by Meg Cabot
Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Jake, Reinvented by Gordon Korman
Prom Dates from Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Rikers High by Paul Volponi
The Taking of Room 114: A Hostage Drama in Poems by Mel Glenn

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Story Time Favorites

Today I thought I would share some of my favorite books to use in story times.  All of these books are excellent for large or small groups . . . .

The Birthday Box by Leslie Patricelli
An imaginative young child has a wonderful time playing with a box he receives for his birthday.

Bubble Bath Pirates by Jarrett Krosoczka
When pirate mommy announces bath time, it is yo ho ho and to the bath we go for her little pirates.

Llama, Llama, Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
At bedtime, a little llama worries after his mother puts him to bed and goes downstairs.

Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
Retells in verse the Indian fable of the blind men discovering different parts of an elephant and arguing about its appearance.

T Is for Terrible by Peter McCarty
A tyrannosaurus rex explains that he cannot help it that he is enormous and hungry and is not a vegetarian.

More Story Time Favorites --
Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller
Cowlick! by Christian Ditchfield
Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London
The Happy Hocky Family by Lane Smith
I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
On Top of Spaghetti by Paul Brett Johnson
Silly Tilly by Eileen Spinelli
Snip, Snap! What's That? by Mara Bergman
A Visitor for Bear by Bonnie Becker
What Will Fat Cat Sit On? by Jan Thomas

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector," Felicity sees words everywhere---shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears---but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." And then there's Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity's never seen before, words that make Felicity's heart beat a little faster.

Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she'll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that's been cast over the town . . . and her mother's broken heart.


This is a magical story that incorporates fantasical elements into a real-life story of a girl wanting a place to belong.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Doctor Who Read-Alikes

Doctor Who is regenerating this Saturday.  In honor of the new season of Doctor Who, here are some books with similar themes for teens . . .

Borrowed Time by Naomi Alderman
The Doctor, Amy and Rory go undercover to discover who is trying to give people more time.

Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard
Jack's predictable existence on Freedom space station is transformed when Kit, the Earthie rat, enters his life and enlists him and a sensitive robot in an effort to outwit the Company.

Abarat by Clive Barker
Candy Quackenbush of Chickentown, Minnesota, journeys to the Abarat, an archipelago filled with strange wonders, and has a curious revelation: she has been here before, and it is her responsibility to save this mysterious place from the evil forces that threaten it.

Icons by Margaret Stohl
After an alien force known as the Icon colonizes Earth, decimating humanity, four surviving teenagers must piece together the mysteries of their pasts--in order to save the future.




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Books for the Very Young

This week I thought I would share some of my favorite board books for young children.  Board books are great to use with small ones.  The sturdy pages allow them to learn how to manipulate pages without having to worry about tears and rips.  Some things to look for in a good board book are simple sentences and bright colors.  Here are some of my recommendations . . .

Tickle by Leslie Patricelli
A baby tries to contain his giggles when his parents and pets tickle his feet, tummy, and armpits before snuggling up with him.

LMNO Peas by Keith Baker
Busy little peas introduce the alphabet to young readers through their favorite occupations, from astronauts to zoologists.

Peekaboo! by Taro Gomi
Through one die-cut hole at eye level, the reader can peek through each funny face using the book as a mask.

Bear's Birthday by Stella Blackstone
Bear celebrates his birthday with a party, games, and ten balloons.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Giver

The Giver is out this weekend in movie theaters across the country.  It is based on the popular book by Lois Lowry.  So today, I'm highlighting the original book and the rest of the series.


The Giver by Lois Lowry
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians.

Messenger by Lois Lowry
In this novel that unites characters from "The Giver" and "Gathering Blue", Matty, a young member of a utopian community that values honesty, conceals an emerging healing power that he cannot explain or understand.

Son by Lois Lowry
Unlike the other Birthmothers in her utopian community, teenaged Claire forms an attachment to her baby, feeling a great loss when he is taken to the Nurturing Center to be adopted by a family unit.