Saturday, November 22, 2014

National Adoption Day - Saturday, November 22

There are more than 100,000 kids in the United States waiting to find a home and family.  Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, we focus on these children and their plight.  So today, I am sharing some children's books on kids in the foster care system . . .

Kinda Like Brothers by Booth Coe
When his mother takes in a twelve-year-old foster boy, Jarrett is forced to share his room and his friends with the new boy.

Where I Belong by Mary Downing Hahn
Brendan doesn't get along with his foster mother, he's failing fifth grade, and he's bullied mercilessly by a band of boys in his class. Then Brendan meets two potential friends--an eccentric old man and a girl from summer school--and he sees that there may be hope for him after all.

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
After heartbreaking betrayal, Carley is sent to live with a foster family and struggles with opening herself up to their love.

Runaway Twin by Peg Kehret
Thirteen-year-old Sunny, accompanied by a stray dog, takes advantage of a monetary windfall to travel from her Nebraska foster home to Enumclaw, Washington in order to find the twin sister from whom she was separated at age three.

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
Inspired by his teacher, eleven-year-old Lonnie begins to write about his life in a series of poems in which he discusses his feelings about his friends, his foster mom, his little sister Lili, and the death of his parents.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

K-I-S-S-I-N-G! Tales of Love

I love a good romance story.  Whether the traditional boy meets girl and falls in love to those tales of star-crossed lovers, I can always read a good romance.  Here are some great teen romances . . .

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman
Seventeen-year-old Vince's life is constantly complicated by the fact that he is the son of a powerful Mafia boss, a relationship that threatens to destroy his romance with the daughter of an FBI agent.

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
When Lord Death comes to claim sixteen-year-old Keturah while she is lost in the King's Forest, she charms him with her story and is granted a twenty-four hour reprieve in which to seek her one true love.

Wait for Me by An Na
As her senior year in high school approaches, Mina yearns to find her own path in life but working at the family business, taking care of her little sister, and dealing with her mother's impossible expectations are as stifling as the southern California heat, until she falls in love with a man who offers a way out.

Lips Touch, Three Times by Laini Taylor
Contains three short stores of supernatural love, each focusing on a kiss that has consequences for the kissers' souls.

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.

Accidental Love by Gary Soto
After unexpectedly falling in love with a "nerdy" boy, fourteen-year-old Marisa works to change her life by transferring to another school, altering some of her behavior, and losing weight.


More Romances for Teens --
A Winter Night's Dream by Andrew Matthews
Time Between  Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Things I Know About Love by Kate Le Vann
Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison
Street Love by Walter Dean Myers
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Muchacho: A Novel by Louanne Johnson
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
Heartsinger by Karlijn Stoffels
Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz
Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw
Fancy White Trash by Marjetta Geerling
Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Are You Hungry for a Good Book?

With Thanksgiving and the holidays fast approaching, our thoughts often turn to all the great food that we'll be eating.  That brings to mind some of my favorite books about food and eating for young children . . . .

Badger's Fancy Meal by Keiko Kasza
Badger is bored with the same old meals, but his search for more exciting food only leads to trouble.

Cupcake! by Charise Mericle Harper
Cupcake, feeling drab because he is only vanilla, and his friend, Candle, come up with a plan to make themselves stand out in the crowd.

Gator Gumbo by Candace Fleming
A hungry alligator, slow with age, hopes to catch some good meat to add to his spicy gumbo.

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Little Pea hates eating candy for dinner, but his parents will not let him have his spinach dessert until he cleans his plate.

Whopper Cake by Karma Wilson
Grandad bakes Grandma a whopper of a birthday cake. Includes recipe and directions for chocolate cake.


More Books About Food --
Armadillo's Orange by Jim Arnosky
Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak
Duck Soup by  Jackie Urbanovic
Grandpa's Garden Lunch by  Judith Caseley
I Will Never NOT Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
June 29, 1999 by David Wiesner
The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philemon Sturges
Old MacDonald in the City by Suzanne Williams
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems
The Runaway Dinner by Allan Ahlberg
Take Me to Your BBQ by Kathy Duval
Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? by Karen Beaumont

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mythic Books

Did you love the Percy Jackson series?  Are you looking for a new book to read that you've finished the final Heroes of Olympus book?  Here are some great books with mythological elements . . . .

Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom by Joan Holub
When ten-year-old Zeus is kidnapped, he discovers he can defend himself with a magical thunderbolt.

The Game by Diana Wynne Jones
Orphan Hayley feels out of place in her family until her cousins include her in a game involving travel through the mythosphere, the place where all the world's stories can be found, and where some secrets of her past are revealed.

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
An unlucky Norwegian boy named Odd leads the Norse gods Loki, Thor, and Odin in an attempt to outwit evil Frost Giants who have taken over Asgard.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane accidentally unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes the doctor to oblivion and forces his two children to embark on a dangerous journey, bringing them closer to the truth about their family and its links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

Anatopsis by Chris Abouzeid
In the realm from which the Greek gods ruled the universe thousands of years ago, the immortal witch Anatopsis uncovers the true objectives of her demi-god tutor Mr. Pound and attempts to prevent him from carrying out his evil plans.

More Mythic Books --
Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast by Jane Yolen
The Battle Begins by Tony Abbott
Have a Hot Time, Hades by Kate McMullan
Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons by Jane Yolen
Juliet Dove, Queen of Love by Bruce Coville
Medusa Jones by Ross Collins
Perseus by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
Walking with the Dead by L.M. Falcone

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's the End of the World . . . .

A popular theme in teen books is the world ending.  Whether this is a natural disaster that causes the world go back to the Stone Age or a plague that wipes out all the adults on earth, it's a great story.  Here are some books featuring teens facing the end of the world . . . .

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family's struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
After his parents, two sisters, and he have spent six years in a vast underground compound built by his wealthy father to protect them from a nuclear holocaust, fifteen-year-old Eli, whose twin brother and grandmother were left behind, discovers that hisfather has perpetrated a monstrous hoax on them all.

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.

Gone by Michael Grant
In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have "The Power" and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.

Storm by Donna Jo Napoli
Having lost her family in a massive flood, sixteen-year-old Sebah finds her way onto a gigantic ark, where she must conceal herself from Noah and his family until it is safe for her and another stowaway to slip away.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
To get away from her pregnant stepmother in New York City, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land.

More Books --
After the End by Amy Plum
After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
Alien Invasions & Other Inconveniences by Brian Yansky
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
Exodus by Julie Bertagna
The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith
Hole in the Sky by Pete Hautman
Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block
Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas
Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
The Rule of Three by Eric Walters
Shipbreaker: A Novel by Paolo Bacigalupi
A Small Free Kiss in the Dark by Glenda Millard

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans Day!

Tomorrow is Veterans Day - a time to honor and remember those who fought for our country and freedom.  Here are some picture books to share with your children on Veterans Day . . . .

The Wall by Eve Bunting
A boy and his father come from far away to visit the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington and find the name of the boy's grandfather, who was killed in the conflict.

Stars Above Us by Geoffrey Norman
Amanda's father is a soldier, but before he leaves for war, he teaches her not to be afraid of the things that live in the dark--which includes fireflies and crickets--and about the stars.

Drummer Boy: Marching to the Civil War by Ann Turner
A thirteen-year-old soldier, coming of age during the American Civil War, beats his drum to raise tunes and spirits and muffle the sounds of the dying.

My Big Brother by Miriam Cohen
When his big brother leaves to become a soldier, a boy does what he can to take his place in the family.

Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by John Hendrix
In 1914 France, a British soldier writes to his mother about the strange events of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when German and Allied soldiers met on neutral ground to share songs, food, and fun.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Classics for Children

This month, I have set myself the goal of reading classic children's books.  Here are some of the ones I hope to read this month . . .

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The adventures of Alice, a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole and enters a nonsensical world filled with amusing one-of-a-kind characters, like talking rabbits and playing cards, and must struggle with riddles, games and challenges in order to find her way home.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

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.

The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
Tolly comes to live with his great-grandmother at the ancient house of Green Knowe and becomes friends with three children who lived there in the seventeenth century.

Hans Brinker, or, The Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge
A Dutch boy and girl work toward two goals--finding the doctor who can restore their father's memory and winning the competition for the silver skates.


Come and talk with me after you read the books and we can compare to see if we both liked the books.