Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stories in Black & White

Last week I shared picture books with colorful titles.  This week I'm focusing on titles in Black and White . . . .

I Like BLACK and WHITE by Barbara Jean Hicks
Simple rhyming text and illustrations show animals, patterns, and shapes that are black and white.

WHITE Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt
When it begins to look, feel, and smell like snow, everyone prepares for a winter blizzard.

Old BLACK Fly by Jim Aylesworth
Rhyming text and illustrations follow a mischievous old black fly through the alphabet as he has a very busy bad day landing where he should not be.

Little WHITE Rabbit by Kevin Henkes
As he hops along a little rabbit wonders what it would be like to be green as grass, tall as fir trees, hard as rocks, and flutter like butterflies.

BLACK Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story by Julius Lester
A black cowboy is so in tune with wild mustangs that they accept him into the herd, thus enabling him singlehandedly to take them to the corral.


More Stories in BLACK & WHITE --
BLACK and WHITE by David Macauley
The BLACK Rabbit by Philippa Leathers
BLACK? WHITE! Day? Night? by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
A Book for BLACK-Eyed Susan by Judy Young
Dr. WHITE by Jane Goodall
Little BLACK Crow by Christopher Raschka
Shoeless Joe and BLACK Betsy by Phil Bildner
Urso Brunov and the WHITE Emperor by Brian Jacques

Saturday, December 13, 2014

If You Liked . . . The Giver

I am currently in the process of re-reading The Giver series by Lois Lowry.  It is a great series that I suggest everybody read at least once in their life.  However, if you've already read the series, here are some great read-alikes . . . .

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
In a society that purges thirteen-year-olds who are creative, identical twins Aaron and Alex are separated, one to attend University while the other, supposedly Eliminated, finds himself in a wondrous place where youths hone their abilities and learn magic.

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth's surface.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
When her mother is abducted by aliens on Christmas Eve (or "Smekday" Eve since the Boov invasion), 11 year-old Tip hops in the family car and heads south to find her and meets an alien Boov mechanic who agrees to help her and save the planet from disaster.

The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
In 2194 in Zimbabwe, General Matsika's three children are kidnapped and put to work in a plastic mine while three mutant detectives use their special powers to search for them.


More Readalikes for The Giver --
Atherton: The House of Power by Patrick Carman
Dark Life by Kat Falls
Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Raiders' Ransom by Emily Diamond
The Roar by Emma Clayton
The Sky Inside by Clare B. Dunkle
Tunnels by Roderick Gordon
The White Mountains by John Christopher

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Seek the Unknown

Some of the most exciting books to read are those where the characters set off for adventures into the unknown.  Anything can happen!  Here are some great teen books featuring adventures into the unknown . . .

Nation by Terry Pratchett
After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.

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.

Above by Leah Bobet
When insane exile Corner and his army of mindless, whispering shadows invade Safe, a secret, underground community of freaks and disabled outcasts, Matthew, traumatized shapeshifter Ariel, and other misfits go to the dangerous place known as Above, where Matthew makes a shocking discovery about the histories entrusted to him.

Every Day by David Levithan
Every morning A wakes in a different person's body, in a different person's life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.


More Adventures into the Unknown --
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Boston Jane: An Adventure by Jennifer L. Holm
City of Beasts by Isabel Allende
The Dark Ground by Gillian Cross
The Dead & the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer
Heaven Eyes by David Almond
The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman
Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Rainbow of Books

This week I'm sharing picture books with colorful titles.  Each book has a color in the title.

RED, RED, RED by Valeri Gorbachev
As Turtle rushes through town, in a hurry to see something "red, red, red," his neighbors wonder what it could be and hurry after him to find out.

Dog BLUE by Polly Dunbar
Bertie, who loves the color blue and really wants a dog, finally gets his wish even though the dog he meets is white with black spots.

GREEN Beans by Elizabeth Thomas
Strict and proper Gramma, unhappy that her green beans won't grow, leaves for a vacation and has a surprise when she comes back.

The ORANGE Shoes by Trinka Hakes Noble
Delly Porter enjoys the feel of soft dirt beneath her feet as she walks to and from school, but after a classmate makes her feel ashamed of having no shoes she learns that her parents and others, too, see value in things that do not cost money.

The PURPLE Kangaroo by Michael Ian Black
After asking the reader to think of something spectacular, the narrator sets out to prove his ability to read minds by describing a preposterous situation and characters.


More Colorful Titles --
The Artist Who Painted a BLUE Horse by Eric Carle
The Big BLUE Spot by Peter Holwitz
BLUE Chameleon by Emily Gravett
Big Wolf & Little Wolf: Such a Beautiful ORANGE by Nadine Brun-Cosme
The Great BLUE House by Kate Banks
Grandpa GREEN by Lane Smith
The GREEN Frogs: A Korean Folktale by Yumi Heo
The GREEN Line by Polly Farqyharson
The Hinky PINK: An Old Tale by Megan McDonald
How Martha Saved Her Parents from GREEN Beans by David LaRochelle
Lilly's PURPLE Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Ninja RED Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz
ORANGE Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett
The Pig Who Ran a RED Light by Paul Brett Johnson
The PURPLE Balloon by Chris Raschka
RED Sings from the Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman
Sally and the PURPLE Socks by Lisze Bechtold
The Valiant RED Rooster: A Story from Hungary by Eric Kimmel

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Over at the Castle

This week we learned about castles during our Eyewitness program.  So I thought I would share some books that feature castles as a setting . . . 

Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger
Horton, an upstanding kitchen boy in a castle in nineteenth-century England, becomes embroiled in a mystery surrounding a series of thefts, which is also connected to the pursuit of a very eligible and wealthy young lady's affections.

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Princess Celie must defend Castle Glower, which add rooms, stairways and secret passageways every Tuesday, when her parents are ambushed while travelling.

The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell
When Sand, a blacksmith's apprentice, wakes up in a broken castle, he must find a way to put it back together.

Crandall's Castle by Betty Ren Wright
Charli's impulsive uncle, Will Crandall, decides to buy the town's abandoned, possibly haunted castle and fix it up as a bed-and-breakfast, but Charli and Sophia, a clairvoyant orphan who has come to stay with the Crandall family, know his plan is somehow dangerous.

Midnight Magic by Avi 
In Italy in 1491, Mangus the magician and his apprentice are summoned to the castle of Duke Claudio to determine if his daughter is indeed being haunted by a ghost.

The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech
Two orphaned peasant children discover a mysterious pouch, the contents of which lead them to the majestic Castle Corona, where their lives may be transformed forever.


More Stories Featuring Castles --
The Beasts of Clawstone Castle by Eva Ibbotson
Brand-New Page by Tony Davis
Castle of Shadows by Ellen Renner
The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris
The House of Arden by E. Nesbit
The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori
Stealaway by K.M. Peyton
A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Historical Fiction for Teens

While historical fiction is not my favorite genre of books, it is a request that I get fairly often.  So here are some historical fiction books for teens . . .

Five 4ths of July by Pat Raccio Hughes
On July 4th, 1777, fourteen-year-old Jake Mallory and his friends are celebrating their new nation's independence, but over the next four years Jake finds himself in increasingly adventurous circumstances.

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro, who dreams of becoming a samurai, learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States.


Beware, Princess Elizabeth by Carolyn Meyer
After the death of her father, King Henry VIII, in 1547, thirteen-year-old Elizabeth must endure the political intrigues and dangers of the reigns of her half-brother Edward and her half-sister Mary before finally becoming Queen of England eleven years later.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
When Thomas Peaceful's older brother is forced to join the British Army, Thomas decides to sign up as well, although he is only fourteen years old, to prove himself to his country, his family, his childhood love, Molly, and himself.


More Historical Fiction for Teens --
And in the Morning by John Wilson
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Blue Fingers: A Ninja's Tale by Cheryl Aylward Whitesel
Boston Jane: An Adventure by Jennifer L. Holm
The Convicts by Iain Lawrence
Crossing Stones by Helen Frost
Daniel Half Human and the Good Nazi by David Chotjewitz
The Extra by Kathryn Lasky
The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Mourning Wars by Karen Steinmetz
Much Ado About Grubstake by Jean Ferris
Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes
Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood by Jame Richards
The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf
Witch Child by Celia Rees

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award

The Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award is a readers' choice award geared towards children birth through kindergarten.  The children are asked to listen to at least five of the books read before voting for their choice for the award.  Voting for the Building Block Award can be done at the Arnold Branch or online at http://www.kclibrary.org/kids/missouri-building-block-2014 through the end of December.





Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett
The reader is invited to count the animals that have frightened the monkeys off the pages.

I Dare You Not to Yawn by Helene Boudreau
A boy tries to not yawn although facing baby orangutans, cuddly blankets, and sleepytime songs.

Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite by Nicole O'Byrne
A crocodile falls into a quiet storybook and wreaks havoc on the characters.

Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira
A pig visits a frog pond, sits on a rock, and says only "Ribbit!".

Little Nelly's Big Book by Pippa Goodhart
Little Nelly's book tells her she is a mouse.

This Little Piggy by Tim Harrington
The toes decide they would like to do more exciting stuff than the traditional rhyme lets them do.

Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos
Is baby Billy's mustache a Good-Guy mustache, or a Bad-Guy mustache?

Moo! by David LaRochelle
When Cow gets her hooves on the farmer's car, she takes it for a wild ride through the country.

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
After swallowing a watermelon seed, a crocodile imagines a scary outcome.

That Is NOT A Good Idea! by Mo Willems
A hungry fox invites a plump goose to dinner.