The Adventures of Wishbone Be a Wolf!

Thursday, July 28, 2011
Brad Strickland
The Adventures of Wishbone Be a Wolf!
My seven year old has been collecting this series and setting it aside for over a year. This week we dived in with this re-telling, a modern, canine adaptation of Beowulf. Wow, was I ever surprised! I loved it! It pulled him into a story that was fun and then went to a depth that I would not expect of a book for youth. My seven year old now has a decent understanding of Beowulf. There were a couple stories going on and asides to the reader to explain words and events. We can't wait to read to more of this wonderful series.
Cindy A., Circulation

The Sherlock Files-The Hundred Year Old Secret (audiobook)

Thursday, July 21, 2011
Tracy Barrett
My Husband and I are great fans of Sherlock Holmes so while on vacation this week we listened to this audio book in the car. It was just long enough to get us up north! The book is recommended for listeners (or readers) ages to 9 to 12 but we really enjoyed it. Xena and Xander Holmes, siblings from the U.S., are moving to London with their parents. They discover they are related to the famous Sherlock Holmes and they inherit his unsolved casebook. The siblings go about trying to solve the cases that their famous ancestor couldn't. This first book deals with a missing famous painting-and yes they do solve the mystery!
Jan K., Youth Services

The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Christopher Paul Curtis
I pre-read for my 9 year old, looking for material that is engaging, but suitable content. Trying to balance out what I call junk food for the brain. The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963 won many awards, including -Newbery Honor, Coretta Scott King Honor. It is wonderfully written. Completely irreverent in the humor of a boy faced with bullies, including his own brother and the craziness of his family. His dad hides his toothbrush because he was a boy once and knows a toothbrush; especially someone else's is the best thing for cleaning stuff. It concludes with the trip to Birmingham where they plan to leave the older brother with strict Grandma Sands after too much nonsense. The conclusion of the story is multi- layered as it occurs with the family in Birmingham at the time of the bombing. This brings another layer about hate and bullying.
Cindy A., Circulation

Knights of the Kitchen Table

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Jon Scieszka

If your son liked Magic Tree House, but thought it was a little tame--try The Time Warp Trio series. The boys in these time travel adventures are anything, but mild. In Knights of the Kitchen Table, Joe's uncle gives him The Book for a birthday present. They use it to travel in time. Joe and his two best friends battle physically and wits with dragons, knights, and Merlin. The boys are hilarious. When the black knight is attacking the boys, Fred jumps on the path and waggles his fingers teasing with the classic "Nyah, nyah." To solve the dragon and giant problem the boys trick them into fighting.

Cindy A., Circulation

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Richard Atwater

My boys and I read Mr. Popper's Penguins, a Newbery Honor Book, so they could go see the movie. It is a sweet story set in an innocent time. Mr. Popper is a seasonal painter. In his off season he dreams and reads about far away countries. He starts this season reading about the South Pole, saying to his wife, "I would much rather go there than read about it. But reading is the next best thing." As the story unfolds he is gifted with a penguin and then another, which have a family. It is silly and fun. It is nothing like the movie, which created great discussion at our house.

Cindy A., Circulation

The Science of Disney Imagineering (DVD)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My boys and I have watched a couple DVD's in the new series The Science of Disney Imagineering. This past week we watched Energy, a few weeks ago we watched Newton's 3 Laws of Motion to help my 3rd grader prepare for his science test. It is an amazing series. The topic is presented by a fun young man and they use several rides at Disney parks to illustrate the topic. In Energy they use the Mad Tea Party spinning teacups to show how work is applied to an object and how energy conservation is demonstrated.

The series is designed for upper elementary, but it is a very fun way to see the topic in action. They also have two great additional items. There is a quiz covering the material. If you get the incorrect answer it plays the segment form the video as a review. They also include a try at home experiment-in Energy - it is how to make your own Newton's Cradle to demonstrate conservation of energy. My boys ask to see these DVD's numerous times-how often does that happen? You and your kids will learn a lot and have fun.

Cindy A. Circulation

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The Sign of the Beaver

Thursday, June 16, 2011
Elizabeth George Speare

The Sign of the Beaver is a Newberry Honor book every boy should read. Matt is left alone for months to protect the log house he and his father have built in the Maine wilderness in 1769 while the father goes to fetch the rest of the family. It is beautiful story of the strength of a young boy as he confronts the challenges of survival with limited resources. Matt is befriended by a local Indian boy, Attean, who teaches him the ways of his people in trade for teaching him English. Matt uses his copy of Robinson Crusoe to teach Attean English, in doing so he is challenged to think about his perceptions of the relationship between the settlers and the native Indians. The story is full of adventure to make it an easy read and full of depth for great discussions. It would also be a great read aloud book for a family as the imagery is wonderful.

Cindy A., Circulation

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Shooting Kabul

Sunday, April 24, 2011
N.H. Senzai

Fadi and his family escaped from theTaliban in Afghanistan and in the frightening rush to get away, he let go of his 6 year old sister's hand and she did not make it out. He feels terrible guilt and tries to win a photography contest with tickets as a prize. He is determined to go back and find his sister. The book shows how he tries to fit into his new school and is bullied along with other ethnic kids.

I learned so much about the history of Afghanistan and the Taliban from this book. Also I learned about the connection with the Qu'ran and the Bible. Amazing how many parallels there are.
All in all it was gripping story on many levels and I hope will be popular with the 4th to 6th graders. Adults would like it also.

Sue N., Youth Services

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One-Dog Canoe

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Mary Casanova

I love stories that rhyme when the child can guess at some of the words. This is one of my favorites for 2-4 year olds - especially because it is silly and you can anticipate the disaster about to strike as more and more larger animals start piling into the canoe meant for two. A fun rhyming/anticipating story for preschoolers!

Janice, Youth Services

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The Tale of Despereaux

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo is a treasure. You will be drawn into the story as if it is being told only to you, dear reader. As if you have stumbled upon an old book fullof tales of honorable and brave knights  the feel of the rough edged pages lend themselves to the story being told.  It is the story of a brave, nonconforming mouse and a young empathetic princess.  You probably saw the movie.  I invite you to read the tale as it was written.  It is a true pleasure, like sipping at spoonfuls of soup.


Cindy A., Circulation

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