I really enjoyed a number of book promotion movies this month in addition to reading terrific books!
Books first, of course:
Ancient, Strange, and Lovely by Susan Fletcher
This book was a change from the other Dragon Chronicles since it began with the present day setting and then added fantasy into our reality. I enjoyed continuing the journey with the dragons and was quite curious to see what would happen to all the characters. For 4th grade and up!
Isle of Masks -Ulysses More by Edizioni Pieme – I enjoy keeping up with this series and have connected with the characters enough to enjoy new introductions and additionally following the old character’s adventures. For 4th grade and up!
Zapato Power #3 Freddie Ramos Zooms to the Rescue by Jacqueline Jules
Another book is this wonderful series is now available! My 1st and 2nd grade teachers are enjoying the benefit of this wonderful character who is inspiring and entertaining throughout each book. The new book doesn’t disappoint explaining why a squirrel would turn blue and why a hero sometimes has a hard time finding heroic actions! Great fantasy/realistic fiction mix. Terrific for 2nd grade and up- fun read aloud as well!
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke- This was a terrific graphic novel with a storyline that you couldn’t stop reading! For 3rd grade and up!
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch – Wow! Terrific graphic novel with interesting cultural references and interesting moral themes through the book. Entertaining and original. Great for 6th grade and up!
Gilda Joyce, The Dead Drop by Jennifer Allison- This mystery series is terrific! I love the character and can’t wait to see what adventure/mystery she’s drawn into next. This time, her adventures in Washington D.C. were as expected, curious and entertaining. For 4th grade and up! Simple but good cute video promoting the series:
One Square Inch by Claudia Mills – I’ve read a number of Claudia Mills books but this one was so memorable that pieces are still living in my memory. I felt that the book would change from realistic fiction to fantasy, but it never did. Instead it touched on the effects of the children of a bi-polar mother and their experience with expectations and hopes sometimes being fulfilled and other times being smashed. Heartwrenching but well worth the read. For 4th grade and up!
The Georges and the Jewels by Jane Smiley – This was a touching horse story with religion playing a big part in the story in addition to a tough father and an estranged older brother. I enjoyed this book and plugged my way through it. Beautiful language slowed me down and made me enjoy every word. 4th grade and up.
Dog Lost by Ingrid Lee – I was really upset about this book but additionally impacted. The main character’s father abuse was upsetting in addition to the dog fighting, but once I was able to just enjoy the story, it was quite beautiful and I enjoyed every minute. 4th grade and up.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson- Fascinating, from beginning to end… I enjoyed the theme- cloning/scientific advances- good/bad? Also, enjoyed the character development of Jenna Fox. I listened to this as an audiobook for the first portion and then finished off reading it as I do with any book that is too fascinating to walk away from. Excellent read. Good for 9th grade and up! Science Fiction.
Cloaked by Alex Flinn – I really enjoyed Beastly by Alex Flinn. I looked forward to reading this book and quite enjoyed the audiobook. It was a brilliant mix of various Grimm Fairy Tales in the present day celebrating each one- sometimes a little disjointed- but for the most part a really great YA book. Fantasy.
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
I was really excited when this book came out because I LOVED The Wednesday Wars and couldn’t wait to read another book by the author following one of the characters. This was a BEAUTIFUL stand alone book with a touching, upsetting storyline following a boy who works hard to break away from assumptions about his family, make new friends, and also learns to appreciate his own skills. I enjoyed A Nest for Celeste with the James Audobon reference, but the artistic study of his work in this book was brilliant and made me gaze at the pictures for quite a while before turning to the next page. I also appreciated gaining the perspective of how a small town survives even in tough times and how a father can turn a new leaf even though he was abusive in the past. I LOVED this book. More YA- 6th grade and up.
Advanced Readers Copies- books not out yet, but I’ve read due to support of Bluefire Reader/NetGalley and Powells Books:
Realistic Fiction: Junonia by Kevin Henkes – coming out soon. This was a touching book with a beautiful extended family study. Great character development.
Graphic Novel: Squish Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm
I LOVED this new graphic novel from the brilliant authors of Babymouse!!! Cannot wait to share with students and friends. Squish is more of a “boy” character- even though he is an amoeba- and doesn’t disappoint in this spin off series.
Graphic Novel: Bad Island by Doug Tennapel – reminded me of Island of the Lost but in a better fashion. Talk about a family study within a science fiction book! It drew me through the story and had me wishing for a sequel but additional celebrating a brilliant conclusion- a family shipwrecks into an island of hostile creatures with a huge mystery to solve… great for 5th grade (mature) and up.
Graphic Novel: Stickman Odyssey by Christopher Ford- great adaptation of The Odyssey. I look at this as the next step after reading the Mary Pope Osborne series and before delving into the official Odyssey. Entertaining!
Science Fiction: Cyborg- Clone Codes by the McKissacks – great study pointing out the inequities of life in our time and in the past- yet set in a future where clones- or even those with parts of a clone such as hands, heart, or eyes are treated as subhuman. Great book series. Looking forward to reading more. I especially like the virtual reality glasses which characters use to converse with heroes of the past including Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Realistic Fiction: Clementine and the Family Meeting by Sara Pennypacker – terrific storyline following Clementine through another life altering experience- this time being a family meeting that reveals that a new member will be added to her family! Her initial adverse reaction is one that I suspect many children will identify with. I also appreciated how Clementine dealt with her classmate’s obsession with being a superhero without ridiculing his hopes. Beautiful- as always. 🙂
Favorites I’m blogging about this month:
Scaredy Squirrel has a birthday party by Melanie Watt
We’ve been celebrating Scaredy Squirrel at Ridgewood Elementary for a while now, always entertaining, always special messages- this one is no exception.
Students enjoy watching Scaredy Squirrel books on Tumblebooks- see more here:
Call Number: E WAT
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a brilliant graphic novel creation.
The Georges and the Jewels by Jane Smiley
This was a fascinating character study with a girl dealing with bullies at school, a grueling work schedule at home, and being torn between connecting to animals versus distancing due to the family business situation. I really enjoyed this book. *Warning, this is more appropriate for upper elementary!*
Call Number: FIC SMI
Get inspired to cook! There are quite fun ideas on this blog celebrating food AND terrific children’s books: Cooking in connection with Seuss and other wonderful books: http://thehokeypokeykitchen.com/
Origami Yoda: I’ve mentioned this book before, I enjoyed watching this book promotional video:
Judy Moody Movie: Oh my, it has happened, another one of my favorite book series has been turned into a movie: Curious to see the results!