Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Read This! Grades 5-6

Tell Me
by Joan Bauer

Anna's parents are fighting a lot, and her dad has some definite anger issues. She is sent to her Grandmother Mim's house for the summer in the midst of the town's flower festival. Anna is an actress, and while playing a petunia at the library, she sees a girl who may be held against her will; however, not many people are willing to put stock in a 12 year old's story. Will she find the girl before something bad happens?

This is an interesting plot told by a funny and really interesting lead character. Anna is strong and tells her story and her feelings in a clean and concise manner. All of the supporting characters are realistic and intriguing, and Anna has wonderful friends. There is suspense and humor and many readers will enjoy this book! If you liked the characters in Wonder by R.J. Palacio or The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg, you'll like this one!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Great Family Program!

Read This! Adults

The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well
by Camille Sweeney and Josh Gosfield

Find out how to be a dog whisperer from Cesar Millan, or how to open a great restaurant from David Chang or how to create a company culture from Tony Hsieh. People who are great achievers in one area are interviewed and break their advice down into ten tips to achieve success in their fields. Learn how to find love online from the founders of OkCupid, how to get the funk from George Clinton (ten steps!), and how to inspire a student from Erin Gruwell (who wrote Freedom Writers).

Is it going to change your life? Who knows? Maybe. The guy who wrote Freakonomics (Stephen J. Dubner) gives you advice on how to write a runaway bestseller (don't try to write a bestseller...) and it's sort of a letdown. You can easily skip any chapter because they are all self-contained.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Read This! Picture Books

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree
by Naoko Stoop

Red Knit Cap Girl and her animal friends find a hollow tree. They make a library and everyone contributes something to help the group. In the end, readers learn that books are meant to be shared!

This book is completely adorable from the illustrations to the message. The book itself is fairly simple, but it leaves this librarian with a huge case of the warm fuzzies!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Read This! Nonfiction for Kids

Explaining Blindness
by Lionel Bender

How do people become blind? What kinds of technology do blind people and sight-impaired people use? How can you help people who are blind who may (or may not) need your assistance? This book answers these questions and more with a very thorough look into the loss of sight. There are "personal story" sidebars of different kids with sight impairment and the different coping skills they use. It also explains how the eye works, and how glasses and ocular surgeries can repair damaged eyes.

Though it is short in pages, this book has a very high level of vocabulary. Children interested in the senses or who want to know more about the future of technology to help those that are sight impaired will like this book.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Read This! Grades 4-6

Under the Egg
by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Theodora has to take care of her (sort of crazy) mom in their old house in Greenwich Village, and the little money her grandfather left for them is starting to dwindle. Before he died, he told Theo to look under the egg, and she eventually finds a very rare old painting that is probably worth millions! However, she doesn't understand how her grandfather, a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, came to have such a rare work in his possession. She is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and save the family home without sullying her beloved grandfather's name.

This is a really interesting mystery that involves art, art history, the Holocaust, Nazis, military history, and many famous (and infamous) places in New York. Theo (and the friends she makes along the way) are really thoughtful, interesting characters and the mystery is intricate without being hard to understand. The layers peel back, and the answers are revealed to readers who will be thrilled with the end of the story. If you liked The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Calder Game series, or The Westing Game, this is certainly a great new mystery for you!