Archive for the ‘New Books 2012 school year’ category

SON by Lois Lowry

March 14, 2013

SonI just finished SON by Lois Lowry, the fourth book in THE GIVER quartet (THE GIVER, GATHERING BLUE, MESSENGER, and SON ).    For those of you who have read THE GIVER, a haunting dystopian Newbery Award winner published 20 years ago, this is a must-read!  Even if you didn’t read THE GIVER, this book can stand alone.  This is also a series for all of you HUNGER GAMES fans out there.  (Note:  a fifth grade student, Lily Drew, is a passionate Lois Lowry fan who read this first and urged me to move SON to the top of my very large “to-read” pile.  I’m glad I did.  Thank you, Lily!)

The setting of THE GIVER and SON is a world very different from our own.  It is a futuristic, controlled world with no violence, war, poverty, or crime.  But there is also no  love, no color, no choice!  Every person is assigned a role in the Community at age  12, such as  Birthmother, Nurturer, Engineer, or Caretaker of the Old.  In this last book, SON, we follow Claire who is a Birthmother. All Birthmothers are separated from their “product” , but Claire alone  formed an attachment to hers that she cannot forget.  Her quest to find him will bring her face to face with evil itself.  The twists and turns her life takes will leave you breathless.

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate

January 24, 2013

ivanI’m going to go out on a limb and predict that THIS BOOK is going to win Newbery recognition when the awards are announced next week…it’s that good and that original.

Ivan is a gorilla who lives at a shabby, circus-themed mall.  He has spent years in his glass “domain”, watching tv, painting, and interacting with his friends Stella the elephant and Bob, a stray dog.   Their owner, Mack, is desperate to make money and not as focused on the happiness of his animals as he should be.  When changes come, mainly due to a new baby elephant named Ruby who will (hopefully) bring more business to the failing mall, Ivan is spurred to action.   This story has echoes of CHARLOTTE’S WEB: there is even a “Fern” character named Julia, who spends time with the animals and understands them in a way that Mack doesn’t.  If you love animals and want a story with a lot of heart, this is a book you must read.

TWELVE KINDS OF ICE by Ellen Bryan Obed

January 8, 2013

iceDo you like to ice skate?  This small, beautiful book contains the author’s childhood memories of skating on ponds, lakes, the backyard rink…even on frozen fields!  The lovely pen and ink drawings add to the charm of this little book that celebrates the joy and magic of a MAINE winter.

Do you love the “Amulet” series?

October 11, 2012

Recently, Amulet 5 arrived. About 30 students have been eagerly waiting.  Here is a picture of three fifth graders jumping up and down as I returned from the post office with the precious new book:

In case you haven’t heard of this series, here are the other four books :

Please leave me a comment if you are a fan of these adventure-filled graphic novels.  I think they are the most popular books in the library, so here’s your chance to weigh in!


September 6, 2012

Here we are…as Maurice Sendak says in WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, “Let the wild rumpus start!”

I hope everyone had a wonderful summer.  I spent a good part of it reading, visiting bookstores, and thinking about my next year in library!   Here are a few of the many books I read this summer that I think you will enjoy:

Hound Dog True by Linda Urban is about a shy fifth grader starting at a new school.  Having moved around many times by her Mom who is rather flighty, Mattie has a plan to spend her spare time with her Uncle, the janitor, rather than make friends.  How will Mattie find a friend, and what are the secrets they each share?

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee is Tom Angleberger’s third book in his series about origami-loving Dwight and his middle school friends.  Now that he has been suspended, who has brought the origami Chewbacca to school?  And why is Dwight acting so “normal”?

Zebrafish by Sharon Emerson is a graphic novel about some  high schoolers who form a band even though they don’t know a lot about music.  Check it out and find out what they learn about friendship and community through their “virtual” band.

Perfect Time for Pandas by Mary Pope Osborne. is the 48th book in the “Magic Tree House” series.    Jack and Annie are off to China to save Merlin’s penguin Penny – on the day of a historic earthquake!

If you loved The Secret Garden, The Humming Room by Ellen Potter is  inspired by that famous classic.   The story of the shy, unlovable  orphan and the sick motherless boy who are healed by the magic of nature and friendship is now set  on an island in present day New York.  There are original, quirky, mysterious twists to this modern retelling.