Posted tagged ‘Spooky’

Mia’s Book Shout #5

May 21, 2012

Fifth grade book lover Mia shares her favorite books

Skellig by David Almond

So what would you do if you had just moved into a new, really old, house and there was a really old, about-to-fall-in garage?  Would you or would you not go in it?

Well, Michael does; I mean what eleven-year-old boy could resist?  As Michael shines his light all around, he sees thousands of dust bunnies, blue bottles, and spiders.  As he shines his flashlight into the corners of the garage, his light falls on something pale, something dead looking;  could it be the previous house owner?  It moves its dusty, pale face, blinks in the light.  “What do you want?”  the voice asks.  Michael steps away in shock.  How could this… this thing be alive?   Michael’s wonderment and disgust are broken by his mother’s stern voice telling him to stay out of that garage.  Then she returns to the baby, the ‘stupid” baby.

In this mysterious and stunning book, Skellig, eleven-year-old Michael finds love and beauty in a man with no life, only a memory of one.  Two kids, Michael and Mina, change his life completely.

I found this book sad.  It was as if Michael was searching for happiness when there was none to be found except in his friend Mina, and sometimes in the baby’s face when she smiled.  I would recommend this book to anyone who loves adventure and magic beyond your wildest dreams.

New chapter books added recently

March 15, 2011

Here are some new chapter books recently added to the CPS library collection that I have read and highly recommend:

Nature Girl by Jane Kelley

A 12-year-old New York City  girl is reluctantly spending the summer in Vermont with her nature-loving family.   After an argument with her friend, she decides to hike 30 miles of the Appalachian Trail with her dog.  Her journey is both physical and emotional, as she has plenty of time to think about her life along the way.

Out of my mind by Sharon Draper

Born with cerebral palsy, 10-year-old Melody has never said a word.  She is a brilliant fifth grader trapped in an uncontrollable body.  What happens when she starts to be included in “normal” classes – will the other fifth graders accept her?  Will they understand she is actually the smartest student in the school?  Read this moving novel to find out how Melody finds her “voice”. 

The year money grew on trees by Aaron R. Hawkins

A young teenage boy and his siblings spend the summer running an apple orchard with no adult assistance, because an elderly neighbor has promised to GIVE it to them if they can make a success of it.  An interesting look at family, hard work, determination, and the pride that kids feel when they are working toward a goal.  Suspenseful and inspiring!

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

Seven fifth graders in Vermont learn a variety of life lessons, not necessarily from their textbooks, with an inspiring new teacher who really understands them and is always on their side.  Short chapters told in the different students’ distinct voices give the reader many perspectives on the events of the school year, including the accident that teaches them the most important lesson of all.

Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh

Set in England in the winter of 1347, this suspenseful and spooky story  is about fourteen-year-old William, whose family perished in a fire 18 months earlier, and who now works as a servant at the local monastery in exchange for his room and board.  While gathering firewood  in the forest,  he discovers a creature – a hobgoblin – caught in a trap and saves its life.  As the hob recovers from his wounds, Will encounters a mystery that shakes him to his core.  This book’s fascinating attention to detail draws the reader deeply into the story, and you get a real sense of life in medieval times.

Long-awaited sequel to Sticky Burr now available!

September 10, 2009

urlI am a huge fan of John Lechner’s graphic novel Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest, and I have been waiting a year for the sequel! Yeah!

Do you know what a burr is? If you’ve ever walked in an overgrown field and gotten little spiky round things stuck to your pant legs, those are burrs. They’re parts of a plant; seedcases that are rough and prickly. Now imagine a little village full of burrs that have different personalities: some are nice, some not so nice. Sticky Burr is one of the nice ones. He likes to paint and play his ukulele and he just wants everyone to get along.

In the first book, Adventures in Burrwood Forest, he saves the village from the wild dogs, with the help of his best friend Draffle, a dragonfly. In the brand new sequel, The Prickly Peril, the spotlight is on Burrwood Forest’s bad guy, Scurvy Burr. Sticky Burr has decided to have a fall Harvest Fair, which Scurvy Burr and his sidekick Spiny Burr think is not a very “prickly”, burr-like thing to do. To stop the fair, they must travel to Spooky Glen to get some help from the evil Burweena. Can they stop the Harvest Fair? Can Sticky Burr triumph again over the bad guys? I think you will really enjoy this slightly spooky, humorous adventure about a very loveable burr.

The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French

August 29, 2009

If you like fractured fairy tales and stories that are spooky but not n239111scary, this is a great book for you. The sorceress Lady Lamorna lives in a ghastly castle above the town of Fracture. She has a burning desire for a new gown – black velvet, decorated with poison ivy, spider webs and skulls, but she has no gold in her treasure chest to pay for it. She hatches a plan: she will turn all the local princes into frogs and demand ransoms from their royal parents. The author has written a humorous adventure full of the typical fairy tale characters: a bad prince who is really not the least bit evil, a beautiful but nasty stepsister with a “heart as hard as a frying pan”, a sweet, brave little girl named Gracie who must escape her wicked stepfather, a wise-talking bat, a troll whose head often comes off, and three old crones whose job it is to spin the web of power. French is a wonderful storyteller and the story moves along at a furious pace, taking twists and turns that you wouldn’t predict. This book is a winner.