Tag Archives: books

Coming Soon to Our Library…

4 Oct

Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits, by Michael Beil

28 Sep

I knew I had to read this book.

Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits

When I read about the book, I learned that there is a talking cat, and I feel like my cats at home would love to talk to me! I also knew the book took place on a train from New York City to Chicago, and I thought that would be cool. I had no idea I would have so many personal connections to this book, though!

In the first few pages, the book mentions Albany, which is where I live. That’s kind of cool, right? It’s not often you can read books that mention your hometown. However, Albany is the capital of our state, so I wasn’t that surprised. I was surprised, however, when Ashtabula, Ohio came up as the main character’s hometown. When I was younger, my grandfather had a farm very near Ashtabula. I spent 2-3 weeks there every summer for almost 15 years when I was growing up! I was so excited to have that personal connection, but it got even better!

Another major character is on her way to Conneaut Lake Park. Conneaut is the actual town my grandfather’s farm was in – and it’s a REALLY small town! Every summer, my grandfather took all his workers to Conneaut Lake Park. I was there many times myself. It is a really small amusement park, and it’s very old. There is a roller coaster there called The Blue Streak, like the title. I was never old enough to go on it, though. 🙂 I did, however, ride a roller coaster called the Wild Mouse. I hated it! It was so scary because the cars seemed like they would shoot off the edges of turns instead of going around a curve smoothly. I love roller coasters now, though.

One of my favorite things when reading books is an unexpected personal connection. It makes me feel like the book was written just for me – like the author and I have really important things in common. Being surprised by a book in that way doesn’t happen very often, so I feel lucky when it does. Has that ever happened to you? Let us know in a comment!

I’ll keep you posted about Lantern Sam! On top of the personal connections, it’s a very intriguing mystery!

Ninja Red Riding Hood!

14 Jul

Check out this awesome book trailer for a new book by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Dan Santat! If you’ve read The Three Ninja Pigs, you’ll love this one, too!

Boys of Blur, by N.D. Wilson

7 Jul

My heart is racing because I just finished a really great book! Check out the cover of N. D. Wilson’s Boys of Blur:

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Because there are two boys running on the cover, I thought this book was going to be about sports – but it’s not. It’s got magic, mystery, and zombies! The setting of this book is really unusual. It takes place in a fictional town in Florida. In this town, they grow sugar cane, and much of the story takes place in these sugar cane fields – “the muck.” Creepy!!

I love the way that N.D. Wilson writes – I was on the edge of my seat! If you are looking for a slightly scary, fast-paced read, this is the book snack for you!

 

Bears!

30 Jun

I explored two new picture books this weekend, and they both surprised me!

WhenI first looked at Brother Hugo and the Bear, by Katy Beebe I thought it might be boring. It’s about a monk who needs to rewrite a book because a bear ate part of it. I was really surprised to learn all about how books were made in the 1100’s. They had to do all the ink-making and writing by hand! The illustrations were beautiful, and the style was different from other picture books. This would be a great book snack for students who are interested in the how books were made in the past.

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The second book that surprised me this weekend is Three Bears in a Boat, by David Soman. I wasn’t sure what kind of a book I was going to be reading, but I absolutely loved it. The artwork is so beautiful, and they experience wonderful adventures! I can’t wait to share this tasty  book snack with all my Loudonville friends!

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Fly Away, by Patricia MacLachlan

24 Jun

I’ve just finished my first book of the summer! Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan. This is a very short and simple story about a family on a visit to Aunt Frankie’s farm. I really like how the author is able to make me feel like I know the characters as people in such a short time. Lucy is the main character, but we get to know her whole family: Dad, also known as Boots, Mom, older sister Gracie, younger brother Teddy, and Aunt Frankie. Aunt Frankie is one of my favorite characters because she’s tough and independent, but also very loving.

This book would be a tasty book snack for students in second through fourth grade. It would be a good fit for students who enjoy realistic fiction, and even poetry.

Fly Away, by Patricia MacLachlan

Summer is for Reading!

23 Jun

One of the best things about summer is more time to read! I have already started a list of new books I am going to read this summer. I’m planning on visiting the library quite a lot! Check back often to see what I’m reading, and see what your friends are reading! Here are the first books that I am planning on reading this summer:

 

First Summer Books!

First Books of Summer!

What are your reading plans for the summer? Do you have any recommendations for your friends? Leave a comment below!

Not So Scary Ghosts

8 Jul

Summer is a good time to stretch your reading and try books that you wouldn’t normally pick up. This week I’ve read two books involving ghosts – but they’re probably not what you are thinking. 🙂 

Small Medium at Large

The first book is Small Medium at Large, by Joanne Levy. I chose to read this book because I thought the title and cover were very interesting. Do you know what a “medium” is? It doesn’t just mean a shirt size! A medium is someone who can communicate with dead people – or ghosts! When Lilah Bloom, a regular 12-year-old girl, discovers her new talent after being struck by lightning at her mom’s wedding. 

One of the things I really like about this book was how surprisingly realistic it is. Lilah seems like a totally normal girl, dealing with totally normal problems (parents, friends, boys, school). It just so happens that she can also talk to her dead grandmother, and any other spirits who happen to be around. This book snack is perfect for fans of realistic fiction in grades 4-6 who want to try out a science fiction book. 

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The second book I read was Radiance, by Alyson Noel. This short novel really surprised me because I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. The main character, Riley, isn’t technically called a ghost in the book, but it takes place after she dies. When Riley is 12 years old, her family is in a car accident and only her sister survives. Riley is having a hard time adjusting to her new surroundings, and is finally given a job to do. I can’t really tell you much more except that it involves returning to earth to help other souls choose to “move on.” Some parts of this book are a little scary, so I definitely recommend this book snack to students in grades 5 and up. It is part of a series, so you can keep snacking if you enjoy it! 🙂

 

A Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff

24 Jun

I’ve finished my first chapter book of the summer, and I loved it! A Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff, is an interesting story told from many different points of view. Sometimes the story can be confusing because I wasn’t sure how all the pieces fit together, but if you stick with it, it all becomes clear!
In this book, people have Talents, which means they can do something (usually something ordinary) really well. For example, there is a character who is Talented at knitting, and can knit sweaters, scarves, and other things really quickly. There are other characters in the book who are Talented at tying knots, matching people, and spitting. The main character’s Talent is baking cakes. Yum! The author has included several cake recipes, too!

I would recommend this book snack to anyone in grades 3-5, especially to anyone who loves a little dash of fantasy. If you like this book, I would also recommend Pie, by Sarah Weeks, and Everything on a Waffle, by Polly Horvath. We will have this book in the library when school starts again, but I have to warn you: if you want to borrow it, you’ll have to make a cake from the recipes and bring me a slice! 🙂

A Tangle of Knots

 

By the way, what do you think of the cover?

Have you ever read anything by Deborah Ellis?

24 Mar

Hello my friends!

Over the past few weeks, I have read several books by Deborah Ellis. I’ve read her trilogy that includes The Breadwinner, Parvana’s Journey, and Mud City. I’ve also read No Ordinary Day, which takes place in India, rather than Afghanistan. All four of these books are realistic fiction, but they’re not your typical school stories. Realistic fiction takes on a whole new meaning when you are reading about real life halfway around the world. 

In the Breadwinner trilogy, we experience life through Parvana, a young girl living in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. An interesting thing about this book is that it was first published just before 9/11, so the Taliban was not well-known, especially to American students. Women had to stay inside and didn’t have the same rights as men. Girls couldn’t even go to school, and most books were against the law. When Parvana’s father disappears in the middle of the night, she must find a way to earn money to get food for her family. How can she do that when she can’t even leave the house?

No Ordinary Day takes place in India, and is a very different story. Valli is an young girl who scavenges chunks of coal to help her family. What she doesn’t know, is that she’s an orphan, and her family doesn’t want her. Valli decides she must try to make a life for herself, even though she has almost no education and no idea where to go. Will she survive on her own, or will she run into even more trouble?

One reason I really enjoyed these books is the settings. So many of our most popular realistic fiction books take place in America, Canada, or maybe England. This is a true glimpse at what life is really like in other places for kids who could be just like YOU. Reading books like this makes us better people because they help us understand how other people live.

The next time your teacher suggests a realistic fiction book, surprise them by picking something unusual and out of the ordinary. Pick something by Deborah Ellis.