Tag Archives: fiction

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!

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

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! 🙂

 

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, by Christopher Healy

14 Oct

Hello Friends! I have just finished a book that I can’t wait to share with you! The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is funny, original, and action-packed. Have you ever wondered what happens after “And they lived happily ever after?” Have you ever wondered about the real names of all those Prince Charmings? Curious about whether or not Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Snow White are really as perfect as they seem? If so, this is the perfect book for you.

It turns out that the Princes Charming have been having a hard time since the end of their well-known adventures. The actual princes do not truly match up with how the bards (songwriters for kings and queens) have described them. For example, Duncan is Snow White’s Prince Charming, and he is silly and not the most intelligent of princes. When he sees small forest animals, he yells out made-up names for each of them. He can’t help it! However, he is happy and truly loves Snow White.

Get to know the rest of the Princes Charming, and find out if they’ll be able to work together against all odds to beat the evil witch, Zaubera. However, a word of warning: don’t try to read this one after you’re supposed to be asleep, under the covers with a flashlight. You won’t be able to stop yourself from laughing out loud!

This is the perfect book snack for both boys and girls in fourth through sixth grade who enjoy humor, adventure, fantasy, and terrific illustrations. Enjoy! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!

Neversink, by Barry Wolverton

17 Jul

Do you know what kind of animal this is?

I certainly hope you didn’t say that it is a PENGUIN because it is a PUFFIN! 🙂

The hero of Neversink is a puffin named Lockley. If you are thinking that this puffin doesn’t look very heroic, you’d be correct. Most puffins in Neversink are quiet, go-with-the-flow type birds, even when they are threatened by the owls from a neighboring island. Lockley, though, is different. He even wants to soar, and his two best friends are a walrus and a hummingbird!

Can Lockley save the puffins’ home? Can he protect his wife, Lucy, and their egg? Can he be the hero Neversink needs?

This is the perfect summer read because it takes place near the Arctic Circle, where it’s very cold. If you are looking for a frosty, snowy treat, this is the perfect Book Snack for YOU!

Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos

13 Apr

Dead End in Norvelt

Caution: Do not read this book while snacking on milk & cookies unless you enjoy snorting milk out of your nose. Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos is a very, very funny book. 🙂 The main character in the book is a boy named Jack Gantos, and he is growing up in the town where Jack Gantos lived, Norvelt. That doesn’t mean this is an autobiography, though. This novel is semi-autobiographical, meaning that parts of this book are true, and other parts are made up. Which parts are which? Try checking out his website to find out!

My favorite scene is right in the beginning. Jack is playing with his father’s things, including a Japanese rifle. Jack doesn’t know that it is loaded, and when he pulls the trigger, the explosion knocks him off his feet! Jack sees blood everywhere and is afraid that he’s shot himself – but it turns out to be just a nosebleed. (He suffers from nosebleeds every time he gets upset). He breathes a sigh of relief – and then an ambulance pulls in to his neighbor’s house – sirens blaring! Has he shot his neighbor? What will Jack’s father do when he finds out?

We have two copies of this book in the library – you’ll have to get on the reserve list to get a taste of this delicious book snack! Don’t forget you can reserve it today by logging in to the library catalog! I definitely recommend this book to any student in 5th or 6th grade. Check it out!

New Books Galore!

22 Nov

Hello, friends! We’ve just gotten quite a few exciting new books, so I’ve been reading like crazy! I’m very excited about a new series by Willim Joyce called “The Guardians of Childhood.” It is a series of six chapter books, plus some picture books. The first picture book is called The Man in the Moon and it sets up the rest of the books in the series. Even though it is a picture book, I would not read it to very young students – it’s a little too scary! The first chapter book tells the story of Nicholas St. North, a swash-buckling bandit without a care in the world. By the end of the book, he has become the legendary St. Nick and a hero. How is he transformed? You’ll have to read the book to find out! The next book will tell the story of E. Aster Bunnymund. If you like original fantasy and adventure, these books are definitely for you! Check out the website!

I’m also reading another book right now called Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu. It’s another fantasy, but it is so different from anything I have read recently! I absolutely love it and can’t wait to tell you more about it as soon as I am done!

I am wondering: How many of you enjoy fantasy? Do you like fantasy with dragons and knights and magic? Or do you like fantasy mixed with realistic fiction? Impossible things that happen in realistic settings? (That is called magical realism, by the way.) Leave your answer in a comment below!