Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Duff

Bianca struggle for self-control is edgy and probably a bit too sexy for a school audience in Kody Keplinger’s The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). The storyline is pretty predictable but the redeeming value is Bianca’s reflective, smart, sometimes in-your-face … Continue reading

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Brothers at bat: the true story of an amazing all-brother baseball team

Summary:  Here’s a story that seems almost impossible to believe, but yet it is a true story about an American family.  The Acerra family had 16 children.  Twelve were boys, just enough to field a baseball team!  This was the … Continue reading

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Njinga: The Warrior Queen. (The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Dastardly Dames)

Summary:  As part of the series, “The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Dastardly Dames,” Njinga, the Warrior Queen tells the story of a young girl growing up in West Africa.  Njinga was born into a royal African family in 1583.  When … Continue reading

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Heroes of the surf: A rescue story based on true events

Summary:   Two boys playing “pirate” on a steamship off the coast of New Jersey in 1882 find themselves in real danger when their ship runs aground.   Hope is almost lost when waves are too high to lower the life boats.  … Continue reading

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Claude Debussy: (First discovery – music)

Summary:  In an attractive “picture book” format, author Pierre Babin tells the story of musician Claude Debussy.  Claude was born in 1862 near Paris.  His early life wasn’t easy.  His parents owned a shop, but were not very good at … Continue reading

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Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of engineering with 25 projects (Build it yourself series)

Summary:  Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate feats of Engineering with 25 projects by Donna Latham, is the latest edition of the excellent (Build it yourself series), which includes such titles as Backyard Biology: Investigate habitats outside your door with 25 projects … Continue reading

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The Adventures of Sir Balin the Ill-Fated

Summary:  The night Balin is born in Norththumberland, the old woman of the mountain arrives and predicts greatness for the newborn!  “But wait,” the old woman exclaims!  “There’s a cloud over this!” “His greatness will bring calamity to all his … Continue reading

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Bushman lives!

Summary:  This is the story of Harold Knishke, a Chicago teenager growing up in the 60s.  He loves “Bushman,” the famed recently departed gorilla of the Lincoln Park Zoo.   “Bushman lives” is a common greeting among his friends!   After his … Continue reading

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Bug Off! Creepy, Crawly Poems

  A collection of 13 poems about bugs.  “Tiny living beings [with] a beauty and  mystery all their own” is Yolen’s apt description of the insects featured in this book. Jason Stemple uses macro photography to capture fascinating and interesting … Continue reading

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Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings

The opening poem on the inside front flap – Let’s Play Ball! begins the inspired collection of poems all about baseball.  Florian takes the reader from opening season warm ups to end of season reminiscing. There is a poem for … Continue reading

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Get Into Any College:  Secrets of Harvard Students

Authors of this self-help book are both Harvard graduates who have crafted a fine book of guidelines for parents, students and school staff for how to succeed in all the many aspects of college/university choice and acceptance.  Any student in … Continue reading

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Up! Tall! and High!

2013 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner A group of funny, colorful birds will amuse children as they learn the concepts of up, down, tall, small and high.  Readers are introduced to the comic antics of the birds in three separate … Continue reading

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Memorial Day

Primary, nonfiction book which explains the importance of Memorial Day, as celebrated by the people of the United States, to honor the people who served in the armed forces.  Honored are the ones who gave their lives, and also those … Continue reading

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The Mighty Mars Rovers, The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Oppotunity

Very informative book about the Mars mission of the Exploration Rover Mission.  Eleven full chapters with photos, captions,  and lots of text, probably best fit at the Middle School level, but all will find this an enticing and informative piece.  … Continue reading

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Washington, D.C.

In the latest Third Edition of the America the Beautiful series, the design and layout has been updated to appeal to readers who like gorgeous photographs, or illustrations, sidebars with FAQs, “Who knew?” facts to keep you thinking, travel guide … Continue reading

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Pennsylvania

Designed for kid appeal, this well researched, latest third addition to the American the Beautiful state books series, will give students detailed and interesting information about what started out as William Penn’s 1682 colony.  The contents covers Land, First People, … Continue reading

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Montana

Well researched and well designed layout with gorgeous photographs, as well as helpful special features,  make this a top consideration for a print choice in state studies.  Content covers Land, First People, Exploration and Settlement, Growth and Change, Modern Times, … Continue reading

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Vikings: A Guide to the Terrifying Conquerors

In 48 pages, this book provides a nice overview of the Viking society during the 250 years that they were famous and feared raiders of Europe.  Detailing the art, technology, religions, class structure, leadership, weapons, tools, daily life as well … Continue reading

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Time to Recycle

The eight topics in the table of contents: Recycling, Collection, Glass, Metal, Plastic, Paper, At the Store, and Make Paper are accompanied by a well photographed landfill, garbage truck, recycle bins, recycling center with stacks of crushed cubes of squashed … Continue reading

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Recycling is Fun

Eight little couplets for young learners to recite and enjoy about dividing used packaging for curbside pickup, donating goods to second hand stores, and using old odds and ends to make toys and crafts. Cheery vibrantly colorful pictures of young … Continue reading

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Backyard Biology

This amazing science experiment book focuses on topics related to biology.  The chapters include:  The Study of Life, Cells Alive!, Microbiology Reveals an Invisible World, Plants Make Life Possible, Plant Life Cycles, Adaptations are a Matter of Life and Death, … Continue reading

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The Curious, Captivating, Unusual History of Sports

This book focuses on sports related facts, events and trends that are not typically highlighted.  For example, how uniforms and sports-related fashion have evolved over the years, how ancient sporting events relate to modern ones, the effects of technological developments … Continue reading

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Bless This Mouse

This is a novel set in Saint Bartholemew’s Catholic church.  The main characters are mice who scurry around foraging for food and trying to avoid detection by Father Murphy and his congregation in fear of “The Great X” (exterminator).  A … Continue reading

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Mountain Climbing

The mountain climbing photographs in this book are especially breathtaking and enhance the text well.  The author has done a nice job of presenting the adventurous, exciting and dangerous nature of this sport as well as practical considerations.  The reader … Continue reading

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The Eagles are Back

This majestic picture book tells the story of the American Bald Eagle as it faced extinction and was brought back to stronger numbers by the care of wildlife experts and concerned citizens.  This book focuses on one concerned boy, who … Continue reading

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