This tells the story of how Peter Pan came to Neverland. But it isn’t just a story for Disney fans – it’s a swashbuckling, pirate adventure, with myst...moreThis tells the story of how Peter Pan came to Neverland. But it isn’t just a story for Disney fans – it’s a swashbuckling, pirate adventure, with mysteries and battles on pirate ships. It was fast-paced and fun, with strong characters. Molly is a Starcatcher’s daughter – who’s determined to protect a special trunk of stardust from capture by the evil forces. It’s this dust that ends up giving Peter his magical qualities of being able to fly.(less)
Mibs Beaumont's family is unusual - they each possess a savvy, a special knowing, that they discover on their 13th birthday. And yet, they are complet...moreMibs Beaumont's family is unusual - they each possess a savvy, a special knowing, that they discover on their 13th birthday. And yet, they are completely normal as well. I loved this story, in how it's a fantasy (Mibs ends up hearing tatoos speak to her in her mind, her brother's emotions unleash storms and hurricanes) and yet it seems so real as Mibs struggles with real pain. At the beginning of the book, Mib's father is hit by a car and ends up in a coma. Her mother and eldest brother quickly leave for the hospital, leaving Mibs at home with her grandpa and 3 siblings. Mibs is determined to be with her father - she's sure that she can wake him up from his coma - so she sneaks aboard a bus driven by a travelling Bible salesman. Two of her brothers and two friends join her, and the book follows their journey. Along the way, Mibs discovers her savvy, develops a friendship with a boy, and realizes that bad decisions can have unintended good consequences. The audio production was mesmerizing. I'd highly recommend it.(less)
Girls in 3rd and 4th grade often go through friendship troubles. Their friends are so important to them, but they can easily hurt each other's feeling...moreGirls in 3rd and 4th grade often go through friendship troubles. Their friends are so important to them, but they can easily hurt each other's feelings without realizing. Moon Runner is a wonderful book all about how girls negotiate their friendships, while still being true to themselves.
Mina loves her group of friends. Every day they trade their Friendship Ball, adding bits of multicolored yarn to the growing ball. They are each different: Ruth is the athlete, Sammy loves to collect bugs, Alana is the best reader, and Mina is the New Friend. But one day, Coach Lombard asks all the 4th and 5th graders to try out for track: the high jump, the long jump, the fifty meter dash, the team relays.
At first, Mina feels like a tortoise lumbering along, but soon she imagine "a roadrunner skipping along on tall, skinny legs." She starts enjoying running, and begins sailing along. "By the third lap, she remembered her favorite dream of flying off a snowy cliff and over a landscape speckled with pools of turquoise water." Mina actually is a great runner - and she almost beats Ruth. When she ties Ruth in the 50-meter sprint, Mina worries that their friendship will suffer. Should she lose on purpose, if that will save their friendship?
This is a short but heart-felt book, perfect for girls this age dealing with the importance of friendship issues. Mina is a sympathetic and believable character, and middle grade readers (in 3rd through 5th grades) will recognize her struggles as ones they see at school all the time.(less)
This was a nice book, but did not have the dramatic tension that Yin's other book Coolies had. I didn't feel it pulled me through as much. But I loved...moreThis was a nice book, but did not have the dramatic tension that Yin's other book Coolies had. I didn't feel it pulled me through as much. But I loved the illustrations, and it would make a nice introduction to life in San Francisco in the late 1800s.(less)
I'm having a difficult time figuring out about my take on this. I didn't love it, and wanted to stop listening several times - it just grated on me in...moreI'm having a difficult time figuring out about my take on this. I didn't love it, and wanted to stop listening several times - it just grated on me in ways. But...
My daughter (11) loved, loved, loved it. She listened to the audio book three times in a row, I think (that's a lot of hours!). It must have spoken to her at this point in her life, as she's trying to figure out the different social crowds, who people are, what makes them tick.
And I did love the ending. And the way Mass worked in the science and the excitement about the eclipse. And Mass certainly does create characters who sound like tweens or early teens. So much so that it grated on my mom-ears!
But if your tween or teen loves realistic fiction, this is a great one to try.(less)
Mallory is just about to move to a new town, away from her best friend. Moving stinks, especially when Mallory's big brother Max torments her at every...moreMallory is just about to move to a new town, away from her best friend. Moving stinks, especially when Mallory's big brother Max torments her at every turn, and when she has to leave Mary Ann, her best friend in the whole world. But Mallory does end up making a new buddy - Joey - breaking the biggest rule she had for herself: do not make friends with a boy.
What I liked most about this book was how spunky and happy Mallory was. Even though she was angry about moving, she figured out a way to keep telling jokes and to make new friends.(less)
Nikki & Deja are third graders, best friends living next door to each other. Deja can't stop thinking about her birthday party, and Nikki tries to...moreNikki & Deja are third graders, best friends living next door to each other. Deja can't stop thinking about her birthday party, and Nikki tries to be patient and helpful. But just before her birthday, Deja's aunt leaves on a business trip and Deja has to stay with an eldery neighbor - who cooks turnips and watches a black & white TV! Deja's nemisis from school, Antonia, threatens to ruin Deja's party by throwing her own "just because" party on the same day. Will Deja's party turn out OK -- or will it be the worst birthday ever?
This is a great book in so many ways. Most importantly, I could see myself in all of Deja's dilemmas. I think kids will really relate to how hard it is to feel outdone by a kid at school who's out to get all the other kids to come to her party instead of yours. But also, I'm so happy to have found a book for 2nd and 3rd graders with African American main characters. It's so important to be able to share with our kids books with all different characters - especially ones they can relate to.(less)
Kids who are new to reading chapter books love funny stories that they can relate to. Ruby Lu is a happy kid. She likes her house. She likes her stree...moreKids who are new to reading chapter books love funny stories that they can relate to. Ruby Lu is a happy kid. She likes her house. She likes her street. Now that she is almost eight, she's allowed to walk to school by herself, and that is great. With sheer love of life and the courage to take risks, Ruby brings the reader right into the joys and fears of being a kid, especially growing up in a Chinese-American family.
Ruby loves her life – she has a great, positive outlook. But there are days when it's very hard being Ruby. Like the day when her neighbor's baby brother starts talking and Ruby’s baby brother Oscar won’t say anything. Or the day her parents want her to go to Chinese school on Saturdays. “But Ruby understood her grandparents just fine. They loved her and she loved them. They brought her treats and she ate them. They took walks in the park and Ruby led the way.” Ruby takes all sorts of paths dealing with the frustrating things in her life. Just like the kids I know, she changes her mind from hating something to absolutely loving it.
Lenore Look focuses on home, family and cuture in a way that shares this unique viewpoint, making it both universal and personal at the same time. Ruby’s creativity and voice will engage readers from any background, enticing outsiders and welcoming Chinese-Americans. She will have readers laughing at her quirks, and nodding when they see her change her mind about what she loves and hates. Young readers will also appreciate the quick pace of the novel and the funny, frequent illustrations. (less)
Gina is obsessed with making money – her goal in life is to become a millionaire. As summer begins, she’s bored – no camps to go to (too expensive), n...moreGina is obsessed with making money – her goal in life is to become a millionaire. As summer begins, she’s bored – no camps to go to (too expensive), no activities. She meets up with some neighborhood friends and they start the Get Rich Quick Club. They come up with a scheme to make a lot of money: fake a picture of a UFO sighting and sell it to a trashy magazine. Unexpectedly, the scheme takes off beyond their dreams – but then comes crashing down. Personally, I liked the beginning and the premise – but it didn’t really grab me or have much substance to it. Sort of funny, but not great.(less)
This book has an amazing voice. Told from a first person point of view, the author brought me into feeling like a 12 year old girl struggling to under...moreThis book has an amazing voice. Told from a first person point of view, the author brought me into feeling like a 12 year old girl struggling to understand herself, made me remember what it felt like to try to understand myself, my friends, my Big Purpose.
At its heart, it's a story about friendship. D Foster came into the main character's life just a few months before Tupac got shot the first time. D's foster mom lets her roam, and one day she appeared on Neeka and the narrator's block. Over the next two years, the three girls (Neeka, D, and the narrator) develop a strong friendship - they become Three the Hard Way.
"How could I explain even a little bit of this to Mama - how some days D smiled at me and felt like my missing half. ... D was home to me and Neeka. D was ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies. She was sun and crazy loud laughter and warm rain."
But D disappeared just as suddenly as she appeared. And Neeka and the narrator have to come to terms with that. Tupac is shot, and D is gone. But they'll both be part of their lives forever. In the end, I found that the big message was that home is where people love and accept you for who you are, even if your story has missing pieces.(less)