Eerie Elementary is the first in a series of beginning chapter books that combines the spooky with adventure and humor, making it a great sell for you...moreEerie Elementary is the first in a series of beginning chapter books that combines the spooky with adventure and humor, making it a great sell for young readers. Sam has been selected to be the hall monitor, a job he is not looking forward to. When the school starts to actually attack him, he finds out he’s not the average hall monitor and must protect his classmates from the evil that lies in the walls of his school.
With the help of his mentor, a janitor who was the last hall monitor to protect the school from itself, he must figure out a way to fight the evil. His friends at first think he’s crazy until they see the school act up and then they are more than willing to help Sam out. I thought this was a great first book and had all the elements that my students love in 2nd/3rd grade. A little bit spooky, a little bit funny and jam packed with action, I’m sure I’ll have trouble keeping this new series on my library shelves.
Also, the illustrations in this book are really well drawn and I love the way situations play out in the drawn scenes. The quicksand is a favorite scene of mine.
Get ready for a spooky adventure full of laughs and action. A series your beginning chapter book readers will not want to miss.(less)
Annika Riz is a math whiz, only her friends cannot stand math class. When a sudoku contest comes to the library, she knows that she can prove to her f...moreAnnika Riz is a math whiz, only her friends cannot stand math class. When a sudoku contest comes to the library, she knows that she can prove to her friends that math can be cool if she wins. I completely connected with Annika, having loved math when I was in elementary and middle school. I also grew up with a math family, only not to the extreme of having numerical decorations all over her house. I love the mix of baking and how it connects to math in this story. I think anyone who has messed up a batch of cookies will laugh at the several attempts the girls make at making them for their school carnival.
I also love the point the teacher makes towards the end of the book, that everyone shows their enthusiasm in different ways. I think this relates to every part of the story as Annika laments that her friends don’t appreciate the thing she loves as much as she does. Even worse, they dread learning math.
One of my other favorite parts of this book was when Annika tried to teach her dog how to count with the aide of dog treats. She often gave him the reward even when he did not bark or tap his paw the correct amount of times. Overall, I really loved this story and I think young readers will relate to their own favorite topic of learning, even if it’s not math.
The Franklin School Friends is definitely a series I will be recommending to my 3rd graders. (less)
Zita the Spacegirl is on trial for all the bad things she's done while saving countless others. Unfortunately, it isn't a fair trial and she's pretty...moreZita the Spacegirl is on trial for all the bad things she's done while saving countless others. Unfortunately, it isn't a fair trial and she's pretty sure she'll be stuck in the jail with an animated set of bones and a talking set of rags for the rest of her days. After one failed escape attempt, Zita finds that not only is her and her mouse's lives in danger but all of those that reside on planet Earth. With the help of a dark and stealthy humanoid figure, she will have to escape and find a way to save the world again.
I have a fondness for Zita and her adventures and I loved the surprise on who her dark, stealthy helper is in the end. The illustrations are really to die for and I wish that Hatke was coming to Naperville instead of downtown Chicago, I would love to meet him and get him to sign all of my Zita books.
These graphic novels are a fantastic read for both children and adults alike. I love the mix of science fiction with a superhero vibe. It's rare to find such a great mix of elements that will appeal so widely and I think any reader would enjoy this series.(less)
Fly Away is the story of Lucy, a girl who says she cannot sing. Her little brother barely talks, but sings perfectly in tune when no one else is liste...moreFly Away is the story of Lucy, a girl who says she cannot sing. Her little brother barely talks, but sings perfectly in tune when no one else is listening but Lucy. All Lucy wants to do is to be able to sing like the rest of her family, but she keeps that inside of her and treasures the moments she has with her little brother. Her family is on the way to help her Aunt, who lives on land that always floods at this time of year.
Although she tells them not to come, Lucy's parents bear through and make it to Aunt Frankie's, just in time. This year, the flooding is worse and through it all, Lucy learns a lot. When her little brother goes missing, she knows she is the only one he will sing out to. Lucy must find her voice so she can sing their song and find her brother.
Fly Away was a touching story of family and how small things, though not perfect are important. Although a short read, Lucy's story is powerful and brought me to tears. There were so many great moments in the story that really had me thinking. I loved the friend of Aunt Frankie's, who was there to help and there was something more. I love that Maclachlan put in strains of stories that all tied together in a way that impacted the reader.(less)
The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza is an interesting graphic novel from the point of view of an alien who gets a call to deliver a pizza. Instead o...moreThe Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza is an interesting graphic novel from the point of view of an alien who gets a call to deliver a pizza. Instead of telling the person that he's not a pizza place, he embarks on a journey to deliver said pizza. This graphic novel was a nutty adventure full of random encounters and an ending that had me laughing.
I love the design of the characters and world and especially the talking backpack, which seems much more intelligent than the hero of the story. The comedy of the story is very slapstick and a book that will have many young, eager readers. The colors in the book are very bright and create a unique world for readers to explore. While it wasn't a favorite of mine or gave a lot of depth in a story, I'm sure my students will love every aspect of this book.
I'm hoping we will see future adventures of The Glorkian Warrior as it's a character that really came to life and sparked some hilarious moments.(less)
What always strikes me about the Adventures in Cartooning series is how many laugh out loud moments it has. My students cannot keep their hands off th...moreWhat always strikes me about the Adventures in Cartooning series is how many laugh out loud moments it has. My students cannot keep their hands off these books. Melding a mixture of how-to with a hilarious story, this third book shows readers how to create their own characters. Our night in shining armor heads off to save the day, only to find that there is a mean film director looking for the right characters for his movie.
The illustrations are so much fun in this book, simple but fantastic, showing readers that it can be easy to create your own comic book characters. The hilarious moments are done with great dialogue and hilarious moments that make it one of the best graphic novel series for kids. It’s really hard to review these books because I just want to hand all of you readers a copy and tell you to go devour it. They’re short, fun and full of great drawing advice. I highly recommend Adventures in Cartooning to any young, budding artists.(less)
When I received The Lost Boy in the mail, I knew I had to read it that week. A fantasy graphic novel that was so pleasing to the eye, I could not res...more When I received The Lost Boy in the mail, I knew I had to read it that week. A fantasy graphic novel that was so pleasing to the eye, I could not resist diving into it, pushing a lot of books on my list. I was not disappointed and from the first page was captured by the story. Nate has just moved into town and finds a tape recorder under the floorboards of his new room. The story told on this tape is nothing short of fantastical. With the help of a neighbor girl named Tabitha, they delve into the tapes, recorded 50 years ago by a boy who later disappeared.
I loved the darkness of the illustrations that matched the story perfectly. Nate starts seeing the creatures most cannot see and finds himself involved in the tale personally, not just listening to it. I don't want to give too much away but the story was wrought with danger and a variety of fantastical creatures. I loved the twist and I felt I never wanted the book to end. I have a feeling this is the first in a new series (hopefully!) as there is a lot left at the end that can be turned into a series.
Nate and Tabitha are both characters that you want to root for and I found myself loving each character encountered, whether bad or good. The illustrations really brought the whole story to life and reminded me of Doug TenNapel's darker graphic novel Cardboard. I'm really excited to see what will be next for Nate in the next book and will probably revisit this book frequently while I wait.
Final Verdict: A dark fantasy that is still appropriate for middle grades and contains illustrations that will blow the reader away. (less)
Short & Sweet: Clementine is a series I've meant to pick up but haven't until now. I listened to this one on audio while cleaning and found myself...moreShort & Sweet: Clementine is a series I've meant to pick up but haven't until now. I listened to this one on audio while cleaning and found myself laughing and smiling along with the narration. Clementine knows she is not the easy child, and often says she is the only one who does pay attention. Just not to what her teachers and parents tell her to. I love seeing the story through Clementine, who definitely reminds me of some of my own students. I'm sure this book will resonate with a lot of students and will hopefully connect with Clementine and her odd ways.
Final Verdict: A great audiobook and a wonderful story that everyone should read. I cannot wait to read more of the stories about her. (less)
Plot: Phoebe is a young orphaned girl who lives with her robot Max and has gone undetected since her parents passed away. All that is about to change...morePlot: Phoebe is a young orphaned girl who lives with her robot Max and has gone undetected since her parents passed away. All that is about to change as someone is after her, or rather something that her parents left behind. At the orphanage she is taken to, Phoebe meets five other kids whose parents were killed in the same accident. Together, they must find out why their parents were killed and how to save the world. A fast-paced sci-fi adventure, The Silver Six is a graphic novel that will have readers turning page after page.
Characters: Phoebe is a smart character who knows how to go undetected. She has the sense to remain in school and pretend that things are normal so that she won't be taken away from her home. Her robot Max cracks me up and I grew fond of him quickly. I love the interactions between Phoebe and her robot as well as the other orphans. There's an obvious quality of geekiness to the six children which leads to quick thinking and being able to think themselves out of many dangerous situations.
Graphics: I loved the artistry in this graphic novel. I have a thing for full color as well and I felt like it brought the world to life. The science fiction themes run strong throughout the novel and are reflected in the costumes and architecture of the world.
Final Verdict: A great graphic novel that will have fans of Zita the Spacegirl and all things graphic novel reading on until the end. (less)
Plot: Theodora thinks she has the perfect life until a new neighbor shows up. Suddenly, she finds that being all by herself is not as great as she fir...morePlot: Theodora thinks she has the perfect life until a new neighbor shows up. Suddenly, she finds that being all by herself is not as great as she first thought. Chad has his own way of living and soon Theodora realizes maybe she is not the normal perfect duck she thought she was. I love this friendship and how it blossoms throughout the story. There's ups and downs as Chad and Theodora begin to learn more about each other and themselves.
Characters: I simply love Theodora, who seems to take after my own heart. Chad reminds me of many friends and is zany in his own ways. Together, the two really learn a lot about friendship.
Graphics: I love the style and colors in this book. Lots of beautiful pastels are used in the book and really make it come to life.
Final Verdict: A fantastic graphic novel for all ages that has a wonderful message about friendship. (less)
Plot: Santa Claus is getting ready for Christmas, when he realizes children do not want quality toys any more. He thinks up writing a comic book for...more Plot: Santa Claus is getting ready for Christmas, when he realizes children do not want quality toys any more. He thinks up writing a comic book for children to enjoy and with the help of a special elf, they find an exciting Christmas story to send to children. When they are distributed, Santa still does not hear back from children and so the elf asks readers to create their own comic story to share to cheer Santa up. The humor and the fun format of this Christmas special of Adventures in Cartooning takes children on a silly and unique ride on how to get children to turn off their electronics for just one day.
Graphics: The illustrations and writing in this book are so imaginative and well-done that it makes for a fantastic read. This would be a great book to share with students on the importance of books and stories, whether in a graphic format or not.
Final Verdict: I think this should be in every elementary library. Students loved the first one in this series, so much I’ve had to replace copies every year because they fall to pieces from being read often. It has a great message for students and is a fun and engaging read. (less)