What a delightful look at the relationship of a pair of twins. Each short story provides a laugh with gorgeous full color illustrations to go with it....moreWhat a delightful look at the relationship of a pair of twins. Each short story provides a laugh with gorgeous full color illustrations to go with it. I plan to use this in my library!(less)
This book is told by the dog who believes her name is "Down Girl" and that she and her neighbor "Sit" have to protect their yards from the squirrels....moreThis book is told by the dog who believes her name is "Down Girl" and that she and her neighbor "Sit" have to protect their yards from the squirrels. A fun book to read and perfect for using as a read-a-loud in a classroom or library setting. (less)
The title of this book caught my attention from the beginning. The idea of an enchanted atlas sounded very interesting. The book did not disappoint.
Ka...moreThe title of this book caught my attention from the beginning. The idea of an enchanted atlas sounded very interesting. The book did not disappoint.
Kate, Michael, and Emma have spent their lives being shifted from orphanage to orphanage. They have very little to remind them of their parents, not even a last name. Kate vaguely recalls her mother kissing her goodnight and promising that they would be together again. Michael recalls only a little and Emma recalls nothing. Everything changes the day the three children are moved to an old collapsing mansion by a lake near an abandoned town. While there, they discover the a realm of magic and the power of space and time contained in the atlas.
After inadvertently traveling back in time, the three children witness a sorceress holding the town's children hostage, forcing the townspeople to search for the atlas, supposedly buried under a local mountain. When the sorceress spots the children, the frantically open the atlas to return to their own time. In the process, Michael gets left behind. Now Kate and Emma have to find a way to rescue their brother, while avoiding the evil plans of the sorceress.
With the help of a magician and some friendly (and not so friendly) dwarfs, the children face the destiny before them.
This book is strong in every way. For me, the mark of a well-written book is it's ability to get the reader so focused on the story, that the reader doesn't even notice the writing. This book has that kind of writing. The story moves along quickly, providing the kind of plot momentum that so many children today crave, which is important because of the length of the book. The plot twists and turns make it difficult for the reader to predict where the story ends up. The setting becomes so real, the reader can almost feel it around them.
However, please keep in mind, the book is very detailed and not every reader likes this amount of detail. Character development is also a big part of the story, which I like in the books I read. Kate, Michael, and Emma all struggle with weaknesses and fears brought on by the seeming abandonment of their parents.
All in all I highly recommend this book and willingly add it to my shelf of favorites. The only real problem I had with this book, is knowing that I'll have to wait for the sequels.(less)
Felicity Bathburn Budwig arrives at her father's family home in Maine in the fall of 1940 only to discover that there is tension between her father an...moreFelicity Bathburn Budwig arrives at her father's family home in Maine in the fall of 1940 only to discover that there is tension between her father and his family. She determines not to be influenced by this strange new family, including her Uncle Gideon, Auntie Miami, and The Gram. But as she gets to know them, she realizes that there is more to her family than she ever imagined. The situation gets more complex when she discovers Derek, an adopted boy, who is recovering from polio. When her Uncle Gideon starts receiving letters from Portugal that she is positive come from her parents, who are supposed to be in London. But he won't let her read them. The mystery grows when she and Derek discover that the letters are written in code. She is determined to discover what the letters mean and why her new found family harbors bad feelings toward her parents, Danny and Winnie.
The book is well-written and does a nice job of creating a rather unique setting. I could picture the house on a bluff overlooking the ocean. I could almost smell the ocean breeze. However, I did have a problem with some of the story elements. First, the plot is not very compelling, I had to push myself to finish the book. Although there are a couple of interesting plot twists that help keep the plot going, I'm not sure most kids would bother finishing the book. Second, while the characters are unique enough to be diverting, I didn't really come to care about them a great deal. I only vaguely cared about what happened to them. The book is an interesting read, but not the kind of book that pulls you in.(less)
Abby Carson has perfected the art of homework avoidance. It's not that she can't do it, she just finds other things more enticing. She discovers to he...moreAbby Carson has perfected the art of homework avoidance. It's not that she can't do it, she just finds other things more enticing. She discovers to her shock, however, that unless she can make up some of the missing work, she will be held back a year. Abby finds herself working on a project involving a pen pal from Afghanistan.
Sadeed loves his schoolwork and is the best student in his class, but he cannot correspond with Abby directly, because she is a girl. His younger sister is given the task of corresponding with Abby, but Sadeed finds himself intrigued with the American girl and starts writing to her himself.
Both students find themselves fascinated by the experiences of the other. They soon discover that not all people are willing and able to be so open and accepting. This book provides a glimpse of a lifestyle and culture very different from that of many children in the United States. Clements does a good job of giving the reader characters to root for and an opportunity to realize that people from other cultures can connect with each other if they are willing to try.(less)
Children from Afghanistan have many of the same dreams that children from the United States have, but they also deal with severe struggles. This book...moreChildren from Afghanistan have many of the same dreams that children from the United States have, but they also deal with severe struggles. This book opens a window to give a glimpse of some of these dreams and struggles. Examples include Wahaab, age 10, and Shaheen, age 10, who turned to thievery hoping to earn enough to help provide for their families and now find themselves facing the prospect of jail. Then there is Nasi, who sells plastic boxes in the morning and studies music and math in the afternoons, who hopes to become a teacher.
It's difficult to read this book without wanting to help. Pennies for Peace offers a way for us, who have so much, to help those who have so little, but who dream so big.(less)
Megan, Raf, and Raf's talking dog, Bradley, run the Chicagoland Detective Agency. But Megan is more focused on a chance to meet her favorite musician...more Megan, Raf, and Raf's talking dog, Bradley, run the Chicagoland Detective Agency. But Megan is more focused on a chance to meet her favorite musician, Sun D'Arc. While Raf is stuck at home sick, Megan recruits another friend, William to go with her. Unfortunately, on the way home from what turned out to be a very short interview, William disappears. It is up to Megan and Bradley to find out what has happened to William and how it is connected to the disappearance of a valuable Egyptian artifact.
Like many graphic novels, this one starts right in on the plot. The book is rather lacking in character development, a common flaw in many graphic novels, but reluctant readers won't care. The fast plot, interesting characters, and entertaining artwork are bound to win over even the most reluctant of readers. This is one I plan to add to my library's (less)
ules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days is considered a classic adventure tale. This book revolves around the experiences of an Englishman named Phil...moreules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days is considered a classic adventure tale. This book revolves around the experiences of an Englishman named Phileas Fogg and his servant, Passeportout traveling around the world by boat, train, and any other form of transportation they could find.
This new book surrounds the exploits of Phileas Fogg's son, Harry, who has inherited his father's pride leading him to make a wager similar to his fathers. He must travel around the world by car in 100 days. Harry and his friend, Johnny, have built what they believe to be the ultimate motorcar. Now, Harry and Johnny have the opportunity to test this belief, but there is more at risk than money. In order to get the money to pay for the trip, Harry has promised that if he loses he will buckle down and choose a profession, something he has avoided strenuously. With the addition of two companions, Harry and Johnny are on their way. Charles, the son of the man with whom Harry made his wager, comes along as 'rules enforcer' and Elizabeth, a journalist, to document the trip.
But the plucky group quickly run into all sorts of delays and expenses, including races, wildfires, and possible sabotage. But Harry, like his father, is to determined to give up, even if it means risking the things most precious to him.
This book doesn't quite live up to its predecessor but provides quite a fun trip nonetheless. Harry is a likable, if rather reckless fellow, and Johnny with his vulnerabilities, embraces the readers empathy. The adventures the group encounters move the story along quite well. There are just enough twists and turns to keep the pages turning. And the reader catches a glimpse of the world as it was in 1891 with plenty of bumpy roads. (less)