Friday, November 7, 2014

Fiction for Middle and High School

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza - Jack Gantos
Everything goes topsy-turvy for Joey as he becomes the man of the house, looking after his new baby brother, taking care of his troubled mother, and seeking out his missing father.

Greenglass House - Kate Milford
At Greenglass House, a smuggler's inn, twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers' adopted son, plans to spend his winter holidays relaxing but soon guests are arriving with strange stories about the house sending Milo and Meddy, the cook's daughter, on an adventure.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater
Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.


The Haven - Carol Lynch Williams
Established in the year 2020, The Haven is home to teens who are classed as Terminals, whose education, food, rest, and behavior are strictly monitored to save them from Disease, but Shiloh and Gabriel remember a different kind of life, and are on the verge of rebellion.


Brown Girl Dreaming - Jacqueline Woodson
The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Elementary Fiction

El Deafo - Cece Bell
The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her "superpower."


The Fourteenth Goldfish - Jennifer L. Holm
Ellie's scientist grandfather has discovered a way to reverse aging, and consequently has turned into a teenager--which makes for complicated relationships when he moves in with Ellie and her mother, his daughter.

The Blood of Olympus - Rick Riordan
The Greek and Roman demigods must simultaneously prevent the earth mother, Gaea, from waking and stop war from breaking out at Camp Half-Blood.



Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor - Jon Scieszka
In his Grandpa Al's garage workshop, child genius Frank Einstein tries to invent a robot that can learn on its own, and after an accident brings wisecracking Klink and overly expressive Klank to life, they set about helping Frank perfect his Antimatter Motor until his archnemesis, T. Edison, steals the robots for his doomsday plan.

Mikis and the Donkey - Bibi Dumon Tak
Mikis is thrilled when his grandfather buys a new donkey, but soon begins to worry that he is overworking the animal.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New Picture Books

Quest - Aaron Becker
In the Caldecott Honor-winning Journey, much of Becker's energy was devoted to the story's exquisite backdrops. Now, in the second wordless book of his planned trilogy, the focus is on his characters. On a rainy day in a city park, the girl who starred in Journey and the boy introduced at the end take refuge by a doorway under a bridge. To their surprise, a king emerges from the door just long enough to pass the two a map before soldiers apprehend him. Returning to the magical Pallonezia, they find the walled city in flames, under siege. Becker includes wonderfully evocative set pieces - a submerged city, a Mayan temple - as the pair follows the map to collect chalk markers in all the colors of the rainbow to free the king and save the city.

Flashlight - Lizi Boyd
Inside a tent it's cozy. But what is going on outside? Is it dark? Is it scary? Not if you have your trusty flashlight! Told solely through images and using a spare yet dramatic palette, artist Lizi Boyd has crafted a masterful exploration of night, nature, and art. Both lyrical and humorous, this visual poem--like the flashlight beam itself--reveals that there is magic in the darkness. We just have to look for it.

The Sheep Go On Strike - Jean-François Dumont
When the sheep on a farm go on strike rather than having their warm coats sheared off, the other animals begin taking sides until, at last, a compromise can be reached.

Catch That Cookie! - Hallie Durand
Marshall refuses to believe that gingerbread men can run, even after a series of clues leads his class on a riddle-filled gingerbread cookie hunt. A twist on the traditional gingerbread story. Great read for the holidays!


Flora and the Penguin - Molly Idle
In this wordless, lift-the-flap picture book, Flora and her new friend, the penguin, dance on the ice together and learn to treat each other with respect and kindness.


Firefly July: A Year of Very Shot Poems - Paul B. Janeczko
A selection of short American poems dealing with the four seasons and the different weather events and animal patterns that can occur within each.


The Tweedles Go Electric - Monica Kulling & Marie Lafrance
Feeling less than enthusiastic when her eccentric family buys an electric car, avid reader Frances endures taunts by owners of gas-fueled vehicles before driving an injured neighbor to the hospital, an adventure that changes her mind about automobile travel.

Have You Seen My Dragon? - Steve Light
In the heart of the city, among the taxis and towers, a small boy travels uptown and down, searching for his friend. Readers will certainly spot the glorious beast, plus an array of big-city icons they can count. Is the dragon taking the crosstown bus, or breathing his fiery breath below a busy street? Maybe he took a taxi to the zoo or is playing with the dogs in the park.

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads - Bob Shea
The Toad brothers are wreaking havoc in Drywater Gulch when a boy with no experience but immense knowledge of dinosaurs rides into town on his tortoise and declares himself the new sheriff.

Sebastian and the Balloon - Philip C. Stead
When Sebastian launches himself on a journey in a hot air balloon made entirely of Grandma's afghans and patchwork quilts, his boring day turns into the adventure of a lifetime.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Teaching Aids & Educational Games

7 Ate 9 - Players add, or subtract, 1, 2, or 3 to the number on the top card on the pile to determine if they have a card that can be played next.

Magnetic Write-on & Wipe-off Dice - Manipulatives that can be
used to create your own letter, fraction, operation, or other specialty dice.



Phase 10 - A rummy-type card game with a challenging and exciting twist.


Qwirkle - Players attempt to score the most points by building lines that share
a common attribute, either color or shape.


ShapeOmetry - Players combine the green and blue game pieces to create two identical shapes. For development of spatial, abstract, and quantitative reasoning skills. Supports Common Core Math Standards.

Unifix Sudoku - Builds spatial reasoning, problem solving and patterning skills.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Nonfiction for All Ages

For Teachers...
Tinkerlab: 55 Playful Experiments That Encourage Tinkering, Curiosity & Creative Thinking - Rachelle Doorley
Features creative experiments designed to encourage young children to use their natural curiosity to explore, test, play, and tinker.



For Students...

Dolphins - Kate Riggs (K-3)
An introduction to dolphins, covering their growth process, behaviors, the oceans they call home, and such defining physical features as their fins.

Super Sniffers: Dog Detectives on the Job - Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (Grades 3-6)
A dog's nose is 300 times more powerful than a human nose, so it's no wonder that dogs use their incredibly advanced sense of smell to do some very important jobs. This books explores the various ways specific dogs have put their super sniffing ability to use: from bedbug sniffers to explosive detectors to life-saving allergy detectors...and more.

D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944 - Rick Atkinson (Grades 5-8)
Presents a young reader's adaptation of "The Guns at Last Light," tracing the Battle of Normandy and the Allied liberation of Western Europe through the end of World War II.

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia - Candace Fleming
(Young Adult)
From the acclaimed author of Amelia Lost and The Lincolns comes a heartrending narrative nonfiction page-turner--and a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards. When Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew into the Russian Revolution. Deftly maneuvering between the lives of the Romanovs and the plight of Russia's peasants and urban workers--and their eventual uprising--Fleming offers up a fascinating portrait, complete with inserts featuring period photographs and compelling primary-source material that brings it all to life.

The Freedom Summer Murders - Don Mitchell (Young Adult)
In June of 1964, three idealistic young men (one black and two white) were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi. They were trying to register African Americans to vote as part of the Freedom Summer effort to bring democracy to the South. Their disappearance and murder caused a national uproar and was one of the most significant incidents of the Civil Rights Movement, and contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Mitchell takes a comprehensive look at the brutal murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, through to the conviction in 2005 of mastermind Edgar Ray Killen.

A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown's War Against Slavery - Albert Marrin (Young Adult)
Examines the life of abolitionist John Brown and the raid he led on the United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in 1859, exploring his religious fanaticism and belief in "righteous violence,"--and commitment to domestic terrorism.


Middle Grade Fiction

The Mark of the Dragonfly - Jaleigh Johnson
Since her father's death in a factory in the Dragonfly territories, thirteen-year-old Piper has eked out a living as a scrapper in Merrow Kingdom, but the arrival of a mysterious girl sends her on a dangerous journey to distant lands.


Back Before Dark (Code of Silence series) - Tim Shoemaker
When Gordy is abducted in the park, his cousin Cooper will do anything to rescue him and although Hiro and Lunk fear that Cooper will get himself in trouble, too, they join the race against the clock to save their friend. Includes author's notes about friendship, discussion questions, and tips for avoiding abduction.


Below the Surface (Code of Silence series) - Tim Shoemaker
Something is wrong with Cooper. He's plagued by a fear he doesn't understand and can't control. Cooper just wants to escape, and a summer vacation aboard the restored cabin cruiser, The Getaway, with best friends Gordy, Hiro, and Lunk seems like the perfect way to do it. Two weeks of fun with no mysteries or life-and-death danger. That'' the plan. But their plans are shattered the very first night when they witness a murder. Or did they? Despite their intentions of leaving the investigation to the police, narrow misses and creepy encounters lure them in. Is there really a body floating in the underwater currents of the lake? The closer they get to the truth, the deeper into danger they get. Too late they see the trap. Now each of them must face their own buried fears just below the surface.

Sisters - Raina Telgemeier
Raina can't wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren't quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she's also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn't improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn't seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.
Revolution - Deborah Wiles
It's 1964 in Greenwood, Mississippi, and Sunny's town is being invaded by people from up north who are coming to help people register to vote. Her personal life isn't much better, as a new stepmother, brother, and sister are crowding into her life, giving her little room to breathe.



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Picture Books

Biscuit Loves the Library - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
On "Read to a Pet Day" at the library, Biscuit plays with story time puppets, visits with friends, and listens to recorded books before a librarian helps him discover his favorite activity of all.


Mister Bud Wears the Cone - Carter Goodrich
Mister Bud and Zorro have learned how to get along. They made it through Zorro's outfit. But now Mister Bud has to wear...the cone.


Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes - Eric Litwin
As he walks down the street, Pete the cat sings about his brand new white shoes as they change from red to blue to brown to wet.

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes - Eric Litwin
Pete the cat wears his school shoes when visiting the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and more while singing his special song.


Hands & Hearts: With 15 Words in American Sign Language - Donna Jo Napoli
Highlights the bond between a mother and her child while providing a gentle introduction to sign language during their day at the beach.


Clara and Davie: The True Story of Young Clara Barton Founder of the American Red Cross - Patricia Polacco
Relates the story of the special relationship between young Clara Barton, who would one day establish the Red Cross, and her older brother Davie, including Davie's encouragement of Clara's loving, healing nature, and Clara's healing touch that saved Davie's life.

The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - Peter Sis
A biography of French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery.




Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Young Adult Titles

The Vanishing Season - Jodi Lynn Anderson
Girls started vanishing in the fall. For Maggie Larsen, the town of Gill Creek is only a stopgap before college and freedom. Until she meets Pauline and Liam. What starts as an uneventful year suddenly changes. Someone is killing teenaged girls, and the town reels from the tragedy. As Maggie's and Pauline's worlds collide and change around them, they will both experience love and loss. And by the end of the book, only one of them will survive.

Illusive - Emily Lloyd-Jones
After a vaccine accidentally creates superpowers in a small percentage of the population, seventeen-year-old Ciere, an illusionist, teams up with a group of fellow high-class, super-powered thieves to steal the vaccine's formula while staying one step ahead of mobsters and deadly government agents.


The Cracks in the Kingdom - Jaclyn Moriarty
Hoping to bring back her father and the other missing royals of Cello, Princess Ko gathers a group of teens, each with a special ability, including Elliot, whose forbidden communications with Madeleine may be the key to traveling across worlds.

The Shadow Hero - Gene Luen Yang
In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. He solved crimes and fought injustice just like the other comics characters. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding something more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity: the Green Turtle was the first Asian American super hero. The comic had a short run before lapsing into obscurity, but Gene Luen Yang has revived this character in Shadow Hero, a new graphic novel that creates an origin story for the Green Turtle.

Fiction for Middle Grade Readers

The Night Gardener - Jonathan Auxier
Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house.



The Hangman's Revolution - W.A.R.P. Book Two - Eoin Colfer
FBI agent Chevie Savano escapes into the past to elude the secret police after they kill Charles Smart just as he is telling her of the WARP program, and she and Riley team up to find Colonel Clayton Box before he can launch missiles at the capitals of Europe.

New Kid - Tim Green
A troubled kid finds his bearings in a new school after a baseball coach offers him a spot on the team.

The Glass Sentence - S.E. Grove
In 1891, in a world transformed by 1799's Great Disruption--when all of the continents were flung into different time periods--thirteen-year-old Sophia Tims and her friend Theo go in search of Sophia's uncle, Shadrack Elli, Boston's foremost cartologer, who has been kidnapped.

Children of the King - Sonya Hartnett
Cecily and Jeremy have been sent to live with their Uncle Peregrine in the English countryside, safe from the war, along with a young refugee named May. But when Cecily and May find two mysterious boys hiding in the ruins of a nearby castle, an extraordinary adventure begins.

Comics Squad: Recess! -
A collection of comics by a variety of authors about every kid's favorite school subject: recess.


The Desperate Adventures of Zeno & Alya - Jane Kelley
An orphaned African grey parrot who can speak 127 words. A girl so sick, she has forgotten what it means to try. Fate--and a banana nut muffin--bring them together. Will their shared encounter help them journey through storms inside and out? Will they lose their way, or will they find what really matters? Here is a story that will remind readers how navigating so many of life's desperate adventures requires friendship and, above all, hope.