In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts and http://www.unleashingreaders.com for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! Happy Picture Book Month! I’ve enjoyed numerous novels and a good dose of Beverly Cleary recently.
Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane & Hoda Hadadi – What a beautiful, lovely, enchanting cultural book. Really showed how family traditions are embraced, respected and understood. It was so touching to read how a little girl wanted to show her mother that she was old enough to wear a malafa. What is a malafa? pretty cloth that Muslim women wear in Mauritania to cover their clothing and heads that they wear in public. Goodreads Summary: “Lalla lives in the Muslim country of Mauritania, and more than anything, she wants to wear a malafa, the colorful cloth Mauritanian women, like her mama and big sister, wear to cover their heads and clothes in public. But it is not until Lalla realizes that a malafa is not just worn to show a woman’s beauty and mystery or to honor tradition—a malafa for faith—that Lalla’s mother agrees to slip a long cloth as blue as the ink in the Koran over Lalla’s head, under her arm, and round and round her body. Then together, they pray.”
Poached by Stuart Gibbs http://stuartgibbs.com/books/ I read Poached before I read the prequel. Whoops. That’s ok. I thought this book had an amazing opening that led you from one chapter to the next with such great pacing, something I’ve missed for some reason lately… I thought that there couldn’t be a bully as bad as Vance but as I read further into the book I accepted the character where he was at without any further need for background information about him. As for the main character, Teddy, I love his sleuthing ability. It was fantastic to experience how one kid’s random observations could help lead to solving multiple crimes and I certainly didn’t mind how the story wrapped up. Most excellent story. Highly recommended.
A few lines I appreciated:
“After all those years in the bush, I kept thinking humans will behave as nicely toward one another as gorillas do. But they don’t, do they?”
“There are far more owners of exotic pets than anyone realizes. Especially around here. Did you know there are more tigers in captivity in Texas than wild tigers in the entire world?” I looked to him, surprised. “You mean, like pets?” Dad nodded. “And that’s just tigers. People also have lions, leopards, bears, chimps, zebras, and who knows what else. Maybe one of those collectors was dying to have a koala.”
Goodreads Summary: “Teddy Fitzroy’s back for another zoo mystery—this time it’s a koala caper—in this action-packed follow-up to Belly Up, which Kirkus Reviews called “great fun.” School troublemaker Vance Jessup thinks Teddy Fitzroy’s home at FunJungle, a state-of-the-art zoo and theme park, is the perfect place for a cruel prank. Vance bullies Teddy into his scheme, but the plan goes terribly awry. Teddy sneaks into the koala exhibit to hide out until the chaos dies down. But when the koala goes missing, Teddy is the only person caught on camera entering and exiting the exhibit. Teddy didn’t commit the crime—but if he can’t find the real culprit, he’ll be sent to juvie as a convicted koala-napper.”
The Templeton Twins Make a Scene by Ellis Weiner – quite an amusing story. It was nice to jump back into that nonsensical story. The dialogue of the narrator kept the pacing up except when there were amusing distractions. I hope that students enjoy the humor and “get” it. Good story about disguises, inventions, kidnapping, and theater.
Amusing portion I enjoyed reading: “My catchphrase is, “Oh really? Well, isn’t that interesting that you think that? Although as a matter of fact, I happen to know that you are wrong and I am right.” I say this all the time. People have told me that, as a catchphrase, it is not as short and punchy as it might be. In response, I merely repeat my catchphrase to them.”
Goodreads Summary: “With its kid-perfect humor and dynamic illustrations, Book 1 of the hilarious Templeton Twins series left young readers clamoring for more. This time, Abigail and John Templeton find themselves at TAPAS (the Thespian Academy of the Performing Arts and Sciences) where their father, the illustrious Professor Templeton, has been hired to invent a groundbreaking theatrical device. Once again, there is drama (of course!), silliness, and suspense, as the twins (and their ridiculous dog) must thwart the dastardly Dean brothers in order to save the invention as well as their father (and the dog). Oh yes, there is sure to be another recipe. This time for guacamole. Or is it coleslaw?”
Fun and Games by David Michael Slater – Realistic Fiction – Adult – Really, this is an adult book. I’m enjoying the humor and various disasters that Jon deals with from one crisis to another. There were many scenes that made me laugh aloud and then additionally many scenes and incidences that just broke my heart. There’s no break for Jon in this book, even when he’s going through days of his life a little clueless, his actions are impacting others in ways that are unknown until too late. I was relieved to finish this story since I started feeling like part of Jon’s terrible family during the read and I just couldn’t handle all the tumultuous situations they were living through. I do recommend this book and know that many will love this realistic fiction book filled with heart, family and friendship, and a good dose of religion as well.
Goodreads Summary: “The 1980’s: it’s the time of Dungeons & Dragons, banana clips, and Atari. Jonathan Schwartz is growing up in a family like no other. His sisters, Nadia, the dark genius, and Olivia, the gorgeous tease and temptress, manipulate Jon and his friends for their own entertainment. And his Holocaust survivor grandparents? Their coping techniques are beyond embarrassing. A disastrous visit to Jon’s class by his grandmother unhinges his famous father, setting off a chain of events that threatens to send the dysfunctional Schwartz clan up in flames once and for all. Fun & Games is a heartbreaking and hilarious story of faith, family secrets, betrayal, and loss-but it’s also a tale of friendship, love, and side-splitting shenanigans.”
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – Horror- Young Adult/High School – Months ago my husband and I agreed to go see a zombie movie. That is not my normal type of movie, I’m a little squeamish at times. We both walked out of the theater thinking about how good this movie was… it has been rare that we both are really impressed with a movie. Recently, I came across a copy of the book because a parent donated it for our book sale coming up in a few weeks. I knew I wanted to read and compare how the novel was adapted to screen. It was really interesting to picture the action scenes and there are some extra storylines added in but overall, I enjoyed the novel just as much. So, a zombie YA novel read. Check. On to the next book!
Goodreads Summary: “‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.
This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight…”
Young Knights of the Round Table by Julia Golding – Science Fiction/Fantasy, 4/5th grade and up -I enjoyed reading this interesting fantasy book. It was introduced with the premise that Fey Folk kidnapped a boy named Rick who they raised in the magical world of Avalon and tried to convince that humans are the enemy. What an adventure he and two other children go on, sent on a mission to Earth to discover why Avalon might be attacked.
Goodreads Summary: “Humans are the enemy!
That’s what Rick’s been taught to believe by the Fey Folk who stole him. Taken to the magical realm of Avalon, he’s been trained – alongside other kids like him – into an elite force of warriors.
When rumours start that a new generation of knights are re-forming the Round Table to attack Avalon, the Fey entrust Rick with a mission: go to Earth, find the knights, and stop them.
Well, not exactly… No training could prepare him for the shock of being a modern teenager. And when he discovers that the Fey have been lying to him, Rick has to ask: if humans aren’t the enemy – who is?”
Audiobooks Galore from Beverly Cleary: Henry Huggins, Henry and Beezus, Henry and Ribsy, Henry and the Paper Route, Henry and the Clubhouse, and Ribsy – I was quite happy to listen to this collection of books! It was quitespecial to listen to Beverly Cleary introduce the book and honestly loved listening to Neil Patrick Harris narrate most of the stories. What a treasured character I just love remembering from childhood. I’m happy that I’ve been able to introduce my son to Henry Huggins, perfect for his age and life experiences from dealing with pushy kids to losing teeth to loving dogs to taking on responsibility.
The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner – Realistic Fiction, High School – I have this advanced readers copy but unfortunately it is only accessible on my laptop. The laptop is heavy and not easy to read presently… so as much as I’m enjoying Gae Polisner’s brilliance with this book, I’m slowly working my way through this book.
Goodreads Summary: “Still reeling from her little brother’s drowning death, a girl finds her herself holding back – from summer trips to the ocean, friendship, budding romance – till she meets another young boy who may be her brother’s reincarnation, which awakens her to new possibilities.”
Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader! Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.
FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Additionally this site is a Powells Books affiliate, and purchases made through the linked book covers may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).
© 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.