In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
I enjoyed many books recently:
Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd – Picture Book Treasure – wordless picture book – peek through pages – my son was enamoured with this book. I was pleasantly surprised by this as he is older now, never know how someone would react to a wordless picture book… but this one is such a celebration of nature, art, and seasons… we read through the book twice in one sitting. Expecting it to be very popular at school! Goodreads Summary: “What is happening outside today? Peek through the window to find out. What is happening inside? Peek again! Whimsical die-cuts throughout lead to charming and surprising reveals with every turn of the page. Filled with fun details (can you find the two mice playing throughout?), this deceptively simple book is one readers will visit again and again.”
Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue! An Origami Yoda Book by Tom Angleberger – Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Loved every minute of this book. Chuckled throughout and yet was simultaneously cheering on the incredible students who knew that what they were experiencing at their school for test prep just was not right. Loved how they made their voices heard. Loved how there were little messages throughout. Loved how voices changed throughout the book with distinct personalities… Now, as for testing, video watching and more… I can remember how my teacher wheeled in the tv with the vhs player as the special new learning half hour. We had music and science a few times a week watching that screen. I disliked it immensely. I remember when we learned how to sing a few songs that I won’t get into now… To imagine school boards would invest in a tv program and cut other elective activities, heartbreaking, but honestly, it is happening, I’ve seen it before… and this was a book with vindication! Love love loved every minute, highly recommended. Goodreads Summary: “HELP US, PRINCIPAL RABBSKI. YOU’RE OUR ONLY HOPE. In their fight against FunTime, the tedious, elective-crushing test prep program, Origami Yoda and the Rebel Alliance have found powerful allies in unexpected places. But the allegiance of one mysterious, all-powerful figure remains to be seen: Principal Rabbski. She says she’ll help the rebels, but how? The state standards tests are just a month away, and the FunTime Menace is as strong as ever.
With time running out, one rebel decides to take matters into her own hands. The rogue rebel’s code name? Princess Labelmaker! Convinced the Alliance’s case file will persuade Rabbski to join the Rebellion, Princess Labelmaker steals it and delivers it right to the principal herself! Will the case file convert the principal…or bring about the Alliance’s doom?”
How the Dinosaur Got To The Museum by Jessie Hartland – (The story of a 145 million-year journey from the Jurassic plains of Utah to the halls of the Smithsonian Institution) – Non-fiction – This is quite the well written read aloud. Love the pattern style and fats shared throughout. Glad to add this book to the library. Think it is a perfect example of quality word choice and fantastic illustrations as well… Goodreads Summary: “Acclaimed author/illustrator Jessie Hartland presents the fascinating 145-million-year journey of a dinsoaur: a Diplodocus longus, from its discovery in 1923 in Utah to its arrival in the hallowed halls of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.”
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork – High School – What a tumultuous road this character travels on. I loved reading Marcelo’s point of view with his “similar to Asperger’s syndrome” perspective. Touching book as a father tries to do what he thinks is best for his son, a mother also tries her best, and a son comes to terms with the world and begins to grabble with complicated situations. Highly recommended. Loved every minute- especially as an audiobook. Goodreads Summary: “Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear–part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify–and he’s always attended a special school where his differences have been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that Marcelo work in his law firm’s mailroom in order to experience “the real world.” There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm.
He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it’s a picture he finds in a file — a picture of a girl with half a face — that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.”
Nest by Esther Ehrlich – Realistic Fiction – Unsure about age- 6th grade and up perhaps? – This wripped me up and stomped on my heart, over and over again. It was one of those gorgeous stories that I just had to complete. Get done with. Finish the roller coaster of emotions and upset. So. I recommend this book. Thoroughly. Just be prepared. Seriously. Prepare yourself plenty. I appreciated how MS was a topic in this book, it is not a topic in many children’s novels and I certainly think that reading about it was a welcome change. Additionally, the other topics I really don’t want to talk about were also important. Heartwrenching. Important… Goodreads Summary: “In 1972 home is a cozy nest on Cape Cod for eleven-year-old Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein, her older sister, Rachel; her psychiatrist father; and her dancer mother. But then Chirp’s mom develops symptoms of a serious disease, and everything changes.
Chirp finds comfort in watching her beloved wild birds. She also finds a true friend in Joey, the mysterious boy who lives across the street. Together they create their own private world and come up with the perfect plan: Escape. Adventure. Discovery.”
How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied by Jess Keating – Realistic Fiction – 4/5th grade and up – Wonderful coming of age novel with the twists of living in a zoo and best friend being gone. Love how character development grew in the book… I wish there was more with the grandfather, really enjoyed scenes with him. Also, trying to imagine living in a zoo is a challenge. Reminded me of another character that was stuck living in a zoo with his parents- Poached and Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs. Think Teddy and Ana would get along quite well! Snagged two quotes: “All of my energy drained down through my toes and out my chair when I saw how happy they were. This couldn’t be happening.” “And most importantly? I had that little seedling of bravery.” Goodreads Summary: “What would middle school be like if you lived in a zoo? Ana didn’t ask to be named after an anaconda. She didn’t ask for zoologist parents who look like safari guides. And she definitely didn’t ask for a twin brother whose life goal seems to be terrorizing her with his pet reptiles. Now, to make matters worse, her parents have decided to move the whole family INTO the zoo! All of which gives the Sneerers (the clan of carnivorous female predators in her class) more ammunition to make her life miserable-and squash any hope of class tennis stud, Zack, falling in love with her. Ana tries to channel her inner chameleon and fade into the background, but things are changing too quickly for her to keep up.”
The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson – Science Fiction/Steampunk, 5th grade and up – I was lost in this book. Really interesting futuristic premise with many more questions than answers. Enjoyed the characters, story development, adventures, and more. I loved how this book threw me into memories of other steampunk books. For those students who enjoyed Airman by Colfer and Leviathan by Westerfeld will certainly enjoy this book. Recommended. Goodreads Summary: “Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields. The girl doesn’t remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she’s from the Dragonfly Territories and that she’s protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home. The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect–everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible. Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.”
Sneaking in an adult book-
People I want to punch in the throat: Competetive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges by Jen Mann — Adults only, totally inappropriate for children, seriously. I laughed my way through this book. I need to reread it now because I just didn’t want to stop. It almost reads like short stories but also has a flow that doesn’t let you want to leave the author’s world. This book made me appreciate living in an apartment. There are many pretentious people living here in Hong Kong but I don’t have to deal with so many things that are mentioned in this book and I’m quite grateful. Also am grateful I don’t deal with car ownership for the time being… Plus this book was HILARIOUS, RIOTOUS, worth the read… just be aware that there is blatant swearing throughout that I didn’t mind but others might wince at… Goodreads Summary: “People I want to punch in the throat:
• anyone who feels the need to bling her washer and dryer
• people who treat their pets like children
Jen Mann doesn’t have a filter, which sometimes gets her in trouble with her neighbors, her fellow PTA moms, and that one woman who tried to sell her sex toys at a home shopping party. Known for her hilariously acerbic observations on her blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat, Mann now brings her sharp wit to bear on suburban life, marriage, and motherhood in this laugh-out-loud collection of essays. From the politics of joining a play group, to the thrill of mothers’ night out at the gun range, to the rewards of your most meaningful relationship (the one you have with your cleaning lady), nothing is sacred or off-limits. So the next time you find yourself wearing fuzzy bunny pajamas in the school carpool line or accidentally stuck at a co-worker’s swingers party, just think, What would Jen Mann do? Or better yet, buy her book.”
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.
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