Archive for March, 2011

Great Reads


I just want to share the last few books I picked up to read. It seems like I am on a roll and liked each one. Some were from the book fair and also from new books in the library.

Fish by Gregory Mone

I can’t think of a pirate adventure book that I have ever read, so this would be a first.  I loved the story and it was kid friendly despite the fact the pirates aren’t very law abiding citizens!  The main character is called Fish because he is such a good swimmer. He comes from a very poor family in Ireland and ends up getting a job in the city to help his family out.  The job as a messenger eventually leads him to meeting pirates who take him on their ship.  He discovers that his ship captain is really on a treasure  seeking mission and Fish has some abilities which can help him.  Yes, there is fighting and mayhem. Fish decides to learn how to non-fight so he doesn’t have to hurt anyone.  He rescues a boy who is forced to walk the plank and he is loyal to his word.  There is no swearing in the book although the pirates are very creative in their name calling.  A sense of humor and fantasy are the upper notes of this book.  I could see this book being a wonderful Disney animated musical movie.  Enjoy the adventure!

Radiance by Alyson Noel

This books starts with the main character, 12- year old Riley Bloom, dying in a car crash and discovering she is  in the after life.  She is given the task of becoming a soul catcher and going back to earth when the after life powers realize that Riley just wants to go back to earth.  A soul catcher is like an after life ghost buster.  She is given the task of persuading a young ghost in the castle to give up the haunting and leave the earth for his after life.
I don’t usually like after life stories because they paint a picture of the after life that  is so empty compared to my belief in a heaven and eternal life.  So, that being said, this book moved rather quickly into another genre  which is a ghost story.  This book is part of a new series and the next book is called Shimmer featuring  spunky and sassy Riley.  This series is a spin off of another series calledThe Immortals. This book would be a  cautionary read for some kids who would be frightened by ghosts or disturbed by after life stories.

The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone

This book is historical fiction during World War II and the setting is a seaside home in Maine.  Felicity is from England but is left with her uncle, grandmother,  and aunt when her parents tell her they are not able to care for her because of their jobs.  The household is full of quirky characters but Felicity is curious and tries to uncover some answers. There is a mysterious person who won’t come out of his room, coded letters coming from her parents which her uncle receives and tells who nothing about them  and lots of other secrets.  Felicity is 12 years old and starting to grow up. She has her first crush, begins to give up some of her childish things like her teddy bear, and learns the truth about her family.
This is a gentle story and shows  a girl growing up and  leaving her childhood innocence and facing her life as a teenager. The romance is very slight and appropriate for upper elementary.  The historical notes are really fascinating about the secret codes which are in the book.

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass

Wendy Mass has written another great book. The Candymakers reminded  me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factorycombined with a Food Network candy making competition and the spy girl from I‘d Tell You I love But Then I’d Have to Kill You. The story starts with four children winning the chance to be in a competition to make the next greatest candy.  The book is divided up into four parts at the beginning where we read the story from each person’s perspective.  There is a great mystery, some spying, and some growing up going on in this book.  Be aware that you will need to have to candy nearby as you read about chocolate, taffy, and other goodies.  Excellent read for younger readers who are reading advanced reading levels. Great read aloud as well.

 

March 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm 3 comments

The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin

I just love the book Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin. I was excited to see how she crafted her early chapter book about chickens and a detective dog. I have to admit that I just couldn’t get attached to the story.  The writing was clever yet I wondered if  young students would understand the humor.  There is a lot of dialog  and snappy sentences. This book may the kind of book that works best as a read aloud.

March 3, 2011 at 2:22 am Leave a comment


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