Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

It is true that reading takes you places. But have you ever seen books fly?? In this imaginative picture book, Morris Lessmore meets and cares for a library filled with fantastical flying books. The story is creative, and the pictures bring the book to life. In one illustration, Morris becomes "lost in a good book" and the letters appear to jump off the page!! This book is highly recommended for both younger and older children.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

After one year, I am back on the blogging scene again!

And what a year it has been, with one major move halfway across country! I am now the manager of a public library children's department, which involves both purchasing children's books and planning children's programming.

I look forward to publishing more blog book reviews!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Road to Tater Hill

Book Information
Hemingway, Edith. The Road to Tater Hill. New York: Yearling, 2009.

Book Review

This book is for older children (ages 9 - 12) who are looking to read about serious and sensitive issues. It opens the door to reflection on several discussions, including grief, healing, friendship and the (mis)judgement of society about unfortunate people. A gripping read -- highly recommended.

Summary (from
Annie can always count on spending summers at her grandparents''. This summer should be even better because Mama is going to have a baby soon. Before Daddy leaves for his Air Force assignment, he gives Annie a journal for summer memories. But now Annie is grieving over the death of her newborn sister. How can she tell Daddy that ever since the baby died, Mama has been slipping away? If Annie wrote those words, Mama might stay that way forever. The only comfort Annie finds is in holding a stone she calls her "rock baby."  Then Annie secretly befriends a mysterious woman. She helps Annie accept her loss while Annie hopes to draw her back into the community. But all that is interrupted when a crisis reveals their unlikely alliance and leads to a surprising turn of events.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

No Posts til Canada Day


I am taking a temporary pause from blogging!

I will be back online in early July!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Boom! by Mark Haddon

Book Information
Haddon, Mark. Boom! (or 70,000 light years). London: David Fickling Books, 2009.

My Summary and Review
Boom! is a fast-paced alien teacher sci-fi spoof by Mark Haddon, author of the bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. James is having a hard time, and he is not all that interested in school. When James hears that he might be transferred to a different school, he and his friend Charlie bug the teachers' staff meeting and listen in. Instead of a regular meeting, however, he and Charlie soon hear some teachers speaking in an alien language. The adventures soon begin with a break-in, sinister brass bracelets, a cross-country motor bike trip and... space travel?

Readers will particularly enjoy the various science fiction references, from the light-bulg finger tips (E.T.?) to the aliens' strange speech and hover scooters. A funny, action-packed, breezy teen read. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mao's Last Dancer

My Summary and Review
An epic story of family life during Mao's Cultural Revolution in China: a young boy's ballet-oriented dreams and goals contrast strongly with his communist upbringing. A captivating book.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Solace of the Road

Book Information
Dowd, Siobhan. Solace of the Road. UK: David Fickling Books, 2009.

My Review
This twisting turn on the "road story" is an edgy teen read. The late Siobhan Dowd was gifted with creating complex characters, particularly Holly, who is so strong-willed, independent-minded, and so incredibly vulnerable at the same time. The fast-paced plot, the memorable characters who help Holly along her way to Ireland (and to self-knowledge), and Holly's many conflicting decisions, make this novel an incredibly gripping read. Highly recommended.

Book Summary
(from Memories of Mum are the only thing that make Holly Hogan happy. She hates her foster family with their too-nice ways and their false sympathy. And she hates her life, her stupid school and the way everyone is always on at her. Then she finds the wig, and everything changes. Wearing the long, flowing blonde locks she feels transformed. She's not Holly any more, she's Solace: the girl with the slinkster walk and the super-sharp talk. She's older, more confident - the kind of girl who can walk right out of her humdrum life, hitch to Ireland and find her mum. The kind of girl who can face the world head on.

So begins a bittersweet, and sometimes hilarious journey as Solace swaggers and Holly tiptoes across England and through memory, discovering her true self, and unlocking the secrets of her past.

SOLACE OF THE ROAD is a wonderful novel from one of the UK's most talented new writers for teenagers. Holly's story will leave a lasting impression on all who travel with her.