Mar 042013
 

Seven Wonders.  The Colossus rises

Seven Wonders. One – The Colossus rises
Peter Lerangis

Jack McKinley is an ordinary boy with an extraordinary problem. In a few months, he’s going to die. Jack needs to find seven magic orbs that, when combined, have the power to cure him. The orbs are the relics of a lost civilization and haven’t been seen in thousands of years… because they’re hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The thrills begin in THE COLOSSUS RISES, the first book in the epic Seven Wonders Series. => http://bit.ly/13zoCCX

Jan 012013
 

Between Shades of Gray
Winner – Fiction – 2012 Golden Kite Awards for Children’s Books


Ruta Sepetys
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl, in 1941. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.
Includes discussion questions and a free excerpt … => http://bit.ly/S31j0u

Jan 072011
 

Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic by most any measure—T.S. Eliot called it a masterpiece, and Ernest Hemingway pronounced it the source of “all modern American literature.” Yet, for decades, it has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on lists of the nation’s most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single, singularly offensive word: “nigger.”

Twain himself defined a “classic” as “a book which people praise and don’t read.” Rather than see Twain’s most important work succumb to that fate, Twain scholar Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books plan to release a version of Huckleberry Finn, in a single volume with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, that does away with the “n” word (as well as the “in” word, “Injun”) by replacing it with the word “slave.”

more…http://bit.ly/gwFqBG

Dec 192010
 

The Polar Express
by Chris Van Alsburg

One couldn’t select a more delightful and exciting premise for a children’s book than the tale of a young boy lying awake on Christmas Eve only to have Santa Claus sweep by and take him on a trip with other children to the North Pole. And one couldn’t ask for a more talented artist and writer to tell the story than Chris Van Allsburg. Allsburg, a sculptor who entered the genre nonchalantly when he created a children’s book as a diversion from his sculpting, won the 1986 Caldecott Medal for this book, one of several award winners he’s produced. The Polar Express rings with vitality and wonder.

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Aug 132010
 

by Sonja Hartnett

Her muzzle wrinkled, and Andrej saw a glimpse of teeth and pale tongue. ‘They smell the same, ‘ the lioness murmured. ‘My cubs smelt as she does. Like pollen.’ She breathed deeply again, and Andrej saw the missing cubs returning to her on the wings of the baby’s perfume. ‘All young ones must come from the same place,’ she said: then sat down on her haunches, seemingly satisfied.
Under cover of darkness, two brothers cross a war-ravaged countryside carrying a secret bundle. One night they stumble across a deserted town reduced to smouldering ruins. But at the end of a blackened street they find a small green miracle: a zoo filled with animals in need of hope.
A moving and ageless fable about war, and freedom.

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May 112010
 

This is Book Four in the Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flanagan.

The Review in Booklist:
Following Will and Evanlyn’s escape from slavery in The Icebound Land (2007), Halt determines that the Temujai mean to attack Araluen and decides to help the Skandians defend their land. Rejoining Halt, Will and Evanlyn become warriors in the stronghold where they had recently been captives and use their wits and skills to fight the common enemy. The story plunges forward with irresistible narrative drive toward the climactic battle scene. Even readers drawn to the series for its deftly drawn characters and setting may find themselves caught up in the action. A fine entry in the increasingly popular Ranger’s Apprentice series.

Amazon has identified copies as “Bargain books” books that are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. They are selling the paperback for $3.20.

Apr 042010
 

How to Train Your DragonHow to Train Your Dragon  (Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III)

Cressida Cowell

Young Hiccup may be the son of Stoick the Vast, chief of the Hairy Hooligans, but he isn’t exactly heroic Viking material.

When he and the other boys of his tribe are sent on a mission to fetch dragons to train, Hiccup comes back with the scrawniest creature ever seen. Toothless, as Hiccup names him, is also rude, lazy, and greedy, but when the tribe is faced with horrible danger, Hiccup’s unorthodox dragon-training techniques prove successful and he and his unique beast become true heroes. Sprinkled throughout with funny sketches, scribbles, and ink blots, this is a goofy and exciting tale of an underdog who proves that brains can be just as important as brawn.

Kids will hoot at the ridiculous names and sympathize with Hiccup’s exasperation with his truly obstinate but strangely lovable dragon. A delightful read that fans of Ian Whybrow’s “Little Wolf” series (Carolrhoda) will particularly enjoy.

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Dec 042009
 

The Book Thief 

by Marcus Zusak


  • Format:  560 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers;
  • Published:  March 14, 2006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375831003

Reading level: Young Adult

 Zusak has created a work that deserves the attention of sophisticated teen and adult readers. Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it,The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when shes roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents. Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesels story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA 
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Markus Zusak talks about the writing of The Book Thief

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Marcus Zusak talks about writing The Book Thief