Monday, August 19, 2013

Those Rebels, John and Tom by Barbara Kerley

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were the best of friends but they had different personalities that made them unique and strengthened their comradeship.  One thing united them both; their belief in creating a new government and nation and breaking away from British rule.  Join these two patriots and friends on their journey toward forming the United States of America.  

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno from Arongen

Prisoners for Liberty by Marty Rhodes Figley

James Forten was a free African American who worked as a sail-maker during the American Revolution in Philadelphia.  He joined in the fighting for liberty aboard the Royal Louis ship on the American side.  The ship was conquered by the British and James was taken aboard their ship as a prisoner of war.  Would he be sold into slavery?  Would he ever see his home again?  Read this true story to find out...

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno from Arongen

Big Wig: A Little History of Hair by Kathleen Krull

Imagine carrying a birdcage on your head with a live bird inside; that is what Marie Antoinette and the women at the palace did in France around 1785.  Do you know why the bathroom is sometimes called "the powder room?"  If someone was called a "big wig" would you know what that meant?  This book gives a very entertaining history of hair from prehistoric Africa to the millennium.  Find out the answers above and more by reading Big Wig

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno from Arongen

Worst of Friends by S. Tripp Jurmain

This is the true story of how two opposites became the best of friends.  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had so much respect for each other that their differences brought them together as close friends.  Unfortunately, their opinions in government drove them apart for 11 years.  Learn how two former presidents with extreme personalities helped shape a nation and a friendship.  How did they mend their rift? Did forgiveness reestablish their friendship?

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno from Arongen

Seed By Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John Appleseed Chapman by Esme Raji Codell

Can you change a nation one seed at a time?  That is what John Chapman did and it was no small task. Also known as Johnny Appleseed, he traveled by foot and gave seeds to the frontier settlers.  John loved to tell stories but his greatest belief was to have respect for nature, animals and to live in peace.  

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno from Arongen

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan

 Hello my name is William.  My dad just gave me a note and I don’t want to read it, but I do.  It says he is leaving.  He has left before but never wrote a note.  I rip it up because I am mad.  My mom cries a lot.  One day she takes us to the shelter to adopt a dog.  Our dad doesn’t like dogs.  Well we couldn’t decide so we took four dogs and a cat.  I think my sister, Elinor, communicates with them.  It’s like she understands what the animals are thinking and saying.  One day I hear it too.  They are talking to us!  Then mom sits us down at the table for a talk.  Is it about dad?  Does she want to tell us something else?  You will be waiting for the magic by reading this book. 
Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman

When his great-granddaughter visits for the first time, a man reminisces about the life he left behind in Italy.   They both bond as he tells her the story of how his father left to go to America.  Because he could not read or write, the man used objects for events in his life and stored them in matchboxes to serve as his diary of memories.  Then his father sends for the family and they make the journey through to Ellis Island.  He shares with his great-granddaughter his struggles with reading and how he came to open a bookstore and antique shop later in life. 
Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

The Book Boat’s In by Cynthia Cotton

Jesse is so excite that the book boat has stopped at his town on the Erie Canal.  He so desperately wants his own copy of Swiss Family Robinson, but he doesn’t have enough money.   Jesse vows to do chores and jobs to earn the money for the book.  When the boat arrives, will it still have the books that Jesse wants?  Will it be sold?  Read The Book Boat’s In by Cynthia Cotten and learn how books traveled on the Erie Canal.
Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

Rocky Road, by Rose Kent

This book takes place in Schenectady, New York, just a 20 minute drive from Clifton Park! 
What would it be like to know that you had to take care of the family when your mom went into one of her dark crashes and does not get out of bed for days?  What if only you and your brother know about the crashes and you somehow had to get the new ice cream shop up and running in order to make sure the money was not going to run out?   Tess faces these challenges in a realistic and gripping novel written by a local author!

Reviewed by Mrs. Bailey from Okte

Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, by Sarah Miller

What would posess a young teacher to want to give up her own life to help a little girl who could neither see, hear or talk?
 When Annie Sullivan first met Helen, she was like a wild child, allowed to throw violent temper tantrums to get what she wanted.  Annie Sullivan even had teeth knocked out by Helen in one of her rages!  Annie was unwilling to give up, even when she was told by the family that she was being too harsh.  But what saved Helen and opened doors for her was the ability to communicate that Annie was determined to give her.  Helen had met her match in Annie Sullivan, who was called Miss Spitfire when she was a girl.  Find out what events in Annie's life led her to her own deep understanding of the what lonlieness could be like.
Reviewed by Mrs. Bailey from Okte

Monday, June 24, 2013

Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an eating utensil?  How different your life would be compared to all of the other members in the silverware drawer?  Well this is Spoon’s reality.  He thinks his life as a spoon is pretty boring.  Knives live an exciting life of cutting and spreading.  Forks get to go everywhere and are so useful to everyone.  Even Chopsticks live an exciting and exotic life as a team!  Through meeting new friends, Spoon learns from them about all the things that are so exciting about being a spoon.  Read Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal to find out!

Reviewed by Mrs. Ziter from Karigon

Pish Posh by Ellen Potter


                                                                                    Reviewed by Mrs. Ziter from Karigon

Clara may only be 11 years old, but she lives a very glamorous life.  She runs the show at her parent’s chic and exclusive New York City restaurant, Pish Posh.  Sitting in her usual seat, dressed in her black sunglasses and sophisticated black dress, Clara decides who is and who is not allowed to dine at the restaurant.  Her home life is not any less normal.  Clara’s parents have built unique rooms into their home to help Clara become a ‘kid’.  She has an indoor tree house, an indoor city street, and even an indoor roller coaster!  It seems that Clara is happy with the way that she lives her life, until she meets 11 year old Annabelle and helps the young burglar escape from the police.  This exciting friendship helps open Clara’s eyes to a new way of life and helps her see that the world doesn't revolve around her opinions of what is and isn’t cool. 

Spy School by Stewart Gibbs

                                                                    Reviewed by Mrs. Ziter from Karigon

Who:  Ben Ripley

What:  Operation Creeping Badger

Where:  CIA Academy of Espionage --aka-- Spy School

When:  Year 1 of Spy School

Why:  To become an undercover spy of course!

Scene:  Ben walks into his living room after school, only to find a man in a dark suit waiting for him.  The unidentified man whisks him away to the CIA Academy of Espionage.  The thing is as soon as he gets there, he is ambushed by enemy operatives in an emergence drill.  But after a few days, he quickly realized that the drills may be in fact real and Ben’s life is in danger.  He has to figure out what is real and what is only a test.  Will Ben survive Spy School? 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

School! Adventures at the Harvey N. Trouble Elementary School by Kate McMullan

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

Harvey N. Trouble is the silliest school that you will visit. Spend a week in this book and you will meet a cast of characters with abilities only their names define, like Ron Faster, who is a fast runner and Ivanna Snack who is always hungry. Almost everyday they are late to school because their bus driver, Mr. Stuckinaditch is always stuck in a ditch. Will a day go by when the janitors Mr. Quitoo and Mr. Iquit not quit their job? Will Miss Ingashoe, the principal, ever find what's missing? Read this book of funny characters and find out why you never get in trouble there.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

There are two sides to Rafe Khatchadorian: on one side he is a talented artist, has illustrated and written a book of his own, is generally funny and on the other side he is a total cut-up getting into heaps of trouble. Sixth grade can be really hard. Especially when the school bully "Miller the Killer" is making your life difficult. Plus, Rafe is making trouble of his own by breaking the school rules. But is he really doing it, or is his "friend" Leo causing all the stir? His mom is mad at him, his teacher and principal are furious and he is spending a lot of time in detention. Will Rafe change his wayward ways? Read this hilarious book and find out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

How I Nicky Flynn Finally Get a Life and a Dog by Art Corriveau

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

After the divorce of his parents, Nicky Flynn and his mom move into a one bedroom apartment. He has started a new school in a different city. One day his mom surprises him with a retired guide dog named Reggie. Reggie has these strange behaviors that Nicky can't quite figure out and mom is threatening to return him. As he walks Reggie aroudn the neighborhood, he starts to piece together part of his dog's past. But Nicky is determined to find Reggie's old owner. Learning about Reggie's roots helps Nicky confront his own past disappointments and understand the importance of building new relationships in his live that center on responsibility, trust and honesty.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Boy Who Could Fly by James Norcliffe

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

Have you ever dreamed of being a bird flying high in the sky? Soaring above the clouds would be fun and you could watch everyone below. It seems like it would be a great way to see the world. Michael is desperate to escape from the orphange where he lives. When a boy-bird called the Loblolly Boy perches himself on a tree branch, he makes a deal with Michael. He will switch places with him. Michael is convinced that he will have his freedom so he agrees to change bodies with the Loblolly Boy. But as the mystery begins to fade, Michael quickly learns that being a Loblolly Boy is very lonely. He is invisible to everyone but the "Sensitives" who are a rare group of people that can actually see him. Michael must be careful of the collectors who want to cage him because of his rarity. There is a strange man with a butterfly net lurking about. Can he see the Loblolly Boy? Read The Boy Who Could Fly and find out.

Juniper Berry: a Tale of Terror and Temptation by M.P. Kozlowsky

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

How far would you go to get everything you want? What would you give up in order to achieve that goal? Juniper Berry used to be the center of her parent's world. Then everything changed. Now her parents hardly recognize her. One day she follows them out to a horrible tree with a scary crow. Her parents magically walk into the tree and disappear. Is the tree the reason her parents have changed? Will she ever get them back or will she follow them?

The Memory Bank by Carolyn Coman and Rob Shepperson

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

When Mr. & Mrs. Scroggins leave Honey on the side of the road they tell her sister Hope to "forget about her." Hope is filled with worry and desperate to find her sister. She has failed to make deposits to the memory bank and they have come to collect. They take her to the memory bank vault where she can make more memory deposits. There she feels safe and that is something she never felt with her parents. But there is a war going on between the Clean Slate Gang and the World Wide Memory Bank. As Hope gets a tour of the bank, the Clean Slate Gang launch an attach. Will this attack prevent Hope from ever finding her sister? Read The Memory Bank and find out...

Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

The year is 1918 and Rosalind is an English girl living in India. Her father is at war. His wish is for Rosalind to get her education in England, but her mother is against it. Rosalind learns of a peaceful protester named Gandhi, who wishes to have an India free from English rule. She makes two mistakes and her father finds her behavior dishonorable and she fears being sent away from all she knows and loves.

The Loser List by H. N. Knowitt

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

Danny Shine did not give his favorite pen to Chantel Davis, the bossy girl in school, when she demanded him to. Chantel threatens to add his name to the Loser List in the girl's bathroom. Not believing in such a list, Danny calls her bluff. Now everyone is looking at him funny and calling him names. He gets sent to detention, loses his best friend, and is pressured by some bullies. Could life get any worse? How will Danny remove his name from the Loser List?

Jack Plank Tells Tales by Natalie Babbitt

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

Jack Plank used to be a good pirate and his friends liked him a lot. However, Jack was sent back to land because there was one thing he wasn't good at: plundering. He decides to look for a job that suits him. During his stay at a boardinghouse, he explains to everyone the reasons why he can't do the jobs they recommend. Nothing seems right for him. But with every explanation his gives, has the guests helping Jack find his most suitable career yet.

The Postcard by Tony Abbott

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

Jason travels to Florida after the sudden passing of his grandmother whom he has never met. He is disappointed about having to leave his friends in Boston and is cranky that the weather is so hot. As he helps his dad get his grandmother's affairs in order, strange occurences start to happen. A mysterious phone call, an old faded postcard from the past, a bizarre funeral with suspicious guests and an old magazine story spark a mystery that Jason is determined to unravel about his grandmother's life.

The Pirate Captain's Daughter by Eve Bunting

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

After the death of her mother, Catherine decides that she would like to embark on adventure and join her father on his next voyage. She knows he is pirate and a captain of the ship the Avarice. It is forbidden to take a girl onboard the ship. Catherine has to disguise herself as a boy, but if the secret is discovered, Catherine and her father will experience severe consequences for their betrayal.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Purple Kangaroo by Michael Ian Black

Reviewed by Mrs. Bruno at Arongen

A mind-reading monkey tries to guess what you, "the reader" are thinking. The monkey guesses wrong and a purple kangaroo pops out on the page. But wait till you get to the end of this book. Maybe the monkey isn't so wrong after all. If you like stories by author, Mo Willems, you will definitely love this one. If you haven't read any of Willems' books, be sure to check them out along with The Purple Kangaroo.