Saturday, July 28, 2012

Elections & Worms

True to my word, here are a couple of books that are PERFECT for my younger friends! The first book is Babymouse for President by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm. Those of you who have followed the blog this summer will remember that I was lucky enough to meet these two at BooksmART in Dallas! I have been anxiously awaiting this new book, and it did not let me down. Babymouse has decided to run for student council president, and of course, her nemesis or rival, Felicia Furrypaws, is also running. At first, Babymouse has no direction with her campaign other than to win. She learns that making a lot of empty promises or trying to bribe voters won't get you very far. You will want to check this book out to see if Babymouse is able to win the election!  This will be a fun book to read as we prepare for the upcoming presidential election.  I know that I have some huge Babymouse fans at Curtis, and this book will be hard to keep on the shelf!

Holm, J.L., & Holm, M. (2012). Babymouse for President. New York: Random House

The next book I read was from the Marty McGuire series by Kate Messner & Brian Floca.  The first book is Marty McGuire, and I enjoyed reading it in May and then immediately passed it on to Mrs. Lemons to read to her class.  In this second book, Marty McGuire Digs Worms!  Marty & her best friend Annie work together on a class project for a competition that focuses on helping the earth.  After a failed attempt to make paper, Grandma Barb helps the girls with an idea to build a bench to hold worms for their cafeteria.  Marty is sure that the worms will take care of all the leftover food so there will be less trash.  She doesn't realize that the worms can't eat all of the leftovers for the whole school.  Her friends get upset with her when they can't put their food in the bin, and Marty is disappointed in how slowly the worms eat the food scraps.  Like Babymouse, Marty also has a "thorn in her side" in Veronica, one of her classmates.  Veronica is disgusted by Marty & Annie's project and thinks her petunia project is perfect!  Only time will tell if the worm bin wins the competition, and whether Marty has any friends left when it is all over.  If you haven't read Marty McGuire, start there, then check this book out!  It will be waiting for readers when school starts in August!

Messner, K. (2012). Marty McGuire digs worms! NewYork: Scholastic, Inc.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bigger Than a Bread Box

I know I have spent more time recently sharing about middle grade books, and I promise I will share books for younger grades next, BUT I just finished this book and wanted to tell you about it!

What would you do if you had a magic bread box and anything you wished for that could fit in it would appear?  That is exactly what Rebecca has in the story Bigger Than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder. 

When Rebecca's mom needs time to figure things out, away from Rebecca's dad, she packs up the car, with Rebecca and her little brother Lew, and they head to Atlanta, where Rebecca's Gran is waiting. Soon after arriving at Gran's, Rebecca discovers a bread box collection while hiding in the attic. As she is sitting there, she wishes she had a book. Looking in the last few bread boxes, she finds a book in a pretty, decorative one. Rebecca is drawn to the bread box and takes it with her to her room. Later, as she is in bed wishing for everything to be okay, wishing she was back home in Baltimore, she also wishes for gulls. You can imagine her surprise to find a couple of gulls in the bread box. Rebecca finds that anything she wishes for that can fit in the bread box, will suddenly appear. As she starts at her new school, she decides that wishing for a few things might make it easier to make friends. Eventually Rebecca begins to wonder where these items are actually coming from and realizes that by making some wishes, she is stealing. Throughout the story, you can feel the emotions that Rebecca is going through, from anger towards her mom, to insecurity about being at her new school, to sadness about missing her dad, to the love she feels towards her little brother, Lew.

It seems odd to describe a book with magic as "real" but that is exactly what you get with this book. This is a perfect read for 4th-6th grade students looking for a book about real life and magic all mixed up in one! Not to mention, the author, Laurel Snyder has volunteered to do a Skype visit with students at Curtis Elementary in the fall.  The book is in hardcover right now, but you could check it out from the Weatherford Public Library before school starts.  In September, the book will be released in paperback!

Snyder, L. (2011). Bigger than a bread box. New York: Random House.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Aliens & Bank Robbers!

I just finished two books that students in grades 4-6 are sure to want to read.  The first one is one of our new Texas Bluebonnet nominees, Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith.  Scrub is sent to spend the summer with his grandmother while his parents are working.  He hasn't spent much time with her, so it is a little awkward at first.  His grandmother runs the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, which plays host to some rather strange visitors.  Whatever is going on here has the sheriff very interested!  He spends a lot of time driving by the inn, questioning Grandma about the tourists and threatening to shut down the bed & breakfast.  Scrub meets a friend, Amy, who is very curious about space, aliens and Grandma's bed & breakfast. This makes Scrub very nervous and he works hard to keep Amy from discovering just exactly what is going on at the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast.  Pick up this book to read all about how Scrub spends the summer helping his grandmother cater to out of this world visitors!

The other book I read was Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger.  You may recognize this name from another favorite, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.  This story begins with 12 year-old Lenny loaning his friend Casper $10 to buy a fake mustache.  Lenny become suspicious when a short mustached "man" begins robbing banks,and Casper seems to be missing during these times.  When Fako Mustacho launches a campaign to take over the country, Lenny must figure out a way to stop this craziness.  Lenny teams up with Jodie O'Rodeo, a teen TV star, to save the world from this mad man.  Is he able to keep Fako from being successful in taking over the world?  You will have to read to find out!