Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Young Adult Fiction 3/29/2010

The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

Nancy's first mystery begins when she rescues a young girl who fell into a river. From there, she finds about several families promised to be mentioned in an old man's will, but completely left out by the time he died. Nancy goes above and beyond to search for a rumored second will--one that would provide for those families in much need.

Nancy Drew books are always fun. Nancy gets herself in and out of so much trouble, but it is always for a good cause. Despite their age, the Nancy Drew books are a timeless series for young adult readers. The Secret of the Old Clock is the perfect book to dive into a good mystery!

Early Reader 3/29/2010

Frog and Toad Forever by Arnold Lobel

This charming little book comes with five short stories, perfect for a young reader. In "A List," Toad makes a list of everything he wants to get done during the day, but doesn't know what to do when the list blows away. In "Cookies," Toad bakes cookies, and neither Frog nor Toad can stop eating them.

This book is very cute. The stories are short and simple, yet great fun to read. Frog and Toad are a dynamic duo, with each story about them fun and quirky

Children's Illustrated 3/29/2010

Eloise in Paris by Kay Thompson

One teatime, Eloise gets a telegram saying that she will be going to Paris! Thus begins Eloise's magical trip to France, where she begins with 37 pieces of luggage, and ends with 114. Join Eloise as she swims in a fountain, goes shopping, and explores the Eiffel Tower!

This book is full of fun! Kay Thompson gives great insight into the mind of a very lucky little girl. With her descriptions, you feel like you are also in Paris! Great for young readers who love Eloise or just love adventures!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Young Adult Fiction 3/22/2010

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

Peter Augusts Duchene, an orphan, goes to a fortuneteller, who tells him that he has a sister who is alive somewhere. When he asks the fortuneteller how to find his sister, she tells him to follow the elephant to her. The only problem is, there is no elephants in the city of Baltese! That is, until a magician by mistake conjures up an elephant out of nowhere, and cannot send her back home.

This book really tugs at your heartstrings. The loneliness of the elephant, who is magically taken from her family, along with the loneliness of Peter, who has no known family, really makes the reader hope for a happy ending. In this, DiCamillo does not fail.

Early Reader 3/22/2010

My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Elmer Elevator rescues a stray cat from outside, and sneaks her milk as often as possible. When his mother kicks the cat out, Elmer decides to run away to Wild Island, an island no one has left alive (minus the cat), and rescue a poor baby dragon. In order to save the dragon, Elmer has to get past many terrifying, wild animals that want him for dinner.

This book is a classic for young readers. The story is fun--Elmer has many creative ways to get past the wild animals. It is also well-illustrated with very fun pictures

Illustrated 3/22/2010

Agate by Joy Morgan Dey and Nikki Johnson

"What Good is a Moose?" Agate, the brown moose, constantly asks himself. All of his friends are precious gems--there is Amethyst the Elephant, Emerald the Lion, and many more. Compared to his friends, Agate feels boring and useless. Then, his friends remind him, he is a gem just like the rest!

This is a very bright and colorful tale. Nikki Johnson has beautiful watercolor illustrations of each animal. The message of this book is great--each and every person is a jewel, no matter how he or she feels compared to others!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Christie's Pick 3/16/2010

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

By Susanna Clarke

"An English magician is an impressive thing. Two English magicians are, I suppose, twice as impressive--but when those two English magicians are shrouded in an Impenetrable Darkness--ah, well! That, I should think, is enough to strike terror into the heart of any one short of a demi-god"

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is the impressive debut of Susanna Clarke. It takes place during 1800s England, where magic is studied but never practiced. Mr. Norrell, with the help of his pupil, Jonathan Strange, work towards bringing magic back into England.

Don't be fooled by the size of this book! At around 850 pages, it is a giant, but every time I have read Jonathan Strange, (and I have read it three times so far) I am left wanting to read it again. Susanna Clarke is a very impressive storyteller. Her back stories on England and the history of magic are fantastic. This award-winning book is perfect for anyone who loves Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or just really well-written stories.

Young Adult Fiction 3/16/10

The Name of This Book is Secret

by Pseudonymous Bosch

When Cass, a Survivalist, and Max-Ernest, whose life is divided in two by his divorced parents, discover The Symphony of Smells, they begin a adventure in search of clues about a dead magician and a Secret that has been hidden for hundreds of years.

This book is so fun to read. Not only is it full of adventure, it includes word games and riddles that the reader can try and figure out along with the heroes of this tale. The untitled narrator keeps the reader going with cautions about the book. As he states, "Make no bones about it, this is a very dangerous book."

Early Reader 3/15/2010

Father Bear Comes Home by Else Holmelund Minarik

Little Bear has a great imagination. While fishing, he pretends to be Father Bear, and even catches an octopus! When Father Bear comes home from fishing on a big boat in the ocean, Little Bear thinks that maybe Father Bear will bring home a mermaid.
The Little Bear series are classics for early readers. Not only do they have fun stories about Little Bear and his friends, they include illustrations by Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are. Father Bear Comes Home is the perfect book for a young one with a head full of ideas.

Illustrated 3/15/10

Frederick by Leo Lionni

It is almost winter, and a family of field mice prepare for the cold. Each mouse spends night and day gathering food. That is, each mouse except for Frederick. Instead, Frederick gathers sunbeams, colors, and words for when the winter feels too long and cold.

Leo Lionni provides great collages to illustrated this charming story. When the winter starts to feel too long and cold, Frederick will cheer you up!

Young Adult Fiction 3/08/10

Young Adult:

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Lina and Doon live in the city of Ember, a dark city that is brightened by the great lights. When the lights start to flicker, will Lina and Doon be able to save the city, or will Ember fall into endless darkness?

This book is filled with such adventure, it's hard to put down. Once you finish, the cliffhanger at the end of this book will make you want to read more of the Book of Ember series!

Early Reader 3/8/2010

Early Readers:

Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne

While playing in the woods, Jack and Annie discover a tree house way up high in a tree. They go up there to discover that it is filled with books! As Jack opens a book about dinosaurs, the tree house starts to spin and they find themselves in prehistoric times! Will Jack and Annie find their way back home?
This is a great tale for young readers. It is full of adventure and makes you want to read more! Good thing this is only the first book of many in the Magic Tree House series to keep your young reader's head in a book.

Children's Illustrated 3/8/2010

Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird

All day every day, Angelina dreams about becoming a ballerina. She is so busy dancing that she forgets to do what she is supposed to! Frustrated, her parents finally come up with the perfect solution that changes Angelina's life forever.

This book is the adorable first story in the Angelina Ballerina series. The illustrations are great and the story makes you want to practice your plies and curtsies! Perfect for any little girl.