Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Lemonade Crime by Jacqueline Davies

The Lemonade Crime
In "The Lemonade Crime" by Jacqueline Davies Jessie and Evan are sibling fourth graders in the same class. However, Jessie has skipped third grade and Evan is not too happy about having his little sister in his class. When fellow classmate and bully Scott announces he has purchased a brand new video game console Jessie suspects he has stolen the money that Evan and Jessie made over the summer with their competing lemonades stands. She sets out to prove it by putting Scott on trial. Each chapter opens with a term relating to crime or the law and it's definition. "The Lemonade War", also by Davies focused on marketing and making money. In "The Lemonade Crime" readers will not only get a glimpse into a courtroom but also see what it's like to have siblings that really do care for each other. I read this advanced readers copy as an e-book courtesy of Houghton Harcourt Mifflin via Netgalley. The Lemonade Crime will be published in May 2011 and I highly recommended it for elementary school students.

Till Death Do Us Bark by Kate Klise

Till Death Do Us Bark: 43 Old Cemetery Road: Book 3
This is book 3 in a series entitled 43 Cemetery Road and is written by Kate Klise and illustrated by M. Sarah Klise. For my review of the first book please see this post . My favorite parts of this series are the clever names especially Shirley U. Jest and Kanine Breth. The illustrations work very well with the written word and I really enjoyed the story. It will be an easy book to recommend to the elementary students in my library as is the whole series.  Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Netgalley. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Bird in a Box

Joe Louis was nicknamed the Brown Bomber and was one of the first African American sports heroes in the U.S. When Joe Louis boxed people sat around their radios and listened.  In Bird in a Box we meet three children who are strangers from different families who became friends and we see how the Brown Bomber affected their lives.  They cheer Joe on and we cheer them on and hope they overcome obstacles in their lives.  From the Depression to jazz to life in an orphanage Andrea Davis Pinkney has written a beautiful book. Recommended for middle graders who are fans of boxing, historical fiction and "Dave at Night."

Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Little, Brown Book for Young Readers via Netgalley.

Between Two Ends by David Ward

Between Two Ends
     Imagine finding a pirate bookend that's been buried in the dirt for twenty years and reuniting it with it's partner.  At once the bookends come alive and like genies, grant you a wish.  That's exactly what happens to Yeats, a 12 year-old boy in David Ward's Between Two Ends.  The pirates transport Yeats into The Arabian Nights to rescue Shari, his father's friend, left in the story twenty years before. Shari thinks she is Shaharazad. Yeats needs to convice her she's really Shari and make her wish to return home.  There is more on the line for Yeats than just rescuing Shari and he is determinded not to die in the story.
  The pacing of this book is one that will keep readers interested.  The pirates are quite funny and entertaining.  While the other adults have minor roles it is admirable to see how much Yeats loves his family and is willing to risk his life to help them. 
     David Ward has written a tale filled with adventure, fantasy and mystery and Between Two Ends will appeal to a wide audience.  Readers who enjoyed Inkheart, The Magic Tree House or The Time Warp Trio series will enjoy this one too as will fans of adventure.  While it is a stand alone book Ward has left open the possibility for a sequel.  Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Abrams Books via Netgalley.  It will be published May 1, 2011.

Rodeo Queen (Kylie Jean )

Rodeo Queen (Kylie Jean)
Kylie Jean decides she wants to enter a rodeo and win the title of  "Rodeo Queen."  From previous books (reviewed on this blog) we know that Kylie Jean is a determined young girl with a lot of family support.  In this book one of her grandmothers helps her learn to ride a pony.  Fans of the series will like it and first time readers will fall in love with Kylie Jean. Each book starts off the same so it doesn't matter which one you read first.  Recommended for young girls who enjoy horse stories and those ready to move on from easy readers.  Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Capstone via Netgalley.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blueberry Queen (Kylie Jean) by Marci Peschke

Blueberry Queen (Kylie Jean)In this installment of the series, Kylie Jean sets her goal on winning her first pageant and becoming Blueberry Queen in the local blueberry festival.  She asks her cousins, neighbor, friends and grandparents for help and surprises her mom with the news after her application is submitted.
     Kylie Jean is a lucky girl.  She is surrounded by loving and supportive parents, brother, extended family, friends and has a dog who understands her so well.  With a writing style ideal for readers who enjoy Ivy & Bean and Judy Moody the story easily flows from chapter to chapter with lovely illustrations sprinkled throughout.  This is such a fun upbeat book and girls in grades 2 and up will love it.  See below for reviews of other Kylie Jean books.
     Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Capstone via Netgalley.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Okay for NowAt the start of Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt I almost put the book down. Doug Swieteck (a character from The Wednesday Wars)is beaten up by his brother for a signed Joe Pepitone baseball cap (the first thing Doug ever owned that was not a hand-me-down)and quietly admits to his other brother beating him up before he's drafted into the army and to his dad having "quick hands." However I kept going and proceeded to read the book in one day. Doug moves to a small town in the Catskill Mountains and has life changing experiences. He befriends a girl and a librarian/artist, gets a job, finds caring teachers and develops an appreciation of the art of John James Audobon. The librarian helps Doug understand Audobon and the plates of paintings of birds on display in the library. His job delivering groceries introduces him to the townspeople including a writer who owns one of the Audobon paintings sold out of the book in the library (Doug begins a mission to have all the plates returned). Doug's brother is accused of robbing a hardware store and the grocery store and Doug needs to deal with the changing attitudes of the townspeople and school staff as they assume he is guilty by association. There is so much going on here and Schmidt had me rooting for Doug throughout the book. There are twists and turns (spoilers I can't discuss) and you too will root for Doug. This is an amazing book and I love it. If you haven't read THE WEDNESDAY WARS read that one now as this one is not being published until April. Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Netgalley.

P.S.  OKAY FOR NOW is now available.