Jul 25, 2014

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen by Howard Binkow is a terrific book to teach kids the importance of listening.  My students thought it was very funny and understood why things were better for Howard when he did listen.

I recommend this book for kids 4-8

Jul 20, 2014

Let There Be Peace On Earth

Let There be Peace on Earth is a beautiful picture book version of the popular folk song by the same name.  The song is beautiful as are the pictures.  It's a great book to read on World Peace Day.  I recommend it for kids 5-9

Jul 15, 2014

Jo MacDonald Had a Garden

Jo MacDonald Had a Garden is a fantastic rewrite of the Old Macdonald song except with the different steps to grow a garden instead of animals on a farm.  My students adored this book and loved singing along.  I recommend it for kids 3-8

Jul 12, 2014

My Faire Lady

My Faire Lady by Laura Vettersten follows Rowena who takes a summer job working at a Renaissance Faire as a face painter after a bad breakup.  Ro is soon thrown back into the Renaissance where she meets hunky knight Christian and funny whip cracker Will.

I really enjoyed this book.  It was funny and the Renaissance Faire setting was perfect for a light summer romance.  The author did a fantastic job of integrating multiple characters into the story allowing the reader to feel the community of the faire.  The female relationship between Ro and her roommate was as important to the story as the romantic ones.  I also loved that Ro learned about herself during the summer and that was as important to the story as her love life.

I'd also like to compliment the cover art, it's nice to see a cover artist that actually reads the book as the cover artist got everything right down to the rainbow toe nail polish.

Appropriateness:  This is a YA romance that is written for older teens (despite what the cover might make you think).  Rowena is seventeen and acts her age.  The teens get drunk and share tents with their boyfriends.  I did like that during one of those overnights it's stated that the couple did not have sex (which is nice compared to a lot of trope out there that a guy can't spend the night with a girl without having sex).  I would recommend this book to readers 14+

Jul 10, 2014

Grateful

Greatful A Song of Giving Thanks by John Bucchino and illustrated by Anna-Liisa Hakkarainen is a sweet book with a sweet song.  It was pretty but just didn't resonate with the kids and it's not one that they request to hear again.

Jul 8, 2014

Don't Call Me Baby

Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley follows Imogene whose mother has been chronicling her life since she was an infant on her blog.  Imogene can't do anything without her mother snapping a picture or writing a post on her blog (which the entire school knows about).  Her best friend whose mother is a food blogger faces the same challenges that she does.  When she gets an assignment from her English teacher to write a blog of her own she decides to turn her life and her Mother's life upside down.

I really enjoyed this book.  It did a great job of exploring the life of someone who is unwillingly in the public eye.  It had just the right amount of romance to keep the reader interested but the real meat of the story was the battle between Imogene and her mother between Imogene's right to privacy and her Mother's ability to make a living.  I spend through the book interested throughout.

Appropriateness:  There's no adult content in this book.  I recommend it for readers 13+

Jul 5, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault in our Stars by John Green follows terminal cancer patient Hazel.  When she meets fellow cancer patient Agustus at a cancer support group her whole life changes.  The two develop an instant bond.

This is a great book, while it is sad it's also very uplifting and funny.  I found myself smiling more than I was sad and adored the beauty of these sick teens being able to find love and comfort in each other.  I couldn't put the book down and bawled at the end.

Appropriateness:  There's quite a bit of adult content in this book and it's written for the older teen and adult crossover audience.  There's some sex which isn't too descriptive and the book (obviously) is heartbreaking at times.  I recommend this book for readers 15+ (but would be fine with my middle schooler reading it also if she was up to it).
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