Aug 20, 2014

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green follows Miles who is a new student at boarding school.  An outcast at his past school Miles quickly falls in with a crowd of kids who spend most of their time smoking and drinking while planning pranks on their enemies the rich kids at schools they call the weekend warriors.  Alaska, a girl in his group is Miles' obsession, and we see her struggle until the unforseen happens.

I just couldn't take this book.  It was so well regarded and I've enjoyed other books by John Green but something about the setting and characters didn't work for me.  It takes place in apparently the worst boarding school ever.  Where there's little to no supervision aside from one teacher who runs after those who are obviously misbehaving (and rarely catches them).  The kids smoke (and smoke and smoke, smoking is almost a subplot it's used so much) and drink and hang out in rooms of the opposite sex with no oversight at all which I find totally unrealistic for a school that's housing minors.  The characters seem to be caricatures of the troubled and lonely and the main character doesn't even think twice before taking a cigarette or drinking.

Appropriateness:  This is certainly not a book for young teens.  There are fairly graphic descriptions of sexual acts.  The characters drink and smoke and do drugs as a major plot point in the book.  I would recommend it to teens 16+

Aug 15, 2014

A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea

A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea by Jessica Law and Illustrated by Jill MacDonald is a fantastic singing book that my students love.  The pictures are fun and the kids love singing a long.  If you're not familiar with the song (or don't want to learn it from the sheet music) there's a video on youtube that you can follow a long with.

I recommend this book for kids from 4-8

Aug 10, 2014

Two Lies and a Spy

Two Lies and a Spy by Kat Carlton follows Kari as she tries to save her spy parents when they disappear and are declared to be traitors.  With the help of the things she's learned from her parents and the abilities of some of her friends Kari has to prove that her parents are not traitors.

This book was a ton of fun and a bit silly.  Kari, who has all these super spy abilities also makes some silly mistakes and conveniently her friends have all the skills that she needs to solve the mystery.  I did enjoy the book and couldn't put it down.

Appropriateness:  There is no adult content in this book and only a bit of romance.  I recommend this book to readers 12-16.

Aug 5, 2014

Paper Craft Crazy Critters

Paper Craft Crazy Critters is a fantastic book of monsters that can be punched out and then folded together.  The monsters are funny and fun to put together, my daughter had a great time making a group of monsters.

 I recommend this book for kids 9 and up (they're too difficult for young kids).

Jul 30, 2014

The School for Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani follows friends Sophie and Agatha.  Sophie has dreamed all her life of being kidnapped and taken to the school of good where she would turn into a fairytale heroine and her friend Agatha who loves cats and being alone seems like a fit for the school of Evil.  When the two girls are dropped off at the opposite schools they're sure there must be a mixup.  Sophie is pretty and blonde, she could never be evil and Agatha wants nothing to do with the pretty and spineless princesses she's living with.

This is a fantastic fantasy.  I loved reading all the evil things that pretty Sophie did and the kind things that Agatha did.  The school and it's world is fascinating to read about.  The book is very long but kept me interested throughout.  I loved the strong female characters in this book.  It's not often that you find fantasy that's held with a pair of solid female leads.  I can't wait until the next book comes out.

Appropriateness:  This is a fantastic book that will be enjoyed by middle grade readers 9-14 (it is very long so take that into consideration when deciding if it's right for your child).

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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...