Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Cosmic was Dr. Peggy Sharp's top ten books to read for 2010. Dr. Peggy Sharp conducts yearly workshops on What's new in children's literature?

Cosmic is about a twelve year old boy who looks like he's thirty years old because of his height and facial hair. Twelve year old Liam takes full advantage of his mistaken age. Sometimes it fun when on the first day of school the principal mistakes Liam for a teacher. Or when he convices a car dealer to let him test drive a Porsche. Luckily for Liam he has great parents that watch over very carefully. Except when Liam cons his way into being the adult chaperone on the first space ship to take civilians into space. It is all fun and games, until the ship is stuck 230,000 miles from home. Liam learns being mistaken for an adult is not good.

I enjoyed reading this book. There is a lot of factual information about space, flight, astronaunts, math, etc. For those who enjoy science and adventure, this would be a good choice.

Posted by Lisa

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dramarama by E. Lockhart

Sarah Paulson is stuck in a small Ohio town dreaming of making it big on Broadway. When she meets Demi at an audition for summer theater camp her life is changed forever, as is her name when Demi rechristens her Sadye.
Demi and Sadye become inseparable and count the days until they can leave Ohio for camp. Wildewood is a revelation to them both, but especially to Demi as he can be openly gay and completely himself with theater people. He's also extremely talented and lands parts in two big shows. Not Sadye. She is cast in small, insignificant (to her) parts and has fights with Demi about their dwindling friendship. As the summer wears on, Sadye learns much about her talents, her weaknesses and how to make the most of what you have.
Dramarama is smart, funny and immensely readable. Even if you don't care for musical theater or know much about it, E. Lockhart makes you care. This book would be perfect for teens who enjoy Glee or who are interested in reading something different from the paranormal love triangles or dystopian stories currently dominating YA lit. I think E. Lockhart is a brilliant writer who really knows how to portray realistic teen characters. I will be reading more of her books.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.

A easy read, hard to put down action pack novel. I was surprised how much romance was involved. It was a young adult book, so I am not too shocked. I am number four reminded me of the Twilight series. Instead of an average girl falling in love with a vampire, we switch to an alien boy falling in love with a beautiful girl. I guess teenage girls love boys with extraordinary powers. This book should appeal to teenage girls and boys. Who are you dating?

A Nest For Celeste by Henry Cole

Celeste, a mouse longing for a real home, becomes a source of inspiration to teenaged Joseph, assistant to the artist and naturalist John James Audubon, at a New Orleans, Louisiana, plantation in 1821.

Henry Cole's book has a mix of adventure, history, surprise, enemies, death, and sweetness. One of the surprises is how Audubon would kill the birds in order to paint them. Audubon wanted to capture the birds in certain poses to show life. But Audubon would kill them and pose them up with pins. Celeste starting talking with the birds and get them to pose certain ways in order to save their lives.

Celeste has many challenges to save herself. I would recommend this book to 4th and 5th graders. I enjoyed it, but not loved it. I would give three out of five stars. This book would be for the animal lovers.

Posted by Lisa

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society is one heck of a book. I wanted to read it because it is so popular with teen girls, but I wasn't very excited about the prospect. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Ally Carter is a great, entertaining writer and Heist Society is a fast-paced, wonderful ride.
Kat Bishop comes from a notorious family of thieves, art thieves to be exact. When the book opens she is a resident at a posh boarding school, having left the family business to attempt life as a normal teen. When her friend Hale purposely gets her kicked out of school she rejoins her family and finds herself right back in the thick of the action.
An art collection has been stolen from a very wealthy, very scary Italian and he wants it back. Mr. Taccone believes Kat's father has stolen the pieces and if she doesn't recover them her father will pay. What should she do?
Teeming with lively teen characters and interesting adult ones, Heist Society is a clever page-turner that will appeal to girls thirteen and older. Carter has created a new series that will attract teens who enjoy adventure, romance and humor.
The second book in the series, Uncommon Criminals, hits the shelves in June.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fancy Nancy fans will love Jane O’Connor’s newest title, Fancy Nancy Aspiring Artist! Full of the same bright, colorful illustrations from Robin Preiss Glasser, Nancy is enjoying spring break and taps into her creative side with paints and markers while exploring the masterpieces of world-renown artists such Matisse and Degas to name a few. Full of O’Connor’s rhyming text and excellent vocabulary, Nancy introduces the reader to different art types on each day of the week with Sunday being the final “art exhibit” day for the neighborhood. An excellent title to include into masterpiece art programs for elementary or preschool age children.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick

My Swordhand is Singing uses the origins of the vampire legend in Eastern Europe to create a chilling and dark story of the supernatural. Peter and his father Tomas have finally settled in as woodcutters in a small village in the forest after wandering for years. Their business is flourishing and they are beginning to be accepted by the villagers. After several mysterious deaths and the arrival of gypsies in the village, Peter realizes that strange secrets surround his family, several held by his own father. When he bravely violates village rules to help a friend, he encounters the horror among them and joins forces with a fiery gypsy girl to save the village.
This is the third Sedgwick novel I've read and they've all been excellent. He writes the father/son relationship especially well and his depiction of the supernatural is terrifyingly believable.
I really enjoyed reading about the original vampire legends and how much they differ from the vampire myth of today.
Sedgwick is a master of atmosphere, describing the setting so well that I could feel the cold, the chill, the darkness of a winter in the forest.
His books are perfect for boys or girls who like setting and the supernatural over fast-paced, plot-driven novels.