Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Taking Stock - February

Total posts this month: 11
Total books read this month: 35
Total books read this year: 83

Audio: 7/12
Debut: 1/3
Picture Book: 20/41

The Good: 35 books! Less than January but still a bit more than a book a day.

The Bad: Ten posts and just one was a review! Gah!

The Books: * = favorite
49. Ghost by Jason Reynolds (2/2)
50. Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol (2/2)
51. Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds (2/3)
52. Duck, Duck, Porcupine! by Salina Yoon (2/3)*
53. XO, OX: a love story by Adam Rex (2/3)
54. As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds (2/5)*
55. 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy (2/6)*
56. Chengdu Can Do by Barry Saltzburg (2/6)
57. Chengdu Could Not Would Not Fall Asleep by Barry Saltzburg (2/7)
58. BunnyBear by Andrea J. Loney (2/7)
59. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (2/7)*
60. Dream by Matthew Cordell (2/10)
61. Spunky Little Monkey by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson (2/10)
62. Mighty Moby by Barbara Dacosta (2/11)
63. Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton (2/12)
64. Rivers of Sunlight: how the sun moves water around the Earth by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm (2/12)*
65. Rudas: Niño's Horrendous Hermanitas by Yuyi Morales (2/14)
66. What's the Scoop on Animal Poop? by Dawn Cusick (2/14)
67. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems (2/15)
68. Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems (2/15)
69. Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems (2/15) 
70. Be the Change: a Grandfather Gandhi story by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus (2/16)*
71. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (2/18)
72. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West (2/19)
73. When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin (2/19)
74. Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia (2/21)(SLJ review)
75. How to Avoid Extinction by Paul Acampora (2/22)
76. The Secrets to Ruling the School: Class Election by Neil Swaab (2/23)
77. The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds (2/24)
78. The Poet's Dog by Patricia McLachlan (2/25)
79. The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy (2/26)*
80. Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi and Bethan Hegedus (2/26)
81. The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla (2/27)*
82. Dolphin Rescue by Catherine Nichols (2/27)
83. Rolling Thunder by Kate Messner (2/28)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

What's New? Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.

Had a lovely week off from school. Read a lot and managed not to buy a single book. Got one to review though.

Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz. Illustrated by Brian Floca. 74 p. Candlewick Press, March 28, 2017. 9780763648220.

Publisher synopsis: Princess Cora is sick of boring lessons. She’s sick of running in circles around the dungeon gym. She’s sick, sick, sick of taking three baths a day. And her parents won’t let her have a dog. But when she writes to her fairy godmother for help, she doesn’t expect that help to come in the form of a crocodile—a crocodile who does not behave properly. With perfectly paced dry comedy, children’s book luminaries Laura Amy Schlitz and Brian Floca send Princess Cora on a delightful outdoor adventure — climbing trees! getting dirty! having fun! — while her alter ego wreaks utter havoc inside the castle, obliging one pair of royal helicopter parents to reconsider their ways.

That's what's new with me. What's new with you?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Boy Seeking Band by Steve Brezenoff

Boy Seeking Band by Steve Brezenoff. 384 p. Capstone Press, August 28, 2017. 9781496544629.

Publisher synopsis: from the jacket. Not online yet. Terence Kato is a prodigy bass player, but he's determined to finish middle school on a high note. Life has other plans. In eighth grade, he's forced to transfer from a private arts school to a public school, where the kids seemingly speak a different language. Luckily, Terence knows a universal one: music. He sets out to build a rock band and, in the process, make a few friends.

What a cool, edgy cover! I learned about this from the author's FB page last week.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

What's New? Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.

For review: I'm so excited for both these titles!

Jack and the Geniuses: At the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye the Science Guy & Gregory Mone. 244 p. Amulet Books/ Abrams, April 4, 2017. 9781419723032.

Publisher synopsis: New York Times bestselling authors Bill Nye the Science Guy and Gregory Mone take middle-grade readers on a scientific adventure in the launch of an exciting new chapter book series, Jack and the Geniuses. The perfect combination to engage and entertain readers, the series features real-world science along with action and a mystery that will leave kids guessing until the end, making these books ideal for STEM education.
In the series opener, Jack and the Geniuses: At The Bottom of The World, readers meet Jack and his foster siblings, Ava and Matt, who are orphans. But they’re not your typical kind of orphans—they’re geniuses. Well, Ava and Matt are, which sometimes makes life difficult for 1twelve-year-old Jack. Ava speaks multiple languages and builds robots for fun, and Matt is into astronomy and a whiz at math. As for Jack, it’s hard to stand out when he’s surrounded by geniuses all the time.
When the kids try to spy on Dr. Hank Witherspoon, one of the world’s leading scientists, they end up working for him in his incredible laboratory. Soon, Hank and the kids travel to Antarctica for a prestigious science competition, but they find that all is not as it seems: A fellow scientist has gone missing, and so has any trace of her research. Could someone be trying to use her findings to win the contest? It’s up to Jack, Ava, and Matt to find the missing scientist and discover who’s behind it all—before it’s too late.
Integrating real science facts with humor and suspense, and featuring an ensemble cast of loveable boy and girl characters, this uniquely engaging series is an irresistible chemical reaction for middle-grade readers. With easy-to-read language presented in a fun, motivating, and accessible way, this series opener is a great book for both inquisitive kids and reluctant readers. The book also includes information about the science discussed and used to solve the mystery, as well as a cool science project about density that kids can do at home or in the classroom.

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia. 166 p. Amistad/ HarperCollins Publishers, May 9, 2017. 9780062215949.

Publisher synopsis: From beloved Newbery Honor winner and three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia comes a powerful and heartfelt novel about loss, family, and love that will appeal to fans of Jason Reynolds and Kwame Alexander.
Clayton feels most alive when he’s with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, and the band of Bluesmen—he can’t wait to join them, just as soon as he has a blues song of his own. But then the unthinkable happens. Cool Papa Byrd dies, and Clayton’s mother forbids Clayton from playing the blues. And Clayton knows that’s no way to live.
Armed with his grandfather’s brown porkpie hat and his harmonica, he runs away from home in search of the Bluesmen, hoping he can join them on the road. But on the journey that takes him through the New York City subways and to Washington Square Park, Clayton learns some things that surprise him.

That's what's new with me. What's new with you? 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade by Jordan Sonnenblick

Woot! Jordan Sonnenblick has a new book coming out! Always great news. I have two copies of all his books and they are usually checked out.

The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade by Jordan Sonnenblick. 208 p. Scholastic Press, August 29, 2017. 9780545863209.

Publisher synopsis: In sixth grade, bad things can happen to good kids. Bullies will find your weakness and jump on it. Teachers will say you did something wrong when you really didn't mean to do anything wrong. The kids who joke the loudest can drown out the quieter, nicer kids.

Maverick wants to change all that. One of the last things his fatherleft hi was a toy sheriff's badge, back when Maverick was little. Now he likes to carry it around to remind him of his dad - and also to remind him to make school a better place for everyone...even if that a hard thing to do, especially when his own home life is falling apart.

THE SECRET SHERIFF OF SIXTH GRADE is a story about standing up for yourself - and being a hero at home and in the halls of your school.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Non-Fiction Monday: Rivers of Sunlight by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm

Rivers of Sunlight: How the sun moves water around the Earth by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm. unpgd. The Blue Sky Press/ Scholastic Inc., January, 2017. (Review from finished copy courtesy of the publisher.)

In this fourth collaboration about Earth's life-giver, the sun we learn about how it moves water around the Earth. The elegant and poetic narrative flows smoothly, as our sun, as narrator, explains its role in the water cycle. The text is enhanced by the bright palette present in the previous three companion pieces. Molly Bang's detailed, busy illustrations invite lingering. Indeed, all four books create an attractive, informative set that is indispensable to science teachers. Rivers of Sunlight is perfect for introducing a unit on the water cycle in any science class from elementary through high school. #nevertoooldforpicturebooks! Nearly six pages of back matter explain some of the concepts in greater depth, making it a suitable resource for researchers. There are no source notes or suggestions of books or websites for further reading though.

Other fun picture books to introduce the water cycle include: All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon (Atheneum, 2011), illustrated by Katherine Tillotson and Water is Water by Miranda Paul (Roaring Brook Press, 2015), illustrated by Jasin Chin.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

What's New? Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.

For Review:
A package arrived from Little, Brown with my arc requests from the breakfast at Midwinter. Woot! Of course, I want to read the entire list, but I can't be greedy.

The Star Thief by Lindsey Becker. 416 p. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 11, 2017. 9780316348560.

Publisher synopsis: The constellations come to life in this imaginative fantasy adventure debut.

Honorine's life as a maid at the Vidalia mansion is rather dull, dusting treasures from faraway places and daydreaming in front of maps of the world. But everything changes when she catches two brutish sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia's study, and then follows a mysterious girl with wings out into the night....
Suddenly, Honorine is whisked into the middle of a battle between the crew of a spectacular steamship and a band of mythical constellations. The stars in the sky have come to life to defend themselves against those who want to harness their powers. Much to her surprise, Honorine is the crux of it all, the center of an epic clash between magic and science, the old ways and the new. But can this spirited young girl bring both sides of a larger-than-life fight together before they unleash an evil power even older than the stars?

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray. 512 p. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 4, 2017. 9780316394055.

Publisher synopsis: She's a soldier.
Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She's willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she's a rebel.
He's a machine.
Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that's begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he's an abomination.
Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they're not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they're forced to question everything they'd been taught was true.

Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert. 336 p. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, August 8, 2017. 9780316349000.

Publisher synopsis: When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.

That's what's new with me. What's new with you?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Memes: The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla

Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice.

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla. 327 p. Harper/ HarperCollins Publishers, January, 2017. 9890062445766.

Publisher synopsis: Charlie’s perfectly ordinary life has been unraveling ever since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan.

When his father heads from California to Virginia for medical treatment, Charlie reluctantly travels cross-country with his boy-crazy sister, unruly brothers, and a mysterious new family friend. He decides that if he can spot all the birds that he and his father were hoping to see someday along the way, then everything might just turn out okay.

Debut author Sally J. Pla has written a tale that is equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for an autistic boy who feels he doesn’t understand the world, and an uplifting portrait of a family overcoming a crisis.

First line: My hands aren't really clean until I've washed them twelve times, one for each year of my life. 

Page 56: I walk over to the policeman, calm and quiet, like I am in a movie about myself. I stare into the officer's mirror sunglasses, and tell him the only number I know by heart. Gram made me memorize it only a few weeks ago, when she found out I didn't know any of my contact information. "Jesus H. Christ, Charlie," she'd said. "What if there's an emergency?"

I have been pining for this ever since learning of it last year. Now that I have a finished copy in my hot little hands, I wish I could sequester myself somewhere and read but I've a few commitments to deal with before getting to it. As a bird lover and super-amateur birder, I immediately adored the connection Charlie and his father had with birding. The chapter names all have something to do with birding. Chapter one is called Flockers and Loners and so on. Love!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

What's New? Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Hop on over there to ogle what other bloggers got this week.

Quiet week this week, and thank goodness! I am drowning in books to read!

For review: Thanks to Time Inc. for these cuties:

Animal Planet Adventures: Dolphin Rescue by Catherine Nichols. Illustrated by Bryan Langdo. 112 p. Liberty/ Time Inc., February 14, 2016. 9781618931696.

Publisher synopsis: Siblings Maddie and Atticus love living by the sea. Their dad traps lobsters off the coast of Maine. They love helping with the family business and volunteering at the local aquarium. The summer is shaping up to be a super one, for sure. Then one day they spy a pod of dolphins in the cove looking distressed. How will the kids use their knowledge of animals and their awesome problem-solving skills to help the dolphin family get safely back to sea?
Perfect for reluctant, challenged, and newly fluent readers, the Animal Planet Adventures chapter book series combines fun animal mysteries with cool nonfiction sidebars that relate directly to the stories, bringing the best of the animal world to young readers. With full-color illustrations and photographs throughout.

Animal Planet Adventures: Farm Friends Escape! by Gail Herman. Illustrated byBryan Langdo. 112 p. Liberty/ Time Inc., February 14, 2017. 9781618931689. 

Publisher synopsis: During summer vacations, cousins Luke and Sarah help out at their grandparents' petting zoo. But what happens when the animals get loose overnight's Can Luke and Sarah use their knowledge of animals and their awesome problem-solving skills to get the animals back to safety?
Perfect for reluctant, challenged, and newly fluent readers, the Animal Planet Adventures chapter book series combines fun animal mysteries with cool nonfiction sidebars that relate directly to the stories, bringing the best of the animal world to young readers. With full-color illustrations and photographs throughout.

That's what's new with me. What's new with you?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Taking Stock - January 2017

And, boom! January is over! Wowzers!

Total posts this month: 33
Total books read this month: 48
Total books read this year: 48

Audio: 5
Debut:  2

The Good: Off to a rip-roaringly productive start both with the numbers and posts and actual reviews. Thirteen! Lots of books read too!

The Bad: Can't think of anything right now.

The Books: * = favorite
1. Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood (1/1)
2. Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood. (1/1)
3. Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Unpleasant Penguins from Pluto by Dav Pilkey (1/2)
4. Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar (1/2)
5. I'll Wait Mr. Panda by Steve Antony (1/2)
6. Fly Guy Presents: Snakes by Tedd Arnold (1/3)
7. Bad Kitty Does Not Like Snow by Nick Bruel (1/4)
8. Octopus Escapes Again! by Laurie Ellen Angus (1/4)
9. Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis (1/5)
10. Warren the 13th and the All-seeing Eye by Tania del Rio (1/5)
11. The Science Fair is Freaky by Jack Chabert (1/7)
12. Three Pennies by Melanie Crowder (1/8) (SLJ review)
13. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu (1/8)
14. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey (1/8)
15. Fannie Never Flinched by Mary Cronk Farrell (1/8)*
16. Wolf in the Snow by Matt Cordell (1/9)*
17. Seven and a half tons of steel by Janet Nolan (1/10)*
18. Safe in a Storm by Steven R. Swinburne (1/11)
19. Where did all the Dinos Go? by Jim Benton (1/11)
20. Super Rawr! by Todd H. Doodler (1/11)
21. Gary's Garden by Gary Northfield (1/11)
22. When It Snows by Richard Collingridge (1/11)
23. Under Earth, Under Water (1/13)
24. A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom (1/14)
25. Will's Words by Jane Sutcliffe (1/15)
26. Now You See Them, Now You Don't by David L. Harrison (1/15)
27. Penguins Love Color by Sarah Aspinall (1/15)
28. Hungry Bird by Jeremy Tankard (1/15)
29. Doing Her Bit: a story about the Woman's Land Army of America by Erin Hagar (1/15)
30. Kai to the Rescue! by Audrey Penn (1/15)
31. Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin (1/15)
32. Rise of the Wolf by Jennifer A. Nielsen (1/16)
33. Are Pirates Polite by Corinne Demas & Artemis Roehrig (1/16)
34. Pirasaurs by Josh Funk (1/ 16)
35. Little Dee and the Penguins (1/17)
36. King Baby by Kate Beaton (1/19)
37. The Wizard's Dog by Eric Kahn Gale (1/21)
38. Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins (1/24)
39. Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins (1/24) (reread)
40. Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins (1/24)
41. 7 Ate 9: the untold story by Tara Lazar (1/25)
42. Heart to Heart by Lois Ehlert (1/25)
43. The Possible by Tara Altebrando (1/28)
44. Sea Otter Heroes by Patricia Newman (1/29)
45. The King of Kazoo by Norm Feuti (1/29)
46. Claymates by Dev Petty (1/30)
47. When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin (1/30)*
48. A Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spire (1/31)

Waiting on Wednesday: Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson/ Chris Grabenstein

Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson/ Chris Grabenstein. A Middle School Story. 305 p. Jimmy Patterson Books/ Little, Brown and Company, June 12, 2017. 9780316349635.

Publisher synopsis: Tired of being bullied, middle-school underdogs "Pottymouth" and "Stoopid" finally fight back with the power of funny.
David and his best friend Michael were tagged with awful nicknames way back in preschool when everyone did silly things. Fast-forward to seventh grade: "Pottymouth" and "Stoopid" are still stuck with the names—and everyone in school, including the teachers and their principal, believe the labels are true.
So how do they go about changing everyone's minds? By turning their misery into megastardom on TV, of course! And this important story delivers more than just laughs—it shows that the worst bullying doesn't have to be physical...and that things will get better.

Patterson's Middle School series is by far the most popular series in my library. The shelf is always empty and the waiting lists are long. It just occurred to me that the collection will probably need replacing soon as the books are being loved to death.