Archive for October, 2012

Unstoppable by Tim Green

Unstoppable. By Tim Green. HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2012/ 352 pages. $16.99
It’s all about luck; some people have it and some don’t, and Harrison definitely doesn’t. When Harrison rebels against the abuse in his foster home, he fears things will get even worse. But it all turns around when he goes to live with the Kelly’s. Not only do the Kelly’s desperately want a child, Coach Kelly’s football team can use a player of Harrison’s size and strength. A routine doctor’s visit leads to a life-threatening diagnosis for Harrison. Major Bauer arrives at the Kelly’s to supervise Harrison’s rehab and in the process, restores his hope. Not only is Harrison unstoppable, so is Tim Green, as he offers another winner to his middle grade readers. Suitable for readers in 4th to 7th grades.

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Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Ungifted. By Gordon Korman. Balzer & Bray, 2012. 288 pages, $16.99.
Donovan is a most unlikely candidate for a gifted program. However, when there’s a paperwork mix-up and a prank that Donovan needs to distance himself from, he’s not complaining. With proud parents looking on, Donovan makes a go it at the gifted school, making friends and offering surprising contributions to the class. Presented with typical Korman wit, this is a celebration of the giftedness in everyone. Suitable for 4th to 7th grade readers.

Son by Lois Lowry

Son. By Lois Lowry. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. 400 pages. $17.99
Readers of Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger will be delighted by the completion of the quartet. Here, the stories of Claire, Jonas, Gabriel, and Kira come together in a most satisfying conclusion. Son is divided into three books – Before, Between, and Beyond. In Before, we learn about Claire’s experience as a vessel, or birthmother. In Between, we discover what happened to Claire in the chaos that resulted in The Giver when Jonas escaped with the baby, Gabriel. In Beyond, Gabe’s special talents are needed to destroy an evil one known as Trademaster in order to restore safety and calm to the community. Readers will enjoy reconnecting with familiar characters and storylines. Lowry’s position as a master storyteller is secure. Suitable for readers in 5th – 8th grades.

Kudos to The Book Stall

The Book Stall in Winnetka, Illinois hosted their annual educator’s in-service on Saturday, September 29th. The incredibly knowledgeable staff headed by Robert McDonald showcased a number of exciting new offerings. While the middle grade list included many of the titles I’ve reviewed here, some highly recommended titles you’ll want to check out are:
In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz
Almost Home by Joan Bauer
One for the Murphys by Linda Mullaly Hunt
Malcolm at Midnight by W. H. Beck
Floors, Book One and 3 Below (Book Two) by Patrick Carman
Third Grade Angels by Jerry Spinelli
The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech and
The Second Life of Abigail Walker by Francis O’Roark Dowell.

Esme Raji Codell talked about the writing of her new book, Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John “Appleseed” Chapman out just in time to celebrate his birthday on September 26th. Johnny Appleseed is certainly worthy of being called an “American Hero.”

Many thanks to The Book Stall for hosting this event and sharing their love of books!
Enjoy!

The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng

The Year of the Book. By Andrea Cheng. Houghton Mifflin, 2012. 146 pages. $5.99
Many of us have taken solace in books during times of trouble. The same is true for Anna. As elementary school friendships and alliances shift, she finds refuge in classics such as A Wrinkle in Time and My Side of the Mountain. While the books provide some insights into her world, ultimately, it is up to Anna to find out what makes friends, friends. Delightfully illustrated by Abigail Halpin, Anna will find many friends among the elementary school set. Suitable for 3rd to 5th grade readers.


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