Archive for the 'Don’t Miss' Category

Mr. Terupt Falls Again by Rob Buyea

Mr. Terupt Falls Again. By Rob Buyea. Delacorte Press, 2012. $16.99

Anyone who read Because of Mr. Terupt wanted to be in his class… the adults included. The masterful teacher with amazing insights into his students is back for 6th grade along with his seven narrators. Following the format of the first book, the student voices relate the trials, tribulations, challenges, and joys of the school year including a special celebration. Sequels don’t often surpass the original, but this one just might! For 5th to 8th grade readers.

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Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford

Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot.  By Anna Branford. Simon and Schuster, 2012. 112 pages. $14.99

It’s great to be a third grade reader these days! Joining Piper Reed, Clementine, Mallory and Penelope Crumb is newcomer Violet Mackeral! Smart and spunky with a well-grounded family, Violet lives by her Theory of Finding Small Things. Violet applies it to her current desire, the small china bird that she sees at the market. One thing leads to another and Violet hatches her extraordinary plan. This is the first book in a series perfect for 2nd to 4th grade readers.

Joshua Dread by Lee Bacon

Joshua Dread. By Lee Bacon. Random House Children’s Books, 2012. 272 pages. $16.99

Middle school is pressure-filled enough and when your parents are supervillians, bound and determined to destroy the world, a normal life is nearly impossible. Add to this Joshua’s own emerging superpower and the appearance at school of Sophie Justice, daughter of superhero Captain Justice. A supervillian turns against his fellow villains, presenting an unlikely opportunity for Stacy and Joshua, with support from Captain Justice, to come to the defense of the supervillians. Witty and fast-paced, Joshua Dread will appeal to fantasy readers and superhero fans. A sequel can’t come out quick enough. Suitable for readers in 4th to 7th grade.

 

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.

The Puzzler’s Mansion by Eric Berlin

The Puzzler’s Mansion. By Eric Berlin G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012. 256 pages. $16.99
Mystery readers love nothing more than the closed room crime. In this third offering in the Winston Breen series, Winston and his friends have been invited for a puzzle-filled weekend at the mansion of a renowned orchestra conductor and puzzle aficionado. A number of strange disappearances throughout the weekend add a real-life puzzle to the weekend entertainment with the only suspects being those in the mansion, including Winston. Students looking for an unusual twist to the standard mystery fare will delight in The Puzzler’s Mansion and quickly devour the other Winston Breen books. Puzzles, and solutions, are included. Suitable for 4th to 7th grade readers.

Kepler’s Dream by Juliet Bell

Kepler’s Dream. By Juliet Bell. G.P. Putnam’s Son’s, 2012. 256 pages. $16.99

When her mother is diagnosed with cancer and faces intensive chemotherapy, Emma goes to stay with her paternal grandmother, at what becomes for Emma, “Broken Family Camp.” Challenged to understand the family dynamics, Emma does her best to fit into the household routine. The disappearance of a valuable book, and the resulting search for the thief, unites the family in unimaginable ways. Juliet Bell’s debut book is captivating. Her Emma is a sincere and special 11 year-old heroine confronting believable conflicts with grace and a developing sense of empathy. Teachers will find this book a great tie-in with units on space or astronomy. Suitable for 4th to 7th grade readers.

Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker

Summer of the Gypsy Moths. By Sara Pennypacker. Balzer & Bray, 2012. 275 pages. $15.99

Stella and Angel couldn’t be more different. Both in foster care, they live with Stella’s Aunt Louise who manages summer vacation cottages on Cape Cod. When tragedy strikes, the girls learn to pull together in unimaginable ways. While they don’t always make the best decisions, the girls have the best of intentions, show amazing resourcefulness, and demonstrate that they are true survivors. Sara Penypacker, author of the Clementine books, has elevated creating memorable female characters to an art form and both Stella and Angel will stay with the reader for some time. Students looking for a book in the adventure/survival genre will find this an unlikely, but most satisfying, option. Suitable for 4th- 7th grade readers.

Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli

Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli. Balzer & Bray, 2012. 352 pages. $15.99
Growing up is awfully hard to do and especially so if you are twins. Jake makes the first move to expand his social circle outside of his twin, Lily, leaving her adrift and bereft. Lily turns to her beloved grandfather Poppy for company and consolation. He encourages Lily to build her own life separate from her twin and she proceeds with fits and starts, and ultimately succeeds. Meanwhile, Jake, under the influence of peer pressure, allows Ernie, the new kid in town to be bullied. Jake realizes that he has hurt people he cares about and sets out to make things right with both Ernie and Lily. With Jake and Lily alternating the narration, readers get both sides of the challenges of their growing up, but not apart. Newbery winner, Jerry Spinelli, has created memorable characters and a credible story line. Suitable for 3rd-6th grade readers.

Temple Gradin by Sy Montgomery

Temple Gradin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraces Autism and Changed the World. By Sy Montgomery. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. 160 pages. $16.99

Temple Gradin is an amazing 21st century woman and is worthy of a biography on several counts. Dr. Gradin is a world-renowned scientist in the area of humane treatment of animals. A PhD in Animal Science, she is a professor at Colorado State University.  Temple Gradin also is autistic. Sy Montgomery, in her book, focuses as much on Dr. Gradin’s autism story as she does on her groundbreaking research in the livestock industry.  The value of this book lies in it being more than a fascinating biography of a woman scientist. It also makes a valuable contribution as account of a person who lives, and indeed, thrives, with autism. With a forward by Temple Grandin, family photographs, facts on farming and autism, bibliography, resources, and index, this book is easily accessible for a wide-range of readers. Temple’s “Advice for Kids on the Spectrum” is enlightening for all readers. Suitable for 4th grade and up.

Don’t Miss! Wonder by P.J. Palacio

Wonder. By P.J. Palacio. Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. 315 pages. $15.99

“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives” says Auggie Pullman (p.231). Ten-year old Auggie certainly deserves one! Born with a facial abnormality and persevering through more than twenty surgeries, Auggie has endured more than his share of stares and comments. Enrolling at Beecher Prep, Auggie embarks on middle school after being homeschooled. Coping with being the new kid, trying to make friends, and the logistics of the lunchroom are daunting enough, but when school bullying boils over to the community it challenges Auggie, his family, and his friends in a way they never imagined. Told though numerous points of view, readers learn how Auggie impacts those in his world, encouraging empathy and compassion. Fans of Cynthia Lord’s Rules and Nora Baskin’s Anything But Typical will find much to relate to in Auggie’s story. Teachers will find many opportunities for rich and rewarding classroom discussions. Suitable for readers in 4th to 8th grades.


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