Monday, October 20, 2014

LOOT by Jude Watson

Loot

March and his dad live a free-wheeling, chaotic life as thieves, but when his dad dies on a job, March is on his own and on the run. He makes some friends, find a long lost sister he never knew, and embarks on a series of heists that could lead to his death.

This was a great con/heist story with plenty of tension and adventure. For the four main characters, life has made it hard to trust anyone, even each other, which  adds a great layer to the tension of the story. Plenty of set up here for sequel.

4 out of 5 stars
AR reading level of 4.2

Friday, October 17, 2014

JUDY MOODY MOOD MARTIAN by Megan McDonald

Judy Moody, Mood Martian (Book #12)

Judy decides she wants to be in a good mood for a whole week! This is not going to be easy for someone who gets "moody" so easily! This book is all about friendship, what to do when your friend acts like an alien, and finger knitting. A great addition to this fun series!

Judy Moody is always a winner in my book. Can't go wrong with this fun girl and her fun family and friends.

4 out of 5 stars
No AR reading level at the time of this writing

Thursday, October 16, 2014

ECONOMICS THROUGH INFOGRAPHICS by Karen Kenney

Economics Through Infographics

I love infographics and have eyed this series as a possibility for our school library for some time, but this was my first opportunity to see one up close. The format is generally one paragraph per page/topic that outlines basic information and then a visual display that digs a little deeper. Topics in this volume include factories/assembly lines, comparison costs for common products (like a Big Mac or Starbucks) in various countries, imports and exports, currency exchanges, and changes in the work force over time. Includes a glossary and index as well as recommendations for further reading on the subject. Free e-resources are also mentioned, but I did not explore those.

4 out of 5 stars
AR Reading level of 5.0

I would definitely get this series for the school library - what an enjoyable read! Some of the other books in this series are pictured below. So far there seems to be 12 books in the series.

Us History Through Infographics   Weather and Climate through Infographics   Forces and Motion through Infographics   The Solar System through Infographics

* I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for free in the hope that I would review it honestly on my blog. Regardless, I only review books I enjoyed. I don’t believe in passing on negative reviews. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BIG NATE: THE CROWD GOES WILD! by Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate: The Crowd Goes Wild!

While I always buy these books for my son and for the school library, I have never read one until now. I was pleasantly surprised. There were several laugh-out-loud moments in this collection of comic strips about: playing catch with his dad, tests and studying with Francis, family fun with Uncle Ted, teachers at school, Book Buddies, girls, baseball, and summer break. We will definitely be adding this to our collects both at home and at school

4 out of 5 stars
No AR reading level at the time of this writing

* I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for free in the hope that I would review it honestly on my blog. Regardless, I only review books I enjoyed. I don’t believe in passing on negative reviews. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

EDIE'S ENSEMBLES by Ashley Spires

Edie's Ensembles

Edie becomes consumed by creating attention-grabbing ensembles to the neglect of her friend. I love Ashley Spires' work! The illustrations here are just precious. The main theme of the story is "be yourself." This could be a great read aloud for bedtime or for classroom use.

3 out of 5 stars
No AR reading level at this time

* I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for free in the hope that I would review it honestly on my blog. Regardless, I only review books I enjoyed. I don’t believe in passing on negative reviews. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Monday, October 13, 2014

THE IRON TRIAL by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

The Iron Trial (Magisterium Series #1)

Callum Hunt is an unpopular, angry boy with a damaged leg and mysterious past. Those things define him until he is admitted to the Magisterium to study magic. Call is the worst student in the trials because his father has warned him all his life that he needed to fail the trials. But he is accepted anyway, and once there, Call starts to get a sense of who he is - but things aren't necessarily what they appear in a world filled with magic. 

Wow. This was engaging and intriguing right from the beginning.Mysteries are probed, secrets are revealed and plenty of questions are left for the next book in the series. The characters are typical teen/pre-teens dealing with issues of friends, popularity and identity as they try to decide the kind of people they want to be. Plenty of questions left to draw readers forward in search of answers. I would recommend this to fans of the Harry Potter books. This has a different tone, but a similar premise with the magical training school.

4.5 out of 5
AR Reading level of 5.6

* I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for free in the hope that I would review it honestly on my blog. Regardless, I only review books I enjoyed. I don’t believe in passing on negative reviews. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Friday, October 10, 2014

ALL FOUR STARS by Tara Dairman

All Four Stars

When Gladys sets her kitchen on fire trying to make creme brulee, her parents discover her secret - when Gladys is home by herself, she cooks! This is unacceptable behavior for a sixth grader in their opinion so they ban her from the kitchen and from reading cookbooks. Instead, they insist she do normal things like play video games or go to the mall.  But a writing assignment for school snags a freelance restaurant critic job for Gladys - if she can just figure out how to pull it off without anyone finding out she's just a kid.

Gladys' passion is obvious and inspiring. Her parents are clueless, but Gladys' friends are supportive and encouraging. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and kept finding passages I wanted to read out loud to students. I think the kids at my school would enjoy Gladys's story!

5 out of 5 stars
No AR reading level at the time of this writing.