Saturday, May 23, 2015

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Gingerbread For Liberty!

Gingerbread for Liberty American Revolution Mara Rockliff nonfiction picture book coverGingerbread For Liberty!: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution
by Mara Rockliff
illustrations by Vincent X. Kirsch
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Jan. 27, 2015)
Informational Picture Book


A picture book biography about a forgotten hero of the American Revolution who rose to the occasion and served his country, not with muskets or canons, but with gingerbread!

Why You'll Love It:
  • Rockliff’s dialogue-laden text is accessible, even humorous at times.
  • Author Rockliff includes a recipe for gingergread at the end of the book, offering options for different skill levels.
  •  Kirsch pays careful attention to mirror the narrative in his book design and illustration. The interior art is made up of layered paper cut outs in primary colors, with white edging that mimics traditional gingerbread decoration.

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 2-5...or any grade that specifically studies the American Revolution.

Gingerbread for liberty illustration picture book

What Else You Should Read:

Sunday, May 17, 2015

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Dinosaur Boy

Dinosaur Boy by Cory Putman Oakes book coverDinosaur Boy
by Cory Putman Oakes
Jabberwocky Books (Feb. 3, 2015)
Science Fiction chapter book


Sprouting a tail and spikes over the summer before fifth grade, Sawyer, a boy with the dinosaur gene, is bullied in school, but when his tormentors begin to disappear, it is up to Sawyer, his best friend Elliot, and a mysterious new girl to rescue them from a galactically horrible fate.

Why You'll Love It:
  •  A fast-paced narrative and mixture of science fiction and humor will appeal to reluctant readers.
  • Themes of bullying and racial identity are woven into an entertaining story that never stops moving.
  • If you loved Wonder and would like to read another book with similar ideas about acceptance, this is a great choice.

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 3-6...and here's the teacher guide.

What Else You Should Read:

Saturday, May 9, 2015

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Public School Superhero

Public School Superhero by James Patterson book coverPublic School Superhero
by James Patterson/Chris Tebbetts
illustrations by Cory Thomas
Little, Brown Books (March 16, 2015)
Chapter Book


In Kenny Wright's active imagination he's a world famous superhero, but in the real world he's a sixth grade 'Grandma's Boy' whose struggles to fit in at his Washington D.C. inner city school will put his grades and family loyalty to the test.

Why You'll Love It:
  • Students already familiar with the Middle School and I Funny series will welcome a new Patterson book.
  • Underlying the humor is a commentary on inner-city schools, a subsection of our educational system plagued by budget cuts, principal-hopping and a society that may have written them off entirely.
  • Kenny is African American and his classmates include kids from a rich and realistic diversity of racial and ethnic backgrounds, adding to the overall appeal of this novel.

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 5 and up ...and here's a book trailer.

What Else You Should Read:

Saturday, May 2, 2015

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Dragonbreath -- Knight-napped!

Dragonbreath Knight napped by Ursula Vernon book coverDragonbreath: Knight-napped!
by Ursula Vernon
Dial Books (January 6, 2015)
Fantasy chapter book


Danny’s super-annoying cousin Spencer has been kidnapped by knights, every dragon’s worst enemy. After briefly enjoying the peace, Danny and friends go to his rescue.

Why You'll Love It:
  • My kiddos at school are always excited about a new Dragonbreath addition. It's a no-brainer.
  • Okay, still need convincing? Ursula Vernon’s witty passages will have readers chuckling. The description of Danny’s cousin is particularly funny: “If there had been a world championship for Most Annoying Cousin, Spencer would win every time. Then he’d whine until somebody carried the trophy for him.”
  • Appealing comic-book-style illustrations appear throughout, enhancing the humor. For example, Wendell explains the composition of the moat that surrounds the castle by pointing to a visual aid labeled glop, ooze, and mafia informant.
Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 2-5.

What Else You Should Read:
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